Victoria Nuland on Ukraine – F–ck the EU!

NOVANEWS

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 Good gosh Almighty – the US is trying to set up a puppet government in the Ukraine – Imagine that!

Just forwarded to us from a long time VT reader:

RELEVANT TO SYRIA in providing a behind the scenes example of the US administrations criminal behavior:

This is a taped phone conversation between Victoria Nuland (the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State) and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoff Pyatt and outlines the manner in which the US is choosing the new government in Ukraine. Today this was posted by Peter Lavelle on his Facebook page. Peter works for Russia Today, Peter does the Cross Talk program.

Miss Potty Mouth

Miss Potty Mouth

[ Editors Note:  My, my...it looks like we have a little reverse NSA in action going on here.

Could it be that with all the intercepts that the Russians must have they are going to break the golden rule of not putting them out, because then everybody might start doing it?

AIPAC and the Israelis must be shaking in their boots tonight.

What you will hear below is just a normal conversation of the leader of the free world, the beacon of democracy, trying to rig a puppet government in a very large 'free' and 'democratic' country. This not the modern electronic voter machine rigging, but something more'old school'.

The US State Department has recently charged Russia with interfering in the affairs of an independent country. Imagine that! Putin outbid the EU as to who would a bankrupt Ukraine be worth more.

The EU was trying to rape Ukraine on its sick bed, getting what it wanted up front while the Ukraine had to jump through EU hoops before becoming a full member...like...ten years...maybe more, and maybe never. The Russians had energy to use as cash...they did...and it worked.

If anyone is shocked...don't be. This is what governments do...economic warfare. The reason they don't tell you is because you are not getting a piece, as this kind of action, people, contracts, the dough made...it generally goes to a non multicultural group. And no, it doesn't include you.

Someone want to wrestle the Russian bear

Someone want to wrestle the Russian bear

Have the American people given their government the nod to do this? Not really. They do this because they want to, and because they can. Now you see what the term ‘national security interests’ got truncated to just ‘interests’. It’s a nice loosey goosey term.

On first blush you might expect it to be one to be able to Monday morning quarterback whether such ‘interests’ were successfully achieved. A flexible definition would sure help declaring yourself a winner there.

But what you probably  overlooked  is whether even ‘our interests’ actually means American interests, as one would expect it to. If you still believed that after eight years of Bush and Cheney you cannot be helped.

OUR interests…means THEIR interests…meaning them and their friends who play ball…with piece spread around like bread tossed out at the old Roman Coliseum times for the rest of us.

Now I want you all to say your prayers tonight, even you atheists, that this triggers a diplomatic phone call release war, and we will get the civics lesson were never got in high school… Jim W. Dean ]

 

YouTube – Veterans Today -

Next is a new video of a press conference at the State Dept where a spokeswoman does here best to describe the phone chat is just a norm conversation about issues and options…and that releasing the info was a Russian act of espionage. I have to call her to ask what she thinks about Israeli espionage in the US…and the stand down on prosecutions.
YouTube – Veterans Today -

Posted in Russia, USA0 Comments

US threats of sanctions against France ‘ridiculous’

NOVANEWS

Kerry and the State Department are overreacting to the expected rush of countries and companies to do business in Iran

…by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor   …with  Press TV, Tehran

Why can't they revamp their bad policy rather than push a bad hand?

Why can’t they revamp their bad policy rather than push a bad hand?

America the sanctions bully seems to want to go down swinging. Kerry  incredibly wants to fight for a tool that has made the US reviled over much of the world, and for no gain whatsoever.

The Iran bomb hoax is now out in the open, so the US is historically stained with having been pushing for an attack way back with Bushcrowd, purely because they just wanted to do it.

They were on some kind of megalomaniac 21rst century ego trip.

They have down played the ‘military option is on the table’… to ‘all options’…like that is going to scare Iran into giving up any of its peaceful nuclear activities or suffer a possible attack, or new sanctions.

The world, now that it knows of the threat scam, I don’t think will go along with the old sanctions, and they are sending that message with every plane load of dignitaries and businessmen going to Tehran. Another hint is some of the countries publicly saying they want an agreement completed in six months, not a yea, which is the dead line.

Iran is playing rope-a-dope as the State Dept people do their pitiful dance around the interim agreement terms, some of it just childish, like claiming they had dismantled some of Iran’s program, when they have just flicked the power switch off and held up some projects.

And claims of the sanctions having  brought Iran to the negotiatint table are a cheap fabrication. They were always willing to negotiate, but not to grovel by agreeing to things no one else in the NPT had been asked to do.

As the US tries to snatch victory for a failed and dishonest foreign policy at the negotiating table, it will continue its bullying and keep getting the negative reaction that will bring from everywhere but Israel.

Iran's Arak reactor core

Iran’s Arak reactor core

This stupid threatening the Euro countries, all desperately needing any export trade, jobs and earnings they can get…with punishment for breaking the US sanctions rules, is a sign of a declining power in terms of respect.

Rather than accept responsibility for their failed policies they are trying to divert public attention off onto the ‘furriners’ who want to cheat on the sanctions. The sanctions themselves were ‘cheating’. The Iran nuclear bomb hoax was ‘cheating’. Give me a break!!

What can I say…was it poor staff work? Do they fire the smart ones and only keep the fanny kissers? For some strange reason they don’t seem to want to hire me. I wonder why?

These on the spot interviews require being on your toes over the issues

These on the spot interviews require being on your toes over the issues – or you take a pass

An American political analyst says it is “ridiculous” that the US has threatened France with sanctions over the country’s possible business ties to Iran.

On Tuesday, a group of French businesspeople met with top Iranian trade officials. The French delegation’s visit to Iran came after major world powers reached an interim agreement with Iran on Nov. 24 to offer Tehran modest sanctions relief in return for Iran taking steps to limit its uranium enrichment activities. The deal called for negotiation of a full agreement within a year.

“It’s very interesting to see the steady stream of countries’ foreign ministers plus businesses heading to Iran filling up the Tehran hotels trying to get in line for all of the business that everyone’s anticipating with Iran opening up to the West,” said Jim W. Dean, managing editor at Veterans Today, in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.

However, US officials were quick to warn France against any possible business relationships with Iran and Secretary of State John Kerry called his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, to express concerns over the business delegation’s visit.

In an interview with CNN television on Wednesday, Kerry said that the French were put “on notice” that “they will be sanctioned if they do” business with Iran.

Dean told Press TV that “this ridiculous thing of using sanctions” is a tool that Washington employs in its “economic wars against the rest of the world.”

Posted in France, USA0 Comments

Iran anger over US visa refusal for UN envoy Hamid Aboutalebi

NOVANEWS

The BBC’s Chloe Bugelly: “The refusal to issue the visa has sparked anti-US protests in Tehran”

Iran has insisted it will not replace its new envoy to the UN in New York and accused the US of acting illegally by refusing a visa to the diplomat.

A senior Iranian official said they would “pursue the matter via legal mechanisms” with the United Nations.

The US accuses Hamid Aboutalebi of links to the group that seized the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, an incident that soured ties between the countries.

Mr Aboutalebi says that he only acted as a translator for the group.

Congress passed a bill last week that would allow the US to refuse an ambassadorial selection if the candidate posed a security risk.

Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif condemned the move by Congress.

An Anti-American crowd demonstrates outside of the US Embassy, 21 November 1979
The hostage crisis was part of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution

He characterised those in favour of the bill as “a group of radicals” and said the move would not influence Iran’s policies.

Although the bill still requires the signature of the president before it can become law, Congress appears to have succeeded in getting Mr Aboutalebi barred.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president “shared the intent of the bill”, and would not issue a visa.

Mr Babaei said the White House decision was “in contravention of international law, the obligation of the host country and the inherent right of sovereign member states to designate their representatives to the United Nations”.

Under international law, the US as the host nation for the UN is obliged to grant visas to states’ representatives.

In the most high-profile similar case, the US refused a visa to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to speak at the UN in 1998. The UN condemned that decision.

The UN has not yet commented on Mr Aboutalebi’s situation.

Mr Aboutalebi has previously served as Iran’s ambassador to Belgium, the European Union, Italy and Australia.

He has said said he was not part of the group that took over the US embassy, and was only later asked to translate for the students.

The 52 Americans were held for 444 days during the crisis.

The hostage crisis was part of the revolution that overthrew Iran’s monarchy and installed the Islamic republic.

Posted in Iran, USA0 Comments

Former Klansman kills three in Kansas City Jewish center

NOVANEWS

Witnesses say gunman singled out Jews, yelled ‘Heil Hitler’ upon arrest; Naziyahu sends condolences to victims’ families.

Haaretz

Three people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed on Sunday at two different Jewish community facilities in the Kansas City area, and a man was in custody as police investigated whether the shootings were anti-Semitic, authorities said. The suspected shooter, who was arrested by local police, was identified as a former Klu-Klux Klan leader from neighboring Missouri.

The shootings started around 1 PM at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park. Two male victims were shot at a parking lot outside the center, where auditions for a musical were taking place. One died at the scene and the other later at a hospital.

The shooter then drove a mile away to Village Shalom, a retirement community connected to the center, where he shot and killed a woman.

The two male victims were identified as Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, a high school freshman, and his grandfather, Dr. William Corporon, family member Will Corporon said in a statement. Both were members of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.

Underwood was an Eagle Scout and loved camping and hunting with family, Corporon said. Dr. Corporon had moved to the Kansas City area in 2003 to be closer to his grandchildren.

Two people were shot at, but not hit, the police chief said, adding that it appeared the shooter used a shotgun and possibly other types of guns.

The suspect was taken into custody in the parking lot of a nearby elementary school, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass told a news conference.

A Johnson County jail official identified the shooter as that Frazier Glenn Cross as the suspect in Sunday’s attacks near Kansas City. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Public records show that the 73-year-old Cross also goes by the last name Miller. He was being held at a Johnson County detention center on suspicion of premeditated murder in the first degree and was scheduled to appear in court on Monday afternoon, jail records show.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says he has long been an outspoken white supremacist and was once a “grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The group reports on its website that it spoke to Miller’s wife, Marge, by phone Sunday and she said police told her that her husband had been arrested in the attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the families of the victims. “We condemn the murder which all signs show, was perpetrated out of hatred for Jews.” The prime minister added that Israel is committed to fight against anti-Semitism.

The FBI has been called in

Police said it was too early to determine a motive, but a leading anti-hate group said the suspect arrested in the shooting was a longtime anti-Semite.

“We know it’s a vicious act of violence. Obviously two Jewish facilities, one might make that assumption,” Douglass said. The FBI has been called in to help with the investigation, he said.

Douglass said he could not confirm reports that the suspect had yelled “Heil Hitler” while in the back of the squad car after being taken into custody.

“The suspect in the back of a car made several statements,” Douglass said. “We are sifting through and vetting those for accuracy, number one, and number two we are looking at them for their evidentiary value.”

A shotgun was used, he said, and investigators were trying to determine whether a handgun and assault-style rifle also were involved.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

The New American Reality

NOVANEWS
An Empire Beyond Salvation

by RAMZY BAROUD

US Secretary of State John Kerry couldn’t hide his frustration anymore as the US-sponsored peace process continued to falter. After 8 months of wrangling to push talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority forward, he admitted while in a visit to Morocco on April 04 that the latest setback had served as a ‘reality check’ for the peace process. But confining that reality check to the peace process is hardly representative of the painful reality through which the United States has been forced to subsist in during the last few years.

The state of US foreign policy in the Middle East, but also around the world, cannot be described with any buoyant language. In some instances, as in Syria, Libya, Egypt, the Ukraine, and most recently in Palestine and Israel, too many calamitous scenarios have exposed the fault lines of US foreign policy. The succession of crises is not allowing the US to cut its losses in the Middle East and stage a calculated ‘pivot’ to Asia following its disastrous Iraq war.

US foreign policy is almost entirely crippled.

For the Obama administration, it has been a continuous firefighting mission since George W. Bush left office. In fact, there have been too many ‘reality checks’ to count.

Per the logic of the once powerful pro-Israel Washington-based neoconservatives, the invasion of Iraq was a belated attempt at regaining initiative in the Middle East, and controlling a greater share of the energy supplies worldwide. Sure, the US media had then made much noise about fighting terror, restoring democracies and heralding freedoms, but the neo-cons were hardly secretive about the real objectives. They tirelessly warned about the decline of their country’s fortunes. They labored to redraw the map of the Middle East in a way that they imagined would slow down the rise of China, and the other giants that are slowly, but surely, standing on their feet to face up to the post-Cold War superpower.

But all such efforts were bound to fail. The US escaped Iraq, but only after altering the balance of power and creating new classes of winners and losers. The violence of the invasion and occupation scarred Iraq, but also destabilized neighboring countries by overwhelming their economies, augmenting militancy and creating more pressure cookers in political spaces that were, until then, somewhat ‘stable’.

The war left America fatigued, and set the course for a transition in the Middle East, although not the kind of transition that the likes of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had championed. There was no ‘New Middle East’ per se, but rather an old one that is in much worse shape than ever before. When the last US soldier scheduled to leave Iraq had crossed the border into Kuwait in Dec 2011, the US was exposed in more ways than one. The limits of US military power was revealed – by not winning, it had lost. Its economy proved fragile – as it continues to teeter between collapse and ‘recovery.’ It was left with zero confidence among its friends. As for its enemies, the US was no longer a daunting menace, but a toothless tiger.

There was a short period in US foreign policy strategy in which Washington needed to count its losses, regroup and regain initiative, but not in the Middle East. The Asia pacific region, especially the South China Sea, seemed to be the most rational restarting point, and for a good reason.

Writing in Forbes magazine in Washington, Robert D. Kaplan described the convergence underway in the Asia pacific region. He wrote, “Russia is increasingly shifting its focus of energy exports to East Asia. China is on track to perhaps become Russia’s biggest export market for oil before the end of the decade.”

The Middle East is itself changing directions, as the region’s hydrocarbon production is increasingly being exported there; Russia is covering the East Asia realm, according to Kaplan, as “North America will soon be looking more and more to the Indo-Pacific region to export its own energy, especially natural gas.”

But the US is still being pulled into too many different directions. It has attempted to police the world exclusively for its own interests for the last 25 years. It failed. ‘Cut and run’ is essentially an American foreign policy staple, and that too is a botched approach. Even after the piecemeal US withdrawal from Iraq, the US is too deeply entrenched in the Middle East region to achieve a clean break.

The US took part in the Libya war, but attempted to do so while masking its action as part of a larger NATO drive, so that it shoulders only part of the blame when things went awry, as they predictably have. Since the January 25 revolution, its position on Egypt was perhaps the most inconsistent of all Western powers, unmistakably demonstrating its lack of clarity and relevance to a country with a massive size and influence. However, it was in Syria that US weaknesses were truly exposed. Military intervention was not possible – and for reasons none of which were moralistic. Its political influence proved immaterial. And most importantly, its own legions of allies throughout the Middle East are walking away from beneath the American leadership banner. The new destinations are Russia for arms and China for economic alternatives.

President Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia in late March might’ve been a step too little too late to repair its weakening alliances in the region. Even if the US was ready to mend fences, it neither has the political will, the economic potency or the military prowess to be effective. True, the US still possesses massive military capabilities and remains the world’s largest economy. But the commitment that the Middle East would require from the US at this time of multiple wars and revolutions is by no means the kind of commitment the US is ready to impart. In a way, the US has ‘lost’ the Middle East.

Even the ‘pivot’ to Asia is likely to end in shambles. On the one hand, the US opponents, Russia notwithstanding, have grown much more assertive in recent years. They too have their own agendas, which will keep the US and its willing European allies busy for years. The Russian move against Crimea had once more exposed the limits of US and NATO in regions outside the conventional parameters of western influence.

If the US proved resourceful enough to stage a fight in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, the battle – over energy supplies, potential reserves, markets and routes – is likely to be the most grueling yet. China is not Iraq before the US invasion –broken by decades of war, siege and sanctions. Its geography is too vast to besiege, and its military too massive to destroy with a single ‘shock and awe’.

The US has truly lost the initiative, in the Middle East region and beyond it. The neo-cons’ drunkenness with military power led to costly wars that have overwhelmed the empire beyond salvation. And now, the US foreign policy makers are mere diplomatic firefighters, from Palestine, to Syria to the Ukraine. For the Americans, the last few years have been more than a ‘reality check’, but the new reality itself.

Posted in USA0 Comments

The President is a Bully

NOVANEWS
Obama Issues Threats To Russia And NATO

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

The Obama regime has issued simultaneous threats to the enemy it is making out of Russia and to its European NATO allies on which Washington is relying to support sanctions on Russia.  This cannot end well.

As even Americans living in a controlled media environment are aware, Europeans, South Americans, and Chinese are infuriated that the National Stasi Agency is spying on their communications. NSA’s affront to legality, the US Constitution, and international diplomatic norms is unprecedented. Yet, the spying continues, while Congress sits sucking its thumb and betraying its oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.

In Washington mumbo-jumbo from the executive branch about “national security” suffices to negate statutory law and Constitutional requirements. Western Europe, seeing that the White House, Congress and the Federal Courts are impotent and unable to rein-in the Stasi Police State, has decided to create a European communication system that excludes US companies in order to protect the privacy of European citizens and government communications from the Washington Stasi.

The Obama regime, desperate that no individual and no country escape its spy net, denounced Western Europe’s intention to protect the privacy of its communications as “a violation of trade laws.”

Obama’s US Trade Representative, who has been negotiating secret “trade agreements” in Europe and Asia that give US corporations immunity to the laws of all countries that sign the agreements, has threatened WTO penalties if Europe’s communications network excludes the US companies that serve as spies for NSA. Washington in all its arrogance has told its most necessary allies that if you don’t let us spy on you, we will use WTO to penalize you.

So there you have it.  The rest of the world now has the best possible reason to exit the WTO and to avoid the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic “trade agreements.” The agreements are not about trade. The purpose of these “trade agreements” is to establish the hegemony of Washington and US corporations over other countries.

In an arrogant demonstration of Washington’s power over Europe, the US Trade Representative warned Washington’s NATO allies: “US Trade Representative will be carefully monitoring the development of any such proposals” to create a separate European communication network.  http://rt.com/news/us-europe-nsa-snowden-549/

Washington is relying on the Chancellor of Germany, the President of France, and the Prime Minister of the UK to place service to Washington above their countries’ communications privacy.

It has dawned on the Russian government that being a part of the American dollar system means that Russia is open to being looted by Western banks and corporations or by individuals financed by them, that the ruble is vulnerable to being driven down by speculators in the foreign exchange market and by capital outflows, and that dependence on the American international payments system exposes Russia to arbitrary sanctions imposed by the “exceptional and indispensable country.”

Why it took the Russian government so long to realize that the dollar payments system puts countries under Washington’s thumb is puzzling.  Perhaps the answer is the success of US Cold War propaganda. Cold war propaganda  portrayed America as the shining light, the great observer of human rights, opponent of torture, upholder of liberty, defender of the downtrodden, lover of peace, and benefactor of the world.  This image survived even as the US government prevented the rise of any representative governments in Latin America and while Washington has bombed half a dozen countries into rubble.

Russians emerging from communism naturally aligned with the propaganda image of “American freedom.” That the US and Europe were also corrupt and also had blood on their hands was overlooked. During the years of anti-Soviet propaganda, Washington was murdering European women and children and blaming communists. The truth came out when President of Italy Francesco Cossiga publicly revealed Operation Gladio, a false flag terrorist scheme run by the CIA and Italian Intelligence during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that targeted European women and children with bombs in order to blame the communists and thereby prevent European communist parties from making electoral gains. This is one of the most well-known false flag events in history, having resulted in extraordinary confessions by Italian intelligence.

Now that the Russian government understands that Russia must depart the dollar system in order to protect Russian sovereignty, President Putin has entered into barter/ruble oil deals with China and Iran.  However, Washington objects to Russia abandoning the dollar international payment system. Zero Hedge, a more reliable news source than the US print and TV media, reports that Washington has conveyed to both Russia and Iran that a non-dollar oil deal would trigger US sanctions. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-04/us-threatens-russia-sanctions-over-petrodollar-busting-deal

Washington’s objection to the Russian/Iranian deal made it clear to all governments that Washington uses the dollar-based international payments system as a means of control. Why should countries accept an international payments system that infringes their sovereignty? What would happen if instead of passively accepting the dollar as the means of international payment, countries simply left the dollar system? The value of the dollar would fall and so would Washington’s power. Without the power that the dollar’s role as world reserve currency gives the US to pay its bills by printing money, the US could not maintain its aggressive military posture or its payoffs to foreign governments to do its bidding.

Washington would be just another failed empire, whose population can barely make ends meet, while the One Percent who comprise the mega-rich compete with 200-foot yachts and $750,000 fountain pins. The aristocracy and the serfs.  That is what America has already become. A throwback to the feudal era.

It is only a matter of time before it is universally recognized that the US is a failed state. Let’s pray this recognition occurs before the arrogant inhabitants of Washington blow up the world in pursuit of hegemony over others.

Washington’s provocative military moves against Russia are reckless and dangerous.

The buildup of NATO air, ground, and naval forces on Russia’s borders in violation of the 1997 NATO-Russian treaty and the Montreux Convention naturally strike the Russian government as suspicious, especially as the buildups are justified on the basis of lies that Russia is about to invade Poland, the Baltic States, and Moldova in addition to Ukraine.

These lies are transparent.  The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has asked NATO for an explanation, stating: “We are not only expecting answers, but answers that will be based fully on respect for the rules we agreed on.”  http://rt.com/news/lavrov-ukraine-nato-convention-069/

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Washington’s puppet installed as NATO figurehead who is no more in charge of NATO than I am, responded in a way guaranteed to raise Russian anxieties. Rasmussen dismissed the Russian Foreign Minister’s request for explanation as “propaganda and disinformation.”

Clearly, what we are experiencing are rising tensions caused by Washington and NATO. These tensions are in addition to the tensions arising from Washington’s coup in Ukraine. These reckless and dangerous actions have destroyed the Russian government’s trust in the West and are moving the world toward war.

Little did the protesters in Kiev, called into the streets by Washington’s NGOs, realize that their foolishness was setting the world on a path to armageddon.

Posted in USA0 Comments

22 Students and Workers Arrested in UC Strike

NOVANEWS

by PATRICK MADDEN

The University of California Santa Cruz is probably better known for its extra-curricular activities than academics. Students observe the annual “naked run” in celebration of the first rainfall of the school year. The April 20th or 4/20 smokeout takes over the Porter meadow, where last year a student was shamefully arrested for toking on a joint rolled with over two pounds of Kush. On a clear 4/20 afternoon you can spot a thin cloud of weed smoke rising from the meadow for literally miles around. But the small Santa Cruz campus, which rabid conservative David Horowitz once called “the most dangerous school in America” has a political edge as well, sharpened by a few radical academic programs, and left intellectuals including no less a figure than Angela Davis. Since the onset of the economic crisis and the implementation of UC-system-wide austerity measures, UCSC has been a hotbed of resistance (Berkeley and Davis have been as well), and last week, early Wednesday morning the 2nd of April, twenty student workers and protesters, representatives and supporters of UAW local 2865, were arrested by riot cops for attempting to establish a picket at the west entrance. Two more were arrested the next day.

Union members were out on the lines after leaders had called a strike to protest unfair labor practices and intimidation of graduate student teaching assistants. Joining the TAs as muscle were various left, largely undergraduate student groups, some gathered under the nom de guerre “Autonomous Students,” a loose collective which initially formed to protest the UC system’s hiring of Janet Napolitano. (Napolitano, former Arizona governor and Homeland Security hatchet-woman for the Deporter-in-Chief Obama, was appointed President of the UC system in 2012. The appointment of a blatant human rights abuser with no experience in education administration should be a disgrace anywhere, but in a system with what by national standards is a huge number of Chicano, Latino, and other diverse immigrant and second generation students, the appointment of such a specimen is obviously a slap in the face of a special kind.) Bus drivers and construction trade workers joined the UAW TAs in staying off campus; and the picket lines were up and going all day Wednesday and Thursday at UCSC, Berkeley, Davis, San Diego, and Irvine.

But only at UCSC were picketers and protesters arrested. California Highway Patrol along with UC Berkeley and UCSC campus cops—donning full riot gear—aggressively carried out the arguably illegal arrests. The takedown of UAW leader Josh Brahinsky, tackled and handcuffed by cops for stepping into an intersection with a picket sign, has been widely circulated (see link). Before being cuffed, Brahinsky can be heard addressing “Executive Vice Chancellor” Allison Galloway, former UCSC Anthropology professor turned admin-shill and union buster, who was roadside to give the green light to the early morning police operation. After he declared he was a union member and about to begin a legal picket, the cops took Brahinsky to the ground as Galloway looked on. The UCSC 20, as they have been dubbed, were then swiftly escorted to campus busses that were waiting in the wings and taken to the county jail. Most of them were charged with misdemeanors ranging from remaining at the scene of a riot to resisting arrest (sic). In addition, one woman was arrested for battery on an officer, a classic cowardly police tactic in protest situations. According to onlookers, the woman stepped away from a riot cop, pushed the cop’s hand away from her, and shouted, “don’t touch me!”

A small group of faculty has expressed its shock at the admin and the cops in a polite letter, but the reason for the university administration’s decision was as unsurprising as it was simple. The geography of the UCSC campus is unique: isolated out of town, carved into the foothills and redwood forests of the coastal range, there are only two entrances to the city on the hill. Because of this limited access, protests at UCSC can be extremely disruptive. Despite the UC-system-wide crackdown on the anti-austerity movement of 2009-2010 and the Occupy protests of 2011, the campus at Santa Cruz, unlike the other UCs, has remained relatively easy to shut down. Strikes routinely close campus operations: nearly a half-dozen times in less than five years alone. The openly sanctioned show of force was a clear signal from the administration that they don’t have to tolerate this anymore, a clear sign that they think the balance of power has shifted in their favor.

This bet rests on their cynical understanding of the difficulty of sustaining popular protest movements in the face of the huge financial, police, and bureaucratic apparatuses that the UC can quickly mobilize to put dissenters in check. Meanwhile, these administrators continue to oversee massive funding cuts disproportionately affecting low and middle income earning families, the very people out on the lines. The students and workers can only punch above their weight for so long in this mismatch. The only factor that can change this balance of power is the faculty. Only tenured faculty members have the stature, security, and financial resources to stand up to the austerity cuts and unfair labor practices that are top on the corporatized UC admin’s agenda. If the response of the faculty in the struggle for the future of the California public university system is to be decisive, they will have to be prepared to organize, withhold their own labor, help shut down the campuses and defy the admin to pin bogus charges on them- not just their students. Within the present configuration of things, only the pressure of the tenured faculty has even the chance to force the UC to change its regressive course.

For many Americans, the Left Coast’s UC system perhaps still represents a bastion of liberal politics and semi-dangerous ideas. Surely in this milieu it would be easy for the profs to mobilize, to refuse, en masse, to sit by as the disaster capitalists neoliberalize the UC. So far, however, there has been little to no movement on this front. Not even amongst the humanities and social science faculty, many of who fondly recall the roles they played in the Civil Rights and labor movement, the protests against the war in Vietnam and US imperialism, the gay and lesbian liberation struggles, and the campaigns for disinvestment and disarmament. But without dismissing their experiences of the glory days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, we must recall that for many- of course not all- of even the most radical baby-boomer academics, the past half century since then has been spent in a deeply apolitical, post-modern malaise. The economic crisis has opened up a fissure in the supposedly post-political, post-historical world of global capital. But no crisis, however big, can in itself alter the political relations upon which the economic edifice rests. This can only be accomplished through political means, through struggle. Within the present configuration of things, only the pressure of the tenured faculty has even the slightest chance of forcing the UC to change its regressive course.

Posted in Campaigns, USA0 Comments

Killer Drones in a Downward Spiral

NOVANEWS

by MEDEA BENJAMIN AND KATE CHANDLEY

Illegal US drone strikes continue (the Long War Journal says there have been 8 drones strikes in Yemen so far this year), but efforts to curb the use of killer drones have made remarkable headway this year.

While the faith-based community has taken far too long to address the moral issues posed by remote-controlled killing, on February 13, the World Council of Churches–the largest coalition of Christian churches–came out in opposition to the use of armed drones. The Council said that the use of armed drones poses a “serious threat to humanity” and condemned, in particular, US drone strikes in Pakistan. This is a breakthrough in the religious community, and should make it easier for individual denominations to make similar pronouncements, as the Church of the Brethren has.

There have also been major developments in the secular world. In February, the European Union, with an overwhelming vote of 534-49, passed a resolution calling on EU Member States to “oppose and ban the practice of extrajudicial targeted killings” and demanding that EU member states “do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states.” This resolution will pressure individual European nations to stop their own production and/or use of killer drones (especially the UK, Germany, Italy and France), and to stop their collaboration with the US drone program.

People on the receiving end of US drone strikes have also stepped up their opposition. On April 1, a group of friends and family of drone strike victims in Yemen came together to form the National Organization for Drone Victims. This is the first time anywhere that drone strike victims have created their own entity to support one another and seek redress. The organization plans to conduct its own investigations, focusing on the civilian impact of drone attacks. At the official launch, which was packed with press, the group said any government official supporting the US drones should be tried in a criminal court. “Today, we launch this new organization which will be the starting point for us to get justice and to take legal measures on a national and international scale against anyone who is aiding these crimes,” said the organization’s president Mohammad Ali al-Qawli, whose brother was killed in a drone strike.

The Pakistani government has taken its opposition to drone strikes directly to the UN Human Rights Council. Pakistan, with the co-sponsorship of Yemen, introduced a resolution calling for transparency in drone strikes and for setting up a committee of experts to address the legal issues. Despite the opposition of the United States, which boycotted the talks and lobbied to kill the resolution, it passed on March 24 by a vote of 27-6, with 14 abstentions. The panel of experts that will be convened is scheduled to present its findings at the UN Human Rights Council session in September 2014.

UN Special Rapporteur on Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, also used this session of the UN Human Rights Council to release a detailed report on the issue of drones. Emmerson examined 37 instances of drone strikes in which civilians were reportedly killed or injured and concluded that nations using drones must provide a “public explanation of the circumstances and a justification for the use of deadly force.” Emmerson said it was critical for the international community to reach a consensus on many issues presented by drones strikes, including state sovereignty and whether it is legal to target a hostile person in a non-belligerent state.

These new developments have come about due to increasing public scrutiny and protests against drone attacks, such as the ongoing protests at the Hancock, Beale, and Creech Air Force Bases, the headquarters of drone manufacturer General Atomics, the White House, CIA, Congress and the Pentagon. The entire month of April has been designated forDays of Action, with film showings, talks, die-ins, re-enactments of drone strikes and other creative actions happening throughout the country.

Activists opposing weaponized drones are pleased to finally see more movement at the international level, and hope this will result in heightened pressure on the Obama administration, both internationally and domestically, to stop its policy of targeted assassinations and instead adhere to the rule of law.

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Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?

NOVANEWS
The Extremist Origins of Education and Sharing Day
by ALISON WEIR

If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.

The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, charismatic head of a mystical/fundamentalist version of Judaism. Every year since 1978, a Presidential Proclamation, often accompanied by a Congressional Resolution (the 1990 one had 219 sponsors), has declared Schneerson’s birthday an official national day of observance.

Congress first passed a Resolution honoring Schneerson in 1975. Three years later a Joint Congressional Resolution called on President Jimmy Carter to proclaim “Education Day, U.S.A.” on the anniversary of Schneerson’s birth. The idea was to set aside a day to honor both education and the alleged educational work of Schneerson and the religious sect he headed up.

Carter, like Congress, dutifully obeyed the Schneerson-initiatedresolution, as has every president since.  And some individual states are now enacting their own observances of Schneerson’s birthday, with Minnesota and Alabama leading the way.

Schneerson and his movement are an extremely mixed bag.

Schneerson has been praised widely for a public persona and organization that emphasized deep compassion and insight,” worked to bring many secular Jews “back” into the fold, created numerous schools around the world, and had offered, in the words of the Jewish Virtual Library, “social-service programs and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religious affiliation or background.”

However, there is also a less attractive underside often at odds with such public perceptions. And some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden, it appears, even from many who consider themselves his followers.

As we will see, such views profoundly impact the lives of Palestinians living – and dying – under Israeli occupation and military invasions.

Who was Rabbi Schneerson?

Schneerson lived from 1902 to 1994 and oversaw the growth of what is now the largest Jewish organization in the world. The religious movement he led is known as Chabad-Lubavitch,” (sometimes just called “Lubavitch” or Chabad,” the name of its organizational arm). Schneerson was the seventh and final Lubavitcher “Rebbe” (sacred leader). He is often simply called “the Rebbe.”

Founded in the late 1700s and originally based in the Polish-Russian town of Lubavitch, it is the largest of about a dozen forms of “Hasidism,” a version of Orthodox Judaism connected to mysticism, characterized by devotion to a dynastic leader, and whose adherents often wear distinctive clothing. (Spellings of these terms can vary; Hasid is also written as Hassid, Chasid, etc.)

There is an extreme cult of personality focused on Schneerson himself. Some followers consider him the Messiah, and Schneerson himself reportedly sometimes implied this was true. Some Lubavitch educators consider him divine, making such claims as, “the Rebbe is actually ‘the essence and being [of God] … he is without limits, capable of effecting anything, all-knowing and a proper object of worshipful prostration.”

While many secular Jews and Jews from other denominations disagree with its actions and theology, Chabad-Lubavitch is generally acknowledged to be a powerful force in Jewish life today. According to a 1994 New York Times report, it is “one of the most influential and controversial forces in world Jewry.”

There are approximately 3,600 Chabad institutions in over 1,000 cities in 70 countries, and 200,000 adherents. Up to a million people attend Chabad services at least once a year. Numerous campuses have such centers and the Chabad website states that hundreds of thousands of children attend Chabad summer camps.

According to the Times, Schneerson “presided over a religious empire that reached from the back streets of Brooklyn to the main streets of Israel and by 1990 was taking in an estimated $100 million a year in contributions.

In the U.S., the Times reports, Schneerson’s “‘mitzvah tanks’ – converted campers that are rolling recruiting stations whose purpose is to draw Jews to the Lubavitch way – roamed streets from midtown Manhattan to Crown Heights. And the Lubavitchers’ Brooklyn-based publishing house claimed to be the world’s largest distributor of Jewish books.”

Non-Jewish souls ‘satanic’

While Chabad sometimes openly teaches that “the soul of the Jew is different than the soul of the non-Jew,” Schneerson’s specific teachings on this subject are largely unknown.

Quite likely very few Americans, both Jews and non-Jews, are aware of Schneerson’s teachings about the alleged deep differences between them – and about how these teachings are applied in the West Bank and Gaza.

Let us look at Schneerson’s words, as quoted by two respected Jewish professors, Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, in their book Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (text available online here. This book, praised by Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, and many others is essential reading for anyone who truly wishes to understand modern day Israel-Palestine. (Brackets in the quotes below are in the translations by Shahak and Mezvinsky.)

Some of Schneerson’s rarely reported teachings:

“The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: “Let us differentiate.” Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of “let us differentiate” between totally different species.”

“This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world … The difference in the inner quality between Jews and non-Jews is “so great that the bodies should be considered as completely different species.”

“An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.”

“As has been explained, an embryo is called a human being, because it has both body and soul. Thus, the difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish embryo can be understood.”

“…the general difference between Jews and non-Jews: A Jew was not created

as a means for some [other] purpose; he himself is the purpose, since the substance of all [divine] emanations was created only to serve the Jews.”

“The important things are the Jews, because they do not exist for any [other] aim; they themselves are [the divine] aim.”

“The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews.”

Most people don’t know about this aspect of Schneerson’s teaching because, according to Shahak and Mezvinsky, such teachings are intentionally minimized, mistranslated, or

alison weir book

hidden entirely.

For example, the quotes above were translated by the authors from a book of Schneerson’s recorded messages to followers that was published in Israel in 1965. Despite Schneerson’s global importance and the fact that his world headquarters is in the U.S., there has never been an English translation of this volume.

Shahak, an Israeli professor who was a survivor of the Nazi holocaust, writes that this lack of translation of an important work is not unusual, explaining that much critical information about Israel and some forms of Judaism is available only in Hebrew.

He and co-author Mezvinsky, who was a Connecticut Distinguished University Professor who taught at Central Connecticut State University, write, “The great majority of the books on Judaism and Israel, published in English especially, falsify their subject matter.”

According to Shahak and Mezvinsky, “Almost every moderately sophisticated Israeli Jew knows the facts about Israeli Jewish society that are described in this book. These facts, however, are unknown to most interested Jews and non-Jews outside Israel who do not know Hebrew and thus cannot read most of what Israeli Jews write about themselves in Hebrew.”

In Shahak’s earlier book, Jewish Religion, Jewish History, he provides a number of examples. In one, he describes a 1962 book published in Israel in a bilingual edition. The Hebrew text was on one page, with the English translation on the facing page.

Shahak describes one set of facing pages in which the Hebrew text of a major Jewish code of laws contained a command to exterminate Jewish infidels: “It is a duty to exterminate them with one’s own hands.” The English version on the facing page softened it to “It is a duty to take active measures to destroy them.’”

The Hebrew page then went on to name which “infidels” must be exterminated, adding “may the name of the wicked rot.” Among them was Jesus of Nazareth. The facing page with the English translation failed to tell any of this.

“Even more significant,” Shahak reports, “in spite of the wide circulation of this book among scholars in the English-speaking countries, not one of them has, as far as I know, protested against this glaring deception.”

Praised by Said, Chomsky, etc., Shahak is almost unknown today

This pattern of selective omission, it seems, applies to Shahak himself, whose work is largely unknown to Palestine activists today, even though he was considered a major figure in the struggle against Israeli oppression of Palestinians, and his work was praised by diverse writers.

While Shahak was alive, Noam Chomsky called him “an outstanding scholar,” and said he had “remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value.”

Edward Said wrote, “Shahak is a very brave man who should be honored for his services to humanity … One of the most remarkable individuals in the contemporary Middle East.” Said wrote a forward for Shahak’sJewish History, Jewish Religion.

Catholic New Times said: ‘This is a remarkable book …[It] deserves a wide readership, not only among Jews, but among Christians who seek a fuller understanding both of historical Judaism and of modern-day Israel.”

Jewish Socialist stated: “Anyone who wants to change the Jewish community so that it stops siding with the forces of reaction should read this book.”

The London Review of Books called Shahak’s book “remarkable, powerful, and provocative.”

Yet, very few Americans today know of Shahak’s work and the information it contains.

American tax money & Jewish Extremism in Palestine

If they did, it’s hard to believe that Americans would allow $8.5 million per day of their tax money to be given to Israel, where such teachings underlie a powerful minority that is disproportionately influential in governmental actions.

Nor is it likely that a fully informed American public would allow donations to religious institutions in Israel that teach supremacist, sometimes violent doctrines to be tax-deductible in the U.S.

One organization raised over $10 million tax-deductible dollars in the U.S. in 2011 alone – removing money from the U.S. economy and enabling illegal, aggressive Israeli settlements in Palestine. And some of this money went to benefit individuals convicted of murder – including the murderer of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The New York Times obituary on Schneerson reported that Schneerson was “a major political force in Israel, both in the Knesset and among the electorate,” but failed to describe the nature of his impact.

One of a sprinkling of writers willing to publicly discuss Shahak and Mezvinsky’s findings is Allan Brownfeld, who is less reticent. Brownfeld is editor of the American Council for Judaism’s periodical Issues and contributor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

In a review of Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, Brownfeld describes Schneerson’s views on Israel:

“Rabbi Schneerson always supported Israeli wars and opposed any retreat. In 1974 he strongly opposed the Israeli withdrawal from the Suez area. He promised Israel divine favors if it persisted in occupying the land.”

Brownfeld reports that after Schneerson’s death, “[T]housands of his Israeli followers played an important role in the election victory of Binyamin Netanyahu. Among the religious settlers in the occupied territories, the Chabad Hassids constitute one of the most extreme groups. Baruch Goldstein, the mass murderer of Palestinians, was one of them.”

Another such Chabad Hassid is Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg (also sometimes written as “Ginzburg” and “Ginsburgh”), who studied under Schneerson in Crown Heights and who heads up a major Chabad institution in the West Bank.

Ginsburg praised Goldstein, the murderer of 29 Palestinians while they were praying, and considers all non-Jews subhuman.

According to author Motti Inbari, Ginsburg “gives prominence to Halachic and Kabbalistic approaches that emphasize the distinction between Jew and non-Jew (Gentile), imposing a clear separation and hierarchy in this respect.”

In his book Jewish Fundamentalism and the Temple Mount: Who Will Build the Third Temple? Inbari states, “[Ginsburg] claims that while the Jews are the Chosen People and were created in God’s image, the Gentiles do not have this status and are effectively considered subhuman.”

Professor Inbari, an Israeli academic who now teaches in the U.S., writes that Ginsburg’s theological approach continues “certain perceptions that were popular in medieval times.”

“For example,” Inbari writes, “the commandment ‘You shall not murder’ does not apply to the killing of a Gentile, since ‘you shall not murder’ relates to the murder of a human, while for him the Gentiles do not constitute humans.”

Inbari reports, “Similarly, Ginzburg stated that, on the theoretical level, if a Jew requires a liver transplant to survive, it would be permissible to seize a Gentile and take their liver forcefully.”

While the mainstream American press almost never reports this kind of information, an April 26, 1996 article in Jewish Week by Lawrence Cohler reported on Ginsburg’s teachings, including their problematic roots in Jewish texts.

Cohler reported that a professor of Bible at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, “called for radically revising Jewish thinking about some Jewish texts on the grounds that scholars such as Rabbi Ginsburgh are far from aberrant in their use of them.”

Cohler quoted Greenberg’s concerns:  “‘There’ll be a statement in Talmud… made in circumstances where it’s purely theoretical, because Jews then never had the power to do it,’ he explained. And now, he said, ‘It’s carried over into circumstances where Jews have a state and are empowered.’”

A rabbi associated with Ginsburg coauthored a notorious Israeli book,The King’s Torah, which claims that Jewish law at times permits the killing of non-Jewish infants. American donations to the Chabad school Ginsburg heads up, and that published the above book, are tax-deductible in the U.S. Ginsburg, who endorses the book, teaches classes throughout Israel, the U.S. and France.

Such extremism is opposed by the majority of Israelis, and major Jewish religious authorities condemn it, a Chief Rabbi, for example, stating: “’According to the Torah, every man is created in God’s image.”

Yet, such extremist views continue to exert a powerful influence.

Israeli military manuals echo extremist teachings: “kill even good civilians”

Israeli military manuals sometimes replicate extremist teachings. For example, a booklet authored by a Chief Chaplain stated, “In war, when our forces storm the enemy, they are allowed and even enjoined by the Halakhah to kill even good civilians…” Such teachings by the IDF rabbinate were prominent during Israel’s 2008-9 attack on Gaza that killed 1,400 Gazans, approximately half of them civilians. (The Palestinian resistance killed nine Israelis during this “war.”)

Chicago writer Stephen Lendman has described these teachings, giving a number of examples.

Lendman writes, “In 2007, Israel’s former chief rabbi, Mordechai Elyahu, called for the Israeli army to mass-murder Palestinians:

“If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1000. And if they don’t stop after 1000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million.”

Lendman reports that some extremist Israeli rabbis teach that “the ten commandments don’t apply to non-Jews. So killing them in defending the homeland is acceptable, and according to the chairman of the Jewish Rabbinic Council:

“‘There is no such thing as enemy civilians in war time. The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our soldiers and to save them…. A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail.’”

Lendman writes, “Rabbi David Batsri called Arabs ‘a blight, a devil, a disaster…. donkeys, and we have to ask ourselves why God didn’t create them to walk on all fours. Well, the answer is that they are needed to build and clean.’”

Another such rabbi is Manis Friedman, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi inspired by Schneerson who served as the simultaneous translator for a series of Schneerson’s talks. (Friedman is currently dean of a Jewish Studies institute in Minnesota.)

A 2009 article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports, “Like the best Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis, Manis Friedman has won the hearts of many unaffiliated Jews with his charismatic talks about love and God; it was Friedman who helped lead Bob Dylan into a relationship with Chabad.

“But Friedman, who today travels the country as a Chabad speaker, showed a less warm and cuddly side when he was asked how he thinks Jews should treat their Arab neighbors.”

In Moment magazine’s article, Ask the Rabbis // How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors? Friedman answered:

“I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral.

“The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).”

Lendman reports, “Views like these aren’t exceptions. Though a minority, they proliferate throughout Israeli society…”

They also, Lendman notes, work to prevent peace in Israel-Palestine.

Shahak and Mezvinsky note that when the book containing Schneerson’s statements quoted above about Jews and non-Jews was published in Israel, he was allied to the Labor Party and his movement had been provided “many important benefits” from the Israeli government.

In the mid-1970s Schneerson decided that the Labor Party was too moderate and shifted his support to the more right-wing parties in power today. The authors report, “Ariel Sharon was the Rebbe’s favorite Israeli senior politician. Sharon in turn praised the Rebbe publicly and delivered a moving speech about him in the Knesset after the Rebbe’s death.”

Roots in Some Early Texts

Brownfeld decries the fact that few Americans are properly informed about the fundamentalist movement in Israel “and the theology upon which it is based.”

He notes that Jewish Americans, in particular, are often unaware of the “narrow ethnocentrism which is promoted by the movement’s leading rabbis, or of the traditional Jewish sources they are able to call upon in drawing clear distinctions between the moral obligations owed to Jews and non-Jews.”

Teachings that Jews are superior and gentiles inferior were contained in some of the earliest Hassidic texts, including its classic text, Tanya,” still taught today.

Brownfeld quotes statements by “the revered father of the messianic tendency of Jewish fundamentalism,” Rabbi Kook the Elder, and states that these were derived from earlier texts. [Kook, incidentally, was also an early Zionist, who helped push for the Balfour Declaration in England before moving to Palestine. He was the uncle of Hillel Kook, an agent who went by the name “Peter Bergson” and created front groups in the U.S. for a violent Zionist guerilla group that operated in 1930s and '40s Palestine.]

Brownfeld quotes Kook: “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews—all of them in all different levels—is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.”

Brownfeld explains that Kook’s teaching, which he says is followed by leaders of the settler movement in the occupied West Bank, “is based upon the Lurianic Cabbala, the school of Jewish mysticism that dominated Judaism from the late 16th to the early 19th century.”

Shahak and Mezvinsky state, “One of the basic tenets of the Lurianic Cabbala is the absolute superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body. According to the Lurianic Cabbala, the world was created solely for the sake of Jews; the existence of non-Jews was subsidiary.”

Again, Shahak and Mezvinsky report that this aspect is often covered up in English-language discussions. Scholarly authors of books about Jewish mysticism and the Lurianic Cabbala, they write, have frequently “willfully omitted reference to such ideas.”

Shahak and Mezvinsky write that it is essential to understand these beliefs in order to understand the current situation in the West Bank, where many of the most militant West Bank settlers are motivated by religious ideologies in which every non-Jew is seen as “the earthly embodiment” of Satan, and according to the Halacha (Jewish law), the term ‘human beings’ refers solely to Jews.”

Israeli author and former chief of Israeli military intelligence Yehoshafat Harkabi touches on this in his 1988 book Israel’s Fateful Hour.

Harkabi writes that while such extremist beliefs are not “widely dominant,” the reality is that “nationalistic religious extremists are by no means a lunatic fringe; many are respected men whose words are widely heeded.”

He reports that the campus rabbi of a major Israeli university published an article in the student newspaper entitled “The Commandment of Genocide in the Torah,” in which he implied that those who have a quarrel with Jews “ought to be destroyed, children and all.” Harkabi writes that a book by another rabbi “explained that the killing of a non-Jew is not considered murder.”

Brownfeld writes, “Although messianic fundamentalists constitute a relatively small portion of the Israeli population [most Israeli settlers are motivated by the subsidized lifestyle US tax money to Israel provides], their political influence has been growing. If they have contempt for non-Jews, their hatred for Jews who oppose their views is even greater.”

Brownfeld cites the murder of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had started to make peace with the Palestinians, writing that it was just one “in a long line of murders of Jews who followed a path different from that ordained by rabbinic authorities.” Brownfeld reports that Shahak and Mezvinsky  “cite case after case, from the Middle Ages until the 19th century.”

The authors report, “It was usual in some Hasidic circles until the last quarter of the nineteenth century to attack and often to murder Jews who had reform religious tendencies…”

They quote a long article by Israeli writer Rami Rosen, “History of a Denial,” published by Ha’aretz Magazine in 1996. This article, which cannot be found online, at least in English, is also cited in the bookBrother Against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination, by Israeli professor Ehud Sprinzak.

In his Ha’aretz article Rosen reported: “A check of main facts of the [Jewish] historiography of the last 1500 years shows that the picture is different from the one previously shown to us. It includes massacres of Christians; mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus that usually took place on Purim; cruel murders within the family; liquidation of informers, often done for religious reasons by secret rabbinical courts, which issued a sentence of ‘pursuer’ and appointed secret executioners; assassinations of adulterous women in synagogues and/or the cutting of their noses by command of the rabbis.”

While Rosen’s article may seem shocking, in reality, it simply shows that members of the Jewish population, like members of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and diverse other populations, have at times committed atrocities, sometimes allegedly in the name of their religion. The difference, as Shahak and Mezvinsky point out, is that such information is largely covered up in the U.S. Such cover-ups, however, don’t make facts go away. They merely bury them, where they smolder and at times eventually lead to exaggerated perceptions.

U.S. media rarely report that some extremist Israeli settlers are intensely hostile to Christians, and in one instance threatened peace activists who came to the West Bank to participate in nonviolent demonstrations, “We killed Jesus and we’ll kill you, too.” There is also a record of official hostility. For example, a few years ago an Israeli mayor ordered all New Testaments to be rounded up and burned.

Schneerson’s “schools”

While Schneerson is honored on national “Education” days, the reality is that the elementary schools he created often failed to teach children  “basic reading, writing, spelling, math, science and history,” according to a graduate.

In his article National Education Day and the Education I Never Had,” Chaim Levin reports on his experience at the Chabad school “Oholei Torah” (Educational Institute Oholei Menachem) in Crown Heights, New York – the site of Chabad’s world headquarters:

“I have profound respect for the late Rebbe and his legacy. However, I remember very clearly those talks that [Schneerson] gave – the ones we studied every year in elementary school about the unimportance of ‘secular’ (non-religious, formal) education, and the great importance of only studying limmudei kodesh (holy studies). As a result of this attitude, thousands of students were not taught anything other than the Bible throughout our years attending Chabad institutions.”

The goal of such schools, Levin writes, was to produce “schluchim,” missionaries who would promote Chabad all over the world.

Meanwhile, he notes, “Failure to provide basic formal education cripples children within Chabad communities. We cannot ignore the harm done…” Levin writes, “Until this day, Oholei Torah and many other Chabad schools — particularly schools for boys and a few for girls in Crown Heights and in some other places — do not provide basic formal education.”

Education and Sharing Day 2014

In his 2000 article, Brownfeld writes that Shahak and Mezvinsky’s book should be “a wake-up call “to Americans, particularly Jewish supporters of Israel.”

Fourteen years later, however, very few people are aware of these books and their powerful information, and U.S. tax money continues to flow to Israel. The main author, Israel Shahak, is now dead, as is Edward Said; Noam Chomsky rarely, if ever, mentions him; and Shahak’s co-author, Norton Mezvinsky (uncle of Chelsea Clinton’s husband), is a member of a Lubavitch congregation in New York.

In many ways, little seems to have changed since 1994, when Congressmen Charles Schumer, Newt Gingrich, and others introduced legislation to bestow on Schneerson the Congressional Gold Medal. The bill passed both Houses by unanimous consent, honoring Schneerson for his “outstanding and lasting contributions toward improvements in world education, morality, and acts of charity.”

And in two weeks, Americans will be officially called on to observe a day that honors Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and the Lubavitcher movement.

That is, unless masses of people contact their Congressional representatives to demand a whole new direction: a “National Education and Sharing Day” that honors an individual who values education, and who believes that all people – in the words of the Declaration of Independence – are created equal.

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Replacing Russian Gas Deliveries with US Shale Gas? Washington Lies to the EU

NOVANEWS
Global Research

The White House and State Department have engaged in brazen lying to EU governments regarding the ability of the US to supply more than enough natural gas to replace Russian gas deliveries. Recent statements by US President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are so patently false that it betrays an incredible desperation in Washington over the situation in Ukraine versus Moscow. Or it suggests that Washington is so out of touch with any factual reality she simply doesn’t care what she says. Either way, it suggests an unreliable diplomatic partner for the EU.

After his recent meeting with EU leaders Obama issued the incredible statement that the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that is being secretly negotiated behind closed doors by the major private multinational companies would make it easier for the United States to export gas to Europe and help it reduce its dependency on Russian energy: “Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today’s geopolitical environment,” Obama stated.

That bit of political opportunism to try to push the stalled TTIP talks by playing on EU fears of Russian gas loss after the US-orchestrated Ukraine coup of February 22, ignores the fact that the problem in getting US shale gas to the EU does not lie in easier LNG licensing procedures in the USA and EU.

In other recent statements, referring to the recent boom in unconventional US shale gas, Obama and Kerry have both stated the US could more than replace all Russian gas to the EU, an outright lie based on physical realities. At his Brussels meeting Obama told EU leaders they should import shale gas from the US to replace Russian. There is a huge problem with that.

Shale revolution a failure

Number one, the “shale gas revolution” in the USA has failed. The dramatic rise in US natural gas production from “fracking” or forcing gas out of shale rock formations is being abandoned by the largest energy companies like Shell and BP as uneconomical. Shell has just announced a huge reduction of its exposure to US shale gas development. Shell is selling its leases on some 700,000 acres of shale gas lands in the major shale gas areas of Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Kansas and says it may have to get rid of more to stop its shale gas losses. Shell’s CEO,Ben van Beurden stated, “Financial performance there is frankly not acceptable … some of our exploration bets have simply not worked out.”

A useful summary of the shale gas illusion comes from a recent analysis of the actual results of several years of shale gas extraction in the USA by veteran energy analyst David Hughes. He notes, “Shale gas production has grown explosively to account for nearly 40 percent of US natural gas production. Nevertheless, production has been on a plateau since December 2011; eighty percent of shale gas production comes from five plays, several of which are in decline. The very high decline rates of shale gas wells require continuous inputs of capital—estimated at $42 billion per year to drill more than 7,000 wells—in order to maintain production. In comparison, the value of shale gas produced in 2012 was just $32.5 billion.”

So Obama is either being lied to by his advisers on the true state of US shale gas supplies, or he is willfully lying. The former is most likely.

The second problem with the US “offer” of gas to the EU to replace Russian gas is the fact that it requires massive, costly infrastructure in the form of construction of new Liquified Natural Gas terminals that can handle the huge LNG supertankers to bring it to similar huge LNG terminal harbors in the EU.

The problem is that owing to various US laws on export of domestic energy and supply factors, there exist no operating LNG liquefaction terminals in the US. The only one now under construction is the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, owned by Cheniere Energy, where John Deutch, former CIA head, sits on the board. The problem with the Sabine Pass LNG terminal is that most of the gas has been pre-contracted to Korean, Indian and other Asian LNG customers, not to the EU.

The second problem is that even were a huge port capacity installed to satisfy EU gas needs to replace Russian supplies, that would push domestic natural-gas prices higher and cut short the mini-manufacturing boom fueled by abundant, cheap shale gas. The ultimate cost to EU consumers of US LNG would have to be far more than current Russian gas pipelined over Nord Stream or Ukraine. The next problem is that the specialized LNG supertankers do not exist to supply the EU market. All this takes years, including environmental approvals, construction time, perhaps seven years on average in best conditions.

The EU gets some 30% of its gas, the fastest-growing energy source there, from Russia today. In 2007, Russia’s Gazprom supplied 14 percent for France, 27 percent for Italy, 36 percent for Germany, with Finland and the Baltic states receiving as much as 100 percent of gas imports from Russia.

The EU has no realistic alternative to Russian gas. Germany, the largest economy, has foolishly decided to phase out nuclear power and its “alternative energy”—wind power and solar–is an economic and political disaster with consumer electricity costs exploding even though alternatives are a tiny share of the total market.

In short, the chimera of shutting Russian gas and turning on US gas instead is economic, energy and political nonsense.

Posted in Russia, USA0 Comments

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