Archive | May 8th, 2016

Panama Papers: Zionist King of Saudi Arabia sponsored Naziyahu’s campaign


Salman bin Abdulaziz Bin I$raHell

Nazi Isaac Herzog, member of the Nazi parliament ‘Knesset’ and Chairman of the Nazi Labor party, revealed that Saudi Zio-Wahhabi king Salman bin Abdulaziz Bin I$raHell financed the election campaign of Nazi, Benjamin Naziyahu. “In March 2015, Zio-Wahhabi Salman has deposited eighty million dollars to support Naziyahu’s campaign via a Syrian-Spanish person named Mohamed Eyad Kayali.

The money was deposited to a company’s account in British Virgin Islands owned by Teddy Sagi, an Zionist billionaire and businessman, who has allocated the money to fund the campaign Benjamin Naziyahu”, Herzog cited a leaked Panama Paper. Related Panama Papers can be found in the following links:

Optimized by Komoona

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Is Cuba still socialist? – Public meeting

is cuba still socialist?

Rock Around the Blockade would like to invite you to our upcoming meeting in North London this Tuesday 10 May from 7.30pm:

‘Is Cuba still socialist?: Reflections on the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.’

King’s Cross Neighbourhood Centre
51 Argyle St
London, WC1H 8EF

This is a public meeting and entry will be free.
Facebook event page link:

Speakers: Dr Helen Yaffe, author of Che Guevara: the economics of revolution, discusses the economic and social changes, the significance of rapprochement with the United States and the content and significance of the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.

Guest speaker: Jorge Luis Garcia, Political Counsellor, Cuban Embassy.

The talks will be followed by an open discussion.

Major developments are underway in Cuba: 
• Diplomatic relations have been established with the United States and President Obama visited Cuba.
• The number of US visitors has soared while the US blockade is being chipped away.
• The opening of Special Development Zones and the new Investment Law are channelling foreign capital into Cuba.
• Thousands of workers have transferred from state to private or cooperative sector employment.
• Cubans are permitted to sell their homes and cars on an open market.
• The Economic and Social Guidelines approved in 2011 have reduced the state’s control of the economy.

What do they mean for the socialist Revolution?

The 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP) takes place from 16-18 April. It marks the 55th anniversary of the declaration of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution, on the eve of the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. The 7th Congress will discuss the future of Cuba’s economic and social model and elect members of the Party’s Central Committee.

Many commentators believe rapprochement with the United States and the increased opening to market mechanisms forebode the end of Cuban socialism. Are they right? What lies behind the structural changes underway?

Come and discuss this and other issues… 

Organised by Rock Around the Blockade

Smash the illegal US blockade! US out of Guantanamo! Viva Cuba socialista!

Posted in South AmericaComments Off on Is Cuba still socialist? – Public meeting

A Need to Clear Up Clinton Questions

Exclusive: As the Democrats glumly line up for Hillary Clinton’s belated coronation, the risk remains of potential criminal charges over her Libyan testimony or her careless emails, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern describes.

By Ray McGovern

“Some people think they can lie and get away with it,” said former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with feigned outrage. And, of course, he has never been held accountable for his lies, proving his dictum true.

The question today is: Will former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Teflon coat be as impermeable to deep scratches as Rumsfeld’s has proven to be?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

With the “mainstream media” by and large giving Hillary Clinton a pass on her past, few Americans realize how many Pinocchio faces need to be tacked onto many of her statements. Clinton is said to be “unquestionably” the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, essentially the presumptive nominee. That is unquestionably true – but only because she has not been questioned with much rigor at all.  And on those few occasions when she has been asked hard questions, she has often ducked them.

For example, at the March 9 debate in Miami, Jorge Ramos, the longtime anchor for Noticiero Univision, asked Secretary Clinton whether she would quit the presidential race if she were indicted for putting classified information on her private email server.

She replied: “Oh, for goodness sake, it’s not going to happen. I’m not even answering that question.” [See’s Is Hillary Clinton Above the Law?”]

Not so fast, Madame Secretary. It is looking more and more as if you will, after all, have to answer that question.

Those “Damn Emails” Again

On Wednesday in Washington, DC, a federal judge issued an order that may eventually require Clinton to testify under oath in a lawsuit related to the private email server she used while Secretary of State.

The judge gave Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, permission to take sworn testimony from close Clinton aide Huma Abedin and others over the next eight weeks. It is possible that Clinton herself will have to testify under oath on the serious email issue before arriving at the Democratic convention in July.

One key issue in question is whether all relevant documents have been provided to Judicial Watch. My guess is that – given lawyers’ propensity, and often their incentive, to secure delay after delay in such proceedings – there may not be much likelihood of all this happening that quickly.

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

More precarious for Secretary Clinton, in my view, is the possibility that FBI Director James Comey will be allowed to perform a serious investigation and pursue Clinton on sworn testimony she has already given; for example, on whether she was aware of an operation run out of Benghazi to deliver Libyan weapons to rebels in Syria.

During her marathon testimony on Oct. 22, 2015, to the House Select Committee on Benghazi chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, was very specific in his questioning, leaving Clinton little wiggle-room:

Pompeo: Were you aware or are you aware of any U.S. efforts by the U.S. government in Libya to provide any weapons, directly or indirectly, or through a cutout, to any Syrian rebels or militias or opposition to Syrian forces?

Clinton: No.

Pompeo: Were you aware or are you aware of any efforts by the U.S. government in Libya to facilitate or support the provision of weapons to any opposition of Gadhafi’s forces, Libyan rebels or militias through a third party or country?

Clinton: No.

Did Secretary Clinton think we were “born yesterday,” as Harry Truman used to say? From what is already known about the activities of the U.S. “mission” and “annex” in Benghazi and the role played by the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens there, it seems quite likely that Clinton perjured herself in answering No.

And I believe this will become quite clear, if the FBI is allowed to pursue an unfettered investigation – and even clearer if the National Security Agency shares the take from its dragnet surveillance.

But those are big IFs. If I read President Barack Obama correctly, he will be more inclined to tell Attorney General Loretta Lynch to call off the FBI, just as he told former Attorney General Eric Holder to let retired General (and CIA Director) David Petraeus off with a slap on the wrist for giving his mistress intelligence of the highest classification and then lying about it to the FBI.

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

As for Clinton, perjury is not the kind of rap that she would welcome as she pursues the presidency. Trouble is, not only FBI investigators but also NSA collect-it-all snoopers almost certainly have the goods on whatever the truth is, with their easy access to the content of emails both classified and unclassified. [See’s Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails.”]

Sadly, Comey and his counterparts at NSA are likely to cave in if the President tells them to cease and desist. Indeed, like legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, they may relish the prospect of being able to hold their knowledge of Hillary Clinton’s possible perjury and other misdeeds like a sword of Damocles over her head if she becomes president.

Whistleblower Needed

Thus, unless another patriot with the courage of an Edward Snowden or a Daniel Ellsberg recognizes that his primary duty is to honor his/her oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic,” and acts accordingly, the country could end up with a compromised President beholden to Hoover’s successors and the NSA sleuths who “collect everything,” including the emails of the Secretary of State – and those of the President.

Those at the FBI and NSA with the courage to consider whistleblowing need to be aware of the proud tradition they would be joining. The first recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence (2002) was Coleen Rowley of the FBI, and in 2004 the award was given to FBI analyst and translator Sibel Edmonds.

As for signals intelligence, no fewer than four Sam Adams whistleblower awardees have come from NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ: the UK’s Katharine Gun (2003), and three from NSA itself – Thomas Drake (2011), Edward Snowden (2013), and William Binney (2015).

More distinguished company among people of integrity would be difficult – if not impossible – to find. In a few months, we will be considering nominations for the award to be given in 2017.

Posted in USAComments Off on A Need to Clear Up Clinton Questions

Zionist Kerry warns Assad of ‘repercussions’ if transition fails

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to members of the media at the State Department May 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to members of the media at the State Department May 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of the consequences of a new US approach if he does not accept a political transition in the next few months.

“The target date for the transition is 1st of August,” Kerry told reporters at the State Department on Tuesday.

“So we’re now coming up to May. So either something happens in these next few months, or they are asking for a very different track,” he added.

The warning came amid a surge in violence in the northern city of Aleppo, putting further strain on a February 27 ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States.

Kerry said he still hoped negotiations could restore the truce deal to include Aleppo, but warned that there would be repercussions if the Syrian government violated the agreement.

A Syrian man walks past destroyed buildings on May 2, 2016, in Aleppo. (AFP photo)

“If Assad does not adhere to this, there will clearly be repercussions, and one of them may be the total destruction of the ceasefire and then go back to war,” he said.

“I don’t think Russia wants that. I don’t think Assad is going to benefit from that. There may be even other repercussions being discussed. That is for the future.”

The top US diplomat made the comments following a meeting between the UN special envoy for Syria and Russia’s foreign minister in Moscow on Tuesday, a day after emergency discussions with Kerry in Geneva.

Kerry (L) looks at his watch next to UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura during a press briefing following a meeting on May 2, 2016 in Geneva. (AFP photo)

Kerry said that Washington and Moscow were in the process of working out the details of a more durable ceasefire in Aleppo to prevent the flashpoint city from falling.

“Everybody at the table has said you can’t end this as long as Assad continues, because Assad cannot reunite the country. It’s that simple,” Kerry said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a new unilateral ceasefire by the Syrian government could be announced within “the next few hours” for Aleppo. The UN Security Council is set to convene Wednesday to discuss the crisis in the city.

Sergei Lavrov (R) meets with de Mistura in Moscow on May 3, 2016. (AFP photo)

Kerry reiterated that the United States would never accept a transition that included President Assad.

“If Assad’s strategy is to somehow think he’s going to just carve out Aleppo and carve out a section of the country, I got news for you and for him – this war doesn’t end,” he said.

On Tuesday, 19 people were killed by militant rocket fire in government-controlled areas of Aleppo, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. State media said a rocket attack on a hospital killed at least three people and wounded 17 others.

US officials have frequently warned of consequences if Assad refused to step down as part of a broader peace agreement to end the five-year conflict.

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura has estimated that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Damascus accuses the US and some of its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, of conducting a proxy war against Syria.


Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Zionist Kerry warns Assad of ‘repercussions’ if transition fails

This bizarre fistfight in Turkey’s parliament actually tells us a lot about the country


Image result for ERDOGAN CARTOON

On Monday, the Turkish parliament erupted into a full-on brawl in what is just the latest in a series of fights that have roiled Turkey’s domestic politics in the past week. Here’s video of the fight between members of the ruling AK Party and the pro-Kurdish opposition party, HDP, in which several people were reportedly injured:

The fight itself is quite a spectacle, of course — one doesn’t often see politicians dressed in suits and ties leaping over desks to punch and kick their opponents — but it’s also a window into the deeper political and social tensions that have been on the rise in Turkey in recent years, including what many see as a growing trend toward authoritarianism within the government.

The brawl erupted over controversial legislation that could see some lawmakers investigated on terrorism charges

The lawmakers have come to blows over proposed legislation to strip just some members of parliament of their immunity from prosecution — which is something all Turkish parliamentarians enjoy while in office, according to Turkish law.

The ruling AK Party is pushing the proposal, which was introduced by the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. It’s so controversial because it would strip several leading members of the opposition party, the HDP, of this immunity so that they can face charges of “openly instigating people to hatred and hostility” and “being a member of an armed terrorist organization.”

The HDP does not support the legislation, not only for the obvious reason that its members are the ones who would be stripped of their immunity, but also because the party believes it’s unfair that its members should be the only ones stripped of their immunity while AKP members who face allegations of corruption and theft would not be stripped of theirs.

The connection between the HDP and the PKK terrorist group

The allegations of the HDP members’ support for terrorism are based on statements the HDP members made in support of the PKK, the Kurdish separatist organization that Turkey (as well as the US and the EU) considers to be a terrorist group, and the HDP members’ refusal to sign multiple statements condemning acts of terrorism by the PKK.

Decades of bloody fighting between the PKK and the Turkish government that saw some 40,000 people killed ended temporarily in March 2013 after a ceasefire was called by the PKK’s jailed leader. But the fighting resumed in July 2015, due in large part to rising tensions caused by the civil war in neighboring Syria and the Kurds’ prominent role in that conflict. Thousands of PKK fighters, as well as hundreds of Turkish soldiers, have reportedly died in the renewed fighting, which also displaced tens of thousands of people and left some towns and districts in ruins.

The HDP has “roots in the violent Kurdish political movement dominated by the armed and illegal Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK),” writes Al Monitor’s Mustafa Akyol, but “had recast itself as a left-liberal, inclusive peacenik movement and a bulwark against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism.”

When the violence between the PKK and the Turkish government once again erupted in 2015, “the HDP could have played a helpful role by calling for peace and criticizing the violence on both sides,” writes Akyol. “Instead, the party chose to fully ally itself with the PKK, legitimize its violence and even advocate its maximalist goal of an independent Kurdistan.”

In doing so, the HDP not only severely damaged its claim of being a “peacenik” movement, hurting its appeal among its base of Turkish Kurds who reject the PKK’s violent tactics, it also essentially gave President Erdogan and his supporters in the AKP the perfect ammunition to challenge the HDP’s political ascendancy.

The legislation is seen by some as yet another sign of growing authoritarianism in Turkey

In recent years, Erdogan’s government has cracked down hard on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, arresting journalists on charges of terrorism and espionage for criticizing the government, issuing media blackouts in the wake of terror attacks, and frequently shutting down social media platforms like Twitter during times of political crisis, raising concerns over growing authoritarianism in the country.

“In the past year and a half, government prosecutors have opened almost 2,000 cases against Turks for insulting the Turkish president,” notes Uri Friedman in the Atlantic. “One Turkish man lodged a legal complaint against his wife for cursing Erdogan in their own home. Another went on trial for comparing Erdogan to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.”

Some analysts see the government’s latest moves against the pro-Kurdish opposition politicians as further evidence of a return to the authoritarian days of Turkey’s past, when pro-Kurdish political parties were frequently disbanded for allegedly advocating Kurdish secession.

“It will be a total disaster if the investigation ends in stripping [Selahattin] Demirtas [one of the HDP co-chairs] of legal immunity and jailing him, as happened to several Kurdish deputies in the 1990s,” writes Akyol. “It would mean Turkey forgetting about reforms on the Kurdish front and reverting to ‘Old Turkey’s’ authoritarianism, which will only intensify the armed conflict.”

“Just a few years ago, Turkey was hailed as an emerging liberal democracy,” writes Brookings’ Kemal Kirisci. “[N]ow, that label is in serious doubt.”

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on This bizarre fistfight in Turkey’s parliament actually tells us a lot about the country

US Working to Block Syrian Liberation of Aleppo by Supporting Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front

us-syria flags

Senator from the US State of Virginia Richard Black claims that the US government has likely acted to prevent the Syrian government’s armed forces from recapturing the city of Aleppo from the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front.

The US government has likely acted to prevent the Syrian government’s armed forces from recapturing the city of Aleppo from the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, Senator from the US State of Virginia Richard Black told Sputnik.”It is clear to me that what is happening is we are trying desperately to slow down the Syrian army’s advance, which is on the verge of crushing al-Nusra and liberating Aleppo once and for all,” Black said on Friday.

A Syrian man walks past destroyed buildings on May 2, 2016
Silence Regime in Syria’s North Latakia, Aleppo to Be Extended
In an exclusive interview with Sputnik this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated that the United States was attempting to create a safe-zone in Aleppo that covered al-Nusra Front fighting positions. The US attempt was made during Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiations to reconstitute the Syrian cessation of hostilities.

Black noted that he agreed with Lavrov’s assessment, but argued it is unlikely the US government is being “used” to provide cover for al-Nusra Front in Syria.”I believe that Secretary Kerry, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency are very much on the side of al-Qaeda,” he asserted.

Black further alleged that the Geneva peace talks are being carried out with the goal of “preserving” the anti-Assad terrorist organizations “so that at some point they eventually can reconstitute themselves and seize control of Syria.”

Last week, Black returned from a three-day visit to Syria where he sat down with Syrian President Assad, First Lady Asma Assad and a number of other military and political leaders. The trip was particularly significant since the United States has largely severed ties with the Assad government since the start of Syrian civil war in 2011.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on US Working to Block Syrian Liberation of Aleppo by Supporting Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front

Nazinyahu Government: Reviving the “Greater Israel” Scheme


Israel’s Maariv newspaper has revealed that the government of the Zionist state is planning to drop a political bombshell in the coming weeks by presenting a bill in the Knesset (parliament) calling for the annexation of land occupied since 1967. It is likely to have the support of the majority of Knesset members. The newspaper added that the right wing has chosen this time for the move ahead of the US presidential election; America, it is believed, will be too preoccupied to care about what is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Preliminary talks about a first stage have been held, claimed Maariv; Israel would annex all Area C land — which includes 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank —where more than 400,000 illegal Jewish settlers live alongside tens of thousands of Palestinians. Under the proposal, Israel will offer residents Israeli identity while imposing its curricula in schools.

According to far-right Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked, Israel must impose Israeli law in the West Bank, which means in practical terms that the occupied Palestinian territories would come under full Israeli control.

Israeli forces restrict the entrance to Muslim worshippers to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Friday prayers

Israeli forces restrict the entrance to Muslim worshippers to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Friday prayers

Furthermore, Deputy Defence Minister Eli Ben-Dahan has demanded “the annexation of the West Bank because the Arab and regional situation is appropriate for this step.” Naftali Bennett, the leader of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home Party, which is part of the government coalition, said that, “It is better for Israel to begin annexing Area C.”

These positions and statements should not be taken lightly, because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is working on the basis that the West Bank is “liberated land” and formal annexation is only a matter of time.

It was in the historic election in 1977 that the Israeli right-wing won a majority in the Knesset for the first time. The government was led by Menachem Begin, a student of Revisionist Zionist thinker Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who authored the iron wall theory. This set out that the indigenous people of the country would not accept what the Israeli occupation authorities want, what they are exposed to or solutions imposed by the occupation; and that Israel will go through a continuous process of change towards becoming a more and more Jewish, right-wing, settler-based and racist state.

This trend has deepened dramatically since Netanyahu’s return to government in 2009 when Israel’s so-called “third phase” began. The right-wing became the mainstream, dominating power in government and society. At the same time, the influence of Knesset members, parties and groups wanting to find a solution that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel faded to the point that the Labour Party abandoned this option. Instead, it adopted unanimously a plan put forward by the country’s President, Chaim Herzog. The plan was based on a unilateral solution that calls for formal separation of the areas populated by Palestinians in order to protect Israel as a Jewish state, and not to expose it to the risk of becoming a bi-national state.

There are a series of changes taking place in Israel where secular and liberal characteristics have all but disappeared, while the religious right-wing has become more prominent. These changes have been made through the adoption of laws and policies, and by imposing facts on the ground that make changing this reality very difficult. If, for example, we look at the state’s relations with the Palestinians, we find that voices calling for their deportation are increasing; these are the voices of people in senior positions in the government, army, security services and Knesset, as well as various state institutions. Also, the Israeli government moved from conflict management and the creation of facts on the ground that can help Israel to impose its unilateral solution when negotiating “final status” issues, to simply imposing that unilateral solution. Thus, the central part of the Israeli government and the opposition basically gave up any semblance of agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state to the extent that they refuse even to countenance it.

The Israeli position became such that the government refused to talk with the Palestinians unless the latter agreed in advance to specific conditions. These included recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” for all Jewish people all over the world, and for Israel’s security to be the main, and perhaps only, frame of reference for Palestinian-Israeli relations now and in the future. Israel also insists on the presence of its occupation forces in strategic locations within the Palestinian state after its establishment, and the granting of absolute freedom of movement for them all over the “Promised Land”.

It is within this context that the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank has reached more than 700,000. Israel is working at an accelerated pace to increase this to one million within a few years.

We can also talk about Israel’s keenness to separate the West Bank from the Gaza Strip and doing all it can to make it a permanent political and physical separation. It is doing this by stripping the Palestinian Authority of its power, to such an extent that, as President Mahmoud Abbas has said repeatedly, the PA is an authority without authority, in spite of all the concessions that he and his ministers have made. The PA continues to be committed to the terms of the Oslo Accords; it accepts the 2003 international road map; and it has made unilateral commitments while Israel shows no commitment at all. From this position, we can understand why the Israeli government refused the offer made by the PA to stop threatening to implement decisions of the Palestinian Central Council, including an end to security coordination with the Israelis, in exchange for Israel’s commitment not to enter Area A. The authority suggested that this could begin with Ramallah and Jericho first, and if that works out, whereby Palestinian security forces would carry out their job in a manner that relieves the occupation from storming into these areas, then the experience could be spread to the rest of the occupied territories. The Netanyahu government was quick to reject any suggestion that would restrict the freedom of the occupation army to move across any area at will; this freedom is sacred for Israel, despite it paying tribute to the achievements of the Palestinian security services.

The question now is whether it would be possible to continue with the same policy that was used during negotiations, even though it was an illusion, and Israel is now becoming more vicious and refuses to partake in any negotiations whatsoever. It continues to impose its own solutions on the ground, stating clearly what it intends to do as it takes advantage of developments in the Arab region (where the Iranian threat has more priority than anything else) and around the world, which it believes have improved its strategic position.

Israel thinks that it has a great opportunity to achieve the still unfulfilled goals of the Zionist movement: the establishment of Israel on the whole of historic Palestine and beyond; in short, to revive the “Greater Israel” scheme from the Nile to the Euphrates.

The Zionist state of Israel is relying on the deteriorating Arab situation and the decline of the Palestinian national cause, which is weak, self-destructive and disoriented. The Palestinian leadership is still going round in circles reproducing the same old options without having enough courage to adopt anything new. Both of the main factions are just hanging around and waiting; the others are too small, weak and fragmented to do anything constructive.

Despite all of the above, the path to achieving “Greater Israel” is not smooth. The Palestinians, despite all that they suffer from, are still sticking to their cause, their rights and their presence on their land, and they continue to resist with all available forms of popular and armed resistance. They have also encouraged an international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel which threatens it strategically, and they have UN recognition of Palestine as a state. They have since joined a number of international institutions, notably the International Criminal Court. Most importantly, the Palestinians started a new intifada in October fuelled by individuals with no formal leadership, factions, the PLO or the PA; this is reminding the Israelis that the Palestinians are still there, that resistance continues one generation after the other, and that this racist, colonial-settler occupation cannot continue to be quiet, profitable and permanent.

Although there are elements of strength and a suitable environment for the revival of “Greater Israel” it has some weaknesses. If the Palestinians could learn how best to utilise them, they would be successful. Some of the weak points include Israel being an enemy to itself, proposing a project that has no future as it raises discontent and resentment across the globe, prompting criticism even from its trusted allies, like the United States, Britain, Germany and France.

In order to defeat hostile schemes, the Palestinians need a vision, a national institution, a leadership that is up to the challenges and risks and able to employ opportunities; they need an effective political hierarchy and a strategy for the struggle that can achieve the maximum in each stage. They can then move on to achieve more and more until they realise the humanitarian, democratic and historical solution on the ruins of the racist, colonial-settler, Zionist project.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Nazinyahu Government: Reviving the “Greater Israel” Scheme

Saying I$raHell Has No Right to a “Jewish State” Is Not Anti-Semitic

Saying Israel Has No Right to a “Jewish State” Is Not Anti-Semitic

As you surely know, the British Labour Party is today embroiled in a controversy over whether certain criticisms of the state of Israel can be considered anti-Semitic. The controversy is sure to come to the United States, even during this political cycle; and without wading into the statements and personalities involved, we need to point out that one aspect of the dispute is the claim that it is anti-Semitic to say– as many advocates for Palestinians do–  that Israel does not have the right to exist as a Jewish state.

The “Jewish state” language is a key element of the English debate, and of the Israel conversation globally. As Robert Mackey has written at the Intercept:

When the debate is unpacked, however, it becomes clear that what’s at stake is something much broader: whether critics of Israel, who question its government’s policies or its right to exist as a Jewish state, are engaged in a form of coded anti-Semitism.

And this is not just in the UK. The U.S.  State Department maintains just such a view as well. It has endorsed a definition of anti-Semitism that includes efforts to:

DELEGITIMIZE ISRAEL [by] Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist

The State Department language has helped to shift the discourse in the U.S. For example, the California Board of Regents has also recently accepted a definition of anti-Semitism that includes anti-Zionism:

Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.

This same trend can be seen in the presidential race. Hillary Clinton has said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement meets this definition of anti-Semitism. She links anti-Semitism with:

all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.

This is obviously a battle ground; and we have a clear position: We think it is legitimate and not anti-Semitic for critics to make such an argument. Given the principle of separation of church and state, such an argument has a long pedigree in modern political philosophy. Moreover, Israel’s history shows that creating and maintaining a “Jewish state” has entailed ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on a regular basis, including in East Jerusalem and broad portions of the West Bank to this day, in order to maintain a Jewish majority in certain areas. In practice, the Jewish State in Israel/Palestine has meant an ethnocracy where Jews are given special and exclusive rights over other citizens and non-citizens under the sovereignty of the Israeli government. This is a system that we (Horowitz and Weiss) reject for political, personal and moral reasons that are in no way connected to vilifying or discriminating against Jews, the traditional definition of anti-Semitism.

The wall at Bethlehem, photo by “Delayed Gratification” on Flickr

Of course, many other people oppose these definitions of anti-Semitism as well.

Palestine Legal has an excellent FAQ on the State Department definition that notes that it blurs criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. The FAQ addresses the “right to exist” idea:

Likewise, any criticism of Zionism—which questions Israel’s definition as a state that premises citizenship on race, ethnicity, and religion — is considered anti-Semitic under this redefinition, because such speech can be seen as “denying Israel the right to exist” as a “Jewish state” that privileges its Jewish citizens over others

Palestine Legal points out that blurring Jewishness and Zionism are essential tactics of Israel supporters:

[C]criticism of the Israeli state is not based on the Jewish identity of most Israeli citizens or leaders; it is based on the nation state’s historical and present day actions. Despite these important distinctions, some go to great lengths to lump Jewish people and the Israeli state together, arguing that Jews and Israel are inherently connected, and that any attack on one is an attack on the other.

In response to the possible UC policy the Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine chapter directly addressed the danger of the “right to exist” qualification and said that such a definition of anti-Semitism has chilled speakers who might stand up for Palestine:

To provide some context: recently, a bill to condemn anti-Semitism has been introduced to the Stanford Undergraduate Senate. We fully support the passing of a bill to condemn anti-Semitism; however, the proposed bill contains the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism which states that “demonization, delegitimization, and double standards” against Israel are anti-Semitism. This includes saying that Israel has no “right to exist”. (see We have been concerned about this section of the bill as well as some other portions of the bill that also conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, the bill has made some members of Stanford SJP feel intimidated about speaking out against Zionism and the existence of an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine.

And there has been some official pushback as well. Three years ago the EU’s organization for combating racism dropped a definition of anti-Semitism that included a provision aimed at the existence of Israel:

it lists the vilification of Israel or Israelis, which some scholars call “new anti-Semitism.” The definition lists “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and drawing comparisons between Israel and Nazis as examples of anti-Semitism.

But those very terms are the battleground in the English case. The Labour Party is in an uproar over anti-Zionism on the eve of elections in Britain. Lest the left fall into the “gutter” of antisemitism, political writer Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian offers what she believes is a good definition of anti-Semitism as it touches on Israel. But notice her own confusion:

Here’s a clue, for those confused about how to champion Palestinian rights or condemn an oppressive regime without overstepping the line: just treat Israel as you would any other country guilty of human rights abuses.

There’s nothing inherently antisemitic about seeking economic sanctions against Israel, supporting an oppressed minority’s right to self determination, condemning a government, or anything else you’d do if this was Burma.

But calling for its people to be swept into the sea, or forcibly transplanted somewhere else, or in any other way denying Israel’s right to exist, is crossing a line because that simply doesn’t happen to other countries no matter how oppressive their regime. No other nation state on the planet is constantly asked to prove itself morally worthy merely of being allowed to exist.

Notice the bait and switch (writes Donald Johnson, who shared the Hinsliff). “Israel’s right to exist” in this context is always understood to mean Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, which could only happen if Palestinians were forcibly expelled somewhere else.  This writer doesn’t even seem to realize the contradiction.

There is no way Palestinians should allow people like this writer to set the framework in which the issue should be discussed.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on Saying I$raHell Has No Right to a “Jewish State” Is Not Anti-Semitic

Venezuela: US backs counter-revolutionaries in campaign to oust Maduro


by Sam Mcgill

Venezuela’s right wing has restated its principal aim, vowing to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro by July and roll back 17 years of the Bolivarian revolutionary process. To do so would return the country to the rampant neoliberalism and crushing poverty that dominated at the end of the last century. Their campaign continues to be underwritten by US imperialism. Sam Mcgill reports.

On 8 March the opposition coalition, the Movement of Democratic Unity (MUD) published its ‘Roadmap for change’, a four-pronged campaign to overthrow Maduro and the socialist PSUV government. Jesus Torrealba, MUD’s executive secretary, declared: ‘We call on the entire Venezuelan people in order to force Maduro to resign as the President of the country’. The ‘Roadmap’ details plans to seek a constitutional amendment reducing the presidential term, launch a recall referendum, rewrite the constitution and mobilise on the streets. Meanwhile in March US President Obama restated his intent to destabilize the country, renewing a 2015 decree declaring Venezuela an ‘unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States’. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) enables Obama to block transactions, freeze governmental assets and confiscate Venezuelan state property. Typically the IEEPA operates alongside increased covert and military interventions and media vilification. It has been used against Cuba, Iran, Syria and Russia. Following the electoral success of the right-wing opposition in December, when the MUD gained majority control over Venezuela’s National Assembly, US imperialism is ratcheting up support for the forces of counter-revolution.

The US announcement has provoked anger in Venezuela. Maduro made the point that ‘Unlike the US we have never killed innocent children nor bombed hospitals’. Regional bodies UNASUR and CELAC strongly rejected the decree, echoing last year’s continental backlash that forced Obama to publicly admit Venezuela did ‘not pose a threat’ to the United States. Cuba has reiterated its support for President Maduro, who made a state visit to Havana the week before Obama, and was awarded the Order of Jose Marti, one of the country’s highest honours.

Removing Maduro from office through legal channels poses significant challenges for the MUD. The opposition’s proposed constitutional amendment seeks to shorten the presidential term from six to four years, requiring new presidential elections this year. However, constitutional lawyers say this could only affect future presidential mandates. A recall referendum would require the support of 20% of the electorate – nearly four million signatures – which even opposition politicians recognise could take over 220 days to collect. If a referendum is not held before 1 January 2017, the constitution would require Venezuela’s socialist vice-president Jorge Arreaza to take over for the remainder of the presidential term, rather than triggering fresh elections. Convoking a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution would also be a complex and lengthy process.

And so, impatient at legal and bureaucratic barriers to achieving their reactionary aims, some MUD politicians have made it clear that they are prepared to use unconstitutional means to unseat Maduro. Some have explicitly called for armed rebellion and the forced expulsion of the socialist government – a threat to rekindle the right-wing street violence of 2014 that left 43 dead. However, the first of the street protests demanding Maduro’s resignation attracted significantly fewer numbers than previous opposition marches and was dwarfed by a Chavista march as tens of thousands took to the streets against Obama’s decree.

Meanwhile the opposition-controlled National Assembly and socialist National Executive have been locked in stalemate. The Assembly passed a controversial amnesty law to release ‘political prisoners’. The new law would also see those convicted of ‘individual terrorism, trafficking small quantities of drugs, fraud, scamming and usury linked to private construction’ released, alongside those imprisoned for their role in the failed 2002 coup. The Executive maintains that the law violates the constitution and the human rights of victims and has petitioned the UN Human Rights Council to evaluate its legality. The Supreme Court has thwarted MUD’s attempts to remove 13 of its PSUV-appointed judges, and granting President Maduro extra powers to tackle the economic crisis. The Supreme Court maintains that the National Assembly only has the power to exert political control on government and public administration, not on the judiciary, electoral and public bodies. The National Assembly is demanding intervention from the Organisation of American States to enforce its decisions, but in the meantime is finding its right-wing parliamentary agenda blocked.

Using the economic emergency decree, Maduro has provided funding for small businesses to obtain materials and basic goods, cracked down on tax avoidance, increased the minimum wage, extended a system of workers’ food coupons and targeted subsidies for vulnerable families. The petrol subsidy has been reduced to provide extra funding for social missions, education and housing, and production is being boosted in strategic areas. In a move to bring inflation and the parallel market under control, Maduro has overhauled the currency exchange system into just two exchange rates, a protected rate for food, medicine and raw material imports alongside a floating exchange rate for all other transactions.

However these reforms still leave the majority of the non-oil economy in private hands and it remains to be seen if the adjustments to currency exchange will reduce inflation or have any effect in detering hoarding, smuggling and speculation. Oil earnings have dropped 97% from $3bn in January 2014 to $77m this January; inflation peaked at 140% last year. Having paid $1.5bn to international bondholders in February, Venezuela is due to pay an additional $8.1bn in debt by the end of 2016. Whilst a default is not on the cards and the state has $52 billion in external assets, Venezuela’s economy is still facing serious challenges.

Tackling inflation and scarcity is crucial to countering the impact of the protracted economic crisis on the Venezuelan working class, and sustaining its commitment to the Bolivarian Revolution. The crucial factor in thwarting any attempts to oust Maduro and the socialist government will be the balance of class forces on the streets. The Venezuelan working class and poor have repeatedly proved they will come out to defend the revolutionary process – the question is whether the Maduro government can continue to defend their interests.

Posted in USA, VenezuelaComments Off on Venezuela: US backs counter-revolutionaries in campaign to oust Maduro

Calais resists

by Amy Marineau

In February a French court authorised the demolition of the 70,000 square metre southern section of the ‘jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. Prior to the ruling, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve claimed that ‘it was never a question of evacuating the south zone in a brutal fashion’ but he has a poor memory, because as recently as January bulldozers were brought in to demolish an estimated 20% of the camp, housing approximately 1,500 people (see FRFI 249). Following the ruling, a brutal and violent eviction of the camp began, with the CRS (French ‘anti-riot’ police) using tear gas, and burning down shelters.

The migrant residents of the camp have continued to resist. Twelve Iranian asylum seekers began a hunger strike on 2 March, with demands including an end to forced eviction and an end to the use of tear gas.

The hunger strikers also demanded to meet with a representative of the UN and/or European Court of Human Rights. On 10 March a meeting was arranged between the nine men still on hunger strike and Veronique Njo, a newly appointed representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who was accompanied by a representative of the Calais region council and of an NGO which assists refugees to claim asylum in France, although not by an interpreter.

As reported on the Calais hunger strikers’ blog (, the only ‘options’ put forward at this meeting were ones already rejected by the protesters: that they leave the camp and go to the new highly restrictive container camp set up by the French authorities, or that they travel to the so-called ‘welcome and orientation centres’ (CAOs) set up in various parts of France, to receive the overflow from Calais. Ms Njo was unwilling to discuss any issues relating to the conduct of the British or French government and made it clear that the UNHCR has decided it can do nothing about the evictions in the southern part of the camp.

In a cynical intervention and in an attempt to enforce control, the French authorities approached the nine hunger strikers, offering them immediate housing and a guarantee not to deport them to Iran. They responded: ‘We don’t do this for ourselves, we do this for everybody living in the jungle’. Despite the limits of short-term acts of defiance such as hunger strikes, the French authorities are aware of the danger posed by such a dramatic and public display of resistance and solidarity, the danger of an example which may inspire further resistance from the residents of the camp.

Posted in FranceComments Off on Calais resists

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