Sunday, September 30, 2012

238 Israel càn cause the USA to attack Iran. Easily.

This blog:

Will Israel Blow Up Something and Falsely Blame It On Iran?

According to U.S. officials, Israel is training and supporting Iranian terrorists who are trying to topple the Iranian government. Those Israeli-funded terrorists havefaked documents to falsely indicate that Iran is building a nuclear bomb. 1
Israel has admitted to previous use of false flag attacks to justify war against Middle Eastern nations.
For example,   Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).
Numerous high-level government officials have warned that a false flag may be launched against Iran to start a war: 2
  • Ron Paul has warned of a “Gulf of Tonkin type incident” in Iran
  • The highly influential Brookings Institution wrote a report in 2009 called “Which Path to Persia?” which states (pages 84-85):
It would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be.Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.)
  • A number of very high-level former intelligence officers – including several that personally briefed presidents every day on matters of national security – stated that better communications between the U.S. and Iran were needed to “reduce the danger of … covert, false-flag attack”
One of America’s top constitutional and military law experts – Jonathan Turley – writes today:
Many critics have argued that there is a concerted effort to push the United States into a war with Iran by supporters of Israel. Patrick Clawson, director of research for the highly influential pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) think tank, seemed intent to prove those rumors true this week in comments as a luncheon on “How to Build US-Israeli Coordination on Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Breakout.” Clawson casually discusses how to create a false flag operation to push the U.S. into war to overcome any reluctance by the public. We have been discussing how many leaders like Senator Joe Lieberman had begun to use the same rhetoric that led to the last two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the suggest timing of an attack has been tied to the presidential election.
In his remarks, Clawson helpfully lists a series of historical events used to push the country into war like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that gave us the Vietnam War. Clawson expressed his frustration in acknowledging that it is “[v]ery hard for me to see how the United States President can get us to war with Iran.” However, there is hope. Clawson explains that the “traditional way” to get the country into a war is through false flags or manufactured incidents where Americans are killed. Thus, he observes, “we are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians, we could get nastier about it. So, if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war.”
The fact that one of the leading analysts for the WINEP would feel comfortable in making such comments is itself quite chilling. It indicates that such discussions have become sufficiently regular that it has creeped into public discussion. It is a measure of the secret pressure building to push this country into a third major war despite our crippling economic conditions and losses in military personnel. The assumption in Washington is that neither Romney nor Obama could oppose such a war. Even if Obama does not publicly support Israel, the assumption is that political allies of Israel in Washington can guarantee that we would offer extensive military loans and intelligence. Even if there is a delay in such military loans and support, the assumption is that Israel can go to war with the understanding that the United States will cover a significant portion of the costs. Moreover, in his remarkably candid remarks, Clawson shows how the U.S. can easily be forced into direct combat by pushing Iran to simply kill some Americans or sink a few of our ships. Then members would be clamoring for revenge. Notably, the Israelis have been ratcheting up the war rhetoric in pushing Iran, which predictably has now reserved the right to engage in a preemptive strike not just against Israeli but U.S. interests. We would then, again, find ourselves in a war without any public debate or collective decision.
While Clawson adds a passing caveat that he is not advocating such an approach, his remarks are clearly designed to show how the group can get the United States into a war for Israel if only we can get Iran to kill some of our citizens or soldiers. Those people are of course expendable props in Clawson’s realpolitik.
By the way, Clawson has been enlisted to give his insightful analysis at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He is also a member of the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies. The World Bank connection is particularly interesting given the history with Paul Wolfowitz who pushed the U.S. into two disastrous wars in the Bush Administration and was rewarded with being made the head of the World Bank.
It is the callous disconnect that is most chilling in these remarks. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died or have been crippled for life in these wars that have left the country near bankruptcy (and increasingly hostile “allies” in Afghanistan and Iraq). Those casualties and costs, however, appear immaterial in the discussion of supporting Israel in a war against Iran.


1. Top American and Israeli military and intelligence officials actually say that:
2   False flag attacks have been carried out against Iran in the past.  For example, the CIA admitsthat it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
3 Saudi Arabia has also been supporting terrorists.

237 Iran and the bomb

This blog:

All the arguments put together.

Original article is here.

Lesson #1: Iran is not building nuclear weapons
National Intelligence Estimate: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” (2007 National Intelligence Estimate Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities; November 2007)
“Several senior Israeli officials who spoke in recent days to The Associated Press said Israel has come around to the U.S. view that no final decision to build a bomb has been made by Iran.” (Associated Press, “Israel shifts views on Iran”; March 18, 2012)
The 2011 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a synthesized compilation of data evaluated by America’s 17 intelligence agencies, declared that there were no serious revisions to the controversial (for war hawks) 2007 NIE—which stated Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. While the 2011 estimate did include updated progress on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, such as an increased number of operative centrifuges, it still could not muster any evidence to indicate the program was being weaponized.
These findings echo reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has also concluded that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. The IAEA accounts are typically pored over for the slightest hint of ambiguity or malevolence, which are then promulgated as the most important takeaways in Western news summaries.
A recent example of such deliberate obfuscation was the IAEA report on Iran from August 30, 2012. Typical American media accounts highlighted the increase in Iran’s nuclear infrastructure (underground centrifuge production, etc.), while failing to mention that their stockpile of 20%-enriched uranium—the only material capable of being enriched further to 85% or weapons grade—had actually diminished as a result of conversion to fuel plates for use in the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes. Thus nuclear development is highlighted, under the false premise that that equals progress toward a weapon, while exculpatory evidence is discarded: a case study in how news and propaganda function.
A civilian nuclear program is not easily converted into a weapons program. Before a country can begin the latter, it must break the IAEA monitoring seals on its uranium stockpile, which is also under constant camera detection. It must also kick out international inspectors, who currently have unfettered access to all of Iran’s nuclear sites. Completing those very public steps would be the first true warning indicators that Iran was building nuclear weapons.
As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran is entitled to enrich uranium to low levels for domestic power consumption and medical treatment, such as radiation therapy for cancer patients.
Lesson #2: Iran is not a threat to the US
The United States military is the largest, most sophisticated machine of force and violence the world has ever seen. After factoring in foreign military aid and nuclear weapons maintenance, the U.S. spends over an estimated $1 trillion (that’s >$1,000 billion) on defense annually.
By contrast, Iran spends somewhere between $10-12 billion on defense annually, after factoring in foreign and domestic paramilitary units such as the Revolutionary Guards and Basij—Iran’s domestic volunteer militia. This is “less than the United Arab Emirates, and only between 25% to 33% of Saudi defense spending,” notes Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. It spends approximately 1/5 of the amount allocated by the six sheikdoms of the Gulf Cooperation Council—America’s staunchest regional allies (save for Israel) and the guardians of Western access to crude.
Lesson #3: Iran is not an existential threat to Israel
Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister: “Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.” (Reuters, Report: Barak says Iran is not existential threat to Israel; September 17, 2009)
Dan Halutz, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and Commander of the Israeli Air Force: “Iran poses a serious threat, but not an existential one. The use of this terminology is misleading. If it is intended to encourage a strike on Iran, it’s a mistake. Force should be exerted only as a last resort.” (YNet, Former IDF Chief: Iran doesn’t pose an existential threat; February 2, 2012)
Tamir Pardo, Director of the Mossad: “Does Iran pose a threat to Israel? Absolutely. But if one said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an existential threat, that would mean that we would have to close up shop and go home. That’s not the situation. The term existential threat is used too freely.” (Haaretz, Mossad Chief: Nuclear Iran not necessarily existential threat to Israel; December 29, 2011)
Israel maintains a competitive advantage in total amount spent on munitions and assets, as well as a massive edge in terms of technological sophistication. Israel spends almost twice as much as Iran on defense appropriations and is able to buy the world’s most advanced weaponry from the United States (mostly with U.S. taxpayer money, laundered through foreign aid). Iran, by contrast, is heavily dependent on the dated munitions it received under the Shah and acquires rudimentary missile technology from China and North Korea with its own money.
Even if Iran were pursuing nuclear weapons, Israel’s own stockpile—estimated at a several hundred high-yield warheads—ensures that Tehran would not engage in a first-strike. Those familiar with the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) know that when confronted with the possibility of your own annihilation, so the theory goes, you’re incentivized to refrain from launching a first strike. Israel’s stationing of nukes on German-made Dolphin class submarines in the Mediterranean assures that even if a first strike were to be carried out on the Jewish state, the perpetrator would still be subject to a retaliatory strike.
However, much as America acts as Israel’s patron, so too Iran spends a good deal arming and supporting proxy armies in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip—Hezbollah and Hamas, respectively. While these forces present a serious challenge to Israeli military incursions into said areas, their ability to project force within Israel’s borders is limited to indiscriminate rocket fire. While dangerous and psychologically terrifying for civilians, such tactics cannot be considered more than a nuisance when comparing capacities for state violence.
Israel is not a signatory to the NPT and repeatedly refuses propositions for a Middle East Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (MENWFZ) to be established as a means of ending the stand-off with Tehran, despite majority support from the Israeli public.
Lesson #4: Iran’s leadership is not fanatical or suicidal
General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.” (Global Public Square, Martin Dempsey on Syria, Iran and China; February 17, 2012)
Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz: “I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.” (CS Monitor, Israeli Army Chief says he doubts Iran will build a nuclear weapon; April 25, 2012)
Intellectual orthodoxy holds that even the most tepid criticism of Israeli and American policy vis-à-vis Iran requires a disclaimer by all “serious people” that Iran is a vicious theocratic regime which oppresses its own people. While Iran’s governmental structure is religiously based andpeaceful protests have been met with repression, such traits are hardly unique. Saudi Arabia, America’s most solid regional ally, enforces religious doctrine as viciously if not more so than Iran does (such as executing many for practicing freedom of speech and religion as “witches” or “blasphemers”). And, of course, violent government responses to non-violent demonstrations aimed at political change are hardly unknown in free societies (see: Occupy Wall Street).
Moreover, there’s little correlation between the internal repression of a society and its external behavior. The United States, one of the freer societies on the planet, routinely engages in aggression and the use of brute force to accomplish geopolitical objectives. Conversely, Iran pummels domestic dissent while historically limiting its military involvement outside its borders. The only record of Iranian aggression since the 18th century was when the U.S.-backed Shah invaded and conquered a series of Arab islands in the early 1970’s.
Despite contentions from the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran’s leadership is capable of pulling the temple down on their heads in a show of Samsonian martyrdom, Tehran’s track record and statements indicate otherwise. The more judicious pundits at least acknowledge as much.
Lesson #5: Politicians and media stenographers have been claiming Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons since the mid-1980’s
House Republican Research Committee in 1992: “98 percent certainty that Iran already had all (or virtually all) of the components required for two or three operational nuclear weapons.”(Christian Science Monitor, Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979; November 8, 2011)
Iran began its nuclear program with help from the United States during the 1950’s when it was run by Washington’s puppet-dictator Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was installed after the U.S. overthrew the democratically elected government in a 1953 CIA coup known as Operation Ajax. Following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini condemned all nuclear and chemical weapons as “un-Islamic,” stopping the nascent nuclear program in its tracks. Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei reiterated his predecessor’s religious edict some 20 years later.
The 1980’s saw complex American-Iranian and Israeli-Iranian relations, whereby discreet deals were made among the antagonistic powers in an effort to accomplish other foreign policy goals. Yet by the early 1990’s Iran’s growing military prowess and the near-destruction of the major Arab military presence to Israel’s east (Iraq) put Iran back on Tel Aviv’s agenda as a strategic competitor. In 1992, then-member of parliament Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that Iran was 3 to 5 years from having a nuclear weapon—and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the U.S.” Sound familiar?
American policymakers began to echo Israeli claims during the 1990’s, largely in public and without evidence to back them up. These assertions continued in a steady drumbeat of increasingly hostile rhetoric (“The Axis of Evil”) all the way until 2007, when a declassified NIE was released disputing the fact that Iran continued its weapons program in any way beyond 2003. Despite the conclusions, as mentioned in lesson #1, hawks on the left and right continue to peddle demonstrably false claims to this very day.
Lesson #6: The American and Israeli security establishments are against it
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “We’re watching very carefully about what [Iran] do[es], because it’s always been more about their actions than their words…We’re not setting red lines.” (Haaretz, Clinton rejects Netanyahu’s call for ‘red lines’ over Iran nuclear program; September 10, 2012)
Former Internal Security Chief Yuval Diskin: “…attacking Iran will encourage them to develop a bomb all the faster.” (Think Progress, Diskin says he has ‘no faith’ in current leadership, April 27, 2012)
Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan: a future Israeli Air Force strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” (Haaretz, Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran ‘stupidest thing I have ever heard’, May 7, 2011)
Although the idea of nuclear weapons in the hands of an avowedly hostile regime is as upsetting to Washington as it is to Tel Aviv, the Pentagon brass is opposed to an attack, not because they suddenly favor the regime in Tehran, but because their own strike simulations predict a great deal of injurious blowback in exchange for, at most, a brief setback in Iran’s nuclear capability.
And despite war hysteria in Israel, fanned by political rhetoric, and legitimate conventional security concerns for the Jewish state, Israeli security and military officials recognize that theydon’t have anywhere near the overwhelming force required to take care of the problem. The only way to ensure that Iran doesn’t develop a nuclear weapons capability would be to install a friendly puppet regime in Tehran, a task far beyond the capability of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) or the U.S. military at this point.
In lieu of direct military conflict, the U.S. and Israel have adopted a harsh policy of economic sanctionscyberwarfare, and covert operations—declarations of war, by American standards—in an effort to delay Iran’s nuclear progress. But the consensus among knowledgeable players is that any resort to force will have far worse repercussions than benefits.
Lesson #7: The American and Israeli people are against it
Poll: 7 out of 10 Americans choose diplomacy over military force to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions (Christian Science Monitor, To strike Iran’s nuclear facilities or not to strike? Why polls differ; March 14, 2012)
Poll: 58% of Israelis oppose a unilateral strike on Iran (Haaretz, Haaretz poll: Most of the public opposes an Israeli strike on Iran; March 8, 2012)
Poll: Only 27% of Jewish Israelis in favor of a unilateral strike on Iran (Haaretz, Poll: Most Israelis oppose attack on Iran nuclear facilities; August 16, 2012)
While public opinion is as malleable as Play-Doh, surveys show that the American and Israeli citizenries are very skeptical about war with Iran. The former, still reeling from the unpleasant effects of two costly occupations (one ongoing), are overwhelmingly opposed to another war in the Middle East. Likewise, although a majority of Israelis view Iran’s nuclear program as more immediately dangerous than their American counterparts do, polling indicates they are opposed to a unilateral strike initiated without American support. This makes sense, given the IDF’s military inadequacy for the task at hand, and Israel’s proximity to retaliatory proxy forces in southern Lebanon and Gaza.
It is true that survey responses vary depending on how the question is asked. When confronted with the baseless assertion that Iran is building nuclear weapons, many respondents aver that military action is worth it. But when given the correct facts, both populations conclude that the downsides of military force aren’t worth the payoff. This aligns with the thoughts of most policymakers within the establishment.
Lesson #8: An Iranian nuclear weapon will be all-but-assured if the U.S. or Israel attack
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on war deliberations within the Bush administration: “the consensus was that [a brief bombing campaign] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret.” (The Hill, Don’t let Iran be a second Iraq; February 27, 2012)
With so much evidence solidly against their position, U.S. and Israeli hawks have become increasingly strident in their appeal to violence as a means of ending the Iranian “nuclear threat.”  Many proponents of a strike have cited the Israeli Air Force raid on Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981 as a precedent that could be emulated. While comparisons between the two situations are tenuous at best, what’s of higher import is the fact that U.S. intelligence concluded that the 1981 attack didn’t stop Saddam’s nuclear weapons program—it accelerated it.  (It was actually the consequences of Saddam’s 1991 invasion of Kuwait that brought Iraq’s bomb program to a halt.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

237 Vrijheid van Meningsuiting: welnee!

Twee onschuldige reacties die volledig ON Topic waren, maar desondanks niet werden geplaatst door de Volkskrant:
Deze blog:

Nauman schrijft: "Het ontkennen van de Holocaust is inderdaad beperkt door de wet... en om goede redenen. Het betreft hier een historisch feit, waar geen serieuze historicus twijfels over heeft". Heeft U dààr zelf wel eens onderzoek naar gedaan? Kunt U mij één foto of historisch filmpje tonen van een echte gaskamer? Als inleiding kunt U de video's van David Cole - een joodse man die 10 jaar naar de gaskamers van  Auschwitz zocht- bekijken.  Op tv:  

Beste Nauman, zoals de zaken nu staan is het een echte career-wrecker als je de waarheid omtrent de holocaust wil achterhalen. --Voor de goede orde: ik geloof dat er mensen vergast zijn in Duitse kampen, maar de aantallen zijn heel anders dan nu algemeen wordt aangenomen.-- Anderzijds is het een echte career-boost  als je moslims in de media wil bashen. Zeker als U zegt zelf moslim te zijn. Qua financien soms ook interessant. Neem eens contact op met Nina Rosenwald !      

Ingezonden op 27 september. 
Het waren reacties op deze column

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

236 Monsanto

French study shows that genetically modified corn is poisonous to rats. 

'Genetisch gemodificeerde maïs is vergif'

Nienke Schipper − 24/09/12, 14:50
© ap. Een droog maïsveld in de Verenigde Staten.
De Europese Commissie wil een onderzoek naar genetisch gemodificeerde maïs. Uit een vorige week gepubliceerde studie blijkt dat ratten die werden gevoed met genetisch gemodificeerde mais twee keer vaker kans hadden op tumoren dan ratten die organische maïs kregen. Bovendien zouden de ratten ook aanzienlijk vaker lever- en nierschade oplopen.
  • © reuters.
    Onderzoeker Gilles-Eric Seralini van de universiteit van Caen spreekt het Europese Parlement toe.
De conclusies komen uit het boek  'Iedereen proefkonijn' van Gilles-Eric Séralini, professor moleculaire biologie aan de universiteit van Caen. Vorige week publiceerden zowel het Franse tijdschrift Le Nouvel Observateur als het vakblad Food and Chemical Toxicology de resultaten van het onderzoek.

Volgens Séralini veegt de studie de vloer aan met een officiële waarheid dat genetisch gemodificeerde maïs onschadelijk is. "Zelfs in kleine doses blijkt de onderzochte genetisch gemanipuleerde maïs zwaar giftig en vaak dodelijk te zijn voor de ratten. De maïs is zelfs zo gevaarlijk dat als het om een medicijn zou gaan, het gebruik ervan onmiddellijk gestaakt zou worden in afwachting van nieuw onderzoek. Het is echter dezelfde maïs die we op ons bord vinden, via vlees, eieren en melk."

De onderzoekers, onder leiding van Gilles-Eric Séralini, deelden 200 ratten - 100 vrouwelijke en 100 mannelijke - in verschillende groepen van telkens tien dieren op. Sommige kregen genetisch gemodificeerde mais te eten van zadenlaverancier Monsanto. Die maïs is resistent tegen onkruidverdelger Roundup waarmee een gedeelte van de planten was behandeld.
Andere ratten kregen onbehandelde gewone mais en variabele dosissen Roundup in hun drinkwater, waarbij de laagste concentratie volgens de onderzoekers ook in drinkwater voorkomt. Een controlegroep kreeg gewone mais en gewoon water voorgeschoteld.

Volgens de onderzoekers is het onderzoek waardevoller dan andere studies omdat het experiment twee jaar duurde, de normale levensduur van een rat. Eerdere studies en de wettelijk verplichte proeven die de biotechbedrijven moeten uitvoeren duren standaard 90 dagen.

De ratten die transgene mais te eten kregen, stierven vaker voortijdig. Dat was voor 50 procent van de mannelijke en 70 procent van de vrouwelijke ratten het geval, terwijl het in de controlegroep maar om 30 en 20 procent van de dieren ging.

SceptischExperts noemen de studie controversieel omdat niet van alle ratten is vastgelegd hoeveel ze aten en wat de groeicurve was. Dat kunnen ook factoren zijn die van invloed zijn op de ontwikkeling van tumoren. Bovendien is voor het experiment gebruik gemaakt van een soort rat die sowieso snel tumoren ontwikkelt.

Volgens Tom Sanders, hoofd voedingswetenschappelijk onderzoek bij King's College in Londen zijn de gehanteerde statistische methodes onconventioneel en eerder 'statistisch gevis' dan wetenschap.

Mark Tester, onderzoeker en professor bij het Australische Centrum 'Plant Functional Genomics' aan de universiteit van Adelaide, vraagt zich af waarom de uitkomsten van het onderzoek niet bij eerdere studies naar voren zijn gekomen. "Als de effecten werkelijk zo relevant zijn voor voor mensen, waarom vallen de Noord-Amerikanen dan niet bij bosjes neer? Daar zitten genetisch gemodificeerde gewassen al jaren in de voedselketen."

Volgens Thomas Helscher, woordvoerder van Monsanto, wereld's grootste leverancier van genetisch gemodificeerde maïs en producent van het onkruidbestrijdingsmiddel Roundup, zal het bedrijf de studie grondig bestuderen. "Maar", voegde hij eraan toe, "al meer dan honderd voedselstudies bevestigen voortdurend dat genetisch gemodificeerde maïs veilig is".

Saturday, September 01, 2012

235 Jewish people pay the muslim-bashers.

Where does Geert Wilders' money come from? 

It could be from Nina Rosenwald. 

And also people like Aubrey Chernick are likely to fund Wilders. 

Here is another article by Max Blumenthal.

Most of the content is not really surprising, but I was happy to read that mrs. Rosenwald also funds muslims that criticise their own people.  I have long thought so, but now we know. 

The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • Recommended by 0
  • |
  • Text Size A | A | A
In late April, Geert Wilders arrived in New York City to tell his quixotic tale to a rapt American audience. The far-right Dutch Party of Freedom leader—perhaps the world’s most prominent anti-Muslim populist—was poised to releaseMarked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me, a memoir just out from Regnery, the right-wing US publishing house, in which he recounts his courageous efforts to stop the “Islamicization” of Europe. On his US tour, Wilders proudly portrayed himself as a man on the run—a round-the-clock security detail guarding him against radical Muslims whose violent passions he had supposedly inflamed by his truth-telling—and as a man on the rise: the exodus of his party from the governing coalition had forced new elections in the Netherlands, throwing the country’s ossified establishment into chaos.

We Recommend

In the US today, the very ordinariness of Muslim-American life has become grounds for suspicion.
My dad, Dr. Sami Al-Arian, was arrested by the FBI on trumped up charges, sending a chill through the local Muslim community. Yet we found support from unlikely allies.

About the Author

Max Blumenthal
Max Blumenthal is a Puffin Foundation writing fellow at the Nation Institute based in New York City. His work has...

Also by the Author

Islamophobia hurts us all…
Inside the bizarre cabal of secretive donors, demagogic bloggers, pseudo-scholars, European neo-fascists, violent Israeli settlers and Republican presidential hopefuls behind the new crusade.
Upon Wilders’s arrival in New York, a little-known think tank called the Gatestone Institute rolled out the red carpet for him. On April 30, before a select crowd that according to Gatestone’s website had paid $10,000 a head, he held forth on the persecution he had endured during his recent trial for incitement to hatred and discrimination. “This charade that happened in the Netherlands for the last few years could not have happened in your great country,” Wilders said in his speech. Then he cut to the heart of his appeal: “Islam is primarily a dangerous ideology rather than a religion. This is the truth. This violent ideology wants to impose Islamic Sharia law on the whole world, including us—the Kafirs, the non-Muslims…. Islam is the largest threat to freedom which the world is currently facing.”
Some Dutch liberals have branded him a demagogue who summons the ghosts of Europe’s dark past, but Wilders counters the accusation by assiduously cultivating Jewish support. He quotes Zionist forefather Theodor Herzl and boasts of his more than forty trips to Israel, where he once toiled on a rural kibbutz. Wilders, in fact, has made a special friend of right-wing Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In Wilders’s world, the Jewish state represents Fort Apache on the frontiers of the war against the barbarians threatening Western civilization. “Mothers in the West can sleep safely because Israeli mothers at night worry about their sons in the army,” he told the Gatestone Institute. “Their fight is our fight. We should support it.”
At the April event, Wilders’s seamless fusion of anti-Muslim bombast and pro-Israel cant was gratefully received by the Gatestone Institute’s founder and director, Nina Rosenwald, whom he acknowledged at the top of his jeremiad as another of his good friends. An heiress to the Sears Roebuck fortune, Rosenwald spreads her millions through the William Rosenwald Family Fund, a nonprofit foundation named for her father, a famed Jewish philanthropist who created the United Jewish Appeal in 1939. His daughter’s focus is more explicitly political. According to a report by the Center for American Progress titled “Fear Inc.,” Rosenwald and her sister Elizabeth Varet, who also directs the family foundation, have donated more than $2.8 million since 2000 to “organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia.”
Besides funding a Who’s Who of anti-Muslim outfits, Rosenwald has served on the board of AIPAC, the central arm of America’s Israel lobby, and holds leadership roles in a host of mainstream pro-Israel organizations. As groups like AIPAC lead the charge for a US military strike on the Islamic Republic of Iran, threatening to turn apocalyptic visions of civilizational warfare into catastrophic reality, Rosenwald’s wealth has fueled a rapidly emerging alliance between the pro-Israel mainstream and the Islamophobic fringe. (In 2003 alone the Rosenwald Family Fund donated well over half of its $1.6 million in total contributions to pro-Israel and Islamophobic organizations.) This alliance serves to sanitize and legitimize professional anti-Muslim bigots like Wilders, allowing their ideas to mingle easily with those of neoconservative foreign policy heavyweights intent on promoting the appearance of a convergence between US and Israeli interests by invoking the specter of a common “Islamofascist” enemy. With Gatestone—which publicizes the writings of figures ranging from pro-Israel super-lawyer Alan Dershowitz to “counter-jihad” propagandist Robert Spencer, and boasts Harold Rhode, a neoconservative former Pentagon official credited, as a senior fellow, with helping to try to push the Bush administration to invade Iraq—Rosenwald has attempted to shift the alliance into overdrive.
Conspiracies, Witch Hunts and “Moderate Muslims”
Over the past decade, Rosenwald’s generosity has helped sustain the pet projects of “Islamofascism Awareness Week” organizer and Stalinist apostate David Horowitz. Her largesse has also supported former Lebanese Maronite TV anchor Brigitte Gabriel, who told an evangelical audience in 2006 that Muslims “have no souls—they are dead set on killing and destruction.” The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington-based think tank directed by neoconservative former Pentagon official Frank Gaffney, has also thrived as a result of Rosenwald’s beneficence. The $437,000 in donations Gaffney reaped from the Rosenwald family enabled him to churn out conspiratorial pamphlets like his 2010 “Shariah: The Threat to America,” in which he warned that American Muslims were engaged in a “stealth jihad” to place the country under the control of Sharia, or Islamic law. At the Conservative Political Action Conference the following year, Gaffney sent his cadres to distribute fliers accusing top Republican anti-tax activists Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan of organizing a secret campaign dedicated to “the replacement of our constitutional republic…with a theocratic Islamic caliphate governing according to Shari’ah.” (David Steinmann, president of the Fund, sits on the board of Gaffney’s CSP.) Norquist is married to an Arab-American, and Khan, a former Republican Party official, is a fellow for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement. The American Conservative Union investigated Gaffney’s charges and declared them “reprehensible.”
Rosenwald has also used her money to support a seemingly sober set of self-proclaimed “dissident” Muslims who have seized the post-9/11 media spotlight to defend pro-Israel positions, Western military intervention in the Arab world and police spying on Muslim Americans. These beneficiaries include Irshad Manji, an openly gay Canadian TV personality and self-described “Muslim refusenik” who argued in her 2005 book, The Trouble With Islam Today, that “desert Arabs” and “Arab cultural imperialists” were imposing an anti-democratic, sexist and endemically anti-Semitic mindset on the rest of the world’s Muslims. In 2007 Rosenwald provided $10,000 in seed money for Manji’s new nonprofit, Project Ijtihad, which she founded to “help build the world’s most inclusive network of reform-minded Muslims and non-Muslim allies.”
Two years later Rosenwald pumped $10,000 into a similar but markedly more aggressive venture called the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. The group was founded by Zuhdi Jasser, an Arizona physician hailed by Glenn Beck as “the one Muslim we were all searching for after 9/11.” Despite his lack of academic or theological credentials, Jasser provided expert testimony last year before the Congressional hearing on Muslim American radicalization conducted by Representative Peter King of New York, widely criticized as a witch hunt. In early March, after the Associated Press exposed a secret NYPD unit monitoring Muslims throughout New York City and far beyond, Jasser issued a press release declaring, “We thank God every day for the NYPD.” That same day, he surfaced at a pro-NYPD rally in New York with King by his side. Then, only days later, over vehement objections from a coalition of Muslim groups, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell installed Jasser as a member of the Commission on International Religious Freedom.
But no single anti-Muslim activist has benefited more from his relationship with Rosenwald than Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes, bankrolled to the tune of $2.3 million over the past ten years by the Rosenwald family’s philanthropies. Pipes thanked Rosenwald for “[taking] on a leadership role when the [Middle East] Forum was yet fledgling, helping us through some tough spots.” A former scholar at the Rosenwald-backed pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Pipes has made a career of advocating aggressive US and Israeli military action in the Middle East, including the razing of entire Palestinian villages. Expressing his solidarity with Wilders, Pipes echoed the Dutch politician’s racial views on Muslim immigrants, describing them as “brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene.”
Pipes occupies a central position at the nexus of the pro-Israel lobby and the Islamophophic fringe. In 2001 he neatly encapsulated the zero-sum mentality that defines his view of the alliance, declaring, “I worry very much, from the Jewish point of view, that the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims, because they are so much led by an Islamist leadership, that this will present true dangers to American Jews.”
To his shame, Pipes earned eighteen citations in the manifesto of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, the self-proclaimed “counter-jihadist” standing trial for the murder of seventy-seven people, mostly teenagers. Drawing heavily on sources like Pipes to justify his actions, Breivik said he carried out the slaughter to punish Europe for succumbing to “Islamicization” and multiculturalism. Ranking just behind Pipes in Breivik’s thought was the Middle East Monitoring and Research Institute (MEMRI), with sixteen citations from the right-wing terrorist. Founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer to monitor and selectively disseminate Arabic-language media, MEMRI has become a key source for organizations in the Islamophobic network. MEMRI provided much of the translated material in the anti-Muslim Clarion Fund’s mass-distributed propaganda film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. The Clarion Fund and MEMRI have received handsome donations from the Rosenwald family.
“We can give Nina Rosenwald the benefit of the doubt and say that in the past she didn’t know the poisonous ideological agenda of her beneficiaries,” Wajahat Ali, principal author of the “Fear Inc.” report, told me. “But at this point, she has no excuse for ignoring their extreme activities. So the question is why she continues to support them.”
Birth of a Benefactor
Who is this benefactor of Islamophobia? According to those familiar with Rosenwald, she is anything but a sophisticated Machiavellian operator—“a babe in the woods,” as one of her longtime acquaintances described her to me. (Rosenwald did not respond to interview requests sent to the Gatestone Institute and her personal e-mail.) According to another acquaintance, Rosenwald has a penchant for launching into anti-Arab anti-Palestinian tirades at public forums, leaping up like “a jack in the box” to denounce the evildoers. Despite her zealotry, Rosenwald maintains a reputation as a Manhattan socialite who travels in some of New York City’s most elite financial and political circles. Her wealthy friends gather for salons at upscale restaurants and in the living room of her Upper West Side apartment to meet major league political personalities, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, neoconservative former UN Ambassador John Bolton (an associate of the Gatestone Institute) and the late right-wing media provocateur Andrew Breitbart.
Rosenwald counts among her closest friends Norman Podhoretz, the octogenarian neoconservative activist and former Commentary magazine editor who argues that Jewish Democrats are heretics betraying their religious duty to support the Jewish state. Rosenwald, according to one friend, is also close to Podhoretz’s daughter, Ruthie Blum, a right-wing columnist who lives in the illegal West Bank settlement of Har Adar and writes a column for Israel Hayom, a newspaper published by far-right billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a chief financial supporter of Israeli Prime Minister Benajamin Netanyahu. Father and daughter echo the line of Likudnik Greater Israel ideology and anti-Muslim fanaticism, with Podhoretz urging the Western world to wage “World War IV” (the title of his post-9/11 polemic) against what he and Blum call “Islamofascism.” Blum has called for an Israeli war against Iran on the grounds that “Iran is soon to have atomic bombs with which it will attempt to impose Shariah law on the rest of the world—after wiping out the Jewish state.” Rosenwald has sustained Commentary (now edited by Podhoretz’s son John) with regular donations of up to $15,000—a modest but important sum for a right-wing Israel-centric magazine with an increasingly minuscule readership.
Through her affiliation with the Washington-based Hudson Institute, where Norman Podhoretz is an adjunct fellow, Rosenwald established a branch of the think tank in New York City. Operating under the Hudson banner, Rosenwald brought Wilders to town in 2008 to warn against the Muslim plot to “rule the world by the sword.” Wilders’s tirade during that visit against the prophet Muhammad, whom he described as “a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile,” was strident even by the standards of the hawkish Hudson Institute. By 2011, well before Wilders’s return visit this year, Rosenwald separated Hudson New York City from Hudson’s national branch, changing her organization’s name to the Gatestone Institute. Today, Rosenwald maintains a seat on Hudson’s board of directors.
Nina Rosenwald’s influence is based on the fortune her grandfather Julius earned at the turn of the century as co-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company. Julius Rosenwald, renowned for his liberal philanthropy, used his fortune to nurture the careers of African-American leaders from Booker T. Washington to W.E.B. Du Bois and writers Langston Hughes and Claude McKay. Like many Reform Jews of his time, Rosenwald kept a cautious distance from Zionism, which organizations like the American Jewish Committee treated as a potential threat to Jewish assimilation in America.
Julius’s son, William, continued the philanthropic tradition his father inaugurated. With rabbis Abba Hillel Silver and Jonah Wise, two early leaders of the American Zionist movement, William Rosenwald helped form the United Jewish Appeal for Refugees and Overseas Needs to “fortify the Jews of all countries against anti-Semitic onslaughts.” Rosenwald’s efforts to resettle imperiled European Jews vaulted him into a lifetime of leadership of major Jewish organizations. In the aftermath of the 1967 war, when Israel began its illegal military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights, Rosenwald, like most Jewish institutional leaders, intensified his commitment to the cause of Zionism.
Following their father, Nina Rosenwald and her siblings became active in the pro-Israel community. While her sister Elizabeth has assumed a lower profile, there is hardly a single major pro-Israel organization that does not provide Rosenwald with a seat on its board of directors. Thanks to her financial generosity, Rosenwald sits on the board of influential neoconservative groups from WINEP and AIPAC as well as Hudson. She is the vice president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which has provided training to thousands of American law enforcement and military officials from Israeli intelligence and police officers.
While entrenched in the pro-Israel establishment in the United States, Rosenwald has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into some of the Jewish state’s more unpleasant—and legally dubious—ventures. The Rosenwald Family Fund has provided at least $100,000, for example, to the Golan Fund, an initiative of the Israel Land Fund that aims to increase the “Jewish presence” in Israel’s Galilee region and the occupied Golan Heights by “obtain[ing] more of that [Arab] land for agricultural use,” according to its website. Extending its influence across the Green Line, the Rosenwald Family Fund has also provided financial support to the College of Judea (now Ariel University Center of Samaria) in the Israeli mega-settlement of Ariel; the Beit El yeshiva, a religious nationalist school situated in a West Bank settlement that instructs students to disobey government orders to abandon illegal settlement outposts; and to the Central Fund for Israel, a New York City–based nonprofit that serves as a major funding artery between American-based donors and the hardcore settlements of the West Bank.
According to Henry Siegman, a former executive director of the American Jewish Congress who serves as president of the US/Middle East Project, the Rosenwald family’s rightward trajectory reflects a generational shift within the Jewish American establishment. “The trend is not something that just emerged recently,” Siegman told me. “Over the last few decades, the Jewish Federations and AIPAC have played a significant role in shaping this reactionary move by advancing the notion that we should support any government in Israel and any policy that the government espouses. The Jewish organizations that opposed this line and took the opposite position were punished financially by the wealthy donors AIPAC was able to put together.”
As Islamophobia consumes broad sectors of America’s pro-Israel community, leading Israel advocacy groups are dispatching anti-Muslim speakers to college campuses across the country. Chief among them is StandWithUs, an organization that Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, says his government uses to “amplify our power.” In May StandWithUs sent Rosenwald beneficiary Jasser to appear beside a cast of neoconservative activists at a University of California, San Diego, event dedicated to condemning established human rights groups. Earlier in the year, StandWithUs dispatched Nonie Darwish, an ex-Muslim convert to evangelical Christianity who calls Islam “a poison to our society,” to speak at the University of New Mexico.
According to Siegman, the Jewish establishment’s loyalty to an Israeli government drifting irrevocably toward the far shores of the right has taken a terrible toll. “Islamophobia has gained many followers in the Jewish establishment and at this point has infected American Jewish life,” he commented. “The neocons are to a large extent responsible for that. And they did this at the price of alienating the younger generation, which is falling away.”
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Nina Rosenwald served as chair of the Middle East Media Research Institute's board of directors. Rosenwald's bio at the Hudson Institute lists several apparently false and out-of-date affiliations, among them a MEMRI chairmanship that never happened. We regret the error.

Also in This Forum