Another War, Another Defeat

The Gaza offensive has succeeded in punishing the Palestinians but not in making Israel more secure.

By John J. Mearsheimer

But these are not the real goals of Operation Cast Lead. The actual purpose is connected to Israel’s long-term vision of how it intends to live with millions of Palestinians in its midst. It is part of a broader strategic goal: the creation of a “Greater Israel.” Specifically, Israel’s leaders remain determined to control all of what used to be known as Mandate Palestine, which includes Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinians would have limited autonomy in a handful of disconnected and economically crippled enclaves, one of which is Gaza. Israel would control the borders around them, movement between them, the air above and the water below them….And if Israel were genuinely interested in creating a viable Palestinian state, it could have worked with the national unity government to implement a meaningful ceasefire and change Hamas’s thinking about a two-state solution. But Israel has a different agenda: it is determined to employ the Iron Wall strategy to get the Palestinians in Gaza to accept their fate as hapless subjects of a Greater Israel.

UK Jewish MP Gerald Kaufman On Gaza

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Read transcript here.


“My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza”.

Obsession With Hate

Via MT Akbar

A nice website called Obsessionwithhate that rebuts the arguments of the propaganda film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” has come out in which both the pundits, their associations, racisms, xenophobia, and agenda are exposed clearly.

The rebuttal section is excellent

More prominent members behind the film (A dangerous obsession
By Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton. Asia Times Online, 26 September 2008

The Clarion Fund is based at the same New York address as Aish Hatorah, a self-described “apolitical” group dedicated to educating Jews about their heritage. Its street address, as listed on the group’s website and a DVD mailer for the film, is a “virtual address” that goes to a post office box in New York City.

While initial press reports about the mass distribution focused on the Clarion Fund’s financing role, it was EMET that organized and oversaw the distribution, EMET’s spokesman and a former press officer for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Ari Morgenstern, told Inter Press Service.

EMET, according to a recent press release, is “a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to policy research and analysis on democracy and the Middle East.” According to filings made in compliance with the organization’s tax-exempt status, “The organization hosts seminars, debates and educational films featuring Middle East experts in order to educate policymakers and the public at large on the common threats facing Israel and the United States.”

Morgenstern said EMET was “partnered with the Clarion Fund” on what he called the “Obsession Project” which he identified as “an initiative of EMET”. He declined to name the project’s donors – a spokesman for the Clarion Fund, Gregory Ross, also refused to name the fund’s donors, whose identities remain a mystery.

Morgenstern also declined to reveal the cost of the DVD distribution, but did say, “It cost a great deal – it’s a multi-million-dollar effort.” Outside experts have estimated the cost of the operation at between US$15 million and $50 million.

Like hardline neo-conservatives, EMET opposes any land concessions to Palestinians and takes other hardline positions identified with Israel’s right-wing Likud Party and the ”Settler Lobby” there. EMET’s website says, “We regard ourselves as ‘intellectual revolutionaries’.”

Two weeks ago, EMET sponsored a seminar series on Capitol Hill for the controversial multi-billionaire casino and hotel magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is a major donor to right-wing Zionist organizations in the US, such as the far-right lobby group, Freedom’s Watch and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

RJC efforts to persuade Jewish voters that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is aligned with radical anti-Israel forces in the Islamic world have drawn strong criticism from the mainstream Jewish press.

EMET’s board of advisers includes a list of familiar neo-conservative figures, as well as three former Israeli diplomats, including a former deputy chief of mission in Israel’s Washington embassy.

The group is headed by Sarah Stern, who began her activism on Israeli issues in opposition to the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestinians. She made a career out of her activism in the far-right Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) as its national policy coordinator from 1998 through 2004.

Notable members of the advisory board include prominent hardline neo-conservatives, including former US UN ambassador the late Jeane Kirkpatrick; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; and the Hudson Institute’s Meyrav Wurmser – the Israeli-born spouse of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top Middle East adviser, David Wurmser.

Other prominent neo-conservative members of the board include Center for Security Policy (CSP) president Frank Gaffney; former Central Intelligence Agency chief James Woolsey; and Heritage Foundation fellows Ariel Cohen and Nina Shea, who has served for years on the quasi-governmental US Commission for International Religious Freedom.

The US-born and educated hardline deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at Gaffney’s CSP, Caroline Glick, is also an adviser. Glick, Pipes and Walid Shoebat, a “reformed” terrorist and EMET adviser, are all featured as experts in Obsession.

Also among the top names of listed advisers to EMET are three Israeli diplomats. Two of them, ambassadors Yossi Ben Aharon and Yoram Ettinger, were among the three Israeli ambassadors whom then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin referred to as “The Three Musketeers” when they lobbied Washington in opposition to the Oslo accords.

Stern began her career at the behest of three unnamed Israeli diplomats who were based in Washington under Rabin’s predecessor, Yitzhak Shamir, according to EMET’s website, while Ettinger was at one time the chairman of special projects and is still listed as a contributing expert at the Ariel Center for Policy Research, a hardline Likudist Israeli think-tank that opposes the peace process.

Ben Aharon was the director general – effectively the chief of staff – of Shamir’s office.

The third Israeli ambassador, Lenny Ben-David, was appointed by Likud prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as the deputy chief of mission – second in command – at the Israeli Embassy in Washington from 1997 until 2000. Ben-David had also held senior positions at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for 25 years and is now a consultant and lobbyist.

But EMET is not the only group involved in the controversy to have direct ties to Israel.

The Clarion Fund has also been criticized for initially denying its ties to the Israel’s Aish Hatorah, which were first disclosed publicly by an IPS investigation last year., an organization set up by Aish Hatorah and also a client of Ben-David, admitted to IPS that it had aided the production of the film.

The Clarion Fund and Aish Hatorah are headed by twin Israeli-Canadian brothers Raphael and Ephraim Shore, respectively. The two groups appear to be connected as Clarion is incorporated in Delaware to the New York offices of Aish Hatorah.

“It seems that the Clarion Fund, from what we can tell, is just a virtual organization that is a front for Aish Hatorah,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “They don’t have staff, they don’t have a physical address. Nothing.”

Little is known about the shadowy Clarion Fund, which is listed with the New York Secretary of State’s office as a “foreign not-for-profit foundation”. The group has rejected requests for information about its donors.

IPS has uncovered one donor to the Clarion Fund, the Mamiye Foundation, which gave it $25,000 in August 2007, according to tax filings. Four Mamiye members: Charles M, Charles D, Hyman and Abraham, are listed as trustees on the forms.

According to filings with the New York Secretary of State, a contact listed for a Mamiye company is also the same man listed as a contact and counsel for the Clarion Fund – Eli D Greenberg of the law firm Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman and Herz.

Photographer Muhsin Kilby

Hey people,

I hope you’re all well!

OkayI was thinking what to show you this week in the art world, when something hit me.

Apart from Peter Sanders, not much is known about other Muslim photographers. I mean think about it: apart from your friend or crazy uncle that calls himself a photographer because he take random snaps using his disposable camera, not much is know about the real big players.

So thats what Im gonna focus on today. The photographer I have chosen is Muhsin Kilby.

Now heres the part where I write a short bio:

Muhsin Kilby (formally known as Jak Kilby) is a freelance photographer based in London. He operates a Photo Library of his work and is also, on occasion, a writer.

He works principally as a documentary photographer. Has supplied photographs to all the broadsheet newspapers in the UK and worked extensively on projects concerning Palestine, Jerusalem and Masjid Al-Aqsa. He has produced several educational exhibitions in this respect.

For more information and to see his work, check out his site.

Please note: The site contains images that are protected by copyright. Unauthorised usage of any images will incur substantial charges.

Blog About Palestine Day – May 15th 2008

In order to support “Blog About Palestine” Day, the editors of would like to highlight the best entries from this event on the site, insha’Allah. So if you are planning to join in, please remember to forward us the link to your post on May 15th. You can e-mail us at editor[at]ijtema[dot]net, with the subject “Blog About Palestine Day“, or leave a comment on this page:

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Help raise awareness about the Palestinian plight and the everyday experiences of an average Palestinian. On May 15th 2008, right an article or a blog post that is related Palestine or the Palestinians in any way.

It does not have to political, it could talk about the past, present, or future. It could talk about social issues, economical issues, political issues, even about art. You could talk about how do people go about their day lives, how do they travel, how do they go to school, how do they live ..etc. You could talk about your parents’ or grandparents’ memories of the Nakba of 1948, or about the life in forced exile, or about outlooks for possible peaceful resolutions.

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