‘Christian Friends of Israel’ supports criminal actions that place Americans at risk

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, murdered Iranian scientist, and his son

RichB is a regular commenter on this site. This morning, moderating comments, I saw this one and asked him if I could post it. The Christian Friends of Israel email that he was angered by appears toward the end of RichB’s post.

As many here know I went on a Christian Zionist trip last Spring. What I saw there made me an activist for Palestinian rights. One thing that happened on the trip was a sales pitch for Christian Friends of Israel in Jerusalem. I just got an e-mail blast from them showing what the Israeli Hasbarists are pushing through Christian Zionist channels. Here is the e-mail I sent to others on the trip.

When I went on my trip to Israel one thing really bothered me. I’ve kept it to myself since all of you were so obviously blessed by it.  But recent events have caused me to share with you my concern. I did not appreciate  that we were assumed to support a “ministry” called Christian Friends of Israel which struck me as purely political. When I was asked to allow my image to be used I agreed because I thought it was to promote the trip where we could go and see the locations where our Savior lived amongst us. I did not and do not want to support CFI. I was added without my permission to an e-mail list that spouts pure Hasbara straight from the Netanyahu government. (Google Hasbara for a more detailed definition but it’s basically propaganda literally sponsored by the Israeli government.)

As Americans we are entitled to support what ministry or political organizations we choose but it’s illegal and unchristian to support organizations that sponsor terrorism. CFI just did that. First some background to a news story that came to a head over the weekend. There have been five different assassination attempts/car bombings against alleged Iranian scientists. (One assassination turned out to be a grad student that had nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program.) The latest was a little over a week ago where a magnetic bomb was attached to a car by passing motorcyclists in crowded Teheran traffic, killing a man. 

Last Friday a story showed on Foreign Policy’s web site that was truly shocking. It alleges from former and current intelligence officials that Mossad recruited the Pakistani terrorist group Jundallah to do assassinations and bombings, doing so while impersonating CIA and MI6, thus encouraging the Iranian government to strike back at Americans. When you read what CFI sent out below, note that almost all of what was in the story happened during the Bush Administration and in fact President Bush was livid over this.

link to foreignpolicy.com

link to youtube.com

Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah — a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government andpublished reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.

But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel’s Mossad. The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel’s recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel’s ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.

The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad’s efforts.

“It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” the intelligence officer said. “Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought.”

Interviews with six currently serving or recently retired intelligence officers over the last 18 months have helped to fill in the blanks of the Israeli false-flag operation. In addition to the two currently serving U.S. intelligence officers, the existence of the Israeli false-flag operation was confirmed to me by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.

The report then made its way to the White House, according to the currently serving U.S. intelligence officer. The officer said that Bush “went absolutely ballistic” when briefed on its contents.

“The report sparked White House concerns that Israel’s program was putting Americans at risk,” the intelligence officer told me. “There’s no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we’re not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians.”

Israel’s relationship with Jundallah continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel’s activities jeopardized the administration’s fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined U.S. claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on U.S. personnel.

Now what CFI sent me tonight. Note how they don’t mention Israeli state-sponsorship of  terrorist groups or that it was the Bush Administration that had issue with the behavior of Mossad. (Israel also sponsored Hamas in the 80s to counter the secular PLO and we are both suffering the blowback of that decision.) I’m extremely concerned that Israel is trying to goad us into war over the objections of people in the U.S. military and intelligence services, and yet again they will have to pay the price. For a Christian ministry to be a party to this is unconscionable.

The bombing attack in Teheran that killed Iranian nuclear scientist Mustafa Ahmadi-Roshan on January 11, has generated another angry response from U.S. President Obama, according toDebkafile. Washington is increasingly concerned, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, that Israel is preparing to strike Iran’s nuclear sites over US objections, and has bolstered the defenses of US facilities in the region in case of a conflict. But does that mean that this president should risk total rupture with America’s only real ally in the Middle East?

Israel’s President Peres said after the bombing that “to his knowledge” Israel was not involved. On the other hand, the U.S. has declared vehemently that America had “absolutely nothing” to do with the assassination. It appears that Iran’s nuclear scientists have new friends in the U.S. Government—President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both of whom issued strong and unusual condemnation over the death of the Iranian scientist. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta adds his voice to Obama and Clinton in voicing concern—no, almost panic—over the possibility that Israel might launch a unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
What do they fear? Gone are the days when the world rejoiced that Israel’s Air Force had taken out the bad guy’s nuclear reactor. Saddam’s military forces proved to be a paper tiger when they were engaged. So what does the U.S. fear from Iran’s largely untested forces?

Apparently Obama suspected that Israel staged the killing to torpedo a US secret effort to avoid a military confrontation with Iran through back channel contacts with Teheran, while Obama’s strong condemnation is seen as tying in with his all-out campaign to hold Israel back from a unilateral strike. As part of this campaign, the Foreign Policy publication ran an “investigative report” Friday, January 13, the point of which was to show that U.S. and Israeli undercover agencies have been at odds for years following what was called a Mossad “false flag” operation. (A “false flag” operation refers to intelligence officers of one country acting with passports and credentials of another country—in this case, the Mossad using U.S. credentials.)

This report had two overall objectives: to show that the US is not responsible for all the covert operations of recent months against Iran’s nuclear targets and, secondly, to demonstrate that Washington means to continue harassing and pressuring Israel by every means to hold it back from a military operation against Iran. [My note: having read the story can you come to this twisted conclusion? Really?]

Unfortunately this U.S. Administration gives the same impression that U.S. officials have often given in the past: (1) that they can tell their allies what to do, and (2) that the rest of the world will “be nice” and embrace Western style democracy if someone just shows them how it works. Both of these false premises have gotten the U.S. into trouble more than once. 

Clearly the U.S. does not believe what Ahmadinejad said about wiping Israel off the map. So once again Israel is alone, with her military, and her God. And most of us believe that is sufficient.

THIS JUST IN: A Saudi computer hacker identifying himself only as “0xOmar” has been leading a large-scale hacker campaign of harassment against Israeli websites. This person contacted the Jerusalem Post on Sunday declaring that he’d been joined by a previously unknown group called “Nightmare” who planned further attacks, including the El Al website. Please pray about this situation.

“O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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18 Responses

  1. Ramzi Jaber
    January 17, 2012, 11:26 am

    Blinded by God. My God is better than your God. Disaster waiting to happen.

    Where is the USA christians support for Palestinian christians?

    Where is their adherence to the word of God about no killing, no stealing, respecting others, turning the other cheek?

    Where is their support to basic human rights and dignity of Palestinians?

    Should I continue???

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 12:53 pm

      We should be so lucky as to have the Amish to contend with, rather than born and bred American Jews who fly off to Israel to brandish M-16s, playing racist He-Jew-Man at the expense of the weak Palestinian natives–is there anything more despicable than these American Zionists? (Other than the fat perspiring goy tool Hagee and his ilk, which come a close second)? link to activistpost.com

      There’s a certain type of traditional Jew that spits at those he finds animals, and at their buildings. If I were of that mentality I would surely spit at these Israeli settlers from America, and at their outposts, as I would at the Hagees and their mega-churches.

      • Citizen
        January 17, 2012, 12:54 pm

        My version of Dante’s hell for both the Israeli settlers and the Hagee minions is that they are locked in an elevator together for eternity.

    • Walid
      January 17, 2012, 1:17 pm

      “Where is the USA christians support for Palestinian christians?”

      Ramzi, the 12 million members of the United Methodist Church, most of which are in the US are standing behind the Kairos Palestinian Document, an S.O.S issued by Palestinian churches asking the world’s Christians to get on the BDS bus. The Methodists are campaigning to have other churches join them in divesting from American companies working or dealing with the Isreli occupation. Not all Jews and not all Christians belong in the same basket.

      • Theo
        January 18, 2012, 12:54 pm

        “not all jews and christians belong to the same basket.”

        Yes, however the great majority do!!!!
        And majorities win elections, dictate rules and regulations and suppress the minority.
        With that we are back to the start, 50 million american christian zionists, with the help of 90% american jews, are killing palestinian children!!!

      • Blake
        January 23, 2012, 2:43 pm

        Theo: Christian “Zionists” are a small minority of fringe lunatics who follow a corrupted Bible that is less than 100 years old.

        link to veteranstoday.com

  2. yourstruly
    January 17, 2012, 11:31 am

    since it’s clearer than ever that israel is a terrorist entity, these christian israel-firsters should be investigated by the state department as to whether they’re aiding and abetting said entity’s assassination of iranian civilians. and where’s the outrage by non-israel-first christians at the bad name that organizations such as the cfi give to christianity. would jesus approve of their silence? it’s amazing that some christians get so upset at the use of “happy holidays” rather than “merry christmas” but couldn’t care less about the damage that their co-religionist israel-firsters do to their faith.

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 1:03 pm

      The traditional Christian churches are mostly out to lunch, except for a few Protestant denomination sectors who have joined BDS. Seems to me, and I could be wrong easily, that, for example, the Baptists and Catholics are totally AWOL on what the Israel First 5th column has been doing to make America a harlot of Zionism. And how about the Episcopalians and Lutherans? It also seems most American Christians do not identify at all with Arab Christians–seems worse than the barrier between Western Christians and Orthodox Russian Christians, for example.

      • richb
        January 17, 2012, 1:34 pm

        This is generally true but I can think of one exception.

        link to www2.davidson.edu

        The Reverend Dr. Fahed Abu-Akel, former moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA, spoke at Davidson College recently about the conflict in the Middle East from his Palestinian Christian perspective. Abu-Akel emphasized the need for a metaphorical “global village” where people of different cultures, nations, and languages can learn toleration for each other. “How do I affirm my faith, yet respect my Jewish or Muslim brother?” Abu-Akel asked. “That is the real test of faith, respecting your brother, not killing him. We cannot use God to oppress people any longer.”

        He also spoke of the common American misperception about the Middle East. “Not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs,” Abu-Akel said. “I challenge you to step out of your American box.”

        Abu Akel was born as the son of Christian Palestinian-Arab parents in the town of Yassif in Galilee in 1944, and was four years old when he and his father and siblings were forced out of their home into a mountain refugee camp by Israeli soldiers. He came to the United States in 1966 to attend seminary, was ordained to the ministry in 1978, and became a U.S. citizen in 1981. For 21 years he served on the staff of the First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. He then became the founder and executive director of the Atlanta Ministry with International Students. In June of 2002, he was elected to a one-year term as moderator, the highest elected office in the Presbyterian Church.

        Abu Akel acknowledged the major role of the Presbyterian Church in the Middle East. It began in 1823, when the church established a mission in Beirut, Lebanon, and continues today with Presbyterian support for every American university in the Middle East.

        Rev. Abu-Akel called for Western Christian churches to partner with Arabic Christian churches.

        The lecture in Tyler-Tallman Hall, sponsored by the chaplain’s office and the Lilly Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation, opened with a scripted prayer, “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” with Abu-Akel trading lines with the audience. After lightening the mood with a couple of anecdotes, he told students they will play an important role in his “global village.” “I think of Davidson College as a key institution,” he said. “You will be leaders in the United States, and that is why I am excited to speak to you.”

        He presented a video outlining the history and the current situation of Christians in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern Christians in the video asked to western Christians not to ignore them, and to look beyond the limits of western theology and media.

        Abu-Akel expanded on the message of the video, saying that there are close to fifteen-million Arab Christians today, a minority that should not be isolated. He encouraged Americans to travel to the Middle East to experience the issues and understand the conflict, and invited Western churches to develop one-on-one relationships with Arabic Christian churches. Western churches can help their counterparts in the Arab world through visits, correspondence, and prayer, and could also learn lessons about faith from the Arab churches. “Palestinian Christians can help North American Christians realize that they have skills to survive in a minority. We must understand that these churches have existed and persevered in the context of war and oppression,” Abu-Akel said.

  3. Avi_G.
    January 17, 2012, 11:31 am

    Israel’s President Peres said after the bombing that “to his knowledge” Israel was not involved.

    Peres added, “To my knowledge, Israel is not occupying any Palestinian territories”.

    Clearly the U.S. does not believe what Ahmadinejad said about wiping Israel off the map. So once again Israel is alone, with her military, and her God. And most of us believe that is sufficient.

    It’s depressing when those who are in their thinking stuck in the dark ages remind the world of their affliction on a regular basis.

    It’s like a psychiatric patient bragging about his familiarity with every room and hallway of an institution.

    • Citizen
      January 17, 2012, 1:07 pm

      More like a psychiatric patient on the loose bragging about his familiarity with every room and hallway of an institution who happens to have a sugar daddy who owns the institution.

    • Theo
      January 18, 2012, 1:01 pm

      President Peres, according to “my knowledge” the israelis are innocent of the Gaza attack with white phosphor, therefore it never happened.

      I have listenned your speech where you bragged about how you bought Manhattan, Poland and Hungary and how you can control the US congress.
      According to “my knowledge” it is not true, so it never happened!!
      Funny thing about “knowledge”, it works the way we want it.

  4. richb
    January 17, 2012, 11:48 am

    Here’s their mission statement.

    Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) is a ministry that exists to:

    Comfort and support the People of Israel through practical means
    Inform Christians around the world of God’s plan for Israel and the Church’s responsibility towards the Jewish people
    Make the Jewish people aware of our solidarity with them

    If this is what they really focused on I wouldn’t have a problem, particularly the first bullet. For example, they do have a ministry to the victims of the Shoah. The anti-proselytizing laws limits the amount of material aid they could give to them. Still, these precious people are so lonely and so without support in Israel that they are thrilled to death to get cheap blankets and someone to talk to.

    Where they went wrong in my opinion was they were bragging about how close they were to the Netanyahu government. As far as I can tell the only Christians they interact with are foreigners. Those of us who are religious should be careful anytime we are close to power because the temptation is simply too great. Theocracies not only hurt the oppressed they also corrupt the oppressors. If there are any evangelicals reading this I would suggest supporting ministries such as World Vision instead. They work with the indigenous churches and they particularly focus on the needs of children in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.

    • john h
      January 18, 2012, 2:14 am

      Thanks, richb, for this thread and for what you say in your post.

      If there are any evangelicals reading this I would suggest supporting ministries such as World Vision instead. They work with the indigenous churches and they particularly focus on the needs of children in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.

      I am an evangelical. These are extracts from the 2009 Kairos Palestine document of the Palestine Christian Church.

      This document is the Christian Palestinians’ word to the world about what is happening in Palestine.

      In this historic document, we Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity, and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings because true Christian theology is a theology of love and solidarity with the oppressed, a call to justice and equality among peoples.

      As Palestinian Christians we hope that this document will provide the turning point to focus the efforts of all peace-loving peoples in the world, especially our Christian sisters and brothers. We hope also that it will be welcomed positively and will receive strong support, as was the South Africa Kairos document launched in 1985, which, at that time proved to be a tool in the struggle against oppression and occupation.

      We address ourselves to our brothers and sisters, members of our Churches in this land. We call out as Christians and as Palestinians to our religious and political leaders, to our Palestinian society and to the Israeli society, to the international community, and to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Churches around the world .

      1.1 “They say: ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). These days, everyone is speaking about peace in the Middle East and the peace process. So far, however, these are simply words; the reality is one of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, deprivation of our freedom and all that results from this situation.

      2.2.2 Our Lord Jesus Christ came, proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was near. He provoked a revolution in the life and faith of all humanity. He came with “a new teaching” (Mk 1:27), casting a new light on the Old Testament, on the themes that relate to our Christian faith and our daily lives, themes such as the promises, the election, the people of God, and the land.

      We believe that the Word of God is a living Word, casting a particular light on each period of history, manifesting to Christian believers what God is saying to us here and now. For this reason, it is unacceptable to transform the Word of God into letters of stone that pervert the love of God and His providence in the life of both peoples and individuals. This is precisely the error in fundamentalist Biblical interpretation that brings us death and destruction when the word of God is petrified and transmitted from generation to generation as a dead letter. This dead letter is used as a weapon in our present history in order to deprive us of our rights in our own land.

      2.3.2 Our presence in this land, as Christian and Muslim Palestinians, is not accidental but rather deeply rooted in the history and geography of this land, resonant with the connectedness of any other people to the land it lives in. It was an injustice when we were driven out. The West sought to make amends for what Jews had endured in the countries of Europe, but it made amends on our account and in our land. They tried to correct an injustice and the result was a new injustice.

      2.3.3 Furthermore, we know that certain theologians in the West try to attach a biblical and theological legitimacy to the infringement of our rights. Thus, the promises, according to their interpretation, have become a menace to our very existence. The “good news” in the Gospel itself has become “a harbinger of death” for us. We call on these theologians to deepen their reflection on the Word of God and to rectify their interpretations so that they might see in the Word of God a source of life for all peoples.

      2.3.4 Our connectedness to this land is a natural right. It is not an ideological or a theological question only. It is a matter of life and death. There are those who do not agree with us, even defining us as enemies only because we declare that we want to live as free people in our land. We suffer from the occupation of our land because we are Palestinians. And as Christian Palestinians we suffer from the wrong interpretation of some theologians. Faced with this, our task is to safeguard the Word of God as a source of life and not of death, so that “the good news” remains what it is, “good news” for us and for all. In face of those who use the Bible to threaten our existence as Christian and Muslim Palestinians, we renew our faith in God because we know that the word of God can not be the source of our destruction.

      2.4 Therefore, we declare that any use of the Bible to legitimize or support political options and positions that are based upon injustice, imposed by one person on another, or by one people on another, transform religion into human ideology and strip the Word of God of its holiness, its universality and truth.

      3.4.3 Our Church points to the Kingdom, which cannot be tied to any earthly kingdom. Jesus said before Pilate that he was indeed a king but “my kingdom is not from this world” (Jn 18:36). Saint Paul says: “The Kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom.14:17). Therefore, religion cannot favour or support any unjust political regime, but must rather promote justice, truth and human dignity.

      4.2.1 Love is seeing the face of God in every human being. Every person is my brother or my sister. However, seeing the face of God in everyone does not mean accepting evil or aggression on their part. Rather, this love seeks to correct the evil and stop the aggression.

      The aggression against the Palestinian people which is the Israeli occupation, is an evil that must be resisted. It is an evil and a sin that must be resisted and removed.

      Primary responsibility for this rests with the Palestinians themselves suffering occupation. Christian love invites us to resist it. However, love puts an end to evil by walking in the ways of justice. Responsibility lies also with the international community, because international law regulates relations between peoples today. Finally responsibility lies with the perpetrators of the injustice; they must liberate themselves from the evil that is in them and the injustice they have imposed on others.

      4.3 Through our love, we will overcome injustices and establish foundations for a new society both for us and for our opponents. Our future and their future are one. Either the cycle of violence that destroys both of us or peace that will benefit both.

      5.2 We say to our Christian brothers and sisters: This is a time for repentance. Repentance brings us back into the communion of love with everyone who suffers, the prisoners, the wounded, those afflicted with temporary or permanent handicaps, the children who cannot live their childhood and each one who mourns a dear one. The communion of love says to every believer in spirit and in truth: if my brother is a prisoner I am a prisoner; if his home is destroyed, my home is destroyed; when my brother is killed, then I too am killed. We face the same challenges and share in all that has happened and will happen.

      Perhaps, as individuals or as heads of Churches, we were silent when we should have raised our voices to condemn the injustice and share in the suffering. This is a time of repentance for our silence, indifference, lack of communion.

      6.1 Our word to the Churches of the world is… a call to repentance; to revisit fundamentalist theological positions that support certain unjust political options with regard to the Palestinian people. It is a call to stand alongside the oppressed and preserve the word of God as good news for all rather than to turn it into a weapon with which to slay the oppressed.

      The word of God is a word of love for all His creation. God is not the ally of one against the other, nor the opponent of one in the face of the other. God is the Lord of all and loves all, demanding justice from all and issuing to all of us the same commandments. We ask our sister Churches not to offer a theological cover-up for the injustice we suffer, for the sin of the occupation imposed upon us. Our question to our brothers and sisters in the Churches today is: Are you able to help us get our freedom back, for this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love?

      7. Our word to the international community is to stop the principle of “double standards” and insist on the international resolutions regarding the Palestinian problem with regard to all parties. Selective application of international law threatens to leave us vulnerable to a law of the jungle. It legitimizes the claims by certain armed groups and states that the international community only understands the logic of force.

      Therefore, we call for a response to what the civil and religious institutions have proposed, as mentioned earlier: the beginning of a system of economic sanctions and boycott to be applied against Israel. We repeat once again that this is not revenge but rather a serious action in order to reach a just and definitive peace that will put an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories and will guarantee security and peace for all.

      link to kairospalestine.ps

  5. Les
    January 17, 2012, 7:30 pm

    How many in our media took up their cause by rebranding white racists as Evangelicals?

    • yourstruly
      January 17, 2012, 10:26 pm

      since directors of islamic charity organizations in america that donate money to hamas sponsored health services have been charged with aiding a terrorist organization, doesn’t the fbi have the responsibility to charge directors of zionist organizations (whether christian or jewish) that fund settler terrorist groups that carry out terrorist acts against palestinians? oh, the state department has yet to label these settler groups terrorist organizations? hmm, same crime but no punishment? what ever happened to equal treatment under the law?

  6. richb
    January 17, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Progress report. I got one e-mail asking for me to give a short summary to make sure I was understood. The rest were basically STFU. Basically complaints about their e-mail addresses being used for political purposes as if the CFI e-mail wasn’t. That they cannot see how political this is is beyond me.

    “where’s the outrage by non-israel-first christians at the bad name that organizations such as the cfi give to christianity”

    Now you know why there’s silence. My guess is there are more people like me but just on the down low.

  7. American
    January 18, 2012, 1:13 am

    These religious christian freakos are just as crazy blind as rabid zionist…no difference in them.
    And I am sitting here tonight, past my bedtime, thinking mainly about how many people will die if the crazies get their way.

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