• Satanism gets the upper hand in Gaza–for now–but it too will pass
    During Easter, Shady Al-Najjar, leader of Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City, described those sheltered in the church’s remnants as “too tired to suffer,” living “very difficult” and “useless” days.

    Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMay 26, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    JEA: If you are a Christian Zionist and continue to support the chaos that Israel has created in Gaza, then shame on you. It is apparent that no amount of evidence will convince you otherwise. However, consider the following article from the Julie Roys website.

    Christian Presence Quickly Dwindling in Gaza After Seven Months of War

    By Diana Chandler

    During Easter, Shady Al-Najjar, leader of Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City, described those sheltered in the church’s remnants as “too tired to suffer,” living “very difficult” and “useless” days.

    Al-Najjar has since fled to Egypt, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have set up shop in what remains of the church compound damaged in the war, former church pastor Hanna Massad recently told Baptist Press.

    Al-Najjar is among many Christians who are fleeing Gaza with a renewed vigilance, International Christian Concern (ICC) said as the Israel-Hamas War enters its eighth month, speculating whether any Christians would remain.

    “They are faced with the dilemma of staying and helping others rebuild or leaving to join relatives abroad and start a new life elsewhere,” ICC said in a press release May 6. “For now, many are deciding to leave.”

    ICC estimated 25 percent to half of the 900 to 1,000 Christians who lived in Gaza before the war have fled, and that an additional 25 percent are applying to leave.

    Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Baptistland: A Memoir of Abuse, Betrayal, and Transformation” by Christa Brown. To donate, click here.

    gaza church
    The building of Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City has sustained major damage in the Israel-Hamas war. (Photo: Hanna Massad / Courtesy Baptist Press)
    Israel’s occupation of the Rafah border crossing threatens safe passage to Egypt. Thousands of displaced Palestinians are fleeing Rafah for Deir el-Balah about 12 miles north, Al-Jazeera reported May 8, and were straining a scant supply of fresh water.

    Only a handful of Baptists lived in Gaza City before the war, Massad said, as most Christians there fled when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza and the West Bank in 2006-2007.

    While 50 typically would attend services at the church when he visited before the war, Massad said many of them were not church members. Most Christians there are either Orthodox or Catholic.

    Similar to ICC, Massad estimates that 200 Christians have already fled, and perhaps just as many are rushing to get permits to leave.

    “It’s really hard to know,” Massad said, as those who leave usually give short notice to others in the community. “Many people in the Christian community expressed they want to stay in Gaza,” he said, referencing an update from a Catholic church leader in Jerusalem.

    With their homes and livelihoods stolen by the war, Christians had found refuge in the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius and in The Holy Family Church, a Catholic congregation. Gaza Baptist Church, located across the street from a police station that IDF would like target, had remained a last resort.

    But deteriorating conditions in Gaza, including famine in the north and increasing food insecurity elsewhere, are making it more difficult to remain in the area.

    More than 35,000 have died in Gaza in the war and more than 79,000 have been wounded, the Hamas-run health ministry said May 15. The death toll in Israel, first set at nearly 1,400 from Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack that launched the war, was officially set at around 1,200 in February, based on Israel’s tabulation. More than 8,700 were wounded. Of the 132 hostages Hamas continues to hold, 38 are believed dead, the international i24 News reported May 8.

    Massad, founder and president of Christian Mission to Gaza, sends monetary support to Christians sheltered there – coordinating the distribution of goods through shop owners — and provides hot meals when able.

    He’s hopeful a Christian presence will remain in Gaza. There are no other Baptist churches there, but several Catholic and Orthodox congregations are on the West Bank and in Bethlehem City.



    “It’s hard to know,” he said. “I suspect at least a few hundred will be there.”



    This article was originally published by Baptist Press and has been reprinted with permission.

    Diana Chandler is senior writer for Baptist Press.


    ATTENTION READERS

    We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
    In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.


    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/05/satanism-gets-the-upper-hand-in-gaza-for-now-but-it-too-will-pass/
    Satanism gets the upper hand in Gaza–for now–but it too will pass During Easter, Shady Al-Najjar, leader of Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City, described those sheltered in the church’s remnants as “too tired to suffer,” living “very difficult” and “useless” days. Jonas E. Alexis, Senior EditorMay 26, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. JEA: If you are a Christian Zionist and continue to support the chaos that Israel has created in Gaza, then shame on you. It is apparent that no amount of evidence will convince you otherwise. However, consider the following article from the Julie Roys website. Christian Presence Quickly Dwindling in Gaza After Seven Months of War By Diana Chandler During Easter, Shady Al-Najjar, leader of Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City, described those sheltered in the church’s remnants as “too tired to suffer,” living “very difficult” and “useless” days. Al-Najjar has since fled to Egypt, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have set up shop in what remains of the church compound damaged in the war, former church pastor Hanna Massad recently told Baptist Press. Al-Najjar is among many Christians who are fleeing Gaza with a renewed vigilance, International Christian Concern (ICC) said as the Israel-Hamas War enters its eighth month, speculating whether any Christians would remain. “They are faced with the dilemma of staying and helping others rebuild or leaving to join relatives abroad and start a new life elsewhere,” ICC said in a press release May 6. “For now, many are deciding to leave.” ICC estimated 25 percent to half of the 900 to 1,000 Christians who lived in Gaza before the war have fled, and that an additional 25 percent are applying to leave. Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $30 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Baptistland: A Memoir of Abuse, Betrayal, and Transformation” by Christa Brown. To donate, click here. gaza church The building of Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City has sustained major damage in the Israel-Hamas war. (Photo: Hanna Massad / Courtesy Baptist Press) Israel’s occupation of the Rafah border crossing threatens safe passage to Egypt. Thousands of displaced Palestinians are fleeing Rafah for Deir el-Balah about 12 miles north, Al-Jazeera reported May 8, and were straining a scant supply of fresh water. Only a handful of Baptists lived in Gaza City before the war, Massad said, as most Christians there fled when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza and the West Bank in 2006-2007. While 50 typically would attend services at the church when he visited before the war, Massad said many of them were not church members. Most Christians there are either Orthodox or Catholic. Similar to ICC, Massad estimates that 200 Christians have already fled, and perhaps just as many are rushing to get permits to leave. “It’s really hard to know,” Massad said, as those who leave usually give short notice to others in the community. “Many people in the Christian community expressed they want to stay in Gaza,” he said, referencing an update from a Catholic church leader in Jerusalem. With their homes and livelihoods stolen by the war, Christians had found refuge in the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius and in The Holy Family Church, a Catholic congregation. Gaza Baptist Church, located across the street from a police station that IDF would like target, had remained a last resort. But deteriorating conditions in Gaza, including famine in the north and increasing food insecurity elsewhere, are making it more difficult to remain in the area. More than 35,000 have died in Gaza in the war and more than 79,000 have been wounded, the Hamas-run health ministry said May 15. The death toll in Israel, first set at nearly 1,400 from Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack that launched the war, was officially set at around 1,200 in February, based on Israel’s tabulation. More than 8,700 were wounded. Of the 132 hostages Hamas continues to hold, 38 are believed dead, the international i24 News reported May 8. Massad, founder and president of Christian Mission to Gaza, sends monetary support to Christians sheltered there – coordinating the distribution of goods through shop owners — and provides hot meals when able. He’s hopeful a Christian presence will remain in Gaza. There are no other Baptist churches there, but several Catholic and Orthodox congregations are on the West Bank and in Bethlehem City. “It’s hard to know,” he said. “I suspect at least a few hundred will be there.” This article was originally published by Baptist Press and has been reprinted with permission. Diana Chandler is senior writer for Baptist Press. ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/05/satanism-gets-the-upper-hand-in-gaza-for-now-but-it-too-will-pass/
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  • JEWISH ZIONISTS ARE BEHIND THE NAZIS IN UKRAINE AND THE CREATION OF A NEW GREATER ISRAEL
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/bzyVcgfgtpn6/
    JEWISH ZIONISTS ARE BEHIND THE NAZIS IN UKRAINE AND THE CREATION OF A NEW GREATER ISRAEL https://www.bitchute.com/video/bzyVcgfgtpn6/
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  • https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/04/zionist-lobby-group-aipac-puts-us-govt-in-chokehold-for-funding-genocide-in-gaza-ex-congressional-staffer-said/
    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/04/zionist-lobby-group-aipac-puts-us-govt-in-chokehold-for-funding-genocide-in-gaza-ex-congressional-staffer-said/
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    “Zionist lobby group AIPAC puts US govt. in Chokehold for funding Genocide in Gaza”. Ex Congressional staffer said
    Originally published by Iranian Press TV All links to previous Gospa News investigations have been added aftermath for the ties with the topics highlighted Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published Former US congressional staffer and political commentator Rodney Martin says the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee
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  • https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/04/zionist-myths-and-lies/
    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/04/zionist-myths-and-lies/
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    Zionist Myths and Lies
    Zionist Myths and Lies By Garcia Wilde To juggle proto-Zionist war criminal Winston Churchill’s famous words about the Battle of Britain, “Never were so many lied to by so few.” We are talking about a century of lies which Zionists have inflicted upon the world. You know the lies: “Give the land without a
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  • Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex
    Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex
    Palestinian Territory – Israel’s army has committed numerous thefts and robberies of Palestinian residents’ property, among other crimes that continue for the second consecutive week in the vicinity of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

    The Israeli army has been conducting a massive military assault on Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the surrounding areas, in the west of Gaza City, since 18 March. During this operation, Israel’s army has committed a number of crimes, including extrajudicial executions, murder, physical liquidations, and arbitrary arrests. Additionally, fresh testimonies have surfaced, exposing the involvement of Israeli forces in stealing cash and valuable property from Palestinian homes after forcibly evacuating their owners.

    Israel’s army condones and occasionally even encourages its members to steal money and property from Palestinian homes and residents in the Gaza Strip, and does not hold the perpetrators accountable for these violations, since they are frequently carried out without official documentation.

    The Israeli army has been caught stealing gold jewelry and cash from homes it has raided and from people it drove into the southern Gaza Valley. After forcing the owners of these houses out of their homes, Israeli soldiers took everything they owned, including their personal belongings.

    Euro-Med Monitor has previously documented systematic thefts since the Israeli army began carrying out ground military operations inside the Gaza Strip on 27 October 2023. These operations have become systematically practised, as evidenced by the frequent storming of residential areas, the raiding of homes, and the launching of random arrest campaigns.

    As part of an Israeli strategy centred on collective retaliation and the dehumanisation and decimation of the Palestinian populace, soldiers have set fire to, bombed, and destroyed many of the homes in the Strip after looting and robbing them first.

    “When the Israeli army stormed the house where we were staying in western Gaza, they searched the entire place,” a doctor called Yahya Khalil Deeb Al-Kayyali, 59, told Euro-Med Monitor. “They found jewelry and gold belonging to my son’s bride, as well as gold belonging to other women from the Al-Ifranji family. Along with other personal belongings, we also had bags containing deposits totaling more than $100,000 [USD].” Al-Kayyali stated that the total value of all of these belongings was more than $200,000 USD, explaining that the Israeli soldiers broke laptops apart with their feet and “took everything away”: “The soldiers stopped my wife when she attempted to take the bags. I informed the officer that there was a sizable quantity of cash.” The officer laughed and said the cash would be distributed among the soldiers.

    “I told them that we were civilians,” Al-Kayyali continued. “I spoke to them in English. They asked the males to take off all their clothes completely, so we got naked except for our boxers. We were led to the restroom and held there. They took my 30-year-old son, Amer, to a neighbouring room and subjected him to severe interrogation and torture.

    “I was hearing him screaming, as they asked him for information. He told them that he had recently come from Germany and knew nothing. They then put me through an interrogation and made death threats. I was verbally abused amid very cold weather.

    “Then, while I was still undressed, a soldier asked me to go down to the Bseiso family’s house and call them. He said that he would shoot me if I [tried to run away]. I approached [the Bseiso family] and instructed them to raise their hands. The soldier was standing on the balcony when they went out.

    “There was a blind man and a disabled man with them,” added Al-Kayyali. “But the soldier insisted on taking off their clothes and asked me to bring them home. They took the women to another place in the house before using them as a human shield during an exchange of fire with gunmen.”

    Social media videos of Israeli soldiers boasting about stealing cash and valuables are circulating online, along with footage showing them purposefully damaging civilian houses in the Gaza Strip by setting them on fire or writing racist or Zionist slogans on the walls.

    Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor calls for a comprehensive and impartial international investigation into the grave violations and war crimes being committed by the Israeli army against the people of the Gaza Strip and their property. The international community must act swiftly to ensure legal accountability.


    Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex

    Euro-Med Monitor
    https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/6253
    Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex Palestinian Territory – Israel’s army has committed numerous thefts and robberies of Palestinian residents’ property, among other crimes that continue for the second consecutive week in the vicinity of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex. The Israeli army has been conducting a massive military assault on Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the surrounding areas, in the west of Gaza City, since 18 March. During this operation, Israel’s army has committed a number of crimes, including extrajudicial executions, murder, physical liquidations, and arbitrary arrests. Additionally, fresh testimonies have surfaced, exposing the involvement of Israeli forces in stealing cash and valuable property from Palestinian homes after forcibly evacuating their owners. Israel’s army condones and occasionally even encourages its members to steal money and property from Palestinian homes and residents in the Gaza Strip, and does not hold the perpetrators accountable for these violations, since they are frequently carried out without official documentation. The Israeli army has been caught stealing gold jewelry and cash from homes it has raided and from people it drove into the southern Gaza Valley. After forcing the owners of these houses out of their homes, Israeli soldiers took everything they owned, including their personal belongings. Euro-Med Monitor has previously documented systematic thefts since the Israeli army began carrying out ground military operations inside the Gaza Strip on 27 October 2023. These operations have become systematically practised, as evidenced by the frequent storming of residential areas, the raiding of homes, and the launching of random arrest campaigns. As part of an Israeli strategy centred on collective retaliation and the dehumanisation and decimation of the Palestinian populace, soldiers have set fire to, bombed, and destroyed many of the homes in the Strip after looting and robbing them first. “When the Israeli army stormed the house where we were staying in western Gaza, they searched the entire place,” a doctor called Yahya Khalil Deeb Al-Kayyali, 59, told Euro-Med Monitor. “They found jewelry and gold belonging to my son’s bride, as well as gold belonging to other women from the Al-Ifranji family. Along with other personal belongings, we also had bags containing deposits totaling more than $100,000 [USD].” Al-Kayyali stated that the total value of all of these belongings was more than $200,000 USD, explaining that the Israeli soldiers broke laptops apart with their feet and “took everything away”: “The soldiers stopped my wife when she attempted to take the bags. I informed the officer that there was a sizable quantity of cash.” The officer laughed and said the cash would be distributed among the soldiers. “I told them that we were civilians,” Al-Kayyali continued. “I spoke to them in English. They asked the males to take off all their clothes completely, so we got naked except for our boxers. We were led to the restroom and held there. They took my 30-year-old son, Amer, to a neighbouring room and subjected him to severe interrogation and torture. “I was hearing him screaming, as they asked him for information. He told them that he had recently come from Germany and knew nothing. They then put me through an interrogation and made death threats. I was verbally abused amid very cold weather. “Then, while I was still undressed, a soldier asked me to go down to the Bseiso family’s house and call them. He said that he would shoot me if I [tried to run away]. I approached [the Bseiso family] and instructed them to raise their hands. The soldier was standing on the balcony when they went out. “There was a blind man and a disabled man with them,” added Al-Kayyali. “But the soldier insisted on taking off their clothes and asked me to bring them home. They took the women to another place in the house before using them as a human shield during an exchange of fire with gunmen.” Social media videos of Israeli soldiers boasting about stealing cash and valuables are circulating online, along with footage showing them purposefully damaging civilian houses in the Gaza Strip by setting them on fire or writing racist or Zionist slogans on the walls. Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor calls for a comprehensive and impartial international investigation into the grave violations and war crimes being committed by the Israeli army against the people of the Gaza Strip and their property. The international community must act swiftly to ensure legal accountability. Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex Euro-Med Monitor https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/6253
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  • ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians
    Israeli TV channels aired a number of reports showing the torture and humiliation of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The videos are consumed by the Israeli public as entertainment, revealing the sadism of Israeli society.

    Jonathan OfirMarch 6, 2024
    Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel)
    Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel)
    Over the past month, mainstream Israeli television channels have aired what can only be described as snuff films. They depict the systematic torture of Palestinians from Gaza in Israeli jails. Such videos have aired on at least three occasions — twice on Channel 14, and once on the public broadcaster, Channel 13. While Channel 14 is considered right-wing, so is about two-thirds of the Israeli public, and the more “mainstream” Channel 13 has shown no qualms about airing similar footage.

    The broadcasts follow prison officials into detention centers to document the mistreatment of prisoners, which seems to be something that the officials — and apparently the viewers — find satisfying rather than revolting. The airing of these snuff films is a demonstration of societal sadism.

    As Yumna Patel has recently reported, several rights groups have sounded the alarm over the widespread and systemic abuse that Palestinian prisoners face at the hands of the Israeli authorities. These groups’ calls have been unintentionally buttressed by Israeli soldiers’ unapologetic videos of themselves torturing or demeaning Palestinian detainees, which they boastfully post on social media. Now, it seems that the phenomenon has expanded to mainstream Israeli television.

    The two aforementioned reports on Channel 14 (threads with subtitles can be found here and here) contained footage of actual interrogation sessions during which torture was used. The Channel 13 report did not, but it exposed some of the worst prison conditions to be broadcast to the public. These conditions include forcing prisoners to live in inhumane conditions and subjecting them to torture and harassment. Here’s the 11-minute video with translated subtitles.

    Israel Channel 13 prison tour 18.2.2024
    ‘The feeling is one of pride’

    “Here, we see the cells in which the Nukhba terrorists are held,” the narrator says.

    The “Nukhba” refers to elite Hamas-led fighters who carried out the October 7 attack. In the cell, viewers notice metal bunkbeds without mattresses, and instead of a toilet, there is just a hole in the floor. The room is almost completely dark throughout the day, and prisoners have their hands and legs chained together.

    We hear attack dogs barking constantly as prisoners are made to kneel while bound and blindfolded, their heads touching the floor.

    “This is how it should be,” a guard says. “This is how a Nukhba prisoner should be…what happened on October 7 will never return.”

    In another scene, a guard shouts at prisoners as dogs continue to bark incessantly. “Heads down! Heads on the floor!” he yells.

    “There are many prisoners here that I personally saw at the [October 7] events,” a prison official says, taking pride in humiliating them. “The difference is that this time, he is afraid, shaking, with his head on the floor…no Allahu Akbar, nothing. You won’t hear a squeak from him.”

    “They have no mattresses,” says a warden shift commander. “They have nothing…we control them 100% — their food, their shackling, their sleep…[we] show them we are the masters of the house.” Even without knowing the background to that phrase, to hear him say it is chilling.

    “Masters of the house” was the election slogan of Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Jewish Power leader and current Minister of National Security. Ben-Gvir declared war on Palestinian prisoners long before October 7, and this has included shutting down bakeries that supply bread to prisoners — described by Ben-Gvir as an “indulgence” — and drastically limiting prisoners’ water use. So now it’s become much worse.

    While one is tempted to believe that all prisoners here are “Nukhba” members, it turns out that many of them aren’t even suspected of that. Rather, they were rounded up in Gaza after October 7, during mass arrests in which hundreds of Gazan men were stripped and paraded in a most sadistic demonstration of power. The mass arrests also included hundreds of women, including pregnant women detained with their babies. Israeli security officials told Haaretz that by their own estimate, “only 10 to 15 percent of the hundreds of the semi-naked and bound Gazan men arrested in the Strip during the recent days are Hamas members or those who identified with the organization.”

    Back to the Channel 13 coverage, viewers can hear the nonstop blasting of the Zionist anthem, Am Israel Hai (“the people of Israel live”).

    “The prison authorities claim that it is meant to boost the morale of the staff,” the narrator declares. “But it is clear that this is another part of the psychological warfare against the prisoners.”

    Torture, in other words.

    It’s hard to imagine the depths to which Israeli society has sunk. The official tells the Channel 13 reporter that “the feeling is one of pride.”

    The reason such sadism has become formalized as a matter of policy is because this is what the Israeli public demands. The Israeli Democracy Institute released a survey last week showing that two-thirds of Jewish Israelis oppose “the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents at this time,” even if “via international bodies that are not linked to Hamas or to UNRWA.” For right-wing voters, the opposition to aid jumps from 68% to 80%.

    This is not Israel’s Abu Ghraib moment, because when Abu Ghraib was revealed, most Americans were revolted. Israeli society, on the other hand, is thirsting for genocide. No wonder they consume such videos as entertainment on mainstream TV.

    Thanks to Tali Shapiro, B.M.@ireallyhatyou, Hilel Biton-Rosen, and Dave Reed.


    ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/we-are-the-masters-of-the-house-israeli-channels-air-snuff-videos-featuring-systematic-torture-of-palestinians/?utm_content=buffer5ce81&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=buffer
    ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians Israeli TV channels aired a number of reports showing the torture and humiliation of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The videos are consumed by the Israeli public as entertainment, revealing the sadism of Israeli society. Jonathan OfirMarch 6, 2024 Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel) Screenshot from Channel 13 report on Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Jonathan Ofir Youtube Channel) Over the past month, mainstream Israeli television channels have aired what can only be described as snuff films. They depict the systematic torture of Palestinians from Gaza in Israeli jails. Such videos have aired on at least three occasions — twice on Channel 14, and once on the public broadcaster, Channel 13. While Channel 14 is considered right-wing, so is about two-thirds of the Israeli public, and the more “mainstream” Channel 13 has shown no qualms about airing similar footage. The broadcasts follow prison officials into detention centers to document the mistreatment of prisoners, which seems to be something that the officials — and apparently the viewers — find satisfying rather than revolting. The airing of these snuff films is a demonstration of societal sadism. As Yumna Patel has recently reported, several rights groups have sounded the alarm over the widespread and systemic abuse that Palestinian prisoners face at the hands of the Israeli authorities. These groups’ calls have been unintentionally buttressed by Israeli soldiers’ unapologetic videos of themselves torturing or demeaning Palestinian detainees, which they boastfully post on social media. Now, it seems that the phenomenon has expanded to mainstream Israeli television. The two aforementioned reports on Channel 14 (threads with subtitles can be found here and here) contained footage of actual interrogation sessions during which torture was used. The Channel 13 report did not, but it exposed some of the worst prison conditions to be broadcast to the public. These conditions include forcing prisoners to live in inhumane conditions and subjecting them to torture and harassment. Here’s the 11-minute video with translated subtitles. Israel Channel 13 prison tour 18.2.2024 ‘The feeling is one of pride’ “Here, we see the cells in which the Nukhba terrorists are held,” the narrator says. The “Nukhba” refers to elite Hamas-led fighters who carried out the October 7 attack. In the cell, viewers notice metal bunkbeds without mattresses, and instead of a toilet, there is just a hole in the floor. The room is almost completely dark throughout the day, and prisoners have their hands and legs chained together. We hear attack dogs barking constantly as prisoners are made to kneel while bound and blindfolded, their heads touching the floor. “This is how it should be,” a guard says. “This is how a Nukhba prisoner should be…what happened on October 7 will never return.” In another scene, a guard shouts at prisoners as dogs continue to bark incessantly. “Heads down! Heads on the floor!” he yells. “There are many prisoners here that I personally saw at the [October 7] events,” a prison official says, taking pride in humiliating them. “The difference is that this time, he is afraid, shaking, with his head on the floor…no Allahu Akbar, nothing. You won’t hear a squeak from him.” “They have no mattresses,” says a warden shift commander. “They have nothing…we control them 100% — their food, their shackling, their sleep…[we] show them we are the masters of the house.” Even without knowing the background to that phrase, to hear him say it is chilling. “Masters of the house” was the election slogan of Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Jewish Power leader and current Minister of National Security. Ben-Gvir declared war on Palestinian prisoners long before October 7, and this has included shutting down bakeries that supply bread to prisoners — described by Ben-Gvir as an “indulgence” — and drastically limiting prisoners’ water use. So now it’s become much worse. While one is tempted to believe that all prisoners here are “Nukhba” members, it turns out that many of them aren’t even suspected of that. Rather, they were rounded up in Gaza after October 7, during mass arrests in which hundreds of Gazan men were stripped and paraded in a most sadistic demonstration of power. The mass arrests also included hundreds of women, including pregnant women detained with their babies. Israeli security officials told Haaretz that by their own estimate, “only 10 to 15 percent of the hundreds of the semi-naked and bound Gazan men arrested in the Strip during the recent days are Hamas members or those who identified with the organization.” Back to the Channel 13 coverage, viewers can hear the nonstop blasting of the Zionist anthem, Am Israel Hai (“the people of Israel live”). “The prison authorities claim that it is meant to boost the morale of the staff,” the narrator declares. “But it is clear that this is another part of the psychological warfare against the prisoners.” Torture, in other words. It’s hard to imagine the depths to which Israeli society has sunk. The official tells the Channel 13 reporter that “the feeling is one of pride.” The reason such sadism has become formalized as a matter of policy is because this is what the Israeli public demands. The Israeli Democracy Institute released a survey last week showing that two-thirds of Jewish Israelis oppose “the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents at this time,” even if “via international bodies that are not linked to Hamas or to UNRWA.” For right-wing voters, the opposition to aid jumps from 68% to 80%. This is not Israel’s Abu Ghraib moment, because when Abu Ghraib was revealed, most Americans were revolted. Israeli society, on the other hand, is thirsting for genocide. No wonder they consume such videos as entertainment on mainstream TV. Thanks to Tali Shapiro, B.M.@ireallyhatyou, Hilel Biton-Rosen, and Dave Reed. ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/we-are-the-masters-of-the-house-israeli-channels-air-snuff-videos-featuring-systematic-torture-of-palestinians/?utm_content=buffer5ce81&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=buffer
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘We are the masters of the house’: Israeli channels air snuff videos featuring systematic torture of Palestinians
    Israeli TV channels aired a number of reports showing the torture and humiliation of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The videos are consumed by the Israeli public as entertainment, revealing the sadism of Israeli society.
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  • Major war crimes against Palestinian civilians from #Gaza… these ZIONIST demons are singing death chants while bulldozing the bodies of Palestinian civilians they murdered!!
    Zionists are religious zealots who believe lying to goyim is their duty.
    They want all of you dead, Christian’s, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, all of His people in all colours of the spectrum. Don’t ever believe Zionists! Their soul is SOLD! They’d sacrifice Issa, Jesus Christ again with their wicked schemes! They want to dance on YOUR graves too, les you forget it!!!

    I’ve been warning the public about these people for years!

    https://x.com/drloveariyana/status/1774563097489076276?s=46&t=wKg-ZXV94UavVhVcD_fLmw


    https://t.me/drloveariyana/2657
    Major war crimes against Palestinian civilians from #Gaza… these ZIONIST demons are singing death chants while bulldozing the bodies of Palestinian civilians they murdered!! Zionists are religious zealots who believe lying to goyim is their duty. They want all of you dead, Christian’s, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, all of His people in all colours of the spectrum. Don’t ever believe Zionists! Their soul is SOLD! They’d sacrifice Issa, Jesus Christ again with their wicked schemes! They want to dance on YOUR graves too, les you forget it!!! I’ve been warning the public about these people for years! https://x.com/drloveariyana/status/1774563097489076276?s=46&t=wKg-ZXV94UavVhVcD_fLmw https://t.me/drloveariyana/2657
    T.ME
    Dr. Ariyana Love
    Major war crimes against Palestinian civilians from #Gaza… these ZIONIST demons are singing death chants while bulldozing the bodies of Palestinian civilians they murdered!! Zionists are religious zealots who believe lying to goyim is their duty. They want all of you dead, Christian’s, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, all of His people in all colours of the spectrum. Don’t ever believe Zionists! Their soul is SOLD! They’d sacrifice Issa, Jesus Christ again with their wicked schemes! They want to dance on YOUR graves too, les you forget it!!! I’ve been warning the public about these people for years! https://x.com/drloveariyana/status/1774563097489076276?s=46&t=wKg-ZXV94UavVhVcD_fLmw
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society

    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • Repugnant Trump PRO-VAX and PRO-ZIONISTS! - VT Foreign Policy
    March 29, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    By Fabio Giusepe Carlo Carisio

    VERSIONE IN ITALIANO

    «The Pandemic no longer controls our lives. The Vaccines that saved us from COVID are now being used to help beat Cancer – Turning setback into comeback!” YOU’RE WELCOME, JOE, NINE MONTH APPROVAL TIME VS. 12 YEARS THAT IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN YOU!»

    Trump’s Pro-VAX Propaganda for Big Pharma Money

    This is what we read in a post published in recent days by Donald Trump, the only Republican candidate remaining in the running for the US Presidential Elections of November 2020, relaunched by the attentive analyst of the problems of mRNA genetic serums Igor Chudov who limited himself to a laconic comment.

    «In the TruthSocial post above, Trump mentioned his nine-month approval time for Covid vaccines.I am frankly shocked by the stupidity of both statements.The vaccines did not “save us from the pandemic” – they made the pandemic worse. And being proud that such vaccines were pushed through in just nine months is perhaps a bit misguided».


    Trump’s embarrassing post was immediately contested by one of his followers
    Chudov’s comment was far too pitiful. Trump, who poses as an anti-system fighter, hits the ground running by relaunching propaganda on vaccines while completely ignoring three crucial elements:

    the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic was created in the laboratory in a deal between CHINA and the USA (with the help of the EU and the United Kingdom) as reported by the late biologist Luc Montagnier and his biomathematician friend Jean-Claude Perez, confirmed by dozens of scientific studies and finally also supported by the US Senate Health Committee led by a Republican
    there is evidence that Moderna patented its anti-Covid vaccine 9 months before the discovery of the Wuhan outbreak in collaboration with the virologist Anthony Fauci and with funding from the Pentagon’s DARPA military agency provided by the Obama-Biden administration
    Suspicious Turbo-Cancer from Vaccines for Wales Princess Kate. Devastating Toll of VIPs Ill or Dead from Tumors after Genetic Serums

    mRNA gene sera are causing a myriad of adverse reactions, including serious and lethal ones, precisely because they are based on the artificial manipulation of proteins and molecules that interact in a devastating way with the natural immune system of human beings
    finally, these Covid vaccines have been identified as the main culprits in the degeneration of the Turbo-Cancer phenomenon, so much so that a doctor suffering from a tumor acted as a guinea pig for the new anti-Cancer vaccine in a grotesque spiral with the stench of transhumanism.
    TRANSHUMANIST BIOMEDICINE! World 1st mRNA Cancer Vaccine to treat a Brain Turbo-Cancer from mRNA Covid

    After 4 years and tens of thousands of deaths after reports of unwanted effects related to Covid vaccines, the former president seems not to want to make a “mea culpa” for the management of the pandemic left in the hands of the terrorist Fauci (former NIAID director but also consultant of the White House on the Covid emergency) nor question the work of Moderna (which benefited from the Warp Speed contribution provided by the Trump administration) and Pfizer, which refused the help but in return financed an avalanche of senators and Republican deputies.

    The impression is that he is looking for sponsors among Big Pharma…

    DA PFIZER SOLDI PURE AI PROCURATORI USA! Lobbying da 1milione di Dollari alla Conference Attorneys General. Altri 8 a 1.842 Politici Bipartisan

    Lolling in wavering positions like a drunken elephant, after pretending to ride the battle against Big Pharma of Florida governor Ron DeSantis and surgeon general Joseph A. Ladapo who called for a stop to all mRNA serums precisely because they can cause cancer, now reveals his idolatry towards one of the fundamental components of the global immunization plan launched by Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation way back in 1999 in Italy and then culminated in a pandemic “planned for decades” as declared by Robert F-Kennedy jr and demonstrated by patent expert David Martin but above all detailed by the 74 investigations of the WuhanGates cycle by Gospa News.

    BOMBSHELL! Florida State Surgeon General Calls for Halt of COVID MRNA Vaccines due to Dangerous, Oncogenes DNA Fragments

    Believing that voters are drunk on ignorance like him, however, he is countered by one of his followers who gained 2.59 Likes, 10% of those of Trump’s post.

    This would be enough to make it clear that the former president is hypocrisy personified.

    Donny’s Connections to the Weapons Lobby

    But since we have followed him since he had the US Navy launch 100 Tomahawk missiles on Syria in retaliation for the chemical attack in Douma attributed to Assad’s army but which turned out to be a “false flag” of the jihadists of Al Nusra with the complicity of the White Helmets trained by British intelligence, we know well the international damage it has done.

    Especially in Venezuela, triggering electromagnetic sabotage against President Maduro and consequent lethal blackouts interrupted only by the intervention of Russian experts.


    Il presidente Donald Trump ad un vertice internazionale accanto al ceo di BlackRock Larry Fink
    In the first Weapons Lobby investigation we published a photo of Trump smiling next to Larry Fink, the Zionist financier from New York who founded BlackRock, shareholder of the main warlord corporations but also of Big Pharma.

    Trump’s policy in the Middle East allowed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build a Zionist dictatorship in his country and lay the foundations for the latest devastating war in Gaza which turned into a systematic and premeditated genocide.

    And in fact the former MAGA president who fell like a fish in a barrel into the Capitol Hill trap on January 6, 2021, never misses an opportunity to reiterate his support for the Zionists.

    Support for the Israeli Zionists of the Gaza Genocide

    Here is what he recently wrote from the international newspaper Politico:

    The Biden campaign and allied Democratic groups swiftly denounced Donald Trump on Monday after the former president told a conservative radio host that Jews who vote Democratic were sacrilegious.

    The comments from Trump came during an interview with Sebastian Gorka, his one time campaign aide, who pressed him on criticism prominent Democrats have had for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israel-Hamas war.

    Paradoxically, at the very moment in which Biden is trying to distance himself from the massacre of Palestinians aimed at depopulating the Gaza Strip, Trump strengthens his extremist positions thus becoming a fan of that New World Order of Masonic and Zionist origin which through Tel Aviv aims to take control of the Mediterranean Sea with the complicity of a NATO that almost seems like a supporting player.

    Toward another Zionist Massacre in Gaza Strip: Netanyahu approves Rafah Operation Plan

    Unfortunately too many people in Italy too are blinded by the image of Donny as the only opponent of NWO and Biden, but they have not understood that he is also the son of that same evil bipartisan alliance of Big Pharma and the Weapons Lobby which has imposition in its sights of military dictatorships for “inevitable wars” and who knows how many new “laboratory” pandemics for other compulsory vaccination campaigns.

    WEAPONS LOBBY – 15. Kiev War: Gold Mine for NATO’s Merchants of Death. German Industry aims New Plants in Ukraine

    Trump is nothing more than the right-wing – almost extreme – counterpart of his rival.

    Indeed, given his different size, he could become a grotesque sarcophagus if, with the help of the Zionist lobbies, he won the challenge for the White House.

    Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published

    Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
    © COPYRIGHT GOSPA NEWS
    prohibition of reproduction without authorization
    follow Fabio Carisio Gospa News director on Twitter
    follow Gospa News on Telegram

    MAIN SOURCES

    GOSPA NEWS – COVID-19 DOSSIER

    GOSPA NEWS – WUHAN-GATES DOSSIER

    BLACKROCK “KILLED” CARLSON FOR VACCINES & WEAPONS BUSINESS. The Fund of WEF’s Zionist King owns Big Part of Fox News

    WUHAN-GATES – 62. MANMADE SARS-Cov-2 FOR GOLDEN VACCINES: Metabiota, CIA, Biden, Gates, Rockefeller intrigued in Ukraine, China and Italy

    WUHAN-GATES – 74. The Greatest Story Never Told: German Virology in China and Montana

    “Soros” French Judges want to Arrest Assad for Douma Chemical Attack despite it was White Helmets False-Flag

    Venezuela: Guaido’s Friends ParaMilitary Narcos Tied to Italian Mafia but Trump charges Maduro

    WEAPONS LOBBY – REPORT 1: The Us Corporations shareholders

    Gaza, Donbass, Syria: GENOCIDES of the Zionist, Nazi, Jihadist Regimes is US-NATO’s “New” Geopolitical WEAPON

    UPDATE – Fauci’s Testimony before US Congress: “Pandemic from Lab Leak is not a Conspiracy Theory”.

    Fabio G. C. Carisio
    Fabio is investigative journalist since 1991. Now geopolitics, intelligence, military, SARS-Cov-2 manmade, NWO expert and Director-founder of Gospa News: a Christian Information Journal.

    His articles were published on many international media and website as SouthFront, Reseau International, Sputnik Italia, United Nation Association Westminster, Global Research, Kolozeg and more…

    Most popolar investigation on VT is:

    Rumsfeld Shady Heritage in Pandemic: GILEAD’s Intrigues with WHO & Wuhan Lab. Bio-Weapons’ Tests with CIA & Pentagon

    Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, born on 24/2/1967 in Borgosesia, started working as a reporter when he was only 19 years old in the alpine area of Valsesia, Piedmont, his birth region in Italy. After studying literature and history at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, he became director of the local newspaper Notizia Oggi Vercelli and specialized in judicial reporting.

    For about 15 years he is a correspondent from Northern Italy for the Italian newspapers Libero and Il Giornale, also writing important revelations on the Ustica massacre, a report on Freemasonry and organized crime.

    With independent investigations, he collaborates with Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza in important investigations that conclude with the arrest of Camorra entrepreneurs or corrupt politicians.

    In July 2018 he found the counter-information web media Gospa News focused on geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East, and military intelligence.

    In 2020 published the book, in Italian only, WUHAN-GATES – The New World Order Plot on SARS-Cov-2 manmade focused on the cycle of investigations Wuhan-Gates

    His investigations was quoted also by The Gateway Pundit, Tasnim and others

    He worked for many years for the magazine Art & Wine as an art critic and curator.

    VETERANS TODAY OLD POSTS

    www.gospanews.net/

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    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/repugnant-trump-pro-vax-and-pro-zionists/
    Repugnant Trump PRO-VAX and PRO-ZIONISTS! - VT Foreign Policy March 29, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. By Fabio Giusepe Carlo Carisio VERSIONE IN ITALIANO «The Pandemic no longer controls our lives. The Vaccines that saved us from COVID are now being used to help beat Cancer – Turning setback into comeback!” YOU’RE WELCOME, JOE, NINE MONTH APPROVAL TIME VS. 12 YEARS THAT IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN YOU!» Trump’s Pro-VAX Propaganda for Big Pharma Money This is what we read in a post published in recent days by Donald Trump, the only Republican candidate remaining in the running for the US Presidential Elections of November 2020, relaunched by the attentive analyst of the problems of mRNA genetic serums Igor Chudov who limited himself to a laconic comment. «In the TruthSocial post above, Trump mentioned his nine-month approval time for Covid vaccines.I am frankly shocked by the stupidity of both statements.The vaccines did not “save us from the pandemic” – they made the pandemic worse. And being proud that such vaccines were pushed through in just nine months is perhaps a bit misguided». Trump’s embarrassing post was immediately contested by one of his followers Chudov’s comment was far too pitiful. Trump, who poses as an anti-system fighter, hits the ground running by relaunching propaganda on vaccines while completely ignoring three crucial elements: the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic was created in the laboratory in a deal between CHINA and the USA (with the help of the EU and the United Kingdom) as reported by the late biologist Luc Montagnier and his biomathematician friend Jean-Claude Perez, confirmed by dozens of scientific studies and finally also supported by the US Senate Health Committee led by a Republican there is evidence that Moderna patented its anti-Covid vaccine 9 months before the discovery of the Wuhan outbreak in collaboration with the virologist Anthony Fauci and with funding from the Pentagon’s DARPA military agency provided by the Obama-Biden administration Suspicious Turbo-Cancer from Vaccines for Wales Princess Kate. Devastating Toll of VIPs Ill or Dead from Tumors after Genetic Serums mRNA gene sera are causing a myriad of adverse reactions, including serious and lethal ones, precisely because they are based on the artificial manipulation of proteins and molecules that interact in a devastating way with the natural immune system of human beings finally, these Covid vaccines have been identified as the main culprits in the degeneration of the Turbo-Cancer phenomenon, so much so that a doctor suffering from a tumor acted as a guinea pig for the new anti-Cancer vaccine in a grotesque spiral with the stench of transhumanism. TRANSHUMANIST BIOMEDICINE! World 1st mRNA Cancer Vaccine to treat a Brain Turbo-Cancer from mRNA Covid After 4 years and tens of thousands of deaths after reports of unwanted effects related to Covid vaccines, the former president seems not to want to make a “mea culpa” for the management of the pandemic left in the hands of the terrorist Fauci (former NIAID director but also consultant of the White House on the Covid emergency) nor question the work of Moderna (which benefited from the Warp Speed contribution provided by the Trump administration) and Pfizer, which refused the help but in return financed an avalanche of senators and Republican deputies. The impression is that he is looking for sponsors among Big Pharma… DA PFIZER SOLDI PURE AI PROCURATORI USA! Lobbying da 1milione di Dollari alla Conference Attorneys General. Altri 8 a 1.842 Politici Bipartisan Lolling in wavering positions like a drunken elephant, after pretending to ride the battle against Big Pharma of Florida governor Ron DeSantis and surgeon general Joseph A. Ladapo who called for a stop to all mRNA serums precisely because they can cause cancer, now reveals his idolatry towards one of the fundamental components of the global immunization plan launched by Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation way back in 1999 in Italy and then culminated in a pandemic “planned for decades” as declared by Robert F-Kennedy jr and demonstrated by patent expert David Martin but above all detailed by the 74 investigations of the WuhanGates cycle by Gospa News. BOMBSHELL! Florida State Surgeon General Calls for Halt of COVID MRNA Vaccines due to Dangerous, Oncogenes DNA Fragments Believing that voters are drunk on ignorance like him, however, he is countered by one of his followers who gained 2.59 Likes, 10% of those of Trump’s post. This would be enough to make it clear that the former president is hypocrisy personified. Donny’s Connections to the Weapons Lobby But since we have followed him since he had the US Navy launch 100 Tomahawk missiles on Syria in retaliation for the chemical attack in Douma attributed to Assad’s army but which turned out to be a “false flag” of the jihadists of Al Nusra with the complicity of the White Helmets trained by British intelligence, we know well the international damage it has done. Especially in Venezuela, triggering electromagnetic sabotage against President Maduro and consequent lethal blackouts interrupted only by the intervention of Russian experts. Il presidente Donald Trump ad un vertice internazionale accanto al ceo di BlackRock Larry Fink In the first Weapons Lobby investigation we published a photo of Trump smiling next to Larry Fink, the Zionist financier from New York who founded BlackRock, shareholder of the main warlord corporations but also of Big Pharma. Trump’s policy in the Middle East allowed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to build a Zionist dictatorship in his country and lay the foundations for the latest devastating war in Gaza which turned into a systematic and premeditated genocide. And in fact the former MAGA president who fell like a fish in a barrel into the Capitol Hill trap on January 6, 2021, never misses an opportunity to reiterate his support for the Zionists. Support for the Israeli Zionists of the Gaza Genocide Here is what he recently wrote from the international newspaper Politico: The Biden campaign and allied Democratic groups swiftly denounced Donald Trump on Monday after the former president told a conservative radio host that Jews who vote Democratic were sacrilegious. The comments from Trump came during an interview with Sebastian Gorka, his one time campaign aide, who pressed him on criticism prominent Democrats have had for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israel-Hamas war. Paradoxically, at the very moment in which Biden is trying to distance himself from the massacre of Palestinians aimed at depopulating the Gaza Strip, Trump strengthens his extremist positions thus becoming a fan of that New World Order of Masonic and Zionist origin which through Tel Aviv aims to take control of the Mediterranean Sea with the complicity of a NATO that almost seems like a supporting player. Toward another Zionist Massacre in Gaza Strip: Netanyahu approves Rafah Operation Plan Unfortunately too many people in Italy too are blinded by the image of Donny as the only opponent of NWO and Biden, but they have not understood that he is also the son of that same evil bipartisan alliance of Big Pharma and the Weapons Lobby which has imposition in its sights of military dictatorships for “inevitable wars” and who knows how many new “laboratory” pandemics for other compulsory vaccination campaigns. WEAPONS LOBBY – 15. Kiev War: Gold Mine for NATO’s Merchants of Death. German Industry aims New Plants in Ukraine Trump is nothing more than the right-wing – almost extreme – counterpart of his rival. Indeed, given his different size, he could become a grotesque sarcophagus if, with the help of the Zionist lobbies, he won the challenge for the White House. Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio © COPYRIGHT GOSPA NEWS prohibition of reproduction without authorization follow Fabio Carisio Gospa News director on Twitter follow Gospa News on Telegram MAIN SOURCES GOSPA NEWS – COVID-19 DOSSIER GOSPA NEWS – WUHAN-GATES DOSSIER BLACKROCK “KILLED” CARLSON FOR VACCINES & WEAPONS BUSINESS. The Fund of WEF’s Zionist King owns Big Part of Fox News WUHAN-GATES – 62. MANMADE SARS-Cov-2 FOR GOLDEN VACCINES: Metabiota, CIA, Biden, Gates, Rockefeller intrigued in Ukraine, China and Italy WUHAN-GATES – 74. The Greatest Story Never Told: German Virology in China and Montana “Soros” French Judges want to Arrest Assad for Douma Chemical Attack despite it was White Helmets False-Flag Venezuela: Guaido’s Friends ParaMilitary Narcos Tied to Italian Mafia but Trump charges Maduro WEAPONS LOBBY – REPORT 1: The Us Corporations shareholders Gaza, Donbass, Syria: GENOCIDES of the Zionist, Nazi, Jihadist Regimes is US-NATO’s “New” Geopolitical WEAPON UPDATE – Fauci’s Testimony before US Congress: “Pandemic from Lab Leak is not a Conspiracy Theory”. Fabio G. C. Carisio Fabio is investigative journalist since 1991. Now geopolitics, intelligence, military, SARS-Cov-2 manmade, NWO expert and Director-founder of Gospa News: a Christian Information Journal. His articles were published on many international media and website as SouthFront, Reseau International, Sputnik Italia, United Nation Association Westminster, Global Research, Kolozeg and more… Most popolar investigation on VT is: Rumsfeld Shady Heritage in Pandemic: GILEAD’s Intrigues with WHO & Wuhan Lab. Bio-Weapons’ Tests with CIA & Pentagon Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, born on 24/2/1967 in Borgosesia, started working as a reporter when he was only 19 years old in the alpine area of Valsesia, Piedmont, his birth region in Italy. After studying literature and history at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, he became director of the local newspaper Notizia Oggi Vercelli and specialized in judicial reporting. For about 15 years he is a correspondent from Northern Italy for the Italian newspapers Libero and Il Giornale, also writing important revelations on the Ustica massacre, a report on Freemasonry and organized crime. With independent investigations, he collaborates with Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza in important investigations that conclude with the arrest of Camorra entrepreneurs or corrupt politicians. In July 2018 he found the counter-information web media Gospa News focused on geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East, and military intelligence. In 2020 published the book, in Italian only, WUHAN-GATES – The New World Order Plot on SARS-Cov-2 manmade focused on the cycle of investigations Wuhan-Gates His investigations was quoted also by The Gateway Pundit, Tasnim and others He worked for many years for the magazine Art & Wine as an art critic and curator. VETERANS TODAY OLD POSTS www.gospanews.net/ ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/repugnant-trump-pro-vax-and-pro-zionists/
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    Repugnant Trump PRO-VAX and PRO-ZIONISTS!
    By Fabio Giusepe Carlo Carisio VERSIONE IN ITALIANO «The Pandemic no longer controls our lives. The Vaccines that saved us from COVID are now being used to help beat Cancer – Turning setback into comeback!” YOU’RE WELCOME, JOE, NINE MONTH APPROVAL TIME VS. 12 YEARS THAT IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN YOU!» Trump's Pro-VAX Propaganda for
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  • Meta Refuses to Answer Questions on Gaza Censorship, Say Sens. Warren and Sanders
    Sam BiddleMarch 26 2024, 8:00 a.m.
    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he testifies at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the Fed's "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
    Citing the company’s “failure to provide answers to important questions,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are pressing Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to respond to reports of disproportionate censorship around the Israeli war on Gaza.

    “Meta insists that there’s been no discrimination against Palestinian-related content on their platforms, but at the same time, is refusing to provide us with any evidence or data to support that claim,” Warren told The Intercept. “If its ad-hoc changes and removal of millions of posts didn’t discriminate against Palestinian-related content, then what’s Meta hiding?”

    In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent last December, first reported by The Intercept, Warren presented the company with dozens of specific questions about the company’s Gaza-related content moderation efforts. Warren asked about the exact numbers of posts about the war, broken down by Hebrew or Arabic, that have been deleted or otherwise suppressed.

    The letter was written following widespread reporting in The Intercept and other outlets that detailed how posts on Meta platforms that are sympathetic to Palestinians, or merely depicting the destruction in Gaza, are routinely removed or hidden without explanation.

    A month later, Meta replied to Warren’s office with a six-page letter, obtained by The Intercept, that provided an overview of its moderation response to the war but little in the way of specifics or new information.

    Most Read

    “Meta’s lack of investment to safeguard its users significantly exacerbates the political situation in Palestine and perpetuates tech harms on fundamental rights in Palestine and other global majority countries, all while evading meaningful legal accountability,” Mona Shtaya, nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, told The Intercept. “The time has come for Meta, among other tech giants, to publicly disclose detailed measures and investments aimed at safeguarding individuals amidst the ongoing genocide, and to be more responsive to experts and civil society.”

    Meta’s reply disclosed some censorship: “In the nine days following October 7, we removed or marked as disturbing more than 2,200,000 pieces of content in Hebrew and Arabic for violating our policies.” The company declined, however, to provide a breakdown of deletions by language or market, making it impossible to tell whether that figure reflects discriminatory moderation practices.

    Much of Meta’s letter is a rehash of an update it provided through its public relations portal at the war’s onset, some of it verbatim.

    Now, a second letter from Warren to Meta, joined this time by Sanders, says this isn’t enough. “Meta’s response, dated January 29, 2024, did not provide any of the requested information necessary to understand Meta’s treatment of Arabic language or Palestine-related content versus other forms of content,” the senators wrote.

    Both senators are asking Meta to again answer Warren’s specific questions about the extent to which Arabic and Hebrew posts about the war have been treated differently, how often censored posts are reinstated, Meta’s use of automated machine learning-based censorship tools, and more.

    Accusations of systemic moderation bias against Palestinians have been borne out by research from rights groups.

    “Since October 7, Human Rights Watch has documented over 1,000 cases of unjustified takedowns and other suppression of content on Instagram and Facebook related to Palestine and Palestinians, including about human rights abuses,” Human Rights Watch said in a late December report. “The censorship of content related to Palestine on Instagram and Facebook is systemic, global, and a product of the company’s failure to meet its human rights due diligence responsibilities.”


    Related

    Meta Considering Increased Censorship of the Word “Zionist”

    A February report by AccessNow said Meta “suspended or restricted the accounts of Palestinian journalists and activists both in and outside of Gaza, and arbitrarily deleted a considerable amount of content, including documentation of atrocities and human rights abuses.”

    A third-party audit commissioned by Meta itself previously concluded it had given the short shrift to Palestinian rights during a May 2021 flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. “Meta’s actions in May 2021 appear to have had an adverse human rights impact … on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination, and therefore on the ability of Palestinians to share information and insights about their experiences as they occurred,” said the auditor’s report.

    In response to this audit, Meta pledged an array of reforms, which free expression and digital rights advocates say have yet to produce a material improvement.

    In its December report, Human Rights Watch noted, “More than two years after committing to publishing data around government requests for taking down content that is not necessarily illegal, Meta has failed to increase transparency in this area.”

    Update: March 26, 2024, 1:11 p.m. ET
    This story has been updated to include a statement received after publication from Mona Shtaya, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

    https://theintercept.com/2024/03/26/meta-gaza-censorship-warren-sanders/
    Meta Refuses to Answer Questions on Gaza Censorship, Say Sens. Warren and Sanders Sam BiddleMarch 26 2024, 8:00 a.m. WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as he testifies at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the Fed's "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," on Capitol Hill on March 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images) Citing the company’s “failure to provide answers to important questions,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are pressing Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to respond to reports of disproportionate censorship around the Israeli war on Gaza. “Meta insists that there’s been no discrimination against Palestinian-related content on their platforms, but at the same time, is refusing to provide us with any evidence or data to support that claim,” Warren told The Intercept. “If its ad-hoc changes and removal of millions of posts didn’t discriminate against Palestinian-related content, then what’s Meta hiding?” In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent last December, first reported by The Intercept, Warren presented the company with dozens of specific questions about the company’s Gaza-related content moderation efforts. Warren asked about the exact numbers of posts about the war, broken down by Hebrew or Arabic, that have been deleted or otherwise suppressed. The letter was written following widespread reporting in The Intercept and other outlets that detailed how posts on Meta platforms that are sympathetic to Palestinians, or merely depicting the destruction in Gaza, are routinely removed or hidden without explanation. A month later, Meta replied to Warren’s office with a six-page letter, obtained by The Intercept, that provided an overview of its moderation response to the war but little in the way of specifics or new information. Most Read “Meta’s lack of investment to safeguard its users significantly exacerbates the political situation in Palestine and perpetuates tech harms on fundamental rights in Palestine and other global majority countries, all while evading meaningful legal accountability,” Mona Shtaya, nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, told The Intercept. “The time has come for Meta, among other tech giants, to publicly disclose detailed measures and investments aimed at safeguarding individuals amidst the ongoing genocide, and to be more responsive to experts and civil society.” Meta’s reply disclosed some censorship: “In the nine days following October 7, we removed or marked as disturbing more than 2,200,000 pieces of content in Hebrew and Arabic for violating our policies.” The company declined, however, to provide a breakdown of deletions by language or market, making it impossible to tell whether that figure reflects discriminatory moderation practices. Much of Meta’s letter is a rehash of an update it provided through its public relations portal at the war’s onset, some of it verbatim. Now, a second letter from Warren to Meta, joined this time by Sanders, says this isn’t enough. “Meta’s response, dated January 29, 2024, did not provide any of the requested information necessary to understand Meta’s treatment of Arabic language or Palestine-related content versus other forms of content,” the senators wrote. Both senators are asking Meta to again answer Warren’s specific questions about the extent to which Arabic and Hebrew posts about the war have been treated differently, how often censored posts are reinstated, Meta’s use of automated machine learning-based censorship tools, and more. Accusations of systemic moderation bias against Palestinians have been borne out by research from rights groups. “Since October 7, Human Rights Watch has documented over 1,000 cases of unjustified takedowns and other suppression of content on Instagram and Facebook related to Palestine and Palestinians, including about human rights abuses,” Human Rights Watch said in a late December report. “The censorship of content related to Palestine on Instagram and Facebook is systemic, global, and a product of the company’s failure to meet its human rights due diligence responsibilities.” Related Meta Considering Increased Censorship of the Word “Zionist” A February report by AccessNow said Meta “suspended or restricted the accounts of Palestinian journalists and activists both in and outside of Gaza, and arbitrarily deleted a considerable amount of content, including documentation of atrocities and human rights abuses.” A third-party audit commissioned by Meta itself previously concluded it had given the short shrift to Palestinian rights during a May 2021 flare-up of violence between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. “Meta’s actions in May 2021 appear to have had an adverse human rights impact … on the rights of Palestinian users to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, political participation, and non-discrimination, and therefore on the ability of Palestinians to share information and insights about their experiences as they occurred,” said the auditor’s report. In response to this audit, Meta pledged an array of reforms, which free expression and digital rights advocates say have yet to produce a material improvement. In its December report, Human Rights Watch noted, “More than two years after committing to publishing data around government requests for taking down content that is not necessarily illegal, Meta has failed to increase transparency in this area.” Update: March 26, 2024, 1:11 p.m. ET This story has been updated to include a statement received after publication from Mona Shtaya, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. https://theintercept.com/2024/03/26/meta-gaza-censorship-warren-sanders/
    THEINTERCEPT.COM
    Meta Refuses to Answer Questions on Gaza Censorship, Say Sens. Warren and Sanders
    Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta dodged questions from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders about censorship of posts about Gaza.
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  • Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions
    Hekmat AboukhaterMarch 20, 2024

    A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission.

    On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. In the corridors of the Rayburn building, a group of roughly 50 people prepared for a busy day of advocating for sanctions to be levied against their homeland.

    They were the Anti-Syria lobby — and had I infiltrated their influence campaign.

    Throughout the day, I watched as this group pushed US officials to accept their policy of starvation sanctions while cynically ignoring famished Palestinians in Gaza.

    Among the lobbyists was Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian White Helmets, who were to propagandize for regime change from behind humanitarian cover.

    I attended a total of seven meetings with policy teams representing Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Ben Cardin, Mark Kelly, Chris Van Hollen, John Fetterman, and Rick Scott. Throughout these sessions, I witnessed the anti-Syria Lobby attempt to bully and manipulate US officials into accepting their policy of starvation while cynically throwing starving Palestinians in Gaza under the bus.

    At one moment, Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian White Helmets, which was founded by British intelligence, and funded by NATO states, painted Israeli air strikes against Syria in a positive light.

    During a separate meeting, Wa’el Alzayat of the pro-Zionist Muslim outreach Emgage even demanded Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office support the approval of aid for Al Qaeda-linked militias in Syria.

    “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he insisted, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, [and] the Qataris are doing it.”

    Purporting to be a voice for all Syrians, the anti-Syria lobby is spearheaded by the American Coalition for Syria (ACS), an umbrella organization representing opposition groups such as the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Forum, and a handful of others located in the US and Turkey.

    Emgage, meanwhile, has been credited with getting the diaspora vote out for then-candidate Joe Biden in November 2020. The group has since fallen under criticism for acting as a de facto extension of the Biden White House and Democratic Party within the Muslim community. Emgage board member Farooq Mitha formally went to work for the Biden Pentagon in March 2021. On March 7, Alzayat aimed to weaponize Emgage’s influence against Democratic Senators who seemed uncomfortable with an escalating sanctions policy.

    “I need a good story for my voters,” he explained to Senator Van Hollen’s team.

    Throughout their sanctions campaign on the Hill, Alzayat and his cohorts operated like a miniature version of their Israel lobby allies, supplying roughly 50 volunteers with folders outlining talking points and the biographies of congressional representatives. The bios included a comprehensive list of the Senator or Representative’s recorded stance on Syria, such as their votes on the extension of the AUMF, the US military withdrawal from Syria, and previous sanctions packages targeting the country.



    The handouts also laid out the lobby’s key legislative requests, which largely focused on securing development aid for militia-controlled territory in Syria — including that held by Al Qaeda’s local ally in the country — and ensuring passage of the ‘Assad Regime Anti Normalization Bill,’ which seeks to extend and expand sanctions targeting Damascus.

    The Anti-Syria Lobby’s resemblance to their Israeli counterparts was no mistake. As Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s chief of staff reassured us, “the Israelis want you guys in charge.”


    Syrian Civil War map|Syrian Civil War map (November 24, 2023) via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by author
    More Starvation Sanctions

    Ever since the US included Syria on its inaugural State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list over Damascus’ support for the Palestinian resistance in 1979, Washington has gradually ratcheted up its financial war on the Syrian people. When decades of covert hybrid war erupted into an all-out proxy battle for the country’s territory—and survival—in 2011, the Anti-Syria Lobby officially began to take shape in Washington.


    Syria is the unrivaled champion of the SST having never been delisted since the list’s inception in 1979.
    In 2019, as Syria’s government emerged victorious from a multi-year battle with foreign-backed militias, Washington decided that while Damascus may have won the war, it would not win the peace. That January, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, a recipient of $1.8 million in AIPAC donations, introduced a sanctions package known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. Trump signed the bill as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020.


    The US has a 45-year long tradition of sanctioning and isolating Syria economically in response to the country’s support of Palestinian resistance
    The bill was unprecedented in both the way that it sanctioned broad sectors of the Syrian economy rather than only specific individuals, and in its deployment of so-called “secondary sanctions.” Secondary sanctions are imposed on parties that do business with a sanctioned entity even if those exchanges occur outside of the sanctioning entity’s jurisdiction.

    Syria’s economy has been in free fall ever since the Caesar sanctions came into effect. Today, over 12 million Syrians representing more than half of the total population face food insecurity — a 51% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In 2019, the US dollar exchanged for 500 Syrian Pounds. Today, that number is more like 14,100— figures that represent a 2,720 percent devaluation.


    The Syrian currency has devalued by 35,150% since the initial exchange rate of 40 SYP to 1 USD early 2011
    Though H.R. 3202 appears to be focused on addressing UN aid divergence, and sanctioning previously unsanctioned entities like Asma Al Assad’s Syria Trust for Development and the Syrian Red Crescent, the real agenda of the bill is found deep within its 22-page text.

    With the Caesar Sanctions set to expire by the end of 2024, H.R. 3202 seeks to quietly extend the aggressive financial measures until 2032.


    The new bill’s main aim, which received very little attention, is the extension of the Caesar Act for 8 more years.
    Having passed the House with overwhelming enthusiasm, H.R. 3202’s sister bill in the Senate can only pass with Democratic support. It was introduced by Israeli lobby-funded Republican Idaho Sen. James Risch last September and has since been co-sponsored by arch-neoconservative Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Because S. 2935 can only pass with Democratic sponsorship, the Anti-Syria Lobby chose Sen. Ben Cardin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as a crucial target for influence.

    After meeting with Sherrod Brown’s office, Cardin’s Research and Legislative Assistant, Christopher Barr, hosted us in the Senator’s office. There, Raed Saleh of the White Helmets complained to Barr that USAID had slashed funding for his organization from $12 million to $3 million in recent years.

    Next, it was time to discuss the true purpose of our visit: the passage of S. 2935.

    Barr appeared uneasy from the outset and even expressed displeasure about the bill, complaining, “What passed the House was kind of a lot… the list of targets is vast.”

    “Syria has already been so heavily sanctioned,” he added.

    In response, Ghanem revealed a critical piece of information about the forces driving the dirty war on Syria, explaining that the impetus to expand and extend Caesar did not come from the Anti-Syria Lobby itself, but someone on Capitol Hill. Ghanem explained that the Hill source actually contacted the American Coalition for Syria to alert them to the fact that Caesar was set to expire, lamenting the fact that its sunset would amount to a loss of “US leverage over the Syrian regime.”

    This line echoed the disturbing language of officials representing both the Biden and Trump administration alike. In 2019, neoconservative operative Dana Stroul declared that thanks to Caesar, Washington “holds a card on preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back,” to Syria. She lauded the fact that the U.S. could weaponize that “leverage” to keep Syria in “rubble.” Two years later, she would take up post as Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Middle East under Biden.


    Similarly, during an event at the neoconservative think tank, WINEP, the following year, the Special Envoy for Syria under Trump, Joel Rayburn, boasted that Caesar “lowers the bar” for evidence-based sanctions and allows for the broad targeting of any and all reconstruction projects in Syria.


    “We don’t have to prove, for example, that a company that’s going in to do a reconstruction project in the Damascus region is dealing directly with the Assad regime,” Rayburn explained.

    “We don’t have to have the evidence to prove that link,” he continued. “We just have to have the evidence that proves that a company or an individual is investing in […] the construction sector, the engineering sector, most of the aviation sector, the finance sector, energy sector, and so on.”

    These public confessions did not stop the Anti-Syria Lobby from lying to the faces of congressional staffers throughout their March 7 campaign. During a meeting with Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, Ghanem falsely stated that the Caesar Sanctions were “targeted,” “not sectoral,” and “not [an] embargo, nothing punishing to civilians.”

    Yet Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions who visited Syria to document the effects of Washington’s unilateral sanctions regime on Syria, disagrees. In her 19-page report she clearly states that the sanctions are both illegal and inhumane in the way they affect the average Syrian.

    Stabilization for me but not for thee

    The second legislative ask came in the form of a well rehearsed speech by Ghanem, Zayat, and others, outlining what US tax dollars do and don’t fund in Syria. US aid packages are typically divided into two categories: “humanitarian funding” earmarked for goods such as food, water, and basic medical supplies or “stabilization” funding designed to secure a country as it transitions out of a period of turmoil. Unlike humanitarian assistance, stabilization funding may be used to support major investment and infrastructure projects such as roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services.

    The US is the primary funder of humanitarian aid in both North East (NE) and NW Syria. However, while the US spends abundantly on stabilization needs in NE Syria, it spends $0 on the NW. That is because while Washington has long dreamed of establishing a secessionist Kurdish state in Syria’s Northeast, it neglected to send stabilization funds to the Northwest in order to avoid providing direct support to HTS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that governs the territory. The Anti-Syria Lobby was in Washington to change that.

    Leading the push for US funds to Al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Northwest Syria was Wa’el Alzayat, a Syrian expat who proudly served in Iraq’s Green Zone under George Bush’s State Department and more recently published a shocking Washington Post oped begging US officials not to “lift sanctions to help Syria earthquake victims.” In the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alzayat voiced his frustration with US hesitation in the Northwest.

    “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he demanded, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, the Qataris are doing it.”




    We’re missing out on a golden opportunity here to stabilize the region and leverage it for a political settlement,” he pleaded. In other words, Alzayat was openly lobbying US officials to strengthen Al Qaeda’s position in Syria in order to leverage the terrorist group against the country’s government.

    Alzayat then weaponized his six-figure salary as head of Emgage to bully Van Hollen’s office into bowing before the anti-Syria Lobby, falsely claiming that his AIPAC-linked organization was “behind” the “Uncommitted” vote campaigns that damaged Biden’s primary performance in Michigan and Minnesota.




    Towards the end of the meeting, the regime change lobbyist cynically invoked Israel’s slaughter of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to make the case for Al Qaeda in Syria one last time.

    He argued that although “his community” is up in arms about the Biden administration’s funding and arming of the Gaza genocide, they would gladly flock back to the Democratic Party if the US funded roads and schools in Al Qaeda-controlled Idlib.

    “I need a good story for my voters,” Alzayat explained, noting the Muslim community’s disapproval of the Biden Administration’s policy in Gaza and Yemen.

    “You’re upset about all these disappointments,” he continued, play-acting a scenario in which he convinced a Muslim constituent to vote for Biden, again. “Guess what? They’re pumping 50 million into the school sector in the North [of Syria]!”




    Overtures Towards Israel

    The Israel-Palestine crisis loomed large throughout the ACS lobbying trip. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s secretary happened to be a hijabi Muslim woman sporting a pendant outlining the map of Palestine around her neck. As she greeted us, Farouk Belal, the head of the Syrian American Council, grumbled to Ghanem and me: “I hope she’s not with the resistance.”

    When I asked him to clarify what he meant as we exited the office, he explained that people aligned with the Palestinian cause in Washington “don’t like us.”

    Meanwhile, in Sen. Cardin’s office, Raed Salah of the White Helmets painted Israeli strikes on Syria which have crippled Syrian infrastructure, regularly damaged the country’s International civilian airports, and killed hundreds of Syrian Soldiers and civilians alike in a positive light:

    “The situation in Syria is very complicated. Every day we hear of Israeli strikes on the dens, or the bases of the IRGC and its militias. Even we as Syrians did not know the extent to which the Iranians were entrenched in the country…”




    For Saleh, the Israeli strikes do nothing but highlight the presence of the Syrian government-invited Iranian military presence in Syria.

    Later that day, Ghanem attempted to capitalize on Sen. Fetterman’s fanatical pro-Israel antics by describing recent developments in Syria to a 20-something staffer. Referring to the Syrian government’s successful campaign to retake southern territory, he explained that the South is “where they lob missiles on Israel, by the way.” The aide dutifully transcribed this seemingly random piece of information in her notepad. Towards the end of the meeting, Fetterman was discussed as a potential Democratic sponsor of S. 2935 in the Senate.

    In Senator Rick Scott’s office, a Cuban American Government Relations Associate for ACS, Alberto Hernandez, accidentally said the quiet part out loud. When Senator Scott’s ultra-Zionist National Security Advisor, Paul Bonicelli, asked if our group had connected with our “counterparts” in the Israeli lobby so that they could “vet” our proposals — revealing that Scott has apparently outsourced his brain to Zionists — Hernandez remarked: “Formally? No. Informally.”

    He then turned to the rest of the ACS team in the meeting room and said: “You didn’t hear me say that.”

    That admission prompted Bonicelli to suggest that ACS directly coordinate with groups such as the Aramaic Church in Israel, which has supported regime change efforts in Damascus despite overwhelming Christian support of the government within Syria itself.

    As the meeting wound to a close, Bonicelli informed us that he agreed with ACS on the necessity to oppose Iran and Russia.

    “If Obama had done the right thing in 2012, we wouldn’t be here,” he lamented, adding: “the Israelis want you guys in charge.”


    At one point during the meeting in Rick Scott’s Office, Alberto Hernandez, and Sarah Salas, a Cuban American legislative aide, expressed full agreement with US use of unilateral sanctions as means to “push” governments that “we don’t like.”
    Starving Syrians Without A Mandate

    Though several ACS volunteers shared painful personal encounters with the Syrian government throughout the day, many were simply too far removed from Syria to truly represent the voice of Syrian people, especially the 12 million plus civilians currently living in Syrian government-controlled territory.

    One 24-year-old woman who did not speak Arabic and has not been to Syria since 2003 described the Syrian Army’s 2016 liberation of Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked militants as “the fall of Aleppo.”

    Other Syrians like myself experienced the terror of the West’s proxy war in Syria firsthand. In 2012, my aunt and cousins watched in horror as the Turkish-backed Liwa’ Al Tawhid, an umbrella group of takfiri jihadist militias, arrived on their street in the Seryan El Jdideh neighborhood of Aleppo. The militants proceeded to execute a local pick-up truck driver and steal his vehicle, leaving his bleeding corpse on the street. Shahba, where my family lived up until 2015, was located just a stone’s throw away from these sectarian death squads during our final months there.

    The Syrian dirty war was bloody and gruesome, yet the picture that ACS paints is entirely one-sided. Unfortunately, while organizations like ACS have flocked to the Beltway swamp throughout the last 13 years, there are no Syrians present in Washington DC to counter them. While these groups claim to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, those of us who have lived and still live in areas controlled by Syrian government — regardless of our political affiliations—are rendered voiceless in the very center of power where our perspective should matter most. Even Syria’s embassy has been shuttered since 2014, while Syrian diplomats at the UN in New York are heavily monitored and restricted from traveling beyond the NYC metro area.

    As I witnessed on Capitol Hill, there are few obstacles to the anti-Syria lobby’s ruthless push to prevent the majority of Syrians from emerging from the ruins of war.

    https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/20/anti-syria-lobbys-capitol-hill-sanctions/
    Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions Hekmat AboukhaterMarch 20, 2024 A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission. On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. In the corridors of the Rayburn building, a group of roughly 50 people prepared for a busy day of advocating for sanctions to be levied against their homeland. They were the Anti-Syria lobby — and had I infiltrated their influence campaign. Throughout the day, I watched as this group pushed US officials to accept their policy of starvation sanctions while cynically ignoring famished Palestinians in Gaza. Among the lobbyists was Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian White Helmets, who were to propagandize for regime change from behind humanitarian cover. I attended a total of seven meetings with policy teams representing Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Ben Cardin, Mark Kelly, Chris Van Hollen, John Fetterman, and Rick Scott. Throughout these sessions, I witnessed the anti-Syria Lobby attempt to bully and manipulate US officials into accepting their policy of starvation while cynically throwing starving Palestinians in Gaza under the bus. At one moment, Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian White Helmets, which was founded by British intelligence, and funded by NATO states, painted Israeli air strikes against Syria in a positive light. During a separate meeting, Wa’el Alzayat of the pro-Zionist Muslim outreach Emgage even demanded Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office support the approval of aid for Al Qaeda-linked militias in Syria. “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he insisted, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, [and] the Qataris are doing it.” Purporting to be a voice for all Syrians, the anti-Syria lobby is spearheaded by the American Coalition for Syria (ACS), an umbrella organization representing opposition groups such as the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Forum, and a handful of others located in the US and Turkey. Emgage, meanwhile, has been credited with getting the diaspora vote out for then-candidate Joe Biden in November 2020. The group has since fallen under criticism for acting as a de facto extension of the Biden White House and Democratic Party within the Muslim community. Emgage board member Farooq Mitha formally went to work for the Biden Pentagon in March 2021. On March 7, Alzayat aimed to weaponize Emgage’s influence against Democratic Senators who seemed uncomfortable with an escalating sanctions policy. “I need a good story for my voters,” he explained to Senator Van Hollen’s team. Throughout their sanctions campaign on the Hill, Alzayat and his cohorts operated like a miniature version of their Israel lobby allies, supplying roughly 50 volunteers with folders outlining talking points and the biographies of congressional representatives. The bios included a comprehensive list of the Senator or Representative’s recorded stance on Syria, such as their votes on the extension of the AUMF, the US military withdrawal from Syria, and previous sanctions packages targeting the country. The handouts also laid out the lobby’s key legislative requests, which largely focused on securing development aid for militia-controlled territory in Syria — including that held by Al Qaeda’s local ally in the country — and ensuring passage of the ‘Assad Regime Anti Normalization Bill,’ which seeks to extend and expand sanctions targeting Damascus. The Anti-Syria Lobby’s resemblance to their Israeli counterparts was no mistake. As Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s chief of staff reassured us, “the Israelis want you guys in charge.” Syrian Civil War map|Syrian Civil War map (November 24, 2023) via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by author More Starvation Sanctions Ever since the US included Syria on its inaugural State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list over Damascus’ support for the Palestinian resistance in 1979, Washington has gradually ratcheted up its financial war on the Syrian people. When decades of covert hybrid war erupted into an all-out proxy battle for the country’s territory—and survival—in 2011, the Anti-Syria Lobby officially began to take shape in Washington. Syria is the unrivaled champion of the SST having never been delisted since the list’s inception in 1979. In 2019, as Syria’s government emerged victorious from a multi-year battle with foreign-backed militias, Washington decided that while Damascus may have won the war, it would not win the peace. That January, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, a recipient of $1.8 million in AIPAC donations, introduced a sanctions package known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. Trump signed the bill as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020. The US has a 45-year long tradition of sanctioning and isolating Syria economically in response to the country’s support of Palestinian resistance The bill was unprecedented in both the way that it sanctioned broad sectors of the Syrian economy rather than only specific individuals, and in its deployment of so-called “secondary sanctions.” Secondary sanctions are imposed on parties that do business with a sanctioned entity even if those exchanges occur outside of the sanctioning entity’s jurisdiction. Syria’s economy has been in free fall ever since the Caesar sanctions came into effect. Today, over 12 million Syrians representing more than half of the total population face food insecurity — a 51% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In 2019, the US dollar exchanged for 500 Syrian Pounds. Today, that number is more like 14,100— figures that represent a 2,720 percent devaluation. The Syrian currency has devalued by 35,150% since the initial exchange rate of 40 SYP to 1 USD early 2011 Though H.R. 3202 appears to be focused on addressing UN aid divergence, and sanctioning previously unsanctioned entities like Asma Al Assad’s Syria Trust for Development and the Syrian Red Crescent, the real agenda of the bill is found deep within its 22-page text. With the Caesar Sanctions set to expire by the end of 2024, H.R. 3202 seeks to quietly extend the aggressive financial measures until 2032. The new bill’s main aim, which received very little attention, is the extension of the Caesar Act for 8 more years. Having passed the House with overwhelming enthusiasm, H.R. 3202’s sister bill in the Senate can only pass with Democratic support. It was introduced by Israeli lobby-funded Republican Idaho Sen. James Risch last September and has since been co-sponsored by arch-neoconservative Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Because S. 2935 can only pass with Democratic sponsorship, the Anti-Syria Lobby chose Sen. Ben Cardin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as a crucial target for influence. After meeting with Sherrod Brown’s office, Cardin’s Research and Legislative Assistant, Christopher Barr, hosted us in the Senator’s office. There, Raed Saleh of the White Helmets complained to Barr that USAID had slashed funding for his organization from $12 million to $3 million in recent years. Next, it was time to discuss the true purpose of our visit: the passage of S. 2935. Barr appeared uneasy from the outset and even expressed displeasure about the bill, complaining, “What passed the House was kind of a lot… the list of targets is vast.” “Syria has already been so heavily sanctioned,” he added. In response, Ghanem revealed a critical piece of information about the forces driving the dirty war on Syria, explaining that the impetus to expand and extend Caesar did not come from the Anti-Syria Lobby itself, but someone on Capitol Hill. Ghanem explained that the Hill source actually contacted the American Coalition for Syria to alert them to the fact that Caesar was set to expire, lamenting the fact that its sunset would amount to a loss of “US leverage over the Syrian regime.” This line echoed the disturbing language of officials representing both the Biden and Trump administration alike. In 2019, neoconservative operative Dana Stroul declared that thanks to Caesar, Washington “holds a card on preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back,” to Syria. She lauded the fact that the U.S. could weaponize that “leverage” to keep Syria in “rubble.” Two years later, she would take up post as Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Middle East under Biden. Similarly, during an event at the neoconservative think tank, WINEP, the following year, the Special Envoy for Syria under Trump, Joel Rayburn, boasted that Caesar “lowers the bar” for evidence-based sanctions and allows for the broad targeting of any and all reconstruction projects in Syria. “We don’t have to prove, for example, that a company that’s going in to do a reconstruction project in the Damascus region is dealing directly with the Assad regime,” Rayburn explained. “We don’t have to have the evidence to prove that link,” he continued. “We just have to have the evidence that proves that a company or an individual is investing in […] the construction sector, the engineering sector, most of the aviation sector, the finance sector, energy sector, and so on.” These public confessions did not stop the Anti-Syria Lobby from lying to the faces of congressional staffers throughout their March 7 campaign. During a meeting with Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, Ghanem falsely stated that the Caesar Sanctions were “targeted,” “not sectoral,” and “not [an] embargo, nothing punishing to civilians.” Yet Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions who visited Syria to document the effects of Washington’s unilateral sanctions regime on Syria, disagrees. In her 19-page report she clearly states that the sanctions are both illegal and inhumane in the way they affect the average Syrian. Stabilization for me but not for thee The second legislative ask came in the form of a well rehearsed speech by Ghanem, Zayat, and others, outlining what US tax dollars do and don’t fund in Syria. US aid packages are typically divided into two categories: “humanitarian funding” earmarked for goods such as food, water, and basic medical supplies or “stabilization” funding designed to secure a country as it transitions out of a period of turmoil. Unlike humanitarian assistance, stabilization funding may be used to support major investment and infrastructure projects such as roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services. The US is the primary funder of humanitarian aid in both North East (NE) and NW Syria. However, while the US spends abundantly on stabilization needs in NE Syria, it spends $0 on the NW. That is because while Washington has long dreamed of establishing a secessionist Kurdish state in Syria’s Northeast, it neglected to send stabilization funds to the Northwest in order to avoid providing direct support to HTS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that governs the territory. The Anti-Syria Lobby was in Washington to change that. Leading the push for US funds to Al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Northwest Syria was Wa’el Alzayat, a Syrian expat who proudly served in Iraq’s Green Zone under George Bush’s State Department and more recently published a shocking Washington Post oped begging US officials not to “lift sanctions to help Syria earthquake victims.” In the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alzayat voiced his frustration with US hesitation in the Northwest. “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he demanded, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, the Qataris are doing it.” We’re missing out on a golden opportunity here to stabilize the region and leverage it for a political settlement,” he pleaded. In other words, Alzayat was openly lobbying US officials to strengthen Al Qaeda’s position in Syria in order to leverage the terrorist group against the country’s government. Alzayat then weaponized his six-figure salary as head of Emgage to bully Van Hollen’s office into bowing before the anti-Syria Lobby, falsely claiming that his AIPAC-linked organization was “behind” the “Uncommitted” vote campaigns that damaged Biden’s primary performance in Michigan and Minnesota. Towards the end of the meeting, the regime change lobbyist cynically invoked Israel’s slaughter of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to make the case for Al Qaeda in Syria one last time. He argued that although “his community” is up in arms about the Biden administration’s funding and arming of the Gaza genocide, they would gladly flock back to the Democratic Party if the US funded roads and schools in Al Qaeda-controlled Idlib. “I need a good story for my voters,” Alzayat explained, noting the Muslim community’s disapproval of the Biden Administration’s policy in Gaza and Yemen. “You’re upset about all these disappointments,” he continued, play-acting a scenario in which he convinced a Muslim constituent to vote for Biden, again. “Guess what? They’re pumping 50 million into the school sector in the North [of Syria]!” Overtures Towards Israel The Israel-Palestine crisis loomed large throughout the ACS lobbying trip. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s secretary happened to be a hijabi Muslim woman sporting a pendant outlining the map of Palestine around her neck. As she greeted us, Farouk Belal, the head of the Syrian American Council, grumbled to Ghanem and me: “I hope she’s not with the resistance.” When I asked him to clarify what he meant as we exited the office, he explained that people aligned with the Palestinian cause in Washington “don’t like us.” Meanwhile, in Sen. Cardin’s office, Raed Salah of the White Helmets painted Israeli strikes on Syria which have crippled Syrian infrastructure, regularly damaged the country’s International civilian airports, and killed hundreds of Syrian Soldiers and civilians alike in a positive light: “The situation in Syria is very complicated. Every day we hear of Israeli strikes on the dens, or the bases of the IRGC and its militias. Even we as Syrians did not know the extent to which the Iranians were entrenched in the country…” For Saleh, the Israeli strikes do nothing but highlight the presence of the Syrian government-invited Iranian military presence in Syria. Later that day, Ghanem attempted to capitalize on Sen. Fetterman’s fanatical pro-Israel antics by describing recent developments in Syria to a 20-something staffer. Referring to the Syrian government’s successful campaign to retake southern territory, he explained that the South is “where they lob missiles on Israel, by the way.” The aide dutifully transcribed this seemingly random piece of information in her notepad. Towards the end of the meeting, Fetterman was discussed as a potential Democratic sponsor of S. 2935 in the Senate. In Senator Rick Scott’s office, a Cuban American Government Relations Associate for ACS, Alberto Hernandez, accidentally said the quiet part out loud. When Senator Scott’s ultra-Zionist National Security Advisor, Paul Bonicelli, asked if our group had connected with our “counterparts” in the Israeli lobby so that they could “vet” our proposals — revealing that Scott has apparently outsourced his brain to Zionists — Hernandez remarked: “Formally? No. Informally.” He then turned to the rest of the ACS team in the meeting room and said: “You didn’t hear me say that.” That admission prompted Bonicelli to suggest that ACS directly coordinate with groups such as the Aramaic Church in Israel, which has supported regime change efforts in Damascus despite overwhelming Christian support of the government within Syria itself. As the meeting wound to a close, Bonicelli informed us that he agreed with ACS on the necessity to oppose Iran and Russia. “If Obama had done the right thing in 2012, we wouldn’t be here,” he lamented, adding: “the Israelis want you guys in charge.” At one point during the meeting in Rick Scott’s Office, Alberto Hernandez, and Sarah Salas, a Cuban American legislative aide, expressed full agreement with US use of unilateral sanctions as means to “push” governments that “we don’t like.” Starving Syrians Without A Mandate Though several ACS volunteers shared painful personal encounters with the Syrian government throughout the day, many were simply too far removed from Syria to truly represent the voice of Syrian people, especially the 12 million plus civilians currently living in Syrian government-controlled territory. One 24-year-old woman who did not speak Arabic and has not been to Syria since 2003 described the Syrian Army’s 2016 liberation of Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked militants as “the fall of Aleppo.” Other Syrians like myself experienced the terror of the West’s proxy war in Syria firsthand. In 2012, my aunt and cousins watched in horror as the Turkish-backed Liwa’ Al Tawhid, an umbrella group of takfiri jihadist militias, arrived on their street in the Seryan El Jdideh neighborhood of Aleppo. The militants proceeded to execute a local pick-up truck driver and steal his vehicle, leaving his bleeding corpse on the street. Shahba, where my family lived up until 2015, was located just a stone’s throw away from these sectarian death squads during our final months there. The Syrian dirty war was bloody and gruesome, yet the picture that ACS paints is entirely one-sided. Unfortunately, while organizations like ACS have flocked to the Beltway swamp throughout the last 13 years, there are no Syrians present in Washington DC to counter them. While these groups claim to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, those of us who have lived and still live in areas controlled by Syrian government — regardless of our political affiliations—are rendered voiceless in the very center of power where our perspective should matter most. Even Syria’s embassy has been shuttered since 2014, while Syrian diplomats at the UN in New York are heavily monitored and restricted from traveling beyond the NYC metro area. As I witnessed on Capitol Hill, there are few obstacles to the anti-Syria lobby’s ruthless push to prevent the majority of Syrians from emerging from the ruins of war. https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/20/anti-syria-lobbys-capitol-hill-sanctions/
    THEGRAYZONE.COM
    Inside the anti-Syria lobby's Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions - The Grayzone
    A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission. On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. […]
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024
    Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images)
    A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages)
    Casualties

    31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

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    Key Developments

    Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza.
    Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza.
    Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee.
    In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf.
    Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns.
    Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family.
    Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents.
    Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament.
    Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report.
    Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.”
    Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery

    Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening.

    Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza.

    Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp.

    Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food.

    The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush.

    In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee.

    Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza

    In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it.

    On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.”

    Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza.

    Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies.

    However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel.

    One kilogram of flour for every 25 people

    Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs.

    Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms.

    “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent.

    “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added.

    Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate

    A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.”

    Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added.

    Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

    Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs.

    Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones.

    “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.”

    Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.”

    Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions.

    “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said.

    “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN.

    “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added.

    Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured.

    Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported.

    In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment.

    In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house.

    Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel

    The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive.

    “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate.

    Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.”

    An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border.

    Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.”

    Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions

    Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday.

    He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities.

    The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”.

    The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time.

    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank

    Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon.

    Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody.

    Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening.

    In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus.

    Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported.

    BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.


    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/


    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024 Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images) A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages) Casualties 31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza. Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza. Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee. In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf. Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns. Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family. Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents. Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament. Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.” Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening. Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza. Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp. Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food. The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush. In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee. Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it. On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.” Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza. Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies. However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel. One kilogram of flour for every 25 people Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs. Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms. “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent. “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added. Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.” Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added. Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs. Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones. “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.” Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.” Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions. “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said. “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN. “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added. Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured. Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported. In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment. In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house. Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive. “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.” An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border. Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories. Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.” Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday. He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities. The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”. The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody. Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening. In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus. Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa reported. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/ 👉https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Hamas slams Israel for “spreading chaos” after an Israeli airstrike killed two local police officers in charge of securing and delivering food to north Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians.
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  • Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today.

    His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir.

    The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious.

    “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists.

    Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy”

    Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium.

    “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad.

    He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad.

    He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility.

    By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours.

    And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.”

    The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy.

    Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”.

    The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.”

    Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.”

    On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”.

    Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews.

    At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance.

    The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed.

    And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army.

    The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group.

    When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.”

    “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.”

    For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father.

    “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”.

    His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.”

    He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

    And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view.

    His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.”

    Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.”


    https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’ This beautiful, inspiring, elegiac book is the story of the author’s journey – a journey from Baghdad to Israel in 1950, aged five, and from Israel to England. But Avi Schlaim’s journey was at different levels. It was geographical and it was cultural. It also became a political journey to his own position today. His personal experiences illustrate a bigger story of the Jewish exodus from Iraq to Israel in 1950 following the creation of Israel in 1948. His story and his words speak more eloquently than any reviewer can, and so for the most part, I quote directly from his memoir. The book is “a glimpse into the lost and rich world of the Iraqi-Jewish community”. Perhaps, coming from what he describes as a prosperous, privileged family, he may see the past through rose-tinted glasses. But his memories are precious. “We belonged to a branch of the global Jewish community that is now almost extinct. We were Arab-Jews. We lived in Baghdad and were well integrated into Iraqi society. We spoke Arabic at home, our social customs were Arab, our lifestyle was Arab, our cuisine was exquisitely Middle Eastern and my parents’ music was an attractive blend of Arabic and Jewish…We in the Jewish community had much more in common, linguistically and culturally, with our Iraqi compatriots than with our European co-religionists. Of all the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, the one in Mesopotamia was the most integrated into local society, the most Arabised in its culture and the most prosperous… When the British created the Kingdom of Iraq…the Jews were the backbone of the Iraqi economy” Jewish lineage in Mesopotamia stretched as far back as Babylonian times, pre-dating the rise of Islam by a millenium. “Their influence was evident in every branch of Iraqi culture, from literature and music to journalism and banking. Banks – with the exception of government owned banks – and all the big markets remained closed on the Sabbath and the other Jewish holy days.” By the 1880s there were 55 synagogues in Baghdad. He describes how in Iraq there was a long tradition of religious tolerance and harmony. “The Jews were neither newcomers nor aliens in Iraq. They were certainly not intruders”. By the time of the First World War, Jews constituted one third of the population of Baghdad. He contrasts Europe and the Middle East. “Unlike Europe the Middle East did not have a ‘Jewish Question’. “Iraq’s Jews did not live in ghettos, nor did they experience the violent repression, persecution and genocide that marred European history. There were of course exceptions, notably the infamous pogrom against Jews in June 1941, for which the actions of British imperialism must take substantial responsibility. By 1941, antisemitism in Baghdad was on the increase but was more a foreign import than a home grown product. There was a violent pogrom against the Jewish community named the farhud. The Jews were seen as friends of the British. 179 Jews were murdered and several hundred injured. It was completely unexpected and unprecedented. There had been no other attack against the Jews for centuries. Avi gives many examples of Muslims assisting their Jewish neighbours. And yet he writes: “The overall picture, however, was one of religious tolerance, cosmopolitanism, peaceful co-existence and fruitful interaction.” The critical moment was the creation of Israel. “As a result of the Arab defeat, there was a backlash against the Jews throughout the Arab world. “What had been a pillar of Iraqi society was increasingly perceived as a sinister fifth column”, with Islamic fundamentalists and Arab nationalists identifying the Jews in their countries with the hated Zionist enemy. Palestinians “were the main victims of the Zionist project. More than half their number became refugees and the name Palestine was wiped off the map. But there was another category of victims, less well known and much less talked about: the Jews of the Arab lands”. The sub-title of the book refers to ‘Arab-Jews’. “The hyphen is significant. Critics of the term Arab-Jew see it as… conflating two separate identities. As I see it, the hyphen unites: an Arab can also be a Jew and a Jew can also be an Arab…We are told that there is a clash of cultures, an unbridgeable gulf between Muslims and Jews… The story of my family in Iraq -and that of many forgotten families like mine – points to a dramatically different picture. It harks back to an era of a more pluralist Middle East with greater religious tolerance and a political culture of mutual respect and co-operation.” Yet the Zionists portray the Jews as the victims of endemic Arab persecution and this is used to justify the atrocious treatment of the Palestinians. Thus the narrative of the ‘Jewish Nakba’ to create a ‘false symmetry between the fate of two communities. This narrative is not history; it is the propaganda of the victors.” On 29th November 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the partition of mandate Palestine into two states: one Arab, one Jewish. The General Council of the Iraqi Jewish community sent a telegram to the UN opposing the partition resolution and the creation of a Jewish state. “Like my family, the majority of Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi first and Jewish second; they feared that the creation of a Jewish state would undermine their position in Iraq… The distinction between Jews and Zionists, so crucial to interfaith harmony in the Arab world, was rapidly breaking down”. Iraq’s participation in the war for Palestine fuelled tensions between Muslims and Jews. Iraqi Jews were widely suspected of being secret supporters of Israel. With the defeat of Palestine a wave of hostility towards Israel and the Jews living in their midst swept through the Arab world. Demonstrators marched through the streets of Baghdad shouting “Death to the Jews.” And the government needing a scapegoat did not simply respond to public anger but actively whipped up public hysteria and suspicion against the Jews. At this point official persecution against the Jews began. In July 1948 a law was passed making Zionism a criminal offence punishable by death or a minimum sentence of seven years in prison. Jews were fired from government jobs and from the railways, post office and telegraph department, Jewish merchants were denied import and export licences, restrictions placed on Jewish banks to trade in foreign currency, young Jews were barred from admission to colleges of education and the entire community was put under surveillance. The number of Jewish immigrants leaving Iraq to the end of 1953 numbered almost 125,000 out of a total of 135,000. The Jewish presence going back well over 2,000 years was destroyed. And yet for all this the mass exodus did not occur till 1950/1951 in what was known as the ‘Big Aliyah”. The majority of Iraqi Jews did not want to leave Iraq and had no affinity with Zionism. Most who emigrated to Israel did so only after a wave of five bombings of Jewish targets in Baghdad. It has long been argued that the bombings were instigated by Israel and the Zionists to spark a mass flight of Iraqi Jews to Israel, needed as they were to do many of the menial jobs and to boost numbers in the army. The author makes a forensic examination of the evidence – based on examination of documents and on interviews – and concluded that three out of the five bombings were carried out by the Zionist underground in Baghdad, a fourth – the bombing of the Mas’uda Shemtob synagogue, which was the only one that resulted in fatalities – was the result of Zionist bribery and there was one carried out by a far right wing, anti-Jewish Iraqi nationalist group. When the Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel, their experience fell short of the Zionist myth. At the airport in Israel, many were sprayed with DDT pesticides “to disinfect them as if they were animals.” They were then taken to squalid and unsanitary transit camps. Some camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by policemen. The immigration and settlement authorities had no understanding of their customs and culture. “They thought of them as backward and primitive and expected them to take their place at the bottom of the social hierarchy and be grateful for whatever they were given… The lens through which the new immigrants were viewed was the same colonialist lens through which the Ashkenazi establishment viewed the Palestinians.” “We were Jews from an Arab country that was still officially at war with Israel. European Jews.. looked down on us as socially and culturally inferior. They despised the Arabic language…I was an Iraqi boy in a land of Europeans.” For his grandmothers, Iraq was the beloved homeland while Israel was the place of exile. “Migration to Israel is usually described as Aliyah or ascent. For us the move from Iraq to Israel was decidedly a Yeridah, a descent down the economic and social ladder. Not only did we lose our property and possessions; we also our lost our strong sense of identity as proud Iraqi Jews as we were relegated to the margins of Israeli society.” The experience was to break his father. “The unstated aims of the official policy for schools were to undermine our Arab-Jewish identity… A systematic process was at work to delegitimise our heritage and erase our cultural roots” It was a clash of cultures. The Mizrahim were earmarked to be the proletariat – the fodder to support the country’s industrial and agricultural development. As one author put it, “We left Iraq as Jews and arrived in Israel as Iraqis.” They were clearly, to borrow from current jargon, “the wrong kind of Israeli”. His journey was a political one too. His message and his warnings are unequivocally universalist. “The Holocaust stands out as an archetype of a crime against humanity. For me as a Jew and an Israeli therefore the Holocaust teaches us to resist the dehumanising of any people, including the Palestinian ‘victims of victims’, because dehumanising a people can easily result, as it did in Europe in the 1940s, in crimes against humanity.” He had previously argued that it was only after the 1967 war that Israel became a colonial power, oppressing the Palestinians in the occupied territories. However, “a deeper analysis… led me to the conclusion that Israel had been created by a settler-colonial movement. The years 1948 and 1967 were merely milestones in the relentless systematic takeover of the whole of Palestine… Since Zionism was an avowedly settler-colonial movement from the outset, the building of civilian settlements on occupied land was only a new stage in the long march… The most crucial turning point was not the war of 1967 but the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.” And more: “the two-state solution is dead or, to be more accurate, it was never born… The outcome I have come to favour is one democratic state… with equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or religion.” He is absolutely right in my view. His family’s story “serves as a corrective to the Zionist narrative which views Arabs and Jews as congenitally incapable of dwelling together in peace and doomed to permanent conflict and discord… My experience as a young boy and that of the whole Jewish community in Iraq, suggests there is nothing inevitable or pre-ordained about Arab-Jewish antagonism… Remembering the past can help us to envisage a better future… Arab-Jewish co-existence is not something that my family imagined in our minds; we experienced it, we touched it.” Optimistic? Yes, perhaps over-optimistic. But towards the end of this masterpiece, Avi Schlaim justifies his message. “Recalling the era of cosmopolitanism and co-existence that some Jews, like my family, enjoyed in Arab countries before 1948 offers a glimmer of hope… It’s the best model we have for a better future.” https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/avi-shlaim-three-worlds-memoirs-of-an-arab-jew/
    WWW.JEWISHVOICEFORLABOUR.ORG.UK
    Avi Shlaim: ‘Three Worlds – Memoirs of an Arab – Jew’
    Graham Bash reviews this groundbreaking personal and political memoir by Avi Shlaim in which he laments the lost world of…
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  • Weekly Briefing: Now everyone hates Israel
    The unbelievable onslaught on a captive people in Gaza has at last cracked the conscience of the American Jewish community and sent American Zionists into complete crisis.

    Philip WeissMarch 17, 2024
    Chuck Schumer's historic speech to the Senate on March 14, 2024, stating that Netanyahu must go if Israel is not going to become a "pariah" state. Screenshot.
    Chuck Schumer’s historic speech to the Senate on March 14, 2024, stating that Netanyahu must go if Israel is not going to become a “pariah” state. Screenshot.
    This was a huge week in American Jewish political history.

    First, the director of a movie about Auschwitz, Jonathan Glazer, accepted an Oscar in a speech saying that his Jewishness should not be used to justify the slaughter of Gazans.

    Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza — all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?

    In saying “We,” Glazer spoke for his producer Len Blavatnik, a billionaire who stood silently behind him, and who just months ago had joined the Harvard donor revolt over alleged antisemitic — actually pro-Palestinian speech — on campus. A revolt that forced the resignation of the Harvard president.

    Glazer’s speech was followed four days later by the “momentous speech” by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who, speaking as a Jew, called on Netanyahu to hold new elections because his rightwing policies are hurting Israel. “As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me, the Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel,” said Schumer.

    The Gaza slaughter figured largely. Schumer fears that the massive civilian death toll in Gaza, which causes him “anguish,” will cause Israel to become a “pariah” nation.

    In coalition with far-right extremists like Ministers Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, and as a result, [Netanyahu] has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows. Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah.

    The first thing to observe about both speeches is that Palestinian lives are finally counting in American politics. The unbelievable onslaught on a captive people that caused Susan Abulhawa to somehow get in there and come out to say there’s a holocaust in Gaza that language cannot describe has at last registered in American politics.

    And just as Joe Biden said last week that Netanyahu “cannot have another 30,000 Palestinians dead”– as if the first 30,000 were mere table stakes — the genocide is also cracking the conscience of the American Jewish community.

    Schumer is “a bellwether for the Jewish community, who has refrained from sharp criticism of the Israeli government” (as J Street put it)– and his speech has great significance.

    American Zionists are in utter crisis. They see that Israel is a state in the eyes of the world. They see that you cannot force the hand of the U.S. president in support of the genocide, out of concern for his political donations, and topple Ivy League presidents who have not been supportive enough of Israel — without grave consequences.

    Schumer acted out of pure desperation. Biden may lose Michigan if the Jewish community cannot pivot and come out against genocide. He sees Israel becoming a “pariah” state.

    There is now no difference between right-wing and left-wing Zionists inside the Democratic Party. They have all now gathered around the Schumer/Biden delusion that if you just get rid of Netanyahu, Israel will be able to curb the slaughter, pursue the two-state solution, and save the Jewish state.

    So, Zionism is entering an unending public crisis. Because Netanyahu won’t go. Or if he does go, he will be replaced by others who are equally or almost as warmongering and who will do nothing to end the occupation. And Israel will just continue to be a pariah state. And the tsunami of boycotts, long predicted by Israel lovers, will really be upon us. Even Schumer said that the U.S. must restrict aid to Israel if it cannot stop slaughtering civilians.

    This is a crisis of Jewish identity. Schumer cited Jewish tradition and conscience as the impulse for his speech. “What horrifies so many Jews especially is our sense that Israel is falling short of upholding these distinctly Jewish values that we hold so dear. We must be better than our enemies, lest we become them.”

    However cynical you are about Jewish values and conscience — and I’m as cynical as they come — his speech represents a great wake-up call for Jews who care about human rights to take on the genocide-enablers in the U.S. Jewish community. Despite the love Schumer expressed for Israel and the mythologies he espoused about its creation and democracy, his speech is historic on this ground.

    Because as more than one critic of Schumer’s said this week, he is giving permission to others. The most powerful Jewish politician in U.S. history is saying, As a Jew I tell America, Israel is doing wrong. Yes, everyone hates Israel now.

    Schumer has opened the doors on the Jewish discussion that I and others in the anti-Zionist community have long sought: How can we support a discriminatory, brutal state in our name over there when we absolutely oppose religious nationalism and persecution of minorities here?

    Anti-Zionists will win this argument. Because the Jewish state will not be able to transform itself to suit American liberal values. And regardless of the political arrangements in coming years in Israel/Palestine — partition into two states, or one state — Israel’s move to pariah status is so well advanced now by its own actions that no Zionist will ultimately be able to save its racist apartheid constitution. And idealistic Jews here will help transform that land.

    In directing Israelis what to do– go have another election!– Schumer exposed a great secret of Zionism: It is an international Jewish ideology that will always cause confusion about national interest. Schumer could well argue that he was justified in directing Israelis because Israel interferes in our politics all the time, as Netanyahu did in 2015 on the Iran deal. “Imagine if some foreign leader who was ostensibly an ally of the United States, came here and gave an address before Congress that threw the American president under the bus on their key policy item of the times,” a New York liberal Zionist said in praising Schumer’s speech. “Can you imagine it?”

    I can imagine just that because Schumer himself admitted that he voted against the Iran deal because it was in Israel’s interest not the American one.

    So Zionism has always been a huge asterisk on American Jewish liberal values. This week that asterisk began to fall apart.

    Thanks for reading,

    Phil


    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/weekly-briefing-now-everyone-hates-israel/
    Weekly Briefing: Now everyone hates Israel The unbelievable onslaught on a captive people in Gaza has at last cracked the conscience of the American Jewish community and sent American Zionists into complete crisis. Philip WeissMarch 17, 2024 Chuck Schumer's historic speech to the Senate on March 14, 2024, stating that Netanyahu must go if Israel is not going to become a "pariah" state. Screenshot. Chuck Schumer’s historic speech to the Senate on March 14, 2024, stating that Netanyahu must go if Israel is not going to become a “pariah” state. Screenshot. This was a huge week in American Jewish political history. First, the director of a movie about Auschwitz, Jonathan Glazer, accepted an Oscar in a speech saying that his Jewishness should not be used to justify the slaughter of Gazans. Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza — all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist? In saying “We,” Glazer spoke for his producer Len Blavatnik, a billionaire who stood silently behind him, and who just months ago had joined the Harvard donor revolt over alleged antisemitic — actually pro-Palestinian speech — on campus. A revolt that forced the resignation of the Harvard president. Glazer’s speech was followed four days later by the “momentous speech” by New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who, speaking as a Jew, called on Netanyahu to hold new elections because his rightwing policies are hurting Israel. “As a lifelong supporter of Israel, it has become clear to me, the Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel,” said Schumer. The Gaza slaughter figured largely. Schumer fears that the massive civilian death toll in Gaza, which causes him “anguish,” will cause Israel to become a “pariah” nation. In coalition with far-right extremists like Ministers Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, and as a result, [Netanyahu] has been too willing to tolerate the civilian toll in Gaza, which is pushing support for Israel worldwide to historic lows. Israel cannot survive if it becomes a pariah. The first thing to observe about both speeches is that Palestinian lives are finally counting in American politics. The unbelievable onslaught on a captive people that caused Susan Abulhawa to somehow get in there and come out to say there’s a holocaust in Gaza that language cannot describe has at last registered in American politics. And just as Joe Biden said last week that Netanyahu “cannot have another 30,000 Palestinians dead”– as if the first 30,000 were mere table stakes — the genocide is also cracking the conscience of the American Jewish community. Schumer is “a bellwether for the Jewish community, who has refrained from sharp criticism of the Israeli government” (as J Street put it)– and his speech has great significance. American Zionists are in utter crisis. They see that Israel is a state in the eyes of the world. They see that you cannot force the hand of the U.S. president in support of the genocide, out of concern for his political donations, and topple Ivy League presidents who have not been supportive enough of Israel — without grave consequences. Schumer acted out of pure desperation. Biden may lose Michigan if the Jewish community cannot pivot and come out against genocide. He sees Israel becoming a “pariah” state. There is now no difference between right-wing and left-wing Zionists inside the Democratic Party. They have all now gathered around the Schumer/Biden delusion that if you just get rid of Netanyahu, Israel will be able to curb the slaughter, pursue the two-state solution, and save the Jewish state. So, Zionism is entering an unending public crisis. Because Netanyahu won’t go. Or if he does go, he will be replaced by others who are equally or almost as warmongering and who will do nothing to end the occupation. And Israel will just continue to be a pariah state. And the tsunami of boycotts, long predicted by Israel lovers, will really be upon us. Even Schumer said that the U.S. must restrict aid to Israel if it cannot stop slaughtering civilians. This is a crisis of Jewish identity. Schumer cited Jewish tradition and conscience as the impulse for his speech. “What horrifies so many Jews especially is our sense that Israel is falling short of upholding these distinctly Jewish values that we hold so dear. We must be better than our enemies, lest we become them.” However cynical you are about Jewish values and conscience — and I’m as cynical as they come — his speech represents a great wake-up call for Jews who care about human rights to take on the genocide-enablers in the U.S. Jewish community. Despite the love Schumer expressed for Israel and the mythologies he espoused about its creation and democracy, his speech is historic on this ground. Because as more than one critic of Schumer’s said this week, he is giving permission to others. The most powerful Jewish politician in U.S. history is saying, As a Jew I tell America, Israel is doing wrong. Yes, everyone hates Israel now. Schumer has opened the doors on the Jewish discussion that I and others in the anti-Zionist community have long sought: How can we support a discriminatory, brutal state in our name over there when we absolutely oppose religious nationalism and persecution of minorities here? Anti-Zionists will win this argument. Because the Jewish state will not be able to transform itself to suit American liberal values. And regardless of the political arrangements in coming years in Israel/Palestine — partition into two states, or one state — Israel’s move to pariah status is so well advanced now by its own actions that no Zionist will ultimately be able to save its racist apartheid constitution. And idealistic Jews here will help transform that land. In directing Israelis what to do– go have another election!– Schumer exposed a great secret of Zionism: It is an international Jewish ideology that will always cause confusion about national interest. Schumer could well argue that he was justified in directing Israelis because Israel interferes in our politics all the time, as Netanyahu did in 2015 on the Iran deal. “Imagine if some foreign leader who was ostensibly an ally of the United States, came here and gave an address before Congress that threw the American president under the bus on their key policy item of the times,” a New York liberal Zionist said in praising Schumer’s speech. “Can you imagine it?” I can imagine just that because Schumer himself admitted that he voted against the Iran deal because it was in Israel’s interest not the American one. So Zionism has always been a huge asterisk on American Jewish liberal values. This week that asterisk began to fall apart. Thanks for reading, Phil https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/weekly-briefing-now-everyone-hates-israel/
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    Weekly Briefing: Now everyone hates Israel
    The unbelievable onslaught on a captive people in Gaza has at last cracked the conscience of the American Jewish community and sent American Zionists into complete crisis.
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