“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, May 23, 2016

Roger Waters On The Wall (Not the wall you are thinking about)

Roger Waters and Sut Jhally discuss their new film about the Israeli public relations campaign to influence U.S. public opinion:


How Israel, the Israeli Lobby  and the US Media has deceived the American Public:

JAY: So Roger, talk a bit about the clip we just saw, and why you think this campaign has been so successful.
WATERS: Well that's a very interesting point. Why it's been so successful. Because it's so transparent. And any rational man would think "this cannot possibly work." But unfortunately, there's a lot of precedent for this, this particular technique. You know, if you tell the big lie often enough and loud enough, people will believe it. And, you know, as it's explained in this thing, in that clip, this has been used to sell soap powder, or shampoo, or motorcars often in the past, and it's used now to sell policy. 
Sut is exactly right, that everything changed in '82, after the invasion of Lebanon. So, I think it's about getting spokespeople, as well, particularly politicians, to repeat the mantra. And this is one of the problems. That the fact that Congress is for sale in this country, particularly after Citizens United. That the disasterous ratification of that bill by your Supreme Court, which means effectively that members of Congress, in both the Senate and the House, are for sale. You can buy them. And we all know that. Everybody knows it. But it's kind of something that people prefer not to talk about. Because, if you had owned up to it, you would need to start looking at the whole way that your society works, and politics in the United States in a grown up and rational way, which would be very very difficult, based, as the whole thing is, on commerce.
I know I'm rambling, but, you know, it's a complex issue. So, if we get back to Hasbara, they have discovered that they can do it. They can operate policies that are murderous, and genocidal. And operate apartheids, which is a dirty word. Here, particularly, but all over the world it's a dirty word. And recognized, that apartheid is unforgivable and indefensible. And yet, the Israelis operated in the territory that they occupied in 1967, and nobody says boo, here. And you're asking the question, well why does nobody say boo? Why is there no response to any of this? And I think Sut can answer that question much better than I can, because, I confess, I'm flabbergasted and flummoxed whenever I come up against this question. Because, their answers are so clearly a tissue of untruth, that for us, we the people, that we the people cannot see through it. And there are still large numbers of us, support Israeli policy. It's very hard to penetrate. 
Ask Sut. He'll tell you.
JAY: Well, he's here. I'll ask him. And not only do you find this, you know, support for Israel, even in the midst of an attack on Gaza. And I should point out, even a Bernie Sanders, who took, you know, recently, a much more balanced and complex view of how America should approach the question. But even Sanders voted for the resolution, saying Israel had a right to defend itself at the time they're bombing Gaza. So, even in the Democratic party, you have people with relatively progressive ideas, that opposed the war in Iraq and other things...and here, I'm not isolating Sanders, there's others, certainly, far more in this way. But they see Israel as this sort of outpost of civilization or something. And surrounded by, you know, the forces of anarchy and chaos, and they kind of really internalize that. 
WATERS: That's why the right to defend itself is part of the Frank Luntz mantra, because it covers a multitude of sins with one simple phrase, that sounds on the face of it defensible. But, defending a country like Israel by operating a collective, murderous, genocidal policy upon a neighboring people, who are entirely under your control, is not defense. It is aggressive beyond all imagination. This is the slaughter of people locked up in a concrete pen, and kept there with guns, tanks, planes, ships, navies, machine guns. They are contained in a prison. It is exactly as if they were all in prison. And then, if some of them resist, if some of them say...and I'm not defending the use of Kassim rockets to fire into farmland in Israel, which is where they go. They do not rain down on cities. There has never been any raining down of rockets. And certainly, they have caused almost no casualties. The fatalities caused by rockets, fired by Hamas or whoever else in Gaza, are tiny, certainly by comparison, with the loss of life Israel causes with its hugely sophisticated weaponry, when they attack the [inaud.] population. 
So it's not defense. It has nothing to do with defense. That is the propaganda. That is Hasbara that is repeated. And Obama said it repeatedly. Hillary Clinton says it. Every politician, even Sanders as you say, he's said it, because it's something that you have to say. It's obligatory. You say, Israel has the right. Of course Israel has the right to defend itself. All states have the right to defend themselves. People who don't have a right to defend themselves is, of course, the Palestinian people, because they don't have a state. They are a stateless people. They are an inconvenience on the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean. And that is what this is about. This is what Sut and I are working for. We believe that these people should have rights like everybody else does. None of us, for a second, live under a situation where we had no civil right, no rights to our own religion, to anything. No vote. Nothing. Where we were considered second class citizens. We would resist. 
Now they, to their eternal credit, have resisted, by and large, in peaceful ways. And they've done it as much as they can, but you can only push people so far. And they will respond. And they have a moral, and legal, right to respond.
JAY: Right. Sut, there's been a particular war, in this PR war, on American University campuses. And, it's interesting that as the BDS movement has grown, but it certainly predates the BDS movement, it's been considered a very serious front of struggle for this PR campaign. Talk a bit about that.
JHALLY: I mean, the PR campaign is based around...I mean, the film was called "The Occupation of the American Mind," and they've managed to occupy the American media, so this narrative is everywhere. And they've managed, also, to occupy the American Congress. So they've taken over the media and politics, and the culture in general. The one place they haven't is the universities, where there actually is some diversity of thinking around this.
JAY: Okay. Just before you go further, who's they?
JHALLY: Sorry, this is the Israeli PR campaign.
JAY: Which means the Israeli state. Some major funders in the United States. Himan Siban, Sheldon Adelson, and some others.
JHALLY: And also the American government itself. I mean, this is not Israel controlling a government that wants to do something else. The reason it's worked so well is that the interests of the American government are very congruent with the interest of the Israeli state as well, which is why it's worked so well.
JAY: Cause this is the narrative of the President, of the State Department.
JHALLY: Yeah, so this is not just an Israeli narrative. It becomes an American narrative as well.
JAY: Yeah. I want to talk about the campuses.
JHALLY: But the campuses, I mean, I think it's very significant. It's the one place where there is any diversity of thinking around these issues. And so, now of course, the Israeli PR campaign has turned its focus there. And it's become, I mean, I think it's almost the last stage where this battle will be fought.
But I think it's significant when Americans, American students actually have a choice. When American students actually have some...they have different perspectives. It's not surprising then that their opinion changes. And that is what the PR campaign is scared of.
PR always has two aspects. One is, control the narrative. And the other one is, maintain a monopoly. Make sure there's no counter-narrative. And on the universities you're starting to have a counter-narrative, and a very effective counter-narrative. And, you know, billionaires, like Sheldon Adelson are now starting to put lots of money into making sure that that alternative voice is wrapped up very quickly.
JAY: Right.
JHALLY: The way it's being done is through...I mean, they're scared stiff of BDS.
JAY: Boycott Divestment Sanctions.
JHALLY: Yeah, because it's's an effective story that's being told. And so, what they're trying to do on American campuses is call BDS, hate speech. And try to ban it on that basis. We're in the middle of that. I mean, where we'll end up on it will depend upon how we struggle against it.
JAY: And there's places in Canada, and even in Europe, in certain places where this whole idea of BDS is so equated with hatespeech that they're trying to make it illegal. Advocating for it.
Roger, one of the things that seems to me helps drive this thing...this thing being that critiquing Israel is anti-semitic, it's anti-Jewish, which is at the core of, you could say, this PR campaign. And one of the reasons why people can see images of children dying, and images of the war, and somehow get their head around "Oh yeah. It's collateral damage. And it's really these peoples fault, because they hate Jews." One of the reasons that works is that there is a kernel of truth, in the sense that while not all critique of Israel is anti-semitic, some is. And there's certainly a deep routed history of hating Jews. Of course, this is more European phenomena, than an Arab phenomena, but for a lot of people, they don't get...because of the cultural history of Juden-haus, that what's going on is not that. But isn't that an important piece of this?
WATERS: Well, I think it's a great tragedy for the Jewish people, and for the Jewish religion, that it is conflated in peoples minds with the policies of the government of Israel, and it's policies, colonization, and it's annexation of land that does not belong to it. The illegal occupation, occupation, occupation, occupation. That is the most important word in all of these conversations.
But I wanted to pick up on something that Sut said, which was that...the needs of the American government are in some way aligned with the goals and needs of the state of Israel. I don't necessarily agree with that, Sut. And I certainly don't think that the needs and goals of the American people are in line with the goals of the state of Israel. I think they conflict, hugely, because American support for the goals of the state of Israel goes a long way towards creating, not just an image, but a description of the United States of America, as an oppressor of the people of the Middle East. And in consequence, it creates a lot of [ ] towards this country, the United States of America, in that region as a whole. So, I think that the unthinking, and automatic support of the state of Israel, in its policies, vis-a-vis its surroundings, is actually bad for the people of the United States of America. It makes it harder for them to be respected, taken seriously...except it is a partner to conversations that may find more edifying ways of conflict resolution than dropping bombs on one another, which, routinely, the United States does as well, as we know, with the drone policies. So, I think it's actually very very harmful to the potential that the Unites States might have, to regain some of its position politically.
JHALLY: And there's certainly recognition of that among American elites. That this policy is resulting in blowback. I mean, the answer to the question, "Why do they hate us?" well, one of the reasons is because of the unconditional support of Israel. So even people like David Petraeus, you know, when he was in power, he was saying what the counter, you know, what the effects of this was, in terms of how America was being held. However, you know, on the one hand you have that, but until that outweighs the strategic value that the U.S has in supporting Israel in the Middle East...and the Nixon administration called it "a cop on the beat," you know, and to protect its strategic interests. Until that outweighs those strategic interests, it's not going to make a difference. 
But there are, I mean, Roger's absolutely right...there are I think more and more, even American elites, who are starting to look at, you know, what are the costs of this type of support. The moment those costs have not outweighed what the benefits are...
JAY: Well, I think you're kind of really agreeing, because it's about whose national interests. The elites national interests and the American peoples national interests are more often than not, not the same national interests. 
WATERS: What is super important is the issue of the campuses. There is now, because of the apartheid in the occupied territories, there is now a real ground swell of a genuine protest movement taking place, in the young people on the campuses. And a lot of these young people, one has to say, are young Jewish people, who care about their heritage. They care about their religion. They care about their own ethical standards. And they can see that they are being associated with a tyrannical regime...right-wing tyrannical regime that is running this small state in the Middle East...and they don't like it. They do not want their name taken in vain like that. So this is so important what is going on. It's on the campuses of the universities in North America, both in Canada and the United States, but it's also in the churches, which slowly but surely there is a creeping resistance to the slaughter. And more and more churches are gathering together in their annual [inaud.] and divesting from companies that support the settlements and the occupation. Companies like Motorola, and Caterpillar, and the rest of them, and G4, and so on and so forth. So, this movement is gaining momentum. There are many many people. And this is an iceberg. Just the tip of it is showing above the surface, but the reason Sheldon Adelson, HIam Sabam are pouring money to try and make this protest movement illegal, is because they can see how fast it's growing. And it's growing because the protestors are right. They have right on their side. The treatment of the Palestinian people is deeply unjust, and appalling. And the fact that we're not allowed to see Sut's film, because it shows how we're not allowed to see that part of the narrative...I'm just so glad that the Real News is taking the time and the trouble to expose this to people, because it's fundamentally important to all of our humanity, all of our humanity. Not just the students, God bless them, who are protesting on the campuses, but all of them.
JAY: So Sut, tell us one more time. As we know you can't see this on Netflix, at least not yet. Maybe if everybody writes Netflix and screams that we want it...that's an idea. For now, where do people see the film?
JHALLY: They can see it at And you can stream it there, and you can buy the DVD as well. And one of the strategies that we have, I mean, we want as many people to see it as possible, I mean, we wish we could give it away, and it would be available for free...
JAY: It cost a lot of money to make this.
JHALLY: Oh, it cost us over a half million dollars to make this film. And trying to get it out...we knew it was going to be a struggle. We didn't actually realize it was going to be as much of a struggle as it has been. We thought we would be blanketed from the mainstream media, just because of what the movie is about.
JAY: But, you're not getting in...I've seen the film, as people who watch the Real News, they know I'm a documentary filmmaker. That's really my background. And this is a good film, but you're not getting into film festivals.
JHALLY: No, no. We're not getting into any American film festivals. We're getting into some foreign film festivals.
JAY: Or Canadian.
JHALLY: No, we're being blanketed in every single film festival that we've...we applied to North American film festivals.
JAY: Yeah, I mean I just found out. I mean, I started the hotdocs film festival, and I just found out. I'm not involved anymore in a day to day way...I just found out hotdocs didn't accept it....which.....Anyway, if you're in the Baltimore area, anywhere around, sometime in the next couple of months, we're going to screen the film. And, actually, I hope Roger and Sut might even be able to come here for the screening.


  1. When your government and media is so blatantly lying about the real Israel and the Palestinians, you have to ask yourself, what else are they lying about?

  2. You can watch all three episodes here:

  3. No country has done more damage to the perception of the US abroad than Israel.

    US blind unconditional support for Israel will be a stain on the US until it changes and change it will mostly because of social media.
    People are uninformed but they are not stupid. Given the facts, this will change when enough fair minded Israeli and American Jews decide that they cannot stomach the injustice or when the youth in America say enough is enough.

    1. Your obsession is once again rearing it's ugly head..

      that makes 2 times in 7 days..

    2. Personally?

      my opinion is that your post once again falls into the pure bullshit pile

    3. Actually, you inspire me. I can put up a post about bee mites and you will off to the races about Israel.

      Check it out. And thanks for the inspiration.

    4. I get really tired of the ant-Israel posts.

      If just one in, say, five attacked the insanity of Islam I'd be happy.

      There's also the American election to talk about....

      And I also think this one too falls in the pure b.s. pile.

      Enough, already.

    5. Then you have a word with your bud and don’t post things on every thread about Israel.

    6. OK.

      I'm standing in solidarity with the American Indians.

      Just like them, the term 'redskins' doesn't bother them anymore than white(skin) or black(skin) bothers me.

      See: below

      The controversy is made up b.s.

  4. This is the most amazing line of bullshit in the article

    WATERS: That's why the right to defend itself is part of the Frank Luntz mantra, because it covers a multitude of sins with one simple phrase, that sounds on the face of it defensible. But, defending a country like Israel by operating a collective, murderous, genocidal policy upon a neighboring people, who are entirely under your control, is not defense. It is aggressive beyond all imagination. This is the slaughter of people locked up in a concrete pen, and kept there with guns, tanks, planes, ships, navies, machine guns. They are contained in a prison. It is exactly as if they were all in prison. And then, if some of them resist, if some of them say...and I'm not defending the use of Kassim rockets to fire into farmland in Israel, which is where they go. They do not rain down on cities. There has never been any raining down of rockets. And certainly, they have caused almost no casualties. The fatalities caused by rockets, fired by Hamas or whoever else in Gaza, are tiny, certainly by comparison, with the loss of life Israel causes with its hugely sophisticated weaponry, when they attack the [inaud.] population.

    I only hope that someday he and his family are annoyed by kassams on his head.

  5. Rabbis from a liberal stream of Judaism issued this month a blanket disavowal of religious rulings that discriminate against non-Jews. The repudiation comes in response to racist rulings by state-funded Israeli clerics and terror attacks by their followers.

    In early May, the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, the theological adjudication body of Conservative Jews, voted unanimously to accept the 28-page anti-racist “tshuvah”, or religious responsum, of American-IsraeliRabbi Reuven Hammer.

    At his home in Jerusalem, Hammer told AlterNet that he felt compelled to write the responsum because in recent years, many leading Israeli rabbis - including chief rabbis whose salaries are paid by Israeli taxpayers - have issued religious edicts calling upon their constituents to actively discriminate against non-Jews. Hammer says that he was particularly bothered by hundreds of local chief rabbisforbidding Jews from renting flats to non-Jews and by Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosefforbidding non-Jews from living in Israel at all.

    Hammer says he was also aggravated by the frequent racist statements of Yosef’s father Ovadia, a former national chief rabbi himself. In 2010, Yosef said in a speech: “Goyim [non-Jewish people]were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world.” The funeral of the immensely popular and powerful elder Yosef was the largest-ever in Israel’s history, drawing a whopping 800,000 attendees.


      What’s worse, Hammer lamented, is that some Israeli Jews are now following the murderous instructions of Ginsburgh’s Torat HaMelech and attacking Palestinian civilians,torching even their children to death. Two years ago, religious Jewsburned a Palestinian teen to death in East Jerusalem, and last year, another group of religious Jewsburned a Palestinian father, mother and one-year-old baby to death in the West Bank. In the latter instance, the perpetrators sprayed graffiti on the home of the victims reading, “Long live the king, the messiah” - the Chabad motto.

      But the racist rhetoric peddled by xenophobic rabbis is incongruent with the Bible’s creation myths, Hammer insists...

      Hammer traces the roots of religious racism to kabbalists whom he says perverted the true meaning of the Torah term “Chosen People”. While he argues that this designation simply means that the Bible tasks Jews with following rules laid out in the Torah, others interpret this phrase to mean that Jews are qualitatively different from non-Jews -- that they are superior to them...

      ...For all its faults, Hammer’s rabbinical reply represents a major theological shift for one of the world’s more substantial Jewish movements. The near-silence that has greeted his pioneering proclamation -almost no news coverage either within Israel or without - may reflect the waning influence of the Conservative Movement on Judaism as a whole. But it is also symptomatic of the hesitance to acknowledge that behind Hammer’s criticism lies an epidemic of extremism overwhelming Israel and consuming a Jewish world that has linked itself to the country’s political fate.


    3. It is a shame that there are not enough Muslim critics of Islamist extremism. The Muslim World should take a lesson from brave and honest Jewish humanists critical of the apartheid system and human injustice that has stained Israeli society.

  6. In 2010, Yosef said in a speech: “Goyim [non-Jewish people]were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world.”

    ALL religions must, eventually, end up at this place. Once you embark upon the road of religiosity, the final destination is immutable.

    1. Just take a look around yourself in the USA.

      Nobody, except moslems perhaps, gives even a small shit what you believe or think.

      Your opinion on transgenders might provoke an argument though, or about the name 'Redskins', or taxes.

    2. WaPo: Those dumb Indians don’t even know when they’re being insulted

      posted at 7:21 pm on May 23, 2016 by Larry O'Connor

      Just days after the Washington Post revealed that 90% of Native Americans don’t find the term “Redskins” to be offensive, the paper’s own editorial board has proclaimed that they know better about racial slurs than the alleged target of said slur.

      In a move that illustrates the height of liberal elite arrogance, the Post proclaimed in their Sunday editorial that “A slur, is a slur,” and despite the findings of the poll, they’re still demanding the name of Washington’s NFL team be changed because, in their enlightened understanding of the world, Redskins is racial slur:

      But a couple of other aspects of the poll struck us as noteworthy. One was that more than half of respondents had heard little or nothing about this controversy. The other was that 21 percent said they found the word disrespectful, even if they weren’t personally bothered by the team’s use of the name, with another 6 percent declining to express a view.

      Where does that leave us? We’ve always made clear that we think fans who embrace the name do so without racist feeling or intent. But we also are clear that the term originates in an era when Indians were considered less than human and were often treated accordingly. References to scalping, war whoops and tomahawk chops hark back to that era and perpetuate stereotypes that can be hurtful, especially to Native American children.

      Did you get that subtle insinuation that those polled were just too uninformed to know that they’re being insulted? “(M)ore than half of respondents had heard little or nothing about this controversy,” the Post says, knowingly. They left out the implied, “those dumb Indians,” but we all get the picture....

      Hot Air

  7. Guccifer will change plea to guilty signaling possible cooperation with investigators

    posted at 5:21 pm on May 23, 2016 by John Sexton

    Marcel Lazar, the hacker known as Guccifer, will change his plea in court to guilty this Wednesday. The Hill reports:

    A spokesman with the U.S. attorney’s office prosecuting Lazar confirmed that he would plead guilty.

    However, it is unclear which charges the 42-year-old will plead guilty to, or whether the move is part of a deal to cooperate with federal officials on other cases.

    Politico says the change could be the result of a plea deal with prosecutors in exchange for assistance in an ongoing investigation. However, neither the prosecutor nor the defense would clarify whether that was the case when asked.

    If the guilty plea is part of a deal the obvious question is what case the feds are seeking Lazar’s help with. One intriguing possibility is that this move could be connected to the Clinton email investigation. Lazar, aka Guccifer, is the hacker who accessed emails belonging to Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal. Leaked emails from Blumenthal’s account were the first indication that Hillary Clinton had used a private email account while Secretary of State, though it was more than a year before later developments led to the realization she had only used this account on a private server in her home for all of her email while Secretary.

    More recently, Lazar told Fox News he had hacked into Clinton’s server using information gleaned from Blumenthal’s account. The Clinton camp has denied this but experts contacted by Fox News and NBC said it was possible.

    There is at least one anonymous source who has claimed Lazar’s extradition was connected to the Clinton investigation. Last month an unnamed source told Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge the move was “not a coincidence.”

    Former law enforcement and cyber security experts said the hacker, whose real name is Marcel Lehel Lazar, could – now that he’s in the U.S. – help the FBI make the case that Clinton’s email server was compromised by a third party, one that did not have the formal backing and resources of a foreign intelligence service such as that of Russia, China or Iran.

    Today the Associated Press reported the FBI was nearing the end of its investigation into Clinton’s private server and would likely seek to interview her soon:

    The FBI has already spoken with Huma Abedin, a Clinton confidant who was among the Democratic presidential front runner’s closest aides at the State Department. Former chief of staff Cheryl D. Mills is also cooperating with the investigation, according to her lawyer.

    That signals that agents will probably seek to interview Clinton soon, if they haven’t already, former Justice Department officials told The Associated Press. The FBI’s standard practice is to save questioning the person at the center of an investigation for last, once it has gathered available facts from others.

    So at this moment there are suggestions that Lazar’s decision to change his plea to guilty could be part of a deal signaling cooperation on another investigation and, separately, suggestions that his extradition was connected to the Clinton email investigation. But for the time being no one is going on the record. Perhaps we’ll learn more Wednesday after the plea is changed.

    Hot Air

  8. .

    ALL religions must, eventually, end up at this place. Once you embark upon the road of religiosity, the final destination is immutable.

    Religious zealots waging a quiet revolution in Israel

    In a surprise move, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week forced out his long-serving defence minister, Moshe Yaalon. As he stepped down, Mr Yaalon warned: “Extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel."

    He was referring partly to his expected successor: Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose trademark outbursts have included demands to bomb Egypt and behead disloyal Palestinian citizens.

    But Mr Yaalon was also condemning extremism closer to home, in Mr Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Mr Yaalon is to take a break from politics. With fitting irony, his slot is to be filled on Likud’s backbenches by Yehuda Glick, a settler whose goal to destroy Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple has the potential to set the Middle East on fire.

    Israeli commentators pointed out that, with Mr Lieberman’s inclusion, the government will be the most extreme in Israel’s history – again...


    Less noticed has been the gradual and parallel takeover of Israel’s security institutions by those espousing the ideology of the settlers – known in Israel as the national-religious camp.
    None of this is accidental. For two decades the settlers have been targeting Israel’s key institutions. Under Mr Netanyahu’s seven-year watch as prime minister, the process has accelerated.

    Naftali Bennett, leader of the settler party Jewish Home and education minister, recently boasted that the national-religious camp, though only a tenth of the population, held “leadership positions in all realms in Israel".

    One such success for Mr Bennett is Roni Alsheikh, who was appointed police chief late last year. He was a long-time resident of Kiryat Arba, one of the most violent settlements in the occupied territories.

    The force’s most recent campaign, “Believing in the police", is designed to recruit more religious hardliners. Behind the programme are settler-politicians who have called Palestinians “subhuman" and expressed sympathy for those who burnt to death a Palestinian family, including a baby, last summer.

    The other security agencies are being transformed too. Religious nationalists now hold many of the top posts in the Shin Bet intelligence service and the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency.
    In the army, too, the settlers are today heavily over-represented in the officers corps and combat units. For more than a decade their rabbis have dominated the army’s education corps...


  9. The state comptroller has found that the behavior of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his associates in the so-called “Bibi-Tours” affair was tainted with suspicion of violating a series of laws that forbid accepting gifts and other benefits, according to his report to be released Tuesday.


    The State Comptroller’s Office suspects that the external funding by a body linked to the State of Israel (the bonds) – which was given without approval and with no connection to its raison d’ĂȘtre, or by businessmen – was also used to pay back debts incurred on previous trips.
    Another suspicion is that Netanyahu’s bureau hired public service workers whose primary task was to find ways to fund trips or cover debts.

  10. this blog is now over the edge.

    well actually it's been over the edge for quite a while.

    But there is no rational discourse with Deuce.

  11. I recently read that Israel allows Arab Knesset members to advocate for overthrowing the state - right there in the Knesset. Try advocating overthrowing Hamas with those Hamas fellows if you like but I wouldn't recommend it....

    I advocate, but only from Idaho, for the 'Palestnians' to be allowed to sell their assets to the way, whatever did happen to those Christians in Bethlehem ?

    Maybe Quirk knows.