Friday, 1 August 2014

Right-wing demonstrators in Tel Aviv wore neo-Nazi shirts

As the Israeli state’s war against the people of Gaza continues, Jewish neo-Nazis come out of the woodwork, wearing the exact symbols that European neo-Nazis wear.  The reality of Israel as an occupier is influencing sections of the new generation of nationalist Israeli youth to identify with the Nazis.  This is the legacy of Zionism.

Tony Greenstein

Jewish pro-war demonstrators wear neo-nazi Good Night Left Side symbols

Above Zionists supporters of the Gaza attack wear neo-Nazi symbols, below European neo-Nazis wear the same symbols

Jewish orthodox refusenik Uriel Ferera, in his weekend off between jail sentences, here

Jon Stewart, leftist US TV star

Zionist neo-nazis threaten anti-war demonstration

Through the ages - Two women - one Jewish, one Arab hold up signs against the Israeli Law of Return

Not only did the demonstrators beat leftists, theywore 'Good night left side' T-shirts, photographs show.

Ha’aretz 15 July 2014, Ofer Aderet

Some of the right-wing protesters who beat leftist demonstrators in Tel Aviv on Saturday night wore T-shirts bearing a neo-Nazi symbol, photos and videos show.  As shown on journalist Tal Schneider’s Hebrew-language blog, some of the right-wingers wore T-shirts bearing the slogan “Good night left side.”
Demonstration in Tel Aviv
Holocaust survivor expresses his shame at Israel's behaviour
Hebron settler who are known for their neo-Nazi views, throws wine qt elderly Palestinian woman
Neo-Nazis in Europe wear shirts with this phrase, which accompanies an image of a man attacking a left-wing activist, denoted by a star or anarchy symbol. The online store Final Resistance offers clothing bearing neo-Nazi slogans – popular attire at rock concerts by far-right bands.

The emblem and slogan are a response to the original left-wing counterpart: “Good night white pride.”
The counterdemonstrations in Tel Aviv Saturday night took place at Habima Square in the center of town. Rightists got a chance to beat leftists when a rocket alert sounded and people ran for shelter. One man was rushed to the hospital, but no arrests were made.

By Haggai Matar  +972 Magazine

Published July 13, 2014

The night it became dangerous to demonstrate in Tel Aviv

The fascists attacked. Police didn’t respond in time and ran away when the sirens wailed. We were lucky to get away with only three injured, one in the hospital and many traumatized.
(Translated from Hebrew by Michael Sappir)
Police stopping right-wing nationalists from attacking left wing activists during a protest in central Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, July 12, 2014. The protest ended with the nationalists attacking a small group of left-wing activists with little police interference. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/
When the sirens wailed in Tel Aviv last night one thing was clear to us: the fascists in front of us were more dangerous than the rapidly approaching rockets. One by one, the police ran to bomb shelters and left us face to face. Only one brave and wise officer remained in the middle and attempted to separate us. Only when the Iron Dome rockets lit up the sky with their golden blazes and intercepted a rocket right over us did the two groups stop their shouts for a moment, mesmerized by the sight, from the boom, and then once again: “Death to Arabs!”, “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies!”

But our fear was justified. By the end of the protest (and a little after it, when they chased us through the streets) one person who had a chair broken over his head was injured and evacuated to hospital, another got punched hard in the head, and one came our with a black eye, someone else had their expensive video camera stolen, and dozens of others hit, pushed, or eggs thrown at them. Some also said that the fascists attacked them with pepper spray. And that’s how it became dangerous to demonstrate in Tel Aviv. Less so because of rockets from Gaza – more because of the fascists and the government’s incitement.
It was clear from the start that it wasn’t going to end well. We came to protest the ongoing killing in Gaza, against both sides’ firing on civilians, against the occupation and to demonstrate for peace talks. We came to say that in Gaza and Sderot children just want to live. And there were some who didn’t want us to say those things.

Left-wing activists during a protest in central Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, July 12, 2014. The protest ended with right-wing nationalists attacking a small group of left-wing activists with little police interference. (Photo by Oren Ziv/

Hundreds of Leftists protesting in the heart of Tel Aviv during a war usually bring out many dozens of police officers in order to violently disperse the demonstration, or if not that, then to separate between the protesters and counter protesters. This time it was clear there would be counter protesters.
Yoav Eliassi (“The Shadow”) called his people (“The Lions”) to demonstrate against the Left, and people wrote ahead of time on his Facebook wall that they were coming to beat people up. There were a few police officers on the scene, and unlike the usual setup for these situations, where the two demonstrations are allowed to take place facing one another from across the street, the police allowed the fascists to stand right next to our demonstration, calling out racist slogans and wishing death to those protesting for peace and against the fighting. All attempts to encourage the police to further separate the two groups, and to call for backup, were to no avail.

It also made no difference when once in a while a fascist went around the policemen, attacked protesters and tore up signs, or when they started tossing eggs. It made no difference that fascists had attacked demonstrators before (for example: just two weeks ago at the end of the demonstration outside the Defense Ministry) and the lesson was not learned – that these are the same gangs, among them masked men who rioted in Jerusalem just a week and a half ago, attacking Arabs. On the heels of the slogans and the incitement coming from the government, Muhammad Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and burned to death.
The policemen did not understand all of this, or did not want to understand. After the demonstration, Eliassi wrote on Facebook that the policemen had expressed their pride and support for him and his people. Past experience with the police, especially the Yassam special anti-riot unit, this does not seem at all unreasonable (and indeed, the regular policemen in their blue uniforms seemed a bit more concerned, a bit more quickly when things escalated.)

As nine o’clock approached we began thinking about what would happen if Hamas realized their warning and fired a barrage of rockets towards Tel Aviv. What if the siren sounded, and our 500 demonstrators along with dozens of theirs had to run together into a bomb shelter? We suggested to the policemen that they could announce in advance that our demo would run one way (the stairway, for example,) and the other the other way (down to the parking lot; or vice versa.) The policemen refused. We decided to take our demonstration, march away, and leave our would-be attackers behind. But they followed us.

And then came the siren. The policemen disappeared. And the fascists attacked. They chased down people who were running to shelter, pushing them, swearing at them and sexually harassing them. With no other choice, we grouped up tightly, surrounded by a human chain, linked arm to arm. We called out all the slogans we had, to keep up morale and unity, to stay safe from fear, to cheer up in the face of the menacing, impassioned mass in front of us.

People watch as the iron dome system intercepts a missile fired from the Gaza Strip to Tel Aviv during a protest in center of the city, against the Israeli attack on Gaza, Israel, July 12, 2014. The protest ended with the nationalists attacking a small group of left-wing activists with little police interference. Three activists injured. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/

The siren ended, the boom was heard, the policemen came back to separate us, and then another siren, again the police ran away as one, and again we were left alone, face to face, them with their curses and blows, we holding hands and pushing them back. Terrified. And the Iron Dome, a pause, an interception, slogans, and again the police came back.

We decided to march to King George Street and to disperse from there in an organized way. We asked the policemen to block the fascists, so they would not follow us. They agreed, and we started marching. At some point, someone at the café near the square, Nechama VaHetzi, shouted something to the fascists, and they stormed the café with their flags and their fists. I couldn’t see what happened. I think one of them was arrested. But we had to get away, down the boulevard, while the police delayed the rioters.

By the time we got to the corner of Ben Tsion Blvd. and King George Street, and a moment before we started dispersing, a group of thugs that flanked the police again came and attacked. We ran away and managed to take shelter for a moment in the café at the corner. Just for a moment. They stormed the café, broke cups, threw people on the ground and on tables, raised chairs and threw them at people. They broke a chair over one comrade’s head. He’s in hospital now. All of this was accompanied by swearing and sexual threats. The people working at the café were startled at first, and one of them did not want us to come in. “Go somewhere else,” she said, frightened. The others understood quickly what was going on and agreed to shelter us. They brought out water, and ice for our injured friend, shouted at the fascists not to come in.

 After a while, the policemen arrived. Still not enough of them, but enough to stop the assault for now. We were far fewer than we had been at the start, several dozen, and we set out to march together towards Allenby Street, to quietly disperse from there. Now the police really did do its job, even though just a small force of theirs was there, allowing us to get far enough away to make sure everyone was safely boarding buses or cabs together and disappearing into the night. There were two or three policemen there who really cared, really did their job, and my gratitude goes out to them.

I have been at demonstrations that were attacked in Tel Aviv before. Many times by police, a few times by fascists. One time I was saved from a raging, incited mob in the Hatikva neighborhood. There I had a bicycle, and when the police delayed them I managed to make myself scarce, quickly. This time I was on foot, with a lot of people who could not be left behind. It was really scary. Something like this has never happened here before, but it is crystal clear to me that it will again.

After a while, the policemen arrived. Still not enough of them, but enough to stop the assault for now. We were far fewer than we had been at the start, several dozen, and we set out to march together towards Allenby Street, to quietly disperse from there. Now the police really did do its job, even though just a small force of theirs was there, allowing us to get far enough away to make sure everyone was safely boarding buses or cabs together and disappearing into the night. There were two or three policemen there who really cared, really did their job, and my gratitude goes out to them.

I have been at demonstrations that were attacked in Tel Aviv before. Many times by police, a few times by fascists. One time I was saved from a raging, incited mob in the Hatikva neighborhood. There I had a bicycle, and when the police delayed them I managed to make myself scarce, quickly. This time I was on foot, with a lot of people who could not be left behind. It was really scary. Something like this has never happened here before, but it is crystal clear to me that it will again.

I have to say this clearly: it is not just these fascists, Eliassi and his people, or those carrying Liberman’s posters and the rest of the thugs. It comes from the top. It comes from a government which serially incites against Arabs and the Left. It comes from MK Yariv Levin sitting in the Channel 10 News studio, boldly lying about the Gaza siege policy, and refusing to allow Ran Cohen from Physicians for Human Rights to talk, calling him a liar, saying Channel 10 was derelict in its duty when it allows the government to be criticized on the air – criticism which was entirely hard, dry facts. It comes from policemen, who are quite adept at attacking Left-wing demonstrations, or ultra-Orthodox ones, and of course Arab ones – but somehow stand in silence in the face of fascists marching through the streets. And it comes from a prime minister who has been silent for weeks while masses flood the streets, attacking Arabs, swearing, humiliating, a whole population group feeling threatened and isolated, with nobody to turn to.

So yes, it will happen again. We will keep demonstrating, as we demonstrated this evening also in Haifa and Jaffa and earlier in Tira and Sakhnin and other places. But we have to know this will happen again, and prepare accordingly.
Updated with a response from the Israel Police spokesperson:
In the evening ours yesterday a social protest took place in the Bima Square. Despite the fact that the organizers didn’t inform the police about the gathering and didn’t ask for a permit, it was decided to allow them to express their protest and many police officers arrived in order to ensure their safety and security.
During the course of the protest sirens were sounded throughout the city and the officers ordered everyone at the location to go to protected spaces.

No participants were arrested during the protest and they dispersed when it ended. Additionally, at this point no complaints have been filed.

The police spokesperson didn’t answer my question about why they didn’t call for backup when it was needed, and whether the police had noted any lessons and will operate differently in the future. Additionally, the police are lying when they say that this was an illegal protest. Israeli law does not require notifying the police of a protest as long as it doesn’t include a march or political speeches. Neither took place at the demonstration.

Hard Talk Interviews Ilan Pappe

Stephen Sachur's Zionist Cliches Cut No Ice

Stephen Sachur throws every cliché (‘Israel the only democracy in the Middle East') at Israel’s foremost historian of the 1948 expulsion of the Palestinians, Ilan Pappe. Sachur’s argument that Pappe’s family, which obtained refuge in Palestine after fleeing Nazi Germany demonstrates the necessity of Zionism, was not only cheap but historically illiterate.

The Zionist movement, personified by Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, vehemently opposed ‘refugeeism’ i.e. the rescue of Jews to any place but Palestine. In Palestine, the British, who had favoured the Zionist movement without question up to and including the Arab revolt of 1936-9, realised that with war against Germany looming they could not continue to allow the uncontrolled immigration of Zionist settlers. Instead they set an annual limit of 15,000 for 1939 and the next 5 years.  

The Zionist policy on ‘refugeeism’ meant that in all of the Western countries, the Zionist movement opposed the entry of Jewish refugees and opposed the lowering of the immigration barriers. It was summed up in a shocking quote by Ben-Gurion when he stated that:
‘If I knew that it was possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children – but also the history of People of Israel.’
This quote is to be found in numerous books, not least the authorised biography of Ben-Gurion by Shabtai Teveth (‘The Burning Ground: 1886-1948, p.855). Teveth who is more a hagiographer than a biographer was visibly shocked by the evidence of Ben-Gurion’s indifference to the holocaust. An attitude reflected in the entire Jewish Agency Executive. 

In a chapter on Ben-Gurion and the holocaust, headed ‘Disaster Means Strength’ i.e. the European catastrophe of extermination of European Jewry  meant the increase in strength of the Zionist movement, Teveth wrote that:
If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’  

Not only did the Zionist movement oppose ‘refugeeism’ but they tried to persuade the Gestapo, which was responsible for implementing the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi regime, to ensure that German refugees only went to Palestine. So well did the Zionists and the Nazis get on that Heydrich, head of the Nazi and State Police (RSHA) [the ‘“real engineer of the final solution” according to Gerald Reitlinger in his magnificent opus The Final Solution] who was assassinated by the Czech partisans in 1942, gave orders for the suppression of the activities of the non-Zionists (the vast majority of German Jews) and to give assistance to the Zionists. According to Francis Nicosia, an academic apologist for Zionist-Nazi collaboration, The Gestapo “did everything in those days to promote emigration, particularly to Palestine.” The Third Reich and the Palestine Question, p.57.
It is not an area where Ilan Pappe is a specialist and there is no reason  why he should know, but the record of the Zionist movement’s collaboration with the Nazis was partly detailed in the 1953-8 Kasztner trial in Israel when survivors of the holocaust accused the leadership of Hungarian Zionism of having betrayed them. The verdict that Kasztner, a senior official in Mapai (Labour) had collaborated with the Nazis led to the fall of Israel’s second Prime Minister, Moshe Sharrett.
But judge for yourself!

Tony Greenstein

Thursday, 31 July 2014

“In Gaza there’s no studying, No children are left there'

There are no depths of depravity to which Israel will not sink

The video above shows a new racist chant mocking the more than two hundred children slaughtered by Israel’s merciless bombing campaign in Gaza: ‘Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.’”
Imagine if a group of Arabs had begun chanting a song celebrating the deaths of Israeli children.  You can be sure they would have been arrested before they got further than the first stanza.  In this video the Police are nowhere to be seen.

This video shows an Israeli mob actually singing in celebration of children’s deaths in the style of a soccer fans’ song: “In Gaza there’s no studying, No children are left there, Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé.”

The mob also incites directly against Ahmed Tibi and Haneen Zoabi, two prominent Palestinian citizens of Israel who are members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
Words would be wasted on this Nazis-style scum but they don’t operate in a vacuum. Stupid though they undoubtedly are, they are able to recognise the contradictions between a democratic and Jewish state. They operate within the climate created by Netanyahu and his Cabinet and the vast majority of the rest of the Knesset.

Above all Obama, Cameron and all those others who subscribe to the ‘Israel is only defending itself’ brigade share a responsibility for the Hitlerite creatures that Israel is spawning. 

The words of this delightful Nazis-Zionist style song go:

Tibi – Ahmed Tibi
I wanted you to know
The next kid to be hurt will be your kid
I hate Tibi
I hate Tibi the terrorist.
Tibi – is dead!
Tibi – is dead!
Tibi – is dead!

Tibi is a terrorist.
Tibi is a terrorist.
Tibi is a terrorist.

They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé
In Gaza there’s no studying
No children are left there,
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé,

[Three lines, not entirely clear]

Who is getting nervous, I hear?
Zoabi, this here is the Land of Israel
This here is the Land of Israel, Zoabi
This here is the Land of the Jews
I hate you, I do, Zoabi
I hate all the Arabs.
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard


Posted by: Rina Rosenberg <>

Keren Levy: I'm a little bit fascist

‘Yes I think they should just clear off all the cities, yes take it off the ground, yes I’m a little bit fascist.'   This is the atmosphere in Israel today.  Imagine - well heeled Israelis, drinking  coffees and iced drinks, bringing sofas and popcorn so they can watch in real time the bombing of Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals by the Israeli Army who blame it on Hamas.

It's only a pity they are too far away to see the children's burnt faces or the blood that is pouring from their wounds, but that would no doubt only excite and inflame these beasts even more.
It's thirsty work watching Palestinians being murdered

The only comparison I can reach for is when the Hitler Youth invaded the Warsaw ghetto to rejoice over the plight of the population and shot at anyone they could randomnly  ‘just for a game.’  Meanwhile the liars of the BBC and Fox News insist on presenting what is happening as the self-defence of Israel.

Tony Greenstein

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ed Miliband's Third Way to Electoral Disaster

Miliband - torn between support for capitalism and the need for a radical manifesto
There are times when you see someone walking headlong over the cliff and  you feel bound to try and prevent the inevitable disaster.  Such is the case with Ed Miliband’s catastrophic misleadership of the Labour Party.

The policy pronouncements of Miliband’s rump New Labour Party have been touted as ‘radical’ and appealing to the many not the few.  In reality they are disjointed prounouncements lacking any binding theme or message.
Miliband with the old war criminal - Labour has failed to dissociate itself from  US policy worldwide

It is perfectly possible for a radical and reformist Labour Party to be elected with a majority, as Harold Wilson demonstrated.  It is also possible for a reactionary New Labour Party to be elected, once it convinces capital it poses no threat to the capitalist system, as Tony Blair demonstrated.  What isn’t possible is a New Labour Party, making radical noises but promising to change nothing, quite the contrary, to be elected on a mandate to change nothing.

One might have hoped that Miliband would get the message of today’s Mori Opinion Poll which gives the Tories a 1% lead and puts the Lib Dems on double figures (12%).  Yet one suspects that like an inveterate drunk, Miliband’s response will be to reach for one last drink.
Trying to convince himself of some point
Forget his alleged unpopularity.  This is the fate of all opposition leaders, as Thatcher demonstrated.  People are quite pre pared to put the froth of political punditry aside if the politics of the party connects.  The problem is that Miliband is promising nothing.  There will be a temporary 20 month freeze on fuel prices but the water and utility companies will continue to remain in private hands.  Miliband promises to repeal the bedroom tax but supports Welfare ‘Reform’ which is a conjuring trick designed to transfer wealth from the poorest in society to the richest.

In short Miliband shies away from challenging those who hold financial, economic and political power in this society.  Instead we have pathetic stunts such as being photographed holding a copy of the Sun before the World Cup.  That Murdoch’s press stable should be anathema to anyone with an affiliation to the labour movement is beyond Miliband’s comprehension.
At least his shadow cabinet (Sadiq Khan) support him - at the moment
There is a very simple theme which could unify people around Miliband and consign New Labour to the scrapheap.  It is the fact that the top 1% of British society owns 55% of the wealth.  A promise to tackle this mountain of injustice and to pledge that the paying off of Britain’s debts is the responsibility of those who are most able to pay, not the poorest in society, would galvanise support for Labour.

Miliband has promises to cap rail prices but has shied away from the most obvious solution – to take back control of rail from the privateers.  What you don’t own you cannot control.  Yet there is a fear of confronting the Richard Bransons of this world.  Likewise Miliband has nothing to say about the creeping privatisation of the NHS or ‘Free’ schools.

Another example of Miliband’s half-hearted approach is/was  his suggestion that private tenants would have the protection of 3 year tenancies and capped rents.   Such a move would prove immensely popular given the growth in private renting as house prices have relentlessly continued to rise.  Yet the anguished howls of those who prefer to maximise their buy-to-let ‘investments’ have warned Miliband off.  Contrast this with Harold Wilson’s protection of private unfurnished tenants.

The fact that all 3 major parties have so few political differences should make the task of a united socialist left that much easier.  But the shenanigans of Left Unity and the esoteric nature of its debates have ensured that the group continues to inhabit the  margins of political influence.

It is of course possible that despite himself, Miliband's Labour will become the largest party.  If the largest and most influential companies refuse to back the Tories because of the danger of a withdrawal from the European Union, then Miliband's Labour might win despite itself. However this scenario is unlikely and certainly not something to rely on.

Tony Greenstein

Saudi Sponsorship of Isis and the tyranny of Wahhabism

Iraq crisis: How SaudiArabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

Below is an interesting article analysing the Saudi ruling family’s baleful influence on recent developments in the Middle East, in particular its relationship to Isis.

The article appeared in The Independent, whose coverage of the Middle East is by far and away the best of any British daily paper.  It has both Patrick Cockburn and the legendary Robert Fisk.
The Guardian which used to have David Hirst and Michael Adams, as Middle East contributors, has become increasingly susceptible to Zionist media pressure.

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade
Fighters from the Isis group during a parade with a missile in Raqqa, Syria.
 Patrick Cockburn Sunday 13 July 2014

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."
Kerry and Binder Sultan, ex-Saudi Ambassador to the United States
The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as "spoils of war". Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.
There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa'ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar's words, saying that they constituted "a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed".
Prince Bandar bin Sultan
He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: "Such things simply do not happen spontaneously." This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan Dearlove's explosive revelation about the prediction of a day of reckoning for the Shia by Prince Bandar, and the former head of MI6's view that Saudi Arabia is involved in the Isis-led Sunni rebellion, has attracted surprisingly little attention. Coverage of Dearlove's speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from Isis to the West is being exaggerated because, unlike Bin Laden's al-Qa'ida, it is absorbed in a new conflict that "is essentially Muslim on Muslim". Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by Isis are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al-Qa'ida and Isis is that the latter is much better organised; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.
Sir Richard Dearlove - ex-head of MI6
The forecast by Prince Bandar, who was at the heart of Saudi security policy for more than three decades, that the 100 million Shia in the Middle East face disaster at the hands of the Sunni majority, will convince many Shia that they are the victims of a Saudi-led campaign to crush them. "The Shia in general are getting very frightened after what happened in northern Iraq," said an Iraqi commentator, who did not want his name published. Shia see the threat as not only military but stemming from the expanded influence over mainstream Sunni Islam of Wahhabism, the puritanical and intolerant version of Islam espoused by Saudi Arabia that condemns Shia and other Islamic sects as non-Muslim apostates and polytheists.

Iraq crisis: The rise of Isis

Dearlove says that he has no inside knowledge obtained since he retired as head of MI6 10 years ago to become Master of Pembroke College in Cambridge. But, drawing on past experience, he sees Saudi strategic thinking as being shaped by two deep-seated beliefs or attitudes. First, they are convinced that there "can be no legitimate or admissible challenge to the Islamic purity of their Wahhabi credentials as guardians of Islam's holiest shrines". But, perhaps more significantly given the deepening Sunni-Shia confrontation, the Saudi belief that they possess a monopoly of Islamic truth leads them to be "deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shia-dom".

Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's Isis. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.
Sunni Ahmed al-Rifai shrine near Tal Afar is bulldozed
The difference between al-Qa'ida and Isis can be overstated: when Bin Laden was killed by United States forces in 2011, al-Baghdadi released a statement eulogising him, and Isis pledged to launch 100 attacks in revenge for his death.

But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa'ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar's approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.

He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence "literally shouting at me across his office: '9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.'" In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year.

Saudi sympathy for anti-Shia "militancy" is identified in leaked US official documents. The then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that "Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups." She said that, in so far as Saudi Arabia did act against al-Qa'ida, it was as a domestic threat and not because of its activities abroad. This policy may now be changing with the dismissal of Prince Bandar as head of intelligence this year. But the change is very recent, still ambivalent and may be too late: it was only last week that a Saudi prince said he would no longer fund a satellite television station notorious for its anti-Shia bias based in Egypt.

The problem for the Saudis is that their attempts since Bandar lost his job to create an anti-Maliki and anti-Assad Sunni constituency which is simultaneously against al-Qa'ida and its clones have failed.

By seeking to weaken Maliki and Assad in the interest of a more moderate Sunni faction, Saudi Arabia and its allies are in practice playing into the hands of Isis which is swiftly gaining full control of the Sunni opposition in Syria and Iraq. In Mosul, as happened previously in its Syrian capital Raqqa, potential critics and opponents are disarmed, forced to swear allegiance to the new caliphate and killed if they resist.

The West may have to pay a price for its alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, which have always found Sunni jihadism more attractive than democracy. A striking example of double standards by the western powers was the Saudi-backed suppression of peaceful democratic protests by the Shia majority in Bahrain in March 2011. Some 1,500 Saudi troops were sent across the causeway to the island kingdom as the demonstrations were ended with great brutality and Shia mosques and shrines were destroyed.

An alibi used by the US and Britain is that the Sunni al-Khalifa royal family in Bahrain is pursuing dialogue and reform. But this excuse looked thin last week as Bahrain expelled a top US diplomat, the assistant secretary of state for human rights Tom Malinowksi, for meeting leaders of the main Shia opposition party al-Wifaq. Mr Malinowski tweeted that the Bahrain government's action was "not about me but about undermining dialogue".

Iraqi leader al-Maliki Western powers and their regional allies have largely escaped criticism for their role in reigniting the war in Iraq. Publicly and privately, they have blamed the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for persecuting and marginalising the Sunni minority, so provoking them into supporting the Isis-led revolt. There is much truth in this, but it is by no means the whole story. Maliki did enough to enrage the Sunni, partly because he wanted to frighten Shia voters into supporting him in the 30 April election by claiming to be the Shia community's protector against Sunni counter-revolution.

But for all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki's failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. "I guess they just didn't believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad," said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week.

Of course, US and British politicians and diplomats would argue that they were in no position to bring an end to the Syrian conflict. But this is misleading. By insisting that peace negotiations must be about the departure of Assad from power, something that was never going to happen since Assad held most of the cities in the country and his troops were advancing, the US and Britain made sure the war would continue.

The chief beneficiary is Isis which over the last two weeks has been mopping up the last opposition to its rule in eastern Syria. The Kurds in the north and the official al-Qa'ida representative, Jabhat al-Nusra, are faltering under the impact of Isis forces high in morale and using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army. It is also, without the rest of the world taking notice, taking over many of the Syrian oil wells that it did not already control.

The Shia Al-Qubba Husseiniya mosque in Mosul explodes Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein's monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open. As Kurdish-held border crossings fall to Isis, Turkey will find it has a new neighbour of extraordinary violence, and one deeply ungrateful for past favours from the Turkish intelligence service.

As for Saudi Arabia, it may come to regret its support for the Sunni revolts in Syria and Iraq as jihadi social media begins to speak of the House of Saud as its next target. It is the unnamed head of Saudi General Intelligence quoted by Dearlove after 9/11 who is turning out to have analysed the potential threat to Saudi Arabia correctly and not Prince Bandar, which may explain why the latter was sacked earlier this year.

Nor is this the only point on which Prince Bandar was dangerously mistaken. The rise of Isis is bad news for the Shia of Iraq but it is worse news for the Sunni whose leadership has been ceded to a pathologically bloodthirsty and intolerant movement, a sort of Islamic Khmer Rouge, which has no aim but war without end.

The Sunni caliphate rules a large, impoverished and isolated area from which people are fleeing. Several million Sunni in and around Baghdad are vulnerable to attack and 255 Sunni prisoners have already been massacred. In the long term, Isis cannot win, but its mix of fanaticism and good organisation makes it difficult to dislodge.

"God help the Shia," said Prince Bandar, but, partly thanks to him, the shattered Sunni communities of Iraq and Syria may need divine help even more than the Shia. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

|The Killing of Palestinian and Israeli Teenagers Demonstrates The Difference Between The Treatment of Palestinian and Jewish Life

The Killing of Israeli Teenagers is Political, the Killing of Palestinian Teenager is Criminal

The difference between the treatment of the killing of a Palestinian teenager and the three Israeli teenagers says everything you need to know about Israeli indifference to Palestinian life.  The unspoken message if 'they'  love death, we love life.  racism as a letter I wrote appears in today’s Independent.

And now it emerges that a 15-year-old cousin of Muhammad’s, visiting for the summer from the US, was the victim in video footage of a savage beating by armed Israeli police. They kicked and punched him relentlessly after he was cuffed and lying on the ground. He is still under arrest, apparently without charge. - See more at:

Dror Eydar, a columnist for Israel Hayom,summed this up in an article:  ‘Murder of IsraeliTeens Highlights Palestinian Culture of Death’

Murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdair
This racist attitude was firs articulated by Israeli Primer Minister Golda Meir:  'Peace will come when the Arabs start to love their children more than they hate us.' (The Agony of the Promised Land (2004) by Joshua Levy, Ch. 23 "The Hope for Peace", p. 187)  

The Result of Israeli bombing of Gaza - Netanyahu  Knows Who the Killers of the Israeli Teens are.

And now it emerges that a 15-year-old cousin of Muhammad’s, visiting for the summer from the US, was the victim in video footage of a savage beating by armed Israeli police. They kicked and punched him relentlessly after he was cuffed and lying on the ground. He is still under arrest, apparently without charge. - See more at:

 ‘in response to the kidnapping and killing of the Israeli teenagers, Israeli jets and helicopters launched dozens of air strikes across the Gaza Strip overnight on Monday, just hours after the bodies of three abducted Israeli teenagers were found in a shallow grave near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.' 

 The air strikes… came after the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, vowed the militant Islamist group Hamas, blamed by Israel for the kidnapping, would "pay a heavy price".

Of course there were no air strikes on the  settlements where the killers  of  Muhammad Abu Khdeir are based.  Such an idea is unthinkable to Netanyahu and his cabinet of killers.

At the Israeli teenagers funerals, which were effectively state funerals, Netanyahu waxed lyrical:  "I know the pain of mourning; there is nothing worse than that," he said standing by the three coffins, each draped with the blue and white Israeli flag.

Addressing their parents, he said: "The whole nation has witnessed your inner strength and that of the rest of your family," their children were "attacked by murderers who violated the decree: 'Never cast a hand on a child'". Guardian 1.7.14.

When Netanyahu condemns murder of Palestinian teenager,  he adopted a very different tone.  Nothing about casting a hand on a child or the pain of mourning, after all Palestinians don’t mourn, they glory in violence.  Whereas Netanhayu knew the identity of the killers of the Israeli teenagers, he didn’t ‘know yet the motives or identities of the perpetrators. 'We will bring to justice the criminals responsible of this despicable crime whoever they may be.” Guardian 1.7.14

It now emerges that a 15-year-old cousin of Muhammad’s, visiting for the summer from the US, was the victim in video footage of a savage beating by armed Israeli police. They kicked and punched him relentlessly after he was cuffed and lying on the ground. He is still under arrest, apparently without charge. - See more at: and

The killers of the Israeli teenagers were politically motive, Hamas of course, but the killers of a Palestinian teenager were criminals.  They had no political motive when they killed 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager whose body was found on Wednesday, July 2 in Jerusalem’s forest area. 

Netanyahu’s response to the murder of a Palestinian teenager was much more measures:  Murder, riots, incitement, vigilantism — they have no place in our democracy,”
Netanyahu condemns murder of Palestinian teenager. The Times of Israel
4th July   2014