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Wed, 21 Nov 2018
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"The Lobby - USA": Watch the film the Israel lobby has tried to suppress - UPDATE: Parts 3 & 4 released

Israel Lobby Congress
The Electronic Intifada has obtained a complete copy of The Lobby - USA, a four-part undercover investigation by Al Jazeera into Israel's covert influence campaign in the United States.

It is today publishing the first two episodes. The Paris-based Orient XXI has published the same episodes with French subtitles.

The film was made by Al Jazeera during 2016 and was completed in October 2017.

But it was censored after Qatar, the gas-rich Gulf emirate that funds Al Jazeera, came under intense Israel lobby pressure not to air the film.

Comment: Parts 3 and 4 promise to be even more revealing.

Update: Al Jazeera has released Parts 3 & 3 of The Lobby - USA. Electronic Intifada has the details.
In the first two parts of the censored documentary The Lobby - USA, released by The Electronic Intifada this week, Al Jazeera's undercover reporter "Tony" charmed his way into pro-Israel circles.

He discovered a network of organizations acting as fronts for the Israeli state to spy on, disrupt and sabotage US supporters of Palestinian rights - especially BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

In the final two parts of of the film, Tony gets a deeper look at Israel's covert influence campaigns during his internship for The Israel Project.

Watch parts three and four in the videos embedded above and below.

The Electronic Intifada is releasing the leaked film simultaneously with France's Orient XXI and Lebanon's Al-Akhbar, which have respectively subtitled the episodes in French and Arabic.

In part three, Al Jazeera interviews Bill Mullen, a professor of American Studies at Purdue University in Indiana, and a leading activist in the BDS movement.

As The Electronic Intifada reported in 2016, Mullen and his family found themselves targeted by an organized smear campaign, starting in March of that year.

Several anonymous websites sprang up, containing fabricated accounts of sexual harassment by Mullen, supposedly by a student.

In the film, Mullen describes the campaign as an attempt to destroy his marriage. His wife, also a professor, was sent a link to one of the sites.

The smear campaign seems to have been manufactured by Israel's agents in the US.

"These people will do anything"

"One of the [anonymous] accounts explains that in the process of supposedly putting my hand on her, I'd invited her to a Palestine organizational meeting. And I thought, you're sort of putting your cards on the table there," Mullen says, explaining how he came to realize that pro-Israel actors were behind the smears.

Mullen recounts how the anonymous websites also used the name of his daughter, which he says was the worst moment for him, when he realized "these people will do anything, they're capable of doing anything."

A Students for Justice in Palestine activist who Mullen worked with, speaks anonymously in an interview with Al Jazeera.

She too was targeted by an anonymous smear site, which falsely claimed she engaged in "partying, drinking" and "promiscuity." She recounts how this led to tension and upset at home, with her parents telling her to end her SJP involvement.

Smear tactics have been common features of "advocacy" for Israel for decades. Israel lobbyists know they cannot win open debate on the actual issues.

Such attempts to target and sabotage activists' personal lives represent an escalation in tactics in recent years, led by Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

These tactics are more reminiscent of Israeli intelligence services' actions against Palestinian resistance organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the usage of blackmail, disinformation, rumors and sabotage.

This is not entirely surprising considering that the Ministry of Strategic Affairs is largely staffed by Israeli spies.

"It's psychological warfare"

In undercover footage seen in episode one, the Israel on Campus Coalition's Jacob Baime admitted to coordinating with the Israeli ministry.

He described his approach as "modeled on General Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq," explaining that they "copied a lot from that strategy that has been working really well for us, actually."

Although Baime seems confused about the country - the US general's "counterinsurgency" effort was focused on Afghanistan, not Iraq - McChrystal's strategy emphasizes "offensive information operations."

In episode three, Baime explains how his organization applies this against "the anti-Israel people" by putting "up some anonymous website" along with targeted Facebook ads.

Baime explains that as a result activists "either shut down or they spend time responding to it and investigating it, which is time they can't spend attacking Israel."

"It's psychological warfare, it drives them crazy," he claims.

He later states that the Israel on Campus Coalition has a budget of some $2 million for "research" for such smear campaigns alone.

As previously reported by The Electronic Intifada, episode three also names convicted tax evader, and multimillionaire Israel lobby financier Adam Milstein as the founder of secretive blacklisting site Canary Mission.

It also reveals the Foundation for Defense of Democracies as another agent of Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

The foundation's Jonathan Schanzer admits in undercover footage that "anti-Semitism as a smear is not what is used to be."

"The foundation that AIPAC sat on is rotting"

Episode four reveals how Israel is working against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Israel's consul-general in Atlanta is seen in undercover footage complaining that "the major problem for Israel is with the young generation of the Black community."

The Israel Project's successful attempts to influence American mainstream media are also detailed, with former CNN journalist Jim Clancy describing it as "propaganda."

Also in episode four, Tony goes along for the ride with a comically unenthusiastic group of young, conservative think tank fellows, who are compelled by their bosses to join a protest against a Students for Justice in Palestine conference.

Max Blumenthal at the Grayzone Project previously released clips from these scenes, but all the footage can now be viewed on this page.

In the undercover footage, the fellows admit to Tony that what they are doing is "astroturfing" - a term for fake grassroots activism orchestrated or paid for by an interest group.

This feeds into the film's ultimate conclusion, in the words of Eric Gallagher, Tony's boss at The Israel Project.

Gallagher describes how the bipartisan consensus in support of Israel has seriously fractured in recent years, with polls consistently showing a slide in progressive and liberal support for Israel.

Gallagher admits that the fortunes of AIPAC, Washington's most powerful Israel lobby group, and his former employer, are not what they once were.

"The foundation that AIPAC sat on is rotting," he laments.

"There used to be actual widespread public support for Israel in the United States. So I don't think that AIPAC is going to remain as influential as it is."

He adds: "I don't think that AIPAC is the tip of the spear anymore, which is worrisome, because who is?"

Quenelle - Golden

Manufactured anti-Semitism: Vandal who painted 'Die Jew Rats' on synagogue is black, gay, former Democratic intern with Jewish foster parents

James Polite
© Facebook / Abraham Aali and Reuters / Andrew Kelly
Synagogue vandal James Polite seen alongside his former mentor, New York Democrat Christine Quinn.
In a bizarre twist, the man who spray painted anti-Semitic graffiti on a Brooklyn synagogue turned out to be "queer," black, former anti-hate-crime intern, James Polite: a 26-year-old with loving Jewish foster parents.

Less than a week after a gunman murdered 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue, anti-Semitic graffiti was found scrawled inside Union Temple in Brooklyn's predominantly Jewish Prospect Heights neighborhood. The graffiti read "Die Jew Rats" and "Hitler."

A Democratic political event scheduled at the synagogue on Thursday night was canceled, and police investigated the incident as a hate crime. After being caught on the synagogue's CCTV cameras, James Polite was arrested on Friday.

Far from being an archetypal tattooed skinhead, Polite is a black former Democratic intern who had his college education bankrolled by the New York Times' 'Neediest Cases Fund.'

Comment: Since Polite is not a white, male Trump supporter, this will be swept under the Leftist rug in no time.

Fake anti-semitism, in the form of staged acts, is actually quite common, and not just in the US. Paris was recently stunned to learn that a serial vandal spray-painting homes and cars with vile messages about Jews... turned out to be an elderly Jewish couple:

Serial complainer about anti-Semitic graffiti left on and near his home in Paris... caught daubing cars with anti-Semitic graffiti


Who is really 'undermining' American democracy?

Ballot box icecrack
© Karen Norris, The Christian Science Monitor
Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com.)

Summarizing one of the themes in his new book, War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine To Trump and Russiagate, Cohen argues that Russiagate allegations of Kremlin attempts to "undermine American democracy" may themselves erode confidence in those institutions...
Ever since Russiagate allegations began to appear more than two years ago, their core narrative has revolved around purported Kremlin attempts to "interfere" in the 2016 US presidential election on behalf of then-candidate Donald Trump. In recent months, a number of leading American media outlets have taken that argument even further, suggesting that Putin's Kremlin actually put Trump in the White House and now is similarly trying to affect the November 6 midterm elections, particularly House contests, on behalf of Trump and the Republican Party. According to a page-one New York Times "report," for example, Putin's agents "are engaging in an elaborate campaign of 'information warfare' to interfere with the American midterm elections."


Double standards. ECHR says you can insult Christianity, but not Islam

pussy riot
© Getty Images / Gary Miller
Pussy Riot performs in concert during Day For Night festival on December 16, 2017 in Houston, Texas
Two recent rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demonstrate not only that it's a political and hypocritical organization. They also show the severe structural defects of human rights law in general.

On October 25, the ECHR found in favor of Austria and against a claimant, Frau S., who had been prosecuted for saying in 2008 that the Prophet Mohammed "was a pedophile" because he had married a six-year-old girl. The applicant had claimed that the criminal sentence she received violated her right to free speech, enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found against her and in favor of Austria, which had convicted her of inciting religious hatred.

On July 17, the same ECHR, by contrast, had found in favor of Russian applicants from the now famous 'Pussy Riot' band, and against the Russian state, which convicted them for having incited religious hatred by staging a performance of a 'punk prayer' in Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral in 2012. This case was considered under three different articles of the European Convention on Human Rights but it made two judgements under the same Article 10 which the judges later said could not protect Frau S. In the Pussy Riot case, the court found that the girls' right to freedom of expression under Article 10 had been violated.


The Gulag Archipelago: A new foreword by Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan Peterson
© Andy Ngo
Editor's note: The following essay is Jordan B. Peterson's new foreword to the new edition of The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Penguin, November 2018, 544 pages). Reproduced with the kind permission of the author.

From the speech delivered by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to the Swedish Academy on the occasion of his acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature:
Once we have taken up the word, it is thereafter impossible to turn away: A writer is no detached judge of his countrymen and contemporaries; he is an accomplice to all the evil committed in his country or by his people. And if the tanks of his fatherland have bloodied the pavement of a foreign capital, then rust-colored stains have forever bespattered the writer's face. And if on some fateful night a trusting Friend is strangled in his sleep-then the palms of the writer bear the bruises from that rope. And if his youthful fellow citizens nonchalantly proclaim the advantages of debauchery over humble toil, if they abandon themselves to drugs, or seize hostages-then this stench too is mingled with the breath of the writer. Have we the insolence to declare that we do not answer for the evils of today's world?...

The simple act of an ordinary brave man is not to participate in lies, not to support false actions! His rule: Let that come into the world, let it even reign supreme-only not through me. But it is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie! For in the struggle with lies art has always triumphed and shall always triumph! Visibly, irrefutably for all! Lies can prevail against much in this world, but never against art...

One word of truth shall outweigh the whole world.
* * *


Is Brazil's Bolsonaro a Pinochet or a populist? - George Galloway

Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro
© Global Look Press / Cris Faga
Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 24 October 2018
The victory of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Latin America's most populous country and co-founder of the BRICS bloc, has understandably caused much fluttering in the dovecotes of leftists and liberals around the globe.

But what the Bolsonaro victory shows is not so much the strength of far-right ideas as the weakness of the left.

First, though, a word about fascism.

It has become in vogue for left wing people to brand everyone to the right of them 'a fascist'. This is not just wrong it is entirely self-defeating. As the famous 'Boy who cried Wolf' found out, it can end up with one being eaten when folks conclude that if everybody is a fascist then, for practical purposes, nobody is.

Comment: Brazil swings right, elects right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro as president


American breakdown: Uncle Sam finally pays an overdue visit to the psychiatrist couch

uncle same parade balloon
© Reuters / Eric Thayer
After a tumultuous week that included letter bombs, a swooning stock market, a caravan of migrants approaching the border, and a deadly mass shooting at a synagogue, the US finally sought out professional help.

Hello, Doctor. I am so grateful that you agreed to see me at this late hour. I am at my wit's end with the latest turn of events and could really use some consultation. Yes, I would be happy to recline myself on your fine couch, thank you.

Tell you about myself? Well, alright. My name is Uncle Sam and I manage a political entity known as the United States of America, perhaps you've heard of it. It's a sprawling democratic franchise that is home to some 325 million restless souls, each with their own endless desires and demands. They always want something! As for myself, I turned 242 years old in July, and I guess you could say I'm struggling with a mid-life crisis of sorts. Although my friends say I am sprightly for my age, ongoing events have taken a toll on this body and mind. And now with this maverick Donald Trump in the White House I haven't had a moment's rest in a long time. Why, I barely recognize my own country anymore!

HRC Blue

Gab.com And The Continuing Purge of Free Speech

GAB social media
Gab.com is an alternative social network, set up and launched in 2016. It's founder, Andrew Torba, stated he wanted to create a home for free speech, and counter what he perceived as "liberal bias" on other platforms, such as twitter and facebook.

Two days ago, their website was taken down. This was in response to being blocked by PayPal, and then having their server space taken away by their hosting service. Gab's founder posted this statement on their stripped-down website.

Why did this happen?

Because Robert Bowers, the alleged gunman at the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, had a gab account and posted some things about "the Jews" on it.

Is it right, or sensible to punish a platform for the (alleged) actions of ONE user out of 100,000s? And is that really what's going on?

Robert Bowers also had a Twitter account. And a Facebook page. Neither of these platforms has faced punishment, or censure, from any quarter.

Comment: Power + corporations = fascism.

Their purge isn't 'forthcoming', by the way... it's already here and has been for a while now. Gab is just the latest platform to have been shutdown by the powers that be. However, it's not quite the end of them just yet. One can hope there will continue to be alternative sources ready to fill the void that the social media giants create by their ever increasing censorship. See also:

Bad Guys

Soros leak shows his foundation viewed refugee crisis as opportunity to be exploited

george soros
© Luke MacGregor / Reuters
Billionaire George Soros

Comment: This is probably as close as we'll get to proof of what everyone (should) already knows: Soros and fellow Western billionaires are working the crises they created (whether accidentally or deliberately) to manipulate Western governments and keep them in line with the US, and as far away from cooperating with Russia and China as possible.

A leaked memo from left-wing financier George Soros's Open Society Foundations argues that Europe's refugee crisis should be accepted as a "new normal," and that the refugee crisis means "new opportunities" for Soros' organization to influence immigration policies on a global scale.

OSF program officer Anna Crowley and program specialist Katin Rosin co-authored the May 12 memo, titled "Migration Governance and Enforcement Portfolio Review." The memo focuses on an OSF program called the International Migration Initiative, which aims to influence immigration policy.

The nine-page review makes three key points: OSF — which doles out millions to left-wing causes — has been successful at influencing global immigration policy; Europe's refugee crisis presents "new opportunities" for the organization to influence global immigration policy; and the refugee crisis is the "new normal."

Comment: Further reading:


Jon Stewart: Trump uses journalists' narcissism to bait them - and they dive right in!

Jon Stewart
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, comedian Jon Stewart called out members of the media for taking President Trump's criticisms of them way too personally.

"You gotta make money too," Stewart said. "You've got electric bills, you've got food. This guy is, he's giving you all cash. The cash flow in the Trump era for these TV shows -"

Amanpour interrupted him, saying: "We the journalists, we, I think, believe our job is to navigate the truth and do the fact checking and all the rest of it."

"I think that journalists have taken it personally," he said. "They're personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them. And they dive in."

Stewart went on to say that when Trump criticizes them, they make a big show of hitting him back.

Comment: Takes one to know one?

See also: Journalists create a 'safe space' to discuss how to cover the Trump presidency