Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Iran lobby: Alavi "charity" bribed Rutgers and Columbia professors

The Alavi foundation, a "charity" foundation apparently controlled directly by the Iranian government has evidently been bribing U.S. universities. What is truly remarkable is that this story got little publicity in most US media - though it did merit a little article in the New York Times. Columbia, which got a $100,000 "donation" prior to the appearance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insisted that it had no knowledge whatever that the foundation had anything to do with the Iranian government. In total Columbia University got over $300,000 from the generous foundation. It seems that Columbia officials do not read the news very thoroughly. In December of 2008, the Federal bureau of investigation announced the arrest of the president of the Alavi foundation for obstruction of justice. He had refused to turn over papers that would indicate whether or not the assets of the foundation were controlled by the Iranian Republic. You don't have to be a rocket scientist or a Columbia professor to figure out that something might be fishy about this foundation.
Is this the explanation for the tenure granted to rabid anti-Zionist professors Joseph Massad and Barnard anthropology Professor Nadia el Haj, whose speciatizes in debunking the "myth" that Jews inhabited the land of Israel in ancient times?
Aren't universities who accept such gifts perverting and misusing academic freedom to promote the political agenda of a foreign power?
Ami Isseroff
An Islamic charity alleged to be a front for the Iranian regime has been funding anti-Israel and pro-Iran professors at Columbia and Rutgers Universities, the New York Post reported on Monday.
The Manhattan-based Alavi Foundation, which promotes Islamic charity and Persian education, has been accused by the American government of funneling money to U.S. schools supported by Iran and to a ring of Iranian spies in Europe, says The Post.
According to the report, the foundation has also given thousands of dollars to Columbia and Rutgers to fund its Middle Eastern and Persian studies programs.

"We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation," Adam Kaufmann, investigations chief at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, told The Post.
The Post reported that the Alavi Foundation gave Columbia $100,000 in 2007, after the university agreed to host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Columbia University spokesman Robert Hornsby told The Post that the money it received ahead of Ahmadinejad's visit was the largest single gift it had received from the foundation. He also told The Post that the university had been unaware that the charity was directly linked to the Iranian government.
In addition, says the report, the foundation gave $351,600 to Rutgers from 2005-2007 to fund its Persian Studies Program. That allegation was corroborated by a spokesman for the university, but no other comment was offered on the matter.
U.S. agents have begun confiscating as much as $650 million in assets from the foundation, according to the report

Labels: ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ignoring "ridiculous carrot and stick policies" Iran decides to build ten new enrichment plants

An accurate description of Western policy was given by the speaker of the Iranian parliament:
"If you do not stop these ridiculous carrot-and-stick policies, we will in return adopt new policies and seriously decrease cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," Larijani, an influential conservative, told the assembly.
Thumbing its nose at the world, Iran thereupon decided to build 10 new enrichment plants. No doubt the plants had been planned for a long time and may have been in process of construction.. What was really decided was to make them public.
Carrots and sticks can work on cooperative beasts. When you are dealing with a mad dog that is out of control, there is only one remedy that works.
Reuters News Agency however, seems to be blissfully ignorant of the Iranian constitution, as they wrote:
Parliament has the power to oblige the government to change its cooperation with the IAEA, as it did in 2006 after the Vienna-based agency voted to report Iran to the UN Security Council.
Final say on all legislation is that of the "Council of Experts" - the Ayatollahs, who can veto any parliamentary legislation as "un-Islamic."
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 17:36 29/11/2009
Iran approves plan for 10 new nuclear plants
By Reuters

Iran warns it will cut cooperation with UN, two days after IAEA votes to rebuke Tehran over secret enrichment plant.
The Iranian government on Sunday approved a plan to construct 10 new uranium enrichment plants, just two days after the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to rebuke the Islamic Republic for building an enrichment plant in secret.
Iran's parliament speaker said Sunday that Tehran could move to reduce its cooperation level with the United Nations nuclear agency watchdog if the West continues to pressure the Islamic state over its nuclear program.
The Islamic Republic has already denounced Friday's IAEA resolution, which won rare backing from China and Russia, as "intimidation" which would poison its talks with world powers.
"If you do not stop these ridiculous carrot-and-stick policies, we will in return adopt new policies and seriously decrease cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," Larijani, an influential conservative, told the assembly.
Parliament has the power to oblige the government to change its cooperation with the IAEA, as it did in 2006 after the Vienna-based agency voted to report Iran to the UN Security Council.
Friday's resolution by the 35-nation IAEA board was a sign of spreading alarm over Tehran's failure to dispel fears it has clandestine plans to build nuclear bombs, a charge Iran denies.
It urged Iran to clarify the original purpose of the recently-disclosed Fordow enrichment site, hidden inside a mountain bunker, stop construction and confirm there are no more hidden sites.
But it was far from clear whether the West could now coax Moscow and Beijing to join in tough sanctions against Iran, something they have long prevented at the U.N. Security Council.
Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh on Friday called the resolution a "hasty" step devoid of legal basis, saying Iran would not halt its sensitive nuclear work.
He said Iran would continue to allow basic inspections at its nuclear sites but could stop making "voluntary gestures" of extra cooperation such as when it allowed widened surveillance at its rapidly expanding main enrichment complex at Natanz.
Iran says its atomic energy program is purely for peaceful purposes, aimed at generating electricity.

Labels: , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Syrian official newspaper takes credit for Iraq bombings

Rather interesting that Syria more or less admits responsibility for bombings in Iraq.

MEMRI September 4, 2009
No. 2519

Following August 19 Baghdad Bombings, Syrian Daily Teshreen Warns Obama: The Syria-Iran Alliance, Which Is Cultivating the Resistance, Has Won a Great Victory– And Will Not Wait Until Hesitant Obama Reaches a Decision

In an August 22, 2009 article in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, Nasser Qandil, a former Lebanese MP who is close to Syria, wrote that some in Washington were acting to worsen the security situation in Iraq. Their aim, he said, is to extend the U.S. military presence in the country, which will harm U.S. President Barack Obama in his next election campaign; to promote the Biden Plan to partition Iraq into three regions; and to sabotage the relations among Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran.

Qandil warned that although Syria and Iran had shown openness to the possibility of dialogue with the U.S., this was in now at risk due to the hesitancy that characterizes the Obama administration.

Following are excerpts from his article:

The Violence in Iraq Is Meant to Prevent U.S. Withdrawal, Harm President Obama

"The escalation of violence and bloodshed in Iraq in recent days came as the Americans were beginning to prepare for their 2011 troop withdrawal, and as the commanders of the U.S. forces tried to draw up understandings with the countries neighboring [Iraq], particularly Syria, to increase coordination at the border...

"Anyone who is following conditions in Iraq knows that the bloody operations against Iraqi civilians are designed to [reinforce] the call for U.S. forces to remain [in Iraq], and perhaps even redeploy in the cities that they have already left. The excuse given is that if the forces withdraw according to the timetable, the security situation could explode...

"These attacks took place just as many articles and studies were being published by the American and Israeli press, and by several institutes researching the Middle East, about the need to extend the U.S. forces' presence for another four years - or at least until after the next U.S. presidential election in 2012 - so that Obama will not be able to use the withdrawal as a card in his election campaign, and will not be able to claim that he kept his promises from his [first] campaign.

"Other studies link the demand to keep [U.S.] forces [in Iraq] to what they call 'the requirements for negotiating with Iran and guaranteeing Israel's security' prior to the U.S. military pullout. Still other studies hint at the possibility of a war on Iran or of an Israeli war on Lebanon - which, according to this approach, requires U.S. willingness to give Israel this opportunity prior to the [U.S.] troop withdrawal [from Iraq]...

"American research institutes are saying that the safest option for Iraq is a return to the three regions theory, presented by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden when he headed the [U.S. Senate] Committee on Foreign Relations. According to this model, encouragement of this track will help provide the safety net required for a troop withdrawal, [by keeping] Iraq stable."

"This Reveals Two Opposing Lines Among the Influential Circles in Washington"

"It was against the backdrop of this American political and media atmosphere that the recent attacks in Iraq took place. This reveals two opposing lines among the influential circles in Washington. While the president's team is acting slowly and hesitatingly on the negotiations track, and opening a window to cooperation with the countries neighboring Iraq - as he started to do with Syria and is about to start with Iran - there are those who are acting to worsen the Iraq security situation, so as to reopen the door to an extension of the [U.S.] troop presence in Iraq, and also to encourage the option of partitioning the country."

The August 19 Attacks Were Aimed at Sabotaging Assad's Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi-Iranian Cooperation Plan

"...It seems that the [August 19] attacks were aimed at [sabotaging] Syria-U.S. contacts by fomenting suspicion between the allies Syria and Iran; at stopping the progress that had been made in Syria-Iraq relations on the security and economic level when the Iraqi prime minister visited Damascus; and at complicating the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi-Iranian cooperation plan, proposed by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad as a future strategic plan, to which he is devoting much attention, time, and effort...

"Those engaged in escalating regional conflicts - those who lose by, and are harmed by, the American openness to the new reality - are racking up achievements against the Obama administration - because it is hesitant, slow, and irresolute in translating this openness into making the required bold decisions, and because it continues to give the Israeli leadership the right of veto in security and political resolutions regarding the region.

"Further hesitation by the Obama administration would mean another blow to the hopes for change that were pinned on it following the U.S. presidential election... Indeed, there could be Israeli war adventurism, or increased bloodletting in Iraq. But the biggest loser of an escalation in the destruction and blood[shed] would first and foremost be President Obama - they [i.e. those who act against him] want him to end his first term exhausted, without the confidence of the voters or of any of those with whom he promised to turn over a new leaf."

"The Syrian-Iranian Alliance... Will Not Wait Until Those Who Hesitate Reach a Decision"

"The region can tolerate no more experiments with the blood of its sons. Thus, the Syrian-Iranian message was clear and resolute, when President Assad visited Iran - that many, from near and far, must read well the meaning of what is happening in the region. The meaning is that the Syrian-Iranian alliance, which is cultivating the resistance movements, has won an historic, significant victory. Despite its openness to the dialogue option, this alliance will not wait until those who hesitate reach a decision."

Labels: , , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scoop: Israeli preparations for Attack on Iran Almost Complete

Regard if you please, the below confidential communication, which I, and a select group of maybe 20,000 other people have received. This is definitely "inside dope." I am about to share this precious secret with you, and expose yet another conspiracy of internal Jew Zionism. Here is what it is about. The virtuous and truth telling democratic Ismalic Republic of Iran is fresh from having conducted impeccable democratic elections in the best traditions and with total transparency. The glorious Basij warriors triumphed over the Mossad inspired plots of evil people like Neda Soltan, who wanted to introduce foreign and corrupting concepts into Iran such as women's rights, as well as degenerate and evil culture such as the Zionist Mickey Mouse. But Iran is a victim of a plot and a libel by the international Jew Zionism conspiracy that is operated from that den of iniquity, Tel-Aviv.
The Iranians, who have the second largest gas reserves and the sixth largest petroleum reserves in the world, as well as a puny industrial capacity, explain that they have an urgent need of nuclear power to generate electricity, as well to satisfy the intellectual curiosity of the forward looking Mullahs, who were commanded by Allah in the Quran to seek out the secrets of the world, hidden from all men and Jinn except for the wisest and most virtuous. That is the only explanation for why they are refining uranium, and for why they built secret centrifuge factories and a secret heavy water reactor, and why they are investing a huge part of the budget of their poor country in nuclear gadgetry and solid fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles. Perhaps the missiles will be used to solve the traffic jam problem in Tehran.
The Zionists, for reasons all their own, decided arbitrarily that Iran, which never harmed a hair on anyone's head, is trying to create nuclear weapons. If the Iranians do not stop their peaceful and innocent nuclear program, not to mention their peaceful and innocent crash solid state ICBM development program, also needed for peaceful purposes, the greedy and evil Zionists propose to attack the centrifuges and other development sites. At least that is what the letter below claims. As the astute author and analyst Sam Vaknin notes:
Late last year, Israel embarked on a coordinated campaign of leaks to the press regarding its determination to take out Iran's nuclear facilities if Obama's then-new administration fails to sway the Iranians diplomatically.
And Vaknin goes on to tell in detail of the pernicious Zionist plot, designed to torpedo the Obama program of engagement with the nice Iranians. He tells us that preparations are almost complete. To his excellent and imaginative report, which is based on information that is available only to a select group of about two billion people who have the rare qualification of being literate, we can add that the Zionist government has passed both submarines and warships through the Suez Canal, which analysts of about the same caliber of Vaknin have claimed is a sure signal to Iran by Israel. All this, as noted is supposedly meant to torpedo the Obama policy and launch an attack on Iran in a few short months. Only Vaknin forgot that Obama has said repeatedly that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, and that Obama has vowed to get tough with Iran if it doesn't respond to diplomacy in a few months.
Vaknin has joined the honorable ranks of the Iran attack prognosticators. The most prominent of them are Sy Hersh of the New Yorker and Uzi Mahnaimi of the Sunday Times. Every few months these two earned their keep by predicted an Israeli or American attack on Iran in just a few weeks or months. No attack ever materialized, but the two clowns went on predicting, based on "leaked" "information" from "reliable" sources. Like the medieval Jewish prognosticators of the Ketz - the end of days - based on the false "science" of numerology, they were never deterred by the fact that the cataclysmic event did not occur. There was always a good excuse: their leaks had exposed the vicious Zionist-neoconservative conspiracy of Dick Cheney, the Likud and other malefactors.
Vaknin himself is the best judge of his own character and motivations. After all, as he tells us that he is author of a book called, "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited."
What is wrong with Vaknin's prediction that an Israeli attack is imminent? A few things. Firstly, in the surprise attacks it has carried out in the past, Israel never ever leaked any details of the planned operation beforehand. This was true of the attack on the Iraqi reactor, Operation Focus that began the Six day war, the attack on the reactor that was being built by North Korea in Syria, the attack on Tunis, and the sinking of Arafat's "refugee boat" in Cyprus, among others. Leaked "plans" are almost surely disinformation. A great analyst like Vaknin must know that. (Surely he is a great analyst, as he says so himelf). Second, the timing is wrong. Meir Dagan, head of the Mossad said that Iran will not have a bomb before 2014, so what is the hurry? Third, the timing of the attack is wrong. Israel hasn't got its missile defenses in place, and will not have an operation anti-missile system for all the relevant ranges for a while. Fourth, Israel and the US agreed to go for sanctions in the autumn if Iran doesn't negotiate seriously. An Israeli attack would make some Americans pretty angry, unless it is really part of the plan. Fifth, Vaknin claims that Israel will attack only two targets. This seems to be worthless, since any attack must strike at least the nuclear research center at Isfahan, the Arak reactor that can produce plutonium, and the Natanz facilities for manufacturing centrifuges. Probably there are other vital targets. Israel would have to hit a number of them in order to really set back Iran's "electricity generation" program.
But who am I to question Vaknin? Vaknin seems to be no amateur. He is an "analyst" - he tells people in Macedonia all about Israeli policy. He has Web sites about Global research etc. Nobody in Macedonia or Micronesia or anywhere else asks fools like me to explain Israeli policy. So how could this astute sleuth have missed all this signs that only a child could miss? As he notes, Israel has planted many leaks, and one could be quick to conclude that Vaknin himself is a devious agent of the sly Zionist conspiracy, trying to confuse and panic the ever virtuous and stout hearted Iranian government.
The truth may be simpler. By his own accounts, Vaknin (see has a Phd from a third rate American university in philosophy and dabbled in computers and business administration. While he was in jail(!) (see for unspecified reasons, he wrote an amateur book about psychology, and then he evidently graduated to amateur geopolitical analysis. All this information is from his own CV and autobiographical summary. I could not find anywhere where he had studied or worked in anything related to international relations, security, military affairs etc.

Assuming that I didn't miss anything (you are invited to check) and that it is not a cover provided by a sinister intelligence agency (you know which one) the conclusion is that his ideas are no better and no worse than yours or mine. The difference is that we don't usually pretend to know with absolute certainty when or if Israel is going to attack anyone, or whom they will attack. If he can make a living from it, then good for him. We should not begrudge anyone a living, but it should not come at the expense of endangering the peace and spreading unfounded rumors about Israel.
The letter follows below.
Ami Isseroff.

Preparations for Attack on Iran Almost Complete
By: Sam Vaknin
July 10, 2009
Late last year, Israel embarked on a coordinated campaign of leaks to the press regarding its determination to take out Iran's nuclear facilities if Obama's then-new administration fails to sway the Iranians diplomatically. Israel is unwilling to accept a nuclear Iran: "It is not an option", say its senior intelligence and military leadership.
On January 20, 2009, I appeared as a guest in the most popular political affairs program in Macedonia ("Glasot na Narodot", or The Voice of the People). I warned that Israel is willing to wait 6 to 8 months for Obama's "diplomacy" with regards to Iran's nuclear capability to show some progress. If Iran remains recalcitrant, Israel plans to bomb two facilities in Iran as it did in Iraq in 1981, I said. Refueling won't be a problem, I assured the program's host, Slobodan Tomic: both Egypt and Saudi-Arabia offered to help.
Israel has decided to go ahead. Taking into account political, geopolitical, military preparedness, and climatic conditions, there are two windows: between July 21 and 24 and between August 6 and 8. Advance teams comprised of Mossad agents and military personnel are already on the ground in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq (including in the Kurdish lands, adjacent to Turkey).
A mock has been erected not far from Eilat (near the Red Sea, opposite Aqaba). A defunct airbase in Biq'at Ha'Yareach (Moon Vale) has been resurrected to accommodate Air Wing 10. In a country as small and intimate as Israel, it is amazing that this has been kept a secret: hundreds of recruits and reservists - from mechanics and pilots to cooks and administrators - have been re-stationed there in the last few months.
A mysterious facility also sprouted up not far from Dimona's nuclear reactor, next to a university town called Sde Boker. It is not known what is its role, though speculation is that it is intended to shield the sensitive facility from an Iranian counter-attack. Several batteries of aged Patriot missiles have been recently replaced with brand new anti-missile rockets developed by Israel.
Citizens are reporting dry runs in the skies of the Negev, Israel's traditional air force training grounds and a desert with some resemblance to Iranian conditions. Piecing these scant testimonies together, it seems that the Israelis are concentrating their effort on midair refueling and surgical strikes on multiple targets.
Finally, HAGA (Hagana Ezrakhit), the Civilian Defense Force, a part of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), has been instructed to begin preparations for a possible Iranian counter-strike with long-range conventional missiles. At this stage, Israel is not contemplating chemical or biological warfare (though the distribution of gas masks does seem to be part of the drill).
No one knows for sure where will Israel strike. Wiping off all the widely distributed and impregnable components of Iran's capability to enrich uranium is close to impossible. The after-effects of even a limited air attack may be devastating and not necessarily short-term, as the Israelis are convinced. The price of oil is likely to spike and radicals and extremists throughout the benighted region are bound to leverage the attack to smear and taunt Israel and its allies but, then, what else is new. The Arab countries are likely to breathe a sigh of relief that the Iranian bully has been humbled.
The big question mark is how will the Obama administration react to such a fait accompli that flies in the face of the new President's stated policies. Will Obama try to make an example out of Israel and harshly punish it - or will he merely verbally lash it and proceed with business as usual? Time will tell. Soon.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. (E-mail :, Mobile/Cell: +38970-565488)
Associate Editor, Global Politician and Founding Analyst, International Analyst Network

Labels: , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Top US General on Iranian influence in Latin America

Considering that hundreds of thousands of Indians were converted to Shi'ite Islam and that Ciudad Del Este in Paraguay is a known Hezbollah base this article is a bit late in coming. Iran is not a potential threat, but an actual one. From Janes in 2001(!):

THERE has been a long-standing belief that the southern Lebanese Islamic militant group, Hezbollah, has established training camps located in or around the Isla de Margarita island off the northern coast of Venezuela, northwest Brazil, and in the Paraguayan-Brazilian-Argentine tri-border region in South America. While it has never been firmly established that these training camps exist, Hezbollah cell activity in Isla de Margarita and the town of Ciudad del Este in the tri-border region in Paraguay has been documented. More recently, the focus has been on Ciudad del Este, as Venezuela has been able to significantly reduce the activities of Hezbollah cells within its borders

Of course, since then, things have happened in Venezuela too. It is not really likely that President Chavez reduced the influence of Hezbollah there. That is not why he was elected.

It is late in coming, but better late than never - if only someone is listening.

Ami Isseroff

By Juan Castro Olivera

MIAMI (AFP) — Iran's growing influence in Latin America is a "potential risk" to the region, the newly-appointed head of the US Southern Command, General Douglas Fraser has warned.

Fraser, who on Thursday takes charge of US military operations in 31 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, expressed "real concern" about the Islamic Republic's links with "extremist organizations" in the region.

"The real concern is not a nation-to-nation interaction, it is the connection that Iran has with extremist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and the potential risk that that could bring to this region," Fraser told journalists ahead of taking up the post.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has forged close ties with several leftist Latin American leaders in recent years, most notably Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Raul Castro.

Commenting on Iran's ties to extremist groups in the region, Fraser said: "it is a concern, and it is an issue we will continue to monitor for any increasing activity."

He cited Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which has links to Iran and is accused of being behind a suicide bombing that killed 200 US marines in Beirut in 1983 and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed more than 20 people.

The group has denied playing a role in those attacks and the bombing of Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires.

Fraser, who was Deputy Commander at US Pacific Command, said the illicit trade in arms drugs and people was worrying, and indicated it would be the focus of his work.

"The major concern is the illicit trafficking and the impact that that is having in the security and the stability especially through the northern part of South America through Central America and the Caribbean and through Mexico and the United States."

He added the US needed to ensure links between narco-terrorism and illicit trafficking do not become more pronounced.

Fraser played down talk of a conventional threat in the hemisphere, but said Venezuela's military stance was concerning.

"I'm concern with the military build-up in Venezuela because I don't understand the threat that they see," he said.

"I don't see a conventional military threat in the region. So I don't see why they see a need to build their military to the point that they are pursuing."

Fraser, who lived in Colombia for three years as a teenager, said Southern Command would continue to help that country combat leftist guerillas like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- the FARC -- and nacro-terrorist groups.

"The FARC is not defeated and we need to continue that effort. That's been a focus for a very specific reason," he said.

"But Southern Command has been engaged with all the militaries within the region, with the exception of Cuba," he said.

"My intent is not to focus on one nation or the other because it is together that we build that capacity."

Fraser is the first US Air Force officer to take the helm of the Southern Command.

He replaces Admiral James Stavridis, who has been tapped to become the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Labels: , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mennonite "Peace" group hypocrisy on Iran

A letter from Dexter Van Zile. He has asked us to blog about it - everyone, so we have. It is truly pitiful that Mennonites are carrying on a shameful relation with the worst Ayatollahs in Iran while they are murdering their own people.

Hello Everyone:

As you know, the Mennonite Central Committee has been one of the more vociferous and unfair critics of Israel.
This pacifist group has allowed its prophetic voice to be used as a weapon of war against Israel.

Its activists have also worked to legitimize Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the eyes of the American people.
When I've spoken with the people from the MCC about their dialogue with Ahmadinejad, they respond by saying that it is a good thing to keep the lines of communications open even with people we regard as "enemies." They also state that they have expressed their concern to Ahmadinejad about his comments regarding Israel.

Now that the Iranian regime has revealed itself to be quite willing to use violence to suppress its opposition, the MCC, whose activists have met with Ahmadinejad, have fallen silent.

They are not using the lines of communication that they said were so necessary to maintain.
On June 15, I wrote a post on CAMERA's website about this silence.

I have recently updated this post with some new information that frankly caused my jaw to drop. In short, the MCC has engaged in dialogue with with scholars from the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute (IKERI) located on Qom, Iran. This institute is directed by Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, described by The Star (Toronto) as "spiritual adviser to Iran's hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

One dissident described Mesbah-Yazdi as "the most dangerous Mullah in Iran." The Toronto Star reported that Mesbah-Yazdi is "is a strong advocate of the death penalty, public flogging and the use of suicide bombers against "enemies of Islam."

It's obvious enough to state that if Israel were behaving the way the regime in Iran is behaving, the MCC would not hesitate to issue a ringing condemnation.
I don't know how any of you want to use this information, but please, read the post [article is below ]. If you've got a blog, please blog on it. Feel free to quote my message in its entirety. [That's what we did!]
Dexter Van Zile
Christian Media Analyst
PO Box 35040
Boston, MA 02135-0001
617-789-3672 Voice
UPDATED: Mennonite Central Committee Silent on Iran

When it comes to rehabilitating his image in the United States, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can count on the Mennonite Central Committee for assistance.

The organization has sponsored two dinners and an interfaith pilgrimage to Tehran during which Christian leaders have met with the Iranian President and offered kind words about the man afterwards.

Now that events demonstrate that Ahmadinejad is the public face of a brutal regime willing to suppress the people it governs, the organization has fallen silent.
After more than two days of protests and violence in Iran, the MCC has not published any statement about the regime on its website, nor does it have any plans to.
On the morning of June 15, 2009, CAMERA sent an email to Ed Nyce, the MCC's Media and Education Coordinator asking whether or not the organization was going to issue any statement about Iran.
Nyce's response, which came on the afternoon of June 15, was succinct and direct:

"We have no plans to issue a statement."

When asked in subsequent communications (email and a voice message) why the MCC had nothing to say, Nyce reiterated in an email that the MCC has "no plans to issue a statement."

The MCC's silence about the events in Iran is remarkable given its highly visible campaign to legitimize Ahmadinejad in the U.S. This campaign began in February 2007 when the MCC organized a meeting of Christian leaders with the Iranian President in Teheran. The delegation held a press conference in Washington, D.C. upon its return to the U.S. Christian leaders reportedly challenged Ahmadinejad about his anti-Semitic statements, but their complaints had little apparent effect. Four days after the delegation's meeting Ahmadinejad appeared in Sudan, where according to Islamic Republic News Agency (Iran's official news service), he said "Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan."

In September 2007, the MCC organized an ecumenical dinner attended by Ahmadinejad and numerous Christian leaders in New York City.

The leaders met with the Iranian president after he addressed the United Nations on September 26, 2007. According to The New York Times, Albert Lobe, executive director of the Mennonite Central committee told Ahmadinejad "We meant to extend to you the hospitality which a head of state deserves."

Lobe's obsequiousness was apparently a response to the treatment Ahmadinejad received at Columbia University on Sept. 24, when the school's president Lee Bollinger called him "a petty and cruel dictator."

The MCC organized a similar dinner with Ahmadinejad in September 2008. After this meeting, MCC officials reassured the American people that the Iranian President had no desire to destroy Israel militarily, but merely supported a "one-state solution" to the conflict in which "Israelis and Palestinians elect a single government to represent both peoples."
When it comes to portraying Ahmadinejad in a sympathetic light, or condemning Israeli policies, such as the construction of the security barrier, the Mennonite Central Committee has been quite vocal. But when it comes time to assess the behavior of the Iranian regime in light of the Christian gospel (which it uses so often to judge Israel), the group falls silent.
UPDATE - June 24, 2009

In addition to sponsoring the two dinners and interfaith pilgrimage mentioned above, the Mennonite Central Committee has had multiple face-to-face contacts with scholars from the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute (IKERI) located on Qom, Iran. This institute is directed by Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi, described by The Star (Toronto) as "spiritual adviser to Iran's hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

According to a report in the The Star, a May 2007 meeting between scholars from the institute and Mennonite scholars at the University of Waterloo sponsored by the MCC provoked a protest from Iranians in Canada. The Star reported:

"We're not against dialogue but the Mennonites are naïve if they think they can open one with these people," said Haideh Moghissi, a York University sociologists who with 17 others signed a protest letter sent to the university.
She says Mesbah-Yazdi and his followers are "at the forefront of oppression in Iran," responsible for silencing all intellectuals who disagree with the regime.
"It hurts to know that while people are losing their lives over there, some people are opening the door to 'dialogue' over here. Why doesn't the institute open it back there?"

The Star also reports that Mesbah-Yazdi "is a strong advocate of the death penalty, public flogging and the use of suicide bombers against "enemies of Islam."

"He is the most dangerous mullah in Iran," says Saeed Rahnema, director of York University School of Public Policy and Administration, who spearheaded the protest.

Despite complaints from Iranian dissidents about the meeting in 2007, the MCC sponsored another dialogue with scholars from IKERI in Qom on May 24-27, 2009.

According to an article about the most recent meeting published on the website of Conrad Grebel University College (which sent scholars to the dialogue), the participants witnessed "active campaigning on behalf of presidential candidates."

The article also states that at the conference's end, "the Mennonite delegation expressed its gratitude to IKERI for unsurpassed hospitality, delicious meals, comfortable accommodations, and excellent conference meeting space."

IKERI apparently treated its Mennonite guests with more respect and deference than the Iranian government has shown to its own citizens. According to CNN, witnesses report that government security forces are beating people like "animals."

Labels: , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Violent confrontations in Iran - Why is everyone silent?

Where, oh where, are the crowds of rights demonstrators, where is Oxfam? Amnesty? Human Rights Watch? They issued minor press releases, but nobody gave them much coverage. If Israel or the US were murdering people in this way, there would be an outcry all over the world. Streets would be flooded with protestors. Where is Tikkun? Doesn't Michael Lerner's sense of justice extend to Iranians? Don't they have rights?

Violent confrontations in Iran - Why is everyone silent?

Ma'ariv (Monday, June 22, 09)

by Ben Caspit and Ben-Dror Yemini (opinion)

(Hebrew original)

Tell us, where is everyone? Where did all the people who demonstrated against Israel's brutality in Operation Cast Lead, in the Second Lebanon War, in Operation Defensive Shield, or even in The Hague, when we were dragged there unwillingly after daring to build a separation barrier between us and the suicide bombers, disappear to? We see demonstrations here and there, but these are mainly Iranian exiles. Europe, in principle, is peaceful and calm. So is the United States. Here and there a few dozens, here and there a few hundreds. Have they evaporated because it is Tehran and not here?

All the peace-loving and justice-loving Europeans, British professors in search of freedom and equality, the friends filling the newspapers, magazines and various academic journals with various demands for boycotting Israel, defaming Zionism and blaming us and it for all the ills and woes of the world?could it be that they have taken a long summer=2 0vacation? Now of all times, when the Basij hooligans have begun to slaughter innocent civilians in the city squares of Tehran? Aren't they connected to the Internet? Don't they have YouTube? Has a terrible virus struck down their computer? Have their justice glands been removed in a complicated surgical procedure (to be re-implanted successfully for the next confrontation in Gaza)? How can it be that when a Jew kills a Muslim, the entire world boils, and when extremist Islam slaughters its citizens, whose sole sin is the aspiration to freedom, the world is silent?

Imagine that this were not happening now in Tehran, but rather here. Let's say in Nablus. Spontaneous demonstrations of Palestinians turning into an ongoing bloodbath. Border Policemen armed with knives, on motorcycles, butchering demonstrators. A young woman downed by a sniper in midday, dying before the cameras. Actually, why imagine? We can just recall what happened with the child Mohammed a-Dura. How the affair (which was very harsh, admittedly) swept the world from one end to another. The fact that a later independent investigative report raised tough questions as to the identity of the weapon from which a-Dura was shot, did not make a difference to anyone. The Zionists were to blame, and that was that.

And where are the world's leaders? Where is the wondrous rhetorical ability of Barack Obama? Where has his sublime vocabulary gone? Where is the desire, that is supposed to be built into all American presidents, to defend and act on behalf of freedom seekers around the globe? What is this stammering?

A source who is connected to the Iranian and security situation, said yesterday that if Obama had shown on the Iranian matter a quarter of the determination with which he assaulted the settlements in the territories, everything would have looked different. "The demonstrators in Iran are desperate for help," said the man, who served in very senior positions for many years, "they need to know that they have backing, that there is an entire world that supports them, but instead they see indifference. And this is happening at such a critical stage of this battle for the soul of Iran and the freedom of the Iranian people. It's sad."

Or the European Union, for example. The organization that speaks of justice and peace all year round. Why should its leaders not declare clearly that the world wants to see a democratic and free Iran, and support it unreservedly? Could it be20that the tongue of too many Europeans is still connected to dark places? The pathetic excuse that such support would give Khamenei and Ahmadinejad an excuse to call the demonstrators "Western agents," does not hold water. They call them "Western agents" in any case, so what difference does it make?

To think that just six months ago, when Europe was flooded with demonstrations against Israel, leftists and Islamists raised pictures of Nasrallah, the prot?g? of the ayatollah regime. The fact that this was a benighted regime did not trouble them. This is madness, but it is sinking in and influencing the weary West. If there is a truly free world here, let it appear immediately! And impose sanctions, for example, on those who slaughter the members of their own people. Just as it imposed them on North Korea, or on the military regime in Burma. It is only a question of will, not of ability.

Apparently, something happens to the global adherence to justice and equality, when it comes to Iran. The oppression is overt and known. The Internet era broadcasts everything live, and it is all for the better. Hooligans acting on behalf of the regime shoot and stab masses of demonstrators, who cry out for freedom.

Is anything more needed? Apparently it is. Because it is to no avail. The West remains indifferent. Obama is polite. Why shouldn't he be, after all, he aspires to a dialogue with the ayatollahs. And that is very fine and good, the problem is that at this stage there is no dialogue, but there is death and murder on the streets. At this stage, one must forget the rules of etiquette for a moment. The voices being heard from Obama elicit concern that we are actually dealing with a new version of Chamberlain. Being conciliatory is a positive trait, particularly when it follows the clumsy bellicosity of George Bush, but when conciliation becomes blindness, we have a problem.

The courageous voice of Angela Merkel, who issued yesterday a firm statement of support for the Iranian people and its right to freedom, is in the meantime a lone voice in the Western wilderness. It is only a shame that she has not announced an economic boycott, in light of the fact that this is the European country that is most invested in building infrastructure in Iran. She was joined by British Foreign Secretary Miliband. It is little, it is late, it is not enough. Millions of freedom seekers have taken to the streets in Iran, and the West is straddling the fence, one leg here, the other leg there.

There is a different Islam. This is already clear today. Even in Iran. There are millions of Muslims who support freedom, human rights, equality for women. These millions loathe Khamenei, Chavez and Nasrallah too. But part of the global left wing prefers the ayatollah regime over them. The main thing is for them to raise flags against Israel and America. The question is why the democrats, the liberals, and Obama, Blair and Sarkozy, are continuing to sit on the fence. This is not a fence of separation, it is a fence of shame.

Labels: , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Conspiracy theory Gem: Iranian opposition leader Mousavi is a Jew

It was inevitable that someone would claim that Mousavi is a Jew. That explains everything. Now we know who is responsible for all the problems in Iran. International Zionism.

Update: This was a hoax. The origin of it is here. I've been had. But there are evidently people arguing that the Iran unrest is the work of the CIA.

MOUSAVI (of Moses) is a Jew

Judith Apter Klinghoffer

Giti from India sends me this conspiracy gem;

It is well known Mousavi (of Moses) is a Jew and the demonstrations in Iran are the work of Mossad agent provocateurs. The ordinary people of Iran are peace loving and would not wish to threaten the Islamic revolution. The agitators are funded by international zionism and the Jew owned international media, in thrall to the zionist oppressors, are running alongside.

Labels: , , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Obama: No options off the table on Iran, not my place to determine Israeli security needs

US President Obama gave a carefully timed interview to Newsweek ahead of the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The interview ranged over a wide variety of subjects. President Obama had some very important messages on Iran and Israel and Middle East peace, that do not look or sound anything like what has appeared in the media or has been published about this interview. He said that no options are off the table, and repeated that he is not naive. He also said that he can understand why Israel considers Iran to be an existential threat and emphasized that the United States cannot determine Israeli security needs. He did not explain, and was not asked, why American officials have been going around warning Israel not to attack Iran, nor did he say that he himself believes Iran to be an existential threat to Israel. He did say, when asked, that "NO" the United states will not stop Israel from attacking Iran. In fact, he said:
They're right there in range and I don't think it's my place to determine for the Israelis what their security needs are.
His words were chosen skilfully, even if the delivery seemed off hand. They should not be distorted, as some have already begun to do.
Notably absent from this interview as published on the Web: Any mention of Palestinians, peace intitiatives, settlements and two-state solutions. Literally, those words are not there, and neither is the word "Arab."
Here is the part of the interview that relates to Israel and Iran:

Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming [to Washington this week]. How do you expect to talk to him about the possibility of Israeli military action against Iran? And some people have argued that we should not take [American military action] off the table.
I've been very clear that I don't take any options off the table with respect to Iran. I don't take options off the table when it comes to U.S. security, period. What I have said is that we want to offer Iran an opportunity to align itself with international norms and international rules. I think, ultimately, that will be better for the Iranian people. I think that there is the ability of an Islamic Republic of Iran to maintain its Islamic character while, at the same time, being a member in good standing of the international community and not a threat to its neighbors. And we are going to reach out to them and try to shift off of a pattern over the last 30 years that hasn't produced results in the region.

Now, will it work? We don't know. And I assure you, I'm not naive about the difficulties of a process like this. If it doesn't work, the fact that we have tried will strengthen our position in mobilizing the international community, and Iran will have isolated itself, as opposed to a perception that it seeks to advance that somehow it's being victimized by a U.S. government that doesn't respect Iran's sovereignty.

And you would expect the Israelis, as an ally, to follow along with that and not take unilateral [military] action?

No, look, I understand very clearly that Israel considers Iran an existential threat, and given some of the statements that have been made by President Ahmadinejad, you can understand why. So their calculation of costs and benefits are going to be more acute. They're right there in range and I don't think it's my place to determine for the Israelis what their security needs are.

I can make an argument to Israel as an ally that the approach we are taking is one that has to be given a chance and offers the prospect of security, not just for the United States but also for Israel, that is superior to some of the other alternatives.

Make of it what you will, in the context of all other buzz, spin and rumors.

Cross posted:

Ami Isseroff

Labels: , , , , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Iran: Obama is going full speed in neutral

The New US Administration: Confusion and Indecision on Iran

INSS Insight No. 95, February 18, 2009
Landau, Emily B.

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama indicated his willingness to engage with Iran over the nuclear issue without preconditions; in other statements he maintained that he would not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. The urgency of the Iranian nuclear challenge – emphasized by Iran's steady progress not only on uranium enrichment but on missile development as well – means that the Obama administration will have to move beyond general guidelines and make a concentrated effort to consolidate its policy on Iran as quickly as possible. And yet, one month into his presidency, Obama's advisors are saying that this is likely to take weeks if not months to achieve. Not only does the administration seem in no hurry to address this pressing foreign policy challenge, but statements that are emerging in the meantime are underscoring a message of confusion and indecision.

In discussing his approach to Iran in an interview one week into his presidency, President Obama repeated the image that he had offered in his inaugural speech of an outstretched US hand of diplomacy to countries like Iran, if they agree to "unclench their fist." In other words, this is an offer of engagement on condition that Iran soften its policies. But is Obama referring to the nuclear issue?

Taken together with later statements, there is a growing sense that Obama is actually attaching more importance to initiating dialogue with Iran than to resolving the nuclear crisis. The idea that the US must engage Iran directly was originally promoted in the immediate context of the need to confront Iran's nuclear ambitions, but for Obama this original objective appears less and less at the forefront. In fact, repairing relations with Iran is sounding more like the primary aim, whereas discussing the US's displeasure with Iran's nuclear activities is relegated to one of the points on the agenda of prospective talks. In his first White House press conference on February 9 Obama said that his national security team is reviewing Iran policy and looking for areas where he can have constructive dialogue with Iran so that they can begin to engage. The New York Times pointed out that while Obama noted that support for terrorist organizations is unacceptable and that nuclear development would spark further destabilizing proliferation in the Middle East, he did not repeat campaign statements that he would never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon or the capability to build one.

Obama gives the impression that he wants to be both soft and tough on Iran at the same time, but this is not likely to work. Moreover, the most urgent order of business with regard to Iran is the nuclear crisis and finding the most effective way to ensure that Iran does not become a nuclear state. In this sense, beyond the image of an extended hand, what does Obama have in mind in for Iran? More importantly, what is the nature of the (un)clenched fist, and at what point will this accompanying condition to the extended hand come into play in the overall process of trying to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear state?

Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton have in recent weeks been a little clearer on this issue. From statements issued by these officials, the unclenched fist seems to refer at least to Iran halting its uranium enrichment activities. Clinton clarified this point when she attempted to reassure European allies that the US did not intend to abandon previous multilateral efforts with regard to Iran. She noted that "President Obama has signaled his intention to support tough and direct diplomacy with Iran, but if Tehran does not comply with UN Security Council and IAEA mandates, there must be consequences." In his address to the Munich Security Conference, Biden made a statement in the same vein, adding that Iran must abandon not only its nuclear ambitions, but its support for terrorism as well.

But even if there is some measure of clarity regarding what Iran must do to unclench its fist, there is still the thorny issue of timing. In this regard, neither Clinton nor Biden provides any direction: they both mention that the US will be tough if Iran doesn't comply with certain conditions, but say nothing about the more precise mechanics of implementing the conditionality. Will the US enter negotiations and then assess Iran's degree of cooperation, or will it insist on indications of a changed Iranian attitude before entering negotiations? When will the US get tough? These crucial questions remain unanswered.

Because Obama insists on an approach that is different from the Bush administration, anything sounding like a "precondition" to dialogue will probably not be embraced, even though Clinton's promise to uphold previous multilateral efforts seems to imply continued adherence to the precondition that Iran cease uranium enrichment activities. After all, the Europeans have been as clear on this point as the US since the summer of 2006. If the new administration is in fact tending toward the "wait and see" approach, this could have dire consequences for any negotiation with Iran: while it may sound reasonable to first demonstrate accommodation – the outstretched hand – and then move to harsh measures only if Iran leaves no choice, in practice this will be very difficult to pull off. Once the sides become engaged in dialogue, making the call that "Iran is not serious" is not as easy as it might sound. Iran is very adept at going through the motions of dialogue, including sporadic indications of a more cooperative attitude, in order to buy time for its nuclear program but with no intention of actually moving toward a deal. In this way, "wait and see" negotiations can actually help Iran achieve its goal.

In dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions, attention must also be directed to Iran's calculations, and in particular to the sobering reality that Iran has no rational reason for being any more willing to negotiate seriously with the US today than it was when negotiating with the EU-3 in the past. The only factor that might change Iran's calculation is if it begins to feel very uncomfortable with the status quo, and this is where pressure comes into the equation. The toughness that the US needs to demonstrate should not be understood as an alternative to dialogue, rather as a step toward more effective engagement with Iran on the nuclear issue. The logical sequence for those facing Iran is first to create tremendous pressure – through strong sanctions and other financial measures as well as credible threats and indications of a willingness to apply military measures – and then begin negotiations. A much less confident Iran is likely to be much more amenable to actually reaching a deal.

Labels: , ,

Continued (Permanent Link)

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israël in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Elsewhere On the Web
Stop the Israel Boycott


Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory