Archive | May 1st, 2019

Saudi Arabia recanted confessions were by tortured

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Court filings show some executed by Saudi Arabia recanted confessions, said they were tortured

Documents show some men repeatedly claimed confessions were obtained via torture, CNN report says
De facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP/File)

Amid outrage at the 37 activists Saudi Arabia executed on Tuesday, CNN has obtained documents showing that some of the suspects had recanted their confessions, claiming they were obtained under torture.

Executed Saudi student had ‘bright future’ ahead of him in Michigan

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Hundreds of pages of documents from three 2016 trials provide details for 25 of the 37 men executed by the kingdom.

CNN did not publish the documents themselves but provided a fully redacted page that shows the date and seal of the court.

Saudi Arabia has said in the past that all 37 men who were executed had pleaded guilty to charges ranging from spying for Iran to participating in anti-government protests – crimes that amount to terrorism in the kingdom.

Thirty-two of those executed were from Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority and a number of them were juveniles when they were arrested, including a teenager who had planned to study in the US.

According to CNN, the documents show that some of the men repeatedly told the court their confessions had been obtained through torture.

Executed Saudi student had ‘bright future’ ahead of him in Michigan
23 April.

Others said they had never confessed, only providing their thumbprints on confession documents written up by people who had tortured them.

“Those aren’t my words,” said one of the executed men, Munir al-Adam, during the trial, according to CNN’s description of the case documents.

“I didn’t write a letter. This is defamation written by the interrogator with his own hand.”

On Tuesday, Reprieve, a UK-based campaign group that opposes the death penalty, told Middle East Eye that five of its clients were among those killed.

The group said all five had been tortured into making false confessions, including al-Adam, who was beaten so badly after his arrest in 2012 that he was left permanently deaf in one ear.

Executed by Saudi Arabia: A student, an academic, a protester, an imam

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In 2017, the United Nations raised concerns that Adam and 16 others being detained by Saudi Arabia had not had access to fair trials or due process, “including allegations of confessions obtained under torture”.

The UN at the time also highlighted allegations of human rights violations in relation to several other death penalty cases.

Saudi Arabia responded to the allegations in a letter that denied the UN’s claims, stating that the men had stood by their admissions of guilt in court.

Tuesday’s executions were the largest number to take place in the Gulf state in more than three years.

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Palestine: During April .. 360 cases of arrests, including 61 minor children

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  1. According to the researcher Riyad al-Ashqar, a spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center Studies, the report monitored 10 cases of arrests of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, 9 of them passing through the separation fence in the east of the Gaza Strip, including 3 children from the southern Gaza Strip. Shawi, 16, was released from the Beit Hanoun crossing.
  2. The Israeli occupation forces at the Erez / Beit Hanoun checkpoint, “Karam Mustafa Tantawi” (51 years), while returning to the Gaza Strip, and was accompanying his wife on a journey to treat cancer from the hospital in Jerusalem.
  3. Last April, the Israeli occupation forces arrested the deputy of the Legislative Council of the Ramallah governorate Hassan Yousef (63 years) after breaking into his house and searching him, less than 5 months after his release from the last arrest.
  4. The total number of years spent by the deputy Youssef behind the bars about 20 years, and suffers from several chronic diseases, including pressure and diabetes.

Al-Ashqar pointed out that the occupation continued last month to target women and mino children with arrest and summoning. The center monitored 61 cases of arrests of children, the youngest of them was Khader Mohammed Odeh, 13, from his town of Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

While 4 women were arrested during the course of their participation in an environmental course in the northern Jordan Valley. A girl was arrested at al-Za’im checkpoint, allegedly holding a knife. A woman was arrested from the occupied city of Acre while she was leaving the Aqsa Mosque.

Al-Ashqar confirmed that the number of martyrs of the prisoner movement rose in April to reach (219) martyrs, after the death of the wounded prisoner, “Omar Awni Younis,” 20 years of Qalqilya from the injury suffered a week ago

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Palestine: During April .. 360 cases of arrests, including 61 minor children

Palestine: Nazi army to confiscate land

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Image result for NAZI ARMY TAKING JEWISH GOODS

Nazi regime will confiscate Palestinian land in order to build a new road connecting illegal settlements in the southern occupied West Bank, reported the Jerusalem Post.

According to the report, the so-called bypass road will expand Road 60 that links the Nazi Jewish Gush Etzion illegal settlement junction with the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron.

Settlement watchdog NGO Peace Now provided the paper with a copy of a land confiscation order signed by the Nazi regime on 3 April, for a seven kilometre stretch of the new road.

Work on the road could begin as early as this summer.

Peace Now stated that the 401 dunams (99 acres) of Palestinian land from the towns of Beit Ommar and Halhul will be confiscated for the road construction.

“This expropriation is part of the government’s continued capitulation to the settlers, who want to build bypass roads throughout the West Bank,” Peace Now stated.

“The settlers know very well that without good roads, the settlements will not be able to develop – but they demand that they be built ‘for security reasons’.”

The NGO added that the bypass roads have nothing to do with so-called “security” reasons, but rather are intended to “expand the settlements and advance the annexation of the territories”.

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How Zionism helped create the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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The covert alliance between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity of Israel should be no surprise to any student of British imperialism. The problem is the study of British imperialism has very few students. Indeed, one can peruse any undergraduate or post-graduate British university prospectus and rarely find a module in a Politics degree on the British Empire let alone a dedicated degree or Masters degree. Of course if the European led imperialist carnage in the four years between 1914 – 1918 tickles your cerebral cells then it’s not too difficult to find an appropriate institution to teach this subject, but if you would like to delve into how and why the British Empire waged war on mankind for almost four hundred years you’re practically on your own in this endeavour. One must admit, that from the British establishment’s perspective, this is a formidable and remarkable achievement.

In late 2014, according to the American journal, Foreign Affairs, the Saudi petroleum Minister, Ali al-Naimi is reported to have said “His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states and the Jewish state is no exception.” Recently, Abdullah’s successor, King Salman expressed similar concerns to those of Israel’s to the growing agreement between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme. This led some to report that Israel and KSA presented a “united front” in their opposition to the nuclear deal. This was not the first time the Zionists and Saudis have found themselves in the same corner in dealing with a perceived common foe. In North Yemen in the 1960’s, the Saudis were financing a British imperialist led mercenary army campaign against revolutionary republicans who had assumed authority after overthrowing the authoritarian, Imam. Gamal Abdul-Nasser’s Egypt militarily backed the republicans, while the British induced the Saudis to finance and arm the remaining remnants of the Imam’s supporters. Furthermore, the British organised the Israelis to drop arms for the British proxies in North Yemen, 14 times. The British, in effect, militarily but covertly, brought the Zionists and Saudis together in 1960’s North Yemen against their common foe.

However, as this author has previously written, one must return to the 1920’s to fully appreciate the origins of this informal and indirect alliance between Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity. An illuminating study by Dr. Askar H. al-Enazy, titled, The Creation of Saudi Arabia: Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927, has further and uniquely provided any student of British Imperialism primary sourced evidence on the origins of this alliance. This study by Dr. Enazy influences the following piece.  The defeat of the Ottoman Empire by British imperialism in World War One, left three distinct authorities in the Arabian peninsula: Sharif of Hijaz: Hussain bin Ali of Hijaz (in the west), Ibn Rashid of Ha’il (in the north) and Emir Ibn Saud of Najd (in the east) and his religiously fanatical followers, the Wahhabis.

Ibn Saud had entered the war early in January 1915 on the side of the British, but was quickly defeated and his British handler, William Shakespear was killed by the Ottoman Empire’s ally Ibn Rashid. This defeat greatly hampered Ibn Saud’s utility to the Empire and left him militarily hamstrung for a year.[1] The Sharif contributed the most to the Ottoman Empire’s defeat by switching allegiances and leading the so-called ‘Arab Revolt’ in June 1916 which removed the Turkish presence from Arabia. He was convinced to totally alter his position because the British had strongly led him to believe, via correspondence with Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, that a unified Arab country from Gaza to the Persian Gulf will be established with the defeat of the Turks. The letters exchanged between Sharif Hussain and Henry McMahon are known as the McMahon-Hussain Correspondence.

Understandably, the Sharif as soon as the war ended wanted to hold the British to their war time promises, or what he perceived to be their war time promises, as expressed in the aforementioned correspondence. The British, on the other hand, wanted the Sharif to accept the Empire’s new reality which was a division of the Arab world between them and the French (Sykes-Picot agreement) and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, which guaranteed ‘a national for the Jewish people’ in Palestine by colonisation with European Jews. This new reality was contained in the British written, Anglo-Hijaz Treaty, which the Sharif was profoundly averse to signing.[2] After all, the revolt of 1916 against the Turks was dubbed the ‘Arab Revolt’ not the ‘Hijazi Revolt’.

Actually, the Sharif let it be known that he will never sell out Palestine to the Empire’s Balfour Declaration; he will never acquiescence to the establishment of Zionism in Palestine or accept the new random borders drawn across Arabia by British and French imperialists. For their part the British began referring to him as an ‘obstructionist’, a ‘nuisance’ and of having a ‘recalcitrant’ attitude.

The British let it be known to the Sharif that they were prepared to take drastic measures to bring about his approval of the new reality regardless of the service that he had rendered them during the War. After the Cairo Conference in March 1921, where the new Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill met with all the British operatives in the Middle East, T.E. Lawrence (i.e. of Arabia) was dispatched to meet the Sharif to bribe and bully him to accept Britain’s Zionist colonial project in Palestine. Initially, Lawrence and the Empire offered 80,000 rupees.[3] The Sharif rejected it outright. Lawrence then offered him an annual payment of £100,000.[4] The Sharif refused to compromise and sell Palestine to British Zionism.

When financial bribery failed to persuade the Sharif, Lawrence threatened him with an Ibn Saud takeover. Lawrence claimed that “politically and militarily, the survival of Hijaz as a viable independent Hashemite kingdom was wholly dependent on the political will of Britain, who had the means to protect and maintain his rule in the region.” [5] In between negotiating with the Sharif, Lawrence made the time to visit other leaders in the Arabian peninsula and informed them that they if they don’t tow the British line and avoid entering into an alliance with the Sharif, the Empire will unleash Ibn Saud and his Wahhabis who after all is at Britain’s ‘beck and call’.[6]

Simultaneously, after the Conference, Churchill travelled to Jerusalem and met with the Sharif’s son, Abdullah, who had been made the ruler, “Emir”, of a new territory called “Transjordan.” Churchill informed Abdullah that he should persuade “his father to accept the Palestine mandate and sign a treaty to such effect,” if not “the British would unleash Ibn Saud against Hijaz.”[7] In the meantime the British were planning to unleash Ibn Saud on the ruler of Ha’il, Ibn Rashid.

Ibn Rashid had rejected all overtures from the British Empire made to him via Ibn Saud, to be another of its puppets.[8] More so, Ibn Rashid expanded his territory north to the new mandated Palestinian border as well as to the borders of Iraq in the summer of 1920. The British became concerned that an alliance maybe brewing between Ibn Rashid who controlled the northern part of the peninsula and the Sharif who controlled the western part. More so, the Empire wanted the land routes between the Palestinian ports on the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf under the rule of a friendly party. At the Cairo Conference, Churchill agreed with an imperial officer, Sir Percy Cox that “Ibn Saud should be ‘given the opportunity to occupy Hail.’”[9] By the end of 1920, the British were showering Ibn Saud with “a monthly ‘grant’ of £10,000 in gold, on top of his monthly subsidy. He also received abundant arms supplies, totalling more than 10,000 rifles, in addition to the critical siege and four field guns” with British-Indian instructors.[10] Finally, in September 1921, the British unleashed Ibn Saud on Ha’il which officially surrendered in November 1921. It was after this victory the British bestowed a new title on Ibn Saud. He was no longer to be “Emir of Najd and Chief of its Tribes” but “Sultan of Najd and its Dependencies”. Ha’il had dissolved into a dependency of the Empire’s Sultan of Najd.

If the Empire thought that the Sharif, with Ibn Saud now on his border and armed to the teeth by the British, would finally become more amenable to the division of Arabia and the British Zionist colonial project in Palestine they were short lived. A new round of talks between Abdulla’s son, acting on behalf of his father in Transjordan and the Empire resulted in a draft treaty accepting Zionism. When it was delivered to the Sharif with an accompanying letter from his son requesting that he “accept reality”, he didn’t even bother to read the treaty and instead composed a draft treaty himself rejecting the new divisions of Arabia as well as the Balfour Declaration and sent it to London to be ratified![11]

Ever since 1919 the British had gradually decreased Hussain’s subsidy to the extent that by the early 1920’s they had suspended it, while at the same time continued subsidising Ibn Saud right through the early 1920’s.[12] After a further three rounds of negotiations in Amman and London, it dawned on the Empire that Hussain will never relinquish Palestine to Great Britain’s Zionist project or accept the new divisions in Arab lands.[13]In March 1923, the British informed Ibn Saud that it will cease his subsidy but not without awarding him an advance ‘grant’ of £50,000 upfront, which amounted to a year’s subsidy.[14]

In March 1924, a year after the British awarded the ‘grant’ to Ibn Saud, the Empire announced that it had terminated all discussions with Sharif Hussain to reach an agreement.[15] Within weeks the forces of Ibn Saud and his Wahhabi followers began to administer what the British foreign secretary, Lord Curzon called the “final kick” to Sharif Hussain and attacked Hijazi territory.[16] By September 1924, Ibn Saud had overrun the summer capital of Sharif Hussain, Ta’if. The Empire then wrote to Sharif’s sons, who had been awarded kingdoms in Iraq and Transjordan not to provide any assistance to their besieged father or in diplomatic terms they were informed “to give no countenance to interference in the Hedjaz”.[17] In Ta’if, Ibn Saud’s Wahhabis committed their customary massacres, slaughtering women and children as well as going into mosques and killing traditional Islamic scholars.[18] They captured the holiest place in Islam, Mecca, in mid-October 1924. Sharif Hussain was forced to abdicate and went to exile to the Hijazi port of Akaba. He was replaced as monarch by his son Ali who made Jeddah his governmental base. As Ibn Saud moved to lay siege to the rest of Hijaz, the British found the time to begin incorporating the northern Hijazi port of Akaba into Transjordan. Fearing that Sharif Hussain may use Akaba as a base to rally Arabs against the Empire’s Ibn Saud, the Empire let it be known that in no uncertain terms that he must leave Akaba or Ibn Saud will attack the port. For his part, Sharif Hussain responded that he had,

“never acknowledged the mandates on Arab countries and still protest against the British Government which has made Palestine a national home for the Jews.”[19]

Sharif Hussain was forced out of Akaba, a port he had liberated from the Ottoman Empire during the ‘Arab Revolt’, on the 18th June 1925 on HMS Cornflower.

Ibn Saud had begun his siege of Jeddah in January 1925 and the city finally surrendered in December 1925 bringing to an end over 1000 years of rule by the Prophet Muhammad’s descendants. The British officially recognised Ibn Saud as the new King of Hijaz in February 1926 with other European powers following suit within weeks. The new unified Wahhabi state was rebranded by the Empire in 1932 as the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” (KSA). A certain George Rendel, an officer working at the Middle East desk at the Foreign Office in London, claimed credit for the new name.

On the propaganda level, the British served the Wahhabi takeover of Hijaz on three fronts. Firstly, they portrayed and argued that Ibn Saud’s invasion of Hijaz was motivated by religious fanaticism rather than by British imperialism’s geo-political considerations.[20] This deception is propounded to this day, most recently in Adam Curtis’s acclaimed BBC “Bitter Lake” documentary, whereby he states that the “fierce intolerant vision of wahhabism” drove the “beduins” to create Saudi Arabia.[21] Secondly, the British portrayed Ibn Saud’s Wahhabi fanatics as a benign and misunderstood force who only wanted to bring Islam back to its purest form.[22] To this day, these Islamist jihadis are portrayed in the most benign manner when their armed insurrections is supported by Britain and the West such as 1980’s Afghanistan or in today’s Syria, where they are referred to in the western media as “moderate rebels.” Thirdly, British historians portray Ibn Saud as an independent force and not as a British instrument used to horn away anyone perceived to be surplus to imperial requirements. For example, Professor Eugene Rogan’s recent study on the history on Arabs claims that “Ibn Saud had no interest in fighting” the Ottoman Empire. This is far from accurate as Ibn Saud joined the war in 1915. He further disingenuously claims that Ibn Saud was only interested in advancing “his own objectives” which fortuitously always dovetailed with those of the British Empire.[23]

In conclusion, one of the most overlooked aspects of the Balfour Declaration is the British Empire’s commitment to “use their best endeavours to facilitate” the creation of “a national home for the Jewish people”. Obviously, many nations in the world today were created by the Empire but what makes Saudi Arabia’s borders distinctive is that its northern and north-eastern borders are the product of the Empire facilitating the creation of Israel. At the very least the dissolution of the two Arab sheikhdoms of Ha’il and Hijaz by Ibn Saud’s Wahhabis is based in their leaders’ rejection to facilitate the British Empire’s Zionist project in Palestine.

Therefore, it is very clear that the British Empire’s drive to impose Zionism in Palestine is embedded in the geographical DNA of contemporary Saudi Arabia. There is further irony in the fact that the two holiest sites in Islam are today governed by the Saudi clan and Wahhabi teachings because the Empire was laying the foundations for Zionism in Palestine in the 1920s. Contemporaneously, it is no surprise that both Israel and Saudi Arabia are keen in militarily intervening on the side of “moderate rebels” i.e. jihadis, in the current war on Syria, a country which covertly and overtly rejects the Zionist colonisation of Palestine.

As the United States, the ‘successor’ to the British Empire in defending western interests in the Middle East, is perceived to be growing more hesitant in engaging militarily in the Middle East, there is an inevitability that the two nations rooted in the Empire’s Balfour Declaration, Israel and Saudi Arabia, would develop a more overt alliance to defend their common interests.

Notes

[1] Gary Troeller, “The Birth of Saudi Arabia” (London: Frank Cass, 1976) pg.91.

[2] Askar H. al-Enazy, “ The Creation of Saudi Arabia: Ibn Saud and British Imperial Policy, 1914-1927” (London: Routledge, 2010), pg. 105-106.

[3] ibid., pg. 109.

[4] ibid., pg.111.

[5] ibid.

[6] ibid.

[7] ibid., pg 107.

[8] ibid., pg. 45-46 and pg.101-102.

[9] ibid., pg.104.

[10] ibid.

[11] ibid., pg. 113.

[12] ibid., pg.110 and Troeller, op. cit., pg.166.

[13] al-Enazy op cit., pg.112-125.

[14] al-Enazy, op. cit., pg.120.

[15] ibid., pg.129.

[16] ibid., pg. 106 and Troeller op. cit., 152.

[17] al-Enazy, op. cit., pg. 136 and Troeller op. cit., pg.219.

[18] David Howarth, “The Desert King: The Life of Ibn Saud” (London: Quartet Books, 1980), pg. 133 and Randall Baker, “King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz” (Cambridge: The Oleander Press, 1979), pg.201-202.

[19] Quoted in al-Enazy op. cit., pg. 144.

[20] ibid., pg. 138 and Troeller op. cit., pg. 216.

[21]In the original full length BBC iPlayer version this segment begins towards the end at 2 hrs 12 minutes 24 seconds.

[22] al-Enazy op. cit., pg. 153.

[23] Eugene Rogan, “The Arabs: A History”, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), pg.220.

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Gaza: Nazi regime justifies killing child protesters

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Israeli government justifies killing child protesters in Gaza: They’re not in school

The picture of Alaa Zamli, 15, is on top of this post because of his beautiful smile, which should have taken him very far in life. But he lived in Gaza, where he was killed by an Israeli sniper during the fence protests April 10. Today Ben White tweeted Zamli’s picture along with those of three other children protesters Israeli snipers have killed in Gaza.

Israeli soldiers have killed four Palestinian children during the protests in the occupied Gaza Strip since March 30. Every sniper shot is approved, & recorded, Israeli officials say.

Ibrahim Abu Sha’er, 17, killed by Israeli sniper in Gaza

Hussein Madi, 13, killed by Israeli sniper in Gaza

Mohammad Ayoub, 14, killed by Israeli sniper in Gaza

Mohammed Ayoub was the last to be killed: last Friday at 4:30 PM.

Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett was asked on Sunday if Israel had not gone too far when it killed Ayoub, as Orly Noy reports at +972:

Army Radio morning show host Razi Barkai asked Education Minister Naftali Bennett if “we had gone too far” in killing 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub during the Gaza return march protests last Friday.

“If he had gone to school like every other kid,” Bennett responded, “there wouldn’t have been a problem.” That is what Israel’s education minister had to say about the murder of a child – killed by a sniper’s bullet – during a protest.

This is now a theme of Israeli propaganda surrounding the killings in Gaza: the children are to blame for not being in school, or not reading books.

Two days ago the Israeli government agency that administers the occupied territories (COGAT) posted to Facebook  this photograph of a Palestinian child holding a rock at the Gaza protests, and said: “When you give children rocks to throw instead of books to learn from, it is no wonder why Gaza is in the state it is.”

Picture of child holding a rock in Gaza, posted by Israeli administration of occupied territories.

The agency went on to blame this lack of education and violence on Hamas. “The Hamas terrorist organization is raising a generation of children who learn only violence rather than receiving tools for the rest of their life…. As [long] as Gazans begin to invest in their children’s future instead of following the path of destruction Hamas leads them on, there will only be continued hardships in Gaza.”

But the violence is going in one direction now: no Israeli has been injured seriously in the ongoing onslaught on Gaza. B’Tselem has said it is unlawful to direct “live fire at unarmed civilians who do not pose a danger…. Israeli officials are relying on worst-case scenarios to justify these orders.”

The main reason that children are holding rocks is that they have grown up being educated by their parents about villages inside Israel from which their parents and grandparents were expelled– the basis of the Great March of Return.

The killing of unarmed children by sniper fire ought to be a big story in the U.S. It’s not. Although, yes, Gaza has obviously marked a turning point in American Jewish opinion. Natalie Portman cited the Gaza “atrocities” when she refused to attend a prize ceremony in Israel at which she was to receive a $2 million award, and that boycott by a famous Jewish actress has spiked fear among leading Zionists.

But Israeli justifications for killing Gazans were given a platform last week at J Street, the Democratic Party’s Israel lobby, when Israeli politician Tzipi Livni said from the main stage:

I also know the ethical code of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces]. So if a soldier breaks that ethical code or violates the law, he is prosecuted and punished and I want you to know that because the state of Israel with the values that it represents does not and should not tolerate it. And I share this with you because I am familiar with the criticize [sic]. I know what the pictures that you see here. And I know that it is sometimes difficult to stand with these values and stand with Israel’s security, and I just wanted to share this with you personally.

This claim is patently false. As B’Tselem says:

The military’s announcement that the general staff investigation mechanism led by Brig. Gen. Motti Baruch will look into the incidents in which Palestinians were killed, focusing on civilian deaths, is pure propaganda, intended – among other things – to prevent an independent international investigation.

On a more hopeful note: Israeli justifications for violence are not being accepted by IfNotNow, the young insurgent American Jewish group that is demanding that Jewish leaders speak out so that more Palestinians are not killed.

One of the principal supports for Israeli occupation is the fact that the media fails to inform us about its horrors. We can only hope that the killings of these children– for not being in school –get the attention they deserve.

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Jared Kushner: ‘Two-state solution didn’t work’

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Two-state solution didn’t work, Jared Kushner says, signaling possible support for Israeli annexation

The Trump administration’s lead Middle East negotiator, Jared Kushner commented on his forthcoming plan two days ago at a Time Magazine forum in New York. It’ll come out after Netanyahu’s “great victory” and after Ramadan.

We were getting ready at the end of last year, and then obviously they called for Israeli elections. Prime Minister Netanyahu had a great victory, and he’s in the middle of forming his coalition. Once that’s done, we’ll probably be in the middle of Ramadan. So we’ll wait till after Ramadan and then we’ll put our plan out….

They’ve talked with people “from the region.” I.e., not so much Palestinians.

When my father in law asked me to work on this project, the Middle East peace process, it’s about as tough a problem set as you can get. So we’ve taken I think an unconventional approach. We’ve studied all the different past efforts and how they’ve failed and why they’ve failed…. We’ve tried to do it a little bit differently. Normally they start with a process and then hope that the process leads to a resolution for something to happen they haven’t been able to resolve for a long time. What we’ve done is the opposite. We’ve done very extensive research and a lot of talking to a lot of the people, we’re not trying to impose our will. I think that the document you’ll see which is a very detailed proposal, is something we created by engaging with a lot of people from the region and people who have worked on this in the past. I hope that it’s a very comprehensive vision for what can be if people are willing to make some hard decisions.

So we started with a proposed solution then we’ll work on a process to try to get there.

Time’s White House correspondent, Brian Bennett, asked Kushner about the “two state solution.”

Yes, so we have not said today, we are going to lay that out very clearly… I think that if people focus on the old traditional talking points, we will never make progress. Right? You had the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002 which I think was a very good attempt. If that would have worked, we would have made peace a long time ago on that basis. So what we’re going to put out is different. Our focus is really on the bottom up, which is how do you make the lives of the Palestinian people better? What can you resolve to allow these areas to become more investable? We deal with all the core status issues because you have to do it, but we’ve also built a robust business plan for the whole region. I think that the two together have the opportunity to push forward. And then from Israel’s point of view, their biggest concern is just security. And I think that what we do, is something that allows for Israel to maintain security, but there’ll be tough compromises for both.

That implies an “economic” peace. Palestinians get more investment, no sovereignty.

And I hope that when they [Israelis and Palestinians] look at our proposal, I’m not saying they’re going to look at it and say, this is perfect and let’s go forward. I’m hopeful what they’ll do is to say, look, there are some compromises here, but at the end of the day, this is really a framework that can allow us to make our lives materially better. And we’ll see if the leadership on both sides has the courage to take the leap to try to go forward.

Liberal Zionists are expressing alarm over the comments. “I think this may be the first time that Kushner has clearly disavowed two states on the record,” writes Michael Koplow. Koplow posted an analysis at the Israel Policy Forum saying Kushner has ditched the two-state solution “altogether” and is allowing annexation, and making clear that “Palestinians should give up any hopes of political sovereignty.”

[The] peace initiative… is branded as the deal of the century but is in fact a thinly veiled attempt to shift the Overton window so that it is centered on the Israeli right’s most ambitious fever dream. This would not actually be a deal in any normative sense of the word since there is no expectation of it being accepted by the Palestinian side, or even being balanced enough to allow for any type of negotiations. It would instead set a new baseline of unrealistic expectations for the Israeli side that would sabotage any potential future deal by moving the Israeli and Palestinian sides even further apart, with an even greater likelihood of paving the way for Israeli annexation of the West Bank as the U.S. cheers it on.

And it is this final step that would cement the disaster for Israel, as any claim to having moral authority as the only democracy in the Middle East, or shaking off the occupation of the West Bank as a temporary measure born from having no partner, would be gone forever. It would mean an endless fight against an empowered BDS that at some point will get real buy-in from European governments, the death of Israeli dreams of eventual integration into the wider Middle East and normalized relations with Sunni states, and a security hellscape dealing with Palestinians who want either their own state or Israeli citizenship but are not willing to countenance permanent second class status through autonomy on 40% of the West Bank. It would mean an Israel that never has quiet and sustainable borders, is never treated as a normal country, and is fated to fight a never-ending battle against its neighbors, the world, and its own conscience.

Leading Democrats have come out against Israeli annexation of portions of the West Bank.

P.S. Kushner was mildly critical of Saudi Arabia’s response to the Houthi rebellion. “Maybe they haven’t done the best job,” he said, but Saudi Arabia is in the same position as Israel is with Hamas in Gaza. “They need to be able to defend themselves.” And it’s “very pragmatic” for the U.S. to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia.

“We’ve urged the Saudis to try to loosen up a lot of the aid to get in to the people,” Kushner said.

The president’s son-in-law is said to be close to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, and at a dinner Tuesday night the film star Hasan Minhaj called on Kushner to reach out to MbS to get him to release women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul,

Thanks to Allison Deger. 

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Jewish Rabbis laud Hitler, urge enslaving Arabs

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Embracing racism, rabbis at pre-army yeshiva laud Hitler, urge enslaving Arabs

Recordings show instructors at settlement academy openly promoting Jewish supremacy; principal says Arabs want to live under Israeli occupation due to their genetic inferiority

Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, the head of the pre-military academy in the West Bank settlement in Eli. (screen capture: Channel 13)

Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, the head of the pre-military academy in the West Bank settlement in Eli. (screen capture: Channel 13)

Two rabbis at a pre-military religious academy in a West Bank settlement were recorded making derogatory and racist comments about Arabs, defending Adolf Hitler’s worldview, and openly promoting Jewish supremacy.

In a series of undated recordings published by Channel 13 news on Monday, Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, the head of the Bnei David academy in Eli, can be heard calling for the enslavement of the “stupid and violent” non-Jews due to their genetic inferiority.

“The gentiles will want to be our slaves. Being a slave to a Jew is the best. They’re glad to be slaves, they want to be slaves,” he told a class in one of the video clips. “Instead of just walking the streets and being stupid and violent and harming each other, once they’re slaves, their lives can begin to take shape.”

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun with their dogs, June 1942. (Bundesarchiv bild)

‘Hitler lived’: Scholar explores the conspiracies that just won’t die

“All around us, we are surrounded by peoples with genetic problems. Ask a simple Arab ‘where do you want to be?’ He wants to be under the occupation. Why? Because they have genetic problems, they don’t know how to run a country, they don’t know how to do anything. Look at them.”

In the lecture, Kashtiel goes on to embrace racism against non-Jews.

“Yes, we’re racists. We believe in racism… There are races in the world and peoples have genetic traits, and that requires us to try to help them,” he said. “The Jews are a more successful race.”

Rabbi Giora Redler, a teacher at the the pre-military academy in the West Bank settlement in Eli. (screen capture: Channel 13)

In another clip from the Bnei David Yeshiva published by Channel 13, Rabbi Giora Redler can be heard praising Hilter’s ideology during a lesson about the Holocaust.

“Let’s just start with whether Hitler was right or not,” he told students. “He was the most correct person there ever was, and was correct in every word he said… he was just on the wrong side.”

Redler goes on to say that pluralism is the “real” genocide being perpetrated against the Jewish people, not Nazi Germany’s Final Solution.

“The real Holocaust was not when they murdered the Jews, that’s not it. All these excuses — that it was ideological or systematic — are nonsense,” he said. “Humanism, and the secular culture of ‘We believe in man,’ that’s the Holocaust.”

The comments drew wide condemnation from opposition lawmakers who called for pulling all state funding to the Eli-based academy over Kashtiel’s and Redler’s remarks.

Students at the Bnei David pre-army academy learn in the study hall. (Screen capture/YouTube)

“This is not Judaism, and these are not our values,” Blue and White MK Yair Lapid said in a statement. “People who talk this way are not worthy of calling themselves rabbis… the state needs to stop funding this program until the racist rabbis are removed.”

Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg sent a letter to the Education Ministry demanding that all state funding be severed in light of “the chauvinism, homophobia and hate being spewed from that academy.”

After the footage was aired on Monday, Kashtiel and Redler,  in a statement to Channel 13, acknowledged making the remarks but claimed the comments were taken out of context.

Kashtiel said he was “pained” that his “lesson on human rights” was misinterpreted, telling the network he meant the precise opposite, and was calling for “social responsibility and caring for the weak.” He said his references to slavery and racism were a “modernist-socialist interpretation” of those concepts.

Read: Officers and gentlemen? Religious Zionist flagship academy comes under scrutiny

In his lesson, Redler said he was simply trying to “explain Hitler’s morbid logic,” and accused the media of a “cynical smear” against him days before Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rabbis teaching at the Eli academy — a darling of the national religious camp for funneling of thousands of religious officers into senior combat positions in the IDF — have a history of making controversial and illiberal remarks.

R
 
abbi Yigal Levinstein speaking at the ‘Zion and Jerusalem’ convention in July 2016. (Screen capture: YouTube)
In 2016, the co-founder of the Bnei David academy, Yigal Levinstein, was recorded in class calling gay people “sick and perverted. In another lecture that year, Levinstein claimed that drafting women to the IDF was making them “crazy” and stripped them of their Jewishness.

Bnei David’s other co-founder, Rabbi Eli Sadan, preaches against educating women, claiming that independent thinking “neuters their most important capability… to build the home.”

Last year, footage surfaced of another Bnei David teacher, Rabbi Yosef Kelner, lecturing students on women being “weak-minded” and possessing a reduced capacity for spirituality.

In 2017, then-defense minister Avigdor Liberman vowed to defund the Eli academy, but the move was blocked by the attorney general for legal reasons. Instead, Liberman announced that he would restrict the number of students as a punitive measure for the “constant sexism” at the Eli academy.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Jewish Rabbis laud Hitler, urge enslaving Arabs

Saud, 87 billion dollars to promote Wahhabi terrorism

NOVANEWS
Iranian International Affairs and Security Officer Gholamhossein Dehghani said Saudi Arabia has invested $ 87 billion over the past 50 years to promote terrorism.

The Director-General for Political and International Security Affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Gholamhossein Dehghani, made these remarks last month during a speech at a session of the Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) , hosted by the capital of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan.

Dehghani said that the main culprit for the spread of terrorist movements is Saudi Arabia, adding that “in the last 50 years the Saudi regime has directly sponsored terrorist activities at a cost of 87 billion dollars”.

“All this happens while the main countries of the world are reluctant to publish such reports and take a position because of their extremely advantageous military contracts with Saudi Arabia,” the Iranian official added.Dehghani claims that while Saudi Arabia is the main sponsor of takfiri ideologies, it is absurd to accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorism; “Riyadh’s statement is in total conflict with the spirit and principles of the OIC Charter.”

“Any support from OIC to Saudi rulers will only increase self-confidence and further advance extremist, violent, terrorist and sectarian policies among Muslim countries,” said Dehghani, warning that this trend will undermine and weaken unity Muslim. Dehghani also stressed that the credibility and efficiency of OIC have been severely damaged in recent years due to the unilateral measures of Saudi Arabia.

“The credibility of the OIC must be rebuilt, for this reason all the member states must first of all respect the regulations governing interactions in international institutions; secondly, they must avoid undemocratic practices, such as the approval of maximum documents and make decisions without respecting legal and democratic procedures; and third, to avoid resorting to illegal methods to silence others “.

Posted in USA, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Saud, 87 billion dollars to promote Wahhabi terrorism

Jewish-Zionist terrorism, this stranger

NOVANEWS

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Terrorism – “They want to live simply, in communion with God,” says Gedalia Mayer. Gedalia is the father of Mordechai, an 18-year-old graduate who has spent the last few years in the company of his friends, visiting theWest Bank .

A boy like so many others, yet it is not what the Shin Bet thinks, which identified Mordechai as a member of the responsible Jewish terrorist network, among the various crimes attributed, of the arson in which a Palestinian family was killed in Duma , village in the West Bank.

The Duma attack

On the night of 30 July 2015, Amiram Ben-Oliel, a 21-year-old rabbi’s son, meets a friend of his (not yet identified, although Shin Bet thinks of Mordechai Mayer) in a cave between Ramallah and Nablus, in the heart of the West Bank. Their goal is the villages of Duma and Majdal Beni Fadal. Once arrived, according to reports, they would have covered their faces and hands in search of an empty house. But they come across Sa’ad and Riham Dawabshih, a young couple with Ali, an 18-month-old child. Words like “Vendetta” and “Long life to the Messiah” are written on the house. After that, they throw a Molotov cocktail and set fire to it, no member of the Palestinian family will be saved.

The phenomenon

Already from the first months of 2015, we became aware of this terrorist network probably born daw2around 2013 in response to Israeli power judged too permissive and democratic. The perpetrators are judged with special rules so far used only for Palestinians: they are arrested without the possibility of paying bail and remain in the cell for at least three weeks without being able to see their lawyers.Israeli extremists act in an uncontrolled manner by setting fires or throwing tear gas into Palestinian homes, in most cases acting in the night.The Zionist religious leaders have obviously distanced themselves from the facts: “It is a horrible crime” – declared Yisrael Harel veteran Zionist – “but I think it is a phenomenon destined to disappear. It is more a social plague than a terrorist one ”. This is an answer that perhaps does not take into account the gravity of the acts perpetrated so far.

What do Jewish extremists want?

Jewish extremists literally want to collapse the state of Israel, not recognizing themselves in state democratic forms and wanting to create a real Jewish Kingdom based entirely on religious laws by expelling all those who do not profess the Jewish faith. Moshe Orbach even published a manual explaining how to set fire to mosques and Palestinian homes. Modalities that would make one think of other extremisms and that instead are born within the middle-high Jewish class, from boys very often children of rabbis or Israeli teachers. A phenomenon often underestimated, still little known. Gasoline on the fire of a conflict whose beginning is lost in memory.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Jewish-Zionist terrorism, this stranger


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