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Rewards and Punishments for Gaza
How the Israel Lobby reshapes its message
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Those of us who believe that the Israeli government has finally gone too far in its slaughter of Gazan civilians because the whole world, including most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it, should be aware that pushback has arrived. Israel and its powerful friends in both the US and international media as well as in government circles are energetically rewriting the story, not only regarding Gaza, to restore Israel’s status as the beleaguered little democracy in the Middle East and America’s only true friend and ally.

The reconstructed narrative is backed up by a not so subtle system of punishments and rewards for those who either deviate from or support the new orthodoxy. Indeed, politicians in general are leading the charge because they have the most to benefit from being perceived as friends of Israel, particularly if they are ambitious. Criminalization of criticism of Israel is also on the agenda in a number of countries. A current bipartisan congressional resolution with 93 co-sponsors is seeking to limit what might or might not be said regarding actions undertaken by the Israeli government. It “decries and condemns the comparison of Israel to Nazis perpetrating a Holocaust or genocides as an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.” The bill is one of a number that have been floated in several countries, including Canada, to make any criticism of Israel a hate crime.

Republicans are lined up solidly in support of Israel. Senator Ted Cruz even felt compelled to sing the praises of Israel during a dinner hosted by Middle Eastern Christians, who have been victimized by Tel Aviv, before he was booed off the stage. Senator Rand Paul, who occasionally and unsuccessfully tries to talk like his principled non-interventionist father, thinks that Israel’s regular military interventions into the shrinking Palestinians territories are just fine because they are “defense.” Five hundred dead Palestinian children are apparently just a footnote for the eye doctor from Kentucky and the lawyer from Texas.

And it is also notable how professional “bleeding heart” advocates of protecting suffering humanity worldwide routinely make an exception for the Middle East. Reliably liberal Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, always “progressive except for Palestine,” has felt compelled to describe Israel’s shelling of schools and hospitals as a response to Hamas’s alleged use of those buildings to launch rockets, justifying Israel’s “right…to defend itself.” Per Warren, killing civilians is the “last thing Israel wants.” It might be noted that Warren, like Paul, just might be harboring presidential ambitions.

And the reward system is international. North of the border the benefits derived from talking nice about Israel are perhaps more palpable. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who defended the bombing and shelling of Gaza, has described Israel as a light that “…burns bright, upheld by the universal principles of all civilized nations – freedom, democracy justice.” He has also said “I will defend Israel whatever the cost” to Canada. Harper has been nominated by Canadian B’nai Brith for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, an honor he would share with “change we can believe in” President Barack Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Yes, that is how the Nobel citation actually reads .

And not talking nice about Israel can sometimes bring down real punishment. Here in the United States the Yale University Episcopalian Chaplain Reverend Bruce M. Shipman who wrote in a letter to the New York Times suggesting that there is a “relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond” fell afoul of the Israel thought police, who descended on him immediately, forcing him to resign. It would seem to be common sense to make the connection that behavior influences perceptions, but one has to wonder how many “big donors” might have contacted Yale to suggest that such a paradigm is unthinkable at a leading institution of higher learning. Just speculating, mind you.

Across the pond, British Member of Parliament George Galloway was recently attacked and beaten in London by a man wearing an Israeli Defense Forces t-shirt who shouted about the holocaust as he dislocated Galloway’s jaw and broke his ribs. The attacker had been stalking Galloway and had written on his Facebook page that he would like to cut his throat. During the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, the parliamentarian had declared that his district in Bradford should be an “Israel free zone” and he urged his supporters to boycott all Israeli goods, services, academics and tourists. He was subsequently “interviewed under caution” by the police and investigated after complaints were received, during which he was questioned regarding “inciting racial hatred.” Galloway’s attacker has had a defense fund set up for him and the British government and media have been notably silent concerning rewarding someone for a premeditated assault on an elected official.

The latest effort also has its propaganda wing, promoting in the media the old argument that Israel should be judged by a different standard than other nations, which has meant in fact no standard at all. One particularly bizarre commentary comes from Michael Gerson of the Washington Post, who argues that it is the Palestinians who have benefited from a friendly mainstream media, not Israel, and that anti-Semitism is behind it all.

In fact, Israel’s friends get away with saying things that would not pass muster for any other ethnic or religious group. They do not hesitate to make the racist claim that all Muslims and Arabs in particularly have terrorist DNA which presumably justifies whatever Israel insists it has to do to keep them in line. The propaganda line goes something like this: Israel wants peace but the Arabs do not. Israel has suffered from Arab terrorists for many years even though it has done nothing wrong and has offered the hand of friendship. Israel is a democracy whereas the Arab states are all one form or another of autocracies, making it a natural friend and ally of the United States and Europe.

Regarding Gaza, the apologists claim that Israel was attacked and only defending itself. The United Nations and other international bodies are biased against Israel and can safely be ignored. The Arabs are so heedless of the value of human life that they deliberately used their own children as human shields while the Israeli army “the most moral in the world” reacted humanely and only returned fire when fired upon. In support of that line, Israel is disputing reliable United Nations statistics, obtained on the ground in Gaza, revealing that three quarters of the victims of the Israeli assault on Gaza were civilians, including 495 children and 253 women. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is instead insisting that 1000 of the more than two thousand dead were “terrorist operatives,” the preferred Israeli term, even though Israel has had no access to the actual casualties.

Of course the new “Stand by Israel” narrative is wrong in nearly every detail: the Israelis have rejected Arab offers for a comprehensive peace agreement; Israel started terrorism in the Middle East when it ethnically cleansed the Palestinians starting in 1948; the Israeli army epitomizes state sponsored terrorism in its brutal and illegal occupation of the West Bank; Israel is a true democracy only for its Jewish citizens; Israel provoked the carnage in Gaza; and there is no actual evidence of Palestinians using children as human shields. Israeli gunners killed civilians indiscriminately in their attack on Gaza just as they did in 2009 and, it might be added, that Israel has frequently been accused of other assorted crimes against humanity as well as war crimes over its oppression of the Palestinians. It has escaped any consequences because it is protected by the United States. Most recently Tel Aviv has announced plans to steal 1,000 more acres of land on the Arab West Bank for a new settlement, a violation of the Geneva conventions.

The most recent onslaught using the media to spread disinformation is attempting to demonstrate that groups like Hamas are pretty much the same as groups like ISIS. A full page ad that appeared in both the Washington Post and the New York Times on September 2nd, paid for by This World: The Values Network, an organization run by “America’s rabbi” Shmuley Boteach, claimed that radical Islam, which “threatens humanity,” is “beheading and crucifying children in its genocidal war,” while in Iran “the gay hating, women-stoning, free speech suppressing mullahs continue to fund murderous attacks against Americans and Jews worldwide, threatening Israel with nuclear annihilation.”

Boteach also informs the reader that “…bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists fire rockets at Israelis from homes, schools and mosques. Hamas sacrifices Palestinians babies as human shields, and uses Palestinian children as slave labor to builds terror tunnels in its never ending genocidal war against the Jews.”

To what end? The United Nations continues to “…castigate the Middle East’s only democracy as it acts in self-defense against the Hamas death cult.” The solution? “Join our fight against the UN making suckers of Americans. Join our fight against the Israel haters…”

One might rejoin, if rejoinder were invited by Rabbi Boteach, that many of the claims that he makes about wicked Arabs come straight from the hasbara propaganda mill at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Also, for one who claims to be an American citizen he fails to make any legitimate case that his own countrymen are in any way threatened by Iran or the Palestinians. He does cite Congressional support for recent Israeli war crimes but as everyone inside the beltway knows, that is low hanging fruit that can be plucked by anyone who cheerleads for Israel.

Indeed Boteach’s passion for another country blinds him to what US interests actually might be. He also chooses to ignore the fact that even if one is uncritically partisan it is indisputable that the Israelis have not exactly been innocents amidst all the death and destruction, that indiscriminate shelling and bombing of Gaza have killed more than 2,000, one quarter of them children, and that it will cost nearly $8 billion to repair all the physical damage inflicted by the humane Israeli Army.

So if you listen to the politicians and media you will be bombarded with one vision of Israel, but if you actually pay attention to what is going on you might come to a different conclusion. Rabbi Boteach urges his supporters to stop the UN from “making suckers of Americans.” Actually, it is Israel and its friends that have been making suckers of the rest of us for a long time, a process that must end if the United States is ever to salvage any moral high ground from the disasters of the past thirteen years.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine 
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  1. Don Nash says: • Website

    Well said Mr. Giraldi. Israel and all the Israel first zionistas need to be held to account.

  2. terryt says:

    You’ve got to hand it to the Israelis though. Guess which companies will get most of the contracts to rebuild Gaza (rebuild to some extent anyway). Pretty clever, eh? Get paid to destroy the buildings and then get paid to rebuild them. Just like Milo Minderbender in ‘Catch 22’. Just in case someone is not familiar with him:

  3. Rev. Shipman was unfairly treated. Freedom of speech shouldn’t be censored in academia. He was punished for being right. It is in Israel’s interest to make peace. I wonder how long they will be able to keep this charade up in the media.

    Well, before the hasbara shows up I’ll state their position: A majority of Americans support Israel thus whatever Israel does to the Palestinians is acceptable, and if a majority of Americans had supported Hitler then according to their logic the holocaust would also have been acceptable. If this logic was applied universally then wherever ethnic cleansing takes place the victims are at fault and arguing otherwise is anti-_____.

  4. E.D says:

    Unz review is a stage for some magnificent and original writer like Steve Sailer , John Derbyshire and Razib Khan .
    And then this….

  5. NB says: • Website

    As usual, Giraldi attempts to counter what he perceives as pro-Israel propaganda with anti-Israel propaganda. A by no means compete list of false and/or misleading statements in Giraldi’s piece:
    1. Giraldi: “most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it…”
    Polling has consistently shown that more Americans think Israel’s military operation was justified than not:
    “44 percent of respondents said that they believe Israel is defending its interests and that its actions are justifiable. Twenty-four percent said that Israel’s military actions are not justified, while 32 percent said they don’t know enough to have an opinion.”
    “the [American] public expresses more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians”

    2. Giraldi falsely claims that a congressional resolution “make[s] any criticism of Israel a hate crime.” The source he cites makes it clear that’s patently untrue; it condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic rhetoric about Israel (which is not “any criticism” of Israel) — it most certainly does not criminalize such language, as that would violate the First Amendment:

    3. It’s not just Israel that is disputing the UN’s figures on the % of civilians among those killed in Gaza:
    The NYT notes that the casualties are disproportionately young men. Here are the latest UN figures:
    The UN is claiming that 74% of the adult civilians killed were male, which is an implausible gender ratio. 12% of Gazans killed were women. In Ukraine, the UN reported that 11% of those killed were women, leading the UN to remark:
    “A gender imbalance of casualties reported by these establishments (as of 11 August, women comprised 11% of killed and 13% of wounded in the Donetsk region) may indicate that members of the armed groups who are predominantly male constitute a considerable part of these casualties.”

    4. “the Israelis have rejected Arab offers for a comprehensive peace agreement”
    This is misleading: yes, it’s true that Israel rejected the Arab Peace Initiative since it called for resolution of Palestinian right of return based on UNGA Res 194 (whereas UNSC Res 242 is actually binding international law), just as Arafat rejected the 2000 Camp David offer b/c he regarded Israel’s offer to allow 100,000 Palestinian refugees to return to Israel proper as insufficient. And Abbas rejected Olmert’s peace offer as well.

    5. “Israel started terrorism in the Middle East when it ethnically cleansed the Palestinians starting in 1948…”
    This claim is risible:

  6. Unzerker says:

    the whole world, including most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it

    I stopped reading here.

  7. You think Boteach may be overplaying his hand? Whew. And uh, NB, of course some polls are going to show more Americans support the crimes from Israel, considering that dopey Americans are bombarded with pro Israel lies from media 24/7. And you stink as what you are; an anti-American zionist liar.

  8. TomB says:

    Well folks, my feeling is, it’s official. Forget this Gaza business, forget whatever Israel does. So long as it refrains from putting people in ovens we are going to be indifferent, and that means there’s lots to come and lots more never-ending conflict in the Mideast, and that means we are going to be involved in it for a long long time now.

    While our support for it got us 911 (not only as per bin Laden but his 911 architect) and thus Iraq and Afghanistan, after our follies there and with the election of Obama there was at least a chance we were going to stay the hell out of the region military-wise at least. Now that Obama’s caved though, forget it. If even he can’t keep us out—with him being significantly out of the “do anything for Israel” consensus of his own party much less far afield from the Republicans—I think that pretty much tells us the future. Also and especially surveying the political landscape and seeing absolutely no possible candidate with the message to just simply stop what we are doing vis a vis Israel and the ME, the crystal ball is pretty clear. Can anyone even imagine the Israel Lobby not simply creaming any candidate proposing to get us the hell out of the ME?

    Two decades at least, my betting is, and more likely three or four: Future decades with us being in a relatively constant, chronic state of war in the Mideast. Punctuations of quiet now and then of course, but with us still living in and with a government and society that accepts being at war as our normal state.

    Accordingly, per my sense of the age demographic here, for those of us not already long dead it won’t be until the majority of the rest of us reach a very senior age indeed before we see anything like the U.S. at peace in the Middle East. Israel is obviously never going to stop screwing the Palestinians out of everything they have and the arabs and moslems are never going to accept that and … that’s that. The only issue thereafter is whether and when the U.S. public recognizes that it’s our noose of alliance with Israel that has got us neck deep in the region’s conflicts and if that isn’t even nearly on any radar screen now, and couldn’t get on it after 911, our future now is just our immediate past, writ longer.

    Welcome to our new state of permanent war.

  9. Unit472 says:

    What worries me is that Israel, after flying thousands of sorties, employing hundreds of artillery pieces and brigades of infantry ONLY killed 2200 or so people in Gaza. This attempt to reduce collateral damage has gone so far as to undermine the credibility of Western military power.

    Consider what this means for Obama’s not war war on the Non Islamic Islamic State. We are not going to have the concentrated firepower Israel had available to target 360 square kilometers of Gaza for our operation in Syria and Iraq. We are facing an enemy spread out over tens of thousands of square miles and who will, I presume, notice that as long as they shelter among civilian populations, become almost impervious to aerial attack. We will not have the artillery firepower Israel had available either and, unless we allow our Kurdish and Iraqi army proxies to be far more ruthless than Israeli ground forces in flushing out ISIS combatants from civilian areas, our chances of inflicting serious damage to ISIS, almost nil.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Anyone who has to win an argument by way of Wiki–and all entries regarding Israel are heavily policed by paid hasbaratchiks–is an epic fail. I would also bet a shekel or two that you, too, are a paid hasbarat. Your response oozes it.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The worst thing with the “holocaust” is that it didn’t happen…

    • Replies: @stranger
  12. Karl says:

    1492 – liberation of Spain from Arabic colonialism

    2014 – liberation of Rakhine State from Arabic colonialism

    20?? – liberation of Jerusalem from Arabic colonialism

    • Replies: @schmenz
    , @az
  13. It’s said that ISIS intends to replace the flag over the US Capitol with the flag of ISIS.

    Does that mean they will return the Star of David to Israel, or will it be raised over some lesser US gov building, like the Pentagon? Or Lockheed-Martin headquarters —

  14. KA says:

    Bill Clinton has been captured on camera agreeing that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “not the man” to make peace with the Palestinians during the current crisis.

    The former president’s remarks come at a sensitive time for his wife, Hillary, as she courts the American Jewish vote ahead of a likely run for the Oval Office in 2016.

    Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that he was recorded while chatting to pro-Palestinian activists at the annual Harkin Steak Fry in Iowa on Sunday – a political event widely seen as a launching pad for presidential campaigns, where Mrs Clinton confirmed for the first time that she was considering a run.

    According to the footage captured by the political television channel C-Span, Mr Clinton was discussing the Arab-Israeli conflict with the group when one of the activists, Pat Minor, said of the Israeli prime minister: “If we don’t force him to have peace, we won’t have peace … Netanyahu is not the guy.”

    Mr Clinton twice replied: “I agree with that.”

    • Replies: @Abramcoss
  15. @NB

    Just taking on #5, NB — you may have a point.

    Many scholars point to Irgun’s bombing of King David hotel in 1946 as an act of terror, but it was not the first such act by Irgun — see the comment at March 25, 2014, 3:07 pm here —

    It lists Irgun acts of terror just in 1938 and 1939 (half-a-decade before the holocaust that, as Mordor noted, wasn’t).

    Finally, the list (which is, btw, from a source you used, Wikipedia) notes that “Irgun has been credited with the first use of the car bomb, and … the letter bomb.”

    Are you upset because no one sent Irgun a thank-you note?

  16. schmenz says:

    The point being…..what, exactly?

    By the way, Spain was liberated from something else in 1492.

  17. I’ve read Numbers, Chapter 31, enough times that I almost have it memorized; there’s certainly no love lost for Israel here. But in no way does this mean that I can overlook the fact that the recent events in Gaza happened because the Palestinians wanted it to. Everything went according to their plan. The people there voted for this. Hamas delivered to them exactly what they voted for. Israel got suckered.

    It would have worked, too, if not for soany previous attempts at the same plan. People just up aren’t buying it anymore. This was no war, it was a public relations campaign. Provoke the bully, put your children directly in harm’s way, then cry to the world through crocodile tears “Look what they’ve done!”

    P.S. Referring to U.N. statistics as “reliable” just makes you look like a putz.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  18. @Ozymandias

    What a sick comment Ozymandias.

    “Public relations campaign.”

    Does that mean all the dead stunt-doubles will rise up and walk, and the buildings were just a set? Gaza still has water & electricity, they were just rehearsing for the next jamboree?

    Israel is the illegal occupier here, Ozy; Israel is the one that started the shooting, with their stunted IDF flying the most sophisticated planes & weapons they could cadge out of the USA.

    Yes indeed Gazans voted for Hamas, and Israelis voted for Netanyahu, who lied about the three teenagers, and has managed to distract the world from the fact that Jewish settlers kidnapped a 16 year old Palestinian, poured gasoline down his throat, and tortured him as they set him aflame —
    So far, the Israeli justice system has been quiescent about calling to account the perpetrators of this act of barbarity that reduced that 16 year old boy to a 66 pound corpse.

    But Israeli citizens and their government did not stop with the torture and holocaust of this young man; Israeli police snatched and beat to unconsciousness the deceased’s cousin, a 15-year old American who was visiting his grandmother in Palestine.

    THAT was not enough for Israelis and their government: the unconscious boy, beaten beyond recognition, was retained in police custody and denied appropriate medical care.

    THAT was not enough for Israelis and their government: after the family of the 15-year old that Israeli police brutalized finally obtained his release from Israeli police custody, other agents of Israel’s government ransacked the family’s home.

    No doubt (the late) Muhammad abu Khdeir and his American cousin, Tariq abu Khdeir,
    were killed and beaten because “that is what they wanted.”

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
  19. NB says: • Website

    NLG, I’m not paid by anyone. And I cited Wiki b/c it has a convenient list of violent conflicts in the British Mandate of Palestine that predate the establishment of Israel. But here’s a BBC story on the 1929 Hebron massacre if you want a non-Wiki source:

    And I cited the polls about American support for Israel to disprove Giraldi’s patently false claim that “most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it.”

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  20. @NB

    re polls:

    from: The Hasbara Manual (2002 version) p. 26
    Published and produced by the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS), Jerusalem, Israel
    Sponsored by the Education Dept of the Jewish Agency for Israel, and by the Joint Distribution Committee

    “Most people, when in doubt, are happy to do what other people are doing. This is the bandwagon effect. People are happy to be part of the crowd, and subtle manipulators can play on this desire by emphasizing the large size of their support. Although it is reasonable that people are given a chance to find out how many other supporters a speaker or movement has, it is possible to create the impression of extensive support — through gathering all supporters in one place, or through poorly conducted opinion polls — in an attempt to persuade people who are keen to follow the crowd.

    “Israel activists can commission opinion polls amongst groups who favour Israel, and use these to give the impression that Israel is the ‘team to support.’ Demonstrations, and even photos that give the impression of large numbers can help to create the impression that Israel is . . .more popular than it is.” END QUOTE

  21. geokat62 says:

    “most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it…”
    Polling has consistently shown that more Americans think Israel’s military operation was justified than not.

    Simple question, Nurit. Do you believe Israel had the right to defend itself from rocket attacks launched by Hamas and the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians (most of whom were civilians) was the result of Israel simply defending itself?

  22. geokat62 says:

    “most Americans, finally recognize something called ethnic cleansing at a level approaching genocide when they see it…”
    Polling has consistently shown that more Americans think Israel’s military operation was justified than not.

    Simple question, Nurit. Do you believe Israel had the right to defend itself from rocket attacks launched by Hamas and the deaths of over 2,000 Palestinians (most of whom were civilians) was the result of Israel simply defending itself?

    I’m curious to see how you’ll respond to the following analogy by N Finkelstein:



  23. KA says:

    Israel uses the most vulnerable section of the population- LGBT- it uses the gays . Israel forces the Gays and the Lesbian to rat on Hamas and Fatah and sometimes uses them for much more dangerous nd nefarious purposes . The death in the hand of the family or ostracization by the society is what basically allows this kind of slavery or bonded labor . This is akin to sexual violence and moral degradation combined with fear for life. These people have no where to go. They can escape the fanatics( and the beheadings) by submitting to the democratic Jewish state who champions the rights of the LGBT . Well the Zionist at least champions the rights in US and reminds the non believers how bad it is in Iran , reminding in turn that its time to nuke Iran for all kinds of uncivilized acts including anti Gay laws .

    • Replies: @KA
  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This is hysterical. So basically our media, our movies, our culture claims that it is WASPs who hold secret power in America — the embody the concept of the Man. They are ridiculed, talked about, demonized even as a tiny unrepresntative elite who hold too much power, but no body really cares. They can take the criticism – due to a cultural history of taking it.

    But Jewish Americans cannot stand controversial speech about another state! 2000 KM away. What thin skins. What foolish illiberal mindsets.

    Let’s make up a moniker forthem to compete with the WASPs, because honestly whats funnier than a WASP! Maybe it should be JAWs or Jewish American Whites. Because when you criticize their baby, JAWs will come and get yah… duh duh… duh duh… duh duh… duh duh. When you say they might have the upperhand at Yale, JAWs a gonna smack you down — because they are a beleagured minority like gays and blacks or something.

    And then we can make a movie about it: the epic smackdown between JAWs and WASPs. We need to celebrate our elite properly, with fanfare and humor. JAWs have done a lot for the world and for America, but what kind of elite are they if we can’t have a little fun with them!

    • Replies: @moi
  25. @SolontoCroesus

    What a sick comment Ozymandias.

    “Public relations campaign.”

    And what makes it sick is that it’s true. The whole thing was a Pallywood production staged for the public’s benefit via the press. And you fell for it!

    Hamas planned this out years in advance. Years! And yet you’re willing to believe that they didn’t intend for it to happen.

  26. Would be interested in hearing some of the antisemite’s theories on why Hamas’ rockets keep getting found in U.N. buildings.

    • Replies: @moi
    , @Gypsy
  27. KA says:

    “WASHINGTON — IN Moscow this summer, while reporting a story for Wired magazine, I had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden. It gave me a chance to get a deeper understanding of who he is and why, as a National Security Agency contractor, he took the momentous step of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
    Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.
    Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the N.S.A. evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.

    Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications — email as well as phone calls — of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.”
    It appears that Mr. Snowden’s fears were warranted. Last week, 43 veterans of Unit 8200 — many still serving in the reserves — accused the organization of startling abuses. In a letter to their commanders, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, they charged that Israel used information collected against innocent Palestinians for “political persecution.” In testimonies and interviews given to the media, they specified that data were gathered on Palestinians’ sexual orientations, infidelities, money problems, family medical conditions and other private matters that could be used to coerce Palestinians into becoming collaborators or create divisions in their society.

  28. KA says:

    “As the world gears up to finance Gaza’s $6bn reconstruction after Operation Protective Edge, an EU source has revealed that Israel will earn billions of euros by making sure that all the steel, concrete and other materials and other aid are sourced in Israel and benefit Israeli companies.

    “It is outrageous that a country which has just demolished 25,000 houses is demanding that their construction industry benefit from rebuilding them at the expense of the international community.

    At least 65,000 people in the Gaza Strip are homeless after the recent seven-week conflict. Infrastructure ranging from water desalination centres to power plants lies in ruins.

    No formal Israeli ban prevents the import of reconstruction materials that were not made in Israel, but EU sources speaking on condition of anonymity say that in practice, Israeli security demands present them with a fait accompli.

    “If you want aid materials to be permitted to enter, they will almost inevitably come from Israeli sources”, an EU official said.”

    Very sick tribe that ever populated the earth

    • Replies: @Abramcoss
    , @carroll price
  29. KA says:

    “. Good news: Journalists are writing up the Rev. Bruce Shipman case at Yale in a sympathetic manner. Was it really necessary for the Episcopal chaplain to lose his job at the school because of a three-sentence letter to the New York Times saying Israel’s “carnage” in Gaza is a factor in growing anti-Semitism in Europe? After that letter came out August 26 (full text at the link) Shipman says he experienced an “avalanche” of criticism and hate mail almost instantaneously, and that calls for his termination went to the Yale President’s office from angry alumni– calls that were promptly conveyed to him by the university chaplain, per one of these news accounts.

    – See more at:”

    Antisemitism is a normal reaction to a corrupt practice forced on the multitude.

  30. Mr. Boteach applauded when gambling billionaire Shel Adelman recently proposed America pre-emptively drop atomic bombs on Iran.

    The “rabbi” is as radical as any of the leaders of Mideast revenge religions who incite violence and hatred. Lucky for him, his side of the Semitic family doesn’t get targeted for assassination by drones.

    Why the rest of us should egg on this family feud between the Abrahamic descendants of Isaac and Ishmael to our own detriment as well as theirs is beyond all morality and logic.

  31. redwood says:

    Bruce Shipman should be reinstated at his job at Yale. He did nothing wrong. Rush Limbaugh’s fat ass will not be fired for making racist, sexist and homophobic statements. Mr. Boteach, Shel Adelson, the B’nai Brith & the JDL say criticism of Israel makes you anti-Semitic. They’re anti-Semitic. Arabs are also Semites. Saying criticism of Israel makes you anti-Semitic is like saying criticism of Jesse Jackson, Ehud Barack Obama etc. makes you anti-black or racist.

  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Let’s begin with your point N. 4: Uri Avnery has an article with a long list of peace initiatives since 1948 with were all rejected by Israel. He says that he himself brought one of those initiatives to the Israeli leadership which rejected it. Recently Kerry attributed the faillure of the last peace initiative to Israel and Clinton seems to agree that peace with Netanyahu is impossible. About Camp David, you forget that there are a few serious reports which refute the propaganda version of it told by you. In any case, Shlomo Ben-Ami who was a negotiator there for Israel wrote that “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well”.

    5- Well, there are different ways to assess those clashes. Some historians speak in some of those cases precisely of “clashes” of populations. There were reasons for that which you don’t tell. In any case, they are not the same as terrorism.

    3- Very weak argument. Even if 100% of the victims were men, this would not excuse war crimes. As there are many children victims, your argument might also be used to prove that killed children were terrorists You don’t seem to have noticed that there are several reports by human right organisations and by journalists describing many concrete war crimes. Add to that the fact that Israel provoked the war, which is also a war crime. The fact that there are men among the victims can only be a sign that Israeli soldiers are ready to kill any man that they see using the excuse that they are or might be terrorists, even if they are not.

    2- You write: “it condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic rhetoric about Israel (which is not “any criticism” of Israel)”. The problem is that very often normal critic of Israel is declared to be anti-semitic even if it’s softer that the critic that Zionists regularly make of other countries.

    • Replies: @Abramcoss
  33. stranger says:

    True. But truth is not what we deal with.

  34. Abramcoss says: • Website

    Clinton cannot be trusted under his watch 500 hundred thousand Iraqi children perished with his sanctions and Iraq was bombed into the stone age by him and blair for 12yrs.

  35. Abramcoss says: • Website

    Send this article to PM Harper of Canada who continues to make an ass of himself and Canada.

  36. Abramcoss says: • Website


  37. moi says:

    Mr. Giraldi,

    I like and agree with your columns, and recognize they take courage. But let me cull down the situation for you: Israel, its Jewish supporters and other Zionists and militarists have been salivating for a war against Islam, which W was only too happy to launch. That’s it. So now who will challenge these people? Frankly, very few. W got the ball rolling, and our clueless president and erstwhile community organizer has now ratcheted up things, and it’s going to be a really wild ride.

  38. moi says:

    JAWS is pure creativity!

  39. moi says:

    I don’t know. Perhaps those watching the fireworks over Gaza from comfortable lawn chairs in Sderot might have some idea.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
  40. @moi

    “Perhaps those watching the fireworks over Gaza from comfortable lawn chairs in Sderot might have some idea.”

    Ah, so it’s the Jews who are stashing Hamas rockets in U.N. buildings? Better double up on the tinfoil, son, those mind control rays are still getting through.

  41. az says:

    so you really hate muslims that much so to see the slaughter and cleansing of a totally defenceless group of people is to be treated as liberation

  42. Israel shouldn’t have rockets fired at them and the Palestinians should live in dignity and have the land along the Green Zone. Hamas is used as an excuse for Palestinian disposition and overwhelming brutality by the Israelis. The Palestinians need protection, policing instead of extermination, and the integrity of their borders (along the green line) protected from Israeli aggression. The videos posted of Israelis chanting death to Arabs reminded me of citizens of other authoritarian countries like Iran. I think unconditional Israel supporters need to step outside the skinner box. I know this Manichean battle between rich and poor in the Levant provides you with excitement but wouldn’t it be better if the UN was forced to police and defend the Palestinians. Then, maybe someday Israeli kids and Palestinian kids living peacefully side by side can look back at their racist forebears, be grateful that they aren’t them, and be proud of the forebears who courageously fought for peace.

  43. NoldorElf says:

    You know, the genius of the Establishment seems to be that they have managed to persuade people to act against their own interests.

    – Saddam had WMDs that he would imminently use against the US
    – Supporting neoliberal economic policies

    Now this. The Israelis have too much influence over the US right now. It’s like a cult. Criticize Israel, and you are automatically regarded as anti-Semitic, even though you have nothing against people believing in any religious faith, you simply disagree with the actions of the Israeli government.

    As a Canadian, I’m dismayed by the conduct of our PM, who has managed to ruin Canada’s name throughout many of the policies that his government has chosen to pursue.

  44. @KA

    There’s fortunes made in every war. The first fortune is made destroying a country and the next fortune is made rebuilding it.

  45. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Israel is good, PR said. Till the Truth comes to Israel. Good content never made discontent.

  46. Mikhail says:

    Religion or race ??? Hebrew (Canaanite), Khazar (Far Eastern Europeans, questionable DNA), & Ethiopians as “tribal” (seriously…..a “tribal” identity in modern times ??? Regressive.) members shoot obvious holes in the race idea so that leaves RELIGION. To read the Torah or Old Testament, the “tribe” has historically murdered, pillaged, and plundered it’s way thru history and around the globe.

    Take a look at the players in those “failed” (Jewish) banks on Wall Street along with their corporations (funded by the tribally owned, criminal Federal Resere….that brings a 1920s & 30s Germany style hyperinflation to America today) that shipped American jobs to China, sold worthless derivatives to America’s pension funds KNOWING THEY WERE WORTHLESS ALL ALONG, and bankrupted our American economy with their centuries old real estate bubble-bust con job. And the reason none are prosecuted ??? That “tribal identity”. The prosecutors and judges in New (Jew) York are “tribal” members for the most part. Tribe won’t prosecute tribe, except for the most aggregious…and that’s as a result of having to throw the peasants (goyem) a bone.

    Take a look at Hollywood. Since becoming solidly in control not only there, but in American media and government, movies, television, and music has all become bloody and filled with violence and gore. The tribe proudly shows their historically established qualitications….. murder, pillage, plunder, and lying (thus they make good actors…it’s nothing new to the tribe…all the way back to ancient Grecian times where they were run out for that very innate problem).

    The tribe adheres to an extremist religion that is based on blood sacrifice so as to remain (self) chosen. Yes, blood sacrifice….in modern times (again…..regressive). Just ask your favorite Jew if he or she has renounced blood sacrifice and watch that “tribal” hatred of Humanity boil forth. They won’t be able to control themselves.

    Historically, they call a man “Father” that cause he heard voices automatically thought that meant go kill a child, a family (“tribal”) trait then AND now……strengthened and inbedded in that “tribal” DNA thru centuries of marrying their uncle’s sons & daughters, resulting, also, in a slightly lizard look judging by watching CNN (JewNN)……and a number of actors and models. That tribal hatred of Humanity manages to ooze it’s way thru, also, watching CNN. So does that tribal arrogance (without cause) manage to make itself obvious and known. “Without cause”…….as I have yet to meet one that will admit to being able to use a search engine and look something up, instead preferring 2nd, 3rd, or 10th hand Hasbara or Israeli Camera propaganda from outdated Ministry handbooks.

    And for those living on stolen land to continuously choose non-Semite leaders born instead in Lithuanian (Khazar…..or Neanderthal), they undermine their own mouthings of pathetic lies. Even Israeli archeologists say there is nos such thing as a “Jew”, that they are former Canaanite serfs who broke free during a period of Canaanite decline (yet retain that Canaanite hatred of other “tribes”, but also that serf hatred of Canaanites”)…..who fled to the hills and eventually reinvented their history. (See the PBS documentary “Secrets of the Bible”). No Egyptian artifacts exist where the only crossing of those parted waters is possible…..even if it were all dry land.

    Greed, murder, thievery, and torture……tribal qualities throughout history. In America, most, if not ALL, slave trade ships were Jewish owned. Slavery would have never existed in America without that “tribal” influence. (They also invented stoning folks to death for social crimes according to the Old Testament.) And being the motivating force……and actual murders of Czar Nicholas and family, they are directly responsible for introducing Communism into this world.

    Maybe an even better understanding might come from taking that profile of Neanderthal createdby archeologists from those bones & skeletons found in those caves……..and overlaying a pciture or profile of……say, Henry Kissinger………..or quite a number of other notable “tribal” members. It’s an exact match. Neanderthal……sloped back forehead, protruding middle of the face & nose, receding chin and lower jaw, short neck, stubby body. Exact match. Greed, murder, thievery. Exact match. Blood sacrifice. Exact match. An innate DNA hatred of Cro=Magnon (Human). Exact match.

    Empathy & sympathy are Human qualities. They simply aren’t Human. Neanderthal DNA……alive & well in modern times (unfortunately).

    “War by Deception”…….as truth & fact would make Neanderthal perish for good…….
    …for good of the Human race. No more a greedy, hateful, violent people have ever plagued this Earth. Time for Humanity to rise once again. Perish, Neanderthal.

  47. Mikhail says:

    Religious blood sacrifice………& Neanderthal DNA. (I understand the refusal to post the writing, Eric Garris sent me a list of of “tribal”members which inculded himself… we were discussing tribal racism (tribal racists).

    It’s OK. I post regularly elsewhere……in a much more major site (and have done so for a few years now). From being nearly alone…….to now I see my own words from earlier circulated by others. This will follow the same path, maybe qicker, though, as it gets much more favorable response (among the non-tribals).

    T-shirts, bumper stickers, and an occasional billboard to follow.

    “Empathy & Sympathy are Human traits. They simply aren’t Human. Neanderthal DNA alive & well n modern times (unfortunately)….with it’s innate DNA hatred of Cro-Magnon (Humans). Perish,Neanderthal.”

  48. KA [AKA "911"] says:

    How do they(AIPAC JINSA FDD AEI PNAC ) shape the message?

    Many ways and this is one of the ways- by pure lying and lying together in one voice and lying from the corridor of Congress /Senate

    “by Peter Jenkins (Peter Jenkins was a British career diplomat for 33 years, following studies at the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard. He served in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brasilia and Geneva. He specialized in global economic and security issues. His last assignment (2001-06) was that of UK Ambassador to the IAEA and UN (Vienna))

    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has time to get its pants on. –Winston Churchill

    Opponents of a nuclear agreement with Iran are mobilising once more. A recent letter to colleagues from the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sponsored by Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) contains almost as many distortions of the truth as the annual address to the UN General Assembly of the current Prime Minister of Israel.

    Here are some of those distortions.[

    1 Iran’s nuclear program poses a severe threat to the national security of the United States and our allies. —

    2 For several years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sought Iran’s cooperation regarding evidence that Tehran has conducted extensive research and development on a nuclear weapon. –
    4 Last November, Iran agreed to disclose information on such “potential military dimensions” to the IAEA. Last November Iran agreed to “resolve all outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA”. In the Nov. 11, 2013 agreement there is no reference to a “possible military dimension”. The relevant part of subsequent IAEA reports is headed “Clarification of Unresolved Issues.”

    5 Iran has failed to fully cooperate with the IAEA and has failed to meet its latest deadline.–

    6 We remain deeply concerned with Iran’s refusal to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency. —

    7 For several years, the IAEA has attempted to work with Iran to resolve this central issue, but Tehran has refused.—

    8 In its September 5, 2014 report, the IAEA stated that Iran had failed to meet its latest deadline, even as it continued to demolish structures and construct others at the Parchin military base, where clandestine nuclear-related activities have reportedly taken place. —

    9 If Iran’s nuclear program is truly peaceful, “it’s not a hard proposition to prove.” —

    10 The only reasonable conclusion for its stonewalling of international investigators is that Tehran does indeed have much to hide. –

    11 We are concerned that an agreement that accepts Iran’s lack of transparency on this key issue would set the dangerous precedent that certain facilities and aspects of Iran’s nuclear program can be declared off limits by Tehran. –]

  49. Karl says:

    >> so you really hate muslims that much so to see the slaughter and cleansing of a totally defenceless group of people is to be treated as liberation

    I never spoke against Islam. This is a war between the indigenous Hebrews, and the colonialist Arabic-speakers.

    the unit which has the worst reputation for beating up Arabics – the Border Police (“magav”) – has the HIGHEST percentage of Muslim members of any unit in the Israel security organs.

    Anyway, it’s ultimately, about omelletes and eggs. Whatever it takes to liberate our country, is what we will do. And anyone who tries to stop it, will be sent to where Rachel Corry now is.

    Now I ask YOU: why do you hate Coptic-speaking Christians so much, that you applaud the theft of THEIR country by the Arabics?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Gypsy
  50. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Rachel Corrie is in heaven, jew, where none of your people are. American patriots are every bit as determined to liberate their country from organized jewry as you are to ethnically cleanse Palestine of Arabs. You killed our Rachel and now you threaten to kill more. Well, your filthy and domed race has done quite enough harm to America. We are fed up with jew attitude. The will to punish you for your crimes is coalescing as we speak. Prepare for Hell.

  51. Gypsy says:

    Depends on which Americans are being polled, dearie. A recent Gallup poll indicates that, while Amerikans as an whole may have a slight edge in supporting Israel, that ever-important demographic—Amerikans UNDER THE AGE OF 35—are far more likely to condemn Israel for its latest murderous activity in Gaza. Non-white Amerikans as well show more support for the Palestinians than they do the Israelis. (That’s MINORITIES to you, and in a few short years the minority will become the majority.)
    The only demographic in which a significant majority favors Israel is the over-65 age group, who grew up watching that silly film “Exodus”. And they’re dying off fast.
    Watch your back, Israel: Amerika is seeing the light.

  52. Gypsy says:

    Oh shit…the “A” word again…LOL!
    Have you not yet learned that your silly retort has been rendered meaningless by the very people it is purported to affect?
    Nobody cares if they’re called the “A” word.
    As for the “Pallywood” production, tell that to the Palestinians daddies screaming as they held the remains of their tiny children with shattered skulls. You are nothing but an apologist for real, actual terrorism. Even the word “jew” is ugly.

  53. Gypsy says:

    “Liberate your country”…LOL…even your name is ugly. And Rachel Corrie is in a better place than your horrible people will EVER be, as she was good, righteous, kind and just.
    We Americans are sick of you. You piss and moan, “Everyone hates us! Everywhere we go, people hate us! Look at what they did to us!”
    How about shutting up and asking yourselves WHY?

  54. Ron says:

    You’re an anti-semite, pure and simple. And don’t give me the argument that anybody criticizing Israel is labeled an anti-Semite. Your distorted view of reality perfectly fits your ideological perspective. Just remember, three little letters as you go to sleep at night – IDF. How does it feel to be on the side of the barbarians?

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