Likud Becomes a Regional Member of the European Parliament

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Counterpunch

Although Israel is geographically located in Asia, the self-described “Jewish state” has emphasized its Europeanness whenever it has suited it to do so. It has been allowed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1973, as the Israeli Broadcasting Authority has been a member of the European Broadcasting Union since 1957. Israeli soccer clubs began playing in European competitions in 1991 and Israel became a member of UEFA in 1994. Even more importantly, in the political sphere, Tel Aviv’s recent major political step towards realizing its apparent desire of becoming a fully-fledged European state has passed under the radar of the media.

In March, a delegation from the Likud visited Strasbourg at the invitation of the European Conservatives and Reformists faction in the European Parliament. According to the Jerusalem Post, the delegation explained the Likud’s policies to a group of 15 ECR members of Parliament. The Likud reached an agreement with the ECR that enables it to become one of the ECR’s “regional members,” which allows Likud representatives to attend ECR faction meetings and influence its policies.

Within a year, the Likud will become a regional party ally of the European Conservatives and Reformists faction in the European Parliament. The move is likely to boost relations between Israel’s ruling party and Europe. The ECR decided the Likud could already become observers in the faction and that a delegation of ECR members would be hosted by the Likud in Israel in October.

Eli Hazan, the Likud’s deputy director-general for public and foreign relations, said he would take the parliament members to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, the Likud’s Tel Aviv headquarters, and “communities in Samaria,” using the Israeli term for part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

“This is a significant step, because at a time of boycotts of Israel, the Likud will be added to a group in Europe that has power,” Hazan said.

“When anti-Israel motions are debated in the European Parliament, we will now be able to send Likud MKs to defend Israel to members of the parliament in an official capacity,” Hazan added.

Hazan led the delegation, which included mayors, city council members and advisers to Likud leaders. MKs weren’t part of the group, because in a 61-member coalition, they were all needed in the 120-seat Knesset.

Founded by members of the British Conservative Party, the ECR has 75 MEPs from 17 EU countries, making it the third-largest group in the European Parliament.

It has alliances with the ruling Turkish AKP, with the U.S. Republican Party and parties in Australia, Canada, Morocco and New Zealand.

The most recent alliance emerged from Hazan’s efforts to build relations between the Likud and Center-Right parties across Europe.

The meeting with the ECR arose out of Hazan’s success in reaching out to party officials on a recent trip to London.

It is hardly a coincidence that the rapprochement began in the British capital. According to the 2009 television program “Dispatches: Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby,” up to 80 percent of the Conservative Party are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel. “The pro-Israeli lobby in this country is the most powerful lobby; there’s nothing to touch them,” one British politician told the investigative television program.

Before last year’s election, Ha’aretz published an article that posed the question “Is David Cameron the Most pro-Israel British PM Ever?” As the Israeli daily observed, “The United Kingdom may no longer be a major player on the world stage, but its prime minister has still been able to work quietly in support of the Jewish State.”

During a visit to Israel the previous year, Cameron told the Knesset in a speech about his great-great-grandfather, a Jewish banker who emigrated from Germany.

The link gave Mr. Cameron “some sense of connection” to the Israeli people, he said, as he hailed their “extraordinary journey” and history of persecution.

In the address he vowed to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with what he described as a “vulnerable” state against terrorism, despite the fact that Israel is the region’s preeminent military power and its sole possessor of nuclear weapons. “We are with you,” the prime minister then said in Hebrew.

“My Jewish ancestry is relatively limited but I do feel just some sense of connection. From the lexicon of my great, great grandfather Emile Levita, a Jewish man who came from Germany to Britain 150 years ago to the story of my forefather Elijah Levita who wrote what is thought to have been the first ever Yiddish novel,” he said.

While the British Prime Minister’s Jewish ancestry may be “relatively limited,” his party’s behind-the-scenes service to the Zionist state may yet have a significant impact on its mixed relations with the European Union. Notwithstanding the newsworthiness of this development, the only media to date to report this story has been The Jerusalem Post. Given the media’s apparent lack of interest in Likud becoming a regional member of the European Parliament, Israel remains free to counter the increasingly unlikely threat of a EU boycott.

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Hillary Clinton: the Queen of Chaos and the Threat of World War III

Maidhc Ó Cathail: In your latest book, you dub Hillary Clinton the “Queen of Chaos”. Can you explain why you chose this derogatory sobriquet to describe Hillary?

Diana Johnstone: Libya, in a word. Hillary Clinton was so proud of her major role in instigating the war against Libya that she and her advisors initially planned to use it as basis of a “Clinton doctrine”, meaning a “smart power” regime change strategy, as a presidential campaign slogan.

The Libyan catastrophe actually inspired me to write this book, along with the mounting danger of war with Russia.

War creates chaos, and Hillary Clinton has been an eager advocate of every U.S. aggressive war in the last quarter of a century. These wars have devastated whole countries and caused an unmanageable refugee crisis. Chaos is all there is to show for Hillary’s vaunted “foreign policy experience”.

MÓC: What would you say to women who want to see Hillary as president because she’s a woman? You claim that “[a]voiding World War III is somewhat more urgent than ‘proving’ that a woman can be President of the United States.” Why do believe that Hillary is likely to launch World War III?

DJ: There are two questions here. As for the second part, I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ready to go when an incident set things off. Ever since Gorbachev naïvely ended the Cold War, the hugely over-armed United States has been actively surrounding Russia with weapons systems, aggressive military exercises, NATO expansion. At the same time, in recent
Johnstone-Queen-Cover-ak800-291x450-1years the demonization of Vladimir Putin has reached war propaganda levels. Russians have every reason to believe that the United States is preparing for war against them, and are certain to take defensive measures. This mixture of excessive military preparations and propaganda against an “evil enemy” make it very easy for some trivial incident to blow it all up.

My answer to the first part of the question is that “voting for Hillary because she is a woman” makes no sense to me at all. Yes, women should get together for causes that affect women in general: equal pay for equal work, equal recognition of abilities, reproductive rights, maternity leave and child care, that sort of thing. But Hillary Clinton is an individual, she is not women in general. Women together might fight for women’s right to be elected President, but that right exists. It cannot be reduced to one particular woman’s right to be President.

The President of the United States is not a purely symbolic position. It involves crucial decision-making powers. Hillary Clinton has demonstrated dangerously poor judgment in fateful questions of war and peace. That should disqualify her.

MÓC: One of your chapters is titled “Libya: A War of Her Own.” Considering the key role of the pro-Israeli Bernard-Henri Lévy in persuading France to support the so-called “rebels,” why do you single out Hillary for blame for NATO’s destruction of the formerly richest country in Africa?

DJ: Bernard-Henri Lévy repeatedly stated that he supported military intervention in Libya “as a Jew”, perhaps meaning that he considered overthrowing Gaddafi to be good for Israel. The French government was perhaps motivated by fear that Gaddafi’s scheme to create a gold-backed African currency might replace the French-backed CFA franc used throughout France’s former African colonies. But neither France nor France and Britain together had the military capacity to carry out the operation that finally overcame Libyan resistance. The U.S. leadership was divided, and it was Hillary Clinton who overcame the reluctance of President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates to enter the war. It was the United States that provided the means to destroy Libya.

MÓC: In the chapter titled “The War Party” you write that “[s]ince the War Party dominates both branches of the Two-Party-System , the recent track record suggests the Republicans will nominate a candidate bad enough to make Hillary look good.” It sounds like you anticipated the incredible rise of Donald Trump, doesn’t it?

DJ: As a matter of fact I didn’t. But I did anticipate the rise of Trump’s main rival, Ted Cruz, who may actually be worse than Trump. As Robert Reich has pointed out, Cruz is a radical right-wing fanatic, with solid reactionary convictions, who is sure to do the wrong thing. Trump shoots off his mouth in all directions, so much so that there’s no telling what he might do. At least he does seem interested in avoiding war with Russia.

Nor did I anticipate the rise of Bernie Sanders, and the enthusiasm he has aroused among young people at the prospect of nominating a decent alternative to Hillary Clinton.

Both phenomena show the deep dissatisfaction among Americans with the country’s dysfunctional political system.

MÓC: In “Queen of Chaos,” you predicted that “[a]s things look now, the 2016 presidential race could be a contest between Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson. In either case, the winner would be Israel.” Could you elaborate on Saban’s “devotion” to another Clinton presidency and what it would mean for U.S. foreign policy?

DJ: If you think U.S. policy couldn’t be more pro-Israel than it is now, just wait until you see Hillary in the White House. After Haim Saban pledged to spend “as much as necessary” to make her President, Hillary Clinton has pledged to invite Netanyahu to the While House in her first month as President, to use the occasion to “reaffirm the unbreakable bonds of friendship and unity” between America and Israel, and to do everything to destroy the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement. She continues to echo Israeli denunciations of Iran as a dangerous “terrorist state”. She has previously equated criticism of Israeli policies with “anti-Semitism” and blamed the people of Gaza for Israeli assaults on their wretched territory.

Previous Presidents, including Obama, have often had their moments of exasperation with Israel’s uncontrollable conduct. With Hillary, it seems that there would be no objections to further Israeli destruction of Gaza or even to attacks on Iran. She is perfectly in line with Israel’s tacit policy to destroy and dismember Syria.

MÓC: When asked which women in the world “inspired” her, Hillary cited Pussy Riot. What does this tell us about Hillary? And what does it mean for U.S-Russia relations?

DJ: Can you imagine Hillary having group sex with Bill in a museum, as radical anarchist Nadezhda Tolokonnikova did in one of her performance art protests against the system? An “inspiration”? As is so often the case, Hillary doesn’t say what is true, but grabs the chance to show how anti-Putin she is. The joke is that Tolokonnikova recently expressed her preference for Bernie Sanders.

MÓC: If the so-called “responsibility to protect,” or R2P, is to be the organizing principle of Hillary’s foreign policy, can you explain why this would be bad for human rights around the world?

DJ: The Libyan disaster proved to most of the worldalthough not to Hillarythat R2P is a dangerous doctrine. Supposedly to “protect” certain Islamist rebels in Benghazi, the NATO R2P intervention totally destroyed the modern city of Sirte, provided cover for racist lynching of Libya’s black population, killed thousands of civilians and left the country in a shambles.

R2P might make sense if there really existed a neutral, all-knowing world police force to intervene on the basis of solid, unbiased evidence. This is most surely not the case

In the case of Libya, the evidence for the “humanitarian emergency” was manufactured by internal opponents of the regime and relayed to the world by a docile mainstream media. It was almost entirely untrue, but conflicting sources were ignored. (See Maximilian Forte, Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa.)

With the current relationship of forces in the world, R2P can only be applied by a great power to a smaller one, according to the great power’s own interpretation of events in the smaller one. In reality, R2P is simply used by the United States against regimes it doesn’t like, period.

MÓC: You write that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Barack Obama “went on to outdo even his predecessors in useless aggressive war-making—with moments of hesitation, however, which we cannot expect from Hillary”. What makes you believe that a Clinton presidency would be less hesitant than Obama to use U.S. military force?

DJ: Simple: whenever Obama hesitated, Hillary did not. She urged war in Libya, a no-fly zone in Syria, and from all she says, would have been urging stronger action against Russia when her former spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was leading the anti-Russian coup in Kiev. Her chuckling over the bestial murder of Gaddafi shows an absence of any human feeling for her adversaries. She dismisses them as subhuman. In addition to her absence of compassion, she seems to have no doubts about the ultimate ability of the United States to prevail in any armed conflictand this is most dangerous of all. She is ready to push every adversary as far as possible, apparently certain that the “bad guy” will back downeven if it happens to be nuclear-armed Russia.

Obama apparently lacks Hillary’s assurance. His lavish use of murderous drones reflects the military recognition of the limits of U.S. ground forces. He has been under constant pressure from the War Party. Sometimes he has resisted their pressure, as in the case of chemical weapons in Syria, after Kerry had replaced Clinton as Secretary of State.

MÓC: In your concluding chapter titled “The War Party” you write that “[t]he rise of Hillary Clinton should make clear the total failure of clinging to the Democratic Party as the “lesser evil.” But if the demagogic Donald Trump is running against Hillary, do you think it’s possible to convince voters that she isn’t the lesser of two evils?

DJ: That looks impossible on the face of it. Who knows, perhaps Trump will make the danger of war a major issue. But it seems to me now that an election contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be decided at the gut level, not on issues. I may be wrong, but foreign policy seems of minor concern in this election, even though it should be a top concern. Trump appalls the elite, but internet comments show that hostility to Hillary is reaching the boiling point. It will be strengthened if Bernie Sanders loses the nomination as a result of what looks like cheating. The way things are going, the November election risks being a race between the two most hated people in America.

MÓC: You propose a “Peace Party” as an alternative to the “War Party” that dominates both branches of the Two-Party-System. You suggest two admirable women to serve as part of a “peace team” to support a “peace candidate”, namely, Cynthia McKinney and Coleen Rowley. They couldn’t be more different from the women with whom Hillary has surrounded herself, such as Madeleine Albright, Suzanne Nossel, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power, could they? Are you optimistic that one day the American people will become sufficiently aware to know the difference?

DJ: By Peace Party, I mean something broader than a political party. I mean a network of knowledgeable, principled people who are intent on saving the country and the world from what has become an insanely arrogant policy of world domination. The difficulty is that the so-called neocons and the liberal interventionists have more or less taken over the State Department and have recently purged the Pentagon. The Peace Party could be made up of diplomats, scholars, military officers, politicians, editors. I would suggest that individuals who want to avoid World War III need to study the example of the neocons, who through a web of think tanks, editorial pages, financial interest and infiltration of the executive branch have seized control of the policy-making apparatus. Can this process be reversed, and if so, how? It is not up to me to answer this question. But it needs to be asked.

At the popular level, the Peace Party could be built on economic demands: cut back the insane military budget in order to finance useful and productive domestic activities, shut down superfluous military bases, stop expanding NATO to conquer the world, stop subsidizing Israel to the tune of three billion dollars per year. American riches, the American people and the American future are being squandered to wage increasingly destructive wars. The real enemy is the U.S. military industrial complex, which survives and expands because the government provides sure profits on financial investment. If the American people were fully aware of this, the Peace Party would grow naturally.

DIANA JOHNSTONE is an American political writer based in Paris, France. She focuses primarily on European politics and Western foreign policy. Johnstone was European editor of the U.S. weekly In These Times from 1979 to 1990. She was press officer of the Green group in the European Parliament from 1990 to 1996. Johnstone also regularly contributes to the online magazine CounterPunch. Her latest book is Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton (CounterPunch, 2015).

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Humanitarian Imperialism Led to Europe’s Refugee Crisis

 

 

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Do you see Cologne, 2015 as a turning point or the beginning of the end for European civilization?

 

Jean Bricmont: I am not sure what European civilization means, but if it survived the two World Wars, it will survive Cologne 2015. One should not exaggerate what happens with the refugees. I am of two minds about that. On the one hand, I don’t think it is such a big deal; what are a few million refugees among 500 million Europeans? On the other hand, polls show that a majority of people in European countries do not want to “welcome” more refugees and I think it is their right to do so (even if personally I don’t think it is such a big deal).

What I call the moral left wants to force the population to be altruistic with respect to the refugees. But the population who is never consulted on the issue of refugees and who is constantly asked to make sacrifices because “there is no money” understandably does not accept this moral discourse.

 

Maidhc Ó Cathail: How is what you wrote in Humanitarian Imperialism related to the current refugee crisis?

 

Jean Bricmont: Well, the same people who encouraged “humanitarian” interventions and “support” for armed insurrections abroad, that have led to perpetual wars, generating a constant flow of refugees, are now demanding that the population of our countries “welcome the refugees”. They first generate chaos there, then they applaud chaos here. It cannot last forever. One can see signs of widespread popular revolt against that. Now, I am not optimistic about the way this revolt will go, because, since the left has been almost totally won over to the cause of humanitarian interventions and its corollary of welcoming the refugees, this revolt will almost certainly benefit mostly the (far) right.

 

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Do you believe that guilt over the Holocaust is the driving force behind Germany’s decision to accept over a million refugees?

 

Jean Bricmont: It was not “Germany” that made that decision but Mrs. Merkel, to the consternation of many and perhaps most Germans.  Her personal motives are unclear.  For a minority of Germans who actively welcome the refugees, the Holocaust is no doubt a factor. But the younger generations, all over Europe, are fed up with this artificial guilt (how can anyone be guilty of events that occurred before their birth?). So, also in Germany, there is a lot of negative feelings with respect to the refugees.

 

Maidhc Ó Cathail: Do you think that one can be against US wars and Israeli occupation and at the same time have reservations about Muslim immigration to Europe?

 

Jean Bricmont: Yes, of course. But I am very reluctant to see this immigration (as several people do) as a “plot” from the US and Israel to “Islamize” Europe. For one thing, the Zionists here are divided: it is true that some of them are for more open borders, but others are afraid of the “Islamisation” of Europe, since they know that Muslims are not exactly fond of the “Jewish state”. I don’t believe such Islamisation takes place, but I think one should be pragmatic about immigration. We will never have really open borders, unlike what some of the far left demands (otherwise we would really be quickly overwhelmed and a far right reaction would occur to stop that), nor will be have completely closed ones. It is only a question of degree. The problem is that some of our “elites” live in a dream world where more globalization is always viewed as good and the wishes of the population are despised and ignored. That creates the risk of a dangerous backlash.

 

JEAN BRICMONT teaches physics at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He is author of Humanitarian Imperialism. He can be reached at Jean.Bricmont@uclouvain.be

 

MAIDHC Ó CATHAIL is a widely published writer and political analyst. In addition to having written a monthly column for Beo!, his work has been published by Antiwar.com, Arab News (Saudi Arabia), Consortium News, Forward Magazine (Syria), Journal of Turkish Weekly, Khaleej Times (UAE), Ma’an News Agency (Palestine), Middle East Monitor, Palestine Chronicle, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, RT, Tehran Times, The Nation (Pakistan), The Unz Review, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and many more.

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Menace of hypocrisy: Neocon propagandist frets over Russia’s ‘weaponization of information’

Maidhc Ó Cathail

RT Op-Edge

November 26, 2014

There was a strong whiff of hypocrisy in the Washington air on November 13 when the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) hosted a discussion of a report entitled ‘The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money’.

The Menace of Unreality is co-authored by Michael Weiss, editor-in-chief of the Interpreter, and Peter Pomerantsev, author of a forthcoming book asserting that Putin’s Russia is a post-modern dictatorship.

Introducing the discussion, NED’s Christopher Walker noted that the US Congress-funded Endowment hadn’t been involved in the production of the report but that it does have “close ties” to Weiss’s online journal and the New York-based think tank that funds it, the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR).

In the course of their report’s self-righteous criticism of the widespread “opaqueness” about who funds think tanks, Weiss and Pomerantsev disclose, in an aside, that their work is “funded by a think tank that receives support from the family of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.” Their critique of the weaponization of money, however, neglects to mention its funder’s conviction for embezzlement and money laundering.

In Washington, Weiss and Pomerantsev were joined in the discussion of their “counter-disinformation” report by an analyst from the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative advocacy group founded by Robert Kagan and William Kristol, whose earlier Project for a New American Century had played a key role in pushing the lies that led to the US invasion of Iraq.

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Behind the USS Liberty Cover-up

Maidhc Ó Cathail
Consortium News
November 12, 2014

“The Day Israel Attacked America,” an investigation into Israel’s deadly June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty at the height of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, was aired recently on Al Jazeera America.

Directed by British filmmaker Richard Belfield, the documentary confirms not only that the attack on the U.S. Navy spy ship was deliberate — an undisputed fact long accepted by all but the most shameless Israeli apologists — but reveals, perhaps for the first time, how Tel Aviv was able to induce the U.S. government to cover up an attack that killed 34 and injured 171 of its own seamen by a supposed “ally.”

“It was especially tough for Lyndon Johnson, to date the most pro-Israeli American president in history,” the film’s narrator observed. According to Tom Hughes, the State Department’s director of intelligence and research at the time of the Liberty attack, “Johnson was in a very tough mood.”

As an indication of Johnson’s initial firm stance, Hughes recalled that Johnson briefed Newsweek magazine off the record that the Israelis had attacked the Liberty, suggesting that they may have done so because they believed that the naval intelligence-gathering ship had been intercepting Israeli as well as Egyptian communications.

A post-interview leak revealing that it was the President himself who had briefed the media about the attack on the Liberty alarmed the Israeli embassy in Washington and its friends in the major Jewish organizations, who intimated that Johnson’s Newsweek briefing “practically amounted to blood libel.”

The documentary’s narrator said declassified Israeli documents now show that “they were going to threaten President Johnson with ‘blood libel’ — gross anti-Semitism — and that would end his political career.”

“Blackmail!” retired U.S. Navy admiral Bobby Ray Inman frankly summed up Israel’s strategy to deal with Johnson. “[T]hey know if he is thinking about running again he’s going to need money for his campaign,” said Inman, who from 1977 to 1981 directed the National Security Agency, the U.S. intelligence agency under whose aegis the USS Liberty had been dispatched to the eastern Mediterranean. “So alleging that he’s blood-libeling is going to arouse the Jewish donors.”

The Israeli government hired teams of lawyers, including close friends of Johnson, the narrator added, and began an “all-out offensive” to influence media coverage of the attack, leaning on them “to kill critical stories” and slant others in Israel’s favor.

“There was a campaign mounted to see what could be done about returning Johnson to his normal, predictable pro-Israeli position,” Hughes said. “Efforts were to be made to remind the President of the delicacy of his own position, that he personally might lose support for his run for reelection in 1968.”

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Using the Holocaust to justify war on Assad

Maidhc Ó Cathail
RT Op-Edge
October 30, 2014

Since its creation after WWII, Israel and friends have been masters at manipulating emotions, endlessly invoking the memory of Hitler’s Germany as a pretext for starting further wars as in the recent Holocaust-themed propaganda against Syria’s government.

“The irony is that the Nazi holocaust has now become the main ideological weapon for launching wars of aggression,” Norman Finkelstein tells Yoav Shamir in “Defamation”, the Israeli filmmaker’s award-winning 2009 documentary on how perceptions of anti-Semitism affect Israeli and US politics. “Every time you want to launch a war of aggression, drag in the Nazi holocaust.”

If you’re looking for evidence in support of Finkelstein’s thesis today, you need look no further than the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit of images of emaciated and mutilated bodies from contemporary Syria.

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Using the Holocaust to Justify War

Maidhc Ó Cathail
Consortium News
October 25, 2014

“The irony is that the Nazi holocaust has now become the main ideological weapon for launching wars of aggression,” Norman Finkelstein tells Yoav Shamir in “Defamation,” the Israeli filmmaker’s award-winning 2009 documentary on how perceptions of anti-Semitism affect Israeli and U.S. politics. “Every time you want to launch a war of aggression, drag in the Nazi holocaust.”

If you’re looking for evidence in support of Finkelstein’s thesis today, you need look no further than the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit of images of emaciated and mutilated bodies from contemporary Syria.

The small exhibit, entitled “Genocide: The Threat Continues,” features a dozen images said to be from an archive of 55,000 pictures allegedly smuggled out of the country by “Caesar,” a mysterious source who claims to have defected from his job as a Syrian military photographer after having been ordered to take photos of more than 10,000 corpses.

Emphasizing the threat of an impending genocide, the reportedly conscience-stricken defector warns that a similar fate awaits the 150,000 people he says remain incarcerated by President Bashar Assad’s government.

“They’re powerful images, and viewers are immediately reminded of the Holocaust,” Cameron Hudson, the director of the museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, was cited as saying in an Oct. 15 Associated Press report. Hudson, whose intriguing career in genocide prevention includes a stint as intelligence analyst in the CIA’s Africa Directorate, added, “They show a side of the Syrian regime that hasn’t really been really seen. You might have heard about it, read about it, but when you’re confronted with these images, they’re impossible to ignore.”

The museum’s promotion of these impossible-to-ignore, Holocaust-recalling images dates from a few months earlier, however. In his July visit to Washington that included a series of meetings with U.S. government and congressional officials, Caesar’s first stop was at the Holocaust Museum.

On July 28, Michael Chertoff, a member of the museum’s governing board of trustees, presented the purported defector to a small group of reporters and researchers. According to the Washington Post’s Greg Miller, this event was the first time that Caesar had appeared publicly to answer questions about the photos deemed by some human rights organizations as evidence of war crimes committed by Assad.

Chertoff, a co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act, hasn’t hesitated to invoke the Nazis either in support of the neoconservative-conceived “global war on terror.” In an April 22, 2007 Washington Post op-ed entitled “Make No Mistake: This Is War,” the then secretary of the Department of Homeland Security wrote, “Al-Qaeda and its ilk have a world vision that is comparable to that of historical totalitarian ideologues but adapted to the 21st-century global network.”

Commenting on the former DHS secretary’s close ties to Israel, Jonathan Cook notes in his book “Israel and the Clash of Civilizations” that Chertoff’s mother was an air hostess for El Al in the 1950s. “There are reports that she was involved in Operation Magic Carpet, which brought Jews to Israel from Yemen,” writes the Nazareth-based British journalist. “It therefore seems possible that Livia Eisen was an Israeli national, and one with possible links to the Mossad.”

Among the other members of the Holocaust Memorial Council noted for their staunch support of Israel and American interventionism are the pardoned Iran-Contra neocon intriguer Elliott Abrams and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

Writing in Foreign Policy’s The Cable on April 23, 2012, Josh Rogin drew attention to Wiesel’s pointed introduction of President Barack Obama at a ceremony in the Holocaust Museum. Comparing the Syrian president and then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the perpetrators of the Nazi holocaust, Wiesel implicitly criticized Obama’s supposedly obtuse inaction, “So in this place we may ask: Have we learned anything from it? If so, how is it that Assad is still in power?”

As Rogin, a reliable media conduit for anti-Assad interventionism, pointedly observed, the speech was reminiscent of another one Wiesel gave at the opening of the museum in 1993, when he urged then President Bill Clinton to take military action in Bosnia: “Similarly, that speech came at a time when the Clinton administration was resisting getting entangled in a foreign civil war but was under growing pressure to intervene.”

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