The Jewish lobby in the U.S. Congress has introduced a law which – if passed – seeks to imprison for up to 20 years and issue fines of up to $1 million to any American who dares to propose or support a boycott of Israel on account of the Jews-only state’s suppression of the Palestinians.
The proposed law, H. R. 1697, is officially sponsored by the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC), and was first introduced to the Senate by the Jewish Senator Ben Cardin (real name “Kardonsky”) and several other Jews in Congress.
The Act’s “short title” is the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” and, according to its official description, aims to “to amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in the prohibitions on boycotts against allies of the United States boycotts fostered by international governmental organizations against Israel and to direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States to oppose boycotts against Israel, and for other purposes.”
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In other words, the bill seeks to include the proposing and implementation of boycotts of Israel (an international campaign known colloquially as ‘BDS,’ short for boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions) under the auspices of the already existing Export Administration Act, which grants the President the right to control U.S. exports for reasons of national security, foreign policy, and/or short supply.
According to the official website of the Bureau for Industry and Security, the criminal penalties for infringing the Export Administration Act “can reach 20 years imprisonment and $1 million per violation.”
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.html?screen_name=The_Resister&show_screen_name=true&show_count=false&size=lAccording to a detailed report by the Washington D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep), the bill is the “American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s top 2017 lobbying priority.”
In addition, IRmep says, the “other key problem with the Israel Anti-Boycott Law is that it inserts Israel into places it has no right to be – at the very center of laws protecting U.S. national security, trade and that moderate expansive presidential economic powers during emergencies.”
Because it is yet another case of Congress trying to write foreign policy – like the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 – the proposed law relies upon a stalking horse, in this case the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as its central authority.
The 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) limits presidential authority to regulate commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to any unusual and extraordinary threat to the US which has a foreign source.
The IEEPA itself falls under provisions of the 1976 National Emergencies Act (NEA), which governs how such special presidential powers to declare emergencies are to be invoked and then limiting their duration, through annual renewal requirements.
A 1973 Senate report on “emergencies” still in effect at the time under NEA listed bona fide but fading threats to the United States, such as the 1933 banking crisis, the 1950 emergency of the Korean War, and a 1970 postal workers strike.
“Israel’s growing international ostracization, which is generating worldwide grassroots calls for boycotts, is not a US emergency. Rather, it is a direct result of Israel’s brutal settler-colonial policies and increasing global awareness of Israel’s activities,” the IRmep report continued.
IEEPA has been misused in the recent past. After 9/11, IEEPA was invoked to block assets of accused “terrorist” organizations. This resulted in the formation of a new, secretive, AIPAC-backed office in the US Treasury Department that immediately struck down charities such as Al-Haramain, Benevolence International, Global Relief, and Kind Hearts with little due process.
Javed Iqbal was arrested through Treasury Department complaints of violating IEEPA for broadcasting Al-Manar over his cable network in New York City to offer viewers a counterpoint to typical US televised narratives during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.
Charges against Iqbal could not be defended based on free speech, since he was charged with material support for a global terrorist entity (Hezbollah). Iqbal was sentenced to almost 6 years in jail.
According to IRmep, “beyond subverting the First Amendment, which it is clearly intended to do, the Israel Anti-Boycott Law (IABA) inserts Israel into Chapter 56 – Export Administration section 4607, making Israel the only specifically designated foreign country in a trade law designed to advance US – not foreign – commercial interests.”
The IABA “suddenly makes US policing of foreign countries possibly interested in BDS, blocs such as the European Union and the UN, a US national security interest and problem – which they are clearly not – by placing Israel at the center of the US Export Administration Act of 1979, the IRmep analysis continues.
The IABL amendments seek to ban organizations like the UN from compiling and distributing lists of companies doing business in territories illegally occupied by Israel.
“What US national interest is served by banning transparency over illegal Israeli activity? No interest,” the IRmep report said.
“The bill’s “rule of construction” mandates “nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the established policy of the United States or to establish new United States policy concerning final status issues associated with the Arab-Israeli conflict, including border delineation, that can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”
Translated into English, this means that Israel and its lobby can continue to use the US as a diplomatic lever, but Palestinians cannot employ UN, the EU or other allies in the international community, as a comparable counterweight.
“There are many reasons why Israel might want the US to rewrite laws designed to advance America, to protect Israel against economic backlash. Few Americans are served by such meddling. So why do members of congress such as Ben Cardin quietly foist such laws on their constituents (and fellow Americans), to the extent of threatening fines and prison time?” the IRmep continued.
Among Ben Cardin’s top 20 year 2017 donors, 86 percent of the individual contributors administer, ran, or belong to Israel affinity organizations, including Howard Friedman, a former president of AIPAC. Among his top non-Democratic Party PAC contributors in the top 20, two are pro-Israel stealth PACs, providing 31 percent of his top-20 2017 PAC revenue. Members of the Israel lobby, not Marylanders, are Cardin’s top constituent on such matters.
“Although mainstream media and congressional attention is raptly fixated on Russia as America’s biggest foreign agent threat, the Israel Anti-Boycott Law is yet another harsh warning that until the Foreign Agents Registration Act is properly enforced over Israel’s agents, including those already ordered to register such as AIPAC, Americans can expect escalating attempts by the lobby to curtail their governance, economic freedom and liberty,” the IRmep report concluded.
Rochus Misch, Adolf Hitler’s Loyal Bodyguard
Rochus Misch, who served as Adolf Hitler’s devoted bodyguard for most of World War II and was the last remaining witness to the great german leader’s final hours in his Berlin bunker, has died just few years ago.
He was 96 and died in Berlin after a short illness. Misch remained proud to the end about his years with Hitler, whom he affectionately called “boss.” In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, Misch recalled Hitler as “a very normal man” and gave a riveting account of the Führer’s last days before he and his wife Eva Braun killed themselves as the Soviet Red Army closed in around their bunker in Berlin.
“He was no brute. He was no monster. He was no superman,” Misch said.
Born July 29, 1917, in the tiny Silesian town of Alt Schalkowitz, in what today is Poland, Misch was orphaned at an early age. At age 20, he decided to join the SS — an organization that he saw as a counterweight to a rising threat from the left. He signed up for the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, a unit that was founded to serve as Hitler’s personal protection.
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“It was anti-communist, against Stalin — to protect Europe,” Misch said. “I signed up in the war against Bolshevism, not for Adolf Hitler.”
But when Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Misch found himself in the vanguard, as his SS division was attached to a regular army unit for the blitzkrieg attack.
Misch was shot and nearly killed while trying to negotiate the surrender of a fortress near Warsaw, and he was sent to Germany to recover. There, he was chosen in May 1940 as one of two SS men who would serve as Hitler’s bodyguards and general assistants, doing everything from answering the telephones to greeting dignitaries.
Misch and comrade Johannes Hentschel accompanied Hitler almost everywhere he went — including his Alpine retreat in Berchtesgaden and his forward Wolf’s Lair headquarters.
He lived between the Fuehrer’s apartments in the New Reich Chancellery and the home in a working-class Berlin neighborhood that he kept until his death.
“He was a wonderful boss,” Misch said. “I lived with him for five years. We were the closest people who worked with him … we were always there. Hitler was never without us day and night.”
In the last days of Hitler’s life, Misch followed him to live underground, protected by the Fuehrerbunker’s heavily reinforced concrete ceilings and walls.
“Hentschel ran the lights, air and water and I did the telephones — there was nobody else,” he said. “When someone would come downstairs we couldn’t even offer them a place to sit. It was far too small.”
After the Soviet assault began, Misch remembered generals and NS brass coming and going as they tried desperately to cobble together a defense of the capital with the ragtag remains of the German military.
He recalled that on April 22, two days before two Soviet armies completed their encirclement of the city, Hitler said: “That’s it. The war is lost. Everybody can go.”
“Everyone except those who still had jobs to do like us — we had to stay,” Misch said. “The lights, water, telephone … those had to be kept going but everybody else was allowed to go and almost all were gone immediately.”
However, Hitler clung to a report — false, as it turned out — that the Western Allies had called upon Germany to hold Berlin for two more weeks against the Soviets so that they could battle communism together.
“He still believed in a union between West and East,” Misch said. “Hitler liked England — except for (then-Prime Minister Winston) Churchill — and didn’t think that a people like the English would bind themselves with the communists to crush Germany.”
On April 28, Misch saw Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Hitler confidant Martin Bormann enter the bunker with a man he had never seen before.
“I asked who it was and they said that’s the civil magistrate who has come to perform Hitler’s marriage,” Misch said. That night, Hitler and longtime mistress Eva Braun were married in a short ceremony.
Two days later, Misch saw Goebbels and Bormann talking with Hitler and his adjutant, SS Maj. Otto Guensche, in the bunker’s corridor.
“I saw him go into his room … and someone, Guensche, said that he shouldn’t be disturbed,” Misch said. “We all knew that it was happening. He said he wasn’t going to leave Berlin, he would stay here.”
“We heard no shot, we heard nothing, but one of those who was in the hallway, I don’t remember if it was Guensche or Bormann, said, ‘Linge, Linge, I think it’s done,'” Misch said, referring to Hitler’s valet Heinz Linge.
“Then everything was really quiet … who opened the door I don’t remember, Guensche or Linge. They opened the door, and I naturally looked, and then there was a short pause and the second door was opened… and I saw Hitler lying on the table like so,” Misch said, putting his head down on his hands on his living-room table.
“And Eva lay like so on the sofa with knees up, her head to him.”
Misch ran up to the chancellery to tell his superior the news and then back downstairs, where Hitler’s corpse had been put on the floor with a blanket over it.
“Then they bundled Hitler up and said ‘What do we do now?'” Misch said. “As they took Hitler out … they walked by me about three or four meters away. I saw his shoes sticking outside the sack.”
An SS guard ran down the stairs and tried to get Misch to watch as the two were covered in gasoline and set alight. “He said, ‘The boss is being burned. Come on out,'” Misch recalled. But instead Misch hastily retreated deeper into the bunker to talk with comrade Hentschel.
“I said ‘I saw the Gestapo upstairs in the … chancellery, and it could be that they’ll want to kill us as witnesses,'” Misch said. But Misch stuck to his post in the bunker — which he described as “a coffin of concrete” — taking and directing telephone calls with Goebbels as his new boss until May 2, when he was given permission to flee.
Goebbels, he said, “came down and said: ‘You have a chance to live. You don’t have to stay here and die.'” Misch grabbed the rucksack he had packed and fled with a few others into the rubble of Berlin.
Working his way through cellars and subways, Misch decided to surface after hearing German being spoken above through an air ventilation shaft. But the voices came from about 300 soldiers who had been taken prisoner, and the Soviet guards grabbed him as well.
Following the German surrender May 7, Misch was taken to the Soviet Union, where he spent the next nine years in prisoner of war camps before being allowed to return to Berlin in 1954. He reunited with his wife Gerda, whom he had married in 1942 and who died in 1997, and opened up a shop.
At age 87, when he talked with the AP, Misch still cut the image of an SS man, with a rigid posture, broad shoulders and neatly combed white hair. He stayed away from questions of guilt or responsibility for the “Holocaust”, saying he knew nothing of “the murder of 6 million Jews”.