Archive | April 6th, 2018

‘Russia will never be our friend, we’ll slap them when needed’


‘Russia will never be our friend, we’ll slap them when needed’ – US envoy to UN

Zionist Nikki Haley has erupted in another fiery Russophobic rant, warning that Russia will “never be America’s friend.” Moscow can try to behave “like a regular country,” but the US will “slap them when we need to,” Zionist Haley said.

The US ambassador to the UN is not known for her friendly stance toward Moscow, but her new take on US-Russia relations stands out among even her most rabid ramblings. Speaking at Duke University in North Carolina on Friday, Zionist Haley admitted that friendly relations with Russia is an unlikely prospect, adding that the Trump team has done more against Moscow than any other administration since Ronald Reagan’s tenure.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley © Mike Segar

“Russia’s never going to be our friend,” Zionist Haley told students at a Q&A session, responding to a question about “holding Russia accountable” for alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The diplomat said Washington still works with Moscow “when we need to, and we slap them when we need to.”

She then raised the stakes further: “Everybody likes to listen to the words. I’m going to tell you – look at the actions,” Haley urged. “We expelled 60 Russian diplomats/spies, we have armed Ukraine so that they can defend themselves,” she added.

According to the UN envoy, the US is doing “two things Russia would never want us to do,” namely enlarging the military and expanding its energy policy. “So, this president has done more against Russia than any president since Reagan,” she asserted.

“You haven’t seen the end of what this administration will do to Russia. You will continue to see that play out,” she stressed.

READ MORE: Trump suggested meeting with Putin in Washington, DC

Cooling down the degree of Russia-bashing in her speech, Haley said the US and Russia do cooperate on Afghanistan and Africa, looking out for areas of mutual interest. Meanwhile, she claimed, “our relations with Russia depend solely on Russia.”

However, the Russian leadership can make life easier “if they decide to be a good actor and deal in the international community like regular countries,” the ambassador noted, adding that “they will see more countries want to work with them.”

The topic of Russia-bashing and Moscow’s alleged interference in US democratic processes seems far away from dwindling, despite no solid evidence being presented so far to the public. Moscow has repeatedly brushed off the claims. “Until we see facts, everything else will be just blather,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Munich last month.

However, there could be signs of improvement on the horizon. Donald Trump has recently suggested meeting Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Washington, DC. In March, he said the two leaders “will be meeting in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race which is getting out of control.” Putin and Trump have so far met twice.

The first meeting occurred during the G20 summit in Germany last July, and the second took place on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam in November. President Putin, as well as several Russian officials, has continuously signaled Moscow’s readiness to improve ties with the US and the West, based on trust and respect.

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Interview: Middle East Turmoil: Nazi Massacre, Palestinian Grievances


Interview: Middle East Turmoil: Israeli Massacre, Palestinian Grievances

by Richard Falk

The Middle East is Heating Up — Again: An Interview with Richard Falk (with C.J. Polychroniou)

[Prefatory Note: This is a somewhat modified text of an interview of two weeks ago conducted by the Greek journalist and author, C.J Polychroniou. Since then several developments have occurred, none more significant than the Return Home Land Day demonstrations of March 30, 2018. The original interview appeared in several online publications. The format is altered to make somewhat more reader friendly.]

CJP: Richard, let’s start with Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy there by May of this year. First, is this legal from the standpoint of international law, and, second, what are likely to be the long-term effects of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on the region as a whole?

RF: There is no question, Chronis, that Trump’s Jerusalem policy relating to recognition and the move of the American embassy is regionally and religiously provocative and disruptive, underscoring the abandonment by Washington of even the pretense of being a trustworthy intermediary that can be relied upon by both sides to work for a sustainable peace between the two peoples. Some critics of the initiative are saying that the U.S. is free to situate its embassy in Jerusalem, but the whole of Jerusalem isn’t Israel. The status of this holy city remains to be determined and East Jerusalem, where the Old City is located, which for the present is considered to be an ‘occupied territory’ in international humanitarian law.

Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a clear violation of international humanitarian law, which rests on the central proposition that an occupied territory should not be altered in any way that changes its status and character without the consent of the occupied society. It also is a unilateral rejection of a near unanimous international consensus, endorsed by the United Nations, that the future of Jerusalem should be settled by negotiations between the parties as a part of a broader peacemaking process. Israel had much earlier violated both international law and breached this international consensus by unilaterally annexing an enlarged Jerusalem, and declared that the whole city, within expanded boundaries, would be the ‘undivided, eternal capital’ of Israel. It is notable that the General Assembly on December 21, 2017 approved by an overwhelming majority of 128-8 (35 abstentions) a strong condemnation of the U.S. move on Jerusalem, with even America’s closest allies joining in this vote of censure.

It is difficult to predict the long-term consequences of this diplomatic rupture. It depends, above all, on whether the U.S. Government acts convincily to restore its claim to act as a conflict-resolving intermediary. The Trump administration continues to insist that it is working on a peace plan that will require painful compromises by both Palestine and Israel. Of course, given the unconditional alignment of Washington with Netanyahu’s views of Israel and the Palestinian future, as well as the orientation of those entrusted with drafting the plan, it is highly unlikely that even Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, generally accommodationist will be inclined to enter a diplomatic process that is virtually certain to be weighted so heavily in favor of Israel. Yet as many have come to appreciate, nothing is harder to predict than the future of Middle Eastern politics.

At the same time, Jerusalem has an abiding significance for both Islam and Christianity that makes it almost certain for the indefinite future that there will be formidable regional and civilizational resistance to subsuming Jerusalem under Israeli sovereign control.


CJP: Israel appears bent on restricting Iran’s rising influence as a regional power in the Middle East. How far do you think the US can go in assisting Israel to contain Tehran’s strategy for empowering Shia’s?

Richard Falk: Israel and Saudi Arabia are both for different reasons determined to confront Iran, and quite possibly, initiate a military encounter with potentially widespread ramifications for the entire region, if not the world. A quick glance at the Syrian conflict suggests how complex and dangerous is this effort to destabilize the Iranian governing process, with the dual objectives of destabilizing the governing process mixed with the more ambitious goal of causing civil strife of sufficient magnitude as to produce a civil war, and ideally from the perspectives of Iran’s adversaries, regime change.

The Israeli adherence to this recklessness seems partly motivated by its overall security policy of seeking to weaken any country in the region that is hostile to its presence and has the potential military capability to threaten Israeli security and regional role in a serious manner. Israel has been so far successful in neutralizing each of its credible adversaries in the region (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Syria) with the exception of Iran. In this sense, Iran stands out as the last large unfinished item on Israel’s post-1967 geopolitical agenda. Israel’s real intentions are difficult to pin down, shifting with context and perceived opportunity. Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders frequently manipulate the alleged Iranian threat to cause fear among Israelis. Their goal seems to be the mobilization of domestic support for adhering to an aggressive foreign policy. This manipulation panics many Israeli security specialists who express are more alert to the risks of an actual military confrontation with Iran than are political leaders.

Saudi motivations are quite different, associated with a fierce regional rivalry that is articulated in terms of a sectarian clash between Shia and Sunni Islam, aggravated by a concern that Iran’s influence increased as a result of the Iraq and Syrian Wars, which both seem to have outcomes favorable to Tehran. The sectarian rationale of the conflict seems intended to disguise the more fundamental explanation, which is that there is a power struggle between these two sovereign states to determine which one will achieve regional ascendancy. The sectarian explanation was also somewhat undermined by the intensity with which the Saudis and other Gulf monarchies used their financial and diplomatic resources to crush the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt despite its strong Sunni identity. From the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 Tehran looked upon the monarchy governing Saudi Arabia as corrupt and decadent in the same manner as it regarded the Shah’s dynastic rule in Iran as politically illegitimate.

Your focus on how far the U.S. can go in restricting Iran’s influence is difficult to assess at this point. Trump’s virtual repudiation of the agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program seems to express a commitment to join with Israel and Saudi Arabia to engage in coercive diplomacy, consisting of intensifying sanctions, covert operations to encourage internal opposition, and a variety of military threats. Where this will lead, if indeed it goes forward in defiance of the other parties to the agreement and almost all UN members, is anybody’s guess, but it is a highly irresponsible diplomatic gambit that risks a deadly ‘war of choice.’

Trump’s regional diplomacy, such as it is, has been most notable for giving even greater emphasis to the ‘special relationships’ with Israel and Saudi Arabia than earlier American leaders. Even previously, under Obama, George W. Bush, and prior presidents, the subordination of American strategic interests and national values to this posture of unquestioning support, which is the operational significance of designating these links as special relationships.

CJP: Syria’s civil war not only continues unabated but the country has become a battlefield for the spread of the influence of various powers in the region, including Turkey and Russia. Do you see a way out of this mess?

Richard Falk: The Syrian War is among the most complex conflict patterns in the history of warfare. Not only is there an internal struggle for control of the Syrian state that has been waged by not one, but by several insurgent movements that are not even compatible with one another. There is also a regional proxy war pitting Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar against Iran, with Turkey playing a confusing role that sometimes seems guided by anti-Damascus goals but at other times is preoccupied with curtailing the Kurdish challenge. The various national struggles of the Kurds for autonomous rights, possibly independent political communities, threatens the territorial integrity of several Middle Eastern states, as well as Syria. In addition to all of this there are major multi-faceted and fluid Russian and American involvements on opposite sides, although not even this opposition is clear cut and consistent. For a time there was an almost collaborative effort to defeat ISIS and obtain a Syrian ceasefire, although the basic involvement has been to put Russia on the side of the Damascus government and the U.S. as aligned with the insurgencies.

Because the anti-ISIS dimension of the conflict is at odds with the anti-Damascus dimension, depending on the priority accorded to one rather than the other, alignments are contradictory and shifted over time. Sometimes precedence has been given to achieving regime-change in Damascus by removing Assad from power, and in such contexts, it was acknowledged silently that ISIS was the most effective military challenge on the ground being mounted against the Syrian government. At other times, the counterterrorist campaign against ISIS was given uppermost prominence, and there was even high-level indications that Washington was willing to live with the Assad regime, a position given added credence recently due to the success of the Syrian government in quelling its opposition, making continued opposition futile politically and irresponsible ethically. Whenever pragmatism gained the upper hand, Russia and Iran were accepted as partners in these efforts to defeat and destroy ISIS.

All wars eventually come to an end, and I am sure Syria will not be an exception. Yet it difficult at present to project a solution that brings about more than a ceasefire, and even this kind of ending of what has become an orgy of senseless killing is highly elusive, as each of the many parties to the conflict jockeys violently for minor positional advantages to improve its bargaining leverage when the conflict enters some kind of negotiating phase. Although all wars end eventually, internal wars of this kind, especially with such complex regional and international aspects, can simmer for decades with no clear winner or loser as has been the case in the Philippines and Colombia. It seems as if at present the Syrian government believes it is on the verge of victory, and is pressing for an outcome in East Ghouta and Idlib such that it will not be expected to make significant concessions.

The best hope, which has been the case for several years, is that the various parties will recognize that the situation is indeed a mess that is causing mass suffering and widespread devastation without producing political gains. Yet translating that recognition into a formula that produces an end to the violence has so far proved futile and frustrating as each party sees the conflict from its partisan perspective of gain and loss.

 CJP: With the two-state solution having ceased long ago being a viable alternative, what are the most likely prospects for the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations?

Richard Falk: The safest response is to anticipate a persistence of the present status quo, which involves continuing Israeli expansionism by way of the settlements and the persistence of the Palestinian ordeal, with some resistance in the occupied West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and a growing global solidarity movement exerting pressure on Israel in the form of the BDS campaign. There may be some attention given to a variety of proposals to end the conflict by revived diplomacy. The Trump blustery promise of ‘a deal of the century’ has received skeptical attention, but its likely one-sidedness makes it almost certain to be a non-starter, especially as the Israeli government feels insufficient pressure to produce a peaceful solution based on a genuine political compromise and the Palestinian Authority remains unwilling to accept a demilitarized statelet as a token Palestine state, or even to participate in negotiations that are so obviously stacked against it. For public relations reasons, the international consensus clings to the two-state solution even though, as your question suggests, its viability has long been superseded by Israeli expansionist policies intended to fulfill the Zionist goal of making the boundaries of Israel coterminous with the whole of the Jewish biblical conception of the ‘promised land.’

There are other outcomes that are possible. Daniel Pipes has been promoting what he dubbed ‘the victory caucus,’ which posits Israel as the victor in the struggle to establish a Jewish state and Palestine the loser. Pipes argues that diplomacy has failed to resolve the conflict after years of effort, and hence that the only alternative is for one side to win and the other to lose if peace is to be established. He encourages Israel to escalate pressure on the Palestinians to make them see the light, accept the reality of a Jewish state, and move on. Such an initiative is distasteful to those who support the Palestinian struggle, and it seems oblivious to the claims of international law and international morality as these are generally understood in the 21stcentury when colonialism and ethnic nationalism are illegitimate forms of political control and the right of self-determination has become universally accepted as an inalienable right of an oppressed people in the circumstances of the Palestinians.

In my view, neither the two-state nor a consensual one-state outcome of the struggle is currently within the realm of political feasibility. We are necessarily speculating about future political scenarios within the domain of ‘political impossibility.’ Yet the impossible sometimes happens. Colonialism was successfully challenged, the Soviet Union collapsed, South Africa renounced apartheid, the Arab Spring erupted. In none of these cases did such occurrences seem possible except in retrospect. After the events, as expected, experts appeared who explained why these impossible developments were, if closely considered, inevitable.

In this spirit, I think it useful to acknowledge the limits of rational assessment, and either remain silent, or offer for consideration, a solution that is ‘impossible,’ yet ‘desirable’ from the perspective of humane values, which in this case involves a secure, equitable, and sustainable peace for both peoples that is, above all, sensitive to their equality and to their distinct, yet legitimate, claims to self-determination. I find it unimaginable to realize such a peace within the current structure of the Middle East, which consists of a group of artificial and autocratic states held together by varying mixtures of coercion, corruption, and external military assistance. Israel/Palestine peace cannot unfold in a benevolent manner without a structural return to the Ottoman framework of regional unity and ethnic community, and possibly Islamic caliphate, adapted to post-colonial realities. Such a stateless Middle East would reverse the harm inflicted on the region by the imposition of European territorial states through the infamous Sykes-Picot diplomacy.

 CJP: South Africa’s former apartheid system has been employed analytically by many to describe the current status of the state of Israel with regard to it’s treatment towards Palestinians. Indeed, it is from such a comparison that the Boycott, Divestment and Sactions (BDS) movement was borne, but to what extent are the two cases compatible? South Africa was pretty much isolated by the early 1980s, but the same cannot be said about Israel today. In fact, Israel has even managed to expand recently it’s network of allies with Greece and the Sunni states. So, what are your thoughts on the comparison between the former South African apartheid regime and Israel and the effectiveness of the strategy of BDS?

RF: Your question raises two distinct issues: Is Israel responsibly regarded as an ‘apartheid state’? If so, is Israeli apartheid similar to South African apartheid?

Prior to responding to these questions, it seems helpful to clarify the status of the international crime of apartheid as it has evolved in international law, taking particular note of the fact that although the name and core idea is based on the specific condemnation of South African racism, the international crime is detached from this precedent. The essence of the international crime is any form of discriminatory domination by one race over another that relies on ‘inhuman acts’ to sustain its purposes. In this important sense, Israeli forms of domination over the Palestinian people may be quite different than the domination of whites over blacks in South Africa and yet constitute the international crime of apartheid. Treating apartheid as an international crime is based both on the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and on the 2002 Rome Statute governing the operations of the International Criminal Court that categorizes ‘apartheid’ in Article 7 as one of eleven types of Crime Against Humanity.

In a study commissioned by the UN Economic and Social Commission, Virginia Tilley and I concluded that the policies and practices of Israel toward the Palestinian people as a whole satisfy the requirements of the international crime of apartheid. Our conclusion is based on the view that Israel, to maintain an expanding Jewish state has subjected the Palestinian people to structures of subjugation and victimization that are sustained by excessive violence and other inhuman means. It was our judgment that Jews and Palestinians are distinct ‘races’ as the term is understood in international law. The scope of Israeli apartheid is based on coherent strategies designed to subjugate the Palestinian people whether they are living under occupation, the most obvious case, or as a discriminated minority within Israel or as residents in refugee camps in neighboring countries or living is a global diaspora as involuntary exiles. Each of these domains is connected with the Israeli efforts to ensure not only the prevalence of a Jewish state, but also a secure Jewish majority population that could only be achieved by a processof dispossession, dispersion, and fragmentation, as well as by the denial of any right of return.

South African apartheid was very different in its operation as compared to Israeli apartheid. For one thing, white South Africa was a minority demographic in the country and critically dependent on black labor. For another, the South African concept of law, citizenship, and democracy was delineated along racial lines, while Israel claims to be an inclusive democracy, although is more accurately understood to be an ethnocracy. Despite these fundamental differences, the core reality of ‘inhuman acts’ and ‘discriminatory structures of domination’ are present, although distinctly enacted, in both national settings.

Finally, it should be understood that such allegations of Israeli apartheid are made on the basis of academic study, and while they may be persuasive morally and politically, it is also true that until a valid tribunal passes judgment on such allegations, the legal status of the allegations remains unresolved, and is of course feverishly contested by Israel and its supporters.

CJP: Overall, what are the prospects for restored stability and a positive future for the countries in the Middle East?

RF: Without the intervention of unanticipated developments, the prospects are poor. On one level, the extreme turmoil in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and neighboring Libya are likely to continue and could spread to additional states. On a second level, the regional rivalries between Iran and a Saudi led coalition on the one side and Israel on the other, seem likely to intensify. On a third level, there is no plausible scenario for establishing a sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. On a fourth level, with the reassertion of Russian engagement and the U.S. pursuit of a strategic agenda related to Israel, oil, political Islam, Iran, and nuclear nonproliferation, the region has as in the Cold War become a site of dangerous geopolitical maneuver and confrontation. On a fifth level, perhaps less serious than the others, is the sort of intra-regional tensions that have given rise to the Gulf Crisis centered upon the relations of Qatar to other Gulf countries, and to the role of Turkey as partner and antagonist, especially in relation to the continuing search of the Kurdish peoples for self-determination. Finally, on a sixth level, there is almost certain to be new expressions of internal strife and various extremisms that strike against the West, inviting retaliation, which will probably be accompanied by further migratory flows that aggravate relations between the Middle East and Europe.

The drastic and prolonged victimization of the Middle East also exhibits the failure of the West to understand, much less address, the root causes of conflict and chaos that have produced mass suffering and material deprivations throughout the region. These root causes can be traced back at least a century to the imposition of European style states on the region, reflecting colonial ambitions, in the aftermath of World War I and by way of a colonial pledge to the world Zionist movement to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, then inhabited by a Jewish minority not larger than 6%. The other principal root cause related to the abundance of oil in several parts of the Middle East, which created rentier mentalities in development contexts and provided strong strategic motivations for intervention and control by global political actors.

In the end, this complexity joining the historical past to the tormented past creates a dismal set of prospects for the future of the Middle East. At this point, only paradoxical, although unrealistic, hopes for prudence and moderation can make the portrayal of the situation less gloomy than the evidence and trajectory suggest.


After the Interview: A Postscript on the Land Day Massacre (‘Great March of Return’)


The precise statistics remain inconclusive, although there exists general agreement that more than 15 Palestinians were killed by live ammunition fired by Israeli snipers stationed at the border with Gaza, another estimated 750 Palestinians were injured by ammo and rubber bullets resulting in an estimated total of 1,500 injuries, including from tear gas dropped on the largely unarmed demonstration. Whether the Israeli behavior should be viewed as ‘excessive force’ or ‘collective punishment,’ or both, is a matter for debate, but there is no question that the killings and firepower were in direct conflict with Israel’s obligations as an Occupying Power as specified in the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s ‘disengagement’ in 2005 did not end the occupation from the perspective of international humanitarian law, but rather rearranged its management, with control and deployments being concentrated on the borders rather than throughout Gaza, and reinforced by periodic massive military incursions causing large numbers of civilian casualties and widespread devastation.

This latest interaction returned the Palestinian litany of grievances to the front pages of the world’s media often accompanied by gruesome pictures, but also revealed two kinds of gaps: between the Western and non-Western media and between the mainstream media response and that of civil society. The mainstream media worries that this is a public relations setback for Israel and urges restraint on both sides. In contrast, the activist segment of civil society condemns the Israeli tactics as constituting a massacre, and calls for an arms embargo. This distinction at the level of response is revealing, with the mainstream and almost every Western government pinning their public hopes on reviving negotiations aiming at a political solution based on the establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestine. Engaged civil society has lost all faith in diplomacy under current conditions, believes only escalating nonviolent pressure can change the political climate sufficiently to make negotiations sufficiently promising to undertake, and then only if the two-state mantra is abandoned once and for all.

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Expelling the Nazi Ambassador (not) and abstaining on UN War Crime investigation


Expelling the Israel Ambassador (not) and abstaining on UN War Crime investigation

People in Ireland have been protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza in every city and many towns across the country. Online polls show a majority want the government to take action through expelling the Israeli ambassador. Yet the southern government abstained on a crucial UN vote to set up an investigation into Israeli war crimes. We’d suggest when you include a look at the map above it becomes very clear that this is yet another example of the Irish state putting its alliance with the imperialist countries that have imprisoned the majority of the worlds population in misery ahead of the wishes of the population.

This isn’t new. During the American invasion of Iraq over 100,000 marched through the streets of Dublin demanding an end to our participation yet the government continued to allow US warplanes to refuel at Shannon. When hundreds of people threatened to physically enter Shannon to stop the refuelling ‘our’ same government deployed riot police and even the army against ‘their’ people’. Last month they sent 80 year old Margaretta D’Arcy to jail for a second time for refusing to stop protesting against that same refuelling, a decade on. And a few days ago they even arrested two TD’s for daring to try and inspect a clearly visible US military plane that was on the runway for weapons or prisoners.

Ireland’s vote at the UN last night was part of a consistent pattern of contempt that Irish politicians have for the views of Irish people. In the last decade Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the Green Party have all shown this contempt in power even if whilst in opposition they have pretended to either support Palestinian rights and/or oppose refuelling of war planes. This is the reality of our democracy, every five years we get to vote another bunch of liars into power, to do what they will.

At a time like now when the death toll in Gaza has climbed over 700 their lies literally become a question of life and death. The poll the Journal ran showed almost 3 people wanted the ambassador expelled for every 1 person who opposed that move, yet we can be sure that the government will pay no heed. It is something that is happening elsewhere, both Ecuador and Brazil have withdrawn their Ambassadors from Israel. But look at that recognition map again and the very clear dividing line it illustrates, we will probably see more Ambassadors removed but from the countries of ‘global south’ rather than the imperialist north.

Where does that leave the majority of people in Ireland who are outraged by the assault on Gaza and outraged by government inaction? It suggests a couple of things. Firstly that the ambassador will not be expelled as a result of polite, well-argued calls that explains the case for doing so. Our government knows the case but it has picked a side in this conflict and that is the side of the US and the EU who back Israel. Expulsion will only come about as the result of massive protest that spills over into mass action. Secondly it underlines why we need to build effective direct solidarity with people in Palestine through grassroots organisations rather than official channels . There is already a strong pre-existing tradition of doing just this including many people from Ireland who have travelled to Palestine to observe, participate and help try and break the blockade.

But thirdly that map also shows just how rotten our world is and exposes the networks of power that keep it that way. We live on a planet on which a few are super wealthy while billions do not have enough to eat. This is not the result of some freak of nature or accident but because power has made things that way. Centuries of racist capitalist colonialism have created the systems of power that keep so many down. Those systems are very much still with us, they still constantly reproduce themselves and all too often we are caught up in that reproduction. At this point in history that system is in the process of unleashing environmental catastrophe on most of the people of the planet, ourselves included. The question is can we together act to stop and end it? That’s not a question we will resolve before the end of this Israeli assault on Gaza which is why it is essential to keep protesting. But unless and until we do, such assaults will continue to happen as part of the cost of maintaining this system which places great importance on privilege and profit, above the ideas of justice and people’s actual needs.

WORDS: Andrew Flood WORDS Andrew Flood

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B’Tselem calls on Nazi soldiers to defy shooting orders, lest they commit war crimes


B’Tselem, the respected Human rights NGO, began a media campaign today urging Nazi Defense Forces soldiers posted on the Gaza border to disobey “patently illegal” shoot-to-kill orders against unarmed protesters. Last week, the IDF gunned down 17 such protesters and wounded more than 700 of them. Another wounded protester later died of his wounds. Fresh protests are expected on Friday and the IDF already announced it will keep its Rules of Engagement (ROE) as they are.

The ad appeared on line today and is set to appear in major newspapers tomorrow. The text on B’Tselem’s ad reads:

“Sorry Sir, I cannot shoot

Soldier, the order to use lethal force against civilians who do not pose mortal danger is patently illegal. Using lethal force is only allowed when an actual, immediate threat to human life exists, and when there is no other option.

The responsibility for issuing these unlawful orders rests first and foremost with the policy makers, including the Nazi prime minister, Nazi Defence minister, and the chief of staff. Yet obeying patently illegal orders is a criminal offense and you are duty-bound to refuse complying with them.”

“Patently illegal” is an Nazi military concept, coined after the 1956 Qafr Qassem Massacre, when soldiers of the Border Police murdered 47 Nazi Palestinians after receiving an order to kill anyone outside his house after an impromptu curfew was announced. The defendants claimed they were duty-bound to follow a legal order. The judges found that there are “patently illegal” orders, which may be recognized as “a black flag flying over the order, saying ‘it’s forbidden!’”. They continued:

We’re not dealing with a formal, hidden or not, illegality, not one seen only by scholars of law, but a clear and obvious illegality, a certain and essential illegality of the order itself […] illegality which pierces the eye and enrages the heart, assuming the eye is not blind and the heart is not made of stone or corrupt.”

While the words are stirring, the nature of a “patently illegal” order was always debated. Nazi Soldiers are taught that their duty is to obey a merely illegal order, but that they legally obligated to disobey a “patently illegal” one.

By declaring the ROE used on the Gaza Border as patently illegal, B’Tselem is implicitly warning that not only are soldiers bound to disobey the orders, but obeying them would place the soldiers in legal jeopardy of committing war crimes.

This is the first time NGO has explicitly warned Nazi soldiers that they are about to commit war crimes in advance of the act itself…

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Nazi leaders ordered “calculated” killings of Gaza protesters


Image result for Nazi killings CARTOON

Nazi leaders who ordered troops to open fire on Palestinians taking part in the Great March of Return rallies in Gaza last Friday, even though marchers posed no threat, bear personal responsibility for the deaths and injuries, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

They are responsible for “calculated” killings of unarmed civilians in violation of international law, the human rights group states, warning that Nazi leaders could face prosecution abroad.

In a detailed report on Nazi Holocaust against the marches that coincided with the Palestinian commemoration of Land Day, Human Rights Watch dismantles Nazi claims that the use of military snipers against civilian demonstrators was justified by a “terrorist” threat…


Attempts to retroactively portray Friday’s demonstrators as ‘Hamas’ militants, stone-throwers, or human shields serves only one purpose: to quiet the Nazi conscience.

The Nazi army and Jewish Hasbara apparatus wasted no time blaming the 16 Palestinians killed by Nazi army snipers last Friday for their own deaths. Infographics were released within hours. Talking points distributed. The Nazi army was defending its sovereign border, they said.
Two videos published on the day of the carnage in Gaza, however, show a different story. They appear to show Nazi snipers positioned behind dirt mounds on the other side of the border fence shooting and killing unarmed protesters — carrying neither weapons nor rocks nor Molotov cocktails — who posed absolutely no threat to security forces — or anyone, for that matter.

The first video appears to show Nazi soldiers shooting 19-year-old Abdel Fattah Abdel Nabi in the back as he is running while holding a tire (tires are often burned by protesters across the world, including by Jewish, to provide smoke screens as protection from security forces)…

(Reuters) – Israeli troops shot and wounded about 70 Palestinians among crowds demonstrating at the Gaza-occupied Palestine 1948 border on Saturday, health officials said, after one of the deadliest days of unrest in the area in years.

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Gaza in funerals for the 15 people killed by Nazi gunfire on Friday, and a national day of mourning was observed in the enclave and in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was responsible for the violence. Nazi P M Naziyahu said Nazi regime was protecting its sovereignty and citizens.

Nazi military spokesman said he was checking the details of Saturday’s unrest. It broke out when Palestinians gathered on the border between the Hamas-run enclave and Nazi state then began throwing stones. Palestinian health officials said about 70 were wounded…

At least 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Nazi forces confronting one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years, Gaza medical officials said.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, pressing for a right of return for refugees to what is now ‘Israel’, gathered along the fenced 65-km (40-mile) frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest, local officials said. The Nazi military estimate was 30,000.

Families brought their children to the encampments just a few hundred meters from the Nazi army barrier with Gaza and football fields were marked in the sand and scout bands played.

But as the day wore on, hundreds of Palestinian youths ignored calls from the organizers and the Nazi military to stay away from the frontier, where Nazi soldiers across the border kept watch from dirt mound embankments.

The military said its troops had used live fire only against people trying to sabotage the border security fence, some of them rolling burning tyres and throwing rocks, and that at least two of the dead.

Palestinian health officials said Israeli forces used mostly gunfire against the protesters, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets. Witnesses said the military had deployed a drone over at least one location to drop tear gas…










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Palestine: Jesus’ Broken Heart


Today is Good Friday, the day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. Also today, Deir Yassin, the site of probably the most important event in modern Palestinian history, stands unnamed and unmarked and in clear sight of the most famous Holocaust memorial in the world.
We are now also at the start of the Jewish Passover commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, which Jews often refer to as zeman cherutenu: “The Season of our Freedom”. It is the word cherutenu, particularly the suffix enu“our”, which calls for examination, Because, if for Jews, Pesach is the season of their freedom, celebrating their liberation from slavery and the beginning of their self-consciousness as a people, what about others’ freedom, celebrating others’ liberation from bondage and others’ identity as a people?
Soon it will be April 9th, Deir Yassin Day. April 9th, is also the day when, in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed in Flossenburg concentration camp. What would Bonhoeffer, who spoke up for Jews when so few others did, have made of the massacre of Deir Yassin and its proximity to Yad Vashem? At our 2003 London commemoration Nicholas Frayling, Dean of Chichester Cathedral, speaking of Bonhoeffer, offered an answer:  “I have no doubt that Deir Yassin, in all its horror and with its ironic proximity to Yad Vashem, would have broken the heart of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.”
A series of events separated by time but bound together by meaning: A Jewish narrative of liberation three thousand years ago, the death of a Palestinian Jew two thousand years ago, the death of a German Christian seventy-three years ago and the massacre of over one hundred Palestinian men, women and children seventy years ago.
There was probably no Deir Yassin at the time of the crucifixion and certainly no Yad Vashem, only 1400 metres to the south. The Deir Yassin/Yad Vashem site, though high up, is over three kilometres from where Jesus died, so we are unable to indulge in any fanciful notions that he was able to see the village, certainly not with his earthly eyes. But that’s not the point. Deir Yassin may be some distance from Calvary but it is no distance at all from Yad Vashem; and the massacre at Deir Yassin may have occurred a very long time after the Exodus, but it occurred a very short time after the Holocaust. So we don’t have to be Christians or believers of any kind to know that, as with Bonhoeffer, the sight of this bitterest of ironies would surely have broken Jesus’ heart.

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UK admits source of nerve agent used in attack unknown ‘Video’


Image result for boris johnson CARTOON


Remember the former spy who was attacked by a nerve agent in London?

Posted in Russia, UK, UkraineComments Off on UK admits source of nerve agent used in attack unknown ‘Video’

Seize the moment! Boycott the Nazi regime

Seize the moment! Boycott Israel

They want war? Then launch a full-blown BDS assault on Israel and its supporters

By Stuart Littlewood

There was never a better moment for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) movement to mass-mobilize for a mega-campaign not only to impact more heavily on the lawless Israeli state but also unmask those in business and public life who shamelessly support the criminal programme that was embedded in its DNA while on the Zionists’ drawing board.

Zero tolerance

This could include politicians, businesspeople, entertainers, sports stars, churchmen and the many organizations and fan clubs that nourish the thuggish vanity and horrendous cruelty of the Zionist regime. Zero tolerance is needed. Those who fund or support the inhuman behaviour we have witnessed, not just this week but ever since 1947 (and some would say, long before then), are not fit to be admitted into decent society let alone allowed to run our country and major institutions.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Holocaust Trust, the Jewish Leadership Council are among those who are quick to jump down anyone’s throat with accusations and slurs of anti-Semitism while they themselves endorse (or refuse to condemn) the blatant racism practised by the state that claims to be home to the Jewish people. They need to reflect.

And what about those party goons who wanted to “re-educate” MP David Ward– remember?

Pseudo-Christians who have allowed dangerous Zionist ambition to poison the faith and divert them from their Christian duty deserve no sympathy either.

Media organizations should also be targeted. Many of them simply don’t “do journalism” anymore and are happy to print the Israeli narrative without question.

Blatant lies their peddlers

Even after huge demonstrations protesting against the BBC’s biased reporting, its flagship news “Today” programme, broadcast on Radio 4, on 18 July gave the Israeli ambassador, Daniel Taub, a free platform, courtesy of British licence payers, for another torrent of disinformation that went unchallenged.

Presenter: “Let’s just get some history. Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005 pulling out its settlements there. In 2006 there was a ground offensive…” and he went to to list some of Israel’s major assaults.

Taub: You cannot have a situation where you have 5 million Israelis who are within reach of the longest range missiles smuggled in from Iran… meaning that more than  half of our population has to live within seconds of bomb shelters.

What we’re trying to do in this case is create an extended period of time where people can live quiet and normal lives.

The presenter could have pointed out that millions of Palestinians have lived for decades under constant fear of Israel’s jets, armed drones, helicopter gunships, tanks, naval gunboats, snipers and snatch squads. In the West Bank they have to put up with aggressive Israeli troops manning hundreds of checkpoints and battering down their doors in the dead of night and abducting their children. The Separation Wall cuts them off from their farms, their jobs, their friends and family. They have no bomb shelters and, in overcrowded Gaza, nowhere to run. The BBC presenter could also have asked Taub how a period of calm is going to solve the real problems – i.e. the illegal occupation, the dispossession and expulsions, and the vicious eight-year blockade.

However, he did ask if Israel had a long term plan, to which Taub answered:

In 2005 we pulled out completely. We uprooted 8,000 Israelis precisely because Israelis want to have a viable, prosperous, stable  Palestinian society living next door. Instead of a prosperous Palestinian society taking root Hamas took over in a very brutal coup and started firing missiles against Israel. In that situation the options available to us are limited…

He admitted no blame attaching to Israel when specifically asked.

When you have a terrorist organization like Hamas which doesn’t use arms to protect its civilians but uses civilians to protect its arms, there is no way of defending yourself that doesn’t have some impact on the civilian population. But not defending yourself is not an option.

Dereliction of duty

The lies? In 2005 Israel did not pull out of Gaza “completely”. It continued to occupy Gaza’s airspace and coastal waters and had all entrances and exits sealed, except for the Egyptian border where Israel nevertheless exerted strong influence. Palestinian fishermen cannot even fish their own waters. Palestinians cannot develop and enjoy the benefits of their offshore gas-field. Nothing comes in or out without Israel’s say-so, unless it’s through secret tunnels. That’s still the situation.

The West Bank also remains under military occupation and blockade. Israel has annexed the holy city of Jerusalem. Movement within the occupied and increasingly fragmented territories is severely restricted. The economy is strangled. Little water flows through the taps because Israel steals it. No people on earth are going to tolerate such human rights abuses without hitting back as best they can.

Taub’s false talk of hopes for a prosperous Palestinian society would have been shot down in flames by any competent interviewer. Furthermore, Hamas did not “take over” Gaza in a coup. Hamas’s unexpected victory in the 2006 elections didn’t suit Israel and its sponsors, and sanctions were immediately imposed. A coup by rivals Fatah, supported by the US and Israel, backfired and Hamas chased them out.

The presenter could quite simply have put it to Taub that all the Palestinians want, including Hamas, is an end to the Israeli occupation and their property and livelihoods back, and pressed him on that.

Did the BBC wheel in the Palestinian ambassador on the day his country was being invaded yet again? No.

Those on the “Today” team no doubt see themselves as journalists but do not trouble, even after thousands of complaints, to brief themselves correctly. Either that, or they are under instructions to let Taub and other Zionist mouthpieces shoot any line they like.

I notice that Tel Aviv’s propaganda wordsmiths have been unusually creative. The phrase “doesn’t use arms to protect its civilians but uses civilians to protect its arms”, when referring to Hamas, has become the new Israeli mantra.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Seize the moment! Boycott the Nazi regime

BBC gives Nazi ambassador free rein

BBC gives Israeli ambassador free rein

Israel’s justification for latest assault on Gaza goes unchallenged on flagship “Today” programme

By Stuart Littlewood

Recent scandals calling into question the news-handling skills of Britain’s national broadcaster don’t seem to have improved matters.

After being treated last night to footage of the slaying of Ahmed Jabari, the military leader of Hamas, by an Israeli assassin flying a drone from his armchair and violating Palestinian airspace, I woke this morning to the kind of crass reporting that has sadly become all too common at the BBC.

It’s flagship news programme “Today”, broadcast on Radio 4, ran a particularly idiotic item about Israel’s unleashing of its latest offensive on Gaza and featured an “interview” by John Humphrys with the Israeli ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub. At the time of writing, the latest escalation of violence, called Operation Pillar of Defence, had resulted in the killing of 12 Palestinians, including five civilians – three children, a pregnant woman and a 16 year old boy – and the wounding of dozens more, while three Israelis were killed.

The BBC gave [Israeli ambassador] Taub a free ride. After providing the Israeli ambassador with a comfy platform from which to broadcast his distorted views, why wasn’t the other side given a chance?

Taub, the representative of a brutal occupying power, spoke of 800 missiles fired from Gaza since the beginning of the year but was not questioned about the number of rockets, bombs and tank shells delivered by Israel’s high-tech military into the packed humanity of Gaza in the same period.

Taub wanted Israeli citizens to live in peace and quiet but wasn’t asked why Palestinian citizens are not allowed to do the same.

Taub said over one million Israelis have to run for bomb shelters and their kids can’t go to school for fear of Gaza’s rockets, and any country in that situation would feel the need to respond. He wasn’t reminded that Gaza’s citizens also live in fear of daily Israeli air-strikes, have nowhere to run because the siege makes their tiny enclave a prison, and their schools are still so damaged from Israel’s infamous Operation Cast Lead nearly four years ago that they have to teach double shifts.

Taub declared that sitting and doing nothing was not an option for the Israelis. Its citizens, he said, were “exercising astonishing restraint”. He wasn’t asked how restrained Palestinians were expected to be after 64 years of cruel occupation and abuse and now under daily attack from air and sea and strangulated by a six-year siege?

Taub claimed that seven years ago Israel withdrew from every inch of Gaza to try to create a peaceful situation.

Humphrys failed to point out that Israel still occupies Gaza’s airspace, territorial waters and airwaves and has maintained a vicious and illegal blockade since 2006 when democratically-elected Hamas enforced their right to rule. Nor did he remind Taub that the West Bank remains illegally occupied and tightly sealed even though no rockets are fired from there. He could have suggested – but didn’t – that if rockets were such an issue and Israel was so concerned about the safety of its citizens, all Israel had to do was respect international and humanitarian law, end its illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and halt its illegal blockade of Gaza.

[The “Today”] programme succeeded in relaying and amplifying the Israeli propaganda narrative. For this I blame the researchers and editors and the head of News who, it seems to me, need to go back to journalism school and brush up on the basics.

The BBC gave Taub a free ride. After providing the Israeli ambassador with a comfy platform from which to broadcast his distorted views, why wasn’t the other side given a chance? Where was the Palestinian ambassador, Manuel Hassassian, to refute Israel’s propaganda lies? Was he indisposed, on holiday, in hiding or just “not available for comment”? Or does the BBC’s news agenda not permit even-handedness?

I imagine John Humphrys reads from a script and has little choice over what he says.

True, Humphrys landed a couple of good punches. But despite his reputation as a tough interviewer the programme succeeded in relaying and amplifying the Israeli propaganda narrative. For this I blame the researchers and editors and the head of News who, it seems to me, need to go back to journalism school and brush up on the basics.

A press release from the Palestinian Mission, just arrived as I write, says that the execution of Jabari was followed by over 100 aerial, ground and sea attacks by Israel throughout the Gaza strip. In the last few days the Israeli occupation forces have targeted more than 100 sites in the Gaza Strip.

Hassassian urges the UK government to intervene immediately to stop Israel’s policy of collective punishment, including the killing and injury of innocent civilians, and the continued oppression of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and siege. “The UK government must back its support for the two state solution with actions”.

The conclusion I take away from this fiasco is that Palestinians must die in large numbers so that the psychopath Netanyuahu can win more votes in the coming Israeli election. And elements of the British establishment, including our national broadcaster, seem happy to smooth the way for him.

Hanan Ashrawi, a much-respected Palestine Liberation Organization executive member, issued a statement that Israel’s military campaign was a “blatant provocation in violation of international and humanitarian law” and called on the European Union, the Quartet and the international community to adopt “serious measures”.

Not that these pleas will be heard. Israel’s devoted friend in the Foreign Office, William Hague, says it’s Hamas’s fault: “Hamas bears principal responsibility for the current crisis. I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups. This creates an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack from Gaza.” As usual, he says nothing about Palestinians’ right to live in peace and freedom, or their right to self-defence, or the non-stop assaults by air and sea by Israel.

The conclusion I take away from this fiasco is that Palestinians must die in large numbers so that the psychopath Netanyuahu can win more votes in the coming Israeli election. And elements of the British establishment, including our national broadcaster, seem happy to smooth the way for him.

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Gaza and the West


“Mad dog” Western leaders bent on perpetuating Balfour’s betrayal

By Stuart Littlewood

Stuart Littlewood comments on the cowardice of the British “Establishment”, from the BBC to the government, who fear and obey supporters of Israeli human rights abuse. He argues that these Israel lobbyists have grown so arrogant that they “are lecturing us about what we should and should not say”.

A few evenings ago the BBC World Service broadcast a discussion featuring three people from Gaza and three from the town of Sderot on the Israeli side of the border.

If the programme hoped to bring about a meeting of minds, it fell a long way short. To start with, the BBC failed to set the scene or put the discussion into proper context. The Israeli team argued that the Gazans were given the chance to build their economy after Israel had “withdrawn”, and if the Qassam rockets would stop, they could all live in peace. What might have been an interesting exchange of views degenerated into a boring confrontation. I was left wondering how a calm, constructive conversation would ever be possible.

One of the Gaza team remarked afterwards that their Israeli neighbours showed no empathy, didn’t want to hear the truth and had claimed “God gave us this land”. To an outsider like me, it seemed that the two sides were as far apart at the finish as when the broadcast began, and on different planets entirely.

Listeners were invited to phone, text or email. I sent two messages:

(1) Why are 3,000 Gaza fishermen not allowed to put to sea and earn their living

(2) The siege has nothing to do with Qassam rockets. Palestinians in the West Bank don’t fire Qassams but the Israelis are still in occupation after 40 years and still stealing the land and water.

Of course, they were consigned to the wastepaper basket. I say “of course” because these days I am deeply suspicious of the BBC’s integrity and willingness to handle uncomfortable issues concerning Israel. The first point, about fishing, needs to be raised more often. The second was mentioned by the Gaza team later in the programme but was quickly lost in the hubbub.

Qassams are a “gift” to Israeli propaganda. There is no getting away from the fact that they are indiscriminate weapons and instruments of terror. Westerners will always condemn their use against civilian targets. My own family lived under the onslaught of “Doodlebugs” launched by the Germans against London in World War II. You could hear them coming, and when the motor cut out it was truly terrifying. The unrestrained use of Qassams loses Gazans their moral high ground and it’s time they realized it.

The plight of the Gazans is blamed on Hamas. “All they have to do is stop firing the rockets towards Sderot and other places in Israel, and immediately there will be no problem with the border crossing,” says an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Oh really? Let’s test the truth of that. Islamic Jihad, or whoever deploys the Qassams, would be smart to cease rocketing communities like Sderot for at least two months to test the claim that the siege of Gaza is simply in response to the “rain” of rockets. Then let’s see if the borders are allowed to operate as any other nation’s borders.

Here in the UK a church newspaper has published a chilling report from Fr Manuel Musallam about the cruel conditions in Gaza under siege: “Gaza priest decries Israeli blockade”. Fr Manuel pulls no punches and the editor has received emails, calls and letters from the Jewish lobby objecting to the story and saying how deluded he was to print it. You can send messages of support to the editor by email.

This country’s leadership is now so spineless that supporters of Israeli human rights abuse are lecturing us about what we should and should not say. The sad thing is that they are feared and obeyed by our politicians.

One can perhaps understand how Zionism seemed attractive to the likes of Balfour and others in the corridors of power in London a hundred years ago. The big question today is the sanity of Western leaders who perpetuate Lord Balfour’s catastrophic betrayal of the Arabs and who are bent on pushing the biggest political cock-up of all time to its bitter end. These mad dogs are now snarling and yapping at Egypt for showing a spark of humanity and opening their border to the beleaguered Gazans for respite.

Balfour, would you believe, studied Moral Sciences at Cambridge. Explaining his infamous Declaration of 1917 he said:

In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now occupy that land.

The House of Lords was unhappy with his lunatic scheme. Lord Sydenham warned:

The harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country may never be remedied. What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.

Well, it extends all the way to 2008 and goes to the very heart of world peace. And it’s an angry, septic sore with little prospect of healing while mad dogs tear at it.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, GazaComments Off on Gaza and the West

Shoah’s pages


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