Jonathan Cook is a British-born independent journalist based (since September 2001) in the predominantly Arab city of Nazareth, Israel and is the “first foreign correspondent (living) in the Israeli Arab city….” He’s a former reporter and editor of regional newspapers, a freelance sub-editor with national newspapers, and a staff journalist for the London-based Guardian and Observer newspapers. He’s also written for The Times, Le Monde diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Al-Ahram Weekly and Aljazeera.net. He is also a frequent contributor to Global Research. In February 2004, he founded the Nazareth Press Agency.
Cook states why he’s in Nazareth as follows: to give himself “greater freedom to reflect on the true nature of the (Israeli-Palestinian) conflict and (gain) fresh insight into its root causes.” He “choose(s) the issues (he) wish(es) to cover (and so is) not constrained by the ‘treadmill’ of the mainstream media….which gives disproportionate coverage to the concerns of the powerful (so it) makes much of their Israel/Palestine reporting implausible.”
Living among Arabs, “things look very different” to Cook. “There are striking, and disturbing, similarities between” the Palestinian experience inside Israel and within the Occupied Territories. “All have faced Zionism’s appetite for territory and domination, as well as repeated (and unabated) attempts at ethnic cleaning.”
Cook authored two important books and contributed to others. His newest one, just published was reviewed by this writer. It’s called “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East.” Advance praise accompanied it, and noted author John Pilger calls it “One of the most cogent understandings of the modern Middle East I have read. It is superb, because the author himself is a unique witness” to events and powerfully documents them.
Cook’s earlier book was published in 2006. It’s titled “Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State” and is the subject of this review. It’s the rarely told story of the plight of Israel’s 1.4 million Arab citizens, the discrimination against them, the reasons why, and the likely future consequences from it. Israel’s “demographic problem” is the issue Cook addresses. It’s the time when a faster-growing Palestinian population (excluding the diaspora) becomes a majority, and the very character of a “Jewish State” is threatened. Israel’s response – state-sponsored repression and violent ethnic cleansing, in the Territories and inside Israel.
From “a Jewish voice for peace”.
President Bush’s FY2009 budget request for $2.55 billion in military aid for Israel, a proposed increase of 9% over actual spending in 2007, now rests with the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
This proposed increase in military aid to Israel is the first installment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the United States and Israel in August 2007 to increase military aid to Israel by 25%, totaling $30 billion over the next decade.
From the Israeli News paper Haaretz
By Tom Segev
Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that the Jewish people arose in the Land of Israel and was exiled from its homeland. Every Israeli schoolchild is taught that this happened during the period of Roman rule, in 70 CE. The nation remained loyal to its land, to which it began to return after two millennia of exile. Wrong, says the historian Shlomo Zand, in one of the most fascinating and challenging books published here in a long time. There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile also never happened – hence there was no return. Zand rejects most of the stories of national-identity formation in the Bible, including the exodus from Egypt and, most satisfactorily, the horrors of the conquest under Joshua. It’s all fiction and myth that served as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel, he asserts.
According to Zand, the Romans did not generally exile whole nations, and most of the Jews were permitted to remain in the country. The number of those exiled was at most tens of thousands. When the country was conquered by the Arabs, many of the Jews converted to Islam and were assimilated among the conquerors. It follows that the progenitors of the Palestinian Arabs were Jews. Zand did not invent this thesis; 30 years before the Declaration of Independence, it was espoused by David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and others.
If the majority of the Jews were not exiled, how is it that so many of them reached almost every country on earth? Zand says they emigrated of their own volition or, if they were among those exiled to Babylon, remained there because they chose to. Contrary to conventional belief, the Jewish religion tried to induce members of other faiths to become Jews, which explains how there came to be millions of Jews in the world. As the Book of Esther, for example, notes, “And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.”
A call of anguish for our brethren in Gaza and the entire Palestine
To be delivered on behalf of Neturei Karta International at the rally outside the “Israeli”consulate in NYC, on January 26, ’08
By Peter Chamberlin
27/01/08 “ICH” — – Perhaps one day we shall know the truth about being, and being alive on planet earth, whether life on every living planet is as messed-up as it is here. Earth’s problems must be unique, as they are of man’s own creation, man-made disasters caused by ambitious men who are allowed to rise to the top, where they dominate us for self-gain. We allow our leaders to take the positions of power that they desire, instead of actually choosing who shall lead us. Humans tend to submit to those who claim authority, since it is easier to believe in symbols of power, than it is to personally submit to the tedium of the reasoning process. As a people, we tend to follow the natural order of things along the path of least resistance. By taking the easy way out, we give our blessing to the law of the jungle.
It is natural for societies to become dominated by powerful elites, who gain control of the inner workings of government and commerce, in order to bend them both to their will. “Meritocracy” and other forms of “social Darwinism,” describe the belief that “success” by this definition justifies the survival of the fittest capitalism (globalism) that has decimated the world. The brutal belief system widely promoted as “neoconservatism” is behind the fascist agenda that emerged from the bowels of corporate-owned “think tanks.” These elitist thinkers believe that it is necessary for our government to “cull” the “useless eaters” from the face of the earth, through forced population reduction and perpetual war. They are the true radicals, possessed by “extremist belief systems.” Their plans for us are the end program of a centuries-old class war between the elitist self-proclaimed neo-aristocrats, who would be masters of mankind and the rest of the human race. The neocons are nothing new, just the latest, most-concentrated form of this egotistical brand of pure evil.
If the elitist “one-worlders” were correct about being the “natural leaders” of the world, dedicated to saving the most noble of mankind from the excesses of the dirty masses, then their cold-blooded plans might be justified by the results, by anyone who survived them. The plan is to kill-off a significant portion of the earth’s “dead weight,” keep another segment as a labor force and extend their own lives through genetic and eugenic research. They are not being all that secretive about this research, only about where it all is meant to lead us. If the idea of rich men carrying-out a plot to kill-off billions of poor people isn’t enough to motivate the masses into torch-carrying mobs, I can’t imagine what would be enough.
Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Monday that Israel may have to take military action to prevent its archfoe Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb.
Bolton also said that further UN sanctions against the Islamic republic will be ineffective in stopping Iran’s controversial nuclear programme which Israel and the US believe is aimed at developing a bomb — a claim denied by Tehran.
“One can say with some assurance that in the next year the use of force by the United States is highly unlikely,” Bolton told AFP on the sidelines of the Herzliya conference on the balance of Israel’s national security.
“That increases the pressure on Israel in that period of time… if it feels Iran is on the verge of acquiring that capability, it brings the decision point home to use force,” he said.