Archive | November 22nd, 2013

Ethiopian migrants victimized in Saudi Arabia

Ethiopian migrants in Saudi Arabia

By Graham Peebles

In recent days the persecution of Ethiopian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has escalated. Men and women are forced from their homes by mobs of civilians and dragged through the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah. Distressing videos of Ethiopian men being mercilessly beaten, kicked and punched have circulated on the internet and triggered worldwide protests by members of the Ethiopian diaspora as well as outraged civilians in Ethiopia. Women report being raped, many repeatedly, by vigilantes and Saudi police. Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) has received reports of 50 deaths and says thousands living with or without visas have been detained awaiting repatriation.

Racism and hate running through the streets

Earlier this year the Saudi authorities announced plans to purge the kingdom of illegal migrants. In July, King Abdullah extended the deadline for them to “regularize their residency and employment status”, from 3July] to 4 November. On 6 November, Inter Press Service (IPS) reports, Saudi police, “rounded up more than 4,000 illegal foreign workers at the start of a nationwide crackdown“, undertaken in an attempt, the authorities say, to reduce the 12 per cent unemployment rate and create more jobs for locals.

Ahead of the crackdown many visa-less migrants left the country: nearly a million Bangladeshis, Indians, Filipinos, Nepalis, Pakistanis and Yemenis are estimated to have left the country in the past three months. More than 30,000 Yemenis have reportedly crossed to their home country in the past two weeks, and around 23,000 Ethiopian men and women have “surrendered” to the Saudi authorities.

The police and civilian vigilante gangs are victimizing Ethiopian migrants, residing with and without visas; the crackdown has provided the police and certain sectors of the civilian population with an excuse to attack EthiopiansPress TV reports that “Saudi police killed three Ethiopian migrant workers in the impoverished neighbourhood of Manfuhah in the capital, Riyadh, where thousands of African workers, mostly Ethiopians, were waiting for buses to take them to deportation centres”. Hundreds have been arrested and report being tortured. “We are kept in a concentration camp, we do not get enough food and drink, when we defend our sisters from being raped, they beat and kill us,” a migrant named Kedir, told ESAT TV. Women seeking refuge within the Ethiopian consulate tell of being abducted from the building by Saudi men and raped. ESAT reports that several thousand migrants have been transported by trucks to unknown destinations outside the cities.

While the repatriation of illegal migrants is lawful, the Saudi authorities do not have the right to act violently, beating, torturing and raping vulnerable, frightened people who wish simply to work in order to support their families. The abuse that has overflowed from the homes where domestic workers are employed onto the streets of the capital reflects the wide-ranging abuse suffered by migrant workers of all nationalities in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf States.

Trail of abuse

This explosion of state-sponsored violence against Ethiopians highlights the plight of thousands of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. They tell of physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of employers, agents and family members. The draconian kafala sponsorship system, which grants ownership of migrants to their sponsor, together with poor or non-existent labour laws, endemic racism and gender prejudice, creates an environment in which extreme mistreatment has become commonplace in the oil-rich kingdom.

There are over nine million migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, that is 30 per cent of the population. They come from poor backgrounds in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and Ethiopia, and make up more than half the work force. The country would grind to an embarrassing standstill without their daily toil. “Many suffer multiple abuses and labour exploitation [including withholding of wages, excessive working hours and confinement], sometimes amounting to slavery-like conditions”, Human Rights Watch states.

The level of abuse of domestic workers is hard to judge: their isolation, combined with total control exerted by employers and government indifference, means the vast majority of cases go unreported. Until August this year there was no law covering domestic abuse. Legislation has been passed but the authorities, Human Rights Watch reports, “are yet to make clear which agencies will police the new law [and] without effective mechanisms to punish domestic abuse, this law is merely ink on paper”. All pressure needs to be exerted on the rulers of Saudi Arabia to ensure the law is implemented so  that victims of domestic violence feel it is safe to come forward.

Ethiopian government’s negligence

While thousands of its nationals are detained, beaten, killed and raped, the Ethiopian government hangs its negligent head in silence in Addis Ababa, does not act to protect or swiftly repatriate its nationals and criminalizes those protesting in Addis Ababa against the Saudi actions.

Although freedom to protest is enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution, dissent and public demonstrations, if not publicly outlawed, are actively discouraged by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) regime.

In response to the brutal treatment meted out by the Saudi police and gangs of vigilantes in Riyadh and Jeddah, outraged civilians in Addis Ababa staged a protest outside the Saudi embassy, only to be confronted by their own police, wielding batons and beating demonstrators. Al-Jazeera reports that the Ethiopian police “arrested dozens of people outside the Saudi embassy [in Addis Ababa] in a crackdown on demonstrators protesting against targeted attacks on Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia”. A senior member of the Semayawi (Blue) Party, Getaneh Balcha, was one of over 100 people arrested for peacefully protesting.

The government’s justification, rolled out to defend yet another repressive response to a democratic display, was to assert that the protest “was an illegal demonstration”, occurring “without a permit from the appropriate office” – petty bureaucratic nonsense, hiding the undemocratic truth that the government does not want public protests of any kind on the streets of its cities. The protestors, an official said, “were fomenting anti-Arab sentiments here among Ethiopians”. Given the brutal treatment of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, anger and anti-Saudi (not anti-Arab) sentiment is, one would imagine ,understandable and should be shared by the Ethiopian government.

The people of Ethiopia are living under a duplicitous and highly repressive regime. The EPRDF consistently demonstrates its total indifference to the needs and human rights of the people. Freedom of expression, political dissent and public assembly are denied by a regime that is committing a plethora of violations of human rights in various parts of the country, atrocities constituting in certain regions crimes against humanity. In fact, according to Genocide Watch, the Ethiopian government is committing genocide in the Somali region, as well as against the Anuak, Oromo and Omo ethnic groups ,or tribes.

The recent appalling events in Saudi Arabia have brought thousands of impassioned Ethiopians living inside the country and overseas onto the streets. This powerful worldwide action presents a tremendous opportunity for the people to unite, to demand their rights through peaceful demonstrations and to call with one voice for change within their beloved country.

The time to act is now. As a wise man has rightly said, “nothing happens by itself, man must act and implement his will”.

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The daylight between I$raHell and the West

Netanyahu and Hollande

By Jamal Kanj

This week the 5+1 are back negotiating the easing of economic sanctions against Iran and a new and unprecedented rigid inspection regimen, including daily nuclear reactor checks to verify compliance.

According to US State Department reports, the agreement calls for a six-month “reversible” 10-billion-dollar relief reducing the cost of sanction against Iran from approximately 100bn to $90bn dollars.

Leaked excerpts from the draft accord compel Iran to limit its enrichment to less than 20 per cent (19.75) purity and convert 20 per cent of its stockpile of enriched uranium into fuel rods, “rendering it unusable for the higher level enrichment necessary for nuclear weapons”.

Following the breakthrough, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs flew to Tel Aviv to brief Israeli officials on the impending agreement.

France’s Zionist lobbyists

Fearing an accord with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, urging him to delay the signing and giving him an opportunity to leach his US lobbyists to force the US government to back off.

Fabius, the son of a wealthy Jewish art dealer who converted to Catholicism, was a staunch Israeli advocate while serving as French prime minister in 1984-86 during Francois Mitterrand’s administration.

Netanyahu’s lobbying was combined with an 11th hour cajoling from long time Israeli Likud party subordinate Meyer Habib, a member of the French parliament, who warned Fabius that Netanyahu will attack Iran “if you don’t toughen your position”.

Succumbing to the Israeli prime minister’s blackmail, Fabius took the unusual step of using the French-Inter radio to criticize the very draft agreement he helped negotiate.

Mind you, this comes from a leader of the same Socialist party that introduced nuclear weapons to the Middle East in the mid-1950s, sending French engineers to build Israel’s first nuclear reactor. Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion claimed then the project was a colossal pumping station to desalinate seawater.

Israel is run by amoral political leaders who will do and say anything to get what they want. Recent resurfaced reports have revealed that Tzipi Livni – current chief peace negotiator and Israel’s justice minister – secured a rabbinical edict permitting her to “prostitute” during her service with the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency in Europe.

Israel’s real aim

Israel is not interested in verifiable measures to end Iran’s military nuclear ambitions, not even in the physical dismantlement of its nuclear programme. Israel would not stop short of eliminating Iran’s technological know-how, as it did by assassinating Iraqi scientists before and during the American occupation of Iraq.

Discussing the impending agreement with Iran, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz, declared: “We want an outcome more like Libya…”

Responding indirectly to Israeli concerns, the US secretary of state told NBC’s “Meet the Press” news programme on 17 November: “We are not blind, and I don’t think we are stupid.”

Fooled once, twice shy

It is, however, apparent that Netanyahu believes otherwise. He was caught on video in 2001 telling Israeli settlers: “I know what America is. America is a thing that can be easily moved, moved in the right direction.”

They “moved” America in 2003, persuading it to invade a country in order to destroy its non-existent “weapon of mass destruction”, a war that was paved with the blood of more than 4,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, before sending the US economy south.

Fearing a repeat of the Iraq blunder, two prominent policy experts from two different administrations, Democratic Zbigniew Brzezinski and Republican Brent Scowcroft, issued a joint statement early last week urging the US to seize the “historic opportunity… to achieve our non-proliferation goal”.

Brazened by the recent dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, Israel will not rest until it drags the US into another Middle Eastern quagmire.

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Naziyahu: Iran wants to wipe I$raHell off the map



I$raHell Hayom

Progress has been made, but much remains to be done after the second day of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany over Iran’s controversial nuclear program. The emerging interim deal is supposed to span six months, during which a long-term agreement will be negotiated to ensure Iran will not maintain the ability to develop nuclear weapons.

The White House has not publicly provided a figure, but congressional officials said Wednesday Iran could get $6 billion to $10 billion in sanctions relief over six months as a first step, with additional relief depending on progress made toward a final deal.

Jerusalem, however, is concerned that reducing sanctions as part of an interim deal will prevent Iran from negotiating a permanent agreement.

An unnamed official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s entourage to Moscow said the interim deal might end up being the final deal.

In a meeting with the heads of Russia’s Jewish community, Netanyahu said, “The Iranians deny our past and repeat their commitment to wipe the State of Israel off the map. This reminds us of the dark regimes of the past that plotted against us first and then against all of humanity.”

“The real Iran is what the leader of Iran, Khamenei, said yesterday,” Netanyahu said. “He called Jews ‘rabid dogs’ and said that they were not human. The public responded to him with calls of ‘Death to America! Death to Israel!’ Doesn’t this sound familiar to you? This is the real Iran! We are not confused. They must not have nuclear weapons. And I promise you that they will not have nuclear weapons.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also addressed the Iranian issue, saying “the speech of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the true face of the Iranian regime.”

Homefront Defense Minister Gilad Erdan added that “it is a disgrace that these comments were not condemned by representatives from the United States or the European Union.”

Meanwhile in Geneva, a senior European official told Israel Hayom that the six powers offered an alternate interim deal as a “preliminary agreement of [mutual] understanding leading up to a final agreement,” in the event that a final deal is not in reach.

“This will contribute to an atmosphere of trust between the sides and will give momentum to the negotiations,” the official said. “We believe any type of deal will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

The Iranians arrived in Geneva with new demands, requesting an additional clause emphasizing their right to enrich uranium as well as the rolling back of gold and banking sector sanctions. One of the key issues of the talks is when and how the six powers will recognize whether Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium for nuclear power purposes.

The demand to close the heavy-water plant in Arak also raised a division in the talks. The new Iranian demands are a reaction to the amendments added by the French delegation in the second round of talks and have forced the P5+1 to come up with creative solutions in order to advance negotiations.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Thursday that France will “continue with the hard-line” position and will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear bomb. Fabius said he believed the world powers were united in their stance on the issue.

Iran sets the pace

The Iranians for their part have not presented a united front. While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was optimistic following his meetings with European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, his deputy Abbas Araqchi warned of a “lack of trust” between Iran and the six powers.

“The negotiations are not simple,” said an Iranian source close to the talks. “The Iranians are sticking to their request to enrich uranium.”

A reporter from the Gulf region said Thursday that the Americans have not yet understood how the Iranians negotiate. From the American perspective it’s about “give and take,” he said, but for the Iranians there is only “take and take.”

Despite the fact that sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy, the passing time allows for advancement of the nuclear program.

Ashton’s spokesman Michael Mann said that “at the end of this negotiation process, as I’ve said, what we need is for Iran to provide complete and utter reassurance to the international community about the purely peaceful nature of its nuclear program, and … the overall aim of this is that Iran, once it has done that and verified and proved the purely peaceful nature of its nuclear program, hopefully could be treated as any other member of the Nonproliferation Treaty, with the same rights but also the same obligations.”

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I$raHell called shots from Grassy Knoll?


Former US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated downtown Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

Former US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated downtown Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.
By Kevin Barrett

I recently published an article entitled: “Confession, jury verdict prove CIA killed JFK.”

But though we know that the CIA was at the center of the coup d’état against John F. Kennedy, the details have not all been resolved. Specifically, we do not know everything about the precise chain of command, whose idea it was in the first place, and which powerful figures proposed or signed off on the assassination. And we do not know everything about the relative power levels of the various players: who sought whose okay, who was giving orders and who was taking them, who was paying whom, and so on.

My recent radio guest Dr. Laurent Guyénot believes that Michael Collins Piper’s thesis – that Israel and its global Zionist crime syndicate were major players if not THE main player in the JFK assassination – must be taken seriously.

Israel had a powerful motive. According to a recent Jerusalem Post article:

“History shows that some issues are so critical that even the president of the United States cannot force Israel’s hand…The sharpest example took place almost 50 years ago, when John F. Kennedy demanded that David Ben-Gurion end Israel’s nuclear deterrent program, deemed necessary to ensure Jewish survival in a very hostile world.”

Ben Gurion haughtily refused to answer JFK’s letter demanding that Israel abandon its nuclear aspirations. Instead, he resigned. Six months later, JFK was publicly executed. A few years after that, Ben Gurion got his nuclear weapons… and his longed-for war of aggression to steal Jerusalem.

Those who see the Zionists as prime movers in the JFK assassination argue that none of the other anti-JFK factions had such an overpoweringly existential motive, nor a track record of such wildly reckless deception and violence. Without Zionist involvement, the US military, CIA, and organized crime might have pushed back against JFK using gentler means.

Were the Zionists really in a position to set the JFK assassination wheels in motion? Skeptics argue that Israel is just a tiny entity of eight million people, so it is preposterous to imagine that it is dominating the US empire or steering history. Yet the facts are otherwise: The tiny Zionist entity of eight million people, together with its millions of fanatical loyalists all over the world, clearly dominates US foreign policy, and has done so since the murder of JFK. It seems that the JFK coup d’état was a turning point: The Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies ran independent foreign policies focused on US interests not Israeli interests. But since the slaughter of the Kennedies, the US has been an abject slave of Israel.

How could the Israelis have engineered a coup d’état in America? Michael Collins Piper’s Final Judgment suggests that the power of money – and the treason of CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton – are the keys to understanding the real chain of command behind the JFK assassination.

James Jesus Angleton was the CIA’s liaison to the Mossad – and a de facto Mossad mole. As Guyénot reminds us:

“Angleton’s closest professional friends overseas […] came from the Mossad and […] he was held in immense esteem by his Israeli colleagues and by the state of Israel, which was to award him profound honors after his death.”

As CIA counterintelligence chief, Angleton would have “authorized” the killing of JFK by convincing other CIA and military figures that JFK was a knowing or unknowing agent of the communists. He quite likely did this at the instigation of his Israeli friends. Once JFK had been deemed a traitor and an enemy agent by CIA counterintelligence, Agency underlings could be mobilized against their Commander-in-Chief.

After the assassination, Angleton led a diversionary operation falsely blaming the Russians. Chief Justice Earl Warren was convinced to cover up the conspiracy against JFK after he was told that the Russians were behind the killing, and if the truth came out, the result would be thermonuclear war.

Besides owning America’s counterintelligence chief, the Zionists had another trump card in their designs on JFK’s life: The power of money, especially the dirty money that fuels the covert operations of the CIA and its organized crime partners. Michael Collins Piper explains that when we “follow the money” behind the JFK assassination, we find Zionists holding the purse strings.

New Orleans DA Jim Garrison discovered that the covert operators behind the JFK coup were financed by a black-ops bank called Permindex, a subsidiary of a Swiss bank owned by legendary Mossad financier Tibor Rosenbaum. Permindex itself was chaired by Louis M. Bloomfield, the Israel lobby chieftain and kingpin of the Bronfman family of Canada. The Bronfmans have long been associated with Meyer Lansky’s crime syndicate, and are one of the biggest “money powers” behind Israel.

So the Zionists were at the top of the money pyramid that “owned” the CIA black operators. They also owned the organized crime elements that participated in the assassination.

It turns out that Rosenbaum’s Swiss bank was not only financing CIA black ops, including the JFK murder, but was also mob chieftain Meyer Lansky’s prime “money laundry.” (Lansky was the head of all organized crime in America, because he controlled the purse strings.)

It is telling that high-level Israeli CIA mole James Jesus Angleton has managed to stay largely off the radar screen of most JFK assassination investigators, while mid-level guys like Howard Hunt and William Harvey, and low-level guys like Frank Sturgis and David Sanchez Morales, have been widely pilloried for their roles in the JFK killing. Likewise, lower level crime bosses Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana got whacked before they could testify to the House Select Committee on Assassinations – while their boss, the Zionist crime-bankster Meyer Lansky, lived to a ripe old age.

And let’s not forget that Clay Shaw, a board member at Permindex, got publicly fingered and died relatively young, while his Zionist bosses Bloomfield and Rosenbaum successfully remained in the shadows.

And speaking of “follow the money”: Many JFK assassination researchers assume that President Kennedy’s decision to end the Federal Reserve’s private monopoly on American currency was one of the motives for the assassination. Let us note, for the record, that Zionists play a disproportionate role in the banking cartel that owns the Federal Reserve.

Though we have hard proof that the CIA played a central role in JFK’s assassination, the circumstantial evidence pointing above and beyond the CIA is compelling. Michael Collins Piper’s book “Final Judgment” makes a strong case that Israel was a leading force behind the assassination of JFK.

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Naziyahu’s estimate for Iran nuclear breakout “Sheer Nonsense”

Talks aimed at pausing Iran's nuclear enrichment capabilities are stalled by the French.  Netanyahu fears are dismissed by experts.
Photo: Delegates from the P5+1 and Iran meet in Geneva (AP/Fabrice Coffrini)
John Glaser

WASHINGTON, November 20, 2013 – Claims from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran has enough low enriched uranium to make up to five nuclear weapons in a matter of weeks are not plausible, according to experts.

In an interview with a German newspaper published Tuesday, Netanyahu said, “The Iranians already have five bombs’ worth of low-enriched uranium,” which they could build within a matter of weeks after making the decision to rush for a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu’s estimate is a “chalkboard equation that does not match up with the realities of what it would actually take for Iran to breakout,” Daryll Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, said in an interview.

“It is designed to create a sense of alarmism,” about the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany).

The high-level talks, which fell apart in Geneva last week after France unexpectedly vetoed a deal the rest of the parties reportedly agreed upon, aim to reach a first phase agreement that would pause Iran’s enrichment capabilities in exchange for limited sanctions relief until a final deal can be reached sometime in the first half of 2014.

Muhammad Sahimi, professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California, said Netanyahu’s estimate of a breakout time is “sheer nonsense.”

“Iran does have a significant stockpile of LEU [low-enriched uranium], but it would take 9 months to convert them to crude bombs, and much longer to useable warheads (1-2 years at least),” Sahimi added. “There is no evidence that Iran does have the capability of miniaturizing the bomb for a missile.

In addition, Kimball explained, “If Iran were to decide to try to race to produce a sufficient quantity of highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon, it would be, even with current safeguards in place, easily detected well before they were to reach that point.”

Iran’s enrichment facilities are inspected “every 1-2 weeks, and in some cases more often,” by the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

The U.S. and its European counterparts, along with Russia and China, are largely optimistic about reaching a deal that would reliably undermine Iran’s ability to begin a nuclear weapons program, which U.S. intelligence has concluded it has not yet done.

But U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia insist any deal that fails to completely halt Iran’s civilian nuclear program is a bad deal. Israel in particular has been lobbying much of Congress to oppose the negotiations and increase economic sanctions on Iran.

This obstructionism, however, could actually increase the likelihood that Iran’s nuclear program is expanded.

Iran’s ability to produce fissile material “would be even more worrisome if the P5+1 and Israel fail to seize this opportunity to pause Iran’s nuclear progress,” Kimball said, adding that Netanyahu’s “approach is a strategy for failure, because this is a good deal.”


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Senate’s #1 Iran Hawk: ‘I Ran for Senate To Fight for the Survival of the State of I$raHell’


During an invitation-only phone briefing for supporters, one of the Senate’s top Iran hawks relished his battle with the Obama administration over the imposition of more sanctions against Iran amid the latest round of diplomatic negotiations underway in Geneva. During the call, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., reserved special attacks for Secretary of State John Kerry and lead U.S. negotiator Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

“It’s the reason why I ran for the Senate, [it] is all wrapped up in this battle. I am totally dedicated to the survival of the state of Israel in the 21st century,” said Kirk, whose office framed the call as an update on Iran’s nuclear program and Kirk’s efforts to pass additional sanctions. “This has been very much a one-senator show, unfortunately,” he said of his confrontational, public approach.

Kirk is leading the Republican effort to introduce new sanctions in the Senate. Along with six co-sponsors, Kirk on Tuesday announced his intention to introduce amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual bill that budgets for the military, that would increase sanctions on Iran and impose restrictions on any possible interim nuclear deal with Iran. The effort is currently being held up by the upper chamber’s Democratic leadership.

The 28-minute phone call with Kirk, which occurred on Monday afternoon, was by invitation only, but Salon reporters obtained an invitation and RSVPed by name to Kirk for Senate finance director Barret Kedzior.

On the call, Kirk gave a frank account of his cooperation with the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee to ram new sanctions through the Senate. He delivered unusually strident attacks against top U.S. diplomats on the call, citing their main objective in talks as “desperately want(ing) a New York Times article saying how great they are.” Kirk also vowed to supporters to pursue an individual line of communication with international nuclear inspectors working on Iran to verify that Iran would keep to any agreement it struck with world powers in Geneva.

A spokesperson for Kirk, when asked about the senator’s outspoken criticism of U.S. diplomats, responded, “It is no secret that Sen. Kirk believes the administration’s offer to give $20 billion in sanctions relief to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism while allowing Iran to advance its nuclear program will make war in the Middle East more likely, not less.”

The Illinois senator was unsure whether he would succeed in ramming through new sanctions. He said Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose procedural powers have reportedly held up the amendment, was sending mixed signals to the Senate Banking Committee, “which is always where AIPAC wanted this legislation written because it has such a potential for bipartisan support in the Senate Banking Committee” — one of Kirk’s assignments.

“Plan B is marking up in the banking committee with something that [AIPAC chief] Howard Kohr and AIPAC have gotten us floor time from Harry to do an amendment to the upcoming NDAA whose debate is coming up as early as this week,” Kirk told his supporters on Monday, apparently not anticipating Reid’s block. (Neither AIPAC nor Reid’s office responded to requests for comment. Reid announced today he supports passing new sanctions after the Thanksgiving recess.)

Not one to shy away from harsh criticism of the U.S.’s top diplomats and negotiating team, Kirk’s attack offered unusually personal attacks against the Obama administration officials who delivered a classified briefing to senators last week asking that they delay the latest sanctions push.

“If you see the administration’s negotiating team lined up in these classified briefings, not one of them speaks a word of Farsi or brings any expertise on Iran to the table,” he said. “If I was going to run a Democratic primary I would definitely hire our current negotiating team,” Kirk said. “And that would be Kerry and Wendy and the president’s sole qualification for getting on this team is whether you can be a reliable partisan or not,” he added, referring to Secretary of State Kerry and Under Secretary of State Sherman (by her first name).

Kirk raised an issue he’d brought up in public remarks after the briefing — his admonishment of administration officials for telling him, according to Kirk’s account, to discount Israeli officials’ assessments of the Iran deal being negotiated in Geneva — but gave a richer level of detail.

“Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer gave me the collective estimate of Israeli intelligence as to where the Iranians are and Wendy Sherman said, ‘Don’t look at that. Israeli intelligence is not correct,’” Kirk recounted to his supporters. “So Wendy Sherman would tell me not to believe Israel’s intelligence service and I took her on pretty strongly. The message that I gave to her was, ‘If you tell the American people that Israeli intelligence is bad, that’s not gonna be a dog that will hunt very well.’”

The Israeli embassy did not respond to calls for comment about their alleged briefing of Kirk.

Israeli officials have been predicting an imminent Iranian nuclear weapon since the early 1990s. In Israel’s recent public campaign against the deal being negotiated in Geneva, Israeli officials have been unable to agree on just how much sanctions relief is on offer to the Iranians; the Obama administration, for its part, has called all the Israeli numbers “inaccurate, exaggerated, and not based in reality.”

Kirk offered guarded praise for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the Democrats’ leading sanctions hawk and a fellow member of the Senate Banking Committee, because of his tough questioning of Obama administration officials.

“Bob Menendez has been very good in these classified briefings. He has been the only Democrat who takes the administration on pretty calmly and pretty forcefully,” Kirk said. “Always see Bob Menendez as an ally of the pro-Israel community because of what he does in private.”

“In public,” Kirk added, damning the pro-Israel stalwart with faint praise, “I’d say he’s pretty good.”

Kirk also described to his supporters an arrangement he made with a prominent Washington nuclear expert to establish direct contact with an international nuclear inspector working on Iran.

“I spent an hour and a half meeting with David Albright, the best analyst,” Kirk said. “David has put me in touch with one of the inspectors, and once I talk to this guy I think I’m going to get a pretty disheartening picture about the fantastic regime of inspection that Kerry keeps selling us on. I’ll call the guy, who is in the U.K. right now, to ask him, ‘What is your day like and where have you actually been?’” (Albright declined to comment for this story. A spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog conducting inspections in Iran, said, “I don’t think we would have any comment on that.”)

Despite the cautious praise for Menendez, Kirk presented himself to supporters as the lone voice sticking up to the Obama administration in classified briefings.

“Now I know exactly what Galileo felt like when he was dragged before the papal court,” Kirk said.

But Galileo caved under pressure, and disavowed his scientific work. Kirk seems unlikely to give up his hard line on Iran.

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Kerry Calls Khamenei’s ‘Rabid Dog’ Comment ‘Inflammatory’


With talks over Iran’s nuclear program ongoing in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry today criticized Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s comment that Israel is the “rabid dog” of the Middle East.

“Obviously we disagree with it profoundly … It’s inflammatory, it’s unnecessary, and I think at this moment when we are trying to negotiate what can and can’t be achieved, the last thing we need is names back and forth,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Khamenei made the comment in a speech to Basij paramilitary members in Tehran on Wednesday, the Associated Press and others reported. Khamenei has empowered President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to seek a deal with the U.S., Europe, Russia, and China that would roll back international economic sanctions. On Wednesday, he stressed limits to Iranian concessions.

Depending on how negotiations progress in Geneva, Kerry could fly there before talks are scheduled to end Friday.

“Obviously we don’t believe that anything is served with, you know, names that challenge everybody’s sense of propriety and justice and rectitude. We’ve been through this before, as we’ve heard prior, very disturbing assertions regarding the Holocaust,” Kerry said. “We need to move away from this.”

French President Francois Hollande has called the comment “unacceptable,” the AP and the Times of Israel reported.

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Jewish groups embrace Senate sanctions announcement


From AIPAC to J Street, Jewish groups cast announcement about Iran sanctions vote as reflective of their own policy advocacy


Jewish groups greeted with enthusiasm the announcement that the Senate would begin hearings on increased sanctions against Iran after the Thanksgiving break, although groups on different sides of the political spectrum worked to cast Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) announcement in a way that aligned with their lobbying efforts.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an AIPAC source said that the organization welcomed the announcement. The official added that the organization, which has actively lobbied for increased sanctions — and, in doing so, evoked the ire of the Obama administration — sees the announcement and the subsequent bill as important statements about the resolve of Senate Democrats and Republicans to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Late last month, top-level administration members met with the leadership of AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) to try to convince the groups to tone down their support for stricter sanctions against Iran. AIPAC announced shortly after the meeting that it would not comply with the request, and lobbying for Senate action on an Iran sanctions bill continued.

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman initially complied with the administration’s request, but then publicly reversed tack, and resumed advocating for additional sanctions. He said that he was “comforted” by the Senate announcement, “because it sends a message where Congress is — that Congress understands the need for additional sanctions, and that whatever happens by December 8, it will either be an additional incentive or consequences for a no-good deal.”

Foxman, who has expressed concern about the emergent deal taking shape in Geneva, added that “if there is any agreement coming out of Geneva, this is a message that Congress will watch and test the commitment made by Iran.”

Israel has also pushed hard for legislation. Minister of Economics and Trade Naftali Bennett worked the halls of Capitol Hill last week to push senators toward such legislation, and to mobilize members of the House, who approved a similar bill over the summer by a landslide vote of 400-20, to call on their Senate colleagues to do the same.

On the other side of the lobbying spectrum, J Street cast the Thursday afternoon announcement in a very different light, claiming that Reid’s announcement was a victory for the administration and those who had pushed for a delay in additional sanctions.

The organization was the first to issue an official response to Reid’s commitment to bring a sanctions bill to a vote in the Senate after Thanksgiving, saying that “J Street welcomes the Senate’s decision not to advance new sanctions legislation at this time.”

J Street emphasized the delay rather than the promise to hold a vote, saying that because the Senate will “take no action until after the Thanksgiving recess,” the delay “should give the Obama administration and its international partners the time they need to reach this first-step agreement with Iran.”

J Street has been lobbying senators to hold off on additional sanctions legislation, echoing the administration’s arguments that new sanctions — while talks are underway in Geneva — could strengthen “opponents of a deal in Tehran, undermining the international coalition that built the sanctions and sabotaging the negotiations.”

In its statement, J Street argued that the question of additional sanctions should be revisited after an interim agreement is reached, and emphasized that at that point, Congress should “assess, with the help of the administration, whether or not further sanctions may be either warranted or helpful.”

The organization is aligned with the administration in asserting that the alternative to diplomatic resolution is the “only way to avoid one of two nightmare scenarios — either the Iranians develop a bomb, or military action becomes inescapable to stop them from doing so.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Jewish groups embrace Senate sanctions announcement

I$raHell not interested in world peace

In an interview with Press TV, Foad Izadi, a professor at the University of Tehran, shares his thoughts regarding the comments made by Iran’s Supreme Leader about Israel.

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: It is interesting what Iran’s Leader has said in the respect where how Iran has been portrayed as being the bad guy but in essence it is Israel. Tell us more about your reaction to the comments there made by Iran’s Leader.

Izadi: I think it is not secret that in Geneva last time Iran and P5+1 almost reached an agreement. The agreement was very close and it was due to Israeli pressures that the agreement did not materialize.

The fact that the Israeli government is not really interested in world peace, not really interested in peace in this part of the world, it is interested in basically its own security which it defines by restricting other countries to have peaceful nuclear programs. That causes problems for a lot of people.

In fact, what I think is actually true is that even the current government in Tel Aviv does not serve the interests of its people. I think we have a political party headed by BB Netanyahu that is basically interested in its own survival. They have basically sold the threat of Iran to Europeans, to the United States, to other places.

They have benefited and profited from making Iran a threat and causing difficulties for Iran, and they want to continue with that. That is how they exist. They exist by causing difficulties, starting wars, causing tensions and I think that is what the Israelis have been doing.

So when you see the Leader of Islamic Revolution pointing this out, referring to difficulties that these people have caused, not only the neighbors but also the international community, I think he is basically presenting the facts that are on the ground.

Press TV: It is interesting how they say, ok, the US and Israel at this point are not meeting eye-to-eye with Israel but I think this rift is quite wide. I mean, John Kerry was supposed to go to Israel.

We still do not know if he is and some of the reports are indicating that he is going to go on Friday but that is after the talks are over. What is your observation regarding what appears to a rift between Israel and the US, especially on Iran and the talks of course?

Izadi: I think we need to maybe reword your question. I think there is a rift between Obama’s team and Netanyahu’s team.

Israel has a lot of friends within the United States; the US Congress is very much in line with Israeli interests instead of Americans’ interests and because of the relationship that the Zionists have among each other, we have a situation where we have some senators and members of the House of Representatives that are more in line with the Israeli prime minister than their own president and that is very sad for a country like the United States that at least some time ago was a superpower.

So this is the difficulty that we have, the difficulty that there are some political leaders in the United States that are serving Israel and that is causing problem not only for Iran, it is also causing problem for people of America.

Press TV: And pretty much a yes/no question at this point, Foad Izadi, I wish we had more time to talk to you but do you think there will be a deal in Geneva?

Izadi: 50-50, I think the first step is not going to be very difficult. I think the last step is going to be much more difficult.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on I$raHell not interested in world peace

Court tells I$raHelli gov to explain why ‘racist’ rabbis not prosecuted



Israel Hayom

Torat Hamelech, a book on the Halachah and its treatment of non-Jews during war, continues to generate controversy, some four years after its publication.

The book, which literally means “The Way of the King,” was authored by two prominent national religious rabbis — Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur — who allegedly make the case that killing noncombatant gentiles during war was sanctioned by the Bible under certain circumstances.

On Wednesday, the High Court of Justice said Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and the State Attorney’s Office have three months to explain why no charges were pressed against the authors of the book. The ruling comes after the Israel Religious Action Center and the Coalition Against racism in Israel petitioned the court to have Weinstein overruled. Weinstein will also have to explain his decision not to prosecute Kiryat Arba and Hebron Chief Rabbi Dov Lior and the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva head Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, who endorsed the book. Rabbinical endorsements are usually written by well-respected figures to elevate the author’s standing and vouch for his or her credibility.

According to the petitioners, they turned to the court only after repeated pleas to the State Attorney’s Office and the attorney-general were ignored. According to their lawyer, Leora Bechor, the rabbis should be put on trial for inciting to racism. “The book is laden with highly racist comments that incite to violence against Arabs and other minorities in Israel; this also amounts to sedition.”

Yuval Roitman, who represented the state, told the court that the petitioners failed to show there was an error in the way the case was handled or that Weinstein’s decision to shut the case merited the court’s intervention. He added that Weinstein, “even as he announced his decision, said the “book should be condemned and denounced.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Court tells I$raHelli gov to explain why ‘racist’ rabbis not prosecuted

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