Category Archives: Influence in the United States

How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

http://www.alternet.org/world/how-israel-lobby-protected-ukrainian-neo-nazis

How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis

Rep. John Conyers wanted to block U.S. funding to neo-Nazis in Ukraine. But the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal Center refused to help.

AlterNet has learned that an amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have forbidden US assistance, training and weapons to neo-Nazis and other extremists in Ukraine was kept out of the final bill by the Republican-led House Rules Committee. Introduced by Democratic Representative John Conyers, the amendment was intended to help tamp down on violent confrontations between Ukrainian forces and Russian separatists. (Full text of the amendment embedded at the end of this article).

A USA Today/Pew poll conducted in April while the NDAA was being debated found that Americans opposed by more than 2 to 1 providing the Ukrainian government with arms or other forms of military assistance.

If passed, Conyers’ amendment would have explicitly barred those found to have offered “praise or glorification of Nazism or its collaborators, including through the use of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, or other similar symbols” from receiving any form of support from the US Department of Defense.

The amendment was presented by congressional staffers to lobbyists from Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, two of the country’s largest established Jewish pressure groups. Despite their stated mission to combat anti-Semitism and violent extremism, the ADL and Wiesenthal Center refused to support Jeffries and Conyers’ proposal.

According to Democratic sources in Congress, staffers from the ADL’s Washington office and the Simon Wiesenthal Center rejected the amendment on the grounds that right-wing Ukrainian parties like Svoboda with documented records of racist extremism had “moderated their rhetoric.” An ADL lobbyist insisted that “the focus should be on Russia,” while the Wiesenthal Center pointed to meetings between far-right political leaders in Ukraine and the Israeli embassy as evidence that groups like Svoboda and Right Sector had shed their extremism.

The ADL’s Washington office and the Simon Wiesenthal Center did not respond to numerous requests by email and telephone for comment.

Earlier this year, the ADL’s outgoing National Director Abraham Foxman noted Svoboda’s “history of anti-Semitism and platform of ethnic nationalism” in a press release demanding the party renounce its past glorification of Stepan Bandera, a World War Two-era Nazi collaborator who has become a symbol of Ukrainian nationalism.

When the Ukrainian parliament failed to pass a bill this October honoring Bandera’s Ukrainian Rebel Army, about 8000 supporters of Svoboda and the extremist Right Sector marched on the building, attacking riot police with homemade weapons while waving Banderist flags and Svoboda banners. The violent backlash was a reminder that the legend of Bandera would not die any time soon, and that Foxman’s admonitions had fallen on deaf ears.

Svobodoa’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, once called for the liberation of his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” In 2010, following the conviction of the Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for his supporting role in the death of nearly 30,000 people at the Sobibor camp, Tyahnybok flew to Germany to praise him as a hero who was “fighting for truth.”

Since the Euromaidan revolution, however, Svoboda has fought to rehabilitate its image. This has meant meeting with Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Reuven Din El and appealing to shared national values. “I would like to ask Israelis to also respect our patriotic feelings,” Tyahnybok has remarked. “Probably each party in the [Israeli] Knesset is nationalist. With God’s help, let it be this way for us too.”

Right Sector, the radical right-wing movement that battled riot police during the latter stages of the Euromaidan uprising, earned plaudits from the ADL’s Foxman when its leader arranged his own meeting with Din El. “[Right Sector leader] Dmitry Yarosh stressed that Right Sector will oppose all [racist] phenomena, especially anti-Semitism, with all legitimate means,” the Israeli embassy declared.

The results of this month’s Ukrainian parliamentary elections were widely portrayed as a setback for the ultra-nationalist right-wing, with Svoboda taking around 6 percent of the vote while Yarosh’s Right Sector failed to qualify for seats. The outcome cheered the American Jewish Committee, which declared that “Jews in most of Ukraine are heartened by the election results and even optimistic about the country’s future.”

But the dismal showing by the traditional ultra-nationalist parties was hardly evidence of a diminished right-wing. With President Petro Poroshenko leading the nationalists’ dream war in the East, Svoboda and Right Sector lost the protest vote they had commanded during the heady years of insurrection. As Anton Shekhovtsov, an expert on Europe’s radical right, explained, “in 2012, Svoboda was also considered almost the only ‘patriotic’ party, but now all democratic parties are patriotic, so Svoboda has lost its ‘monopoly’ on patriotism.”

During the national election campaign, Ukraine’s leading party, the People’s Front of neoliberal Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was honeycombed with far-right militants. Andrei Parubiy, the co-founder of the neo-Nazi-inspired Social National Party and former chief of the Maidan defense committees, was among the extremists who won seats on the People’s Front ticket.

Besides Parubiy, the People’s Front included Andriy Biletsky, leader of the Azov militia, an overtly neo-Nazi fighting force that has been on the front lines of the battle against Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Azov deputy commander Vadym Troyan joined him on the party’s electoral list, rounding out a peculiar mix of khaki shirt clad fascists and buttoned-down neo-liberals.

Unlike Svoboda, these figures do not even feign moderation. “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival,” Biletsky recently wrote. “A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Azov fighters are united by their nostalgia for Nazi Germany and embrace of open fascism. Sporting swastika tattoos, the battalion “flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag,” the New York Times’ Andrew Kramer recently reported.

With the government in a state of flux, Azov is filling the void in the East. As Ukrainian parliamentarian Gregory Nemira complained to reporter Anna Nemtsova in September, “The president still has not appointed a chief of staff for the armed forces. He has not admitted we are in a state of war, preferring to throw the battalions like Azov into the most dangerous combat zones, where authorities would not have the courage to send regular troops.”

Azov is precisely the sort of neo-Nazi organization that Conyers’ NDAA amendment would have deprived of US assistance. But when the congressman sought help from the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center in moving the proposal forward, he was rebuked. The amendment died a quiet death and Azov’s American supply line remains intact.

November 18, 2014  

 

Jewish volunteers for racial supremacy in Palestine

http://electronicintifada.net/content/jewish-volunteers-racial-supremacy-palestine/13695

Jewish volunteers for racial supremacy in Palestine

by Joseph Massad
The Electronic Intifada
4 August 2014

The European Christian fight for anti-Semitism was always a fight to grant Christians superior rights to Jews and to institutionalize that superiority as racial and religious supremacy.

In response, the European Jewish fight against anti-Semitism was and remains a fight against the reduction of the rights of Jews (if not their elimination altogether in the case of the Nazis), against the project to render European Jews an inferior species of citizens, and against white European Christian supremacy.

This has been a historical fight that multitudes of non-Jews have joined on both sides. However, ultimately it was European Jewish fighters against anti-Semitism and their gentile allies who won this key battle against inequality, oppression, racial and religious discrimination and genocide.

The European Jewish and Protestant fight (the latter preceded the former by three centuries) for Zionism, in contrast, has been and remains a fight to grant European Jews more rights than non-Jews (and non-European Jews) on a religious, ethnic and racial basis.

This superiority would be granted especially vis-à-vis Palestinian citizens of the Jewish settler-colony (if not eliminating their rights altogether as many Zionist Jews call for), as well as eliminating the rights of the Palestinians in the territories Israel occupied and colonized since 1967 and those it expelled and exiled since 1948 outside the borders of their homeland.

Multitudes of Jews and non-Jews have also joined this historical fight for racism, discrimination and colonialism. The Palestinians and their Jewish and non-Jewish allies refuse to give up and continue to resist Zionism’s insistence that European (and other) Jews must have superior and supremacist colonial, racial and religious rights in Palestine.

The Jewish fight for Zionism (which has never included and still does not include all Jews) is the exact opposite of the Jewish fight against anti-Semitism (which also never included all Jews); the former is a fight for European Jewish supremacy while the latter is against European Aryan and Christian supremacy.

This in a nutshell exposes the outright Zionist lie that claims that the struggle against anti-Semitism and the struggle for Zionism are one and the same.

Recruiting Jews to kill Palestinians

This is important to consider when we examine the international Zionist Jewish brigades that have volunteered to join the Israeli colonial army with much eagerness to kill Arabs and Palestinians. This has been a successful project in light of the mobilizational Zionist and Israeli Jewish propaganda in the last seven decades among the Jewish communities of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Argentina, to name the most prominent Jewish communities outside Israel.

This propaganda campaign aimed at transforming members of these communities from fighters against white Christian supremacy into fighters for European Jewish racial and colonial supremacy.

The dissemination of racist Israeli Jewish culture internationally goes hand-in-hand with Zionism’s pan-Jewishism, whereby, just as anti-Semitism speaks against all Jews, Zionism claims to speak for all of them — and reassures Jews that Israel is their country and that they should move to colonize it, failing which it would function as a spare country awaiting their arrival on a need to colonize basis.

That the major North American and European organizations that claim to speak for Jews have endorsed Israel’s right to speak for them and have been the major conduits for the hateful racist Israeli Jewish propaganda against the Palestinian people makes them fully complicit in the ongoing slaughter and oppression of the Palestinians. This is especially so given that they openly support anti-Palestinian Israeli colonial policies and urge their respective governments and media to do the same. (We must keep in mind these organizations and their wealthy leaders are not elected by members of the Jewish communities but appoint themselves as their representatives and speak for them in these organizations’ newspapers, which constitute what is referred to as the “Jewish” press.)

This is not to say that members of the Jewish communities are not pro-Israel and fervently anti-Palestinian, which they are in their majority, but it is to say that polls have shown them to be less murderous and hateful than the organizations claiming to represent them.

Thus, Israel has created a hegemonic racist Jewish culture that does not only dominate Israeli Jewish communities but also Jewish communities in Europe and its settler colonial extensions (in the Americas, in Australia and in South Africa). This, however, was never sufficiently successful to produce millions of Jewish volunteers for Israel’s colonial cause (no matter how much European and American Jews support Zionism and Israel, few would want to fight or die for it). But it did create the conditions for thousands of young Jewish (mostly male) fighters for European racial supremacy to join the Israeli colonial army seeking to prove the superiority of European Jewishness (and a concomitant European Jewish manliness) by slaughtering Palestinians.

The Israeli colonial army advertises several programs to accommodate international Jewish volunteers for the oppression of the Palestinians. It provides them with the option to serve in the Israeli army in “full combat and support roles,” namely in its “Mahal” program, to fulfill their commitment to the Zionist cause of European Jewish supremacy without necessarily having to become Israeli citizens.
There is also the smaller “Marva” program in which young teenage Jewish recruits for Zionist Jewish supremacy can participate “in this immersive army program, serving alongside fellows from countries around the world.”

Israel’s killing machine proudly declares that “over 300 Jewish teens from all around the world volunteer to serve” in the Israeli colonial army annually as part of the four thousand “Jewish and non-Jewish” volunteers who “fly to Israel and volunteer in the IDF [Israeli military] for several weeks.” These may not be impressive numbers, but there are more.

One of the programs engineered to recruit Jewish youth for racial and religious supremacy is the “Garin Tzabar” project. Garin Tzabar means “cactus seed,” or “Sabra seed,” in reference to Palestine-born Israeli Jews, hence the importance of this program as a reproductive and masculinist project aimed at populating the Jewish settler-colony with more Zionist Jews committed to the superiority of European (and other) Jews over Palestinians.

Garin Tzabar, according to the Israeli colonial army, has “already helped over 1,500 teens from all around the world join the IDF and approximately 70 percent of the immigrants have stayed in Israel after their service.”

Garin Tzabar is not the only volunteer program. There are others like the “Sar-El” program, which claims that it has brought between 1983 and 2011 “more than a hundred thousand volunteers to Israel … 
Staying in Israel for several weeks, the participants share a true IDF experience on IDF bases” (Israel refers to these European and American volunteers for Jewish racial supremacy as “lone soldiers”).
The Israeli military claimed that in 2012, “5,500 lone soldiers” were serving in its colonial forces whereas today it claims to have 4,600 volunteers, one-third of whom are Americans.

In the ongoing barbaric slaughter of Gaza Palestinians, two of the Palestinian baby-killing Jewish soldiers (as I’ve written previously, targeting and killing Palestinian children is an old Zionist tradition) who were killed by the Palestinian resistance were American Jewish volunteers for Jewish racial and colonial supremacy.
They quickly became heroes for the American press, “Jewish” and “gentile” alike. Indeed an article appeared in The Washington Post to show how these baby-killers are different from Muslim foreign fighters who volunteered to overthrow the Afghani communist government and more recently several Arab governments (“‘Foreign Fighters’ for Israel,” David Malet, 22 July 2014). Few, however, mention the White European and American Christian mercenary foreign fighters who have served tyrannies around the word since the Second World War.

Colonial recruitment

These Israeli volunteer programs build on the legacy of the four thousand Jewish volunteers who came to fight the Zionist colonial war of 1948 that captured Palestine and expelled its population and established the European Jewish-supremacist settler-colony. Known as Mahal, the main volunteer program included American Jews as prominent and important members assisting in Israel’s colonial conquest.

They included Mickey Marcus, an American Jewish US Army colonel who became Israel’s first brigadier general. Marcus’ Second World War experience was instrumental in breaking the 1948 “siege of Jerusalem.”

Other important Jewish volunteers included the Canadian officer Ben Dunkelman and US pilot Milton Rubenfeld, as well as British Jewish Major Wellesley Aron who helped in the recruitment of American Jews for Zionism’s colonial war. European and American Christian Zionist mercenaries also helped, especially in the Zionist air force. These colonial volunteers fighting for racism, especially from the UK, constituted almost two-thirds of the settler-colony’s air force during the 1948 war.

David Ben-Gurion, the Jewish settler-colony’s first prime minister, was so thankful to them that he stated that “the Mahal [volunteer] Forces were the Diaspora’s most important contribution to the survival of the State of Israel.” Indeed they were: 123 of them died in that colonial war.

Jews in the struggle against Israeli racism

But unlike Jews inside Israel, Jewish communities in Europe, North and South America, and even in Australia, live in cultures that are not fully controlled by Zionist propaganda and therefore are not fully under the sway of the racist culture that Israel seeks to impose on them. It is this that explains how an increasing number of prominent members in the Jewish communities of the US and the UK, among intellectuals and academics, are in the forefront of the struggle against Israeli Jewish racism and colonialism (in contrast with apartheid South Africa which had a substantial number of white anti-racist activists and intellectuals, only a few Israeli Jewish intellectuals have been able over the decades to escape Israeli racist brainwashing — a feat unto itself).

Today many American Jewish luminaries in academe oppose Israeli policies unreservedly. Whereas once Noam Chomsky was a lone Jewish academic voice critical of Israel, he is today joined by scores of Jewish academics and intellectuals in opposing Israeli policies (of course these Jewish academics along with anti-Zionist gentile academics remain a minority and are outflanked by the much larger Jewish and gentile academics who are militant enemies of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims).

Some, like the prominent American Jewish philosopher Judith Butler, have surpassed Chomsky in their opposition to Zionist and Israeli racism and colonialism, and are vocal supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and call for a one-state solution, both of which Chomsky does not support. In fact, a few Palestinian-American academics have also opposed both of these important positions or remained “neutral” on them (some used the rhetorical strategy, of “on the one hand this and on the other hand that”). Though in the last year some, fearing being left outside the leftist mainstream which has adopted these positions, have decided to show a belated “courage” in adopting these positions more than a decade after everyone else has.

And this is not limited to Jewish intellectuals but extends also to Jewish activists, especially groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (which, among many of its anti-racist activities, played an important role in helping Palestinians and others persuade the Presbyterian Church USA to divest from companies profiting from the Israeli occupation), and the countless Jewish students joining, and in a good number of cases, leading groups like Students for Justice in Palestine based on their commitment to fight racism and colonialism, values that are the diametrical opposite of Zionist colonial racism and fascist tribalism.

It is these Jewish fighters against Zionism and Israeli colonialism and racism that are continuing the Jewish fight against anti-Semitism but who remain unsung heroes in the American “Jewish” and “gentile” press that prefers to celebrate baby-killing Zionist Jewish volunteers for Israeli Jewish supremacy instead.

These Jewish fighters against racism have joined the Palestinian people and their international allies (Jewish and gentile alike) in fighting this ongoing historical battle against the forces of racial supremacy and colonial conquest. They understand well, as the Palestinian national movement has always understood, that the fight for Palestinian rights and liberation from the Jewish settler-colony is the latest phase of the historic fight against anti-Semitism and that the fight for Zionism is part of the war for European racial supremacy and colonialism.

The carnage that Israeli Jewish soldiers and international Zionist Jewish brigades of baby-killers are committing in Gaza (and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, let alone against Palestinian citizens of Israel) is but the starkest reminder of this unshakeable conviction.

Joseph Massad is professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University. He is author of the forthcoming Islam in Liberalism.

US bill ‘dramatically strengthens’ Israel alliance

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/US-bill-dramatically-strengthens-Israel-alliance-344651

US bill ‘dramatically strengthens’ Israel alliance

By MICHAEL WILNER,SHARON UDASIN
07/03/2014

Bill to expand delivery of forward-deployed US weapons to Israel and help commit Congress to further funding of the Iron Dome.
 
The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that declares Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, reinforcing the broad relationship between the two nations and laying the groundwork for more expansive strategic cooperation.

The bill would expand the delivery of forward-deployed US weapons to Israel, as well as other military technologies, and would commit Congress to further funding of the Iron Dome short-range missile defense system.

Controversially, the bill would also invite Israel into a visa waiver agreement with the US, which has been opposed by members of the intelligence community and the Democratic caucus for multiple years.

The bill passed 410-1 in the House. The Senate has taken up a similar measure, which is still in the committee process.

Just a day after its annual policy conference in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee declared the bill’s passage a victory, and characterized the measure as “dramatically strengthening the US-Israel relationship.”

“This designation lays the foundation for expanded US-Israel cooperation in a wide variety of spheres, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, energy, agriculture and trade,” AIPAC said in a statement, applauding the bill as “critical” and calling on the Senate to act with similar haste.

The second half of the bill, which focuses on US-Israel energy relationships, was authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and aims to strengthen collaboration between the two countries on energy projects.

The United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Enhancement Bill first passed through the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee on December 11, and a Senate companion bill passed through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on December 20. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was responsible for the Senate companion bill, alongside Se.s Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

This portion of the bill officially determines that “United States-Israel energy cooperation, and the development of natural resources by Israel, are strategic interests of the United States,” recognizing Israel specifically as a partner in water technology, safety and security arenas. Encouraging the US National Science Foundation to collaborate with the Israel Science Foundation, the text also encourages more robust academic cooperation in a variety of energy-related fields.

Advocating “open dialogue and continued mechanisms for regular engagement,” the bill calls for continued energy partnerships among government and academic institutions as well as the private sector from both sides. Some particular topics of interest include identifying priorities for developing Israeli natural resources, discussing best practices to secure cyber energy infrastructure, leveraging natural gas to positively impact regional stability and improving energy efficiency, the bill says.

The bill also acknowledges the important role of the US-Israel Binational research and Development Foundation (BIRD) and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and commits continued multiyear funding “to ensure the continuity of the programs of the foundations.”

“I am pleased this important measure was included in the legislative package and encouraged to see it received such overwhelming support,” Upton said, following the bill’s passage. “With a simple amendment to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, this legislation will help bolster the partnership between Israel and the US on energy production and help enhance energy security.”

With American assistance, Israel will be able to continue making advancements in developing its natural resources, Upton stressed. He also committed to working on future “commonsense energy solutions” with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, as occurred while drafting this legislation.

“Today the House passed an important bill that will expand the partnership between the U.S. and Israel,” Waxman agreed. “Israel is a close ally, and it is in our national interest to help the Israelis development their natural resources in a responsible way that protects the environment.”

Jewish law institute launched in US Supreme Court

The launch of the Washington-based National Institute for Judaic Law was marked 5 November 2002 with a kosher dinner at the U.S. Supreme Court attended by 200 people, including three Supreme Court Justices – Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, and Antonin Scalia.


Jewish law institute launched in DC

Jewish legal experts have created a new institute that will educate jurists and others about 2,000 years of Jewish law and promote the application of the teachings to contemporary legal disputes and other modern-day issues.

The launch of the Washington-based National Institute for Judaic Law was marked Tuesday night with a kosher dinner at the Supreme Court attended by 200 people, including three Supreme Court Justices – Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, and Antonin Scalia.

US President George W. Bush sent greetings and applauded the institute for promoting an “understanding of Judaism’s rich tradition of legal thought.”

“As we face new challenges and welcome new opportunities, our society must continue to promote good character and strong values. Through the study and teaching of Jewish law and philosophy you are contributing to a growing culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America,” Bush wrote.

Scalia, in a letter to the institute’s founder, Noson Gurary, wrote that “Jewish law is certainly one of the oldest and most highly developed systems” and explained why the comparative study of legal traditions was beneficial.

“The idea is to make Jewish law more accessible to everyone,” said Washington lawyer Alyza Lewin. Both Lewin and her father Nathan Lewin are helping establish the institute.

Last year, Alyza Lewin filed a brief to the Supreme Court based on the Talmud’s take on capital punishment when the court was readying to hear a case on the constitutionality of the electric chair.

“Legal scholars often like to know what other legal traditions have said about certain issues,” said Alyza Lewin.

Filing that kind of opinion is only part of the institute’s mandate.

It will also promote the teaching of Jewish law, develop curricula on Jewish law that can be integrated into traditional law school courses, and serve as a resource for anyone wanting to know what the vast Jewish legal tradition has to say on various issues.

The institute’s first project, already underway, explores how Jewish law can be applied to modern-day issues surrounding corporate ethics, an idea spurred by the recent corporate scandals involving Enron and Worldcom.

Gurary, who teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo, thought up the idea of the institute about nine months ago.

“By demonstrating the philosophy of Jewish law and its moral values, we can bring a little beacon of light in this world,” Gurary said.

“I think this is what we need now, in this day and age.”