Archive | August 27th, 2013

No War with Syria!

NOVANEWS

A man inspects a site hit by what activists said were missiles fired by Syrian Air Force fighter jets loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, in eastern Syria, on August 21, 2013. (Photo: Reuters/Nour Fourat)Here’s the core question now, in regard to Syria: if it’s true that President Bashar al-Assad’s government used poison gas in an incident that killed hundreds of people, at least, in the suburbs of Damascus, can the United States avoid military action in response? The answer is: yes. And it should.

That doesn’t mean that the United States ought to do nothing. The horrific incident, reported in detail by Doctors Without Borders, demands action. But the proper response by the United States is an all-out effort to achieve a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war. It’s late in the game but it can be done. The first step would be for Washington to put intense pressure on Saudi Arabia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and Turkey, to halt the flow of weapons to the Syrian rebels, while simultaneously getting Russia and Iran to do the same. A concerted, worldwide diplomatic effort along those lines could work, but there’s zero evidence that President Obama has even thought of that.

Indeed, it seems clear now that the United States is about to launch a series of cruise missile strikes against Syrian targets, including military command centers, airports, and other facilities. A US naval buildup in the eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of Syria, is underway, including four destroyers carrying cruise missiles. Ominously, the United States yesterday rejected as “too late” a Syrian offer – which, indeed, may have been disingenuous – to allow United Nations inspectors to visit the site where the gas was reportedly used. Virtually the entire Obama administration national security team huddled in the White House yesterday to decide what to do about Syria.

Obama, meanwhile, is busy building a “coalition of the willing” to back an American attack on Syria, calling the leaders of Britain and France, rallying support in Eastern Europe, NATO, and the Arab League, and of course getting strong support from Saudi Arabia and Israel. The latter two countries see an attack on Assad’s forces as a proxy for an attack on what they consider their main enemy, Iran.

The Wall Street Journal reported that, meanwhile, the Obama administration is crafting legal justifications for unilateral action, perhaps under the umbrella of NATO and Arab League support, a la Libya 2011 (or Kosovo in 1999):

Administration lawyers have been crafting legal justifications for an intervention without U.N. approval that could be based on findings that Mr. Assad used chemical weapons and created a major humanitarian crisis.

At this point, if the United States bombs Syria, it will be mostly an emotional and reactive attack designed to protect President Obama’s right flank, because ever since he said that a chemical weapons attack would be a “red line” that would “change [his] calculus,” he’s been pilloried for holding off. And, in addition – at the exact wrong moment, given Iran’s newfound moderate tone and a new president, Hassan Rouhani, who appears to be looking for an end to the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program – Obama would be bombing Iran’s main ally, strengthening the hand of hardliners in Tehran and undermining Rouhani’s room for maneuver.

And to what end? As General Martin Dempsey has outlined at length, in a letter to members of Congress and in testimony and speeches, there’s no obvious alternative to Assad yet. There’s no government-in-exile, and Al Qaeda types and radical Islamists of all kinds dominate the rebel movement.

Lost in the apparent tumble down the slippery slope to war is the question of why Assad would use chemical weapons now, given the near-certainty that it would provoke US action, since his forces have made major gains in the last two months or so. That’s a point made by Assad himself, in an interview with Russia’s Izvestia:

“Would any state use chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction in a place where its own forces are concentrated? That would go against elementary logic. So, accusations of this kind are entirely political and the reason for them is the government forces’ series of victories over the terrorists.”

It seems clear that the weapons were used, perhaps – if not by Assad’s own decision, by a military commander who took it upon himself to do so. Maybe we’ll never know, and it will be lost in the fog of war.

But it’s clear that both Israel and Saudi Arabia want war, and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu says it’s all about Iran. Reports the Times:

“This situation must not be allowed to continue,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, referring to the Syrian civilians “who were so brutally attacked by weapons of mass destruction.”

“The most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world,” he said.

Some Israelis have argued that international intervention in Syria would distract the world from the crucial effort to prevent a nuclear Iran. But there is a growing sense among Israelis that Syria is now a test of how the world might respond to Iran as it approaches the ability to make a nuclear weapon.

“Assad’s regime has become a full Iranian client, and Syria has become Iran’s testing ground,” Mr. Netanyahu added.

An attack on Syria could easily spiral out of control in full-scale war. As the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the apparently dwindling administration contingent still urging caution:

Officials cautious of intervening say targeted strikes to punish Mr. Assad for using chemical weapons risk triggering a bloody escalation. If the regime digs in and uses chemical weapons again, or launches retaliatory attacks against the U.S. and its allies in the region, Mr. Obama will come under fierce pressure to respond more forcefully, increasing the chances of full-scale war, the officials say.

And, of course, Russia – which has declared that it won’t support an American action against Syria – could up the ante, too, by backing Assad more powerfully in response.

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Media’s Irresponsible Coverage of the Gunman

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Terror-related incidents such as bomb blasts, suicide attacks, abductions, target killings, ethnic and sectarian violence including assaults on security forces and law-enforcing agencies have enveloped Pakistan, especially Karachi, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Regrettably, these security forces and law-enforcing agencies are not only targeted by terrorists, but are also under strict scrutiny and criticism of media and political elements including so-called NGOs. These internal entities are creating impediments and confusion which have been discouraging the law-enforcing and intelligence agencies thereby, negatively influencing their performance.

In this context, small incident of July 15, 2013 in Islamabad, in which a lone gunman, namely Sikandar Hayat who along with his wife and two children drove into the Red Zone by challenging the capacity of administration in the capital city, should not make us think passively and lose sense of respect for law-enforcing agencies. The armed man, sitting in a car had been firing intermittently at the Constitution Avenue, Islamabad and police did not go ahead.

The police also rushed towards Sikander and tried to convince him to lay down the arms, but Sikandar asked for police high-ups to come in for talks. When they did, he made a demand for establishment of Shariah (Islamic Jurisprudence) in Pakistan. Many senior police officials including SSP (Operations) Dr Rizwan, and renowned politician Nabeel Gabool were also present at the scene to control the situation and persuade the man to surrender peacefully, but he refused to give up.

Although after six hours, the episode ended when PPP leader Zamurd Khan played pivotal role in capturing the gunman and got injured, yet a debate has continued between the ruling and opposition parties regarding the lone gunman, putting a number of questions marks.

The incident kept us all engaged for couple of hours, because it was within the capability of Police to handle it silently and quickly. In this connection, especially media played the role of real game-spoiler by muddling with the task of law enforcing agencies in allowing them in doing their job and handling a simple case of disarray, having potential of fuming outburst. Though Police had worked out a strategy to negotiate with the gunman whose two little children and spouse were at risk, yet due to hindrance by media, Police seemed to lose time in its rational response.

At this critical moment, media anchors also negatively criticized the Police, thus facilitating disorder and chaos to take place. So, the entire nation was embarrassed before the world which was watching the entire drama. It further tarnished the image of Pakistan in the eyes of international community in wake of continued terror-related incidents.

There is no doubt that live coverage of an event has its own merits, as it dependents upon the occasion or any development. But live coverage of the gunman has indicated media’s irresponsible approach. During this sensitive situation, instead of become a support element of state by facilitating the state organs to perform well, media started impeding the task of security and law enforcing agencies which were engaged in handling the issue.  Media confused the scene with reporters and cameramen, and by making telephone connections with the suspect to negotiate in awkward manner.

Media may criticize the institutions for their betterment, but they must not taunt on their performance in an avenging manner. Negotiations with the suspected gunman by anchors were also not approved by any government authority, while for showing efficiency; some media analysts even did not felt shy in denouncing the media intrusion into Police domain. It seemed that media commentators were promoting the cause of the lone gunman. Besides, they left no stone unturned in defaming the vital state organs like Police and law-enforcing agencies by misinterpreting the scene.

While accepting responsibility for prolonging the operation for so long, on August 16, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan held the media responsible in this regard. He stated, “It was hardly a 30-minute operation. I ordered the authorities to approach the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and stop the live coverage for conducting the operation; however, this was not ensured.” In another statement, he said that the episode did not go on for five hours, “rather it still continues” due to our media. Nisar pointed out that he had given three orders about the incident. “First, there should be no fire, if he has not held anyone hostage, second, there should be no violence in front of the children, and third, he should be arrested alive.”

On August 20, Senators termed the Jinnah Avenue incident as a total failure of the government, and criticized the interior minister’s statements, terming them full of contradictions. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Raza Rabbani presented 17 questions regarding the Sikandar incident. He asked, “How did the gunman enter the high-security zone of the federal capital? Who was the in-charge of the operation? Why did not Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar return to Islamabad after the incident?”

Rabbani explained that the interior minister initially stated that Sikandar was not a terrorist, but on August 19, he said that Sikandar had links with ‘foreign handlers.’ He also regretted that no minister spoke a single word over the incident on August 15, as the entire world watched the drama for more than five hours. The PPP leader also questioned as to how the government planned to disarm hundreds of Taliban when it had failed to disarm a single person. Other opposition parties also criticized the government for its inability to handle the issue properly.

Former interior minister Rehman Malik disclosed that there were internal and external enemies of the country, who wanted to destroy the nuclear capability of Pakistan. He elaborated, “The Sikandar issue may be a preamble of future incidents”, and asked the government to form a collective counter-terrorism policy as soon as possible.

In response to the debate over the August 15 episode, Chaudhry Nisar said on August 21 that the opposition raised 17 questions over a single incident, but he could raise hundreds of questions over the last five-years-tenure of the previous government.

He stated, “Do not raise the status of Zamrud Khan to that of a pir (religious leader) as you did in the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.” He regretted that as to how the opposition members could say the state had failed just by pointing at one incident, which was under full control of the law enforcement agencies.

Nisar elaborated that the matter was not as simple as initially perceived because investigation into the episode exposed international connections of Sikandar, with some traces leading to Abu Dhabi. He further indicated, “During the previous government’s tenure, 8,514 major terror incidents took place, in which around 9,600 people died and more than 25,000 were wounded, but we never criticized the government.”

Earlier, interior minister revealed that some arrests in Azad Kashmir and Punjab had been made in relation to the Islamabad incident. The minister said a religious personality from Hafizabad had also been arrested, and the literature recovered from him was alarming. Some analysts opine that Sikandar has links with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

However, our media not only manipulated the debate between the government and opposition parties, but also created hindrances in controlling the lone gunman through live coverage.

On August 16, while hearing a suo motu case about violence in Quetta and Bolan, even Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Chaudhry Iftikhar Mohammad expressed anger over the irresponsible coverage of the private TV channels, and directed PEMRA to take action against their management. Criticizing the reporting of the TV channels, he remarked, “The live coverage of Jinnah Avenue’s like incidents are against the norms and cause panic among the public.”

Nevertheless, the government seems determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism, as it has hastened its efforts for preparation of a comprehensive strategy for the purpose. But the situation demands that the entire nation must unite against the militants and cooperate with the security agencies.

Media must create a sense of hope and optimism among the viewers and keep the nation united by building confidence in the capabilities of law-enforcing agencies. During crisis situation, media must become a support element of the state organ, and must avoid live coverage as in case of the gunman in Islamabad.

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

 

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US Planned Chemical Weapons False Flag Attack for Syria, According to Leaked Documents

NOVANEWS

Back in January the mainstream media uncovered a US backed plan to launch a chemical weapons attack in Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime.

GOLAN HEIGHTS - JUNE 12: (ISRAEL OUT) An Israeli soldier and her dog inspect a UN vehicle as Peacekeepers of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) cross the Quneitra crossing from Syira into Israel on June 12, 2013 in Golan Heights. The Austrians force has patrolled the buffer zone between Israel and Syria as part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, known as UNDOF, since it was set up in 1974. The First group of Austrian troops moved today from Syria into the Israeli part of Golan Heights as their disengagement is expected to be completed within weeks.(Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

(Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

By JG Vibes

The US government and the United Nations are on the verge of invading Syria under the pretense of a humanitarian intervention.

While Assad is definitely a tyrant, a US invasion of the country is a worst case scenario for the people living there.

Many details of last week’s chemical weapons attack remain a mystery, but there are a few very suspicious clues pointing to a false flag attack.

ANI and Yahoo News Reported that “The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown. A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme ‘approved by Washington’.  As per the scheme ‘Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons,’”[1]

Adding to the evidence, on August 23, Russia Today published an article titled “Materials implicating Syrian govt in chemical attack prepared before incident – Russia.”

According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich:

We’re getting more new evidence that this criminal act was of a provocative nature.”

“In particular, there are reports circulating on the Internet, in particular that the materials of the incident and accusations against government troops had been posted for several hours before the so-called attack. Thus, it was a pre-planned action.”[2]

As the world has become smaller with global communication it has been more and more difficult for governments to justify war.  Most of the average people on the planet don’t want war, so now these invasions are being sold to the general population as humanitarian interventions.

Like any head of state Assad is definitely a tyrant, and has been killing people by the thousands for years, but invading the people that he has enslaved will do nothing but cause more death and destruction, just as it has in similar cases throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Sources:

[1] US ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria, blame it on Assad govt’: Report – Yahoo

[2] Materials implicating Syrian govt in chemical attack prepared before incident – RT

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The Truth About Syria – What the Obama Administration Doesn’t Want You To Know

NOVANEWS

Western sponsored propaganda leads the news cycle as the U.S. and Britain plan to strike Syria under a false pretense.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OpEd

By Shepard Ambellas

GHOUTA, DAMASCUS — Mainline media rhetoric echoes across most of the western world in the form of globalist sponsored propaganda designed to play games with the hearts and minds of the average citizen. Although lately there has been a shift in consciousness.

Many government sponsored false flag events are now being brought to the attention of the general public through large independent news organizations like Intellihub.com and others.

It is now pretty well-known that the Obama Administration has been desperately seeking a new war with Syria over the past few days. In fact, Britain even jumped on the bandwagon as warships armed with cruise missiles pre-position for a strategic strike on Syria later this week.

However, some wonder what the justification for this new emerging war with Syria would be.

According to the Obama Administration, the Syrian government is responsible for chemically attacking their own people last week killing hundreds and permanently injuring thousands.

Although none of this adds up.

Why would the Syrian leader allow a chemical attack on his own people?

It was also reported earlier in the week that the Russians weren’t buying the official story of the White House, as they believe likely more is at play. Furthermore, leaked emails came out casting doubt that the Syrian government attacked their own people in the first place, signifying that likely the U.S. sponsored a “false flag” event to constitute the technical war terms per United Nations “rules of engagement”.

In fact, it now looks like U.S. sponsored forces tried to either foil the U.N. inspection probe in a sniper attack earlier today, or make it look like Syrian forces did. CNN.com reported, “shortly before Monday’s inspection, unidentified snipers shot multiple times at a vehicle used by the U.N. team, the United Nations said. There were no reports of injuries.

The Syrian government accused “terrorists” of firing on the inspectors, Syrian state TV reported.

The United Nations has not said who may have been behind the shooting, which came after an explosion near the site the team planned to visit. Some witnesses said it was caused by incoming ordnance, perhaps a mortar shell.”[1]

All of this action is likely to reach a boiling point later this week when the U.N. announces the findings of the investigation. The Obama Administration is set to act swift and “very deliberately” according to reports out of Washington. While some, including the Russians, feel the U.S. was already predetermined to strike. The NYTimes reported, “On Sunday, a spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Aleksandr K. Lukashevich, said that those who advocated an armed response to any chemical weapons attack — without citing the United States or other countries — were prejudging the results of the United Nations inspections.

“In these conditions, we again resolutely call on all those who are trying to impose the results of the U.N. investigations and who say that armed actions against Syria is possible to show common sense and avoid tragic mistakes,” Mr. Lukashevich said in a statement released on the ministry’s Web site.”[2]

So what’s not being reported?

According to reporter Ben Swann, 300 U.S. Marines now sit along the Syrian border as the situation intensifies. ”What’s happening in Syria is an enormous problem for the United States… the war in Syria is not a true civil war”, points out Swann in a video report.[3]

Ladies and Gentlemen, get ready to enter another war under a false pretense.

Sources:

[1] In Syria, U.N. chemical weapons inspectors reach alleged attack site – CNN.com

[2] Snipers Fire on Weapons Inspectors in Syria, U.N. Says – NYTimes.com

[3] What the Media Isn’t Telling You About the Syrian Chemical Attack –BenSwann.com

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Nazi Forces Use Excessive Lethal Force Killing 3 Palestinian Civilians and Wounding 16 Others, Including 5 Children, in Qalandya Refugee Camp

NOVANEWS

 

In an excessive use of lethal force, on Monday morning, 26 August 2013, Israeli occupation forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians and wounded 16 others, including 5 children, in Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem in the central West Bank.  The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) denounces this heinous crime, holds Israel fully responsible for the current escalation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and  demands the international community to assume its responsibilities and provide protection for the Palestinian civilians.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and statements of eyewitnesses, at approximately 05:00 on Monday, 26 August 2013, Israeli forces in military vehicles and a 20-member infantry unit moved into Qalandya refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem.  They positioned themselves in the streets and then moved into al-Souq neighborhood in the centre of the refugee camp to carry out an arrest campaign. Israeli forces raided a house belonging to the family of Abdul Rahim al-Khatib near the Grand Mosque to arrest one of the family members.  In the meantime, dozens of young men and boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli forces that immediately fired live ammunition,  tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the stone throwers.  Israeli forces received backups that moved into the camp through its entrance and western side. They heavily opened fire at the stone throwers.  As a result, 3 Palestinian civilians were killed and 16 others were wounded, including 5 children; the majority of them were wounded in the upper part of the body. Moreover, Israeli forces arrested 2 brothers: Yusef Abdul Rahim al-Khatib (24) and Omar al-Khatib (27). Yusef was taken to an unknown destination while Omar was released at Qalandya checkpoint an hour after Israeli forces had withdrawn from the camp at 07:30. .

 

The civilians who were killed are:

1- Yunis Jamal Jahjouh (23), who was hit by a live bullet to the chest;

2- Jehad Mansour Aslan (21), who was hit by a live bullet to the chest; and

3- Rubin Abdul Rahman Zayed (33), who was hit by several live bullets to the chest as well.

As a result, the number of Palestinian civilians who have been killed in a week has mounted to 4, as Israeli forces killed a civilian in Jenin refugee camp, in the north of the West Bank, when they moved into the said camp on 20 August 2013.

PCHR is strongly concerned over this crime, which further proves the use of excessive force by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians in disregard for the civilians’ lives. Therefore, PCHR calls upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to such crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.  These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

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I$raHell’s white supremacists

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Haaretz

It has emerged that the black (ultra-Orthodox, Arab, Mizrahi) threat to the Ashkenazi hegemony really hadn’t been eliminated as it was thought. Thus the white tribe is continuing to defend its rule as if its life depended on it.

With his TV series “The Ethnic Demon,” Amnon Levy has seemingly discovered America about 500 or so years late, and the country is roiling. Well, yes, Zionism is a European colonial movement that’s as white as the snow in the Carpathian Mountains. What else is new?

All the fathers of the Zionist movement, its founders, philosophers and poets, Herzl and Bialik and Jabotinsky and Ben-Gurion and Begin and Naomi Shemer, dreamed of building, in this remote and neglected area of the East, a Jewish state along the lines of the white-European-Christian states of the 19th century, whose concert-filled structures would have tiled roofs and other elements of classical Europe.

But when the country they dreamed of was actually founded, they suddenly realized that there weren’t enough white Jews to establish and maintain the Zionist project because white Christian Europe, the one with the tiled roofs and classical music, which they so admired and wanted to emulate, had slaughtered them. As a result, lacking any choice and driven by the demon (the ethnic one, of course), and upon realizing that a state needs not just leaders and commanders but also soldiers and laborers, they brought the “black” Mizrahi Jews here, Jews of Middle Eastern origin. But the large number of these strange new immigrants posed a real threat to the white rule of the Zionist enterprise, not to mention to the existence of the only European state in the Middle East. There was thus an urgent need to “bleach” the Mizrahim.

This was carried out in different ways. One way, for example, was through the “bourekas films,” which ridiculed Mizrahim and portrayed them as foolish, ignorant, uncultured, lazy and stealthy, but with hearts of gold, great food and fine singing ability (racist stereotypes that were imprinted forever in the Israeli consciousness).

But the most significant bleaching process, the political one, was conducted by Menachem Begin. Begin understood that to overthrow and succeed the Ashkenazi Mapai regime with its handful of token Mizrahi servants, he would have to recruit to his ranks and service the mass of Mizrahim, who were victimized by and hated Mapai. And he did so, most successfully.

Indeed, unlike the Labor Party and its derivatives – Meretz, for example – which were and remain ethnic Ashkenazi parties whose leaders and voters are strictly white, the Likud, from Begin’s era to today, is an Ashkenazi party in that its leaders are Ashkenazi, but with an absolute majority of voters who are Mizrahi. In other words, Begin managed to maintain the ruling Ashkenazi hegemony with the votes of the Mizrahim.

And to even further preserve the Ashkenazi hegemony, and also perhaps because there developed a shortage of security guards and cashiers, a massive number of immigrants from the former Soviet Union were brought here, and anyone able to prove that his grandmother’s lover sneezed twice on Sabbath eve was declared a Jew, so long as he was properly white.

However, it has emerged that the black (ultra-Orthodox, Arab, Mizrahi) threat to the Ashkenazi hegemony really hadn’t been eliminated as it was thought. Thus the white tribe, including its Mizrahi voters, is organizing to continue to defend its rule as if its life depended on it. This is the main reason, if not the only one, that the Ashkenazi alliance (Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, Habayit Hayehudi and Hatnuah) kept the blacks (the Haredim, Arabs, and Mizrahim) out of the recently established government.

Whoever doesn’t get this ought to look at what’s developing in the run-up to the elections in Jerusalem and its satellites, such as Beit Shemesh, where once again the “Zionists,” i.e., the Ashkenazim, are forming strange alliances, from Meretz on the secular left to Habayit Hayehudi on the religious right, just to stand firm against the black threat of the Arabs, Haredim and Mizrahim

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BBC journalist on an expenses-paid propaganda trip to I$raHell

NOVANEWS

With the the worst brand reputation on the planet and a well-oiled international public relations campaign that is increasingly failing to pull the wool over people’s eyes, Israel has been able to call on an old friend: the BBC.

According to Electronic Intifada,

Dozens of young journalists, including at least one working for the BBC [Zahra Ullah of BBC Wales] are in Israel this week for a government-backed junket designed to give them “a more positive attitude” toward Israel’s policies.

The journalists are attending the Media in Conflicts Seminar (MICS) at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya (IDC Herzliya)…

The Media in Conflicts Seminar is hasbara for foreign media personnel, diplomats and youth from all over the world”, according to the website of Israel’s Ministry for Public Diplomacy (which was recently absorbed into the Prime Minister’s Office)…

The seminar’s purpose, according to a fundraising appeal issued by the organizers, “is to find young journalists who will work in the world of media, as well as those who aspire to be ‘opinion makers’ in their countries, and to put them through workshops about media coverage of conflict zones”.

The MICS’s official website says that the seminar includes “A 5-day fully subsidized stay in Israel (Not including airfare)” and a “strategic tour of Jerusalem and the conflict areas”. As well as seminars on “terrorism”, and military and political topics, the participants will meet Israeli political leaders, academics and senior Israeli journalists. The lucky students of Israeli propaganda will “develop skills to face the challenges of conflict reporting, create a priceless professional network and experience the world’s most covered conflict zone”.

According to Electronic Intifada,

The Media in Conflicts Seminar bears the hallmarks of Israel’s strategy to fight “delegitimization”, laid out in 2010 by the Reut Institute, a think tank with military-intelligence ties.

In an influential report, Reut recommended that Israel “maintain thousands of personal relationships with political, cultural, media and security-related elites and influentials” around the world.

2009 press release says the project is “Approved by the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora”…

The Media in Conflicts Seminar was conceived by the StandWithUs Israel Fellowship recipients in 2009.

StandWithUs is the multi-million dollar US-based anti-Palestinian advocacy group that works closely with the Israeli government.

The BBC is a publicly-funded broadcaster which is obsessed with neutrality – neutrality towards injustice, it seems. It owes the financially squeezed British public who fund it an explanation of why Zahra Ullah and goodness knows who else is attending this mega-Goebbels event

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Brand Ir$aHell self-destructs

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Israel - bloody hands

“It’s more important to be attractive than right”

By Stuart Littlewood

“Israel’s brand image does not serve its interests right now,” said Ido Aharoni, head of brand management at the Foreign Ministry, five years ago.

So Israel hired a British firm of image consultants.

Aharoni blamed their image problem on the strain of the Israel-Palestine struggle and the unwillingness of the Palestinians to curb their terrorism. In an interview with The Tartan, the student newspaper of Pittsburg’s Carnegie Mellon University, he said: “It is time for the Arab world to look in the mirror… What is the future of a society that nurtures the culture of death?”

Good question. But it is Aharoni’s own government that needs to look in the mirror. It assassinates opponents, routinely abducts Palestinians in the dead of night, demolishes their homes, confiscates their lands and strangles their economy. At the time of his remarks some 10,000 people, including women and children and lawmakers, languished in foul Israeli jails, many without charge or trial. Let’s not go into the number of kills, especially the children. It’s too upsetting. And let’s not even mention the murderous Lebanon adventures.

A brand overhaul would, one might expect, force an honest self-examination. But no.Haaretz reported Aharoni as saying:

Our research shows that Israel’s brand is essentially the conflict. Even those who recognize that Israel is in the right are not attracted to it, because they see it as a supplier of bad news. The conclusion is that it is more important for Israel to be attractive than to be right.

I do hope he wasn’t charged too much for those laughable findings – “more important to be attractive than right”. And while all the re-branding talk was going on, Aharoni’s colleagues were planning their infamous blitzkrieg on Gaza, codenamed Operation Cast Lead, and the mega-deaths that went with it.

What Israel needs: compelling brand positioning – and the magic of “chi”

The London firm that accepted this impossible challenge, Acanchi, said it aimed to “unlock the magic that can be used to create a compelling brand positioning”. To achieve this it would tap into a mysterious inner energy or life force called “chi”. “We believe that success for a country, city or region brand can be achieved by discovering, defining and channelling this chi into a brand positioning that reflects the core truths of a place.”

Fiona Gilmore, Acanchi’s boss, maintains that a new brand is always rooted in the reality and essence of the place. “We immerse ourselves in the place and its culture… The essence of a country has to be based on a core set of truths…” Gilmore and her team claim to be leading experts in these matters. “Acanchi delivers tailored positioning strategy solutions for countries, regions, and cities and is a pioneer in the field of developing holistic country positioning strategies,” says the website.

 

It is puzzling why a respectable firm of UK consultants would wish to repair the image of the Middle East’s most notorious land-grabber, ethnic cleanser and all-round threat to world peace.

 

One is left wondering if she ever managed to discover “the core truths and essence” of the Israeli regime and the place its tanks, occupation troops, helicopter gunships and white phosphorus bombs have in the Holy Land. The cruelly oppressed Christian and Muslim communities would love to know.

Her mission, according to Haaretz, was to create a brand disconnected from the Arab-Israeli conflict and focused instead on Israel’s scientific and cultural achievements, though how you can just sweep the ongoing crimes against humanity under the brand carpet isn’t explained.

It is puzzling why a respectable firm of UK consultants would wish to repair the image of the Middle East’s most notorious land-grabber, ethnic cleanser and all-round threat to world peace. Assuming that, as professionals, they observed the caveat that “no marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise”, how could their client – even with the help of chi’s magic powers – be made to smell like an English rose?

Yet by October 2008 Acanchi was said to be only weeks away from launching the new Israel brand.

What happened? Today, the only reference to Israel that I can find on the Acanchi website is the Fuel Choices Initiative.

Mission impossible

A brand is only as good as the actual product, its reputation and how it scores on all the measures people use to evaluate it. Upgrading the Israel brand can only be achieved if the product itself changes for the better. That would require a courageous and seismic change of attitude by committed Zionists, which isn’t about to happen. So, it remains a mission impossible.

That’s why, four years ago, “The Israel Project”, a US media advocacy group, produced a revised training manual to help the worldwide Zionist movement win the propaganda war, keep its ill-gotten territorial gains and persuade international audiences that its crimes were not only necessary but – would you believe it? – consistent with “shared values” between Israel and the civilized West.

 

There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank, so why is the illegal security wall still there – and still being built? Why are the occupation troops still there? Why are hundreds of checkpoints still there? Why is Israel still stealing land, demolishing Palestinian homes and building squatter colonies there?

 

The manual teaches how to justify the slaughter, the ethnic cleansing, the land-grabbing, the cruelty and the blatant disregard for international law and UN resolutions, all made more acceptable with a liberal sprinkling of persuasive language. It is designed to make us American and European “persuadables” believe that we actually share values with the racist regime in Israel and that its abominable behaviour therefore deserves our support.

This quote at the beginning sets the tone: “Remember, it’s not what you say that counts. It’s what people hear.”

The strategy from the start is to isolate democratically-elected Hamas and rob the resistance movement and the Palestinian population of their human rights. Here, for example, is the manual’s advice on how to make a begging-bowl military aid speech:

  • Israel makes the request for military assistance out of self-defense. As a democracy, they have the right and the responsibility to protect our borders. As a democracy, they have the right and the responsibility to protect their citizens.
  • Israel does not ask for US troops to protect itself. It does not ask for a single American soldier to protect its borders. It only asks for the funds for them to protect themselves. They need the equipment so that their own troops can ensure the safety of their civilian population through this gathering conflict with the enemies of democracy.
  • They didn’t ask to have our nation built in range of Iranian missiles. They didn’t ask that their nation be a focal point for religious extremists who have declared war on the West and on democracy. But they are, and they need your help.

And here’s the rationale behind it:

  • Americans fundamentally believe that a democracy has a right to protect its people and its borders. And while Americans don’t want to increase foreign aid in a time of significant budgetary deficits and painful spending cuts, there is one and only one argument that will work for Israel (in four easy steps):

1) As a democracy, Israel has the right and the responsibility to defend its borders and protect its people.

2) Terrorist groups, including Iran-backed Hezbollah and Hamas, continue to pose a direct threat to Israeli security and have repeatedly taken innocent Israeli lives.

3) Israel is America’s one and only true ally in the region. In these particularly unstable and dangerous times, Israel should not be forced to go it alone.

4) With America’s financial assistance, Israel can defend its borders, protect its people, and provide invaluable assistance to the American effort against the war against terrorism.

  • When the terror ends, Israel will no longer need to have challenging checkpoints to inspect goods and people. When the terror ends we will no longer need a security fence.

Can you believe this baloney? There are no rockets coming out of the West Bank, so why is the illegal security wall still there – and still being built? Why are the occupation troops still there? Why are hundreds of checkpoints still there? Why is Israel still stealing land, demolishing Palestinian homes and building squatter colonies there? And evidently the British and American administrations didn’t believe in democracy enough to allow Palestinian democracy to flourish after full and fair elections in 2006.

Also note how Hezbollah and Hamas are linked to the word “terrorist” and Iran. Both groups were created to resist Israeli terror.

  • Remind people – again and again – that Israel wants peace.

Reason One: If Americans see no hope for peace – if they only see a continuation of a 2,000-year-long episode of “Family Feud” – Americans will not want their government to spend tax dollars or their President’s clout on helping Israel.

Reason Two: The speaker that is perceived as being most for PEACE will win the debate. Every time someone makes the plea for peace, the reaction is positive. If you want to regain the public relations advantage, peace should be at the core of whatever message you wish to convey.

And here’s the manual’s advice on injecting “core values” into everything they say:

The language of Israel is the language of America: “democracy”, “freedom”, “security”, and “peace”. These four words are at the core of the American political, economic, social, and cultural systems, and they should be repeated as often as possible because they resonate with virtually every American.

A simple rule of thumb is that once you get to the point of repeating the same message over and over again so many times that you think you might get sick – that is just about the time the public will wake up and say: “Hey – this person just might be saying something interesting to me!” But don’t confuse messages with facts…

The propaganda manual runs to 116 pages packed with techniques of deceit and distortion, and is a thoroughly unpleasant piece of work which recycles many of the discredited methods used by the advertising industry before standards of honesty, decency and truthfulness were brought in to protect the public.

And it serves to undermine with clever words the inalienable rights pledged by the UN and the world’s civilized nations to all peoples, including the Palestinians.

When you have to rely on an elaborate lie machine led by Mark Regev, who has been described as “Israel’s Goebbels”, and the odious Danny Seaman, recently suspended for “unacceptable” remarks on Facebook, you’ve lost it. Your brand is already on the scrapheap.

Teaching students to lie and engage in cyber-warfare

This month saw a further escalation in Israel’s propaganda activity rather than improvements to the Israel product. The Times of Israel reported that “The Prime Minister’s Office is working to set up a network of advocacy units in Israeli universities, operated by students who will receive scholarships for their efforts totalling nearly 845,000 US dollars”. The plan aims to harness 550 bilingual students drawn from the student pool at the country’s seven universities, who will target their efforts abroad.

Haaretz, in its report, calls the initiative “online public diplomacy (hasbara)”.

And according to the International Middle East Media Centre,

program organizers say that all criticism of Israel constitutes “anti-Semitism” and should be combated using cyber-warfare and propaganda. To that end, they will be sending hundreds of self-proclaimed “student missionaries” to colleges around the world to promote the online propaganda program and to encourage students to support the Israeli government’s agenda.

PressTV points out that a liaison officer for the Zionist regime will oversee the dissemination of “rapid responses” from Israeli officials to news events, and coordinate with the regime’s other official bodies that deal with public diplomacy, including the Israeli military. One incensed commenter wrote:

You forgot to mention Israel ALREADY has over TWO MILLION trolls and serfs hired by Tzipi Livni after the slaughter in Gaza called “Operation Cast Lead” didn’t play so well in the world of humanity. This is on top of the millions and millions of spies, trolls and obfuscators Israel has in ITS back pocket, spewing LIES and HATRED on a daily basis.

When he returns from his suspension Seaman is expected to oversee this lamentable scheme to use students as cyber-tools in a propaganda exploitation of social media.

These are desperate times for the Israel brand – and truly desperate measures. The regime will eventually have to face it. Theirs is the worst brand reputation on the planet because they have nothing to give the world except trouble. They can’t patch it up or make it smell sweet with more lies and distortions.

Meanwhile other nations – especially the US and UK – need to beware “image transfer” and how association with Israel taints their own brand appeal.

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Study Finds Wealth Gives Rise to a Sense of Entitlement and Narcissistic Behaviors

NOVANEWS

ovadia

By Eric W. Dolan

Climbing the economic ladder can influence basic psychological processes within an individual.

According to a new study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin this month, wealth tends to increase a person’s sense of entitlement, which in turn can lead to narcissistic behaviors.

Paul Piff of the University of California at Berkeley told PsyPost “there is something about wealth that gives rise to a sense of entitlement, a sense that one deserves more good things in life than others, which in turn gives rise to an increased or inflated sense of self-importance, vanity, grandiosity, and omnipotence (narcissism).”

“Narcissism is a multi-faceted and complex construct, but that wealth is specifically associated with it suggests that as a person’s level of privilege rises, that person becomes increasingly self-focused – in a sense, becoming the center of their own world and worldview,” he explained.

“The studies in the paper measure narcissism in a whole host of ways, including measuring how likely someone is to stare at their reflection in a mirror (wealthier people do that more often). Even students who come from wealth, but have done little to create their own wealth (yet), report more entitlement. This suggests that wealth shapes an ideology of self-interest and entitlement that’s transferred culturally from one generation to the next.”

Piff conducted five experiments to investigate the associations between social class, entitlement, and narcissism.

The first experiment consisted of a survey that measured levels of entitlement and socioeconomic status. Piff found higher social class was associated with an increased sense of entitlement. Upper-class individuals were more likely to believe they deserved special treatment and feel entitled to “more of everything.” They were also more likely to believe that if they on the Titanic, they would deserve to be on the first lifeboat.

In the second and third experiments, Piff used other surveys with different measures of entitlement and socioeconomic status to confirm his initial findings.

In the fourth experiment, Piff discovered that upper-class individuals were more likely to look at their own reflections in a mirror, even when controlling for self-consciousness. The final experiment found that exposing upper-class individuals to egalitarian values reduced entitlement and decreased narcissism.

“Lots of important caveats to be aware of, including the fact that we are measuring correlations and averages across groups of people, which means that there are of course many exceptions to the patterns we document,” Piff told PsyPost. “Also, simple interventions can reduce narcissism among the wealthy, suggesting their narcissism is neither innate nor fixed. When wealthier participants in one study were asked to think about three benefits of treating others as equals, they subsequently became less narcissistic. Egalitarian values can reduce narcissism. The implications of this are fairly profound, I think.”

The Berkeley researcher has received a great deal of attention for his studies on how wealth influences behavior. His previous research found upper-class individuals were more likely to lie and cheat when gambling, cut people off when driving, and endorse unethical behavior in the workplace

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The Piper Report

The Piper Report Aug 26, 2013

by crescentandcross

mcp1

The sloppy ‘research’ done by so many in the ‘truth movement’ and how it is utilized by our enemies against us.

tpr-aug-26-2013.mp3

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