Archive | November 25th, 2015

Nazi Jewish settlers burn young Palestinian to death

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File photo shows 22-year-old Palestinian man, Fadi Hoosh, who was burned to death by Israeli settlers.
File photo shows 22-year-old Palestinian man, Fadi Hoosh, who was burned to death by Nazi Jewish settlers.

A young Palestinian man has reportedly been burned to death after a group of illegal Nazi Jewish settlers mercilessly beat him and then set fire to his car in the northern part of the occupied Palestinian territories.

The charred body of the 22-year-old Palestinian man, identified as Fadi Hoosh, was found inside a car in the garbage dump of occupied Palestine 1948 Kafr Kanna town, which lies in the northern region of Galilee, on Friday, the Zionist Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper reported.

Palestinian witnesses said they saw a number of Nazi Jewish settlers attacking the Palestinian youth and forcing him into a car before setting it ablaze.

“After a couple of minutes, they extinguished the fire, left him inside the car, and very quickly fled the scene,” the witnesses said.

On July 31, an 18-month-old Palestinian baby boy, Ali Dawabsheh, lost his life in a large fire that broke out after extremist Nazi Jewish settlers threw firebombs and Molotov cocktails into two Palestinian houses in the town of Duma, located 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

An image released by Palestinian news agency Ma’an shows the Dawabsheh family that fell victim to an arson attack by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank on July 31, 2015.

The toddler’s mother, Riham Dawabsheh, also succumbed to the severe burn injuries she sustained in the incident on September 5.

Riham, who had also lost her 32-year-old husband, Sa’ad Dawabsheh, in the assault, was pronounced dead after spending five weeks on life support at Soroka Medical Center in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

Her husband also died at the same hospital a week after the assault on August 8. He had been left with second-degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body.

The incident sparked angry reactions from Palestinians, including political and resistance groups.

This picture, taken on July 31, 2015, shows Palestinians looking at the house set on fire by Nazi Jewish settlers where 18-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Sa’ad Dawabsheh died in the occupied West Bank town of Duma. ©AFP

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also censured the arson attack as a “terrorist act,” calling for the perpetrators to be promptly brought to justice.

Nazi Jewish settlers have in recent years carried out various attacks including arson and graffiti on Palestinian property in the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem) under the “price tag” slogan.

Price tag attacks are acts of vandalism and violence against Palestinians and their properties as well as Islamic holy sites.

The recent death comes amid escalating tensions between Palestinian protesters and Nazi forces in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The fresh wave of unrest was triggered by Nazi imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

More than 90 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Nazi army since the start of October.

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How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy

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It’s the right time for Obama to rethink the administration’s policy toward both Assad and his jihadist foes

US President Barack Obama at the G20 Turkey Summit on 15 November, 2015 in Antalya. (Photo: AA)

In the wake of the ISIS terrorist attack on Paris, President Barack Obama declared that his administration has the right strategy on ISIS and will “see it through”. But the administration is already shifting its policy to cooperate more closely with the Russians on Syria, and an influential former senior intelligence official has suggested that the administration needs to give more weight to the Assad government and army as the main barrier to ISIS and other jihadist forces in Syria.

Obama’s Europeans allies as well as US national security officials have urged the United State to downgrade the official US aim of achieving the departure of Bashar al-Assad from Syria in the international negotiations begun last month and continued last weekend. Such a shift in policy, however, would make the contradictions between the US interests and those of the Saudis, who continue to support jihadist forces fighting with al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, al-Nusra Front, increasingly clear.

Russia had proposed to the United States in September that the United States and Russia share intelligence on ISIS and exchange military delegations to coordinate on joint steps against ISIS. The initial Obama administration response was to reject either intelligence sharing or joint planning with Russia on Syria out of hand. The reasoning was that the Russians were engaged primarily, if not exclusively, to shore up the Assad regime, which was unacceptable to Washington. Secretary of State John Kerry declared on 1 October: “What is important is Russia has to not be engaged in any activities against anybody but ISIL. That’s clear. We have made that very clear.”   

But that was before Paris. The fallout from that attack has changed the political vectors pushing and pulling Obama administration policy. The most obvious shift came two days after the attacks and just hours after Obama announced new intelligence arrangements with France. CIA director John Brennan reversed the earlier US decision to reject intelligence sharing with Russia on Islamic State. Revealing that he had had several conversations with his Russian counterpart since the beginning of Russia’s air offensive in Syria, Brennan said the ISIS threat “demands an “unprecedented level of cooperation” among international intelligence services. Brennan said he and his Russian counterpart had begun exchanging intelligence focused primarily on the flow of terrorists from Russia into Iraq and Syria but that now US-Russian cooperation needed to be “enhanced”.

At the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey on 15-16 November, Obama acknowledged for the first time in his meeting with Putin that Russia was indeed combatting ISIS, according to a White House official. In fact, the Russians had been hitting ISIS targets regularly during October, including what it said was a command centre in the ISIS capital, Raqqa. The Obama administration had refused to acknowledge that fact in October and instead focused on the Russian targeting of non-ISIS groups. But the White House press leak about the Obama-Putin conversation did not repeat that complaint.

The issue of whether Assad must go as part of a settlement has been a fixture of US Syria policy ever since 2011, although it has now been modified to allow the Syrian president to stay in power for a period of six months as part of a settlement. But the Paris attacks may well be sparking new debate within the Obama administration on whether that demand makes sense. In an interview with CBS News on 15 November, the former deputy director of the CIA, Michael Morell, suggested that the exclusion of Assad may need to be revised. “I do think the question of whether President Assad needs to go or whether he is part of the solution here, we need to look at it again,” Morell said. “Clearly he’s part of the problem. But he may also be part of the solution.”

It is not likely that Morell, was acting CIA director twice in 2011 and again from 2012 to 2013, was merely reflecting a personal view on the matter. Statements by US intelligence officials since 2012 have emphasised the importance of the Syrian administration and military as the primary buttress against both ISIS and al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies seizing power in the country – a point that the Obama and Kerry chose not to make. Since the “moderate” forces have all but disappeared in late 2014 and early 2015, and al-Qaeda and it jihadist allies have become the only rivals to Islamic State, that point became even more critical.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week, “I cannot agree with the logic that Assad is the cause of everything” in Syria. That contrasts with John Kerry’s argument that unless Assad leaves Syria, “this war will not end.”

But Kerry’s position is based on the assumption that the major forces fighting against the regime would end the war and enter into peaceful competition if Assad could be induced to leave. In reality, of course, those forces are committed to using force to achieve the destruction of the old “secular” political order in Syria and establish an extremist conservative Islamic State.

The issue of whether to continue to demand Assad’s departure arises just as the UN peace negotiations process on Syria – meaning negotiations among the outside powers intervening in the conflict – begin a new and highly political phase. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has revealed that the next phase will turn on bargaining among the international sponsors of anti-Assad groups about who would be allowed to join a new government. Those decisions, in turn, would depend on which of the groups are deemed by the foreign sponsors of those very groups to be “terrorists” and which are deemed acceptable.

As Hammond acknowledges, the Saudis are certainly not going to agree to call Ahrar al-Sham or other extremist jihadist groups allied with it and al-Nusra “terrorists”.  They may have to give up al-Nusra Front, which has expressed support for the Islamic State terrorist assault on Paris.

Unless Obama is prepared to face a rupture in the US alliance with the Sunni Gulf Sheikdoms over the issue, the result will be that the very groups committed to overthrowing the remnants of the old order by force will be invited by the United States and its Gulf allies to take key positions in the post-Assad government. It’s the right time for Obama to rethink the administration’s policy toward both Assad and his jihadist foes.

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The New Great Game Between China and the US

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Will chess, not battleship, be the game of the future in Eurasia?

China’s road map is illustrated in their ambitious, recently unveiled 13th Five-Year-Plan, translated into a pop-video version, the Shisanwu(Image: Screenshot/Shisanwu)

The U.S. is transfixed by its multibillion-dollar electoral circus. The European Union is paralyzed by austerity, fear of refugees, and now all-out jihad in the streets of Paris. So the West might be excused if it’s barely caught the echoes of a Chinese version of Roy Orbison’s “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” And that new Chinese dream even comes with a road map.

The crooner is President Xi Jinping and that road map is the ambitious, recently unveiled 13th Five-Year-Plan, or in the pop-video version, the Shisanwu. After years of explosive economic expansion, it sanctifies the country’s lower “new normal” gross domestic product growth rate of 6.5% a year through at least 2020.

 

It also sanctifies an updated economic formula for the country: out with a model based on low-wage manufacturing of export goods and in with the shock of the new, namely, a Chinese version of the third industrial revolution. And while China’s leadership is focused on creating a middle-class future powered by a consumer economy, its president is telling whoever is willing to listen that, despite the fears of the Obama administration and of some of the country’s neighbors, there’s no reason for war ever to be on the agenda for the U.S. and China.

Given the alarm in Washington about what is touted as a Beijing quietly pursuing expansionism in the South China Sea, Xi has been remarkably blunt on the subject of late. Neither Beijing nor Washington, he insists, should be caught in the Thucydides trap, the belief that a rising power and the ruling imperial power of the planet are condemned to go to war with each other sooner or later.

It was only two months ago in Seattle that Xi told a group of digital economy heavyweights, “There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides trap in the world. But should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.”

A case can be made — and Xi’s ready to make it — that Washington, which, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya to Syria, has gained something of a reputation for “strategic miscalculation” in the twenty-first century, might be doing it again.  After all, U.S. military strategy documents and top Pentagon figures have quite publicly started to label China (like Russia) as an official threat.”

To grasp why Washington is starting to think of China that way, however, you need to take your eyes off the South China Sea for a moment, turn off Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and the rest of the posse, and consider the real game-changer — or “threat” — that’s rattling Beltway nerves in Washington when it comes to the new Great Game in Eurasia.

Xi’s Bedside Reading

Swarms of Chinese tourists iPhoning away and buying everything in sight in major Western capitals already prefigure a Eurasian future closely tied to and anchored by a Chinese economy turbo-charging toward that third industrial revolution. If all goes according to plan, it will harness everything from total connectivity and efficient high-tech infrastructure to the expansion of green, clean energy hubs. Solar plants in the Gobi desert, anyone?

Yes, Xi is a reader of economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, who first conceived of a possible third industrial revolution powered by both the Internet and renewable energy sources.

It turns out that the Chinese leadership has no problem with the idea of harnessing cutting-edge Western soft power for its own purposes. In fact, they seem convinced that no possible tool should be overlooked when it comes to moving the country on to the next stage in the process that China’s Little Helmsman, former leader Deng Xiaoping, decades ago designated as the era in which “to get rich is glorious.”

It helps when you have $4 trillion in foreign currency reserves and massive surpluses of steel and cement.  That’s the sort of thing that allows you to go “nation-building” on a pan-Eurasian scale. Hence, Xi’s idea of creating the kind of infrastructure that could, in the end, connect China to Central Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe.  It’s what the Chinese call “One Belt, One Road”; that is, the junction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road.

Since Xi announced his One Belt, One Road policy in Kazakhstan in 2013, PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong estimates that the state has ploughed more than $250 billion into Silk Road-oriented projects ranging from railways to power plants. Meanwhile, every significant Chinese business player is on board, from telecom equipment giant Huawei to e-commerce monster Alibaba (fresh from its Singles Day online blockbuster). The Bank of China has already provided a $50 billion credit line for myriad Silk Road-related projects. China’s top cement-maker Anhui Conch is building at least six monster cement plants in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Laos. Work aimed at tying the Asian part of Eurasia together is proceeding at a striking pace.  For instance, the China-Laos, China-Thailand, and Jakarta-Bandung railways — contracts worth over $20 billion — are to be completed by Chinese companies before 2020.

With business booming, right now the third industrial revolution in China looks ever more like a mad scramble toward a new form of modernity.

A Eurasian “War on Terror”

The One Belt, One Road plan for Eurasia reaches far beyond the Rudyard Kipling-coined nineteenth century phrase “the Great Game,” which in its day was meant to describe the British-Russian tournament of shadows for the control of Central Asia. At the heart of the twenty-first century’s Great Game lies China’s currency, the yuan, which may, by November 30th, join the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights reserve-currency basket. If so, this will in practice mean the total integration of the yuan, and so of Beijing, into global financial markets, as an extra basket of countries will add it to their foreign exchange holdings and subsequent currency shifts may amount to the equivalent of trillions of U.S. dollars.

Couple the One Belt, One Road project with the recently founded, China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Beijing’s Silk Road Infrastructure Fund ($40 billion committed to it so far).  Mix in an internationalized yuan and you have the groundwork for Chinese companies to turbo-charge their way into a pan-Eurasian (and even African) building spree of roads, high-speed rail lines, fiber-optic networks, ports, pipelines, and power grids.

According to the Washington-dominated Asian Development Bank (ADB), there is, at present, a monstrous gap of $800 billion in the funding of Asian infrastructure development to 2020 and it’s yearning to be filled. Beijing is now stepping right into what promises to be a paradigm-breaking binge of economic development.

And don’t forget about the bonuses that could conceivably follow such developments. After all, in China’s stunningly ambitious plans at least, its Eurasian project will end up covering no less than 65 countries on three continents, potentially affecting 4.4 billion people.  If it succeeds even in part, it could take the gloss off al-Qaeda- and ISIS-style Wahhabi-influenced jihadism not only in China’s Xinjiang Province, but also in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Imagine it as a new kind of Eurasian war on terror whose “weapons” would be trade and development. After all, Beijing’s planners expect the country’s annual trade volume with belt-and-road partners to surpass $2.5 trillion by 2025.

At the same time, another kind of binding geography — what I’ve long called Pipelineistan, the vast network of energy pipelines crisscrossing the region, bringing its oil and natural gas supplies to China — is coming into being.  It’s already spreading across Pakistan and Myanmar, and China is planning to double down on this attempt to reinforce its escape-from-the-Straits-of-Malacca strategy. (That bottleneck is still a transit point for 75% of Chinese oil imports.) Beijing prefers a world in which most of those energy imports are not water-borne and so at the mercy of the U.S. Navy. More than 50% of China’s natural gas already comes overland from two Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) and that percentage will only increase once pipelines to bring Siberian natural gas to China come online before the end of the decade.

Of course, the concept behind all this, which might be sloganized as “to go west (and south) is glorious” could induce a tectonic shift in Eurasian relations at every level, but that depends on how it comes to be viewed by the nations involved and by Washington.

Leaving economics aside for a moment, the success of the whole enterprise will require superhuman PR skills from Beijing, something not always in evidence. And there are many other problems to face (or duck): these include Beijing’s Han superiority complex, not always exactly a hit among either minority ethnic groups or neighboring states, as well as an economic push that is often seen by China’s ethnic minorities as benefiting only the Han Chinese. Mix in a rising tide of nationalist feeling, the expansion of the Chinese military (including its navy), conflict in its southern seas, and a growing security obsession in Beijing. Add to that a foreign policy minefield, which will work against maintaining a carefully calibrated respect for the sovereignty of neighbors. Throw in the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia and its urge both to form anti-Chinese alliances of “containment” and to beef up its own naval and air power in waters close to China.  And finally don’t forget red tape and bureaucracy, a Central Asian staple. All of this adds up to a formidable package of obstacles to Xi’s Chinese dream and a new Eurasia.

All Aboard the Night Train

The Silk Road revival started out as a modest idea floated in China’s Ministry of Commerce. The initial goal was nothing more than getting extra “contracts for Chinese construction companies overseas.” How far the country has traveled since then.  Starting from zero in 2003, China has ended up building no less than 16,000 kilometers of high-speed rail tracks in these years — more than the rest of the planet combined.

And that’s just the beginning. Beijing is now negotiating with 30 countries to build another 5,000 kilometers of high-speed rail at a total investment of $157 billion. Cost is, of course, king; a made-in-China high-speed network (top speed: 350 kilometers an hour) costs around $17 million to $21 million per kilometer. Comparable European costs: $25 million to $39 million per kilometer. So no wonder the Chinese are bidding for an $18 billion project linking London with northern England, and another linking Los Angeles to Las Vegas, while outbidding German companies to lay tracks in Russia.

On another front, even though it’s not directly part of China’s new Silk Road planning, don’t forget about the Iran-India-Afghanistan Agreement on Transit and International Transportation Cooperation. This India-Iran project to develop roads, railways, and ports is particularly focused on the Iranian port of Chabahar, which is to be linked by new roads and railways to the Afghan capital Kabul and then to parts of Central Asia.

Why Chabahar? Because this is India’s preferred transit corridor to Central Asia and Russia, as the Khyber Pass in the Afghan-Pakistani borderlands, the country’s traditional linking point for this, remains too volatile. Built by Iran, the transit corridor from Chabahar to Milak on the Iran-Afghanistan border is now ready. By rail, Chabahar will then be connected to the Uzbek border at Termez, which translates into Indian products reaching Central Asia and Russia.

Think of this as the Southern Silk Road, linking South Asia with Central Asia, and in the end, if all goes according to plan, West Asia with China. It is part of a wildly ambitious plan for a North-South Transport Corridor, an India-Iran-Russia joint project launched in 2002 and focused on the development of inter-Asian trade.

Of course, you won’t be surprised to know that, even here, China is deeply involved. Chinese companies have already built a high-speed rail line from the Iranian capital Tehran to Mashhad, near the Afghan border. China also financed a metro rail line from Imam Khomeini Airport to downtown Tehran. And it wants to use Chabahar as part of the so-called Iron Silk Road that is someday slated to cross Iran and extend all the way to Turkey. To top it off, China is already investing in the upgrading of Turkish ports.

Who Lost Eurasia?

For Chinese leaders, the One Belt, One Road plan — an “economic partnership map with multiple rings interconnected with one another” — is seen as an escape route from the Washington Consensus and the dollar-centered global financial system that goes with it. And while “guns” are being drawn, the “battlefield” of the future, as the Chinese see it, is essentially a global economic one.

On one side are the mega-economic pacts being touted by Washington — the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — that would split Eurasia in two. On the other, there is the urge for a new pan-Eurasian integration program that would be focused on China, and feature Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, and India as major players. Last May, Russia and China closed a deal to coordinate the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with new Silk Road projects. As part of their developing strategic partnership, Russia is already China’s number one oil supplier.

With Ukraine’s fate still in the balance, there is, at present, little room for the sort of serious business dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the EEU that might someday fuse Europe and Russia into the Chinese vision of full-scale, continent-wide Eurasian integration. And yet German business types, in particular, remain focused on and fascinated by the limitless possibilities of the New Silk Road concept and the way it might profitably link the continent.

If you’re looking for a future first sign of détente on this score, keep an eye on any EU moves to engage economically with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  Its membership at present: China, Russia, and four “stans” (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan). India and Pakistan are to become members in 2016, and Iran once U.N. sanctions are completely lifted. A monster second step (no time soon) would be for this dialogue to become the springboard for the building of a trans-European “one-belt” zone.  That could only happen after there was a genuine settlement in Ukraine and EU sanctions on Russia had been lifted. Think of it as the long and winding road towards what Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to sell the Germans in 2010: a Eurasian free-trade zone extending from Vladivostok to Lisbon.

Any such moves will, of course, only happen over Washington’s dead body.  At the moment, inside the Beltway, sentiment ranges from gloating over the economic death of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), most of which are facing daunting economic dislocations even as their political, diplomatic, and strategic integration proceeds apace, to fear or even downright anticipation of World War III and the Russian “threat.”

No one in Washington wants to “lose” Eurasia to China and its new Silk Roads. On what former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski calls “the grand chessboard,” Beltway elites and the punditocracy that follows them will never resign themselves to seeing the U.S. relegated to the role of “offshore balancer,” while China dominates an integrating Eurasia.  Hence, those two trade pacts and that “pivot,” the heightened U.S. naval presence in Asian waters, the new urge to “contain” China, and the demonization of both Putin’s Russia and the Chinese military threat.

Thucydides, Eat Your Heart Out

Which brings us full circle to Xi’s crush on Jeremy Rifkin. Make no mistake about it: whatever Washington may want, China is indeed the rising power in Eurasia and a larger-than-life economic magnet. From London to Berlin, there are signs in the EU that, despite so many decades of trans-Atlantic allegiance, there is also something too attractive to ignore about what China has to offer. There is already a push towards the configuration of a European-wide digital economy closely linked with China. The aim would be a Rifkin-esque digitally integrated economic space spanning Eurasia, which in turn would be an essential building block for that post-carbon third industrial revolution.

The G-20 this year was in Antalya, Turkey, and it was a fractious affair dominated by Islamic State jihadism in the streets of Paris. The G-20 in 2016 will be in Hangzhou, China, which also happens to be the hometown of Jack Ma and the headquarters for Alibaba. You can’t get more third industrial revolution than that.

One year is an eternity in geopolitics. But what if, in 2016, Hangzhou did indeed offer a vision of the future, of silk roads galore and night trains from Central Asia to Duisburg, Germany, a future arguably dominated by Xi’s vision.  He is, at least, keen on enshrining the G-20 as a multipolar global mechanism for coordinating a common development framework. Within it, Washington and Beijing might sometimes actually work together in a world in which chess, not Battleship, would be the game of the century.

Thucydides, eat your heart out.

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I Traveled to Palestine-

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I Discovered There Is No ‘Palestinian-I$raHell Conflict’

palestine

The mind has a way of making traumatic experiences seem like distant dreams to those who survive them. As it goes, the more traumatic the experience, the quicker the paramedics in one’s mind rush to dress wounds, resuscitate and stabilize the victim; the victim being you.

Since returning from Palestine 36 hours ago, I find myself confronted with feelings of detachment and minimization of what I encountered. My subconscious has decided the horrors I witnessed in the ‘Holy Land’ were nothing serious-horrors which include a 26-foot-tall concrete wall enclosing the Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank, and the sniper towers seemingly on every other corner of this open-air prison.

This was my first trip to Palestine-most westerners call it Israel, but I’ll address that topic shortly. I had never been to the country, but I read enough to know the basics: Palestinians and Israelis were fighting over land. The Israeli government was formed in 1948 as part of a vision set forth by a secular European colonial political movement called Zionism, founded by Hungarian Theodor Herzl in 1896. Herzl, an atheist, sought to free the Jews from European oppression and anti-Semitism, with the ultimate goal being the creation of a Jewish state. He first proposed East Africa’s Uganda as the location of the Jewish state. This proposal also found the approval of the British government which controlled Palestine since the First World War. Herzl, however, later identified Palestine as the country of choice. I knew this.

The history of Palestinians was something I was familiar with as well, only because in high school, my friend’s parents were Moroccan Jews with staunch right-wing Zionist views. They’d go on about how Palestinians were worth shit and how they were sucking off the land they stole, and how they were not from Palestine, but Jordan. Truth be told, my friend’s parents’ passion about their ‘homeland’ made me sick. As a black person living in the United States, I could not relate to their love for their proclaimed homeland because I never had one. My ancestors were captured from various regions of Africa and forced onto ships bound for the Americas. Therefore, when questioned about the geographic origins of my ancestors, my answers were as vague as Africa is big.

Blurt

Before I go further, I must put to rest a misnomer. Contrary to what’s been reported in the news for years, there is no Israeli-Palestinian conflict. None, zero, zilch, diddly-squat. I can say with confidence that Palestinians have no agency. The Israeli government controls everything in the country. This total control which is most magnified in the West Bank, concerns everything from where Palestinians are permitted to travel, to how much water they consume per month. Currently, there is no ‘conflict,’ only the omnipresent power of the Israeli government and those who resist it. This is important to understand.

Where was I?

I began researching the history of Palestinians in my senior year of college and discovered that my high school buddy’s parents weren’t only functionally insane, but they were completely incorrect in their claims. Palestinians had not fallen from the clouds and landed on Jewish land, (interpretations of certain religious texts would suggest otherwise) but had inhabited the country for thousands of years. In fact, Palestine hosted several occupations throughout history: Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Philistines, Tjekker, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, British, Jordanians- a gang bang of military occupations. Nasty.

American author and Professor of Political Science Alan Dowty put it best when he wrote, “Palestinians are the descendants of all the indigenous peoples who lived in Palestine over the centuries.” Moreover, studies suggest, that part, if not the majority of Arabs living in Palestine, descend from a core population that dates back thousands of years.

Perhaps it would be easier for me to believe the story of Palestinians falling from the clouds, or crossing into Palestine from Jordan shortly before the creation of Israel — that is, if my perception were formed by mainstream western media. In the years prior to the events of 9/11, including the initial months of the Second Intifada, media outlets such as Fox, CNN, and BBC, unfolded one dimensional narratives which included bloodthirsty Palestinians blowing themselves up in public places, killing innocent people. Never did they examine the societal constraints and conditions which might drive people to commit such atrocities.

In order for colonialism and occupation to be successful, previous inhabitants of a region must be dehumanized, labeled savages, and finally, their very existence denied. Once this paradigm has been established, any and all acts of horror can be inflicted upon them without recourse. Thus, the stories of the oppressed become irrelevant.

2014-02-10-checkpointhebron1.jpg
Members of our delegation show passports at checkpoint entering illegal settlements in Hebron, West Bank. Jewish Israelis are permitted entry, internationals must present passports and endure interrogation and Palestinians are not allowed. Photo: Thomas Dallal

Getting in and out

In the weeks preceding my departure from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Tel Aviv, I received travel warnings from The Carter Center, the organization responsible for sponsoring my trip. Our delegation, which consisted of prominent African-American journalists and artists, was provided suggestions of how to increase our chances of getting into Palestine-Israel. It is not uncommon for travelers to be denied entry into the country for absurd reasons such as their father’s last name sounds Arab, or they criticized Israeli policy on a social networking website. I decided I would tell my Israeli interrogators the truth, but be as vague as possible.

If denied entry, travelers could be detained for hours, interrogated and forced to board an airplane back to where their flight originated. Other visitors to the region advised me to avoid saying words like “Palestine,” “Palestinian,” “solidarity,” and “West Bank” inside of Israel’s airport. I was also advised to sanitize my email in the event that Israeli officials requested my password in order to rummage through my inbox. Unfortunately, this is a common experience for Palestinian-Americans attempting to visit the country. Additionally, I was warned that Israeli authorities, on occasion, provoke visitors by being rude, or asking inappropriate questions-they aim to cause one to feel as though they’ve done something wrong. In my case, this tactic was working. I felt I was committing a crime by wishing to enter the West Bank to talk to Palestinians. Israel was getting to me already, and I hadn’t left my apartment.

How things work

I reached Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and made my way up a flight of stairs leading to a long, wide, windowed corridor filled with travelers speed-walking towards their destination. To my left were palm trees of a country I was hoping to enter, and fixed high above was the sun, whispering the arduous tale of humankind.

I had made it to customs. It resembled a race track betting area with fifteen booths and neon signs fixed to them which read, “Israeli Citizens” and “Foreigners.” I got into the foreigner line. Inside the booth sat an Israeli woman, maybe 20 years old. She looked sad and beautiful.

“Passport,” she said in a dry tone.

I gave it to her.

“What is the reason for your visit?”

I smiled and replied, “A tour of the holy land.”

She examined my passport, then she examined my face,”Will you be visiting the West Bank or Gaza?”

I said, “No,” without thinking.

“Where will you be going?” she asked.

“Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth,” I replied.

She examined my passport again, “Do know any Palestinians?” she asked.

I smirked and lied, “No.”

I was officially permitted into the state of Israel. I found my taxi driver, loaded my carry-on bag into the trunk, and we were off. Leaving Israel would not be so easy, but I’ll save that story for another time.

Riding from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the first thing I noticed, besides the breathtaking Palestinian landscape with its palm trees, olive trees and immense hills and valleys, were walls and barbwire. There were literally hundreds of miles of concrete walls and barbwire-not the kind one sees on a Los Angeles off-ramp, but those belonging to a prison

I’d later find out that a portion of my 90-minute ride from the airport to Jerusalem gave a brief look at “Area-C.” As it goes, the occupied West Bank is divided into three parts: “Area-A,” “Area-B” and “Area-C.” “Area-C” is controlled by the Israeli government, while “Area-A” is supposedly under the control of the Palestinian Authority (or PA), a self-governing body established to govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip (“Area-B” is under glorified Palestinian municipal control and Israeli security control). The reason I say “supposedly,” is because after spending a week in the country, I began wondering if the area classifications were simply a broad public relations campaign to convince the world that Palestinians have a degree of military, political, and economic power they do not have. This is not a far-fetched inquiry. Since the second Oslo Accords in 1995, the Israeli government has asserted, and the international community has accepted, the notion that “Area-A” is under PA control, but on the ground, the PA acts as a subcontracted enforcer to the Israeli occupiers.

The Reality

In Jerusalem, I witnessed great religious and ethnic diversity. I saw Arabs, Asians, Europeans, Africans, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Christians, all scrambling in Old City Jerusalem towards their various destinations. It was postcard worthy.

The variety of cultures in Jerusalem is outstanding. Similar to many societies however, Palestine-Israel presents a polished version of itself to tourists, where 5-star hotels in Tel Aviv and tourist attractions in Jerusalem cloak its brutal realities. The fact remains that our delegation was subject to a type of racism I’ve only experienced in the southern states of the United States of America. Of course, to a Jew or a middle class Palestinian living in Jerusalem or Nazareth, my observations may sound like exaggerations, but for the African migrant sleeping on the ground in South Tel Aviv, or for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, my evaluations are dead on.

The blatant, systemic subjugation and profiling of Arabs was most pronounced when our tour guide, a middle class Palestinian woman, was forced by IDF soldiers to exit our tour van and pass through a checkpoint on foot. As all Palestinians must do, she was told to place her thumb on a scanner to pass through a turn-style at a checkpoint. The members of our delegation were no exception to IDF scrutiny. The light skinned blacks in our delegation were interrogated and asked bluntly if they were Arab, and if not, what the last names of their fathers’ were.

Palestinians and progressive Israelis told our delegation story after story of the abuses and degradation they’ve suffered at the hands of Israeli settlers or soldiers, and we witnessed some of this treatment first hand. Along with the rampant home and land confiscation in the West Bank (in which settlers receive state subsidies), agricultural violence is on the rise, as settlers uproot and destroy the olive trees Palestinians rely on for income and nourishment. More sinisterly, public beatings, arrests and shootings are common, particularly in the West Bank. Without charges, a Palestinian can be imprisoned and held for months or years under administrative detention. The same law does not apply to Jewish Israelis. In fact, Israeli citizens can commit a range of crimes against Palestinians with near impunity. Furthermore, Israelis benefit from being under police and civil courts jurisdiction, while Palestinians are under military jurisdiction. Human Rights Watch has documented the Separate and Unequal legal situation endured by Palestinians.

2014-02-10-susya.jpg
Yehuda Shaul (seen in orange shirt) lectures our delegation near village of Susya. Photo: Thomas Dallal

Our delegation was introduced to Yehuda Shaul, a former commander in the Israeli army and current Foreign Relations Director for Breaking the Silence, an organization of former IDF soldiers who have dedicated themselves to revealing the atrocities committed against Palestinians, as well as the general corruption of higher-ups in the Israeli government. Yehuda, a heavyset man wearing a yarmulke, still moves and speaks like a soldier. As we drove up and down the hills of South Hebron, Yehuda’s lecture quickly began to feel like a general preparing a platoon for an offensive. He even revealed Israel’s plan to force rural Palestinians away from their land and into West Bank cities, making them dependent on the government.

As a liberal Israeli, Yehuda believes in granting rights to Palestinians and developing a two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution. Yehuda is still a Zionist, and beyond lecturing about various land grabs, violence and injustices committed by Israeli settlers and the government, the 31-year-old steers away from revealing his personal story, which likely involves his journey as an IDF commander who terrorized Palestinian neighbourhoods, to the activist he is today who accepts that Palestinians are human.

Yehuda commanded our Palestinian driver to stop on the side of a road near an illegal Israeli settlement in the village of Susya. I point out that our driver was Palestinian because stopping in Susya was extremely dangerous for the three Palestinians in our van. Susya is home to armed, right-wing Israeli settlers who as Yehuda admitted, would “beat up” Palestinians on sight. Our Palestinian colleagues stayed in the van.

For some reason, Yehuda was compelled to conduct his lecture outside of the bus while our delegation shivered from a mountainous chill. It was then that a dusty car stopped feet away from us, engine running, with the driver focusing a murderous stare on our group. Yehuda kept lecturing as though nothing was happening, and our delegation pretended to listen as we remained vigilant for the deranged onlooker. The man examined us for a minute more, then sped off violently to return moments later to repeat this action. Sensing danger, I suggested to Yehuda we get back in the van and leave, but he ordered us to remain outside.

“This will only take a few minutes more,” he said, before continuing his lecture.

The rapid fire gunshots we heard in the distance gave us our cue to finally return to the van. The moment we were about to drive off, Israeli army vehicles pulled up, and a few soldiers peered in at us. They took a quick inventory of the van and then sped off. Apparently, during our lecture, Israeli settlers were attacking a group of Palestinians. I had seen enough.

Zionism has convinced many Jews that they are preserving themselves. The common thought is that if the “savage” Palestinians stop resisting, stop shooting rockets, stop fighting Israel’s inevitable domination, there can be peace. I find this peculiar because during my visit, I felt no danger from Palestinians, only from Israeli soldiers. Perhaps it’s because I’m accustomed to being hunted in America. There is no Palestinian-Israeli conflict; there is only oppression.

I will never disregard the Holocaust which left millions of European Jews dead or scrambling for survival. There is nothing that will ever right the wrongs committed by the brutal German regime. On the same note, I will never minimize Germany’s first, and little-known, genocide against the Herero and Namaqua of Africa, or King Leopold’s bloody reign on the continent. Tragedy is tragedy, one should not be placed above the other, nor should a past tragedy justify the next.

Ferrari Sheppard is Editor-in-Chief of Stop Being Famous

Follow Ferrari Sheppard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stopbeingfamous

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on I Traveled to Palestine-

Hillary Clinton and the ISIS Mess

NOVANEWS

Hillary Clinton speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York last week

Hillary Clinton’s speech on ISIS to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) showed clearly what to expect in a Clinton presidency: more of the same. In her speech, Clinton doubled down on the existing, failed U.S. approach in the Middle East, the one she pursued as Secretary of State.

The CIA-led policy in the Middle East works like this. If a regime is deemed to be unfriendly to the U.S., topple it. If a competitor like the Soviet Union or Russia has a foothold in the region, try to push it out. If this means arming violent insurgencies, including Sunni jihadists, and thereby creating mayhem: so be it. And if the result is terrorist blowback around the world by the forces created by the US, then double down on bombing and regime change.

In rare cases, great presidents learn to stand up to the CIA and the rest of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. JFK became one of the greatest presidents in American history when he came to realize the awful truth that his own military and CIA advisors had contributed to the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The CIA-led Bay of Pigs fiasco and other CIA blunders had provoked a terrifying response from the Soviet Union. Recognizing that the U.S. approach had contributed to bringing the world to the brink, Kennedy bravely and successfully stood up to the warmongering pushed by so many of his advisors and pursued peace, both during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis. He thereby saved the world from nuclear annihilation and halted the unchecked proliferation of nuclear arms.

Clinton’s speech shows that she and her advisors are good loyalists of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. Her speech included an impressive number of tactical elements: who should do the bombing and who should be the foot soldiers. Yet all of this tactical precision is nothing more than business as usual. Would Clinton ever have the courage and vision to push back against the U.S. security establishment, as did JFK, and thereby restore global diplomacy and reverse the upward spiral of war and terror?

Just as the CIA contributed to the downward slide to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and just as many of JFK’s security chiefs urged war rather than negotiation during that crisis, so too today’s Middle East terrorism, wars, and refugee crises have been stoked by misguided CIA-led interventions. Starting in 1979, the CIA began to build the modern Sunni jihadist movement, then known as the Mujahedeen, to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The CIA recruited young Sunni Muslim men to fight the Soviet infidel, and the CIA provided training, arms, and financing. Yet soon enough, this US-created jihadist army turned on the US, a classic and typical case of blowback.

The anti-U.S. and anti-Western blowback started with the first Gulf War in 1990, when the U.S. stationed troops throughout the region. It continued with the Second Gulf War, when the U.S. toppled a Sunni regime in Iraq and replaced it with a puppet Shia regime. In the process, it dismantled Saddam’s Sunni-led army, which then regrouped as a core part of ISIS in Iraq.

Next the U.S. teamed up with Saudi Arabia to harass, and then to try to topple Bashir al-Assad. His main crime from the perspective of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia: being too close to Iran. Once again, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia turned to Sunni jihadists with arms and financing, and part of that fighting force morphed into ISIS in Syria. The evidence is that the covert U.S. actions against Assad pre-date the overt U.S. calls for Assad’s overthrow in 2011 by at least a couple of years.

In a similar vein, the U.S. teamed up with France and the UK to bomb Libya and kill Muammar Qaddafi. The result has been an ongoing Libyan civil war, and the unleashing of violent jihadists across the African Sahel, including Mali, which suffered the terrorist blow last week at the hands of such marauders.

Thanks to America’s misguided policies, we now have wars and violence raging across a 5,000-mile stretch from Bamako, Mali to Kabul, Afghanistan, with a U.S. hand in starting and stoking the violence. Libya, Sudan, the Sinai, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are all cases where the U.S. has directly intervened with very adverse results. Mali, Chad, Central African Republic, Somalia are some of the many other countries indirectly caught up in turmoil unleashed by U.S. covert and overt operations.

Of course the U.S. is not solely to blame for all of this. Countries across the Sahel, Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia are impoverished, suffering from food shortages and hunger, high joblessness, global warming, severe droughts, illiteracy, and the impact of dysfunctional or non-existent schools. The region still reels from the artificial borders and the cynical actions of the colonial powers, Britain and France, after World War I. The British Empire, of course, was key to entrenching radical Wahabism in Saudi Arabia, which now provides cash and ideological support for many of the Sunni jihadists.

Until today, Clinton has not acknowledged the roots of the conflict in the region, including the disastrous role that the U.S. has played, including under her watch as Secretary of State. She has not been a mastermind of it, but has been a loyal backer carried along by the CIA, the broader military-industrial-intelligence complex, and the conventional neocon thinking in DC. That’s no doubt good for her national politics. It’s hard to run for President as an opponent of the permanent U.S. security state. Being a card-carrying member of the U.S. security establishment is the mainstream media’s definition of a “serious” candidate.

Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are learning this for all their troubles. O’Malley and Sanders wisely and correctly support an America that works with other countries and with the UN Security Council to build peace in the Middle East rather than an America that continues to indulge in endless and failed CIA adventures of regime change and war. While Clinton arrogantly demands that other countries such as Russia and Iran fall squarely behind the U.S., O’Malley and Sanders recognize that it is through compromise in the UN Security Council that we can defeat ISIS and find lasting solutions in the Middle East.

Whether Clinton could ever break free of the military-industrial complex remains to be seen. If she does become president, our very survival will depend on her capacity to learn.

Posted in USAComments Off on Hillary Clinton and the ISIS Mess

What Police Said About The Killing Of Laquan McDonald

NOVANEWS

Before The Video Showed What Really Happened ?

BY JUDD LEGUM

17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot dead by officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Here is how the police union described the shooting to the Chicago Tribune for an article published on October 21:

“He’s got a 100-yard stare. He’s staring blankly,” [Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat] Camden said of the teen. “[He] walked up to a car and stabbed the tire of the car and kept walking.”

Officers remained in their car and followed McDonald as he walked south on Pulaski Road. More officers arrived and police tried to box the teen in with two squad cars, Camden said. McDonald punctured one of the squad car’s front passenger-side tires and damaged the front windshield, police and Camden said.

Officers got out of their car and began approaching McDonald, again telling him to drop the knife, Camden said. The boy allegedly lunged at police, and one of the officers opened fire.

McDonald was shot in the chest and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:42 p.m.

The Chicago police have had video of the shooting for a year, but refused release it until ordered to do so by a judge.

On Tuesday, the video finally released, and Van Dyke was charged with murder.

The video directly contradicts the account provided to the press after McDonald’s death. McDonald does not “lunge” at the police or do anything threatening. It also shows Van Dyke firing repeatedly at McDonald after he is on the ground and motionless.

 

 

In April, police officer Michael Thomas Slager was charged with the murder of Walter Scott after a video contradicted the official police account.

Many police shootings are not captured on video, however. The prosecution of police officers for murder is extremely rare.

Posted in USA, Human RightsComments Off on What Police Said About The Killing Of Laquan McDonald

Tensions soar as Turkey shoots down Russian plane

NOVANEWS

A woman holds a poster as she pickets the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. —APA woman holds a poster as she pickets the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. —AP

ANKARA: Turkey’s Nato allies on Wednesday called for a rapid de-escalation in tensions between Ankara and Moscow while China has also called for more coordination in the fight against terrorism after Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian war plane on the Syrian border, sparking fears of a wider conflict.

Tuesday’s incident is one of the most serious clashes between a Nato member country and Russia to have taken place for half a century.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also said his country does not wish to escalate tensions with Russia over the downing of the plane.

Speaking at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation economy meeting in Istanbul, Erdogan said Wednesday that Turkey favors “peace, dialogue and diplomacy.”

Erdogan however defended his country’s move to shoot down the plane saying “no one should expect Turkey to stay silent to border violations or the violation of its rights.”

Turkey said the Russian war plane was shot down on Tuesday after it ignored repeated warnings and crossed into its airspace from Syria.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg earlier said the military alliance stood by member Turkey after the incident, but echoed appeals for calm from other world leaders as fears grow of clashes between coalition and Russian planes in the skies over Syria.

“We stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our Nato ally, Turkey,”  Stoltenberg said after an emergency meeting of all 28 members requested by Ankara.

“Diplomacy and de-escalation are important to resolve this situation,” added.

Turkey’s military said the fighter was shot down by two of its F-16s after it violated Turkish airspace 10 times within a five-minute period.

The Turkish Ambassador to the United Nations Halit Cevik said in a letter to the Security Council that two Russian planes had flown a little more than a mile into Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.

But Moscow bitterly criticised Turkey for downing the Su-24 plane, which it insisted was in Syrian airspace, and claimed that one of the two pilots who ejected from the craft was killed by gunfire from the ground as he descended.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says a second pilot from a Russian warplane that was shot down by Turkey near the Syrian border has been rescued.

Putin was speaking in televised comments on Wednesday after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian news agencies that the man was rescued in a 12-hour operation which ended in the early hours on Wednesday and is now “safe and sound” at Russia’s air base in the government-controlled area in Syria.

The Russian president has also backed a recommendation from the foreign ministry for Russians not to visit Turkey.

“After such tragic events like the destruction of our plane and the death of our pilot, this is a necessary measure,” Putin said in televised comments.

The Russian president said Turkey’s political leaders had been encouraging the Islamisation of Turkish society, something he said was a problem, Russian agencies quoted him as saying.

“The problem is not the tragedy we witnessed yesterday,” the TASS news agency quoted Putin as saying. “The problem is much deeper. We observe … that the current Turkish leadership over a significant number of years has been pursuing a deliberate policy of supporting the Islamisation of their country.”

Putin had earlier branded the shooting down of the aircraft a “stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorists”, warning: “The tragic event will have serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.”

Russia to deploy anti-aircraft missile systems in Syria

Russia’s defense minister says that Moscow will send its news anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.

Russian news agencies on Wednesday quoted Sergei Shoigu as saying that the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems would be sent to the Hemeimeem air base in the government-controlled area which Moscow uses for its Air Force sorties.

S-400s were first put on active combat duty in Russia in 2007.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin has said that an S-300 air defence system would be sent to Russia’s air base in Syria, Interfax and other agencies reported.

Know more: Downing of Russian plane is a ‘stab in the back’ from Turkey, says Putin

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov scrapped a planned visit to Turkey Wednesday, and warned Russians against travelling to Turkey.

He said the risk of attacks “is no less of a threat than in Egypt,” where all 224 people onboard a Russian passenger jet were killed in October in an attack claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS).

Russia’s Moskva guided missile cruiser will now be stationed near Latakia, on Syria’s Mediterranean border, and all bombers in Syria will now be escorted by fighters, Russian military spokesman General Sergei Rudskoi said, adding the shooting down would have the “the gravest consequences”.

“All targets representing a potential threat to us will be destroyed,” he warned.

‘Flagrant aggression’

While Russia and Turkey have traded barbs before over alleged incursions by Russian fighters into Turkish airspace during forays over Syria, this is the first time Turkey has shot down any Russian planes since Moscow started airstrikes in September.

Moscow’s decision to launch separate air strikes in Syria means Russian and Nato planes have been flying combat missions in the same air space for the first time since World War Two, targeting various insurgent groups close to the Turkish border.

Tuesday’s incident has sparked concern in the West it could escalate into clashes between Russian and other members of the US-led coalition, which include Turkey, during their separate campaigns to target jihadists in Syria.

It also risks derailing efforts to bring peace to Syria that were gaining tentative momentum following the November 13 Paris terror attacks, claimed by militants from the IS group, which controls swathes of northern Syria.

Damascus, an ally of Moscow, denounced the incident as “flagrant aggression” against Syrian sovereignty.

A US military spokesman in Baghdad confirmed Turkey had warned the Russian jet 10 times, without response, before shooting it down but said it was not immediately clear on which side of the border the jet had been flying.

US President Barack Obama called for calm, saying his top priority “is going to be to ensure that this does not escalate”.

He echoed that sentiment in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Obama had also backed Ankara’s right to defend the country’s sovereignty.

Jet ‘no threat to Turkey’

Putin said the plane fell in Syrian territory four kilometres from the border and “did not in any way threaten Turkey”, though Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said the jet had been fired at while in Turkish air space but had crashed inside Syria.

The incident comes as Russian and Syrian jets wage a heavy bombing campaign against targets in northern Syria.

Turkey has expressed anger at the operation, saying it is aimed at buttressing the Assad regime and has displaced thousands of Turkmen Syrians, an ethnic minority in the area and strong allies of Ankara.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a “credible and thorough review” of the incident to establish what happened and ensure it does not happen again.

Meanwhile, the fate of the second pilot in the plane remained unclear.

Turkish television pictures showed the Su-24 exploding and crashing in a ball of flames into a Syrian mountain and two pilots parachuting to the ground after ejecting.

A Turkish government official insisted both pilots were still alive, but Russian military spokesman Rudskoi said one was killed by fire from the ground after he ejected from the craft.

Rudskoi added a Russian soldier had also been killed in a failed bid to rescue the pilots when a Mi-8 helicopter was “damaged by gunfire and had to land”.

China urges stronger coordination in Syria

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China was paying close attention to the incident and that many circumstances “needed further clarification”.

“China supports the international fight against terrorism, and we hope all sides strengthen their communication and coordination,” Hong told a regular press briefing.

While relying on the region for oil supplies, China tends to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

However, China has long said there is no military solution to Syria’s problems and has criticised the West and Russia for bombing campaigns there.

The incident appeared to scupper hopes of a rapprochement between Russia and the West in the wake of the militant Islamic State group’s attacks in Paris, which had led to calls for a united front against the jihadist group in Syria.

Posted in Russia, TurkeyComments Off on Tensions soar as Turkey shoots down Russian plane

ALEPPO: KHAN TOOMAAN LIBERATED

NOVANEWS
HUNDREDS OF NATO TERRORISTS KILLED BY LEGITIMATE ALLIED FORCES AS SYRIAN ARMY CONTINUES ITS ADVANCE

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/harbipress.com_5925.jpg

harbipress.com_5925Apologies to my readers.  I told you I would not publish until Sunday, November 22, 2015, because I was going to be hunting for deer from Friday until Sunday morning.  As it turned out, on Sunday, when I arrived at the office to prepare my report for you, I had a long interview over Skype with Monk Radio.  I will post the link when it is sent to me by our friend, Paul.  On Monday, there was a power outage here which lasted until this Tuesday morning.  I am now back on line.

ALEPPO:  The situation has turned around completely in the north.  It has become so dire for the terrorist rodents that Turkey has now begun opening up its guns at Russian warplanes flying in Syrian airspace.  Moreover, that Turk-rat child molester, Khaalid Al-Khojaa, the so-called leader of the non-existent NACOSROF, based in Istanbul, has called on Nusra/Alqaeda to sever its ties to Al-Qaeda and join the “revolutionaries”.  What a pathetic joke.  Watch the developments carefully with talk now about a severing of relations between Turkey and Russia.  There is also an emergency meeting of NATO today to discuss the downing of a Russian Air Force Sukhoi 24 bomber flown by 2 pilots who managed to eject from their plane although one of whom was murdered by the rat Turkomen terrorists.

Khaan Toomaan:  I can confirm the total liberation of this town this morning as the SAA, HZB, PDC with the participation of the Russian Air Force poured into it after having eradicated all fortifications.  Khan Toomaan is a town sitting on a major axis crucial to the progress of the SAA in the southwest of the northern capital.  On Sunday,  truck loaded with ammunition was vaporized whilst a pickup with a 23mm cannon was picked off by SAA anti-tank gunners.  The rodents belonged to the Jaysh Al-Mujaahideen group which lost 29 rodents on that Sunday and then withdrew completely from the battle leaving Nusra-types alone to face the fury of the Syrian Army and HZB advance.

On Tuesday morning, after killing over 100 rodents, and wounding hundreds more, the SAA and its allies broke the back of the rodent defenses and began purifying the area by killing every rat it could find.  Foreign rodents were not spared at all.  According to our sources the orders were to exterminate them.  The groups which were wiped out to a rat were the Alqaeda groups, Harakat Ahraar Al-Shaam and Harakat Noureddeen Zangi, all of whom are financially supported by the monkeys of Arabia and the skunks of Erdoghan’s Turk regime.  We can confirm also the destruction this morning of 3 armored vehicles, 3 pickups with 23mm cannons and a warehouse loaded with newly arrived munitions.

Abu Ra`eel Village:  On Saturday, the SAA struck a lethal blow against Turk-supported imbeciles here wiping out a truck with a guided missile fired by SAAF bombers and a pickup with 23mm cannon just south of the Jabal Al-Arba’een area.  Hundreds of families have begun returning to their homes.  Of the 63 rodents killed or wounded here, we have some of the names of the Syrian traitors who were killed:

Deeb Hooraani

‘Abdul-Malik Al-Nijm

Muhammad Taahir Al-‘Aroos

Mabrook Qaassim Al-‘Ali

Haarith ‘Ittu

Hameed Fahmi

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%8A1.jpg

الجيش العراقيBurj Al-Rummaan:  Liberated on Saturday by the SAA killing 18 vermin.  Families who fled the town are being invited back by the SAA.

Bani Zayd:  In the Aleppo City area.  The SAA and PDC scored a hit by killing an estimated 11 rats and wounding scores.

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/005BCBA5.jpg

005BCBA5The SAAF and RuAF were very active here this morning: Shammar Village, Al-Baab, and in the eastern part of Aleppo bombing ISIS positions at Rasm, Al-‘Abed, Dayr Haafir, Najaara.   

Note:  Expect the SAA to begin the assault on the terrorist-occupied Al-Jarraah AB over the next few days.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK:  SEE STUDENTS IN HOMS DEMONSTRATE FOR PRESIDENTS ASSAD AND PUTIN: (Thanks, John, Esq.)

https://www.facebook.com/Ruptly/videos/1214661538549543/

Now see Father Nathanael tell us all about Zionism and ISIS/Alqaeda:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JaTjSKjJe0

Kevin Hester sends this eye-opening view of ISIS and all Islamist degenrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sPY0X8SrLo

CARTOON OF THE DAY:  (Thanks, Francisco Monteiro)

image: https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/12294920_945735835472804_4228609745999837402_n.jpg?oh=e708076e731cdfa8e3e0b41535cbe5ad&oe=56E53FAD

 PHOTO OF THE DAY:  Thanks to Rana Abboud and Kevin Hester:

image: https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/12279219_718200108281177_614242252800551396_n.jpg?oh=d789438b7af7e0e420f4d2b7205fb65c&oe=56AD9A32

 NEWS AND COMMENT:

Want to know who controls the western media.  You’re not going to believe it – or maybe you will.  Thanks, Vasiliy:

http://tapnewswire.com/2015/10/six-jewish-companies-control-96-of-the-worlds-media/

And if you want to bypass their lying, Vasiliy sends this item:

http://www.hotspotshield.com/

What? Jihadists are dumping their corpses into cesspools? (Thanks, John, Esq.)

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/620806/Russian-airstrike-battered-ISIS-dumping-dead-jihadis-in-excrement-filled-SEWAGE-PITS?_ga=1.53431784.1508998914.1443647070

Moon of Alabama covers the shoot-down of the Russian plane:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/11/the-two-versions-of-the-latakia-plane-incident.html

image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUlFyw9WoAAy54U.jpg

Embedded image permalinkSharmine Narwani analyzes the hypocrisy again:

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/2535/In-France-a-whiplash-from-rotten-Syria-policy

Vasily Zaitsev, our favorite sniper, sends this shocker about who is in charge of UK’s cyber security:

https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/uk-oh-look-whos-in-charge-of-uk-government-cyber-security/

Captain Captagon strikes again, this time in Turkey:  (Thanks, John Esq.)

http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-seizes-11-million-pills-syria-war-drug-104531345.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=fb

Posted in SyriaComments Off on ALEPPO: KHAN TOOMAAN LIBERATED

Mastermind of The Bamako Terror Attack Mokhtar Belmokhtar

NOVANEWS

A CIA Sponsored “Intelligence Asset”?

By Michel Chossudovsky | Global Research 

In response to the tragic Paris events of November 13, Central Intelligence Agency director  John Brennan  warned that “ISIL is planning additional attacks… It is clear to me that ISIL has an external agenda, that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks.” (Quoted in Daily Telegraph, November 16, 2015)

Five days later following the CIA Chief’s  premonition, the Bamako Radisson Hotel Blu in Mali’s capital was the object of a terrorist attack, resulting in  21 people dead. Following the attack and the taking of hostages by the terrorists, French and Malian special forces raided the hotel. US. Africa Command (AFRICOM) also confirmed that US special forces were involved.

The Bamako terror operation was allegedly coordinated by Mokhtar Belmokhtar (aka Khaled Abu al-Abbas)leader of an affiliate of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Islamist al-Mulathameen (Masked) Brigade, or “Those who Sign with Blood.”

Belmokhtar’s group was created in 2012 in the wake of the war on Libya. His organization has also allegedly been involved in the drug trade, smuggling as well kidnapping operations of foreigners in North Africa.  While his whereabouts are said to be known, French intelligence has dubbed Belmokhtar “the uncatchable”.

In June he was reported dead  as a result in a U.S. air strike in Libya. His death was subsequently denied.

Based on shaky evidence, The New York Times report below (November 20) concludes that Belmokhtar’s group (together with AQIM) is unequivocally behind the Bamako attacks:

A member of Al Qaeda in Africa confirmed Saturday that the attack Friday on a hotel in Bamako, Mali, had been carried out by a jihadist group loyal to Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian operative for Al Qaeda. The Qaeda member,who spoke via an online chat, said that an audio message and a similar written statement in which the group claimed responsibility for the attack were authentic. The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist groups, also confirmed the authenticity of the statement.

The Qaeda member, who refused to be named for his protection, said that Mr. Belmokhtar’s men had collaborated with the Saharan Emirate of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, … In the audio recording, the group, known as Al Mourabitoun, says it carried out the operation in conjunction with Al Qaeda’s branch in the Islamic Maghreb.

The recording was released to the Al Jazeera network and simultaneously to Al Akhbar… The recording states: “We, in the group of the Mourabitoun [Arabic Rebel Group], in cooperation with our brothers in Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, the great desert area, claim responsibility for the hostage-taking operation in the Radisson hotel in Bamako.” (emphasis added)

The SITE Intelligence Group is presented as an “independent” Washington think tank with a mandate of analyzing data pertaining to Al Qaeda affiliated terror organizations. SITE is also on contract with a number of US government agencies and has close links to US intelligence.

SITE has provided no substantive evidence which supports the authenticity of the online audio chat recording, which is considered as a reliable source. The story could have been planted.

Following the audio release, the Western media in chorus immediately pointed to an act of revenge directed against the French Republic in response to France’s 2013 military intervention in Mali, which had been ordered by President Francois Hollande.

“France saved Mali from al-Qaeda but it never broke terror threat”.   “France saved northern Mali from al-Qaeda’s brutal rule … But the country is still beholden to outsiders and, as events at the Radisson hotel have demonstrated, acutely vulnerable to the worst of terrorism” (The Independent, November 20, 2015)

Screenshot The Independent, November 20, 2015

In turn, the French Minister of Defense acknowledged –prior to the conduct of a police investigation– that the authors of the attack were “most likely” led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s group in association with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

What Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain failed to mention was that both Belmokhtar and AQIM have longstanding links to the CIA, which in turn has a working relationship with France’s  General Directorate for External Security, Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE). 

Casually ignored by the Western media, the leaders of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) including Belmokhtar were trained and recruited by the CIA in Afghanistan. Acknowledged by the Washington based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR):

Most of AQIM’s major leaders are believed to have trained in Afghanistan during the 1979-1989 war against the Soviets as part of a group of North African volunteers known as “Afghan Arabs” that returned to the region and radicalized Islamist movements in the years that followed. The group is divided into “katibas” or brigades, which are clustered into different and often independent cells.

The group’s top leader, or emir, since 2004 has been  Abdelmalek Droukdel, also known as Abou Mossab Abdelwadoud, a trained engineer and explosives expert who has fought in Afghanistan and has roots with the GIA in Algeria. (Council on Foreign Relations, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, cfr.org, undated)

Saudi born terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was recruited in 1979 ironically under the auspices of the CIA. The training, recruitment and indoctrination of Mujahideen launched in 1979 was considered to be “the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA” in response the Soviet Union’s military support of the pro-Communist secular Afghan government of Babrak Kamal.

Al Qaeda in Arabic means “the Base”. What it referred to was the CIA’s “Database” of Mujahideen recruits who were referred to by President Ronald Reagan as “freedom fighters”:

Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. (See Pierre-Henri Bunel, Al Qaeda: The Database, Global Research, November 20, 2005, emphasis added)

 Mokhtar Belmokhtar: Post Cold War CIA intelligence asset? 

The Council on Foreign Relations erroneously describes “Mokhtar Belmokhtar as the one-eyed veteran of the anti-Soviet Afghan insurgency.” (CFR, op cit, emphasis added). Belmokhtar (born in 1972) did not fight in the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1989). He was recruited in 1991 at the age of 19 in the immediate wake of the Cold War.

CIA recruitment continued in the wake of the Cold War. It was in large part directed against the Russian Federation and the former Soviet Republics as well as the Middle East.

The purpose of this later CIA recruitment was to establish a network of “intelligence assets” to be used in the CIA’s post-cold war insurgencies. Leaders of the Chechen Islamist insurgencies were also trained in CIA camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the notorious leader of the Chechen insurrection Ibn al-Khattab (a citizen of Saudi Arabia).

Following his training and recruitment and a two year stint in Afghanistan (1991-1993), Mokhtar Belmokhtar was sent back to Algeria in 1993 at age 21 where he joined the  Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) (emblem left). The latter was initially part of the so-called Armed Islamic Group  (Groupe islamique armé (GIA)) in Algeria which sought to overthrow the secular Algerian Government with a view to installing a theocratic Islamic State.

Supported covertly by the CIA, Belmokhtar fought in Southern Algeria in the civil war opposing Islamist forces and the secular government. He was also  instrumental in the integration and merging of “jihadist” forces.

In January 2007,  the Armed islamic Group (GIA) which had been prominent in the 1990s, officially changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

In turn, as of 2007, the newly formed AQIM established a close relationship with the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),which was directly supported by NATO during the 2011 war on Libya, “providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.” (Tony Cartalucci, The Geopolitical Reordering of Africa: US Covert Support to Al Qaeda in Northern Mali, France “Comes to the Rescue”Global Research, January 2013).

British SAS Special Forces had also been brought into Libya prior to the onset of the insurrection, acting as military advisers to the LIFG.

In fact, what has unfolded since the war on Libya is the merging of LIFG and AQIM forces. In turn, many of the LIFG operatives have been dispatched to Syria to fight within the ranks of Al Nusrah and the ISIS.

Robert Stephen Ford, US Ambassador to Algeria (2006-2008)

It is worth noting that the 2007  restructuring  of jihadist forces in Algeria and the Maghreb coincided with  the appointment of Robert Stephen Ford as US ambassador to Algeria in August 2006. Ford had been reassigned by the State Department from Baghdad to Algiers. From 2004 to 2006, he worked closely with Ambassador John Negroponte at the US embassy in Baghdad in supporting the creation of  both Shia and Sunni death squads in Iraq.

This project consisted in recruiting and training terrorists modelled on the so-called “Salvador Option” which had been applied by the CIA in Central America. Negroponte as we recall played a central role in supporting the Contras terrorists in Nicaragua as ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, “The Salvador Option For Syria”: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate “Opposition Forces”Global Research,  May 28, 2012)

The 2006 appointment of Robert Stephen Ford to head the US Embassy in Algeria was timely. It coincided with the consolidation of jihadist groups within Algeria and the Maghreb. It preceded the 2011 US-NATO sponsored insurrections in Libya and Syria.

In 2010, Ford was approved by the US Congress as US Ambassador to Syria. He presented his credentials to president Bashar al Assad in January 2011, barely two months prior to the onslaught of the terrorist insurrection in the border city of Daraa in mid-March 2011. Ford played a central role in assisting the channelling of US and allied support to Syrian “opposition” groups including Al Nusrah and the ISIS.

Concluding Remarks

Belmokhtar’s history and involvement in Afghanistan confirms that from the very outset he was an instrument of US intelligence. While, he operates with a certain degree of independence and autonomy in relation to his intelligence sponsors, he and his organization are bona fide CIA “intelligence assets”, which can be used by the CIA as part of a covert agenda.

There are various definitions of  an “intelligence asset”. From the standpoint of US intelligence, “assets” linked up to terrorist organizations must not be aware that they are supported and monitored by Western intelligence.

With regard to Al Qaeda, from the outset in 1979, the CIA chose to operate through various front organizations as well as indirectly through its Saudi, Qatari and Pakistani intelligence partners. CIA’s Milton Beardman who played a central role in the Soviet Afghan war confirms that members of Al Qaeda including Osama bin Laden were not aware of the role they were playing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman): “neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American help”(Michel Chossudovsky, Who is Osama bin Laden, Global Research, September 12, 2001):

Motivated by nationalism and religious fervor, the Islamic warriors were unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of Uncle Sam. While there were contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA.  (Ibid)

Amply documented, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)and its affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) was serving the interests of the Western military alliance. Confirmed by the Washington Post, June 29, 2011 (See below), France was supplying weapons to the LIFG at the height of NATO’s bombing raids.

AQIM in turn was receiving weapons from the LIFG, which was supported by NATO. Moreover, LIFG mercenaries had integrated AQIM brigades.

According to alleged Terror Mastermind Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who also coordinated the 2013 In Amenas Mali kidnapping operation:

“We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world. As for our benefiting from the (Libyan) weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.” http://www.hanford.gov/c.cfm/oci/ci_terrorist.cfm?dossier=174

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is indelibly tied into a Western intelligence agenda. While it is described  as  ”one of the region’s wealthiest, best-armed militant groups”, financed covertly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. France’s  Canard enchaîné revealed (June 2012) that Qatar (a staunch ally of the United States) has been funding various terrorist entities in Mali:

The original report cites a French military intelligence report as indicating that Qatar has provided financial support to all three of the main armed groups in northern Mali: Iyad Ag Ghali’s Ansar Ed-Dine, al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA).

The amount of funding given to each of the groups is not mentioned but it mentions that repeated reports from the French DGSE to the Defense Ministry have mentioned Qatar’s support for ‘terrorism’ in northern Mali. (quoted byJeune Afrique June 2012)

Qatar is a proxy state, a de facto Persian Gulf territory largely controlled by Washington. It hosts  a number of Western military and intelligence facilities.

The Emir of Qatar does not finance terrorism without the consent of the CIA.

And with regard to Mali, the CIA coordinates its activities in liaison with its French intelligence partners and counterparts, including la Direction du renseignement militaire (DRM) and the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE).

The implications are obvious and should be carefully understood by Western public opinion. Inasmuch as Belmokhtar and AQIM are “intelligence assets”, both US and French intelligence are (indirectly) behind the Bamako attacks.

Both US and French intelligence are complicit in the State sponsorship of terrorism.

Posted in FranceComments Off on Mastermind of The Bamako Terror Attack Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Cooking the Books for I$rahell

NOVANEWS

How The NY Times Plays a Numbers Game

By Barbara Erickson

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Jodi Rudoren today in The New York Times puts up a numbers barrier to hide the reality of Palestinian casualties in the latest spate of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The aim, as usual, is to maintain the claim of Israeli victimhood and to obscure the criminal brutality of the occupation.

In a story about four who died yesterday in alleged attacks in the region, Rudoren writes that more than 90 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 1, “about half while attacking or trying to attack Israelis and the rest during demonstrations where they clashed with Israeli soldiers.”

We are to believe from this statement that only violent activists have died at the hands of Israeli forces, but in fact, several Palestinians have been killed in circumstances that were anything but “clashes”—at checkpoints, for instance, when trigger happy troops shot and killed unarmed victims. One of the dead was a 73-year-old grandmother on her way to lunch with her sister.

To omit these cases is to ignore the findings of human rights groups that have charged Israel with committing extrajudicial executions in recent weeks, and Rudoren’s statement, in the face of their evidence, is an effort to distort the facts.

The misrepresentations do not end there, however. Rudoren goes on to say, “At the same time, 17 Israeli Jews have been killed and dozens wounded in 70 stabbings, 10 shootings and 10 vehicular attacks.”

Note what is missing here: the number of Palestinians that have been wounded and the attacks against them in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Her aim is to minimize the huge discrepancy in casualty counts by omitting the number of Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces and settlers.

Ninety compared to 70 sounds like something approaching parity, but Rudoren has deliberately omitted the logical comparison—the number of injuries. This, according to United Nations data, was 133 Israelis and 9,171 Palestinians injured as of Nov. 16.

We should ask Rudoren and Times editors why this information is missing here, in a context that cries out for full disclosure.

Beyond the full casualty count, the Times could also inform readers of other statistics that illuminate the reality of Palestinian-Israeli relations:

  • A weekly average of 150 Israeli military search and arrest operations in the West Bank last year.
  • 211 reported incidents of settler violence against Palestinians this year as of Nov. 16. (Actual incidents are daily occurrences throughout the West Bank.)
  • 50 Israeli military incursions into Gaza from Jan. 1 to Nov. 16, 2015.
  • 481 demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures as of Nov. 16 this year. (This includes homes, animal shelters, cisterns, wells and public buildings such as schools.)
  • 601 Palestinians displaced due to demolitions in 2015.
  • 6,700 Palestinian political prisoners currently held by Israel.
  • 320 Palestinian child prisoners currently in Israeli prisons.

The information for the numbers above comes from the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs and from Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights organization. The Times, however, ignores their reports and prefers to rely on official Israeli entities. Thus, the numbers Rudoren cites for attacks and casualties are taken from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs,which has an obvious interest in political spin.

Israel has the first and last word in the Times. The United Nations, Palestinian monitoring groups and human rights organizations are silenced while Israeli official claims are taken as fact. The word “alleged,” for instance, never appears in Rudoren’s piece today. The UN report, however, uses the term frequently, distinguishing between the claims of security forces and verified information.

In short, Times reporting on Palestine and Israel is a disgrace. Numbers are deliberately manipulated, relevant facts are censored, and the result is dishonest journalism, in spite of the newspaper’s lofty claims of providing “the complete, unvarnished truth” and “impartial” reporting. The numbers simply prove them wrong.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Cooking the Books for I$rahell

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