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Cooper Union’s bizarre ‘Jewish values’ panel: Accused war criminal and pro-occupation billionaires speak about the ‘strong protecting the weak’

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Rwandan President Paul Kagame, on the left, with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. (Photo: Alex Kane)

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, on the left, with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. (Photo: Alex Kane)

The satire could have written itself: the president of Rwanda, accused of fueling a bloody conflict in next-door Congo, joins with billionaire pro-Israel philanthropists to speak about the “strong protecting the weak.”

(Image: Facebook)

(Image: Facebook)

But this was no gag. All of the participants were deadly serious. And they claimed to be promoting “Jewish values.” It was a bizarre display of hawks and fomenters of violence portraying themselves as peaceniks.

Hundreds of people packed into Cooper Union’s historic Great Hall to hear President Paul Kagame, leader of Rwanda, speak on the topic of genocide and Syria with Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Introducing the speakers was none other than Sheldon Adelson, the right-wing, union-busting billionaire whose life work is shaping Israeli and American politics to be as belligerent as possible towards the Arab world. Closing out the evening: Michael Steinhardt, another wealthy man whose claim to fame in the Jewish world is co-founding Birthright Israel. The event was sponsored by Boteach’s This World: The Jewish Values Network, an organization funded by Steinhardt that has served Boteach and his family well–as a payment machine for themselves.

Michael Steinhardt gives Sheldon Adelson a birthday gift. (Photo: Alex Kane)

Michael Steinhardt gives Sheldon Adelson a birthday gift. (Photo: Alex Kane)

The glaring irony of the event was lost on the audience. They clapped and feted the event speakers, snapping photos at the end as Boteach and Steinhardt gave Wiesel and Adelson birthday gifts. The atmosphere of praise was only punctured once near the beginning of the event, when a protester interrupted to shout about the crimes Kagame is accused of in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was roughed up and manhandled by Kagame’s Rwandan security team before being thrown out of the event, and the protester then implored the crowd outside who had been turned away because of overbooking to speak up about Kagame’s crimes. “Jews should speak out” about Kagame, he said. The outside crowd largely ignored him, save for a few other demonstrators holding up signs blasting Kagame as a war criminal. (I arrived five minutes late, only to be turned away at the door. I got into the event 45 minutes after it started, and missed Adelson’s opening address.)

The news hook of the night was the chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government in Ghouta in August. Boteach, who moderated the conversation, asked Kagame whether Assad should be punished for carrying out the attack. Kagame replied affirmatively, as did Wiesel. Boteach’s sharing of the stage with the Rwandan president was no surprise, considering that Boteach traveled to the country and met with Kagame over the summer. Boteach also praised Kagame for strengthening his country’s ties with Israel and said, “your solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people is important.” The rabbi went on to lob softball after softball question at the two speakers, and his suggestion that Rwanda open an embassy in Jerusalem was greeted with applause from the crowd.

Kagame defended himself from charges that he was a human rights abuser by saying that he was protecting “his people” and that the conflict in the Congo “doesn’t have much to do with the problem of genocide. It has more to do with the failed state that the Congo is.” Boteach went on to compare the criticism Israel receives to the criticism of the Rwandan government, surmising that perhaps the two countries are held to a “higher standard” because of their history with genocide. Lost on Boteach, Kagame, Wiesel and the crowd was that a much more damning comparison between Rwanda and Israel could easily be made: that of “shared values” in war.

Kagame has been accused of cracking down on journalist and dissenters. A UN report leaked in 2010 accused Kagame’s Tutsi-dominated armed forces of possibility committing genocide against Congolese Hutus. Kagame’s government backs the M23 rebel group in Congo, which has also been accused of war crimes.

There was no opportunity for free-ranging audience questions, so after the event closed out, Max Blumenthal and Jaisal Noor of the Real News Network joined me in staking out the speakers. The unasked question of the night was who would protect the Palestinians from the strong Israeli army. I caught Elie Wiesel on his way out and asked him whether the people of Gaza should be protected from Israel. He told me that “all human beings should be protected everywhere.” I pressed him on the 300 children slaughtered during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. “I don’t know anything about it,” Wiesel said.

Adelson was asked a similar question, and he first ignored me. After I pestered him on whether Israel or the U.S. should still attack Iran—a military strike he favors—he told me “duct tape” should be put on my mouth.

The exchange ended with Boteach criticizing me for not showing “respect” to a man who couldn’t walk by himself. They walked out of the Great Hall to an elevator, ignoring our questions. It was a fitting bookend to a night where no tough questions were asked or answered of a group of people supporting obscene violence.

Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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52 Responses

  1. Justpassingby on September 30, 2013, 3:42 pm

    Kagame is jewish?

    • miriam6 on September 30, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Kagame is jewish?

      Are you joking justpassingby?

      Short answer? NO!

      He is Rwandan Tutsi.

      The West furnished him with the cloak of respectability on account of him and the RPF having ‘stopped the genocide ‘ which was always a lie as the RPF invaded Rwanda from their base in neighbouring Uganda on more than one occasion prior to their final April 1994 invasion.

      Both RPF forces and Rwandan government forces committed atrocities against civilians prior to the ghastly climax of the struggle for power between the Rwandan government of Juvenal Habyarimana and the RPF in April 1994 when between 800,000 and a million people – mostly moderate Hutus and Tutsis were slaughtered.

      Then fleeing Rwandan Hutu refugees were pursued and slaughtered by the RPF which had just seized power in Rwanda.

      The West accepted the lie that the RPF was only pursuing ‘ genocidaires’ but men women and children were slaughtered – some children and adults were bayoneted to death by the RPF army.

      Much of that history in the aftermath if April 1994 went unremarked upon or was excused by the Western media – again on account of the notion that the RPF were pursuing dangerous Hutu militants guilty of genocide.

      Now the West having favoured Kagame for so long is slowly turning against him.

      So presumably he needs all the help he can get.

      I suggest that Alex Kane try going after Bill Clinton and start demanding answers from him as to why Washington supported the RPF and gave the RPF the ‘green light’ to invade and oust the elected government of Juvenal Habyarimana.

      Otherwise this interest in Rwanda by MW is only so much B.S.

      As it is – MW and Kane seem far more interested in connecting Jewish/ Zionist leaders and public figures in a effort to connect them with nasty regimes and so to smear and discredit them -than of seeing the bigger picture and going after the real villains of the piece – the American and British governments who during the early 1990’s supported both Paul Kagame’s RPF and the RPF’s Ugandan ally in their ( the RPF’s and Uganda’s ) drive to destabilise it’s neighbour and supposedly sovereign African nation Rwanda – thus enabling Kagame’s RPF to seize power from Habyarimana and the Hutu majority.

      Again the West supported the lie that Rwanda and Uganda needed to invade and occupy parts of Rwanda because they needed to finish off the Hutu militants now present in the Congo/ Zaire.

      Rwanda and Uganda enriched themselves through their access by invasion and occupation of the Congo / Zaire – and access therefore it’s vast natural resources.

      In my opinion , the support of American and British ( the French were involved on the opposing Habyarimana government side ) for the RPF and it’s Ugandan ally was all done with a view to gaining further American, British – Western influence and economic gains and riches in the Congo ( or Zaire as it was know back then).

      Having Kagame in power in Rwanda would achieve that goal for the West.

      Time and time again both Rwanda and Uganda invaded neighbouring Congo with impunity because they had Western support from – in particular -Washington and Britain and a Western media and intellectuals and liberals eager to fawn all over their hero Kagame.

      • Shingo on September 30, 2013, 10:22 pm

        In other words Miriam,

        You accept that Israel shares values with Rawanda and both were armed and given a veneer of respectability by the US as they commuted genicide and war crimes.

        Thank you.

      • Justpassingby on October 1, 2013, 2:35 am

        No I didnt joke.

      • RoHa on October 1, 2013, 6:31 am

        A Rwandan Tutsi can’t be a Jew?

    • Bandolero on September 30, 2013, 5:11 pm

      Now way Kagame is jewish.

      But when he conquered Rwanda and he thereby caused the genocide in Rwanda he was backed in doing so by the Clinton administration, which some describe as the most jewish administration ever ruling the US.

      • W.Jones on September 30, 2013, 6:14 pm

        What would have happened if Gore had been president with Lieberman as vice-president? Would US foreign policy in the Mideast have been completely different?

        The 1996 Clean Break Document was explicit in setting its timeline to begin with the next presidency -the year 2000.

      • miriam6 on September 30, 2013, 6:19 pm

        [email protected];

        But when he conquered Rwanda and he thereby caused the genocide in Rwanda he was backed in doing so by the Clinton administration, which some describe as the most jewish administration ever ruling the US.

        You really have ‘ Jews on the brain’ don’t you?

        Why exactly?

        Whether Clinton’s administration was ‘ Jewish’ or not – Toni Morrison certainly seemed to feel that Bill Clinton – the famous Billy with the infamously unruly ‘willy’ was in fact ;

        America’s very first BLACK African American President !..

        Read all about her claim in this marvellous article by Toni Morrison ;

        African-American men seemed to understand it right away. Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime.

        New Yorker, October 1998

      • Bandolero on September 30, 2013, 6:45 pm


        I don’t care if a criminal gang is jewish or not. And for sure, I think that the Clinton gang “500.000 dead children – the price is worth it” was deeply criminal.

        However the question was asked whether Kagame is jewish. And that’s probably because he was a star at this decidedly jewish event. So, what I pointed out is that Kagame is not jewish, but that this mass murderer has a deep connection to a US administration portrayed by some as very jewish. I’m not sure if these guys who said so were anti-semites, who really have ‘Jews on the brain.’

        Judge yourself:

        Never before in American history have Jewish Americans had such a role in a presidential administration. Five Jews – Robert E. *Rubin, Lawrence H. *Summers, Daniel R. *Glickman, Mickey *Kantor, and Robert B. *Reich – were part of the Clinton cabinet. Moreover, both of his Supreme Court nominees (Stephen *Breyer and Ruth Bader *Ginsburg), and many other cabinet-level officials (such as UN Ambassador Richard *Holbrooke, National Security Advisor Samuel R. *Berger, Trade Representative Charlene *Barshevsky, and OMB Director Jack *Lew) were Jewish.


      • Bandolero on September 30, 2013, 6:58 pm


        An addendum. I prefer to call the criminal Clinton gang zionist extremists instead of calling them jews, because I think there exist many honest jews in the world.

        And I think there is a big difference between zionist extremists and jews.

        I think Rabbi Chaim Lefkowitz, for eaxample, explained the difference between zionist extremists and jews in this speech very well:

      • Marco on September 30, 2013, 7:29 pm

        Miriam, I think you have ‘Jews on the brain’.

        Don’t think we didn’t notice how virulent your reply was to Justpassingby’s rhetorical question about Kagame:

        “Are you joking justpassingby?

        Short answer? NO!

        He is Rwandan Tutsi.”

        The subtext is – no this bastard isn’t one of *us*!

        A good example of tribalism at work.

      • miriam6 on September 30, 2013, 8:33 pm

        [email protected];

        Don’t think we didn’t notice how virulent your reply was to Justpassingby’s rhetorical question about Kagame:

        Actually – I was simply reacting in sheer astonishment to the apparent lack of knowledge and ignorance about Rwanda and the events of 1994 of justpassingby.

        The fact that the only comment justpassingby has to offer about Rwanda is whether or not Kagame is Jewish or not- (as Kagame is a person from a tiny African country not renowned for having a Jewish population – like Ethiopia say, – Kagame was never likely to be Jewish.)

        That is all.

        I consider that all my virulence- as you call it – in my comment was properly directed towards those that truly deserve it.

        That is the Americans and British who supported the RPF in it’s aim of destroying the elected government of Juvenal Habyarimana and seizing power for Kagame and the RPF – regardless of the high cost in terms of loss of human life to the Rwandan people.

        So actually if Kagame is ANYONE’s so called ‘bastard’ – he is America and Britain’s ‘bastard’.

        Also – my so called virulence ( what am I ? a virus?! – interesting choice of words by you ) is directed towards those human rights people who branded the Hutu refugees – ‘genocidaires ‘- those Hutu refugees who had after all fled for their lives from the illegitimate regime imposed on them by the RPF.

        Which ultimately led to those Hutu refugees being forced out of their refugee camps in Goma , Zaire – to face rough justice reprisals and massacre at the hands of the victorious RPF .

        It led to the Rwandan Hutu people becoming just about the only refugees in history NOT accorded the rights and protection they ought to have had by right under the Geneva Convention.

        A good example of tribalism at work.

        You really need to take your head out of your a*s.

        You are just parroting pure ‘ socialism of fools’ style b******t rhetoric there- – pure ‘socialism of fools’ B.S – my ‘friend’.

        You need to acquire some proper political insight into the world.

      • Marco on September 30, 2013, 9:13 pm

        “Socialism of fools” – I hope the moderators know that you’re using a coded phrase (taken from German Social Democrats and Marxists like August Bebel) for accusing me of anti-Semitism. But that’s the typical rhetorical strategy of hasbara operatives like yourself.

      • miriam6 on September 30, 2013, 10:28 pm

        [email protected];

        I looked at the jewish virtual library link from your comment – and can see what your were referring to in your comment here;

        That’s fine – I can see what you meant now.

        Thanks for both your comments to me and the links.

      • bilal a on September 30, 2013, 11:12 pm

        It seems unfair to group the diversity of opinions and values in the Jewish community under one group delimiter ‘Jews’ when the most vocal and well funded are secular ethno nationalists whose lives and professions are so anti-Torah. It is an insult to Judaism.

        Progress must be made on some linguistic delimiter which doesnt put the chomsky’s in the same camp.?

        Otherwise the current Frankist antinomians discredit millenia of Jewish contributions to human history.

      • amigo on October 1, 2013, 8:19 am

        Miriam, your a Brit .The nation that caused more deaths and misery on this Earth than any other.

        Then you become an apologist for Israel.Are you not embarrassed or did the transition occur quite naturally.

      • libra on October 1, 2013, 8:03 pm

        amigo: Miriam, your a Brit .The nation that caused more deaths and misery on this Earth than any other.

        But surely Ireland is fast catching up on the misery front, courtesy of Mr. O’Leary.

  2. seafoid on September 30, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Boteach is very far away from Jewish values.
    Like Liz Taylor was up to speed on happily being married.

  3. a blah chick on September 30, 2013, 5:18 pm

    “I caught Elie Wiesel… He told me that “all human beings should be protected everywhere.”

    Mighty white of him.

    • dbroncos on October 1, 2013, 11:00 am

      “Mighty white of him”

      ; -)

    • lysias on October 1, 2013, 2:14 pm

      “I caught Elie Wiesel… He told me that “all human beings should be protected everywhere.”

      I wonder if Wiesel now includes Gypsiea among “all human beings”.

  4. DICKERSON3870 on September 30, 2013, 5:41 pm

    RE: “After I pestered him [Adelson] on whether Israel or the U.S. should still attack Iran—a military strike he favors—he told me ‘duct tape’ should be put on my mouth.” ~ Alex Kane

    MY COMMENT: Consider yourself lucky that Shelly did not try to have you arrested!

    FROM RICK PERLSTEIN (4/10/12):

    . . . In 1999, Adelson closed one casino, the Sands, and completed work on a new one, the Venetian, stiffing so many contractors that there were at one time 366 liens against the property. Taylor, of the Culinary Workers, said he and his colleagues presumed that “like every other casino that had done that, workers in the [closed] hotel would be given priority when the [new] hotel was built.” Instead, Adelson refused even to talk. All this, in a union town like Vegas, was unprecedented. “Even when you’re having battles, you continue to have talks. Shit, we’re talking to the North Koreans right now!” he told me. “The Israelis talk to the Arabs. Talking doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but at least you understand the other guy’s position.” Adelson, not much interested in understanding the other guy’s position, proceeded to launch a campaign against the Culinary Workers that Taylor calls “beyond aggressive.”
    Right before the grand opening of the Venetian, in 1999, the Culinary Workers staged a demonstration on the public sidewalk out front. Adelson told the cops to start making arrests
    ; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow. . .


  5. just on September 30, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Thanks Alex.

    And to all who hold Weisel in high esteem, his reply to you should disabuse them of their adoration.

    “I pressed him on the 300 children slaughtered during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. “I don’t know anything about it,” Wiesel said.”

    Just another terrible person engaging in denial of the ongoing Nakba and slaughter of Palestinians.

    Reminds me of Madeleine Albright’s thoughts on the killing Iraqi sanctions.

    “On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) appeared on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and Albright replied “we think the price is worth it.” Albright wrote later that Saddam Hussein, not the sanctions, was to blame. She criticized Stahl’s segment as “amount[ing] to Iraqi propaganda”; said that her question was a loaded question;[69][70] wrote “I had fallen into a trap and said something I did not mean”;[71] and regretted coming “across as cold-blooded and cruel”.[72] The segment won an Emmy Award.[45][73] Albright’s “non-denial” was taken by sanctions opponents as confirmation of a high number of sanctions related casualties.[29][69]”

    (the wiki)

  6. MRW on September 30, 2013, 7:14 pm

    The news hook of the night was the chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government in Ghouta in August. Boteach, who moderated the conversation, asked Kagame whether Assad should be punished for carrying out the attack. Kagame replied affirmatively, as did Wiesel.

    Here’s the news hook from the UN report on the recent chemical weapons attack, with damning evidence buried deep in the small print. Excellent reporting, BTW.

    Questions Plague UN Report on Syria
    By Sharmine Narwani – Mon, 2013-09-23 15:57- Sandbox
    By Sharmine Narwani and Radwan Mortada

    A senior United Nations official who deals directly with Syrian affairs has told Al-Akhbar that the Syrian government had no involvement in the alleged Ghouta chemical weapons attack: “Of course not, he (President Bashar al-Assad) would be committing suicide.”

    When asked who he believed was responsible for the use of chemical munitions in Ghouta, the UN official, who would not permit disclosure of his identity, said: “Saudi intelligence was behind the attacks and unfortunately nobody will dare say that.” The official claims that this information was provided by rebels in Ghouta.

    Continue reading here for the “Startling environmental evidence” in last week’s report. Narwani is good.

    • just on September 30, 2013, 8:03 pm

      I do believe Narwani– the total bs that we and our allies spew is just extra special bs.

    • Bandolero on September 30, 2013, 8:33 pm


      I highly value Sharmine Narwani and Al Akhbar. And I agree with her that the chemical attack was a false flag. However, I don’t think that article was her best day.

      Her main argument in that article – in Moadamiyah was not found Sarin, while in Zamalka there was found plenty – was out in Germany already a couple of days earlier:

      The chemical expert Sharmine Narwani cited for other arguments like blood sample problems is now trying to shoot down her article.

      What she misses is reporting is prior rebel knowledge of the attack:

      And that prior knowledge of the Alloush gang is backed up by public statements from the Alloush gang before it happened:




      There are a lot more pieces of evidence that point to Zahran Alloush as the prime suspect of the CW false flag. His Islam brigade has a chemical unit and there were other “chemical incidents” – looking like tests or accidents – before in the eastern Ghouta region where he rules and his guys were the one moving the UN inspectors around.

      I loath to say, but so far I’m off the opinion that Yossef Bodansky had a clearer understanding on the chemical false flag and the circumstances as Sharmine Narwani has it:

      • MRW on October 1, 2013, 11:28 pm

        Thanks for the great links, Bandolero.

    • Emma on October 1, 2013, 7:41 am

      I agree. To state as fact that the Syrian government launched the chemical attack on Ghouta is wrong. This has only been alleged by those long working to break Syria apart.

    • Bumblebye on October 1, 2013, 7:52 pm

      I heard a news clip a few days ago about a Syrian nun who has examined a number of rebel videos and claims that the same boy is to be seen in several of them from supposedly different affected areas. Of course, then a couple of commentators were brought on to denounce her a) lack of expertise and b) potential bias (as a nun, therefore non-Moslem, so must be pro-Assad).

      • Walid on October 1, 2013, 8:02 pm

        You’re talking about Mother Mariam al-Salib, a Palestinian-Lebanese Catholic nun posted in Syria that has been a one-woman PR campaign for the Syrian regime since the rebellion broke out 2 years ago. She’s on TV all the time “exposing” the bad of the rebels and reiterating how much the regime are the good guys.

        You also have an Italian Jesuit priest, Rev. Paolo Dall’Oglio, doing likewise for the rebels but he has disappeared recently and is feared dead.

      • Danaa on October 1, 2013, 8:29 pm

        painstaking analysis of the videos were done by others as well (eg, petri krohn, one of three I have). Basically anyone who took the time, and had the stomach to look through those rebel-released videos came away with deep doubtsn about who perpetrated the attacks and who the victims actually were. basically, to the observant, nothing added up in those videos, other than as a put-together job. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sister Mariam took some of her pointers from those others. I posted before two links to some of those other, highly credible and thorough bits of analysis. Which for me, pretty much nailed the case.

        In my own “dossier” on the CW attack being a clear-cut case of false Flag, I don’t even include the nun’s reports, or dale gavlak’s and yahyeh’s Mintnews piece. There’s just so much else that points in that direction, and more importantly, virtually nothing that can be said to credibly point in the Syrian government direction.

        Whatever one thinks of Assad, and I know you ain’t no friend of his Walid, that attack did not come from his military. If MW lets me, I’ll be glad to share my “dossier” + conclusions. Just did not find the right opportunity and time break yet, and this thread isn’t it either.

      • Bumblebye on October 1, 2013, 8:45 pm

        Thanks Walid. I don’t use tv. So she’s got ‘form’ then! But going by the al-Akhbar report, which casts a lot of doubt on the claims it was the Syrian govt wot done it, there could be some validity to her video claims?

      • Walid on October 1, 2013, 9:22 pm

        al-Akhbar like MoA believes that the Syrian regime can do no wrong and anything bad happening in Syria has to come from those opposing a benevolent regime. Bad is coming from all sides, from within the country by the warring factions (it’s now being said that there are over a hundred different rebel groups fighting the regime) and from the outside by countries backing the opposing sides. There are no good guys in the conflict; everybody is manipulating the truth.

      • annie on October 1, 2013, 11:07 pm

        please share more danaa, i am interested.

      • Danaa on October 2, 2013, 12:07 am

        Will send some more tomorrow Annie.

      • Walid on October 2, 2013, 12:50 am

        Danaa, I’m sure Assad’s military weren’t stupid enough to pull that stunt and that it had to be a black flag with outside help because those heart-eating head-cutting fundies couldn’t have done it alone. But I’m also sure that they wouldn’t be averse to pulverizing a 5 storey building with or without people inside it if they suspected a sniper was inside it. Neither are Mother Teresa types.

      • Danaa on October 2, 2013, 1:29 am

        Comm’on Walid, after the horrors visited upon the Syrian state and its people by these biological viruses known as Jihadis, injected thanks to that war criminal bandar, his buddies in tel Aviv, Obama and Turkey, I wouldn’t blame the Syrian people one bit if they exact revenge here and there. It is truly unfortunate that none of the hideous players of games care a hoot about the Syrian people. That’s the bottom-line isn’t it? the “people” were just a fun game for those nasty foreign “rebels”, the majority of whom are simply barbarians. Neither does israel care an iota if 3/4 of the Syrian people die, or most of the lebanese people for that matter. As for the likes of clowns like Erdogan, Holland, cameron, Obama etc, let’s take a quick peek at how deeply moved they are by the plight of the Iraqis right now. Who exactly is responsible for most of the bombings there? and who funnels the money for such “honorable” endeavors?

        Face it Walid, you team up with who you can to preserve the little you got. No one in the great West, or the reactionary ME (that’s SA, qatar, Dubai and other slave labor based so called “countries”), and certainly not one single person in israel would care were Arabic people were decimated to just a few oil well managers, their Bangladeshi slave laborers and a few hangers-on to keep up “appearances”. So compared to these evil people (the US alone responsible for how many Million dead by now?), Assad is far from the worst monster. You gotta go with those who care a little bit about the day after, and that much I believe Assad does.

        I think you have to get over what Syria has wrought in Lebanon under a previous administration I think, and look at what there is now. in particular, you got lebanon to look after and I’m pretty sure you know what the evil master planners have in store there.

        My apologies for sounding all sanctimonious like. But what the PTBs did to Syria, deliberately and methodically, really has no excuse.

      • Sammar on October 2, 2013, 1:50 am

        Walid – in criminal investigations motive plays a big role to determine the perpetrator. The Asad regime would have to be more than stupid to use chemical weapons on anyone at this stage. The regime was making headway against the rebels and certainly had no interest in giving the US an excuse to get involved in the conflict. The rebels on the other hand have been desperate for US assistance and involvement. Obama’s “red line” was the only way to make that happen.
        Of course both sides are committing atrocities. Show me a war where that has not happened.

      • Walid on October 2, 2013, 4:08 am

        Danaaa and Sammar, of course if I had to choose between the nutjobs from 25 different countries running loose all over Syria butchering
        the “unbelievers” and the regime, I would choose the regime. This isn’t to accept or forget the regime’s 40 year despotic rule whereby the country’s Baathist minority had been guaranteed a parliamentary majority by the constitution. When the rebellion broke out a couple of years back, the people were promised dozens of changes and a new constitution that would eliminate the guarantee for the minority. A new constitution was rolled out as promised but the promised dozens of reforms never happened and the rebellion, fanned and funded by outsiders just got bigger. Elections were held but the only party that had the necessary infrastructures to run in it was the minority’s that had ruled for 40 years and it naturally won more seats than it previously had, so nothing really changed. It’s not simply a question of good guys against bad guys but it has to be viewed in the perspective of the 40 years of rule that had suppressed the Brotherhood all these years. We can point all we want to those foreign countries with dirty hands in Syria and we wouldn’t be wrong, but we also have to recognize that there was a problem there to begin with. I have nothing against Assad personally; he’s actually a nice guy with a very charming wife, but the real power is not really in his hands, so he shouldn’t be personally blamed for anything.

  7. MRW on September 30, 2013, 7:19 pm

    Who were considered the bad guys in April 1994? The Hutus or the Tutsis?

  8. just on September 30, 2013, 8:14 pm

    So, Livni– a war criminal in her own right– is the keynote speaker at JStreet, while Kagame and his horde of supporters go to Cooper Union to slap each other on the back.

    Yech. If she is the best that Israel has to offer as their peace negotiator, the world is screwed.

    • W.Jones on September 30, 2013, 10:56 pm

      Cooper Union is a longtime place for leftwing conferences. How ironic?

  9. Citizen on September 30, 2013, 9:04 pm

    Demented, evil Adelson, strapped to his wheelchair, would like to duct-tape this blog.
    It must be terribly frustrating to be as rich as he is, and not always get his way. I mean, a roll of duct tape is pretty cheap.

  10. Krauss on September 30, 2013, 10:27 pm

    This article is too meek. I was following Max Blumenthal’s twitter feed while the speech was happening and he was much clearer; this is a scandal. And a scandal it is.

    First, you list the problems with Adelson such as ‘union-busting’. That is minor compared to his real crime; his massive backing of a settler-colonial state and an Apartheid system. He is personally bankrolling a lot of what happens in the West Bank colonisation, yet you focus on his union-busting here at home?

    The same can be said of Steinhardt. There’s plenty of fascists he’s bankrolling, but you focus on birthright Israel?

    Kagame is the one you get right but even there it’s a bit meek. He’s a directly complicit of fuelling a brutal war with elements of a genocide and his role in the Rwandian genocide is bloody to put it mildly.

    The whole event was not merely bizarre, it was a crime to see people who are basically evil and bloodthirsty and/or funding apartheid together on stage pretending to care about human rights.

    Finally, the notion that Elie Wiesel is a ‘human rights activist’ should finally be put to rest.

    • seafoid on October 1, 2013, 8:15 am

      What is really awful is that a group of far right sociopaths can claim to represent “Jewish values”. As if mass murder is Jewish. I thought Jewish meant something else.

  11. traintosiberia on September 30, 2013, 11:01 pm

    One wonders where was Wiesel when American Psychiatric ASsociation meeting ‘s decision to invite Desmond Tutu was opposed and attacked by various Jewish groups , not that long ago, most likely it was in 2011 0r 2010
    Also Mandela told that all the countries except Israel invited him to pay a visit .He was talking in the early following his release.
    Kagane is one of curiosity to NYorkers and these 2 folks are just using the spectacle to keep Syria issue alive and kicking so that Israeli can keep on stealing land from Palestine and money from US .

  12. Ecru on October 1, 2013, 2:20 am

    Is all this really much of a surprise. Look at some of the regimes Israel and Zionists have called BFF’s over the years.

    Apartheid South Africa who it wanted to help get the bomb.
    Guatemala, that Israel helped with its genocidal campaign against the native population.
    The Shah of Iran whose torturers Israel trained.

    Common human decency and Zionism don’t really go together. But Liberal Jews had better make much more noise about this because what these scum are promoting is increasingly seen by non-Jews as what Jewish values really are, and that the old motto “never again” should really be:

    never again TO US. If we do it (and we are doing) it’s nobody’s business but ours and if it happens to any other people tough luck, and if we’re getting paid to help out the killers – whoopee! But never again to us and EVERYONE must always be reminded that it happened to us, that they’re ALL guilty of it (even the ones who weren’t even born at the time). Also that when it did happen to us it was a special event far above all others in human history, in fact it’s SO unique it’s happening right now, eternally, because it happened to us. Further news of any other genocide must be presented as nothing in comparison for the obvious reason that the victims weren’t us and therefore not important. Though the others might get a bit insulted if we say that so we’ll come up with another reason things weren’t as bad for public consumption. Or better yet, only talk about what made it unique when it happened to us so that people forget the thing under discussion and continue to concentrate on what happened to us. Which is after all the only thing that counts. So never again – but only to us.

    Though I admit that’s not quite so catchy.

  13. RoHa on October 1, 2013, 6:33 am

    “Jewish values.”

    [Snort] again.

  14. Nevada Ned on October 1, 2013, 8:55 am

    For information about Paul Kagame and the genocide in Rwanda, see the book The Politics of Genocide, by David Peterson and Edward Herman, published by Monthly Review Press. Preface by Noam Chomsky.
    The book covers a variety of cases of real or claimed genocide, including Rwanda, the Palestinians, and others.

    A real eye opener!

  15. Nevada Ned on October 1, 2013, 10:53 am

    Max Blumenthal and Alex Kane,

    Thanks for this report. Some followup questions:

    Who was in the audience?

    Among whom was the event advertised?

    And what the heck IS the Jewish Values Network, anyway?

  16. Chu on October 1, 2013, 12:20 pm

    What a circus. America’s Rabbi (lol) and the other bizarros. I wish Alexander Cockburn were still alive. He’s the only one who could analyse this sideshow into good sarcastic written material.

    What type of crowd were there Alex? Was it the UES Zionists, Brooklyn crew Chabad? I’m interested what type of people actually pay money for this. – although it sounds better that a broadway show in some respects.

  17. dbroncos on October 1, 2013, 7:09 pm

    I admire your persistence, Alex. Questions like yours splash cold water in the face of charlatans like Wiesel and Adelson.

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