Archive | May 5th, 2020

Palestinian youth dies in Ketziot Nazi Camp

Meanwhile, Nazi forces shoot dead another young man near Bethlehem during suspected car-ramming attack

Palestinian prisoners wait to be released from Ketziot Nazi Camp

By Akram Al-Waara 

A 23-year-old Palestinian prisoner died in Israel’s Ketziot prison overnight on Tuesday under what rights groups are calling “suspicious” circumstances.

Meanwhile, another Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli forces near the occupied West Bank’s Bethlehem in a suspected car-ramming attack.

The prisoner, Nour al-Barghouthi, a resident of Abdoud village in the northern West Bank, was allegedly in the bathroom of Section 25 of the prison in the Negev when he suddenly fell unconscious, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said.

“His fellow prisoners heard a crashing in the bathroom and saw that he had fallen down,” PPS spokesman Abdullah Zghari told Middle East Eye. “They tried to break down the door but they couldn’t so they called for the guards.”

According to Zghari, Israeli prison guards took more than 30 minutes to arrive at Barghouthi’s aid, and only came after the prisoners in the section began to yell and cause a commotion.

‘He was a young, healthy man, with no preexisting health conditions. So how does something like this happen, just out of the blue?’

– Abdullah Zghari, PPS

After failing to resuscitate Barghouthi with CPR, the prison officials reportedly called for an ambulance and transferred the unconscious inmate to an Israeli hospital. By the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital, the young man was dead.

“The Israeli Prison Service contacted us this morning and told us that Nour died on his way to the hospital,” Zghari told MEE, adding that the PPS had informed the family of the news.

“They were devastated,” Zghari said. “He was a young, healthy man, with no preexisting health conditions. So how does something like this happen, just out of the blue?” he asked, saying that he wasn’t ruling out the possibility that foul play was involved.

Zghari said the PPS has demanded Israeli authorities perform an autopsy on Barghouthi’s body to determine the cause of death, and open an investigation into why it took the guards so long to respond.

“The guards blatantly neglected to give him proper medical treatment, which we believe resulted in his untimely death. If they had responded immediately and got him proper care, he could be alive right now.”

Barghouthi’s death brings the total number of Palestinians who have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 to 223. In 2019 alone, three prisoners died in Israeli custody.

The bodies of the three prisoners who died last year, along with two others who died in the years 1980 and 2018, are still being held by Israeli forces.

Zghari said he believes Barghouthi’s body will also remain in Israeli custody, in line with a policy that states that deceased prisoners must “serve out their full sentences, even if they are dead”, he said.

“Nour had served four years of an eight-year sentence, so it’s possible his family won’t even be able to mourn and bury him for another four years,” he said.

“This is the pain that Palestinian people, and the families of prisoners, must endure simply for trying to free themselves and their people from the occupation.”

West Bank shooting

In the West Bank, meanwhile, a Palestinian man, identified as 25-year-old Ibrahim Halsa, was shot dead on Wednesday morning by Israeli border police officers at the container checkpoint in the southern district of Bethlehem.

Video footage of the incident shows a white van, driven by Halsa, approach the checkpoint and suddenly veer into an armed Israeli border police officer, knocking them to the ground.

Halsa can then be seen jumping out of the vehicle and chasing down the officer, allegedly with a knife in his hand. A number of armed soldiers then chase after him out of view of the cameras.

According to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, Halsa was shot and killed on the scene by the soldiers, while one officer sustained moderate injuries. Rosenfeld also claimed that after a sweep of the scene, authorities reportedly found a pipe bomb at the scene.

Local Palestinian media reported that following the incident, Israeli forces raided his hometown of Sawahra, which is located right next to the checkpoint, and detained his parents for interrogation.

Halsa’s body was also taken into Israeli custody – a common practice of the Israeli government in what it says is meant to “deter” such attacks in the future.

Attacks such as Wednesday’s on uniformed Israeli forces in the occupied territory have become increasingly common in recent years, though the number of attacks has decreased with the spread of the coronavirus in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Palestinian youth dies in Ketziot Nazi Camp

Sadiq Khan ‘failed’ to protect the public, says Shaun Bailey

Sadiq Khan should get on with his day job | The Spectator

By Daisy Busel

Sadiq Khan has “failed to keep the public safe” amid the coronavirus crisis, according to his mayoral election rival Shaun Bailey.

The Conservative representative criticised the Mayor’s decision to close certain London Underground stations and reduce Tube services.

Mr Bailey told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Very early on I asked him, why are you closing certain stations? And if you are going to close them will you be redeploying that staff to make sure you do not cut capacity too much?

“When you’re seeing messages from nurses and doctors and other people travelling on the network saying they are afraid because it’s impossible to socially distance, the Mayor should have taken action and he’s failed to that and he’s put people at risk.”

Mr Khan has maintained that he cannot run more services due to the number of Transport for London staff who are off sick or self-isolating.

The Labour Mayor has meanwhile urged the government to encourage the public to wear non-medical face masks when they are unable to keep a safe distance from others.

He tweeted: “Evidence shows face coverings can slow the spread of #COVID19. We are now an international outlier for not recommending their use.”

Read more

Shaun Bailey urges Sadiq Khan to ‘defend’ transport staff with PPE

PMQs: Keir Starmer criticises ‘slow’ coronavirus response

talkRADIO: Listen live for the latest updates on Covid-19

Posted in Health, UKComments Off on Sadiq Khan ‘failed’ to protect the public, says Shaun Bailey

Nazi regime: Transfer of the martyr Al-Barghouthi to the Anatomy Institute in Abu Kabir

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Nazi Occupied Palestine: The Prisoners and Editors Affairs Authority reported that the occupation transferred the body of the martyr, Nour al-Barghouthi, to the Anatomy Institute in Abu Kabir.

The Palestinian authority said that the Nazi occupation police will submit a request to the court in Beersheba, for the autopsy of the martyr Barghouti.

The prisoner Barghouti was martyred in the Negev Nazi Camp, after he lost consciousness in the room’s bathroom in the “25” section.

The prisoners did not come to the Barghouti room, except after mobilization of the prisoners of the oath, during which the takbeers and beating were interrupted at the doors. After his transfer from the prison, he was declared dead at dawn.

On the authority of the martyrs “Ibrahim” and “Nour” … This is the novel

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Since the early morning hours, the Palestinians have been stunned by the news of the martyrdom of two young people in separate circumstances and in different places, but what unites them is that “the murderer is one.”

He announced the martyrdom of the prisoner, Nour al-Barghouthi, from the village of Aboud, west of Ramallah, in the occupation prisons, while the young Ibrahim Halasa was later martyred by the Nazi occupation’s bullets after he carried out a double operation to run over and stab the “Container” checkpoint in the town of As-Sawahrah, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Nour’s story began with his arrest in February 2017, claiming he was involved in resistance activities against the occupation, and he was sentenced to eight years in Nazi Camp, of which he spent 4 years, until his martyrdom today.

He was sitting in room No. (15) in section No. (25) in the Negev Nazi Camp, which is the largest prison in the occupation. The prisoners share their lives and their atmosphere, and he is in good health and does not suffer from chronic or incurable diseases.

Yesterday evening he fell into the bathroom of the room unconscious, and the prisoners of the room tried to open the door, but they could not and summoned the administration, which deliberately delayed for more than half an hour.

And the Nazi Occupation Prisons Administration did not attend until after a state of anger by the prisoners of the oath, represented by arrogance, screaming and knocking on the doors, and after his transfer from the Nazi Camp, he announced his death at dawn. In the Negev desert Nazi Camp, a state of sadness and boiling prevailed, and the prayers and prayers for the martyr Barghouti rose throughout the prison.

Al-Barghouthi’s mother, sisters, and relatives received the shocking news, with great sadness, that he was leaving in these circumstances, after they were forcibly prevented from seeing him before his death. As his elder father, Hajj Jaber Al-Barghouthi said, “My son was martyred in the occupation prisons, and they were the ones who caused his execution, and they bear full responsibility.”

His sister said in her interview to the media, “My brother wished to testify before his arrest, and today he is a martyr and is free and his soul is free outside the prisons of the occupation, and in the visit he wished for the day of freedom, and his wish was fulfilled today, so his soul left the captive body complaining to God the injustice of the occupation.”

Deer and the image of joy

As for the martyr Ibrahim, his house is a few meters away from the “Container Barrier”, on the land of his ancestors, which was confiscated to establish a military barrier owned by the Nazi occupation and that controls the joints of life and movement there, which would create in his heart a continuous lump.

His mother applauded the calls and shouting, when the news reported, “The Army Took Abraham,” she shouted oppression and dismay, and the occupation took her to the place, to see the last foothold of the late revolutionary, and her heart groped the way, hoping that it would prevent all the transients from stepping, preventing them from stepping over his step.

After his martyrdom today, Nour left a child watching a parent who would not return, a wife holding a wedding photo, for an unforgettable partner whose smile, a mother killed by shock, and a father who curses the occupation every minute and does not believe his departure.

He used to call his friends, “Ghazal,” and now he is leaving quickly, leaving them with attitudes of sincerity, love for everyone, and initiative in doing good and help in emergency committees, and his photo with them during his wedding a while ago they did not forget its details, and now he chooses a new wedding.

Today, sound and gas bombs fell on the heads of his family and relatives in the house, after the occupation forces stormed his house shortly after the event, and in the corner of the house a mother is almost killed by the shock, and his father does not believe he lost his liver pleasure, despite seeing his blood on the barrier and his body stretched out.

The family is steadfast in one position, which is that Abraham regains his stolen right, in the land and the identity. The “gazelle” is free and does not accept cheap hunting.


Nazi Gestapo transfer of the Prisoner Mohamed Dawoud to Afula Hospital

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The Nazi Occupation Prison Administration transferred the prisoner, Muhammad Adel Dawud, 58, this evening, Wednesday, and he is one of the old prisoners, from Gilboa Prison to the “Afula” Hospital, after months of neglect and procrastination in providing him with treatment, Despite suffering from severe stomach aches.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club stated, in a statement this evening, Wednesday, that the transfer of Prisoner David to the hospital came in response to repeated pressures made by his prisoners’ comrades in the “Gilboa” prison, in refusal to delay the prison administration in providing him with the necessary treatment.

The Prisoners Club explained that the captive David, who is from Qalqilya, and one of the old prisoners who were detained since (33) years in the occupation Nazi Camp, suffered during the years of his detention difficult health conditions that worsened with the passage of time, which resulted from the difficult detention conditions he was subjected to, where he lost most of His teeth, and depends for years on eating soups and liquids, and he has psoriasis, and for years he began suffering from severe stomach pains, and he underwent a process during which the retina was placed in the stomach, and he still suffers from severe problems in it.

The captive club stated that the prisoner David, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, lost his parents during his detention period, and most of his brothers were deprived of visiting him for years on security pretexts.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi regime: Transfer of the martyr Al-Barghouthi to the Anatomy Institute in Abu Kabir

Saudis Zio-Wahhabi regime put Palestinians on trial over vague claims

Saudis put Palestinians on trial over vague claims

Maureen Clare Murphy 

While it donates food to Gaza, Saudi Arabia has put dozens of Palestinians on trial over vague allegations. Ashraf AmraAPA images

A mass trial of dozens of Palestinians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin in Saudi Arabia over vague allegations of links to terror groups is riddled with rights abuses, Human Rights Watch stated on Friday.

Authorities began the closed-door trial early last month after holding some of the 68 detainees, many of whom are long-term residents of the Arab Gulf monarchy, for nearly two years without charge, the rights group added.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International said that the arbitrary arrests were “part of a wider crackdown by the Saudi Arabian authorities on Palestinians residing in Saudi Arabia with a perceived link to Hamas.”

“Acute dangers”

Human Rights Watch’s deputy Middle East director Michael Page pointed to “Saudi Arabia’s long record of unfair trials,” and the “acute dangers to prisoners” posed by COVID-19.

One of the defendants, Mohammed al-Khudari, the 82-year-old former representative of Hamas to Saudi Arabia, has cancer.

He and his son, Hani al-Khudari, a 48-year-old IT professor at a Saudi university, were held incommunicado and in solitary confinement for the first three months of their detention, according to Amnesty.

“Family members of defendants described a range of abuses by Saudi authorities following the arrests, including enforced disappearances, long-term solitary confinement and torture,” Human Rights Watch stated.

A witness to a mass trial hearing on 8 March told the rights group that the judge was present in the courtroom for only 20 minutes.

The witness said that defendants were asked if they were guilty, and only then did the judge give them partial portions of their charge sheets “that did not include evidence or the basis of the charges.”

Family members said the charge sheets cited articles of Saudi law penalizing involvement with terrorist organizations.

A United Nations human rights expert has decried Saudi Arabia’s “unacceptably broad definition of terrorism” and other national security measures which have been used against “human rights defenders, writers, bloggers, journalists and other peaceful critics.”

Palestinians sacrificed for Israel alliance

In early 2018, Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman embarked on a high-profile US tour in which he promoted a supposedly transformational reform agenda for the country.

Part of that agenda was promoting the perception of a cozier Saudi relationship with Israel, which sees a common enemy in Iran.

Israel seeks non-aggression pacts with Arab Gulf states as years of clandestine ties have recently come into the open.

Efforts towards the normalization of relations between Israel and the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, comes at the expense of Palestinian national liberation.

And it also comes at the expense of the basic liberties of the citizens of those Gulf states.

The malware produced by Israel’s notorious NSO Group has been implicated in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist lured to his country’s Istanbul consulate where he was murdered and dismembered soon after Bin Salman’s US charm offensive.

Bin Salman is widely believed to be complicit in Khashoggi’s killing, likely having ordered it.

Amnesty International, whose staff were targeted with NSO Group malware, is suing the company to stop its role in abusive surveillance.

Israel’s cyber warfare industry has deep ties with the country’s military and intelligence apparatus, which uses Palestinians under military occupation as unwilling test subjects for systems that are then exported to other countries such as Saudi Arabia.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Human Rights, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Saudis Zio-Wahhabi regime put Palestinians on trial over vague claims

Nazi regime has no plan to prevent Gaza outbreak

Israel has no plan to prevent Gaza outbreak

Maureen Clare Murphy Rights and Accountability 

Human rights groups have long warned that Gaza’s health care system is on the brink of collapse due to Israeli policies. Mohammed ZaanounActiveStills

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted most business as usual. But the propaganda operation of COGAT, the bureaucratic arm of Israel’s military occupation, marches on.

COGAT has exploited the pandemic for propaganda opportunities, posting photos of medical equipment donated by international organizations for Palestinians living under Israeli military rule.

COGAT@cogatonline

A PCR machine, an advanced medical device used for detection of COVID-19, was transferred today through the Allenby Bridge and Erez Crossings into the Gaza Strip with the coordination of COGAT. 1/2

View image on Twitter

COGAT apparently wishes to project a false image of the Israeli military as a quasi humanitarian agency, one that benefits the lives of Palestinians instead of directly harming them.

Or at least they wish to continue to be lavished with praise for not obstructing the transfer of urgently needed medical supplies – praise that some UN officials have been too quick to provide.

COGAT’s propaganda inadvertently reveals the level of control that Israel exerts over Palestinians’ right to health – that it controls what medical equipment and supplies are allowed into the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

While Israel exercises much influence over the quality of the health care services Palestinians have access to, it has no plan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to Gaza.

As noted by human rights groups, Gaza’s “healthcare system teetered on the brink of collapse well before the coronavirus pandemic” due to Israeli policies.

These include a severe blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007, restricting the movement of people and goods to and from the territory, harming health infrastructure and hindering the professional development of medical practitioners.

Israel has no Gaza plan

So while Israel has degraded the capacity of Gaza’s health care system to respond to a public health crisis like COVID-19, it has no publicly declared plan to prevent the spread of the virus to one of the most densely populated and vulnerable territories in the world.

Three human rights groups – Gisha, Adalah and Al-Mezan – are urgently appealing to Israeli military bodies, including COGAT, demanding that they “formulate and immediately publish an action plan” to contend with the spread of COVID-19 in Gaza.

The groups are also calling on Israel “to remove any and all restrictions on [the] travel of medical staff and access to medical equipment and spare parts,” and to permit Gaza residents to travel for medical treatment related to COVID-19.

The human rights groups cite an authoritative study indicating that “at least one quarter to one half of the world’s population may be infected with the virus if no measures are taken to prevent its spread.”

The same study “found that about one-fifth of those infected with the virus will have to be hospitalized.”

That would test any health care system, but it could break that of Gaza, which lacks personal protective equipment, equipment needed to prevent the spread of the disease, as well as ventilators and other life-saving medical devices.

On top of that, medical teams in Gaza “are contending with a severe shortage of manpower, especially an expert ICU team,” the rights groups state.

There are fewer than 100 ventilators in Gaza, which has a population of two million. Ten of those ventilators “are out of order and inoperable,” according to the rights groups.

“Many other types of medical equipment in Gaza hospitals are out of order and cannot be used or repaired owing to the policy of restrictions imposed by Israel,” they add.

Israel has defined some medical equipment and supplies as “dual-use,” meaning that they could also have a military purpose, highly restricting or outright banning their import to Gaza. It has also prevented the entry of spare parts needed to keep medical equipment operational.

The United Nations has served as an enforcer of the dual-use regime that has allowed Israel to tighten its control over Gaza after unilaterally withdrawing its settler population and ground forces from the territory in 2005.

“The rounds of violence in recent years and Israeli military operations have directly affected the health system, the economy and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, bringing them to the brink of collapse,” the human rights groups say.

Derelict treatment

Israel’s lack of proactive response to the threat of coronavirus in Gaza is reflective of its derelict treatment of the territory and the Palestinians who live there more generally.

It has been willing to abandon that small strip of land to concentrate its settler-colonial enterprise in the West Bank. But it has not been willing to let Palestinians in Gaza live free of its rule.

Israel has waged successive military campaigns on Gaza, at great cost to its civilian population, to maintain its blockade on the territory.

But it has disavowed its obligation to protect the health of Gaza’s residents.

There have been 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza, though that relatively low figure may reflect a lack of available testing. Nine of those cases have recovered.

Palestinian authorities in Gaza have taken measures to prevent community transmission of the virus.

“The authorities in the Gaza Strip have ordered a reduction in traffic throughout Gaza and have prohibited crowding, including at weddings or funerals, the opening of markets, prayers in mosques and churches,” according to the human rights groups.

“Departure from the Gaza Strip is only permitted in exceptional cases and entry is conditional upon a mandatory stay in a government isolation facility.”

But they warn that these steps, while important, “do not suffice.”

More than 300 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the West Bank, including two deaths.

Israel has reported nearly 14,000 confirmed cases, including more than 180 deaths.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Health, Human Rights, PoliticsComments Off on Nazi regime has no plan to prevent Gaza outbreak

‘Cruel and Outrageous’: DeVos Blocks Undocumented Students From Receiving Coronavirus Emergency Aid

“This is what [it’s] like to be an immigrant under Trump.”

byJulia Conley,

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled new guidance Tuesday which excludes undocumented students from receiving emergncy assistance through a new $6 billion program for college students amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled new guidance Tuesday which excludes undocumented students from receiving emergncy assistance through a new $6 billion program for college students amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Immigrant rights groups on Wednesday condemned the Trump administration’s decision to block undocumented students from a $6 billion aid program that the Education Department unveiled earlier this month, calling the exclusion needlessly “cruel.”

To supplement $14 billion included in the CARES Act last month for postsecondary institutions and students, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released $6.2 billion for cash grants for students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The program, called the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), is meant to be used for necessities like housing, food, and childcare.

On Tuesday, however, DeVos announced that students who are not eligible for federal financial aid for college will not be permitted to access the money.

“The criteria to participate,” the Education Department wrote in a new guidance (pdf), “include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.” 

Undocumented students who are recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as Dreamers, are not eligible for most federal financial aid. 

Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, called the move “cruel and outrageous.”

Vanita Gupta@vanitaguptaCR

Cruel and outrageous. Why are you doing this, @BetsyDeVosED? https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/betsy-devos-undocumented-college-students-aid-199465 …7711:28 PM – Apr 21, 2020

As Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) wrote on Twitter, the CARES Act does not include restrictions on which students can access aid.

US Rep. Darren Soto@RepDarrenSoto

It is completely cruel and unnecessary to block #DREAMers from relief. There were no restrictions for immigrant college students in #CARESAct. We care about #DREAMers so much that we have in-state tuition for them in Florida. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/betsy-devos-undocumented-college-students-aid-199465 …

An estimated 14 million students were forced to leave their college campuses and shift to remote learning last month as governments imposed lockdowns and schools closed. Many returned home to stay with their families.

According to a 2019 survey by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University, nearly one-third of students at four-year colleges experience housing and food insecurity. The same is true for about half of students at two-year institutions.

The Education Department’s new rule was issued two months before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling on whether the DACA program should continue. 

As Cristina Jimenez, co-founder of youth-led immigrant rights group United We Dream, wrote on social media, DeVos’s guidance is just one of several attacks on immigrants by the Trump administration since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Cristina Jiménez@CrisAlexJimenez

Just today:

-Trump announces immigration order to suspend green cards, impacting millions

-Devos bars undocumented students from emergency aid

-Congress agrees on another stimulus that excludes immigrants in a pandemic

Yep, this is what’s like to be an immigrant underTrump

Embedded video

“This is what [it’s] like to be an immigrant under Trump,” Jimenez said.

Posted in USA, Human Rights, Politics, WorldComments Off on ‘Cruel and Outrageous’: DeVos Blocks Undocumented Students From Receiving Coronavirus Emergency Aid

‘Mother of All Distractions’: Amid Covid-19 Failures, Trump Threatens War With Order to ‘Shoot Down’ Iranian Boats

“If the xenophobia isn’t doing the trick and providing a good enough distraction, there’s always the classic authoritarian move: gin up a war.”

by: Jake Johnson,

Iranian soldiers take part in the "National Persian Gulf day" in the Strait of Hormuz, on April 30, 2019. The date coincides with the anniversary of a successful military campaign by Shah Abbas the Great of Persia in the 17th century, which drove the Portuguese navy out of the Hormuz Island, after which is named the waterway which separates the Gulf from the Sea of Oman. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian soldiers take part in the “National Persian Gulf day” in the Strait of Hormuz, on April 30, 2019. The date coincides with the anniversary of a successful military campaign by Shah Abbas the Great of Persia in the 17th century, which drove the Portuguese navy out of the Hormuz Island, after which is named the waterway which separates the Gulf from the Sea of Oman. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

This is a developing story… Check back for possible updates…

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he has instructed the U.S. Navy to “shoot down and destroy” any Iranian vessels that “harass” American warships in the Persian Gulf.

Critics slammed the threat as an effort to distract from the president’s abysmal response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected more than 800,000 people and killed at least 40,000 in the United States.

“If the xenophobia isn’t doing the trick and providing a good enough distraction, there’s always the classic authoritarian move: gin up a war,” said Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Trump’s tweet came a week after the U.S. Navy accused Iranian gunboats of making “dangerous and harassing approaches” to American warships in the Persian Gulf.

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” Trump wrote.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.455K1:08 PM – Apr 22, 2020

“The mother of all distractions,” Trita Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said of Trump’s tweet.

The president’s threat closely followed a “Fox & Friends” segment on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ successful launch of a new military satellite on Wednesday.

John Bolton, the ultra-hawkish former national security adviser who has pressed for war with Iran for years, tweeted that “Iran’s launch of a military satellite is proof we are still not applying enough pressure, deterrence has not been restored, and coronavirus is not slowing down the ayatollahs.”

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on ‘Mother of All Distractions’: Amid Covid-19 Failures, Trump Threatens War With Order to ‘Shoot Down’ Iranian Boats

Coronavirus Crisis Makes Clear Pentagon Should Get No More Money This Year for Its ‘Wasteful War Machine’: 60+ Groups

“We cannot continue spending billions of dollars on weapons of war while people across the country struggle to buy food, pay rent, and survive a pandemic.”

byAndrea Germanos,

Money signs on bombs

 A letter sent Wednesday to the congressional leaders urged them to focus on “the national pandemic response and economic relief for people across the United States rather than providing more money for the Pentagon’s already overflowing coffers.” (Photo: Shutterstock)

Not a dime of additional funding should be appropriated this year to the Pentagon’s already bloated budget, which has enabled endless war while resources that could have helped the nation better respond to the coronavirus crisis have gone “chronically underfunded.”

That’s the message of a letter (pdf) to congressional leadership delivered Wednesday by over 60 organizations.

“The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that decades of funneling trillions of dollars into the Pentagon while gutting critical social services, including public health measures, has made us less safe, not more,” said Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, in a statement.

“Now of all times, it should be clear that the Pentagon does not need more money,” he added.

Win Without War led the letter, which is signed by a broad array of organizations including CODEPINK, the Friends Committee on National legislation, Indivisible, Social Security Works, and Veterans For Peace.

“With the additional $10.4 billion provided to the Pentagon as part of the Phase III package, the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriated funding now totals over $756 billion and provides more than enough resources to respond to the pandemic,” the letter states.

The groups go on to describe what they see as fundamentally flawed funding priorities:

Over half of all spending appropriated by Congress annually goes to the Pentagon, leaving other federal agencies to compete with one another for scarce resources. In this context, the United States has chronically underfunded human and environmental needs while, particularly in recent years, passing historically high Pentagon budgets that foster militarism, enable endless war, engender waste, and sow corruption. To give just one example of the spending mismatch: the combined annual budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health and the annual U.S. contributions to the World Health Organization together equal just seven percent of the annual Pentagon budget.

“The U.S. spends a grotesque and unacceptable amount on its wasteful war machine,” said Savannah Wooten, campaign coordinator with People Over the Pentagon.

Rather than direct more cash to the Pentagon for it to respond to the pandemic, the Defense Department should look at savings it’s likely seeing now as a result of a slowdown in arms production as a possible resource, the groups wrote. “Given the steep drop in the price of oil, the Pentagon, as the world’s largest purchaser of oil, stands to save billions,” the groups added.

In the longer term, some estimates suggest [pdf] that the Pentagon could save hundreds of billions of dollars by ending wars, reforming defense contracting, right-sizing the military services, scaling back or forgoing the purchase of legacy weapons systems, and closing overseas bases. Taking these steps would not only incur savings, but also create more security and stability in the U.S. and abroad.

“If taxpayers are being asked to adjust their budgets, surely the recipient of three quarters of a trillion of our tax dollars can be asked to do the same,” said the groups. “We urge you to focus your attention on the national pandemic response and economic relief for people across the United States rather than providing more money for the Pentagon’s already overflowing coffers.”

According to Pam Campos-Palma, director of Vets for the People, it’s simply time to turn off the spigot of funding for the U.S. war machine.

“We have spent trillions of dollars, and lost thousands of lives, fighting endless wars that the Pentagon claimed would make us safer. They didn’t,” she said.

“Now that our security is fundamentally at risk—from a threat that no weapon can fight—they’re asking for more,” said Campos-Palma. “We cannot continue spending billions of dollars on weapons of war while people across the country struggle to buy food, pay rent, and survive a pandemic.” 

Posted in USA, Campaigns, C.I.A, HealthComments Off on Coronavirus Crisis Makes Clear Pentagon Should Get No More Money This Year for Its ‘Wasteful War Machine’: 60+ Groups

Supreme court ruling overturns ‘Israel’ boycott ban – for now

What can workers do to stop this advance from being rolled back by Parliament?

Proletarian writers

Back in 2005, in response to Palestinian calls for the international community to withdraw support from the Israeli apartheid state, a global campaign of boycott was initiated that aimed to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the zionist regime into compliance with international law.

The BDS movement chalked up some notable successes around the world, getting sufficiently under the zionist skin for the Israeli government in Tel Aviv to embark on a PR campaign of slander and disinformation aimed at delegitimising all support for the Palestinian cause and prohibiting the practice of boycott.

This black propaganda found sympathetic support in the imperialist camp. In Britain in particular, the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2016 banned local government pensions schemes from divesting from companies that trade in products originating from zionist-occupied Palestinian lands.

The following year, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) successfully challenged this ban at judicial review, but in May 2018 the court of appeal reversed this decision. Finally, the case got to the supreme court, and the PSC has just announced that the court has ruled in its favour.

It is a testament to the indomitable struggle of the Palestinians to regain their homeland from zionist occupation that dim echoes of that struggle ripple out even into such inhospitable regions as the British courts system, and the PSC are to be congratulated for their tenacity in seeing the case through.

We must temper our jubilation, however, in the knowledge that, only a few months ago, the Queen’s Speech announced the government’s intention to bring in a new law to stop public bodies imposing their own sanctions against foreign countries – a law clearly targeting the BDS campaign.

Here we see the real meaning of those ‘checks and balances’ so beloved of British constitutionalists: if the bourgeoisie don’t get their way via the judiciary, then, rest assured, the legislative arm will come to the executive’s rescue.

The great virtue of the BDS campaign has always been that it moves from protesting about the national oppression of the Palestinian people to taking active steps to weaken zionism materially.

Taking further steps along this road, by organising a campaign of mass non-cooperation with the government’s support for zionism – refusing to assist in the manufacture or transport of arms for Israel, refusing to place Israeli products on supermarket shelves, and refusing to publish or broadcast zionist war propaganda – would enormously strengthen the solidarity work undertaken by the friends of Palestine.

Workers have power to frustrate our rulers’ nefarious schemes. We must learn to organise and use it.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Campaigns, Human Rights, Politics, UKComments Off on Supreme court ruling overturns ‘Israel’ boycott ban – for now

Red salute to our beloved Comrade Deborah Lavin

Her funeral is to be live-streamed since large gatherings are prevented by the present pandemic conditions.

Proletarian writers

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Comrade Deborah Lavin, a founder member of our party and a central committee member.

On 23 March, our beloved comrade lost her battle with lung cancer. Her life was lived to the full with a commitment to the revolutionary movement that was unwavering. Her contribution will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

A full obituary will follow shortly.

Deborah’s funeral will be held in Islington this Thursday 2 April at 10.15am. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic attendance in person has been limited to 10 friends and family.

Our comrade Joti Brar will be paying a short tribute to Deborah on behalf of the party.

Since many more of us will be wanting to pay their respects, the service will be live-streamed (see instructions below).

The CPGB-ML will also be holding a memorial meeting to honour Comrade Deborah once the situation allows.

Live-stream instructions

On a day and time before the service, click into the live-stream site: https://www.obitus.com

Username: islington2091
Password: 714763

Note the instructions and guidance on the page that comes up.

On the date of the funeral, 5-10 minutes before the service is due to start, return to the website and log in again.

Posted in UKComments Off on Red salute to our beloved Comrade Deborah Lavin

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