Archive | October 2nd, 2019

Only the Coalition of the Foolish Wants a War With Iran

If you want to identify the most reckless powers in our world today, look no further than Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.

by: Vijay Prashad

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been at war against Yemen since 2015. It is a ghastly war, a reckless war, one for which there is no end in sight. Trump wants advice on how to deal with Iran from the architect of that war—Mohammed bin Salman. (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been at war against Yemen since 2015. It is a ghastly war, a reckless war, one for which there is no end in sight. Trump wants advice on how to deal with Iran from the architect of that war—Mohammed bin Salman. (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

There’s no point in dredging up that old slogan, No Blood for Oil. It had no impact the last time. Don’t bomb Iraq, we said in 2002 and 2003, to no avail. George W. Bush and his friends had it in mind to destroy that country, which they did.

Donald Trump fired John Bolton. It seemed as if it would be acceptable to breathe a sigh of relief. But that was premature. Bolton was not the only one itching for a war against Iran. So was Mike Pompeo of the State Department, and so are a legion of arms dealers, lobbyists, establishment hawks, and people who believe that the United States should bomb Iran on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Yemen’s Houthis took credit for the attack on Saudi Arabia’s eastern oilfields. But that was not enough. It was not enough that the Iraqis said that Iran did not use Iraqi territory to launch the drones. The U.S. asserted that the attack was done by Iran. No more needed to be said. There was no need to drag someone like Colin Powell before the UN Security Council. In fact, there is no one like Colin Powell in the Trump administration. None of his Cabinet members has the kind of gravitas that can be squandered with a lie.

This is madness of the highest kind—asking a man who is in the midst of an intractable war whether one should go to war.

The reaction from Iran has been calm. The government in Tehran has decided not to cower beneath the storm clouds from Washington. It threatens Canada with its own sanctions if the Canadians do not release seized Iranian assets. An oil tanker that was carrying diesel to the United Arab Emirates has been seized by the Iranians on the grounds of smuggling. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told the Syria Summit in Ankara, Turkey, that there can be no stability in Syria as long as U.S. troops remain there. Iran refuses to blink. It has taken the position that it must stand strong and call the U.S. bluff.

This is a dangerous bluff.

But it is also a calculated one.

Trade, Not Bombs

The Iranians know that there is no appetite in Europe for a U.S. war or even a U.S. military strike. This week, Michael Bock, the chair of the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), is in Tehran. INSTEX is the mechanism created by the European Union to sidestep the U.S. unilateral sanctions. Bock has met with the governor of the Central Bank of Iran and the head of SATMA—the Iranian institution created to facilitate INSTEX. The Europeans are eager to restart trade with Iran. They are not interested in Trump’s froth.

Nor are the Turks, whose senior banking officials have met with the Iranians to discuss how to reestablish trade outside the U.S. orbit. Turkey is interested in its own version of INSTEX and is calibrating what it would mean for Turkey and Iran to trade using their own currencies (in the rial or the lira). Both countries have said that they would like to increase trade to $30 billion—three times the highest trade volume.

Even the British, embroiled in their Brexit mess, are not eager for war. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that “the picture is not entirely clear” as to who bombed the Saudi oil fields. He sounded like the Russians (no “hasty conclusions,” said Dmitry Peskov) and the Chinese (not easy to “apportion blame,” said Hua Chunying).

Russia and China

From the perspective of Russia and China, a U.S. bombardment of Iran would undermine their economic projects in Eurasia. There is fear in Moscow and Beijing that such an American adventure would rip apart whatever small measure of stability has been achieved from the Mediterranean Sea to the Hindu Kush mountains. The failed U.S. peace talks in Afghanistan leave that country now open to the initiatives from regional powers, including China and Russia.

One little-known aspect of the U.S.-Taliban talks over Afghanistan has been the role of China. In June and July, both Abdul Ghani Baradar—the Taliban’s chief negotiator—and Zalmay Khalilzad—the U.S. negotiator—came to Beijing at different times. China played a key role in urging Pakistan to pressure the Taliban in these talks. Even as the U.S. has stepped away, China will continue to build relations with various factions in Afghanistan. This is essential for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Trans-Himalayan Economic Corridor, which draw the Belt and Road Initiative southward into Pakistan and Nepal.

A U.S. war against Iran would upend the already terrible security situation in Afghanistan, and it would tear apart Syria and Iraq, as well as Lebanon. This is something that neither China nor Russia would like. That is why the U.S. will never get a favorable UN Security Council resolution to hit Iran. It would have to do it unilaterally. There are no allies for Trump apart from Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates: This is a Coalition of the Foolish.


Recklessness is not the mood in Tehran—nor in Moscow or Beijing. That should by now be clear.

If you want to identify the most reckless powers in our world today, look no further than Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he wants to annex the illegal settlements in the West Bank into Israel and leave a small, encircled rump territory occupied; this rump would include Ramallah. East Jerusalem would also likely be snatched fully in this move. This is recklessness. The reaction in Palestine would be another intifada, and—very likely—it would occasion rocket strikes not only from Gaza but also from Lebanon. Such an annexation would be an invitation to war.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been at war against Yemen since 2015. It is a ghastly war, a reckless war, one for which there is no end in sight. Trump wants advice on how to deal with Iran from the architect of that war—Mohammed bin Salman. This is madness of the highest kind—asking a man who is in the midst of an intractable war whether one should go to war.

Which brings us to the U.S. Trump has threatened war against Venezuela and Iran. He has used the entire apparatus of the U.S. war and money machine to conduct a hybrid war against these states. He has thus far not sanctioned a bombing run on them. But you never know. As I type these lines, Trump might be signing a document to authorize war.

No one on the planet wants Trump’s wars. We can march on the streets as we did in 2003, and the U.S. would not pay attention to us. Certainly, Bush did not, and certainly Trump will not. The U.S. is a reckless power. It needs to be checked.

Posted in USA, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Only the Coalition of the Foolish Wants a War With Iran

US plan to bug Security Council: the text

Image result for UN Security Council CARTOON

Online document: The text of the memorandum detailing the US plan to bug the phones and emails of key Security Council members, revealed in today’s Observer

Talk about it: dirty tricks?

Iraq: Observer special

Sun 2 Mar 2003 18.40 GMTFirst published on Sun 2 Mar 2003 18.40 GMT

Shares6To: [Recipients withheld]
From: FRANK KOZA, Def Chief of Staff (Regional Targets)
CIV/NSA Sent on Jan 31 2003 0:16
Subject: Reflections of Iraq Debate/Votes at UN-RT Actions + Potential for Related Contributions
Importance: HIGH
Top Secret//COMINT//X1


As you’ve likely heard by now, the Agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council (UNSC) members (minus US and GBR of course) for insights as to how to membership is reacting to the on-going debate RE: Iraq, plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/ negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/ dependencies, etc – the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises. In RT, that means a QRC surge effort to revive/ create efforts against UNSC members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, as well as extra focus on Pakistan UN matters.

We’ve also asked ALL RT topi’s to emphasize and make sure they pay attention to existing non-UNSC member UN-related and domestic comms for anything useful related to the UNSC deliberations/ debates/ votes. We have a lot of special UN-related diplomatic coverage (various UN delegations) from countries not sitting on the UNSC right now that could contribute related perspectives/ insights/ whatever. We recognize that we can’t afford to ignore this possible source.

We’d appreciate your support in getting the word to your analysts who might have similar, more in-direct access to valuable information from accesses in your product lines. I suspect that you’ll be hearing more along these lines in formal channels – especially as this effort will probably peak (at least for this specific focus) in the middle of next week, following the SecState’s presentation to the UNSC.

Thanks for your help

· Footnote: This email was originally transcribed with English spellings standardised for a British audience. Following enquiries about this, we have reverted to the original US-spelling as in the document leaked to The Observer.

Posted in USA, UNComments Off on US plan to bug Security Council: the text

Biden Is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden listens to a question during the 2020 Public Service Forum at UNLV on August 3, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during the 2020 Public Service Forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on August 3, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

BY: Stephen Zunes


For the second consecutive Democratic debate, Joe Biden has failed to come to terms about his critical role in supporting the illegal, unnecessary, and predictably disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

There is nothing new about this. Biden has a long history of inaccurate claims regarding that oil-rich country. For example, in the lead-up to the critical Senate vote authorizing the invasion, Biden used his role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to insist that Iraq somehow reconstituted a vast arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, a nuclear weapons program and sophisticated delivery systems that had long since been eliminated.

Polls at the time showed that the only reason Americans would support going to war would be if Iraq constituted a threat, so it was to the advantage of war proponents to make people think that Iraq — which, according to former U.N. inspectors and others, had reached at least qualitative disarmament — had somehow obtained such potentially dangerous military capabilities.

Stay in the loop

Never miss the news and analysis you care about.Your Email

In the recent second Democratic debate, however, Biden took his lies about Iraq to new heights by claiming, “From the moment ‘shock and awe’ started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress.” He claimed that his strong support for the Authorization of the Use of Military Force that made George W. Bush’s invasion possible was somehow not really an endorsement of the use military force, but a means to pressure Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to allow United Nations inspectors to return to Iraq.

That was patently untrue. More than three months after U.N. inspectors returned, Biden defended the imminent launch of the invasion by saying, “I support the president. Diplomacy over avoiding war is dead. … I do not see any alternative. It is not as if we can back away now.” He added, “Let loose the dogs of war. I’m confident we will win.”

He then co-sponsored a resolution supporting Bush and the invasion.

Despite the fact that three months of unfettered inspections had revealed none of the chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear programs, or sophisticated delivery systems Bush and Biden claimed Iraq possessed, Biden insisted in May 2003 that, “There was sufficient evidence to go into Iraq.”Throughout his Senate career, he was a steadfast supporter of Bush’s bloody counterinsurgency war, rejecting calls for even a timetable for withdrawal.

The following month, after the Bush administration conceded that there were no “weapons of mass destruction” to be found, Biden told CNN “I, for one, thought we should have gone in Iraq,” adding his disappointment that other Democrats weren’t as supportive. A couple of weeks later, on “Fox News Sunday,” even while acknowledging that Iraq didn’t actually have the weapons, weapons systems and weapons programs he claimed, Biden insisted, “I do think it was a just war.”

At a hearing in July 2003, he categorically stated, “I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again.” Days later, in the face of growing outrage by fellow Democrats about being misled into what was already becoming a bloody counterinsurgency struggle, Biden insisted, “In my view, anyone who can’t acknowledge that the world is better off without [Saddam Hussein] is out of touch…. Contrary to what some in my party might think, Iraq was a problem that had to be dealt with sooner rather than later.” Despite Bush’s case for the war now unarguably based on falsehoods, Biden insisted that Bush had made a good case for invading and “I commend the president.”

More than a year later, as the death toll mounted, Biden insisted, in regard to his support for the invasion, “I still believe my vote was just.” Indeed, throughout the remainder of his Senate career, he was a steadfast supporter of Bush’s bloody counterinsurgency war, rejecting calls for even a timetable for withdrawal.

Despite all this evidence contradicting Biden’s claim in the latest Democratic presidential debate, pundits largely applauded the former vice president’s performance and few of the fact-checkers noted his lie.

This is particularly inexcusable in light of the fact that Biden also misled the public about Iraq during the first round of Democratic debates in June. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out his support for the Iraq War and asked, “Why should voters trust your judgment when it comes to making a decision about taking the country to war the next time?” He refused to answer. Instead, he made the bizarre claim: “I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq.” While it is true that President Barack Obama asked him to oversee negotiations and other meetings regarding implementing the Status of Forces Agreement signed by President Bush, the U.S. was required to withdraw those troops by the end of 2011 regardless.

In fact, Obama and Biden tried to convince the Iraqi government to allow U.S. troops to stay longer, but the Iraqis refused. (Ironically, both Republicans and Democratic hawks have tried to blame Obama for the subsequent rise of ISIS because he didn’t keep troops in Iraq. However, if he had done so, it would have turned into an illegal occupation and American forces would have likely faced armed resistance from the Iraqis they were supposedly there to protect.)

In a previous article, I wrote in some detail about how Biden had been calling for a U.S. invasion of Iraq since 1998, pushed the war authorization through the Democratic-controlled Senate, and abused his role as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to suppress testimony by scholars, former U.N. inspectors, and other knowledgeable authorities opposed to the war. However, it is his support for the invasion long after it became evident that Iraq was not actually a threat to its neighbors — much less the United States — which raises the question as to whether his motivation was not in fact about national security as he claimed, but about oil and empire.

Indeed, after the U.S. conquest, he began pushing the dangerous and destabilizing divide-and-rule strategy of splitting Iraq into three countries along ethnic and sectarian lines.

There are those who insist that, despite his unwillingness to formally apologize for his support for the invasion and his false claims in the lead-up to the war about Iraq’s military procurement, he is a changed man and he would not abuse the office of president to invade another oil-rich country on false pretenses. His failure to even acknowledge his support for the invasion and the war that followed, however, gives a strong impression that he cannot be trusted to not do something like that again.

Posted in USAComments Off on Biden Is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies

As Gaza’s economy goes into freefall, the debtors’ prison is overflowing

Yousef M. Aljamal 

A Palestinian man sits next to his cart where he hangs household items for sell in al-Nuseriat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Mohammed Assad) Mondowiess)

A Palestinian man sits next to his cart where he hangs household items for sell in al-Nuseriat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019 (Photo: Mohammed Assad) Mondowiess)

Karam Marwan, 22, wanted to own a video game store. In 2016 he took out a $5,000 loan from an acquaintance to open the shop. Marwan had recently graduated college with a degree in accounting, but with limited job prospects in the Gaza Strip where he lives, he hedged his bets on starting a small business. In less than a year the video store would shutter and Marwan would be in prison serving a three-month sentence over failure to repay the borrowed seed money.

In Gaza, delinquency on loans is a civil offense punishable by a maximum of a 91-day sentence, according to the Law on Execution No. 23 passed in 2015. The statute allows judges to incarcerate a Palestinian holding a debt, irrespective if that debt is to a traditional lending institution or a private individual. In most cases, a judge will mediate a settlement between the debtors and the financers. Annually, Hamas-run endowments and loan forgiveness programs, as well as independent non-profits, will pay down or absolve some debts during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but many Palestinians are left to fend for themselves.

According to the European Asylum Support Office, only males have been jailed for debts in Gaza.

A spokesperson for Gaza’s police, Ayman al-Batniji, told the UK-based outlet New Arab that 93,314 Palestinians were detained over debts and overdue loans in 2018, although the spokesperson did not specify lengths of detention. This marks an increase from the nearly 80,000 who were detained in Gaza in both cases of fraud and debts in 2015, according to data provided by Gaza’s judiciary and analyzed by the New Arab.

In a report published by AFP last year, Hamas police gave numbers that present a conflicting trend, stating around 45,000 had been imprisoned for debts in 2017.

In the past decade with an increased reliance on lending institutions, more and more Palestinians are taking out loans to cover basic facets of life, or buying goods like cell phones on layaway, locally called “installments.” Islamic Relief found in a 2018 study that “92 percent of the families went into debt to secure their basic needs of food and other daily needs.”

Marwan, the video game store owner, acquired a loan that was supposed to be repaid at a rate of $200 per month. “All went well at the beginning, but in view of the electricity blackouts in Gaza, I had to arrange alternative private electricity.” The higher cost for utilities coupled with a lower demand for selling games dependent on electricity depressed his revenue.

“Seven months after the opening of the store, debt began to accumulate,” Marwan said.

Distressed, he sought money from friends and acquaintances to pay back his loan. The lender gave him two months and then filed a complaint, but during those eight weeks Marwan tried to dodge the lender.

“I began to turn off my cell-phone and got out of the house. I stopped opening my store to hide from the man who wanted his money,” he said.

“One morning, a police officer came to my house, bringing me a summons, which shocked me,” Marwarn recounted. The anxiety landed him in the hospital. “After leaving the hospital, I was arrested,” he said.

“The court sentenced me to an annual prison term of three months until I paid the remaining $4,000,” he said. He added, “my life in jail was bitter and my sister’s husband paid my debt.”

Today, Marwan’s store is closed and he is out of work, which is not uncommon in Gaza. The World Bank reported Gaza’s unemployment rate had spiked to 52 percent in 2018. At the same time the economy, in which 70 and 80 percent of revenues are from international aid and support from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, slumped by 8 percent.

Economic conditions have worsened over the last decade under Israeli and Egyptian blockade that began in Gaza in 2007 after Hamas came to power. While in the first few years of siege Gaza’s GDP continued to grow, infrastructure damage from three wars in ten years and most recently significant cuts in funds from the Palestinian Authority, have caused Gaza’s economy to hit a “free fall,” according to the World Bank. Palestinians who now can’t make rent are ending up in prison.

Mofeed Badwan was detained in Gaza after he was unable to pay back a loan. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

Mofeed Badwan was detained in Gaza after he was unable to pay back a loan, August 1, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

Ismail Sadi, a Palestinian blacksmith, was sentenced to prison for not being able to pay back a loan he took out before getting married, in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

Ismail Sadi, a Palestinian blacksmith, was sentenced to prison for not being able to pay back a loan he took out before getting married, in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

Raed al-Hawajri, 42, lives in a one-bedroom house with his wife and four children in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip. He does not have a steady job or a stable income, which makes paying rent difficult. He had odd jobs up until two years ago, working as a security guard, tilemaker, plumber, and construction worker.

His rent costs around $125 a month, which he defaulted on last April.

“I stopped working because of the bad economic situation in the Gaza Strip. I was forced out of the house by the owner, making me and my family homeless and asking for help from God and those who could help,” he said.

The owner of the house then tried to sue Raed for around $400 in overdue rent. He filed a complaint, but when Raed was not able to cover the bill he was taken to jail. After three days, a wealthy friend stepped in and paid both Raed’s back debt and upcoming bills for the next year.

Palestinians who have sought loans to cover medical bills have also ended up in prison. In Gaza, chronic illnesses impact 42 percent of households.  

Mofeed Badwan, a middle-aged man with an established career as a painter contracted throat cancer in 2012. He was treated in an Israeli hospital six times over the course of six years for a combined total of four months. He spent his life’s savings, $20,000, to cover the expenses.

“I ran out of money as I had to pay all my bills and self-cover my treatment at an Israeli hospital,” he said. Earlier this year, with his cash flow gone, Badwan sought to follow up care in a hospital in Gaza. He took out a loan from two friends and his pharmacist.

“I had to borrow a total of 10,000 NIS to cover my bills and medicines and I ended up in jail for not being able to pay my debts back,” he said. He spent two days in jail and was released on an exception because of his medical condition.

A popular outdoor market in al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

A popular outdoor market in al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)


A Gaza young teenager smiles as he sits on the flat bed of a donkey cart used carry corn in al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

A Gaza teenager smiles as he sits on the flatbed of a donkey cart used to carry corn in al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Moin Rajab, a retired economics professor at Al-Azhar University in the Gaza Strip, told Mondoweiss that an increasing number of Palestinians in Gaza have taken out loans in the past year. At the same time, over the last two years, public employees working for the Palestinian Authority receive only 70 percent of their salaries while thousands of others have their salaries cut down completely.

“I believe solving such disputes [mediated] through the police will not end the problem. People have to speak to societal figures to solve such problems, prison is never a good solution,” Rajab said.

Other Palestinians are winding up in debtors’ prison over loans taken out to cover wedding expenses.

Ismail Sadi, 27, took a loan to get married in 2017. Sadi intended to pay back the amount from the income he earned from working two jobs. He helped out at his father’s goldsmith workshop in a room of his parents’ house and drove a taxi. Sadi was living at home to save up money. To get married, he borrowed around $2,800 from a Gaza-based private, for-profit enterprise to pay for his wedding.

He paid back half of the loan at a rate of $100 per month. But when the owner of the taxi wanted his car back, he says, “The money was no longer enough to pay the institution and cover my household expenses. The institution complained to the police because I did not pay my monthly installment for three months in a row. The police chased me and imprisoned me.”

Sadi was sentenced to 10 days.

“My father also tried to borrow money from his friends and acquaintances to take me out of prison, but he could not secure the whole amount. He only managed to secure 1,000 NIS [$280] and paid it to the institution,” he said.

Eventually, a non-profit organization secured funds for this purpose of paying off debts of Palestinians in economic crisis. It is not a regular service, but it happens occasionally in Gaza as a form of charity.

“Some rich people,” Sadi said, “paid my debt during the holy month of Ramadan and I was able to get out of jail.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on As Gaza’s economy goes into freefall, the debtors’ prison is overflowing

Netflix and Nazi: A special relationship

Netflix and Israel: A special relationship

Belen Fernandez

The logo for the online streaming giant Netflix is displayed on a tablet (AFP)10.7kShares

Back in 2016, the Israeli embassy in the United States tweeted with regard to Netflix’s global expansion: “For the 5+/- days a year the weather’s not good… @Netflix, now in Israel!”

What fortune, indeed, that Israel managed to erect itself on stolen land with such favourable meteorology. And speaking of luck, Netflix has proven itself a veritable godsend for Israel, for a lot more than five days out of the year. As with various entertainment platforms, Netflix has been willingly subsumed into the Israeli hasbara industry.

Celebrating Mossad

The latest pro-Israel production to grace subscribers’ screens is the six-part Netflix series The Spy, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Israel’s celebrated Mossad agent Eli Cohen, executed in Damascus in 1965. 

Predictably, the series humanises Cohen as a humble, loving and dedicated patriot engaged in noble subterfuge on behalf of innocent Israelis under attack from dastardly Syria. No mention is made of Israel’s preeminent role as attacker-provocateur, while its history of mass slaughter in the service of predatory regional designs is – as usual – disappeared under the mantra of “self-defence”.

The point of Israeli propaganda is to invert the victimiser-victim relationship

But The Spy is only the beginning. Search “Israel” on Netflix and you’re bombarded with all sorts of offerings, from Inside the Mossad to Fauda, a series about “a top Israeli agent [who] comes out of retirement to hunt for a Palestinian fighter he thought he’d killed”. In the trailer, we learn that “Abu Ahmad has the blood of 116 Israelis on his hands” and that “no other terrorist has killed so many: men, women, children, elderly, soldiers”.

Never mind, then, real-life episodes such as that time in 2014 that the Israeli military had the blood of 2,251 Palestinians on its hands, including 299 women and 551 children.

The point of Israeli propaganda is to invert the victimiser-victim relationship, such that Israel’s institutionalised terrorisation of Palestinians is somehow retaliatory in nature, while those on the receiving end of more than seven decades of Israeli aggression are cast in the role of aggressors.

The moral of the story

The Netflix list goes on. Also featured are two films titled The Angel and The Spy Who Fell to Earth, released in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and concerning the same character: Egyptian Ashraf Marwan, son-in-law of late president Gamal Abdel Nasser.

In their book Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars, Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman note that Marwan was the coordinator of a 1973 Libyan-Egyptian-Palestinian plot to shoot down an Israeli El Al airliner in Italy, in response to Israel’s shooting down of a Libyan airliner, which killed 105 people on board.

Marwan personally delivered the requisite missiles to the appointed Palestinians in Rome, but “the plot failed … What the Libyan, Egyptian, and Palestinian conspirators never knew was the secret about Marwan: He was a paid agent for the Mossad, one of the best Israel ever had.”

While the moral of the story for Arabs is perhaps that spying for Israel is a good way to achieve posthumous Netflix stardom, this particular anecdote should also effectively annihilate Israel’s claims to have the wellbeing and security of its citizens at heart.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Gideon Raff attend a screening for The Spy in LA on 5 September (AFP)
Sacha Baron Cohen and Gideon Raff attend a screening for The Spy in LA on 5 September (AFP)

Then there’s When Heroes Fly, the 2018 series about four Israeli military veterans traumatised by the 2006 war on Lebanon; just because Israel did the vast majority of killing and other damage doesn’t mean the role of victim should be wrested from its soldiers.

A Haaretz article assures us that “Netflix’s New Israeli Thriller ‘When Heroes Fly’ Is Almost as Much Fun as ‘Fauda’” and that the series is “gripping enough to satisfy anyone with a ‘Fauda’-shaped hole in their lives”. To be sure, it’s hard to think of anything more fun than war and trauma.

Last but not least, there’s the Netflix filmThe Red Sea Diving Resort, about the Mossad’s white-saviour efforts in the 1980s to evacuate Ethiopian Jews via Sudan to the Promised Land. (Of course, the land in question would turn out to be not so promising for many, as Ethiopians who were forcibly administered contraceptive drugs or shot by Israeli police can presumably testify.)

The film is directed by Gideon Raff, who also created The Spy and Hatufim, the inspiration for everyone’s favourite racist seriesHomeland – to which Raff contributed as well. Talk about finding your niche.

Shameless spectacle

Apparently, there’s nothing incongruous about Israelis wailing over death and displacement in Ethiopia – and the moral imperative to save the victims – when the entire Israeli enterprise is built on, well, death and displacement.

The Nakba in 1948 saw hundreds of Palestinian villages destroyed, 15,000 Palestinians murdered, and an additional 750,000 forced to flee their homes. The pattern of ethnic cleansing has only continued since, punctuated by straight-up bouts of slaughter.

Israel’s hidden propaganda warRead More »

In what can only be described as a spectacle of utter shamelessness, The Red Sea Diving Resort includes lines like this one from a blond female Israeli agent: “We’re all just refugees, aren’t we?” 

The film ends with the reminder that “there are currently more than 65 million displaced refugees around the world”; to hell with the fact that, thanks to Israel, there are well over seven million Palestinian ones.

And while a male agent in the film alleges that there’s “another bloody genocide” transpiring in Ethiopia but that “nobody gives a shit because it’s in Africa”, Israel’s genocidal quest to wipe out Palestinian identity is evidently of no similar concern.

As it turns out, my own Netflix search for “Palestine” – ditto for “Lebanon” and “Syria” – produced largely the same smorgasbord of Israeli spy thrillers and other “fun”. When I tried searching “Nakba”, the top result was Bad Boys II, starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith; a bit further down was The Red Sea Diving Resort.

Disappearing act

I recently contacted Netflix for a response to criticism that it serves as a venue for Israeli propaganda, and received the following statement from a spokesperson: “We’re in the business of entertainment, not media or politics.

“We understand that not all viewers will like all of the programming we offer. It’s why we have a diverse range of content from all over the world – because we believe that great stories come from anywhere. All Netflix shows feature ratings and information to help members make their own decisions about what’s right for themselves and their families.”

Just because there is ‘Arabic content’ on Netflix doesn’t mean it does anything to humanise or contextualise the Palestinian struggle

My attention was also directed to some examples of the “diverse Arabic content on the service and under development”, the first beingComedians of the World, a show featuring 47 international comedians – four of them in the Middle East.

But it’s a far cry from Middle Eastern comedians to the likes of The Spy – which, like all Israel-centric “entertainment”, is inherently political – and just because there is “Arabic content” on Netflix doesn’t mean it does anything to humanise or contextualise the Palestinian struggle.

Netflix’s special relationship with Israel may be lucrative for those involved, but by helping to boost Israel’s ratings in a show of brutality that has already gone on seven decades too long, the company is entirely complicit in Israel’s Palestinian disappearing act.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, Middle East, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Netflix and Nazi: A special relationship

Elizabeth Warren won’t stand up to Nazi crimes

Elizabeth Warren won’t stand up to Israel’s crimes

Ali Abunimah Power Suits 

A woman holds a microphone and gestures
Elizabeth Warren’s approach to Palestine resembles failed Obama policies. (Gage Skidmore)

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has made her clearest statement on how she would approach Israel’s decades of occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

It is arguably a microscopic improvement from previous positions.

But that’s not saying much, because those amounted to fleeing hard questions, as she did when confronted about Israel’s massacre in Gaza in 2014.

At best Warren’s approach amounts to a return to President Barack Obama’s policy of enabling Israel’s rampant crimes while paying lip-service to “peace.”

The Massachusetts senator lays out her foreign policy in a Q&A with the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank that reflects the interests of US elites.

The think tank asks Warren, “Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?”

She begins with feel-good pablum about how “I believe in the worth and value of every Israeli and every Palestinian.”

“The way we respect all parties is through a two-state solution – an outcome that’s good for US interests, good for Israel’s security and its future, and good for Palestinian aspirations for dignity and self-determination,” Warren adds.

She also endorses “an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip living alongside Israel.”

She does not mention the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes – something Israel bars solely on the racist grounds that they are not Jewish.

In fact, she doesn’t mention Palestinian rights at all.

Jerusalem dodge

Warren does promise “immediate steps to reestablish America’s role as a credible mediator.”

(Let’s leave aside whether America ever had such credibility to begin with.)

These include the symbolic step of re-opening the Washington office of the Palestinian Authority closed by the Trump administration and, more substantially, restoring US contributions to UNRWA.

Restarting funding to UNRWA, the UN agency providing vital services to millions of Palestinian refugees, would be helpful.

But it’s important to remember that “humanitarian” aid has served as a long-term palliative for the worst effects of Israeli crimes. It does nothing to reverse the injustice.

Warren addresses the thorny question of Jerusalem with a dodge.

She says, “both parties should have the option to locate their capitals” in the city.

What’s important is what’s missing: Warren pointedly does not say she will reverse Trump’s internationally condemned decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the US embassy there.

Nor does she say she will do anything to stop Israel’s violent colonization and Judaization of the city at the expense of its indigenous Palestinians.

Who dunnit?

The senator pledges to “focus real financial and political resources on fixing the man-made humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.”

But she fails to name which men – and women – created that catastrophe.

It is the direct product of Israel’s 12-year blockade on Gaza, which is calculated to produce conditions so dire that many of the two million people who live there will be forced to leave.

It is Israeli ethnic cleansing by siege.

More aid will only mitigate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza as long as the US continues to support Israel’s cruel and illegal blockade.

If Warren can’t even name who is doing the blockade, don’t expect her to do anything about it.

Following Israeli talking points

Showing absolutely no political courage, Warren promises to “oppose incitement to violence and support for terrorism by Palestinian extremists like Hamas.”

This refusal to deal with Hamas as a political force dooms any US effort to failure.

Ignoring Hamas’s serious proposals for breaking the deadlock and repeating Israeli talking points about “terrorism” is not leadership.

As I’ve argued before, if the US had not been willing to deal with the IRA and Sinn Fein, there would have been no Good Friday Agreement in Ireland.

In Afghanistan, the US is negotiating directly with the Taliban – which it accuses of harboring the people who did 9/11 – because it is in the US interest to do so.

Hamas, by contrast, is not an enemy of the United States. It is an enemy of Israel, because Israel occupies and colonizes Palestinian land and kills Palestinians with abandon.

If Warren really believes – as she claims – that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a US interest, she should be ready to deal with all Palestinian parties and tell Israel to do the same.

Finally, Warren pledges to “make clear my unequivocal opposition to Israeli settlement activity and to any moves in the direction of annexation of the West Bank.”

What does that mean? Will she return to the policy of previous administrations of issuing occasional timid statements that settlements are “unhelpful” while continuing to arm Israel to the tune of billions of dollars each year?

That’s what it sounds like.

Contrast her vagueness on Israel with her pledge of “real consequences in terms of a more limited relationship” with Saudi Arabia if that absolute monarchy does not meet US “expectations.”

Warren is not making serious proposals when it comes to Palestine and the Israeli question.

In this day and age, babble about a “two-state solution” while ignoring the one-state apartheid reality is merely a cynical exercise in seeking political cover.

It’s just Warren saying “I have a plan for that” while taking absolutely no risks.

Status quo

There are other troubling signs of what a Warren foreign policy would look like.

Following neoconservative talking points, she labels Venezuela’s elected President Nicolas Maduro a “dictator” and endorses ongoing regime change efforts.

While pledging renewed diplomacy with Iran, she repeats standard Washington talking points blaming Tehran for supporting “destabilizing regional proxies.”

This simplistic claim ignores how Iranian policy has amounted to a defensive response to the utter chaos the US has sowed in the region from invading Iraq and Afghanistan to arming al-Qaida-linked militias in Syria.

A minimally progressive position would be to end the intensifying economic war that the US is waging against the people of Venezuela and Iran – two countries whose major crime appears to be pursuing independence from the United States.

But Warren fails to offer even that.

Barely progressive

Alongside Senator Bernie Sanders, Warren is seen as one of two “progressive” heavyweights in the Democratic race.

Sanders has his own very mixed record when it comes to Palestinian rights.

He, too, has pointedly refused to say he would withdraw the US embassy from Jerusalem.

Sanders refuses to endorse BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, modeled on the campaign that helped end apartheid in South Africa.

Like Warren, Sanders takes the minimalist position of opposing efforts to legislate against BDS.

But Sanders has made one concrete pledge no other major candidate has made: to use US military aid to Israel as leverage.

“I would sit down with Israel and say, look … if you want military aid from the United States, you’re going to have to treat the Palestinian people and that region with respect,” Sanders said earlier this year.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that a President Sanders would actually keep that promise. But in campaign terms, it sets a bare minimum benchmark: Sanders is not that progressive when it comes to Palestine.

So anyone who doesn’t at least match his pledge to end unconditional US military funding of Israel is offering nothing notable.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Elizabeth Warren won’t stand up to Nazi crimes

Rising murder rates among Palestinian 1948 raises debate over police negligence

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Israeli soldiers gather at the scene where a Palestinian was shot dead near a check point in the the West Bank city of Hebron on 3 September 2018 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Israeli soldiers gather at the scene where a Palestinian was shot dead near a check point in the the West Bank city of Hebron on 3 September 2018 [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]September 26, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Rising murder rates among the Palestinian citizens of Israel have ignited a debate between police and civilians regarding the force’s negligence of Arab neighbourhoods and the practice of segregating communities within the country.

The debate comes after seven Arab Israelis were shot to death over the past week, four on the same day, bringing to 68 the number of those killed in shootings so far this year. It is the latest in a sharp rise in the murder rate among Palestinians of Israel who constitute a fifth of the population but make up 63 per cent of murder victims over the past two years. Palestinian citizens of Israel account for 80 per cent  of those killed so far this year.

Following the shooting of those four Arab Israelis at a wedding in the town of Basmat Tab’un on Saturday, Israel Police claimed that the rising murder rates are  a result of a vendetta culture, claiming the shooting was part of an ongoing dispute.

Police also accuse the leadership of the Arab community of preventing police stations from opening in these areas and of failing to sufficiently have criminals turn their guns in as part of a 2017 initiative. The same initiative is being planned to be launched next month.

Leaders in the Arab Israeli community, however, reject the claims, instead saying that the increasing murder rate is due to the inaction and negligence of Israel Police and the fact that they see Palestinians fighting amongst themselves as convenient and unimportant.

READ: Israel’s excuses for shooting unarmed Palestinians don’t ring true

Member of the Knesset (MK) Yousef Jabareen, from the Joint List alliance, told MEMO: “This alarming situation of continued internal violence in our community has become a troubling, daily reality for the Arab citizens and deprives them of sleep at night, eliminates any sense of personal security and becomes a recurrent event as days go because of increasing number of firearms shooting, murder and crime raging in the streets.”

Jabareen stated that the number of Palestinian citizens of Israel killed and wounded, and the damage to their properties since the beginning of this year all “lead the Arab citizens to a sense of helplessness mixed with a lawlessness, inaction, and lack of effective response of governmental authorities to protect the most basic human right – life!”

Knesset Member Dr Yousef Jabareen at MEMO's 'Present Absentees' conference in London on April 27, 2019 [Middle East Monitor]

Knesset Member Dr Yousef Jabareen at MEMO’s ‘Present Absentees’ conference in London on April 27, 2019 [Middle East Monitor]

He added that 95 per cent of the files opened between 2014 and 2016 for firearms assaults in residential areas are suspected of being from within the Arab Israeli community; a figure that is rising every year. “Furthermore, both the Israel State Comptroller’s report and the daily reality show that police forces repeatedly fail to protect the Arab citizens, to control this phenomenon or the criminal organisation.”

Speaking to Haaretz Ahmed Tibi, leader of the Balad party, said that despite his efforts to convince communities to hand over their guns for years, Arab leaders and lawmakers are still being blamed. The main issue is that “We [Palestinians of Israel] don’t have a private police force.” This, he said, alienates the police from the citizens, who are both from different communities and political interests. “How is it there are more guns in Gaza but less crime and murder?” he asked. “Simply because the police don’t treat the people like the enemy.”

READ: Israel killed Palestinian civilians deliberately, so why is the UNHRC speculating about it?CategoriesIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine5 Comments

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on Rising murder rates among Palestinian 1948 raises debate over police negligence

Kamila Shamsie: yet another BDS proponent punished for following her conscience

Renowned author Kamila Shamsie won a prestigious literary award in Germany. Then a rightwing website dug up “dirt” – Shamsie supports BDS! – and just like that, the award was rescinded.
Read more

Israeli forces & settlers commit 204 human rights violations in past weekThe Palestinian Center for Human rights documented 204 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory during the week of September 19-25, 2019 – see the incidents:

Read mor

eSign the petition: "No aid to Israel while Israeli scammers bilk Americans"Scam alert: Israel is supposedly America’s ‘close ally,’ but while it takes $10 million in aid every day, it is knowingly allowing American citizens to be ruined. The companies are specifically targeting veterans and senior citizens. Time to say no more aid while Israel allows its companies to steal Americans’ life savings.
Read more

US cracking down on $10 billion Israeli scam that steals life savingsIsrael-based financial scammers have been cheating Americans out of millions of dollars, causing ruin to individuals and families. So far, 15 Israelis have been indicted in the U.S. for binary options scams. Two dual citizen Americans have just been sentenced in Maryland for cheating senior citizens & veterans out of their live savings – meanwhile, Israel gets over $10 million per day in aid from US taxpayers.

Read more

Netflix series "The Spy" is propaganda, not factThe new Netflix series, “The Spy,” appears to be more fiction than fact as it tells the story of Israeli spy Eli Cohen. The show may be Mossad’s attempt to rescue its reputation after years of botched operations and blown covers.

Read more

New legislation in Congress puts Palestinians in a Catch-22New bills in Congress would put the Palestinian Authority in a no-win position: go bankrupt, or withdraw from int’l bodies that keep alive a hope of justice.Read more

If Americans Knew: “This is why we exist”Alison Weir has weathered criticism and hate, slander and insults, in the quest for justice for Palestinians. Her organization, If Americans Knew, reconfirmed its reason for existence in the ups and downs of a recent, difficult controversy.

Read more

Israel military outdoes itself in a week of violence toward PalestiniansSeptember, Week 3: Mainstream media does not cover the scores of “small” stories of Palestinian loss of freedom, property, life, and hope. IMEMC brings the stories to us daily. Below are many of the headlines from the past week.
Read more

Alison Weir speaks in Fresno CA to packed house & enthusiastic applauseIn preparation for Alison Weir’s informative event on the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Fresno CA braced itself for protests that Israel partisans had promised. The ADL, American Jewish Committee, etc had condemned the event. But the evening was peaceful and educational, with a large, full auditorium, extremely receptive audience, and TV news reports on the event. After the almost 2-hour talk, there was a long line of audience members eager to purchase her book…
Read more

Posted in Palestine Affairs, USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Kamila Shamsie: yet another BDS proponent punished for following her conscience

Christians Respond to Eckhart Tolle Challenge


I asked Christians to help me understand how Tolle contradicts Christianity. Here are their responses and some responses to their responses.Matt- I believe that most of your “Christian” readers who commented on the Eckhardt Tolle may be egomaniacal narcissists who are unaware of there own shortcomings. This would be anti-Christ in and of itself. The Ten Commandments and Christ’s teachings are being completely ignored by this “Christian” snob mob. None of them are humbling themselves before the Lord and are failing miserably at loving thy neighbor. Alas we are all sinners and this is to be expected. This is where mindfulness becomes an awesome tool to help us be in the spirit of the lord. It does not say love thy neighbor only if they believe as you do, it says love thy neighbor as you would love yourself regardless of their beliefs because we were all created in the image of the divine. 
If you hate or disparage another because they practice differently or look differently or even vote differently than you, then you are hating and disparaging the creator, you are hating God. It’s very simple, but the propaganda to divide and separate us from one another has created this schism in humanity from the very beginning, good vs. evil. 
I know that the holy books are just that, “books”. Eckhardt Tolle explains simply that to be mindful of joy, happiness, righteousness, and staying on the right path of treating yourself and others with respect and loving thyself and thy neighbor is the way to inner peace while on this earth, is not only correct, but it is divine in nature. To deny this, would akin to denying God. How do I know? I have a step-sister who is in her mid-thirties and she was born with a disease called Joubert Syndrome, where her cerebellum was severely underdeveloped, so her motor functions do not work normally, she can’t walk, talk, and has difficulty with almost all things that we fully functional human take for granted. She is in a wheelchair, she needs nurses to help her eat, dress, and take basic care of her. She never had the chance to enjoy life like the rest of us, she never had the chance to blow out her own candles on her birthday, have her first kiss, fall in love and live happily ever after, but this young lady is a joy to be around. 
She is as pure as the driven snow and the happiest being I have ever met on this earth in my 45 years of existence. Always smiling, always happy and always inspiring that same joy in every person that comes in contact with her. She has never read the Bible or gone to a church or talked to a preacher, yet she exudes the essence of the divine better than anyone. She knows God because God dwells in her and in her heart. She can never be corrupted and she could never deceive a single soul on this planet, her spirit is in perfect harmony with the divine. This alone has proven to me that, no book or act can get you close to the kingdom of heaven, being mindful of your own actions and loving unconditionally is the only way to dwell in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is in every living being on this planet from its inception, this is undeniable and proof positive. We have been given a choice and when your ability to choose is not there, God will protect you and dwell within your spirit for the whole world to see.  May you go in peace and love and may God bless you in your journey called life.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, UncategorizedComments Off on Christians Respond to Eckhart Tolle Challenge

Free Speech Is Fundamentally “Anti-Semitic”

  • The honorable Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, a righteous statesmen unafraid to speak the truth about organized Jewry.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad may be the most important political figure in the entire world. He is certainly the most courageous, righteous, and honest statesmen that I’ve ever encountered. He is clearly not afraid to speak the truth about organized Jewry, their power and influence in the world, and their weaponized buzzwords used to stifle any criticism or honest discussion of their criminality and nation-wrecking agendas, which we have documented in previous blog posts here.

The honorable Malaysian Prime Minister recently addressed the Global Leaders Forum at Columbia University, which truly enraged the Jews. The organized Jewish community had been hoping that Columbia University would cancel his scheduled appearance at the prestigious forum, and continued to condemn his presence when Columbia commendably refused to back down. Ronald Lauder, the President of the World Jewish Congress, sent a letter to Columbia University stating he would encourage his friends to “immediately cease any of their contributions to your institution until such a time anti-Semitic despots are no longer welcome on your campus.” What nerve these people have!

Jonathan Greenblatt@JGreenblattADL

For decades, Mahathir Mohammed has blamed Jews for Malaysia’s & the world’s ills, recently at Oxford & Cambridge Universities. Among almost 200 heads of state in NY this week, it’s a shame that the @Columbia community chose to feature him on their stage. …Columbia under fire for inviting anti-Semitic Malaysian leader to speakColumbia University is under fire again for inviting an anti-Semitic world leader to speak on campus. Columbia’s World Leaders Forum has

His speech had nothing to do with organized Jewry, his views on the alleged “Holocaust” during WWII, or “anti-Semitism”, but of course an obnoxious Jewish student asked him a question about his views on these topics. His response was epic.

How do you not love this guy? The Algemeiner reports:


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad defended his right to express antisemitic views in the name of free speech in remarks to Columbia University students on Wednesday.

Speaking to a packed audience at the university’s Global Leaders Forum, the 94-year-old leader — whose decades-old conviction that “the Jews rule the world by proxy” has never wavered  — also refused to say whether he accepted the fact that six million Jews were murdered during the Nazi Holocaust.

Why can’t I say something about the Jews, when people say nasty things about me and about Malaysia?” Mahathir complained, as he responded to a powerfully-worded challenge posed by a member of the Columbia chapter of Students Supporting Israel.

The Malaysian leader went on to argue, “When you say ‘you cannot be antisemitic,’ there is no free speech.” […]

Indeed, if one cannot openly criticize Jews, question and dispute the official “Holocaust” narrative of WWII, engage in serious, scholarly research into the background and ideology of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany, or make “anti-Semitic” and “hateful” statements about Jews and other minorities, then there is no free speech, as the Prime Minister powerfully and correctly stated. Anyone with the ability to think critically should be able to engage in serious, scholarly research into any topic of interest to them.

The very concept of free speech, certainly from an American perspective, revolves around specifically protecting individuals expressing controversial and dissenting political, historical, social or racial perspectives, ensuring they are allowed to express their point of view without violence being inflicted upon them or without the government interfering or harming their ability to do so.

How telling it is to have to be reminded of this basic bedrock principal of American political traditions by the Prime Minister of an Asian country. The only American politician I’m aware of speaking out on this issue is Tulsi Gabbard, who has commendably addressed the idea of free speech and the tech tyranny we see unfolding in America.

Tulsi Gabbard@TulsiGabbard

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Free Speech Is Fundamentally “Anti-Semitic”

Shoah’s pages