Friday, September 17, 2010

Israeli "seurity" corp. spies on groups in the USA ... with official Homeland Security approval...that is until they are caught at it

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Information about an anti-BP candlelight vigil, a gay and lesbian festival and other peaceful gatherings became the subject of anti-terrorism bulletins being distributed by Pennsylvania's homeland security office, an apologetic Gov. Ed Rendell admitted.

Rendell, who claimed he'd just learned about the practice, said Tuesday that the information was useless to law enforcement agencies and that distributing it was tantamount to trampling on constitutional rights. In recent weeks, several acts of vandalism at drilling sites spurred the inclusion of events likely to be attended by environmentalists and the bulletins began going to representatives of Pennsylvania's booming natural gas industry.

A Philadelphia rally organized by a nonprofit group to support Rendell's push for higher spending on public schools even made a bulletin, as did drilling protests at a couple of Rendell's news conferences this month as he toured the state to boost support for a tax on the natural gas industry.

"I am deeply embarrassed and I apologize to any of the groups who had this information disseminated on their right to peacefully protest," Rendell said at an evening Capitol news conference.

Rendell called the practice "ludicrous" and said the fact that the state was paying for such rudimentary information was "stunning."

Still, Rendell said he was not firing his homeland security director, James Powers, but he ordered an end to the $125,000 contract with the Philadelphia-based organization, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response(ITRR), that supplied the information.

AP does not say is that ITRR is an Israeli "security" and "anti-terrorism" company -- and like most of such companies has close ties to Israeli military and intelligence. According to ITRR's website, the group describes itself as "the preeminent Israeli/American security firm providing training, intelligence and education to clients across the globe."

The site boasts of its "Israeli-style training" that "All ITRR courses are approved by the Israeli Ministry of Defense." ITRR lists among its "partners" such groups as "The Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute" and it lists its offices in Philadelphia and Jerusalem. ITRR also shockingly is a "partner" of Philadelphia University.

This nefarious outfit which boasts of its "approval" by the the war criminals at the Israeli Ministry of Defense has been caught red-handed violating the constitutional rights of Americans. How many more states or municipalities have contracts with this human-rights-abusing front? This is an urgent matter that media and civil rights groups must investigate.


Going through ITRR's website I found this item which states:

All of the information ITRR's staff creates is sent to its monitoring center in Jerusalem, where it is analyzed and verified with other local sources.

"We never have just one member of the ground truth network in a country," Perelman said. Right now, the institute has more than 15 people in the field. "We are constantly cross checking with ground truth sources and communications that we receive through other means."

ITRR's network is global but not all countries are currently monitored. "If a client feels the need for coverage in a particular area we will obtain the information and coverage," Perelman said.

This appears to confirm that ITRR is gathering information on Americans and sending the data to Israel -- almost certainly to Israeli intelligence. It would not be surprising if this firm were simply a front for Israeli intelligence and in effect being paid by US taxpayers to spy on them. In Pittsburgh, a city council member has demanded a probe into ITRR accusing the firm of "espionage."

This post originally appeared on Ali Abunimah's blog

Saturday, September 4, 2010

From Haaretz

Published 01:57 03.09.10
Latest update 01:57 03.09.10

Fascism is already here
If protesters didn't exist, Netanyahu, Livnat and Sa'ar would have to invent them. After all, these figures are the last living proof of a democratic regime in Israel.
By Yossi Sarid

Israeli democracy is mainly for decoration, like a tree grown for its beauty, not to bear fruit. Few people actually use it or the rights it affords. Many are merely happy that they can vote in the Knesset elections, and even this number is getting smaller.

Does Israel's civic passivity stem from laziness or apathy or despair? That feeling that there's no way they can influence or change anything? And if governments suffice with running countries, this government is adamant about dictating the policies of the opposition - with an opposition comprised of such figures as Tzipi Livni, Shaul Mofaz and Tzachi Hanegbi, this is certainly possible. A democracy that is atrophying, that is not utilized on a daily basis, becomes an unnecessary tool.

But here we find a paradox: Those who fight against democracy in order to destroy it, to set up an alternative state in its place, are the very people who know how to exploit it to the full. The settlers know, as do the rabbis, who teach their students how their "Jewish state" will look. During the past few months it appears as if fascism has already arrived here and is waiting just behind the wall. And even the genius of our times - for whom everything has been turned inside out - knows, judging by his weekly hot-air emissions. They use democracy in order to toss it out.

Here and there a few, the few who were lost in the desert, renounce them, but then immediately pounce on them to scare them and shut them up - the government and the rabble alike. And what can a person who wants to protest do when his soul has despaired of those who kill and those who are killed? When his soul is fed up with the occupation, and all he wants is that it should not manage to occupy his desires? Someone seeking salvation for his soul and ours - what is left for him to do?

If he participates in the popular struggle against the separation fence, he will be buried outside the fence of the cemetery; if he demonstrates in Sheikh Jarrah, he will feel the heavy hand of the police; if he is a university lecturer, they'll send the watchdogs after him in the name of Zionism; if he belongs to a theater troupe, someone who can still see the Green Line in his mind's eye, they will threaten the source of his income; if he is a school principal who tries not just to support settlements but to inculcate them, they will look for a different institution for him because that is not how we do things; if he is a judge who dares deny that security is of the utmost importance, they will blame him for bloodshed; if he is a journalist who refuses to join in the chorus, there will be cries to boycott his newspaper; if he is a citizen who wishes to protect a child being threatened with expulsion from the country, he too will be blacklisted as an enemy of the people; and a long list remains.

What a foolish government. If such people hadn't been around to break through the fences and hold their own, Benjamin Netanyahu, Limor Livnat and Gideon Sa'ar would've had to invite them to do so, to find a special clause in the budget to support them. After all, these figures are their alibis and the last living proof of a democratic regime in Israel.

Without them, this government would be left with only the inflated Eli Yishai and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who is constantly letting out hot air but, heaven forbid, should not be denounced as the national skunk. The prime minister pretends he can't hear and all the ministers keep mum just like him. How simple it is to condemn left-wing artists at the start of the cabinet meeting, to threaten to turn out the lights on their stage.

Next week the president will make his annual pilgrimage to the rabbi, to wish him a happy new year, a year in which all his wishes and desires will be fulfilled.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glossary and Tips for understanding the Israel/Palestine fleece...I mean peace process

Israeli Dictionary of negotiating terms:

Peace: undisturbed stealing of Palestinian land.

Partner for Peace: any sucker who will put up with a condition of "peace."

Security: whatever allows Israel to expand it's borders; having an unending supply of weapons from the U.S. while keeping the Palestinians disarmed.

"Responsible" partner for peace: someone who will not hit back when attacked by Israel.

War: any objection to Israel stealing Palestinian land

Terrorism: actually doing something to protect one's land against Israeli theft (peaceful protests such as in Bil'in and Silwan are crafty ways to carry out terrorism).

90% of the West Bank: re: "Israel will offer the Palestine Authority 90% of the West Bank for a state." 90% of the West Bank means 90% of 50%, that is, 40%. Israeli settlements and military encampments have taken about 50% of the West Bank which they won't give back. So, to Netanyahu's government when they say "West Bank" they mean the 40% they will let the Palestinians have for a state (or, better said, sort of a quasi-state).

Contiguous land: Contiguous land is whatever land that the Israeli government says is contiguous, whether it is contiguous or not. So any proposed future acceptable Palestinian state, besides being surrounded on all sides by Israeli troops (even on the border with Jordan), will also be cut up into pieces that are also surrounded by settlements and military bases.

Secure, defendable borders: It depends. Israel's borders move around. Sometimes they include south Lebanon, sometimes part of Syria, most times all of the West Bank... Gaza is next for border readjustment.

How to practice to be an Israeli negotiator:

Take someone out to a pizza place and order a large pizza. Get a big knife, taking care that your friend doesn't have one, and start talking about how to divide the pizza. Begin eating the pizza while you are talking. If your friend objects, get another person to hold his arms while you eat the pizza. Be sure and lecture him about proper negotiating manners. When you are done eating all the pizza leave your negotiating partner the bill.
R. Congress

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hamas kills four West Bank settlers: a big outcry in the media. West Bank settlers kill, main, attack Palestinian villagers: who cares?

Look at this list of settler-initiated crimes against Palestinians in the last few weeks
Sep 01, 2010 06:27 pm | Seham

From Mondoweiss, see original posting for links to incidents of settler attacks.

I have been to the West Bank, I have seen with my own eyes how the settlers walk around with machine guns, terrorizing the native Palestinian population. They are only in the West Bank to justify a continued Israeli military presence there; and they are armed to the teeth.

Where did the settlers get their machine guns from? Where did the settlers learn that it is OK to hate Palestinians, that their presence in the OPT is justified even if it comes with the wholesale subjugation of a people? The settlers, the majority of them are trouble-makers who need to be removed from the Palestinian territories, asap.

The killing of the settlers was simply a reminder to everyone meeting in Washington that they cannot continue to ignore the democratically elected leadership of Gaza, no matter how despicable the West and Israel may find them. Most Palestinians, apparently with the exception of Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies, find all Israeli leadership to be even more despicable, more criminal and more violent than Hamas—but alas, they are left with no choice but to deal with them, no matter how many innocent Palestinians they have murdered.

Please don’t accuse me of advocating vigilante justice, because I don’t. But, those settlers are illegally squatting on Palestinian land, and the list of those responsible for what happened to them yesterday must include near the top the Israeli leadership that lured them from around the world into living in cheap, government subsidized housing with all kinds of welfare benefits so that Israel can continue its illegal military presence in the West Bank. Golda Meir said that there couldn’t be peace until the Arabs learned to love their children more than they hate Israelis… I posit that there won’t be peace until the Israelis learn to love their children more than they love the continued theft of Palestinian land.

And all of this talk of “why, why, why did Hamas do this?” Take a look at this list of settler initiated crimes against Palestinians from the last few weeks. What type of superhuman moral restraint do you expect Palestinians to continue? How long must they be intimidated by these thugs before they strike back? How long would Americans tolerate this sort of thuggish behavior before they fought back?

Jerusalem settlers assault 9 year old, parents say

Witnesses: Settlers beat 10-year-old Palestinian girl

Settlers harass family near settlement

Early morning settler attack on Palestinian family in Hebron area

Israeli Settlers Attack Families And The Military Abducts Two In Hebron

Masked settlers attack international peace activists in Hebron

Settlers Assault A Palestinian Woman In Hebron

Police: Family attacked by settlers after car crash

Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Farmers Near Salfit

PNI leader attacked by settlers

Witnesses: Armed settler threatens farmers

Dark days in Al Buwayra: a week of settler attacks

When Settlers Attack....Today (And Everyday) In The West Bank

Settlers Attack as a Palestinian Villagers try to Secure Water in the South Hebron Hills, Joseph Dana

East Jerusalem: Settlers Take Over Another House

Official: Settlers uproot 200 olive trees south of Nablus

Armed settler guards attack mosque in Wadi Hilweh, shots fired at Palestinian residents

Price Tag: Settlers riot after structures razed

Witnesses: Settlers raid house, burn crops

PA official: Settlers set fire to village land

Settlers Destroy Farm Lands, Troops Arrest Civilians And Invade Areas In Gaza

Israeli settlers try to seize lands in Jerusalem

Settlers torch farmland east of Nablus

Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian car

PA official: Settlers vandalize cars after Hebron shooting

Bus damaged by rocks near Nablus

Israeli army escorts 500 Jewish Israelis into controversial settlement near Nablus

Report: Israeli settlers insult prophet Muhammad