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American Resistance To Empire

The FBI–America’s Secret Police

The FBI: America’s Secret Police

 

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“We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail. J. Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”—President Harry S. Truman

Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation tactics. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment schemes.

These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America, yet it’s the secret police—tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear—who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.

Every regime has its own name for its secret police: Mussolini’s OVRA carried out phone surveillance on government officials. Stalin’s NKVD carried out large-scale purges, terror and depopulation. Hitler’s Gestapo went door to door ferreting out dissidents and other political “enemies” of the state. And in the U.S., it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation that does the dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government, or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work.

Indeed, a far cry from the glamorized G-men depicted in Hollywood film noirs and spy thrillers, the government’s henchmen have become the embodiment of how power, once acquired, can be so easily corrupted and abused.

Case in point: the FBI is being sued after its agents, lacking sufficient evidence to acquire a search warrant, disabled a hotel’s internet and then impersonated Internet repair technicians in order to gain access to a hotel suite and record the activities of the room’s occupants. Justifying the warrantless search as part of a sting on internet gambling, FBI officials insisted that citizens should not expect the same right to privacy in the common room of a hotel suite as they would at home in their bedroom.

Far from being tough on crime, FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers. In fact, in addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts. USA Today estimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.

In a stunning development reported by The Washington Post, a probe into misconduct by an FBI agent has resulted in the release of at least a dozen convicted drug dealers from prison. Several suspects awaiting trial have also been freed, and more could be released as the unnamed agent’s caseload comes under scrutiny. As the Post reports: “The scope and type of alleged misconduct by the agent have not been revealed, but defense lawyers involved in the cases described the mass freeing of felons as virtually unprecedented—and an indication that convictions could be in jeopardy. Prosecutors are periodically faced with having to drop cases over police misconduct, but it is unusual to free those who have been found guilty.”

In addition to procedural misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, the FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, and harassment.

For example, the Associated Press recently lodged a complaint with the Dept. of Justice after learning that FBI agents created a fake AP news story and emailed it, along with a clickable link, to a bomb threat suspect in order to implant tracking technology onto his computer and identify his location. Lambasting the agency, AP attorney Karen Kaiser railed, “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation.”

Then again, to those familiar with COINTELPRO, an FBI program created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government considers politically objectionable, it should come as no surprise that the agency has mastered the art of government disinformation.

The FBI has been particularly criticized in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks for targeting vulnerable individuals and not only luring them into fake terror plots but actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions.”

Another fallout from 9/11, National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose the demands. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread violations.

The FBI’s surveillance capabilities, on a par with the National Security Agency, boast a nasty collection of spy tools ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls.  In one case, the FBI actually managed to remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.”

Now the FBI is seeking to expand its already invasive hacking powers to allow agents to hack into any computer, anywhere in the world. As journalist Brett Wilkins warns:

If the proposed rule change is approved, the FBI would have the power to unleash “network investigative techniques” against computers anywhere in the world, allowing the agency to secretly install malware and spyware on any computer, effectively allowing it to control that computer and all its stored information. The FBI could download all the computer’s digital contents, switch its camera or microphone on or off and even control other computers in its network.

And then there’s James Comey, current director of the FBI, who knows enough to say all the right things about the need to abide by the Constitution, all the while his agency routinely discards it. Comey has this idea that the government’s powers shouldn’t be limited, especially when it comes to carrying out surveillance on American citizens. Responding to reports that Apple and Google are creating smart phones that will be more difficult to hack into, Comey has been lobbying Congress and the White House to force technology companies to keep providing the government with backdoor access to Americans’ cell phones.

It’s not all Comey’s fault, though. This transformation of the FBI into a secret police force can be traced back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover. As author Anthony S. Summers points out, it was Hoover who “built the first federal fingerprint bank, and his Identification Division would eventually offer instant access to the prints of 159 million people. His Crime Laboratory became the most advanced in the world.”

Eighty years after Hoover instituted the FBI’s first fingerprint “database”—catalogued on index cards, no less—the agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime. This is what’s known as pre-crime.

If it were just about fighting the “bad guys,” that would be one thing. But as countless documents make clear, the FBI has a long track record of abusing its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate dissidents of all stripes. It’s an old tactic, used effectively by former authoritarian regimes.

In fact, as historian Robert Gellately documents, the Nazi police state was repeatedly touted as a model for other nations to follow, so much so that Hoover actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police. As Gellately noted, “[A]fter five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”

Indeed, so impressed was the FBI with the Nazi order that, as the New York Times recently revealed, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen, brought them to America, hired them on as spies and informants, and then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

So not only have American taxpayers have been paying to keep ex-Nazis on the government payroll for decades but we’ve been subjected to the very same tactics used by the Third Reich: surveillance, militarized police, over criminalization, and a government mindset that views itself as operating outside the bounds of the law.

Yet as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, it’s no coincidence that the similarities between the American police state and past totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany grow more pronounced with each passing day. This is how freedom falls, and tyrants come to power.

Suffice it to say that when and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America: how a nation that once abided by the rule of law and held the government accountable for its actions has steadily devolved into a police state where justice is one-sided, a corporate elite runs the show, representative government is a mockery, police are extensions of the military, surveillance is rampant, privacy is extinct, and the law is little more than a tool for the government to browbeat the people into compliance.

 

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead’s concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Whitehead serves as the Institute’s president and spokesperson, in addition to writing a weekly commentary that is posted on The Rutherford Institute’s website (www.rutherford.org), as well being distributed to several hundred newspapers, and hosting a national public service radio campaign. Whitehead’s aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom

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Saudi Prince Calls Kingdom’s Oil Policies “Dangerous”

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: The fall of crude oil prices below US$80 a barrel proves that Saudi Arabia’s reliance on petroleum revenue is “dangerous”, billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Tuesday (Nov 4).

“Clearly the fact that the price of oil went down to below 80 proved that we were correct by asking the government to have other sources of income”, Alwaleed told reporters in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

“Saudi Arabia depends 90 per cent on oil, which is not right, it’s wrong and it’s dangerous, actually,” added the prince, who is a nephew of King Abdullah.

The prince, whose investments span a range of sectors including global media and hotel brands, spoke as the benchmark US crude price hit a three-year low of US$75.84 on Tuesday before recovering slightly. Brent North Sea crude dropped to US$82.02 at one point – its lowest level in four years.

Prices had already begun falling heavily on Monday “after it was reported that Saudi Arabia cut its selling price to the US possibly in a bid to compete with US shale oil”, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank said in a note to clients. The kingdom is the biggest producer in the OPEC oil cartel, which is to hold a key production meeting on Nov 27 in Vienna.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has warned that oil-dependent Gulf states will face budget shortfalls if the decline in oil prices persists. They have fallen sharply since the middle of June owing to a global supply glut.

Alwaleed said the price fall points to the need for Saudi Arabia to have “an active sovereign wealth fund and to put in it all the excess foreign exchange that you have, all the money you have, and have it earn somewhere between five to 10 per cent.”

This would be similar to the sovereign funds in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Norway, he said during a visit to the site of Kingdom Tower, a mixed-use facility that will rise more than one kilometre and will be the world’s tallest tower.

Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Co is a founder of the company developing the project. Saudi Arabia said in June it was preparing to launch its first sovereign wealth fund.

Saudis Bust Anti-Shia Terror Cell—Gun Battle Ensues

al arabiya

The masked assailants fatally shot five and wounded nine others. (Al Arabiya News)

A wanted man and a member of the Saudi security forces were killed in security clashes north of the capital Riyadh early Tuesday, Al Arabiya Channel’s correspondent reported.

The incidents took place in Shaqraa, a town about 150 km north-west of Riyadh, and in al-Qassim province to the north.

(Al Arabiya)

Al Arabiya Channel understands that the incidents occurred while security forces were following up on suspects wanted over a shooting incident in Ahsa that led to the killing of five people and wounding of others.

On Monday, the Saudi Press Agency, quoting the police information spokesman in the eastern region, said three masked men opened fire using machine guns and pistols on a group of citizens leaving a site in the village of Aldaloh in Ahsa, killing five people and wounding nine others.

In an update to the story, SPA quoted the Interior Ministry’s security spokesman as saying that six people “involved in the terrorist crime” were arrested during simultaneous security operations in Shaqraa, in Riyadh, and Ahsa and Khobar governorates in the eastern region.

(Al Arabiya)

Sheikh Dr. Fahd bin Saad Al-Majed, the secretary general of the Council of Senior Scholars, condemned the incident in Ahsa, describing the killing of the five people as a “vicious assault and heinous crime.”

He was quoted by the SPA as calling for the harshest religious penalties for the assault.
The incident indicated that the cell involved in the overnight attack was about 10-people strong.

Shiites minority

The fatal incident happened as Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority prepared to celebrate the festival of Ashura, police said.
Media reports suspect that this may have been a terrorist attack as it targeted innocent civilians.

Postings on social networking sites, residents said that the crowd had been leaving a Shiite place of worship on the eve of Ashura, one of the main festivals of their faith, Reuters news agency reported.

The commemoration of Ashura, which marks the death of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam’s most revered figures, peaks on Tuesday.

Hungary Begins Laying Pipe for South Stream System

Hungarian law gives green light to South Stream in defiance of EU

Russia-Today
Shareholders and partners of Gazprom's project sign on the first pipe abut during the launching ceremony of South Stream gas pipeline construction. (RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov)

Shareholders and partners of Gazprom’s project sign on the first pipe abut during the launching ceremony of South Stream gas pipeline construction. (RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov)

The Hungarian parliament has approved a law on Monday which allows building the South Stream gas pipeline without approval of the European Union. The European Commission has already demanded an explanation from Hungarian authorities.

The European Commission’s spokesperson said at a press briefing in Brussels on Tuesday that the EC was in contact with Hungarian authorities to get an explanation for their decision.

The law was passed with 132 votes in favor and 35 votes against, allowing a company to construct a gas pipeline even if it doesn’t have the licenses needed to operate it. According to the new law the only requirement for a company which wants to take part in construction is approval from the Hungarian Energy Office.

“This is meant to give a boost to South Stream and is to show Russia that Hungary is taking the project seriously,” Attila Holoda, an expert on energy regulation, said as cited by Bloomberg.

South Stream is “extraordinarily important” for Hungary because it enhances the security of gas supplies to the country, Janos Lazar, the Minister in Charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, told reporters on October, 22.

The South Stream gas pipeline was projected to deliver gas to south and central Europe via the Black Sea and the Balkans, bypassing Ukraine. The project, with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas a year, is seen as critical for European energy security. Ukraine has been an unreliable transit country, and building a new pipeline is could result in avoiding numerous risks.

The South Stream would run across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, and Slovenia before entering Italy and Greece. The crisis in Ukraine has made the South Stream project a political issue rather than a legal debate. The EU Commission has been pressuring member states to stop the building of the pipeline. Last year it started an investigation claiming the project contradicted the European Union’s Third Energy Package regulations.

Bulgaria and Austria have temporarily suspended the project but are leaving it on the table.

Britain Gives-Up Trying To Train Libyan Father-Rapers

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Britain ends Libyan army training after sex assaults

daily star LEB

LONDON: Britain’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it was cutting short a training programme for Libyan troops after reported sexual assaults allegedly involving five of the servicemen.

Some 300 members of the troubled north African country’s armed forces have been based at the Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire, eastern England, since July.

“Training was initially expected to last until the end of November, but we have agreed with the Libyan government that it is best for all involved to bring forward the training completion date,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The recruits will be returning to Libya in the coming days.”

Three of the Libyan soldiers – Ibrahim al-Maarfi, Mohammad Abdul-Salam and Khaled al-Azibi – were due in court in Cambridge on Tuesday.

Maarfi and Abdul-Salam have each admitted two counts of sexual assault. Azibi has been charged with three counts of sexual assault but has yet to enter a plea, British media reported.

Two other servicemen, Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud and Ibrahim Abogutila, have been charged with raping a man, the Cambridge News website reported.

“The majority of recruits have responded positively to the training despite the ongoing political uncertainty in Libya, but there have been disciplinary issues,” the ministry said.

It said the government would now “review” whether to continue training Libyan recruits in Britain.

Local lawmaker Andrew Lansley said he had written to the Defense Ministry to raise his concerns and warned he would oppose any more Libyan troops being hosted at the base.

“It is clear that the stipulation that there was to be no unauthorized exit from the base has not been adhered to and the consequences have been unacceptable,” he said.

Mass-Murder of Shiite Youth In Eastern Saudi

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Video and pictures … a dangerous precedent in an armed attack near the Council Shiite” and deaths 6″

hasanews

Hassan Ali – student Moosa Ahsa News

Terrorist attack led by unknown to the occurrence of a number of dead and wounded wholesale where the incident occurred in the village of Al-Ahsa Aldaloh east.

The back details of the incident, according to sources the newspaper “Al-Ahsa News” to the exposure of the masses of citizens to a gunshot wound from a machine gun during their neighborhoods rites night the tenth of Muharram in a known councils in Aldaloh village, which led to the occurrence of 6″ dead and a number of wounded exceeded 12 wounded ranged injuries of medium and critical, this has mobilized security authorities presence Ahsa area has been cordoned off the site as crews mobilized all hospitals to receive the injured and the declaration of a state of emergency in all hospitals.

Reload 1″:

Said media spokesman Police Eastern Region as at the eleventh hour and a half on the evening of Monday, 1436/1 / 10h, and during the exit of a group of citizens from one of the sites in the village Aldaloh province of Al-Ahsa, initiated by three masked men opened fire at them with machine guns and personal pistols after Trgelhm of a car stopped near the site, resulting in the death of 5 people and injuring 9 others were taken to hospital to receive the necessary medical treatment and care. Al-Ahsa police has initiated in the criminal investigation of the crime and investigation procedures, and continues to replace the security incident follow-up. God Crown success

 

بالفيديو والصور … في سابقة خطيرة هجوم مسلح بالقرب من مجلس “شيعي” والوفيات “6” (تحديث١)

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حسن العلي – طالب الموسى – الأحساء نيوز

أدى هجوم إرهابي من قبل مجهولين إلى وقوع عدداً من القتلى والجرحى بالجملة حيث وقعت الحادثة في قرية الدالوة شرق الأحساء .

وتعود تفاصيل الحادثة حسب مصادر صحيفة ” الأحساء نيوز ” إلى تعرض جموع من المواطنين إلى طلق ناري من سلاح رشاش خلال إحيائهم شعائر ليلة العاشر من محرم في أحد المجالس المعروفة في قرية الدالوة مما أدى إلى وقوع “6” قتلى وعدداً من الجرحى فاق ١٢ جريح تراوحت إصاباتهم من المتوسطة والحرجة ، هذا وقد استنفرت الجهات الأمنية تواجدها بمنطقة الأحساء وقد تم تطويق الموقع كما استنفرت كافة المستشفيات طواقمها لإستقبال المصابين وإعلان حالة الطوارئ في كافة المستشفيات .

تحديث “1” :

صرح الناطق الاعلامي بشرطة المنطقة الشرقية بأنه عند الساعة الحادية عشرة والنصف من مساء يوم الاثنين الموافق ١٤٣٦/١/١٠هـ  ، وأثناء خروج مجموعه من المواطنين من احد المواقع بقرية الدالوة بمحافظة الأحساء ، بادر ثلاثة أشخاص ملثمين  بإطلاق النار بإتجاههم من أسلحة رشاشة ومسدسات شخصية وذلك بعد ترجلهم من سيارة توقفت بالقرب من الموقع  ، مما نتج عنه مقتل (٥) أشخاص  وإصابة (٩) آخرين حيث تم نقلهم الى المستشفى لتلقي العلاج والرعاية الطبية اللازمة . وقد باشرت شرطة الأحساء في إجراءات الضبط الجنائي للجريمة والتحقيق فيها ، ولا يزال الحادث محل المتابعة الأمنية . والله ولي التوفيق

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Gunmen kill five in Saudi Arabia, six suspects arrested: SPA

Reuters

(Reuters) – Gunmen shot dead at least five people in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday, in what local residents said was an attack on Shi’ite Muslim worshippers marking one of their most important religious anniversaries.

Whatever its motive, the raid late on Monday in al-Ahsa district may test already strained relations between Sunnis and Shi’ites across the Middle East as it coincides with the annual Ashoura commemoration of Shi’ite Islam.

An interior ministry spokesman said six people had been arrested in connection with the attack in al-Dalwah village, SPA reported.

“As a group of citizens was leaving a building … three masked men opened fire at them with machine guns and pistols,” the spokesman said, according to SPA, adding that the incident was under investigation.

It gave no further details. Al-Ahsa is one of the main centres of minority Shi’ite Muslims in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, who are now marking Ashoura, the holy day commemorating the death of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein with public ceremonies and processions.

A local rights activist said that the victims were mostly young men who were standing at the entrance of the local gathering place, known as Huseiniya, where the commemorative ceremony was taking place.

“It seems the criminals were in a hurry and opened fire on youngsters at the entrance and fled,” Ali al-Bahrani a local rights activist told Reuters by telephone.

He said there were reports that Saudi security forces had found a vehicle apparently used by the attackers, with automatic weapons inside it, and arrested one person in connection with the attack.

“This seems to be the work of criminals and terrorists trying to mix cards, but security authorities seem determined to strike with an iron fist,” he told Reuters.

The Saudi-owned al-Arabiyah satellite news channel said six suspects linked to the attack have been detained.

SPENT CARTRIDGES

A local online newspaper, www.hasanews.com/, earlier reported that six people were killed and 12 were wounded, some seriously, in what it called a “terrorist attack” on the ceremonies in the village.

Videos purporting to show the aftermath of the attack posted to social media showed a body lying in a pool of blood outside a building, with people milling around calling for help. The authenticity of the videos could not immediately be confirmed.

One of the videos showed a man holding spent bullet casings at the bloodstained entrance to what appears to be a Shi’ite place of worship.

Al-Ahsa and Qatif, another center of the Saudi Shi’ite minority, have historically been the focal point of anti-government demonstrations in support of Shi’ites.

Shi’ites say they face discrimination in seeking educational opportunities or government employment in the majority Sunni state and that they are referred to disparagingly in text books and by some officials and state-funded clerics.

They also complain of restrictions on setting up places of worship and marking Shi’ite holidays, and say that Qatif and al-Ahsa receive less state funding than Sunni communities of equivalent size.

The Saudi government denies allegations of discrimination.

A government census in 2001 said there were about a million Saudi Shi’ites. But U.S. diplomats in a 2008 embassy cable released by WikiLeaks estimated they represent up to 12 percent of the total Saudi population, which now numbers 20 million.

(Reporting by Mostafa Hashem in Cairo Writing by William Maclean and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Noah Browning and Andrew Heavens)

 

Netanyahu and the Ghost of Rabin

19 years later, it’s time we talk about Netanyahu

haaretz logo

The man who led the anti-Rabin demonstrations that preceded the assassination was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. The only goal that should be pursued now is for him to go home.

By Sefi Rachlevsky

Anti-Rabin demonstration Anti-Rabin protest from 1990s, featuring sign depicting him as an Arab and calling him “the liar.” Photo by GPO

Today is November 4. Nineteen years after the fact, the time has come to talk about the elephant in the room. The elephant has been growing every day. By avoiding talking about it, Israel has become a country given to incest.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson won the American presidential election by the largest margin in the United States since 1824. Charismatic, Johnson was not. His election was a natural reaction to the assassination of President John Kennedy the year before. And in India, after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in circumstances similar to the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, Gandhi’s party remained in power for the next 30 years. In pre-state Israel too, David Ben-Gurion took advantage of the incitement by the right-wing Revisionist movement’s Brit Habiryonim group that preceded the assassination of his colleague Haim Arlosoroff in 1933, bringing about a shift that resulted in 40 years of rule by the center-left.

The opposite phenomenon has only occurred once in history. And how different it was. The man who led the anti-Rabin demonstrations that preceded the assassination, protests at which there were slogans including “through blood and fire, we will drive Rabin out,” was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. He was elected prime minister seven months after Rabin’s murder. He was the same man whom former Shin Bet heads Karmi Gillon and Yuval Diskin were convinced that had it not been for his support for the wave of incitement, it’s possible the assassination never would have occurred. But instead of being shunned by the public, he took up residence in the home and the bed of the murdered Rabin. Even Shakespeare and the Bible don’t provide such tragic endings.

This fact has turned Israeli culture into the equivalent of a family suffering from incest. Such families are marked by a spiral of silence. What is most important is never spoken about. It’s too horrible. And it will do harm to the future of the family and to its livelihood. It’s the head of the household, after all. One cannot say such things about him. It has to be repressed. It can’t be spoken of, as if this most important event never occurred, never happened.

On Friday, 105 former senior officials in the defense establishment took an important step, their own version of breaking the silence. They gave expression to some of the rage of the clear majority of the members of the defense community over Israel’s incomprehensible missed opportunity in our region. But whom did these 105 officials approach, urging that he forge the peace that requires a withdrawal to the 1967 borders and mass evacuation of the settlements? Who? Netanyahu, the person who is burying Israel in the settlements and has been inciting against moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for years. Under Benjamin Netanyahu’s governments, a culture unique in Israel and the world’s political history has taken control of the center-left. It’s the culture of the mother in the incestuous household. Would reserve officer Motti Ashkenazi, who led a protest movement over the debacle of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, have made a similar approach to Prime Minister Golda Meir, whose government was forced to resign following the war? Clearly not.

Would the Republicans in the United States simply ask President Barack Obama to scrap Obamacare? Would the Democrats have asked President George W. Bush to make peace? All over the world, and once upon a time in Israel too, what the opposition has always asked for is the obvious: that leaders pursue the opposite policy direction and that leaders who differ with this worldview be replaced. That’s the essence of democracy. In its absence, there is dictatorship.

There is a majority in Israel that wants dramatic change. There is a majority that has had enough of Netanyahu’s policies, which have turned Israel into a record holder among industrialized countries when it comes to economic disparities and poverty. It’s a majority that has been fed up with Israel’s subordination to race, to the settlements, to incitement and extremist religiosity. It’s a majority that wants complete change, but this majority can only make this a reality if the entire leadership that is not on the messianic right comes together to bring it about. It is only possible if the collaboration with Netanyahu is brought to an end. Only if the centrality of Rabin’s Labor Party in this dramatic change is understood. Only if an end is put to the silence over incest. Netanyahu is guilty. Nothing should be asked of him. The only goal that should be pursued is for him to go home.

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