Archive | May 21st, 2013

Zionist Puppet’s Ab-A$$ $ecurity Arre$t$ A PFLP Leader In Nablu$

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by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC

 

Palestinian sources reported that Palestinian security officers kidnapped, on Monday evening, one of the political leaders of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), from his home, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

File - Image Maan News Agency
File – Image Maan News Agency

Imad Eshtewy, member of a local committee in charge of coordination between the Palestinian factions in Nablus, told the Maan News Agency that members of the Palestinian security forces arrested Zaher Ash-Shashteery, who represented the PFLP in the Coordination Committee.

Zaher was arrested from his home in Ras Al-Ein area in Nablus. Maan has reported that the man was arrested after issuing a statement on behalf of the PFLP accusing the Palestinian security forces of various violations.

The Palestinian Security Forces said that Zaher made what they called “false and baseless accusations”, and that he is currently under interrogation.

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Obama’s Contempt for Venezuelan Democracy

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Contributed by Stephen Lendman
In sections:

Obama’s Contempt for Venezuelan Democracy – by Stephen Lendman

It’s no surprise. He exceeds the worst of George Bush. He abhors democratic values. He defiles rule of law principles. He governs by diktat authority.

He’s waging war on humanity. He targets all independent states. He wants puppet pro-US regimes replacing them.

Venezuela is hugely important. It’s the oil, stupid. Venezuelan reserves are the world’s largest.

Its democracy is real. It shames America’s sham system. It’s the best democracy money can buy. Each electoral cycle proves it. Business as usual reflects it.

Money power runs things. Duopoly power rules. Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Not a dime’s worth of difference separates them.

Each replicates the other. Corporate interests control them. Voters have no say. America’s unfit to live in. It hasn’t been for years.

Challenging appalling injustice is dangerous. Supporting right over wrong is risky. It isn’t tolerated. Resisters face repression. Police states operate that way.

Venezuela’s a model democracy. It’s the real thing. Its electoral system’s the world’s best. It’s constitutionally mandated.

On April 14, Venezuelans voted. They elected PSUV’s (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) Nicolas Maduro president. He assumed office legitimately. He won fair and square.

He did so by a narrower than expected margin. Audit results found no discrepancies. They didn’t surprise.

Advanced touchscreen electronic voting machines are used. They’re the world’s most reliable. They work as intended.

They’re designed to eliminate tampering. They provide verifiable paper ballot receipts. They’re 100% auditable.

A permanent record’s provided. It’s available for recounts if needed. Voters leave an electronic thumbprint. Doing so activates the machines. It assures no one votes more than once. Fraud and identify theft are prevented.

Mark Weisbrot explained more. Simple statistical analysis verifies accuracy. “When the polls close, a random sample of 53 percent of the machines is selected, with at least one (from) each polling place,” he said.

“The paper receipt count is then compared to the machine count to make sure that they match.”

“This is done in front of witnesses from both sides, as well as election officials; members of the community are also invited to watch.”

Results showed not “a single reported allegation of mismatch” between machine and paper ballot tabulations.

Weisbrot’s an economist. Based on his statistical analysis, the odds that Maduro lost were less than “one chance in 25 thousand trillion. There is really no way around this conclusion,” he said.

If fraud occurred, it would have been easily discovered. “But it wasn’t,” said Weisbrot.

“So you have a choice,” he added. You can believe something virtually impossible, or you can accept the verifiable certainty that Maduro won fair and square.

He’s Venezuela’s new president. He was elected legitimately. It’s an indisputable fact.

Even Forbes magazine agreed. It calls itself the “capitalist tool.” On May 14, it published Eugenio Martinez’s article.

He covers elections for Venezuela’s El Universal. The broadsheet is very much right of center. It’s no Bolivarian advocate.

His article headlined “Venezuela’s Election System Holds Up As A Model For The World.”

“Venezuela employs one of the most technologically advanced verifiable voting systems in the world, designed to protect voters from fraud and tampering and ensure the accuracy of the vote count.”

“Accuracy and integrity are guaranteed from the minute voters walk into the polls to the point where a final tally is revealed.”

A mutually agreed on audit process “ensures that no vote manipulation” occurs. “The extent of this audit, the widest in automatic elections, leaves little room for questioning.”

The process is “thorough and intense, conducted in the presence of election officials and political parties to ensure proper functionality and full confidence in the system.”

Venezuela’s process “is as transparent (and verifiably accurate) as any in the world.”

Not according to Washington Post editors. On April 16, they headlined “Nicolas Maduro shoves aside democracy in Venezuela,” saying:

“(T)he Venezuelan regime appears to be preparing to maintain itself in power through brute force. (Maduro) appears to be preparing repressive measures. (He’s) killing his way into power.”

Wall Street Journal America’s editor, Mary O’Grady commented during and after election results. She called the process “Venezuela’s Cuban Election.”

She accused chavistas of “using state power to cheat, intimidate and spend themselves first across the finish line” to win.

Post-election, she headlined “Latin Leaders Abandon Democracy in Venezuela,” saying:

“Latin American leaders are apparently fine with military governments – as long as they are communist dictatorships.”

“During 14 years in power, Chavez stripped individuals of their right to free speech and due process of law, and nearly eliminated independent media. He also put Cuba in charge of intelligence and the state security apparatus.”

“Tens of thousands were murdered in the mayhem that he inspired, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that government intimidation played a role in the latest voting.”

“The April 14 contest did not provide even minimal transparency.”

It’s shocking to find this type rubbish in print. It doesn’t pass the smell test. No credible publisher would touch it.

Other media scoundrels had their own post-electoral spin. Maduro bashing substituted for truth. It continues.

Throughout his tenure, Chavez was mischaracterized as an autocrat, strongman, dictator, authoritarian ruler, caudillo, and occasionally even as Hitler. Expect Maduro to fare no better.

Even Harvard’s student newspaper Crimson lost credibility. It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last. Undergraduates staff it. Views expressed reflect bias.

On May 1, contributor Grayson C. Fuller, class of ’15, headlined “Maduro’s Failure: Degrading Democratic Norms in Venezuela,” saying:

“In Venezuela, the death of Hugo Chavez has caused the deterioration of a ‘sultanistic’ regime, one in which state institutions become conflated with a single authoritarian leader.”

Maduro’s concerned only about power, he claimed. By so doing, he “further damaged the country’s already weak democratic norms and institutions.”

He “explicitly threatens to use violence against (anti-chavista) peaceful demonstrations.”

He’s “trying to strip political opponents of their humanity.”

He’s “no better than the military generals who left behind so much trauma in much of Latin America.”

Fuller showed where he stands. Youth is no excuse for unjustifiable slander. He’ll have to explain why he substituted willful misinformation for accuracy.

Journalists, even student ones, are obligated to get their facts right. Fuller made no attempt. He disgraced himself in the process. It’s his cross to bear.

Over one month post-election, Obama refuses to recognize Maduro’s legitimacy. During his early May Mexico visit, he declined to do so when asked.

His comments were provocative. He denigrated Venezuelan democracy. He did so willfully and maliciously.

“What we want for Venezuela is…Venezuelans…able to choose their own leadership in fair and free elections a democratic process that is credible.”

“We have not tried to interfere in any way with what happens there.”

“What we’ve said is, you know, let’s make sure that the rules are being followed, that people are not being thrown into jail or intimidated, that the press is allowed to report fairly on what happens, that the ruling party doesn’t resort to intimidation in terms of skewing results.”

“It’s up to Venezuelans to choose their leaders in legitimate elections.”

He also claimed post-election violations of human rights, democracy, press freedom, and free assembly. Venezuelan officials were justifiably furious.

Maduro denounced his “insolence….There’s now no doubt that Obama himself, as the puppet of that imperial power, is behind the financing in dollars of this right wing that wants to mess with and destroy Venezuela’s democracy,” he said.

Obama’s the “grand chief of devils. Coming out of Central America, (he) let loose with a bunch of impertinent remarks, insolent stuff.”

“He is giving an order, and his blessing, for the fascist rightwing to attack Venezuela’s democracy.”

A Venezuelan government statement also addressed Obama’s comments. In part it said:

“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects with all the force of its Bolivarian dignity the statements made by the president of the United States, Barack Obama, in Mexico City on May 3, 2013.”

“Once again, President Obama attacks the legitimate government of Venezuela which was elected on April 14 through a transparent electoral process, whose results were recognized by electoral accompaniers coming from the whole continent and other countries of the world, including the Electoral Mission of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as well as by all the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean and other continents.”

“President Obama, the people of Venezuela fully exercise many rights and freedoms that US society is still a long way from reaching.”

“(I)t is a source of outrage for the Venezuelan people, and especially the families of those who died on April 15, 2013, that you would falsely claim that ‘the entire hemisphere has been watching the violence, the protests, the attacks on the opposition.’ ”

Anti-chavistas were responsible for “the political assassinations of nine compatriots.”

Washington orchestrated years of subversion and destabilization. Obama continued where Bush left off. Replacing Venezuelan democracy with pro-US oligarch power is policy. Expect efforts to continue unabated.

“This is the nature of two-faced imperialist morals,” the statement continued.

“We are a nation of peace that works arduously alongside our Latin American and Caribbean brothers in order to achieve the true unity of our peoples, in order to be free and sovereign and consolidate ourselves as a zone of peace.”

“Your false, harsh and interventionist statements (confirm) to the world the policy of aggression that you and your government maintain against our nation.”

“We alert all the independent governments of the world, the peoples and their political and social organizations to the US government’s plan to provoke the so-called ‘dogs of war’ in Venezuela in order to justify an imperialist intervention.”

We “are ready to defend our right to be free against any form of imperial domination.”

“Compatriots, let us take up the sling of David to face this new aggression by Goliath.”

Unchallenged global dominance reflects US policy. Washington’s permanently at war against manufactured enemies. Policies are secretive, unaccountable, repressive, destructive and malignant.

Institutionalized lawlessness is too deep-rooted to reverse. Imperial ambitions threaten everyone. Venezuela’s been targeted for years. Replacing Bolivarian achievements with diktat power is prioritized.

Maduro represents all Venezuelans. His challenge is assuring it won’t happen. Chavez did for 14 years. Advancing his achievements matter most. They’re too important to lose.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached atlendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book is titled Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity:

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-…

http://www.dailycensored.com/obamas-contempt-for-venezuelan-…

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US Business Owners Can Be Fined and Imprisoned for Supporting IsraHell Boycott

NOVANEWS
By Daniel Jackson
Activist Post
Would Stephen Hawking be fined or jailed for boycotting Israel if he ran a business in the United States?Over the years many prominent activists and organizations have called for and participated in a boycott on Israel.This swelling boycott is primarily due to, among other reasons, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the overall Israeli treatment of Palestinians throughout the region.Recently famed scientist Stephen Hawking even joined the boycott, opting to pull out of an upcoming conference set to be hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

According to Al Jazeera:

As announced by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) and subsequently covered by The GuardianReuters and others, world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking has decided to heed the Palestinian call for boycott, and pull out of an Israeli conference hosted by President Shimon Peres in June.

After initial confusionthis was confirmed – Hawking is staying away on political grounds.

Besides activists and prominent individuals, many have called for US businesses to join the boycott. Unfortunately, a little known law has actually criminalized boycotting Israel.

The antiboycott laws, enforced by US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security under the Export Administration Act, discourage and even outlaw “furthering or supporting” the Israeli boycott.

The Bureau is charged with administering and enforcing the Antiboycott Laws under the Export Administration Act.

Those laws discourage, and in some circumstances, prohibit U.S. companies from furthering or supporting the boycott of Israel sponsored by the Arab League, and certain Moslem countries, including complying with certain requests for information designed to verify compliance with the boycott.

Compliance with such requests may be prohibited by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and may be reportable to the Bureau.

The penalties for taking part in the boycott range from fines of tens of thousands of dollars to multiple years in prison.

Penalties:

The Export Admnistration Act (EAA) specifies penalties for violations of the Antiboycott Regulations as well as export control violations. These can include:

Criminal:

The penalties imposed for each “knowing” violation can be a fine of up to $50,000 or five times the value of the exports involved, whichever is greater, and imprisonment of up to five years.

During periods when the EAR are continued in effect by an Executive Order issued pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the criminal penalties for each “willful” violation can be a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for up to ten years.

Administrative: 

For each violation of the EAR any or all of the following may be imposed:

  • General denial of export privileges;
  • The imposition of fines of up to $11,000 per violation; and/or
  • Exclusion from practice.

Boycott agreements under the TRA involve the denial of all or part of the foreign tax benefits discussed above.

When the EAA is in lapse, penalties for violation of the Antiboycott Regulations are governed by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).

The IEEPA Enhancement Act provides for penalties of up to the greater of $250,000 per violation or twice the value of the transaction for administrative violations of Antiboycott Regulations, and up to $1 million and 20 years imprisonment per violation for criminal antiboycott violations. (Source)

This law essentially makes supporting a boycott on Israel a federal crime. Despite the numerous atrocities committed by the Israeli regime, we’re now forced to buy their imports at the barrel of a gun.

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IsraHell daily: “Peres bought Nobel Prize for $100,000″

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Last week, Yoav Yitzhak, in the wide circulation newspaper Maariv, revealed that Shimon Peres gave his Norwegian pal Terje Roed Larsen, the UN special coordinator for Middle East peace, $100,000 to secure him a Nobel Prize. In June 2008, Lebanese Islamic Resistance Hizbullah had accused Larsen for acting as an Israeli poodle.

This week, Israeli journalist David Bedein, writing in Makor Rishon, applied the coup de grace. He interviewed a member of the Nobel Prize Committee, Kaare Kristiansen, who not just confirmed the bribe but described Larsen’s pressure on the committee in full detail.

Shimon Peres (born in 1923 as Szymon Perski in Poland), has always been a “shady character” who was not trusted by most of early Zionist leaders. For example, in 1952, Zionist prime minister Moshe Sharett said of Peres: “I utterly reject Peres and see his ascendance as the most malignant form of political corruption. It will be a cause of national mourning if Peres becomes a minister of government for Israel“.

Jewish historian, Avner Cohen, in book ‘Israel and the Bomb’ has called David Ben Gurion and his protégé Peres as the ‘Father of Israel’s nucler bomb’. In December 2009, Peres’ fellow Israeli Jewish writer and author, Gilad Atzmon, called him a War Criminal.

Shimon Peres was the first head of state who met the newly appointed Pope Francis I, at Vatican. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, former Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina) belongs to the Franciscan cult of Roman Catholism, founded by St. Francis of Assisi in 1208. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio adopted his Papal name Francis I in honor of the founder of the Franciscan Order. During his stay in Rome, Peres also visited the tomb of St. Francis at Assisi.

On May 1, 2013, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said: “President Shimon Peres, in the Italian city of Assisi received the honorary Citizenship of Peace of the city of Assisi, the symbol of peace in Italy. Assisi  Mayor Claudio Ricci, dignitaries and hundreds Franciscan friars. During the ceremony President Peres received the unique award and the key to the city of Assisi for the first time in history. Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, was filled with thousands of tourists, Franciscan choirs, dancing troupes and more.

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Rafsanjani: USrael’s choice as next President of Iran

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Iran’s upcoming 11th Presidential election is scheduled to be held on June 14, 2013. This will be an opportunity for Iranian voters to elect country’s 7th president for the next four year. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic has six presidents – Abolhassan Banisadr (elected on January 25, 1980 but impeached after 17 months), Mohammad Ali Rajaei (martyred on August 30, 1981 by US-IsraHell supported MEK terrorist group),  Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (1981-89), Ayatullah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-97), Ayatullah Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) and Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013).

Iranian Constitution doesn’t allow the current president Ahmadinejad to run for the third term, but he still seems to be the most popular Iranian leader after the Spiritual Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenie. On April 8, 2013, Associated Press’ Ali Akbar Daraeni and Brian Murphy wrote an article in The Orange County Register newspaper, titled “People’s President”.

“A pro-Ahmadinejad candidate will have a good number of votes,” said Abolfazl Zahei, a pro-reform activist. “There are 2,000 villages in South Khorasan province, and most people in those villages have benefited from Ahmadinejad’s government. People care about making their ends meet and welfare, not politics.”

According to Iranian Constitution, the winning candidate must receive 50% of the total vote cast – otherwise a second ballot will be held between the winner and the runner-up, as was the case between Dr. Ahmadinejad and former president Ayatullah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani during 2005 presidential election. In the second round, Ahmadinejad received 17,248,782 votes, out of total 27,958,931 votes cast.

Nearly 500 Iranian have filled nomination papers to run for the presidential election. They’re being scrutinized by the powerful Guardian Council for not hypocrite Muslims or anti-Islamic Islamic Revolutionaries (pro-USrael). With the exception of a dozen, the rest of the candidates are expected to be weed out by the Council. Notable among the presidential hopeful are; Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, former parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel, former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, former vice president Mohammad Reza Aref and former commander of the Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezai.

All of them have claimed that they intend to follow the Rehbar Ayatullah Ali Khameie’s foreign policy regarding the US, Israel and Palestinian resistance against the Jewish occupation. However, as a practice, Khamenie has not thrown his support behind any of the hopeful.

Ayatullah Mohammad Khatami, a “moderate” by the Zionist-controlled western media, has decided not to face Iranian voters. He, along with Reformists has thrown his support behind Rafsanjani – hoping not to face political humilation during the 2009 when Ahmadinejad was re-elected by securing 62.63% votes by defeating his main rival, Western-supported former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi. The 2009 election also marked the highest turnout (85%).

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei is already in trouble with the Council which has lodged a legal complaint against president Ahmadinejad for accompanying Mashaei to the interior ministry to register his name.

Alex Vatanka, an Iranian expert at Washington-based Middle East Institute, a neocon think tank, headed by former US ambassador in Pakistan, Wendy J. Chamberlin, in an article posted at Lobe Log, has claimed that Rafsanjani’s victory in the upcoming presidential election would be good for both the US and Israel.

Rafsanjani has already started with a bomb. Last week, he effectively impugned Tehran’s stance on Israel and offered the view that Iran should not be in the business of confronting Israel. “If the Arabs end up in a war with Israel, Iran can provide material support to the Arabs”, but that is it and no more. In other words, Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who has for a long time argued for better relations between Iran and the US, is raising the ante and even challenging the regime’s long-held immovable enmity toward Israel,” wrote Vatanka.

Ali Mamouri at pro-Israel Jewish website, Al-Monitor (May 13), also bet on Rafsanjani’s victory.

To the West, Rafsanjani represents a broad team of liberal technocrats who want civil freedoms domestically and a policy of relieving tensions abroad, prioritizing economic progress, contrary to the Islamic Republic’s ideological goals; especially since he has lately focused on issues of abstaining from adventurism and has particularly been recalled as easing tensions with Israel. Moreover, the Arab countries of the region, particularly Saudi Arabia, have had a good experience with him in confidence-building with the Arab world, and some of the Arab leaders, such as Jordanian King Abdullah, have a relationship of relative personal friendship with him,” he wrote.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born Jewish “ME expert” at the Inter-Disciplinary Centre, an Israeli advocacy group says that due his loathing for Ahmadinejad and support for the West-supported Green Movement, Rafsanjani, is quite popular within the Reformists group and the Jewish lobby groups.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, no doubt is the richest Iranian political leader. He is worth US$1.5 billion, according to some western sources.

Some insiders, believe that the Conservative-majority Majlis (parliament) would prefer Saeed Jalili, an Islamist who leads Iran’s negotiations with the Zionist-occupied West, as the next President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Golden Dawn threatens Muslims in Greece with bloodshed

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** ed note–morons, idiots, one and all. There is only  ONE  entity  that  benefits from something like this, and it is Israel and her supporters around the world who thrive offof conflict amongst others which they set in motion.
The sad thing is that there will be a LARGE  number of  those within what we might call ‘white  nationalist’  circles who will see this as a great idea, too stupid to see that they are being played for fools by organized Jewish interests.

alyunaniya.com

In a letter sent via post to the Muslim Association of Greece yesterday, extremist-right party Golden Dawn threatened Muslims in Greece with bloodshed giving them a month time to evacuate the country.

According to the hard copy of the letter obtained by Alyunaniya.com, Golden Dawn gives Muslims of Greece until June 30 to evacuate the country or else they will start ‘butchering Muslims like chickens’. The threat appears authentic as the logo of the party was printed on the letter.

The Muslim Association of Greece in a statement condemned the letter stating that Muslims are ready to defend their faith.

“Every Muslim is any time ready and fearless to defend his faith, not caring for his life. Human dignity is challenged along with the sense of mutual respect and coexistence,” the Muslim Association said.

The Association called on the state to take action and ensure that all citizens of the country share equal rights under law.

Golden Dawn, whose logo is reminiscent of a swastika, gathered enough votes to win almost 20 seats in the Greek parliament. Members of Golden Dawn have been accused of carrying out acts of violence and hate crimes against immigrants.

In a related development, the Greek Ministry of Education announced last week that it will allocate the sum of EUR 946,000 to the Ministry of Growth to fund the construction of the controversial mosque in Athens.

The Greek government has stalled for over a decade the building of an official mosque leaving its 700,000 Muslims to pray in more than 120 basements and garages in Athens.

The mosque will have no minaret, in order to adopt to the surrounding environment and it will be built in the Athens neighborhood of Votanikos.

Earlier, Athens Mayor George Kaminis, a supporter of the controversial mosque that some critics such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party are trying to block has said that the pending opening of the first official mosque in Greece, being built in Athens by the government, will pave the way for more, as many as two or more in each district of the city.

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US study shows global increase in anti-Semitism, Shoah denial

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Religious freedom report from State Department cites concern about leaders of Venezuela,Iran, and Egypt condoning anti-Semitism, verging on ‘desecration and violence’

Times of Israel

The State Department appointed a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism around the world Monday as a new report documents a global increase in incidents of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

Ira Forman, former CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council, was named special envoy as the State Department released its annual report on religious freedom around the world. Forman replaces Michael Kozak, who had served in an acting role after Hannah Rosenthal stepped down last year.

The 2012 report on religious freedom said expressions of anti-Semitism by government officials, religious leaders were of great concern, particularly in Venezuela, Egypt and Iran. At times, such statements led to desecration and violence, the report said.

“When political leaders condoned anti-Semitism, it set the tone for its persistence and growth in countries around the world,” the report said.

In Venezuela, government-controlled media published numerous anti-Semitic statements, particularly in regard to opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, a Catholic with Jewish ancestors, the report said.

In Egypt, anti-Semitic sentiment in the media was widespread and sometimes included Holocaust denial or glorification, the report said. The report cited an Oct. 19 incident in which Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said “Amen” after a religious leader stated, “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.”

The Iranian government regularly vilified Judaism, and vandals in Ukraine desecrated several Holocaust memorials, the report said. Vandals in Russia painted a swastika on a fence at a St. Petersburg synagogue and on a synagogue wall in Irkutsk.

“Even well into the 21st century, traditional forms of anti-Semitism, such as conspiracy theories, use of the discredited myth of “blood libel” and cartoons demonizing Jews continued to flourish,” the report said.

Secretary of State John Kerry called the report a “clear-eyed, objective look at the state of religious freedom around the world,” and said that in some cases, the report “does directly call out some of our close friends, as well as some countries with whom we seek stronger ties.”

Kerry called the report an attempt to make progress around the world, “even though we know that it may cause some discomfort.”

When countries undermine or attack religious freedom, “they not only unjustly threaten those whom they target, they also threaten their countries’ own stability,” Kerry said at a news conference, calling religious freedom a basic human right. Kerry urged countries identified in the report to take action to safeguard religious freedoms.

Besides anti-Semitism, the report also notes frequent government restrictions on religion and policies that make it hard for citizens to choose or practice their faith.

“Governments that repress freedom of religion and freedom of expression typically create a climate of intolerance and impunity that emboldens those who foment hatred and violence within society,” the report said, singling out China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Cuba, among other countries, for criticism.

The report also cites the use of blasphemy laws to harass, detain and abuse government critics, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. In Saudi Arabia, the report cited incidents in which activists were arrested and charged with apostasy and blasphemy, offenses that carry potential death penalties.

Kerry, who took office earlier this year after incidents highlighted in the report took place, thanked a “broad spectrum” of faith leaders, religious organizations and journalists who participated in the report, many at great personal risk.

“Governments around the globe continue to detain, imprison, torture and even kill people for their religious beliefs,” Kerry said. “In too many places, governments are also failing to protect minorities from social discrimination and violence” against religious groups including Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Christians, Muslims and Sikhs.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the appointment of Forman as anti-Semitism envoy showed that U.S. resolve to fight anti-Semitism is serious and ongoing. The ADL is confident Forman “will play an important role in ensuring that the significant political will and diplomatic resources of the U.S. are brought to bear to urge foreign governments to take action” against anti-Semitism, Foxman said.

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Syria training advanced missiles on Tel Aviv

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Damascus has put Tishreen rockets on standby to retaliate if Zio-Nazi planes hit again, Sunday Times claims

Times of Israel

Damascus has put a number of advanced weapons on standby to strike Israel, should Jerusalem hit targets inside Syria again, the UK’s Sunday Times reported.

According to the report, satellite images show Syria has readied its stock of Tishreen missiles for use against Tel Aviv.

The report, published Sunday, did not cite a source for the information.

Israeli jets reportedly struck sites near Damascus twice earlier this month, aiming to stop the transfer of advanced Fateh-110 missiles to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Israel, which never officially took responsibility for the strikes, has said it will continue to act to stop weapons transfers and an unnamed official even reportedly threatened to topple the regime in Damascus should President Bashar Assad hit back at Israel for any further strikes. Syria, for its part, has threatened to retaliate if it is hit again.

Earlier this month, the al-Watan newspaper reported that the Syrian regime had established a bank of Israeli sites to be attacked in retaliation for another airstrike.

The Tishreen, also known as the M-600, is the Syrian version of Iran’s Fateh-110 missile. Damascus is thought to possess a large stockpile of the missiles, which can travel over 200 kilometers and carry up to a half-ton payload, according to the Sunday Times report.

On Friday, ex-military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said the embattled Assad was under increasing pressure to respond to Israeli strikes.

Before attempting any more of the airstrikes that “have worked well for us three or four times,” Yadlin said, Israel needed to ask itself whether it could “deal with the escalation that could develop.

Earlier in the week, Russia said it would go ahead with the sale of S-300 anti-missile systems to Syria, despite Israeli protests.

Moscow also sent a number of warships to the Mediterranean in what was seen, in part, as a warning to Israel not to hit Syria again.

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What is the bigger story behind the AP spying scandal?

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Washington’s Blog

 

You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press.

You might have heard that the Attorney General of the United States isn’t sure how often reporters’ records are seized.

You might have learned that the Department of Justice is prosecuting a whistleblower regarding North Korea … as well as the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News who reported on what the whistleblower told him As the Washington Post notes:

[Department of Justice investigators] used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.

You might have read that the Department of Justice Inspector General published a new report today saying that former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke leaked a document intended to smear Operation Fast and Furious scandal whistleblower John Dodson, concluding:

We believe this misconduct to be particularly egregious because of Burke’s apparent effort to undermine the credibility of Dodson’s significant public disclosures about the failures in Operation Fast and Furious. We further believe that the seriousness of Burke’s actions are aggravated by the fact that they were taken within days after he told Deputy Attorney General Cole that he took responsibility for his office’s earlier unauthorized disclosure of a document to The New York Times, and after Cole put him on notice that such disclosures should not occur. Burke also knew at the time of his disclosure of the Dodson memorandum that he was under investigation by OPR for his conduct in connection with the earlier disclosure to The New York Times. As a high-level Department official, Burke knew his obligations to abide by Department policies and his duty to follow the instructions of the Deputy Attorney General, who was Burke’s immediate supervisor.

And you may even have caught ABC News’ report today that an armed minder trailed reporters … preventing them from being able to talk to whistleblowers:

As we traveled the public hallways of the building – watched over by security cameras – an armed uniformed police officer with the Federal Protective Service followed us. We were looking for a particular office—of someone who would not want to be seen talking to reporters–but chose to bypass it because of our official babysitter.

Asked why we were being escorted in a public building, the officer identified himself as Insp. Mike Finkelstein and said he was only trying to make sure that the newsmen were not a “nuisance.” He brushed aside further questions. The cop said a supervisor would call to explain.

One of the reporters wanted to know if the act of following the journalists was an effort intended to scare off any federal employee who might have considered speaking to the press. That’s sure what it looked like; and, even if that wasn’t the goal, it was the effect.

As of Friday night, no supervisor had called back.

After ABC News phoned and e-mailed the spokespeople in Washington repeatedly for more than 24 hours, a low-level staffer with Homeland Security finally responded. “After review by a supervisor, it was determined that the inspector acted according to proper security procedures and that no improper conduct occurred,” the spokesman said.

But there have been many similar scandals over the last couple of years.  For example:

  • The Bush White House worked hard to smear CIA officersbloggers and anyone else who criticized the Iraq war
  • After Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge

In an effort to protect Bank of America from the threatened Wikileaks expose of the bank’s wrongdoing, the Department of Justice told Bank of America to a hire a specific hardball-playing law firm to assemble a team to take down WikiLeaks (and see this).

Wikileaks’ head Julian Assange could face the death penalty for his heinous crime of leaking whistleblower information which make those in power uncomfortable … i.e. being a reporter.

But – whatever you think of Wikileaks – that was the canary in the coal mine in terms of going after reporters.  Specifically, former attorney general Mukasey said the U.S. should prosecute Assange because it’s “easier” than prosecuting the New York Times.

Subsequently, Congress considered a bill which would make even mainstream reporters liable for publishing leaked information.

Journalist and former constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald notes today:

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty [says that “The alternative to ‘conspiring’ with leakers to get information: Just writing what the government tells you.”]

That, of course, is precisely the point of the unprecedented Obama war on whistleblowers and press freedoms: to ensure that the only information the public can get is information that the Obama administration wants it to have. That’s why Obama’s one-side games with secrecy – we’ll prolifically leak when it glorifies the president and severely punish all other kinds – is designed to construct the classic propaganda model. And it’s good to see journalists finally speaking out in genuine outrage and concern about all of this.

***

Here’s an amazing and revealing fact: after Richard Nixon lost the right to exercise prior restraint over the New York Times’ publication of the Pentagon Papers, he was desperate to punish and prosecute the responsible NYT reporter, Neil Sheehan. Thus, recounted the NYT’s lawyer at the time, James Goodale, Nixon concocted a theory:

“Nixon convened a grand jury to indict the New York Times and its reporter, Neil Sheehan, for conspiracy to commit espionage . . . .The government’s ‘conspiracy’ theory centered around how Sheehan got the Pentagon Papers in the first place. While Daniel Ellsberg had his own copy stored in his apartment in Cambridge, the government believed Ellsberg had given part of the papers to anti-war activists. It apparently theorized further that the activists had talked to Sheehan about publication in the Times, all of which it believed amounted to a conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act.”

As Goodale notes, this is exactly “the same charge Obama’s Justice Department is investigating Assange under today,” and it’s now exactly the same theory used to formally brand Fox’s James Rosen as a criminal in court.

Indeed, this is not a partisan issue.  Bush was worse than Nixon on unlawful spying and harassment of reporters … but so is Obama.

Whistleblower Witch Hunt

But Obama has gone after whistleblowers more viciously than Bush, Nixon, or any president in history.  Indeed, the Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other presidentscombined.

And the government goes out of its way to smear whistleblowers andharass honest analysts.

Even high-level government employees are in danger. For example, after the head of the NSA’s spying program – William Binney – disclosed the fact that the U.S. was spying on everyone in the U.S. and storing the data forever, and that the U.S. was quickly becoming  a totalitarian state, the Feds tried to scare him into shutting up:

[Numerous] FBI officers held a gun to Binney’s head as he stepped naked from the shower. He watched with his wife and youngest son as the FBI ransacked their home. Later Binney was separated from the rest of his family, and FBI officials pressured him to implicate one of the other complainants in criminal activity. During the raid, Binney attempted to report to FBI officials the crimes he had witnessed at NSA, in particular the NSA’s violation of the constitutional rights of all Americans. However, the FBI wasn’t interested in these disclosures. Instead, FBI officials seized Binney’s private computer, which to this day has not been returned despite the fact that he has not been charged with a crime.

Other NSA whistleblowers have also been subjected to armed raids and criminal prosecution.

After high-level CIA officer John Kiriakou blew the whistle on illegal CIA torture, the government prosecuted him for espionage.

Even the head of the CIA was targeted with extra-constitutional spying  and driven out of office.

The Most Gagged Person in the History of the United States

One example of the extreme gagging of whistleblowers is former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds.

The ACLU described Edmonds as:

The most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.

Edmonds has been deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups.

Edmonds’ allegations have been confirmed by numerous Pentagon, MI6 and FBI officials, including 18-year FBI counter-intelligence expert John Cole.

Famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says that Edmonds possesses information “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”.

Ellsberg also said that the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11:

Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today’s American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take [former FBI translator and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel] Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations [which Ellsberg calls “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”].

As Edmonds has also alluded, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who “sat on the NSA spying story for over a year” when they “could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome.”

“There will be phone calls going out to the media saying ‘don’t even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,’” he told us.

* * *

“I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to ‘How do we deal with Sibel?’” contends Ellsberg. “The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn’t get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to the government and they would be told ‘don’t touch this . . . .‘”

Indeed, the mainstream British newspaper the Sunday Times started publishing a series of articles exposing the scandal which Edmonds had uncovered.   But U.S. State Department pressure killed the series.

What are Edmonds’ allegations … that the media is too cowardly to report … that the most famous whistleblower in history calls “more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”?

Among other things, Edmonds says that the U.S. government worked with Bin Laden and his top lieutenant 3 months after 9/11 … as part of an ongoing operation of launching war under false pretenses.

Now that would be a big story if true, wouldn’t it?

The mainstream media is finally awakening to the fact we are flirting with tyranny … and is finally starting to push back.

The best defense is a strong offense, and it is use it or lose it timefor the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The press should shake of its sleepiness and start talking to the whistleblowers (like Edmonds)  it’s been ignoring for years … to find out what the government is working so hard to hide.

Posted in USAComments Off on What is the bigger story behind the AP spying scandal?

WAKE UP AMERICA: New York City Council official urges Brooklyn College to hire ‘professor from IsraHell’

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City Councilman Lew Fidler.(Photo via CSA-NYC.org)

New York City Councilman Lew Fidler is still outraged over the Brooklyn College panel that took place in February on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Assistant Majority leader, an ardent advocate for Israel, has sent a letter to the City University of New York (CUNY) to suggest the hiring of a “professor from Israel” at Brooklyn College to correct what he calls bias in the school’s Political Science department, which co-sponsored the panel. His latest effort comes over three months after he sparked a furor by sending a separate letter suggesting that funding for Brooklyn College could be affected if the event featuring BDS proponents went through.

The late April missive also blasts the CUNY report on the Brooklyn College panel,which found that while the planning and execution of the event went haywire,there was no anti-Semitism at hand–c ontrary to what Israel advocates alleged. The report, though, did say that the removal of four Jewish students affiliated with Hillel from the event was unjustified. Student organizers of the event had said that the four removed students were being disruptive by talking and passing flyers amongst themselves, but the CUNY report rejects that narrative. The Brooklyn College president has apologized to the students for their removal.

The event “was even worse than we had expected because of the manner in which the CUNY administration, the Brooklyn College administration, allowed the event to be conducted. At one hand they sponsored it, on the other hand they denied responsibility for the guest list, the press list, the removal of four Jewish students for absolutely no reason,” Fidler, an honorary member of the Brooklyn College Hillel’s board, said in a phone interview. “The report comes out and it’s an absolute whitewash. It was palpably ridiculous.”

Asked if he thought anti-Semitism drove the removal of the Jewish students from the event, the Assistant Majority Leader said, “You think those four students would have been removed were they not obviously Jewish?…Could we go to trial on those questions and see what a jury thinks? It seems pretty obvious to me what happened here.”

He added that the report used “sophomoric” logic to dismiss the anti-Semitism claims. He said it was ridiculous to think that because not all Jewish students were removed from the event, there was no discrimination in the expulsion of the four Jewish students.

Alan Levine, the lawyer who represented the Brooklyn College student organizers of the event, rejected Fidler’s charge and said that “[the CUNY report] looked at that charge [of anti-Semitism] seriously and they found no evidence to support it.” The part of the report dealing with this specific incident reads in part:

The evidence does not permit a confident inference about whether the removal of the four students was for a discriminatory purpose. In our view, there is no support for an inference of discrimination based on religion. Although the four students were all Jewish, and the two males wore yarmulkes, Guzman and the other SJP students were aware that there were other Jewish members of the audience in the room, and none of them was removed. A more plausible inference can be drawn that the removal of the four students was motivated by their political viewpoint.

In a response to the letter, CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson wrote that he is sharing a copy of it with the CUNY administration and college presidents. “I know that your suggestions are made in the spirit of improving opportunities for the free exchange of ideas at both Brooklyn College and [CUNY],” wrote Hershenson. “Please rest assured that the University’s discussions will also be conducted in that spirit. Indeed, the University is reviewing practices at other universities and would welcome reviewing any protocols utilized by the New York City Council regarding event sponsorship or co-sponsorship.”

Fidler’s suggestion to CUNY that Brooklyn College hire a professor from Israel has caught the most attention. Fidler wrote:

Given the clear slant and bias of the Political Science Department, [CUNY should] develop a plan to ‘level the playing field,’ including the endowment of a chair in the department for a visiting professor from Israel who reflects a more sympathetic view to the continued peaceful and prosperous existence of the region’s only democracy.

The suggestion is in part a reflection of broader concerns among advocates for Israel that college campuses have become inhospitable to their cause. The Brooklyn College Hillel has likewise said that Jewish students feel that professors are biased against Israel, the Jewish Week recently reported.

Asked whether city officials should be influencing the hiring practices at colleges, Fidler responded by saying: “I made no suggestion as to who they should hire, nor would I have the vaguest idea who they should hire. All I’m saying is that there has been a lengthy, lengthy, lengthy, history of one sided bias in this Political Science Department…This is a hot-button topic where the position of this department is not generally considered to be the mainstream view in this country…If they can find a different way to ensure that balance, so be it.”

Corey Robin, a Political Science professor at Brooklyn College, blasted the Fidler letter in a blog post as an attempt to have “the government impose a state-approved litmus test about who can and cannot get hired at CUNY.”

Fidler’s letter centers on what he labels a biased Political Science department at the school. The department’s co-sponsoring of the event sparked the most controversy, as critics claimed that it was putting the school’s official blessing on an event promoting the BDS movement. The letter states that the department has long only sponsored events showing “one side” on debates around the Middle East, though he does not cite any specific instances other than the BDS panel. And he writes that the academic freedom of pro-Israel students is being violated because of this practice.

In an interview, he added that the environment on campus when it comes to Israel lacks balance. “Who’s got the power in a relationship where you know your professor is ardently pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, and you’re a Jewish student who wants to be a Political Science major?” said Fidler. “Who’s got the power there, the professor or the student?”

But in an e-mail, Paisley Currah, the chair of the Political Science department, called Fidler’s statement “troubling” and means that “professors cannot take positions outside the classroom on any potential issue of controversy…To satisfy Fidler’s concerns, professors must remain silent about all their political opinions, even outside the classroom. That is not very promising from the point of view of freedom of speech.”

The Political Science Department has also strenuously objected to claims that they are biased, and has stated that requests for co-sponsoring events from “any groups, departments or programs organizing lectures or events representing any point of view … will be given equal consideration.” Subsequent to the BDS panel, the department co-sponsored a talk at the school given by Elliott Abrams, a strong supporter of Israel, though Fidler dismissed that as a move meant to assuage critics.

Robin’s blog post also notes that the Assistant Majority Leader “is not shy about using state power to impose his views on what gets said on college campuses.” In late January, Fidler and other City Council colleagues authored a letter that raised the specter of funding cuts to the college because of the panel on BDS. “A significant portion of the funding for CUNY schools comes directly from the tax dollars of the people of the State and City of New York,” Fidler wrote. “We do not believe this program is what the taxpayers of our City—many of who would feel targeted and demonized by this program—want their tax money to be spent on. We believe in the principle of academic freedom. However, we also believe in the principle of not supporting schools whose programs we, and our constituents, find to be odious and wrong.”

Fidler’s first letter that hinted of financial retaliation sparked much controversy, and was blasted by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights and more. The newest letter says that the first letter was “inartfully written” and that they never “intended to suggest that we would support the de-funding of the college.”

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