Vaccine Passports: Another Conspiracy Theory Becomes Reality

By Sonja van den Ende

Source

Vaccine Passports: Another Conspiracy Theory Becomes Reality

People still think that the “green pass” is for a pandemic, or worse, they think it will be over soon and it’s a temporary thing. But it’s here to stay, just like the limitation of human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of education and freedom to movement unless we, the people, try at least to do something about it!

People, especially in Western countries, like many EU countries, still think that the pandemic that we can question will soon be over and we will get back to normal, but that is not the purpose. In the European Union (EU), they are transforming many EU countries into technocraticsurveillance states with no freedom, limitation of human rights and prohibiting of freedom of travel, movement and education. As an excuse they give you a pandemic and try to argue that you contaminate other people. This is ridiculous if, as they claim, 50% are fully vaccinated and many, especially young or healthy people, arenot falling sick or just slightly, like a bad flu. Many sovereign EU countries have a constitution which states that we have, according to the law, all these rights as I mentioned above: freedom of expression, travel and most of all education.

France is the country where once a revolution began in 1789 because the “people” did not accept the curtailment of freedom anymore and there was a lot of poverty at that time, which (poverty) is another sign of the new technocratic state which we are experiencing right now. In France they take away freedom from citizens, as the first state in the EU, and anyone who wants to stay in charge of their own body and don’t want to be vaccinated for whatever reason are now second-class citizens. A comparison can be made to Germany in the Nazi era. The Nazis established, back than, many new anti-Jewish laws. These laws were introduced slowly at first so that the civilian population would not realise the extent of the Nazi party’s anti-Semitism (like now the pandemic). About 2,000 Nazi anti-Jewish decrees passed between 1933-1945. It is uncertain whether Hitler planned to murder the Jews when he came to power. Originally it seems he and his government intended to force them out of Germany but this eventually led to the plan to exterminate the Jews. Many people would say, “oh no, you can’t compare the C-VI to these times”, but yes you can, because, slowly but surely, people who are not vaxxed are being deprived of human rights and for a technocratic regime, depending on Arificial Intelligene (AI) and incompetent leaders, it’s very easy as we saw the last year to make new emergency laws which replace the regular constitution and take away our basic human rights and expression of freedom. French high school students who are not fully vaccinated will have to stay home from the new school year during a new corona outbreak. French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer confirmed this on Wednesday. And France will not bethe only country depriving non-vaccinated children from education! It’s the start of something dark and sinister! In France and Germany, anti-vaxxers are now seen as terrorists.

Vera Sharav

Vera Sharav is a medical activist and a Holocaust survivor. In her testimony before the German Corona Inquiry Committee she draws comparisons to the Nazi regime and explains in the second half of the interview her theory why all this is happening.

After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust and finding refuge in the United States as an 11-year-old girl, she wondered how people could have allowed this to happen. She soon learned that there are many people who profit from wars. She decided not to look the other way if something like this ever happened again. “I have developed an antenna for this.” Also, she cannot understand, being Jewish herself, why the Israeli government has handed over medical data of the entire Israeli population to a company like Pfizer, which has committed countless crimes. This data is extremely valuable to pharmaceutical companies. The fact that they are exempt from liability in the event of vaccine damage should set alarm bells ringing, according to Sharav. She was therefore shocked that Israel introduced a “green pass”, which we will now get in Europe in the form of a digital green certificate, or an App on your mobile phone. This pass stands for apartheid and creates a divided society, says Sharav. Forced vaccination through the back door. “We are talking about a huge experiment here.”

The Pfizer Leaks

As Vera Sharav, the Holocaust survivor and medical activist, pointed out, Pfizer is a criminal organisation and she might be right. In recent days many alternative websites reported that they have read a tweet where a document is taken from a thread byEhden (@eh_den) / Twitter (account suspended). It is a copy of a leaked contract between Pfizer and, surprisingly, the country of Albania, a non-EU country. The contracts will all be the same. Perhaps the most damaging section is this:

Purchaser acknowledges.the long-term effects and efficacy of the vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the vaccine that are not known.”

Actually they say that it’s all anexperimental vaccine and they take no responsibility if there are deaths or side-effects. Pfizer is the most used vaccine in Israel and as many leaks come out of the State of Israel, many people who got vaccinated are getting the C-VI, and problems with side effects according to the Israeli government not known!

My guess is that it’s not only Pfizer, but also other pharmaceutical companies, like Moderna, Janssen & Janssen and BionTech, who are part of Pfizer. Their vaccines are all experimental (MnRA) and not tested properly, only on 30,000 people, but are now conducted on half of the world population as a medical experiment.

Conclusion

The world is in the grip of a pandemic, which was actually not a real ‘big’ pandemic, and opportunistsand the deep state had it all planned or took advantage of it to carry out their plans, to force the Fourth Industrial revolution upon the entirety of mankind. A problem which existed before, they had no answer on the many unemployed people which would lose their jobs due to AI. A pandemic, with a depopulationplan, would be the answer. I am not suggesting that it’s like that, but all evidence and developments point in that direction.

Also, the geopolitical C-war is part of the plan: the EU and US against China and Russia (and BRICS countries) where the vaccination plays a key role. As I said many times before, it’s has become a politized weapon and as the current developments in all parts of the geopolitical spectrum show, the evidence is clear that we are in for hypersonic weapon race. 5G is necessary for these weapons, and when you consider all this, it’s a sinister world, perhaps it’s the case that the human race is on the brink of extinction and also the deep state, which the Pentagon is part of, will be extinct as well. After all, the ones who invented all these horrors are human themselves. Even if they want to be transhuman like Elon Musk or Klaus Schwab, they are still human and AI can also destroy them as well. It’s a bad nightmare that the human race is facing, but they did it themselves. I am usually not very religious, but it’s said in the Bible that humans will destroy themselves. Let’s hope there will be some human with moral feelings among the ones who are going to destroy us or intend to do so!

Chris Hedges: The Price of Conscience

By Chris Hedges

Source

US Drones Feature photo
Drone warfare whistleblower sentenced to 45 months in prison for telling the American people the truth.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost Daniel Hale, a former intelligence analyst in the drone program for the Air Force who as a private contractor in 2013 leaked some 17 classified documents about drone strikes to the press, was sentenced today to 45 months in prison.

The documents, published by The Intercept on October 15, 2015, exposed that between January 2012 and February 2013, US special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. For one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The Justice Department coerced Hale, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, on March 31 to plead guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act, a law passed in 1917 designed to prosecute those who passed on state secrets to a hostile power, not those who expose to the public government lies and crimes. Hale admitted as part of the plea deal to “retention and transmission of national security information” and leaking 11 classified documents to a journalist. If he had refused the plea deal, he could have spent 50 years in prison.

Hale, in a handwritten letter to Judge Liam O’Grady on July 18, explained why he leaked classified information, writing that the drone attacks and the war in Afghanistan “had little to do with preventing terror from coming into the United States and a lot more to do with protecting the profits of weapons manufacturers and so-called defense contractors.”

At the top of the ten-page letter Hale quoted US Navy Admiral Gene LaRocque, speaking to a reporter in 1995: “We now kill people without ever seeing them. Now you push a button thousands of miles away … Since it’s all done by remote control, there’s no remorse … and then we come home in triumph.”

“In my capacity as a signals intelligence analyst stationed at Bagram Airbase, I was made to track down the geographic location of handset cellphone devices believed to be in the possession of so-called enemy combatants,” Hale explained to the judge. “To accomplish this mission required access to a complex chain of globe-spanning satellites capable of maintaining an unbroken connection with remotely piloted aircraft, commonly referred to as drones. Once a steady connection is made and a targeted cell phone device is acquired, an imagery analyst in the U.S., in coordination with a drone pilot and camera operator, would take over using information I provided to surveil everything that occurred within the drone’s field of vision. This was done, most often, to document the day-to-day lives of suspected militants. Sometimes, under the right conditions, an attempt at capture would be made. Other times, a decision to strike and kill them where they stood would be weighed.”

He recalled the first time he witnessed a drone strike, a few days after he arrived in Afghanistan.

“Early that morning, before dawn, a group of men had gathered together in the mountain ranges of Patika province around a campfire carrying weapons and brewing tea,” he wrote. “That they carried weapons with them would not have been considered out of the ordinary in the place I grew up, much less within the virtually lawless tribal territories outside the control of the Afghan authorities. Except that among them was a suspected member of the Taliban, given away by the targeted cell phone device in his pocket. As for the remaining individuals, to be armed, of military age, and sitting in the presence of an alleged enemy combatant was enough evidence to place them under suspicion as well. Despite having peacefully assembled, posing no threat, the fate of the now tea drinking men had all but been fulfilled. I could only look on as I sat by and watched through a computer monitor when a sudden, terrifying flurry of hellfire missiles came crashing down, splattering, purple-colored crystal guts on the side of the morning mountain.”

This was his first experience with “scenes of graphic violence carried out from the cold comfort of a computer chair.” There would be many more.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t question the justification for my actions,” he wrote. “By the rules of engagement, it may have been permissible for me to have helped to kill those men — whose language I did not speak, customs I did not understand, and crimes I could not identify — in the gruesome manner that I did. Watch them die. But how could it be considered honorable of me to continuously have laid in wait for the next opportunity to kill unsuspecting persons, who, more often than not, are posing no danger to me or any other person at the time. Never mind honorable, how could it be that any thinking person continued to believe that it was necessary for the protection of the United States of America to be in Afghanistan and killing people, not one of whom present was responsible for the September 11th attacks on our nation. Notwithstanding, in 2012, a full year after the demise of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was a part of killing misguided young men who were but mere children on the day of 9/11.”

He and other service members were confronted with the privatization of war where “contract mercenaries outnumbered uniform wearing soldiers 2 to 1 and earned as much as 10 times their salary.”

“Meanwhile, it did not matter whether it was, as I had seen, an Afghan farmer blown in half, yet miraculously conscious and pointlessly trying to scoop his insides off the ground, or whether it was an American flag-draped coffin lowered into Arlington National Cemetery to the sound of a 21-gun salute,” he wrote. “Bang, bang, bang. Both served to justify the easy flow of capital at the cost of blood — theirs and ours. When I think about this, I am grief-stricken and ashamed of myself for the things I’ve done to support it.”

He described to the judge “the most harrowing day of my life” that took place a few months into his deployment “when a routine surveillance mission turned into disaster.”

“For weeks we had been tracking the movements of a ring of car bomb manufacturers living around Jalalabad,” he wrote. “Car bombs directed at US bases had become an increasingly frequent and deadly problem that summer, so much effort was put into stopping them. It was a windy and clouded afternoon when one of the suspects had been discovered headed eastbound, driving at a high rate of speed. This alarmed my superiors who believe he might be attempting to escape across the border into Pakistan.”

Now, whenever I encounter an individual who thinks that drone warfare is justified and reliably keeps America safe, I remember that time and ask myself how could I possibly continue to believe that I am a good person, deserving of my life and the right to pursue happiness.

— Daniel Hale, of learning about children killed by indiscriminate US drone attacks he participated in.

“A drone strike was our only chance and already it began lining up to take the shot,” he continued. “But the less advanced predator drone found it difficult to see through clouds and compete against strong headwinds. The single payload MQ-1 failed to connect with its target, instead missing by a few meters. The vehicle, damaged, but still driveable, continued on ahead after narrowly avoiding destruction. Eventually, once the concern of another incoming missile subsided, the driver stopped, got out of the car, and checked himself as though he could not believe he was still alive. Out of the passenger side came a woman wearing an unmistakable burka. As astounding as it was to have just learned there had been a woman, possibly his wife, there with the man we intended to kill moments ago, I did not have the chance to see what happened next before the drone diverted its camera when she began frantically to pull out something from the back of the car.”

He learned a few days later from his commanding officer what next took place.

“There indeed had been the suspect’s wife with him in the car,” he wrote. “And in the back were their two young daughters, ages 5 and 3 years old. A cadre of Afghan soldiers were sent to investigate where the car had stopped the following day. It was there they found them placed in the dumpster nearby. The eldest was found dead due to unspecified wounds caused by shrapnel that pierced her body. Her younger sister was alive but severely dehydrated. As my commanding officer relayed this information to us, she seemed to express disgust, not for the fact that we had errantly fired on a man and his family, having killed one of his daughters; but for the suspected bomb maker having ordered his wife to dump the bodies of their daughters in the trash, so that the two of them could more quickly escape across the border. Now, whenever I encounter an individual who thinks that drone warfare is justified and reliably keeps America safe, I remember that time and ask myself how could I possibly continue to believe that I am a good person, deserving of my life and the right to pursue happiness.”

“One year later, at a farewell gathering for those of us who would soon be leaving military service, I sat alone, transfixed by the television, while others reminisced together,” he continued. “On television was breaking news of the president giving his first public remarks about the policy surrounding the use of drone technology in warfare. His remarks were made to reassure the public of reports scrutinizing the death of civilians in drone strikes and the targeting of American citizens. The president said that a high standard of ‘near certainty’ needed to be met in order to ensure that no civilians were present. But from what I knew, of the instances where civilians plausibly could have been present, those killed were nearly always designated enemies killed in action unless proven otherwise. Nonetheless, I continued to heed his words as the president went on to explain how a drone could be used to eliminate someone who posed an ‘imminent threat’ to the United States. Using the analogy of taking out a sniper, with his sights set on an unassuming crowd of people, the president likened the use of drones to prevent a would-be terrorist from carrying out his evil plot. But, as I understood it to be, the unassuming crowd had been those who lived in fear and the terror of drones in their skies and the sniper in this scenario had been me. I came to believe that the policy of drone assassination was being used to mislead the public that it keeps us safe, and when I finally left the military, still processing what I’d been a part of, I began to speak out, believing my participation in the drone program to have been deeply wrong.”

Hale threw himself into anti-war activism when he left the military, speaking out about the indiscriminate killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of noncombatants, including children in drone strikes. He took part in a peace conference held in Washington, D.C. in November 2013. The Yemeni Fazil bin Ali Jaber spoke at the conference about the drone strike that killed his brother, Salem bin Ali Jaber, and their cousin Waleed. Waleed was a policeman. Salem was an Imam who was an outspoken critic of the armed attacks carried out by radical jihadists.

“One day in August 2012, local members of Al Qaeda traveling through Fazil’s village in a car spotted Salem in the shade, pulled up towards him, and beckoned him to come over and speak to them,” Hale wrote. “Not one to miss an opportunity to evangelize to the youth, Salem proceeded cautiously with Waleed by his side. Fazil and other villagers began looking on from afar. Farther still was an ever present reaper drone looking too.”

“As Fazil recounted what happened next, I felt myself transported back in time to where I had been on that day, 2012,” Hale told the judge. “Unbeknownst to Fazil and those of his village at the time was that they had not been the only watching Salem approach the jihadist in the car. From Afghanistan, I and everyone on duty paused their work to witness the carnage that was about to unfold. At the press of a button from thousands of miles away, two hellfire missiles screeched out of the sky, followed by two more. Showing no signs of remorse, I, and those around me, clapped and cheered triumphantly. In front of a speechless auditorium, Fazil wept.”

A week after the conference Hale was offered a job as a government contractor.  Desperate for money and steady employment, hoping to go to college, he took the job, which paid $ 80,000 a year.  But by then he was disgusted by the drone program.

“For a long time, I was uncomfortable with myself over the thought of taking advantage of my military background to land a cushy desk job,” he wrote. “During that time, I was still processing what I had been through, and I was starting to wonder if I was contributing again to the problem of money and war by accepting to return as a defense contractor. Worse was my growing apprehension that everyone around me was also taking part in a collective delusion and denial that was used to justify our exorbitant salaries, for comparatively easy labor. The thing I feared most at the time was the temptation not to question it.”

“Then it came to be that one day after work I stuck around to socialize with a pair of co-workers whose talented work I had come to greatly admire,” he wrote. “They made me feel welcomed, and I was happy to have earned their approval. But then, to my dismay, our brand-new friendship took an unexpectedly dark turn. They elected that we should take a moment and view together some archived footage of past drone strikes. Such bonding ceremonies around a computer to watch so-called “war porn” had not been new to me. I partook in them all the time while deployed to Afghanistan. But on that day, years after the fact, my new friends gaped and sneered, just as my old one’s had, at the sight of faceless men in the final moments of their lives. I sat by watching too; said nothing and felt my heart breaking into pieces.”

“Your Honor,” Hale wrote to the judge, “the truest truism that I’ve come to understand about the nature of war is that war is trauma. I believe that any person either called-upon or coerced to participate in war against their fellow man is promised to be exposed to some form of trauma. In that way, no soldier blessed to have returned home from war does so uninjured. The crux of PTSD is that it is a moral conundrum that afflicts invisible wounds on the psyche of a person made to burden the weight of experience after surviving a traumatic event. How PTSD manifests depends on the circumstances of the event. So how is the drone operator to process this? The victorious rifleman, unquestioningly remorseful, at least keeps his honor intact by having faced off against his enemy on the battlefield. The determined fighter pilot has the luxury of not having to witness the gruesome aftermath. But what possibly could I have done to cope with the undeniable cruelties that I perpetuated?”

“My conscience, once held at bay, came roaring back to life,” he wrote. “At first, I tried to ignore it. Wishing instead that someone, better placed than I, should come along to take this cup from me. But this too was folly. Left to decide whether to act, I only could do that which I ought to do before God and my own conscience. The answer came to me, that to stop the cycle of violence, I ought to sacrifice my own life and not that of another person. So, I contacted an investigative reporter, with whom I had had an established prior relationship, and told him that I had something the American people needed to know.”

Hale, who has admitted to being suicidal and depressed, said in the letter he, like many veterans, struggles with the crippling effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, aggravated by an impoverished and turbulent childhood.

“Depression is a constant,” he told the judge. “Though stress, particularly stress caused by war, can manifest itself at different times and in different ways. The tell-tale signs of a person afflicted by PTSD and depression can often be outwardly observed and are practically universally recognizable. Hard lines about the face and jaw. Eyes, once bright and wide, now deep-set, and fearful. And an inexplicably sudden loss of interest in things that used to spark joy. These are the noticeable changes in my demeanor marked by those who knew me before and after military service. To say that the period of my life spent serving in the United States Air Force had an impression on me would be an understatement. It is more accurate to say that it irreversibly transformed my identity as an American. Having forever altered the thread of my life’s story, weaved into the fabric of our nation’s history.”

Suheila’s Story: The Two-Year Quest to Reclaim and Bury Her Martyred Brother’s Body

July 27th, 2021

By Miko Peled

Source

Ali Taha Sabena Feature photo
“You must keep out of our ranks all who do not belong to them, all mercenaries and skeptics, all who join the revolution for private gain.” — From the Will of Palestinian revolutionary Ali Taha

JERUSALEM — Suheila took out the gold, heart-shaped medallion she wears and showed me the images engraved on it — one side has an image of her son, Adnan, as a young man and the other side has an image of her brother, Ali. Ali was killed in 1972 during a hijacking operation; he was 34 years old. Following his death, Suheila worked tirelessly for two years before the Israeli authorities agreed to hand over his body so that she could give him a proper burial. Last night, in a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, she told me the entire story.

It was May 8, 1972, when four Palestinian fighters from the Black September resistance organization hijacked Sabena Belgian airline Flight 571 on its way to Tel Aviv. Suhaila’s brother, Ali Taha, was the commander of the team. The purpose of the operation was to demand the release of several hundred Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Ali had participated in a similar operation several years earlier. In July 1968, an Israeli airliner was hijacked and made to land in Algeria. The operation succeeded, Israel released two dozen prisoners, and the passengers and crew of the plane were safely released.

This time the Sabena airliner was on the tarmac less than 24 hours when Israeli commandos dressed in white overalls and pretending to be mechanics stormed the plane. They killed Ali and his deputy, Abdel Aziz Atrash, and arrested the two female members of the team, Theresa Halasa, and Rima Tanous. The two women were later released in a prisoner exchange between Israel and the PLO. The Israeli commandos firing inside the plane also caused the death of two of the passengers and slightly wounded two of the commando officers, one of whom was Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ali Taha left behind three young daughters and a young wife, Fathiya, who was expecting their fourth child. The eldest daughter, Raeda, wrote a play about her life growing up as a child of a Palestinian martyr, a Shahid called “Looking for Ali.” According to a piece in The New York Times, “Ms. Taha’s show has drawn large crowds and critical acclaim.” Before she introduced me to her aunt, Suheila, Ms. Taha was kind enough to send me the script to read, and it is truly remarkable.

Having seen the Palestinian resistance in all of its shades, Raeda Taha is brutally honest, and she remains loyal to the last will and testament that her father left. In a segment from his will that Raeda included in the play, Ali Taha writes:

There is a charge or trust we ask of you, one that every honest revolutionary aspires to, a trust to be fulfilled as a national duty irrespective of sacrifice: you must keep out of our ranks all who do not belong to them, all mercenaries and skeptics, all who join the revolution for private gain. Their number is doubtless very large and they are the greatest danger to us because they have no sense of decency or honor. Their only aim is to gratify their personal pleasures.”

A Necropolis

After Ali and Abdel Aziz were killed, a funeral was held for them in Beirut. “As I walked in the procession, I heard people comment that the coffins were empty,” Raeda told me. The seven-year-old Raeda heard this and she was confused. If the coffins were empty then where is her father’s body?

The first time I learned that Israeli authorities keep the bodies of Palestinians killed in action, I was in Ramallah with my friend Jamal, himself a former prisoner. We were driving through the city when we noticed a procession of cars honking and covered with Palestinian flags. Jamal stopped the car and said it looked like a procession for a prisoner that was released, only he was not aware of any releases taking place that day. He went to inquire and when he came back he told me something that I can still not get over, to this day: The Israeli authorities had just released the body of a Palestinian who was killed 20 years earlier. They held the body for 20 years and were only then releasing it to the family for burial.

Another shocking revelation was when I saw one of the sites where Israel keeps the bodies of Palestinians. During a visit to Kibbutz Zikim, which is a kibbutz on the southern Mediterranean coast just a few miles north of Gaza, I walked by the local cemetery. Not far from the cemetery but not inside it, I could see what looked like unmarked graves each with a number written on a piece of wood. When I asked what it was, I was told by a resident of the kibbutz that the army leased the land just by the cemetery to bury bodies of slain Palestinians. I am told that in some cases the bodies are kept refrigerated at various other locations throughout the country.

Give me my brother

Suheila could not let the body of her brother remain in a cold, dark box. She was determined to bring him home and give him a proper burial. She had written to everyone from the mayor of Hebron, where Ali Taha was born, to the Israeli prime minister, who at the time was Golda Meir. When letters did not help, she visited their offices. “I was passed around like a ball in a soccer match,” she told me.

Each person she approached passed her to another. The minister for religious affairs, the minister of defense, the local municipality, over and over again. “I have a file of documents this thick,” she said, demonstrating with her hands just how thick it is. “It was all for nothing until I went to see attorney Felicia Langer; she was wonderful, like a sister to me”

Langer was an attorney, a holocaust survivor, who dedicated her life to representing and defending Palestinians in the Israeli legal system, which was and still is dedicated to denying their legal rights. In an obituary to Ms. Langer, Gideon Levi wrote in Haaretz newspaper:

What did this brave and courageous woman fight against? Against torture by the Shin Bet security service at a time when we didn’t believe that such torture existed, yet it was at the peak of its cruelty. She fought against the expulsion of political activists, against false arrests, against home demolitions. Above all, she fought for the enforcement of international law from which Israel decided to except itself on unbelievable grounds. That’s what she fought and that is why she was considered a public enemy.”

Each day for over two years Suheila walked up the steep hill from her home in Silwan — also known as Wadi Hilwe — which is a steep valley just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. She visited every newspaper office and every official until one day she finally got a break. She heard on the radio that U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in Jerusalem. “I asked the people at one of the newspapers to write a nice letter for me in English.” She then went to the King David Hotel, where all foreign dignitaries stay when they visit the country.

“When I arrived I said, ‘I want to see Kissinger,’” she told me, but she was told that “he does not meet with Arab women.” “Why not?” she asked. Eventually, she spotted Dr. Kissinger, walked up to him, and handed him a letter. “The next day early in the morning, my older brother came knocking at my door, asking where I’d been and what I had done. I told him I gave a letter to Kissinger.” Her brother had a notice from the U.S. consulate that she would be receiving the body of her brother, Ali Taha, and that she must go to the Israeli military headquarters in Beit-El to finalize the arrangements.

On August 5, 1974, after more than two years, Suheila was finally able to bring her brother home. “I demanded to open the coffin and see him. Then I covered his body with the flag of Palestine. Now his daughters have a place where they can visit their father.”

The Disinformation Dozen?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is StephenLindmanBW.png

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US/Western news consumers are carpet-bombed daily with state-approved managed news misinformation and disinformation.

Suppressing truth and full disclosure on vital issues, its disseminators are threatened by US/Western dark forces, wanting them silenced.

Calling itself “a UK/US” NGO (likely funded by Western dark forces and Pharma profiteers), the so-called Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) (sic) is an extremist group opposed to journalism as it should be and others involved truth-telling on what’s important for everyone to know.

Months earlier, CCDH published a fake news report on what it called “the disinformation dozen (sic),” saying the following:

“Just twelve anti-vaxxers are responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content circulating on social media platforms.” 

“(A) tiny group of determined anti-vaxxers is responsible for a tidal wave of disinformation (sic) — and shows how platforms can fix it by enforcing their (anti-truth-telling) standards (sic).”

“The majority of the Disinformation Dozen (sic) remain on major social media platforms, despite repeated violations of their (anti-truth-telling) terms of service (sic).”

The CCDH supports fabricated official narrative rubbish on all things flu/covid.

Its mission is all about wanting truth-telling content on the most cutting-edge issue of our time suppressed and eliminated.

It called for “deplatforming repeat offenders (sic),” adding:

It’s “the most effective way of stopping the proliferation of” essential to know information CCDH called “dangerous misinformation (sic).”

Saying it’s “tracking 425 anti-(flu/covid jabbing) accounts, its “disinformation dozen” involved in truth-telling on issues relating to health and well-being include the following:

“1. Joseph Mercola

2. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

3. Ty & Charlene Bollinger

4. Sherry Tenpenny

5. Rizza Islam

6. Rashid Buttar

7. Erin Elizabeth

8. Sayer Ji

9. Kelly Brogan

10. Christiane Northrup

11. Ben Tapper

12. Kevin Jenkins”

CCDH called for platforms to “do more” — to censor their truth-telling on all things flu/covid.

Speech, media and academic freedoms in the West are threatened by censorship, notably online.

Social media, gatekeeper Google, and other tech giants are allied with US/Western dark forces against digital democracy, wanting the last frontier of media freedom silenced.

They want Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights rescinded, stating:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

“This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

These fundamental rights and values are increasingly eroding, totalitarian rule in the West replacing them. 

America’s First Amendment is most important. If lost — where things are heading — all other rights are threatened.

In cahoots with US/Western dark forces, Facebook, Twitter and other anti-social media go all-out to purge what conflicts with the official fabricated narrative.

If notions CCDH called for take hold, digital democracy no longer will exist.

Suppressing what’s vital for everyone to know is the hallmark of totalitarian rule.

That’s where things are heading, thought control becoming the law of the land in the US and West.

American exceptionalism and moral superiority never existed.

The nation has always been run by hostile to governance of, by and for everyone equitably oligarchs, plutocrats, and kleptocrats.

Operating today in cahoots with censors, they want dissent from the official fabricated narrative suppressed and eliminated altogether.

They want US/Western and other countries transformed into ruler-serf societies.

They want what just societies abhor and don’t tolerate.

The same goes for freedom-loving people everywhere who are willing to go all-out to preserve what’s too precious to lose.

Iran Behind Strike on Israeli-Managed Tanker?

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

On July 30, Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime said an attack on the Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned Mercer Street tanker it manages killed two crew members onboard.

The incident occurred in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman.

According to Tehran-based Al-Alam News, attacking the Mercer Street was in response to Israeli aggression on Syria’s Dabaa airport that killed two resistance fighters.

On Friday, Zodiak Maritime said the following:

“Details of the incident are still being established and an investigation into the incident is currently underway.” 

“We continue to work closely with the UKMTO (United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations) and other relevant authorities.”

Calling the incident “suspected piracy (sic),” the company said it’s “not aware of harm to any other” crew members.

According to Refinitiv ship tracking, the Israeli-managed tanker was en route to the UAE port city of Fujairah from Tanzania.

It continues to an unnamed location with a US naval escort.

Press TV said the attack came “against a backdrop of the Israeli regime’s various assaults on cargo ships across the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere.”

A statement by Britain’s war ministry said it’s “aware of reports of an attack on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman.” 

“UK military headquarters in the region are currently conducting investigations.”

Israel’s Ynet News quoted an unnamed Bennett regime official vowing a tough response.

An unnamed Biden regime official called the incident an attack by more than one drone — with no further elaboration.

A report by Dryad Global maritime intelligence said drones in the area were spotted before the attack.

In early June, Iran’s Kharg, its largest warship, mysteriously caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman near the Hormuz Strait.

At the time, Iranian media reported that crew members on board were rescued, dozens injured from the incident.

Around the same time, a large-scale fire occurred at Iran’s Tondgooyan Petrochemical Company.

In April, Israel was believed behind an attack on Iran’s MV Saviz commercial vessel in the Red Sea.

Ahead of the incident, an unnamed Biden regime official said Israel informed the US of a planned attack on the vessel. 

These and other incidents in recent years heightened tensions between Iran, the US, and Israel.

On August 1, interventionist Blinken and his counterpart Yair Lapid discussed a joint Biden/Bennett regime response to the July 30 incident against The Mercer tanker — according to State Department mouthpiece Price.

The incident comes against the backdrop of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s sharp rebuke of the US and E3 for pressuring, bullying, and blackmailing Iran to accept unacceptable JCPOA changes.

Regional tensions remain heightened at a time of nuclear deadlock.

What Biden regime envoy for Iran Robert Malley falsely called its “unrealistic demands” suggests that the US and E3 intend abandoning the JCPOA if Iran won’t accept what’s unacceptable.

That’s where things appear to be heading.

Years of negotiations for JCPOA agreement in 2015 proved once again that diplomatic outreach to the US-dominated West assures failure even when deals are made.

US Intends Permanent Occupation of Syria

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Illegally occupying northern and southern parts of Syrian territory, US dark forces have no intension of leaving.

Endless US war by hot and other means continues against the nation and its people — in defiance of international and its own constitutional law, how rogue state USA operates worldwide, including at home.

On Wednesday, interventionist Blinken defied reality by falsely blaming Damascus for “perpetuat(ing) suffering of the Syrian people.”

As he knows well, their misery is caused by over a decade of US aggression, occupation, theft of its resources, and wanting its people suffocated into submission to diabolical interests of both right wings of its war party — along with using ISIS and other jihadist foot soldiers against the nation, its military and people.

Blinken announced new illegal sanctions, saying the following:

The Biden regime illegally sanctioned Syrian prisons, officials in charge of running them, two militia groups and their leaders.

Defying reality, he falsely claimed that “(t)hese actions underscore the US commitment to promote respect for human rights and accountability for abuse against Syrians (sic.” 

Since March 2011, US regimes, their imperial partners, and jihadist foot soldiers bear full responsibility for over a decade of aggression and occupation.

Time and again, US high crimes are falsely blamed on victims of targeted countries — in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere post-9/11 alone.

On Tuesday, the Biden regime said it has no intention of ending its illegal occupation of Syrian territory, falsely adding:

The US “support(s) Syrian Democratic Forces in their fight against ISIS (sic)” — what the Pentagon and CIA created for use as proxy foot soldiers where they’re deployed regionally and elsewhere.

On Monday, Biden’s impersonator falsely said the US combat mission in Syria is ending (sic), adding:

Imperial occupation of northern and southern parts of the country continues indefinitely.

Claiming it’s to combat the threat of ISIS that the US created, supports and uses to advance its imperial interests ignores its aim to redraw the regional map that’s all about wanting hegemony of this hydrocarbon-rich part of the world.

It’s unknown what US force-strength remains in the country.

Officially reported numbers can’t be taken at face value.

Throughout the regime, the US maintains considerable airpower, along with thousands of paramilitary forces, private military contractors, and jihadist proxy troops.

US-assassinated Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani supplied the country’s Foreign Ministry with clear proof of Pentagon/CIA support for ISIS and other jihadist groups.

According Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf’s advisor Hossein Amir-Abdollahian:

General Soleimani “gave me documents — proving US/Western support for regional jihadists — and told me to slap them in the face of the West and the UN,” adding:

The documents “contained precise information on the geographical position, time and exact details” of US/Western collusion with them.

While Mosul was under occupation by ISIS, “an American A330 (transport plane) landed in Mosul Airport.”

“American generals got off the plane and military equipment was unloaded.” 

“At the airport’s VIP lounge, the American generals talked with Daesh leaders in Mosul for three hours and 23 minutes and then boarded the plane and returned.”

“What did they bring Daesh? Weapons and equipment it needed and that they had already agreed on.” 

At other times, Iran learned that the US shifted ISIS and other jihadists from Syria and Iraq to “northern Afghanistan…Libya…and southern Yemen.”

Iran, Syria and Russia have extensive knowledge about how the Pentagon and CIA arm, train, deploy and use jihadists in the Middle East and elsewhere.

US ruling regimes are responsible for mass slaughter and destruction regionally and worldwide.

They have no intention of changing the scourge of their wicked ways.

Russian Foreign Ministry on Nord Stream 2, Britain, and US Support for ISIS

By Stephen Lendman

Source

From beneath the Baltic Sea, Russia’s 745-mile pipeline will supply 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany and Europe.

Nearly completed, it’ll soon be operational despite US efforts to undermine the project.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) stressed that the project “is in full accord with norms of international law, EU regulatory requirements and laws of littoral states” Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

It’ll greatly enhance European energy security, not undermine it as US dark forces claim.

According to Gazprom Export head Elena Burmistrova, European consumers will save at least 7.9 billion euros in annual energy costs over 30% more expensive US LNG.

MZ stressed that Russia never uses “energy supplies or the transit issue as a weapon and has no intention to do this in the future.” 

Moscow is “committed to politics-free energy cooperation and its development with all countries based on the principles of respect for partners’ interests and mutual benefit.”

Despite Russia’s good faith in dealings with Germany on the project important to its energy security, an unacceptable joint US/German agreement didn’t reciprocate, Moscow’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov explained, saying:

Its “hostile tonality directed at our country fundamentally contradicts the spirit of” what bilateral and multilateral relations should be all about, adding:

“The attempts to present us as an aggressor and a country involved in ‘malign’ activities have long become the calling card of Russophobes.” 

“The threats against us are groundless and futile.”

“We’ve never inflicted our deliveries on anyone, never used our energy resources as a weapon of political pressure, nor tried to resolve by these means any opportunistic goals ascribed to us.” 

“We reject any accusations on that score.” 

“We view these attempts as nothing else but unscrupulous competition.”

“Russia is ready to deliver as much” energy to recipient countries as they wish to recieve.

According to what the Biden and Angela Merkel regimes agreed on, US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 will be rescinded in return for US/German investments in Ukraine’s energy security.

Berlin also pledged to demand that Russia extend the gas pipeline to Ukraine so its US-controlled ruling regime will get $3 billion in annual transit fees.

Germany will support renewed sanctions on Russia if accused of “aggression” the Kremlin abhors by any nations against others.

According to an unnamed State Department Russophobe:

“Should Russia attempt to use energy as a weapon or commit further aggressive acts against Ukraine (sic), Germany will take action at the national level and press for effective measures at the European level, including sanctions to limit Russian export capabilities to Europe in the energy sector.”

Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project. Yet Biden/Merkel regime dark forces continue to unacceptably politicize it.

MZ stressed that the pipeline “will function reliably (by) providing affordable energy to European consumers. 

It will “strengthen energy security of (recipient) European countries.”

Totalitarian Britain partners with Washington’s diabolical war on Russia by other means.

MZ slammed Big Lies by MI5 head Ken McCallum.

He falsely accused Russia of threatening UK security by cyber attacks — a US, UK, EU, Israeli specialty, not how Russia operates against any nations.

No evidence suggests otherwise, none by McCallum.

Like other Johnson regime hardliners, he’s hostile to all things Russia, inventing things to accuse the Kremlin of. No legitimate ones exist.

MZ: If Britain has concrete facts, not “empty talk,” reveal it. 

Otherwise its remarks are baseless like many times before.

“Moscow is guided by the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries” — polar opposite how the US-dominated West operates. 

The Kremlin “repeatedly warned London that the anti-Russia hysteria that has been launched in the UK will eventually have a backlash against its masterminds.”

Russian Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov has indisputable evidence of the US/ISIS connection.

MZ explained that Russia repeatedly raised this issue with other world community member states.

It “provided evidence multiple times…based on (credible) data,” adding:

“We have many questions about unmarked helicopter flights, recorded since 2017, over the areas of activity of ISIS militants” where they’re deployed as proxy US foot soldiers.

Afghan sources explained that US helicopters are “used to deliver reinforcements, weapons and munitions, and remove killed and wounded terrorists from battlefields.” 

“We made this information public and said that (it) should attract serious attention from specialized bodies and all involved parties.” 

“We spoke about this before, and, I should stress once again, this kind of activity was not possible without the knowledge of the US and NATO that control Afghan air space.”

The same thing has gone on in Syria throughout at least most of the past decade.

The US and its imperial partners use ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxies in Washington’s war theaters.

Russia supplied this information to the UN — ignored by pro-Western secretary general Guterres and his predecessor. 

Meet Toka, the Most Dangerous Israeli Spyware Firm You’ve Never Heard Of

By Whitney Webb

Source

The mainstream media’s myopic focus on Israel’s Pegasus spyware and the threats it poses means that other companies, like Toka, go uninvestigated,  even when their products present an even greater potential for abuse and illegal surveillance.

LONDON – This past Sunday, an investigation into the global abuse of spyware developed by veterans of Israeli intelligence Unit 8200 gained widespread attention, as it was revealed that the software – sold to democratic and authoritarian governments alike – had been used to illegally spy on an estimated 50,000 individuals. Among those who had their communications and devices spied on by the software, known as Pegasus, were journalists, human rights activists, business executives, academics and prominent political leaders. Among those targeted political leaders, per reports, were the current leaders of France, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Iraq.

The abuse of Pegasus software in this very way has been known for several years, though these latest revelations appear to have gained such traction in the mainstream owing to the high number of civilians who have reportedly been surveilled through its use. The continuation of the now-years-long scandal surrounding the abuse of Pegasus has also brought considerable controversy and notoriety to the Israeli company that developed it, the NSO Group.

While the NSO Group has become infamous, other Israeli companies with even deeper ties to Israel’s intelligence apparatus have been selling software that not only provides the exact same services to governments and intelligence agencies but purports to go even farther.

Originally founded by former Israeli Prime Minister and Jeffrey Epstein associate Ehud Barak, one of these companies’ wares are being used by countries around the world, including in developing countries with the direct facilitation of global financial institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank. In addition, the software is only made available to governments that are “trusted” by Israel’s government, which “works closely” with the company.

Despite the fact that this firm has been around since 2018 and was covered in detail by this author for MintPress News in January 2020, no mainstream outlet – including those that have extensively covered the NSO Group – has bothered to examine the implications of this story.

Worse than Pegasus

Toka was launched in 2018 with the explicit purpose of selling a “tailored ecosystem of cyber capabilities and software products for governmental, law enforcement, and security agencies.” According to a profile of the company published in Forbes shortly after it launched, Toka advertised itself as “a one-stop hacking shop for governments that require extra capability to fight terrorists and other threats to national security in the digital domain.”

Toka launched with plans to “provide spy tools for whatever device its clients require,” including not only smartphones but a “special focus on the so-called Internet of Things (IoT).” Per the company, this includes devices like Amazon Echo, Google Nest-connected home products, as well as connected fridges, thermostats and alarms. Exploits in these products discovered by Toka, the company said at the time, would not be disclosed to vendors, meaning those flaws would continue to remain vulnerable to any hacker, whether a client of Toka or not.

Today, Toka’s software suite claims to offer its customers in law enforcement, government and intelligence the ability to obtain “targeted intelligence” and to conduct “forensic investigations” as well as “covert operations.” In addition, Toka offers governments its “Cyber Designers” service, which provides “agencies with the full-spectrum strategies, customized projects and technologies needed to keep critical infrastructure, the digital landscape and government institutions secure and durable.”

Given that NSO’s Pegasus targets only smartphones, Toka’s hacking suite – which, like Pegasus, is also classified as a “lawful intercept” product – is capable of targeting any device connected to the internet, including but not limited to smartphones. In addition, its target clientele are the same as those of Pegasus, providing an easy opportunity for governments to gain access to even more surveillance capabilities than Pegasus offers, but without risking notoriety in the media, since Toka has long avoided the limelight.

Toka IoT
A slide from an April 20, 2021 presentation given by Toka’s VP of Global Sales, Michael Anderson

In addition, while Toka professes that its products are only used by “trusted” governments and agencies to combat “terrorism” and maintain order and public safety, the sales pitch for the NSO Group’s Pegasus is remarkably similar, and that sales pitch has not stopped its software from being used to target dissidents, politicians and journalists. It also allows many of the same groups who are Toka clients, like intelligence agencies, to use these tools for the purpose of obtaining blackmail. The use of blackmail by Israeli security agencies against civilian Palestinians to attempt to weaken Palestinian society and for political persecution is well-documented.

Toka has been described by market analysts as an “offensive security” company, though the company’s leadership rejects this characterization. Company co-founder and current CEO Yaron Rosen asserted that, as opposed to purely offensive, the company’s operations are “something in the middle,” which he classifies as bridging cyber defense and offensive cyber activities — e.g., hacking.

The company’s activities are concerning in light of the fact that Toka has been directly partnered with Israel’s Ministry of Defense and other Israeli intelligence and security agencies since its founding. The company “works closely” with these government agencies, according to an Israeli Ministry of Defense website. This collaboration, per Toka, is meant to “enhance” their products. Toka’s direct IDF links are in contrast to the NSO Group, a company that does not maintain overt ties with the Israeli security state.

Toka’s direct collaboration with Israel’s government is also made clear through its claim that it sells its products and offers its services only to “trusted” governments, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies. Toka’s Rosen has stated that Russia, China, and “other enemy countries” would never be customers of the company. In other words, only countries aligned with Israeli policy goals, particularly in occupied Palestine, are permitted to be customers and gain access to its trove of powerful hacking tools. This is consistent with Israeli government efforts to leverage Israel’s hi-tech sector as a means of countering the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement globally.

Yaron Rosen
A profile photo of former Chief of Cyber Staff for the IDF and Toka co-founder, Yaron Rosen. Credit | Spy Legends

Further evidence that Toka is part of this Israeli government effort to seed foreign governments with technology products deeply tied to Israel’s military and intelligence services is the fact that one of the main investors in Toka is Dell Technologies Capital, which is an extension of the well-known tech company Dell. Dell was founded by Michael Dell, a well-known pro-Israel partisan who has donated millions of dollars to the Friends of the IDF and is one of the top supporters of the so-called “anti-BDS” bills that prevent publicly employed individuals or public institutions in several U.S. states from supporting non-violent boycotts of Israel, even on humanitarian grounds. As MintPress previously noted, the fact that a major producer of consumer electronic goods is heavily investing in a company that markets the hacking of that very technology should be a red flag.

The government’s initial admitted use of the hi-tech sector to counter the BDS movement coincided with the launch of a new Israeli military and intelligence agency policy in 2012, whereby “cyber-related and intelligence projects that were previously carried out in-house in the Israeli military and Israel’s main intelligence arms are transferred to companies that, in some cases, were built for this exact purpose.”

One of the reasons this was reportedly launched was to retain members of Unit 8200 engaged in military work who were moving to jobs in the country’s high-paying tech sector. Through this new policy that has worked to essentially merge much of the private tech sector with Israel’s national security state, some Unit 8200 and other intelligence veterans continue their work for the state but benefit from a private sector salary. The end result is that an unknown – and likely very high – number of Israeli tech companies are led by veterans of the Israeli military and Israeli intelligence agencies and serve, for all intents and purposes, as front companies. A closer examination of Toka strongly suggests that it is one such front company.

Toka — born out of Israel’s national security state

The company was co-founded by Ehud Barak, Alon Kantor, Kfir Waldman and retired IDF Brigadier General Yaron Rosen. Rosen, the firm’s founding CEO and now co-CEO, is the former Chief of the IDF’s cyber staff, where he was “the lead architect of all [IDF] cyber activities,” including those executed by Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200. Alon Kantor is the former Vice President of Business Development for Check Point Software, a software and hardware company founded by Unit 8200 veterans. Kfir Waldman is the former CEO of Go Arc and a former Director of Engineering at technology giant Cisco. Cisco is a leader in the field of Internet of Things devices and IoT cybersecurity, while Go Arc focuses on applications for mobile devices. As previously mentioned, Toka hacks not only mobile devices but also has a “special focus” on hacking IoT devices.

Toka IoT
A slide from an April 20, 2021 presentation given by Toka’s VP of Global Sales, Michael Anderson

In addition to having served as prime minister of Israel, Toka co-founder Ehud Barak previously served as head of Israeli military intelligence directorate Aman, as well as several other prominent posts in the IDF, before eventually leading the Israeli military as minister of defense. While minister of defense, he led Operation Cast Lead against the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2009, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 Palestinians and saw Israel illegally use chemical weapons against civilians.

Toka is the first start-up created by Barak. However, Barak had previously chaired and invested in Carbyne911, a controversial Israeli emergency services start-up that has expanded around the world and has become particularly entrenched in the United States. Carbyne’s success has been despite the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, given that the intelligence-linked pedophile and sex trafficker had invested heavily in the company at Barak’s behest. Barak’s close relationship with Epstein, including overnight visits to Epstein’s now-notorious island and apartment complexes that housed trafficked women and underage girls, has been extensively documented.

Barak stepped away from Toka in April of last year, likely as the result of the controversy over his Epstein links, which also saw Barak withdraw from his chairmanship of Carbyne in the wake of Epstein’s death. Considerable evidence has pointed to Epstein having been an intelligence asset of Israeli military intelligence who accrued blackmail on powerful individuals for the benefit of Israel’s national security state and other intelligence agencies, as well as for personal gain.

Another notable Toka executive is Nir Peleg, the company’s Vice President for Strategic Projects. Peleg is the former head of the Research and Development Division at Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, where he led national cybersecurity projects as well as government initiatives and collaborations with international partners and Israeli cybersecurity innovative companies. Prior to this, Peleg claims to have served for more than 20 years in leading positions at the IDF’s “elite technology unit,” though he does specify exactly which unit this was. His LinkedIn profile lists him as having been head of the IDF’s entire Technology Department from 2008 to 2011.

While at Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, Peleg worked closely with Tal Goldstein, now the head of strategy for the World Economic Forum’s Partnership against Cybercrime (WEF-PAC), whose members include government agencies of the U.S., Israel and the U.K., along with some of the world’s most powerful companies in technology and finance. The goal of this effort is to establish a global entity that is capable of controlling the flow of information, data, and money on the internet. Notably, Toka CEO Yaron Rosen recently called for essentially this exact organization to be established when he stated that the international community needed to urgently create the “cyber” equivalent of the World Health Organization to combat the so-called “cyber pandemic.”

Claims that a “cyber pandemic” is imminent have been frequent from individuals tied to the WEF-PAC, including CEO of Checkpoint Software Gil Shwed. Checkpoint is a member of WEF-PAC and two of its former vice presidents, Michael Anderson and Alon Kantor, are now Vice President for Global Sales and co-CEO of Toka, respectively.

Tal Goldstein
The Wolrd Economic Forum does little to hide its partnership with former Israeli intelligence officials

Toka’s Chief Technology Officer, and the chief architect of its hacking suite, is Moty Zaltsman, who is the only chief executive of the company not listed on the firm’s website. Per his LinkedIn, Zaltsman was the Chief Technology Officer for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Last January, when Toka was covered by MintPress News, his profile stated that he had developed “offensive technologies” for Israel’s head of state, but Zaltsman has since removed this claim. The last Toka executive of note is Michael Volfman, the company’s Vice President of Research and Development. Volfman was previously a cyber research and development leader at an unspecified “leading technology unit” of the IDF.

Also worth mentioning are Toka’s main investors, particularly Entrèe Capital, which is managed by Aviad Eyal and Ran Achituv. Achituv, who manages Entrée’s investment in Toka and sits on Toka’s board of directors, was the founder of the IDF’s satellite-based signals intelligence unit and also a former senior vice president at both Amdocs and Comverse Infosys. Both Amdocs and Comverse courted scandal in the late 1990s and early 2000s for their role in a massive Israeli government-backed espionage operation that targeted U.S. federal agencies during that period.

Despite this scandal and others in the company’s past, Comverse subsidiary Verint was subsequently contracted by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to bug the telecommunications network of Verizon shortly after their previous espionage scandal was covered by mainstream media. The contract was part of Operation Stellar Winds and was approved by then-NSA Director Keith Alexander, who has since been an outspoken advocate of closer Israeli-American government cooperation in cybersecurity.

In addition to Entrèe Capital, Andreessen Horowitz is another of Toka’s main investors. The venture capital firm co-founded by Silicon Valley titan Marc Andreessen is currently advised by former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, a close friend of the infamous pedophile Jeffery Epstein. Early investors in Toka that are no longer listed on the firm’s website include Launch Capital, which is deeply tied to the Pritzker family — one of the wealthiest families in the U.S., with close ties to the Clintons and Obamas as well as the U.S.’ pro-Israel lobby — and Ray Rothrock, a venture capitalist who spent nearly three decades at VenRock, the Rockefeller family venture capital fund.

In light of the aforementioned policy of Israel’s government to use private tech companies as fronts, the combination of Toka’s direct Israeli government ties, the nature of its products and services, and the numerous, significant connections of its leaders and investors to both Israeli military intelligence and past Israeli espionage scandals strongly suggests that Toka is one such front.

If this is the case, there is reason to believe that, when Toka clients hack and gain access to a device, elements of the Israeli state could also gain access. This concern is born out of the fact that Israeli intelligence has engaged in this exact type of behavior before as part of the PROMIS software scandal, whereby Israeli “superspy” Robert Maxwell sold bugged software to the U.S. government, including highly sensitive locations involved in classified nuclear weapons research. When that software, known as PROMIS, was installed on U.S. government computers, Israeli intelligence gained access to those same systems and devices.

The U.S. government was not the only target of this operation, however, as the bugged PROMIS software was placed on the networks of several intelligence agencies around the world as well as powerful corporations and several large banks. Israeli intelligence gained access to all of their systems until the compromised nature of the software was made public. However, Israel’s government was not held accountable by the U.S. government or the international community for its far-reaching espionage program, a program directly facilitated by technology-focused front companies. The similarities between the products marketed and clients targeted by Maxwell during the PROMIS scandal and currently by Toka are considerable.

World Bank, IDB aid Toka in targeting Palestine’s allies

While the ties between Toka and Israel’s national security state are clear as day, what is also significant and unsettling about this company is how its entry into developing and developed countries alike is being facilitated by global financial institutions, specifically the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Notably, these are the only deals with governments that Toka advertises on its website, as the others are not made public.

Several projects funded by one or another of these two institutions have seen Toka become the “cyber designer” of national cybersecurity strategies for Nigeria and Chile since last year. Significantly, both countries’ populations show strong support for Palestine and the BDS movement. In addition, Toka garnered a World Bank-funded contract with the government of Moldova, an ally of Israel, last September.

The World Bank selected Toka in February of last year to “enhance Nigeria’s cyber development,” which includes developing “national frameworks, technical capabilities and enhancement of skills.” Through the World Bank contract, Toka has now become intimately involved with both the public and private sectors of Nigeria that it relates to the country’s “cyber ecosystem.” The World Bank’s decision to choose Toka is likely the result of a partnership forged in 2019 by the state of Israel with the global financial institution “to boost cybersecurity in the developing world,” with a focus on Africa and Asia.

Nigeria Toka
Toka executives pose with Nigerian officials in 2020. Photo | Israel Defense

“Designing and building sustainable and robust national cyber strategy and cyber resilience is a critical enabler to fulfilling the objectives of Nigeria’s national cybersecurity policy and strategic framework,” Toka CEO Yaron Rosen said in a press release regarding the contract.

Given Toka’s aforementioned use of its technology for only “trusted” governments, it is notable that Nigeria has been a strong ally of Palestine for most of the past decade, save for one abstention at a crucial UN vote in 2014. In addition to the government, numerous student groups, human rights organizations, and Islamic organizations in the country are outspoken in their support for Palestine. With Toka’s efforts to offer its products only to countries who align themselves with “friendly” countries, their now intimate involvement with Nigeria’s cyber development could soon have consequences for a government that has tended to support the Palestinian cause. This is even more likely given Toka CEO Rosen’s statements at an April 2021 event hosted by Israel’s Ministry of Economy, where he emphasized the role of cyber in developing countries specifically in terms of their national defense and economic strategy.

Three months after the deal was struck with Nigeria through the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) selected Toka to advise the government of Chile on “next steps for the country’s national cybersecurity readiness and operational capacity building.” As part of the project, “Toka will assess the current cybersecurity gaps and challenges in Chile and support the IDB project implementation by recommending specific cybersecurity readiness improvements,” per a press release. Toka claims it will help “establish Chile as a cybersecurity leader in South America.” Regarding the deal, Toka’s Rosen stated that he was “thankful” that the IDB had “provided us with this opportunity to work with the Government of Chile.”

Israel signed consequential agreements for cooperation with the IDB in 2015, before further deepening those ties in 2019 by partnering with the IDB to invest $250 million from Israeli institutions in Latin America specifically.

Toka executives are pictured with Chilean officials during a 2020 meeting in Santiago

Like Nigeria, Chile has a strong connection with Palestine and is often a target of Israeli government influence efforts. Though the current far-right government of Sebastián Piñera has grown close to Israel, Chile is home to the largest Palestinian exile community in the world outside of the Middle East. As a result, Chile has one of the strongest BDS movements in the Americas, with cities declaring a non-violent boycott of Israel until the Piñera administration stepped in to claim that such boycotts can only be implemented at the federal level. Palestinian Chileans have strong influence on Chilean politics, with a recent, popular presidential candidate, Daniel Jadue, being the son of Palestinian immigrants to Chile. Earlier this year, in June, Chile’s congress drafted a bill to boycott goods, services and products from illegal Israeli settlements.

While Toka frames both of these projects as aimed at helping the cyber readiness and economies of the countries it now services, Israeli media has painted a different picture. For instance, Haaretz wrote that Israel’s partnerships with development banks, specifically those made in 2019 that resulted in these Toka contracts, were planned by an inter-ministerial committee set up by then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to realize the potential of international development to strengthen the Israeli economy, improve Israel’s political standing and strengthen its international role.” One source, quoted by Haaretz as being close to this undertaking, stated that “development banks are a way to help advance Israel’s interests and agenda in the developing world, including Latin America. But it’s not philanthropy.”

Given these statements, and Toka’s own modus operandi as a company and its background, it seems highly likely that the reason both Nigeria and Chile were chosen as the first of Toka’s development banks contracts was aimed at advancing the Israeli government’s agenda in those specific countries, one that seeks to counter and mitigate the vocal support for Palestine among those countries’ inhabitants.

The spyware problem goes far beyond NSO Group

The NSO Group and its Pegasus software is clearly a major scandal that deserves scrutiny. However, the treatment of the incident by the media has largely absolved the Israeli government of any role in that affair, despite the fact that the NSO Group’s sales of Pegasus to foreign governments has been approved and defended by Israel’s government. This, of course, means that Israel’s government has obvious responsibility in the whole scandal as well.

In addition, the myopic focus on the NSO Group when it comes to mainstream media reporting on Israeli private spyware and the threats it poses means that other companies, like Toka, go uninvestigated, even if their products present an even greater potential for abuse and illegal surveillance than those currently marketed and sold by the NSO Group.

Given the longstanding history of Israeli intelligence’s use of technology firms for international surveillance and espionage, as well as its admitted policy of using tech companies as fronts to combat BDS and ensure Israel’s “cyber dominance,” the investigation into Israeli spyware cannot stop just with NSO Group. However, not stopping there risks directly challenging the Israeli state, particularly in Toka’s case, and this is something that mainstream media outlets tend to avoid. This is due to a mix of factors, but the fact that NSO’s Pegasus has been used to spy on journalists so extensively certainly doesn’t help the matter.

Yet, Israel’s weaponization of its tech industry, and the global use of its spyware offerings by governments and security agencies around the world, must be addressed, especially because it has been explicitly weaponized to prevent non-violent boycotts of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, including those solely based on humanitarian grounds or out of respect for international laws that Israel routinely breaks. Allowing a government to engage in this activity on a global scale to stifle criticism of flagrantly illegal policies and war crimes cannot continue and this should be the case for any government, not just Israel.

If the outlets eagerly reporting on the latest Pegasus revelations are truly concerned with the abuse of spyware by governments and intelligence agencies around the world, they should also give attention to Toka, as it is actively arming these same institutions with weapons far worse than any NSO Group product.

Pegasus is Just the Tip of the Israeli Cyber Spying Iceberg, with Whitney Webb

July 23rd, 2021

By Mnar Adley

Source

Visual search query image
Investigative journalist Whitney Webb joins MIntCast to discuss Pegasus, Toka, and the global Israeli cyberspying network.

Edward Snowden has called it “the story of the year.” An Israeli spying company has been caught selling software to authoritarian regimes that have used it to surveil more than 50,000 people worldwide.

That company is NSO, founded in 2010 by former members of Unit 8200, the Israeli military’s notorious intelligence squad. Their product is called Pegasus, and it was sold to military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies in 40 countries, among them some of the world’s worst human rights abusing governments.

On this “MintCast,” investigative journalist Whitney Webb joins Mnar Adley today to discuss Pegasus, Toka, and the global Israeli cyberspying network. Whitney Webb is a writer and researcher for the outlets Unlimited Hangout and The Last American Vagabond. She principally covers intelligence, technology, surveillance, and civil liberties. Between 2017 and 2020, she was also a senior investigative reporter for MintPress. Her latest article, “Meet Toka, the Most Dangerous Israeli Spyware Firm You’ve Never Heard Of,” was published by MintPress earlier this week.

Pegasus is able to attack the cellphones of targeted individuals without them realizing it, monitoring and recording their calls, texts and accessing other information stored on their devices. Dozens of human rights activists, nearly 200 journalists, several Arab royals, and more than 600 politicians are known to have had their communications spied on and compromised. Among those include French President Emmanuel Macron, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and president of Iraq, Barham Salih.

Close associates of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi were also attacked and compromised just before his murder by Saudi operatives in 2018, strongly indicating that the information gleaned through Pegasus was crucial in this endeavor. NSO vehemently denied that their product was used in his assassination. Yet it also put out a statement insisting that it had no access to what its clients did with the software — two seemingly contradictory assertions.

The Pegasus story has made major waves in India, too, where it was revealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used it to spy on his political opponents in the run-up to the 2019 elections. The Indian Congress Party has accused the prime minister of committing treason. Also disclosed was that the government hacked the phone of a woman who accused the Chief Justice of India of raping her, a revelation undermining the entire justice system and the concept of a fair trial.

Yet a new MintPress News investigation asserts that Pegasus is merely the tip of the Israeli cyber spying iceberg and that another piece of software, Toka, is far more dangerous and outrageous. Toka markets itself as “a one-stop hacking shop for governments that require extra capability to fight terrorists and other threats to national security in the digital domain.” The company’s software is designed to infiltrate any device connected to the internet, not just smartphones.

Toka is a product of the Israeli national security state, having been co-founded by former prime minister, Ehud Barak, and was also designed by members of Unit 8200, leading Webb to suggest that it is a front for the Israeli government.

Korybko’s response to Pantucci: Pakistan’s multi-alignment policy is promising


24 July 2021

By Andrew Korybko

Source

According to Raffaello Pantucci, Pakistan is losing its regional security significance as it cannot maintain a balance between the great powers. However, Andrew Korybko negates Mr. Pantucci’s claims and states that Pakistan is actively balancing between China, Russia, and the US and has a strong multi-alignment policy.

Pakistan multi alignment policy

Raffaello Pantucci, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, published a piece at Nikkei Asia on 23 July titled “China is a habit that Pakistan cannot break”.

He contrasts Pakistan’s excellent political ties with China with the currently troubled ones that it has with the US. Mr. Pantucci predicts that “In the years ahead, Washington is likely to look at Islamabad through the lens of its growing tensions with Beijing, with Pakistan was seen to be sitting firmly on China’s side.” That perception, he believes, will hinder Pakistan’s attempts to successfully balance between the world’s two most influential Great Powers.

This preexisting structural challenge is compounded by recent developments. Pakistan is losing its regional security significance to the US following America’s impending military withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is occurring in parallel with mounting Chinese concerns over its domestic security situation that might consequently reduce Pakistan’s regional economic significance to the People’s Republic, or so he implies.

Read more: Pakistan playing balancing act between China and US: report

Mr. Pantucci regards Pakistan’s outreaches to the US (which he thinks China views suspiciously) as unsuccessful, which compels “fealty” to China that in turn heightens US suspicions. He concludes that “Islamabad has backed itself into a complicated position that it will struggle to extricate itself from anytime soon.”

The improving Pak-Russian relations

With respect to Mr. Pantucci’s expertise on this subject, both the title of his piece and its conclusion are debatable since they don’t account for three important developments that are missing from his analysis.

These are the fast-moving Russian-Pakistani rapprochement that bolsters Islamabad’s balancing act between Great Powers, February’s agreement to create a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway, and the recently established quadrilateral framework between the US and the PAKAFUZ countries focusing on regional connectivity.

All of these are extremely relevant to the subject that Mr. Pantucci wrote about. Their inclusion into the discussion could arguably lead to a different conclusion than the one that he reached.

The comprehensive improvement of Russian-Pakistani relations, especially following Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s trip to Islamabad in early April which was his first such visit in 9 years, confirms that the South Asian state is actively balancing between Great Powers in order to reduce perceived disproportionate dependence on any single one such as China or the US.

Read more: Lavrov’s trip: a major event for India and Pakistan

The two countries cooperate closely on the political and security situation in Afghanistan. They also recently agreed to construct the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline. Furthermore, the Russian Foreign Minister pledged to strengthen Pakistan’s anti-terrorist military capabilities. Moscow’s growing role in Pakistan gives Islamabad more leverage for negotiating with Beijing and Washington.

PAKAFUZ: A game-changer for Pakistan

Pertaining to PAKAFUZ, this project can rightly be described as a regional game-changer. Foreign Minister Lavrov’s enthusiastic endorsement of Central Asia-South Asia connectivity during a topical conference in Tashkent earlier this month can be interpreted as tacit support for this initiative.

Russia envisions utilizing PAKAFUZ in order to finally fulfill its centuries-long goal of reaching the Indian Ocean Region. This is supported by China too since PAKAFUZ essentially serves as CPEC’s northern branch (N-CPEC+). June’s virtual Foreign Minister’s meeting between the top Afghan, Chinese, and Pakistani diplomats also saw Kabul agree to rely more on CPEC’s terminal port of Gwadar, which implies a coordinated trilateral focus on PAKAFUZ to bring this about.

The reason why PAKAFUZ is such a game-changer is that even the US is interested in it despite this project de facto being part of its Chinese rival’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The “New Quad’s” regional connectivity focus very strongly implies that the US wants to utilize PAKAFUZ for the purpose of expanding its economic influence into post-withdrawal Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, the latter of which could improve their balancing capabilities vis-a-vis China and Russia with time.

Read more: Biden wants no conflict with China and Russia, seeks diplomacy instead

This is similar to how Pakistan uses its newfound relations with Russia to bolster its own balancing act between China and the US. Importantly, the US’ emerging geo-economic policy doesn’t require excellent political ties with all parties like Pakistan to succeed.

Pakistan in a strong position?

With these developments in mind, none of which were addressed in Mr. Pantucci’s piece, it can be argued that the title of his article and its conclusion aren’t consistent with the facts.

Pakistan is actively balancing between China, Russia, and the US to differing extents, which challenges his claim that “China is a habit that Pakistan cannot break”.

The observation that rivals Russia and the US are equally interested in PAKAFUZ and improving their relations with Pakistan partially for the purpose of capitalizing off of this project contradicts his conclusion that. “Islamabad has backed itself into a complicated position that it will struggle to extricate itself from anytime soon.”

On the contrary, Pakistan is in a very promising position due to its new multi-alignment policy.

Resist or Perish

 July 25, 2021 

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Where are the crowds? They’re out in force across Europe.

Where most needed en masse in the US, they’re small-scale in too few places. More on this below. 

Never before in the course of human events has state-sponsored — media supported — Big Lies and mass deception done more harm to more people in short order than since flu was deceptively renamed covid last year with diabolical aims in mind.

Health-destroying flu/covid jabs are all about pursuing tyrannical social control and depopulation on an unparalleled scale.

In response to what’s going on, public rage in France, Britain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and elsewhere in Europe boiled over.

Tens of thousands took to the streets against health and freedom-destroying flu/covid mandates, including passports without which access to employment, education, and other public places is denied.

In London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday, “Freedom Rally” protesters denounced forced flu/covid tests, jabs and other draconian “crimes against humanity.”

Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn joined them.

Activist nurse Kate Shemirani called on UK healthcare professionals “to get off (the draconian flu/covid mandates) bus and stand with…the people.”

In response to a petition that called for “outlaw(ing) discrimination against those who do not get a” flu/covid jab — with over 320,000 signatories — dozens of Labor, Lib Dem, Green and Tory MPs expressed opposition to Boris Johnson regime’s mandates.

Tens of thousands turned out across France on Saturday against Macron regime health passes, mandated flu/covid jabs for healthcare workers and others, as well as related draconian policies.

In Paris, police attacked crowds with tear gas and water cannons.

One activist tweeted: “Unreal numbers on the streets of Paris.”

Images showed large-scale numbers massed shoulder-to-shoulder, including on the Champs-Elysees, blocking traffic.

Days earlier in Greece, tens of thousands turned out in Athens and elsewhere nationwide against mandated proof of jabs for access to public places — along with plans to jab children without parental consent.

Thousands massed outside Greece’s parliament. Large banners said “no to (flu/covid jab) poison.”

Crowds chanted: “Hands off our kids.”

A draconian mandate said the following:

“Everyone must have (a) certificate to prove their status to gain access to venues.” 

“The plan also allows for ‘mixed’ venues which also grant access to the (unjabbed) — but only if they have a negative PCR test” — that when positive is nearly always false because of how administered. 

“The measures can apply to either indoor areas or open spaces that are likely to be crowded.”

According to the Greek Reporter, authorities are using the (invented) pandemic to ban public dissent by “crush(ing) peaceful demonstrations.”

In the US, scattered protests took place against jabbing healthcare workers, children and students for access to higher education campuses and classes.

In America, laws prohibit serving alcohol to and prescribing medications for children without parental consent.

Laws and guidelines in place to protect the health and well-being of children were virtually rescinded for all things flu/covid.

The same goes for foregoing proper clinical trials for flu/covid mRNA drugs and vaccines before allowing their use.

Information about them, and alternative protocols known to be safe and effective, was suppressed.

Last week, hundreds massed in front of the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital against mandated flu/covid jabs for staff, contractors and others.

Protesters held signs saying:

“No jab = no job”

“My body, my choice.” 

“Let me call my own shots”

“From heroes to zeros”

One protester said “(w)e were essential last year. Now we’re villains” if not jabbed.

Another said “(w)e are all out here because we do not believe (flu/covid jabs) should be mandated.”

Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System mandates toxic flu/covid jabs for its 33,000 staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and remote workers by September 10.

Similar policies are in place elsewhere in US cities.

If not challenged and stopped — by whatever it takes, by millions of Americans getting involved — they’re coming to neighborhoods near you and your own in the coming weeks and months.

What remains of mostly eroded freedoms are on the chopping block for elimination altogether.

Disruptive activism changed the course of things in the US before.

They’ve done it through strikes, boycotts and other mass public actions.

Historian Howard Zinn explained that in 17th and 18th century America, there were 18 uprisings against UK colonial rule, six rebellions by Black slaves and dozens of riots.

Power yields nothing without large-scale grassroots demands with teeth.

Never before in US history have they they needed more than more than now.

The alternative is mass extermination, draconian social control, and serfdom for survivors.

If that’s not worth putting our bodies on the line against, what is?

If not now, it may be too late to matter later on.

Israeli Ethnic Cleansing: A Crime Against Humanity

July 18, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Revanchist Israeli regimes expand the territory of the world’s only borderless state on a platform of state-sponsored ethnic cleansing indigenous people from their homes, possessions and land — to make way for exclusive Jewish developme

nt and use.

Palestinians throughout the Occupied Territories are targeted for removal by brute force on land Jewish state extremists want for themselves.

B’Tselem earlier explained what long-suffering Palestinians endured throughout Jewish state history, saying:

“For decades, Israeli authorities…implementing a policy aimed at driving out scores of communities, that are home to thousands of Palestinians.” 

“They have made living conditions miserable and intolerable with a view to establishing facts on the ground and taking over these areas.”

Longstanding Israeli policy seeks “Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea” — what the scourge of apartheid is all about, state-sponsored tyranny by another name.

Over 14 million people live in the above area, half of them Palestinians denied their fundamental rights as affirmed by international human rights law.

Hundreds of thousands of settlers live on stolen Palestinian land, illegally annexed for their use.

Israeli regimes pursue their aims by state terror and other illegal means.

Creation of Israel was a case study in ethnic cleansing on a horrific scale, transforming historic Palestine into an apartheid Jewish state.

The lives and welfare of its indigenous inhabitants were irreparably disrupted, a massive refugee population created internally and abroad in neighboring states – one of history’s great crimes without punishment.

On Palestinian land Israeli regimes want for Jews only, unwanted indigenous families are uprooted, their homes demolished, followed by forcefully removing them from their land.

Time and again, Israeli courts uphold the illegal practice, including its highest, in pursuing a policy of maximum Jews and minimum Arabs on all valued land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.

Dominant Zionist extremists believe for Israel to survive, it must dominate the region and become a world power.

Achieving its imperial aims requires dividing Arab nations into small, easily controlled states – partitioning them along ethnic and sectarian lines as weakened Israeli satellites. 

Internally, Israel is hellbent on territorial expansion by stealing it from indigenous Palestinians and neighboring states in defiance of international law.

Palestinians seeking redress through Israeli and international courts fail because Jewish tribunals and the world community have done nothing to hold the Jewish state accountable for its highest of high crimes.

It’s been this way throughout Jewish state history since 1948 — nearly three quarters of a century of injustice, notably backed by the US-dominated West.

One among countless examples of Israeli ethnic cleansing occurred last week, explained by B’Tselem, saying:

On July 7, “Israeli military and Civil Administration personnel arrived at the tent-dwelling community of Khirbet Humsah in the Jordan Valley” with sweeping ethnic cleansing in mind.

They forcefully “dismantled and confiscated tents housing numerous community members along with everything inside them, loading them onto trucks…”

Dispossessed Palestinians were forced into buses “in sweltering heat.”

Refusniks in defense of their land and possessions were expelled by by brute force.

“Initial reports indicate the forces demolished the homes of at least nine families, leaving 60 people homeless.” 

“Soldiers and Civil Administration staff continue to load the contents of the homes onto military trucks” as of late last week. 

“B’Tselem is still collecting exact information about the property that was confiscated and destroyed.”

What happened repeats time and again throughout the Occupied Territories — a crime against humanity under international law.

Responsibility for ethnic cleansing like the above lies with Israeli ruling regimes, its military and other security enforcers, along with Jewish state High Court “justices…who lend legal legitimacy” to what flagrantly breaches core international law, B’Tselem explained, adding:

What repeats time and again throughout the Occupied Territories is “a badge of shame for the international community…” 

Instead of upholding the rule of law, the world community and world body leadership “absolved (themselves) of the obligation to demand Israel respect the human rights of Palestinians living under its control and allowed (themselves) to be satisfied with empty rebukes lacking any practical consequences.”

Fake News London Guardian Kremlin Papers Report

 July 18, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US/Western dark forces never quit proving that they’re hostile to what just societies hold dear.

Time and again, their press agent media show they long ago abandoned what journalism is supposed to be — banning it on issues mattering most.

On domestic issues, they support privileged interests at the expense of most others — notably by pushing health destroying flu/covid jabs, instead of warning about their hazards.

On all things geopolitical mattering most, they stick to state-approved talking points — notably US/Western rage for control of planet earth, its resources and populations.

Days earlier, a fake news London Guardian report turned truth on its head as follows, saying:

“Vladimir Putin personally authorized (sic) a secret spy agency operation to support a ‘mentally unstable’ Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council (sic), according to…leaked Kremlin documents (sic)” — that don’t exist.

No responsible editors would permit publication of the above claim no evidence suggests, made up rubbish alone with no credibility — part of longstanding US/UK Russia bashing.

Yet in true fake news Guardian tradition, it defied reality by claiming a Trump White House “would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them ‘social turmoil’ in the US (sic) and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position (sic).”

Not a shred of evidence was presented by the Guardian to support what it falsely called “genuine…documents.”

More bald-faced Big Lies followed, including by saying:

A so-called Kremlin “expert department recommended…’all possible force’ to ensure a Trump victory (sic).”

Time and again, phony claims like the above about Russia and other foreign nations are debunked as Big Lies that won’t die.

Throughout US history from inception to the present day, no credible evidence ever suggested foreign inference in its electoral process — what dark forces in Washington do repeatedly against other nations worldwide. 

Political scientist Dov Levin earlier documented over 80 times that US dark forces interfered in the electoral process of other nations from end of WW II to year-2000.

Since then, the US illegally tried to influence the outcome of elections or overall political process in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, and elsewhere. 

What could a foreign nation hope to achieve by meddling in so-called US elections?

Farcical when held, both right wings of the one-party state take turns running things — serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people at home and abroad.

US diabolical actions also include attempted color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, political assassinations — most recently against Haiti’s president — and wars by hot and/or other means against nations free from imperial control.

In response to the Guardian’s fake news, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it “pulp fiction,” adding:

The report “is complete nonsense.”

It’s “the hallmark of an absolutely low-quality publication.” 

“Either (it’s) trying to increase its popularity or is sticking to a rabidly Russophobic line.”

Ill-conceived trash best describes what no evidence supports because none exists — just baseless accusations with nothing supporting them.

Time and again, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and other nations free from US imperial control are falsely accused of all sorts of things they had nothing to do with.

Indisputable evidence reveals US high crimes of war, against humanity, and other dirty tricks against one nation after another, targeting ones named above and many others.

In his books and Anti-Empire reports, the late William Blum documented US high crimes.

Calling them “worse than you imagine,” he once explained the following:

“If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, this is what crawls out: invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing ‘news,’ death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries,” police state repression, and endless wars on humanity.”

That’s what the scourge of US hegemonic rage is all about.

Stressing it’s not a pretty picture, Blum said it’s “enough to give imperialism a bad name.” 

Millions of corpses attest to US ruthlessness, a rogue state exceeding history’s worst over a longer duration, operating globally, willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it, the human cost of its wars and other barbarism of no consequence.

Blum called democracy “America’s deadliest export,” the way it should be is abhorrent to the US and its imperial partners.

Directly and through its press agent media like the Guardian, Russia and other sovereign independent countries are bashed for not bending to higher powers in Washington, London and other Western capitals.

As for dubious Guardian claims about covert Russian support for Trump over Hillary in 2016, they’re not worth the (toilet) paper they’re written on.

A Final Comment

The Russiagate hoax throughout Trump’s tenure was all about delegitimizing his triumph over media darling Hillary — a Big Lie still refusing to die despite no evidence supporting it.

It remains one of the most shameful political chapters in US history, exceeding the worst of McCarthyism.

Ignored was House testimony by former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (2010 – 2017), saying:

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting (or) conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” adding:

“I do not recall any instance when I had direct evidence of” alleged Trump team-Russia collusion.

Congressional and Mueller probes were exercises in mass deception.

They found no evidence suggesting Russian meddling in the US political process because there was none.

The Mueller probe notably laid an egg, ending with a whimper, not a bang.

His 19-lawyer team, 40 FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff spent around $25 million.

They issued 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, over 230 orders for communication records, interviewed about 500 individuals, and made 34 politicized indictments on dubious charges unconnected to his mandate.

Despite all of the above from May 2017 – March 2019, it struck out, finding no evidence of Russian US election interference — because there was nothing to find.

Yet phony claims otherwise remain like a bad aftertaste — the fake news Guardian report the latest example of yellow journalism instead of the real thing.

From Judaism to Fascism: How Zionists Turned Their Backs on Their Own Culture

July 15th, 2021

By Eleanor Goldfield

Source

For the Zionists, the drive to climb the blood-soaked ladder of imperialism, to no longer be on the bottom rungs, shrouded not only their humanity but their own cultural teachings.

WASHINGTON — In late June of this year, New Scientist blandly reported that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had “used a swarm of small drones to locate, identify and attack Hamas militants,” the first documented case of a drone swarm being used in so-called combat.

In his book, “Exterminate All The Brutes,” Sven Lindqvist contextualizes Adolf Hitler’s atrocities in the imperialist violence of the nineteenth century, and in one chapter outlines how European artillery advancements gave colonizers both emotional and physical distance from the indigenous Africans they slaughtered. Europeans were an “invisible and unreachable opponent,” capable of being “victorious without even being present.” This can’t really be called combat, and indeed even Winston Churchill referred to it as “only a sporting element in a splendid game.” Combat was something gentlemen did and in the imperialist mindset, of course, the Africans were savages, barely even human.

There’s a thread that links this kind of “sport” from the atrocities in Africa to the Holocaust and now, so ironically, to the state of Israel.

Your Lebensraum, my Lebensraum

In the 1890s, a German zoologist named Friedrich Ratzel coined the term “Lebensraum,” which literally translates to living space. Those who have studied the Holocaust might be familiar with it as the Third Reich’s reasoning for invading Central and Eastern Europe. Well, this is where they got the idea. Besides the European Scramble for Africa, Ratzel had been inspired by his travels to North America, where he saw how white colonizers were taking land by force. Seeing this as a positive and indeed necessary transgression, Ratzel fashioned a brutal Darwinian ideology: in order to acquire sufficient Lebensraum, inferior races have to be displaced, which incidentally often means they will die and leave the space entirely. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The whole concept of Zionism is that Jews need specific and exclusive Lebensraum. Therefore, others must be displaced. This displacement, far from being a negative or even cruel endeavor, merely proves the supremacy of the displacer, thereby proving the necessity of exterminating the displaced. As Lindqvist writes “during Hitler’s childhood, a major element in the European view of mankind was the conviction that ‘inferior races’ were by nature condemned to extinction; the true compassion of the superior races consisted in helping them on the way.”

During the Holocaust, Jews were an ‘inferior race.’ Today in Israel, Palestinians are an ‘inferior race.’ As reporter and The Electronic Intifada Associate Editor Nora Barrows-Friedman told me when I asked her how Zionists respond to Jewish teachings of solidarity with the oppressed: “When you talk to Zionists about Jewish teachings and how that relates to the Palestinians, they say ‘well we’re not oppressing them, they’re not even people,’” a line that could have easily been taken from Hitler himself. And when Adolf was still just a young lad in Austria, that same sub-human paradigm fueled the celebratory reports of European barbarity in Africa, as well as the U.S. and Canadian genocide of indigenous peoples in North America.

Jude (jew)
The word Jude (Jew) is scrawled on a Jewish-rub shop in Berlin following Nazi-incited mass riots in 1938. Photo | AP

It’s important to place Israel’s atrocities in historical context, for we can only know where we are by understanding where we’ve been. Hitler did not exist in an ideological vacuum. He simply looked around at the world he was born into and pulled from already existing ideologies, tried and true tactics. He was inspired by people like imperialist sycophant Ratzel, who was inspired by the U.S. Hitler too was a big fan of U.S. domestic policy, not least of all the Jim Crow laws that he simply repackaged into yellow fabric Stars of David. Even the concentration camp predates Hitler’s rise to power. The concept was originally used by Spaniards in Cuba then moved north to the U.S., then across the pond to England during the Boer War, and finally a hop and a skip down to Germany. And today, the U.S. carries on that tradition via the PR-polished “detention centers” for migrants.

Zionists were likewise inspired by their socio-political surroundings and, as Barrows-Friedman notes, “were explicit about their colonialist aims. In the original documents that Zionists drew up, they specifically say ‘this is a colonial project,’” she explains. “Everyone was doing the colonialism thing, and they [Zionists] wanted in on it.” This wasn’t about ‘going home.’ Yes, some Jews have always lived in the area now known as Israel, and there were plenty living there quite peacefully as Palestinians up until 1948. Jews have also lived almost everywhere else. We are not a people without a home; we are a people with many homes.

Zionism and supremacy: paying oppression forward

Indeed, this concept of borderless solidarity is something that has inspired many Jews to be active in liberation and justice movements. And while Zionism is packaged as the need for a safe space for Jews, it’s clear that this wasn’t about safety. There is no safety in terrorism. Rather, it was about supremacy. Having been shunned from so many communities for so long warped the perspectives of some Jews into believing that what they really needed wasn’t basic human rights but the right to thwart others’ basic human rights. The drive to climb the blood-soaked ladder of imperialism, to no longer be on the bottom rungs, shrouded not only their humanity but their own cultural teachings.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of attending a Seder (you’re always welcome to my house for our anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist extravaganza!), the primary theme of the evening is “don’t be an oppressive asshole, for you know what it is to have assholes oppress you.” I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the basic gist. And Passover is just one example. Throughout Jewish traditions and teachings, the voices and experiences of the oppressed are uplifted in order to highlight the need for Jews to not just stand up for our own human rights, but for the human rights of all. We were exiled, we were driven out, we were genocided, we were persecuted just for being ourselves. Our place is therefore in the struggle for a world beyond those atrocities. None are free till all are free. To be Jewish is to be a fighter for liberation, for justice. As Barrows-Friedman explains, “the term ‘Never Again’ is not selective. It has to be universal.”

How Zionism is profoundly anti-Semitic

Zionism is therefore anti-Semitic — in both theory and practice. First and as noted above, it flies in the face of Jewish teachings and traditions. Second, it suggests that we only belong in one place — that we are not welcome in places that we have learned to call home, from New York to Shanghai. It pigeon-holes us into a homogeneous monolith, a singular stereotype. These points were the main drivers of the loud Jewish tradition of anti-Zionism. Again, inspired by teachings and experience, many Jews in early twentieth-century Europe were loud and proud leftists.

As John Merriman writes in his book “Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits,” a popular term for Jews in turn-of-the-20th-century Europe was “Cosmopolitan Anarchists.” Which I actually really love. These Jews were vehemently opposed to the ideas of imperialism, nationalism and colonialism — aspects they saw as intricately linked with any sort of Zionist endeavor. Furthermore, they didn’t like the idea of appeasing anti-Semites in Europe by just disappearing. As one early twentieth-century poster shared in a recent interview with scholar Benjamin Balthaser asserts, “Where we live, there is our country!” Yet, appeasing anti-Semites was a cornerstone of Zionism from the beginning. Theodore Herzl, known as the ‘father of modern political Zionism,’ wrote in his diaries that “[t]he anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.” To quote my Jewish grandmother, “What a schmuck.”

A Yiddish poster reads: “There, where we live, there is our country! ” Credit | Jewish Labor Movement’s Bund Archives

It’s no wonder that Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer calls himself a “white Zionist.” And while Zionist-friendly media was quick to jump on the 2017 Israeli TV comment as totally misguided and a twisting of Zionism, the sad fact of the matter is that the Neo-Nazi got it right (not least of all because Israel is a very racist state, placing light-skinned Jews in higher positions of power while black Jews are considered to be just above Palestinians). Zionism is colonialism, it is imperialism, it is terrorism and apartheid — all things that Neo-Nazis, and original Nazis, hold in very high regard. Where both Zionists and their anti-Semitic pals get it so wrong is the conflation of Judaism with Zionism.

Zionism didn’t get rolling until the end of the nineteenth century and from the outset clearly pulled from imperialist, white-supremacist ideologies, not from Jewish traditions and teachings. Jews, on the other hand, have been around for roughly 6,000 years or so (it’s currently Year 5781 in the Jewish calendar). To conflate Judaism with Zionism is like conflating humanity with iPhones. It’s ahistorical and it paints a picture of Jews that fits rather too comfortably with old caricatures of the conniving Israelite.

And of course, this works out really well for the anti-Semites. I’ve gone to more than one Neo-Nazi rally where I’ve overheard fascists complain about Israel’s control over our government, our economy. “They control everything,” one guy in a MAGA hat loudly proclaimed. I assume the guy standing next to him agreed, as he was wearing a “Hitler Missed a Few” t-shirt. Now, if you’re a Zionist, you can’t disagree with him — because you feel that Israel = Judaism. The only way you can push back against this fascist dumbshittery is to starkly and resolutely separate Israel from Judaism.

Why Fascists love Zionists (and hate Jews)

Israel does have a disturbing stranglehold on our government — be it demands of loyalty from U.S. citizens, truckloads of arms and weapons, or the cozy relationship our police have with Israeli forces. Judaism does not. Indeed, Jews have a long history of not being welcome in the U.S., much like other immigrants, while fascism — well, that’s as American as apple pie. Hitler got plenty of ideas from the U.S. and a lot of people in the U.S. returned the favor.

In 1939, Madison Square Garden in New York City was filled with 20,000 Nazis sieg heiling a massive portrait of George Washington flanked by giant swastikas. In October of that year, the same organization that was behind the MSG event, the German American Bund, held a massive parade through the streets of New York. Two years earlier, nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees were turned away from both Canada and the U.S. and were forced to return to Europe just as the Nazi’s Final Solution was unfolding. Three years before that, the Wall Street-backed American Liberty League plotted to overthrow the government and install a fascist dictatorship. IBM, Coca-Cola, Kodak and other corporations found in Nazi Germany ready customers — and why let a speedbump like genocide stand in the way of a bottom line? Indeed, IBM didn’t just sell to the Nazis, they facilitated mass murder by supplying Nazi Germany with punched-card technology, making it possible to track the Jews — if you ever wondered why Jews in the Holocaust were tattooed with numbers. Thanks, IBM.

20,000 Americans attend a Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden, February 20, 1939.

Again, this historical context matters. We need to understand this history in order to see how events like Charlottesville in 2017 are far from unique or surprising. Rather, they’re part of a long history of American fascism — or, as Mussolini suggested fascism be called, corporatism. This history also shows us the vast disparities between Zionism and Judaism.

Reclaiming what Judaism has always been

Both ideologically and in lived experiences, Zionism and Judaism are at odds. They exist on opposite ends of the power dynamic spectrum. “We have to dismantle Zionism — the way we work to dismantle imperialism and white supremacy, and racism and patriarchy,” Barrows-Friedman says. “It’s all part of the same project. Israel is a project of exploitation of Jewish suffering to further an imperialist Western role.” Therefore, one of the main ways we do this, she says, is to “reclaim what Judaism has always been, going toward Jewish tradition as open and proud anti-Zionists.”

This means taking back our history, and our present as Jewish people. It means highlighting the twisted use of Jewish suffering to claim an inalienable right to oppress. It means taking our place on the side of the oppressed, never the oppressor. Here, less than a century after the Holocaust, Israel has proven that it too can be fascist. To whose glory? What have we Jews gained by Israel’s appeal to fascist ideologies?

Furthermore, why desperately try to affirm your humanity by following a fascist’s description of your lack thereof? Because of course, it won’t ultimately matter. Inferiority is an always-moving target. It always has been — be they the Irish under British terror, the Congolese under Belgian terror, the Indigenous and African-Americans under U.S. terror, Jews in the Holocaust, or today’s War on Terror, any and every people, culture, tradition and belief can be marred and maligned in order to fit the needs of oppression. Jews will never gain peace and safety through terrorism. We will find no supremacy on the other side of brutality. We will always be inferior to the fascist. The question is why then is it so important for Zionists to appeal to fascists?

As Frantz Fanon wrote, “The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.” In the case of Zionists, this must be true. They must have believed that they were inferior because they were a “landless people,” just like the imperialists said of Africans; or indeed as Francis Bacon wrote of his perceived “monsters” in the 1600s, that they were mere “swarms of people” who were unavowed by God. They must have believed that they were inferior, weak. It is not uncommon to hear a Zionist talk of the “weak Jews” in the concentration camps who should’ve fought back against their captors. And if you accept that you are inferior based on the claims of the oppressor, the only way to rectify that is to become like the one who oppresses you. Of course, in the process, you will lose yourself. You will lose all that it is to be human. You will become the sick and grotesque creation of your new master — a hideous fascist Frankenstein — and still the inferior.

Fanon also wrote about the colonization that colonizers impose on themselves — the violence that they inflict that is also inflicted upon them. Joseph Conrad, the author of “Heart of Darkness,” wrote graphically of this concept in his first short story, “An Outpost of Progress,” a story of two Europeans who are stationed at an outpost in the jungles of Africa in the 1890s. They gradually lose their minds, and the story ends in a murder-suicide, with Kayerts, one of the European men, hanging from a cross above his predecessor’s grave:

Progress was calling to Kayerts from the river. Progress and civilization and all the virtues. Society was calling to its accomplished child to come, to be taken care of, to be instructed, to be judged, to be condemned; it called him to return to that rubbish heap from which he had wandered away, so that justice could be done. 

As Lindqvist writes, these characters represent a European identity, a “[p]rogress that presupposes genocide.”

There is no glory in the oppressed becoming the oppressor. We who are of European descent must grapple with our genocidal history, unpack what horrors have been passed down from colonizers, and confront that trauma. We must confront that history that has become our present, as children of this Empire, so that we may stop it from becoming the future. And as Jews, we must grapple with Israel’s present for the very same reasons.

Jewish Voice for Peace
A Jewish activist protests Israeli apartheid, in north Jersey. Screenshot | NorthJersery.com

As James Baldwin explained in a 1963 interview:

What white people have to do, is to try to find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man, but if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need it. Why?”

Zionists need it because they seek to emulate their own oppressors. Someone must replace the Jew in their shitty remake. For they do not wish to be the Jew any longer. As reporter and host, Jacquie Luqman said recently on By Any Means Necessary: “If anybody in the Black community is supporting anybody else in our community who preys on other people, then those people are not our people.” Zionists are not our people.

“I like being Jewish. I really hate the way it’s been co-opted,” Barrows-Friedman explains. “The beauty of Jewish culture is the tradition, the stories, the songs, the education about no one is free if anyone’s oppressed. Zionism cannot dictate how we are Jews. We can’t let them win.”

As Jews, we stand with the oppressed — that is what our own history and our teachings demand. We must bring forward the past because, to yet again quote Baldwin, “history is not the past, it is the present.” We should be proud of our heritage, proud of our culture and the thick bonds of solidarity that bolster our fight and inspire our build.

To be proud to be Jewish is a good thing, so long as we don’t lose sight of what that means. We have a lot of work to do, and the enemies we face will claim to want the same things that we do, to believe in the same teachings we believe in. The fight against Zionism is deeply personal for many Jews, but it is a part of the vital, all-embracing work of dismantling colonialism — in our own communities and likewise in the world. As Simone de Beauvoir wrote, “A freedom that is interested only in denying freedom must be denied.” For the sake of our liberation as Jews — as human beings — we must deny Zionism. In short: Be Jewish. Be proud. Be anti-Zionist.

Legalized Apartheid: The Israeli Supreme Court Just Cemented Jewish Supremacy into Law

July 16th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

JERUSALEM — In November of last year, an Israeli judge invoked the controversial Jewish Nation-State Basic Law when striking down a lawsuit against the city of Karmiel over funding transportation for two Palestinian students.

In his ruling, the chief registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court, Yaniv Luzon, said that establishing an Arabic-language school in Karmiel or funding transportation for Palestinian Arab students would “damage the city’s Jewish character” and may encourage Palestinian citizens of Israel to move into Jewish cities, thereby “altering the demographic balance.”

Luzon cited Section 7 of Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law, writing:

The development and establishment of Jewish settlement is a national value enshrined in the Basic Law and is a worthy and prominent consideration in municipal decision-making, including the establishment of schools and the determination of policies relating to the funding of [school] busing [of students] from outside the city.

The students’ father, Kasem Bakri, said of the judge’s decision, “The municipality treats my sons as guests in the best of times and as enemies in the worst of times.” The family was fined 2,000 shekels (roughly $600) and ordered to pay all of the court’s expenses.

The court ruling came just before a Supreme Court hearing on 15 petitions submitted by human rights organizations and Palestinian political leaders challenging the Nation-State Law in December. After only one discussion on the law, the high court last week rejected the petitions and upheld the 2018 law in a 10 to 1 decision.  The single dissenting opinion was from the only Palestinian justice on the court, Justice George Kara.

Swift condemnation of the Supreme Court’s decision

“The Israel Supreme Court approved a law that establishes a constitutional identity, which completely excludes those who do not belong to the majority group. This Law is illegitimate and violates absolute prohibitions of international law,” Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote in a press release. Adalah, one of the law’s petitioners, deemed this piece of legislation “a law that clearly shows the Israeli regime as a colonial one, with distinct characteristics of apartheid.”

Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid
Activists drop a banner reading “Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid” from atop the Israeli military court in Jaffa, July 12, 2020. Photo | Activestills

“The Supreme Court refrained from doing what was essential — to defend the basic right to equality,” Dr. Yousef Jabareen, chair of the Human Rights Forum in the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and a former member of the Knesset, said in a statement, adding:

The so-called ‘Jewish Nation-State’ law formalizes in Israeli constitutional law the superior rights and privileges that Jewish citizens of the state enjoy over its indigenous Palestinian minority, who comprise roughly 20% of the population.”

What is the Jewish nation-state law?

In 2018, the Knesset voted to approve the nation-state law by 62 to 55. The basic law essentially legalizes Israel’s apartheid nature and states the following:

  • Exercising the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
  • The name of the state is ‘Israel.’
  • A greater, united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The director of the land and planning rights unit at Adalah, Adv. Suhad Bishara, helped formulate Adalah’s petition against the nation-state law. “The overriding objective of the basic law is to violate both the right to equality and the right to dignity of the Arab citizens of Israel,” she said.

Additionally, the law promotes Jewish settlement and views it as a national value. It also demotes Arabic from one of the two official languages to a “special status.” With the nation-state law’s basic tenets, Palestinian history and identity are effectively erased from the land.

Emphasizing the law’s notion of Jewish settlement and demotion of Arabic, Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu — co-director of Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli nonprofit focused on Jewish-Arab partnership — said the legislation institutionalizes inequality between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel. “It’s creating a situation in which, according to our basic laws, there is a sector in society that is not equal,” Be’eri-Sulitzeanu told MintPress News. “This is something that no democracy can allow.”

In a tweet, Abraham Initiatives advocated for repealing the law, writing that it “establishes the status of Arab citizens in Israel as second-class citizens.”

The nation-state law’s impact

Only a few years old, the nation-state law has already proven it can serve as a legal tool for discrimination and racial segregation.

The Bakri family in Karmiel sued the local municipality over their school transportation costs. Since there isn’t an Arabic-language school in Karmiel, the Bakri children were forced to travel nearly four miles to the town of Rameh for their education. According to the Bakris, the traffic often made the commute more than 30 minutes and cost the family 1,500 shekels (or roughly $460) each month. The family’s lawsuit requested reimbursement for their transportation costs totaling 25,000 shekels (about $7,683).

Nizar Bakri, the children’s uncle and the attorney who filed the lawsuit, condemned the magistrate court’s dismissal of the suit, saying, “The court’s decision wasn’t based on law; it was based on Jewish existence.” Following the ruling, Nizar Bakri filed an appeal with the Haifa District Court. The district court denied the Bakris’ appeal in February but determined the lower court’s reliance on the nation-state law was “fundamentally wrong” and “liable to damage the public’s trust in the courts.”

“The court may have unequivocally ruled that the registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court made a mistake in the use of the nation-state law and its connection to this case, but this ruling should not satisfy the opponents and victims of the nation-state law,” Nizar Bakri told Haaretz.

For Adalah’s Bishara, the district court’s opposition to the magistrate’s court’s use of the nation-state law is irrelevant when it comes to future court decisions, as the grounds for discrimination are officially embedded into law. She explained:

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s explicitly mentioned or not because it’s the legal, constitutional framework that’s there that sets the basic principles of supremacy and of the right to self-determination only for one national ethnic group in the state. This sends a very clear message to all the authorities that you can not only go on with what you have been doing so far in terms of violating the rights of the Palestinian citizens as individuals and as a group, but this will certainly give you more backing to deepen these policies.”

Bishara told MintPress that she anticipates the legislation will add another dimension to Israel’s ongoing discrimination and have huge implications for Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line — not just 1948-occupied Palestine. “Since it speaks about the land of Israel as the historic land of the Jewish people and Jewish settlement as a constitutional value, this combination of both becomes very problematic both in Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories,” she said.

Israel’s long list of discriminatory laws

Globally, the state of Israel touts itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” but Dr. Jabareen said the nation-state law “prioritizes the Jewishness of the state over its democratic character,” specifically in “omitting any reference to democracy or equality.” He added:

The nation-state law further marginalizes the Arab-Palestinian community and entrenches Israel’s regime of racial discrimination and deterioration into apartheid. It will lead to more racist, anti-democratic laws, adding to the more than 50 laws already on the books that disadvantage non-Jewish citizens.”

Eyal checkpoint Israel
Palestinian workers cross the Eyal checkpoint, January 10, 2021. Keren Manor | Activestills

According to an Adalah database, Israel has more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These laws encompass nearly every facet of daily life, from property and housing rights to citizenship and finances. The following are just a few notable examples:

  • The Admissions’ Committees Law, which permits towns built on state land to deny housing to Palestinians based upon the criterion of “social suitability.”
  • The Nakba Law, which bans groups or schools receiving government funding from commemorating Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians during the state’s founding (known as the Nakba or Catastrophe).
  • The Boycott Law, which prohibits calls to boycott Israel. This legislation effectively outlaws the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • The Absentees’ Property Law, which categorizes individuals who were expelled or fled their property after November 1947 as absentees and thereby having no ownership claims to their properties. However, Jews who lost property during this time are allowed to reclaim their land through the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. These laws are often used to displace Palestinian communities, as has been witnessed in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
  • The Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to all Jews. No law exists guaranteeing Palestinians the right to citizenship — even if they were born in what is now considered modern-day Israel.
  • The Citizenship Law, which bans citizenship rights to Palestinians living in the OPT who are married to Israeli citizens. Settlers living in the Occupied West Bank are exempt. Israel’s new government failed to extend the law this month, but reunification still remains a significant problem for many Palestinian families.

Codifying apartheid into law

While the principles outlined in the nation-state law have always been part of Israel’s foundation and way of governing, enacting this legislation turns these de facto concepts into de jure ones and opens the floodgates for further inequity.

“This nation-state law is validating racist behavior against Palestinian Arabs,” Kasem Bakri said.

Despite the controversial legislation remaining, Kasem Bakri is steadfast. “I exist here as an Arab person and I have the right to be here,” he said. “Palestinians exist here like the cactus and the olive trees. We will never be gone from here.”

Yemen: Biden Shrugs Off Campaign Promise as US Backs New Saudi Offensive and AQAP Support

July 13th, 2021

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

The US has refused calls to stop arming Saudi Arabia amid its devastating war in Yemen and is now doubling down on a military solution, falling back on its reliance of armed militant groups that it used to devastating effect in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

AL-BAYDA, YEMEN — President Joe Biden gave a lot of people a sense of cautious optimism when he took to the campaign trail and promised to bring a swift end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The oil-rich monarchy, supported heavily by the United States, has been waging arguably the deadliest military campaign of the past decade on the forgotten country for over six years, exacting a brutal humanitarian toll on its civilian population.

To his credit, Biden sent Tim Lenderking to lead a team of negotiators in an attempt to broker reconciliation between the conflict’s many belligerents. But without the political will to stand up to the Saudi monarchy and the varied American interests that profit handsomely from its wars, Lenderking had little chance of success. Now it seems the Kingdom — once again emboldened, armed, and covered by the United States — has all but abandoned any pretense of reconciliation and doubled down on its brutal war.

A Piercing Star falls to earth

Last week, the Saudi-led Coalition began a massive military operation they’re calling al-Najm al-Thaqib, which translates from Arabic into The Piercing Star. The operation ostensibly aims to recapture large swaths of territory in central Yemen’s al-Bayda province, which was captured by Ansar Allah after a series of long and grueling battles with militants from al-Qaeda on the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) last fall. AQAP had been entrenched in the province for decades, somehow persevering through concerted military efforts by both the Saudi-led Coalition and at least four consecutive U.S. administrations to dislodge it — including Barack Obama’s infamous drone war.

On August 28, 2020, local tribal partisans backed by Ansar Allah defeated AQAP and myriad extremist allies, including elements of IS, in a week-long operation. This victory came just as AQAP was preparing to sweep the Yemeni provinces of al-Bayda, Dhamar, and Sana’a in an operation that aimed to repeat the scenarios seen in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria, where ISIS was able to take and hold a so-called caliphate extending from western Iraq to into eastern Syria.

Al-Bayda and the surrounding provinces saw a state of relative calm in the wake of the operation, as residents experienced life without the yoke of al-Qaeda, some for the first time in their lives. Now, some of those residents fear that Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States, is attempting to resettle those groups in al-Bayda as a hedge against Ansar Allah.

Saudi jets have carried out scores of airstrikes in al-Bayda in recent weeks, flying in from the north to unleash tons of bombs made and supplied by the United States and giving AQAP a potential avenue to retake the province, as the airstrikes have targeted Ansar Allah and their local tribal allies almost exclusively.

According to the nonprofit Yemeni Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC), American-made cluster bombs — which even the U.S. military has pledged not to use, due to their high rate of collateral damage — including the CBU-58, CBU-105, CBU-87, M26, and DPICM M77, have all been used in the offensive.

In a press conference, YEMAC displayed unexploded American bombs used in the operation, including the same GBU-39 and GBU-31 that were used with deadly effect in Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza. YEMAC held the press conference after an unexploded U.S.-made GBU-24 was recovered from a civil-defense building in Sana’a.

While there is not yet conclusive evidence of direct coordination between the Saudi Coalition and AQAP in the offensive, AQAP militants began pushing into al-Bayda from the south almost as soon as the Saudi airstrikes began. The southern villages of al-Zaher and al-Sma’h — including the areas of Jumaima, Wafaa, Sharadeh, al-Sous, Shabakat Dhi Madahi, Akrama, Shawkan and others — have already been recaptured by al-Qaeda according to a number of Saudi state-funded media outlets, which celebrated the putsch as a victory for the Saudi-led Coalition.

No “Certain Victory”

However, the celebrations were short-lived, as Ansar Allah has already begun to recapture areas it gained last August in a military operation it has dubbed al-Nasr al-Mubin, an Arabic phrase meaning “Certain Victory.” That operation has already seen the defeat of AQAP and militants allied with Saudi Arabia in the al-Zahir Directorate as well as dozens of military sites in the al-Dahaki and Al-Soma`h districts, and even areas that Ansar Allah failed to capture from AQAP during its August offensive, according to a statement it issued on Tuesday.

Yemen Marib
An armored vehicle belonging to Saudi-backed militants shows a poster that reads, “martyr commander brigadier general Self Abd al-Rab al-Shadady.” Al-Shadady” was recently killed in clashes in Marib, Yemen, June 19, 2021. Nariman El-Mofty | AP

On Friday, the media bureau of the Houthis’ Operations Command Center published a video showing some of its victories in al-Bayda. Several senior AQAP commanders were killed or captured in the battles, including the infamous Abu Dharr al-Tayabi, Tawfiq al-Farawi and Othman Ahmad Abdullah al-Mushdali. A spokesman for Ansar Allah said:

Despite having mobilized members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh (IS) Takfiri terrorist groups, Saudi [Arabia] failed and has so far reaped nothing other than defeat on every front. The coalition has received severe blows in al-Bayda, even though it has hired al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists.”

But Ansar Allah is far from a decisive victory. Fierce clashes continue near Lahj province and coalition warplanes continue to pound al-Bayda.

US cooperation with a Jihadi recruiter

According to members of the Houthi negotiating delegation, who spoke to MintPress on condition of anonymity, the escalation in al-Bayda is being used to pressure Ansar Allah to halt its advance on the oil-rich Marib province and to force it to accept conditions that Saudi Arabia and Lenderking’s envoy have imposed on Ansar Allah as a precondition for a peace deal.

For their part, the Houthis have promised to retaliate by resuming drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi oil and military targets in the Kingdom’s southern provinces, according to Brigadier General Abed Al-Thor and General Aziz Rashid, who told MintPress that military pressure on the Kingdom will only be increased in the wake of the recent Saudi escalation.

The attacks on al-Bayda come in the wake of meetings between the Saudi-backed vice president of Yemen, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. Cooper pushed for intelligence sharing and support for armed militant groups under the banner of curbing the arming of the Houthis by the Iranian government.

Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar
Al-Ahmar speaks to journalists during a 2011 press conference in Sanaa, Yemen. Hani Mohammed | AP

Al-Ahmar has been tied to various extremist groups in Yemen and, according to Reuters, “The Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni Islamists gained strength, particularly under … al-Ahmar, who built a power base in the army. Jihadist fugitives formed al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).” According to a 2000 New York Times report, al-Ahmar even “traveled to Afghanistan in the 1980s to meet Osama bin Laden, and assisted in recruiting militants from across the Muslim world for the Afghan struggle.”

The U.S. has long been involved in the training and arming of militants in Yemen, whom it saw as a hedge against Ansar Allah. Al-Ahmar has publicly praised the U.S. for cooperating with him to combat what he called “the Iranian project.”

Grim prospects for peace

On July 1, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States was “beyond fed up” with the Houthis’ advance in Marib and laid the blame for the humanitarian situation in Yemen squarely at the feet of the Houthis, claiming it was they who failed to work with the “other parties … who are actively working towards peace,” a reference to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the country.

Price’s statements and the Biden administration’s about-face on Yemen has raised questions among activists struggling to stop the war, especially as the U.S. has largely refused calls to stop arming Saudi Arabia amid a devastating civilian death toll, and now seems to be doubling down on its commitment to a military solution to the conflict, falling back on its habit of supporting armed militant groups that it used to devastating effect in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The Biden administration should have stopped providing weapons and training to the warring parties to ensure that the war would not continue, and not support one at the expense of the other, so logic and reality say,” Dala al-Matari, an activist from the Stop the Bombing of Yemen campaign said. Like many Yemenis, al-Matari believes that President Biden used his seeming opposition to the highly controversial war as a trump card to boost his chances in last year’s presidential election.

For its part, Ansar Allah has outright accused the Biden administration of giving a green light to Saudi forces to attack al-Bayda so that it can more easily provide al-Qaeda and IS with weapons and intelligence information. Officials in Sana’a say the Biden administration is playing with fire by not only destroying peace efforts but also resettling and supporting al-Qaeda, especially amid a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan.

Dhaif Allah al-Shami — the spokesman for the Sana’a-based Yemeni government run jointly by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress, the largest political party in the country — said that the United States had “run the recent military escalation in al-Bayda.” He accused the Biden administration of being behind the plan, stating: “The United States, which falsely and wrongly claims to be concerned with peace in Yemen, is [the one] fueling the bitter clashes in the al-Zahir district of the province.”

Major General Nasser Al-Atif, minister of defense in the Ansar Allah-led government, said in a statement on Monday:

We have a new strategy to face the new Saudi escalation that will cost the coalition a heavy price if they continue to support terrorist elements, and this is something they should understand well. Saudi Arabia and the United States claim that they are keen on peace, stopping the war, and addressing the inhumane issues, but in fact they are talking all this just for media consumption and the exploitation of international and regional positions.

Biden Regime Escalates War on Russia and China by Other Means

July 11, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Hostile to peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries, and rule of law principles, Biden regime hardliners escalated illegal sanctions war on Russia and China.

On Friday, a US Commerce Department press release said the following:

Its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) “added 34 entities to the (illegal US) Entity List,” falsely claiming:

It’s “for their involvement in, or risk of becoming involved in, activities contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US (sic),” adding: 

“Of these 34 entities, 14 are based in…China.”

The Biden regime falsely accused them of “enabl(ing) Beijing’s campaign of repression (sic), mass detention (sic), and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim minority groups in” Jinjiang (sic).  

Claiming the “PRC continues to commit genocide (sic) and crimes against humanity (sic)” is unsupported by evidence because there is none. 

“Commerce added another five” Chinese firms to its Entity List — on the phony pretext of “supporting the PRC’s military modernization programs related to lasers and C4ISR programs.” 

In response to the above hostile actions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the following:

“The so-called (US) ‘entity list’ is in essence a tool for suppressing specific companies and industries in China under the pretext of human rights, and means the US uses to destabilize Xinjiang and contain China.” 

“China firmly opposes this.”

“China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and foil US attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

Three Russian firms and six nationals were also illegally targeted.

According to the Biden regime, they’re blacklisted for “attempt(ing) to procure items, including US-origin items, for activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the US (sic).”

In response to the hostile action, Russia’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov said the following:

“This is another confrontational step as part of Washington’s deliberate efforts to restrict the access of domestic enterprises to high-precision technologies from abroad,” adding: 

“This fundamentally contrasts with the statements of US authorities, including during…Geneva (talks last month), about the need to normalize the entire range of bilateral relations.”

The Biden regime blacklisted “Moscow-based companies engaged in microelectronics.” 

“At the same time, the US side again did not provide any specifics (on alleged) violations.

“They used the notorious ‘likely,’ saying that our companies allegedly bought electronic components from the USA for some Russian military programs.”

“This approach does not stand up to scrutiny.”

According to Eurasia Group analyst Ali Wyne:

“A tightening nexus of military frictions, technological competition and normative clashes will reinforce the momentum behind selective disentanglement between the United States and China,” adding:

“While the economic and security risks of an unconstrained embrace have come into sharper view in recent years, the risks of a wholesale rupture merit closer consideration.”

The same goes for Russia, Iran and other US targeted countries for refusing to yield to a higher authority in Washington.

Separately, White House press secretary Psaki said the Biden regime is assessing whether so-called ransomware attacks on US businesses occurred with Kremlin knowledge or “approval.”

On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov explained the following:

“We are constantly accused of hacking, undermining interests of almost all Western countries, but so far our multiple proposals to seriously start a joint work – in order to substantially…solve the emerging issues and deal with real difficulties – have been left without a specific response” by Washington.

Despite both countries agreeing to work cooperatively on this issue, the US side did nothing to fulfill its pledge. 

It’s further proof that it can never be trusted, and that diplomatic outreach to its regimes is a colossal waste of time virtually always.

On Friday, Putin spoke with Biden’s double by phone, an exercise of futility like Geneva talks that accomplished nothing positive.

Reportedly, Biden’s impersonator told Putin “we will respond” against so-called ransomware attacks regime hardliners falsely accuse Russia of ignoring or endorsing.

Putin reportedly said that despite Russia’s outreach to work with the Biden regime cooperatively on his issue and others, the US side stonewalled Moscow’s outreach.

Since undemocratic Dems usurped power by the most brazen election fraud in US history, Biden regime relations with Russia sank to a post-WW II low.

Nothing in prospect suggests improvement ahead. Just the opposite is most likely.

A Final Comment

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the Biden regime of serious human rights abuses domestically and abroad — in breach of core international law and its own Constitution.

One of the most egregious examples abroad is Washington’s trade embargo and other hostile actions against Cuba for the past six decades with no relief in prospect.

For the 29th straight year last month, the US voted against lifting its de facto blockade of the island state.

So did apartheid Israel — in defiance of support for Cuba by 184 other nations.

US hostility toward the island state is all about its independence from hegemonic control, the same thing true for Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other nations for the same diabolical reason.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also accused the Biden regime of racial and other discriminatory policies against Americans, notably of African, Latin, and Asian ethnicity, adding:

US “citizens’ rights of access to information are being violated by large (domestic) private corporations” in breach of their legal obligations.

Systemic violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms” persist throughout the West.

Yet their ruling regime refuse “to bring the (unacceptable) situation under control.”

“Unchallenged Orientalism”: Why Liberals Suddenly Love the Lab Leak Theory

By Alan Macleod

Source

The lab leak theory bears a striking resemblance to the WMD hoax of 2002, not only in the fact that one of its key players is literally the same journalist using potentially the same anonymous sources, but also in the bipartisan political and media support it enjoys.

WUHAN, CHINA — The theory that the COVID-19 pandemic began life in a Chinese laboratory is going viral. Once considering it an anti-science conspiracy theory, the corporate press has done a full 180° turn — and many progressive, alternative media figures are following in its footsteps.

Progressive news show “The Young Turks” recorded what was effectively an apology video to their audience, explaining their new direction. “It does appear that there is some indication that a lab leak in Wuhan, China, is the origin of the coronavirus pandemic,” host Ana Kasparian told viewers. Condemning the scientific journal The Lancet, co-host Cenk Uygur explained that he had falsely placed his faith in scientists with political motives who had led him astray. Writing in The Guardian, left-wing commentator Thomas Frank flagellated himself for his “complacency” in believing the idea was a far-right conspiracy theory. The lab leak is “the most likely explanation for the origin of COVID-19,” Saagar Enjeti told his mostly progressive viewership of “Rising,” announcing that, from now on, we should be “ten times more skeptical of the Chinese government.”

This new change in outlook for so many progressive media outlets is not based on new evidence. Rather, it appears to be a result of two new articles and a change in stance from the Biden administration itself. In early May, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists republished a Medium blog post by controversial science writer Nicholas Wade. In an 11,000-word essay, Wade claims that Wuhan itself is simply far too far away from Yunnan Province — where coronavirus-carrying bats make their home — for it to be the natural source of COVID-19. The most logical explanation, Wade asserts, is that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Wade claims that the virus’s furin cleavage site —  a point on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 where the protein can more easily divide to better infiltrate and take over human cells — must be man-made, as no such site exists in natural coronaviruses. He also notes the previously undisclosed conflict of interests that zoologist Peter Daszak has. Daszak was an organizer of the 2020 Lancet letter signed by dozens of top scientists calling the lab leak hypothesis a “conspiracy theory.” However, he did not disclose that his company, the EcoHealth Alliance, has links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Wuhan Institute of Virology
A view of the P4 lab and the Wuhan Institute of Virology is seen in China’s Hubei province, Feb. 3, 2021. Ng Han Guan | AP

Later that month, The Wall Street Journal released a report alleging that three employees of the Wuhan Institute of Virology came down with flu- or COVID-like symptoms in November 2019 and sought treatment in hospital. Although based solely on anonymous accusations from U.S. officials who refused to go on record, the story went viral and was picked up by a wide range of outlets, including Reuters, The Guardian, Forbes, NBC News, Business Insider, CNN, The New York Post, Yahoo News and The Hill.

Adding some intellectual weight to the theory was a letter published in Science Magazine, in which some 20 academics wrote that further inquiry into the source of the pandemic was necessary (although many, including its chief organizer, were at pains to state elsewhere they were highly skeptical of the lab-leak conspiracy). And after Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “not convinced” of COVID-19’s natural origin, the Biden administration abruptly changed its position, the President ordering an intelligence-services investigation into the idea, launching the lab leak theory from a discredited fringe idea to an official position with surprising rapidity.

Professor David Robertson — Head of Viral Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of Glasgow, U.K. — told MintPress:

It’s not very clear, given the lack of new (or any) credible evidence for a lab leak, why it’s been getting so much attention. There was a letter published in Science in May that quite sensibly supports the need for further investigation but this seems to have been hijacked by a vocal minority who are essentially advocates for a lab being involved as opposed to looking at the broader range of possibilities, and what the available evidence points towards.”

In addition to mainstream outlets like The New York TimesThe Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, a host of alternative media figures have lent credibility to Wade, basing their new opinions on his work. On the “Bad Faith” podcast with former Bernie Sanders Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray, Thomas Frank described Wade’s article as an “incredible piece of journalism,” “quite impressive” and “the likeliest explanation.” Gray appeared to agree, the two having a long conversation about the origins of COVID-19 as if Wade’s thesis has effectively been proven correct. Journalist Michael Tracey wrote that Wade’s words prove the theory is “highly plausible.” Current Affairs Editor-in-Chief Nathan J. Robinson praised Wade’s report, agreeing that it is “at the very least, a spectacular coincidence” that COVID-19 exploded so close to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Meanwhile, Enjeti based a segment called “Media’s Lab Leak Failure Is the Next Iraq WMD” on the Wall Street Journal article, telling viewers that the lab leak theory is now “the most likely explanation for the origin of COVID-19.” Popular writer Matt Taibbi also took The Wall Street Journal’s accusations at face value, claiming that “the toothpaste [is] fully out of the tube: there [is] no longer any way to say the ‘lab origin’ hypothesis [is] too silly to be reported upon.”

A theory resting on shaky ground

What is particularly worrying in all this is that there are huge, gaping flaws in the analysis. First, Wade is not some neutral expert but a discredited, racist pseudoscientist. His 2014 book, “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History,” contends that humanity could be broken down genetically into three distinct groups — Africans, Caucasians and East Asians — and that each are sufficiently genetically distinct from each other as to qualify as subspecies. He argued that Caucasians’ genes could explain “the rise of the West” and that African nations are poorer because they are inherently more violent and lazy, writing: “Variations in their nature, such as their time preference, work ethic and propensity to violence, have some bearing on the economic decisions [Africans] make.” Laughably, he later speculates that Asian women have smaller breasts because that is what is “much admired by Asian men.”

Nicholas Wade
Nicholas Wade, next to the Chinese edition of his seminal work, “A Troublesome Inheritance.”

Perhaps his most controversial claim, however, is that Jewish people have evolved to be genetically predisposed to hoard money, writing:

From a glance at an Eskimo’s physique, it is easy to recognize an evolutionary process at work that has molded the human form for better survival in an arctic environment. Populations that live at high altitudes, like Tibetans, represent another adaptation to extreme environments; in this case, the changes in blood cell regulation are less visible but have been identified genetically. The adaptation of Jews to capitalism is another such evolutionary process.

The book was universally panned by scientists but was acclaimed by a host of neo-Nazi figures. Former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, for instance, hailed the work as a “fascinating insight into how Jewish Supremacists attempt to guard the gates of scientific debate.” Of all the many alternative media figures praising Wade’s new revelations about Wuhan, only Robinson mentioned his past. Why a respected organization like The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published such a person remains a mystery; MintPress asked the Bulletin for clarification but has not received an answer.

Wade’s pseudoscientific claims about the coronavirus furin might have been enough to convince progressive media stars who have no background in the field (as Frank wrote: “I am no expert in epidemics”). But they cannot fool trained scientists, who have hit back.

Virologists Angela L. Rasmussen and Stephen A. Goldstein counter that the furin site of SARS-CoV-2 has odd features that no human would ever design, making it “overwhelmingly likely” that it is natural in origin. Its sequence is suboptimal, meaning that it is relatively inefficient, bearing the hallmarks of “sloppy natural evolution.” “Any skilled virologist hoping to give a virus new properties this way would insert a furin site known to be more efficient,” they conclude.

Furthermore, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s proximity to the outbreak is not inherently suspicious. Wuhan is a gigantic metropolis, larger than any city in the United States. It is an enormous transport and business hub situated in an area well-known for outbreaks of similar diseases and is, therefore, a natural choice for a research facility such as this. Yet there is a tendency in the West to think of it as some obscure village dominated by a virology lab. There is a myriad of laboratories in Los Angeles conducting not altogether dissimilar research. Yet if an epidemic were to break out there, it is unlikely that a natural origin would be so easily dismissed.

The SARS outbreak of the early 2000s was sparked in the markets of Guangdong, a similar distance from Yunnan as is Wuhan, with few at the time raising any eyebrows. Epidemics and pandemics usually begin in large cities as “pathogens often require heavily populated areas to become established,” one scientific study reminds us.

That is why it is particularly problematic that liberal icons like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert can ridicule the zoonotic transfer hypothesis believed by the vast majority of scientists to be the most likely explanation. “There’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do you think happened?” Stewart joked to an audience of millions. “Maybe it’s the fucking chocolate factory!”

If anything, The Wall Street Journal article is more suspect, given that it is based on nothing but anonymous state officials who refuse to share the evidence or go on the record. National security state operatives are among the least trustworthy sources it is possible to encounter, journalistically speaking, as it is part of their job to plant false information in order to alter public discourse. The only group less deserving of blind faith than natsec officials would be anonymous natsec officials. Yet many of the biggest and most embarrassing media blunders in recent years have been based on dodgy data from shadowy spooks feeding dubious intelligence to credulous dupes in the press.

Without a name to match a quote, a story’s credibility immediately drops, as there are no repercussions for the individual if they are untruthful. Sources (or journalists themselves, for that matter) could simply make up anything they wanted with no consequences. Therefore, using anonymous sources is strongly discouraged. The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics insists reporters “identify sources whenever feasible” and that journalists must “always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.”

Even worse, The Wall Street Journal article’s lead author is Michael R. Gordon, the reporter infamous for co-authorship of a notorious 2002 New York Times article claiming Saddam Hussein was seeking to build weapons of mass destruction, a piece widely credited as a keystone of the push to invade Iraq the following year. For that article, Gordon also relied upon anonymous state officials. That figures in alternative media are blindly repeating his evidence-free assertions while invoking the Iraq WMD scandal, as Enjeti did, is profoundly ironic.

Gordon, famous for co-authoring a notorious NYT article peddling the now-debunked Iraqi WMD claims, is a major proponent of the lab leak theory

Gordon’s claim — that three virologists were hospitalized with flu or COVID-like symptoms in late 2019 — has been categorically rejected by Dr. Shi Zhengli, a director at the Institute. Zhengli challenged the U.S. to provide the names of those who got ill, but has received no response. It has also been disputed by the only Western scientist working there at the time. “If people were sick, I assume that I would have been sick — and I wasn’t,” said Dr. Danielle Anderson, who says she is “dumbfounded” by the portrayal of the lab in the West: “What people are saying is just not how it is.”

Josh Cho, a media critic at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, told MintPress that embedded in much of the discussion about the lab leak is a distrust of China and Chinese people, explaining:

There is a largely unchallenged Orientalism or Sinophobia among Western progressives that makes them predisposed to think the Chinese government or Chinese scientists could or would hide evidence for a laboratory origin due to an innate and exceptional penchant for ‘authoritarianism,’ ‘secrecy’ or ‘dishonesty.’ This leads to a presumption of guilt, and an interpretation of every action of the Chinese government as suspicious, when it is most likely what any other government would do in China’s situation.”

Even if the anonymous U.S. intelligence proves to be accurate, it may not be particularly surprising or revealing. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is an enormous institution with hundreds of employees. That three people there might develop flu-like symptoms in November is far from suspicious. Furthermore, the implications of going to hospital in China are completely different from in the U.S. In China, healthcare is nationalized and so a hospital visit is not something an individual avoids at all costs — unlike in the U.S., where it can bankrupt you. Moreover, many general practitioners work from hospitals rather than out of small clinics, meaning that “hospital” could simply translate to “sought basic medical consultation.” Thus, if confirmed, The Wall Street Journal scoop still could be completely mundane.

Cold warriors’ favorite theory

As former MintPress staff writer Alex Rubenstein reported late last month, the lab leak theory has been mainstreamed by hackish, hawkish frauds who, for years, have been pushing for war with China. Among its early adopters was Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who claimed in March 2020 that COVID-19 was a Chinese bioweapon unleashed on the world. While advising Trump, Bannon constantly fear mongered about China and declared he had no doubt that the U.S. would be at war with Beijing within a few years. Then-President Trump, who claims that global warming was a “hoax” invented by China to destroy the U.S., insisted he had evidence the virus began in a Chinese lab but refused to divulge it. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, among the biggest China hawks in Washington, also repeated the conspiracy.

While distinctly unfashionable in 2020, the lab leak idea was kept alive by warmongering neoconservative journalists like Josh Rogin of The Washington Post, who is now a regular guest on progressive media platforms like Krystal Ball and Enjeti’s “Breaking Points.” “You almost have to see it to believe how depraved this is. Indistinguishable from ‘Fox and Friends,’” remarked a dismayed Sam Sacks of Means TV.

These neocon talking points have been laundered into alternative media by those critiquing the establishment, Democratic-aligned press for its complete about-turn on the issue. Appearing on Fox News, Glenn Greenwald praised Rogin and condemned corporate media for their groupthink. “Journalists so often judge things not by what is true or not true but by what is politically beneficial to the partisan audience that they’re serving,” he said, even adding that “maybe Trump was right” about the virus’ origins.

Appearing on “The Jimmy Dore Show,” Taibbi was of a similar mindset, stating:

Originally what happened with this story was that, like everything else in the Trump era, the coverage of COVID was heavily politicized from the very start. The idea of a lab origin for COVID was associated with Trump, Mike Pompeo and Tom Cotton, so it was automatically bad and a conspiracy theory. And that’s really how the press treated it for the better part of a year.”

Dore responded that the media were a bunch of “spineless cowards” who pushed a “false narrative” about the lab leak theory being wrong.

Going unconsidered, apparently, is that the Democrats’ change of heart might not have anything to do with new scientific evidence and more to do with the fact that they now control the reins of power and are cynically using the same tactics Republicans used before them to ramp up hostility towards China.

During the Trump administration, Democrats condemned the treatment of immigrants on the border, raising hell about “concentration camps” and “kids in cages.” Yet, as soon as they found themselves in office, the pretense dropped and they pursued largely the same policies on the border. Speaking in Guatemala, Vice-President Kamala Harris sounded positively Trumpian as she warned those listening “do not come” to the United States. “The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders,” she added. Meanwhile, immigrant children are still being detained in cages, except that media have rechristened them “overflow facilities” and the camps have the word “bienvenidos” (Spanish for “welcome”) painted on their roofs. Despite this, no one in alternative media claims that Trump was right all along about the kids in cages.

Going further back, Obama and the Democrats condemned the Bush administration’s endless wars. Yet once in office, Obama expanded them, and was bombing seven countries simultaneously by the end of his tenure.

Stopping China’s economic rise is a bipartisan priority, and the Biden administration has proven to be every bit as committed to increasing aggressive actions towards Beijing as Trump was. None of this is to say that criticizing establishment media’s abrupt change of direction on the lab leak theory is not important or noteworthy. But it is all being done from the assumption that now the media are on the right track, that the global scientific community is not to be trusted, and that Bannon, Cotton and the rest were ahead of the curve. What many in alternative media appear not to have considered is the possibility that now that the Democrats are in office, they are attempting to weaponize the same smears as a way of increasing the pressure on China, with the media following suit.

Ignoring the science

A large majority of the public now believe COVID-19 started in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Last month, more than three times as many Americans told pollster YouGov that the theory was true than said it was false. Some 83% of Americans also support punishing China if the lab leak is proven correct, including by sanctioning it and forcing it to pay reparations to the dead or affected — something that could bankrupt the country almost overnight. This is music to the neocons’ ears, who likely can barely believe that so many progressive, anti-war voices are going along with their theory.

What is striking about the tone and outlook of the media coverage of the lab leak theory is how strongly it jars with the opinion of scientists. As Cho told MintPress:

A lot of the progressive commentators who are now giving more credibility to the lab leak theory because they are persuaded it’s more plausible now than before don’t seem to be aware of the latest scientific developments and arguments [and] that most scientists are making for the case that SARS-CoV-2 developed naturally.”

Professor Robertson was of a similar opinion:

At some point the lab-leak narrative seems to have become a story in its own right and has been written about as if it’s an equivalent possibility to a natural origin for SARS-CoV-2, which is simply not the case. The available evidence supports zoonotic spillover similar to the first SARS-virus.”

In March, a large team of international experts from the World Health Organization traveled to China and concluded that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.” The leader of the team, Danish scientist Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, said that after visiting Wuhan he is more confident than ever that the idea is false. Yet media reporting on the study came away with exactly the opposite conclusion, sowing discord and doubt. “Theory that COVID came from a Chinese lab takes on new life in wake of WHO report,” ran NPR’s headline.

covid protest
A woman holds a sign at a protest against stay-at-home orders outside the Missouri Capitol. Jeff Roberson | AP

Writing in Wired, scientist and science communicator Adam Rogers criticized much of the coverage. “The evidence hasn’t changed since spring of 2020. That evidence was always incomplete, and may never be complete. History and science suggest the animal-jump is way more likely than the lab-leak/cover-up,” he wrote, comparing lab leak theorists to evolution deniers and tobacco lobbyists sowing doubt by insisting we “teach the controversy” where there is none.

Dan Samorodnitsky, senior editor of Massive Science and a figure who has a background working in virus research, was even more scathing about the return of the theory. “If the question is ‘are both hypotheses possible?’ the answer is yes…If the question is ‘are they equally likely?’ the answer is absolutely not,” he wrote, explaining:

One hypothesis requires a colossal cover-up and the silent, unswerving, leak-proof compliance of a vast network of scientists, civilians, and government officials for over a year. The other requires only for biology to behave as it always has, for a family of viruses that have done this before to do it again. The zoonotic spillover hypothesis is simple and explains everything. It’s scientific malpractice to pretend that one idea is equally as meritorious as the other.

“I would be embarrassed to stand up in front of a room of scientists, lay out both hypotheses, and then pretend that one isn’t clearly, obviously better than the other,” Samorodnitsky concluded.

Confidence in a natural origin of COVID-19 has actually grown over time, as the virus’s evolutionary trajectory has undermined the idea that it was artificially designed, not that one would guess that from listening to media or to politicians. Meanwhile, as more investigation is done into the earliest patients, it is clear that a majority of them — including two of the first three documented cases — were at the Huanan wet market where a wide range of wild animals that could potentially carry the virus were sold. There are still zero confirmed cases of staff falling ill at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a building over 17 miles away from Huanan market, where data mapping shows that early cases were clustered around.

Earlier this week, The Lancet, which came in for considerable criticism for its previous publication condemning lab leak conspiracy theorists, refused to back down, maintaining that the idea “remain[s] without scientifically validated evidence that directly supports it” (It did however, include a conflict of interests section this time, tacitly accepting that this part of Wade’s criticism was indeed valid). Its authors also directly warned of the danger of scapegoating China. “Recrimination has not, and will not, encourage international cooperation and collaboration,” they wrote. “It is time to turn down the heat of the rhetoric and turn up the light of scientific inquiry if we are to be better prepared to stem the next pandemic, whenever it comes and wherever it begins.”

The coming war on China

The backdrop of the Biden administration’s sudden change of heart to parrot its predecessor is the increased U.S. buildup of hostilities against Beijing. President Joe Biden recently stated that the defining struggle of the 21st century will be that of the U.S. against China. Throughout 2020, the President’s team quietly stated that their entire industrial and foreign policy would revolve around “compet[ing] with China,” with their top priorities being “dealing with authoritarian governments, defending democracy and tackling corruption, as well as understanding how these challenges intersect with new technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology.”

Earlier this year, NATO think tank the Atlantic Council published a 26,000-word report laying out its strategy to suffocate the People’s Republic. It advised Biden to draw a number of red lines around the country, past which the U.S. would directly intervene (presumably militarily). These include Chinese attempts to expand into the South China Sea, an attack on the disputed Senkaku Islands, and moves against Taiwan’s independence. A North Korean strike on any of its neighbors would also necessitate an American response against China, the report insists, because “China must fully own responsibility for the behavior of its North Korean ally.” Any backing down from this stance, the Council states, would result in national “humiliation” for the United States. If this could all be established, it noted, regime change in Beijing could be a distinct possibility. Top military officials like Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster have called for the establishment of an “Asian NATO” to achieve this dream. already there are well over 400 military bases encircling the country.

The U.S. is also conducting military operations in the region, readying itself for a potential war. Last summer, American ships sailed to the Chinese coast, the U.S.S. Rafael Peralta coming to within 41 nautical miles of the coastal megacity Shanghai. Meanwhile, American planes, including nuclear bombers, fly overhead, attempting to gain intelligence on Chinese defenses.

In addition to the military buildup, the U.S. has begun an economic and information war against Beijing, the Trump administration placing sanctions on the country and attempting to halt the expansion of the Belt and Road initiative, block Huawei’s global 5G rollout, and force Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to sell to an American company. At the same time, Twitter, under counsel from a U.S.-funded think tank, decided to delete more than 170,000 Chinese accounts in a single day, the think tank having accused them of spreading pro-China narratives.

The result of the increased hostilities has been the meteoric rise of anti-China sentiment in the U.S., along with a similar spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. The number of Americans seeing China as their number one enemy has more than doubled in 12 months. This is not a partisan issue, according to Pew Research, with a similar increase in “get tough on China” attitudes among Democratic and Republican voters.

It is this context in which the return of the lab leak theory should be seen. Lab leaks do happen. But there is precious little hard evidence that such is the case here. That so many of the nation’s top alternative news figures — individuals who stood against U.S. wars and against similar campaigns, such as RussiaGate — are buying into this one is remarkable. This is especially the case in light of the fact that the evidence is so weak and comes from highly discredited sources, while scientists remain highly skeptical of the theory.

The lab leak hypothesis was first pushed by the far-right and signal boosted by President Trump. In recent weeks, the Democrats have appropriated it wholesale, as they have with several other Republican policies. Corporate media’s newfound interest in the theory has nothing to do with its veracity, as many in alternative spaces have alleged.

The lab leak theory bears a striking resemblance to the weapons of mass destruction hoax of 2002-03, not only in the fact that one of its key players is literally the same journalist using potentially the same anonymous sources, but also in the bipartisan political and media support for the project, all while ignoring the opinions of the scientific community. That so many in alternative media who question war and U.S. intervention not only cannot see that, but are invoking the WMD story to bolster their own side, is extraordinary, and shows how badly the need is to build up a healthy media ecosystem.

Between 2001 and 2003, the public was subjected to a constant barrage of pro-war propaganda. But at least nascent alternative media offered a dissenting voice. Anti-war voices pushing the lab leak theory might one day find it is too late to stop the clock on the dangerous drive towards a second Cold War. If there is any conflict with China, it will make Iraq look like a tea party by comparison. But truth, in war, is always the first casualty.

The Fight to Save Lifta, the Last Remaining Palestinian Village

July 09th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

See the source image
Lifta, the only town Israel did not demolish after the Nakba, stands as a symbol of the Palestinian right of return, but an Israeli government “development” plan may soon change that.

LIFTA, JERUSALEM — Yacoub Odeh is 81 years old but he can still remember his childhood in the Palestinian village of Lifta as if it were yesterday. Children playing together in the gardens, swimming in the pools and laying in the grass.

Today, Lifta remains as a frozen time capsule. While the residents were expelled during Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign (Nakba), the ruins of their homes still stand. These ruins carved into the lush hillside are perceived as a symbol of the Palestinians’ right of return. This is the only town Israel did not demolish after the Nakba, but a government plan may soon change that.

In May, the Israel Lands Authority (ILA), the government agency in charge of managing public lands, issued a new tender for construction in Lifta. The development scheme, known as Plan 6036, seeks to build 259 housing units along with a commercial and business space and a luxury hotel on top of and around the existing houses. Daphna Golan-Agnon, a law professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and part of the Save Lifta Coalition’s board, explained that while the homes may not be demolished, “the village will disappear behind walls of concrete needed to hold new construction.”

The bid was supposed to be held on July 4, but significant public opposition delayed it to July 29.

Lifta Jerusalem
The ruins in Lifta, a Palestinian village ethnically cleased in 1948. Liebe Blekh | MintPress News

Attempts to demolish Lifta have been ongoing for years. The ILA first published a tender for Plan 6036 in 2010 after the Israeli state approved the construction plan for Lifta in 2006. A 2012 Jerusalem District Court ruling found Plan 6036 insufficient and requested amending it in accordance with a conservation survey on Lifta from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The IAA survey was completed in 2017 and found that Plan 6036 could not be executed without making significant adjustments in order to preserve the ancient village. Plan 270b was drawn up to fit the survey’s findings but in 2017 the Local Planning and Building Committee of Jerusalem temporarily halted the initiative for further examination.

The recent ILA announcement was met with hundreds of letters to Jerusalem’s mayor rejecting the sale. When reached for comment, the Municipality of Jerusalem told MintPress News that it “wasn’t informed about the publication of this tender and didn’t approve it. The mayor of Jerusalem asked all the relevant authorities to reconsider the construction plan.” The Israel Lands Council, which operates the ILA, did not respond to a request for comment.

‘In one hour, we became refugees’

Lifta’s strategic location at the edge of Jerusalem has made it a prime target for land grabs. Acting as a suburb of Jerusalem, Lifta’s placement next to the Jerusalem-Jaffa Highway makes for an easy trip to the Mediterranean while still being tied to the city of Jerusalem.

Lifta, often referred to as the entrance to Jerusalem, was a wealthy, agricultural community supported by olive presses and flour mills and situated atop the Wadi al-Shami spring. Homes made of limestone were cut into the hillside and Lifta’s roads wended through the valley.

Prior to the 1948 Nakba, Zionist militias like the Haganah saw seizing Lifta as necessary to cement Jewish control over all of Palestine. According to the Haganah Historical Archives, “[s]ecuring the western exit of the city [of Jerusalem] entailed the eviction of Arabs.”  Israeli historian Benny Morris said the Haganah fired the first shots in 1947, setting off the mass expulsion of Lifta’s 2,960 residents.

In December 1947, the Haganah killed a Palestinian business owner in Lifta. Later that month, one of Lifta’s two coffeehouses was ambushed with gunfire and grenades. The attack killed six and wounded seven. Two months into 1948, the Jewish Agency chairman and future first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, boasted of the ethnic cleansing’s success, telling his political party members: “From your entry into Jerusalem through Lifta — Romema, through Mahane Yehuda, King George Street and Mea She’arim — there are no strangers. One hundred percent Jews.“

Odeh, head of the Lifta Cultural Heritage Protection Commission, was 8-years-old when Lifta came under siege by Zionist forces.

Lifta refugee
Yacoub Odeh, Nakba survivor and head of the Lifta Cultural Heritage Protection Commission. Liebe Blekh | MintPress News

“I remember one day my mother was preparing the fire to heat our room, and then [the Zionist miltiias] began to shoot. My brothers began to cry, ‘Mama, mama! They’re shooting us!’ My mom took us inside the room in the corner and under a table to protect us,” Odeh said, recalling two stories of Lifta — the town’s beauty and charm and then its tragic fall.

“There is the beautiful life and then began the miserable life because of the occupation.”

Toward the end of February 1948, Odeh’s father put him, his siblings and his mother into a truck heading to Ramallah to escape the violence in Lifta. Odeh’s father stayed behind to defend the village from the Zionist gangs.

“We were only wearing the clothing we had on because we are coming back tomorrow. We are coming back. Now we just want to be far from the shooting.” Odeh took a deep sigh and said, “In one hour, we became refugees.”

Today, 55 buildings out of approximately 450 remain in Lifta, including a club, mosque, cemetery and school, which now operates as a school for Israeli Jews. Liftawi refugees are estimated at around 30,000 and live in Jerusalem, the Occupied West Bank and the Diaspora. Most of the homes are empty, but a few are occupied by Israeli settlers. According to Zochrot, the Israeli nonprofit seeking to raise awareness of the Nakba, the “settlements of Mey Niftoach and Giv’at Sha’ul were built on village lands and now have become parts of the suburbs of Jerusalem.”

Saving Lifta

The Save Lifta Coalition orchestrated the campaign to the mayor and has been organizing since 2010 against Plan 6036. The organization spent five years working with scholars, activists, conservation specialists and higher education professionals to develop an alternative to 6036.

Their proposal aims to “expand the area of the national park and turn the village into a natural urban space for the adjacent neighborhoods,” while preserving Lifta’s cultural landscape.

The World Monuments Fund added Lifta to its list of endangered sites in 2018 and UNESCO added the village to its tentative list of world heritage sites.

‘Not something we can discuss now’

When asked about the plan’s responsibility regarding the right of return for Palestinians, Golan-Agnon said, “our plan is a plan to save Lifta as it is for the future generations to decide upon its fate.” She explained:

Many of us [in the coalition] do think there should be a right of return for Palestinians but we know it’s not something we can discuss now. So we say, it’s beautiful, keep it open, and then one day there can be a decision about what happens and who’s coming.

Dana Amawi’s grandmother grew up in Lifta and was expelled from the village in 1948. Now the family lives in Amman, Jordan. The 20-year-old said she was shaken to her core upon hearing the news of the sale. “Lifta symbolized a tiny, very small bit of hope that maybe we will be able to return to it,” Amawi told MintPress. “And now to think that other people might live in the house that I have the right to be in, it’s very sad.”

Lifta Jerusalem
A Palestinian woman holds a partially eaten fig picked from a tree in Lifta. Liebe Blekh | MintPress News

Amawi said that her grandmother fell ill after learning of the auction. “She got sick. She had a fever and she was really, really sad because to her, this is where she grew up. This is where her earliest memories are and this is where she has the right to be,” Amawi said.

Stone houses like the one Odeh spent his early childhood in now crumble from neglect. The walls are sprayed with graffiti and piles of trash line the floors. On Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath), you’ll often find Israelis bathing in the spring’s waters.

Aseel AlBajeh, advocacy officer and legal researcher at the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, visited Lifta in 2018. Her grandmother, who lives in Ramallah, is from Lifta. “It was a painful experience,” AlBajeh said of her time in Lifta. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back to Lifta in this situation.”

‘You are here as a visitor’

During her visit, AlBajeh tried recalling her grandmother’s memories of a flourishing Lifta, but she said those stories were disrupted by the fact that she’s only in Lifta because of a permit she received from the Israeli government to enter 1948-occupied Palestine or modern-day Israel from the West Bank. “You are here as a visitor. It’s like it’s not a place where you belong, or this is what [the Israeli government] intends for refugees to feel like,” AlBajeh said. “Settlers were swimming in the spring of the village and they were blasting loud music, and it also disrupted my ability to even imagine Lifta as Palestinian.”

Jewish settlers in LIfta
Israeli settlers in Lifta hold a middle finger to a group of Palestinian children. Blekh | MintPress News

To help her reclaim Lifta, AlBajeh took a small piece of the village’s remains during her visit. She collected a broken tile painted with traditional designs from one of the house’s floors, knowing this might be the last physical object she can have of Lifta.

“Lifta is a witness of what happened during the Nakba,” AlBajeh said, explaining:

We have this connection as Palestinians, and when we see the cactus plants, we connect this as evidence that displacement happened here. And if you go to Lifta, you’ll see the huge amount of cactus. So even if the houses remain and [Israel] tries to remove the cactus, it’s still painful… It’s not about the stones or about the trees. It’s about the whole identity of Lifta and the Palestinian history, which we still connect to. “

‘We were kings in our village’

Odeh’s memories paint Lifta as an idyllic place, an oasis carved into the steep slopes of Jerusalem where life was carefree and bountiful. “We were kings in our village,” Odeh said. “Everything we need, we had — a life so simple. We didn’t need cinema or computers, no, everything we needed came from our land.”

But the minute Odeh and his family became refugees, their resources became scarce. “At that time there were no charitable associations or agencies ready to help,” Odeh recalled. “You know what Nakba means? Nakba does not mean to destroy homes. No, Nakba means to destroy the life — economic life, social life, educational life, political life. They destroyed our life.”

Upon reminiscing about Lifta, Odeh said his dream is to go back home:

I miss my childhood. Palestinian children have lost their childhood life to play like children, to go to the theater, to concerts, to football. No, until now we have house demolitions, we have arrests, we have land confiscation and killings. Every day we have events like these — if not my family, my neighborhood.”

Dr. Vladimir Zalenko’s Effective Flu/Covid Treatment

JULY 10, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Zelenko pioneered use of safe, effective, low-cost hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), azithromycin and zinc sulfate in successfully treating and curing over 3,000 flu/covid ill patients with this protocol.

Since early last year, we’ve been lied to and betrayed by US/Western dark forces and their media press agents. 

Suppressing what’s vital for everyone to know, they continue pushing toxic jabs designed to destroy health, not preserve and protect it as falsely claimed.

On July 9, lifesitenews.com reported on an interview it conducted with Zelenko — an exercise in truth-telling on the leading cutting-edge issue of our time.

A family physician for two decades, he explained that the above protocol is effective in treating flu/covid cases except for individuals too ill to be saved — most always the elderly with weakened immune systems.

Last winter, he reported a “near-100% success rate in treating” around 3,000 flu/covid patients, including about 1,000 he called high-risk.

Of these, three alone died, all others cured, their health restored.

The vast majority of Americans who died from flu/covid could have been saved by his protocol.

“It has been embraced by world-leading physicians who are honest and capable of deductive reasoning and are not indoctrinated,” he explained, adding:

“(U)nfortunately, 90% of physicians in this country are incapable of independent thought.”

“The net result is that they follow blindly the recommendations of their employers or government agencies without using common sense. They just follow orders, like the Nazis did.”

Many doctors won’t prescribe his protocol. Some, perhaps many, pharmacists won’t fill prescriptions for it.

Noted physician Peter McCullough, epidemiologist Harvey Risch, America’s Frontline Doctors, and many others successfully used this protocol — because it works when administered within around 10 days of contracting the viral illness.

In US Senate committee testimony, McCullough and Risch explained that “early intervention in the pre-hospital setting is the key to overcoming this health problem” by administering the above protocol, adding:

“(D)ozens of studies” confirm it. The same goes for Ivermectin.

Both remedies effectively treat the vast majority of flu/covid infected patients, fully restoring their health.

Zelenko said he found an effective over-the-counter treatment for flu/covid.

Calling it a “cure for tyranny,” he said the following:

“Go to the pharmacy and get Corcidin, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc for which no prescription is needed.

Use them as labels recommend, “the right dosage, (and) you will get better and stay healthy,” adding:

“(A)ll of a sudden I have empowered the individual not to be subjugated or brutalized by terrible governance and physician malfeasance and malpractice.”

Avoid toxic jabs that risk irreversible harm and death, what Zelenko called (state-sponsored, media supported) murder.”

What’s going on in the West and elsewhere where Western flu/covid jabs are administered is a “(c)onspiracy to commit genocide by a group of sociopaths who think that they’re God,” said Zelenko, adding:

The so-called flu/covid crisis is “the biggest psychological warfare in human history.”

Fueled by “pathological fear, (it’s) used by (dark forces) to manipulate” people to unwittingly self-inflict harm.

The diabolical scheme aims to reduce “the world population,” Zelenko stressing:

“There have always been tyrants and despots who have delusions that they are a deity, or godlike, and feel that they are entitled to set the course of human history.”

“Nazi ideology was exactly that, (wanting those) considered subhuman” eliminated or enslaved to serve a higher power. 

“The same thing is happening now” in new form, diabolical US/Western dark forces behind it.

What Zenenko called “sociopaths” are mass-murderers — planning extermination on an unparalleled scale in pursuit of their diabolical agenda.

“We are living in World War Three,

said Zelenko, “silent” bioweapons used.

Like growing numbers of other truth-tellers on vital issues, anti-social media Facebook and Twitter, along with Gatekeeper Google’s YouTube, banned him.

In cahoots with US/Western dark forces, they want what’s essential for everyone to know suppressed.

That’s the deplorable state of things today with nothing in prospect to turn things around positively.

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