27 December 2008

Genocide in Gaza - Gaza is burning as the Warsaw Ghetto is replayed in miniature

The death of over 200 people, at the time of writing, in Gaza is testimony to the murderous hypocrisy of the Israeli state and the Zionists. This is 30 times more than the numbers of people killed by the ‘rockets’ launched from the Gaza Strip.

The recent ceasefire in Gaza was deliberately broken by the Israeli army, who - while the world's attention was focused on the US election - launched a raid into Gaza on November 4th which killed six Hamas militants and deliberately provoked the rocket fire. The last thing the Israeli war makers wanted was a ceasefire. War is the only thing that Zionism's bloody leaders desire and their main efforts are finding pretexts such as the toy rockets launched from the Gaza Strip in the past 3 years.

Yet the liars of the BBC and world press have consciously presented the Israeli air strikes, not as the murderous and genocidal attacks that they are, but as a ‘retaliation’ and ‘tit for tat’.
After days preventing all supplies, Israel allowed yesterday trucks to bring food and other supplies into Gaza on Friday 26th December, but that was for only 6 hours. Even with that supply, the daily average for December 2008 was less than 5 trucks a day, down from more than 500 a day in December 2005.
The slow genocide of Gaza is gaining speed. Israel can massacre from the air without resistance, as Palestinians have no anti air weapons to defend themselves, not even shelters. For how long the world would be complacent? For how long the UK would be accomplice?
Please urgently demand David Miliband to condemn Israel and suspend ALL military agreements and collaborations, including research and purchase.


John Berger has asked that the statement below be publishe:

"We are now spectators of the latest - and perhaps penultimate - chapter of the 60 year old conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. About the complexities of this tragic conflict billions of words have been pronounced, defending one side or the other.
Today, in face of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the essential calculation, which was always covertly there, behind this conflict, has been blatantly revealed. The death of one Israeli victim justifies the killing of a hundred Palestinians. One Israeli life is worth a hundred Palestinian lives.
This is what the Israeli State and the world media more or less - with marginal questioning - mindlessly repeat. And this claim, which has accompanied and justified the longest Occupation of foreign territories in 20th C. European history, is viscerally racist. That the Jewish people should accept this, that the world should concur, that the Palestinians should submit to it - is one of history's ironic jokes. There's no laughter anywhere. We can, however, refute it, more and more vocally.

Let's do so."
John Berger
27 December 2008

Two years ago, John Berger mobilized dozens of prominent artists and writers worldwide to endorse the Palestinian call for an institutional cultural boycott of Israel: http://www.pacbi.org/boycott_news_more.php?id=415_0_1_0_C

Harold Pinter - Death of a Giant

With the death of Harold Pinter we have lost a giant. Not only of the theatre and cinema but a political and human giant. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 Pinter reached the heights of his profession yet he wasn't content. Unable to attend, Pinter used his speech accepting the Nobel Prize, via a video link , to attack the war criminals Blair & Bush.

Conspicuously absent from most obituaries is any connection between his passionate anti-war stance and his writings. His political activities, in particular his opposition to the NATO wars in former Yugoslavia and then the US/British attack on Iraq and Afghanistan are seen by the scribblers of the British press as some kind of quaint eccentricity rather than an integral part of the man and his works. The BBC in particular, that servile apologist for British & US imperialism, as usual trivialised the message Pinter and millions had for the war criminals who govern us. He was what they termed a 'champaign socialist'. Presumably this was meant to call into question his political honesty, unlike the media prostitutes that the BBC harbours. As Stanley Baldwin described the media in his day, they have the prerogative of the harlot through the ages - power without responsibility.

Although his support for the Palestinians and opposition to Zionism and Israel has barely been mentioned, on April 30th this year Pinter and 150 other British Jews, including myself, had a letter published in Guardian headlined 'We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary'.
Compared to the nationalist, Israel right or wrong pygmies of the Zionist Board of Deputies of British Jews, Pinter was a towering figure in every field he was involved in and will be remembered for his forthright honesty and integrity.

Tony Greenstein

We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary

The Guardian, Wednesday 30 April 2008
In May, Jewish organisations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-semitism and Hitler's genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.

In April 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin and the mortar attack on Palestinian civilians in Haifa's market square, Plan Dalet was put into operation. This authorised the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state. We will not be celebrating.
In July 1948, 70,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes in Lydda and Ramleh in the heat of the summer with no food or water. Hundreds died. It was known as the Death March. We will not be celebrating.
In all, 750,000 Palestinians became refugees. Some 400 villages were wiped off the map. That did not end the ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956. Many thousands more when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right. We will not be celebrating.

We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.

We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East.

25 December 2008

Arab Children Not Wanted in Jewish Schools - The Nazification of the Jewish State

Below are two stories from the Israeli press about the reaction of Jewish parents to the attempts by Arab/Palestinian parents to place their children in kindergartens. This is, of course symptomatic of the racism in Israeli society.

It is the racism that Roee Nahmias reported on, from an opinion poll whereby over half of Israel’s Jewish population believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is national treason, over 75 percent opposed apartment buildings being shared between Arabs and Jews and 60% would not allow an Arab to visit their home.

Nahmias reported that some 40 percent of Israeli Jews believed that "Arabs should have their right to vote for Knesset revoked" and over half agreed that Israel should encourage its Arab citizens to immigrate from the country. The same proportion said they would not want to work under the direct management of an Arab, and 55 percent said "Arabs and Jews should be separated at entertainment sites". Some 37 percent believed that "The Arab culture is inferior."
What is the answer? Typical liberal palliatives, getting to know you sessions, liberal ‘racism awareness training’ etc. are worse than useless as long as it is the society itself that feeds these racist stereotypes.

By Haaretz Staff and Channel 10, 25.12.2008.
The opposition of a group of parents has caused a daycare in Moshav Merhavia to reject the registration of a young Arab toddler from a nearby village.

Mayssa and Shua'a from the village of Sulam, say they were warmly received by the teacher of the daycare when they told her they wanted to register their daughter, Dana.

But after making all the necessary payments, they received a disturbing phone call from the teacher. (see video on Ha'aretz site for the cowardice and racism of the Jewish parents).

No Arabs allowed
Meirav Shlomo, 12.8.08. Israel News

Parents at Hatikva neighborhood' s Hagalil School outraged by decision to integrate Arab students in classes, say their concerns are for school's academic level, not racially motivated.

Hagalil Elementary School in southern Tel Aviv's Hatikva neighborhood has been the focal point of a new conflict between some of the parents and the administration.

The strife centers on the City School Board's decision to integrate two Arab students in the school – a move which many of the parents oppose. Other parents, however, called their peers' reaction racism.
Some of the Jewish students' parents have said they intend to sign a petition calling to cease the admission of Arab students to the school, and that they will send the petition to the school administration and the City School Board.

The parents claim that the move is academically motivated and has nothing to do with racism, citing they are simply concerned that the academic level of the classes may drop, if students who are struggling with Hebrew are integrated in the school.

Legitimate concerns or racism?

Nevertheless, some of the parents have no problem speaking their mind: "We don’t want Arab students in our school and its not just us – our kids don't want them in their classrooms," said one of the mothers.
"The School Board already dumped the African kids here and now they're bringing in the Arab kids without even telling us. They can't speak Hebrew well, they're having trouble in class and it's hurting the academic level.

"Anyone who doesn’t understand the fuss over only two students should take a look at Hayarden School (another elementary school in the area). It started with a few students and all of a sudden the parents found that there are dozens of refugees in the school. That's what brought it (academically) down," she said.

But not all parents share this opinion. "This is outrageous," said one of the fathers. "We just don’t understand these parents. It's sad to realize we're living in a racist, ugly society. We welcome the Arab students."

Hagalil Elementary School Principal Yael Blocka declined comment.
The Ministry of Education and the Tel Aviv City School Board offered the following:

"The students in question are Arab girls who live in the neighborhood and belong in the school according to the school registration areas. They have the right to attend Hagalil School, just as any other student living in the area. The parents' complaints are unjustified. "

24 December 2008

Xmas Crackers - They don't come any Bhatia

And now for a bit of Xmas fun. A devoted Atzmon fan, one Zarina Bhatia, decided to send to all and sundry, a eulogy to her hero. Below is my reply!

Yuletide greetings to all,

Tony Greenstein

Dear Ms Bhatia,

I have been forwarded your message below re Gilad Atzmon. I'm sure you will understand why I am replying, bearing in mind the polemical nature of your Christmas greeting.
I am one of those anti-Zionist Jews whom Atzmon describes as 'gatekeepers' or 'fifth-columnists' inside the Palestine solidarity movement. Unfortunately this is inevitable because if you are anti-Zionist then, according to Atzmon, you are a Zionist if, at the same time, you do so as a Jew!
Yes I know it sounds strange as it is normally the Zionists who argue that being Jewish and Zionist are one and the same thing. And hence anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are also the same thing. But, I’m afraid, that is what Atzmon argues. In his essay ‘
Not in my name’ he declares that:

‘by fighting Zionism in the name of their Jewish identity they approve Zionism…. To demand that Jews disapprove of Zionism in the name of their Jewish identity is to accept the Zionist philosophy. To resist Zionism as a secular Jew involves an acceptance of basic Zionist terminology, that is to say, a surrendering to Jewish racist and nationalist philosophy. To talk as a Jew is to surrender to Weizman’s Zionist philosophy.’

And in another
article he declares that:

‘since acting politically under a Jewish banner is in fact the very definition of Zionism, it is reasonable to deduce that all Jewish left activity is in practice not more than a form of left Zionism.’

It is a strange argument that says if Jewish people stand up and say they oppose Zionism, they are actually Zionists!

There is nothing particularly profound about this. This argument runs through the heart of the World Zionist Organisation’s Jerusalem Program. Atzmon’s very revulsion from the acts of the Israeli state, leads him not to question the Zionist claim to represent all Jews but to an affirmation of a key, defining principle of Zionist ideology. His only response is therefore to declare himself as an ex-Jew.
Zionism of course was the reaction of certain Jews to anti-Semitism in the 19th Century. Indeed the origins of the Zionist movement are not even Jewish. It was the child of romantic imperialism. And in a double parody, Atzmon’s anti-Semitism is a reflection of Zionism. Atzmon is a fully-signed up member of those who believe in the Jewish conspiracy theory. From the present global financial crisis of capitalism to the scandals of the British government, the Jewish hand is lurking. As he himself says:

"we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously…. …. American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews do try to control the world, by proxy… I would suggest that perhaps we should face it once and for all: the Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus who, by the way, was himself a Palestinian Jew." ‘On Anti-Semitism’ (yes he’s changed the wording a bit now, but the meaning remains the same).

You say that Atzmon ‘exposes the facts about the much publicised holocaust!’ I wasn’t aware that Atzmon was any kind of Holocaust historian. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to which facts? Could it be Atzmon’s much publicised support for Holocaust deniers and his own advocacy of such a position?

His friend, Paul Eisen, British Director of the now-defunct Deir Yassin Remembered, has repeatedly endorsed the central claim of the holocaust deniers:
‘Regarding gas, again I am not sure but the evidence for the use of homicidal gas-chambers is not good at all. The evidence against it is much, much stronger.’
Yet in an e-mail that Atzmon sent me on 23rd June 2005, Atzmon wrote:
‘how dare you classify innocent and honest people as H deniers. Can’t you see that this is a crime. Mr Eisen whom you despise his learning the H for 3 years, he is an expert. I myself working on WW2 for over ten years.’

And there is no doubting that Eisen has become an ‘expert’ holocaust denier. Atzmon continues:

‘I do not have any doubt that our notion of the H will change radically in the near future. Too many discrepancies. and as I said, the only active scholarship is in the hands of the revisionists. The funny bit is that only left Jews are defending the Zio-Anglo-American’s H narrative. Ask yourself why. I think that it is simple. You are not religious, you killed god….’

So not only does he flirt with Holocaust denial, but he throws in a bit of Christ-killing too!
In fact it is very simple. When the Holocaust was taking place the Zionists were desperate not to mention it. It was a diversion from building their State. Until 1960 the Nazi holocaust was a taboo in Israel and holocaust survivors were treated with contempt. Today of course the Holocaust is a propaganda weapon that the Zionists cynically use, whilst at the same time stealing the reparations from Germany and other countries that were intended for the upkeep of those survivors. The ‘Jewish’ State is literally a parasite on the survivors of the Holocaust.
But your own message reveals its contradictions. On the one hand you doubt the Holocaust whilst at the same time comparing it with Israeli rule today. You cannot have it both ways.

There are indeed many valid comparisons that can be made between Israeli behaviour today and the Nazi reign of terror, including the siege of Gaza, and the holocaust.

However you can either take the path of President Ahmedinajad of Iran who raised questions about whether the Holocaust had even occurred. But Ahmedinajad, the bloody ruler of Iran and the torturer of Iranian workers, did what many have done. He assumed that if Israel bases its legitimacy on the Holocaust then if it can be proved that the latter didn’t occur then, hey presto, Israel has no legitimacy! The only problem is that the Holocaust did occur and ironically, therefore, what he is unwittingly saying is that Israel is legitimate. It is a bankrupt and useless strategy.

You seem to have the ear of Gilad Atzmon and it is understandable if you are carried away in the euphoria of a concert hall. But to those of us trying to build a Boycott movement, the actions and antics of Atzmon are a hindrance not a help. As one of the movers of the Boycott motion at the 2007 and 2008 Annual Conferences of UNISON, Britain’s second largest trade union, support for Atzmon would been music to the ears of the Zionists.

But another irony, Atzmon is on record as opposing the Academic Boycott of Israel’s universities. In an interview he declared that:

‘interfering with academic freedom isn’t exactly something I can blindly advocate. Unlike some of my best enlightened friends, I am against any form of gatekeeping or book burning. But it goes further, I actually want to hear what Israelis and Zionists have to say.
Yes, that’s right. Supporters of an Academic Boycott are book-burners. One suspects the Board of Deputies of British Jews would agree with him on this. After all, when the Boycott campaign was at its height ‘deputies also gave vent to their anger – particularly at Jews who supported the move [for boycott]’ (Jewish Chronicle - 22.06.07).

You have every right, Ms Bhatia, to engage in hero worship. However I would advise you to choose your heroes more carefully next time.
In solidarity,

Tony Greenstein

>>Greetings to All!

I had the fortune of meeting Gilad Atzmon at one of his Concerts, in Birmingham and I am in total admiration of him for his genuine support and commmitment for the oppressed people of Palestine and against blockade and Ethnic Cleansing that is going on in Gaza, while the world keeps silent planning Seasons' feasting!

Gilad has some enemies no doubt, who once were my 'friends' because he exposes the facts about the much publicised holocaust! In fact my spectrum of real friends believe that Zionist rule in Israel today is of 'perpetrators' in exactly what was history once, of the Jews under Nazi Germany.

One can surf the following web links to prove this point and explore the wealth of information Gilad sends me via this Christmas message. Gilad, I shall forward your message to scores of people. Keep up your gift as an acclaimed Jazz player that you are, making a difference!

Zarina Bhatia

21 December 2008

Bernie Madoff - It's an ill wind that blows no good!!

Never was someone more appropriately named. Bernie literally made off with the proceeds of others' ill-gotten gains!

To listen to some people the collapse of Bernie Madoff's $50 billion dollar investment operation, in reality the world's largest pyramid scheme, is the end of capitalism. Chance would be a fine thing. In fact it seems that the hand of providence is upon us. To listen to the squeals coming from the Jewish Chronicle it is the poor and vulnerable, the beneficiaries of Jewish charities, who are going to suffer.

In fact this may be the best thing that has come out of the financial crisis. Zionist operations in both the USA and Israel have, in some cases been crippled. Hadassah, the Womens Zionist Organisation, has apparently lost some $90m of its $500m endowment. A sizeable blow to this detestable organisation but you will be happy to know that "Falling victim to this unprecedented fraud will require us to make necessary adjustments, but it has not in the slightest affected our commitment to our core Zionist mission.'

How comforting to know that donning the hairshirt will not affect its Zionist mission.

The Jewish Chronicle has the Madoff scandal on its front page. It estimates that the Jewish charity world (and don't forget that Israel is the prime charitable purpose for most of those affected) has lost $1 billion, and that is apparently a conservative estimate.

The Chais Family Foundation in Jerusalem lost $600m and has closed its operations, as has the Robert I Lappin foundation whilst the Carl and Ruth Shapiro foundation in Boston has lost 40% of its funds. According to Mark Elf over at Jewssansfrontieres Even better, the overtly Zionist American Jewish Congress has lost two-thirds of its endowments. Steven Spielberg, Eli Wiesel, Mort Zuckerman and Senator Frank Lautenberg have all lost sizeable chunks of their ill-gotten gains. In Weasel's case it will no doubt help him overcome the philosophical dilemma of having grown rich on supporting the oppression of the Palestinians whilst resting his claims to authenticity on having survived Auschwitz. Possibly this latest disaster might help him make the link between what happened to him when he was a child and countless Palestinians since.

According to Mark Elf on Jewssanfrontieres

'The Lappin foundation never minced words about its mission:
We believe that the most serious threat to Jewish continuity is assimilation and intermarriage. We are succeeding in reversing the trend of intermarriage and asimilation in our community by enhancing Jewish pride through the innovative programs of our Youth to Israel, Jewish Continuity and Interfaith Outreach Committees.'

I think we can take a bit more Jewish pride in the demise of this racist and disgusting organisation. Hats off to Bernie Madeoff!!! Clearly the good Lord must be feeling wrathful towards the chosen racists this Christmas!

And the Haifa Technion, a Research Institute heavily linked to the Israeli military has lost a paltry $6.5m.

Rather than paraphrase it, I have reprinted James Petras's article on the Madoff Affair, because it isn't really a scandal but a heaven sent opportunity. Although I disagree with much of Petras's analysis, not least of the Zionist lobby, he is absolutely right on one thing. This gives the lie to those who, like Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo and their poisonous friends like Paul Eisen, who believe in world Jewish conspiracies and how the Jews form secret networks to defraud the non-Jews and Gentiles. It is clear that the primary victims of Madoff are both Jewish and also Zionist and that includes the settlement projects on the West Bank and the Israeli military.

If I were a believer I would have no doubt that the good Lord was behind this!

I have therefore penned a letter to the Jewish Chronicle urging them to look on the bright side of life and see the blessings in Madoff's demise. As they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways!!

Letters Editor, The Jewish Chronicle, 25 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1JT

Sir or Madam
Daniella Peled and Anshel Pfeffer (Jewish Chronicle 18.12.08, ‘Madoff scandal: charities lose $1bn’) are unduly pessimistic. It is incumbent on the ‘JC’ of all papers to look on the summer side of life.

You should remember that old saying that it’s an ill-wind that blows no good. It seems that Bernie made off with a sizeable chunk of the funds of some of the most detestable Zionist organisations. Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organisation has apparently lost nearly 20% of its endowment and another Zionist organisation, the American Jewish Congress no less than two-thirds. Who knows what other supporters of tyranny and occupation have been affected

It could well be that Bernie Madoff has done more singlehandedly to bankrupt settlements in the West Bank than all the Palestine solidarity organisations put together. Is there noone who is prepared to launch a fund to ensure that Bernie at least enjoys a few home comforts when he is forced to do porridge in the American gulag?

Indeed I can think of noone since Yehoshua Leibowitz who is more worthy of being awarded the annual Israel Prize.

And even better, noone can now assert that there is a world Jewish conspiracy aimed at defrauding Gentiles when it is clear that the primary victims of Mr Madoff’s pyramid scheme were themselves Jewish
Your obedient servant
Tony Greenstein

An Introduction to the Mega-Swindle
Wall Street broker Bernard ('Bernie') Madoff, former president of NASDAQ, revered and respected investor confessed to pulling off the biggest fraud in history, a $50 billion dollar scam. Bernie was known for his generous philanthropy, especially to Zionist, Jewish and Israeli causes. A one time life-guard on Long Island in the 1960's, Bernie launched his financial career by raising money from colleagues, friends and relatives among wealthier Jews in the Long Island suburbs, Palm Beach, Florida and in Manhattan, promising a modest, steady and secure return of between 10 to 12%, covering any withdrawals in typical Ponzi fashion by drawing on funds from new investors who literally pleaded for Bernie to fleece them. Madoff personally managed at least $17 billion dollars. For almost four decades he built up a clientele, which came to include some of the biggest banks and investment houses in Scotland, Spain, England and France; as well as major hedge funds in the United States. Madoff drew almost all of the funds from high net-worth private clients who were recruited by brokers working on commission. Bernie's clients included many multi-millionaires and billionaires from Switzerland, Israel and elsewhere, as well as the US's largest hedge funds (RMF Division of the Man Group and the Tremont). Many of the swindled super-rich clients forced their money on Madoff, who sternly imposed rigorous conditions on potential clients: He insisted they have recommendations from existing investors, deposit a substantial amount and guarantee their own solvency. Most considered themselves lucky to have their funds taken by the highly respected Wall Street…swindler. Madoff's standard message was that the fund was closed…but because they came from the same world (board members of Jewish charities, pro-Israel fund raising organizations or the 'right' country clubs) or were related to a friend, colleague or existing clients, he would take their money.

Madoff set up advisory councils with distinguished members, contributed heavily to museums, hospitals and upscale cultural organizations. He was a prominent member of exclusive country clubs in Palm Beach and Long Island. His reputation was enhanced by his funds record of never having a losing year - a big selling point in luring millionaire investors. Madoff shared with his super-rich clients (Jews and Gentiles) a common upper class life style, and mix of cultural philanthropy with low key financial profiteering. Madoff 'played' his colleagues with a soft-spoken, but authoritative, appearance of 'expertise', covered by a veneer of upper class collegiality, deep commitment to Zionism and long-term friendships.

Bernie's mega-fund shared many signs with recent high level scams: The constant high returns, unmatched by any other broker; a lack of third party oversight; a backroom accounting firm physically incapable of auditing the multi-billion dollar operation; a broker-dealer operation directly under his thumb and the total obfuscation of what he was actually investing in. The obvious similarity of signs with other fraudsters were overlooked by the rich and famous, the sophisticated investors and high paid consultants, the Harvard MBA's and the entire army of regulators from the Security and Exchange Commissions (SEC) because they were totally embedded in the corrupt culture of 'take the money and run' and 'if you're making it, don't ask questions'. The reputation of the superior wisdom of a seemingly successful Jewish Wall Streeter fed into the self-delusions of the wealthy and the stereotypes held by millionaire Gentiles.

The Big Swindle
Madoff's investment fund only dealt with a limited clientele of multi-millionaire and billionaires who kept their funds in for the long haul; the occasional withdrawal were limited in amount and were easily covered by soliciting new funds from new investors fighting to have access to Madoff's money management. The long-term big investors looked toward passing their investments to their kin or eventual retirement. The wealthy lawyers, dentists, surgeons, distinguished Ivy league professors and others who might need to draw from their funds for an occasional fancy wedding or celebrity-studded bar-mitzvah, could draw from their funds because Madoff had no problem covering the withdrawal by attracting funds from rich owners of sweat shop garment factories, dangerous meat packing outfits and slumlords. Madoff was no Robin Hood, his philanthropic and charity contributions facilitated access to the rich and wealthy who served on the boards of the recipient institutions and proved that he was 'one of them' a kind of super-rich 'intimate' of the same elite class. The shock, awe and heart attacks that followed Madoff's confession that he was 'running a Ponzi scheme' drew as much anger for the money lost and the fall from the moneyed class as for the embarrassment of knowing that the world's biggest exploiters and smartest swindlers on Wall Street, were completely 'taken' by one of their own. Not only did they suffer big losses but their self-image of themselves as rich because they are so smart and of 'superior stock' was utterly shattered: They saw themselves as suffering the same fate as all the schmucks they had previously swindled, exploited and dispossessed in their climb to the top. There is nothing worse for the ego of a respectable swindler than to be trumped by a bigger swindler. As a result, a number of the biggest losers have so far refused to give their names or the amount they lost, working instead through lawyers fighting off other losers.

The Positive Side of Madoff's Mega-Swindle (The Inadvertent Hand of Justice)
While it is understandable that the super-rich and wealthy, who have lost a large portion of their retirement and investment funds are unanimous in their condemnation and cries of betrayal of trust, and the editorials of all the prestigious newspapers and weeklies have joined the chorus of moral critics, there is much to praise in Madoff's deeds, even if such praise was not at the heart of his fraudulent endeavor.

It is worthwhile to list the inadvertent positive outcomes of Madoff's mega-swindle. First of all the swindle of $50 plus billion dollars may make a big dent on US Zionist funding of illegal Israeli colonial settlements in the Occupied Territories, lessen funding for AIPAC's purchase of Congressional influence and financing of propaganda campaigns in favor of a pre-emptive US military attack against Iran. Most investors will have to lower or eliminate their purchase of Israel bonds, which subsidize the Jewish State's military budget.
Secondly, the swindle has further discredited the highly speculative hedge funds already reeling from massive withdrawals because of deep losses. Madoff's funds were one of the last 'respected' operations still drawing new investors, but with the latest revelations it may accelerate their demise. The dismissed promoters may finally have to perform an honest, productive day's work.

Thirdly, Madoff's long-term, large-scale fraud was not detected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) despite its claims of at least two investigations. As a result, there is a total loss of credibility. More generally, the SEC's failure demonstrates the incapacity of capitalist government regulatory agencies to detect mega frauds. This failure raises the question of whether alternatives to investing in Wall Street are better suited to protect savings and pension funds.

Fourthly, Madoff's long-term association with NASDAQ, including his chairmanship, while he was defrauding his clients of billions, strongly suggests that the members and leaders of this stock exchange are incapable of recognizing a crook, and are prone to overlook felonious behavior of 'one of their own'. In other words, the investing public can no longer look to holders of high posts in NASDAQ as a sign of probity. After Madoff it may signal time to look for a king-size mattress for safe keeping of what remains of a family's wealth.
The fifth point is that the investment advisors from top banks in Europe, Asia and the US managing billions of funds did not carry out the most elementary due diligence of Madoff's operation. Apart from severe bank losses, tens of thousands of influential, affluent and super-rich lost their entire accumulated wealth. The result is total loss of confidence in the leading banks and financial instruments as well as the general discrediting of 'expert knowledge'. The result is a weakening of the financial stranglehold over investor behavior and the demise of an important sector of the parasitic 'rentier' class, which gains without producing any useful commodities or providing needed services.

The sixth point is that since most of the money stolen by Madoff came from the upper classes around the world, his behavior has reduced inequalities - he is the 'greatest leveler' since the introduction of the progressive income tax. By ruining billionaires and bankrupting millionaires, Madoff has lessened their capacity to use their wealth to influence politicians in their favor - thus increasing the potential political influence of the less affluent sectors of class society…and inadvertently strengthening democracy against the financial oligarchs.

A seventh point can be made that by swindling life-long friends, self-same ethno-religious investors, narrow ethnically defined country club members and close family members, Madoff demonstrates that finance capital shows no respect for any of the pieties of everyday life: Great and small, holy and profane, all are subordinated to the rule of capital.

Eighth, among the many ruined investors in New York and New England, there are a number of mega slumlords (real estate moguls), sweatshop owners (fancy name-brand clothes and toy manufacturers) and others who barely paid the minimum wage to their women and immigrant laborers, evicted poor tenants and swindled employees out of their pensions before moving their operations to China. In other words, Madoff's swindle was a kind of secular 'divine' retribution for past and present crimes against labor and the poor. Needless to say, this 'unconscious Robin Hood' did not redistribute the money fleeced from the employers to their workers, he reinvested part of it in charities which enhanced his philanthropic image and to payout to some of his early investors so sustain the overall Ponzi scam.

Point number nine is that Madoff struck a severe blow against anti-Semites who claim that there is a 'close-knit Jewish conspiracy to defraud the Gentiles', laying that canard to rest once and for all. Among Bernard Madoff's principle victims were his closest Jewish friends and colleagues, people who shared Seder meals and frequented the same upscale temples in Long Island and Palm Beach.

Bernie was discriminating in accepting clients, but it was on the basis of their wealth and not their national origin, race, religion or sexual preference. He was very ecumenical and a strong backer of globalization. There was nothing ethnocentric about Madoff: He defrauded the Anglo-Chinese bank HSBC of $1 billion dollars and several billions from the Dutch arm of the Belgian bank Fortes. $1.4 billion was from the Royal Bank of Scotland, the French bank BNP Paribas, the Spanish bank, Banco Santander, the Japanese Nomura; not to mention hedge funds in London and the US, which have admitted holdings in Bernard Madoff Investment Securities. Indeed Bernie was emblematic of the modern up-to-date, politically correct, multicultural, international… swindler. The ease with which the super rich of Europe forked their fortunes over caused one Madrid-based business consultant to observe that, "picking off Spain's wealthiest was like clubbing seals…" (Financial Times, December 18, 2008 p.16)

The tenth point is that Madoff's swindle will likely promote greater self-criticism and a more distrustful attitude toward other potential confidence people posing as reliable financial know-it-alls. Among self-critical Jews, they are less likely to confide in brokers simply because they are zealous backers of Israel and generous contributors to Zionist fund drives. That is no longer an adequate guarantee of ethical behavior and a certificate of good conduct. In fact it may raise suspicion of brokers who are excessively ardent boosters of Israel and promise consistent high returns to local Zionist affiliates - asking themselves whether this business about 'what is good for the …' is really a cover for another scam.

The final and 11th point is the demise of Madoff's enterprise and his wealthy liberal Jewish victims will adversely affect contributions to the 52 Major Jewish American Organizations, numerous foundations in Boston, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere, as well as the Clinton/Schumer militarist wing of the Democratic Party (Madoff bankrolled both of them as well as other unconditional Congressional supporters of Israel). This may open Congress to greater debate on Middle East policy without the usual high volume attacks.

Madoff's swindle and fraudulent behavior is not the result of a personal moral failure. It is the product of a systemic imperative and the economic culture, which informs the highest circles of our class structure. The paper economy, hedge funds and all the 'sophisticated financial instruments' are all 'Ponzi schemes' - they are not based on producing and selling goods and services. They are financial bets on future financial paper growth based on securing future buyers to pay off earlier cash ins.

The 'failure' of the SEC is totally predictable and systemic: The regulators are selected from the regulatees , are beholden to them and defer to their judgments, claims and audit sheets. They are structured to 'miss the signs' and to avoid 'over-regulating' their financial superiors. Madoff operated in a milieu of a Wall Street where everything goes, where impunity for mega-bailouts for mega swindlers is the norm. As an individual swindler, he out-defrauded some of his bigger institutional competitors on the Street. The whole system of rewards and prestige goes to those best able to juggle the books, to cover the paper trails and who have willing victims begging to get fleeced. What a mensch, this Madoff!

In a few days, one individual, Bernard Madoff, has struck a bigger blow against global financial capital, Wall Street and the US Zionist Lobby/Israel- First Agenda than the entire US and European left combined over the past half century! He has been more successful in reducing vast wealth disparities in New York than all the white, black, Christian and Jewish, reform and mainline Democratic and Republican governors and Mayors over the past two centuries.

Some right-wing conspiracy theorists are claiming that Bernie is a secret Islamic-Palestinian agent (from Hamas) who set out to deliberately undermine the financial base of the Jewish State of Israel and its most powerful, affluent and generous US backers and foundations. Others claim that he is a closet Marxist whose swindles were carefully designed to discredit Wall Street and to funnel billions into clandestine radical organizations - after all… does anyone know where the lost billions have gone? Unlike the leftist pundits, bloggers and protest marchers, whose earnest and public activities have had no effect on the rich and powerful, Madoff has aimed his blows where it hurts the most: Their mega-bank accounts, their confidence in the capitalist system, their self-esteem and, yes, even their cardiac well-being.

Does that mean we on the left should form a Bernie Madoff Defense Committee and call for a bailout in line with Paulson's bailout of his Citibank cronies? Should we proclaim "Equal bailout for equal swindlers!" ? Should we advocate his flight (or his right of return) to Israel to avoid a trial? It might not fly with his many Jewish victims to make the case for an Israeli retirement for Bernie.

There is no reason to mount the barricades for Bernard Madoff. It's enough to recognize that he has inadvertently rendered an historic service to popular justice by undermining some of the financial props of a class-ridden injustice system.

Was it out of sheer admiration or because of some covert linkages with Madoff that our current Attorney General Michael Mukasey is removing himself from the investigation? Others of equal importance and influence are most certainly tied in the Madoff Affair, and not just the 'victims'. We are facing a serious case of matters of State … No one can believe that a single person could by himself pull off a scam of this size and duration. Nor can any serious investigator believe that $50 billion dollars has simply 'disappeared' or been squirreled into personal accounts.

18 December 2008

Neo-Nazi Redwatch Prints Atzmon Article Attacking Anti-Fascist

Fig. 1 - Mark Collett caught on camera
Fig. 2 - Kevin Watmough, one of those behind Redwatch
Fig. 3 - The Atmon article on Redwatch.
Anyone who is an activist or anti-fascist knows of the Redwatch neo-Nazi site. It specialists in printing the names, addresses and photos of anti-fascist activists with the purpose of instigating attacks on them. For example the President of Liverpool Trades Council, Alec McFaddyen was attacked with a knife on his doorstep two years ago in front of his children and was lucky to escape with his life, as a result of appearing on the Redwatch site.

As a cursory glance will demonstrate, they specifically ask for information on their opponents and it doesn’t take a great intellect to understand why they want that information.
I recently heard that the neo-Nazi Redwatch site had been taken down. Redwatch is a neo-Nazi site that has close links to activists in the BNP, in particular their more overt neo-Nazi wing, the followers of the late John Tyndall and the Nationalist Alliance.
I therefore made a few searches and sure enough Redwatch was still on-line. Going to the SOUTH ENGLAND REDS section, where I’ve made a guest appearnace for a few years now, I saw that it had now been updated. Another piece, namely an uncut article by Gilad Atzmon, the Zionist anti-Semite, had been printed in toto.
The Atzmon article, a puerile attack on me, is insignificant. What is interesting is that the open Nazis of Redwatch just love it. The article is on the anti-semitic site of Mary Rizzo, PeacePalestine, and is reprinted on a number of sites, for example the conspiracy Truth Seeker site.
Whilst I’m sure Atzmon doesn’t actually support the BNP or Redwatch, it is nonetheless interesting that a fascist and neo-Nazi site like this is happy to carry Atzmon’s article in full. And why shouldn’t they? There can’t be much in the article, if anything they actually disagree with. For example where he describes how:

‘As a result of my circulating a piece written by Paul Eisen, whom he regards as a NASHD&M (‘Nazi’, ‘Anti-Semite’, ‘Holocaust Denier’ and a ‘maggot’), Greenstein tried to stop one of my readings, blaming the SWP for ‘giving a platform’ to guess what: an ‘Anti-Semite’, ‘Racist’, a ‘Nazi’ and a ‘holocaust denier’. Yes Greenstein and his friends are not economical with expressions. Needless to say, that the SWP ignored them completely.’
Whether the SWP is happy about this is another matter, but if not they should take steps to make their position clear regarding someone who believes in the ‘spiritual deJudaification’ of the City of London.

Atzmon’s defence of Paul Eisen must have been an attraction in itself, since Eisen is, of course, a holocaust denier. Snaturally the BNP/Redwatch/Nationalist Alliance will not have any great objections to his writings, not least because he is Jewish and actively defends for example anti-Jewish pogroms.

True enough Mary, but I'm beginning to see other outcomes looming. What I call 'the Ukrainian option' is one of them.
The Ukrainian peasant listens (for a couple of hundred years) about why the Jewish tavern keeper, tax farmer, landlord or whatever is doing what he's doing for the sake of 'tolerance' freedom' or 'human rights' But the time comes when he's just had enough. He lifts his axe and splits the Jews head - it's what they call a pogrom.
Jewish power needs to be confronted - peacefully and intelligently - and the sooner the better for everyone.Paul Eisen 01.13.08 - 9:16 pm #

For more info on Redwatch try the Guardian's ‘Web of Hate’ or
a BBC Programme shown on 31.10.07. or leading BNP Member Mark Collett as to the real attitude of the BNP to Redwatch.

Tony Greenstein

17 December 2008

President of Ottawa University Allan Rock Threatens Funding of Ottawa Public Interest Group for Calling Israel 'Apartheid'

On various campuses, Hillel is launching campaigns to pull funding from PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) because of the strongstand taken by some PIRGs around the issue of Israeli Apartheid.

Hillel launched a campaign to pull funding from QPIRG McGill and, although not directly linked to Hillel, there has been an online and on campus campaign against OPIRG Toronto because of theirPalestine solidarity work.

Most recently, Hillel at the University of Ottawa approached OPIRG Ottawa to endorse one of their events. OPIRG refused on the groundsthat as a social justice organization, they cannot work with Hillel because of their support for Israel. In response, Hillel contacted the local media, who have joined in a smear campaign against OPIRG Ottawa (see links below). Now, the President of Ottawa University isthreatening to pull funding from OPIRG Ottawa(http://www.president.uottawa.ca/blog/tag/opirg/).Hillel and its supporters are working hard to send their message tothe University of Ottawa and the general public. OPIRG Ottawa needsJewish, anti-Zionist allies to write letters of support for OPIRG and in condemnation of Hillel for supporting Israeli Apartheid. Jewish involvement is important to counter claims that OPIRG is being anti-Semitic by refusing to work with Hillel. We need to send a clear message to President Allan Rock that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism and Hillel does not represent all Jewish students on Canadian campuses. Let him know that many Jews actively support the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society organizations to conduct a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli Apartheid. Hillel does not speak on our behalf and we must confront them when they launch campaigns of political intimidation against organizations like OPIRG. OPIRG has asked for letters of support (please let them know if they can post them publicly), which can be sent to:

Please also send letters to:
Allan Rock, President of the University of Ottawa: allan.rock@uOttawa.ca
Ottawa Citizen article:
National Post article:

Mr. Allan Rock,
I am writing to you because I am deeply concerned about your response to the recent incident at the University of Ottawa involving Hillel and OPIRG.

In your one-sided response, you accuse OPIRG of being discriminatory and go so far as to challenge their right to student funding because they refused to support an event put on by Hillel because of their support for and ties to Israel. OPIRG is a social justice organization that has made commitments to fighting against racism and oppression. Hillel is an overtly Zionist organization whose website clearly states that they are "steadfastly committed to the support of Israel as Jewish and Democratic State withsecure and recognized borders and as a member of the family of free nations."

It is well-documented that Israel is an apartheid state that commits human rights violations against the Palestinian people –including their on-going siege of Gaza and the construction of an Apartheid wall that has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. A wide range of prominent international figures, including Bishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and recently, President of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann have condemned Israel's apartheid policies.

During the time of South African Apartheid, student groups were a vital part of the anti-Apartheid struggle. I can only hope that your administration would not have supported a pro-Apartheid group in the context of South Africa, nor would you have condemned student groups fighting South African Apartheid. So why are you supporting Hillel and condemning OPIRG in the case of Israeli Apartheid? My fear is that you have taken this stand based on the belief that opposition to Israel is anti-Semitic. As a Jewish person, I find the assumption that all Jews support Israeli Apartheid to be extremely offensive and dangerous. It is not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel's policies and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.Hillel, and its radical Zionist politics, do not represent me and the numerous other Jewish people who reject Zionism and strongly oppose Israeli Apartheid. I support OPIRG Ottawa and their brave stand in support of the Palestinian people. I encourage you to do the same.

12 December 2008

Tsipi Livni - The creation of a Palestinian state means Transfer

One of the key arguments against a '2 States' solution to the Palestinian Question has been that this would provide an incentive for the Zionists to transfer Israel's remaining 1+ million Palestinians into the bantustan (or in reality Palestinian Reservation). We should therefore thank Israel's Foreign Minister and leader of the 'moderate' Kadimah for spelling it out.

In an article in Ha'aretz of 11.12.08. 'Livni: National aspirations of Israel's Arabs can be met by Palestinian homeland' it reported that Livni was quoted by Army Radio as saying to students at a Tel Aviv high school that:
Once a Palestinian state is established, I can come to the Palestinian citizens, whom we call Israeli Arabs, and say to them 'you are citizens with equal rights, but the national solution for you is elsewhere.

And in a repetition of the standard 'left' Zionist line, which the social imperialists of Britain's tiny Alliance for Workers Liberty have espoused, she says:

The idea is to maintain two states for two peoples, that is my path to a democratic nation.

But then Livni, the daughter of an Irgun terrorist, made it clear last month that 'the State of Israel is a national homeland for the Jewish people.' adding that 'the national demands of Israeli Arabs should end the moment a Palestinian state is established.'
And therein lies the problem. Because at heart the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not a conflict of two nations or nationalities. It is the conflict between a settler-colonial state and the indigenous population. In South Africa the Africans didn't demand a 2 State solution but one state for all. This is the fundamental error that the Palestinian organisations and the PLO historically made, which played into the hands of the Zionist movement. The problem is not a conflict of two peoples or nations but one of racism and expulsion.

And in an article 'More Israeli Jews favor transfer of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs - poll finds' Ha'aretz of 12.12.08. by Amnon Barzilai, we learn that 46% of Israel's Jewish citizens favor support the transfer of Palestinians out of the occupied territories while 31% favor transferring Israeli Arabs out of the country. This is according to the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies' annual national security public opinion poll.

In 1991, 38% of Israel's Jewish population was in favor of transferring the Palestinians out of the territories while 24% supported transferring Israeli Arabs. But 60 percent said that they were in favor of 'encouraging' Israeli Arabs to leave the country. 24 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens believe that Israeli Arabs are not loyal to the state, which is hardly surprising since it is difficult to think why you should be loyal to a State that considers you a guest at best.

A representative sample of 1,264 Jewish residents of Israel were polled for the survey last month in face-to-face interviews.
The article goes on to say that:

Israeli-Arabs pose a threat to Israel's security, according to 61 percent of the Jewish population, while around 80 percent are opposed to Israeli-Arabs being involved in important decisions, such as delineating the country's borders, up from 75 percent last year and 67 percent in 2000.
Some 72 percent of Jewish Israelis are opposed to Arab parties being part of a coalition government, compared to 67 percent last year and 50 percent in 1999.

It is doubtful if such high percentages, effectively half the population or more if the slightly 'softer' question about encouraging Palestinians to leave is included, were attained in January 1933 when Adolf Hitler was put in power by the German capitalists and their army.

Tony Greenstein

8 December 2008

Support the Shministim - Israel's Conscientious Objectors

As in South Africa under Apartheid with the End Conscription Campaign, a small group of Israeli refuseniks, teenagers sent to support the settlers in the West Bank, have refused to serve in the oppressive Israeli Army. Below is an appeal I received today and the response when I had sent a letter. I would urge you all to take the time out to write in their support.

Tony Greenstein

Dear Friend,

The Shministim – all about ages 16, 17, 18 and in the 12th grade – are conscientious objectors in Israel and right now they are taking a stand. They believe in a better future for themselves and for Palestinians and Israelis, and they are refusing to join the Israeli army. They're in jail, holding strong against immense pressure from family, friends and the Israeli government. They need our support.

The Shministim have asked to let the Israeli government know we are watching, and that we support their courage. They're hoping to receive hundreds of thousands of postcards to be delivered to the Israeli Minister of Defense on December 18th, when they will hold a massive rally and press conference. They have asked every person who strives for justice to support them. Will you join me? It’s simple. Sign a letter. Click here: http://www.december18th.org/

Thank you for taking the time to send a letter to Israel's Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, about the Shministim. The Shministim are confident that tens of thousands of letters demanding their release will make a real difference.

In 8 days, we generated 8,000 letters. We have less than 2 weeks to go.

The following e-mail was sent on receipt of my letter:

It has been a wonderful experience for us at Jewish Voice for Peace to work with the Shministim. They are real-life heroes, strengthened in their resolve to stand up against overwhelming pressure and all too aware that their counterparts in the Occupied Territories must endure far worse on a daily basis.

Please continue to tell your friends and family about http://www.december18th.org/. You can put the web address in your email signature, post a web badge on your blog, tell your Facebook friends, put a poster on your door and more. Go to http://december18th.org/do-more/ for ideas.

Let the world know that for the sake of both Israelis and Palestinians, Israel's occupation must end, and that a new generation of young people is willing to go to jail to stand up and say NO.
On behalf of the countless people and groups working to free the Shministim,

Cecilie SuraskyJewish Voice for Peace

7 December 2008

Announcement - Change of Title

As people may have realised, the title of this blog has been changed from 'Anti-Zionists Against Anti-Semites' to 'Tony Greenstein's Blog'.

The reason for this is that the original reason for setting this up, the activities of the small group of anti-Semites around Gilad Atzmon and Mary Rizzo, has shrunk into insignificance. The original blog was originally set in the wake of the furore over postings by Atzmon on the once radical Indymedia. Almost despite themselves and their Atzmon sidekick, FTP, they decided to put a question mark over Atzmon's verbal Diarrhoea. This was enough for Atzmon to pick up his tent and run for cover.

Rumour also has it that the SWP, in the midst of a civil war between supporters of John Rees and Martin Smith, has also ditched the Atzmon. Presumably blaming the Jews for the current economic crisis was one step too far! Of course the SWP, which once went out on a limb to defend Atzmon (a cash cow for them) doesn't have the honesty to actually announce the fact or explain its change of position.

It is therefore my intention to post a wider range of articles including articles and reviews I have written elsewhere and past pamphlets (once I get the hang of how to upload documents etc.!).
Tony Greenstein

6 December 2008

Charles Tannock - Zionist and Apologist for anti-Semites

Tannock with friend

Well my old friend Mark Elf recently wrote to all 9 Conservative MEPs over the proposed EU Trade Agreement with Israel (the vote on which was postponed last Monday because of Israel's outlaw status).

Much to his surprise, Mark's that is, the Personal Assistant of Charles Tannock MEP wrote back explaining why Tannock was a died-in-the-wool Zionist.

"Dear Mr Elf, Dr Tannock is very familiar with the situation in Israel and the occupied territories, and the suffering of many innocent Palestinians caught up in the terrorist actions of Hamas and Israeli counter attacks and his party is committed to a peace based on the Oslo Peace accords, the road map for peace and Quartet criteria with a viable two state solution based on roughly the 1967 borders with land for peace swaps. Therefore Conservatives oppose any new settlement building in the occupied territories. Nevertheless he supports an enhanced agreement between the EU and Israel as Israel as a country shares many of our common western democratic values including free elections a free press and independence of its judiciary and upholding the rule of law and is at the front line in fighting the existential threat of Islamist terrorism. He also believes the security fence for all its problems has considerably reduced the ability of suicide bombers to cross over and kill innocent Israeli civilians who are still subject to Hamas rockets launched from Gaza. He will of course work for reconciliation and a lasting peace in the region as will all Conservative MEPs.

Kind Regards

And I suddenly had faint glimmerings of a past article I had read. Wasn't this the same MEP who had backed the 'rose revolution' to the extent of defending an anti-Semitic paper which had claimed some 400,000 Jews had taken part in the Nazi invasion of the Ukraine? Surely not. How can someone who is so supportive of the Jewish State rush to the defence of an anti-Semitic newspaper? Surely some mistake here? But no. A quick check of my hard drive reveals it is one and the same person.
For those interested in yet another example of the congruence between anti-Semitism and Zionism, the article below may be of interest!

Tony Greenstein

Shadow of Anti-Semitism over Ukraine's Disputed Election
Western television viewers and newspaper readers are being fed on a diet of propaganda about the current crisis in Ukraine. The orange flags and uniforms of the opposition fill our screens and decorate the front pages. "People power" and Western-orientated democrats are on the march against evil ex-communist oligarchs. Good is battling against evil for the soul of Ukraine.

Sadly it is not so simple. Western media and governments may have edited out the manifestations of extreme nationalism and anti-Semitism which disfigure the Ukrainian opposition's rabble-rousing but history will record that in the run up to the disputed presidential elections, key opposition leaders, including Viktor Yushchenko, Julia Timoshenko and Alexander Moroz, defended anti-Semitic publications and accepted the backing of neo-Nazi groups as well as US and EU and so-called "civic society" NGOs. Nor were the anti-Semtic apologetics of the Ukrainian opposition unknown to key OSCE observers and EU parliamentarians who nonetheless ignored the dark shadow across Yushchenko's campaign preferring instead to abuse his rival.
A key media outlet which has backed Viktor Yushchenko's long march on the Ukrainian presidency published an extraordinary anti-Semitic rant in 2003 which claimed that 400,000 Jews fought alongside Hitler's invading army in 1941!

Inserted as an advertising feature, "Jews in Ukraine Today: Reality Without Myths," appeared in Silski visti (Village News). The newspaper was one of the largest in Ukraine with a circulation of around 500,000. It was a prominent backer of Viktor Yushchenko and his Our Ukraine party.

In late 2003, Alexander Shlayen, the head of the Ukrainian Anti-Fascist Committee and a prominent member of the post-Holocaust Jewish community in Ukraine, initiated a prosecution of the newspaper, Silski visti for promoting inter-ethnic discord in the country which was the site of the infamous Babi Yar massacre along with countless other Nazi atrocities against Jews.

On 28th January, 2004, the court ordered the closing of the newspaper but it defied the ruling with the vocal backing of the opposition Our Ukraine party and its allies. In August, 2004, Alexander Shlaven died suddenly and unexpectedly.

In an interview with JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) , the paper's editor, Vasily Gruzin, defended the newspaper's decision to publish the piece:

"Although we published the Yaremenko article as a paid advertisement and not as a position we ourselves endorsed, I happen to believe the figure of 400,000 Jews taking part in the German invasion of the Ukraine is not far from the truth," he said."I personally have nothing against common Jews, but rather against a small group of Jewish oligarchs who control Ukraine both economically and politically. I believe the point of Zionism today is Jewish control of the world, and we see this process at work in Ukraine today."

Shortly after this anti-Semitic diatribe by Yaremenko, Victor Yuschenko – who our media always apostrophises as "the pro-Western presidential candidate" and who enjoys the open support of the Bush administration -- and another prominent opposition leader, energy oligarch Yulia Timoshenko and Alexander Moroz of the Socialist Party issued a statement headed "Hands Off Silski Visti"!
Mr Moroz has been a prominent figure on the opposition in tribune in Kiev and as recently as 21st September, 2004, he insisted,

""I have defended Silski Visti and will continue to do so," Moroz said. "I personally think the argument of the author of the article, Vasily Yaremenko, citing 400,000 Jews in the S.S. is incorrect, but I am not in a position to know all the facts." [http://www.ncsj.org/AuxPages/092104JTA_Ukraine.shtml ]

What kind of ally of the West needs to learn more about the Nazis to refute Yaremenko's claims about a Jewish-Nazi alliance? Yet this is the sort of politician who gets unconditional backing in Washington and Brussels.
One of the so-called "independent" election observers whose denunciation of the Yanukovich camp for fraud has been a central part of the propaganda battle is the British Conservative MEP, Charles Tannock, who has appeared in recent days on opposition platforms egging on the protestors. Before the elections Mr Tannock wrote several articles openly backing Viktor Yushchenko's candidacy, but Mr Tannock's best known intervention in Ukrainian politics before the disputed presidential election was his criticism of the courts for banning the anti-Semitic newspaper, Silski visti.

Like Viktor Yushchenko and Julia Timoshenko, MEP Tannock condemned the ban saying in an interview in the Our Ukraine party newspaper on 12th March, 2004: "the closure of the newspaper went a step far too far" according to Mr Tannock's own web-page. He goes on to admit that as a backer of Our Ukraine "I don't think it does your party any good to be associated with extreme [emphasis added] anti-Semitic articles"! [http://www.charlestannock.com/pressarticle.asp?ID=360 ["Also I made a point in my speech that I am concerned in the case of the [author of a scandalous article in "Silski Visti"], which indeed published very anti-Semitic articles according to the Jewish community that I have contacts with," said Charles Tannock, adding that that was a real pity in his opinion. "I understand that prosecutions could be brought about for such things. But obviously the closure of the newspaper went a step far too far and indeed I understand it is being appealed and that it is unlikely that the courts will uphold that decision. Obviously, on the one hand I am very sympathetic to the many complaints of the opposition, but I don’t think it does your party any good to be associated with extreme anti-Semitic articles," remarked member of the European Parliament. ]

Sadly the Silski visti affair was not unique.

In western Ukraine in particular (as in Britain and North America) there is an aging cohort of elderly veterans of the Waffen SS's Galician division. They are anxious to revise their country's history and re-habilitate their wartime service on behalf of the Third Reich. In Ukraine these old Nazis parade protesting their patriotism and demanding equal rights with Red Army veterans. A younger more aggressive and openly racist and neo-Nazi cohort of historical revisionists has also appeared. They have their "intellectual" spokesmen whose anti-Semitic and white supremacist writings have produced scandal in Kiev not only in Silski visti.

In western Ukrainian towns like Ivano-Frankivsk, the uniformed bully-boys of the UNSO movement, so-called Ukrainian Self-Defence forces, act as enforcers for Our Ukraine in effect. Mr Yushchenko scored well over 90% in western regions like Ivano-Frankivsk – results at least as improbable as any for Mr Yanukevich in the east of the country. How much does Mr Yushchenko's near unanimous support in western towns depend on the storm troopers of the Ukrainian new right?

It is shocking that any link could exist between such neo-Nazi muscle men and their propagandists and politicians usually presented in the Anglo-American media as the harbingers of Western democracy and universal humanitarian values in Ukraine. Even more bizarre than the defence of the right of an anti-Semite to disseminate his wares by "pro-Western" Ukrainian politicians like Yushchenko, Julia Timoshenko and Aleksandr Moroz is the fact that Mr. Yushchenko's candidacy for president of Ukraine is openly backed by the famous American billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, himself a survivor of the Holocaust.

Although ten years ago in 1994, Mr. Soros put his influence and money behind Leonid Kuchma, the democracy-promoting philanthropist has since turned against the outgoing Ukrainian President and his preferred successor as candidate for president, Viktor Yanukevich. As far back as 1st March, 2001, the American billionaire had written an editorial page piece in the Financial Times making his support for Yushchenko clear when he demanded , "If Mr Kuchma cares about Ukraine's survival as an independent democratic state, he must take responsibility for his actions and hand over duties to the prime minister, [i.e. Yushchenko] the constitutionally designated successor, pending the results of the investigation. The West must take a clear position, denouncing Mr Kuchma's behavior and his actions. There is no way for the international community to continue to do business with Mr Kuchma until an impartial investigation [into the Gongadze murder case] has been completed and those responsible are held to account."

Mr. Soros's concern for human rights and due process does him credit, but his tone does not suggest the assumption of innocence! Moreover at precisely the same time in early, 2001, his own local Ukrainian foundation was supporting media which were the antithesis of democratic decency. In Germany, Neue Solidarit├Ąt's Roman Bessonov reported from the western Ukrainian city of Lvov on 4th April, 2001, that a Soros-funded "Renaissance" foundation was backing the nationalist monthly, "Derzhanist" (("Independent Statehood") commenting "Whoever reads it would conclude that Kiev is the Fourth Rome and that Babi Yar wasn't where umpteen thousands of Jews were murdered by the Nazi SS but rather where the Chekists murdered Ukrainian patriots."
[See http://www.bueso.de/nrw/Aktuelles/ukraine.htm ]

In Ukraine, in the presidential elections, Soros's people back Yushchenko but he is also supported by Andrei Shkil's ultra-nationalist UNSO. Vyacheslav Likhachev of the European-Asian Jewish Congress noted the unsettling links between Mr Soros's preferred candidate for Ukrainian president, Yuschchenko, and the neo-Nazis there after the 2002 parliamentary elections
"the former leader of the UNA-UNSD Andry Shkil was elected to the parliament in a single-ticket election in the Lviv region, with the support of Our Ukraine, led by Viktor Yuschenko (Victor Yuschenko is a former prime minister and one of the quite probable presidential candidates). At the time elections were held, the leader of the nationalists had been in jail for a year, accused of organizing mass anti-government riots. Having been elected, Andry Shkil was granted immunity to criminal prosecution. Thus, the moderate national-democrats form unions with the radicals."
[See Vyacheslav Likhachev, "Anti-Semotism in Ukraine" @ http://www.eajc.org/program_art_e.php?id=10 ]

Some idea of Mr Shkil's pro-Western reform-minded ideas is available on his web-page: ""Inside, an article appeared, entitled "Nationalism in the World: Past, Present, Future," written by Andriy Shkil', editor-in-chief of Natsionalist, chairman of the Dontsov Supporters' Club, and head of the Lviv branch of UNA. Mostly devoted to the New Right, it also mentioned their precursors, including Gobineau, and "his worthy student Walter Darre, who developed the idea of artificial selection [eugenics] to improve the human race." Mein Kampf and its author (whose name is not given) are praised for "re-examining these ideas on the highest level." Several of Darre's ideas are applied to the Ukrainian situation: Christianity's mistaken view of the equality of human beings, the necessity for the revival of paganism as an essential spiritual feature of the nation and as a precondition for the creation of a new national elite, with eugenics as a means of cleansing and renewing the people.Thus, the UNA values the experience of the European Right, and other radical regardless of their political orientation."
[See http://www.una-unso.org/av/mainview.asp?TT_id=17&TX_id=402]
Belatedly in the run-up to October's presidential elections, Mr Yuschchenko tried to distance himself from radical nationalists like Shkil _ at least in the English-language version of his web-page. [ See "Yushchenko advises «fascist thugs» to support Yanukovych" 15:25, 2 July 2004 @http://www.yuschenko.com.ua/eng/present/News/838/ But they were not prepared to denounce him:

"It was reported that last Saturday in Kyiv there was a «parade» of the «UNA-UNSO» party that has nothing in common with the «UNA-UNSO» organization headed by Andriy Shkil, YTB member. During this meeting Kovalenko's «UNA-UNSO» declared the support of Yushchenko with the fascist signs, «SSS» symbols and gestures in Hitlerite manner."!
See http://www.una-unso.org/av/mainview.asp?TT_id=17&TX_id=402

With friends like these Mr Yushchenko may feel he has all the People Power he needs to seize the presidency, but should OSCE observers, European parliamentarians, Colin Powell and George W. Bush be undiluted in endorsing a candidate with backing from neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers? What kind of West is being created if the Euro-Atlantic elite openly endorses a president of Ukraine whose domestic supporters at senior levels as well as at street level don't know who invaded the country in 1941 and defend publications which say Jews were the culprits?
source: http://www.bhhrg.org/LatestNews.asp?ArticleID=51
Interview with Charles Tannock MEP

Our Ukraine - 12 March 2004

Charles Tannock, member of the Conservative Party of Great Britain, member of the EPP/ED Group – the largest faction in the European Parliament – is one of the leading lobbyists of Ukrainian interests at the European Parliament. He commented on the resolution on Ukraine, which was discussed and adopted in Brussels yesterday. The resolution received 59 votes in favor, no votes against with only two abstentions. In his commentary Mr. Tannock addressed the political situation in Ukraine as well as the situation with the freedom of speech and the upcoming presidential elections. He stressed that the European community hopes for democratic presidential elections in Ukraine and will aid the people of Ukraine in their quest for democracy. "The European Parliament is making a statement," said Charles Tannock in a commentary on the resolution on Ukraine that was adopted yesterday by the European Parliament in Brussels. "So, yes, Ukraine is under pressure. But I think the government of Ukraine has responded, at least in part that there will still be a direct election to the presidency in October and that the judges are being confirmed in office with life-time security, and the socialists insist that they will only vote for the final bill if there are reforms of the electoral system for parliament," stated Mr. Tannock. He also added that the pressure that had come from outside had indeed helped the opposition secure some improvements in the "Medvedchuk-Symonenko" bill because, "as it was originally drafted, and, indeed the vote of December 24 were highly criticized in the European Union and by the member states. So we are seeing some partial results. But there is still a lot of concern over the death of the journalist on his way to Kyiv a couple of weeks ago and the harassment of the media." "Also I made a point in my speech that I am concerned in the case of the [author of a scandalous article in "Silski Visti"], which indeed published very anti-Semitic articles according to the Jewish community that I have contacts with," said Charles Tannock, adding that that was a real pity in his opinion. "I understand that prosecutions could be brought about for such things. But obviously the closure of the newspaper went a step far too far and indeed I understand it is being appealed and that it is unlikely that the courts will uphold that decision. Obviously, on the one hand I am very sympathetic to the many complaints of the opposition, but I don’t think it does your party any good to be associated with extreme anti-Semitic articles," remarked member of the European Parliament. "But, by and large, the motion is to keep Ukraine in a kind of forefront of interest of the EU," said Tannock. Answering a question whether the adoption of the resolution may cause problems on Ukraine’s way to European integration, member of the EPP/ED Group stated: "Either way at this stage Ukraine’s integration into the EU is a long way off. At the moment we are so busy with trying to digest the ten new countries about to join on May 1. Although, I did manage to get incorporated in the resolution a formal reference to the parliament’s position under the "Wider Europe" debate, which formally recognizes Ukraine’s right to join the EU."

Charles Tannock stresses that a number of European parliamentarians, "particularly myself and the socialists’ main speaker Glyn Ford, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defense Policy, both recognize the EU aspirations and the legitimacy of [Ukraine’s] EU aspirations. But I’m afraid that, at the moment, it is off the agenda in the short term." He stressed: "Our main concern in Ukraine is that you have free and clear election for the presidency in October, that you uphold the law of your country as it is, and that you uphold human rights, democracy, and transparency in the system." Charles Tannock noted that similar resolutions are being adopted on "all sorts of countries every day" and that there was one on Venezuela just that day, which condemned the behavior of Chavez, and one on Burma, calling on the Council and the Commission to renew sanctions against Burma’s repressive regime. He reported that European Parliament has urgency debates on different countries in terms of human rights every month. Despite some concern, member of the EPP/ED Group stressed that nobody was talking about sanctions against Ukraine at the moment and the Commission was negotiating an action plan with Ukraine under the "Wider Europe – New Neighbors" strategy. "The idea is that we’ll have action plans which will build on a much closer cooperation in a number of areas, particularly cooperation across border, investment, trade, political cooperation, security cooperation, and so on. I don’t think anybody is remotely talking about any kind of sanctions against Ukraine. Obviously, if the election in October goes ahead and there is massive election fraud as evidenced by the observers…" "It’s interesting," noted the parliamentarian, "that I had an amendment, which went through, reminding President Kuchma that he invited European Parliament observers to the October elections. It is a part of the resolution now. I’ve spoken to the ambassador of Ukraine who indicted that [the government] was not in any way denying that that invitation had been issued. So, we will have to watch it very carefully between now and October." But Charles Tannock said that the final decision on the time when the observers would be sent to Ukraine has not been made yet. "Mr. Wiersma, member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine and the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Cooperation, who has also been following this issue, has been talking to the OSCE parliamentary assembly and the Council of Europe and we will probably have a troika-type observer situation: three parliaments getting together with a common platform," reported member of the EPP/ED Group. "There is obviously a need to have the observers [in Ukraine] at the time of the elections but we would like to have some resources, to have people in place a little bit before as well so that we can monitor the way the whole system is being set up, especially in smaller towns so that we can report; but we do not have any of the details yet – that remains to be decided," reported Charles Tannock.
US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev
Ian Traynor, Friday November 26, 2004, The Guardian