Archive | June 18th, 2015

Labour ‘leftwinger’ Jeremy Corbyn wins place on ballot for leadership

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Late surge sees Corbyn reach required number of Westminster backers to join Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall on list

Jeremy Corbyn
 A late surge for Jeremy Corbyn saw him reach the required number needed to ensure his position in the contest. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

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Labour leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn has secured a place on the party’s leadership ballot paper by a whisker, joining Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.

Corbyn made it on to the ballot with just minutes to spare, as several Labour MPs gave him their nominations to ensure members could vote on a wide field of candidates.

The candidates will now all take part in a series of hustings, before facing a vote among Labour members and supporters. The voting period will open in mid-August and close on 10 September, with the winner announced at the party’s autumn conference two days later.

Although Burnham is the favourite, closely followed by Kendall and Cooper, the uncertainty over whether Corbyn would make the ballot has dominated the last few days of the contest.

Amid calls for the left wing of the party to be represented, a smattering of MPs backed Corbyn on Monday morning, taking him to 30 by 11am – one hour short of the deadline.

These included two Labour MPs who hope to win the nomination for London mayor – Sadiq Khan and David Lammy – as well as former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett, who is currently overseeing an inquiry into how Labour lost the election. He later won the support of Jon Cruddas. Fifteen minutes from the deadline he was three short, but he managed to get together enough last-minute names to make 36.

It was not possible for MPs to switch nominations, unless the candidate dropped out – as Mary Creagh did on Friday evening.

Corbyn seemed more phlegmatic about his chances than some of his supporters, who tried to bombard undecided MPs to press them into nominating him.

He said it would be great to secure a place but if he did not he was sure he had put the issues of austerity and nuclear weapons on the ballot paper.

Corbyn also expressed his regret that Harriet Harman had not stayed on as interim leader for a year or two to give the party time to have a policy debate and reflect on the election defeat, rather than enter a leadership contest built around personalities.

He said Labour needed to reflect on why the party lost votes to the Greens and Ukip, as well as why so many younger people did not vote.

After the result, Corbyn told the Daily Politics: “I think it was discussions that colleagues had with their constituency parties and party members over the weekend, and I fully acknowledge and recognise that those colleagues who nominated me – MPs who nominated me – may not necessarily agree with me on the pitch I’m taking or my views on many things.

“But they also felt there needs to be a full debate on policy in the party and I will obviously take part in all this debate over the next three months and hope at the end of it the Labour party emerges stronger and hope the Labour party is more resolute in opposing the principles behind austerity and impoverishment of the poorest in Britain.”

The final tally showed Burnham with 68 nominations and Cooper not far behind on 56, while Kendall got 41. Kendall’s camp on Monday had been fighting back against reports that those close to Burnham and Cooper thought she was out of the race.

A source from one of the rival camps told the Telegraph: “We are now seeing the end of Taliban New Labour. All of those Blairites who hoped they might get their candidate elected have failed.”

Cooper has previously accused other candidates of “swallowing” the Tory manifesto, but both her team and Burnham’s have now distanced themselves from this characterisation.

According to bookmakers Kendall is second favourite behind Burnham. Paddy Power shortened the odds on a Corbyn victory from 100/1 to 20/1 after he made the ticket, with Burnham on 5/6, Kendall 5/2, and Cooper 3/1.

All four will now appear in a televised hustings on the BBC’s Newsnight on Wednesday, presented by chief correspondent Laura Kuenssberg.

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THIS IS THE REAL LABOUR LEFT BULLSHIT

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Jeremy CorbynMP for Islington North Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign gives us all an opportunity to profile socialist ideas and rebuild popular left organisation on the ground argues Chris Nineham

Getting Jeremy Corbyn onto the Labour leadership ballot was a breakthrough which opens up a big opportunity for the left in Britain.

We now have the prospect of a summer of debate in which the case against austerity will be put eloquently and with a passion not seen in Labour politics for years. And all in front of a national audience. What’s more, Jeremy will bring to the debate the ideas and the approaches of the mass movements of which he is an integral part.

An ambitious, high profile campaign for Jeremy which draws on the movements against austerity, war and racism, can project radical ideas to a huge audience and build the forces of the left in every area. In this situation too, if Corbyn sustains the initial momentum, his campaign can create a crisis for the Labour machine and even the wider establishment.

Elite consensus

And how badly this voice is needed in the election. With various degrees of enthusiasm all the other candidates are signed up to the stifling pro-market consensus. They accept austerity as a given, buy into right wing immigration myths and wouldn’t dream of questioning the special relationship with the US when it comes to foreign policy. It was failing to break out of this paradigm that lost Ed Miliband any hope of winning the general election.

It is instructive how Jeremy got on the ticket. Some colleagues on the left fought hard for him but it wasn’t mainly a leftward shift in the Parliamentary Labour Party that swung it. A few centrist MPs came on board at the last moment but this was a result of grassroots pressure from within and without the party (look at the Facebook pages, Liz Kendall has 45 likes, Jeremy Corbyn has over 20,000!).

The Blairites around Liz Kendall are deeply hostile. Their plan was to use Kendall’s candidacy to force the whole debate to the right. They are now on the back foot, and in a foul mood. Dan Hodges’ Telegraph diatribe is only the beginning of the backlash.

Ironically, recent changes to the voting procedure designed to minimise union power also limit the influence of the Parliamentary Labour Party and open up the possibility of non-member Labour supporters joining the ballot.

Searching for something new

The recent general election and the massive enthusiasm for the Saturday’s demonstration shows that now there are hundreds of thousands of people who are alienated and angered by established politics and looking for something new and radical. Millions more hoped against hope that Ed Miliband would confront the Tories effectively enough to make Labour electable.

Jeremy’s leadership campaign is already starting to restore some hope and provide a focus for the widespread discontent.

But there is another background element to all this. If you ignore the boosterism and look at the facts you find Britain remains a dangerously skewed and debt-ridden economy. It is overseen by an elite deeply committed to a neoliberal project at home and military intervention abroad. Jeremy’s brand of principled left-wing politics is way beyond the pale for these people. They will resist it by any means possible. Corbyn’s challenge puts him on a collision course with the right in Labour and the ruling class more generally, and already the right-wing press and some Labour MPs are moving into action against him.

The limits of Labour

Everything we know about Labour’s past and particularly its recent trajectory tells us it cannot in it itself become a vehicle for fundamental change. The Labour bureaucracy is too closely tied to the establishment. Parliament anyway doesn’t control the real levers of power. Socialists have to do two things. We need to continue to build the biggest, strongest mass movements outside parliament and, second, within that, we need to pull together the most radical activists in independent organisation committed to change from below.

But Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign can create the conditions that make both these things easier. It gives us all an opportunity to profile socialist ideas and rebuild popular left organisation on the ground. A challenge to the right in the Labour Party which links with the wider movements will shift the balance of the argument in Britain and could help to alter the balance of forces. We need to seize the chance it offers.

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The Anglo-American Insanity

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Image result for Philip Hammond PHOTO
By Finian Cunningham

In a sane world, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond should be forced to quit his post in disgrace as the country’s top diplomat, following reckless remarks that Britain may henceforth site American nuclear weapons to counter the “threat from Russia.” So here we have an alarming escalation of international tensions and militarism by both Washington and London – and all on the back of unproven, prejudicial words from the close Anglo-American allies, who are clearly working in tandem.

Hammond’s overt reversal to Cold War mentality comes as Washington is also reportedly considering the deployment of “first-strike” nuclear missiles in various European Union countries. The Americans are claiming that move is “in response” to Russia violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Moscow is accused of testing land-based cruise missiles banned under the INF. Russia has flatly denied this American claim, which – as is becoming the norm in other contentious matters – has not been supported with any evidence from Washington.

This slanderous attitude toward Russia is doubly contemptible, because not only is it calumnious, the deception also serves as a political and moral cover that allows the Anglo-American rulers to take outrageous steps toward jeopardising international peace, with the unprecedented deployment of nuclear weapons.

On the issue of Britain siting American nuclear weapons, Hammond told the rightwing Daily Telegraph :

I think it is right to be concerned about the way the Russians are developing what they call asymmetric warfare doctrine… We have got to send a clear signal to Russia that we will not allow them to transgress our red lines. We would look at the case [of installing American nuclear weapons on British soil]. We work extremely closely with the Americans. That would be a decision that we would make together if that proposition was on the table. We would look at all the pros and the cons and come to a conclusion.

For self-serving good measure, the British foreign minister linked the nuclear issue with alleged Russian aggression in east Ukraine, adding:

There have been some worrying signs of stepping up levels of activity both by Russian forces and by Russian-controlled separatist forces.

Hammond tried to sound ambivalent about the deployment of US nuclear weapons from British territory – in addition to Britain’s own nuclear arsenal – but the mere fact that his government is weighing the possibility is in itself a reckless, inflammatory move. If Britain were to do so, it reverses the prohibition on such American forces that followed the end of the Cold War more than 20 years ago.

Ironically, while Hammond was this week leading the Westminster parliament’s push for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, it may be noted that the British public is not given a say on whether their country once again becomes part of the United States’ nuclear strike force.

But perhaps the real sacking offence for Hammond is that he is dangerously militarising foreign policy based on absolutely no reasonable evidence; indeed, based on outright disinformation. Just like his American allies in Washington, the Conservative Party minister is making all sorts of hysterical claims against Russia, ranging from posing a threat to Europe, to using “asymmetric war doctrine,” to invading east Ukraine and undermining the Minsk ceasefire. (A ceasefire that Moscow worked hard to broker with Germany and France back in February, in the significant absence of both Washington and London.)

Without any credible information, the American and British governments appear to be moving incrementally toward a pre-emptive nuclear strike capability against Russia. As the Associated Press reported last week, albeit using euphemistic language:

The options go so far as one implied – but not stated explicitly – that would improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory.

The Americans, Britain or NATO have not produced a shred of verifiable evidence that Russia has violated the INF treaty, or is subverting Ukraine, or is threatening any other European country.

On the east Ukraine conflict, it is in fact reliably reported by the Minsk ceasefire monitoring group of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well by local media sources and pro-separatist officials, that the latest surge in violence is coming from the Western-backed Kiev regime. That violence includes the shelling of residential centres in Donetsk City and surrounding towns and villages, which has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths over the past week.

How the British and American governments can make out that Russia is the aggressor and is subverting the Minsk ceasefire is simply a prejudicial assertion that is based on no facts. Moreover, such a view is a distortion of the facts to the point of telling barefaced lies.

That the British foreign secretary can make such misleading and apparently misinformed comments about the Ukraine conflict and Russia in general, and then seek to overhaul Britain’s military policy to install American nuclear weapons on British territory is worthy of a ministerial sacking due to gross incompetence.

Hammond’s embrace of nuclear militarism in the midst of a tense East-West political standoff has not gone unnoticed in Britain. His bellicose remarks have caused controversy, with several anti-war campaign groups reviling the reckless reversal to Cold War mentality. Nevertheless, it is a worrying sign of the mainstream malaise that Hammond’s incompetence has not incurred even greater public condemnation.

Underlying the American and British governments’ foreign policy is just this: a Cold War ideology, which views the entire world in terms of “external threats.” Russia and China are once again foremost as the perceived and portrayed enemies.

In an interview last week with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted:

As for some countries’ concerns about Russia’s possible aggressive actions, I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO.

By deduction, this kind of reasoning categorises people like Britain’s Hammond as “insane.” The same goes for US President Barack Obama and his administration. Addressing the recent G7 summit in Germany, Obama exhorted: “We must face down Russian aggression.”

It might be asked: why do Washington and London in particular always interpret the world in terms of enemies, threats and aggression?

Part of the answer may be that these powers are themselves the biggest practitioners of illegal aggression to pursue foreign policy goals. Imperialism – the use of military force to underpin political and economic objectives – is part and parcel of how America and Britain operate in the world. Aggression and militarism are fundamental instruments of Anglo-American capitalism, as much as banking, trade and investment deals.

There is thus a very real sense of “devil’s conscience” at play in the international relations of Washington and London. They both fear retribution and revenge because of their own criminal conduct toward the rest of the world. In a word, the Anglo-American world view boils down to paranoia.

The militarisation of foreign relations is also an effective, vicarious way to exert control over nominal allies. If external threats can be sufficiently talked up, then that creates a contrived sense of “defence” among “allies” who then look to dominant leaders for “protection.” Such mind games are typical of the way Washington and London have promoted NATO as the protector of “European allies” from “Russian aggression.”

The same mind game is at play over Washington’s interference in Asia-Pacific, where the Americans are trying to cast China as the “evil aggressor” toward smaller nations, who then turn to Washington for “protection” – and large amounts of money to buy American weapons, courtesy of the Fed’s dollar-printing press.

On the matter of alleged Russian aggression, Putin, in the interview cited above, went on to aptly comment:

I think some countries are simply taking advantage of people’s fears with regard to Russia… Let’s suppose that the United States would like to maintain its leadership in the Atlantic [EU] community. It needs an external threat, an external enemy to ensure this leadership. Iran is clearly not enough – this threat is not very scary or big enough. Who can be frightening? And then suddenly this crisis unfolds in Ukraine. Russia is forced to respond. Perhaps, it was engineered on purpose, I don’t know. But it was not our doing.

Speaking to the editor of Corriere della Sera, Putin added:

Let me tell you something – there is no need to fear Russia. The world has changed so drastically that people with some common sense cannot even imagine such a large-scale military conflict today. We have other things to think about, I assure you.

That is why politicians like British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond are compelled to vilify Russia and conjure up nightmares of invasions, large-scale military conflicts, and nuclear weapons. Without scaremongering, there cannot be warmongering; and without warmongering Anglo-American capitalism cannot exert the hegemonic relations that it requires in order to operate.

This Anglo-American world view remains regressively stuck in a bygone era of managing international relations through violence and aggression and even, if needs be, through instigating all-out war.

Such people as Britain’s Philip Hammond, his Prime Minister David Cameron and on the American side, Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, do not of course deserve to be in a position of government, if we lived in a sane world.

But that’s the kind of politician that the Anglo-American capitalist system selects, because they promote the essentials of the system through their draconian mentality of aggression and war. The diabolical shame is that these insane people are capable of bringing cataclysm upon millions of innocent human beings.

Kicking out such politicians would be a start to averting war. Better still would be kicking out the entire insane system that anyway only ever enriches a small minority at the painful expense of the majority. That “expense” includes enduring the perennial risk of war and, dare we say, annihilation.

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Palestinian man dies after being left for 3 hours under Nazi jeep

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By: TUT

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ed note–After reading this story many will undoubtedly in utter bewilderment ask themselves the eternal questions that inevitably follow in the wake of such Judaic behavior–‘HOW CAN THIS BE…..HOW CAN THESE PEOPLE–THE JEWS–BE SO CALLOUS AND SO UNCONCERNED WITH HUMAN LIFE AS TO ALLOW SOMETHING LIKE THIS???’

To those who have the intellectual honesty to face it, the answer of course is that this is Jewish behavior yesterday, today and tomorrow, and for the simple reason that Judaism does not recognize the humanity of non-Jews, who are seen as nothing more than animals in human form created by Yahweh to serve the Jews. Therefore, a situation by which an animal is shot in the back and then run over by a jeep and left for 3 hours to die is no different than if the same had been done to a sheep, goat or bull, since this is how Gentiles are seen.

There are no such things as ‘good Jews’, only former ones, and all the noise coming out of the Jewish  protesting the behavior of Netanyahu & co is meant to recalibrate the confusion process so that the growing number of Gentiles who are beginning to apply the scientific method to understanding Jewish thought will go back to sleep.

continue reading

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The Deep Rabbit Hole of I$raHell Spying on America

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Image result for RABBI SPY CARTOON
By Naji Dahi 

In 2014, it was revealed that Israel was spying on the secret negotiations between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members (China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the United States plus Germany—together known as P5+1) regarding Iran’s nuclear program. More recently, it was revealed that Swiss and Austrian authorities are investigating the extent of said spying. Israel has denied any involvement in the matter, but a spying virus linked to the Israelis was found on the computers of three hotels where the negotiations are hosted.

It may come as a shock to some Americans, but Israel has a long history of spying on the U.S. government, its military, and private sector corporations. While it is common for allies to spy on each other, Israel’s spying is unprecedented in its depth and intensity. According to Newsweek,

Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly, counterspies have told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, going far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan. A congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony ‘very sobering… alarming… even terrifying.’

Another staffer called it ‘damaging.’

The spying is even more shocking given the extent of America’s generosity towards Israel. By all accounts, Israel has received$233.7 billion in direct military aid (among many other benefits) from the U.S. over the last six decades. According to If Americans Knew, an independent research institute, since the early 1970s,

The US has given more aid to Israel than it has to all the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean combined—which have a total population of over a billion people… In all, direct US disbursements to Israel are higher than to any other country, even though Israelis only make up 0.1% of the world’s population. On average, Israelis receive 7,000 times more US foreign aid per capita than other people throughout the world, despite the fact that Israel is one of the world’s more affluent nations.

So how far back does Israeli spying go? According to one source, Israeli surveillance of the United States dates back to 1954 when “the U.S. Ambassador in Tel Aviv discovered in his office a hidden microphone ‘planted by the Israelis.’”

In 1965, it was revealed that 100 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium was missing from a U.S. research facility. Israel was suspected of stealing the material for its nuclear weapons program. The Bulletin wrote that “The evidence available for our 2010 Bulletin article persuaded us that Israel did steal uranium from the Apollo, Pennsylvania, plant of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC).”

Closely related to the smuggling of uranium was the most infamous case of Israeli spying—that of U.S. naval intelligence officer, Jonathan Pollard, and his wife. On November 21, 1985, Jonathan Pollard was arrested for espionage while trying to seek asylum at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. Thus began one of the most damaging thefts of American national security documents. According to one source, Pollard stole “an estimated 800,000 code-word protected documents from inside the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and numerous other U.S. agencies.” Pollard and his wife pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to two five-year prison terms but was released early because of her illness. She has since left for Israel and campaigns on behalf of an early release of her husband. Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life in prison but is eligible for parole in 2015. Israel granted Pollard citizenship and has pressured presidents BushClinton, and Obama for his early release. The damage to U.S. national security was such that whenever the subject was brought up, a number of high-ranking national security officials threatened to resign. Pollard has yet to be released.

Another spy that also helped Israel in its quest for nuclear weapons was the 84-year-old Ben-Ami Kadish. After two decades of providing an unnamed Israeli official with sensitive information about the U.S.’ nuclear secrets and weapons programs, Kadish was arrested. He plead guilty and paid a $50,000 fine, but did not serve time due to old age and infirmity. One wonders why the FBI took so long to find and arrest the spy. Curiously, both Pollard and Kadish allegedly had the same Israeli handler. Even the sentencing judge wondered “[why] it took the government 23 years to charge Mr. Kadish.”

Finally, there is the case of Lawrence Franklin, who was arrested in 2005 and charged under the Espionage Act. In January 2006, he was convicted and sent to jail for 12 years for passing secret Department of Defense documents to two high-ranking AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) officials. The two AIPAC officials were also indicted in 2005 as co-conspirators, but the charges against them were dropped four years later after a court required a “higher level of proof of intent to spy. The court said the prosecution would have to prove not only that the accused pair had passed classified information but that they intended to harm the US in doing so.” One wonders why the court all of a sudden required a higher burden of proof. Justin Raimondosuggests that the dropping of charges is indicative of the power of AIPAC.

As can be seen from the few cases highlighted here (there are more), there is a long history of Israeli spying on the U.S. What is new about the spying on the nuclear negotiations is the involvement of other actors (Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany). Unlike the United States, which has tolerated and condoned Israeli spying (Israel apologized and promised not to do it again after the Pollard case), these other actors may not take kindly to Israeli spying and might inflict punitive diplomatic and/or criminal sanctions against Israel. That remains to be seen, pending the results of the Austrian and Swiss investigation. This story is far from over given Israel’s intense opposition to the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran.

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Soldiers expel 200 Palestinians from pool to allow Jewish Nazi settlers to bath

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Soldiers expel 200 Palestinians from pool to allow Jewish Nazi settlers to bath

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Jewish Nazi settlers

BTSELEM.ORG – On 7 April 2015, during Passover holidays, a group of hundreds of settlers accompanied by Israeli security forces came to Birkat al-Karmil – a natural pool close to the village of al-Karmil, which lies in the southern Hebron Hills within Area A. In 2011, Yatta Municipality renovated the site, creating a park there and restoring an ancient pool at its center.

 

B’Tselem’s investigation found that at about 2:00 P.M., hundreds of settlers arrived at the pool accompanied by dozens of soldiers, Border Police, and representatives of the Civil Administration (CA). The security forces ordered the Palestinian bathers to leave the pool and remain on the edge of the park. They allowed the settlers, however, free and exclusive use of the rest of the park. At about 5:30 P.M., the settlers and the security forces left the area.

“According to media reports, reveal that the settlers came to the pool on the initiative of the Susiya Tour and Study Center. In its publications, the center described the pool as the historical site of the Biblical settlement of Carmel and emphasized that the visit was authorized and accompanied by the military. The center reported that some 1,000 people had taken part in the tour, including Chief Military Rabbi Rafi Peretz, and that similar events have been held at the site for several years, particularly during the festivals of Sukkot and Passover.

According to testimonies collected by B’Tselem, when the settlers arrived at the pool there were almost 200 Palestinians there. Some were bathing in the pool, while others were relaxing in the park. Muhammad Mahaniyah, 20, a resident of Yatta, told B’Tselem field researcher Musa Abu Hashhash that when the settlers arrived, accompanied by the security forces, he was bathing in the pool with friends:

“A Border Police officer ordered me to get out of the water quickly. At first I refused and told him that I wanted to be in the pool and had a right to be there. I said that I had no problem with the settlers swimming along with me. He threatened to use force if I didn’t get out of the water quickly, so my friends and I had no choice but to get out. The soldiers ordered the Palestinians who were around the pool to move back to the edge of the park, to stay there, and not to approach the settlers.”

Ibrahim Abu Tabikh, 15, from the village of al-Karmil, told Abu Hashhash:

“At about two o’clock I went to swim in the pool, which is about 500 meters from my home. When I got there, I saw groups of settlers moving towards the pool. There were dozens of soldiers and Border Police officers with them. The settlers began to undress and jump into the water. I also jumped in with my brother Muhammad, 16, and we began to swim. The settlers complained about our being in the pool and three young settlers started swimming towards us. Some soldiers intervened and asked them to move away from us. After they swam away, one of the soldiers ordered us to get out of the water. I refused and stood by the edge of the pool. Another soldier came up to me, pointed his gun at me, and shouted at me to get out of the water quickly. Muhammad and I got out of the water because I was afraid of the soldiers. As I got out, dozens of Palestinian residents around the pool shouted slogans against the settlers being there. The soldiers moved the residents away from the pool to the northern section of the park and prevented them from wandering around the park. In the meantime the settlers continued to swim while the soldiers guarded them. I stayed in the park until the settlers left at about half past five.”

During the incident, the mayor of Yatta came to the pool and protested to the CA representatives who were with the settlers. One representative informed him that the visit had been coordinated with the Palestinian DCO. B’Tselem contacted representatives of the Palestinian DCO, who denied any coordination and claimed they had submitted an official complaint to the Israeli DCO. In fact, whether the visit was coordinated is immaterial, as the Palestinian DCO is not free to refuse such requests by Israeli security forces.

This incident is yet another example of how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank. Almost any desire expressed by settlers, however capricious, is automatically facilitated at the expense of the Palestinian population. In this case, the military used its force and authority solely in order to allow settlers the pleasure of bathing at that particular location. This purpose is unjustified in its own right, and certainly cannot justify the entry of soldiers into Area A or any disruption to Palestinians’ lives.

B’Tselem wrote to the IDF Spokesperson requesting a response to the incident, including a series of detailed questions. The IDF Spokesperson replied with a laconic response that offers no explanation for the authorities’ conduct in the incident.

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Dual Citizenship and US National Security

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http://livingingreece.gr/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/passport.jpg

We need full disclosure from public officials

A brouhaha erupted when Diane Rehm, of National Public Radio, confronted Bernie Sanders during an interview with an allegation that’s been making the rounds on the Internet for years: “Now, you’re a dual citizen of Israel,” she averred. Startled, he replied:

“Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. I’m an American citizen, period.”

He claimed to be “offended” by Rehm’s assertion, although I don’t know why anybody would be: after all, what’s wrong with being a dual citizen of Israel, or of any other country?

Ms. Rehm issued an official apology, in which she regretted not posing a question rather than making an assertion – and that underscores the problem with the whole issue of public officials holding dual citizenship: they aren’t required to disclose it. Rehm says she brought it up in the first place because of a Facebook comment, which referenced a list of alleged dual US-Israeli citizens in Congress. None of these lists, however, are sourced, a fact the research-challenged Rehm failed to notice. It’s virtually impossible to source such information, however, unless members of Congress are forthcoming with it – which they aren’t.

So why is this even an issue? Writing in The HillL. Michael Hager,of the International Development Law Organization, had a good answer:

“Anyone can become a dual citizen, even members of Congress, high court judges and top officials of the executive branch. There’s no law or regulation against it. Nor are they required to disclose such dual citizenship.

“So what’s the problem?

“For most dual citizens, having the benefits of citizenship in two countries (including expedited immigration) outweigh the costs (which may include tax obligations to both countries).

“Yet dual citizenship in the United States poses a hitherto unappreciated issue for policy-level members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The divided national loyalties of dual citizens can create real or apparent conflicts of interest when such legislators, judges or senior officials make or speak out on policies that relate to their second country.

“The potential damage to our democracy is the greater when such potential conflicts of interest are concealed in undisclosed dual citizenship.

“Current entries on the Internet contain a number of undocumented assertions as to which members of Congress and senior officers are dual citizens. Without reliable data, however, Americans can only speculate on which senators and representatives may have divided national loyalties.

“The lack of transparency regarding citizenship erodes trust in government, raising credibility doubts where there should be none, and allowing some apparent conflicts of interest to continue undetected.”

So what’s the solution? Hager suggests 1) Dual citizens in Congress should recuse themselves from voting on issues where a conflict of interest might arise, e.g. a dual citizen of, say, Liberia, should not be voting on whether to increase aid to that country. And 2) The Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress ought to publish this information, along with all the other facts they routinely gather – party affiliation, age, ethnicity, gender, etc. – about every member of each new Congress.

The Rehm-Sanders controversy was a good opportunity for Israel’s American amen corner to make the usual disingenuous claims about the supposedly rising tide of anti-Semitism, claiming Israel was once again being unfairly singled out for special attention and that to even raise the question amounted to peddling The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the public square. The irony is that even as the Rehm controversy was breaking another story was breaking: Israel’s spying on the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. That very morning the Wall Street Journal was reporting that the Israelis had infiltrated some very sophisticated malware – a virus – into the computers at the hotels where the negotiations were taking place:

“[T]he virus was packed with more than 100 discrete ‘modules’ that would have enabled the attackers to commandeer infected computers.

“One module was designed to compress video feeds, possibly from hotel surveillance cameras. Other modules targeted communications, from phones to Wi-Fi networks. The attackers would know who was connected to the infected systems, allowing them to eavesdrop on conversations and steal electronic files.

“The virus could also enable them to operate two-way microphones in hotel elevators, computers and alarm systems. In addition, the hackers appeared to penetrate front-desk computers. That could have allowed them to figure out the room numbers of specific delegation members.”

All very James Bond, but then again the Israelis are a formidable foe and they’redeadly serious when it comes to penetrating the secrets of their “friends” as well as their enemies. What’s in question, however, is who’s a friend and who’s an enemy: in their eyes, it’s no longer very clear.

Increasingly isolated internationally, as well as increasingly hostile to the United States – Israeli bigwigs openly booed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Jerusalem the other day – Israel’s political class (and Israeli society in general) have taken a very sharp rightward turn. A virulent form of ultra-nationalism dominates Israeli politics these days, and anti-Americanism is on the rise. After all, these are a people who named a public square in Jerusalem – overlooked by the American consulate – after Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy imprisoned for life in the United States for stealing US secrets.

And that calculated insult occurred in 2007, right before then President George W. Bush – surely one of the most pro-Israel presidents in American history – was scheduled to visit. Since then, the tension between Washington and Tel Aviv has increased a hundred-fold.

So Israel isn’t being picked on for no good reason. Indeed, the Israelis have targeted the US and its allies, not only accusing them of “appeasing” Iran but also penetrating their security and industrial systems. According to Wired, the reach of the Israeli super-virus extended worldwide, extending to:

“[A]n international gathering for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. The focus in this case may have been on the scores of VIPs who attended the event, including presidents and prime ministers….

“In addition to all of these targets, Symantec uncovered victims in the UK, Sweden, Hong Kong and India. Notably, it found telecom victims in Europe and Africa, an electronics firm in South East Asia, and multiple infections in the US, including one organization where developers working on mobile platforms were infected. Some of the infections dated back to 2013 … “

America’s “special relationship” with Israel has soured for a two reasons: 1) Our security interests, once aligned during the cold war era, have diverged, and 2) The political environment in Israel has undergone a radical transformation.

Furthermore, none of this was avoidable. Although the Israel lobby would like us toforget it, the United States and the Jewish state are separate countries, with inevitably disparate interests. And those interests underwent a significant shift with the end of the cold war and the beginning of the “age of terrorism,” as it might be termed. It became necessary for Washington to forge a closer relationship with Middle Eastern states other than Israel, i.e. Israel’s traditional adversaries. We see this playing out now as Iran takes on ISIS and a Washington-Tehran rapprochement is in the works.

Inside Israel, another shift was taking place: the inherent logic of that settler colony’s origins was pushing it on a course that didn’t allow for any compromise with its indigenous Arab population. Reduced to helotry, and radicalized by their predicament, the Arabs revolted – and the subsequent Israeli backlash changed the political landscape forever.

Aggressive Israeli spying on – and in – the US is not a “conspiracy theory,” it’s areality, and the danger it poses is heightened by the presence of a powerful lobby that seeks to deny and/or excuse that aggression at every turn. No responsible American observer can look on it with indifference, and measures must be taken to counteract it, just as we would seek to obstruct similar intrusions by, say, China or Russia.

As for the issue of dual citizenship, particularly involving federal officials and specifically members of Congress, the direct relation of this matter to our national security is underscored by the case of Jane Harman. While serving in Congress, Harman was caught out by the National Security Agency having a conversation with an Israeli official in which she agreed to intercede on behalf of two AIPAC lobbyists who had been brought up on espionage charges. Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two longtime members of the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, had been accused of procuring sensitive information purloined from the Pentagon on Israel’s behalf.

Harman was angling, at the time, to chair the House Intelligence Committee, and theNew York Times reported that “One official who has seen transcripts of several wiretapped calls said she appeared to agree to intercede in exchange for help in persuading party leaders to give her the powerful post.” Those transcripts, according to the official, revealed that the Israeli caller “promised her that a wealthy California donor – the media mogul Haim Saban – would threaten to withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who was expected to become House speaker after the 2006 election, if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post.”

Rather than run for reelection under this cloud, Harman retired from Congress.

Israel represents a danger to the national security of this country: this is an incontrovertible fact, and no amount of “anti-Semitism”-baiting is going to obscure it. And that danger is growing, as the story of the Israeli spy-virus makes all too clear.

In this context, dual US-Israeli citizenship among federal employees – including members of Congress – is a legitimate concern, and not only for law enforcement but also for voters. Just as a candidate for federal office must reveal the sources of their campaign funds, so they ought to be required to disclose their allegiance to a foreign government – no matter what country is involved.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert andDavid Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

Posted in USAComments Off on Dual Citizenship and US National Security

Naziyahu Orders New Palestinian TV Shut, P.A Plans to Appeal Decision

NOVANEWS

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Nazi Prime Minister Benjamin Naziyahu, who also serves as the Communication Minister, has instructed the head of the Communications Ministry, to begin shutting down a new Palestinian TV station, funded by the Palestinian Authority, in occupied Palestine 1948.

The official launch of the new TV was scheduled for today, Thursday, and all official preparations were concluded Wednesday for the historic launch of the new Palestine 48 TV Station.

Following Naziyahu’s announcement, a press conference was held in Nazareth by the Chairman of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation’s Board of Trustees, Minister Riyad al-Hasan.

Al-Hasan said the Naziyahu decision to shut down the new TV station was illegal, and that the TV Channel will pursue all legal means to counter the move.

He added that the new Channel purchased all services from licensed corporations, and noted that legal advisors, in addition to human rights groups, are all participating in the efforts to appeal the Nazi government intention to shut it down.

Naziyahu gave the order to Director General Nazi Shlomo Filber, just a few hours after a press conference was held during the inauguration of the Palestine 48 Arabic-language Channel.

Al-Hasan stated during the conference that Naziyahu and his extremist right-wing government are trying to shut the new channel, to silence the Palestinian voice, and said the new TV would be an open forum that would even give Nazi right-wing, including government ministers, a stage to express their opinions.

Naziyahu’s main argument was that the new TV “receives funding from the Palestinian Authority, which is considered a foreign entity in Israel”.

Al-Hasan also noted that the station has been under preparation for over a year, and was meant to begin broadcasting on Thursday, the first day of Ramadan for 2015.

The station would have been the first Palestinian Arabic-language station to be broadcasting inside what is now ‘Israel’. After Naziyahu’s announcement, the future of the station is unclear.

The official added that the Palestinian Authority has no intention to violate any Nazi laws, and that the idea of establishing the TV station received the approval of various Arab Members of Knesset, and several senior journalists in ‘Israel’.

He said the new station intends to highlight the lives of Arab citizens of occupied Palestine 1948, while production companies would offer content produced in the Galilee, the Triangle Area, and the Negev.

Although the station would start airing from Nazareth, it is planning to open offices in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Naziyahu Orders New Palestinian TV Shut, P.A Plans to Appeal Decision

Church located on Christian holy site torched in Galilee

NOVANEWS

By Celine Hagbard 

Unknown arsonists set fire to the Church of the Multiplication, where Christians believe that Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes, and wrote graffiti in Hebrew on the walls that read, “False idols will be smashed” and “Pagans”.

The fire was set at about 3 am in the early hours of Thursday morning, severely damaging church offices and storage rooms. The entire church was saturated with smoke damage.

The Church of the Multiplication is believed by Christians to be the site of Jesus’s miracle of multiplying two fish and five loaves to feed 5,000 people.

Several church volunteers suffered from smoke inhalation while trying to extinguish the fire before the firefighters arrived on the scene. The fire was put out several hours after it began.

The church, which is run by the Catholic Benedictine Order, is best known for its fifth-century mosaics, including one depicting two fish flanking a basket of loaves.

Christian churches have been targeted by right-wing Israeli Jewish attacks hundreds of times in recent years.

In May 2014, the Romanian Orthodox Church on Hahoma Hashlishit Street in Jerusalem was defaced in a suspected hate attack. That incident saw the words “price tag”, “Jesus is garbage” and “King David for the Jews” spray-painted on the site’s walls.

Two weeks earlier, ahead of a visit to the country by Pope Francis, suspected Jewish extremists daubed hate graffiti on Vatican-owned offices in Jerusalem.

The Hebrew-language graffiti, reading “Death to Arabs and Christians and those who hate Israel,” was sprayed on the walls of the offices of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame center, a complex just outside the Old City, the Roman Catholic Church said.

Dmitry Diliani, a member of the Fateh revolutionary council, as well as the Secretary-General of the national Christian Assembly in Palestine, issued a statement that the attack on the church represents a practical application of the stances taken by the Israeli government, which funds fanatic groups.

He noted that some of the leaders of those fanatic groups hold political positions in spite of their incitement. By refusing to list those groups as terrorist organizations, Diliani argued, the Israeli Knesset is effectively providing them with legal protection, and is not taking seriously the ongoing, multiple attacks by right-wing Israelis against Christian and Muslim holy sites.

Knesset Member Dr. Basil Khattas was quoted as saying, “Those terrorist groups attack both Christian and Muslim holy sites with impunity. The Israeli government must open a serious investigation into this and other incidents of violence against holy sites.”

Israeli authorities say they are investigating to see if the fire was an accident or was intentional. But Christians who live in the area say that the Israeli police are not taking the investigation seriously – adding that this was obviously an anti-Christian hate crime, given the graffiti that was written on the site of the fire.

No arrests have been made in connection with the arson.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Church located on Christian holy site torched in Galilee

Hillary Tells Rally: I Stood up to Putin! I Helped ‘Israel’!

NOVANEWS

Hillary

Breitbart

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a crowd of supporters on Saturday: “I’ve stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel.”

Clinton delivered her remarks in New York City as she kicked off her 2016 presidential campaign.

Clearly, she intends to highlight her four-year tenure atop the State Department as a key advantage over her rivals, few of whom have foreign policy experience. However, she has to hope voters do not examine her actual record.

Regarding Putin, Clinton infamously presided over the Russian “reset,” which involved giving up missile defenses that had been negotiated painstakingly with Poland and the Czech Republic, and conceding to other Russian demands. The false hope was that showing Russia a more conciliatory face would lead it to moderate its conduct. Clinton even handed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a big red button that was supposed to say “reset” in Russian, but in fact said “overcharge.”

On Israel, Clinton participated in a serious, deliberate, and unnecessary sabotage of U.S.-Israel relations. She infamously berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 45 minutes over an Israeli government move to build apartments in a Jewish area of Jerusalem. Her State Department relished the chance to join anti-Israel institutions like the UN Human Rights Council. She even compared Israel to Iran, because of the separation of the sexes among some religious Jews.

There are many, many more examples that absolutely and totally refute Hillary Clinton’s claim to have stood up to Putin and defended Israel and other allies. Conversely, there is no record of Clinton ever standing up to President Barack Obama about any of his misguided foreign policies, save for her claim that she supported earlier intervention in Syria.

Clinton has trouble telling the truth about anything, but it takes an additional level of chutzpah to tell such an easily disprovable lie.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Hillary Tells Rally: I Stood up to Putin! I Helped ‘Israel’!

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