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06 November 2019


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Here's an interesting item on Ciaramella's lawyer Mark Zaid:


David Habakkuk


The caravan has moved on, but in the light of the importance of the issue you raise, it seems worth hazarding some comments.

Unfortunately, it takes me into areas where I do not feel in command of the evidence. Obviously, one cannot be sure that the recent claims by Ari Ben-Menashe are accurate. However, my impression is that most of what he wrote back in 1992 about Iran-Contra, and also about Maxwell’s involvement with Israeli intelligence, has stood up quite well.

His recent suggestion that rather than the relationship between Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein beginning after her father’s death in 1991, it started in the early ‘Eighties, and the daughter falling for the American led the father to bring the boyfriend into his activities with Israeli intelligence, seems to me to make better sense of the history.

Be that as it may, I cannot see any other credible interpretation than that this is an Israeli intelligence operation, aimed at gathering ‘kompromat’ on people who could be influential. A $60,000 question, of course, was whether it was actually used for purposes of blackmail.

But then, merely the possibility, and the fact of being involved in circles of complicity, could make the targets more prone to serve what those doing the targeting saw as the interests of Israel.

I think one has to take into account the way that Zionism became, not for all its adherents but for a significant number of important ones, a kind of ‘corrupt holy crusade.’

Also, for very many Zionists – as with many Poles, Balts, and in particular Galician nationalists – the opportunity to secure ‘krysha’ from the United States, to use another Russian term, has been intoxicating. A not particularly surprising result is that end results are not necessarily in the long-term interests of these people, let alone anyone else.

The antics of Lieutenant-Colonel Vindman are simply a rather extreme example of a wider problem.

For a whole range of reasons, it has long been my view that, irrespective of what courses of action it followed, the long-term prospects for a settler Jewish state in the contemporary Middle East were going to be questionable. And while all courses of action seemed problematic, I have certainly never thought that their ‘least worst option’ involved pursuing the kind of goals set out in the Oded Yinon plan.

Among the many pernicious effects of the approaches followed, has been that in order to neutralise criticism of the uses to which Israel and its fellow-travellers put the ‘krysha’ of the United States, the – very natural – post-1945 taboo on anti-Semitism has been exploited.

To do this, however, it is necessary to disseminate what is actually a myth: that Jews have, from time immemorial, constituted some kind of coherent ‘people’, pining for a return to their ‘ancestral home’ in Palestine. Only by doing this can you hope to make the charge ‘anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism’ stick.

As it happens, the case of Robert Maxwell – born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch – illustrates some of the problems. He was certainly an inventive businessman. Back in the early ‘Sixties, the bookshop he opened in Oxford had sofas and served coffee – and as my school was over the road, and its facilities were primitive, we used to go there quite often.

But in a city where – both in the university and elsewhere – there were a lot of Jewish refugees from the disasters of European history and their children, it was very evident that Hitler had the effect of bringing together people who had nothing in common.

The Pioneer Corps – digging not fighting – was the only place where young German Jewish refugees were allowed to serve, at the start of the war, because of the fear spies had been infiltrated. Apparently, although Maxwell was from Czechoslovalia, having got into problems with the Czech army he served there, before transferring into proper Army and winning the Military Cross.

As it happens, we grew up thinking that Peter Ganz, a father of schoolfriend of mine, who was a scholar of medieval German literature, spent the whole war in the Pioneer Corps, and I only learnt after his death that he had transferred into highly sensitive intelligence operations.

I see him referred to in a recent review in the ‘Times of Israel’ headlined ‘How Britain’s German-born Jewish “secret listeners” helped win World War II; A new book by historian Helen Fry details the daring operation in which the UK eavesdropped on Nazi prisoners, gleaning precious intel – and early graphic accounts of Holocaust.’

(See https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-britains-german-born-jewish-secret-listeners-helped-win-world-war-ii/ .)

Noting how some of what those involved in the Trent Park surveillance operation heard was ‘utterly harrowing’, especially for Jews with families still trapped in Europe, the review continues ‘Some, such as Peter Ganz, would indeed discover after the war that members of their family had perished in the Holocaust.’

Unfortunately, this is a rather glaring instance of how the Zionist ‘narrative’ has become detached from reality.

So, as I also only learnt after Peter Ganz’s death, the grandfather who died in Auschwitz had converted to Lutheranism, while his father had distinguished himself in the Imperial German Army in 1914-18.

A radio play which my schoolfriend’s younger brother wrote about the ‘secret listeners’ has a character clearly based on their father describing to his – English – girlfriend arriving at the Buchenwald concentration camp after Kristallnacht. He was saying that the ludicrousness of the whole situation was that the Jews who had been sent there had nothing in common, and trying to explain the meaning of the German work ‘Heimat’: by which he meant Mainz, not Jerusalem.

It seems to me unfortunate that Helen Fry is trying to use a fascinating history to do with German Jewish refugees for purposes of ‘Holocaust Education’, without realising that she is, unwittingly, reinforcing traditional, and false, anti-Semitic sterotypes: that the prime loyalty of Jews has to be to other Jews.

I see that Ben-Menashe was born in Tehran, but is referred to as an Iraqi Jew. My suspicion is that his ‘whistleblowing’ may be partly the product of his history having have led to an initial belief that Israel was a refuge, followed by disillusion with the kind of East European Jews running the place – and quite possibly the belief that their approaches to the Middle East were ultimately futile.

Ironically, the one other thing which Peter Ganz had in common with Maxwell – who was apparently born into a Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish family – was that they both ‘married out.’ So, technically, Ghislaine Maxwell is not actually Jewish.

In a style completely different to most of the other Jews I have known, Maxwell used to like to throw about his money. A decade after I used to frequent his bookshop, when my own father was heavily involved in the administration of Oxford University, he would receive invitations to functions at Headington Hill Hall, where the family lived, which he always declined.

His own background was in South Wales, and, as he said himself, he retained something of a smell of chapel whitewash about him. But a somewhat hysterical Calvinism – a tendency, as it were, to assume that the first drink you take may take you on a slippery slope down to the poorhouse – sometimes has its uses.

A lesson I took from him is that there are people who are experts in, as it were, getting people to travel along ‘primrose paths’ – more commonly to do with sex or money than with drink or drugs.

Often, this is done with concrete political ends in view. Sometimes, however, there is also element of pleasure in seduction – which can involve persuading oneself and others that people with pretensions and high-minded principles are really no better than oneself – and perhaps an element of revenge.

After my father had retired, he still remained very much in contact with and involved with, university affairs. I remember talking to him about the negotiations which led to the creation of what is now called the Said Business School.

It was a difficult time, because the University was trying to remain internationally competitive, in a context where funding was not easy to find. But, unlike others, my father had no delusions that the Saudis – acting through Wafic Said – were giving things out of the kindness of their hearts.

If you want to see an example of quite how stupid the contemporary British can be, have a look at an interview with Said by Charles Moore in the ‘Spectator’ from January 2012.

(See https://www.spectator.co.uk/2012/01/the-road-from-damascus/ .)

While I hope that experience has taught me to be less hysterically ‘Protestant’ than my father, a lesson I have seen no need to unlearn is that there are certain people to whom, unless you really fancy your skills at manipulation, you should give a wide berth, or at least handle with great care.

Examples, as well as Maxwell, Epstein, and Said, include Ahmed Chalabi and Boris Berezovsky.

If you have not the sense to see this, not only are you liable to get taken to the cleaners, but you may well find that you have no alternative but to become involved in criminality – or, to cover-up for the criminality of others.

This, I think, has happened time and again in recent years.

Ishmael Zechariah

Many thanks for your response. As I anticipated you wrote a very valuable comment w/ first-hand info. IMO, the "caravan" has not moved on, but has been moved on, post haste, and "disappeared". Those responsible for moving it on are the usual suspects. The third time-enemy action... Epstein's arrival in the USA and his subsequent demise-way too convenient for some and way too fast and easy for him- might live on irrespective of all attempts to make it disappear. Something hideous came out of the depths, breathed a charnel smell over all and sunk back. Mayhap we will get it and its symbiotes one day.
Ishmael Zechariah


Empty Wheel is a highly partisan analyst who continues to believe a high level collusion scheme existed between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, run out of Manafort's Kiev office, with a secondary operation to publicize emails hacked by the GRU run by Roger Stone in liaison with Wikileaks. She believes Flynn helped initiate the scheme beginning at the RT dinner. She believes Mifsud is a Russian operative. She claims the proof of the collusion conspiracy is in the redacted portions of the Mueller Report. She believes the Mueller investigation was a professional operation which always acted in good faith. Many of the "fact-checks" presented are either hair-splitting details, hinge on her interpretation of a redaction, or follow from a prexisting conclusion that Flynn was involved in a collusion conspiracy.

Larry Johnson

Marcy Wheeler is an Empty Headed crazy person. Devoid of logic. Lacking in experience. But damn certain of her stupid opinions. If her blog was printed on paper you would not be able to use it as toilet paper. Even her prose causes chafing.

SAC Brat

Thanks for the summary as it is hard to keep up with the competing narratives. I could sense a shrillness at EW but the presentation of events here and at Yves Smith's blog seemed more realistic.

Keep up the good work Larry.


OMG - Ahmed Chalabi -- my own personal favorite for total international grifter and con man. We can almost thank him 100% for the Iraq War mess. Sy Hersh drew a bead on him years before he finally wormed his way into the Bush inner circle. Ancient Egypt said a man dies twice - once when he leaves his earthly realm and the second time when his name is no longer spoken. AGGGGRH -- you just ressurected the Fiend of Bahgdad. Now he has to pass from the memory banks yet again. Am I being fair?


previous comments (by Petrel, David Habakkuk) mention the Eastern European, Polish, Galician, roots of many "movers and shakers" in USA. By extension it would include also Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish people. Recently someone recommended to me a book by a seemingly very influential person, a person who shapes the "narrative" (I very much do not like this word) - a professor of history and acclaimed author of books on history of Eastern Europe, Timothy Snyder. I am trying to find if he is also somehow from that region, but my internet search of his biography is very brief and does not give any hints. Can anyone give an explanation why a Midwesterner would go through the pain of learning Ukrainian, Polish?
Parenthetically I may add, that i have known a really talented man, an American, who spoke fluently French, Italian, Spanish, German, some Russian and some Ukrainian, some Farsi. He was married to an Ukrainian lady.


Linguists have reported Polish and Japanese are the two most difficult languages to learn.

One wonders what mastery of complex languages does to the brain's ability to organize and process other intellectual input. Does a brain that "thinks" in Polish or Japanese just see things differently?

Could it be the complexity of one's native language is key to their later intellectual performance and has nothing to do with any other superficial factor - race, class, gender etc.

Keith Harbaugh

David, how on earth can you, an obviously intelligent person with wide knowledge, write what you wrote above (but numbers have been added for later reference):

To do this, however,
it is necessary to disseminate what is actually a myth:
that Jews have, from time immemorial,
1) constituted some kind of coherent ‘people’,
2) pining for a return to their ‘ancestral home’ in Palestine.
Regarding item 2), anyone with the extensive knowledge of Jews you claim should know that
the very last words of the traditional Seder are "next year in Jerusalem."
References for that:
Quoting the Wikipedia article:
L'Shana Haba'ah evokes a common theme in Jewish culture of
a desire to return to a rebuilt Jerusalem
It seems to me that those references prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
item 2) is most definitely not a "myth", but a proven fact.
Your claim seems to me to be a deliberate fraud
(the sort of thing often called "a canard" by Jews)

With regard to item 1) see, for example, the Wikipedia articles (emphasis added)

Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת Tsiyyonut [t͡sijo̞ˈnut] after Zion) is the nationalist[fn 1] movement of the Jewish people

Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group[10] and a nation,[11][12][13]
See references 11, 12, 13 for more detail on that.
I can also observe that in my readings of what Jews write,
they do refer to "the Jewish nation" in a sense, not referring to the nation of Israel, but in the sense of "the Jewish people", however they choose to define that (of course there is disagreement among Jews as to how that should be defined).

David, you impress me, and no doubt others, with the range of your knowledge.
How can you ignore such basic knowledge?

As to my personal views on this and related matters,
I have the highest regard for the the many accomplishments of the Jewish people, and certainly do not wish them ill.
However, both honesty and the survival, if possible, of the Western culture that contributed so much to the achievements of the West,
demand that we be cognizant of those who are trying to subvert
the traditional values of (this refers to multiculturalism), and
demographic dominance of (this refers to the massive immigration of the last few decades)
of the traditional West.

And who might those subversives be?
A scholar, born a Jew, Larry Auster has addressed that issue with an impressively erudite article:
"Jews: The Archetypal Multiculturalists" by Lawrence Auster, 1998/2013

I, for one, feel the need to "defend the Shire".

David Habakkuk

Keith Harbaugh,

I had not looked back at this thread, so had missed your response.

There will, I think, be better occasions to take up the issues you raise, which are very important ones.

For now, a few remarks.

In the interests of clarity, I should perhaps say that insofar as I am ill at ease with the ‘Hobbits’ of Tolkien’s ‘Shire’, it is because of forefathers who were ‘dwarves’ in the coalfields and smelters of South Wales.

My possessing the name of an Old Testament prophet betokens Calvinist origins, not Jewish. But then, radical Protestants have commonly been philo-Semitic.

There is a figure called Kevin Macdonald, whose writings on Jews as an ‘hostile élite’ you may well know.

(See https://www.researchgate.net/scientific-contributions/2068070204_Yuri_Slezkine .)

As it happens, I do not much like him. His reference to ‘the Germans, from Wagner to von Treitschke to Chamberlain and Hitler’, disliking the irony of Heine, seems to me to demonstrate an inability to grasp that groups, be they Germans, Jews, Muslims, or whoever, are rarely monolithic wholes.

That said, an important part of the background to his writing – as of the piece by Lawrence Auster to which you link, which seems to me far superior to Macdonald’s writing – is that very many of the most influential American Jews seem to be queuing up for starring roles in versions of the ‘hostile élite’ drama.

Quite a few of them appear to be doing their level best to persuade people who place any value on the traditional ‘Anglo’ culture of the American Republic that they are something close to an ‘existential threat’ to it.

In Britain, also, ‘tribal’ Jews – ‘ghetto Jews’ sometimes seems to me an appropriate term – have claimed the right to speak for some kind of coherent ‘Jewish people.’

So, for example, concluding his May 2015 article ‘We never forget Jerusalem’, our former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, wrote:

‘We have had the privilege to be born in a generation that has seen Jerusalem reunited and rebuilt. We have seen the Jewish people come home.

‘Today God is calling on us all to be Guardians of Zion. Never has this been more important. We must all stand up for the one home our people has ever known and the one city our people has loved more than any other. We are all shagrirey medinat Yisrael (ambassadors for the State of Israel) and we must all make Israel’s case in a world that sometimes fails to see the beauty we know is here. Let us all take on that task. With Hashem’s help, we will succeed and we pray may the world make its peace with Israel so that Israel and Israel’s God can bring peace to the world.’

(See http://rabbisacks.org/we-never-forget-jerusalem/ .)

As it happens, I think this is an ‘open-and-shut’ case of ‘incitement to anti-Semitism.’

That there are some Jews who have their ‘home’ in this country – and are more than temporary residents – seems to be beyond our former Chief Rabbi’s capacity to imagine.

That he cannot see the possible implications of implicitly defining all Jews as ‘resident aliens’ is, I think, indicative of extraordinary stupidity and recklessness.

It also completely obscures the fact that, for many Jews here, their history is one of lost homes, and the equally important fact that very many of them had long abandoned the Jewish religion.

I mentioned Peter Ganz, for whom ‘home’ had clearly been Mainz: clearly not a Jew, in Rabbi Sachs’s definition.

What then can I say about Peter Stern, who likewise made it over here just before the outbreak of war, leaving relatives who died? He also ended up as a professor of German, having been a sergeant in His Majesty’s Armed Forces.

Again, the comparison with Maxwell is interesting, in that like him Stern came from Czechoslovakia – he served in No 311 Squadron, the Czech bomber squadron in the RAF, hunting U-boats over the Atlantic.

I well remember two fingers clawed around a pipe, a relic of one of the ultimate lucky escapes, when the Wellington bomber in which he served as ‘tail gun Charlie’ was shot down by Ju-88s, and the survivors were picked up, by pure fluke, after fourteen hours in the water.

While Peter Ganz was an agnostic brought up as a Lutheran, Peter Stern was brought up a Catholic, and remained a kind of ‘Jewish Christian’ to the end of his life.

Like so refugees from ‘assimilationist’ families, both completely failed to maintain the concern for group survival which Macdonald appears to think a Jewish characteristic, marrying out.

And then, what can I say of a lifelong friend of my mother’s from schooldays, the daughter of a secular Jewish lawyer, who herself ended up as a pillar of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Kensington?

I vividly remember their house, with the walls covered in prints of the St. Petersburg which the father had left in the Civil War, leaving his coat on the door, before finally making it over here through Crimea.

My ‘few remarks’ have got longer than I intended.

What is important is that the kind of ‘tribalism’ which Macdonald sees as a general Jewish characteristic is found among some Jews, but not others.

An obvious fact is that ‘assimilationist’ Jews tend over time to disappear.

However, a situation where the ‘tribal’ Jews who do not want to ‘assimilate’ attempt to shape the fate of non-Jewish polities is, quite patently, fraught with potential for disaster.

That however, does not provide good reason for accepting the simplicities either of Sacks or Macdonald – who agree on a ‘totalitarian’ vision of all true Jews as essentially the same, but simply differ on whether the largely mythical identity in which they believe should be given a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ sign.

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