On the Sabbath, the rabbis pushed the Shock Doctrine

on 16 Comments
Early Friday, [JTA link here] two suspicious packages were intercepted by authorities in the United Kingdom and Dubai, working in close cooperation with U.S. officials.  The packages originated in Yemen and purportedly contained explosive materials that were addressed to Jewish organizations in the Chicago area.
Later that day, numerous New York City Metropolitan area Jewish communal officials had been in contact and decided to urge their elected officials to dramatically increase security funding for Jewish institutions.  They also asked congregants to contact their representatives to push this idea.
While these people may have been sincerely reacting to an immediate dramatic threat, there seems to be a bit of opportunism at play here.  Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine, details instances like this where individuals, governments, and organizations take advantage of human-made or natural crisis to promote actions that will significantly advance their political, economic, and/or ideological plans.
Before these Jewish communal leaders and their congregants reflexively rush to their phones and computers to contact their ever-compliant representatives, a few thoughts might want to be considered:
1) Jewish communal organizations are already [link from the JTAhomeland-security-releases-new-funds-to-non-profits] the single largest recipients of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants.

This past July, the DHS released $19 million to secure non-profits.  254 of the 271 insitutions awarded these grants were Jewish synagogues, schools, community centers, and offices. 
According to the Jewish Federations of North America, the monies went to blast-proof windows; reinforced doors, locks, gates, and fences; video surveillance; and other equipment and enhancements, as well as training.
2) The Jewish communal world already has its own successful security infrasturcture in place, and is not in need of any knee-jerk reactions.
Groups such as the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union, and Agudath Israel are just a few of the Jewish communal and religious organizations actively lobbying congress for security grant dollars.  There is, also, the [http://www.scnus.org/page.aspx?id=99537 Secure Community Network (SCN)], which provides rapid information sharing in crisis situations and enhances security awareness at Jewish organizations and institutions to protect against terrorism and other threats.
The SCN is endorsed by the national leadership of the American Jewish community. [Countless organizations at the top of the organizational chart]
Additionally, the SCN states on its website:
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established a high level liaison with SCN and recognizes SCN as a primary vehicle to facilitate sharing of information and policy protocols that impact Jewish communal security.  These important official relationships enable SCN to access information and resources developed by DHS specifically for non-profit agencies.
Furthermore, SCN is permitted access to non-classified information portals, public safety information, and emergency notification systems nationwide, reflecting the integrity of  SCN and the trusted relationships SCN professional staff has established with national, state and local law enforcement agencies.  These direct links add an important dimension and expanded access to information that will be shared with all organizations participating in SCN.
3) There may be a need for increased funding for other less politically powerful religious groups and organizations that are also threatened by existential and [link to Newsday piece] real acts of hate and terror:
Muslim leaders on Long Island said Tuesday that they are concerned about anti-Muslim bias after two recent bottle-throwing incidents at a Huntington mosque.
For the second time in less than a week, detectives with Suffolk’s hate crimes unit were called to the mosque on Monday night after a bottle containing nails and screws was smashed in the parking lot. Except for the type of bottle, the incident was “exactly the same” as an occurrence in the same spot last week, said Det. Sgt. Robert Reecks.
Tuesday, a national Muslim civil liberties advocacy group urged beefed-up enforcement. “We urge local law enforcement authorities to step up patrols in the area of the mosque and again ask the FBI to add its resources to the investigation of these disturbing incidents,” said Faiza Ali of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Citing “a fine line” between extra patrols and creating the impression among mosque goers that they were being watched, Reecks declined to say if more officers would be assigned. “We will do due diligence,” he said.
4) Consider using some good old-fashioned common sense. From the The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago alert on Friday:
“The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has alerted area synagogues not to open packages that appear suspicious due to the way they are wrapped, or which come from Yemen or from any organization that has the name ‘Yemen’ in it,” it said.  “Any institution that receives such a package is advised to call “911” and to evacuate the premises until law enforcement arrives.”
If you work in a Jewish organization and you see a package that is suspiciously wrapped or a package coming from Yemen, you really don’t need more DHS monies allotted for training to realize that you do not want to open the package and quickly call the police.
If people in the Jewish communal and/or religous worlds still feel the need to pick up the phone or get on the computer to contact their elected officials, they may want to suggest a real sure-fire cost-effective way to reduce the threat of terrorism and hate.  They can ask these representatives to tell President Obama to force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get off his tuchas and sit down with representatives from Fatah and Hamas, without any of his recent preconditions, in order to find a way to create a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  If the Prime Minister will not do this, then these members of Congress can start to take away from the 3 billion dollars that U.S. taxpayers give to Israel each year.

16 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    November 2, 2010, 8:02 am

    “1) Jewish communal organizations are already [link from the JTAhomeland-security-releases-new-funds-to-non-profits] the single largest recipients of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants.

    This past July, the DHS released $19 million to secure non-profits. 254 of the 271 insitutions awarded these grants were Jewish synagogues, schools, community centers, and offices.
    According to the Jewish Federations of North America, the monies went to blast-proof windows; reinforced doors, locks, gates, and fences; video surveillance; and other equipment and enhancements, as well as training.”

    And who is the chairman of Homeland Security? You guessed it… Senator Joe Liarmann
    link to thinkprogress.org

  2. Kathleen
    November 2, 2010, 8:03 am

    Great post but I thought the team at Mondoweiss do not like to have “anonymous” posters.

  3. MRW
    November 2, 2010, 8:03 am

    link to sabanews.net

    Yemen says UPS planes never take off or land in it

    SANA’A, Oct. 30 (Saba) – No UPS cargo planes left Yemen to other countries in the last days and there are no direct flights from Yemen to the United Kingdom or the United States, a Yemeni official said, after allegations that British and U.S. officials had found suspicious packages on planes that originated in Yemen.

    The official wondered how the media mentioned the name of Yemen reporting that an explosive device was found onboard a cargo plane that landed in London coming from Yemen.

    UPS planes never land or take off in Yemen, the official made clear.

    The security measures at Yemeni airports are tightened and the authorities search passengers and luggage well, the official said, adding that Yemen has recently installed modern checking systems that can detect dangerous or suspicious materials to the safety of passengers and planes.

    We urge the media not to make hasty judgments about sensitive issues and the media should wait until investigations reveal the truth, the official said, as he pointed out that Yemen has launched an investigation into the allegations and planned to coordinate with the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the U.S. over the issue.

    Yemen is determined to continue the war on terror in cooperation with the international community until it roots out all terrorists who pose threat to all, the official concluded.

  4. MRW
    November 2, 2010, 8:09 am

    BBC reports: Leicestershire Constabulary (police) said they found a printer package with wires coming out but no bombs inside:
    link to youtube.com

    Leicestershire Constabulary website:
    link to leics.police.uk

    • Walid
      November 2, 2010, 9:13 am

      I always thought there are more Jews in New York than in Chicago; maybe they’re just trying to spread the paranoia gradually across the US.

      Those bright minds are telling the synagogue people to be on the lookout for parcels coming from Yemen; does that mean it’s ok for them to open parcels from Iraq, Tunisia , Sudan, Jordan or any other country?

      • MRW
        November 2, 2010, 9:37 am

        It means:
        (1) The press should be doing its job investigating basic facts of the story, such as Is it even possible that UPS flew out of Yemen
        (2) Contact Dubai officials to confirm the story
        (3) Contact the East Midlands airport to confirm what they found
        (4) Contact the police who first found the supposed bomb threat and confirm that

        THEN…if it all checks out, extrapolate from there.

        This is crying Wolf once too often.

  5. MRW
    November 2, 2010, 8:36 am

    link to presstv.ir

    UAE rejects US claims on Flight 201

    The United Arab Emirates’ Civil Aviation Authority has rejected claims that a US-bound Emirates’ flight from Dubai contained “suspicious” parcels from Yemen.

    Fighter jets were scrambled on Friday to accompany an Emirates plane into New York’s JFK airport after a security alert, US media reported.

    Emirati authorities, however, said flight 201 carried no ‘suspicious’ cargo from Yemen as claimed by US-Canadian military agency NORAD.

    UAE officials rejected the claim and said the plane was not a source of threat.

    “The Emirates plane that arrived today in the United States from Dubai did not contain any packages from Yemen,” the official Emirati WAM news agency quoted an unnamed source with the country’s civil aviation body as saying.

    North American military agency caused a media hype after it reported the suspicious flight.

    “Out of an abundance of caution, the North American Aerospace Defense Command diverted two Canadian CF-18s to track a civilian aircraft that was determined to be an aircraft of interest as it flew into and over Canadian airspace,” AFP quoted a NORAD statement as saying on Friday.

    “The civilian aircraft was passed to two US F-15s as it transited into US airspace and its ultimate destination at JFK airport,” the statement added.

    According to a White House statement late Friday, Saudi Arabia had tipped it off before “packages from Yemen containing explosive materials” were found on US-bound planes.

    US President Barack Obama was informed later on Thursday about a “potential terrorist threat” from suspicious packages from Yemen on two cargo planes, one in Britain and the other in Dubai, the White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

    Meanwhile, the US president hinted at boosting the US military role in Yemen following reports about the “suspicious packages.”

    • Walid
      November 2, 2010, 9:20 am

      He may still lose the election. He carries on with a huge smile as if he’s got no problems. Maybe he’s confident he doesn’t because he already gave Netanyahu what he wanted.

      • MRW
        November 2, 2010, 9:40 am

        Obama is relying on his staff to get the story right. He doesn’t sit around like we do googling for facts. Someone internal to the WH is sabotaging the President (who it is is immaterial). The more important question is why.

      • Walid
        November 2, 2010, 1:13 pm

        I hope those American elections would be over so things would be go back to some normalcy. After the Yemeni story, today it has spread with a declared terrorist risk in France, another in Germany and another in Spain. 11 simultaneous explosions have just occurred in Baghdad with 36 dead and 320 injured. Why can’t I stop thinking that this has to do with American elections?

      • Walid
        November 2, 2010, 1:20 pm

        MRW, what about the story today that appeared in Shark al Awsat that said an agreement of sorts sponsored by the US has happened by which the Jordan Valley would stay in Israeli hands under a very long term lease? This is exactly what Netanyahu was aiming for. Maybe this is where Obama’s smile is coming from. If this is true, what would be left for the Palestinians with which to set up their state? You can be sure that whatever the US is doing, it’s to Israel’s full advantage.

      • Antidote
        November 2, 2010, 5:01 pm

        “Why can’t I stop thinking that this has to do with American elections?”

        Why can’t I stop thinking this has something to do with Obama getting back on Netanyahu’s case between now and the Nov 8 deadline (for extending the settlement freeze and continue the peace talks)?

        link to haaretz.com

      • Bumblebye
        November 2, 2010, 6:13 pm

        I’m hearing that the EU terror threat is down to a Greek terror group of their own – not al Q or affiliates. BBC says this is what the Greek authorities are saying. Some group of nasties blaming other EU zone leaders for their economic woes or similar.

      • Bumblebye
        November 2, 2010, 6:19 pm

        re the “lease” – will Israel be charged even a peppercorn rent, if so to whom will they pay it? And can anyone sane imagine them doing the Brit thing and handing it back like Hong Kong at the end of the lease? It’ll just serve as the pretext for “transferring” Jordan Valley Palestinians into the bantustans they hoped for all along.

  6. Justice Please
    November 2, 2010, 4:33 pm

    “254 of the 271 insitutions awarded these grants were Jewish synagogues, schools, community centers, and offices.”

    This certainly gives the recipients of these funds and/or their allys in the media an incentive to hype up false terror threats.

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