19 thoughts on “Israeli Kidnapped by Iraqi Shia Militia was Former Israeli intelligence Analyst – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Yes I agree. On a human level one must have sympathy for Elizabeth Tsurkov. It is unfortunate in the extre me that Israel has behaved with murderous hostility and duplicity to Arabs and Muslims throughout the region. One cannot forget how 10 or so Israelis entered Dubai years ago in order to murder a member of Hamas Those with blood on their hands, to use a frequent Israeli meme, would do well not to lecture others.

    If Israel had not demonised all Shi’ite Muslims and Arabs it might have some friends in the Middle East other than the most repressive collaborators and regimes. Those who murder children in Jenin do not come with clean hands.

  2. Iraqi Shia resistance fighters against illegal occupation by US and allied forces. Completely irresponsible to do “academic” work inside a state that is not a democracy and hostile to the West.

    Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Qods Force, were assassinated by a cowardly attack in Baghdad by a US strike on January 2, 2020. Alleged involvement of British and Israeli intelligence to make the killing possible.

    Qasem Soleimani died alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces, PMF), an umbrella of Iraqi militias. While the PMF has been legally integrated into Iraq’s formal security forces, critics say some of the factions still operate independently of Baghdad and that some are funded and armed through the IRGC. Kata’ib Hizballah is part of Hashd al-Shaabi.

    “Pisses me off when Ronen Bergman and other Israelis Justify assassination of their enemies with the Biblical verse: “when someone plans to kill you, rise and kill him first.” This is not meant as a justification of war crimes or the assassination of 3,000 by the Mossad post ’48.” [Source: Tikun Olam]

    As a dual Israeli-Russian citizen I would send a request to Moscow for intervention on grounds of humanity.

    1. US Ally Soleimani’s Global Fight Against Terror
      • He fought the Iraqi invasion of Islamic Republic of Iran by Saddam Hussein
      • He fought the Soviet invaders of Afghanistan in the 80s
      • He fought the Taliban in the 90s
      • He fought the invaders of Iraq post March 2003
      • He fought Al Qaeda and Islamic State foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq alongside the US coalition

  3. There used to be a number of Shiite villages in the Galilee. When Zionist colonial settlers put the long prepared genocide against Palestinians into operation in Dec 1947, the Zionist death squads and murder gangs made sure to destroy the entire Shiite community of the Galilee. Outside of Lebanon, this particular act of Zionist genocide against a Palestinian community has been forgotten.

  4. I apologize because this comment is somewhat tangential to the topic of Richard’s article.

    Tsurkov seems to be an extreme Zionist that tried to create some Palestinian-sympathetic credentials for some future use.

    I am always amazed at the ignorance of claiming that Jesus was a Jew.

    Palestinian Biblical Temple Judaism, whose primary scripture was the Hebrew Bible, was a religion that had little similarity to Rabbinic Judaism, which is a Mesopotamian religion, whose primary scripture is the Babylonian (Mesopotamian) Talmud.

    Jesus was not a Jew in any modern sense. He never heard of the Oral Law, which is a complete fabrication from a period after Jesus’ death. Neither Philo of Alexandria nor Josephus nor the New Testament ever heard of the Oral Law. Jesus never read the Mishnah. He never saw a Talmud or any of the Judaic literature written after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Jesus did not regulate his life by a halakhic code (Code of Rabbinic Jewish Law). Modern observant Rabbinic Jews live according to one of three such codes:
    a. that (מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה) of the RAMBAM (רמב״ם),
    b. that (שולחן ערוך) of the HaMehaber (הַמְחַבֵּר‎), or
    c. that (השולחן הערוך עם המפה) of the REMA (רמ״א‎).

    Each of these codes was created more than a millennium after the death of Jesus.

    Jesus was a Galilean subject of Herod Antipas, who was a Judaic king. Herod Antipas was not a Judean king because his ancestry was Arabized Idumean, Samarian, and Nabatean Arab. Herod Antipas had no Judean ancestry whatsoever.

    If Jesus were to return today, he would have to convert to Rabbinic Judaism to become Jewish. Because Jesus is Palestinian, the Israeli Rabbinate would not accept him for conversion because Zionists consider Palestinians to be subhuman vermin incapable of becoming true humans by conversion to Judaism.

    It is important to understand how Nazi the mentality of a Zionist is. Calling Jesus a Jew differs in no way from calling Jesus an Aryan. Just as Nazi fake Christians used to fly the Nazi flag inside and outside their churches, Zionist fake Jews fly the Zionist flag inside and outside their synagogues.

    When a fake scholar Zionist propagandist like Joseph Klausner claims Jesus was a Jew, he hardly differs from the Nazi poet Dietrich Eckart, who used to spin fantasies of German Aryan descent from Atlanteans.

    1. @Martillo

      “Jesus was not a Jew in any modern sense. He never heard of the Oral Law, which is a complete fabrication from a period after Jesus’ death. ”

      The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem written around 1200 AD that is based on an oral tradition of Germanic heroic legend that has some of its origin in historic events and individuals of the 5th and 6th centuries and that spread throughout almost all of Germanic-speaking lands.

      Similarly, In France, the epic Chanson de Roland, France’s first written literary work, composed in 1040 AD, was based on older oral traditions too.

      So why, Mr. Joachim, couldn’t there have been an Oral Law that proceeded the Written Law, which you mistakenly call Talmud.
      The Oral Law did exist at the time of Jesus, but Jesus might well have rejected it out of hand, say, had he been an Essene or Sadducee Jew?
      Or Jesus may have been an ignorant, too poor to go to a rabbi who’d teach him, by memory, the Oral Law.

      1. I am not sure this discussion belongs on Richard’s blog.

        I am uncertain what is being asked.

        Rabbinic Judaism has a specific doctrine about Oral Law (תּוֹרָה שֶׁבְּעַל־פֶּה). Without the Oral Law, there is no Rabbinic Judaism. There is no trace of this doctrine until Judah the Prince and Nathan the Babylonian redacted the Mishnah in the third century CE. Before the Mishnah there is no reference in the literature of Judaism to an Oral Law.

        I can speculate that the redactors were trying to create a codex version of Judaism to compete with Christianity, which was the codex religion par excellence of antiquity. I can justify a hypothesis that in the face of the shattering of Palestinian Biblical Temple Judaism, the two redactors were trying to introduce a version of Judaism that was practiced in Mesopotamia/Babylonia, where a Temple to El-Yahweh still functioned at Ctesiphon/Casifia. According to texts in Greek, Latin, Aramaic, and Syriac, this version of Mesopotamian Judaism never obtained much traction among the Palestinian peasantry, which almost entirely became Christians of some sort.

        The full apparatus of Rabbinic Judaism does not really exist until the time of RASAG in the 10th century. There are are arguments that can put the crystallization of Rabbinic Judaism even later in time.

        For the most part Rafe’s comment shows so little understanding of Rabbinic Judaism that it cannot be addressed in any reasonable fashion.

    2. Jonathan/Joachim: While in some cases I value your knowledge on some subjects, I find your comments way over-long. In others, I object to your views. Not to mention venturing far afield from the post topic. I urge you to not try to offer us the sum of all your knowledge, but to confine youself to the post subject. And keep it short and succinct. Also, confine yourself to one comment per post.

      Also, I banned you as Joachim Martillo. I frown upon commenters adopting new identities in order to circumvent a ban. I have in the past restored comment privileges, but only after asking me directly to do so. You didn’t.

  5. I am glad to learn that Richard is like me an anti-Zionist Jew that is skeptical of B’Tselem, which cannot possibly a human rights group until it demands (a) the abolition of the Zionist state and (b) the return of Palestinians to their homes, property, villages, and country.

    By means on unanimous vote on UN General Assembly A/RES/96, The Crime of Genocide, the international community banned genocide on Dec 11, 1946 and made this ban jus cogens. The issue is simple.

    What is jus cogens? From the UN:

    A peremptory norm of general international law (jus cogens) is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law (jus cogens) having the same character.

    The white racist states, which consists of the N. American and European states as well as Australia, insist on giving the Zionist state a license to violate jus cogens even though the mere existence of the Zionist state negates the international anti-genocide legal regime and undermines international law.

    Please note that genocide is a crime against a group while murder is a crime against an individual.

    From Jan 30, 1933 until the start of the Holocaust, the Nazi regime’s main crime against the European Jewish group (or community) was genocide. After the start of the Holocaust, the Nazi regime’s main crime against European Jews consisted of mass murder, which is localized murder against at least 3 or more individuals within a short time period. The Nazi regime continued to commit genocide against the European Jewish group, but with respect to Holocaust-related crimes, prosecutors tended to focus on the charge of mass murder because this charge is much easier to prove.

  6. One week ago …

    The kidnapping of Russian-Israeli researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov was carried out to pressure Israel to release an Iranian operative held by Israel, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic daily.

    The Iranian in question could be Yousef Shahbazi Abbasalilo, whom Israel announced in June it had nabbed on Iranian soil for planning attacks on Israeli targets in Cyprus.

    1. Russia may be involved in negotiations for a swap deal …

      Elizabeth Tsurkov may have interviewed her Iraqi abductors in Baghdad for her research, Arab sources claim yesterday.

      According to the report, it was Tsurkov herself who contacted a Shiite man named Ahmad Alawani, asking for a meeting with his cousin Muhammad Alawani, a senior official in Kataeb Hezbollah.

      During their second meeting with Tsurkov, the two men discovered that she was Israeli, and decided to kidnap her.

  7. U.S. President Joe Biden’s former special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, was placed on leave and now under investigation by the FBI for alleged manipulation of classified information. JCPOA talks and prisoner swap negotiations.

  8. Deal Done

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said that two of the detainees will return to Iran while one of them will join his family in a third country and two others will stay in the US.

  9. Release Tsurkov: Latest Abduction in Pattern of Enforced Disappearances | Amnesty – Sept. 8, 2023 |

    Tsurkov, who entered Iraq on her Russian passport on January 28, has written extensively about the Levant, particularly Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Palestine.

    New Lines Magazine reported that she was in Iraq conducting field research on Shia movements in Iraq when she was kidnapped in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad

    Her family said that the focus of her doctoral research was the Sadrist and Tishreen movements – the political movement headed by the Shiite leader Muqtada Sadr and the mass protests that erupted in Iraq between 2019 and 2021.

    1. @ Oui: It was a mistake for Amnesty to categorize Elizabeth Tsurkov in the same way as it does political prisoners of conscience. Her background, views and deceit make her a questionable figure. While I decry her kidnapping and believe she should be released, her IDF intelligence background, her vicious hatred of Iran, along with the dubious decisions she made before her kidnapping make her motives complex and ambiguous at best.

      As for New Lines, it’s noteworthy that several of its editors, including Michael Weiss who I profiled here, are ardent foes of Iran and Shia Islam.

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