Archive | May 7th, 2014

Abu Hamza ‘secretly worked for MI5’ to ‘keep streets of London safe’

NOVANEWS

Radical Islamic preacher helped police and British intelligence ‘defuse tensions with the Muslim community’, his lawyer claims

Abu Hamza taking notes during proceedings

A court drawing of Abu Hamza taking notes in Manhattan federal court, New York Photo: JANE ROSENBERG/REUTERS

By , New York

07 May 2014

Abu Hamza, the radical Islamic preacher notorious for his hate-filled sermons, was in reality working secretly with British intelligence “to keep the streets of London safe” by “cooling hotheads”, his lawyer claimed in a US court.

Holding up what he said were reports from Scotland Yard, Joshua Dratel described the cleric as an “intermediary” who cooperated with MI5 and the police to try to end foreign hostage-takings and defuse tensions with the Muslim community in Britain.

The extraordinary admission will fuel conspiracy theories that he was allowed to preach hatred without arrest for so long in the UK because he was working with the security authorities

His portrayal of the fiery Egyptian-born imam presented a very different picture from the one laid out by earlier by prosecutors who have accused him of operating a global terror network from the Finsbury Park mosque in north London.

Mr Dratel, the lead defence attorney, made the startling claim as Hamza prepared to take the witness box in his own defence in his New York trial where he has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of terrorism.

The lawyer was arguing against a prosecution request for the judge to block the cleric from talking about any dealings with British authorities that did not relate directly to the allegations against him in court.

Hamza was extradited to the US in 2012 after serving a six-year jail term in Britain for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder.

During his trial in the UK in 2006, Hamza claimed he was in regular discussions with MI5 and Special Branch between 1997 and 2000.

He claimed then that he was told he could continue to preach “as long as we don’t see blood on the street”.

The alleged discussions occurred at a time of heightened concern in the UK over the amount of Islamist extremists sheltering here, which led to the nickname “Londonistan”.

Hamza told the Old Bailey then that it was not until 2000 that he was then warned he was “walking a tightrope”.

Abu Hamza speaking outside Finsbury Park Mosque in London, 2003 (PAUL GROVER)

In New York, he now faces much more serious charges of funnelling cash and recruits to al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, involvement in a hostage-taking in Yemen in which three Britons were killed and trying to set up a jihad training camp in Oregon.

The cleric, who is on trial just a few streets from the scene of the Sept 2001 terrorist strikes on the World Trade Centre, has previously praised those 9/11 attacks as a “towering day in history” and lauded Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda founder.

But Mr Dratel contended that his client was in fact just making those outrageous statements to appeal to parts of the Muslim community.

“He’s going to testify that he took a certain position publicly for a certain reason, but at the same time his intention was to de-escalate, to avoid wider war and to keep the streets of London safe,” Mr Dratel told Judge Katherine Forrest in deliberations before the jury was ushered into the federal courtroom.

He said that Hamza expressed his true “intent” in discussions with Scotland Yard and MI5. “It goes to the theme of our defence that he was an intermediary, that MI5 asked him on multiple times to act in hostage situations, cool down the community and maintain a sense of order,” he argued.

Mr Dratel said he was working from 50 pages of reports of Scotland Yard – “their notes of what was said” – in dealings with Hamza between May 1997 and August 2000, the period covered by US charges against him.

“The documents were provided by the UK,” he said. “They touch on virtually every conflict that we are talking about in this case – Algeria, Bosnia, Yemen, Afghanistan.”

There were rumours that Abu Hamza was in some way being protected by the police or security services (GETTY)

The fact that Hamza was able to preach publicly in Britain for so long before he was apprehended fuelled rumours that he was in some way being protected by the police or security services, but there was never any confirmation of this.

Mr Dratel cited specific cases in which he said that the British authorities turned to Hamza for his assistance.

After arrests were made in Britain related to the civil war in Algeria, Hamza was asked “how the community is reacting and how to keep the community in equilibrium”, he said. “He agreed to do so and made proposals.”

On another occasion, when a British captive was taken in Kashmir, Hamza was reportedly asked to try to intervene as he had connections with the hostage-taking group from his time in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Mr Dratel said his client made “some phone calls” but was unable to help.

And the lawyer said that after two suspects in the 1998 US embassy bombings in east Africa were subsequently arrested in Britain, there was a discussion between Hamza and the authorities about “cooling the hotheads”.

The judge later sided with the prosecution and ruled that Hamza could not testify about dealings with British intelligence. The defence said that it would ask her to review her decision on Thursday, in the light of other cases which they would bring to her attention.

Hamza lost both his arms and an eye in Afghanistan, but the US judicial authorities have removed his famous prosthetic hook as a security risk to himself and others.

Instead, he used a prosthetic limb with a pen attached to scribble notes on post-it paper and passed them to his lawyers sitting next to him in the wood-panelled courtroom on the 15th floor, overlooking lower Manhattan.

Wearing a light blue T-shirt and black track suit bottoms, with a silver beard and his steel-rimmed glasses held in place by a cord around his neck, he struck a much less sinister figure than the ranting imam who delivered incendiary statements and sermons in London.

The jury later watched in rapt attention as a New Zealand woman described the terrifying ordeal of a group of Western tourists taken hostage by Islamic radicals in Yemen in 1998. Three Britons were killed in an intense gun-battle with Yemeni soldiers as the militants used their captives as human shields.

Hamza is accused of helping to organise the hostage-taking to obtain the release of several Britons, including his son, who had been arrested with suspected bomb-making equipment by Yemen.

Mary Quin, the witness, went to the Finsbury Park mosque in 2000 to confront Hamza about his alleged role and taped the encounter. In excerpts played to the court, he told her that the hostage-taking was justified “Islamically” and that it was intended to help secure the release of “my people”.

He acknowledged speaking to the lead kidnapper during the crisis and that he had provided the gang with a satellite phone.

Hamza, who faces a life sentence if convicted, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Posted in UKComments Off on Abu Hamza ‘secretly worked for MI5’ to ‘keep streets of London safe’

Hacked E-mail Reveals Qatar’s Devious Plans to Smuggle Chemical Weapons to Syria Terrorists

NOVANEWS

 

al Ahed News

Earlier this year, a news report revealed an email in which Qatar asked Britain’s arms contractor, BRITAM to transport chemical weapons to the Syrian town of Homs.
The email was revealed after BRITAM servers were hacked and megabyted of classified internal files were released to the public.

From the hacked documents, an e-mail revealed startling facts. The mail is written by Britam Defense’s Business Development Director David Goulding to Dynamic Director of the firm Phillip Doughty, who is a former SAS officer.

In the mail, Goulding is seeking advice about a proposed shipment of Chemical Weapons requested by Qatari meant for Syrian city of Homs.

The transcript of the hacked E-mail:

Phil

We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.

We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.

They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

Kind regards David.

Several conclusions can be drawn from the above mail:

The demand of a Russian speaking personal could mean that ‘unknown elements’ wants to put the blame on Russia for the use of Chemical weapons.

Recently, Barack Obama warned that any attempt made by Syrian President Basher al-Assad would mean a ‘red-line’, authorizing US to intervene in the troubled Syrian conflict.

The plotted operation, if successful would provide an ideal platform for attack on Syria.
The hacked file contained the list of Ukrainian people working in Iraq, supposedly for forging videos.

Several employees might not be enlisted as the folder /Iraq/People/ contained the photocopies of passports of several other Ukrainians. There are also some Serbs/Croatians and Georgians in the list who also might be filmed as ‘Russians’, quoted Voltairenet.org.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Hacked E-mail Reveals Qatar’s Devious Plans to Smuggle Chemical Weapons to Syria Terrorists

No Red Line Requiem for Dead Syrian Soldiers

NOVANEWS

Palestine Chronicle

The latest evidence of a chemical weapons attack in Syria has emerged in the form of a video proudly filmed by the perpetrators themselves, the so-called ‘lions’ of Jabhat al Nusra, Al Qaida’s Syrian franchise, listed by the US as a terrorist organization yet used by the US and its allies in their continuing campaign to destroy Syria in the process of destroying the Syrian government. Wandering across open fields in the southern Dara’a province, they move from body to body of Syrian soldiers, occasionally prodding them with the toes of their shoes or flipping over name tags to see who they are. The soldiers are young, most in their late teens or early 20s. Perhaps they are conscripts. Some are huddled in groups. Others are scattered where they fell. There must be 40 or 50 of them, maybe more, hard to tell because the camera is moving all the time.

Not one of these dead young men has a wound on his body. They are completely unmarked. Except for their absolute stillness and wide open staring eyes they could be sleeping. Some are still clutching gas masks and if not, masks lie close to the hands of others, as if they were overwhelmed before they had time to put them on. The scattered nature of the bodies suggests that the soldiers were running away when they fell. These men were not fighting but escaping something terrible – something they could not fight.

That they were not killed by conventional weapons is clear. The blistered faces of some suggests the use of mustard gas but without inspection of the site or the bodies it will be impossible to determine exactly what was used to kill them. Almost certainly the answer lies somewhere in the realm of chemical weapons. There is no conflicted narrative here. This is the clearest untainted evidence so far in Syria of a chemical weapons attack yet not only will there not be an inquiry, the mainstream media has completely ignored what has happened.

This apparent chemical weapons attack follows an attempt by Jabhat al Nusra and other groups operating in Dara’a province to storm a military complex at Tal al Jabiyya where chemical weapons are believed to be stored. Reports indicate that the takfiris came close to overrunning the base in March before being warned off by the US command and control center across the Jordanian border at Mafraq for fear that the chemical weapons would fall into their hands. As a last resort the Israelis were said to be prepared to launch bombing raids to prevent the base being taken over. Israel, of course, treating wounding takfiris in its hospitals and providing them with battlefield equipment, is deeply involved in the campaign against Syria and is supporting the takfiris but not to the point where they can get their hands on unconventional weapons that might one day be used against their Zionist sponsors. To the extent that Israel is the greatest single beneficiary of the campaign against Syria, the Palestinians are the greatest losers. That is axiomatic.

It is surely a striking coincidence that within weeks of the takfiris closing in on an apparent chemical weapons complex in Dara’a, some kind of chemical weapon seems to have been used against Syrian soldiers in the same province. Is it possible that the takfiris actually broke through and got their hands on some of this material, explaining why not even the official Syrian media is mentioning what happened to its soldiers in the province?

In the past two years the media has done its best to suppress or twist the evidence linking the takfiri groups to chemical weapons attacks. It ignored the film of these people experimenting on rabbits before deploying chemical weapons in the field.  It ignored the video evidence of these weapons being loaded up and fired. It ran the line that the chlorine-based chemical weapons attack on the Syrian army outpost at Khan al Assal last year was probably the work of the Syrian military.  It heaped blame for the chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus on the ‘regime’ when it was completely unlikely from the start that it was in any way responsible. It refused to look at the holes in the evidence even when the UN inspectors had exposed them. It refused to look at the evidence that bodies had been moved around and neither did it ever attempt to find out who these dead children were and where they came from (Alawi children kidnapped from Latakia remains one possibility). All it could do was snigger at the Syrian nun who showed them what journalism should be about.  So-called ‘human rights’ organizations took up the call, peddling false information and adding to the momentum for a direct military attack on Syria.

The ‘evidence’ on which these governments, newspapers and human rights organizations based their accusations against the Syrian ‘regime’ has long since completely collapsed. The work of two leading US scientists on the probable trajectory of the chemical weapons indicates that these weapons were fired by the ‘rebels’ themselves. The counter and more compelling narrative has been fortified by Seymour Hersh’s two reports. The first showed that Barack Obama suppressed evidence from his own intelligence agencies indicating that the ‘rebels’ were most probably responsible. It also showed that the sarin apparently used in the attack was not stocked by the Syrian military but was of the lower grade ‘kitchen’ sarin known to have been produced or sought by the takfiri groups. His report also showed that the Israeli and US military intelligence had been keeping a close watch on supplies of chemical weapons in the hands of the Syrian military. Neither reported any movement of this material in the period before the attack.

Going for Bush over Abu Ghraib is one thing but going for Obama over Syria is something else and the ‘liberal’ press in the US refused to touch this report and the second follow-up report Hersh published in the London Review of Books more recently,  suggesting that the sarin gas used in the attack around Damascus was  provided with the support of the Turkish government.

The attack on the outskirts of the Syrian capital was a clear attempt to push Barack Obama over his own ‘red line’ so that he would order a direct military attack on Syria in place of the semi-covert war he has been running. This ‘red line’ apparently only applies when there is some hope of showing that the Syrian ‘regime’ is using chemical weapons. Despite trying very hard, not once has the US or any other government been able to prove this. All the evidence points to the takfiris, shopping for chemical weapons material in Turkey, being found with cylinders of the stuff in Syria, filming themselves while they experiment on rabbits, using a chlorine-based chemical weapon at Khan al Assal, almost certainly using chemical weapons around Damascus last August and now using some kind of chemical weapon against Syrian soldiers in  Dara’a province on or about April 25.

Sharing common ground with the media, the human rights organizations have had nothing to say about this latest attack.  Neither has Mr Ban Ki Moon, the hand-wringing grand arbiter of peace and justice around the world. Neither has the UN Human Rights Council, pumping out its own anti-Syrian propaganda reports at regular intervals. They are all quiet for one simple and central reason: in their own way, all of them have been complicit in the attack on Syria, the most determined attempt made in modern times to destroy a government in the Middle East.

The US and its friends in the anti-Syrian collective profess to abhor terrorism when they utilize it. Jabhat al Nusra is just one of their tools, as brutal as the officially-designated terrorist enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Bilad al Sham. The government perpetrators of this relentless assault on Syria skulk behind an array of empty but useful slogans. Civil war, rebels, transition to democracy, humanitarian concern ….   Having devastated the country, using the most debased tools, i.e takfiris who are more destructive of Islam than the most fervent Islamophobe, now they are raising their hands in horror at the consequences of their own actions. The poor children: the women being raped or sold …..  If millions of Syrians have been driven outside their country, if they are starving or begging in the streets of Turkish cities, it is because of what they have done.    They are as shameful in their deceit as they are disgusting in their hypocrisy.

This is the clearest evidence we have had of a chemical weapons attack.  There is no photo-shopping and no conflicted narrative. There are the bodies of the young men and there are the representatives of the group that killed them. This attack cannot possibly be sheeted home to the Syrian army or the ‘regime’. Not even the most gullible western media consumer would be taken in. So it is being ignored as if it had never happened. The media needs to be confronted on the basis of its own self-ascribed principles: please report this latest apparent outrage against humanity and if you won’t report it, please explain why.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on No Red Line Requiem for Dead Syrian Soldiers

More Syrian Zio-Wahhabi Factions Showing Off US-Made Missiles Recipients Openly Coordinating, Sharing With al-Qaeda

NOVANEWS

Antiwar.com

You can’t really send weapons to one rebel faction in Syria without them being spread amongst many groups. This reality has been a constant in the nation, where entering any faction’s territory or using any faction’s border crossing usually requires “tribute” in the form of some weapons, but the US has continued to insist its own gear only goes to “carefully vetted” groups.

Unsurprisingly, that gear doesn’t stay with those groups very long, and a US pilot program to send anti-tank weapons to a handful of rebel factions is now resulting in a flurry of videos from all over the rebel spectrum showing off their shiny new US-made TOW missiles.

US warnings to the groups not to spread the arms around seem to be for naught, and the leader of one of the groups known to be a US recipient, the Syrian Revolutionary Front, openly brags about its close ties with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, and its long history of sharing arms with them.

Though US officials downplay the risks, it seems only a matter of time until Nusra and other al-Qaeda affiliates start showing up with US weapons of their own, and even if this doesn’t necessarily run afoul of a US policy goal of keeping the war going as long as possible, the stark visual of US arms in al-Qaeda’s hands is likely to be an embarrassment.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on More Syrian Zio-Wahhabi Factions Showing Off US-Made Missiles Recipients Openly Coordinating, Sharing With al-Qaeda

Zionism beyond control…

NOVANEWS
Zionism gone mad

and choices for the Palestinians

By Alan Hart

The conclusion to be drawn from the Obama administration’s predictable and predicted failure to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace process going is that the Zionist (not Jewish) monster state is beyond control. And the question arising is this. What are the real choices for the Palestinians?

In an editorial on 14 April the New York Times (NYT) offered its advice to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. It was that they should make a statement for the record of the principles they believe must underpin a two-state solution “should the Israelis and Palestinians ever decide to make peace”. And then what? They should “move on and devote their attention to other international challenges like Ukraine”. In other words, the NYT’s advice to the Obama administration was: “Wash your hands of the Israel-Palestine conflict and walk away from it.”

“There are no principles in politics”

On the day of that editorial I had a conversation with a Pakistani friend now resident in the UK who had one-on-one conversations with President Parvez Musharaf when he, my friend, was a senior general in Pakistan’s army. According to my friend, Musharaf once said to him: “Should we not make peace with Israel in order to solve some of our problems and forget about these stupid Palestinians?”

My friend replied: “No, Mr President. It’s a matter of principle.”

Musharaf then said, “There are no principles in politics”.

Nobody knows that better than Obama. His explanation for the failure to get a real peace process going was that both Palestinian and Israeli leaders “lack the political will to take the tough decisions”.

That explanation is not only disingenuous (dictionary definition: “not frank or open; merely posing as being frank and open; crafty, devious”). It is historically dishonest.

The truth of history is that the Palestinian leadership demonstrated the political will and took the tough decisions necessary for peace on terms any rational government in Israel would have accepted with relief more than 34 years ago. It happened in 1979 when, by 296 votes in favour and only four against, the pragmatic Yasser Arafat persuaded the Palestine National Council (PMC) – more or less a parliament-in-exile – and then the highest decision-making body on the Palestinian side, to approve his policy of politics and what had been until then unthinkable compromise with Israel.

The true nature of the compromise for which Arafat secured overwhelming PNC support more than 34 years ago can be simply stated. It required the Palestinians to make peace with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip (land grabbed in a war of Israeli aggression not self-defence) to make the space for a Palestinian mini-state with East Jerusalem its capital and/or the whole of Jerusalem an open, undivided city and the capital of two states. In other words, the Palestinians were ready to make peace with Israel in exchange for the return of only 22 per cent of their land. While not recognizing Israel’s “right to exist”, they were recognizing its actual existence on the other 78 per cent of their land.

Only Arafat (no other Palestinian leader) could have persuaded the PNC to be ready to make peace on that basis. What he needed thereafter was an Israeli partner for peace and there wasn’t one.

There’s a case for saying that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin might have been the Israeli partner for peace Arafat needed but he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot who knew exactly what he was doing – killing the peace process that had been set in motion by the Rabin-Arafat handshake on the lawn of the Clinton White House.

Obama lacks the political will to confront the Zionist lobby and its traitor agents in Congress. That is what he would have to do in order to use the leverage America has to try to oblige Israel to be serious about peace…

One indication of how troubled Zionism was by Arafat’s success in preparing the ground on his side for peace on the basis of a viable mini-state for the Palestinians was the decision in 1982 by Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon to order an invasion of Lebanon all the way to Beirut for the prime purpose of exterminating the entire Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership and destroying the organization’s infrastructure. (The PLO as a “terrorist” organization was something Zionism could live with. The PLO as a partner for peace was not.)

The honest explanation for Kerry’s failure to get a real peace process going can also be simply stated. Obama lacks the political will to confront the Zionist lobby and its traitor agents in Congress. That is what he would have to do in order to use the leverage America has to try to oblige Israel to be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept, and which would be in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and international law. (I think it is correct to describe the Zionist lobby’s stooges in both houses of Congress as traitor agents for the simple reason that it’s not and never has been in America’s own best interests to support the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong.)

As Obama was preparing to wash his hands of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel and walk away from it (not least because funding for the mid-term elections to Congress is underway), Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came out with a statement that was outrageous even by his own standards of duplicity. The Palestinian leadership, he said, had had a choice to make: ”Peace with Hamas or peace with Israel.” They could not have both, he asserted, and they had made the wrong choice in going for a reconciliation with Hamas.

With the cameras running, Netanyahu told his cabinet that “Hamas denies the holocaust even as it attempts to create an additional holocaust by destroying the state of Israel”. And in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” programme he asserted that “Hamas calls for the extermination of Jews worldwide”.

The reality is that Hamas’s top leaders are on the public record with declarations that while not and never recognizing Israel’s right to exist, they are prepared to live at peace with an Israel withdrawn to the 1967 pre-war borders and which respects Palestinian sovereign rights. As Richard Falk commented in a recent article:

The contention that Hamas is pledged to Israel’s destruction is pure hasbara(propaganda bullshit) and a cynical means to manipulate the fear factor in Israeli domestic politics, as well as ensuring the persistence of the conflict. This approach has become Israel’s way of choosing expansion over peace.

The Netanyahu notion that Israel’s leaders are open to peace on terms the Palestinians could accept is also complete, absolute, total propaganda nonsense. Zionism’s demolition of Palestinian homes and theft of Palestinian land and water – ethnic cleansing slowly and by stealth – continues.

Choices for the Palestinians

So, given that Zionism’s monster state is beyond control, what are the real choices for the occupied and oppressed Palestinians?

In my analysis there are three.

One is to abandon their struggle, surrender to Zionism’s will and make peace on its terms. This would give the Palestinians a few isolated bits of West Bank land, Bantustans, which they could call a state if they wished. In this scenario the Palestinians would be doing what they refused to do in 1948 – accepting their lot as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of political expediency.

Another choice is to let events take their course as dictated by Zionism. In this scenario the most likely end game is a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine. (In my view, a resort to armed struggle or violent confrontation in any shape or form is not a choice the Palestinians should make because it would play into Zionism’s hands and give Israel’s neo-fascist leaders the pretext they would otherwise have to create themselves to proceed with a final ethnic cleansing.)

The third choice is to change the political dynamics by demanding and obtaining the dissolution of the corrupt and impotent Palestinian Authority (PA) and handing complete and full responsibility for occupation back to Israel. This, as I have indicated in previous articles, would impose significant security and financial burdens on Israel and, more to the point, it would make calling and holding the Zionist state to account for its crimes something less than what it currently is – a mission impossible.

As I have also asserted in previous articles, the momentum generated by changing the political dynamics as indicated above would be greatly assisted by the Palestinian diaspora putting its act together and becoming politically engaged for the purpose of bringing the PNC back to life, re-invigorated by elections to it in every country where Palestinians are living.

This would enable the Palestinians to be seen to be determining policy by truly democratic means and speaking with one credible voice; and that in turn would assist them to deploy the only weapon they have much more effectively than has been the case to date.

What is this weapon?

The justice of their cause.

Justice as a weapon

Because there are no principles in politics, I agree with Susan Abulhawa, the Palestinian author (and also the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, a non-governmental organization for children). In a recent article she said there is nothing for the Palestinians in negotiations with powerful elites which, I add, either do Zionism’s bidding or are frightened of offending it too much; and that it is time to take the struggle to the “global street”.

What she meant and said in her own eloquent way is that is that Zionism’s oppression of the Palestinians does not appeal to popular notions of morality, and that if enough citizens of conscience everywhere were aware of Zionism’s on-going destruction of an indigenous population, they could be mobilized to demand justice for the Palestinians.

On that basis Susan Abulhawa sees hope for her people.

In principle so do I, but there’s a troubling question that has to be addressed.

What, really, explains why the Zionist state of Israel is not interested in peace on terms the Palestinians could accept?

Beyond reason

Over the years I have written and said on public platforms that most Israeli Jews are beyond reason on the matter of justice for the Palestinians. To my way of thinking the best explanation of why this is so was provided by Israeli journalist Merav Michaeli in an article for Haaretz on 30 January 2012 entitled Israel’s never-ending holocaust”. Here are five paragraphs from what she wrote:

The holocaust is the primary way Israel defines itself. And that definition is narrow and ailing in the extreme, because the holocaust is remembered only in a very specific way, as are its lessons. It has long been used to justify the existence and the necessity of the state, and has been mentioned in the same breath as proof that the state is under a never-ending existential threat.

The holocaust is the sole prism through which our leadership, followed by society at large, examines every situation. This prism distorts reality and leads inexorably to a foregone conclusion… that all our lives are simply one long shoah [experience of persecution and extermination].

The “Hitlers” are always there: just a week ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said for the nth time that there is no shortage of those who want to exterminate us completely. In other words, there is no lack of reasons to continue to reinforce the fear of the holocaust which, according to his father, historian Benzion Netanyahu, has never ended.

So it is that we don’t have any rivals, adversaries or even enemies. Only Hitlers. This is how the holocaust is taught in school, this how it is that Israeli students are taken to visit death camps – and how it came to be that… just 2 per cent of Israeli youth feel committed to democratic principles after studying the holocaust… That’s the way it is with traumas. Because of our human limitations, a trauma that is not dealt with makes us constantly see yet another trauma approaching – even when whatever is coming has no connection to the previous trauma and may even be a good thing. Trauma leads to belligerence and a strong tendency to wreak havoc on one’s surroundings, but first and foremost on oneself.

What we consider rational is actually a frightened, defensive, aggressive pattern. Our current leaders have made Israeli Judaism just a post-traumatic syndrome, while they lead us to self-destruction.

There will no doubt be some and perhaps many anti-Zionists who will welcome the prospect of Israel self-destructing. I don’t because of what Golda Meir said to me on camera in the course of an interview I did with her for BBC television’s flagship “Panorama” programme.

At a point I said: “Prime Minister, I want to be sure I understand what you have just said. You do mean that if ever Israel was facing a doomsday situation, it would be prepared to take the region and even the whole world down with it …?”

Without the shortest of pauses for reflection she replied (she almost spat the words at me), “Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying!”

I believed her then (as did the writer of the lead editorial in The Times which quoted what Golda said to me) and I still do.

Note

Who said the following?

Israel better rid itself of the territories [grabbed in 1967] and their Arab populations as soon as possible. If it does not Israel will became an apartheid state. Demography is a greater danger than not having the territorial depth the right wing is always claiming Israel needs to defend itself.

No, dear readers, it was not US Secretary of State Kerry! According to veteran Israel journalist Hirsh Goodman, it was David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and first prime minister.

In his 2005 book Let Me Create Paradise, God Said to Himself, Hirsh tells how home on for leave for 36 hours at the end of the Six Days War he turned on his bedroom radio and heard Ben-Gurion speaking those words. Hirsh, who grew up in South Africa, added: “That phrase, ‘Israel will become an apartheid state’ resonated with me. In a flash I understood what he was saying.”

Unlike Kerry, Ben-Gurion did not offer a grovelling apology for using the “A” word.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zionism beyond control…

US school backtracks after asking if Holocaust was real

NOVANEWS

holocaust1

Los Angeles-area school had told 8th graders to write essay on whether Shoah happened, using anti-Semitic screed as source.

Times of Israel

Whether the Holocaust happened is no longer up for debate at Southern California’s Rialto Unified School District.

The initial assignment given to eighth-graders in the San Bernardino County district was to do some research and write an essay explaining whether they believed the Holocaust was a real historical event or a political scheme to influence public emotion and gain.

“It was an error,” district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said Monday.

The original assignment gave students three source materials to work off of, including one which called gassings a hoax, according to a copy of the report provided to California news station KTLA.

The source, attributed to a webpage hosted at biblebelievers.org.au, maintains that the Holocaust was made up for Jewish financial gain.

“If nothing else, this unbelievable coverup demonstrates the irrepressible Zionist influence and control of our country,” the source reads.

Several groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, called or emailed the school objecting to the assignment.

One person made a number of calls to police with some very specific death threats, said Rialto police Capt. Randy De Anda.

The threats were specific and directed at Jafri and interim Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam, De Anda said.

There was no protest or any other action on campus Monday, but because the department takes death threats very seriously, De Anda said he and two officers were on campus checking them out.

“We believe he (the caller) is a white male in his 30s. He did give us a name, but we haven’t confirmed it yet so we don’t know if he’s a previous student,” De Anda said.

The department has all the calls on tape and will complete its investigation and forward it to the district attorney.

A team of teachers will meet to revise the assignment, Jafri said, and Islam will talk to the district’s education services department to ensure all references to the Holocaust “not occurring” are stricken on any current or future argumentative research assignment.

“The Holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” Jafri said. “We believe in the words of George Santayana, those who cannot learn from history are bound to repeat it.”

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Rejected presidential hopeful kidnapped by Syria rebels

NOVANEWS
Militants in Syria kidnapped one of the people who registered for Syria
Militants in Syria kidnapped one of the people who registered for Syria’s presidential election.
Foreign-backed militants in south of Syria have kidnapped a presidential hopeful whose bid was turned down by the constitutional court, according to an online video distributed Tuesday.

The video shows three armed wearing fatigues in a room with Mohammed Kanaan, a military officer who had registered to run in June 3 elections.

In a video filmed by the militants brigade and distributed online by militants’ media activists, he is shown wearing a suit, seated on an armchair.

“The Tabarak al-Rahman Brigade has arrested one of the presidential candidates,” said an unnamed militant seated next to Kanaan.

Prompted to speak, Kanaan says he is a colonel in the army’s First Division tank battalion, and that he was stopped by a militant from the so-called Free Syrian Army while travelling from Damascus to Daraa.

Tens of thousands of people have gone missing over the course of Syria’s conflict.

The militant groups use them for threatening Syrian government or for punishing people who don’t obey them.

Other motivations for abductions include extortion and hostage exchange, eradicating criticism, eliminating political rivals.

Countless videos of executions by militant groups have been circulating over the internet, while many other crimes remain unreported.

Syria sank into war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

 

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Understanding Dubai and its protégés

NOVANEWS
Migrant workers take a break at a beach popular with tourists in the Dubai Marina area.
Migrant workers take a break at a beach popular with tourists in the Dubai Marina area.
The Emiratis think by building tall structures like the West, they will become cultured and turn into the hub of cultural activities in the Middle East. Intellectual capital, not tall buildings make people cultured but who should explain this to the dwellers of city-states?

The writer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has lived and taught in one of the GCC states and explains why some of the cities have become well known on the global stage.

In October 2013, the Washington-based Middle East focused news site Al-Monitor published an essay by a member of the Sharjah ruling family, Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi, titled, “Thriving Gulf Cities Emerge as New Centers of Arab World.” The article tried to promote the idea that the cities of the Persian Gulf states that are ruled by a hereditary primitive tribal monarchical system are replacing Cairo, Damascus and Beirut as centers of Arab culture and thought. Before examining the validity of this claim, we would like to analyze why this claim is being made for nearly a decade in different ways and what are the strategic geopolitical and soft-power aims of such assertion.

GCC – the incentive states

Incentives are crucial not only in the daily life of ordinary people and business management, but also in strategic socio-political and geopolitical matters. One of the most precise definitions of the word incentive is something, such as the fear of punishment or the expectation of reward, that induces action or motivates effort. Rewards and punishments were always an integral part of international relations and global politics.

About a hundred years ago, when global political mechanisms were not so refined or sophisticated, the punishment aspect was the main emphasis of interaction between various states and socio-political entities. Today, global politics is a lot more sophisticated, deceptive, and complicated and at the same time a lot harsher than a hundred years ago. The contemporary global political order puts greater emphasis on the rewards aspect of the incentive mechanism, that too often in the long run end up being significantly more damaging than punishments.

Before going into detail about what role the current GCC states play in the Western enforced global order, let us quickly revise the basic module of geostrategic incentives. A powerful state X is struggling to subordinate state I, L, A, G and T. State X tells T and A that they will enjoy exclusive and vast benefits if they give unconditional allegiance to state X. States T and A agree to the offer made by X. State X then goes to state G and offers similar terms; state G looks at the condition of states T and A and thinks that even though it has not been offered identical terms by X, maybe one day it can become the favorite servant and reach the same level as T and A, so G also submits. Then state X goes to I and L that have been resisting its domination and tells them, look at T, A, and G, you can be the same. I and L either choose to resist domination, or slowly get tempted to enjoy “peace” as T and A, and submit to X.

The above simplified model assumes that all actors are states where decisions are made based on rationalized state interests. If we realize in reality, the decisions in the above outlined model that are made by T and A, consider only the interests of the ruling elite, it becomes evident that without T and A, G would not have submitted. Let us put this scheme into a historical and contemporary political perspective. The main reason the US supports authoritarian regimes all over the world, which are mainly based upon the rule of a single autocrat, is because it is easier to pressure, buy and compel an individual/tribe/family to do something than a system.

The US realizes that if regions where it has strategic but illegitimate interests were run by representative institutional state systems, which are based upon their own ideals and interests, the US would not be able to establish its hegemony. In the 1960s, it took only a few meetings for US officials with the Shah of Iran to convince him to exempt US citizens from court jurisdiction in Iran if they committed a crime in the country. It was easy because as an autocrat, the Shah was not responsible for his decisions to anyone. Imagine what would be the outcome if such a decision had required approval of a parliament, council of Islamic jurists or a popular referendum?

American achievements in the GCC follow a similar pattern where it only needs to get the consent of the ruling family/tribe to seal a deal. The GCC’s ruling tribes are not answerable to any system or institution for their decisions except external powers that provide them with economic, political and military backing. On a side note, it should be mentioned that because of this reality it is naïve to think that the US will sincerely work with political actors in the Muslim East whose legitimacy is based upon a system of ideals and popular legitimacy. Even choosing between autocracy and limited popular legitimacy, Washington and its allies prefer autocracy. The example of how the US decided to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood even though it agreed not to overstep Western red lines and what it is now doing to the AKP government, which slightly overstepped its redlines, is one of many contemporary examples. The only time the Western regimes would work with a representative system is if that system is fully on board with their plans or they are unable to overthrow it.

By now the reader would have realized the incentive model mentioned above highlighting the role of T and A relates to the GCC, a group of countries with a terrible record of human rights, corruption, lack of authentic socio-political liberties and completely dependent on foreign powers for survival. Yet, these states enjoy unconditional Western support.

Pragmatically thinking, the West should have dumped the GCC regimes long ago. The US alliance with the GCC has a significant soft-power cost for Washington and its allies. Every time someone wants to highlight Western hypocrisy, all one has to do is point to the open strategic alliance between the GCC and the “freedom loving” West. The question, therefore, arises: why don’t they dump them? The answer is, because they need them as an incentive tool in the Muslim world.

The message to those that choose to maintain their integrity, independence and sovereignty is simple: look what we allowed Dubai and Doha to become; pledge your allegiance and you will have the same. Taking into account the small number of citizens in most GCC states due to racist citizenship and naturalization policies enforced by the ruling tribes and the presence of vast oil and gas reserves, the GCC states make a perfect incentive tool. Western powers created similar incentive models during the cold war in Asia. Singapore, Macao and Hong Kong are some of the clearest examples of this.

Washington and its imperialist allies need the glitz and glamour of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama as much as they need their military bases in the region. This is the age of soft-power as much as the age of hard power. Both must exist in order for one to be powerful, but the greater the use of soft-power, the better. In case of the GCC, its soft power is not indigenous; it is an imported Western capitalist/hedonistic soft power repackaged for the Arab audience. In the contemporary world if an entity aims to be a cultural and intellectual center, it must possess an indigenous soft power or it is destined to be a follower, not a leader.

Those who have lived in the GCC’s repressive capitalism-on-steroids socio-political environment and experienced the managerial, bureaucratic and financial mismanagement ask themselves: how does this place still function? The answer is not in complicated and inflated economic data presented through fancy pie charts and spreadsheets; the answer is the concept of incentives in the contemporary global order. The GCC is an incentive tool of Western imperialism, nothing more, nothing less.

Addressing the myth

Refuting the myth pedaled by a member of Sharjah’s ruling family Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi, mentioned at the beginning of this article was not the principal reason for writing this report. Nevertheless, in order to dispel the illusion as to why the GCC is not the center of Arab culture and thought, some key points need to be briefly highlighted.

•   The author of this report chose to withhold his real identity. Why? Because due to autocratic nature of the GCC states anyone flying through (like the Qatari physician, Dr. Mahmoud al-Jaidah arrested at Dubai airport in early 2013 for alleged links with al-Islah, an organization banned in the UAE), let alone living and working in the GCC, can be victimized for simply expressing a perspective that opposes the view of the ruling regimes. In such an environment, when a person who has lived and taught at various educational institutions in the GCC and cannot be confident enough to openly reason, what talk can there be of the GCC being a cultural and intellectual center of the Arab world?

•   The entire socio-political and economic system in the GCC is not based on merit, it is hereditary.

•   Anyone who has spent even a little time in the GCC can easily spot racism. Public information on racist policies in the GCC is vast; it needs little elaboration.

•   The Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore states that “the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states include some of the richest countries in the world, but they are also known for their bureaucratic inefficiencies and culture of wasta (connections). One notable analysis of this phenomenon is Steffen Hertog’s Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats: Oil and the State in Saudi Arabia, which explores the structural inefficiencies of the Saudi state and the informalities of domestic statecraft in the country.

•   Systematic torture is a trademark of the so-called “law enforcement” agencies in the GCC as basic research of public data would immediately show. The “judicial” system acts as a primitive ratification tool for the ruling clans to “legalize” their wishes that are marketed as “policies.”

•   The Saudi Gazette report from March 2013 states that the “manufacturing share of the region’s GDP is 10% contrasted with 30% in China, 27% in Korea, 27% in Singapore, 17% in Germany, 19% in Japan, and 16% and 15% in Egypt and India respectively. It’s not only a relatively small sector, but it also remains heavily reliant on energy-intensive industries.”

•   Even though the GCC states are Muslim and the region includes the birthplace of Islam, GCC’s intellectual contribution to Islam today is nil. One often hears a common phrase from many Muslim converts who moved to the GCC to earn a living, “Al-hamdu lillah I discovered Islam before seeing the societies here.”

•   For its security, the GCC regimes are fully reliant on foreign powers and the moment they lose the backing of the US, Israel, Britain and France, the GCC states would be unable to withstand any sort of armed or even tense political conflict. Even though the Saudi regime is one of the world’s biggest weapons buyers, in 2009 Riyadh eagerly went to war against Yemen after receiving orders from the US to crush the Islamic movement led by Yahia Badreddin al-Houthi. However, the Saudis proved completely incompetent and got a heavy beating at the hands of the Houthis.

The above mentioned facts are just the tip of the iceberg of why the GCC is not the center of Arab culture and thought. To be the center of Arab culture and thought, it has to be cosmopolitan, possess indigenous soft power and be economically and politically independent of foreign patronage. The GCC lacks all these crucial ingredients to be a center of Arab thought and culture. The GCC can brag all it wants about its malls and luxury hotels, the reality is that the Arab street does not relate to its notion of “center of the Arab culture” as it is not Arab culture that the GCC represents and certainly not an Islamic one.

 

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Persistent Syria differences, shift Saudi away from US

NOVANEWS
Saudi King Abdullah meets Barack Obama at the White House in Washington 29 June 2010.
Saudi King Abdullah meets Barack Obama at the White House in Washington 29 June 2010.
Differences between the United States and Saudi Arabia over Middle East policy persist, despite their great attempts to create a chaos in Syria to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Although there are evidences that some American weapons are starting to find their way to militant groups fighting Syrian army, disagreements over what to supply, and to whom, have hindered the fight between US and Saudi regime.

Terrorist groups lament a lack of anti-aircraft missiles to help counter Assad’s air force.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funding the foreign backed militants for years now, claiming that the war in Syria is a battle for the future of the Middle East.

However, while the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama wants Assad to leave power, it sees the conflict very differently.

American officials fear that foreign hatched war of Syria threatens to radicalize a new generation of terrorists who hate the West too.

Two hours of talks between Obama and Saudi King Abdullah in March appear to have done little to alter that sentiment.

Both sides acknowledge a fundamental divergence over how to approach big political conflicts in the Middle East that were aggravated by the Arab spring.

The Saudis were also angry when Obama did not do more to back Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak who was forced from power in 2011, and when Washington criticized the army for ousting his successor, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile Assad appears to be gaining ground and has told a Russian official the heavy fighting will be over within a year.

But if the Saudis felt stymied, so did the Americans.

Riyadh’s main Syria strategy has been based on persuading Washington of the need to bring its far greater diplomatic, military and planning clout to bear in helping the rebellion.

However the United States fears that any heavy weapons might leak to terrorists who would then turn on the West.

While Riyadh is aware of the danger of militant blowback, it sees U.S. reluctance as a strategic error.

Officials in the kingdom were frustrated at what they saw as American dithering, particularly after Obama backed down from a strike on Syria following a foreign hatched plot over using chemical weapons by Assad in the Damascus suburbs in August.

 

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Bombing kills local Zio-Wahhabi al-Qaeda leader in Syria

NOVANEWS
Al-Nusra Front militants are seen in this file photo.
Al-Nusra Front militants are seen in this file photo.
A roadside bombing has killed a local al-Qaeda leader and his wife in southern Syria.

The Tuesday attack may ignite a new round of infighting between terrorist groups in the war-torn country.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Ali al-Nuaimi of the Nusra Front — al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria — and his wife were killed overnight while travelling in the southern Daraa province, AP reported.

The bombing took place near the town of Busra al-Sham, according to the Observatory, which described the killing as an “assassination.”

The Nusra Front did not mention the attack on the social networks it typically uses.

The attack came after Nusra terrorists seized a controversial Western-backed Syrian military commander, Ahmad al-Nuaimi last Friday. It is unclear if the two men are related – the al-Nuaimi is a large tribe in the area. Also, it wasn’t immediately clear if the two incidents were connected.

The bombing and the abduction risk igniting militant infighting in the south between rival terrorist groups including Nusra Front.

The abducted commander, Ahmad al-Nuaimi, was widely disliked by many terrorists who accused him of abandoning his men in battle in the past and fleeing to Jordan.

A radical organization calling itself the “Islamic Courts of the Eastern Areas – Daraa” has confirmed it has Ahmad al-Nuaimi and another military commander, saying it would soon air their “confessions.”

 

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