Archive | January 14th, 2020

India’s Kashmiri Detainee Self-Censorship Demand Is Undemocratic

By: Andrew Korvbko  

Asia-Pacific Research,

India’s demand that thousands of Kashmiri detainees sign a bond that commits them to not to make any comments on “recent events” as a condition for their release after they were previously apprehended without charge for five months already is the definition of an undemocratic practice which exposes the fundamental hypocrisy behind the self-professed “world’s largest democracy”.

Sputnik reported that India demanded that that thousands of Kashmiri detainees sign a bond that commits them to not make any comments on “recent events” as a condition for their release after they were previously apprehended without charge for five months already. So as not to be accused of misportraying the report in question, its contents are being republished below in full prior to being analyzed by the author:

“Thousands were detained under India’s Public Safety Act, a law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial, in Jammu and Kashmir before the Narendra Modi-led government revoked Articles 370 of the Constitution, stripping the state of its special status on 5 August.

The detained people, who are being released after five months of imprisonment, have to sign a bond where they say they will not make any comment or statement on the “recent events” in Jammu and Kashmir.

The bond, signed under Section 117 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), includes Section 107, which states that the executive magistrate has the power to apprehend any individual for not more than a year on information that a person is likely to disturb peace and public tranquillity.

I undertake that in case of release from the detention, I will not make any comment(s) or statement(s) or make public speech(s), (or) hold or participate in public assembly(s) related to the recent events in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, at the present time, since it has the potential of endangering the peace and tranquillity and law and order in the State or any part thereof for a period of one year,” section two of the bond reads.

Nearly 4,000 people were arrested and some political leaders were detained after the revocation of Article 370, over fears of outbreaks of unrest and “most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity”, news agency AFP had quoted an official as saying.

The government bifurcated the state into two federally-administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The union territory then imposed a communications clampdown as new charges for mobile phone services were imposed. Postpaid mobile calling and messaging services along with broadband internet have been resumed, but internet services remain suspended. India’s apex court has termed the restrictions unconstitutional.

A delegation of envoys from 15 countries such as the United States, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Maldives, Morocco, Fiji, Norway, Philippines, Argentina, Peru, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Guyana visited the Jammu and Kashmir on 9 January.”

There are many observations that can be made from Sputnik’s report, the most obvious of which is the very fact that one of Russia’s main publicly funded international media outlets is reporting on something very unflattering for India’s international reputation. This speaks both to the outlet’s efforts to remain somewhat “impartial” regarding regional events and also Russia’s own efforts to “balance” regional affairs.

The second point is that the widespread awareness of India’s “lawfare” against what the government is “officially” supposed to regard as its own “citizens” contradicts its self-professed claim of being the “world’s largest democracy”. No substantively real democracy would force people who were detained without charge to sign a bond prohibiting them from commenting on “recent events”.

That policy in effect prohibits them from discussing any possible human rights abuses during their imprisonment, notwithstanding the fact that detaining them in the first place without charge is arguably among them. As such, they could have their bond revoked and be re-arrested if they violate the terms of their release by opining on their UNSC-recognized disputed region’s annexation.

Moreover, considering that their very imprisonment without charge was due to “recent events”, the state might further abuse its “writ” by jailing them if it’s discovered that they shared their personal experiences over the past five months in prison with trusted family and friends, blogged about it on social media, or spoke to local, national, or international media about it.

Another point of pertinence is what Sputnik reported about the released detainees’ obligation not to participate in any public assembly related to recent events either. Protests sometimes spontaneously erupt after Friday prayers, so it’s foreseeable that someone who might not have any intention to participate in such assemblies might simply be caught in the action, which thus intimidates them against practicing their religion.

What’s all the more ironic about this is that India is staging carefully choreographed tours of the occupied region for foreign envoys in order to project the image that everything is fine and dandy, yet those visiting dignitaries aren’t allowed to speak to any of the former detainees on pane of the latter being imprisoned for violating the terms of their release.

The US has no problem with this undemocratic practice and instead chooses to remain silent as a quid pro quo for India choosing to team up with it in pursuit of their shared goal of “containing” China. On the other hand, the US regularly criticizes China for its anti-terrorist and deradicalization program in Xinjiang, yet foreign dignitaries and even journalists are allowed to speak to former detainees, unlike in Indian-Occupied Kashmir.

Trump just tweeted over the weekend that “The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people. There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.” He’s not, however, making any such demand of India despite New Delhi doing the exact same thing as Iran is accused of.

India has committed wanton acts of violence against the Kashmiris over the years and proudly detained thousands of them without charge since last August, to say nothing of having shut down their internet service for over five months already. It’s not being criticized, though, because the US has grand strategic interests in remaining on its good side, playing “bad cop” only when it concerns trade ties and Russian arms imports.

The takeaway from all of this is that India is more like the world’s largest fascist state (especially when considering the recent political violence carried out by the “Modi Mob” against protesting students) than the “world’s largest democracy”, but that most of the world chooses to remain silent either because they’re eyeing its enormous market potential like Western nations are or its growing oil demand like many Muslim ones are.

It was therefore a journalist service to the rest of the world that Sputnik thought it fitting to inform its global audience about India’s undemocratic treatment of Kashmiri detainees who were already in custody for over five months without charge. That in and of itself is a gross violation of human rights, but it’s made all the worse by these victims being unable to share their experiences without fear of being thrown back into prison.

Posted in India, Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on India’s Kashmiri Detainee Self-Censorship Demand Is Undemocratic

Iran to Sue the US and Trump for Killing General Soleimani

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research,

According to Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmayeeli, the country’s ruling authorities will sue the US in international courts for Soleimani’s assassination.

“This brutal act was a violation of human rights and all international rules,” Esmayeeli stressed, adding:

“Martyr Soleimani was the official guest of the Iraqi government officials as a high-ranking (Iranian) official, and a foreign state has committed this crime in Iraq.”

“The criminal US government’s measure to martyr General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and their entourage is a terrorist act from the legal view of point and a clear instance of state terrorism.”

Iran’s Chief Justice Seyed Ebrahim Raisi said “(t)hose who commit offenses will be prosecuted,” adding:

“We need to name the US president as the main defendant. We won’t let it slide. He must be convicted at the international level.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC), not the ICJ, is the proper tribunal for prosecuting individuals for crimes of war, against humanity, genocide, and aggression.

Since established by the Rome Statute in 2002, the ICC never held the US, other Western nations, or Israel accountable for  indisputable high crimes — just their victims.

Time and again, the court breached its mandate to “end  impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern.”

Clearly it won’t lay a glove on Trump or any other US official involved in Soleimani’s assassination.

Even if it agrees to hear the case, justice will not follow, how it operated since established — prosecuting victims of imperial crimes, not their perpetrators.World Court Rules on the Illegality of US Sanctions against Iran

Iran will likely seek redress against the US in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), mandated to settle international legal disputes, along with issuing advisory opinions on international legal issues referred to the court by the UN.

In July 2018, Iran filed suit against the Trump regime in the ICJ for violating provisions of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights between both countries.

At the time, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted:

“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations.”

The Trump regime “violated and continues to violate multiple provisions” of the 1955 treaty – along with unlawfully pulling out of the JCPOA, an international treaty, unanimously affirmed by Security Council members, making it binding international law.

In October 2018, the ICJ ruled for Iran, in response its Foreign Ministry said the following:

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the decision made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the only major judicial body of the UN and the tribunal’s issuing of an injunction against the US administration’s illegal move to restore unilateral sanctions which came upon the country’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal,” adding:

“(T)he court’s unanimous decision (is a) clear testament to the truthfulness of Iran and the illegitimacy and unfairness of the United States’ sanctions against our country’s people and citizens.”

Though the rulings by the ICJ and ICC are binding, Washington notoriously flouts what conflicts with its interests.

The Trump regime ignored the ICJ’s earlier ruling for Iran, imposing multiple new rounds of sanctions after it was issued.

However the ICJ, ICC, or another international tribunal rules on Soleimani’s assassination, hardwired anti-Iran Trump regime policy won’t change.

Hegemons operate by their own rules, flouting the rule of law with impunity, ignoring judicial rulings against their interests.

Suing the US and Trump in international tribunals is the right thing to do.

The case for Iran is open and shut — even though redress for unlawful US actions in international tribunals is unattainable.

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on Iran to Sue the US and Trump for Killing General Soleimani

We ‘Slaughtered’ Jeremy Corbyn, Says ‘Israel’ Lobbyist

By Asa Winstanley

Global Research,

The lobbyist is part of CAA, one of the most active right-wing Zionist groups promoting the false notion that Britain’s Labour Party became an anti-Semitic party after Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership in 2015.

***

A prominent Israel lobbyist in the UK has claimed credit for last month’s electoral defeat of the British Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

“The beast is slain,” Joe Glasman delighted – Corbyn has been “slaughtered.”

He rejoiced that “we defeated him” in the election. “They tried to kill us,” he ranted, but “we won.”

Glasman leads the “political investigations team” at the Campaign Against Antisemitism, or CAA – an influential anti-Palestinian lobby group.

He made his comments in a bizarre video rant addressed to his team of supporters that he posted online during the holiday break.

The video was soon set to private.

But left-wing Labour activists managed to download a copy and posted it on the Barnet Momentum Facebook page.

In the video Glasman claimed he and his supporters beat Corbyn through a coordinated campaign using methods including “our spies and intel.”The pro-Israeli Lobby’s War on Jeremy Corbyn

But he said his group were “not secret Mossad spies, they’re just ordinary people.”

The video swiftly became an embarrassment. Other copies posted online have been taken down following copyright claims by Glasman.

The Electronic Intifada is reposting the full video to YouTube channel for news reporting purposes.

Partisan “charity”

After he was subjected to a four-year witch hunt targeting the left and Palestine solidarity activists over alleged “Labour anti-Semitism,” Corbyn lost last month’s general election.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism was founded in 2014 during Israel’s war against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, to counter rising criticism of Israel. It did so primarily by smearing critics as anti-Semitic.

It has been one of the most active right-wing Zionist groups promoting the false notion that Labour became an anti-Semitic party after Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership in 2015.

But as anti-Zionist Palestine solidarity campaigner Tony Greenstein recently put it, “The one thing that the Campaign Against Antisemitism doesn’t do is to campaign against anti-Semitism.”

In fact, Greenstein argued on his blog, “anti-Semitism of the traditional kind is all but ignored by it, but [fake] ‘anti-Semitism’ of the anti-Zionist or pro-Palestinian variety is very much its concern.”

Despite being a registered charity, and thus supposedly non-partisan, the CAA openly campaigned against Labour and against Corbyn.

It organised demonstrations against Labour, including one day before last month’s general election. Greenstein has complained to the Charity Commission, calling for the regulator to remove the group’s tax-exempt status.

Anti-Palestinian agenda

The Campaign Against Antisemitism habitually smears Palestinians and their supporters.

In 2017, it attacked Malaka Shwaikh, a Palestinian from Gaza then running in student elections in Exeter. The attacks sparked a barrage of threats and harassment against her.

Now a lecturer at the University of Leeds, Shwaikh told The Electronic Intifada at the time, “The right of free speech on campus has been threatened.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, UKComments Off on We ‘Slaughtered’ Jeremy Corbyn, Says ‘Israel’ Lobbyist

The Cost of Brexit – £200 bn in ‘Collateral Damage’ and Counting

By True Publica

Global Research,

Brexit has now cost the UK £130bn in what is termed as “collateral damage” since the referendum, a new study suggests. And this number is set to rise another £70bn by the end of 2020.

Bloomberg Economics said Britain’s economy had been “lacklustre” over the three-and-a-half years since a majority of voters backed Leave in the EU referendum in 2016.

Its analysis shows British companies performed poorly, even accounting for the weaker global economy by international standards

It predicted Brexit would continue to hold back national output, forecasting a further £70bn hit in lost opportunities for growth this year.

Even the boost BE expects from prime minister Boris Johnson’s decisive election victory in December won’t stop a further £70bn being added this year,” wrote its chief UK economist and former Treasury official Dan Hanson.

The Conservatives’ landslide victory in December broke the long-running political deadlock at Westminster, paving the way for Britain’s departure on 31 January.

But while Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal bill attempts to tackle key issues linked to Britain’s departure, official talks over the future of EU-UK trade and wider relations have not even begun. Although the British government have stated that the EU deal will be done by 31st December 2020, EU officials do not agree stating that it could take years.Brexit – The Truth About the Economy and What’s Next

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, warned in a speech on Thursday of the risk “uncertainties over future trading relationships could remain entrenched.”

He said such uncertainty had already proved a “persistent drag” already on the UK economy, slowing growth below its potential, particularly through reduced business investment. Inward investment into Britain has all but collapsed since 2016.

Carney, who leaves his role in March, said growth had “significantly underperformed” the central bank’s predictions prior to the referendum.

He said GDP was 3% lower than might have been expected if Britain had voted to stay, taking into account how the rest of the world’s economies had performed since June 2016.

Uncertainty has dented business investment and innovation, hitting firms’ capacity to grow, according to Carney.

Many firms and investors fear Brexit will mean new barriers to trade with EU partners. Contingency planning has also drained firms of “considerable time and resources,” Carney said.

Investment has significantly fallen in four of the past seven quarters, with growth more than 20% less than forecast by the bank before the referendum in May 2016. Household spending has also fallen in the past year adding to economic woes.

He added: “Brexit-related uncertainties may have dissuaded companies from expanding supply capacity or entering new markets.”

But the survey of business leaders, conducted by accountancy giant Deloitte, saw 38% say they planned to increase investment in 2020. That marked the highest proportion in four years, while Brexit also dropped from the top to third on a list of their greatest concerns.

Posted in UKComments Off on The Cost of Brexit – £200 bn in ‘Collateral Damage’ and Counting

Seventy Years of U.S. Destabilisation in China. U.S. Sponsored Uyghur Insurgency in Xinjiang

By Shane Quinn

Global Research,

China’s exit in October 1949, from the sphere of US control, was perhaps the heaviest blow to strike American post-World War II global hegemony. China’s successful drive for independence had been anticipated in Washington for many months.

In September 1948, the far-sighted American diplomat George Kennan noted that “there are considerable limitations on what we can do to affect the course of events in China”. Over the elapsing seven decades since, the scale of American influence in China’s domestic affairs has been restricted at best, but continues apace nonetheless. Washington has implemented a range of policies in the hope of destabilising and splintering China.

The Pentagon’s strategies towards China have somewhat mirrored those they directed against the USSR: Utilisation of proxy groups, extremists and ethnic minorities, along with client states.

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIC), a terrorist organisation, was founded by Uyghur jihadists in 1988, just as separatist uprisings were breaking out in Xinjiang province, north-western China. The Turkistan Islamic Party, previously known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, received CIA sponsorship from its early existence.

In contradictory fashion, the Turkistan Islamic Party, which is based largely in north-western Pakistan, is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, along with other major countries like Russia, and of course China and its neighbour Pakistan.

By 2001, militant Uyghurs were preparing for guerrilla warfare in the same camps situated in Afghanistan where the CIA and ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, had once provided training to Mujahideen extremists – in order to hamper Soviet troops embedded in Afghanistan 40 years ago. Between 1990 and 2001, the Turkistan Islamic Party perpetrated over 200 terrorist acts, including blowing up vehicles, market places and assassinating Chinese government officials.

Following the September 11 attacks on America, Uyghur extremists were seen fighting against US soldiers during Washington’s “war on terror” in Afghanistan. Almost two dozen Uyghurs were sent to the notorious US-run Guantanamo detention camp in south-eastern Cuba, with some Uyghurs held there for as long as 12 years.

High profile Uyghur separatists, like the Xinjiang-born Anwar Yusuf Turani, founder of the East Turkestan Government in exile, is himself living in the state of Virginia, on America’s east coast. Turani has been a willing tool in Washington’s power game with China; in June 1999, he met with president Bill Clinton and asked him to back political movements seeking independence for Xinjiang; and Turani later enjoyed dialogue with Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, who promised to support the “fundamental human rights” of “Uyghurs and others living in China”.

Further prominent Uyghur exiles living in America have called for Xinjiang’s independence from China, such as Rebiya Kadeer, a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, born in Xinjiang, and who also resides in the US state of Virginia.

For 11 years until November 2017, she was the leader of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), headquartered in Munich, and which is partly funded by the National Endowment For Democracy (NED). The NED, partially subsidised by the United States Congress, has a long history of “soft power” interference in sovereign states around the world: China, Nicaragua, the Ukraine, and so on.

The World Uyghur Congress was established in April 2004 by Erkin Alptekin, a former adviser to the CIA.

Kadeer’s husband has previously worked as a commentator for the US government-run broadcaster, Radio Free Asia. Like Turani, Kadeer is something of a pawn for Washington in the growing US-China geopolitical rivalry. In the past, she accepted invitations to meet president George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, so as to seek backing for Uyghur independence from China. During a June 2019 visit to US ally Japan, she called on Tokyo to provide more political support for Xinjiang.Human Rights and Belt and Road (BRI): China’s Strategic Xinjiang Economic Corridor

One of the central reasons for Beijing’s strong focus on Xinjiang, is because this region is rich in both oil (21 billion tonnes) and coal deposits (40% of China’s entire reserves). Some Uyghur natives have complained that Beijing simply dispatches the raw materials from Xinjiang directly towards the Chinese capital, and to other relatively affluent cities like Shanghai, without providing adequate compensation in response. Even a small surtax could be enough to significantly improve the living conditions of Uyghurs.

The experienced Brazilian historian, Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira, wrote that Beijing’s vested concerns in Xinjiang are also partly due to its position as a pipeline hub; a territory through which natural resources pour into China from Central Asia, and which Bandeira states “was one of the factors behind the ethnic tensions that erupted over the course of the 1990s, and the beginning of the 21st century, with China investing $15 billion in the region’s infrastructure and development until 2001, including petrochemical plants and gas transports to Shanghai”.

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a state-owned company based in Beijing, “sought to transform Xinjiang into the country’s largest oil and gas production base until 2020”. Unsurprisingly, Beijing’s exploitation of Xinjiang’s resources has been increasing, while the province is a focal point too for China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) industrial project.

Furthermore, Xi Jinping’s government retains strong ambitions in linking Xinjiang to Gwadar, a strategic port situated in southern Pakistan and which rests on the Arabian Sea. For a number of years, Beijing have been investing heavily in Pakistan, also reaching south to Gwadar, which could provide China’s administration with a field of scope into some of the planet’s most vital oil shipping lanes; with the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf waters positioned tantalisingly close to Gwadar.

China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, and Beijing views its neighbour as an important ally, borne out by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – an infrastructural program between these two nations valued at tens of billions of dollars.

Focusing on the Pentagon’s efforts again to destabilise China, we turn our attention to Tibet: A glorious region in south-western China whose landscapes are dominated by towering, snow-filled Himalayan mountain tops, vast uninhabited plains, while in size Tibet is almost twice as large as France.

Following China’s 1949 revolution, the American Congress deemed that Tibet had a right to “self-determination”; and Washington gave full support to the Tibetan Government in exile, which was established in 1960 by the current Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso). The Dalai Lama – who has links to the CIA dating to the 1950s – fled to India from Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, following the failed and bloody 1959 Washington-backed Tibetan uprising against Chinese control.

This revolt was partially instigated within the United States itself, under the auspices of CIA officer Bruce Walker at Camp Hale, the US army training facility in Colorado. At Camp Hale from the years 1956 to 1957, the CIA extensively trained 250 to 300 “Tibetan freedom fighters”, all of which was kept secret from the public. The CIA’s training of Tibetans continued at Camp Hale until it was closed in 1964.

Another covert base for US operations against China was established in the Colorado ski resort town of Aspen, where Tibet’s proxy forces were flown over by American aircraft before being dropped by parachutes.

Other CIA training camps were established in separate locations in the south Asian country of Nepal, which borders Tibet to the north. Between 1949 and 1951, the number of CIA operatives engaged in covert actions increased ten times over. The CIA’s budget, for encouraging revolts and social unrest in China, reached 20 times the sum of money allocated for the 1953 overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. The CIA received assistance in targeting China from the special services of Nepal and India.

The Dalai Lama’s older brother, Gyalo Thondup, was involved in various CIA-sponsored operations against China, which were eventually crushed by Beijing, resulting in many thousands of deaths. Often playing the role of the Dalai Lama’s “unofficial envoy”, Thondup, living in India today and aged in his early 90s, first travelled to the US in 1951. He provided ample information to the US Department of State on all issues concerning Tibet.

A CIA-funded and armed Tibetan army, the Dokham Chushi Gangdruk, continued a guerrilla warfare campaign for years within the frontiers of China. By the mid-1960s, there were almost 2,000 US-supported combatants of Tibetan ethnicity in operation. The Dalai Lama benefited from generous quantities of CIA funds, and in 1964 alone he was subsidised with $180,000.

Until 1975, the Dalai Lama obscured the CIA’s role in the 1959 Tibetan revolt and other activities, at a time when he was in contact with US agents in Tibet. The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, was furnished with an allowance from the CIA dating to the early 1950s, but perhaps even preceding that.

During an interview with the New York Times in mid-September 1993, the Dalai Lama said, “today, the help and support we receive from the United States is truly out of sympathy and human compassion”. Well into the 21st century, US governments have continued chanelling funds to Tibetan independent causes, through US Department of State branches like the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

Elsewhere in China, and in more recent times, Washington has been limited to utilising its “soft power” organisations like the Reagan-era founded NED, which is financially supporting the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong. Since 2014, the NED has provided about $30 million to Hong Kong’s pro-Western or independence marchers. The demonstrations have enjoyed large-scale coverage and sympathy from the mainstream press.

It may be apt to highlight the phrase used by the American scholars, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, in their book Manufacturing Consent – regarding the case of “Worthy and Unworthy victims”.

In liberal media analysis, there are quite often examples on display of our world’s recognised and unrecognised victims. The typical mass media narrative applies the principles of: Rohingya Muslims, “Worthy victims”. Palestinians, “Unworthy victims”. Hong Kong protesters, “Worthy victims”, Yellow Vest protesters, “Unworthy victims”, etc.

Posted in USA, ChinaComments Off on Seventy Years of U.S. Destabilisation in China. U.S. Sponsored Uyghur Insurgency in Xinjiang

On the Road to Gaza: The Freedom Flotilla Will Sail Again

By: Ramzy Baroud

A man raises the flag of Palestine.

In May 2010, the Israeli navy attacked the Freedom Flotilla consisting of the Turkish-owned ship ‘MV Mavi Marmara’ and others, killing ten unarmed humanitarian workers and wounding at least 50 more.

What is Gaza to us but an Israeli missile, a rudimentary rocket, a demolished home, an injured child being whisked away by his peers under a hail of bullets? On a daily basis, Gaza is conveyed to us as a bloody image or a dramatic video, none of which can truly capture the everyday reality of the Strip – its formidable steadfastness, the everyday acts of resistance, and the type of suffering that can never be really understood through a customary glance at a social media post.

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At long last, the chief prosecutor of the International Court of Justice (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, has declared her ‘satisfaction’ that “war crimes have been – or are being –  committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”. As soon as the ICC statement was made on December 20, pro-Palestinian groups felt a rare moment of relief. Finally, Israel will stand accused, potentially paying for its recurring bloodbath in the isolated and besieged Gaza Strip, its military occupation and apartheid in the West Bank, and much more.

However, it could take years for the ICC to initiate its legal proceedings and render its verdict. Moreover, there are no political guarantees that an ICC decision indicting Israel would ever be respected, let alone implemented.

Meanwhile, the siege on Gaza persists, only to be interrupted by a massive war, like the one of 2014, or a less destructive one, similar to the latest Israeli onslaught in November. And with every war, more dismal statistics are produced, more lives shattered, and more painful stories are told and retold.

For years, civil society groups across the world labored to destabilize this horrific status quo. They organized, held vigils, wrote letters to their political representatives and so on. To no avail. Frustrated by government inaction, a small group of activists sailed to Gaza in a small boat in August 2008, succeeding in doing what the United Nations has failed to do: they broke, however fleetingly, the Israeli siege on the impoverished Strip.

This symbolic action of the Free Gaza movement had a tremendous impact. It sent a clear message to Palestinians in occupied Palestine, that their fate is not only determined by the Israeli government and military machine; that there are other actors who are capable of challenging the dreadful silence of the international community; that not all Westerners are as complicit as their governments in the prolonged suffering of the Palestinian people.

Since then, many more solidarity missions have attempted to follow suit, coming across the sea atop flotillas or in large caravans through the Sinai desert. Some have successfully reached Gaza, delivering medical aid and other supplies. The majority, however, were sent back or had their boats hijacked in international waters by the Israeli navy.

The outcome of all of this has been the writing of a new chapter of solidarity with the Palestinian people that went beyond the occasional demonstration and the typical signing of a petition.

The second Palestinian Intifada, the uprising of 2002, had already redefined the role of the “activist” in Palestine. The formation of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) allowed thousands of international activists from around the world to participate in “direct action” in Palestine – thus fulfilling, however symbolically, a role that is typically played by a United Nations protective force.

ISM activists, however, employed non-violent means of registering civil society’s rejection of the Israeli occupation. Expectedly, Israel did not honor the fact that many of these activists came from countries deemed “friendly” by Tel Aviv’s standards. The killing of U.S. and British nationals Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2003 and 2004 respectively, was just the precursor of Israeli violence that was to follow.

In May 2010, the Israeli navy attacked the Freedom Flotilla consisting of the Turkish-owned ship ‘MV Mavi Marmara’ and others, killing ten unarmed humanitarian workers and wounding at least 50 more. As was the case with the murder of Rachel and Tom, there was no real accountability for the Israeli attack on the solidarity boats.

It must be understood that Israeli violence is not random nor is just a reflection of Israel’s notoriety and disregard of international and humanitarian law. With every violent episode, Israel hopes to dissuade outside actors from getting involved in “Israeli affairs”. Yet, time and again, the solidarity movement returns with a defiant message, insisting that no country, not even Israel, has the right to commit war crimes with impunity.

Following a recent meeting in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, the International Coalition of the Freedom Flotilla, which consists of many international groups, has decided to, once more, sail to Gaza. The solidarity mission is scheduled for the summer of 2020, and, like most of the 35 previous attempts, the Flotilla is likely to be intercepted by the Israeli navy. Yet, another attempt will likely follow, and many more, until the Gaza siege is completely lifted. It has become clear that the purpose of these humanitarian missions is not to deliver a few medical supplies to the nearly two million besieged Gazans, but to challenge the Israeli narrative that has turned the occupation and isolation of Palestinians to a status quo ante, to an “Israeli affair.”

According to the United Nations Office in Occupied Palestine, the poverty rate in Gaza seems to be increasing at an alarming speed of 2% per year. By the end of 2017, 53% of Gaza’s population lived in poverty, two-thirds of them living in “deep poverty”. This terrible number includes over 400,000 children.

An image, a video, a chart or a social media post can never convey the pain of 400,000 children, who experience real hunger every single day of their lives so that the Israeli government may achieve its military and political designs in Gaza. Indeed, Gaza is not just an Israeli missile, a demolished home, and an injured child. It is an entire nation that is suffering and resisting, in near-complete isolation from the rest of the world.

True solidarity should aim at forcing Israel to end the protracted occupation and siege on the Palestinian people, sailing the high seas, if necessary. Thankfully, the good activists of the Freedom Flotilla are doing just that.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on On the Road to Gaza: The Freedom Flotilla Will Sail Again

Zio-Nazi Education Minister Rafi Peretz under fire for suggesting homosexuality is unnatural

Education Minister Rafi Peretz speaks at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on July 4, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Zio-Nazi Education Minister Rafi Peretz speaks at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

Several Nazi municipalities instructed local schools to discuss equal rights and tolerance after the country’s education minister suggested homosexuality is abnormal and unnatural.

The decision followed a weekend interview published in the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Rafi Peretz was asked what he would do if one of his children had a “different sexual orientation.”

“Thank God, my children grew up in a natural and healthy way. They are building their homes based on Jewish values. I don’t bother my head with ‘what if’ thinking,” Peretz responded.

“In the religious public that lives according to the Torah, a normal family is a man and a woman. We don’t need to ashamed that we live in this natural way,” he also said.

Amir Kochavi, the mayor of the city of Hod Hasharon near Tel Aviv, responded on Facebook, saying he would urge local schools to teach tolerance, the New York Times reported. “I will promote within the municipal educational system a program of democracy, equality, recognition of the other and acceptance of differences. In short – everything that is the opposite of Rabbi Rafi,” Kochavi wrote.

In July, Peretz, who is a rabbi,  came under fire for saying in a television interview that that he supports gay conversion therapy and that he has used the practice to help homosexual youth. Days later he walked back his comments.

Peretz is head of the right-wing, religious-Zionist Jewish Home Party. His remarks angered some of his openly gay fellow Knesset members.

“Look, Rabbi Rafi, this is what a ‘natural and healthy’ family looks like in a country in disarray that has let you be its education minister,” Labor-Gesher Party lawmaker Itzik Shmuli said in a tweet that included a photo of his partner and their baby son.

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Nazi Gestapo intelligence helped US assassinate top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani

Kashmiri Shiite Muslims carry pictures of killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani as they march during an anti-American protest in central Kashmir

Zio-Nazi Gestapo reportedly helped the United States assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

NBC News reported Friday that ‘Israeli’ intelligence helped the U.S. confirm a tip about when Soleimani’s plane from Damascus to Baghdad took off. Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone airstrikes on Jan. 2 while he was riding in a vehicle near Baghdad International Airport.

“Intelligence from Israel helped confirm the details,” NBC reported.

Soleimani was the head of the Iranian Quds Force, which operates a number of regional militias and is allied with fighter groups targeting the Nazi regime, including Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran retaliated for the killing with missile strikes on two U.S. bases on Monday, with no reported American casualties.

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