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Profile of a Rogue State
by Stephen Lendman
America's unmatched globally. However, pound for pound, based on size, its policies, and regional threat, Israel stands out.
Daily, its crimes against humanity continue. On January 23, Jerusalem police arrested two Palestinian officials, Khaled Abu Arafeh and Mohammed Totah.
Handbook on Israeli Apartheid
by Stephen Lendman
In July 2005, a coalition of 171 Palestinian Civil Society organizations created the global BDS movement - for "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights" for Occupied Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees.
Israel Claims Syria/Hamas-Connected Terror Cells Uncovered - by Stephen Lendman
Here we go again. We've seen it before strategically timed. Weigh all Israeli claims skeptically. On its face, this one lacks credibility.
Cui bono? Not Syria embroiled for months battling an externally generated insurgency and threats of foreign intervention.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
... Front and center is an op-ed by Mark Helprin in the Wall Street Journal yesterday titled "The mortal threat from Iran." He writes that the "primitive religious fanatics" who rule Iran don't think rationally about their own nation's interests, and that, absent a US attack soon, "Iran will get nuclear weapons, which in its eyes are an existential necessity."
Mr. Helprin, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute in California, even echoes Condoleezza Rice's January 2003 warning that the smoking gun of an Iraqi nuclear program could be a "mushroom cloud." He writes: "We cannot dismiss the possibility of Iranian nuclear charges of 500 pounds or less ending up in Manhattan or on Pennsylvania Avenue." ...
Two weekends ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said: "Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability and that's what concerns us and our red line to Iran is: Do not develop a nuclear weapon."
And it's not just the US assessment. Israel's liberal newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday that "Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb, according to the intelligence assessment Israeli officials will present later this week to [visiting] Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff." Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak poured cold water on speculation that his country is planning a unilateral attack against Iran. "This entire thing is very far off. I don’t want to provide estimates [but] it’s certainly not urgent," he said. ...
The tone from private-sector analysts is something else, however. One of the latest examples is from Jamie M. Fly and Gary Schmitt, writing in Foreign Affairs. They even quote former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's line about "known unknowns," (that is, things that Saddam Hussein might be hiding) being a cause to consider going to war with Iraq in February 2002.
They write that in the case of Iran, the "known unknowns" are "troubling," and go on to outline a case for a broad US war to bring down the Islamic Republic. Having asserted that US airstrikes targeting Iran's nuclear sites would probably fail in ending the program, they write: "Given the likely fallout from even a limited military strike, the question the United States should ask itself is, Why not take the next step? After all, Iran's nuclear program is a symptom of a larger illness – the revolutionary fundamentalist regime in Tehran."
They then suggest that a broad US air campaign against Iran would be popular with Iranians. "It is sometimes said that a strike would lead the population to rally around the regime. In fact, given the unpopularity of the government, it seems more likely that the population would see the regime's inability to forestall the attacks as evidence that the emperor has no clothes and is leading the country into needlessly desperate straits. If anything, Iranian nationalism and pride would stoke even more anger at the current regime." ...
Israel Tamps Down Iran War Threats
Editor's Note (consortiumnews.com): For months, Israeli hardliners and their neocon allies in the United States have been beating the war drums over Iran. But apparent resistance to war from President Obama has brought a softening of rhetoric in Israel, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reports.
By Ray McGovern
In a stunning departure from recent Israeli threats to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday used an interview with Israel’s Army radio to assert that any attack on Iran “is very far off,” adding, “We haven’t made any decision to do this.”
By Marjorie Cohn
Neocons in Israel and the United States are escalating their rhetoric to prepare us for war with Iran. Even the infamous John Yoo, architect of George W. Bush’s illegal torture and spying programs, is calling on the Republican presidential candidates to “begin preparing the case for a military strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”
Under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the legal right to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently said on CBS that Iran is not currently trying to build a nuclear weapon.
Racist Israeli Supreme Court Decisions - Stephen Lendman
Two recent Israeli High Court rulings follow a disturbing trend. On January 11, divided justices ruled 6 - 5 for Israel's Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law.
It denies citizenship rights to Palestinians with Israeli spouses. Enacted in 2003 as temporary legislation, it was extended twice after its initial expiration date.
Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran
Buried deep in the archives of America's intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives -- what is commonly referred to as a "false flag" operation.
Then read EmptyWheel.
Israel's Draconian Infiltration Law - by Stephen Lendman
On January 10, Haaretz writer Jonathan Lis headlined, "Knesset passes (Law to Prevent Infiltration) that could put asylum seekers in jail without trial," saying:
Israel Plans More Walls - by Stephen Lendman
Instead of peace, reconciliation, equity and justice, Israel plans settlement expansions and more Walls. More on them below.
At the same time, Abbas broke his pledge about no peace talks unless settlement expansions stop. Chief negotiators Saeb Erekat and Yitzhak Molcho are meeting in Amman, Jordan. They're joined by Quartet representatives.
Racist Discrimination Against Israeli Arabs - by Stephen Lendman
According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Arab citizens (below called Israeli Arabs) "are discriminated (against) in almost every aspect of their lives," including:
By Uri Avnery
IS THERE no limit to the villainy of Hamas? Seems there isn’t.
This week, they did something quite unforgivable.
They stole a war.
FOR SOME weeks now, our almost new Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, has been announcing at every possible opportunity that a new war against the Gaza Strip is inevitable. Several commanders of the troops around the Strip have been repeating this dire forecast, as have their camp-followers, a.k.a. military commentators.
With ongoing war games on both sides, armed hostilities between the US-Israel led coalition and Iran are, according to Israeli military analysts, "dangerously close".
There has been a massive deployment of troops which have been dispatched to the Middle East, not to mention the redeployment of US and allied troops previously stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Nine thousand US troops have been dispatched to Israel to participate in what is described by the Israeli press as the largest joint air defense war exercise in Israeli history.
U.S. European Command (EUCOM) has deployed to Israel a high-powered X-band radar and the supporting people and equipment needed for coordinated defense against Iranian missile attack, marking the first permanent U.S. military presence on Israeli soil.
More than a dozen aircraft, including C-5s and C-17s, helped with the Sept. 21 delivery of the AN/TPY-2 Transportable Radar Surveillance/Forward Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T), its ancillary components and some 120 EUCOM personnel to Israel's Nevatim Air Base southeast of Beersheba, said sources here and in Stuttgart, Germany.
Among the U.S. personnel is at least one representative from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), though officials said the agency had little to no say in the deployment decision. MDA involvement has been confined to providing equipment and advice on technical aspects of its deployment, one official said.
The Raytheon-built FBX-T system is the same phased-array radar that was deployed to northern Japan with the U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) in 2006. The high-powered, high-frequency, transportable X-band radar is designed to detect and track ballistic missiles soon after launch.
Its ancillary gear included cooling systems, generators, perimeter defense weaponry, logistics supplies and dozens of technicians, maintenance specialists and security forces to operate and defend the U.S. installation.
EUCOM has repeatedly deployed troops and Patriot air defense batteries for joint exercises and Iraq-related wartime contingencies, but has never before permanently deployed troops on Israeli soil.
Bloody unforgiveable work if you can get it.
From Electronic Intifada:
The National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) has become a full-time partner in the Israeli government’s efforts to spread its propaganda online and on college campuses around the world.
NUIS has launched a program to pay Israeli university students $2,000 to spread pro-Israel propaganda online for 5 hours per week from the “comfort of home.”
The union is also partnering with Israel’s Jewish Agency to send Israeli students as missionaries to spread propaganda in other countries, for which they will also receive a stipend.
This active recruitment of Israeli students is part of Israel’s orchestrated effort to suppress the Palestinian solidarity movement under the guise of combating “delegitimization” of Israel and anti-Semitism.
The involvement of the official Israeli student union as well as Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University and Sapir College in these state propaganda programs will likely bolster Palestinian calls for the international boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
From White Out Press:
Jerusalem. In one of the most blacked-out stories in America right now, the US military is preparing to send thousands of US troops, along with US Naval anti-missile ships and accompanying support personnel, to Israel. It took forever to find a second source for confirmation of this story and both relatively mainstream media outlets are in Israel. With one source saying the military deployment and corresponding exercises are to occur in January, the source providing most of the details suggests it will occur later this spring.
Calling it not just an “exercise”, but a “deployment”, the Jerusalem Post quotes US Lt.-Gen Frank Gorenc, Commander of the US Third Air Force based in Germany. The US Commander visited Israel two weeks ago to confirm details for “the deployment of several thousand American soldiers to Israel.” In an effort to respond to recent Iranian threats and counter-threats, Israel announced the largest ever missile defense exercise in its history. Now, it’s reported that the US military, including the US Navy, will be stationed throughout Israel, also taking part.
Also confirming the upcoming US-Israeli military missile exercises is JTA.org - 'global news service of the Jewish people'. In their account, they report, 'Last week, plans for Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to visit Israel in January were leaked to Israeli media; his visit likely will coincide with the largest-ever joint U.S.-Israel anti-missile exercise'.
While American troops will be stationed in Israel for an unspecified amount of time, Israeli military personnel will be added to EUCOM in Germany. EUCOM stands for United States European Command.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are engaged in intense maneuvering over Netanyahu's aim of entangling the United States in an Israeli war against Iran.
Netanyahu is exploiting the extraordinary influence his right-wing Likud Party exercises over the Republican Party and the U.S. Congress on matters related to Israel in order to maximise the likelihood that the United States would participate in an attack on Iran.
Obama, meanwhile, appears to be hoping that he can avoid being caught up in a regional war started by Israel if he distances the United States from any Israeli attack.
By John Grant
Ever since George W. Bush lost the popular vote by 500,000 souls and was selected President by a right-leaning Supreme Court, the United States has seemed to me devoted to a twisted fate of slow-motion Armageddon.
What seems to guarantee this is one of our most characteristic American traits: We don’t learn from the past; instead, we choose to officially forget embarrassing history so we can move on from our debacles without losing an ounce of glory. We all know how it goes: Sure, mistakes were made, but we need to keep our eye on the ball and move forward. The costs are paid in slow motion and out of sight.
State of Human Rights in Israel - by Stephen Lendman
Annually, the State Department publishes human rights reports for over 190 countries. Its latest April 8, 2011 Israel assessment noted serious human rights abuses, including:
(1) numerous NGO complaints about torture and other abuses in Gaza and the West Bank.
Selective Sympathy: War’s Mayhem and Murder is Somehow Less Hard to Bear than the Humane Termination of an Injured Animal
By Dave Lindorff
The officer rested his arm holding the stock of the assault rifle on the top of a log pile, and aimed directly between the target’s eyes. She was looking directly at him, unblinking, from 30 feet away, and exhibited no fear. “I hate doing this,” he muttered, before finally pulling the trigger.
A sharp “bang!” rang out, her head jerked up and then her whole body sagged to the ground, followed by some muscle jerks, and it was over.
The officer went over and checked the body, decided no second shot was needed to finish the job, and then walked back to his squad car, took out his phone, and called in the serial number of his rifle, reporting his firing of one round, as required by regulations.
By Dave Lindorff
It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.
Netanyahu Rejects Peace - by Stephen Lendman
Sham Israeli peace negotiations were stillborn from inception. Writer Henry Siegman once called them "the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history."
Netanyahu once said they're "a waste of time." Previous Israeli officials called occupation and status quo conditions "permanent."
EU Protests Israeli Occupation Policies - by Stephen Lendman
On December 23, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "EU voices protest over Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, West Bank," saying:
Israeli Delegitimization - by Stephen Lendman
Under the UN Charter, other international law, and principles of sovereign equality, all states are equal. None are more or less legitimate than others.
Under the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Israel qualifies as one. It has:
Ugly Israeli Realities Emerge - by Stephen Lendman
On December 16, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Secret EU paper aims to tackle Israel's treatment of Arab minority," saying:
Haaretz obtained parts of "a classified working paper produced by European embassies in Israel...."
By Dave Lindorff