Archive | August 18th, 2017

Nazi regime to Impose Fines for Commemoration of Nakba

NOVANEWS

Nazi occupation authorities are prepared to impose massive fines on Palestinians who commemorate the Nazi occupation of Palestine, a report revealed on Tuesday.

An Arab member of the Knesset said, according to Days of Palestine, that occupation authorities have decided to fine institutions which rent out space for events organized by non-Jewish citizens, which the state regards as illegal.

“The Israeli measure is against the simplest basics of democracy and free speech,” explained Jamal Zahalkeh MK. “It is racist because it targets Arab citizens and their institutions.”

On Sunday, the Nazi Culture and Sport Minister, Nazi Miri Regev, and Attorney General Nazi Avichai Mendelblit met and agreed on how to implement the so-called “Nakba Law” which first surfaced in 2011.

It stipulates that any institution in receipt of government funds will be fined up to three times of the said funds if it rejects the Nazi state as a “Jewish and democratic” state; incites racism, violence or terrorism; supports armed resistance or terrorist acts against Israel; or commemorates Nazi state “independence day” as Palestinian Nakba Day.

‘Israel’ Hayom said that Regev asked for the meeting after reports about an event hosted by a Jaffa theatre in honor of former Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, who was indicted for smuggling telephones to Palestinian security prisoners.

Nazi Regev and Nazi Mendelblit, the newspaper said, agreed that complaints about alleged violations of the Nakba Law, by public institutions, would be passed on to the finance ministry, which would have a week to respond on whether a given incident in fact violates the law.

 

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ACLU settles torture case with CIA-contracted psychologists

NOVANEWS

The ACLU has declared a “historic victory” following the settlement of its lawsuit against two CIA-contracted psychologists involved in torturing suspects and developing the agency’s ‘enhanced interrogation program.’ The terms are confidential.

CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou told RT that while the settlement is historic, he is disappointed on three fronts.

American Civil Liberties Union attorneys, acting on behalf of three plaintiffs who claimed they were tortured, said it’s the first time the CIA, or its private contractors, had been held accountable for torturing suspects.

“This outcome show that there are consequences for torture and that survivors can and will hold those responsible for torture accountable,” Dror Ladin, an ACLU attorney said, according to AP.

“It is a clear warning for anything who thinks they can torture with impunity.”

Kiriakou, a former CIA counter-terrorism officer who blew the whistle on the torture program in 2007, noted the historic victory “because nothing like this has ever happened before,” but added, “I am disappointed with a settlement.”

He said the American people will never know the details of what would have been released had the case gone to trial.

“Documents would have certainly been de-classified, there would have been a number of people testifying in open court, and so we I think we will probably never know the real details of the CIA torture program. That’s a disappointment,” he told RT.

Another disappointment is over the the sealed terms of agreement.

“I am happy for the victims and the families of the victims of CIA torture, but I wish that we were able to say definitively that the final terms were enough of a deterrent to stop the CIA from possibly doing this again,” Kiriakou said.

Kiriakou said his third disappointment was over the two psychologists –James Mitchell and John Jessen – being indemnified at the time they signed their contract with the CIA.

“So not one cent from this entire ordeal comes out of Mitchell and Jessen’s pockets, leaving taxpayers footing this bill for this lawsuit, and that is very sad,” Kiriakou added. “Especially as they made $81 million and they pay none of it to their own victims.”

Kiriakou said he wished the case had gone to trial but was nevertheless surprised it had gone as far it did. A trial date was set for September 5 in federal court in Spokane, Washington. He said the CIA had ample opportunity to invoke ‘national security’ and ask for a dismissal but they elected not to do that.

“That order would have to have come from the White House, the Obama White House. When Donald Trump became president, he did not invoke ‘national security’ either, so it seems the CIA made an internal decision to just to get this thing behind them and be done with it,” said Kiriakou.

“And I think they were able to convince the Obama administration and the Trump administration that it was the right thing to do.”

The ACLU filed the suit in 2015 on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud and the family of Gul Rahman under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows for federal lawsuits for gross human rights violations. Rahman froze to death in a secret CIA prison.

The two men and Rahman’s family claimed the trio were tortured and experimented on using methods developed by the CIA-contracted psychologists, Mitchell and Jessen, following the terror attacks of 9/11.

During the interrogations, the plaintiffs claimed they were subject to waterboarding, slammed into walls, stuffed inside coffin-like boxes, exposed to extreme temperatures, starved, and kept awake for days, the ACLU argued.

James Smith, the lead attorney for the psychologists said his clients were public servants whose interrogation of suspected terrorists was authorized by the government.

“The facts would have borne out that while the plaintiffs suffered mistreatment by some of their captors, none of that mistreatment was conducted, condoned or caused by Drs. Mitchell and Jessen,” Smith stated, according to AP.

AP reported that as the two psychologists worked as government contractors, their legal bills will be covered by US taxpayer money.

The Justice Department got involved in the case to represent the government’s interest in keeping classified information secret but did not try to block the lawsuit.

As part of the settlement agreement, both sides agreed to release a joint statement in which Doctors Mitchell and Jessen acknowledged they worked with the CIA “to develop a program for the CIA that contemplated the use of specific coercive methods to interrogate certain detainees.”

The parties acknowledged that Rahman “was subjected to abuses in the CIA program that resulted in his death” and plaintiffs Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud were “also subjected to coercive methods in the CIA program, which resulted in pain and suffering.”

The ACLU said it had based its legal claims on the declassified facts in the executive summary of the Senate report on CIA torture. The ACLU claimed that in addition to torturing prisoners themselves, Mitchell and Jessen trained other CIA personnel in their methods. The pair founded a company in 2005 that the CIA contracted to run its entire torture program, including supplying interrogators for the agency’s secret “black site” prisons. The government paid the company $81 million over several years.

A US Senate investigation in 2014 found that the techniques developed by the two psychologists produced no useful intelligence. President Obama terminated the contract in 2009.

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Naziyahu Backs Partitioning Iraq for Kurdish State

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 Nazi Prime Minister Benjamin Naziyahu expressed interest in partitioning Iraq.

Jewish Nazi Prime Minister told the group of 33 congressmen that he favored the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the Arab country. Nazi regime has a longstanding relationship with the Kurds, who remains one of its few non-Arab allies in the area.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a source who attended the meeting said Naziyahu referred to the Kurds as “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”

Naziyahu previously spoke on the issue in 2014 when he said in a speech that his Nazi regime  should “support the Kurdish aspiration for independence.”

Two months ago Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned about bids to break up Iraq, saying the partitioning of Arab countries serves the interests of Zionist regime. “The Zionist regime seeks Iraq’s disintegration,” Larijani accused during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran.

A report published in the New Yorker magazine in 2004 said Nazi military and intelligence operatives were active in Kurdish areas and providing training for commando units.

According to the report, Nazi regime has been expanding its presence in Kurdistan and encouraging Kurds, its allies in the region, to create an independent state.

Posted in Middle East, ZIO-NAZI, Iraq, TurkeyComments Off on Naziyahu Backs Partitioning Iraq for Kurdish State

Nazi regime not able to wage new war on Lebanon

NOVANEWS

The Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement says ‘Israel’ is not able to launch a new war on Lebanon, because it knows that Hezbollah is much more powerful than 2006 and any such war would cost Tel Aviv dearly.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a speech on the anniversary of Nazi defeat in the 33-day military onslaught against Lebanon back in the summer of 2006.

During his speech, Nasrallah noted that the main reason behind the victory of Hezbollah fighters in the war with Nazi was their patience, steadfastness, valor and faith.

Stressing the rise in Hezbollah’s power since the war in 2006, Nasrallah noted that the resistance group is ready to counter any further act of aggression, warning that in case of new Nazi aggression, Israel will face a 100 times tougher response than the one its forces saw during the 2006 war.

Nasrallah added that ‘Israeli’ analysts were still analyzing the results of that war, because it destroyed their self-confidence and they have admitted to their defeat in the summer war in 2006.

Everything that ‘Israelis’ say about the power of Hezbollah is because of their defeat in summer 2006 war, Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah chief stated that ‘Israelis’ wanted to destroy Hezbollah, but after 11 years, they say Hezbollah has become stronger and more powerful and this shows that they have failed to achieve the goals they pursued through 2006 war.

Elsewhere in his speech, Nasrallah explained that Hezbollah only fights outside the Lebanese borders and will not use force in domestic developments of the country.

He added that in return for its victories, Hezbollah does not seek personal, party, or tribal interests, noting that today, the resistance movement is more powerful than ever and the enemy has reached the conclusion that any new aggression against Lebanon will be very costly.

Rejecting any chance of a new ‘Israeli’ aggression against Lebanon, Nasrallah noted that the time of toying with Lebanon is over and ‘Israelis’ themselves have owned up to the high cost of such a war and have said that war with Lebanon should not take place.

They wanted to crush the resistance in 2006 war, but they failed to achieve this goal, Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah chief added that not only ‘Israel’, but all those parties which seek to crush Hezbollah at the present time will fail to achieve this goal.

Nasrallah said that due to its inability to wage new war on Lebanon, ‘Israel’ wants to collectively punish the entire Lebanese nation, and it is putting high pressure on the administration of US President Donald Trump, but they will fail to achieve anything as in the past.

About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives during Nazi 33-day war on Lebanon back in the summer of 2006.

According to the 629-page Winograd Report by the Nazi regime itself, Hezbollah fighters involved in defending Lebanon against the Nazi war defeated the enemy and Tel Aviv was compelled to withdraw without having achieved any of its objectives.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the 2006 war, calls on Israel to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network on Jul 14, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sayyed Hashem Safieddine stated that the resistance movement will “surprise” Israel in any future war, relying on its enhanced military capabilities.

Safieddine stressed that Hezbollah has been changing and developing new military capabilities, and Nazi reports on Hezbollah’s weaponry are “inaccurate as the enemy intelligence agencies can never reach veracious data in this context.”

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Nazi lobby Chorus Sings Again

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Israel’s Chorus Sings Again

Less than total loyalty to Israel is un-American

By Philip Giraldi 

Congress is on a one-month summer recess. You would think that given the recent turmoil over the bill to eliminate Obamacare and the upcoming debate over tax policy the nation’s legislators would be back in their home districts talking to the voters. Some are, but many are not. “More than fifty” Congressmen are off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to demonstrate that “there is no stronger bond with any ally we have.” Yes indeed, a congress which cannot pass legislation to benefit the American people finds that it has only one voice when it comes to our troublesome little client state that also doubles as the leading recipient of U.S. tax dollars in the world.

How do they do it? They do it by relentless courting of the congress critters and media talking heads, all of whom know how to repay a favor. Some readers might be asking how Congress (spouses included) can accept these free trips from a foreign government? The current trip is estimated to be costing $10,000 per person. Well, the answer is that they can’t do it directly, which would be illegal, so the clever rascals at the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have created an “charitable” foundation that pays the bills. It’s called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF is a tax exempt 501(c)3 foundation that had income of more than $80 million in 2015. As it is tax exempt that means that its activities are, in effect, being subsidized by the U.S. Treasury so the congressmen are being “charitably educated” while they are also being wined and dined and propagandized in part on the taxpayers’ dime. A couple of the congress critters hardly hit the ground before they were singing the praises of their hosts, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy crooning “We have shared values! Shared security interests! No stronger bond!” And plenty of feel-good all around as Israel is “The Only Democracy in the Middle East!”

Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who has had his head up the Israeli derriere for decades, was also quick on the uptake, enthusing how support for Israel is completely bipartisan, “We are not here as Democrats and Republicans, we are here as Americans who support Israel’s security, its sovereignty and the safety of its people.” And as if it is not enough to go around bragging how one is subordinating U.S. sovereignty to that of Israel, the gnomes are hard at work back at home preparing to pass into law the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which will criminalize for many Americans their First Amendment right to criticize Israel, and a completely bipartisan bit of new legislation being pushed by the Israeli government that will take away aid currently given to the Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to provide subsidies to help support the families of those individuals being held prisoner by the Israelis. As most aid actually goes towards training Palestinian security forces that are intended to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, the bill is as wrong-headed as can be, but it just goes to show how far Congress will go to punish Arabs on behalf of Israel.

And finally there has been a series of Israel-centric attacks on leading members of the Trump Administration. A month ago, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2016. The report, as always, describes threats of violence in the Middle East from an Israeli perspective, but it was honest enough to also include two sentences that state that “Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians… and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive. The PA has [also] taken significant steps… to not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”

B’nai B’rith immediately blasted the report for “parroting the false Palestinian narrative” and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resign because the report was “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel hating, error ridden.” ZOA went on to praise the co-chairman of the Republican Israel Caucus, Congressman Peter Roskam for demanding that the State Department correct the “numerous mischaracterizations” in the report.

Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is “less hard” on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.

Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his “loyalty” to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the “speed and intensity” of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic, which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.

It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as “deeply hostile to Israel.” She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.

McMaster’s other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump’s recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick’s sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick’s point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.

We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.

So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.

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Al-Araqeeb village: Palestinian Bedouins refuse to surrender 116 times

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By Ramzy Baroud

On August, the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb was destroyed for the 116th time. As soon as Israeli bulldozers finished their ugly deed and soldiers began evacuating the premises, the village resident immediately began rebuilding their homes.

Twenty-two families, or about 101 residents, are estimated to live here. By now, they are all familiar with the painful routine, considering the first round of destruction took place in July 2010.

It means that the village has been destroyed nearly 17 times each year since then. And each time, it was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again.

If the repeated destruction of the village is an indication of Israel’s stubborn insistence to uproot Palestine’s Bedouins, the rebuilding is indicative of the tenacity of the Bedouin community in Palestine.

But Al-Araqeeb is only symbolic of that historic fight.

It would be no exaggeration to state that there is a war waged by Israel against Palestinian Bedouins. The aim is to destroy their culture and to force them into townships similar to those of Apartheid South Africa.

The geographic space of that war extends from the Negev desert to the Southern Hebron Hills to Jerusalem.

The epicenter of the ongoing fight is the village of Al-Araqeeb. Not only has Israel destroyed Al-Araqeeb numerous times in violation of international law, it actually delivers a bill to the homeless residents expecting them to cover the cost of the very ruins wrought by the Israeli state.

According to latest estimates, the families that live in makeshift huts and rely on rudimentary means to survive are expected to payup a bill of two million shekels, around $600,000.

Israel dubs Al-Araqeeb, along with 35 villages in the Negev, as “unrecognised” by the Israeli government’s master plan, thus they must be erased, and their population driven into townships made for the Bedouins.

However, these villages are older than Israel itself, and any such “master plan” could have easily considered this existing reality. What Israel truly labours to achieve is to replace the Bedouins with its own Jewish population, as it has tirelessly done for seven decades.

Palestinian Bedouins are known for their tenacity. They fully fathom the history and plight of their ancestors, where generation after generation were ethnically cleansed and exiled to refugee camps outside Palestine, or forcibly removed to other areas. Today’s Bedouin communities refuse to be subjected to that same fate again.

The Israeli plan to ethnically cleanse the Bedouins of the Negev is no different from the plan to colonise the West Bank, Judaise the Galilee and Palestinian East Jerusalem. All such efforts always culminate in the same routine – of removing the Arabs and replacing them with Israeli Jews.

In 1965, Israel passed the Planning and Building Law which recognised some Palestinian Arab villages in the Galilee and southern Negev, but excluded others. Nearly 100,000 Bedouin were forcibly removed to “Planned Townships” to endure economic neglect and poverty. Many refused to be moved and, since then, have fought a protracted war to survive and maintain a semblance of their culture and way of life.

Currently, according to the Institute of Palestine Studies (IPS), roughly 130,000 individuals live in the so-called unrecognised villages “under the constant threat of wholesale demolition”.

The anomaly is that these Bedouin communities prove the fallacy of the Israeli claim that it was Jewish settlers – not Palestinians – that “made the desert bloom”.

A simple look at statistics demolishes that deceptive claim entirely.

As of 1935 – that is 13 years prior to the existence of Israel – Bedouins “cultivated 2,109,234 dunums of land where they grew most of Palestine’s barley and much of the country’s wheat,” stated IPS.

Moreover, Jewish settlers did not arrive in the Negev till 1940 and, by 1946, the total Jewish population there did not amount to more than 475.

The amount of land cultivated by the Bedouins in the Negev prior to 1948 came to three times that cultivated by the entire Jewish community in all of Palestine even after sixty years of ‘pioneering’ Zionist settlement IPS concluded.

To reverse this indisputable historical reality, Israel has led a decided campaign aimed at vanquishing the Bedouins by severing their relationship to their land. Although this has been done with a great degree of success, the struggle is not yet over.

The same struggle is duplicated elsewhere, especially in so-called “Area C” encompassing 60 per cent of the West Bank. Palestinian Bedouin villages there are also enduring a terrible fight, as many of their villages have been singled out for destruction.

Most West Bank Bedouins live in the central West Bank region, in an area known as the South Hebron Hills. Last month, it was reported that the Israeli Supreme Court is now “deciding the fate” of the Bedouin village of Dkeika. Other villages in the area have either been demolished, received demolition orders or are waiting for their fate to be determined by the Israel court.

It is hardly a question of a single village or two. The UN reported that 46 villages in central West Bank are “at risk of forcible transfer” by the Israeli government.

To preclude any legal wrangling, the Israeli government has been actively pursuing wholesale, irreversible actions to seal the fate of Bedouins once and for all.

In 2013, Israel announced the “Prawer Plan”, the goal of which was the destruction of all unrecognised villages in the Negev. However, massive mobilisation involving the Bedouins and Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories defeated the plan, which was officially rescinded in December of the same year.

But, now, it is being revived under the name “Prawer II”. A draft of the plan, which was leaked to local media, was introduced by Israel’s Agricultural Minister, Uri Ariel. It, too, aims to “deny Bedouin citizens land ownership rights and violate their constitutional protections,” reported Patrick Strickland.

The war on the Bedouin is, of course, part of the larger war on all Palestinians, whether in Israel or under military occupation. While the latter are denied the most basic freedoms, the former are governed by at least 50 discriminatory laws, according to the Haifa-based Adalah Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights.

Many of these laws are aimed at depriving Palestinians of the right to own land or to claim even the very land upon which their homes and villages existed for tens and hundreds of years.

It should come as no shock, then, to learn that, while Palestinian citizens of Israel are estimated at 20 per cent of the population, they live on merely three per cent of the land, and many of them face the constant danger of being evicted and relocated elsewhere.

The story of Al-Araqeeb is witness to the never-ending Israeli desire for colonial expansion at the expense of the indigenous population of Palestine, but also of the courage and refusal to give in to fear and despair as demonstrated by the 22 families of this brave village.

In some way, Al-Araqeeb represents the story of all of Palestine and its people.

The struggle of Al-Araqeeb should evoke outrage at Israel’s constant violation of human rights and its refusal to recognise the national aspirations of the Palestinian people, but it should also induce hope that 70 years of colonial expansion cannot defeat or even weaken the will of a village, or a nation.

Read also: Israel demolishes EU-funded Palestinian homes in Hebron

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Islamic Jihad, Hamas and PFLP reject PNC meeting in Ramallah

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The Islamic Jihad Movement on Tuesday announced its rejection of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) meeting set to be held in Ramallah and considered it a prelude to the exclusion of Palestinian resistance factions from any future national project.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Movement said that the statements made about the current arrangements for holding a PNC meeting will entrench the internal division.

According to statements by a number of Fatah representatives lately, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Zionist puppet Ab-A$$, decided unilaterally to hold a PNC meeting in Ramallah in September.

Islamic Jihad called on Fatah Movement and the PA to abide by the understandings reached in Cairo and in the PNC preparatory committee meetings in Beirut.

Hamas Movement as well as the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine expressed earlier their rejection of Fatah’s call for a PNC meeting in Ramallah.

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Nazi army restrict international access to Kafr Qaddum during confrontation

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Zio-Nazi occupation forces blocked international access to Kafr Qaddum on Saturday, before apparently attacking Palestinian demonstrators for the second time in two days.

Nazi force searching Palestinian cars

Nazi military set up a road block at the entrance to the village, which has seen weekly demonstrations for several years, searching cars and checking IDs. Internationals who attempted to enter were detained for three hours with their passports confiscated. No reason was given for their detention, other than that the village was ‘dangerous’.

Nazi forces inspecting Palestinian cars

Kafr Qaddum, a small town in the Nablus area, has seen biweekly demonstrations for 6 years, since Israel blocked off their main access to Nablus in order to facilitate settler travel. The roadblock has doubled the length of journeys into Nablus, including for ambulances which are forced to take a 13km detour.

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Still Spinning On Libya

NOVANEWS
By James W. Carden 

In recent weeks, the Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan has published a series of remarkable dispatches from war-torn Libya, which is still reeling from the aftermath of NATO’s March 2011 intervention and the subsequent overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

On July 2, Raghavan reported on what amounts to Libya’s modern-day slave trade. According to his report, Libya is “now home to a thriving trade in humans. Unable to pay exorbitant smuggling fees or swindled by traffickers, some of the world’s most desperate people are being held as slaves, tortured or forced into prostitution.”

The numbers help tell the tale. “The number of migrants departing from Libya is surging,” writes Raghavan, “with more than 70,000 arriving in Italy so far this year, a 28 percent increase over the same period last year.”

On August 1, Raghavan returned to the pages of the Post with a disturbing portrait of life in Tripoli, reporting that: “Six years after the revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the mood in this volatile capital is a meld of hopelessness and gloom. Diplomatic and military efforts by the United States and its allies have failed to stabilize the nation; the denouement of the crisis remains far from clear. Most Libyans sense that the worst is yet to come.”

Raghavan notes that “Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations.” Under his rule, “Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.” It would be difficult not to see, Raghavan writes, “the insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country.”

Taken together, Raghavan’s reports should come as a rude shock to stalwart supporters of NATO’s intervention in Libya. Yet the embarrassing fervor with which many embraced the intervention remains largely undiminished – with, as we will see, one notable exception.

An Upside-Down Meritocracy

Anne Marie Slaughter, who served as policy planning chief at the State Department under Hillary Clinton, emailed her former boss after the start of the NATO operation, to say: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have never been prouder of having worked for you.”

Five months after the start of NATO operation against Gaddafi, Slaughter went public with her approval in an op-ed for the Financial Times titled “Why Libya Skeptics Were Proved Badly Wrong.” Proving, if nothing else, that the foreign policy establishment is a reverse meritocracy, Slaughter holds an endowed chair at Princeton and is also the well-compensated president of the influential Washington think tank New America.

President Obama’s decision to intervene received wide bipartisan support in the Congress and from media figures across the political spectrum, including Bill O’Reilly and Cenk Uyghur.

Yet the casus belli used to justify the intervention, as a U.K. parliamentary report made clear last September, was based on a lie: that the people of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi were in imminent danger of being slaughtered by Gaddafi’s forces.

The report, issued by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, states that “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

The report also noted that while “Many Western policymakers genuinely believed that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered his troops to massacre civilians in Benghazi … this did not necessarily translate into a threat to everyone in Benghazi. In short, the scale of the threat to civilians was presented with unjustified certainty. US intelligence officials reportedly described the intervention as ‘an intelligence-light decision.’”

Even as it became clear that the revolution had proved to be a disaster for the country, the arbiters of acceptable opinion in Washington continued to insist that NATO’s intervention was not only a success, but the right thing to do. It is a myth that has gained wide purchase among D.C.’s foreign policy cognoscenti, despite the judgment of former President Barack Obama, who famously described the intervention as “a shit show.”

Still Spinning

A full year after the commencement of NATO’s campaign against Gaddafi, former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder and NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stravidis took to the pages of that reliable bellwether of establishment opinion, Foreign Affairs, to declare that “NATO’s operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.”

According to Daalder and Stravidis, “the alliance responded rapidly to a deteriorating situation that threatened hundreds of thousands of civilians rebelling against an oppressive regime.”

In 2016, a Clinton campaign press release justifying the ill-starred intervention, claimed “Qadhafi and his regime made perfectly clear what their plans were for dealing with those who stood up against his reign, using disgusting language in urging his backers to cleanse the country of these rebels. This was a humanitarian crisis.”

Astonishingly, the campaign “Factsheet” goes on to assert that, “there was no doubt that further atrocities were on the way, as Qadhafi’s forces storming towards the county’s second biggest city.” Yet there is, as both the U.K. parliamentary report and a Harvard study by Alan J. Kuperman found, no evidence for this whatsoever.

“Qaddafi did not perpetrate a ‘bloodbath’ in any of the cities that his forces recaptured from rebels prior to NATO intervention — including Ajdabiya, Bani Walid, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Zawiya, and much of Misurata — so there was,” writes Kuperman, “virtually no risk of such an outcome if he had been permitted to recapture the last rebel stronghold of Benghazi.”

Nevertheless, the myth persists. Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Shadi Hamid, the author of Islamic Exceptionalismcontinues to insist, against all evidence, that the intervention was a success.

“The Libya intervention was successful,” says Hamid, “The country is better off today than it would have been had the international community allowed dictator Muammar Qaddafi to continue his rampage across the country.”

In this, Hamid is hardly alone. Left-activists in thrall to a Trotskyite vision of permanent revolution also continue to make the case that NATO’s intervention was a net positive for the country.

In a recent interview with In These Times, Leila Al-Shami claimed that “If Gaddafi had not fallen, Libya now would look very much like Syria. In reality, the situation in Libya is a million times better. Syrian refugees are fleeing to Libya. Far fewer people have been killed in Libya since Gaddafi’s falling than in Syria. Gaddafi being ousted was a success for the Libyan people.”

 

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Venezuela’s Truth Commission Officially Takes up Office

NOVANEWS
  • The ANC ratifies the new Commission during a session on Tuesday in Caracas, Venezuela August 15, 2017
    The ANC ratifies the new Commission during a session on Tuesday in Caracas, Venezuela August 15, 2017 | Photo: AVN
The body will investigate cases of political violence and it will be led by the ANC President Delcy Rodriguez.

Venezuela’s Truth, Justice and Reparation Commission for Victims has officially taken up office in the capital Caracas.

It will investigate cases of political violence including those committed between 2014 and 2017.

The Commission will be led by the National Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez.

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Instalada la Comisión para la Verdad, la Justicia, la Paz y la Tranquilidad Pública de la ANC. Preside Delcy Rodríguez

“We are going to the determination of the truth, so that the Venezuelans understand the origin and the illicit cause of the facts of violence that have affected peace and the public tranquility” said Rodriguez.

She also announced the first investigations into the country’s political unrest.

Other members of the Commission include the parish priest of the San Francisco church of Caracas, Jose Numa Molina, the Attorney General of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, the ombudsman, Alfredo Ruiz,  as well as Aylin García and Edgar Márquez, members of the Organization of Victims and Families.

Three deputies from the National Assembly will be designated by the political block or group of opinion from the opposition parties.

The Executive Secretariat of the Commission for Truth, Justice, Peace and Public Tranquility will be chaired by Larry Devoe.

The Comission’s legal framework was established in a law approved by ANC and it has the power to submit proposals for pardon or amnesty measures to the body as well as request protection for victims.

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