How Much Pro-Israel Money Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar Received

March 31, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

How Much Money Israel Lobby Gave Politicians Attacking Ilhan Omar. You watch this entertaining video and make up your mind as to whether it is about the ‘Benjamins’ or not…

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Zakharova Fires Back at Trump! US Is Arrogant and in COMPLETE Violation of Intl Law in Venezuela! (MUST SEE)

March 30, 2019

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Russia opens helicopter pilot training center in Venezuela

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

MARTIN JAY | 30.03.2019 | WORLD / MIDDLE EAST

Lebanon’s Anti-Graft Drive Is Entirely Fake as Political Groups Fight Hezbollah over the Scraps

There’s a great deal of fake goods in Lebanon’s malls leaving many preferring to buy their designer label clothes when they travel overseas. But fake Lebanon goes beyond Levi jeans or Gucci handbags. In this tiny country ‘fake’ is often services, entire companies and even doctors, care workers, economists. Then there is the fake economy run by a network of companies willing and ready to support a market exploited by the corrupt elite anxious to get their hands on international development cash.

And when you’ve got your head around this fake world, then there is the biggest drain on Lebanon: fake governance.

Fake governance is politicians and MPs pretending to do their jobs when in reality all they are doing is using their position to divert cash into their own overseas bank accounts via a system which has simply got out of hand. Corruption is a hungry pike which has swallowed up a pond full of small fry players who play by the rules. It’s just too late now to hope for a miracle.

And this, in case you were wondering, is what is happening now in Lebanon when we read articles about a new anti-corruption drive brought about by an imploding economy. In January, the national debt reached $85.32 billion — nearly 150% of the gross domestic product — an increase of $4.93 billion compared to January 2018. This debt forced an international conference in Paris called ‘the CEDRE conference’ which in April 2018, international donors committed $11.8 billion to revitalize the economy, while the Lebanese government pledged in return to combat corruption and reform the public sector.

Or at least that’s what written on the side of the tin.

True, the Paris conference has driven a momentum in Lebanon to tackle corruption, but it’s largely for all the wrong reasons and, mostly, entirely fake.

But who to target in such a campaign, in a country which has a built in protection against those carrying out the industrial scale graft?

Public employees are the only viable group as Parliamentarians have a de facto immunity under Lebanese law, while nailing presidents, prime ministers and ministers (former or present) requires the consent of the Supreme Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers, which includes eight of the most senior national judges and seven deputies selected by the parliament. That’s a tad complicated given that judges are considered to be a big part of the problem.

Or at least that’s what Hezbollah believes, hence its own farcical war cry against this group – former leaders and judges – to counter the other groups’ own farcical campaigns against public servants.

Yet neither is expected to really do anything. The non-Hezbollah camp, led my Saad Hariri who can hardly be called candida when it comes to feeding from the trough wants to create a pantomime for international donors so that they can get their hands on a big part of the 11bn dollars pledged (90% of which is in loans) , with rumours in Beirut about the environment ministry embezzling a couple of billion dollars abound. Of course, these sort of rumours barely stir the Lebanese who resort to humour to face the reality that faces them, like parodying the new minister in the same ministry who is a real estate tycoon who can’t even keep the plant in his office alive; this is in a country, after all, where each government minister has his own business empire – even the former anti-corruption minister who made his pile in tyres and who’s entire office amounts of three staff and a fax machine – and which has a tourism minister who is so stupid, that he is actually driving droves of tourists away with his one man campaign of idiocy. Add to that a central bank governor who, wait for it, actually knows a thing or two about banking but is not even exempt from rumours of plundering billions. And let’s not even get on the news this week that the central bank in Beirut lost 20bn dollars, which is probably fake news. Apparently.

The real corruption is not with public servants in Lebanon but with the Key Stone Cops who get the jobs of government ministerial posts, for really only one purpose which is to embezzle funds assiduously as possible for their own warlords who installed them there for that express purpose.

The system is corrupt and until there is a momentum of debate in Lebanon about how to wipe the slate clean and go for a new system entirely – probably one which does away with the confessional one – corruption will always run and control every single dime which is in circulation. It’s not only that an economy is held back from developing – as it frightens away foreign investors who would truly love to tap into the high level of education and location –  but even security, law and order, the environment and public health are horrendously compromised as a result. The elite are fervently committed to allowing the ‘wasta’ (corruption by kinship) system prevail and law and order remain as a fanciful notion most Lebanese watch on American TV as it is a tacit deal between them and the masses which support them. Deeply unpopular moves, like, say installing law and order on the roads to curtain the daily carnage, would be deeply unpopular and be seen as a drain on people’s strained purses. Corruption works both ways.

Hezbollah’s anti-corruption drum beat though is driven by US sanctions against Iran, forcing the Lebanese Shiite group to be more creative in how it extracts valuable dollars from the system. They will either get the scalps they crave, or cash as a good substitute. All we are seeing with these anti-corruption drives is groups scrapping over bones, like stray dogs on a rubbish dump of what many might call a smouldering failed state. But fake Lebanon is producing the fake news, by the fake politicians who are faking their anti-graft drive. If most Lebanese taxi drivers know this, why is international media giving it such credibility? Is international media also fake?

Photo: Flickr

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

MARTIN SIEFF | 29.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICASFEATURED STORY

Trump Must Fire Bolton – To Save the Peace of the World

Now that US President Donald Trump has finally been cleared of the ridiculous Russia Collusion charge, his top priority should be to reduce tensions with Moscow sensibly – and the place to start doing that is to fire John Bolton, his national security adviser at once.

The case for this is urgent and the preservation of world peace will depend upon whether Trump renews his courage and acts accordingly or lets himself once more be passively manipulated along the road to new endless wars and war crimes as the previous Republican President George W. Bush was by Bolton and his neocon friends.

All the signs are that, on the contrary, Bolton – along with his lifelong close friends Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Special Envoy to Restore Democracy in Venezuela Eliot Abrams have Trump still completely in their pockets. And that they remain determined to topple the legitimate democratically elected government of Venezuela, despite the grave warnings from Moscow to stop doing so.

On March 20, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met Abrams In Rome and flatly warned him Moscow would not tolerate any direct US military intervention in Venezuela to topple President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with America’s farcical puppet fake President Juan Guaido. As Finian Cunningham wrote in the columns of Strategic Culture Foundation, “The encounter in Rome… was described as ‘frank’ and ‘serious’ – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange.”

Ryabkov said after the meeting, “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

But did Abrams honestly and accurately give his boss, the President of the United States an accurate and honest report of Ryabkov’s very serious warning?

We should seriously suspect this never happened but that, on the contrary, Abrams, and his master Bolton “protected” the man they are supposed to loyally serve from this “inconvenient truth.”

This certainly seems to be the case: For on March 27, Trump told reporters after meeting with Guaido’s wife in Washington that Russia had to get out of Venezuela, When asked how he would make Russia leave, Trump said: “We’ll see. All options are open.”

Earlier, the same day, Vice President Mike Pence, who is no fool but who has prospered mightily from often pretending to act like one, called on Russia to abandon its support for Maduro and “stand with Juan Guaido.”

It is clear, therefore, that Trump – and Pence – have not taken Ryabkov’s warning, conveyed through Abrams – if in fact he conveyed it at all – seriously for a second.

It must again be stressed: Behind Abrams stands John Bolton: The two men worked together like Siamese twins in orchestrating the bloody suppression of the Mayan peoples of Central America under President Ronald Reagan. Then, they worked overtime together to help orchestrate the invasion of Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush. Now they are at it again and the legitimate government of Venezuela is in their sights.

Bolton was implacable in his determination to scrap the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia and he continues to crush all possibilities for strategic arms control and cooperation in his fanatical and unrelenting grip. Trump has supported him enthusiastically on this at every step and shows no signs whatsoever of regret or second thought.

Bolton and Trump were obviously in full accord on recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights – a move that is certain to drive Syria and Iran closer to Moscow than ever and that can only motivate Damascus to poise new challenges for both Israel and the United States in retaliation as soon as possible.

All efforts to portray the US president as still eager to improve relations with Russia and avoid potentially catastrophic clashes with Moscow must therefore be rejected. As Sigmund Freud rightly said, often the obvious explanation is the correct one: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. If Bolton looks, acts and sounds like a dangerous warmongering fanatic that is because he is a dangerous warmongering fanatic.

If Trump remains at all serious about the courageous declarations of wanting to improve ties with Russia that he made repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign, he should therefore celebrate his total exoneration on Russia collusion charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller by firing Bolton immediately and seeking to start a serious constructive dialogue with Moscow. No such dialogue is remotely possible while Bolton stands at Trump’s right hand, endlessly deferential to him and whispering in his ear, determined to prevent it.

Bolton must go. The security and survival of the United States and indeed of the entire human race demand it.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Arrives in ‘Israel’ for Pre-vote Visit

BrazilBolsonaro_netanyahu

Source

March 31, 2019

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began a visit to the Zionist entity Sunday with a decision pending on fulfilling a promise to move his country’s embassy to occupied AL-Quds (Jerusalem), a policy change opposed by military officers in his cabinet.

The four-day visit by the far-right leader comes a week before the Israeli’s closely contested election in which the right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is battling a popular centrist candidate and corruption allegations, which he denies.

“I love Israel,” Bolsonaro said in Hebrew at a welcoming ceremony, with Netanyahu at his side, at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport.

Netanyahu said he and Bolsonaro would sign “many agreements”, including security deals, and that the Brazilian leader would visit Judaism’s holy Western Wall, “in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”

A leading Israeli financial news website, Calcalist, reported on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras was considering bidding in a new tender to explore for oil and gas offshore occupied Palestine and a final decision would be announced during Bolsonaro’s visit.

Earlier this month, a Brazilian government official told Reuters no decision had been made on the embassy move, but “something will have to be said about the embassy during the trip”.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that a formal announcement might not come during the visit.

Visiting Brazil for the Jan. 1 presidential inauguration, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro had told him that moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel to occupied Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was a matter of “when, not if”.

Source: Agencies

بفعل الممانعة نَمَت المقاومة وتحرّر الجنوب وغزة… والزمن طويل

مارس 30, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– خلال عقود طويلة كانت يد الاحتلال فيها هي القوية وصاحبة القضاء والقدر، كان يقال لنا إن ما رفضه القادة المتمسّكون بالحقوق العربية وأولها الحق بفلسطين كل فلسطين صار حلماً بعد حين، وإن قرار تقسيم فلسطين الذي لم يقبله العرب، صار حلماً بعيد المنال لاحقاً. وللعلم والتذكير فإن «إسرائيل» لم تقبل القرار، ولم يبادر أحد في الأمم المتحدة لوضع روزنامة لتطبيق قرار التقسيم الذي يحمل الرقم 181 مثله مثل القرار الخاص بعودة اللاجئين الذي يحمل الرقم 194، وكل ما كان سينشأ عن القبول العربي هو شبيه بما نشأ عن قبول العرب المشابه بقرارات مثل الـ242 و338، وهو بالتحديد بقاء الاحتلال واللهاث وراء سراب اسمه السلام، فيما إسرائيل تهوّد الأرض وتلتهم المزيد من الجغرافيا وتزيد منسوب القوة استعداداً لحرب قادمة واحتلال أرض جديدة، فاحتلال بيروت وجنوب لبنان لم يمنع وقوعهما القبول العربي بمشاريع الحلول التي سبقت.

– مع الإعلان الأميركي عن الاعتراف بالقدس عاصمة لـ»إسرائيل» وبضمّ «إسرائيل» للجولان صعدت أصوات تتحدّث بلغة مشابهة تقول، لو قبل الفلسطينيون بما عرضه عليهم بيل كلينتون وإيهودا باراك عام 2000، وفيه نصف القدس الشرقية أو ربعها، لما كانوا كما هم اليوم يخسرون كل القدس، ولو قبلت سورية بما عُرض عليها من الجولان بلا أمتار طبريا، لما وصلت الأمور إلى خسارة كل الجولان، وطبعاً لا ينسى المتحدثون أن يقولوا النقيضين، فهم يحاولون الإيحاء أنهم يقدّرون عالياً القدرة القيادية للرئيس الفلسطيني الراحل ياسر عرفات والرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد، وينسون أن الرفض تمّ على يديهما، ثم يستدركون بأنهما لو عرفا أن رفضهما سيجلب هذه النتائج لما فعلا.

– حسناً. سنأخذ الكلام بقدر حجم عقول أصحابه ونسير بالأمر كما يقدّمونه، فنسأل عندما قبل الرئيس ياسر عرفات باتفاقية أوسلو، هل نفّذها الإسرائيلي؟ وماذا كانت الحصيلة في المناطق أ وب و ج؟ وهل ما يحكم التنفيذ لأي اتفاقية هو شيء آخر غير موازين القوى التي تولد فيها؟ وعندما قبلت سورية باتفاقية فك الاشتباك عام 1974 كنقطة انطلاق مؤقتة للانسحاب من الجولان بضمانة أميركية هل حدث ذلك وتمّ الانسحاب؟ وعندما قبل لبنان بالقرار 425 وبقي يلاحق العالم لتطبيقه هل سمع له أحد؟ وعندما وقعت واشنطن على التفاهم النووي مع إيران، هل منعها ذلك من الانسحاب منها من طرف واحد؟ وهل سيمنع التوقيع الأميركي على اتفاق حول الجولان من الانسحاب منه لاحقاً، كما لم يمنع التوقيع الأميركي على اتفاق فك الاشتباك القائم على أن الاعتراف بأن الجولان سوري الهوية من إعلان معاكس بالاعتراف بضم الجولان لـ»إسرائيل»؟ فالثابت الوحيد لم يكن يوماً بما يقبل العرب، تفادياً للأسوأ، أو سعياً لحل سلمي، أو ما يوقع عليه الأميركي أو يوقع عليه الإسرائيلي، الثابت الوحيد هو ميزان القوى، وميزان القوى فقط.

– القدس والجولان تحت الاحتلال أصلاً منذ العام 1967، والحديث عن الضمّ هو ترجمة سياسية للاحتلال وليس تعبيراً عن تبدّل في موازين القوى، بل الأصح هو ترجمة للعجز عن الحصول على الاعتراف السوري والفلسطيني بشرعية احتلال فلسطين، كثمن حتمي لأي تفاهم تعرضه واشنطن وتل أبيب، والذين ثقبت ذاكرتهم ونسوا أن الرفض السوري للمساومة في زمن الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد، أنتج موازين القوى التي ساهمت بتصاعد قوة المقاومة التي حرّرت جنوب لبنان وغزة دون تفاوض ودون منح الشرعية لاحتلال باقي الأرض العربية، لا بدّ من تذكيرهم بأن الممانعة التي حالت دون العودة المنقوصة للجولان على طريقة عودة سيناء، هي التي حضنت المقاومة فضمنت عودة غير منقوصة لجنوب لبنان وغزة، ولأن الزمن بيننا وبين أميركا طويل، فالسياق الذي بدأ مع الممانعة وتطوّر مع المقاومة وأنتج تحريرين متلاحقين، سيكتمل بتحرير غير بعيد للجولان، وتحرير لاحق لما بعد الجولان وما بعد غزة، والقدس ليست بعيدة، والأيام بيننا.

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US RECOGNITION OF GOLAN HEIGHTS AND COLLAPSE OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW

South Front

30.03.2019 

US Recognition Of Golan Heights And Collapse Of Public International Law

The US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory is another sign of the ongoing collapse of the establsihed system of international relations.

The UN Disengagement Observer Force’s (UNDOF) mandate was renewed on December 21st, 2018 to June 30th, 2019.Thus, it’s peacekeeping operation in the Golan Heights continues despite the recent US move to recignize Israel’s sovereignty over this territory.

The latest UNDOF report was published on February 28th, underlying that there are on-going issues of numerous violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement of 1974 and UNDOF’s ability to implement its mandate, including the deployment of appropriate technologies as recommended.

“Given Syria’s reassertion of control over areas of separation and the reopening of the Qunaytirah crossing point, UNDOF may be getting close to an eventual full return to the Bravo side. The return of the situation to pre-2014 conditions may cause the Council to consider requesting the Secretary-General to resume a six-month reporting cycle instead of 90 days, as had been the practice until December 2012.”

The report covers a 90-day period between September 15th and November 20th.

The report noted that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continued to fire across the ceasefire line and into the area of separation. UNDOF personnel also continued to observe crossings by unidentified individuals between Lebanon and the Bravo (Syrian) side and from the Bravo side to the Alpha (Israeli) side on a daily basis. The individuals crossing were usually described in the report as shepherds and farmers. The provided data confirms that Israel is the aggressive party in the situation and no misconduct was noted on Syria’s side.

The most recent data provides details into the period between November 21st, 2018 and March 14th, 2019. It noted that the UNDOF peacekeeping mission could achieve little result in the area:

“On 29 November 2018, UNDOF personnel observed heavy explosions and tracer rounds of heavy and anti-aircraft machine guns in the vicinities of Turunjah, in the area of separation, and Camp Faouar. UNDOF personnel were forced to go into shelters. The Syrian authorities informed UNDOF that the military activity was associated with air defence weapons of the Syrian armed forces directed at “hostile targets”. The Israel Defense Forces informed UNDOF that they “had not engaged any targets in the Syrian Arab Republic” and that the remnants of a Syrian anti-aircraft missile had impacted an area 5 km from Camp Ziouani. An UNDOF team, accompanied by the Israel Defense Forces, visited the scene of the impact on the Alpha side (Israeli-occupied Golan) and saw remnants of an anti-aircraft missile.”

Thus, the UNDOF’s presence in the area appears to be more formal move than anything, since no peacekeeping is being established, the representatives hide in shelters and do not have any actual authority on-site.

The US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory happened on March 25th, which is in the next 90-day period. So a report elaborating on the results of the action would be presented sometime in June, prior to the expiry of the UNDOF mandate on June 30th, 2019.

The 1,000-strong force was dispatched to a buffer zone between Israel and Syria in 1974 to observe a ceasefire, and it is simply doing that – observing the breaches. It should be reminded that in the overwhelming number of cases Israel is the side that carries out any misconduct.

The US on March 27th said that it wished for the UNDOF peacekeeping force to remain in Golan Heights. US Diplomat Rodney Hunter told a Security Council meeting on the Golan that “this announcement does not affect the 1974 Disengagement Agreement, nor do we believe it undermines UNDOF’s mandate in any way.”

“UNDOF continues to have a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria, most importantly by ensuring that the area of separation is a buffer zone free from any military presence or activities other than those of UNDOF,” he added.

The council met at Syria’s request to discuss the US decision, which Damascus said was a “flagrant violation” of UN resolutions.

In total, three UN resolutions call for Israel to withdraw from the occupied Golan Heights. Despite that, the US, the permenent UNSC member, said that the decision would bolster Israel’s security and “can contribute to the stability of the entire Middle East” by keeping Syria and its Iranian ally in check.

The EU said they will continue to view the Golan as Israeli-occupied territory and will not follow in Trump’s footsteps.

At the UNSC meeting, Israel’s Envoy Danny Danon criticized anger over the US decision:

“For 19 years, Syria used the Golan as a forward outpost against Israel, and today it’s Iran that wants to put its soldiers on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,” Danon said in a statement.

“Israel won’t allow such a thing ever, and it’s time the international community recognize the fact that the Golan will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever. The United States and Israel will stand as a united front in the face of the hypocrisy and lies.”

The US recognition of the Golan Heights creates a complicated situation in the UNSC as well, since a permanent member recognized it as Israeli territory, while all UN documents have referred to it as a Israeli-occupied territory since 1974.

It is possible also that the US decision was announced at this moment, since the UN is undergoing deep reforms. It wouldn’t be surprising if it would receive a weaker response, simply due to the changes being introduced in the world body.

At the same time, the decision is a stark reminder that international public law is collapsing, mostly due to US conduct, which is also paving the way for other countries to partake in such misconduct. One of the obvious examples of the US unanimously going against international law is the bombing of Yugoslavia.

The UN and its Security Council managed to establish a somewhat peaceful zone in the Golan Heights, but the US decision threatens it profoundly. Syria had little chance of militarily returning its own territory despite the fact that it has all legal rights to do so. But now, that is questionable, despite Syria claiming that it is prepared to employ all necessary means to take its territory back.

A military escalation in the area has also become more likely. This undermines efforts to de-escalate the Syrian conflict even further. The US already called for Syrian forces to withdrawl from the separation line, but is also unlikely to happen.

For a long period of time, the Golan Heights situation was kept balanced by a large number of internationally recognized documents and mechanisms. However, now, these mechanisms seem to be de-fact destroyed.

The US is, in essence, destroying one of the last standing “pillars of international law,” and is in fact creating a global situation in which the only means of settling conflicts is threat of military power and economic sanctions of individuals, businesses and government bodies.

It’s interesting to note that the US action actually goies in contrary to the US’ won stance twards the Crimea issue. Russia officially, and mostly formally, condemned the US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. However, in fact, Washington just created a precedent for Crimea to be recognized as an official part of Russia on the highest international level.

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