Posts Tagged ‘US and Israel’

Israel joins US for defence drill

October 21, 2009

BBC News, Oct 21, 2009

Israeli air force helicopter simulates a rescue

The US, Turkey and Israel took part in a similar lower-scale exercise last year

Israel and the US are due to begin a two-week military defence exercise, thought to be the largest of its kind in Israel’s history.

The exercise will focus on providing a joint defence against a simulated co-ordinated missile attack on Israel.

Up to 2,000 joint military personnel are believed to be taking part, along with at least 15 American ships.

The Israeli army said the exercise was not a “response to any world events” but had been planned for a while.

It is thought that a highly sophisticated new American radar, based in the Israeli desert, will be central to the exercise.

Continues >>

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Chomsky on Gaza and Zionist Israel

February 23, 2009

Following is an excerpt of Professor Chomsky’s interview with Christiana Voniati, who is head of International News Department POLITIS Newspaper, Nicosia, Cyprus.

By Christiana Voniati | Countercurrents.org, Feb 16, 2009

Voniati: The international public opinion and especially the Muslim world seem to have great expectations from the historic election of Obama. Can we, in your opinion, expect any real change regarding the US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Chomsky: Not much. Quite the contrary: it may be harsher than before. In the case of Gaza, Obama maintained silence, he didn’t say a word. He said well there’s only one president so I can’t talk about it. Of course he was talking about a lot of other things but he chose not to talk about this. His campaign did repeat a statement that he had made while visiting Israel six months earlier –he had visited Sderot where the rockets hit- and he said “if this where happening to my daughters, I wouldn’t think of any reaction as legitimate”, but he couldn’t say anything about Palestinian children. Now, the attack on Gaza was at time so that it ended right before the inauguration, which is what I expected. I presume that the point was so that they could make sure that Obama didn’t have to say something, so he didn’t. And then he gave his first foreign policy declaration, it was a couple of days later when he appointed George Mitchell as his emissary, and he said nothing about Gaza except that “our paramount interest is preserving the security of Israel”. Palestine apparently doesn’t have any requirement of security. And then in his declaration he said of course we are not going to deal with Hamas -the elected government the US immediately, as soon as the government was elected in a free election the US and Israel with the help of European Union immediately started severely punishing the Palestinian population for voting in the “wrong way” in a free election and that’s what we mean by democracy. The only substantive comment he made in the declaration was to say that the arab peace plan had constructive elements, because it called for a normalization of relations with Israel and he urged the arab states to proceed with the normalization of relations. Now, he is an intelligent person, he knows that that was not what the arab peace plan said. The arab peace plan called for a two state settlement on the international border that is in accord with the long standing international consensus that the US has blocked for over 30 years and in that context of the two state settlement we should even proceed further and move towards a normalization of relations with Israel. Well, Obama carefully excluded the main content about the two state settlement and just talked about the corollary, for which a two state settlement is a precondition. Now that’s not an oversight, it can’t be. That’s a careful wording, sending the message that we are not going to change their (Israel’s) rejectionist policy. We ‘ll continue to be opposed to the international consensus on this issue, and everything else he said accords with it. We will continue in other words to support Israel’s settlement policies- those policies are undermining any possible opportunity or hope for a viable Palestinian entity of some kind. And it’s a continued reliance on force in both parts of occupied Palestine. That’s the only conclusion you could draw.

Voniati: Let us talk about the timing of the assault on the Gaza Strip. Was it accidental or did it purposefully happen in a vacuum of power? To explain myself, the global financial crisis has challenged the almost absolute US global hegemony. Furthermore, the attack on Gaza was launched during the presidential change of guard. So, did this vacuum of power benefit the Israeli assault on Gaza?

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America Must Plumb Olmert’s “Depths of Reality”

October 11, 2008

Robert Weitzel, Oct 10, 2008

“I was the first who wanted to impose Israeli sovereignty . . . I admit it . . . I was not ready to look into all the depths of reality.”
– Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert –

In a September 30 article in the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a former member of the right-wing Likud party, said that Israel must withdraw “from almost all of the territories, if not from all the territories. We shall keep in our hands a percentage of these territories, but we shall be compelled to give the Palestinians a similar percentage, because without that there will be no peace.”

He went on to say, “We can perhaps take an historic step in our relations with the Palestinians . . . the decision we must make is the decision we have refused to face with open eyes for 40 years . . . What I am telling you was never said by any previous Israeli leader, it’s time to lay everything on the table.”

The reality that Olmert was willing to lay before the Israeli people, “which exposed him to criticism from all quarters,” according to Yedioth Ahronot interviewers Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer, is one that no Democratic or Republican politician who aspires to national office has the chutzpa to tell the American electorate.

This lack of chutzpah has been nowhere more evident than in the presidential and vice-presidential “debates.” These prime-time events, which are really nothing more than 90 minutes of vacuous one-upmanship, could serve as a reality check for the 70 million-plus viewers if the moderators were willing to challenge the candidates’ evasions, half truths, exaggerations and outright lies . . . or if Ralph Nader were allowed to participate.

During the vice-presidential debate, both Joe Biden and Sarah Palin professed their undying love and support for Israel, “our strongest and best ally in the Middle East (Palin).”

“No one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel . . . (Biden).”

“I’m so encouraged to know that we both love Israel (Palin).”

One-upping Palin, Biden boldly claimed, “I would have never, ever joined this ticket were I not absolutely sure Barack Obama shared my passion [for Israel].” Obviously, Obama does.

Moderator Gwen Ifill might have taken this opportunity to inquire as to the source of Palin’s “love” and Biden’s “passion” for Israel. Ifill might have pointed out to the 70 million-plus viewers that a candidate does not make it to a national “debate” without first being pronounced kosher by Israel’s shadow government on K Street.

Both Ifill and Tom Brokaw, the moderator of the recent town hall presidential “debate,” might have challenged the candidates’ assertions that Israel is a hairs’ breath away from annihilation by its Arab neighbors.

“An armed, nuclear armed . . . Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period. Israel is in jeopardy . . . (Palin).”

“We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon . . . it [would] threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world . . . (Obama).”

Keep in mind that U.S. intelligence estimates that Iran is years away from developing even one nuclear device, while Israel has over 200 nuclear warheads targeted and minutes away from any Arab or Persian country foolish enough to attack it.

Keep in mind also what Olmert told Yedioth Ahronot, “Israel is the strongest country in the Middle East, it can win any war against any regional country, it can even win a war against all of them together.”

All four candidates took the opportunity during the “debates” to once again assure Israelis in the Holy Land and Jews on K Street that their administrations would continue the annual $6 billion in direct and indirect economic and military aid . . . even as Americans are losing their homes and jobs and retirement savings.

Ifill and Brokaw might have challenged the candidates’ promise of continued economic and military aid to Israel considering:

Israel is one of the most economically and industrially advanced countries in Southwest Asia.

Israel ranks second among foreign countries in the number of companies on U.S. stock exchanges.

Israel has the second largest number of startup companies in the world and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America.

Israel’s GDP per capita is $31,767

Israel’s economic growth in 2006 was the fastest of any Western nation.

Israel has the best armed and trained military in the region and is the fourth largest weapons exporter in the world ($2 billion annually)

And the United States’ taxpayers are expected to finance Israel?

But the “depth of reality” check of utmost salience to the 70 million-plus “debate” viewers is why the candidates and most members of Congress consider Israel our “strongest ally in the world.”

In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon, igniting a civil war. America’s support for Israel cost the lives of 241 servicemen who were blown apart as they slept in their Beirut barracks.

Israel did not fight in the first Gulf War, neither did its soldiers die in Afghanistan or Iraq—a war its cooked intelligence helped to bring about. This year our “strongest ally” pushed the Bush administration to the brink of war with Iran—a war whose catastrophic reverberations would have been on a par with the current global economic meltdown.

Israel’s regional aggression and its repressive—often brutal— domestic policies regarding the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank inflames its Arab neighbors and cinches tight the explosive vest to the chests of Arab youths.

Predictably, the United States’ irrational and unconditional support of Israel makes it equally culpable and equally target-worthy in the eyes of Arabs and Persians in the Middle East and Muslims worldwide. An ally that causes more insecurity than succor can hardly be considered the strongest ally in the world—unless that ally is also the only way to the White House.

Gwen Ifill and Tom Brokaw might have challenged the candidates in a way that exposed him or her to criticism from the Israeli quarter. Unfortunately for the 70 million-plus viewers Israel is a “depth of reality” the American political system and mainstream media are unwilling to plumb.

But as a right-wing Israeli Prime Minister says, “it’s time to lay everything on the table.”

Robert Weitzel is a contributing editor to Media With a Conscience. His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI. He can be contacted at: robertweitzel@mac.com

Nearly Fifty Percent of Americans Think U.S. Should Help Israel Attack Iran

July 21, 2008

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
July 20, 2008

Obama and McCain
It does not matter who ends up in the Oval Office, be it McCain or Obama, because the policy toward Iran will be similar, if not identical.

If we are to believe the results of a Rasmussen poll released on July 20, an astounding number of Americans have no problem helping Israel attack Iran. “Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans say that if Israel launches an attack against Iran, the United States should help Israel. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 46% believe the United States should do nothing while just 1% believe the U.S. should help Iran.”

Moreover, once again demonstrating a complete ignorance of history and an absence of rational thinking — predictable, considering most Americans receive their historical and political education from the corporate media — 47% “believe it is at least somewhat likely Iran will try to provoke some form of attack before November in an attempt to influence the U.S. elections.”

In other words, so important is the American election to the Iranians, they will court the sort of chaos and social disintegration currently underway in Iraq to determine the outcome of the American election, an absurdity at best. But then Americans excel at buying into absurdities, the more ludicrous the better.

It does not matter who ends up in the Oval Office, be it McCain or Obama, because the policy toward Iran will be similar, if not identical. If this poll demonstrates anything, it is that the average voter of the sort polled by Rasmussen is effectively brainwashed and believes there is actually some sort of difference between Democrats and Republicans. Apparently, the Rasmussen voter also thinks the United States is at the center of the universe and all other nations pay close attention to our every political move before putting on their shoes in the morning. In fact, this sort of mindless “American exceptionalism” is resented and held in contempt by millions of people around the world.

In a normal, objective, historically accurate, and non-Bushzarro world, the Rasmussen voter would take into consideration the fact the British and the CIA worked directly with royalist Iranian military officers to overthrow the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and installed the brutal dictator Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and his SAVAK torturers.

Continued . . .


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