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How rightwing settlers and a wealthy Aussie Zionist used Facebook to control Netanyahu gov’t

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We always hear that the Netanyahu government is beholden to rightwing settlers. Here is another proof: a rightwing Facebook campaign funded by an Australian Zionist and targeting far-right cabinet ministers stopped the Netanyahu government in its tracks last month on a plan for East Jerusalem.

Aryeh King

Aryeh King

The story was told by Aryeh King, a far-right Jerusalem settler and politician, who spoke in New York on Tuesday night to a gathering of the pro-settler group Americans for a Safe Israel. King bragged of his project of expanding Jewish neighborhoods in Palestinian areas of the city because the bible says Jerusalem belongs to Jews. “We want maximum Jews to own maximum land,” he said; but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to put up walls that would block Jewish expansion.

King illustrated his point with an anecdote.

Six weeks ago, during the wave of stabbing attacks, King was at a city council meeting when Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat showed a plan to put up a concrete wall to cut off four Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem from a Jewish settlement. In fact, our own Allison Deger reported this plan and photographed the beginning of the wall below, aimed at separating Jabel Mukaber, a Palestinian neighborhood, from Armon Hanetziv, an illegal settlement built on Jabel Mukaber’s land.

Israel's latest security measures place roadblocks, a wall, and a checkpoint in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Israel’s latest security measures place roadblocks, a wall, and a checkpoint in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem. (Photo: Allison Deger)

King said:

It was a decision of the government without elections, without nothing– just an order to put a wall between Armon Hanetziv, a 30,000 people neighborhood in Jerusalem– people don’t consider it even as East Jerusalem. And next to it is Jabel Mukaber…

And Bibi gave the order. I was sitting in the municipality, I am a city council member, and I was in the middle of a security meeting about what is happening in Jerusalem. The mayor was saying, We are going to put a wall. He had a picture. He put the line of where the wall was going to be. I was shocked. I said nothing. But immediately I started sending SMS to check to see if it was real. And I got approval [confirmation] from Naftali Bennett adviser, that this is correct. It was Sunday, the government decided they were going to put a wall. Nobody talked, nobody asked, they were just going to put it. De facto.

So what I did? What happened was, I called a guy– I went to a guy, he was at the Waldorf Astoria, a wealthy Jew that thinks about Jerusalem like I think. I told him, look what’s going to happen. I [showed him] a picture of Barkat going to put a new wall. He told me “Aryeh, you have now half a million shekels [about $125,000], do a campaign on Facebook. Do whatever you want, stop it.”

We didn’t spend half a million, we spent just 150,000 shekels [$38,000]. In 2 1/2 hours– it was 6:30, at almost 9 o’clock, the government stopped. [Applause from King’s audience] What we do? We took people and we attacked– not me, it was a campaign on Facebook, on four Facebook pages– all the right wingers [in the Netanyahu government]: Bennett [minister of education], Uri Ariel [minister of agriculture], Ze’ev Elkin, minister of Jerusalem, and Ayelet Shaked [justice minister]. All the attack was against the right wing: How can they be in the government when this wall was going?

And it was in the news, 7, 8– a quarter to 9 more or less the prime minister office declared they were stopping. ‘It was misunderstand. They didn’t meant it!’ They already put up six blocks of the wall!

It is evident that the wealthy Jew King referred to was the Australian high-tech mogul and Zionist Ken Bermeister; King explained that the man who funded the Facebook campaign was also behind Jerusalem 5800, a plan King came up with to grow Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem over the next 24 years so as to lower Arab population ratio. Bermeister has written proudly that he started the 5800 initiative with King. And Bermeister and King played a central role in building Nof Zion, another illegal Israeli settlement also on Jabel Mukaber’s land.

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

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23 Responses

  1. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    November 19, 2015, 1:06 pm

    Great reporting!

    It is good that someone is covering the Israeli right wing that is not so easy for Netanyahu to move, as he has found America to be. Until America understands how Netanyahu has to fight to stay out in front of his right-wing coalition, bent on ethnic cleansing, “maximum Jews on maximum land,” all the while denying it to the West, we’ll continue to be complicit in all of their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    Peter Baker? Will you be a journalist or hasbarist?

    • Kay24
      Kay24
      November 19, 2015, 2:28 pm

      Most probably a hasbarist. How can any journalist reporting from TelAviv dare to tell the truth or criticize Israel? He will get howled at, attacked for what he writes, and made to feel he is anti-semitic. All it will take is a few phone calls to HQ in NY, and he will toe the zio line.

  2. Boomer
    Boomer
    November 19, 2015, 1:54 pm

    Interesting that a Zionist in Oz is so influential, and so proud of supporting an immoral policy. As an American, however, I’m more interested in–and disturbed by–what the Zionists in my own government do:

    “The State Department devoted itself to, in its own words, “deferring” U.N. action on Israeli war crimes, “reframing the debate” about the atrocities, and “moving away from the U.N.”, according to numerous emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The messages, some of which are written by high-level State Department officials, expose the role of the U.S. government in undermining the international response to the 2009 United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, also known as the Goldstone Report — which the U.S. admitted was only “moderate,” but still opposed.”

    From http://www.salon.com/2015/11/19/deferring_justice_clinton_emails_show_how_state_dept_undermined_u_n_action_on_israeli_war_crimes/

  3. Krauss
    Krauss
    November 19, 2015, 2:11 pm

    Quality reporting. Thank you for being the oasis in the MSM desert.

    This should be something I’m reading in the NYT. And where is the Australian media? There’s a billionare Australian who is bankrolling Apartheid – yet no outrage or any serious coverage.

    This is why this is allowed to go on. There are no social consequences to any of this.

  4. Pretext
    Pretext
    November 19, 2015, 3:06 pm

    I for one would like to know how you buy a successful social media and pressure campaign for $38,000. Is there like a Hasbara-One temp agency for right wingers?

  5. Keith
    Keith
    November 19, 2015, 3:12 pm

    Here we go again! Yet another Jewish fat-cat Zionist pushing the Zionist agenda. Talk all you want about the young Jews abandoning Israel and Zionism, what I want to know is what is the correlation between Jewish wealth and power and Zionism? What percentage of Jewish fat-cats are Zionists versus non-Zionists versus anti-Zionists? Of course, even by asking the question I will be labeled an anti-Semite. Keep the power hidden, trot out the Protocols, shriek about tropes.

  6. bryan
    bryan
    November 19, 2015, 4:07 pm

    Interesting to hear Mr. King’s point of view – despite Israel being the only (and most vibrant) democracy in the Middle East, a very small amount of foreign money can instantly subvert the transparent and accountable planning processes which the only state of the Jewish people has put in place – is this a European-style democracy or a Ruritanian fiefdom?

    P.S. my gratitude to Wikipedia which seems to acurately summarise the dysfunctional situation we are dealing with: “Ruritania has also been used to describe the stereotypical development of nationalism in 19th century Eastern Europe, by Ernest Gellner in Nations and Nationalism, in a pastiche of the historical narratives of nationalist movements among Poles, Czechs, Serbians, Romanians, etc. In this story, peasant Ruritanians living in the “Empire of Megalomania” developed national consciousness through the elaboration of a Ruritanian high culture by a small group of intellectuals responding to industrialization and labor migration.” See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruritania. I like the designation “Empire of Megalomania”, but also the realisation that Zion represents a “culture” representing “a small group of intellectuals” and “labour migration”; though it is a shame that the society could only really exist by enlisting the Palestinians, and later the Middle-Eastern Jewish immigrants to provide its “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Joshua, ix. 27).

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      November 19, 2015, 7:00 pm

      Old Ernest was a bright lad. Words and Things was a major influence on me.

  7. aloeste
    aloeste
    November 19, 2015, 4:37 pm

    sounds like you are cool with NOT building a wall there. means you are commiting those areas to turn jewish over the next 20 years or so…

    • annie
      annie
      November 19, 2015, 4:52 pm

      so unless someone is pro wall it means the are pro judaization of jerusalem? is that your logic? ding dong ding dong ding dong.

  8. surewin
    surewin
    November 19, 2015, 5:01 pm

    “It is evident that the wealthy Jew King referred to was…”

    It took me a second to get clear on the fact that you weren’t referring to the wealthy Jew King. I mean, I thought Netanyahu was the King, irrespective of wealth.

  9. can of worms
    can of worms
    November 19, 2015, 10:38 pm

    Never underestimate the value of Jewish Zionist ideologues. In the nick of time they kept Jabal Mukaber from being closed off with barriers. Just like they helped finish off the 2SS discourse, which is all it was or could have been.

    At the same time there is nothing more sinister than Israel’s preparations to place concrete walls around more Palestinian Jerusalem ghettos.

    There was an urgent warning about it here: http://972mag.com/how-palestinians-can-prevent-a-new-permit-regime-in-jerusalem/112906/

    Ghettos with walls and a permit system represent an extreme form of segregation, like 9+ on the Richter scale.

  10. Boomer
    Boomer
    November 20, 2015, 6:41 am

    Speaking of money in politics, WaPo has a great article with links that explores 40 years of the Clintons’ search for money:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/clinton-money/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-low_clintondonor_blurb8am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

  11. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    November 20, 2015, 9:48 am

    Interesting that right-wing Israeli pols respond to public pressure (or was it merely to the information which that public pressure presented?) quickly and decisively.

    Would American pols ever respond in minutes to (such) public pressure? I’m sure the anti-abortion and NRA and such-like folks know the answer to this question.

  12. James Canning
    James Canning
    November 20, 2015, 1:09 pm

    Yet another very rich Jew, promoting the growth of illegal colonies of Jews in occupied Palestine.

  13. rosross
    rosross
    November 20, 2015, 8:36 pm

    I think what I find most offensive are people who do not live in UN mandated Israel or Occupied Palestine, funding the occupation, colonisation, apartheid and injustice.

  14. Star Blue Bright
    Star Blue Bright
    November 21, 2015, 2:38 am

    So what if Bermeister uses his money to influence a political situation. People do it all over the world. And the fact that he’s Australian – just ask former PM Kevin Rudd about the power of Jewish money.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 25, 2015, 2:04 pm

      “And the fact that he’s Australian – just ask former PM Kevin Rudd about the power of Jewish money.”

      Gee, “BBS”, what’s “Jewish money”? And “the power of Jewish money” is even more intriguing.

  15. Talkback
    Talkback
    November 21, 2015, 6:21 am

    “We want maximum Jews to own maximum land,”

    Is this a fascist movement, too?

  16. eljay
    eljay
    November 21, 2015, 9:09 am

    … The story was told by Aryeh King, a far-right Jerusalem settler and politician, who spoke in New York on Tuesday night to a gathering of the pro-settler group Americans for a Safe Israel. King bragged of his project of expanding Jewish neighborhoods in Palestinian areas of the city because the bible says Jerusalem belongs to Jews. “We want maximum Jews to own maximum land,” he said …

    “And if we can’t legitimately purchase and own land outside of Israel’s / Partition borders,” he added, “we want maximum Jews to steal, occupy and colonize maximum land. We may have to subjugate, expel, torture or kill maximum non-Jews to do it, but that’s okay because ‘morality’ equals goal plus methods.”

    • MaxNarr
      MaxNarr
      December 20, 2015, 3:42 pm

      Don’t make up fake quotes.

      • talknic
        talknic
        December 25, 2015, 11:34 am

        Don’t make false accusations Max

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