Archive | September 12th, 2014

Camouflage and Coverup: The Dutch Commission Report on the Malaysian MH17 Crash is “Not Worth the Paper its Written On”

NOVANEWS
Global Research

“Weasel wording” consists in using “words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that a specific and/or meaningful statement has been made, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated, enabling the specific meaning to be denied if the statement is challenged.” … “Some weasel words may also have the effect of softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement through some form of understatement.” (Gary Jason 1988)

One thing must be stated outright: This report does not lie.

It just cant lie since there is nothing new in it. I myself have never seen such a meaningless plane crash report. What comes as a surprise, however, is the reports diplomatic, sophisticated choice of words, which loses itself in ambiguous terminology.

It was probably planned this way, so each party can continue to defend their version of what happened with zeal.

Let’s take a closer look at this report.

At the beginning we find, as usual, detailed statements about the plane, who it belonged to, that it was in perfect condition and details about the crew.

Technical issues or weather conditions are excluded as causes for the crash.

Image right: German pilot and author Peter Haisenko

Then, it confirms that the flight recorders were virtually undamaged and that they have not been tampered with.

The report continues with the description of the debris scattered over a vast area and from this observation is drawn the amazing conclusion that this aircraft had blown up in the air.

I apologize for the slight sarcasm, but I will have no choice but to continue to make some sarcastic remarks about this report.

14 minutes of silence in the cockpit is absolutely impossible

It is reported that the cockpit section was probably completely broken off from the aircraft because it fell almost vertically from the point of shelling to the ground and was found at some distance from the rest of the debris.

The report indicates that the damages done by external forces were recorded almost exclusively in the front of the plane, namely the cockpit, and this led to the breakup of the aircraft.

So far so good, nothing new. Then there is a transcript of the radio communication between MH017 and air traffic control taken from the voice recorder.

At this point the expert starts to ask himself questions.

The transcript of the radio communication starts at 13:08:00 and ends at 13:22:02, a 14 minute time frame.

From my experience as an aircraft captain I cannot imagine that during 14 minutes no other dialogues or sounds were picked up in the cockpit by the voice recorder.

When the cockpit receives radio transmissions from other aircraft, those are also recorded by the device. As I said, there are no lies, but in all likelihood, not everything is being said. The published conclusion points out that:

Crew communication gave no indication that there was anything abnormal with the flight.

Everything was normal, but the possible (and very probable) conversation in the cockpit is concealed, as well as radio transmissions from other aircrafts.

High Energy Objects – and other hazy formulations

The conclusion of this report is a prime example of a situation in which one knows something with certainty, but the facts are presented in such a way that nothing is revealed:

The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft. It is likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.

Aha! says the astonished reader. We knew that already. We must take a closer look at this conclusion. In fact, it is not a conclusion.

The report speaks of possibilities and probabilities: “appears to indicate, it is likely”. But this is the less enigmatic part.

The wordings “penetrated” and especially “high-energy objects” are interesting. It remains unclear how far these “objects” entered, or even if they went through the entire cockpit and came out on the other side of it, thus completely penetrating” the cockpit. The background picture of the cockpit section shown in this report is of lower quality and in smaller scale than the one I provided myself and published in my analysis.

“Weasel Wording”

Again it must be noted: The report does not lie, but the Commission shows less information than it has at its disposal.

The term “high-energy objects” is totally “original”. What is this?

I myself know this term from astrophysics or quantum physics. Otherwise, I have not commonly seen it in the context of aviation or plane accidents. So how should this concept be understood? I asked English speakers about this. They

 

spontaneously replied bullets, projectiles from a cannon or fast moving freight trains. They also noted that this term is unusual in “normal”, colloquial terms, except in astrophysics or quantum physics. This strange wording leaves everything open.

License to interpretations The explanation appears different

Those who want to follow the Western description can conclude that a surface-to-air missile discharges “high-energy-objects”. This is precisely the interpretation that I observed in the German media today.

Our newspapers are reciting like a creed the American version of the cause of the disaster, issued immediately after the MH 017 crash, by claiming that the present report confirms that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

That is not exactly what the report states, but it allows this interpretation – and that’s probably the point of this very flexible choice of words. Everybody can interpret what they want to believe according to their own taste. Especially if they are not native English speakers who spontaneously think of bullets.

This “report” is not worth the paper it is written on.

This is not surprising, because the Kiev Maidan government had to give their OK to what could be published.

The report leaves open everything which could actually contribute to an explanation. The MH 017 could have been hit by a missile, whether surface-to-air or air-to-air. It could have been shot down by a fighter jet or, sarcastically, according to the astrophysics or quantum physics terms, by a large number of “high-energy objects” that rained down on the cockpit from the far reaches of the universe.

You can download the report in the original PDF here to make up your own mind.

More articles on MH 017:

Read Peter Haisenko’s earlier article:

Shocking analysis for launching the Malaysian MH 017 – Here you will find the high resolution image of the cockpit section, of which only a portion is shown in the report.

Original in German.

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Nazi officer admits ordering lethal strike on own soldier during Gaza massacre

NOVANEWS
Submitted by Rania Khalek

140910-ofer-winter.jpg

The Yedioth Ahronoth interview with Colonel Ofer Winter.

The civilian population in Gaza is “a partner of terror” that “gets what they choose,” the top commander of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade told the Israeli press recently, after orchestrating some of the deadliest episodes of butchery visited upon the Gaza Strip this summer.

Colonel Ofer Winter also admitted to ordering the mass-bombardment of an area where an Israeli soldier was known to be in order to prevent his capture alive by Palestinian resistance fighters — an army policy known as the Hannibal Directive.

These are just two of the many incriminating comments made by Winter in a lengthy and candid interview published in a paper-only edition of the Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot on 15 August.

The interview took place near the end of Israel’s 51-day bombing campaign which killed more than 2,100 people in Gaza, the vast majority of them civilians — including more than 500 children. Israel expert Dena Shunra translated the interview for The Electronic Intifada.

In addition to justifying the mass killing of civilians in Gaza, Winter applauded the carpet bombing he ordered in Rafah as a necessary punishment and repeatedly invoked religious supremacy as a leading factor in what he views as a Jewish victory in Gaza.

Rafah massacre

Just as a temporary three-day humanitarian ceasefire negotiated by Egypt and the United States went into effect on the morning of Friday 1 August, a unit of soldiers from the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade conducted a tunnel incursion in Rafah, provoking fire from Palestinian resistance fighters.

Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the ensuing firefight and another, Hadar Goldin, went missing. It was later determined that Goldin died in the battle, but in the immediate aftermath the Israeli army operated under the assumption that he had been captured.

Ofer Winter was napping when he woke up to news of Goldin’s possible capture. He told Yediot Ahronot’s Yossi Yehoshua:

At 9 am, half an hour after I put my head down, the Deputy Brigade Commander woke me up: “come quickly, it’s best you be here.” We asked for a snapshot, we wanted information. We didn’t think there was an abduction yet. While inquiring if everyone was there, I commanded Sagiv, the Armored Forces Commander operating under my orders, to start moving from Hirbat Hiza’a, which was where he was, toward Rafah. Just then I got the message “it’s not green in our eyes” – in other words, not everyone had been found. We were missing a soldier. At 9:36, after inquiries with the battalion commander on site, I announced on the communication system the word that no one wants to say – “Hannibal.” In other words, there had been an abduction. I instructed all the forces to move forward, to occupy space, so the abductors would not be able to move.

The Hannibal Directive is an unwritten Israeli military protocol for executing captured Israeli soldiers to avoid politically painful prisoner swaps. Although its existence has been reported in the Israeli press since the 1980s, this interview with Winter appears to be the most frank acknowledgement of its use.

The idea is to prevent the captors from taking the soldier alive, effectively denying Palestinian or other Arab resistance groups a bargaining chip down the line and relieving Israeli leaders of the political fallout from having to make concessions (such as prisoner swaps) to secure the soldier’s release.

Executing their own

According to blogger Richard Silverstein, the Israeli army has implemented the Hannibal Directive on at least three occasions during this latest war on Gaza, deploying massive firepower with the intention of executing three of their own.

For the following several hours, residents of Rafah, many having just returned to their homes for what they were told would be a three-day ceasefire, were subjected to a carpet bombing campaign that left the town in ruins and 190 people dead.

An Israeli army officer told the Associated Press that soldiers pounded Rafah with 500 artillery shells in just eight hours and launched an estimated 100 airstrikes within two days.

Acting on Winter’s “Hannibal” order, the Israeli army sealed off Rafah to prevent the alleged captors from escaping with Goldin alive. Homes were flattened on top of families sheltering inside. Civilians who attempted to flee the inferno were torn to shreds by artillery. Vehicles trying desperately to evacuate the wounded were fired upon.

By 2 August, the Israeli army had killed 190 Palestinians in Rafah, including 55 children. With the morgues full to capacity, medical workers were forced to store corpses in vegetable refrigerators to accommodate the high volume of dead bodies.

As Israel laid waste to Rafah, the Obama administration called the alleged capture of Goldin, an invading Israeli soldier engaged in armed hostilities against Gaza, a“barbaric” and “outrageous” act.

“They messed with the wrong brigade”

“A lot of criticism was heard about the force you employed in Rafah, directly after the abduction,” said interviewer Yossi Yehoshua to Winter.

“Everything we did was from the understanding that we could return Hadar Goldin alive,” responded Winter. “Stop the abduction event. Come from above to the places he could come out of. That’s what we employed all the force for,” he insisted.

These claims are totally inconsistent with the reality on the ground, where the only possible intended outcome of bombing everything was to kill Goldin and his captors while collectively punishing the surrounding population in the process.

Winter continued with an even more contradictory remark, hinting that the response in Rafah was partly an act of retribution. “Anyone who abducts should know that he will pay a price. This was not revenge. They simply messed with the wrong brigade,” he said.

Then, in a stunning display of hypocrisy, Winter (who relies on airstrikes and indiscriminate artillery fire to avoid face to face confrontations with the supposed enemy and who had to be woken up from a nap to be informed that his soldiers were killed in Rafah) tried to portray Palestinian resistance fighters as cowards.

“We fought against two Hamas brigades. Where were their brigade commanders?” he asked indignantly. “I hoped they would come face to face with us, but they chickened out. They sent their men forward, causing more evil and killing. That’s not combat. There were very few places where there were fighting retreats. They left everything and escaped.”

Divine intervention

As an orthodox Jew firmly in Israel’s religious nationalist camp, Winter is making a career of mixing his brand of messianic Zionism with military aggression.

As a graduate of Bnei David, a religious pre-military academy located in Eli, an illegal Jewish-only settlement in the occupied West Bank, Winter epitomizes the mainstreaming of religiously motivated brutality in the Israeli army. Bnei David’s goal is to replace Israel’s largely secular military elite with religious Zionists, like Winter.

On the eve of Israel’s ground invasion, Winter declared in a letter to his troops that they were fighting a Jewish holy war to punish the blasphemous Palestinians of Gaza.

Responding to criticism of the letter, Winter doubled down, telling Yediot Ahronot, “if I had to do so, I would write the same letter again, without batting an eyelid.”

The impact of Winter’s fanaticism on Palestinians in Gaza was nothing short of catastrophic.

Soldiers from the Givati Brigade under Winter’s command made up the majority of ground troops that thundered into Khuzaa, a farming community near the Israeli boundary line. With massive artillery shelling accompanied by airstrikes, the Israeli army reduced all of Khuzaa to rubble to secure a path for columns of invading tanks, jeeps and soldiers.

Cut off from the outside world for days, the residents of Khuzaa were at the mercy of Winter’s religiously-guided soldiers who carried out summary executions of both fightersand civilians and mowed down anyone trying to flee, including a wheelchair-using 16-year-old girl with epilepsy and a wounded elderly woman crawling on the ground desperate for help.

Speaking about his brigade’s reign of terror in Khuzaa, Winter is cited by Yediot Ahronotas telling the ultra-Orthodox weekly newspaper Mishpacha that as the sun rose during the ground invasion, the movement of his troops remained hidden by “clouds of divine honor.”

“It was only when the homes that were supposed to be exploded were exploded and there was no longer any danger to our lives, the fog suddenly dispersed,” said Winter, insisting that the clouds were a direct intervention from God to protect the Jewish people.

Winter offered further religious explanations for his “victory” in Gaza to Yediot Ahronot.

Noting that the ground invasion coincided with “The Between the Straits Days” — a three-week mourning period observed by orthodox Jews to commemorate the ancient siege on Jerusalem and the loss of Jewish statehood — Winter opined that the overlap “was not just a coincidence.”

The Between the Straits Days end on the 9th of Av, also known as Tisha B’Av [observed on 5 August of this year], the very day that the fighting ended. It was especially on this day, a day of national mourning, that the decision was made: the IDF [Israeli military], the Nation of Israel – they won. We proved that we are a unified, determined nation and that we will not be beaten. Unitedness won. No ill words were spoken. Even the ultra-orthodox public – which cannot be taken for granted – fought with all its might from the place where it stands [meaning they prayed very hard]. I received lots of messages during the war. This is a tikun – repair – for what our ancestors have hurt. It enhanced the victory.

“The terrorists are the children” of Gaza

Despite the Palestinian blood on his hands, or more likely because of it, Winter has emerged as a hero in Israel, completely revered within the military and adored by the public.

Asked about his earlier complaints that the political and military establishment was holding him back from finishing the job in Gaza, Winter told Yediot Ahronot that he is ultimately satisfied with the outcome of the onslaught and then proceeded to brag about the carnage.

“There are hundreds of terrorists who were killed,” he boasted. “That is the message – no matter what we do, we’ll go in wherever we want to go. It is important that the enemy know this.”

“We shredded them. We can do it much worse, and it’s best for them that we not do it,” added Winter. “We gave them a much stronger beating than in Cast Lead.”

“When the Palestinians return to their home they will understand the scope of the damage Hamas has inflicted on them. Hamas used them,” he said.

Winter clarified that the enemy is not just Hamas but all of Gaza.

“This population is a hostage, but I think it is also a partner. I don’t exonerate them of responsibility so quickly,” said Winter of the 1.8 million Palestinians who inhabit the besieged coastal enclave, half of whom are children.

“True, there are some pitiable people there, but in many cases the terrorists are the children or relatives of the people who live there. In almost every home there is a son or other relative that is a partner in terror. How do you raise children in a home with explosives? In the end, everyone gets what they choose.”

“Forces of darkness”

He went on to call the Israeli assault “A just war against a cruel enemy. We, who sanctify life, fought against an enemy who sanctifies death. The forces of light against the forces of darkness.”

“This is an important statement due to the absolutism of it,” explains Israel expert Dena Shunra, who translated the article for The Electronic Intifada. “If Hamas (or Gaza as a whole) are the forces of darkness, any action is absolved. It is a Manichean sentiment similar to what we hear from the US military, and does not leave any room for ending hostilities – a war to the death.”

Winter’s warped vision of a civilian population in Gaza complicit in the “forces of darkness” essentially justifies killing them en masse, which is exactly what he did in Rafah and Khuzaa.

As a result, “[Winter] cannot walk around today without being halted, hugged, asked for a photo opportunity,” according to Yediot.

In a final address to his troops following the Gaza slaughter, Winter alluded to the next round of massacres.

“I am proud of you for everything that you have done. It is all thanks to you,” he told the soldiers. “I cannot promise you, like the song does, that this will be the last war, but I promise that this war, which is so just, will push the next war a good few years away.”

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Statement by Steven Salaita

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Steven Salaita issued the following statement today in a press conference near the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For more about his case, visit the Center for Constitutional Rights.

My name is Steven Salaita. I am a professor with an accomplished scholarly record; I have been a fair and devoted teacher to hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students; I have been a valued and open-minded colleague to numerous faculty across disciplines and universities. My ideas and my identity are far more substantive and complex than the recent characterizations based on a selected handful of my Twitter posts.

I am here today at the University of Illinois to speak against my termination by the Administration from a tenured faculty position because of the University Administration’s objections to my speech that was critical of recent Israeli human rights violations. The Administration’s actions have caused me and my family great hardship. Even worse, the Administration’s actions threaten principles of free speech, academic freedom, and critical thought that should be the foundation of any university.

Since 2006, I have been a faculty member of the English Department at Virginia Tech, where I earned lifetime tenure. On the basis of my scholarship and teaching record, and after substantial vetting, in 2013 I was enthusiastically recruited to join the faculty in the American Indian Studies program of UIUC. In October 2013, I accepted an offer from the interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to join the University as a professor with lifetime tenure, which I accepted. The offer letter specifically referenced the University’s adherence to the 1940 Principles of Academic Freedom codified by the AAUP.

In preparation for my new position, I resigned my tenured position at Virginia Tech; my wife resigned her professional position at the University as well. We got rid of our Virginia home and took on considerable expense in preparation for our move here. Two weeks before my start date, and without any warning, I received a summary letter from University Chancellor Phyllis Wise informing me that my position was terminated, but with no explanation or opportunity to challenge her unilateral decision. As a result, my family has no income, no health insurance, and no home of our own. Our young son has been left without a preschool. I have lost the great achievement of a scholarly career – lifetime tenure, with its promised protections of academic freedom.

As hard as this situation is on me personally, the danger of the University’s decision has further reaching implications. Universities are meant to be cauldrons of critical thinking; they are meant to foster creative inquiry and, when at their best, challenge political, economic, or social orthodoxy. Tenure – a concept that is well over a hundred years old – is supposed to be an ironclad guarantee that University officials respect these ideals and do not succumb to financial pressure or political expediency by silencing controversial or unpopular views. I have devoted my entire life to challenging prevailing orthodoxies, critiquing architectures of power and violence in the US and abroad and surfacing narratives of people – including Palestinians and Native Americans – who are subject to occupation, marginalization, and violence.

The Chancellor and Board of Trustees are apparently displeased by messages I posted on my personal Twitter account that were critical of recent atrocities committed by the Israeli government, which the United Nations referred to as “criminal.” My Twitter messages are no doubt passionate and unfiltered; they reflect my deep dismay at the deaths of more than 2,000 innocent Palestinians, over 500 of them children.

In recent statements, Chancellor Wise and the Board of Trustees said that the University Administration found the tone of my tweets “uncivil” and raised questions about my ability to inhabit the University environment. This is a perilous standard that risks eviscerating the principle of academic freedom. My comments were not made in a classroom or on campus; they were made through my personal Twitter account. The University’s policing and judgment of those messages places any faculty member at risk of termination if University administrators deem the tone or content of his or her speech “uncivil” without regard to the forum or medium in which the speech is made. This is a highly subjective and sprawling standard that can be used to attack faculty who espouse unpopular or unconventional ideas.

Even more troubling are the documented revelations that the decision to terminate me is a result of pressure from wealthy donors – individuals who expressly dislike my political views. As the Center for Constitutional Rights and other groups have been tracking, this is part of a nationwide, concerted effort by wealthy and well-organized groups to attack pro-Palestinian students and faculty and silence their speech. This risks creating a Palestinian exception to the First Amendment and to academic freedom. The ability of wealthy donors and the politically powerful to create exceptions to bedrock principles should be worrying to all scholars and teachers.

Finally, my scholarship and strong student evaluations over the course of many years, along with the University’s enthusiastic recruitment of me as a faculty member, thoroughly belie Chancellor Phyllis Wise’s only recently-stated concern about my civility and respectfulness. As my colleagues and students will attest, I am a passionate advocate for equality, a fair and open- minded instructor, and highly collegial. No legitimate evidence exists for any claims or insinuations to the contrary, which have severely damaged my reputation and my prospects for future employment.

During this challenging time, I am deeply grateful to the many hundreds of people and prominent organizations who have raised their voices in defense of the principles of academic freedom, including the nearly 18,000 individuals who have signed a petition demanding corrective action and the numerous faculty around the world who are boycotting the University until I am reinstated. The students and instructors gathered here have shown themselves to be exemplars of everything to which a university should aspire.

I am here to reaffirm my commitment to teaching and to a position with the American Indian Studies program at UIUC. I reiterate the demand that the University recognize the importance of respecting the faculty’s hiring decision and reinstate me. It is my sincere hope that I can – as a member of this academic institution – engage with the entire University community in a constructive conversation about the substance of my viewpoints on Palestinian human rights and about the values of academic freedom. This is, as we say in my profession, a “teaching moment.” We must all strive together to make the most of it.

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A Response to Nazi Elie Wiesel

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Nazi Elie Wiesel *

Denying Palestinians Their Humanity

by SARA ROY

Mr. Wiesel

I read your statement about Palestinians, which appeared in The New York Times on August 4th. I cannot help feeling that your attack against Hamas and stunning accusations of child sacrifice ** are really an attack, carefully veiled but unmistakable, against all Palestinians, their children included.  As a child of Holocaust survivors—both my parents survived Auschwitz—I am appalled by your anti-Palestinian position, one I know you have long held. I have always wanted to ask you, why? What crime have Palestinians committed in your eyes? Exposing Israel as an occupier and themselves as its nearly defenseless victims? Resisting a near half century of oppression imposed by Jews and through such resistance forcing us as a people to confront our lost innocence (to which you so tenaciously cling) ?

Unlike you, Mr. Wiesel, I have spent a great deal of time in Gaza among Palestinians. In that time, I have seen many terrible things and I must confess I try not to remember them because of the agony they continue to inflict.  I have seen Israeli soldiers shoot into crowds of young children who were doing nothing more than taunting them, some with stones, some with just words. I have witnessed too many horrors, more than I want to describe. But I must tell you that the worst things I have seen, those memories that continue to haunt me, insisting never to be forgotten, are not acts of violence but acts of dehumanization.

There is a story I want to tell you, Mr. Wiesel, for I have carried it inside of me for many years and have only written about it once a very long time ago. I was in a refugee camp in Gaza when an Israeli army unit on foot patrol came upon a small baby perched in the sand sitting just outside the door to its home. Some soldiers approached the baby and surrounded it. Standing close together, the soldiers began shunting the child between them with their feet, mimicking a ball in a game of soccer. The baby began screaming hysterically and its mother rushed out shrieking, trying desperately to extricate her child from the soldiers’ legs and feet. After a few more seconds of “play,” the soldiers stopped and walked away, leaving the terrified child to its distraught mother.

Now, I know what you must be thinking: this was the act of a few misguided men. But I do not agree because I have seen so many acts of dehumanization since, among which I must now include yours. Mr. Wiesel, how can you defend the slaughter of over 500 innocent children by arguing that Hamas uses them as human shields?  Let us say for the sake of argument that Hamas does use children in this way; does this then justify or vindicate their murder in your eyes? How can any ethical human being make such a grotesque argument?  In doing so, Mr. Wiesel, I see no difference between you and the Israeli soldiers who used the baby as a soccer ball. Your manner may differ from theirs—perhaps you could never bring yourself to treat a Palestinian child as an inanimate object—but the effect of your words is the same: to dehumanize and objectify Palestinians to the point where the death of Arab children, some murdered inside their own homes, no longer affects you. All that truly concerns you is that Jews not be blamed for the children’s savage destruction.

Despite your eloquence, it is clear that you believe only Jews are capable of loving and protecting their children and possess a humanity that Palestinians do not. If this is so, Mr. Wiesel, how would you explain the very public satisfaction among many Israelis over the carnage in Gaza—some assembled as if at a party, within easy sight of the bombing, watching the destruction of innocents, entertained by the devastation? How are these Israelis different from those people who stood outside the walls of theJewish ghettos in Poland watching the ghettos burn or listening indifferently to the gunshots and screams of other innocents within—among them members of my own family and perhaps yours—while they were being hunted and destroyed?

You see us as you want us to be and not as many of us actually are. We are not all insensate to the suffering we inflict, acceding to cruelty with ease and calm. And because of you, Mr. Wiesel, because of your words—which deny Palestinians their humanity and deprive them of their victim hood too many can embrace our lack of mercy as if it were something noble, which it is not. Rather, it is something monstrous.

 

* Chomsky Calls Elie Wiesel “One of The Major Frauds of Our Time”

For Jewish child sacrifice:

** My Irrelevant Defence  by philip De Vier

European Jews and Blood Easters by Ariel Toaff

 

 

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Peace IS Possible If We Remain Committed to the Truth

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Global Research

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ISIS and I$raHell allies against a Palestinian state

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Islamic State and Israel allies

By Jonathan Cook 

An image speaks a thousand words – and that is presumably what Israel’s supporters hoped for with their latest advertisement in theNew York Times.

Two photographs are presented side by side. One, titled ISIS, is the now-iconic image of a kneeling James Foley, guarded by a black-hooded executioner, awaiting his terrible fate. The other, titled Hamas, is a scene from Gaza, where a similarly masked killer stands over two victims, who cower in fear.

A headline stating “This is the face of radical Islam” tries, like the images, to equate the two organisations.

We have heard this line repeatedly from Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who tweeted “Hamas is ISIS” after the video of Foley’s beheading aired. Last week, in a speech addressed to the family of Steven Sotloff, ISIS’s latest victim, he called Hamas and ISIS “tentacles of a violent Islamist terrorism”.

Travesty of the truth

Netanyahu’s depiction of Hamas and ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which now calls itself Islamic State) as “branches of the same poisonous tree” is a travesty of the truth.

The two have entirely different – in fact, opposed – political projects. ISIS wants to return to a supposed era of pure Islamic rule, the caliphate, when all Muslims were subject to God’s laws (shari’ah). Given that Muslims are now to be found in every corner of the globe, the implication is that ISIS ultimately seeks world domination.

Hamas’s goals are decidedly more modest. It was born and continues as a national liberation movement, seeking to create a Palestinian state. Its members may disagree on that state’s territorial limits but even the most ambitious expect no more than the historic borders of a Palestine that existed a few decades ago.

ISIS aims to sweep away Palestine and every other Arab state in the region.

That is the key to interpreting the very different, if equally brutal, events depicted in the two images.

ISIS killed Foley, dressed in Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit, purely as spectacle – a graphic message to the world of its menacing agenda. Hamas’ cruelty was directed at those in Gaza who collaborate with Israel, undermining any hope of Palestinian liberation from Israel’s occupation.

The extra-judicial execution of collaborators may be ugly but it has a long tradition among resistance movements fighting asymmetrical wars. Militants among the Marxist revolutionaries of Latin America and the Catholic nationalists in Ireland, as well as the Allied resistance in Nazi Europe and the Jewish underground against the British in Palestine, had not a Muslim in their ranks but they brutally punished those who betrayed them.

In casting a popular resistance movement like Hamas as ISIS, Netanyahu has tarred all Palestinians as bloodthirsty Islamic extremists.

ISIS’s reported 20,000 foot soldiers have quickly taken over swaths of Iraq and Syria in a murderous and uncompromising campaign against anyone who rejects not only Islam but their specific interpretation of it.

Hamas – split between political and militant factions – has shown itself both pragmatic and accountable to the Palestinian public. It won the last national election, in 2006, and after its recent fight against Israel in Gaza is by far the most popular Palestinian movement.

Despite being in control of Gaza for eight years, it has not implemented shari’ah law nor targeted the enclave’s Christians. Instead it has recently formed a unity government with its secular political rivals in Fatah, and has been more than willing to negotiate with Israel.

According to reports, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has joined Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, in demanding the most diminutive Palestinian state possible, inside the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu’s fundamentalist right wing are the ones refusing to negotiate, with either Hamas or Abbas.

Netanyahu’s goals

In casting a popular resistance movement like Hamas as ISIS, Netanyahu has tarred all Palestinians as bloodthirsty Islamic extremists. And here we reach Israel’s real goal in equating the two groups.

Netanyahu’s comparison has a recent parallel. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks on the US, Ariel Sharon made a similar equivalence between al-Qaeda and the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

Israel’s intelligence officials even called the destruction of the Twin Towers a “Hanukkah miracle”, a view echoed by Netanyahu years later when he described the attack as beneficial, adding that it had “swung American public opinion in our favour”.

All of them understood that 9/11 had reframed the Oslo-inspired debate about the Palestinians needing statehood to one about an evil axis of Middle East terror.

Sharon revelled in calling Arafat the head of an “infrastructure of terror”, justifying Israel’s crushing the uprising of the second intifada.

Similarly, Netanyahu’s efforts are designed to discredit all – not just the Islamic variety – Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation. He hopes to be the silent partner to Barack Obama’s new coalition against ISIS.

Aaron David Miller, an adviser to several US administrations on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, warned in Foreign Policy last week that the rise of ISIS would pose a serious setback to Palestinian hopes of statehood – a point underscored by the far greater concerns about ISIS than the Palestinians’ plight expressed by Arab League delegates at this week’s meeting in Cairo.

DisinformationHow Netanyahu hopes to follow Sharon in exploiting this opportunity was on show last week, when Israeli intelligence revealed a supposed Hamas plot to launch a coup against the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The interrogation of Hamas officials, however, showed only that they had prepared for the possibility of the PA’s rule ending in the West Bank, either through its collapse under Israeli pressure or through a disillusioned Abbas handing over the keys to Israel.

But talk of Hamas coups has melded with other, even wilder stories, such as the claims last week from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that ISIS cells had formed in the West Bank and inside Israel. Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon underscored this narrative by hurriedly classifying ISIS as a “proscribed” organisation.

All this fear-mongering is designed both to further undermine the Palestinian unity government between Hamas and Fatah, and to sanction Israel’s behaviour by painting a picture, as after 9/11, of an Israel on the front line of a war against global terror.

“Israel’s demands for a continued Israeli presence [in the West Bank] and a lengthy withdrawal period will only harden further,” wrote Miller.

In reality, Israel should share common cause with Palestinian leaders, from Fatah and Hamas, against ISIS. But, as ever, Netanyahu will forgo his country’s long-term interests for a short-term gain in his relentless war to keep the Palestinians stateless.

Posted in Middle East, ZIO-NAZI, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on ISIS and I$raHell allies against a Palestinian state

Zionist Puppet Sisi judiciary under scrutiny for ‘video evidence’

NOVANEWS

Sisi  judicial process has become less accountable since the military take over in July 2013, analysts say

Zionist Sisi court security members at a court hearing in Cairo on 30 August.

The Egyptian judiciary has come under scrutiny once more as prosecutors in political activist Alaa Abdel Fatah’s trial presented a home video of his wife belly-dancing as evidence against him, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Abdel-Fatah is being retried in Cairo on charges of protesting and beating a police officer after being sentenced to 15 years in prison in June.

The clip of his wife prompted Abdel-Fattah to scream, “This is family stuff,” during court procedures earlier this week.

Lead defence lawyer, Taher Abul-Nasr told the court that the video was taken from a computer seized from the couple’s home without a search warrant and called the material irrelevant and defamatory, the newspaper reported.

According to the daily, most of the evidence presented Wednesday consisted of television images showing various protests with no scenes of Abdel-Fatah or the other defendants in the case.

The Egyptian court system has previously made incoherent rulings and used strange evidence during the trial of three Aljazeera journalists.

In May, an Egyptian court said that three jailed journalists – Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed – must pay $170,000 for a copy of video footage used as the basis for a case against the journalists who were accused of conspiring to provoke unrest in Egypt. During an earlier court hearing in April, the prosecutors failed to produce the video and instead showed footage of family photographs and trotting horses, reported The New York Times.

All three journalists – jailed since December 2013 – worked for the English-language Aljazeera news channel, which the Egyptian government considers biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood – deemed a ‘terrorist group’ by the Sisi government.

In July, the courts jailed the same journalists for alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, ruling that “the devil guided” the group to spread false news to defame the country.

In a similar case where 37 Islamists were sentenced to death and 492 others given life sentences in a Minya court in early June, the court issued the following statement to justify its decision:

“The accused came out of the depths of hell . . . to plunder Egypt’s wealth, tyrannise its people and they killed the deputy commissioner.”

International lawyers say such cases defame the Egyptian judiciary and reflect an increasing loss of credibility and accountability in the ruling processes.

“There is clear subordination to the police state,” said Ahmed Mefreh, legal researcher at Alkarama – a human-rights organisation campaigning on behalf of subjects of extra-judicial executions, disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention in the Arab world.

“These incidents make the credibility of the judge overseeing the case questionable. How can a judge see such videos as evidence to prosecute and indict someone on trial? These trials maintain no sense of seriousness or logic,” he told MEE.

Mefreh says the Egyptian judicial system has reached a disgraceful state since the military take over which ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

“These trials reflect that the general prosecutor is part of the interior ministry in Egypt. At the same time, the interior ministry has become a tool that is used to violate the personal and basic human rights of Egyptian people,” he said.

The Egyptian government has led a fierce crackdown on opposition groups, specifically members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also including journalists and bloggers.

According to several human-rights organisation, tens of thousands of Egyptian activists have been arbitrarily detained and imprisoned since 3 July 2013. While some are eventually released after judges habitually renew their detentions every 15 or 45 days, and there are currently more than 20,000 still captive.

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egyptian-judiciary-under-scrutiny-video-evidence-864321661#sthash.OgKbFJ4q.dpuf

Posted in EgyptComments Off on Zionist Puppet Sisi judiciary under scrutiny for ‘video evidence’

The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism

NOVANEWS
 

To the Editor:

Re “Why Jews Are Worried” (Op-Ed, Aug. 21):

Deborah E. Lipstadt did an admirable job noting the distinctions between the anti-Semitism of the Nazi era in the 1930s and the increased level of anti-Semitism we are witnessing today.

Although the impetus for the various anti-Semitic acts may be distinct from one another, the common denominator is that they are all fueled by an innate sense of animosity toward one particular religious group. That hatred is compounded by the fact that anti-Semitism is becoming not just acceptable (to some) but also quite routine.

This brazen assault on freedom of religion is particularly troubling and runs counter to the democratic ideals of a civilized society. The recent uptick in anti-Semitism is akin to a conflagration that is becoming increasingly difficult to extinguish.

As Jews, we do not always need to press the panic button, but we must sound the alarm so the international community takes heed of the acute nature of this growing and disturbing problem.

N. AARON TROODLER
Teaneck, N.J., Aug. 21, 2014

To the Editor:

Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.

The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014

The writer is the Episcopal chaplain at Yale.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism

Watch: Yemen – a failed state

NOVANEWS

Map of Yemen

 

Since 2011, when Yemeni youths took to the streets and sparked the eventual demise of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime, the country has fallen to pieces. The new embattled government is now struggling to cope with a bevy of issues, including sectarian rivalries, CIA drone strikes, and one of al-Qaeda’s most sophisticated branches. It now risks presiding over the failure of one of the world’s most fragile countries.

VICE News visits some of Yemen’s most dangerous and hard-to-reach places and groups, including the national army in the country’s lawless East, the Houthis in Sanaa and the Popular Committee in the south, to find out how both the government and the West’s policy toward Yemen have gone wrong.

Posted in YemenComments Off on Watch: Yemen – a failed state

Intense reactions to come after Zionist Puppet Ab-A$$ withdraws ICC application

NOVANEWS

Analysts expect strong reactions from the Palestinian public and from within the ruling elite if reports of Abbas withdrawing an application to join the ICC are confirmed

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas during a press conference in Ramallah, West Bank on 26 August (AFP).

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to reportedly stop an application to join the International Criminal Court has prompted analysts to foresee negative repercussions, with reports of angry reactions from parts of the Palestinian public emerging.

Abbas withdrew the application six days after it was submitted to The Hague by his own Minister of Justice during Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Reports alleged that Abbas’ Minister for Foreign Affairs Riad Maliki disowned the application in a private meeting with the ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in The Hague on 5 August.

Maliki said he had met the prosecutor to find out what was required for Palestine to get access to the ICC, but also stopped the application process in its tracks.

If these reports are confirmed, Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding CAABU says that that there will be widespread disillusionment within Palestinian circles.

“It would be a disappointment to many Palestinians who see the ICC as the only route open to them to seek some form of justice and accountability for what has happened not just during the recent war on Gaza but also regarding the monumental scale of Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” he said.

“The President will have to make quite clear his explanation to Palestinians about this. They will expect at least some evidence of a strategy going forward… [and] that it is actually for something positive to achieve their aspirations,” he added.

Khaled Gindy, a fellow in the Centre for Middle East Policy at Brookings agrees.

“The Palestinian public clearly doesn’t see things the way Abbas sees them. We already saw Palestinians protest against the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah and other places in the West Bank,” Gindy said.

“They [the Palestinians] have already been through this with the Goldstone affair a few years ago after operation Cast Lead and the withdrawal of that process was hugely unpopular.”

In 2009 Richard Goldstone, the judge who chaired the controversial UN inquiry into Israel’s attack on Gaza from December 2008 – also known as Operation Cast Lead – reported that Israel had committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity by intentionally targeting the civilian population. Goldstone later retracted some of the central conclusions of his earlier report.

Since the latest Israeli war, protests against the Palestinian Authority and Israel have broken out and spread across the West Bank.

“If reports are confirmed, this will trigger very negative responses, even from within Abbas’s own leadership circle who may speak out or at least distance themselves from him,” Gindy told MEE.

Members of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and other Palestinian politicians, including the Palestinian National Initiative Party’s Mustafa al-Barghouthi, as well as the PA’s diplomatic representative to the United Kingdom Manuel Hassassien all refused to comment on the reports, saying that they have not yet received details about the application process.

However, Barghouthi told MEE that the PA government was due to discuss the reports alongside various other issues, at a meeting scheduled for 7pm local time (1600 GMT).

Several observers have relegated Abbas’s move to tactical considerations in connection with his wider strategy to deliver on promises he has made to the Palestinian people.

“Abbas wants to use this [application to join the ICC] as leverage in case the US and Israel refuse his offers,” said Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab.

“There will be no [negative] impact as long as [this move] is part of Abbas’s strategy.”

Brooking’s Gindy, however, insisted that Abbas had no such strategy and that Abbas’s approach of banking on a negotiated settlement with the US leadership that would ultimately deliver Israel, has so far failed.

“The threat to go to the ICC for Mahmoud Abbas has always been tactical. Abbas is not interested in a confrontation with the Israelis, but more importantly he’s not willing to do anything that would jeopardise his relationship with Washington,” said Gindy.

“His strategy is based on an American-led peace process in which the US somehow puts pressure on Israel, which will ultimately lead to a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders plus or minus swaps with Jerusalem as its capital. This is Abbas’s only objective,” Gindy told MEE.

But other analysts deemed the reported developments unsurprising, labelling them a reflection of American diplomatic pressure on Abbas.

“The diplomatic pressures Abbas is under are intense; this American administration and its predecessor have made it clear that any attempt to join the ICC would have severe implications for Palestinian-American relations,” said Doyle.

“In combination between the US and the major EU powers, the PA is dependent upon them for aid, salaries, security training as well as a raft of other issues. To effectively sever links with the US would be a very major decision that would mean the end of any pretence to an American-led attempt to bring about peace.”

Abbas has consistently used accession to the ICC as a bargaining chip with Israel. Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath told Palestinian news agency Ma’an that Abbas would activate its application to the ICC if the UN Security Council rejected a demand to set a three year deadline for Israeli withdrawal to its 1967 borders.

Since the unity government and Fatah-Hamas relations are already strained, most analysts seem to suggest that these reports are unlikely to bring relations to breaking point although they could be used by Hamas to gain more leverage.

“The unity government is not doing so well. I don’t think that it will be this controversy that will torpedo this process as it has already been troublesome for years,” said Gindy.

Doyle agreed: “Hamas will point to the perceived weakness on behalf of Abbas and the PA, and they will attempt to maximise their political position as a result of that. But the underlying issues between Fatah and Hamas are far more serious and involve … different viewpoints regarding the future of Palestine itself.”

The ICC, which sought to confirm the application received by Abbas’s minister of foreign affairs Riad Maliki last month, has so far been supportive of the application’s procedural progress.

Hamas – which declared several weeks ago that it was prepared to incur the risk of prosecution from the ICC for the rockets they have fired at Israel – is also unlikely to be impeding the process although it is probably in no rush to push through the application, Gindy explained.

Since Israel launched its military assault in early July, both Hamas and Israeli officials have accused the other of committing war crimes. If Palestine were to join the ICC, its various factions would become liable for possible prosecution.

Despite the potential for Hamas to be subject to prosecution should Palestine join the ICC, the group has been pressuring Abbas to push the process forward, MEE reported exclusively in August.

The Palestinians in 2009 asked the ICC’s prosecutor’s office to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

However, there has so far been no probe as Palestine is not an ICC member state and its status as a state is uncertain in some international institutions. Israel has also signed but not ratified the treaty, making the prospect of investigating crimes on territory it controlled extremely difficult.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on Intense reactions to come after Zionist Puppet Ab-A$$ withdraws ICC application

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