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Tikun Olam 2011 in Review: We Raised Some Hell, How Much is It Worth?


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Sorry to put the question so baldly, but how much is the ground-breaking work I did here in the past year worth to you? How much support have you given or can you give to enable me to continue doing such work? If you value exposing the dirty little secrets of Israeli intelligence and you value upholding the remnants of Israeli democracy that remain. If you value peace in the Middle East and hold firm to the notion that war will make the region explode in conflagration: then I’m asking you to step forward and support this vision.

As a regular reader of this blog, here’s what you get: my portrayal of the drama unfolding in the Middle East which could lead to democratic transformation or totalitarian collapse. I not only expose hitherto unknown stories and break gag orders, but I scan the Israeli media and translate and report stories that never see the light of day in English language media. At this blog, you will find perhaps the broadest and most current collection of Israeli social analysis translated from Hebrew sources on an everyday basis. I report the hell out of stories which will get at best, glancing coverage at more mainstream sites.

In 2011, for the first time since I began this blog in 2003, I broke into the mainstream with front page profiles in the NY Times and Seattle Times and every major Israeli newspaper (except one…you guessed it: Haaretz). I was interviewed regularly on Israeli TV and interviewed by the BBC and by foreign outlets too numerous to mention. I also began contributing regularly to Truthout.

Here are some of the major stories I broke here in the past year, stories that might never have seen the light of day were it not for this blog. As you review the list, I hope you’ll think about how important these stories were to you and to the political discourse about the Israel-Arab conflict:

1. The Dirar Abusisi kidnapping which exposed collusion among the Mossad, Hamas, Jordanian and Ukrainian intelligence services to nab a Palestinian engineer and frame him for his alleged knowledge of Gilad Shalit’s whereabouts–Gabriel Gatehouse did a 30 minute BBC documentary which further exposed the case.

2. My collaboration with Shamai Leibowitz to reveal Israel’s secret campaign to demonize Iran in the U.S., which resulted in the FBI translator’s arrest and imprisonment.

3. The arrest of Dor Oved for serial death threats against Peace Now protesters. I also broke the gag order which protected the identity of his father, Shachar, a Shin Bet officer.

4. The charges of rape against Channel 2 TV reporter Yoav Even, which still remain under gag thanks to a willing Israeli judge.

5. The exposure of Israeli police officer, Meir Rotter (and son of major Israeli web portal owner, Rabbi Yeshaiya Rotter), for publicly calling for vandalism and violence against Sheikh Jarrah protesters.

6. The exposure of the collusion between Standwithus and the Israeli foreign ministry in bringing lawsuits against U.S. companies (i.e. Olympia food coop) endorsing BDS.

7. The Mossad-MEK black ops campaign to destabilize Iran’s military and nuclear research program including the missile base explosion which caused 40 deaths.

8. I offered the broadest coverage of any English language media outlet of the harshly critical views of former Mossad chief Meir Dagan toward an Israeli attack on Iran, which may’ve singlehandedly prevented or delayed an Israeli strike.

9. I offered some of the strongest critical analysis available of U.S. government claims of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador.

10. I offered a broad-ranging critique of Anders Breivik’s anti-Muslim manifesto before it was widely available in the media, and accused Jewish anti-jihadis like Pam Geller of being fellow travellers in his hate campaign.

11. Tikun Olam was the first English language source to identify Israeli Orthodox rabbis calling for putting Israeli Palestinians citizens in concentration camps.

12. I first reported that the IDF lied in claiming the Eilat terror attackers were Gazan, and I further wrote that the killing campaign in revenge against Gaza was based on a cynical fraud.

13.The failure of the historic preservation campaign to preserve California’s Jackling House, which Steve Jobs destroyed a few months before his death. Nonetheless, we fought the good fight.

14. The victory in my libel defense against pro-Israel activist, Rachel Neuwirth.

15. I criticize Israeli and American Jewish journalists when warranted for their timid, defensive coverage of the Israeli-Arab conflict, including the NY Times’ Ethan Bronner and Tom Friedman, and Haaretz reporters as well.

16. I reported the most comprehensive list of members of the largest Aipac Congressional delegation to visit Israel and sharply rebutted Jesse Jackson Jr.’s false assault on the Palestinians for adopting violence over non-violence in their national struggle, winning me a smear from J Street.

17. I broke a gag on reporting the story of Border Policewoman Shani Sevilla, who cocked her weapon in the ear of a blindfolded Palestinian boy and pulled the trigger it in order to frighten him. She was convicted for her act of abuse.

18. Widespread settler violence and sexual assault against Israeli peace activists at settlements like Anatot, Jalud and elsewhere along with my translation of eyewitness testimony to the savage attacks against female protesters.

If you value this work, please give as much as you can to support it. Remember, in Jewish tradition the act of tzedakah is not a voluntary act, it is a moral obligation to support those who are making the world a better place. For those who may not wish to subscribe with a regular gift, you may make a one-time gift by clicking on the Donate button in the right sidebar.

UPDATE: Thanks to all those who’ve contributed nearly $1,000 to support this blog in the past two days. I’m very grateful that you’ve shown your commitment to supporting peace, justice and democracy in Israel and the Middle East. Please keep those donations coming!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • sass December 19, 2011, 12:27 AM

    Your work Richard is appreciated and most importantly very credible and well presented.

  • free man December 19, 2011, 1:25 AM

    Let us see how brave you are.
    Let us see if you really want to change the world or just to bash Israel in false pretense.
    You were so happy to write graphics on Israeli rapists.
    Now this is really important.
    Read this forum site and publish about rape and abuse in the US army:
    http://mydutytospeak.com/

  • Shlomi December 19, 2011, 5:04 AM

    And you call this blog tzedakah… yeh right

    • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2011, 10:28 PM

      No, the blog isn’t tzedakah. But supporting it is an act of tzedakah. I suppose for you an act of lovingkindness is supporting Honenu or helping steal an East Jerusalem home from a Palestinian family. But thankfully there are readers he who see things differently.

  • Nabil December 19, 2011, 5:11 AM

    It’s very much appreciated indeed. Richards work is extremely impressive and brave.

  • Persianadvocate December 19, 2011, 5:51 AM

    Kudos and deserved, but you censored mg viewpoints over the last few days and lumped me into a fringe category that you should have known better to lump me in. Silverstein’s pirate acquisition of the leases, Chertoff’s Mossad and El Al connections, and the ABC news report about Israeli spies TAPING 9/11 and CHEERING while it occurred are undisputed facts. I think you will alienate some readership if you are too heavy handed in your moderation. Not all tangential postings are fringe or irrelevant. And btw, anyone with knowledge of the scoentific method knows: a theory is a tried and tested hypothesis. Even the label itself is a misnomer – and note, I never brought up physics or anything else of the nature

    • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2011, 8:58 PM

      I’ve asked you & others politely to leave the conspiracy theories alone. You couldn’t. There are rules at this site & they hold whether you’re of the left or right. The rules exist both to ensure the seriousness of the comment threads & also to protect the integrity of the blog itself.

      For this reason, you will be moderated for 2 weeks. Read & follow the rules & moderation will be removed.

  • Bob Mann December 20, 2011, 3:36 AM

    What are the differences between the various subscription levels?

    What do you get as an advanced subscriber that you don’t get as a basic one?

    Also what does the “enhanced” yearly option provide that makes it enhanced?

    I apologize if this information is already posted somewhere – I can’t find it if it is.

    • Richard Silverstein December 20, 2011, 10:57 AM

      They’re meant to correspond to what people can afford. I may think of offering benefits for higher level donors in future. I was thinking of offering briefings or video presentations with other bloggers. But I’m not yet prepared to do that.

  • Maurice December 20, 2011, 4:46 AM

    Are you associated with a 501c3? It would make giving a lot easier and tax deductible. I’d like to know that all my gift is going to you instead of to the IRS. Well part of it anyway.

    • Richard Silverstein December 20, 2011, 10:53 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’m not affiliated with a non profit. But it’s an excellent idea.

    • pea December 20, 2011, 11:50 AM

      If you contact a charity like say Jewish Voices for Peace, tell them what you do and ask them if they’d like to issue Tax receipts on your behalf, most would do it if what you do matches their official mission. They’ll usually ask for 4-10% to cover their administrative costs but you will raise a lot more gelt because donors contributions will be tax deductible. Many smaller groups do this prior to getting their own 501c3 status. Alternatively there are Web sites like Indiegogo.com who will match you with an appropriate registered non-profit and the same deal applies – the entities that help you take a modest percentage and in exchange you get fundraising campaign pages that are connected to facebook and twitter and fortified with social media. Well worth a look.

  • Dan December 20, 2011, 7:09 AM

    I have had a collection from my friends – $500 for your kind work. Is there another way to send the money than paypal?

    • Richard Silverstein December 20, 2011, 10:54 AM

      If your email address weren’t “cock-knocker” someone might even take you seriously.

      • Dan December 21, 2011, 1:36 AM

        Yeah thats true. You saw right through me, of course we haven’t had a whip-round for you.

        Happy Hannukah!

  • Morris Katz December 28, 2011, 10:03 AM

    Silverstein, you’re nothing more than an appeaser.

    First, Iran tried to close the Straits of Hormuz in 1980, during the Iran-Iraq war. No tanker was sunk or even damaged, because the U.S. Navy escorted tankers through. One other minor detail, Iran’s navy was in far better shape than it is now.

    If Iran actually tried to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, it would be the end of Iran, or at least the end of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the mullahs. With the Iranian terror premium on oil prices gone, prices would drop to $

    More important, unless China comes aboard, which isn’t likely what’ll happen is that U.S. and Western sanctions will do would be to shift Iranian oil sales to the Red Chinese.

    So if sanctions won’t have much of an effect, why bother? Because first, it’ll preclude Western companies from working with Iran to discover new oil. That’ll ultimately really hurt, because Iran’s exports have been shrinking for years, and need to be replenished. Additionally, it might, just might, persuade the mullahs and the ayatollahs that unless they want to see a full-scale revolution like that which toppled Ghaddafi, maybe they shouldn’t build nukes, which both the US and Israel will totally destroy before they’re deployed in the first place.

    • Richard Silverstein December 28, 2011, 2:35 PM

      Easy for you to make claims that can’t be backed up by any credible evidence. If Iran blocks the Strait who will “end” Iran & how will they do it? War? Actually, I think you’re exposing yr own preferences. YOU would like to see Iran destroyed so you presume that their blockading the Strait would cause the U.S. to do to Iran what YOU would like them to. That’s not the same as what the U.S. would actually do.

      Of course oil will shift to the Chinese (btw, they haven’t been called “Red Chinese” for about 20 yrs or so–welcome to the 21st century). And they will provide a perfectly fine alternative customer for all the Iranian oil that Iran can get to them. The Chinese might even offer armed escorts for the tankers bringing oil to them from Iran. That would get mighty interesting doncha think?

      And do you think that the Chinese & Russians wouldn’t be interested in replacing whichever companies abandon Iran & help discover new oil sources there?

      What revolution & who will lead it? You? The MEK? Gimme a break. What the U.S. is doing will NEVER persuade the Ayatollahs of anything. It will in fact make them do precisely the opposite of what we want them to. But keep it up. Your thinking will lead to war. A war in which everyone will lose including the U.S. Too bad, you won’t have anyone you love in the fight whose loss would make you realize the folly of your nonsense. People like you spout nonsense & don’t have to pay for it in blood or treasure.