Archive | April 22nd, 2013

Morsi after Meeting with Putin; Committed to Peaceful Syria Solution, No to IMF-Loan

NOVANEWS

 

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc),- At a Press Conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Egypt´s President Mohammed Morsi stated, that Egypt was committed to finding a peaceful and legal solution to the crisis in Syria. Today, the official Egyptian State Information Service states, that Egypt has said no to a loan from the International Monetary Fond, IMF, because the IMF´s conditions were unacceptable. Earlier this year, prior to a state visit in India, Morsi pronounced that Egypt has aspirations for joining the BRICS. 

Presidents Morsi and Putin in Sochi. Is Egypt realigning itself to the middle ?

Presidents Morsi and Putin in Sochi. Is Egypt realigning itself to the middle ?

Since the discontinuation of the Soviet Union, the bilateral relations between Cairo and Moscow have slowly degraded. The main talking points on the agenda at the talks between Morsi and Putin were the revival of trade, commerce and economic cooperation between the two countries as well as the instability that has swept over Northern Africa and the Middle East since 2011.

Earlier this year, prior to a planned state visit to India, Morsi stated, that Egypt has aspirations of becoming a member of the BRICS, leading to speculations, whether Egypt is planning to assume a similar role as it had during the 1950s and 1960s, where the country walked a tightrope between alignment with Moscow and Washington.  As a member of the non-aligned movement, Egypt may very well try to reassert its role as a regional power broker.

A closer alignment of Egypt with Moscow would make the country less dependent on US foreign policy and could, at least to a certain degree, counter the strong influence the USA is asserting over the Arab League through Qatar.

The little Gulf Kingdom has since 2007 grown into a veritable regional political superpower, which has stood and is standing behind many of the sweeping changes which have cast northern Africa and the Middle East into turmoil since 2011. Qatar and the USA are the primary powers behind the attempted subversion of Syria.

The question one may ask is, whether Morsi´s statement, that Egypt is committed to finding a peaceful and legal solution to the crisis in Syria is indicative of a more self-confident Egypt, and an Egyptian president who is aware of the fact that an alignment with the USA and Qatar, without playing the Moscow card, makes him as easily disposable of as his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

There are also other signs which indicate that Morsi may be trying to reassert Egypt´s role as regional power and greater independence from Washington. Morsi´s ambitions to have Egypt become the “E” in something that could become the BRICS+E was one indication. Prior to his visit to India, Morsi also stated, that Egypt is planning to increase its relations with eastern and Asian countries.

Today´s rejection of the IMF´s loan, following talks with the Russian President in Sochi, are lending additional credibility to those who are arguing for an Egyptian realignment to the middle, and the recent signals from the BRICS, that it will create a BRICS development bank, are indicative of that Morsi may have substance behind the possible dream of a course change.

Asked about the reasons for turning down the IMF, Mosi said, “We seek to carry out clear changes in the government´s economic program to receive the loan and we are keen on the interests of the Egyptian citizens”. On of the greatest points of critique against Morsi, other than oppression of his political opponents were, that Morsi “already sold out Egypt and its people to the IMF and World Bank, before he even was elected”.  With backup from Russia and the other BRICS members however, Morsi would be less dependent on Washington´s and the IMF´s economic dictates. With the World Bank and IMF systems, as some analysts have it, close to exploding into an international scandal which could spell the beginning of the end of the Bretton Woods gentleman´s agreement, Morsi may be making a very wise decision.

Morsi showed true statesmanship when he said, that he is “seeking real investments in Egypt” and that“loans don´t solve problems and are just temporary solutions”. During his interview with Al-Jazeera Morsi also reiterated the importance of maintaining the integrity of Egyptian territory, stating, that “Egypt´s lands are not for sale and are prohibited for non-Egyptians”. 

While increased Egyptian self-confidence and increased assertiveness in the Arab League as well as Egypt´s possible influence for finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria may be plausible and welcome, he may still have to tackle internal problems. Consolidating the continuity and stability of the Egyptian government in times of sudden and comprehensive unrest and change may have made sweeping power grabs a tempting solution. As a long-term strategy however, a semi-dictatorial, Muslim Brotherhood influenced Egyptian government is as counter productive to the stability of Egypt´s society and government, as loans are counterproductive as a long-term strategy for economic growth.

During an interview with Al-Jazeera, Morsi also stressed that Egypt is maintaining good relations with Iran and that Egypt´s relations with Iran are not directed against anyone. Morsi reiterated, the importance of Iran´s role with regard to finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Syria.

The renewed ties between Cairo and Moscow may also indicate that Russia is planning to play a more active role throughout the Middle East, and that the Russian government is planning to reassert some of the influence Moscow has lost in the region during the last years of the Soviet era and the early 1990s.

Russian Naval vessels to Bandar

A Russian fleet, composed of the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev and the two logistic warships Peresvet and Novelskoy, with a total number of 712 crew have entered the Iranian Army´s first naval zone in Bandar Abbas.

The three vessel´s visit is aiming at consolidating the relations between Iran and Russia and the expansion of interactions between the two countries in the field of naval security. The three Russian warships have left their home port Vladivostok for duty in the world oceans and are visiting Bandar Abbas en route to their operational destinations. The Russian Ministry of Defense has announced, that Russia has begun forming a separate Mediterranean squadron.

The visit of Egypt´s President Morsi to Sochi and the talks with Russian President Putin, Egypt´s interest in joining the BRICS, the rejection of the IMF loan, Morsi´s commitment to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria while stressing the importance of Iran´s role as part of the solution, and Russian commitment to a stronger naval presence in the Mediterranean indicate that Egypt could be playing a key role in limiting the current US Middle East and Northern Africa Pivot. The rejection of the IMF loan and indications to more commitment to democracy could indicate, that Russian influence also has inspired the Muslim Brotherhood led government to bring its own house in order while considering to assume a greater regional role.

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The Tower of Basel: Secretive Plans for the Issuing of a Global Currency

NOVANEWS
Global Research

This carefully research article by Ellen Brown was first published in April 2009. It sheds light on the current crisis of the World monetary system. (GR ed. M. Ch.)

In an April 7 [2009] article in The London Telegraph titled “The G20 Moves the World a Step Closer to

a Global Currency,” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote:

“A single clause in Point 19 of the communiqué issued by the G20 leaders amounts to revolution in the global financial order.

“‘We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity,’ it said. SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century.

“In effect, the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global ‘quantitative easing’. In doing so, they are putting a de facto world currency into play. It is outside the control of any sovereign body. Conspiracy theorists will love it.”

Indeed they will. The article is subtitled, “The world is a step closer to a global currency, backed by a global central bank, running monetary policy for all humanity.” Which naturally raises the question, who or what will serve as this global central bank, cloaked with the power to issue the global currency and police monetary policy for all humanity? When the world’s central bankers met in Washington last September, they discussed what body might be in a position to serve in that awesome and fearful role. A former governor of the Bank of England stated:

“[T]he answer might already be staring us in the face, in the form of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). . . . The IMF tends to couch its warnings about economic problems in very diplomatic language, but the BIS is more independent and much better placed to deal with this if it is given the power to do so.”1

And if the vision of a global currency outside government control does not set off conspiracy theorists, putting the BIS in charge of it surely will. The BIS has been scandal-ridden ever since it was branded with pro-Nazi leanings in the 1930s. Founded in Basel, Switzerland, in 1930, the BIS has been called “the most exclusive, secretive, and powerful supranational club in the world.” Charles Higham wrote in his book Trading with the Enemy that by the late 1930s, the BIS had assumed an openly pro-Nazi bias, a theme that was expanded on in a BBC Timewatch film titled “Banking with Hitler” broadcast in 1998.2 In 1944, the American government backed a resolution at the Bretton-Woods Conference calling for the liquidation of the BIS, following Czech accusations that it was laundering gold stolen by the Nazis from occupied Europe; but the central bankers succeeded in quietly snuffing out the American resolution.3


Modest beginnings, BIS Office, Hotel Savoy-Univers, Basel


First Annual General Meeting, 1931

In Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966), Dr. Carroll Quigley revealed the key role played in global finance by the BIS behind the scenes. Dr. Quigley was Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he was President Bill Clinton’s mentor. He was also an insider, groomed by the powerful clique he called “the international bankers.” His credibility is heightened by the fact that he actually espoused their goals. He wrote:

“I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960′s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. . . . [I]n general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.”

Quigley wrote of this international banking network:

“[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”

The key to their success, said Quigley, was that the international bankers would control and manipulate the money system of a nation while letting it appear to be controlled by the government. The statement echoed one made in the eighteenth century by the patriarch of what would become the most powerful banking dynasty in the world. Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild famously said in 1791:

“Allow me to issue and control a nation’s currency, and I care not who makes its laws.”

Mayer’s five sons were sent to the major capitals of Europe – London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and Naples – with the mission of establishing a banking system that would be outside government control. The economic and political systems of nations would be controlled not by citizens but by bankers, for the benefit of bankers. Eventually, a privately-owned “central bank” was established in nearly every country; and this central banking system has now gained control over the economies of the world. Central banks have the authority to print money in their respective countries, and it is from these banks that governments must borrow money to pay their debts and fund their operations. The result is a global economy in which not only industry but government itself runs on “credit” (or debt) created by a banking monopoly headed by a network of private central banks; and at the top of this network is the BIS, the “central bank of central banks” in Basel.

Behind the Curtain

For many years the BIS kept a very low profile, operating behind the scenes in an abandoned hotel. It was here that decisions were reached to devalue or defend currencies, fix the price of gold, regulate offshore banking, and raise or lower short-term interest rates. In 1977, however, the BIS gave up its anonymity in exchange for more efficient headquarters. The new building has been described as “an eighteen story-high circular skyscraper that rises above the medieval city like some misplaced nuclear reactor.” It quickly became known as the “Tower of Basel.” Today the BIS has governmental immunity, pays no taxes, and has its own private police force.4 It is, as Mayer Rothschild envisioned, above the law.

The BIS is now composed of 55 member nations, but the club that meets regularly in Basel is a much smaller group; and even within it, there is a hierarchy. In a 1983 article in Harper’s Magazine called “Ruling the World of Money,” Edward Jay Epstein wrote that where the real business gets done is in “a sort of inner club made up of the half dozen or so powerful central bankers who find themselves more or less in the same monetary boat” – those from Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and England. Epstein said:

“The prime value, which also seems to demarcate the inner club from the rest of the BIS members, is the firm belief that central banks should act independently of their home governments. . . . A second and closely related belief of the inner club is that politicians should not be trusted to decide the fate of the international monetary system.”

In 1974, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision was created by the central bank Governors of the Group of Ten nations (now expanded to twenty). The BIS provides the twelve-member Secretariat for the Committee. The Committee, in turn, sets the rules for banking globally, including capital requirements and reserve controls. In a 2003 article titled “The Bank for International Settlements Calls for Global Currency,” Joan Veon wrote:

“The BIS is where all of the world’s central banks meet to analyze the global economy and determine what course of action they will take next to put more money in their pockets, since they control the amount of money in circulation and how much interest they are going to charge governments and banks for borrowing from them. . . .

“When you understand that the BIS pulls the strings of the world’s monetary system, you then understand that they have the ability to create a financial boom or bust in a country. If that country is not doing what the money lenders want, then all they have to do is sell its currency.”5

The Controversial Basel Accords

The power of the BIS to make or break economies was demonstrated in 1988, when it issued a Basel Accord raising bank capital requirements from 6% to 8%. By then, Japan had emerged as the world’s largest creditor; but Japan’s banks were less well capitalized than other major international banks. Raising the capital requirement forced them to cut back on lending, creating a recession in Japan like that suffered in the U.S. today. Property prices fell and loans went into default as the security for them shriveled up. A downward spiral followed, ending with the total bankruptcy of the banks. The banks had to be nationalized, although that word was not used in order to avoid criticism.6

Among other collateral damage produced by the Basel Accords was a spate of suicides among Indian farmers unable to get loans. The BIS capital adequacy standards required loans to private borrowers to be “risk-weighted,” with the degree of risk determined by private rating agencies; and farmers and small business owners could not afford the agencies’ fees. Banks therefore assigned 100 percent risk to the loans, and then resisted extending credit to these “high-risk” borrowers because more capital was required to cover the loans. When the conscience of the nation was aroused by the Indian suicides, the government, lamenting the neglect of farmers by commercial banks, established a policy of ending the “financial exclusion” of the weak; but this step had little real effect on lending practices, due largely to the strictures imposed by the BIS from abroad.7

Similar complaints have come from Korea. An article in the December 12, 2008 Korea Times titled “BIS Calls Trigger Vicious Cycle” described how Korean entrepreneurs with good collateral cannot get operational loans from Korean banks, at a time when the economic downturn requires increased investment and easier credit:

“‘The Bank of Korea has provided more than 35 trillion won to banks since September when the global financial crisis went full throttle,’ said a Seoul analyst, who declined to be named. ‘But the effect is not seen at all with the banks keeping the liquidity in their safes. They simply don’t lend and one of the biggest reasons is to keep the BIS ratio high enough to survive,’ he said. . . .

“Chang Ha-joon, an economics professor at Cambridge University, concurs with the analyst. ‘What banks do for their own interests, or to improve the BIS ratio, is against the interests of the whole society. This is a bad idea,’ Chang said in a recent telephone interview with Korea Times.”

In a May 2002 article in The Asia Times titled “Global Economy: The BIS vs. National Banks,” economist Henry C K Liu observed that the Basel Accords have forced national banking systems “to march to the same tune, designed to serve the needs of highly sophisticated global financial markets, regardless of the developmental needs of their national economies.” He wrote:

“[N]ational banking systems are suddenly thrown into the rigid arms of the Basel Capital Accord sponsored by the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), or to face the penalty of usurious risk premium in securing international interbank loans. . . . National policies suddenly are subjected to profit incentives of private financial institutions, all members of a hierarchical system controlled and directed from the money center banks in New York. The result is to force national banking systems to privatize . . . .

“BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. . . . The IMF and the international banks regulated by the BIS are a team: the international banks lend recklessly to borrowers in emerging economies to create a foreign currency debt crisis, the IMF arrives as a carrier of monetary virus in the name of sound monetary policy, then the international banks come as vulture investors in the name of financial rescue to acquire national banks deemed capital inadequate and insolvent by the BIS.”

Ironically, noted Liu, developing countries with their own natural resources did not actually need the foreign investment that trapped them in debt to outsiders:

“Applying the State Theory of Money [which assumes that a sovereign nation has the power to issue its own money], any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation.”

When governments fall into the trap of accepting loans in foreign currencies, however, they become “debtor nations” subject to IMF and BIS regulation. They are forced to divert their production to exports, just to earn the foreign currency necessary to pay the interest on their loans. National banks deemed “capital inadequate” have to deal with strictures comparable to the “conditionalities” imposed by the IMF on debtor nations: “escalating capital requirement, loan writeoffs and liquidation, and restructuring through selloffs, layoffs, downsizing, cost-cutting and freeze on capital spending.” Liu wrote:

“Reversing the logic that a sound banking system should lead to full employment and developmental growth, BIS regulations demand high unemployment and developmental degradation in national economies as the fair price for a sound global private banking system.”

The Last Domino to Fall

While banks in developing nations were being penalized for falling short of the BIS capital requirements, large international banks managed to escape the rules, although they actually carried enormous risk because of their derivative exposure. The mega-banks succeeded in avoiding the Basel rules by separating the “risk” of default out from the loans and selling it off to investors, using a form of derivative known as “credit default swaps.”

However, it was not in the game plan that U.S. banks should escape the BIS net. When they managed to sidestep the first Basel Accord, a second set of rules was imposed known as Basel II. The new rules were established in 2004, but they were not levied on U.S. banks until November 2007, the month after the Dow passed 14,000 to reach its all-time high. It has been all downhill from there. Basel II had the same effect on U.S. banks that Basel I had on Japanese banks: they have been struggling ever since to survive.8

Basel II requires banks to adjust the value of their marketable securities to the “market price” of the security, a rule called “mark to market.”9 The rule has theoretical merit, but the problem is timing: it was imposed ex post facto, after the banks already had the hard-to-market assets on their books. Lenders that had been considered sufficiently well capitalized to make new loans suddenly found they were insolvent. At least, they would have been insolvent if they had tried to sell their assets, an assumption required by the new rule. Financial analyst John Berlau complained:

“The crisis is often called a ‘market failure,’ and the term ‘mark-to-market’ seems to reinforce that. But the mark-to-market rules are profoundly anti-market and hinder the free-market function of price discovery. . . . In this case, the accounting rules fail to allow the market players to hold on to an asset if they don’t like what the market is currently fetching, an important market action that affects price discovery in areas from agriculture to antiques.”10

Imposing the mark-to-market rule on U.S. banks caused an instant credit freeze, which proceeded to take down the economies not only of the U.S. but of countries worldwide. In early April 2009, the mark-to-market rule was finally softened by the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); but critics said the modification did not go far enough, and it was done in response to pressure from politicians and bankers, not out of any fundamental change of heart or policies by the BIS.

And that is where the conspiracy theorists come in. Why did the BIS not retract or at least modify Basel II after seeing the devastation it had caused? Why did it sit idly by as the global economy came crashing down? Was the goal to create so much economic havoc that the world would rush with relief into the waiting arms of the BIS with its privately-created global currency? The plot thickens . . . .

Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from “the money trust.” Her eleven books include Forbidden Medicine, Nature’s Pharmacy (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker), and The Key to Ultimate Health (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com.

NOTES

1. Andrew Marshall, “The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency and World Government,” Global Research (April 6, 2009).

2 Alfred Mendez, “The Network,” The World Central Bank: The Bank for International Settlements,http://copy_bilderberg.tripod.com/bis.htm.

3 “BIS – Bank of International Settlement: The Mother of All Central Banks,” hubpages.com (2009).

4 Ibid.

5 Joan Veon, “The Bank for International Settlements Calls for Global Currency,” News with Views (August 26, 2003).

6 Peter Myers, “The 1988 Basle Accord – Destroyer of Japan’s Finance System,”http://www.mailstar.net/basle.html (updated September 9, 2008).

7 Nirmal Chandra, “Is Inclusive Growth Feasible in Neoliberal India?”, www.networkideas.org (September 2008).

8 Bruce Wiseman, “The Financial Crisis: A look Behind the Wizard’s Curtain,” Canada Free Press (March 19, 2009).

9 See Ellen Brown, “Credit Where Credit Is Due,” www.webofdebt.com/articles/creditcrunch.php (January 11, 2009).

10 John Berlau, “The International Mark-to-market Contagion,” OpenMarket.org (October 10, 2008).

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Police recommend Haifa chief rabbi be prosecuted

NOVANEWS

Police concludes three-year investigation into fraud, extortion charges of Rabbi Shlomo Shlush;  rabbi’s  attorney  says ‘investigation negligent, political group is trying to oust him’

ynet

The National Fraud Unit recommended that Haifa’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Shlush be prosecuted for offences related to bribery, fraud, breach of trust, misuse of a public position and transgression of the Law Forbidding Kosher Fraud.

At the end of a three-year probe, the Head of the Police Investigations Unit Yoav Segalovich, accepted the investigators’ recommendations and the case will be brought before the State Prosecutor within the next few days.

The rabbi insists that he was the one who was subjected to extortion.

In 2008, a complaint was filed against Shlush following the State Comptroller’s report and a Yedioth Ahronoth expose.

In 2010, the attorney general ordered the government to investigate the rabbi, prompting numerous investigations of both Shlush himself and his aides. Though investigators found that the rabbi was receiving bribes and threatening businesses with loss of their Kosher certificate for reasons unrelated to religious law, no indictments were filed.

According to Shlush’ attorney, Tami Olman: “With all due respect to the fraud unit, they are not the ones who should decide who is prosecuted. It is the Magistrates Court’s decision.”

Olman said she found the investigation to be negligent. “The person who was extorted was Rabbi Shlush. A political group is trying to oust him and is using illegitimate means, such as false complaints.”

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ZIO-NAZI SPY RING UNCOVERED IN EGYPT

NOVANEWS
greaterisrael


Official  confirms  reports  that  local  security forces expose espionage ring of nine people transferring information to Nazi Gestapo Mossad.

 

Sinai security director, General Sameeh Beshadi confirmed Sunday reports that local forces have uncovered a Sinai-based espionage ring working for the Nazi regime.

The ring, consisting of nine people, Egyptian and Palestinian, was revealed by Egyptian security forces, the Egyptian Al Akhbar paper reported Sunday.

The man suspected to be a key operative in the group is reportedly a resident of the Egyptian city of Rafah. Egyptian forces have been trailing him for some four months, during which he has allegedly transferred military information to the Nazi regime.

The report further noted that the suspect was confronted with tapes of alleged telephone conversations he had both Egyptian and Nazi Gestapo Mossad officials.

Egyptian President Zionist puppet Mohammed Morsi said in an interview with Mossad Media Network Al-Jazeera Saturday that Egypt was committed to the ” peace’ accords it had signed with the Nazi’s in 1979, but stressed that true peace could not exist while the rights of the Palestinians are denied.

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General Public Not Buying Governments Lies On Terroristic Acts Anymore

NOVANEWS

by Shepard

Recent mass shootings and now bombings have not been as effective at stripping our rights in America as sinister factions of the government planed, and the general public is not buying the rhetoric anymore.

by Shepard Ambellas

Intellihub.com

The events that took place on September 11, 2001 regarding the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were the beginnings of what will eventually become a mass awakening of the population. This awakening continues to this day at an exponential rate.

Millions and millions of Americans are now seeing the writing on the walls as the rhetoric gets worse like with the most recent terror ploy, the Boston Marathon bombings.

It’s amazing watching the progression of the American people as allot of us questioned even the events of the Sandy Hook School shooting as nothing seemed to fit.

We also have seen time and time again that live drills have typically been conducted during such attacks, setting a predictable fingerprint for staged terror.

Now with the most recent lash of terror, people question.

Please take time to listen to a logical breakdown by a concerned citizen.

What’s your take?

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ZIONIST KING OF JORDAN HAS ALLOWED NAZI DRONES TO FLY over JORDAN

NOVANEWS

IsraHell drones given permission to fly over Jordan

Military aircraft with attack capability allocated two corridors to access Syria, monitor chemical weapons, report says

Times of Israel

Jordan has allowed Israel to fly military drones over the country en route to Syria in order to monitor the situation there and, should the need arise, target chemical weapons caches in the civil war-torn country, the French daily Le Figaro reported Monday.

King Abdullah II made the decision during US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region in March, the report said.

Jordan and Israel both fear the spread of hostilities in Syria, and especially dread the possibility of chemical weapons and other game-changing munitions falling into terrorist hands.

The Israeli drones, according to an unnamed expert quoted in the report, fly at night to avoid detection.

While their main purpose is surveillance and intelligence-gathering, “they are also armed and therefore can hit a target anywhere in Syria.”

Israel’s drones are technologically superior and able to evade detection by the Russian air-defense systems used by the Syrian army, the expert was quoted as saying.

Jordan offered Israel two flight corridors to Syria in order to enable aircraft to take off from air force bases in both the Negev and the center of the country, the report said.

Syria’s two-year-long conflict has repeatedly spilled over into neighboring states, while the violence at home has forced more than 1 million Syrians to escape their homeland to seek safety abroad.

Many of the refugees have fled to Jordan, where they have put an immense burden on the cash-strapped Jordanian government.

In recent months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abdullah conducted several secret meetings in Amman, Israeli defense officials said.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Atlantic in March, Abdullah said his relationship with Netanyahu is “very strong. Our discussions have really improved.”

In December, Netanyahu was said to have traveled to Jordan to discuss possible methods for destroying Syria’s sizable chemical weapons stockpile, including air strikes or a ground assault.

According to the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi, Amman was reluctant to put its weight behind such action.

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PCHR convenes international legal conference in Malaga

For two consecutive days, 23 and 24 April, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) will convene an international legal conference in Malaga, titled “Pursuing justice and redress for Palestinian victims: developing strategies for advocacy and litigation”. This is the fourth conference of its kind organized by PCHR, in close cooperation with international partners, especially Al Quds Malaga. 21 Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights organizations and lawyers are taking part in the conference.

The three previous Malaga conferences were held to discuss issues related to the rule of law and human rights of Palestinian victims of Israeli crimes and human rights violations.

This conference relates to recent developments within the Israeli legal system, which are effectively blocking nearly all avenues for access to justice for Palestinian victims. The most recent of these developments is Amendment No. 8 to the Israeli Tort Law, which came into force in 2012.[1] This amendment absolves the State of Israel of any liability arising from damages caused to a resident of an enemy territory during a “combat action”, and has led to the dismissal of a number of civil complaints submitted by PCHR on behalf of victims of Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip. This Amendment effectively prevents victims from obtaining or compensation. This Amendment has followed a number of other practical, legal and procedural obstacles put in place in recent years.

Another of the obstacles, and a pressing reason for convening the conference, is the dramatic increase in court guarantees that the Israeli court imposes on victims for pursuing their claim in the Israel civil law system. These charges are now imposed per claimant, rather than per case. The judiciary imposes financial obstacles by charging each claimant a court guarantee, set at an average of NIS 30,000 (USD 8,000). These expenses make it practically impossible for victims to pursue their right to redress.

Additionally, many civil complaints submitted by PCHR on behalf of victims of Israeli military offensives were recently dismissed for the stated reason that they did not comply with newly-imposed procedural requirements, according to which a power of attorney for a civil case arising from the Gaza Strip is considered valid only if it bears the signature and stamp of an Israeli diplomat. Complying with this procedure is not possible because claimants from the Gaza Strip are generally prevented from travelling to Israel.

Because of these developments, as well as other legal, procedural and practical obstacles that have been put in place[2], PCHR is convening the conference with the aim of developing possible legal and advocacy strategies  for moving forward. These challenges to access to justice must be addressed through in-depth discussions involving many human rights organizations and lawyers who should adopt a unified position. If it is concluded that the domestic legal system is blocked, this means international legal mechanisms for justice are the only available alternatives available to victims, such as the International Criminal Court, following the recognition of Palestine as a State by the UN General Assembly.

As human rights organizations and lawyers who represent victims and seek to defend and promote the rule of law, we must discuss, in a responsible way, the strategies for the future in defending the rights of Palestinian victims.

 

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THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE?

 NOVANEWS

Introduction by GA: In the following short comment, Dr. Gabi Weber, one of the most important pro Palestinian activists in Europe,  explains why she decided to appeal to the German Administrative court against Freiburg University. This is a very important court case and Dr. Weber deserves our attention and  support.

http://othersite.org/gabi-weber-the-truth-will-set-us-free/

Motto of the University of Freiburg, “Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen” (The Truth Will Set You Free – John 8,32) University Building, West Side

THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE?

By Dr. Gabi Weber
I was brought up in a country that believed itself to be open and tolerant. Indeed after the Second World War Germany undertook to transform guilt into responsibility.

For me, it was always clear that our commitment to those “inviolable and inalienable human rights(1)” as well as freedom of speech (2), were the most precious values and lessons to be drawn from our problematic past.

This is why, three months ago, I was dismayed to discover that Freiburg University, one of our oldest German universities, banned an event hosting renowned Paris University Professor Christophe Oberlin who was scheduled to talk about plastic surgery in Gaza.

Freiburg University hosts all kinds of political events, especially and regularly events organized by notorious Israeli Hasbara outlets such as the German Israeli Society and the Zionist Anti-Deutsche. And, if this is not enough, invitations to German Israeli Society events are often publicised by the university, its official bodies and its departments.

But for some reason, for Freiburg University, freedom of speech and tolerance seems to end when it comes to the plight of the Palestinian people. The same university, which provides a platform for the  German Israeli Society and the Zionist Anti-Deutsche will not provide a platform for Freiburg Cafe Palestine – a humanitarian non-political organization dedicated to the suffering of the Palestinian. In fact, the same university banned Cafe Palestine’s event hosting a prestigious French academic.

The official motto of the university,‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ is engraved in shiny gold letters above one of the university’s entrances, yet the university itself is clearly terrified of the truth being told within its walls.

We have decided to raise the issue at the Administrative Court, in the hope that this might lead the university to reflect on, and admit to its dreadful decision. But what if Cafe Palestine loses this court case? Well, then we would have to consider it as a crucial learning experience from which we would have learned that powerful elements within our society have changed their attitude towards truth, freedom, tolerance, universal justice and intellectual exchange. If this should prove to be the case, then the sooner we all face up to this change, the better.

And for me, 
I surely would have to reassess my own attitude towards the education of my three German-Palestinian children. I would have to think very seriously about teaching them that they had better remain silent, not only about the suffering of their own Palestinian people, but also about injustice and human rights in general.

(1) Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 1, 2

(2) Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 5

Press Release Cafe Palestine Freiburg e. V.

http://othersite.org/press-release-cafe-palestine-freiburg-versus-university-of-freiburg/

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Reporter Asks White House if U.S. Airstrikes That Kill Afghan Civilians Qualify as ‘Terrorism (Audio)

NOVANEWS

by JGVibes

The reporter who asked the question is Amina Ismail, a journalist at McClatchy. I urge you to thank her for asking it (her twitter handle is @AminaIsmail) because I can’t imagine it was easy given how extremely rare and frowned upon it is to challenge the dominant “war on terror” narrative.

by Rania Khalek

Dispatches From the Under Class

Matthew Keys, the social media editor at Reuters, posted audio of a reporter asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if U.S. bombings that kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan constitute an “act of terror” given the labeling of the Boston Marathon bombing as “terrorism”. She specifically refers to a U.S. airstrike earlier this month that killed 11 children, just the latest in a seemingly endlessline of Afghan civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S. government.

Carney completely dodged the questions, pointing instead to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to justify U.S. bombings in Afghanistan. After a long-winded answer excusing U.S. conduct, Carney concludes, “ we take great care in the prosecution of this war.”

Tell me, does this look like “great care” to you?

The lifeless bodies of Afghan children lay on the ground before their funeral ceremony, after a NATO airstrike killed several Afghan civilians, including ten children during a fierce gun battle with Taliban militants in Shultan, Shigal district, Kunar, eastern Afghanistan, Sunday, April 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Naimatullah Karyab)

I transcribed the exchange in full:

REPORTER: I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?

JAY CARNEY: Well, I would have to know more about the incident and then obviously the Department of Defense would have answers to your questions on this matter. We have more than 60,000 U.S. troops involved in a war in Afghanistan, a war that began when the United States was attacked, in an attack that was organized on the soil of Afghanistan by al Qaeda, by Osama bin laden and others and more than 3,000 people were killed in that attack. And it has been the President’s objective once he took office to make clear what our goals are in Afghanistan and that is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda. And with that as our objective to provide enough assistance to Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government to allow them to take over security for themselves. And that process is underway and the United States has withdrawn a substantial number of troops and we are in the process of drowning down further as we hand over security lead to Afghan forces. And it is certainly the case that I refer you to the defense department for details that we take great care in the prosecution of this war and we are very mindful of what our objectives are.

At the very least, this serves as another example of the utter meaninglessness of the word “terrorism”.

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Issue of Pak-Afghan Border Incursions

NOVANEWS
By Sajjad Shaukat

Recently tension arose between Pakistan and Afghanistan when a spokesman of Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs blamed Islamabad for continuation of mortar attacks and construction of security wall inside Afghanistan including deployment of Pakistani soldiers across the Pak-Afghan border.

While, hundreds of Afghan university students in Jalalabad took to the streets on April 15, this year and protested incursions from Pakistani side, as demonstration was sparked by a statement of Afghan President Hamid Karzai who ordered his top officials on April 14 to take immediate action to remove the gate and other “Pakistani military installations near the Durand Line.”

On the other side, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Office strongly rejected Afghan allegations regarding any intrusion near the Pak-Afghan border. Pak army spokesman also refuted these false accusations.

Karzai’s allegations are not new ones because he has always followed the US blame game against Pakistan. While ignoring the responsibilities of the US-led NATO countries, in the past few years, especially US civil and military high officials  have repeatedly been emphasising Pakistan to ‘do more’ against the militancy in the tribal regions in order to stop cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan.

In this regard, the then US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta allegedly said on June 7, last year that the US was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan due to safe havens, “the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan.”

In fact, having failed in coping with the Afghan Taliban and to pacify their public, particularly, US has shifted the blame game towards Pakistan for infiltration of militants in Afghanistan. So, we need to prove, whether Pakistan is responsible for cross-border incursions in Afghanistan or the latter in Pakistan.

In this respect, around 400 heavily-armed Taliban who entered from Afghanistan side attacked two security posts outside Peshawar on December 27, 2012. They killed 2 soldiers and kidnapped 22 Levies personnel whose dumped bodies were found. On June 24, more than hundred militants, entered Pakistan’s region of Dir, and attacked two check posts of the security forces, while bloody clashes between the intruders and Pak Army continued for two days, which resulted in martyrdom of 12 Pakistani troops, beheaded by the Afghan miscreants.

However, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest on June 25 with their counterparts in Afghanistan and NATO, also informing the UN Security Council, saying that the Afghan and NATO forces were doing nothing to check the activities of the Afghan militants nor were acting against the safe havens of the terrorists inside Afghanistan.

During his meeting with the then US commander General John Allen on June 27, 2012 Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani asked him to stop cross-border incursions from the neighbouring country.

It is notable that since April, 2011, some 200 to 300 heavily-armed insurgents from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region intermittently, targeting the security check posts and other infrastructure. On October 9, hundreds of insurgents attacked the Kakar check post in Upper Dir. During the assault, around 15 insurgents were killed and a soldier also lost his life. On August 27, some 300 militants attacked seven paramilitary check posts in Pakistan’s district of Chitral, killing more than 30 personnel of the security forces. In one of such major attacks, on June 1, more than 500 armed militants who came into Dir area killed more than 30 police and paramilitary soldiers. Police said that well-trained terrorists who targetted a check post, also destroyed two schools and several houses with rocket and gunfire attacks, while killing a number of innocent people. On June 3, 400 militants besieged the Pakistani area. Sources suggested that after a three-day gun battle, Pakistani security forces killed 71 Afghan Taliban.

Notably, on October 17, 2011, the former army spokesman, Major-General Athar Abbas disclosed, “The attacks in which terrorists loyal to Maulvi Fazlullah, leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who fled to Afghanistan during Swat military operation, killed more than 100 personnel of Pakistan’s security forces.” He explained, “Pakistani Taliban insurgency is based in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan…we have given locations and information about these groups to the US-led forces” which had failed to hunt down a spate of cross-border raids.

This cross-border penetration which started in April, 2011 so far killed several troops and civilians in Pakistan. From time to time, ground shelling inside Pakistan and violation of its border by US helicopters and drone attacks have also kept on going. In this context, the Salala incident which killed 24 soldiers by the US deliberate air strikes on Pakistan’s army outpost in 2011 might be cited as the worse example.

Nevertheless, these are organised military type operations which one cannot imagine by a stray group of militants and it is also totally unacceptable that they have the capability to fight for long hours or capture Pakistani posts by challenging the capacity of Pak Army.

The way the Afghan militants are challenging a highly professional Pak Army by cross- border attacks is enough to prove that US with the assistance of secret agencies such as American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan is fully backing these incursions with a view to destabilising Pakistan which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.

There is also another kind of incursion from Afghanistan. In this connection, in a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan, is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials—with the consent of CIA. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Indian Muslims, Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. They have also been made to learn Pashto and traditions of Pathans. Posing as volunteers, they have joined the ranks and files of the TTP, Lashkar-e-Janghvi and other militant outfits. In the recent years, especially TTP’s insurgents and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities like suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs. TTP has accelerated subversive activities so as to sabotage the forthcoming elections in Pakistan, as recent terror-attacks in Karachi and especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are part of the scheme. During election campaign, Awami National Party which decided to cope with the TTP’s undemocratic practices has become special target of its militants.

In fact, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where foreign secret agencies are also sending logistic support to Baloch separatists like Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (God’s soldiers) and other similar outfits to dismember Pakistan in order to obtain the secret strategic designs of the US, India and Israel against China and Iran. Besides martyring several personnel of security agencies in Balochistan, these foreign-backed elements kidnapped and massacred many innocent people who include teachers, professors, lawyers, Shias etc. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their heinous acts.

Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly revealed that militants along with huge cache of arms are being sent to various areas of Pakistan from Afghanistan. In the recent past, Rehman Malik pointed out that during his trip to Afghanistan, he emphasised upon President Karzai to close training camps of the insurgents.

Here question arises as to why US-led NATO forces which are equipped with modern surveillance system do not stop the Taliban insurgents when they go into Pakistani territory? Second question is as to why these foreign forces based in Afghanistan did not attack the Al Qaeda or Afghan Taliban, while in some cases, fighting with Pak security forces have continued for two or three days?

Notably, Afghanistan shares a common border with the Central Asian Republics. And all the foreign insurgents enter Pakistan through Afghanistan which has become a gateway. So, as to why US and NATO forces do not capture these foreign terrorists when they enter Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, on April 1, this year, in his meeting with the new NATO/ISAF commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph F Dunford at Rawalpindi, while discussing military-to- military cooperation, Gen. Kayani particularly asked him to check cross border incursions in Pakistan launched from Afghanistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs

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