Archive | February 24th, 2020

Washington Post’s ‘relative quiet’ ignores Nazi violence against Palestinians

Washington Post’s ‘relative quiet’ ignores Israeli violence against Palestinians

By: ALISON WEIR  

Washington Post’s ‘relative quiet’ ignores Israeli violence against Palestinians

Nine-year-old Palestinian Malik Eissa, Feb. 20, 2020, after being shot in the face by Israeli police the previous week. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The Post says there had been “weeks of relative quiet,” even though Israeli soldiers had shot over 100 Palestinian civilians, killing four of them; conducted 400+ invasions of the Palestinian Territories; abducted dozens of Palestinians; perpetrated air strikes on Gaza; shot at fishermen and farmers; demolished Palestinian homes; tortured a Palestinian mother; and shot a small boy in the eye… Are Post Editor Marty Baron and reporter Ruth Eglash too close to Israel to report the full, unfiltered news?

By Alison Weir

On February 24th, the Washington Post reported that a “flare up” of violence in Israel-Palestine “followed weeks of relative quiet.” This statement ignores massive Israeli violence against Palestinians. The following is a partial list of Israeli actions against Palestinians during the previous three and a half weeks:

  • Israeli soldiers Shot and killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a 19-year-old shot in the neck, a 17-year-old shot in the head, and a 24-year-old policeman shot in the stomach.
  • Israeli soldiers shot an additional 100 Palestinians, including 15 minors, 3 fishermen, 3 journalists, and a photographer working for an Israeli human rights organization. One of the injured minors was a 9-year-old whose eye was shot out.
  • Israeli forces conducted 418 military raids into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces abducted 190 Palestinian civilians, including 52 teens and children and 4 women.
  • Israeli forces perpetrated 15 shootings against Palestinian farmers and farm structures.
  • Israeli forces perpetrated 7 shootings against Palestinian fishing boats.
  • Israel demolished 8 Palestinian homes.
  • Israeli interrogators tortured a Palestinian mother imprisoned by Israel.
  • Israeli forces escorted thousands of Israeli settlers while they stormed two Palestinian villages.
  • Israeli forces perpetrated several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
  • fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy, who had been shot earlier by Israeli forces, died.

(For details on the above incidents go here. For information on additional actions that took place during this time go here. For a Timeline of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the conflict go here.)

Ruth Eglash Washington Post reporter Israel Palestine
Ruth Eglash, Israeli citizen

Reporter Ruth Eglash partisan

Ruth Eglash, lead author of the Washington Post report that ignored the above events, moved to Israel 20 years ago, became an Israeli citizen, and was an editor of a right-wing Israeli newspaper for 10 years before moving to the Post.

She has been a featured speaker at events by pro-Israel organizations in the U.S. and used to be listed on the speakers’ bureau of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), known for taking over Palestinian land for Israel. (Her listing by the JNF has since been removed from the Internet.)

Shortly before joining the Post, Eglash had served on a panel entitled “Telling Israel’s Story,” alongside an Israeli army spokesperson. The panel was chaired by a former advisor to the Israeli government.

According to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Eglash lives in a “spacious home in Mevessert Zion,” which is one of the wealthiest enclaves in the area. It was built in the 1950s on top of the destroyed Palestinian villages of Al Qastal and Qalunya, which had been ethnically cleansed by Israeli forces. Some parts of the town are in the West Bank, making the residents settlers. Settlements are illegal under international law.

Eglash’s husband, also an Israeli citizen, is originally from Milwaukee, where he “lived and breathed Israel” as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He started and continues to head a PR firm called “Upstart” that markets Israel to the US.

Media watchdog organization Fairness and Accuracy In Media (FAIR) reports: “Upstart’s clients include the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. Other clients, like Hillel and Birthright for Israel, are active in promoting a pro-Israel message on college campuses.”

Martin Baron, Washington Post executive editor

FAIR states that the Washington Post seems to be violating its own ethics conflict of interest code by employing a reporter “whose spouse works for an Israeli government-linked public relations firm.”

Marty Baron

The Editor of the Post is Martin Baron, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Israel. Baron says he has visited Israel often, where he has family connections. Baron sometimes gives talks on Israel.

(According to Israeli law, individuals who are born to a parent who is an Israeli citizen automatically are Israeli citizens themselves. It is unknown whether this is the case for Baron.)

A member of the Israel lobby once divulged to an undercover reporter that it was easy for the lobby to get stories onto the front page of the Washington Post.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZI, MediaComments Off on Washington Post’s ‘relative quiet’ ignores Nazi violence against Palestinians

Exxon Plans Foray Into Zionist Gas Exploration

Image result for Exxon LOGO

Exxon Plans Foray Into Israel Gas Exploration

By Irina Slav

Exxon has plans to enter the Israeli natural gas exploration industry despite the country’s tense relations with its Arab neighbors where Exxon has an established presence, Reuters reports, citing a source with knowledge of the plans.

According to the source, Exxon officials had talked with Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on the sidelines of CERAWeek in Houston, focusing on an offshore oil and gas auction that Israel has scheduled for this June.

Israel made several major gas discoveries offshore during the last decade, but only one of them, Tamar, is already producing. Another large field, Leviathan, is close to completion, with first gas flowing into the market in late 2019, according to a November 2018 Reuters report.

The Tamar field contains an estimated 281 billion cu m of natural gas and some 13 million barrels of condensate, according to field operator Delek Group. Delek partners on Tamar’s development with Noble Energy, which holds a 25-percent stake.

Delek and Noble Energy are also the lead partners on the Leviathan project, which Steinitz earlier this year called “the greatest natural treasure that has been discovered in Israel.” The field holds about 535 billion cu m of natural gas as well as 34.1 million barrels of condensate.

Israel has grand ambitions in the gas industry thanks to these discoveries and has been eager to tap more reserves. It has already struck a sizeable gas export deal with an Egyptian firm, but it may just be the start of its growth as a regional factor to reckon with in gas.

This may put Exxon in an interesting position with its partners from the Arab countries, but the risk is relatively small: local oil and gas producers have benefited from the know-how supplied by Exxon and the other Big Oil majors for long enough to risk losing it.

However, there is no certainty there will be another Leviathan-sized discovery any time soon. The 2017 oil and gas block tender that Tel Aviv held was disappointing and hopes are now that the next round, to cover 19 blocks, will have better results.

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Spectre of Afghan quagmire haunts US

Image result for Afghan quagmirecartoon
By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

The Afghan national security advisor Hamdullah Mohib, while on a visit to Washington, tore into the US’ peace talks with Taliban in remarks to the American media on Thursday. Mohib alleged that US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad is keeping the Afghan govt in Kabul in the dark about the negotiations with the Taliban and that he’s plotting to replace President Ashraf Ghani.

Mohib alleged that Pakistan is dictating the trajectory of the US-Taliban negotiations and warned that there can be no peace until Islamabad ended its support for ‘non-state actors’.

The charges are indeed very serious and it is unlikely that Mohib spoke without Ghani’s approval. Mohib is Ghani’s hand-picked security aide, the fountainhead of Afghan intelligence and is wired into the Washington Beltway, where he previously served as ambassador. The US state department called in Mohib and apparently gave him a dressing down.

That there is friction between Khalilzad and Ghani has been known for sometime. Basically, there is much resistance among the Afghan elite to the US strategy to take Pakistan’s help to engage Taliban in direct negotiations and chalk out a settlement that mainstreams the insurgents.

Things have lately reached a point of no return, now that the crucial next phase of negotiations at Doha is due where the agenda includes intra-Afghan dialogue and ceasefire leading to an interim power-sharing arrangement in Kabul replacing the Ghani government.

Meanwhile, there are interest groups within the Afghan elite who either fear retrenchment or simply do not accept reconciliation with the Taliban. There is indeed widespread resentment among Afghans toward Pakistan’s blatant projection of power into their country through decades. In sum, a coalescing of anti-Taliban, anti-Pakistan sentiments is taking place.

Ghani himself has never hidden his antipathy toward Islamabad for its interference in Afghan affairs and of late has been reaching out to these anti-Taliban, anti-Pakistan groups within the Afghan elite. He feels annoyed that Washington is not insisting on the Taliban holding talks with the Afghan govt, but has instead harmonised with the Pakistani-Russian idea of an ‘intra-Afghan dialogue’ where the Afghan govt can only be a participant like myriad other Afghan groups — and not as the Taliban’s principal interlocutor.

Having said that, Ghani would also know that Khalilzad who enjoys the backing of the US foreign and security establishment, is by no means a pushover. In principle, the US can withdraw support from Ghani and make a horrible example of him but in the current fluidity, that will open a Pandora’s box and may trigger events over which Washington will have no control. With such a big US and NATO military deployment in Afghanistan, it is out of the question that the Trump administration would make any precipitate moves which might create a power vacuum in Kabul.

On the other hand, President Trump wants the troop withdrawal to begin, which was also his campaign pledge in the 2016 election. Fundamentally, the Americans may have underestimated the strong undercurrents of Afghan nationalism. Ghani suspects that the Pakistani game plan is to ultimately create conditions for an outright Taliban takeover in Kabul. There have been ample signals that he is digging in.

Suffice to say, the spectre of an Afghan quagmire is haunting the Americans. An orderly American / NATO withdrawal is possible only on the basis of a settlement with the Taliban. But Ghani and his camp insist on an ‘Afghan-led’ , ‘Afghan-controlled’ peace process — that is, direct talks between the government and the Taliban. The US’ capacity to leverage Ghani is steadily diminishing.

There are hardline militia factions who stoutly oppose any power-sharing arrangement with the Taliban and are horrified at the prospect of Pakistani hegemony over Afghanistan. They may opt for a trial of strength through force. In the circumstances, there is always the danger of a coup and usurpation of power, which of course no one wants to talk about.

The role of regional powers will be crucial in the coming period. Pakistan and Russia have a special role to play here. Both countries harbour an adversarial mindset vis-a-vis Ghani. Clearly, Pakistan and Russia are increasingly moving in tandem to create conditions for a transition in Kabul that maximises their influence. Russia has pockets of influence among the anti-Pakistani Afghan factions — for instance, former president Hamid Karzai or former NSC Hanif Atmar and erstwhile Northern Alliance leaders and so on — which can work favourably for the advancement of Pakistani interests.

Equally, Russia hopes to gain out of its links to the Taliban, which Pakistan has helped to promote, in a future regime in Kabul. Of course, both Russia and Pakistan have troubled relations with the US and will be beneficiaries of any diminution of American prestige and influence in the region. It will be an understatement to say that in the New Cold War conditions, Moscow wouldn’t mind if the US and NATO are forced to exit from the Hindu Kush in disgrace and defeat.

Related

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Beware of blowback from Afghan policies In “Aletho News”

Posted in USA, AfghanistanComments Off on Spectre of Afghan quagmire haunts US

Sorry, Ilhan, Jews HAVE Hypnotized the World

By Kevin Barrett

Rep. Ilhan Omar equivocally-unequivocally apologized for tweeting that Zionist power was “all about the Benjamins.” A few weeks later, she didn’t apologize at all for suggesting that American congressional representatives shouldn’t have to swear loyalty oaths to Israel.

But Rep. Omar did in fact issue one genuinely unequivocal apology. It involved this 2012 tweet:

“It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive,” Omar tweeted on January 21 in response to an attack from New York Times op-ed writer Bari Weiss.

As I recently wrote, Ilhan Omar’s other two “anti-Semitic tropes”—that the US supports Israel due to Jewish-Zionist money power, and that Congress has a dual-loyalty problem—are all-too-obviously true. But what about Israel hypnotizing the world? Is that a fair statement? An exaggeration? A racist calumny?

Actually, in some ways it is an understatement. Jewish tribal power has been “hypnotizing the world” in various ways since long before the modern nation state (or settler colony of genocidal squatters, if you will) called “Israel” was founded in 1948.

I put the expression “hypnotize the world” in quotes not only because it was Omar who said it, but because it is obviously a figure of speech, not a literal statement. But as figures of speech go, this one is unusually accurate and revealing.

Literal hypnosis, of course, involves inducing a trance state during which the hypnotized subject becomes highly suggestible. The hypnotist can not only elicit amazing feats of rote obedience, but can also implant post-hypnotic suggestions in the subject’s mind which can influence, or even completely control, subsequent behavior.

An intergenerational Jewish tribal elite has spent the past 2500 years perfecting ways to bypass the rational faculties of their victims (the first of whom are non-elite Jews) while inculcating irrational beliefs and behaviors that bring wealth and power to that same elite. Many of their control techniques are reminiscent of hypnotism.

Laurent Guyénot’s magisterial From Yahweh to Zion “unveils the process by which Yahweh, through the voices of his priests, prophets, and scribes (the ‘cognitive elite’) shaped the vision and collective psychology of his chosen people” (p.18). That voice of the Jewish cognitive elite, masquerading as the voice of God, wielded the same kind of charismatic, irrational authority over its victims as the voice of the hypnotist wields over his hypnotic subjects.

The original victims of this “hypnosis” were non-elite Jews. Entranced by the masterful storytelling of the cognitive elite, they submitted to the authority of their priests, rabbis, and scribes in the same way a hypnotic subject submits to the hypnotist. And just as the hypnotist verifies and deepens the trance by commanding the subject to do something ridiculous—for example, by handing the subject an onion and saying “bite into this delicious juicy apple”—the Jewish cognitive elite ordered their subjects to obey all sorts of bizarre rules, from the Levitical to the downright Talmudic. And just as cult leaders “hypnotize” their followers into happily drinking the Kool Aid en masse by demonizing outsiders and fostering groupthink, the Jewish tribal elite created “A People That Shall Dwell Alone” by isolating their subjects, encouraging endogamy, and terrorizing the Tribe into separation from the goyim.

As Guyénot shows in From Yahweh to Zion, the Jewish cognitive elite hypnotized much of the world into believing that their tribal god Yahweh—a stand-in for the authority and interests of that same elite—was Lord and Creator of the entire universe. The ancient Jewish elite’s self-interested equivocation between presenting Yahweh as a tribal god on one hand, and the universal God on the other, resembles today’s Jewish elite’s equivocal presentation of Jewishness sometimes as a religion, sometimes as an ethnicity (depending on which version best serves Jewish elite interests). Both goyim and non-elite Jews accept such contradictions as unquestioningly as hypnotic subjects accept the commands of a master hypnotist.

Apocalyptic War: A Post-Hypnotic Suggestion?

The endgame of a certain Jewish elite’s effort to hypnotize the world into submission became apparent by around 1500, when the messianic-yet-worldly Zionism of Isaac Abarbanel drew the blueprint for the creation of the state of Israel more than four centuries later—and the apocalyptic war between Muslims and Christians it would instigate. To understand the significance of Abarbanel, we must remember that Jewish messianic thought has always awaited the coming of the Messiah, viewed as a king and warlord who will lead the Jews to a military triumph over all other tribes (the goyim) and institute 1000 years of pax Judaica. (Obviously this involves a severe rejection of the Christian and Muslim doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah.)

Abarbanel was a key figure in the heretical, Satanic turn in Jewish millenarianism: The transition between traditional orthodoxy, which held that God alone would institute the messianic age without human help, to the Zionist doctrine that Jews should “force God’s hand” by taking over Jerusalem, and the world, themselves—even if the price involved kabbalistic black magic, devious conspiracies, big lies, mass murder, weaponized usury, and other abominations. Today, Naturei Karta and other genuinely orthodox traditional Jews correctly view Zionism as a Satanic heresy. But most of the world’s Jewish communities, and the populations whose media they dominate, have been hypnotized into biting into the reeking rotten onion of Zionism and insisting it is a fresh, delicious apple.

Abarbanel’s plan for Jewish-triggered apocalypse, though produced five centuries ago, is as fresh as tomorrow’s headlines. The good rabbi recommended that Jews return en masse to the Holy Land and orchestrate an apocalyptic war between Christians and Muslims. After the Christians and Muslims had finished destroying each other, Abarbanel prophecied, the Jews—under the command of their Messiah—would rule the world from Jerusalem.

It is telling that Benjamin Netanyahu’s father Benzion wrote a book about Abarbanel highlighting the plan to trigger an apocalyptic Christian-vs.-Muslim war to usher in a one-world state ruled by the Jewish Messiah (who would of course be called Antichrist by Christians and Muslims). Indeed, the plan to trick (post)Christian civilization into launching a global war against Muslim civilization, rolled out on 9/11/2001, is something of a Netanyahu family business.

More than a century after Abarbanel laid the groundwork for the Clash of Civilizations, the famous false messiah Sabbatai Zevi—whose career peaked in the numerologically significant year 1666—led the first wave of Zionism by convincing large numbers of Jews to emigrate to the Holy Land. Zevi’s thought was taken up in the next century by Jacob Frank (1726-1791) who codified Zevi’s madness into the doctrine of “purification through transgression”: the notion that individuals and communities should “religiously” commit sex crimes and other abominations. Rumors of kabbalistic black magic, human sacrifice, and bizarre sexual practices have attended the Frankists, who—according to such Jewish scholars as investigative journalist Barry Chamish and Rabbi Marvin Antelman—were behind both the fiat money magic of the Rothschilds and its seeming opposite, Communism. Taken together, Rothschild capitalism and Marxian communism form a sort of Hegelian dialectical one-two punch in service to the larger project of secularized, materialist Jewish millenarianism.

Even as they “hypnotized the world” into dividing into capitalist and communist camps, heretical Jewish elites were setting the stage for Zionism…and Abarbanel’s eventual Christian-vs.-Muslim apocalypse leading to the Messiah/Antichrists’s one-world planetary dictatorship. Though Albert Pike’s alleged late 19th century prophecy of three Zionist-freemasonry-orchestrated World Wars may be apocryphal, the Frankist-Jewish elite’s hand in World War I, World War II, and the current Clash of Civilizations is convincingly documented in the last four chapters of Guyénot’s From Yahweh to Zion.

Techniques of Hypnotism

Getting back to the question of hypnotism, it is obvious that Jewish elites have played an outsize role in the discovery and manipulation the unconscious mind. Sigmund Freud’s discovery of the unconscious was weaponized by his nephew Edward Bernays and transformed into what is euphemistically known as “public relations,” many aspects of which involve the direct manipulation of the unconscious in a process reminiscent of mass hypnosis.

In reality, Bernay’s (and Freud’s) contributions were not original. They are best viewed as modern versions of centuries-old mind control techniques based on Kabbalistic “magic” as described in Ioan Couliano’s Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. (Couliano’s spilling of cabalistic secrets may have led to the spilling of his blood: he was murdered in a rest room at that neocon Mecca, the University of Chicago.)

Hypnosis is based on repetition: You gaze at the watch swinging back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, or the spoon clinking round and round and round the teacup, and sink into a suggestible trance. The verbal equivalent of this kind of hypnotic repetition was admirably summarized by Lewis Carroll as: “What I tell you three times is true.” That is why the mass television audience on 9/11/2001, blasted into an awestruck trance by traumatic images, was treated to hundreds of replays of planes into buildings, planes into buildings, planes into buildings, then buildings exploding into pyroclastic clouds, buildings exploding into pyroclastic clouds, buildings exploding into pyroclastic clouds, as an endless parade of talking heads chanted “Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor” and “Bin Laden Bin Laden Bin Laden.” One cannot imagine a more shamelessly obvious example of a pre-scripted mass hypnosis operation.

Often the real point of inducing hypnotic trance is not anything that happens during the hypnotism session itself, but behavioral changes induced by post-hypnotic suggestion: The smoker quits smoking, that fat person loses weight, or the MK Ultra subject fires a gun at Robert Kennedy without the slightest inkling of what he is doing or why. The 9/11 mass hypnosis operation, which I have analyzed with the help of the wonderful Douglas Rushkoff (my kind of Jewish utopian) as a classic example of Coercion—was designed to implant Islamophobia as its primary post-hypnotic suggestion, in service to a Clash of Civilizations agenda whose primary beneficiary is Zionism. (I do hope that certain Unz readers will notice that they are still operating under that baleful post-hypnotic influence, and go about the business of deprogramming themselves.)

When someone like Ilhan Omar—who suffered horrific trauma as a result of the 9/11-triggered Zionist plan to destroy “seven countries in five years” one of which was Somalia—looks at the United States, a nation of 300 million people, obediently laboring for tiny Israel like some sort of zombie golem, it is understandable why the word hypnosis would enter her mind and her Twitter stream. As I have shown, and could show in a book-length or even encyclopedic treatise given world enough and time, her hypnosis metaphor is illuminating and apropos.

In conclusion, I offer an obligatory disclaimer that should go without saying: Obviously Jewish elites are not the only people in the mass hypnosis business. All governments and corporations hypnotize their subjects and personnel into loyal obedience. All religion involves a degree of mass hypnosis; and mysticism, the heart of religion, involves a degree of self-hypnosis. And even parents routinely hypnotize their children to sleep with repetitious storytelling. Some of this, perhaps much of this, is normal and healthy. My point is that Jewish elites have been unusually successful in employing hypnotic mass manipulation for self-aggrandizing purposes, and that today’s Zionist elites are doing so in strikingly immoral and destructive ways.

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The Guardian of Judea

Image result for Guardian of Judea cartoon
By Devon Nola

In the last week, we saw yet another organised smear campaign of hate and slander orchestrated by Jewish interest groups and Labour Party affiliates wielded against Internationally acclaimed Jazz musician, Gilad Atzmon. A protest was planned for Atzmon’s concert at The Vortex Jazz Club after numerous emails from local Labour Council members and members of these groups demanded the cancellation of the gig fell on deaf ears. They claimed Atzmon plays ‘Nazi-apologist Jazz.’ Personally, I’m not familiar with the genre. The chief organiser was Jewdas, a group that qualifies itself as “Radical Jewish Voices”. The four co-sponsors were: Momentum, an alleged grass-roots collective, Socialists Against Antisemitism, whose name is self-explanatory if not contradictory, London Young Labour and The Jewish Labour Movement.

What is most interesting is this event was supported and promoted by journalist for The Guardian, Owen Jones. It’s always shocking when a journalist supports any sort of censorship. Jones posted the event on his Facebook page and within two days, managed to rack up over 350 comments telling him what a huge mistake he was making, the accusations against Atzmon were false and totally absurd, and might he provide some proof to substantiate the claims. Many came from avid readers and supporters of Jones’ usual commentary but were aghast at his support of preventing a respected musician from earning a living and they expressed this in no uncertain terms.

When Jones finally did respond, it was to attach a hit piece that came from an ultra-Zionist website full of misquotes, quotes out of context and even completely fabricated quotes. Rather than sifting through Atzmon’s prolific body of written work to decipher if the accusations against him were legitimate, Jones instead chose this piecemeal missive full of lies.

Realising, at that point, Jones hadn’t actually read anything by Atzmon, I attached a copy of a page from Atzmon’s book, “The Wondering Who”. I assumed once he read Atzmon’s thoughts, directly, versus some bastardised fictional version, he would realise his error in judgement and deliver a swift apology. This is what an honest journalist, a person with integrity would do. Astonishingly, Owen Jones chose a different path. He didn’t admit to his mistake (giving him the benefit of the doubt, here), but rather removed the entire thread, or shall I say, the evidence. This was a calculated, conscious decision, by Jones, suggesting he was fully aware of the deceit being peddled in both the protest he was supporting and the piece he scrounged up to defend it. This isn’t the behaviour one expects from a journalist. It’s typically something one finds in a sleazy tabloid writer whose articles are printed next to ads for miracle serums to cure baldness or penis enlargement.

Some time ago, Atzmon coined the phrase “The Guardian of Judea” for the well-known paper. Witnessing one of their journalists engaged in such a slanderous campaign, where completely unfounded accusations of antisemitism, Nazi apologist and holocaust-denier are being lobbed at an innocent man like tennis balls on the final Sunday of Wimbledon, I’m inclined to think this is yet one more astute observation by the legendary saxophonist.


List of signatories to letters demanding the ouster of Gilad Atzmon:

As’ad AbuKhalil, The Angry Arab News Service, Turlock, CA
Suha Afyouni, solidarity activist, Beirut, LEBANON
Max Ajl, essayist, rabble-rouser, proprietor of Jewbonics blog site, Ithaca, NY
Haifaa Al-Moammar, activist, stay-at-home mom, and marathon walker, Los Angeles, CA
Electa Arenal, professor emerita, CUNY Graduate Center/Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Women’s Studies, New York, NY
Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Dan Berger, Wild Poppies Collective, Philadelphia, PA
Chip Berlet, Boston, MA
Nazila Bettache, activist, Montréal, CANADA
Sam Bick, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montréal, Québec
Max Blumenthal, author; writing fellow, The Nation, New York, NY
Lenni Brenner, author, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, New York, NY
Café Intifada
Paola Canarutto, Rete-ECO (Italian Network of Jews against the Occupation), Torino, ITALY
Paulette d’Auteuil, National Jericho Movement, Albuquerque, NM
Susie Day, Monthly Review, New York, NY
Ali Hocine Dimerdji, PhD student at The University of Nottingham, in Nottingham, UK
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, professor emerita, California State University
Todd Eaton, Park Slope Food Coop Members for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions, Brooklyn, NY
Mark Elf, Jews sans frontieres
S. EtShalom, registered nurse, Philadelphia, PA
Benjamin Evans, solidarity activist, Chicago, IL
First of May Anarchist Alliance
Sherna Berger Gluck, professor emerita, California State University/Israel Divestment Campaign, CA
Neta Golan, International Solidarity Movement
Tony Greenstein, Secretary Brighton Unemployed Centre/UNISON, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Brighton, UK
Andrew Griggs, Café Intifada, Los Angeles, CA
Jenny Grossbard, artist, designer, writer and fighter, New York, NY
Freda Guttman, activist, Montréal, CANADA
Adam Hanieh, lecturer, Department of Development Studies/SOAS, University of London, UK
Swaneagle Harijan, anti-racism, social justice activism, Seattle, WA
Sarah Hawas, researcher and solidarity activist, Cairo, EGYPT
Stanley Heller, “The Struggle” Video News, moderator “Jews Who Speak Out”
Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon!, Immigrant Workers Center, Montréal, CANADA
Elise Hendrick, Meldungen aus dem Exil/Noticias de una multipátrida, Cincinnati, OH
Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer, New York, NY
Ken Hiebert, activist, Ladysmith, CANADA
Elizabeth Horowitz, solidarity activist, New York, NY
Adam Hudson, writer/blogger, San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Dhruv Jain, Researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academie and PhD student at York University, Paris, FRANCE
Tom Keefer, an editor of the journal Upping the Anti, Toronto, CANADA
Karl Kersplebedeb, Left Wing Books, Montréal, CANADA
Anne Key, Penrith, Cumbria, UK
Mark Klein, activist, Toronto, CANADA
Bill Koehnlein, Brecht Forum, New York, NY
L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Los Angeles, CA
Mark Lance, Georgetown University/Institute for Anarchist Studies, Washington, DC
David Landy, author, Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel, Dublin, IRELAND
Bob Lederer, Pacifica/WBAI producer, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, New York, NY
Matthew Lyons, Three Way Fight, Philadelphia, PA
Karen MacRae, solidarity activist, Toronto, CANADA
Heba Farouk Mahfouz, student activist, blogger, Cairo, EGYPT
Marvin Mandell and Betty Reid Mandell, co-editors, New Politics, West Roxbury, MA
Ruth Sarah Berman McConnell, retired teacher, DeLand, FL
Kathleen McLeod, poet, Brisbane, Australia
Karrie Melendres, Los Angeles, CA
Matt Meyer, Resistance in Brooklyn, New York, NY
Amirah Mizrahi, poet and educator, New York, NY
mesha Monge-Irizarry, co-director of Education Not Incarceration; SF MOOC City commissioner, San Francisco, CA
Matthew Morgan-Brown, solidarity activist, Ottawa, CANADA
Michael Novick, People Against Racist Terror/Anti-Racist Action, Los Angeles, CA
Saffo Papantonopoulou, New School Students for Justice in Palestine, New York, NY
Susan Pashkoff, Jews Against Zionism, London, UK
Tom Pessah, UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, Berkeley, CA
Marie-Claire Picher, Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB), New York, NY
Sylvia Posadas (Jinjirrie), Kadaitcha, Noosa, AUSTRALIA
Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism, London, UK
Danielle Ratcliff, San Francisco, CA
Liz Roberts, War Resisters League, New York, NY
Emma Rosenthal, contributor, Shifting Sands: Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation, Los Angeles, CA
Penny Rosenwasser, PhD, Oakland, CA
Suzanne Ross, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, The Riverside Church Prison Ministry, New York, NY
Gabriel San Roman, Orange County Weekly, Orange County, CA
Ian Saville, performer and lecturer, London, UK
Joel Schwartz, CSEA retiree/AFSCME, New York, NY
Tali Shapiro, Anarchists Against the Wall, Boycott From Within, Tel Aviv, OCCUPIED PALESTINE
Simona Sharoni, SUNY, author, Gender & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Plattsburgh, NY
Jaggi Singh, No One Is Illegal-Montreal/Solidarity Across Borders, Montréal, CANADA
Michael S. Smith, board member, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY
Pierre Stambul, Union juive française pour la paix (French Jewish Union for Peace), Paris, FRANCE
Muffy Sunde, Los Angeles, CA
Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of Jacobin, Bronx, NY
Tadamon! (http://www.tadamon.ca/), Montréal, CANADA
Ian Trujillo, atheist, Los Angeles, CA
Gabriella Turek, PhD, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Henry Walton, SEIU, retired, Los Angeles, CA
Bill Weinberg, New Jewish Resistance, New York, NY
Abraham Weizfeld, author, The End of Zionism and the liberation of the Jewish People, Montreal, CANADA
Ben White, author, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination, and Democracy, Cambridge, UK
Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner, NYS Task Force on Political Prisoners, New York, NY
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, founding member, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG)
Asa Winstanley, journalist for Electronic Intifada, Al-Akhbar and others, London, UK
Ziyaad Yousef, solidarity activist

and also:

Ali Abunimah
Naseer Aruri, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Omar Barghouti, human rights activist
Hatem Bazian, Chair, American Muslims for Palestine
Andrew Dalack, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Haidar Eid, Gaza
Nada Elia, US Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Toufic Haddad
Kathryn Hamoudah
Adam Hanieh, Lecturer, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
Mostafa Henaway, Tadamon! Canada
Monadel Herzallah, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Nadia Hijab, author and human rights advocate
Andrew Kadi
Abir Kobty, Palestinian blogger and activist
Joseph Massad, Professor, Columbia University, NY
Danya Mustafa, Israeli Apartheid Week US National Co-Coordinator & Students for Justice in Palestine- University of New Mexico
Dina Omar, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine
Haitham Salawdeh, National Coordinating Committee, US Palestinian Community Network
Sobhi Samour, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
Khaled Ziada, SOAS Palestine Society, London
Rafeef Ziadah, poet and human rights advocate

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BBC’s Age of Denial

By Paul Homewood

I doubt if a day goes past now without a blast of global warming propaganda from the BBC.

Isabel Hardman has a new five part series on Radio 4, called the Age of Denial.

Although it covers all forms of denial, it is clearly aimed at climate sceptics, as this opening episode makes obvious:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000357k

Hardman interviews Kari Marie Norgaard, a social scientist from Oregon, who has written a book about climate change denial.

You can listen to the first five minutes, but to give the gist, Norgaard visited a small town in western Norway in the winter of 2000/01, to do research for a book she was writing.  She found that the winter that year was a mild one, with the snow arriving late.

But what really stunned Norgaard was that none of the locals wanted to talk about “climate change”, which she was convinced was to blame.

Hardman and Norgaard then discuss various reasons why this should be so, which amounted to no more than a load of psychobabble.

For some reason, it did not occur to either to ask what the locals knew already. That it was just the sort of weather event that they, or their forefathers, had seen in the past.

Indeed, when we check the actual data at Bergen, the longest running site in the region, we find that those winter temperatures in 2000/01, far from being unusual, were the norm in the 1930s and 40s, and not infrequent at other times either:

https://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/stdata_show.cgi?id=634013170000&dt=1&ds=5

In the remainder of the episode, Hardman discusses various theories from other psychoanalysts. But it is all just a spurious intellectual attempt to create a condition called ‘Denialism’. No doubt so that climate sceptics can be conveniently labelled and then ignored.

In reality, you don’t need to be a psychologist to understand why so many people are suspicious of what they are told about climate change.

The answer lies in the fact that they see no evidence on the ground to support the barrage of apocalyptic warnings showered on them.

People who live near the coast can see with their own eyes that they are not about to be inundated by the sea.

Temperature rise has been so small in the last century that most people would not even be aware of it if they were not told about it.

As for extreme weather, older people know that there have always been floods, droughts, heatwaves and storms. Sadly it is the younger generation, who have no such experience, that is vulnerable to propaganda.

In short, people are far more knowledgeable than the sneering Isabel Hardman gives them credit for. And they know when they are being sold a pup.

Moreover, these ordinary people have far more pressing concerns in their daily lives than to be paranoid about climate change. Perhaps if Hardman came out of her metropolitan BBC bubble and talked to ordinary people, she might find this out for herself.

Rather than trying to package sceptics as people with psychological problems, she might ask why others have become totally paranoid about climate change. When I see school kids questioning the point of going to school when “their future could be ruined by climate change”, I truly despair.

What on earth are we doing to these youngsters? Do we really want them growing up so indoctrinated and unable to use their own faculties that they cannot even check the facts for themselves? Do we really want them to grow up so neurotic that they are scared of the weather?

Are we happy to see them marching around like a bunch of zombies, full of meaningless slogans about topics that they don’t have the slightest understanding about?

It is a sort of mass hysteria that has unfortunately been all too common during human history. It used to be a matter of burning witches, or human sacrifices by the Aztecs. Now it is demonising CO2.

Perhaps Isabel might like to devote her next series to this.

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The US is pushing Lebanon into the arms of Iran and Russia: US sanctions affect the local economy

Lebanese disputed blocks with Israel
By Elijah J. Magnier – 18/03/2019

Lebanon is expecting the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week at a time when the Lebanese economic-political map is being redrawn and while Lebanon is suffering its most serious economic downturn in recent history.

Reasons for the deterioration of the local economy include not only the corruption of Lebanon’s political leadership and lower level administration but also US sanctions imposed on Iran. The latest sanctions are the harshest ever imposed. They will also dramatically affect Lebanon so long as President Donald Trump is in power if Lebanon does not follow US policy and dictates.

If, as anticipated, Washington declares economic war on Lebanon, the sanctions will leave Lebanon few alternatives. They may force Lebanon to fall back on Iranian civilian industry to overcome US economic pressure, and to rely on the Russian military industry to equip Lebanese security forces. This will be the result if Pompeo insists on threatening Lebanese officials, as his assistants have done on previous visits to the country. The consistent message from US officials has been: you’re either with us or against us.

Politically, Lebanon is divided between two currents, one pro-US (and Saudi Arabia) and another outside the US orbit. The economic situation may well increase internal division to the point that the local population reacts angrily in order to exclude the US and its allies from influence in Lebanon.

Such a scenario may still be avoided if Saudi Arabia injects enough investment to reboot the agonising local economy. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia fears that those who are not aligned with its policies and those of the US could benefit from its support. To date, Riyadh has not fully understood the internal Lebanese dynamic and what it is possible or impossible to achieve in Lebanon. The kidnapping of the Prime Minister Saad Hariri was the most flagrant indication of Saudi ignorance of Lebanese politics. The Saudis’ lack of strategic vision in Lebanon will likely prevent any serious support to the failing economy and may lead the country into serious instability.

Before 1982, one US dollar was equivalent to 3 Lebanese Lira. This was in part because the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) was spending tens of millions of dollars in the country on its own people and on Palestinian families living in Lebanon. Moreover, United Nations organisations (UNRWA) and other NGOS were also distributing financial support to Palestinian refugees whose homes had been taken by Israel forcing them to leave their country.

Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the PLO was forced to leave the country. Not much later, one US dollar reached an exchange rate of 3000 Lebanese Lira, later devalued to stabilise at the current rate of 1$ for 1500 L.L. Iran entered the scene to support local Lebanese fighters (the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, i.e. Hezbollah) to recover their territory from Israeli occupation. In the year 2000, Iran began to make a serious investment in Hezbollah as the group managed to force the Israelis out of most Lebanese territory. Iranian financial investment had reached a very high level by the 2006 war when Israel was prevented from disarming Hezbollah to keep its rockets and missiles out of range of Israel.

In 2013, the Syrian government asked Hezbollah to support the Syrian Army to prevent disintegration of the country and to keep Takfiri militants from taking over. Iran pumped billions of dollars to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda and to prevent them from overwhelming Syria and Iraq, aware that Iran would be the next target. The budget for Hezbollah troops went sky high. Support for movements of troops, logistics and daily allowances given to fighters, contributed to boosting the Lebanese economy. Hezbollah’s monthly budget went much beyond $100 million per month.

But after the arrival of Donald Trump in power and his rejection of the Iran nuclear deal, the US government has imposed the severest sanctions on Iran and halted donations to the United Nations organisations supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Sanctions on Iran have forced a new budget on Hezbollah, a five-year austerity plan. Forces have been reduced to a minimum number in Syria, movement of troops are slowed accordingly and all additional remunerations are suspended. Hezbollah reduced its budget to a quarter of what it had been without suspending any militants or contractors’ monthly salaries and medical care as stipulated by a personal order from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary General.

This new financial situation will affect the Lebanese economy as cash flow and foreign currency dry up. The consequences are expected to be more noticeable in the coming months, leading to a plausible domestic reaction from the local population that will feel the weight of the failing economy.

The US and Europe are imposing strict controls on any monies transferred to and from Lebanon. The country is on a financial blacklist and there is tight scrutiny on all transactions. Religious donations from abroad are no longer possible since they expose donors to serious accusations of support for terrorism by western countries.

As long as Trump is in power, Hezbollah and Iran believe the situation will remain critical; they estimate that the US President will most probably enjoy a second term. The next five years are expected to be hard on the Lebanese economy, particularly if Pompeo’s visit brings messages and dictates that Lebanon cannot obey.

Pompeo wants Lebanon to give up on its demand to redraw its disputed water borders with Israel, compromising on blocks 8, 9 and 10 to the benefit of Israel. This request will not be granted and Lebanese officials have said on several occasions that they are relying on Hezbollah’s precision missiles to stop Israel from stealing Lebanese water.

Pompeo also wants Lebanon to give up on Hezbollah and its role in government. Again, the US establishment seems ignorant that Hezbollah is almost a third of Lebanon’s population, enjoying the support of more than half of Lebanese Shia, Christian, Sunni and Druse, with official members in the executive and legislative authorities of the country.

What then is the alternative? If Saudi Arabia moves in, Lebanon doesn’t need one or two or five billion but tens of billions of dollars to resuscitate its economy. It also needs a hands-off policy from the US establishment to allow the country to govern itself.

The Saudis are already suffering from Trump’s bullying, and their funds are drying up. If Saudi decides to invest in Lebanon, it will seek to impose terms not much different from US demands. Saudi Arabia engages in wishful thinking when it aims to expel Iran’s influence and Hezbollah supporters from Lebanon, an impossible goal to fulfil.

Lebanon’s remaining choices are few. Lebanon can move closer to Iran to lower its expenditures and the cost of goods, and it can ask Russia to support the Lebanese army if the West fails to do so. China is preparing to move in and can be a positive alternative for the country, using Lebanon as a platform to reach Syria and later Iraq and Jordan. Otherwise, Lebanon will have to prepare to join the list of poorest countries.

A shadow is hanging over the land of the cedars, a country that has already had to fight for survival in the 21stcentury. Hezbollah, now subject to US and UK sanctions, is the same force that protected the country from ISIS and other takfiri fighters who threatened to expel Christians from the country, in accordance with French President Sarkozy’s advice to the Lebanese patriarch that Lebanese Christians abandon their homes. The takfiri jihadists and NATO shared the same intentions for Lebanon. The failure of the US establishment’s plan to divide Iraq and create a failed state in Syria as part of a “new Middle East” woke the Russian bear from its long hibernation. Today Russia competes with the US for hegemony in the Middle East, obliging Trump to pull out all the stops in an attempt to break the anti-US front.

It is a battle with no taboos where all blows are permitted. The US is pushing Lebanon into a bottleneck with no alternatives to closer partnership with Iran and Russia.

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Jason Greenblatt should abandon his one-eyed approach towards the Palestinians

Image result for zionist Jason Greenblatt cartoon
By Motasem A Dalloul

Last week, the US Special Envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, took to Twitter to attack the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement — Hamas, the de facto government of the Gaza Strip — for dispersing violent protesters in Deir Al-Balah and Jabalia. The protesters — some of whom were rioters — claimed that they were demonstrating against high taxes imposed by the government which, they alleged, had led to price hikes.

“Hamas continues to exploit the Palestinians of Gaza and to rule by brute force,” claimed Greenblatt. “Hamas abuses the money belonging to the people of Gaza, using these funds for terrorism & other illicit activities to devastating effect, instead of rebuilding Gaza and helping its people.” His words could have been written by the Israeli Ministry of Propaganda.

The less than objective or neutral Greenblatt then tweeted: “Hamas violently suppresses its own people demonstrating against Hamas’ rule & failures today and NOW fires rockets at cities in Israel. OUTRAGEOUS! This is what prevents the world from helping the people of Gaza! We strongly support Israel in defence of its citizens. Always!”

In a third tweet, he wrote: “My words now: So true. So sad. So awful. So scary. Hamas, PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] etc. is this what you want for your people? You’re the cause of this misery. You choose violence. You’re ruining lives day after day after day. No one else. Time to choose something else!”

Without making any apparent effort to check the facts about the disturbances in Gaza, Greenblatt took aim indiscriminately at the Palestinian factions in the besieged territory. The Israeli-led siege and occupation did not figure in his calculations, of course. Not only did he criticise Hamas, but he also targeted Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, even though both factions are themselves critical of the movement. This suggests very strongly that the “Special Envoy” — for which read “there to advance Israel’s interests only” — was not concerned about the Palestinians or the alleged “violence” inflicted upon them by Hamas; that his sole aim was to demonise the Palestinian resistance factions, including Hamas, because they oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The demonstrations in Gaza are not actually against price hikes or high taxes, as was also claimed by Fatah spokesman Usama Al-Qawasmi in the occupied West Bank. The people on the streets are rioters ordered and paid to be there by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his intelligence chief Majed Faraj, who could find no other excuse for their action against Hamas. Israel’s support for the violent protests was obvious, with Ofir Gendelman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson for the Arab media, involved openly on social media backing the riots. Israel’s ambassador to the UK Mark Regev, who is well-known for trying to justify the unjustifiable, was also involved.

The clearest proof that these riots were intended to destabilise Gaza in order to topple the de facto government is that Hamas has actually reduced more than 50 per cent of the taxes imposed by the PA, and prices, when compared with the West Bank, are much lower. The price of one falafel sandwich in the West Bank, for example, is around $2, while in Gaza it is just 25 cents. If you have your hair cut in the West Bank, it will cost you $15, but in Gaza, you pay only $1.50. The rioters were calling for their salaries to be restored and for the siege to be lifted; given that it is the PA which has cut the salaries of civil servants in Gaza, their anger should have been directed at Abbas and the administration in the occupied West Bank as well as the Israeli occupation, not Hamas which has been fighting to lift the siege and get their salaries back to normal levels.

As far as Greenblatt’s accusation that Hamas “exploits” the Palestinians and rules “by brute force” is concerned, as a senior US official he should not forget that the movement won an overwhelming majority on the last occasion — in 2006 — when Palestinians were allowed a “free and fair” election. The result was not accepted by Washington, Israel and the PA in Ramallah, and the siege was imposed. Why? Because Hamas sticks to the struggle for legitimate Palestinian rights and principles, whereas Abbas and Fatah, which controls the PA in Ramallah, is more easily bought.

Greenblatt’s claim that Hamas uses Palestinian money to fund terrorism and other illegal activities instead of rebuilding Gaza and helping the people is pathetic. Resistance to a military occupation is a right guaranteed by international laws and conventions. Instead of asking why Hamas does not rebuild Gaza, he should ask himself who destroyed Gaza in the first place, and who replenished its stocks of arms and ammunition to do so. If he is honest — a big if — he would tell the world that it was Israel and Washington, using US taxpayers’ money, not Hamas.

Even though reports in the Palestinian media run by opposition factions, as well as the Israeli and Arab media, claimed that Hamas used violence to suppress “its own people”, there were actually some incidents where the Palestinian police, not Hamas, dealt harshly with the rioters, very few of whom required hospital treatment. It is alleged that images from Iraq and old videos were used to depict the “beatings by Hamas” in Gaza.

Even Haaretz reported that one of the videos which went viral on social media was not related to the riots. “Viral video of Palestinian man setting himself on fire not connected to current protest, human rights activists say,” the Israeli newspaper pointed out. Not all of the videos were fake, but the depiction of the way that the rioters were treated was not as claimed on social and other media.

My advice to Mr Greenblatt, therefore, is to abandon his one-eyed approach towards the Palestinians; he should not turn a blind eye to Israeli atrocities or the injustices of the US-backed Abbas and PA. “For every Palestinian rocket, Israel commits thousands of crimes,” wrote Amira Hass, Haaretz correspondent in the occupied territories, on Sunday. She pointed an accusatory finger at the Israeli officials who demolish the houses of the Palestinians, who demolish water networks and who prevent Palestinians from having water.

The reality of the situation in Israel-Palestine requires a far more nuanced discourse than posts on Twitter can ever convey. US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt should open both eyes if he wants to have any credibility whatsoever in his role.

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Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Jason Greenblatt should abandon his one-eyed approach towards the Palestinians

Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda

Image result for Rwanda cartoon
By Robin Philpot*

I would first like to thank the International Women’s Network for Democracy and Peace honouring me with this Award that bears the name of a great patriot and fighter for freedom, peace and democracy, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. But I would also like to congratulate the Network for its extraordinary work. Like Victoire, you and your work inspire us to keep the faith in this struggle. You are contagious and I thank very much for being so.

In less than a month we will be commemorating the 25th anniversary of what was the worst terrorist attack of the 1990s, and what has become the biggest political and media scandal of the last quarter of a century. It is a scandal that gets worse every day that goes by.

You know what I’m talking about: the shooting down on April 6, 1994 of the plane carrying two African heads of State and their entourage. If that plane had not been shot down, we would not be here; Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza would never have been jailed; and very likely Rwanda could have hoped to live in peace over the past 25 years, Rwanda and its neighbours, and particularly the Congo and Burundi.

The crime committed was threefold. 1) the shooting down of the plane; 2) the cover-up and the lies about that crime; and 3) the unspeakably devastating consequences.

When they killed Presidents Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6, 1994, the assassins killed all hopes of peace and a democratic resolution of the conflict that had paralysed the country since it was invaded on October 1, 1990. Peace that had been negotiated and signed supposedly with the guidance and goodwill for big powers. Peace that could have prevented so many deaths, so much suffering, peace that could have enabled a sharing of power in Rwanda.

In law, hiding a crime is also a crime. Covering up the truth, lying about that first crime is as devastating as the crime itself, because it allows the criminals to continue with their murderous scheme. Those guilty of the crime of covering up the truth include many individuals, institutions, countries and media.

Immediately after the presidential plane was shot down, the New York Times, the so-called “journal of record,” established the line. Allow me to quote it: “the credible suspicion is that they were killed by Hutu hard-liners in Rwanda who oppose reconciliation with the Tutsi people.”

Believe it or not, 25 years on, we continue to wade through the same muddy lies about the shooting down of the plane on April 6. Yet all the necessary evidence is there to prove that it was the Rwandan Patriotic Front led by Paul Kagame that shot down the presidential plane. Suffice it to mention the evidence gathered by “National Team” under Michael Hourigan for the International Tribunal for Rwanda; the Bruguière investigation; documents revealed by Judy Rever; Carla Del Ponte’s declarations and removal; even the ICTR abandoned that theory shortly after it received its mandate—it simply had no evidence to bring to bear.

The evidence in fact leaves no doubt that the current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and his army shot the plane down. Their goal and that of their sponsors was, whatever the cost, to put an end to the Arusha Peace Accord, to eliminate any power sharing plan, and to establish a military powerhouse capable of dominating the entire region. Not for the well-being of the Rwandans, Burundians or Congolese, but of the well-being – or should I say wealth – of their sponsors and their agents in Rwanda. And who are those sponsors? The best indication came directly from the former Secretary General of the UN, Boutros Boutros-Ghali who told me in an interview: “The Rwandan genocide is 100 percent American responsibility,” adding that it was with the help of the United Kingdom.

The third crime is the consequences, but the time does not allow me even to summarize them properly. In short, the consequences include all the deaths in Rwanda; the exodus of millions of Rwandans, mainly towards the Democratic Republic of Congo; the killings by the current Rwandan regime in the Congo, including selective extraterritorial executions elsewhere; the regime’s unending and inhuman hunt and harassment of Rwandans who dare to doubt or challenge the regime’s version of the Rwandan tragedy. The regime in Kigali does this domestically in Rwanda but also throughout the world, and particularly in Belgium, France, Sweden, Canada and the United States (to mention only these countries), and they do it with the help of the legal systems in each of these countries. Their pretext is always the same: fighting impunity.

IMPUNTY: That is a word that has been in all the media and on everybody’s lips since the shooting down of the plane. Peace and reconciliation is impossible, they say, unless those responsible for the tragedy are punished.

To my knowledge never has a word been turned upside and emptied of its meaning like this one.

How have the political authorities in Rwanda their big power sponsors reacted to this triple crime? In short, total impunity has been granted to the real criminals and the wrong people have been criminalized.

+ They have criminalized and imprisoned in penal colonies those who after the shooting down of the presidential plane tried to pick up the pieces and restore peace so as to end the killings and anarchy that prevailed after April 6.

+ They have criminalized the women and men who, like the great leader whose name is on this award, wish to mourn all of the people killed in the wake of the shooting down of the plane.

+ They have criminalized ICTR defense investigators and witnesses

+ They have criminalized women who, like Victoire Ingabire Umuhoze or Diane Rwigara, decided courageously and in the name of democracy to run in presidential elections against the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame.

+ They are trying to criminalize and they harass the men and women who investigate and search for the truth about the shooting down of the plane and its consequences and who speak out about it. Our friend Judi Rever is a perfect example.

+ They even try to criminalize the very basic act of saying: “Just a minute, that is not what happened in Kigali (Ça ne s’est pas passé comme ça à Kigali).

Now speaking about ‘impunity.’  On the Twitter account of the International Criminal Court, the ICC, for Feb. 18, 2019, this is what you can read: “Productive meeting between ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda in the margins of Munich Security Conference.” Under the text is an all-smiles photo of the dictator Kagame shaking hands with Fatou Bensouda, the very person appointed to put an end to impunity.

But the world is changing rapidly; there are grounds for hope. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was freed. Diane Rwigara was freed. Elsewhere in Africa and in other parts of the world, the signs are positive. The times that allowed criminals like Kagame and his masters in Washington to call the shots in Africa and elsewhere are coming to an end.

There is a proverb that says: “He or she who combats the truth will be defeated.” The opposite is just as true. “He or she who defends the truth will be victorious.” Despite powerful forces, more and more people are searching for the truth, finding it and revealing it.

Armed with this truth, and with the courage, confidence and determination of people like Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, we will be capable of victory. And that victory will mean freedom, peace, and democracy for Rwanda and its neighbours.

Thank you

*Acceptance speech by Robin Philpot of the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Prize made in Brussels on March 9, 2019.

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Water Shortage? Blame Climate Change!

By Paul Homewood

Water shortage? Why not blame it on global warming!

Within 25 years England will not have enough water to meet demand, the head of the Environment Agency is warning.

The impact of climate change, combined with population growth, means the country is facing an “existential threat”, Sir James Bevan told the Waterwise Conference in London.

He wants to see wasting water become “as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby”.

“We all need to use less water and use it more efficiently,” he said.

Sir James Bevan was appointed chief executive of the Environment Agency – the public body responsible for protecting the environment and wildlife in England – in 2015 after a career as a diplomat.

He told his audience that, in around 20 to 25 years, England would reach the “jaws of death – the point at which, unless we take action to change things, we will not have enough water to supply our needs”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47620228

Only one slight snag with Sir James’ little theory, there has been no reduction in rainfall levels in England, and droughts used to be much more severe and prevalent in the past:

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

Even commonly made claims that summers are getting drier do not stand up to scrutiny:

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

And just for good measure, the area of the country which is most vulnerable to water stress is also not becoming drier:

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/datasets

And finally, summers in England are not getting hotter. The hottest summer still remains that of 1976. Indeed, last summer was the only one other than 1976 which was actually hotter than 1911!

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

There may be many reasons for water shortages, such as increased demand and leaks, but “climate change” certainly is not one of them.

But it is much easier for Sir James Bevan to blame global warming and ask us all to take less baths, than have to provide solutions to problems he can address.

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