Archive | July 22nd, 2016

Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua – Permanent Media False Positives

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TeleSUR 

Member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas are natural targets for the relentless psychological warfare of Western news media, because they form a resistance front to the foreign policy imperatives of the United States government and its allies. Right now, Venezuela is the most obvious example. Daily negative coverage in Western media reports invariably attack and blame the Venezuelan government for the country’s political and economic crisis. Similar coverage is applied to the governments of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Cuba’s revolutionary government led by Raul Castro and also to Nicaragua’s Sandinista government led by Daniel Ortega.

By contrast, the permanent economic sabotage, the attacks on democratic process and the cynical promotion of violence by the dysfunctional Venezuelan opposition gets a free pass. Likewise, U.S. and European news media have virtually nothing to report about Argentina’s abrupt plunge into crisis with 40 percent inflation and a dramatic increase in poverty after barely six months of Mauricio Macri’s corruption tainted government. Nor has coverage of the chronic complicity of the Mexican government in covering up the disappearance of of the 43 Ayotzinapa students or the mass murder of striking teachers in Oaxaca matched the hysteria applied by Western media to Venezuela over bogus human rights concerns.

No doubt political scientists could work out the correlation between adverse or downright hostile media coverage and official measures or announcements by U.S. and allied governments. What’s clear in general is that Western media coverage actively and purposefully serves U.S. and allied government foreign policy preparing the ground for otherwise categorically inexplicable measures of diplomatic and economic aggression. For example, the self-evidently absurd declaration by President Obama that Venezuela constitutes a threat to the security of the United States or the anti-humanitarian failure of the U.S. government to lift the illegal economic blockade of Cuba despite President Obama’s duplicitous avowals recognizing the blockade’s political failure.

Venezuela and Cuba are close, loyal allies of Nicaragua, now in an election year. Nicaragua’s Sandinista government has faced a Western media assault over the last month or so with the U.S. government issuing a travel alert. The alert warns U.S. travelers to Nicaragua to be wary of “increased government scrutiny of foreigners’ activities, new requirements for volunteer groups, and the potential for demonstrations during the upcoming election season in Nicaragua…. U.S. citizens in Nicaragua should be aware of heightened sensitivity by Nicaraguan officials to certain subjects or activities, including: elections, the proposed inter-oceanic canal, volunteer or charitable visits, topics deemed sensitive by or critical of the government.” In a video mixed message about that alert, the U.S. Ambassador to the country, Laura Dogu, states that the advisory should in no way deter tourists from the United States visiting Nicaragua.

The travel alert appears to have been provoked by the experiences of a U.S. academic and also two U.S. government functionaries who were asked by the Nicaraguan authorities to leave the country in June. The official U.S. reaction has a lot in common with the mentality described in “Orientalism,” Edward Said’s intricate psycho-cultural map of Western perceptions of Muslim countries. Said writes, “The scientist, the scholar, the missionary, the trader or the soldier was in or thought about the Orient because he could be there or could think about it with very little resistance on the Orient’s part.” Translated to the Americas, the attitudes and behavior of Said’s orientalist are clearly present among U.S. Americanists, both governmental and non-governmental, and their regional collaborators.

The latest example of Americanist hubris here in Nicaragua has been a remarkably unscholarly outburst by Evan Ellis, the professor of the U.S. College of War who was expelled by the Nicaraguan government while attempting an unauthorized investigation of Nicaragua’s proposed interoceanic canal. Ellis’ ill-tempered diatribe repeats a familiar litany of downright falsehoods, wild speculation and poisonous calumnies, attacking Nicaragua’s Sandinista government led by Daniel Ortega as a dictatorship. It appeared in Latin America Goes Global, closely associated with the center right Project Syndicate media network. Project Syndicate lists among its associate media right-wing media outlets like Clarin and La Nación in Argentina, Folha de Sao Paulo and O Globo in Brazil and El Nacional in Venezuela.

So it is no surprise that in Nicaragua its associate media outlet should be the virulently anti-Sandinista Confidencial, which published the Spanish version of Ellis’s attack, making Ellis’ accusations of dictatorship look stupid. Addressing Chinese involvement in Nicaragua’s proposed interoceanic canal, Ellis displays his ignorance of Nicaragua’s relationship with both China and Taiwan. His tendentious, ahistorical analysis betrays the mentality of an unreconstructed Cold Warrior in all its inglorious torpor. That ideological straitjacket prevents Ellis from even beginning to appreciate Daniel Ortega’s hard-headed but deep commitment to promoting peace and reconciliation based on genuine dialog. Western political leaders and their media and academic shills perceive that commitment as a sign of weakness, which explains a great deal about repeated failures of Western foreign policy all around the world.

Around the same time as the Ellis affair, Viridiana Ríos a Mexican academic associated with the U.S. Woodrow Wilson Center left Nicaragua claiming police persecution. Ríos entered Nicaragua as a tourist but then proceeded to carry out a program of interviews with various institutions for her academic research. The curious thing about her claims is that she was never actually interviewed by any Nicaraguan official, either of the police or the immigration service. But she claims her hotel alerted her to a visit by police, in fact if it happened at all more likely immigration officials, who presumably left satisfied because otherwise she would certainly have been interviewed. Ríos then supposedly contacted the Mexican embassy who allegedly and inexplicably advised her to leave for Mexico. The upshot is that Ríos visited Nicaragua only to suddenly fear, for no obvious reason, being disappeared by government officials who could easily have detained her had they so wished. Rios then, with no complications, left Nicaragua, the safest country in the Americas along with Canada and Chile, and went home to Mexico, a country with 28,000 disappeared people.

Around the same time, as the reports about Ellis and Ríos, the Guardian published a disinformation scatter-gun attack on the Nicaraguan government also firming up the false positive of Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega’s presidency as a dictatorship. The dictatorship accusations are complete baloney. Neither Ellis nor the Guardian report faithfully that even center-right polling companies agree that support for Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista political party runs at over 60 percent of people surveyed while the political opposition barely muster 10 percent support. Similar polls show massive confidence in both the police (74 percent ), the army (79.8 percent) and satisfaction with Nicaragua’s democracy (73.9 percent). Another common theme in the attacks by Ellis and the Guardian is the supposed suspension of the construction of Nicaragua’s planned interoceanic canal, based on yet another false positive -the bogus hypothesis that the canal has no finance.

The basis for this claim is sheer speculation based on the afterwards-equals-because fallacy, typified by another unscrupulous and disingenuous Guardian article from November 2015 offering zero factual support for the claim that the Canal ‘s construction has been postponed for financial reasons. That report and numerous others reflect the outright dishonesty of the Canal’s critics. From the outset the canal’s critics accused the government and HKND, the Chinese company building the canal, of moving too quickly and failing to take into account environmental concerns and also for an alleged lack of transparency. When the government and the HKND took on board recommendations from the ERM environmental impact study to do more environmental studies, the Canal’s critics changed tack, accusing the government of covering up that the Canal has been delayed because HKND has run out of money. That claim seems to originate in Western psy-warfare outlets in Asia like the South China Morning Post and the Bangkok Post which have consistently run attack pieces on HKND’s owner, Wang Jing.

This standard operating intellectual dishonesty by NATO psy-warfare outlets like the Guardian, omits various inconvenient facts. For example, preparatory work on the Canal route continues with various studies in progress, including aerial surveys by an Australian company, one of whose pilots, Canadian Grant Atkinson tragically died in a crash late last year. This year, the government reached a conclusive agreement with local indigenous groups affected by the Canal after an extensive process of consultation. This year too, Nicaragua has signed a memorandum of understanding with Antwerp’s Maritime Academy to train the pilots who will guide shipping through the Canal and also a cooperation agreement with the UK Hydrographic Office for training and advice in relation to the hydrographic maps the Canal will need. This is hardly the behavior of people managing a project in crisis. That said, the global economic environment right now is so uncertain that investors in any large project let alone one as huge as the Nicaraguan Canal will certainly be wary.

The global economic context and the Canal’s geostrategic aspect receive a more rational treatment than Ellis’ self-serving rant in an article by Nil Nikandrov. Even Nikandrov seems to accept as fact the Guardian’s entirely speculative claim that the Canal’s financing is in crisis, but he rightly treats Ellis’s Cold War style anti-Sandinista hysteria with amused scepticism. In fact, neither Nikandrov nor Ellis make the obvious point that the strongest geostrategic reality in relation to the Canal is that, should U.S.-China tensions in the South China Sea accentuate into outright confrontation, China could not defend militarily the strong investment by Chinese companies in Nicaragua’s Canal. In any case, Nikandrov, rightly points out with regard to Nicaragua’s economy, “Nicaragua’s socioeconomic progress, Nicaraguans’ improved standard of living, and the stability and security there (compared to the increase in crime in most Central American countries) can all largely be credited to President Ortega.”

But even that reality can be turned on its head in the hands of a butterfly columnist as Bloomberg’s Mac Margolis demonstrated in his July 4 article Nicaragua Prospers Under an Ex-Guerrilla.” Just for a change Bloomberg’s editors omitted their trademark “unexpectedly”, usually slipped in to any headline reporting unpalatable news. But the premier U.S. business news site could only finally recognize the incredible progress achieved by Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government by at the same time smearing and denigrating President Ortega in the process. On the positive side Margolis recognizes, “the Nicaraguan economy grew 4.9 percent last year and has averaged 5.2 percent for the last five. Although three in 10 Nicaraguans are poor, unemployment and inflation are low. Public sector debt is a modest 2.2 percent of gross domestic product.”

That apart, Margolis writes, “Ortega’s critics know a darker side. Consider the ever-accommodating Nicaraguan Supreme Court, which last week deposed opposition leader Eduardo Montealegre as head of the Independent Liberal Party – essentially clearing the way for Ortega to run unchallenged in the November elections.” This is identical to the dishonest argument in Nina Lakhani’s Guardianarticle. Montealegre’s PLI had around 3 percent support, under the new PLI leader that seems to have crept up to around 5 percent. The Supreme Court decision made no difference to the fact that Nicaragua’s political opposition has been incapable of a serious electoral challenge to Daniel Ortega since before the last elections in 2011. Since then Daniel Ortega’s popularity has grown while support for the Nicaraguan opposition has collapsed. Implicitly contradicting himself, Margolis acknowledges that fact but goes on to make speculative, fact-free accusations of corruption, directly in relation to Nicaragua’s proposed Canal.

Without being specific he hints at widespread opposition to the Canal in Nicaragua, writing “a shadowy project that Ortega farmed out to Chinese investors led by billionaire Wang Jing. Ground has yet to be broken on the US$50 billion development, but Nicaraguans have raised a stink over the lavishly generous terms of the deal”. While opposition to the Canal certainly does exist, 73 percent of people in Nicaragua support it. Evan Ellis mentions an alleged opposition demonstration of 400,000 people, which is simply untrue. The biggest demonstration against the Canal drew about 40,000 people back in 2014 when Nicaragua’s political opposition bussed people to a march from all over the country. Plenty of information is available about the Canal and Margolis has no facts to back up his baseless accusation of corruption “I’d wager a fistful of Nicaraguan córdobas that ‘Presidente-Comandante Daniel’ has something he’s uneager to share.”

Only the crass Americanist mind set could provoke such presumptuous contempt for the opinion of the great majority of Nicaraguans. Margolis really seems to believe Nicaraguans are so stupid as to support a President who he alleges is self-evidently corrupt. In fact, Margolis’ discredited protagonist, Eduardo Montealegre, has precisely the kind of corruption tainted track record so familiar from the U.S. government deregulation of Wall Street. Montealegre was the Nicaraguan Treasury Minister under a U.S. supported right wing government and oversaw a massive bailout of Nicaragua’s rotten banking system from which his own bank benefited directly at the time. Perfectly natural then for a Bloomberg columnist to highlight Montealegre while attacking Daniel Ortega who rescued Nicaragua from precisely that culture of abject corruption. This banal irrational attack on Daniel Ortega deliberately obscures the reasons for Nicaragua’s economic success, which shows up current US and European economic policy as faith based nonsense.

Domestically, President Ortega has prioritized poverty reduction, implementing very successful socialist redistributive policies and extensive infrastructure development. Overseas, his Sandinista government has dramatically diversified commercial and development cooperation relationships, in particular structuring Venezuela’s aid in a way equivalent to deficit spending, whose success contrasts sharply with the mindless futility of current Western economic policy. Contradicting the Bloomberg article, Nil Nikandrov is much closer to reality when he writes that Ortega is, “a faithful defender of Nicaragua’s interests on the international stage and enjoys the support of the vast majority of Nicaraguans.” As the NATO country psychological warfare media crank up their attacks on Nicaragua in an election year, it remains to be seen whether Nikandrov is right when he argues, “the subversive activities of the U.S. intelligence services and their ‘strategy of chaos’ will not work in Nicaragua.”

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James Petras: Imperialism Cannot Be Trusted to Abide by Its Agreements

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Fars News Agency 

Dr. James Petras who has been alongside three outstanding leaders of the world – Chile’s late Salvador Allende, Venezuela’s late Hugo Chavez and Greece’s late Andreas Papandreou – as an advisor warns that the United States and other imperialist powers should never be trusted.

The following is a transcript of a recorded interview with professor James Petras by Marwa Osman.

Q: How do you assess the influence of Zionism in setting the agenda for Western governments?

A: I think Zionism has become a very important influence on western, European and US diplomacy, particularly to the Middle East and in particular any questions relating to Israel’s foreign policy. In the US I think it is extremely important. Zionism has set the agenda for the US, it has helped elect officials, it has intimidated critics, it has received enormous funds from the US government and in general we can say that Israel dominates the US policy in the Middle East. The Zionists played a very important role in organizing the invasion of Iraq, they were involved with the war in Afghanistan, they are currently involved in the war inside of Syria, and they have deep positions within the state department and within the Pentagon. In the Pentagon, they have been very prominent in encouraging the US to escalate its wars and destroy the Muslim population in that region. In the treasury department, Israeli Zionists have been influential in imposing sanctions against Iran and I think the agreement was made between Iran and the US despite the pressure from the Zionists and they continue to harass any policy which would implement the Iran-US agreement, that is, what would facilitate trade and investment. So in general, England, France and the United States are very much influenced by Zionist policy regarding the Islamic countries and I think this is a major hindrance to any accommodation and understanding that would lessen the prospect of war and focus attention on the role that Israel plays along with Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the Islamic people and of the population as a whole.

Q: How do you think Zionists have managed to keep such an influence away from the public’s eye and basically away from the media?

A: I think that Zionist influence in the media is enormous. If you look at the major television networks bearing common that Zionists are in the leading positions like CBS, NBS, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are very much controlled and influenced by owners and writers tied to Israeli interests. The Financial Times is also no exception to that and that has played a major role in influencing the public opinion and beyond that we have the fact that many Zionists have penetrated the government and they are simply a lobby pressuring the Congress and that plays a role also. Zionists contribute over 60% of the funding of the Democratic Party and about 35 to 40% of Republican Party funding so they influence the government directly and they influence the media and they influence the congress and the electoral process. All of this is accompanied by ferocious attacks on critics of Israel. We have seen many writers and academics who have lost jobs in medical and other professions who have criticized Israel and have been subject to harassment and some have even suffered violent threats against their lives and certainly against their employment.

Q: What are the highlights of your first hand observations during the years you served as an advisor to Andreas Papandreou? Have things changed for the better now?

A: Things are much worse now. When I was in the government back in 1982 till 1985, we implemented a policy much more balanced, criticizing the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians. We saw the Palestinian President at the time, Yasser Arafat, who visited Papandreou and they exchanged similar ideas on the Liberation of Palestine. Papandreou did not pursue his radical commitments that he made in the campaign but he did implement many reforms dealing with women’s rights, with expanding the health programs and the higher education programs. In other words he was an effective social reformer but he did not pursue the maximum agenda which was to withdraw from NATO and from the European Union although he threatened to but it was mainly a bluff. So one can say that in comparison to the current period, Papandreou was certainly much more of a reformer much more effective developing an independent foreign policy than the current governments of Greece. It’s a shame to say that Greece is going backwards rather than at least standing with the independent programs of the past.

Q: Why did the US decide to overthrow the government of President Salvador Allende? Can you depict the depth of US involvement in toppling Chilean government based on your own observations?

A: A number of things that I think are very crucial. One was when the Allende government was democratically elected it proceeded to nationalize the major industries like the copper industry, banks and some of the major industrial plants or turn them into worker represented institutions. So the first objective for Washington, particularly Henry Kissinger, was to undermine the independent economic policy of Chile. The second thing is that Chile served as a democratic alternative in Latin America, an independent foreign policy with good relationships with all of the progressive governments including Cuba and Washington did not want an example in Latin America of a democratically elected socialist government with an independent foreign policy with a critical stance on imperialist wars overseas including the war against China, the US support for the Shah etc. So I think Allende and the socialist government in Chile was overthrown through Washington’s direct involvement with financial aid, with pressures within the Chilean military to eliminate democratically oriented generals and also to pay for certain strikes particularly in the transport industry with the truck owners who were paid very substantial amounts by US CIA officials to paralyze the economy. I was an advisor to the government of Allende at the foreign ministry and I attempted to inform them on the role that Washington was playing in sabotaging the Chilean autonomy in the military. The problem was that the US had a great influence on the military and the military that was allied with the US was not purged and the democratic military officials eventually were ousted and that allowed the coup to move forward.

Q: Comparing the governance model of Allende with Chavez, you believe the reason for Chavez’ success was his structural renewal of the Venezuelan political system while Allende failed to meet its necessity. Do you think this is the reason behind the failure of the uprisings in some Arab countries, while the same fact served as a main factor for the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution?

A: I think both in the case of Imam Khomeini and Chavez, they moved very directly to eliminate the potential of the coup forces in the military. Imam Khomeini got rid of the generals and conspirators of the Shah within the military and therefore eliminated the possibility of intrigues and a military coup. Chavez did the same thing. When he was elected the first thing he did was to evoke a new constitutional assembly and a new constitution was formed and Chavez was very influential in the recruitment and promotion of democratically constitutionally oriented military officials so when Washington promoted the coup against Chavez it was defeated. They only captured a small minority of the military and unlike Allende who believed that the military was a democratic force not taking account of the long term ties to the United States under the previous right wing government. I think that the changes in the military and in the constitution were crucial to the advancement in Iran and Venezuela by making the military and civilian electoral processes work hand in hand. There are many other reasons for the failure of the uprisings in different Arab governments. They failed to mobilize the masses, they relied on simple maneuvers in parliament and elections. They didn’t attempt to organize an independent military that would be nationalistic anti-imperialist. Many of those so called progressive Arab governments were themselves very corrupt and thought they could make deals with the United Sates and I think ultimately fooled themselves and left their countries vulnerable to military coups, US interventions etc. It is hard to believe that if 1 million Arab fighters were recruited in Iraq, they couldn’t have prevented an invasion but Saddam Hussein was too much manipulated by Washington thinking that he could make deals with Washington against Iran and other adversaries with other Persian Gulf countries and he was wrong.

Q: How did you see the mindset of President Papandreou, President Salvador Allende of Chile, and President Hugo Chavez in their fight against US dictatorship?

A: Well I think Papandreou was committed to winning the vote and the only way to win the public vote was by taking public opinion. Greece had suffered a military dictatorship like the Shah of Iran. In the early 60s and late 70s Greece had been under right wing governments which hindered Greece’s independence in its foreign policy. They prejudiced Greece’s living standards and in that sense Papandreou was able to understand the dynamics of civil society and to win an election. Now the problem with Papandreou was that he thought he could work within the capitalist system, he thought he could modify capitalism to make it more responsive, he thought he could work with the European Union and NATO and bring them in a more progressive direction and so while he pursued reforms he misread the natures of the limitations imposed by the structure. So on the one hand he would take positions but would take right turns. So it was a very paradoxical situation; I know I used to visit Papandreou to advise him on policies and he would take notes on paper of what I would suggest as an independent anti-imperialist policy and I thought I was having a major influence but when I left the office his secretary told me that I was followed by the US ambassador, so he was playing both sides by using a lot of my advice and criticism on the one hand to make speeches in parliament and on the other hand make practical decisions aligned with his conferences with the US embassy. Now with Chavez, it was a much different story. Chavez was much more committed, honest and in tune with the people. I was in many meetings with President Chavez, I spoke with him in the Sorbonne in Paris where we shared a platform. He was very much committed to fighting imperialism and he was the only major president in the west that opposed the war on terrorism. He said it shouldn’t be a war on terrorism, it should be a war on poverty and misery that create violent confrontation. For opposing Washington’s policies in the Middle East he became a target. Now I think President Chavez was a brilliant political and social analyst but I think he made mistakes by depending too much on the oil industry and social programs when he should have diversified the economy by focusing on being less dependent on oil and more on developing Venezuela as a diversified economy and one that was capable of being more self-sufficient. Allende was a contradiction in the sense that he was very democratic, very socialist but had weak understanding of the military basis, of popular basis for sustaining the government. He believed that every government would respect democracy and of course he was very naive. Washington never paid any attention. They used democracy as a tool to destroy the government. They exploited the weaknesses of the electoral process, they destroyed the independent military and carried out the coup which led to about 15 years of dictatorship and a reversal in all the major changes in agriculture reform, national ownership of the media and resources etc. So I think one has to have a more comprehensive look. You cannot trust imperialism to abide by its agreements.

Q: Are there any interesting memories during the years as their advisor to recall?

A: A lot of it depends on the issues. I once went swimming with Papandreou and when we were swimming I saw that there were people in scuba suits and I asked him why these people were swimming around and he said these are my bodyguards because we received intelligence information that the Mossad may try to assassinate the President Papandreou while we were swimming. So I found that amusing that the president of a country engaged in a vacation with me and at the time took the concern and right to defend himself even under water. Now with President Chavez, I was very impressed by his capacity to not only to engage in serious discussions but also had a very bright kind of a touch with the people. When we finished a major meeting he met with different admirers and audiences and some of them were from his region of the country and President Chavez engaged in a song contest with some of them. I was amused by the fact that Chavez knew the popular songs that corresponded to the audience that attended him in the informal session. And finally with president Salvador Allende, I remember my first meeting with him and it was in the middle of the Vietnam war and I was part of the anti-war movement and I had just come from the United States and I asked President Allende if he could give a statement and he immediately sat down and taped a rousing speech in defense of the Vietnamese and against US imperialism. I was very respectful because he was at that time playing a leading role in the government and taking the time to engage in international solidarity with the American people’s struggle against the war. And clearly Allende distinguished between the progressive American people and the imperialist government in Washington.

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SAS False Flag in Basra ”VIDEO”

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Western leaders support terror groups in Syria, get extremism at home 

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RT 

Terrorist attacks, an unprecedented refugee influx and other problems with which Europe is struggling to cope are the result of wrong decisions made by European leaders, Syria’s president Bashar Assad told a European Parliament delegation.

“The situation in Syria and the whole region naturally affects Europe a lot due to its location and social ties. The problems Europe faces today of terrorism, extremism and waves of refugees are caused by some western leaders’ adoption of policies which do not serve their people,” Assad told the delegation headed by Javier Couso, Vice Chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament, who had been visiting Damascus, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

This is especially true “when those leaders give support and political cover to terrorist groups inside Syria,” the president added.

He stressed the role that the European Parliament should play in fixing the policies of some of European countries which had let terrorism evolve. Economic sanctions imposed against Damascus have impacted the Syrian people, who were forced to leave their homeland, Assad also said.

Couso noted that the delegation is planning to take steps that would help change western countries’ rhetoric and will call for the lifting of sanctions, which he described as “unfair”.

He promised to “inform the Europeans on the real state of affairs in Syria and on how people suffer from terrorism,” the report said.

Syria plunged into chaos in 2011, when public protests escalated into an armed uprising as foreign powers warned the Assad government against cracking down on the protest. As violence expanded, radical groups and criminal gangs hijacked the process, turning Syria into the bloodiest battle zone of the modern world.

Foreign nations opposing Damascus, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United States and the United Kingdom, have been providing various Syrian opposition groups with aid, saying that only by supporting armed groups trying to topple the Syrian government can the conflict be stopped.

The US and other western countries aided so-called ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria with weapons and training, saying this would help them defeat both the Syrian army and terrorist organizations, which capitalized on the turmoil in Syria. The effort led to some embarrassing moments, for instance when the initial training program for the moderates produced only a handful of fighters after months of recruiting.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are among the key providers of Syrian rebel groups with military and financial assistance, including some powerful Islamist groups seeking to turn Syria into a country governed by the Sharia law.

Turkey, which was hit most among Syria’s neighbors by the refugee crisis, hosting almost two million asylum seekers, is among the vocal opponents of Damascus too. Critics accuse Ankara of turning a blind eye on rebel activities in its territory, including recruiting, arms shipments and getting medical assistance.

Jihadists from terrorist groups like Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front are among those benefiting from such policies. IS staged a number of bloody terrorist attacks in Turkey since its rise to power in Iraq and Syria, killing hundreds of people. The organization also claimed responsibility for several high-profile attacks in Europe and the US.

The European delegation arrived in Damascus on Saturday. The group visited refugee center in the Syrian capital and met soldiers undergoing treatment in the Hamish hospital.

Read more:

Jihadists that US kept off terror list attack UN humanitarian convoy in Syria – MoD

Al-Nusra Front in Syria gets daily weapons supplies from Turkey – Russian military

Western officials criticize Damascus in public but secretly deal in private not to upset US – Assad

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The war over the meaning of the Holocaust between Netanyahu and General Golan

Major General Yair Golan, deputy commander of Israeli armed forces

For all the battles over “image and reality” in the Mideast you can not get a more unambiguous “story” than this video. An Israeli  soldier, a medic no less, decided to execute a prone injured Palestinian on the ground in occupied Hebron on March 24. We viewers can’t be blamed in assuming that  we have reached a point in history where all civilized societies agree you can’t just execute injured enemies on the ground because, say, the soldier got into a fight with his girlfriend that morning.

What then to make of this Sunday morning cabinet meeting of Israeli leaders three days after the killing?

I thought that we would hear the usual Hasbara that goes out in these situations. “Look what we do with our murdering medic. We arrest him.” “The Muslims even if they had as good medics as our Jewish medics would celebrate them.” “The Muslims don’t even have many medics. Look what Sam Harris says about how many Jews win Nobel Prizes compared to Muslims!”

And what an opportunity it was for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to show the world’s opinion makers that Israel has cabinet members with prime ministerial aspirations even more dangerous to the world than “Bibi” Netanyahu, so — wink wink— Please “lower the rhetoric” about Israel, world, or you will have to start imagining things a little more dangerous to world stability, like Mr. Naftali Bennett running Israel.

Yet none of this happened.

What did happen was the Israeli cabinet competed with each other to show who is more “understanding” of the murdering medic.

Netanyahu said (from Haaretz):

“Questioning the IDF’s [Israeli Defense Force’s] morality is outrageous and unacceptable… IDF soldiers, our children, maintain a high moral standard when they deal with bloodthirsty murderers.” The army’s murder investigation must take into account the fact that “IDF soldiers deal with bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational circumstances.”

Education Minister Bennett said:

“Talk of a murder charge against a combat soldier during a combat operation is a moral mistake that blurs the lines between good and evil. I expect his mistake to be mended.”

Then three weeks later, Netanyahu issued a statement going even further:

As the father of a soldier and as Prime Minister, I would like to reiterate: The IDF backs its soldiers…. Our soldiers are not murderers.

They act against murderers and I hope that a way will be found to balance between the action and the overall context of the event.

What is happening here? How is it that Netanyahu is getting away without even being defensive about what is seemingly a good-for-the-anti-Semites P.R. disaster?

What does it mean that this unambiguous killing is so unselfconsciously being defended, explained, and excused? And why wasn’t there more shock and outrage from western governments and the press to bring pressure to Israel over this murder, and cause the Israeli government to at least  acknowledge some worrying trends?

And, to finish the sequence of events: What is the meaning of General Yair Golan’s Holocaust speech that the Israeli media have interpreted as a reaction and even a rebuke to the official discourse around our murdering medic.

Golan is deputy chief of staff for the IDF. The key quotes from his speech were these lines:

“The Holocaust, in my opinion, must lead us to a deep reflection on the nature of the human, even when that human is ourselves; It must lead us to a deep reflection on the responsibilities of leadership, and on the quality of society. It must lead us to think thoroughly about how we – here and now – treat the foreigner, the widow and the orphan, and those similar to them.

“The Holocaust must lead us to think about our public life, and even more so, it must lead all those who can – not just those who want – to bear public responsibility. Because If there is something that scares us about the memory of the Holocaust, it is identifying nauseating processes that occurred in Europe in general and Germany in particular, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and finding evidence of their presence here among us, today, in 2016.”

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It turns out that this one extra-judicial killing in Hebron and the Israeli Government and its supporters’ reaction goes to a much larger question, and that is, what is the message of the Holocaust? What is the takeaway today from those horrible events that happened between 1933-1945? What should we learn from them to help us in 2016?

That scene in Hebron, the ground zero of the occupation and apartheid, is nothing less than  a Rorschach test on “What does the Holocaust mean to you?”

Netanyahu and his cabinet and all those in Israel who would like to toast the medic, Elior Azarua, as well as all our neocons and their fellow travelers in the United States and elsewhere who would make excuses for the murder (that is, if they didn’t do such a good job of ignoring the  story) share the notion that the Holocaust, albeit by far the most damaging event, was a continuation in a  long list of events in Jewish History where Jews have been preyed upon by the surrounding people for reasons having to do with a certain Jewish singularity or superiority. Or as Abe Foxman put it regarding the Holocaust:

The Holocaust is something different. It is a singular event. It is not simply one example of genocide but a near successful attempt on the life of God’s chosen children and, thus, on God himself. It is an event that is the antithesis of Creation as recorded in the Bible; and like its direct opposite, which is relived weekly with the Sabbath and yearly with the Torah, it must be remembered from generation to generation.

These ideologues believe, as Netanyahu has often said: “The will to destroy the Jewish people has not changed. What has changed is our ability to defend ourselves and our determination to do so.”

Thus Netanyahu is saying that somehow today’s enemies of Israel have  “inherited”  “the will to destroy Jews” and the only thing that has changed is Israel and Jews’ determination to stop them.

So led by Netanyahu in Israel and his propagandists abroad, the lesson of the Holocaust is that the contemporary Jewish enemies like the Palestinians and the Iranians want to destroy Israel (whatever that means), kill as many Jews as they can because as is known from Jewish history the thirst for Jewish blood is unquenchable. And if that’s not obvious to you, Netanyahu will be happy to give you a “seminar” about Jewish  history and the lessons of historical anti-semitism, whether you are the President of the U.S. in the Oval Office or ignorant U.N. officials.

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen is one of the “philosophers” of this movement. He writes that the hatred for Jews has nothing to do with Israel as such.

“Anyone who claims that the antipathy of the region, or of the world at large, is only for Israel because of its policies, and not toward Jews in general because of their Jewness, or who claims that such people’s intent is anything but eliminationist toward Israel the country and toward Jews in general because of their Jewness, is being duped or is seeking to dupe others…”

And Jeffrey Goldberg’s life’s goal is to demonstrate that Muslims refer to Israelis as “Jews” and to use all of his propagandist tools in his very large propagandist toolbox to achieve that goal.

This “understanding” of the Holocaust is sacred to these people. They are fanatical about protecting what they see as their turf and inheritance. So if only the Palestinians can be like “normal” occupied people they would have had a state long ago.  But they’re not; and what do you expect Israel to do? These Palestinians have a two-stage plan, to drive the Jews into the  sea and finish the job that Hitler started.

(How this tiny segment of the Jewish community has claimed  the copyright on all things Hitler, Nazi, Jewish, Israel, anti-Semitic, will be discussed at length in my next article.)

So what then is there to be defensive about? Who wouldn’t defend or even toast the murdering medic if the “context of the events”  was not as it so clearly looked– which was the murder of  an injured Palestinian exercising his right to resist occupation– but rather a hybrid Cossack/Nazi/ somehow transported from the European past to Hebron.

Now Netanyahu’s  “overall context of the event’ makes more sense.

Without our explanation the overall context looks like plain and simple murder. But these people Israel is  fighting are not normal enemies they’re not normal people.  They are, according to Goldhagen, “devils.”

This very comforting tribal ethnocentric nonsense can’t even be questioned. Because Goldberg “knows” that Khamenei is counting the days till Iran will get the bomb and blow up the world and if you happen to catch his last dying words it surely will be: “At least we got the Jews.” And if a sober journalist like James Fallows doesn’t acknowledge that Jeffrey Goldberg is the world’s number 1 sniffer out of anti-Semites, then questions are going to be raised about the disturbing “coincidence” of Fallows publishing comments from Germans for his support of the Iran Nuclear deal–

“Fallows then quoted a German reader—nice touch!”

Wait, Fallows, isn’t your expertise China? Why are you even fixated on Israel? Aren’t there other things going on in the world?

*******

It goes without saying that not everyone in Israel is this delusional. And that is the importance of Golan’s speech. Golan sees what’s happening in Netanyahu’s Israel and he fears he recognizes what he is seeing. He must have known he would not get away with his Holocaust speech without a public undressing  followed by a Soviet-like public confession and apology. But what to do? He really had something that needed to be said.

Maybe he thought, “I need to go on record before it’s too late.” Maybe my army career is over but history will say something nice about me.

You can read General Golan’s speech here, thanks to Americans for Peace Now, but let me put words in General Golan’s mouth.

“Mr. Netanyahu you have me running an occupation. And even an ‘enlightened’ one such as ours has volatility. Yet every day you Mr. Netanyahu find the most primordial  area of the Jewish psyche and scream ‘fire.’

“Mr. Netanyahu with  all due  respect, however this story ends we are going to have to live with these people. Do you think that all that is needed when a ‘compromise’ is reached in the  future is for a PM to  just announce, ‘We have peace and the Palestinians are not bloodthirsty Nazi/cossacks anymore?’

“But we have more immediate problems than even  you sabotaging the possibility of Jews and Muslims ever living in peace, in some long distant future.

“The world has let you, a pyromaniac, carve out a little place here in Israel with total immunity. You and your tribal supremacy Government  can break every rule of what has long since determined to be unacceptable behavior on the part of ‘enlightened’ countries. Just a year ago you told us that Arabs were coming out ‘in droves’ to the polls.

“You play on your tribe’s fears like a virtuoso and indeed no one in the world is  going to call you out on it. Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister, that must feel like a great achievement. I don’t speak English as well as you, nor am I as great a student of Jewish history. But I have studied some non-Jewish history and know the concept of a ‘pyrrhic victory.’ Even though Jews didn’t come up with that warning some of our great rabbis  have told us that it is possible to learn some things from the goyim.

“Even on a human level, have you no shame about your statements? You’re using the same tricks the anti-Semites used against us to ignite ugly passions. I don’t need to be as great as a historian as you are to  know about your great hero Jabotinsky describing the ‘pogrom like’ atmosphere in the 1911 Warsaw elections. To prove his point, he quoted the Polish anti-semites speaking of Jews “in droves.”

[Jabotinsky] quotes a few tracts handed out by Polish nationalists, including one that says: “Calling on our people: Look what is happening at the polling stations. The Jews are heading to them in droves, and the Poles are scattered… If you vote for the pseudo-progressive party, Warsaw will be represented by Jews. Poles, save your capital!”

“Jabotinsky concluded, ‘I rest my case’.

“Mr. Netanyahu, how you love being interviewed in America. Because who would dare ask you a tough follow up question? During an interview on Fox last year, you were asked by Megyn Kelly if you regretted comments you had made about Arab-Israelis turning out to vote ‘in droves.’ And then too you spoke about “context.”

[T]the Israeli premier said his words “should be taken in a larger context.”

“I warned of foreign money coming in to selectively try and bring out supporters of a list that includes Islamists and other factions that oppose the State of Israel,”

“Mr. Netanyahu how much impunity do you have? You have this amazing ‘larger context’ for screaming ‘fire’ to our tribe. Your response to Ms. Kelly’s question is to start talking about Israel’s enemies. Well I’m quite sure the Polish nationalists had their own ‘larger context’ if they were asked by a reporter to explain their anti semitic behavior.

“I am sure you know as a scholar of the Third Reich the famous Himmler speech to his SS comrades, in which he scoffed at all the soft-hearted Germans trying to save their Jewish friends.

“And then they all come along, the eighty million good Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are swine, but this one is a first-class Jew. (some laughter) Of all those who talk like this, not one has watched, not one has stood up to it. Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand. To have gone through this and yet – apart from a few exceptions, examples of human weakness – to have remained decent fellows, this is what has made us hard. This is a glorious page in our history that has never been written and shall never be written.

“Mr. Netanyahu I’m sure an intellectual as great as yourself has spent some time contemplating what Himmler means here by saying we have remained “decent fellows’ even after we have created a thousand corpses. You and I can’t even imagine the barbarism these men have committed– yet they’ve remained ‘decent.’ How can that be, Mr Netanyahu? Can the SS really be ‘decent’? But Himmler must know what he is saying: when these SS guys have a barbecue in the neighborhood everyone just looks at them so wonderful with all the neighbors and their kids and the dogs and says, What ‘decent’ guys.

“In fact, for Germans, these SS guys are the most decent of decent. They do the ugly work for all the  Germans. It’s almost like: the SS loves Germany more than all other Germans.

“I’ve been in the army a long time, Mr. Prime Minister, and I have to tell you I am also very disturbed by the other soldiers at the scene in that video, their non-reaction to the Hebron killing. They did not skip a beat after hearing that shot! It was a very tense situation there in Hebron, but they just immediately went right back to whatever  they were doing. So it is clear to me that this extrajudicial killing does not look like an uncommon occurrence to these soldiers. Mr Prime Minister, does that unit also have a ‘glorious page in our history that has never been written and shall never be written?’

“And what would have  happened  if right before the murder, a different medic, realizing the wounded Palestinian had been left on the ground like a dog and had not received any medical attention. went over to administer aid? Maybe this medic hadn’t gone to a West Bank yeshiva and had had a totally secular, universalist, education. He had somehow graduated from school and missed the mandatory ‘Jewish Values’ course.  He knows about trying to aspire to have one morality, not one for your tribe and a different one for everyone else. To aspire to not look at your enemies as less human than you even though they are in your enemies and they are constantly trying to kill you and even your civilians  in this war. To aim to follow the Geneva Convention and not commit war crimes even though your tribal passions are also inflamed. Well, would the murdering medic shoot him too because he was a traitor to the Jews? If he wasn’t shot would  this non-murdering medic be ostracized in that unit? Would his patriotism now be in question? Would his new nickname be ‘terrorist lover.’  Or ‘Jew hater?’

“Sir, I, General Golan, have an entirely different understanding of what the lesson of the Holocaust is. We have seen where  the Romantic Nationalism  of the 19th century led. These forces awaken the worst urges in men and women. And every society to remain healthy needs to constantly monitor and check those dark forces. And if not, all sorts of bad things are likely to happen.

“And if you tell your people the world is full of enemies… and those enemies  have traitorous allies right here amongst us… And that we have to be vigilant…. And that our enemies are less than human, that 1000 of them are not worth even one fingernail of ours, and that the most important thing to remember is that we are always good and they are always evil… And no matter what they say rest assured it is some  nefarious plot against us…. where does that lead?

“I cannot help but imagine that it was also outrageous to question the morality of the German people, say, after the pogrom of Kristallnacht in 1938. I imagine that their leaders said, ‘We are the most moral people in the world, and if other people would just walk in our German shoes, who knows the way they would treat the Jews. We just broke a lot of glass and a few bones and maybe a couple of accidental deaths.’

“Mr Netanyahu, I have a question. What would the IDF need to do for you to say ‘Today they stopped being the most moral army in the world?’ I suspect you can’t think of an answer, that there is nothing past or present that the IDF did or will do that you won’t shout, ‘It is outrageous for anyone to question the morality of the IDF. The IDF  is the most moral army in the world. These are OUR CHILDREN who are protecting us from the most vile bloodthirsty creatures the world has ever known.’

“I’m curious. What has to happen for the the IDF to slip to the ‘second most moral army in the world’ even just for a month? What event will you say, ‘Uh oh, that knocks us right out of first place.’

“Do you understand, Mr. Netanyahu the ‘morality” of an army is not based on whether soldiers will help old women cross the street. When you ‘defeat your enemy,’ that is when the race for the most ‘moral army in the world’ competition really starts.  Israel is not the first country to have enemies. Elor Azarya is not  the first soldier in history to have the urge to murder an injured prisoner. But until you came along there was at least a pretense that  our conflict with the Palestinians is not  a tribal war to the death.

“But you will have none of that. If you found yourself alone with Sgt Azarya and this time they really did ‘turn the camera off’ and no one was listening what would you tell him? Would you quote some French Enlightenment philosopher giving the sergeant one of your patronizing lectures why what he did was wrong? Or would you put your arm around his shoulder telling him you  share his pain after ‘those animals’ hurt a Jew, but we have enemies everywhere and what he did was simply ‘not good for the Jews.’

“I fear the same thing about all the talk about blood libels. I couldn’t help but notice that in spite of most people believing that ‘blood libels’ were only to be found in history books, there seems to have been a recent outbreak of them. You and your friends can’t wait to throw that accusation around. Here is your  ‘left of center’ former ambassador Michael Oren calling Bernie Sanders’s comment on 10,000 Gaza deaths– “Is that the right number anyone?”– a blood libel. And Dov Hikind said the same thing in Brooklyn, as he chased the senator in the streets.

“Mr. Prime Minister, you might think me a self hating Jew,  but when you try and exculpate Hitler of the Holocaust and instead implicate the mufti and the Palestinians for coming up with the idea of “burning the Jews” and the Holocaust– well that’s almost on the ‘blood libel’ level of blaming all Jews for the death of Jesus.

“But by such rhetorical trickery you and Jeffrey Goldberg and others have convinced  the world that our enemies are uniquely evil and diabolical. And the proof of how successful you have been at that convincing, is the world’s deafening silence to the murdering medic and to your Government’s shocking attitude.

“So I ask you, Now what? Thanks to you we have a population that views every IDF action as too restrained. They long ago internalized that by definition there is no IDF action that is not responding to or stopping the next terror attack.

“What is the logical conclusion to all this? The blood pressure of the citizens of Israel is only going in one direction. From Hamas to BDS to the Labour Party in England to the Mufti in his grave to Khameini to Chuck Hagel to James Fallows. Everyone is out to get the Jews.

“That is a great tactic to win yourself elections, and to get Hillary Clinton to give a speech to Aipac sounding like she was running for Mayor of a West Bank settlement.

“But Mr Netanyahu you have no strategy at all. You need to stop this madness. However this ends, We are going to have to live with the Palestinians. You are slowly but surely making that impossible.”

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

Yes, I have put words in General Golan’s mouth, but if you read his speech, you will see that my interpretation is a fair one, and it is the deep reflection that Golan wants. There is no question he is taking a stand here.

“The Holocaust, in my opinion, must lead us to a deep reflection on the nature of the human, even when that human is ourselves..”

Translation. The Holocaust warrants deep reflection of the human even when that human is the victims, the Jews.

The general has put himself in the camp of among others the  leftists in Europe that have taken  a “universalist message” from the Holocaust. And he  sees what they see.

He knew this speech would not be received well. But he looks at Netanyahu as the proverbial devil whispering in his people’s ears, “It’s OK to feel that anger and fury. You are right to feel righteous rage. We are alone in the world. The world has always been against us and is against us now. But even if they don’t we  know the righteousness of our cause. And as long as we stay steadfast and united we won’t be defeated.”

And he knows that by such communications, Israel is getting to the point of no return. The people soon will not be able to be restrained.

Golan is saying that this whole murdering medic story– whose family Netanyahu called to show his  support, whose actions Netanyahu and everyone else in the government are finding at a minimum “understandable”– this story DOES NOT END WELL!

Golan is telling Netanyahu:

You believe the Holocaust has a lesson for the whole world about the Jews, and that lesson is for everyone besides the Jews. But I say No!

And that is the true lesson of the Holocaust.

 

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In yet another sign of fascism, Lieberman likens Mahmoud Darwish to . . . Hitler

Mahmoud Darwish, 1941-2008
poet of Palestine, Mahmoud Darwish

Important news from the new Israel, whose former reputation as a democracy is giving way to that of an authoritarian bunker. Israeli army radio did a program on the late leading poet of Palestine, Mahmoud Darwish, earlier this week, and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the broadcast should not have happened. He likened Darwish to Hitler, and his writing to Mein Kampf.

The New York Times headlines the story: “Israeli Defense Minister Compares Beloved Palestinian Poet to Hitler.” James Glanz leads:

Israel’s ultranationalist defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, managed to offend both Palestinians and free-speech advocates on Thursday, comparing the Palestinians’ national poet to Adolf Hitler and threatening the independence of Israel’s Army Radio station.

The JTA report in the Forward says Lieberman made the comparison in a meeting with the head of the army radio:

“By that logic, the complete legacy of the Mufti al-Husseini or the literary merits of ‘Mein Kampf’ could also have been included,” the defense chief said.

Al-Monitor’s report rightly focuses on on the repressive Israeli political environment:

Zionist Camp Knesset member Shelly Yachimovich . . . slammed Liberman’s reaction on Facebook, calling it “a step that can only be defined as characterizing fascist regimes.

The rightwingers inside the Netanyahu coalition found it outrageous that Darwish would ever be on Army radio.

The Darwish storm broke following a Facebook post by Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev. Regev wrote that she was shocked that Army Radio had featured the work of the Palestinian national poet. “The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] radio station has gone off the rails,” she said, and quoted a section of “Identity Card,” which was featured on the program. In his famous poem, written in 1964, Darwish wrote, “I do not hate people. I steal from no one. However, if I am hungry I will eat the flesh of my usurper. Beware,beware of my hunger and of my anger . . .”

The outrage over Darwish’s poem joins the ongoing perversion of anything rejected by the worldview of the right-wing regime in Israel, including educational and cultural issues and basic historical concepts.

There are many examples of this erosion, from the rewriting of the civics textbook for Israeli pupils by Naftali Bennett’s Education Ministry, to Regev’s brutal assaults on cultural and artistic institutions and her demand that these establishments declare their loyalty to Israel or face budgetary cutbacks and culminating in attacks by right-wing ministers on Israeli media outlets and their “encouragement” to adopt the Israeli narrative and work to strengthen Israel’s Jewish heritage.

That’s the context. But the New York Times doesn’t delve into these fascistic trends; although it does report Netanyahu’s greatest incitement, saying that Hitler got the idea for the Final Solution from a Palestinian leader, and does note that the Israeli attorney general phoned Lieberman “to remind him he has no authority to intervene in Army Radio’s programming,” according to Haaretz.

The backstory here is a battle over tolerance inside the Israeli establishment. Lieberman’s predecessor Moshe Ya’alon quit the Defense Ministry job, saying fascism was on the rise in Israel. He did so after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked him to walk back the comments by the deputy chief of staff of the army that Israeli political culture is getting to be reminiscent of Nazi Germany. The deputy chief of staff made those comments in the wake of an Israeli cabinet meeting in which Israeli leaders including Netanyahu embraced a medic who had murdered an incapacitated Palestinian on the street inside the occupation — an action supported by Israeli Jews in polls. Israeli army radio is clearly taking a role in that battle over Israel’s future, by highlighting a great Palestinian’s work in a gesture of tolerance; but the Times doesn’t want to cover this crisis.

As author Lillian Rosengarten observes, an ideology of Zionism is fostering fascism, “and the silence is deafening.”

The incoming Jerusalem bureau chief for the Times, Peter Baker, tripped up in tweeting his colleague Glanz’s story.

 

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Administrative detention renewed for two re-arrested former prisoners, Shadi Jarrar and Mohammed Al-Tabeesh

NOVANEWS

Image result for nazi camp photos

shadi-jarrarThe administrative detention of two Palestinian prisoners in Nazi camp was renewed on Sunday, 11 July; they are among nearly 750 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under indefinitely renewable administrative detention orders. Both former prisoners who have spent years in Nazi camp, their detentions without charge or trial were extended by military order.

Shadi Jarrar, 37, was ordered to four additional months in administrative detention; a former prisoner released in 2014 who has spent 13 years in Nazi camp, he was arrested by Israeli occupation forces at a military roadblock near Nablus on 19 March and ordered to four months administrative detention without charge or trial.

mohammed-atabahMohammed Al-Tabeesh of Dura, near al-Khalil, was also ordered to four additional months of administrative detention, the third renewal of the detention order against him. He has been jailed since 11 November 2015, also arrested by Israeli occupation forces at a military roadblock in Nablus.

Atabah is a student of Information Technology at An-Najah University in Nablus; he has spent seven years in Nazi camp over various arrests. He is the brother of Ayman al-Tabeesh, former administrative detainee and long-term hunger striker who has spent 11 years in Nazi camp, and participated in a previous hunger strike alongside his brother.

Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time without charge or trial, based on secret evidence. They are indefinitely renewable. Currently, Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed is on hunger strike to demand his freedom from administrative detention. Kayed finished his 14.5 year sentence in Nazi camp on 13 June; instead of being released, he was ordered to administrative detention. Kayed, striking since 15 June, is being supported by hundreds of fellow prisoners, who fear that his case represents a new precedent of indefinite detention of Palestinians who complete their sentences in Nazi camp.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Administrative detention renewed for two re-arrested former prisoners, Shadi Jarrar and Mohammed Al-Tabeesh

Genocide by Prescription: The ‘Natural History’ of the Declining White Working Class in America

NOVANEWS
The Israeli Prime Minister lashed out at Iran for staging a second Holocaust-themed cartoon contest that mocked the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews. Pictured: A cartoon from 2016 competition 
By James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya, MD 

The white working class in the US has been decimated through an epidemic of ‘premature deaths’ – a bland term to cover-up the drop in life expectancy in this historically important demographic. There have been quiet studies and reports peripherally describing this trend – but their conclusions have not yet entered the national consciousness for reasons we will try to explore in this essay.

Indeed this is the first time in the country’s ‘peacetime’ history that its traditional core productive sector has experienced such a dramatic demographic decline – and the epicenter is in the small towns and rural communities of the United States.

The causes for ‘premature death’ (dying before normal life expectancy – usually of preventable conditions) include the sharply increasing incidence of suicide, untreated complications of diabetes and obesity and above all ‘accidental poisoning’ – a euphemism used to describe what are mostly prescription and illegal drug overdoses and toxic drug interactions.

No one knows the total number of deaths of American citizens due to drug overdose and fatal drug interactions over the past 20 years, just as no central body has kept track of the numbers of poor people killed by police nationwide, but let’s start with a conservative round number – 500,000 mostly white working class victims, and challenge the authorities to come up with some real statistics with real definitions. Indeed such a number could be much higher – if they included fatal poly-pharmacy deaths and ‘medication errors’ occurring in the hospital and nursing home setting.

In the last few years, scores of thousands of Americas have died prematurely because of drug overdoses or toxic drug interactions, mostly related to narcotic pain medications prescribed by doctors and other providers. Among those who have increasingly died of illegal opioid, mostly heroin, fentanyl and methadone, overdose, the vast majority first became addicted to the powerful synthetic opioids prescribed by the medical community, supplied by big chain pharmacies and manufactured at incredible profit margins by the leading pharmaceutical companies. In essence, this epidemic has been promoted, subsidized and protected by the government at all levels and reflects the protection of a profit-maximizing private medical-pharmaceutical market gone wild.

This is not seen elsewhere in the world at such a level. For example, despite their proclivity for alcohol, obesity and tobacco – the British patient population has been essentially spared this epidemic because their National Health System is regulated and functions with a different ethic: patient well being is valued over naked profit. This arguably would not have developed in the US if a single-payer national health system had been implemented.

Faced with the increasing incidence of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans dying from overdose and suicide to prescription opioids and mixed drug reactions, the Armed Forces Surgeon General and medical corps convened ‘emergency’ US Senate Hearings in March 2010 where testimony showed military doctors had written 4 million prescriptions of powerful narcotics in 2009, a 4 fold increase from 2001. Senate members of the hearings, led by Virginia’s Jim Webb, cautioned not casting a negative light on ‘Big Pharma’ among the largest donors to political campaigns.

The 1960’s public image of the heroin-addicted returning Vietnam War soldier that shocked the nation had morphed into the Oxycontin/Xanax dependent veteran of the new millennium, thanks to ‘Big Pharma’s’ enormous contracts with the US Armed Forces and the mass media looked away. Suicides, overdoses and ’sudden deaths’ killed many more soldiers than combat.

No other peaceful population, probably since the 1839 Opium Wars, has been so devastated by a drug epidemic encouraged by a government. In the case of the Opium Wars, the British Empire and its commercial arm, The East India Company, sought a market for their huge South Asian opium crops and used its military and allied Chinese warlord mercenaries to force a massive opium distribution on the Chinese people, seizing Hong Kong in the process as a hub for its imperial opium trade. Alarmed at the destructive effects of addiction on its productive population, the Chinese government tried to ban or regulate narcotic use. Its defeat at British hands marked China’s decline into semi-colonial status for the next century – such are the wider consequences of having an addicted population.

This paper will identify the (1) the nature of the long-term, large-scale drug induced deaths, (2) the dynamics of ‘demographic transition by overdose’, and (3) the political economy of opioid addiction. This paper will not cite numbers or reports – these are widely available. However they are scattered, incomplete and generally lack any theoretical framework to understand, let alone confront, the phenomenon.

We will conclude by discussing whether each ‘death by prescription’ is to be viewed as an individual tragedy, mourned in private, or a corporate crime fueled by greed or even a pattern of ‘Social-Darwinism-writ-large’ by an elite-run decision making apparatus.

Since the advent of major political-economic changes induced by neoliberalism, America’s oligarchic class confronts the problem of a large and potentially restive population of millions of marginalized workers and downwardly mobile members of the middle class made redundant by ‘globalization’ and an armed rural poor sinking ever deeper into squalor. In other words, when finance capital and elite ruling bodies view an increasing ‘useless’ population of white workers, employees and the poor in this geographic context, what ‘peaceful’ measures can be taken to ease and encourage their ‘natural decline’?

A similar pattern emerged in the early ‘AIDS’ crisis where the Reagan Administration deliberately ignored the soaring deaths among young Americans, especially minorities, adopting a moralistic ‘blame the victim’ approach until the influential gay community organized and demanded government action.

The Scale and Scope of Drug Deaths

In the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of working age Americans have died from drugs. The lack of hard data is a scandal. The scarcity is due to a fragmented, incompetent and deliberately incomplete system of medical records and death certificates – especially from the poorer rural areas and small towns where there is virtually no support for producing and maintaining quality records. This great data void is multi-faceted and hampered by the problems of regionalism and a lack of clear governmental public health direction.

Early in the crisis, medical professionals and coroners were largely in ‘denial’ and under pressure to certify ‘unexpected’ deaths as ‘natural due to pre-existing conditions’ – despite overwhelming evidence that there had been reckless over-prescribing by the local medical community. Fifteen to twenty years ago, the victims’ families, isolated in their little towns, may have derived some short-term comfort from seeing the term ‘natural’ attached to their loved-one’s untimely death. Understandably, a diagnosis of ‘death by drug overdose’ would evoke tremendous social and personal shame among the rural and small-town white working class families who had traditionally associated narcotics with the urban minority and criminal populations. They thought themselves immune to such ‘big city’ problems. They trusted ‘their’ doctors who, in turn, trusted ‘Big Pharma’s’ assurances that the new synthetic opioids were not addicting and could be prescribed in large quantities.

Despite the local medical community’s slowly growing awareness of this problem, there was little public attempt to educate the at-risk population and still fewer attempts to rein in the over-prescribing brethren physicians and private ‘pain-clinics’. They, or their nurse practitioners and PA’s, did not counsel patients on the immense dangers of combining opioids and alcohol or tranquilizers. Many, in fact, were not even aware of what their patients were prescribed by other providers. It would not have been unusual to see healthy younger adults with multiple prescriptions from multiple providers.

Through the last few decades under neo-liberalism, rural county heath department budgets were stripped through business-promoted austerity programs. Instead, the federal government has mandated that they implement expensive and absurd plans to confront ‘bio-terrorism’. Often, health departments lacked the necessary budget to pay for the costly forensic toxicology testing required for documenting drug levels in suspect overdose cases among their own population.

Further compounding this lack of quality data, there was no guidance or coordination from the federal and state government or regional DEA regarding systematic documentation and the development of a usable database for analyzing the widespread consequences of over-prescribing legal narcotics. The early crisis received minimal attention from these bodies.

All official eyes were focused on the ‘war on drugs’ as it was being waged against the poor, urban minority population. The small towns, where over-prescribing doctors formed the pillars of the local churches or country clubs, suffered in silence. The greater public was lulled by media mis-education into thinking that addiction and related deaths were an ‘inner city’ problem, one that required the usual racist response of filling up the prisons with young blacks and Hispanics for petty crimes or drug possession.

But within this vacuum, white working class children were starting to dial ‘911′… because, ‘Mommy won’t wake up…’. Mommy with her ‘prescribed Fentanyl patches’ took just one Xanax too many and devastated an entire family unit. This was a prototype of a raging epidemic. All throughout the country these alarming cases were growing. Some rural counties saw the proportion of addicted infants born to addicted mothers overwhelm their unprepared hospital systems. And the local obituary pages published increasing numbers of young names and faces besides the very elderly -never printing any ’cause’ for the untimely demise while devoting paragraphs for a departed octogenarian.

Recent trends demonstrate that drug deaths (both opiate overdose and fatal mixed interactions with other drugs and alcohol) have had a major impact on the composition of the local labor force, families, communities and neighborhoods. The traditional support systems, which provided aid to workers damaged by these trends, such as trade unions, public social workers and mental health professionals, were either unable or unwilling to intervene before or after the scourge of drug addiction had come into play. This is reflected in the lives of workers, whose personal life and employment has been severely impaired by corporate plant relocations, downsizing, cuts in wages and health benefits.

The Dynamic Demography of Drug-Induced Death

Almost all publicized reports ignore the demography and differential class impacts of prescription-related drug deaths. The majority of those killed by illegal drugs were first addicted to legal narcotics prescribed by their providers. Only the overdose deaths of celebrities manage to hit the headlines.

Most of the victims have been low wage, unemployed or under-employed members of the white working class. Their prospects for the future are dismal. Any dream of establishing a healthy family life on one salary in ‘Heartland America’ would be met with laughter. This is a huge national population, which has experienced a steep decline in its living standards because of deindustrialization. The majority of fatal overdose victims are white working age males, but with a large proportion of working class women, often mothers with children. There has been little discussion about the impact of an overdose death of a working age person on the extended family. This includes grandmothers in their 50’s. In this demographic, women often provide critical cohesion and stability for several generations at risk.

Apparently the US minority population has so far escaped this epidemic. Black and Hispanic Americans had already been depressed and economically marginalized for a much longer period – and the lower rate of prescription drug deaths among their populations may reflect greater resilience. It certainly reflects their reduced access to the over-prescribing private-sector medical community – a grim paradox where medical ‘neglect’ might indeed have been ‘benign’.

While there may be few class-based studies looking at comparative trends in ‘overdose deaths’ among urban minorities and rural/small town whites from sociology, public health or minority-studies university departments, anecdotal evidence and personal observation suggest that minority urban populations are more likely to provide assistance to an overdosing neighbor or friend than in the white community where addicts are more likely to be isolated and abandoned by family members ashamed of their ‘weakness’. Even the practice of ‘dumping’ an overdosed friend at the entrance of an emergency department and walking away has saved many lives. Urban minorities have greater access and familiarity with the chaotic big-city emergency rooms where medical personnel are skilled at recognizing and treating overdose. After decades of civil rights struggles, minorities are possibly more sophisticated in asserting their rights regarding use of such public resources. There may even be a relatively stronger culture of solidarity among the marginalized minorities in rendering assistance or an awareness of the consequences of not taking someone’s neighbor to the ER. These urban survival mechanisms have been largely absent in the white rural areas.

Nationwide, US doctors had long been dissuaded from prescribing powerful synthetic opioids to minority patients, even those in significant pain. There are various factors here, but the medical community has not been immune to the stereotype of the Hispanic or black urban addict or dealer. Perhaps, this widespread medical ‘racism’ in the context of the prescription opioid epidemic has had some paradoxical benefit.

Whatever the reason, urban minority addicts, while experiencing overdose in large numbers are more likely to survive an opiate overdose than small town or rural whites, unfamiliar with narcotics and their effects.

In the rural and small-town (deindustrialized) US heartland there has been an enormous breakdown in community and family solidarity. This has followed the destruction of a century-old stable employment base, especially in the manufacturing, mining and productive agricultural sectors. Only post-Soviet Russia experienced a similar pattern of declining life expectancy from ‘poisoning’ (alcohol and drugs) following the nationwide destruction of its socialized full employment system and the breakdown of all social services. Furthermore the loss of the tough Soviet police apparatus and the growth of an oligarch-mafia class saw the tremendous in-flooding of heroin from Afghanistan.

The growth of opioid addiction is not based on ‘personal choice’, nor is it the result of shifts in cultural life styles. While all class and educational levels are included among the victims, the overwhelming majority are younger white working class and the poor. They cover all age groups, including adolescents recovering from sports injuries, as well as the elderly with joint and back pain. The surge of addiction is a result of major shifts in the economy and the social structure. The regions most affected by overdose deaths are those in deep, prolonged and permanent decline, including the former ‘rust belt’ regions, small manufacturing towns of New England, Upstate New York, Pennsylvania and the rural South and agricultural, mining and forestry regions of the west.

This is the product of private executive decisions to (1) relocate productive US companies overseas or to distant, non-union regions of the country, (2) force once well-paid employees into lower paid jobs, (3) replace American workers with skilled and unskilled foreign immigrants or poorly paid ‘temps’, (4) eliminate pension and health benefits and (5) introduce new technology – including robots- which cuts the labor force by rendering human workers redundant. These changes in the relationship of capital to labor have created enormous profits for senior executives and investors, while producing a surplus labor force, which puts even greater pressure on young first-time workers and workers with seniority. There have been no effective job protection/ sustainable job creation programs to address the decades of declining well-paid employment. Good jobs have been replaced by minimum wage, service sector ‘MacJobs’ or temporary poorly paid manufacturing jobs with no benefits or protections. All across this devastated heartland, expensively touted programs, such as ‘Start-Up New York’, have failed to bring decent jobs while spending hundreds of millions of public money in free PR for state politicians.

The drug addiction epidemic has been most deadly precisely in those regions of industrial job loss and working wage decline, as well as in the depressed, once protected, agricultural and food processing sectors where union jobs have been replaced by minimum wage immigrants. The loss of stable employment has been accompanied by a slashing of social services and tremendous cuts in benefits – just when such services should have been bolstered.

Precisely because the so-called ‘drug problem’ is linked to major demographic changes resulting from dynamic capitalist shifts, it has never been the focus of elite-run government and corporate foundation grant research – unlike their fixation on the ‘radicalization of Muslims’ or ‘trends in urban crime’. Research tended to focus on ‘minorities’ or merely nibbled at the periphery of the current phenomenon. Good studies and data would have provided the rationale and basis for major public programs aimed at protecting the lives of marginalized white workers and reversing the deadly trends. The decade-long, nation-wide absence of research and data into this phenomenon has justified the glaring absence of an effective governmental response. Here the ‘neglect’ has not been ‘benign’.

In parallel with the increase in opioid addiction, there has been an astronomical increase in the prescription of psychotropic drugs and anti-depressants to the same population – also highly profitable to ‘Big Pharma’. The pattern of prescribing such powerful, and potentially dangerous, mood altering medications to downwardly mobile Americans to ‘treat’ or numb normal anxieties and reactions to the deterioration in their material condition has had profound consequences. Such individuals, often on unemployment assistance or MEDICAID, may be expected to follow a complex daily regimen of up to nine medications – besides their narcotic pain medications, while trying to cope with their crumbling world.

Where a dignified job with a decent wage would effectively treat a marginalized worker’s despair without unpleasant or dangerous ’side effects’, the medical and mental health community has consistently sent their patients to ‘Big Pharma’. As a result, post-mortem toxicological analyses show multiple prescribed psychotropic medications and anti-depressants in addition to narcotics in cases of opioid overdose deaths. While this may constitute an abdication of the medical provider’s responsibility to patients, it is also a reflection of the medical community’s utter helplessness in the face of systemic social breakdown – as has occurred in the marginalized communities where drug overdose deaths concentrate.

Demographic studies, at best, identify the victims of drug addiction. But their choice to treat their despair as an ‘individual problem’ occurring in a ’specific, immediate context’ overlooks the greater political and economic structures, which set the stage for premature death.

The Political Economy of Overdose Deaths

When the remains of a young working class overdose victim is wheeled into a morgue, his or her untimely demise is labelled ’self-inflicted’ or ‘accidental’ opioid overdose and a great cover-up machine is turned on: The sequence leading up to the death is shrouded in mystery, no deeper understanding of the socio-cultural and economic factors are sought. Instead, the victim or his/her culture is blamed for the end-result of a complex chain of elite capitalist economic decisions and political maneuverings in which a worker’s premature death is a mere collateral event. The medical community has merely functioned as the transmission belt in this process, rather than an agent for serving the public.

The vast majority of overdose fatalities are, in reality, victims of decisions and losses far beyond their control. Their addictions have shortened their lives as well as clouded their understanding of events and undermined their capacity to engage in class struggle to reverse this trend. It has been a perfect solution to the predictable demographic problems of brutal neoliberalism in America.

Wall Street and Washington designed the macro-economy that has eliminated decent jobs, cut wages and slashed benefits. As a result millions of marginalized workers and the unemployed are under tremendous tension and resort to pharmacologic solutions to endure their pain because they are not organized. The historical leading role of trade union and community organizations has been eliminated. Instead, redundant workers are ‘charged by Big Pharma’ to dig their own graves and class leaders are nowhere to be found.

Secondly, the workplace has become much more dangerous under the ‘new economic order’. Bosses no longer fear unions and safety regulations: many workers are injured by the acceleration of the pace of work, longer hours, faulty job training and lack of federal supervision of working conditions. Injured workers lacking any judicial, trade union, or public agency protection rightly fear retaliation for reporting their work injury and increasingly resort to prescription narcotics to cope with acute and chronic pain while continuing to work.

When employers allow workers to report their injuries, the low coverage and limited treatments available, encourage providers to over-prescribe narcotics on top of other medications with potentially dangerous interactions. Many pain clinics, contracted by employers, are eager to profit from injured clients while pharmaceutical companies actively promote powerful synthetic narcotics.

A vicious chain is formed: The pharmaceutical industry’s mass production of narcotics has been among its most profitable products. Corporate pharmacy chains fill the prescriptions written by tens of thousands of ‘providers’ (doctors, dentists, nurses and physician assistants) who have only a limited amount of time to actually examine an injured worker. The deteriorating work conditions create the injury and the workers become consumers of Big Pharma’s miracle relief – Oxycontin or its cousins – which a decade of drug salesmen had touted as ‘non-addicting’. A long line of highly educated professionals, including doctors and other providers, pathologists, medical examiners and coroners carefully paper over the real cause, the corporate decision makers, in order to protect themselves from corporate reprisals should they ‘blow the whistle’. Behind the scientific façade there is a Social Darwinism that few are willing to confront.

Only recently, in the face of incredible numbers of hospitalizations and deaths from narcotic overdose, the federal government has started to release funds for research. Academic-medical researchers have started to collect and publicize data on the growing epidemic of opiate deaths; they provide shocking maps of the most affected counties and regions. They join the chorus in urging the federal and state agencies to become more actively involved in the usual panacea: ‘education and prevention’. This beehive of activity has come two decades too late into the epidemic and reeks of cynicism.

Funding for research into this phenomenon will not result in any effective long-term programs for confronting these small community-based ‘crises of capitalism’. There is no institution willing to confront the basic cause: the devastation of capitalist– labor relations in post-millennial America, the corrupt nature of state-corporate-pharmaceutical linkages and the chaotic, profit-driven character of our private medical system. Very few writers ever explore how a national, public, single-payer, health system would have clearly prevented with epidemic from the beginning.

Conclusion

Why does the capitalist-state and pharmaceutical elite sustain a socio-economic process, which has led to the large-scale, long-term death of workers and their family members in rural and small town America?

One ready and convincing hypothesis is that the modern dynamic corporate elite profits from the results of ‘demographic change by overdose.’

Corporations gain billions of dollars in profits from the ‘natural decline’ of redundant workers: slashing social and job benefits, such as health plans, pension, vacation, job training programs, allowing employers to increase rates of profits, capital gains, executive bonuses and raises. Public services are eliminated, taxes are reduced and workers, when needed, can be imported – fully formed – from abroad for temporary employment in a ‘free labor market’.

Capitalists profit even more from the technology gains – robots, computerization, etc. – by ensuring that workers do not enjoy reduced hours or increased vacations resulting from their increased productivity. Why share the results of productivity gains with the workers, when the workers can just be eliminated? Dissatisfied workers can turn inward or ‘pop a pill’, but never organize to retake control of their lives and future.

Election experts and political pundits can claim that white American workers reject the major establishment parties because they are ‘angry’ and ‘racist’. These are the workers who now turn to a ‘Donald Trump’. But a deeper analysis would reveal their rational rejection of political leaders who have refused to condemn capitalist exploitation and confront the epidemic of death by overdose.

There is a class basis for this veritable genocide by narcotics raging among white workers and the unemployed in the small towns and rural areas of American: it is the ‘perfect’ corporate solution to a surplus labor force. It is time for American workers and their leaders to wake up to this cruel fact and resist this one-sided class war or continue to mourn more untimely deaths in their own drug-numbed silence.

And it is time for the medical community to demand a ‘patient-first’ publically accountable national health system that rewards service over profit, and responsibility over silent complicity.

Posted in USAComments Off on Genocide by Prescription: The ‘Natural History’ of the Declining White Working Class in America

Colonel dogged by allegations of justifying rape in wartime to become Nazi army new chief rabbi

NOVANEWS
Image result for Zionist army chief rabbi photo
RT 

Rabbi Colonel Eyal Karim, a former special forces commander who once landed in hot water over a “mistinterpreted” statement implying that Nazi soldiers could commit rape in wartime “for the sake of joint success,” is set to become Nazi army new chief rabbi.

Answering a question from one reader who asked whether Nazi soldiers were permitted “to rape girls during a fight, or is such a thing forbidden?” according to +972 web magazine, Rabbi Karim responded, “Since, essentially, a war is not an individual matter, but rather nations wage war as a whole, there are cases in which the personality of the individual is ‘erased’ for the benefit of the whole. And vice versa: sometimes you risk a large unit for the saving of an individual, when it is essential for purposes of morale. One of the important and critical values during war is maintaining the army’s fighting ability […]

“War removes some of the prohibitions on sexual relations, and even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge, under the conditions mentioned, for the purpose of the success of the whole,” he added.

The quote caused a furor when it emerged ten years later in 2012, and Rabbi Karim was pushed to publish a clarification stating that his comments had been taken out of context, The Times of Israel reported.

“Colonel Karim wishes to clarify that his words were only uttered in response to a theoretical hermeneutical question, certainly not to a practical halachic question,” the army said in a new statement on Monday. “Rabbi Karim never wrote, said, or even thought that an IDF soldier is permitted to sexually harm a woman during wartime.”

Karim’s “moral approach is evidenced by his years of activity in command, fighting and rabbinical posts, in which he displayed utter loyalty to the values and spirit of the IDF, and especially as regards peoples’ dignity, no matter who they are.”

Karim was drafted into the Nazi army back in 1975 and volunteered for the paratroopers before becoming an officer in the 202 Battalion, the Arutz Sheva reported. He later took an unpaid leave to study in a yeshiva in Jerusalem, but agreed to return to the paratroopers in 1981 to take part in operations in Lebanon, and later as a commander in the first Lebanon war. His new position as the Nazi army chief rabbi will come with a promotion to Brigadier-General.

In the past, he has also been one of the leaders of a religious-Zionist struggle against the recruitment of women for combat roles in the army, the Haaretz reported.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Colonel dogged by allegations of justifying rape in wartime to become Nazi army new chief rabbi

Aussie TV dares to show the real occupation

NOVANEWS

Four Corners

Jonathon Cook writes:

I never thought I would see it. A mainstream TV programme, this one made by Australian channel ABC, that shows the occupation in all its inhuman horror.

The 45-minute investigative film concerns the Israeli army’s mistreatment of Palestinian children. Along the way, it provides absolutely devastating evidence that the children’s abuse is not some unfortunate byproduct of the occupation but the cornerstone of Israel’s system of control and its related need to destroy the fabric of Palestinian society.

Omar Barghouti has spoken of Israelis’ view of Palestinians as only “relatively human”. Here that profound racism is on full show.

There are, of course, concessions to “balance” – in the hope of minimising the backlash from Israel – but they do nothing to dilute the power of the message.

This is brave film-making of the highest order.

It is an indication of quite how exceptional this film is that it has cornered Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, into expressing her deep concern. That’s the same Bishop who last month doubted that the settlements in the West Bank were illegal.

If the video above is removed, you can also watch the film here:

www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2014/02/10/3939266.htm

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Aussie TV dares to show the real occupation

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