Archive | April 19th, 2014

Who are the Puppet Masters?


By: Neil Clark

Pictures and Captions by Lasha Darkmoon


Neil Clark reflects on the mindboggling hypocrisy and double standards of the US and its NATO puppet states. Why are these superbullies so intent on nation wrecking and chaos creation all over the world? Can it be because they seek world domination under a small, secretive elite of Puppet Masters?  (LD)

I’m confused.

A few weeks ago we were told in the West that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine was a very good thing. These people, we were told by our political leaders and elite media commentators, were “pro-democracy protestors”.

The US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these‘pro-democracy protestors’ even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

Now, just a few weeks later, we’re told that people occupying government buildings in Ukraine are not ‘pro-democracy protestors’ but ‘terrorists’ or ‘militants’.

Why was the occupation of government buildings in Ukraine a very good thing in January, but a very bad thing in April? Why was the use of force by the authorities against protestors completely unacceptable in January, but acceptable now?

I repeat: I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

VICTORIA NULAND: "Let them eat cookies!"

“Let them eat cookies!”

The anti-government protestors in Ukraine during the winter received visits from several prominent Western politicians, including US Senator John McCain, and Victoria Nuland from the US State Department who handed out cookies (pictured).

But there have been very large anti-government protests in many Western European countries in recent weeks, which have received no such support, either from such figures or from elite Western media commentators. Nor have protestors received free cookies from officials at the US State Department.

Surely if they were so keen on anti-government street protests in Europe, and regarded them as the truest form of ‘democracy’, McCain and Nuland would also be showing solidarity with street protestors in Madrid, Rome, Athens and Paris? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

A few weeks ago I saw an interview with the US Secretary of State John Kerry who said“You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” But I seem to recall the US doing just that on more than one occasion in the past 20 years or so.

Have I misremembered the ‘Iraq has WMDs claim’? Was I dreaming back in 2002 and early 2003 when politicians and neocon pundits came on TV every day to tell us plebs that we had to go to war with Iraq because of the threat posed by Saddam’s deadly arsenal? Why is having a democratic vote in Crimea on whether to rejoin Russia deemed worse than the brutal, murderous invasion of Iraq – an invasion which has led to the deaths of up to 1 million people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

We were also told by very serious-looking Western politicians and media ‘experts’ that the Crimea referendum wasn’t valid because it was held under “military occupation.” But I’ve just been watching coverage of elections in Afghanistan, held under military occupation, which have been hailed by leading western figures, such as NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen as a “historic moment for Afghanistan” and a great success for “democracy.”Why is the Crimean vote dismissed, but the Afghanistan vote celebrated? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

Syria too is rather baffling. We were and are told that radical Islamic terror groups pose the greatest threat to our peace, security and our ‘way of life’ in the West. That Al-Qaeda and other such groups need to be destroyed: that we needed to have a relentless‘War on Terror’ against them. Yet in Syria, our leaders have been siding with such radical groups in their war against a secular government which respects the rights of religious minorities, including Christians.

When the bombs of Al-Qaeda or their affiliates go off in Syria and innocent people are killed there is no condemnation from our leaders: their only condemnation has been of the secular Syrian government which is fighting radical Islamists and which our leaders and elite media commentators are desperate to have toppled. I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

color-al-qaeda-terror-web“They blame me for 9/11 — and here they are supporting me  in Syria!”

Then there’s gay rights. We are told that Russia is a very bad and backward country because it has passed a law against promoting homosexuality to minors. Yet our leaders who boycotted the Winter Olympics in Sochi because of this law visit Gulf states where homosexuals can be imprisoned or even executed, and warmly embrace the rulers there, making no mention of the issue of gay rights.

Surely the imprisonment or execution of gay people is far worse than a law which forbids promotion of homosexuality to minors? Why, if they are genuinely concerned about gay rights, do our leaders attack Russia and not countries that imprison or execute gay people? I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

We are told in lots of newspaper articles that the Hungarian ultra-nationalist party Jobbik is very bad and that its rise is a cause of great concern, even though it is not even in the government, or likely to be. But neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists do hold positions in the new government of Ukraine, which our leaders in the West enthusiastically support and neo-Nazis and the far-right played a key role in the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected government in February, a ‘revolution’ cheered on by the West.

Why are ultra-nationalists and far-right groups unacceptable in Hungary but very acceptable in Ukraine?

I’m confused. Can anyone help me?

We are told that Russia is an aggressive, imperialist power and that NATO’s concerns are about opposing the Russian ‘threat’.

But I looked at the map the other day and while I could see lots of countries close to (and bordering) Russia that were members of NATO, the US-led military alliance whose members have bombed and attacked many countries in the last 15 years, I could not see any countries close to America that were part of a Russian-military alliance, or any Russian military bases or missiles situated in foreign countries bordering or close to the US. Yet Russia, we are told, is the ‘aggressive one’.

I’m confused. Can anyone help me?


Russia, threatened by an ever-increasing number of American and Nato bases, is accused of being “aggressive”. But how would the US feel if it were surrounded
by Russian and Chinese bases?

Posted in Russia, UkraineComments Off on Who are the Puppet Masters?

US Guantanamo Detainee Killed in Syria While Leading NATO-Backed Death Squad

Global Research


The Long War Journal reported in its post, “Former Guantanamo detainee killed while leading jihadist group in Syria,” that:

Ibrahim Bin Shakaran, a Moroccan who spent more than three years at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before being released to Moroccan custody, has been killed while leading a jihadist group that fights Syrian government forces.

Bin Shakaran, who is also known as Abu Ahmad al Maghribi, Abu Ahmad al Muhajir, and Brahim Benchekroune, was “martyred, Insha’Allah, in battles for Hilltop # 45 in Latakia,” according to Kavkaz Center, a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.

Bin Shakaran led a jihadist group known as Sham al Islam, which is based in Latakia and is comprised primarily of fighters from Morocco, according to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Bin Shakaran created the group “not only to recruit fighters for the Syria war, but also to establish a jihadist organization within Morocco itself.”

Sham al Islam has been fighting alongside the al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, as well as Ahrar al Sham and the Army of the Emigrants and Supporters in an ongoing offensive in the coastal province of Latakia.

Curiously absent from The Long War Journal’s report is any mention of how Bin Shakaran made it into northern Syria in the first place. Clearly this is because it would involve mentioning Turkey, a long-standing NATO member, with NATO being the organization that invaded and occupied Afghanistan, and whom Bin Shakaran had been fighting and ultimately fled from before being captured.

The Long War Journal also makes mention of the Kavkaz Center, calling it “a propaganda arm of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.” Only the Kavkaz Center had been backed by the now defunct US National Endowment for Democracy-funded ”Russian-Chechen Friendship Society.” While The Long War Journal poses as a stalwart fighter of terrorism, its Western-backed counterpart, the Kavkaz Center is promoting terrorism in Russia.

The Long War Journal” itself is a project of the Neo-Con Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD). The FDD has counted among its membership US politicians and policy makers such as current US Vice President Joseph Biden, William Kristol, Steve Forbes, Charles Krauthammer, Paula Dobriansky – many of whom were signatories of the now notorious Project for a New American Century and who had been the chief proponents of the so-called “War on Terror” and the two costly conflicts fought in its name – the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The detention center in Guantanamo is part of the “War on Terror’s” legacy, a continuous point of contention between the US government and rights activists, and clearly a failure in its alleged role of keeping dangerous terrorists off the battlefield.

A Pattern That Fits Conspiracy

What Bin Shakaran’s case appears to prove, is that Guantanamo, and the larger “anti-terror” network maintained by the United States is instead redirecting terrorists from NATO theaters of operation to conflict zones NATO is currently unable to directly intervene in. In Bin Shakaran’s case, that conflict zone is northern Syria. Bin Shakaran is joined by fellow US detainees like Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who was fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan, was briefly captured in Malaysia and tortured by the CIA in Thailand, before then leading a NATO-backed assault on the Libyan government of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.

Other members of Bin Shakaran’s militant group were also Guantanamo inmates. This includes Moroccan-born Mohammed al Alami who Reuters reported on in their article, Former Guantanamo prisoner killed in Syria after joining Islamist brigade.” In it, Reuters stated:

A former prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base died fighting for anti-government rebels in Syria, according to an Islamist opposition group which posted a video of his funeral on YouTube.

Reuters would add:

Alami, was the second known former Guantanamo detainee to be killed this year, Zelin added. A Saudi second-in-command of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen in July.

Throngs of terrorists, whose leaders are former inmates held in US custody, harbored, funded, and armed within NATO territory, and sent into Syria with NATO air and artillery cover fits the pattern of a conspiracy rather than a series of very unlikely coincidences.

It was in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism? that prophetically stated (emphasis added):

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

It is more clear than ever, with the West’s own warmongering policy makers admitting terrorists kept at their detention centers are now spearheading the fighting in a war of their own design, that the conspiracy described by Seymour Hersh in 2007 had been executed in earnest in 2011 and is continuing today.

The US and its axis partners are not waging a “War on Terror,” they are waging a “War of Terror.” While they will attempt to portray the appearance of Bin Shakaran and others in Syria as the unfortunate result of poorly planned policy, it was, by their own admission, all part of the plan, years before the so-called “Syrian Arab Spring” began.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on US Guantanamo Detainee Killed in Syria While Leading NATO-Backed Death Squad

The New York Times agrees to be gagged by I$raHell

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Majd Kayyal was arrested and held incommunicado by Israel’s Shin Bet.

(Arabs 48)

Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times’public editor, has written a thoughtful and important piece criticizing the way the newspaper complied with an Israeli-imposed gag order on the case of Majd Kayyal.

But it leaves some important questions unanswered about the Times’ apparent eagerness to let Israeli censors set its news agenda.

Kayyal, a 23-year old journalist and activist and a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was detained incommunicado for five days by Israel’s Shin Bet secret police without access to a lawyer, following a return from a professional trip to Lebanon.

While the Times and other major media remained silent, The Electronic Intifada exclusively published the classified court transcript ratifying his detention and silencing the media.

After the gag order was lifted yesterday, following an appeal by the legal advocacy group AdalahThe New York Times finally published an article on Kayyal, which links to The Electronic Intifada’s coverage.


Sullivan’s piece makes a number of important points. First, Jodi Rudoren, the Times’Jerusalem bureau chief, considers herself to be bound by Israeli gag orders:

The Times is “indeed, bound by gag orders,” Ms. Rudoren said. She said that the situation is analogous to abiding by traffic rules or any other laws of the land, and that two of her predecessors in the bureau chief position affirmed to her this week that The Times has been subject to gag orders in the past. (An earlier version of this post said that The Times agrees to abide by gag orders as a prerequisite for press credentials, but Ms. Rudoren told me today that that is not the case, although it was her initial understanding.)

Rudoren’s confusion and her willingness to obey authority without asking questions are disturbing. And Sullivan’s piece also points out other contradictions which undermine Rudoren’s categorical claim that she must comply with government censorship. Sullivan writes:

I asked The Times’s newsroom lawyer, David McCraw, about the situation. He told me that he was consulted by Times journalists this week as they considered publishing an article about Mr. Kayyal’s arrest. Although the situation is somewhat murky, he said, “the general understanding among legal counsel in other countries is that local law would apply to foreign media.” Similar issues arise when America news media organizations cover the British courts, he said. But the restriction in Israel has not been tested, he said.

“I’ve never seen us actually challenge it,” Mr. McCraw said, because no situation has arisen that would force the issue.

Two ranking editors at The Times – the managing editor, Dean Baquet, and an assistant managing editor, Susan Chira (who was the foreign editor for eight years) – told me that they were unaware of The Times ever agreeing to abide by gag orders in Israel.


Sullivan also points to The Electronic Intifada’s coverage of Kayyal’s case and cites criticism from me and Yousef Munayyer:

Ali Abunimah, said in an email that “readers have a right to know when NYT is complying with government-imposed censorship.”

And Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center, wrote to me that this seems to go against journalistic principles: “It would seem to me that a story that a state specifically wants to prevent from seeing the light of day is something that should make a journalist’s mouth water. That’s what journalism is all about, isn’t it?”

Sullivan largely agrees with our points:

Waiting a day or two until the gag order was lifted may have done no great harm. Still, I find it troubling that The Times is in the position of waiting for government clearance before deciding to publish.

If the law makes that situation unavoidable, a little transparency would go a long way. Either in a sentence within an article or a short editor’s note, The Times can, and should, tell its readers what’s going on.

And so does the foreign editor Joseph Kahn, who told Sullivan that “in general he agreed with the idea of keeping Times readers informed in that way. ‘It makes sense to do that,’ he said.”


Sullivan’s article leaves a number of questions that still need answers:

Why does Rudoren believe she is bound by gag orders when two senior editors said they were unaware of the newspaper ever agreeing to be bound by such gag orders?

Contrary to the claim that Israeli gags have never been challenged, I found at least one instance where the Times does indeed appear to openly defy an Israeli gag order.

May 2008 article by Alison Leigh Cowan about corruption investigations into then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert states: “Police have imposed a strict gag order that forbids publication of information about the case in Israel.”

Yet the article goes on to provide Times readers with all the censored information, including the names of witnesses and suspects in the case that the gag order forbid media from naming.

Not all gags are equal

Sullivan’s piece mentions that the Times complies with gag orders imposed by British courts.

But there’s an important difference: while one may debate their merits, the kinds of gag orders typically applied to criminal trials in British (and Canadian) courts are intended to protect the rights of a defendant by ensuring that sensational or partial media coverage does not taint a jury.

One can argue plausibly that the public interest in impartial justice outweighs at least for the period of a trial the public’s right to know certain facts.

Nevertheless, The New York Times itself strongly criticized such gag orders in Canada twenty years ago.

But the Israeli gag order in the case of Majd Kayyal was intended to do the opposite: its purpose and effect was not to protect Kayyal, but rather to protect the Shin Bet’s ability to deprive him of fundamental rights and to do so in near total darkness. Journalists should challenge, not meekly comply with such orders.

Gagged in New York?

Even if it is true – as Rudoren says – that foreign correspondents based in occupied Jerusalem or present-day Israel must agree to abide by gags, there’s no reason why someone in New York could not have written a report on the case.

Ultimately, the Times report on Kayyal contained no information that required a physical presence in Jerusalem (it included a phone interview with Kayyal – and there are telephones in New York).

Indeed, last year, the Times blog The Lede reported on Israel’s so-called “Prisoner X” – the Australian citizen Ben Zygier who died in Israeli custody – despite a strict Israeli gag order that forbade even mentioning that the gag existed.

The Lede’s report appears to have been published before the gag was partially lifted.

(In an update to her post, Sullivan points out another instance where the Times did something similar in order to evade a gag in 2010.)

Unwilling to challenge

One must ask what would happen if The New York Times had challenged the Israeli gag in the Kayyal case. Would Israel be prepared to expel Rudoren? Would it shut down theTimes Jerusalem bureau?

It’s hard to imagine an Israeli government – even one as extreme and intolerant as the present one – being prepared to absorb the embarrassment such an attack on the international press would entail.

Still, the Times should be prepared to risk it and find out.

But that would take a very different kind of Times bureau – one prepared to challenge Israeli government actions rather than serve as Israel’s chief explainer and apologist. I’m not holding my breath.

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British war cemetery not immune to Gaza siege



Ibrahim Jeradeh is the Gaza War Cemetery’s longtime caretaker.

(Joe Catron)

On a recent, sunny afternoon, Kath Henwood, a Yorkshire paramedic volunteering in the Gaza Strip, walked through rows of headstones at the Gaza War Cemetery with a camera and notebook.

“My regular crewmate at work, in his spare time, researches World War II,” she said. “He’s really passionate about it.”

When Henwood learned of the cemetery, she said, “my first thought was to tell him about it.”

The cemetery, off Saladin street in northern Gaza City, is one of thousands maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), a consortium of AustraliaCanada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

It contains 3,691 graves, all but 474 of them for First World War troops from the Commonwealth of Nations. A further 210 are from the Second World War.

Others include Egyptian and Turkish soldiers, as well as Canadian United Nations peacekeepers.

Their memorials, from simple headstones to an imposing “cross of sacrifice” — a memorial found in numerous CWGC cemeteries — reflect their varied faiths: Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and secular.

And the careful landscaping and quiet solitude around them make the cemetery an attractive destination for everyone from picnicking families to students looking for a place to study.

After she told him about it, Henwood’s colleague sent her a list of 19 graves, and asked that she photograph them.

Ibrahim Jeradeh, the cemetery’s longtime caretaker, helped her find them quickly.

Later, sitting on a marble bench in the shade of the cross of remembrance, he spoke about the cemetery and his life taking care of it.

“Killing is no good”

“War is war, and killing is killing,” he said, passing a hot cup of sugary tea. It was a theme to which he would return again and again.

“In my mind, war is no good. Killing is no good.”

Now 77, Jeradeh started working at the cemetery, then overseen by his father, when he was 20. He officially retired as its head gardener at 65, when his son Issam replaced him.

“I don’t know about politics,” he said of the changes that have affected the cemetery over nearly a century since its founding by British forces after the Third Battle of Gaza in 1917. “I know about the trees.”

But politics have rarely left Jeradeh or his trees alone for long.

Headstones destroyed

In 2006, Israeli troops bulldozed the cemetery’s perimeter wall and six of its headstones. Months later, an Israeli military helicopter fired its cannon at one of the large memorial stones.

“Two dozen other headstones have been pockmarked by shrapnel from Israeli artillery and several have been completely destroyed,” The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported (Fury as Israelis damage war cemetery,” 13 November 2006).

During Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s military offensive against the Gaza Strip in late 2008 and early 2009, Israeli forces bombarded the cemetery, striking it with at least five shells and singing its grass with white phosphorous (“Israel shelled UK war graves in Gaza,” The Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2009).

The bombing again damaged the perimeter wall, along with 363 headstones (The mighty march of progress: British war graves in Gaza,” Ma’an News Agency, 9 November 2010).

“There were no fighters here,” Jeradeh said.

Rare demands for compensation

After each of these attacks, the British government lodged rare demands that Israel compensate it for the costs of repairing the cemetery.

Israel ultimately complied, paying £20,600 ($34,400) in 2008 and £40,000 ($67,000) —less than half the £84,000 ($140,000) requested — in 2011.

“We repaired it,” Jeradeh said. “All of it. Alhamdulillah [Thanks to God], it is like new.”

The Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip has also affected the cemetery. In February 2009, a year after Paul Price’s appointment as CWGC’s regional supervisor for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, he had yet to be allowed by Israel to enter Gaza (Battle still rages where my great-uncle fell in Gaza back in 1917,” The Observer, 22 February 2009).

In May 2013, a year after a seemingly simple pump failure had left the cemetery’s grass and flowers parched, the CWGC said that finally replacing the pump “proved challenging” (Gaza war cemetery returns to former green glory,” Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 30 May 2013).


Moshe Dayan sought to exhume the five Jewish graves in the Gaza War Cemetery.

(Joe Catron)

Despite its foreign affiliations — which ultimately afforded it some protection — the cemetery has also been targeted by Israel culturally, as well as militarily.

Following Israel’s 1967 seizure of the Gaza Strip, Moshe Dayan, then Israeli defense minister, sought to exhume the cemetery’s five Jewish graves and take them to Israel.

The attempt came as Israeli forces looted thousands of historical artifacts, particularly Jewish ones, from their newly-occupied territories, an effort in which Dayan participated enthusiastically as both a military official and a private collector (“Stealing Palestine’s history,” This Week in Palestine, 1 October 2005).

“I refused,” Jeradeh said, his eyes bright. “I was young then. I told him, ‘Go to our office in London.’”

“No difference”

“They are buried here. How could he take them? The Jews here are Jews, not Israelis. There is no difference here between Jews, Muslims and Christians. They are all human.”

Surrounded by fields of grass and rows of colorful flowers and polished stones, the troubles of occupation and siege seemed as distant as Jeradeh’s clash with Dayan.

Maintaining the cemetery’s immaculate condition is hard work, Jeradeh said, even in retirement.

“This is the best, cleanest place in Gaza,” he said. “I work hard to keep it nice.”

Officially, since his mandatory retirement, Jeradeh has served as the cemetery’s night watchman. “I keep this place completely safe,” he said.

In practice, his work as a gardener has continued, if not at the same rate.

“I don’t buy plants,” he said. “I use the ones from my nursery. And I teach the people who work with me.”

“You see all that?” he asked, his arm sweeping across the cemetery. “My drawings.”

“I am always here. Where else should I go? Twenty-four hours a day.” Still, he acknowledged that his pace may have slowed. “Seventy-seven years is a long time.”

He also spends time with visiting family, including four sons and nine daughters. When asked how many grandchildren he had, he laughed.

“I don’t want to remember,” he said, gesturing at a group of small girls peering curiously from behind a row of headstones. “More than a hundred. But they live outside, in Gaza.”

“I like to study,” he added. “I read books on history, geography, horticulture, medicine, everything. I am always reading. And I like writing. Every day, I write what happened to me.”

When asked how long he has kept his journals, he laughed again. “I don’t remember. I have books like this,” he said, gesturing at the height of his shoulder.

“But I started when I was young, and continued day by day, year by year.”

“You are happy writing here,” he said, pointing to a notebook. “The head is clear for it.”

He showed his study, a detached building, behind the larger gardener’s quarters at the cemetery’s edge, equipped with a personal computer and filled with stacks of books and printed articles.

“The pencil is dangerous,” he said. “The man who succeeds in his life writes the facts.”

Returning to the lush greenery of the cemetery, he said, “I don’t feel any problems here … Any man, if he likes others, the others like him. If you do good for others, others do good for you.”

“Everybody knows that war is war, and killing is killing,” he repeated, gesturing again at the thousands of stones surrounded by his carefully-tended flowers.

“Now everything here is history. No one here hates anyone else.”

Posted in UKComments Off on British war cemetery not immune to Gaza siege

I$raHell arms maker wins “unprecedented” contract at US-Mexico border

Submitted by Nora Barrows-Fr

Elbit Systems, a contractor for Israel’s wall in the West Bank, just secured a $145 million contract with the US government at the US-Mexico border.

This week on The Electronic Intifada podcast:

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Video: Writers witness I$raHell’s apartheid system in Hebron

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

This week, Israel permitted Jewish settlers to take over the building of the Rajabi family in Hebron after a long legal dispute which Israeli courts decided in the settlers’ favor.

The Rajabi building is seen as a strategic point which will allow the settlers to consolidate their control of a swath of territory linking the large settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron with settler enclaves in the heart of the city.

Settlers in Hebron are notoriously some of the most violent and racist against Palestinians.

To help understand the context for what is happening in Hebron, the Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) has released this short video.

“The 2013 Palestine Festival of Literature took place across historical Palestine, with events in Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus, Ramallah and Haifa,” the video’s description explains.

“In this video, one group of the festival’s international participants are shown around al-Khalil/Hebron, where Israel’s apartheid system is at its most explicit.”

One of the participants, Gillian Slovo, says: “I was born into the old South Africa. What I’ve seen since I’ve been here … is a similarity in the sense that a state is treating people differently according to who they were born to and where they were born.”

Slovo, a writer and novelist, is the daughter of Joe Slovo and Ruth First, two legendary fighters against apartheid.

In Hebron, Slovo observes, “you walk down streets where only foreigners and settlers can walk. And yet these are streets around which many Palestinians live and used to pass through. And that does feel to me like an apartheid system.”

The brief video is by Murat Gökmen who acknowledges the support of Issa Amro fromYouth Against Settlements and Walid Abu Alhalaweh from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.

It features music by Stormtrap Asifeh.

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I$raHell places journalist in incommunicado detention

Submitted by Ali Abunimah


Majd Kayyal was arrested and held incommunicado by Israel’s Shin Bet.

(Arabs 48)

Israel has arrested and placed in incommunicado detention the journalist and researcher Majd Kayyal, a Palestinian citizen of Israel.

The Electronic Intifada has obtained the closed court transcript and gag order – which Israeli media are strictly forbidden from publishing – extending the detention and interrogation of 23-year-old Kayyal under the auspices of the Shin Bet (also known as Shabak), Israel’s secret police.

The original document and a full translation are available below.

According to the court document, Kayyal is being investigated for suspicion of “unlawful travel to Arab countries” and “contact with a foreign agent.”

These are, according to the attorney representing Shin Bet, “serious offenses against the security of the state.”

These kinds of accusations are habitually used by Israel’s secret police to target and silence Palestinian citizens of Israel who are active in exposing and challenging Israel’s racist and undemocratic laws and practices.

As well as being a journalist, Kayyal is a web editor at Adalah, a legal advocacy organization for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Kayyal also participated in November 2011 flotilla attempting to break Israel’s maritime siege of Gaza. The flotilla, in which dozens of journalists and activists took part, was intercepted by Israeli forces.

Adalah has previously told the United Nations that the restrictions Israel imposes on Palestinian citizens’ travel to and meeting people from other Arab countries – so-called “enemy states” – are part of a policy that “seeks to impose severe limitations on social, cultural and religious ties between … Palestinian citizens of Israel” and the “wider Arab and Muslim nations.”


Adalah announced on its Facebook page that Kayyal was arrested on Saturday evening at the Sheikh Hussein crossing on the Israeli-Jordanian border.

However an attorney representing the Shin Bet said at a closed court hearing today that Kayyal had been arrested at his home in Haifa.

The news website Arabs 48 published on Facebook the mobile phone photo at the top of this post showing Kayyal as he was being arrested.


Majd Kayyal, second from right, takes part in a seminar in Beirut organized by As-Safir newspaper. (Muhammad Sharara/As-Safir/Facebook)

Kayyal “was returning from a conference he independently attended to mark the 40th anniversary of the As-Safir newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon,” Adalah said.

Kayyal has frequently written for As-Safir and wrote about his trip to Beirut – his first ever.

Kayyal considered his visit to Beirut a dream come true and posted images of himself in the Lebanese capital on his Facebook page.

Adalah noted that its lawyers “attempted to visit Kayyal at the detention camp, but the police issued an order preventing him from meeting with a lawyer.”

Closed hearing

On Sunday morning in a closed hearing, Israeli police asked a judge to extend Kayyal’s detention for 15 days, the maximum allowed under the law.

The judge Zayed Falah, a former military prosecutor, extended Kayyal’s detention until 22 April and imposed a total ban on media reporting about Kayyal’s arrest or detention. The judge also decreed that all court proceedings would be closed.

Falah also upheld the ban on Kayyal meeting with lawyers during his detention. Such bans can be extended for 48 hours at a time.

During the hearing, an attorney for Kayyal – who had not been allowed to meet Kayyal – questioned the police attorney regarding Kayyal’s detention.

The police attorney refused to provide details of the supposed evidence against Kayyal, stating that details were in a secret report provided to the judge. The police attorney said Shin Bet had yet to carry out most of its investigations.

Kayyal’s lawyer said that “prohibiting a meeting with an attorney is a gross violation of the suspect’s basic rights.”

Kayyal himself was then brought into the courtroom at which point his family and attorney had to leave the room. According to the court transcript, Kayyal stated:

I ask to be told the names of the attorneys and the court gave me their names. The court has explained to me about the prohibition from meeting attorneys until 14 April 2014, at midnight, and told me that the hearing was held in the presence of my attorneys, who asked the representative of the police questions. The court has explained to me that my father, mother and brother were present in the courtroom. I have nothing further to add.

The full court transcript, which the Israeli public are forbidden from seeing, translated by Dena Shunra, is published below.

Note: The Electronic Intifada has redacted the home address of Kayyal from the court transcript and from the translation.

Translation of court transcript

[Seal of the State of Israel]

At the Magistrate’s Court in Haifa

13 April 2013

Days of Arrest 23318-04-14 Central Unit vs. Kayyal

Before the honorable justice Dr. Zayed Falah

Petitioner: Police Central Unit Versus Suspect Majd Kayyal


  • Attorney for the petitioner – Warrant Officer Marcel Daman
  • Attorney for the suspect – Adv. Aram Mahamid and Adv. Fadi Khouri
  • Suspect – no appearance (he is brought into the court after the interrogation by the attorney for the suspect and the summaries)
  • Relatives of the suspect – his father, brother and mother


Attorney for the Petitioner

Restates the content of the petition. Presents the investigative file to the court for perusal. Presents secret material.

Attorney for the Petitioner, in response to questions from the attorney for the suspects:

Q: Are you informed about all the investigative actions taken to date:

A: No.

Q: Have you given the court all the investigative material that has already been collected?

A: Indeed.

Q: Does the material presented to the Court include investigative memoranda and investigative actions that have already been done?

A: Yes.

Q: Have you also conveyed all of the actions that are yet to be taken?

A: Yes.

Q: At what stage is the investigation?

A: The investigation is still at its very beginning. The suspect was only arrested yesterday. According to the material that was found, he is expected to be investigated a few more times and the full future plan is before the court. I cannot commit myself to the number of investigations because I am not an investigator.

Q: What is the suspect suspected of?

A: What appears in the warrant. Contact with a foreign agent, leaving the country unlawfully.

Q: Is there a version for the suspicions?

A: {it is] all before the court. I have not investigated him and I will not investigate him. It’s all by the Security Service [Shabak].

Q: About the foreign agent crime – is it known who he is?

A: I cannot specify. It is all in the secret report.

Q: What are the circumstances of the contact with the agent?

A: It’s indicated in the secret report. As to dates – there is no exact date, everything is in the secret report.

Q: About the two suspicions – are they related?

A: I think so.

Q: Did the contact with the foreign agent happen while he was carrying out the second offense?

A: The investigation is being performed by the security services. All the material is before the court, for perusal. I cannot specify beyond this.

Q: An order restraining a meeting with an attorney at 8. The arrest warrant was issued at 9:30. Explain the gap.

A: It’s a technical computer transaction, [it took] until we took out the computer. He was arrested yesterday evening. He was apprehended at 19:50 hours. This restraining order is under the responsibility of the security entities.

Q: In the matter of the order – did you explain the suspect that he is prohibited from meeting an attorney?

A: I did not review the content of the warning because the security service did the investigation. All the material is before the court and there is a secret report attached. The security services could not appear in court, and that is why I am here.

Q: Did he wish to give a message to his relatives?

A: I know that there was contact with his relatives. He was informed that he is under arrest. Beyond that I have no idea.

Q: Did you inform one of his relatives that he is restrained from contacting an attorney?

A: I have no answer about that. It is in the investigative material.

Q: Was the suspect investigated about one event or about several events?

A: All the material is before the court, all the actions taken from the moment he was arrested to this day. I cannot confirm the number of events.

Q: Can you confirm that the suspect cooperated in his interrogation and answered all the questions?

A: I have not reviewed what was investigated and asked. I was asked to come [here] for extension of the detention. The security services continue their investigation. All the material is before the court.

Q: How many investigative activities did you do yesterday?

A: A preliminary investigation and a continuation today. I don’t know how many investigations were done yesterday. There was a preliminary investigation.

Q: Explain why you are asking for 15 days of detention?

A: These are serious offenses against the security of the state and there is material to be investigated.

Q: Are there details of all 15 days that require his continued detention, in the form of a work plan?

A: There are not specific details of each stage and what is done every day. The actions that are detailed could change, because they are dynamic. They cannot be done when he is discharged. The suspect was arrested at his home in Haifa.

Q: Was the search performed in one house or two?

A: The material is in the investigative file.

Q: Did you have a search warrant?

A: Yes. I know about the search warrant at the up-to-date address, which the Israel Police has. I know one address, [REDACTED] Street.

Q: Did you issue search warrants to two addresses?

A: I issued a search warrant for [REDACTED] Street, which is his address, as recorded in his personal ID card.

Q: Confirm that the suspect has no criminal record.

A: I did not examine his criminal record.

The attorney for the petitioner summarizes:

I repeat the petition. I ask that it be fully granted.

The attorney for the suspect summarizes:

This is a 23-year old journalist, with no criminal record, who was apparently apprehended on the Israel/Jordan border. Since his arrest he has not been permitted to consult an attorney. No notice was given to his attorney and/or his family to visit him in his detention nor with regard to the prohibition on his meeting an attorney. As you know, and it is decided law, that prohibiting a meeting with an attorney is a gross violation of the suspect’s basic rights. I ask the court to take this into account and examine how many actions are required when the suspect is under arrest. I ask that he be released immediately. Alternatively, that he be released under conditions. As another alternative, that the number of days required under detention be reduced.

The suspect is brought into the courtroom, his family and attorney leave the room.

The suspect:

I ask to be told the names of the attorneys and the court gave me their names. The court has explained to me about the prohibition from meeting attorneys until 14 April 2014, at midnight, and told me that the hearing was held in the presence of my attorneys, who asked the representative of the police questions. The court has explained to me that my father, mother and brother were present in the courtroom. I have nothing further to add.


  1. I have before me a request to extend the suspect’s detention for 15 days, due to suspicion of committing the crimes of contact with a foreign agent and unlawful travel to Arab countries.
  2. I have reviewed the evidentiary material presented to me and have been persuaded that there is reasonable cause to suspect that the suspect has committed the crimes he is charged with. I have also been persuaded that there is the risk that if he is released he could disrupt the investigation and endanger public security.
  3. I have perused the secret report prepared by the Shabak, which I have marked BM/1. This report includes background, investigative actions taken, and investigative actions that are still required, and I have been persuaded that the security entities must be permitted to complete their investigation fully, to come to the study of the truth.
  4. I considered the possibility of releasing the suspect for an alternative form of custody and come to the conclusion that at this stage, there is no space for any alternative.
  5. I have taken into account the fact that an order has been issued to prohibit meeting an attorney and I have also taken into account that the court must be permitted to oversee the investigative actions performed by the security entities, and for this reason I have decided to grant a number of detention days [than those] requested.
  6. For this reason, I am extending the detention of the suspect until 22 April 2014, at 10am.
  7. I issue an order prohibiting publication with regard to all proceedings in this case until 22 April 2014 at 10:00 and the proceedings will be held in camera until that date.

These minutes constitute reference for the detention.

Handed down and informed today, 13 Nissan 5774, 13 April 2014, in the presence of those persons present.

Dr. Zayed Falah, Judge


Original court document

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on I$raHell places journalist in incommunicado detention

The Kosher Trinity and Jewish Quantum Mechanics


DEBATE – Anti-Semitism: myth or reality. A Talk Given By Gilad Atzmon @ The Albion Beatnik Book Shop, Oxford, UK April 15, 2014

Einstein with tongue outGood evening book lovers and wisdom seekers.

As some of you have realised the title of this debate morphed slightly since I  initiated it. The discussion  was first titled ‘Anti-Semitism, A Myth or A Threat.’ We are now supposed to engage in a dialogue on ‘Racism, a Myth or a Threat.’

Ladies and gentleman, this shift in the title is, actually, more significant than it first appears. It is actually a manifestation of our confusion and fear of looking at Jewish identity, politics, culture and ideology.

There is no doubt amongst scholars that Jews, as a group, derive from multiple ethnic origins and are far from a homogenous race. There is no racial continuum between a Polish Jew and a Yemenite one. But it is also obvious that Jewish political culture, whether Zionist or ‘anti’ is ethno-centric and, to a large extent, racially driven. Just like Israel, the Jews-only State, Israel’s Jewish opponents too often prefer to operate within Jews-only organisations such as ‘Jewish Voices For Peace,’ ‘ Jews for Justice,‘ etc’. In short, whether they are Zionist or ‘anti,’ Jews somehow prefer to operate in ethnically segregated racially oriented political cells.

The conclusion is obvious -though Jews are not a race, Jewish identity politics is racist to the core.

We can now rephrase the title of the debate slightly and ask whether Jewish racism is a myth or a threat. Let me tell you straight away, this won’t lead into an interesting discussion. Jewish racism is evident and it is certainly a threat.

Five million ethnically cleansed Palestinians can confirm that this is the case. Their brothers and sisters that stayed behind,  against all odds, can tell you about Israeli ethno- centrism and racially discriminatory laws. Even here, in the UK, my Palestinian friend, the poet, Naiad Izzat, was expelled from a Palestinian solidarity group by so- called good Jewish socialists just for saying what she thinks about Jewish culture and politics. So here is another embarrassing conclusion. Jewish racism is easily visible  as a threat but for some reason we cannot address it in the open.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on The Kosher Trinity and Jewish Quantum Mechanics


The Frost Programme – Oswald Mosley (15th Nov 1967)

David Frost confronts Mosely, Frost is very sharp, funny at times. But Mosely,  former head of the British Union of Fascists,  stands firm. He holds his position and presents his rational. They discuss the alliance with Hitler, racism and anti Semitsm. Around 14 minutes in, the Jewish mob attacks. This is a must watch!


Reading for Revolution Part 3: DIY Strategies for Study Groups


Assata on education

I recently published an article in the journalPerspectives on Anarchist Theory, sharing some suggestions for how to form revolutionary study groups.  It is available for free download here:  DIY study strategies.  Feel free to distribute it if you find it useful.  This is the third part of a series on revolution, education, and reading; the first two parts can be found here.

The full issue of the Perspectives journal focuses on anarchist strategizing, and can be purchased here, from the Institute for Anarchist Studies and AK Press.

In the article, I lay out some methods for learning from each other instead of treating the text or the facilitator as an authority.  I also wrestle with how to navigate differences in literacy skills among study group participants, and suggest some practical and creative ways to make texts and discussions more accessible to folks who have varying degrees of access to formal education.

The article includes reflections on a study group the Black Orchid Collective did together last year, and the appendix includes step-by-step outlines of a particular group session, writing prompts, and graphic organizers for note taking that we’ve developed.

My hope is that other affinity groups, collectives, and learning commons projects will engage with this and provide critical feedback based on your own experiences learning together.  I also hope you all will write up your own reflections on collective study so that we can share practical tips with each other for how to learn outside of the capitalist education system.  Our enemies have their think tanks, schools, and universities.  We have processes of freestyle thinking and learning that cannot be enclosed, and that can grow rhizomatically if we put in the effort to make it happen.

If folks are interested in continuing these conversations, I write semi-regularly for the blog Creativity Not Control.  It’s a collaborative project I’ve been working on with several public school parents; we are also involved in organizing against the school to prison pipeline and other forms of inequality in the schools.  We want learning for life, not for labor.  If this resonates with you, we welcome guest posts and collaboration in Seattle and beyond.

Posted in Education, PoliticsComments Off on Reading for Revolution Part 3: DIY Strategies for Study Groups

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