American Jews need Israel to be safe — megadonor Paul Singer

US Politics
on 59 Comments

There is an important Zionist argument that Israel has made Jews around the world safer, by giving Jews a national identity, and esteem as agents not victims, which we did not have before. So that makes Israel vital to Jewish existence, and admirable too. Here are three recent statements of this argument.

The latest Jewish Insider reports American neoconservative godfather (and Trump backer) Paul Singer’s comments to the Jewish Funders Network in Jerusalem last night on why he gives money to pro-Israel causes. Israel is a hedge on Jewish existence everywhere.

My starting point is that Israel and the Diaspora need to strengthen one another. While we all hope that Jews will continue to thrive across the globe, this prayer does not guarantee the Jewish future. Israel is the only country in the world where Jews are the majority, and… the only context in which Jews experience political sovereignty. It’s the birthplace of our memories and the home of our destiny… I feel strongly that diaspora Jews need an economically and militarily strong Israel. The challenge for all Jews is to stay connected and committed. If we break our links with Israel and/or our Jewish traditions, diaspora Jews are at risk of walking down the path of complete assimilation, or worse. History has reminded us that Israel may be the only insurance policy all Jews, everywhere, can rely upon for the safety and continuity of Judaism…

In the face of a global situation with risk at every level, Israel is both our once-in-a-millennium opportunity, and our great hedge. It is a beautiful and tiny country, composed of the human capital of not quite nine million people — but upon this beautiful and tiny place so many hopes for our people and our children depend.

Israeli author Daniel Gordis made a similar argument at AIPAC last week. He reflected on the transformation of Jews from the Holocaust to the 1967 war, and said that anti-Zionist Jews just don’t get that.

You go from this precipice of extinction, of utter passivity and victimhood, to 1967 and it shows the world, it shows the Kurds, it show others, and it shows the Palestinians as well– a people can be reconstituted by virtue of sovereignty. A people can actually be changed, it can think about itself differently… It doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum, it doesn’t matter where you are on the religious spectrum. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish or not Jewish… When you think of yourself as a Jew or you think of the Jewish people, you think of them differently because they are part of a sovereign nation, whether they visit there or not, whether they live there or not. Sovereignty has changed the existential condition of the Jewish people the world over. And part of the great irony of the Jews who are actually very suspect about whether Israel is a good idea or are so critical of Israel that Israel can do no right and so on and so forth is that they are very often too young and certainly not sufficiently sophisticated to understand how different was the way in which Jews thought of themselves and felt about themselves really not very long ago…. 1967 was the transformational period. This is a very, very new thing…

A young generation of American Jews and a young generation of progressives in many cases…  think now you could nip the sovereignty in the bud and put a stop to it and the Jewish people would still be the Jewish people. But that of course is ridiculous. That’s just not going to happen. If God forbid for whatever reason, the Jewish state would not exist, the sense of forward thinking, the sense of ambition, the sense of pride, the sense of having been restored to the stage of the world as actors– all of that would disappear. The Jews would lose that, but so would other peoples around the world who look to us actually as a model of how quickly sovereignty can actually transform the faith of a nation.

A liberal Zionist says the same thing. A few weeks ago Roger Cohen said that if you put a gun to his head, he’d say Israel was worth the price the Palestinians had to pay for its establishment because it has made Jews around the world safer:

The Jews needed a homeland. History proves that. Assimilation never worked; the Holocaust was no more than a culmination. The United Nations, in 1947, backed such a homeland. And if I, as a Jew, have lived a privileged life in the diaspora, it is in part because of the pride and strength that the new Jew of Israel forged. “Never Again” became more than mere words through Israel’s might.

I like this debate. First, let it be noted that both Cohen and Gordis are addressing non- and anti-Zionist Jews. They see the writing on the wall.

But let’s say all these guys are right (and I was born yesterday). Well then: that historical period is over. The Jew is transformed; and the new Jew must now survey the landscape and take action. And the issue is: Can Jews sustain this fabulous self-esteem and reputation by practicing apartheid in the name of Advancing humanity? Absolutely not. The next stage is, imho, Democracy, and humility, and a renunciation of Jewish exceptionalism.

Put another way, Tony Klug said last year that Israel is placing all Jews in the world at risk and making Jewish life “precarious,” because the “infamy” of the neverending occupation is attaching itself to our reputation globally. Especially because one of the most objectively-privileged groups in the world today (never mind our outsider, persecuted history) must strive blindly to preserve Israel’s immunity from criticism by working the halls of Congress and the White House, thru the lobby.

Put another way, if you read the astonishing new autobiography of Reja-e Busailah, a victim of the Nakba who became a professor of English literature at Indiana State University, you are forced to confront the fact that Busailah and many other elite students at Jaffa high school (who had Gordis’s pride and ambition) all had to be ethnically cleansed in order for the Jewish state to be established. In Busailah’s heartending account, a brilliant young nerd who can quote Shakespeare and the great Arab poet al-Ma’arri equally is shot dead in the road by a Jewish soldier for not understanding the order to leave his town, and Busailah mourns that friend and that erased civilization to this day…. This book is out now, and demands our attention: Is this really what being Jewish means?

As for assimilation, what is being Jewish worth? Being a persecutor? (Among 18-34-year-olds, the intermarriage rate in California is 66 percent. Hmm.)

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59 Responses

  1. eljay
    March 13, 2018, 12:07 pm

    The religion-based identity of Jewish does not grant to those who choose to embrace it the right:
    – to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”; or
    – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    And Jews don’t “need” a supremacist state any more than do women, homosexuals or people with disabilities, all of whom have also suffered mightily throughout history.

  2. Maghlawatan
    March 13, 2018, 12:16 pm

    Singer is odious. He’s the one who took Argentina to court over bonds he bought at less than 10 cents in the dollar. He is an arch neoliberal who is one of those who has bought the GOP.
    And he is wrong about Israel, the family junkie.

  3. Noodles
    March 13, 2018, 3:40 pm

    Wow! Black is white. Freedom is slavery. Love is hate. War is peace. And Masada- suicide is safety.

    Here you have the Zionist movement that blocked President Roosevelt’s rescue plans for Jews during the Holocaust telling Jews it is going to protect them. See “FDR and the Jews: Gruber et al. vs Lilienthal” at You have Israel continuing to bomb Syria even if this risks nuclear confrontation with nuclear Russia. You have an above ground nuclear power plant at Dimona vulnerable to conventional missiles. And you have a multi-billion dollar investment plan in oil in the Golan Heights run by profiteers who don’t live in Israel and by and large aren’t Jewish.

    Israel is a safe haven. It is nuanced safe, complexly safe, existentially safe, and square tomatoes safe, or, if not, borders change, countries come and go, but a good graveyard lasts forever.

    • eljay
      March 13, 2018, 7:06 pm

      || Noodles: … Israel is a safe haven. … ||

      …except for when Zionists declare that it’s existentially threatened and perpetually on the verge of being wiped off the map and pushed into the sea.

      • Mooser
        March 14, 2018, 12:41 pm

        “eljay” you are receiving contradictory signals. Please tune to the correct high-frequency Hasbara at 65.5 MegaHerzls-per-second.

      • eljay
        March 14, 2018, 1:26 pm

        || Mooser: “eljay” you are receiving contradictory signals. Please tune to the correct high-frequency Hasbara at 65.5 MegaHerzls-per-second. ||

        I’ll try, but I’m not sure it’s even possible to lock in a station that keeps weaving all over the dial a drunken sock-puppet…

  4. Annie Robbins
    March 13, 2018, 4:36 pm

    Roger Cohen said that if you put a gun to his head, he’d say Israel was worth the price the Palestinians had to pay for its establishment because it has made Jews around the world safer:

    and yet, he said it without anyone putting a gun to his head!

    • Tuyzentfloot
      March 13, 2018, 5:30 pm

      and yet, he said it without anyone putting a gun to his head!


      • Emory Riddle
        March 14, 2018, 11:25 am

        Who, in God’s name, is safer, more protected, more privileged, more entitled than American Jews? The culture is such that it is more important that Jews feel safe than the rest of us have our right of free speech.

    • RoHa
      March 13, 2018, 7:11 pm

      Because the safety of Jews from what just might happen in the future is more important than the suffering of Palestinians from what actually is happening right now.

      • LHunter
        March 16, 2018, 8:30 pm

        We still live in a world that ranks race.

  5. Mooser
    March 13, 2018, 6:26 pm

    , “and a renunciation of Jewish exceptionalism.”

    And if we renounce Jewish exceptionalism, at long last, non-Jews can, too. It’ll be a big relief for everybody.

    • LHunter
      March 15, 2018, 5:58 pm

      I’ve just renounced it as a non-jew – have I jumped the gun?

      I’ve met many unexceptional Jews, as unexceptional as the rest of us.

      • Emory Riddle
        March 17, 2018, 9:30 am

        Exceptional in their ability to ignore reality it seems to me.

  6. Kay24
    March 13, 2018, 8:50 pm

    Wow, this is a new one. What is Israel going to do for all the Jews, send Mossad to protect them around the world? This shameful man is simply justifying his support for Israel, and making sure his motherland gets credit for no real reason. I wonder if he realizes that he sounds ridiculous.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 13, 2018, 10:56 pm

      kay, i read somewhere recently (sorry, can’t remember where) there was some organizational rallying of the jews handwringing event over the new polls. it was a full on ‘got to get the youth back asap!’ type event. so i think this is one of the memes they came up with double downing around. frankly, don’t think it will work so well because it’s been around so long the kids have all heard it, and they like it here already. i don’t think it’s new tho. maybe this particular rallying cry but “jews need israel to be safe” is not new.

      • Rob Roy
        March 14, 2018, 2:35 am

        You are way too intelligent to mis-use the word “meme” so badly, but, then, everyone does and it’s a shame because the real definition makes it a great new word. Now, it’s so trashed that I despair of its real intent every properly surfacing.
        As for the Jews:
        Gideon Levy says there are three driving forces of Israelis’ beliefs: 1) they are the “chosen” and therefore superior to all others; 2) the Jews are the victims, the only victims; 3) Palestinians /Arabs are less than human and therefore not worthy of the same considerations as Jews.
        That sums it up.

  7. JWalters
    March 13, 2018, 9:28 pm

    “Israel is … the only context in which Jews experience political sovereignty.”

    Singer forgot about the USA. Or he’s lying (again).

    “diaspora Jews are at risk of walking down the path of complete assimilation, or worse.”

    They’ll be freed from the garbage legends of their superiority, with their right to prey upon the inferior non-Jews, and the blowback.

    “Among 18-34-year-olds, the intermarriage rate in California is 66 percent.”

    Thank God for California.

  8. yourstruly
    March 13, 2018, 10:34 pm


    Roger Cohen’s ‘Israel was worth the price the Palestinians had to pay for its establishment because it made Jews around the world safer.’

    But no more unbelievable than Madeleine Albright’s assertion in 2012 that US policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of 500,000 Iraqi children.

    My how glibly, with nary a trace of remorse, genocide’s apologists make their case. Seems that carrying out this the most serious crime against humanity comes easily when the perpetrators see their victims as somehow beneath them, the self-designated superior and EXCEPTIONAL ones (ergo, exceptionalism).

    Come to think of it, doesn’t exceptionalism underlie all genocides? If so, wouldn’t this suggest that genocide represents nothing more than exceptionalism carried out to its logical conclusion? What then should we make of this insistence that America is the one and only EXCEPTIONAL nation? Or that Israel too is EXCEPTIONAL? Worrisome, perhaps, considering how many perpetual wars these two nations are waging, not to mention their build-up of nuclear weapons?

    But if not EXCEPTIONAL, what then? How about equality – the you are I, I am you, we are one?

    Quickly though. what with global warming + perpetual wars = doomsday & time running out.

    • Citizen
      March 14, 2018, 5:42 am

      “Before you insult a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way you’ll be a mile away when he gets offended, and you’ll have his shoes.”—John Handy

      • eljay
        March 14, 2018, 2:49 pm

        || Citizen: … —John Handy ||

        Jack Handey?

      • Mooser
        March 14, 2018, 8:40 pm

        Walking a mile in anybody’s shoes is hard work.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        March 15, 2018, 4:12 am

        And you try to insult him and he can’t even hear you from a mile away.

  9. yourstruly
    March 14, 2018, 3:27 am

    Daniel Gordis is correct, 1967 was the transitional point. For me, at least, because prior to that war I’d been kind of a nominal supporter of Israel. Then along came the 1967 War, jolting my senses with all this crap about macho Israel (& what this supposedly represented) vs the dumb and hapless A-rabs. The racist content was unmistakable. Immediately my thoughts were like “Oops, what a sucker I’ve been”, and ever since then I’ve been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause. Enough of a supporter, that is, to serve as a volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent during the ’82 US-backed Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

    If the above marks me as a traitor or self-hating Jew, so be it, but from growing up during WWII (thereby, from afar, experiencing the Holocaust, along with, here in America, witnessing Jim Crow), somehow it’s turned out that when a decision has to be made re: on whose side, oppressed or oppressor, invariably I side with the oppressed,

    Yes, even when the oppressors happen to be of the Jewish persuasion.

    • rkthomas13
      March 14, 2018, 1:13 pm

      Your post shows that traditional Jewish ethics still has meaning and force in this world, not the eye for an eye version, but the leave the world a better place even if it is just one life.

  10. Maghlawatan
    March 14, 2018, 9:28 am

    American Jews by and large have no idea what Israel has become.
    Isreli society has gone off the deep end. Levy said it recently too. This quote from a settler leader is key.

    “I would say that today Israeli democracy has one central mission, and that is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its historical role, and it must be dismantled and bow before Judaism.”

  11. Misterioso
    March 14, 2018, 10:08 am

    Stephen Hawking passed away today.

    His comments on the horrors Israel inflicted on the Gaza Strip in 2009 are notable:


    Stephen Hawking on the Gaza debacle, the Riz Khan show, Jan. 26, 2009

  12. James Michie
    March 14, 2018, 10:14 am

    Je suis Palestina! Je suis Gaza! Toujours Toi!

  13. Misterioso
    March 14, 2018, 10:50 am

    More on Stephen Hawking and Palestine:

    Al-Jazeera, Mar. 14/18

    “How Stephen Hawking supported the Palestinian cause”

    “The renowned scientist, who has passed away, will be remembered not only for his work, but his support for Palestine.”

  14. James Canning
    March 14, 2018, 11:38 am

    Does Paul Singer want Israel to continue the occupation of the West Bank for many decades to come? Is this how he thinks Jews can secure themselves?

    • James Michie
      March 14, 2018, 1:48 pm

      No, no, no, Singer presumably would expect Zionist Israel to continue its criminal theft of what remains of Palestine, including all of East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. After all, Zionists do believe that “the end justifies the means”! Right?

  15. genesto
    March 14, 2018, 12:48 pm

    Ah, two of my favorite topics, Jewish assimilation and intermarriage. As I’ve noted here before, I believe me, an Arab American, and my Jewish American wife are living examples that intermarriage not only works but can, and should, broaden and enhance each partner’s life. My wife, in order to show full respect for me and my culture, had to renounce Zionism entirely. While she lost Jewish friends as a result, she has made many other new, non Jewish – as well as Jewish – friends along the way. Most importantly, she’s relieved herself of the terrible burden embracing Zionism entails. As for me, I’ve been a globalist for all of my adult life, so I had no such adjustment to make since we first met nearly 20 years ago.

    As for religious and cultural concerns, they are constantly being addressed by our ever-evolving relationship. Neither of us embrace religion at this point, each of us having come to see it as divisive even in its most progressive form. Culturally, we’ve embraced the best of our respective heritages and discarded the worst, while being open to all of the world’s other cultures.

    Things certainly aren’t perfect in our relationship. But, at least, we’re not bound by the problems created by man made racial, religious, cultural –
    or even national – divides.

  16. Jeff Klein
    March 14, 2018, 12:55 pm

    The meeting in October1944 that laid the groundwork for the Arab League adopted a resolution that read in part:

    “The Committee also declares that it is second to none in regretting the woes which have been inflicted upon the Jews of Europe by European dictatorial states. But the question of these Jews should not be confused with Zionism, for there can be no greater injustice and aggression than solving the problem of the Jews of Europe by another injustice, i.e., by inflicting injustice on the Arabs of Palestine of various religions and denominations.”

    That was true in 1944 and it’s still true today. The Palestinians were the last victims of the European holocaust and there will be no peace until the Zionists acknowledge this.

  17. MHughes976
    March 15, 2018, 3:55 am

    Singer seems to hesitate between safety of Jews and safety of Judaism. The first of these is argument really from a fiction of his own devising about new Hitlers etc.. But we can all compose fictions – what if the story is that Israel so provokes the jealousy of the wretched anti-Semites (nearly everyone) that Jews areound the world are not permitted to leave and treated as hostages until Israel stops making the desert bloom?
    As for the safety of Judaism, the religion and cultural heritage, there seems to be no reason at all to think that it is in any danger from which Israel can protect it. It flourishes mightily in many places. In some places it cannot be practised but Israel can do nothing about that.
    Cohen’s view, in which all or nearly all Jewish people embrace safety in a form which is rather heartlessly traded off against Palestinian suffering – loss of life, loss of property, much danger, all so intense that Cohen almost needs a gun to his head to admit that he ultimately approves it – would surely imply that Jewish people everywhere, Israeli or not, urgently owe the Palestinians quite enormous compensation. I don’t suppose he thinks that, though.

  18. Ossinev
    March 15, 2018, 3:29 pm

    Slightly off topic but nevertheless. Dominating the news over the last few days here in the UK has been the attempted assassination of an ex Russian spy and his daughter using a deadly nerve agent.Persons unknown as yet of course but the nerve agent has been identified as Russian military spec and the UK Government have after an initial investigation concluded that it was authorised by the Russian Government and have subsequently expelled 23 Russian “diplomats” (sic). France,Germany and the US have also now condemned the attack and have pointedly supported the UK Government in identifying Russia as the perpetrator.
    What is poor old Yahoo to do. After all he views himself as a “leading world statesman” and Prime Minister of a leading “Western” power so he has got to say something.
    What has he done. Well late in the day in true Ziomode he has come up with a classic Ziofudge:
    Now this tepid condemnation can be put down to a number of reasons:
    1) The need to keep up with the International Joneses as in we are one of you (civilised,democratic etc)
    2) Sensitivity over the fact that Zioland itself has form for this sort of attack in the past (see news article)
    3) Reluctance to criticise Russia since it wants to avoid pushing them further into the Iran/Hezbollah/Syria camp by way of retaliation.

    I suspect it may be 3).

    • Keith
      March 15, 2018, 7:13 pm

      OSSINEV- “Now this tepid condemnation can be put down to a number of reasons:”

      The most plausible explanation would be that Netenyahu felt the need to show solidarity yet did not want to appear stupid in regards to yet another implausible false flag. Why would the Russians want to kill this guy? Prior to the exchange, he had been sentenced to only 13 years and would have been released already. If they wanted him dead they could have executed him in 2004. Why a nerve gas which could be traced to Russia? Unlike other assassinations, this guy wasn’t under heavy security. Hire some local to kill him and make it look like robbery. This whole thing reeks of yet another hysterical demonization of Russia to facilitate additional actions to eliminate Russia as a potential competitor prior to the imminent restructuring of society. I am going to quote and link to the Saker on this.

      “I won’t even bother debunking the official nonsense here as others have done a very good job of pointing out the idiocy of the official narrative. If you are truly capable of believing that “Putin” (that is the current collective designator for the Evil Empire of Mordor currently threatening all of western civilization) would order the murder of a man whom a Russian military court sentenced to only 13 years in jail (as opposed to life or death) and who was subsequently released as part of a swap with the USA, you can stop reading right now and go back to watching TV.
      By the way, the gas allegedly used in the attack, “Novichok”, was manufactured in Uzbekistan and the cleanup of the factory producing it was made by, you guessed it, a US company.” (The Saker)

      • Sibiriak
        March 15, 2018, 11:06 pm

        No doubt, IF a “novichok” nerve agent was actually used in the British attack, the U.S. had samples of it in its stock of chemical weapons.

        Check this out:

        U.S. and Uzbeks Agree on Chemical Arms Plant Cleanup

        By JUDITH MILLER MAY 25, 1999:

        The United States and Uzbekistan have quietly negotiated and are expected to sign a bilateral agreement today to provide American aid in dismantling and decontaminating one of the former Soviet Union’s largest chemical weapons testing facilities, according to Defense Department and Uzbek officials.

        Earlier this year, the Pentagon informed Congress that it intends to spend up to $6 million under its Cooperative Threat Reduction program to demilitarize the so-called Chemical Research Institute, in Nukus, Uzbekistan. Soviet defectors and American officials say the Nukus plant was the major research and testing site for a new class of secret, highly lethal chemical weapons called ”Novichok,” which in Russian means ”new guy.”

        * * *

        [President Karimov’s] government has worked closely with American defense officials , granting them access to sites whose whose counterparts in Russia are still off limits.

        * * *

        […] some international arms inspectors have said there is no proof that the Nukus plant was used to produce chemical weapons, now banned.

        After touring the plant last year, inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons […] concluded that the institute may have tested weapons but was not a production site.

        Mr. Mustofoev, the Deputy Foreign Minister, scoffed at the finding […] noting that a major defector from the Soviet chemical weapons program, Vil S. Mirzayanov …has told them and later said publically that the plant was built to produces batches, for testing, of Novichok binary weapons designed to escape detection by international inspectors.


        So back in 1999 we see the Soviet defector Mirzayanov, U.S. officials, and the illustrious NYT reporter Judith Miller working together to produce this Novichok story.


        …in 2016 a leading chemist at Porton Down had doubts that such chemicals exist. (Paul McKeigue, Professor of Statistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology at Edinburgh University, Piers Robinson, Professor of Politics, Society and Political Journalism at Sheffield University and the former British Ambassador Craig Murray point this out):

        As recently as 2016 Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly, published in an extremely prestigious scientific journal that the evidence for the existence of Novichoks was scant and their composition unknown.

        In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures.

        Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)


        And now Mirzayanov is at the center of things once again:

        There is no independent evaluation of the alleged poison. The British government claims that its own chemical weapon laboratory at Porton Down, only a few miles from where the incident happened, has identified the poison as one of the ‘Novichok’ chemicals.

        * * *

        The former Soviet scientist, Vil Mirzanyanov, who ‘blew the whistle’ and wrote about the ‘Novichoks’, now lives in a $1 million home in the United States. The AFP news agency just interviewed him about the recent incident:

        Mirzayanov, speaking at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, said he is convinced Russia carried it out as a way of intimidating opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

        “Only the Russians” developed this class of nerve agents, said the chemist. “They kept it and are still keeping it in secrecy.”

        The only other possibility, he said, would be that someone used the formulas in his book to make such a weapon.

        Read more details in the MoA article. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. (Skripal’s connections with Christopher Steele is a whole nother story.)

      • Sibiriak
        March 15, 2018, 11:24 pm

        Dr Robin Black, Head of the Detection Laboratory at the UK’s only chemical weapons facility at Porton Down, a former colleague of Dr David Kelly…

        Just a reminder:

        David Christopher Kelly, CMG (14 May 1944 – 17 July 2003) was a Welsh scientist and authority on biological warfare, employed by the British Ministry of Defence, and formerly a weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq. He came to public attention in July 2003 when an unauthorised discussion he had off the record with BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan about the UK Government’s dossier on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was cited by Gilligan and led to a major controversy. Kelly’s name became known to the media as Gilligan’s source and he was called to appear on 15 July before a parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee investigating the issues Gilligan had reported. Kelly was questioned aggressively about his actions. He was found dead two days later. [2]

        * * *
        The second trip [to Iraq] was from 5 June 2003 to 11 June 2003 when Kelly went to view and photograph two alleged mobile weapons laboratories as a part of a third inspection team. Kelly was unhappy with the description of the trailers and spoke off the record to The Observer, which, on 15 June 2003, quoted “a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq.” The expert said:

        They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were – facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.[8]

        It was confirmed in the Hutton Inquiry that Kelly was the source of this quote.[9]

        * * *

        On the morning of 17 July 2003, Kelly was working as usual at home in Oxfordshire. Media coverage of his public appearance two days before had led many of his friends to send him supportive emails, to which he was responding. One of the emails he sent that day was to New York Times journalist Judith Miller,[ 18] who had used Kelly as a source in a book on bioterrorism and to whom Kelly had mentioned “many dark actors playing games.”[19][20] He also received an email from his superiors at the Ministry of Defence asking for more details of his contacts with journalists.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        March 16, 2018, 6:01 am

        Re: novichok
        The first thing to note is the agenda setting. Alround eagerness to escalate, which I’m very much against. When the eagerness is so explicit you have to think pretext rather than cause.
        Then when you think pretext there is good reason to also question the incident itself, though it should not be necessary and it can divert attention. To question or just estimate or just spell out the most plausible hypothesis. The most plausible hypothesis is that the British decided to build on the success of chemical weapons claims and set up an incident. The relevance of these novichok agents is mostly that the British think the claim is convenient but proof of who can make them(any pesticide plant), how effective they are and whether they were used is all dubious.
        Moon of Alabama is a very competent ‘distruster’ and he’s following it up closely , including the link to the Steele dossier. Craig Murray made an informed post today about the absence of proof

      • MHughes976
        March 16, 2018, 7:04 am

        I think that the only relevance of the David Kelly affair is to show that all these things about atrocious weapons, spies etc. – the journalists involved were strange people too – are hardly ever fully cleared up. However I think that Corbyn’s latest statement, to the effect that we should not rush to judgement but that things do point to Russia, is reasonable.

      • Mooser
        March 16, 2018, 4:22 pm

        “Russian Exile Nikolai Glushkov Found Strangled To Death In London”

        “British police said Friday they have launched a murder investigation into the death of London-based Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov”

        No exotic poisons involved.

      • RoHa
        March 17, 2018, 1:26 am

        “Nikolai Glushkov Found Strangled To Death”

        Now that looks more like an FSB hit to me. No slow polonium, no nerve gases that don’t actually succeed. Just a straightforward, fast, killing.

  19. Sibiriak
    March 16, 2018, 9:58 am

    MHughes976: I think that Corbyn’s latest statement, to the effect that we should not rush to judgement but that things do point to Russia, is reasonable.

    It’s a step in the right direction, but hardly reasonable. It’s self-contradictory.

    Corbyn says there should not be a rush to judgment, refers to the false intelligence reports regarding Iraq, Libya etc– but then he turns around and supports Mays expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, a blatant contradiction to the call not to rush to judgment.

    Nor is it at all reasonable to say that “things do point to Russia.” There is very little if anything pointing to Russia.

    As Tuyzentfloot says, “the most plausible hypothesis is that the British [or rogue British intelligence elements-Sibiriak] decided to build on the success of chemical weapons claims and set up an incident.”

    The anti-Russian propagandists have told us over and over that Putin has been desperate to get sanctions rescinded, and for that reason supported Trump and meddled in U.S. elections–any yet we are supposed to believe that Russia tried to kill his guy in Salisbury using a nerve agent that could be immediately traced back to Russia and which with absolute predictability would cause an incident that would immediately be used to increase pressure for more sanctions on Russia. It’s beyond absurd.

    • Keith
      March 16, 2018, 11:11 am

      SIBIRIAK- “It’s beyond absurd.”

      Indeed, killing a guy for no apparent reason using a nerve gas they would have to smuggle in to Britain which could be linked to them is so outlandish that I conclude that it is an extremely crude false flag incident. And notice how the media almost without exception performs its role as an amen chorus. I have never seen such monolithic obvious propaganda as what we are seeing now. The DNC, CIA, Clinton, Soros crowd is going full out on this Russia/Putin demonization. These are dangerous times.

    • MHughes976
      March 16, 2018, 12:58 pm

      Stating a provisional judgement but noting that it is not final may be mistaken but it is not self-contradictory.

      • Sibiriak
        March 17, 2018, 1:27 pm

        MHughes: Stating a provisional judgement but noting that it is not final may be mistaken but it is not self-contradictory.

        Stating that there should not be a rush to judgment, then approving of May’s rush to judgment/ expulsion of Russian diplomats, is indeed self-contradictory. Rushing to a judgment and rushing to a “provisional judgment” is a distinction without a difference when that judgment is acted upon in a highly consequential and irreversible way. There is absolutely nothing “provisional” about the expulsion of the Russian diplomats etc. which could only be justified by a rushed judgment of guilt.

      • MHughes976
        March 17, 2018, 2:03 pm

        I think that a provisional judgement, which is not the same as suspension of judgment, calls for some action, otherwise it would not be a judgement at all. Its provisionality is shown by inviting further evidence and saying you will listen to it and if necessary act on it, which I think that Corbyn has in effect done. I think you’re right to imply that there needs to be some action that you could take if minds were changed.. But then diplomats can return as well as leave.
        I don’t think Mondoweiss is the place for discussion of the ‘evidence’’, ie the claims and counterclaims on which May, Corbyn and others have based their ideas.

      • Keith
        March 17, 2018, 3:32 pm

        SIBIRIAK- “Stating that there should not be a rush to judgment, then approving of May’s rush to judgment/ expulsion of Russian diplomats, is indeed self-contradictory.”

        Of course it is. And what this shows is that Corbyn would like to distance himself from this obvious false flag but lacks the power and integrity to do so. The empire is calling the shots, the politicians merely administrators. And if Corbyn had any integrity and moxie whatsoever, he would have stood up to the hysterical charges of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        March 17, 2018, 4:25 pm

        And if Corbyn had any integrity and moxie whatsoever, he would have stood up to the hysterical charges of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

        Corbyn has shown plenty of courage and integrity and that doesn’t disappear when he does something disappointing.

      • Keith
        March 18, 2018, 12:24 am

        TUYZENTFLOOT- “Corbyn has shown plenty of courage and integrity and that doesn’t disappear when he does something disappointing.”

        When it would make a difference? It is easy to say things your supporters want to hear when it makes no difference. But when it does? Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are birds of a feather. Sandernistas and Corbyn supporters are delusional. Bernie and Jeremy are part of the system. Period.

    • RoHa
      March 16, 2018, 8:58 pm

      I think this should remove all doubt.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        March 17, 2018, 9:45 am

        That is truly astounding. I didn’t believe it before I saw it.
        I mean, a German who developed a sense of humor!

      • RoHa
        March 17, 2018, 8:12 pm

        Germans are very serious about humour. A German joke is no laughing matter.

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