Despite malevolent efforts by Valerie Plame and her Jew-hating cohorts.
In the Pre-dawn hours of January 3, 2002, Israeli naval commandos boarded the Karine A, a Palestinian Authority cargo ship laden with 50 tons of military equipment destined for Yassir Arafat’s terrorist gangs. The ship was boarded in the Red Sea some 500 km from Israel’s shoreline. It was a complex and daring operation that required precise intelligence and perfect execution for successful completion and the Israelis pulled it off in textbook fashion.
During the course of the operation, Israeli intelligence officials elicited the assistance of the United States Central Intelligence Agency because Israel’s own intelligence services lost track of the ship. The CIA delivered. On December 17, 2001 a senior CIA official informed Israeli naval intelligence of the ship’s whereabouts and assured the Israelis that they would continue to monitor the ship’s movements.
The seizure of the Karine A, with its deadly cargo was a military and political triumph for Israel but represented a severe setback for Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. Aside from the seizure of badly needed weapons, Arafat had been exposed to the world as a congenital liar. He was talking peace but at the same time, importing weapons banned under the Oslo Accords. Moreover, the seizure of the Karine A revealed a shadowy nexus between Arafat and the Islamic Republic of Iran as the weapons came directly from Iranian stocks. Arafat was instantly transformed into a political pariah.
The Karine A affair resulted in triumph for Israel but could have just as easily ended in failure. The CIA’s involvement was instrumental in the operation’s successful outcome and also reveals the close nature of cooperation existing between Israeli and American intelligence services. This mutually beneficial level of cooperation is spurred by a confluence of strategic interests and shared values.
Despite excellent relations, there are rogue elements within the CIA and other branches of government that wish to inflict harm on the U.S.-Israel alliance. Much of their animus toward Israel is driven by deep-seated anti-Semitism. Often, their writings are featured in neo-Nazi or pro-Palestinian blogs where conspiracy theories abound.
One such rancid individual is Valerie Plame-Wilson, an ex-CIA operative who revealed her true feelings by posting a virulently anti-Semitic canard on Twitter on the Jewish New Year no less! She claimed that Jews were driving America’s wars and then linked her post to an article authored by ex-CIA case officer and rabid Jew-hater, Philip Giraldi. The article was liberally laced with typical anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories reminiscent of Goebbels-style propaganda. Indeed, Giraldi’s articles and views are frequently featured on neo-Nazi websites and Iranian propaganda outlets.
But while Giraldi is a somewhat obscure character regulated to the marginal fringes, Plame is a minor celebrity of sorts. In 2003, her CIA cover was ironically blown by anti-war columnist Robert Novak. Following her departure from the CIA, she authored a best-selling memoir titled, “Fair Game.” A flattering Hollywood movie adaptation by the same name followed soon after. Meanwhile, the left deified her for her criticism of the Bush administration and opposition to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Plame’s tweet met with instant negative backlash. Recognizing her error, she first offered a rather half-hearted apology in which she still attempted to defend Giraldi’s drivel. Plame’s initial awkward response sent her sinking further into the abyss. After continued negative coverage, she finally acknowledged her error and issued unreserved apology but by then, it was too little, too late; the damage had already been done and was irreversible. Plame instantly transformed herself from hero to zero. She resigned (more likely asked to leave) from Ploughshares Fund, where she served as a board member. The Ploughshares Fund had strongly advocated for Obama’s Iran deal.
Plame’s final apology should be viewed warily, and not exclusively due to its halting and belated nature. According to New York Magazine/HuffPost Contributor Yashar Ali, Plame linked to articles from the same anti-Semitic website on no less than eight occasions. One of those articles contained 9-11 truther overtones and implied Israeli involvement in the attacks while another was titled, “Why I Dislike Israel.”
If Plame is genuinely sorry, it’s only because she was caught red handed, her xenophobia exposed for the world to see. More troubling than Plame’s bald-faced anti-Semitism however, is the fact that the left was all too willing to embrace her despite her rancid, conspiracy-laced views, which based on her public twitter feed, were well known.
Plame’s sordid story is not unlike Michael Scheuer’s, another ex-CIA case officer who rose to stardom in 2004 but whose career, overtaken by his extreme hatred of Jews, tanked. By 2014, he was toxic. Like Plame, Scheuer was highly critical of the Bush administration and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and like Plame that was sufficient for him to become the darling of the left. But Scheuer began to obsessively direct his criticism toward Israel, the “neo-cons” and ultimately, the Jews, claiming not unlike Plame, that they were driving America’s wars and maintained dual loyalties. Scheuer has thankfully been regulated to the marginal fringes where his drivel now appears on conspiracy sites and hopefully, the same just fate awaits Plame.
Irrespective of the efforts of marginal and unhinged racist characters like Plame, Scheuer and Giraldi, the bonds between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services remain excellent. The two nations share the same strategic threats and core values. On everything from the Islamic Republic to ISIS, Israel’s and America’s views are aligned. The Trump administration’s appointment of Mike Pompeo – who has a strong and solid record on Israel – as CIA director ensures that intelligence ties between the United States and Israel will continue to remain strong and broaden.
Israel’s National Labor Court this week ruled that a Bedouin woman, divorced and living in a polygamous family (with her husband and his second wife), is entitled to National Insurance Institute income support benefits in addition to her ex-husband’s income – even though she continues to live near his home with her mother-in-law and their children, Globes reported.
Salami al-Zayadneh, a Bedouin woman, sought to receive income support benefit as she would be entitled to if she lived apart from her husband whom she had divorced. Except that she never left the family compound – which was noted by both the National Insurance Institute and the Regional Labor Court in rejecting her claim, ruling that there was no change in her way of life, and that she continued to maintain a common household with her “ex” husband.
A billboard in Toulouse commemorating the victims of Mohammed Merah’s gun attack on the Ozar Hatorah school in March 2012. Photo: File.
Chaotic scenes broke out on Wednesday at the trial in France of the brother of an Islamist extremist who carried out a spree of terrorist attacks around the southern city of Toulouse in March 2012, including a gun assault on a Jewish school that resulted in the brutal murders of a rabbi along with three young children.
Shouts and jeers erupted from the gallery at the court in Paris during the testimony of Zoulika Aziri — the mother of 35-year-old Abdelkader Merah, who could face a life sentence if he is found guilty of having aided his brother, Mohammed, in carrying out three separate terror attacks between March 11-19, 2012. Mohammed Merah was shot and killed by French police on March 22 of that year at the culmination of a 30-hour siege after he was tracked down.
The evidence is mounting that Iran is not only violating the spirit of the no-nukes deal, but that it is also violating its letter. The prologue to the deal explicitly states: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” This reaffirmation has no sunset provision: it is supposed to be forever.
Yet German officials have concluded that Iran has not given up on its goal to produce nuclear weapons that can be mounted on rockets. According to Der Tagesspiegel, a Berlin newspaper:
“Despite the nuclear agreement [reached with world powers in July 2015], Iran has not given up its illegal activities in Germany.
An outbreak of bubonic plague in Madagascar is quickly becoming an epidemic, giving a grim look into how this dreaded disease, once known as the Black Death, killed off one-third of the entire world population.
Madagascar, a poor country in the Indian Ocean, suffers annual outbreaks of the plague with an estimated 400 cases every year. This current outbreak threatens to be much worse than the usual annual outbreak. In the past two months, at least 74 people died from the disease and over 800 more have been infected.
St. Catherine’s Monastery is a popular destination for Christian religious tourism, South Sinai, Egypt. Posted July 14, 2017.
CAIRO — Pope Francis has confirmed that Egypt will be included as an official Roman Catholic Church pilgrimage destination next year, sparking hope that the country’s tourism industry can be revived. The first pilgrims should begin arriving in Egypt in May, according to Tourism Minister Yahya Rashed.
The pope endorsed the designation Oct. 4 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism then announced Oct. 5 that the path of the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) in Egypt more than 2,000 years ago will be part of the Vatican pilgrimage program for 2018.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump initiated an important change in US policy toward Iran.
No, in his speech decertifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear accord it struck with his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump didn’t announce a new strategy for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, or stemming its hegemonic rise in the Middle East, or limiting its ability to sponsor terrorism.
Trump’s move was not operational. It was directional.
One month after Islamic militants bombed two Egyptian churches during Palm Sunday and killed nearly 50 people in April 2017. On Friday, May 26, several SUVs stopped two buses transporting dozens of Christians to visit and pray at the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, in the desert south of Cairo. According to initial reports, about ten Islamic militants, heavily armed and dressed in military fatigues, “demanded that the passengers recite the Muslim profession of faith”—which is tantamount to converting to Islam—and when they refused, the jihadis opened fire on them, killing 29 Christians, at least ten of which were young children (including two girls aged 2 and 4). Mohsen Morkous—an American citizen described as “a simple man” whom “everyone loved”—his two sons, and his two grandsons were among those killed.
Even now, polls suggest that about 40 percent of Americans regard Donald Trump as a suitable president. In essence, this preference has little to do with job performance and must be explained by the nature of the wider society from which this president was drawn.
For the most part, Americans have forsaken every once-residual aspect of an authentic intellectual life. This near-total abandonment of a national “life of the mind” was not fashioned in a cultural vacuum. Rather, it was fostered by an unrelenting barrage of crude and voyeuristic entertainments, most of which now center on sex, sadism, torture, murder and dreary profanity.
On Sunday, a delegation of young Israeli Arabs joined the battle against the apartheid lie and the BDS libels. Such a delegation—on behalf of Reservists on Duty, an organization which is already active on US campuses—is definitely a refreshing change, which sparks not only curious and sympathetic reactions but also threats and a smear campaign. One of the delegation members was forced to leave his home, and another member nearly quit following the pressure.
After weeks of Egyptian-sponsored pre-talks, and a very short “cabinet meeting” in Gaza, “formal reconciliation talks” are now being held between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (P.A. or Fatah) in Cairo under the direct auspices of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
For some Middle East-watchers, the talks are a form of progress. There are presently three functional governments between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and this is about getting rid of one of them. Progress here is that Israel is not the government they’re talking about getting rid of. Yet. This is about whether Hamas or Fatah will lead the Palestinians – whether to peace with Israel or to war with Israel is less important for them right now than simply who between them is top dog.