Archive | June 22nd, 2017

Three National Guard Officials Arrested After Fatal Shooting of Protester

Image result for venezolana CARTOON
By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas | Venezuelanalysis 

Caracas – Three Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) soldiers have been arrested following the fatal shooting of an anti-government protester in Caracas this past Monday.

First sergeant Raymon Ávila León and second sergeants Johan Rojas Díaz and Jesús Baez Rojas will be charged with the misuse of a firearm, according to national ombudsman, William Saab.

On Monday, 17 year old Fabian Urbina died from gunshot wounds when GNB soldiers opened fire on a crowd of protesters in the eastern district of Altamira. Five other demonstrators were also injured in the incident.

In footage of the confrontation circulated by the private media channel La Patilla on social media, hundreds of violent protesters can be seen attempting to attack several GNB officials prior to the shooting. At least one of the protesters was armed, leading some pro-government observers to speculate that the soldiers were acting in self defense.

But Saab condemned the incident Wednesday and stated that the national guard must only employ “proportional, progressive and differentiated use of force” to ensure their own safety at protests.

In a series of tweets, the national ombudsman reminded the public that the GNB are banned from using live ammunition or rubber bullets to control unrest. He also called on opposition sectors to cease their violent protests.

“We once again call on the organizers of demonstrations to carry them out peacefully and without the use of weapons,” he tweeted.

Following the incident, President Nicolas Maduro replaced Antonio Benavides Torres as the commander of the National Bolivarian Guard. The former commander of the People’s Guard, Major General Sergio José Rivero Marcano, will now take up the position.

The president also changed the commander-in-chiefs of the armed forces, navy, airforce, and people’s militia, as well as put Major General Juan de Jesús García Toussaintt and Admiral Orlando Maneiro Gaspar in charge of the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Fishing.

It is unknown if the high level reshuffle was related to Monday’s deadly shooting.

Eighty-four people have been killed since violence anti-government unrest broke out at the beginning of April. Protesters, national security personnel, pro-government activists and passersby are all amongst the dead.

Posted in VenezuelaComments Off on Three National Guard Officials Arrested After Fatal Shooting of Protester

Ukraine Registers 500 Suicides by Donbass Military Operation Participants


Image result for Ukraine CARTOON

KIEV – Around 500 cases of suicide were registered among the Ukrainian servicemen who had been participating in the military operation in Donbass, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in an article published Thursday.

“How is the state of affairs in Ukraine three years after the outbreak of the war?… According to the military prosecutor’s office, as of the beginning of June, 2017, approximately 500 cases of suicides were registered, among participants of the… operation [in Donbass area] after having returned from the combat zone,” Avakov said in an article published by Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper.

According to the interior minister, around 90-95 percent of combatants develop various social and medical, specially pertaining to the nervous system, problems after participating in military conflict, which is the universally recognized international standard. About one-third of these soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often led to suicide, Avakov noted.

Avakov said, citing the international human rights center La Strada — Ukraine, that the number of family members of Donbass conflict participants complaining of domestic violence increased eightfold in 2015.

In February 2015, the warring parties to the Ukrainian conflict in Donbass signed the Minsk peace accords in order to end the fighting in the crisis-torn region. Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, as the members of the so-called Normandy Four, helped negotiate the Donbas ceasefire. The truce, however, has been repeatedly breached, with Kiev forces and Donbas militia accusing each other of violating it.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Ukraine Registers 500 Suicides by Donbass Military Operation Participants

Five Takeaways from Iran’s Missile Strike in Syria


Image result for Iran’s Missile CARTOON

Tehran’s strike was targeted at Islamic State but it also puts US bases in the region on notice and exposes the flimsiness of the Trump Administration’s Middle East policy


At its most obvious level, Iran’s missile attack on the Islamic State command centre in the Syrian city of Dier Ezzor on Sunday may be regarded as the demonstration of an extraordinarily innovative military capability.

Iran says it fired six ground-to-ground missiles from Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) bases in Kermanshah and Kurdistan provinces, both in Western Iran, and that they “hit the targets in Deir Ezzur with high precision after flying through the Iraqi airspace.”

The footage shows that at least one of the missiles was of the Zolfaqar class and at least one more was of the Qiam class, both indigenously developed missiles. Zolfaqar is the latest generation of Iran’s mid-range missiles. It can hit targets up to 700 kilometres away and is capable of carrying a Multiple-Entry Vehicle payload. Qiam is a surface-to-surface cruise missile.

From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision. Simply put, Iran has notified the US that its 45,000 troops deployed in bases in Iraq (5,165), Kuwait (15,000), Bahrain (7,000), Qatar (10,000), the UAE (5,000) and Oman (200) are highly vulnerable.

The Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces, Gen. Mohammad Hossein Baqueri, said on Monday: “Iran is among the world’s big powers in the missile field. They (read the US and its allies) don’t have the capability to engage in conflict with us at present, and of course, we don’t intend to involve in clashes with them, but we are in permanent rivalry with them in different fields, including the missile sector.”

Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, a military aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, had specifically forewarned Washington last Wednesday that “if the US decides to start any war against Iran, all its military bases in the region will experience insecurity.”

Clearly, the missile strike constitutes a snub to the US Senators who passed a bill on Friday imposing more sanctions against Iran over its missile program. It is also a defiant response to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ill-conceived remark on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran includes “regime change”.

However, there are five other takeaways, all of which have downstream implications.

Wake-up call

For a start, the Iranian leadership seems to have concluded that the strategic restraint exercised over the past 3-4 years since negotiations on the nuclear issue began, is being misunderstood by the Trump team. On Sunday, Khamenei launched a vitriolic attack on US policies.

As Tehran sees it, the Trump team, which lacks experience in international diplomacy, might harbour notions that Iran’s moderation in recent years is a sign of weakness or lack of political resolve on the part of the moderate-reformist leadership of President Hassan Rouhani.

Most certainly, Tehran expects that its iron-fist display on Sunday will serve as a wake-up call to the Trump administration. This finds echo in the words of the influential Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee, who is also a former IRGC commander: “After four years in office, Tillerson will come to understand Iran.”

Setting a precedent

Two, Iran has created a hugely consequential precedent. Make no mistake, Tehran will hit ISIS again, reckoning it to be “like a wild dog that we can annihilate easily along with its masters.” Of course, this will impact the overall military balance in both Syria and Iraq.

Again, if ISIS can be targeted, why not other extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, some of which might be enjoying covert support from the US or its regional allies?

Quadrilateral cooperation

Three, the fact that Tehran coordinated Sunday’s missile strikes in advance with Russia, Iraq and Syria is an important signal in geopolitical terms and in regional politics. Centered around Baghdad, the quadrilateral mechanism involving these four countries has openly acknowledged that such coordination took place. It didn’t have to do that, but it did so with deliberation.

All-out rivalry

Four, against the backdrop of a series of unfriendly and provocative moves by the US against Iran in recent weeks at different levels, it is a fair assumption that Iran’s willingness to cooperate with the Trump administration on the path to a settlement in Syria is now virtually nil. Equally, it remains to be seen what follows next in Iraq after the liberation of Mosul.

Specifically, an all-out rivalry between the US and Iran can now be expected on the ground for control of the Syrian-Iraqi border and southern Syria. It will be a miracle now if the US beats Iran in the race to take control of the strategic city of Dier Ezzor, which has become an emblematic military front for the latter. Iranian statements claim that the terrorist attacks in Tehran on June 7 were masterminded and executed from the ISIS command center in Dier Ezzor.

US policy adrift

Finally, Washington now has no option left but to accept Russian help to stabilize the “de-confliction” zones in southern Syria bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights. Yet, incredibly enough, the Pentagon chose just this moment to provoke Moscow by shooting down a Syrian jet on Sunday – albeit a few hours ahead of the Iranian missile strike.

Moscow has put the Pentagon on notice that henceforth all American aircraft and flying objects in the Syrian air space will be treated as “targets”. Coming on top of the bizarre policy somersaults over Qatar in the past week, not to mention the fake arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the Trump administration’s Middle East policy looks adrift, lacking intellectual content and diplomatic acumen.

The veteran ex-CIA officer and Brookings scholar on the Middle East Bruce Riedel pondered aloud last week how an administration so abysmally lacking in talent and diplomatic experience could cope with a first-rate crisis situation such as a war in Gaza or Lebanon.

Of course, in immediate terms, it remains to be seen how the Trump administration handles the Iran sanctions bill given the latest developments. The Iranian Majlis plans to adopt counter-measures vis-à-vis the proposed US legislation, which it regards as a blatant violation of the matrix of understanding reached under the nuclear deal of July 2015.

Posted in Iran, SyriaComments Off on Five Takeaways from Iran’s Missile Strike in Syria

Uproar as Zionist racist ugly Melanie Phillips spouts racist bile live on Sky TV [VIDEO]

Uproar as Times columnist spouts racist bile live on Sky TV [VIDEO]
Uproar as Times columnist spouts racist bile live on Sky TV [VIDEO]

People have lashed out at Times columnist Melanie Phillips after she appeared on Sky News to deliver an inflammatory, Islamophobic, and incorrect statement about 90% of the world’s Muslims. And some think the racist and false slur is a sackable offence.


Reviewing the papers on Sky News on 20 June, Phillips comes onto the subject of “religious Islamic fanaticism” and broad-brushes 1.6 billion people:

The problem being faced by not just Britain, not just the West, but the whole of the free world, and the not-Muslim-enough world, is the problem of religious Islamic fanaticism

She then goes on to misquote Egyptian military dictator President Sisi, saying he told imams that:

We cannot anymore have a situation where 1.6 billion Muslims are trying to murder the rest of the world.

The problem being that Sisi actually said:

Does this mean that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

‘Racist and bigoted’

Many have pointed out that to write off 90% of the world’s Muslim population to not only extreme ideological views but also murderous tendencies is “racist” and “bigoted”. Yet the mainstream media is again giving such attitudes a platform.

“1.6Bn Muslims are trying to murder the rest of the world” @TheTimes is this Islamophobic slur acceptable from one of your star writers?

disgusting Melanie Phillips the bigot on @SkyNews equating 1.6bn muslims with a tiny minority of extremists.

Baseless bile

Phillips also hit out at her co-guest who suggested there is a growing radical front from the white far right. The Finsbury Park attack saw an attacker use a hire van to run over Muslim worshippers outside a mosque. He killed one and injured several others. The police and government have described it as a terrorist attack. But Phillips had this to say:

Finsbury Park is being leapt upon by the people who want to pretend that the real problem facing the world is not Islamic religious fanaticism, has been leapt on for people to say, ‘you see, it’s nothing to do with Islam, it’s basically a problem of terrorism’. It’s not true. There is every difference in the world between an interpretation of the religion, which is inspiring millions of people to try and kill others…

While citing the most wild statistic, suggesting “millions” are inspired to kill, she downgraded the incident that took place on 18 June, despite the driver reportedly saying he wanted to “kill all Muslims”. And she declared with authority that you cannot equate the two.

But evidence does not back her up. For instance, an MI5 report in 2008 found that religious zealotry was not really a factor in radicalisation, with perpetrators being fairly ‘illiterate’ on religion. In fact, it concluded that a better established “religious identity” may actually prevent “violent radicalisation”.

And there is evidence of there being much in common between far-right extremism and so-called ‘Islamist’ extremism. Devon Arthurs is a case in point. Arthurs allegedly sieged a Florida smoke shop because he was “upset about America bombing Muslim countries”. But he was also a former neo-Nazi who converted to Islam at some point. And some experts believe it’s less ideology and more a “propensity for violence” that leads people to extremism.

Stop pandering to racists

But this doesn’t fit Phillips’ narrative. And neither does acknowledging the Muslim community’s rallying in times of grief to help wider communities they are part of.

For instance, many Muslims were praised for their response after the Grenfell Tower fire. Muslim organisations, meanwhile, started crowdfunding campaigns after the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London. And small displays of compassion have shown that they are not separated from their communities by faith.

Some may regard this to be the radical notion. But such views, like Phillips’, ignore the facts and base their arguments on bigotry alone. And there comes a point where news outlets, whether The Times or Sky News, must stop pandering to racist views such as hers and deny them a platform.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on Uproar as Zionist racist ugly Melanie Phillips spouts racist bile live on Sky TV [VIDEO]

Rashid Khalidi: Palestine in the Age of Trump


By Rashid Khalidi

Rashid Khalidi

Rashid Khalidi

With the advent in Washington of an Administration with radical new priorities regarding Israel, and a disdain for Palestinian rights, Palestine is facing a daunting reality. In recent years, ascendant political currents in America and Israel had already begun to merge. We have now reached the point where envoys from one country to the other could almost switch places: the Israeli Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, who grew up in Florida, could just as easily be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, while Donald Trump’s Ambassador-designate to Israel, David Friedman, who has intimate ties to the Israeli settler movement, would make a fine Ambassador in Washington for the pro-settler government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Whereas America’s solicitous concern for Israel and its disregard for the Palestinians were once cloaked behind evenhandedness, under Trump we are set to see a more complete convergence between America’s political leadership and the most chauvinistic, religious, and right-wing government in Israel’s history. It will be this Israeli government and its new American soul mates who will call the tune in Palestine for at least the next several years.

The entire Palestinian political and economic structure set up since the 1993 Oslo Accords was predicated on the idea that it would evolve into a genuine, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state. That illusion, held by many Palestinians, has by now been dispelled. This flawed structure was also based on the premise, a naïve one at best, that the United States had a national interest in moderating Israeli behavior and achieving a modicum of justice in the Middle East. That premise, too, has been demolished.

For Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, set up by the Oslo Accords ostensibly as part of an interim arrangement for Palestinian self-rule, will continue to do more harm than good. Few people understand that the colonization of Palestinian land and the nearly fifty-year-old Israeli military occupation—among the longest in modern history—would not be sustainable today without American and Israeli sponsorship of the P.A. and its U.S.-trained security forces. The P.A.’s criminalization of any form of resistance to dispossession, discrimination, and Israel’s permanent military control have made it, in effect, a tool of collaboration with the occupation. Even bloggers and peaceful demonstrators are subject to arrest and harassment by P.A. forces. The way this institution operates against its own people provides a preview of the future that both American and Israeli officials will now foresee for Palestinians in the occupied territories: a future that is constricted, controlled, and void of sovereignty and self-determination.

It is abundantly clear that the United States, in the age of Trump, and Israel, in the age of Netanyahu, will do nothing to change this picture. In this context, the Palestinians face stark choices. They can either submit to the dictates of the U.S. and Israel or they can fundamentally and urgently redefine their national movement, their objectives, and their modes of resistance to oppression. It is time for Palestinians to abandon the failed experiment of the P.A., and to abandon forms of violence that only harden the sway of the right wing over Israeli politics. It is time to mobilize the vast energies of the Palestinian diaspora and stop thinking of Palestine as just those fragments under Israeli occupation. And it is time to begin to imagine ways in which Palestinians and Israelis will finally be able to coexist in complete equality in the small country they will ultimately have to share, once it is free of the domination of one group over the other. These will be exceedingly hard tasks for the Palestinians, coming after they have suffered decades of war, dispossession, and occupation.

Despite all this, there are signs of hope, at least in the United States. The positions of both the Democratic and Republican Party establishments notwithstanding, American public opinion is shifting rapidly away from uncritical support for Israel. Americans are becoming increasingly sympathetic to the cause of Palestinian freedom. According to a poll released by the Brookings Institution in December, sixty per cent of Democrats, and forty-six per cent of all Americans, support sanctions or stronger action against Israel over its construction of illegal Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land. A recently released Pew poll shows that, for the first time, the percentage of Democrats who are sympathetic to the Palestinians is almost equal to those who sympathize with Israel, while liberal Democrats are much more sympathetic to Palestinians (thirty-eight per cent) than they are to Israel (twenty-six per cent).

Over time, perhaps, these changes will filter up to politicians and policymakers in Washington. In the meantime, it is up to individuals of conscience, including those who are resisting the wave of racism and right-wing extremism to be expected in the Trump era, to exert pressure on their elected representatives to live up to professed ideals of freedom and equality, and to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and denial of Palestinian national and human rights.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Rashid Khalidi: Palestine in the Age of Trump

Moshé Machover: Burial of the two-state ‘solution’


By Moshé Machover

Moshé Machover

Moshé Machover

On February 15 the desiccated corpse of the two-state ‘solution’ (2SS) to the conflict between the Israeli Zionist settler state and the colonized Palestinian Arab people was finally laid to rest. One it tempted to say ‘RIP’, but it is far more likely to rest in war than peace. The interment took place at a White House press conference during which the new leader of the ‘international community’ absolved his smiling protégé Benjamin (‘Bibi’) Netanyahu from even pretending to pursue the phantom of the 2SS.1This ended a long-standing official commitment of the US to the 2SS, formalized by GW Bush in his Road Map speech (June 24 2002),2 but  which informally dates back to the Bill Clinton presidency.

As I explained in previous articles,3 no major Zionist party is genuinely prepared to accept a sovereign Palestinian state ‘alongside Israel’ west of the river Jordan. But whereas Labour Zionists (now part of the Zionist Camp led by Yitzhak Herzog) were ready to play along in the endless ‘peace process’, Netanyahu and most of his Likud party, egged on by their ultra-fanatic partners, had lost patience with this pretence, and were eager to edge towards annexing the West Bank (the tiny densely populated Gaza Strip is not on the menu just yet). So in April 2004 Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry concluded that due to Israel’s obstructiveness the ‘peace process’ had gone “poof”.4

Secret summit in Aqaba

In order to understand the full significance of Trump’s declaration, which effectively allows Netanyahu a free hand in dealing with the Palestinian issue, we must note two previous landmark events. The first of these was a summit meeting summoned by the preternaturally persistent Kerry as a last-ditch attempt to resuscitate the 2SS. It was held during the last week of February 2016 in the Jordanian Red-Sea port of Aqaba and was kept secret for a year, until the story was leaked to Ha’aretz (probably by someone very close to Kerry), which published it on February 19 2017.5 The participants, apart from Kerry, were Netanyahu, Jordan’s king Abdullah II and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. The president of the Palestinian (so-called) Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, was not invited (in order not to embarrass him with the concessions that would be forced on him), but was kept informed.

Netanyahu was presented by his three interlocutors with an offer he could not openly refuse, as it addressed all his previous pretexts for demurring. According to Ha’aretz,

Kerry … crafted a document that included principles for the renewal of talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the framework of a regional peace initiative with the participation of the Arab countries. The plan he formulated in early 2016 was identical to the one he presented at the end of that year – three weeks before Donald Trump entered the White House. The following are the six principles.

  • International secure and recognized borders between Israel and a sustainable and contiguous Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with agreed-on exchanges of territory.
  • Implementation of the vision of UN Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan) for two states for two peoples, one Jewish and one Arab – which recognize each other and give equal rights to their citizens.
  • A just, agreed-on, fair and realistic solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees that conforms to a solution of two states for two peoples and will not influence the basic character of Israel.
  • An agreed-on solution for Jerusalem as the capital of both countries, recognized by the international community and ensuring freedom of access to the holy sites in keeping with the status quo.
  • A response to Israel’s security needs, ensuring Israel’s ability to protect itself effectively and ensuring Palestine’s ability to give security to its citizens in a sovereign, demilitarized state.
  • The end of the conflict and of demands, which will allow a normalization of ties and increased regional security for all, in keeping with the vision of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The reference to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 is extremely significant, as it includes recognition of Israel “as a Jewish state”, a demand often raised by Netanyahu in the hope that it would be rejected by the Arab side.

Netanyahu did not, could not, reject this plan outright, but – true to form – procrastinated. Apparently he indicated that in order for Israel to accept the plan he would need to enlarge the ruling coalition to include the Zionist Camp. Accordingly he conducted talks with Herzog, telling him about the Aqaba plan and inviting him to join the government. But the latter got a clear impression that Netanyahu was not serious, and had no real intention to commit to the Aqaba plan. Nothing came out of the talks, and Netanyahu appointed the thuggish extremist Avigdor Lieberman as defence minister. Once again, Netanyahu managed to deflect a 2SS plan, this time in its final form, most favourable to Zionist ambitions.

No wonder Kerry’s parting speech on December 28 2016, in which he recapitulated his Aqaba plan, was so angry and frustrated.6

Legislation prelude to annexation

The second landmark event was the enactment by the Knesset on February 6 2017, by 60 to 52 votes, of the euphemistically named Judea and Samaria Regulation Law, better and more fittingly known as the Expropriation Law,7, empowering the Israeli government to legalize retroactively Jewish settlements in the West Bank located on land privately owned by Palestinians. What is most significant about this legalized theft is that it implicitly changes the legal status of the West Bank. Zionist robbery of Palestinian land has been going on in the West Bank since it was occupied in 1967. But so far the ‘legal’ instrument for implementing it has come in the form of edicts issued by Israeli military commanders, quoting ‘security’ or ‘military’ needs for the stolen land. This in effect treated the West Bank as occupied territory rather than sovereign Israeli territory. But – as pointed out by no other than Israel’s president Reuven Rivlin and former justice minister Dan Meridor, both Likud members – the Knesset has no power to legislate on property rights of foreigners outside Israel’s sovereign territory.8 Moreover, Israel’s attorney general Avihai Mandelblit has announced that he would be unable to defend the new law in the Supreme Court, as it is unconstitutional and is vulnerable to international legal challenge. Indeed, it is quite possible that the Supreme Court will rule accordingly. But what this legislation clearly shows is that the Israeli leadership is moving towards formal or semi-formal annexation of the West Bank.

Ominously, calls for annexation have been increasing in number and volume. At the more ‘liberal’ end of the ruling Zionist circles is president Rivlin. As noted above, he opposes the new Expropriation Law because it applies to areas outside Israel’s sovereign territory and to property of persons who are not Israeli citizens. His solution: annex the whole of the West Bank and grant its Palestinian Arab inhabitants Israeli citizenship.9 In this he is a true follower of Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of right-wing (‘revisionist’) Zionism, who called for Jewish colonization of Palestine, suppressing forcibly the anticipated opposition of the indigenous Arabs, but then granting them equal rights.10

However, Jabotinsky was writing in the inter-war period, when there was a large oppressed Jewish population in Poland and other countries of eastern Europe, and he counted on massive Jewish immigration to Palestine that would rapidly reduce the indigenous Palestinian Arabs to a minority. The situation of the Jewish diaspora today is very different indeed. East-European Jews were for the most part exterminated by the Nazis; and the present major Jewish communities in Europe and America are not oppressed but thriving. There is little prospect of new massive Jewish immigration to an expanded Israel, sufficient to ensure a Jewish majority.

So Rivlin’s scheme is unrealistic from a Zionist viewpoint, as Ha’aretz has politely pointed out.11 The Zionist regime will not allow it. The decidedly illiberal religious fanatics and racist bigots who are in Israel’s driving seat will do it their own way, now that they feel they have been dealt a Trump card, a carte blanche from the White House. They will probably proceed stepwise, beginning with areas that are already compactly colonized by Israel and have sparser Palestinian population. Palestinian population concentrations will be isolated, squeezed and warehoused, pending eventual ethnic cleansing, when an opportunity – such as a regional conflagration – presents itself. And with the present occupant of the Oval Office this may be sooner than we may think. The outcome will be one state, Zionist style.

Will the ‘international community’ allow it? Well, Zionist expansionism can rely on promising precedents: in addition to the original 1947–49 nakba, there is also the case of the Syrian Golan Heights. Israel is not Putin’s Russia, and the Golan is not Crimea: whereas the Putin gang went through the motions of conducting a referendum before annexing the peninsula, Israel took the simpler route of ethnically cleansing most of the Golan’s inhabitants in 1967, before annexing it officially in 1981. And were any sanctions imposed on Israel? No, stupid, you have just been told that Israel is not Russia. In fact, although no country has formally recognized the annexation and accepted the ethnic cleansing, the world has got used to regarding the Golan Heights as part of Israel, and the line separating it from the rest of Syria is usually referred to in the media as Israel’s border with Syria.

The only hope of preventing a new nakba is a massive mobilisation of progressive world public opinion.



  1. ‘Trump, Netanyahu Full Press Conference’, ABC News, <>.
  3. For example, ‘Israel’s quest for legitimacy, <>.
  4. Mark Landler, ‘Mideast Frustration, the Sequel’, New York Times, April  8 2014 <>.
  5. ‘Exclusive: Kerry Offered Netanyahu Regional Peace Plan in Secret 2016 Summit With al-Sissi, King Abdullah’ <>.
  8. Itamar Eichner, ‘Rivlin lashes out against Regulation Law’, Ynet, February 13 2017, <,7340,L-4921846,00.html>; D Meridor, ‘5 Reasons Why Israeli Lawmakers Must Vote Against the Outpost Legalization Bill’, Ha’aretz, February 3 2017, <>.
  9. Jonathan Lis, ‘President Rivlin: Israel Should Annex West Bank, Give Palestinians Full Citizenship’, Ha’aretz, February 14 2017, <>.
  10. Vladimir Jabotinsky, ‘The iron wall’ (O Zheleznoi stene), published November 4 1923 in the Russian-language journal Rassvyet (Dawn); English translation <>.
  11. Ha’aretz editorial, ‘Rivlin, Liberal or Annexationist?’, February 16 2017, <>.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Moshé Machover: Burial of the two-state ‘solution’

The Zionist-American Hammer-Lock on Palestine


The Israeli-American Hammer-Lock on Palestine

Israel’s occupation isonly made possible by unquestioning US support—but a day of reckoning is on the way.

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the longest military occupation in modern history, some are celebrating. It is fully appropriate that these celebrations will include a joint session of the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset, held via video link. For Israel’s rule over East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights is only made possible by the constant support it has obtained since June 1967 from successive US administrations. This is therefore not solely an Israeli occupation: Since the very beginning, it has in fact been a joint undertaking, an Israeli-American condominium, if you will. If the various forms of violence necessary to maintain alien rule over what are now nearly 5 million people have been administered entirely by Israelis, the financial, arms, and diplomatic weight behind them has been mainly American.

The degree to which American support is the sine qua non of this 50-year occupation can be seen from the difference between how the Johnson administration and its successors treated Israel’s 1967 conquests, and how President Eisenhower reacted to those of the 1956 war. In that earlier case, the US reaction was unequivocal and forceful. Only days after the Israeli-British-French attack on Egypt, Washington pushed through a UN resolution demanding that Israel withdraw unconditionally and immediately from the occupied Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. Under powerful American pressure, Israel grudgingly did so six months later.

As an 18-year-old on June 9, 1967, I myself was witness to one indication of how much things had changed since 1956. On the fourth day of the war, I was sitting in the visitors’ gallery of the Security Council (my father worked for the UN Secretariat and I was home from college). I watched US Ambassador Arthur Goldberg stall for hours to prevent the council from forcing Israel to stop its seemingly inexorable advance toward Damascus. In spite of successive Security Council cease-fire resolutions, and thanks to such tacit US support, that advance did not stop until the following day.

Worse was yet to come. In contrast to the days that passed before it acted in 1956, the United Nations took over five months to come up with a resolution to deal with the situation created by the 1967 war. When it did so, on November 22, 1967, Security Council Resolution 242 was inspired essentially by the desiderata of Israel, with the indispensable support of the United States. Resolution 242 was far from unconditional: Indeed, it made Israel’s withdrawals from the areas its forces had just conquered conditional on the achievement of “secure” boundaries, which has proven to be an infinitely flexible term in the Israeli lexicon. This flexibility has permitted 50 years of delay where occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories are concerned. Moreover, in its English version, 242 did not call from withdrawal from all the land taken in the June war, but only from “territories occupied” during the conflict. With ample American backing, Israel has driven a coach and horses through that seemingly minor gap.

Other language in 242, such as the passage stressing the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” can be seen as balancing those major concessions to the Israeli position. However, which parts of 242 are really important is indicated by the planned joint session of Congress and the Knesset, on top of 50 years of American complaisance about an occupation that in practice is underwritten by American money, arms, and diplomatic support. This is an occupation, incidentally, that the Israeli government denies exists, and that President Trump did not see fit to mention once by name during his recent visit to Palestine and Israel.

One additional crucial point about 242 is worth mentioning. The original conflict in Palestine was a colonial one between the indigenous Palestinian majority and the Zionist movement as the latter tried to achieve sovereignty over the country at the expense of, and ultimately in place of, that majority. The nature of this conflict had been recognized in part in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 181 of 1947, which called for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The former was to have been larger than the latter, although at that point Jewish land ownership was under 7 percent of the total, and Arabs constituted 65 percent of the country’s population, and in principle had the absolute right of self-determination in the entirety of what they reasonably still considered their country.

Resolution 242 represented a regression even on this low-water mark for the Palestinians. The Palestinians are not mentioned in the text of the 1967 resolution, nor are their rights to statehood and to return to their homes and possessions, which had been confirmed by previous UN resolutions, all of them supported by the United States. Instead, there is a bland reference to “a just settlement of the refugee problem.”

Haughtily ignoring the indigenous population and its rights and interests is in fact a typical colonial maneuver, one that has set the stage for an Israeli colonial-settler enterprise that has thrived for 50 years in the occupied territories. It goes without saying that this has taken place with full US support, accompanied by tepid criticism. British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour engaged in the same maneuver a century ago, never mentioning the words Palestinian or Arab in his famous November 2, 1917, declaration promising British support for a Jewish “national home” in a Palestine that then had a 94 percent Arab majority.

In similarly ignoring the Palestinians, and giving Israel what it wanted, Resolution 242 thus constituted a diplomatic revolution that was entirely favorable to the newly expanded Israeli regional superpower. Drafted by British Ambassador Lord Caradon—who reprised the British role of slighting the Palestinians—and pushed through by the United States, this resolution has become the benchmark for Arab-Israeli peace. In view of its perverse genesis, it is no surprise that this misbegotten resolution has not produced peace but instead has been the fig leaf for an unending military occupation of Syrian and Palestinian lands.

The scene I watched in the Security Council on June 9, 1967, was only one sign of a major shift in US policy championed by President Johnson and his enthusiastically pro-Israel advisers, including Clark Clifford (who had been instrumental in advising President Truman to support Israel in 1947 and 1948), Arthur Goldberg, McGeorge Bundy, Abe Fortas, and the brothers Walt and Eugene Rostow. They and others had ensured that before the June war Israel received a prior American green light for its first strike on the Arab armies, as it had failed to do in 1956 at the time of its Suez adventure together with Britain and France. Several of these advisers were influential in brokering what eventually became Resolution 242.

By 1967, Israel had already begun to get some US arms deliveries, although it won the war of that year mainly with French and British weaponry, as it had in 1956. In the wake of its crushing 1967 victory, Israel became a major Cold War ally, commencing a much closer relationship with the United States against Arab states that were aligned with the Soviet Union. In time, this alliance has become more intimate than that with any other country, with military aid soaring to over $1 billion per year after 1973, and at over $4 billion annually today (this aid is going to a relatively rich country, one with a GDP per capita of nearly $35,000). Since 1967, Israel has been cosseted by the United States, whether its actions served or harmed US interests. This intimacy has reached the point that politicians of both parties compete with one another in proclaiming that they will allow “no daylight” between the positions of the two countries.

Notwithstanding the celebrations of this unity of views between the American and Israeli establishments about support for the continued occupation and colonization process in Palestine, a day of reckoning is on the way. There are harbingers everywhere. Already the Democratic Party is torn between its blindly pro-Israel old-guard leadership and a younger and more open-minded base that can see what is actually happening in Palestine. The resolution passed on May 21 by the California Democratic Party is a sign of the times. It condemns the failure of successive administrations, in spite of mild criticisms of the occupation, to take “actual steps to change the status quo and bring about a real peace process.” It goes on to criticize Israel’s “illegal settlements in the occupied territories,” and calls for a “just peace based on full equality and security for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike,” as well as “self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for the Palestinian people.”

Fifty years on from the euphoria in Israel and Washington that accompanied the beginning of the occupation, the rise of a different spirit can be discerned on college campuses, among younger people—including among many young Jewish Americans—minorities, some churches, synagogues, academic associations and labor unions, and among the grassroots of the Democratic Party. There is naturally a potent and well-financed counter-offensive against this awakening, which has traction with the Trump administration and the leadership of the Democratic Party and is echoed in much of the mainstream media. It can be seen at its most frantic in the attempts to shut down debate via unconstitutional anti-BDS bills in statehouses all over the country (19 of them already enacted into law), as well as in Israel’s banning of the entry of supporters of BDS and its laws targeting Israelis supporting BDS.

But while these measures will have some impact, they cannot for long repress the revulsion that Israel’s policies have produced among so many Americans and others around the world. External support has always been a crucial factor in the struggle over Palestine. In the first decades after the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist enterprise could not have been successful without the crucial support of Great Britain. Similarly, Israel could not have maintained its occupation for 50 years without American support. The almost hysterical reaction to the growth around the world of serious critical responses to Israel’s military occupation of Arab lands and to its colonization enterprise shows that Israel’s leaders and its supporters in the United States are fully aware of these new realities. The tragedy is that it has taken almost 70 years since the 1948 war and 50 years since 1967 to get even to this point, and we are only at the beginning of the path toward full equality, self-determination, civil rights, security, and economic well-being for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on The Zionist-American Hammer-Lock on Palestine

Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah



Here’s an article on Ken Livingstone by David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialist Group.  In it he seems to come on the side of those seeking Ken’s expulsion from the Labour Party:

If  Livingstone had had the nous, he would have simply noted Shah’s acknowledgement that she had crossed a line into antisemitism, welcomed her apology and then used all the weight of his background in anti-racism in London to utterly condemn the Tories for their thoroughly racist campaign against Khan. That could,  and should, have been the story. Instead he tried to excuse Shah’s tweets as “completely over the top but … not antisemitic”. Immediately after this came his infamous remarks about Hitler and Zionism.

David goes on to take exception to Ken invoking Lenni Brenner as a source for his Hitler/Zionism remarks.  David finds Brenner’s work wanting.

Brenner’s book reads much more like tabloid journalism than any serious academic study. It makes crude allegations of Zionist-Nazi collaboration, treats the actions of some Zionists as representing all Zionists, and utterly distorts the power relations between Zionists and Nazis.

Within the same article David mentions the main victims of Zionism who have been absent from most of this bogus antisemitism campaign, the Palestinians:

this whole effort to try to find evidence of Zionists behaving badly in the 1930s in order to expose the way Zionism behaves today, is such a poor way of supporting the Palestinians and their just demands. It rests on too many crude generalisations. You do not have to go back to Hitler and the 1930s in order to expose and challenge the oppression of Palestinians by Zionist ideology and practice today.

I have a few problems with David Rosenberg’s take on all this and here’s something I wrote elsewhere:

Did Naz Shah actually apologise specifically for saying “the Jews are rallying” for Israel or was it a more mealy mouthed showtrial sort of apology couched in terms that failed to pinpoint what she had actually said that was antisemitic?  I thought it was the latter. In fact the more she apologised the more she seemed to be saying something like, “I’m sorry I said whatever I said, I had no idea of the extent to which the Jews rally for Israel”.
And did Ken Livingstone actually make an intervention? Or was he invited to a radio interview with Vanessa Feltz? I thought that was the latter.
The first mention of Hitler was by Feltz and Ken responded.  He seemed to be pointing up the hypocrisy of the Zionist movement on the whole question of Nazi Zionist collaboration or of comparisons between Israel and the Nazis.
Certainly Ken invoked Lenni Brenner as a source but there are many sources to support the idea of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis including some that say that Hitler himself must have intervened to maintain Ha’avara when other leading Nazis were against it.
I think to gift the Zionists by throwing Ken under the bus when the NCC seems to have deliberately avoided examination of what Ken (and by extension, Naz Shah) actually did say would be a major mistake not least because if Ken’s offence in the eyes of the NCC was to defend Naz Shah then what becomes of people who defended Ken?
My own view is that the NCC didn’t expel Ken and avoided discussion of the “historical facts” because, as David said, most of what Naz Shah said wasn’t antisemitic and what she did say that was antisemitic was no different from what most Zionists say (and indeed did say at that appalling select committee).
The NCC avoided what Ken said about Hitler, Nazism and Zionism because what Ken said was broadly correct regardless of whether we run with Lenni Brenner as a source or not.  (eg, see this)
Of course this isn’t now simply about the NCC charges. Ken is now being condemned for defending himself whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Regarding whether or not an exposé of Zionist collaboration with antisemitism or nazism is good or bad for the Palestinians is irrelevant given that Ken isn’t being accused by JLM or the NCC of not being good for the Palestinians and if he was being good for the Palestinians no doubt he’d be accused of antisemitism for that.

So I don’t think we have to twist or ignore facts to support Ken Livingstone. We should welcome a more forensic examination of all of the facts of both Ken and Naz Shah’s cases.

For a more detailed examination of the case of Ken Livingstone and the NCC see this article, Compulsory Lies by Mike MacNair in the Weekly Worker.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah

What a surprise – Jewish kids in America don’t go a bundle on racism, murder and torture!


It’s an ill wind that blows no good.  Despite the adoption of the new fake definition of anti-Semitism and the attempt to depict anti-Zionism as anti-Semitic, the truth has a way of getting through.  The American Jewish community is the most valuable to Israel, since it does its diplomatic bidding as well as helping to fund the pariah state.

What a surprise it must therefore be to Israel’s veteran propagandists, the Hasbarists who cry ‘anti-Semitism’ at the drop of a hat, that young American Jews no longer feel an affinity with Zionism and Israel’s racial nationalism.  Settling other people’s land, seeing the vast disparity between poor Palestinian peasants and the rich and lush settlements isn’t a winner amongst progressive young

Jews.  The far-Right messianism that believes in a racially pure Israel and building a 3rd temple as the way to encourage the return of the Messiah doesn’t hold too much attraction to secular Jewish kids.

The alliance with the anti-Semitic Christian fundamentalists like Pastor John Hagee of Christian United for Israel isn’t a vote winner either.

It seems to have finally dawned on Brand Israel that being high tech savvy when you treat Palestinians as the untermenschen isn’t necessarily a winner.  The author Amanda Borschel-Dan observes that just because the Angel of Death in Auschwitz, Dr Joseph Mengele, was a brilliant scientist, doesn’t mean that the Nazis were attractive.  I suspect that if I had made this analogy the cacophony of Zionist propagandists.

Amanda of Brand Israel says that ‘Instead of stating dry facts, professionals must highlight Israel’s decency, morality and the diversity of the Israeli society in general’.   This is an act of self-deception.  Israel is a society where a plurality of Jews support the physical expulsion of Israel’s Palestinians and where ‘Death to the Arabs’ is the favourite chant of the Right.

Of course Amanda is desperate to find something good about Israel and therefore settles for the aid given to Syrian fighters as an example of Israeli selflessness.  The problem is that these Syrians are Jihadist murderers of Ahrar al Sham and al-Nusra.  What is more pertinent is that Israel has refused to take a single Syrian refugee because non-Jewish refugees are a threat to Israel’s racial purity.

What this demonstrates is that despite the millions of dollars invested in pro-Israel propaganda, you cannot beautify an ugly duckling or a detestable regime.

Tony Greenstein

‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students

Brand Israel Group raises the alarm on a widening gap in the US between older supporters and the increasingly pro-Palestinian next generation

More than a decade ago, a diverse focus group of Americans was asked to describe a typical Italian house. Words like “lush, food, cooking, maternal, welcoming” quickly rolled of the tongue. The same group was asked about an Israeli home and a very different vibe was described: “concrete, strict, ultra-religious, middle-aged ultra-Orthodox men.”

This 2005 focus group was commissioned to explore the underlying image of Israel in the American psyche. The unanimous perception was a conflict-driven country filled with religious fundamentalists.

Not exactly a country they were keen on visiting — or supporting.

The loose consortium of volunteer marketing and advertising executives who commissioned the study now falls under the Brand Israel Group (BIG) rubric. While each member of this heterogeneous Mad Men coalition had his or her own reasons for wishing to change Americans’ innate view of Israel, for Fern Oppenheim, co-founder of Brand Israel Group, her tipping point came after the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks.

The child of Holocaust survivors, Oppenheim said she awoke from her sense of Jewish security that day. “I never thought I’d smell smoke living in New York,” she said in Jerusalem this week.

In this September 11, 2001, file photo, thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center towers stood. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

Her safety bubble popped, Oppenheim decided to throw her support — and skills — behind Israel. With her extensive marketing and management background at such companies as Kraft/General Foods, Oppenheim began to use her professional prowess to help the Jewish state, which she calls “the canary in the coal mine.”

The team had a revolutionary approach: Instead of the Jewish community’s typical “shooting from the hip,” said Oppenheim, the high-level marketing execs “rolled up their sleeves to get a research-based understanding” of mainstream Americans’ perceptions of Israel, and only then to create a strategy based on their research.

Since its initial coalescence in 2002, Brand Israel has commissioned a large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a followup in 2016. For anyone with the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support is disturbing.

While in Israel to present the recent 2016 BIG segmentation study, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship,” Oppenheim repeatedly used the word “devastating” — each time without hyperbole.

At UOIT outside Toronto, Students for Justice in Palestine activists staff their information table, 2016 (UOIT’s SJP chapter Facebook page)

In sum, the gap between Israel-supporters and detractors is widening. The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support.

‘The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values’

Mainstream Americans are not starting from a neutral perspective on Israel; rather, they begin with misperceptions and negative assumptions. This creates “fertile ground” for delegitimization, said Oppenheim, who also spoke this week at the prestigious annual Herzliya Conference.

The 2016 segmentation study’s data shows that the current campaign of depicting the Israel beyond the conflict — specifically, highlighting high-tech achievements — is not effective. In fact, the more the study participants knew about Israel, the less favorably they felt about the country.

According to the report’s executive summary, since 2010, claimed knowledge of Israel has increased 14 percentage points nationally (from 23% to 37%) and is up among every demographic group (except for college students, where it is down 16 percentage points, from 50% to 34%). These increases, however, have not translated into increased favorability, which is down 14 percentage points (from 76% to 62%) nationally and by large margins across the board.

Fern Oppenheim, the co-founder of Brand Israel Group, ‘The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls.’ (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)

“The paradigm of Israel beyond the conflict is not the right paradigm for capturing hearts and souls,” she said.

The key is to emphasize common values. To change an attitude about Israel, the camera needs to be pulled back to show the full face of the country and its people, she said. When Israel is an issue, and not a country filled with an incredibly diverse population, the field is open for boycott campaigns and other delegitimizing efforts.

Shared values have been the bedrock of the American-Israeli relationship. Without this connection, the future of the alliance is in jeopardy,” claims the BIG group. And the biggest value gap is between core Israel supporters — basically older, wealthier, more conservative, whiter Americans — and those who are labeled as “at-risk” — younger, minorities, liberals.

The picture is even more dire when looking at the next generation of potential Jewish leadership. Between the 2010 and the 2016 surveys, Jewish college students dropped 27 percentage points on the question of whether they lean towards the Israeli side.

This is explained, said Oppenheim, by a perceived lack of shared values between the ultra-liberal Jewish college student and Israel.

On December 15, 2015, more than 300 Jewish activists in Boston marched for the Black Lives Matter movement, including members of Jewish Voice for Peace (photo credit: Ignacio Laguarda/Wicked Local)

“The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,” she said.

According to the survey, 31% of Jewish students reported experiencing anti-Semitism; of that bunch, 59% say it was related to anti-Israel attitudes. But these experiences generally do not sway their opinions of Israel.

“The Jewish college student is the only group more favorable to Palestinians” now, rising 18 percentage points between 2010 and 2016, she said.

Much of this change she blamed on the rise of “intersectionality” on campuses. There is no longer nuance in campus conversations about Israel, she said. Instead, the “atmosphere is oppressor versus victim. Israel is just another symbol of this.”

Despite the plethora of organizations, campus advocacy does not appear to reach these students’ hearts. Using a morbid example, she said, “No one didn’t think that [Nazi “Angel of Death” Josef] Mengele wasn’t a brilliant scientist. But he was a monster. We need to drill down that Israelis are people” — not just high-tech geniuses.

We are allowing Israel to be defined by its detractors,” she emphasized.

Israeli military medics assist wounded Syrians on April 6, 2017. Seven wounded Syrians who crossed into Israel on Thursday night received immediate treatment and were hospitalized. They are the latest group of Syrians receiving free medical care through an Israeli military program operating since 2013. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Instead of stating dry facts, professionals must highlight Israel’s decency, morality and the diversity of the Israeli society in general — and in the context of the conflict — to be heard.

To give one example, former head of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh sent his granddaughter to Israel “because Israel is too decent to turn her away. People need to know this,” said Oppenheim.

In terms of practical solutions, Oppenheim suggested increasing the number of people who visit Israel at a younger age, and even starting prophylactic Birthright-Taglit trips before university.

“The sands under our feet are shifting,” said Oppenheim. “It is clear that the divide in our community is here for the next generation.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on What a surprise – Jewish kids in America don’t go a bundle on racism, murder and torture!

China may finance Russia’s natural gas pipeline to Europe

Image result for Russia’s natural gas CARTOON

Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline may get Chinese financing if European companies are forced out of the project by the latest round of US sanctions, business daily Vedomosti reports.

Russian officials have already contacted Chinese banks, sources have told the media.

“Nord Stream 2 has a good rate of return and low risks for creditors. Chinese banks may be interested,” explains Aleksey Grivach, deputy CEO at Russia’s National Energy Security Fund.

The extension will double the existing pipeline which delivers natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea and is estimated to cost €9.5 billion.

Initially, Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall were to get a 50 percent stake minus one share in Nord Stream 2. However, red tape at the European Commission made Gazprom and its partners come up with another financing option. Under this plan, European companies will each provide an equal long-term loan to Gazprom, which will fully own the pipeline.

Financing of Nord Stream 2 may be affected by new US sanctions which target firms investing in Russian gas and oil projects. According to the new bill passed by the US Senate, and currently, before the House of Representatives, companies will be forbidden from making investments of over $1 million in the Russian energy sector.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben van Beurden. Among other things, they discussed Nord Stream 2. Van Beurden told Interfax the new project “will be realized for the benefit of all parties – both Europeans and the Russian Federation.”

Posted in China, RussiaComments Off on China may finance Russia’s natural gas pipeline to Europe

Shoah’s pages