Category Archives: propaganda

Gilad Atzmon – Send Them To Gaza: Gimmicks and Education

The Tory leader David Cameron seems to be struggling these days. After calling government funding for school visits to the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz a ‘gimmick’, he’s facing demands for an apology.

In a speech on Friday, Cameron accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government of being “obsessed with short-term gimmicks”, including a recommendation for schools to make “trips to Poland”.

The British government announced this month it would give 4.65 million pounds to the Holocaust Educational Trust set up in 1988 to educate young people about the Holocaust. It wouldn’t take a genius to guess that the Jewish political institutions in Britain were very quick to tear Cameron apart for his comment.

Henry Grunwald, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “The Board of Deputies does not get involved in party politics, but we are surprised and disappointed that David Cameron should in any way have used the word ‘gimmick’ in connection with visits to Auschwitz.”

Karen Pollock, the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said, “We do not want to be involved in party politics. But you should not use visits to Auschwitz to score political points.”

Seemingly, both Pollock and Grunwald do not like to get involved in ‘party politics’. For that purpose they have some very dedicated agents such as Lord Levy, David Abrahams, the Tory Friends of Israel and the Labour Friends of Israel.

The Conservative party was very quick to understand the message. It immediately surrendered to the ‘non-political’ pressure. Within hours, the Tory spokesman said: “School trips to Auschwitz are a brilliant idea.”

Trying to quell the storm, the Conservative spokesman said, “Cameron was not criticising the visits, but rather the fact that the government funding did not cover their entire cost.”

Very much like Grunwald and Pollock, I would refrain from interfering with British politics, yet I may suggest that Cameron was absolutely correct. The trips to Auschwitz are indeed a gimmick. As far as I can see, the educational value of these trips is counter-effective.
Unlike Karen Pollock from the Holocaust Educational Trust, who said, “Students use their experience to raise awareness of the lessons of the Holocaust in their schools and local communities, challenging prejudice and racism today,” I am convinced that trips to Auschwitz are there to divert the attention from crimes that are committed on a daily basis in before our very eyes and in our names. The trips to Auschwitz are there to silence ethical awareness. They are there to shutter the possibility of self-reflection.

It is indeed rather easy for the British government to spend some money trying to teach young students how bad the Nazis were 63 years ago. Yet, it is far more challenging for the British government and British educational institutes to confront British wrongdoing in the past and in the present.

Instead of sending British youngsters to Auschwitz, I would suggest spending governmental funds on student trips to Gaza concentration camp. This would have a far greater educational value in so as far as challenging ‘racism and prejudice’. Clearly it is in Gaza where millions of Palestinians are starved by the Jewish state while the West keeps silent.

Britain bears some direct responsibility for the Palestinian tragedy. Firstly, the Palestinian disaster was set by the British Empire. It may have started with the Balfour Declaration, but it matured into devastating ethnic cleansing in 1948, three years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Secondly, whichever way we decide to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinians are the last victims of Hitler and the genocide in Gaza is a Shoah in the making.

If Karen Pollock is truly concerned with ‘racism and prejudice’, Gaza is the place to send the British kids to, so they can come home and ask their grandparents: ‘Grandpa, what did you do when it all happened 60 years ago?’ We have to send our kids to Gaza so they can come home and ask their parents: ‘Mum, what can we do to help the Palestinians?’

If Karen Pollock still wants to increase our kids’ ethical awareness, yet she might not be convinced that Gaza is the place to do so, she may also want to consider sending our youth to Basra or Baghdad. At the end of the day, the genocide of the Iraqi people, in which one and a half million Iraqis have died so far, is a war crime committed also by the current British Government.

But on second thought, there is no point in sending young British students to Baghdad; they can go there as soon they finish school. They can then participate and contribute to this very contemporary Holocaust that is being committed by Britain and America in the name of democracy and neo-conservative ideology, all they have to do is just join the British armed forces.


Miguel Martinez – Looking for the King of Copy and Paste

Translated by Ernesto Páramo. Revised by author

Two days after the FARC guerrillas delivered two kidnapped parliamentarians to president Chávez of Venezuela, the Spanish newspaper El Pais followed by many other mass media outlets everywhere, was determined to confuse its readership and nip in the bud all reports of a significant news item which could have given us hope for the future. This event was, however, against their political editorial line, so they replaced it with a pseudo-report entitled ” Are Hugo Chávez and Naomi Campbell engaged?”

In Italy, the press behaved in a similar fashion. Israel managed to snatch the role of guest of honour at the Turin Book Fair away from Egypt, to whom the event had been solemnly promised: thus, in the sixtieth anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, two of the three great publishing events (Turin and Paris) are both dedicated to Israel this year (Frankfurt was dedicated to Israel in 2005). Repubblica, the leading Italian daily close to the centre-left, replied by devoting its front page and two full pages inside to a weird and unknown blog which had copied a list of signatories to a pro-Israel petition that had been in the public domain for months: La Repubblica pretended that the appearance of this list on the blog was a clear sign of a dangerous anti-Semitic revival.

Note from the Spanish translator Juan Vivanco

In Italy there are probably at least half a million, perhaps a million blogs.

Because of inevitable statistical constraints, we have to assume that a small proportion of these blogs – which still could amount to something like 10.000 – are written by mad people.

Now, “Mad“ is a strictly scientific term, which does not refer to the contents, but to a series of unequivocal psychoelectronic indicators. For example, the random use of capital letters (known as CapsLock syndrome).

Among these mad characters, there is one that likes to be known as KING SHAULOS II, and up to yesterday, His Majesty had a blog covered with banners reading “ NO TO TURKEY IN EUROPE ”. Actually he does not use random capital letters: he uses nothing but capital letters.


On the pages of his blog we can also see the image of the Three Kings, and more significantly, a True Portrait of His Majesty SHAULOS in person:
The blog is also full of useful advice:

His political program is very clear:


In short, he is as twisted as the late Oriana Fallaci, with the difference that he adds Judaism to his pet hates (…).

I have seen the King’s blog a couple of times, and it has given me some cheerful laughs (I know, we should not laugh at mad people, but I have never claimed to be politically correct).

However, this morning I saw him again.

On the front page of Repubblica. Plus, they dedicated the whole of pages 10 and 11 to him.
Just a question… how much would it cost a run of the mill blogger to buy all that newspaper space?

The headlines are simply fantastic:
Black list of Jews “return to fascism”
On the Net, the black list of Jewish teachers
Amato [ Interior Minister]: An offense against the law and against civilization
The blog closed, the hunt is on for the author. “We will get him”
Public derision, just as during fascism
Memory must be studied at University to put a stop to hate
Too dangerous a climate, according to the University’s point of view.
Code name H5N1, a year of poison sown in the internet
The alarm of the Department of the Interior …Anti-Semitism is reborn in Italy in this way

As you get your breath back, let’s try to understand exactly what His Majesty did. First, what is all that about a “Jews black list”?

Very simple. It is the list of signatories of an appeal “against anti-Semitism ” that has been in the public domain for a long time.
If you read the petition, you will see that it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, and everything to do with the State of Israel (yes, the usual, “those who fight on behalf of the native Palestinians population are anti-Semitic”).

So public was the petition that the promoters bought space in the newspaper Corriere della Sera to publish it, on 14th May 2005.
The space was not bought by the Neonazi International but by “Luzzato Amos, President of the Union of Jewish Italian Communities”. This means, that those on the list paid to publish their full names in a newspaper that sells a million copies a day, if my memory serves me right.

Three months ago (15.11.2007) [1] His Majesty King Shaulos II, with a simple copy and paste job, took the list from a Jewish web-page and put it on his blog (ten readers a day?) with this presentation:


A piece of nonsense, since the majority of the professors on the list are right wing extremists, racial segregation fanatics and genocide apologists, they are anything, but Jewish.

On the other hand, no one has said that Shaulos II was a wise king.

As it happens, he did not compile the “black list” himself.

The supposedly black-listed put it together themselves (…).

However, now His Majesty King Shaulos II will have to face the Jewish community who call him “ a cancer that can propagate and affect anyone ”, the Chancellor of Rome’s University says “ it is an unacceptable act of intolerance ”, the Chancellor of the other Roman university of Tor Vergata, Alessandro Agro, calls for the King to be jailed (being a King, I suppose to be guillottined). ” And also, he will have to face the whole Italian people, as Walter Veltroni, leader of the centre-left (and the enemy and scourge of gypsies) assures us.
Ready for the fight, the Minister of the University said his whole ministry would “pursue charges in court against the the authors of the list”.

The authors of the list, let us not forget, are Amos Luzzato and the Corriere della Sera.

Soon, Shaulos II will have to face scores of accusations from all the interested parties. The newspaper La Repubblica assures us that the professors are going to take him to court for libel.

Let’s see. The blogger has said (erroneously) that all those on the list are Jewish and (correctly) that they are all apologists of Israel.

Wonder which of the two statements they will sue him for.

[1] In other words, both I and those “included on the black list ” have had time to find that the list existed. After all, something called Google exists.
This means these people kept silent until the scandal of how Israel stole from Egypt the place of honor at the Turin Book Fair blew up in their faces. (see the document in Italian).

Source: Original article published on 9th February, 2008
About the author Miguel Martínez and Ernesto Páramo are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, translator and reviser are cited.
URL of this article on Tlaxcala:
French Spanish Italian

Razan al Ghazzawi – Very Important Rockets

from the outstanding blog Decentering Damascus , an important reflection on how we are “reading” this crisis, and a call to widen our expectations about what is important for Gazans and Palestinians to have. Not just food and gas, but a decent, normal life. (in the photo, Razan with other bloggers in Syria). -mary

I don’t appreciate it when Arab bloggers or Arab media agencies report and cover the Gaza blockade merely by talking about the death of children and women – I’m not sure why men’s lives don’t count – as if the problem is not death in itself but the “death-of-children”. So the counter argument of Israelis would be by starting counting the Palestinian children who’ve died due the siege and support their arguments with the lack of recourses:

“More Muslim mendacity. If children were indeed starving, why are there no photos of their swollen bellies?”

According to this logic, one can argue that since there are no photos of the Holocaust Gas chambers in which the Jews were collectively massacred by the Nazis, then one could surmise that the Gas chambers didn’t exist.

To get back to my point, the argument to oppose the Israeli apartheid policies on the Gazans and Palestinians in general shouldn’t be through counting/demonstrating dead children and women or even to focus merely on the inhumane situations in which the Palestinians are living, but the argument should address the “apartheid racist logic” that produced such inhumane practices. My problem is not “bringing up” the victims in the Gaza blockade coverage but rather making it “the” argument to oppose Israel as a counter argument. Death, shortage of fuel, food and medicine are only the “visible” practices of an Israeli apartheid state, they’re not “the” problem of this state and hence they shouldn’t be our rhetoric and our defense against Israel.

It seems that we have the right to “speak”, so loudly, against Israel when we have a picture of a child dying that without this child, we wouldn’t have a case against Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza.

The Arab rhetoric should renew its arguments, that again, are bombastic and not strategically analytical in reading their own realities in relation to the enemy or in reading the enemy’s strategy that constantly presents itself as a “prior” party in the “Palestinian-Israeli struggle.” The thing that would damage the core of the Palestinian cause when readers would support us merely as sympathizers with the dead children and not as supporters to Palestinians’ right to live securely and equally to the Israeli citizen.

Having said that, I have something to say about the Israeli right of self-defense against Qassam rockets.

Before assuming there is an opponent struggle taking place between the Israelis and Palestinians, one should agree then that the two parties, equally, have the basic right to live peacefully and securely, and accordingly have the right of self-defense. But when Israel, supported by the UN, US and Europe, keep prioritizing the Israeli citizens at the expense of the Palestinian citizens, one should not adhere to the term “Israel-Palestine struggle” since it suggests adversaries. In “Israel-Palestine struggle” there is one party -Israel- who has the right to have a life, hence the right of self-defense, and for that right, it has the right to control the other party’s right to live peacefully: it decides on behalf of the Gazans how they should live: “not easily“, and block their access to fuel, food and medicine and arbitrary night-raid their homes on their heads.

This Israeli right to live and right of self-defense is embedded in every single report, with or against Israel’s complete closure of Gaza Strip:

“We all understand the security problems and the need to respond to that but collective punishment of the people of Gaza is not, we believe, the appropriate way to do that,” said John Holmes.

So while the world agrees on Israelis right to live securely, the world is sympathizing with Gazans lack of fuel, food and medicine. i.e., lack of life.

With Israel the rhetoric is about its safety and its right to exist and for that it has the right to defend this very existence and life, but with the Palestinians, the rhetoric comes as the right to eat, to have hospitals and the right to be warm in winter.

Palestinians don’t have the right to have a life, nor the right to exist, and certainly not the right to defend themselves, Palestinians are not equal to Israelis, they’re inferior. They have the right to be merely fed. While the Israelis are always remembered, the dying Gazans are just now remembered.

Again, the world does prioritize Israelis as they support the Gazans now.

And the Arabs celebrate this utterly biased stand with the Israeli right to be secure when their mere opposition to the siege is dealt on humanitarian basis while they should be arguing for the Palestinians’ right to live equally as the Israelis, securely and peacefully, not just in regards with their basic needs to survive.

Furthermore, all the reports seem to be embeddedly convinced that Israel’s siege on Gaza is a “reaction” to Qassam rockets when they recognize Israel’s right to self-defense but shifts its attention to Gazans humanitarian rights. I find this rhetoric as apologetic to Israel’s terrorist policies with the Palestinians: linkage, between Qassam rockets and Israel’s two years siege on Gaza is dealt with on one level, as if the damage on both sides are similar. Let’s take a look at Gaza’s damages from the siege:

68 Patients killed by Israeli Occupation due to Closure!

1562 patients in need of treatment outside Gaza Strip

322 patients are in serious danger and in need of urgent treatment

22 money holistic are suspended from work due to the siege

107 class of basic medicines are depleted from Gaza Strip

97 sorts of medicines on the verge of depletion

136 medical instrument are stopped or our of order

6 months, Gaza with closed crossings and borders

160 thousand workers are out of work

3000 fishermen become out of work due to siege

$370 millions are the costs of stalled construction projects

$14 million are the wastage of strawberry and flowers season

4500 strawberry farmers become out of work

470 cancer patients are likely to die

And on the Israeli side:

Homemade rockets have killed in a most updated report 12 Israelis including three children, according to Israeli Defence Forces.

Yoram Schweitzer of Tel Aviv’s Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies comments:

“Qassams are very primitive missiles and their main effect on Israelis in the area is psychological torment – a kind of Chinese water torture.”

So I wonder how can psychological insecurities be considered parallel to Palestinian damages mentioned above, and how can two years of siege is considered as a reaction to these primitive rockets? Hence the linkage that is meant to be apologetic to war crimes committed on civilians to maintain security not to the lives of Israelis, but to their psychological situation.

I find the argument in B’Tselem report on the closure of Gaza Strip situation stands in its own to unfolding the truth behind the Israeli siege on Gaza:

“Israeli authorities often exploit security threats in order to advance prohibited political interests under the guise of security.”

Indeed, Sderot is inhabited by “Mizrachi” Jews and not by Azhkenazis, some of the inhabitants feel insecure not only from the Qassam rockets but by the racist Israeli government:

“The worst part of all this isn’t the rocket fire – it’s the fact that the government just doesn’t care,” said a Sderot settler.

I reject the article altogether and I think it sheds light on something that can be useful to unfolding Israeli government’s lies in claiming its “need to protect” its settlers; they’re not killing civilians “for” Sderot settlers but “against” Gazans’ political background; i.e., Hamas. So the Siege is strictly practiced for political reasons and not for security reasons.

Why is Israel targeting Hamas now? This is where my amateur analysis ends. Be sure to check out the Flickr photo sets. She is an extraordinarily talented photographer too.

Some Human Beings are More Human than Others

Why ethnic campaigning can be unethical
by Mary Rizzo

This blog recently has had some attention from Tony Greenstein. Taking a detour from his general direction of activism (sic) which boils down to exclusively attacking a growing list of other Pro-Palestinian activists – posting the same article that has been proven to be a misrepresentation consisting of a series of out-of-context quotes and insinuations about Gilad Atzmon – he’s using the same method, wallpapering every spot he can think of with his rantings using an identical post (to get the most mileage out of it, I suppose) that my blog is an Anti-Semitic sewer because it had this:

He stated:

“Under a title ‘Peacepalestine Offers Prisoner Exchange’ are four photographs of Ariel Sharon, Gilad Shalit, David Hirsh and myself, with what presumably are supposed to be wanted posters bearing our names, photographs, the title ‘human being’ (presumably this is disputed) and then, in reverse video the word ‘JEW’. All that is missing is the yellow star, but I’m sure Rizzo will manage to find a graphic artist up to the task.”

He then emphasizes that this is “clearly racist and anti-Semitic”.

Well, finally Tony Greenstein and I can partially agree on something. Gilad Atzmon and I have been stressing for years now that asking people to take action or to influence them by merit of some ethnically-based criterion is simply a racist way of thinking and operating, and Tony finally admits as much. If we are people, it shouldn’t matter one iota what group we are born or raised into. Ideologies are mindsets that are not “genetically instilled” and can be adopted or cast off or used at will. We can’t accept an objective ethnic belonging that carries no merit or defect as such, as an ethical device or even a way to persuade people. Ideologies matter, ethnic belonging does not. Belonging to one group or another should be irrelevant when trying to persude people of the value of an argument and influence their opinions. We should move beyond the stage of focussing on a person according to race, sex, religion, nationality or political leaning, and listen to their arguments.

It is too bad that Tony feels the need to continually insist on telling us that he was “The only Jewish speaker” at this meeting or that. Gosh, I didn’t know that there is a census made of the ethnic or religious belonging of the people who speak at meetings and that Tony was privy to that information. He also believes that Jews have special sensitivity to racism. “Jews, of all people, should be the first to oppose racism, whoever the victims and the perpetrators,” he says. While at the same time, he knows how (presumably all) Blacks must feel about it, refering to one of his interlocutors, so that he can be easily identified, apparently, as “a Black Sudanese guy”: “But again Black people have better understanding of racism than white ex-councillors”. (Following this logic, if the white ex-councillors are Jewish, they should be the first to oppose the racism, but other whites certainly are lacking in this moral characteristic.) If one were to judge the way he writes, it seems he does indeed think in racial stereotypes and categories and can’t resist mentioning it as if it were the normal thing to do. Yet, on the other hand, he insists that race does not exist, er… rather, it is a political construct. “Just to be clear. Zionism isn’t based on a race, nor is German anti-Semitism for the simple reason there are no such things as race. Race is a political construct.” (Alef message 5 January, 2008) Whether or not there is such a thing as race seems to be a matter of debate for geneticists, and we’ve all seen acceptable arguments from both sides of the debate. Tony is extremely “ethnically aware”, and this is absolutely crystal clear in almost every intervention he has on internet. One might say that it borders on an obsession. Whites, Blacks, Jews, Non-Jews, hardly a single thing he has written escapes this ethnic (or racial, if you like) labeling, complete with a categorical judgment of the sensitivity each group must have to racism issues a priori of their personal experiences. What DOES seem interesting is the fact that when TONY stresses his ethnicity, in his worldview, it’s a good and positive thing. When OTHER people do it, as the Shalit campaigners do, or those who spoof it, as Peacepalestine has done, it’s clearly racist and anti-Semitic. I wish he would make up his mind one way or the other.

I agree that the campaign for Gilad Shalit is clearly racist, but it is far from being anti-Semitic. They will have to presumably find someone to paste in that Yellow Star as Tony suggests, not because the campaign is anti-Semitic, but because it represents to perfection the Jewish Victim role, the only way we are supposed to feel about Jews, especially Israeli ones. To justify what Israel does, we have to know they are clearly victims of some irrational hatred based on the simple fact that they are Jews in an Arab world hostile to their very existence. The Yellow Star would be an apt symbol of the victim paradigm that we should never forget or place into any context, no matter what. Jews are and will be the eternal victim, and you better get the idea that they act only out of reasons of defense. Being victims, we have to empathise with their plight in all instances.

The identifying label of the righteous victim is used to influence people and suspend any other kind of rational thinking or judgment. The innocent victim status is used in the Shalit campaign to instill an idea that goes against reality. We have to suspend our judgment on the role that he fulfilled. We have to think that a soldier who was in an Occupation army, in occupied territory AS an occupier, not a journalist or excursionist, there to render the lives of the people under Occupation a hell on earth and endanger their very safety with his presence, was just an innocent child who needs to be returned to his worried parents. He has become the centre of a “humanitarian” campaign that has very little to do with humanity, despite the text one can read on the banner.

This campaign has been going on for a while. Anyone who has seen even one blog by Israel supporters has bumped into it. It’s really hard to remain indifferent to. Indeed, the graphic artists felt it NECESSARY to point out that Shalit is a Human being. Oh, yes, and a Jew as well. Generally, members of Homo Sapiens Sapiens ARE considered to be Human beings and we don’t need to be told, even though the pictures of Shalit bring more the idea of a lost puppy to mind.

And we all know that if Shalit was an IDF member, well, he could have been nothing other than Jewish. Tony was shocked at the horrible sort of racist labeling. As a matter of fact, he thought it was something I dreamed up myself and not a parody. He was unaware of this campaign. Where has he been hiding? The amount of posts he leaves around would indicate that he’s online a hell of a lot of hours in a day. A legitimate question to ask is what precisely does he do other than post his own repetitious text? He claims that he fights Zionism, but he has NEVER seen a Zionist site or blog since the day of the campaign??? That is longer than a year. How can one fight the enemy if one does not even know what the enemy is up to? Or maybe he’s seen it, but is pretending righteous indignation in order to influence people who may not be familiar with the propaganda tools of Zionism so that they come to think of my blog in the same jaundiced way he does. He obviously detests it, because it exposes his endless smear and silencing campaigns against Gilad Atzmon. Yet, to call it a rightwing blog with an anti-Semitic and conspiracist agenda is really pushing it. Apparently, he may need to convince himself more than he does others. And with the three-person following he has, he has to work harder on it, apparently.

But, leaving aside this provincial matter for the moment, I shall return to the issue of humanity and the Gilad Shalit campaign. I had the good fortune of working for several years in a major advertising agency as a copy editor and then copywriter. Our clients would show us their new product and we would have to come up with an appropriate campaign. The first thing one has to do is to “frame the target”. You have to know who you are trying to convince, and you have to use a language that will appeal to them on even a subconscious level. You have to reach them, then you have to influence them. Later, they will become an additional and correlated (not to mention cost-free) advertising element, by driving around on your motorcycle (in the case of the campaigns I managed).

Bringing that knowledge to the Shalit campaign, we see this: our target probably is NOT the group or individuals that hold Shalit. Most likely, they would not be overly sensitive to the fact that he is a Jew, or at least, this would not be the aspect of his being that would influence them the most. Perhaps those who created the campaign feel that those holding him in captivity are unaware that he is a human, so they have to spell it out, but I tend to believe that since the advert is in English and in Hebrew, our target is the Zio-blogosphere. So, the banner gets picked up and distributed on sites where people go who support Israel or at least aren’t blatantly or even latently pro-Palestinian. I have never seen the banner on a single pro-Palestinian site. Correct me, someone, if I am wrong and it is posted on some site of the sort.

The language then, has got to appeal to the crowd that follows the Zio-blogosphere. It is “normal” for them, I guess, to believe racial profiling is acceptable. If you are a Jew, anyway, and you are a Jew who is doing it, however. I doubt they would be convinced that Tony is right and that it is anti-Semitic. If I were still in advertising and worked on this campaign, I am pretty sure they would like the Yellow Star, though, and should consider integrating it into future versions of the campaign (all campaigns require a refresher in order to remain effective).

Now, what is the most interesting aspect of the entire campaign, attempting to appeal to the humanitarian aspect of the crisis, is we see just how the people who support this campaign think. Take a look at and see that there is a poll asking the following question:

Poll: One Year On. What should the Israeli Government do?
What action should the Israeli Government take now that Hamas has clear control of Gaza and it has been 1 year since Gilad Shalit was been kidnapped

Negotiate with Hamas

Negotiate with Hamas, release as many prisoners as it takes

Hold the Hamas Leadership directly accountable

Hold the Leadership accountable and give them one final deadline before military action

Hold Leadership accountable, give deadline for military action and total cessation of all Israeli supplied electricty and Water.

view results

Well, how do you think that the public answered as of today’s date?

Let me show you the results:

What action should the Israeli Government take now that Hamas has clear control of Gaza and it has been 1 year since Gilad Shalit has been kidnapped

Negotiate with Hamas 18% 127

Negotiate with Hamas, release as many prisoners as it takes 14% 97

Hold the Hamas Leadership directly accountable 10% 72

Hold the Leadership accountable and give them another final deadline before military action 10% 73

Hold Leadership accountable, give deadline for military action and total cessation of all Israeli supplied electricty and Water. 47% 327

total votes: 696

More than half of them (58%) demand that there be military action taken (raids, presumably resulting in deaths of innocent civilians, as is often the case), and a whopping 47% call for total cessation of Israeli-supplied electricty (sic) and Water. (As if it comes from someplace else).

What would the result of such a call be? It isn’t too hard to comprehend, given that Israel has already begun the cessation of supply to the people they keep confined in Gaza. It means treating human beings like their lives are expendable, and actually turning a deaf ear as one hears their cries that they are dying. I would hope that people who care about Shalit would think before they push a little button to state their opinion, and consider that it is very inhumane to cut off basic utilities services of the people who you have made depend on them. It is a form of torture and duress. It certainly is how a complete sadist would operate. Animals in a zoo are treated better than that.

Are the people who are so concerned to show the world that the IDF soldier captured while he was in operative duty is a Human being (oh, and a Jew too), able to even see or feel that the more than one million men, women and children in Gaza are Human beings as well? Or does the fact that there are no longer any Jews in Gaza mean that genocide and collective punishment is acceptable? Was the last human removed from Gaza with the unilateral withdrawal?

But, I don’t know why any of this surprises me. We all have heard that the reason for the breakout of the so-called Second Lebanon War was the capture of two IDF soldiers and the killing of eight in the border zone between Lebanon and Israel. This is the Israeli Government version of the war. Therefore, untold death and devastation is a normal and acceptable price to pay for the lives of a Human being (and Jew) wearing an IDF uniform? We know how many innocent Human beings were killed in the war Israel started. This is the page of the Israeli deaths, and this is a listing of all the casualties. Take a look at it carefully. The civilian casualties are 1,233+ (the plus meaning countless and unknown numbers of those whose death was not immediate, and we can probably add a great deal more to this list, given the situation of utter devastation that Israel created in Lebanon. The civilian wounded tops 5,089 people. The military deaths are 438 – 888+ (given the variable reports) and more than 512 wounded. The situation of devastation caused over one million people (human beings, as far as I know) to have been temporarily made into refugees, “with an unknown number of missing civilians in the south”, as was stated in several articles referenced but no longer available in an online version. It is important to mention that the southern zone of Lebanon, a residential area, was cluster bombed, meaning, the resettlement of humans is quite unlikely, due to the remote possibilities of returning to a land that has been wilfully disseminated with unconventional (and illegal, even in an activity as unholy as war) weapons that will bring about devastation for years to come. These weapons were dropped there precisely for that inhumane purpose by the Israeli army.

So, are we to deduce from all of this that you are only a Human being if you wear an IDF uniform? Or if you are a Jew? Is calling for carnage and devastation to other Human beings a proper response to the capture of a soldier? Judging by the “humanitarian” mode of thinking by those who support the Free Gilad Shalit campaign, I think we can come to some of our own conclusions.

One thing is clear, and that is that we are anaesthetized into thinking that if it is a Jewish activist, campaigning as such, calling for action, be it to “fight anti-Semitism”, “bring down Zionism” or to collectively punish millions of non-Jews (non-Humans?) it is something “normal”. It is indeed not something normal, and it is about time we started to stop expecting people to think in pre-masticated ways, expecting them to assume that a Jew certainly should know better or act in a way that is beyond judgment. This is a call for the end, once and for all, of ethnically based campaigning. It’s just another aspect of racist campaigning, and it treats us all like we are racists and need to be told what is right and what is wrong.

Gilad Atzmon (double bill) Letter @ Bush / Brighton Bis

Letter to George W Bush
Why don’t you Bomb Yourself and Save Us All
President Bush had tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel’s Holocaust Memorial on Friday and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing. AP

This is what President Bush said today at the end of his formal visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

You see Mr. President, it couldn’t work out, because at that time Hitler was working for America, killing ‘red Communists’.

At the time, America and Britain had an armistice with Nazi Germany in mind.

You simply couldn’t just admit that Hitler was a butcher? No one makes peace with industrial mass murderers.

As if this is not enough, at the time your country’s military intelligence didn’t really buy the story of Nazi Germany’s involvement in mass liquidation. Consequently, your country didn’t open its gates to Jewish refugees.

However, if you are truly shocked by Nazi inhumanity and regret your country’s impotence at the time of the war, now is the time to act.

You can always save the Palestinians.

You can, for instance, just threaten to bomb Tel Aviv, Haifa or Jerusalem…

This will be enough to liberate the Palestinians in Gaza Concentration Camp.

In case you are still motivated by a genuine humanist call, you may consider bombing yourself, and saving the rest of the Iraqi people from the genocide you apparently inflicted on them.

Mr President, it is never too late to save humanity from yourself and your ilk.

Letter to the Editor of The Argus, the newspaper that did the smear piece on Atzmon.
Crowd to hear speaker were no racists
Thanks to a story in The Argus on Monday, and Jean Calder’s comment piece (The Argus, December 29), last night I was able to hear an interesting talk by Israeli jazz musician Gilad Atzmon. Some people attending arrived clutching the article from Monday’s paper.
Unfortunately, because one man stuck up threatening posters at the Brighthelm, I had to hear the talk standing up in the kitchen of a private house while Mr Atzmon’s talk was relayed by TV from a crowded upstairs room. It turned out that the protester had originally been invited to debate with Mr Atzmon.

Much of the talk was the fascinating story of Mr Atzmon’s life as a Jewish person growing up in Israel in the 1970s. He told us that all he wanted to do as a teenager was play the saxophone, so when he was conscripted into the Israeli Defence Forces his “job” was to play in the army band.

Then he recounted his horror at what he saw when taken on a tour of a camp for Palestinian prisoners run by the Israeli Defence Forces in Lebanon in the 1980s. He called it a concentration camp. He said that as a child the only Palestinians he knew were the ones that cleaned his parents’ house and that they were taught nothing about Palestinians as people at school.

His experiences in Lebanon made him question his whole upbringing and he eventually decided he could no longer live in Israel.
I can understand why some may find him offensive. He described his grandfather’s Zionist militia, who apparently took part in more than 50 massacres of Palestinians in the 1940s, as Jewish nazis – not a term I feel comfortable with. And his sarcastic, humorous speaking style is mocking of everything whether it be jazz, Marxists, leftists or religious tradition, which can make people feel uncomfortable.
But I am certain that Mr Atzmon and all the people crowded into that small house last night would be the first to oppose all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and nazism. What a shame that it is so easy to prevent proper public discussion on such important issues.
Dave Jones, Springfield Road Brighton

Christians United For Israel Summit …(and some say there ain’t no lobby?)

Click over the image to enlarge it. Well worth the effort!
What follows is a very strange document. It is page 22 of the October edition of the glossy booklet by Christians United for Israel, a lobby that claims it has 50 million members and 5 million Jewish sympathisers. Now, there are many who say, “Lobby? NO WAY!” I ask them to read this document which is the (claimed) testimonial of a young Jewish university student who attended their DC Summit. I have a few doubts that it’s bona fide, because the grammatical errors you see – such as a comma before ‘and’ in a three part clause – are carried through in the rest of the booklet, which has as its publisher John and Diana Hagee and its writers people like David Brog (executive director of CUFI, executive at AOL, proud Jew and author of the article about Randy Travis and Joe Lieberman, “Separated at Birth” and Gary Bauer.) The young man has a secret identity, or else he’s not in the habit of signing his name when making a testimonial, highly irregular! But, there are some very interesting elements in this letter, fake or not.

1) The student does not say he is an Israeli citizen, but a Jew, and he wanted to go with a Kippah just to show his “gratitude for all the support these people were giving us”. Us. Hmm…

2) He says the place turned into a Mega-Church. I wonder if he’s ever been in one. First of all, generally Jewish people do not enter into Christian churches, and if they do, wouldn’t they expect there to be prayer and not political rallies? Instead we have this:

3) American and Israeli flags, the name of Jesus not mentioned even once the entire night. Although he contradicts himself later!! (They need a professional “proofreader and fact checker”, methinks).

4) It is a lobby. This is stated very clearly, and every Congressman and Senator will get a visit from these people. “lobbying in support of Israel and the Jewish people”. It is explicitly stated.

5) There is an evident racism in all of this. People treat him like he is a carnival freak, and he’s glad to play the part. They hug him “because I’m Jewish… asking me to pray for them, telling me I was blessed by God”.

6) The voice of the Jewish people in America (yes, Jewish) is the Church of Jesus Christ. What church is that? I’d like to know. Sounds like a strange Church if it’s got American and Israeli flags and no crosses or turns the teachings of Jesus (oops, Yehoshua) on its head. Jesus would never have said, “let us pray for the destruction of our enemies”. Quite the opposite. It’s in their Bibles, if they know how to read.

7) The usage of the term GOYIM (all caps in the original, in fact, no changes were made to the original, as anyone can see from the image), and the other derogatory self-reference of the Christians.

8) The comparison of Iran to Germany and Ahmedinejad to Hitler needs no further comment. Just note it there and see how it is used in propaganda of all the lobbies, as well as being the foreign policy of Israel based on its usage of these images.

If that ain’t a lobby, I will eat my hat, scarf and gloves.

ONE MORE INTERESTING ELEMENT! Thanks to the attentive readers of Peacepalestine, more strange things jump out. James Bowen, the dedicated webmaster of Palestine Information with Provenance clicked on the image and was more careful and attentive than I was in transcribing. He wrote:

There is an interesting little detail on the picture you mentioned in your blog. Look at the signature given for the piece:
–Shalom – Student at Yeshira University
Note — YeshiRa, not YeshiVa.
There is no such place as Yeshira University, although there is a Yeshiva University in New York.
Whoever compiles the stuff for the CUFI newsletter seems to be quite ignorant.

Christians United for Israel
Washington, D.C. Israel Summit

Last night was one of the most amazing nights of my life… I wish every Jewish person could have witnessed what I did… it was unreal.

On a whim, I grabbed two friends and attended “A Night to Honor Israel” hosted by “Christians United for Israel” at the Washington Convention Center. My main goal was simply to show up wearing a kipah and show my gratitude for all of the support these people were giving us. The room was filled with over 3,000 people. There were priests, rabbis, songs, prayers, awards, and speeches (Bibi Netanyahu, Newt Gingrich, Dore Gold, Sallai Meridor and many more). The room essentially turned into a Mega-Church, with thousands of Christians shouting and praising God, praying for the protection, safety, and prosperity of Israel and the Jewish people, and for the destruction of the enemies of America and Israel, while waving American and Israeli flags and listening to the sound of shofars being blasted. And yet the name “Jesus” was not mentioned once the entire night. (Yehoshua of Nazareth was said ONCE at the very end of the event)

As I write this there are thousands descending on the Hill, in the offices of every Congressman and Senator, thousands of Christians lobbying in support of Israel and the Jewish people – and you thought AIPAC was strong, the numbers of Christians United for Israel around America is quoted at being over 50 MILLION people!

By the end of the night, I had met so many people who just were hugging me because I was Jewish, giving me their names and asking me to pray for them, telling me I was blessed by God. I also met the Executive Director of CUFI, who said he would love to come and speak at Yeshiva University. What is contained in this email is just a small drop in a very large sea of awe and emotion from one of the most incredible events I have ever been to in my life. Here are just a few quotes:

“The sleeping giant has awakened and the Jewish people have a new voice in America – the Church of Jesus Christ… 50 million Bible Believing Christians and 5 million American Jews are a match made in heaven.”

“The Bible Belt is Israel’s Safety Belt!”

“We former pagans, former idol-worshipping heathen GOYIM now stand united with the Jewish people. Hashem has done great things, is doing great things, and will do great things for Israel! Baruch Hashem!”

“We are currently in 1936, Iran is Germany and Ahmadinejad is Hitler. The silence of the Christian Church during WWII was inexcusable. Today, gather with me and say, ‘Never again, not on our watch!’ This time the Church will not be silent!”

“Jimmy Carter has accused us of having a ‘hidden agenda.’ We have operated for years under the eyes of the Jewish community and I am proud to say that there are Jews here tonight! How much money from terrorists goes to your Fund For Peace Mr. Carter? If anyone has a hidden agenda, it is you!”

Never before have I seen such a sanctification of God’s name, a kiddush hashem, and I was so proud to be a part of something so warm, wonderful, and amazing. It was worth coming to DC just for this event – it was life altering.
–Shalom – Student at Yeshiva University

Fabio Mini (an Italian General) – "Operation Swarm"- War without End against Iran

Writing for Italy’s l’Espresso, Italian General Fabio Mini has understood and explained the dangerous mechanisms of gaining consensus to wage war against “Enemies”, which are variable and flexible according to the interests of hegemonic power. This enlightening article explains the manner in which War against Iran has been promoted in the West as well as the operative elements that will bring it about. A MUST READ! Translated from Italian by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo for Tlaxcala and peacepalestine. (Also on peacepalestine by Fabio Mini: Even Escape is an Art, about the impossible disengagement from Iraq.

Anyone who thought that the green light for the Israeli-American attack against Iran would come from the American Congress, was wrong. Equally wrong were those who thought that a president like Bush, so frustrated by the Iraqi chaos, the Afghan deadlock and the industrial lobbies’ pressures, would wind up making the decision on his own. The attack against Iran will take place thanks to the newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Kouchner. In these years of threats and counter-threats, of pretexts to make war, the only “revealing” words have been those from the laconic phrase “we must prepare ourselves for the worst.” Many have taken these words as a slip of the lip, others have regarded them as a bad luck-dispelling provocation, others as an instigation and still others as a submission to an ineluctable event. It could be that the sentence contains all of this, but the profound essence of Kouchner’s words is different.

Strange connections and affinities have come into being in these last 15 years of worldwide military interventions of different kinds. Armies have been integrated with private soldiers, visionaries with mercenaries, business with ideology, and truth has gotten so imbued with lies that the propaganda’s logic can’t account for either. And one of the most unusual connections is the one that has been established between military staff, humanitarian workers and foreign policy, to such an extent that each of the three components can pass itself off as the other two. The main cement of this union is the emergency concept. Foreign politics has lost its nature of continuity in the relations between states and in the sphere of international organizations. It has been devoting itself for a while to running emergency relations, meaning extemporaneous relations connected to temporary and changeable interests or positions that are transitory and changeable to variable geometries.

At the end of the day, emergency politics is the only kind that allows a limited and selective commitment. Moreover, it can be done or undone at one’s will, since the dimension of the emergency can be manipulated or interpreted. Following the same manner of reasoning, the armies of these last 15 years have exclusively devoted themselves to emergency situations, preferably abroad and for so-called humanitarian reasons, in order to guarantee themselves consensus and support. There are no longer any armies able to defend their own territories or to provide defence in case of war. It’s increasingly difficult to find a state threatened with war by another state and today all the world’s armies rely on a minimum 12-month notice allowing them to mobilise the resources for national defence. Therefore, they have become specialized in emergency in the respect of both the kind and the timing of the interventions.

When Kouchner candidly states that we “must prepare ourselves for the worst” he simply interprets a philosophy which doesn’t have as its objective the searching for the best, less traumatic solution, but which instead calls on the political class to manage the emergency, the military means and the humanitarian organizations which have by now become inseparable. It’s also about the recognition of the political class’s incapacity itself to think of and find enduring solutions. It is about the military instruments and their incapacity in managing conflict situations until their complete stabilization, and the incapacity of the humanitarian organizations in settling the problems of the people in more long-term perspective than the one offered by emergency. Finally, Kouchner also admits that the summation of these incapacities leads inevitably to war.

Then, war it will be.

It’s obvious that, under these conditions, some exaggerations are required in order to assure the accomplishment of the emergency and the intervention of the various components: something has to happen: ­what the observers call the “trigger”­ so that it may provoke the political emergency, there has to be an immediate danger for the security of everyone and a humanitarian catastrophe has to be in sight (the bigger, the better). There has to be, in other words, a manageable apparatus capable of “inventing” the emergency, as well inventing its conclusion that will allow disengagement and the end of the commitment whether or not there has been any solution of these problems. The attack against Iran falls perfectly within this scenario and, looking at it carefully, it’s by now a nearly completed picture.

There are multiple pretexts available for the attack. The idea that Iran intends upon developing a nuclear bomb and to destroy Israel is by now widely recognized by everyone. What’s missing are confirmations and evidence beyond poor empty boasting, but in the past we have witnessed terroristic boasting that has at any rate, come about and nobody is willing to run the risk of underestimating it, not even for truth’s sake. An Iranian or Iranian-supported attack against the American forces in Iraq, this too without a scrap of proof, has started to persuade even the most sceptical people. Sooner or later, after much speaking about it and evoking it, it will be taken as an invitation or a challenge and it will really be carried out. The support Iran gives to Hamas and Hezbollah makes Teheran extremely vulnerable. An excess or mistake by one of these formations is sufficient to set off an immediate military intervention.

The foreign policy of the most major nations, Europe included, is by now used to the idea that a military intervention is able to bring Iran back to the positions it was in 20 years ago. Moreover, what’s starting to be accepted is the idea that the purpose isn’t only that of preventing a nuclear power from rising but also that of terminating the country as a regional player which embodies oil and strategic interests in every part of south central Asia. Regarding the military planning aspect, everything has already been prepared for a while. The plans for the attack date back to 1979, at the time of the US embassy crisis, and they have been updated with new technologies and strategies ever since.

The thesis that it’s about an attack basically aimed at the atomic installations with no collateral damage for the civil population is only a miserable fantasy from those who have by now become used to telling lies. Even the idea that it may be restricted to Iranian soil is suspicious to say the least, since the end of the stubbornness and the boastfulness of the Ayatollahs, on one side, and by the Israeli-Americans, on the other, has to do with interests and ambitions which go far beyond the Persian Gulf.

Whatever the kind of attack it may be, it will produce heavy military and civil casualties regardless of whether or not a nuclear emergency fall-out or a radiation leak is triggered. Any kind of attack must have as its premise the destruction of defence structures: air and missile bases, deposits, mobile ramps, military ports, naval units, radars and anti-aircraft artilleries, land and armoured units, communication and command headquarters will have to be eliminated before or during the attack against the nuclear installations.

Many of these structures are located near the most densely populated areas. Even taking into account the most sophisticated cruise missiles, the “intelligent” bombs directed against the targets by the Israeli and American commandos, who have already been operative for some time in Iran, a quite high margin of collateral effects remains. Were mini nuclear fission bombs or neutron bombs to be used instead of the conventional “bunker busting” bombs, the damage percentage might rise, even thought not as greatly as many expect.

Also the thesis that precise attacks may be carried out with only one component, the aerial and missile one, is a deception. A complex operation, as they say they want to realize, that aims at bringing the Iranian bellicose potential back to the stone age, requires multiple attack actions, with many forces, from many directions and in short lapses of time in order to prevent, as colonel Boyd used to say, any capability of decision, reaction and counter-strategy by the enemy. The multiple action has to also prevent the direct retaliation by the Iranian air and naval forces against the oil installations and cargos in the Persian and Oman Gulfs. It has to neutralise the missile threats against the American military bases in Central Asia and the Middle East. It has to prevent indirect Iranian strategic operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, the Caucasus area and anywhere else a Shia may represent trouble. Moreover, Teheran controls the northern coast of the Hormuz Straits and closing this seaway to oil cargos might cause oil prices to skyrocket to levels between 200 and 400 dollars per barrel.

The same would happen if Iran turned sabotage actions and bombings against the oil installations of other countries in the area. The military strategy of the attack against Iran can’t therefore be entrusted to a surgical attack or to one single component. It can be nothing but that of “Swarm Warfare” (or Horde Warfare), unearthed by Arquilla and Ronfeld after the unmatchable realization by Gengis Khan. In modern terms, this strategy makes all the components of war­land operative, naval, air, missile, space, virtual and information ones­ on multiple settings and levels. To achieve all this, it’s necessary that the “swarm” of the various components and actions, which develop by focusing on one place and then by spreading to other directions and places, be are at least sufficient enough in order to prevent any sort of reaction. The hordes entrusted with destroying the targets materially have to get integrated and to focus on targets along with the virtual hordes of diplomatic actions, of psychological warfare and with those of the manipulation of information.

The military actions have to be aimed at creating a humanitarian emergency that allows the international organizations to intervene in Iranian territory. Obviously, the responsibility for the catastrophe must be pinned on the Iranians themselves. Even in this respect, everything is ready or practically ready, not least after Kouchner’s exhortation. International agencies and NGOs are already looking forward to going to Iran to set women free from their chadors. If they are given the chance to intervene so as to gather refugees, to treat the wounded, to do the counts of the dead and to call elections every month, there will be a rush to bring democracy to Iran.

This scenario’s complexity shouldn’t lead one to think that it’s necessary to deploy a huge amount of forces. The Israeli and American flight formations’ bombing capacities are so high that they can cover multiple targets with a limited amount of jets. The naval missiles are by now technological weapons that don’t require mass interventions to carry out precise or wide-scale destruction. If anything, the variety of the plans and the kinds of intervention will bring about coordination, command and control problems, yet nothing out of the ordinary. The US and Israel have been cooperating for half a century and the matters of pseudo-authorizations from third countries about flying over or troops’ transit are by now overcome both by political accords with concerned countries and by the two powers’ inclination to ignore any objections.

What remains is the serious and important unknown of the post-emergency. The doubt about the future of a state which retains imperial origins and outlooks and which finds itself being turned from “rogue state” into “loser state” and being regarded as a political and strategic black hole after having been considered as aspiring to the role of regional power. Deep uncertainty remains not so much for the reaction to the defeat or the reduction of its aspirations but for the reaction to the humiliation. What can’t be ruled out is just what they want to avoid, that is, Iran’s nuclearization, still to be proved and implemented, which might instead be favoured with the help of foreign powers as a reaction to the humiliation.

Fabio Mini is an Italian General, former commander of the NATO forces in Kossovo.
Italian original: Translated by Diego Traversa and revised by Mary Rizzo, members of Tlaxcala.