Archive | May 22nd, 2018

Head of Portugal’s national theatre endorses BDS, cancels Nazi cultural event

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Portuguese director and playwright Tiago Rodrigues [PACBI/Twitter]

A Portuguese director and playwright who was scheduled to take part in next month’s Israel Festival, has announced that he is officially joining the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement (BDS).

According to the Israeli Haaretz, Tiago Rodrigues was supposed to perform in Israel twice in the beginning of June but decided to reverse his decision after learning that the festival was part of Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations.

In a Facebook post explaining his decision, the artist said he had initially agreed to take part because he believed that the festival was being organised by “non-profit organisation that presents itself as an artistic project”. Once he realised that the event was tied to the government and to the celebration of Israel’s founding he declined the offer saying he does “not accept the use of [my] artistic work for political purposes without my agreement.”

Rodrigues added that he decided not to perform in the Israel Festival because he believed “that it is the only guarantee that my artistic work will not be used to condone and promote a government that deliberately violates human rights and is currently violently attacking the Palestinian people.”

Rodrigues admitted that given the fact the he also serves as the director of Portugal’s national theatre his “decision might originate diplomatic discomfort.” But he insisted he needed to “remain true, above all, to [my] conscience”.

He concluded by saying that having seen the terrible violence perpetrated by the Israeli government he had “decided to join the cultural boycott of Israel, convinced that global and collective pressure might produce similar results to the boycott of South Africa during apartheid”.

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Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace

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By Diana Johnstone | Consortium News 

CounterPunch has astonished many of its old fans by its current fundraising ad portraying the site as a prime target of Russia hostility. Under the slogan, “We have all the right enemies”, CP portrays itself as a brave little crew being blown off the water by an evil Russian warship out to eliminate “lefty scum.”

Ha Ha Ha, it’s all a joke of course. But it’s a joke that plays into the dangerous, current Russophobia promoted by Clintonite media, the deep state and the War Party. This is a reminder that Russophobia finds a variant in the writing of several prominent CounterPunch contributors.

Yes, CounterPunch continues to publish many good articles, but appears also to be paying its tribute to the establishment narrative.

Put on the defensive by the “fake news” assault against independent media, CP senior editor Jeffrey St Clair seemed to be shaken by Washington Post allegations that he had published articles by a “Russian troll” named Alice Donovan. St Clair never publicly questioned the FBI claim that the ephemeral plagiarist worked for the Kremlin, when she could as well have been planted by the FBI itself or some other agency, precisely in order to embarrass and intimidate the independent website.

The ‘Step Toward Fascism’

St. Clair: Co-founded CounterPunch

The anti-Russian attitude on CP is promoted mainly by the same writers who stigmatize the slightest suggestion of building a broad non-ideological antiwar movement as a step toward “fascism”. This leftist exclusionism goes against the traditions of the website founded by Alexander Cockburn and St Clair, and indeed, CounterPunch was fiercely attacked less than three years ago for its “red-brown”, or “QuerFront” tendencies.

The attack, originating on a German site, warned that leftists who publish on CounterPunch “are unwittingly helping to promote the agenda of the far right”. This article spelled out the Antifa doctrine:

The idea of a red-brown alliance, or Querfront (German for ‘transversal front’), has been a recurrent motif in far-right thought over the past century. Craving the legitimacy that an alliance with progressive forces can provide, reactionaries seize on ostensibly shared positions, chief amongst them opposition to corrupt élites, to create the impression that progressives could benefit from making common cause with them.

Querfront (also known as ‘third position’) propaganda can be highly seductive. Today’s (crypto)-fascist and other hard-right suitors, for example, focus on the commonplace left themes of opposition to war and corporate globalisation, the depredations of the ‘banksters’, civil liberties, and Palestinian solidarity.”

So, you genuine leftists, beware: if someone seems to agree with you, it may be a far righter out to ensnare you into her web.

The article gave advice on how to tell a QuerFront argument from a true leftist one:

A serious left analysis, say, of US support for Israeli apartheid will start by looking at the documented record of US foreign policy as a whole”, whereas the red-brown, QuerFront third-positions position will say: “A foreign lobby has taken over the US government and media, and is forcing the US to act against ‘American interests’ and ‘American values’, and anyone who says otherwise is a Zionist infiltrator.”

So you mustn’t blame Zionists for Israel, it’s all Washington’s fault.

CounterPunch contributors singled out as dangerous right-wingers included Ralph Nader, Alison Weir, Ron Paul, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, Paul Craig Roberts and even Alexander Cockburn himself.

In his reply to the article, published on its website, St. Clair seemed to understand exactly where this was coming from.

Caity Gets Counter-Punched

Caitlin Johnstone: Counter-punched

Thus it was surprising when, last July, CounterPunchran a whole series of articles attacking independent antiwar blogger Caitlin Johnstone (no relation) for some inconsequential remark about her willingness to join in opposing war even with male supremacist Mike Cernovich. The purists pounced on the incongruity of a hypothetical Caitlin-Cernovich alliance as an opportunity to ridicule the more general principle of a broad single-issue antiwar movement. For this minor heresy, Caitlin Johnstone was denied her right to respond on the site calling itself “the fearless voice of the left”.

On July 11, 2017, Yoav Litvin opened fire in an aggressive style that may have been fortified by his service in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Exclusion is a habit one can learn in the IDF. It’s ours, you have no right to be here, get out! That goes for the occupied left territories too. They decide who can stay and who does not belong.

In an interview last year, Litvin prided himself on adopting “the positive aspect of Zionism,” which is “the image of a Jew who is a fighter.” As a result of Jewish experience of persecution, he said, “We can lead a fight with all our brothers and sisters in minority communities.”

Fight against whom? In order to accomplish fundamental change, one needs to build majorities. Jews leading a fight of minorities will go where? Into the dead end of identity politics?  

On July 28, CounterPunch published an even more contemptuous piece in the anti-Caitlin series: “Enough Nonsense! The Left Does Not Collaborate with Fascists”, by Eric Draitser. The Draitser rhetorical pose was to claim to prefer being water-boarded rather than having to write about Caitlin’s “doltish” prose, but felt obliged to do so in order to stop the advance of fascism.

Still, he does not easily tire from coming back to the subject.

As moderator of CounterPunch Radio, Draitser has promoted himself as the voice of CP and thus as a leading authority on what is or is not “left”. His role as mentor was demonstrated on his hour-long April 19, 2018 podcast with CP editors St. Clair and Joshua Frank. Draitser set the tone by elaborately ridiculing those who profess to be afraid of World War III. As if nuclear war were anything to worry about! What nonsense, he implied, getting all three to chortle contemptuously at the mention of Caitlin Johnstone, noted for such absurd concerns.

The Hilarity of World War III

Draitser: WWIII a ‘fun conversation’

Draitser dismissed the danger of World War III with his own original “class analysis”: since Russia and the United States are both ruled by Oligarchs, they have too much in common to reasonably want to throw nuclear missiles at each other. (In other words, what was precisely the Marxist view of imperialist war.) St. Clair hesitated at this, noting the prevalence of irrationality in high spheres. But Draitser dismissed this objection and forged ahead undisturbed, managing what he called a “fun conversation.”

The exclusionists are less concerned about war with Russia than about the failure of “the left” to be sufficiently critical of Russia – as if a shortage of Russophobia were a real problem these days. Shortly before the anti-Caitlin campaign, Litvin interviewedDraitser and their fellow anti-fascist watch dog, Portland State University geography instructor Alexander Reid Ross, who also publishes frequently on CounterPunch.

Draitser complained that: “You see a lot of leftist academics, intellectuals and activists who have in many ways abandoned a real class analysis in favor of a loosely defined politics of opposition. Within this mindset, everything that opposes the United States, Israel, the Saudis or the EU is automatically good and should be supported irrespective of its qualities.”

That simplistic dismissal of the antiwar “mindset” qualifies Draitser for his future place in mainstream media.

Ross’ Red-Brown Chaos

Reid Ross, went him one better. “I see a number of red-brown alliances forming today, particularly in the field of political geography. A number of far-right groups view the modern-day axis of Syria, Iran and Russia as a kind of international counterweight to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has always been seen by fascist groups as a kind of nemesis led by the nations that defeated the Rome-Berlin axis in 1945.”

This is pure delirium. The nemesis that did the most to defeat the Rome-Berlin axis in 1945 was the Red Army. By conjuring up unidentified “far right groups”, Ross manages to identify Syria, Iran and Russia with the fascist Axis powers in World War II. In reality, NATO has been a magnet for attracting European fascists, from Italy, where they cooperated in clandestine “Gladio” operations to destroy the left, to Ukraine, where genuine fascists are in a “partnership for war” with NATO.

Most Americans have not been well educated in the complexities of modern history. In his Antifa hoodie, Ross can dazzle his audience with a plethora of unfamiliar facts strung together by extremely questionable analysis, unchallenged by genuine experts.

Reid Ross: Article pulled (Photo European Graduate School)

In the Litvin interview, both Draitser and Ross add their small bit to prevailing Western Russophobia by dwelling on Putin’s alleged support for European right-wing groups. Both stress the danger represented by Russian ambitions to establish a Eurasian empire, based on the ideology of Alexander Dugin.

Dugin is a religious reactionary, a tendency that may alarm Jews still haunted by Tsarist pogroms. They are also alarmed by Dugin’s devotion to the thought of German philosopher Martin Heidegger, an ardent believer in Nazism and party member. This is ironic, since Heidegger has been the favorite of a whole line of post-World War II French philosophers, from Sartre to Foucault, considered to be “on the left”. This merely shows that philosophy can be a source of great confusion.

In an Intercept article last September, Ross was quoted as saying that, “Assad is a figure that is central to a realization of Eurasionism,” embodying the idea that, “Russia will lead the world out of a dark age of materialism and toward an ultranationalist rebirth of homogenous ethno-states federated under a heterogeneous spiritual empire.”

It’s hard to see what is so terrifying about such a vague aspiration, with so little chance of realization. But it does provide a new angle for condemning the Russian connection with Syria.

Ideological ‘Iron Curtain’

Ross went so far on March 9 in his vituperations, that the Southern Poverty Law Center, which first published his article on its “Hate Watch” site, felt obliged to withdraw it. The title perfectly echoes the QuerFront accusation earlier leveled against CounterPunch : “The Multipolar Spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment.”

In this gem of guilt by association, Ross applied the “six degrees of separation” theory to show that people have been seen with the wrong people and thus must be red-brown. The long list of untouchables included Ray McGovern, Brian Becker, Global Research, Margaret Kimberly of Black Agenda Report, Daniel McAdams, “conspiracy theorist” Vanessa Beeley, and special focus on Max Blumenthal, guilty of having spoken favorably of a “multipolar world.”

The main problem with “multipolarism”, according to Ross, “may be that it supports not the emergence of Russia as a world power but the rise of the Kremlin’s authoritarian conservative political ideology.”

So, we may conclude, we need an ideological Iron Curtain to protect the “liberal leftist” West from Russian “authoritarian” conservatism.

Westernizers vs. Slavophiles

Russian relations with the West have historically been marked by ideological rivalry between Westernizers and Slavophiles. It is obvious that Dugin is no more than the latest prophet of Slavophilia, the idea that Christian Russia is a beacon of virtue to the world.

Historically, Westernizers in Russia have repeatedly gained influence and then lost out, because their overtures to the West were rebuffed on one pretext or another. (The British geopolitical tradition, based on the timeless dictum divide et impera, has traditionally favored policies to keep the continent divided) This merges easily with the Brzezinski doctrine of maintaining separation between Western Europe as a whole and Russia to maintain U.S. global hegemony.

Western rejection of Russia naturally favors a rise of the Slavophiles. It also obliges Russia to look to Eurasia rather than Western Europe. This is happening again.

Vladimir Putin is clearly in the Westernizing tradition. Not an ignorant buffoon like Yeltsin, ready to give away the shop to get a pat on the back from Bill. But rather someone who, as an intelligence agent (yes, KGB people learn a lot) lived in the West, spoke fluent German, and wanted Russia to have a dignified place in Europe – which was the dream of Gorbachev.

But this aspiration has been rudely rebuffed by the United States. Russians who yearned to be part of Europe have been disappointed, humiliated, and finally, angered. All their efforts at friendship have been met with increasingly outlandish portrayals of Russia as “the enemy”.

And yet despite everything, Putin persists in demonstrating his desire to work with Western partners, both by cutting back on military spending and again proposing to keep the pro-Western Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister.

If the West were really worried about Duginism, the remedy has always been obvious: improve relations with Putin.

Even Stalin did not really consider it Moscow’s job to convert Western Europe to communism, and it is certain that Putin has no illusion about converting his Western neighbors to Duginism. Russia is not out to change the West, but to make peace and do business, with whoever is willing.

The Russophobic exclusionists really constitute the ultra-left wing of the War Party, which uses different arguments to arrive at the same conclusions: Syria and Russia are enemies. The exclusionists offer no practical solutions to any real problem, but spread suspicion, distrust and enmity. They discredit the very idea of joining with Russia in peaceful mediation between Israel and Iran, for example. The real thrust of this odd campaign is to minimize the danger of war with Iran, or of direct confrontation with Russia, as Netanyahu continues to drag the United States and its European sidekicks deeper into Middle East wars on behalf of Israel’s regional ambitions.

 

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Washington Holds Gun to North Korea’s Head

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Image result for North Korea’ USA CARTOON

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation 

The prospects for peace diplomacy between the US and North Korea took a sudden hit after President Donald Trump issued an extraordinary threat to Kim Jong Un. It was in effect a death threat.

Trump warned last week that if the North Korean leader does not comply with Washington’s demands for complete denuclearization, then Kim would “end up like Gaddafi”. Trump added that North Korea would be “decimated” if it did not give up its nuclear weapons.

Arguably, Trump’s rhetoric of violence towards another state is a violation of international law and the United Nations charter.

It was not the time first time the American president has engaged in criminal intimidation of the northeast Asian nation. Last September, he told the United Nations general assembly that North Korea would be “totally destroyed”.

Yet US news media are spinning the latest row by blaming North Korea for being devious, and backtracking “in typical fashion” from negotiations, allegedly in order to extract more concessions.

US media are ignoring the glaringly obvious fact that Washington is holding a gun to North Korea’s head, and in Mafia-style, making an offer it thinks Pyongyang “can’t refuse”.

All of a sudden, the much-anticipated summit between Trump and Kim – scheduled for June 12 in Singapore – has been thrown into doubt. North Korean state media have cautioned that the summit will be cancelled if the US insists on unilateral nuclear disarmament by Pyongyang.

The Trump administration responded by saying it is continuing with plans for the Singapore meeting. However, American and South Korean officials are reportedly in a tizzy to ascertain North Korea’s position in order to keep the summit on track. No doubt, Trump is anxious not to be deprived of his moment of glory.

Two developments have undermined North Korea’s willingness to engage with Washington. After the apparent breakthrough of Trump and Kim putting their previous belligerent rhetoric aside and agreeing to hold a face-to-face summit, North Korea has gone cold.

Pyongyang has cited the public comments made by Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton in which the latter said that Washington was looking to the “Libya model” as a guideline for how it is preparing to deal with North Korea. Bolton was referring to when former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi agreed to unilaterally terminate his nuclear weapons program in 2003-2004 in order to appease the George W Bush administration.

It was an audacious reference point by the sinisterly hawkish Bolton given how seven years later, Gaddafi’s government was overthrown by an illegal US-NATO war which resulted in the Libyan leader being murdered on the streets.

North Korea had previously cited the case of Libya and Iraq as examples of how countries without an insurance policy of weapons of mass destruction are liable to be subjected to American regime-change attack.

Now with notorious Bush-era regime-change architect John Bolton explicitly referring to Libya as a “model” – on the cusp of supposed diplomatic engagement – it is no small wonder that North Korea has decided to snap back.

The other development is the going ahead of annual military exercises this month conducted by US forces and their South Korean ally. Currently, both militaries are carrying out “Max Thunder” maneuvers reportedly involving warplanes and warships near the North Korea border which, as usual, looks to Pyongyang like preparations for invasion. How is that supposed to be “confidence-building” for North Korea?

While warning that the meeting with Trump might not take place, North Korea also abruptly cancelled high-level talks last week with South Korean counterparts, citing the ongoing joint US military exercises as reason for the cancellation. North Korea hit out at South Korea for being “foolish and incompetent” over the continuation of military exercises.

Again, that was another dramatic reversal in diplomacy. Only a few weeks ago, North Korea’s Kim held a historic meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In at the Demilitarized Zone separating the two countries since the end of the Korean War (1950-53). Both leaders vowed a new era of cooperation and their intention to sign a formal peace treaty to finally mark the end of the war.

Western media interpretation of North Korea’s vacillation is misplaced and unnecessarily cynical. This is not about Pyongyang playing mind games and gouging for concessions, as the media imply.

It is simply a reflection of the United States revealing its real and reprehensible agenda of expecting North Korea to unilaterally disarm without any reciprocation from Washington. In short, capitulation and surrender.

Added to that demand is the very grave underlying threat of Washington then moving on to regime change when North Korea is deemed “safe”, that is, defenseless.

Trump’s keenness to hold a “historic summit” with Kim is not about seeking a mutual peace settlement. The real-estate-tycoon-turned-president is all about glitzy spectacle and vainglorious success. He has even talked about how he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

Of course, a globally televised handshake with Kim totally plays to Trump’s ego and the former reality TV star’s craving for ratings.

That’s why Trump appeared to slap back Bolton last week by trying to reassure North Korea the “US wasn’t using the Libya model”.

But then in the same moment Trump blundered even further by going on to say, bizarrely, that North Korea would end up like Libya if it did not give up its nuclear weapons.

The morally decrepit warmonger John Bolton and CIA torture-supporter Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State are very sound reasons for why North Korea appears to be turning its back on proposed talks.

With Trump then showing his ignorance and brutish instincts there is even more reason for Pyongyang to be wary.

Peace for the Korean Peninsula is a multilateral formula. North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons is only one part of the equation. Another indispensable part is Washington removing its military forces, signing a peace guarantee with Pyongyang, ending its economic warfare, and permitting the two Koreas to pursue reconciliation without interference.

But, as noted previously in this column, Washington’s strategic interests in maintaining military force in the Asia-Pacific towards Russia and China are such that it is anathema for the US to agree to a genuine peace settlement in Korea.

Beneath the superficial American diplomacy, Washington’s agenda is for North Korea’s surrender to Uncle Sam.

Telling North Korea to “negotiate or else” is like holding a gun to its head. No nation with any self-respect would comply.

Pyongyang is just right to give Washington short shrift due to the latter’s bad faith and arrogant ignorance about its obligations. Trump’s backsliding on the Iran nuclear deal is another object lesson for North Korea.

Ominously, though, Uncle Sam is going to get very nasty after having had his nose tweaked.

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A New Flotilla Steams Towards Gaza

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By Elizabeth Murray | Consortium News 

Al Awda (The Return): Sailing to Gaza

“Islands Bruegge,” an idyllic harbor park that stretches along the east bank of Copenhagen, was alive with a celebratory crowd on Monday as three ships were about to steam towards Gaza. The 2018 Freedom Flotilla—two ships from Sweden and one from Norway — will call at ports in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy before traveling through the Mediterranean Sea to its final destination: Gaza harbor.

Volunteer boat guides explained the history and mission of the Gaza Flotilla movement, which has organized a number of journeys to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Gaza and break the illegal economic siege. An independent U.N. panel and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) say the blockade violates the Geneva Conventions and is illegal.

Israel dragged the last Israeli settlers from Gaza and withdrew the Israeli Defense Force in 2005. When the Palestinian Authority lost a 2006 election in Gaza to Hamas, Israel imposed the illegal blockade. A considerable number of young Danish people learned about Gaza for the first time and walked away with new political awareness of the injustices suffered by Gaza’s children, who are denied the same carefree life enjoyed by Danish children.

I feel proud and privileged to join a group of international passengers aboard the Norwegian ship “Al Awda,” (“The Return” in Arabic) as we prepared to embark on the first leg of our journey. Along our route we hope to raise awareness and educate people about the plight of Palestinians, especially in Gaza, who are denied the basic freedoms and human rights the rest of us take for granted.

Earlier this month as Gazans held The Great March of Return to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (or the Catastrophe) — in which 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their land and homes by Israel in 1948 — Israeli snipers cut down peaceful demonstrators one by one, killing hundreds and maiming thousands, generating shock and outrage around the world and providing further incentive for people to support the burgeoning Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Targeting Athletes

Elizabeth Murray: Boarding her boat to Gaza

Israel seems to have reserved a special brand of sadism for Gaza’s athletes — several promising young cyclists and soccer players have become amputees, since Israel refused to allow them to leave Gaza to obtain the necessary medical attention that would have saved their legs. Reports of such heinous acts — documented widely in social media posts by those on the ground in Gaza — have served to further isolate Israel internationally and alienate peace-loving people around the world, who deplore the moral depravity of its government.

Reaching the harbor of Gaza (which means “jewel” in Arabic) should be as simple and straightforward as entering any harbor in Germany, France or Spain. But instead, Israel has denied Gazans use of their own harbor for commerce, trade and travel, and has bombed it on numerous occasions, along with their electric power plants and sewage systems, making life miserable for the local population and rendering 97 percent of the drinking water toxic.

As the Freedom Flotilla embarks on its peace odyssey, it is our hope to bring a light of hope and solidarity to the people of Gaza, who deserve the peaceful, dignified and joyful existence that is their right.

Elizabeth Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the U.S. government, where she specialized in Middle Eastern political and media analysis. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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Nazi Parliament Reportedly Considers Promoting Kurdish State

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Israeli MPs have reportedly discussed a bill that outlines the means by which Israel may help Kurds build their state in Syria, Iraq and Turkey, which would support Tel Aviv. According to one of Israel’s radio stations, the bill had been submitted to the Knesset by two Israeli right-wing parties, namely Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu. The radio quoted Yoav Kish as saying that given the Kurdish minority living in the aforementioned countries, which are generally hostile to Israel, the proposed move would play into the hands of the Israeli state.

“There is a reason that Israel was the first to publicly congratulate moves toward Kurdish independence in northern Iraq,” Kish added.

Back in 2017, Israel became the only country to support the Kurdish plebiscite which endorsed the Kurds’ secession from Iraq – a development that was vigorously criticized around the world.

Back then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Tel Aviv backed what he called “legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.” Alongside political backing, Israel was reportedly a major buyer of Kurdistan’s oil and the top investor in the region in 2017.

The Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum that took place on September 25 triggered changes in the region. More than 90 percent of the voters who took part in the plebiscite backed the independence from Baghdad. Iraqi authorities declared the referendum illegal, while Turkey and Iran vehemently criticized the plebiscite and threatened to impose tough sanctions on Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Erbil.

Read more:

Tensions Rising Between Syrian Army, Kurds Amid Creation of US Bases – Reports

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Ireland’s book of condolence for Palestinians killed in Gaza blocked by pro-Nazi groups

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Image result for pro-Nazi groups CARTOON

 

A request by the Irish Republican Party, Sinn Fein, to open a book of condolence in Belfast city council for Palestinians killed in Gaza last week was blocked by Unionists allied with the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group.

Denouncing the book of condolence as “deeply shameful”, the Israeli lobby group accused Sinn Fein of supporting terrorists for wanting to mark the killing of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces in Gaza.

The two main Unionist parties, who have strong ties with the pro-Israel lobby group, blocked the request, which forced Sinn Fein to open an internal book of condolence. According to the rules, a book of condolence can only be opened with the agreement of all parties at City Hall.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) council group leader Tim Attwood said he was “disappointed” that Unionists blocked the book of condolence “to mark the killings and injuries inflicted on the people of Gaza”.

“People of Belfast are horrified and wish to express their sympathy at the tragic loss of life,” he added.

Meanwhile,  Sinn Fein group leader on the Belfast City Council, Deirdre Hargey, was reported as saying that her party would be opening its own book of condolence in the party’s room at City Hall, open to all members of the public.

The request for the book of condolence came after a number of Palestinian solidarity protests were held across Northern Ireland last week. Sinn Fein reacted to the killing and the pro-Palestinian demonstration by also demanding the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

This is the second time in two months that the plight of Palestinians became a cause of tension in Belfast. In March the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group invited the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, to speak at an event in the local public library. Activists denounced the decision saying that Regev “has a long history of excusing, apologising and justifying [Israel’s] murder, torture and genocide as well as land theft from the indigenous population of Palestine.”

Members of the community in Belfast who supported the decision to open a book of condolence were disappointed by the Unionist parties. They told MEMO that many Unionist politicians and councillors were members of the Friends of Israel and revealed that Unionist parties have all hosted friends of Israel events.

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Journey of an Israeli in Iran

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Image result for Iran MAP CARTOON
By Miko Peled | American Herald Tribune 

Trump’s declaration regarding the US backing out of the Iran agreement came just days before my trip to Iran was confirmed and my visa was approved. I was asked by several people if I was still going, thinking that Trump’s declaration that sanctions were going to be reinstated was a de facto declaration of war on Iran. I wasn’t going to let Donald Trump dictate where I was or was not going and certainly I was not going to cancel a trip into which so much effort had been placed by my hosts. My only concern was that I might get stopped and questioned by the authorities upon my return to the US.

I was interested to see Iran and to hear what people in Iran thought of Trump’s declaration and also how they felt regarding Israel’s constant accusations and threats of attack. I had a clue of what Iranian attitudes might be thanks to a piece written by Orly Noy in the progressive Hebrew online magazine Mekomit. Orly Noy is an Israeli journalist who was born and raised in Iran and is fluent in Farsi. In this piece, she quoted responses from people in Iran as they were expressed on social media. One response came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the display of documents he alleged were smuggled out of Iran by Mossad agents. There were hundreds of thousands of documents weighing a total of half a ton in which, so Netanyahu claims, it was made clear that Iran was lying and was not abiding by the agreement. In response to this one Iranian wrote, “Netanyahu finally discovered our secret intent: to attack Israel with fifty thousand paper airplanes.” Other responses were equally dismissive.

My first impression of Iran and its people was the calm and cleanliness one feels even in a large city like Mashhad, which has a population of five million and was my first point of entry. And, unlike the Middle-East and Europe, in Iran, it is rare to see people smoke. Mashhad, is considered a holy city and it is the home of the Imam Reza shrine, which I was told can accommodate all five million people within its compound during prayer. I visited the shrine along with a few friends between midnight and 2 AM and still there were many people there worshipping, some sitting in silent contemplation and there were even families enjoying a late-night picnic. Returning to the hotel I could not help mentioning to my friends that there are not many cities of that size in the world where one feels completely comfortable and safe to walk at 2 o’clock in the morning.

The most common response I received when asking people about their thoughts and concerns on the issue of the sanctions and Israeli threats was a smile, “We have been living under sanctions for many years and the lifting of the sanctions in 2013 brought very little change. So now we are going to live with sanctions again.” As for the Israeli threats, “we are not afraid, we are strong and will defend our land as we have always done.” It is worth noting that Iran has not attacked a single country in recent history though it has been the target of attacks and political assassinations by foreign powers. At the same time, Iran has been a staunch supporter of both the Palestinian resistance and the Lebanese resistance against Israeli oppression violence.

Still, with large corporations like the French oil and gas giant Total and Danish shipping giant Maersk announcing they will back out of deals they had made with Iran there is definitely cause for concern. It is still unclear what French automakers like Peugeotwill do since they’re part of large conglomerates and use parts made in the US. Furthermore, even though European countries declared that they remain committed to the Iran deal, it is unclear whether or not they will bow to American pressure because of fear of American retaliation. Another concern for the European corporations is the fact that so much of international banking is controlled by the US and transfer of funds will be all but impossible if they continue to do business with Iran. So will the Europeans show back bone and stand with Iran or will they cower, that remains to be seen.

Two particularly interesting experiences I had took place while visited Yazd in central Iran. The first was speaking in front of cadets of the notable Revolutionary Guards. Some two hundred young cadets along with their officers sat on the floor of the mosque on base and listened intently. Their young, bright faces so attentive one could hear a pin drop. I told them that even though I was introduced as an American, I was not actually American – though I reside in the US I was Israeli and the son of an Israeli army general. I told them of my niece who was killed when three young Palestinians blew themselves up during a suicide mission. I also told them that I reject Israel as a political entity and look forward to the day when Palestine is free and democratic. I ended my talk by saying that “When Palestine is freed from the racist, apartheid regime under which it is currently suffering, you must come to Al-Quds to pray in Al-Aqsa mosque and then visit me in Jerusalem.” There was no fear or sense of insecurity in their faces but rather a confident calmness. Their attention, their questions later and their warm applause were reassuring. I also told them what I believe to be true, and that is that neither Israel nor the United States will dare to actually attack Iran.

The other remarkable experience I had took place later the same day at a local high school. What does one say to a room full of young Iranian high school boys? What do they know of Palestine? I looked at the three hundred or so boys who sat on the floor waiting to hear me speak and decided to ask them what they knew about Falasteen. After a short pause, one young boy raised his hand. “Falasteen,” he began, “was a place of peace and tranquility. It was a land where Muslims, Jews and Christians all lived and worshiped in peace, until it was invaded and occupied.” I could not have wished for a better answer. I am one of the occupiers, I admitted. My family had participated in the invasion, occupation and oppression that we see today in Palestine.

“Our Supreme Leader” one student asked, “says that in twenty-five years there will be no Israel.” What did I say to that? Well, we know that by “no Israel” he means that Palestine will be free and the Zionist regime will be gone. That he wishes for a day when Muslims, Jews and Christians will be once again able to live and worship in peace. I would ask, I told them, that they do me a favor and help me and millions of Palestinians and millions of supporters of Palestine, and prove the Supreme Leader wrong by making this happen sooner than twenty-five years.

Throughout the visit, both during lectures and other occasions I had received a few questions and comments that were critical of the Iranian official line towards Israel. I was asked if I felt that Iran’s policy towards Israel was harming Iran and if I thought it was the right policy. “Is it true,” I was asked, “that the Jews bought land in Palestine and that it was taken from them by the Palestinians.”

I returned to the US with some trepidation. I landed at Dulles International Airport and was quite ready to call an attorney in case I was stopped. However, all was well, and I exited the airport as though I had landed from any other destination. Looking from the outside, particularly from Iran, one has the advantage of distance and some perspective, and still with his declaration on Jerusalem and his decision on Iran Donald Trump seems like a petulant adolescent with far too much power.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Journey of an Israeli in Iran

Baghdad 1950. Paris 2015?

NOVANEWS

False Flag Attacks by Zionists Against Fellow Jews…

giladiisrael

Left: Zionist agent in Iraq, Naeim Giladi, circa 1947; right: Iraqi Jews arrive in Israel 1951

By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards 

It is said that there is nothing new under the sun.

Jewish leaders talking up the threat of “anti-Semitism” in order to induce Jews to immigrate to Israel is of course not new. Such talk emanating in the immediate aftermath of what appear to have been false flag attacks by Zionists against fellow Jews–this also is not new.

“To all the Jews of France, all the Jews of Europe, I would like to say that Israel is not just the place in whose direction you pray, the state of Israel is your home,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said over the weekend in the wake of the attacks in Paris.

Netanyahu is certainly up on his Jewish history, but for those of the rest of us who may not be quite as well-versed, here is a little primer.

In the years 1950-51, the city of Baghdad was hit by a series of explosions targeting Iraqi Jews. The attacks caused property damage, injuries, and deaths, creating panic in the Jewish population. At the time the bombings were blamed upon Arab nationalists, raising fears of anti-Semitism and giving rise to a desire by Jews to immigrate to Israel–which of course, at precisely that same time, was in the process of displacing Palestinians and attempting to expand its Jewish population.

What follows is a timeline of events in Baghdad excerpted from a book written and published in the 1990s by an Iraqi Jew named Naeim Giladi. I’ll say a little bit more below about who Giladi was, but for right now just consider the timeline as he presents it:

Six months later-the exact date was March 19, 1950-a bomb went off at the American Cultural Center and Library in Baghdad, causing property damage and injuring a number of people. The center was a favorite meeting place for young Jews.

The first bomb thrown directly at Jews occurred on April 8, 1950, at 9:15 p.m. A car with three young passengers hurled the grenade at Baghdad’s El-Dar El-Bida Café, where Jews were celebrating Passover. Four people were seriously injured. That night leaflets were distributed calling on Jews to leave Iraq immediately.

The next day, many Jews, most of them poor with nothing to lose, jammed emigration offices to renounce their citizenship and to apply for permission to leave for Israel. So many applied, in fact, that the police had to open registration offices in Jewish schools and synagogues.

On May 10, at 3 a.m., a grenade was tossed in the direction of the display window of the Jewish-owned Beit-Lawi Automobile Company, destroying part of the building. No casualties were reported.

On June 3, 1950, another grenade was tossed from a speeding car in the El-Batawin area of Baghdad where most rich Jews and middle class Iraqis lived. No one was hurt, but following the explosion Zionist activists sent telegrams to Israel requesting that the quota for immigration from Iraq be increased.

On June 5, at 2:30 a.m., a bomb exploded next to the Jewish owned Stanley Shashua building on El-Rashid street, resulting in property damage but no casualties.

On January 14, 1951, at 7 p.m., a grenade was thrown at a group of Jews outside the Masouda Shem-Tov Synagogue. The explosive struck a high-voltage cable, electrocuting three Jews, one a young boy, Itzhak Elmacher, and wounding over 30 others. Following the attack, the exodus of Jews jumped to between 600-700 per day.

Zionist propagandists still maintain that the bombs in Iraq were set off by anti-Jewish Iraqis who wanted Jews out of their country. The terrible truth is that the grenades that killed and maimed Iraqi Jews and damaged their property were thrown by Zionist Jews.

The paragraphs above come from Giladi’s book, Ben Gurion’s Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews, originally published in 1992. An except from the book can be found here, and includes details about the Baghdad bombings as well as a number of other interesting items, including Giladi’s own immigration to Palestine and what he witnessed there. You’ll note, in the timeline, his reference to leaflets being distributed on the same day of the April 8 bombing. That leaflet read in part, “Call to the Jews: To all the tribe of Zion living in Babylon.” It goes on to encourage an exodus out of Iraq:

“For the second time in the history of the diaspora, we have an opportunity to leave. We encourage you to hurry and leave. Today the Jews are in a new era of the history of the diaspora.”

Giladi was born in Iraq in 1929 and became a committed Zionist in his late teens. Later in life he disavowed Zionism, renounced his Israeli citizenship, and moved to the US. His change of heart began when, as a young Jewish immigrant, shortly after arriving in Israel, he encountered “institutionalized racism,” against both Palestinians as well as Arabic or Mizrahi Jews.

The principal interest Israel had in Jews from Islamic countries was as a supply of cheap labor, especially for the farm work that was beneath the urbanized Eastern European Jews. Ben Gurion needed the “Oriental” Jews to farm the thousands of acres of land left by Palestinians who were driven out by Israeli forces in 1948.

At the time in question, the early 1950s, Israel was ethnically cleansing the Ashkelon area and forcing Palestinians who lived there into the Gaza Strip. Farms were indeed taken over, and so, yes, there was a need for cheap labor, and Jews from Iraq provided a good source. And to make sure that the new arrivals were wholly dependent upon their earnings as laborers, Israel saw to it that they were forced, for the most part, to leave their property and possessions behind in Iraq. According to Giladi:

…the pro-British, pro-Zionist puppet el-Said [Nouri el-Said, the Iraqi prime minister–ed.]saw to it that all of their possessions were frozen, including their cash assets. (There were ways of getting Iraqi dinars out, but when the immigrants went to exchange them in Israel they found that the Israeli government kept 50 percent of the value.) Even those Iraqi Jews who had not registered to emigrate, but who happened to be abroad, faced loss of their nationality if they didn’t return within a specified time. An ancient, cultured, prosperous community had been uprooted and its people transplanted to a land dominated by East European Jews, whose culture was not only foreign but entirely hateful to them.

Giladi passed away in 2010, but his conclusions–that the Baghdad bombings were perpetrated by Zionist Jews–are shared by a number of modern historians and writers, including Uri Avnery, who wrote that, “After the disclosure of the Lavon Affair… the Baghdad affair became more plausible.” But perhaps most interesting was the assessment given by career CIA officer Wilbur Crane Eveland:

In attempts to portray the Iraqis as anti-American and to terrorize the Jews, the Zionists planted bombs in the U.S. Information Service library and in synagogues. Soon leaflets began to appear urging Jews to flee to Israel. . . .

Although the Iraqi police later provided our embassy with evidence to show that the synagogue and library bombings, as well as the anti-Jewish and anti-American leaflet campaigns, had been the work of an underground Zionist organization, most of the world believed reports that Arab terrorism had motivated the flight of the Iraqi Jews whom the Zionists had “rescued” really just in order to increase Israel’s Jewish population.

The above is quoted by Giladi and is derived from Eveland’s memoir, Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East, published in 1980.

An Iraqi court went on to find 20 people, all members of the Iraqi Zionist underground, guilty of carrying out the bombings. Two were sentenced to death, and the rest received lengthy prison terms. But by this time the Jewish population of Iraq had been greatly reduced. Giladi says that 125,000 Iraqi Jews ended up immigrating to Palestine, leaving just 6,000 remaining. It also resulted in a split in Giladi’s own family; while Giladi himself made the journey, his parents, he says, were not fooled by the false flag events and remained behind in Iraq.

***

While a good many analysts have concluded that the recent attacks in Paris were a false flag operation, carried out most likely by Israel, others have expressed dubiousness on the matter. Certainly Israeli false flag operations are well documented, but a line would surely be drawn at targeting Jews in such attacks–this seems to be the reasoning. The events in Baghdad 65 years ago, however, would apparently refute this notion. If something is “good for the Jews” collectively, as a whole, then it can apparently be justified even should it be brought about at the expense of individual Jews–that at least seems to be the thinking on the matter by some Jews or Jewish leaders at any rate. Maybe, though, this should come as no surprise, and here I’m reminded of the words of Caiaphas, the chief priest at the time of Jesus: “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

I highly recommend Giladi’s book excerpt in its entirety, if you have the time, for it makes for fascinating reading. You can also click here to see a video featuring an interview with the author that was conducted in 1994.

Meanwhile Israeli officials continue urging French Jews to make “aliyah” to Israel.

“Due to the impossible security situation [for French Jews], Israel has a responsibility to allocate all necessary resources to facilitate the aliyah and absorption of Jews from France,” said Knesset member Yoni Chetboun.

Other Israeli officials have also spoken out.

“Your place, Jews of France, is with us,”  said Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, Religious Affairs minister, speaking at a Jewish Home party rally.

“We are all shocked at the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks in France,” said Knesset member Motti Yogev. “To all our Jewish brothers in France we call: Come and make Aliyah to Israel! Here is your home – our home.”

Another Israeli politician, Yair Lapid, seemed to be going out of his way to push the alarm  buttons.

“I don’t want to speak in terms of Holocaust, but…” he said, “European Jewry must understand that there is just one place for Jews, and that is the State of Israel.”

All of this is obviously having an effect. The leader of a Paris synagogue is predicting that between 14,000 and 15,000 French Jews will immigrate to Israel in 2015, and indeed hundreds are reported to have flocked to an “aliyah fair” held on Sunday.

aliyahfair

French Jews attend an “aliyah fair” held in Paris on Sunday, Jan. 11, just two days after an attack on a kosher market. A series of such fairs are scheduled as part of an Israeli policy called “France First.”

Is not the holding of an “aliyah fair” just two days after an attack on a kosher market pretty much the equivalent or on a par with the aforementioned leaflets printed by the Zionist underground in Baghdad 65 years ago?

Is there anything new under the sun?

By the way, additional aliyah fairs are scheduled this week for Marseilles and Lyon, with more to come in February and March. The organizing of such events is said to be part of a new Israeli policy–overseen by the Ministry of Immigration Absorption–called “France First.” The implications of such a policy are somewhat alarming. If France is “first,” who’s next? Will attacks similar to the ones last week begin to occur in other countries with large Jewish populations?

No word on whether Netanyahu dropped by the fair in Paris on Sunday, although he was in the city participating in the giant anti-terrorism march–this of course despite the fact that he had been specifically requested by the French government not to come. One person who did pop into the fair, however, was Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency, who had accompanied the prime minister to Paris from Israel.

In his remarks, Sharansky assured the potential immigrants that “the Jewish Agency embraces the French Jewish community at this difficult time and is extending its full support by helping provide for the physical security of Jewish communities across France, increasing our assistance to any individual who wishes to immigrate to Israel, and working to ease immigrants’ integration into the Israeli workforce and Israeli society.”

Translation: don’t worry. The United States will pay for it.

The calls for Jewish immigration today are, of course, motivated by different needs from those of 65 years ago. Recently the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released figures showing that the number of Palestinians throughout historical Palestine will exceed the Jewish population by the end of the year 2020. The figures have been challenged by Israeli academics, who insist the Palestinian statistics are flawed, although certainly the “demographic threat” has been an ongoing Zionist concern.

But prompting an upswing in Jewish immigration probably would not have been the only, and maybe not even the prime, consideration in carrying out the Paris attacks–that is assuming the attacks were a false flag. Other writers have suggested a number of other motivations including payback for France’s support for Palestinian statehood at the UN. (One wonders: was Israel’s “France First” policy adopted before or after the UN vote?)

What is clear, of course, is that terrorist organizations and terrorist armies are being supported by some of the most powerful nations on earth, and that these forces are being used to advance certain geopolitical objectives. The likelihood that such elements will be mobilized in some way in future false flag attacks in Western cities has to be considered high.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IraqComments Off on Baghdad 1950. Paris 2015?

Sheldon Adelson, the Godfather

NOVANEWS

Image result for Sheldon Adelson CARTOON

 

If Americans Knew | May 21, 2018

Wendy Mesley discusses Sheldon Adelson’s role in getting the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem, as well as his massive influence on Donald Trump and American politics in general.

Comment:

  1. “Who controls money, controls the World”…….Henry Kissinger.
    “Greed is good, Greed is right, Greed Works”…….WALL St.
    “Corrupt politicians make the other 10% look bad”……Henry Kissinger.
    “We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it”…….Ariel Sharon Oct 3, 2001.

    They don’t even try to hide their dominance(and Arrogance) of America any more……

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Sheldon Adelson, the Godfather

Nazi regime rejection of UN probe “evidence against it”

NOVANEWS

Image result for hamas logo

The Hamas Movement on Sunday said that Nazi regime rejection of an investigation ordered by the UN Human Rights Council into the recent mass murders of unarmed protesters in the Gaza Strip was evidence that its forces committed war crimes against innocent civilians.

“The Israeli occupation’s rejection of the UN inquiry commission emphasizes its brutality, and insistence on terrorizing and killing our people, disrespecting UN and international institutions and flouting their resolutions,”  Hamas spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanoua said in a brief press release.

Nazi foreign ministry railed against the UN Human Rights Council last Friday after it voted to set up a probe into recent killings in Gaza and accused Israel of excessive use of force.

The ministry said it would not allow or cooperate with such inquiry, calling the UN body as “made up of a built-in anti-Israel majority, and guided by hypocrisy and absurdity.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on Nazi regime rejection of UN probe “evidence against it”

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