Archive | June 12th, 2014

Protect Lawyers Fighting for Prisoner Rights in Palestine

Palestinian lawyers, Shireen and Shadi Issawi and Amjad Al Safadi were arrested on 6th March 2014, Omar As Skafi, Mahmoud Abou Asnina and Nadim Al Gharib were also arrested around this time.  Shireen’s brother, Medhat Issawi, the office manager for the legal firm where all the lawyers work was arrested six days later on March 12th.  Shadi was swiftly released on bail but Shireen and Medhat remain imprisoned.  Their court hearing has been postponed for a year.  The other human rights lawyers were released on bail after 50 days detention.

Tragically, Al Safadi was found hung in his home five days after his release from Moskobiyeh, Jerusalem’s notorious underground detention centre.  Al Safadi was a psychiatric patient who was denied his regular medication while imprisoned.  Medical neglect is an ongoing problem in Israeli prisons and a root cause of many protests.  It is believed Safadi took his own life due to intense interrogation (including electric shocks) over a 42 day period, sleep deprivation and denial of medical care.

Like 40% of all Palestinian men, Shireen’s brothers have all been imprisoned.  Dedicated to the prisoner issue Shireen writes that she will work until all the prisoners are freed.

‘Being a lawyer, I have the right to defend prisoners.  I have only provided legal services and have not acted unlawfully. The goal of my detention is to deter other lawyers from doing their duty to serve and defend prisoners’.

Shireen who was the spokesperson for her brother, Samer Issawi during his 270 day hunger strike has gone on hunger strike at her unjust imprisonment. There are currently 5000 prisoners in Israeli prisons including 200 children and 19 women.  120 prisoners are on hunger strike in protest at holding prisoners in Administrative detention – without charge or trial.

Samer Issawi asks for the people of Palestine and the free people of the world to stand by his family and other human right lawyers because ‘standing beside them is standing beside truth and justice.  We ask all the just lawyers in the world to support these lawyers because it is not acceptable that this act of terrorism is committed against them while their colleagues and the free people of the world are silent’.

We the undersigned appeal to you as an organisastion whose founding Honorary President, the inspirational lawyer Nelson Mandela, showed us the duty of a lawyer is the struggle for justice. He languished on Robben Island imprisoned for 18 years for refusing to let go of the cherished ideal “of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”. He also affirmed that South African freedom was incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians. We ask the Israeli bar of your association to help release Shireen Issawi and her brother Medhat.  We also ask that they work to protect Palestinian lawyers from imprisonment and abuse. We believe that failure to protect Palestinian lawyers means they should be boycotted by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

To:
The International Bar Association Human Right’s Institute
Protect Lawyers Fighting for Prisoner Rights in Palestine

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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Yet Another Writer Has Admitted Faking Her Holocaust MemoirThe long, strange history of made-up Shoah stories

NOVANEWS

By 

This week, a Massachusetts court ordered Misha Defonseca, author of the fraudulent memoir Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years, to repay her publisher some $22 million. The news made headlines because of the staggering amount of money involved: The author and her publisher had been embroiled in a series of court battles over royalties for years (though it seems unlikely that even a successful and widely translated book like Misha could possibly have brought in millions).

But without the huge sums at stake, it’s unlikely that the case would have come back into the news. For the odd fact is that writing a fake Holocaust memoir has become, by now, a dog-bites-man story. Misha Defonseca is just the latest example of a genre that also includes Herman Rosenblat, author of the Oprah-endorsed Angel at the Fence—whose fraud was first exposed by The New Republic—and Benjamin Wilkomirski, author of Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood.

Each of these books was popular and celebrated, before knowledgeable readers began to raise questions about their incredible details. In the end, each author had to retract his or her creation. Defonseca, it turned out, did not actually survive the Holocaust by taking shelter among a pack of wolves; indeed, she was not even Jewish, but a Belgian Catholic who spent the war years going to school. Rosenblat did not survive Buchenwald thanks to a girl who threw apples and bread to him over the camp fence—and then, years later, became his wife. And Wilkomirski, far from spending the war years in concentration camps in Poland, was actually a Swiss native named Bruno Grosjean, whose childhood was spent in a Swiss orphanage.

If the fake Holocaust memoir is by now a genre of its own, the godfather of that genre would have to be Jerzy Kosinski, whose novel The Painted Bird, published in 1965, was one of the first Holocaust stories to be first celebrated and then attacked as fictional. Of course, in Kosinski’s case, the book actually was a fiction: He always insisted The Painted Bird was a novel, not an autobiography. Yet he and his publisher deliberately blurred the line between the two genres, cultivating the idea that the experiences of the book’s unnamed child narrator were really Kosinski’s own. In time, more charges were brought against Kosinski, including the suggestions that he had plagiarized The Painted Bird from various Polish sources, and even that the book was not written by him at all, but the product of a ghostwriter.

The Painted Bird set the pattern for the fake Holocaust story in several ways. First, by making the author’s childhood self the protagonist and narrator, such stories claim the mantle of some of the undoubted classics of Holocaust literature, such as Elie Wiesel’s Night. More, they immunize themselves against accusations of inaccuracy: Who, after all, can vouch for the truth of every one of their early memories? From a child’s story we expect not names and dates, but emotional truth and powerful atmosphere. And the fake memoirists can supply these because, most often, they actually did undergo some kind of serious war-related trauma. Kosinski really did spend his childhood in hiding from the Nazis in Poland; Rosenblat really did survive Buchenwald. Even Misha Defonseca lost her parents to the Nazis: they were Belgian Resistance fighters who were executed when she was a young child, after which she was raised by relatives. (Only Wilkomirski appears to have invented every aspect of his story—though even there, it has been suggested that his experiences as a wartime orphan formed the basis of his Holocaust “memories.”)

Where Holocaust fakes go wrong, then, is not necessarily by claiming the mantle of the victim; often enough, they deserve that title. Rather, what they are guilty of is a perverse form of gilding the lily—of making their experiences seem worse than they really were. And not just worse, but more conventionally evil—evil in ways that resemble, not the reality of the Holocaust, but other fictional genres, from fairy tales to Hollywood romances. In The Painted Bird, Kosinski suggested that wartime Poland was a zone not just of war and genocide, but of magic and primitivism. One of the trials he undergoes is being buried up to the neck so that crows can peck out his eyes: This is not the kind of thing that happened in Auschwitz, but it is the kind of thing we might expect to read in the Brothers Grimm. It is a suggestive metaphor that claims the authenticity of a true memory.

The same thing is true, in another way, of Rosenblat’s apple-tossing savior. The idea that a Jewish girl, in hiding nearby, could get close enough to Buchenwald to throw food over the fence was immediately recognizable as fantasy by anyone with knowledge of how the concentration camps were built and policed. But the idea that Rosenblat would then, years later and in another country, coincidentally meet that girl again, and marry her—that is the kind of twist that only a Hollywood movie would expect us to accept. (No wonder Angel at the Fence was supposed to become a movie before it was exposed as a lie.) So, too, with Misha Defonseca—or, to use her real name, Monique de Wael—being fed by wolves. Here is a legend straight out of The Jungle Book, or Roman mythology, not the kind of thing that anyone could seriously believe after a moment’s scrutiny.

What’s worrisome about these books, in fact, is not simply the mendacity of their authors, but the credulity of the reading public that embraces them. The Holocaust, after all, is the collective name we give to a countless number of events that are, individually, unbelievable or inconceivable. Who can believe that what happened to Elie Wiesel, or Primo Levi, or Anne Frank, could really happen? And if the truth is unbelievable, then it is all too natural to extend credit to other stories that are still more unbelievable. If ordinary German soldiers could take pleasure in bayoneting babies, if millions of people could be gassed and burned to ash, then why couldn’t a girl be raised by wolves?

In this way, the Holocaust, by its own hideous logic, becomes a zone of total imaginative freedom, in which anything can happen because everything did happen. But there is a difference between actual evil, with its brutal coldness, and fictional evil, with its frisson of magic and gratifying oddity. It’s of the first importance for historical memory, and for civil society, that we remember that the Holocaust was not just a fantasy or a metaphor, not a name we can apply to any imagination of evil and cruelty, but a fact.

 

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Zionist Gestapo propagandists taking over Wikipedia?

NOVANEWS
  

 

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, has signed an agreement that will allow Israeli propagandists to promote apartheid Israel and its racist, Zionist policies through the pages of Wikipedia, the world’s largest and most popular free encyclopedia.

The agreement was signed by Rabbi Shai Piron, the Israeli education minister, Jan-Bart de Vreede, the chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Itzik Edri, the chairman of the Wikimedia Israel Board, and Michal Lester, the executive director of Wikimedia Israel.

In an article published on the Wikimedia blog, Edri said:

Through the planned cooperation, history, geography and science teachers will receive special professional training to instruct students on how to contribute to new or incomplete Wikipedia articles for which information is lacking or inadequate.

The Education Ministry will also examine the possibility of integrating Wikipedia writing assignments in the teaching of research and community involvement. They will also consider having students who speak additional languages (primarily English and Russian) write Wikipedia articles about Israel in those particular languages.

The article reminded us that Israelis are already making extensive use of Wikipedia to promote their views.

In the framework of cooperation that is already in place between Wikimedia Israel and the Ministry of Education, several pilot projects are being conducted. The projects involve teacher training in good Wikipedia usage, article composition, Wikipedia article writing by gifted high school students and the teaching of proper Wikipedia usage to elementary schoolchildren. It is worth mentioning that through cooperation with academics in a variety of universities and colleges throughout Israel, hundreds of articles are written each year by students in courses. Thus students write Wikipedia articles as part of their degrees, sometimes even in lieu of exams or final papers…

Last August we reported that Israel was in the process of hiring university students to post pro-Israel messages on social media networks – without needing to identify themselves as government-linked pimps. We cited an Associated Press news agencyreport, which quoted an Israeli official as saying that a budget of 778,000 US dollars had been earmarked for the propaganda project, and that the national Israeli student association would select participants from a pool of applicants.

Back in 2009 the journalist Jonathan Cook reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry was creating “a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel”.

“Internet-savvy Israeli youngsters, mainly recent graduates and demobilized soldiers with language skills, are being recruited to pose as ordinary surfers while they provide the government’s line on the Middle East conflict,” he said.

At the time Cook cited Ilan Shturman, the head of the internet propaganda unit, as saying that high on the unit’s list of target sites for Israeli propaganda will be the BBC News website and Arabic-language sites.

Now it would seem that Wikipedia has been added to the list, under the guise of “education”.

If that’s the case, and it sure seems to be, then all we can say is RIP Wikipedia! Your credibility will now stoop to that of Mark Regev (real name Mark Freiberg), Israel’s Australian-born Joseph Goebbels.

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Australia cancels visa of Holocaust-”denying” bishop

NOVANEWS

ANTI SEMITE? 

JTA

A controversial British Catholic bishop who has denied that six million Jews died in the Holocaust had his visa to Australia cancelled.

Bishop Richard Williamson was scheduled to speak in rural Australia this month but his visa was cancelled this week, the Australian Jewish News reported.

Williamson, who was convicted of Holocaust denial by a German court, has claimed that between 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished, but none in gas chambers.

The Australian Jewish News said it had contacted the Department of Immigration last week to alert them to Williamson’s visit.

A department spokesperson contacted the newspaper this week to inform it that “the individual’s visa has been cancelled,” the paper reported.

Williamson, who has also described Jews as “enemies of Christ,” was suspended by Pope Benedict until he repudiated his denial of the Holocaust.

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Force-Feeding Palestinian Hunger Strikers

NOVANEWS

by Richard Falk

Palestine Hunger Strike and Israeli Force-Feeding Pending Legislation

            The highly respected human rights NGO, Adalah (meaning justice) dedicated to securing human rights for Palestinians living in Israel, has issued an urgent appeal on behalf of a reported 125 Palestinian prisoners who are engaged in a hunger strike protesting their being held in Israeli jails on the basis of ‘administrative detention’ procedures. It is the longest collective hunger strike in Palestinian history. Administrative detention is

an objectionable practice by which individuals are held in prison, sometime for months or even years, without being informed of charges or facing trial. According to international law reliance on administrative detention is regarded as prohibited unless there are overwhelming reasons in the form of imminent and severe security threats to justify the failure to produce criminal charges and hold a trial. Israel has made no such appeal, and appears to use administrative detention procedures routinely and against individuals who cannot be considered security threats.

            The current hunger strike commenced on April 24, over 50 days ago. Some of the prisoners are being held in prison hospitals in view of their deteriorating and precarious health, with concerns that serious physical damage and possibly death could occur if the strike continues for several more days. Under these circumstances, the Israeli government has sought to break the will of the strikers by seeking a legislative mandate to engage in coercive forms of force-feeding. It should be noted that the Israeli government at its highest levels has made it clear in its public statements that its main purpose is not to save the lives of the prisoners, but to break the strike as a prison protest. At the moment, a bill authorizing force-feeding of hunger strikers has passed a first reading in the Knesset, and is being fast-tracked to allow for the required second and third reading in the coming week. To have any prospect of stopping such a step from being taken immediate and intense international pressure is needed from as many angles as possible.

            In keeping with international standards, the Israeli Medical Association, has indicated that it is improper for physicians to cooperate in any way with governmental force-feeding. Unfortunately, prison doctors are not member of the Israeli Medical Association, although one might hope that their moral stand would exert some inhibiting influence. The most authoritative text on the international status of force-feeding is contained in the Declaration of Malta (1991, rev. 2006) adopted by the World Medical Association. In guideline 6 the Declaration states that “hunger strikers should be protected from coercion,” and more directly in guideline 13 asserts that forcible feeding is never acceptable because it constitutes “a form of inhuman and degrading treatment.’ Such a wording is similar to that used to indicate the scope of prohibition contained in the widely ratified International Convention on Torture (1984), thereby validating the contention that forced-feeding is a type of torture. The Declaration adopts a subtle approach that recognizes the complexity of the issue, including the possibility in some circumstances that coercion may arise from other hunger strikers eager to avoid any defection from their ranks. Overall, the core commitment is respect for the freedom of a hunger striker either to maintain or abort his protest, which is itself as aspect of freedom of conscience.

            There are journalistic accounts published in Israel that suggest both that the Shin Beth places a high priority on ending the hunger strike, which threatens to spread among the 5,271 Palestinians currently in Israeli jails in acts of solidarity with those 192 current held in administrative detention. There is also Israeli worries that the strike might spread unrest beyond the prison walls to Palestinian society as a whole with unpredictable results . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with typical bravado has indicated that even if some doctors refuse to participate in force-feeding he will find enough that will.

            The depth of this deepening humanitarian crisis has even moved the normally passive Palestinian Authority to take some action. President Mahmoud Abbas has sent a letter actually under the signature of Saeb Erekat, the chief international negotiator on the Palestinian side, asking the UN Security Council to intervene to prevent force-feeding. It is hard to know whether anything will come of this initiative.

            As has been the Palestinian experience all along, the world media averts its gaze when humanitarian emergencies arise in occupied Palestine. In this instance, treating Palestinian hunger strikes as unworthy of the sort of coverage that is given to similar such political protests in other parts of the world, including India, China, and Tibet. It is well to recall that the 1981 hunger strikes by Irish Catholic militants held in the notorious Maze Prison in Northern Ireland resulted in several deaths, most notably that of Bobby Sands after 66 days without food, and had the political effect of shifting the British approach to the Irish struggle from blood-soaked counterinsurgency to conflict-resolving diplomacy.

            In the text of the Adalah urgent appeal pasted below there are a list of initiatives that individuals around the world are urged to take. I firmly believe that it is important of people of good will around the world to shout and scream in solidarity with these prisoners.

            We need to keep in mind several salient features of this developing situation:

            –this hunger strike is protesting against Israel’s extensive and abusive reliance on ‘administrative detention’ to hold Palestinians in a cruel manner that is incompatible with international law, especially given the international obligations of Israel in relation to the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967; this is in essence a protest against injustice;

            –it should be appreciated that a hunger strike is the supreme form of nonviolent self-sacrifice seeking to highlight and transform severe encroachments on fundamental norms of human rights, including the universally prohibition on torture that becomes relevant to the extent that the Israeli government seeks to end the strike by force-feeding;

            –Palestinian detainees, reacting to deep grievances, have engaged in several long and dramatic hunger strikes in recent years starting on December 18, 2011 when Khader Adnan went 66 days without food, followed by a 43 day hunger strike by Hana Shalabi that ended with a early release, involving a punitive deportation from the West Bank for three years to Gaza; in these cases ofindividual hunger strikes, Israel finally offered concessions to induce the prisoner to give up the hunger strike when prison medical authorities feared death or permanent disability;

            –the issue of force-feeding is an aggravation of the underlying injustice and illegality of administrative detention, and is often preceded by violent nighttime arrests that constitute instances of state terror that produce resistance by those detained in prison;

            –Prime Minister Netanyahu has reportedly justified force-feeding by referring to the American practice at Guantanamo Bay where terrorist suspects have been detained for many years without charges or trials, and subjected to an array of inhuman and degrading practices; such an attempt at validating Israeli practices by invoking America’s unlawful behavior has no moral or legal weight, and should be interpreted as virtually a confession;

            –hunger strikes should be treated as nonviolent resistance tactics used by Palestinians to protest against unlawful Israeli unlawful practices and policies associated with the prolonged occupation of Palestine; in view of this, those of us who support the Palestinian struggle for rights and justice seize this opportunity to be sure our voice is heard loudly enough to offset the shameful silences of governments and the mainstream media. Also beyond the fate of Palestinian prisoners, it would also seem imperative to insist upon a public debate in Israel on the treatment presently accorded to imprisoned Palestinians.

**************

Adalah’s Urgent Appeal on Behalf of Palestinians Hunger Strikers, and their Right not to be Force-fed:

Urgent Appeal / Day 49 of the Palestinian mass hunger-strike: Israeli fast-track legislation to permit force-feeding may be completed next week

Since 17 April 2014, over 100 Palestinian detainees and prisoners have been on hunger strike in protest at Israel’s policy of Administrative Detention (see box).

On 9 June, an Israeli government-initiated law proposal to permit force-feeding of hunger strikers passed first reading in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. The second and third readings are scheduled to take place in a fast-track procedure next week. This can only be prevented by public responses locally and abroad.

Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet or Shabak (known also as GSS, ISA), has encouraged the Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to push through this legislation as fast as possible, with the explicit purpose of breaking the hunger strike, rather than out of concern for the welfare of the strikers.

Force feeding is defined as torture by the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Malta and has been condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other UN organs.

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) has objected publicly to the proposed legislation and announced that its members will not comply with it. However, doctors working for the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) are not members of the IMA. The body in charge of supervising and disciplining doctors in Israel is the Ministry of Health, which, unfortunately, is a main supporter and promoter of the legislation.

In line with the approach taken by the Shin Bet and PM Netanyahu, the Ministry of Health is now also introducing new, more stringent restrictions on the access of external independent doctors to the hunger-strikers, despite the fact that the right of prisoners to see an independent doctor is anchored both in Israeli law and in international norms.

What is Administrative Detention?

A form of internment without trial, administrative detention can be ordered by an Israeli military commander in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) based on ‘security reasons’, which are broad enough to include peaceful political activity and virtually any act of opposition to the Israeli occupation. As of 1 May 2014, 192 Palestinians were held in administrative detention in Israel. Detainees are held without trial and neither they nor their lawyers are allowed to see the ‘secret evidence’ used against them. While detainees may appeal the detention in a military court, such a right is rendered meaningless without access to the information on which the detention order is based. Administrative Detention orders are valid for up to six months at a time and can be renewed indefinitely. According to testimonies collected by human rights organizations, detainees have been held in administrative detention for periods ranging from one month to as much as six years. The frequency of the use of administrative detention has fluctuated throughout Israel’s occupation. It has specifically been used as a means of collective punishment against Palestinians opposing the occupation. UN CERD has recently expressed its opinion that Israel’s current practice of Administrative Detention is ‘discriminatory and constitutes arbitrary detention under international human rights law.’ The European Union has also condemned Israel’s use of this measure.

What you can do:

  • Contact Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Minister of Health Yael German and your local Israeli Embassy to voice your objection to this proposed amendment to the prisons law: bnetanyahu@knesset.gov.il ; ygerman@knesset.gov.il
  • Contact your national medical association and the World Medical Association and ask them to publicly urge the Israeli government to withdraw the law: doh@wma.net; wma@wma.net
  • Contact the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Prof. Juan Mendez and ask him to condemn the law and publicly urge the Israeli government to withdraw it: urgent-action@ohchr.org
  • Contact the EU High Representative Baroness Catherine Ashton and ask her to condemn the law and publicly urge the Israeli government to withdraw it: Catherine.ashton@ec.europa.eu
  • Contact your local MP and ask her to condemn the law and publicly urge the Israeli government to withdraw it.

 

The IMA’s positionhttp://www.ima.org.il/ENG/ViewCategory.aspx?CategoryId=4497

Recent press articles:

Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/09/israel-force-feeding-law-palestinian-hunger-strikers

Haaretz

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.597672

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/.premium-1.598098

Related websites:

http://www.phr.org.il/default.asp?PageID=4

www.Addameer.org

www.Adalah.org

www.stoptorture.org.il

http://www.mezan.org/en/

Israel’s attempt to break the hunger-strikes: Background

In 2012, Palestinian detainees and prisoners embarked on multiple hunger strikes, aiming to end the policy of Administrative Detention as well as seeking to improve prison conditions and renew family visits from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which had been interrupted. Despite punitive measures against the strikers, the hunger strikes were largely successful, leading to the release of several administrative detainees as well as to an Egyptian-brokered agreement between the prisoners’ leadership and the Israel Prisons Service, which included an undertaking to respect most of the strikers’ demands. This year, as the number of administrative detainees crept up again and conditions in the prisons did not improve, a new mass hunger strike was declared on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day (17 April). As the hunger strike gathers speed and support, the response of the Israel Prisons Service has increased in hostility. Prison staff has exerted pressure on hunger-strikers to break their protest in various ways including isolation from the outside world by denial of access to lawyers, independent doctors and family; separation from other prisoners through solitary confinement and frequent transfers from one prison to another; and punitive measures such as raids on striking prisoners’ quarters, confiscation of personal belongings and fines.  IPS medical staff has been implicated in this process by preferring the interests of the prison to their obligations to their patients, in breach of medical professional-ethical standards. Hunger-strikers have been shuttled between medical facilities in the public health system.

Access to trustworthy legal advice and independent doctors is crucial to the hunger-strikers’ ability to make conscious and informed decisions regarding their actions, but PHR-Israel doctors and the detainees’ lawyers have only gained access to some of the hunger-striking prisoners after repeatedly appealing to the courts.

For information and updates on this issue please contact Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: Amany Dayif at amanydayif@phr.org.il, or Hadas Ziv at hadas@phr.org.il

This appeal is by:

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Haifa)

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Ramallah)

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza)

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (West Jerusalem)

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (Jaffa – Tel Aviv)

——–

Miri Weingarten

EU Advocacy Coordinator for Israel/OPT

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel * Adalah * Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

M +44 753 1719159

Skype miri.weingarten

email miri.weingarten@gmail.com

 

 

 

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Putin ‘like Hitler’? How did Prince Charles get it so wrong?

NOVANEWS

Rabbi Charles
Global Research

Far from being ‘like Hitler’ as Prince Charles accuses, Putin is sober, cautious, defensive, a stickler for international law, determined to modernise Russia, and anxious to avoid military confrontation. Israel Shamir sees through the NATO propaganda …

Putin’s choice is not an easy one. As Russia procrastinates, as the US doubles the risks, the world draws nearer to the nuclear abyss. Who will chicken out?

It is not much fun to be in Kiev these days. The revolutionary excitement is over, and hopes for new faces, the end of corruption and economic improvement have withered.

The Maidan street revolt and the subsequent coup just reshuffled the same marked deck of cards, forever rotating in power.

The new acting President has been an acting prime minister, and a KGB (called ‘SBU’ in Ukrainian) supremo.

The new acting prime minister has been a foreign minister. The oligarch most likely to be ‘elected’ President in a few days has been a foreign minister, the head of the state bank, and personal treasurer of two coups, in 2004 (installing Yushchenko) and in 2014 (installing himself).

His main competitor, Mme Timoshenko, served as a prime minister for years, until electoral defeat in 2010.

The new rulers are the ones that ruined Ukraine

These people had brought Ukraine to its present abject state. In 1991, the Ukraine was richer than Russia, today it is three times poorer because of these people’s mismanagement and theft.

Now they plan an old trick: to take loans in Ukraine’s name, pocket the cash and leave the country indebted. They sell state assets to Western companies and ask for NATO to come in and protect the investment.

They play a hard game, brass knuckles and all. The Black Guard, a new SS-like armed force of the neo-nazi Right Sector, prowls the land. They arrest or kill dissidents, activists, journalists.

Hundreds of American soldiers, belonging to the ‘private’ company Academi (formerly Blackwater) are spread out in Novorossia, the pro-Russian provinces in the East and South-East.

IMF-dictated reforms slashed pensions by half and doubled the housing rents. In the market, US Army rations took the place of local food.

Kiev – even the pretence of democracy has gone

The new Kiev regime had dropped the last pretence of democracy by expelling the Communists from the parliament. This should endear them to the US even more.

Expel Communists, apply for NATO, condemn Russia, arrange a gay parade and you may do anything at all, even fry dozens of citizens alive. And so they did.

The harshest repressions were unleashed on industrial Novorossia, as its working class loathes the whole lot of oligarchs and ultra-nationalists.

After the blazing inferno of Odessa and a wanton shooting on the streets of Melitopol the two rebellious provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms and declared their independence from the Kiev regime. They came under fire, but did not surrender.

The other six Russian-speaking industrial provinces of Novorossia were quickly cowed. Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa were terrorised by personal army of Mr Kolomoysky. Kharkov was misled by its tricky governor.

Russia did not interfere and did not support the rebellion, to the great distress of Russian nationalists in Ukraine and Russia who mutter about “betrayal”. So much for the warlike rhetoric of McCain and Brzezinski.

An exasperating respect for international law

Putin’s respect for others’ sovereignty is exasperating. I understand this sounds like a joke, – you hear so much about Putin as a “new Hitler” – most recently in unguarded comments from Prince Charles on his Canadian tour.

As a matter of fact, Putin had legal training before joining the Secret Service. He is a stickler for international law. His Russia has interfered with other states much less than France or England, let alone the US.

I asked his senior adviser, Mr Alexei Pushkov, why Russia did not try to influence Ukrainian minds while Kiev buzzed with American and European officials. “We think it is wrong to interfere”, he replied like a good Sunday schoolboy.

It is rather likely Putin’s advisors misjudged public sentiment. The majority of Novorossia’s population does not like the new Kiev regime, but being politically passive and conservative, will submit to its rule”, they estimated.

“The rebels are a small bunch of firebrands without mass support, and they can’t be relied upon”, was their view. Accordingly, Putin advised the rebels to postpone the referendum indefinitely, a polite way of saying “drop it”.

A convincing vote for secession

They disregarded his request with considerable sang froid and convincingly voted en masse for secession from a collapsing Ukraine. The turnout was much higher than expected, the support for the move near total.

As I was told by a Kremlin insider, this development was not foreseen by Putin’s advisers.

Perhaps the advisors had read it right, but three developments had changed the voters’ minds and had sent this placid people to the barricades and the voting booths.

1. The Odessa incineration

The first one was the fiery holocaust of Odessa, where the peaceful and carelessly unarmed demonstrating workers were suddenly attacked by regime’s thugs – the Ukrainian equivalent of Mubarak’s shabab – and corralled into the Trade Unions Headquarters.

The building was set on fire, and the far-right pro-regime Black Guard positioned snipers to efficiently pick off would-be escapees.

Some fifty, mainly elderly, Russian-speaking workers were burned alive or shot as they rushed for the windows and the doors. This dreadful event was turned into an occasion of merriment and joy by Ukrainian nationalists who referred to their slain compatriots as “fried beetles”.

It is being said that this auto-da-fé was organised by the shock troops of Jewish oligarch and strongman Kolomoysky, who coveted the port of Odessa.

Despite his cuddly bear appearance, he is pugnacious and violent person, who offered $10,000 for a captive Russian, dead or alive, and proposed a cool $1 million for the head of Mr Tsarev, a Member of Parliament from Donetsk.

2. The Mariupol pogrom

The second was the Mariupol attack on May 9, 2014. This day is commemorated as V-day in Russia and Ukraine (while the West celebrates it on May 8). The Kiev regime forbade all V-day celebrations.

In Mariupol, the Black Guard attacked the peaceful and weaponless town, burning down the police headquarters and killing local policemen who had refused to suppress the festive march. Afterwards, Black Guard thugs unleashed armoured vehicles on the streets, killing citizens and destroying property.

The West did not voice any protest. Nuland and Merkel weren’t horrified by this mass murder, as they were by Yanukovich’s timid attempts to control crowds.

The people of these two provinces felt abandoned. They understood that nobody was going to protect and save them but themselves, and went off to vote.

3. The Eurovision Song Contest. Yes, seriously …

The third development was, bizarrely, the Eurovision jury choice of the Austrian transgender singer Conchita Wurst as winner of its 2014 song contest. The politically correct judges of the jury chose to “celebrate tolerance”, in line with Western European cultural trends.

However this support for re-gendering did not go down well with most Russians and / or Ukrainians, who remain socially conservative on such issues. Traditionally minded Novorossians want no part of such a Europe, which they see as an affront to their values, traditions, religion and culture.

The Russians have readjusted their sights, but they do not intend to bring their troops into the two rebel republics, unless dramatic developments should force them.

Sochi Olympics were meant to showcase the new Russia

Imagine: you are dressed up for a night on Broadway, but your neighbours are involved in a vicious quarrel, and you have to gun up and deal with the trouble instead of enjoying a show, and a dinner, and perhaps a date. This was Putin’s position regarding the Ukrainian turmoil.

A few months ago, Russia had made a huge effort to become, and to be seen as, a very civilised European state of the first magnitude.

This was the message of the Sochi Olympic games: to re-brand, even re-invent Russia, just as Peter the Great once had, as part of the First World; an amazing country of strong European tradition, of Leo Tolstoy and Malevich, of Tchaikovsky and Diaghilev, the land of arts, of daring social reform, of technical achievements, of modernity and beyond – the Russia of Natasha Rostova riding a Sikorsky ‘copter.

Putin spent $60 billion to broadcast this image. The old fox Henry Kissinger wisely said:

“Putin spent $60 billion on the Olympics. They had opening and closing ceremonies, trying to show Russia as a normal progressive state. So it isn’t possible that he, three days later, would voluntarily start an assault on Ukraine.

“There is no doubt that … at all times he wanted Ukraine in a subordinate position. And at all times, every senior Russian that I’ve ever met, including dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky, looked at Ukraine as part of the Russian heritage. But I don’t think he had planned to bring it to a head now.”

But the US does not want a modern Russia

However, Washington hawks decided to do whatever it takes to keep Russia out in the cold. They were afraid of this image of “a normal progressive state” as such a Russia would render NATO irrelevant and undermine European dependence on the US.

They were adamant about retaining their hegemony, shattered as it was by the Syrian confrontation. They attacked Russian positions in the Ukraine and arranged a violent coup, installing a viciously anti-Russian regime supported by football fans and neo-Nazis, paid for by Jewish oligarchs and American taxpayers.

The victors banned the Russian language and prepared to void treaties with Russia regarding its Crimean naval base at Sebastopol on the Black Sea. This base was to become a great new NATO base, controlling the Black Sea and threatening Russia.

Putin had to deal quickly and so he did, by accepting the Crimean people’s request to join Russian Federation. This dealt with the immediate problem of the base, but the problem of Ukraine remained.

A Ukraine hostile to Russia is not acceptable

The Ukraine is not a foreign entity to Russians, it is the western half of Russia. It was artificially separated from the rest in 1991, at the collapse of the USSR.

The people of the two parts are interconnected by family, culture and blood ties; their economies are intricately connected. While a separate viable Ukrainian state is a possibility, an ‘independent’ Ukrainian state hostile to Russia is not viable and can’t be tolerated by any Russian ruler.

And this for military as well as for cultural reasons: if Hitler had begun the war against Russia from its present border, he would have taken Stalingrad in two days and would have destroyed Russia in a week.

A more pro-active Russian ruler would have sent troops to Kiev a long time ago. Thus did Czar Alexis when the Poles, Cossacks and Tatars argued for it in 17th century. So also did Czar Peter the Great, when the Swedes occupied it in the 18th century. So did Lenin, when the Germans set up the Protectorate of Ukraine (he called its establishment “the obscene peace”). So did Stalin, when the Germans occupied the Ukraine in 1941.

Washington’s geo-political goals

Putin still hopes to settle the problem by peaceful means, relying upon the popular support of the Ukrainian people. Actually, before the Crimean takeover, the majority of Ukrainians (and near all Novorossians) overwhelmingly supported some sort of union with Russia. Otherwise, the Kiev coup would not have been necessary.

The forced Crimean takeover seriously undermined Russian appeal. The people of Ukraine did not like it. This was foreseen by the Kremlin, but they had to accept Crimea for a few reasons.

Firstly, a loss of Sevastopol naval base to NATO was a too horrible of an alternative to contemplate. Secondly, the Russian people would not understand if Putin were to refuse the suit of the Crimeans.

The Washington hawks still hope to force Putin to intervene militarily, as it would give them the opportunity to isolate Russia, turn it into a monster pariah state, beef up defence spending and set Europe and Russia against each other. They do not care about Ukraine and Ukrainians, but use them as pretext to attain geopolitical goals.

No succour from the EU

The Europeans would like to fleece Ukraine; to import its men as ‘illegal’ workers and its women as prostitutes, to strip assets, to colonise. They did it with Moldova, a little sister of Ukraine, the most miserable ex-Soviet Republic.

As for Russia, the EU would not mind taking it down a notch, so they would not act so grandly. But the EU is not fervent about it. Hence, the difference in attitudes.

Putin would prefer to continue with his modernisation of Russia. The country needs it badly. The infrastructure lags 20 or 30 years behind the West.

Tired by this backwardness, young Russians often prefer to move to the West, and this brain drain causes much damage to Russia while enriching the West.

Even Google is a result of this brain drain, for Sergey Brin is a Russian immigrant as well. So are hundreds of thousands of Russian scientists and artists manning every Western lab, theatre and orchestra.

Meeting the aspirations of Russia’s young people

Political liberalisation is not enough: the young people want good roads, good schools and a quality of life comparable to the West. This is what Putin intends to deliver.

He is doing a fine job of it. Moscow now has free bikes and Wi-Fi in the parks like every Western European city. Trains have been upgraded. Hundreds of thousands of apartments are being built, even more than during the Soviet era.

Salaries and pensions have increased seven-to-tenfold in the past decade. Russia is still shabby, but it is on the right track. Putin wants to continue this modernisation.

As for the Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states, Putin would prefer they retain their independence, be friendly and work at a leisurely pace towards integration a la the European Union. He does not dream of a new empire. He would reject such a proposal, as it would delay his modernisation plans.

If the beastly neocons would not have forced his hand by expelling the legitimate president of Ukraine and installing their puppets, the world might have enjoyed a long spell of peace. But then the western military alliance under the US leadership would fall into abeyance, US military industries would lose out, and US hegemony would evaporate.

Peace is not good for the US military and hegemony-creating media machine. So dreams of peace in our lifetime are likely to remain just dreams.

What will Putin do?

Putin will try to avoid sending in troops as long as possible. He will have to protect the two splinter provinces, but this can be done with remote support, the way the US supports the rebels in Syria, without ‘boots on the ground’.

Unless serious bloodshed on a large scale should occur, Russian troops will just stand by, staring down the Black Guard and other pro-regime forces.

Putin will try to find an arrangement with the West for sharing authority, influence and economic involvement in the failed state. This can be done through federalisation, or by means of coalition government, or even partition.

The Russian-speaking provinces of Novorossia are those of Kharkov (industry), Nikolayev (ship-building), Odessa (harbour), Donetsk and Lugansk (mines and industry), Dnepropetrovsk (missiles and high-tech), Zaporozhe (steel), Kherson (water for Crimea and ship-building), all of them established, built and populated by Russians.

An independent Novorussia?

They could secede from Ukraine and form an independent Novorossia, a mid-sized state, but still bigger than some neighbouring states. This state could join the Union State of Russia and Belarus, and / or the Customs Union led by Russia.

The rump Ukraine could manage as it sees fit until it decides whether or not to join its Slavic sisters in the East. Such a set up would produce two rather cohesive and homogeneous states.

Another possibility (much less likely at this moment) is a three-way division of the failed Ukraine: Novorossia, Ukraine proper, and Galicia&Volyn. In such a case, Novorossia would be strongly pro-Russian, Ukraine would be neutral, and Galicia strongly pro-Western.

The EU could accept this, but the US probably would not agree to any power-sharing in the Ukraine. In the ensuing tug-of-war, one of two winners will emerge. If Europe and the US drift apart, Russia wins. If Russia accepts a pro-Western positioning of practically all of Ukraine, the US wins.

The tug-of-war could snap and cause all-out war, with many participants and a possible use of nuclear weapons. This is a game of chicken. The one with stronger nerves and less imagination will remain on the track.

Pro and Contra

It is too early to predict who will win in the forthcoming confrontation. For the Russian president, it is extremely tempting to take all of Ukraine or at least Novorossia, but it is not an easy task, and one likely to cause much hostility from the Western powers.

With Ukraine incorporated, Russian recovery from 1991 would be completed, its strength doubled, its security ensured and a grave danger removed. Russia would become great again. People would venerate Putin as Gatherer of Russian Lands.

However, Russian efforts to appear as a modern peaceful progressive state would have been wasted. It would be seen as an aggressor and expelled from international bodies.

Sanctions will bite: high tech imports may be banned, as in the Soviet days. The Russian elites are reluctant to jeopardise their good life. The Russian military just recently began its modernisation and is not keen to fight yet, perhaps not for another ten years. But if they feel cornered, if NATO moves into Eastern Ukraine, they will fight all the same.

The Ukrainian national interest lies with Russia

Some Russian politicians and observers believe that Ukraine is a basket case. Its problems would be too expensive to fix. This assessment has a ‘sour grapes’ aftertaste, but it is widespread.

An interesting new voice on the web, The Saker, promotes this view. “Let the EU and the US provide for the Ukrainians, they will come back to Mother Russia when hungry”, he says. The problem is, they will not be allowed to reconsider. The junta did not seize power violently in order to lose it at the ballot box.

Besides, Ukraine is not in such bad shape as some people claim. Yes, it would cost trillions to turn it into a Germany or France, but that’s not necessary. Ukraine can reach the Russian level of development very quickly – in union with Russia. Under the EC-IMF-NATO, Ukraine will become a basket case, if it’s not already.

The same is true for all East European ex-Soviet states: they can modestly prosper with Russia, as Belarus and Finland do, or suffer depopulation, unemployment, poverty with Europe and NATO and against Russia, vide Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Georgia.

It is in Ukrainian interests to join Russia in some framework. Ukrainians understand that. For this reason they will not be allowed to have democratic elections.

Putin’s hard choices

Simmering Novorossia has a potential to change the game. If Russian troops don’t come in, Novorossian rebels may beat off the Kiev offensive and embark on a counter-offensive to regain the whole of the country, despite Putin’s pacifying entreaties. Then, in a full-blown civil war, the Ukraine will hammer out its destiny.

On a personal level, Putin faces a hard choice. Russian nationalists will not forgive him if he surrenders Ukraine without a fight. The US and EU threaten the very life of the Russian president, as their sanctions are hurting Putin’s close associates, encouraging them to get rid of or even assassinate the President and improve their relations with the mighty West.

War may come at any time, as it came twice during the last century – though Russia tried to avoid it both times. Putin wants to postpone it, at the very least, but not at any price.

Putin’s choice is not an easy one. As Russia procrastinates, as the US doubles the risks, the world draws nearer to the nuclear abyss. Who will chicken out?

Posted in Russia, UKComments Off on Putin ‘like Hitler’? How did Prince Charles get it so wrong?

Following 13 Years of Legal Pursuit, PCHR Succeeds in Ensuring Remedy for the Family of Civilian Willfully Killed by Zio-Nazi Forces

NOVANEWS

Palestinians: autopsy shows live bullet killed teen during anti-Israel protest

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has succeeded in ensuring remedy for the family of  ‘Ahed al-Telbani, from al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, who was killed by the Israeli forces 13 years ago.  Following years of legal work and persistent follow-up, a settlement was concluded with the Israeli Military Advocate General’s representatives to pay 175,000 NIS for the heirs of the aforementioned civilian in exchange for closing the case. Procedures to deliver this amount to the family are now in process.

On 31 January 2001, Israeli forces stationed at al-Shuhadaa’ intersection “previously called Netzarim”, south of Gaza City, opened fire at a cap belonging to al-Telbani from a very close range while he was passing the intersection.  As a result, he was killed.

On 07 February 2001, PCHR followed up the case after being given a power of attorney by the family of the victim, who is married and a father of 8 children.  PCHR submitted complaints to each of the Israeli Military Advocate General and the Israeli Ministry of Defense to take the necessary legal action to hold the perpetrators accountable for willfully killing al-Telbani.  In 2004, PCHR filed a case before the District Court of al-Gedera on behalf of the heirs of al-Telbani.  Over the past years, the lawyers at PCHR’s Legal Unit followed up the case until the Court decided on 15 February 2010 to dismiss the proceedings.  Eyewitness were not able to give their testimonies before the court as the Israeli authorities refused to give them necessary permits to pass via Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to attend the court’s sessions.

On 31 December 2010, PCHR appealed the court’s decision and managed to get the case back on the court roll as the court accepted the affidavits of the eyewitnesses instead of their testimonies in person before the court.

Several court hearings in the case were held over the past years, during which PCHR supported its claim by evidences confirming the Israeli forces’ responsibility for al-Telbani’s death in circumstances that did not require the use of weapons.  According to eyewitnesses, the area then did not witness any clashes and passing through the intersection was permitted.  This means that the Israeli forces willfully killed al-Telbani in a blatant violation of the most basic concepts of humanity, domestic laws and international human rights instruments.

This is not the first time that PCHR achieves success in regard to efforts to prosecute war criminals via Israeli courts. PCHR had achieved other successes in this field, the latest of which was in October 2013, when PCHR succeeded in ensuring a compensation of 498,000 NIS for the families of 3 Palestinian children, who were killed by Israeli forces in 2001, i.e. around 166,000 NIS for each family.

In this context, PCHR emphasizes two facts.  First, PCHR’s lawyers have exerted extraordinary efforts for long years to achieve these results and that way to access to justice, even though in regards to a limited number of cases, is difficult and painstaking and requires abnormal efforts.  Second, these successes by all standards and criteria are limited ones and only for exceptional cases as thousands of cases, which PCHR filed on behalf of the Palestinian victims, have not been settled yet or were dismissed due to the issuance of military orders, amendments to the legislations or decisions taken by judges while considering the cases.

PCHR will continue its efforts to prosecute suspected Israeli war criminals before Israeli courts, or national courts of other countries based on the principle of universal jurisdiction to ensure that Israeli war criminals do not evade justice, and to ensure remedy for thousands of Palestinian civilians who have been affected by Israeli practices and crimes.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Following 13 Years of Legal Pursuit, PCHR Succeeds in Ensuring Remedy for the Family of Civilian Willfully Killed by Zio-Nazi Forces

What Could Detroit Do With $9 Million a Day? Tax Dollars, Detroit and I$raHell

NOVANEWS

 

By Robert Fantina.

As Detroit, Michigan grapples with bankruptcy, requiring at least $1 billion in aid, it is probably not alone. “More U.S. cities could be heading towards bankruptcy”, said Richard Ravitch, a former Lieutenant-Governor of New York, who was instrumental in helping New York City navigate through its financial woes in the 1970s.

So with Detroit, once the world leader in automobile manufacturing, now on its deathbed, and other major U.S. cities selling off their buildings to pay current expenses, it may be informative to look at how the Federal government is spending U.S tax dollars.

Half a planet away is the glittering city of Tel Aviv. One wonders why that city can be so successful, while U.S. cities are dying. Could it be the $9 million dollars the U.S. gives to Israel, every single day of the year,more in foreign aid than the United States give to all other countries combined?

One might reasonably ask what Detroit could do with $9 million dollars a day. That city is trying to cobble together $1 billion to stay afloat this year; Israel is getting more than three times that much from U.S. taxpayers, every year.

‘But’, the august, so-called representatives of the U.S. citizenry will proclaim, ‘Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, a major ally of the U.S., and therefore must be supported’. Really? One wonders why this ally not only refuses to cooperate with the U.S.’s hapless and insincere efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, but actually spits in the face of the U.S., as it accepts $9 million a day. When the joke of peace talks is announced, with the U.S. saying neither side should do anything to jeopardize them, Israel announces more illegal settlements. When the United Nations proposes condemning increased settlement-building, which the U.S. has stated it believes to be in violation of international law, Israel knows it can rely on the U.S. to veto any such resolution. When the U.S. hypocritically decries the human rights abuses so prevalent around the world, Israel knows that it is exempt from any such condemnation, if it only brutally abuses Palestinians.

Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. Looking at one incident from the administration of President Ronald Reagan indicates Israel’s sure knowledge that it can do as it pleases, with no repercussions from the U.S.

In 1988, Mr. Reagan’s Secretary of State, George Shultz, crafted a plan that he hoped would resolve some ongoing, underlying issues between Palestine and Israel. His three point plan was as follows:

 1) The convening of an international conference;

2) A six-month negotiating period that would bring about an interim phase for Palestinian self-determination for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and

3) A date of December, 1988 for the start of talks between Israel and Palestine for the final resolution of the conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir immediately rejected this plan, claiming, incredibly, that it did nothing to forward the cause of peace. In response, the U.S. issued a new memorandum, emphasizing economic and security agreements with Israel, and accelerating the delivery of seventy-five F-16 fighter jets. This, ostensibly, was to encourage Israel to accept the peace plan proposals. Yet Israel did not yield.  An Israeli journalist commented that the message received was: “One may say no to America and still get a bonus.” And thus it has been for generations.

The reason for this is hardly a mystery. The Israeli lobby, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), funnels millions of dollars into the election and re-election campaigns of candidates and elected officials who are willing to jump as high as AIPAC demands. And it seems there is no height to which these worthies will not jump for the almighty dollar. In return, they send a fortune to Israel every year, defend its horrific human rights abuses, and ignore international laws, laws the U.S. has signed on to. And when Palestinians are occasionally able to gather supplies sufficient to send an ineffective rocket into Israel, the U.S. condones and finances the carpet-bombing of the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

Never mind that much of Detroit looks like it has annoyed Israel, and been victim of its bombs. Ignore the spiraling, out-of-control crime rate, the poverty, poor educational standards, failing infrastructure and despair that are so much a part of that once great city. Rather, fawn over Israel, send it vast amounts of money that could be going to assist the taxpayers who provide it, and accept those checks into campaign coffers from grateful Zionists.

The Palestinians have just sworn in a new unity government (why the media insists on saying that Hamas ‘seized control’ of the Gaza Strip in 2006, when it was democratically elected, is a mystery to this writer), and Israel is in panic mode. There now exists the possibility that Palestine will petition the International Criminal Court for redress from Israel’s many horrific crimes. Israel, with complete U.S. support, has successfully resisted every effort by the international community to investigate allegations of human rights abuses. The time may be approaching when it can hide no longer.

And what of that? As Israel becomes increasingly isolated in the world community, due at least partly to the success of the ‘Boycott, Divest and Sanction’ (BDS) campaign, including commercial, academic and entertainment boycotts, will not the U.S. always be there to come to the financial rescue? As more and more U.S. cities decay, as the educational level of U.S. schools falls further and further behind other industrialized nations, leaving a citizenry ill-prepared to work in the global economy, as the number of those living in poverty grows, what is all that, when AIPAC pulls the puppets’ strings?

A generation ago, when the U.S. first began moon exploration, with the goal of landing a person on the moon, some critics said that the vast amounts of money that that would cost could be better used on this planet. Today, as the U.S. bows and scrapes at the unholy altar of AIPAC, mightn’t the same argument be used? When U.S. citizens are in deep poverty, living in unsafe, decaying cities, is it a stretch of the imagination to think that U.S. tax dollars should go first to assisting them?

There remain, in isolated pockets of the U.S., people who believe that the United States is a democracy, with voters electing people to represent them, who will act in their best interests. When the tax burden falls mainly on the dwindling middle class, and the taxes they pay go not to assist the communities in which they live, but to support and uphold a barbaric apartheid regime, the time for the putting to bed of that myth has long since passed.

Detroit and countless other U.S. cities will continue to struggle to survive, as tax revenues are sent to a nation that holds the U.S. in complete contempt. But politicians will continue to have unlimited funds for their election campaigns, so business will remain as usual.

Posted in USAComments Off on What Could Detroit Do With $9 Million a Day? Tax Dollars, Detroit and I$raHell

The National Summit to Reassess the U.S.—I$raHell “Special Relationship!”

NOVANEWS
Summit

Video: Philip Giraldi – Is Israel a U.S. ally?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Philip_Giraldi.htm 

Video: Ray McGovern – Does Israel act like a U.S. ally?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Ray_McGovern.htm …

Video: Paul Pillar – Are threats to Israel’s security inflated to justify occupation and U.S. support?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Paul_Pillar.htm …

Video: Philip Weiss – What is changing in “permissible” mainstream public debate—and what is not?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Philip_Weiss.htm …

Video: Scott McConnell – Did Neoconservatives take over GOP foreign policy?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Scott_McConnell.htm …

Video: Justin Raimondo – Has the Israel lobby captured the Right?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Justin_Raimondo.htm …

Video: Allan Brownfeld – The ACJ and battles over Zionism inside Jewish social welfare organizations.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Allan_Brownfeld.htm …

Video: Jeffrey Blankfort – Are there Israel lobby gatekeepers and damage control squads on the Left?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Jeffrey_Blankfort.htm …

Video: Alison Weir – Findings from the new book “Against Our Better Judgment”

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Alison_Weir.htm …

Video: John Quigley – 1967, international law and cost of U.S. support for the occupation.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/John_Quigley.htm …

Video: Geoffrey Wawro- Key findings from the book “Quicksand” and what happens to historians who revise history.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Geoffrey_Wawro.htm …

Video: Stephen Walt – The “special relationship” and what has changed since publication of “The Israel Lobby” book

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Stephen_Walt.htm …

Video: M.E. “Spike” Bowman – The Jonathan Pollard Affair: what does it mean and what does it not mean?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/spike_bowman.htm …

Video: Mark Perry – Mossad poses as CIA? No-holds-barred national security reporting in the current environment.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Mark_Perry.htm …

Ernie Gallo – The U.S.S Liberty: what really happened? What did not?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Ernie_Gallo.htm …

Video: Grant F. Smith – A brief history of unprosecuted Israeli foreign agent, smuggling and espionage cases.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Grant_Smith.htm …

Brigadier General (ret) James J. David- How does U.S. military aid to Israel impact relations with other U.S. allies?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/james_david.htm 

Video: Gareth Porter – The “manufactured crisis” and drive for U.S. / Israel military actions against Iran.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/gareth_porter.htm …

Video: Karen Kwiatkowski – Inside the Pentagon’s “Office of Special Plans.”

http://www.natsummit.org/video/Karen_Kwiatkowski.htm …

Video: Stephen Sniegoski – Neoconservatives and the Iraq War.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/stephen_sniegoski.htm …

Video: Delinda Hanley – U.S. aid to Israel in numbers.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/delinda_hanley.htm …

Video: Cynthia McKinney – In the Israel lobby’s cross-hairs.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/cynthia_mckinney.htm …

Video: Janet McMahon – The Israel lobby network and coordinated PACs that finance U.S. elections.

http://www.natsummit.org/video/janet_mcmahon.htm …

Video: Paul Findley – Should the executive outmaneuver Congress to save Palestine and Israel?

http://www.natsummit.org/video/paul_findley.htm …

Philip Giraldi – Is Israel a U.S. ally? @NATSummit audio

http://www.natsummit.org/audio/Giraldi.mp3 …

Posted in USAComments Off on The National Summit to Reassess the U.S.—I$raHell “Special Relationship!”

Cost of I$raHell to the US

NOVANEWS

Our uniquely massive support for Israel has cost trillions of dollars and multitudes of lives. It has diminished our moral standing in the world, lessened our domestic freedoms, and exposed us to unnecessary and growing peril.

The majority of Americans – as well as our diplomatic and military experts – oppose this unique relationship. Yet, the lobby for Israel continues to foment policies that are disastrous for our nation and tragic for the region.

If we are to have Middle East policies that serve the national interest, that represent the highest values of our founders and our citizens, and that work to sustain a nation of honor, decency, security, and prosperity, then it is essential that all Americans become active and informed. Below are the facts:

American taxpayers give Israel over $8 million per day

stacksofmoney

(See report from Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress)

This to a nation of about 7.5 million people – smaller than New Jersey. Israel has received more American money than any other nation on earth. It is more than we give to all the starving countries of Africa put together.

From 1950-53 Israel’s financial influx from the U.S. was one billion dollars; Israel at that time had 1.6 million inhabitants.

In the past 40 years, American taxpayers have given Israel approximately $200,000 per Israeli family of five.

This costs us even more:

US aid to Israel is given in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year

Unemployed

Since the US is operating at a deficit, this means that we borrow the money, give it to Israel, and then pay interest on it long after it is gone.

Israel, on the other hand, makes interest from it. Congress has mandated that Israel’s aid be immediately deposited to an interest bearing account with the Federal Reserve Bank.

Additional financial costs: $3 trillion

* About $1.5 billion to Egypt and $843 million to Jordan is dispensed annually under arrangements made to induce these countries’ friendly relations with Israel.

* Billions of dollars have been lost to U.S. manufacturers because of the Arab boycott engendered by Israeli actions.

* Enormous and continuing costs to U.S. consumers of petroleum, which surged to such heights that it set off a world-wide recession during the Arab oil boycott imposed in reaction to U.S. support of Israel in the 1973 war.

There are a multitude of such costs.

report by an economist commissioned by the Army War College in 2002 to analyze the situation in full found that the total cost to Americans over Israel’s 60+ years has been $3 trillion.

Americans have a higher unemployment rate than Israel and 10 million families are reportedly sliding into foreclosure; yet Americans continue to give tax money to Israel.

Costs of the Iraq war:  hundreds of thousands of lives & over $3 trillion

us-caskets

The costs of the the Iraq war, which was promoted by Israel partisans, are almost incalculable and are still growing.

The war added trillions of dollars to the federal debt, and this doesn’t include future health care and disability payments for veterans.

Economists report that the global financial crisis was due, at least in part, to the Iraq war.

The same parties are pushing for a similar attack on Iran.

The Lobby for Israel overrules US experts

AIPAC

U.S. policies in the Middle East rarely reflect U.S. interests and values.

Instead, over the objections of a multitude of State Department and Pentagon analysts, they are largely driven by a variety of factors:

1. Special-interest lobbying.  Fortune Magazine rates one of the many lobby organizations working on behalf of Israel, AIPAC, as the second most powerful lobbying Washington. Many analysts consider the pro-Israel interest group the most powerful lobby in our nation. It consistently drives U.S. policies, to the detriment of Americans.

william fulbright

By the late 1960s Senator William Fulbright found that U.S. aid to Israel was being secretly funneled back to lobbyists in the U.S., who would use it to lobby for still more U.S. money to Israel.

2. Israel partisans in the U.S. government and media: The efforts of a growing number of individuals with close ties to Israel (some are neoconservatives, others are neoliberals) who often hold key positions in U.S. administrations, the State Department, Pentagon, and media.

The US Ambassador to Israel stated that all US Middle East policies are predicated on their effect on Israel. This is a highly inappropriate practice and one that is replicated in no other region. US policies should be based on American interests and priorities, not those of a foreign nation.

3. Campaigns by pro-Israel funders to engender Islamophobia: to create fear and hatred of Muslims, a highly diverse population of 1.5 billion people whose faith is one of the three Abrahamic religions and who worship the same God as Christians and Jews.

4. Israeli-centric news reporting by the U.S. media consistently misportrays the current situation and the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

5. Hollywood movies and television shows, which often play a significant role in shaping attitudes and beliefs. These shows, frequently produced by individuals with ties to Israel, depict Arabs and Muslims almost always negatively, Jews and Israelis almost never negatively, and Christians both positively and negatively.

(Interestingly, the oil and weapons industries are not responsible for our relationship with Israel. In fact, at times these industries have lobbied against U.S. support for Israel, which undermines their ability to do business in the region.)

Israel promotes its own interests, which is the right of any nation

However, this is done at the expense of Americans who fund it.

There is considerable evidence that Israel is not the close ally many Americans believe it to be:

–The GAO has reported that Israel conducts the most intense spying operation against the U.S. of any of our presumed allies. Israel features prominently in the annual FBI report called “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage.”

–Intelligence experts consider Jonathan Pollard the most damaging spy in US history. For years Israel denied any connection to Pollard; now it actively lobbies for his release. (CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who used to work for the Israel Lobby, wrote a book about Pollard that “senior Israeli Defense Department officials are understandably pleased with.”)

–Israeli forces have killed and injured numerous Americans. Rarely, if ever, have there been significant consequences.

–Israel has stolen U.S. technology, and passed it on to other nations, some of them U.S. adversaries.

The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty

libertyposter2-lowres

In 1967 Israeli forces attacked a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans and injuring 174.

An independent commission in 2003 by extraordinarily high-ranking U.S. military officers and officials found that Israel had committed an act of war against the United States, the US President had recalled rescue aircraft, and that the President had ordered a cover-up on the incident.

These statements, recorded in the Congressional Record, were not reported by U.S. news media.

Israeli ethnic expansionism has caused regional misery, instability, and continual conflict

Israeli aggression (Israel initiated all of its wars except one) and its violations of international lawhuman rights conventions, and UN resolutions, have created enormous hostility against it throughout the world. The US, as Israel’s number one funder, is increasingly imperiled by hostility created by Israeli actions.

See our section on Israel-Palestine.

Nuclear weapons pose danger both to the region itself and far beyond

Israel has refused to sign the nuclear proliferation treaty and the British American Security Information Council has found that in Israel “nuclear weapons are being assigned roles that go well beyond deterrence.”

While US intelligence agencies have so far found no indication that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Israel’s possession of these weapons, combined with its history of aggression, create a compelling motivation for other nations in the region to acquire them for deterrence.

Israel frequently uses American weapons in violation of US laws, killing and maiming large numbers of civilians, women, and children.

Since this is funded by American tax payers, and shielded by the U.S. government, it is causing dangerous hostility toward the U.S. abroad.

Damage to civil liberties and the American way of life

TSA searches child

This dangerous and unnecessary peril (diplomats note that before Israel the US had no enemies in the region) has caused Americans to tolerate dangerous infringements on our liberty and violations of our Constitution.

This is causing deep damage to our character as a nation.

Deeply intrusive and potentially carcinogenic airport scanners (promoted by former Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff, who makes money off them), offensive “pat-downs of our women and childrenabrogations of our nation’s most fundamental legal principles are just a few of the direct and indirect results of our Israel policies.

A secure, prosperous, and honorable America

statue of liberty

We would be far safer and our nation far healthier by heeding the wisdom of George Washington, the father of our nation:

“…nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

These policies create tragedy and destruction abroad and at home. It is time to change them.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Cost of I$raHell to the US

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