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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seapration/Farewell: The Turkish TV Drama Drama

Or 'The Drama over the Turkish TV Drama'

I guess this is the latest in the Turkey/Israel tensions.

So this is a Turkish TV show that apparently is set in Gaza and shows soldiers killing innocent Palestinians, which is the experience of many, but Israel denies this occurs. Israel and Turkey have a diplomatic relationship. Israel appears to be suggesting Turkey do something about this show that offends them.

There are several caveats and angles, here.

*I'll start with the ironic. One of these broadcasts said the reason we even know anything about this is largely due to the Israeli government's protests about the show... I think we can all agree on that.

*Are Israeli soldiers falling victim to the stereotyping that Muslims face in American movies and TV shows (i.e. always portrayed as a terrorist like in the show 24)? Or is this in the more generally permissible range of us Americans telling our story or side of the events (Vietnam, WW, etc) with poetic license (and our slant) that lets us base movies and books on real events, but make up minor things, fill in conversations, etc?

*This quote contains two big things to think about:

Lieberman added: "Such a drama series, which doesn't even have the slightest link to reality and which presents Israeli soldiers as murderers of innocent children, isn't worthy of being broadcast even by enemy states and certainly not in a state which has full diplomatic relations with Israel."

A. If it has no like to reality and no one's claiming it's a documentary, what's the big deal? I guess it portrays Israel in a negative light, Israel believes, falsely. Israel might have a point, except many an eyewitness and human rights report, including a recent UN (Goldstone) one, address similar concerns. Whether Israel is actually objecting to the perceived lack of basis in reality or extreme similarity to IDF behavior is not necessarily apparent...

B. They seem to be hinting that Turkey should do something about the TV show, but haven't really gone as far as in other spats, like Sweden, for example, where they demanded action. It seems to me that Turkey doing something about the show might repair relations with Israel somewhat, but at the expense of an important aspect of democracy...

Read for yourself:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Settlements- not just talk

While Obama and Netanyahu talk (and talk and talk), some people are actually doing:

ADC Releases Information Detailing Campaign Against Illegal Settlements

“ADC has filed multiple administrative complaints with the with the US
Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),
requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming
tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the US Tax Code yet allegedly raising
funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West
Among other allegations, the ADC complaints allege that these
organizations are using assets and income in direct violation of their addressed
purpose, and to support illegal and terrorist activities abroad.”

A Timeless Theme: Whatever Bibi Wants, Bibi Gets

Someone has summed up my posts on Netanyahu- look for the tag on the right hand side of the blog to list them.

Whatever Bibi Wants, Bibi Gets


Variation on a theme; same idea, different official:
Olmert’s arrogance-

Admin Won’t Contradict Olmert Claim on Ceasefire

"In the night between Thursday and Friday, when the secretary of state wanted to
lead the vote on a ceasefire at the Security Council, we did not want her to
vote in favour," Olmert said.
"I said 'get me President
Bush on the phone'. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in
Philadelphia. I said I didn't care. 'I need to talk to him now'. He got off the
podium and spoke to me.
"I told him the United States
could not vote in favour. It cannot vote in favour of such a resolution. He
immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote in favour."


And Sharon’s infamous arrogance-

Sharon to Peres:

"every time we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that.
I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on
Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it."

--Occupied Jerusalem: 3 October, 2001 (IAP News, Kol Yisrael Radio)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Israel doesn't spy on us

Israel's espionage history

This appears to be a bad link, so here's something that may be similar.

A Long History: Israeli Espionage Against the US

The author of this one also wrote a book that might be interesting:
Breaking the "Unwritten Rule" in Israeli Espionage

These are some older links below. You may remember the Israeli art student debacle where they got caught snoping in classified material and the New Zealand situation, among others.

From an old post on an old blog (of mine):

In this link from 2004, it says Lebanon busted an Israeli spy ring.

AIPAC Espionage Case Dismissal Gambit Fails

FBI looks at Pentagon worker in Israel spy probe

Iran arrests 'spy' faking nuclear company

Israeli Art Student Mystery

Israeli Diplomat, Spy Suspect Met

'Mossad spies' jailed over New Zealand passport fraud,,1262362,00.html

Breaking the Taboo on Israel's Spying Efforts on the United States

The Spy Who Loves Us

More links- mostly with the Franklin/Jane Harmon/ Rosen/ AIPAC stuff:

Justice Department Aborts Attempt to Hold AIPAC to U.S. Law

The AIPAC/Rosen spy issues continue to 2009:Why Steve Rosen is Suing AIPAC

And a post already on this blog:
My post on last year’s Kadish arrest--

Another Israeli spy...

I’ll start with a book suggestion for more info on Israel and their nuclear history (and our reaction of lack thereof) and to some extent spying - The Samson Option by Seymour Hersh.

For spying, I’d suggest By Way of Deception by Victor Ostrovsky. Critics of critics of Israel have numerous criticisms and reasons why this is bogus, but if you read (or search for yourself) the part where Israel tries to prevent the publishing by legal and other channels, you begin not to know whom to believe. And that may well have been Plan B- discrediting it if it does get published. Kind of like when former government officials resign and say a few things the administration wanted to keep a lid on, they find some dirt or other way to discredit him so we’ll forget about what was revealed due to our (intentionally planted) doubts about veracity.

Back to the spy headline of the week, Stewart Nozette…

My question upon hearing this was why the investigation if Israel’s not implicated? They had to know or suspect something in order to decide to pose as Mossad and recruit him. I guess they couldn't go after Israel with the info from the sting, but to draw from that that Israel doesn't spy on us or wasn't involved is rather ridiculous. I find it hard to believe (well, maybe not so much…) that he and others that have top secret info that get tangled up in situations like this go waving it around and soliciting Israelis to give it to. I am quite sure (or hope) that these people intend to honor their agreement and terms of security clearance with our government, but are lured by the various persuasive ( and coercive?) tactics of the Mossad.

This article did detail why the FBI decided to pose as Mossad and why Nozette.
“The complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on
its behalf violated U.S. law. In Jerusalem, Israeli government officials had no
immediate comment.”,8599,1931321,00.html

The Time article had the concise explanation on why the FBI posed as Mossad:

“But around 2006 or so, investigators became suspicious that Nozette was
secretly working for a foreign government…”

“A complaint filed at the US District Court in Washington does not accuse Israel
of spying, and senior Israeli government officials insisted yesterday that their
country did not conduct espionage activities in friendly states.”

Yeah, Israel doesn’t conduct espionage activities in friendly states and Dimona is a textile factory!

For those of you who may not know, Dimona is the (or a major?) site of Israel’s nuclear weapons research and or manufacture, which they insisted for decades was a textile factory; they didn’t have any nukes. Their denial of the nukes is much like their insistence today that they do everything possible to minimize casualties in the Occupied Territories.

This article lists Pollard and Kadish at the end- they were convicted. I can think of numerous other situations in this country and other “friendly states” where Israel was implicated, suspected, etc. I expect most of those get thrown out. We wouldn’t want to prove Israel wrong on the no spying on friendly states assertion, would we? That wouldn’t be friendly.


"Alan (an Israeli Mossad agent) told us that he had many friends in the U. S. intelligence, 'But I always remember the most important thing. When I am sitting with my friend...he's not sitting with his friend.'"

"They (people) don't understand that the Mossad regards the whole world outside Israel as a target, including Europe and the United States."

- "By Way of Deception" by Victor Ostrovsky, ex-Mossad agent.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our anti-Israel biased media? Yeah. Right.

Sorry for the earlier typo (Our pro-Israel biased media. Yeah. Right.)- I was thinking of two different titles...

Our media is only slightly less biased towards Israel than our foreign policy.

I found this while looking for something else---

Don't drink while reading this; you'll have to clean the screen:

My first thought was CNN and Wolf Blitzer, ex-AIPAC operative. Anti-Israel? Really?

The mainstream media may be reporting more now on various UN reports and human rights groups that document Israel's war crimes, but it has never said or implied Hamas is following the law or anything like that. Call me crazy, but when a group the US considers a terrorist group commits 13 murders it isn't going to generate the same hype as a close ally who commits 1300 murders and is accused of war crimes that it refuses to admit occurred. And let's say for the sake of argument that coverage was pro-Palestinian - our political position is staunchly pro-Israel regardless of Israel's crimes, US coverage, or anything else. We haven't forced them to comply with law as long as they've been a state. Bush (HW) came close when he withheld aid. Obama's talking a lot about settlements, but it looks like nothing will come of that- Israel still doesn't have to do anything. We don't care about what Israel did or didn't do in Gaza- we have even "convinced" Palestinians to comply with US/Israeli wishes. Why not give Palestinians the media thing, especially considering that it's not there to begin with?

*** *** ***
This site refutes a similar claim to the one above that CAMERA made:

Here are some terms that the US media uses that rather proves a pro-Israel bias. Example: calling settlements neighborhoods instead of illegal under international law.

Here is a discussion of an interesting book on the matter...

More on settlements...and terror...

An infrastructure of Jewish terror

The law abiding state, country of laws thing has been repeated many times- seemingly in order to convince and not necessarily as a statement of fact. This article is one of many things that makes that clear.

The Haaretz link discusses how settlements are illegal at a minimum and could be associated with terrorism. We think of settlements as an issue of legality or illegality, but residents on the ground have much greater day to day concerns- their land, livelihoods, etc are disappearing. These concerns are the other side of the coin of a settler's "natural growth" or "normal life". It is the status quo while these never ending and often interrupted negotiations are taking place in Washington and New York.

Another point the article makes clear is how Israel doesn't intend to get rid of settlements or comply with law. Once you get that, you see the only option is the ICC, for which the opportunity may be passing quickly...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

PA impedes action on Goldstone report?!

The puppetmaster is hard at work.

The PA is the reason the Goldstone report is not going to the Security Council and will be postponed until March?? At first glance, perhaps you'd call it treason or shooting yourself in the foot or whatever, but when you think who is sitting on the Security Council, maybe it's just admitting the inevitable defeat early on.

In this account I found it odd that the decision to delay was attributed to Abbas and Abbas was launching an internal investigation to see why his government ruled to delay the vote. ??? Was he not there? Is he not a part of this government? Someone made the decision without consulting Fayyad or PLO leadership and Abbas apparently doesn't know who made this decision or why? An investigation of this sort seems rather silly when you are in the situation of those in Occupied Palestine. American pressure was mentioned, and I'll buy it, but this is nuts.

Needless to say, I have to find another source.


This one quotes Arab leaders saying this is a missed opportunity and Abbas should step down. I agree that it was a bit of a missed opportunity, but given the US veto, which is a given, maybe I can see why he gave in. I guess when the choices are- stick to you guns and stand up for your rights even though you are sure to be shot down and called uncooperative and shunned --or-- concede and delay the vote and be called slightly less uncooperative and re-enter unending "peace talks" sponsored by the best friend of your Occupier- it would be hard to choose. Maybe it wouldn't matter.


The Guardian makes it a bit clearer:

The Palestinian reversal came after "intense diplomacy" by Washington, which told the Palestinians that going ahead with the vote would harm efforts to restart peace talks with the Israelis, according to diplomats quoted by news agencies.

They did help draft a motion in support of the report, but didn't go forward with it due to this threat and the fact that if it were voted down, it would just go away.

I still can't help thinking this was a missed opportunity, though...

I'd like to see the leadership stand up for the people now and then. But where would that get them? They'd be accused by the US and Israel of doing a disservice to their people. Being uncompromising on the right of return, the small amount of land left by the 67 borders, Jerusalem, holy sites, and the dismantling of settlements- all of the things supposedly guaranteed them under international law- would get them called Arafat and accused of missing an opportunity for peace. Yet, if they compromise on any of these things, the people suffer and rights are forfeited. Sure, they might get some fleeting influence from the US, but that would be revoked as soon as they stopped conceding their rights back to Israel.

Funny how Palestinians must put off action on reports that detail Israeli war crimes against them, they must meet despite a refusal by Israel to follow the law and dismantle (even freeze) settlements to be considered remotely eligible to be a partner for peace. Israel can boycott elected Palestinian leaders, have leaders that are terrorists, and break laws left and right and still be considered the eternal victim and ultimate partner for peace.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ahmedinejad- myth vs. fact

Just after doing the Palestine- myth vs fact post, I got an email about Ahemdinejad's not really saying he wants Israel wiped off the map, among other things. I've heard this countless times in the news, in conversations, and I never really questioned it myself, so I was intrigued.

Here it is:

It turns out that Ahmadinejad never said what is being routinely attributed to him. Juan Cole, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at University of Michigan who reads Persian, explains that he actually stated (quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini): "The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] from the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad)."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Palestine/Israel- Myths and Facts

I came across this first article in my inbox and remembered some other myth vs fact sites I've run across over the years.

Think Again: Palestine

"Economic Peace Is Possible."
"Arab Intransigence Blocks Peace."
"Settlements Are Not the Issue."
"Israel's Occupation Is Not Apartheid."

Debunking 6 common Israeli myths







Do Palestinians Teach Their Children to Hate?

The myth of incitement in Palestinian textbooks


Why the above rebuttals are necessary: