Ex-CIA No.2 Mike Morell Acknowledges Israeli-Qaeda Relationship Along the Golan

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

JERUSALEM POST (6/20/15)—From his vantage point of 33 years as a professional intelligence officer, Michael Morell has snap advice to Israel. “Don’t make deals with them. Pressure them. Fight them. Turn against them, otherwise they will turn against you.”

The former deputy director of the CIA’s comments were made in response to a question regarding reports in the Arab and international media – in order to maintain peace and tranquility along its border with Syria, Israel has reached tacit understandings with the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, which controls the border along the Golan Heights. “From my experience following al-Qaida I think and believe that you must not try to cut deals with them. Pakistan tried to do it with these guys telling them: We won’t attack you if you don’t attack us. But it is a dangerous game. Even if you cut a deal with them, they won’t honor it.”

Read the full article here…

Video: Israeli sniper attacks civilians, IDF ordered to “kill anything that moves”

Just saw the bodies of children in the morgue of the main hospital which is so full that they are piling up on the floor. Doesn’t get worse.       

-Peter Stefanovic, London-based journalist, reporting from Gaza

LR Editor’s Note: Having personally spent a lot of time doing live fire exercises in the Marine Corps, the “snap” “snap” you hear in the video is the unmistakable sound of rifle rounds being fired into the group, which includes international aid workers, from some distance away (perhaps 200+ meters). The UN now estimates that 75% of Gaza’s dead are civilians. The only explanation for such a high civilian-to-militant ratio by a high-tech modern army is that the IDF has been given “kill anything that moves” orders.

From THE GUARDIAN UK: According to Alex Fishman, a military analyst writing in Yedioth Ahronoth: “The tanks, which serve as the heart of the assault force, received an order to open fire at anything that moved. The area and the targets are due to be seized by the morning hours. From here on, [the army] will start to clear the ground, in what could last for several days, depending on political developments.”

From an Israeli courtroom transcript of a 2005 IDF audio-recording used at the trial of an officer accused of emptying his rifle into a Palestinian child: This is commander. Anything that’s mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over.”

The above video, documenting a war crime, was uploaded to YouTube by the International Solidarity Movement, which described the incident in a 20 July press release:

The Israeli military just shot a Gazan man trying to reach his family, during an announced ceasefire. He was with a group of municipality workers and international human rights defenders who were attempting to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighborhood.

“We all just watched a man murdered in front of us. He was trying to reach his family in Shujaiya, he had not heard from them and was worried about them. They shot him, and then continued to fire as he was on the ground. We had no choice but to retreat. We couldn’t reach him due to the artillery fire and then he stopped moving.” Stated Joe Catron, US International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist in Gaza. “Shajiya is a smoking wasteland. We just passed two bombed out ambulances.”

The Israel military has also shelled Red Crescent ambulances as they attempted to retrieve injured people in the Shujaiya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. A ceasefire was announced, during which injured and dead people, could be evacuated from the area, in which at least 60 people have been killed today.

“They said we would be able to evacuate the injured from the disaster zone, but they have been shelling ambulances,” stated Dr Khalil Abu Foul of the Palestinian Red Crescent, speaking from Shujaiya.

Now, the international volunteers, including some from the US, the UK, and Sweden, are in a rescue centre on the outskirts of Shujaiya.

Life in Gaza Explained

Some necessary context to the current crisis in Gaza:

1) In a U.S. diplomatic cable in 2008 revealed by Wikileaks, U.S. officials confirmed that Israel maintains a policy of economic strangulation over Gaza just enough “to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” One cable states:

“As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.”

and…

Israel wanted the coastal territory’s economy “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”, according to the Nov. 3, 2008 cable.

Read more in Israel’s major daily newspaper Haaretz: WikiLeaks: Israel aimed to keep Gaza economy on brink of collapse

2) Hamas was created, promoted, and funded by the Israeli government as a “divide and conquer” tool in order to counteract Arafat’s Fatah party and the secular nationalist PLO in the 1980’s (ironically, when the US was funding the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets). Read about it in an investigative 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas:

“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen, a Tunisian-born Jew who worked in Gaza for more than two decades. Responsible for religious affairs in the region until 1994, Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric.

and…

When Israel first encountered Islamists in Gaza in the 1970s and ’80s, they seemed focused on studying the Quran, not on confrontation with Israel. The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools. Crucially, Israel often stood aside when the Islamists and their secular left-wing Palestinian rivals battled, sometimes violently, for influence in both Gaza and the West Bank.

3) Do you wonder why you’ve never heard the above two points presented in any kind of media analysis on let’s say FOX, CNN, or nightly cable news? Americans that receive news exclusively through mainstream sources (Washington Post, NY Times, FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS, etc…) should understand that there is some degree of real debate over Gaza and the Israel-Palestine conflict going on even within Israel itself, as well as Jewish media. Israeli policy is almost never subject to critical debate within American major media establishments.

Israel receives its overwhelming firepower and military hardware from the United States government and U.S. taxpayers. There is a huge Israeli lobbying effort in the U.S. which spends millions on influencing politicians, influential analysts, and media personalities. The purpose is to prevent any kind of real public criticism of Israeli action to ensure that the money continues to flow.

Again, it is ironic that one can actually get more divergent views on the Israel-Palestine conflict while reading Jewish and Israeli sources. Consider for example this analysis-driven piece in the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper: How Politics and Lies Triggered an Unintended War in Gaza.

It confirms what I wrote on July 1:

This current round of Gaza bombardment by Israel has little to do with the three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank, but was planned in advance for political reasons by the Netanyahu government. The murdered teens served as the pretext for an attack on Gaza, in the way that Hezbollah border incidents have been the pretext for Israeli bombing of all of Lebanon. But in this case Israel’s proclaimed target, Hamas, likely had nothing to do with the murdered teens.

 

 

ISIS group loudly claims responsibility for murdered Israeli teens, yet Israel bombs Gaza anyway

Bb33IKECEAENvN9ISIS propaganda graphic on social media declaring that the ultimate goal includes taking the fight to Jerusalem and returning it to the caliphate. (source: Syria Comment)

This current round of Gaza bombardment by Israel has little to do with the three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank, but was planned in advance for political reasons by the Netanyahu government. The murdered teens served as the pretext for an attack on Gaza, in the way that Hezbollah border incidents have been the pretext for Israeli bombing of all of Lebanon. But in this case Israel’s proclaimed target, Hamas, likely had nothing to do with the murdered teens.

A June 13 Haaretz article seems to have escaped media consciousness:

Al-Qaida linked organization takes responsibility for alleged kidnapping

An extremist Salafi organization known as Dawlat al-Islam has distributed pamphlets in Hebron claiming responsibility for the feared kidnapping of the three Israeli teens.

Israel security services are investigating the validity of the claim.

A self-described Al-Qaida offshoot, Dawlat al-Islam is linked to ISIS, the Sunni militant organization behind this week’s Iraq insurgency.

Last November, Israeli commandos killed three members of a Salafi terror cell in the South Hebron Hills village of Kfar Yatta. The three were planning an attack on Israel, and pistols and explosive devices were found at the site of the operation.

For a more detailed account, see the AP report: ISIS linked organization takes responsibility for alleged kidnapping of three teenagers including one American in Israel.

To my knowledge, there’s been no official Israeli statement on the Dawlat al-Islam claims, or an official conclusion to an investigation (if there was a serious investigation at all). Gaza, a de facto open air prison, once again becomes the scapegoat for Israeli vengeance and for Netanyahu’s main political selling point of “being tough on terror.”

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is an Oxford scholar and expert on the Middle East who has been closely documenting Palestinian units within ISIS. On Monday of this week, he posted to Syria Comment the following conclusion regarding the kidnapped Israeli teens:

It should be noted that undoubtedly with influence from Gaza, this pro-ISIS trend is catching on somewhat in the West Bank, which recently saw three teenagers kidnapped near Hebron by a group taking its name after ISIS, though the Israeli government is officially blaming Hamas as part of a propaganda line whereby there is a reluctance to acknowledge there is a more radical trend than Hamas emerging within the Palestinian population.

I would add to Tamimi’s analysis the fact that Israel has been an active part in the NATO-Gulf axis of supply/support lines to the Syrian rebels. Without such support, ISIS would never be in the position that it is now. It would not have the capacity and influence to extend its reach into the West Bank.

If it is confirmed that the ISIS unit Dawlat al-Islam kidnapped and murdered the Israeli teens, the Israeli government has a direct share in the blame. Remember that it even served as Air Force to Al-Qaeda in Syria on multiple occasions: first, when it bombed multiple Syrian government sites last May, and within the last two weeks when it attacked at least nine Syrian government sites in an event that went under reported.

Expect, as a result of this pre-planned fabricated war on Gaza, the deaths of more innocents, especially women and children, who have no way of fleeing the densely populated, Israeli blockaded Gaza Strip.

 

Israel attacked Syria last week, Americans heard nothing about it

From AlterNet.org 6 of the Biggest Media Lies and Distortions of the Week:

There is always one Middle Eastern nation that can muster jets to drop bombs nobody hears.  On Monday , Israel bombed nine Syrian military sites in retaliation for a rocket lobbed over that country’s northern border with Syria. You did not see this on the nightly news. The attack killed an Arab-Israeli teen named  Mohammed Karaka, who had gone to work with his dad, a driver for an Israeli defense contractor. According to Jodi Rudoren of the Times, whose story landed on a Times backpage, “the extent of any damage or casualties [in Syria] was not clear.” Israeli General Ben-Reuven conceded that Syrian rebels were probably behind the attack, but said Israel held President Bashar al-Assad responsible and had fired at his military to “tell them: you have to control your area and stop this terror organization acting against Israel.”

The most interesting part of the story is not that Israel typically sees fit to rain hellfire on multitudes to revenge a single Israeli life, but that the single dead Israeli in this case was an Arab. It is impossible to imagine any other nation in the Middle East bombing a neighbor’s military installations without the act becoming the lead story of the day, let alone the week.