Jordan To End Israeli Lease Of Rich Farmland — Rebel Voice

Jordan has announced that it will end the lease of land to Israel agreed in 1994. Rebel Voice wonders why Jordan gave the lease in the first place. Israel has never been a friend to Jordan. Is this another example of Zionist imperialism? Interestingly, the Israeli PM and war criminal, Benjamin Netanyahu, has stated that the rogue Zionist state will renegotiate the lease. He deliberately ignored the decision to end the contract in a clear sign of the disdain in which Israel holds its neighbours. Rebel Voicewonders if the Jordanian government will back down and do what their alleged Zionists masters tell them to?

via Jordan To End Israeli Lease Of Rich Farmland — Rebel Voice

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Golan Resists Judization: No for “Israel” — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

Golan Resists Judization: No for “Israel” Local Editor Syria condemned the “illegal elections” being held by “Israel” for the first time in the occupied Golan Heights, as an attempt to assimilate the Druze minority, who for their part have largely refused to take part in the polls. Members of the Druze community residing under “Israeli” […]

via Golan Resists Judization: No for “Israel” — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

Israel and Universal Jurisdiction

 

By Prof. Tony Hall
Source

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In the Oct. 26edition of False Flag Weekly News it was reported that law makers in Israel were considering a new statute that would criminalize BDS supporters including by subjecting them to heavy jail time.

In our brief exchange on the story, Dr. Kevin Barrett and I considered the possibility that there would be efforts to project the same law to people outside Israel in the name of universal jurisdiction. Colleen McGuire took the discussion further by pointing to the fine of $18,000 imposed by an Israeli court in a civil action involving two BDS activists, women of both Palestinian and Jewish ancestry. Their letter persuaded New Zealand performer Lorde not to perform in Tel Aviv. The civil case was brought by a group with tickets to the concert who claim to have been traumatized by Lorde’s decision.

Although there is not now any means for the Israeli court ruling to be enforced in Aotearoa (New Zealand) the ruling nevertheless moves the markers and sends a signal of where juridical trajectories are being pointed by powerful interests.

The concept of universal jurisdiction is a two-edged sword for the Israeli government. On the one hand the advancement of the concept through the development of enforcement techniques poses threats that IDF and related Deep State operatives might be apprehended and tried outside Israel for international crimes committed inside Israel and the territories it controls. On the other hand, the application of the principles of universal jurisdiction might offer a means of exercising and expanding the imperial powers inherited from the old Anglo-American empire.

These ideas jumped out at me when I recently read a Mondoweiss story beginning with an account of the Israeli government’s reply to an Israeli Supreme Court ruling concerning the new Regulation Law. It is aimed at trying to regularize the nature of land title beneath illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories. The Mondoweiss story began as follows:

The Israeli government has recently claimed that it can “legislate anywhere in the world”, that it is “entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries”, and that “is allowed to ignore the directives of international law in any field it desires”. This was written in an official response letter to the Supreme Court last month.

Questions concerning the reach of Israeli jurisdiction in the international community were front and centre in the trial of Adolf Eichmann initiated in 1961. In a brief essay looking at the locating of the Eichmann trial in Israel, Andrew J. Batog noted

In the Eichmann trial, the court in Israel set another important modern precedent in the advancement of universal jurisdiction. Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had been apprehended in Argentina by Israeli intelligence agents and brought to trial in Israel. In a detailed opinion the court appealed to the idea of the natural law to find universal jurisdiction applied.[1] It found the crime of “genocide against the Jewish people” to be unequivocally a crime against accepted international law[2].

I paid particular attention to the footnote describing the court’s dependence on the 17th century Dutch jurist Grotius. Grotius was cited as follows to justify what some saw as a kidnapping of Eichmann away from from Argentina

Eichmann 36 I.L.R. 1 (Dist. Ct. Jerusalem, 1961), at 15. Citing to Grotius, the court in Eichmann reflected:

“According to natural justice, the victim may take the law into his hand and himself punish the criminal, and it is also permissible for any person of integrity to inflict punishment upon the criminal; but all such natural rights have been limited by organized society and have been delegated to the courts of law.”

In Grotius’ vision of natural justice, it seems, some room was left for the principle that might makes right.

International and transnational trade law is another important site of experimentation in the evolving concept of universal jurisdiction. As I see it, the primary role of the WTO created after the demise of the Soviet Union was to establish a single platform from which to charter global corporations not constrained by national borders and the sovereign jurisdiction of national governments. As it is now, corporations continue, in theory at least, to be subject to the authority of the sovereign national governments that created their charters thereby investing in them their legal capacities and personality.

There are unmistakable anticipations of some edified form of Israeliocentric universal jurisdiction associated with the will to build in Jerusalem a Third Jewish Temple along with reconstituting a governing Sanhedrin. The universalist claims made by proponents of this religious agenda including Christian Zionists have profound geopolitical implications that figure into all sorts of issues including the future of the BDS movement.

A Rules-Based Global Order or Rule-less US Global ‘Order’?

By Alastair Crooke
Source

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“It has taken the US military/security complex 31 years to get rid of President Reagan’s last nuclear disarmament achievement – the INF Treaty, that President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev achieved in 1987”, writes Reagan’s former Assistant Treasury Secretary:

“Behind the scenes, I had some role in this, and as I remember, what the treaty achieved was to make Europe safe from nuclear attack by Soviet short and intermediate range missiles [the SS20s], and to make the Soviet Union safe from US [Pershing missiles deployed in Europe]. By restricting nuclear weapons to ICBMs, which allowed some warning time, thus guaranteeing retaliation and non-use of nuclear weapons, the INF Treaty was regarded as reducing the risk of an American first-strike on Russia and a [Soviet] first-strike on Europe … Reagan, unlike the crazed neoconservatives, who he fired and prosecuted, saw no point in nuclear war that would destroy all life on earth. The INF Treaty was the beginning, in Reagan’s mind, of the elimination of nuclear weapons from military arsenals. The INF Treaty was chosen as the first start, because it did not substantially threaten the budget of the US military/security complex”.

The Trump Administration however now wants to unilaterally exit the INF. “Speaking to reporters in Nevada, Trump said: “Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years and I don’t know why President Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out … We’re going to pull out … We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and do weapons, and we’re not allowed to”. Asked to clarify, the President said: “Unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us, and they say, ‘Let’s all of us get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons,’ but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable. So we have a tremendous amount of money to play with our military.”

The tell-tale markers are plain: Russia and China are ‘doing’ new weapons (and the US is behind the curve); China’s ‘doing it’ (and is not party to the INF treaty), and ‘we’ have a tremendous amount of money to play with our military (we can win an arms race and the military-industrial complex will be ecstatic).

A (US) diplomat has told the Washington Post that, “the planning [for the withdrawal] is the brainchild of Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, [a career opponent of all arms control treaties on the principle that they potentially might limit America’s options to take unilateral action], has told US allies he believes the INF puts Washington in an “excessively weak position” against Russia “and more importantly China”.

Trump is not a strategist by nature. He prides himself rather, as a negotiator, who knows how to go after, and to seize, US leverage. A wily Bolton has played here into Trump’s obsession with leveraging US strength to do two things: To return the US to having potentially a first strike capability over Russia (i.e. more leverage), through being able to install intermediate missiles (such as Aegis) in Europe, over and up against Russia’s frontiers. And, secondly, because were some military conflict between the US and China to become inevitable, as tensions escalate, the US has concluded that it needs medium range missiles to strike at China’s mainland. And it’s not China only. As Eric Sayers, a CSIS expert, put it: “Deploying conventionally-armed ground-launched intermediate-range missiles may be key to reasserting US military superiority in East Asia.” (i.e. leverage again).

Indeed, last year’s US Nuclear Posture Review already noted that “China likely already has the largest medium and intermediate-range missile force in Asia, and probably the world.” And the US is in the process of encircling China with intermediate missiles initially with Japan’s decision to buy the Aegis system, with Taiwan possibly next. (Bolton is known to support stationing US troops on Taiwanese soil, as further leverage over China).

President Putin sees this plainly: “The Americans keep on indulging in these games as the actual goal of such games is not to catch Russia in violations, and compel it to abide by the treaty; but to invent a pretext to ruin that treaty – part of its belligerent imperial strategy”. Or, in short, to impose a ‘rule-less, US, global order’.

What is happening is that Bolton and Pompeo seem to be precisely taking Trump back to the old 1992 Defence Policy Guidance document, authored by Paul Wolfowitz, which established the doctrine that the US would not allow any competition to its hegemony to emerge. Indeed, Assistant Secretary of State, Wess Mitchell, made this return to Bush era policy, absolutely clear, when in a statement to the US Senate he said:

The starting point of the National Security Strategy is the recognition that America has entered a period of big-power competition, and that past US policies have neither sufficiently grasped the scope of this emerging trend nor adequately equipped our nation to succeed in it. Contrary to the hopeful assumptions of previous administrations, Russia and China are serious competitors that are building up the material and ideological wherewithal to contest US primacy and leadership in the 21st Century. It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers.

And at the Atlantic Council on 18 October, the Secretary made it very plain that Europe will be whipped into line on this neo-Wolfowitz doctrine:

“European and American officials have allowed the growing Russian and Chinese influence in that region to “sneak up on us.” “Western Europeans cannot continue to deepen energy dependence on the same Russia that America defends it against. Or enrich themselves from the same Iran that is building ballistic missiles that threaten Europe,” the assistant secretary emphasized. Adding, “It is not acceptable for US allies in central Europe to support projects like Turkstream 2 and maintain cozy energy deals that make the region more vulnerable to the very Russia that these states joined NATO to protect themselves against.”

Also addressing the Atlantic Council’s October 18 conference, US Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, revealed that Washington plans to stiffen the sanctions regime against Moscow “every month or two” to make it ‘more amenable over Ukraine’.

Plainly, Europe will be expected too, to welcome America’s missiles deployed back into Europe. Some states may welcome this (Poland and the Baltic States), but Europe as a whole will not. It will serve as another powerful reason to rethink European relations with Washington.

The influence of Bolton poses the question of what is Trump’s foreign policy now. Is it still about getting a good deal for America on a case-by-case basis, or is it a Bolton-style make-over for the Middle East (regime change in Iran), and a long cold war fought against Russia and China? US markets have until now thought it is about trade deals and jobs, but perhaps it no longer is.

We have written before about the incremental neocon-isation of Trump’s foreign policy. That is not new. But, the principal difficulty with a neo-Wolfowitzian imperialism, lashed to Trump’s radical, transactional, leveraging of the dollar jurisdiction, of US energy and of the US hold on technology standards and norms, is that by its very nature, it precludes any ‘grand strategic bargain’ from emerging – except in the unlikely event of a wholesale capitulation to the US. And as the US bludgeons non-compliant states, one-by-one, they do react collectively, and asymmetrically, to counter these pressures. The counter current presently is advancing rapidly.

Bolton may have sold Trump on the advantages of exiting the INF as giving him bargaining leverage over Russia and China, but did he also warn him of the dangers? Probably not. Bolton has always perceived treaty limitations to US action simply to be disadvantageous. Yet President Putin has warned that Russia will use its nuclear weapons – if its existence is threatened – and even if it is threatened through conventionally armed missiles. The dangers are clear.

As for an arms race, this is not the Reagan era (of low Federal debt to GDP). As one commentator notes, “no entity on earth (not currently engaged in QE), has as much government debt vulnerable to short-term interest shifts, than the US government. The US Federal Reserves’ “5 more [interest rate] hikes by end 2019”, roughly translates into: “The Fed [interest payments due on US debt may become so large, as to] impose cuts on the US military in 2019”.

Trump loves the leverage Bolton seems to magic out of his NSC ‘black box’, but does the US President appreciate how ephemeral leverage can be? How quickly it can invert? He cannot – Canute like – simply stand on the sea-shore and command the rising tide of US bond interest rates to recede like the tide, or the US stock market, just to levitate, in order to multiply his leverage over China.

Western Media Make One Death a Tragedy, Millions a Statistic

By Finian Cunningham
Source

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The Western media coverage devoted to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi proves the cynical adage that one person’s death is a tragedy, while millions of deaths are a mere statistic.

During the past four weeks since Khashoggi went missing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the case has been constantly in the news cycle. Contrast that with the sparse coverage in Western news media of the horrific Saudi war in Yemen during the past four years.

The United Nations has again recently warned that 16 million in Yemen were facing death from starvation as a result of the war waged on that country by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab partners, with the crucial military support of the US, Britain and France. That imminent death toll hardly registered a response from Western media or governments.

Last week, some 21 Yemeni workers at a vegetable packing plant near the Red Sea port of Hodeida were killed after US-backed Saudi warplanes launched air strikes. Again, hardly any condemnation was registered by Western governments and media pundits.

Admittedly, some politicians in the US and Europe are lately expressing disdain over the Saudi-led war and the possible culpability of Western governments in crimes against humanity.

Nevertheless, in proportion to the public concern devoted to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi there is a staggering indifference in relation to Yemen. How is possible that the fate of one man can provoke so much emotion and angst, while millions of children in Yemen appear to be shrugged off as “collateral damage”.

Partly, the circumstances of Khashoggi’s murder by a Saudi death squad are more easily visualized. His connections as a journalist working for the Washington Post also ensures ample interest from other media outlets. Photos of the 59-year-old Saudi dissident and his personal story of going to the consulate in Istanbul to obtain official papers for an upcoming wedding to his Turkish fiancée also provided a human identity, which then garners public empathy.

Another factor is the macabre plot to trap him, torture and dismember his body by a Saudi hit team who appear to have been acting on orders from senior Saudi regime officials. Khashoggi’s bodily remains have yet to be recovered which adds to the interest in the grisly story.

Regrettably, these human dimensions are all-too often missing in the massive suffering inflicted on Yemen. Thousands of children killed in air strikes and millions perishing from disease and starvation have an abstract reality.

When Western media do carry rare reports on children being killed, as in the Saudi air strike on a school bus on August 9, which massacred over 50, the public is still relatively insensate. We are not told the victims’ names nor shown photographs of happy children before their heinous fate.

However, the contrast between one man’s death and millions of abstract deaths – all the more salient because the culprits are the same in both cases – is not due simply to human callousness. It is due to the way Western media have desensitized the Western public from their appalling lack of coverage on Yemen.

The Western media have an urgent obligation because their governments are directly involved in the suffering of Yemen. If the Western media gave appropriately more coverage with human details of victims then it is fair to assume that there would be much greater public outrage over Yemen and an outcry for justice – at least in the form of halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Such calls are being made over the Khashoggi case. Surely, the same calls for economic and diplomatic sanctions should therefore be made with regard to Yemen – indeed orders of magnitude greater given the much greater scale of human suffering.

The Western news media have been shamefully derelict in reporting on Yemen’s horror over the past four years. One of the most despicable headlines was from the BBC which described it as a “forgotten war”. The conflict is only “forgotten” because the BBC and other Western news outlets have chosen to routinely drop it from their coverage. That omission is without doubt a “political” decision taken in order to not discomfit Washington, London or Paris in their lucrative arms trade with the Saudi regime.

Another way at looking at the paradox of “one death a tragedy, a million a statistic” and the Western media’s nefarious role in creating that paradox is to consider the fate of individuals facing death sentences in Saudi Arabia.

Take the case of female pro-democracy protester 29-year-old Israa al Ghomgham. Israa was arrested three years ago because she participated in peaceful protests against the Saudi monarchy. She and her husband Moussa al Hashem are facing execution any day by decapitation. Their only “crime” was to participate in non-violent street demonstrations in Saudi’s eastern provincial city of Qatif, calling for democratic rights for the Sunni kingdom’s oppressed Shia minority.

Another case is that of Mujtaba al Sweikat. He also is facing death by beheading, again because he was involved in pro-democracy protests against the absolute Saudi rulers. What makes his case even more deplorable is that he was arrested in 2012 at the age of 17 – legally a minor – when he was leaving the country to take up studies at Western Michigan University in the United States.

It is not clear if these individuals – and there are many more such cases on Saudi death row – will be spared by the Saudi monarchy in the light of the international condemnations over the Khashoggi killing. Any day, they could be hauled to a public square and their heads hacked off with a sword.

If we try to explain the disconnect in Western public reaction to the Khashoggi case, on one hand, and on the other, the massive misery of Yemen, one might invoke the cynical adage about a single death versus millions. But then how does that explain the apparent lack of public concern over the imminent death of individuals such as Israa al Ghomgham, her husband Moussa, or the student Mujtaba al Sweitat?

The tragedy of desensitized abstraction is not due to overwhelming numbers. It is primarily due to the willful omission – and worse, misinformation – by Western media on the barbarity of the Saudi regime and the crucially enabling support given to this regime by Western politics and economics.

The apparent disconnect is due to systematic Western media distortion. That’s not just a flaw. It is criminal complicity.

Khaled: Jerusalemites’ boycott of Municipal elections “hardest slap ever” to US administration

PNN/ Jerusalem/

Member of the PLO Executive Committee, and the DFLP’s Political Bureau, Tayseer Khaled in a statement on Wednesday saluted the Palestinian Jerusalemites, as they have boycotted the municipal elections in the occupied East Jerusalem, which he said emphasizes their solid position on the city despite all the maneuvers exerted by the Israel Government and the occupation Municipality in Jerusalem headed by Nir Barakt over the last months to break the boycott campaigns led by the PLO and other political, national and social organizations as well as the Islamic and Christian figures.

Electors didn’t appear at the polling centers, and the electoral map showed that the percent of voting was drawing to zero as was the case over the last years.

Khaled added that boycotting of the Israeli Municipal Elections Is a clear message to the American Administration, and the Israeli government on the Palestinians rejection of Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Holy City. Boycotting the elections is a referendum on the rejection of the Israeli occupation of the city and that Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories that was occupied in the June 1967’s aggression and affirmed the Palestinians’ attachment to Jerusalem being their eternal capital.

Khaled renewed his call for unifying all the references in Jerusalem in a single national one as was agreed upon among the national forces, and the PLO’s parties and the Executive Committee. He reiterated his call for the Palestinian government to allocate sufficient and necessary budgets to the city, especially to the educational and health institutions. He called on the Arab sister and Islamic countries to cut their relations with those countries that recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the occupying State and/or intend to transfer their embassies to the city. He urged them to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian citizens in Jerusalem to enable them to defend the city of the Judaization, racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing practiced by the Israeli government in Jerusalem.

Palestinians in Jerusalem have boycotted the Municipal elections on Tuesday since the municipality is affiliated to the Israeli government and works in pressuring the Palestinians in Jerusalem through implementing deportation and demolition orders, in addition to other anti-Palestinian regulations in Israel. The boycott also comes as a way to affirm an Arab Jerusalem, which is considered the eternal and historic capital of Palestine.

Enzo Apicella RIP: 26 June 1922 – 31 October 2018

October 31, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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Earlier today the world lost a distinguished insightful mind and I lost one of my best friends. Enzo Apicella, the greater than life, tireless cartoonist passed away in Rome this morning.

Many of my followers had a lot of fun with our A to Zion – The Definitive Israeli Lexicon. The book of alphabetic satire was Enzo’s idea. Enzo saw in me an aphorism artist–that I could get at the truth with few words. He set me to work on a collection of hard-hitting definitions and he produced the relevant cartoons. As always, Enzo illustrated the truths that can’t be reduced into words.

I met Enzo in 2011 and we stayed in close touch since then. Despite his age, Enzo was the liveliest person around. He knew how to enjoy life — wine, food, garlic and women were his existential mantra.  And Enzo delivered, he never missed a day of producing one of his hard hitting cartoons, always in support of the weak and the oppressed, often in support of Palestinians, and  critical of the English speaking empire.

The world is crippled without Enzo Apicella.

I am very sad this morning and I am certainly not alone.

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 The OHE …
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