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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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Star of David

The not-so-secret life of the late Mathilde Krim

Johnson with Mathilde Krim, at dinner, undated photograph

Johnson with Mathilde Krim, at dinner, undated photograph.
On January 15, Mathilde Krim, a scientist and socialite, died on Long Island at 91, and the obituaries described her courageous leadership in the fight against AIDS. Krim was incensed by the widespread stigmatization of AIDS victims as somehow deserving the disease, and she worked to lift prejudice that kept our society from taking the illness seriously. (I saw her work for myself, attending a fundraiser at her East Side townhouse back in the 90's).

What the news has not told you about is Krim's other great achievement: helping to swing the White House to Israel's side in the 1960's. The no-daylight policy of U.S. alignment with the Israeli government, so obvious today in Trump's deference to Netanyahu, was born under Mathilde Krim's dear friend Lyndon Johnson. In the feverish weeks surrounding the 1967 war, Krim, who had once emigrated to Israel, and her husband Arthur, a leading fundraiser, were continually at Johnson's side, and advised him on what to say publicly.

"Johnson was the pivotal president for our relationship with Israel and I think Mathilde Krim's sway over Johnson was such that it turned the entire relationship, allowing Israel to continue on, especially after the Six Day War, in a manner that defied not only the U.N. but the whole world with regard to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians," says Martin Brod, a retired systems analyst in New York who has long studied the role of Israel's American friends in cementing the special relationship. Here is that story.

Star of David

Poisoned toothpaste and exploding phones: Israel linked to 2,700 assassination operations during its 70 year existence, far more than any other western country

A new book also strongly suggests that Israel used radiation poisoning to kill Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, an act its officials have consistently denied
Netanyahu
© Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Poisoned toothpaste that takes a month to end its target's life. Armed drones. Exploding cell phones. Spare tires with remote-control bombs. Assassinating enemy scientists and discovering the secret lovers of Islamic holy men.

A new book chronicles these techniques and asserts that Israel has carried out at least 2,700 assassination operations in its 70 years of existence. While many failed, they add up to far more than any other Western country, the book says.

Ronen Bergman, the intelligence correspondent for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, persuaded many agents of Mossad, Shin Bet and the military to tell their stories, some using their real names. The result is the first comprehensive look at Israel's use of state-sponsored killings.

Based on 1,000 interviews and thousands of documents, and running more than 600 pages, "Rise and Kill First" makes the case that Israel has used assassination in the place of war, killing half a dozen Iranian nuclear scientists, for instance, rather than launching a military attack. It also strongly suggests that Israel used radiation poisoning to kill Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, an act its officials have consistently denied.

Comment: Just a few more examples...


Che Guevara

Cycles of History: 2018 brings echoes of Europe's nationalist rebellions of 1848

revolution
© Wikimedia Commons
Populist-Nationalism, Right and Left

Here's a headline that a lot of people -- especially among the entrenched elite -- won't want to see: "2017 Was the Year of False Promise in the Fight Against Populism: The populist wave seems like it may have crested. The data proves otherwise." In other words, the populists are still on the march. Uh oh.

That headline appeared in Foreign Policy magazine, a publication not on the top of many populist reading lists. The two authors, Yascha Mounk and Martin Eiermann, are both associated with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Blair, as we all recall, was the prime minister of the United Kingdom for a decade; he was, and is, a devout apostle of globalism.

Attention

The origins of the 1959 Mt. Kenya Safari Club and its possible changing tides: 'Safari Club II' what is it?

Safari Club II
© Unknown
During the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency convinced certain European and Middle Eastern allies to establish an informal intelligence alliance whose links to the United States would be "plausibly denied" in typical CIA parlance. In 1976, a group of pro-Western intelligence agency directors secretly met at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, Kenya to hammer out an informal pact designed to limit Soviet influence in Africa and the Middle East. The group met under the auspices of Saudi billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta, and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Although Khashoggi was present at the first meeting of what soon became known as the "Safari Club," Kenyatta and Kissinger were not present at the inaugural spymasters' meet-up.

Signing the original charter of the Safari Club in Kenya were Count Alexandre de Marenches, director of the French Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage (SDECE) foreign intelligence agency; Kamal Adham, the chief of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, the Saudi intelligence service; Egyptian Intelligence Service director, General Kamal Hassan Aly; Ahmed Dlimi, the head of Morocco's intelligence service; and General Nematollah Nassiri, the head of Iran's SAVAK intelligence agency. There are indications, but no actual proof, that the head of Israel's Mossad, Yitzhak Hofi, took part in the first Safari Club meeting in Kenya.

Question

Brief history of the Ukrainians

Historical Map of Ukraine
Ukraine is an East European territory which was originally forming a western part of the Russian Empire from the mid-17th century. That is a present-day independent state and separate ethnolinguistic nation as a typical example of Benedict Anderson's theory-model of the "imagined community" - a self-constructed idea of the artificial ethnic and linguistic-cultural identity. Before 2014 Ukraine was a home of some 46 million inhabitants of whom, according to the official data, there were around 77 percent of those who declared themselves as the Ukrainians. Nevertheless, many Russians do not consider the Ukrainians or the Belarus as "foreign" but rather as the regional branches of the Russian nationality. It is a matter of fact that, differently to the Russian case, the national identity of the Belarus or the Ukrainians was never firmly fixed as it was always in the constant process of changing and evolving [on the Ukrainian self-identity construction, see: Karina V. Korostelina, Constructing the Narratives of Identity and Power: Self-Imagination in a Young Ukrainian Nation, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2014].

The process of self-constructing identity of the Ukrainians after 1991 is basically oriented vis-à-vis Ukraine's two most powerful neighbors: Poland and Russia. In the other words, the self-constructing Ukrainian identity (like the Montenegrin or the Belarus) is able so far just to claim that the Ukrainians are not both the Poles or the Russians but what they really are is of a great debate. Therefore, an existence of an independent state of Ukraine, nominally as a national state of the Ukrainians, is of a very doubt indeed from both perspectives: historical and ethnolinguistic.

Magnify

Has the mysterious Voynich manuscript finally been deciphered?

Voynich manuscript
© Universal History Archive / UIG / Getty images
Mysterious text from the Voynich codex, a brightly illustrated ancient manuscript, may finally have been deciphered, according to a new study from computer scientists in Canada.

For decades codebreakers have poured over the 240-page relict, from which pages have been carbon dated back to the early 1400s. It has been suggested that the manuscript, which is housed at the Beinecke Library at Yale University and contains brightly colored images of plants and an unknown language, is a medieval medical journal for women.

But the purpose of, or information within, the Voynich codex has never been agreed upon by researchers and academics - despite the best efforts of WWII enigma code breakers in Britain. Named after Wilfrid Voynich, the man who brought the text to wider knowledge in the early 20th century, the codex could also be an elaborate hoax, as suggested by Keele University linguist Gordon Rugg.

However, now Greg Kondrak from the University of Alberta claims to have made strides in deciphering the seemingly lost language contained within the codex pages, reported CBC News.

Comment: See also: Simple solution for deciphering Voynich manuscript met with skepticism
This week, the venerable Times Literary Supplement published as its cover story a "solution" for the Voynich manuscript. The article by Nicholas Gibbs suggests the manuscript is a medieval women's-health manual copied from several older sources. And the cipher is no cipher at all, but simply abbreviations that, once decoded, turn out to be medicinal recipes.



Document

"Wanted for treason" flyer distributed in Dallas before JFK's assassination

jfk assassination dallas
© East News/ UPI Photo / eyevine
This flyer, around 5,000 copies of which were distributed around Dallas in the days before President Kennedy's November 22, 1963 visit, accused Kennedy of a range of offenses, from being "lax" on Communism, to "appointing anti-Christians to Federal office," to lying to the American people about his personal life.

General Edwin A. Walker, a Texan who served in World War II and the Korean War, had resigned his Army post in 1961 after a Kennedy-ordered investigation found that he had violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity on the job, by distributing John Birch Society literature to his troops. Walker moved to Dallas and became a leader of right-wing activity in the city (more on the full range of that activity here). The ex-General led resistance to James Meredith's 1962 enrollment at the University of Mississippi and unsuccessfully ran for the position of Texas governor.

Comment: See also:


Dig

British archaeologists find 10,000-year-old 'crayon' in Scarborough

10,000 year old crayon
© University of York
The crayon was discovered near the site of an ancient lake
An ochre crayon thought to have been used to draw on animal skins 10,000 years ago has been found by archaeologists.

The crayon, which is just 22mm long, was discovered near the site of an ancient lake which is now covered in peat near Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

An ochre pebble was found at another site on what would have been the opposite side of the lake.

The area is near one of the most famous Mesolithic sites in Europe, Star Carr.

Dig

Oldest known Homo sapiens remains outside Africa unearthed in Israeli cave

oldest human remains found israel
© Israel Hershkovitz/Tel Aviv University / Reuters
A close-up view of the teeth accompanying the left maxilla of human remains from Misliya Cave in Israel, the oldest remains of our species Homo sapiens found outside Africa, is provided in this photo released on January 25, 2018.
A partial jawbone bearing seven teeth unearthed in a cave in Israel represents what scientists are calling the oldest-known Homo sapiens remains outside Africa, showing that our species trekked out of that continent far earlier than previously known.

Researchers on Thursday announced the discovery of the fossil estimated as 177,000 to 194,000 years old, and said the teeth bore telltale traits of Homo sapiens not present in close human relatives alive at the time including Neanderthals.

The fossil of the left part of the upper jaw of a young adult - the person's sex remains unclear - came from Misliya Cave on Mount Carmel's western slopes about 7.5 miles (12 km) south of Haifa. Also found inside the large collapsed cave, once inhabited by humans, were blades and other stone tools that were sophisticated for the time, several hearths and burned animal bones.

Pistol

Bergman book: Israel planned to shoot down passenger jet in Arafat assassination plot

Arafat
© Finbarr O'Reilly
Israeli plans, to assassinate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, included a plot to blow up passenger planes and football stadiums, according to an explosive new book by Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergman.

The extensive revelations are published in, Rise and Kill First: The secret history of Israel's targeted killings. The New York Times published an extract from the book on Tuesday.

According to Bergmen, when former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was defense minister, he ordered the Israeli army to shoot down a passenger plane Arafat was thought to be on. Arafat was chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the time. Although the plan was eventually called off, it was allegedly one of a list of plans to to assassinate the Palestinian leader.

Bergman spoke to hundreds of intelligence and defense officials and studied classified documents which have revealed a "hidden history, surprising even in the context of Israel's already fierce reputation."

I found that since World War II, Israel has used assassination and targeted-killing more than any other country in the West, in many cases endangering the lives of civilians," Bermen wrote in the NYT, pointing to the history of debate that takes place over these issues.

Comment: The activities that are reported and shared with the public are but a glimpse in comparison to the planned, ongoing or completed machinations of dynamics-changers such as the infamous Mossad and its secret history.