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Israeli support for Myanmar is the natural alliance of regimes based on ethnic supremacy

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In recent days, the mainstream press has been full of reports of the dire plight of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar that is currently being ethnically cleansed by the Burmese military.  Over 146,000 have fled into neighboring Bangladesh since late August and many observers fear that the military will engage in full-scale genocide.  Latest reports suggest that the military has been sowing landmines along the frontier with Bangladesh across which Rohingya women and children have been fleeing to escape military violence.

Myanmar’s campaign of ethnic cleansing has been widely condemned and the United States and the European Union have maintained an arms embargo on the Burmese military due to ongoing concerns about violations of human rights and religious freedom.  What has not been reported in the mainstream news is the fact that, even during this ongoing genocidal campaign against its Muslim population, Myanmar has been supplied with weaponry by Israel.

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

This is by no means the first time that the Israeli defense industry has supplied repressive regimes with the tools of their trade, from apartheid South Africa to Pinochet’s Chile and the Guatemalan dictatorship: its weapons industry, indeed, proudly boasts of the fact that its products come well “field tested”. They usually fail to mention that their weapons have been tested in repressing Palestinian resistance to an illegal occupation, conducting war against the predominantly civilian population of Gaza, or in maintaining surveillance and policing of the illegal apartheid wall that runs through the West Bank.

Those who have been following the close connections between the Israeli defense industry and the United States will not be surprised to learn from Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that among the companies hosting Burmese military officials Myanmar is defense contractor Elbit Systems, specialists in surveillance equipment that has been deployed both along the apartheid wall and on the U.S. border with Mexico.  Ha’aretz also reports that the head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, Michel Ben-Baruch went to Myanmar in the summer of 2015, possibly in conjunction with the sale of Israeli-made patrol boats to the military.

Less well known is the defense firm TAR Ideal Concepts, a conglomerate of Israeli manufacturers military and police equipment which also hosts a defense fair, ISDEF in Tel Aviv, which its CEO Aviad Matza proudly claims has become “the international flagship of the Israeli defense industry.”  Matza is among those who attribute Israel’s prowess in producing the technologies of repression to the laboratory that Palestine furnishes.  As he puts it: “There is no doubt that the secret in the success of Israeli branding in this area lies in the very diverse defense challenges that Israel faces, and the solutions they get – the Iron Dome and the intelligent fences; Tunnel identification systems and armoured windows for housing along the border; Cyber defense for strategic devices and riots control means. All these are practical and equally important, fast solutions, which meet the rapidly changing security needs.”

Matzah does not specify that Israel’s “defense challenges” are largely caused by its 50-year regime of occupation and its 12-year blockade on Gaza. Nor, of course, does he invoke Israel’s own history and current practices of ethnic cleansing, going back to the Nakba of 1947-8 in which Israel was founded and continuing in today’s practices of quiet “transfer” of Palestinians from Israeli-controlled territories.  Like Myanmar, Israel is a state dominated by a single ethnic and religious group that seeks to maintain its political supremacy in open violation of international law and human rights.  Its affinity with Myanmar is only the latest example of the natural alliances that it forms with other regimes whose survival depends on an ideological commitment to ethnic or ideological supremacy.

Israel’s TAR Ideal Concepts uses that experience of control and repression in ways that should concern us all: it not only sells weapons to a genocidal Burmese military, but also operates what Bloomberg describes as “a defense academy that provides training, including military, police, homeland security, and professional training, as well as K-9 training services. It serves ministry of defense (MOD), police departments, and prisons; and law enforcement forces … in Israel and internationally.”

Among the police organizations training in Israel are US law enforcement departments, both police and Homeland Security, who have been brought there annually by the Anti-Defamation League in collaboration with Israel’s national police, military and intelligence services.  Their training, funded by US taxpayers, can include participation in operations on the occupied West Bank against Palestinians. Concern that the highly militarized training of US police forces in Israel has exacerbated the brutality and excessive force that has been used against peaceful demonstrators from Baltimore to Ferguson has inspired Jewish Voice for Peace’s ongoing “Deadly Exchange” campaign against these exchange programs that inculcate the “worst practices” of repressive policing.

In the United States, we still have the space to protest Israel’s baleful influence on our military and police and the international network of repressive forces for which Palestine serves as a malevolent laboratory.  But the Rohingya, like the Palestinians, are at the mercy of Israel’s sophisticated arsenals.  In protesting the deployment of Israeli techniques and equipment against our fellow citizens, we must not forget to draw the lines of solidarity with those who bear the full brunt of this global network of violence and terror.

David Lloyd

David Lloyd is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

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53 Responses

  1. Marnie on September 8, 2017, 10:14 am

    Interesting take on jewish values. Oh I forgot, Rivlin, isn’t a jew, he’s a zionist. There is a huge difference.

  2. Bont Eastlake on September 8, 2017, 7:06 pm

    Myanmar is made up of lots of ethnic groups but for some reason only the Rohingyas are discriminated and hated to the point of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

    I believe its not about ethnic supremacy but Islamophobia as the Rohingyas are overwhelmingly Muslim. The other ethnic groups in the country are mostly Buddhist, animist or follow folk religion.

    • Bumblebye on September 9, 2017, 9:43 am

      Iirc, the Karen people of Myanmar were discriminated and slaughtered for decades under the military dictatorship. There regularly used to be pieces in the papers about their plight, fleeing their villages and hiding in the forests. Only since Aung San Suukyi has the issue of Islamophobia become such an issue.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 9, 2017, 11:50 pm

        True, but as far as I know only those Karen who openly rebelled against the military rule were subject to the worst form of state violence. The average people themselves are still considered to be part of Myanmar’s society.

        The treatment towards the Rohingyas are markedly worse. The entire ethnic group is officially made enemy of state by the Myanmar government, and they are not even considered to be citizens. This can only be classified as state level Islamophobia as there is no other possible reason for such widespread hostilities.

    • Ozma on September 13, 2017, 3:02 pm

      Dear Mondoweiss:
      There are a lot of big hearted readers at Mondoweiss. Please don’t take every Big Media campaign for human rights at face value. The invasions of Iraq and Libya were started on the basis of false or exaggerated claims of human rights abuses. The America űberalles crowd promotes its invasions using the language of saving democracy and protecting human rights.
      There is more to the Rohingya story than Big Media is telling you. According to a 2016 story in Reuters, Rohingya leaders were trained by Pakistanis and Saudis. “Rohingya insurgency has links to Saudi, Pakistan – report.” Furthermore, the Rohingya attacked several Buddhist villages. Buddhist refugees fled to capitol of Rankine. See “The Rohingya Of Myanmar – Pawns In An Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought By Saudi Jihadists” in the Moon of Alabama, September 4, 2017. Big Media chose to ignore these Buddhist refugees.
      Controlling Myanmar is a key part of the Neocon plan to isolate China. China is hoping to build an oil pipeline through Myanmar to avoid shipping oil through the disputed South China Sea. Blocking this pipeline is part of their plan. Take a look at the linked map.
      If Big Media was sincerely interested in protecting refugees, why the silence about the Ukraine? Russian-speaking refugees did not number 146,000 as did the Rohingya, but one and half million.
      Love and blessings. Please read all the sources you can find and take Big Media campaigns with a grain of salt.

      • gamal on September 13, 2017, 4:15 pm

        Dear Sally

        have not followed your links as yet, just to say the Rohingya are in situation not much different from the Sri Lankan Tamils, ie, there was an older existing community which was augmented by a second wave under British Imperial rule, as the British favoured ethnic enclaves and minority populations for various reasons.

        There is little doubt that the Saudis and others have been involved, at what level I don’t know and what initiated the violence I also don’t know, and am not much interested.

        what struck me, apart from the insincere lament over the fate of Muslims was the ditching of Aung Sang Suu Kyi almost immediately, she was a secular Aquino style saint, but things change

        wherever America has Imperial interests there you find either Muslim terrorists, Philipines, Nigeria or victims Syria, Myanmar,

        we only extras the story isn’t even about us, prior to the Sri Lankan civil war the state slaughtered 70k Sinhala, for political reasons, the period prior to this in Myanmar I don’t know I only recall all that stuff with Aung Sang and the Generals.

        Kegggie Carew wrote Dadland about her father, an SOE officer in Burma during the war fighting the Japanese with Burmese rebels, he worked with General Aung Sang, Suu Kyis’ father, a lot of detail and Imperial intrigue and betrayal of the Burmese etc…

        it will be interesting to see whether they portray Suu Kyi as a demon or impotent, one thing is for sure in Rakhine everyone will suffer and a good deal of nonsense will be uttered in the Media.

      • RoHa on September 14, 2017, 6:02 am

        So it’s an updated version of the old Burma Road.

      • gamal on September 14, 2017, 10:47 am

        “an updated version of the old Burma Road”

        Exactly China has plans for it and we will see if will Islam is to be the fly in the Asian ointment.

        (Look, I read it over twice and added an “if”instead of the usual comma and then while contemplating my correctness I had to add an “is to be”. While I will make no further concessions
        it was my pleasure. )

      • RoHa on September 14, 2017, 8:06 pm

        Your efforts are appreciated.

        Under the powers vested in me by my primary school teachers, I issued a poetic licence to cover your usual stream-of-consciousness style, but I still have to do a bit of extra paperwork. Not this time, though.

      • gamal on September 18, 2017, 12:41 pm

        “I’ve recently seen these stories about the Rohingya”

        rather like the Karen, Hmong and others some of the Rohingya have often fought with imperial powers against local independence movements quite apart from local issues such as land tenure etc…this gives some background… the Rohingya fought with British, like sepoys, against Burmese independence forces, the Indian community was particularly hard hit by Burmese anger

        and some deeper background

        “the underlying reasons for anti-Muslim resentment in Arakan was that the British administration granted ninety-nine-year-leases to newly immigrated Bengalis, and when many of the Arakanese peasants returned they were deprived of the land that they formerly owned through inheritance . Be that as it may, Charney (1999) argues that this time period was the point at which religious communalism most notably developed, both Buddhist and Muslim, in the competition between returnees and migrants, from Bengal and other parts of Burma, as the region was rapidly repopulated. In the absence of the traditional patron-client structures and established rural gentry, he suggests, people constructed new communal identities around religious leaders and spaces. In this sense, the emergence of the modern Rakhine Buddhist identity and what became the ‘Rohingya’ identity occurred concurrently and interdependently, such that “one cannot talk of the emergence of [one without the other]” (Charney, 1999, p.13).

        Chittagonian migrants concentrated in Akyab District (northern Arakan) and quickly became the dominant group in many areas, growing from ten per cent of the district in the 1869 census to thirty per cent in the 1912 census—and thirty-three per cent by 1931 (Baxter, 1941; Leider, 2014a; see also Smart, 1917; Yegar, 2002). In this massive wave of immigration, most of the ethnically-diverse original local Muslim population was “absorbed by the newly immigrant Chittagonian Bengalis … fundamentally transform[ing] the profile of the Muslim population in northern Rakhine …[while] the Buddhist Rakhine were largely eradicated from the north of Akyab Division” (Leider, 2014a, pp.229, 23114, 16).

        By the end of the colonial era there were some Muslim communities who had maintained a distinct identity since pre-colonial times, such as the ‘Kamans’ of Ramree Island and ‘Myedus’ identified in the 1931 census (Tonkin, 2014c), but the majority appear to have been absorbed into a melting pot of Chittagonian-Bengali immigrants and pre-colonial Muslim communities in northern Arakan, who adopted the history of the longer-established local Muslims as their own (Leider, 2014; Tonkin, 2014a, 2014b, 2014c). The Report on Indian Immigration (Baxter, 1941, p.51) expressed concern that the high rate of Muslim migration into the region was problematic and “contained the seed of future communal troubles.” Murray (1949, p.2) likewise expressed concern at the long-term implications of “[Muslim immigrants] gradually displacing and over-running the Arakanese.”

  3. JosephA on September 8, 2017, 9:19 pm

    David, thanks for pointing out the similarities between two racist, genocidal regimes that would be naturally allied, of course.

    I also echo Marnie’s sentiment and will continue to do so until I am blue in the face: Jew ≠ zionist. Zionism ≠ Judaism.

    • Bont Eastlake on September 8, 2017, 10:15 pm

      I wouldn’t say these two countries are allies, because Myanmar is a much weaker, politically unstable country compared to Israel, and therefore they are more of a client state. Myanmar can’t influence Israel as much as Israel can do likewise with Myanmar.

      The US is Israel’s ally because both are founded on similar principles and need each other to continue maintaining their status quo.

      • annie on September 8, 2017, 10:54 pm

        the US doesn’t need israel. not for maintaining their status quo or for anything else. that is absurd.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 8, 2017, 11:16 pm


        I disagree. American politics is still anti-indigenous and settler-colonialist. Thats the status quo and has been since the country was established.

        Israel’s interests are American interests, as both are playing the same game against the wider global community.

        Note I am talking about the government and the state, not the people. The interests of the state is to retain power over their territory by any means possible.

      • annie on September 9, 2017, 12:00 am

        I am talking about the government and the state, not the people.

        oh, how odd. and all this time i thought the government and the state were supposed to be representing the people (of american that is, not israel).

        both are playing the same game against the wider global community.

        oh that’s interesting. america against the wider global community. this is exactly what i meant by “the US doesn’t need israel.”

      • Bont Eastlake on September 9, 2017, 12:20 am


        Americans may have no use for Israel, but the American state desperately need Israel in order to remain relevant itself.

        Israels existance allow America to continue exert themselves in global geopolitics. If Israel ceases to exist, then America will be the sole settler-colonial regime in the world and therefore will face existential threat from inside.

        Ask yourself this. What is the rationale behind the continued existance of the American state? Is it any different in practice, compared to Israel? Both countries endlessly praise capitalism, private ownership, patriotism, democracy etc etc.

      • annie on September 9, 2017, 3:36 am

        Israels existance allow America to continue exert themselves in global geopolitics.

        something tells me the US would have no trouble exerting themselves in global geopolitics sans lil israel pressuring them to bomb iran and other such dangerous destructive war mongering agendas. the US is no safer now than we were before israel colonized palestine.

        If Israel ceases to exist, then America will be the sole settler-colonial regime in the world and therefore will face existential threat from inside.

        lol! you mean all those radical US zionists will start blowing things up here if israel doesn’t get their way! never mind, that wasn’t really a question. i’m sort of done on this topic.

      • RoHa on September 9, 2017, 7:03 am

        ” If Israel ceases to exist, then America will be the sole settler-colonial regime in the world”

        That lets the rest of us off the hook.

        “and therefore will face existential threat from inside.”


        But since you don’t know how to spell “existence”, you probably can’t spell “Kierkegaard”, “Heidegger”, or “Dasein” , so I don’t expect you to be able to explain existential threats.

      • RoHa on September 9, 2017, 7:06 am

        ” all this time i thought the government and the state were supposed to be representing the people (of american that is, not israel).”

        Annie, surely you know the difference between what is supposed to be the case and what really is the case.

      • Kay24 on September 9, 2017, 7:14 am

        The biggest need Israel has for the US is the billions of dollars and weapons in aid, the protection and support at the UN every time Israel is criticized, and condemned, at the UN, and the need to interfere in our elections (through AIPAC) and in our foreign policies. Take away all that and Israel would be nothing, and hated even more.
        We do not need Israel to “maintain” our status quo. The US did not become the world’s greatest superpower relying on Israel, unlike Israel’s dependency on the US.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 9, 2017, 7:33 am


        I meant, with Israel doing much of the dirty work in subverting nations and stimulating internal feuds among people against its interests which it shares with the US, America gets to maintain a relatively clean image among the global community.

        Its this image that allows it to continue prosper, despite its horrendous state of governance and centuries of injustice that remains unatoned.

        Once Israel folds, the persisting American interests will attract all attention to it, and will bring long simmering anti-American sentiments to the mainstream narrative. Again, these have little or nothing to do with the average American but surely the impact will be felt by every one. Only unlike the impact felt by the Iraqis or Afghans due to their governmental collapse, this impact would be positive and liberating.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 9, 2017, 10:10 am


        I suppose its true that the US didnt need Israel in the process of making itself the solitary superpower it is today and has been for most of its existence.

        But lets not pretend it was purely a merit based accomplishment. America didn’t dig its wealth from the ground. Heavy investment from Britain considerably helped its early industrialisation, the money sourced from of course, colonialism and unchecked capitalism. How bout the land it existd on? Natives didn’t really consent to it being appropriated by the state…in fact fought wars against it. You know, like the Palestinians. Slavery.

        Billions of dollars to Israel means little in the grand scheme of things.

      • annie on September 10, 2017, 12:27 am

        Billions of dollars to Israel means little in the grand scheme of things.

        always showing your true colors silamcuz

      • Misterioso on September 9, 2017, 11:04 am

        @Bont Eastlake

        “The US is Israel’s ally because both are founded on similar principles…”


        The US was founded on the basis of a constitution. Israel does not have a constitution.

      • Misterioso on September 9, 2017, 11:13 am

        @Annie Robbins

        You are entirely correct. Also, the US is rapidly approaching the point at which it will have to set Israel adrift. Israel is a useless ally costing American taxpayers $12 million every day in aid, a geopolitical liability and its actions are a major source of justified animosity directed towards America. As history attests, sooner or later, all nations act in their own best interests. The US will not be an exception.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 9, 2017, 11:57 am


        That only make it even worse. A constitution written solely by members of a certain race, class, faith and gender that is impossible to fully put into practice and ignores all historical injustices that lead the such bullshit to even exist.

        Founded on basis of constitution is laughably deceptive of the true nature of the country. Almost sadistically deceptive even. How insulting it is to the millions of people who lost their lives, literally and figuratively, due to direct state policy before and after the constitution was written.

      • Citizen on September 9, 2017, 2:50 pm

        The US Indian Wars ended in the last quarter of the 19th Century. The 20th Century saw two world wars, the second arguably a mere extension of the first. The Nuremberg & Tokyo Trials created new working principles for sovereign nations via ex post facto law. Israel has violated this modern international law, Geneva progeny included, since its founding in 1948 as a world-recognized sovereign state. It’s absurd to excuse or justify Israel as Bont Eastlake attempts to do here. Further, Israel has no constitution or declared borders; the USA does. The USA has no mutual defense treaty with Israel and the USA’s “ironclad” solidarity with rogue Israel has created many enemies for the USA, has “painted a target on US troops” as Petraeus said.

      • m1945 on September 9, 2017, 4:38 pm


        The UK’s internationally acclaimed Jane’s Strategic publications estimated that the US would spend an extra $12 to $15 billion per year to replace what it gets from Israel, if it were even replaceable. Just moving America’s Mideast strategic weapons depot from Israeli soil where it now sits for free would cost more than the U.S gives Israel in annual aid – assuming America could find another dependable, safe country in the region to relocate it to.

      • annie on September 10, 2017, 3:53 pm

        US would spend an extra $12 to $15 billion per year to replace what it gets from Israel

        jack, did you copy paste that verbatim w/out accreditation or are you johnson11b ?

        either way, can you source that w/a link please? i’d like to read the context, the date and who wrote the aticle. thanks.

      • Misterioso on September 9, 2017, 5:23 pm

        @Jack Green

        “Just moving America’s Mideast strategic weapons depot from Israeli soil where it now sits for free would cost more than the U.S gives Israel in annual aid – assuming America could find another dependable, safe country in the region to relocate it to.”

        Nonsense. Israel’s liabilities far outweigh its alleged benefits for America.

        To wit:
        In its 2004 report, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission declared that “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s “animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

        In its analysis of terrorism, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board of the U.S. Defense Department concluded that “Muslims do not hate our freedom,…they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority object to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights….”

        “[The U.S.] no longer seems to see Israel as a ‘special’ or ‘extraordinary’ state in the Middle East, with which the U.S. must maintain a different dialogue than with other states. ‘The feeling is that the dialogue and coordination with the Arab states and with Europe is today no less important to the U.S. and perhaps more so than with Israel,’…” (Ha’aretz, 8 May 2009)

        I remind you of the shocking briefing given to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen by senior military officers in 2010. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

        Ha’aretz, January 13, 2012:
        “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ” Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

        Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012
        “Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast’s biggest spy threat”
        “…despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.
        “In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

        “The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency’s Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials.”
        “Opinion: Increasingly, Supporting Israel No Longer Serves America’s Interests”
        “Obama’s UN abstention was only the most recent manifestation of ongoing strategic changes that Trump too won’t want or be able to reverse.”
        Professor Brent Sasley, Jan 07, 2017, Haaretz.

        In short, when it comes to Israel, America’s leaders will inevitably heed the sage advice of their country’s founding father. In his Farewell Address, George Washington admonished his fellow citizens to steer clear of a “passionate attachment” to another nation, as it could create “the illusion of a common interest…where no common interest exists.”

        As went France and Algeria, Britain and Rhodesia, Belgium and the Congo, so will America and Israel.

      • Sibiriak on September 9, 2017, 11:43 pm

        Bont Eastlake: If Israel ceases to exist, then America will be the sole settler-colonial regime in the world.

        Not quite.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 9, 2017, 11:53 pm


        I am not justifying Israeli actions. Far from it. I’m just calling out the enabler of Israeli actions.

      • annie on September 10, 2017, 12:41 am

        yes, we all know that via israel lobby grip on congress the US enables israel — and contrary to your ridiculous allegations it doesn’t mean we get to “maintain a relatively clean image” by that enabling. but what you have not established (but i am sure you will keep trying since, despite your denials, defending/excusing/justifying israel is your forte) is that we “need” israel. we certainly wouldn’t need to enable israel if their lobby didn’t hold power over congress. if they were not breathing down our collective throats w/their aipac legislation constantly.

      • RoHa on September 10, 2017, 4:52 am

        America should keep its weapons in America.

      • Bont Eastlake on September 10, 2017, 5:12 am


        I find it incredibly disingenous to conveniently isolate all blame on the current state of the Middle East, in particular Palestine, to the Israeli lobby within American politics. The Gulf countries have enough money to buy out the entire Israeli state and then some, yet they don’t seem to be able to sway America nearly as much as Israel.

        To say American support of Israel is purely down to the immoral lobbying efforts of pro-Israeli stakeholders stands against all reason. Money definitely plays a role in politics but the financial power of US is overwhelmingly held by non-Jewish white people. It is impossible to supplant the interests of these people no matter how rich a few Zionists are. If the white ruling class doesnt benefit from helping Israel, why would the lobby even attempt to buy its influence?

        Jews are hardly the only people with money but for some reason, they are able to drag America to support a regime that stand against every single one of its core principles?

      • amigo on September 10, 2017, 10:09 am

        “The UK’s internationally acclaimed Jane’s Strategic publications estimated that the US would spend an extra $12 to $15 billion per year to replace what it gets from Israel, if it were even replaceable”jacko

        Evidence please.


        We have found through experience that zios or their paid hasbarists are dishonest .at best.

      • Kay24 on September 10, 2017, 1:09 pm

        “Billions of dollars to Israel means little in the grand scheme of things.”

        I disagree. 62 percent of American think that is too much money to a piddling little nation, that seem to have parasitic tendencies when it comes to it’s relationship with the US. Right now with hurricanes and the needs of the American people, the billions in aid and weapons (recently increased under Obama), will be better spent on the American people.

        “Yet, as thousands of “Israel-first” citizen lobbyists descend on Capitol Hill tomorrow as part of the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — the largest and most influential of the many groups comprising the “Israel lobby” — concern for these millions of Americans will not be on its legislative agenda. 

Instead, AIPAC will be lobbying to avert the impact of sequestration on record-breaking levels of U.S. military aid to Israel. It will also be pushing for legislation to boost the U.S.-Israel “strategic alliance” and green light an Israeli attack on Iran, measures which will both inevitably entail demands for additional U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons to Israel.”

      • annie on September 11, 2017, 12:22 am

        I find it incredibly disingenous to conveniently isolate all blame on the current state of the Middle East, in particular Palestine, to the Israeli lobby

        bont, i find it incredibly disingenuous to conveniently not cite one word, phrase, sentence or quote me in any way and then have the audacity to lecture me as if you had. try harder.

    • m1945 on September 9, 2017, 3:32 pm

      Joseph A

      Evidence that Israel is genocidal?

      • Mooser on September 9, 2017, 7:04 pm

        “Evidence that Israel is genocidal?”

        How about this?

      • amigo on September 10, 2017, 10:04 am

        “Evidence that Israel is genocidal?”jacko

        Evidence it is not, if you please.

      • YoniFalic on September 10, 2017, 6:36 pm

        The prima facie case of:

        1) Israel’s genocidal nature and

        2) Israel’s history of genocide

        is obvious from reading The International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

        At this point, defenders of Israel must refute the prima facie case.

    • m1945 on September 9, 2017, 4:41 pm

      Joseph A

      Palestine is racist & genocidal so if Israel were really racist & genocidal, Palestine & Israel would be naturally allied, of course.

      But they’re not!

      • Misterioso on September 9, 2017, 5:42 pm

        @Jack Green

        Re: “…so if Israel were really racist & genocidal…”

        Video: ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children

        Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children

        The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

        “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1, 800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015 correspondent for Haaretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

        Eminent Jewish Israeli journalist Bradley Burston aptly sums up the horrors Israel inflicts on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem:
        “Occupation is Slavery”
        “In the name of occupation, generation after generation of Palestinians have been treated as property. They can be moved at will, shackled at will, tortured at will, have their families separated at will. They can be denied the right to vote, to own property, to meet or speak to family and friends. They can be hounded or even shot dead by their masters, who claim their position by biblical right, and also use them to build and work on the plantations the toilers cannot themselves ever hope to own. The masters dehumanize them, call them by the names of beasts.” (Haaretz, Feb. 26/13)

        Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

        Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid.
        (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

        “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
        EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

        Video: Israeli TV Host Implores Israelis: Wake Up and Smell the Apartheid

        In its 2015 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor acknowledges the “institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.” (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor)

        To the best of my knowledge, Israel is the only country in the world that differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

        The effect of Israel’s blatantly racist “Citizenship Law” and more than fifty other restrictions Arab citizens have to endure is well expressed by writer and Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, “…dutifully defining the state [of Israel] as ‘Jewish and democratic,’ ignores the fact that in practice ‘democratic’ refers to Jews, and the Arabs are nothing more than citizens without citizenship.” (Ma’ariv, 1.6.2005)

      • amigo on September 10, 2017, 10:11 am

        Jacko , evidence you are an adult.

  4. hophmi on September 8, 2017, 11:38 pm

    What is the relationship between India and Myanmar, and the relationship between China and Myanmar based on? How about the relationship between Germany and Iran? Or the one between the United States and China?

    • annie on September 9, 2017, 1:50 pm

      hops, the relationship between myanmar and other (all others i would guess) countries is based on it’s vital geostrategic location between the south china sea, the strait of malacca, and the persian gulf.

      The South China Sea plays an outsized role in international commerce and politics. A litany of regional and global powers crave its natural resources as well as the benefits that come with controlling on of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

      China has aggressively pursued control over the Spratley Islands — an archipelago of rocks, reefs and cays that sit in the middle of the sea. Malaysia, Brunei, The Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have staked their own claims to the area, but it’s really the United States Navy that stands in the way of China. The Seventh Fleet, however, cannot keep China from reclaiming land on the islands it controls.

      china can bypass the strait of malacca bottleneck with a pipeline going thru myanmar. china invests a lot in myanmar (as it does @ gwadar port in pakistan and other strategic locations) and the US seeks to dim china’s influence there — of which it has a lot. as b @moon of alabama explains

      Pipelines from the western coast of Myanmar eastwards to China allow hydrocarbon imports from the Persian Gulf to China while avoiding the bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca and disputed parts of the South China Sea.

      It is in “Western interest” to hinder China’s projects in Myanmar. Inciting Jihad in Rakhine could help to achieve that. There is historic precedence for such a Rohingya – Bamar proxy war in Burma. During World War II British imperial forces incited the Rohingya Muslim in Rakhine to fight the Bamar, the dominant Burmese nationalist Buddhists allied with Japanese imperialists.

      a lot can be explained by simply looking at a map. check out “BCIM Economic Corridor” or the brief video at :

      “Brushing aside India’s concerns, China on Monday stressed the need to link the controversial CPEC with the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Corridor.”

      these corridors bypassing the south china sea, (where i think the US may currently dominate) are heavily dependent on myanmar. and there are lots of islands in the south china sea that china has military bases on.

      re germany and iran? another time perhaps.

      p.s. i have a good friend (totally non political) who moved to myanmar 3 years ago to work on a permaculture farm. he had never heard of the rohingya and i sort of warned him about getting too attached to the place. the first year i didn’t hear much from him in the way of politics. the second year he became involved because of this daughter of some military guy who started building this humongous hotel on sacred land right near their farm. without permits or anything w/huge bulldozers plowing thru ruining the sacred site and hauling off artifacts and the locals could do nothing about it because the military does whatever they want whenever they want, lots of times at the behest of chinese developers. when i last spoke with him (a week ago aprox) he was going on about chinese investment ‘everywhere’ and how important myanmar is because of these corridors and gave me a name, an acronym to look up about a trade corridor, but i forgot what it was (not bcim). i think he’s beginning to realize the strategic importance of myanmar, something i informed him about before he left.

      • hophmi on September 11, 2017, 11:24 am

        So does this make it ok for China and India to trade with Myanmar? I don’t think so.

      • Tuyzentfloot on September 14, 2017, 9:31 am

        p.s. i have a good friend (totally non political) who moved to myanmar 3 years ago

        i like to claim that the mainstream is just like us, only more so. We hate cognitive dissonance and they hate it more and strongly prefer a simple minded narrative.

        The Royingya suddenly are pushed center stage. That there are geopolitical interests that guide our attention there does not mean their suffering isn’t real. That there are Al Qaeda links in their resistance movement does not delegitimize their aspirations either. It’s just that we have to be aware that moral outrage which is directed at will by geostrategic interests will often achieve something very different from what we would like.

  5. Misterioso on September 9, 2017, 11:00 am

    Ah yes, more proof that Israel is indeed “a light unto nations [not.]”

    “As Violence Intensifies, Israel Continues to Arm Myanmar’s Military Junta”
    Haaretz, Sept 6/17


    “Militia members continue to commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of human rights around the country, particularly against minority groups that are not even accorded citizenship. Since Myanmar’s military launched operations in Rakhine last October, a number of sources have described scenes of slaughter of civilians, unexplained disappearances, and the rape of women and girls, as well as entire villages going up in flames. The military has continued to commit war crimes and violations of international law up to the present.

    “Advanced Israeli weapons.
    Despite what is known at this point from the report of the United Nations envoy to the country and a report by Harvard University researchers that said the commission of crimes of this kind is continuing, the Israeli government persists in supplying weapons to the regime there.”

    “The head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate — better known by its Hebrew acronym, SIBAT — is Michel Ben-Baruch, who went to Myanmar in the summer of 2015. In the course of the visit, which attracted little media coverage, the heads of the junta disclosed that they purchased Super Dvora patrol boats from Israel, and there was talk of additional purchases.

    “In August 2016, images were posted on the website of TAR Ideal Concepts, an Israeli company that specializes in providing military training and equipment, showing training with Israeli-made Corner Shot rifles, along with the statement that Myanmar had begun operational use of the weapons. The website said the company was headed by former Israel Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishki. Currently the site makes no specific reference to Myanmar, referring only more generally to Asia.

    “On June 5, in answer to a parliamentary question by Knesset member Tamar Zandberg on weapons sales to Myanmar, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel ‘subordinates [itself] to the entire enlightened world, that is the Western states, and first of all the United States, the largest arms exporter. We subordinate ourselves to them and maintain the same policy.’

    “He said the Knesset plenum may not be the appropriate forum for a detailed discussion of the matter and reiterated that Israel complies with ‘all the accepted guidelines in the enlightened world.’

    “Lieberman’s statement was incorrect. The United States and the European Union have imposed an arms embargo on Myanmar. It’s unclear whether the cause was ignorance, and Lieberman is not fully informed about Israel’s arms exports (even though he must approve them), or an attempt at whitewashing.

    “In terms of history, as well, Lieberman’s claim is incorrect. Israel supported war crimes in Argentina, for example, even when the country was under a U.S. embargo, and it armed the Serbian forces committing massacres in Bosnia despite a United Nations embargo.”

  6. WebSkipper on September 9, 2017, 11:05 am

    We should well remember the tight relationship with apartheid South Africa. The two together devised an entire science of apartheid, not to mention arms trade and even nuclear deals. I highly recommend the book “The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa”

    • Kay24 on September 10, 2017, 1:15 pm

      Israel even tried to sell nuclear warheads to apartheid South Africa. Where there is death and destruction, human rights abuses, and mass killings, you might find Israel’s dirty finger prints somewhere around. “Never again” seems only for their own people.

      “Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.

      The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.

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