Recent incitements to genocide and other war crimes against the Palestinians from prominent figures

Giora Eiland (former head of Israel’s National Security Council), “In Gaza, there is no such thing as ‘innocent civilians,'” YNetNews, 5 Aug. 2014:

What would have been the right thing to do? We should have declared war against the state of Gaza (rather than against the Hamas organization), and in a war as in a war. The moment it begins, the right thing to do is to shut down the crossings, prevent the entry of any goods, including food, and definitely prevent the supply of gas and electricity. [...] You probably have two questions now. First, why should Gaza’s residents suffer? Well, they are to blame for this situation just like Germany’s residents were to blame for electing Hitler as their leader and paid a heavy price for that, and rightfully so. Hamas is not a terror organization which came from afar and forcibly occupied Gaza. It’s the authentic representative of the population there. It rose to power following democratic elections and built an impressive military ability with the residents’ support. Its power base has remained stable despite the suffering.

Kurt Schlichter (US conservative columnist), Twitter, 4 August 2014:

Yochanan Gordon, “When Genocide is Permissible,” Times of Israel, 1 August 2014:

We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

Moshe Feiglin (deputy speaker in the Knesset), Facebook post [translated here], 1 August 2014:

Israel must do the following: The IDF shall designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas that are used for launches and tunneling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined. The supply of electricity and water to the formerly populated areas will be disconnected. The formerly populated areas will be shelled with maximum fire power. The entire civilian and military infrastructure of Hamas, its means of communication and of logistics, will be destroyed entirely, down to their foundations.

Martin Sherman, “Into the fray: Why Gaza must go,” Jerusalem Post, 24 July 2014:

The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.

Thane Rosenbaum, “Hamas’s Civilian Death Strategy,” Wall Street Journal, 21 July 2014:

The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation. What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore.

Ayelet Shaked (Knesset member), Facebook post [translated here], 1 July 2014:

The enemy soldiers hide out among the population, and it is only through its support that they can fight. Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.

If I am missing any examples the past two months (and I’m sure I am), please let me know.

Collection of incitements to genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians

GOP hacks find they disagree with arming radical Sunnis when a Democratic president does it

Ronald Reagan with Afghan mujahideen

The wingnutty Accuracy In Media‘s Citizens’ Commission On Benghazi has released an “interim report” titled How America Switched Sides in the War on Terror. It makes the following “explosive” claim:

The U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qa’eda-dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion. The jihadist agenda of AQIM, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy. The rebels made no secret of their al-Qa’eda affiliation, openly flying and speaking in front of the black flag of Islamic jihad, according to author John Rosenthal and multiple media reports. And yet, the White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qa’eda. The result in Libya, across much of North Africa, and beyond has been utter chaos, disruption of Libya’s oil industry, the spread of dangerous weapons (including surface-to-air missiles), and the empowerment of jihadist organizations like al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood (p. 4).

This is hardly news to anyone who has followed Ronald Reagan’s arming of the Afghan mujaheddin against the Soviets, Bill Clinton’s arming of the Bosnian and Kosovo Muslims against the Serbs, and George W. Bush’s arming of radical Sunni movements throughout the Middle East as a counter-weight against Iranian influence. The fact is that the US has always made use of Sunni radicals with ties to al-Qaeda when it finds it is convenient to do so. It has done this under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

What this report is trying to do is tarnish the Obama administration by asserting that we’ve never armed al-Qaeda tied militants before Obama came into office. Of course, that’s complete and total bullshit. The authors of this report are helpfully profiled at the end of the PDF to give us an idea of the opportunistic Republican shills we are dealing with here. One of them, John A. Shaw:

Established that massive amounts of high explosives and chemical weapons were clandestinely moved to Syria by Russian troops just before the beginning of the Iraq war. Those Iraqi chemical weapons provided a massive foundation for the current Syrian arsenal of chemical weapons. Shaw’s efforts established definitively the presence of WMD in Iraq and the way in which they were dispersed despite a widespread international effort to cover up their presence (p. 28).


So overthrowing a secular dictator in Iraq, thereby giving al-Qaeda and other Islamist radicals a new breeding ground, was perfectly fine of course because a Republican president did it.

The report also entertains the notion that the Obama administration used the Benghazi attack to restrict Americans’ free speech rights:

The CCB conducted an extensive research effort into the elements and sequence of the administration’s two-week campaign to falsely claim that a protest had preceded the attack on our Benghazi mission, and their efforts to blame a YouTube video for the attack. The White House campaign appears to have been well-coordinated with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations as well as Islamic state members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), who all joined in condemnation of the video, and, even more troubling, issued calls for restrictions on Americans’ free speech rights.

This is also not a new allegation. Dana Milbank reported in 2013 that Clare Lopez, one of the authors of this report “speculated that the administration covered up the Benghazi events because Obama wants to make it illegal to criticize Islam” at a Heritage Foundation event.

The report contains some interesting assertions about Gaddafi’s willingness to negotiate–possibly even abdicate his leadership–in order to end the violence plaguing Libya in early 2011. The report alleges that Gaddafi’s pleas were recklessly ignored by the Obama administration, just as the Bush administration ignored Saddam’s attempts to prevent the US military’s invasion of his country.

In short: the report touches upon some important questions and makes some decent points, but is ultimately limited by its authors’ ridiculously partisan and conspiratorial outlook.

Why not apply the #BundyRanch precedent to resistance against US imperialism?

Well, now that the American right-wing has taken on the cause of armed resistance against the US government, how about we globalize that sentiment?

After all, the US government previously decided it had the right to unilaterally invade and occupy the sovereign nation Iraq without just cause, causing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths in the process. So why should Iraqis have refrained from taking up arms and shooting at the jackbooted thugs who served as agents of imperialist aggression? If the right-wing wants to be consistent about this, it should also champion the cause of armed resistance to Israel’s US-funded colonization of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank as well. It has been proven that much of the property Israel is confiscating is privately owned by individual Palestinians. Why the hell shouldn’t Palestinians take up the Bundy doctrine and start shooting at the often armed colonists who illegally occupy it?

So, what do you say American conservatives? How about we internationalize the revolutionary doctrine of Bundyism-Third Worldism and use it against the US empire and US-backed Zionist expansionism?

US Congressmen tour al-Aqsa Mosque compound alongside group founded by Baruch Goldstein supporter

Photo shows Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute guiding Representatives Johnson and McKinley on the Temple Mount in February
Photo shows Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute guiding Representatives Johnson and McKinley on the Temple Mount in February

Ma’an News Agency, 10 April 2014:

Two members of the US Congress on Thursday joined right-wing Jews who toured the al-Aqsa Mosque compound escorted by Israeli police officers, a Jerusalem-based Fatah official said. Dimitri Daliani told Ma’an that Republicans Bill Johnson of Ohio and David McKinley of Virginia entered the compound with the “extremist” Chaim Richman, director of the rightist Temple Institute.

The Temple Institute was founded by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, an avid Kahanist and enthusiastic supporter of settler terrorist Baruch Goldstein after he massacred dozens of Palestinians in Hebron.

From Yedioth Ahronoth, 28 February 2014 (translated by Media Matters):

Eulogies were made for a long time in the Shamgar funeral home. Eulogies as a cover for political sermons. Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who was the Rabbi of Yamit, compared Goldstein to Judah Maccabee and Samson, who killed 30 Philistines. “He was a martyr. And martyrs are above saints and righteous men. Not everyone can stand with them.”

“Baruch Goldstein,” said Rabbi Ariel, “will be our advocate in heaven.” The Rabbi added: “This was not the act of an individual.” According to the Rabbi, Goldstein “heard the cry of the land being stolen every day by the Ishmaelites and acted to quell that cry.” In conclusion, said the Rabbi: “Our land will not be acquired by peace agreements but by blood.”

Perhaps someone should try contacting either of these Congressmen and ask them if terrorist mass murder is something they would like to be associated with:


I make comments

I made a comment in response to the National Review‘s “Paul Ryan is right” editorial:

This article is just the same old “get married; problem solved” bootstraps stuff conservatives have been pushing for the past half-century. Plus “systematic discrimination against black people isn’t the problem because we have a black president,” or something.

It fails to take into account the creation of the inner-city ghetto was a direct result of widespread discrimination in housing and subsidized home loans as well as a failure on the part of the feds to combat such discrimination. It also ignores studies like this one showing that employers are more willing to hire white felons than blacks with a clean record.

There is a legitimate issue with means-tested welfare programs providing a perverse incentive to refrain from working or making more money. The solution is to either ease the means-testing part (which conservatives proposed in the first place anyways) or scrap all cash transfer programs and replace it with one Universal Basic Income program. This way people will be able to afford the basic necessities of life but won’t be penalized for getting a job.

I see some comments here citing MLK as if he were a conservative. They should probably read this 1965 interview with him, wherein he endorses a program that would likely be condemned here as “reparations.”

Just felt like sharing.

New calls to prosecute JDL terrorist assassins being sheltered by Israel

According to the Guardian (15 October 2013), there is a renewed effort on the part of civil rights activists and members of US Congress to pressure the Justice Department to further investigate the 11 October 1985 murder of Palestinian-American activist Alex Odeh by likely members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL). The article neglects to mention the inexcusable role the Israeli government has played in preventing the murderers from being brought to justice.

In November 1987, the Village Voice disclosed the existence of an FBI memo that accused Israeli authorities of hindering the US investigation into a series of domestic bombings allegedly committed by the JDL, including the one that killed Odeh.

The memo said that the Israeli government’s responses to repeated FBI requests for information about JDL suspects now residing in Israel ”have been untimely, incomplete and in certain cases no response was rendered,” the Voice said. [...] According to the Voice, the document it obtained said ”numerous leads have been forwarded through FBI (headquarters) to the Israeli Secret Intelligence Service in Washington. Response to these leads is crucial for the solution of the 25 terrorist incidents and other criminal activity perpetrated by the JDL. ”Lead requests were for telephone subscriber information, criminal background information, arrest records, prison contacts, associates, residence status, and travel documentations.” Although there have been discussions between the Israelis and the Americans, ”no sustained improvement in the flow of information has been released,” the document said. The document said the FBI ”has developed several key suspects, many of whom have fled the United States and sought asylum in Kiryat Arba,” a large Jewish settlement on the West Bank (Associated Press, 18 November 1987; See also: Los Angeles Times, 19 November 1987).

There is also much indication that Israel refuses to extradite the suspected bombers due to widespread support for their terrorist deeds among the Israeli right-wing. According to a Los Angeles Times expose (13 May 1990), the prime suspects have been known to US authorities soon after Odeh was killed:  Keith Fuchs, Andy Green and Robert Manning. All three had a history of terrorist violence in the name of far-right Zionism. Robert Manning was eventually convicted in 1993 for a 1980 mail bombing that killed a secretary at a computer company (Los Angeles Times, 15 October 1993), but was never tried for his alleged involvement in the Odeh assassination.  Keith Fuchs and Andy Green are still believed to be living freely in a West Bank settlement (Los Angeles Times, 11 October 2007).

As Robert I. Friedman, the author of a book about Rabbi Meir Kahane, once put it:

Any attempt to extradite the suspects, the [US] officials fear, would be met in Israel by a firestorm of protest from right-wing legislators. [...] Justice Department sources assert that Israel is still obstructing its investigation. While liberal Israeli politicians familiar with the case concede as much, they hasten to add that this is not out of love for the JDL trio, but because many Israelis view those who slay Arab-American supporters of the Palestine Liberation Organization or alleged Nazis as heroes. That makes Israel’s compliance with an extradition request very difficult (Los Angeles Times, 13 May 1990).

BuzzFeed/Fox News myth of Mexicans getting easy asylum by using “keywords” debunked

Associated Press:

Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, the agency said, an average of 30 people per day have arrived at San Diego ports asking for asylum, compared with roughly 170,000 travelers who cross the border there legally each day.

Critics of current immigration reform efforts in Washington have claimed would-be immigrants are using the credible fear claim seeking asylum as a loophole to gain legal entry into the U.S., citing fear of drug cartel violence in Mexico. Immigration experts say the concerns are overstated.
The issue gained new attention last month after a group of nine immigration rights activists presented themselves at the Arizona border in Mexico seeking asylum. After spending several weeks in detention, they have since been released into the U.S. pending hearings before an immigration judge who will make a final decision on whether to grant their requests.

DHS is quick to point out that such requests from Mexican citizens are rarely granted, noting that on average, 91 percent are denied.
In order to win asylum in the United States, an immigrant must to prove he or she is being persecuted because of race, religion, political view, nationality or membership in a particular social group. They also must prove that their government is either part of the persecution or unable or unwilling to protect them.

Immigration lawyers also point out that the bar is extremely high for being granted asylum in the U.S.

“Most people who get these credible fear interviews, even if they pass, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be released,” said David Leopold, an Ohio immigration attorney and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “You could be sitting in detention for months and months until you get your asylum hearing, and then you’re denied and sent back.”

This whole kerfuffle started when a local Fox affiliate reported breathlessly that:

A loophole is allowing hundreds of immigrants across the Mexico border in to the United States. Immigrants are being taught to use “key words and phrases” to be allowed to enter and stay in the country.

The story was then picked up by Buzzfeed (which helpfully included a scary image of brown people carrying personal belongings and walking somewhere) and given further viral exposure:

Unstated in either of these pieces is the incredibly low-rate of successful asylum claims for Mexicans claiming persecution. In most cases, they will rot in immigration detention for a couple of weeks or months and be sent back to Mexico.

Of course, it’s far too late to debunk this lie now. The damage is already done thanks to the right-wing rage peddlers at Fox News and Buzzfeed. We will be hearing about this “story” for years now from easily-outraged, anti-immigration right-wingers who already believe our current president (the one who deported 1.5 million immigrants) is an open borders advocate.