The Secret Circle that Controls Governments

by Jon Rappoport

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com (April 26 2018)

Note: I have many new readers, and they have not read this article of mine, which I first posted several years ago. Here it is.

Who is in charge of destroying economies?

One group has been virtually forgotten. Its influence is enormous. It has existed since 1973.

It’s called the Trilateral Commission.

Keep in mind that the original stated goal of the Trilateral Commission was to create “a new international economic order”.

In the run-up to his inauguration after the 2008 presidential election, Obama was tutored by the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In 1969, four years before birthing the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote:
 

The nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.

 

Goodbye, separate nations.

Any doubt on the question of Trilateral Commission goals is answered by David Rockefeller himself, the founder of the Trilateral Commission, in his Memoirs (2003):
 

Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure-one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

 

Patrick Wood, co-author of Trilaterals Over Washington (1979, 1981), points out there are only 87 members of the Trilateral Commission who live in America. Obama appointed eleven of them to posts in his administration.

For example: Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary;
James Jones, National Security Advisor;
Paul Volker, Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee;
Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence.

Here is a stunning piece of forgotten history, a 1978 conversation between a US reporter and two members of the Trilateral Commission. (Source: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management; edited by Holly Sklar, 1980, South End Press, Pages 192~193).

The conversation was public knowledge at the time.

Anyone who was anyone in Washington politics, in media, in think-tanks, had access to it. Understood its meaning.

But no one shouted from the rooftops. No one used the conversation to force a scandal. No one protested loudly.

The conversation revealed that the entire basis of the US Constitution had been torpedoed, that the people who were running US national policy (which includes trade treaties) were agents of an elite shadow group. No question about it.

And yet: official silence. Media silence. The Department of Justice made no moves, Congress undertook no serious inquiries, and the President, Jimmy Carter, issued no statements. Carter was himself an agent of the Trilateral Commission in the White House. He had been plucked from obscurity by David Rockefeller, and through elite Trilateral Commission press connections, vaulted into the spotlight as a pre-eminent choice for the Presidency.

The following 1978 conversation featured reporter, Jeremiah Novak, and two Trilateral Commission members, Karl Kaiser and Richard Cooper. The interview took up the issue of who exactly, during President Carter’s administration, was formulating US economic and political policy.

The careless and off-hand attitude of Trilateralists Kaiser and Cooper is astonishing. It’s as if they’re saying, “What we’re revealing is already out in the open, it’s too late to do anything about it, why are you so worked up, we’ve already won …”

NOVAK (the reporter): Is it true that a private [Trilateral committee] led by Henry Owen of the US and made up of [Trilateral] representatives of the US, UK, West Germany, Japan, France, and the EEC is coordinating the economic and political policies of the Trilateral countries [which would include the US]?

COOPER: Yes, they have met three times.

NOVAK: Yet, in your recent paper you state that this committee should remain informal because to formalize “this function might well prove offensive to some of the Trilateral and other countries which do not take part”. Who are you afraid of?

KAISER: Many countries in Europe would resent the dominant role that West Germany plays at these [Trilateral] meetings.

COOPER: Many people still live in a world of separate nations, and they would resent such coordination [of policy].

NOVAK: But this [Trilateral] committee is essential to your whole policy. How can you keep it a secret or fail to try to get popular support [for its decisions on how Trilateral member nations will conduct their economic and political policies]?

COOPER: Well, I guess it’s the press’ job to publicize it.

NOVAK: Yes, but why doesn’t President Carter come out with it and tell the American people that [US] economic and political power is being coordinated by a [Trilateral] committee made up of Henry Owen and six others? After all, if [US] policy is being made on a multinational level, the people should know.

COOPER: President Carter and Secretary of State Vance have constantly alluded to this in their speeches. [a lie]

KAISER: It just hasn’t become an issue.

This interview slipped under the mainstream media radar, which is to say, it was buried.

US (and other nations’) economic and political policy run by a committee of the Trilateral Commission – the Commission created in 1973 by David Rockefeller and his sidekick, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

When Carter won the presidential election (1976), his aide, Hamilton Jordan, said that if after the inauguration, Cy Vance and Brzezinski came on board as secretary of state and national security adviser, “We’ve lost. And I’ll quit.” Lost – because both men were powerful members of the Trilateral Commission and their appointment to key positions would signal a surrender of White House control to the Commission.

Vance and Brzezinski were appointed secretary of state and national security adviser, as Jordan feared. But he didn’t quit. He became Carter’s chief of staff.

Now consider the vast propaganda efforts of the past forty years, on so many levels, to install the idea that all nations and peoples of the world are a single Collective.

From a very high level of political and economic power, this propaganda operation has had the objective of grooming the population for a planet that is one coagulated mass, run and managed by one force. A central engine of that force is the Trilateral Commission.

How does a shadowy group like the Trilateral Commission accomplish its goal? One basic strategy is: destabilize nations; ruin their economies; send millions and millions of manufacturing jobs off to places where virtual slave labor does the work; adding insult to injury, export the cheap products of those slave-factories back to the nations who lost the jobs and further undercut domestic manufacturers, forcing them to close their doors and fire still more employees.

And then solve that economic chaos by bringing order.

What kind of order?

Eventually, one planet, with national borders erased, under one management system, with a planned global economy, “to restore stability”, “for the good of all, for lasting harmony”.

The top Trilateral players, in 2008, had their man in the White House, another formerly obscure individual like Jimmy Carter: Barack Obama. They had new trade treaties on the planning table.

After Obama was inaugurated for his first term, he shocked and astonished his own advisors, who expected him, as the first order of business, to address the unemployment issue in America. He shocked them by ignoring the number-one concern of Americans, and instead decided to opt for his disastrous national health insurance policy – Obamacare.

Obama never had any intention of trying to dig America out of the crash of 2008. That wasn’t why he was put in the Oval Office. He could, and would, pretend to bring back the economy, with fudged numbers and distorted standards. But really and truly, create good-paying jobs for many, many Americans? Not on the Trilateral Commission agenda. Not in the cards.

It was counter-productive to the Trilateral Commission plan: further undermine the economy …

So that, one day, a student would ask his teacher, “What happened to the United States?” And the teacher would say, “It was a criminal enterprise based on individual freedom. Fortunately, our leaders rescued the people and taught them the superior nature of HARMONY AND COOPERATION”.

The rough, uneven, and challenged nationalism surfacing in a number of countries is evidence that many people are waking up from the Trilateral-induced trance …

_____

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for thirty years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click https://marketplace.mybigcommerce.com/the-matrix-revealed/.

Use this link to order Jon’s Matrix Collections: https://marketplace.mybigcommerce.com/.

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/the-secret-circle-that-controls-governments/

Condemned by Their Own Words

by Craig Murray

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk (April 23 2018)

This transcript of an Israeli General on an Israeli radio station (begins 6.52 in) defending the latest killing by Israeli army snipers of a fourteen-year-old boy who posed no threat of any kind, is much more powerful if you just read it than any analysis I can give: https://www.kan.org.il/radio/player.aspx?ItemId=29159.

Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel interviewed on the Yoman Hashevua program of Israel’s Kan radio, 21 April 2018.

Ron Nesiel: Greetings Brigadier General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel. Should the IDF [Israeli army] rethink its use of snipers? There’s the impression that maybe someone lowered the bar for using live fire, and this may be the result?

Zvika Fogel: Ron, let’s maybe look at this matter on three levels. At the tactical level that we all love dealing with, the local one, also at the level of values, and with your permission, we will also rise up to the strategic level. At the tactical level, any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation. If this child or anyone else gets close to the fence in order to hide an explosive device or check if there are any dead zones there or to cut the fence so someone could infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel to kill us …

Nesiel: Then, then his punishment is death?

Fogel: His punishment is death. As far as I’m concerned then yes, if you can only shoot him to stop him, in the leg or arm – great. But if it’s more than that then, yes, you want to check with me whose blood is thicker, ours or theirs. It is clear to you that if one such person will manage to cross the fence or hide an explosive device there …

Nesiel: But we were taught that live fire is only used when the soldiers face immediate danger.

Fogel: Come, let’s move over to the level of values. Assuming that we understood the tactical level, as we cannot tolerate a crossing of our border or a violation of our border, let’s proceed to the level of values. I am not Ahmad Tibi, I am Zvika Fogel. I know how these orders are given. I know how a sniper does the shooting. I know how many authorizations he needs before he receives an authorization to open fire. It is not the whim of one or the other sniper who identifies the small body of a child now and decides he’ll shoot. Someone marks the target for him very well and tells him exactly why one has to shoot and what the threat is from that individual. And to my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder it goes even higher. The picture is not a pretty picture. But if that’s the price that we have to pay to preserve the safety and quality of life of the residents of the State of Israel, then that’s the price. But now, with your permission, let us go up one level and look at the overview. It is clear to you that Hamas is fighting for consciousness at the moment. It is clear to you and to me …

Nesiel: Is it hard for them to do? Aren’t we providing them with sufficient ammunition in this battle?

Fogel: We’re providing them but …

Nesiel: Because it does not do all that well for us, those pictures that are distributed around the world.

Fogel: Look, Ron, we’re even terrible at it. There’s nothing to be done, David always looks better against Goliath. And in this case, we are the Goliath. Not the David. That is entirely clear to me. But let’s look at it at the strategic level: you and I and a large part of the listeners are clear that this will not end up in demonstrations. It is clear to us that Hamas can’t continue to tolerate the fact that its rockets are not managing to hurt us, its tunnels are eroding …

Nesiel: Yes.

Fogel: And it doesn’t have too many suicide bombers who continue to believe the fairytale about the virgins waiting up there. It will drag us into a war. I do not want to be on the side that gets dragged. I want to be on the side that initiates things. I do not want to wait for the moment where it finds a weak spot and attacks me there. If tomorrow morning it gets into a military base or a kibbutz and kills people there and takes prisoners of war or hostages, call it as you like, we’re in a whole new script. I want the leaders of Hamas to wake up tomorrow morning and for the last time in their life see the smiling faces of the IDF. That’s what I want to have happen. But we are dragged along. So we’re putting snipers up because we want to preserve the values we were educated by. We can’t always take a single picture and put it before the whole world. We have soldiers there, our children, who were sent out and receive very accurate instructions about whom to shoot to protect us. Let’s back them up.

Nesiel: Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel, formerly Head of the Southern Command Staff, thank you for your words.

Fogel: May you only hear good news. Thank you.

There is no room to doubt the evil nature of the expansionist apartheid state that Israel has now become. Nor the moral vacuity of its apologists in the western media.

Translation by Dena Shunra.

* * * * *

Finally, a change of policy on this blog.

For thirteen years now it has operated with a policy of not accepting donations, except for occasional legal funds. It has now reached a size and cost, not least because of continual attacks, that make income essential. It is also the case that due to change in personal circumstance I am no longer in a position to devote my time to it without income – the need to earn a living caused the blog to go dark for almost five months last year, and the last six weeks this journalism has stopped me doing anything else to pay the rent. So, with a certain amount of pride swallowed, here is your chance to subscribe:

Support This Website: Choose subscription amount from drop-down box at the URL below

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/condemned-by-their-own-words/

Israel Has Faced Little Criticism Over Palestinian Deaths

by Patrick Cockburn

The Unz Review (April 06 2018)

Thousands of protesters returned to the border this Friday, burning great heaps of tyres to produce a black smokescreen which they hoped would hide them from Israeli snipers. Gaza’s health ministry has said that five people were killed and 1,070 people were wounded on Friday, including 293 by live fire.

The demonstrators know what to expect. A video from the first day of the march shows a protester being shot in the back by an Israeli sniper as he walks away from the fence separating Gaza from Israel. In other footage, Palestinians are killed or wounded as they pray, walk empty-handed towards the border fence, or simply hold up a Palestinian flag. All who get within 300 yards are labelled “instigators” by the Israeli army, whose soldiers have orders to shoot them.

“Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed”, claimed a tweet from the Israeli military the day after the mass shooting on 30 March at the start of 45 days of what Palestinians call the “Great March of Return” to the homes they had in Israel seventy years ago. The tweet was deleted soon after, possibly because film had emerged of a protester being shot from behind.

The sheer scale of the casualties on the first day of the protest a week ago is striking, with as many as sixteen killed and 1,415 injured, of whom 758 were hit by live fire according to Gaza health officials. These figures are contested by Israel, which says that the injured numbered only a few dozen. But Human Rights Watch spoke to doctors at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City who said that they had treated 294 injured demonstrators, mostly “with injuries to the lower limbs from live ammunition”.

Imagine for a moment that it was not the two million Palestinian in Gaza, who are mostly refugees from 1948, but the six million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan who had staged a march to return to the homes that they have lost in Syria since 2011. Suppose that, as they approach the Syrian border, they were fired on by the Syrian army and hundreds of them were killed or injured. Syria would certainly claim that the demonstrators were armed and dangerous, though this would be contradicted by the absence of casualties among the Syrian military.

The international outcry against the murderous Syrian regime in Washington, London, Paris, and Berlin would have echoed around the world. Boris Johnson would have denounced Assad as a butcher and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, would have held up pictures of the dead and dying before the Security Council.

Of course, Israel would furiously deny that there was any parallel between the two situations. Its government spokesman, David Keyes, rebuked CNN for even using the word “protest” when “what actually happened is that Hamas engineered an event where they wanted thousands of people to swarm into Israel, to crush Israel, to commit acts of terror. Indeed, we have captured on camera pictures of people shooting guns, people placing bombs, people shooting rockets.”

In the event, no pictures of these supposedly well-armed protesters ever emerged. But four days later, Human Rights Watch published a report entitled “Israel: Gaza Killings Unlawful, Calculated. Officials Green-Light Shooting of Unarmed Demonstrators”, which said that it “could find no evidence of any protester using firearms”. It added that footage published by the Israeli army showing two men shooting at Israeli troops turned out not to have been filmed at the protest.

Israeli ministers are unabashed by the discrediting of claims that the demonstrators pose a military threat to Israel. Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israeli soldiers had “warded off Hamas military branch operatives capably and resolutely … They have my full backing”. The free-fire policy is continuing as before and, as a result, the Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem, has launched a campaign called “Sorry Commander I Cannot Shoot”, which encourages soldiers to refuse to shoot unarmed civilians on the grounds that this is illegal.

Why is the surge in Palestinian protests coming now and why is Israel responding so violently?  There is nothing new in Palestinian demonstrations about the loss of their land and Israel’s aggressive military response. But there may be particular reasons that a confrontation is happening now, such as Palestinian anger at President Trump’s decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the move of the US embassy to there from Tel Aviv. This trumpeted Washington’s unconditional support for the Israeli position and the US disregard for the Palestinians and any remaining hopes they might have to win at least some concessions with US support.

Strong support from the Trump administration is reported by the Israeli press to be further reason why the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, feels that bad publicity over the shootings in Gaza will not damage Israel’s position in the US. In the past, controversy over the mass killings of Palestinian or Lebanese by Israel has sometimes provoked a negative US response that has curbed Israel’s use of force.

So far, Israel has faced little criticism from an international media uninterested in the Gaza story, or else is happy to go along with Israel’s interpretation of events. The vocabulary used by news outlets is often revealing: for instance, the BBC website on 31 March had a headline reading “Gaza-Israel border: Clashes “leave sixteen Palestinians dead and hundreds injured”. The word “clashes” implies combat between two groups capable of fighting each other, though, as Human Rights Watch says, the demonstrators pose no threat to an all-powerful Israeli military machine – a point reinforced by the fact that all the dead and wounded are Palestinian.

Possibly, the Israelis are miscalculating the impact of excessive use of force on public opinion: in the age of wifi and the internet, graphic images of the victims of violence are immediately broadcast to the world, often with devastating effect. As in Syria and Iraq, the political price of besieging or blockading urban areas like Gaza or Eastern Ghouta is rising because it is impossible to prevent information about the sufferings of those trapped inside such enclaves becoming public, though this may have no impact on the course of events.

Contrary to Keyes’ claims, the idea of a mass march against the fence seems to have first emerged in social media in Gaza and was only later adopted by Hamas. It is the only strategy likely to show results for the Palestinians because they have no military option, no powerful allies and their leadership is moribund and corrupt. But they do have numbers: a recent report to the Israeli Knesset saying that there are roughly 6.5 million Palestinian Arabs and an equal number of Jewish Israeli citizens in Israel and the West Bank, not counting those in East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel has usually had more difficulty in dealing with non-violent civil rights type mass movements among Palestinians than it has had fighting armed insurgencies.

Keyes claims that the demonstrations are orchestrated by Hamas, but here again he is mistaken on an important point because witnesses on the spot say that the impetus for the protests is coming from non-party groups and individuals. They voice frustration with the failed, divided, and self-seeking Palestinian leaders of both Hamas and Fatah. The most dangerous aspect of the situation in terms of its potential for violence may be that nobody is really in charge.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/israel-has-faced-little-criticism-over-palestinian-deaths/

The Slaughter in Gaza …

… and the crisis of Israel on its seventieth anniversary

by Bill Van Auken

World Socialist Web Site, wsws.org (April 24 2018)

The continuing massacre on the heavily militarized border dividing the Gaza Strip from Israel is a calculated and deliberate war crime carried out by the Israeli government with the backing of Washington.

The death toll among unarmed Palestinians participating in the “Great March of Return”, which began on March 30, rose to at least forty Monday with the deaths of two demonstrators who had earlier suffered grievous gunshot wounds.

One of them, Tahrir Mahmoud Wahba, was 18 years old and deaf. He had clung to life for 10 days after being shot in the head by an Israeli sniper during the mass protest of April 13. Another youth, Abdullah Muhammad al-Shamali, 20, died late Sunday night from wounds he suffered during last Friday’s demonstration.

The latest deaths follow the fatal shooting last Friday of four Gazan demonstrators, including 14-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub.

In addition to the dead, some 5,000 Palestinians have been wounded in the protests from live ammunition, rubber bullets and gas attacks. Of these, 1,600 have been struck down by live ammunition, many of them suffering wounds that will leave them impaired for life.

Vastly disproportionate and highly lethal violence has been unleashed against the tens of thousands of Gazans who have gathered each Friday along the Israeli border fence, not because of any imminent security threat their protest poses to Israel. Rather, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been given shoot-to-kill orders in an effort to suppress the existential challenge posed to the Zionist state by the demand the demonstrations are raising: the right – recognized under international law and affirmed by United Nations resolutions – of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to the homes and villages from which they were violently expelled seven decades ago.

What is most striking about the Gaza demonstrations is the utter indifference shown by Western governments and their stenographers in the corporate media to the scenes of unarmed demonstrators marching again and again into gunfire to demand their rights and to protest against the appalling conditions in the Gaza Strip, justifiably described as the largest open-air prison on the planet.

One can well imagine the response to similar scenes were they taking place in Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea or Venezuela. Nikki Haley would be using her seat on the UN Security Council to issue blistering denunciations of “atrocities”, threats of military force and hypocritical invocations of “human rights.” The killings would dominate the front pages of every newspaper and lead the broadcast news.

In the case of Gaza, however, the reaction is one of complicity, indifference, and silence. At a US State Department press briefing last Friday on the release of the agency’s new global human rights reports, officials repeatedly refused to take any questions on the slaughter in Gaza. The report released relating to Israel dropped all references to “occupied territories” – a term used by successive American governments since 1967 – signaling Washington’s acceptance of Israel’s colonial oppression and ultimate annexation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

While the US media has endlessly repeated the discredited lies about a chemical weapons attack in Syria, airing again and again a video – exposed as a staged hoax – of people being hosed down in a clinic, none of them has bothered to send a reporter to the clinics in Gaza, overflowing with wounded and confronting shortages of even the most basic medical supplies due to the blockade by Israel – and Egypt – of the occupied territory.

The most significant coverage in the American media has been given to the statement by Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman declaring her refusal to attend an awards ceremony in Israel. She published a statement over the weekend saying that “Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values.”

Portman, who holds dual US-Israeli citizenship, is not an opponent of Zionism, which in some ways makes her reaction to the slaughter in Gaza all the more significant. The response of leading Israeli political figures has been vicious, charging her with being a dupe of Hamas and engaging in conduct bordering on anti-Semitism.

One Knesset member of the Kulanu party, part of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government, offered a more sober assessment. “Natalie Portman’s cancellation should be a warning sign”, tweeted lawmaker Rachel Azaria. “She’s totally one of us, identifies with her Jewishness and Israeliness. She’s expressing the voices of many of US Jewry, and particularly those of the younger generation. This is a community that was always a significant anchor for the State of Israel and the price of losing it is likely to be too high.”

It is indeed a warning sign. Despite the media blackout and US government support, masses of people around the world, including millions of Jews in the US and other countries, are disgusted and dismayed by the scenes unfolding on Gaza’s border.

These killings are not an aberration but flow from the malignant contradictions underlying the state of Israel and the intensifying crisis gripping its society and government. A regime compelled to carry out such crimes is inherently unstable.

With the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding only weeks away, the Zionist myth that the carving out of a Jewish state in Palestine – by driving three-quarters of a million Palestinians from their homes – would secure peace and security for the Jewish people after the horrors of the Holocaust is unraveling.

The killings on the Gaza border are the horrific expression of the impossibility of resolving the Palestinian question within the framework of the existing capitalist nation-state system. Both the right-wing Netanyahu government and US imperialism have effectively jettisoned the so-called “two-state solution” – always a political fiction, but now a patent impossibility given the uninterrupted growth of Israeli settlements and security zones in the occupied West Bank.

The “March of Return” is itself a manifestation of the disillusionment of the Palestinian people with the conception that their rights and aspirations can be realized through the creation of some divided mini-state led by the corrupt Palestinian bourgeoisie. Every political faction, from the collaborationist Palestinian Authority of Abbas to the bourgeois Islamist Hamas, has been discredited.

The Israeli state, mired in corruption and beset by deep social contradictions, is driven to carry out ever greater repression and prepare ever more dangerous wars, first and foremost against Iran, posing the threat of a regional and even global conflagration.

Israeli society ranks second only to the US as the most unequal among the Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Its poverty rate is almost double the OECD average, with fully one-third of the country’s children living in poverty. At the opposite end of the social spectrum is a small layer of tycoons who have reaped fortunes from the country’s export markets while controlling all of the major political parties.

As in Iran, Tunisia and elsewhere in the region, as well as internationally, these conditions are creating the conditions for a resurgence of class struggle within Israel. Last December saw factory occupations and protests against mass layoffs by workers at Teva, the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer, accompanied by a half-day general strike by both private and public-sector workers.

In Israel, as in every other country, it is class, rather than race, religion or ethnicity, that is the fundamental driving force. The way out of the bloodletting, repression, reaction, and war that are the stock-in-trade of the Israeli state on its seventieth anniversary lies in the development of a unified struggle of Arab and Jewish workers against capitalism, for the building of a socialist society and the eradication of the irrational national borders that divide the region.

Copyright (c) 1998-2018 World Socialist Web Site – All rights reserved

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/24/pers-a24.html

The Great Day

by Uri Avnery

CounterPunch (April 23 2018)

Last week, the State of Israel celebrated its seventieth birthday. For days we heard about nothing else. Innumerable speeches full of platitudes. A huge festival of kitsch.

Everyone agreed: It was a historic moment when David Ben-Gurion got up in a small hall in Tel Aviv and declared the foundation of the state.

Everybody still alive from then was asked this week: Where were you at that moment? What did you feel, when history knocked on the door?

Well, I was alive. And I did not feel anything.

I was a soldier in the new army, which was not yet called “Israeli Defense Army” (its official name in Hebrew). My company had a small encampment of pup tents in Hulda, a kibbutz south of Tel Aviv.

We were to attack an Arab village called al-Kubab, near the town of Ramleh, that night. Stiff resistance was expected, and we were making all kinds of preparations, as soldiers do before a battle, when somebody ran up and shouted: “Quick, Ben-Gurion is declaring the state in the dining hall!” In the dining hall of the kibbutz was the only radio in the vicinity. Everyone ran there, including me.

Frankly, I did not give a damn about the declaration. We were in the middle of a desperate war – desperate for both sides – and we knew that the fighting would decide whether our state would come about or not. If we won the war, there would be a state. If we lost the war, there would be no state and no we.

A speech by a politician somewhere in Tel Aviv would make no difference whatsoever.

But I was curious about one detail: what would the new state be called? There had been several suggestions, and I wanted to know which one was accepted.

When I heard the word “Israel”, I left the dining room and returned to cleaning my rifle.

The fierce battle, by the way, did not materialize. When we attacked the village from two sides, the inhabitants fled. We entered empty houses, with the food still warm on the tables. The inhabitants were never allowed to return.

The next morning my company was transferred to the south. The Egyptian army was entering Palestine, and we were to stop them before they reached Tel Aviv. But that is another story.

David Ben-Gurion, whose voice I had heard that afternoon on the radio, has by now become the national hero of all times, the man who created the State of Israel. This week a documentary about him was broadcast on television.

The director, Raviv Drucker, an excellent journalist, has produced a very good film. It shows Ben-Gurion as he really was, with all his good and bad points.

Compared to him, his successors in the Prime Minister’s office were second rate. Not to mention the present occupant, who is a dwarf.

It was Ben-Gurion who took the decision to declare the foundation of the state at that particular moment when the last British occupier had left and four neighboring Arab armies were about to enter the country. His colleagues were afraid of the decision and had to be pushed by him.

Frankly, I don’t think that this decision was so momentous. If the declaration had been deferred for some months, it would have made no real difference. After we had won the war, though with very heavy casualties, we could have declared the state at any time.

While the documentary is mostly accurate, there are some mistakes. For example, it shows the masses of Tel Avivis cheering in the streets upon the declaration. That is a falsification, though it has been repeated so often that Drucker can be excused for believing it. In fact, the masses cheered in November 1947, when the United Nations decided upon the partition of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state (and a separate unit in Jerusalem).

When the Jewish state was officially founded on May 14, and Ben-Gurion made that speech, the streets were empty. The young were in the army, their elders were too anxious to cheer.

In that war, some 6300 of us were killed – out of a total Jewish population of 630,000. The equivalent of three million US citizens today. Many more were wounded (including poor me). Losses on the Arab side were even higher in absolute terms.

Ben-Gurion’s affectations were many and colorful. He liked to present himself as a great philosopher, and the documentary shows him receiving many hundreds of books, paid for by a rich British Jew – which would be a criminal offense under current Israeli law.

Be-Ge (as we called him) interfered in the conduct of the war, some of his erroneous decisions cost many lives. He also changed the character of the army in ways that we soldiers resented very much.

But all his good and bad decisions were negligible compared to his real historic role: his decision to turn Israel into a bulwark against the rising Arab world.

Of course, the Zionist movement was from the beginning a conscious part of European colonialism. In his book, Der Judenstaat, the founder, Theodor Herzl, already promised that the state would be “a part of the wall of European civilization against Asiatic barbarism”.

But it was Ben-Gurion who turned this vague promise into fact from the first day of Israel. According to his first biographer, he detested the Arabs and Arab culture from his first day in Palestine, suppressed the Arab minority in Israel and refused to draw Israel’s borders.

The underlying reason was and is of course, that Zionism from the beginning wanted to dispossess the Arabs from their land in order to create there a new Jewish nation. This was never admitted but was clear from the beginning.

All Ben-Gurion’s successors, up to the present occupant of the office, followed this line. Even on its seventieth birthday, Israel recognizes no official borders. Though we have official peace agreements with two Arab states (Egypt and Jordan) and unofficial cooperation with several more, we are hated by hundreds of millions of Arabs and a billion Muslims. And, even more important: we are at war with the entire Palestinian people. That is the real legacy of Ben-Gurion.

I am not quite objective on this subject. I, too, was at war with Ben-Gurion.

The longer his reign lasted, the more autocratic he became. Altogether, from his assumption of power in the pre-state Zionist movement, he was the supreme leader for thirty consecutive years. No human being can be in power for so long without becoming a bit deranged.

I became the owner and editor-in-chief of a news magazine soon after the war and began to criticize him sharply: his increasingly dictatorial manner, his colonialist treatment of the Palestinians, his anti-peace policy, his reactionary socio-economic policy and the corruption of many of his followers.

The chief of the security service publicly called me “Government Enemy Number One”. On one occasion the security chief (nicknamed “Little Issar”) suggested to Ben-Gurion to put me under “administrative detention” – arrest without a court order. Ben-Gurion agreed, but under one condition: that the leader of the opposition, Menachem Begin, would silently agree. Begin refused adamantly and threatened to kick up a stink. He also warned me in secret.

My office was bombed several times, I myself was attacked and my hands broken. (As I have said before, that attack was a blessing in disguise. A young woman named Rachel volunteered to move in with me to help me along for a few weeks, and stayed for 53 years, until her death.)

At the height of our fight, Ben-Gurion ordered the National Theater (Habima) to produce a piece openly directed against me. It showed the vicious editor of a weekly paper, who enjoyed making people miserable. Though he never usually went to the theater, he attended this premiere. The documentary shows him, his wife, and colleagues applauding wildly. The piece did not survive three performances.

It must be admitted that he was a very courageous leader. Though a staunch anti-Communist, he let Stalin support Israel with arms during the 1948 War of Independence. He made peace with Germany just eight years after the Holocaust, because the young state desperately needed money. He entered into the famous collusion with France and Britain to attack Egypt (with disastrous results.)

Towards the end, he surrounded himself with young disciples – Moshe Dayan, Teddy Kollek, Shimon Peres, and others, and his elderly colleagues became afraid of him. They ganged up on him and threw him out. His efforts to form a new party and stage a comeback ran into the sand. In the end, we made a kind of peace.

When we look back today upon his entire career, it must be admitted that his influence on today’s Israel is immense. For better and for worse, he laid the tracks on which Israel is still rolling.

Mostly for the worse.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/23/the-great-day/

Media Cover-up

Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy

by Ramzy Baroud

CounterPunch (April 19 2018)


Photo by Swithun Crowe | CC BY 2.0

The term “media bias” does not do justice to the western corporate media’s relationship with Israel and Palestine. The relationship is, indeed, far more profound than mere partiality. It is not ignorance, either. It is a calculated and long-term campaign, aimed at guarding Israel and demonizing Palestinians.

The current disgraceful coverage of Gaza’s popular protests indicates that the media’s position aims at suppressing the truth on Palestine, at any cost, and by any means.

Political symbiosis, cultural affinity, Hollywood, the outreaching influence of pro-Israel and Zionist groups within the political and media circles, are some of the explanations many of us have offered as to why Israel is often viewed with sympathetic eyes and Palestinians and Arabs condemned.

But such explanations should hardly suffice. Nowadays, there are numerous media outlets that are trying to offset some of the imbalance, many of them emanating from the Middle East, but also other parts of the world. Palestinian and Arab journalists, intellectuals, and cultural representatives are more present on a global stage than ever before and are more than capable of facing off, if not defeating, the pro-Israeli media discourse.

However, they are largely invisible to western media; it is the Israeli spokesperson who continues to occupy the center stage, speaking, shouting, theorizing and demonizing as he pleases.

It is, then, not a matter of media ignorance, but policy.

Even before March 30, when scores of Palestinians in Gaza were killed and thousands wounded, the US and British media, for example, should have, at least, questioned why hundreds of Israeli snipers and army tanks were ordered to deploy at the Gaza border to face-off Palestinian protesters.

Instead, they referred to “clashes” between Gaza youth and the snipers, as if they are equal forces in an equivalent battle.

Western media is not blind. If ordinary people are increasingly able to see the truth regarding the situation in Palestine, experienced western journalists cannot possibly be blind to the truth. They know, but they choose to remain silent.

The maxim that official Israeli propaganda or “hasbara” is too savvy no longer suffices. In fact, it is hardly true.

Where is the ingenuity in the way the Israeli army explained the killing of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza?
 

Yesterday we saw 30,000 people”, the Israeli army tweeted on March 31. “We arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.

 

If that is not bad enough, Israel’s ultra-nationalist Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, followed that self-indictment by declaring there are “no innocent people in Gaza”; thus, legitimizing the targeting of any Gazan within the besieged Strip.

Unfair media coverage is not fueled by the simplistic notion of “clever Israel, imprudent Arabs”. Western media is actively involved in shielding Israel and enhancing its diminishing brand, while painstakingly demolishing the image of Israel’s enemies.

Take, for example, Israel’s unfounded propaganda that Yasser Murtaja, the Gaza journalist who was killed in cold blood by an Israeli sniper while covering the Great March of Return protests at the Gaza border, was a member of Hamas.

First, “unnamed officials” in Israel claimed that Yasser is “a member of the Hamas security apparatus”. Then, Lieberman offered more (fabricated) details that Yasser was on Hamas’ payroll since 2011 and “held a rank similar to a captain”. Many journalists took these statements and ran with them, constantly associating any news coverage of Yasser’s death with Hamas.

It turned out that, according to the US State Department, Yasser’s start-up media company in Gaza had actually received a small grant from USAID, which subjected Yasser’s company to a rigorous vetting process.

More still, a report by the International Federation of Journalists claimed that Yasser was actually detained and beaten by the Gaza police in 2015 and that Israel’s Defense Minister is engineering a cover-up.

Judging by this, Israel’s media apparatus is as erratic and self-defeating as North Korea’s; but this is hardly the image conveyed by western media, because it insists on placing Israel on a moral pedestal while misrepresenting Palestinians, regardless of the circumstances.

But there is more to western media’s approach to Palestine and Israel than shielding and elevating Israel while demonizing Palestinians. Oftentimes, the media works to distract from the issues altogether, as is the case in Britain today, where Israel’s image is rapidly deteriorating.

To disrupt the conversation on Palestine, the Israeli Occupation and the British government’s unconditional support of Israel, British mainstream media has turned the heat on Jeremy Corbyn, the popular leader of the Labor Party.

Accusations of anti-Semitism have dogged the party since Corbyn’s election in 2015. Yet, Corbyn is not racist; on the contrary, he has stood against racism, for the working class and other disadvantaged groups. His strong pro-Palestine stance, in particular, is threatening to compel a paradigm shift on Palestine and Israel within the revived and energized Labor Party.

Sadly, Corbyn’s counter-strategy is almost entirely absent. Instead of issuing a statement condemning all forms of racism and moving on to deal with the urgent issues at hand, including that of Palestine, he allows his detractors to determine the nature of the discussion, if not the whole discourse. He is now trapped in a perpetual conversation, while the Labor Party is regularly purging its own members for alleged anti-Semitism.

Considering that Israel and its allies in the media, and elsewhere, conflate between criticism of Israel and its Zionist ideology, on the one hand, and that of Jews and Judaism on the other, Corbyn cannot win this battle.

Nor are Israel’s friends keen on winning, either. They merely want to prolong a futile debate so that British society remains embroiled in distractions and spares Israel any accountability for its action.

If British media was, indeed, keen on calling out racism and isolating racists, why then is there little discussion on Israel’s racist policies targeting Palestinians?

Media spin will continue to provide Israel with the needed margins to carry out its violent policies against the Palestinian people, with no moral accountability. It will remain loyal to Israel, creating a buffer between the truth and its audiences.

It is incumbent on us to expose this sinister relationship and hold mainstream media to account for covering up Israel’s crimes, as well as Israel for committing these crimes in the first place.

_____

Dr Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over twenty years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (2010). His website is: ramzybaroud.net

More articles by Ramzy Baroud: https://www.counterpunch.org/author/cet6s/.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/19/media-cover-up-shielding-israel-is-a-matter-of-policy/

A Voice of Sanity from Israel

by Cesar Chelala

CounterPunch (April 23 2018)

I first learned of Gideon Levy many years ago, during a casual conversation with an Israeli human rights activist. He told me that he had asked Levy why was he such a serious critic of Israel’s government and its policies with the Palestinians. Levy, whose own father was a German Jewish refugee who had settled in Israel, responded, “I don’t want Israelis to say that they didn’t know”.

Levy frequently travels to and writes about the Occupied Territories. As a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Levy wants to show the evils of the occupation and how it hurts not only the Palestinians but also the Israel that he loves so much. “I am an Israeli patriot. I want to be proud of my country. I want us to do the right thing”, he declared. His writing has gained him several prestigious awards, but also the hatred of many Israelis and several personal attacks.

Last March, on the eve of the official AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) summit, he gave a talk entitled, “The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right” in the National Press Club in Washington, DC. In that talk, he touched upon many critical topics having to do with the occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

He spoke about the possibility of change within Israeli society:
 

Maybe you are holding the key for any kind of change, for any kind of hope because, as I’ll try to claim later on, the hope for change within Israeli society is so limited. It’s nonexistent. When the United States is so still, so crucial, people like you can make the difference.

People like you can really be a game changer, and I mean it. It was never before that Israel and the United States shared the same values like in those days. The only place on earth that Donald Trump is beloved, admired, adored, and appreciated is Israel. The only place that Benjamin Netanyahu is admired, adored and beloved is the United States. If this is not shared values, what is shared values?

 

Levy doesn’t hide his contempt for the Jewish lobby in the United States, of which AIPAC is the most notorious organization.
 

I can tell you in the United States, as an Israeli, we don’t have a bigger enemy for justice, for peace, for equality than those who think that if you supply the drug addict with more drugs you are his friend; that if you support him blindly and automatically whatever he does, you are a friend. No, my friend, those are not friends. Those are enemies.

 

Levy calls the recent actions of Israeli soldiers in Gaza crimes against civilians, hardly covered by the media. Ahed Tamimi is a seventeen-year-old Palestinian girl whose family demonstrated their opposition to the expansion of the Israeli settlements and the detention of Palestinian activists. When she was eleven-years-old, Ahed was commended for her courage by the President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas for attempting to prevent her mother’s detention in August 2012.

In 2015, she was filmed while she was biting a masked Israeli soldier who was trying to apprehend her brother for throwing stones against the soldiers. On December 15 2017, Ahed took part in a demonstration opposing the expansion of Israeli settlements near her village. During the protest, Ahed’s fifteen-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi was shot in the head and severely wounded. Ahed, along with mother and a cousin slapped, kicked, and shoved the soldiers.

Four days later, Ahed was arrested with her mother and her cousin and charged with assault and incitement to violence. She instantly became a symbol of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. Major rallies in her support took place in several major cities in the US and Europe.

Levy is unsparing in his criticism of the Israeli soldiers’ actions:
 

The crimes [by the Israeli soldiers] are on a daily basis, but really daily basis. The media hardly covers them. If they cover them, it will be always according to the Zionist narrative. A terrorist of twelve, a girl of fourteen with scissors in her hands is an existential threat to the State of Israel. A girl who is slapping a soldier is someone who deserves life in prison, not less than this.

 

I remember my surprise, several years ago, when I found out that an Israeli professional acquaintance of mine had never, aside from his gardener, had a conversation with any other Palestinian, although he was living in Jerusalem. Levy explains,
 

… Everyone will deny it. But if you scratch under the skin of almost every Israeli, you’ll find it there. The Palestinians are not equal human beings like us. They are not like us. They don’t love their children like us. They don’t love life like us …

So you have a society with a deep conviction in its justice, in its right way with very, very few question marks. Anyone who dares to raise a question mark in a systematic way is immediately erased, demolished. It is unbelievable how this machinery works for Israel.

 

In spite of a systemic policy of demonization against him, Gideon Levy continues denouncing the Israeli government crimes against the Palestinians, who have been unable to counteract this onslaught against their basic rights. Gideon Levy is their defender and Israel’s voice of sanity.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/23/gideon-levy-a-voice-of-sanity-from-israel/