Archive | January 16th, 2018

Carillion: An Insolvent British Conglomerate Awarded a £1.4 Billion

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Carillion: An Insolvent British Conglomerate Awarded a £1.4 Billion HS2 Contract by an Inept Government That Cannot Read a Balance Sheet!

A CEO still on full pay whilst this company and hundreds of firms in the supply chain and their employees are thrown on the scrap heap with mortgages to pay, no compensation, cancelled or postponed wages and reduced pensions, if any.

We have today in the May Conservative government a cabinet clique of overpaid amateur politicians who should be in a special needs school, not in Parliament.

What happened to essential professionalism? Is it all in the Labour Party? If so, there better be a General Election ASAP before everything collapses in a heap: the railways, the NHS, public services, the road network, the rail network, the education system, student debt, housing, hospitals, schools, power companies and pensions. All either failing, in disarray, bankrupt or non-existent.

The failure of capitalism in the United Kingdom is clear as the ‘C’ suite team take their salaries, dividends and share options while thousands of workers are thrown on the dole, dependent on state handouts whilst their former directors cavort about on Mediterranean beaches, wining and dining on their bonuses for failure.

This obscene scenario is the unacceptable face of capitalism and ‘caring Conservatism’. The sick joke of the Theresa May government. Did I say ‘government’?

Britain needs a Prime Minister, a leader who can govern – not someone in a frock and FM shoes who is clearly only competent to check the petty cash.

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UN Must Stop Trump and Netanyahu From Attacking Iran

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UN Must Stop Trump and Netanyahu From Attacking Iran and Waging Nuclear War in the Middle East

 

In deliberate contempt of the United Nations and the international community, the Netanyahu government in Israel has advanced plans to attack Iranian cities and nuclear power centres by colluding with Trump to use American naval and air forces to deploy submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM) operating from the Gulf of Oman, plus the use of F35-delivered, devastating nuclear bombs to destroy the government of the sovereign state of Iran and install a puppet administration under US-Israeli control.

They apparently intend to attack the key nuclear research sites of Teheran, Bushehr, Arak, Bonab, Ramsar, Fordo, Natanz and Isfahan amongst others (Iran of course, has only a civil, nuclear power program unlike Israel that has an estimated military arsenal of up to 400 nuclear warheads), in a criminal attempt to effect regime change intended to cripple Iran and its economy in order to install Israel as hegemon of the Middle East.

Such an attack would be in gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations and would automatically designate the Trump administration as a perpetrator of war against a sovereign member state. Israel, of course, has already achieved pariah status having, in recent years, under the Likud government of Binyamin Netanyahu, perpetrated the assassination of various political opponents in Dubai, Teheran and the Middle East as well as on board the Turkish registered humanitarian aid vessel, the Mavi Marmara, on the high seas in international waters. Furthermore, the state of Israel is the only secret nuclear weapon state in the world and it sits outside of the IAEA and the internationally agreed treaties and conventions that keep world peace.

Tragically, in addition to support from Trump, the Netanyahu administration is also propped-up by the Conservative government of Theresa May who naively issues export licences to supply Israel with military equipment notwithstanding that the current Israeli Prime Minister is under investigation regarding multiple allegations of serious corruption. This allegedly corrupt politician desperately wants one last throw of the dice before he is removed from office, by attacking his sworn enemy, Iran, with American troops and planes. That is his goal regardless of the potentially massive loss of life that would invariably ensue.

The pro-Israel triumvirate of Trump, Netanyahu and May is an unfortunate political phenomena of our times – hopefully however, one with a truncated future as Europe and the world reacts to the unbridled aggression of the current Jabotinsky-style, Zionist policies reminiscent of 1947.

Aggression against Iran, or any other UN member state, without specific sanction by the Security Council, is a patent violation of international law and a very real threat to global peace and security. The national electorates of both the United States and the United Kingdom are fully cognizant of this fact and its inherent threat to their own survival in this nuclear age. The Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu, of course, has no such concerns.

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Nazi regime Can’t Handle Quaker Solidarity with Palestine

The American Friends Service Comittee (AFSC), a American Quaker organization founded in 1917, was among the twenty organzations recently banned by Israel for its support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

For a century, the AFSC has helped populations affected by war around the world. In 1947, the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize for rescuing refugees from Nazi Germany. It might seem surprising then that, amongst the banned organizations, the AFSC has been a particular target of pro-Israel advocates. For Israel and its supporters, it seems hard to fathom that an organization, which rescued Jews during World War II, could stand in solidarity with Palestinians suffering under Zionist rule. But AFSC’s solidarity is rooted in its historical commitment to human rights. This makes it particularly difficult for the apartheid state to deal with the group.

The Quaker faith has long been synonymous with working for the oppressed. The group’s history of non-violent boycott dates back to the late 18th century, when members of the faith initiated the Free Produce Movement, to boycott goods produced through slavery. On the eve of World War II,  a delegation of American Quakers traveled to Nazi Germany to protest the anti-Jewish progroms, which followed ‘Kristallnacht’ (1938). Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels ridiculed the move, and some participants were even arrested by the Nazis.

In bestowing the peace prize on AFSC for its work on behalf of Jewish refugees, the Nobel committee praised the organization for its deep commitment to humanity:

The Quakers have shown us that it is possible to translate into action what lies deep in the hearts of many: compassion for others and the desire to help them – that rich expression of the sympathy between all men, regardless of nationality or race, which, transformed into deeds, must form the basis for lasting peace. For this reason alone the Quakers deserve to receive the Nobel Peace Prize today.

Following Israel’s brutal creation in 1948, the AFSC provided humanitarian aid to Gaza, as Israel’s ethnic cleansing activities were ongoing. Early on, the organization called for a political settlement and repatriation of Palestinians into the newly formed Israeli state. At the start of this year, the AFSC reaffirmed that, as long as Israel violates human rights, the organization “will continue to support Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts as effective nonviolent tools for realizing political and social change.”

Criticizing Israel’s blacklisting of the group despite its historical assistance to Jews, Israeli journalist Chaim Shalev wrote for Haaretz that “Jewish history is apparently of no interest to the Israeli government.” As the banning of AFSC shows, anyone advocating for equality and human rights for Palestinians is persona non grata in Israel. Because Israel’s survival depends upon the subjugation of the Palestinians, even those groups that have supported the Jewish people are not safe.

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How Nazi regime allows private US institutions to abuse and drug children

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How Israel allows private US institutions to abuse and drug Israeli children

Official child abuse in Israel

Marianne Azizi writes:

Private American institutions are abusing Israeli children for profit, causing irreparable emotional and psychological damage to them

It is a rare moment to capture on video: this brave young girl agreed to give her testimony. She was on the run from the authorities, escaping back to her family for the 50th time.

The emotional torture of losing a child to the authorities for profit cannot be understated, but through the eyes of the child one can see it is hell on earth. Once upon a time she was a happy child, home with her siblings, but with no idea of how fast she was about to have to grow up.

Now she’s exhausted – fighting her need to sleep. It could be the drugs she is forced to take, or the effort to fight them.

Aged only 13 years, her life can now be summed up in one word: survival.

Incarcerated since she was 10, this little girl has fought the authorities, running away time after time.

With a mixture of vulnerability and a streak of defiance, she is finally warm and safe. But not for long. She must be returned to the police very soon. It is a golden opportunity to film her testimony. Her short life in Israel has turned into a fight for her freedom.

… the perpetrators – social workers and a judiciary which has decided against all the facts that this child is better in the care of the private institutions who profit $5,000 a month for keeping her away from normality.

She talks of her dreams to see the outside world before it is too late, and they lock her in some closed place for years to come.

It was scary, she says, to run away at 10. But after almost 50 times, she is handling it better and managing easier. This time she was outside the institution for nearly six hours, and was found by a family member, freezing cold and hungry, but free.

The testimony is taken by an Israeli lawyer. Time is short. It is impossible to prepare her, and help her feel safe enough to get all the information he wants and needs. He knows the perpetrators – social workers and a judiciary which has decided against all the facts that this child is better in the care of the private institutions who profit $5,000 a month for keeping her away from normality. She is just a number – one out of more than 10,000 children forcibly taken from their parents in Israel annually.

All this child needs is love, and a hug. That is only a memory for her these days. She is not comfortable with men – and avoids questions of her being hurt or “tampered” with. She refuses to answer – yet her body language says otherwise.

She is asked questions regarding all the institutions that have tried to manage her.

“It hurt a lot when they held me down on the floor and stood on my back,” she recalls. “Once they made my face bleed when I was hit,” she adds.

She is cautious, but one senses she also knows this could be the first and last chance to speak to someone she doesn’t consider “the enemy”.

The girl describes how the Israeli police and social workers who snatched her from school filled her head with stories of how dangerous her family was.

To get to the root of the problem – why she hates being incarcerated – they filled her with more medication which may have long lasting effects.

The isolation room she describes is not the first time a child has talked about. In the short clip above, she talks of a room where she is locked up. Her food is passed through to her. Imagine a child of 10 locked away, terrified and without her native language. She is not an Israel-born girl. She barely understood what was being said to her. Banging on the door and screaming for help resulted in more “holdings” and punishments. There were no toilet facilities and she is embarrassed when asked how she handled her needs.

She has received little or no education. She is now able to speak Hebrew, but cannot read or write in her native language. At the tender age of just 10, she was medicated with various drugs. Three years later, the court decided the best option is to increase the drugs even more. To get to the root of the problem – why she hates being incarcerated – they filled her with more medication which may have long lasting effects.

She is streetwise now. She hides the pills under her tongue whenever possible and throws them away. She doesn’t know what they are, but instinctively knows they are bad for her.

Dreaming of life with her mother, father and siblings, she goes on to say she does not expect a normal life, as they want to lock her in a secure, closed facility.

Israel’s welfare authority takes over 10,000 children a year from their homes. At least 50 per cent of them do not need to be removed, says ex-chief executive of the welfare authority Yosi Silman. While child abuse by private institutions is well known to the legal community, lawyers fight every day to rescue children;

She explains in the extended video that she was strapped to beds, fed intravenously and physically abused.

The lawyer at times is overcome with emotion when filming her. He is powerless to help her. The evidence is overwhelming. She wants to go home. There was no reason to take her at all. Despite countless hearings and appeals, the welfare authority will not admit it was wrong. Its actions have thrust a young girl into an alternative reality.

Israel’s welfare authority takes over 10,000 children a year from their homes. At least 50 per cent of them do not need to be removed, says ex-chief executive of the welfare authority Yosi Silman.

She is among thousands and thousands who once were playing with dolls and toys – and then putting on make-up to prepare yet another escape from the cruelty of institution staff who appear to have no training in how to deal with children.

The money rolls in – over one million Israeli shekels (about $293,000) made on this poor girl. Has society lost the ability to stand in this child’s shoes and stop what is a preventable act of child snatching and abuse?

What have we become in 2018, that funding is given to these American Institutions who act with impunity against children?

The full video will be sent to law-enforcement agencies in the USA but there is little optimism that anything will be done in Israel or internationally to stop this daily abuse of children. Only the public can exert pressure.

Meir Givati, an Israeli lawyer specialising in juvenile matters, commented:

I handle cases like this every day, and it seems that once children have been taken, the authorities don’t know what to do afterwards. More often than not, the kids are drugged and we cannot get the data on the long-term damage it does to them. Once children are taken, the road back for return to parents is a long one, often taking many years. By then the bonds may have been broken in families who were loving and responsible. It is devastating what is happening here.

The Schusterman Foundation mentioned in this video was contacted for comment, but did not respond. However, coincidentally, after a sample of video was sent, the authorities in Israel claimed the girl did not mean what she said in the video. This is another common tactic used in hearings.

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Nazi regime follows apartheid South Africa with blacklist of 20 organisations

Campaigners say they will not be bowed by Nazi publication of a blacklist barring members of 20 human rights organizations from territory it controls.

Nazi strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan, who is in charge of efforts to thwart the BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement announced the blacklist on Sunday.

It includes Palestine solidarity and BDS activist organizations across Europe, in South America, South Africa and the United States, as well as the Palestine-based BDS National Committee.

Hassan Jabareen, the director of Adalah, a legal advocacy group for Palestinians, called the Nazi move “reminiscent of South Africa’s apartheid regime which also prepared blacklists in order to punish people and prevent the entry of those opposed to its racist policies.”

Jabareen said the ban was an “overt violation” of the constitutional rights of ‘Israeli’ citizens and of the rights of Palestinians guaranteed under international law to exercise “rights of association for family unification, for employment and for cultural and political exchange.”

A European Union spokesperson told The Electronic Intifada that the bloc is “seeking clarifications from the Israeli authorities” about the blacklist.

“Any decision [or] action that could curtail freedom of expression and association or complicate the space in which civil society organizations operate should be avoided,” the spokesperson added.

There were already strong indications that the Nazi regime was compiling and implementing blacklists, and last March Israel passed a law formalizing the policy of barring entry to BDS supporters…

 

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Nazi Army Shoots Palestinian Child In The Head “During Training”

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

 

Nazi soldiers shot, Wednesday, a Palestinian child with a live round in the head, during “military training” near Tubas, in northeastern West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said the child, only three years of age, was shot with a live round in the head, and is currently in a stable condition.

It added that the child was rushed to Tubas Turkish governmental hospital, and is currently at the Intensive Care Unit.

The child was shot by Nazi soldiers who were conducting live-fire training near Palestinian communities in Tubas.

Nazi military frequently conducts training in Palestinian communities in Tubas, the Jordan Valley of the occupied West Bank, Hebron, and several other areas…

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The Trump administration’s “Seven Forbidden Words”

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Trump Newspeak

By Lawrence Davidson

On the uses of censorship

There is a scene in George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel 1984, where the protagonist, Winston Smith, is having a conversation with a philologist by the name of Syme. Syme is involved in a government effort to restructure the language spoken by the novel’s upper classes, those who have power or work for the ruling party. The language is called “Newspeak”. Syme’s job is to get rid of dangerous words. Here is how he describes his task:

We’re destroying words – scores of them, hundreds of them, every day… The whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought. In the end we shall make thoughtcrime [having unorthodox thoughts] literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

Now let’s shift to another scene, not a literary or fictional scene, but a probable real life one.

Sometime in the month of December 2017, somewhere in the bowels of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, DC, a high-level appointee of the Trump administration moved to take ideological control of the agency’s budget-writing process. This official presented a directive to the agency’s departments, such as the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), listing seven words that were not to be used in budget preparation. If they were, they would be flagged and the document sent back for “correction”. The seven “forbidden” words are: “vulnerable”, “entitlement”, “diversity”. “transgender”, “fetus”, “evidence-based” and “science-based”.

If fully effective, this attempt at censorship… could contribute to undermining several generations of cultural progress, and challenge the “science-based” methodology that serves as a foundation for the modern world.

The higher-ups at the HHS have insisted that there is no “ban” in place. Departments like the CDC can still do research in areas to which these unwelcome key words relate. But this disclaimer is misleading. To do the research you need money, and the money comes from the budget. The “discouragement” of key words is meant to marginalise their related research agendas. If fully effective, this attempt at censorship – for that is what it is – could contribute to undermining several generations of cultural progress, and challenge the “science-based” methodology that serves as a foundation for the modern world.

We already know that President Trump has no time for facts that differ from his personal worldview. That is why the US is not part of the “science-based” treaty to slow down global warming. We also already know that he does not think minorities (both racial/ethnic and sexual) deserve protection under the law. These and other prejudices, worn so publicly by the president of the United States, have let loose a revolt of religious and social reactionaries, perhaps numerically represented by the 33 per cent of Americans who approve of Trump’s performance. These folks would take the country back to a time of discrimination, segregation and scientific know-nothingness. And for Trump these folks are the only ones who really count. He has recently declared that unfavourable polls are “fake news“. This is Trump “making America great again”.

It appears that one way Trump and his allies think this can be done is by censoring the language used by the people in power and those who work for them. As the computer engineer and writer Jem Berkes points out in reference to 1984, “the ultimate aim of Newspeak is to enclose people in an orthodox pseudo-reality and isolate them from the real world”. Sounds a lot like what is happening at HHS.

Can censorship work?

Can this work? It probably already has among the roughly one-third of adult Americans who are sympathetic to Trump’s ultimate aims. These include many Christian fundamentalists and various racist conservative sects, the “alt-right” and Fox TV talking heads. Among those who are of the opposite point of view, both cultural and political progressives, there is no chance that this proposed “orthodoxy” will go unchallenged. Many of this latter group are old enough to remember what the president’s “great America” once looked like – for instance, what life was like before the civil rights acts. And many of those who can see through Trump’s double-talk, of whatever age, have an instinctive preference for equality, fairness and clear thinking.

However, between these two opposing groups lies the insulated masses – the millions who pay little attention to politics and know little of the importance of science. These folks, focused on their day-to-day concerns, are essentially isolated in their localness. They have no sense of what is presently at stake, and therefore find it difficult to think critically about the Trump agenda. For this group, skewing language may well result in skewing their worldview. It is probably from the thinking of this segment of the population that Trump and his agents want to ultimately eliminate the values represented by the “seven forbidden words” and all that they mean for social policy.

Thus, the end game is no more thinking of society and its problems in terms of citizen diversity, minority vulnerability or entitlement based on proven need. For instance, citizens are not to think that sexual minorities are in need of legal protections. Indeed, the country’s LGBT population turns out to have less right to protection than an unborn fetus. In addition, citizens are to no longer to pay heed to evidence-based and science-based arguments when they may call into question the practices of alleged societal customs.

Trump’s use of language

You might find the scenario laid out above farfetched. Yet it correlates well with the way Trump uses language, as well as his devaluing of any objective standard for truth. Thus, Trump’s persistent combination of gross exaggeration and “alternative facts” gives many of his public statements an Orwellian odour.

In his ghost-written book The Art of the Deal, Trump is quoted as stating that “if you tell people a lie three times, they will believe anything”. No doubt he has told himself this more than three times, for he now seems to live his public life by this tenet. There are fantastic and untrue self-aggrandising claims such as, because of the changes Trump is initiating, our children will grow up in a nation of miracles, and we have done more in five months than practically any president in history”. There are also fantastic and untrue negative claims such as some three million votes were cast illegally in the presidential election – all of them apparently for Hillary Clinton, and “[President] Obama founded ISIS, literally”. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Check project, “President Trump has made 1,318 false or misleading claims over [his first] 263 days [in office]. Many of these claims are repeated over and over again – significantly more than three times.

Conclusion

Forbidding specific terminology from the budget language of HHS departments constitutes one avenue of attack against those who refuse to believe Trump’s innumerable lies. You might not believe his fantasies, but you are not to use “evidence-based” counter-arguments if you operate within the executive branch bureaucracies he ultimately controls.

Of course, the implicit censorship inherent in ideology has always played a role in US politics. And, the ultra-conservative ideology behind the “seven forbidden words” gambit has been around for a long time. It dominated economic policy until the New Deal and social policy until the Civil Rights Movement. By modern standards it brought disaster in both realms. So why would anyone want it back? Maybe because the aims of greater economic and racial/ethnic equality make some white citizens feel disempowered and uncomfortable. One way to address that discomfort is to turn the clock back. To do this, you just restructure reality by labelling those parts that you don’t like as “fake”. Trump does this almost daily.

The strategy of eliminating the official use of words like “diversity”, “vulnerable”, “entitlement”, “transgender”, “evidence-based”, “science-based” and “fetus” is part of this effort to turn the clock back. Maybe then, so the story goes, with no words to express these concepts, the uncritical minds of our time will be – as Syme the philologist predicts – unable to think unorthodox thoughts.

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Nothing like a wacky fatwa to begin the New Year

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Zionist lunacy

By Stuart Littlewood

Could the flurry of hate mail from a variety of supposedly Zionist/Muslim/Christian sources be the work of one sad and very disturbed individual?

The silly season has started earlier than usual in 2018. Fatwa number 3 has just arrived:

FATWA
MUSLIM LEAGUE FOR YAHUD ALLIANCE
FILE No. LIT – 1644

To: Stuart Littlewood

A fatwa has been issued against you by the Muslim League for Yahud Alliance in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

It has been evidenced by the documentation provided to us by the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes based in Kuwait.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt it proves that you are one of the world’s extreme Izrail [sic] haters. You have an extensive history of collaboration with the jihadist Muslim Brothers who compose the Palestinian Hamas war criminals in Gaza, with the Palestinian gangster regime in Ramallah and the Iranian-backed Hizbullah heretics in Beirut in the commission of the crime of incitement to genocide against the innocent Izrailite [sic] population, as detailed in the Goldstone Report.

It calls on all educated Sunni Muslims, Christian and Jewish clergy, UK anti-terrorist activists, human rights NGOs, journalists, students, academics, trade unions, British political parties and Members of Parliament to have you incarcerated as a violator of international humanitarian law and a traitor to the ummah.

Other procedures are stipulated, including the application of the Sharia laws from the Hanbali jurists to British racists like you who violate the sacred teachings of the Holy Qur’an regarding the Izrailite waqf entitlement, as the People of the Book, to the Holy Land Of Izrail.

As an affiliated NGO with the International Criminal Court in the Hague, we will do our part to bring you, a corrupt kaffir and harbi, to justice.

A copy of this decree has been handed to the Home Office in London to have you inscribed on the international no-fly lists and to confiscate your passport.

As well, it is deposited with the International Council of Imams in Djakarta for their separate actions against you.

We have also requested that Scotland Yard seek a warrant for your arrest as an interim measure, pending a trial for aiding denominated terrorist regimes in violation of UK anti-terrorism laws.

O Allah! let Your glorious Majesty reign upon the entire world with the arrogant kaffis [sic] and harbis burning in the Hellfires as promised to us by Your Messenger of Wonder, Muhammad, peace be upon Him.

O Allah! let this ugly man’s face be forever covered with the dung of donkeys for the stench he has emitted by trampling on Your Holy People of the Book and betraying the noble English people.

Sealed By:

His Excellency Sheikh Naheed ibn Umar AlHaq, DML

Supreme Justice

Sharia Court

Muslim League for Yahud Alliance

Chittagong, Bangladesh

This is word-for-word the same bollox as fatwas sent to other pro-Palestinians, including prominent churchman Dr Stephen Sizer, by the “World Muslim Zionist Organization in Dhaka”. So, is the Muslim League for Yahud Alliance (whoever they are) cyber-scribbling for the WMZO? And I don’t see them on any International Criminal Court NGO list, nor do they seem to have a web presence.

Here’s another fatwa I received back in 2009 from the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes which is also a flunkey of the WMZO, apparently:

COALITION AGAINST PALESTINIAN WAR CRIMES

File No. TG-4617

A fatwa has been issued against you by the World Muslim Zionist Organization in Dhaka.

It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are one of the world’s top Jew-haters, with an extensive history of collaboration with the Palestinian war criminals in Gaza and Ramallah.

It calls on jurists, NGOs and governments to immediately take all the necessary measures to have you incarcerated as a traitor to the British people.

Other procedures are stipulated, including the application of the Sharia laws to disloyal individuals like you who emanate from the People of the Christian Book and live in the Dar al-Harb.

As an NGO, we will do our part to bring you, the kuffir, to justice.

A copy of this letter has been handed to the Home Secretary. It is also being sent to Interpol and deposited with the UK Council of Imams.

We have been promised an investigation by MI6 which may entail the seizure of your computer files.

Muhsir al-Mutawakil

Chairman

The issuer of the 2009 fatwa, Muhsir al-Mutawakil, turned out to be the man behind the Boycott of Palestinian Goods and Services campaign, a kind of reverse “Boycott Israel” operation based in Canada, a favourite hang-out for Zionist extremists. Al-Mutawakil is a Palestinian Arab from Rafah in the Gaza Strip who converted to Judaism.

Where is he now?

Around that time I was branded an enemy of Palestine by the Palestinian embassy in London. Then I was slapped with a fatwa by a crazed Christian-Zionist branding me an enemy of the Israeli people and demanding $10,950 otherwise he and his “disciples” would have me removed from my job, barred from the Holy Land and put under close surveillance.

He styled himself His Eminence The Very Reverend Charles J. Edgbaston, DD, PhD, Chair, Christians for Moses Ministries Inc. and Rector, Zion College of Canada. Neither of those organisations had a web presence.

This freak was in a league of his own. He said he’d broadcast the sentence of his church court to the media and my family. His disciples were “empowered to facilitate” my removal from my place of work. He was applying to the Home Office to revoke my passport and he warned that medical and pension benefits might be stopped and my bank accounts frozen. And he had ordered his goons to put me under close surveillance. He was also getting Israel to ban me from the Holy Land.

And he’d do all this unless I handed over a suitcase full of US dollars.

The charge-sheet he sent me provides an entertaining window into the mindset, hatred and self-delusion that drives some Christian Zionists. It is headed NOTICE OF JUDICIAL SENTENCE BY ECCLESIASTICAL COURT and begins:

Reliable sources in the Anglican community have informed Christians for Moses Ministries that you are committing slander against the holy state of Israel and its holy Jewish people, singing the praises of Palestinian Islamic terrorists and committing an assorted variety of other related reactionary activities.

So, Edgbaston was asking the Anglican community rather than the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes for false intelligence.

Our disciples in London corroborate this news. This constitutes a disproportionate abuse of your Christian upbringing and calls into question your British residency.

My British residency was being questioned? Jeepers. Was I about to be ethnically cleansed from my UK ancestral homeland and my house demolished at gunpoint by a D9 Caterpillar?

And was the good reverend defending the same “holy” state of Israel that was founded on terror, shows contempt for international law, flourishes by ethnically cleansing the resident population and now stands accused of war crimes?

Review by our Investigations Department of the evidence submitted in your dossier clearly reveals that the views and activities you have adopted on behalf of the enemies of Israel are obscene and racist.

The allegations continued:

You act as a stooge of the Palestinian Islamic terrorists, engaging in a demonization and negation of the holy Jewish people and their Zionist state… I want you to realize that your outrageous behaviour is unforgiveable. Zionist Israel is a revolutionary micro-state whose existence has permeated the world with universal morality.

Military blockade, economic strangulation, wholesale land and water theft, racial subjugation, demolition of homes, war on helpless civilians with nowhere to run, etc, etc – this is what passes for universal morality in the Zionist world, apparently.

He concluded:

It is now abundantly clear to the entire world that Palestinianism is the insistence on an ethnically-exclusive state for ethnically-defined Arab Muslim people only. The so-called Palestinian people are not enduring any brutal occupation but the Christians under the Palestinian Arabs are… Israel, in fact, maintains no “occupation”.

Edgbaston claimed to have 55,000 followers worldwide and he caused a fair amount of consternation among the people he threatened. Did they really think the British authorities would do the bidding of a religious loon demanding money with menaces? It would be interesting to know how much the good reverend made from his nasty extortion racket.

Father Antoine Habib, a contributor to this website, claimed:

The Very Rev. Dr Charles Edgbaston has forwarded over $10 million to victims of Arab terror in Israel. Together with Christian Zionists all over the world, he has also brought tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab and Russian lands to Israel. Recently, he financed the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes research which was sent to the Goldstone Commission.

I don’t suppose those in receipt of Edgbaston’s generosity questioned where the money came from.

And another contributor said Muhsir al-Mutawakil, who issued my 2009 fatwa, founded the Coalition Against Palestinian War Crimes. It wouldn’t surprise me, if you followed the links, that all these people turned out to be one and the same.

Where is the Reverend Edgbaston now? Still blackmailing seekers of justice? Working on other programmes for the Zionist cause under new identities?

Perhaps the World Zionist Organisation, which really does exist, could please assure everybody that none of the shadowy organisations named above are associated with the WZO or tasked with spewing hate mail on its behalf.

It was bad enough to discover we are plagued on all levels by fubared Christian-Zionists, especially in the US. And until recently I couldn’t believe that creatures such as Muslim-Zionists existed. But now that Saudi Arabia and possibly other Arab factions are in bed with Israel, I suppose this mad mutation is now stalking the Middle East.

Whoever that shady sheikh in Chittagong is (alias The Very Reverend Charles Edgbaston? alias Muhsir al-Mutawakil? alias Fr Antoine Habib?) his fatwa paints a lurid picture of what we in the West would become if Sharia law was ever allowed to gain the foothold some have been campaigning for. On the other hand there’s a lot to be said for adopting its donkey dung treatment to punish Zionist hasbara trolls.

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A moment of significance and opportunity for Ethiopia

NOVANEWS

Ethiopian prisoners

By Graham Peebles

Since November 2015 unprecedented protests have been taking place in Ethiopia. Angry and frustrated at the widespread abuse of human rights and the centralisation of power in the hands of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), tens of thousands have taken to the streets. The ruling party’s response to this democratic outpouring has been consistently violent. Hundreds have been killed and beaten by security forces, tens of thousands arrested and imprisoned.

In an attempt to gag the people, a highly repressive state of emergency was imposed in August 2016. It failed, the protests continued, the movement strengthened. The regime then tried to inflame ancient ethnic differences among various groups by staging attacks using plain clothed security personnel. In the border region of Oromo and the Ogaden, Tesfaye Robela of the Ethiopian parliament claims that over 10,000 people have been killed. ESAT News (the sole independent Ethiopian broadcaster, based in Europe and the US) quotes the findings of a parliamentary report into the ethnic clashes, which concluded that “based on interviews with victims of the violence, squarely puts the blame on Somali Region Special Police, local police and militia for perpetrating the killings”. The Liyu police is controlled by the Ethiopian military.

Seizing the moment

Despite these attempts to extinguish the movement for change, the people of Ethiopia are continuing to demand freedom, justice and democracy; this time they will not be silenced. The minority powers within the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition – the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) – have been empowered by the popular uprising and there are signs that they are at last standing up to the majority TPLF members. Under pressure from the OPDO and ASDM, and in a further attempt to distract attention from the protests and undermine the protesters’ claims, on 3 January the government put out a convoluted statement relating to political prisoners.

The prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said the regime would release “some political prisoners”, prisoners that for the last 27 years they have denied even existed. ESAT News reports he went on to announce that “members of political parties and other individuals would be released to widen the political and democratic space”, and that “the government would review the cases of certain individuals affiliated with political parties, including party leaders, [and] in some cases, charges would be dropped or people would be released or pardoned, depending on investigation results”.

While the release of any political prisoners at all would be a move in the right direction, in its present form the policy… is an insult to the thousands languishing in prison for no other reason than they disagree with the ruling Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.

His words, which have been widely reported in mainstream media, were not only disingenuous, they were ambiguous and inconclusive. He failed to acknowledge that those imprisoned for expressing political dissent had been falsely incarcerated; repeatedly stating they were behind bars because they were guilty of breaking the law.

While the release of any political prisoners at all would be a move in the right direction, in its present form the policy, if indeed it is a policy and not simply a public relations exercise aimed at international benefactors, is an insult to the thousands languishing in prison for no other reason than they disagree with the ruling TPLF. The statement is inadequate and needs clarification: who will be considered for release and when? Does it include opposition politicians charged with fictitious terrorist offences under the universally condemned Anti-Terrorist Proclamation of 2009? Will this long-overdue gesture mean that politicians who have been forced to live in exile for fear of arrest and imprisonment can safely return home?

These and other pressing questions need to be raised by opposition groups and human rights organisations, and indeed Ethiopia’s major donors — America, Britain and the European Parliament, all of which have allowed the TPLF to trample on human rights and the people for decades. Intense pressure must be applied on the government to articulate its intentions and, for once in their tyrannical reign, do the right thing and release all political prisoners, including journalists, bloggers, protesters and activists of all kinds.

It was also announced by the prime minister that Maekelewi prison in Addis Ababa, which has been used as a torture chamber by the TPLF for years, will be closed down, and rather bizarrely, turned into a modern museum, unless common sense prevails and it is demolished. This is a positive development but is again short on detail; there has been no mention of what will happen to the inmates. All political prisoners held there should be released unconditionally, and an independent international monitoring group established to oversee the release and or transfer of all other detainees.

The current of change

Despite being enshrined as rights within Ethiopia’s liberally-worded constitution, for over two decades all forms of freedom of speech and political dissent have been virtually outlawed. Anyone who openly disagrees with or questions the ruling party is seen as a threat, and persecuted, arrested, imprisoned and, commonly, tortured. The Anti-Terrorism Act, together with The Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP), both passed in 2009, are the primary tools of suppression within the regime’s arsenal of control.

The days of tyrannical regimes are all but over, those that persist are sustained by the polluted energies of the past and are on their death bed. The people of Ethiopia sense that this is their time, that change is not only possible, but is coming.

Both laws have been widely criticised by human rights groups; responding to the CSP in 2012 Amnesty International said that the law “has had a devastating impact on human rights work, both in terms of the practical obstacles it creates for human rights defenders, and in exacerbating the climate of fear in which they operate”. This is of course precisely what it was intended to do. Commenting on the Anti-Terrorist Proclamation when it was drafted, Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that it provided

the Ethiopian government with a potent instrument to crack down on political dissent, including peaceful political demonstrations… It would permit [indeed has facilitated] long-term imprisonment and even the death penalty for “crimes” that bear no resemblance, under any credible definition, to terrorism.

For 27 years the TPLF group within the coalition has dominated all life in the country and like all such tyrannical regimes it has ruled through violence and fear. But we are living in new times. The days of tyrannical regimes are all but over, those that persist are sustained by the polluted energies of the past and are on their death bed. The people of Ethiopia sense that this is their time, that change is not only possible, but is coming.

The government’s half-baked move to release a few political leaders will not appease anyone, but should embolden many. It reveals a crack in the democratic facade presented by the regime, which must be split open under the force of sustained political activism, civil disobedience and public protest.

The minority members of the coalition — the OPDO and ANDM — now have an opportunity, indeed a responsibility, to act boldly, to stand up and take a lead. As representatives of the two largest ethnic groups in the country they are in a position to do a number of things: demand the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Charities and Societies Proclamation be immediately repealed, compile a comprehensive list of all political prisoners (working in cooperation with Amnesty International or the Ethiopia Human Rights Project), and vigorously press for their immediate release. Then, provided opposition politicians are released and political groups outside the country — including Ginbot 7 — are allowed to operate freely, work vigorously to campaign for fair and open elections (such a thing has never taken place in Ethiopia) to be held sometime in late 2019. This is a moment of significance in the country. There is an unstoppable force for justice and freedom sweeping across the world and Ethiopia is firmly within that current of change.

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Ahed Tamimi Should Stay in Prison Because She Might Slap Again — Israeli Ethicist

NOVANEWS

Featured image: Prof. Asa Kasher (Source: Mondoweiss)

One month after she slapped a soldier in occupied Nabi Saleh, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi faces a final bail hearing today at court.

Tamimi has been imprisoned since December 19 for the December 15 incident. The Israeli prosecution is trying to make Ahed Tamimi a terrorist.

And now Israel’s greatest ethical authority (not by me though), Professor Asa Kasher, has come to join the chorus.

Yesterday, Kasher appeared as a commentator on Ahed’s case. In news coverage for the Dutch NOS Journaal, he is seen viewing a video of her slap (see link from 7:47).

Here’s the text of his short interview:

Kasher: “So she is permanently provocative. So I can understand the judge” [who has so far not released Ahed on bail, unlike her cousin Nour, ed].

Interviewer: “But she’s a minor. How can she be dangerous?”

Kasher: “Dangerous in the sense that she can slap the… slap another officer, and another… ‘Dangerous’ doesn’t need to mean jeopardizing life. It means breaking law and order. I mean, not acting properly, to the extent that disturbs the people from accomplishing their missions.”

Get it? Ahed has simply disturbed the soldiers from accomplishing their mission – which had included shooting her cousin Mohammed in the face earlier that day, and occupying their village as they do daily. That’s dangerous – because it’s a really important mission. And Ahed could slap again, and again. Who knows, one day she could come to slap the Chief of Staff, and then all hell would break loose.

But it is Asa Kasher who is far more dangerous than Ahed Tamimi. Because he is a kind of moral authority, and particularly where Israel’s military occupation is concerned, because he is the author of the Israel Defense Forces Ethics code (written in 1994). Kasher has recently also been commissioned by Education Minister Naftali Bennnett to write an ‘ethics code’ for Israeli universities, the main purpose of which was to stifle any discussion of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS ). The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as well as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) joined Israeli academics in condemning the document for its encroachment on academic freedom.

Kasher’s ethical sensibility can be downright shocking. In 2008, he was appointed an ‘objective expert’ (despite his work for the military) in a case involving military experimentation with nerve gas – on Israeli soldiers. Eighteen Israeli paratroopers had filed a petition against the army, asserting that their induction into the paratroops (back in early 1970’s) was conditioned on participating in the nerve gas experiment – with anthrax – an experiment that had failed at its first stage when it was conducted on animals. Kasher supported the principle of conducting such experiments.

“[T]he participation of soldiers in compulsory or reserve service in medical experiments in the military framework must be carried out in consideration of building the force or considerations of activating the force”, he said. He opined that this was balanced, because “It is permitted to endanger soldiers”, but only “on the condition that this is to save human lives”, he wrote.

Nonetheless, Kasher opined that there is no moral prohibition from hiding secret details about an experiment from soldiers.

“It could be that certain aspects of the medical experiment are secret, based on considerations of national security. It is better that the enemy will not be familiar with the army’s abilities and its points of weakness”, he wrote.

So, it could be better not to tell the soldiers, according to Kasher, in case they tell “the enemy”.

“Some details of an experiment may be hidden from soldiers who have to decide whether to participate in it,” he continued. “Secrecy does not harm the principle of free consent.” 

Wait, let me repeat that one:

“Secrecy does not harm the principle of free consent”.

Wow, what ethics. You let someone decide if they want to drink water or not, and you keep it secret that the water is actually poisoned. For Kasher, the water is still kosher. It’s still “free consent” – the person just didn’t know about the poison. Their problem.

Such a person, with such atavistic, corrupt, skewed morals and ethics, with such political bias, should not be taken seriously by anyone. It is a wonder he is a professor. But in Israel, Kasher is taken very seriously. And he’s giving a kosher stamp not only for Ahed Tamimi’s treatment until now, but for what is to come next. He is manufacturing consent for her further incarceration. The man who commissioned Kasher to write the mentioned ‘ethics code’ for universities, Education Minister Bennett, has also suggested that Ahed Tamimi, as well as her cousin Nour, spend “the rest of their days in prison”.  

Will Bennett now commission Kasher to write a new ‘ethics code’ specifically legitimizing the indefinite detention of young girls for slapping soldiers? I am sure Kasher would be up to the challenge.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Ahed Tamimi Should Stay in Prison Because She Might Slap Again — Israeli Ethicist


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