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America’s Military Footprint Lands in I$raHell

NOVANEWS
America’s Military Footprint Lands in Israel

Featured image: Israel Air Force Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, the IDF’s air defense commander, left, with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Gronski at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new permanent U.S. Army base in Israel. (Israel Defense Forces)

 

America’s military footprint extends worldwide, a global empire of bases, countless numbers, well over a thousand, many not publicly revealed.

The late Chalmers Johnson earlier said

“(o)nce upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies.”

“America’s version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial footprint and the militarism that grows with it, (far) more than in past empires.”

“A well-entrenched militarism (lies) at the heart of our imperial adventures. Each year, (Washington) spends more on our armed forces than all others nations on earth combined (to garrison troops” in more than two-thirds of countries worldwide – Israel the latest.

During WW II, Orwell said it’s “difficult to go anywhere in London without having the feeling that Britain is now occupied (US) territory.”

The same holds today for scores of countries. And with occupation comes unacceptable noise, pollution, environmental destruction, expropriation of valuable public and private land, along with drunken, disorderly, and abusive soldiers, committing rape, murder and crimes most often unaccountably because of US-imposed Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) – license for America to do what it pleases, ignoring laws of host nations.

Bases are positioned to wage wars anywhere with forces near targeted countries. Wherever they go, their presence is intrusive, hostile, and detrimental to local populations.

For the first time, the Pentagon established a permanent military base in Israel, located at the Mashabim air base in the Negev desert.

On Monday, Israeli General Tzvika Haimovitch announced it, saying it demonstrates “years-old alliance between the United States and the State of Israel.”

It’s a “base within a base,” run by the US military’s European Command (EUCOM) for small numbers of US forces, unrelated to defense, solely for regional offense if ordered.

The region’s main problem is US and Israeli imperial aims. Neither country is threatened by anyone. They threaten everyone regionally and worldwide.

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The World’s Only Undeclared Nuclear Weapons State

NOVANEWS

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports that developments in North Korea’s nuclear program “contributed to international political instability with potentially serious knock-on effects.”

SIPRI says that as of January 2017 the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea together had an estimated 15,000 nuclear weapons.

Out of the above nine nuclear weapons states, only one is undeclared – that is the state of Israel, which is estimated to have built-up a secret arsenal of up to 400 warheads – all unidentified by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. 

Should that figure be substantiated that would place the Israeli state as either the 3rd or 4th most powerful nuclear state in the world, after the US and Russia and the highest nuclear weapons state, per capita, anywhere on the planet.

However, the vital fact is that Israel is not a party to the IAEA and therefore not subject to inspection or report by the UN’s international Agency and is also not a party to the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and that makes the global situation fraught with danger for future peace.

It is seriously complicated by the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is determined to shift the global spotlight away from Israel’s massive, covert, nuclear weapons program to that of Iran which, of course, has no nuclear weapons whatsoever but which is a party to the NPT and, furthermore, subject to inspection by the IAEA.

These facts would appear to indicate the most dangerous military confidence trick ever perpetrated on a naive international community.

Report on nuclear weapon programs and inspection of nuclear weapon stocks should be a mandatory requirement for participation in international trade, failing which there should be economic sanctions against any recalcitrant state that poses a nuclear threat to world peace.

North Korea today reminds us that the world is no longer a safe place for anyone, anymore.

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On Rosh Hashanah: Recommitting to Solidarity in the Face of White Supremacy

NOVANEWS

By Brant RosenTruthout 

This must be our response to white supremacy: that a threat to any one of us is a threat to all," writes Brant Rosen, calling for a new commitment to building solidarity-based movements in the Jewish New Year. Here, members of Holy Blossom Temple, a Toronto Synagogue, form a protective circle around the Imdadul Mosque in North York in Canada on February 3, 2017, following an Islamophobic attack on a mosque in Quebec City that left six Muslim worshippers dead and nineteen wounded. (Photo: Bernard Weil / Toronto Star via Getty Images)

“This must be our response to white supremacy: that a threat to any one of us is a threat to all,” writes Brant Rosen, calling for a new commitment to building solidarity-based movements in the Jewish New Year. Here, members of Holy Blossom Temple, a Toronto Synagogue, form a protective circle around the Imdadul Mosque in North York in Canada on February 3, 2017, following an Islamophobic attack on a mosque in Quebec City. (Photo: Bernard Weil / Toronto Star via Getty Images)

When Temple Beth Israel — a large Reform synagogue in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia — opened for Shabbat morning services on August 12, 2017, its congregants had ample reason to be terrified. Prior to the “Unite the Right” rally held in town by white supremacists and neo-Nazis that weekend, some neo-Nazi websites had posted calls to burn down their synagogue.

The members of Beth Israel decided to go ahead with services, but they removed their Torah scrolls just to be safe. When services began, they noticed three men dressed in fatigues and armed with semi-automatic rifles standing across the street from their synagogue. Throughout the morning, growing numbers of neo-Nazis gathered outside their building. Worshippers heard people shouting, “There’s the synagogue!” and chanting, “Sieg Heil!” At the end of services, they had to leave in groups through a side door.

Of course, this story did not occur in a vacuum. It was but a part of a larger outrage that unfolded in Charlottesville that day, and part of a still larger outrage has been unfolding in our country since November. I think it’s safe to say that many Americans have learned some very hard truths about their country since the elections last fall. Many — particularly white liberals — are asking out loud: Where did all of this come from? Didn’t we make so much progress during the Obama years? Can there really be that many people in this country who would vote for an out-and-out xenophobe who unabashedly encourages white supremacists as his political base? Is this really America?

Yes, this is America. White supremacy — something many assumed was relegated to an ignoble period of American history — is, and has always been, very real in this country. White supremacists and neo-Nazis are in the streets — and they are being emboldened and encouraged by the president of the United States.

While this new political landscape may feel surreal, I’d suggest that this is actually a clarifying moment. Aspects of our national life that have remained subterranean for far too long are now being brought out into the light. We are now being brought face to face with systems and forces that many of us assumed were long dead; that we either couldn’t see or chose not to see. Following the election of Trump many have commented that it feels like we are living through a bad dream. I would claim the opposite. I would say that many of us are finally waking up to real life — a reality that, particularly for the most marginalized among us, never went away.

It is certainly a profoundly clarifying moment for American Jews. With this resurgence of white supremacist anti-Semitism, it would have been reasonable to expect a deafening outcry from the American Jewish establishment. But that, in fact, has not been the case. When Trump appointed white nationalist Steve Bannon to a senior White House position, there was nary an outcry from mainstream Jewish organizations. The Zionist Organization of America actually invited Bannon to speak at its annual gala.

Why would the Israeli Prime Minister call a president who panders to anti-Semitic white supremacists “brave” and “courageous?” Because Trump pledged his support to Israel.

Israel’s response to this political moment is no less illuminating. During a huge spike in anti-Semitic vandalism and threats against Jewish institutions immediately after the elections, it wasn’t only Trump that had to be goaded into making a statement — the Israeli government itself remained shockingly silent. This same government that never misses an opportunity to condemn anti-Semitic acts by Muslim extremists seemed utterly unperturbed that over 100 Jewish institutions had received bomb threats or that Jewish cemeteries were desecrated across the country. (More than 500 headstones were knocked down at one Jewish cemetery alone in Philadelphia.) And when neo-Nazis with tiki torches rallied in Charlottesville proclaiming “Jews will not replace us,” it took Prime Minister Netanyahu three days to respond with a mild tweet. Israel’s Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett, whom one would assume should be concerned with anti-Semitism anywhere in the Diaspora, had this to say:

We view ourselves as having a certain degree of responsibility for every Jew in the world, just for being Jewish, but ultimately it’s the responsibility of the sovereign nation to defend its citizens.

This is a clarifying moment if ever there was one. Support for Israel and its policies trumps everything — yes, including white supremacist Jew hatred. Just this week, Prime Minister Netanyahu said this about Trump’s speech at the UN:

I’ve been ambassador to the United Nations, and I’m a long-serving Israeli prime minister, so I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall. But I can say this — none were bolder, none were more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump today.

Why would the Israeli Prime Minister call a president who panders to anti-Semitic white supremacists “brave” and “courageous?” Because Trump pledged his support to Israel. Because he called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment.” Because he vowed American support to allies who are “working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists.”

Historically speaking, this is not the first time that Zionists have cozied up to anti-Semites in order to gain their political support. Zionism has long depended on anti-Semites to validate its very existence. This Faustian bargain was struck as far back as the 19th century, when Zionist leader Theodor Herzl met with the Russian minister of the interior Vyacheslav von Plehve, an infamous anti-Semite who encouraged the Kishinev pogroms that very same year. Plehve pledged that as long as the Zionists encouraged emigration of Jews from Russia, the Russian authorities would not disturb them.

It makes perfect sense that Israeli leaders are loath to condemn the rise of white supremacy. After all, they have a different enemy they want to sell to us.

This Zionist strategy was also central to the diplomatic process that led to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour announced his government’s support for “the establishment of a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people.” Although Balfour has long been lionized as a Zionist hero, he wasn’t particularly well known for his love for Jews or the Jewish people. When he was prime minister, his government passed the 1905 Aliens Act, severely restricting immigration at a time in which persecuted Jews were emigrating from Eastern Europe. At the time, Balfour spoke of the “undoubted evils which had fallen on the country from an alien immigration which was largely Jewish.” Balfour, like many Christians of his class, “did not believe that Jews could be assimilated into Gentile British society.”

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that Israeli leaders are loath to condemn the rise of white supremacy. After all, they have a different enemy they want to sell to us. They want us to buy their Islamophobic narrative that “radical Muslim extremism” is the most serious threat to the world today. And you can be sure they view Palestinians as an integral part of this threat.

We cannot underestimate how important this narrative is to Israel’s foreign policy — indeed, to its own sense of validation in the international community. Netanyahu is so committed to this idea, in fact, that two years ago he actually went as far as to blame Palestinians for starting the Holocaust itself. In a speech to the Zionist Congress, he claimed that in 1941, the Palestinian Grand Mufti convinced Hitler to launch a campaign of extermination against European Jewry at a time when Hitler only wanted to expel them. This ludicrous historical falsehood was so over the top that a German government spokesperson eventually released a statement that essentially said, “No, that’s not true. Actually, the Holocaust was our fault.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu is pursuing an alliance with the anti-Semitic populist Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán. When Netanyahu recently traveled to Hungary to meet with Orbán, leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community publicly criticized Netanyahu, accusing him of “betrayal.”

If there was ever any doubt about the profound threat that white supremacy poses to us all, we’d best be ready to willing grasp it now. White supremacy is not a thing of the past and it’s not merely the domain of extremists. It has also been a central guiding principle of Western foreign policy for almost a century. To those who claim that so-called Islamic extremism is the greatest threat to world peace today, we would do well to respond that the US military has invaded, occupied and/or bombed 14 Muslim-majority countries since 1980 — and this excludes coups against democratically elected governments, torture, and imprisonment of Muslims with no charges. Racism and Islamophobia inform our nation’s military interventions in ways that are obvious to most of the world, even if they aren’t to us. It is disingenuous to even begin to consider the issue of radical Islamic violence until we begin to reckon with the ways we wield our overwhelming military power abroad.

So, as we observe Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, where are we supposed to go from here? I would suggest that the answer, as ever, is solidarity.

Let’s return to the horrid events at Temple Beth Israel in Charlottesville. As it turned out, the local police didn’t show up to protect the synagogue that Shabbat — but many community members did. The synagogue’s president later noted that several non-Jews attended services as an act of solidarity — and that at least a dozen strangers stopped by that morning asking if congregants wanted them to stand with their congregation.

Another example: Last February, when Chicago’s Loop Synagogue was vandalized with broken windows and swastikas by someone who was later discovered to be a local white supremacist, the very first statement of solidarity came from the Chicago office of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Their executive director, Ahmed Rehab, said:

Chicago’s Muslim community stands in full solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters as they deal with the trauma of this vile act of hate. No American should have to feel vulnerable and at risk simply due to their religious affiliation.

Here’s another example: last Friday, protests filled the streets of St. Louis after a white former city policeman, Jason Stockley, was found not guilty of the first-degree murder of Anthony Lamar Smith, a Black 24-year-old whom he shot to death on December 20, 2011. The St. Louis police eventually used tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators. Some of the demonstrators retreated to Central Reform Congregation of St. Louis, which opened its doors to the protesters. The police actually followed them and surrounded the synagogue. During the standoff, a surge of anti-Semitic statements trended on Twitter under the hashtag #GasTheSynagogue. (Yes, this actually happened last week, though it was not widely covered by the mainstream media.)

This must be our response to white supremacy: that a threat to any one of us is a threat to all.

Just one more example: last January, a 27-year year-old man entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on a room filled with Muslim worshippers, killing six men and wounding another 16. The following week, Holy Blossom Temple, a Toronto synagogue organized an action in which multifaith groups formed protective circles around at least half a dozen mosques. It was inspired by the “Ring of Peace” created by about 1,000 Muslims around an Oslo synagogue in 2015, following a string of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe by Muslim gunmen.

This must be our response to white supremacy: that a threat to any one of us is a threat to all. That we are stronger together. This is the movement we need to build.

However, even as we make this commitment to one another, we cannot assume that oppression impacts all of us equally. This point was made very powerfully in a recent blog post by Mimi Arbeit, a white Jewish educator/scientist/activist from Charlottesville, so I’ll quote her directly:

Jews should be fighting Nazis. And — at the same time — we White-presenting White-privileged Jews need to understand that we are fighting Nazis in the US within the very real context of centuries of anti-Black racism. I have been face to face with Nazis and yes I see the swastikas and I see the anti-semitic signs and I hear the taunts and I respect the fear of the synagogue in downtown Charlottesville — AND please believe me when I say that they are coming for Black people first. It is Black people who the Nazis are seeking out, Black neighborhoods that are being targeted, anti-Black terrorism that is being perpetrated. So. Jews need to be fighting Nazis in this moment. And. At the same time. If we are fighting Nazis expecting them to look like German anti-Semitic prototypes, we will be betraying ourselves and our comrades of color. We need to fight Nazis in the US within the context of US anti-Black racism. We need to be anti-fascist and anti-racist with every breath, with every step.

To this I would only add that when it comes to state violence, it is people of color — particularly Black Americans — who are primarily targeted. While white Jews understandably feel vulnerable at this particular moment, we still dwell under an “all encompassing shelter of white privilege.” We will never succeed in building a true movement of solidarity unless we reckon honestly with the “very real context of centuries of anti-Black racism.”

I’ve said a great deal about clarity here, but I don’t want to underestimate in any way the challenges that lay before us. I realize this kind of “clarity” can feel brutal — like a harsh light that reflexively causes one to close one’s eyes tightly. On the other hand, I know there are many who have had their eyes wide open to these issues for quite some time now.

Either way, we can’t afford to look away much longer. We can’t allow ourselves the luxury to grieve over dreams lost — particularly the ones that were really more illusions than dreams in the first place.

On Rosh Hashanah, the gates are open wide. This is the time of year we are asked to look deep within, unflinchingly, so that we might discern the right way forward. We can no longer put off the work we know we must do, no matter how daunting or overwhelming it might feel. But at the same time, we can only greet the New Year together. We cannot do it alone. Our liturgy is incorrigibly first person, plural — today we vow to set our lives and our world right, and we will be alongside one another.

So here we are. We’ve just said goodbye to one horrid year. The gates are opening before us. Let’s take each other’s hands and walk through them together.

Shanah Tovah / Happy New Year.

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Zionist Chief Stooge at Westminster Shames Us Again

NOVANEWS
Israel’s Chief Stooge at Westminster Shames Us Again

PM Theresa May holds a reception at Downing Street to celebrate the upcoming Jewish New Year. Image credit: Number 10/ flickr
By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune 

“As Prime Minister, I am proud to say that I support Israel. And it is absolutely right that we should mark the vital role that Britain played a century ago in helping to create a homeland for the Jewish people.”

Thus spoke Theresa May the other day as she welcomed members of the Jewish community to 10 Downing Street. But by focusing on creating a homeland for the Jewish people she’s also celebrating the hell that Balfour’s Declaration created for the gentle Palestinians and for the rest of the region. “Born of that letter, the pen of Balfour, and of the efforts of so many people, is a remarkable country,” said May, apparently blind to the reality.

Right now we’re on the run-up to the centenary of what is arguably the biggest foreign policy blunder in British history: the Balfour Declaration. In 1917 Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary, bowed to Zionist demands for a homeland for the Jews in Palestine and gave an undertaking that set the world on course for long-term turmoil and, for the native Palestinians, unspeakable misery, dispossession and displacement. It was a criminal conspiracy. And Balfour was an A-list idiot who bragged that he wasn’t even going to consult the local Arab population about this theft of their homes and lands.

Yet he remains a hero of the Conservative Party which, led by Theresa May, plans to celebrate this hundred-year “running sore” — as Lord Sydenham called it — in great style, inviting Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu to the festivities. That’s if the mad-dog warmonger isn’t under arrest by then on imminent charges of corruption back home.

“I will always do whatever it takes to keep our Jewish community safe,” May added. “Through our new definition of anti-Semitism we will call out anyone guilty of any language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews. We will actively encourage the use of this definition by the police, the legal profession, universities and other public bodies.”

She was referring to the  International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

BDS “unsucessful”? Really?

One of May’s Cabinet minsiters, Sajid Javid, told the World Jewish Congress that the UK would celebrate the upcoming anniversary with pride. “Someone said we should apologise for the Declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen.” To apologise, he said, would be to apologise for the existence of Israel and to question its right to exist.

Instead, he emphasised the UK government’s intolerance towards any kind of boycott of Israel. “I’ll be 100 per cent clear. I do not support calls for a boycott, my party does not support calls for a boycott. For all its bluster, the BDS campaign is most notable I think, for its lack of success….  As long as I’m in government, as long as I’m in politics, I will do everything in my power to fight back against those who seek to undermine Israel.” The UK, he said, has maintained close diplomatic, trade and security ties with Israel since its inception, and is counted upon by Israel to vote in its favour at the UN and other international institutions.

As Noam Chomsky has aptly observed: “People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.”

Israel lobby stooges like May and Javid continue trying to ram their pro-Zionist nonsense down our throats despite the fact that last time they attacked the successful BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, warning that her government would “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”, they came spectacularly unstuck. 200 legal scholars and practising lawyers from all over Europe put May in her place by pointing out that BDS is a lawful exercise of freedom of expression and outlawing it undermines a basic human right protected by international convention. Her efforts to repress it amounted to support for Israel’s violations of international law and failure to honour the solemn pledge by States to ‘strictly respect the aims and principles of the Charter of the United Nations’.

May needs a crash course in human rights

Top legal experts were recently asked for their views by Free Speech on Israel, Independent Jewish Voices, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Their verdict was that those in public life cannot behave in a manner inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for freedom of expression and applies not only to information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also to those that “offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population”.

What’s more, there is an obligation to allow all concerned in public debate “to express their opinions and ideas without fear, even if these opinions and ideas are contrary to those defended by the official authorities or by a large part of public opinion, or even if those opinions and ideas are irritating or offensive to the public”. Article 10 says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression including “freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says the same sort of thing, subject of course to the usual limitations required by law and respect for the rights of others.

Eminent human rights lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC has sharply criticised the anti-Semitism definition touted by May. Firstly, it isn’t a legally binding definition so doesn’t have the force of a statutory one. And it cannot be considered a legal definition as it lacks clarity. Therefore any conduct contrary to the IHRA definition couldn’t necessarily be ruled illegal.

He says it was “most unsatisfactory for the Government to adopt a definition which lacks clarity and comprehensiveness” and suggests the Government’s decision to adopt the IHRA definition was simply a freestanding statement of policy — a mere suggestion as to a definition of anti-Semitism that public bodies might wish to use. But no public body was under an obligation to adopt or use it, or should be criticised for refusing to. He warned that if a public authority did decide to adopt the definition then it must interpret it in a way that’s consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights mentioned above.

A further obligation put on public authorities is “to create a favourable environment for participation in public debates for all concerned, allowing them to express their opinions and ideas without fear, even if these opinions and ideas are contrary to those defended by the official authorities or by a large part of public opinion, or even if those opinions and ideas are irritating or offensive to the public”.

According to Tomlinson, then, the IHRA definition doesn’t mean that calling Israel an apartheid state that practises settler colonialism, or urging BDS against Israel, can properly be characterized as anti-Semitic. Furthermore, a public authority seeking to apply the IHRA definition in order to prohibit or punish such activities “would be acting unlawfully.”

Retired Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Stephen Sedley, has weighed in bycriticising the IHRA definition for lack of legal force. “It is not neutral: it may well influence policy both domestically and internationally.” He added that the right of free expression, now part of our domestic law by virtue of the Human Rights Act, “places both negative and positive obligations on the state which may be put at risk if the IHRA definition is unthinkingly followed”. Moreover the 1986 Education Act established an individual right of free expression in all higher education institutions “which cannot be cut back by governmental policies”.

Sedley felt the IHRA definition was open to manipulation. “What is needed now is a principled retreat on the part of government from a stance which it has naively adopted.”

As for Javid’s crack about not having to apologise for Israel’s existence, he must have forgotten that in the wake of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which granted the Jews territory within defined borders, they declared statehood in 1948 without borders, grabbing as much extra land as they could by armed terror and ethnic cleansing.  The new state of Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949 was conditional upon honouring the UN Charter and implementing UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 and 194. It has failed to do so and to this day repeatedly violates provisions and principles of the Charter.

When the UK Conservative Government makes pronouncements on foreign affairs it pays to consider that 80 percent of its MPs are claimed to be signed-up members of Friends of Israel and this is a stepping-stone to higher office. Conservative Friends of Israel, according to their website, are active at every level of the party.

It is sad that so many of our politicians are so spineless and so insecure that they feel the need to herd together under the flag of what the UN has called a racist state.

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Dangerous Words of Escalation: Trump Threatens to Abandon Iran’s Nuclear Deal

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Dangerous Words of Escalation: Trump Threatens to Abandon Iran’s Nuclear Deal as Israeli Officials Call for Action Against Iran

 

Once again, the annual United Nations General Assembly is taking place in New York City with U.S. President Donald Trump set to take center stage as he is expected to focus on the North Korean Crisis and the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As the Western media’s attention has been focused on the North Korea crisis (which is also another very serious matter), another development has been taking place in Tel Aviv, as calls for action by Israeli officials against Iran’s Nuclear Program although it’s not a new development (it’s been going on for many years). Channel 2 on Israeli TV reported that Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is calling on the Israeli government to take action against the Iranian government. The Times of Israel reported that

 “Channel 2 on Sunday paraphrased Cohen as asserting that “Today’s Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and so we need to act now so that we don’t wake up to [an Iranian] bomb.”

The report also mentioned that other security officials

“are warning that Israel should not be pushing the US into another Middle Eastern adventure, given what happened when the US tackled Iraq and Saddam’s ostensible weapons of mass destruction over a decade ago.”

However, Netanyahu wants the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to be amended or canceled.

“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” said Netanyahu in Buenos Aires” the report said.

Netanyahu will meet with Trump and will hold a brief press conference before they go behind closed doors to talk about the Iran Nuclear Deal, Syria and Israel’s future conflict with Hezbollah. The Associated Press (AP) mentioned that the Trump administration has threatened to walk away from the nuclear deal:

U.S. President Donald Trump warned Monday that Washington will walk away from a nuclear deal it agreed to with Iran and five other nations if it deems that the International Atomic Energy Agency is not tough enough in monitoring it

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry quoted Trump at the U.N. agency’s annual meeting in Vienna according to the AP report and said that the deal could either “stand or fail on IAEA access to Iranian military sites, declaring “we will not accept a weakly enforced or inadequately monitored deal.” Arutz Sheva 7 (www.israelnationalnews.com) also reported on what Amos Yadlin, the Executive Director at the Tel Aviv University Institute for National Security Studies had said about Barack Obama who he claims was not an appropriate partner and that the Trump White House was supportive to Israel’s cause:

According to Amos, Netanyahu did not act before now because former US President Barack Obama was not an appropriate partner.

“In 2015, I suggested the Prime Minister sit with the US government and make a strategy for dealing with this problematic agreement,” he explained. “Back then, Netanyahu said we didn’t have a partner in the White House.”

“Thankfully, today we have a supportive government which understands the threat very well, especially in light of what is happening with North Korea. We can’t let this opportunity deteriorate into simple rhetoric, we need to make a general strategy. We need to fight Iran determinedly in every way, including those not included in the Iran deal, such as ballistic missiles, Iran’s support of terror, and their involvement in Syria. We also need to strengthen our supervision of them and collect better intelligence.

“There needs to be an Israeli-American agreement which supports our understanding that Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon, and detailing when and how we will work together to ensure our success”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano confirmed that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitment’s. Amano said that the

“the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under (the 2015 nuclear deal) are being implemented.” Amano continued “the verification regime in Iran is the most robust regime which currently exists. We have increased the inspection days in Iran, we have increased inspector numbers … and the number of images has increased,” he said, “From a verification point of view, it is a clear and significant gain.”

Will the Trump administration ignore the IAEA’s statement that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal? Haaretz also reported what Yisrael Katz, Israel’s Intelligence Affairs Minister had said about Iran’s Nuclear Deal:

Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said:

“The first mission of the Israeli prime minister during his upcoming visit to the United States is to demand that the U.S. president suspend, amend or annul the nuclear agreement with Iran,” said Katz. “Iran is the new North Korea. Action should be taken against it now, lest we regret tomorrow what we did not do yesterday”

Israel wants Iran destabilized just like its neighbor, Iraq to weaken its political and economic standing in the Middle East. Iran’s allies are Hezbollah and Syria, enemies to both Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Iran is an economic and military power which can challenge the U.S. and Israel’s hegemonic power in the region. Netanyahu is trying to influence Trump’s decision to terminate the nuclear deal, which would put the U.S. on the fast track to war with Iran. Netanyahu would welcome an attack on Iran by U.S. forces which would free Israel’s military and allow it to focus on Hezbollah and possibly Syria in the next conflict with help from Saudi Arabia. It’s been a long-term goal of Washington’s political establishment and Netanyahu to realign the Middle East in Israel’s favor. With Trump in the White House, the Israeli’s see an opportunity while the rest of the world sees pure madness.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran0 Comments

Nazi regime: “There Is No Palestine”

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Israel: “There Is No Palestine”, It Cannot be Allowed to Join the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Many think tourism is something Israel and Palestine are agreeing and tourism is a peace industry – they may be wrong.

Besides the confirmation hearing for the next UNWTO Secretary General, another important decision is the application by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Tourism for a full membership as a country into the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The application for Palestine was submitted last year and the full General Assembly has to agree with a two third majority to accept Palestine as a new country to join the organization. The full General Assembly is getting together in Chengdu, China next week. Palestine became a full member of UNESCO in 2011.

Tourism is an important revenue channel for Palestine and also Israel. However, Israel is indirectly in control of Palestine tourism since all international borders are controlled by the Jewish State. The UNWTO “human right for tourists to travel” does not always apply when it comes to visiting Palestine, and having to deal with Israel’s rules.

From time to time, Israel puts more restrictions on tourism to Palestine, including disallowing western visitors to re-enter Israel when staying in a hotel in Palestine.

However, cooperation between Palestine and Israel is an important and successful activity, and organizations including the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism and its founder Louis D’Amore had worked tirelessly for decades to make both Israel and Palestine understand the importance of tourism and peace. Louis d’Amore will be attending the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu next week.

The Israel Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said that Israel’s position is that the “State Of Palestine” does not exist, and therefore it cannot be accepted as a state in the UN or in any of its affiliated organizations.

Israel, of course, knows money always talks, and diplomatic pressure has been put on Taleb Rifai, the current Jordanian Secretary General to disallow Palestine’s move. Money talks and Israel’s foreign ministry threatened: Granting state membership to the Palestinians will lead to a greater politicization of the organization and a cut in funding. Furthermore, the Jewish State continues its pressure on UWNTO member states saying:

“We are not expecting any negative impact on Israel or its continued activity in the organization – the expected damage will be to the organization itself.”

“Israel has taken all diplomatic measures to block the request,” an Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Jerusalem Post.

The United States of America is not a member of UNWTO, but Israel Israel has also involved the Americans, who have warned the Palestinians that their joining the organization could have consequences in their relations with the US.

The application for Palestine is expected to be confirmed, especially since countries who could be counted on to support Israel and vote against the move – such as the US, Canada, the U.K.and Australia – are not members of the UNWTO.

Having Palestine as a full voting member of this global community could be an important step forward to secure peace and expand on tourism making the occupied territory seen less occupied and more independent.

 

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How Palestinians Can Reverse Israel’s Divide and Conquer Tactics

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How Palestinians Can Reverse Israel’s Divide and Conquer Tactics

 

Oslo allowed Israel to reduce Palestinians to disparate fragments, each with their own challenge to merely survive. It’s time to reset that reality and view the Palestinians for what they are — physically fragmented, politically divided, but a whole people.

 

Featured image: Palestinian youths force open a gate in the Israeli separation wall, built on land belonging to the village of Bil’in, which leads to the Israeli settlement of Modi’in Ilit, also built on village land, February 17, 2017. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Most veteran observers, including Israeli security authorities and Palestinian leadership, were dumbfounded by recent events in Jerusalem, where tens of thousands of Palestinians mobilized non-violently in response to the Israeli closure of the Old City and placement of metal detectors at the entrance of the Dome of Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. What was the secret ingredient that made such a mass action take place and be a successful example in Palestinian non-violent resistance to the 50 years of Israeli military occupation? How did it happen so spontaneously, non-violently and with seemingly no leadership?

A new report by the group, titled, Relations Between Palestinians Across the Green Line (Arabic here, English translation forthcoming), in the works for over two years, may hold the answer to some of these questions. For months, a group of dedicated Palestinian analysts, activists, intellectuals and politicians working with the Palestine Strategy Group (PSG) have been meeting to explore an angle of the Palestinians reality that is many times ignored—the relationship between the Palestinians living inside Israel, today coined as Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

Transcending artificial boundaries

The report identifies Jerusalem as a place where, paradoxically, the boundaries of Israel and Palestine collapse — a site for joint work, cooperation and struggle against Israel’s colonial policies. Many political leaders (Palestinian members of Knesset, as well as Jerusalemites, Fatah members, Hamas-affiliated academics, etc.) who were part of the group that produced the report testified to the existing, nascent cooperation and possibility and need to further develop it.

Even beyond the recent developments in Jerusalem, there are also indications of grassroots and bottom-up engagements transcending conventional and formal realms of political engagement elsewhere. The cross-border mobilization and cooperation to address the Prawer Plan, for instance, a 2011 Israeli government plan to forcibly relocate some 40,000 Bedouin citizens living in dozens of villages in Israel’s Negev desert, was identified as additional proof to this growing phenomenon of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line finding common ground.

The PSG report starts with stating an obvious, but no less bold, fact that

“Fifty years after the Israeli occupation and forced annexation of Palestinians under Israel’s discriminatory ruling regime, political projects associated with ending the occupation and attaining full citizenship have ended in stalemate.”

That statement is not groundbreaking in and of itself. When coupled with the following realization, however, it provides more than just food for thought — it also sheds light on this rather invisible phenomenon which has the potential to rejuvenate the entire Palestinian national liberation movement. The report continues:

“In light of different political projects, national cohesion among the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line is a key tool to create a unified, collective umbrella that allows networking, empowerment and development. While it does not abolish political specificities, this umbrella will seek to integrate political projects. Every component of these projects will support the other with a view to realizing respective demands, including ending the occupation of the 1967 territory, return of the refugees, full citizenship, and individual and collective equality inside the Green Line.”

A new Palestinian agency?

The strategy presented is premised on two hypotheses. First, is the need to maintain a clear distinction between the national and the political realms. That means an inclusive Palestinian national project that brings together all Palestinian people — those under occupation in the (New) State of Palestine, those in Israel, and those refugees and diaspora abroad. Secondly, discrepant political interests and perceptions of Palestinian groups need to be viewed as complementary, rather than contradictory to one another. Doing so means embracing diversity, transforming it from a source of divisions into a foundation for rebuilding a national project.

It is important to emphasize that support, networking and joint action of Palestinians across the Green Line have always been in place. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian party leaders inside Israel have acted in concert and coordinated with and supported each other on innumerable occasions. However, coordination always took place beyond any institutional frameworks. Oftentimes, the report notes, “collaboration was arbitrary, individual [and not] bona fide.” Today, this cross-border cooperation is not only targeted, collective and authentic, but has within it the seeds of a new type of Palestinian leadership.

In this context, namely the lack of institutional networking, PSG discussants proposed several potential options to institutionalize relations between Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. A major thrust of the report entertains the “creating an inclusive, apolitical framework for all Palestinians.”

Palestinians are 12 million in number, and stuck in institutional paralysis. The nearly 25-year-old Oslo Peace Process successfully, and sadly, facilitated Israel’s strategic desire to utilize the age-old divide and conquer strategy to reduce Palestinians to disparate fragments, each with their own challenge to merely survive. It’s time to reset that reality and view the Palestinians for what they are, physically fragmented, politically divided, but a whole people nonetheless, from Ramallah to Santiago.

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and I$raHell

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 Image result for MOSSAD AND SAUD FAMILY CARTOON

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia is under a new cloud after a jailed al-Qaeda operative implicated senior Saudi officials as collaborators with the terror group and the shadow could even darken the political future of Israeli Prime Netanyahu because of his odd-couple alliance with Riyadh, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The disclosure that convicted al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui has identified leading members of the Saudi government as financers of the terrorist network potentially reshapes how Americans will perceive events in the Middle East and creates a risk for Israel’s Likud government which has forged an unlikely alliance with some of these same Saudis.

According to a story in the New York Times on Wednesday, Moussaoui said in a prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of the group’s donors and that the list included Prince Turki al-Faisal, then Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar bin Sultan, longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many leading clerics.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas. (White House photo)

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas. (White House photo)

“Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money,” Moussaoui said in imperfect English, “who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad.”

Although Moussaoui’s credibility came under immediate attack from the Saudi kingdom, his assertions mesh with accounts from members of the U.S. Congress who have seen a secret portion of the 9/11 report that addresses alleged Saudi support for al-Qaeda.

Further complicating the predicament for Saudi Arabia is that, more recently, Saudi and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms have been identified as backers of Sunni militants fighting in Syria to overthrow the largely secular regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The major rebel force benefiting from this support is al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

In other words, the Saudis appear to have continued a covert relationship with al-Qaeda-connected jihadists to the present day.

The Israeli Exposure

And, like the Saudis, the Israelis have sided with the Sunni militants in Syria because the Israelis share the Saudi view that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Tehran and Baghdad to Damascus and Beirut is the greatest threat to their interests in the Middle East.

That shared concern has pushed Israel and Saudi Arabia into a de facto alliance, though the collaboration between Jerusalem and Riyadh has been mostly kept out of the public eye. Still, it has occasionally peeked out from under the covers as the two governments deploy their complementary assets Saudi oil and money and Israeli political and media clout in areas where they have mutual interests.

In recent years, these historic enemies have cooperated in their joint disdain for the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt (which was overthrown in 2013), in seeking the ouster of the Assad regime in Syria, and in pressing for a more hostile U.S. posture toward Iran.

Israel and Saudi Arabia also have collaborated in efforts to put the squeeze on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is deemed a key supporter of both Iran and Syria. The Saudis have used their power over oil production to drive down prices and hurt Russia’s economy, while U.S. neoconservatives who share Israel’s geopolitical world view were at the forefront of the coup that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

The behind-the-scenes Israeli-Saudi alliance has put the two governments uncomfortably at times on the side of Sunni jihadists battling Shiite influence in Syria, Lebanon and even Iraq. On Jan. 18, 2015, for instance, Israel attacked Lebanese-Iranian advisers assisting Assad’s government in Syria, killing several members of Hezbollah and an Iranian general. These military advisors were engaged in operations against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from attacking Nusra Front militants who have seized Syrian territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. One source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria told me that Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with these Nusra forces.

An Odd Alliance

Israel’s odd-couple alliances with Sunni interests have evolved over the past several years, as Israel and Saudi Arabia emerged as strange bedfellows in the geopolitical struggle against Shiite-ruled Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and southern Lebanon. In Syria, for instance, senior Israelis have made clear they would prefer Sunni extremists to prevail in the civil war rather than Assad, who is an Alawite, a branch of Shiite Islam.

In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Skepticism and Doubt

In August 2013, when I first reported on the growing relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia in an article entitled “The Saudi-Israeli Superpower,” the story was met with much skepticism. But, increasingly, this secret alliance has gone public.

On Oct. 1, 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted at it in his United Nations General Assembly speech, which was largely devoted to excoriating Iran over its nuclear program and threatening a unilateral Israeli military strike.

Amid the bellicosity, Netanyahu dropped in a largely missed clue about the evolving power relationships in the Middle East, saying: “The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

The next day, Israel’s Channel 2 TV news reported that senior Israeli security officials had met with a high-level Gulf state counterpart in Jerusalem, believed to be Prince Bandar, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States who was then head of Saudi intelligence.

The reality of this unlikely alliance has now even reached the mainstream U.S. media. For instance, Time magazine correspondent Joe Klein described the new coziness in an article in the Jan. 19, 2015 issue.

He wrote: “On May 26, 2014, an unprecedented public conversation took place in Brussels. Two former high-ranking spymasters of Israel and Saudi Arabia Amos Yadlin and Prince Turki al-Faisal sat together for more than an hour, talking regional politics in a conversation moderated by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.

“They disagreed on some things, like the exact nature of an Israel-Palestine peace settlement, and agreed on others: the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat, the need to support the new military government in Egypt, the demand for concerted international action in Syria. The most striking statement came from Prince Turki. He said the Arabs had ‘crossed the Rubicon’ and ‘don’t want to fight Israel anymore.’”

Though Klein detected only the bright side of this détente, there was a dark side as well, as referenced in Moussaoui’s deposition, which identified Prince Turki as one of al-Qaeda’s backers. Perhaps even more unsettling was his listing of Prince Bandar, who had long presented himself as a U.S. friend, so close to the Bush Family that he was nicknamed “Bandar Bush.”

Moussaoui claimed that he discussed a plan to shoot down Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, at a time when Bandar was the ambassador to the United States.

According to the New York Times article by Scott Shane, Moussaoui said he was assigned to “find a location where it may be suitable to launch a Stinger attack and then, after, be able to escape,” but that he was arrested on Aug. 16, 2001, before he could carry out the reconnaissance mission.

The thought of anyone in the Saudi embassy, then under the control of “Bandar Bush,” scheming with al-Qaeda to shoot down George W. Bush’s Air Force One is shocking, if true. The notion would have been considered unthinkable even after the 9/11 attacks, which involved 15 Saudis among the 19 hijackers.

After those terror attacks which killed nearly 3,000 Americans, Bandar went to the White House and persuaded Bush to arrange for the rapid extraction of bin Laden’s family members and other Saudis in the United States. Bush agreed to help get those Saudi nationals out on the first flights allowed back into the air.

Bandar’s intervention undercut the FBI’s chance to learn more about the ties between Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 perpetrators by giving FBI agents only time for cursory interviews with the departing Saudis.

Bandar himself was close to the bin Laden family and acknowledged having met Osama bin Laden in the context of bin Laden thanking Bandar for his help financing the jihad project in Afghanistan during the 1980s. “I was not impressed, to be honest with you,” Bandar toldCNN’s Larry King about bin Laden. “I thought he was simple and very quiet guy.”

The Saudi government claimed to have broken ties with bin Laden in the early 1990s when he began targeting the United States because President George H.W. Bush had stationed U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, but if Moussaoui is telling the truth al-Qaeda would have still counted Bandar among its supporters in the late 1990s.

Bandar and Putin

Bandar’s possible links to Sunni terrorism also emerged in 2013 during a confrontation between Bandar and Putin over what Putin viewed as Bandar’s crude threat to unleash Chechen terrorists against the Sochi Winter Olympics if Putin did not reduce his support for the Syrian government.

According to a leaked diplomatic account of a July 31, 2013 meeting in Moscow, Bandar informed Putin that Saudi Arabia had strong influence over Chechen extremists who had carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Russian targets and who had since deployed to join the fight against the Assad regime in Syria.

As Bandar called for a Russian shift toward the Saudi position on Syria, he reportedly offered guarantees of protection from Chechen terror attacks on the Olympics. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year,” Bandar reportedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

Putin responded, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism.”

Bandar’s Mafia-like threat toward the Sochi games a version of “nice Olympics you got here, it’d be a shame if something terrible happened to it” failed to intimidate Putin, who continued to support Assad.

Less than a month later, an incident in Syria almost forced President Barack Obama’s hand in launching U.S. air strikes against Assad’s military, which would have possibly opened the path for the Nusra Front or the Islamic State to capture Damascus and take control of Syria. On Aug. 21, 2013, a mysterious sarin attack outside Damascus killed hundreds and, in the U.S. media, the incident was immediately blamed on the Assad regime.

American neocons and their allied “liberal interventionists” demanded that Obama launch retaliatory air strikes even though some U.S. intelligence analysts doubted that Assad’s forces were responsible and suspected that the attack was carried out by extremist rebels trying to pull the U.S. military into the civil war on their side.

Yet, pushed by the neocons and liberal war hawks, Obama nearly ordered a bombing campaign designed to “degrade” the Syrian military but called it off at the last minute. He then accepted Putin’s help in reaching a diplomatic solution in which Assad agreed to surrender his entire chemical weapons arsenal, while still denying any role in the sarin attack.

Later, the Assad-did-it case crumbled amid new evidence that Sunni extremists, supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, were the more likely perpetrators of the attack, a scenario that became increasingly persuasive as Americans learned more about the cruelty and ruthlessness of many Sunni jihadists fighting in Syria. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mistaken Guns of Last August.”]

Targeting Putin

Putin’s cooperation with Obama to head off a U.S. military strike in Syria made the Russian president more of a target for the American neocons who thought they finally had reached the cusp of their long-desired “regime change” in Syria only to be blocked by Putin. By late September 2013, a leading neocon, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, announced the goal of challenging Putin and recognizing his sore point in Ukraine.

Taking to the Washington Post’s op-ed page on Sept. 26, 2013, Gershman called Ukraine “the biggest prize” and an important step toward ultimately ousting Putin. Gershman wrote, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents.   Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.“]

However, in early 2014, Putin was obsessed with Bandar’s implicit threat of terrorism striking the Sochi Olympics, thus distracting him from the “regime change” being pushed by NED and neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland next door in Ukraine.

On Feb. 22, 2014, putschists, spearheaded by well-organized neo-Nazi militias, drove elected President Viktor Yanukovych and his government from power. Putin was caught off-guard and, in the resulting political chaos, agreed to requests from Crimean officials and voters to accept Crimea back into Russia, thus exploding his cooperative relationship with Obama.

With Putin the new pariah in Official Washington, the neocon hand also was strengthened in the Middle East where renewed pressure could be put on the “Shiite crescent” in Syria and Iran. However, in summer 2014, the Islamic State, which had splintered off from al-Qaeda and its Nusra Front, went on a rampage, invading Iraq where captured soldiers were beheaded. The Islamic State then engaged in gruesome videotaped decapitations of Western hostages inside Syria.

The Islamic State’s brutality and the threat it posed to the U.S.-backed, Shiite-dominated government of Iraq changed the political calculus. Obama felt compelled to launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria. American neocons tried to convince Obama to expand the Syrian strikes to hit Assad’s forces, too, but Obama realized such a plan would only benefit the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

In effect, the neocons were showing their hand much as Israeli Ambassador Oren had done favoring the Sunni extremists allied with al-Qaeda over Assad’s secular regime because it was allied with Iran. Now, with Moussaoui’s deposition identifying senior Saudi officials as patrons of al-Qaeda, another veil seems to have dropped.

Complicating matters further, Moussaoui also claimed that he passed letters between Osama bin Laden and then Crown Prince Salman, who recently became king upon the death of his brother King Abdullah.

But Moussaoui’s disclosure perhaps cast the most unflattering light on Bandar, the erstwhile confidant of the Bush Family who — if Moussaoui is right — may have been playing a sinister double game.

Also facing potentially embarrassing questions is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, especially if he goes through with his planned speech before a joint session of Congress next month, attacking Obama for being soft on Iran.

And, America’s neocons might have some explaining to do about why they have carried water not just for the Israelis but for Israel’s de facto allies in Saudi Arabia.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Saudi Arabia, Syria0 Comments

August 2017 report: 522 Palestinians arrested by Nazi occupation

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Palestinian prisoners’ institutions released their monthly report on Palestinian prisoners and detainees of the Nazi illegal occupation for August 2017. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission compiled the report below. Translation by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

In August 2017, Israeli occupation forces continued their policy of arbitrary detention against hundreds of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory and their ongoing practices which violate international humanitarian and human rights law.

Arrest Statistics

In August 2017, 522 Palestinians were arrested by Nazi occupation forces, including 130 children and 16 women.

According to the documentation of the prisoner support organizations, 194 Palestinians were arrested from Jerusalem, 70 from al-Khalil, 50 from Ramallah, 45 from Nablus, 38 from Bethlehem, 33 from Jenin, 27 from Tulkarem, 24 from Qalqilya, 19 from Salfit, 11 from Jericho, seven from Tubas and four from the Gaza Strip.

The total number of Palestinian prisoners in Nazi Camp’s reached 6300 prisoners, 64 of whom are women. Among them are 10 minor girls and 300 boys, 450 administrative detainees imprisoned without charge or trial and 12 detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

134 administrative detention orders were issued in August for imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial; 61 were new orders and 73 were renewal orders, as administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable.

The Arrest of Human Rights Defenders

Article 1 of the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1998, providing that: “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.” Despite this, the occupation continues to arrest and prosecute activists and human rights defenders.

On 23 August, Nazi occupation forces arrested a human rights defender, Salah Hamouri, a field researcher for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, after invading his home in the town of Kufr Aqab north of Jerusalem, ransacking it. Hamouri has been arrested more than once. He was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison in a plea bargain but was released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011. A few days after his arrest, he was initially released on several conditions:
1) House imprisonment in the village of Reineh in occupied Palestine ’48 for 20 days
2) Travel ban for 3 months
3) Expulsion from the city of Jerusalem for 90 days
4) Paying a bail of 10,000 NIS ($3,800 USD)

However, before he was to be released, he was instead issued a 6-month administrative detention order. When brought before the court for confirmation, he was instead sentenced to return to the remainder of his prison sentence from which he was released in 2011, approximately 3 months. The prosecution appealed this sentence, and his 6-month administrative detention order was reimposed.

The arrest of Hamouri is an example of the arbitrary detention targeting human rights defenders and human rights activists for imprisonment, with the goal of preventing them from playing their role in the community in raising awareness and defending the rights and freedoms of the people. It is notewirthy that Hamouri was arrested more than once, during which he was subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment, most recently in 2004, after which he was imprisoned for nearly 7 years before being released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar agreement.

During his detention in 2004, he was offered a plea bargain by the Nazi occupation authorities to deport him to France for 10 years, since he is a French citizen, instead of sentencing him, but he refused the offer and stayed in Palestine. After he was released, he was subjected to several arbitrary practices by the Nazi occupation forces. He was issued an order preventing him from entering the West Bank twice, and the period of his prohibition was a year and a half.

In 2016, Nazi occupation officials deported his pregnant wife Elsa, a French citizen, and banned her from Palestine for 10 years, with their child, Hassan, who she is forced to raise away from his father. Finally, all of his requests for the right to family reunification have been refused as an arbitrary punitive measure against Salah and his family.

Extrajudicial Killings: The Case of the Martyr Raed al-Salhi from Dheisheh Camp

The policy of field executions and shooting to kill is not a surprising action committed by individuals, but is instead a deliberate and systematic policy approve at the highest levels of the occupying power. Statements made by the government officials of the occupation state in the media or directly in proposals from members of the government emphasized the need to reduce the legal requirements for the use of live ammunition against Palestinians, to the extent that it constitutes a breach of international law.

Since September 2015, human rights organizations have been monitoring and documenting cases in which occupation forces engaged in extrajudicial executions of Palestinian civilians, by shooting at the upper body with intent to kill (areas between the head and abdomen) during demonstrations and confrontations that broke out in most of the occupied Palestinian territories.

The occupation did not hesitate to use this method even during the implementation of its arrest raids and invasions carried out by the army in Palestinian camps, villages and cities. On 9 August 2017, in the early hours of the morning, the Nazi occupation forces invaded the Dheisheh refugee camp, east of Bethlehem city, in order to carry out a campaign of arrestts of youth in the camp.

Occupation forces opened fire at point-blank range on the young Abdel-Aziz Arafa, who was wounded in the left leg by live ammunition, and Raed Salhi, who was critically wounded after being shot six times during his arrest. He was martyred on 3 September 2017 as a result of his injuries. He was directly wounded in the liver and kidney by live ammunition, and through field testimony collected from the families of the youths and others, it was confirmed that the army deliberately fired live ammunition at him, carrying out a field execution.

The prisoner, Bassam al-Salhi, the brother of Raed Salhi, said:

“On 9 August 2017 at 3:43 am, I was woken from my sleep by my mother’s voice screaming and crying, saying that the army is killing people and that they fired inside the house specifically. When I got up I went out to the living room and my mother was crying and screming. She told me that Raed is martyred, that he is wounded and is behind the wall behind our house. I was with my younger brother Mohammed and we went to try to save Raed, going out the door leading to the back wall. I jumped on the balcony to try to get to the back wall, because our houses in the camp are close together. And the occupation forces opened fire on the railings of our neighbors, the soldiers firing heavily. Then I saw a soldier lying on the railings of our home and it looked to me as if he was wounded. I later learned that the soldiers who fired at Raed hit the soldier, and all the soldiers concentrated on evacuating the wounded soldier. I thought I would take advantage of their preoccupation and jumped to the house of the other neighbors, where Raed was lying on the ground near their house, just behind ours. I saw Raed, who was lying on the ground and trying to walk and losing a lot of blood, and I approached him and extended my hand for him to take, but at this moment, one of the Israeli soldiers caught Raed in his laser sight. I dragged him by the hands quickly and his left leg was bleeding. He had a bullet in his leg and he was full of blood, we moved away from the place between the houses until we were settled away from our besieged neighborhood full of soldiers. Throughout this time, Raed was bleeding in large amounts and speaking to me about many things, as if he were dying. He was starting to spit up blood and after about 15 minutes a number of soldiers stormed the place, following the trail of blood. During this time, one of the soldiers asked me to move away from him but I refused, and then a soldier attack me. Another pulled out his gun and fired to frighten me but I did not move. Then the same soldier hit me on my right shoulder and leg and pushed me away by force from Raed. They took him away from me, and a soldier examined his pulse. I did not know what to do. Two soldiers then carried him by his arms and legs and I did not know where they took him after the army left the camp.”

The practice of extrajudicial executions and killings by the Nazi illegall occupation forces is a war crime under international law, under article 8 (a)(i) of the Rome Statute. Murder is a war crime, and therefore the occupation bears full responsibility in this context of war crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

Arrests and Heavy Fines Imposed on Children

In August, the Nazi Jewish courts issued sentences against 39 children and imposed heavy fines on child prisoners, amounting to more than 110,000 NIS ($31,200 USD).

Human rights organizations’ monitoring and documentation showed that in the past month, 59 children were taken to the “Cubs” section of Ofer prison. Of these, 40 were arrested from their homes, 10 on the roads, 3 at the military checkpoints, 4 after being summoned to interrogation and two for lack of possession of work permits.

Four children were arrested after being shot and 13 more were injured. They were beaten and harassed during their arrest and taken to interrogation centers. Sentences issued ranged from one month to 32 months.

The Palestinian institutions consider that the imposition of excessive financial burdens on child prisoners is a major constraint on the future of the child, a form of collective punishment and a major burden amid the prevailing state of poverty, which affects and violates other human rights for themselves and their families. During the prior month, these fines reached the amount of 87,000 NIS. ($24,700 USD).

Legal Concerns

Here, the Palestinian organizations introduce the international humanitarian and human rights law on the human rights of detainees and the legal guarantees it provides, as well as Nazi violations and the legal prohibitions against such violations, as follows:

1 – Legal safeguards relating to the prohibition of arbitrary detention of Palestinian civilians. These arrests violate international human rights law, including the article 9 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976).

2 – The policyof administrative detention by the occupation state, in which detention is carried out on the basis of secret evidence and without any charge against the detainee, violates internationally recognized rights to a fair trial according to the following:

a) It is contrary to Article 11 (1) of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”

b) It violates articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1976, which guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial, to be informed of the charges against them and to be able to defend themselves.

c) The failure to disclose any charges against the person detained under the administrative detention order precludes every possibility of verifying the compliance of the occupying state with Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which states that “If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.” It is impossible to verify whether this detention is permitted without knowing what the reasons have been and are.

d) Not to inform the detained person of the charges against them constitutes a violation of Article 71 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which obliges the occupying power to report charges without delay. They also constitute a violation of article 10 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons in Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment of 1988, which requires the same.

3. The killing of Raed al-Salhi by point-blank shooting is a violation of the right to life under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The practice of extrajudicial executions and killings is a war crime under international law, pursuant to article 8 (2/a/1) of the Rome Statute. Murder is a war crime, and therefore the occupation bears full responsibility in this context amid the upsurge in war crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

4. The detention of children violates Principle 13 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1985, which stipulated that pre-trial detention should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest possible period, as well as providing for protection and social, psychological, educational, professional and medical assistance, which are not provided by the prison administration. The Nazi judiciary imposes heavy fines on children in the framework of collective punishment, contrary to the rules of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Conclusion

This report sustains a number of findings, through our analysis of the practices of occupation authorities and the reality of Palestinian detainees in Nazi Camp’s, as follows:

1) The occupying forces are continuing their grave breaches and systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

2) These Nazi violations have resulted in severe suffering for Palestinian detainees in Nazi Camp’s.

3) The silence of the international community has encouraged the occupying power to increase their violations against Palestinian detainees.

4) The High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions did not play their roles and have in fact encouraged the occupation authorities to escalate their violations.

 

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Hamas to hold free elections as Nazi regime waits to pull the trigger

NOVANEWS
Hamas to hold free elections as Israel waits to pull the trigger

Image result for Hamas LOGO

By Robert Inlakesh – Al-Masdar 

Hamas have released in an official statement that they are ready to hold free elections – for the first time since 2006 – and are going to dissolve their administrative committee.

After a series of talks held in Cairo – in a bid to start repairing the relationship between rivalling Palestinian governmental factions Hamas and Fatah – Hamas has made the decision in order to forward “reconciliation” with the Palestinian Authority.

President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas has been demanding throughout the year that Hamas end its administrative committee, hold free elections and hand the Gaza Strip over to the PA.

Abbas has recently been punishing the population of Gaza in order to get Hamas to hand over power of Gaza and this year has made such moves towards this goal mainly by; dropping the salaries of Gazans who work for the PA by 30-70 percent (sending many below the poverty line), calling on Israel to turn off their electrical supply to Gaza and by refusing to pay for Gaza’s deisel fuel to run their one semi-operational power plant.

The last time Hamas vowed to dissolve its administrative committee and looked as if it was on the way to forming a unity government with Fatah – signing reconciliation deal with the PLO on April of 2014 – Israel ended the possibility with a 50-day onslaught on Gaza, killing over 2 thousand civilians.

The Israeli regime’s government announced on the 10th of August, that it was readying a ground invasion of Gaza, the head of the Israeli Shin Bet, ‘Nadav Argaman’ also recently told the ‘Jerusalem post’ that Hamas are readying for war.

The Likud Party have been losing their popularity in Israel to far-right parties and with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (and his wife) under investigation on the grounds of corruption, the political party is looking for a way to re-gain its popularity. If Netanyahu was to wage war upon Gaza in a bid to prevent a possible Palestinian unity government, the international condemnation of the Israeli onslaught could be scape goated on him, whilst his party are celebrated by Israeli society (as polls show popularity of the party rises during war time), this could be strategically on the table for the Israeli government.

Hamas seek to allow Abbas and the PA the return to Gaza immediately and to start official meetings with the PA in order to form unity between both parties and discuss elections in the West Bank and Gaza.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza0 Comments

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