Syria to UN: We Demand Reparations from the US

 

The Syrian mission at the United Nations has submitted a letter demanding reparations from “the so-called international coalition led by the United States of America” for its attacks upon the Syrian nation.

“The repeated bombardments by this illegitimate ‘international coalition’ continue to claim the lives of hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians and to cause significant material losses and the near-total destruction of Syrian facilities, homes and infrastructure, as well as the utter destruction of Syrian oil and gas facilities and sites,” the letter states.

The document (click here for PDF ) is dated July 12 and was submitted to the UN secretary general as well as the president of the Security Council.

“My government insists that these attacks must come to an end, and that the members of this illegitimate coalition must bear the political and legal responsibility for the destruction of infrastructure in the Syrian Arab Republic, including responsibility for compensation.”

Of course victors in wars never pay reparations to the losers; it’s always the vice versa. But the US is facing some major internal problems right now. For one thing we are $19.9 trillion in debt. Financial bubbles seem to be the only thing keeping us afloat, and economists have been warning for several years that we are headed for a collapse similar to, if not worse than, the one of 2008. Speculation is rife as well that the dollar could lose its status as the world reserve currency, and should that happen we would see spiraling inflation. Gas could go up to $10 to $15 per gallon; food prices would rise accordingly. This could well lead to rioting in the streets.

Suppose the neocons and the deep state succeed in getting a war started with Russia? An economic collapse of this nature and the loss of the dollar as the reserve currency could lead them to look at war as their only likely means of clinging to power–which might possibly impel them to try all the harder to bring a military confrontation about–possibly even by launching a direct attack upon Russia. And suppose, if it did come to that, the US were to come out the loser in that war?

These are a lot of “ifs,” I know, but the US is an extremely torn and divided nation right now. In no other country in the world is a head of state undergoing the campaign of vicious media attacks we see presently aimed against Trump from practically every major mainstream media outlet in the country. Repeat: nowhere else in the world does open warfare like this exist between a domestic leader and a country’s media. There has not only been an impeachment resolution introduced against Trump in Congress, but now a former CIA director has called for what would essentially amount to a coup against the president should he fire Robert Mueller as special counsel.

At the same time, racial tensions are becoming increasingly pervasive among the US population, while violent clashes between “Trump supporters” and “social justice warriors” are likewise on the rise. Divisions are everywhere. As Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).

With all this taken into consideration, it’s not terribly hard to imagine US officials at some point being brought before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges and the American people being forced to pay reparations. And if you add up all the destruction in all of the wars the neocons have dragged us into–Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan…and possibly the bombings of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well–the reparations price tag could end up being very costly indeed.

The Syrian letter also cites specific attacks carried out by the US coalition in recent months. Mentioned are an attack upon a gas station on April 22 as well as aerial bombings of gas wells on May 29 and 30. And it also mentions a bombing attack upon a village in which a number of people were killed, including children. Here is what the letter has to say about that:

On 27 May 2017, aircraft of this illegitimate coalition bombed the village of Hasu Albu Awf in the district of Shaddadah in Hasakah governorate, completely destroying many homes and killing civilians, most of them children. Of the victims, the following have been identified: Ayd Abdullah al-Husyan, Farhan Ayd al-Husayn and Amal al-Khidr, and children such as Muhammad Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2007, Sarah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2009, Ibrahim Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2010, Zahrah Farhan al-Husayn, born in 2016, and Yusuf Fariq al-Husayn, born in 2016.

The Syrians only seem to be tallying up destruction and deaths caused by directCoalition attacks; they do not, at least for now, seem to be factoring in depredations and atrocities carried out by our proxies in this fight, the so-called “moderate rebels,” and of course now the Kurds. But what if–supposing a war crimes trial does happen to take place at some time in the future–these sorrows get added onto the list of charges as well? We’re talking about devastation, carnage, extirpation on an almost unimaginable scale. The following video, shot last year, shows destruction in Homs, Syria’s third largest city:

And keep in mind, that’s just one city. We or our proxies have wreaked havoc of this nature upon pretty much the entire country.

Last month I reported that the US had set up at least three military bases inside Syria. Now, according to a report here, the number is up to ten. Do the neocons and the media owners who’ve been promoting this regime change criminal fiasco give a hoot that American taxpayers could be on the hook for reparations at some point? Somehow I doubt they’ve given it much thought or that it would even concern them greatly if things turned out that way. We might have to kiss Social Security and Medicare goodbye, and financing for public schools could dry up, but why should any of that matter to them?

Certain economists are now observing a major global power shift from the West to the East, and of course history tells us that no empire lasts forever, that they all fall sooner or later. The American people should demand of our government that it cease immediately all involvement in the Syrian conflict. Get out. Now. Before even worse crimes are committed that we may at some point be held accountable for.

From the Heart to the Mouth: Jesus’ Views on the Talmud

Perversity, Stupidity and Blind Guides

As Al-Aqsa descends into chaos…

By Richard Edmondson

I came across the above picture several days ago. It is of Nur Hamdan, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who lost his eye earlier this month after being shot by Israeli police. According to news reports, Nur was standing on the balcony of his East Jerusalem home along with his mother and a cousin when he was hit by a “sponge-tipped bullet.”

Reportedly he suffered eye socket fractures and other facial injuries. According to Israeli authorities, clashes were occurring in the area, but Nur’s family says he was not involved in any of this. When his mom saw the Israeli police presence in the street below, she ordered the children to come inside from the balcony, and reportedly it was just as Nur stood up that he was hit by the projectile.

You can go here and here to access news articles on the incident. (All of this took place just a few days before the shooting of two Israeli police officers and subsequent outbreak of violence at the Temple Mount.) One of the reports says the use of sponge-tipped bullets for crowd control began three years ago, but now the Israelis have adopted a new version that is “twice as hard and heavy and their potential to cause injury is much greater.” Official police regulations stipulate the bullet should not be fired at children, and if used against adults only the legs should be targeted. Apparently, however, this regulation was disregarded in Nur’s case.

It may have been disregarded other times as well. One of the reports linked to above is from The Independent, whose article notes that, “as of January 2016, 15 people have lost an eye in similar shootings involving Israeli forces, including a six-year-old boy.”

It seems almost as if Israel’s behavior grows progressively worse the more global public opinion galvanizes against it. Perhaps there is a perverse sort of logic in this. Just a guess here, but maybe the thinking goes something along the lines of: “Well people are going to hate us anyway, so we might as well do whatever the f-ck we want.” Whether this is the new credo or not, certainly perversity and perverse thinking–quite a bit of it actually–can be found in the Talmud, one of Judaism’s “holy” books. For instance, a passage from the Moed Kattan reads, “If a Jew is tempted to do evil he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.” If you think about it, there is a perverse sort of “logic” to it, I suppose.

The Talmud also has passages concerning non-Jews, such as this one from the Sanhedrin, “What a Jew steals from a Gentile he may keep,” and even those applying to non-Jewish children, such as this gem–“All gentile children are animals”–from the Talmudic tractate known as the Yebamoth.

The above quotes are taken from an article by Michael Hoffman, who is the author of Judaism’s Strange Gods and is widely regarded as one of the preeminent non-Jewish authorities on the Talmud. You might want to go and check it out. There are lots of other quotes from the Talmud as well.

So is there a connection between the perverse ideology found in the Talmud and the perverse behavior we see from Israelis? I don’t have a definitive answer to that, but my guess is probably there are Israeli rabbis who point to various passages in the Talmud in order to justify things such as settlement expansion, demolition of Palestinian homes, and–well, who knows?–maybe even shooting children in the eye. All this is not to say that there aren’t some good and decent Israeli Jews who oppose their government’s policies.  I suspect, however, these are not the ones who spend their days reading and studying the Talmud.

Jesus had a few thoughts on this subject as well, although I should qualify the title I’ve given to this post–“From the Heart to the Mouth: Jesus’ Views on the Talmud”–by mentioning that the Talmud did not exist in Jesus’ day. Ah, but the oral law did. And the oral law became the basis for a good portion of the Talmud, which began to be written down starting in about 200 A.D.

So what exactly was this oral law that existed in Jesus’ time? Well, it consisted of “interpretations” of the law of Moses, along with some outright additions that supposedly had been omitted from the five books of the Torah, presumably due to oversight, all of this as envisaged, or imagined, by rabbis and “sages” of the day–a group of people Jesus referred to (almost always derisively) as “teachers of the law.”

A clear picture of the contempt Jesus felt for their perverse edicts can be found in the fifteenth chapter of Matthew (a parallel passage can also be found in Mark 7). The chapter starts out with a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law coming to Jesus and demanding to know why he doesn’t insist on his disciples washing their hands before they eat. Here is his reply to them, starting in verse 3 and running through verse 9:

“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
Their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”

Jews were required in those days to make sacrifices at the Temple as well as pay a yearly Temple tax. Apparently the teachers of the law felt it more urgent and of greater priority for members of the public to fulfill these obligations  than obligations toward their own parents. And Jesus called them out on it.

The quote Jesus supplies from Isaiah is from chapter 29, verse 13. Interestingly, the entire 29th chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem. Verse 14, immediately following the one quoted by Jesus, reads:

Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish; the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.

Isaiah seems to have been envisioning a time in which the intelligent and wise, the “sages” if you will, would sink into a morass of perversity and stupidity. Again, keep in mind the Talmud began to be written down starting in about 200 A.D.

Another interesting aspect to all this is that Isaiah refers to the city of Jerusalem not by its common name–Jerusalem–but by the name “Ariel.” The Hebrew word “ariel” means “lion of God,” but because of Isaiah’s use of it in this context, it has also come to be recognized as an alternate name for Jerusalem. Thus, Ariel Sharon, the former prime minister of Israel who spent the last eight years of his life in a vegetative state, could also be known as “Lion of God Sharon” or “Jerusalem Sharon.” Either would be technically correct.

Here is what Isaiah says about the city of Ariel/Jerusalem:

Woe to you Ariel, Ariel,
the city where David settled!
Add year to year
and let your cycle of festivals go on.
Yet I will besiege Ariel;
she will mourn and lament,
she will be to me like an altar hearth.

The above are the first two verses of chapter 29. A bit of explanation regarding the term “altar hearth” is warranted. In ancient Israel, particularly in the homes of the poor, a “hearth” consisted of a depression in the ground in which a fire was kindled. An “altar” was a place where sacrifices were made–and hence where blood was shed. So Jerusalem, Isaiah in effect was saying, will become like “a depression in the ground where blood is shed.” Also take note: the Hebrew word for “ariel”, spelled אךיאל ,   is very similar to the Hebrew word for “altar”, spelled  אךאיל ,  and both are pronounced ar-ee-ale’ . In other words, Isaiah was making a play on words! And a rather ironic one at that: the “lion of God” was going to become nothing more than a “depression in the ground where blood is shed.”

But to return to the Gospel of Matthew. The verbal dressing down of the teachers of the law is followed, in verses 10 and 11, with:

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’”

It is while Jesus is addressing the crowd that the Pharisees and teachers of the law stalk away, apparently incensed at being called hypocrites and having the words of Isaiah thrown up in their faces. This in fact is remarked upon by one of the disciples. “Did you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” he entreats Jesus with a sense of alarm. The latter replies:

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

It is at this point that the ever-curious and ever-quizzical Peter asks for an elaboration–what exactly did Jesus mean about words coming out of a person’s mouth making the person unclean? The reply is well worth recording here:

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”

In his article, Hoffman says that most religious Orthodox Jews ascribe greater authority to the Talmud than to the Old Testament, and he supplies a quote from a Rabbi Yehiel ben Joseph, who insists that without the Talmud, Jews would be unable to grasp the meaning of the Old Testament.

“God has handed this authority to the sages and tradition is a necessity as well as scripture,” ben Joseph asserts. “The Sages also made enactments of their own…anyone who does not study the Talmud cannot understand Scripture.”

In the video below we see a couple of erudite Israeli “sages” offering up their views on Gentiles.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the level of perversity and stupidity you see in this video? Isn’t it ironic–that we observe these two teachers of the law referring to Gentiles as animals, insisting that they exist to serve only Jews, while at the same time congratulating themselves on being the most “humane” creatures on the planet? Is it any wonder Jesus referred to them as hypocrites and blind guides?

One of the foremost Talmudic scholars of the 20th century was a US rabbi by the name of Joseph D. Soloveitchik, who served at Yeshiva University in New York and is said to have ordained some 2,000 rabbis over the course of his career. Soloveitchik reportedly had a close relationship with Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and is also said to have been highly admired by Rabbi Meir Kahane. Schneerson believed that two types of souls exist: a Jewish soul and a non-Jewish soul. The latter, he held, comes from “satanic spheres,” but the Jewish soul “stems from holiness.”* As for Kahane, he was founder of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and was convicted of domestic terrorism in the US. All three men–Soloveitchik, Schneerson, and Kahane–were avid supporters of Israel.

Among the JDL’s more notable accomplishments were acts of violence aimed against Russian targets in the US as well as bomb threats called in over the 1970 TV sitcom Bridget Loves Bernie (the show portrayed an interfaith marriage between a Catholic woman and a Jewish man and was cancelled after only one season despite having high ratings).

Hoffman, who describes the Talmud as “hate literature,” says the body of writing “has caused untold suffering throughout history and now, in occupied Palestine, it is used as a justification for the mass murder of Palestinian civilians.”

Interestingly, Isaiah evinced what could possibly be construed as a premonition of the coming of the the oral law. In his chapter 29, verse 4, he writes:

Brought low, you will speak from the ground;
your speech shall mumble out of the dust
Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth;
Out of the dust your speech will whisper.

The prophet died in about 681 B.C. Legend has it that he was sawed in half. Mannasseh, one of the more evil rulers of the ancient Israelites, was king of Judah at the time. Roughly a hundred years after his death, Jerusalem, in 586 B.C., was sacked by the Babylonians.

Christ was crucified in 30 A.D. Forty years later, in 70 A.D. Jerusalem was sacked again, this time by the Romans.

Does history repeat itself? With the plethora of blind guides leading the blind that we see today in Israel, the answer to that is probably going to be yes.

* as quoted in Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky

Senate Bill Would Criminalize BDS, Impose Prison Terms; ACLU Publishes Letter in Opposition

Sens. Kristen Gillibrand and Charles Schumer of New York are among the co-sponsors of a bill calling for criminal penalties for US citizens supporting a boycott of Israel

“We write today in opposition to S. 720, also known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. We understand that proponents of the bill are seeking additional co-sponsors. We urge you to refrain from co-sponsoring the legislation because it would punish individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs.”

So reads the opening paragraph of a letter published on Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for Americans to support the boycott of Israel. According to the ACLU, violators would be subject to massive fines and imprisonment of up to 20 years. The bill was introduced into the Senate back in March by Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat. Since then, it has picked up a whopping 45 co-sponsors, including seven just in the past week, suggesting it has a strong chance of  passing the Senate.

A bit more from the ACLU letter:

The bill seeks to expand the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export Import Bank Act of 1945 which, among other things, prohibit U.S. persons from complying with a foreign government’s request to boycott a country friendly to the U.S. The bill would amend those laws to bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union. It would also broaden the law to include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. We take no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country, for that matter. However, we do assert that the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.”

Co-sponsors of S.720 (you can find the full text of the bill here ) include both senators from New York, Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, as well as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Robert Menendez,  and Lindsay Graham.

According to a report by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim and published at The Intercept, the bill has been strongly pushed by AIPAC, which would probably account for why so many senators have signed onto it.

“Indeed, AIPAC, in its 2017 lobbying agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year,” they write.

The also report that a similar bill had been introduced in the House at the same time as S.720, noting that the House version “has already amassed 234 co-sponsors: 63 Democrats and 174 Republicans.”

At the risk of stating the obvious, bills like this give us pause to wonder what the future may hold and whether or not we may be evolving into a Jewish-run totalitarian state. Greenwald and Grim comment that “the criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West.”

A bit more from the ACLU:

This bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies. There are millions of businesses and individuals who do no business with Israel, or with companies doing business there, for a number of reasons. Some, like those who would face serious financial penalties and jail time under the bill, actively avoid purchasing goods or services from companies that do business in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories because of a political viewpoint opposed to Israeli policy. Others may refrain from Israeli-related business based on political beliefs, but choose not to publicly announce their reasoning. Still others do no business with companies in Israel for purely pragmatic reasons. Under the bill, however, only a person whose lack of business ties to Israel is politically motivated would be subject to fines and imprisonment–even though there are many others who engage in the very same behavior. In short, the bill would punish businesses and individuals based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment.

According to Wikipedia, Sen. Ben Cardin is Jewish. His grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants and the family name originally was “Kardonsky” before it was changed to Cardin.

Can anyone explain to me why it shouldn’t be regarded as a conflict of interest for Jewish Congress members to vote on bills pertaining to Israel? Or why there isn’t a law on the books requiring them to recuse themselves whenever such measures come up for a vote?

Can we imagine the thunderous outcry that would erupt if we had elected representatives of Slavic or Russian extract introducing bills giving away huge sums of money–in the billions of dollars each year–to Russia, or mandating criminal penalties on anyone calling for a boycott of Russia?

New Evidence Emerges in USS Liberty Attack

“The reason is apparently that the Americans have findings that show our pilots were in fact aware the ship was American.”

[ Ed. note – If you’re a Zionist or an Israeli (or both), then I guess the word that might come most immediately to your mind here would be “Oooops!”

Imagine this: a long-suppressed Israeli Foreign Ministry document comes to light. It consists of a communication sent from New York to Jerusalem, apparently shortly after the attack on the USS Liberty, which took place on June 8, 1967. The communique conveys the message that an Israeli official has reached a somewhat unsettling conclusion–that US officials just may “have findings that show our pilots were in fact aware the ship was American.”

This is what we have in the article below posted by Alison Weir. The Israeli historian who discovered the document doesn’t believe it amounts to a “smoking gun,” but smoking guns are very much like beauty: both are in the eyes of the beholder. If you were sitting on a jury and this evidence was presented by a prosecutor, which way would you vote? Would you find the Israelis who ordered and carried out the attack on the Liberty guilty of deliberately murdering Americans…or not?

Apparently, judging from the evidence presented here, the Israelis at the time felt they had reason to be worried. ]

***

Israeli Documents on USS Liberty: ‘Americans have Findings Showing Our Pilots Were Aware the Ship was American’

If Americans Knew Blog

Recently discovered documents show Israeli leaders were worried that evidence would come out that Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty was intentional.

The Liberty was a Navy electronics surveillance ship operating in international waters during the Six-Day War. Israeli forces perpetrated an extended air and sea assault on the ship that killed 34 Americans, injured 175, and damaged the ship beyond repair. Afterward, Israel claimed the assault was an accident and provided $6 million in compensation for the loss of the $40 million ship. (More information here.)

According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israeli historian Adam Raz recently examined hundreds of documents related to the Liberty that had been posted by Israeli State Archives.

(Raz is author of The Battle Over the Bomb,” available only in Hebrew. He also is reported to have written “a fascinating article about Israel’s nuclear secrets in last week’s Hebrew Haaretzsupplement.”)

Ha’aretz reports that Raz is “fully aware of the fact that the ‘smoking gun’ won’t be found in the papers in the State Archives, because if Israel really had intended to hit the ship, that would have been known only to a handful of people.”

One of the documents Raz did find is an Israeli Foreign Ministry communication sent from New York to Jerusalem. Ha’aretz quotes the document:

“Menashe [apparently an Israeli official] informed us we had better be very careful… The reason is apparently that the Americans have findings that show our pilots were in fact aware the ship was American.”

And later: “Menashe believes there is a recording on the ship of the conversations between the ship and our pilots, in which the ship’s crew said the ship is American. Menashe says that, in his opinion, our only chance of getting out of the crisis is to punish someone for negligence.”

In another document, the Israeli Embassy in Washington writes to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem under the heading “Urgent.”

Continued here

Nasrallah: The US Created ISIS

Posted on July 12, 2017

“The victory in Mosul is major. It’s as clear as the sun that the Obama administration established ISIS, and there is proof of this within the American government.”

–Hasan Nasrallah

The above quote from Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is taken from an Israeli website here. The report concerns a speech Nasrallah gave on Tuesday in which he praised Iraqi forces for their liberation of the city of Mosul. You can read more about the speech at Al Manar and at Press TV (h/t summitflyer).

I suspect we are going to see a new war between Israel and Hezbollah break out probably in the not-too-far-distant future. Perhaps worth keeping in mind is that Megiddo, the site in Israel traditionally thought of as where the Battle of Armageddon will be fought, is no more than 35 miles from the Lebanese border.

Over the past three days Israeli media have been full of stories about underground “missile factories,” supposedly built in Lebanon by Iranians, where Hezbollah members are now manufacturing missiles to fire upon Israel. The US media, preoccupied with the “Russiagate” story, have had little to say about it so far, although a couple of commentaries have been published, one in the Washington Times and the other in US News and World Report, and I suspect CNN, the New York Times and the rest of the herd will jump on the story before too long.

The commentary in the Washington Times, written by one Clifford D. May, includes a bellicose quote from Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman:

“We are fully aware” of the factories, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told military correspondents in a briefing in Tel Aviv on Sunday. “We know what needs to be done . We won’t ignore the establishment of Iranian weapons factories in Lebanon.”

The gist of the reporting on the story is that at least two factories–both built deep underground–have been set up, and that both are now actively producing weapons with which to attack poor, little Israel. Whether there is any validity to the reports at all is impossible to say, but clearly the groundwork is being laid to establish a pretext for an Israeli attack upon Lebanon. This of course comes after repeated Israeli attacks upon Syria, but of course all that will be forgotten. Forgotten also will be Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine.

Of course, one thing we should try very hard not to forget is that, just as Bashar Assad’s government has protected Christians in Syria, so too has Hezbollah protected Christians in Lebanon. Here is a picture of the St. Joseph Maronite Church–located right in the heart of Haret Hreik, the Hezbollah neighborhood of southern Beirut:

I visited Beirut in 2014 and saw the church with my own eyes–in fact passed right down the alleyway you see in the picture that runs alongside of it. You don’t have to be a Shiite Muslim to live in Hezbollah-controlled areas of Lebanon; people are free to worship as they see fit.

One thing I’ve noticed about the Zionist media’s reporting on Hezbollah is that they always try to blur the line between Hezbollah and ISIS–as if deliberately trying to instill the impression that both are “terrorist” organizations and that both follow the same ideology. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Suffice to say, Russiagate isn’t the only media deception game going on.

Update on Israeli Feud with UNESCO

As I reported in a post yesterday, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has in the past week adopted a couple of resolutions that have aroused Israeli indignation. One of the resolutions–the one which seems to have sparked the most fury–recognizes the old city of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site.

According to the video in the embedded tweet below, Israel has now announced a cut of $1 million in UN funding, apparently in retaliation.

 declared the obvious,  is 🇵🇸. Why is Israel even in the UN? They’ve broken so many laws — 🇮🇱 needs to be shunned & boycotted!

 As I reported in yesterday’s post–and as the video above also mentions–the World Heritage committee, in addition to designating the site as Palestinian, also declared it to be endangered. Reportedly the concern here, or at least one of the concerns, is the threat from vandalism. Given that Hebron is inhabited by Israeli settlers, who seem to be free to commit crimes against the Palestinian population with impunity, the apprehension is probably justified. But of course this aspect to the resolution’s passage in all probability had the effect of arousing Israeli anger all the more.

The Israeli official in the video I posted yesterday–the man who interrupted the proceedings by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews” and who was accused by the representative from Cuba of turning the meeting into a “politicized circus” by way of response–this man’s name, apparently, is Carmel Shama-Hacohen, and he reportedly is Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO. According to a report here, shortly after the Hebron resolution was passed, he declared that fixing his “toilet” was more important than the vote just taken:

Israel isn’t known for its fondness of the United Nations and its institutions, but a resolution passed on Friday questioning Israel’s continued occupation of the ancient West Bank city of Hebron and the damage it might be causing to holy sites there drew an unusual response.

“Sorry … I have a very urgent … sorry, Mr Chairman … it’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris,” Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said sarcastically while addressing the forum’s annual gathering.

“There is a huge problem in my toilet, and it’s more important than the decision you just adopted, thank you.”

Also in yesterday’s post I made an offhand observation regarding the impression that comments by Israeli officials often leave with me. Specifically, I said:

From turning a meeting into a circus sideshow by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews,” to accusing a people living under a brutal occupation of being responsible for their own misery and suffering–there is something about the behavior of Israeli officials that somehow always seems to remind me of the proverbial rude guest who showed up for a party uninvited.

When I wrote those words yesterday, little did I know that Israel does not even hold a seat on World Heritage Committee–which would seem to lend a sort of special significance to my comment about the rude guest showing up uninvited. But indeed, I made that discovery today.

If you go to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention website, you can find a PDF document that lists the current members of the World Heritage Committee. There are 21 of them in all. Here is a screen shot from the document (click to enlarge):

As you can see, Israel is not on the list. In other words, Hacohen, who spent part of the meeting talking about his toilet and importuning silence on behalf of “six million murdered Jews,” is not even a member of the committee. But yet, according to Israelis, it is the committee members who are guilty of bad behavior.

By the way, the World Heritage Committee’s deliberations are taking place in Krakow, Poland, and they are not over yet. The session is supposed to continue through Wednesday, so there may be more to come.

Israel Turns UNESCO Meeting into ‘Politicized Circus’

Israel, not for the first time, is royally P.O.’ed at UNESCO. The UN organization’s World Heritage Committee has been holding a meeting in Krakow, Poland–and in a session on July 4, the body passed a resolution naming Israel as an “occupying power” while at the same time condemning its tunneling and underground excavation activities in the old city of Jerusalem.

Said excavations, presumably for archaeological purposes, started up several years ago. I first put up a post about them back in 2014 after it was reported that they were causing structural problems with Palestinian homes in the area, so it’s good that UNESCO is addressing the issue. But the resolution angered the Israeli representative, who threw a temper tantrum by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews.” And this is what we see in the video below:

As you can see, the representative from Cuba charged the Israeli–rightfully in my opinion–with turning the meeting into a “politicized circus.” She then reciprocated by calling for a moment of silence for Palestinians who have died. As the video shows, the overwhelming majority of people in the auditorium rose to their feet. It did not sit well with the Israelis.

According to a report here, one Israeli official accused the UNESCO committee of being “detached from reality,” while the Zionist state’s Foreign Ministry is quoted as saying, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no decision by UNESCO can change that reality.”

That all was, as I say, on July 4.

Three days later, on July 7, Israel again had a hissy fit over a resolution–passed by the same committee. This time the measure had to do with Hebron, specifically recognizing its old city as an endangered World Heritage site. Hebron’s old city includes a site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque (or Mosque of Abraham) and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. In that regard it has significance to both religions. But the committee voted to recognize the old city of Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage site–rather than an Israeli one. This of course makes perfectly logical sense because Hebron is in the West Bank and the West Bank is internationally recognized as rightfully belonging to the Palestinians. But again Israelis resorted to tantrums.

“Not a Jewish site?!” thundered Netanyahu. “Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – our patriarchs and matriarchs!”

Of course, the committee didn’t say it wasn’t a Jewish site; they just said it was a Palestinian site–because the site is, after all, in Occupied Palestine. In fact, according to a report here, the resolution–which passed by a vote of 12-3 with six abstentions–“emphasized the importance of the site to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.”

But Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli charged the committee with attempting to “appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people,” and she went on to further accuse the UNESCO delegates of maliciously spreading lies.

“This is a badge of shame for UNESCO, who time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies,” she is quoted as saying.

You might recall I put up a post about Hotoveli a week ago.  This was after she did an interview with 60 Minutes Australia in which she expressed the view that “it’s not because of the Israelis” that Palestinians live under such abject conditions. No, “it’s really dependent on them,” she insisted, adding that “their leadership doesn’t give them the ability to live under democratic values.”

From turning a meeting into a circus sideshow by calling for a moment of silence for “six million murdered Jews,” to accusing a people living under a brutal occupation of being responsible for their own misery and suffering–there is something about the behavior of Israeli officials that somehow always seems to remind me of the proverbial rude guest who showed up for a party uninvited.

By the way, in case you missed it, Israel recently confiscated an array of solar panels that had been donated by the Dutch government to a Palestinian village in the West Bank. Despite being surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements, the village in question, Jubbet al-Dhib, is not connected to the national electric grid. The Dutch government has called the action “unacceptable,” and Holland’s prime minister, Mark Rutte, has reportedly now lodged a formal protest. The solar panels cost approximately $600,000.

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