FROM XENOPHOBIA TO OIKOPHOBIA

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2014 AT 4:31PM GILAD ATZMON

Alimuddin Usmani Interviews Gilad Atzmon – we spoke about Dieudonné, the ‘socialist’ , The Zionification of the Left,  Oikophobia, the devastating impact of the Frankfurt Yeshiva and the 68 revolution, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Shoa & Humour, the Jewish Question and more..  
Alimuddin Usmani: Joe le Corbeau is a French cartoonist. He is a friend of Dieudonné and often makes a mockery of Zionist figures like BHL, ‘the Holocaust religion’ and the New World Order. On January 28, he was arrested by the police for having posted on his website a picture of someone performing the quenelle salute in front of a Jewish school. Joe le Corbeau has been accused of incitement to ethnic or racial hatred. Dozens of mainstream media outlets published the same quenelle without having any problem. In your opinion, is Joe le Corbeau subject to tribal revenge via the French judiciary? 
Gilad Atzmon: Once again, we learn that neither the French ‘Socialist’ government nor its Jerusalemite paymasters can cope with a certain type of parody. Is it a coincidence?
For generations, Yiddish humor has been outrageously mocking the goyim’s alleged ‘naivety’ and ‘stupidity’ while simultaneously celebrating an imaginary ‘Jewish wit’. But as we learn, once again, ‘mocking others’ is a Jews-only territory. 
At least the French ‘Socialist’ government has been kind enough to let us know what Jewish chosenness actually means in practice.  
But it goes even further. In the past, the Left was concerned with the rise of xenophobia – animosity towards the stranger, the foreigner, the ‘Other’.  But what we see in contemporary France is the complete opposite, namely Oikophobia –­ an emerging hatred and fear of the Oikos, i.ethe home, the indigenous, the host, the rooted, the authentic.    
In order to combat xenophobia, the New Left, dominated by Frankfurt Yeshiva graduates, introduced us to identity politics  – a manifest attempt to break society up into multiple marginal sectors. The outcome was a swift metamorphosis of Left culture. Traditional working class politics was replaced by a fake notion of diversity that was translated, in practice, into a manifold of meaningless sectarian clashes.  
Threatened by nationalism and patriotism, the Jewish intelligensia wanted to see society broken up into manifold discourses driven by ethnicity, race and gender (e.g. LGBT). It basically re-defined the Western ethos as a collective of godless synagogues.  The post-’68 Left joined this very dangerous political experiment in a desperate attempt to break down the overtly cohesive, nationalist working class. As we all know, the consequences have been devastating. Instead of overcoming xenophobia, racism or intolerance, each of us has become a stranger in our own home. We voluntarily Other-ised ourselves to the point of oblivion.   
This is exactly where Dieudonné intervenes. By means of humour, he has managed to re-unite us all: the Black, the Arab, the White, the poet and the patriot. He has reminded us all what is really meant by resistance.
Dieudonné has managed to re-launch a genuine Left dialectic dynamic fuelled by negation. Once again, we are united by our oppressors. And they can be easily identified – the forceful and domineering Jewish Lobby and its ‘Socialist’ puppet government.  
Joe le Corbeau is also opposed to Oikophobia – his humour is an emblem of the Oikos, i.e. the home, the nation, the rooted, the authentic, Frenchness.  I guess that a half-century of Frankfurt School indoctrination is about to come to an end.
Alimuddin Usmani: Joe le Corbeau is the publisher of ‘Shoah Hebdo’, a parody of the satirical publication ‘Charlie Hebdo’ which often targets Catholicism and Islam. Since Charlie Hebdo is regularly supported by the French government, does Joe Le Corbeau’s work help us to become aware of the double standard concerning blasphemy? 
Gilad Atzmon: It is far from a coincidence that the only people who still touch upon truth within Western society are comedians and satirists.  Politics, media, academia and the Arts have long since been castrated by means of political correctness.
Satire is certainly the last frontier, and it explains very well why the French Jewish elite unleashed its Socialist Big Brother to impose the current Orwellian Newspeak measures in a desperate attempt to remove le Corbeau, Dieudonné and others from our public milieu.  But, so far, their desperate campaign has backfired. They have made Dieudonné into an international hero. 
Alimuddin Usmani: What did you think of theHolocaust cartoon contest organised
by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s  government?
Gilad Atzmon: At the time, I published many of the cartoons on my site. I think that the contest delivered an astute message. It juxtaposed the Jewish Holocaust and the Palestinian one. 
It ridiculed the Holocaust denial laws – absurd European legislation that is set to prevent us revisiting and revising our past.
But it also mocked the Holocaust religion – a banal concept fuelled by an amalgam of tribal vengeance and Judeo-centric victimhood. 
But most importantly, let me tell you, I grew up in Israel in a society that was deeply embarrassed by the Holocaust and repelled its survivors (read Tom Segev’s “The Seventh Million”). The Holocaust jokes I heard in Tel Aviv were far more vile and cruel than anything I’ve ever seen in the Iranian contest or anywhere else.  
Alimuddin Usmani: Following its neighbor Spain’s lead, Portugal is planning to grant citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled in the 15th century. What is your reaction to this news? 
Gilad Atzmon: I think that it is quite brilliant. All we need now is to make sure that the Khazars take back the Ashkenazi Jews. This would be the final and most peaceful solution to the Jewish question.
Alimuddin Usmani: On February 9th, Bernard-Henri Lévy traveled to Kiev to support the Ukrainian opposition. Among the opposition, we find the Svoboda Party, a National Socialist Party using neo-Nazi symbols. In your opinion, is it a simple coincidence that BHL is on the same side as these people? 
Gilad Atzmon: It has become an established fact that Bernard-Henri Lévy has developed a unique interventionist mental affection. This peculiar morbid state of mind is indeed symptomatic of Zionists who for more than two decades have been launching and winning proxy wars (against Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and now Ukraine).
However, the fact that BHL may eventually bond with a neo-Nazi party is actually a positive development. It only means that BHL has, at last, found his true intellectual and ideological roots. After all, Zionism is a racially-driven nationalist and expansionist concept. It is inherently Nazi-like.     
I am looking forward to see what kind of a deal BHL may strike with Svoboda. After all, the Holodomor – the systematic starvation of millions of Ukrainians, is by far the most horrid crime of the 20th century. The Jewish lobbies around the world have been investing a lot of energy and political effort attempting to conceal the role of Bolshevik Jews in this genocide.
Alimuddin Usmani: On March 20, you’re giving a talk in Geneva. Can you tell us something about the content of this event? 
Gilad Atzmon: I will be talking about “Truth and Concealment”. By contrasting Athens and Jerusalem, I will examine the devastating continuum between the Chosen and the progressive, between Israel, Zionism and the New Left. I am basically going to explain, once and for all, why nothing good has happened in Palestine, Paris or Detroit for quite some time. I will suggest that, as things stand, we are all Palestinians; and that we had better unite and start to move on again.

The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity politics and Jewish Power in particular – available onAmazon.com  Amazon.co.uk

Old Testament Armed Forces: Religious zealotry runs rampant in the U.S. military

Perhaps they need to read “Behind The Bible Fraud –   What Was The Church   Trying To Hide? http://www.rense.com/general66/hide.htm

OR Will camel discovery break the Bible’s back?

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/11/is-camel-discovery-the-straw-that-broke-the-bibles-back/comment-page-2/

http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/new/old-testament-armed-forces-religious-zealotry-runs-rampant-in-the-u-s-military/#.UxBuYumPM5t

Air-Force-Academy-chapel

By Philip Giraldi.

The American Conservative, 2/12/14 – The connection between America’s wars in the Middle East—and its wars more generally—with the more fundamentalist forms of Christianity in the United States is striking.

Opinion polls suggest that the more religiously conservative one is, the more one will support overseas wars or even what many might describe as war crimes. Fully 60 percent of self-described evangelicals supported torturing suspected terrorists in 2009, for example. That is somewhat puzzling, as Christianity is, if anything, a religion of peace that only reluctantly embraced a “just war” concept that was deliberately and cautiously evolved to permit Christians—under very limited circumstances of imminent threat—to fight to defend themselves.

To be sure, some Christian conservatives who might be described as Armageddonists regard America’s Asian wars as part and parcel of the precursor events that will lead to the Second Coming of Christ, which they eagerly look forward to. Also, a non-interventionist friend of mine who comes from a religiously conservative background explained to me how the contradiction partly derives from the fact that many evangelical Christians hardly relate to the New Testament at all. While they can recite scripture and verse coming from the Old Testament, they are frequently only marginally conversant with the numerous episodes in the New Testament that attest to Jesus’s extolling the virtues of peacemaking and loving one’s neighbor. If true, that means that many evangelicals are much more imbued with the values of an eye-for-an-eye or smiting Philistines than they are with the Sermon on the Mount.

There has undeniably been pushback coming from some evangelical leaders as well as from many younger religious conservatives against America’s constant diet of God-anointed warfare, but given that those who describe themselves as evangelical Christians tend to disproportionately support America’s wars, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that fundamentalist viewpoints prevail in certain quarters in the military. There has indeed been considerable media reporting on the impact of evangelical Christians on the armed services, to include a bizarre account of US military sniper sights being inscribed with citations from the Bible, leading one critic to suggest that the soldiers were being issued “Jesus rifles.”

A prominent General, William Boykin, was until recently the best known Christian fundamentalist in the U.S. military. Boykin held prayer breakfasts when he commanded Delta Force and, when Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under George W. Bush, was widely criticized for appearing in churches and other public gatherings in his uniform. He would describe his personal war against Islam, claiming that “My God is bigger than yours,” possibly suggesting that size really does matter, at least in theological circles. He also called the Islamic God an “idol.” At some church gatherings Boykin would produce a photo taken in Mogadishu which, he claimed, included a mysterious dark shadow that he described as a “demonic presence,” adding that “spiritual enemies will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.” Boykin, who advocates “No Mosques in America,” is currently Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council, which lobbies the Pentagon to complain that there is a “war on Christianity” within the military.

Boykin was not unique. Several other generals and a number of additional senior officers have appeared at church sponsored events or made videos while in uniform, frequently extolling the religious nature of America’s wars in the Middle East. They were perhaps encouraged from the top, by born-again President George W. Bush’s overt religiosity and his description of Jesus Christ as his “favorite philosopher.” Be that as it may, the shock of 9/11 let the evangelical genie out of the bottle in anticipation of the conflict of civilizations that some Armageddonists were welcoming, with the Pentagon even livening up its daily Worldwide Intelligence Update by using biblical verses as captions for war images. Bush had himself initially described the global war on terror as a “crusade,” though he quickly regretted using the expression after being educated to the fact that many of Washington’s potential allies against terrorism were, in fact, Muslims.

The U.S. military, aware of the constitutional restraints on promoting any religion, generally attempts to rein in outward expressions of religiosity on the part of its officers, but the open defiance of those efforts has been increasing as fundamentalists become both more assertive and better represented at senior levels in the officer corps. Fully one-third of military chaplains are currently evangelicals and the percentage is increasing. Many fundamentalists assert that a good officer has to be “moral,” by which they mean “religious,” in the belief that it is impossible to be ethical without a relationship to God. As many of the evangelicals also believe they possess the absolute truth in terms of their own definitions of religiosity, there is little room for alternative viewpoints.

The soldiers who promote their faith dodge the military’s restrictions on their actions by claiming that they are only “evangelizing the unchurched,” not proselytizing.  When they hand out bibles to Afghans they describe it as providing“gifts.”  General David Petraeus, when head of the Central Command was well known for his strong commitment to “spiritual fitness” as a sine qua non for his officers, providing a top level sanction for including religion in one’s professional development. In 2007 Petraeus endorsed Christian rock concerts on military bases. A year later, senior Army chaplain William McCoy took the argument for spirituality one step further, explaining how the non-religious soldier, having no protection against sin, might cause the failure of his unit.   Petraeus blurbed McCoy’s book Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, recommending that it be in every backpack for those times when a soldier needs “spiritual energy.” A senior chaplain in Afghanistan also enthused about how leading by example produces positive results, with 85 percent of the 22 officers reporting to Petraeus engaging in “dynamic Bible study,” though one has to wonder if they might have been doing so to enhance their promotion prospects.

A notorious, long running dispute at the United States Air Force Academy over the proper role of “spirituality” has generally resulted in little or no change in the promotion of evangelical Christianity at many levels, a process aided and abetted by a series of Superintendents who were themselves fundamentalists. Even the Air Force football team was not immune, with a large banner in the locker roomproclaiming “I am a Member of Team Jesus Christ.” Captain MeLinda Morton, an Air Force Lutheran chaplain who actually complained about the over the top proselytizing was initially ignored and then reassigned.

Why should all this be important, since it is surely up to the individual to decide what he or she does or does not believe? It matters for a number of reasons. Believers who do not create a firewall between their faith and their professional responsibilities, which for a soldier should include all Americans and not just the ones that think the same way he or she does, will inevitably favor coreligionists, particularly if it is being argued that religiosity is an essential ingredient for soldiering. Many Christian fundamentalists understandably believe that their first duty is to God, not necessarily to their country or to their fellow citizens, but they fail to see how such a view might be considered unacceptable in someone who chooses to work for the government.

Just how God before country works in the military context might best be illustrated by one aspect of the Air Force Academy’s struggle with proselytizing on campus. Groups of cadets had been gathering in commons rooms in dorms and libraries to have Bible study sessions. An understanding that public spaces at the academy were just that and the ad hoc use of a room by a group would discourage or prevent others from using it appeared to carry the day until the academy’s second in command, an evangelical Christian named Johnny Weida who had previously advised cadets that they were “accountable first to your God,” stated flatly that the practice would continue: “You wanna have a Bible study in a cadet TV room? No problem.”

The increase in highly visible religiosity among U.S. soldiers also has real life consequences by becoming a propaganda tool for groups like al-Qaeda and strengthening the widespread belief that Washington is actually mounting a new crusade against Muslim regimes. Efforts to have soldiers distribute Bibles in Afghanistan’s languages, encouraged by some military chaplains, have been noted by both the local and international media, a practice that runs counter to both military regulations and specific general orders for the Afghan theater of operations.

And then there is the strange tale of Pat Tillman, the National Football League player who volunteered for the Army after 9/11. Tillman, an Army ranger, was shot dead by his own comrades on a patrol in Afghanistan in April 2004, resulting in an elaborate military cover-up relating to his death. Tillman was apparently an outspoken non-believer and there is some evidence that he also had turned against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Credible speculation by both the Tillman family and also by former General Wesley Clark suggests that he was murdered, three bullet holes in his forehead indicating that he might have been shot by an M-16 at close range. His fellow soldiers also uncharacteristically burned his clothing and his body armor after he died, and Tillman’s personal diary went missing. A criminal investigation was requested but turned down by Army brass. When the family complained, the leading investigating officer Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich commented that they were venting because the Tillmans were all non-believers, saying “…if you are an atheist and you don’t believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt.”

There is a cliché about soldiers, atheism, and fox holes which is probably as true or untrue as most clichés. That the United States military appears to be increasingly a professional force that has few links to the general population is by itself disturbing. That it also might be developing a warrior class ethos that includes a certain kind of evangelical religiosity as a key element only serves to increase the distance between soldiers and most civilians, apart from the constitutional issues that it raises.

My own exposure to holy war courtesy of the U.S. Army was somewhat different, but it was a draftee experience, long ago. In basic training back during Vietnam a chaplain who was, as I recall, both a Colonel and an unmistakable Irish Catholic came storming through our barracks spewing fire and brimstone. He delivered a pretty good impression of Pat O’Brien playing Father Francis Duffy of the Fighting 69th before he disappeared followed by a cloud of cigar smoke, growling something about “killing commies.” A couple of kids from Chicago followed in his wake crying out “Fatha, Fatha,” evidently in need of spiritual solace of some kind, but his pastoral visit was apparently over. Mission Accomplished.

Syria’s attempt to destroy chemical weapons delayed by terrorist attacks

Militants attack chemical weapons convoys: Syria

The monthly report to the UN Security Council of the joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said on Wednesday that the attempted attacks were on January 27. It gave no details on the location of the convoys.

“In addition, Syrian authorities indicated that ongoing military activities rendered two sites inaccessible during most of the reporting period,” the five-page report said.

This delayed “in-country destruction of the final quantities of isopropanol, preventing some activities to consolidate chemical material into a reduced number of locations, and preventing the physical verification of chemical material prior to movement on 27 January 2014.”

Isopropanol is one of two key ingredients for sarin.

President Bashar al-Assad agreed to destroy Syrian chemical weapons following global outrage over an alleged sarin gas attack in August.

It sparked a US threat of military strikes that was averted after the Syrian government pledged to give up his chemical arms.

But the Syrian government, locked in a three-year-old war with rebels seeking to overthrow Assad, failed to meet the February 5 OPCW deadline to move all of its declared chemical substances and precursors – some 1,300 tonnes – out of the country.

Syria has now proposed a new timetable to remove its chemical weapons by late April, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Does anyone seriously believe Israel is interested in peace? 44 Palestinians Killed, 2702 Arrested Since the Resumption of Negotiations

http://www.imemc.org/article/67102

Palestine Liberation Organization – Negotiation Affairs Department issued, Wednesday, a report revealing the number of Israeli violations that were committed since the resumption of negotiations, as follows:

                   reportpnn.jpg

(PNN) Since the resumption of negotiations in July 30th 2013, Israel has escalated its aggressions against the people in the occupied State of Palestine. During the past 7 months Israel has advanced 10,489 housing units in Israeli settlements (or over 52,000 new settlers), killed 44 Palestinians, conducted 3,360 military raids, arrested 2702 Palestinians, demolish 154 homes as well as settlers have conducted 497 terror attacks.

At the same time, dozens of Palestinian institutions, notably the Orient House and the Chamber of Commerce, continue to be closed by Israel, in defiance of its obligations as an occupying power. For a just peace to prevail, the international community has the responsibility to hold Israel accountable for its international law and human rights violations that continue to affect the people of Palestine on a daily basis.
Read full report here

 

The true face of Ukraine’s new fascist “democracy” , Alexander Muzychko

http://wakeupfromyourslumber.com/video/tom-sullivan/video-goes-viral-ukraine-nationalist-activist-attacking-prosecutor

A video has surfaced online of Alexander Muzychko, a former mercenary who fought in Chechnya, and current leader of the ultra nationalist group known as the Right Sector. It shows his method of dealing with the remaining authorities. Muzychko barged into a prosecutor’s office in Central Ukraine and attacked an employee while demanding to see the prosecutor, who was not there. He then began to terrorise staff members, assaulting one of them and threatening to tie him up and drag him out, quote, “like an animal”.

China lashes out at US human rights record

 

China has released a report on human rights in the United States, slamming the country for its overseas drone attacks, state-sponsored spying and gun crime.

The report, which was issued by China’s State Council on Friday, said the US “concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” such as a government-run intelligence program known as PRISM which it said “seriously infringes on human rights.”

The report also denounced Washington’s deadly drone strikes in countries such as Pakistan and added that they have caused “heavy civilian casualties.”

The US suffers from “rampant gun violence” while its agricultural sector employs a “large amount of child laborers,” Beijing said.

Last year, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Over the past several years, Washington has also been launching drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, saying the airstrikes target Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants in those countries. Yet, official figures show that most of the victims were civilians.

The country’s gun violence has also been under the spotlight, especially after a shooter killed 20 first-grade school children and six staff members using an assault rifle sold legally to his mother in a rampage at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.

Since the deadly shooting in Newtown, the US media have reported more than 10,000 gun deaths in the country, according to an interactive project between slate.com and the anonymous creator of the Twitter feed @GunDeaths.

Beijing’s report comes a day after Washington issued a similar report criticizing China’s rights record.

Weekly Report on Israel’s Terrorism against the State of Palestine

http://imemc.org/article/67124

FULL REPORT 

In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, for the week of 20 – 26 February, 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that during the past week, Israeli forces wounded 29 Palestinian civilians, sixteen of whom were wounded in the Gaza Strip and 13 who were wounded in the West Bank. Of the wounded were 5 children, 3 journalists, a human rights activist, a paramedic and a member of the Gaza Interior Ministry.

                   Mother and daughter walk through the ruins of their destroyed home, Silwan (PCHR photo) Mother and daughter walk through the ruins of their destroyed home, Silwan (PCHR photo)

In addition, Israeli forces conducted 4 shooting incidents along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and 2 shooting incidents against fishermen in the sea.
Israeli attacks in the West Bank:
Israeli forces conducted 59 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank this week. 3 civilians were wounded. 41 civilians, including 6 children were abducted. Of the abducted were 4 employees from International Tadamun (Solidarity) for Human Rights in Nablus, including a woman.
In the West Bank, 13 civilians, including 2 children, a paramedic, a journalist and a human rights activist, were wounded; 10 of whom were wounded in peaceful demonstrations and the 3 others were wounded during an Israeli incursion in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, and Taqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem.
In one example of this week’s 59 incursions, on Monday February 24th, at approximately 01:30 AM, Israeli forces moved into the west of Deir Estya, northwest of Salfit. They stopped Sharaf Dawood Mohammed ‘Ebeid (22), attacked him to take a photo of him. In addition, they detained his friend Ra’fat Emad Abdul Majid Diab (18) and released both of them later. At approximately 01:50, Israeli forces withdrew, neither house raids nor arrests were reported. Ra’fat Diab said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “At approximately 01:30 on Monday, 24 February, 2014, I was sitting with some friends near a supermarket on the main streets of Deir Estya village. I set up the fire as usual and was sitting together with my friends. One of our friends decided to go home, so I went with my friend Sharaf Ebeid to get him home. When we returned, we heard some people but saw nobody because it was dark. We kept walking. Suddenly, an Israeli soldier appeared out of the dark and caught us while we were walking in front of the supermarket. They detained me, obliged me to put my hands up and turn my face against the wall. After a while, they ordered me to go home, but started beating up my friend Sharaf with gun butts. They detained him for some time, took a photo of him and released him later. On the following day, Sharaf told me that he felt pain in the back. Israeli forces withdrew at 01:50, as shown in the surveillance camera of the supermarket.”
On 25 February, 2014, Israeli forces abducted 4 employees from the International Tadamun (Solidarity) for Human Rights in Nablus. They searched their houses and the organizations office and confiscated 6 computers and some documents.
Israeli forces have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.
As part of using military checkpoints and border crossings as traps to abduct Palestinian civilians, under the pretext they are wanted, Israeli forces abducted at least 2 civilians in the West Bank.
Israeli forces established dozens of checkpoints in the West Bank. At least 9 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were abducted at checkpoints.
Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip:
Israeli forces continued to open fire at border areas in the Gaza Strip. 16 civilians were wounded in separate shooting incidents. The wounded included 2 children, 2 journalists and a member of the Interior Ministry.
In the Gaza Strip, on 21 February, 2014, 12 civilians, including 2 children and a journalist, were wounded when Israeli forces opened fire at dozens of Palestinian civilians, east of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip.
On the same day, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence near Sofa crossing, northeast of al-Shouka village, northeast of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at 2 members of the Interior Ministry, who were about 300 meters away from the said fence.
On 22 February, 2014, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded when Israeli forces moved into Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah.
On 24 February, 2014, a Palestinian civilian was wounded in Taqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem, when Israeli forces moved into the village.
On 24 February, 2014, Israeli forces positioned along the border fence, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village, northeast of the city, but no casualties were reported.
On 25 February, 2014, 2 civilians, including a journalist, were wounded during a demonstration organized by the Intifada Coalition in the vicinity of Nahal Oz crossing, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City. A number of demonstrators threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters in response.
In the context of targeting fishermen, on 20 February, 2014, Israeli navy forces opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off Rafah shore, south of the Gaza Strip. Two missiles landed on a site belonging to the Palestinian National Security service, along the border fence between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported. The site sustained minor damage.
On the same day, Israeli gunboats stationed off the shore northwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at fishing boats sailing within a nautical mile.
3 Palestinian civilians were abducted at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. On Thursday evening, 20 February, 2014, Israeli forces stationed at the borderline with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, abducted the 3 Palestinian civilians while they were trying to pass the border in order to enter into Israel to work there. The 18, 19 and 20-year-old are all from Block 5 in Jabalia refugee camp. According to Yousif Fayyad, he lost his son ‘Atta and his nephew Mohammed on the aforementioned Thursday, and they did not come back home. They left in the early morning, and none knew where they were till he received a call on his cell phone from the Israeli police telling him that his son and his nephew were under arrest, after passing the northern borders of the Gaza Strip. He added that they were being held in Eshkol prison, and that they needed legal assistance. The family of al’Ajrami said that they received a call from the Israeli police telling them that their son is abducted by Israeli authorities and he is now in Eshkol prison, so they have to hire a lawyer for him.
Israel continued to impose a total closure on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June of 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 7 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem and other countries around the world. This has resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 1.7 million people. The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy. They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports.
Israeli settlement activities:
Israeli forces continued to support settlement activities in the West Bank, and Israeli settlers continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
Lands were demolished in Kofur al-Deek, west of Salfit, to expand a settlement outpost. Israeli forces continued issuing house demolition notices in area (C). Some settlers attacked Palestinian farmers in the north and south of the West Bank.
On 20 February, 2014, Israeli forces served civilians from Ezna village, west of Hebron, with 3 notices to halt construction work in their own structures, under the pretext of having no construction permit, in the areas classified as “C” according to the 1993 Oslo Agreement. The notices included an under-construction house and 4 barracks used for collecting scrap.
On 22 February, 2014, a number of settlers from “Beit ‘Ein” settlement, established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from the west of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, threw stones at and insulted Mohammed ‘Abdel Hamid al-Sleibi (78) and his sons while they were working on their land in Abu al-Rish area, west of the village. As a result, they were forced to flee fearing for their lives.
On the same day, a group of settlers from “Jel’aad” settlement attacked the residents of Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilya, after the residents planted olive seedlings in their lands adjacent to the aforementioned settlement. According to investigations conducted by PCHR, when farmers finished planting the seedlings, around 100 settlers attacked the farmers and chased them into the village. They smashed the windows of a house belonging to the family of Mohammed Yousif al-Sakhen, and the windows of a vehicle belonging to ‘Awni Nassar. They also attacked a vehicle belonging to Nasim ‘Abdel Qader al-Sedah and smashed its windows. They then raided a house belonging to the family of Sami Ahmed ‘Erman, attacking his family members with sticks who as a result escaped from the house.
At approximately 14:00 on the same day, a group of settlers under intensive protection of Israeli forces stormed the old city markets of central Hebron. The settlers threw stones at shops and verbally abused at the civilians. The old city in Hebron has recently witnessed increasing violations by settlers living in the outposts of “Beit Romamo” and “Beit Hadasa”, in front of Israeli forces and police.
On 23 February, 2014, a group of settlers headed by Baroukh Marzel from “Ramat Yishai” outpost established on the lands confiscated from Tal al-Ramidah neighborhood, in central Hebron, stormed the old city markets under heavy guard of Israeli forces. The settlers gathered near the intersection of al-Sahlah Street and attempted to stop the Palestinian workers from carrying out rehabilitation works in one of the shops belonging to Ghassan ‘Ezz al-Deen Abu Hadid.

On 25 February, 2014, Israeli forces accompanied by an officer from the Construction and Organization Department in the Israeli Civil Administration served Rami Shehadah ‘Asi (26) from Beit Loqaya village, southwest of Ramallah, with a notice bearing number 160428 to halt construction works in a 200-square-meter barrack built of bricks and shaders and roofed with tin. The barrack is used as a popular café.
On 26 February, 2014, Israeli forces leveled Palestinian lands belonging to Mesleh Nayef Soliman al-Deek in Kafr Deek village, of the Deir Abu Sam’aan area, west of Salfit, in order to establish a road to the “Lishim” outpost. Civilians managed to force Israeli bulldozers to stop temporarily working, after skirmishing with the Israeli forces. Israeli forces have been leveling the area for four years. However, in the evening of the aforementioned day, Israeli bulldozers leveled this land in order to annex it to the aforementioned outpost. The owners of the targeted lands in that area previously headed to the Israeli courts to submit the papers proving their ownership; no decision has been issued in this regard.
Israeli attacks on non-violent demonstrations:
Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organised by Palestinian civilians, international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, 2 civilians, including a paramedic, were wounded during Bil’in weekly protest. Moreover, a number of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten up by Israeli forces.
In the same context, 8 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, a journalist and a human rights activist, were wounded during peaceful demonstrations organized at the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah; Selwad village, northeast of the city; and the centre of Hebron.
Following the Friday Prayer, 21 February, 2014, dozens of Palestinian civilians, with international and Israeli human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, in protest of the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. Demonstrators took the streets raising the Palestinian flags, heading to the liberated territories near the annexation wall. Israeli forces had closed all the entrances of the village since the morning, in order to prevent Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. Demonstrators marched adjacent to the cement wall and tried to cross the fence before Israeli forces which are stationed behind the wall, in the western area, and a large number of soldiers deployed along it, fired live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water at them, chasing them into the olive fields. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation, and others sustained bruises as they were beaten by Israeli soldiers. In addition, 2 civilians, including a paramedic, were wounded. Paramedic Mohammed Ahmed Yassin (24) was hit by a gas canister to the belly and a 20-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the right side of the head.
On the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities. Demonstrators took the streets and headed to the annexation wall. Israeli forces closed the gates of the wall with barbed wire and prevented the demonstrators from crossing to the land behind it, before they responded by throwing stones. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and bruises as they were beaten by Israeli soldiers.
Around the same time, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organised a peaceful demonstration, in protest of the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in Nabi Saleh village, southwest of Ramallah. Demonstrators took to the streets raising Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against the occupation and in support of the Palestinian unity resistance, and then headed to the lands that the settlers are trying to gain by force near “Halamish” settlement. Israeli forces closed all the entrances of the village, since morning, to prevent Palestinian and international activists and journalists from participating in the demonstration. When they arrived on the land, demonstrators were met by live bullets, tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs and skunk water and were chased into the village. As a result, many civilians suffered tear gas inhalation and bruises due to being beaten up by Israeli soldiers.
Following the Friday prayer, Palestinian civilians and international activists organised a peaceful demonstration in the centre of Kufor Qaddoum village, northwest of Qalqilia, and headed towards the eastern entrance of the village, in protest at the continued closure of the entrance with an iron gate since the beginning of the Aqsa Intifada (2000). Clashes erupted between the demonstrators and Israeli forces who fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters to prevent them from reaching the aforementioned gate. As a result, dozens of demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation and others sustained bruises as they were beaten by Israeli soldiers.
On Friday, 21 February, 2014, dozens of children and young men gathered at the southern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They were about 300 meters away from the fence of “Beit Eil” settlement. Israeli forces stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded. In addition, dozens of civilians suffered tear gas inhalation. A 21-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the right leg, a 20-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the right leg and a 16-year-old was hit by a gas canister in his right hand.
On the same day, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the western entrance of Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, on the road between Selwad village and Yabrod village near Street (60) to throw stones at the aforementioned street. As a result, Israeli soldiers stationed in the area fired live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them, chasing them to the village. A 23-year-old male sustained 2 bullet wounds to the back of the head and right side of the pelvis as a result.
At noon, dozens of Palestinian civilians, activists of the Youth Forum against Settlement Activity and other human rights activists gathered in front of ‘Ali al-Baka’ mosque, in the center of Hebron, for a demonstration calling for the opening of Shuhada Street, which has been closed since 1994, following the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre of 1993, committed by Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein against Muslim worshipers. The demonstrators headed towards the entrance of Shuhada Street. Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters and abducted 2 demonstrators.
In the meantime, a group of youngsters threw stones at Israeli soldiers in the Tale’t al-Zaheda and Bab al-Zawiya areas. In response, the Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated metal bullets, live-bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians were wounded: Mousa Mahmoud Abu Hashhash (59), researcher at B’Tselem, sustained a bullet wound to the head; Abdul Ghani al-Natcha (34), journalist at Palmedia agency, sustained a bullet wound to the face; a 19-year-old male sustained 2 bullet wounds to the left leg and right hand; and a 17-year-old male sustained a bullet wound to the left leg. Al-Shuhada’ street has been closed for 5,000 Palestinians since the Ibrahim Mosque massacre in 1994.
Journalist Abul Ghani al-Natcha said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I was standing at the entrance of Beersheba street, opposite to al-Shuhada’ street. I fixed my camera on the tripod and put on a press vest, helmet and a muzzle. At approximately 17:30, Israeli forces started firing gas and smoke canisters in the area and withdrew towards a checkpoint erected at the entrance of al-Shuhada’ street. When the demonstration ended, I took off the muzzle. In the meantime, Israeli soldiers were present about 15 meters away from me. I heard a gunshot and something hit me in the face, near my left eye. I was pushed 2 meters backwards, as a result, and fell to the ground. I fainted and then woke up in Hebron hospital. The doctors stitched the wound, but still I cannot see with my left eye.”
Mousa Abu Hashhash, researcher at B’Tselem, said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I was standing near clock square. I put on a long vest with B’Tselem logo on it and held a camera. I tried to cross the street, heading to the other side, but I heard a gunshot. I felt something had hit me in the left side of my head. Blood was covering my head. I was taken to Hebron hospital, where they examined me and stitched the wound.”
Recommendations to the international community:
Due to the number and severity of Israeli human rights violations this week, the PCHR has made several recommendations to the international community. Among these were a recommendation that the international community and the United Nations use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine. In addition, the PCHR calls upon the United Nations to provide international protection to Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to ensure the non-recurrence of aggression against the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially the Gaza Strip

Israel’s war on children, Detention Bulletin December 2013

At the end of December, a total of 154 Palestinian children were imprisoned and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system, including 14 children between the ages of 14 and 15.
Three in four Palestinian children detained in 2013 by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank endured physical violence during arrest and interrogation.
The annual monthly average of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention during 2013 was 199, the highest since 2010.
“Know Your Rights” Campaign Launched
DCI-Palestine launched a “Know Your Rights” campaign for Palestinian children with partner, Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), on December 23. The campaign focuses on empowering and educating Palestinian children to secure their basic rights while detained in the Israeli military detention system.
Over the next few months, DCI-Palestine will distribute more than 5,000 “Know Your Rights” information cards and conduct training sessions in schools to Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 years living in West Bank communities where children appear to be targeted by Israeli forces for arrest.
New Infographic Released Detailing Ill-treatment
DCI-Palestine released an infographic at the end of December to mark another year where ill-treatment against Palestinian child prisoners in the Israeli military detention system is widespread and systematic. Use and share the infographic to expose the impact of the Israeli military occupation on Palestinian children.
December 2013 Detention Data
Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system.
The most common charge is for throwing stones. Currently 48.7 percent of Palestinian child prisoners are detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Below is the latest data from the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) on the number of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention at the end of each month.
Total number of Palestinian children in Israeli detention at end of each month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Aver.
2009 389 423 420 391 346 355 342 339 326 325 306 305 355
2010 318 343 342 335 305 291 284 286 269 256 228 213 289
2011 222 221 226 220 211 209 202 180 164 150 161 135 192
2012 170 187 206 220 234 221 211 195 189 164 178 195 198
2013 223 236 238 238 223 193 195 179 179  159 173 154 199

Note: These figures are not cumulative

Number of 12-15 year old Palestinians in Israeli detention at end of each month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Aver.
2009 50 54 53 47 39 47 42 39 40 44 41 42 44
2010 44 41 39 32 25 23 18 20 32 34 32 30 31
2011 34 45 45 37 38 38 40 34 35 30 33 19 36
2012 26 24 31 33 39 35 34 30 28 21 21 23 29
2013 31 39 39 44 48 41 35 30 27 15 16 14 32

Note: These figures are not cumulative

For more DCI-Palestine news alerts, features and commentary click here.

Kerry Says “Americans Jobs Are Linked to Interventionism”, war is good for business

http://news.antiwar.com/2014/02/27/kerry-rails-against-new-isolationism-among-americans/

Kerry Rails Against ‘New Isolationism’ Among Americans

Says Americans Jobs Are Linked to Interventionism

by Jason Ditz, February 27, 2014

In an hour-long screed to reporters, Secretary of State John Kerry railed against polls showing opposition to aggressive US military intervention abroad, dubbing it a “new isolation.”

 

 

We are beginning to behave like a poor nation,” Kerry said of Americans’ unwillingness to support ever-larger, ever more calamitous wars the world over. He vowed that the US wouldn’t retreat anywhere in the world.

The US spends more on its military than nearly the whole rest of the world combined, and throws billions of dollars in military aid at other nations, subsidizing their own wars. Yet budget concerns have slowed the rate of growth of this spending in recent years, inconveniencing Kerry’s plans to start new wars.

Kerry insisted Americans “do not perceive the connection between US engagement abroad and the US economy, their own jobs and wider US interests.”

Indeed, most Americans have begun to notice that runaway deficit spending to pay for “US engagement abroad” has been a major drag on the economy in recent years, and that America’s checkered history of military conquest has not netted any decisive victories in decades, let alone any major economic boons.

Secretary Kerry was at the lead of an attempt to lie the American public into a war with Syria late last year, and after being rebuffed by overwhelming public opposition, has remained resentful about the prospect that the administration might conceivably not be able to launch whatever wars it wants whenever it wants

Even the U.S. State Dept. says it, Israel’s violence against Palestinians goes way over the top

US report raps Israel for using exaggerated force against Palestinians

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinian stone throwers near the West Bank town of Ramallah in Feb. 2013.

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinian stone throwers near the West Bank town of Ramallah in Feb. 2013.
 
Israel uses exaggerated force against Palestinians in the West Bank and limits their freedom of movement, a report by the US State Department says.

The rare report came as a leading human rights charity accused Israeli troops of being “trigger happy” in a statement that cited the growing number of Palestinian civilians shot dead over the past three years.

Amnesty International said Israeli forces displayed a “callous disregard for human life,” and added that some troops may have committed war crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Thursday report came just hours before Israeli forces shot dead a 24-year-old Palestinian they were trying to arrest in the West Bank, according to a Reuters report.

One of those killed was 16-year-old Samir Awad, who Amnesty says was shot dead by Israeli troops near the West Bank city of Ramallah last year.

Samir’s killing “may even constitute an extrajudicial execution and war crime of willful killing,” according to Amnesty.

Samir was one of 45 Palestinians shot dead by the Israeli troops in the West Bank since 2011, with more deaths in 2013 than 2012 and 2011 combined.

His death followed a familiar pattern of Palestinians protesting against Israeli occupation of land captured in the 1967 war, only to be met with lethal force by the Zionist forces.

Samir’s mother Sedqeyeh told NBC News that she and others had lost hope. “Palestine is lost and there is nowhere for us to go. They kill and slaughter without anyone being held responsible.”

The way the killings were carried out suggested they were not random, Amnesty said.

Philip Luther, the organization’s Middle East and North Africa Director, said the frequency of abusive force and “impunity enjoyed by perpetrators” suggested it was carried out “as a matter of policy.”

The Kremlin’s response to the events in the Ukraine gradually becomes more apparent

The Saker

The European Saker - in his own words:

Русские долго запрягают, но быстро едут
(“Russians take a lot of time to saddle up, but then they ride fast”)
 Russian adage


Over the past few days the events in the Ukraine have seen a fantastic acceleration and many important events have simultaneously taken place.  I will try to look at them one by one.

  • In Kiev, the leaders of the insurgency have taken full control of the Parliament and immediately passed laws revoking the official status of the Russian language.
  • The political leaders of the insurgency have gone to the Maidan to obtain the approval of the proposed members of the new government.
  • Just as Ms Nuland had ordered, Iatseniuk has taken the post of Prime Minister
  • On the Maidan itself, deep differences are now opposing different parts of the crowd.
  • The neo-Nazi leader of the “Maidan security forces” and one of the founders of the Freedom Party, Andrei Parubii, becomes chief of the Security Council.
  • The leader of the neo-Nazi Right Sector. Dmitri Iarosh, has become Deputy chief of the Security Council.
  • The rest of the new government are mostly supporters of ex-President Yushchenko in other words: loyal US agents.
  • The new regime has disbanded the riot police thereby liquidating the last force capable of maintaining law and order in the regions controlled by the insurgents.  Now is mob rule, pure and simple.
  • The local currency is in free fall, Iatseniuk claims that $35’000’000’000 are immediately needed to avoid a default.  The full debt is $170’000’000’000.
  • In the regime controlled areas, “expropriations” (assault & robbery) are taking place everywhere and criminals rule the street.
  • Yanukovich has been exfiltrated from the Ukraine by Russian security forces (more about that later)
  • The Parliament of Tatarstan and the World Congress of Tatars has appealed to the Crimea Tatars to basically stop the crap (it was said in more police terms).  Kudos for the wisdom of these two organizations!
  • Unidentified armed men have taken over the building of the Crimean Parliament at 4AM only to make sure that this time the elected members of this parliament could enter the building and convene a meeting.  A Russian flag was raised over the Parliament building
  • Kharkov governor Mikhail Dobkin has resigned his post to run for President of the Ukraine on May 25th.
  • The Crimean Parliament has taken over all the functions of the central government and has announced a referendum on the future of Crimean to be held on May 25th.
  • The newly elected mayor of Sevastopol has met with the Commander in Chief of the Black Sea Fleet.  Both men has declared that no violence of any kind will be tolerated.
  • New popular defense militias have been formed in Crimea and their numbers are estimated at somewhere between 5’000-15’000 men organized in platoons.  They have taken control of all the key roads and are now filtering traffic for any “visitors” from the insurgency-controlled areas.
  • Senior members of the Russian Parliament have visited the Crimea to express their support for the local people and hold consultations with their Crimean colleagues.
  • In Russia the opinions are split as to what to do:  Vladimir Zhirinovksy and his LDPR Party say that Russia should stay out of it but not pay a single Ruble to the Ukrainians.  The Communists want Russia to bring the issue to the UNSC.  The “Just Russia” Party (most “moderate”) are expressing full support for the people of the Crimea and say that Russia has to intervene and assist them.  All-in-all, the takeover by over neo-Nazis in Kiev seems to be triggering a mix of disgust and rage which will put a lot of pressure on the Kremlin to do something.

So what about the Kremlin?   Actually, I think that I am beginning to discern what I believe is a multi-tiered response strategy which the Kremlin will conduct simultaneously:

1) Legal level:

By getting out Yaunk and allowing to seek refuge in Russia the Kremlin has made sure that the last legitimately elected President of the Ukraine would be physically available to challenge any and all decisions of the new regime, the insurgent-controlled Parliament and the nationalist government.  Yanuk is clearly politically dead, but in legal terms he actually is an extremely powerful and important actor which should be kept alive.

2) Ukrainian level:

The (now ex-) governor of Kharkov, Mikhail Dobkin, took a “discrete” trip to Russia and came back with the decision to resign as governor and to run for President.  First, the idea to run in an election controlled by the insurgents might appear stupid, but think again.  First, in the totally unlikely event of a halfway decent election he would most likely get elected (most Ukrainians do not support the insurgents).  Second, is the election is carefully “managed” Dobkin will be able to challenge it.  Third, by the simple fact of running he can force the insurgent-controlled media (especially the TV) to give him air time to debunk the nationalist propaganda.  So all in all, this is a very slick move.

3) In Crimea – political level:

For the Crimea I would say that it is a done deal: it will become an independent state in May.  That state will then have options open to itself.  If, by some totally unexpected and basically impossible miracle, Dobkin becomes elected, the Crimea can agree to a status quo ante but with the clear understanding that this will be a federative arrangement the Crimea can leave at any time.  If some crazy nationalist is “elected” then the Crimea will break all ties with the Ukraine and join the Economic Union with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia as an independent state.

4) In Crimea – security level:

Russia will use force to defend the Crimea if needed.  The preferred solution is to assist the local authorities to defend themselves by providing funds, 

weapons (if needed), expertise (if needed), intelligence (if needed), etc.  But in most cases, that will not be needed simply because the locally based Black Sea Fleet can provide it all.  At most, the Ukies can send the kind of mobs they used in Kiev.  In contrast, the Black Sea Fleet can engage the 810th Independent Naval Infantry Brigade the 382nd Independent Naval Infantry Battalion and even the 102nd Independent Detachment of Navy Spetsnaz (see their emblem on picture), that is something like 1300-1400 elite soldiers all commanded by battle-hardened and experienced officers, backed by artillery, airpower, armor, etc.  In fact, I expect that local authorities, police forces (including the local Berkut and the popular self-defense militias will be able to handle any “visitors” from the insurgency by themselves, without any help from the Black Sea Fleet.  Bottom line: the insurgents will never control Crimea.

5) Eastern Ukraine:

That’s were things become far more murky.  My sense is that the Kremlin is adopting a “wait and see” attitude towards the eastern Ukraine waiting to see what happens on a local level.  The core principle behind the Kremlin’s policy is “we only help those who help themselves and deserve our help”.  Crimea is a perfect example of this approach.  The fact is that the nationalists do have a strong presence in Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk or Poltava so the outcome there is far more delicate to predict.

6) Rest of the Ukraine:

Here I think that the correct policy is self-evident: first, let the crazies fight each other to their heart’s content. Let them run the already ruined economy into the ground, let them see how long their can survive by singing the national anthem an screaming “Бий жидів та москалів – Україна для українців” (beat the Jews and the Russians – the Ukraine for the Ukrainians).  Let the EU and the US come up with $35’000’000’000 to pay for this color-coded revolution and avoid a default, and then let them manage this new “popular and pro-western” regime.  And once they all run out of money, wait for them to call the Kremlin and ask for help.  And then, basically buy them off, one by one, factory by factory, politician by politician, oligarch by oligarch, region by region.  Russia owes these Russia-hating Nazis *nothing* and it will give them nothing for free.  The Ukies will try to retaliate by messing around with the Russian pipelines going through the Ukraine, but that is not a viable strategy: it hurts Europe first and foremost, and Russia has built two pipelines bypassing the Ukraine anyway.  Eventually, the Ukraine will break up with the west going to the EU and NATO and the Crimea to Russia.

As for China, it is already suing the new regime for breach of commercial contracts (I think, just heard/saw that somewhere on the news).  China will follow the Russian lead on this one.

7) The upcoming violence in the eastern Ukraine:

Barring a miracle, there will be a lot of violence in the eastern provinces of the Ukraine.  At this point in time I do not see a Russian military intervention to protect the Russian-speaking population which will have to defend itself.  Russia will provide a) political support b) financial support and, possibly, a limited amount of c) covert support.

That’s about it, at least for the time being.  I might have to correct/refine this analysis.

As for the US/NATO, I don’t believe that they will intervene militarily.  There will be A LOT of Russia-bashing, a lot of pro-Ukie propaganda, millions of US dollars will continue to flow into the pockets of the insurgency leaders, but eventually the US and its EU puppets will have to come to term with the fact that they failed to boot out the Black Sea Fleet from the Crimea and that the Crimea is going to Russia instead as a direct blowback to the color revolution the US and EU unleashed in Kiev.

What the US/EU will not do is to recognize any type of pro-Russian authority anywhere in the Ukraine.  So the country might be split like Georgia or the two Koreas are today.  That’s ok, Russia and Crimea couldn’t care less – let them have their own version of Kosovo for a change 🙂

What do you think?  Does the above make sense?

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker

The saker

The European Saker - in his own words:First, a short introductory sitrep:  The least one could say is that over the past 2 days the events in the Ukraine moved fast, very, very fast. While I had intended to take 2 days off, I still kept an eye on the most recent development and jotted them down on my computer’s note pad. Here is what I wrote down (sorry for the shorthand):

  • Lukin did not sign
  • S&P downgrades Ukraine from CCC+ to CCC
  • Pogroms in Kiev
  • Attacks on Russian nationals
  • Burned buses (incl. Belarussian)
  • Yanuk did not attend Kharkov congress
  • Yanuk only cares about his security
  • Yanuk’s mansion was looted
  • Kharkov congress 3000 delegates
  • Phone threats to all political opponents
  • Black Sea Fleet on high alert
  • In the East local authorities take full control
  • Two Yanuk minister arrested while trying to flee
  • NOBODY WANTS A SPLIT UKRAINE NOT EVEN RUSSIA
  • BUT ONLY YULIA CAN HOLD IT TOGETHER
  • RADA discusses limiting Russian TV channels
  • Region turncoats bought over and threatened
  • Not referendum but force of arms will decide
  • Hunger is a real risk
  • 7’000’000 Russians in the Ukraine officially
  • 50% of Ukrainians speak Russian
  • 15’000 volunteers mobilized in Crimea
  • Also on Sunday, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned Russia it would be a “grave mistake” to intervene militarily
  • Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov 2005 – Head of Ukraine Security Service (SBU)
  • New regime says Ukraine needs 35 billion dollars
  • Hunger now a real risk
  • Russia recalls ambassador
  • Russian language basically banned
  • Appointed Mayor of Sevastopol replaced by Alexei Chalyi, a Russian citizen, directly elected by the local people.
  • EU policians claim they can offer 20 billion dollar to the Ukraine. How they will explain that to Greece is unclear.

Wow!  Clearly, things have gone far beyond the terms of the capitulation of Yanukovich to the insurgency so “brilliantly” mediated by the EU bureaucrats.  Truly, a qualitative change in the terms of the conflict has happened and the country is now in a de-facto situation of civil war.  But first, in order to make sense of what is taking place, we need to take a look far back into the distant past, as far back as the 13th century.

 ——-
Ukrainian nationalism – its roots and nature
PART ONE: a preliminary excursion in ancient history
Innocent III

1204 – The Eastern Crusade of Pope Innocent III:  Most people mistakenly believe that the Crusades only happened in the Middle-East and that they were only directed at Islam.  This is false.  In fact, while the official excuse for western imperialism at that time was to free the city of Jerusalem from the “Muslim infidels” the crusades also were aimed at either exterminating or converting the “Greek schismatics” i.e. the Orthodox Christians.  The most notorious episode of this anti-Orthodox crusade is the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204, during the 4th Crusade, in which the city was subjected to three days of absolutely grotesque pillaging, looting and massacres by the western “Christians” who even looted and burned down Orthodox churches, monasteries and convents, raped nuns on church altars and even placed a prostitute on the Patriarchal throne.  This outpouring of genocidal hatred was hardly a fluke, but it was one of the earliest manifestation of something which would become a central feature of the mindset and ideology of the Latin Church. There is, however, another no less important episode in the history of the Latin hatred for the Orthodox Church which is far less known.

Gregory IX

1242 – The Northern Crusades of Pope Gregory IX:  Unlike his predecessor who directed his soldiers towards the Holy Land, Pope Gregory IX had a very different idea: he wanted to convert the “pagans” of the North and East of Europe to the “true faith”.  In his mind, Orthodox Russia was part of these “pagan lands” and Orthodox Christians were pagans too.  His order to the Teutonic Knights (the spiritual successors of the Franks who had pillaged and destroyed Rome) was to either convert or kill all the pagans they would meet (this genocidal order was very similar to the one given by Ante Pavelic to his own forces against the Serbs during WWII: convert, kill or expel).  In most history books Pope Gregory IX has earned himself a name by instituting the Papal Inquisition (which has never been abolished, by the way), so it is of no surprise that this gentleman was in no mood to show any mercy to the “Greek schismatics”.  This time, however, the Pope’s hordes were met by a formidable defender: Prince Alexander Nevsky. Saint Alexander Nevsky’s “civilizational choice”

Saint Alexander Nevsky

Even before dealing with the Pope’s Crusaders Alexander Nevsky had already had to repel an earlier invasion of Russia by the West – the attempt to invade norther Russia by the Swedish Kingdom – which he defeated 1240 at the famousbattle of the Neva.  No less important, however, is the fact that Alexander Nevsky was unable to defeat Mongol invasion from the East and so he was placed between what can only be called a civilizational choice: he understood that Russia could not fight the Papacy and the Mongols at the same time, so the choice was simple: to submit to one and to resist the other. But which one should he chose to submit Russia to? Prince Alexander (who would later be glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church) was truly a deeply pious man who had a deep understanding of the Holy Scripture and who remembered the words of Christ when asked whether Jews should pay taxes to the Romans: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matt 22:21) and “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28).  Alexander, who was very well informed of the policies of his enemies knew that the sole goal of the Mongols was to extract taxes from the Russians, but that they had no desire to convert anybody or to persecute the Church.  Quite to the contrary, the putatively “savage” Mongols respected the Church and its clergy and they never persecuted it.  In contrast, the Crusaders were given the specific order to convert or murder all the Orthodox Christians they would encounter as the Latins had done many times before, and as they would do many times later.  Thus Prince Alexander Nevsky chose to submit to the Mongol Khan and to fight the Crusaders whom he defeated at the famous Battle of the Ice in 1242. Western Russia occupied, fall of the 2nd Rome, rise of Moscow

Occupied Ukraine in the 14th c.

Having been defeated by Russia twice, western leaders temporarily renounced their invasion plans, but the Russian victory clearly did not endear the Russian people or culture to the western elites.  Predictably the next wave of invasions from the West began in the early 14th century and lasted until 1385 when the Union of Krewo sealed the union of Poland and Lithuania.  At that moment in time all of what would be called later “the Ukraine” was fully conquered by the Latins. In 1453, the Fall of Rome in the East, in Constantinople, marked the end of the “2nd Rome” and the end of the Roman civilization which had survived the Fall of Rome in by a full one thousand years (the western Roman Empire fell in 476 AD; the eastern Roman Empire fell in 1453). The Latins did attempt to submit the Orthodox world by a careful mix of threats and promises to assist Constantinople against the Ottomans at the so-called False Union of Florance, but they had failed, and Constantinople eventually fell to armies of Mehmet the Conqueror.  Thus, Moscow became the “Third Rome”, the last free Orthodox Christian Kingdom, the civilizational heir to the Roman civilization.  Moscow would now become the focal point of the Papist hatred for Orthodox Christianity.  The next western strike would come in 1595 and it would be a truly devastating one.

Clement VIII

1595 – Pope Clement VIII conceives the Ukraine By the end of the 16th century, most of western Russia had been occupied by the Latins for two hundred years (14th-16th), as long as the Mongol Yoke on eastern Russia (13th-15th century).  Predictably the situation of the Orthodox Christian peasants under the Latin occupation was nothing short of terrible.  For all practical purposes, it was enslaved, as Israel Shahak explains in his seminal book Jewish History, Jewish Religion: Due to many causes, medieval Poland lagged in its development behind countries like England and France; a strong feudal-type monarchy – yet without any parliamentary institutions – was formed there only in the 14th century, especially under Casimir the Great (1333-70). Immediately after his death, changes of dynasty and other factors led to a very rapid development of the power of the noble magnates, then also of the petty nobility, so that by 1572 the process of reduction of the king to a figure head and exclusion of all other non-noble estates from political power was virtually complete. (…) This process was accompanied by a debasement in the position of the Polish peasants (who had been free in the early Middle Ages) to the point of utter serfdom, hardly distinguishable from outright slavery and certainly the worst in Europe. The desire of noblemen in neighboring countries to enjoy the power of the Polish pan over his peasants (including the power of life and death without any right of appeal) was instrumental in the territorial expansion of Poland. The situation in the ‘eastern’ lands of Poland (Byelorussia and the Ukraine) – colonized and settled by newly enserfed peasants – was worst of all. Indeed, the local elites had been more then happy to apostatize and sell out to the Polish occupier to enjoy the privileges of slave-owning (before that Russia had never known serfdom!) while the enslaved peasants stubbornly held on to their faith (interestingly, this is also the period of history when Ukrainian Judeophobia was born – read Shahak for details).  Something needed to be done to find a “solution” to this “problem” and, sure enough, a Pope (Clement VIII) found it: the forcible conversion of the local Orthodox Christians to the Latin church: the so-called Union of Brest.  Thus began a long period of vicious persecution of the Orthodox peasantry by the combined efforts of the Polish nobility, their Jewish overseers and, especially, the Jesuits who justified any atrocity under the slogan “ad majorem Dei gloriam” (to the greater Glory of God).  One man, in particular, excelled in the persecution of Orthodox Christians: Josphat Kuntsevich (whose biography you can read about in this text: The Vatican and Russia).  Kuntsevich – who was eventually lynched by a mob of peasants – was buried in the Saint Peter basilica in Rome near, I kid you not, the relics of Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom (!).  The Latins still refer to this mass murderer as “martyr for Christ” (see here for a typical Papist hagiography of Kuntsevich) and he is still greatly respected and admired amongst modern Ukrainian nationalists.  And I can see why – it is during these years of occupation and persecution that modern “Ukraine” was created, maybe not yet as a territory, but definitely as a cultural entity. The ethnogenesis of the “Ukrainian nation” Nations, like individuals, are born, live and die.  In fact, as Shlomo Sands so brilliantly demonstrated in his bookThe Invention of the Jewish People, nations are really invented, created.  In fact, the 20th century has shown us many nations invented ex-nihilo, out of nothing (in order to avoid offending somebody or getting sidetracked, I shall not give examples, but God knows there are many).  A “nation” does not need to have deep historical and cultural roots, it does not need to have a legitimate historiography, in fact, all it takes to “create a nation” is a certain amount of people identifying themselves as a community – all the rest can be created/invented later.  Thus the argument of some Russians that there is no such thing as a Ukrainian nation is fundamentally mistaken: if there are enough people identifying themselves as “Ukrainian” then a distinct “Ukrainian nation” exists.  It does not matter at all that there is no trace of that nation in history or that its founding myths are ridiculous as long as a distinct common is shared by its members.  And from that point of view, the existence of a Ukrainian nation fundamentally different from the Russian one is an undeniable reality.  And that is the immense achievement of the Latin Church – it undeniably succeeded in its desire to cut-off the western Russians from their historical roots and to create a new nation: the Ukrainians. As an aside, but an important one I think, I would note that the Mongols played a similarly crucial role in the creation of the modern Russian nation.  After all, what are the “founding blocks” of the Russian culture.  The culture of the Slavs before the Christianization of Russia in the 10th century?  Yes, but minimally.  The continuation of the Roman civilization after the Fall of the 2nd Rome?  Yes, to some degree, but not crucially.  The adoption of the Christian faith after the 10 century? Yes, definitely.  But the Russian *state* which grew out of the rather small Grand Duchy of Moscow was definitely shaped by the Mongol culture and statecraft, not Byzantium or ancient Rus.  It would not be incorrect to say that ancient Kievan Rus eventually gave birth to two distinct nations: a Ukrainian one fathered by the Papist occupation and a Russian one, fathered by the Mongol occupation. In that sense the russophobic statement of the Marquis de Custine “Grattez le Russe, et vous verrez un Tartare” (scratch the Russian and you will find a Mongol beneath) is correct.  Equally, however, I would argue that one could say that “scratch the Ukrainian, and you will find the Papist beneath”. At this point I do not want to continue outlining the history of the Ukraine because I think I have made my point clear: the Ukrainian nation is the product of the thousand year old hatred of Orthodox Christianity by the Papacy.  Just as modern rabbinical Judaism is really nothing more than an anti-Christianity, the modern Ukrainian national identity is basically centered on a rabid, absolutely irrational and paranoid hated and fear of Russia.  That is not to say that all the people which live in the Ukraine partake in that hysterical russophobia, not at all, but the nationalist hard-core definitely does.  And this point is so crucial that I felt that I had to make this long digression into ancient history to explain it. I have to add one more thing: the Latin Church has undergone tremendous changes in the 20th century and even its Jesuits have long departed from the traditions and ideas of their predecessors of the Counter-Reformation.  Though hatred of the Orthodox Christians and Russian still exists in some Latin circles, it has mostly been replaced by a desire to “incorporate” or swallow the Orthodox Church into the Papacy by means of the so-called “Ecumenical dialog”.  As for the rank and file Roman Catholic faithful – they simply have no idea at all about this history which, of course, is never taught to them The Papacy’s goal end is still the same – submission to the Pope.  But the methods and emotions have changed: it used to be hatred and terror, now its a “dialog of love”.  Amongst the Ukrainian nationalists and Uniats, however, the mindset practically has not changed.  From the likes of Stepan Bandera to his modern successor, Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector, the Ukrainian nationalists have kept the murderous hatred of Josphat Kuntsevich, hence some of the crazy statements these folks have made. We now need to make a 3 centuries long jump in time and look at the roots of Fascism and National-Socialism in the early 20th century.  We have to do this jump not because these centuries were not important for the Ukraine – they very much were – but for the sake of space and time.  The key feature of the time period we will skip is basically the rise on power of Russia, which became an Empire under Peter I and the corresponding weakening of the Polish and Lithuanian states which ended up completely occupied by Russia on several occasion. PART TWO: Fascism, National Socialism and their different roots We are typically taught that WWII war saw the victory of the “Allied Powers” against the “Axis powers“.   While not incorrect, these categories are often confusing.  For example, according to Wikipedia, France and Yugoslavia were part of the Allied Powers.  That, of course, depends on which regime one considers as legitimate, the one of Petain or de Gaulle or the one of Pavelic, Tito or Mikhailovich?  Also – does it really make sense to lump the Soviet Union with the British Empire and the USA?  What about Petain, Hitler and Hirohito?  Well, they were allies, no doubt here, but they were very different entities and their alliance was mostly one against common enemies rather than the result of real kinship.  This is particularly true of Hitler’s allies in Europe: Mussolini, of course, but also Franco, Petain or Pavlic.  Indeed, while both Hitler and Mussolini were atheist (and even rabid anti-clericalist), Franco, Petain and Pavelic were all devout Roman-Catholics.  And if the Papacy never felt comfortable with the secularist, nationalist and socialist ideas of Hitler or Mussolini, it gave its full support to Franco, Pavelic and Petain.  Hitler and Mussolini were primarily the expression of the views and interests of the petit bourgeois and worker classes, while Franco, Pavelic and Petain were very much an expression of the interests of the financial elites and noblity.  In France, in particular, the Petainist movement always had a very strong anti-1789 almost monarchist ethos.  Deeply, of course, there was not much love lost between the atheist-populist and Papist-monarchist groups.  But what did united is a common hatred for Jews, Bolsheviks, Russians and Orthodox Christians in general combined with a profoundly reactionary ideology. The two different Drang nach Osten Both the atheist-populist and the Papist-monarchists factions had in common a very strong “Drang nach Osten” and both saw themselves as Kulturträger, literally “carriers of civilization” to the savage barbarians of the East.  Hitler’s beef with the Soviet Union was, of course, the very high numbers of Jews in the Bolshevik Party (hence his talk of Judeo-Bolshevism) while the Papacy hated Jews, atheists and Orthodox Christians pretty much equally (Franco liked to speak of the “conspiración judeo masonica pagada con el oro de Moscú” or “Judeo-Masonic conspiracy paid for by Moscow’s gold”).  And while Hitler looked towards the East to provide land and slaves for his Master Race, the Papacy saw a fantastic opportunity to finally submit the “Photian schismatics” to Rome: already on the eve of WWI, Pope Pius X (who was canonized in 1954) pronounced “Russia is the greatest enemy Of the [Roman] Church” and “If Russia is victorious, then the schism is victorious” (and keep in mind that according to Latin doctrine – these folks are infallible when speaking ex-cathedra, in the name of the Church and on issues of faith).  Thus these two originally very different movement joined forces and united against the arch-enemy: Russia (whether atheist, Jewish and Bolshevik or Russian and Orthodox – it did not matter to them).  Needless to say, this toxic brew of hatred found an absolutely perfect Petri dish for its views amongst the Ukrainian nationalists, especially, in the Western Ukraine. Again, for a lack of time and space I will no go into a history of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists,Stepan Bandera or the “Ukrainian” SS Division Galizien, you can read about on the Internet.  I will just say that these forces were amongst the most cruel and murderous of any in WWII.  In fact, the most rabid atrocities of WWII were not committed by Hitler’s forces, not even the SS, but by the forces fully inspired and supported by the Vatican: the Croatian Ustashe of Ante Pavelic and the Ukrainian nationalists.  Eventually, the Ustashe and the Banderovsty were defeated, but a lot of its members not only survived the war, but prospered in exile, mostly in the USA and Canada, were the Angloshpere kept them away from actual politics, but active enough to be “defrosted” should the need arise.  And, sure enough, following the end of the Cold War, the AngloZionist Empire saw an opportunity to subvert and weaken its enemies: the descendants of the Ustashe were tasked with breaking up Yugoslavia while the descendants of Bandera were tasked with breaking the Ukraine as far away form Russia as possible.  In the same time, both in Yugoslavia and Russia, the AngloZionists directed another of its terrorist franchises – the Wahabi international aka “al-Qaeda” to join the Neo-Nazis and Papists in a common struggle against the Orthodox/Socialist Yugoslavia and Russia.  We all know what happened to Yugoslavia after that. PART THREE – the Ukraine – back to the future 2014 –  The belly is still fertile from which the foul beast sprang At this point in time I want to say a few things about the (now ex-) Ukrainian “opposition”.  During the past months, we were mostly told that it was represented by three men: Vitalii Klichko and his UDAR movement,Arsenii Iatseniuyk and his Batkivshchyna Party, and Oleh Tiagnibok, notorious leader of the Freedom Party.  Of course, the real leader of the Batkivshchyna Party always was Yulia Tymoshenko, but since she had been jailed by Yanukovich, she could not directly participate in the most recent events.  Most western observers have neglected to ask the question whether any of these political figures really could control the demonstrators on the Maidan square.  Furthermore, they also neglected to look into how a crowed armed mostly with stones, baseball bats, iron bars and Molotov cocktails had “suddenly” been replaced by a well-organized and well-armed force of what can only be called insurgents.  The force which really packed the most strength and firepower, was not composed of members of the UDAR, Batkivshchyna or even Freedom Party – the real owner of the Maidan and now of the rest of Kiev is the so-called Right Sector, a terrorist organization headed by Dmytro Yarosh:   

Dmytro Yarosh and his troops

If the photo above looks like it might have been taken in Chechnia during the war, that is because it could have been: many Ukrainian nationalists fought on the side of the Wahabis in Chechnia, often under the banner of theUNA-UNSO terrorist organization.  They also fought in Georgia against Russia, hence the visit Saakashvili made twice to the Maidan Square. It would be logical to ask what percentage of the people of the Ukraine support Mr Yarosh and his Right Sector.  It is hard to tell, but probably a seizable but small minority.  By most estimates, the most popular leaders of the new regime are Tymoshenko and Klichko, followed by Tiagnibok – at least that was true before the revolution of last Sunday.  But that is hardly relevant: most Chechens were not Wahabis, most Croats were not Ustashe and most Kosovo Albanians were not KLA – that did not prevent these small but well armed groups from having a decisive control over the events. This places the new regime in a very difficult situation: either it complies with the agenda of the likes of Yarosh and his Right Sector, or it risks to be swiped away by an armed insurrection.  Keep in mind that the Ukrainian military basically exists only on paper and that the police forces are in no condition to impose their authority on the extremists.

What is worse, the Presidency of Yushchenko has shown that the so-called “moderate” nationalists constantly kowtow to the extremists.  Thus Yushchenko even made Bandera “hero of Ukraine” (the decision was later rescinded) and printed nice little stamps with his face.  The problem with that is kind of seemingly innocuous action is in reality a rehabilitation of genocidal ideology and that it sends a truly terrifying and revolting message to the East Ukrainians and Russians in the Ukraine: we are back and we mean business. It has mostly been overlooked, but a similar situation took place in Croatia at the moment of the breakup of Yugoslavia: the Croats, even the so-called “moderates” found nothing more intelligent to do than to immediately reintroduce the checkered flag of the Ustashe of Pavelic as a “Croatian national symbol”.  To what degree this encouraged the Serbs in the Krajinas to take up arms is open to debate, but it certainly did not help. The same thing is now also taking place in the Ukraine.  Besides the yellow and blue flags of the western Ukraine, one can also see lots of black and red flags, the flag of the Banderovsty, along with all sorts of neo-Nazi symbols.  And, again, it does not really matter how many Ukrainians are suffering from genocidal tendencies, what matters is how these flags are seen in the eastern Ukraine or by the 7 million Russians who live in the Ukraine. The reaction to the coup in Kiev was immediate.  Check out this screenshot of a video showing a mass rally in the city of Sevastopol:

Mass rally in Sevastopol

Notice the flags?  Before the coup, the rallies in the east featured almost exclusively Ukrainian yellow and blue flags, now the flags are mostly Russian with a few interspersed Russian Navy flags: the people are either angry or frightened.  Probably both.  And the potential for violence therefore rapidly escalates. Check out this video of an attempt by pro-regime activist to hold a demonstration in the city of Kerch and see for yourself how rapidly the situation gets of out control.  The angry crowd begins with screams of “go away!” and “Fascists!” but soon the cops lose control of the situation and a mob begins to assault the nationalist activists.  See for yourself:

Just as in Croatia and Bosnia, EU and US politicians have ignored (whether by stupidity or deliberately) that fear begets violence which, in turn, begets more fear, in an endless positive feedback loop which is almost impossible to stop. So where do we go from here? Frankly, I had some hopes that Yulia Tumoshenko might still save the Ukraine.   No, not because I like her, but because I recognize the strength of her personality, especially when compared to the either terminally stupid (Tiagnibok, Klichko) or spineless (Iatseniuk, Yanukovich) men in Ukrainian politics.  As one Russian journalist put it yesterday: its good to finally see a “real man” entering the Ukrainian political scene.  And indeed, for all her other faults, Yulia has three things going for her: she is very intelligent, she is strong willed and she is very popular.  Or, at least, that was what she had going for her before Yanukovich threw her in jail.  When I saw the footage of her appearance on the Maidan, on a wheel-chair, her face puffed up, sounding hysterical and completely unaware of the fact that she was surrounded by neo-Nazis I began having my doubts.  Clearly, she had a very bad time in Yanukovich’s dungeon.  And to those who will say that she has every bit as corrupt as all the other oligarchs I would say this: while all the other oligarchs see power as a way to make money, Tymoshenko sees money as a way to seize power.  There is a huge difference here. Then, unlike Tiagnibok or Yarosh, Tymoshenko does not look genocidal, not has she ever tried to play the role of a “modern Bandera”.  Then, unlike the typical Ukrainian neo-Nazis, Yulia is nominally Orthodox, not “Greek Catholic” (i.e. Latin).  Not that I believe that any of them are particularly religions, no, but at least Tymoshenko was not raised with the kind of maniacal hatred for everything Russian in which “Greek Catholic” kids are typically raised. Finally, Tymoshenko is definitely smart enough to understand that there is no way to keep the Ukraine as a unitary state if the neo-Nazis are de-facto in power, whether directly of through a number of “moderate” puppets. So maybe I was naive, but I had some hope that Yulia could keep the Ukraine together.  No, not because I am such a true supporter of the “Independent Ukraine”, but because I would find any solution preferable to a partition of the Ukraine which would inevitably become violent. Why is violence inevitable? Paradoxically,  the main cause here are not the followers of Bandera.  Some of them have, in fact, spoken in favor of a separation of the western Ukraine from the rest of the country.  As far as I know, they are in the minority, but it is still interesting that at least some of then are aware that the notion of turning all of the Ukraine into Galicia is simply ludicrous.  Most nationalists are, however, dead set against any partition for two reasons.  Prestige: they know that “their” Ukraine is, in reality, much smaller than the Ukraine inherited form the Soviet era.  Money: they know that all the real wealth of the Ukraine is in the East.  Last, but not least, the real puppet-masters of the Ukrainian nationalists (the US) want to deprive Russia of the wealth of the eastern Ukraine and of the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.  So anybody expecting the nationalists to gracefully agree to a civil divorce between West and Southeast is day dreaming: it ain’t happening, at least not by referendum or any other form of consultations. History also teaches us that it is impossible to force two groups to coexist when the hate and fear each other, at least not without *a lot* of violence. The situation in the East is as simple as it is stark: Yanukovich is politically dead.  The party of regions has basically exploded and new politicians are pupping up in Kharkov, in Sevastopol and in other cities.  Large self-defense forces are being organized locally and the population is basically ready to fight.  Considering the circumstances, these are all positive developments.  On the negative side there is the fact that the eastern oligarchs are still here, still ready to betray their own people for profit (just as the Ukrainian elites did during the Union of Brest) and that the local political forces are, by most accounts, being rather amateurishly organized.  Finally, there is a great deal of uncertainty about what Russia really wants. What about Russia in all this? I think that Russia truly does want to avoid a civil war in the Ukraine and that it prefers a separate Ukraine to a partition.  Why?  Think of it: For Russia a separate and independent Ukraine is first and foremost a way of avoiding being drawn into a civil war. If, say, Tymoshenko managed to supress the neo-Nazis and negotiate some kind of modus vivendibetween, on one hand, the western Ukraine and Kiev and, on the other, the eastern and southern Ukraine there is little doubt that she and Putin could find some peaceful and pragmatic way to coexist.  Oh, I am not speaking about a love-fest, that is simply not going to happen, but at least some mutually beneficial, civil and pragmatic relations are imaginable.  That would most definitely be the Kremlin’s preferred option (which just goes to show how stupid and paranoid the Ukie nationalist – and Susan Rice – are when they hallucinate about a Russian invasion of the Ukraine). The other option is to have the nationalists take full-control over all of the Ukraine.  That seems extremely unlikely to me, but who knows?  I have been disappointed with Ukie politicians enough to put the worst possible outcome past them.  That would mean that the Russian-Ukrainian border would turn into something between the Wall which separated the two parts of Germany during the Cold War or the DMZ between the two part of Korea.  From a military point of view, not a problem at all.  As I wrote in the past, even if NATO deploys troops in the Ukraine, which they would, that close to the Russian territory military assets basically turn into lucrative targets: Russia would deploy enough Iskanders to cover its target list and that’s all.  As for the Black Sea Fleet, it could either simply refuse to leave and see if NATO has the stomach to try for force it, or engage in the costly but possible fallback option of relocating to Novorossiysk (admittedly, not a good option, but better than nothing).  But, again, this is an exceedingly unlikely scenario. Which leaves option three: the nationalist attempt to subdue the south and east and fail. The violence escalates and eventually Russia is drawn in.  Now in purely military terms, Russia could very easily defeat any Ukie army which would attempt to fight it.  As for NATO and the US – they don’t have the means to deploy some “combined joint task force” to repel the Russian military in the Ukraine.  So short of starting a mutually destructive nuclear war, they would have to accept the facts on the ground.  But just imagine the nightmare resulting from a Russian military operation in eastern Ukraine!  It would be back to a new Cold War, but this time on steroids: western politicians would scramble over each other to denounce, declare, threaten, condemn, proclaim, sanction, and pledge God knows what kind of nonsense.  Hysterical russophobia will become the order of the day and the AngloZionist Empire would finally find the kind of eternal enemy it has desperately been seeking for since the end of the First Cold War.  If they got really ugly, and they probably would, China would most likely get involved too and we would have exactly the kind of planet the 1% plutocracy has been dreaming about for so many years: Oceania locked into a total war against Eurasia and Eastasia, just like Orwell had predicted it:

This is most definitely not what Russia – or China – need.  And yet, this is a real risk if a civil war breaks out in the Ukraine.  One “least bad” option to avoid such a scenario would be to make sure that the east and southern Ukrainians are strong enough to repel a nationalist invasion by themselves so that the Russian military can stay out of the conflict. So there is the difficult judgment call the Kremlin needs to make: the Kremlin has to decide whether: a) the eastern and southern Ukrainian people are disorganized, demoralized, made passive by the rule of corrupt oligarchs and basically unable to defend themselves. or b) the eastern and southern Ukrainian people are united, organized and determined enough to really make a stand and fight the neo-Nazis down to the last bullet. In the first case, the Kremlin would have to basically protect the Russian borders and prepare to manage the large numbers of refugees which will inevitably cross the border. In the second case, the Kremlin would have a strong incentive to assist the eastern and southern Ukrainians by all possible means short of an over and direct military intervention. Both of these options are dangerous and none of them is preferable to a united Ukraine lead by a more or less rational leader.  This is why, at least at the initial stage, I expect Russia to *really* support any halfway sane regime in Kiev in the hope to avoid a breakup of the Ukraine. What about the US and the EU in all this? Well, as I recently wrote, the US and the EU have very different objective in the Ukraine: the EU wants a market for its goods and services, the US want to hurt Russia as much as possible.  We have all seen the total lack of effectiveness of the EU bureaucrats and their naive attempts at finding a negotiated solution.  The US foreign policy goal has the advantage of being simple yet clear: fuck Russia and fuck the EU!  From the US point of view, the worse the situation becomes, the better it is for Uncle Sam.  At the very least, this hurts Russia, at the very best, it gives the US a wonderful pretext to “protect” Europe from the “resurgent Russian bear” while standing up for civilization, democracy and progress.  A Neocons wet dream… And then, there is the “S factor”: stupidity, plain and simple.  What often seems to be the result of some machiavellian plan cooked up in a deep basement of the White House, the CIA or the Pentagon is often a mind-blowing example of the truly phenomenal stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of our leaders.  They believe themselves to be so powerful as to be free from the need to understand a culture, a history or even a single foreign language.  After all, if a US policy was to failed somewhere, the response could always be the same: fuck them!  Fuck the Yugoslavs! Fuck the Serbs!  Fuck the Iraqis!  Fuck the Afghans!  Fuck the Pakistanis!  Fuck the Libyans, and the Egyptians, and the Palestinians, and fuck the Somalis, the Koreans, the Colombians and the Venezuelans and, of course, fuck the Canadians, the Mexicans, and the Africans, and, of course, fuck the Russians, fuck the Chinese, and fuck everybody else with it!   No matter how stupid or how destructive a US policy towards another party it – it either works, or fuck them!  Ms Nuland’s words could really become the State Departments or the CIA’s official motto. My conclusion?  Pessimistic, of course 🙂 Those reading my blog for a while already will not be surprised to see that, yet again, I have reached a very pessimistic conclusion: the future of the Ukraine looks absolutely terrible: the country is ruined, it has no economy, it is socially, culturally and politically nonviable, it will most likely be lead either by imbeciles or by racist manics and the biggest power on the planet will spare no efforts to add more fuel on the fire.  Keep in mind that no a single Ukrainian politician has anything even remotely resembling a plan to resurrect the currently dead Ukrainian economy.  The only and last chance for the Ukraine was to survive on the “Russian financial respirator” – but that has now been turned off, at least for the foreseeable future: the Ukies can have their Banderovite Revolution, but the Russians don’t have to pay for it. Last November I wrote a piece entitled The gates of Hell are opening for the Ukraine in which I pretty much predicted what has happened since.  I wrote:

I am assuming that the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will eventually prevail, and that Yanukovich will either fully complete his apparent “zag” and reverse his decision, or lose power. One way or another the the Eurobureaucrats and the Ukrainian nationalists will, I think, prevail. There will be more joyful demonstrations, fireworks and celebrations in Kiev, along with lots of self-righteous back-slapping and high-fiving in Brussels, and then the gates of Hell will truly open for the Ukraine.

We are now at this point: the Ukraine has now crossed the gates of Hell and has fully entered in a long cycle of tragedy and violence.  This is truly immensely sad.  And the blame for what will happen next lies first and foremost with those forces who recklessly opened the Pandora’s box of medieval and 20th century hatreds and who encouraged the nationalist demon to strike yet again and with those who stood by and did nothing: the US and EU politicians amongst whom not one single one could be found to speak the truth.  May they all rot in hell for what they have done! The Saker

Telegraph: West Can Get Rid of Assad or Fight al-Qaeda, But Can’t Do Both

Via Al-Manar

Peter Oborne – The Daily Telegraph

For the past three years, when seeking enlightenment about the Syrian crisis, I have often talked to Alastair Crooke, a former MI6 officer. Mr Crooke, who left government service a decade ago after a long career, now runs a think tank called Conflicts Forum, which maintains contact with organisations such as Hizbollah and governments such as Iran, when official contact has been broken off.

I have learnt to respect and trust Mr Crooke, who has the invaluable habit of being right. When the British and American governments both claimed that President Assad of Syria would fall within weeks, he told me this was wishful thinking. 

When Western governments hailed the Syrian rebels as a democratic movement of national liberation, he said:

hang on a moment. At the heart of the rebellion, he pointed out, was a group of armed gangs funded by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, dedicated to the establishment of a militant Sunni caliphate across the Middle East. He uttered this warning right at the start of the Syrian conflict, and at last the penny is (ever so painfully) beginning to drop in Whitehall and Washington.

So when Conflicts Forum invited me to a seminar in Beirut, I accepted with alacrity. It was over the weekend in an otherwise deserted seaside hotel. Lebanon, so prosperous and thriving when I was here four years ago, now conveys an air of desolate menace, as the country struggles to accommodate more than a million Syrian refugees. Parts of the country, including the second city of Tripoli, are increasingly dominated by jihadists.

At the seminar, there was a different world view to the one normally presented in the British media, and a more exotic cast of characters. Mr Crooke had assembled an adviser to President Putin, several Iranian diplomats, as well as representatives from Hizbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad – all three organisations labelled as terrorists by Western governments.

To many Telegraph readers, this might sound like a rogues’ gallery. But what they had to say was very interesting. Everyone there took for granted that President Assad has won the war, though they admitted that there may be some time to go before it ends. In the north, they said, the rebels have turned on each other. A crucial battle is now being fought at Qalamoun, in the west. The Syrian army and rebel forces are engaged in a ferocious battle for this strategic ridge, which controls the all-important supply line between Lebanon and rebel territory. We were told that the Battle of Qalamoun was all over bar the shouting, and that it will fall to Assad’s forces quite soon.

The second message was that by far the greatest threat to stability in the Middle East is not Iran, as so often claimed, but Saudi Arabia. This may seem surprising: the Saudis remain among Britain’s closest allies, and only last week Prince Charles paid a happy visit to the kingdom. Yet they have been far and away the most important and deadly sponsor of global terrorism – a fact very well understood by all intelligence agencies, even if the British and American governments cannot bring themselves to admit it, let alone to come to terms with the consequences.

Several participants drew attention to the haunting parallel between Pakistan during the Afghan war against the Soviet Union, and Saudi Arabia today. Back then, the Pakistan intelligence services, urged on by the CIA, channelled money and arms to rebel forces. But they catastrophically failed to foresee that these very groups would create mayhem back home when the war ended.

This is the danger that faces Saudi Arabia today. The kingdom has been providing – indirectly – a vast amount of cash and resources to extremist groups advocating the takfiri mutation of Islam, an orientation that brands other Muslims as targets for killing. These takfiris deny the legitimacy of any state or secular power – including King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A comparable problem is starting to emerge in Britain, where M15 is fretting about what British jihadists fighting in Syria might do on their return. This concern has created a potential conflict with the more gung-ho SIS, which has effectively been egging on these very same jihadists.

It was the third message from the seminar, however, that continues to haunt me. The international sponsors of Assad’s Syria – Iran and Russia – see eye to eye: they have been consistent in their support, whatever the consequences. But some of the rebels’ backers – Saudi Arabia, the United States, Britain and Israel – are in bitter conflict with one another, and share no coherence of vision or common purpose.

The British Government has consistently rejected the analysis I have recorded above, and I would not expect many people to agree. But I was impressed by the power of the views I have heard over the past few days, especially when contrasted with the contradictions, emotionalism and wishful thinking from so many Western experts and policy-makers. At the very least, these voices are worth listening to. Yet British officials are forbidden from even speaking to Hizbollah. No wonder thinking in Whitehall has been so stale and misguided – even though the United Nations, South Africa and several European countries were all represented at the seminar at senior level, and all paying attention.

Yet there have been interesting indications over the course of the past few days, although not widely reported, that Western leaders are starting to change course. The first concerns the mysterious disappearance of Bandar bin Sultan. Two years ago, prompted by the United States, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia gave Prince Bandar the task of destroying President Assad. Since then, the prince has poured the Saudi kingdom’s unlimited resources into his mission, backing a wide range of rebel groups, from the so-called moderates to the takfiris who now cause increasing anxiety within the House of Saud. Prince Bandar seems to retain his official title of National Security Adviser and Intelligence Director. But he was missing from a secret meeting of intelligence chiefs recently held in Washington to discuss Syria. He is out of action.

Meanwhile, Robert Ford, the American diplomat who has been the chief US organiser for the Syrian rebels – herding them in and out of negotiations during the failed Geneva talks two weeks ago – has also got the chop. These changes of personnel come amid reports that the Obama administration has confronted the Saudis with a file full of evidence of their involvement in terrorism in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. This report can be found in Al-Akhbar English, a Lebanese newspaper seen as close to Hizbollah. The newspaper hints at the possibility that Saudi could yet be formally classified by the UN security council as a state sponsor of global terrorism. That sounds fanciful, but President Obama’s visit to Riyadh next month now looks pregnant with significance.

As the Beirut meeting closed, I asked Mr Crooke, who wears a tweed jacket and might at first appearance be a country solicitor or land agent, whether President Assad would survive. He said there was no doubt. The United States and Britain are, nevertheless, still pressing for his removal. But the signs are mounting that the Western powers are beginning to understand that they have a choice. They can get rid of Assad, or they can fight al-Qaeda. But they can’t do both. That option was never really there.

Source: Websites
27-02-2014 – 12:45 Last updated 27-02-2014 – 12:45

Hypocrite Kerry calls on Russia to ‘respect state sovereignty’

RT

Published time: February 27, 2014 02:51

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Kris Connor / Getty Images / AFP)

The chief US diplomat has warned Moscow to be “very careful” with its approach to Ukraine and respect its territorial integrity, following Russia’s announcement of a surprise military drill to assess the combat readiness of its western front.

“I think Russia needs to be very careful in the judgments  that it makes going forward here,” John Kerry said in an  interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “We are not looking  for confrontation, but we are making it clear that every country  should respect the territorial integrity here, the sovereignty of  Ukraine. Russia has said it will do that, and we think it’s  important that Russia keeps its word.”      “We’re hoping that Russia will not see this as sort of a  continuation of the Cold War,” Kerry said. “We don’t see  it that way. We do not believe this should be an East-West,  Russia-United States – this is not Rocky IV, believe me.”

Instead Kerry proposed that both the US and Russia use the  opportunity to help Ukraine transition and stabilize the country.

Referring to Russia’s increasing global diplomatic presence in  particular to its peace efforts to reach a deal in Syria and its  former endeavors on Libya, the US chief diplomat said that it  would be very difficult for Kerry to comprehend “how Russia  would reconcile its position on Libya, its position on Syria, its  warnings against intervention in another country and then not  respect the sovereignty of Ukraine and the will of the people  there.”      Kerry claimed that “hard statements” from Moscow in  regards to Ukraine show that “to some degree, Russia has not  been in touch with some of what’s been happening on the ground  there.”      State Department spokesman Jen Psaki added to Kerry’s remarks  when she was questioned by reporters about the potential threat  from Russia.

“In terms of the military exercises and rumors of military  intervention, it’s not just the Secretary who feels that would be  a detrimental step to Ukraine and that would be a mistake.”

Ukrainian men help pull one another out of a stampede as a flag of Crimea is seen during clashes at rallies held by ethnic Russians and Crimean Tatars near the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol February 26, 2014. (Reuters / Baz Ratner)Ukrainian men help pull one another out of a stampede as a flag of Crimea is seen during clashes at rallies held by ethnic Russians and Crimean Tatars near the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol February 26, 2014. (Reuters / Baz Ratner)

Kerry’s interview echoed his statements on Tuesday where he  rejected the possibility only one side could be a winner.

“This is not a zero-sum game it is not a West versus East, it  should not be, it is not Russia or the United States or other  choices,” Kerry stated after a meeting with his UK  counterpart, rejecting suggestions that the ouster of Ukraine’s  pro-Russia president and the politics around it are  representative of a Cold War-era East-West divide.

“This is about the rights of a free people, a free democratic  people to make their own decisions and we don’t see it in a  zero-sum way in international affairs,” UK Foreign secretary  William Hague concurred.

The US which is considering providing a $1 billion loan for the  new government in Kiev has repeated that its role in Ukraine’s  affairs should not reignite fears of a new cold war.

Last week, US President Barack Obama said that he does not  disagree with Russia over conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

“I don’t think this is a competition between the United  States and Russia. I think this is an expression of the hopes and  aspirations of people inside of Syria and people inside of  Ukraine,” Obama said last Wednesday.

“Our approach as the United States is not to see these as  some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with  Russia,” Obama said. “Our goal is to make sure that the  people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about  their future, that the people of Syria are able to make decisions  without having bombs going off and killing women and children …   because a despot wants to cling to power.”

People attend a rally organized mainly by ethnic Russians near the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol February 26, 2014.(Reuters / Str)People attend a rally organized mainly by ethnic Russians near the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol February 26, 2014.(Reuters / Str)

Kerry’s remarks follow Moscow’s announcement that it has ordered  an surprise military drill of 150,000 troops to test the combat readiness of armed  forces across western and central Russia.

Russia informed NATO and the OSCE of the military exercise in  advance, making the matter as transparent as possible. The  practice of surprise exercises was introduced last September but  this time western media was quick to connect the drill to the  situation in Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it is monitoring the  situation around the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. “Steps  are being taken to ensure the safety of our facilities,”  stressed Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

In the meantime, protesters on the southern peninsula of Ukraine  are staging rallies against Ukraine’s interim government and  have appointed a Russian-speaking mayor in Sevastopol, the  capital of Crimea where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.

The parliament of the Crimea autonomous region is deciding when  to hold a session to declare the region’s official position  toward the new authorities in Kiev. The protesting majority  demanded a referendum be held to decide whether Crimea should  retain its current status as an autonomous region in Ukraine, to  become independent, or become part of Russia again, as it was  until 1954. The local community of Crimean Tatars in the meantime  expressed support for the new Ukrainian authorities, and clashed  with the rival rally in front of the local parliament.

EXCLUSIVE MANAR TV FOOTAGE OF THE SYRIAN ARMY’S STUNNING AMBUSH IN EASTERN GHOUTA

GALLERY  

The video shows queues of militants moving in the area of Bahret Atayba before two big explosion rocked the group, killing most of its members.
The Syrian army, then, shot dead all the terrorists who tried to flee.

***

More than 170 terrorists were killed in an ambush earlier today in al-Otayba in Damascus Easter Countryside “Eastern Ghuta”


“If you came to fight our state then we are the men of the Syrian Arab Army, and if you came to fight for religion then we are the men of God.”
One of our officers right after al-Otaybea ambush.

Israel’s Bubble of Denial

by JONATHAN COOK
The 24-hour visit by German chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel this week came as relations between the two countries hit rock bottom. According to a report in Der Spiegel magazine last week, Merkel and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been drawn into shouting matches when discussing by phone the faltering peace process.
Despite their smiles to the cameras during the visit, tension behind the scenes has been heightened by an diplomatic bust-up earlier this month when Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament and himself German, gave a speech to the Israeli parliament.
In unprecedented scenes, a group of Israeli legislators heckled Schulz, calling him a “liar”, and then staged a walk-out, led by the economics minister Naftali Bennett. Rather than apologising, Netanyahu intervened to lambast the European leader for being misinformed.
Schulz, who, like Merkel, is considered a close friend of Israel, used his speech vehemently to oppose growing calls in Europe for a boycott of Israel. So how did he trigger such opprobrium?
Schulz’s main offence was posing a question: was it true, as he had heard in meetings in the West Bank, that Israelis have access to four times more water than Palestinians? He further upset legislators by gently suggesting that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was preventing economic growth there.
Neither statement should have been in the least controversial. Figures from independent bodies such as the World Bank show Israel, which controls the region’s water supplies, allocates per capita about 4.4 times more water to its population than the Palestinians.
Equally, it would be hard to imagine that years of denying goods and materials to Gaza, and blocking exports, have not ravaged its economy. The unemployment rate, for example, has increased 6 per cent, to 38.5 per cent, following Israel’s recent decision to prevent the transfer of construction materials to Gaza’s private sector.
But Israelis rarely hear such facts, either from their politicians or media. And few are willing to listen when a rare voice like Schulz’s intervenes. Israelis have grown content living in a large bubble of denial.
Netantahu and his ministers are making every effort to reinforce that bubble, just as they have tried to shield Israelis from the fact that they live in the Middle East, not Europe, by building walls on every side – both physical and bureacratic – to exclude Palestinians, Arab neighbours, foreign workers and asylum seekers.
Inside Israel, the government is seeking to silence the few critical voices left. The intimidation was starkly on display last week as the supreme court considered the constitutionality of the recent “boycott law”, which threatens to bankrupt anyone calling for a boycott of either Israel or the settlements.
Tellingly, a lawyer for the government defended its position by arguing that Israel could not afford freedom of expression of the kind enjoyed by countries like the US.
Illustrating the point, uproar greeted the news last month that a civics teacher had responded negatively when asked by pupils whether he thought Israel’s army the most moral in the world. A campaign to sack him has been led by government ministers and his principal, who stated: “There are sacred cows I won’t allow to be slaughtered.”
Similarly, last week it emerged that a Palestinian from East Jerusalem had been interrogated by police for incitement after noting on Facebook that his city was “under occupation”.
Outside Israel, Netanyahu is indulging in more familiar tactics to browbeat critics. Tapping European sensitivities, he accused those who support a boycott of being “classical anti-semites in modern garb”. Netanyahu justified the allegation, as he has before, on the grounds that Israel is being singled it out.
It looks that way to Israelis only because they have singularly insulated themselves from reality.
Western critics focus on Israel because, unlike countries such as North Korea or Iran, it has managed to avoid any penalties despite riding roughshod over international norms for decades.
Iran, which is only suspected of secretly developing nuclear weapons, has been enduring years of savage sanctions. Israel, which has hidden its large stockpile of nuclear warheads from international scrutiny since the late 1960s, has enjoyed endless diplomatic cover.
Contrary to Netanyahu’s claim, lots of countries around the world have been singled out for sanctions by the United States and Europe – whether diplomatic, financial or, in the case of Iraq, Libya and Syria, military.
But the antipathy towards Israel has deeper roots still. Israel has not only evaded accountability, it has been handsomely rewarded by the US and Europe for flouting international conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.
The self-styled global policemen have encouraged Israel’s law-breaking by consistently ignoring its transgressions and continuing with massive aid handouts and preferential trade deals. In Germany’s case, one of the most significant benefits has been its decision to supply Israel with a fleet of Dolphin submarines, which allow Israel to transport its rogue nuclear arsenal around the high seas.
Far from judging Israel unfairly, Schulz, Merkel and most other western leaders regularly indulge in special pleading on its behalf. They know about Israel’s ugly occupation but shy away from exercising their powers to help end it.
The reason why popular criticism of Israel is currently galvanising around the boycott movement – what Netanyahu grandly calls “delegitimisation” – is that it offers a way for ordinary Americans and Europeans to distance themselves from their governments’ own complicity in Israel’s crimes.
If Netanyahu has refused to listen to his external critics, western governments have been no less at fault in growing impervious to the groundswell of sentiment at home that expects Israel to be forced to take account of international law.
Both Merkel’s diplomatic niceties and her shouting matches have proven utterly ineffective. It is time for her and her western colleagues to stop talking and to start taking action against Israel.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.
A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi.

“Stop Apartheid: Boycott Israel” Momentum Growing Worldwide

 

Obama & Netanyahu

More than ever, not only are groups in the US against Israels Apartheid, and nearly everything Israel stands for, but the boycott movements are on the rise in huge numbers in other countries as well. While Israel thinks because it has a powerful nation like America behind it, it gives them the right to break many international laws. WRONG!

What they fail to recognize, the “people” wont stand for their tax dollars supporting this as countries fall more poor by the day. While the United States is running from country to country trying to destroy it for the sake of this nasty little state called Israel, the momentum grows to divest from, and boycott Israel, even from Israelis themselves. The more they do, the more people are standing against them. Keep going Israel soon enough, you will have your day.

The more “Nutty-Yahood” steals the occupied land of the Palestinians building more ILLEGAL settlements, the more resistance he is coming up against, exposing more Israeli crimes against humanity. Hatred for Israels occupation grows. It has nothing to do with “anti-semitism” as he claims it does, it has everything to do with the world seeing more and more INJUSTICE on the part of Israel. As a matter of fact, this anti-semistism” bullshit is getting rather OLD!

GET WITH THE PROGRAM ISRAEL, YOUR SUPPORT IS DWINDLING FAST!

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U.S. trying for another “Ukraine” in Venezuela?

Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez surrenders himself for arrest

Venezuela: A People’s Uprising, or a US Backed, Violent Coup?

According to the majority media reports in the West, Venezuela is witnessing a wave of popular protest against its totalitarian government, by students and citizens tired of crime, corruption and food shortages. However, a closer look the history of US imperialism in Venezuela and Latin America, reports from independent journalists and activists on the ground, and the US State Department cables released by Wikileaks, a wholly darker and more complex picture emerges.

Venezuela – a Little History

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The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela sits on the Northern Coast of South America.  It has a population of just over 29 million people, a GDP of $382bn a year and a land mass roughly the size of Germany and England combined. It borders Colombia to the West, Guyana to the East, Brazil to the South and has a long Caribbean coastline across the North.

The nation became a republic in the early 19th century, with the revolution of Bolivarian revolution that threw out the Spanish imperialists. Ever since, there has been a power struggle between the small elite and middle class of Venezuela and the mass working class.  The former are fully backed by the US, with funds and arms.

The US has a long history of Latin American imperialism, much of it centred on Venezuela.  I cannot detail that in full here, but Noam Chomsky does a great job of detailing the history and intent of US imperialism in Latin America here.

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century the Venezuelan democratic system was dominated by two political parties that handed power between themselves, while implementing essentially the same policies.  As John Pilger writes:

“When Chávez was first elected in 1998, Venezuela was not an archetypical Latin American tyranny, but a liberal democracy with certain freedoms, run by and for its elite, which had plundered the oil revenue and let crumbs fall to the invisible millions in the barrios. A pact between the two main parties, known as puntofijismo, resembled the convergence of new Labour and the Tories in Britain and Republicans and Democrats in the US. For them, the idea of popular sovereignty was anathema, and still is.”

Hugo Chavez promised to bring an end to this corruption, open up the political system, and reduce poverty.  He won the 1998 presidential election with 56% of the vote – against a hostile media owned by the pro-US elite.  This made him a marked man, Pilger continues:

“With Colombia as its front line, the war on democracy in Latin America has Chávez as its main target. It is not difficult to understand why. One of Chávez’s first acts was to revitalise the oil producers’ organisation Opec and force the oil price to record levels. At the same time he reduced the price of oil for the poorest countries in the Caribbean region and central America, and used Venezuela’s new wealth to pay off debt, notably Argentina’s, and, in effect, expelled the International Monetary Fund from a continent over which it once ruled. He has cut poverty by half – while GDP has risen dramatically. Above all, he gave poor people the confidence to believe that their lives would improve.”

In 2002, members of the Opposition, funded and supported by the United States, launched a failed coup on the democratically elected Chavez government, in efforts to oust him and protect their privilege.

As expert on US imperialism in Latin America Ed Vulliamy wrote for The Observer at the time:

Officials at the Organisation of American States and other diplomatic sources, talking to The Observer, assert that the US administration was not only aware the coup was about to take place, but had sanctioned it, presuming it to be destined for success.

The visits by Venezuelans plotting a coup, including Carmona himself, began, say sources, ‘several months ago’, and continued until weeks before the putsch last weekend. The visitors were received at the White House by the man President George Bush tasked to be his key policy-maker for Latin America, Otto Reich.

It remains the conviction of current President Nicolas Maduro and other Latin America observers that Chavez’s untimely death from cancer, was likely a case of assassination by the CIA, the US State Department of through Opposition forces.  This theory gained favour when Chavez ally, Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has also had a series of health scares. The US has attempted to assassinate no fewer than 50 foreign leaders in efforts to impose regimes more favourable to US interests. Does that mean they assassinated Chavez? No. Does it mean it is possible that they tried? Yes.

Nicolas Maduro succeeded Chavez in two subsequent elections (2012, and December 2013) endorsed as free and fair by the National Electoral Council of Venezuela.

The Venezuelan Government – Democracy or Dictatorship?

Current president Nicolas Maduro (left) and late former President Hugo Chaves (right)

Current president Nicolas Maduro (left) and late former President Hugo Chaves (right)

Former US President Jimmy Carter has won a Nobel Prize for his election-monitoring work across the globe with the Carter Center.  His group monitored the 2012 re-election of President Hugo Chavez.

“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” Carter said at the time.

Guardian journalist Mark Weisbrot agrees, arguing that the US has a lot to learn from the Venezuelan democratic process:

In Venezuela, voters touch a computer screen to cast their vote and then receive a paper receipt, which they verify and deposit in a ballot box. Most of the paper ballots are compared with the electronic tally. This system makes vote-rigging nearly impossible: to steal the vote would require hacking the computers and then stuffing the ballot boxes to match the rigged vote.

Unlike in the US, where in a close vote we really have no idea who won (see Bush v Gore), Venezuelans can be sure that their vote counts. And also unlike the US, where as many as 90 million eligible voters will not vote in November, the government in Venezuela has done everything to increase voter registration (now at a record of about 97%) and participation.

Yet, Chavez was consistently referred to by large sections of the mainstream media and politicians as a dictator.  Even at his death in March 2013, a wave of sneering editorials denounced the ‘death of a dictator’.

A similar pattern has been applied to the government of Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro.  After losing a close run election with Maduro by 200,000 votes in December 2013, an infuriated opposition immediately accused the Maduro camp of vote-rigging and set about mobilizing mass protests calling for his ouster.

Who are the Opposition?

The opposition in Venezuela primarily comes from these middle class and elite groups who seek to protect and extend the privileges they have enjoyed historically.  They are often funded and backed by the US.

As Andre Vltchek writes for Counter Punch:

“In Venezuela, the US sponsored an aborted coup, and it directly pays for hundreds of organizations, ‘NGO’s’ and media outlets, with the direct goal of overthrowing the revolutionary process and the government.”

Prior to the recent disputes, the most prominent opposition figure has been Henrique Capriles, governor of the affluent Miranda state,a right wing aristocrat and media mogul.

But after Capriles shook Maduro’s hand in a concilatory gesture aimed at reducing escalating tensions, Capriles began to fall from favour.  Lopez seized his moment, refused to even enter talks with the Maduro government and presented himself as the true revolutionary hero. Ably assisted by reports such as this, in Business Week – “Leopoldo Lopez, the Charismatic Face of Venezuela’s Opposition’. But Lopez is simply not the left leaning, moderate man of the people being portrayed.

According to US State department cables released by Wikileaks, Leopoldo Lopez is using the student movement to harness the Opposition movement around his image.  Lopez is mentioned no fewer than 77 times in the US State Department Cables.

George Ciccariello-Maher, author and political science lecturer at Drexel University disagrees, telling Democracy Now:

“Left-leaning moderate would be quite a stretch. Leopoldo López represents the far right of the Venezuelan political spectrum. In terms of his personal and political history, here’s someone who was educated in the United States from prep school through graduate school at the Harvard Kennedy School. He’s descended from the first president of Venezuela, purportedly even from Simón Bolívar. In other words, he’s a representative of this traditional political class that was displaced when the Bolivarian revolution came to power.

In terms of his very specific political history, his first party that he came to power as a representative of, Primero Justicia, was formed through the—at the intersection of corruption and U.S. intervention—corruption by his mother purportedly funneling funds, you know, from Venezuela’s oil company into this new party and, on the other hand, funding from the NED, from USAID, from U.S. government institutions, to so-called civil society organizations. Now, after—as Chávez came to power, the traditional parties of Venezuela collapsed, and both the domestic opposition and the U.S. government needed to create some other vehicle through which to oppose the Chávez government, and this party that Leopoldo López came to power through is one of those—is one of those vehicles. So this is really where he’s coming from.”

Lopez is currently under arrest after surrendering himself to the authorities, and Capriles is refusing to join peace negotiations with Maduro until he is released, while violence rages on.

And as for those who are backing and joining the protests? The student movement in Venezuela, is not the student movement in the US or UK.  As John Pilger writes:

In Venezuela, their “grotesque fantasies of being ruled by a ‘brutal communist dictator’”, to quote Petras, are reminiscent of the paranoia of the white population that backed South Africa’s apartheid regime. Like in South Africa, racism in Venezuela is rampant, with the poor ignored, despised or patronised, and a Caracas shock jock allowed casually to dismiss Chávez, who is of mixed race, as a “monkey”. This fatuous venom has come not only from the super-rich behind their walls in suburbs called Country Club, but from the pretenders to their ranks in middle-level management, journalism, public relations, the arts, education and the other professions, who identify vicariously with all things American. Journalists in broadcasting and the press have played a crucial role – acknowledged by one of the generals and bankers who tried unsuccessfully to overthrow Chávez in 2002. “We couldn’t have done it without them,” he said. “The media were our secret weapon.”

Many of these people regard themselves as liberals, and have the ear of foreign journalists who like to describe themselves as being “on the left”.

Take higher education. At the taxpayer-funded elite “public” Venezuelan Central University, more than 90 per cent of the students come from the upper and “middle” classes. These and other elite students have been infiltrated by CIA-linked groups and, in defending their privilege, have been lauded by foreign liberals.”

What are the Opposition Demands?

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The Opposition movement calls for ‘La Salida’ (the exit) of the democratically elected Maduro government.  They reject the legitimacy of Maduro, as they did Chavez.  The latest wave of protests followed the murder of former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear and her ex-husband in front of their five year old daughter (who was shot in the leg), during a roadside robbery in January. This, combined with shortages of food and other supplies, was said to have galvanised a popular protest movement.

While it is absolutely true that the movements are able to gain support due to the crime and shortages in Venezuela, claims that these issues are the result of social democratic economic policies, or that they are the core trigger of the current protests, are tenuous at best.

George Ciccariello-Maher explored the issues further in his interview with Democracy Now:

“To be perfectly clear, food scarcity has been a problem, and insecurity is a massive problem in Venezuela. And both of these are really deep and intractable problems that have—you know, that have some relationship to government, government failures to confront them in certain ways, but also to the action of various other actors. In the case of crime, the infiltration of mafias has been a powerful force in recent years. And in the case of scarcity, the role of private capitalists in withholding and hoarding goods, as well as currency speculation, has been a massively destructive force that really echoes the kind of Chile scenario of helping to destroy an economy as a preparation for the government being overthrown.

But the reality is, these do not—these two factors, which the students are claiming are driving these protests, are really—they don’t explain why these protests are emerging now. Why? Because crime is actually going down, as we speak, and because food scarcity is not nearly as bad as it was earlier in the year. Rather, what explains what’s going on now is that this is the moment in which—after December elections, in which the opposition fared very poorly, this is the moment in which the right wing of that opposition has said, “Enough. You know, once again, enough. We’re done with elections. We’re going to go to the streets, and we’re going to try to topple this government.”

Is this a US Backed Coup?

US Flag Around the Earth

What is most likely, and what the evidence points to – is that we are witnessing the latest efforts of the Venezuelan middle class and the US government, to destabilize Venezuela.  In short, a foreign backed, violent coup is being rebranded as a people’s uprising.

This coup has been launched on two main fronts.

First, as we have seen above, the US sponsors opposition elements, who whip up middle class resentment at social democracy and destabilise the economy and society – primarily by hoarding goods and currency, and by sponsoring organized crime gangs.

Secondly, we have the media war.  The internal and international media is recasting militant, right wing, US sponsored stooges, as popular, moderate heroes.

For example, on February 20th, a report was published in the Caracas Chronicles by Francisco Toro claiming that Venezuelan protesters were facing ‘a tropical pogrom’. He wrote:

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.”

The mainstream/corporate media used this and other stories as evidence for their narrative that Venezuela is a dictatorial state witnessing a people’s uprising, and the authoritarian government are suppressing it by force.

A major US media transparency organisation, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), reviewed the claims further and found major inaccuracies, writing:

Who is Francisco Toro? He used to report for the New York Times, but stepped down, saying he couldn’t conform to the paper’s conflict-of-interest rules: “Too much of my lifestyle is bound up with opposition activism,” he wrote, adding that “I can’t possibly be neutral” about Venezuelan politics (FAIR Action Alert, 6/6/03).

Are, in fact, “state-sponsored paramilitaries…shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting”? Two days ago, when Toro posted, the death toll stood at six (Reuters, 2/20/14). That’s six deaths too many, certainly, but if paramilitaries were actually shooting at everyone who seemed to be protesting, there would be either very few protesters or the paramilitaries would have to be exceedingly bad shots.

And, in fact, not all the dead are protesters, or killed by pro-government forces. Yesterday, Venezuelanalysis (2/21/14)–a pro-government but independent website–put out a fuller list of people killed in the ongoing clashes, adding up to 10. Three people died after crashing into barricades set up by the opposition, and another person–the brother of a pro-government legislator–was shot while trying to open up a barricaded street. A protester was run over by a motorist trying to drive through a barricade; the driver was reportedly arrested. An intelligence service officer was also arrested in connection with a shooting incident on February 12 that left two people dead–one a protester, the other a government sympathizer.

US journalists tend to identify with the opposition, which is generally wealthier and better educated–and not incidentally whiter–than government supporters (FAIR Blog, 2/25/13). This should be borne in mind when reading reports from Venezuela–from whatever source.

In essence, the mainstream media was amplifying a misrepresentation of the situation on the ground, to suit the political agenda.

Furthermore, the UK’s Guardian Newspaper recently published a statement written and signed by some of the world’s foremost peace and justice campaigners, deploring:

“the wave of violence from minority and extremist sections of Venezuela’s opposition (caused by the) recently launched campaign by Venezuela’s extreme right for the La Salida (‘The Ousting’) of the government of President Maduro before his constitutional mandate ends in 2019.” It concludes by “supporting the Government’s call for peace and dialogue to resolve differences” which has been echoed by UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations.)

Prominent signatories include Grahame Morris MP of Labour Friends of Venezuela; Colin Burgon, VSC Chair; former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, former Minister Peter Hain MP, a wide range of prominent figures in the academic and cultural sectors including filmmaker John Pilger, musician Dave Lee, poet Linton Kwesi Johnson and writer Tariq Ali; and numerous Trade Union leaders, alongside student leaders, peace campaigners, community representatives and an array of others from across society.

In the era of the Occupy Movement and Anonymous, it is easy for the will of democratic movements in the West, to see protesters up against police in another setting and automatically ally with the protesters.  But after the painful and still unfolding manipulation of the Arab Spring, the backing of neo-nazi paramilitaries in Ukraine, and the reality of US/IMF imposed imperialism – kneejerk sympathies, whilst often well intended, belie the complexity of the situation.

SYRIA: AL-NUSRA FRONT DECLARES WAR ON ISIS

GALLERY FEBRUARY 26, 2014 ALEXANDRA VALIENTE

Al-Nusra Front has declared war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Abu Mohammed al-Golani gave ISIS five days to provide proof of its innocence regarding the killing of Abu Khaled al-Souri along with an ultimatum: either stop the fighting, withdraw apostasy edicts and return to the community or face a war, even in Iraq. Now all eyes are on the two groups as a violent confrontation might erupt between them at any moment.

A conflict broke out between ISIS and al-Nusra Front after the killing of Abu Khaled al-Souri. Even though the leaders of ISIS denied their involvement in the killing of one of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s top men, the leader of al-Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al-Golani, warned of a relentless war when he said: “The nation will fight ignorant and aggressive thought,” referring to ISIS.

Al-Golani did not say it explicitly in his speech in which he mourned his friend al-Souri, but the echo of his speech entitled “I wish you lamented me” clearly beat the drums of war. Supporters of ISIS and al-Nusra Front speculated about the implications of the speech and wondered whether it was coordinated with al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

After failed attempts to reconcile the two groups for about a year, the killing of al-Souri was the final straw for al-Nusra Front. Al-Golani had it with the practices of ISIS so he surprised everyone by putting forth unnegotiable conditions. For the first time, he was upfront with ISIS supporters and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom he previously respected.

Like a judge trying a suspect, he asked them for a formal explanation and ordered them to submit their evidence to three prominent clerics – Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, Abu Qatada al-Falastini and Suleiman al-Alwan – pending their trial proceedings. However, the three clerics that al-Golani wanted them to appeal to are languishing in prison. He gave them a five-day deadline and put conditions such as ending the infighting and cancelling apostasy edicts issued against other jihadi groups.

In his address to ISIS, al-Golani compares them to the Awakening Movement in Iraq saying: “The awakening forces in Iraq stopped fighting America and the rafidah (a derogatory term for Shia) to fight the mujahideen, while the awakening forces in Syria stopped fighting the Nusayris (a derogatory term for Alawites), and are instead fighting those fighting the Nusayris.”

He openly accused ISIS fighters of being “misguided awakening forces whose goal is to undermine the jihad.” Addressing them, he said: “The awakening project was nearly impossible here but the infighting that you instigated opened a gaping hole in the land of the Levant.” Al-Golani demanded an official response and reminded his adversaries that the front has not been mobilized yet. He issued a threat saying: “In the name of God, if you reject God’s judgement again and do not withhold your scourge on the believers, then the believers shall fight your ignorant aggressive thought and you know hundreds of virtuous brothers are awaiting a signal from the nation in Iraq.”

Al-Golani’s speech was unexpected. His intensity surprised many even within the ranks of al-Nusra Front. As soon as the voice recording spread, a war broke out on Twitter. He was violently attacked. The campaign against him was boosted by the discovery that the United States removed his name from the list of global terrorism only days ago. ISIS followers and supporters shared a letter entitled the “The list of honor which does not include al-Golani?”.

The so-called declaration of war against ISIS fighters was widely condemned. Some ISIS followers accused al-Golani of being an American agent because “he has now a common goal with America and its allies.” Statements were issued by dozens of leaders in the global jihad movement in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, and North Africa.

The position of al-Qaeda leader Maamoun Hatem took prominence. He wrote a message entitled “An urgent appeal” to al-Golani in which he held him responsible for the blood that will be shed and argued that declaring war against ISIS is tantamount to declaring a war on al-Qaeda because this war will “spoil the fruit of the entire jihad.”

Hatem reminded al-Golani that he was “the first to divide the jihad project when you disobeyed your leader who did not command you to commit an act of transgression, so you betrayed him and those who followed you.”

The message of the leader Abu Abdallah al-Afghani also came in the same context. He did not see “the relationship between al-Souri’s eulogy and al-Golani’s threats against ISIS.” He asked a number of questions that held al-Golani responsible for what is going on and for the river of blood that will be shed.

In addition, some of al-Golani’s speeches were replayed in which he praised ISIS fighters and its leader al-Baghdadi. They accused him of breach of trust and theft of ISIS money and weapons that their leader al-Baghdadi had entrusted to him, and for attempting to exercise a monopoly over the Levant.

ISIS followers shared on their websites a possible upcoming message by ISIS spokesperson, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, to respond to al-Golani’s speech and threats.

A Brief History of Israel’s Terrorism in Palestine

by Jonas E. Alexis 

5376507233_98994cf238_z

One can historically say that Jewish terrorism began during the Second Temple era with the Hashmonai family. During the Hellenistic period, they “conducted an ongoing campaign of guerilla warfare against Hellenistic rule in Israel,” though terrorism was a small fraction of their campaign.[1]

Their first terrorist act was the assassination of a Hellenistic envoy named Apelles, who was sent to the town of Modi’in to remind the inhabitants of the policy of assimilation advanced by Antiochus IV.[2]

Although this particular band of terrorists did not last long, many such terrorist cells came and went throughout the first century, recruiting for one purpose or another. Members of one band, Bar Giora, “were involved primarily in robbing and pillaging the property of the local aristocracy.”[3]

Another group, particularly well known among scholars and historians of various stripes, is the Sicarians, who rose to prominence around 52 AD.[4] Some scholars argue that they were active long before that period,[5] but the consensus is that these bandits were terrorists, insurrectionists and revolutionaries.

They were “the first group to systematically engage in terrorism…The origin of the name of the sect is still a source of dispute. One school claims that they were named after the dagger (sicca), which they used to kill their opponents. Another school asserts that the origins of the name come from the Latin word sicarius, which means killer-assassins.”[6]

The metaphysical worldview of this group can still be found in one form or another in present-day Israel.

“The Sicarian worldview can be discerned even in the ideological fundamentals of Jewish terrorist associations nearly 2,000 years after the disappearance of the original sect.”[7]

They “did not refrain from terrorizing moderate Jews who sought to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a major confrontation. Like other groups of zealots, the Sicarians engaged in guerilla warfare, but at the same time they also perfected operational methods that can be equated with those of modern-day terrorist groups. Their principal operational tactics were political assassinations and kidnappings as bargaining chips.”[8]

More often,

“assassinations were carried out in Jerusalem on holidays, when the city was swarming with pilgrims. The assassins mingled with the crowds of celebrators and stabbed their victims with small daggers in broad daylight.

“In this fashion, the Sicarians murdered the High Priest Yonatan, who had tried to prevent the rebellion against the Romans, and later, during the course of the rebellion, they took the lives of the priest Hanan Ben Hanan and his brother Hezekiah.”[9]

When the Sicarians got into Jerusalem in AD 66, “they burned the archives containing the records of debt.”[10]

The Sicarians were largely responsible for the war which started in A.D. 66, during which the Temple was burned to the ground and which ended in the tragedy of Masada, where 967 Jewish individuals committed mass suicide.[11]

Some scholars have claimed that the Zealots and Sicarians were almost indistinguishable or that the Zealots were offshoots of the Sicarians.[12] Others have argued that while they were similar, both being “mutually hostile,” they had their distinct features.[13]

A common denominator that united both groups was that no one was exempt from assassination, and Christians were also a primary target.[14] It was a time of great persecution against the church.[15]

The Roman’s destruction of the Temple left an indelible mark on many Jews.

“The failure of the Great Revolt and the subsequent forced exile left deep scars in the Jewish collective memory. The fear that violence might lead to a similar tragedy remained so profound among the Jews that the Halacha (Jewish law) adopted a specific directive aimed at avoiding any future signs of rebellion that might again provoke the anger of the gentiles.”[16]

After the fall of Jerusalem, most of the Sicarians fled to Egypt, where they continued to engage in subversive activities.[17]


Bolshevik-Revolution

During the nineteenth century, the ideological foundation of the Sicarians, though not in its first-century form, was resurrected during the Bolshevik Revolution, where Jewish revolutionaries attempted

“to undermine the tsar’s rule. One of the most famous insurgents was Dmitri Bogrov, who came from a Jewish family in Kiev. On September 14, 1911, Bogrov shot dead the tsar’s prime minister, Pyotr Stolypin, while he was attending a performance at the Kiev Opera House.

“The killing took place in the presence of Tsar Nicholas II, who was sitting close to the prime minister, and it was designed to incite political instability and ultimately inspire revolutionary fervor in Russia.”[18]

Ten days later, Bogrov was executed.

Terrorist activity did not die out with Bogrov. The Weatherman Underground movement was another largely Jewish terrorist group that sought to undermine American involvement in Vietnam.

“Members of the movement, many of them Jews, did not hesitate in engaging in classic terrorist tactics such as planting explosive charges and committing arson in order to advance their ideological goals.

“The Jewish terrorists who operated in tsarist Russia and those in Nixon-era America shared the fact that they were young men and women with a developed sense of political awareness and were wholly committed to the political concerns that plagued their compatriots.”[19]

They justified their terrorist acts “by claiming revenge for the harm done to their people or the need for self-defense.”[20]

Yet again Jewish terrorism continued “with the resurgence of the Jewish settlement project in modern-day Eretz Israel (Land of Israel).”[21]

holodomor

Both violence and terrorism were considered “a crucial component in the evolution of the Jewish nation,”[22] and both violence and terrorism, as we shall see, eventually morphed into ethnic cleansing. “By the time the Arab Revolt began to flag in 1939, Etzel had become highly skilled in executing acts of terrorism.”

During the span of three years, the group carried out sixty operations that took the lives of more than 120 Palestinians and injured hundreds more.”[23] Etzel also “targeted British police and army men known for their tough attitudes toward Jewish prisoners.”[24]

From the formation of Israel all the way to our modern era, terrorism has played a central force in the political and ideological landscape of Israel, and Israel’s support of terrorist groups such as the MEK, assassinated Iranian scientists over the years, is a manifestation of that tradition.

The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was a member of a terrorist organization called the Stern Gang that led to the assassination of British Resident Minister in the Middle East Lord Moyne in August 1944. Moyne was Winston Churchill’s representative in Cairo.[25]

Since the British did not keep their promise of helping the Jewish people establish a Jewish state, British ambassadors such as Moyne had to go.

“The target of Lord Moyne was not chosen at random. The notion of assassinating a high-profile British figure in the Middle East had already been conceived by Avraham (Yair) Stern, leader of the Lehi [a terrorist group], as far back as 1941 and three years before Moyne had even assumed his duties in this role.”[26]

One of the organization’s jobs was to get involved “in clandestine activities,” including terrorist acts “against the British.”[27] Three months earlier, they attempted to assassinate British High Commissioner Sir Harold MacMichael.

Yitzhak Shamir

Shamir was implicated in those terrorist acts,[28] as well as being linked to the death of Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte and the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 that took the lives of 91 people. To save his skin, he fled to Ethiopia and French Somaliland until 1948.[29]

When Shamir passed away in the summer of 2012, Shimon Peres declared that he was a “brave hero.” Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that Shamir

“belonged to the generation of giants who established the State of Israel and fought for the freedom of the Jewish people on their land…

“He fought with courage against the British mandate in the days of the underground and his incredible contribution to the State of Israel during his time in the Mossad will remain forever enshrined in the tales of bravery of our nation”[30]

Both the New York Times and CNN avoided mentioning Shamir’s terrorist acts, despite the fact that they were well known. Instead, the New York Times declared that Shamir was part of a “Jewish militia”![31]

As Julian Ozanne of the Financial Times put it, Shamir’s penchant for terrorist organizations “often appeared to have defined his core character.”[32] But this “core character,” which seems to jive with Netanyahu’s policy with respect to the Palestinians,[33] will not see the light of day in the media any time soon.

Shamir was a flaming Zionist.[34] He had little regard for international law and “a deep hatred for Arabs.”[35] Israeli writer Uri Avnery called Shamir “the most successful terrorist of the 20th century.”[36]

Like Shamir, Avnery joined the underground Irgun organization. Avnery knew Shamir personally, but eventually Avnery became disenchanted with the organization and embraced peaceful solutions. Avnery writes,

“Many years later I asked [Shamir] which historical personality he admired most. He answered without hesitation: Lenin.”[37]


The bombing of the King David Hotel

Shamir’s acts of terrorism were one thing, but Israel continued to commit acts of terrorism without any substantial reprimand from the West. In the summer of 1946, British soldiers arrested 2,700 members of an underground group, which led to its abandonment.[38] Yet one month later:

“On July 26, members of an Etzel cell disguised as Arabs infiltrated the kitchen of the Café La Regence at the lavish King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The hotel had originally opened its doors in 1931 and seven years later was transformed into the nerve center of the British Mandate.

“Members of the cell placed milk containers full of explosives in the southern wing of the hotel and then quickly left the vicinity. Despite the fact that the Etzel gave warning of the explosives, the hotel management was not able to evacuate all its occupants.

“The ensuing explosion caused the collapse of the southern wing of the hotel; 91 Britons, Arabs, and Jews were buried under the ruins, and 476 more were injured.”[39]

The terrorist pattern continued in 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly Resolution authorized the establishment of two states. The terrorist group the Lehi responded

with a series of terrorist attacks, which included the bombing of the offices of the British shipping company in Haifa, shooting attacks on police in Jerusalem, and a brazen attack on the Astoria Café in Haifa.

“In the latter incident, which targeted British soldiers and police who frequented the café, three Lehi members equipped with machine guns and grenades stormed into the restaurant, began spraying gunfire in all directions, and then made their getaway in a car waiting outside for them.”[40]

Yet even though the band was dismantled, the spirit never died out. It rose from the ashes, and assassinations of dissenting Jews became ubiquitous—the most notable was the assassination of Israel Kastner in 1957.[41]

Terrorist activities were reincarnated shortly after the establishment of Israel among the terrorist group Brit Haknaim, whose name meant “Covenant of the Zealots.”[42] After Brit Haknaim, we had Gush the Emunim and the Kahanist movements, two religious and terrorist groups.[43]


Arnon Milchan and his bodies

 The terrorist spirit moved into different zones from the late 70s to the 90s. For example, when the book Confidential was released—a book which showed that both Netanyahu and Peres have been using espionage against the U.S. through Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan—Netanyahu told Milchan to “avoid any public discussion of the book Confidential, asserting that the matter is too sensitive at this time.”[44]

As I have already shown, the Mossad has been involved in underground operations such as this for decades. We know that Israeli officials have been propagating fabrications against Iran for months in order for the West to strike Iran.

We know that Israel has a long history of “stealing passports and other IDs to carry out false flag operations.”[45] In New Zealand in 2004 Mossad agents Eli Cara and Uriel Kelman attempted to steal New Zealand passports, which created friction between Israel and New Zealand.[46]

Fran O’Sullivan of the New Zealand Herald wrote, “Israel was caught using Canadian passports as part of a botched attempt to assassinate a Jordanian leader in 1997.”[47] O’Sullivan continued to say that the New Zealand Herald has found that, among other things:

“A high-profile Israeli MP believes the state of Israel ‘wants to do killings’ but should penetrate hostile countries using identities gained with the help of friendly intelligence agencies.

“Charges of anti-Jewish sentiment against the Clark Government within New Zealand and Israel could just as easily be laid against most European nations, judging by their UN voting records.

“Some New Zealanders living in Israel are prepared to ‘lend’ their New Zealand passports to Mossad to help fight terrorists. Israeli security analysts believe Mossad was operating a ‘passport factory’ here and in Israel, using disabled people’s identities.”[48]

Israel in 2005 admitted that the Mossad had a black operation in New Zealand.[49] Lord Rothschild did the same thing in Britain, stealing

“‘all major UK/US weapons developments in the Second World War,’ including biological warfare, the atomic bomb and radar.”[50]

Rothschild, who died in 1990, “was involved ‘in so many aspects of spying that he seemed like a superagent, sabotaging every Western intelligence initiative for 20 years after the war.’”[51]

In 2010, the Mossad used fake passports from Britain, Ireland, and France to assassinate Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.[52] The Iranian dissidents who assassinated the Iranian scientists have since confessed that they were trained by the Mossad in Israel.[53]

We are seeing how Israel has instructed its embassies in at least ten European countries to recruit 1,000 members to promote pro-Israel activist propaganda.[54]

In a nutshell, Israel is a master of black operation. Zionist groups in Israel have supported terrorist organizations and groups since the inception of Israel. And supporting the Syrian rebels/terrorists is another manifestation of that pattern.

Syrian rebels

Although some Syrian rebels are also members of Al Qaeda,[55] neither the United States nor Israel has said a word about this precisely because the Zionist state pretends to fight terrorism but in practicality supports it. Of the 300 rebel groups, a quarter of them are reported to be inspired by Al Qaeda.[56] It is also reported the same Al Qaeda groups are behind bombings in Syria.[57]

Despite all of that, the CIA was still sending aid to the Syrian rebels.[58] It was obvious for countries like Russia to implicate the United States in all of these acts, most specifically in the bombing of Damascus on July 18, when the United States refused to acknowledge that it was an act of terrorism.[59]

In 1976, the BBC recounted that the Israel was behind the hijackers at Entebbe airport in Uganda who took control of an Air France flight with Israeli passengers. Israel collaborated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in order to hijack the plane and blamed it on other entities. Three Israeli civilians died in the process.[60]

When the hostages were finally rescued, Israel was praised for the mission, called “Operation Jonathan.” Yonatan Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, was the unit leader who was killed in the false flag operation.[61]

In a document from the National Archives, D.H. Colvin of the Paris embassy wrote that Israel was involved in this terrorist act for a specific reason.

“The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO’s standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans.”[62]

Even in the United States, Jewish terrorist groups such as the Stern Gang tried to assassinate Harris Truman, according to Truman’s daughter Margaret.[63] As Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich puts it, “When it comes to Israel’s political agenda, no sacrifice is too great.”[64]

[1] Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel (New York: Columbia University. Press, 2011), 1.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 5.

[4] J. Julius Scott, Jr., Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995), 214.

[5] See Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New York: Scribner, 1891); Mark Andrew Brighton, The Sicarii in Jusephus’s Judean War: Rhetorical Analysis and Historical Observation (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).

[6] Pedahzur & Arie, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 6.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid., 7; also Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion(New York: HarperOne, 2011), 43, 63; Scott, Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament, 214.

[10] Stark, Triumph of Christianity, 43.

[11] Ibid.

[12] See Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1891).

[13] See Mark Andrew Brighton, The Sicarii in Jusephus’s Judean War (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).

[14] Stark, Triumph of Christianity, 63.

[15] Ibid., 63-65.

[16] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 8.

[17] Scott, Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament, 214.

[18] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 8.

[19] Ibid., 8-9.

[20] Ibid., 9.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., 11.

[23] Ibid., 13.

[24] Ibid., 14.

[25] Julian Ozanne, “Unflinching Supporter of Greater Israel,” Financial Times, June 30, 2012; Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 18-20.

[26] Ibid., 19.

[27] Black & Morris, Israel’s Secret Wars, 196.

[28] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 21.

[29] “Yitzhak Shamir,” Telegraph, June 30, 2012.

[30] “Yitzhak Shamir, Former Israeli PM, Dies,” CNN, July 2, 2012; Gil Hoffman, “Former PM Shamir Passes Away at Age 96 in Tel Aviv,” Jerusalem Post, June 30, 2012.

[31] Joel Brinkley, “Yitzhak Shamir, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Dies at 96,” NY Times, June 30, 2012.

[32] Julian Ozanne, “Unflinching Supporter of Greater Israel,” Financial Times, June 30, 2012.

[33] “PM: Shamir Saw, Understood Fundamental Truths,” Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2012.

[34] Gil Hoffman, “Former PM Shamir Passes Away at Age 96 in Tel Aviv,” Jerusalem Post, June 30, 2012.

[35] Ozanne, “Unflinching Supporter of Greater Israel,” Financial Times, June 30, 2012.

[36] Uri Avnery, “Two Faces: Israel’s Prime Ministers,” Antiwar.com, July 14,

2012.

[37]Ibid.

[38] Pedahzur & Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, 23.

[39] Ibid., 24.

[40] Ibid., 26.

[41] Ibid., 29.

[42] Ibid., 33.

[43] Ibid., 37.

[44] Grant Smith, “Netanyahu Worked Inside Nuclear Smuggling Ring,” Antiwar.com, July 4, 2012.

[45] Sepahpour-Ulrich, “Bulgaria—Terror Attack on Rotten Fish?,” Veterans-Today.com, July 20, 2012.

[46] Fran O’Sullivan, “Goff Likely to Face Israel at UN Debate,” New Zealand Herald, September 21, 2004.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] “Israel ‘Admits’ to NZ Spy Mission,” New Zealand Herald, October 27, 2005; “Spies Law Overhaul,” New Zealand Herald, March 7, 2006.

[50] David Leitch, “Rothschild ‘Spied as the Fifth Man,’” Independent, October 23, 1994.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ilene R. Prusher, “Was Mossad Behind Dubai Assassination? Israel Foreign Minister Isn’t Saying,” Christian Science Monitor, February 7, 2010; Dan Murphy, “In Dubai, Hit Squad Used Mossad-Style Tactics to Kill Hamas Leader,” Christian Science Monitor, February 16, 2010.

[53] “Iranians ‘Confess’ to Nuclear Scientist Murders on State Television,” Guardian, August 6, 2012.

[54] Harriet Sherwood, “Israel Recruits Citizen Advocates in Europe,” Guardian, November 28, 2010.

[55] Rod Nordland, “Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role in Syria’s Conflict,” NY Times, July 24, 2012

[56] Ken Dilanian, “CIA Absence from Syria a Setback for U.S., Officials Say,” LA Times, July 24, 2012.

[57] Jonathan S. Landay, “U.S. Officials: Al Qaida Behind Syria Bombings,” Mc-Clatchy Newspapers, February 10, 2012.

[58] Eric Schmitt, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” NY Times, June 21, 2012; Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly, “Syrian Rebels Get Influx of Arms with Gulf Neighbors’ Money, U.S. Coordination,” Washington Post, May 15, 2012.

[59] “Lavrov: U.S. Reaction to Terror Attack in Damascus a Direct Justification of Terrorism,” Kyiv Post, July 25, 2012.

[60] Dan Parkinson, “Israel Hijack Role ‘Was Queried,’” BBC, June 6, 2007.

[61] Sepahpour-Ulrich, “Terror Attack on Rotten Fish?,” VeteransToday.com, July 20, 2012.

[62] Parkinson, “Israel Hijack Role ‘Was Queried,’” BBC, June 6, 2007.

[63] Margaret Truman, Harry Truman (New York: Avon Books, 1993), 533-534.

[64] Sepahpour-Ulrich, “Terror Attack on Rotten Fish?,” VeteransToday.com, July 20, 2012.

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