Archive | January 16th, 2013

“The view of these children will never leave my mind, it is just too horrible.”

NOVANEWS

Jamal Dayem Sehwail (55) in a Civil Defense room with fire fighting equipment, Gaza.

“Ever since I was a child I loved the work of the Civil Defense. I would follow the fire trucks through the streets on my bicycle”, says Jamal Sehwail (55), who is now the Director of Evacuation and Development in Gaza’s Civil Defense.

“I am in charge of complex incidents, for example where cooperation between fire fighters, paramedics and rescue workers is necessary”, explains Jamal. “I am also responsible for the maintenance and development of our equipment and facilities. Due to the closure we are lacking resources and supplies but we manage to deal with the situation creatively. For example, we are now able to produce our own fire extinguishing foam and face screens for the fire fighters.”

During Israel’s most recent military offensive on the Gaza Strip, which lasted from 14 to 21 November 2012, Jamal coordinated several rescue and recovery operations. According to PCHR investigations 171 civilians were killed and more than 1,250 were injured, of whom 650 sustained moderate to severe injuries. Jamal speaks about the conditions under which he and his colleagues had to work: “The last war was very difficult; the bombing went on continuously and was very intense. Journalists were targeted. It was a war to instill fear into the people. We remember what happened in the 2008-2009 war.” Jamal refers to incidents over the past years, especially during ‘Operation Cast Lead’, Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip in which 1,419 Palestinians were killed. “Paramedics, journalists, and us, civil defense staff, are supposed to be protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention. But we are attacked by the army nonetheless. In reality the Geneva Conventions do not exist. Israel has conveyed that message very clearly to us by targeting our staff and buildings; there is no safety from the Israeli army attacks. Whenever tensions rise we have to evacuate our offices because we know they might be targeted. We live in constant worry and never take a break from our work. We are always on call which means we might have to leave our home in the middle of the night if anything happens.”

During the last offensive Jamal and his colleagues worked around the clock to save lives. Some memories of those days will stay with them forever. Jamal remembers one incident most vividly; the attack on the Dalou family: “I was working in an apartment tower in Gaza that had just been bombed when I saw a rocket come from the sky a few hundred meters away. I heard a huge explosion and immediately rushed to the home that was hit by the bomb. My colleagues and I spent three days there trying to recover people from under the remains of the house. The children we found dead were in the same age as my children. After the war we found two remaining bodies, including one of a girl. The most difficult thing I have to do during my work is pulling children from under the rubble. The view of these children will never leave my mind, it is just too horrible.”

There is no psycho-social support for Jamal and his colleagues in order to deal with their trauma. “After a war we speak about our experiences”, says Jamal. “We talk to each other; that is the only way we can psychologically deal with it. We also thank all members of our team and visit the families of our colleagues who were injured or killed.”

Since 2007 Jamal has participated in around 1,500 rescue operations. He says “The rescuing of people and recovering of bodies remains in my memory like a film, even though I often don’t know the names of the victims.”

The targeting and severe injuring or killing of civilians, a protected person, is a war crime, as codified in Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Articles 8(2)(a)(i) and (iii) Article 8 (2)(b)(i) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Public Document

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For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893

PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpagehttp://www.pchrgaza.org

Posted in Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on “The view of these children will never leave my mind, it is just too horrible.”

UNITY

NOVANEWS

by jodymcintyre

To name one of the many lessons from these months in Venezuela, it is never to expect a disappointing turn-out.  The concept simply does not exist in the political vocabulary here.  This stems from the fact that there are concrete achievements at stake, and a sense that the two choices are either to continue to advance, or to be vulnerable to set-backs.  To allow the process to stagnate is not an option.

There has been much talk in recent years of the importance of continental unity in Latin America, and not only talk.  On January 10th, the date on which Hugo Chavez was due to be re-inaugarated as President, huge crowds turned out in support as he continues to recuperate from cancer surgery in Cuba.  The people who flooded the streets were joined by heads of states who came to show their solidarity; Evo Morales from Bolivia, Ralph Gonsalves from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Jose Mujica from Uruguay were amongst the speakers on the day.

This is not the first time that Caracas has played host to a show of the advances being made towards continental integration.  When I visited the city in December 2011, no less than thirty-three heads of state came together for the opening of CELAC; that is to say, from every country in the Caribbean and the Americas, apart from Canada and the US.  The statesmen and women of today follow in the footsteps of the liberators of Latin American history.  Simon Bolivar would be proud.

Why?  Well, in the same way that tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and on occasions millions of people are mobilised in Latin American capitals, it is clear that the stakes are sufficiently high to merit the response.  In fact, history would argue that there is simply no other choice.  Cuba provides a pertinent example; for many decades, the island stood alone in denouncing US foreign policy in Monroe’s ‘backyard’, and the dominance and exploitative policies of US companies.  Accordingly, the country was made to suffer; an economic blocade that continues until today, the occupation of a military base at Guantanamo which continues until today and a military invasion at Playa Giron, to highlight just a selection of the features of a campaign of destabilisation, intimidation and harrassment.  Perhaps Chile is an even stronger case for the necessity of unity.  President Salvador Allende was a voice who spoke out in support for Cuba, as well as oppressed people across the world, but it was not long before he was deposed from power in a coup d’etat which was armed and enabled by the United States.  Allende was murdered on September 11th 1973 because, as he said, either I complete the democratic mandate the people have given me, or I will die defending them.

To switch our attention to the other side of the globe, what is the future for the countries of the Arab world.  Hundreds of millions of people that in large part share a language (and not, as may be the case for Latin America, one inherited from a colonial power), a religion, Islam, a cultural heritage, and many customs.  Indeed, it was during a trip to Chile, in 1971, when Fidel Castro enunciated the following, in response to a question from a Lebanese journalist:

« …realmente si el mundo arabe estuviera mas unido tendria mucha mas fuerza, podria defenderse mejor de las agresiones.  Usted sabe lamentablemente las grandes diferencias que hay… dentro de los paises del mundo arabe. »

In the case of the Muslim world, it seems to be viewed as even more of a threat to the imperialist powers.  Partly it stems from the prejudices of racism ; the idea that these people are even more different to us, even more ‘foreign’, even more strange.  But also, there is an undeniable strength in the words of a Book that have not been altered since they were first committed to paper.  Ultimately, it is not foreign armies, hired mercenaries or exploitative companies that will judge them, but God.

Unity is the way.  For strength, and for survival.

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Mali and the Scramble for Africa

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Global Research

The French military intervention into Mali on Friday — France’s second in as many years into a former African colony — was reportedly seconded” by the United States. This ought to come as no great surprise, given the Pentagon’s deepening penetration into Africa.

According to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the Pentagon plans on deploying soldiers to 35 different African countries in 2013. As NPR reports, upwards of 4,000 U.S. soldiers will “take part in military exercises and train African troops on everything from logistics and marksmanship to medical care.” (The Malian army officer responsible for the country’s March coup just so happened to have received U.S. military training.)

Of course, the U.S. military already has a significant on-the-ground presence in Africa. For instance, the busiest Predator drone base outside of the Afghan war zone” — with 16 drone flights a day — is located at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

But as the Army Times notes, “the region in many ways remains the Army’s last frontier.” And in order to satiate the U.S. appetite for global “power projection,” no frontiers are to be left unconquered.

Thus, as a June report in the Washington Post revealed, the preliminary tentacles of the U.S. military already extend across Africa. As the paper reported, U.S. surveillance planes are currently operating out of clandestine bases in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya, with plans afoot to open a new base in South Sudan.

The Post reported further that, “the Pentagon is spending $8.1 million to upgrade a forward operating base and airstrip in Mauritania, on the western edge of the Sahara. The base is near the border with strife-torn Mali.”

And with such assets already in place, the Pentagon was in position to not only “second” France’s intervention into Mali, but, as the New York Times reported, to weigh a “broad range of options to support the French effort, including enhanced intelligence-sharing and logistics support.”

Illuminating what such U.S. support may come to eventually look like in Mali, J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center in Washington and a senior strategy advisor to AFRICOM, commented: “Drone strikes or airstrikes will not restore Mali’s territorial integrity or defeat the Islamists, but they may be the least bad option.” A rather ominous sign, given that employing such a “least bad option” has already led to the slaying of hundreds of innocents in the U.S. drone campaign.

Of course, much the same as with the drone campaign, the Pentagon’s push into Africa has come neatly packaged as an extension of “war on terror.” As a June Army Times report notes, “Africa, in particular, has emerged as a greater priority for the U.S. government because terrorist groups there have become an increasing threat to U.S. and regional security.”

But what intervention hasn’t come to be justified by employing some variant of the ever handy “war on terror” refrain? As French President François Hollande declared on Friday, “The terrorists should know that France will always be there when the rights of a people, those of Mali who want to live freely and in a democracy, are at issue.”

“The ideology of our times, at least when it comes to legitimizing war” Jean Bricmont writes in his bookHumanitarian Imperialism, “is a certain discourse on human rights and democracy.” And, we might add, a certain cynical discourse on combating terror.

Naturally, then, the notion that the West’s renewed interest in Africa is derived from an altruistic desire to help African states combat terrorism and establish democracy is rather absurd. It was the NATO alliance, lest one forgets, that so eagerly aligned with Salifi fighters to topple Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Moreover, it is this very same military alliance that is now simultaneously cheering Salifists in Syria, while bombing them in the AfPak region, Somalia, Yemen, and now Mali.

Clearly, only those practicing doublethink stand a chance of comprehending the ever shifting terrain of the Western “war on terror.”

Indeed, for once the veils of protecting “democracy” and combating “terror” are lifted, the imperial face is revealed.

Thus, the imperative driving the renewed Western interest in Africa, as Conn Hallinan helps explain, is the race to secure the continent’s vast wealth.

“The U.S. currently receives about 18 percent of its energy supplies from Africa, a figure that is slated to rise to 25 percent by 2015,” Hallinan writes. “Africa also provides about one-third of China’s energy needs, plus copper, platinum, timber and iron ore.”

What’s more, as Maximilian Forte contends in Slouching Towards Sirte, “Chinese interest are seen as competing with the West for access to resources and political influences. AFRICOM and a range of other U.S. government initiatives are meant to count this phenomenon.”

And this explains NATO’s 2011 foray into Libya, which removed a stubborn pan-Africanist leader threatening to frustrate AFRICOM’s expansion into the Army’s “last frontier.” And this explains the French-led, U.S. supported intervention into Mali, which serves to forcibly assert Western interests further into Africa.

Intervention, we see, breeds intervention. And as Nick Turse warned back in July, “Mali may only be the beginning and there’s no telling how any of it will end.”

All that appears certain is a renewed wave of barbarism, as the scramble for Africa accelerates.

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Internet Freedom and Copyright Reform: Aaron Swartz’s Suspicious Death

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Global Research

 

The Wall Street Journal headlined “An Internet Activist Commits Suicide.”

New York’s medical examiner announced death by “hang(ing) himself in his Brooklyn apartment.”

Lingering suspicions remain. Why would someone with so much to give end it all this way? He was one of the Internet generation’s best and brightest.

He advocated online freedom. Selflessly he sought a better open world. Information should be freely available, he believed. A legion of followers supported him globally.

Alive he symbolized a vital struggle to pursue. Death may elevate him to martyr status but removes a key figure important to keep alive.

The New York Times headlined “Internet Activist, a Creator of RSS, Is Dead at 26, Apparently a Suicide.”

He was an Internet folk hero. He supported online freedom and copyright reform. He advocated free and open web files. He championed a vital cause. He worked tirelessly for what’s right.

Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle called him “steadfast in his dedication to building a better and open world. He is among the best spirits of the Internet generation.”

Who’ll replace him now that he’s gone? He called locking up the public domain sinful. He selflessly strove to prevent it.

In July 2011, he was arrested. At the time, he was downloading old scholarly articles. He was charged with violating federal hacking laws. MIT gave him a guest account to do it.

He developed RSS and co-founded Reddit. It’s a social news site.

He was found dead weeks before he was scheduled to stand trial. He was targeted for doing the right thing. He didn’t steal or profit. He shared. His activism was more than words.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) defends online freedom, free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights. It “champion(s) the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.”

On January 12, it headlined “Farewell to Aaron Swartz, an extraordinary hacker and activist.” It called him “a close friend and collaborator.” Tragedy ended his life.

Vital questions remain unanswered. Supporters demand answers. So do family members.They blame prosecutors for what happened. Their statement following his death said the following:

“Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death.”

Swartz did as much or more than anyone to make the Internet a thriving open knowledge ecosystem. He strove to keep it that way. He challenged repressive Internet laws.

He founded Demand Progress. It “works to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing and grassroots lobbying,” he said.

It prioritizes “civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform.” It ran online campaigns for justice. It advocated in the public interest. It challenged policies harming it.

He mobilized over a million online activists. His other projects included RSS specification, web.py, tor2web, the Open Library, and the Chrome port of HTTPS Everywhere.

He launched Creative Commons. He co-founded Reddit. He and others made it successful. His Raw Thought blog discussed “politics and parody.” He had much to say worth hearing.

In 2011, he used the MIT campus network. He downloaded millions of journal articles. He used the JSTOR database. Authorities claimed he changed his laptop’s IP and Mac addresses. They said he did it to circumvent JSTOR/MIT blocks.

He was charged with “unauthorized (computer) access” under the Computer and Abuse Act. He did the equivalent of checking out too many library books at the same time.

Obama prosecutors claim doing so is criminal. They’ve waged war on Internet freedom. They want Net Neutrality and free expression abolished. They want fascist laws replacing them.

They usurped diktat power. They spurn rule of law principles and other democratic values. They enforce police state authority. They prioritize what no civil society should tolerate.

They claimed Aaron intended to distribute material on peer-to-peer networks. He never did. It hardly mattered. Documents he secured were returned. No harm. No foul. Federal authorities charged him anyway.

In July 2011, a Massachusetts grand jury indicted him. He was arraigned in Boston US District Court. He pled not guilty to all charges. He was freed on a $100,000 unsecured bond.

If convicted, he faced up to 35 years imprisonment and a $1 million dollar fine. He wanted scientific/scholarly articles liberated. They belong in the public domain. He wanted everyone given access. It’s their right, he believed.

He wanted a single giant dataset established. He did it before. He wasn’t charged. Why now?

“While his methods were provocative,” said EFF, his goal was “freeing the publicly-funded scientific literature from a publishing system that makes it inaccessible to most of those who paid for it.”

EFF calls it a cause everyone should support. Aaron was politically active. He fought for what’s right. Followers supported him globally.

In the “physical world,” at worst he’d have faced minor charges, said EFF. They’re “akin to trespassing as part of political protests.”

Doing it online changed things. He faced possible long-term incarceration. For years, EFF fought this type injustice.

Academic/political activist Lawrence Lessig called Aaron’s death just cause for reforming computer crime laws. Overzealous prosecutors are bullies. They overreach and cause harm.

EFF mourned his passing, saying:

“Aaron, we will sorely miss your friendship, and your help in building a better world.” Many others feel the same way.

Did Aaron take his own life or was he killed? Moti Nissani is Wayne State University Department of Biology Professor Emeritus. “Who Killed Aaron Swartz,” he asked?

He quoted Bob Marley saying: “How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?” He listed reasons why Obama administration scoundrels wanted him dead.

His death “was preceded by a vicious, totally unjustified, campaign of surveillance, harassment, vilification, and intimidation.”

CIA/FBI/Mossad/MI5 assassins expertly “mak(e) murder look like suicide.” Numerous “enemies of the state” die under suspicious circumstances. Media scoundrels don’t explain.

US authorities “had excellent reasons to kill” Aaron. He was legendary in his own right like John Lennon, MLK, Malcolm X and others. He threatened status quo dominance. He denounced Obama’s kill list and anti-Iranian cyber attacks.

Powerful government and business figures deplored him. In 2009, FBI elements investigated him. Charges didn’t follow.

Despite extreme pressure, he pressed on. He defied prosecutorial authority. In October 2009, he posted his FBI file online. Doing do “probably signed his own lynch warrant,” said Nissani.

Two days before his death, JSTOR, his alleged victim, declined to press charges. It went further. It “announced that the archives of more than 1,200 of its journals would be available to the public free.”

Aaron had just cause to celebrate. “Are we to believe” he hanged himself instead?

Government officials and corporate bosses “had plenty of reasons” to want him dead. He challenged their totalitarian agenda. “He was creative, idealistic and unbendable.”

“He was young and admired by many.” Did “invisible government” elements kill him?

“They did so either indirectly through constant harassment….or, most likely, directly by hanging him and” blaming him for their crime.

“All this raises a dilemma for those of us possessing both conscience and a functioning brain.” How much longer will we stand by and do nothing?

How long will we tolerate what demands condemnation? When will we defend our own interests?

Freedom is too precious to lose. Preserving it depends on us. No one will do it for us. It’s not possible any other way. It never was. It never will be.

Aaron’s Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto

His own words say it best.

“Information is power,” he said. “But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.”

“The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations.”

“Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.”

“There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it.”

“But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.”

“That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them?”

“Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.”

” ‘I agree,’ many say, but what can we do?’ The companies hold the copyrights. They make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal – there’s nothing we can do to stop them. But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.”

“Those with access to these resources – students, librarians, scientists – you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out.”

“But you need not – indeed, morally, you cannot – keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.”

“Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.”

“But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral – it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.”

“Large corporations, of course, are blinded by greed. The laws under which they operate require it – their shareholders would revolt at anything less. And the politicians they have bought off back them, passing laws giving them the exclusive power to decide who can make copies.”

“There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.”

“We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive.”

“We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerrilla Open Access.”

“With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge – we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?”

Does Aaron’s manifesto sound like someone planning suicide?

 

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‘Red October’: Global cyber-spy network uncovered by Russian experts

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Picture by Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research & Analysis Team

Picture by Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research & Analysis Team 

rt.com

A sophisticated cyber-espionage network targeting the world’s diplomatic, government and research agencies, as well as gas and oil industries, has been uncovered by experts at Russia’s Kaspersky Lab.

The system’s targets include a wide range of countries, with the primary focus on Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics and Central Asia – although many in Western Europe and North America are also on the list.

“The majority of infections are actually from the embassies of ex-USSR country members located in various regions such as Western Europe and even in North America – in the US we have few infections as well. But most infections are concentrated around Russia,”  Vitaly Kamluk, chief malware expert at Kasperky Lab, told RT, adding that in Europe, the hardest-hit countries are apparently Beligum and Switzerland.

In addition to attacking traditional computer workstations, ‘Rocra’ – an abridgment of ‘Red October,’ the name the Kaspersky team gave the network – can steal data from smartphones, dump network equipment configurations, scan through email databases and local network FTP servers, and snatch files from removable disk drives, including ones that have been erased.

Unlike other well-known and highly automated cyber-espionage campaigns, such as ‘Flame’ and ‘Gauss,’ Rorca’s attacks all appear to be carefully chosen. Each operation is apparently driven by the configuration of the victim’s hardware and software, native language and even document usage habits.

The information extracted from infected networks is often used to gain entry into additional systems. For example, stolen credentials were shown to be compiled in a list for use when attackers needed to guess passwords or phrases.

The hackers behind the network have created more than 60 domain names and several server hosting locations in different countries – the majority of those known being in Germany and Russia – which worked as proxies in order to hide the location of the ‘mothership’ control server.

That malicious server’s location remains unknown, but experts have uncovered over 1,000 modules belonging to 34 different module categories.While Rocra seems to have been designed to execute one-time tasks sent by the hackers’ servers, a number of modules were constantly present in the system executing persistent tasks. This included retrieving information about a phone, its contact list, call history, calendar, SMS messages and even browsing history as soon as an iPhone or a Nokia phone is connected to the system.

The hackers’ primary objective is to gather information and documents that could compromise the security of governments, corporations or other organizations and agencies. In addition to focusing on diplomatic and governmental agencies around the world, the hackers also attacked energy and nuclear groups, and trade and aerospace targets.

No details have been given yet as to the attackers’ identity. However, there is strong technical evidence to indicate that the attackers are of Russophone origins, as Russian words including slang have been used in the source code commentaries. Many of the known attacks have taken place in Russian-speaking countries.

“It is bound to Russian language. We are currently uncertain which country is responsible for creating these malicious applications, but we are most certain the developers picked the Russian language. It is visible from the text links we extracted from the application. Some of them point to Russian origin. For example, the word used inside of the malware the word is ‘zakladka.’ In Russian it means a bookmark, or under cleared functionality it can refer to a backdoor functionality in some legitimate software. So that’s why we believe this work was used by Russian-speaking developers,” Kamluk told RT.

Click to enlarge

The hackers designed their own authentic and complicated piece of software, which has its own unique modular architecture of malicious extensions, info-stealing modules and backdoor Trojans. The malware includes several extensions and malicious files designed to quickly adjust to different system configurations while remaining able to grab information from infected machines.

These included a ‘resurrection’ module, which allowed hackers to gain access to infected machines using alternative communications channels and an encoded spy module, stealing information from different cryptographic systems such as Acid Cryptofiler, which has reportedly been used since 2011 by organizations such as NATO, the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The first instances of Red October malware were discovered in October 2012, but it has been infecting computers since at least 2007, Kaspersky Lab reported. The firm worked with a number of international organizations while conducting the investigation, including Computer Emergency Readiness Teams from the US, Romania and Belarus.

The EU is attempting to counter the huge rise in cyber-espionage by launching the European Cybercrime Center, which opened on Friday.

Picture by Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research & Analysis Team

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U.S. may waive visas for Zionist citizens

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shermannetanyahu

Congressmen Brad Sherman and Ted Poe lead debate of bill to add the Zionist regime  to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, eliminating the need for Zionist citizens to apply for a visa to travel to U.S.

Haaretz

The U.S. Congress debated on Tuesday the Visa Waiver for Israel Act of 2012, which would exempt Israeli citizens from needing a visa to enter the United States for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) introduced the Visa Waiver for Israel Act along with lead cosponsor Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX). The bill would pave the way for Israel’s entrance into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Forty-nine members of the House joined with Sherman and Poe in introducing the legislation. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is introducing the same bill in the Senate.

Sherman first introduced the Visa Waiver for Israel Act in May 2012, along with lead cosponsor Ted Poe and 11 other colleagues; 34 members of Congress cosponsored Sherman’s bill.

The Visa Waiver Program allows travelers from 37 countries to enter the United States for business or leisure as visitors for up to 90 days without first getting a visa. Visitors from other countries must obtain a visa from U.S. consular posts before traveling to the United States.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, Daniel Ayalon, also gave remarks at the press conference in support of adding his nation to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

“I’m pleased to reintroduce the Visa Waiver for Israel Act with 50 bipartisan colleagues in Congress,” said Congressman Sherman.

“U.S.–Israel cooperation in biotechnology and medical research, green energy, homeland security, and information technology generates jobs and much-needed economic growth. Adding Israel to the Visa Waiver Program will boost business here in the U.S. and enhance cultural ties between our two nations. Israelis can visit most of Europe, Latin America, Canada, and several other countries around the world, visa-free, but not the United States. It is time we add our closest friend and democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel, to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.”

“Israel is not only a strong ally, but also an important trading partner with a thriving technology sector,” said Senator Wyden. “This legislation will make it easier for Israelis to collaborate with their American counterparts and to invest in the United States.”

Since 2005, Israel has sought admittance into this program; however, because Israelis’ entry visa rejection rate is more than 3 percent and not all citizens have biometric passports, the country has not been added. Israeli officials have also urged the United States to enforce a more thorough security check for U.S. citizens of Palestinian origin who enter the Jewish state.

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MY Homeland.. Land of Oppression

NOVANEWS

By a former Arab

karl lawar 

بلاد القمع أوطاني

بلاد القمع أوطاني بأغلال وقضبان

فلو أفلتت من سجن يطالك ألف سجّان

فلا رأي يوحدّنا ولا عقل يوجّهنا

وسيف الله فرّقنا الى ملل وأديان

نحارب بعضنا بعضا ونلقي نفسنا أرضا

ونشبع لحمنا عضّا وتقطيعا بأسنان

لنا همجيّة سلفت حسبنا أنها اندثرت

فأيّة أمة سمحت لنقطع رأس إنسان

هلمّوا يا بني جهل الى الماضي بلا خجل

فعهد السيف والجمل يعود اليوم من ثاني

نفاخر في جهالتنا ندافع عن بلاهتنا

بإذن الله صحوتنا فهذا الجهل ربّاني

فهذه أمّة ولدت ببوصلة قد انحرفت

واسرائيلها اختلطت معالمها بإيران

وهذه أمّة بعثت مشوّهة وما علمت

مشوّهة بما حملت معبّأة بأكفان

فأمريكا حليفتنا وأوباما خليفتنا

وفي الناتو شريعتنا بكفّار وأخوان

حليفتنا هي الأقوى نطوف الأرض والجوّا

وننفخ ريشنا زهوا إذا نحن بصيصان

أردنا نهج أسلاف تحجّجنا بإجحاف

لنركب فوق أكتاف ونقتل كل علماني

وإن نغتال نخبتنا فلا أمل لصحوتنا

ولا داعي لنصرتنا بأفغان وشيشان

كرامتنا حضارتنا وقوّتنا بوحدتنا

ووحدتنا بقهوتنا وقهوتنا بفنجان

خرافات قصيدتنا خيانات قبيلتنا

وساطور حضارتنا ندافش مثل قطعان

شواربنا رجولتنا وزوجات غنائمنا

ثقافتنا كعورتنا لها فرج وفخذان

لنا الدنيا وما فيها تطيب لنا معاصيها

نعاقب مثل باريها ونقطع رقبة الزاني

بلاد العهر أوطاني بأشكال وألوان

وأمريكا شقيقتنا بأقفاص تكاثرنا

قشور الموز تطعمنا ونرقص مثل سعدان

نعوّي حين تأمرنا ونصمت حين تجلدنا

بكرباج تخاطبنا تحرّكنا بخيطان

بلاد الجهل أوطاني بأشكال وألوان

وشيخ من مغارته ليخدعنا بلحيته

تعجّب من عبادته دعاة الأنس والجان

بلاد الكفر أوطاني بأصنام وأوثان

أيا عدنان أشجعنا ننادي ليس يسمعنا

ويا غسّان كن معنا ولا خبر لغسّان

فيا وطنا حلمناه
وعشنا في زواياه

بأيدينا ذبحناه قطعنا كل شريان

ويا وطنا ورثناه بأيدينا حرقناه

وشيّعنا ضحاياه بمئذنة وصلبان

خذوا كتبي خذوا نسبي سأنسى انني عربي

فلا أسفي ولا عتبي فكانت تلك أوطاني

عربي سابق

Posted in Middle East, LiteratureComments Off on MY Homeland.. Land of Oppression

The Sexual Subversion of America, Part 1 of 2

 

NOVANEWS

Dr. Lasha Darkmoon

An edited abridgement of E. Michael Jones’ 2003 essay, Rabbi Dresner’s Dilemma: Torah v. Ethnos, presented with pictures and captions by Lasha Darkmoon

nudes

“Sexual morality is contemptible. I advocate an incomparably freer sexual life…. If only Americans knew, we are bringing them the plague!” — Sigmund Freud

I never liked the title of Rabbi Dresner’s book: Can Families Survive in Pagan America? This was published in 1995 by Huntington House out of Lafayettte, Louisiana.

The Jews had prospered in America, we learn from the book, but they had paid a price for their prosperity. The chosen people seemed to flatten into normality, according to Dresner’s pessimistic view, becoming what the prophets had warned against: just like the other nations.

They had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in assimilating and achieving success. They even succeeded in remaking American culture in the course of the 20th century in their image, but in doing that they also discovered that they were no longer Jews.

Jews, according to Dresner, have tried all things. In the process they have exhausted modernity. And they have discovered, to their chagrin, the puzzling truth that

 no license has replaced the Law; no symphony, the Psalms; no country club, the synagogue; no mansion, the home; no mistress, a wife; no towering metropolis, Jerusalem; no impulse, the joy of doing a mitzvah; no man, God. (p. 329)

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1.  Introducing Rabbi Dresner

Samuel H. Dresner was born into an assimilationist-minded Jewish family in Chicago in 1923. He was known in high school, at the time, as obsessed with sports and girls. Before long those obsessions were replaced by a loftier obsession. At the age of 15, Dresner became acutely and painfully aware of suffering in the world around him. As a result of his vision, he turned down what would have been a lucrative career in his uncle’s dress manufacturing business and decided to become a rabbi.

Dresner did not speak Yiddish. He was not a Polish Jew. His wife Ruth comes from a family of Orthodox German Jews. You would, however, not get this impression by reading Families, which is in many ways one long invidious comparison between the Jews of America and the Jews of Eastern Europe.

Dresner felt that Jews were better off, spiritually at least, in the ghettos of Eastern Europe. Now that they had arrived in just about every sense of the word in America, he was afraid that they had become “messengers who forget the message”:

For centuries the Jews, shut up in their ghettos, perfected their souls before God and had something to say to mankind. But no one listened. Now, Jews have the ears of non-Jews on every level of society. What a tragedy if now that the gentiles are listening, the Jews have nothing to say.

2.  Rabbi  Dresner’s assault on American Jewry

Rabbi Dresner was among the first to spot trends destructive of Judaism in literature, film and radical feminism.

I remember asking him what he thought of a piece I did on Jewish/CatholicKulturkampf, which ended with an analysis of Alan Dershowitz’s The Vanishing American Jew. My point was that the Jews were putting themselves out of business by espousing sexual liberation. Dresner agreed with what I had to say, but added that Jews didn’t like to hear others (i.e., the goyim) say it. It was an honest response, and I valued his honesty.

In another conversation, he complained about me writing about “Jewish villains” and so in response I sent him a copy of my then just released book The Medjugorje Deception, with an inscription to the effect that there were no Jewish villains in it.

“What a tragedy,” Dresner points out, “if now that the gentiles are listening, the Jews have nothing to say.” When Families appeared, this gentile was listening, because he felt that this Jew had something to say.

Dresner singles out Isaac Bashevis Singer and Woody Allen for particular condemnation because of their contemptuous attitude toward things Jewish.

In wondering why Singer is so popular among American Jews and why his portrayal of Polish Jews as sexual degenerates had evoked no protest, Dresner levels a jeremiad of biblical proportions against American Jews, a group which he feels have made a caricature out of Judaism, not only by the vulgarism and crass commercialism that pervades their communal life, but, more to the point, by too often abdicating the intellectual life of the faith to the fads of the time.

The true creed of many American Jews, especially the intellectuals, has become whatever happens at the moment to be “in”: Marxism, deconstruction, consciousness-raising, permissiveness, liberation, cults, and sexual experimentation. (pp. 190-1).

If “the traditional family is under siege” in America, it is largely because of the influence of what Dresner calls “the Hollywood crowd”, a group of people who praise “rebellion, self-fulfillment, and promiscuity” and have a “debased view of the human body and spirit.”

According to Dresner, any study of the films which got produced from 1945 to 1985 would reveal “a radical shift in values”, one which turned the world upside down: “Hollywood came to adopt a permissive, value-free attitude in the course of a few decades,” and when it went down the drain, it dragged the rest of America with it:

The underground has taken over. The avant-garde has become the man on the street. Bohemia is Broadway. The filthy jokes formerly restricted to burlesque houses and certain nightclubs are now available on films and TV for the millions. Las Vegas is no longer a city but a condition. (pp. 316-7)

Hollywood, in short, got corrupted around 1945 and is now responsible for the moral decline of American culture.

3.  Hollywood’s decadence and subversion of morals

Dresner’s critique of Hollywood, however, is not as pointed as it needs to be. To say that the Hollywood elite came to adopt “a permissive, value-free attitude in the course of a few decades”, from 1945 to 1985, is not only not true, it misses certain salient points.

First of all, the Hollywood elite was then, and is now, overwhelmingly Jewish. Secondly, the Jews who ran Hollywood had always had this “permissive, value-free attitude” when it came to matters venereal.

Beginning in the 1920s, the outcry against Hollywood’s subversion of morals was so great that various forms of legislation — federal, state and local — were proposed as an antidote.

As a way of heading off this legislation, Hollywood’s Jews in 1934 entered into a voluntary agreement with the Legion of Decency, a Catholic operation. That agreement was known as the Production Code. The Catholics forced the issue by organizing boycotts at a time when the film industry was reeling from the effects of the stock market crash and their heavy indebtedness to the nation’s banks.

The most memorable and most effective boycott was organized by Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia, who forbade that city’s Catholics from watching movies in the city’s movie houses, which at the time were largely owned by Warner Brothers. His efforts created a situation in which Warner Brothers was losing $175,000 a week at the height of the depression.

The man who ran the Production Code office for the next 20 years was a Catholic by the name of Joseph I. Breen, a man who had no illusions about the attitudes of the Hollywood elite during the early 1930s:

They are simply a rotten bunch of vile people with no respect for anything beyond the making of money. . . . Here [in Hollywood] we have Paganism rampant and in its most virulent form. Drunkenness and debauchery are commonplace. Sexual perversion is rampant . . . any number of our directors and stars are perverts. . . . These Jews seem to think of nothing but moneymaking and sexual indulgence. The vilest kind of sin is a common indulgence hereabouts and the men and women who engage in this sort of business are the men and women who decide what the film fare of the nation is to be. They and they alone make the decision. Ninety-five percent of these folks are Jews of an Eastern European lineage. They are, probably, the scum of the earth (Gregory D. Black, Hollywood Censored, p. 70).

What was true then is a fortiori true today. Jews dominate Hollywood and always have.

4.  Jews dominate Hollywood, but you mustn’t mention it

The immigrant Jews who created Hollywood’s major studios were followed by another generation of Jews who founded the nation’s major TV networks — William Paley’s CBS, David Sarnoff’s NBC, and Leonard Goldenson’s ABC.

Today, about two-thirds of leading TV and movie producers are Jewish. Four of the five companies that dominate American entertainment are run by Jews: Gerald Levin, who once considered a rabbinic career, runs Time Warner, Michael Eisner runs Disney, Mel Karmazin and Sumner Redstone run Viacom-CBS, and the Bronfmans run Universal.

This fact is rarely discussed in the mainstream media because Jews control that as well.

When British journalist William Cash wrote about Jewish control of Hollywood in the October 1994 issue of the Spectator, Hollywood and its academic support troops reacted with a rage verging on hysteria.

In the November 13, 1994 issue of Los Angeles Times, Neal Gabler attacked Cash’s article as “an anti-Semitic bleat from a reactionary crackpot” which could have been dismissed out of hand “if it didn’t have a respectable platform in theSpectator and didn’t play to a pre-existing prejudice—that Jews control the US media.”

Neal Gabler, it should be noted, is the author of An Empire of their Own: How Jews Created Hollywood. Gabler, in other words, was attacking Cash for saying precisely what Gabler had already said in his own book.

According to Cash:

That every major studio head is Jewish today is no different from 60 years ago. “Of 85 names engaged in production, 53 are Jews,” a 1936 survey noted. And the Jewish advantage holds in prestige as well as numbers. In a recent Premiere magazine “Special Power Issue”—ranking the 100 most powerful people in the ‘Industry’—the top 12 were Jewish. There were no black or British industry executives ranked.

Jewish domination of Hollywood, however, cannot be limited to numbers. The numbers simply give a pale approximation of the extent to which Jews determine the cultural matrix out of which the nation’s films get made. Cash cites an instance of the “extreme measures” non-Jews engage in to succeed in Hollywood:

Bill Stadiem, a former Harvard educated Wall Street lawyer who is now a screenwriter in LA, told me that he recently came across an old WASP friend in an LA restaurant who had been president of the Porcellian at Harvard, the most exclusive undergraduate dining-club.

His friend, a would-be producer, was dressed in a black nylon tracksuit and had gold chains on his wrist. Dangling around his neck was a chunky Star of David. Stadiem asked: “Why the hell are you dressed like that?”

The WASP replied: “I’m trying to look Jewish.”

— The Spectator, October 1994 

Obama et al

TRYING TO LOOK JEWISH

(LD: Dr Jones’ comments on the complete Jewish takeover of Hollywood were written in 2003 when it was still considered outrageous to suggest Jewish hegemony in Hollywood. It was okay for Jews to boast about the fact, but not for gentiles to deplore it. Since then, there have been much more emphatic claims of dominance.  “I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government,” Jewish columnist Joel Stein bragged in the Los Angeles Times in December 2008.  “I just care that we get to keep running them.” Mr Stein’s reckless candor in admitting that the Jews not only ran Hollywood, but America itself, was to cost him his job at the LA Times.)

5.  Jews v. Catholics

William Cash’s and Joe Breen’s candor about Hollywood fills in what Sam Dresner’s account leaves out. It shows that the battle over the sexualization of American culture was largely if not exclusively a battle between America’s Jews and Catholics.

From 1934 to 1965, Hollywood’s Jews were forced to repress their “permissive, value-free attitude” in matters sexual, or at least they were prevented from expressing that attitude in the films that they made. The golden age of Hollywood, which Dresner indirectly praises, was a collaborative effort: it was Catholics saving Hollywood’s Jews from their own worst instincts.

The Catholics eventually lost that battle, with dire consequences for the entire nation. Indeed, Rabbi Dresner’s book is one of those consequences. His book is also an indication that the history of American Culture in the 20th century is in many respects a history of the sexual degeneration of the American Jew.

That means the decline of the Rabbi Dresner Jew and the Rise of the Woody Allen Jew in his place, as an icon for the entire culture. The Catholics lost the culture wars because they internalized Woody Allen Jewish values on sexuality. The cultural prominence of Jews like Woody Allen was especially painful for Dresner—because they had become cultural icons by promoting sexual deviance.

 

Woody Allen

“Don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.”
— Woody Allen, who was later accused by Mia Farrow of sexually molesting their adopted 7-year-old daughter Dylan.

The moral decline that Dresner complains about was in no small amount attributable to the cultural influence of American Jews, something he adverts to time and time again in his book.

6.  Jews are “despoilers of morality and corrupters of culture”

“Jews,” Rabbi Dresner tells us, “have played a less than admirable role in the sexual revolution” (p. 155). He continues: “Many liberal rabbis are in the forefront of the pro-abortion movement. In fact, surveys indicate that Jewish women are among the most likely of all groups to support “abortion on demand” (p. 39).

Dresner goes on to cite “a recent Gallup poll and a suppressed B’nai B’rith survey”, which indicates that American Jews are more likely to be divorced and less likely to be married than the average American; that “91 percent of Jewish women agree that every woman who wants an abortion should be able to have one”; that “50 percent of Jewish women signaled a high degree of affinity for feminism compared to only 16 percent among non-Jewish women”, and that Jews favor homosexual rights more than the general population.

The rootless Jews who dominate Hollywood and, as a result, American culture as a whole, have defined themselves, in Dresner’s words, as “despoilers of morality and corrupters of culture.”

Dresner is concerned that others have noticed the same thing.

He cites a letter to a California Lawyer which claims that “the progressive deterioration of morality can be directly attributable to the growing predominance of Jews in our national life.”

Dresner is, of course, appalled, but his book says essentially the same thing. Is Rabbi Dresner, then, an anti-Semite?

Given the canons of contemporary discourse, it depends on how we define the term. Israel Shamir, writing in the Israeli newspaper H’aaretz, recently said that anyone who objected to American global cultural imperialism could now safely be termed an anti-Semite. Unless, of course, he is Jewish, in that instance he is referred to as a “self-hating Jew”, a term which can be defined as referring to anyone who disagrees with the party line as articulated by Abe Foxman, the Bronfmans, the ADL, the AJC and all of the other leaders and organizations that have tried to turn Jews into the avant-garde of the Cultural Revolution.

Rabbi Dresner is at odds with the majority of American Jews. That, in turn, leads to a paradox: America has become more Jewish over the course of the 20th century, but Jews have become less Jewish at the same time, if we define the Jew the way Dresner does, as a follower of the Torah.

The Jew has become an American Cultural Hero, but he has become that largelyby espousing sexual degeneracy.

7.  Jewish history is “one long battle against sexual deviance”

It should be obvious by now that Dresner does not like Woody Allen, the classic example of how America has become more Jewish while at the same time “American Jews are becoming less Jewish.”

Woody Allen, according to Dresner, has had a “persistent fascination” with incest. He has also been in psychoanalysis for over 30 years, which means that this fascination with incest, whether expressed in his writing or his seductionof his and Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon Yi Previn, is best explained by an analysis of Freud. Freud, too, was obsessed with incest.

In his book Moses and Monotheism, Freud makes clear that, as in the case of the Pharaohs of Egypt, incest confers god-like status on its perpetrators.

David Bakan has written a book in which he claims that Freud was a follower of the Jewish false Messiah Sabbatai Zevi and that his attack on Moses was really an attempt to abolish the law in the same way that Zevi did, which is to say through ritual impurity.

Jews who promote sexual revolution are following in this tradition: “They conjure up painful memories,” Dresner tells us, “of the infamous seventeenth century false messiah Sabbatai Zevi or his successor, Jacob Frank. Their coming was to mark a new age when the rule of Torah was to be superseded: “What was forbidden is now permitted.” (p.160)

“In biblical times,” Dresner continues, “Judaism waged a battle against sexual excess not unlike the struggle now in progress — and in those earlier times, Mosaic law was victorious. Unbridled sexuality lay at the heart of ancient pagan religion.” (p. 66).

In Dresner’s view, Jewish history is one long battle against sexual deviance:

The early biblical narratives can be read as a continuous attack on the widespread sexual deviance that challenged and often seduced the Israelites, whose fallings away Scripture scrupulously records. (p. 82).  What crime was so great that it provoked God to destroy mankind, except for Noah and his family, with a flood? According to the most ancient understanding of the biblical story found in rabbinic sources, it was the violation of the natural order of sexual life (p. 83). God is long-suffering of all manner of crime, save sexual immorality. (p. 85)

The Jewish battle against sexual excess continues to the present day.

End of Part 1.

Posted in USA, EducationComments Off on The Sexual Subversion of America, Part 1 of 2

80 bullets fired without justification in death of West Bank Palestinian

NOVANEWS

223

Investigation finds no reason to use live ammunition in the November shooting death of Rushdie Tamimi, 31, in Nabi Saleh, in the West Bank.

Haaretz

An IDF probe has concluded that in November, Israeli soldiers fired 80 bullets without justification causing the death of a Palestinian man shot in the back during clashes in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

Rushdie Tamimi, 31, was killed when a group of Palestinians in the village began throwing stones toward a road from a long distance, and an army reserve unit tried to disperse them.

The army probe of the November 19 shooting in Nabi Saleh arrived at harsh conclusions regarding the conduct of the IDF company commander and the reserve unit called in to disperse the stone-throwers.

While events were still unfolding, Channel 10 reported that the commander had been relieved of his duties following the shooting. The probe conducted by the army’s Central Command found that the commander had been driving in the vicinity when he saw some 10 youths throwing rocks from a hilltop.

The probe determined that the youths were too far from the road to constitute any real danger. Nevertheless, the commander summoned about 10 reserve soldiers from a nearby army outpost and instructed them to disperse the youths.

However, he neglected to report this immediately to battalion headquarters, which was only 50 meters away.

It turned out that the commander did not report the shooting incident at all, until
Haaretz approached the IDF spokesman two days later for a response to the incident. The army investigation found that the soldiers had fired tear gas at the stone-throwers for an hour and a half. When they ran out of canisters, a medic was sent by jeep to the adjacent outpost to bring back some more. At that point, the commander instructed the soldiers to use live rounds.

They fired 80 bullets, one of which hit Tamimi in the back. For several minutes, the soldiers prevented anyone from giving him medical aid, until they relented. Tamimi was evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah, where he died two days later.

The investigation found there was no reason to use live ammunition. Even when the order was given, the commander did not clearly indicate the target and the reason for opening fire. In professional terms, the troops did not “control the fire.”

The commander claimed the soldiers had not noticed that anyone had been hit, which is why they prevented anyone from approaching Tamimi to provide medical aid. This seemed a dubious claim, though, since the victim was bleeding from the head.

Nabi Saleh has been the scene of frequent weekend protests against settler incursions on villagers’ water supply. The stone-throwing that preceded Tamimi’s death took place during Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.

The army sees the incident as a “failure of values,” and the Military Police’s investigation branch has opened a formal inquiry into the fatal shooting.

On Tuesday, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot to death by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the West Bank village of Budrus, Palestinian sources said. Samir Awad was shot four times in the torso and legs, sources said. He is the fourth Palestinian killed by IDF fire in the last week.

The incidents came a day after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya near the border with Israel. Gazan officials said Mustafa Abu Jarad, 21, was a farmer. He was taken to Shifa hospital, where doctors said he died from his wounds.

The Israel-Gaza frontier has been mostly calm since November, when eight days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes killed 170 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Since then, four Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli troops along the Gaza border, most of them in an area Israel has deemed off-limits for several years, citing the risk of attacks on soldiers. 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on 80 bullets fired without justification in death of West Bank Palestinian

Zio-NATO Rats Seek Islamic State in Post-Assad Syria

NOVANEWS

syrianrebels

Huddled around a fire in a bombed-out building in Aleppo, foreign Zio-NATO Rats   say they are fighting for a radical Islamic state in Syria – whether local rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad like it or not.

Among their fellow revolutionaries and civilians, these foreigners draw both respect for their iron discipline and fear that if Assad falls, they may turn on former allies to complete the struggle for an Islamic caliphate.

One Turkish fighter in the devastated Aleppo district of Karm al-Jabal expressed an unbending determination to achieve a state under Sharia Islamic law that worries many Syrians, the West and even regional backers of the anti-Assad rebellion.

“Syria…will be an Islamic and Sharia state and we will not accept anything else. Democracy and secularism are completely rejected,” said the fighter, who called himself Khattab.

Sporting a shaggy beard and with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder, he warned anyone who might stand in the way. “We will fight them, even if they are among the revolutionaries or anyone else,” said Khattab, who left his job as a driver to fight for two years in Afghanistan before moving to Syria six months ago.

A member of the Jundollah rebel unit, Khattab has little knowledge of Arabic – he spoke in the rubble-strewn building through a Syrian translator – and refused to be filmed or photographed for fear of being identified back in Turkey.

The government of Turkey is itself Islamist but strongly opposes the radical ideology of Khattab and the militants who are rising among the rebel groups fighting Assad in a conflict that has claimed at least 60,000 lives.

The United States designated al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, as a terrorist organisation in December after it claimed responsibility for bombings in Damascus and Aleppo.

However, many rebels and Aleppo residents say fear of the jihadists is overblown. The West is exploiting it to justify not sending desperately-needed arms to the rebels, they say, prolonging Assad’s hold on power.

In Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, the radicals’ influence is obvious. Many rebels drive through the shattered streets in cars emblazoned with black Islamist flags carrying religious slogans.

Accounts differ on how much radical groups coordinate with units of the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA). Many rebels praise the skills of the jihadists – often honed in Afghanistan or Iraq – saying they are among the bravest fighters although they tend to be reclusive.

Some, however, are new recruits in the holy war in a country they call Al-Sham, recalling a greater Syria established after the Muslim conquest over 1,300 years ago.

One such is Abu al-Harith, a stocky, fair, 27-year-old from Azerbaijan who spoke at a rebel base in Karm al-Jabal, a district so damaged it seems to have suffered an earthquake.

“This is my first time to embark on a Jihad because … there was no one worse than Bashar. Even Stalin was merciful compared with him,” said the young man, who wore a ski mask and had a black badge bearing an Islamic religious slogan sewn onto his green fatigues.

FIGHTING THE FSA

Nevertheless, there is concern about the post-Assad vision of these foreign Rats – whose numbers are difficult to assess – and whose rejection of a future democratic state may sit uneasily with many Syrians fighting authoritarian rule.

Some Zio-NATO Rats  distrust the Free Syrian Army, an army in name only composed of mostly local Sunni Muslim fighters and army defectors. Likewise they see little difference between the West and regional Islamic countries which back the FSA.

“All this talk about freedom, democracy and the secular state and a state of open freedoms like America and the European system – Islamists do not care about this talk at all,”

said 25-year-old Abu Muawiyah, a skinny fighter who said he was from the Aleppo countryside and translated for the foreigners.

“There are some fighting factions like the Free Syrian Army, who have links to other countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and these countries have links with the controlling pole, which is the United States,” he said. “America is against anything Islamic. That is obvious to everyone.”

Not all foreign fighters have a radical vision, and they are welcomed heartily by Syrian fighters. Abu Ahmed al-Libi, who fought to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, said he came to Syria with a band of 15 Libyans eight months ago.

A large man who had an easy camaraderie with Syrian fighters in his unit, he shook hands with a female reporter – a rarity among even mainstream Islamist groups in Syria. Libi said he had trained 40 Syrians in Libya before bringing them over, and estimated the number of Libyan fighters in Syria at about 200.

DIFFERENT IDEOLOGY, SAME GOALS

While Washington has recognized the Rats  National Coalition as the sole representative of Syria, its designation of al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organisation has angered many rebel leaders. They say the group, whether it espouses extremist ideology or not, is fighting the same enemy as they are.

Al-Nusra Front has a reputation for being extremely disciplined, and it is hard to find many people who will criticism it. Abu Abdo, a fighter on one of the many frontlines in Aleppo, said he had tried to join the group but was rejected because he was a smoker.

Colonel Abduljabbar Oqaidi, who heads the Rat military revolutionary council in Aleppo province, defended al-Nusra Front. “We may differ with them on their thought,” he told Reuters recently, but he rejected Washington’s designation.
“They’re fierce and loyal … And at the end of the day they’re fighting the regime with us. And we have not seen their extremism, they have not done anything that proves they are terrorists,” he said. “Anyone fighting the regime is a mujahid and a revolutionary and we kiss their forehead,” said Oqaidi, adding that their numbers were not more than 500 in Aleppo.

By contrast, support for the Free Syrian Army has eroded among some Aleppians due to some cases of looting.

“The cleanest unit on the ground, with no corruption within its ranks, is the al-Nusra Front. The group now has a popular base. Maybe their ideology is distant from the people’s but they started liking al-Nusra front because they are just,”

said Abu Ahmed, who leads an Aleppo unit of the large al-Tawheed brigade.

“The fear surrounding the Nusra Front is down to intimidation by the media,” he said. “My ideology is not the same as the Nusra Front but I have to say what I’ve experienced from them.”

OMINOUS FUTURE?

Fears of internecine conflict remain. A commander of al-Farouq Brigades, one of Syria’s largest rebel groups, was shot dead on Wednesday in what rebel sources said may have been in revenge for the killing of an al-Nusra Front leader.

Some rebels see a more ominous future. “We’re scared that after the fall of the regime, they will try to impose their views on the Syrian people. Their goal is for Syria to be an Islamic state and the Free Syrian Army is the opposite of that,”

said a 24-year-old rebel fighter in trainers and tracksuit pants who goes by the name Saqr Idlib.

Walking through a destroyed part of the al-Sukkari district in Aleppo, the fighter puffed worriedly on a cigarette: “We’re scared there’ll be problems by al-Nusra Front and other groups like them after the fall of the regime.”

By contrast, Abu Ahmed said he had no fear of a future conflict and his wife – who wears a headscarf but does not cover her face – chimed in: “Al-Nusra Front’s ideology is Islamic and at the end of the day, we are Muslims.”

While Syria’s uprising has been led by Sunnis, minority Christians and members of Assad’s Alawite sect – an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam – had nothing to worry about, said Adnan Abu Raad as he watched gravediggers shovel dirt in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border.

“Any boy, child or women will say we want an Islamic state only. And there is no difference between Sunni, Christian or Alawite. Just peace and security for all,” Abu Raad said.
At least some people in Aleppo seem willing to tolerate even gruesome retribution by the jihadists. “Yes, they have the sword and beheading, but only for those people who deserve it,” 

said Hadi, a bearded rebel who spoke in the corridor of a bombed-out building that served as a gateway to a frontline.

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