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Palestine Chronicle

  Israel hopes to colonize parts of Iraq as "Greater Israel"  more below  
Middle East          Israel          Zionism     & below Jewish Natonal Fund article 
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  •   Los Angeles Times  Speaking frankly about Israel and Palestine  Jimmy Carter says his recent book is drawing knee-jerk accusations of anti-Israel bias.  By Jimmy Carter, JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States. His newest book is "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," published last month. He is scheduled to sign books Monday at Vroman's in Pasadena.  December 8, 2006

    "I SIGNED A CONTRACT with Simon & Schuster two years ago to write a book about the Middle East, based on my personal observations as the Carter Center monitored three elections in Palestine and on my consultations with Israeli political leaders and peace activists.

    We covered every Palestinian community in 1996, 2005 and 2006, when Yasser Arafat and later Mahmoud Abbas were elected president and members of parliament were chosen. The elections were almost flawless, and turnout was very high - except in East Jerusalem, where, under severe Israeli restraints, only about 2% of registered voters managed to cast ballots.

    The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations - but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.

    It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians. Very few would ever deign to visit the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Gaza City or even Bethlehem and talk to the beleaguered residents. What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint, quite contrary to private assessments expressed quite forcefully by their correspondents in the Holy Land.

    With some degree of reluctance and some uncertainty about the reception my book would receive, I used maps, text and documents to describe the situation accurately and to analyze the only possible path to peace: Israelis and Palestinians living side by side within their own internationally recognized boundaries. These options are consistent with key U.N. resolutions supported by the U.S. and Israel, official American policy since 1967, agreements consummated by Israeli leaders and their governments in 1978 and 1993 (for which they earned Nobel Peace Prizes), the Arab League's offer to recognize Israel in 2002 and the International Quartet's "Roadmap for Peace," which has been accepted by the PLO and largely rejected by Israel.

    The book is devoted to circumstances and events in Palestine and not in Israel, where democracy prevails and citizens live together and are legally guaranteed equal status.

    Although I have spent only a week or so on a book tour so far, it is already possible to judge public and media reaction. Sales are brisk, and I have had interesting interviews on TV, including "Larry King Live," "Hardball," "Meet the Press," "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," the "Charlie Rose" show, C-SPAN and others. But I have seen few news stories in major newspapers about what I have written.

    Book reviews in the mainstream media have been written mostly by representatives of Jewish organizations who would be unlikely to visit the occupied territories, and their primary criticism is that the book is anti-Israel. Two members of Congress have been publicly critical. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for instance, issued a statement (before the book was published) saying that "he does not speak for the Democratic Party on Israel." Some reviews posted on Amazon.com call me "anti-Semitic," and others accuse the book of "lies" and "distortions." A former Carter Center fellow has taken issue with it, and Alan Dershowitz called the book's title "indecent."

    Out in the real world, however, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I've signed books in five stores, with more than 1,000 buyers at each site. I've had one negative remark - that I should be tried for treason - and one caller on C-SPAN said that I was an anti-Semite. My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment and to answer questions from students and professors. I have been most encouraged by prominent Jewish citizens and members of Congress who have thanked me privately for presenting the facts and some new ideas.

    The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank. An enormous imprisonment wall is now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens. Obviously, I condemn any acts of terrorism or violence against innocent civilians, and I present information about the terrible casualties on both sides.

    The ultimate purpose of my book is to present facts about the Middle East that are largely unknown in America, to precipitate discussion and to help restart peace talks (now absent for six years) that can lead to permanent peace for Israel and its neighbors. Another hope is that Jews and other Americans who share this same goal might be motivated to express their views, even publicly, and perhaps in concert. I would be glad to help with that effort."

  •  

 

Jewish National Fund from Semitism.net  on 
One curious fact about Israel is that only seven percent of the land is privately owned. Eighty percent is under government ownership, and the remaining thirteen percent belongs to an entity called Keren Kayemet le-Israel (in English, the Jewish National Fund or JNF).

To get a sense of how important the JNF is, however, consider this: the thirteen percent of land it owns houses seventy percent of the Israeli population.

The history of the Jewish National Fund is, in a sense, the history of modern Zionism. The fund was initiated in 1901 at the Fifth Zionist Congress. It was the "bank account" to which Jews worldwide contributed, whose proceeds went to purchase land in Palestine with the aim of founding a Jewish state there.

In the U.S., the JNF was rather like the Jewish March of Dimes. As told on the organization's web site,

At the start of the 1920s, the world Jewish population numbered some 15 million people, scattered throughout 76 different countries. JNF reached out to every Jewish community, regardless of size or distance... JNF's Blue Box stood in hundreds of thousands of Jewish homes, schools, synagogues, public buildings and businesses. JNF made it possible for every Jew--whether man, woman or child--to become a partner in the Zionist enterprise and be personally involved in the development of the land.

By 1928, the Jewish National Fund had acquired 50,000 acres and founded 50 Jewish communities

Its holdings increased greatly when Israel became a nation. The Forward discreetly reports that "some 60% of the fund's 550,000 acres was purchased from the government in a special deal soon after the 1948 War of Independence."

Israeli peace activist Uri Avneri is more direct. It is now well-documented that the Irgun (the pre-national Jewish militia, of which Avnery is a veteran) took advantage of the chaos of war to drive about 700,000 Arabs off their lands.

When the United Nations resolved in November 1947 to partition the country between a Jewish and an Arab State, less than 7% of the land belonged to Jews. Only a part of this area belonged to the KKL (Keren Kayemet le-Israel - the JNF), the rest to private Jewish owners in the towns and the agricultural colonies.

Logic would have dictated that with the founding of the State of Israel, the KKL transfer its lands to the State. After all, that was the idea of collecting the money.

But this did not happen. In fact, the very opposite took place: the new state transferred to the KKL millions of dunams of land expropriated from Arabs - the refugees who were not allowed to return ("absentees" in legal language), those who had remained in the country but were absent on a given day from their villages ("present absentees"), as well as Arabs who became citizens of Israel.

In 1960, the Israel Lands Administration was established to administer the 93% of land that is in the public domain - that is, either state-owned or Jewish National Fund-owned. The founding covenant between the Jewish National Fund and the State declares:

The Government of Israel and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael have resolved to end the duplication resulting from the administration of their lands by different agencies, to concentrate the administration, conservation and care of these lands in the hands of the State and to strengthen the hands of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael in fulfilling its mission of redeeming land from desolation.

In order to maintain control over the disposition of the property, the Israel Lands Administration offers it to Jewish citizens on long-term lease, but not for purchase.

Nowhere in the covenant does it state that the land is to be leased only to Jews. However, as Bernard Avishai explained in January's Harper's,

Few outside observers have been able to penetrate the Lands Administration's convoluted leasing arrangements with Jewish Agency mortgage companies, or with preferred contractors... Yet nobody doubts that when any new housing developments are completed, only people with "Jewish nationality" need apply.

Now, in what is being hailed by some as a landmark decision, Israel's Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has announced that "all land managed by the Israel Lands Administration, including land owned by the Jewish National Fund, will be marketed without discrimination or limits including to non-Jews."

New York's Jewish Week gives the background for Mazuz's decision:

Mazuz’s comment was prompted by petitions to Israel’s High Court of Justice from four human rights groups objecting to the decision by the Israel Lands Authority, a government body, to restrict the marketing of Jewish National Fund land to Jews.

The ILA acted after marketing leases last year on 43 plots in the primarily Jewish neighborhood of Karmiel. Six of the 17 families that won plots were Israeli Arabs.

But Jewish residents of the area objected, and the ILA froze the transaction. It cited a 1968 contract between the state and Jewish National Fund whereby Jewish National Fund-owned land would be sold only to Jewish citizens of Israel.

When the land was offered again for lease in September, the ILA said Israeli Arabs could not apply.

As noted, the ILA has never had a legal mandate to lease exclusively to Jews. It has maintained this exclusivity through procedural and bureaucratic measures. The Jewish National Fund - which, recall, owns the majority of habitable land in Israel - has no such compunction. The Fund's position, quoted in Jewish Week, is that "selling and/or leasing land to Arabs would be a violation of the covenant established between Jewish National Fund and diaspora Jews who paid for the land" This argument conveniently ignores the Arab land transferred to the Jewish National Fund by the State after the 1948 war.

Haaretz confirms that the Attorney General's decision was meant to head off a High Court ruling that might have eliminated sole Jewish proprietorship of Jewish National Fund holdings:

The revolutionary decision followed a discussion held in Mazuz's office attended by senior members of the state prosecutor's office and the legal advisers to the Jewish National Fund and the ILA. The ruling was made in preparation for the state's response to High Court petitions filed on the matter.

The state prosecutor's office believes it will not be able to defend before the High Court the policy of allocating JNF land to Jews only.

Faced with intervention by the Court, Mazuz is actually acting to protect the Jewish National Fund, not to challenge it. Haaretz quotes him thus:

In order to preserve the original designated purpose of the JNF, which is formally defined as an organization working "on behalf of the Jewish nation," and in the name of the interests of the Diaspora Jews, it was decided that if any ILA tender for land owned by the JNF is won by a non-Jewish citizen, the ILA will transfer alternative land to the JNF.

In other words, if the State leases JNF land to an Arab, it will transfer an equivalent parcel of state-owned land to the JNF's holdings. What is "equivalent"? From Jewish Week:

Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the government was considering a proposal to have Jewish National Fund and the Israel Lands Authority swap land "acre for acre..."

But a JNF spokeswoman in New York, Sarina Roffe, said her organization... would insist on a dollar-for-dollar swap, meaning that JNF would get considerably more land than it would be relinquishing.

It is interesting to compare the de facto policy of ethnic separation in Israel, which is just starting to come under fire, with the evolution of race relations in the United States. Researcher Wendy Plotkin has an excellent site on the history of racial and religious covenants in the U.S. and Canada.

In the 1930's it was common for residents of white urban neighborhoods to enforce racial housing covenants, restricting the sale of property to negroes in "white areas". This led to the creation of racially segregated neighborhoods in northern cities such as Boston, New York and Chicago, and in Washington, DC. Among the results were elevated racial tension, fear and violence.

Plotkin cites a 1948 paper by Robert C. Weaver of the American Council on Race Relations.

As long as a group is relegated and confined to a physically undesirable area (as any overcrowded neighborhood inevitably becomes), its occupants are all lumped together in the minds of most people. A curious train of reasoning is initiated: the occupants of such an area are all believed to be undesirable (as indeed some are, largely because of their bad housing), and then their perpetual and universal banishment to the ghetto is defended on the basis of the imputed 'racial' characteristics. Since there is little intergroup contact on the basis of normal activity, such attitudes grow stronger, and segregation gains positive acceptance. Any proposal to break down the segregated pattern is automatically opposed.

The same vicious circle seems to me to be at work in Israel. The more we separate ourselves from the Arabs, the less well we understand them. Relationships are replaced with stereotypes. The anger and violence that result from discrimination and its effects come to be seen as part of the "Arab character". These assumptions make it seem inconceivable that Arabs and Jews could co-exist peacefully.

From Bernard Avishai:

This is where the demographic argument gets you... You say Jews and Arabs must be separated because even if Israel's Arab citizens will make the most of what liberties Israel gives them, they could not possibly want to be absorbed into Israel. And after all of this, you suppose yourself a democracy because you represent the general will of the "Jewish majority." But is the choice really apartheid or binationalism?

People who put things this way, presumably to maintain Zionist momentum, have actually lost touch with what Zionism was mostly about at its inception, the power and grace of Hebrew culture. They underestimate the capacity of Israel's cities to absorb new generations, including Arab citizens and foreign workers, to something both fully democratic and patently Jewish...

Israel's real challenge in the coming generation is not only to get back into a peace process, but to shore this up with a democratic revolution in civil rights; that is, to get Israeli Jews to "recognize Israel" (as a potentially inclusive, democratic state).

Wrapped up in the arcane issues of land use and civil rights are the whole histories of the Israeli and Palestinians peoples. Challenging the exclusivity of the Jewish National Fund raises questions like whether a Jewish state was justified in 1948; whether it is justified now; and whether the Palestinian "absentees" have a claim to the land from which they were displaced, i.e., in one form or another, a right of return. These are issues that will need to be addressed by both leaders and populace if the cease-fire is going to proceed to actual peace. Tuesday's summit meeting was a small step on a long road.

Inherent in the Zionist enterprise is a conflict between ethnic separatism and democratic inclusivity. Israel has more or less finessed this question for fifty-odd years. I suspect that now, as in the American Civil Rights Movement, it will be non-violent activism by a minority that forces Israel to confront the contradiction; that the body politic will be paralyzed; and the courts will play a critical role in resolving the conflict in a way that could change Israeli society quite profoundly.

 

Palestine California
Secretary Rice might want to consider meeting Arab and Muslim lobbies in Washington along with AIPAC, especially as Muslims and Arabs are the majority in the Middle East.  By Bouthaina Shaaban

Listening to Secretary Rice addressing the Senates’ Committee on International Affairs and reading the recently published American plan for a decade of conflict with Islam, raise alarming concern. The image of the Middle East presented in both is quite vague and stands at stark contradiction with the region’s public will and aspirations.

Secretary Rice described Iran as “the greatest strategic challenge” facing the United States in the Region. This is because Iran uses policies that “contradict the nature of the kind of Middle East sought by the United States.”

Unsettling questions ensue: What is the nature of the kind of Middle East sought by the United States? Should Middle Eastern states adapt themselves to that nature designed oceans away? Or should the United States consult with their people about their own preferences on such nature, instead of following the lead of self-serving political lobbies in Washington?

Secretary Rice then talks about “Hizbollah in Syria and Lebanon.” She might have not been briefed that Hizbollah is a LEBANESE political party. Then she talks about Syrian-Iranian relations as if they started only yesterday. It seems that she has not been briefed either that Syrian-Iranian relations have been consistent and continuous for the last three decades. That is quite some time before the United States severed its support to Saddam Hussein, realizing that he was a security threat to the region. A realization that dawned on both Iran and Syria twenty years before.

The Secretary of State generously stretches a hand of help and support to the future aspirations of people in the region. The question is, however, how in-depth were her briefings on Syria, Iran, Hizbollah, and the Arab-Israeli conflict? The people of the region’s dearest hope is to prevent an Iraq-like catastrophe from happening again. They don’t see in the Iraqi model a road to democracy, security or peace.

The more Secretary Rice talks about the region and its people, the more alienated from the United State the people here feel. American official statements and plans do not seem to concern themselves with the thoughts and feelings of the people in the region. What freedom could be achieved for the Palestinians with the separation walls constructed by the Israelis? The Palestinians are now trapped between two walls; one in the East severing the Jordanian valley from the West Bank, and one in the west separating the West Bank from Israel. The Palestinians now cannot go anywhere unless they pass through Israeli security barricades.

One can only wonder if Secretary Rice knows that the agriculture dependent Palestinian economy will by loosing most of its fertile lands in the Jordanian valley. She might not know either about displacing Palestinians, cutting their olive trees, killing them, and depriving them of their most basic human rights. She might have not been informed that what we need in the Middle East is international justice based on international laws and agreements.

Under the banner of crusading for freedom and democracy in the Middle East, Secretary Rice remains silent about the Pentagon’s reaction to the newly released torture photos: “There is no need for new controversy over some old photos.” Under the same banner, the European Union sees no harm in the provocative cartoons on Prophet Mohammad.

In the meanwhile, the United States propagates for a long-term plan for conflict with Muslims. The plan designates no countries, cultures, history or human beings. It is war against some unidentifiable mass entity, where the only visible landmarks are vital ports and strategic natural resources. A plan of a dim future for humanity, while the gap between the East and West gets wider by the day.

Secretary Rice said that “the people of the Middle East and Latin America should be able to select their leaders.” Indeed they should be. American policies in both regions, however, are the main insurmountable obstacles. Therefore, the day people in both regions will have a say in their futures might be the day when the United States will have lost all their faith.

Secretary Rice might want to consider meeting Arab and Muslim lobbies in Washington along with AIPAC, especially as Muslims and Arabs are the majority in the Middle East. This might broaden her vision of the Middle East and give depth to her understanding of the issues. Taking matters of trust into consideration, she might want to start with the International Council of Churches in Washington. On February 8th, 2006, the Council sent a letter to Secretary Rice inviting her to explore their point of view about suffering and politics in the Middle East. I hope she accepts the invitation.

-Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban is Minister of Expatriates in Syria, and writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. (Copy Rights © Asharq Alawsat, February 23, 2006

Israel hopes to colonize parts of Iraq as "Greater Israel"
January 28, 2008 -- Israel hopes to colonize parts of Iraq as "Greater Israel"

Israeli expansionists, their intentions to take full control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and permanently keep the Golan Heights of Syria and expand into southern Lebanon already well known, also have their eyes on parts of Iraq considered part of a biblical "Greater Israel."

Israel reportedly has plans to re-locate thousands of Kurdish Jews from Israel, including expatriates from Kurdish Iran, to the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Nineveh under the guise of religious pilgrimages to ancient Jewish religious shrines. According to Kurdish sources, the Israelis are secretly working with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to carry out the integration of Kurdish and other Jews into areas of Iraq under control of the KRG.

Kurdish, Iraqi Sunni Muslim, and Turkmen have noted that Kurdish Israelis began to buy land in Iraqi Kurdistan after the U.S. invasion in 2003 that is considered historical Jewish "property."

The Israelis are particularly interested in the shrine of the Jewish prophet Nahum in al Qush, the prophet Jonah in Mosul, and the tomb of the prophet Daniel in Kirkuk. Israelis are also trying to claim Jewish "properties" outside of the Kurdish region, including the shrine of Ezekiel in the village of al-Kifl in Babel Province near Najaf and the tomb of Ezra in al-Uzayr in Misan Province, near Basra, both in southern Iraq's Shi'a-dominated territory. Israeli expansionists consider these shrines and tombs as much a part of "Greater Israel" as Jerusalem and the West Bank, which they call "Judea and Samaria."

Kurdish and Iraqi sources report that Israel's Mossad is working hand-in-hand with Israeli companies and "tourists" to stake a claim to the Jewish "properties"of Israel in Iraq. The Mossad has already been heavily involved in training the Kurdish Pesha Merga military forces.

Reportedly assisting the Israelis are foreign mercenaries paid for by U.S. Christian evangelical circles that support the concept of "Christian Zionism."

Iraqi nationalists charge that the Israeli expansion into Iraq is supported by both major Kurdish factions, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by Iraq's nominal President Jalal Talabani. Talabani's son, Qubad Talabani, serves as the KRG's representative in Washington, where he lives with his wife Sherri Kraham, who is Jewish.

Also supporting the Israeli land acquisition activities is the Kurdistan Democratic Party, headed by Massoud Barzani, the President of the KRG. One of Barzani's five sons, Binjirfan Barzani, is reportedly heavily involved with the Israelis.

The Israelis and their Christian Zionist supporters enter Iraq not through Baghdad but through Turkey. In order to depopulate residents of lands the Israelis claim, Mossad operatives and Christian Zionist mercenaries are staging terrorist attacks against Chaldean Christians, particularly in Nineveh, Irbil, al-Hamdaniya, Bartalah, Talasqaf, Batnayah, Bashiqah, Elkosheven, Uqrah, and Mosul.

These attacks by the Israelis and their allies are usually reported as being the responsibility of "Al Qaeda" and other Islamic "jihadists."

The ultimate aim of the Israelis is to depopulate the Christian population in and around Mosul and claim the land as biblical Jewish land that is part of "Greater Israel." The Israeli/Christian Zionist operation is a replay of the depopulation of the Palestinians in the British mandate of Palestine after World War II.

In June 2003, a delegation of Israelis visited Mosul and said that it was Israel's intentions, with the assistance of Barzani, to establish Israeli control of the shrine of Jonah in Mosul and the shrine of Nahum in the Mosul plains. The Israelis said Israeli and Iranian Jewish pilgrims would travel via Turkey to the area of Mosul and take over lands where Iraqi Christians lived.

 

 WMR Israel using "super-power" clout to scare up UN votes against Palestine independence  June 28-29, 2011 --
Second part of a two-part series

Israel is using the kind of diplomatic clout usually exercised by a super-power in pressuring the nations of the world to vote "no" or abstain on an expected UN General Assembly resolution recognizing the independence of Palestine within 1967 borders. However, Israel does have the full backing of the United States and Germany, which are using their own diplomatic muscle to reward and threaten those nations based on their votes in the UN. Israel, through its lobbying arms, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Jewish Committee, has managed to get key Republicans in the House of Representatives to threaten to limit U.S. funding for the UN and its specialized agencies if the General Assembly votes to recognize Palestine.

The German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly threatening a cut-off in economic aid to developing nations that vote for Palestine. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and International Aid Minister Dirk Niebel have been at the forefront of the pressure operations.

Israel's new ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, has been twisting the arms of delegates from large and small countries to vote with Israel and against Palestine. Prosor's replacement as the ambassador in London, Daniel Taub, was chosen for the job because he and his wife Zehava were both born in London and educated in the UK before emigrating to Israel. The Taubs are well-connected to Britain's Jewish community, including Labor Opposition Leader Ed Miliband, and can use their influence to try and dissuade the Tory-Liberal Democratic coalition government from voting for Palestine at the UN.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has been making his rounds to suppress the pro-Palestine vote in the UN. Even the Vatican City micro-state has not been ignored by Israel. Although only a UN observer, the Vatican has diplomatic clout with majority Catholic countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as nations in Africa with sizable Catholic populations. Ayalon met with Vatican Under-Secretary for Relations with States Monsignor Ettore Balestrero at the Vatican a few weeks ago to discuss various "political issues."

A few days after returning to Jerusalem from Europe, Ayalon requested Vietnam to vote no on Palestine. Ayalon had been meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Ho. Earlier in June, Ayalon traveled to El Salvador to address the summit of the Organization of American States where he held bilateral discussions with several delegates to lobby for a no vote on Palestine. Ayalon's trip was designed to convince those Western Hemisphere nations that had previously recognized Palestine to abstain or vote against Palestine in the General Assembly. Mexico was a key target of the Israeli arm-twisting and Prosor later stated in New York that Israel had bagged Mexico's vote.

The former Soviet states of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have been lobbied by Israeli President Shimon Peres who paid visits to both nations in 2009.

Ayalon later claimed success in stemming the tide of Palestinian support in Latin America and Europe.

Israel's rabidly anti-Arab racist Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has sent classified cables to Israel's ambassadors around the world instructing them to seek promises from nations to vote against Palestine by stressing that a yes vote for Palestine would somehow "de-legitimize" Israel. Lieberman has visited Albania, Croatia, and Austria soliciting no votes on Palestine. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will visit Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland to persuade them to also vote no on Palestine.

Israel's strategy is to see 60 members of the UN vote no or abstain on the Palestine vote. At they very least, Israel wants some members to be absent on the day of the vote.

Prosor has stated that one of Israel's main targets in its campaign are "countries along the Pacific Ocean coastline." That strategy was part of the reason Israeli Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin visited the south Pacific island nation of Tonga in April.

Three former U.S. Trust Territories that vote with the United States and Israel in a manner reminiscent of the lockstep support that the former Byelorussian and Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republics gave to the USSR in the United Nations are expected to vote against Palestine. In May, Stuart Beck, the UN ambassador of Palau, one of these " freely Associated States," which are bound to the U.S. by treaty, said, "Palau is the number one friend of the US, ahead of everyone, including Israel. We overtook Israel this year." Palau's voting record with the United States in the UN is 96.5 percent. Palau is followed by the Federated States of Micronesia at 94 percent, Israel at 91.8 percent and the Republic of the Marshall Islands at 81 percent. The United States, Israel, and the three "associated states" often vote as a unified small minority block against a vast majority of the UN member states.

Vanuatu: A case of just how far Israel and its allies are willing to go

The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is best known to Americans as the scene of one of the "Survivor" television shows. However, its history of diplomatic poker playing between China and Taiwan has made it well-known as a nation that can be swayed easily on the global stage.

In May, when Vanuatu decided to recognize the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia as independent, joining Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Vanuatu's South Pacific partner Nauru, alarm bells went off not only in Georgia but in Israel, a close ally of Georgia. A number of dual Georgian-Israeli citizens have served or are serving as members of the Georgian government of President Mikheil Saakashvili and Israel counts Georgia as a major diplomatic ally at the UN.

Almost immediately after the Vanuatu government of Prime Minister Sato Kilman recognized Abkhazia, Vanuatu's ambassador to the UN, Donald Kalpokas, stated that Vanuatu recognized only Georgia and not Abkhazia. It is quite clear that Kalpokas was taking his orders not from his own government but from the US and Israeli ambassadors, Susan Rice and Prosor, both ardent supporters of Georgia. However, Vanuatu Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot, who had been on a visit to China, confirmed that Vanuatu had, in fact, recognized Abkhazia and appeared on a YouTube video confirming the recognition.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's conservative and pro-Israeli Prime Minister John Key, made some comments about Russian influence in the South Pacific at the same time his Foreign Minister Murray McCully was touring the island states on a mission tied to continued New Zealand economic assistance, a mission that may have been in concert with Germany's threat to withhold aid to nations that voted with Palestine at the UN. McCully's mission took him to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, with Papua New Guinea being dropped at the last minute after its foreign minister was fired.

After Abkhazian authorities produced the document signed by the prime ministers of Abkhazia and Vanuatu establishing diplomatic relations, a funny thing happened to Vanuatu Prime Minister Kilman. The nation's Supreme Court fired Kilman and appointed his predecessor Edward Natapei, dismissed in December 2010 after he lost a no-confidence vote. The court ruled that Kilman's election as prime minister was null and void because the parliamentary vote was by a show of hands rather than a secret ballot.

One of Natapei's first actions was to nullify Vanuatu's recognition of Abkhazia. But there is yet another wrinkle to the ouster of Kilman. Natapei's acting foreign minister Joe Natuman, in "de-recognizing" Abkhazia, also announced that Australian attorney Ari Jenshel, an official with the Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID), as rife with Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) agents as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is with CIA agents, would be welcomed back to Vanuatu after his expulsion by the Kilman government for espionage. Natapei charged that Kilman's government was receiving "bribes" from businessmen from unnamed foreign countries. Jenshel, who is close to Australian Jewish circles, worked for five years in the Vanuatu Attorney General's office under an AUSAID program.

From the Kilman government's vantage point, Jenshel was in a position to rifle through documents and other sensitive material, copy them, and send them to Canberra. The Vanuatu government, in fact, charged Jenshel with copying sensitive documents and sending them to Australia. Jenshel was also accused of copying classified communications between the Kilman government and that of Fiji's military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Fiji's vote on Palestine at the UN and its possible following Vanuatu in recognizing Abkhazia may have been the subject of the classified communications, which would have been of interest to ASIO, Mossad, and the CIA.

After his dismissal by the Supreme Court, Kilman was re-elected by the Vanuatu parliament with 29 out of 52 votes, defeatinf rival Serge Vohor by six votes. Kilman's entire government, including Foreign Minister Carlot, who arranged for the recognition of Abkhazia, was re-instated. There is no indication that the Kilman government will abide by the "de-recognition" decision of interim Prime Minister Natapei and with more evidence surfacing about Australian, Israeli, and U.S. intrigue behind Vanuatu's "constitutional coup," something that Australians are painfully aware of as a result of the CIA's 1975 constitutional coup against Australian Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, Vanuatu may be an example of an intelligence operation "blow back," with Kilman and his South Pacific partners voting for Palestine at the UN General Assembly as a warning to Canberra, Wellington, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, and Washington to stay out of South Pacific affairs.

But, as is normal, the Obama administration has not gotten the message from the South Pacific. In a throwback to "gunboat diplomacy," it is dispatching the USS Cleveland (LPD-7), a Navy amphibious ship with a Marine contingent, on a "goodwill" tour of Vanuatu, Tonga, Micronesia, Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea as part of "Pacific Partnership 2011." The CIA's official diplomatic cover "political officers" will undoubtedly be on hand to ensure that the five nations visited by the ship are "on side" for the General Assembly vote.

 

WMR Israeli Math: Counting and pounding heads against Palestine in the UN General Assembly   June 29-30, 2011
Informed Caribbean sources have reported to WMR that Israel's Foreign Ministry personnel, including the Israeli non-resident ambassador to Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Amiram Magid, who resides in Jerusalem at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, has been promising the Caribbean states security and intelligence assistance in return for their votes in the UN General Assembly against recognition of Palestine's sovereignty. Many Caribbean travel officials scoff at Magid's promise of an influx of money-tossing Israeli tourists in return for pro-Israel UN votes by the Caribbean nations. Israelis are known by many Caribbean hotel owners as among the stingiest and cheapest tourists who have vacationed in the islands. Hotel owners often complain that Israeli tourists damage rooms, steal room fixtures, and leave the islands without fully paying their bills.

Magid is clearly trying to shore up the Caribbean states' votes against Palestine at this September's General Assembly meeting. What is hypocritical in the Israeli approach to the small Caribbean islands is that Israel is promising Israeli security assistance to fight organized crime, largely stemming from Colombian drug cartels that are allied with Russo-Israeli mafia syndicates. The latter's ranks include and have included a number of veterans of the Israeli Defense Force, Shin Bet, and Mossad, including the notorious Yair Klein, aka Jair Klein, expelled from Russia after pressure was exerted on Moscow by the European Court of Human Rights. Klein is now living in Israel.

Klein's extradition to Colombia has been requested by Bogota for his activities in training and arming the Colombian drug cartels of Pablo Escobar and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha and right-wing paramilitary militias against the progressive forces of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

One of the Caribbean states being lobbied by Israel to oppose the Palestine resolution is Antigua and Barbuda, once a base of Klein's operations and the home to a number of Russo-Israeli drug money laundering operations.

The expected Palestine sovereignty resolution, if passed by a two-thirds majority, would not only confer the General Assembly's recognition of Palestine within the 1967 borders but would also open up the legal channels for UN members to apply sanctions against the State of Israel.

Israel's strategy is to have 60 members of the General Assembly vote against the Palestine resolution, abstain on it, or be absent from the Assembly and not vote. Sixty votes would deny Palestine and its supporters a two-thirds majority. For that reason, Israel is concentrating its efforts on the 38 members of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). With all or a majority of the 38 SIDS members, Israel hopes to pick up the remaining 22 to 30 votes from small European and African nations, as well as from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and some of the NATO nations of eastern Europe.

The 38 SIDS members are as follows:

1 Antigua and Barbuda

20 Federated States of Micronesia

2 Bahamas

21 Mauritius

3 Bahrain

22 Nauru

4 Barbados

23 Palau

5 Belize

24 Papua New Guinea

6 Cape Verde

25 Samoa

7 Comoros

26 São Tomé and Principe

8 Cuba

27 Singapore

9 Dominica

28 St. Kitts and Nevis

10 Dominican Republic

29 St. Lucia

11 Fiji

30 St. Vincent and the Grenadines

12 Grenada

31 Seychelles

13 Guinea-Bissau

32 Solomon Islands

14 Guyana

33 Suriname

15 Haiti

34 Timor-Lesté

16 Jamaica

35 Tonga

17 Kiribati

36 Trinidad and Tobago

18 Maldives

37 Tuvalu

19 Marshall Islands

38 Vanuatu

Although nations like Cuba, Suriname, and Guyana have already recognized Palestine, Israel hopes to have Guyana and Suriname reverse course in the General Assembly vote.

But it is the small English-speaking Caribbean countries that have seen a full-court press by Israel. A week ago, Magid visited St. Kitts and Nevis and promised the twin-island state help in its alternative agro-business to supplant its decimated sugar cane industry. In May, St. Kitts and Nevis National Security Minister Sam Condor said that his country was looking to Israel for training in "intelligence gathering" to combat gang warfare and other criminal activities. In April, Condor said that a "team of security force and military academy personnel from Israel" would soon be arriving in St. Kitts and Nevis. By accepting such assistance, St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as other nations accepting similar assistance from Israel will be required to give their UN vote to Israel against Palestine.

Magid has also been to St. Lucia and offered that nation security assistance in dealing with a growing murder rate linked to the drug trade. Foreign Minister Rufus Bousquet indicated in January of this year that the Israeli aid offer was linked to a similar offer from the United States. St. Lucia's Prime Minister, Stephenson King, is a former president of the Caribbean Federation of Youth, a CIA front established at the time of the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983 and the ouster of that nation's Marxist-led government. The Caribbean Youth Federation, which still exists with branches in Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tobago, is aimed at countering leftist and progressive recruitment efforts among the youth of the Caribbean, particularly from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

On February 13, 2011, King stated in his State of the Nation address that: "the Government of Israel has approved a request from the Government of Saint Lucia to provide assistance to the local police in the following areas: Intelligence Gathering and Handling Human Sources, Operations and Detective Work, and Technical Surveillance and General Surveillance." King added that the United States would supplement the Israeli efforts with training and logistical support.

Magid, the non-resident ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, has visited the nation to ensure that national security and intelligence cooperation established between Israel and Trinidad and Tobago under Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning, which included the shipment of Uzi automatic weapons to the nation's security forces, continues under Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

In February, after Suriname recognized Palestine within the 1967 borders, Magid flew to Paramaribo and a "frank and candid" meeting with Foreign Minister Winston Lackin. "Frank and candid" is diplomatic-speak for a heated confrontation. In recent weeks, Israeli officials have expressed confidence that some Latin American nations that previously recognized Palestine will vote no or abstain in the General Assembly. These include Suriname, neighboring Guyana, as well as Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina. Israel believes it already has the support of Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, and possibly, Guatemala, Jamaica, and El Salvador.

Another vote that is up in the air is that of Belize. For years, Belize considered Israel to be hostile because of Tel Aviv's military and intelligence support for Guatemala's right-wing military governments, which laid claim on Belize as Guatemalan territory. While Belize's Prime Minister was Said Musa, who was of Palestinian descent, relations soured even further. However, with the election of Belize's first black Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, who has served as an attorney for former British Conservative Party deputy leader and major Belize investor and dual British-Belizean, Lord Ashcroft, relations between Belize and Israel have warmed considerably. Israel's ambassador to Belize, Mattanya Cohen, resident in San Salvador, is a frequent visitor to Belize and he has established a close relationship with Belize's Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Cohen has also dangled the prospect of young Israelis, who currently travel to Guatemala, of crossing the border into Belize. Cohen reminds Belize officials that before Palestine was chosen as the Jewish homeland by the Zionists, the other two possibilities for the Jewish state were Uganda and Belize.

Israel's ambassador to the Dominican Republic Moshe Sermoneta has been pressuring the remaining Caribbean states to fall in line behind Israel and against Palestine. Israeli post-quake assistance has been offered to Haiti and other aid packages have been dangled in front of the Dominican Republic, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda in return for their votes. Sermoneta promised Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer a wave of Israeli tourists during a meeting in the Antiguan capital.

One country that may be ripe for a pickup by Israel for a vote that would likely have gone to Palestine is Dominica, whose Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, is a political ally of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and has joined Dominica to the Bolivarian Alliance of Our People´s of Our America (ALBA), a counter-U.S. Latin American organization co-founded by Venezuela and Cuba. However, the illness of Chavez, who is recuperating from a sudden illness in Cuba, has forced the cancellation of the July 5-6 summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders on Venezuela's Margarita island. It was widely anticipated that the Margarita summit would see Palestine's chief allies, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, press the uncommitted nations to support the UN General Assembly Palestine resolution and, perhaps, even recognize Palestine before the UN meeting. The postponement of the summit will give Israel, as well as the United States, which was not invited to the summit, time to lean on the uncommitted nations of the hemisphere to nix the Palestine resolution.

In the Bahamas, Israel has been using Christian Zionists to apply pressure on the government of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham to vote no on Palestine. Bahamanian Christian Zionists and their Bahamian expatriate friends in Florida have established pro-Israeli pressure groups like the "Caribbean Allies for Israel Foundation" and "Shalom Caribbean International" and have held pro-Israeli rallies in Nassau and Freeport.

With Israel hoping to nab most of the SIDS members, Tel Aviv is bargaining that most of the NATO countries will side with Israel and deny Palestine their votes. Other nations being eyed by Israel are African nations with close ties to Israel, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, and the the expected 193'rd member of the UN, South Sudan. Other possibilities are Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Gambia, and Benin.

Israel is also hoping for no votes or abstentions from the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, and the European mini-states of Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Luxembourg, San Marino, and Monaco. Austria, Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Ukraine, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are also being courted. The math of the situation, in Israel's view and with the United States and Germany threatening wavering nations with a cut-off of economic aid, means that Palestine has an uphill climb to secure a two-thirds vote in the General Assembly.

 

 

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