Friday, April 12, 2024

Israel's Carthage and Netanyahu's long record of duplicity

Evacuation warnings issued by Israel to people in Gaza ahead of attacks contained a host of significant errors, BBC analysis has revealed. Warnings contained contradictory information and sometimes misnamed districts, making them confusing to Gazans seeking safety. Experts have said such mistakes could violate Israel's obligations under international law.

Cato the Elder (234–149 BC) is said to have repeatedly uttered the line Cato the Elder (234–149 BC) is said to have repeatedly uttered the line "Carthāgō delenda est" / "Carthage must be destroyed" in the Roman Senate.

The city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War.

Carthaginian, 62,000 dead and 50,000 enslaved of an estimated 112,000 present in the city; Roman, 17,000 of 40,000.

After several decades, Carthage became one of Rome’s most important colonies.

What was common between Carthage, under Roman control of the rubble, and Israel since its independence in 1948, is collective punishment.

The United Nations in 1980 said "It is estimated that between 15 May 1948 and the end of 1951, more than 684,000 Jewish immigrants settled in Israel on a substantial part of the land abandoned by the Palestinians.

Of the 370 Jewish settlements established between 1948 and the beginning of 1953, 350 were established on land abandoned by the Palestinians. In 1954 more than one-third of Israel’s Jewish population, plus 250,000 new Jewish immigrants, settled in whole cities that had been completely deserted by the Palestinians as a result of the military operations of 1948. Jaffa, Acre, Lydda, Ramleh and Beisan were some of them.

As to the Palestinian Arabs who had remained in Israel, restrictive measures amounting to dispossession were taken by the Custodian of Absentee Property, who was inclined to interpret the Absentee Property Law of 1950 rather too broadly."

B'Tselem, the Iseral civil rights organisation, in 2023 said that 554 homes, not related to construction, were demolished, and 784 houses were demolished in 2022.

B'Tselem said in 2021 "Israel embarked on a large-scale demolition campaign throughout the West Bank, in which it destroyed and confiscated dwellings, tents, livestock enclosures, buildings under construction, a road, and even a structure intended for burial. Twenty-two people, including 15 children, lost their homes in one day."

"Demolition for alleged military purposes is also common."

This is common in the West Bank and East Jerestelam and has been standard since 1967.

B'Tselem says Israel is an apartheid state.

"Israel’s regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations."

B'Tselem was established in February 1989 by a large group of Israeli lawyers, doctors and academics with the support of a lobby of ten members of the Knesset.

B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories strives for a future in which human rights, liberty and equality are guaranteed to all people, Palestinian and Jewish alike, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. 

[Such a future will only be possible when the Israeli occupation and apartheid regime end. That is the future we are working towards. B’Tselem (in Hebrew literally: in the image of), the name chosen for the organization by the late Member of Knesset Yossi Sarid (1940-2015), is an allusion to Genesis 1:27: “And God created humankind in His image. In the image of God did He create them.” 

The name expresses the universal and Jewish moral edict to respect and uphold the human rights of all people.] 

Is Israel an apartheid state?

In September 2023, the former head of Mossad, the intelligence service, Tamir Pardo, said that Israel was imposing apartheid on Palestinians in the West Bank. "There is an apartheid state here,” he said.

“In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state.”

[In August (2023), the former Northern Commander of the Israeli army described the situation in the West Bank as one of “total apartheid.”

In June, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and former UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson, wrapping up a trip to Israel/Palestine, highlighted the “ever-growing evidence” they found that “the situation meets the international legal definition of apartheid” and highlighted that they “heard no detailed rebuttal of the evidence of apartheid.”]

Arab Israelis comprise 21% of the citizens but the country is called a Jewish State. Christians comprise 7% of the Israeli Arab community.

David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, (later Israel's first prime minister and second president, respectively), in their 1918 book (in Yiddish), 'Eretz Israel (Land of Israel) in the Past and in the Present,' published an extensive guide for Jewish colonisation. They wrote that 10mn Jews could be placed in historic Eretz Israel (Palestine) on both sides of the Jordan River.

In their calculations, Palestine was "a country without a people," and the land could be redeemed and populated by industrious Jews.

The Jewish population in Palestine increased from 56,000 in 1918 to about 88,000 in 1922, when the total population was officially estimated at 750,000.

Israel is the West's last settler colony

David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, also in the book acknowledged that the contemporary fellahin (peasants) of Palestine were descended from Ancient Jewish and Samaritan farmers.

Bezalel Smotrich, finance minister of Israel, who leads the far-right, ultranationalist Religious Zionist Party, in March 2023 said there are no Palestinian people “Who was the first Palestinian king? What language do the Palestinians have? Was there ever a Palestinian currency? Is there a Palestinian history or culture? Nothing. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people,” Smotrich said at a speech in Paris.

Earlier that month, he made incendiary comments saying that the Palestinian town of Huwara in the West Bank “needs to be erased.”

In March 2024, Smotrich declared 800 hectares (1,977 acres) in the occupied West Bank as state land, in a move that will facilitate the use of the ground for settlement building.

There are about 3mn Palestinians and over 500,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. Approximately 214,600 Jews live in East Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem, once administered by Jordan, came under Israeli occupation after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Smotrich's is of European ancestry. Ashkenazi Jews lived there for 1,000 years

Ashkenazi Jews (plural Ashkenazim) are the descendants of Jews who migrated to northern France and Germany around 800 –1000, and later into Eastern Europe and Russia. Among the Ashkenazim, there are several major subgroups: Yekkes, or German Jews, stemming from the Lowlands, historical Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia.

The other significant group is called Sephardic Jews and includes those whose ancestors lived in Spain, Portugal, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Smotrich's last name is from the Western Ukraine town of Smotrych, where he says his ancestors lived. Its Jewish population was murdered en masse during the Holocaust.

Mileikowsky is the Polish family name of Binyamin Netanyahu.

The time and place of European admixture in Ashkenazi Jewish history

1993 and the doomed hopes for peace

More than 30 years ago the first Oslo Accord, known as Oslo I, was signed on September 13, 1993. The agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership saw each side recognise the other for the first time. Both sides also pledged to end their decades-long conflict.

Benjamin Netanyahu rose to prominence after being elected as the chairman of the Likud Party in 1993, becoming Leader of the Opposition. In the 1996 election, Netanyahu beat Shimon Peres, becoming the first Israeli prime minister.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony in the White House on 13 September 1993

Netanyahu called Clinton “radically pro-Palestinian” – and he derailed the Oslo peace process the first time he was prime minister in 1996.

In 2001, two years after Netanyahu was defeated for reelection by Ehud Barak he spoke to a group of terror victims in the West Bank settlement of Ofra and was unaware his comments were being recorded.

“I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get their way,” he said on the tape.

“They asked me before the election if I’d honour [the Oslo accords],” he continued. “I said I would, but... I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders."

"How did we do it? Nobody said what defined military zones were. Defined military zones are security zones; as far as I’m concerned the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone. Go argue.”

As a result, he bragged, “I de facto put an end to the Oslo Accords.”

Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy wrote, “Don’t try to claim that he has changed since then. Such a crooked way of thinking does not change over the years.” Netanyahu, he said, is “a con artist” who thinks “Washington is in his pocket and that he can pull the wool over its eyes.”

Haaretz Columnist Gideon Levy on Israel's Conduct in Gaza | Amanpour

Ehud Barak, a former prime minister, and Israel’s most decorated soldier, who served as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and as defence minister, said the Hamas attack “didn’t come out of the blue. It happened directly, on his (Netanyahu’s) watch. It was the direct result of his deeds and misdeeds.”

December 2 2023 New York Times: "Israel Knew Hamas’s Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago" A blueprint reviewed by The Times laid out the attack in detail. Israeli officials dismissed it as aspirational and ignored specific warnings.

"Israeli officials obtained Hamas’s battle plan for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack more than a year before it happened, documents, emails and interviews show. But Israeli military and intelligence officials dismissed the plan as aspirational, considering it too difficult for Hamas to carry out.

The approximately 40-page document, which the Israeli authorities code-named “Jericho Wall,” outlined, point by point, exactly the kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.

[ ] On July 6, 2023, the veteran Unit 8200 analyst wrote to a group of other intelligence experts that dozens of Hamas commandos had recently conducted training exercises, with senior Hamas commanders observing."

New York Magazine said "Israel’s borders weren’t the only thing to crumble on October 7. Netanyahu’s long-held doctrine of shoring up Hamas at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, in order to prevent the establishment of a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, was imploded as did fundamental truths Israelis believed they knew about their nation.

It soon emerged that everyone from army commanders in the field to the highest echelons of government ignored clear and urgent alarms raised about Hamas’s future actions, including detailed plans of attack. Then, once Hamas launched its surprise raid, it took hours for Israeli forces to respond, giving Hamas ample time to freely kill, rape, torture, and kidnap. In the following days, Netanyahu went virtually into hiding and his government ignored the clamor of hostages’ families. Since then, the government’s relentless campaign against Hamas, in which Netanyahu has reiterated promises to “destroy” and “eliminate” the group — while in fact demolishing Gaza and killing an estimated 20,000 Gazans — has drawn furious condemnation across the world, leading an ally as close as President Biden to directly critique him."

Israel, Ehud Barak said, “is weaker than it was one year ago, but Israelis are a defiant species.” But for the country to repair itself, Barak said, Netanyahu has to go: “It is the most urgent step to be taken. We suffered a major blow. We fought. By mid-January, the time will come for him to go.”

It's April and Netanyahu is still blundering.

The Two-State Platitude | NYT Opinion

Arthur Balfour (1848-1930) was Chief Secretary for Ireland (1887-1891), with a seat in the cabinet. He opposed the demand for a restoration of a Parliament in Dublin (Irish Home Rule). However, he opposed the evils of English absentee landlordism in Ireland and made various concessions for the purpose of “killing home rule by kindness.”

Land Purchase (Ireland) Act 1903 was a noted achievement.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), a Jewish banker in Frankfurt, laid the foundations on which his five sons and their descendants would build a Europe-wide banking empire, establishing their businesses and making their family homes in Vienna, London, Paris and Naples, as well as Frankfurt.

The Balfour Declaration was a letter from the British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lionel Walter, 2nd Lord Rothschild, in his capacity as unofficial leader of the British Jewish community. The letter concerned the favourability by the Government of the establishment of Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people.

Balfour today is called a racist related to a 1906 speech in the House of Commons regarding rules on elections in South Africa, following the Boer War. This was a time when New Zealand, Australia and Finland had given women the vote in national elections.

The Rothschild Archive notes "Beginning in 1916, the British hoped that in exchange for their support of Zionism, would help to finance the growing expenses of the First World War, which was becoming increasingly burdensome. More importantly, policy-makers in the Foreign Office believed that Jews could be prevailed upon to persuade the United States to join the War.

At this time, there were very strong pro-Zionist feelings by many of the political elite and establishment. Many of Britain’s leaders, including Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and Balfour himself, felt for the Jews and their history. These men were deeply religious Christian Zionists. They had grown up on the Bible; the Holy Land was their spiritual home. They believed that modern Zionism would fulfil a divine promise, and re-settle the Jews in the land of their ancient fathers." ?

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, the British journalist, has written "This was no obvious manifestation of philosemitism: Balfour privately admitted that he felt uneasy in Jewish company, and Lloyd George could be spitefully antisemitic. By contrast, the only Jewish member of the cabinet at the time, Edwin Montagu, passionately opposed the declaration and detested Zionism."

On December 11, 1917, General Edmund Allenby, commander of the British “Egyptian Expeditionary Force,” entered Jerusalem, two days after the Turkish forces occupying the city had raised the white flag.

In 1919 Balfour wrote to Lloyd George, prime minister, one Zionist convert to another: "The weak point of our position of course is that in the case of Palestine, we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination. If the present inhabitants were consulted they would unquestionably give an anti-Jewish verdict.’ That was later echoed by Churchill.

In 1919, US President Wilson created the King-Crane Commission and it noted: “No British officer, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist programme could be carried out except by force of arms.”

The officers generally thought that a force of not less than 50,000 soldiers would be required even to initiate the program. That of itself is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist program, on the part of the non-Jewish populations of Palestine and Syria. Decisions requiring armies to carry out, are sometimes necessary, but they are surely not gratuitously to be taken in the interests of a serious injustice.

[For the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a “right” to Palestine, based on an occupation of 2,000 years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.]

In March 1921, British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill (r) visited Jerusalem

He said "It is manifestly right that the Jews should have a National Home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in this land of Palestine, with which for more than 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated? We think it will be good for the world, good for the Jews and good for the British Empire.

But we also think it will be good for the Arabs who dwell in Palestine, and we intend that it shall be good for them, and that they shall not be sufferers or supplanted in the country in which they dwell or denied their share in all that makes for its progress and prosperity.

And here I would draw your attention to the second part of the Balfour Declaration, which solemnly and explicitly promises to the inhabitants of Palestine the fullest protection of their civil and political rights."

Churchill was also involved in the Irish War of Independence in 1919-1922

In 1937 Winston Churchill gave closed-door testimony in the House of Commons that he opposed a two-state solution "he had no more sympathy for the displaced Palestinian Arabs than he had for the American Indians or Australian aborigines: it was merely the advance of history if a weaker or lower race was supplanted by a stronger or, as he put it, a 'higher grade race.'"


During the Second World War Jewish terrorist gangs attacked British forces and even asked the Nazis for assistance.

Walter Edward Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne, a member of the Irish Guinness brewing family, was a close friend of Churchill. In 1944 Lord Moyne, Secretary of State for the Colonies based in Cairo was assassinated by two members of the Irgun Zvai Leumi.

Yitzḥak Shamir (born October 15, 1915, Ruzinoy, Poland, Russian Empire [now Ruzhany, Belarus was responsible for the hit. He was prime minister of Israel in 1983–84 and 1986–90 (in alliance with Shimon Peres of the Labour Party) and in 1990–92.

Menachem Begin (born August 16, 1913, in Brest-Litovsk, Russia [now in Belarus], was prime minister of Israel from 1977 to 1983.

Begin set about planning a Jewish uprising against the British authorities. This began in 1944 but increased in pace and scope immediately after World War II and continued until late 1947. Begin ordered many of the Irgun’s operations, including the Akko prison breakout and the destruction of the central British administrative offices in the King David Hotel where 91 people were killed.

In the 1948 Palestine war more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs – about half of Mandatory Palestine's Arab population – fled from their homes or were expelled, at first by Zionist paramilitaries, and after the establishment of Israel, by its military.

Following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Begin disbanded the Irgun.

A French Rothschild began the colonisation

Baron Edmond-James de Rothschild (1845-1934) was instrumental in the development of the colony in Palestine.

In 1882 he supported Jewish colonists, overseeing dozens of new colonies. Rishon le Zion (the First in Zion) was followed by others bearing the names of his parents.

Edmond paid his first visit to the colonies in 1887, to inspect the progress that had been made in the first five years. His yacht moored at Port Said, then on to Jaffa, before travelling on to Jerusalem.

In 1899, responsibility for the Rothschild settlements was transferred to the Palestine branch of the Jewish Colonisation Association. He also gave 15 million francs to the JCA.

The Ottoman Empire began about 1517 but in the 19th century, it was in a poor state.

There was a population of about 5,000 Jews in Palestine in 1517 and about 295,000 Muslims and Christians.

Sergio Della Pergola, an Italian-born Jew put the Jewish population at 7,000 in 1800 and 43,000 in 1890 from a total population of 532,000.

In 1918 the population was 60,000 Jews with a total population of 660,000. In 1947 the ratio was 32% 630,000 and a total population of 1,970,000.

In 1947 the Jewish population was at 630,00 and at 1,324,000 for Palestinians and others.

In 1948 the ratio was 82% and 716,700 Jews, and only about 156,000 Non-Jews.

This was after the“Al Nakba,” which literally translates as “The Catastrophe.”

The Turks had a policy of not allowing foreigners to buy land.

But the Marj ibn Amir / fertile Jezreel Valley in northern Palestine in 1872 was sold to the Sursock family of Beirut.

The Sursock acquired substantial land holdings in various parts of Palestine, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They purchased land in cities like Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Haifa, as well as in rural areas.

The Sursock family is a Greek Orthodox Christian and they and others were absentee landlords similar to land ownership in Ireland, until the late 19th century.

In 1906, the Sursock family sold land in Palestine to Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s Jewish National Fund. In 1929 the Sursocks sold the majority of their holdings to the Baron.

As farmers paid tithes to the Sursock family in Beirut for the right to work the agricultural lands in the villages, they were deemed tenant farmers by the British Mandate authorities in Palestine, and the right of the Sursock family to sell the land to the Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s Jewish National Fund (JNF) was upheld by the British authorities.


The Hamas attack on civilians and foreigners on October 7, 2023, when 780 civilians lost their lives, was a heinous crime. There were 314 Israeli soldiers killed on that day.

However, the collective punishment of the civilian population in Gaza is shocking.

The AP (Associated Press) on April 2024 has data on deaths and injuries since

Palestinians killed in Gaza: 33,137 - Hamas's Health Ministry says 2/3 are civilians.

Israeli soldiers killed in the Gaza ground offensive: 256

Children killed in Gaza: more than 13,000

Militants killed by Israel in Gaza: more than 13,000, according to the Israeli military


Palestinians injured in Gaza since Oct. 7: 75,815

Palestinians injured in the West Bank since Oct. 7: 4,750

Israeli soldiers injured since the beginning of the ground offensive: 1,549

Israeli civilians injured on Oct. 7: 4,834

Israeli bombardments and ground offensives in Gaza have killed more than 33,600 Palestinians and wounded over 76,200, the Health Ministry said on 12 Friday, April 12 (AP).

The Israeli soldier deaths and soldier injuries are tiny compared with the Palestinian deaths, and injuries, together with the Carthaginian-scale destruction of a city.

In The Times of Israel newspaper recently, Corinne Mellul, of a Paris university wrote "If Israel responds to the October 7 attacks by doubling down on its refusal to engage on a diplomatic track that could offer the Palestinians some hope – an outcome of the attacks Hamas would loathe – Israelis will continue to bear the burden of Gaza’s destruction and to walk blindfolded toward a future of permanent insecurity, permanent war, and permanent pariah status – thus betraying the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, which sought to see Israel become a member in the family of nations."

Benjamin Netanyahu like Donald Trump needs the shield of public office to avoid jail.

Netanyahu rejects independence for the Palestinians

Since 1967 the consensus view in the international community is that the existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights is in violation of international law.

Citing government numbers, a pro-settler group on the West Bank says the population has passed 517,000, not including East Jerusalem; predicts "accelerated growth" The population of Israeli settlers in the West Bank grew nearly 3% in 2023, and according to a new report based on population statistics from the government. (Times of Israel 2024.) East Jerusalem has about 580,000 inhabitants: 61% of the population is Arab Palestinian and 39% are Jewish settlers.

The Israelis have said to the Americans in particular, please continue to give us military assistance but we're not interested in your international law and Palestinian land.

On February 24 the United States said that new Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal, effectively reversing a policy by the administration of former President Donald Trump.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said an announcement by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich that more than 3,300 new Israeli settlements are to be built in the occupied West Bank was “disappointing.”?