Showing posts with label Wars for Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wars for Israel. Show all posts

November 08, 2009

Channel 4 defends Israel lobby probe

They wield great influence in support of Israel

By Simon Rocker - The Jewish Community - November 5, 2009

Presenting: Peter Oborne.

Presenting: Peter Oborne

Channel 4’s flagship investigations programme, Dispatches, is to probe what it calls “one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain” — the pro-Israel lobby.

The political columnist Peter Oborne is to front an hour-long broadcast, Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby, due to be broadcast on Monday week.

The hard-hitting documentary strand has been responsible for such programmes as Undercover Mosque two years ago, which included covert filming of Islamist extremists preaching in British mosques.

According to Channel 4’s official pre-publicity, “despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups” who work “in support of the interests of the state of Israel”.

It says that Mr Oborne “sets out to establish who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying.

“He investigates how accountable, transparent and open to scrutiny the lobby is, particularly in regard to its funding and financial support of MPs.”

The pro-Israel lobby, it adds, “aims to shape the debate about Britain’s relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it. Oborne examines how the lobby operates from within Parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media.”

According to a spokesman for the channel, Dispatches wanted “to look at one of the most powerful, but also least transparent lobbying groups in the UK”.

He explained it was “an entirely legitimate area for journalistic investigation, not least in the run-up to an election, where a lobby working in support of the interests of a foreign power could wield great influence in shaping future British policy”. He rejected any suggestion that it had been designed to balance such controversial programmes as Undercover Mosque.

The programme had been commissioned by the commissioning editor for Dispatches, Kevin Sutcliffe, in discussions with production company Hardcash.

Hardcash managing director David Henshaw said the programme was a “conventional political investigation” and “not a conspiracy-theory film”.

It was “not the synagogue equivalent of Undercover Mosque”, he said.

Iran 'proposes' two-staged uranium exchange

Press TV - November 8, 2009 13:59:45 GMT

Diplomats close to nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West say the country seeks a two-staged, simultaneous exchange of enriched uranium with potential suppliers.

Iran is in need of 116 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent to supply a medical research reactor in Tehran that produces isotopes for cancer treatment.

According to the diplomats, Iran has proposed that it twice exchange 400 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) with some 60 kg of 20-percent nuclear fuel.

In UN-monitored negotiations with France, Russia and the US, held in Vienna in mid-October, a draft deal wanted Iran to send its LEU abroad for further enrichment.

Tehran agreed to send much of its uranium supply in one go.

November 07, 2009

Jerusalem mayor finds support for united city in Congress

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

Barkat warmly received in Washington, with Congress members presenting to him legislation proposal to have US embassy moved from Tel Aviv to capital without need for president's consent

Yitzhak Benhorin
11.07.09, 08:42 / Israel News

WASHINGTON - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat met with Democratic and Republican Congress members in Washington on Friday, and was pleased to find wall-to-wall support of the need to keep Jerusalem united.

The mayor, who is on a two-week visit to the United States and Canada, arrived at Congress accompanied by Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren. Barkat was received warmly, and learned that it is seemingly easier to run Jerusalem from the US capital than from the Israeli one.

One example of the support Barkat found for his position on Jerusalem can be found in the Senate, where a group of seven senators are working on legislation that will support maintaining a united Jerusalem.

The proposal will also include a decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, by circumventing the US president's authority to hinder the decision. Barkat discussed the matter with two of the senators behind the proposal, Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl.

In the mid 1990s, Congress passed the "Jerusalem Embassy Act" stating that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem".

The act was adopted by the Senate and the House, but former US President Bill Clinton used his authority to suspend the relocation, citing national security concerns.

Former President George Bush, who vowed to relocate the embassy during his 2000 elections campaign, failed to keep his word upon entry to the White House, after his advisors outlined to him the dangers such a move could pose in the Middle East and on US embassies around the Arab and Muslim world.

The US House of Representatives presents an even more extreme version, which is being backed by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with her colleague Dan Burton.

The two presented the Jerusalem mayor with a copy of their initiative for legislation on American support of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

It is unlikely that the document, in its current form, will receive the support of the Democratic majority, since it calls for significant financial penalties against the State Department until it relocates the embassy.

Barkat was cordially received by 15 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He briefed them on his plans to open Jerusalem up to the world and enable economic development for all the city's sectors, using a business management approach.

When asked about the demolition of houses in east Jerusalem, the mayor spoke of the difficult task of running a city with the eyes of three billion people from around the world watching it.

The mayor explained that all actions were carried out according to Israeli law, and added that the scope of the demolition of houses in the east of the city was similar to that of the west.

Israel’s future wars will be over water resources


AMMAN, (PIC)-- Dr. Ghazi Al-Rabab’ah, a professor of political science at the university of Jordan, stated Saturday that Israel’s future wars against Arab countries would be over water resources.

In a press statement to the Jordanian Al-Arab Alyawm newspaper, Rabab’ah said that the first war would be in the Jordan basin area in the Lebanese Shebaa farms.

He added that Israel also steals Gaza water resources and sends salt contaminated water from Tiberias lake to Gaza.

The professor stressed that Israel also steals 350,000000 cubic meters of water from Litani river in Lebanon, noting that Israel rejects any settlement with the Arabs which does not take into account the issue of sharing water supplies.

The professor also pointed out that Israel is one of the poorest countries in water resources in the world and its water supplies will run out in the coming years which portends that Israel will resort to the strategy of waging wars over water recourses in other places.

He also expected that another war could take place in the coming seven years against Egypt to control the Nile water.

November 05, 2009

Merkel speech under 'Zionist' influence

©2009 The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government

Press TV - November 5, 2009 10:29:02 GMT

The Islamic Republic has condemned German Chancellor Angela Merkel's latest remarks on Iran, saying her speech was against the national interests of Germany.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said on Thursday that Merkel's remarks were influenced by 'Zionist circles'.

Mehmanparast's remarks come after Merkel repeated Western allegations over Iran's nuclear issue in a Tuesday address to US Congress.

"Zero tolerance needs to be shown when there is a risk of weapons of mass destruction falling, for example, into the hands of Iran," Merkel said.

The German chancellor also stressed that security for Israel was non-negotiable for her.

"Whoever threatens Israel also threatens us," she said.

The West accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weaponry. Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has reiterated that its program is aimed at civilian applications of the technology. Iran has also been vociferous in its call for global nuclear disarmament.

Heavyweight-Hawks Hold Court On The Hill

By Eli Clifton - November 4, 2009

While House Resolution (HR) 867 condemning the Goldstone report passed 344-36 yesterday evening, members of the Israeli and American Jewish far-right held court on Capitol Hill at “The Jerusalem Conference”.

The event brought together some of the most hawkish American and Israeli voices to both issue their own condemnation of the Goldstone report and warn once more of the threat posed by a nuclear Iran.

Perhaps more important than what the speakers said—which rarely strayed from the anti-Goldstone, pro-Iran-sanctions line—was who the right-wing, pro-Israel organizers succeeded in attracting to their six hour conference. The speakers list alone was a statement of the group’s continued political muscle in Washington.

Co-sponsors of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), and the Committee’s Ranking Republican, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), as well as the co-sponsors of the Senate counterpart, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Sam Brownback, filled out the first half of the program which focused on “Jerusalem-Protecting Its Remarkable Past and Future” and “Realities of the Middle East Process.”

Brownback got a standing ovation for announcing his intention to (re)introduce his Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2009 Wednesday, only this time, he promised, the waiver provision that both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush used to prevent the Act from actually being implemented — it would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — will be removed.

The US legislators in the first half of the program–who bolstered their already impressive numbers with a “surprise” appearance by Sen. Daniel Innouye (D-HI) who spoke of his efforts to increase American aid to Israel–were balanced out by Israeli Cabinet Minister Yossi Peled, Israeli MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), and Lt. Colonel Jonathan D. Halevi. Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who skipped the much larger J Street Conference last week, was scheduled to speak but scheduling constraints forced him to send a representative from the embassy in his place.

At the heart of the conference was the dual theme of condemning the Goldstone report and touting the various pending bills that would impose “crippling” sanctions against Iran if it did not abandon its nuclear program.

“In (both) Fallujah and in Gaza approximately 1000 terrorists were killed and in Fallujah approximately 6,000 civilians were killed,” extolled Ken Abramowitz, Managing General Partner of NGN Capital in New York and one of the Conference’s moderators. “And in Gaza three or four hundred (were killed), so I think it’s fair to say that in the operation in Gaza, Israel demonstrated the lowest level of civilian deaths per military deaths in the history of warfare in the history of the world. And it was criticized even though it exceeded the standard that no other army in the history of armies ever reached. So it’s just pure anti-Semitism,” he declared before entertaining questions for Lt. Col. (IDF res.) Jonathan D. Halevi, who had had himself extolled the exceptional morality of Israel’s conduct of the Gaza war in contradiction to the war crimes detailed in the Goldstone report.

Needless to say the audience which gathered for the conference did not choose to question the numbers thrown around by Abramowitz, nor did they, for that matter, question why neither the session on the war nor that on the (non-existent) peace process featured even one Palestinian speaker or discussant.

(Note: As reported in the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem estimated the civilian death toll in Gaza at 774.)

While Goldstone “debunking” was a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, the certainty of its condemnation by the House in Tuesday’s vote detracted somewhat from the dramatic tension. On the other hand, the specter of a nuclear Iran held the crowd in thrall, as speaker after speaker insisted that action was more urgent than ever.

“Don’t wait (to impose sanctions)… Use existing authority right now within the executive branch,” demanded Casey. “Be it the Treasury Department, or other ways to provide the kind of pressure that I think has to be applied to the regime!”

The third panel of the day, sponsored by the missile-defense-promoting Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), focused predictably on missile defense and was headlined by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AR), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV).

“We have no greater ally in the region than Israel, and it is in the interest of our own national security to stand with Israel,” Inhofe said. “This partnership is not a one-sided relationship. Israel has provided the United States military with invaluable technology such as the Hunter UAV, Bradley Reactive Armor Tiles, and the Lightning Pod. Our nation must maintain a close relationship with our friends in Israel, despite the fact that the current administration has demonstrated a willingness to work with those that stand opposed to Israel.”

“Today’s news that Hamas has used Iranian technology to improve their missile capabilities proves that we need a strong missile defense system that protects our allies, and more importantly, provides greater protection for the United States,” he continued. “The same enemies that threaten the existence of Israel also want to destroy America. Over the years, the United States has greatly benefited from cooperation with Israel on missile defense technologies, and we should continue this partnership. Instead, President Obama has cut funding for our missile defense systems, and ended the Third Site in Poland. Such action by the Obama administration puts the United States and our allies like Israel at greater risk.”

The Israeli perspective was represented by Israeli Cabinet Minister Yossi Peled, and Brigadier General Yossi Kuperwasser.

The final session of the day, ‘’Regional Threats to Global Security,’’ was headlined by Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Israeli Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

While speakers stayed on the relatively safe topics of Goldstone, Iran sanctions, and missile defense, the most noticeable element was the scheduled appearances of thirteen US senators or representatives (plus Daniel Innouye) during the six-hour conference. Between the decidedly one-sided vote on HR 867 condemning the Goldstone report and the display of political power reflected by the Jerusalem Conference’s speaker list, Tuesday was a day when the right-wing, pro-Israel lobby was shown at full-force on Capitol Hill.


Why Does AIPAC Spy on Americans?

by Grant Smith, November 05, 2009

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Steven J. Rosen will be allowed to move ahead with his civil defamation lawsuit against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman were indicted under the 1917 Espionage Act in 2005 along with Department of Defense Employee Col. Lawrence Franklin for passing classified national defense informaiton. Franklin pled guilty, but Rosen and Weissman’s case never went to trial — US attorneys gave up (PDF) after the presiding judge made a successful prosecution unlikely.

Rosen’s 2009 civil lawsuit contends that AIPAC defamed him when its spokesperson claimed that he "did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees." Rosen’s many filings in court reveal that his fundamental case is that AIPAC commonly circulates and distributes classified US government information when it suits the organization’s purpose in lobbying for Israel. AIPAC defamed him, he alleges, by claiming he was somehow unique.

An FBI file declassified and released on July 31, 2009 (PDF) backs up Rosen’s assertions. In 1984 AIPAC obtained a classified report compiled from the business secrets of US industries and associations opposed to signing a bilateral trade agreement with Israel. The FBI found that AIPAC had "attempted to influence members of Congress with the use of a purloined copy of the ITC report and had usurped their authority."

The Washington Field Office of the FBI went on to assert that "AIPAC is a powerful-pro Israel lobbying group staffed by U.S. citizens. WFO files contain an unsubstantiated allegation that a member of the Israeli Intelligence Service was a staff member of AIPAC."

Rosen is well on his way to claiming $20 million in damages for AIPAC’s "defamation" propelled by the court’s new ruling. But for Americans much larger concerns linger. Why isn’t AIPAC registering as an agent of a foreign principal if it is collaborating so closely with foreign intelligence services? Why are these matters being litigated in civil court as a family squabble between members of the Israel lobby? If espionage is a recurring, institutionalized feature of AIPAC, doesn’t that mitigate against its claims to be an American non-profit, working for American interests? From the NRA to the AARP, no legitimate American nonprofit lobby has ever been found to be trafficking in so much intelligence information, or so frequently channeling it to a foreign government parties and friends in the establishment media.

Newly emerging declassified facts are reminders to concerned Americans that AIPAC is not at all what it claims to be. Rosen’s lawsuit will not likely make good on his and former lobbyist Douglas Bloomfield’s implicit threats to reveal AIPAC as a stealth, unregistered foreign agent of the Israeli government.

Fortunately for Americans, that uncomfortable fact is now emerging in myriad ways, even in the midst of AIPAC’s new attempts to engineer policies that could accelerate the downfall of the US economy.


November 04, 2009

Israeli military attacks and takes over Iranian ship

November 04, 2009 09:35 - by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

An Iranian ship was attacked in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea by the Israeli navy early on Wednesday morning, while apparently on its way to Lebanon.

According to Israeli media sources, no Cabinet meeting was held in advance of the decision to attack the ship, and a small number of Cabinet officials may have given the go-ahead for the attack.

Israeli officials told the Associated Press that the ship contained weapons including anti-tank missiles, but no official information has been released on the contents of the ship or the reason for its illegal seizure by the Israeli military. Col. Avital Leibovich with the Israeli military confirmed to reporters that the ship had been seized, but gave no details.

The Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, "This is another success in the endless struggle against attempts to smuggle weapons and military equipment whose goal is to strengthen terrorist elements who threaten the security of Israel."

Since the ship was in international waters when it was seized, the takeover could be considered as an act of war, but Israeli officials say that the Iranian ship was disguised as a humanitarian aid ship flying the flag of Antigua. For that reason, analysts say that a response by the Iranian government seems unlikely.

November 03, 2009

Kuwait supports Iran's nuclear program

Press TV - November 3, 2009 22:40:24 GMT

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah says Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and Tehran has the right to continue its nuclear program.

"All countries have the right to use peaceful nuclear technology, and we believe that Iran's activities are in the area of peaceful nuclear energy, and we support such a program," IRNA quoted al-Sabah as saying in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Kuwait on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Mottaki and al-Sabah discussed the latest bilateral and regional issues.

The Kuwaiti emir also stated that Iran's security enhances the security of the Middle East region.

"We regard Iran's security as our own security," al-Sabah added.

Iran not seeing US-promised changes

Press TV - November 3, 2009 11:14:56 GMT

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution says the US approach toward Iran has been in contradiction with the slogan of bringing 'change' to its policy.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran decided from the very beginning not to prejudge and to instead consider the slogan of 'change'. But what we have witnessed in practice during this period of time has been in contradiction with the remarks that have been made,” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei told Iranian students on Tuesday.

The Leader added that the US was seeking its own predetermined results from the talks.

“On the one hand, Americans talk of negotiations. On the other hand, they continue to threaten and say the negotiations must have our desired results or we will take (punitive) measures.”

Ayatollah Khamenei added that “such relation [with the US] was that of 'sheep and wolf', which the late Imam (founder of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini) said we do not want.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday called on Iran to accept an IAEA-backed proposal for nuclear cooperation, reiterating that the offer will not be changed.

"We continue to press the Iranians to accept fully the proposal that has been made, which they accepted in principle because we are not altering it," Clinton said.

The Leader however reiterated that the Iranian nation will not bow to any conditions which would undermine its rights.

“If anyone intends to violate the rights of the Iranian nation, the nation will firmly stand up to them and will make them kneel down.”

Ayatollah Khamenei added that as long as the US wanted “to turn back the time and seek dominance over Iran”, it could by no means compel the Iranian nation to retreat.

Under a proposal discussed in Vienna in mid-October, the United States, France and Russia wanted Iran to send most of its domestically-produced low enriched uranium (LEU) abroad to be converted into more refined fuel for the Tehran reactor that produces medical isotopes.

The world powers introduced the plan, which was first floated by the Obama administration.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday that Iran's 'technical and economic' concerns must be taken into account regarding the draft deal.

"We have examined this proposal, we have some technical and economic considerations on that," Mottaki told reporters in the Malaysian capital on Monday.

Mottaki also called for the establishment of a technical commission to review and reconsider Iran's stated issues.

November 02, 2009

Netanyahu to hawk alternative energy at Copenhagen

Giving gas the boot
By Aluf Benn - Haaretz - October 29, 2009
Emphasis - Aletho News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to be remembered as the leader of a small nation who warned the great countries about the dangers lurking for Western democracy, and showed them how to protect themselves. The prime minister takes pride in having been the first to sound the alarm about Islamic terror and the Iranian nuclear project, when all the others were dozing off.

Now Netanyahu has found a new goal: ending the world's dependence on oil. In his speech at the Israeli Presidential Conference last week, Netanyahu surprised participants by announcing a national project for developing an alternative to oil within 10 years. [...]

At the cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu repeated his tripartite vision of dealing with alternative energy, water resources and environmental preservation, and announced the appointment of a team led by Prof. Eugene Kandel, head of the National Economic Council, to spearhead the project.

It was a worthy platform for unveiling the initiative. The Presidential Conference participants are supporters of Israel and include many media representatives, and Netanyahu also enjoyed the sponsorship of the man of vision, President Shimon Peres. However, the Prime Minister's Bureau did not prepare even a basic information sheet on Israel's alternative energy capabilities, or on the direction of research and development, and did not invite the technology reporters to hear about the project. As a result, Netanyahu presented a half-baked idea that came across as a pretentious card pulled out of his sleeve rather than as a serious plan of action. [...]

The logic is simple: Replacing oil with clean energy will crush the political power of the petroleum-producing countries. "Dependence on fossil fuels strengthens the dark regimes that encourage instability and fund terror with their petrodollars," said Netanyahu.

The conclusion is obvious: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will not be able to wreak damage and will ferment if they lose their fountain of cash. [...]

Oil means trouble

For years, Israeli researcher Gal Luft has been preaching about "energy security" in Washington, and warning that the oil addiction is making the West a captive to threatening and unstable regimes. In his lectures, he reminds Americans that in their land of suburbia, it is impossible even to buy bread without driving a petroleum-fueled car. He relates that much of the world's oil reserves lie under the Sunni-Shiite rift - that is, in regions prone to Islamic extremism and religious wars. In short, oil means trouble.

Netanyahu shares this view, but adds two new dimensions. He believes alternative energy will create a more equal distribution of global wealth, and will not enrich only countries blessed with subterranean oil reserves. This is especially important for developing countries like China, India and the African states, which depend on oil from the Middle East and whose industrial revolution is restricted by concerns about greenhouse gas emissions.

Israel can benefit from alternative energy in several ways: by building a new high-tech industry in an in-demand field; by cooperating with the rising powers in Asia, which are less interested in the Palestinians and the occupation; and by transforming itself into a site for clean-energy experiments that improve air quality here. If Netanyahu attends the upcoming world climate conference in Copenhagen, as has been proposed, it will be to present the idea to the international community.

This week, Prof. Kandel presented the preliminary outline of the project to the government. Two steering committees will be established: one of leading scientists, who will decide which aspects of alternative energy development must be addressed, and will identify where Israel has relative advantages in that realm; and another of industrialists and government officials, who will formulate a practical plan of action. Israel also will propose cooperative ventures with foreign countries and international companies.

A preliminary Israeli-American agreement on alternative energy development was signed in the twilight of former U.S. president George W. Bush's term, but Netanyahu's bureau is planning much more extensive endeavors. Israeli companies have been making advances in solar energy, water technology, chemical industries and information systems for managing the energy economy. However, in the meantime, there has been no breakthrough invention that would free cars, ships and planes from their dependence on petroleum, and provide a clean alternative to coal-based electricity.

Full article

Violence Across Somalia Heating Up

Al-Shabaab Threatens to Move Against Israel

by Jason Ditz, November 01, 2009

At least 36 were killed and hundreds wounded in violence across central Somalia, while the normally quiet Somaliland lost an infantry commander to a roadside bomb, following threats from al-Shabaab, the major insurgent faction in the nation, to attack Somaliland and other neighbors for meddling in southern Somalia.

Al-Shabaab has also threatened attacks against Uganda and Burundi, the two nations contributing to the African Union invasion force, in retaliation for the shelling of an insurgent controlled civilian marketplace.

But perhaps the comments most carefully scrutinized came from al-Shabaab’s Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, who in his Friday sermon in Baidoa threatened to launch attacks against Israel in retaliation for the violence at al-Aqsa.

The group has also reportedly created a new armed wing dedicated specifically to attacking Israel, a sign that the war in likely to spill not just outside of Somalia’s borders, but outside of the continent.


October 31, 2009

Réalité EU: Front group for the Washington based Israel Project?

A Spinwatch Investigation: by Tom Mills and David Miller, 30 October 2009 - Pulse Media

Realite EU - Not actually based in the EU at all

Spinwatch has uncovered evidence that an apparently London based organisation offering expertise on Iran to journalists and politicians is a covert propaganda operation run by a pro-Israel organisation in the United States.

The organisation, which is called Réalité-EU, has direct connections to the Israel Project, a hardline pro Israel organisation based in Washington DC. Both Réalité-EU and the Israel Project also appear to be connected to a Jewish organisation – B’nai B’rith International, which is also active in pro Israel campaigning

Réalité-EU was at one time linked to the former Shadow Security Minister Patrick Mercer, raising further concerns about the Conservative MP’s links to individuals and groups involved in exaggerating and even fabricating domestic and international threats for personal and political ends. These activities have previously been reported by Spinwatch as well as other sources.

Réalité-EU has claimed to be based at offices in London, but e-mails received from the organisation were sent from a mail server registered to the Washington offices of B’nai B’rith International.[1] An expert from Réalité-EU who spoke to Spinwatch denied ‘any connection whatsoever’ with B’nai B’rith

Asked whether Réalité-EU receives any funding or direct support from the pro-Israel pressure group, the expert replied, ‘Definitely not,’ but added, ‘I’m not at all involved in any development [i.e. funding] questions so I really don’t know exactly who the individuals are and where they come from.’[2]

Spinwatch’s questions about the backers of Réalité-EU were then referred to the group’s Communication Associate Gerlinde Gerber. She subsequently sent an e-mail stating that Réalité-EU receives funds from ‘different individuals from all over the world,’ who ‘are especially concerned about the growing threat of extremism in Europe and the Middle East.’[3]

When Ms Gerber was confronted with evidence directly linking Réalité-EU with B’nai B’rith she said that the organisation rents ‘services and space on their server for cost saving reasons,’ but that it had no ‘ideological or other connection to Bnai Brith’. She also stated that the expert Spinwatch had spoken to had no knowledge of this arrangement.[4]

However, Spinwatch has discovered that the London phone number for Réalité-EU redirected to a voicemail at the offices of The Israel Project in Washington. Ms Gerber did not reply to further questions about Réalité-EU’s relationship with The Israel Project or to a query as to where Réalité-EU is registered given that there is no trace of the organisation in the UK at Companies House or the Charity Commission.

B’nai B’rith International and The Israel Project were also asked to comment on whether they have any relationship with Réalité-EU but failed to respond.


B’nai B’rith International, the organisation presumed to be behind Réalité-EU, is one of a number of well funded organisations which lobby in support of Israel.[5] It was not originally a Zionist organisation and in its early years was officially neutral on the issue. It was set up in New York over a hundred years before the establishment of the State of Israel and was originally focused on providing welfare to newly arriving Jewish immigrants.

In 1913 it founded the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith[6] to record incidents of anti-semitism and campaign for greater protection for Jewish people. The League subsequently became independent of its parent organisation and, now known simply as the Anti-Defamation League or ADL, it has become notorious for its campaigns of harassment against critics of Israel. Amongst its targets was Noam Chomsky, who has noted ‘They try to label any criticism as anti-Semitic… in the last 40 years it’s become a Stalinist-style organization dedicated to supporting anything Israel does and to destroying all opposition to Israeli policies.’[7]

In addition ADL has been repeatedly accused of broadening its activities from defending against what it claims is ‘anti-semitism’ to actually spying on the left, including allegedly working with the South African apartheid regime, spying on anti-apartheid groups, a wide range of left and human rights organisations and even on HIV/AIDS activsts.[8]

ADL and the Israel Project are ideologically aligned but are also linked by personnel. For example Laura Kam, a ‘senior adviser’ for the Israel Project worked for seventeen years as co-director of ADL’s Israel office.[9] Hamodie Abu Nadda an ‘Arabic associate’ at the Israel Project also worked for ADL. The Israel Project also works with ADL, for example, as members of the Israel on Campus Coalition.[10]

Like the ADL, B’nai B’rith has also become a passionate advocate for Israel. Its website boasts of an ‘unrivalled record of service and commitment to the Jewish state.’ [11] This record has included using its presence at the UN and other international bodies to lobby against criticism of Israel, as well as the provision of material assistance to the Israel Defence Forces.[12]

During Israel’s latest attack on Gaza – described by one Israeli commentator as ‘a massive and unfettered assault, with no proportion to the amount of casualties’[13] – B’nai B’rith’s President visited Israel as part of a ‘solidarity mission’.[14] When Israel subsequently came under intense criticism for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during its assault, B’nai B’rith, despite its history as a humanitarian organisation, jumped to Israel’s defence.

A UN Fact Finding Mission recently released a report criticising Israel for human rights violations and war crimes (as well as critising Hamas for indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel). B’nai B’rith dismissed the report as ‘one-sided’ complaining that it paid ‘scant attention to Hamas’ cynical use of human shields and placement of munitions among the civilian population’.[15]

In fact an entire chapter of the report addressed allegations such as these, but the mission had found no evidence to support the claims. They did however uncover evidence that the IDF had used Palestinian civilians as human shields during its assault.[16]

B’nai B’rith has branches all over the world including in Britain, but its head offices are based at 2020 K Street in Washington D.C.[17] K Street is famous for housing some of the world’s most powerful lobby groups and think-tanks. Other organisations based at number 2020 K Street include the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, the NCSJ (formerly the National Conference on Soviet Jewry) and The Israel Project, which is located on the seventh floor along with B’nai B’rith. The Israel Project was founded in 2002, the same year B’nai B’rith International moved into its K Street office and also shares a mail server with B’nai B’rith.[18]

The Israel Project

As its name suggests, The Israel Project also shares B’nai B’rith’s unwavering ‘commitment to the Jewish state’. Whilst B’nai B’rith still supports religious and social programmes, The Israel Project is exclusively committed to political advocacy. In its 2004/05 tax returns it reported spending $787,038 on polling research and over $1.3 million on public relations; the stated goal of which was to ‘improve US understanding of the vital nature of a strong relationship between Israel and other counties around the world, primarily the US’.[19] A year later its accounts start to report the use of ‘Strategic Communications’.[20]

Originally a term used by the military, Strategic Communications refers to carefully researched and selectively targeted propaganda. The Israel Project states in its accounts that its Strategic Communications involves using ‘sophisticated public opinion research to identify messages, themes and visuals that will bring support to key [Israeli] policies,’ and that it, ‘has trained thousands of influential policy leaders, opinion elites and spokespeople to help strengthen Israel’s image in international media.’[21]

Over the course of the following three years, The Israel Project spent over $2.7 million on ‘Strategic Communications’ and a further $9.8 million on ‘public relations’.[22] It has retained a number of political communications and media companies which conduct telephone polling, run focus groups, and design and place television adverts. Its three main communications consultants are Greeberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Public Opinion Strategies and Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research.

Greeberg Quinlan Rosner calls itself ‘the world’s premium research and strategic consulting firm’. Its political clients are mostly Democratcs and other centrist parties around the world, and the firm worked for the Labour Party on its three general elections under Tony Blair.[23] Its clients also include some of the world’s most powerful corporations such as Boeing, BP, Coca-Cola and General Motors.[24]

Public Opinion Strategies on the other hand is a Republican polling firm.[25] It also represents corporate lobby groups like the United States Chamber of Commerce and The National Association of Manufacturers.[26]

Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, perhaps the most significant of the three in terms of devising propaganda, offers clients ‘game-changing messaging solutions’ which it claims are able to ‘generate powerful results in the corporate world’.[27] Its clients also include Boeing, Coca-Cola and General Motors, along with a host of others including American Express, Bear Sterns, Disney, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, McDonalds and Merrill Lynch.

Assisted by these communications companies, The Israel Project produces documents advising lobbyists and campaigners on their use of language and their framing of arguments. One such document, leaked to the pro-Palestinian group Electronic Intifada in 2003, described in detail how advocates could ‘integrate and leverage history and communication for the benefit of Israel’.[28]

The group’s political advocacy is unabashedly partisan and militaristic. Despite its claim to be working for ‘security and peace,’ Rightweb notes that it, ‘Advocates a number of positions similar to other hardline and neoconservative groups. It supports the controversial wall along the West Bank, advocates a hardline against Iran, and actively promotes the work of hawkish think tanks and writers.’[29]

In recent years The Israrel Project’s carefully crafted multi-million dollar propaganda operation has focused heavily on Iran. In November 2007, it commissioned a focus group to assess public perceptions of the country. According to one participant: ‘The whole basis of the whole thing was, “we’re going to go into Iran and what do we have to do to get you guys to along with it?”’[30]

As the focus group apparently showed, the public were sceptical of the need for more war. This finding has been confirmed more recently in The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary which noted that to the ‘American Left and Center-left’ and to Europeans in general, ‘Warnings about Iran sound uncomfortably too much like President Bush and his call for preemption in Iraq.’[31]

The numerous references in that document to European opinion suggests how Réalité-EU might fit into a broader propaganda strategy. Winning over important sections of European opinion is not only useful in itself, it also helps to win over America opinion. Liberals in the US will be more likely to support aggression if it receives some degree of international support, particularly from America’s close allies.

As The Israel Project notes in its 2009 Global Language Dictionary: ‘With the advent of the new administration, Americans and the world are weary of unilateral, America-will-go-it-alone approaches. They are eager to be on the same team as other democratic nations again.’ This pressing need for international legitimacy explains what groups like B’nai B’rith and The Israel Project have to gain from backing an organisation like Réalité-EU.

Similar media strategies

Réalité-EU is directly linked to The Israel Project in that its London phone number redirects to The Israel Project and both organisations have used the B’nai B’rith mail server. Both their websites offer what they call ‘Backgrounders’ and ‘Expert Sources’ and they seem to be the only two websites which use both terms.

The Israel Project’s European Affairs Web Specialist states that part of her job is identifying European experts on Iran.[32] However, none of The Israel Project’s experts appear to be Europeans. Réalité-EU on the other hand directs journalists to eight ‘Expert Sources’, all of whom are European; and apparently independent. Another notable feature is that The Israel Project’s European affairs associate states that he organises press events in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, London and Brussels,[33] all cities where Réalité-EU experts have been based.[34]

Whether the eight Réalité-EU experts are themselves aware of the Réalité-EU’s connection with The Israel Project and/or B’nai B’rith is not clear, but even if ignorant of it they could probably be relied upon to deliver the right message.

One of the ‘experts’, a French academic and risk consultant called Frédéric Encel,[35] gave what was described as an ‘intensely emotional’ speech at a fundraising event in March this year in which he made reference to the recent bombing of Gaza. Rather than condemning the massacres, Encel argued that, ‘The Hamas party’s way of making things worse to further their own ends has obliged Israel to use its force.’ He added that the IDF conducting its attacks whilst ‘maintaining a control that is rarely seen in other armies.’[36]

Encel’s political views are typical of neoconservatives and the pro-war liberals. He sees himself as defending a Western liberal tradition against a sinister alliance of Islamists and leftists. He says on his official website that he is in favour of a ‘fierce defence of republican values,’ which he considers to be under attack by what he labels as totalitarianism, fascism, radical Islam and Stalinism.[37]

Another of Réalité-EU’s experts, Matthias Küntzel,[38] is a German author and a political scientist best known for his belief that movements like Hamas, Hezbollah, and of course the Islamic Republic of Iran, are essentially anti-Semitic, fascistic movements comparable with the Third Reich.

Like many neoconservatives, Küntzel claims to have a background on the liberal left; which he now criticises for being unable to provide ‘an even halfway adequate response to the continuing impact of the crimes against the Jews’.[39] Küntzel’s book Jihad and Jew-Hatred was published in English in 2007 and received positive reviews in the neoconservative Weekly Standard and the right-wing Washington Times.[40]

Réalité-EU’s most prominent figure is probably the terrorism expert Claude Moniquet, who is also one of six speakers listed on the ‘Speakers Bureau’ of B’nai B’rith Europe.[41] Moniquet heads a right-wing Brussels based think-tank called the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, an organisation which says it ‘supports the strengthening of the trans-Atlantic ties and the democracies in their struggle against terrorism and other threats.’[42] Moniquet worked for 20 years as a journalist, but sees no shame in admitting that throughout that time he also served as a ‘field operative’ for the French foreign intelligence.[43]

A shadowy network

Although Réalité-EU is run by Europeans and backed by Americans, its origins at least appear to be British. At the time of its launch, Réalité-EU was closely affiliated with another organisation called International Media Intelligence Analysis (IMIA).[44] IMIA was set up by a British neoconservative called Simon Barrett,[45] who authored the inaugural Réalité-EU press release and was for a time one of its ‘experts’[46] but who has since left the group.[47] At the time of Réalité-EU’s launch an introductory press release written by Barrett stated that Réalité EU would ‘include some of the previous works of IMIA but be greatly expanded.[48]

Barrett, who is now 34, claims to have worked as an advisor to Patrick Mercer MP when he was the Conservative Party Shadow Homeland Security Minister.[49] Mercer, who now chairs the the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism, was asked by Spinwatch to confirm Barrett’s advisory role. His office replied that he may have ‘spoken to Simon Barrett’ but he ‘could not be described as an advisor.’[50]

Whatever his exact relationship with Barrett, Mercer has long been associated with the wilder fringes of the anti-terrorism world. It would appear however that his office is now attempting to distance him his former associates. Another individual who has claimed to have acted as an advisor to Mercer is Dominic Wightman, who like Barrett now works in think-tanks on the far right of British politics.

Spinwatch recently revealed that Wightman – or as he alleges a former colleague who hacked into his email – attempted to fabricate a bogus terrorism plot. An American working in Iraq received an email from Wightman requested that his colleague translate some English text into Arabic and post it on a ‘jihadinoticeboard’.

The text was written as if by someone planning to plant a bomb in an elderly woman’s wheeled-basket and explode it in a supermarket.[51] Wightman is now suspected of involvement in a hate campaign against the blogger Tim Ireland which has including repeated threats of violence and the publishing of his home address on the internet.[52]

Wightman denies any involvement with the campaign, which is led by a group of online vigilantes calling themselves the Cheerleaders, but as the blogger Richard Bartholomew has noted the timing and content of online attack pieces posted by Wightman and the Cheerleaders strongly suggests coordination.[53]

Tim Ireland, the main target of these attacks, had exposed another fake terror threat fabricated by Wightman’s former colleague Glen Jenvey, and Wightman now considers Ireland to a part of an ‘Islamist-Leftist compact’ or ‘Black Red Alliance’.[54]

After weeks of scrutiny by bloggers, Glen Jenvey admitted fabricating a terror threat supposedly targeting Alan Sugar which appeared on the front page of the Sun in January. He too enjoyed a working relationship with Patrick Mercer, which as Tim Ireland has noted, continued for two months after Ireland first produced evidence calling into questioning the Sun’s story.

In March this year one of Mercer’s staff sent an e-mail to a journalist at The People stating: ‘I have been in touch with Mr Jenvey about a number of things but most of all the following, which in my view would combine well to make a very good Sunday story.’[55]

Although there is no evidence that Réalité-EU’s Simon Barrett also fabricated terror plots, early in his career as a terrorism and Middle East expert he commented on similar scare stories in the tabloid press. In one such article the Sunday Express claimed that there was a risk that Muslim women in Europe and North America ‘could be planning to use fake pregnancies’ to hide explosives.

The source for the story was the US based Northeast Intelligence Network, a group of former corporate security figures who have made it their mission to ‘educate’ the American public as to ‘the true nature of the terrorist threats’. The group claimed to have discovered an image of a ‘strap on womb’ on an ‘extremistIslamist website’, but would not reveal where the images were found.[56]

Barrett was quoted by the Sunday Express as saying that ‘terrorists are effectively using our politically correct laws as their cover’. He made a point of linking the scare story to the Palestinians saying: ‘This is unfortunately not in the realms of fantasy as terrorist recruiters within the Palestinian terrorist organisations have exploited young vulnerable women in the past to carry out suicide missions with devastating consequences.[57]

In an earlier article the Sunday Express covered the story of a 19 year old Iraqi man with Down’s Syndrome who was reported to have been used unwittingly as a suicide bomber. Patrick Mercer commented that: ‘This shows us exactly the sort of murderous scum with whom we are dealing.’ Barrett added: ‘This is not just happening with Iraqis. Palestinian children have also been educated with hatred to become suicide bombers.’[58] The article referred to Barrett as ‘a spokesman for Terror Aware, a group that monitors the Middle East media’.

Terror Aware was one of a number of alarmist organisations Barrett was involved in prior to launchingRéalité-EU. Like one of his other early projects, it appears to be linked to the British record producer Trevor Horn and his wife Jill Sinclair – the owners of SARM Studios. Terror Aware was registered to the address of the SARM Workshop in North-West London. Jill Sinclair, who went into a comma in 2007 after a tragic domestic accident, is described as having been a very vocal supporter of Israel.[59] In 2008 Trevor Horn helped to produce a record called Israel — Home of Hope to coincide with Israel’s 60th anniversary.[60]

Press references to Simon Barrett’s Terror Aware disappeared after a few months, with Barrett instead being referred to as the director of the International Coalition Against Terror. By early 2006 the short livedInternational Coalition Against Terror was superseded by International Media Intelligence Analysis (IMIA), which was co owned by Barrett and Jill Sinclair. Like Terror Aware Ltd, IMIA was registered to a business address of SARM Studios, this time at its studio in Notting Hill. There is no evidence to connect Sinclair toRéalité-EU, though in its first year of operations, it gave its contact address as a P.O. Box in the Notting Hill area of London.[61]

IMIA was referred to in some press articles as a London based think-tank, but for the most part it appears to have operated as an e-newsletter service run solely by Barrett. It did however co-host an event in the House of Commons with the Euro-sceptic think-tank Open Europe.[62]

Open Europe has itself received funding from American neoconservatives via the Policy Forum on International Security Affairs, a group headed by Devon Gaffney Cross, a former director of the powerful neoconservative group the Project for the New American Century. Her brother Frank Gaffney was a speaker at an Israel Project press conference in Washington in July 2007 organised to publicise the supposed ‘Iranian threat’.[63]

Open Europe and IMIA’s ‘parliamentary briefing’ that May was billed ‘Iran, Britain and Europe: Post hostage crisis, what can we expect next?’ It was attended by Patrick Mercer and Mark Fitzpatrick of the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies[64] among others.[65] Réalité-EU’s Claude Moniquet also spoke.[66]

Moniquet told the audience that his think-tank had evidence that ‘something is under preparation in Europe,’ and that, ‘Iranian intelligence is working extremely hard to prepare its people and to prepare actions.’ They would he claimed target ‘British citizens on the streets of London, just as they kill British soldiers in the south of Iraq.’[67]

Later that year the United States National Intelligence Estimate concluded that, contrary to the widespread claims, Iran was not developing a nuclear weapons programme. Réalité-EU responded with an Insight entitled, ‘Can U.S. Intelligence be Trusted on Iran?’, which once again conflated the issues of civilian nuclear power and nuclear weapons.[68]

Though Réalité-EU and similar organisatoins promoting hostility against Iran were apparently unconvinced and undeterred, the National Intelligence Estimate seemed for some time to have abated the march to war. Recently however the frequency and tone of official statements and media reports in Britain and the United States have once again become a cause for grave concern. Those who are unwilling to forget what has happened to the people of Iraq, and the lies and distortions on which that war was based, cannot help but note worrying parallels with the current political climate.

The UK media critics David Edwards and David Cromwell write: ‘To us it seems like yesterday – the sense of madness is fresh in our minds. When Obama acts the stern father in demanding: “Iran must comply with United Nations resolutions,” he is repeating, with the alteration of but a single letter, the same sentence in the same tone used by George Bush and Tony Blair on Iraq.’[69]

Last month Réalité-EU’s Matthias Küntzel wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal entitled, ‘Iran Has No Right to Nuclear Technology’.[70] Although the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty states that signatories have ‘the inalienable right’ to ‘develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes’, Küntzel argued that this right cannot apply to Iran which although it has signed up to the NPT, ‘can by definition not be considered a bona fide signatory’.

To give Iran the same rights afforded other states under the treaty was according to Küntzel ‘not only politically absurd but also wrong from a purely legal point of view’. This remarkable claim was justified with reference to a comment on world Islamic revolution made by Ayatollah Khomeini around 30 years ago, and to a passage of the Qur’an quoted in Article 151 of Iran’s constitution. Küntzel thus argued that Iran was politically and constutionally committed to waging war and overturning the international order. That being the case Küntzel conclude: ‘The time for “dialogue as usual” is over’.

– Notes –

[1] Réalité-EU, email to Tom Mills, 14 July 2009 20:34; Gerlinde Gerber, Email to Tom Mills, 11 September 2009 16:48. Both emails were sent from the IP address, the IP number for

[2] Phone interview, 10 September 2009

[3] Gerlinde Gerber, Email to Tom Mills, 11 September 2009 16:48

[4] Gerlinde Gerber, Email to Tom Mills, 29 October 2009 14:53

[5] Spinprofiles, Israel Lobby Portal

[6] Spinprofiles, Anti-Defamation League

[7]Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB ‘Scholars condemn attack on academic freedom at UC-Santa Barbara’ 28 April 2009

[8] Jeffrey Blankfort, Anne Poirier and Steve Zeltzer, ‘The ADL Spying Case Is Over, But The Struggle Continues’, Counterpunch, 25 February 2002; Robert I. Friedman, The Enemy Within, The Village Voice, 11 May 1993, Vol. XXXVIII No. 19.; Abdeen Jabara, (1993) ‘The Anti-Defamation League: Civil Rights and Wrongs‘, ”Covert Action”, No. 45, Summer;

[9] The Israel Project Laura Kam, Senior Advisor,

[10] Israel on Campus Coalition ‘Members: ADL’

[11] B’nai B’rith International, ‘B’nai B’rith and Israel’

[12] Ibid.

[13] Paul Wood, ‘Analysis: Operation Miscast Lead?’, BBC News Online, 13 March 2009

[14] ‘B’nai B’rith International Leaders on Solidarity Mission to Israel’, Targeted News Service, 12 January 2009

[15] ‘Goldstone Report Presents One-Sided and Incomplete Information’, Targeted News Service, 15 September 2009

[16] Human Rights Council, Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, A/HRC/12/48, 15 September 2009; see Chapters VIII and XIV

[17] Michael Vasquez, ‘A New Address for B’nai B’rith’, Washington Post, 15 June 2002

[18] See Robtex record for

[19] The Israel Project, Form 990 (2004), p.2

[20] The Israel Project, Form 990 (2005), p.3

[21] Ibid.

[22] The Israel Project, Form 990 (2005), p.3; Form 990 (2006), p.3; Form 990 (2007), p.3

[23] Greeberg Quinlan Rosner Research, International Campaigns

[24] Greeberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Corporations

[25] Laura Rozen, ‘Focus Grouping War with Iran’, Mother Jones, 19 November 2007

[26] Public Opinion Strategies, Public Affairs Client List

[27] Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, What We Do

[28] Wexner Analysis: Israeli Communication Priorities 2003

[29] Rightweb, The Israel Project, 26 July 2007

[30] Laura Rozen, ‘Focus Grouping War with Iran’, Mother Jones, 19 November 2007

[31] The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, Newsweek, 9 July 2009

[32] The Israel Project, Julie Hazan [Accessed 30 October 2009]

[33] The Israel Project, Christoph Heil, [Accessed 30 October 2009]

[34] Gerlinde Gerber is from Berlin, Diana Gregor lives in Vienna, Frédéric Encel in Paris, Simon Barrett in London and Claude Moniquet in Brussels.

[35] Neocon Europe, Frédéric Encel

[36] Lucie Optyker and Laurence Borot, ‘Traditional Fundraising Dinner Organized by the Paris Woman’s Division’, Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal, 26 March 2009, accessed 1 October 2009

[37] Frédéric Encel Official Website, accessed 12 September 2009. The original text in French reads: ‘Ainsi, mon engagement actif en faveur d’une âpre défense des valeurs républicaines (à commencer par la laïcité et l’égalité de la femme), accompagne sans l’entraver ni la biaiser mon expertise géopolitique ; le combat contre les totalitarismes, du fascisme à l’islamisme radical en passant par le stalinisme, ne souffre pas de répit…’

[38] Neocon Europe, Matthias Küntzel

[39] Alan Johnson, ‘Islamism, Antisemitism, and the political left. A Democratiya Interview with Matthias Küntzel’, Democratiya no. 13, 25 May 2008

[40] Stephen Schwartz, ‘The Third Jihad: When radical Muslims distort Islam’, Weekly Standard, Volume 013, Issue 31, 28 April 2008; Martin Rubin, ‘When Nazis and Islamic extremists bonded’, Washington Times, 24 February 2008

[41] B’nai B’rith Europe, Speakers Bureau [Accessed 1 October 2009],en/

[42] European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, ‘About Us’, accessed 1 October 2009

[43] see contributor’s note in Claude Moniquet, ‘American Intelligence’, Wall Street Journal, 13 December 2007 and Claude Moniquet’s CV on the website of the B’nai B’rith Europe which states that he spent ‘twenty years in journalism,’ and that ‘In the same twenty years, I was under contract for a specialized branch of the French Defense Ministry, working on security issues and counter terrorism.’,en_GB/;

[44] Neocon Europe, International Media Intelligence Analysis

[45] Neocon Europe, Simon Barrett,

[46] Internet Archive, REALITE-EU – Expert Sources, 23 January 2007

[47] Réalité-EU, email to Tom Mills, 14 July 2009 20:34

[48] Réalité-EU Press Release, ‘Réalité: The real story’

[49] Internet Archive, REALITE-EU – Expert Sources, 23 January 2007

[50] Parliamentary Assistant to Patrick Mercer, email to Tom Mills, 15 September 2009 15:24

[51] Tom Mills and David Miller, ‘The British amateur terror trackers: A case study in dubious politics’, Spinwatch, 26 August 2009

[52] Tim Ireland, ‘Dominic Wightman: follow the leader’, Bloggerheads, 1 October 2009; Richard Bartholomew, ‘Tim Ireland Threatened with Violence’, Notes on Religion, 30 September 2009

[53] Richard Bartholomew, ‘Tim Ireland Threatened with Violence’, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, 30 September 2009

[54] Dominic Whiteman, ‘A Message to the Cheerleaders’, Westminster Journal, 30 September 2009

[55] Tim Ireland, ‘Patrick Mercer has some explaining to do’, Bloggerheads, 23 September 2009

[56] Julia Hartley-Brewer, ‘ALERT FOR WOMEN BOMBERS WHO FAKE PREGNANCY’, Sunday Express, 28 August 2005

[57] Ibid.

[58] Tim Shipman, ‘Scum! Iraq bombers use Down’s Syndrome victim’, Sunday Express, 6 February 2005

[59] ‘An ‘anthem’ for Israel from the makers of ‘Band Aid’’, Jerusalem Post, 5 April 2008

[60] Candice Krieger, ‘Chief joins Trevor Horn for a kosher Live Aid’, Jewish Chronicle, 18 April 2008

[61] see contact details in Rightweb, ‘Réalité EU’, 31 October 2007

[62] Neocon Europe, Open Europe

[63] Rightweb, ‘Réalité EU’, 31 October 2007

[64] Spinprofiles, International Institute for Strategic Studies

[65] Open Europe Events, accessed 11 September 2009

[66] Open Europe Events, accessed 11 September 2009

[67] ‘Iran Drawing Up Plans to Strike European Nuclear Sites, Analyst Says’, Associated Press,

22 May 2007,2933,274725,00.html

[68] Réalité-EU Insight: Can U.S. Intelligence be Trusted on Iran?, 24 September 2007

[69] ‘Iran – The War Dance’, Medialens, 1 October 2009

[70] Matthias Küntzel, ‘Iran Has No Right to Nuclear Technology’, Wall Street Journal, 29 September 2009

October 28, 2009

Kouchner acting 'against interest of French people'

Press TV - October 28, 2009 19:19:03 GMT

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner

Iran reacts to cynical comments by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner regarding the Tehran government's response to an IAEA-brokered deal for overseas treatment of the country's low-enriched uranium.

In a series of interviews with a number of media outlets, Kouchner had accused Iran of "wasting time" and showing "negative indications" about its nuclear intentions.

His comments came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) drafted a deal, according to which Iran will ship out 80 percent of its low-enriched uranium in exchange for highly-enriched uranium converted into metal fuel rods for a Tehran research reactor that produces isotopes for cancer care.

"I cannot say that the situation regarding Iran is very positive. Now, meetings are being held in Vienna. But via the indications we are receiving, matters are not very positive," Kouchner had said during an official visit to Lebanon on Friday.

An informed source in the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on condition of anonymity that such remarks are "counter-productive" at a time, when Tehran and the West are working to find common ground on the nuclear issue.

"These baseless and unreasonable accusations against Tehran are clearly in line with the [Israeli government's] frame of mind. We believe these statements to be against the interests of the French people," he said on Wednesday.

Iranian officials had welcomed foreign cooperation on the Tehran research reactor from the very beginning, but their efforts were constantly undermined by the French government, he added.

"The idea of cooperation on the Tehran research reactor was first floated by the Iranian government," he said.

"The debate now is on a few technical issues, which relate to the Iranian nation's basic rights and have remained ambiguous so far," he added.

The Foreign Ministry source noted that Kouchner's cynical remarks show that Paris has absolutely no intention of cooperating with Tehran on its enrichment program.

October 25, 2009

Another 147 people dead in Baghdad, cui bono?

October 25, 2009 by Notsilvia Night

Once again, in one of the bloodiest attacks ever, two bombings killed and injured over 800 people. (update:In the first reports those were called suicide bombings, now we hear about car-bombs of cars parked in a parking garage.) Nearly a whole street was flattened. This surely is not the kind of destruction which can be caused by a home-made bomb, put together in some basement.

The people behind the attacks, we are told, are supposedly former supporters of the late Saddam Hussein or maybe members of AlQaida or other Sunni radical groups, supported by Syria (What interest would Syria have in destabilizing Iraq, while Syria´s ally Iran is supporting the Shiite dominated government?).

While the attacks were supposedly directed at government buildings, the people killed or maimed were mainly civilians on the street.

What kind of support could Saddam´s supporters possibly gain from the civilian population with this kind of brutal attacks against them. Do they actually think that anyone would vote for them after having lost family or friends in such an attack or being afraid the next attack might kill a loved one?

Saddam Hussein was mainly a secular politician, who opposed the Shiite religious opposition for political, not for religious reasons (the Shiite authorities were close to Iran, while Saddam on the behest of his US-supporters was fighting Iran)

During the early years of the American occupation, while some of the Shiite establishment allied themselves with the Americans, the more radical leaders of both Sunnis and Shiites called for resistance and at the same time national unity across sectarian borders.

It made no sense that Iraqis of either side would attack the civilian population of the other side while they saw the Americans still as their main enemy.
It made no sense at all that a short time into the American occupation supposedly religiously motivated attacks against mosques and public places started.

Iraqi blogger Riverbend wrote:

“Iraqis have intermarried and mixed as Sunnis and Shia for centuries. Many of the larger Iraqi tribes are a complex and intricate weave of Sunnis and Shia. We don’t sit around pointing fingers at each other and trying to prove who is a Muslim and who isn’t and who deserves compassion and who deserves brutalization.”

But they were suicide attacks, were are told, they must be real.

Here is an article by SOTT Focus on the issue:
Suicide Bombings – A Favourite US Counter-Insurgency Tactic

Roger Trinquier, an immensely influential French counter-insurgency expert, suggested in his book Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (1961) (Available online here) three simple principles of Counter Insurgency:

1. separate the guerrilla from the population that supports him;
2. occupy the zones that the guerrillas previously operated from, making them dangerous for him and turning the people against the guerrilla movement;
3. coordinate actions over a wide area and for a long enough time that the guerrilla is denied access to the population centres that could support him.

Remote controlled bombings masquerading as “suicide bombings” that are carried out by the US, British and Israeli occupation forces fit these principles very neatly. By detonating bombs on a daily basis across Iraq and Afghanistan and via the propaganda organs touting them as being the work of Iraqi/Afghani “suicide bombers” belonging to the insurgency, the occupying military hopes to achieve several goals:
-cut off the widespread support base that the insurgency have amongst the Iraqis
-create tensions between religious lines, especially by ascribing the faked “suicide attacks” to either Shias or Sunnis.
In other words divide and conquer.

Here is a collection of some of the reports of fake attempted “suicide attacks” coming out of Iraq:

In May 2005, former Iraqi exile Imad Khadduri, reported how a driver whose license had been confiscated in Baghdad was questioned for half an hour at an American military camp, informed that there were no charges against him, and then directed to the al-Khadimiya police station to retrieve his license.
“The driver did leave in a hurry, but was soon alarmed with a feeling that his car was…carrying a heavy load, and he also became suspicious of a low flying helicopter that kept hovering overhead, as if trailing him. He stopped the car and … found nearly 100 kilograms of explosives hidden in the back seat…the only feasible explanation for this incident is that the car was indeed booby trapped by the Americans and intended for the al-Khadimiya Shiite district of Baghdad. The helicopter was monitoring his movement and witnessing the anticipated ‘hideous attack by foreign elements’”.

(According to Khadurri, the scenario was repeated again in Mosul, when a driver’s car broke down on the way to the police station where he was sent to reclaim his license. The mechanic he then turned to discovered the spare tire to be laden with explosives.)

In the same month, 64-year-old farmer Haj Haidar, who was taking his tomato load from Hilla to Baghdad, was stopped at an American checkpoint and had his pick-up thoroughly searched. Allowed to go on his way, his 11 year-old grandson then told him he saw one of the American soldiers placing a gray melon-sized object amidst the tomato containers. Realizing the vehicle was his only means of work, Haidar fought his initial impulse to run and removed the object from his truck, placing it in a nearby ditch. He later learned that it had in fact exploded, killing part of a passing shepherd’s flock of sheep.

At this point, legendary Iraqi blogger ‘Riverbend’ reported that many of the supposed suicide bombings were in fact remotely detonated car bombs or time bombs. She related how a man was arrested for allegedly having shot at a National Guardsman after huge blasts struck in west Baghdad. But according the man’s neighbours, far from having shot anyone, he had seen “an American patrol passing through the area and pausing at the bomb site minutes before the explosion. Soon after they drove away, the bomb went off and chaos ensued. He ran out of his house screaming to the neighbors and bystanders that the Americans had either planted the bomb or seen the bomb and done nothing about it. He was promptly taken away.”

In Basra on September 19th 2005, suspicious Iraqi police stopped undercover British soldiers in a Toyota Cressida. The two men then opened fire, killing one policeman and wounding another. Eventually captured, they were identified by the BBC as members of the SAS elite special forces. The soldiers were in wigs and dressed as Arabs and their car was packed with explosives and towing equipment.
Fattah al-Shaykh, a member of the Iraqi National Assembly, told Al-Jazeera TV that the car was meant to explode in the centre of Basra’s popular market. Before his thesis could be confirmed, however, the British army’s tanks flattened the local prison cell and freed their sinister operatives.

In 2005 American and British troops were still very much engaged in fighting the Iraqi insurgency. British and American military planners probably saw it in their interest to make the resistance look bad in the eyes of the Iraqi people.

Today, however, a divided and chaotic Iraq would no longer be in the American interest, since America is busy fighting In Afghanistan and Pakistan two other endless wars.

So in who´s interest would it be?
The “militants”, we are told by Reuters about the bomb attacks on July 31, 2009 against five Shiite mosques,

al Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups, most active in ethnically mixed areas north of Baghdad, are trying to reignite the sectarian conflict that brought Iraq to the brink of all-out civil war in 2006 and 2007

Ask yourself who would gain from such a civil war and a divided Iraq?

Who has written policy papers proposing the need for an Iraq divided in 3 parts?

In February 1982 the Israeli policy planner and intellectual Oded Yinon wrote:
A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties

The late human rights activist Israel Shahak, who translated this policy-paper, commented:

The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime (of Sharon and Eitan) for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states. I will comment on the military aspect of this plan in a concluding note. Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points:

1. The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha’aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: “The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Ha’aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.

2. The strong connection with Neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author’s notes. But, while lip service is paid to the idea of the “defense of the West” from Soviet power, the real aim of the author, and of the present Israeli establishment is clear: To make an Imperial Israel into a world power. In other words, the aim of Sharon is to deceive the Americans after he has deceived all the rest.

Some of the above mentioned American Neo-Conservatives then wrote another just as revealing policy-paper for the Israeli Netanyahu government in 1996

“A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”

5 years before 9/11, this report is calling for an invasion of Iraq.

With contributions from: Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser all members of the “Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy,” and all key Iraq-war players in Bush administration.

The paper b.t.w. also calls for “engaging” Hizbollah (the tactical defense force of southern Lebanon) as well as Syria and Iran militarily.


October 22, 2009

Whatever happened to the war for oil?

By Jeffrey Blankfort on October 22, 2009

Critics of the Iraq war who claimed that it was a war for Israel, engineered by the neocons in the Bush administration and promoted by their allies in the media, were routinely disparaged by the well known pundits of the US Left and the leading organizations of the anti-war movement that insisted that it was a war for access and control over Iraq’s oil. This was, they declared, in so many words, a "no-brainer."

Without casting aspersions on the wisdom of the latter, this story, in which T Boone Pickens complains that US firms have been shut out of Iraq’s oil market, is but the latest to undermine the "war for oil" theory. But don’t expect what remains of the Left to admit their error anytime soon. Reuters:
the Iraqi government has awarded contracts to foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, to develop Iraq’s vast reserves while American companies have mostly been shut out.

"They’re opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world … We’re entitled to it," Pickens said of Iraq’s oil. "Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars."

PetroChina's First West-to-East Pipeline Supplies 60 BCM

The once proposed TAPI pipeline of decades past which is widely cited in the alternative media as a rationale for ongoing occupation of Afghanistan has been superseded and made redundant by more recent developments.

Xinhua Economic News - 10/21/2009

PetroChina's First West-to-East pipeline has supplied an accumulative 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas since it entered operation in 2004, reported CNPC's website.

The First West-to-East pipeline is designed to have an annual transportation capacity of 12 billion cubic meters and in the past years it has been in full operation, helping meet China's climbing natural gas consumption that spiraled up from 41 billion cubic meters in 2004 to 78 billion cubic meters in 2008.

The report said China's accumulative additional gas consumption during the 2004-2008 period reached 83.4 billion cubic meters, PetroChina's First West-to-East pipeline sold a total of 46.699 billion cubic meters during the period.

PetroChina is currently building the Second West-to-East pipeline that will pump Turkmenistan gas from western Xinjiang to eastern Guangdong province with annual transportation capacity of 30 billion cubic meters.

Update: 01-08-10 | Asia Times

... Turkmenistan has committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia and Iran. It has no urgent need of the pipelines that the United States and the European Union have been advancing. Are we hearing the faint notes of a Russia-China-Iran symphony?

The 182-kilometer Turkmen-Iranian pipeline starts modestly with the pumping of 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkmen gas. But its annual capacity is 20bcm, and that would meet the energy requirements of Iran's Caspian region and enable Tehran to free its own gas production in the southern fields for export...

Iran: Uranium deal will expose West

Press TV - October 22, 2009 11:18:01 GMT

Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh

Iran says the yet to be signed uranium deal with the West will be a test of the participating countries' commitment to peaceful nuclear work.

"The Vienna talks are a new chapter in cooperation between Iran and the other participating states… We will be waiting to see whether they will stay true to their words and promises," Tehran's envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog told Al-Alam news channel.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be a witness to the other states' behaviors when it comes to technical cooperation on using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," said Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh.

Soltaniyeh had the interview with the Arabic news network on Wednesday night, following talks with diplomats from France, Russia and the US in Vienna on a deal to supply highly-enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor.

The second round of the October talks ended with IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei sending a draft of an agreement drawn up by the Agency to the governments of Iran, Russia, the United States and France.

The Tehran reactor requires uranium enriched up to 20 percent supplies medical isotopes for treating cancer to more than 200 hospitals in Iran.

ElBaradei said the countries have until Friday, October 23, to inform the UN nuclear body whether or not they accept the deal.

In a similar Wednesday interview with the American news channel CNN, Soltaniyeh said that Tehran had accepted the offer 'in a general sense' to build confidence.

"In principle we have in fact accepted this offer for this Tehran ... reactor in spite of the fact that we are capable of producing the fuel," said Soltaniyeh.

"But we decided to welcome this offer in order not only to show our transparency and cooperation but prove that all activities are for exclusively peaceful purposes."

October 19, 2009

Obama regime vows to "engage" Sudan

Sudan policy review

Aletho News
October 19, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled the new Sudan policy of the Obama administration today expressing a goal of preventing Sudan from becoming a haven for international "terror" groups. Anonymous officials have said that they are eager to see steps taken to eliminate support for Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas. U.S. Sudan special envoy, Retired General Scott Gration, has also said the administration’s new approach was intended to prevent Sudan from serving as a terrorist haven. Barak Obama described Sudan as a "global security challenge" in his July speech in Ghana.

"We have a menu of incentives and disincentives," Clinton said, refusing to specify the potential punitive measures, though in January the Secretary of State said the Obama administration was considering the creation of no-fly zones and increased economic and trade sanctions.

The "incentives" could possibly include removing Sudan from the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism or ending the existing trade sanctions which have been imposed against the nation for over a decade. An executive order, signed in 1997 by then- President Bill Clinton, bans most U.S. trade with Sudan, including any imports of Sudanese goods and the export to the country of anything except food, clothing and medicine. It also bars the extension of U.S. credit to the Sudanese government. The Darfur Accountability Act, passed in 2006, requires the administration to get congressional approval and certify that Sudan is taking certain steps before those sanctions under the executive order can be lifted. The same "steps" appear to apply regarding the state sponsor of terror list; "Getting off the terrorism list is something that could happen if and only if they have taken the right steps" an unnamed source told Reuters.

From now on, the United States will maintain that genocide "is taking place" in Darfur, anonymous officials told the Washington Post, a rhetorical assertion that is backed only by "political statements" made by intervention advocates that the GAO has characterized as lacking in "objective analysis", relying on "too few data points extrapolated to an excessive degree." This new characterization of genocide addresses a prior dispute between U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, who says that there is "ongoing genocide" in Darfur, and Scott Gration over how to characterize the violence in Darfur. Rice has long been a proponent of tough action against Khartoum. The genocide claims have been parroted ubiquitously in the Western press which has likewise parroted the demonization of Hamas by U.S. officials since Hamas won the 2006 elections.

To acquit itself of the "ongoing genocide" designation, Sudan is being asked to prove a negative, a logical impossibility. President of the Save Darfur Coalition, Jerry Fowler, says "the burden of proof is on the government of Sudan", while Ms. Rice said the administration would insist that Sudan show real evidence that conditions for civilians had begun to improve before offering incentives. The administration said that the policy calls for quarterly reviews of conditions in Darfur.

In Orwellian fashion the NYT presents the policy as "more balanced", presumably more balanced than the Bush policy which applied the 1997 sanctions and defined Sudan as a State sponsor of terrorism, but did not apply enough "pressure" according to Sudan hawks. Sudan interventionists are quite pleased with the new policy review. House Sudan caucus co-chairman Representative Frank R. Wolf, Republican from Virginia, said "considering the rumors we’ve been hearing, this policy seems very positive". Representative Donald M. Payne, Democrat of New Jersey, also a co-chairman of the Sudan caucus, said "I think the only thing the government of Sudan understands is bluntness and power." John Prendergast, co-chairman of the Enough Project, said the new policy appeared to be "a fine one."

Left unmentioned in the coverage of the policy review is the impact that the review will likely have on the heretofore promising peace talks which are underway due to the efforts of Egypt, Libya and Qatar. The next round of talks between the rebel movements of Darfur and the Sudanese government are scheduled to begin on November 16 in Doha, Qatar. Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha welcomed the Qatari hosted peace initiative saying "I think the solution to the crisis in Darfur is (above all) in the hands of the Sudanese and the citizens of Darfur."