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Index » Regional/Local » Africa/Middle East » Israel Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 152, 153, 154  Next
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RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Feb 23, 2015 - 11:49am

Massive leak said to reveal Mossad's 'true' assessment on Iran nuclear program
Al-Jazeera says most significant release of secret documents since Snowden details intelligence information from numerous spy agencies.

Hundreds of confidential documents penned by South Africa's intelligence agency that detail meetings with Mossad operatives on Iran's nuclear program are expected to be published in the coming days, Al-Jazeera English reported on Monday.

The documents, part of a leak which is being referred to by Al-Jazeera as 'The Spy Cables,' appears to be most significant exposition of secret intelligence documents since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the breadth of American eavesdropping operations in 2013.

The documents, obtained by Al Jazeera in digital form, were also passed to the Guardian as part of the cooperation between the two newspapers, the Qatari network reported.

The report said it will reveal "the Israeli Mossad's true assessment of Iran's nuclear program."

The documents were said to also include detailed briefings and internal analyses written by South Africa's State Security Agency (SSA) operatives, and document meetings the agency's operatives held with the American CIA, British MI6, Russian FSB and other nations' intelligence agencies, between 2006 and 2014.

The cables detailed missives from the Mossad to its allies saying that Iran was unable to produce nuclear weapons – a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that such capability was within a year.

They also describe attempts by the CIA to contact Hamas directly, even as the U.S. government listed the Palestinian group as a "terrorist organization."


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Feb 13, 2015 - 12:49pm

Conceding to a federal lawsuit, the US government agreed to release a 1987 Defense Department report detailing US assistance to Israel in its development of a hydrogen bomb, which skirted international standards.

The 386-page report, Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” likens top Israeli nuclear facilities to the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories that were key in the development of US nuclear weaponry.

Israelis are "developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level,” said the report, the release of which comes before Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's March 3 speech in front of the US Congress in which he will oppose any deal that allows Iran's legal nuclear program to persist.

"I am struck by the degree of cooperation on specialized war making devices between Israel and the US," Roger Mattson, a formerly of the Atomic Energy Commission’s technical staff, said of the report, according to Courthouse News.

The report’s release earlier this week was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act request made three years ago by Grant Smith, director of the Washington think tank Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. Smith filed a lawsuit in September in order to compel the Pentagon to substantially address the request.

"It's our basic position that in 1987 the Department of Defense discovered that Israel had a nuclear weapons program, detailed it and then has covered it up for 25 years in violation of the Symington and Glenn amendments, costing taxpayers $86 billion,” Smith said during a hearing in late 2014 before Judge Tanya Chutkan in US District Court for the District of Columbia. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Dec 19, 2014 - 3:44pm

Identity and Collective Denial - Lia Tarachansky on Reality Asserts Itself (1/3)
Lia Tarachansky is an Israeli-Russian journalist with The Real News Network reporting on Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Born in the Soviet Union, Tarachansky grew up in a settlement in the occupied West Bank. She is the director of On the Side of the Road, a documentary on Israel's biggest taboo - the events of 1948 when the state was created. Tarachansky previously worked as a Newsroom Producer in The Real News' Washington D.C. and Toronto Headquarters, and her work appeared on BBC, Al Jazeera, USA Today, Canadian Dimension Magazine and others.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 17, 2014 - 8:24am

Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal

(...) Among (Snowden's) most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the N.S.A. evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.

Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications — email as well as phone calls — of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.”

It appears that Mr. Snowden’s fears were warranted. Last week, 43 veterans of Unit 8200 — many still serving in the reserves — accused the organization of startling abuses. In a letter to their commanders, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, they charged that Israel used information collected against innocent Palestinians for “political persecution.” In testimonies and interviews given to the media, they specified that data were gathered on Palestinians’ sexual orientations, infidelities, money problems, family medical conditions and other private matters that could be used to coerce Palestinians into becoming collaborators or create divisions in their society.

The veterans of Unit 8200 declared that they had a “moral duty” to no longer “take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians.” An Israeli military spokesman disputed the letter’s overall drift but said the charges would be examined.

It should trouble the American public that some or much of the information in question — intended not for national security purposes but simply to pursue political agendas — may have come directly from the N.S.A.’s domestic dragnet. According to documents leaked by Mr. Snowden and reported by the British newspaper The Guardian, the N.S.A. has been sending intelligence to Israel since at least March 2009.

The memorandum of agreement between the N.S.A. and its Israeli counterpart covers virtually all forms of communication, including but not limited to “unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content.” The memo also indicates that the N.S.A. does not filter out American communications before delivery to Israel; indeed, the agency “routinely sends” unminimized data.

Although the memo emphasizes that Israel should make use of the intercepts in accordance with United States law, it also notes that the agreement is legally unenforceable. “This agreement,” it reads, “is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law.” (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Sep 15, 2014 - 9:21am

Israeli refuseniks will be treated as criminals, says defence minister | World news | The Guardian

Forty-three Israeli military intelligence reservists who signed a letter refusing to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories have been denounced as "criminal" by defence minister Moshe Ya'alon, as the country's political and military leadership turned its fire on the refuseniks.

The ferocity of the response was not unexpected by those involved. One signatory told the Guardian before publication that he feared being portrayed as an enemy of the state after the letter was made public.

Among those who have criticised the reservists' actions are Israel's prime minister, the president, opposition leaders and a former intelligence head. In addition, the Israeli military revealed that 200 other members of the unit had signed a counter-letter defending its work.

The reservists' letter had alleged the unit undertook "all encompassing" surveillance of the Palestinians – whether involved in terrorism or not – and used information, including of sexual orientation, to blackmail individuals into becoming informants.

The threat of criminal sanctions would break the pattern of the treatment of reservists, including pilots, who signed previous refusenik letters who have tended to be discharged.

It is not clear, however, what charges the men and women could face. The 43 took legal advice from a prominent lawyer to ensure their letter and testimonies did not break the law, including by revealing their identities.

The text of the letter and most serious allegations were also submitted to the Israeli authorities before publication on Friday.

The letter, published with testimonies from reservists of Unit 8200, claimed much of its electronic interception work was being used to support the "political persecution" of Palestinians and the continued occupation. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 22, 2014 - 12:04pm

The End of Liberal Zionism
Israel’s Move to the Right Challenges Diaspora Jews

(...) I became an Israeli citizen in 1970, and I am still one today. I worked in the Jewish community in research and philanthropic capacities for 30 years, serving the interests of Jews worldwide. But in the 1980s, I began to rethink my relationship with Israel and Zionism. As recently as 2007, while directing the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research, an independent think tank, I still thought that liberal Zionism had a role to play. I believed that by encouraging Diaspora Jews to express reservations about Israeli policy in public, liberal Zionism could influence the Israeli government to change its policies toward the Palestinians.

I still understood its dream of Israel as a moral and just cause, but I judged it anachronistic. The only Zionism of any consequence today is xenophobic and exclusionary, a Jewish ethno-nationalism inspired by religious messianism. It is carrying out an open-ended project of national self-realization to be achieved through colonization and purification of the tribe.

This mind-set blocks any chance Israel might have to become a full-fledged liberal-democratic state, and offers the Palestinians no path to national self-determination, no justice for their expulsion in 1948, nor for the occupation and the denial of their rights. I came to see the notion that liberal Zionism might reverse, or even just restrain, this nationalist juggernaut as fanciful.

I used my position at the think tank to raise questions about Israel’s political path and to initiate a community-wide debate about these issues. Naïve? Probably. I was vilified by the right-wing Jewish establishment, labeled a “self-hating Jew” and faced public calls for me to be sacked. This just confirmed what I already knew about the myopia of Jewish leadership and the intolerance of many British Zionist activists.

Today, neither the destruction wreaked in Gaza nor the disgraceful antics of the anti-democratic forces that are setting Israel’s political agenda have produced a decisive shift in Jewish Diaspora opinion. Beleaguered liberal Zionists still struggle to reconcile their liberalism with their Zionism, but they are increasingly under pressure from Jewish dissenters on the left, like Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Independent Jewish Voices.

Along with many experts, most dissenting groups have long thought that the two-state solution was dead. The collapse of the peace talks being brokered by the American secretary of state, John Kerry, came as no surprise. Then, on July 11, Mr. Netanyahu definitively rejected any possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state. The Gaza conflict meant, he said, that “there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan” (meaning the West Bank).

Liberal Zionists must now face the reality that the dissenters have recognized for years: A de facto single state already exists; in it, rights for Jews are guaranteed while rights for Palestinians are curtailed. Since liberal Zionists can’t countenance anything but two states, this situation leaves them high and dry.

Liberal Zionists believe that Jewish criticism of Israeli policies is unacceptable without love of Israel. They embrace Israel as the Jewish state. For it to remain so, they insist it must have a Jewish majority in perpetuity. Yet to achieve this inevitably implies policies of exclusion and discrimination. (...)


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 19, 2014 - 10:40pm

Israel Refuses to Lift Blockade, Resumes Shelling
Israeli forces launch attacks, injuring two Palestinian children, in retaliation for rocket fire from Gaza

Peace talks in Cairo collapsed on Tuesday morning after Israeli delegates refused to lift the blockade on Gaza, a key demand of Palestinian negotiators. Meanwhile, Israeli forces have resumed shelling the besieged strip, indicating that the tentative truce is now over.

As air strikes resumed, AFP reports that thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza City fled their homes "carrying bags of clothes, pillows and mattresses," streaming towards United Nations-designated shelters at local schools. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (URWA) reported strikes in "North Gaza, Middle and Khan Younis."

According to reports, the Israeli warplanes were launched in retaliation for three rockets fired from Gaza, which Israeli officials said broke the extended ceasefire agreement. Two Palestinian boys aged six and nine were wounded when the bombs struck the southern city of Rafah, the Palestinian emergency services spokesman said.

As of Monday, over 238,000 internally displaced Palestinians are being sheltered in 81 UNRWA schools, the agency reports. And, anticipating the end of the ceasefire, many more fled to shelters overnight. According to the UN's toll, since Israeli forces launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8th, there have been 1,976 verified Palestinian deaths with 1,417 believed to be civilians, including 459 children and 239 women.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 6:44pm

 kurtster wrote:
it seems our own Mr Prins is not happy with one Israel thread, he has two ...
This forum regularly has failing indexes, i.e. when searching for a topic it just doesn't show up in the results. The second one was likely created when the original one didn't show up (and I hadn't figured out what the problem was). {#Mrgreen}

Before, one could also (always) search for (post) text that was sure to be used in a thread/topic...
ignore the kitteh behind the kurtain
kurtster Avatar

Location: counting flowers on the wall ...
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 6:36pm

 haresfur wrote:
Let's face it, peace will be elusive until we merge the 'Israel' and the 'Palestine' threads. {#Mrgreen}

Let's see how that might work ...

This is fun ...  it seems our own Mr Prins is not happy with one Israel thread, he has two ...

Which one would he pick to merge ?  

And then there is the Gaza thread ...

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 4:40pm

 kurtster wrote:

If Israel wanted to destroy Gaza, they could've done it in one afternoon.

Who could stop Israel if that is what they really wanted to do ?   No one, that is who.

Israel is getting payback for the settlements and Hamas is getting payback for shooting rockets at Israel. 

It takes two to tangle.  There seems to be two willing parties.  Don't shoot at someone and expect not to be shot back at. 

Thankfully, Egypt is stepping up and taking a place of leadership in the regional conflicts, going after the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas is a part of.  Egypt is no longer a US puppet.  In fact Egypt's current goals conflict with Mr Obama's.
They couldn't totally destroy Gaza or annex the rest of the West Bank without risking becoming a total pariah in the eyes of the world community (though they are getting there with the current level of death and destruction), and despite internal calls in Israel to "finish the job".

The US et al. could easily stop Israel (for one by withholding arms and solitary UN vetoes), but since it won't, others (read populations, not their beholden leaders) will now increasingly boycott Israel as per BDS. Your hero Reagan was one of the very last bastions to support South-African apartheid and label Mandela and the ANC as "terrorists". The usual hypocrisy (or perhaps deep-seated racism).

If you're going to occupy/annex another's land, expect resistance/insurgents and death. Still remember your wars? See a recent US General in Afghanistan. If you want to get rid of resistance, you'll have to exterminate the population, like what was largely done to Native Americans (and/or let them keep some crappy territories), or leave. A familiar pattern of colonialism.

Rubbish. Egypt's el-Sisi is still (rather again) a US puppet/client (Mubarak 2.0). Middle-Eastern dictators/autocrats usually are (until they become persona non grata) and Egypt is strategically important:
Secretary of State John Kerry voiced strong U.S. support for Egypt's new president and signaled that Washington will continue the flow of military aid in an American welcome of the post-coup government. (...)
When the US made cuts in military aid to Egypt following the 2013 military coup and crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement, it continued funding for counter-terrorism, border security and security operations in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip, considered very important to Israel's security.<5>
Frrreeeeedom, liberrrrty and prrrosperity forrrr all... (unless of course it's not in our national interest)
I get around
haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle Australia
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 4:35pm

Let's face it, peace will be elusive until we merge the 'Israel' and the 'Palestine' threads. {#Mrgreen}
ignore the kitteh behind the kurtain
kurtster Avatar

Location: counting flowers on the wall ...
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 3:58pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

The Palestinians would totally agree with you, Mr. Neutral (and the number of deaths don't LIE). {#Mrgreen}

What you're actually saying (once more):

"If you're under attack, anything goes, however depraved (but for our side only)"

If Israel wanted to destroy Gaza, they could've done it in one afternoon.

Who could stop Israel if that is what they really wanted to do ?   No one, that is who.

Israel is getting payback for the settlements and Hamas is getting payback for shooting rockets at Israel. 

It takes two to tangle.  There seems to be two willing parties.  Don't shoot at someone and expect not to be shot back at. 

Thankfully, Egypt is stepping up and taking a place of leadership in the regional conflicts, going after the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas is a part of.  Egypt is no longer a US puppet.  In fact Egypt's current goals conflict with Mr Obama's.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 3:09pm

 kurtster wrote:
All the posturing, propaganda and posing in the world will not change

the FACT that you cannot coexist with someone whose sole purpose is to destroy you.
The Palestinians would totally agree with you, Mr. Neutral (and the number of deaths don't LIE). {#Mrgreen}

What you're actually saying (once more):

"If you're under attack, anything goes, however depraved (but for our side only)"
ignore the kitteh behind the kurtain
kurtster Avatar

Location: counting flowers on the wall ...
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 2:54pm

All the posturing, propaganda and posing in the world will not change

the FACT that you cannot coexist with someone whose sole purpose is to destroy you.

RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 1:21pm

Hundreds Protest Mixed Wedding, Say It's 'Worse Than Hamas'
Nationalist leaders head mass protest against wedding of Arab and Jew, warn danger of assimilation greater than Hamas rockets.

"Thought for today" has been postponed until tomorrow.
ScottN Avatar

Location: An inch above the K/T boundary. But smth near fracking still has appeal.
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Aries
Chinese Yr: Buffalo

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 - 10:25am

 Beaker wrote: 
I don't think there are many who will support much of Hamas' principles or actions.

What is objectionable is the inhumane and murderous treatment of Gazans by Israel.

The Israelis did not have to kill over a thousand civilians, including hundreds of women and children, and virtually destroy a slice of Palestine,  to very sufficiently protect itself.  The tunnels issue is largely a pretext, according to some Israeli media, and many outside Israel. And, even if destroying tunnels was the true objective, then the level of violence Israel inflicted on Gaza was still uncalled for and unconscionable.

Summer ...
Zukiwi Avatar

Location: Montreal's suburb
Gender: Female
Zodiac: Aquarius
Chinese Yr: Rat

Posted: Aug 16, 2014 - 6:46pm

Dutchman returns Holocaust medal to Israeli embassy over Gaza deaths

1 hour ago

A Dutchman honoured by Israel for hiding a Jewish child during World War Two has handed back his medal after six of his relatives were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza.

Henk Zanoli, 91, wrote to the Israeli embassy in The Hague to say he could no longer hold the honour.

The embassy has declined to comment.

Anna Holligan reports.


RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 13, 2014 - 1:04pm

Tunnels-to-kindergartens propaganda Netanyahu peddled to NYT and CNN is exploded by Israeli news site

Netanyahu tweeted this cartoon evidence on July 22

Beaker Avatar

Posted: Aug 13, 2014 - 12:02pm

Buyer’s remorse in Gaza?


If anyone has a case for buyer’s remorse, it’s the Palestinians in Gaza. They elected Hamas to power after the Israeli withdrawal from the territory in a rebuke to Fatah’s corruption, and have suffered for it ever since. The corruption simply changed hands, and worse yet was Hamas’ attempts to militarize Gaza. That forced both Israel and Egypt to close the borders and enforce an embargo (which, contrary to common perception, happened after Hamas’ election and not before). Hamas regularly uses residential areas as cover for their rocket fire, which makes their homes and schools targets for Israeli retaliation, not to mention the tunnel entrances that Hamas created under their feet. In this latest edition of the Gaza war, more than 1900 Palestinians have died, and many more rendered homeless by the destruction created by Hamas’ war of choice.

Have they had enough of Hamas? That’s a complicated question, but the Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan reports that opposition may be the result of this latest war — and especially the refusal to accept the cease-fire proposal at the beginning of it:


Now, some Palestinians are questioning the decision to reject the first truce. Roughly 200 Palestinians had been killed in the fighting at that time. Today, amid another Egyptian-led truce effort, the death toll is nearly 10 times greater, and Gaza is a wasteland of destruction that exceeds that left behind after the previous two Israel-Hamas conflicts, in 2009 and 2012.

“All the people are whispering, ‘Why didn’t Hamas accept the Egyptian initiative in the beginning of the war when the casualties were still low?’ ” said Hani Habib, a Palestinian journalist and political analyst.



RichardPrins Avatar

Posted: Aug 12, 2014 - 11:48pm

In Midst of War, Israel Clamps Down on Internal Dissent
From crackdown on the press to mob beatings of protesters, critics of Gaza assault within Israel face fierce retaliation.

As a tenuous ceasefire takes hold, the besieged Gaza strip must contend with the path of death and destruction left by Israel's month-long military assault, including 1,939 Palestinian lives lost, 9,886 wounded, over 200,000 displaced, and more than 10,000 Palestinian housing units severely damaged or completely ruined.

Israeli critics of the "Operation Protective Edge" and occupation say the attacks have also unleashed a fury of pro-war, ultra-nationalist sentiment within Israel, escalating intimidation and violence towards those who dissent: from the firing of journalists to the beating of protesters to the harassment of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

"There has been a feeling in the air: it is dangerous to be outspoken against the war," said Haggai Matar, an Israeli journalist for +972 Magazine and a longtime activist against the occupation, speaking over the phone with Common Dreams from Tel Aviv.

Targeted for Being Palestinian in Israel

Mass protests throughout the West Bank against Israel's attacks on Gaza have been met with severe Israeli repression, with at least three Palestinians killed by Israeli fire. The Alternative Information Center recently reported that over the past month, "more than 450 Palestinians from East Jerusalem have been detained in protests, and over 150 indictments have been filed." The killings and arrests are in keeping with a well-documented history of Israel's deadly attacks on Palestinian protests.

Palestinian citizens of Israel, who comprise 20 percent of Israel's population, already face second-class status in their own society, including legal discrimination, home demolitions, detentions without due process, and more.

Recent weeks have seen an uptick in repressive measures targeting this population. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently called for an economic boycott of businesses owned by Palestinian citizens of Israel who participated in a late-July general strike to show their solidarity with Gaza during the bombings. Numerous initiatives to monitor the online activities of Palestinians have sprung up on Facebook, under names like "Concentrating those who wish to destroy Israel." According to the Christian Science Monitor, these networks then inform employers and school officials of alleged activity.

And there are numerous reports of increased incidents of harassment and attacks of Palestinians in Israel for just walking down the street.

"There is an enhanced environment of intimidation for everyone who opposes what the government is doing. It is doubly and triply bad for Palestinian Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem," Sydney Levy, advocacy director for Jewish Voice for Peace, told Common Dreams. "Israeli peace activists face harassment because of their views. Palestinians who are citizens of Israel face harassment for just being Palestinians." (...)

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