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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US’

Guardian Staff Perplexed by US, UK Support for Israel

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Western government support for Israel’s right to defend it’s citizens against Hamas really infuriates some people.

Those who routinely demonize the Jewish state and parrot the most ludicrous claims about Israeli villainy – and excuse or ignore the racism, incitement and violence of Islamist extremists in the region – simply can’t wrap their mind around the fact their anti-Zionist view is extremely marginal.

The mind of Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell was evidently ready to explode upon hearing the expressions of support for Israel by British foreign secretary William Hague and former PM Tony Blair. So, Bell expressed, in cartoon form, his belief that the only possible explanation for this maddening political dynamic is the puppeteer like control exercised over the subservient British leaders by Israel’s Prime Minister.

Another ‘anti-Zionist head-exploding’ moment occurred when the U.S. House and Senate overwhelmingly passed non-binding resolutions backing “Israel’s right to self-defense.”

There’s nothing unusual about such a resolution, as popular support for Israel in America, based on polling by Gallup over the last 45 years, has been consistent and overwhelming – a fact which CiF contributor Glenn Greenwald, whose fear of powerful Jewish forces in the U.S. borders on the conspiratorial, simply can’t fathom.

He expressed his frustration today, thus:

Poor Glenn. The Congressional resolutions, which audaciously affirmed that “no nation”, including Israel, “can tolerate constant barrages of rockets against its civilian population”, actually passed unanimously.

In his essay on Nov. 2011, on ‘averting accusations of antisemitism‘, Guardian readers editor Chris Elliott warned Guardian journalists and commentators to avoid “antisemitic tropes such as Jews having too much power and control.”

Elliott also noted that “three times” he had “upheld complaints against language within articles [which] could be read as antisemitic”, such as his decision to delete the term “slavish” (to describe the US relationship with Israel) from a report by Chris McGreal.

Glenn Greenwald’s characterization of the democratically elected U.S. legislative body as “subservient” to Israel (and/or the Jewish lobby) similarly contains antisemitic undertones, but also represents, to quote Walter Russel Mead, a sign that the ‘Comment is Free’ contributor is among those who are “baffled, frustrated and the bewildered” and therefore “seek[s] a grand, simplifying hypothesis that can bring some kind of ordered explanation to a confusing world.”

“Anti-Semitism”, wrote Mead, “is one of the glittering frauds that attract the overwhelmed and the uncomprehending.”

The anti-Zionist left is increasingly defined as much by their intellectual laziness as they are by their blind subservience to the logic of historically right-wing Judeophobic narratives regarding the dangers of Jewish control.

Visit CifWatch.com.

IAEA: Dramatic Increase of Uranium Production in Iran

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will soon issue a report showing that Iranian nuclear centrifuges are dramatically increasing their production, according to a report by the AFP.

The watchdog group says Iran has completed the installation of 2,700 new centrifuges at its Fordo plant, which is buried deep in a mountain range and is considered impenetrable by air assault.

US President Barack Obama has said sanctions are having a strong impact on Iran.  Israel has asked the US to institute “red line” standards, the infraction of which by Iran would lead to a US military response.  The Obama administration said it would not institute such measures.

Aerial photos have shown Iran conducting clean ups of the areas around nuclear plants to eliminate evidence of their activities.

Anti-Semitic Incidents in the US at a 20-Year Low

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States declined by 13% in 2011, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The annual ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents reported a total of 1,080 incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment, compared to 1,239 incidents reported in 2010.

It is the lowest number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded by ADL in the past two decades.

“It is encouraging that over the past five or six years we have seen a consistent decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents across the country and that the numbers are now at a historic low,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “To the extent that these incidents serve as a barometer, the decline shows that we have made progress as a society in confronting anti-Semitism and pushing it to the far fringes, making expressions of anti-Jewish hatred unacceptable. These declining numbers, while promising, must nevertheless be viewed in the context of other factors, including online expressions of anti-Semitism that are impossible to quantify and often go unchecked.”

Among the more disturbing trends noted in the 2011 ADL Audit is the prevalence of reports across the country of incidents of school bullying, where Jewish students reported being harassed and intimidated by their peers using offensive anti-Semitic stereotypes or comments evoking the Nazis or the Holocaust.

“ADL continues to receive a distressing number of complaints about children, adolescents and teenagers engaging in anti-Semitic behavior, both on and off school grounds,” said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair. “These have included physical assaults, treats of violence, and verbal and written taunts promoting anti-Semitic stereotypes or evoking disturbing Holocaust themes. We believe that these types of incidents show there is an ongoing need for comprehensive programming promoting diversity and tolerance and combating bullying of all kinds as well as a continued emphasis on Holocaust education in the schools, so that the next generation of students can fully understand the history of that period and the consequences of unchecked hatred, prejudice and bigotry.”

Read the full report.

The Ant-Churchill Tries to Rise Again

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Could there be an Israeli politician more cynical than Ehud Olmert?

Yesterday he accused PM Netanyahu of alienating President Obama — as if Obama could dislike him more — by ‘intervening’ in the US election:

“Following what Netanyahu did in the last few months, the question arises of whether or not our prime minister has a friend in the White House,” Olmert said in a meeting with New York Jewish leaders.

Olmert said that while the Israeli head of state was allowed to have a personal preference for one candidate over another, it would be “better, obviously, if he kept it to himself.”

“What took place this time was a breaking of all the rules, when our prime minister intervened in the US elections in the name of an American billionaire with a clear interest in the vote,” Olmert continued. “The very same billionaire used Israel’s prime minister to advance a nominee of his own for president.”

Olmert’s words were a clear reference to Jewish-American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who according to reports donated some $100 million to Romney’s failed campaign. Adelson also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is largely perceived as a stalwart backer of Netanyahu.

Olmert didn’t explain how he knows that Adelson was acting on Netanyahu’s instructions. He seems to think that it is impossible for a Jewish billionaire to prefer one or another candidate for US president or Israeli PM without engaging in a conspiracy. His remarks, intended to damage Netanyahu with the Israeli public, can only damage his relationship with Obama as well.

Olmert, who was probably the worst Prime Minister in Israel’s history, plans to return to politics after a miraculous escape, with his skin mostly intact, from a trial on several serious corruption charges. The Israeli state prosecutor’s office has filed an appeal of his acquittals on the major charges and an especially light sentence he received for one minor offense.

Olmert said that he would run only if Obama won the US election — which makes one wonder if he expects ‘intervention’ in the opposite direction, which apparently he considers appropriate! He is expected to join with Tzipi Livni and other outspoken enemies of PM Netanyahu, take over the moribund Kadima party, and run against him in upcoming elections on an anyone-but-Bibi platform.

Livni was Olmert’s partner in the government which so badly bungled the 2006 Second Lebanon War, leading to the unnecessary deaths of dozens of soldiers and a disadvantageous cease-fire which left Hizballah in a position to rebuild and rearm (which it has done with a vengeance).

Both Livni and Olmert are preferred to PM Netanyahu by the Obama Administration, because of their perceived willingness to withdraw from the territories in a deal with the Palestinian Authority. Olmert claims to have come close to such a deal in 2008, which thankfully fell through when he left office under a cloud of accusations of corruption.

He has recently criticized the PM for his tough position on the Iranian nuclear project and echoed Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy must be given more time to work. I’m sure this has endeared him even further to the president.

Olmert is also known for making one of the most embarrassing speeches in oratorical history in 2005, prompting me to call him “the anti-Churchill:”

We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors, and I believe that this is not impossible… That it is within reach if we will be smart, if we will dare, if we will be prepared to take the risks, and if we will be able to convince our Palestinian partners to be able to do the same.

As I noted at the time, an unprecedented combination of defeatist rhetoric, bad politics, and fundamentally wrong analysis! But nobody ever accused Olmert of lacking arrogance or chutzpah, and he seems to think that with everyone to the left of Bibi and President Obama on his side, he can retake the Prime Minister’s chair.

America Has Spoken

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

America has spoken. Obama has been given and has claimed his victory. America will get the government and the leaders it elected and cannot now cry over the results that will come in the next four years. Some of us can and do regret the results, but we will live with them, no weaker than we were yesterday, no less aware of what this so-called victory will mean for Israel and for the US.

From this side of the ocean, I have a few comments –

First – the incredible and close relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Israel will not change. It is a bond forged over not only decades of communication and trust, but also mutual exchange and assistance. No, this is not about the US giving and Israel taking. That is the relationship the US has with most of the Arab world, certainly with the Palestinians. You do not share a culture with them; a sense of humanitarian growth and respect. You will likely find yourself guarding your country more in the next four years than in the past because Obama has sent a clear message to the terrorists – a message of weakness, confusion. He is the child worshiping from afar. From outside the window of Islam, he looks in and sees only the glory he perceives while ignoring much of the ugliness that also stains a culture built on death and martyrdom. We, Israel and the United States, are the ones who rush into natural disasters to save lives; we are the ones who look to tomorrow with hope and the change we wanted didn’t come about but that will not defeat us.

Second – the relationship between the military of the US and the military of Israel will remain close, strong, united in a common goal – to protect our lands, our people, our freedom. We fully expect the US military to continue to use Israeli resources, take advantage of training we offer here in counter-terrorism, and more. We will continue to share our abundant intelligence resources and knowledge as we have so often in the past. The day may come when the Iron Dome we invented and developed, will be shared with the US to protect it from missiles. Yes, Israel receives much aid from the United States and we hope that will continue to the mutual benefit of both countries. Obama said he had Israel’s back – what he failed to point out is that it is mutual, and we have yours.

Third – the truth of what Obama is will now be unleashed on the US. I believe that. What he did for the Marines and diplomats in Libya may come out, it may not but I have little doubt it will be repeated in other places and in other ways. He is not a leader of action, but of words. His words alone will not defend US diplomats and travelers around the world.

Fourth – ultimately today, as yesterday and tomorrow, the world is not ruled by Barack Hussein Obama. This is the day that God created – this dawn that has just come to Israel in the last hour or two and the dawn that will come to America in another 5 or 6 hours and beyond. Our future was never dependent on Obama – not for security, not for financial support. Yesterday, our sons defended Israel, flew the skies over our lands. Today, they will do the same…and tomorrow as well.

Israel’s message to the American people, in my opinion, is very clear – we have always been friends – recognized within minutes by Harry S. Truman and almost every US president since. We stand by you today as we did yesterday and as we will tomorrow and trust and believe you stand beside us and behind us as well.

Israel’s message to the American government, in my opinion, is very clear –  you have made your position known to us. We will not grovel before you, though we are ready to meet you as partners. Do not tell us what to do – do not believe for a moment that we are dumb enough to believe your words when your actions speak louder. Treat us with the respect we have earned as your only friend in the Middle East, or accept that we will not risk our security for your absurd dreams of an enforced peace that will only serve to weaken us.

Mordechai Kedar: Iran has Defeated the US in Iraq

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

In March 2003, the forces of the international coalition, under the leadership of the United States,  invaded Iraq to bring to an end the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein, and to rid the world of the danger from his chemical weapons, which he had previously used in 1988 to subdue the Iranians in the bloody war that had begun eight years earlier. Just before the West’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, he transferred all of the containers of chemical and biological weapons to Syria, so that they would not be confiscated by Western forces, just as he sent his fighter jets to Iran right before the war of liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in January 1991.

Saddam fell, the evil regime that he established fell with him and the people of Iraq could finally breathe freely. Hundreds of newspapers, radio stations and television channels appeared, uncensored, in the Iraqi public arena. They were allowed to speak about anything, and to criticize anything, even the occupation by the West. For the first time in decades, the Shi’ites in Iraq were permitted to establish organizations and parties on a sectarian basis and even to publicly demonstrate their mourning on the anniversary of the murder of Hussein bin Ali, known as the “Slaughter of Kerbala” that occurred in the year 680 CE. The Shi’ites, who are the majority of Muslims in Iraq felt, rightly so, that the future belonged to them.

However, two forces worked against them: one is the Sunni population, the minority that had ruled the Shi’ite majority with the unsheathed sword of Saddam, the minority that lost the pot of gold that it sat upon all those years. And the Sunnis, because of their plight, appealed to the richest Sunni sponsor in the world, the Saudi Arabians, who opened their hearts and pockets in order to support their brothers, who had now become the new downtrodden in Iraq. And the second force that worked against them was the influx of roaming jihadis, who had escaped from the fire and brimstone that the Americans hurled upon the remnants of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. They came to Iraq to conduct the war against the infidels, both the Christians and the Shi’ites together, from there. “Al-Qaeda of the Land of the Two Rivers”, under the command of Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, sowed death in the streets, in the markets, in the mosques, and in the churches, in an effort to undermine the majority Shi’ite rule in which the foreign coalition had invested so much blood and treasure to establish.

To counteract this, a Shi’ite militia arose, no less cruel than that of al-Qaeda, called “The Mahdi Army”, headed by Muqtada al-Sadr, the scion of a noble Shi’ite family and a good friend of Hasan Nasrallah. The money, the weapons, and the ammunition of this militia all came from Iran, and its people learned their specializations of murder and sabotage in the training camps of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. A short time after the Western coalition took over Iraq, their soldiers found themselves under Shi’ite-Sunni crossfire, between the Mahdi Army and al-Qaeda. The two sides fought simultaneouslyagainst each other and against the coalition, which had to defend itself against both of them. Nevertheless, al-Qaeda got special attention from the West, which almost totally eradicated it, while the Shi’ite Mahdi Army, despite the blows it had taken, continues until today to be an influential force in Iraqi internal politics. Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi was eliminated, while Muqtada al-Sadr is still alive and kicking.

It is sad to note that the war of the coalition forces against the Iraqi insurgency was influenced bypolitical and economic considerations: the Americans never exerted real pressure on the Saudis to stop supporting the Sunni insurgency, despite its having caused many American fatalities, mainly because Saudi Arabia supplies oil to the Western countries. On the other hand, despite the many proofs the Americans had that Iran is involved up to its neck in the Shi’ite incursion, they never held Iran accountable for the American blood that was spilled in Iraq as a result of the Iranian weapons that poured into Iraq. The White House, whether in the days of Bush or in the days of Obama, was afraid to open a new front in Iran while the army of the United States was deep in the Afghani swamp and the Iraqi inferno.

The countries of the coalition quickly lost patience, because they saw no point in their soldiers running around in Iraq like chickens between unrestrained firing squads like so many targets. One after another, these countries pulled their forces out of the festering swamp, leaving those behind them to die, the Iraqis to drain each others’ blood, and all the Iraqis together to drain the blood of the foreigners. At the end of 2011 the United States withdrew its forces from Iraq according to Obama’s campaign promise, and left behind it a fragile and crumbling Iraqi political system, as a result of never-ending disputes between various types of groups: ethnic  (Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen), tribal (the society in Iraq comprises more than seventy tribes), religious (there are eight different religions in Iraq) and sectarian (Sunni, Shi’ite, Sufi, Salafi, and a few Christian denominations), that have never managed to rise above their differences to become a unified Iraqi people with a shared national consciousness.

The Iraqi politicians are corrupt down to their bones, and are motivated by tribal, familial, sectarian and economic considerations, that share nothing at all in common with the good of the country. Many of them are accused of being involved with terror, to the point that Tariq al-Hashimi, the Sunni deputy of the Shi’ite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, had to flee from Iraq because of rumors and “testimony” that he had organized a few murderous attacks against Shi’ites a number of years ago. The security and legal organizations – army, police, intelligence, and courts – are constantly suspected of serving sectarian interests, and their activities are perceived among the population as illegitimate.

The failing political system in Iraq made it possible for Iran to exploit the weakness in order to buy some of the politicians, to eliminate others and to threaten the rest that they had better behave, according to the edict imposed from Teheran, even while the coalition forces were still in Iraq. The Iranian control on the Iraqis was strengthened many times over after the exit of the Americans, who are no longer on Iraqi soil to defend the fragile Iraqi system. The situation today is that Iran actually determines what is done in Iraq, and dictates its agenda to the Iraqi politicians, especially in matters related to the war in Syria.

The strength of Iranian influence and control on Iraq is evidenced in several ways, and we will mention  a few of them here. About one year ago, Iran sent a group of a few dozen snipers to Syria to help Asad’s forces put down the rebellion against him. A few of the Iranian snipers were taken prisoner by the Free Syrian Army, and filmed. They told in fluent Persian who had sent them to Syria and why, and the video clip – documented proof of Iranian involvement in the murder of freedom-seeking Syrians – evoked sharp criticism against Iran. As a result, the Iranians took its snipers out of Syria and demanded that Iraq send Iraqi snipers instead, so that in case they were caught they would speak Arabic and not Persian while being recorded.

But the matter is not limited to snipers, because in recent months many Shi’ites have been infiltrating from Iraq to support Asad in the slaughter of the Sunnis of Syria, and the Shi’ite ruled government in Iraq ignores those who enter Iraq illegally. But on the other hand, there are also Sunni infiltrators from Iraq into Syria to support their brothers who are fighting Asad’s dictatorial regime with all their strength. The government of Syria is reaping today what it sowed in the years 2003 to 2008, when it volunteered to be the bridge which allowed the Hizb’Allah jihadis to cross over from Lebanon to Iraq in order to ruin the lives of the Iraqis. Now, the Iraqi jihadis are shortening the lives of the Syrians in the service of the Iranians. Iraq today is an inseparable part of the Shi’ite coalition under the leadership of Iran, which is fighting an all-out war against the Sunni coalition, whose members are Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Sunni countries.

Another matter that proves Iranian control of Iraq is the economic issue: since the Syrian economy is dysfunctional, Asad has no money to pay salaries to his soldiers and officers. So he asked for cash support from Iran, concerned that his soldiers would desert if he didn’t pay them, and Iran ordered the Iraqi government to transfer to Asad tens of millions of dollars in cash every month, in order to fund the military, intelligence and the murderous gangs of “Shabbiha” whose job it is to keep Asad alive in in power.

Another monetary issue is the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran, in the context of which the dictatorship of the ayatollahs was expelled from the international clearing system known as “SWIFT”, and as a result of this, money cannot be transferred directly to Iran. Customers who still buy oil and gas from Iran transfer the payments to Iraqi governmental companies, and these find ways to transfer the monies to Iran.

In Baghdad, in March of this year, a summit conference was held of the leaders of Arab countries, however by instruction of the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, all the Iraqi soldiers and security people were removed from the international airport of Baghdad and Iranians were put in their place. The one who organized all of the preparations for the summit conference was the most powerful man in Baghdad: the Iranian ambassador, who apparently is also one of the senior members of the Revolutionary Guards. It was he who determined who would speak and who would not, and as a result, about one half of the Arab rulers did not come to the summit because they knew who was behind it. The reason for Iranian involvement in the Arab summit conference was the desire of the Ayatollahs to show the world that after the miserable period of terror and death that reigned in Iraq during the American occupation, a period of calm and serenity has come to the Land of the Two Rivers, under Iranian hegemony.

It is important to note that the United States conducted a series of discussions with Iran before the withdrawal, about the way the country would be managed after the withdrawal,  but these discussions did not bear any fruit because of one simple reason: the Iranians understood that the United States was under pressure because of the promise of President Obama to withdraw from Iraq during his first term in office, and from the moment that he said this, the United States lost the ability to pressure Iran on this issue. During the past two years, many Iraqi politicians went in pilgrimage to Teheran, while senior Iranians rarely come to Baghdad. This illustrates the relative power of Iraq and Iran, because in international relations the well-known rule is that the less important comes to visit the more important more times than the important one comes to the less important. (For example: how many times have the presidents of the United States visited Israel, compared to the times that the prime ministers of Israel traveled to Washington to get a little attention in the White House…) During many Iraqi politicians’ visits to Teheran, agreements of “cooperation” were signed, meaning that Iraq is harnessed to the Iranian wagon. The Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani, who is today the commander of the “Quds” force, makes many declarations about Iraq, and many Iraqis are convinced that he is the one who rules Iraq by means of his merciless soldiers who assault any Iraqi they don’t like. Not all Iraqis support the Iranian rule, and not even all of the Shi’ites want it, but those who oppose Iran risk their lives and the lives of their relatives: two years ago Mithal al-Alusi, an Iraqi Sunni politician and member of parliament, founder of the the Party of the Iraqi Democratic Nation, which calls for separation of religion and state,  visited Israel. His visit to Israel and his secular agenda of political action resulted in several attempts to murder him, and in one of those attempts, two of his sons who were in the car with him, were murdered.

Iraq’s coupling with Iran turns the Land of the Two Rivers into a spring board which will facilitate the continuing spread of Iranian hegemony into Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Emirates until it reaches the crown jewel of the Arabian Peninsula : Saudi Arabia.  The Ayatollahs dream of returning Shi’ite hegemony to Mecca and Medina, thus restoring the crown of dominion of the “ahl al-Bayt” – members of the family – of Muhammad, meaning the Shi’ites, to their status of Islamic leadership, which was stolen from the fourth Caliph, Ali bin Abi Talib, in the middle of the seventh century. When Iranian control of the Gulf is complete, more than half of the reserves of oil and gas of the whole world will be under their control, and then they will be able to have as much influence as they like on the world economy, and especially that of heretical, permissive and materialistic Europe. Iraq is an essential link in the chain that Iran is winding around the neck of the people of the Gulf and the world at large.

Is this why the world came in 2003 to liberate Iraq from the dictatorship of Saddam? Was this the goal for which Western countries sacrificed the lives of more than four thousand of their soldiers? Was it justified to invest more than a billion dollars – a thousand million – so that Iraq will become part of the Iranian coalition? Did the president of the United States take this development into account when he withdrew the forces from Iraq a year ago? Was the reason for the withdrawal to keep a promise made in the previous campaign, so that it could be used as ammunition in the present campaign, while the political and security considerations were – if they were considered at all – only of secondary importance?

If the president of the United States did not take into account the possibility that Iraq would become a satellite of Iran, it just proves his ignorance in the most important and critical matters relating to American national security. The problem is that there were many who warned him – in the media – about this possibility. Many articles that were published during the period prior to the withdrawal of the United States armed forces from Iraq warned clearly about the possibility that in the wake of a withdrawal, Iraq, torn apart and bleeding, unstable and weakened as it already was,  would become prey for the Iranians. For example, the periodical Newsweek wrote this explicitly in October 2010, more than a year before the exit of the American forces from Iraq. But there were those who preferred to ignore these warnings, apparently because of the approaching election season.

What could the United States have done to prevent this scenario from happening? How could the international system have assured that Iraq would be rebuilt as a state capable of standing up to Iranian pressures? The answer to these questions was addressed by the writer of these lines to the State Department of the United States two years ago, in October 2010, during correspondence with one of the advisers that are supposed to understand something about matters in the Islamic world. In those days the president of the United States conducted a series of discussions on American strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the correspondence with that adviser was intended to suggest another possible solution to the problems of these two unfortunate countries. The solution that I suggested was based on revoking the artificial borders demarcated by the colonialists and establishing homogeneous,  and therefore stable, political entities, by dividing up these states into their ethnic and tribal components, like the Emirates in the Gulf.

In the discussion that I conducted with the adviser in the State Department, he rejected the idea of dividing Afghanistan and Iraq into homogeneous entities out of hand, and claimed that there is a way to stabilize these two states on the basis of developing an inclusive national consciousness.  In my opinion he is not the only dreamer of dreams in the State Department, because there are more than a few people who do not allow the facts to discredit their theories, and even when all of their beautiful plans collapse in front of their eyes they still believe that there is a way to revive them and to successfully implement them. It seems that these people have some degree of influence on the decision makers in the Withe House, and therefore everything that the United States devises in order to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan is good in theory but does not work in practice.

The time has come when Washington’s policy should be conducted by realistic people, who will see reality in the world as it is and will relate to it in a way that will promote the interests of the Free World, people who will know that they must not surrender to the greatest enemy of the West, Iran.

Originally published at Middle East and Terrorism

US Supreme Court Affirms Conviction of White Collar Terrorists

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Lingering doubts that remained about the criminality of the organization frequently called the United States’ “largest Islamic charity” [NY Times] ended on Monday. That’s when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it would not overturn an earlier appeal that went against five officials from Holy Land Foundation convicted of illegally funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. That appears to be the final legal avenue open to the convicted men and concludes the case.

For years, in a pattern which to some of us is already familiar, the supporters of the convicts and their lawyers cast the Holy Land Foundation as being, at minimum, the victim of the extreme angst that afflicted the US after the events of September 11, 2001, as well as “an important case for religious freedom, and for civil rights” [The American Muslim]. The group “merely raised money for needy Palestinians”, it has been argued, and was never connected to any violence.

America’s tribunals of law and fact, one after another, came to a different conclusion. As a result, Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh were convicted on 108 counts in 2008 and will remain in prison serving sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years. Just in passing, a reminder that Mufid Abdulqader is the brother of arch-terrorist Khaled Mashal, “the main leader” [Wikipedia] of Hamas’ terrorist operations since 2004.

The fragrantly-named Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development started life as the Occupied Land Fund [US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List”, updated to October 18, 2012], from offices in Richardson, Texas. In 2007, US federal prosecutors charged the organization and its key leaders with funding Hamas and what it termed other “Islamic terrorist organizations”. Soon afterwards, the assets of the “charity” were frozen by the EU and the US, and it was forced to shut down. AFP’s November 2008 report of the criminal trial [AFP] said the group and its leaders were found to be “acting as a front for Palestinian militants” and called the trial “largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history”.

Far from being an innocent conduit for relieving the poverty of starving children in Gaza, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis who presided over the criminal trial said it plainly: “The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas”. The men charged and convicted were no mere givers of charity but knowing organizers of a conduit whose end-point was deliberate and well-chosen. The indictment said HLF and its promotors took steps to hide its terrorist-financing purpose from law-enforcement agencies by making a few token donations to harmless, non-Palestinian Arab entities. The bulk of it went to terror. A quote from one of the convicted men, Shukri Abu Baker: “We can give $100,000 to the Islamists and $5,000 to the others.”

Parts of the media in the US and outside it continue to frame this shabby tale in ways that seem calculated to sow doubt about the motivations of the convicted men and to hint at hidden agendas. In a Salon article this past Thursday, the popular website’s “assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing” writes [“SCOTUS to consider fate of jailed Muslim charity leaders“] what was done to the group formerly known as Occupied Land Fund:

“The Bush administration shut it down following reports that the group had donated a portion of their foundation funds to schools and hospitals in Gaza through a “Zakat” (charity-giving) Committee that allegedly had connections to Hamas.”

Their case has made it all the way up the almost endless legal chain for which the US is rightly famous. Yet she and her editors see no problem in insinuating that this was about “alleged” connections to Hamas; that “portion” of the money was channeled to Hamas; that the US government acted on “reports“. This is shamefully inadequate reporting from a source that describes itself as a “pioneering, award-winning news site… with an audience of 10 million monthly unique visitors“.

We’re less offended by the coverage given to the decision by one of the Iranian government’s most prominent mouthpieces, PressTV. Its report [“US Supreme Court spurns justice“] describes the convicted men as

“Five extraordinary human beings… wrongfully convicted and sentenced to long prison terms. They’re doing hard time in America’s gulag. They learned the hard way about being Muslims in America at the wrong time.

As Wikipedia describes, a large number of other parties – are they also “extraordinary”? – are caught up in the Hamas financing net, including prominent American Islamist groups:

In May 2007, the U.S. filed an action against the Holy Land Foundation (the largest Muslim charity in the United States at the time for providing funds to Hamas, and federal prosecutors filed pleadings. Along with 300 other organizations, they listed CAIR (and its chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmad), Islamic Society of North America (largest Muslim umbrella organization in the United States), Muslim American Society and North American Islamic Trust as unindicted co-conspirators, a legal designation that can be employed for a variety of reasons including grants of immunity, pragmatic considerations, and evidentiary concerns. While being listed as co-conspirator does not mean that CAIR has been charged with anything…

From here, the evidence appears to show the existence of an active and thriving Moslem Brotherhood hinterland in the United States delivering political and financial support to the terrorists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/us-supreme-court-affirms-conviction-of-white-collar-terrorists/2012/10/31/

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