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Friday, September 30, 2011

Syria MP Khaled Abboud to Al-Manar Website: Conspiracy Reached Dead-End!

Hussein Assi
Syria MP Khaled Abboud to Al-Manar Website:
Conspiracy Reached Dead-End!
  • Greetings to Our Patriarch… Beshara Rahi!
  • US at Side of Armed Gangs against Army
  • Syrians Understood Conspiracy, Toppled It
  • Syrians Delivered Messages to US Ambassador
  • Americans Must Return to Their Conscience
  • Lebanon at Its Best Times, alongside Syria
  • Patriarch Rahi at One Trench with Resistance
  • Some Defeated Lebanese Seek to Be Ride

Syrian Member of Parliament Khaled Abboud declared that the statements made by President Bashar Assad, in which he said that the crisis has ended and that the Syrian cities started to restore stability, were realistic, and emphasized that Syrians have actually dismantled the scene and overthrew the conspiracy targeting them. He pointed out that the open war against Syria reached a dead-end.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar Website, Abboud spoke of a series of messages delivered by the Syrians to the Americans, including US ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford, to stop meddling in Syrian affairs. He said the Syrian accusations to American officials of encouraging violence against the army exceed denunciation to be a real warning.

While noting that Lebanon was an independent and mature entity, he expressed belief that the political map of Lebanon was today at its best times despite the existence of some remarks, and criticized at the same time those he called “fugitive constituents” who were internally defeated, in reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Abboud hailed Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi’s latest positions, noting that the patriarch became at the same trench with the Resistance, and thus turned to be the patriarch of Lebanese and Syrian people altogether.


Syrian MP Khaled Abboud told Al-Manar Website that the statements made by President Bashar Assad in which he said that the crisis has ended and that the Syrian cities started to restore stability were realistic. He pointed to the defense strategy set by the Syrians to deal with the issue, a strategy based on dismantling the scene by understanding all its aspects. He noted that it was not a secret anymore that the United States is standing at the side of armed gangs against the security forces and the army.

Abboud reiterated that there was an open war against Syria. “Otherwise, there would be no explanation for this political and media aggression, the decisions to besiege Syria at all levels and the clear threats against Syrian stability,” he said.

He declared that the Syrian scene was dismantled, and noted that the conspiracy has reached a dead-end after Syrians got rid of the violence acts.


Answering a question about the incident of throwing US ambassador with stones and tomatoes, Abboud said this incident was not isolated, and noted that this ambassador was targeted by the Syrian people because of his inciting role against the Syrian leadership, since the beginning of the crisis. While refusing to either legitimizing or condemning this aggression, he noted that there was an open space for people at legal and ethical levels to do whatever they think to be right.

Syrian demonstrators threw US ambassador Robert Ford and other US diplomats on Thursday with stones and tomatoes as they were visiting an opposition figure in Damascus. It was the second attack on US diplomats since the protests erupted in Syria in March. In July, following a visit by Ford to the city of Hama, Syrian protesters attacked the US embassy compound in Damascus.

Abboud spoke of a series of messages delivered by Syrians through this kind of acts. “Syrians are telling the Americans to stop meddling in their own affairs. They are telling them that, even if there was a conflict among Syrians, Americans have nothing to do with it. Syrians have understood the conspiracy. Thus, Americans and Europeans must return to their conscience and be assured that the Syrian leadership will remain solid.”

He noted that the accusations launched by an official source within the Syrian Foreign Ministry to American officials of encouraging violence against the army exceed denunciation to be a real warning. “It is a strong message to Americans. It is a direct accusation and a condemnation message. But it is also a clear warning.”


Commenting on the Lebanese stances from the Syrian crisis, Abboud said that the Lebanese entity was an independent and adult entity. “Lebanese are able to administer their affairs themselves. Lebanon is nowadays able to take decisions, and is stronger than ever,” he declared, as he noted that the political map for Lebanon, at both governmental and religious levels, was formed of solid forces committed to defend the region and its people, including the Syrian nation. He said that this map was at its best times, despite the presence of some remarks, given that Lebanese in general stand at the side of the Resistance and the government.

He highlighted that the meeting of Syrian President Bashar Assad with a number of Lebanese prominent figures comes in this framework. He criticized at the same time those he called the “fugitive constituents” who were internally defeated, in reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He said these sides will not be able to triumph, given that they are the exception.


To conclude, the Syrian MP hailed the latest statements made by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, and offered his greeting to this patriarch who became the patriarch of both Lebanese and Syrians at the same time. “When our nations are targeted, we see such people taking positive stances,” he said.
While noting that Patriarch Rahi’s stances were historic, he said that the visit made by the Syrian religious delegation came to confirm this national scene. He said that the patriarch proved to be at the same trench with the resistance.

"All their foreign policies are best served by somebody who is in Damascus, does the job & maintains stability, and right now, that’s Assad!"

"Via FLC
"... Some are drawing a comparison with Libya, where the opposition movement, the Transitional National Council (TNC), gelled within a month of the uprising. But Syria's situation is unique, experts caution...

And while Libya's TNC was able to form a coalition in a matter of weeks, the dynamics in Syria don't allow for such haste. But experts say the lack of a clear, coherent opposition movement is only part of why the US administration is holding back from stronger intervention in Syria.
"Even if [the opposition] were really united and had an organizational structure, I don't think Washington would do more than what it is doing now," said Bilal Saab, a visiting fellow at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. "As far as rhetoric, the US has reached the ceiling by saying Assad should step down."
"The US position is about as good as it's going to get, given the limitations on the US," said Aaron David Miller, Middle East analyst, author and negotiator. "We've done as much as we can do with respect to the Syrians... and we're over-extended as it is," he added, alluding to military in engagement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
One thing the US could do to help the Syrian opposition without overt military involvement is supplying them with arms. But there are some reservations. "Weapons exacerbate an arc and drift toward civil war… without the capacity to back it up. We could end up with a Hungary situation in 1956. The last thing we want to do is to encourage unarmed domestic opposition and then not be there for them. Assad could easily use that to his advantage," said Miller...

One thing holding the US back from further involvement is the start of election season in America. "The US has now entered election mode; everything happens with that in mind,” said Salhani. “A possible intervention in Syria… could affect the president's chances of re-election. I think it would bring his ratings to an all-time low.” ... Given that the US is powerless to do much with regard to Syria, all hopes for stronger action against Assad seem to rest on Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, has condemned the regime, and has been relatively magnanimous in accepting refugees. But in line with its “zero problems with neighbors” policy, Turkey prefers to play the role of mediator in the region over instigator, noted Miller.
"All their foreign policies are best served by somebody who is in Damascus who can do the job and maintain stability, and right now, that’s Assad," said Saab..."

The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation

(Photo courtesy of
What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army.

They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today.

While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or healthcare, or thinks they have no future.

Our system is broken at every level. More than 25 million Americans are unemployed. More than 50 million live without health insurance. And perhaps 100 million Americans are mired in poverty, using realistic measures. Yet the fat cats continue to get tax breaks and reap billions while politicians compete to turn the austerity screws on all of us.

At some point the number of people occupying Wall Street – whether that’s five thousand, ten thousand or fifty thousand – will force the powers that be to offer concessions. No one can say how many people it will take or even how things will change exactly, but there is a real potential for bypassing a corrupt political process and to begin realizing a society based on human needs not hedge fund profits.

After all, who would have imagined a year ago that Tunisians and Egyptians would oust their dictators?
At Liberty Park, the nerve center of the occupation, more than a thousand people gather every day to debate, discuss and organize what to do about our failed system that has allowed the 400 richest Americans at the top to amass more wealth than the 180 million Americans at the bottom.

It’s astonishing that this self-organized festival of democracy has sprouted on the turf of the masters of the universe, the men who play the tune that both political parties and the media dance to. The New York Police Department, which has deployed hundreds of officers at a time to surround and intimidate protesters, is capable of arresting everyone and clearing Liberty Plaza in minutes. But they haven’t, which is also astonishing.

That’s because assaulting peaceful crowds in a public square demanding real democracy – economic and not just political – would remind the world of the brittle autocrats who brutalized their people demanding justice before they were swept away by the Arab Spring. And the state violence has already backfired. After police attacked a Saturday afternoon march that started from Liberty Park the crowds only got bigger and media interest grew.

The Wall Street occupation has already succeeded in revealing the bankruptcy of the dominant powers – the economic, the political, media and security forces. They have nothing positive to offer humanity, not that they ever did for the Global South, but now their quest for endless profits means deepening the misery with a thousand austerity cuts.

Even their solutions are cruel jokes. They tell us that the “Buffett Rule” would spread the pain by asking the penthouse set to sacrifice a tin of caviar, which is what the proposed tax increase would amount to. Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to sacrifice healthcare, food, education, housing, jobs and perhaps our lives to sate the ferocious appetite of capital.

That’s why more and more people are joining the Wall Street occupation. They can tell you about their homes being foreclosed upon, months of grinding unemployment or minimum-wage dead-end jobs, staggering student debt loads, or trying to live without decent healthcare. It’s a whole generation of Americans with no prospects, but who are told to believe in a system that can only offer them Dancing With The Stars and pepper spray to the face.

Yet against every description of a generation derided as narcissistic, apathetic and hopeless they are staking a claim to a better future for all of us.

That’s why we all need to join in. Not just by liking it on Facebook, signing a petition at or retweeting protest photos, but by going down to the occupation itself.

There is great potential here. Sure, it’s a far cry from Tahrir Square or even Wisconsin. But there is the nucleus of a revolt that could shake America’s power structure as much as the Arab world has been upended.

Instead of one to two thousand people a day joining in the occupation there needs to be tens of thousands of people protesting the fat cats driving Bentleys and drinking thousand-dollar bottles of champagne with money they looted from the financial crisis and then from the bailouts while Americans literally die on the streets.

To be fair, the scene in Liberty Plaza seems messy and chaotic. But it’s also a laboratory of possibility, and that’s the beauty of democracy. As opposed to our monoculture world, where political life is flipping a lever every four years, social life is being a consumer and economic life is being a timid cog, the Wall Street occupation is creating a polyculture of ideas, expression and art.

Yet while many people support the occupation, they hesitate to fully join in and are quick to offer criticism. It’s clear that the biggest obstacles to building a powerful movement are not the police or capital – it’s our own cynicism and despair.

Perhaps their views were colored by the New York Times article deriding protestors for wishing to “pantomime progressivism” and “Gunning for Wall Street with faulty aim.” Many of the criticisms boil down to “a lack of clear messaging.”

But what’s wrong with that? A fully formed movement is not going to spring from the ground. It has to be created. And who can say what exactly needs to be done? We are not talking about ousting a dictator; though some say we want to oust the dictatorship of capital.

There are plenty of sophisticated ideas out there: end corporate personhood; institute a “Tobin Tax” on stock purchases and currency trading; nationalize banks; socialize medicine; fully fund government jobs and genuine Keynesian stimulus; lift restrictions on labor organizing; allow cities to turn foreclosed homes into public housing; build a green energy infrastructure.

But how can we get broad agreement on any of these? If the protesters came into the square with a pre-determined set of demands it would have only limited their potential. They would have either been dismissed as pie in the sky – such as socialized medicine or nationalize banks – or if they went for weak demands such as the Buffett Rule their efforts would immediately be absorbed by a failed political system, thus undermining the movement.

That’s why the building of the movement has to go hand in hand with common struggle, debate and radical democracy. It’s how we will create genuine solutions that have legitimacy. And that is what is occurring down at Wall Street.

Now, there are endless objections one can make. But if we focus on the possibilities, and shed our despair, our hesitancy and our cynicism, and collectively come to Wall Street with critical thinking, ideas and solidarity we can change the world.

How many times in your life do you get a chance to watch history unfold, to actively participate in building a better society, to come together with thousands of people where genuine democracy is the reality and not a fantasy?

For too long our minds have been chained by fear, by division, by impotence. The one thing the elite fear most is a great awakening. That day is here. Together we can seize it.

How 10 Years of NATO Occupation have Uplifted the Afghan People

Contributed by Richard Edmondson

In his speech at the UN last week, Barack Obama, America's swishy, limp-wristed puppet president, house-husband to Michelle, spoke of America's and NATO's accomplishments in Afghanistan, avowing that "we are drawing down our own forces, while building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people." The implied message is that the citizens of that blood soaked, war-torn land have somehow been uplifted by the altruism of NATO's benign, humanitarian embrace. The following report from RT would suggest otherwise.

Drug use, we are told in the report, has become rampant and parts of the country are in essence turning into a cesspool.
According to a study cited, each Afghan family has at least one drug user, while "opiates are now found in breast milk, and all kids, even newborns, have morphine in their blood." Among the more disturbing images the video presents us with are of a young Afghan girl, probably no more than 11 or 12 years old, smoking opium.

Interestingly, we are also informed that the drug trade is one of the Taliban's "main sources of income," but if history is any indication, my guess is that the CIA is benefiting as well, perhaps at least as much, if not more so, than the Taliban. Which may explain why, as the piece relates, stopping drug production is not among NATO's goals. "Many experts find this a bit strange," comments the somewhat mystified RT journalist, "given the fact that a large part of revenues from drug money is used to sponsor the Taliban." I guess the Russian reporter probably never heard of Gary Webb or the Dark Alliance or the CIA's history of drug trafficking. Or maybe he's only pretending to be mystified. My only question is where is all the money the puppet president Karzai is being paid off with by his US and Israeli masters...and why doesn't he at least hire somebody to pick up the garbage?

Obama and His Nine Hundred Rabbis

By Richard Edmondson

“I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video that surfaced last year. The video was filmed back in 2001 (before or after 9/11 is not completely clear), and in it Netanyahu goes on to say that “they (America) won’t get in our way. They won’t get in our way.”

The last couple of weeks have provided us with a glaring example of just how correct Netanyahu is in his view of the U.S. as an Israeli puppet easily manipulated. In its September 18 issue, New York Magazine labeled Obama “the first Jewish president,” and opined that Michelle’s house-husband is “the best thing Israel has going for it right now.” As if to prove the magazine correct, Obama went before the UN General Assembly on September 21 and proclaimed, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring”—this after his administration had publicly announced its intentions of vetoing any UN recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Then after abandoning the Palestinians, Obama held a conference call with some 900 rabbis in which he again pledged his undying devotion to the Jewish state. Here are a few prize quotes from that call:

“Prime Minister Netanyahu knows he can count on the United States,” Obama said. “We will not abandon the pursuit of a just and lasting peace that will end the conflict.”
“The bonds between the U.S. and Israel are unbreakable and the commitment of the security of Israel is ironclad. Since coming into office, I haven’t just talked the talk, we’ve walked the walk.”
“The most important thing we can do to stabilize the strategic situation for Israel is if we can actually resolve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis because that’s what feeds so much of the tumult in Egypt…”
“The U.S. relationship with Egypt is centered on their maintaining strong communications and maintaining the peace arrangement with Israel, and they’ve gotten the message.”

In short, Netanyahu knows he can count on his malleable puppet; the military leaders in Egypt had better wise up and realize America’s primary concern, by golly, is Israel, and not Egypt or its 80 million people…and of course (it never fails) we get the temporomandibular blather about “unbreakable” bonds, (but note the stronger adjective—“unbreakable”—used for the rabbis’ benefit, whereas in the UN speech, the ties are merely “deep and enduring”).

Well, no doubt after hearing such assurances the rabbis were relieved—or were they? What does it take to satisfy the Israeli lobby in America? Has Obama given them enough…or do they actually want and expect more?

The answer, if we are to judge from the New York Magazine article, would appear to be that they want more—a lot more. Written by one John Heilemann, the article is entitled “The Tsuris” (a Yiddish-derived term meaning “trouble” or “problem”) and is notable for the picture it presents of dwindling support for Obama amongst Jewish voters, and, more crucially, Jewish financial backers. Yes, Obama has been a stalwart supporter of Israel, yes, he has given the Zionist state everything it has asked for—but apparently for many in the Jewish community this is not enough.

“There’s no question,” says one of the president’s most prolific fund-raisers. “We have a big-time Jewish problem.”

Despite all the groveling to AIPAC, despite the insolent arm-twisting at the UN done on Israel’s behalf, and of course despite the $3 billion annually that flows unimpeded into Israeli coffers, for some Jews Obama has been found lacking. Heilemann reports that by the end of his first year in office, the president’s support among American Jews had dropped by 20 percent. If anything, it appears to have dropped even lower now:

A recent poll by the Republican firm McLaughlin & Associates found that among Jewish donors who gave to Obama in 2008, just 64 percent have already donated or plan to donate to him this time. Complicating the picture is the fact that Jewish buckrakers cite a variety of complaints with Obama: Some object to his rhetoric on Wall Street, some to his economic policies, and some to his handling of Israel.

But give Obama credit. He’s trying! One is almost reminded of a trained seal jumping through hoops:

Exactly one month after his Oval Office awkwardfest with Netanyahu [an incident in May of this year when Netanyahu delivered an on-camera lecture to Obama that reportedly “enraged” the administration-ed.], Obama made the mile-and-a-half trip from the White House to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to have dinner with several dozen wealthy Jews. His appearance had twin objectives: to rake in more than $1 million and to calm their jangled nerves. Unlike many conservative Jews, the big-ticket Democrats in the room, who had paid $25,000 to $35,800 a head to be there, didn’t believe that Obama was hostile to Israel. Yet it’s fair to say they had their share of qualms and a ton of questions…
…In addition to deploying Axelrod and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his campaign has hired an official outreach director to try to fix its Jewish problem: Ira Forman, the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Forman is known for an encyclopedic knowledge of Jewish politics and a history in waging trench warfare against Republican Jewish groups. But none of that will prepare him for the job he is taking on. “A lot of what he’ll be doing is coaxing and persuading,” says a Jewish Obama megabundler. “A lot of people who raised a ton of money for the president last time are very short on enthusiasm for doing it again.”

And then of course the UN speech and the conference call to the rabbis. Poor little Obama—he’s really “walking the walk,” isn’t he? Oh yes, and now come revelations that our White House custodian secretly authorized the sale of bunker-busters to Israel, weapons that could potentially be used in an attack on Iran. What’s especially interesting about the latter story is that it tends to portray Obama caught up in an even deeper level of servitude to Israel than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who had refused to sell the Israelis the same weaponry back in 2005—mainly due to concerns they would reverse-engineer the technology and sell it to China as they have done in the past.

An interesting question now is how all this groveling and submission to Israel is playing out with Middle America. Jews, of course, make up barely 2 percent of the U.S. population. What about the other 98 percent of us? Do we matter? Or to restate it slightly, how much concern for Israel can millions of out-of-work Americans realistically be expected to feel when they are struggling on a day to day basis just to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads? Does all this stroking and sucking up to Israel by our leaders still register positively in their minds? Or is it perhaps starting to wear a little thin? And if the latter, how cognizant are our leaders about these potentially shifting attitudes and are they worried how it may affect them?

An interesting post appeared at the blog Kenny’s Sideshow recently that may shed some light on this matter. The post has to do with a trip to Israel made during the August break by 81 members of Congress, a junket that was organized by an AIPAC affiliate. Blogger “Kenny” reports that his own congressional representative, Diane Black of Tennessee’s 6th congressional district, was one of those who went on the excursion but says her participation was not reported by local media, and that few people back home in the district knew of it. He writes:

As a freshman congressperson it is no surprise that she had to make the obligatory trip, meet with the criminals in charge and let them know she is with them all the way. There seems to be no other way to secure a long term congressional career and Mrs. Black knows it.

What's odd is that Diane kept her trip to Israel about as hidden as could be. To the best of my knowledge she did not announce it publicly in advance. It was a reported 9 day visit where for all intents and purposes she just disappeared. Upon her return she has not posted anything about this 'educational' trip paid for by the AIPAC subsidiary The American Israel Education Foundation on her official government web site or her Facebook page. No press release, no nothing except for one apparent tweet that few saw. One might get the impression that she was trying to hide her trip from her constituents. Why would that be Diane?

What is also odd is that the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, the newspaper in the largest city in Diane's district did not find her trip to Israel newsworthy. Neither did the nearby Nashville media including the Tennessean or any of the local tv or radio stations. The secret has been safe with no debate anywhere to be found among the middle Tennessee area residents.

Without the help of Video Rebel's Blog and Legistorm's trip report it would still be a secret to me.

A statement that was found from Black is "My Trip to Israel" on an obscure site Tennesseans Watching Federal and State Government and as far as I can tell not re-posted anywhere else.

As Heilemann somewhat cleverly puts it, “So much pandering, so little time!”—and now we see that efforts are made to keep at least some of the pandering hidden from public view. A further look at the 2001 Netanyahu video is also instructive as to who is really in charge of U.S. policy. Says Bibi:

Look. That administration [Clinton] was extremely pro-Palestinian. I wasn’t afraid to maneuver there. I was not afraid to clash with Clinton. I was not afraid to clash with the United Nations. I was paying the price anyway, I preferred to receive the value. Value for the price.

Receiving “value for the price” apparently means being loathed by U.S. officials but still getting what you want anyway. As for Obama, what more could he give the Israelis that he hasn’t already? We have seen a complete capitulation on his administration’s demands for a halt in settlement building, as well as a hasty, almost panicked, retreat from his remarks about returning to the 1967 borders “with mutually agreed swaps.” He has even provided support, beyond regular military aid, for the “Iron Dome” anti-rocket system and publicly vowed to fight, with all his might, any attempts to “de-legitimize” Israel.

So what more, we might ask, could Obama do for the Israelis that he hasn’t already done? Why the falling out of favor? What else could the Jewish state’s supporters in America conceivably demand of him? The answer to that—again, quoting from the Heilemann article—seems to be they would like for him to “feel Israel in his bones,” although just what exactly that means, and how Obama is supposed to prove he possesses such deep feeling for the Zionist state, are left to our imagination. But whatever it may be, one gets the impression those who would issue such an imperious demand upon the leader of a supposedly sovereign nation must have taken quite literally to heart the teachings of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef—that Gentiles are donkeys put here to serve the people of Israel. Whether they in fact believe this to be the case, the president’s “Jewish buckrakers” would nonetheless certainly appear to have made a donkey out of their gelding in the White House.

Posted by Richard Edmondson at 9/26/2011 1:51 PM

US Goes from Hero to Zero on Palestine Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

From the Streets Paved with Gold to the Land of a Brow Beaten Populace That’s No Longer The Envy of the World

USA Goes from Land of Freedom and Opportunity to Land of Bandits, Con Men, and Slave Traitors
In the summer of 1945 the USA was the hero of the world. We just finished “saving” the world from the expansionist plans of Adolf Hitler and his Axis buddies as we ushered in a new American century. It was the best of times!

During this time, in general, the global growth in freedom, liberty, and economic opportunity grew. Starting with a global population about 2 billion at the time ending in 2000 with a global population of 6 billion, the world saw amazing change and prosperity, mostly led by a USA who’s ideas and ingenuity dominated the dreams and aspirations of billions; rightfully so.

My own family, Palestinians living in a struggling war torn terrorized refugee camp always talked about coming to America. They believed the streets were paved with gold and they were right. After living in a refugee camp for 12 years with many brothers and sisters, through amazing fate in 1961, they came to America with nothing in their pockets but hopes and dreams.

After many years of hard work, the family prospered enjoying the American Dream they heard about back when bombs were being dropped on their heads by forces they did NOT understand. Each member of the family has their own tract house, car, jobs, and peace in their time; paradise with a some shish kebob on the barby! Not too bad!

It’s the story of millions of immigrants that prospered during the American Century that was our outstanding and successful 20th century.

Fast forward to 2000, we began a new path into the abyss that would see the American century decline and its influence around world knocked around without mercy.

In 2011, we see the results of the US inability to sustain it’s global leadership. The ultimate insult and climax is being witnessed this week as the US has been forced to trash it’s values and reputation in favor of becoming a pariah state as it VETOS the request for Palestinian Statehood at the U.N.

As 5 million plus Palestinians live in camps under occupation in the 4th most densely populated region in the world, the US stands alone with Israel as the only nations who refuse to acknowledge the right to self-determination lamely coming up with excuse after excuse. It’s pathetic and Anti-American!
How did the U.S. get so wrongly on the side of freedom, justice and liberty. What happened to the American Century and why was it abandoned for this pariah state status.

As it stands, America is no longer that land that my family dreamed of where the streets were golden. Instead, as Palestinians lay in their broken streets under guard by their Israeli masters, the global community is in shock that America would so poorly ignore what they once stood for and now abdicate as they embrace the greed mongers who force their hands to act so callously.

It’s shocking, disappointing, and frankly beyond sad because a successful America meant so much to so many. It’s always important to have that place to aspire to; a place to look up to and say “someday…..”.

In fact, I long for those days that our family once dreamed about. Instead, sadly, my kids face a new world order where the USA is just another country where the government no longer has the interests of its people at heart. Instead, the global predator highjackers rape and pillage the USA leaving, we the people, pointing fingers at one another looking for scapegoats wherever we can find them.

Now we’re left with the legacy of going from hero to zero and we don’t even know how it happened. We think the Mexicans are robbing us or some terrorist in Pakistan. We have no clue and we don’t even know what to do about it. It’s truly sad.

Hey, gotta go, my mindnumbing Snookie is on TV and I want to know what’s the situation! Urgh!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Johnny Punish is a musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, and syndicated columnist. Educated at University of Nevada Las Vegas, his articles appear in Veterans Today and his Johnny Punish Blog. His art music is promoted by Peapolz Media Records and played on net radio at and more.

2011 copyright – Johnny Punish

Gilad Atzmon: Are They Really ‘The People Of The Book’?

Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 7:59AM Gilad Atzmon

Ahead of the publication of my 'The Wandering Who' the entire Zionist network is in a total panic. Veterans Today's senior Editor Gordon Duff commented yesterday that just a ‘few books have been opposed as this one has’. He may as well be right.
It started last Friday, with the Hasbara mouthpiece 'Jewish Chronicle' of London attacking Professor Mearsheimer for endorsing a book 'by an antisemite'.

I don’t know how many times do I have to mention that I am not an antisemite for I really hate everyone equally. For some reason, my detractors refuse to take this simple message on board.
Then, the Islamophobic agent-provocateur 'Harry's place' -- who never miss a chance to muddy the water -- joined in, intimidating and harassing a London academic just because she tweeted that she likes Atzmon's book

Just before London Tea Time, America woke up. Within the hour, her Zionist stooges were ready to join the campaign. EX- IDF concentration camp guard Jeffrey Goldberg* had a clear plan to chew Professor John J. Mearsheimer circulating the same banal and unsubstantiated accusations.

At that stage, it appeared to be a campaign that was run by hundreds of Zionist enthusiasts – but if one scratches the surface, it was actually an orchestrated move of barely more than five Jewish bloggers, who have managed to mobilise another twenty or so book burners or shall we call them 'wandering sockpuppets' that habitually attack in different areas of the net and the press, co-coordinating to harass, bully and intimidate, with the same dull, repetitive, accusations, 'arguments' and smears.

By Sunday night the Guardian published an appalling piece by one Andy Newman of Swindon , who, according to one of his 'Socialist Unity' editors, attacked Atzmon simply to appease the relentlessly Islamophobic 'Harry's Place' public.

Top columnist and Middle East analyst Jonathan Cook reacted to the Guardian smear saying, 'whatever one thinks of Atzmon, this is clearly a smear job of him (and Alison Weir). Where is the evidence, or even convincing argument, for the claims being made? It is pure Pravda.\
' Not exactly a flattering comment on the Guardian.
By then it was clear that Islamophobic Award winning Harry's Place wasn't going to stop.

In fact Harry Place's, Goldberg and JC collective shameless tantrum is explored in The Wandering Who. I define it as 'Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome,' as opposed to Post Traumatic stress syndrome. They are all terrorized and genuinely traumatized by a book they refuse to read with the hope that the Goyim may surrender and ban it on their behalf.

On Monday afternoon, Professor Mearsheimer published a complete expose of Goldberg's lameness and the tactics he and his ilk use against myself and others. They quote out of context, they ‘copy and paste’, they forge paragraphs, they deliberately and consciously attribute misleading meanings. In fact, none of those who reacted to the book negatively has read the book or any of my papers. They all refer to quotes that were picked arbitrarily from the 'Amazon Lookinside page'. I find myself wondering, are these people really the 'People of the Book'? I guess that People of the 'Copy & Paste' is a much better description for Goldberg and his wandering sockpuppets.

Within minutes after Mearsheimer revealed the typical deceitful operation, the wandering sockpuppets were called in to fight Mearsheimer and Walt at the 'Foreign Affair Journal' site. By the time they finished posting their filth, the respected magazine comment section looked indeed like a cyber shtetle.
In a final desperate attempt to jeopardize the publication of the book and to silence its author. Richard Seymour AKA 'Lenin Thumb', authored a new anti Atzmon manifesto

I read Richard 'Lenin' Seymour's text with interest and found out that for some reason, both 'avant-garde revolutionary' Seymour's text, and Guardian's 'socialist' Andy Newman's drivel are suspiciously far too similar to the unforgettable 'Aaronovitch Reading Atzmon' performance at the Oxford Literature Festival.

One may wonder how come Seymour, an alleged revolutionary radical Marxist, Andy Newman, a mediocre socialist and Neocon pro war Aaronovitch are caught together naked holding ideological hands.
How is it that the three try to prevent myself and others from criticising Jewish political lobbying. For some reason they also don't want us to look closely into the events that led to the financial turmoil. How is it possible that a hard core Zionist and ultra radical leftists are not only employing the same ideological argument but also performing the exact same tactics? Clearly, there is an obvious ideological and political continuum between Aaronovitch, Newman and Seymour. The Wandering Who scrutinizes this very continuum.

Zionism clearly maintains and sustains its 'radical left opposition' and the logos behind such a tactic is simple- 'revolutionary' left is totally irrelevant to both the conflict and its resolution. Hence, Zionists cannot dream of an easier opposition to handle. When the Zionists detect a dangerous rising intellect who aims at the truth, they obviously utilize and mobilize the Jewish left together with the few willing Sabbath Goyim executioners to gatekeep the emerging danger. Seymour, Newman and a just few others are always happy to slay the emerging intellect.

Indeed they were effective for years. From an intellectual perspective our movement is pretty much a desert. Every deep thinker we have ever had has been targeted and destroyed by the Jewish Left and their Sabbath Goyim. But for some reason, they somehow failed with me. My views on Palestine and Israel are now circulated on most dissident journals and my book The Wandering Who is endorsed by the most important people scholars and activists in our discourse.

So far, all efforts to stop the book have fallen apart . There is no sign of anyone pulling the book out but there are clear signs that the Hasbara orchestrated campaign has backfired. No one surrendered to the Zionist campaign and its stooges. As they said in Tahrir Square, 'we have lost our fear.' The Wandering Who is now a best seller for more than a week (as far as Amazon ranking can tell). On the Jewish best seller list, it is even more popular than the Babylonian Talmud and the Torah. I guess that this is indeed a great concern for Zionists and their stooges, but there is nothing they can do about it.

You can now order Gilad Atzmon's New Book on or
* Jeffrey Goldberg made Aliya when he was eighteen: he left America for Israel, joined the IDF and served as a prison guard in an Israeli concentration camp during the First Intifada.

Posted by Gilad Atzmon at 11:53:00 PM

Fayez Shokr to Al-Manar Website:Cabinet Will Not Approve STL Financing

Hussein Assi
Fayez Shokr to Al-Manar Website:

  • Cabinet Will Not Approve STL Financing
  • Miqati’s UNSC Positions Not Acceptable
  • Int’l Resolutions Do Not Concern Us
  • UN Only Caused Disappointments
  • Miqati Might Have His Own Considerations
  • Not Financing STL Protects Lebanon
  • Our Bloc Will Not Fall in Sedition Trap
  • Whoever Cooperates with Israel is Traitor
  • Patriarch Rahi’s Stances… Fully National
Head of the Baath party in Lebanon former minister Fayez Shokr declared that the statements made by Prime Minister Najib Miqati from within the United Nations represent his own views and wishes. He noted that the Lebanese position in the Security Council should have been more solid, and said he was not concerned anymore with international resolutions, after experience has proven they only resulted in consecutive disappointments.
In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar Website, Shokr found strange Miqati’s insistence to pledge to finance the so-called Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and explained that such a high-level decision should be taken by the Council of Ministers as a whole, not by the premier alone. He rejected all claims about a possible compromise to approve the STL financing, and said that resorting to any step in this regard would be equivalent to approve the tribunal which has been believed to be a tool targeting the country.

While confirming that his political bloc would not fall in the sedition trap, Shokr rejected the PM’s statements concerning Lebanon’s readiness to apply any sanctions against Syria in case they were approved by the UNSC. He stressed that Lebanon was deeply connected to Syria, and noted that this did not mean that Lebanon has been annexed to Syria.

Meanwhile, Shokr hailed the latest statements taken by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi as fully national, and denied that the patriarch was launching a coup against Bkerke’s principles, as he was getting Bkerke back to its original position.


Former Minister Fayez Shokr told Al-Manar Website that the stances made by Prime Minister Najib Miqati from within the United Nations absolutely represented his own views and wishes. He noted that Miqati’s words did not harmonize with the general atmosphere in the country, and stressed that the position of the Lebanese and Arabs should have been more solid and strict in the Security Council, given that they had a cause and that they were in the middle of the conflict with the aggressive Israeli enemy.
He noted that experience has taught us that this international institution had seen things from a single eye, in reference to the Israeli one. He recalled that the victory in Lebanon would not have been achieved in the absence of the Resistance which forced the Israeli enemy to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000. He also highlighted that Israel sought to take revenge in 2006, with an international sponsorship as well as an American and European support, but faced the resounding defeat with repercussions that lasted until today.

Shokr remarked that a big number of Lebanese officials, including the president and the premier as well as the Speaker have been speeking of commitment to international resolutions as if they were red lines which must be respected. “As a concerned political bloc, we believe we are not concerned anymore with the international resolutions. Experience has taught us that these resolutions only resulted in consecutive disappointments for us,” he said.

Shokr pointed to one of the most recent international resolutions, the resolution 1701 which ended the July 2006 war against Lebanon. He noted that Lebanon respected this resolution, whereas Israel never showed commitment to it. “Yet, we are always urged to respect the resolution. And when Israel violates it through all possible means, they come and ask us to show self-restraint!”


The former minister pointed, in particular, to the international tribunal, which was charged with finding and trying the killers of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, in light of the upcoming challenge of financing it. He found strange PM Najib Miqati’s insistence to offer pledges to finance this tribunal in every opportunity. He said that Miqati might have his own considerations to make such statements, but added that he should perceive that he was the Prime Minister of all Lebanon and not of a specific group, “which is actually a minority but considers the tribunal as its central cause.”

Shokr recalled that this tribunal was created in an unconstitutional and illegal way, as all laws were violated, what made it evident that this tribunal has been null and void. While noting that any decision of financing the tribunal should be taken at the level of the cabinet as a whole and not its head alone, he expressed belief that the government would not approve this clause, regardless of Miqati’s considerations and the so-called moderate camp. He also rejected all claims about possible scenarios based on a compromise from here or a specific step from there to approve the STL financing. He warned that any move in this regard would be equivalent to supporting the tribunal, which has remained to be a tool and nothing more.


While noting that the parliamentary majority bloc would not fall in the sedition trap, he remarked that the other bloc, in reference to the March 14 forces, did not mind destroying all Lebanon in exchange for returning to power.

He refused the premier’s remarks that not financing the tribunal would be a free service to the Israeli enemy, and said that at the opposite, it would be a service to those who seek to protect Lebanon from foreign possible targeting campaigns launched in particular by the United States and Israel. He stressed that such rhetoric was not acceptable from the part of the premier, and noted that the concerns of possibly triggering an internal conflict were not justified as well.

Answering a question on whether the financing would make the government as a whole, Shokr rejected such a scenario, and said this option could only come true if the premier resigns when he finds himself unable to fulfill his promises to the international community. “In such a case, we will not regret such government,” he said.


Answering a question over Miqati’s declaration that Lebanon would not vote for sanctions against Syria but could apply any sanctions if approved by the UNSC, the Baath party head in Lebanon stressed that there’s nothing called half solutions in politics. He emphasized that Lebanon was closely linked to Syria, without being annexed to it. He pointed to the treaty of brotherhood and coordination signed between both countries, and said this accord was not respected in the latest stage.
Shokr pointed to the smuggling of weapons’ process which has been taking place in the North region through the Future movement and his famous lawmaker Khaled Daher. He urged President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Miqati to let the constitutional and legal process to start. He wondered how the premier could apply sanctions against Syria whereas he knew very well that its aim was to create sedition in the region, and mainly in Lebanon and Syria.

Shokr also condemned the latest statements made by the March 14 Secretariat General, in which they claimed that the government of Najib Miqati included ministers representing the party “accused of assassinations until now,” in reference to Hezbollah. He wondered why these ministers were welcomed in previous governments headed by Fouad Saniora and Saad Hariri, but not now when Hariri was forced to leave authority. He stressed that “whoever extends his hand and cooperates with the Israeli enemy is only a criminal and a traitor. “


To conclude, the former minister hailed the latest positions made by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi as fully national. He said the patriarch felt there was a conspiracy targeting the Christians and Muslims at one time and thus, raised his voice and took unprecedented stances in the history of the Christian church.

According to Shokr, the proof of the solidity of Rahi’s arguments was the popular welcome he has received in the Bekaa and the South. He noted that the patriarch spoke from France with a Vatican tone and oriental considerations. “The patriarch has raised the slogan of partnership right after his election because he knew there was a conspiracy targeting the nation, and that we have to face it,” he noted.

Shokr highlighted that the Islamic-Christian spiritual summit confirmed the patriarch’s concerns, and remarked that its final statement came in harmony with Rahi’s latest positions. He denied that the patriarch was launching a coup against the principles of the church, and noted that, at the opposite, he was getting Bkerke back to its original path.
Source: Website Team

Syria Overcame Crisis, Triumphs in UN through Moscow

Batoul Wehbe
The UN Security Council concluded talks on Syria Wednesday failing to reach an agreement on a new resolution for another time, after Russia slammed Europe's effort to threaten sanctions against Damascus.
The 15-member Council discussed rival draft resolutions on the Syria crisis drawn up by France, Britain, Germany and Portugal on one side and Russia on the other. Russia opposes any hint of sanctions and the latest version of its draft resolution seeks to condemn so-called violence by all sides in Syria.
Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the European proposal "a continuation of the Libya policy of regime change." Russia and China have accused NATO of using UN resolutions on Libya to force out strongman Moammar Gaddafi and say they fear new military action in Syria.

He said the Russian resolution "is something which if adopted by the council will encourage the political process in Syria and will help stop violence."
China's UN ambassador, Li Baodong, said the final resolution must be "promoting a peaceful solution, promoting dialogue."


In the meantime, Syrian President Bashar Assad met Former Prime Minister Salim al-Hoss in Damascus where they discussed the crisis, which according to Assad Syria “managed to overcome peacefully,” a statement from Hoss’ office said Wednesday.

Hoss stressed that Syria has a key role in preserving Arabism and it is targeted due to this role. He also considered that any political move in the region in the future must be based on the pan-Arab thought which preserves the unity of the Arab societies.

“The painful events have ended and, thank God, stability has returned to the affected Syrian cities,” Assad told Hoss adding that authorities are monitoring the situation to look out for the well-being and peace of the Syrian people.”

The Syrian Arab News Agency said Assad discussed the events in Syria and its repercussions on the region in general and on Lebanon in particular.
Later on Wednesday, Hoss told al-Jadeed TV channel that "Syria experienced an international attack. We know Syria was targeted and that they [the foreign powers] want to isolate it".


This comes as a wave of assassinations of high-profile figures has hit Syria with a nuclear engineer and a high-ranking law enforcement officer becoming the latest victims.
Nuclear engineer and university professor Aws Abdel Karim Khalil was shot in the head by an armed terrorist group operating in the city of Homs in western Syria, SANA reported Wednesday. Security officer Colonel Tayssir al-Oqla was shot dead by another terrorist outfit at al-Ta'awuniya neighborhood of Hama, another western city.

Khalil is the fourth Syrian academic to be assassinated in Homs since Sunday.

Damascus says that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians. Syria state TV has also broadcast reports and images of seizure of arms caches and confessions by terrorist elements, pointing to how they obtained weaponry from foreign sources.

Syria's Foreign Ministry on Thursday accused the United States of inciting "armed groups" into acts of violence targeting the country's military. "Comments by American officials, notably [US State Department spokesperson] Mark Toner, are striking proof that the United States encourages armed groups to commit violence against the Syrian Arab army," a ministry statement said.
Source: Websites

Mearsheimer responds to Goldberg's latest smear

DateMonday, September 26, 2011 at 5:01PM AuthorGilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon: Dear friends, this may well be one of the greatest days of my life.

Just a few minutes ago, I saw this piece expressing unequivocal support from Professor John J. Mearsheimer clearly one of the most distinguished scholars in our discourse and beyond.

For years I have been subjected to smear campaigns. I obviously survived them all because those who read me grasped the humanist intent in my work. In the following article, professor Mearsheimer exposes the banality and crudeness of the Zionist tactics. He shows how Goldberg & Co forge sentences, take words out of context and attribute misleading meanings.

I am afraid to advise my detractors that I am not alone at all. The Tide Has Changed.

Introduction by Stephen M. Walt

Ever since John Mearsheimer and I began writing about the Israel lobby, some of our critics have leveled various personal charges against us. These attacks rarely addressed the substance of what we wrote -- a tacit concession that both facts and logic were on our side -- but instead accused us of being anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists. They used these false charges to try to discredit and/or marginalize us, and to distract people from the important issues of U.S. Middle East policy that we had raised.
The latest example of this tactic is a recent blog post from Jeffrey Goldberg, where he accused my co-author of endorsing a book by an alleged Holocaust denier and Nazi sympathizer. Goldberg has well-established record of making things up about us, and this latest episode is consistent with his usual approach. I asked Professor Mearsheimer if he wanted to respond to Goldberg's sally, and he sent the following reply.

John Mearsheimer writes:
In a certain sense, it is hard not to be impressed by the energy and imagination that Jeffrey Goldberg devotes to smearing Steve Walt and me. Although he clearly disagrees with our views about U.S.-Israel relations and the role of the Israel lobby, he does not bother to engage what we actually wrote in any meaningful way. Indeed, given what he writes about us, I am not even sure he has read our book or related articles. Instead of challenging the arguments and evidence that we presented, his modus operandi is to misrepresent and distort our views, in a transparent attempt to portray us as rabid anti-Semites.

His latest effort along these lines comes in a recent blog post, where he seizes on a dust jacket blurb I wrote for a new book by Gilad Atzmon titled The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics. Here is what I said in my blurb:
Gilad Atzmon has written a fascinating and provocative book on Jewish identity in the modern world. He shows how assimilation and liberalism are making it increasingly difficult for Jews in the Diaspora to maintain a powerful sense of their 'Jewishness.' Panicked Jewish leaders, he argues, have turned to Zionism (blind loyalty to Israel) and scaremongering (the threat of another Holocaust) to keep the tribe united and distinct from the surrounding goyim. As Atzmon's own case demonstrates, this strategy is not working and is causing many Jews great anguish. The Wandering Who? should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike.

The book, as my blurb makes clear, is an extended meditation on Jewish identity in the Diaspora and how it relates to the Holocaust, Israel, and Zionism. There is no question that the book is provocative, both in terms of its central argument and the overly hot language that Atzmon sometimes uses. But it is also filled with interesting insights that make the reader think long and hard about an important subject. Of course, I do not agree with everything that he says in the book -- what blurber does? -- but I found it thought provoking and likely to be of considerable interest to Jews and non-Jews, which is what I said in my brief comment.

Goldberg maintains that Atzmon is a categorically reprehensible person, and accuses him of being a Holocaust denier and an apologist for Hitler. These are two of the most devastating charges that can be leveled against anyone. According to Goldberg, the mere fact that I blurbed Atzmon's book is decisive evidence that I share Atzmon's supposedly odious views. This indictment of me is captured in the title of Goldberg's piece: "John Mearsheimer Endorses a Hitler Apologist and Holocaust Revisionist."
This charge is so ludicrous that it is hard to know where to start my response. But let me begin by noting that I have taught countless University of Chicago students over the years about the Holocaust and about Hitler's role in it. Nobody who has been in my classes would ever accuse me of being sympathetic to Holocaust deniers or making excuses for what Hitler did to European Jews. Not surprisingly, those loathsome charges have never been leveled against me until Goldberg did so last week.
Equally important, Gilad Atzmon is neither a Holocaust denier nor an apologist for Hitler. Consider the following excerpt from The Wandering Who?
As much as I was a sceptic youngster, I was also horrified by the Holocaust. In the 1970s Holocaust survivors were part of our social landscape. They were our neighbours, we met them in our family gatherings, in the classroom, in politics, in the corner shop. The dark numbers tattooed on their white arms never faded away. It always had a chilling effect. . . . It was actually the internalization of the meaning of the Holocaust that transformed me into a strong opponent of Israel and Jewish-ness. It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return" (pp. 185-186).
It seems unequivocally clear to me from those sentences that Atzmon firmly believes that the Holocaust occurred and was a horrific tragedy. I cannot find evidence in his book or in his other writings that indicate he "traffics in Holocaust denial."
The real issue for Atzmon -- and this is reflected in the excerpt from his blog post that Goldberg quotes from -- is how the Holocaust is interpreted and used by the Jewish establishment. Atzmon has three complaints. He believes that it is used to justify Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians and to fend off criticism of Israel. This is an argument made by many other writers, including former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, historian Peter Novick, and political scientist Norman Finkelstein. Atzmon also rejects the claim that the Holocaust is exceptional, which is a position that other respected scholars have held. There have been other genocides in world history, after all, and this whole issue was actively debated in the negotiations that led to the building of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Whatever one thinks of Atzmon's position on this subject, it is hardly beyond the pale.
Finally, Atzmon is angry about the fact that it is difficult to raise certain questions about the causes and the conduct of the Holocaust without being personally attacked. These are all defensible if controversial positions to hold, which is not to say one has to agree with any of them. But in no way is he questioning that the Holocaust happened or denying its importance. In fact, his view is clear from one of Atzmon's sentences that Goldberg quotes: "We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place." Note that Atzmon is talking about "the holocaust" in a way that makes it clear he has no doubts about its occurrence, and the passage from The Wandering Who? cited above makes it clear that he has no doubts about its importance or its tragic dimensions; he merely believes it should be seen in a different way. Again, one need not agree with Atzmon to recognize that Goldberg has badly misrepresented his position.

There is also no evidence that I could find in The Wandering Who? to support Goldberg's claim that Atzmon is an apologist for Hitler or that he believes "Jews persecuted Hitler" and in so doing helped trigger the Holocaust. There is actually little discussion of Hitler in Atzmon's book, and the only discussion of interactions between Hitler and the Jews concerns the efforts of German Zionists to work out a modus vivendi with the Nazis. (pp. 162-165) This is why Goldberg is forced to go to one of Atzmon's blog posts to make the case that he is an apologist for Hitler.

Before I examine the substance of that charge, there is an important issue that needs to be addressed directly. Goldberg's indictment of Atzmon does not rely on anything that he wrote in The Wandering Who? Indeed, Goldberg's blog post is silent on whether he has actually read the book. If he did read it, he apparently could not find any evidence to support his indictment of Atzmon. Instead, he relied exclusively on evidence culled from Atzmon's own blog postings. That is why Goldberg's assault on me steers clear of criticizing Atzmon's book, which is what I blurbed. In short, he falsely accuses me of lending support to a Holocaust denier and defender of Hitler on the basis of writings that I did not read and did not comment upon.

This tactic puts me in a difficult position. I was asked to review Atzmon's book and see whether I would be willing to blurb it. This is something I do frequently, and in every case I focus on the book at hand and not on the personality of the author or their other writings. In other words, I did not read any of Atzmon's blog postings before I wrote my blurb. And just for the record, I have not met him and did not communicate with him before I was asked to review The Wandering Who? I read only the book and wrote a blurb that deals with it alone.

Goldberg, however, has shifted the focus onto what Atzmon has written on his blog. I discuss a couple of examples below, but I will not defend his blog output in detail for two reasons. First, I do not know what Atzmon may have said in all of his past blog posts and other writings or in the various talks that he has given over the years. Second, what he says in those places is not relevant to what I did, which was simply to read and react to his book.

Let me now turn to the specific claim that Atzmon is an "apologist for Hitler." Again, I am somewhat reluctant to do this, because this charge forces me to defend what Atzmon said in one of his blog posts. But given the prominence of the charge in Goldberg's indictment of Atzmon (and me), I cannot let it pass.

Plus, I see that Walter Russell Mead, who is also fond of smearing Steve Walt and me, has put this charge up in bright lights on his own blog. Picking up on Goldberg's original post, Mead describes Atzmon's argument this way: "poor Adolf Hitler's actions against German Jews only came after US Jews called a boycott on German goods following Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor. Gosh -- if it weren't for those pushy, aggressive Jews and their annoying boycotts, the Holocaust might not have happened!"

It is hard to imagine any sane person making such an argument, and Atzmon never does. Goldberg refers to a blog post that Atzmon wrote on March 25, 2010, written in response to news at the time that AIPAC had "decided to mount pressure" on President Obama. After describing what was happening with Obama, Atzmon notes that this kind of behavior is hardly unprecedented. In his words, "Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even superpowers." There is no question that this statement is accurate and not even all that controversial; Tom Friedman said as much in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago.

In the second half of this post, Atzmon says that AIPAC's behavior reminds him of the March 1933 Jewish boycott of German goods, which preceded Hitler's decision on March 28, 1933 to boycott Jewish stores and goods. His basic point is that the Jewish boycott had negative consequences, which it did. In Atzmon's narrative -- and this is a very important theme in his book -- Jews are not simply passive victims of other people's actions. On the contrary, he believes Jews have considerable agency and their actions are not always wise. One can agree or disagree with his views about the wisdom of the Jewish boycott -- and I happen to think he's wrong about it -- but he is not arguing that the Jews were "persecuting Hitler" and that this alleged "persecution" led to the Holocaust. In fact, he says nothing about the Holocaust in his post and he certainly does not justify in any way the murder of six million Jews.

Let me make one additional point about Goldberg's mining of Atzmon's blog posts. Goldberg ends his attack on me with the following quotation from a Feb. 19 blog post by Atzmon: "I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany." That quotation certainly makes Atzmon look like he has lost his mind and that nothing he has written could be trusted. But Goldberg has misrepresented what Atzmon really said, which is one of his standard tactics. Specifically, he quotes only part of a sentence from Atzmon's blog post; but when you look at the entire sentence, you see that Atzmon is making a different, and far more nuanced point. The entire sentence reads: "Indeed, I believe that from [a] certain ideological perspective, Israel is actually far worse than Nazi Germany, for unlike Nazi Germany, Israel is a democracy and that implies that Israeli citizens are complicit in Israeli atrocities." This is not an argument I would make, but what Atzmon is saying is quite different from the way Goldberg portrays it.

Finally, let me address the charge that Atzmon himself is an anti-Semite and a self-hating Jew. The implication of this accusation, of course, is that I must be an anti-Semite too (I can't be a self-hating Jew) because I agreed to blurb Atzmon's book. I do not believe that Atzmon is an anti-Semite, although that charge is thrown around so carelessly these days that it has regrettably lost much of its meaning. If one believes that anyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite, then Atzmon clearly fits in that category. But that definition is foolish -- no country is perfect or above criticism-and not worth taking seriously.

The more important and interesting issue is whether Atzmon is a self-hating Jew. Here the answer is unequivocally yes. He openly describes himself in this way and he sees himself as part of a long dissident tradition that includes famous figures such as Marx and Spinoza. What is going on here?
The key to understanding Atzmon is that he rejects the claim that Jews are the "Chosen People." His main target, as he makes clear at the start of the book, is not with Judaism per se or with people who "happen to be of Jewish origin." Rather, his problem is with "those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits." Or to use other words of his: "I will present a harsh criticism of Jewish politics and identity ... This book doesn't deal with Jews as a people or ethnicity." (pp. 15-16)
In other words, Atzmon is a universalist who does not like the particularism that characterizes Zionism and which has a rich tradition among Jews and any number of other groups. He is the kind of person who intensely dislikes nationalism of any sort. Princeton professor Richard Falk captures this point nicely in his own blurb for the book, where he writes: "Atzmon has written an absorbing and moving account of his journey from hard-core Israeli nationalist to a de-Zionized patriot of humanity."

Atzmon's basic point is that Jews often talk in universalistic terms, but many of them think and act in particularistic terms. One might say they talk like liberals but act like nationalists. Atzmon will have none of this, which is why he labels himself a self-hating Jew. He fervently believes that Jews are not the "Chosen People" and that they should not privilege their "Jewish-ness" over their other human traits. Moreover, he believes that one must choose between Athens and Jerusalem, as they "can never be blended together into a lucid and coherent worldview." (p. 86) One can argue that his perspective is dead wrong, or maintain that it is a lovely idea in principle but just not the way the real world works. But it is hardly an illegitimate or ignoble way of thinking about humanity.

To take this matter a step further, Atzmon's book is really all about Jewish identity. He notes that "the disappearance of the ghetto and its maternal qualities" in the wake of the French Revolution caused "an identity crisis within the largely assimilated Jewish society." (p. 104) He believes that this crisis, about which there is an extensive literature, is still at the center of Jewish life today. In effect, Atzmon is telling the story of how he wrestled with his own identity over time and what he thinks is wrong with how most Jews self-identify today. It is in this context that he discusses what he calls the "Holocaust religion," Zionism, and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Again, to be perfectly clear, he has no animus toward Judaism as a religion or with individuals who are Jewish by birth. Rather, his target is the tribalism that he believes is common to most Jews, and I might add, to most other peoples as well. Atzmon focuses on Jews for the obvious reason that he is Jewish and is trying to make sense of his own identity.

In sum, Goldberg's charge that Atzman is a Holocaust denier or an apologist for Hitler is baseless. Nor is Atzmon an anti-Semite. He has controversial views for sure and he sometimes employs overly provocative language. But there is no question in my mind that he has written a fascinating book that, as I said in my blurb, "should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike." Regarding Goldberg's insinuation that I have any sympathy for Holocaust denial and am an anti-Semite, it is just another attempt in his longstanding effort to smear Steve Walt and me.

You can now order Gilad Atzmon's New Book on or