Leaving the UN Human Rights Council: Crimes against Humanity. Washington Endorses The State of israel

Crimes Against Humanity. Washington Endorses The State of Israel
By Dr. Binoy Kampmark

The margin between what is a human right as an inalienable possession, and how it is seen in political terms is razor fine. In some cases, the distinctions are near impossible to make.  To understand the crime of genocide is to also understand the political machinations that limited its purview.  No political or cultural groups, for instance, were permitted coverage by the defintion in the UN Convention responsible for criminalising it

The same goes for the policing bodies who might use human rights in calculating fashion, less to advance an agenda of the human kind than that of the political. This can take the form of scolding, and the United States, by way of illustration, has received beratings over the years in various fields.  (Think an onerous, vicious prison system, the stubborn continuation of the death penalty, and levels of striking impoverishment for an advanced industrial society.)

The other tactic common in the human rights game is gaining membership to organisations vested with the task of overseeing the protection of such rights.  Membership can effectively defang and in some cases denude criticism of certain states.  Allies club together to keep a united front.  It was precisely this point that beset the UN Commission on Human Rights, long accused of being compromised for perceived politicisation.

The successor to the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Council, has come in for a similar pasting.  The righteous Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, had made it something of a personal project to reform the body. It was a body that had been opposed by the United States.  But reform and tinkering are oft confused, suggesting a neutralisation of various political platforms deemed against Washington’s interests.  Is it the issue of rights at stake, or simple pride and backing allies?

For one, the barb in Haley’s protestation was the HRC’s “chronic bias against Israel”, and concerns on the part of Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a UN human rights chief unimpressed by the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents.

Accordingly, Haley announced that the United States would be withdrawing from “an organisation that is not worthy of its name”, peopled, as it were, by representatives from such states as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We take this step,” explained Haley, “because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights.”

The Congolese component deserved special mention, the state having become a member of the HRC even as mass graves were being uncovered at the behest of that very body.  Government security forces, according to Human Rights Watch, were said to be behind abuses in the southern Kasai region since August 2016 that had left some 5,000 people dead, including 90 mass graves.  A campaign against the DRC’s election to the Council, waged within various political corridors by Congolese activists, failed to inspire UN members to sufficiently change their mind in the vote. A sufficient majority was attained.

The move to withdraw the US received purring praise from Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, still glowing with satisfaction at Washington’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.  For the Israeli leader, the Council had been nothing but “a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organisation that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.”  It had avoided dealing with the big violators and abusers-in-chief, those responsible for systematically violating human rights, and had developed, according to Netanyahu, an Israel fixation, ignoring its fine pedigree as being “the one genuine democracy in the Middle East”.  The slant here is clear enough: democracies so deemed do not violate human rights, and, when picked up for doing so, can ignore the overly zealous critics compromised by supposed hypocrisy.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, did not restrain himself in praise

The United States had “proven, yet again, its commitment to truth and justice and its unwillingness to allow the blind hatred of Israel in international institutions to stand unchallenged.”

The common mistake made by such states is that hypocrisy necessarily invalidates criticism of human rights abuses. To have representatives from a country purportedly shoddy on the human rights front need not negate the reasoning in assessing abuses and infractions against human rights.  It certainly makes that body’s credibility much harder to float, the perpetrator being within the gates, but human rights remains the hostage of political circumstance and, worst of all, opportunistic forays.  The US withdrawal from the Council does little to suggest credible reform, though it does much to advance a program of spite typical from an administration never keen on the idea of human rights to begin with.  The Trump policy of detachment, extraction and unilateralism continues.

*

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

This article was originally published by “Global Research” –

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Iran already exonerated of role in 9-11 attacks, Docs display israel’s complicity

Activist: Iran already exonerated of role in 9-11 attacks, Docs display Israel’s complicity

FNA- A prominent Iranian political activist dismissed the Southern District Court of New York’s ruling ordering Iran to pay more than $6 billion of reparation for the 2001 terrorist attacks, stressing Israel’s role in killing nearly 3,000 Americans at the time.

The Southern District Court’s ruling “found the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran” liable for the deaths of more than 1,000 people as a result of the September 11 attacks.

Judge George B Daniels of the Southern District Court of New York said that Iran is ordered to pay “$12,500,000 per spouse, $8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling” to the families and estates of the deceased.

A default judgment is issued when a defendant does not contest the case in court.

Daniels issued other default judgments against Iran in 2011 and 2016 that ordered the Islamic Republic to pay victims and insurers billions of dollars for damages and deaths in the hijacker attacks.

Iran has rejected all cases, but it says it doesn’t recognize the US courts for judging such cases

Last week, thousands of American professors, politicians, experts and former members of the US Congress in a letter to the Iranian Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs called on the country to immediately appeal the Southern District Court of New York’s ruling, and vowed to testify in support of the Islamic Republic in an appeals court after Tehran files for it.

Nader Talebzadeh, a prominent political expert and activist, referred to the letter, and stressed the need for Iran to end its tradition of not appealing the US courts’ rulings and challenge the mainstream media’s story about the 9-11 incident with the help of the US political activists at the court.

 

 

He told FNA on Saturday that “the September 11 fact-finding groups are ready to speak to the benefit of Iran in any court and testify that Iran has not been involved in the attack. They are ready to show presence in an official court and elaborate on the 9-11 incident. But the Iranian government is first required to appeal the ruling”.

According to Talebzadeh, Iran has never appealed to the US courts’ rulings and it has adopted the same approach in the recent case. “Now it has an opportunity only until next Tuesday to appeal the ruling.”

He described the 9-11 as the US Achilles Heel which was used as a pretext for military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, stressing Israel’s role in the deadly incident.

“There are documents to prove Israel’s role and we should allow the Americans themselves to speak about it. Even the official commission which has investigated the 9-11 incident has clearly underlined that Iran has played no role. How a judge in New York, who has certainly received money from Saudi Arabia and has issued such a ruling for the second time, sentences Iran, and the country does not react?” Talebzadeh said.

He noted that investigations have proved that C4 explosive material was used during the 9-11 incident, adding, “The Americans fear reopening of the 9-11 case as all its details are secret and it is an opportunity for Iran on which it can maneuver.”

The letter wrote by the American professors, politicians, experts and former members of the US Congress to the Iranian government to testify in support of the Islamic Republic in an appeals court is as follows:

“We (over 5000 US professors, experts and politicians) are willing and ready to provide court testimony in support of Iran’s innocence; the extremely weak case against Iran is predicated on the 9/11 Commission’s version of events, according to which 19 alleged hijackers (15 of whom were Saudis, and none of whom were Iranians) precipitated a series of miracles, including gross violations of the laws of physics. we can prove absolutely, beyond any reasonable doubt, that this version of events is false, thereby nullifying the case against Iran,” the statement said.

The signatories of the statement underlined their firm belief that by strongly contesting this matter in a US court, Iran can win a major media victory over its enemies, and will likely win the legal case as well, adding, that for while the US courts can be corrupt, they follow procedural rules, and create legal records, that will in this case make it very difficult for the anti-Iran forces to achieve their objectives.

They said that the alternative—not contesting the judgment—hands the anti-Iran forces a victory that they do not deserve, adding that for although they have no valid evidence against Iran, if Iran fails to defend itself, it appears to be admitting guilt.

“We believe that the following organizations would likely be available to assist with Iran’s defense, whether in the capacity of expert witnesses or as friends of the court; Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth  (https://www.AE911Truth.org), Consensus 9/11 (http://www.consensus911.org), Scientists for 9/11 Truth  (http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org),” the signatories of the statement said.

“We urge the government of Iran to contact Mr. Mick Harrison Esq. of the Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry” who, in his capacity as a private attorney, may be able to help the Islamic Republic of Iran take the initial steps toward assembling a legal team to appeal Judge Daniels’ ruling in advance of the May 28 deadline:

Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry https://www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org (which on April 10 filed a 54-page petition for a grand jury investigation of 9/11 with the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York).

The signatories include David Ray Griffin, Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology; author of 13 books on 9/11, Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, Cynthia McKinney, Ph.D., six-term congresswoman (D-GA) and Green Party candidate for President of the United States (2008), Graeme MacQueen, Associate Professor of Religious Studies (retired), McMaster University; former Director of McMaster’s Centre for Peace Studies and author of numerous articles on 9/11, Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Culture and Communication, New York University, Piers Robinson, Professor of Politics, Society and Political Journalism, Niels Harrit, Ph.D., Associate Professor (retired), Dept. of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Professor Emeritus of Journalism, Bowling Green State University, Anthony J. Hall, Ph.D., Professor of Globalization Studies, University of Lethbridge, Tony Szamboti, ME, former Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems mechanical design engineer, Ibrahim Soudy, PhD, PE, SE, PEng, Structural Engineer, Ian Henshall, author, 911 The New Evidence, Sander Hicks, Candidate, US Congress, http://www.hicksforcongress.com, Michael Santangelo, Co-Facilitator for Truth Action Project, New York City, Kevin Barrett, Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for Truth; author, Questioning the War on Terror, http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org Scientists for 9/11 Truth Science professionals seeking new and independent investigations into the attacks of September 11, 2001, In early May, Southern District Court of New York issued a default judgment requiring Iran to pay more than $6bn to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, court filings show

The US court’s ruling came despite the fact that official investigations found no evidence of Iranian involvement.

Though the lawsuit alleged Iran supported the hijackers with training and other assistance, no Iranian involvement in the attacks has ever been substantiated.

The 9/11 Commission, which was tasked with preparing a “full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding” the attacks, found no evidence of Iranian support.

Saudi Arabia remains the main target of US citizens looking for damages in relation to the attacks.

The judgment against Iran was issued in a court case consisting of more than 40 lawsuits that have been consolidated over the years.

Plaintiffs allege that Saudi Arabia provided material support to the 19 hijackers who crashed commercial airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

Another plane, reportedly targeting the White House, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers confronted the hijackers

Mad Dog Mattis, the destroyer of Raqqa, frets about losing moral authority

Mad Dog Mattis, the destroyer of Raqqa, frets about losing moral authority

Mad Dog Mattis, the destroyer of Raqqa, frets about losing moral authority
It’s parallel universe time when US Pentagon chief James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis complains that America’s “moral authority” is being undermined by others – specifically Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

This is the ex-Marine general who gained his ruthless reputation from when illegally occupying US troops razed the Iraqi city of Fallujah in the 2004-2005 using “shake and bake” bombardment of inhabitants with banned white phosphorus incendiaries.

A repeat of those war crimes happened again last year under Mattis’ watch as Pentagon chief when US warplanes obliterated the Syrian city of Raqqa, killing thousands of civilians. Even the pro-US Human Rights Watch abhorred the repeated use of white phosphorus during that campaign to “liberate” Raqqa, supposedly from jihadists.

These are but two examples from dense archives of US war crimes committed over several decades, from its illegal intervention in Syria to Libya, from Iraq to Vietnam, back to the Korean War in the early 1950s when American carpet bombing killed millions of innocent civilians.

For Mattis to lament during a speech at a naval college last week that America’s moral authority is being eroded by Putin is a symptom of the delusional official thinking infesting Washington.

According to Mattis, the problem of America’s diminishing global reputation has nothing to do with US misconduct – even though the evidence is replete to prove that systematic misconduct. No, the problem, according to him, is that Russia’s Putin is somehow sneakily undermining Washington’s moral authority.

Mattis told his audience: “Putin aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America’s moral authority.” He added that the Russian leader’s “actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals.”

The US Secretary of Defense doesn’t elaborate on how he thinks Russia is achieving this dastardly plot to demean America. It is simply asserted as fact. This has been a theme recycled over and over by officials in Washington and Brussels, other Western government leaders and of course NATO and its affiliated think-tanks. All of which has been dutifully peddled by Western news media.

It is classic “in denial” thinking. The general loss of legitimacy and authority by Western governments is supposedly nothing to do with their own inherent failures and transgressions, from bankrupt austerity economics, to deteriorating social conditions, to illegal US-led wars and the repercussions of blowback terrorism and mass migration of refugees.

Oh no. What the ruling elites are trying to do is shift the blame from their own culpability on to others, principally Russia.

American political analyst Randy Martin says that Mattis’ latest remarks show a form of collective delusion among Western political establishments and their aligned mainstream news media.

“What a powerful delusion Mattis and Western leaders like him are encumbered with,” says Martin. “The US undercuts and compromises its own avowed beliefs and ideals because it has lost any moral integrity that it might have feasibly pretended to have due to decades of its own criminal foreign conduct.”

The analyst added: “America’s so-called moral authority is the free pass it gives itself to topple democracy in Ukraine, replacing it with neo-Nazis; it has turned economically prosperous Libya into a wasteland, after murdering its leader Muammar Gaddafi; it funds and openly sponsors the MKO terror group in Iran for regime change in Tehran; and it is neck deep in fueling the Saudi coalition’s genocidal war in Yemen.”

Despite this litany of criminality committed by the US with the acquiescence of European allies, Washington, says Martin, “preaches a bizarre doctrine of ‘exceptionalism’ and somehow arrogates a moral right to dominate the world. This is the fruit of the diseased minds of sociopaths.”

This week, three headline-making issues speak volumes about America’s declining moral authority.

First, there are the harrowing scenes of thousands of migrant children being ripped away from parents at the Mexican border, forcibly housed in wire cages, sobbing relentlessly from the trauma. There has been an outcry around the world over the heartless “zero-tolerance” policy by the Trump administration. The United Nations condemned it as “unconscionable”.

One editorial writer for the Washington Post called Trump’s policy “barbarous”, and said it was inflicting “great damage to the fabric of our democracy”.

Secondly, the Trump administration is recklessly pushing ahead with a trade war against China and its Western allies. The unilateral imposition of tariffs by the White House in disregard for international trade laws has prompted European officials to deplore how Trump is “undermining the global rules-based system”.

Thirdly, there is widespread horror at the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen where millions of civilians are in danger of starving to death due to the US-backed Saudi and Emirati offensive on the critical port city of Hodeida.

Lastly, the US withdrawal this week from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council, which UN ambassador Nikki Haley lambasted for being a “cesspool of prejudice” against Israel, caused consternation that Washington was cynically trying to shut down criticism of its support for Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

In all three issues, US global standing is tarnished by its own policy-making, decisions and conduct. Increasingly, Washington is becoming the full-fledged rogue regime that many observers had already concluded it was from decades of illegal wars and subterfuges. What is different now is that the rogue image is becoming impossible to not notice or to conceal by self-serving propaganda and myths that the Western media indulged in for decades.

Mattis’ protests about the US losing its moral authority are more to do with a growing fear of one’s own nakedness. Like the emperor who had no clothes, the naked ugliness of American global power is becoming more and more exposed.

Arguably, it is not a case of US power becoming more malevolent or wayward over time. That has always been the case; only in the past the perniciousness was handily concealed by an efficient, servile news media.

With increasing global communications and alternative sources of news and analysis, the erstwhile media monopoly that the US enjoyed along with its Western lackeys is no longer dominant. Western public in particular have more information sources to allow a more critical, independent assessment of their governments and the official narratives. This is why the supposed “moral authority” of the US government is being challenged. People are seeing through the veil of lies and misinformation, and making the correct conclusions.

Not only no clothes, but the emperor’s hands are covered in blood from massive crimes against humanity and atrocious wars of aggression that were previously denied or hidden.

One suspects that what’s really agitating Mattis and other apologists for US illegal wars and malevolent conduct is that the unvarnished truth is being told by alternative sources.

America’s purported “moral authority” is not being lost. It never had any in the first place. What’s being lost is the illusion of authority

Trump migrant separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas. U.S. should be kicked out of UN Human Rights Council

Trump migrant separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas

US threatens to quit UN Human Rights Council

Reporters and Democratic lawmakers have been allowed inside a detention centre that lies at the heart of a growing storm over a new US policy separating migrant children from their parents.

Authorities did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the centre, but US Customs and Border Protection later released several images. Former First Lady Laura Bush has compared it to the internment camps used for Japanese-Americans during World War Two. A Democratic congressman who visited the site said it was “nothing short of a prison”.

The Texas facility is known as Ursula, though immigrants are reportedly calling it La Perrera – dog kennel in Spanish – in reference to the cages used to hold children and adults who have ended up there after crossing the border from Mexico illegally.

“One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips [crisps] and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets,” the Associated Press reports.

Three boys lie on thin green mattresses on the floor covered in foil blanketsImage copyright US Customs and Border Protection
Image caption This image from the US Customs and Border Protection shows the foil blankets given to children

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley led the team of lawmakers to the site in the town of McAllen on Sunday.

He hit the headlines earlier this month when he was turned away from another facility housing some 1,500 boys in a disused Walmart store.

Speaking to CNN after the visit to Ursula, he said: “In wire-mesh, chain linked cages that are about 30×30 [feet], a lot of young folks put into them.

“I must say though, far fewer than I was here two weeks ago. I was told that buses full (of children) were taken away before I arrived.

“That was one of my concerns, that essentially, when you have to give lengthy notice, you end up a little bit of a show rather than seeing what’s really going on in these centres.”

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch expressed shock and anger over the conditions they saw:

Inside Ursula, more than 1,100 illegal immigrants are waiting to be processed. They have been separated into three wings: unaccompanied children, lone adults and parents with their children. Officials said nearly 200 of those being held there were unaccompanied minors and another 500 were parents with their children.

The Los Angeles Times, which also sent a team there, described the 72,000 sq ft facility as “clean and spare, with bare concrete floors”.

A patrol agent currently in charge of the site, John Lopez, told the paper the 42 portable toilets on site are cleaned three times a day. There are three paramedics, two medical members of staff and 310 employees – but no mental health staff, or training, the paper notes. The main lights in the building remain on at all times.

Presentational grey line

Read more on US migrant family separations:

Presentational grey line

Nearly 60 miles away, in the town of Brownsville, some 1,500 boys are being housed inside a building that was once a Walmart superstore. The boys, aged 10 to 17, were all caught illegally crossing the border. It is America’s largest facility for such minors, and numbers have increased in the past month by several hundred.

Senator Merkley’s Facebook Live on 4 June showing security officials denying him entry to that site – known as Casa Padre – led to questions about conditions there. Last week, news organisations were given a tour.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Zero-tolerance: The US policy dividing families and opinion

Media captionZero-tolerance: The US policy dividing families and opinion

No cages were mentioned, but the accommodation was likened to dorm rooms inside a giant warehouse. To accommodate for the growing numbers since the new “zero-tolerance” policy went into force, cots have been added to sleeping areas in the Casa Padre.

The New York Times described it as “clean, massive and brightly lit”, with the children given classes six hours each week day and outdoor play time for two hours a day. They have 48 medical staff and three on call doctors on hand.

Long-term trauma?

“Those kids inside who have been separated from their parents are already being traumatised,” Senator Merkley warned. “It doesn’t matter whether the floor is swept and the bed-sheets tucked in tight.”

Officials say they are trying to keep siblings together and not separate children under four or younger from their parents.

But Anne Chandler, who’s running a non-profit project for migrant children found on the southern US border, told Texas Monthly she had heard stories of “kids that are very young, that are breastfeeding babies and under three in the shelters, separated from their parents”.

The head of the Tahirih Justice Centre in Houston said she had seen cases where parents had not been told ahead of time that their child was being taken away, and instead were told by immigration officers that their child required a bath, only to not be returned.

“I was talking to one mother, and she said, “Don’t take my child away,” and the child started screaming and vomiting and crying hysterically, and she asked the officers, “Can I at least have five minutes to console her?” They said no,” Ms Chandler told the magazine.

Mothers and children wait to be assisted by volunteers in a humanitarian centre in the border town of McAllen, Texas on 14 June 2018.Image copyright AFP
Image caption Authorities say they do not separate parents with children under five

A rights worker who visited the Ursula facility at the weekend told the Associated Press she had spoken to a 16-year-old girl who was left in charge of an unaccompanied toddler for three days and tasked with changing the child’s nappies.

“She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper,” Michelle Brane, from the Women’s Refugee Commission, said. The girl – who was four years old – was later reunited with her aunt, but the process took time because she did not speak Spanish but a language indigenous to Guatemala, the agency reports.

“She was so traumatised that she wasn’t talking,” Ms Brane said, describing the girl. “She was just curled up in a little ball.”

She is not alone in voicing concerns over the long-term effects of separating adults and their children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics warned last week that “highly stressful experiences, including family separation, can cause irreparable harm to lifelong development by disrupting a child’s brain architecture”.

Separately, authorities have announced plans to erect tent cities that will hold hundreds more children in the Texas desert where temperatures regularly reach 40C (105F).

Local lawmaker Jose Rodriguez described the plan as “totally inhumane” and “outrageous”, adding: “It should be condemned by anyone who has a moral sense of responsibility.”

Why We Should Be Alarmed That israeli Forces and US Police Are Training Together

Source

by Domenica Ghanem

 

Razan al-Najjar is the latest victim in Israel’s onslaught of Palestinians to go viral. The 21-year-old nurse was shot dead by a sniper. Her only weapon? A wad of medical gauze. She’d been treating protesters who’ve been rallying for their right to return to homes they were expelled from as refugees.

Unfortunately, the death of another unarmed civilian is hardly even news to Palestinians.

May 14, the day the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem in symbolic support of recognizing the city as Israel’s capital, was also the bloodiest day in this recent wave of demonstrations. In just one day, at least 50 Palestinians were killed and 2,400 more injured by the Israeli military. (Other counts put those figures even higher.)

This isn’t an anomaly. In this latest wave of demonstrations, Israeli forces have killed dozens of unarmed protesters and wounded thousands more. And they’re not apologizing.

The violence has additionally troubling implications for the United States – and not just for its foreign policy, but at home. That’s because U.S. police forces actually train extensively with the Israeli military. In fact, hundreds of federal, state, local, and even some campus law enforcement departments across the country have trained in some capacity with the Israeli forces now gunning down Palestinian protesters in droves.

Some notable ones include the Chicago police, responsible for shooting and killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The Baltimore police too, who were responsible for killing 25-year-old Freddie Gray. And the St. Louis department, which was deployed in Ferguson when protests erupted after police killed 18-year-old Michael Brown – prompting Palestinians halfway across the world to begin tweeting advice for minimizing injuries when police deploy tear gas.

U.S. police departments are sent to Israel, or sometimes Israeli forces come to the United States, under the pretense of counter-terrorism training.

Apparently that training includes learning the benefits of “skunk water” – a liquid developed by Israel that’s used to break up anti-occupation protests like the ones occurring right now. After protests in Ferguson, the St. Louis department started stockpiling the stuff.

And that now infamous NYPD Muslim surveillance program? The NYPD Intelligence Division Chief responsible for that one got the idea from a similar program used to spy on Palestinians.

It begs the question of whom the U.S. police consider terrorists.

The former head of Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service) Avi Dichter – who has advocated dropping heavy bombs on civilian-occupied Gaza apartment buildings – believes there’s “an intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.” He calls these threats “crimiterrorists.”

But this isn’t a one-sided transfer of tactics. Dichter likes to think of the war on terror and the war on drugs in the same category. And when Israeli forces visit the United States, they also receive training from our police forces on the drug war tactics that have targeted Black and brown communities.

And just as well-documented as the U.S. police killings of Black Americans are the Israeli military killings, torture and surveillance of Palestinian adults and children.

Take 15-year-old Mohammed Tamimi. He was shot during a protest and had to have part of his skull removed. He was then taken by Israeli forces in the middle of the night, and beaten into confessing that they didn’t shoot him in the face, despite medical records and eyewitness accounts proving otherwise.

Of course, this story has an ending that Black Americans can also relate to – those in uniform will rarely be held accountable by the government.

While these connections may be new to some, the activists fighting both against the occupation of Palestine and for Black lives are not strangers to how their struggles are linked.

In 2015, Black and Palestinian artists and activists released a video and statement of Black-Palestinian solidarity in the face of state-sanctioned violence. And the Movement for Black Lives platform includes demands for the U.S. to divest from the occupation of Palestine.

The movement is taking root in many cities. In Atlanta, the group #ATLisReady released a list of demands following the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – the first calling for the termination of the Atlanta Police Department’s involvement in Israeli training programs. And Jewish Voices for Peace launched “Deadly Exchange,” a campaign to end the sharing of the worst practices of policing.

And now, these movements are starting to notch some victories. Durham, North Carolina recently became the first city to ban trainings of U.S. police by the Israeli military.

The success of Durham’s training ban, spearheaded by Demilitarize from Durham2Palestine, is even more extraordinary when you consider the efforts of both the powerful pro-Israel and police lobbies to crack down on Black and Palestinian-led activist organizations.

While the joint forces of the Israeli military and the U.S. police are a terrifying and oftentimes deadly affront, a joint Black and Palestinian force for good is emerging as quite powerful itself. And as the death toll rises here and in Gaza, it’s needed now more than ever.

Domenica Ghanem is the media manager at the Institute for Policy Studies. This article was jointly produced by Foreign Policy In Focus and In These Times. Reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy In Focus.

Sayyed Nasrallah: US-Gulf Sanctions Ineffective, Confident of Victory in any Coming War

 

Sayyed Nasrallah: US-Gulf Sanctions Ineffective, Confident of Victory in any Coming War

Zeinab Essa

26-05-2018 | 00:37

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that this year’s Al-Quds Day should receive great attention at all levels in view of what the Holy city is facing, especially after US President Donald Trump’s to recognize it as the capital of the occupying entity.

2000 Victory

In a televised speech on the 18th anniversary of 2000 Liberation, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that the anniversary is a very important and national one i.e. full of lessons.

“The heroic fighters, martyrs, wounded, liberated prisoners, general public, Lebanese Army, security forces, resistance factions and the Syrian army are the ones who are credited with this achievement,” His Eminence added.

He further hailed the Syrian and Iranian support so that the 2000 liberation was accomplished.

“This victory had divine, humane and moral aspects as the resistance remained steadfast in the major confrontations,” The Resistance Leader viewed, noting that “victory has shown that the enemy has lost confidence in its army and its agents.”

This comes as he praised the sacrifices of the Resistance: “There were martyrs that gave their blood and their pure souls. They left their work and their families and lived in valleys and in fear, and spared no effort to liberate this land.”

In parallel, His Eminence underscored that “the residents returned to their homes and fields, the captives returned in pride and dignity and security returned along the border with Palestine.”

“We are living in safety, dignity and freedom thanks to this victory,” Sayyed Nasrallah mentioned.

Ready for War

Sending an assuring message to the Lebanese and a threatening one to the enemy, His Eminence vowed:

“We do not seek war. However, we do not fear it.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that the Resistance is confident of victory in any upcoming war.

US-Gulf Sanctions Ineffective

Commenting on the recent US-Gulf decision to blacklist Hezbollah and its leaders as terrorists, Sayyed Nasrallah played down the step.

“The US-Gulf blockade on the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, including blacklisting us, is not new.”

“The US and Saudi sanctions against me and my brothers do not have material effect, as we don’t have money in banks and we don’t trade through regular channels,” he elaborated, noting that “these sanctions aim is to scare people of meeting with us.”

On this level, His Eminence went on to emphasize that the Lebanese government has responsibility towards citizens put on US terror lists and must not abandon them.

“The Lebanese government had a responsibility to all its citizens placed on US terror lists and that some of those affected were not affiliated and did not give money to Hezbollah. As they’re Lebanese citizens, the Government should defend their rights. They should reject the sanctions,” he confirmed.

Warning that this is a US-“Israeli” course and that the Gulf states are taking part in it, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “sanctions, the terrorism lists, the blockage, and so on are part of the battle.”

“When you defeat the invincible “Israeli” army, when you advance a cultural change in the region, and stand in as an obstacle in the way of US and “Israel” schemes in the region and contribute to foiling them, it is natural that the s enemy will threaten you,” he explained.

Sayyed Nasrallah also mentioned that

“Blacklisting Hezbollah aims at scaring the allies and pushing them away from the resistance as well as drying up the Resistance’s funding sources and they’ve been seeking this since the 1990’s.”

“Resistance fighters deserved victory in 2000 and 2006 as they had honesty and made enormous sacrifice in their battles against the enemy,” he stated, noting that “when the enemies face popular resistance, they will not be able to defeat i. They will lose their battles.”

In addition, Hezbollah Secretary General praised the fact that people from diverse Lebanese societies proved their loyalty to the Resistance by voting in favor of Hezbollah during May 6 parliamentary elections.

On Syria…

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated the Syrian leadership and people on the liberation of Damascus and its entire countryside.

“I had previously said that the Syrian leadership and their allies would not let Damascus fall, whatever the sacrifice. Today, we also turn to Syria, its army, its people and its allies to welcome the liberation of Damascus in its entirety,” he added.

Morroco’s No Evidence

Regarding Morocco’s fabrications against Hezbollah, His Eminence stressed that there is no political relationship between Hezbollah and the Polisario, and there is no communication between the two sides

“The pressures on Iran are also part of this course,” he said, pointing out that “the Moroccan foreign minister has not offered any evidence to his Iranian counterpart backing his accusations.”

To Fight Corruption

On the internal level, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that

“Terrorism lists won’t delay formation of Lebanese government.”

“We are calling for a speedy government formation because this is in the country’s interest and because there are major files that need to be addressed and the all the developments in the region are in our favor,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

He further unveiled that “Hezbollah will not put forward a candidate to head any of Lebanon’s key ministries.”

“Hezbollah didn’t and will not demand having one of the so-called sovereign ministerial portfolios,” His Eminence stressed.

According to him, There are parties with whom we may disagree strategically, but nothing prevents from cooperating with them in fighting corruption.

“We look forward to a cabinet which would represent politicians from all factions and parties. It is important for Hezbollah to have a constructive presence in the new cabinet. Our fight against corruption is a serious and major battle, and it completes what happened in the 2000 liberation,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, revealing that “among the brother MPs in the ‘Loyalty to the Resistance bloc’, we chose MP Hassan Fadlallah to follow up the file against corruption.”

Source: Al-Ahed 

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Protestors Heckle Nikki Haley During Speech at Texas University

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Nikki Haley was disrupted while attempting to give a speech at the University of Houston this past Tuesday. “Nikki Haley, you can’t hide. You signed off on genocide,” the protesters chanted.

Below is a video that was apparently uploaded by the university’s student media outlet, The Daily Cougar. It includes an interview with one of the protestors and ends with Nikki Haley herself mumbling some idiotic platitudes about how Americans need to be more united–united, presumably, while our government officials support a genocidal, apartheid state.

Lest there be any doubt as to why the protestors are accusing Haley of signing off on genocide, here is a presentation given a few days ago by Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Haley is not “the world’s school marm,” says Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi:

Nikki Haley is a disgrace, an embarrassment to America. She is prime exhibit number one that our government has been totally taken over by a lobby for a foreign country. America is a colony of Israel.

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