June 2012

Planet Save

Researchers working at Stonehenge have concluded, after ten years of archaeological investigation at the site, that it was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain after a long period of conflict and regional differences. The researchers theorize that the stones symbolize the ancestors of different groups of people. The origins of the different stones are from completely different parts of the country, some coming from southern England and others from as far away as western Wales.

Mark Weber - Podcast

Is it really true, as American political leaders and educators claim, that "diversity is our strength"? And why are some countries more prosperous, stable, orderly and happier than others? Detailed research shows that ethnic-racial "diversity" actually weakens a society. In more diverse societies, levels of trust are not only lower between groups, but even among members of the same group. Ethnically cohesive societies are more prosperous, trusting, orderly, safe and healthy than those that are diverse. Extensive, path-breaking research also shows that a nation's level of prosperity, economic progress and social well-being is based above all on the average intelligence level of its people.

Daily Mail (Britain)

German soldiers are wearing their hearts on their sleeves - in the form of a badge that protests their country's involvement in the war in Afghanistan. Some troops have taken to wearing the cloth accessory that states - ironically - 'I fight for Merkel' in a bid to persuade the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to explain exactly what they are fighting and dying for ... German involvement is deeply unpopular with some 80 per cent of the public, who want the troops to come home. Germany’s disastrous wars of the last century have left its public with a deep pacifistic streak.

BBC News

A beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors has been held in Israel for the first time, stirring controversy. Fourteen women, aged 74 to 97, walked along a red carpet in the city of Haifa and described their personal sufferings from the Nazis during World War II. Hava Hershkovitz, 79, who had to flee her native Romania, was later crowned the winner of the pageant. Organisers said the contest was a celebration of life, but critics denounced it as offensive.

Times of Israel (Israel)

Israel and the US are set to hold their largest ever joint military exercise in October, featuring thousands of soldiers and advanced anti-missile defense systems, and simulating simultaneous fire from Iran and Syria. News of the drill comes amid ongoing violence in Syria, and with Israel and the US closely discussing the means to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive ... Some 3,000 US soldiers are to participate, alongside thousands of Israeli troops. The drill will simulate missiles being fired at Israel from Iran and Syria simultaneously, with potentially tens, if not hundreds, of rockets mid-air at the same time.

The Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration is moving to remove an Iranian opposition group from the State Department's terrorism list, say officials briefed on the talks, in an action that could further poison Washington's relations with Tehran at a time of renewed diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran's nuclear program. The exile organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MeK, was originally named as a terrorist entity 15 years ago for its alleged role in assassinating U.S. citizens in the years before the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and for allying with Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein against Tehran.

Haaretz (Israel)

Israel and the U.S. are pushing forward with preparations to jointly strike Iran's nuclear facilities, the U.S. blog Business Insider reported on Saturday. "U.S. defense contracts, an Iranian F-16 acquisition, and Israel's new military preparations suggest that all sides are getting ready for whatever may come," the report says. According to the blog, the U.S navy has recently signed a $338 million contract with defense contractor Raytheon to "provide the Navy with 361 Tomahawk cruise missiles in their most recent configuration. According to the website, the U.S. is either renewing its stock of missiles or planning ahead.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett – Tom's Dispatch

... In fact, it is the Obama administration that is playing for time. Some suggest that President Obama is trying to use diplomacy to manage the nuclear issue and forestall an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear targets through the U.S. presidential election. In reality, his administration is “buying time” for a more pernicious agenda: time for covert action to sabotage Tehran’s nuclear program; time for sanctions to set the stage for regime change in Iran; and time for the United States, its European and Sunni Arab partners, and Turkey to weaken the Islamic Republic by overthrowing the Assad government in Syria.

Jimmy Carter

The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights. Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.

Daily News (New York)

A religious cult marred a picture-perfect afternoon on Saturday by flying a plane with a swastika banner over parts of Manhattan and the Jersey Shore. The International Raelian Movement said the stunt was part of "World Swastika Rehabilitation Day," an effort to restore the Nazi icon's status as "a symbol of peace and good luck."

Los Angeles Times

The statistics brandished by the documentary "The Invisible War" are scandalous, but what makes this savage indictment of the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military so unforgettable are not numbers but the devastating personal stories of the victims of brutal sexual assault. It's not that those numbers, all courtesy of U.S. government studies, don't have their power: 22,800 violent sex crimes in the military in 2011; 30% of servicewomen sexually assaulted during their enlistment; women in combat zones more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by the enemy. But the agony of those who live with the nightmare trumps even these.

Video

These public statements by Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve, show that he either does not understand the US economy, or he lies about what he knows. Bernanke was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank, on Feb. 1, 2006, by President George W. Bush. Bernanke was confirmed for a second term as Fed chairman on Jan. 28, 2012, after being re-nominated by President Obama. The US housing bubble peaked in Feb. 2007, and in Dec. 2007 began the great global recession of 2007-2012. In Sept. 2008 the economy took a particularly sharp downward turn.

BBC News

The Californian city of Stockton has become the largest US city in decades to file for bankruptcy, after failing to make a deal with its creditors. Mayor Ann Johnston told the city council the move was "the most heart-wrenching decision" they had faced. Stockton faces a projected $26 million budget shortfall. The river port city of 290,000 - which lies 90 miles east of San Francisco - suffered badly during the US housing market crash. Filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection allows the city to hold some of its creditors at bay while still paying for basic services like its police and fire department. It is the largest US city to go bust since Cleveland, Ohio did so in 1979.

Newsreel - Video

After a visit to the Eastern front in occupied Soviet territory, Hitler flies to Finland for a historic meeting on June 4, 1942, with Finland’s great commander, Marshal Mannerheim, on his 75th birthday, and with Finnish president Ryti. Portion of the weekly German wartime newsreel, “Deutsche Wochenschau" of June 11, 1942. With English subtitles. Runtime: 5:26 mins.

The Atlantic

A set of striking photos of the "Hindenburg" passenger airship, which spectacularly caught fire and crashed in flames 75 years ago, on May 6, 1937, as the great craft was docking in New Jersey.

Inter Press Service

Yes, it’s apparently true: 63% of Republicans still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded it in 2003. That, according to a remarkable new survey on foreign policy attitudes of self-identified Republicans, Democrats, and independents ... There was only one question which dealt directly with Iran; to wit, “if Iran produces a nuclear weapon, how likely do you think it is that Iran would use its nuclear weapon against Israel.” Overall, 69% of respondents said it was either “very likely” (42.2%) or “somewhat likely” (26.9%) — a rather dramatic demonstration of how effective Israel and the Israel lobby have been in shaping public opinion here, given that U.S. and Israeli experts generally agree that such an attack, while possible, would be highly unlikely.

Jim Lobe – IPS

... For the neo-conservative and the Christian Right members of this group, who were its most eager and ubiquitous war boosters, Israel would also be a major beneficiary of an invasion. According to a 1996 paper drafted by prominent hard-line neo-conservatives – including some, like Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, who would later serve in senior posts in Cheney's office and the Pentagon in the run-up to the invasion – ousting Hussein and installing a pro-Western leader was the key to destabilising Israel's Arab enemies and/or bending them to its will. This would permit the Jewish state not only to escape the Oslo peace process, but also to secure as much of the occupied Palestinian (and Syrian) territories as it wished.

BBC News

A court in Germany has ruled that circumcising young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm. In a decision that has caused outrage among Jewish and Muslim groups, the court said that a child's right to physical integrity trumps religious and parental rights. The case involved a doctor who carried out a circumcision on a four year-old that led to medical complications. Thousands of Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in Germany every year. Although male circumcision - unlike female circumcision - is not illegal in Germany, the court's judgement said the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents". Circumcision, it decided, contravenes "interests of the child to decide later in life on his religious beliefs".

AFP

Internet search giant Google has reached a deal under legal mediation with French anti-racism groups which objected to the search engine suggesting users add "Jew" to searches for prominent names. Both sides confirmed the deal had been reached for the groups to drop a legal complaint against Google but refused to comment on its specifics. The conflict stemmed from Google's autocomplete feature that suggests what search people might want based on algorithms of previous searches. Because users of Google.fr frequently ask whether politicians, actors or other celebrities are Jewish or not, the word "Jew" in French is frequently suggested as a possible result.

The New York Times

... Mr. Emanuel listed safer streets among his top three priorities when he became mayor a year ago, but Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, is now testing that promise. Homicides are up by 38 percent from a year ago, and shootings have increased as well, even as killings have held steady or dropped in New York, Los Angeles and some other cities. As of June 17, 240 people had been killed here this year, mostly in shootings, 66 more deaths than occurred in the same period in 2011 ... A majority of the killings have been tied to Chicago’s increasingly complicated gang warfare, police statistics suggest, and to the gritty neighborhoods where gangs have long thrived.

JTA (New York)

Hungarian Jews urged the government to take four anti-Semitic authors off the national high school curriculum. Hungary’s opposition Socialist Party, meanwhile, pleaded with the prime minister to curb the "revival" of anti-Semitism in the country. The authors -- Istvan Sinka, Dezso Szabo, Albert Wass and Jozsef Nyiro -- “spread hatred and anti-Semitism during their lives,” the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary wrote in an open letter to the Ministry of Culture. “It is unacceptable that their writings be taught to the young Hungarian people,” the federation added.

AFP

The speaker of Israel's Knesset has withdrawn an invitation to his Hungarian counterpart to join a parliamentary ceremony, to protest his participation in an event honouring a pro-Nazi writer. Israel's foreign ministry confirmed Monday that the Hungarian speaker of parliament Laszlo Kover was no longer welcome at the ceremony next month honouring Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved Jews during World War II. Israeli speaker Reuven Rivlin rescinded the invitation in a June 20 letter to Kover, criticising his participation in an event honouring writer Jozsef Nyiro.

Mark Weber – Podcast

American education standards and quality declined sharply during the 1960s and 1970s along with a new, "politically correct" emphasis on social-racial equality. Younger Americans perform much less well than northern Europeans and east Asians on international achievement tests. The 2002 "No Child Left Behind" law, enacted with broad bi-partisan political support, is (predictably) proving to be an ever more obvious failure. Such wasteful and irresponsible programs are based on America's prevailing egalitarian-individualistic ideology. Because this guiding outlook is based on false premises about life, society and history, the programs and policies based on it are doomed to failure.

William S. Lind

... Political Correctness is cultural Marxism, Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms ... In the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Marcuse translated the abstruse work of the other Frankfurt School thinkers into books college students could understand, such as Eros and Civilization, which became the Bible of the New Left in the 1960s. Marcuse injected the Frankfurt School's cultural Marxism into the baby boom generation, to the point where it is now that generation's ideology. We know it as "multiculturalism," "diversity" or just Political Correctness.

The Wall Street Journal

... The Minnesota researchers tracked down every pair they could find — and measured traits related to almost every aspect of life: health, cognition, personality, happiness, career, creativity, politics, religion, sex and much more. The Minnesota study reveals genetic effects on virtually every trait ... Ms. Segal emphasizes [in her new book Born Together – Reared Apart] the uniformity of the results — the consistent power of genes, the limited influence of parenting ... Genes, but not upbringing, have a pretty big effect on personality traits like ambition, optimism, aggression and traditionalism. Other findings perennially cause outrage: The IQs of separated identical twins are almost as similar as their heights.

Dean Baker

Politicians in the United States must ritualistically assert that the United States is and always will be the world's leading economic, military and political power ... By many measures China is already well ahead of the United States. It passed the U.S. as the world’s biggest car market in 2009. In most categories of industrial production it is far ahead of the United States and it is a far bigger exporter of goods and services. The number of people graduating college each year with degrees in science and engineering far exceeds the number in the United States. And China has nearly twice as many cell phone and Internet users as the United States.

Forward (New York)

Sam Zemurray grew up poor Russian Jewish immigrant. He got into the fruit business and wound up involved in all manner of global intrigue. / ... Along the way, he overthrew the sovereign government of Honduras (in 1911), possibly had Huey Long killed, leveraged the United Nations votes needed from Central and South America to pass Resolution 181 (which acknowledged Israel’s independence) and overthrew the sovereign government of Guatemala (in 1954), unintentionally inspiring Che Guevara and Fidel Castro to communist revolution.

The Jewish Week (New York)

... Zemurray not only amassed a fortune when he sold his own banana company to United Fruit in 1930 — then took over United during the Great Depression, and ran it through the ‘50s. He also wielded immense power in Washington, Latin America and Israel. He financed the coup of the Honduran government in 1910, and got the U.S. government to help overthrow the Guatemalan government in 1954 — both of which had disastrous consequences for each country. The Guatemalan coup alone resulted in three-decades-long civil war that resulted in 200,000 deaths ... Ever since Zemurray started making big money, he began donating to Jewish causes, especially Israel, as early as the 1920s. “Being Jewish was at the core of who he was. He could never escape it.”

ABC News

A Polish official says that prosecutors have a construction order that proves the CIA wanted a cage for terror suspects built at a secret 'black site' prison inside Poland. Senator Jozef Pinior claims Krakow prosecutors have a document that shows a local contractor was asked to build a cage at Stare Kiekuty, a Polish army based used as a CIA prison for al Qaeda terror suspects in 2002 and 2003 ... ABC News previously revealed the location of another CIA prison at a former riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2006, President Bush acknowledged that the U.S. had used "black site" prisons in foreign countries ...

Los Angeles Times

... Evidence that a foreign power was allowed to conduct illicit activities on Polish soil has deeply shaken many Poles' faith in the United States and in Poland's sense of itself as a successful democracy born from the ashes of the Cold War. The prosecutors' investigation centers on a Polish military garrison that allegedly hosted a CIA "black site" where foreign detainees were subjected to internationally condemned interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, during 2002 and 2003 ... Many now angrily believe the U.S. took advantage of their gratitude, loyalty and eagerness to please by setting up a torture site that it would never have allowed within its own borders ... Black sites are also thought to have existed in Romania and Lithuania, two other developing democracies, as well as in countries in North Africa and Asia.

Maclean's magazine (Canada)

... The effect of killing Section 13 will be debated for years among anti-racist groups and civil libertarians. But it is undoubtedly a turning point. Since 1999, Canadians who felt aggrieved by material transmitted online have been encouraged to seek redress under federal human rights law, which targeted material “likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” based on grounds of discrimination like race, religion or sexual orientation. Storseth’s bill repeals the provision outright, leaving the Criminal Code as the primary bulwark against the dissemination of hate propaganda by electronic means. With it will go one of the most divisive disputes to grip the country since the introduction of the Charter of Rights itself ...

BBC News

One of Europe's largest hoards of Iron Age coins has been unearthed in Jersey and could be worth up to ten million pounds, according to an expert. The Roman and Celtic coins, which date from the 1st Century BC, were found by two metal detector enthusiasts. Dr Philip de Jersey, a former Celtic coin expert at Oxford University, said the haul was "extremely exciting and very significant". He said each individual coin was worth between £100 and £200. The exact number of coins found has not been established, but archaeologists said the hoard weighed about three quarters of a tonne and could contain about 50,000 coins.

BBC News

Asians have passed Latinos as the fastest growing group of US immigrants, according to a Pew Center study. Asians made up more than 36% of all US newcomers in 2010, compared to 31% with Hispanic origins in the same year. The study found Asian immigrants to be the most educated group of immigrants in US history. Analysts say the trend reflects a slowdown in illegal immigration as employers boost their demand for high-skilled workers.

Gwynne Dyer

... Sixty years ago the United States was a country whose population was overwhelmingly of white European descent. The only really big minority was the black and mixed-race descendants of African slaves, who accounted for about one-eighth of the population. And then the United States opened the gates very wide ... So why did the last two generations of Americans, who were still mostly of European descent, let it happen? Did they welcome and encourage it, as a good thing for the country’s future? Or were they just asleep at the wheel?

Robert W. Merry

... America today is once again on a path to war — this time with Iran — and the road is dotted with many of the same signposts seen in Roosevelt’s path to war seventy years ago. Like Roosevelt in his dealings with Japan, President Barack Obama has helped place Iran under severe strain of economic sanctions. Like Roosevelt, he has received from the adversary signals of flexibility in the search for a mutually satisfactory solution. Like Roosevelt, Obama has rebuffed those overtures. Roosevelt was under pressure from Britain’s prime minister Winston Churchill to hang tough, and Obama is under similar pressure from Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

Eric Margolis

... Washington's intervention in Syria is driven by its obsession to undermine Iran by bringing down its most important Arab ally. Israel, which exerts enormous political pressure over US Mideast policy in an election year, sees destabilizing Syria as a triple win: a blow to its arch enemy Iran; a blow to Syria's efforts to regain its strategic Golan Heights that Israel captured in 1967, then annexed; and wrecking the key backer of Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Palestinians.

Mark Weber – Podcast

China's economy is now the world's second largest, and China is set to soon replace the US as the foremost economic and industrial nation. Over the past 30 years, real per capita income in China has grown by more than 1,300 percent. Over the last decade alone, China quadrupled its industrial output. It now produces more automobiles than the US and Japan combined. China -- along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan and South Korea – has achieved dramatic economic growth with a social-political system that combines free enterprise and "state socialism." What those countries have accomplished over the past half century proves that economic growth, technological progress and prosperity are possible without US-style democracy and capitalism.

Ron Unz -- American Conservative

... During the three decades to 2010, China achieved perhaps the most rapid sustained rate of economic development in the history of the human species, with its real economy growing almost 40-fold between 1978 and 2010. In 1978, America’s economy was 15 times larger, but according to most international estimates, China is now set to surpass America’s total economic output within just another few years ... Over the last 30 years, real per capita income in China has grown by more than 1,300 percent. Over the last decade alone, China quadrupled its industrial output, which is now comparable to that of the U.S.

Eric S. Margolis

... US grand strategy is clear. Just as the US sought to contain the Soviet Union during the Cold War by surrounding it with American allies and bases, so Washington plans to do with China. America is creating a sweeping arc of allies and bases that begins in Singapore, and moves northeast to the Philippines, then Taiwan, Okinawa, Japan, and South Korea, neatly bottling up China’s expanding naval forces ... China need only build its military power close to home. The United States must project and maintain its naval and air power 10,000 km across the Pacific Ocean, a hugely expensive, complex undertaking that gives cash-rich China an important, even decisive advantage.

The Associated Press

A Chinese conglomerate announced Monday it will buy a major U.S. cinema chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings, for $2.6 billion in China's biggest takeover of an American company to date. Dalian Wanda Group Co.'s purchase reflects the global ambitions of a wave of cash-rich Chinese companies that are using acquisitions to speed their expansion by obtaining foreign skills and brand names. Wanda said the deal will create the world's biggest movie theater operator. The Beijing-based company said it will invest an additional $500 million to fund AMC's development. AMC operates 346 cinemas, mostly in the United States and Canada, and says it has 23 of the 50 highest-grossing U.S. outlets.

Press Association (Britain)

Simon Cowell and Adolf Hitler might not seem to have much in common but the unlikely duo have topped a poll to find the most recognisable faces in history. A survey of 1,000 adults found 943 could identify the X Factor supremo, one less than the 944 who named Hitler from his picture. The poll, commissioned by television channel Yesterday to mark the launch of their series Museum Secrets, was less kind to Lady Gaga who was recognised by 705 people. That put the eccentric - and much photographed - singer below figures including Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Margaret Thatcher in the poll ...

The Economist (Britain)

Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s wartime leader, whose birthday is today, is enjoying a controversial renaissance. This weekend the mayor of Csókakő, a picturesque village west of Budapest, inaugurated a bust of the admiral, flanked by far-right supporters in military-style uniforms. The Csókakő memorial is the latest of a wave of Horthy memorials. The town square in Gyömrő, has been renamed for him. Horthy’s Alma Mater, the Reform College of Debrecen, in eastern Hungary, has put up a plaque to its former pupil.

The Associated Press

... Most Hungarians view Horthy as an authoritarian who dragged Hungary into a disastrous alliance with Adolf Hitler and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust. But as Hungary struggles to fend off recession and nationalist sentiment rises, there is a growing movement to recast Horthy as a patriotic hero who stood up to the Soviet Union and only reluctantly threw in his lot with Hitler. And critics say the populist government of Viktor Orban is doing little to stop the cult that has sprung up around the wartime leader.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum

“The Hungarian government’s rehabilitation of fascist ideologues and leaders from World War II is of great concern to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “It is both a grave insult to the memory of those who perished under the Horthy and Szalasi regimes and a deeply troubling sign for Jews and other minorities in Hungary. The history of the Holocaust in Hungary and throughout Europe starkly illustrates the dangers to Jews and everyone else of inciting or tolerating antisemitism, racism, and nationalism within societies. The recent trends in Hungary are alarming.

Reuters

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel has renounced a Hungarian state award he received in 2004 in protest against what he said was a "whitewashing" of the role of former Hungarian governments in the deportation of Jews during World War Two. In a letter to Hungarian Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kover, Wiesel, 83, said he was furious that Kover had participated in a ceremony honouring a writer who was a loyal member of Hungary's World War II far-right parliament, an act he suggested reflected the authorities' willingness to gloss over the country's dark past.

USA Today

When the first big battle of the War of 1812 is re-enacted this fall, the U.S. 1st Artillery regiment will mount an ear-splitting barrage. The Yanks will point their cannons at British redcoats across the Niagara River in Canada ... Many Americans aren't that into the War of 1812 — not like Canadians, anyway — so the latter often play the former in re-enactments along the international border here ... To grossly generalize: Canadians, whose forebears helped repulse several U.S. invasions in 1812, regard the war that began 200 years ago Monday as a crucible of national identity. For them, its bicentennial is a big deal.

Mark Weber

... Auschwitz camp death records — which were hidden away for more than 40 years in the Soviet Union — cast grave doubt on these widely accepted claims. Inmate deaths at Auschwitz were carefully recorded by the camp authorities on certificates that were bound in dozens of death registry volumes. Each "death book" (Sterbebuch) contains hundreds of death certificates ... Consistent with the Sterbebuch records, other German wartime documents show that a very high percentage of the Jewish inmates at Auschwitz were not able to work, and were nevertheless not killed.

The Guardian (Britain)

Rupert Murdoch joined in an 'over-crude' attempt by US Republicans to force Tony Blair to accelerate British involvement in the Iraq war a week before a crucial House of Commons vote in 2003, according to the final volumes of Alastair Campbell's government diaries. In another blow to the media mogul, who told the Leveson inquiry that he had never tried to influence any prime minister, Campbell's diary says Murdoch warned Blair in a phone call of the dangers of a delay in Iraq. The disclosure by Campbell, whose diaries are serialised in the Guardian, will pile the pressure on Murdoch in light of his evidence to the Leveson inquiry.

JTA

A Jewish group in Ukraine is objecting to a criminal case brought over the "Great Famine" committed in the 1930s. The nation's security service is pressing the case against a list of former Soviet officials accused of committing the Holodomor, which caused the deaths of millions in Ukraine in 1932-33. Most of the names on the list were Jewish. Ukrainian lawmaker Aleksandr Feldman, leader of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said last week that it was "a farce" to press the case. “All organizers of the Great Famine are dead," he said.

Alan Hart

... In the three weeks before the war, the Jews of the world truly believed, because (like Israeli Jews) they were conditioned by Zionism to believe, that the Arabs were poised to attack and that Israel’s very existence was at stake and much in doubt. The Jews of the world (and Israeli Jews) could not be blamed for believing that, but it was a big, fat propaganda lie ... In short, and as I detail and document in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the offensive Israel launched at 0750 hours (local time) on Monday 5 June was not a pre-emptive strike or an act of self-defence. It was a war of aggression.

Uri Avnery (Israel)

Thirty years ago this week, the Israeli army crossed into Lebanon and started the most stupid war in Israel’s history. It lasted for 18 years. About 1500 Israeli soldiers and untold numbers of Lebanese and Palestinians were killed. Almost all wars are based on lies. Lies are considered legitimate instruments of war. Lebanon War I (as it was later called) was a glorious example. From beginning to end (if it has ended yet) it was a war of deceit and deception, falsehoods and fabrications ... The moral of the story, relevant today as ever: Any fool can start a war, only a very wise person can prevent one.

Institute for Historical Review

For decades Israel has cited vital security concerns to justify its seizure of the Golan Heights. Israelis have claimed that from 1948 to June 1967, Syrian military forces repeatedly used the Heights to shell Jewish settlements and installations below. These artillery bombardments, in the widely accepted Israeli and American view, justified Israel's conquest of the Heights in 1967, and its occupation ever since. Actually, Israel's seizure and occupation of this territory is based on a historical lie. This was frankly acknowledged by Israel General and cabinet minister Moshe Dayan in an interview given in 1976, but which was not made public until April 1997.

Walter E. Williams

Back in 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said we were "a nation of cowards" on matters of race. Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we're on the same page ... When President Barack Obama announced his 2012 launch of "African Americans for Obama," the silence was deafening. Should the same standards be applied to Obama as would be applied to Romney? The answer turns out to be no, because Obama is not held to the same standards as Romney ... Racial double standards are not restricted to the political arena and crime reporting; we see it on college campuses and in the workplace.

Life Site News

“Wrongful life” lawsuits, in which doctors are held liable for not discovering fetal abnormalities that might have prompted parents to abort their child, have become so common in Israel that the government has set up a committee to investigate the issue, New Scientist reports. According to magazine, wrongful life claims are more prevalent in Israel where a higher rate of genetic disorders caused by consanguineous (connected by kinship) marriages has fueled a “pro-genetic testing culture.” The county has seen an estimated 600 wrongful cases since the first in 1987

Uri Avnery (Israel)

... The central news item nowadays in all our electronic and print media is the terrible danger of “illegal” African migrants ... The Africans – mainly from North and South Sudan and Eritrea – are attracted by the Israeli Labor market. Israelis have long since ceased to do the menial jobs. They need people to wash the dishes in the posh restaurants, clean their homes and carry the heavy loads in the markets. For years, these jobs were done by Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. After the intifadas, our government put an end to this. The Africans fill their place ... With Israel’s Jewish population amounting to 6,5 million, and Arab citizens making 1.5 million more, it is easy to depict the migrants as a terrible danger to the Jewishness of the state.

Kathleen and Bill Christison

These kinds of atrocities, and particularly the scale of the repression, did not spring full-blown out of some terrorist provocations by Palestinians. These atrocities grew out of a political philosophy that says whatever advances the interests of Jews is acceptable as policy. This is a racist philosophy. What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is not genocide, it is not a holocaust, but it is, unmistakably, ethnicide. It is, unmistakably, racism.

Israel Broadcasting Authority (Israel)

Europeans must "learn to be multicultural," says Jewish activist Barbara Lerner Spectre. During an interview in Sweden with Israeli media, this US-born woman adds that "Jews will be resented because of our leading role" in bringing about this "huge transformation" of Europe. Runtime: 1:17 mins.

RFI (France)

Roger Garaudy, the philosopher and Communist resistant who became a holocaust denier and Muslim convert, has died near Paris at the age of 98. From being a classic French left-wing intellectual and Communist MP, he became a political outcast after publishing a book which claimed that Nazi war crimes were invented to justify the existence of Israel ... He published The Founding myths of Israeli politics, which argued, among a number of other controversial claims, that Hitler had ordered the deportation and not the extermination of the Jews and that typhus, not gas chambers, was responsible for the deaths of Jews in Nazi concentration camps.

Theodore J. O'Keefe – Institute for Historical Review

... Nor did the impact of Founding Myths end with the literary controversy that swept France in the first half of 1996. Garaudy's trial and conviction in Paris in 1998 for Holocaust heresy ignited further conflagration across the Islamic Middle East and beyond. As Zionist organizations soon had cause to lament, influential persons and groups in Arab countries, and in non-Arab Muslim nations such as Iran, made, for the first time in the Islamic world, a show of concerted support for the Holocaust revisionist position.

Mohamed Hasanein Heikal

... In relating each of these founding myths of Israeli policy, Garaudy did not want to discuss or contradict them himself. Instead he drew the facts out of the primary sources and the original documents and let them speak for themselves, and follow their logical courses to reach their own natural conclusions by themselves ... The "myth" of the holocaust plays a real role in the existence and subconscious of contemporary Jews. It is therefore a dangerous mistake to leave the true part of the holocaust story to the scheming of the Zionist movement, so that it can be exploited as myths have usually been exploited throughout history.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Iranian distrust of the United States is rooted in a legacy of arrogant, belligerent US policy. During World War II, British and Soviet military forces invaded neutral Iran. The country's leader, Reza Shah Pahlavi, trustingly appealed to President Franklin Roosevelt, who had solemnly proclaimed devotion to the principles of freedom and respect for national sovereignty. But Roosevelt rejected the plea and sought to justify the aggression, which he backed to help the Soviet Union against Germany and to support British imperial interests. The Allied invasion and occupation brought destruction, mass death and humiliation to Iran. And twelve years later, US and British officials, acting through the CIA, organized the violent overthrew of Iran's democratically elected government in a violent coup that cost hundreds of lives.

Pierre Klochendler – IPS

A new super-weapon has entered the Mideast cyber arena. First detected on Monday by a Moscow-based security company, ‘Worm.Win32.Flame’ – just call it ‘Flame’ – might be "the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed" on Iran’s secret nuclear networks ... The newly-discovered multi-task device sniffs network traffic, takes screenshots when certain applications of interest are run, records audio conversations, intercepts keyboards – the web seems to be the limit ... Iran is the top target, with the worm ‘crawling’ in at least 189 of its computers. The West Bank comes second with 89 infected computers. Sudan comes third with 32 damaged computers.

The Associated Press

A course for U.S. military officers has been teaching that America's enemy is Islam in general, not just terrorists, and suggested that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following World War II precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima or the allied firebombing of Dresden. The Pentagon suspended the course in late April when a student objected to the material. The FBI also changed some agent training last year after discovering that it, too, was critical of Islam. The teaching in the military course was counter to repeated assertions by U.S. officials over the last decade that the U.S. is at war against Islamic extremists - not the religion.

European Jewish Press

Eight extreme-right politicians were expelled from Germany’s state parliament on Wednesday for sporting a brand of t-shirts closely associated with the neo-Nazi movement. The lawmakers, from the controversial National Democratic Party (NDP), were forcibly removed by the police, after they refused to leave the chamber of their own accord.

The Associated Press

Last summer, gays in the U.S. military dared not acknowledge their sexual orientation. This summer, the Pentagon will salute them, marking June as gay pride month just as it has marked other celebrations honoring racial or ethnic groups. In the latest remarkable sign of change since the military repealed its "don't ask, don't tell" policy requiring gays and lesbians to remain silent about their sexual orientation, the Defense Department will soon hold its first event to recognize gay and lesbian troops.

R.M. Douglas -- The Chronicle of Higher Education

... Between 1945 and 1950, Europe witnessed the largest episode of forced migration, and perhaps the single greatest movement of population, in human history. Between 12 million and 14 million German-speaking civilians — the overwhelming majority of whom were women, old people, and children under 16 — were forcibly ejected from their places of birth in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and what are today the western districts of Poland ... Most disturbingly of all, tens of thousands perished as a result of ill treatment while being used as slave labor (or, in the Allies' cynical formulation, "reparations in kind") in a vast network of camps ... By any measure, the postwar expulsions were a man-made disaster and one of the most significant examples of the mass violation of human rights in recent history. Yet although they occurred within living memory, in time of peace, and in the middle of the world's most densely populated continent, they remain all but unknown outside Germany itself.

Tom Sunic - Institute for Historical Review - Audio

Dr. Sunic provides an overview of the brutal "ethnic cleansing" of Germans in the aftermath of World War Two, in which some twelve million people, mostly women, children and elderly, were forcibly expelled from centuries-old homelands in eastern and central Europe. Of these, some two million were killed or otherwise perished. In this address at an IHR meeting, March 6, 2010, the European-American scholar contrasts the way in which this massive genocide is all but ignored in the US media, whereas Jewish "victimology" has become a central feature of our society's "civic religion."

Gareth Porter - IPS

Negotiations between Iran and the United States and other members of the P5+1 group in Baghdad ended in fundamental disagreement Thursday over the position of the P5+1 offering no relief from sanctions against Iran ... The prospects for agreement are not likely to improve before that meeting, however, mainly because of an inflexible U.S. diplomatic posture that reflects President Barack Obama's need to bow to the demands of Israel and the U.S. Congress on Iran policy ... Although Iran has let it be known that it is open to making a deal to end its 20 percent enrichment and even to let go of its stockpile if offered the right incentive, the Obama administration has opted not to go for such a deal by refusing to offer any corresponding reduction in sanctions.

The Washington Post

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped prop up House speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential primary campaign for months, is now using his massive wealth to help former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. According to two sources familiar with the donation, Adelson is giving $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future ... Adelson is the eighth-richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of about $25 billion dollars ... He also supports conservative politicians and causes in Israel, where he owns the newspaper Israel Hayom.

Forbes

Forbes has confirmed that billionaire Sheldon Adelson, along with his wife Miriam, has donated $10 million to the leading Super PAC supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A well-placed source in the Adelson camp with direct knowledge of the casino billionaire’s thinking says that further donations will be “limitless.” ... Adelson is an Israel hawk who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Jewish causes.

Gallup

The percentage of Americans identifying as political independents increased in 2011, as is common in a non-election year, although the 40 percent who did so is the highest Gallup has measured, by one percentage point. More Americans continue to identify as Democrats than as Republicans, 31% to 27%. These results are based on more than 20,000 interviews conducted in 20 separate Gallup polls in 2011.

Los Angeles Times

Partisan differences now divide Americans more sharply than distinctions of race, religion, education or sex as a decade-long wave has pushed Democrats and Republicans to opposite corners on a wide range of formerly less partisan issues. On matters as disparate as environmental protection, support for the social safety net and immigration, former areas of bipartisan agreement have dissolved as Democrats have moved left and Republicans have shifted to the right, according to a major new study by the Pew Research Center, which has tracked American values over the last 25 years. That polarization has important practical consequences -- forecasting continued gridlock in national politics.

CBS News

There are 228 dead: That’s the number of murders this year in Chicago. It’s nearly twice as many as the number of Americans lost on the battlefields of Afghanistan over these last six months. And the number of deaths is up 35 percent over the same period last year. There was a time it was called “gangland” Chicago and maybe that time has returned. The cops tell us it’s the gang members who have turned some neighborhoods into free-fire zones. More people were cut down today. Across Chicago, nine people were killed between Friday and Sunday, and two more were gunned down just hours ago - a murder rate of two a day.

Walt Disney– Video

This World War II "Donald Duck" cartoon, made for showing in motion picture theaters across the US, urges viewers to "gladly" pay taxes "to keep democracy on the march." Using patriotic, militaristic and semi-religious music and imagery, this 1943 Walt Disney film tells Americans that their "taxes for victory" are needed to produce bombers, battle ships, "guns, guns, all kinds of guns," and other weapons to wage war for "freedom and peace." Runtime: 5:49 mins.

US Army – Video

This 1945 US War Department film was made for viewing by American servicemen who would be stationed in the US occupation zone of defeated Germany. There must be "no fraternization with any of the German people," the film's narrator explains, because "fraternization means making friends" and "the German people are not our friends." This vicious, simplistic and mendacious official US production is typical of American World War II propaganda. Viewers are also told that Germans are "trained to win by cheating," that Germans have been educated to regard Americans as "their slaves," and that "practically everything you believe in, they [Germans] have been trained to hate and destroy." Runtime: 10:40 mins.

Warner Bros. – 1945 – Video

The message of this short Hollywood film is that Germans cannot be trusted, and that Americans must remain ever vigilant against the dangers of a new "Fuehrer" in Germany and of "fascism" in the US. This 1945 Warner Bros. production, directed by Don Siegel, was given an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject. It's based on the US War Department film, "Your Job in Germany." Hitler's Germany is "a nation dedicated to a career of hate and the ruthless use of force," and was bent on trying to conquer "the whole world." The film combines dramatized content mixed with archive footage, and uses patriotic and pseudo-religious imagery. Soviet dictator Stalin is shown as a worthy partner with the US in securing "freedom, greatness and security for all" in the "united world of tomorrow." Runtime: 17:01 mins

BBC News

Vandals have defaced the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem with graffiti denouncing Zionism. One of the slogans daubed in paint on the walls of the memorial read: "If Hitler had not existed, the Zionists would have invented him." "This unprecedented act crosses a red line," Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev said in a statement. ... Photos of some of the other slogans have been published in the Israeli press, including one reading: "Thanks Hitler for the wonderful Holocaust you organised for us. Only thanks to you we got a state from the UN."

BBC News

Members of England's European Championship squad have visited the former Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camps. This comes as memorials and museums marking the sites of mass killings around the world witnessed an increase in visitors ... Holocaust memorials all over the world are also seeing numbers soar. At the same time, other sites of massacres or genocide and cemeteries are becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda, are among the destinations on what has become known as the "genocide tourism" map.

Kyiv Post (Ukraine)

Team after team arriving for the Euro 2012 championship is making a well-publicized point of visiting the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz. No teams, however, have indicated they plan to visit any memorials linked to the Holodomor – the devastating man-made famine that ended the lives of up to seven million Ukrainians in the 1930s – or even that they actually know what it is. Hosts Poland and Ukraine have in recent weeks been criticized by foreign media as harboring a culture of vitriolic racism and anti-Semitism, sparking outrage and condemnation by many in the football community.

Reuters

The mayor of Lviv on Sunday brushed off media allegations of racism in Ukraine and dismissed a call by a Jewish human rights group to avoid some restaurants in the city on the grounds they are anti-Semitic. Lviv is one of four Ukrainian cities to host matches. In the run-up to the tournament, German and British media reports spoke of widespread racism in the country and mentioned supporters of local soccer team Karpaty Lviv, who have been known to brandish Nazi flags at games. Mayor Andriy Sadovyi bristled when asked about the reports and a call from international Jewish human rights organisation the Simon Wiesenthal Center for fans to boycott two restaurants.

JTA

More than a third of Norwegians believe that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is similar to how Nazis treated Jews, according to a survey of attitudes toward Jews in Norway. The recent survey found that 38 percent of Norwegians feel that way about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. It also indicates that 25 percent of Norwegians believe Jews exploit the memory of the Holocaust to their own advantage and 26 percent think Jews “consider themselves better than others.”

JTA

A new survey suggests that Germans have lost some love for Israel over the past three years. In the poll of 1,002 citizens, 36 percent said they liked Israel, down from 59 percent in a similar survey conducted in January 2009. Also, only 21 percent believe that Israel cares about human rights, down from 31 percent in the earlier study. Seventy percent of those polled May 15-16 said that Israel pursues its own interest without consideration for other peoples -- eleven points higher than the '09 survey ... The survey revealed that 60 percent of Germans feel their country has no particular responsibility toward Israel 67 years after the end of World War II.

Los Angeles Times

The typical American family lost nearly 40 percent of its wealth from 2007 to 2010 as the Great Recession reduced household net worth to a level not seen since the early 1990s. The net worth of the median U.S. family — one with an equal number of families richer and poorer — fell to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 three years earlier, after adjusting for inflation, the Federal Reserve said in a new report Monday. The drop, much steeper than previous Fed quarterly reports have suggested, underscores the severity of the 2007-09 recession that decimated the housing market and resulted in massive layoffs that slashed people's incomes.

Joseph Stiglitz

... The American dream is a myth. There is less equality of opportunity in the United States today than there is in Europe – or, indeed, in any advanced industrial country for which there are data. This is one of the reasons that America has the highest level of inequality of any of the advanced countries – and its gap with the rest has been widening. In the “recovery” of 2009-2010, the top one percent of US income earners captured 93% of the income growth ... Most importantly, America’s inequality is undermining its values and identity.

John Martin

... The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves. Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white. From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves.

Mark Weber - Podcast

George F. Kennan, an outstanding twentieth-century American diplomat and scholar, played an important role in implementing and shaping US foreign policy, and earned well-deserved praise as a historian. He was a consistent advocate of a "realist" US foreign policy -- laid down by Washington, Jefferson, and other founders -- based on a prudent regard for US interests, and especially the long-term interests of the American people. In 1947-48, Kennan joined with State Department chief George C. Marshall and other high-ranking US officials in opposing US support for the Zionist takeover of Palestine.

BBC News

International approval of US President Barack Obama's foreign policy has dropped sharply during his term in office, a Pew Research survey suggests. Among the 21 countries surveyed, the largest drop in approval - from 57% to 27% - was seen in China, the Global Attitudes Project reveals. Most respondents in almost all countries opposed US drone strikes. The figures come months before the president seeks re-election, with polls showing a close race with Mitt Romney.

Philip Giraldi

... Then, all of a sudden, the conspiracy of silence began to break down. It began with the revisionist history of the antecedents of the Iraq War as that conflict continued to drag on. Many began attributing Washington’s initiation of the fighting, at least in part, to Israeli interests. ... So we have reached the point where the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Everyone, with the possible exception of the U.S. Congress, has become aware that there is something terribly wrong with Israel. In Israel itself, where there is often ferocious debate over the country’s policies, it is time for a reckoning.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... The question for our bellicose interventionists is this: How much treasure should be expended, how much American blood shed so the Muslim Brotherhood can depose the Assad dynasty, take power and establish an Islamist state in Syria? ... Before the religious and ethnic conflicts of Europe were sorted out, it took centuries of bloodletting, and our fathers instructed us to stay out of these quarrels that were none of our business. Syria in 2012 is even less our business.

The Christian Science Monitor

For the first time, Israel will begin funding rabbis from the Reform and Conservative movements, which have long been shut out in a country dominated by Orthodox Judaism / Israel has always touted a national respect for freedom of religion in a region where religious intolerance runs high. But ever since its founding, the Jewish state has nonetheless sanctioned discrimination – against Jews. Orthodox denominations dominate the Israeli Rabbinate, own a virtual monopoly on funding for religious institutions, and have a lock on the clergy overseeing marriage, divorce, and conversions ... At stake is not just competition for the hearts and minds of the Jewish faithful in Israel, but also efforts to shore up US-Israeli ties.

Shlomo Sand

Israeli Professor Shlomo Sand talks about the ideas of his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, challenging the underlying logic of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish People. He argues those who claim to be of the Jewish People cannot claim a blood connection with the original Jewish inhabitants of the Holy Land, but converts along the way. His book was a best-seller in Israel for 19 weeks in 2009

Charles Murray -- Commentary

… What accounts for this remarkable record? A full answer must call on many characteristics of Jewish culture, but intelligence has to be at the center of the answer. Jews have been found to have an unusually high mean intelligence as measured by IQ tests since the first Jewish samples were tested … Two potential explanations for a Jewish gene pool favoring high intelligence are so obvious that many people assume they must be true: winnowing by persecution (only the smartest Jews either survived or remained Jews) and marrying for brains (scholars and children of scholars were socially desirable spouses).

AFP

The United States refuses to release an American who spied for Israel because it suspects the Jewish state concealed the existence of other spies, a former Israeli envoy to Washington said on Monday. Speaking to Israeli public radio, former ambassador Itamar Rabinovich said Washington never believed that Jonathan Pollard -- an American who is serving time for passing secret US documents to the Jewish state -- acted alone. "The Americans suspect that Jonathan Pollard was not alone, that there were other Pollards and that Israel, despite all its promises, did not reveal all its cards," he said.

The New York Times

Peter Novick, a history professor at the University of Chicago who stirred controversy in 1999 with a book contending that the legacy of the Holocaust had come to unduly dominate American Jewish identity, died on Feb. 17 ... Dr. Novick -- ''a nonobservant Jew,'' according to his wife -- was the author of ''The Holocaust in American Life" ... The Holocaust, as he saw it, was also being used for political ends ... "The Holocaust framework allowed one to put aside as irrelevant any legitimate grounds for criticizing Israel.''

Eric Margolis

… Far more shocking was Washington's response. Writes Bamford: 'Despite the overwhelming evidence that Israel attacked the ship and killed American servicemen deliberately, the Johnson Administration and Congress covered up the entire incident.' Why? Domestic politics. Johnson, a man never noted for high moral values, preferred to cover up the attack rather than anger a key constituency and major financial backer of the Democratic Party. Congress was even less eager to touch this 'third rail' issue.

BBC Television (Video)

British television documentary about the June 1967 attack by Israel against the USS Liberty. Shows that US and Israel authorities continue to suppress important facts about the murderous attack. Also includes revelations about the still secret Israel-US “Operation Cyanide” project, in which the US military deceitfully aided the Zionist state in its devastating “preemptive” assault against Egypt. Runtime: one hour, nine minutes.

Huffington Post

A study measuring religious bodies in the United States ... provides detailed county by county information on congregations, members, adherents and attendance for 236 different faith groups ... Of metropolitan areas with population greater than a million, the researchers found Salt Lake City to be the most religious city, with close to 74 percent identifying as a religious adherent. The researchers found the greater area of Portland (Oregon) to be the least religious city, with about 32 percent identifying as a religious adherent ... In general, cities where more than 75 percent identified as a religious adherent were in the deep South and in the Midwest. Cities where less than 35 percent identified as a religious adherent were in the West and in the Northeast.

BBC News

Suicide among US troops has sharply increased this year, hitting a rate of almost one death per day, figures show. As of June 3, the army's 2012 active-duty suicides reached 154, compared with 130 in the same period last year, the Pentagon confirmed to the BBC. The number far exceeds US combat deaths for the same period. "We are deeply concerned about suicide in the military," a Pentagon spokeswoman said, adding it was "one of the most urgent problems" they faced. While the reasons for the increase are not entirely understood, the army's own data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk.

Mark Weber - Video

The great D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944, was a high point of World War II and of the US role in defeating Hitler's Germany. The anniversary of this greatest amphibious assault in history is a good opportunity to take a sober look at some comfortable falsehoods and myths about the "good war." The familiar American portrayal of World War II, and the "good war" mythology of the US role in it, is not just bad history. It has helped greatly to support and justify a series of arrogant US foreign policy adventures, with harmful consequences for both America and the world. Runtime: 49:17 mins.

Haaretz (Israel)

A number of ultra-Orthodox ["haredim"] attacked an elderly Arab and an Arab family following a violent demonstration in Jerusalem against the desecration of the Sabbath, Ynet reported. An eyewitness said the attack, which took place Saturday evening near the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim, was "shocking." ... The haredim attacked an Arab woman and her two children with belts while yelling "death to Arabs."

Haaretz (Israel)

A law granting Israeli authorities the power to detain illegal migrants for up to three years came into effect on Sunday, in the wake of widening public controversy over the influx of African migrants who cross into Israel along its border with Egypt. The law makes illegal migrants and asylum seekers liable to jail, without trial or deportation, if caught staying in Israel for long periods ... Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli daily Maariv published an interview with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in which he stated that most of the "Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man."

Gareth Porter – IPS

France and Germany were prepared in spring 2005 to negotiate on an Iranian proposal to convert all of its enriched uranium to fuel rods, making it impossible to use it for nuclear weapons, but Britain vetoed the deal at the insistence of the United States, according to a new account by a former top Iranian nuclear negotiator. Seyed Hossein Mousavian, who had led Iran's nuclear negotiating team in 2004 and 2005, makes it clear that the reason that offer was rejected was that the George W. Bush administration refused to countenance any Iranian enrichment capability, regardless of the circumstances.

Daily Mail (Britain)

Relations between Norway and Sweden are being strained with the publication of a new book, which details how Stockholm aided the Nazis during World War II as their neighbours fought and lost a decisive battle against the German invaders. Sweden stayed neutral in the war but Norway was among the first conquests of Hitler. Now a new book shows how Sweden let the Germans use its efficient rail network to transport men and materials to the battle of Narvik, where British troops were deployed in a bid to stave off the Nazi hordes. Narvik-based journalist Espen Eidum spent three years sifting through Norwegian, Swedish and German archives ...

Mark Weber - Podcast

Weber first explains why US military intervention in the Libya conflict is illegal and violates the US Constitution. This is not a new or unique practice. Such lawlessness has been characteristic of US foreign policy for decades. Then, and in response to a question from an IHR supporter, Weber explains why Germany lost World War II, or, more specifically, why it was defeated by the Soviet Union. He shows that Hitler and Germany's military leadership badly underestimated the colossal scale and scope of Soviet military power. In that regard, he cites Hitler's own statements, as well as analysis of astute historians.

Video

Crew members of a US B-17 bomber during a raid over Germany in World War II are startled when they encounter a German jet fighter for the first time. The Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world's first operational turbojet fighter aircraft. It was deployed during the final months of the war in Europe, but too late and in numbers too small to significantly alter the outcome. Runtime: 1:23 mins.

New York Post

Something isn’t kosher about a CUNY [City University of New York] scheme to single out Jews, angry professors charge. Touting a move to make its faculty more diverse, CUNY administrators have broken out Jews into a separate minority group: “White/Jewish.” CUNY insists “some faculty” want the label, instead of being lumped in as just white. But the theistic tag has outraged both Jewish and non-Jewish professors, and sparked a furor ... A steering committee led by Joyce Moy, director of CUNY’s Asian Research Institute, ran faculty focus groups based on “identity.” The groups included “African-American/black, Asian, White/Jewish, Lesbian/Gay/ Bisexual/ Transgender, Hispanic/ Latino, Individuals with disabilities, and Italian-American.”

Newsreel - Video

Enthusiastic crowds welcome French Head of State Pétain during his visit to the city of Nancy on May 26, 1944 – just eleven days before the D-Day landing of British and American troops at Normandy. Newsreel narration in French. Runtime: 3:02 mins. Philippe Petain, who was a revered military commander during the First World War, was named French Head of State in 1940 by overwhelming vote of the National Assembly.

The Independent (Britain)

Some of the world's biggest stars – from Madonna to the Red Hot Chili Peppers – are being accused of putting profit before principle in a growing backlash against artists performing in Israel. Campaigners angry at human rights abuses against the Palestinian people – symbolised by Israel's policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians and allowing Israeli settlers to take over their land – are demanding a boycott of Israeli venues in a campaign that echoes the 1980s protests against South Africa and the infamous venue Sun City. Last week Madonna came under fire for her decision to perform in Israel to kick off her world tour last Thursday.

DPA

Iran should be persuaded to give up its nuclear weapons programme though diplomacy and "use of pressure," rather than military force, but the military option is prepared, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said in remarks reported Thursday. The Israeli daily Makor Rishon quoted him as telling a closed forum earlier this week in Tel Aviv that the military option was not just available, but was "even ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it‘s ready," he said. "Because we don‘t know whether diplomacy will work, all the options - including the military one - are on the table. We believe there is a small amount of time, not unlimited - in effect, a small window - in which we can use diplomacy to achieve our aims," he said ...

Gary Kamiya -- Salon

... In fact, despite the conventional wisdom, it is extremely unlikely that the far-right Israeli leader [Netanyahu] will attack Iran. His constant threats to do so were the reason that Congress imposed the latest round of sanctions, against the Obama administration’s wishes. But despite Congress’s lockstep support for Netanyahu and anything he decides to do, up to and including an attack on Iran, it would be far too risky for Netanyahu to actually do it. The American people, unlike their bought-off, coerced and/or ideologically myopic political representatives, are sick of Middle East wars ... Obama knows this, but the dead hand of neoconservative ideology still drives his Iran policy. Until he shakes it off and accepts that Iran is a regional power and must be dealt with realistically, even though it does not always share our interests, his Middle East policy will continue to resemble that of his predecessor.

Forbes

Where in the world do people feel most content with their lives? According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, a Paris-based group of 30 countries with democratic governments that provides economic and social statistics and data, happiness levels are highest in northern European countries. Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands rated at the top of the list, ranking first, second and third, respectively. Outside Europe, New Zealand and Canada landed at Nos. 8 and 6, respectively. The United States did not crack the top ten. Switzerland placed seventh and Belgium placed tenth. The report looked at subjective well-being, defined as life satisfaction.

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Canada is the fifth-happiest country in the world, according to a global study on the social and economic well-being of nations. It finds the world has, broadly speaking, become a “little happier” in the past three decades, as living standards have risen. (One exception is the United States, where life satisfaction has not improved).The happiest countries are all in Northern Europe – Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands. The least happy countries are all poor countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Togo, Benin, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone. But wealth alone doesn’t make people happy. ... At the individual level, “good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial,” said the 155-page paper ...

Victor Davis Hanson

... Unlike Americans, the Swiss are among the most homogeneous people in the world, without much diversity, and make it nearly impossible to immigrate there. So Switzerland supposedly has everything going against it, and yet it is one of the wealthiest nations in the world ... A warm sunset with an ouzo on a Greek island beach may be more relaxing than schnapps on the foggy Rhine shore, but to learn why Greeks will probably not pay back what they owe Germany — and do not believe that they should have to — take a walk through central Athens and then do the same in Munich.

DPA

Germans have become markedly more critical of Israel over the past three years, with 59 percent describing it as aggressive, according to a survey for the weekly magazine Stern ... The survey, conducted by Forsa pollsters, found 70 percent of Germans agree with the statement that Israel pursues its interests without consideration for other nations. Three years ago, 59 percent agreed. Israel's threat to launch preemptive airstrikes against Iran if nuclear talks fail to stop its nuclear enrichment activities were debated in Germany last month after novelist Guenter Grass published a poem, What Must Be Said, which contended that Israel was threatening to "wipe out the Iranian people."

Interview - Video

Konrad Adenauer served as Chancellor of the German Federal Republic 1949-1963. In this interview he says (in English translation): "One should not underestimate the power of the Jews, even today, especially in America. Accordingly, and it has long been my view, after careful and conscientious consideration, I devoted all my effort to help bring about, as much as possible, a reconciliation between the Jewish people and the German people."

Reuters

Former German central banker Thilo Sarrazin, whose musings on Muslim immigrants sparked outrage in 2010, has triggered fresh controversy with a book that paints Germany as the euro zone's hostage, forced to pay out vast sums to atone for the Holocaust. In extracts of his book "Europe doesn't need the euro", due to be published on Tuesday, Sarrazin argues that the euro zone is holding Germany to ransom over its past aggression, blackmailing it into agreeing to euro bonds or mutualised debt. Supporters of euro bonds in Germany "are driven by that very German reflex, that we can only finally atone for the Holocaust and World War Two when we have put all our interests and money into European hands," Sarrazin wrote ...

Der Spiegel (Germany)

... In his latest work, the combative politician, a maverick member of the opposition center-left Social Democratic Party, controversially argues that Germany is being pressured to bail out the euro zone because it perpetrated the Holocaust ... Sarrazin's comment on the Holocaust is a blunt way of describing the central tenet of German foreign policy ever since the end of World War II -- that Germany's leading role in pushing for European integration stems from its responsibility for the war and the Holocaust.

AFP

A new book arguing why Europe does not need the euro by a former German central banker whose previous book provoked a racism furore topped a best-seller list Monday less than a fortnight after publication. Thilo Sarrazin, who resigned from the Bundesbank after the 2010 controversy over his last book, has shot to the number one spot of the news weekly Der Spiegel's non-fiction best-sellers with "Europe Doesn't Need The Euro". Some 350,000 copies of the 464-page book have so far hit bookstores just as the single currency is struggling to survive the worst crisis since its creation 13 years ago.

Haaretz (Israel)

Tel Aviv University announced Monday that it would not permit a scheduled Wagner concert to take place on its campus, after it had evoked angry protests. In a letter to Attorney Yonathan Livni, who had submitted the request to hire the campus' Smolarz Auditorium for the event on June 18, the university denied the request, accusing him of deliberately concealing the intention to perform Richard Wagner's works ... Wagner, who espoused anti-Semitic views during his lifetime, was also Adolf Hitler's favorite composer. Attempts to perform Wagner in Israel over the past 30 years have always generated heated controversy.

Edmund Connelly

... J.C. Chandor’s 2011 film "Margin Call" tells a story that loosely mirrors the fall of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers. Even for Hollywood, however, the deception in this movie is staggering, and it occurs on many levels. It terrifies me to think that the masses will swallow this tale, particularly the images that will have such a powerful subliminal impact ... In the real world, Wall Street is heavily Jewish, especially the investment banks ... In Margin Call, these facts are everywhere hidden, beginning with the head of the trading floor, Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey).

Steven Salaita – The Electronic Intifada

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest film The Dictator has led to the praise typical of movie reviewers for corporate publications. ... There is one descriptor that is too infrequently applied to him: Zionist shill. Plenty of writers have noted Baron Cohen’s ardent Zionism, but few have suggested that his Zionism should cast him in a negative light. Even fewer have examined how that Zionism visibly influences his thematic choices and public role-playing. His commitment to Zionism is troublesome for numerous reasons ...

OffOffBroadway - Stage Tube

"Hoaxocaust!" is a shocking, irreverent examination of how “victims” are defined, how “truth” gets disseminated, and why, for all of us, politics are so stubbornly personal. Join monologist Barry Levey as he asks daring questions about anti-Semitism and the reinterpretation of history. Is there such a thing as a contemporary Jewish identity independent of “The Holocaust”? Should there be? What if the Holocaust had never happened? "Hoaxocaust!" will run from May 29th to June 17th at the Theater for the New City, New York City.

Bloomberg News

I expected to see protesters outside Theater for the New City the night I went down to Manhattan’’s East Village for “Hoaxocaust!” ... He shows up in “Hoaxocaust!” -- along with fellow travelers Arthur Butz, David Irving and Robert Faurisson, the academy-protected patron saints of Holocaust denial ... Levey, a gay Jewish man, becomes curious about the facts of the Final Solution and finagles meetings with Butz at Northwestern University, Irving in London and Faurisson in Paris before landing an unexpected audience with the Iranian leader. Mahmoud comes off as warm and rational. They dispute everything from the number of Jewish dead to the efficacy of Zyklon B gas and Hitler’s intentions regarding the Jewish problem. Levey plays all of them.

Jon Entine – Forward (New York)

In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature ... Ostrer, who is also director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center, goes further, maintaining that Jews are a homogeneous group with all the scientific trappings of what we used to call a “race.”... To his credit, Ostrer also addresses the third rail of discussions about Jewishness and race: the issue of intelligence ... Jewish success is a product of Jewish genes as much as of Jewish moms.

Mark Weber

Defining "Jew" has never been simple. Is he someone who practices Judaism, the Jewish religion, or is he identified by his ancestry? While many Americans assume that Jews are essentially a religious group, Jews themselves take for granted that their community is much more ethnic-national than it is religious. Benjamin Netanyahu, who has served as Israel's prime minister, frankly regards Jews as members of a racial group. Speaking to a gathering of nearly a thousand Jews in southern California, he said: "If Israel had not come into existence after World War II then I am certain the Jewish race wouldn't have survived."

William Saletan – Slate

Are Jews a race? Is Jewish intelligence genetic? … To suggest that Jews are genetically smart is to imply that non-Jews are inherently inferior, in violation of Jewish commitments to equality and compassion ... Some scholars now hypothesize that he genes that make Jews smart also give some of them nasty diseases such as Tay-Sachs.

BBC News

The spiritual leader of Israel's ultra-orthodox Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has provoked outrage [April 2001] with a sermon calling for the annihilation of Arabs. "It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable," he was quoted as saying in a sermon delivered on Monday to mark the Jewish festival of Passover.

The Independent (Britain)

Despite a change in the universal jurisdiction legislation last year, Israeli officials and military officers are still not visiting Britain for fear of arrest on war crimes charges, it has been revealed. As reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israel’s Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog cancelled a scheduled speaking engagement in London next month, “on the advice of the Israeli government”. In 2005, Almog dramatically escaped arrest on war crimes charges by staying on his plane at Heathrow following a tip-off that police were waiting for him ... In Sept. 2011, following pressure by the Israeli government and pro-Israel groups in the UK, the law was amended so that “the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions will be required before an arrest warrant can be issued”.

The New York Times

... Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be. Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war.

Robert Scheer

So now we have Rambo Obama, a steely warrior who, according to a lengthy leaked insider account in The New York Times, hurls death-dealing drones at anyone who threatens the good old USA. Including children. Those children are presumed guilty by virtue of proximity ... Obama as the cool triggerman is an image useful to White House operatives as they buff the president’s persona for the coming election. But what it reveals is the mindset of a political cynic whose seductive words cloak the moral indifference of a methodical executioner.

The New York Times

From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran's main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program. Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet.

The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is pursuing a wide-ranging, high-tech campaign against Iran's nuclear program that includes the cybersabotage project known as Stuxnet, which was developed by the Central Intelligence Agency in conjunction with Idaho National Laboratory, the Israeli government, and other U.S. agencies, according to people familiar with the efforts. The covert CIA effort also includes persistent drone surveillance and cyberspying on Iranian scientists, they said. The U.S. strategy to use technologically advanced measures against Iran illustrates how the Internet and other remote-access capabilities are facilitating spy operations deep inside denied territories.

Mark Weber – Podcast

Fascism is one of the most often misused and widely misunderstood political terms. Publicists of both the left and right use the term "fascist" not to describe but to discredit and smear adversaries. "Fascism" is often inaccurately used as a synonym for tyranny, militarism, Nazism, racism, or capitalism. During the first 13 years of Fascist rule in Italy, the regime and its leader ("Duce"), Benito Mussolini, were widely admired in the US and other countries. Attitudes in the US changed after the Italian subjugation of Ethiopia in 1935-36, and as Mussolini aligned Italy ever more closely with Hitler's Germany.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Germany is helping Israel to develop its military nuclear capabilities, Spiegel has learned. According to extensive research carried out by the magazine, Israel is equipping submarines that were built in the northern German city of Kiel and largely paid for by the German government with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles ... In the past, the German government has always stuck to the position that it is unaware of nuclear weapons being deployed on the vessels. Now, however, former high-ranking officials from the German Defense Ministry, including former State Secretary Lothar Rühl and former chief of the planning staff Hans Rühle, have told Spiegel that they had always assumed that Israel would deploy nuclear weapons on the submarines.

US News

Forty-five years ago, the USS Liberty was attacked in international waters by Israeli jet fighters and torpedo boats. The attack killed 34 members of the crew, and wounded 174 more on board. Both U.S. and Israeli governments conducted inquiries about the incident, and decided the attack was a result of Israeli confusion about who the USS Liberty was. Many veterans don't agree. This Friday, a USS Liberty memorial service will be held at the graves of the Liberty victims at Arlington Cemetery, in part to remember, but also to accuse.

The Associated Press

The memorial site of Auschwitz-Birkenau says it saw more than 1.4 million visitors in 2011, a record high for the former death camp. The figure released Friday underlines how the death and labor complex that Nazi Germany built in occupied southern Poland during World War II has become one of Europe's most visited Holocaust remembrance sites. While the large number of visitors is seen as important for Holocaust education, mass tourism there is also adding strain to the barracks and other structures.

David Cole -- Institute for Historical Review

The high point of my visit … was my interview with Dr. Franciszek Piper, Senior Curator of the Polish government's Auschwitz State Museum… On tape, he admits that the so-called gas chamber in Crematory Building (Krema) I, which is shown to half a million visitors a year as a genuine homicidal gas chamber, is in fact a reconstruction -- even down to the holes cut into the ceiling. Piper also admits that walls were knocked down and bathroom facilities removed. He went on to tell us that the remains of the "white cottage," supposed site of the first preliminary gassings at Birkenau, are also reconstructed. This was hardly news to me.

Mark Weber

… At one time it was seriously claimed that at Auschwitz Jews were systematically killed with electricity. American newspapers in February 1945, citing a Soviet eyewitness report from the recently-liberated camp, told readers that the methodical Germans had killed Jews there using an "electric conveyor belt on which hundreds of persons could be electrocuted simultaneously [and] then moved on into furnaces. They were burned almost instantly, producing fertilizer for nearby cabbage fields." At the Nuremberg Tribunal, chief US prosecutor Robert Jackson charged that the Germans had used a "newly invented" device to instantaneously "vaporize" 20,000 Jews near Auschwitz "in such a way that there was no trace left of them."

Mark Weber

Since the end of World War II, authoritative claims about the character and scope of killings at the Auschwitz concentration camp have changed drastically. One particularly striking change concerns the various “official” estimates of the number of victims — a number that since 1945 has been steadily declining … Aumeier’s testimony, which Meyer accepts as valid, suggests that Jews were killed at Auschwitz not as part of an comprehensive extermination program systematically to kill all European Jews, but rather as an exceptional measure to curb the horrific epidemics that were ravaging the Auschwitz I and Birkenau camps … Compared to the recently “authoritative” figure of approximately one million Auschwitz deaths, Meyer has reduced the number of Jewish victims there by at least 450,000.

The Telegraph (Britain)

Two survivors of the Holocaust will address the England players at The Grove next week in preparation for the squad’s visit to Auschwitz after arriving in Poland for the European Championships on June 6. The Holocaust Educational Trust has arranged for the two survivors to talk to the players, who will be based in Krakow, 30 miles from Auschwitz. Based in London, the HET has a mission statement “to educate about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance”, adding that “survivor testimony forms a key component of effective Holocaust education by putting a human face to history’’.

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Germany's Jewish community has criticized the country's national football team for sending a small delegation to Auschwitz last week instead of visiting the site as a group. It also accused team manager Oliver Bierhoff of 'colossal insensitivity' in his choice of words ahead of the visit. The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, on Sunday criticized the German Football Association after only three members of the national team visited the Auschwitz death camp on Friday in the run up to the Euro 2012 soccer championship in Poland and Ukraine that starts on June 8.

JTA

Yad Vashem [Israel's central state Holocaust agency] and the Council of Europe have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote Holocaust education throughout the council's 47 member states ... It formalizes an ad-hoc relationship over the last 15 years and encourages new programs to enhance cooperation. Among the items included are exploring the organization of a Holocaust education policy forum at Yad Vashem for educational policymakers, and fostering and developing cooperative relationships between member states and Yad Vashem.

BBC News

People in the Czech Republic are marking the seventieth anniversary of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the most senior figures in Germany's Third Reich. Heydrich -- the overall head of security in Nazi Germany and a leading architect of the Final Solution -- was killed by British-trained Czechoslovak parachutists in what was codenamed Operation Anthropoid ... Mass demonstrations of fealty to the Reich were held in Prague; those Czechs who attended were motivated perhaps more out of fear than grief. Hitler organised two massive state funerals for his trusted lieutenant -- one in Prague, one in Berlin.

Newsreel – Video

Wartime French newsreel report on the funeral of SS General Reinhard Heydrich, who was killed in Prague in June 1942 by British-trained assassins. In the Czech capital, tens of thousands of people pay tribute to the murdered acting Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. And in Berlin, Hitler and Himmler honor Heydrich in a solemn ceremony in the Reich Chancellery. Portion of "France-Actualité" newsreel report, with French-language narrative. Runtime: 56 secs.

BBC News

In recent weeks, African migrants have become the target of violent attacks by people in Israel, who blame them for a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour. Israel will move to deport hundreds of South Sudanese people over the coming weeks.

Russia Today (Russia)

Israel’s government has announced its plans to speed up the deportation of at least 25,000 African immigrants living illegally in the country. Human rights supporters have decried the move and branded the mass expulsion of migrants as “immoral.” A law also came into effect on Sunday allowing Israeli authorities to detain illegal immigrants for up to three years without trial or deportation. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement to his ministers urging them to accelerate plans to expel immigrants from South Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Ethiopia.