Archive | January 19th, 2020

Is free speech now dead in the UK’s Labour Party?

Muzzling free speech in UK Labour

All five leadership candidates embrace “Ten Pledges” that dictate how they must think, speak and act.

By Stuart Littlewood

The UK Labour Party is saying goodbye to Jeremy Corbyn as leader after its disastrous general election performance and has begun choosing someone else.

Wasting no time, the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) last week published Ten Pledges they wanted Labour leadership hopefuls to sign up to if the party’s relationship with the Jewish community was to be healed.

The BoD claim anti-Semitism in the party became a matter of great anxiety for the UK’s Jews during Corbyn’s four years in office and it will take at least 10 years to repair the damage. Their president, Marie van der Zyl, says: “We expect that those seeking to move the party forward will openly and unequivocally endorse these Ten Pledges in full, making it clear that if elected as leader, or deputy leader, they will commit themselves to ensuring the adoption of all these points.

“Tackling anti-Semitism must be a central priority of Labour’s next leader,” she insists. “We will certainly be holding to account whoever ultimately wins the contest.”

But is there really an anti-Semitism crisis other than the one caused by the Jewish State itself and mischievously drummed up within Labour? As former Israeli Director of Military Intelligence Yehoshafat Harkabi wrote:

It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.

It has been suggested before that so-called anti-Semitism is a matter best resolved by the Jewish “family” itself.

Obedience required

The BoD claim that all the leadership contenders – Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry – have signed the Ten Pledges, and three of the five deputy-leader candidates have done so. What are these crisis-busting Ten Pledges they’ve committed the Party to?

(1) Resolve outstanding cases – all outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale.

  • Absolutely.

(2) Make the Party’s disciplinary process independent – an independent provider should be used to process all complaints, to eradicate any risk of partisanship and factionalism.

  • Of course.

(3) Ensure transparency – key affected parties to complaints, including Jewish representative bodies, should be given the right to regular, detailed case updates, on the understanding of confidentiality.

  • Except that complainers, including the BoD, have a poor record of keeping even their wildest allegations confidential.

(4) Prevent re-admittance of prominent offenders – it should be made clear that prominent offenders who have left or been expelled from the party, such as Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker, will never be readmitted to membership.

  • It is not clear from the evidence that Livingstone or Jackie Walker committed an offence. They were hounded out and not, I think, by any independent arbitrator.

(5) Communicate with resolve – bland, generic statements should give way to condemnation of specific harmful behaviours – and, where appropriate, condemnation of specific individuals.

  • This should apply also to false accusers and to the BoD itself if failing to condemn the “harmful behaviours” of their brethren in the Israeli regime towards our sisters and brothers in Palestine.

(6) Provide no platform for bigotry – any MPs, peers, councillors, members or CLPs [Constituency Labour Parties – local parties] who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.

  • Unacceptable. Many have been suspended for no good reason. And suspension does not mean guilt.

(7) Adopt the international definition of anti-Semitism without qualification – the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, with all its examples and clauses, and without any caveats, will be fully adopted by the party and used as the basis for considering anti-Semitism disciplinary cases.

  • How many times must you be told that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism is a minefield? Top legal opinion (for example, Hugh Tomlinson QC, Sir Stephen Sedley and Geoffrey Robertson QC) warn that it is “most unsatisfactory”, has no legal force, and using it to punish could be unlawful. Furthermore, it cuts across the right of free expression enshrined in UK domestic law and underpinned by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which bestows on everyone “the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. This applies not only to information or ideas that are regarded as inoffensive, but also to those that “offend, shock or disturb the state or any sector of the population.” Labour Party members should know all this. The prohibitive IHRA definition is not something a sane organisation would incorporate into its Code of Conduct.

(8) Deliver an anti-racism education programme that has the buy-in of the Jewish community – the Jewish Labour Movement [JLM] should be re-engaged by the party to lead on training about anti-Semitism.

  • The BoD and JLM would do better teaching anti-racism to the Israeli regime and its supporters. Besides, MPs and councillors don’t ‘belong’ to the Labour Party or any other party; they belong to the public who elected them as their representative. No outside body should expect to influence their freedom of thought, expression or action (see the Seven Principles of Public Life).

(9) Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups – Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations and individuals.

  • Labour should engage with the Jewish community though any representative organisation or individual it pleases.

(10) Show leadership and take responsibility – the leader must personally take on the responsibility of ending Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis.

  • There’s no agreement that anything approaching a crisis exists within the party.

Leadership front-runner Starmer is a former human rights lawyer and ought to know better. Long-Bailey is another lawyer who should hang her head in shame. Thornberry is a former barrister specialising in human rights law – words fail. Jess Phillips, a member of Labour Friends of Israel, wrote Truth to Power: 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S., described as “the little book we all need to help us call time on the seemingly unstoppable tide of bullshit in our lives”. The irony of it seems lost on her. Lisa Nandy is a puzzle as she’s chair of Labour Friends of Palestine.

If this bunch won’t robustly uphold freedom of expression guaranteed by law and international convention, what have they let their hapless party in for? Those standing for deputy-leader also have little excuse. Angela Rayner was shadow education secretary, Ian Murray read Social Policy and Law, and Rosena Allin-Khan is a Muslim and former humanitarian aid doctor. They obediently signed the Ten Pledges. Dawn Butler and Richard Burgon declined.

… why would anyone – especially those competing to be Labour Party leader and one day prime minister – agree to dance to the tune of those who pimp and lobby on Israel’s behalf?

When, a year ago, the French Republic presented its Human Rights Award to B’Tselem (the Israeli human rights group) its Executive Director Hagai El-Ad, thanking the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, said of Israel’s behaviour towards the Palestinians: 

The occupation… is organised, prolonged state violence which brings about dispossession, killings and oppression. All branches of the state are part of it: ministers and judges, officers and planners, parliamentarians and bureaucrats.

On another occasion B’Tselem said:

If the international community does not come to its senses and force Israel to abide by the rules that are binding to every state in the world, it will pull the rug out from under the global effort to protect human rights in the post-World War II era.

When a respected Israeli organisation speaks truth in such stark terms it cannot be ignored. And recent UN reports confirm that the Israelis abuse and torture child prisoners. So, why would anyone – especially those competing to be Labour Party leader and one day prime minister – agree to dance to the tune of those who pimp and lobby on Israel’s behalf?

Who will punish the false accusers?

The BoD nevertheless makes some valid points. The Labour Party takes a ridiculously long time to deal with allegations of anti-Semitism, many of which are false or vexatious and could be dismissed in five minutes. Let me tell you about two Scottish Labour politicians wrongly accused of anti-Semitic remarks and suspended. Let’s call them “A” and “B”. Both are regional councillors.

Constituency party officials declared “A” guilty immediately and issued a press statement to that effect without waiting for him to be heard, hugely prejudicing any investigation. This stupidity was compounded by his council leader publicly calling on him to resign as a councillor and saying his thinking belonged to the Dark Ages: “To smear an entire community both past and present, to say he has lost ‘all empathy’ for them is utterly deplorable,” he was quoted in the press.

What was “A”’s crime? He had tweeted: “For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering. No longer, due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain…” Was nobody in the local party aware that the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies were then leading an obnoxious campaign to discredit Labour and Jeremy Corbyn?

“B”, a respected woman councillor, was accused of anti-Semitism by a former Labour MP who was already on record as wanting to impose limits on freedom of expression. A Tory MP immediately put the boot in, telling the media it was clear to the vast majority of people that “B” was no longer fit to hold office and suspension didn’t go far enough.

And what was “B”’s crime? She had voiced suspicion on social media that Israeli spies might be plotting to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader after three Jewish newspapers ganged up to publish a joint front page warning that a Corbyn-led government would pose an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country”.

She added that if it was a Mossad-assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour government (which pledged to recognise Palestinian statehood) it amounted to an unwarranted interference in our democracy. For good measure, she said Israel was a racist state and, since the Palestinians are also Semites, an anti-Semitic one.

“B” was eventually interviewed by party investigators. They surely knew that in January 2017 a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, had plotted with stooges among British MPs and other activists to “take down” senior government figures, including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan. And that Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s former chief spokesman and mastermind behind Israel’s propaganda programme of disinformation, had recently arrived in London as the new ambassador.

Masot was almost certainly a Mossad tool. His hostile scheming was revealed not by Britain’s own security services and media, as one would have hoped, but by an AlJazeera undercover team. Our government dismissed the matter saying: “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.” But at a Labour Party conference fringe meeting Israel insider Miko Peled warned that

they are going to pull all the stops, they are going to smear, they are going to try anything they can to stop Corbyn… the reason anti-Semitism is used is because they [the Israelis] have no argument…

Given such a blatant attempt by an Israeli asset to undermine British democracy, with Regev in the background and (quite probably) Mossad pulling the strings, :B”’s suspicions were reasonable enough and she had a right to voice them.

As for Israel being a racistsState, its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and other brutal policies over 70 years make it obvious. And the discriminatory nation-state laws recently adopted by Israel put the question beyond doubt. Her point about anti-Semitism was also well made. DNA research (see, for example, the Johns Hopkins University study published by Oxford University Press) shows that while very few Jews are Semitic most indigenous Arabs in the Holy Land, especially Palestinians, are Semites. The term “anti-Semitism”, long used to describe hatred of Jews, is a misnomer that hides an inconvenient truth.

And it couldn’t have been difficult to establish that the opportunistic Tory MP calling her unfit to hold office was the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews, which is funded, supported and administered by the Board of Deputies. The case against “B” should have been dropped instantly and action taken against the troublemakers. Instead, weeks later, “B” was posting on her Facebook page that she was still suspended: “I can’t make any decisions about my personal, political or professional future whilst this hangs over me. I am constantly tired and anxious, and feel I am making mistakes. I have lost paid work because of what has happened.”

Her suspension was finally lifted but she was “advised” not to post about it or she’d risk losing professional work on which her livelihood depended. That’s how nasty the Labour Party disciplinary machine is. Surely, if the party lifts a suspension it should issue a public statement saying so. Must the wrongly accused, after being needlessly humiliated, be left to pick up the pieces and struggle to re-establish their good name? In total “B” had to wait 16 weeks under sentence. And all because of a trumped-up allegation that ought to have been immediately squashed.

As for “A”, he stopped answering emails and there has been nothing in the press. Was his suspension lifted? Was he similarly threatened if he said anything? I simply don’t know, although I phoned and wrote to the party leader and its general-secretary for an explanation. The latter eventually replied that “the Labour Party cannot, and does not, share personal details about individual party members” and placing a member in administrative suspension “allows a process of investigation to be carried out whilst protecting the reputation of the Labour Party”. Bollox. How did the media get news of these suspensions in the first place? And never mind the damage done to the cowardly party, what about the reputations of the two councillors and their months of anguish while working for their constituents? I wasn’t asking for case details. All I wanted was the answer to three simple questions:

  • Had the suspensions been lifted?
  • If so, had the party issued a public statement to that effect? And
  • Had the false accusers been disciplined?

Silence, spineless, don’t-give-a-damn silence.

Are these two cases typical of the so-called anti-Semitism crisis? I have no way of knowing. But they show how the party is run by enough crackpots on the inside without inviting impertinent interference from the outside.

Jews’ Ten Pledges vs Palestinians’ Eleven Red Lines

Anyone signing up to the BoD’s Ten Pledges should consider at the same time subscribing to the “Eleven Red Lines” of anti-Palestinianism. Examples in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

(1) Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and nationhood, or actively conspiring to prevent the exercise of this right.

(2) Denial that Israel is in breach of international law in its continued occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

(3) Denial that Israel is an apartheid state according to the definition of the International Convention on Apartheid.

(4) Denial of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba and of their right, and the right of their descendants, to return to their homeland.

(5) Denial that Palestinians have lived for hundreds of years in land now occupied by Israelis and have their own distinctive national identity and culture.

(6) Denial that the laws and policies which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel (such as the recently passed nation-state law) are inherently racist.

(7) Denial that there is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories in matters of employment, housing, justice, education, water supply, etc, etc.

(8) Tolerating the killing or harming of Palestinians by violent settlers in the name of an extremist view of religion.

(9) Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Palestinians — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth of a Palestinian conspiracy to wipe Israel off the map.

(10) Justifying the collective punishment of Palestinians (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) in response to the acts of individuals or groups.

(11) Accusing the Palestinians as a people, of encouraging the holocaust.

This working definition of anti-Palestinian racism, described as “hatred towards or prejudice against Palestinians as Palestinians”, holds up a mirror to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and was drafted by Jewish Voice For Labour, one of those fringe representative organisations the BoD insist Labour mustn’t engage with.

So, here’s a simple test for the BoD: if it demands the Labour Party signs up to its Ten Pledges will it itself embrace the Eleven Red Lines on anti-Palestinianism?

UK Labour Party on its hands and knees before Israel’s Zionist terror networks

UK Labour Party on its hands and knees before Israel’s Zionist terror networks

In “QuickPress”

UK Zionist terror group demands Labour leadership candidates pledge subservience and self-censorship

UK Zionist terror group demands Labour leadership candidates pledge subservience and self-censorship

In “QuickPress”

UK Labour Party in grip of Zionist inquisition 

UK Labour Party in grip of Zionist inquisition 

In “British stooges”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, UKComments Off on Is free speech now dead in the UK’s Labour Party?

The Government that Honors MLK with a National Holiday Killed Him

By Global Research News

SELECTED ARTICLE

How Mercenaries and Advisers Fight the Wars the UK Won’t Own

By Paul Rogers,

The Bahraini repression of dissent in 2011-12 caused controversy around the world, but the British government – then a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition – only mildly condemned it and the media in western Gulf states scarcely mentioned it. Behind the scenes, though, UK armed forces personnel were clearly helping the Saudis support the Bahraini government’s repression, just as they have been taken part more recently in Saudi actions in Yemen.

General Haftar Still Holds All the Cards After Berlin’s Libya Summit

By Andrew Korybko,

Berlin’s Libya summit ended without any real changes to the status quo despite all relevant foreign parties to that country’s civil war superficially agreeing to some key points such as the need to abide by the arms embargo and commit to a ceasefire as soon as possible, meaning that General Haftar still holds all the cards so the fate of the country is ultimately his and his GCC+ patrons’ to decide, though Turkey will do its utmost to deter them from making another military push on the capital.

The People of Colombia Are Cracking Up the Walls of War and Authoritarianism

By Justin Podur,

In Colombia, after winning the runoff in 2018, President Duque may have felt that he had a mandate to enact right-wing policies, which in Colombia have usually included new war measures in addition to the usual austerity. But combining pension cuts with betraying the peace process was simply stealing too much from the future: Young people joined the November 21 protests in huge numbers (the lowest estimates are 250,000).

“Orders to Kill” Dr. Martin Luther King: The Government that Honors MLK with a National Holiday Killed Him

By Edward Curtin,

Revolutionaries are, of course, anathema to the power elites who, with all their might, resist such rebels’ efforts to transform society.  If they can’t buy them off, they knock them off.  Forty-eight years after King’s assassination, the causes he fought for – civil rights, the end to U.S. wars of aggression , and economic justice for all – remain not only unfulfilled, but have worsened in so many respects.  And King’s message has been enervated by the sly trick of giving him a national holiday and urging Americans to make it “a day of service.”  Needless to say, such service does not include non-violent war resistance or protesting a decadent system of economic injustice.

The Roots of American Demonization of Shi’a Islam

By Pepe Escobar,

Washington had been deploying a Long War even before the concept was popularized by the Pentagon in 2001, immediately after 9/11: it’s a Long War against Iran. It started via the coup against the democratically elected government of Mosaddegh in 1953, replaced by the Shah’s dictatorship. The whole process was turbo-charged over 40 years ago when the Islamic Revolution smashed those good old Cold War days when the Shah reigned as the privileged American “gendarme of the (Persian) Gulf”.

Pompeo Claims to Know Nothing, but Can We Believe Him?

By Steven Sahiounie,

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in a Friday radio interview that he had not been previously aware that former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch had been under surveillance in Ukraine. “Until this story broke, the best of my recollection, I’d never heard of this at all,” said Pompeo. During the interview, Pompeo failed to defend Yovanovitch or to express concern about the alleged stalking of a US diplomat.

NAFTA 1.0: Was It a “Legal Agreement”? One of Its Signatories Linked to Organized Crime. And What About NAFTA 2.0?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, January 19, 2020

There is evidence that one of the signatories of NAFTA 1.0 had  links to organized crime. The Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortiari had pervasive family ties to the Mexican Drug Cartel. In turn, the President of the United States had a long standing personal relationship to the Salinas family.

While this was known and documented prior to the signing of the agreement in 1992, the information was withheld. It was not an object of legislative debate nor was it revealed to the broader public until AFTER the official launching of NAFTA on January 1st 1994.

Posted in USAComments Off on The Government that Honors MLK with a National Holiday Killed Him

My God and My Glock – The Theology of Guns in America

By Larry Romanoff

Global Research,

The Glock is a series of  semi-automatic pistols designed Austrian manufacturer Glock Ges.m.b.H.***According to Americans, God is a really pro-gun dude. In fact, one pastor of a New Bethel Christian Church gave a sermon where he announced that “God and guns were part of the foundation of this country.”, and invited his entire congregation to wear their guns to church to “celebrate our rights as Christian Americans”. .Most US states permit the carrying of loaded and concealed weapons in churches. This has become a crusade where one’s belief in God and His Holy Gospels are at stake, with one minister claiming “When someone tells me that being a Christian and carrying firearms are contradictions, that’s just bull—“..
In an article that Watching America translated from the German Die Tageszeitung was this passage:.“Among the books on the shelf behind Pastor James McAbee’s desk are two Bibles. He quotes scripture from one – those passages that portray God as a warrior – and the other is hollowed out to conceal a pistol. Loaded. Always close at hand. James McAbee is a man of God and a man of guns. He makes more money from the guns than he does from God. James McAbee loved guns before he loved God. Now he loves both and doesn’t consider that contradictory. McAbee’s parishioners come to church armed, and he personally always has an Austrian Glock .40 caliber on his person or in his car.”.One of the most jealously-guarded rights of Americans is the ‘right to bear arms’. And bear arms, they do. .The US is the most heavily armed civilian society in the world, with only 4% of the world’s population, but owning more guns than all other citizens in the entire rest of the world combined. Private American civilians own more non-military firearms (about 310 million) than do all the police forces and military (about 225 million) in the entire rest of the world combined; if we include privately-owned military hardware, the total becomes much higher yet. .

 .This civilian 4% of the world’s population owns more than 30% of the world’s total of guns and small arms, and purchases about 60% of all new guns manufactured each year. .In an example so typical of America today, a young man following his GPS on his way to pick up a friend, pulled into the driveway of the wrong house. The owner came out, shot the young man in the head and threatened also to shoot his girlfriend, on the claim he was defending himself. His lawyer’s defense, which was sickeningly lapped up by the media, was to say, “The (killer’s) family is grief-stricken and is lifting the family of (the victim) up in prayer.”
Touching. People in the US are shot and killed daily for any reason and for no reason. Offending someone with a tweet, looking the wrong way at someone’s girl, losing your friend’s ipod, taking another person’s parking place, disputing a debt, butting into a line, making noise in a movie theater, slurping your coffee, refusing to surrender the TV remote to your brother, being black, are all perfectly good reasons to be shot and killed..
Firearm-related injuries send an average of 20 American children each day to the hospital and a larger number to the cemetery. .Typical examples: a Kentucky boy shot and killed his two-year-old sister; a 4-year-old girl killed her 4-year-old cousin; a 5-year-old girl and her mother both shot in the head by another child; a 3-year old girl shot her 2-year old brother; 2-year old Kentucky girl shot and killed by her 5-year old brother; two toddlers shot to death in their strollers; 4-year old neighbor shoots 6-year old in the head; 4-year old found a loaded gun and shot and killed the wife of the police chief at a family party. In a supermarket, a two-year old sitting in a shopping cart pulled a gun from his mother’s purse (a gun her husband had just given her as a Christmas gift) and shot her dead. (1).
The world was shocked at the Sandy Hook School shooting, but that was just one of hundreds of similar mass killings in American schools in the recent past, with normally at least one school shooting occurring per week. In one 6-month period from 2012, there were 80 of these, 40 at universities and 40 in kindergartens and elementary schools. (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7).
On the weekend of April 15, 2014, more than 36 people were shot in Chicago in only 36 hours, and more than 45 people were shot during the entire weekend. It was worse a few months later, when the July Fourth holiday had more than 80 shootings, and the next weekend saw another 45 shootings. Chicago alone had more than 1,000 shootings in less than six months, and Chicago is by no means the worst of American cities for gun deaths. The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, with a population of half a million people, has more murders than does Shanghai with 25 million people. Each day in the US, more than 200 people are admitted to hospital emergency wards with gunshot wounds..
And what do Americans do, in the wake of such tragic violence? Well, they do what every thinking human would do – they buy more guns.

After the Sandy Hook school shooting, gun sales in the US soared by about 30%, with more than 17 million Americans suddenly applying for gun permits. The shelves in gun shops were empty and gun shows were so crowded some had to restrict attendance, and prices of many items had tripled due to the demand. The ammunition supplier Brownells reported that it had sold 3.5 years’ worth of magazine clips in just 36 hours after the school shooting. On Black Friday, the great shopping holiday following Thanksgiving, the FBI tell us a gun is sold every three seconds in America. (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) .And they especially buy more guns at Christmas, with a long tradition of using Santa Claus to sell more guns to kill more people, retailers claiming there is “no reason Santa Claus and guns can’t mix”. In parts of the US, stores offer youngsters a chance to pose for photos with Santa and their favorite gun. And in Canada, the (probably) criminally-insane executives of the National Rifle Association featured ads of Santa giving a small boy an AR-15 rifle, which is a $1,000 military-grade semi-automatic weapon with a 30-shot clip. Just what every little kid needs for a school massacre. .But then, just because Santa is promoting military weaponry for little kids doesn’t mean they might conclude it’s okay to kill somebody. (16) (17) .

Source: Huffington Post screenshot  .
Americans also have the right to carry these loaded guns with them everywhere. And carry them, they do, to schools, universities, churches and shopping malls, to the workplace and the playground. Not only that, but they want more guns in more places. New laws increasingly permit US university students to carry concealed and loaded weapons on campuses and to their classes. Some years ago, a former US Marine climbed to the 28th-floor observation deck of a campus clock tower and shot 49 people, killing 16 of them.REF Gun proponents claim that a fully-armed student body all carrying loaded guns could prevent another such event. (18) (19) (20).
Chinese students at American universities are worried, and with good reason. US elementary schools will now have a “school shield”, consisting of armed staff and teachers, a deranged faculty to engage in firefights with deranged students. One student named Ken Stanton said he chose to attend Colorado State University because he wanted to be on a campus where he could carry a loaded gun to class, perhaps to settle debates about the professor’s economics theories. With Obama’s blessing, Americans are now permitted to carry loaded weapons into national parks and on Amtrak trains. Be sure you don’t sit in someone else’s seat. .In an article in the Huffington Post, Tom Engelhardt wrote,.

“To put all this in perspective, less than two decades ago, fewer than a million concealed weapons were being legally carried in the U.S.; now, more than one million people are permitted to carry such weapons in Florida alone.”

Preventing Gun Violence in America.
He also noted some statistics indicating that in the US you are in less danger of being killed by a terrorist attack than being shot by a little kid who got his hands on a gun. You are thousands of times more likely to be shot with your own gun than by a terrorist, and far more likely to be shot and killed by the police than either a little kid or a terrorist..
Not only will teachers be fully armed from kindergarten onward, the US now has a thriving new industry in the manufacture and sale of bulletproof uniforms for school children, ballistic products that are scaled-down versions of military armor. One manufacturer says his products should not be alarming to children because “It’s just like finding life jackets on ships or planes”..
And besides, 6-year old kids wearing bulletproof body armor to school “is no different than wearing a seat belt in a car”. American children will now also have bulletproof backpacks (pink for girls), while whiteboards and other schoolroom equipment will now also be fabricated from bulletproof materials. It used to be that the biggest problems in elementary schools were children talking in class and chewing gum. No longer. But it isn’t all bad. The Americans are finally taking some useful action not only to control gun violence but to create a strong deterrent by punishing the guilty. As proof, a few months ago one US school suspended a 7-year old kid for biting his cookie into the shape of a gun. No immediate report on a drop in gun violence..
Many nations and provinces have their national flower or animal, but US States are now legislating a “State gun”. Arizona’s governor just signed such a bill into law, a bill written by a lobbyist hired by the Colt firearm company. According to the lobbyist, on any given day about 40% of the people are carrying concealed and loaded weapons because “People want to be able to keep themselves and their families safe”. Safe from other crazy Americans, no doubt. Another American was asked about Japan, where strict gun laws have produced a virtual absence of violent murders, and replied “I wouldn’t want to live in a country where I couldn’t defend myself”. And I wouldn’t want to live in a country where I had to..
As John Kozy wrote,.there is no reason that people living in a civilised state should need guns, which have killing as their only use and purpose. “If guns are needed for self-protection, the state has failed in its primary function”. (21).And it’s even worse than this, because researchers have demonstrated that the ownership of a weapon is “43 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense”. And the US courts are astonishingly perverse in their application of law. When 11 small children were shot to death in a movie theater in Colorado, one set of parents sued the dealer who had sold the guns and 4,000 rounds of armor-piercing ammunition to the killer without even checking his ID. They argued that a responsible check of the customer would have prevented the sale.  The parents not only lost the court case, but were ordered to pay the dealer more than $200,000 to compensate him for legal and other expenses. (22).

.
Indeed, there is an enormous push at the moment by what is called the “open-carry movement”, that is, openly carrying loaded guns everywhere, funded by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the gun manufacturers. As part of a promotional campaign, they have been arranging events which many people attend, fully armed, in shopping malls, restaurants, and coffee shops like Starbucks. Anti-gun people are savagely denounced as socialists and thieves who want to “destroy American democracy”. Sarah, a 22-year-old psychology student, wears golden earrings shaped like guns and carries a hunting rifle slung over her shoulder. “I want to protect my kids”, she says. Her six-year-old stepdaughter already owns a .22 caliber weapon. Her three-year-old sister will soon be introduced to firearms. What could possibly go wrong?.

In 2014 two pro-gun Americans named Brian Jeffs and Nathan Nephew produced a childrens’ picture book titled ‘My Parents Open Carry’, to explain to American children that their mother is normal, and not crazy, when she openly carries a loaded handgun to go shopping at the mall. The book has cartoon drawings of a beautiful blue-eyed American family, normal Christians in every respect, including the handguns on their belts. The book was a runaway success. (23) (24) (25) (26).
The authors said their goal was to provide “a wholesome family book that reflects the views of the majority of the American people, i.e., that self-defense is a basic natural right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defense.” And they produced the book because, according to them,.“we fear our children are being raised with a biased view of our constitution.”.One “supporter” quoted on the book’s website, said it was “a wholesome children’s book on the joys of having parents openly carrying loaded guns.” One (real) critic described the book as “a day in the life of a typical criminally-insane American family”, and “a primer for the children of gun nuts who’ll be lucky to see their 10th birthday”..
The NRA’s influence on introducing legislation has been remarkable. The debate about guns is no longer over whether assault rifles ought to be banned, but over whether guns should be allowed in bars, churches and colleges. The National Rifle Association has not only had remarkable success in forcing legislation favorable to gun ownership, but it is heavily involved in the financing and media control of the elections of candidates who do not openly promote guns. It spent by its own admission more than $20 million to have defeated, by its own efforts, 19 of 24 Congressmen who opposed increased gun ownership or promoted gun restrictions. (27) (28) (29) (30) (31) (32)

And several well-known columnists or magazine editors have lost their jobs by daring to criticise either the NRA or its agenda. Other lobby groups like the pharmaceutical industry spend more money, but few do it with a vengeance that approaches that of the NRA. One US Presidential candidate said frankly, “Every president wants to be re-elected, and gun bans are pretty much a nonstarter”. The NRA categorised gun restrictions as “a premise that defies common sense”. One anti-violence official said, “The pro-gun lobby has done a very good job in convincing people that if they give up their guns they’re going to lose something very valuable, their personal freedom. .They’ve been able to equate the possession of a handgun in a public place with freedom.” And to include it within the meaning of ‘democracy’.
Gun deaths are so prevalent in the US today that more people die from gunshots than auto accidents, not counting those shot and killed by the police. And lastly, given the nearly 100,000 gun killings each year in the US, one of the features in daily newspapers in many cities is a list of killings by district. Click the button, find your neighborhood, and learn how many more people were killed there today. In China, parents look for new homes near good schools and it is beyond astonishing that Americans in many cities instead use the number of killings by neighborhood as their main reference when buying a new home, looking to avoid neighborhoods with more than ten shootings per day.***Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Notes
(1) https://abcnews.go.com/US/mom-shot-killed-year-son-walmart/story?id=27907997
(2) https://us.blastingnews.com/news/2018/05/school-shootings-now-averaging-more-than-one-per-week-in-the-us-002606229.html
(3) https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-school-shootings-since-newtown/
(4) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/there-have-been-45-mass-shootings-in-the-us-this-year-a6676156.html
(5) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/school-shootings-since-newtown_n_5480209
(6) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/06/29/has-there-been-one-school-shooting-per-week-since-sandy-hook/
(7) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/21/us/school-shooting-us-versus-world-trnd/index.html
(8) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/12/07/surge-in-gun-sales-after-sandy-hook-shooting-led-to-spike-in-accidental-gun-deaths-study-says/
(9) https://money.cnn.com/2018/02/15/news/companies/us-gun-sales-decline/index.html
(10) https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gun-sales-surge-after-connecticut-massacre
(11) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/worlds-largest-firearms-supplier-sells-3-half-years-worth-ar15-clips-3-days_n_2356286
(12) https://www.thetrace.org/2015/11/black-friday-gun-sales-background-checks/
(13) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-truth-about-gun-sales_b_1193498
(14) https://www.theblaze.com/news/2014/11/29/so-many-guns-were-sold-on-black-friday-that-the-fbi-was-processing-three-background-checks-every-second
(15) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sandy-hook-shooting-gun-sales_n_2317522(16) https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/17/santa-gun-kids-nfa-canada_n_6342660.html
(17) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/santa-guns_n_6366982
(18) https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/an-ex-marine-goes-on-a-killing-spree-at-the-university-of-texas
(19) https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2017/1106/Officials-examine-scene-of-Texas-mass-shooting
(20) https://www.asianage.com/world/americas/061117/at-least-26-killed-in-texas-church-shooting-youngest-aged-five.html
(21) https://www.globalresearch.ca/violence-the-american-way-of-life/5318698
(22) Huffpost; September 27, 2015; We Lost Our Daughter to a Mass Shooter and Now Owe $203,000 to His Ammo Dealer
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lucky-gunner-lawsuit_b_8197804
(23) https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2014/08/06/a-childrens-book-for-gun-rights-my-parents-open-carry-and-beyond/
(24) https://www.amazon.com/Parents-Open-Carry-Brian-Jeffs/dp/1618081012
(25) http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/04/pro-gun-picture-book-children-my-parent-open-carry
(26) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/my-parents-open-carry-childrens-book_n_5652609
(27) https://www.ballotpedia.org/Incumbents_defeated_in_2018_congressional_elections
(28) https://www.economist.com/united-states/2012/04/21/arms-and-the-man
(29) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-many-gun-control-proposals-have-been-offered-since-2011/
(30) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nra-2016-spending_n_5a0dd3e6e4b0b17e5e14e636
(31) https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/lawmakers-nra-money/story?id=53230001
(32) https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/05/nra-spent-1point6-million-lobbying-against-expanded-background-check-laws.html

Posted in USAComments Off on My God and My Glock – The Theology of Guns in America

Is 2020 China’s Year of Economic and Political Milestone?

By Tom Clifford

Global Research,

Just as one New Year’s festivities end, another begins. China is set to celebrate the Year of the Rat on January 25. Folklore says it’s a good year for business and fertility. But it also marks an economic and political milestone.

For the first time since the 18th century China is entering a decade as an established global economic power. Ten years ago, with the West battling a financial crisis, people were talking about the future rise of China as if it were some distance away, if ever. Many in the West thought China would have its own financial crisis. Instead, the Chinese economy, six years ago, became the world’s largest, measured by purchasing power parity, according to the World Bank. Its new status, and its purchasing power, helped the West recover. It kept on replenishing the global economic punch bowl.

A $600 billion stimulus package was launched in 2008 to boost domestic demand and spur growth. In comparison, the United States and Japan pumped a comparatively meager $152 billion and $100 billion respectively, into their domestic markets.

True, today its turbo-charge advance has slowed, with the official growth rate at 6.2 percent, down from the double digit growth. Those are the official statistics. The actual growth rate may be much lower but there is no disputing the fact that the economy is more than twice as large as it was in 2010.

China, a decade ago, was synonymous with cheap manufacturing and consequently not taken too seriously. The same misconception was prevalent in the 1960s about what turned out to be another Asian powerhouse, Japan. In the 1980s property around the imperial palace in Tokyo was worth more than all the real estate in California. Massive bank debt, leading to stagnation since the early 1990s, ended that bizarre situation. China, on the other hand, has seen a marked rise in property prices, but nothing anywhere near as extravagant.Why Western Pundits Want China to Fail

The West, in the first decade of the century, believed that China would remain essentially defined by imitation, unable to match its capacity for innovation.

Then came Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba to challenge Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon. Shenzhen can look Silicon Valley firmly in the eye. One indicator of its rising intellectual power is that China accounts for almost half of all global patent filings.

“Asia continues to outpace other regions in filing activity for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and other intellectual property rights that are at the center of the global economy,” World Intellectual Property Organisation Director General Francis Gurry said in October. “China alone accounted for almost half of all the world’s patent filings, with India also registering impressive increases. Asia has become a global hub for innovation.”

The Belt and Road Initiative, a global network of highways, railways, ports, train stations and airports, was launched by China in 2013.

The Eurasian landmass, home to more than 60 percent of the world’s population, could be transformed. More than 140 countries, overwhelmingly from the developing world, have now signed up.

But as Chinese leaders toast their success at New Year banquets they will be aware of challenges they face.

A brutal crackdown in the restive western region of Xinjiang is ongoing, tarnishing China’s global image. Hong Kong continues to seethe, but has been unable to attract any sympathy on the mainland.  The trade war with the US, or at least the first phase, has been resolved. Crucially, the deal did not tackle some of the major issues, such as industrial subsidies for Chinese companies or foreign companies facing forced technology transfers for market access.

A caveat also accompanied China’s pledge to buy more US goods. Chinese purchases of $40bn worth of US farm goods a year over the next two years would be “based on market conditions”.

But it is debt levels that could cause indigestion at the banquets.

At more than 300 percent of GDP, debt is a clear and present danger.

This is mostly financed by Chinese banks and off-the record lending by financial institutions in the “shadow bank” sector to provincial governments.  Like the sub-prime crisis in the US, much of this debt, like non-performing mortgages, is hidden from plain sight to evade a law in China that forbids banks lending directly to provincial governments.

What is not hidden is that hundreds of billions of dollars are owed by Chinese companies in debt that is coming due this year.These companies must pay back $90 billion in debt denominated in American dollars, according to S&P Global. This shows that the lenders are global companies and investors outside China. In 2021, an additional $110 billion is due.

How this issue is tackled will determine not only China’s financial health but also that of the global economy.

Posted in China, Far EastComments Off on Is 2020 China’s Year of Economic and Political Milestone?

Martin Luther King Day 2020

Martin Luther King Day 2020: Memphis, Tenn. Court Decision, U.S. “Government Agencies” Found Guilty in Martin Luther King’s Assassination

Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis, December 1999

By Carl Herman

Global Research,

Martin Luther King Day 2020

April 4, 2018: Martin Luther King was Killed 50 Years Ago, April 4, 1968, Memphis, Tenn.

Originally published by Washington’s Blog and Global Research in January 2013.

*      *      *

 Very few Americans are aware of this historical 1999 civil law suit of the King Family against the US Government. (Shelby County Court), Tennessee

Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

From the King Center on the family’s civil trial that found the US government guilty in Martin’s assassination:

View Full Trial Transcript

View Transcript of King Family Press Conference on the Verdict

Screenshot of Court Document

After four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses in a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict on December 8, 1999 after about an hour of deliberations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. In a press statement held the following day in Atlanta, Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict, saying ,

“There is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. And the civil court’s unanimous verdict has validated our belief. I wholeheartedly applaud the verdict of the jury and I feel that justice has been well served in their deliberations. This verdict is not only a great victory for my family, but also a great victory for America. It is a great victory for truth itself. It is important to know that this was a SWIFT verdict, delivered after about an hour of jury deliberation.

The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame. I want to make it clear that my family has no interest in retribution. Instead, our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law… My husband once said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” To-day, almost 32 years after my husband and the father of my four children was assassinated, I feel that the jury’s verdict clearly affirms this principle. With this faith, we can begin the 21st century and the new millennium with a new spirit of hope and healing.”

TRANSCRIPTSThe Multi-Level Conspiracy to Kill Martin Luther King, The 1999 Memphis Court Judgment. Will Justice Prevail?

View Full Trial Transcript

View Transcript of King Family Press Conference on the Verdict

KING FAMILY STATEMENT ON MEDIA REQUESTS REGARDING THE MEMPHIS VERDICT

The King family stands firmly behind the civil trial verdict reached by twelve jurors in the Memphis, Tennessee courtroom on December 8, 1999.

An excerpt from remarks made by Mr. Dexter Scott King, Chairman, President, and CEO of The King Center, during the December 9, 1999 press conference regarding the verdict that may be used in support of this family decision:

“We can say that because of the evidence and information obtained in Memphis we believe that this case is over. This is a period in the chapter. We constantly hear reports, which trouble me, that this verdict creates more questions than answers. That is totally false. Anyone who sat in on almost four weeks of testimony, with over seventy witnesses, credible witnesses I might add, from several judges to other very credible witnesses, would know that the truth is here.”

The question now is, “What will you do with that?” We as a family have done our part. We have carried this mantle for as long as we can carry it. We know what happened. It is on public record. The transcripts will be available; we will make them available on the Web at some point. Any serious researcher who wants to know what happened can find out.”

The King family feels that the jury’s verdict, the transcripts of the conspiracy trial, and the transcripts of the King family’s press conference following the trial — all of which can be found on The King Center’s website — include everything that that family members have to say about the assassination.

Therefore, the King family shares the conviction that there is nothing more to add to their comments on record and will respectfully decline all further requests for comment.

Related Downloads

View Full Trial Transcript

View Transcript of King Family

(Verdict form passed to the Court.)

THE COURT: I have authorized
this gentleman here to take one picture of
you which I’m going to have developed and
make copies and send to you as I promised.
Okay. All right, ladies and
gentlemen. Let me ask you, do all of you
agree with this verdict?
THE JURY: Yes (In unison).
THE COURT: In answer to the
question did Loyd Jowers participate in a
conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther
King, your answer is yes. Do you also find
that others, including governmental agencies,
were parties to this conspiracy as alleged by
the defendant? Your answer to that one is
also yes. And the total amount of damages
you find for the plaintiffs entitled to is
one hundred dollars. Is that your verdict?
THE JURY: Yes (In unison).
THE COURT: All right. I want
to thank you ladies and gentlemen for your
participation. It lasted a lot longer than
we had originally predicted. In spite of
that, you hung in there and you took your
notes and you were alert all during the
trial. And we appreciate it. We want you to
note that our courts cannot function if we
don’t have jurors who accept their
responsibility such as you have.
I hope it has been a pleasant
experience for you and that when you go back
home you’ll tend tell your friends and
neighbors when they get that letter saying
they’ve been summoned for jury duty, don’t
try to think of up those little old lies,
just come on down and it is not so bad after
all.
I know how much you regret the fact
that you won’t be able to come back for the
next ten years. I don’t know, I may or may
not recognize you if I see you on the street
some day, but if you would see me and
recognize me, I sure would appreciate you
coming up and reminding me of your service
here.
To remind you of your service, we
have some certificates that we have prepared
for you. They look real good in a frame.
Not only will they remind you of your service
here, but they will remind you also of that
wonderful judge who presided over this. We
do thank you very much on behalf of everyone
who has participated in this trial.
You were directed not to discuss the
case when you were first sworn. Now that
your verdict has been reached, I’m going to
relieve you of that oath, meaning that you
may or may not discuss it. It is up to you.

No one can force you to. And if you discuss
it, it will only be because you decide that
you wanted to.
I guess that’s about all except that
I want to come around there and personally
shake your hand. You are what I would call
Trojans.
Having said that, as soon as I get
around there and get a chance to shake your
hands, you’ll be dismissed.
(Judge Swearengen left the bench
to shake the jurors hands.)
THE COURT: Those of you who
would like to retain your notes, you may do
so if you want to.
I guess that’s about it. So
consider yourselves dismissed and we thank
you again.
Ladies and gentlemen, Court is
adjourned.
(The proceedings were concluded
at 3:10 p.m. on December 8th, 1999.)

DANIEL, DILLINGER, DOMINSKI, RICHBERGER, WEATHERFORD
(901) 529-1999
2287
COURT REPORTERS’ CERTIFICATE
STATE OF TENNESSEE:
COUNTY OF SHELBY:
We, BRIAN F. DOMINSKI, MARGIE
DAUSTER, SARA ROGAN, KRISTEN PETERSON and
SHERYL WEATHERFORD, Reporters and Notaries
Public, Shelby County, Tennessee, CERTIFY:
1. The foregoing proceedings were
taken before us at the time and place stated
in the foregoing styled cause with the
appearances as noted;
2. Being Court Reporters, we then
reported the proceedings in Stenotype to the
best of our skill and ability, and the
foregoing pages contain a full, true and
correct transcript of our said Stenotype
notes then and there taken;
3. We am not in the employ of and
are not related to any of the parties or
their counsel, and we have no interest in the
matter involved.
WITNESS OUR SIGNATURES, this, the
____ day of ___________, 2000.
___________________________
BRIAN F. DOMINSKI
Certificate of Merit
Holder; Registered
Professional Reporter,
Notary Public for
the State of Tennessee at
Large ***
DANIEL, DILLINGER, DOMINSKI, RICHBERGER, WEATHERFORD
(901) 529-1999
2288
___________________________
MARGIE ROUTHEAUX
Registered
Professional Reporter,
Notary Public for
the State of Tennessee at
Large ***
___________________________
SARA ROGAN
Registered

Posted in USAComments Off on Martin Luther King Day 2020

Zionist and Bedouins Face Off in the Negev Desert

‘Israel’ and Bedouins Face Off in the Negev Desert

‘Israeli’ authorities plan to displace 36,000 Bedouin inhabitants of the desert region, replacing them with Jewish Israelis and industrial and military projects

By Jack Dalton

Global Research,

Mohammad Danfiri stands at the edge of his Bedouin family’s sheep enclosure in the Negev Desert, looking out at a pair of cell phone towers at the top of a nearby hill. They are situated in an open spot between one end of his village and the other – an area, he explains, where an extension of Israel’s major eastern highway will be built.

A row of houses stands about 60 metres from the towers, where highway plans have been approved. But the Israeli government is advancing plans to evict not only the residents closest to the planned road.

The entire 5,000-person village – and many surrounding ones – will be placed in temporary housing units under the government’s plan, severely limiting their ability to herd sheep and develop agriculture, the primary means of employment in Bedouin communities.

Danfiri is one of at least 36,000 Bedouins in Israel’s Negev (known in Arabic as the Naqab) facing eviction due to a host of projects like the highway expansion.

In order to implement these development plans put forth by government bodies, the Israeli military, private companies and non-profit groups, Israel’s Bedouin Development Authority – the governmental body responsible for handling interactions between Bedouins and the state – is aiming to move tens of thousands of people into short-term housing.

Bedouins refer to the temporary housing as “caravans”, as they are small mobile homes that Israel intends to host whole families. In October, an Israeli district planning committee began to deliberate on whether to approve these transfer plans.

The residents facing displacement live in villages the government deems “unrecognised”, though most have lived on or near the land since the country was established in 1948. During the past 50 years, Israel has attempted to move Bedouins into “recognised” communities, repeatedly arguing that those in unrecognised areas have no claim to the land.

Unrecognised villages are denied any infrastructure or support from the government. There are no means of transportation, no roads, no schools, and Israeli authorities don’t accept or negotiate with their local leadership.

As a result, the communities live a bare-bones life in a harsh terrain. Many herd sheep to sell meat products. Some are able to get work at nearby Israeli companies.

‘No solution’

Danfiri, 47, remembers growing up in the village with the only water source being a well that collected rainwater. He and his friends would bring up the water, and his mother would use her scarf to drain out the dirt. On Fridays, adults would hook up a television to a car battery to watch cartoons and Egyptian movies.

“Kids today have everything,” Danfiri says, referring to the solar panels that are now built on top of many Bedouin houses. “Fridges, internet, everything is available on the spot.”

Danfiri said in order to protect the lifestyle of his community, Bedouins will reject the government’s transfer plans. If they absolutely have to move, he says, they’ll shun the “caravans” and stay as close to their original homes as possible – even if that’s right next to a construction site.

“We’re not moving, we’re going to fight it,” he says. “It’s not going to happen… A project like this would erase the Bedouin culture and heritage.”

Mohammad Danfiri with a horse (MEE/Jack Dodson)

Mohammad Danfiri with a horse (MEE/Jack Dodson)Israel Treats the Bedouin Like “People in a Box”

For a community that defines itself around a traditional, agriculture-based lifestyle, the planned evictions are seen as the latest move in a decades-long government campaign to concentrate them into specific areas. For people like Danfiri, that means giving up part of their identity.

“Everywhere I go, the thing I’m most proud of is being Bedouin. Specifically in the unrecognised villages, Bedouins much more preserve traditional culture,” he says.

Adalah, a Haifa-based NGO that focuses on legal rights for Arabs in Israel, opposes the plans on multiple grounds. For one thing, the organisation argues, the planned housing units aren’t fit for occupancy under the law because they don’t have adequate infrastructure and spacial standards.

The NGO also published a white paper last month arguing that the plans constituted a “separate but equal” approach to Israeli citizens in the Negev.

“One system relies on a planning network that works for the benefit, well-being and future development of Israeli Jewish citizens and communities, and places the Israeli Jewish citizen at the centre of the process,” it wrote.

“The second system relies on a planning network that seeks displacement and transfer of Bedouin citizens to temporary housing, and subordinates the entire Palestinian Bedouin population to an oppressive reality without their consultation.”

Adalah also argues that the plan will increase poverty among Bedouins who are evicted and those who live in the communities where the camps will be built, because it can harm both groups’ access to work.

Myssana Morany, an attorney with Adalah, says it’s not clear how quickly the plans will be carried out and how many people will be moved in the end. Because the government’s wording was vague in the plans they filed, she says, it reveals a broader plan that could affect up to 80,000 people. Similarly, the lack of a specific number of housing units means the government can evict as many people as it would like to.

“To us it means they have no solution for the people they are planning to evict,” Morany says.

Myssana Morany stretches out a map she made manually because the unrecognised villages aren't listed on other maps (MEE/Jack Dodson)

Myssana Morany stretches out a map she made manually because the unrecognised villages aren’t listed on other maps (MEE/Jack Dodson)

Hussein El Rafaiya, a 58-year-old from an unrecognised village called Birh Hamam, served as the head of a council that represents the unrecognised villages from 2002 to 2007. Israel doesn’t recognise the council’s authority and doesn’t negotiate with it.

Rafaiya pointed to historical examples of Israeli pressure on Bedouin communities to force them away from their homes, like decades of home demolitions and evictions by the government.

“We have no possibility of addressing the situation through the courts or the laws,” Rafaiya says, explaining that Israeli law simply doesn’t recognise Bedouin claims to the land or housing.

“This is not the behaviour of a state: it’s criminal behaviour… All these efforts weren’t effective enough in the eyes of the Bedouin Authority, so they decided to create these temporary displacement camps.”

In early 2020, Israel’s southern district planning committee will decide whether to move forward. The government’s two temporary housing plans emphasise the need to “urgently” evict Bedouins on the basis of development projects. In the eyes of human rights groups, it’s a way to come up with a fast but ineffective legal solution in order to evict people.

Expanding presence

In recent years, the Israeli military has moved bases to the Negev in an effort to expand the military and industrial presence there, and as a way to increase the population. The government has also invested resources into helping the south’s largest city, Be’er Sheba, rebrand itself as a hub for technology and entrepreneurship.

The Negev has become a home to a wide range of projects, including solar farms, power plants, greenhouses and other industrialisation efforts. The government has expressed interest in supporting the cultivation of medical marijuana crops, manufacturing and cyber defence, all through the use of grants and subsidies.

The idea, according to the state’s Ministry of Economy, is to compete with Silicon Valley.

One of the key players in this process is the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a US- and Jerusalem-based organisation that is granted special governmental authorities by the Israeli government to purchase and develop land for Jewish settlement.

It oversees many projects across the region, often clearing massive expanses of land to build forests. Some unrecognised Bedouin communities are in areas marked for eviction due to JNF projects.

On the JNF’s website introducing its Negev blueprint, it outlines a plan to settle 500,000 people from elsewhere in the region.

“The Negev Desert represents 60 percent of Israel’s landmass but is home to just 8 percent of the country’s population,” it wrote. “And in those lopsided numbers, we see an unprecedented opportunity for growth.”

The JNF’s “Blueprint Negev” plan features a prominent priority to support Bedouin communities in the region, but it only lists partnerships with recognised Bedouin towns.

A JNF spokesperson did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Thabet Abu Rass, the co-director of Abraham Initiatives, an NGO focused on political rights in Israel, said he disagreed with the government’s plan primarily because it doesn’t take into account any of the Bedouin community’s needs.

“It’s a different terminology of uprooting people. The problem here is uprooting people,” Rass said.

“The government of Israel is investing a lot of money in planning. In one point, it’s good to plan for people, but on another point, it’s not good to plan against their will… the Bedouins have nothing to say about it.”

Rass recalled multiple instances where the Israeli government has made plans for the Negev without consulting the Bedouins, and without accepting or even addressing their claims to land.

“The issue of land in Israel is ideologically motivated,” Rass said. “Israel is defining itself as a Jewish state, and it’s important for them to control more and more land.”

For Rafaiya, the plans are simply unacceptable. Bedouins from recognised communities won’t move, he said.

“This plan is a disaster for us,” Rafaiya says. “The state can come and demolish houses and communities. But we will only be moved as bodies, we will be buried on our land.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Zionist and Bedouins Face Off in the Negev Desert

More to the Flight 752 Tragedy than First Appearances Suggest

By James ONeill

Global Research,

On 3 January 2020 a drone, believed to be operated by the United States, fired a missile upon a convoy of cars departing Baghdad airport, killing at least nine persons. Amongst the victims was Major General Qassem Solemani, a high ranking Iranian general who at the time of his murder was engaged in what is accurately described as a peace mission. He was carrying documents from the government of Saudi Arabia that are understood to have been peace proposals, including a possible cessation of Saudi military actions in the region.

The content of the documents has not been disclosed in detail, and in the flurry of events following Solemani’s assassination, they have tended to disappear from the news cycle. If they were in fact proposals governing a possible ceasefire agreement, then there would be ample motivation for their disappearance.

It has been further suggested that the Saudi initiative was with the knowledge of and tacit consent of the Americans. If this is true, and again there has been a general silence on the point, then it would represent a new level of double-dealing by the Americans.

Trump certainly boasted about killing Solemani, although whether or not he was aware of the nature of Solemani’s mission is another undisclosed detail. If he had such knowledge then the level of betrayal and double-dealing reached new heights, even by the amoral standards of United States foreign policy.

Following the assassination, Iran retaliated with precision strikes on two United States military targets in Iraq. Reports have suggested that the strikes were forewarned via the Swiss embassy with the result that the United States troops in the two targeted sites were moved to safety, resulting in no US casualties from the strike.

Again, there are conflicting reports, none of which make much sense. Some reports have suggested that the United States allowed the retaliation to explain the complete absence of any attempt at defence. Why go to the trouble of killing a senior Iranian officer (undoubtably a war crime in the circumstances prevailing here) and then permit a free retaliation by the Iranians? It makes no logical or military sense.

The more logical explanation is that the much vaunted, and generally inaccurate, reports of the effectiveness of United States military defence was simply unable to respond effectively. The care taken by the Iranians to avoid human casualties, and the precision with which the targets were hit, was making a different point: nowhere within the Iranians range is safe.The US is Planning a Major War with Russia and China. Reports

Within hours of the Iranian’s strike, a Ukraine airliner, carrying among others a large contingent of Canadian citizens was shot down by the Iranian defence system close to Tehran. On the face of it, there was no logical reason for Iranian air defence to shoot down a civilian aircraft. The rush to blame Iran for the tragedy has tended to avoid analysis of several curious features as to what actually happened.

All civilian commercial aircraft carry an and electronic system, the constant emission of signals from which identifies the plane as civilian and therefore prima facie not an object to be of concern. Precisely what happened to the aircraft’s civilian transmission is at this stage unknown, but clearly something must have happened to it to cause the military defence system to fail to make the appropriate identification. Reports of the air defence system being on high alert etc simply make no rational sense as a reason for shooting down a civilian aircraft.

Something caused the ground defence system to mis-identify the plane and to fire its missiles. That the plane was experiencing a degree of difficulty before it was fired upon and had in fact turned away from its approved flight path reinforces the suspicion that it was experiencing difficulties before the air defence system was activated.

The complete absence of any reports of communication from the pilot to air-traffic control prior to the plane being shot down reinforces the suspicion that the plane was in fact experiencing difficulties before the air defence missile was fired.

Again, this is not rocket science. Something caused the pilot to change his flight path. The most obvious answer is electronic and/or mechanical failure. That same trouble prevented the pilot from communicating with air-traffic control. Whatever occurred to cause the plane trouble must also have damaged or disabled the aircraft‘s civil identification system.

Initial reports from the Iranian’s air defence system describing the planes transmitter identifying it as a civilian aircraft, as having ceased communications several minutes before the missiles were fired. Those missiles, known as TOR, by their Russian manufacturers, have an inbuilt system that enables them to identify friend or foe. These are obviously there to prevent any accidental shooting down of friendly civilian aircraft.

What is of material importance in the present case is that the capacity also exists for an unfriendly power to electronically hack both an aircraft and a missile defence system. The missiles used by the Iranian defence system have such a vulnerability. The logical inference to draw from the known sequence of events is that the Ukrainian airliner suffered a technical failure that caused it to alter course, probably intending to return to the airport.

The loss of radio contact and the non-functioning of its electronic identification system resulted in the defence system being unable to identify the aircraft as civilian. The big question which currently remains unanswered is whether the aircraft’s electronic failure was an unfortunate mechanical defect or whether it was the result of malfeasance by an exterior actor.

The fact that the aircraft’s scheduled departure was significantly delayed may have created a time opportunity for its electronic system to be sabotaged. The close proximity of the time of the Iranian’s missile assault on the American targets in Iraq and the embarrassing failure of the Iranians air defence system stretches any belief in it being only a tragic coincidence beyond a rational limit.

In the context of the long ongoing warfare between Iran and the United States, it would be foolish to rule out the very real possibility that this was not a tragic accident but rather the inevitable result of an act of warfare of whom innocent civilians, not for the first time, are the main victims.

Posted in WorldComments Off on More to the Flight 752 Tragedy than First Appearances Suggest

Top Government Brexit Advisor’s Dire Warning About Future

By True Publica

Global Research,

After over three years of chaotic and often bad-tempered negotiations to leave the EU – part one of Britain’s bitter separation becomes a reality in just two weeks.

The vast majority of the British public had no idea just how powerful Britain was as a member of the EU. First of all, we should not forget that the EU is a modern-day empire. It is a bloc of 520 million people in 28 countries organised from a political hub that Britain was at the centre of.

It was Welshman Roy Jenkins, who rose to become European Commission president in 1977, and Arthur Cockfield, the U.K.’s commissioner from 1985, who were architects of the monetary union and the single market, respectively. It was the U.K.’s rebellious nature combined with its long free-trade instincts that guaranteed the bloc wasn’t taken over by the isolationists and nationalists.

Yes, it was Britain who helped design and create the very institution it now seeks to tear apart.

It’s ironic is it not that throughout its membership, Britain served as a substantial counterbalance to the competing powers of France and Germany. Germany is now at the beginning of a recessionary cycle and is soon to lose its tenacious and forceful leader in Angela Merkel to a much weaker model of authority. France’s president Macron is attempting to take the lead role in Europe but has many domestic issues and France does not have the gravitas and poise of Britain’s once-famous diplomatic skill sets. If Britain had chosen to stay a member, by now it would be the nation leading it. A new empire staring up at a country with a long history of being stable in an uncertain world.

But what now? Sajid Javid, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer has just told the Financial Times the UK would not be a “rule-taker” after Brexit, urging businesses to “adjust”. The chancellor said the Treasury would not support manufacturers that favour staying aligned with EU rules, as companies had known since 2016 that the UK was going to leave the EU.

But what terms were they? We still don’t know and won’t for some time to come.

With the new Johnson majority, Javid is now saying something that simply could not be said before – that some companies, no matter how big or structurally important to the UK will suffer because of Brexit.The Demise of Global Britain. “The Expected Economic Crash”

The chancellor also said in the same interview he wanted to double the UK’s annual economic growth to between 2.7 and 2.8% – just as the economy is flatling and without saying how.

As a direct result of the 2016 EU referendum, Britain’s economy is now 3 per cent smaller. The latest research finds, even accounting for the weaker global economy, Britain’s competitor’s and by international standards, Britain will have lost £200billion in economic activity by the end of this year. In little over four years, the ideology of Brexit will have cost more than the combined financial contribution it made to the EU in 47 years of membership.

And while senior government ministers have been quietly threatening business leaders to not express their negative views on Brexit – a position that is unlawful for business leaders in public companies, these very business leaders have finally lost their collective tempers with forceful resentment and publicly reacted.

The aerospace, automotive, chemicals, food and drink and pharmaceutical sectors have now jointly warned that this government and its economic policies aimed at Brexit could pose “serious risk to manufacturing competitiveness”. Together, these sectors employ 1.1 million people, contributing £98bn to the UK economy each year. And yet, the government appears emboldened enough to treat them exactly the same as Britain did the coal and steel industry. There’s a reason. Before the news came to be public knowledge that the government would shift its political and economic position after the election, government policy was being reshaped for a post-Brexit world.

As is further proof is needed as to the economic realities approaching Britain, one only has to listen to eurosceptic Prof. Patrick Minford. He was a notable defender of Margeret Thatcher’s economic policies, was given an OBE by the Tory government in the late 1990s and is a notable member of the Economists for Brexit group which advocated the UK leaving the European Union. Minford genuinely believes that Brexit could substantially increase Britain’s GDP (by 6.8%).

In a recent meeting with government ministers, Minford confirms a new reality and these are his very words (watch Minford HERE):

“It’s perfectly true that if you remove protection of the sort that has been given, for instance, to the car industries, you are going to have a change in the situation facing that industry – and you are going to have to run it down. And it will be in your interests to do so in just the same way as you ran down the coal industry and the steel industry. These things happen. You have to deal with the compensation problems along the route. It will be a process that can’t be entertained without compensation. Reform always requires compensation.”

This is what the aerospace, automotive, chemicals, food and drink and pharmaceutical sectors have suddenly started warning about. They understand that their future in Britain is no longer assured. British industry wrote to the government as a collective in an attempt to be heard. Their worries are primarily about ‘regulatory alignment’ with the EU.

Pan-European regulatory alignment has been a success in our industries, supporting continued creation and retention of highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the UK. It is important this regulatory alignment should continue after Brexit as a critical element of the UK’s future relationship with the EU”.

The government have just confirmed that ‘regulatory alignment’ has been sacrificed on the altar of the free-market. Minford believes that whilst these industries will be the sacrificed, design, marketing and hi-tech will benefit.

It should be noted that Prof Minford fully supported Thatchers Community Charge (Poll Tax) reforms that led directly to the Poll Tax riots and Conservative ministers to oust her in 1990. The Poll Tax was then abolished because of its economic failure and the political meltdown it caused.

Posted in Europe, UKComments Off on Top Government Brexit Advisor’s Dire Warning About Future

US Boosts Funding of Tech Companies to Help Anti-Tehran Protests

US-backed companies record rise in use of circumvention apps in recent weeks

By Katrina Manson

Global Research,

US government-funded technology companies have recorded an increase in the use of circumvention software in Iran in recent weeks after boosting efforts to help Iranian anti-regime protesters thwart internet censorship and use secure mobile messaging.

The outreach is part of a US government programme dedicated to internet freedom that supports dissident pressure inside Iran and complements America’s policy of “maximum pressure” over the regime.

A US state department official told the Financial Times that since protests in Iran in 2018 — at the time the largest in almost a decade — Washington had accelerated efforts to provide Iranians more options on how they communicate with each other and the outside world.

The US-supported measures include providing apps, servers and other technology to help people communicate, visit banned websites, install anti-tracking software and navigate data shutdowns. Many Iranians rely on virtual private networks (VPNs) that receive US funding or are beamed in with US support, not knowing they are relying on Washington-backed tools.

“We work with technological companies to help free flow of information and provide circumvention tools that helped in [last week’s] protest,” a second US state department official told the FT. “We are able to sponsor VPNs — and that allows Iranians to use the internet.”

The US Treasury department has issued waivers for such software and services, despite the Trump administration’s imposition of swingeing sanctions when it withdrew from the 2015 international nuclear accord.

To read the complete Financial Times article, click here

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on US Boosts Funding of Tech Companies to Help Anti-Tehran Protests

General Haftar Still Holds All the Cards After Berlin’s Libya Summit

By Andrew Korybko

Global Research,

Berlin’s Libya summit ended without any real changes to the status quo despite all relevant foreign parties to that country’s civil war superficially agreeing to some key points such as the need to abide by the arms embargo and commit to a ceasefire as soon as possible, meaning that General Haftar still holds all the cards so the fate of the country is ultimately his and his GCC+ patrons’ to decide, though Turkey will do its utmost to deter them from making another military push on the capital.

A Lot Of Blah-Blah In Berlin

Sunday’s Libya summit in Berlin represented an unprecedented push towards peace after the top representatives from the most relevant foreign parties to that country’s civil war met in the German capital to discuss an end to the long-running conflict with the leaders of that North African state’s two main warring factions, Prime Minister Serraj of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and General Haftar of the Libyan National Army (LNA). The event ended without any real changes to the status quo apart from the non-Libyan parties superficially agreeing to some key points such as the need to abide by the arms embargo and commit to a ceasefire as soon as possible, meaning that General Haftar still holds all the cards so the fate of the country is ultimately his and his GCC+ patrons’ to decide, though Turkey will do its utmost to deter them from making another military push on the capital.

Background Basics

The author analyzed last week’s developments which paved the way for this summit in two articles titled “Who’d Have Thought 9 Years Ago That Russia & Turkey Would Bring Peace To Libya?” and “Russia’s Unsuccessful Libyan Peace Summit Was A Good Start“, which should be skimmed by the reader if they’re not already familiar with them but can be summarized as asserting that Russia and Turkey’s joint efforts over a week ago set into motion the first stage of what’s bound to be an extended peace process. It was concluded in the last analysis that nothing of significance will change unless the LNA’s Egyptian, Emirati, and Saudi (GCC+) backers decide that it’s in their interests for this to happen, which hasn’t yet occurred and might never will. It doesn’t matter what they superficially agreed to in Berlin since there isn’t any enforcement mechanism to compel their compliance.

Agreements Without Enforcement Mechanisms Are Meaningless

The UN or a “coalition of the willing” would have to simultaneously launch maritime and mainland operations to search every car and piece of cargo coming into the country, which is beyond their capabilities, let alone mandate. The GCC+ could easily send support to General Haftar through Egypt, Sudan, or in the worst-case scenario, even Chad and Niger if it came down to it whereas the GNA’s foreign supporters such as Turkey are entirely dependent on maritime and air routes that are much easier to identify and intercept. The Libyan Civil War has long been a proxy struggle between many forces but its latest manifestation can be simplified as being between the secular-supporting GCC+ and the Muslim Brotherhood-backing Turkey, which is ironic since the Gulf Kingdoms are religious monarchies whereas Turkey is officially a secular republic. The other relevant foreign powers support one side or the other, while Russia is trying to “balance” between both.

There is no trust whatsoever between these two opposing camps, which support their proxy of choice for varying reasons that are in one way or another connected to their belief that that faction will most likely advance their national interests as they understand them if it’s successful in winning the civil war. As such, it can be expected that neither the GCC+ nor Turkey will curtail their support to the LNA and GNA respectively, especially since there aren’t any enforcement mechanisms compelling them to do so. The LNA is the more militarily powerful of the two after already conquering most of the country and nowadays being positioned just outside of the capital while the GNA is totally on the defensive and can only hope that Turkey’s recent military intervention can save it from collapse. The international community, excluding the GCC+ of course, appears to be siding with the GNA given their calls for an immediate ceasefire to save it, but it might not be enough.

The GCC+’s Strategic Calculations

It really all depends on whether General Haftar and his GCC+ backers are confident enough with their military capabilities (which might no longer include the speculative Russian mercenaries that were reportedly fighting in his support as hypothesized by the author in the first of his two hyperlinked analyses from earlier in this article) and have the political will to defy the rest of the world. About the first, it’s unclear at this point in time exactly what Turkey has done to improve the GNA’s defenses, but whatever it is appears to have had at least a temporary deterrence effect on the LNA. Concerning the second-mentioned, because of the lack of any enforcement mechanisms, the international community cannot impose any serious costs on the LNA other than forthcoming sanctions which could be countered by the GCC’s financial reserves if need be. Eventually, the rest of the world would just have to accept that General Haftar rules Libya if he’s successful in capturing the capital.

Turkish “Mission Creep”

His forces don’t want war, however, and would rather have a “clean victory” that sees the GNA capitulate to their demands to disarm and demobilize all the militias that they regard as terrorist groups as well as remove Turkish forces from the country, ergo why they’ve shut down the country’s oil supply in recent days in order to drain the internationally recognized government of its precious finances. This in turn increases the costs for the GNA’s foreign supporters, especially Turkey, who might have to extend emergency financial assistance to their proxies for an indefinite period of time, which might not be economically feasible for them unless they all come together again in another Berlin-like conference and work out each parties’ contribution to the cause (in parallel with sanctioning the LNA for its actions). It’s unrealistic that Turkey would abandon Tripoli at this point, so it’s tempted to continue with “mission creep” by possibly commencing a “financial intervention” too.

From Civil War To Standoff

So long as Turkish military support to the GNA continues to provide credible deterrence to the LNA, then the rest of the internationally recognized government’s foreign supporters will feel more comfortable extending it other means of assistance as well, especially financial. Nobody wants to invest hundreds of millions and potentially even several billion dollars into the side that might be about to lose at any moment, so the GNA’s survival hinges on how serious Turkey is about comprehensively supporting it. Ankara’s political will hasn’t wavered one bit, which inspires confidence in its peers to seriously consider following suit. Likewise, the GCC+ hasn’t wavered at all in its support of General Haftar, hence why he’s refused to “compromise” despite heavy international pressure to do so (though crucially without any enforcement mechanisms to compel him, at least not yet). In other words, the Libyan Civil War has now turned into the Libyan Standoff, with this new state of affairs either lasting a short while or becoming the new status quo depending on subsequent developments.

Posted in LibyaComments Off on General Haftar Still Holds All the Cards After Berlin’s Libya Summit

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