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With friends like Israel, who needs enemies?

Opinion
on 71 Comments

In April of 2018, the Associated Press reported that the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that it had detected unauthorized cellular phone surveillance devices operating in Washington, DC.

Commonly known as “StingRays,” the devices are designed to mimic cell phone towers. Essentially, when a StingRay is activated, it forces nearby cellular traffic to go through it rather than through official towers. This allows the operator of the StingRay to know the exact location of a specific cellphone. With more advanced models, the device can force a phone to use older, unencrypted 2G wireless signals allowing a third party to eavesdrop on calls and messages. Some can even attempt to install malicious software on a phone. StingRays are typically the size of a briefcase but can be as small as a cellphone.

Now, according to an exclusive report by Politico, three former senior US officials claim that Israel was most likely responsible for placing the surveillance equipment near the White House and other sensitive locations in Washington. One of the former officials claimed that the StingRays were probably intended to eavesdrop on President Donald Trump and his top associates.

According to the officials, after conducting comprehensive forensic analysis, the FBI and other agencies “felt confident” that Israeli agents had placed the devices.

StingRay, a cellular site simulator used for surveillance. US Patent and Trademark office, via AP.

Unsurprisingly, an Israeli embassy spokesperson denied that Israel was responsible and said, “These allegations are absolute nonsense. Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also denied the report. He claimed, “There is a longstanding commitment, and a directive from the Israeli government not to engage in any intelligence operations in the US.”

But these statements are extremely unbelievable, if not outright lies. According to a 2014 Newsweek article, Israel engages in “alarming” levels of espionage against the US. A former congressional staffer who attended a classified briefing in 2013 said that, “No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do.”

Israel used stolen information to try to undermine US diplomacy regarding the Iran nuclear deal of 2015. More specifically, Israel passed classified intelligence to members of Congress to try to persuade them to derail the negotiations with Iran.

Israel also has a long history of selling American military technology to China. In fact, in the early 1990’s, the CIA director at the time told a Senate Government Affairs Committee that Israel had been selling US secrets to China for around a decade. In 1998, an American scholar wrote that Israel has conducted an “aggressive campaign” of economic espionage in the US since its creation in 1948. He notes that while other countries also engage in such spying, Israel “is the only major recipient of US foreign aid to do so.”

And one cannot forget the case of Jonathan Pollard, an American former intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty to providing thousands of top-secret classified documents to Israel in 1984 and 1985. Despite this major betrayal, a few years later Congress renewed a $3 billion aid package to Israel, and the Ronald Reagan administration gave it the official status of a “major non-NATO ally.”

The perception that Israel is a good American ally is laughable, but not only due to its espionage against the US. Israel routinely denies entry to American citizens, it murdered American peace activist Rachel Corrie with a bulldozer, and in 1967 it killed 34 American sailors in an attack on the USS Liberty while it was in international waters. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has even selfishly commented that the September 11 terrorist attacks were good for Israel.

It is absolutely mind-boggling that despite the many cases of espionage and other hostile acts against the US and Americans, Israel is still treated as one of our greatest allies by many people from all points on the political spectrum. Almost 12 hours after the Politico article was published, there was not a single mention of the report on the homepages of the websites of either CNN or Fox News. If the espionage was committed by Russia or Iran, the American media, government officials, and even the public would all be up in arms. President Trump is quick to lash out on Twitter at anyone who even slightly offends him, but when it comes to Israeli transgressions, he is surprisingly silent.

This lack of accountability or awareness regarding Israel is precisely the problem. One of the former officials mentioned in the report said they were “not aware of any accountability at all.” Even after the FBI and other agencies determined that Israel was most likely responsible for the surveillance devices, “the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the Israeli government.”

Again, this is a bipartisan affair. Despite being disrespected and treated ungratefully by Netanyahu, President Barack Obama’s actions made him “one of the most pro-Israeli American presidents” since Harry Truman, according to Israeli historian Avi Shlaim. In fact, before he left office, Obama committed a record $38 billion to Israel over 10 years. This was the largest military aid package from one country to another in human history.

From poverty to poor infrastructure to people lacking basic health insurance, there are many problems that need to be solved in the US. Americans must ask their government why billions of their taxes are so swiftly handed to the wealthy, apartheid state of Israel, a state that does not hesitate to spy on the hand that feeds it. American politicians from both parties are more willing to shut down the government than to withhold funding from Israel for its blatant violations of international law and for its brazen espionage and disrespect for our country.

It is time for American citizens to realize that the so-called “special relationship” with Israel is in fact not special nor beneficial. On the contrary, it is a liability and it jeopardizes America’s national security, economic interests, and its reputation throughout the world.

Mohamed Mohamed

Mohamed Mohamed is the Executive Director of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development in Washington DC. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, where he majored in Political Science and completed his senior thesis on statelessness and its practical implications on Palestinians living in the refugee camps of Lebanon. He also earned an M.A. in International Relations and an M.S. in International Political Economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. Follow him on Twitter at @mykm47

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71 Responses

  1. ancientenough on September 15, 2019, 10:40 am

    Well said.

    And the damage to the Americans and our true interests to which Mr. Mohamed alludes goes further. Pro-Israel neocons were the architects of post 9/11 U.S. wars and continue to foment for another Middle East war against Iran.

    The Watson Institute of Brown University has estimated the U.S. budgetary costs of post-9/11 wars, much of it incurred and spent outside the U.S., including the war on terror, interest on the debt incurred to fund the wars, veteran’s care and disability benefits, top out so far at almost $6 Trillion. And this is to say nothing of the human costs, including thousands of U.S. soldiers killed and many more thousands injured physically and psychologically, hundreds of thousands of civilians killed and millions of refugees.

    As Mr. Mohamed suggests, we could much better spend those resources and our energy on the growing problems right here in the U.S., rather than fighting Saudi Arabia and Israel’s wars for them.

  2. Kay24 on September 15, 2019, 1:01 pm

    It is utterly frustrating to see our leaders kow-tow to Israel, ignore it’s human rights violations, and ignore it’s obvious crimes against us. Long before Russia and others, we had our dear ally spy on us, and even interfere in our elections. Talk about being ungrateful. We should not forget master spy Jonathan Pollack who was found passing on top secrets to his mother ship, Israel, and that he was found guilty and sentence to life in prison, until Bibi begged and pleaded for his release, which ultimately the US government complied with. The CIA has stated that Israel is the biggest counterintelligence threat in the ME. Mr. Mohamed is correct, with so called friends like this, who needs enemies?

    mondoweiss.net/2012/07/cia-considers-israel-the-largest-counterintelligence-threat-in-the-middle-east/

    • jon s on September 16, 2019, 12:24 pm

      It’s Pollard, not “Pollack”.

      • echinococcus on September 16, 2019, 3:42 pm

        Who gives a toss — the question is how can we get him punished even after his escape, and the ones who released him, too?

      • Mooser on September 18, 2019, 4:20 pm

        “Who gives a toss…”

        Hey, Pollard is a big hero to “Jon s”.

  3. Boomer on September 15, 2019, 2:04 pm

    Trump says he doesn’t believe his own people because he and Netanyahu are friends. In fact, Trump says he wants a “mutual defense” treaty with Israel. I guess that would commit us to defend Israel’s borders (which are not defined) against all attacks, regardless of Israel’s actions. Of course, Israel would defend us too, so it would be mutual.

  4. ancientenough on September 15, 2019, 2:52 pm

    Boomer, I am not familiar enough with your comments to know whether your last sentence is designed to be facetious? I hope so, because I don’t think Israel looks out for anything other than itself.

    • Boomer on September 16, 2019, 10:36 am

      Yes, I was being facetious, though we frequently hear supporters of Israel asserting that it is a valuable ally, e.g., “an unsinkable aircraft carrier.”

  5. JWalters on September 15, 2019, 6:48 pm

    I just posted a comment which instantly disappeared. There was no “awaiting moderation” message, no temporary display of the post, nothing. So I tried again. This time I got a “duplicate post” message. So I modified the opening words and tried again. Again it instantaneously disappeared.

    This instantaneous disappearance proves the deletion was done by machine. I have observed this occurrance on several websites when a post contains a link to a great deal of solid information on Israel. I’ve confirmed that the link was the target by re-posting without the link, and having the post be immediately treated in the normal way. In a couple of cases the website moderator saw my follow-up comments and published the original comment with the link. That proves the link was not being banned by the website, but by an intruder.

    The link is on the intruder’s list of target links, and the intruder has software that intercepts posts and looks for target links. If one is found, the intruder’s software skips the normal posting process entirely. Instead the poster’s browser is redirected to the top of the page.

    I’m pretty sure the links being targeted in this instance were to a couple of Whitney Webb’s excellent articles on the Mossad connections to the Jeffrey Epstein operation, and on Israel’s other extensive cyber spying operations. These links have been previously accepted at MW. (Other links were to MW and Consortium News articles, also previously accepted.)

    • Boomer on September 16, 2019, 10:43 am

      Interesting. Starting after Apple updated things a while back, I’ve frequently been unable to post here. It hadn’t been a problem before. At first I thought perhaps the browser had been changed in some way that created problems. Then I wondered if I had unintentionally transgressed some rule. I think of myself as pretty moderate by the standards of this site, and I couldn’t figure out what my offense might have been. For a while I quit trying to post. It never occurred to me that links could be the problem. It’s not as if I read, much less link to obvious Nazi sites, but I guess it’s another possibility.

      • JWalters on September 16, 2019, 7:46 pm

        I also am not interested in clearly Nazi sites. Any site promoting ethnic superiority will be unreliable, being skewed by their erroneous premise. The links that I’ve observed being targeted go to large amounts of legitimate information, and are hence exceptionally informative and compelling. They are impossible to debunk with a “clever” quip or a mere handful of lies. They are major truth bombs.

      • Boomer on September 17, 2019, 10:05 am

        Links may be part of the problem, but I don’t think that’s it entirely. At least not for me. I don’t know. I haven’t been able to discern a pattern. But for me, it seems that it’s either/or . . either I’m instantly rejected, or it posts normally. It’s not as if a moderator has time to look at it and reject it.

  6. JWalters on September 15, 2019, 8:04 pm

    Fourth try, with Whitney Webb links disguised, asterisks added. Now the post is accepted, proving these links were the target. In my experience targeted links are ALWAYS to large amounts of well-researched information about Israel. (You must copy these links to your browser and delete the asterisks to access the articles.)

    Thanks for this fine article on this important topic. Cell tower spying would fit right in with Israel’s extensive cyber spying operations, described in this excellent article by Whitney Webb.
    “How the CIA, Mossad and ‘the Epstein Network’ are Exploiting Mass Shootings to Create an Orwellian Nightmare”
    https://www.*mintpressnews.*com/cia-israel-mossad-jeffrey-epstein-orwellian-nightmare/261692/

    And such spying may not be merely for diplomatic and military secrets, but also for information blackmail influential members of the political and media establishments. Discussed in another in-depth article by Whitney Webb.
    “Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal”
    https://www.*mintpressnews.*com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/

    We know that Israeli political campaign “contributions” are overwhelming.
    “Israel Lobby Pays the Political Piper”
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/21/israel-lobby-pays-the-political-piper
    “‘Forward’ columnist and Emily’s List leader relate ‘gigantic,’ ‘shocking’ role of Jewish Democratic donors”
    https://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/forward-columnist-and-emilys-list-leader-relate-gigantic-shocking-role-of-jewish-democratic-donors/
    “‘New York Times’ reports that Jewish donors shape Democrats’ regressive position on Israel”
    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/03/regressive-democratic-groundbreaking/
    “Trump’s biggest donors’ ‘mission in life is to protect… the state of Israel'”
    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/biggest-mission-protect/

    Combining overwhelming carrots of money with overwhelming sticks of blackmail could explain a lot of seemingly irrational votes by nominally intelligent and well-educated people.

  7. JWalters on September 15, 2019, 8:16 pm

    In another example of cyber warfare, Veterans Today has an article about their being hacked.

    “Veterans Today has been repeatedly hacked. As part of these hacks, the text has been altered, photographs removed from the archives and entire databases altered or erased. We have even had servers destroyed. All this is about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, someone we support.”
    “Attack on Rep. Gabbard in April 2018 VT Article Inserted by Hacker”
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/08/29/attack-on-

    It’s probably no coincidence that Tulsi Gabbard is the most outspoken Democratic candidate opposed to Israel’s regime change wars in the Middle East.

    • jon s on September 16, 2019, 12:26 pm

      Note that Veterans Today is an Anti-Semitic-Holocaust-Denial website.

      • Keith on September 16, 2019, 2:57 pm

        JON S- “Note that Veterans Today is an Anti-Semitic-Holocaust-Denial website.”

        Do you have any evidence of Holocaust denial? Any quotes, etc?

      • jon s on September 16, 2019, 4:36 pm

        Keith, how about “so-called Holocaust”?
        See here:
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Today

        Check it out yourself.

      • JWalters on September 16, 2019, 7:23 pm

        Veterans Today is anti-Zionist, NOT anti-Semitic. Here is one of their articles in which they specifically distinguish the two.
        “U.S. Obsession with Anti-Semitism Under Microscope”
        https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/03/08/obsession-anti-semitism-microscope/

        You repeatedly equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, despite all facts and logic to the contrary. That is fast becoming the obvious sign of a dishonest, sociopathic Zionist.

        It’s well-known that wikipedia articles are doctored by Israel’s cyber warfare lie brigade. e.g. the page on the USS Liberty.

        Are you implying that it’s OK for Israel to hack websites they deem “anti-Semitic”? That would, of course, include Mondoweiss.

        Do you think it’s OK for Israel to run a Jeffrey Epstein honeytrap operation to blackmail U.S. politicians so they won’t cast votes Israel deems “anti-Semitic”? Do you condone the use of child rape in those schemes if Israel deems it is battling “anti-Semitism”?

      • Keith on September 16, 2019, 7:43 pm

        JON S- “Keith, how about “so-called Holocaust”?

        You defend your accusation by linking to a source making the same accusation. For comparison, numerous Zionist sources continue to label Norman Finkelstein a Holocaust denier who gives aid and comfort to anti-Semites. The lack of intellectual integrity appalling. Neither the Southern Poverty Law Center nor Wikipedia are reliable sources when Zionism and Israel are involved. I don’t follow Veterans Today but “…a pro-Kremlin and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory and fake news website.”? One that is “…actively pushing the Kremlin party line.”? This is so obviously a contrived hit piece that you should be embarrassed to link it. This is over the top propaganda which gives itself away with the Russophobic “fake news” meme, probably somehow linked with the Democrats who continue to shamelessly fabricate crap about Russian influence, which for economic reasons is practically nil. But I suppose this crap is good enough for a biased Israeli myth-history teacher who thinks that BS with footnotes is somehow scholarly.

      • jon s on September 17, 2019, 1:32 am

        Keith,
        Forget wikipedia, just look at VT itself and see the nauseating Anti-Semitism.

      • Keith on September 17, 2019, 11:04 am

        JON S- “Forget wikipedia, just look at VT itself and see the nauseating Anti-Semitism.”

        Don’t try to sidestep the fact that you still are unable or unwilling to provide evidence of Holocaust denial for Veterans Today. I don’t follow the website and don’t intend to. I is not up to me to spend time countering your flagrant trolling. Put up or shut up. And that Wikipedia article you linked was an insult to the intelligence.

      • jon s on September 17, 2019, 1:40 pm

        Keith,
        I said You don’t have to believe me, or wikipedia, just see for yourself that VT is an anti-semitic sewer .
        A small selection:

        “The Rothschild KM sets up Nazi Work Camps as a pretext to later manipulate the Allies into granting them their own private colony in Palestine, using land stolen from the Palestinians:

        The Rothschild KM was able to use their self mis-labelled, so-called “holocaust” to serve as a mind-kontrol trigger to thwart and resist any criticism of their Zionist ways.

        The truth of the matter was that the Rothschild KM set up the Nazi work camps to make huge profits for their corporations that ran their work camps and supplied their Nazi war machine.”

        https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/08/22/the-holocaust-witch-hunt-part-i/

        https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/08/26/monika-and-alfred-schaefer-on-trial-part-ii/

      • RoHa on September 18, 2019, 3:24 am

        “Note that Veterans Today is an Anti-Semitic-Holocaust-Denial website.”

        And I repeat J. Walter’s question. Is it O.K. to hack the VT website?

      • annie on September 28, 2019, 1:59 pm

        The Rothschild KM sets up Nazi Work Camps as a pretext …

        jon, sorry for the late inquiry, but curious what this was about i opened both your links and couldn’t find this quote in either of them. the links were part 1 and 2 of a trial (not interested in reading them) so i googled this entire paragraph and nothing came up for VT (but your comment here did pop up). i’m not asking this in a defense of VT as it’s not a site i read. but i did find it curious neither of your links included this text. neither of them even mentioned Rothschild.

        could you have accidentally left the wrong links? or quote?

      • jon s on September 28, 2019, 3:33 pm

        Annie,
        On VT scroll down to the 10 most read articles (!). The first is the garbage about the “Khazarian Mafia”.

      • annie on September 28, 2019, 8:07 pm

        okay, will check out. thanks

  8. RoHa on September 15, 2019, 10:51 pm

    Nope, even with asterisks my link didn’t get through.

    You can read the forbidden article both on Unz Review and on Redress Information and Analysis.

    Look for something Misterioso might have written.

    • JWalters on September 16, 2019, 5:05 am

      Without the asterisks. (Unz does have good articles. Thanks for the tip on the other.)

  9. echinococcus on September 15, 2019, 11:53 pm

    Thank you for informing us of this criminal trick, Walters.
    The question now would be what Mondoweiss is doing about it.

    • JWalters on September 16, 2019, 7:04 pm

      Mondoweiss is already an “https” site, so transmissions between posters and MW are encrypted. That implies the intruder is tapped in after the post has arrived at the web server and been de-crypted (then it can be inspected). If MW is using a separate service to handle its comment threads, then that service would be a logical place for the Israelis to attack. That would give them access to the comment threads for all websites which use that comment handling service. The comment service Disqus has definitely been similarly hacked (showing EXACTLY the same disappearing comment phenomenon), and Disqus is used to handle comments by many websites.

      MW could do some test comments to establish the phenomenon, and then present the evidence to their comment handling service. This could help that service track down the problem. A limitation on this approach might be that the intruder first checks the poster’s identity, and only looks for target links if the poster is a target poster. This would make their process faster and less obtrusive. A new test account by MW would then not be on the intruder’s list of targeted posters.

      Another possibility is that the intruder has placed software on the MW server itself. In that case the MW server software would have to be examined by someone MW trusts.

      • James North on September 16, 2019, 8:40 pm

        The Mondoweiss head webmaster looked into your disappearing posts. We’re happy to report that he found nothing nefarious.

        Here’s his report: “The [Mondoweiss] spam filter grabbed the earlier comments. Perhaps it’s because he included a bunch of links and it read it as spam. The spam filter is the cloud-based Akismet and it’s a really solid one. Any comment with a bunch of links is going to read like spam.”

        Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

      • JWalters on September 16, 2019, 8:51 pm

        James North, thanks for that report, including identifying Akismet. I’ll consider that possibility in the future. However, I have observed this phenomenon in the past (not sure where) when there was only one link in the post.

  10. Marnie on September 16, 2019, 7:29 am

    Not exactly on topic but seems timely

    Mayor Mohamed Khairullah of Prospect Park, New Jersey, with his family on vacation in Turkey.

    (CNN) — A Muslim American mayor of a New Jersey town says border patrol agents wrongfully detained him and kept his phone when he arrived at JFK International Airport last month after returning from a vacation in Turkey.

    Mohamed Khairullah, the mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey since 2005, told CNN he was pulled aside and detained for three hours by US Customs and Border Protection agents when he and his family got off the plane.

    The questioning started out innocently enough — a CBP agent asked him standard questions like about where he traveled from and who he visited. Then, according to Khairullah, the agent pivoted: “Did you meet with any terrorists?”

    Mayor Khairullah said he gave a polite, “No,” before asking to speak with a lawyer, believing the line of questioning was “harassment.”

    When he requested to end the interview, the mayor recalled the agent asked to search his phone.

    Khairullah consented, but as the search dragged on, with his family — wife, 10-year-old son, 9-year-old and 2-year-old daughters, and 14-month-old son — getting restless waiting for him in the area outside the interview room, he asked for his phone to be returned.

    He said the agent informed him that if he was revoking his consent for them to search his device then they would have to confiscate it.

    And so they did — for 12 days.

    Why him?

    Khairullah said that the agent told him that he was selected at random to speak with them after getting off the plane, though he doesn’t believe it.

    “In the office, the agent did say that he was directed by DHS to interview me but he couldn’t tell me why,” he said. “I’d love to know what the reason was.”

    Ahmed Mohamed, litigation director for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim American civil right group, said he spoke with Khairullah while he was at the airport, and is continuing to represent him in the matter.

    He called the questioning of the mayor “a clear case of profiling.”

    “He gets treated as if he was a terrorist in this situation. That’s conduct that should be unacceptable to every single American in this country,” Mohamed said.

    The mayor said he has “not ruled out legal action” against CBP over the incident.

    Anthony Bucci, a Public Affairs Specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s New York Office, told CNN the agency was “not at liberty to discuss an individual’s processing due to the Privacy Act.”

    The spokesperson added that CBP’s “authority to engage in border searches is articulated in numerous statutes and has been repeatedly affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States.”

    “For a miniscule number of travelers, this inspection may include electronic devices such as computers, disks, drives, tapes, mobile phones and other communication devices, cameras, music and other media players and any other electronic or digital devices,” the spokesperson said.

    Others challenging CBP in court

    Separately, some rights advocates are currently challenging CBP’s authority in federal court.

    In 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the CBP, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, arguing that the search and seizure of electronic devices at the border without reasonable suspicion or a warrant is unconstitutional.

    The 11 plaintiffs in the case — 10 U.S. citizens and 1 lawful permanent resident — had their laptops or phones searched while traveling. The plaintiffs include a filmmaker, NASA engineer, and 2 journalists. The case is ongoing.

    DHS did not respond to a request to comment for this story.

    Hugh Handeyside, an ACLU staff attorney for the plaintiffs, told CNN that some of his clients had their phones confiscated by CBP for “six to eight months.”

    According to a recent court filing in the case, CBP conducted 33,295 searches of electronic devices in 2018. The total number of devices confiscated in 2018 was 172.

    “They put people in a horrible position,” Handeyside said. “They say: ‘Look, open up your phone or we’re going to take it.'”

    Mohamed Khairullah has been the mayor of Prospect Park for 14 years FFS! Typical zio/nazi tactics, taken practically word for word from the zio/nazi playbook guidelines on how to treat ‘the other’. I hope the mayor and the 11 other people sue the living sh$&t out of them. And people like Bret Stephens, Daniel Shapiro, Bari Weiss and other zionist lapdogs get hysterical about BDS. Really? #BDS #BDS #BDS #BDS #BDS #BDS #BDS #BDS #BDS

    Netanyahoo and his evil twin getting ready to kill more americans over a war that israel has been creaming for over 20 years and it’s crazily enough, it’s not against Saudi Arabia but Iran. Scrolling through Mohamed Jahvad’s twitter feed made for some very interesting reading…

  11. Misterioso on September 16, 2019, 10:13 am

    Off topic, but good news!!

    Kudos to Canada, especially Quebec!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=64&v=rq3GKZmKiKQ

    Just published must watch video from Canada: September 15/19

    “Hydro-Quebec Ends Cyber-Security Agreement With Israel Electric Corporation”

  12. James Canning on September 16, 2019, 11:03 am

    I think it would be a good thing for more commentators to note the intentional Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in June 1967.

    • jon s on September 16, 2019, 1:34 pm

      The Liberty incident was a tragic mistake, a case of mistaken identity, Not an intentional attack on an American ship.

      • Keith on September 16, 2019, 2:33 pm

        JON S- “Not an intentional attack on an American ship.”

        Of course it was intentional and obviously so. Why do you deny it?

      • James Canning on September 16, 2019, 4:49 pm

        @jon s: Surely you are not claiming the Israeli pilots were not aware the ship was American? Some of them asked their controllers why they were being sent to attack a US naval vessel.

  13. jon s on September 16, 2019, 4:51 pm

    Keith, Because the Liberty incident was investigated thoroughly and exhaustively, and that’s the conclusion.

    • James Canning on September 16, 2019, 6:24 pm

      jon s, I take it you would prefer to ignore the many statements by various Israelis involved in the attack who said it was well known to them the target of the attack was an American intelligence-gathering vessel.

      • JWalters on September 16, 2019, 7:53 pm

        jon s routinely posts boilerplate Israeli lies without any substantiation. I’m not sure what the point of that is, other than to merely maintain a presence in the discussion. That could be an AIPAC strategy. But it’s hard to see why any reading, thinking individual would do that.

    • Keith on September 16, 2019, 7:13 pm

      JON S- “Keith, Because the Liberty incident was investigated thoroughly and exhaustively, and that’s the conclusion.”

      The so-called investigation was a cover-up with the crew under gag orders. The ship had been surveilled repeatedly for several hours before the attack and was practically impossible to misidentify, bristling with antennas, an obvious US radio monitoring vessel flying a brand new US flag. The first Israeli fighter to arrive immediately recognized the ship as US and refused to attack. The pilot, Evan Toni, was arrested when he returned to base for refusing to follow orders. The length and viciousness of the attack, including strafing the life rafts and napalming the decks, followed by PT boats torpedoing the Liberty, indicates that the ship was meant to be sunk with no survivors. Hardly the type of attack for some old Egyptian cargo ship “misidentified.” Suggest you read “Assault on the Liberty” by James Ennes, one of the officers onboard during the attack. You seem to prefer convenient official lies to the inconvenient truth.

      • James Canning on September 17, 2019, 11:39 am

        One might note here that Lyndon Johnson had advance knowledge that Israel intended to attack the USS Liberty.

      • mondonut on September 17, 2019, 12:58 pm

        James Canning, One might note here that…

        One might also note here that claims of Lyndon Johnson having advance knowledge are complete nonsense. Conspiracy theory crapola.

    • genesto on September 16, 2019, 7:42 pm

      It was NEVER investigated by Congress, although there are continuing efforts by the survivors of the attack to get Congress to do so. Our gutless – when it comes to this issue especially – members of Congress refuse to protect and defend our own troops by conducting such an investigation. The power if the Israel lobby is unmatched, even by the NRA!

      However, there was an independent investigation conducted by Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, United States Navy, (Retired) in 2003 that concluded the attack by Israel was deliberate and premeditated. You may want to look into that, or simply stick your head back in the sand.

    • RoHa on September 17, 2019, 1:31 am

      “investigated thoroughly and exhaustively,…”

      By whom?

      Anyone with any knowledge of the real world knows that government inquiries are only set up once the conclusion they are to reach has been decided.

  14. jon s on September 17, 2019, 2:01 am

    See here, especially Michael Oren’s detailed account, and the summary of investigations. Also the primary sources:
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-uss-liberty-incident

    and here:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1612513409/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i1#customerReviews

    • Keith on September 17, 2019, 6:48 pm

      JON S- “See here, especially Michael Oren’s detailed account….”

      Not a good idea to embrace serial liar Michael Oren. And Ahorn Jay Cristol’s book is a shallow apologia relying almost exclusively upon the official summaries while avoiding most of the surviving crew members. Simple logic indicates that the Liberty was rather distinctive in appearance, easily recognized by Evan Toni, and not some derelict Egyptian freighter which would hardly be subjected to such a vicious and sustained attack in any event, simple capture a more likely scenario. Dare I suggest that Ahorn Jay Cristol’s apologia reflects a certain ethno-religious bias?

      “He spends most of his free time volunteering with his wife at the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital.[citation needed] He was recently named as the head goodwill ambassador for the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital.[citation needed]” (Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Jay_Cristol

      • Keith on September 17, 2019, 7:42 pm

        JON S- “See here, especially Michael Oren’s detailed account….”

        Forget what serial liar Michael Oren has to say and read what truth teller Noam Chomsky says. I might add that a quick internet search indicates that Jewish Zionist websites are absolutely Stalinist in their word-for-word rehash of the official line. No deviation whatever, but a lot of invective about anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. And I include you among those who give unquestioning loyalty to Zionism and Israel.

        “The truth of the matter is that Israel has been granted a unique immunity from criticism in mainstream journalism and scholarship … the attack on the unmistakably identified U.S. Liberty with rockets, aircraft cannon, napalm, torpedoes and machine guns, clearly premeditated, leaving 34 crewmen dead and 75 (early numbers) wounded in “the Navy’s bloodiest ‘peacetime’ international incident of the 20th century” … the general reaction of the press and scholarship has been silence or misrepresentation. … The nature of the attack on the Liberty was also evaded not only by the press fairly generally but by the government and by a U.S. Naval Board of Inquiry, though high-ranking figures had no doubt that the official report was a whitewash; former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, for example, states that the attack “could not possibly have been a case of mistaken identity,” as officially claimed.” (Noam Chomsky) https://it-it.facebook.com/honorlibertyvets/posts/uss-liberty-survivor-phil-tourneys-very-special-guest-on-your-voice-counts-this-/1032885466772316/

      • jon s on September 18, 2019, 3:33 pm

        Keith,
        I don’t agree with Dr. Oren’s politics, but he is a competent professional historian, and an expert on the Six Days War. aside from calling him a serial liar, you haven’t pointed out any inaccuracies in his account.
        Are you saying that AJ Cristol’s account is unreliable because he volunteers at the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital? Have you no shame?

      • Keith on September 18, 2019, 8:33 pm

        JON S- “I don’t agree with Dr. Oren’s politics, but he is a competent professional historian, and an expert on the Six Days War.”

        Oren is a Zionist defender of Israel engaged in information warfare. Mondoweiss has documented his lack of honesty multiple times. I link to one. https://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/misrepresents-synagogue-changed/

        JON S- “aside from calling him a serial liar, you haven’t pointed out any inaccuracies in his account.”

        His account is garbage. He list those things which he can’t deny, then claims stuff which is impossible to disprove. One new thing, however. He has the audacity to make the absurd claim that the Liberty was misidentified as a destroyer! I quote the line below. Unbelievable! And this is your “expert?”

        “…reckoned that the ship was a “Z” or Hunt-class destroyer without the deck markings (a white cross on a red background) of the Israeli navy.”

        JON S- “Are you saying that AJ Cristol’s account is unreliable because he volunteers at the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital?”

        I am observing what appears to be a strong Jewish identity and likely Zionist orientation which would go a long way in explaining his gross misrepresentation of reality. Let me add that he is a lawyer like Alan Dershowitz, hence, skillful in misrepresenting reality in believable fashion. Zionists had no reluctance in claiming Palestine was a land without people for a people without land, and that the Palestinians fled upon hearing radio exhortations to absent themselves so that the Arab armies could throw the Jews into the sea. Lying seems intrinsic to Zionism when it advances Jewish Zionist interests. And the notion that the Liberty was misidentified is ludicrous, a part of a shameful coverup. Being a Zionist, you, like AJ Cristol, will continue to turn a blind eye to reality in order to defend Israel.

  15. James Canning on September 17, 2019, 11:33 am

    @jon s: Are you claiming the Israeli pilot who refused to attack the USS Liberty was not arrested when he returned to base?

    • jon s on September 17, 2019, 4:56 pm

      What I’m saying is that despite all the crackpot conspiracy theories, there is overwhelming evidence that the attack on the Liberty was a tragic mistake, a monumental screw-up as described in the sources that I cited. And let’s not forget that Israel took responsibility, apologized and paid compensation.
      We need to remember that Israel was in the midst of a multi-front war. Does it make sense to launch an attack on a superpower which happens to be your one and only ally? The leaders of Israel would have had to be not only evil, but also certifiably crazy.

      • James Canning on September 17, 2019, 5:19 pm

        @jon s: Lyndon Johnson wanted a pretext for an American attack on Egypt. Israel was supplying that pretext, provided the USS Liberty sank and there were no survivors.

      • Keith on September 17, 2019, 8:33 pm

        JAMES CANNING- “Lyndon Johnson wanted a pretext for an American attack on Egypt.”

        When has the US ever needed Israel to provide a pretext to go to war? Since the only nation capable of attacking the Liberty in such a fashion was Israel, it would hardly qualify as a pretext to attack Egypt. Finally, with the war in Vietnam going poorly, the US troops close to mutiny, and people in the streets shouting “Hey,hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”, a new war was inconceivable. The Israeli victory in the 6 day war was a huge blow to pan Arabism and a huge victory for US imperil interests. This “LBJ ordered the attack on the Liberty” crap is the type of thing which gives conspiracy theory a bad name.

      • Keith on September 17, 2019, 8:50 pm

        JON S- “The leaders of Israel would have had to be not only evil, but also certifiably crazy.”

        Everything I have read suggests that Moshe Dayan ordered the attack. He didn’t want a US “spy” ship monitoring his actions, some of which went well beyond what the US expected and some which were illegal. There is indirect evidence of back channel communication resulting in the US Joint Chiefs of Staff ordering the Liberty out of the immediate area 2 days prior to the attack. Admiral McCain never implemented the order and the Liberty was attacked with vengeful fury in apparent retaliation by someone confident he would prevail. Subsequently, on another occasion, Dayan threatened to shoot down US reconnaissance planes and the flights were halted.

        “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” (Moshe Dayan)

      • Mooser on September 18, 2019, 1:31 pm

        “The leaders of Israel would have had to be not only evil, but also certifiably crazy.”

        And being Jewish Zionists precludes those two conditions?

      • RoHa on September 18, 2019, 9:38 pm

        “And being Jewish Zionists precludes those two conditions?”

        I thought they were requirements.

  16. James Canning on September 18, 2019, 10:45 am

    @mondonut: In claiming Lyndon Johnson did not have advance knowledge of Israel’s intention to attack the USS Liberty, you appear unaware the American aerial strike force heading for targets in Egypt was recalled at virtually the last minute. Or, are you claiming President Johnson was not aware of the plan for the US to attack Egypt in “response” to Egypt’s attack on the USS Liberty?

    • Keith on September 18, 2019, 9:01 pm

      JAMES CANNING- “… American aerial strike force heading for targets in Egypt….”

      Where are you getting this crap? Links, etc? The last thing LBJ needed in 1967 was another war, one with the potential to go nuclear real fast. LBJ’s real problem was keeping Israel from going too far.

  17. jon s on September 18, 2019, 3:50 pm

    Incidentally, an acquaintance of mine has written a doctoral dissertation which focuses on the persistent false accusations and conspiracy theories regarding the Liberty.

  18. James Canning on September 18, 2019, 4:26 pm

    @Keith: The US Strategic Air Command went on full alert BEFORE Israel attacked the USS Liberty at 1:58 p.m. Israeli time. There is no way Israel would have murdered- – or tried to murder- – nearly 300 American sailors without explicit advance approval from the White House.

    • Keith on September 18, 2019, 9:09 pm

      JAMES CANNING- “The US Strategic Air Command went on full alert BEFORE Israel attacked the USS Liberty at 1:58 p.m. Israeli time.”

      I don’t know what you mean by “full alert.” Some increase in readiness in response to the onset of the 6 day war would not be unusual. And your conclusion that this demonstrates that Israel had LBJ’s approval to attack the Liberty is ludicrous. Are you a 911 Truther?

  19. James Canning on September 19, 2019, 11:56 am

    @Keith: Do you understand that the US Sixth Fleet twice sent squadrons of aircraft in response to the SOS from the USS Liberty, and each time the relief response was recalled? Lyndon Johnson himself directly ordered the recall of one of those missions.

    • Keith on September 19, 2019, 2:24 pm

      JAMES CANNING- “Do you understand that the US Sixth Fleet twice sent squadrons of aircraft in response to the SOS from the USS Liberty, and each time the relief response was recalled?”

      Yes, however, that is substantially different from your ludicrous claim that “… you appear unaware the American aerial strike force heading for targets in Egypt….” The planes were responding to the SOS from the Liberty, they were not an “… aerial strike force heading for targets in Egypt….” You have so mangled historical reality that I suspect that you are a Zionist mole trying to make anti-Zionist commenters look irrational. Rave on all you want, I am done with you.

      • James Canning on September 19, 2019, 3:39 pm

        @Keith: I did not say the strike force heading for Egypt was one of the two rescue missions that responded, or tried to respond, to the SOS sent by the USS Liberty.

        Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the recall of both rescue missions, and he thereby allowed the Israeli attack to continue. Obviously, Johnson could have simply told Israel to stop its attack immediately.

      • RoHa on September 19, 2019, 7:57 pm

        I’m ready to believe a conspiracy if there is evidence. But subsequent acquiescence is insufficient to count as evidence for prior collusion.

  20. James Canning on September 20, 2019, 6:07 pm

    @RoHo: You make a valid point. The cease-fire was supposed to take effect toward the end of June 7th. On June 8th, an hour or so before the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty began, a full alert for the US Strategic Air Command was instituted. Curious timing, to say the least.

  21. DaBakr on September 24, 2019, 12:55 pm

    Oh wow. An opinion piece dragging up almost every historical conflict, misunderstanding, or political / military disagreement between the US and Israel. How unusual.

    First we have the perennial conspiracists complaint about the Liberty.(Now mind you, I seriously doubt any but the most patriotic Americans actually give a shit about the uss liberty incident. But suffice to say, after decades of ‘intensive’ investigation ‘ by the two governments and some surviving crew the incident has NEVER been conclusively deemed anything but a miscommunication and if it was worse then that it was almost surely set up by the US CIA station chief with Israel following commands by half in the fog of war time. There naturally, like the twin tower doubters, have poured 1000s of hours into researching minute aspects of the Liberty but nothing has ever proven conclusive other then a CIA chief in Israel or Lebanon had something to do with manipulating the conflict using Egyptian boats and the USS Liberty. It’s also not disputed that the IAF were flying the planes that strafed the USS Liberty. The other point being, there hasn’t been a massive cover up. We know the basic facts but it’s never been conclusive to what degree the US command, CIA, and the IAF were in conclusion. It’s not hard to develop an evil conspiracy when important details are still murky. But there is also no evidence to point to Israel having ANY motivation to kill USS Liberty crew and there never had been any example since.

    Are people considering the political positions of GB and France at the time. 1967 was a turning point in US-israeli relations which, up to the six day war were more complicated by French and British alliance. Eisenhower wasnt an enemy but hadnt been an ardent supporter up until 60. Kennedy was preoccupied but his bro Robert was enamored with Israel. Then it was the build up of forces, the Arab nationalist rhetoric, the booting of the UN and the Israeli preemptive attack. Things sure went askew fast for the American admin. As much as I’ve read on both sides of the USS Liberty I find a conclusive reason is elusive. But the two nations officially put the matter to rest so it’s like beating a dead horse for the Israel hating crowd. Naturally, I have seen zero- nothing about the Amal (Iranian backed precursor to Hezbollah) murdering 250 US marines sent to Lebanon to enforce a peace. No complaints here about that. Evidently, on MW, that was a totally justified act by a foreign nation almost 1000km away from Lebanon.

    Second there is Pollard. No argument on what he did. He served more time then any other US spy (and especially a spy from an allied nation) in history. There is debate on wether Israel crucially needed the Syrian/Soviet missle sites and wether Casper W. refused to keep to the bargain of sharing that I tell. Regardless, there is scant, if any evidence pollard caused any agents to be exposed or even killed. There isn’t even proof, just in innuendo that Israel shared with the Soviets. His 30 years in super max was absolutely maximum. We know Casper W. (I’m sure he was never popular in left leaning circles like MW commenters) had a bug up his butt and petitioned the sentencing judge (im not sure if it was an ethical or legal breech) to basically to cancel the plea and show no mercy. (Yes, there were some circumstances involving pollard gag order).
    Whatever you think, he did his thirty years and now is subjected to draconian probation though he shows no sign of doing any further harm. The point being : spying for Israel, regardless wether its a friendly nation will get you the maximum punishment even over much more egregious Soviet spies. (And every administration since Bush 1 has kept up the level of harshness for pollard. Obviously, the naval intelligence agency and DOS hate him with a passion. So, he got his and continues to be semi incarcerated after the 30yrs. Nobody, including a lot of jews, it’s crying though some are wondering why pollard, of all the spies is being made the ultimate example. Perhaps it is because it was a friendly nation. I can’t find any evidence except by connection to israel that it is because pollard is a jew. I mean, he is, but his punishment transcended just the fact he was Jewish.

    Then there is the Obama/Rhodes conspiracy to oust Netanyahu. IMO it was the most junior varsity petulant attempt to get back at a foreign leader that frustrated, irritated, and maybe even made you hate him. The deal was y all accounts a bad deal. Even Obama explained to the American public it was the ‘best bad deal’ we could make. But he NEVER explained to Americans why he thought shifting the balance of power from our 70yr stable shitty oppressive allies in KSA to giving power to our arch enemy, the just as shitty and oppressive Mullah regime in Tehran was in America’s best interests. The billions Obama gave them did not help the people. It helped Iran use its proxy armies to militarily expand into Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Gaza, Lebanon and Bahrain. Obama essentially pussed out on his Assad chemical red-line and handed Syria over to putin and the irg. 50, 000 Yazidi murdered or sold as sex slaves. And MW commenters are still infuriated Netanyahu spoke to the US congress to warn it was a bad deal.

    And obama, so transparent and immature made sure when the door slammed his ass on the way out he had the UN declare the remnant of the temple mount declarec a Palestinian heritage site. And now MW commenters wonder why Israel had the audacity to push to move their own capital to Jerusalem?

    Anyway, blue and white. Barely a dimes worth of difference with Netanyahu. The exception being gantz was a careerist general whos a shitty politician and just inherited a mess he hasn’t a clue how to handle. Lieberman is, well, hes the same butt head he has always been. The irony of the Arab mks backing Gantz is just a cynical but satisfying way to say fk you to bibi. And, there is a small chance the Arab block will gain More enfranchisement then pundits predict.

    There will be a lot of pushback. Both reasoned and paranoid. But the polls show increasing amounts of arab Israeli citizens are embracing their israeli citizenship and woukd absolutely not want to live in a Palestinian state run by either PA, PLO or even worse Hamas. This may be the beginning of the period(long period) where to a certain degree, in civil law, military and nationalistic law the various parties slowly morph, not from mutual love or respect but from mutual need, shared goals, peace and security. Well see. There is plenty of time for things to get very fucked up

    • DaBakr on September 24, 2019, 1:30 pm

      P.S.

      I tried to edit down some superfluous stuff but edit feature timed out. I would have taken out the whole Kennedy thing. I woukd have added the CIA/z Israel liberty attack also involved radio signals that may have been misleading or deliberate.

      Per Casper W. It should be “sharing intell” not ‘I tell’

      Per Gantz: a careerist MEDIOCRE general and shitty politician

      The Arab block and MKs. There is a chance this is the beginning of a long period where Arab citizens can further their enfranchisement in the political areana. Yes, there will be pushback. Both paranoid, racist ( and I believe the Arabs can be just as racist. I belive everybody is a racist to a degree in fact but then so fucking what? There are more folks who arent racist just like John 1:5
      also, most polls not done by Shelby, Zogby or CAIR show israeli Arabs are not interested in becoming citizens of any state run by the PLO, PA, or g-d forbid the Hamas. So, it’s a long slog but this cloud be the start of something. We have supreme court justice, generals, heads of major hospitals, Cops, teachers, social workers and Gays. I think we can survive Arab MKs in cabinet positions. Just my two centimes.

      OH, and apologies to misterios for challenging his interminably long informationals. I promise it won’t happen again, at least for a long while

      • Mooser on September 24, 2019, 5:56 pm

        .” I promise it won’t happen again, at least for a long while”

        It hasn’t happened at all. “Misterioso’s” post are composed of relevant information, from good sources.

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