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Thread: Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series

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    Default Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series

    Many will remember Al Jazeera's exposé of the the UK's Israel lobby which led to the firing of London's Israeli embassy employee Shai Masot. Now here comes the US edition, complete with just as much revealing hidden camera work beautifully illustrating how Zionism maintains its influence on US politics.

    The documentary was never broadcast by Al Jazeera due to pressure from some Jewish groups and individuals. It was eventually leaked to a few groups, which posted some short clips. On November 2nd the first two parts finally became available to the public. Part 3 and 4 have just been released within the past few minutes of me writing this post.

    Watch and download in case they are removed by Youtube. Mod's, perhaps they could be added to the Avalon library.

    the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated --- Gandhi

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    Default Re: Al Jazeera's

    My goodness, I'm actually watching this right now and before seeing that you posted this up.

    Thank you. This series is a must view

    I'd downloaded the first two parts yesterday and intend to make them available for the library.

    Some other useful links are as follows:
    https://pastebin.com/A6eELXay
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6wisw0
    Update: yes, on other sites, the first two parts can be downloaded and I've just remembered where I pulled the first two **parts from, here:

    The Lobby - USA, episode 1: 48 mins
    https://files.catbox.moe/rb3wkn.mp4

    The Lobby - USA, episode 2: 49 mins
    https://files.catbox.moe/cdc7oo.mp4

    **Mod edit: added part 3 and part 4 below at GMT 15:24 November 7th (TQ)

    >The Lobby P3: The Witch Hunt
    https://files.catbox.moe/7jgaze.mp4 LQ Version [148MB]

    >The Lobby P4: Marketing Occupation
    https://files.catbox.moe/sxcnnz.mp4 LQ Version [153MB]
    Last edited by Tintin; 7th November 2018 at 15:25. Reason: Added part 3 and 4 links
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    Default Re: Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series

    Submitting this interview with Craig Murray undertaken by Tony Gosling from BCfm 93.2, Bristol (England) Politics Show in January 2017 where the Israel Lobby's influence is discussed, as it complements the thread theme.

    Audio can be heard here

    Some of the questions, not all, are a little naive, but, Craig, as he usually does, gets to the crux and lays things out honestly, unambiguously and with typically customary ironic humour in places. He is careful and candid, and most importantly extremely well informed. He does discuss other matters briefly as well including the DNC email leaks, the threats to the alternative media community, and Russian (sic) "influence".

    Critically the role of Shai Masot who was filmed in Al Jazeera's investigations into the role of the Lobby in British politics is investigated. Parts 1 and 2 of that series can be seen here:

    The Lobby P1: Young Friends of Israel – Al Jazeera Investigations


    Source: Watch on Vimeo



    The Lobby P2: The Training Session – Al Jazeera Investigations


    Source: Watch on Vimeo





    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    His own blog post that relates to Shai Masot was published before the interview and I'm linking to that, and sharing the text, below:

    Britain’s Most Undesirable Immigrant: Why Was Shai Masot Given a Visa?
    10 Jan, 2017 in Uncategorized by craig

    Click image for larger version

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    "As a former diplomat, my first instinct was to look him up on the Diplomatic List. Every country in the world controls the number of permitted foreign diplomats very closely, for two reasons. Firstly it confers an immigration residency status, and secondly it confers tax exemption and an immunity from prosecution. The Diplomatic List is therefore not a loose thing – there is an entire section of good employees in the FCO tasked with policing it in close liaison with the Home Office."

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    UPDATE
    For over twelve hours there has been stunned silence from the FCO media department in reply to my questions about the Shai Masot case – I am an NUJ member, and I think the idea of a British journalist actually doing real journalism and asking real questions has astonished them. They have now asked me to put them in writing, and I have just done so. This is what I have submitted.

    "I am investigating the status of Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy officer caught plotting against Alan Duncan and who was very active with UK political parties.

    I appreciate the FCO line is that the case of his conduct is now closed. But I am not investigating his conduct, I am investigating the improper conduct of the FCO in granting him a visa and residency status in the first place.

    My initial questions are these:
    1) On what basis was Mr Masot in the UK?
    2) He was not on the Diplomatic List, but plainly was a senior officer (an ex Major and current executive in the Directorate of Strategic Affairs) and therefore not qualified in the normal categories of technical and support staff. What precise visa and residence status did he hold?
    3) How many more officers does the Israeli Embassy have with that same visa and residence status?
    4) Has the FCO connived with the Israeli Embassy to allow many more Israeli intelligence operatives residence in the country than the official and reciprocated diplomatic staff allocation of the Embassy?
    5) Did MI5, MI6 or any other of the security services have any input into Mr Masot’s acceptance and visa/residency status?
    It is over 12 hours since I contacted the FCO’s media people with these questions. I would appreciate your earliest contact. My number is …

    Craig Murray"


    Do not hold your breath

    Astonishingly, the Israeli Embassy’s Senior Political Officer Shai Masot, implicated in a plot against the Deputy Foreign Minister, was not on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Diplomatic List, the Bible for the status of accredited diplomats. This opens up a number of extremely important questions. Who was he, what was his visa status and why was he resident in the UK? It is very plain that the work he was doing as “Senior Political Officer” would equate normally to senior diplomatic rank.

    He was a major in the Israeli Navy – in the FCO’s own table of equivalent rank, Major equates to Second Secretary in the Diplomatic Service. After that he went on to apparently executive positions in the Ministry for Strategic Affairs, before moving to the Israeli Embassy in London. There he held many recorded meetings with politicians, including giving briefings in parliament and at party conferences, and acted in a way that in general would accord with a rank around First Secretary to Counsellor.

    So why exactly has he never featured in the FCO’s Diplomatic List? He very plainly outranks many of those Israeli diplomats who are featured. It should be noted it is perfectly normal for diplomats not to come from a country’s foreign affairs ministry. For one example Ivan Rogers who spectacularly resigned recently as Britain’s Ambassador to the EU, was from the Treasury not the FCO. Several people in the Israeli Embassy, who are on the Diplomatic List, are not from the foreign service. So that is not the reason.

    This is not an obscure point. As a former diplomat, my first instinct was to look him up on the Diplomatic List. Every country in the world controls the number of permitted foreign diplomats very closely, for two reasons. Firstly it confers an immigration residency status, and secondly it confers tax exemption and an immunity from prosecution. The Diplomatic List is therefore not a loose thing – there is an entire section of good employees in the FCO tasked with policing it in close liaison with the Home Office.

    Embassies are allowed a very small number of technical and support staff – IT people and cleaners – in addition. But these must be what they say they are. Plainly Masot was not in reality one of these, and plainly the official Israeli Embassy explanation that he was a “junior member of staff” is a lie. The Israeli Embassy is not given visas for “junior members of staff” except in very specific job categories which Masot plainly does not meet.

    It is a lie in which the FCO must have been absolutely complicit in organising his immigration residency status in the UK.

    I have contacted the media office of the FCO to query Masot’s immigration status, and so far received no reply. But the key questions are these:
    Shai Masot was not on the Diplomatic List. What kind of visa and residence status did he have in the UK?
    • How many other operatives does the Israeli have with the same UK residence status as Masot?
    • Why is the British Government granting Israeli intelligence operatives false residency immigration status in the UK based on a deliberate lie about their role and position?
    • How many other Israeli intelligence officers are active in the UK with a false immigration status?
    • Who, specifically, authorised Masot’s visa, and why?
    My advantage as an ex-British Ambassador is that I know the bureaucratically correct questions to ask to get to the heart of a matter. Please do ask them of your MP, and get them to demand answers from the FCO.


    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    Recommended reading as well from the British Parliament Select Committee on Foreign Affairs website https://publications.parliament.uk/p...13/813we16.htm


    Memorandum from Dr Martha Mundy
    I should like to bring to your attention the article inserted below and attached from Asia Times. The following questions must be considered with regard to the intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction on the basis of which the UK government decided to go to war against Iraq.

    (1) What part of this intelligence resulted from work of intelligence agencies/agents of HM Government?

    (2) What part of this intelligence resulted from work of intelligence agents/agencies of the US Government?

    (3) What part of this intelligence resulted from work of intelligence agents/agencies of the Israeli Government?

    In short what was the division of labour between these agencies and to what extent does the UK retain sufficient independence from the interests/institutions of these two powerful countries in the Middle East to make independent decisions based on its own intelligence?
    The attached article raises a series of major issues about the relation between HM intelligence services and the Israeli intelligence services.
    Dr Martha Mundy
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology (Specialist in the countries of the Arab East) London School of Economics
    June 2003



    ASSASSINATION AND THE LICENSE TO KILL, ASIA TIMES, 13 JUNE 2003, and excerpted below, the following:

    "Israel has played a significant and largely secret role within the dark world of Britain's covert operations against terrorist groups. As long ago as the early 1970s Rafael Eitan, the then head of the Israeli hit-squad known as the "Kidon" toured Northern Ireland and later the Special Air Services (SAS) base in Hereford, England.

    Rumor has it that Eitan was less than impressed with British training, tactics or their "kill" rate. Within months of his visit there began a number of fundamental changes in security policy and operations in the county. More SAS were to be there and a number of specialized anti-terrorist groups would eventually be formed, ranging from the 14th Intelligence and Security Company, once described as the "thinking man's SAS" to the Mobile Reconnaissance Force or MRF which would later become the Force Reconnaissance Unit (FRU). The FRU was to be later involved in the targeting of suspected Republicans for assassination by the infamous Loyalist death squads in Northern Island.

    Indeed, Britain's overall counter-terror organization was held in such poor esteem by the experienced Israelis that Israel's intelligence service Mossad's Kidon hit-team took the law into its own hands by assassinating two of the Palestinian terrorists suspected of involvement in the Black September Massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

    One was found dead in his London hotel room, while the second fell under the wheels of a car in High Holborn, much to the annoyance of MIS (the security service dealing with counter espionage against British organizations by foreign powers, including counter-terrorism) and the fury of Whitehall. The 1988 killing of three Irish Republican Army (IRA) members in Gibraltar by the SAS was reportedly viewed as a bungled operation by Mossad who had originally tracked the Irish terrorists who they suspected of running guns from Lebanon. Wishing to avoid further problems with London by not attempting to kill or capture them on British soil, the surveillance operation was handed over to MIS, and of course later to the SAS, whose heavy-handed approach finally prevented interrogation of the suspects.

    Britain's tough new approach owes much to Israel Under Prime Minister Tony Blair, Britain's official approach is far more cooperative and Mossad have apparently met with little opposition to their clandestine center operating in London with some 15 intelligence officers and two or three members of the Kidon. The Israelis are thought to have a hit list of around 50 Islamic and Palestinian terrorists believed to be currently living in Britain. Most of these radicals are, to use Israeli parlance, to be "disposed of" and it is believed that a number have either fled the country or have gone under deep cover in consequence. According to Gordon Thomas, one of the world's leading experts on Israeli and British intelligence in particular, the highly effective Kidon is directly controlled by Mossad.

    It has some 38-40 highly trained assassins and includes at least four women. They operate throughout the world and wherever a potential or actual threat exists to the interests of Israel or its people. David Kimche, a 30-year veteran of Mossad and its deputy until his resignation in 1980, was largely responsible for the formulation of the Kidon philosophy that it must be "Israel first, last and always". "
    Last edited by Tintin; 7th November 2018 at 14:38. Reason: Added Martha Mundy memo
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    Default Re: Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series



    With thanks again to Akasha for posting up a very important thread and an eminently sensible suggestion for us to consider adding these to the library.

    We have, in the team. now made all four parts of the USA series of films available in the Avalon Library for easy download for any of you interested in this material. These should be easily accessible here, below:
    1. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_U...da)_Part_1.mp4
    2. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_U...da)_Part_2.mp4
    3. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_U...da)_Part_3.mp4
    4. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_U...da)_Part_4.mp4
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 8th November 2018 at 00:35. Reason: fixed links
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series

    [This in relation to the Al Jazeera Investigations into the lobby infiltration into the British political party system]

    I'm taking, for me, the slightly unusual route of sharing an actual email [text only] that I have just sent to two very close friends whose names, for obvious reasons, I haven't divulged. It's been tweaked only a little so that it makes sense to readers here on the forum (or reading in general).

    I'll be taking steps to make the following series of films available, as before with the US investigations, in the Avalon Library. All of what follows in reference to the etymology will make obvious sense when those have been viewed.

    Of course, the wetransfer link shared here will empower you to download those for yourself

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    There is no need for me to proselytise on the content of these dear chaps, but please do make some time (an hour and a half or so - in fact I may gently INSIST that you do ) and watch this extraordinarily revealing 4 part documentary series which had been prevented from being made available to the wider public 2 years ago, when it was first made. Their content and obvious import speak for themselves.

    This constitutes irrefutable evidence.

    And do feel free of course to share this with anyone else you feel may be interested

    The link remains active for a week.

    https://we.tl/t-ZaBUIW6qEh

    Happy viewing......and enjoy your day
    With my usual bunch of love and admiration for you both xxxx

    PS: okay, as a possibly interesting footnote that in sharing it is absolutely and categorically not intended to insult anyone's intelligence, least of all you two (who may possess IQs north of 160, in my experience) but in my view, resets (most sensibly) a much more grounded basis for discussion of this often highly charged subject area. I know, some of this would already be stark-staringly obvious to you. (I had to provide a clue didn't I?!)

    And you both know that I am ALWAYS ultra objective and diligent in my researches - multiple other sources not shared here or cited do testify to their veracity.

    Anybody who you may end up having a conversation about this with would do well to actually know a little of what it is that they think they have a view on here, and I do mean that kindly, of course.

    The terms should be defined from the outset, then, discussion can of course begin.

    And, of course, any form of abuse, ignorance or intolerance toward any other human being, anywhere, well you know I regard such attitudes as ethically repugnant.

    Etymology of the currently most misunderstood words/terms that are bandied around with next to no real understanding of their original and actual meanings:

    Semite (from https://www.druidry.org/events-proje...haemus-lecture) - Section 9 (in itself a mammoth work but actually really very interesting indeed)

    The Eleventh Mount Haemus Lecture | Druidry & Transpersonal History - by Dr Thomas Clough Daffern

    "To Druid thinkers, whether of ancient times, or modern times, the whole notion of anti-Semitism would have been a logical oxymoron: the Semite is etymologically the one who listens, the people who hear – and Phoenicians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Hebrews and Arabs were all from this conglomeration of tribal peoples." [ my emphases - TQ ]

    Jew (from http://www.wicwiki.org.uk/mediawiki/...Word_%22Jew%22)

    When asked, "Who is Israel? - Who is a Jew?" the Israeli Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) unhesitatingly answered:

    "The term Israelite is purely Biblical. An Israeli is a citizen of Israel, regardless of religion. A Jew is a person anywhere in the world born to a Jewish mother, or converted to Judaism, who is thus identified as a member of the Jewish people and religion"
    (Information Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem; February, 1998).

    The Jewish Almanac concurs: "Strictly speaking, it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a "Jew." Or to call a contemporary Jew [an] "Israelite," or a "Hebrew." The first Hebrews would not have been Jews at all, and contemporary Palestinians, by their own definition of the term "Palestinian," have to include Jews among their own people" (The Jewish Almanac, October, 1980, page 3, Bantam Books, Inc).

    And, this: Ioudaios derived from the Aramaic jehudhai which did not refer to members of the tribe of Judah but to Judeans, the residents of the Babylonian province of Judea. The spelling of our present-day English word Jew is a transliteration of an abbreviation or slang word coined by their Babylonian conquerors for Judeans without reference to the race or religion of the captives.

    Hebrew/Apiru/Habiru (from: http://www.imninalu.net/habiru.htm)

    From the Papyrus Leiden, dated to the reign of Ramose II, about the year 2510 (1250 b.c.e.), the following statement is made in a letter: "Issue grain to the men of the army and to the Apiru who draw stone for the great pylon of Ramses II". Again we see Apiru in bondage in Egypt down to the time of Ramose II. They were being used as quarrymen and manual labourers.

    These references to the Apiru in Egyptian documents and on monuments show their presence in Egypt, and their social importance, for more than three centuries. The same people are called elsewhere "Habiru" or "Habiri".
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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    Default Re: Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series

    Quote Posted by Tintin (here)
    .....These references to the Apiru in Egyptian documents and on monuments show their presence in Egypt, and their social importance, for more than three centuries. The same people are called elsewhere "Habiru" or "Habiri".
    Probably just a coincidence but the Hungarian word for "war" is "háború".
    the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated --- Gandhi

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    Default Re: Al Jazeera's "The Lobby - USA" documentary series

    The Lobby - Al Jazeera Investigations: the UK series of documentaries

    These are now available in the Avalon Library, as per:
    1. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_P...tions_(UK).mp4
    2. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_P...tions_(UK).mp4
    3. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_P...tions_(UK).mp4
    4. http://avalonlibrary.net/The_Lobby_P...tions_(UK).mp4

    A further complementary article relating to these can be found on the excellent Jonathan Cook blog
    (...)In a now familiar pattern to lobby claims, Sacks relied on the false premise that all Jews are Zionists. He conflated a religious or ethnic category with a political ideology. The Labour leader has held his ground on this occasion, pointing out that he was using the term “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”. (...)


    The Israel lobby’s non-stop attacks on Corbyn will backfire
    6 September 2018

    Not only is the role of pro-Israel partisans in the UK now visible, but their ugly assumptions are under closer scrutiny than ever before

    Middle East Eye – 6 September 2018

    Back in the 1950s, the US intelligence community coined a term: “blowback”. It referred to the unintended consequences of a covert operation that ended up damaging one’s own cause.

    There are mounting indications that the intensifying campaign by the Israel lobby in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the parliamentary opposition, is starting to have precisely such self-harming repercussions.

    A campaign of smears
    In the three years since he was elected to lead the Labour party, Corbyn has faced non-stop accusations that his party has an endemic “anti-Semitism problem”, despite all evidence to the contrary. Of late, Corbyn himself has become the chief target of such allegations.

    Last month the Daily Mail led a media mauling of Corbyn over disparaging comments he made in 2013 about a small group of pro-Israel zealots who had come to disrupt a Palestinian solidarity meeting. His reference to them as “Zionists”, it was claimed, served as code for “Jews” and was therefore anti-Semitic.

    Mounting evidence in both the UK and the US, where there has been a similar escalation of attacks on pro-Palestinian activists, often related to the international boycott movement (BDS), suggests that the Israeli government is taking a significant, if covert, role in coordinating and directing such efforts to sully the reputation of prominent critics.

    Corbyn’s supporters have argued instead that he is being subjected to a campaign of smears to oust him from the leadership because of his very public championing over many decades of the Palestinian cause.

    Israel lobbyists
    Al-Jazeera has produced two separate undercover documentary series on Israel lobbyists’ efforts in the UK and US to interfere in each country’s politics – probably in violation of local laws. Only the UK series has been aired so far.

    It showed an Israeli embassy official, Shai Masot, both plotting to “take down” a Conservative government minister seen as too sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and helping to create an anti-Corbyn front organisation in the Labour party.

    Masot worked closely with two key pro-Israel groups in Labour, the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel. The latter includes some 80 Labour MPs.

    Under apparent pressure from the Israel lobby in the US, the series on the US lobby was suppressed.

    Last week Alain Gresh, the former editor of Le Monde diplomatique, published significant quotes from that censored documentary after viewing it secretly in Dubai. The US lobby’s aims and practices, as reported by Gresh, closely echo what has happened in the UK to Corbyn, as he has faced relentless allegations of anti-Semitism.

    The US documentary reportedly shows that Israel’s strategic affairs ministry has taken a leading role in directing the US lobby’s efforts. According to Gresh, senior members of the lobby are caught on camera admitting that they have built up a network of spies to gather information on prominent critics of Israel.

    In Gresh’s transcripted excerpts, Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, a group of organisations fighting BDS, states: “When I got here a few years ago, the budget was $3,000. Today it’s like a million and a half [dollars], or more. … It’s a massive budget.”

    “It’s psychological warfare,” he adds, noting how the smears damage the targeted groups: “They either shut down, or they spend time investigating [the accusations against them] instead of attacking Israel. It’s extremely effective.”

    David Hazony, a senior member of another lobby group, The Israel Project, explains that a pressing aim is to curb political speech critical of Israel: “What’s a bigger problem is the Democratic Party, the Bernie Sanders people, bringing all the anti-Israel people into the Democratic Party. Then being pro-Israel becomes less a bipartisan issue, and then every time the White House changes, the policies towards Israel change. That becomes a dangerous thing for Israel.”

    No discussion
    These reported quotes confirm much of what was already suspected. More than a decade ago scholars John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt wrote a book examining the composition and role of the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US.

    But until the broadcasting of the Al-Jazeera documentary last year no comparable effort had been made to shine a light on the situation in the UK. In fact, there was almost no discussion or even acknowledgment of the role of an Israel lobby in British public and political life.

    That is changing rapidly. Through its constant attacks on Corbyn, British activists are looking less like disparate individuals sympathetic to Israel and more recognisably like a US-style lobby – highly organised, on-message and all too ready to throw their weight around.

    The lobby was always there, of course. And, as in the US, it embraces a much wider body of support than right-wing Jewish leadership organisations like the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, or hardline lobbyists such as the Community Security Trust and BICOM.

    The earliest Zionists
    That should not surprise us. The earliest Zionists were not Jews but fundamentalist Christians. In the US, the largest group of Zionists by far are Christian evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to the Promised Land is the key to unlocking the second coming of the Messiah and an apocalyptic end-times. Though embraced by Israel, many of these Christian fundamentalists hold anti-Semitic views.

    In Britain, there is an unacknowledged legacy of anti-Semitic Christian support for Zionism. Lord Balfour, a devout Christian who regularly voiced bigotry towards Jews, was also the man who committed the British government in 1917 to create a home for Jews in Palestine. That set in motion today’s conflict between Israel and the native Palestinian population.

    In addition, many British gentiles, like other Europeans, live with understandable guilt about the Holocaust.

    One of the largest and most effective groups in Corbyn’s parliamentary party is Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), most of whose members are not Jewish. LFI takes some of the party’s most senior politicians on all-expenses-paid trips to Israel to wine and dine them as they are subjected to Israeli propaganda.

    Dozens of Labour MPs have remained loyal to LFI even as the organisation has repeatedly refused to criticise Israel over undeniable war crimes.

    When Israeli snipers executed dozens of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza in May, the LFI took to Twitter to blame Hamas for the deaths, not Israel. After facing a massive backlash online, the LFI simply deleted the tweet.

    A double whammy
    Historically the Israel lobby could remain relatively low-profile in the UK because it faced few challenges. Its role was chiefly to enforce a political orthodoxy about Israel in line with Britain’s role as Washington’s foreign policy junior partner. No British leader looked likely to step far from the Washington consensus.

    Until Corbyn.

    The Israel lobby in the UK now faces a double whammy.

    First, since Donald Trump entered the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dropped any pretence that Israel is willing to concede a Palestinian state, whatever the Palestinians do. Instead, Israel has isolated the Palestinian leadership diplomatically while seeking to terrorise the Palestinian population into absolute submission.

    That was all too clear over the summer when those Israeli snipers picked off demonstrators each week in Gaza. As a result, the Israel lobby stands more exposed than ever. It can no longer buy time for Israeli expansionism by credibly claiming, as it once did, that Israel seeks peace.

    Second, Israel’s partisans in the UK were caught off-guard by the unexpected rise of Corbyn to a place that puts him in sight of being the next prime minister. The use of social media by his supporters, meanwhile, has provided a counter-weight to the vilification campaign being amplified by the British media.

    The media have been only too willing to assist in the smearing of the Labour leader because they have their own separate interests in seeing Corbyn gone. He is a threat to the corporate business interests they represent.

    But not only has the messenger – the Israel lobby – now come under proper scrutiny for the first time, so has its message.

    Lack of irony
    The success of the lobby had depended not only on it remaining largely out of view. It also expected to shore up a largely pro-Israel environment without drawing attention to what was being advocated, beyond unquestioned soundbites. In doing so, it was able to entirely ignore those who had paid the price for Israel’s diplomatic impunity – the Palestinians.

    The campaign against Corbyn has not only forced the lobby to come out into the open, but the backlash to its campaign has forced the lobby to articulate for the first time what exactly it believes and what is at stake.

    The latest furore over Corbyn concerns a Youtube video of him speaking at a pro-Palestinian meeting in 2013, two years before he became Labour leader. He has been widely denounced in the media for making disparaging remarks about a small group of hardline pro-Israel partisans well-known for disrupting such meetings.

    He referred to them as “Zionists” and suggested that the reaction of this particular hardline group to a speech by the Palestinian ambassador had betrayed their lack of appreciation of “English irony”.

    Israel’s lobby, echoed by many liberal journalists, has suggested that Corbyn was using “Zionist” as code word for “Jew”, and that he had implied that all Jews – not the handful of pro-Israel zealots in attendance – lacked traits of Englishness.

    This, they say, was yet further evidence of his anti-semitism.

    Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s former chief rabbi, told the New Statesman last week that Corbyn’s comment was “the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician since Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech”. In that notorious speech, the right-wing politician sought to incite race hatred of immigrants.

    Calling Corbyn an “anti-Semite”, Sacks added: “It undermines the existence of an entire group of British citizens by depicting them as essentially alien.”

    Treacherous words
    In a now familiar pattern to lobby claims, Sacks relied on the false premise that all Jews are Zionists. He conflated a religious or ethnic category with a political ideology. The Labour leader has held his ground on this occasion, pointing out that he was using the term “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”.

    Others have noted that his accusers – many of them senior journalists – are the ones lacking a sense of irony. Corbyn was not “otherising” Jews, he was highlighting a paradox not confirming a prejudice: that a small group of Britons were so immersed in their partisan cause, Israel, that it had blinded them to the “English irony” employed by a foreigner, the Palestinian ambassador.

    However, the terms “anti-Semitism” and “Zionism” are likely to prove more treacherous to weaponise against Corbyn than the lobby thinks. As the anti-Semitism controversy is constantly reignited, a much clearer picture of the lobby’s implied logic is emerging, as illustrated by the hyperbolic, verging on delusional, language of Rabbi Sacks.

    The argument goes something like this:

    Israel is the only safe haven for Jews in times of trouble – and the only thing that stands between them and a future Holocaust. The movement that created Israel was the Zionist movement. Today most Jews are Zionists and believe Israel is at the core of their identity. Therefore, if you are too critical of Israel or Zionism, you must wish bad things for the Jewish people. That makes you an anti-Semite.

    Problematic premises
    It probably doesn’t require a logician to understand that there are several highly problematic premises propping up this argument. Let’s concentrate on two. The first is that it depends on a worldview in which the non-Jew is assumed to be anti-Semite until proven otherwise. For that reason Jews need to be eternally vigilant and distrustful of those outside their “tribe”.

    If that sounds improbable, it shouldn’t. That is exactly the lesson of the Holocaust taught to children in Israel from kindergarten onwards.

    Israel derives no universal message from the Holocaust. Its schools do not teach that we must avoid stigmatising others, and discourage sectarian and tribal indentifications that fuel prejudice and bigotry. How could it? After all, Israel’s core ideology, political Zionism, is premised on the idea of tribal and sectarian exclusivity – the “ingathering of exiles” to create a Jewish state.

    In Israel, the Holocaust supplies a different lesson. It teaches that Jews are under permanent threat from non-Jews, and that their only defence is to seek collective protection in a highly militarised state, armed with nuclear weapons.

    This idea was encapsulated in the famous saying by the late Israeli general Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be seen as a mad dog; too dangerous to bother.”

    A ‘globalised virus’
    Israel’s ugly, self-serving tribal reading of history has been slowly spreading to Jews in Europe and the US.

    Fifteen years ago, a US scholar, Daniel J Goldhagen, published an influential essay in the Jewish weekly Forward titled “The Globalisation of anti-Semitism”. In it, he argued that anti-Semitism was a virus that could lie dormant for periods but would always find new ways to reinfect its hosts.

    “Globalized anti-Semitism has become part of the substructure of prejudice in the world,” he wrote. “It is relentlessly international in its focus on Israel at the center of the most conflict-ridden region today.”

    This theory is also known as the “new anti-Semitism”, a form of Jew hatred much harder to identify than the right-wing anti-Semitism of old. Through mutation, the new anti-Semitism had concealed its hatred of Jews by appearing to focus on Israel and dressing itself up in left-wing garb.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, given his latest comments about Corbyn, that is also an approximation of the argument made by Rabbi Sacks in a 2016 essay in which he writes: “Anti-Semitism is a virus that survives by mutating.”

    In a sign of how this kind of paranoia is becoming slowly normalised in Europe too, the Guardian published a commentary by a British journalist last month explaining her decision, Israel-style, to teach her three-year-old daughter about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. That, she hoped, would prepare her child for eventualities such as Corbyn becoming prime minister.

    But the increasing adoption of Israel’s tribalist doctrine among sections of the British Jewish community – and the related weaponisation of anti-Semitism – is likely to shed further light on what kind of a state hardline Zionists uphold as at the core of their identity.

    Paradoxically, the new anti-Semitism turns the tables by legitimising – in fact, necessitating – Jewish racism towards gentiles. Rather than Corbyn stigmatising Jews – except in some feverish imaginations – it is the pro-Israel lobby stigmatising non-Jews, by claiming that they are all tainted by Jew hatred, whether they know it or not.

    The more the lobby kicks up a hysteria about Corbyn’s supposed anti-Semitism, the clearer it becomes that the lobby regards much of the non-Jewish public as suspect too.

    Palestinians made invisible
    The other obvious lacuna in the lobby’s logic is that it only works if we completely remove the Palestinians from the story of Zionism and Israel. The idea of a harm-free Zionism might have been credible had it been possible to establish a Jewish state on an empty piece of land, as the early Zionists claimed Palestine to be. In reality there was a large native population who had to be displaced first.

    Israel’s creation as a Jewish state in 1948 was possible only if the Zionist movement undertook two steps that violate modern conceptions of human rights and liberal democratic practice. First, Israel had to carry out large-scale ethnic cleansing, forcing more than 80 per cent of the native Palestinian population outside the new borders of the Jewish state it created on the Palestinians’ homeland.

    Then, it needed to deny the small surviving community of Palestinians inside Israel the same rights as Israeli Jews, to ghettoise them and stop them from bringing their expelled relatives back to their homes.

    These weren’t poor choices made by flawed Israeli politicians. They were absolutely essential to the success of a Zionist project to create and maintain a Jewish state. The ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the structural racism of the Jewish state were unmentionable topics in “legitimate” public debates about Israel until very recently.

    That has been changing, in part because it has become much harder to conceal what kind of state Israel is. Its self-harming behaviour includes its recent decision to make explicit the state’s institutionalised racism with the passage in July of the Nation-State Basic Law. That law gives constitutional weight to the denial of equal rights to a fifth of Israel’s population, those who are Palestinian.

    The backlash against Corbyn and other Palestinian solidarity activists is evidence of the lobby’s fears that they can no longer hold the line against a growing realisation by western publics that there was a cost to Zionism’s success.

    That price was paid by Palestinians, and there has yet been no historical reckoning over their suffering. By veiling the historical record, Israel and the Zionist movement have avoided the kind of truth and reconciliation process that led to the ending of apartheid in South Africa. The lobby prefers that Israel’s version of apartheid continues.

    Loss of moral compass
    If there is one individual who personifies the loss of a moral compass in the weaponisation of anti-Semitism against Corbyn and Israel’s critics, it is Rabbi Sacks.

    Asked by the New Statesman what he thinks of the new Nation-State Basic Law, the normally erudite Sacks suddenly becomes lost for words. He asks a friend, or in his case his brother, for the answer: “I’m not an expert on this. My brother is, I’m not. He’s a lawyer in Jerusalem. He tells me that there’s absolutely nothing apartheid about this, it’s just correcting a lacuna… As far as I understand, it’s a technical process that has none of the implications that have been levelled at it.”

    Sacks, it seems, cannot identify apartheid when it is staring him the face, as long as it is disguised as “Jewish”. Similarly, he is blind to the history of Zionism and the mass dispossession of Palestinians in the 1948 Nakba.

    He tells the New Statesman: “Jews did not wish to come back to their land [Palestine] to make any other people [Palestinians] suffer, and that goes very deep in the Jewish heart.” Not so deep, it seems, that Sacks can even identify who had to suffer to make possible that Jewish “return”.

    In a critique of Sacks’ lengthy 2016 essay on anti-Semitism, a liberal Jewish commentator Peter Beinart noted that the rabbi had mentioned the “Palestinians” by name only once.

    He berated Sacks for equating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism: “By denying that [Palestinians] might have any reason besides bigotry to dislike Zionism, it denies their historical experience and turns them into mere vessels for Jew-hatred. Thus, it does to Palestinians what anti-Semitism does to Jews. It dehumanizes them.”

    Topsy-turvy world
    In a world that was not topsy-turvy, it would be Sacks and the Israel lobby that were being publicly upbraided for their racism. Instead Corbyn is being vilified by a wide spectrum of supposedly informed opinion in the UK – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – for standing in solidarity with Palestinians.

    It is, remember, the Palestinian people who have been the victims of more than a century of collusion between European colonialism and Zionism, and today are still being oppressed by an anachronistic ethnic state, Israel, determined to privilege its Jewishness at all costs.

    The lobby and its supporters are not just seeking to silence Corbyn. They also intend to silence the Palestinians and the growing ranks of people who choose to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. But while the lobby may be winning on its own limited terms in harming Corbyn in mainstream discourse, deeper processes are exposing and weakening the lobby. It is overplaying its hand.

    A strong lobby is one that is largely invisible, one that – like the financial and arms industries – has no need to flex its muscles. In making so much noise to damage Corbyn, the Israel lobby is also for the first time being forced to bring out into the open the racist premises that always underpinned its arguments.

    Over time, that exposure is going to harm, not benefit, the apologists for Israel.

    Jonathan Cook: the View from Nazareth - www.jonathan-cook.net
    ABOUT JONATHAN COOK
    “If a man does not keep pace with [fall into line with] his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” - Thoreau

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