Seconding Captain McGonagle’s Two Word Epithet

In the long run, there is no JUSTICE without FREEDOM. There can be no human rights without LIBERTY. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for LIBERTY, we stand with you.
— President George W. Bush, Second Inaugural Address

On June 8, 1967, Gary Brummett was a twenty year old Third Class Petty Officer assigned to the Boiler Room aboard the USS Liberty, a Navy intelligence/spy ship that was brutally attacked while sailing in international waters. Israeli air and naval forces aided and abetted by the LBJ Administration cold bloodedly ended the lives of 34 Americans, wounded 174 and irrevocably and traumatically altered the lives of all the men aboard the USS Liberty.

“After more than two hours of unremitting assault, the Israelis finally halted their attack. One of the torpedo boats approached the Liberty. This same torpedo boat crew had been circling the ship, machine-gunning anyone who stuck his head above decks, as well as the lifeboats the crew had put over the side. A torpedo boat officer asked in English over a bullhorn: ‘Do you need any help?’ The wounded commander of the Liberty, Captain William McGonagle, instructed the quartermaster to respond emphatically: “Fuck you.”

Brummett had been on the bottom most level all during the attack, “For thirty-five years I kept this devil bottled up. I felt like I had it under control, but it all became so real again, after I retired from the Post Office and joined the Board of the Liberty Vet’s Association. I was the Vice President for two years and President and three years.

“The attack was the easy part; the aftermath in not being able to get our government to address this cover up has been the bastard. I’ve had forty years thinking about this crap and all the presidents and Congressmen and Senators since LBJ are guilty for not addressing this issue that has been set before them. The few congressional representatives who have tried to address this have been silenced by the Israel Lobby; AIPAC and the JDL.

“The apologists for Israel like A.J. Cristol in his book of half truths and errors claimed there have been investigations. In checking the Congressional Record you will see the only investigation was the original Naval Court of Inquiry. The Liberty Veterans Association has offered $10,000 reward to anyone who can prove there was ever a Congressional investigation and so far, no takers!

“The Naval Court of Inquiry was done by two officers under the command of Senator John McCain, Sr. and it was concluded in six days! After Admiral Kidd delivered it to Washington, parts of it were altered, stuff was excised out, and it was falsified with intent!

“When the attack occurred, I was in the engineering spaces, and we called it the Dungeon. I was there, twelve to fifteen feet below the water line when the torpedo hit and I remember it as vividly now as when it happened. My back was to the boiler heater, I was looking at the starboard [right] bulkhead [wall] when the torpedo hit. I was beyond fear of death, but that feeling didn’t last too long. The torpedo hit about fifteen feet forward of the space I was in. It felt like it lifted the Liberty out of the water and we rolled to port [left] side and I thought we would capsize.

“The hole measured twenty-two by thirty-nine feet and it was like the destruction of a three story building. The entire space flooded in a matter of moments and it was a nightmare scenario.

“The day before, I and another third class boiler tech, J.P. Newell, had worked for over twenty-two hours and been awake for over thirty because of the boilers. If the water gets too low in a boiler it will over heat and rupture. Everything on that ship ran on steam power; the electricity, the fire hoses, cooking, laundry, commodes and the turbines that turned the shaft and moved the ship!

“We had been working on the Coffin Pump, an auxiliary feed pump that supplies water to the boilers. It’s a good thing we did get it fixed, because during the attack we needed that Coffin Pump because both main feed pumps seized on us about half way through the seventy-five minute attack.

“I had gotten burnt from the super heated water in the early morning on the day of the attack and after going to sick bay J.P. and I had coffee on the mess deck. J.P. then went back to finish the work on the Coffin Pump and I took a shower and went to sleep until 10 AM and then I went back to the Dungeon.

“On the PA System I could hear the Officer of the Deck call five or six times for the duty photographer team to go up to the bridge between ten and one that day. Ten to twenty minutes after a routine general quarters drill the attack started, about 2 PM. I smelled gun powder and things got hot and heavy and more furious from that point on.

“We were trained incessantly like Pavlov’s dogs, so, you don’t think you just react. I kept busy and when that torpedo hit the engineering spaces were all ready dark because the turbo generators had been knocked off line. The missiles had destroyed our back up emergency generators and the only light available were hand battle lanterns.

“Israel said they stopped attacking us after the torpedo hit, but that’s a big lie! I think they stopped shooting at us because they ran out of ammunition. When we got to Malta, I was one of five two men teams that counted the direct hits and while the official record states 821 direct hits plus the torpedo there were thousands of rounds of ammo that hit us and no way could they all be counted!

“It wasn’t until June 9th just after midnight that I went to the mess deck and saw bodies all over the place; on the floor, the tables and blood was everywhere. Men were crying for their mother’s! It was an emotional mix master, unreal, surreal. I was a twenty year old kid and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I even knew something was very wrong with what had happened to us.

“The dead had been in storage lockers for a few days before we even had time to move them into the freezers. Out of a crew of 294, 34 were killed, over 170 injured so that didn’t leave many of us to do everything.

“When we got to Malta two Navy Officers informed my group of about a dozen crewmen that National Security was involved and we were all ordered not to talk, ordered to keep our mouths shut, no talking to reporters, no details to family.

“The closest safe harbor was Crete, a day an a half away, but we were sent to Malta, a six day trip with bulkheads so contorted we could have sunk in waters that went down 17,000 feet! We still don’t have submersibles that go that deep! I think they sent us to Malta so that D.C. could have four more days to get their story straight and they hoped we would all sink!

“I was baptized a Christian when I was thirty-eight years old and while I believe it was God that kept the Liberty afloat I also think that my life was spared for another purpose and reason and LIBERTY means FREEDOM!”

See previous parts: Remembering the USS Liberty and The Torpedo that Hit the USS Liberty: Made in the USA?

Eileen Fleming is the author of Keep Hope Alive and Memoirs of a Nice Irish American Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory and the producer of 30 Minutes With Vanunu. Email her at Read other articles by Eileen, or visit Eileen's website.

47 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. joed said on November 21st, 2007 at 6:11am #

    Thanks for the fine article ms. fleming. i am not sure the point you are trying to make. please tell me(a reader) why did you release this article.

  2. Eileen Fleming said on November 21st, 2007 at 6:33am #

    Hi Joed,

    As Jake Blues/John Belushi said in the good Blues Brother’s Movie:

    “I am on a mission from God.”

    I am too and have only just begun.

    Although I have been researching Israel Palestine for 4 years, I never came across anything about the LIBERTY.

    I did not wake up about the LIBERTY until June 8, 2007!

    I was in DC for the June 10th March to End the Occupation of Palestine.

    But on the 8th, i was at a luncheon of the 27th annual American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Washington, D.C. Conference.

    It was 86 year old, walker-bound Congressman Paul Findley, a moderate Republican who blew my mind that day, when he addressed the luncheon crowd:

    “I was here for the first convention 27 years ago and I still have a fire in my belly for the civil and human rights of Arabs. It is time to speak openly and honestly about Israel. But, in American politics, that is still forbidden.

    “…Pity that we cannot seem to shed our fear of Israel. We are afraid to speak out on Capitol Hill, for fear of losing the next election. They are more like trained poodles jumping through hoops than leaders!

    “Why this fear? How did we get here?

    “Forty years ago to this day, June 8, 1967 the change occurred, the floodgates opened and money poured into Israel as never before. When President Johnson heard about the U.S.S. Liberty being attacked by Israel he ordered the rescue fighter planes to return to the deck. The rescue mission was aborted and the survivors have said they heard LBJ’s voice tell Admiral Giess, ‘Get those planes back on deck. I don’t care if the ship sinks, I will not embarrass Israel.’

    “LBJ also threatened to court martial anyone who reported what had happened. Johnson accepted Israel’s false claim of “mistaken identity” and he knew it was a lie. That is when the change began and Israel learned they could get away with murdering U.S.A. soldiers.”

    When the Chicago Tribune came out with their article on the LIBERTY I got even more interested and on Oct. 13, 2007 while in California, LIBERTY Vet Phil Tourney spoke at the “NO MORE WARS FOR ISRAEL” conference and when he said:

    “It was God that kept us afloat”

    In that very second, i knew i had a new mission: to learn all i could about that day in infamy when the media went MIA and Congress limp.

    My point is to seek JUSTICE for the LIBERTY Vets and honor the dead by doing all i can to disseminate what i learn with hope to provoke thought so that we the people will rise up and do something to force our govt. to be accountable and uncover the cover up with an open investigation, declassification of all documents and allow the Vets to speak under oath about their eye witness experiences.

    In healthy democracies the government is afraid of the people and healthy democracies require an active and engaged citizenry or else; unchecked power will corrupt leaders and all matter of evil will flourish.

    “The nation which indulges toward another…is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”-President George Washington, Sept. 17, 1796 Farewell Address.

    Does that answer your question?

  3. Neal said on November 21st, 2007 at 3:24pm #


    The issue, as I said before, with the Liberty involved an accident. Those who were harmed deserve support and respect. That does not, however, justify your religious crusade against Israel. That is called using people’s suffering for your cause’s political advantage, not to get at the truth.

    Come now. If you support, as you said on the other page (after we challenged you), the marchers at Durban, your mission from God is revenge. Those marchers carried signs saying “Kill the Jews.” They carried signs saying, “Finish the job Hitler started.” Some human rights movement. Some way to do God’s work. They were bigots you support, plain and simple.

    Returning to the Liberty matter, this is all ancient history. Compensation may still be due to some. To those involved, it no doubt appeared that they were deliberately attacked, just like the US attack on the Iranian airline back in the 1980’s. Both were accidents, however strange that may seem to you. In war, bad mistakes are made and they seem callous and premeditated. But ships that wander into a war zone can expect to be bombed, as frequently occurs in war – even after those on the ship think they clearly said who they were and what they were doing.

    Which is to say, you are creating hay from thin air. It was an accident. And, given your views about Durban, I wonder whether you really care about the facts here. Clearly, it did not bother you that those in that march carried bigoted signs and screamed their bigoted views. It is all religion and politics, not facts that you appear to be concerned with.

  4. J Olson said on November 21st, 2007 at 3:44pm #

    For all those who complain about why bring up Israel’s terrorist attack simply because it if 40 years old, Israel and the Jews have been whining about the events of WWII for well over 60 years. If something that happened in 1967 should be laid to rest then certainly that which happened twenty-five years before that should be left to the dust of time as well. There is a statute of limitations and some of us have had to listen to it our entire lives. Obviously there is no statute when it comes to the “chosen people.” Face it, the only thing both incidents prove is that humans have a long history of killing each other. On the other hand if somebody demands they be awarded the Guinness World Record for the Most Picked Upon People, hey they are welcome to it. You have to wonder what type of person would even want that designation in the first place. Israel has committed countless war crimes from terrorist attacks to ethnic cleansing. It is time they be called to account for their belligerent and apartheid policies. Any American who would side with Israel over the USS Liberty is no better than the American’s that joined up with Bin Ladden’s army.

  5. Eileen Fleming said on November 21st, 2007 at 5:31pm #

    “There never was an IDEA stated that WOKE men UP our of their STUPID INDIFFERENCE but its originator was spoken of as a crank”- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    I was in 8th grade in 1968 when in Chicago, Abbie Hoffman, a secular Jewish road warrior rose up in a park and addressed the children of the ’60’s

    Who had planned on spending the night in under the stars and the trees after their long day of lobbying at the Democratic Convention.

    Mayor Daly sent word to Abbie that the multitudes were not welcome in his park and the cops were on the way in.

    Before the Chicago mob with badges clobbered the heads of the children of the ’60’s,

    Abbie stood at a microphone and quoted Christ:

    “I send you out like little lambs into a wolves den. Remain as harmless as doves and cunning as snakes.”

    If the doves had consulted Webster’s, they first would have had a laugh at the two words cunning is sandwiched between.

    Then they would have learned that cunning means one must be skillful, clever, sly, crafty, and do things with skill and ingenuity.

    To be cunning is to be attractive; cute and cleverly proficient.

    The doves lacked cunning and thus got there heads clobbered and many hippies were transformed into yippies which requires a baptism via billy-clubs.

    Offer PROOF- chapter and verse on my site that gives a shred of substance to your straw men and red herrings.

    This is where i am grounded, take it or leave it and happy THANXGIVING and may God bless us all indeed with

    “If enough Christians [who]followed the gospel, [for] they could bring any state to its knees.” -Father Philip Francis Berrigan

    “You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.”-Tom Petty


  6. Deadbeat said on November 21st, 2007 at 6:13pm #

    Thanks Eileen for all your efforts to help folks become aware of this important issue. This is the second time that Jaime and Neal, two ardent Zionist, has ganged up on you for posting these articles on DV.

  7. greybeard said on November 21st, 2007 at 6:59pm #

    The genius of the people who dismantled apartheid in South Africa lies in the truth and reconciliation committee’s work. Eileen is not fomenting hate, she’s attempting to disseminate truth. People are free to embrace, or reject, it, according to the shape of reality we hold in our own heads. Those who must defend the Jewish-only state will of course disparage it. The great thing about “anti-Semites” like Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, and “self-hating Jews” like Jeff Halper and Paul Eisen, is that they can embrace unpopular truth. Certain kinds of truth act as a judgment on the hearer who rejects it–rather than judging the truth, we find ourselves judged by it–much like the hearers of Amos.

  8. Neal said on November 21st, 2007 at 7:49pm #

    J Olson,

    First, what occurred in WWII was not akin to a terrorist attack. It was the concerted effort of a group of countries to conquer all of Europe and Asia, etc., enslave the non-German part of Europe and the non-Japanese part of Asia, to annihilate the world’s Jewish population, homosexual population and Roma population entirely, etc., etc.. That war cost 60 million lives.

    WWII was surely a watershed event in the history of mankind. And, the industrialized system created to kill off Europe’s Jews stands out uniquely in human history, as was the complete silence and disinterest of Christians who sat on their rear ends, showing their famed Christian love in a rather unique way.

    So, frankly, do not expect anyone who actually cares about people to forget about what happened in WWII anytime soon. Never forget what mankind does at its worst. And, frankly, nothing that either Arabs or Israelis have done to each other is even of the same species of wrong, at least not yet.

    Second, the Liberty event was not a terrorist attack. It was a mistake in wartime. Such events, as anyone who has studied warfare knows, are commonplace. That is why ships enter a war zone at their peril.

    Ms. Fleming,

    Surely you can do better than to cover up your support for the bigots of Durban marches by explaining yourself, not throwing out trite, but pleasant quotes.


    At least you admit that Israel’s enemies are mostly Antisemites. Thank you. Consider, though, that Antisemites, like race haters, can never be trusted to tell the truth when it comes to the objects of their hate. In the case of Israel, we have a population of Jews who, like Jewish populations before them, are hated primarily for doing what the rest of the world does, including those who most complain about Jews.

  9. dan elliott said on November 21st, 2007 at 9:27pm #

    Oh boy, these trolls never stop do they. But “Neal” gives the game away when he calls the Durban marchers against Racism “bigots”. Hehe, Neal ol’ buddy, y stept on ya oui-oui with that one! ROTFL:)

  10. Neal said on November 21st, 2007 at 10:46pm #

    Mr. Eliot:

    First, from a first hand reports on Durban:

    How does one characterize the 20,000 fliers printed for distribution to marchers in Durban and Cape Town by South African Yousuf Deedat, who has publicly described his family s connections with Usama bin Laden? The fliers depicted Hitler asking, “What if I had won? The Good Things: There would be no Israel and no Palestinian s blood shed. The Bad Things: I wouldn t have allowed the making of the new beetle. The rest is your guess.”

    (Quoted from Sybil Kessler’s account at Durban)

    Second, from a report issued on the conference:

    The demonstration of about 1,500 made navigating the conference today difficult for Jewish delegates after one by-stander wearing a yarmulke was greeted by a spontaneous chant of, “kill the Jews.”

    Copies of the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion were for sale, and signs included slogans such as “Hitler Should Have Finished the Job,” “Israel a Terrorist State,” “Sharon is a war criminal,” “Zionism is racism” and “End Israeli Apartheid.”

    Third, from a first hand report, which appeared in the LA Times:

    Nowhere was that invective more forcefully felt than at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, convened this summer in Durban, South Africa. As a delegate there, I, along with other representatives of Jewish groups, were subjected to taunts and physical intimidation. One day, thousands of South African Muslim demonstrators marched bearing banners proclaiming “Hitler should have finished the job.”

    Yes, this was a conference that allowed bigots to rule. It was to human rights what the reign of terror was to the French Revolution.

  11. r gaylor said on November 22nd, 2007 at 10:16am #

    In the pursuit of religious purity … all sorts of nasty things happen. Eileen has most of her facts straight. Whether we like it or not it is not Israel that serves as a lap dog for the US … but the US serving as a lap dog for Israel.

    My hunch is that the whole holocaust guilt thing, including LBJ as a Texas member of congress, is what gave Israel the assumed moral right to do as they please in the Middle East … with our full backing. Even their economy is paid for by the US … it would falter on its own, but we keep it going in the same way we avoid wall street collapses and keep the elites from ever having to pay the piper.

    As a leftist redneck I am sick and tired of the pretense of our alleged democracy. I am sick and tired of watching people being duped into protecting the so-called homeland from the frustration of other people who simply want us to live up to our rhetoric. { For the ‘love it or leave it crowd: I don’t leave the US because I don’t believe it is fair to the rest of the world to have to put up with American ex-pats … Nor am I willing to fall into the stupidity of ‘If you don’t like it here, leave.’ I was born here, and allegedly have the same right as everyone else to criticize the stupidity of the American system of domination.}

  12. Gary Lapon said on November 22nd, 2007 at 3:50pm #

    Yes, many critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, to varying degrees. Still, this doesn’t discount the fact that Israel is an apartheid state founded on ethnic cleansing and perpetuated by state-sponsored terrorism and racism. It must be criticized effectively, and ultimately dismantled as a Jews-only state in favor of a state with equal rights for all. Anti-semitism, while of course being unacceptable in general, only serves to weaken the movement for Palestinian rights, because it lends a measure of (undeserved) credibility to Zionist propaganda that seeks to equate Zionism with Judaism (as absurd as equating the Taliban with Islam, in my opinion) and limits the movements’ size. For example, I oppose Zionism from the standpoint of principled opposition to racism and ethnic-cleansing, but for the same reasons I oppose anti-Semitism within or without the movement and would never join anti-Semitic organizations in struggle.

    That said, I think an analysis that claims that the tail wags the dog, that Israel controls the US, is at least flirting with anti-Semitism, with the implication that somehow “the Jews” are so disproportionately influential that they are able to control the country they depend on economically and militarily for the survival of “their state” Israel.

    If you look at the amount of aid that the US has given to Israel over the years, you’ll see a dramatic increase in the wake of the Six Day War in 1967, after which the US became the largest supplier of arms to Israel. Israel proved it could take on the Arab regimes and win, showing their potential to be the US government’s #1 thug in the Middle East (along with the Shah in Iran, Saddam for a while, the Saudis, etc.). US funding to Israel, despite the efforts of AIPAC and company, ultimately depends on Israel’s ability to crush (or threaten to crush) threats to US hegemony in the region. The Israeli press is open about this, as we can see from the Ha’aretz newspaper in 1953:

    “The West is none too happy about its relations with states in the Middle East. The feudal regimes there have to make such concessions to the nationalist movements…that they become more and more reluctant to supply Britain and the United States with their natural resources and military bases…Therefore, strengthening Israel helps the Western powers maintain equilibrium and stability in the Middle East. Israel is to become the watchdog. There is no fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive policy towards the Arab states when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. But if for any reason the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied upon to punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy to the West went beyond the bounds of the permissible. ”

    Certainly, the Israelis can get away with killing some American soldiers on the Liberty, but from LBJ’s perspective that’s not all that big of a deal if that’s the cost of US control over Middle East oil. Remember, he was sending tens of thousands of US troops to their deaths in Vietnam at the time. Isreal has some wiggle room, but their survival depends on US support, and US support depends upon their primary role as a proxy for US imperialism in the Middle East. And support for Israel is definitely in the interest of the US ruling class, whose worldwide hegemony in the face of rising competition from China depends on control of Middle East oil.

    Instead of inflating the influence of Israel and “the Jews,” those who seek justice for Palestinians and an end to apartheid in Israel should work to raise awareness within the anti-war movement of Israel’s role as a junior partner of US imperialism in the Middle East. We need a movement that rejects anti-Semitism along with all forms of oppression, where Arabs, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and secularists can work together for a universal application of human rights and social and economic justice, with no exceptions.

  13. Gary Lapon said on November 22nd, 2007 at 3:58pm #

    P.S. To be clear, I don’t mean to suggest that I think most critics of Israeli apartheid are anti-Semites.

    P.S.S. The argument that US support to Israel has something to do with reparations for the Holocaust doesn’t make much sense. The US ruling class has a long history of anti-Semitism, and prior to (and during) WWII there was significant support for Hitler among their numbers. FDR turned Jewish refugees away before the US entered the war, and Nixon, a raging anti-Semite, supported Israel. It’s about politics, not religion.

  14. Neal said on November 22nd, 2007 at 11:15pm #

    Mr. Lapon,

    One of the problems with the far left is that it is so infused, at present, with Antisemitic discourse that it is difficult to ferret out those who are Antisemites from the rest. This is because of the tone and language employed by the far left employs traditional Antisemitic motifs and is obsessed with what, given the world’s problems, is a comparatively trivial dispute with relatively few people being killed.

    Addressing your points of interest: Apartheid was a political creed. It is not the same thing as discrimination. It is not the same thing as separated populations, as such exists all over the world including in places like France, Britain, Germany, etc., etc. It is not the same thing as one population trying to displace another population. Rather, apartheid is a very specific thing.

    One can argue that Israel treats Palestinian Arabs as if they were dirt. But, that really does not make the arrangement apartheid like. Frankly, the view that the arrangement in place is an apartheid arrangement (a) amounts to recasting the language so as to make what occurred in South Africa sound rather trite, when it was a true moral inversion based on hatred, not self-defense and not the interest in conquering land and colonizing it and (b) and term apartheid fails to understand the annihilative hatred on the Arab side that is not looking for equality but to kill Jews – meaning that Israelis have very good reasons, namely, self-preservation, for separating themselves from Arabs.

    Frankly, were I an Israeli, I would listen all to this apartheid talk and say, frankly, it is claptrap coming from hypocrites who treat others as bad or worse when faced with difficult circumstances. And, frankly, it comes from people more interested in chic politics than helping Palestinian Arabs.

  15. Eileen Fleming said on November 23rd, 2007 at 7:16am #

    On this morning after Thanksgiving, i must express my gratitude to the Editor of Dissident Voice for publishing me and for every reader who has read and thought a new thought and to all those who have challenged as well as encouraged me.

    Ehe challengers have challenged me to prove why it is Apartheid in Israel and Palestine, so I have my weekend assignment, so for now,

    I will leave you with the music that has been running through my head since I woke up on this morning after THANKSgiving Day:

    A very merry Christmas
    And a happy New Year
    Let’s hope it’s a good one
    Without any fear

    And so this is Christmas
    For weak and for strong
    For rich and the poor ones
    The world is so wrong

    And so happy Christmas
    For black and for white
    For yellow and red ones
    Let’s stop all the fight

    A very merry Christmas
    And a happy New Year
    Let’s hope it’s a good one
    Without any fear

    War is over over
    If you want it
    War is over

    Imagine All the People Sharing All the World.-John Lennon

  16. Ken said on November 25th, 2007 at 7:57am #

    Europeans have been colonizing the world since before the days of Columbus, and subjugating local inhabitants, not wiped-out by European diseases (i.e., germ warfare), to the government of the colonists. In this respect, the modern State of Israel is no different — except germ warfare did not come to the aid of the Eastern European Jewish colonists. Thus, the local population (i.e., Palestinians) remained largely intact, and continues to resist colonization to this day.

  17. hp said on November 25th, 2007 at 4:48pm #

    Jews are “indigenous” to just about every part of the world, eh, Jaime?

  18. jaime said on November 25th, 2007 at 5:04pm #

    Jews are “indigenous” to just about every part of the world?

    That’s a new one for me… And I’m Jewish.

    S’pose you tell us more about it?

  19. Ken said on November 25th, 2007 at 10:49pm #

    Jaime, Without doubt, Judaism can be traced back to ancient Semitic tribes who lived in the middle east. But eastern European Jews, by definition, are not indigenous to the middle east; albeit, many have ancestors who were once indigenous to the region.

    In other words, the fact that the Jewish religion originated in the middle east does not change the fact that during the 20th century eastern European Jews (many of whom were affiliated with the Zionist political movement) colonized the area known as Palestine (an area invaded and colonized over millennia by folks of various religious and culture backgrounds — even before Abraham’s time) and subjugated its indigenous inhabitants.

    If you want to play the game of “ancestral right of return,” then we should all head to central Africa and lay claim to the land of our common and “indigenous” ancestors of yore.

  20. Ken said on November 26th, 2007 at 12:08pm #

    Jaime, Many people of various religions lived in the area for much more than 3,000 years. The land of Canaan has a long and colorful history — even before it was known as Canaan — that has seen the arrival, passing and residual continuation of many religious and cultures.

    Personally, I don’t want to do anything to or with the people now in Israel. I hope the folks now living in that part of the world learn to behave in a civilized manner, and settle their difference in an international court of law instead of the battlefield; i.e., conform to the rule of law and not the rule of might-makes-right.

  21. Gary Lapon said on November 26th, 2007 at 1:03pm #


    I would be interested in seeing you manage a response that goes beyond a criticism of my use of the term apartheid. We could argue that further, but it’s more easily settled by picking up a dictionary. (Israel fits most definitions.)

    To move on a bit from silly nitpicking (I don’t think the problem reactionaries like Neal and Jaime have with progressive positions really has anything to do with semantics, but arguments of that type serve as cover for their lack of a valid case for Israel), I think it’s important to shift the discussion around Israel beyond the Palestinians (not that this in not an important topic) and look at Israel’s role in the world more broadly.

    Israel has a long history of providing arms, aid and training to unsavory scumbags (Somoza, apartheid-era South Africa, the Contras in Nicaragua, Mobutu, Phalangists responsible for the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, etc.) and of invading other (much weaker) nations and delivering brutal punishment on civilian populations, like in Lebanon. In this way, it is similar to other imperialist powers: France, Germany, Britain, and of course the United States. When it comes to condemnation Israel should not be singled out while other imperialist powers get a pass; opposition to imperialism should be principled. The left should universally condemn imperialism no matter what its source.

    Still, there is a reason why leftist activists in the United States should spend a disproportionate amount of time criticizing Israeli (and US) imperialism, and it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Activistm isn’t about figuring out which regimes deserve to be criticized in what proportion. It’s about changing society for the better. Israel’s crimes are financed by US tax dollars and ultimately serve the interests of the US ruling class (hence the bi-partisan support for their actions). Activists in the US should focus most of their energy, in my opinion, at struggling against US imperialism. Support for Israel is a key component of US hegemony in the Middle East (and support for the US is key for the survival of the state of Israel). The US Left, because of its position within the belly of the beast and its proximity to the source of funding for US-Israeli imperialism, can play a leading role in the struggle against such hegemony by working towards ending US aid to Israel. Not only would this be a major victory in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine, it would be a major blow against the capability of US imperialism to wage its despicable wars for empire in the Middle East, whether they be direct (Iraq) or proxy (Lebanon) wars.

  22. Ken said on November 26th, 2007 at 8:50pm #

    Jaime, Exactly where has anybody on this comment thread stated that “Jews have no right to exist” or that “Israel has no right to exist?”

    I have no doubt that there are folks who maintain and espouse these views, but discussion herein hasn’t gone in that direction — and I certainly don’t subscribe to these views.

    Help, the paranoids are attacking me 🙂

  23. Eileen Fleming said on November 27th, 2007 at 7:08am #

    Nations and States have obligations.

    Human beings have rights.

    International law and equal human rights for all people is the way to justice and only justice can lead to security and peace.

    The comments above have moved beyond the scope of this one article, so I offer you an excerpt from WAWA Blog November 25, 2007, as my response:

    Apartheid in Israel Palestine! Viability in Annapolis?

    Will Annapolis end with more than handshakes and photo ops?

    Is a viable Palestinian state even possible?

    Will the fruit of Annapolis reap justice which is the way to security and peace in the Holy Land or will we see what American Israeli peace activist and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Jeff Halper, Founder and Coordinator of ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions predicts?

    “In the end, the Palestinians may get 80-90% of the West Bank, but they do not get a viable state…There will be a Palestinian state. Israel has an urgent demographic need to get the almost four million Palestinians of the occupied territories off its hands. It might even attempt to “swap” a couple hundred thousand Israeli Arab citizens of the Galilee Triangle under the pretense of giving the Palestinians more land. The crucial question is: will it be a viable state? If it’s true that Olmert intends that Israel permanently retain the settlement blocs, an Israeli “greater” Jerusalem and effective control of the entire country to the Jordan River, then we will merely be substituting a sophisticated form of apartheid for occupation. The devil is in the details.”

    In Issue 46 of Naim Ateek’s, CORNERSTONE, a quarterly publication of Sabeel Ecumenical liberation Theology Center, Ateek wrote, “Israel has effectively made Gaza a big prison [one and a half million people in] a Bantustan, in which it is systematically assassinating its leaders and reducing its people to abject misery and poverty. The firing of qassam rockets provides Israel with an excuse to keep oppressing the Palestinians in Gaza.

    “In the West Bank, Israel still has two major objectives: The first is the confiscation of more Palestinian land and the completion of its Separation [Hebrew: Hafrada, in Afrikaan: Apartheid] Wall. Israel seeks not only separation but the dispossession [Hebrew: nishool] of Palestinians. These two Hebrew words are essential in describing Israel’s goal of apartheid.”

    “The truth which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp.”- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006,

    I could go on and on, and I have all this week on the WAWA Blog:

  24. Ken said on November 27th, 2007 at 9:23am #

    Without doubt, comments about this USS Liberty attack article and seeking justice for the attack’s survivors have gone off into the weeds…

  25. jaime said on November 27th, 2007 at 11:53am #

    1) Jews have been indigenous residents of the middle east continuously for at least the last 3 thousand years.

    2) When people talk of “dismantling Israel” as per above, it’s only slightly coded language for mass murder. There is no other interpretation of that phrase. Imagine someone talking about “dismantling France.” What else could that mean other than an intention to commit great violence?

  26. Ken said on November 27th, 2007 at 3:32pm #

    Jaime, Zoroastrians have been indigenous to the middle east for about 8000 years. What’s your point?

    Where above (other than your own statement) do you see the words “dismantling Israel?” Nobody here is talking about mass murdering folks of the Jewish faith — except you.

    Since you seem concerned about “great violence”, how about addressing the “great violence” the IDF committed when attacking USS Liberty.

  27. Ken said on November 27th, 2007 at 3:58pm #

    A point of clarity: It’s not certain when Zarathustra lived. Some say it was as long as 8000 years ago, and others claim about 3000 years ago.

  28. jaime said on November 27th, 2007 at 8:27pm #

    For the 4th time, here it is…but with the header of the person who posted it. These kinds of sentiments are so commonplace here that they’re accepted as reasonable discourse.

    So what do you think “dismantled” means?

    There are 7 million people there. You gonna “dismantle” them? How?

    It’s about maximum violence. There’s no other interpretation.

    And the USS Liberty incident was a tragic accident. But there are still some wingnuts around who think it was some kind of pre-arranged plot or something. …my views on the subject have already been adequately expressed in this and the other related thread.
    Gary Lapon said on November 22nd, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    Yes, many critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, to varying degrees. Still, this doesn’t discount the fact that Israel is an apartheid state founded on ethnic cleansing and perpetuated by state-sponsored terrorism and racism. It must be criticized effectively, and ultimately dismantled as a Jews-only state in favor of a state with equal rights for all.

  29. jaime said on November 27th, 2007 at 8:28pm #

    One more thing…

    Israel is not a “Jews only” state. There are 3 official languages, one of which is Arabic.

  30. Ken said on November 27th, 2007 at 10:01pm #

    Jaime, The author, Gary, gave an opinion that Israel should be “dismantled” as a Jewish state and converted into a truly pluralistic, democratic state. This is not the same as simply saying: dismantle (i.e., eliminate) Israel. Although, admittedly, folks who like the idea of Israel being a Jewish oriented state would likely consider this an effective elimination of Israel.

    Of course, you are absolutely correct that Israel is not a “Jews only” state — a fact that worries some of its Jewish citizens due to the population growth rate of non-Jews (about 3%) v/s that of Jews (about 1.5%), according to 2006 statistics. But considering that Jews, of various types, are about 75% of the population, it will be a while before they find themselves in the minority.

  31. Ken said on November 27th, 2007 at 10:19pm #

    Oh! I almost forgot. The attack on USS Liberty was a reckless and wanton act that caused the death of 34 Americans; i.e., it was murder.

    The attack was deliberate. The IDF admits it was deliberate. A deliberate attack is not an accidental attack. The pilots claim they could not identify the ship; i.e., they deliberately attacked an unidentified ship. The MTB captains claim they misidentified the ship. The MTBs deliberately attacked the “misidentified” ship. In short, the ship was deliberately attack. A deliberate attack is not an accidental attack.

  32. jaime said on November 28th, 2007 at 12:07am #

    Dismantled as a Jewish State.

    So, tell me do you propose that would be accomplished?

    Would all Jews be physically compelled to vacate (or else?), or do you think they would just leave if you asked them nicely?

  33. jaime said on November 28th, 2007 at 1:21am #

    Just pause for a second and think about how stupid or vicious a notion “dismantling” a country is.

    Imagine going to Ireland and saying

    “OK, let’s dismantle Ireland now! You Irish people can go find another place to live.”

    One or both of these things will happen.

    1) Men in white suits take you to a mental hospital.

    2) You get a knuckle sandwich.

  34. Ken said on November 28th, 2007 at 7:36am #

    Jaime, It was Gary, not I, who used the word “dismantle”. Additionally, you are obsessing on the word “dismantle” and ignoring the reconstitution part of Gary’s statement. (Frankly, I believe “dismantle” was a poor word choice, but that was Gary’s choice, not mine.)

    Nowhere in Gary’s comment did he say anything about removing anybody from Israel. Rather, he suggested that the State of Israel be converted to a truly pluralistic democracy — one in which all people, regardless of their religious or cultural background, enjoy equal rights.

    By the way, an Irishman is anybody who hales from Ireland. Being Irish does not denote a religious belief. You can even be Jewish and still be an Irishman; albeit, the Jewish population of Ireland is very small.

    I find it interesting that you’re distressed and concerned about somebody possibly suggesting that Jews should leave their lands in Israel. Now you’re beginning to sense how the Arabs felt when the Eastern European Jews forced them off their lands, denied them property rights, and squeezed them out of the labor market. And like you predicted with you’re Irish example, the Arabs gave the Eastern European Jewish colonists a “knuckle sandwich” in return.

  35. Eileen Fleming said on November 28th, 2007 at 7:59am #

    As Gary Brummett stated:

    “The attack was the easy part; the aftermath in not being able to get our government to address this cover up has been the bastard. I’ve had forty years thinking about this crap and all the presidents and Congressmen and Senators since LBJ are guilty for not addressing this issue that has been set before them. The few congressional representatives who have tried to address this have been silenced by the Israel Lobby; AIPAC and the JDL.”

    It is apparent that particular readers of DV, also desire to NOT address this and the topic of the article:

    “After more than two hours of unremitting assault, the Israelis finally halted their attack. One of the torpedo boats approached the Liberty. This same torpedo boat crew had been circling the ship, machine-gunning anyone who stuck his head above decks, as well as the lifeboats the crew had put over the side. A torpedo boat officer asked in English over a bullhorn: ‘Do you need any help?’ The wounded commander of the Liberty, Captain William McGonagle, instructed the quartermaster to respond emphatically: “Fuck you.”

    Now, I chose to second that sentiment because if ones friend/ally would stab them in the back with the ultimate Judas kiss; a violent assault on an unarmed spy ship and then offer ‘help’ that two word epithet sums it up best.

    The issue remains that we have a Congress indebted to the pro-Israel lobby and they are not committed to justice for the LIBERTY Vets, nor do they want the truth coming out.

    As I have said, i have only just begun this series seeking justice for the LIBERTY: and all the survivors are asking is for an open investigation, declassification of all records of that day in infamy when the media went MIA and our government went limp.


  36. Ken said on November 28th, 2007 at 8:41am #

    By the way, anybody who’s truly interested in the future of Israel ought to take a look at this web site:

    Jaime, you may be interested in the site’s article entitled “Symbols of the State, its Holidays, and Official Languages.” It directly addresses the issue of Israel’s Jewish character and its impact on its non-Jewish citizens.

  37. Ken said on November 28th, 2007 at 9:22am #

    During my over four year involvement with studying the USS Liberty attack, I find it’s very common for folks who don’t like facing the facts of the matter to change the subject, and attempt to cast anybody who doesn’t buy into the “tragic accident” claim as being anti-Israel or anti-Jewish.

    Another tactic is to nit-pick to death any comment made anybody who does not support the “tragic accident” claim. While I believe it’s important to correctly state facts, it doesn’t make much difference, for example, whether there were a few or no clouds in the sky when the attack occurred. But a nit-picker will take this type of statement and turn it into a discussion about meteorology; i.e., change the subject.

    The sheer fact that somebody changes the subject is a strong indication that he/she has little to nothing to offer in support of his/her argument.

  38. jaime said on November 28th, 2007 at 12:42pm #

    So exposing and debunking your silly propaganda is “nitpicking.”
    We’ve heard that one before.

  39. Ken said on November 28th, 2007 at 1:43pm #

    Jaime, Exactly how and where have you debunked any of my USS Liberty investigative studies? You can view and read the results of my studies here:

    As always, I welcome constructive feedback or evidence that challenges my findings.

    Perhaps you can start by attempting to debunk my finding that the IDF History Report’s purported gun camera photos of USS Liberty are fake (i.e., they aren’t photos of USS Liberty), or offer an explanation for the IDF’s need to use fake photos.

  40. jaime said on November 28th, 2007 at 2:00pm #

    You mean your “gun camera photos” WEREN’T lifted from X-BOX?

  41. Ken said on November 28th, 2007 at 2:27pm #

    The purported IDF gun camera photos shown in my “forensic essays” are digital copies taken directly from a PDF copy of the IDF’s history report or a video of the Thames Ltd. film about the attack. In short, the IDF provided the base images you see in my essays.

  42. Mort said on December 2nd, 2007 at 3:03pm #

    Ken stated “in short” — well, in short, Ken provides in his claim of bogus IAF Mirage gun camera photos no evidence of actual photos or negatives — both are required elements in order to prove his claims of bogus original non-digital photos.

    It’s down right silly to make the claim that he does based on his description of his actual sources used.

    Since Ken can not set a valid foundation in the first place, his conclusion is meaningless, and frankly that’s all that is needed to debunk his claim.

    However, when it comes to “fake” photos, simply look at what was attempted by the folks Ken hangs around with:

  43. Ken said on December 3rd, 2007 at 3:40pm #

    Ah! I see this comment thread has caught the attention of a nit-picker.

    Notice that “Mort” did not deny the images appearing in both the IDF History Report and the Thames Ltd. film do not appear like USS Liberty. Rather, he side-stepped the issue by launching into nit-picking about the printed images not being the actual film or negative. Next, Mort directs you to a web site page, by an anoymous author (somebody ashamed of his name?), that discusses an obvious fake flag placed in an image of USS Liberty — as if this will somehow prove or show the ship shown in the IDF History report really appears like USS Liberty.

    The self-evident truth of the matter is that the image appearing in the IDF History Report and the Thames Ltd. film does not appear like USS Liberty — not even close. See for yourself:

    To make things worst, the purported gun camera image in the IDF History Report does not appear anything like the purported gun camera image in A. J. Cristol’s book — and they both supposedly came from the same gun camera film footage taken by the lead attack aircraft. (Hmm, maybe this explains why the IDF could not ID the ship. It employed some type of shape-shifter technology that allowed the ship to appear different at different times. 🙂

    Here’s the bottom line: the use of fake gun camera images by the IDF is an attempt to make it appear that the ship was difficult to identify. This false impression is misleading and deceptive. And as such, the fake photos betray the IDF’s claim of innocence: an innocent party has not need to produce and present fraudulent evidence to support one’s innocence.

  44. Ken said on December 3rd, 2007 at 5:57pm #

    By the way, Mike — oops Mort , an IMOD (Israel Ministry of Defense) representative was asked (several times) to provide authentication evidence for both the images in the IDF History Report and the ones in Mr. Cristol’s book.

    After several follow-up inquires, the last word I heard was to the effect: We’re checking into it, and will let you know what we find. That was several years ago, and my last follow-up inquiry was never answered.

    Meanwhile, while we’re waiting, perhaps you can persuade Mr. Cristol to make available high-resolution digital copies of several frames of gun camera footage from the lead aircraft — showing the best images possible that match the ones appearing in his book, and the ones in the IDF History Report. For good measure, perhaps include a few frames from the other aircraft’s gun cameras as well.

    Surely, with his many IDF contacts, Mr. Cristol should be able to obtain better copies of gun camera images than the ones currently available. In fact, one would think he would be eager to do this to debunk claims about the current images being fake. On the other hand, perhaps he’s too busy hunting for apparently missing Congressional reports to debunk claims that they never was a Congressional investigation.

  45. Mort said on December 3rd, 2007 at 7:36pm #

    Ken’s use of “bottom line” continues the false claim that he’s shown some scanned/copied images he has scanned to be “fake”. To do so he needs to show the actual photos/negatives in original condition (so they can be compared to what he claims are “fake” photos produced from the originals) and he fails to do so. That’s not surprising given the actual sources he has claimed to use.

    It’s actually Ken’s responsibility to prove his case, not the other way around. Ken’s method is simply the continuation of the *nothing is real except our stories and what we claim* crowd.

    Naturally Ken doesn’t wish to understand the significance of which group has actually been shown to doctor a photo (while making the claim regarding how EASY it would be to see the hip’s hoisted flag) as well as make other outlandish claims regarding gun camera film.

    And truly what is the bottom line: since Israel has never claimed not to have attacked the Liberty, there’s no issue surrounding the quality of any gun camera film — no matter how many times copied images have been copied/xeroxed, scanned, re-scanned, etc, etc, over the past 25+ years prior to Ken publishing his worthless conclusion.

    And finally, as if it’s not plain enough by now in the year of our Lord 2007 — all this useless noise over the Internet isn’t having any impact beyond the Net that Ken and others had most likely hoped for. That’s not all that surprising.

    PS: One can wonder if the IDF had been made aware of what nonsense Ken has been up to and as such, is not to be taken seriously. After all, it’s all suppose to be some grand conspiracy of some kind or other, is it not. 🙂

  46. Ken said on December 3rd, 2007 at 9:15pm #

    The IDF has proffered the gun camera photo evidence, it’s up to the IDF to authentic the evidence, not me.

    Mort/Mike/Whoever can deny it all he wants and put forth all types of fancy or misleading arguments, but the image will not magically convert itself into an image that appears like USS Liberty. The image does not appear like USS Liberty, yet the IDF claims it shows USS Liberty.

    Folks can read my essays, view my analysis images, and decide for themselves if the IDF History Report ship does or does not appear like USS Liberty — it’s as simple as that.

  47. Dissident Voice : June 8, 1967: July 4th in Hell without the Ice Cream said on December 24th, 2007 at 5:01am #

    […] parts: Remembering the USS Liberty, The Torpedo that Hit the USS Liberty: Made in the USA?, and Seconding Captain McGonagle’s Two Word Epithet. Admiral John S. McCain, Silver Star Medal Commendation. #Read more about Lt. Commander Dave Ed […]