Court Rules Palestinian Filmmaker Must Pay Damages To Israeli Soldier Who Took Part in Massacre

By Miko Peled

Source

“Jenin, Jenin” documents a deadly Israeli assault on a Palestinian refugee camp that left hundreds of civilians dead and over fifteen hundred wounded, and its release has caused an uproar in Israeli society.

In a particularly draconian decision, an Israeli court has ruled that the documentary film “Jenin, Jenin” will be banned from screening in Israel. Additionally, all copies of the film must be collected and destroyed. The court went even further and ordered producer, director, and actor Mohammad Bakri, the man behind the film which documents the Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp, must pay damages to an Israeli officer who participated in the massacre and appears in the film for about five seconds. 

Israel’s military invasion of the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin and the slaughter which followed took place in March of 2002. The army entered the camp with tanks, special forces, commando units, and several reservist brigades. The camp was bombarded from the air and from the ground. Several hundred Palestinian fighters fought heroically, armed with nothing but semiautomatic rifles and rudimentary guerrilla warfare skills. Twenty-five Israeli soldiers lost their lives in the camp and countless Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed.

Silencing the survivors’ point of view

Jenin, Jenin” includes testimony from people of all ages who lived through the Israeli assault on the camp. There is no question that hearing the descriptions and experiences of the survivors of that awful trauma is heart-wrenching. But Bakri himself never makes any direct accusations in the film. He shows footage of Israeli soldiers, tanks, and armored personnel carriers, and of Palestinians being arrested, but at no point in the movie is an actual accusation made and it is clear that the only perspectives offered in the film are from those who live in the camp.

Protests erupted in Israel as soon as the movie was shown. Bakri was called a Nazi and slandered by the press and the public for daring to show what Palestinians had experienced at the hands of the Israeli soldiers who entered the camp. Soldiers who had participated in what is known as “The Battle of Jenin” demanded that Israeli authorities censor the movie and not allow theaters to show it, and they eventually got their way.

Jenin Refugee Camp
Palestinian rescue workers search for human remains in the rubble of the Hawashin district. No heavy equipment was available during the first days after the fighting had ended, and rescue workers had to dig through the rubble with their hands. Jenin Refugee Camp, 2002. Peter Bouckaert | Human Rights Watch
Jenin Refugee Camp
A young boy is treated at the Jenin hospital moments after he and his friend were wounded in an explosion in the Jenin refugee camp. His friend died the next morning. The Jenin refugee camp was strewn with leftover Palestinian explosives and unexploded Israeli ordinance after the attack, causing additional injuries and deaths. Jenin Refugee Camp, 2002. Peter Bouckaert | Human Rights Watch

The film was banned by the Israeli Film Ratings Board on the premise that it was libelous and might offend the public. Bakri appealed the decision and the case went all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court, which ultimately overturned the board’s decision. Since then, those who have participated in the assault have been looking for ways to challenge the film. 

In November 2016, Nissim Meghnagi, a reserve officer who took part in Operation Defensive Shield, also known as the massacre at the Jenin refugee camp, sued Bakri for 2.6 million shekels, the equivalent of around 745,000 U.S. dollars. In his suit, Meghnagi claimed that he appears in, and was named in the film and that it libeled Israeli soldiers by presenting them as war criminals. 

Bakri argued, correctly, that the purpose of the lawsuit was persecution and political silencing, and that the movie makes no accusation against Meghnagi specifically. It only shows, Bakri continuously yet fruitlessly claimed, the point of view of the Palestinians who experienced the onslaught on the camp. Still, the District Court in the Israeli-occupied city of Lyd ruled in Meghnagi’s favor and ordered Bakri to pay Meghnagi the equivalent of $55,000. Now the case is expected to go back to the Supreme Court.

A History of War Crimes

Israeli forces did not allow the Red Cross or any other international observers to enter the camp for many days after the assault was over. This allowed them to clean up the camp before anyone from the outside was able to witness what had been done.

Israeli authorities, courts, media, and public opinion tend to view Palestinian claims regarding human rights abuses, violence, and massacres committed by military units as lies. Internal investigations by the military and other Israeli government agencies rarely find Israeli forces guilty of any crimes.

The reason that “Jenin, Jenin” created such a strong reaction in Israel is that the people involved, and even those who were not directly involved, know that Israel has a history of atrocities and war crimes. Israel claims that the IDF is the “most moral army in the world,” yet almost every single Israeli has either been witness to or knows someone who has witnessed – or even committed – atrocities. 

Committing war crimes of all kinds is a deeply rooted tradition in the Israeli military. It goes back to the earliest days of the pre-state era when Zionist militias operated before an actual Israeli Army was formed. These militias were turned into an organized army in the middle of the 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign of Palestine. They were in the midst of committing a horrendous crime for which no one has yet been brought to justice when they became an official army and when Jewish Zionist settlers in Palestine became citizens of a newly established Apartheid State, a state whose very establishment was a war crime.

This is why there is such opposition to the movie and to Mohammad Bakri himself amongst Israelis. Bakri touched an open nerve and because as a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, he also happens to be a household name among Israelis, Israelis are furious at him. Bakri dared to enter the camp and to talk to its residents without showing what is commonly known as “the other side.”  Furthermore, as is made very clear throughout the movie, the spirit of the people in the camp remains undefeated. 

Over and over again throughout the movie, we hear survivors of the assault, even as they sit on the rubble of their own homes, repeat that they will rebuild the camp house by house and that they will never surrender. This is hardly the message that Israelis – who only a short time before had voted for the notorious Ariel Sharon to be their prime minister – want to hear.

The Driver of a D9

On May 31, 2002, Israeli journalist Tsadok Yehazkeli, working for the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, published an article in Hebrew about the driver of a D9 bulldozer who went by the moniker, “Bear the Kurd.” “Bear” made a name for himself during the assault on the Jenin refugee camp, when for 72 hours straight he drove his bulldozer into countess houses and destroyed everything in his path, ramming into homes regardless of whether or not they were inhabited. 

He was quoted as saying “I made them a football stadium,” and “I have no regrets. I’m proud of my work,” and, “I never gave the people a chance to run out of the houses before I ran over them and ruined the houses with my bulldozer.” None of this is shown or mentioned in Bakri’s film yet it provides a picture of the atmosphere among the Israeli troops that entered the camp.

The army unit in which the D9 driver operated went on to receive a medal for its actions during the assault, and the man known as “Bear the Kurd” became a hero to the troops. Because so many were buried under the rubble, to this day no one knows how many Palestinians were killed in 2002 at the Jenin refugee camp.

It is hard to anticipate what the Israeli Supreme Court will rule when it hears the Bakri case. However, in a state that was built on war crimes and atrocities, one may expect that all branches of government will work together to keep the truth from coming out. Either way, few Israeli war crimes are as documented as this one, and so “Jenin, Jenin” must be viewed and shared widely.

Social Media Giants Ban Trump, but the Real Censorship is of Palestinians

Facebook censorship

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

“Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians. They’re using hate speech as a political tool.” —  Alison Ramer, 7amleh 

In the wake of the Capitol Hill insurrection, Facebook and Twitter finally took a principled stand against President Donald Trump by suspending his accounts. While Trump lashed out at the tech giants, media analysts condoned the move—noting stronger moderation of his and other inflammatory posts are long overdue.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media behemoths have faced criticism over the years for allowing misinformation and dangerous incitement to run rampant on their platforms. Yet while these companies seem to fail at controlling right-wing propaganda, they’ve had no problem suppressing content on Palestine.

Palestinian Facebook pages see 50% drop in reach

According to Palestinian non-governmental organization Sada Social Center, Palestinian Facebook pages saw their content’s reach dip by more than 50%, and in some cases, by more than 80%. Sada Social attributes the steep decline to coverage of Arab countries’ normalization agreements with Israel.

“Most of the pages that brought complaints to us are followed by millions of users through Facebook,” Sada Social wrote in their report. “These pages actively participated in covering the issue of Arab normalization with the Israeli occupation recently.”

The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine and Muslim Scholars were just two of the numerous Facebook pages to have their content blocked or restricted in the last month.

When pressed for an explanation about the recent removals, a Facebook company spokesperson told MintPress News:

We do our utmost to ensure that only content in violation of our Community Standards is removed. Where mistakes are made, due to human or technical error, the content is restored. The Global Campaign for Return to Palestine page was unfortunately removed due to an error – it has now been restored. We were not trying to limit anyone’s ability to post or express themselves.”

In response to the increasing censorship, The Palestinian Content Protection Initiative—a group of media outlets, activists, and journalists working to defend Palestinian content online—called for a two-hour boycott of Facebook on Jan. 9.

“The administrations of social media websites have been pursuing, targeting, and restricting the publishing and access of Palestinian pages and accounts, and in full coordination with the Israeli occupation government,” the Initiative said in a statement. “As a result, Palestinian media have been restricted, and were unable to convey their national message.”

Facebook working with Israel to suppress content

Facebook’s targeting of Palestinian content isn’t new. The social media titan has a long history of working with Israeli authorities to remove Palestinian information.

Under the guise of hate speech, Facebook cracks down on content often related to certain keywords such as “Hamas” or “Zionism,” Alison Ramer, International Relations Manager at 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, explained.

“A lot of times this is done through artificial intelligence, which the companies are really being pushed to use under increasing pressure from governments and the public to respond to hate speech,” Ramer said.

But it’s not just automatic processes that are determining what’s permitted on social media. According to a 2020 7amleh report, the Israeli government has orchestrated a systematic campaign through Facebook to ensure content related to the Palestinian cause is removed.

“The Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked stated that ‘Facebook, Google, and YouTube are complying with up to 95% of Israel’s requests to delete content that the Israeli government says incites Palestinian violence.’ This shows a significant focus on Palestinian content and efforts to label Palestinian political speech as incitement to violence,” 7amleh wrote.   

These requests are done through the Ministry of Justice’s Cyber Unit, which was established in 2015. Even Facebook’s own personnel appear to be in bed with Israel. Currently, Emi Palmor, Israel’s former Justice Ministry director-general, sits on Facebook and Instagram’s Oversight Board — a committee responsible for content moderation.

Additionally, governmental and non-governmental organizations are urging citizens to report Palestinian content. “Several of these organizations — dubbed “GONGOs” (government-operated NGOs) — are working to conflate criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and hate speech and have designed strategies to manipulate social media algorithms with the support of online trolls,” 7amleh wrote.

These efforts not only remove Palestinian content but elevate smear campaigns against Palestinians. As Facebook works diligently to remove white supremacist content, Ramer acknowledged that it leaves hate speech directed toward Palestinians on its site.

“7amleh has documented hate speech directed toward Palestinians in Hebrew, which we have seen left online for many years, while legitimate political speech critical of Israel is being flagged as hate speech and censored,” Ramer said. “We know that the Israeli government and government-supporting NGOs are pushing for tech companies to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which is leading to increasing censorship of Palestinians and human rights defenders.”

According to Ramer, pressure from the Israeli Lobby is the motivating factor in restricting Palestinian content.  

“There’s pressure on Facebook to expand the definition of anti-Semitism, and we know that the intention of this is to censor those critical of Israel, Palestinians and human rights supporters. And this, obviously, can have a large impact on the development of many other tech companies’ policies,” Ramer said.

Not just Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform for Palestinians, but it’s not the only one restricting their content.

TikTok recently removed the account belonging to Palestinian news organization, Quds News Network (QNN). The account manager, Hamzah al-Shobaki, said it was deleted after sharing 1,200 posts about Arab countries’ normalization with Israel. TikTok has since reinstated the account, claiming a violation error led to the account’s removal.

This isn’t QNN’s first experience with social media censorship, however. In 2019, the news outlet had four of its Twitter accounts deactivated without warning. QNN editors also had their personal Facebook accounts suspended in 2016, reportedly by mistake. Other Palestinian media sources have also had their Twitter and Facebook accounts removed over the years.

YouTube has been accused of violating Palestinian digital rights as well. Research from 7amleh details that the video-sharing platform uses hyper-surveillance tactics referred to as “locative discrimination” to monitor content coming from Palestine.

According to their findings, Palestinian YouTube user Ahmad conducted an online experiment to see if the removal of his content was due to his location:

“I sent the same video which has been deleted from my YouTube account to my friend’s YouTube account in Europe…and YouTube was fine with the video being published from a European country.”

“This simple test showed that content that’s being uploaded in the Palestinian Territories is being treated differently than the content uploaded by Western countries,” 7amleh’s Ramer said. “These policies are discriminatory and overly surveying and censoring Palestinians.”

Ramer emphasized that tech companies should not be the decision-makers regarding freedom of expression. Yet because they control these communication channels, they are ultimately tasked with monitoring what is shared—and Israel is taking full advantage of that.

“Israel is using this for its political aim to silence Palestinians. They’re using hate speech as a political tool,” Ramer said, clarifying that what’s happening not only blacks out Palestinian issues but the global conversation on human rights as a whole.

“This won’t just silence Palestinians, but it’ll silence human rights defenders, and it will show other governments how to use hate speech to silence and censor people.”

Facts on the Ground – The Trial of Issa Amro, Palestinian Resistance, the Death of the Two-States Myth — Miko Peled

Facts on the Ground invite Miko to discuss the ongoing trial and persecution of Palestinian activist, Issa Amro, as well as the greater context of Palestinian resistance and a whole lot more.

Facts on the Ground – The Trial of Issa Amro, Palestinian Resistance, the Death of the Two-States Myth — Miko Peled

These Are Russia’s Five Most Important Tasks For Surviving World War C

By Andrew Korybko

Source

These Are Russia

The full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes brought about over the past year by the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19 can best be described as World War C, and Russia will need to prioritize five tasks in order to survive it in 2021 and beyond: continue practicing “vaccine diplomacy”; lead the “Great Reset”/”Fourth Industrial Revolution”; adjust to the “Great Socio-Civilizational Reset”; defend itself from Western aggression in the New Cold War; and perfect its geostrategic “balancing” act.

Welcome To World War C

The past year saw the opening of Pandora’s box after the world’s uncoordinated efforts to contain COVID-19 unleashed full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes that can best be described as World War C. This struggle for the future of the world is unprecedented in literally every single way, influencing everything from how people interact with one another and their governments to relationships between states. Nothing will ever be the same after 2020, something that Russia is keenly aware of. It’s therefore doing its utmost to get ahead of these trends in order to avoid falling into its historical pattern of “lagging” behind its peer competitors. In the worst-case scenario, Russia might never “catch up” like it always has a knack for doing at what usually seems to be the very last minute, which is why the five following tasks are of the highest priority in order for it to survive World War C in 2021 and beyond:

1. Continue Practicing “Vaccine Diplomacy”

As the author realized in late November, “Russia’s ‘Vaccine DIplomacy’ Is The Basis Of Its New Global Outreach Campaign”. What’s meant by this is that its sudden rise as a vaccine superpower can be cleverly leveraged to expand influence within its growing number of partner states for the purpose of clinching more comprehensive deals with them in other fields such as the political, military, and especially economic ones. Vaccine cooperation is probably the most intimate form of state-to-state ties because the recipient is literally putting their citizens’ lives in the hands of their partners, who will then inject them with what’s regarded as a life-saving inoculation in order to help their countries return to as much of the pre-World War C domestic status quo as possible with time. By continuing to practice its “vaccine diplomacy” and retaining its superpower status in this sphere, Russia might actually manage to “jump ahead” of its peer competitors and “make up for lost time” by restoring its global influence that was lost after the 1991 dissolution of the USSR. Even more importantly, Russia also has a credible chance of more powerfully shaping the emerging world order if it can succeed with this crucial task.

2. Lead The “Great Reset”/”Fourth Industrial Revolution”

Unlike what the many Non-Russian Pro-Russians (NRPR) in the Alt-Media Community wrongly believe, Russia isn’t against the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “Great Reset”/”Fourth Industrial Revolution” (GR/4IR), but is keenly aware of these plans and actually intends to play a leading role in actualizing them. President Putin attended the WEF’s 2003 meeting in Moscow, while former President Medvedev attended the one in Davos in 2011. President Putin also met with WEF founder Klaus Schwab in St. Petersburg in 2007 and 2008. His most recent meeting with the GR/4IR mastermind took place in November 2019, during which time the Russian leader proudly said that “we have always supported and will continue to support our relations with the forum you founded.” It can’t be known for certain, but it might very well be that Schwab’s 2016 book on the 4IR influenced President Putin’s prediction a year later that “whoever leads in AI will rule the world”, after which he committed his country to becoming the global leader in this sphere. To that end, Russia’s state-run Sberbank is now pioneering Russia’s technological future in the new global conditions of the GR/4IR.

3. Adjust To The “Great Socio-Civilizational Reset”

Socio-cultural and civilizational factors aren’t immune from the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes catalyzed by World War C. The author wrote back in October that a “Great Socio-Civilizational Reset” has begun whereby cultures across the world will become increasingly assertive of their identity, but that this doesn’t inevitably mean that they’ll clash since cooperation between them is still possible on shared interests such as trade. Similar changes are also taking place within civilizations and states as well, such as the growing contradiction between liberal and conservative viewpoints. “President Assad Slaughtered Neoliberalism’s Four Sacred Cows” last month, though, showing that it’s possible to be both anti-liberal and against religious fundamentalism like secular Syria is. Regarding the Eurasian Great Power, “Be It From Birthrates Or Migration, Russia’s About To Greatly Increase Its Muslim Population” since its top mufti predicted that 30% of its people will be Muslim by 2030. In order to best adjust to all these far-reaching changes, President Putin unveiled a new governing policy last October that the author described as “populist statism”, which holds enormous promise.

4. Defend Itself From Western Aggression In The New Cold War

The socio-economic changes that were earlier described have naturally been accompanied by geopolitical ones as well, the latter of which accelerated the ongoing New Cold War between the West and non-Western Great Powers like Russia and China which first became most noticeable in 2014. The US is seeking to “contain” its two top rivals, having piled immense pressure upon Russia in the years since such as by imposing an ever-increasing sanctions regime, moving massive amounts of military equipment towards its borders, destabilizing the states in its so-called “sphere of influence”, and pulling out of strategic arms control pacts. Its parallel moves to “contain” China also pose a threat to Russian interests since the Eurasian Great Power’s security is partially dependent on that of its East Asian strategic partner as well. In addition, the US is also trying to push back against Russia’s growing influence in the “Global South”, particularly in Muslim-majority countries and Africa. As they say, however, “the best defense is a good offense”, so Russia will need to proactively confront these challenges by redoubling its global outreach efforts and prioritizing its characteristic asymmetric responses.

5. Perfect Its Geostrategic “Balancing” Act

The trickiest of Russia’s five most important tasks for surviving World War C in 2021 and beyond is to perfect its geostrategic “balancing” act, which the author constructively critiqued over the summer with the intent of suggesting realistic solutions for fixing its main shortcomings. The most challenging fulcrums in this respect nowadays are between China & India and Iran & “Israel”. The first was most recently addressed in the author’s analysis about how “Russia’s Unofficial Response To India Did Everything Right” (which cites two prior related analyses early on in the text that should be reviewed by the reader for background context) and “Russian & Iranian Experts Finally Discussed Their Differences Over Syria”. The first one also relies heavily on his September 2020 analysis asking “Is Russia ‘Abandoning’ Or ‘Recalibrating’ Its ‘Balancing’ Act Between China & India?” while the second one was similarly influenced by his September 2019 piece titled “Russia’s Middle East Strategy: ‘Balance’ vs. ‘Betrayal’?” The overarching trend is that “Russia’s Foreign Policy Progressives Have Trumped The Traditionalists”, as the author first observed in September 2017, which will continue to unfold into the future.

——————–

Looking forward, Russia has plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic about 2021. The past year saw the Eurasian Great Power suddenly emerge as the global vaccine superpower that’s actively practicing “vaccine diplomacy” in every corner of the world. It also saw Russia make tangible progress on attempting to lead the “Great Reset”/”Fourth Industrial Revolution” following the implementation of state-run Sberbank’s visionary plans to become a global technological player. In addition, Russia is rapidly adapting to the “Great Socio-Civilizational Reset” and other related challenges through President Putin’s unofficial unveiling of a new model of governance that can best be described as “populist statism”. The greatest challenges, however, are the need to defend itself from Western aggression in the New Cold War and perfect its increasingly complex “balancing” act. Nevertheless, with President Putin still at the helm, Russia’s prospects of success remain very promising.

Israel’s Genocide in Gaza Goes Uninterrupted, But Is Europe Finally Taking Notice?

By Miko Peled

Source

A long and cruel siege, constant Israeli attacks resulting in the killing of countless civilians, destruction of homes and infrastructure, extreme poverty, and trauma remain the daily bread of Palestinians in Gaza.

Areport published by the United Nations in 2018 stated that by the year 2020 the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable. It said specifically that, “the United Nations has stated that Gaza may well be unlivable by 2020.” The report emphasized also that “Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, drew attention to Israel’s persistent non-cooperation with the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. As with his two predecessors, Israel has not granted him entry to visit the country, nor the Occupied Palestinian territory.” Anyone who thinks that the Gaza Strip was liveable prior to 2020 is out of their mind.

The Gaza Strip has been a humanitarian disaster since it was artificially created in the aftermath of the 1948 Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing. It was created primarily as a holding place for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians driven off of their lands by Zionist terrorists in southern Palestine. Impoverished and homeless, these refugees were forced to survive on handouts, and today they make up more than half of the Gaza Strip’s 2.2 million inhabitants. Considering the high standard of living Jewish citizens of Israel in that part of the country enjoy, living as they do on the very lands from which the Palestinians were exiled, the “Strip” was never “liveable.”

Now 2020 has come and gone, the United Nations report is shelved, and not a thing has changed. Over two million people remain imprisoned by Israel in the Gaza Strip. They suffer from a lack of the most basic needs like drinkable water, electricity, medicine, and nutrition. Israel also denies them basic human rights while Israeli Jews living minutes away enjoy a standard of living that is, by any measure, enviable with full access to the finest health care, nutrition, and clean water.

A European delegation comes to visit

A delegation of European representatives recently visited Gaza, yet Europeans have not used their influence, political or otherwise, to end Israeli violations of human rights and international law.

It would not have taken much for EU representatives to see the devastation, poverty, and severe shortages experienced by the people of Gaza. All one needs to do is drive through the Gaza Strip to see the evidence, and yet no change seems to be forthcoming from the Europeans.

Gaza Europe
A family prepares tea in a slum on the outskirts of Khan Younis Refugee Camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 25, 2020. Khalil Hamra | AP

In fact, according to the Israeli press, Germany just announced that in order to provide Israel with a European made vaccine for Covid-19, “Germany used its influence in the EU to bend the rule that a European-produced vaccination would be given to European countries first. Germany justified the decision in part through its “historical commitment to supporting Israel.” Knowing full well that millions of Palestinians are denied health care and that the spread of Covid-19 among Palestinians is alarming, no such commitment was made to assist the Palestinians in their fight against the deadly disease..

Complicity

The comfort that Europeans display as they cooperate with the State of Israel, even as they claim to be champions of human rights, amounts to complicity. According to the Geneva Convention, particularly the Rome Statute, European cooperation with Israel constitutes complicity in genocide. When one looks at the definition of genocide and compares it with the actions of Israel in Gaza, it is quite clear that the Zionist State is engaged in genocide.


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group;

Three of the five examples given here are constantly committed by Israel in Gaza. Furthermore, Article II of the Genocide Convention “contains a narrow definition of the crime of genocide, which includes two main elements,” one of which is the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” Israeli attacks on Gaza for over seven decades  clearly demonstrate that they are part of a larger strategy and that there is clear intent to bring about the destruction of a people.

According to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the issue of complicity with genocide is quite clear. “Prior jurisprudence has defined the term complicity as aiding and abetting, instigating, and procuring […] Complicity to commit genocide in Article 2(3)(e) refers to all acts of assistance or encouragement that have substantially contributed to, or have had a substantial effect on, the completion of the crime of genocide.”

The report defined the following as elements of complicity in genocide:

  • “complicity by procuring means, such as weapons, instruments or any other means, used to commit genocide, with the accomplice knowing that such means would be used for such a purpose;
  • complicity by knowingly aiding or abetting a perpetrator of a genocide in the planning or enabling acts thereof;

According to that definition, both the EU states and the United States are complicit in the crime of genocide.

Human Rights Watch maintains that Israel has, “entrenched discriminatory systems that treat Palestinians unequally.”  It “involves systematic rights abuses, including collective punishment, routine use of excessive lethal force against protesters, and prolonged administrative detention without charge or trial for hundreds.”

It continues to state that Israel, “builds and supports illegal settlements […]expropriating Palestinian land and imposing burdens on Palestinians but not on settlers, restricting their access to basic services and making it nearly impossible for them to build.”

Regarding the Gaza Strip, HRW writes that “Israel’s more than decade-long closure of Gaza severely restricts the movement of people and goods, with devastating humanitarian impact.”

What constitutes aid?

The first order of business needs to be the immediate and unconditional lifting of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007. A no-fly zone monitored by UN or European naval forces must be imposed on all Israeli aircraft. In addition to these measures, humanitarian relief must be made available to the people of Gaza without delay.

Israel must be sanctioned and all military and economic cooperation with Israel must be stopped until such time that it complies with international law and ends all its violations of human rights. This should be followed by setting a date for free and fair one person, one vote elections in all of historic Palestine. Then processes must be put in place for the repatriation of Palestinian refugees, and funding must be set aside for payment of reparations and restitution.

A girl walks next to a donkey carte loaded with rocks on the outskirts of Khan Younis Refugee Camp, in the southern Gaza, Nov. 25, 2020. Khalil Hamra |AP

Israel must also be held accountable for its violations of international law since 1948 and Israeli politicians, as well as military commanders, must be investigated and charged with war crimes.

European countries are fully aware of the reality that exists in Gaza. A long and cruel siege, constant Israeli attacks resulting in the killing of countless civilians, destruction of homes and infrastructure, extreme poverty, and trauma are the daily bread of Palestinians in Gaza.

The reality in Gaza is no secret and Israeli violations of international law are well known. However, European governments are in the habit of seeing colonized and formerly colonized people as needing aid and doing little to provide the aid. The aid they provide is sometimes monetary and sometimes humanitarian in the form of food items, but rarely is it sufficient. In the case of the Gaza Strip, real political action is called for, but it is not clear if and when the EU will be willing to act.

Western Sahara Is Extremely Important For The Anti-Imperialist Cause

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Western Sahara Is Extremely Important For The Anti-Imperialist Cause
Most folks never heard about Western Sahara until Trump unilaterally recognized Morocco’s claims to this disputed region of the Maghreb last week in exchange for it agreeing to a peace deal with “Israel”, but it’s actually extremely important for the anti-imperialist cause since its standing is similar to Palestine and Kashmir’s in the eyes of international law.

Trump’s unilateral recognition of Morocco’s claims to the disputed Maghreb region of Western Sahara in exchange for Rabat formalizing its long-held and not-so-secret ties with Tel Aviv caught many observers by surprise who previously weren’t familiar with this unresolved conflict. Palestine and Kashmir are much more globally prominent because of the involvement of nuclear powers and the efforts of some to focus more on the inter-religious optics of these conflicts than their international legal origins. Western Sahara satisfies neither of those two “exciting” criteria, hence why it’s largely been forgotten about by most of the world since the issue first came to the fore of international politics in the mid-1970s.

Francoist Spain’s “decolonization” process saw the totalitarian country refuse to grant independence to the Western Sahara, instead dividing it between neighboring Morocco and Mauritania against the wishes of the indigenous Sahrawi people as represented by the Polisario Front. This group in turn proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic with the support of neighboring Algeria, which has an historic rivalry with Morocco and was also sympathetic to socialist causes such as this one during the Old Cold War. Mauritania eventually abandoned its claims to the disputed region, and after over a decades’ worth of fighting, Morocco and the Western Sahara reached a UN-backed agreement in 1991 to hold a referendum on the region’s political status.

The vote never took place since the two warring sides couldn’t agree on who’s eligible to vote, with the primary problem being Morocco’s insistence on letting settlers participate. Western Sahara is also de-facto divided by a sand wall that the occupying army built to solidify its control over approximately 80% of the territory. With Trump’s unilateral recognition of Rabat’s claim to the entire region (which might eventually be followed by others such as “Israel”), as well as his government’s subsequent decision to move forward with a $1 billion arms deal, it’s extremely unlikely that last month’s end of the 29-year ceasefire will result in any serious gains being made by the Polisario Front.

Russia denounced the US’ political decision as illegal under international law, which is an entirely accurate assessment, but this isn’t expected to have any tangible effect on altering the conflict’s dynamics. Only Algeria could potentially have an impact, but its ongoing domestic political problems over nearly the past two years have forced it to suddenly look inward instead of continue with its traditional policy of presenting itself as a regional leader. Moreover, the US’ planned arms deal might ultimately shift the regional balance of power in a decisive way, especially if “Israel” gets involved too, or at the very least spark a new arms race between Morocco and Algeria as the latter looks to Russia and China for more military support in response.

Amidst all of this, anti-imperialists shouldn’t ever forget the international legal importance of the Western Saharan cause. However one feels about the legitimacy of either side’s claims in the conflict, it’s nevertheless a UNSC-recognized dispute that’s supposed to be resolved by a referendum. The precedent of the US unilaterally abandoning its international legal obligations is disturbing and arguably also destabilizing, though it’s obviously doing this in pursuit of its own national interests as it subjectively understands them. The problem, however, is that this might embolden other claimants over different UNSC-recognized disputed territories across the world to double down on their maximalist positions, thus making it much more difficult to resolve those issues.

Another important point is that international law exists not solely for “moral” reasons like its most passionate supporters claim (since it’s obviously imperfect), but for practical ones related to the necessity of having predictable means to resolve international disputes in order to avoid unintentional escalations that could quickly evolve into larger and more uncontrollable conflicts. Unilateral maximalist claims by one party are troublesome, but they become even worse when they’re supported by self-interested external actors who might also have an ulterior motive to divide and rule the region in question like the US clearly does in the Maghreb, Mideast, and South Asia regarding Western Sahara, Palestine, and Kashmir.

The Western Saharan cause is therefore inextricable from the Palestinian and Kashmiri ones in the eyes of international law, which is why supporters of those two should stand in solidarity with their Sahrawi counterparts. The issue can only legally be settled by a referendum according to the UNSC regardless of one’s personal views towards the conflict, but since that has yet to happen and might very well never occur after Trump’s combined diplomatic-military support for Morocco’s claims gives Rabat no incentive to comply, observers can’t help but be concerned. The only way to remain consistent with supporting Palestine and Kashmir is to support Western Sahara’s UNSC-recognized right to a referendum.

Under Guise of Green Energy, Israel Entrenches Itself in Syria’s Golan Heights

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

If Israeli energy firm Energix is successful, a sprawling complex of wind turbines will soon cover up to a quarter of the agricultural land still under the control of Syria’s indigenous Golan residents.

Jerusalem — On December 9, Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of Syrians peacefully demonstrating against the development of a wind farm in the occupied Golan Heights.

Ten protesters were injured and eight arrested. According toAl-Marsad, the sole human rights organization in the occupied Golan, the Golan Association for the Development of Arab Villages’ medical clinic received 12 cases of protesters with rubber bullet wounds—some on the upper body and face. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from gas inhalation. According to the police, officers responded with “non-lethal weapons” and four officers were injured from stones being thrown.

The violent confrontation capped off a week of heavy police presence in the Golan Heights. Officers were there to escort employees from Israeli company Energix Renewable Energies as they took soil samples using drilling machines for their wind turbine project being built on Syrian land.

Police road closures prevented 1,000 Syrian farmers from accessing their land. Demonstrators say the excavation work damages agriculture.

Israeli police block farmers from accessing agricultural roads. Photo | Emil Masood

Syrian Druze say the wind farm will disrupt their way of life

The December 9 protest was part of a general strike in the Syrian Druze communities against Energix and the police. But the Syrian struggle against Energix stems as far back as 2018 when Energix was in the final stages of getting its wind turbine project approved.

Now, the wind farm is underway after being approved by Israel’s National Committee of Infrastructure (NIC) and all government ministries despite strong opposition to it from the local residents.

“[This project] will have bad effects for our land, our environment and for us as farmers and human beings,” Emil Masood, an activist and cherry farmer who is organizing against the wind farm, said.

Dubbed the ARAN Wind Project, the plan will install 23 wind turbines onnearly a quarter of Syrian agricultural land. The originalproposal requested 52 wind turbines, but the project was scaled back as it went through the government stages.

Energix denies the project will harm the local economy, environment, and health, arguing, “it will lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the residents” and “occupy less than 2 percent of the margins of the agricultural space of the Druze community.” According to the approved project map, the wind farm will span a little more than 3,500 dunams (nearly 870 acres).

Energix-map
A map published by Al-Marsad shows proposed turbine locations in the midst of farmland nestled between Syrian villages

Energix boasts the project will create hundreds of jobs while meeting Israel’s renewable energy goals.Israel entered the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and agreed to have 10 percent of its energy produced through renewable sources by 2020 and 17 percent by 2030.

But according to expert testimonies filed as part of ajoint objection to the wind farm, the project will significantly harm Syrians’ health, housing, and livelihoods.

Dr. Hagit Ulanovsky, who provided an expert opinion for the community appeal, explained that because of the region’s mountainous topography, residents are going to feel the infrasound from the wind turbines more intensely in their bodies. And these noise disturbances will ultimately prevent Syrian farmers from cultivating their land.

“The noise is going to be impossible. Nobody will be able to stand 200 to 300 meters [about 650 to 980 feet] from each turbine, which is half of the area that’s covered,” Ulanovsky said. “And during the construction phase, thousands of trees will be taken out and basically be dead forever.”

“At least 500 to maybe 5,000 years of Druze people living in the same place and growing the same trees for several generations is going to stop,” Ulanovsky added.

A forgotten occupation

Israel occupied the Syrian Golan during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.Hundreds of thousands of Syrians were forcibly displaced and now roughly 22,000 Syrians remain in the four villages of Majdal Shams, Masada, Buqata, and Ein Qiniyye. In 1981, Israel annexed the Syrian Golan and tried to impose Israeli citizenship on the Jawlani, theSyrian residents of the occupied Golan Heights. Many Jawlani continue to this day to reject Israeli citizenship, with only 20% of the population having acquired it.

Druze farmer Noraldeen Masoud makes coffee on his farm in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Ariel Schalit | AP

Dr. Muna Dajani from the London School of Economics, who also provided expert testimony, explained that because of this refusal to take Israeli citizenship, the Jawlani’s travel documents state they don’t have a nationality. Instead, the Israeli government has labeled them as “undefined.”

“The Jawlani have started relating more and more to the land as their source of identity and their source of belonging to a community because of that exclusion from being Syrian, and that meant they started valuing the land beyond its physical economic value,” Dajani said.

“Constructing these wind turbines in the middle of the land not only undermines the economic viability of their agriculture but also has a detrimental psychological effect on their community well-being, their sense of purpose and sense of belonging,” Dajani continued. “People feel without land they have nowhere, they don’t have an identity left.”

Expert opinions also emphasized the wind farm will restrict the expansion of at least three surrounding Syrian villages, thereby exacerbating the housing crisis in these communities. The collective appeal wassubmitted by Al-Marsad to the NIC in June 2019 on behalf of Syrian agricultural cooperatives, civil society groups, and thousands of civilians. By August of that same year, the NIC rejected all objections and approved the project in September.

Golan Heights wind
Druze farmer Noraldeen Masoud works his orchard where towering wind turbines could soon jut up from the picturesque farmland. Ariel Schalit | AP

Energix plans to connect the wind farm to the electricity grid by the end of 2022. Nizar Ayoub, Al-Marsad’s director, told MintPress News that the organization is collaborating with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Planners for Planning Rights (Bimkom) to utilize every legal tool to stop the wind turbine project. Al-Marsad alleges the project violates international humanitarian law whereby an occupying power is prohibited from exploiting the natural resources of the occupied territory or using their land for economic benefit.

However, the organization is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against them from Energix. In 2019, the energy company sued Al-Marsad, claiming the human rights center defamed them and violated Israel’s Anti-Boycott Law. In addition to the lawsuit against Al-Marsad, Energix also filed five cases against activists.

“There’s no basis in their arguments,” Ayoub said. “They’re just using this strategy to silence the local communities and Al-Marsad.”

The resistance continues

Following this month’s confrontation between Israel police and activists, thelocal committee for planning and construction – Ma’ale Hermon – issued a restraining order to Energix to cease all work. The order was issued after the local village councils filed an appeal to the committee. Energix is aware of the order but said it will not impact their wind turbine project and has no legal grounds.

For activist and farmer Masood, any attempts by local authorities to stop the project are merely a sham.

farmers peacefully protest against Energix
Syrian civilians and farmers peacefully protest against Energix and Israeli police. Photo | Emil Masood

“The municipality doesn’t represent Syrian Arab citizens in the Golan because they’re appointed by the Israeli authorities,” Masood said. “In this conflict, they didn’t invest a lot of effort to stop it. So, all the effort was from social, public, and private initiatives and dependent on us farmers and citizens of the four villages—not the municipalities.” The village councils weren’t available for comment.

The Syrian activists’ next steps rely on how Energix proceeds, Masood said, “if they want to force this project on us, we will react.” Activists are currently working with an engineer to measure the amount of land damage caused and submit it to their lawyer in Tel Aviv for court procedures.

“But in the field, whenever the company will come back,” Masood said. “We will stand and confront it.”

A Killing in Iran: Who Gains From Yet Another Assassination?

By Philip Giraldi

Source

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassination ae4bb

It is not often that one can agree with the pronouncements made by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan, but his tweeted comment on the killing of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh suggesting that the incident “…was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict. Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits” was both restrained and reasonable. Or it was at least so until sentence two, which was clearly intended to attack Donald Trump and praise the incoming Joe Biden administration, which Brennan just might be seeking to join.

Bearing in mind that John Brennan was the guiding hand behind President Barack Obama’s kill lists of Americans who were marked for death by drone it is difficult to understand what moral high ground he seeks to occupy in the slaying of Fakhrizadeh. Brennan, who was a leading critic of Trump and who may have led the clandestine effort to undermine his election and term in office, subsequently found himself in an exchange of tweets with Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz which degenerated into a trading of insults. Cruz responded “It’s bizarre to see a former head of the CIA consistently side with Iranian zealots who chant ‘Death to America.’ And reflexively condemn Israel. Does Joe Biden agree?” This produced a riposte by Brennan that “It is typical for you to mischaracterize my comment. Your lawless attitude & simple-minded approach to serious national security matters demonstrate that you are unworthy to represent the good people of Texas.”

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh, the “father of Iran’s nuclear program,” took place on a road near the town of Absard to the east of Tehran. According to initial accounts, the Iranian scientist, who has long been targeted by name and in public fora by Israel, was traveling in an SUV together with his wife plus bodyguards and a driver. Initial reports suggested that there was a Nissan truck parked on the opposite side of the road loaded with what appeared to be wood, though it may have turned out that the wood was concealing a bomb which may have been triggered by a signal from a surveillance satellite. The bomb was detonated to disable Fakhrizadeh’s vehicle before an attack on the car by five or six gunmen with automatic weapons who had emerged from a vehicle following the SUV began, again according to initial reports, including reporting by eye witnesses. The Iranian official news agency FARS is now claiming, however, that the attack was carried out by a remote controlled machine gun concealed on the truck, which subsequently exploded, and no human attackers were involved. It is presumed that the bodyguards and driver were killed in the exchange. Fakhrizadeh was badly wounded and died in hospital shortly thereafter. Photos of the SUV reveal shattered windows, blood streaks, and numerous bullet holes as well as other damage from what may have been the bomb.

Iranian news agencies are now reporting that at least one of the attackers has been arrested, and if that is true he will surely be made to talk regarding what he knows. They are also reporting that two of the assailants were killed in the exchange with the bodyguards, which, if true, means they will possibly be identified. Clearly, the attack was well planned, was able to employ considerable resources, and was based on intelligence that would be very hard to obtain, particularly as the Iranian government was taking steps to protect Fakhrizadeh, to include details of his travels.

The killing comes just two weeks after intelligence officials confirmed that Al Qaeda’s second-highest leader Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah was shot dead together with his daughter by alleged Israeli supplied assassins on a motorcycle on August 7th. The hit was reportedly carried out at the request of the United States based on Abdullah’s claimed involvement in the 1998 deadly attacks on two U.S. Embassies in East Africa. The claim that Iran has been harboring al-Qaeda is already being used by the Trump White House to justify increased pressure on Iran and it might possibly even serve as part of a casus belli.

The two assassinations are not linked except perhaps in terms of sending a message to high level Iranians that they are not safe even in their own country even when they are given bodyguards. The claim that Fakhrizadeh was in charge of a secret Iranian weapons program, made regularly by Israel and the U.S., is not generally believed by most authorities. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which nuclear armed Israel is not, and its facilities are subject to regular unannounced inspections.

Likewise, the killing of Qods Force commander General Qassem Soleimani in January in a U.S. drone attack was intended more regarding sending a message concerning possible consequences of reckless behavior than it was about actually killing one man. Whatever programs Fakrizadeh and Soleimani were involved in will continue without them. Nevertheless, assassination of Iranians linked to the country’s former and current nuclear program has been Israeli policy since 2010. As many as a dozen Iranian scientists and technicians reportedly have been killed. So-called “targeted killings” have been a regular feature of Israel’s “national defense” strategy. In addition to the Iranians, at least seventy Palestinians have been assassinated.

Though Israel has clearly ordered the assassinations, it is generally believed that the actual preparation for the attacks have been carried out by Mojahedin e Khalq or MEK, a Marxist cult that came into prominence at the time of the Iranian revolution against the Shah. It is generally regarded as a terrorist group that once was virulently anti-American and killed a number of U.S. officials. MEK is a curious hybrid creature in any event in that it pretends to be an alternative government option for Iran even though it is despised by nearly all Iranians. At the same time, it is greatly loved by the Washington Establishment which would like to see the Mullahs deposed and replaced by something more amenable to western and Israeli worldviews.

MEK is run like a cult by its leader Maryam Rajavi, with a number of rules that restrict and control the behavior of its members. One commentary likens membership in MEK to a modern-day equivalent of slavery. The group currently operates out of a secretive, heavily guarded 84-acre compound in Albania that is covertly supported by the United States, as well as through a “political wing” front office in Paris, where it refers to itself as the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

MEK, which is financially supported by Saudi Arabia, stages events in the United States in Europe where it generously pays politicians like John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani and Elaine Chao to make fifteen-minute speeches praising the organization and everything it does. It’s paying of inside the Beltway power brokers proved so successful that it was removed from the State Department terrorist list in 2012 by Hillary Clinton even though it had killed Americans in the 1970s. MEK also finds favor in Washington because it is used by Israel as a resource for anti-Iranian terrorism acts currently, including assassinations carried out in Tehran. Israel, in fact, directs most terrorist acts carried out by MEK inside Iran.

So those are the players and, at first glance, one might reasonably come to the Ockham’s razor conclusion, i.e. that Israel ordered MEK to kill Fakhrizadeh, an order which was then executed. But that would be to ignore some of the politics currently playing out in Washington. First of all, Israel would not have carried out the high-level assassination without the consent of the White House. Indeed, U.S. intelligence resources might well have played a key role in locating the Iranian scientist. Second, the Trump Administration has clearly adopted a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran, which has included strangling the country’s economy through sanctions, condoning Israeli attacks in Syria and elsewhere, and destabilizing moves, to include assassinations, designed to make the nation’s leadership both vulnerable and nervous. It is the application of an Israeli strategic doctrine referred to as “Campaigns Between Wars,” meaning constant aggression to erode an enemy’s ability to fight without actually crossing a line that would start a shooting war.

A direct role by the Trump Administration in the assassination should not be ruled out as it is clearly seeking to harden Iranian antipathy towards any new comprehensive arms control or nuclear agreement with the incoming Biden team. Trump himself reportedly raised the possibility of bombing Iran earlier this month, though he was talked out of it by his national security team, but the Israeli Army meanwhile is on alert in case of an American attack. There are confirmed reports that B-52 bombers, capable of deploying the 30,000 pound penetrator bombs that can destroy targets deep underground, have been sent to the Middle East, presumably to Qatar where the U.S. has its principal airbase in the region. They would presumably be used against Iran’s main nuclear development site at Natanz.

Israel is in a strong position right now. Iran has significant military resources to respond to the killing, including the drones and missiles it developed and used in September 2019 to devastate the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia. But if it does react robustly to the assassination and sparks a conflict that inevitably would include the United States, it would be a war that Bibi Netanyahu has long sought, destroying Iran at what he hopes would be minimal cost to Israel. If Iran does not respond, Israel will no doubt push the White House to be even more aggressive in its remaining time in office while hardliners within Iran will also demand an end to any agreements with western powers. Taken together, that would make sure that any attempt by the Biden administration to engage diplomatically with Iran would fail. The ultimate provocation by the United States would, of course, be to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Unthinkable? Perhaps, but perhaps not. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is already reporting that “U.S. President Donald Trump has more than a month before he leaves the White House, and on his way out he could set the world on fire. In starting this conflagration, it seems as though he plans to strike every match in the box. Standing beside him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be more than happy to lend him a lighter.”

From Myth to Reality: Zionist Archaeologists Are Using the Bible to Rewrite History

By Miko Peled

Source

of Jarndyce Booksellers. Jarndyce specializes in first editions, rare books, and wonderful collectors’ editions of the complete works of Shakespeare, Dickens, and countless others. Also displayed in the store are enormous antique illustrated copies of the Bible. These mammoth books are beautifully adorned with illustrations that bring Biblical characters and stories to life.

I remember sitting as a child, leafing through an old, illustrated copy of a Bible that was part of my father’s book collection. It too had wonderful illustrations, and I would sit there and look at the pictures of the great men and women, and experience the great moments that are described in the Bible. The angel who stopped Abraham as he was about to sacrifice his son; Moses coming down from Mount Sinai; the young David slaying the giant Goliath, and so many more. They all came alive in front of my very eyes and it was as clear to me as a child as it is today and to so many others, that those stories describe real historic events.

These lovely renditions were intended to create the impression that the Bible tells stories that are historically true. They lead readers and even those who do not read but hear the stories and look at the illustrations, to believe that these were real people and real events that took place.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks at the opening of an “ancient road” that cuts into the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. Tsafrir Abayov | AP

It is easy enough to point to an ancient city in Palestine, say Bethlehem or Jerusalem or some corner of the desert near Bi’r Saba, and claim that a particular Biblical event took place there. This literal reading of the Bible, and particularly of the Old Testament, has given and continues to give Zionism enormous impetus.

Zionists rely on millions of people across the world who have been misled to believe that there is historical truth to the Bible, who think that today’s Israel is the true and rightful successor of Biblical Israel and who allow Zionists to claim the Bible as their actual history book.

Mythology religion and history

The Greeks and the Nordic people replaced their ancient indigenous mythologies with Christianity, retaining their mythology as a part of their cultural history. In India, ancient mythology is very much alive and ancient gods are still worshiped in temples throughout the country, yet that is never confused with India’s actual history. Vishnu is never confused with Ashoka or Buddha with Akbar. Each has its respective place within the rich Indian culture.

Neither the people of Greece, the Nordic people, or even those who practice various faiths in India regard their mythology as history. You will not find Greek archaeologists digging to find the home of Zeus. There are no signs that the Nordic people are searching for the ancient city where Odin and Thor resided, and even in India, where the ancient gods are very much part of life, there is no expectation that the city of Shiva will be dug up by archaeologists.

his is because the separation between myth and religion and history is clear, except in the case of Zionism. Zionists, both Christian and Jewish, firmly hold to their demand that the Bible is history. Archeologists working in the name of Zionists have been digging up Palestine for two centuries, often ignoring or even destroying valuable artifacts that do not serve their purpose.

This is because Zionist archeologists are motivated not by scientific curiosity, but by a political agenda. They ignore the wealth of history and archeology that exist in Palestine and search for proof of their own theories.

Destruction of monuments

The need to validate Zionist claims that connect current day Israel with the ancient Hebrews and the glorified mythology as it is presented in parts of the Old Testament often comes at the expense of important historical sites and monuments. In fact, is not uncommon to see invaluable historical sites destroyed by design at the hands of Zionist institutions.

The Mamilla Cemetery is one such example. It is an ancient Muslim burial ground and holy site in the center of Jerusalem believed to date back to the seventh century. Numerous saints of the Sufi faith and thousands of officials, scholars, notables, and Jerusalem families have been buried in the cemetery over the past 1,000 years.

Companions of the Prophet Muhammad were said to be buried there, but since the Zionist conquest of West Jerusalem, the cemetery has fallen into disrepair, with ancient tombstones destroyed and desecrated. Over the last decade, a significant portion of the cemetery has been razed and human remains have been desecrated so that the Simon Wiesenthal Center can build a facility, shamelessly called the Museum of Tolerance.

The Mamilla Cemetery, shown here in a 1951 aerial photo, sat undistributed for centuries until the Israeli government paved the way for the construction of the Museum of Tolerance atop its historic ruins

Since 2010, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Campaign to Preserve Mamilla Cemetery have worked to halt the construction of the new facility and preserve what remains of the ancient site. To this end, petitions have been filed with various UN bodies, including UNESCO, to protect the sacred site.

The “Museum of Tolerance,” as it is called, has resulted in the disinterment of hundreds of graves, and the whereabouts of the countless human remains that have been disposed of are unknown. Recognized as one of the most prominent Muslim cemeteries in the world, where seventy thousand warriors of Saladin’s armies are interred, is now all but gone.

Bab al-Rahmeh is yet another famous Islamic cemetery in Jerusalem. It extends from Lions Gate to the end of the wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque near the Umayyad palaces in the south. The Israeli government is in the process of confiscating parts of the cemetery to implement a settlement project. Plans include creating, “paths of biblical gardens,” once again erasing historical sites in order to build monuments to commemorate a history that never was.

Another classic example of the destruction of real history for the sake of mythology is the opening of the so-called “Temple’s Baptism station” on the historic land of the Umayyad palaces in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Temple in question is the Jewish Temple and the Umayyad palaces on which it is to be built date back nearly 1,400 years, built in the early stage of the Islamic period, and used to house the Islamic Caliphs and institutions that managed the affairs of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Monuments in disrepair

Zionist authorities have not only destroyed precious historical sites in search of mythical ones, they have also allowed invaluable historical sites to fall into disrepair. There are countless such sites throughout Palestine, such as the mosque of Dhaher Al-Umar in Tabariya, which now stands alone, in ruins, a solitary witness to the glorious Arab past of the city.

Daher al-Umar was a Palestinian leader who ruled most of Palestine and shaped its history throughout the entire 18th century. Not only has his memory been erased, but the monuments that carry his name and still exist now lay in ruins.

The mythology of the Old Testament was turned into history through a successful attempt to make the stories and the figures in these stories, mythical as they may have been, into actual historical events and figures. At the same time, the real history of Palestine, a glorious history of culture and religion, politics, commerce, and unmatched art and architecture, has all but been lost so that Zionists can claim that they are the true successors of Joshua and King David.

There is no harm in enjoying the wonderful illustrations that adorn the Bible, the likes of which one finds at Jarndyce Bookseller. In fact, I intend to continue to visit that store whenever I can and enjoy those wonderful renditions of Old and the New Testament stories. However, we must be careful not to confuse those stories and the illustrations with the actual history of Palestine.

“Sin Begets Sin:” The Fall of Jeremy Corbyn Will be Felt Around the World

By Miko Peled

Source

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have finally succumbed to pressure from Zionist organizations in the UK in a move with enormous international ramifications.

There can be little doubt that the ousting of Jeremy Corbyn from the UK Labour Party was the result of a well-planned strategy by a coalition of Zionist organizations, which includes the state of Israel’s own Ministry of Strategic Affairs. And while Corbyn is undoubtedly not anti-semitic, nor racist in way shape, or form, he made one colossal strategic mistake. He did not fight the Zionist propaganda levied against him nor did he fight the outrageous accusations of anti-semitism that were laid upon him and so many other good hard-working anti-racist members of his Party.

The IHRA

Israel is a racist, violent state that peddles enormous amounts of sophisticated weapons to the darkest regimes on earth. It holds thousands of political prisoners, denies people water, medical care, food, and even the basic most freedoms, simply because they are Palestinian.

In order to shield the country from those who would expose that racism and violence, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, or IHRA, created what it calls a working definition of anti-semitism. It is a new definition that exists to protect Israel from its critics.

The question that immediately comes to mind is what was wrong with the “old” definition of anti-semitism which defined anti-semitism as racism against Jews. The answer: It was not broad enough to include Israel or Zionism. Since Israel is a major violator of international law and human rights and has been so from its inception in 1948, it needed some sort of blanket protection that would shield it and paint its crimes as protection of Jews. It also needed a tool that would allow it to attack its critics by weaponizing the term anti-semitism.

In an attempt to conflate anti-semitism (or racism) with criticism and rejection of Zionism, which itself is a racist ideology, the IHRA released its “working definition of antisemitism.” That definition is a rather sophisticated mechanism that provides blanket protection for Israeli government crimes. If rejecting Zionism is anti-semitism, as the new definition claims, then all of Israel’s critics can be labeled racists, and the so-called “Jewish state,” can claim to be a victim of racism.

How to silence a conversation

The following portions of the IHRA’s new definition touch on the state of Israel itself. They are written in a way that places anyone who rejects their premise on the “wrong” side of the issue. The problem is never the issue, but rather pointing it out. Here are a few examples.

Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.“

This definition does not actually address Holocaust denial as one might think. The issue here is that Israel partisans have their own version of what took place during the Holocaust and do not want it to be challenged.

According to the Zionist version of events, the creation of the state of Israel was the answer to the Holocaust, even though the majority of Holocaust survivors initially chose not to go to the nascent state and many rejected Zionist ideology altogether. Israel’s backers also want to associate Palestinian resistance with Nazis and to conflate Palestinians rejection of its right to exist on their land with the Nazi desire to eliminate the Jewish people.

Israel’s apologists also want to silence any conversation about the Holocaust that they are not comfortable with. Rescue efforts attempted by non-Zionist Jewish organizations in the wake of the Holocaust were ultimately foiled by Zionist groups and discussing the topic often sparks accusations of anti-semitism. Interestingly, most, if not all of the Jewish people I have spoken to whose families perished in the Holocaust see no problem debating these issues. During a conversation I had with Rabbi Dovid Feldman of Monsey, New York, the Rabbi asked, “why would we not want to discuss these issues?”

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”

According to strict Jewish law, Jews must be loyal citizens to whatever countries they reside in, and because of the racist and violent nature of the state of Israel, supporting it is a violation of international law and in some countries, contravenes the laws of the land. Providing the Israeli government with weapons and funds even contravenes U.S. law due of its use of weapons against unarmed civilians,

Zionist organizations that lobby their governments, elected representatives, and civic organizations to support Israel are, in fact, placing the Israeli government above the interests – and indeed the laws – of the countries they live in.

Jewish citizens from Western countries even volunteer to serve in the Israeli army, an army whose de facto purpose is the oppression, dispossession, and killing (or in other words, the terrorizing) of the Palestinian people. It is, therefore, not about Jewish people in general, but about Zionists in particular.

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

To begin with, Israel is not an expression of Jewish self-determination, it is an expression of Zionist and Israeli self-determination. Jewish people have historically rejected Zionism and there are still large communities and countless individuals who do so today. The IHRA’s attempts to conflate Zionism and Judaism are obvious.

As for Israel being a racist endeavor, immediately upon its creation, Israel brutally forced Palestinians out of their country and replaced them with Jewish migrants from around the world. Israel took the land, homes, private and common property, cultivated fields, crops, machinery, livestock, and even the bank accounts of displaced Palestinians. They then banned their return.

Palestinians became stateless practically overnight while the new state enriched its coffers with stolen property, money, and goods. Israel then defined citizenship in the newly created state as almost exclusively for Jews. This definition is meant to shield Israel by criminalizing those dare claim that it is a racist endeavor.

Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

This accusation is little more than an attempt to silence critics of Israel by asking, “why don’t you also criticize Saudi Arabia?” The idea that one must list every country that is a violator of human rights when discussing some other regime accused of violating them is absurd. It is an attempt to shift the conversation away from the issue of Israeli crimes and Zionist racism.

In short, the IHRA’s new definition of anti-semitism includes almost everything that Zionists have been accused of doing and defines even pointing out that fact as anti-semitism.

“Sin Begets Sin”

One thing leads to another, or as Jews say, “Sin Begets Sin.” The sin here is not anti-semitism, but the capitulation of progressive anti-racist forces in the face of an obvious smear campaign by a racist state and the institutions that represent it in the United Kingdom.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews claims to represent all Jews in the UK, in reality though, it only represents Zionist Jews. It is a Zionist organization that places Israeli interests above all else. How else can one explain its support for the smear campaign against Corbyn and other public servants on one hand, and its silence in the face of Israeli crimes on the other?

The fall of Jeremy Corbyn at the hands of Zionist organizations is not an issue exclusive to the UK, and its international ramifications are enormous. There can be no doubt that the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the Israeli Embassy in London, the Jewish Labour Movement, and other Zionists groups that were behind the smear of Corbyn were popping champagne when they heard that he had been suspended from the Labour Party.

The capitulation of Labour was, in fact, an act of suicide. Under Corbyn’s leadership, the party had reached an unprecedented number of members and enjoyed tremendous support. The creation of the IHRA’s new definition of anti-semitism, followed by demands that it be accepted by the Labour Party, and the defamation of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s top echelon (people like Ken Livingston and Chris Williamson), were all part of a well-planned strategy to punish those who oppose Zionist crimes in Palestine.

The Military-Industrial Complex, Israeli-Style. New Docuseries Touts Virtues of “Iron Dome”

By Kathryn Shihadah

Source

A new documentary series produced in Israel tells the story of the Iron Dome missile system, but as Kathryn Shihadah reports, it leaves out crucial details about how the weapon is used and who funded it.

Anew docuseries produced in Israel chronicles the development and use of Israel’s multi-billion dollar, U.S.-subsidized Iron Dome missile defense system. The mechanism, an extension of America’s own military-industrial complex, is designed to intercept primitive rockets from Gaza and epitomizes Israel’s approach to Palestinian resistance: denial and disproportionality.

These factors also play a part in Israel’s defense industry as a whole – an enterprise that profits from the suffering of Palestinians who are forced to live under the thumb of modern-day colonialism and occupation by Israel’s structure of institutionalized apartheid. Palestinians oppose their systemic oppression in a David vs. Goliath scenario, resisting their occupier with homemade rockets; while Israel, one of the largest militaries in the world, uses the most modern and sophisticated weaponry on the planet to terrorize its victims.

Israel is both joining and competing with the U.S. domination of the global weapons industry. The three-hour series entitled “Iron Dome” premiered around the world last month in Hebrew on Izzy, a platform that calls itself “the new way to experience Israel.”

Denial of facts

The series features Israelis from the town of Sderot, near the Gaza border, as they look back on the past twenty years or so and discuss their two primary enemies: rockets, and an Israeli government that for a long time didn’t seem to care about them.

The first rocket came from Gaza in 2001 and the first rocket fatality in 2004. By 2007, 10 Israelis had been killed – all but one in Sderot – and the Israeli government, at last, got behind the development of a missile defense system: the Iron Dome.

Israel came down hard on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 in hopes of bringing an end to the rockets that had by then taken 12 Israeli lives. The incursion, which featured Israel’s latest weaponry at the time, killed 1,400 Palestinians, over 450 of them women and children, and nine Israelis.

The “Iron Dome” series does not mention these statistics, nor does it divulge the source of Palestinian anger and resentment: being kept illegally in exile in Gaza, and under occupation since 1967. Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison, with a dense population of nearly two million people with no ability to leave. Israel retains complete control of its border and not even humanitarian supplies, human rights monitors, or journalists are allowed to enter.

This brutal Israeli blockade has been in place since 2007, severely limiting Gazans’ access to food, medicine, and other staples, and earning the enclave the nickname “world’s largest open-air prison” and the designation “unlivable.” Its two million residents grapple with malnutrition, a severe shortage of drinking water, electricity – and hope. Suicide rates have been increasing at an alarming rate.

Israelis interviewed in the series appear unaware of these realities – and indeed, Jewish Israeli citizens, on the whole, are in the dark about the realities of occupation as the Israeli government keeps Palestinians behind walls and out of sight.

The “Iron Dome” docuseries is a continuation of this invisibility, and by extension, the invisibility of oppressed people under the fist of the U.S. military-industrial complex as well.

The Dahiya Doctrine

The Israeli DahiyaDoctrine of “wielding disproportionate force,” as evidenced in the 2008 incursion, and again in 2012 and 2014, has been part and parcel of the country’s wartime strategy since its birth.

Dahiya has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, as well as the destruction of schools, hospitals, United Nations buildings, critical infrastructure, and entire neighborhoods.

Human rights organizations have documented and criticized the unlawful practice for years, including UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, who called this ongoing strategy no less than “state terrorism.”

Both Israel and the U.S. have been vehemently resisting – with support from Congress – global attempts to hold them accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to countries that resist American and Israeli impunity.

Israeli disproportionality is conspicuous not just in wartime, but also in times of relative calm. The “Hamas is a terrorist organization” trope is just one example.

Israel uses the label “terrorist” to blame Hamas for Israeli airstrikes (which have become so frequent that most media rarely reports on them anymore), and then for Israel’s refusal to allow parts and materials to enter Gaza for repairs to infrastructure and buildings.

The characterization ignores the political and social welfare arms of the group, denies the legal claims to resistance against oppression – and justifies Israel’s many gratuitous human rights abuses.

Near the end of the “Iron Dome.” the mayor of Sderot points out:

The Iron Dome is a device. In order to solve the problem with Gaza, we need a policy. Either use all our might in a military operation and uproot the problem, or strive for peace with all our might.”

Israel chose the former.

But Israel has bigger fish to fry than “just” the Palestinian territories. Its defense industry – of which Iron Dome is the tip of the iceberg – has global ramifications.

Free money

Economy-minded Americans should know that Israel is not only front-end unloading their tax dollars as military aid (circa $10 million a day – weekends and holidays included), but also poaching us from the back end, costing the U.S. in both revenue and jobs.

Standard operating procedure requires military aid from the U.S. to be spent in the U.S., but Congress devised special rules allowing Israel to spend about a quarter of our military aid inside its own country. Of the $3.8 billion per year that should cycle back into our economy in the form of weapon purchases, only about $2.6 billion makes it – an amount that still contributes generously to both the U.S. military-industrial complex and its Israeli counterpart.

Since 1948, the U.S. has given Israel $6.9 billion for various missile defense systems – in addition to over $100 billion in other military aid and $34 billion in economic aid (in current, non-inflation adjusted dollars).

Playing dirty

Israel has been encroaching on U.S. defense customers – especially since Trump bought Israel some new Arab allies who may now prefer to shop locally.

Not only is Israel undercutting U.S. arms sales, but it doesn’t always play by the rules. In 2018, Israel refurbished and tried to resell American made equipment to Croatia, without U.S. permission.

That sale was quashed, but Israel’s Defense Ministry and defense industry operate secretively, rarely revealing who their customers are. They reportedly have customers in Canada and several European countries, as well as in Africa and Latin America.

Israel is playing fast and loose with its most generous ally in yet another way.

Since 2010, the United States has sunk $5.5 billion of taxpayer money into the Iron Dome project. As reported by Breaking Defense, in 2019 Congress “effectively compelled a reluctant [US] Army” to buy two Iron Domes at a cost of $373 million. After filling the order, however, Israel refused to share critical proprietary information, severely limiting the usefulness of the equipment for Americans. (Ironically, in 2016, the U.S. was willing to disclose F-35 source codes to Israel – and no other countries.)

For those more interested in peace and justice than economics, there is much more to object to. Israel is profiting not only at American expense, but also (and more so) at Palestinian expense – as well as exporting oppression around the world.

“Overkill”

While Palestinians have been essentially unarmed since 1993, the Israeli military (IDF) has built a massive arsenal of weapons for use against them – thanks in great part to U.S. aid. Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation consists almost entirely of homemade rockets and incendiary balloons from Gaza, and the occasional individual knife attack by a frustrated resident of the West Bank.

The narrator of the “Iron Dome” docuseries describes Gaza’s rockets as “made from stolen metal street poles…a pipe as wide as a Coca-Cola bottle…just a piece of flying metal” stuffed with fertilizer that Gazan Palestinians dried on their roofs.

While the rockets may cost $100 each to manufacture (and incendiary balloons much less), an anti-rocket missile has a price tag of $50,000, and the launcher itself around $50 million. (A new product, the Light Blade, was developed specifically to shoot down the balloons.)

The documentary depicts Israelis running for bomb shelters when an incoming rocket is detected but omits footage of Palestinians who have nowhere to hide during an airstrike.

Military-Industrial Complex, Israeli-style

The billions in research and development, and the expense of manufacturing and operating military equipment like Iron Dome, only makes sense in the context of global arms sales.

The Israeli defense sector develops technologically advanced weaponry, spyware, and missile defense equipment – and manufactures about five times more than it needs. Israeli export deals in 2019 alone totaled over $7 billion, making it one of the top defense exporters in the world.

As a floor model, the Iron Dome’s capabilities are showcased for potential customers every time a rocket launched from Gaza is intercepted by a $50,000 anti-rocket missile.

An Israeli defense contractor confirmed that following IDF attacks on Gaza, his industry “[sees] a big leap in the number of foreign customers. We market aggressively abroad as it is, but the IDF’s actions definitely affect our work.” The link between the military and the weapons industry couldn’t be clearer.

Profile of a customer

Because rockets from Gaza are rarely lethal, some experts use words like “asymmetrical warfare” and “repression of protests” to describe the Israeli product line.

Economic researcher Shir Hever points out that demand for Israeli arms is “highest among governments facing high inequality and social unrest…”

“In fact,” Hever says, “the Gaza Strip becomes more than a laboratory for Israeli explosives. It is a laboratory for a social experiment in which an entire population is incarcerated and isolated, controlled from the land, the sea and the air, and sustained with the assistance of international aid (for which Israel doesn’t have to pay).”

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, who has studied Israeli military weapon use in Palestinian neighborhoods, adds, “Palestinian spaces are laboratories [where] products and services of state-sponsored security corporations” are tested and then showcased for the consumption of the global arms market.

The Great March of Return – Gaza’s 20-month0long weekly protest in 2018 and 2019 that drew tens of thousands of participants – was, for Israel, yet another “opportunity to develop new means to put down demonstrations,” to create yet more high-tech solutions to low-tech issues.

Television shows like “Iron Dome” serve to perpetuate myths and obfuscate truths. Meanwhile, Israel creates new forms of oppression, tests them out on Palestinians, and exports them to those with the money and the will to oppress others.

Yes, There Is a World Zionist Congress – and It’s Meeting Now

Zionist Congress

By Alison Weir

Source (First Published on October 23, 2020)

Some have the impression that ‘world Zionism’ is an antisemitic conspiracy theory… even while the World Zionist Congress is in session, with 720 delegates from over 30 countries.

Menifee, CA (IAK) — I’m sometimes astounded at the fact that a major political movement over a century old is so little known among Americans – especially since it has had a momentous impact on the world in general and on the U.S. in particular, causing multiple wars, vast population displacement, and global instability.

In my travels around the US, I’ve found that most Americans know extremely little about Zionism. I would guess that the vast majority of Americans could not define the term (that was certainly my situation for most of my life), and that a great many may not have even heard of it.

And among those who have heard the term, many may think it refers to some antisemitic conspiracy theory.

The fact is, however, that Zionism – according to the dictionary, “a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel and that now supports the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland” – is both very real and extremely significant.

Zionism succeeded in establishing the state of Israel in 1948 after decades of sometimes open and sometimes covert efforts. It promoted a successful, though extremely false, slogan – “a land without a people for a people without a land” – and succeeded in perpetrating one of the major hoaxes of the 20th century, in which victims (indigenous Palestinians) were designated aggressors, and aggressors (Zionist colonists) were portrayed as victims (as documented by diverse authors, and perpetrated through the silencing of others).

And today this movement contains numerous powerful international entities (see the list below), while remaining largely invisible to millions of citizens of the country that gives Israel massive amounts of money, shields Israel internationally, and has fought at least one war  (against Iraq) on Israel’s behalf.

The dictionary definition captures only the simplest meaning of the word, but not its deep impact: how Israel was established and what supporting Israel today enables.

As numerous historians have documented, Israel was established through a war of ethnic cleansing, in the words of a major Israeli historian, in which approximately 750,000 men, women, and children were violently expelled. Hundreds of villages were destroyed and much of the indigenous population was displaced, their ancestral homes and land confiscated and the former owners made into penniless refugees.

Today, in its pursuit of the Jewish identity mentioned in the definition, Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land, actively discriminates against the remnants of the non-Jewish population that remain in the area, and holds the four and a half million people in the remaining portion of their land (the West Bank and Gaza), in two virtual prisons, their ability to leave and to return to their homes controlled by Israel.

Palestinian villages are invaded daily, people terrorized and abducted, homes and crops are regularly destroyed; for over a year there was a weekly mass demonstration during which Israeli forces shot unarmed demonstrators every week. (To see these actions go here.)

Zionist movement in the US – a century of activism

As I describe in my book, the Zionist movement in the U.S. began in the late 1800s and played a significant role in the events that led to the establishment of Israel.

Today the pro-Israel lobby is probably the most powerful and pervasive special interest group in the U.S. Its members have diverse views and sometimes sharply disagree with one another on aspects of the issue, but all share one goal: support for Israel.

Israel partisans have become extremely influential in both political parties and have obtained numerous US policies of support for Israel. Most recently, they are promoting bills to expend $19 million per day on behalf of Israel; altogether, 90 bills for Israel have been introduced in the current Congress alone. In addition, there is also considerable evidence that Israel partisans were central in pushing the US into invading Iraq, and that many are similarly active in demonizing Iran. (See thisthisthis, and this.)

Conspiracy theory?

Since little of the above is known by the general American public (U.S. media rarely report any of this), some Americans are under the impression that even suggesting there is a “world zionist movement” is an antisemitic conspiracy theory. (In fact, even discussing the Israel lobby in the U.S. can be dangerous to reputations and careers. For example, respected professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were attacked as “antisemitic” for their scholarly work in detailing the power of the Israel lobby.)

The fact is, however, that the World Zionist Organization has been in existence since the late 1800s, and this is just one of a number of international organizations that work on behalf of Israel.

Moreover, all of these are very public – if one knows where to look. Currently, the World Zionist Organization is holding its 38th Congress in an online format from Israel. The Congress is convened every five years.

World Zionist Organization

While US mainstream media have largely failed to even mention this organization and event, it has been big news in the Israeli and Jewish-American press, with numerous stories leading up to the event. Below is an image from an article in the Jewish News of Northern California entitled “Your vote in Israel: Here are the Bay Area Jews running for the World Zionist Congress.”

Image featured on March 3, 2020 in the Jewish News of Northern California about candidates running for the World Zionist Congress. The caption read: “2017 event in Jerusalem commemorating the 120th anniversary of the first World Zionist Congress

The World Zionist Organization (WZO) was founded in 1897. It has an elaborate structure, including a World Zionist Congress, a Zionist General Council, a Zionist Executive, and a Zionist Supreme Court. It also has a department devoted to “repatriation” – encouraging Jews to leave their birth countries and move to Israel – and lists numerous affiliates and partners around the world.

Yesterday, the WZO convened its 38th Congress, with 720 delegates and observers from over 30 countries participating in a three-day conference. Based in Israel as usual, this year’s event is being held online because of the pandemic, and sessions are being synchronized with time zones in Israel, North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. The World Zionist Congress allocates about a billion dollars a year to various projects and is popularly known as the “parliament of the Jewish people.”

The Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reports that during the Congress “elections will take place for the leadership positions of the National Institutions – the World Zionist Organization, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (Jewish National Fund-JNF), and Keren Hayesod [aka United Israel Appeal:  “the preeminent worldwide fundraising organization for Israel, which was established in London in 1920, to serve as the fundraising arm of the Jewish People and the Zionist Movement]. Current issues on the world Jewish agenda will be deliberated…”

Among the issues to be deliberated will be how to “allocate nearly $5 billion to Jewish organizations and programs in Israel and around the world.”

The event is being live-streamed and can be viewed here.

Additional Zionist organizations:

The WZO is far from the only organization with “Zionist” in its title. Among the others are:

Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO): founded in 1902, it currently has 250,000 members around the world.

Mizrachi, the global Religious Zionist movement: “Mizrachi is the global Religious Zionist movement, spreading Torat Eretz Yisrael across the world and strengthening the bond between the international Jewish community and the State of Israel.” It was founded in 1902, is based in Jerusalem and has branches across the globe. It opposes the international movement supporting Palestinian rights known as BDS. It says the Mizrachi Global Summit was held on October 18th.

Zionist Organization of America: “Founded in 1897, the Zionist Organization of America (“ZOA”) is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States.” It has 25,000 members and chapters throughout the U.S.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America: Over a century old, it says its vision is to “strengthen a connection to Israel.” It says it is “the largest women’s Zionist membership organization in the United States. It inspires a passion for and a commitment to its partnership with the land and the People of Israel.”  (Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a lifelong member.)

American Zionist Movement: “AZM works to promote and defend Zionism in the United States; to deepen and expand the active relationship of the American Jewish Community to Zionism in a contemporary context; to facilitate dialogue and collaboration among Zionist organizations through and with the AZM; and to be the central hub for Zionist resources in America.”

(An interesting bit of history is that “Zion” was one of the names Zionist leaders considered in 1948 for the new state, before they finally settled on the name “Israel.”)

Still more Zionist organizations

There are also a number of other major international organizations that work for Israel. Virtually all of these organizations have large staffs, elaborate structures, and multi-million dollar budgets.

Their websites provide an abundance of information about their global reach and diverse activities. Many openly state that they work to oppose the international movement to boycott Israel, which has been organized because of Israel’s long documented human rights abuses. Known as “BDS” (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions), the movement “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.”

Below is a partial list:

• World Jewish Congress (WJC) is another international congress that supports Israel. According to its website, the WJC “represents Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries around the world. It advocates on their behalf towards governments, parliaments, international organizations and other faiths.”

The WJC represents significant global wealth. Its annual gala held in New York last year was, as I wrote in a detailed article, attended by billionaires, Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian ambassadors, international financiers, the Rothschilds, and assorted other glitterati.

• World Holocaust Forum is another international entity that supports Israel. It is held in Israel and was founded and run by Russian-Israeli oligarch Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor. Last year, at least 45 world leaders attended his fifth event. Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper called it “an airlift of presidents, prime ministers and royalty from around the world.” Kantor, a billionaire known for unscrupulous business practices, is president of the European Jewish Congress and heads up a network of pro-Israel international entities.

In an interview for a Zionist publication, Kantor was asked: “Why are you so interested in Holocaust education and in creating big events to memorialize the Holocaust?” Kantor answered:

“The Holocaust was an essential tool used to bring about the establishment of the State of Israel. In 2006, it is the most effective tool we have to fight against anti-Semitism and to protect Israel.”

Some of the world leaders from 49 Countries who came to Israel for Kantor’s World Holocaust Forum. Source | Israel Hayom

• American Jewish Committee (AJC), despite its name, is yet another international organization. It has 30 offices around the world in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacifiic, and Israel. It also has numerous regional offices throughout the US.

• Jewish Agency for Israel has been in existence for 90 years, has branches around the world, and encourages people to move to Israel. It has a branch in the US where donations to it can be deducted from U.S. taxes. It states that it works to oppose BDS.

• B’nai B’rith International has been in existence for 175 years and had a connection to Israel from the state’s earliest years. Like many of the organizations, it periodically works to prevent events supporting Palestinian rights.

• Maccabi World Union, headquartered in Israel, spans five continents, is in 80 countries, has 450 clubs, and 450,000 members. Its website says it’s “a Zionist organization that utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all ages closer to Judaism and Israel.” It has a multitude of programs focused on Israel and works to “fight BDS.”

• Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 and played a major role in transferring Palestinian land to Israel. It is holding its national conference right now (video here). Like many of these entities, it has a presence in the U.S. and has acquired tax deductible status.

• World Union of Progressive Judaism, headquartered in Israel, serves 1,200 congregations with 1.8 million members in more than 50 countries. It passed a resolution saying that the organization and its congregations “will act against public and political measures meant to question the legitimacy of the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, including against the BDS Movement.”

• World Union of Jewish Students partners with the WZO and represents Jewish students in 55 countries, with 225 branches around the world. It holds an annual World Union Jewish Student Congress in Israel. One of its commitments is to oppose BDS.

This list could go on and on and on…

What does this all mean and not mean?

The reality is that there are a great many well-funded, well-organized, often quite powerful organizations working internationally in support of Israel and, as part of this, against Palestinian rights.

While I haven’t attempted here to delve into the organizations’ budgets and the wealth of their benefactors, there is no doubt that the combined total represents many billions of dollars. Yet U.S. media rarely tell Americans about this powerful, extremely significant network of international organizations that promote Israel and work to block efforts on behalf of Palestinian human rights.

At the same time, it is important to remember that these organizations, despite some of their names, do not represent all Jews.

While Zionists tried from the earliest days of their movement to conflate Zionism with Judaism – and fooled many people into believing the two were synonymous – for decades most Jewish Americans did not support Zionism, many Jews in Palestine itself opposed it, and today there are many Jewish Americans and others around the world who are critical of Israeli actions.

In addition, some – perhaps many – of the members in the organizations listed above may be deeply uninformed about what the Zionist movement did in the past and is currently enabling against Palestinians.

They’re constantly told about rockets from Gaza, but don’t learn about the massive Israeli violence that preceded these largely home made projectiles and the Israeli weaponry that vastly exceeds their extremely small impact (for the facts go here).

They hear about Arab armies declaring war on the newly declared state of Israel, but they don’t learn that Zionist forces had already committed numerous grisly massacres, had pushed out massive numbers of Palestinians, and were working to dispossess an entire population.

While there have been numerous reports through the years documenting Israeli human rights violations and Israel’s systemic discrimination, the members of these groups either do not know of these findings, or are told they are the work of “antisemites.”

The fact is that these organizations, with their large budgets and often very slick programs, specifically work to inculcate their membership with myths about Israel and falsehoods about the current reality. (Sadly, as mentioned above, they are often assisted in this by U.S. media that largely give us Israel-centric reporting and spin, while often omitting essential facts.)

It is time that more Americans learn the facts about the Zionist movement.

It is time for all Americans – of all faiths, races, and ethnicities – to join together to oppose a chauvinistic, deeply damaging international movement that has caused untold tragedy and harm. The devastation this movement has caused hasn’t been limited to Palestine. It has spilled over into the entire Middle East and North Africa, stretched into Europe, and damaged the U.S. It has caused wars, global destabilization and potential catastrophe.

It is not antisemitic to speak out about world Zionism. It is obligatory.

Bully-Boy Minister’s Christmas Message to UK Universities….

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

Adopt anti-Semitism definition that’s ‘too vague to be useful’, or I’ll axe your funding!
Gavin Williamson ef951

Gavin Williamson is Education Secretary in the screwball government of Boris Johnson. And he has just threatened universities that they could have their funding cut if they don’t adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism before Christmas.

Williamson wrote to vice-chancellors last week saying he was “frankly disappointed” that there were still “too many disturbing incidents of anti-Semitism on campus and a lack of willingness by too many universities to confront this”, and that the number of universities adopting the definition “remains shamefully low”.

“These providers are letting down all their staff and students, and, shamefully, their Jewish students in particular,” he said.

He insists that adopting the IHRA definition “is morally the right thing to do” – and he underlines morally! “You should have no doubt: this government has zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism. If I have not seen the overwhelming majority of institutions adopting the definition by Christmas then I will act.”

“The repugnant belief that anti-Semitism is somehow a less serious, or more acceptable, form of racism has taken insidious hold in some parts of British society, and I am quite clear that universities must play their part in rooting out this attitude and demonstrating that anti-Semitism is abhorrent.”

The OfS said they will explore with the Department for Education what practical steps should be taken to ensure the IHRA definition’s wider adoption. But Universities UK were more cautious: “We recommend universities do all they can to tackle anti-Semitism, including considering the IHRA definition, whilst also recognising their duty to promote freedom of speech within the law.” And that last bit is what Williamson ought to have considered before stupidly going off the deep end.

Individual right of free expression in all higher education institutions

Williamson’s first problem is his ignorance. He’s completely at odds with the opinion of top legal experts who were asked for their views by Free Speech on IsraelIndependent Jewish VoicesJews for Justice for Palestinians and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. In a nutshell, those in public life cannot behave in a manner inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for freedom of expression which applies not only to information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or anyone else.

There is a further obligation to allow all concerned in public debate “to express their opinions and ideas without fear, even if these opinions and ideas are contrary to those defended by the official authorities or by a large part of public opinion, or even if those opinions and ideas are irritating or offensive to the public”.

Read Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Mr Williamson, which says that everyone has the right to freedom of expression including “freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Also, check Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which says the same sort of thing, subject of course to the usual limitations required by law and respect for the rights of others.

The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee recommended that before accepting the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism, two caveats should be included:

  • It is not anti-Semitic to criticise the Government of Israel, without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent.
  • It is not anti-Semitic to hold the Israeli Government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli Government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent.

The Government, in its eagerness to appease the Zionist lobby, dropped the caveats saying they weren’t necessary.

Eminent human rights lawyer Hugh Tomlinson QC also criticised the definition. Firstly, it wasn’t a legally binding so didn’t have the force of a statutory one. And it couldn’t be considered a legal definition of anti-Semitism as it lacked clarity. Therefore any conduct contrary to the IHRA definition couldn’t necessarily be ruled illegal.

Secondly, the language was far too vague to be useful as a tool.  In Tomlinson’s view the Government’s decision to adopt the IHRA Definition was simply a freestanding statement of policy, a mere suggestion. No public body is under an obligation to adopt or use it, or, given the unsatisfactory nature of the definition, should be criticised for refusing.

He warned that if a public authority did decide to adopt the definition then it must interpret it in a way that’s consistent with its statutory obligations. In particular, it cannot behave in a manner inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

A further obligation put on public authorities is “to create a favourable environment for participation in public debates for all concerned, allowing them to express their opinions and ideas without fear, even if they are contrary to those defended by the authorities or by a large part of public opinion”.

So, in Tomlinson’s opinion the IHRA Definition doesn’t mean that calling Israel an apartheid state that practises settler colonialism, or advocating boycott, divestment or sanctions (BDS) against Israel, can properly be characterized as anti-Semitic. Furthermore, a public authority seeking to apply the IHRA Definition to prohibit or punish such activities “would be acting unlawfully.”

Government’s ‘naive stance’

Retired Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Stephen Sedley, also offered advice criticising the IHRA working definition for lack of legal force. “At the same time, it is not neutral: it may well influence policy both domestically and internationally.”

He added that the right of free expression, now part of our domestic law by virtue of the Human Rights Act, “places both negative and positive obligations on the state which may be put at risk if the IHRA definition is unthinkingly followed”. Moreover the 1986 Education Act established an individual right of free expression in all higher education institutions “which cannot be cut back by governmental policies”.

Sedley was of the view that the IHRA definition is open to manipulation and “what is needed now is a principled retreat on the part of government from a stance which it has naively adopted in disregard of the sane advice given to it by the Home Affairs Select Committee.”

Williamson’s second problem is his prejudice. He’s a fanatical Israel worshipper and far from neutral in the hype surrounding anti-Semitism in the UK. In January 2018 when he was defence secretary he addressed an audience of over 250 Conservative Friends of Israel and supporters, including 50 parliamentarians, telling them that “Britain will always be Israel’s friend” and praising Israel as a “beacon of light and hope, in a region where there is so much hatred and hurt”. He added: “We shouldn’t underestimate how difficult it is to keep that light bright and burning”.

Recalling his visit to Israel as a teenager, he said: “What I found was a liberal, free, exciting country that was so at ease with itself, a country that absorbed and welcomed so many people. That made an enormous impression upon me”.

Williamson condemned the “completely unreasonable…sheer simple hatred” channelled towards Israel and asked: “If we are not there to stand up for a country, whose views and ideals are so close, or are simply our own, what are we as a nation? What are we in politics, if we cannot accept and celebrate the wonderful blooming of democracy that is Israel?”

Achingly funny. And highlighting the UK’s role in the creation of Israel, he said: “Britain and Israel have an amazing relationship. We would like to think that we were very much at the birth of the nation, and very much helped it in terms of its delivery and coming into the world”.

He said that Britain and Israel have “a strong and firm relationship of working together. It’s a relationship of partners….  It’s a partnership of equals. A partnership of friends”.

So hopelessly brainwashed.

Then, in April 2018 at a similar meeting to celebrate the regime’s 70th anniversary Williamson waxed lyrical describing Israel as a “light unto the nations” and adding that not only do Israel and Britain face shared security threats, “our relationship is underpinned by a shared sense of values: justice, compassion, tolerance”. He emphasised that Israel is a “liberal, free and exciting country” and that the UK-Israel relationship is the “cornerstone of so much of what we do in the Middle East”.

Breaching the Ministerial Code?

But Gavin Williamson is not the only Government minister to threaten our universities in this crude manner. A year ago Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick vowed to take action against universities and “parts of local government” who, he said, had become “corrupted” by anti-Semitism. He directed his attack on the universities who receive public money but “choose not to accept our IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and use it when considering matters such as disciplinary procedures”.

Writing in the Sunday Express, he added: “I will use my position as Secretary of State to write to all universities and local authorities to insist that they adopt the IHRA definition at the earliest opportunity.

“I expect them to confirm to me when they do so. Failure to act in this regard is unacceptable and I will be picking up the phone to Vice Chancellors and local government leaders to press for action, if none is forthcoming.”

According to Wikipedia Jenrick’s wife was born in Israel and their children are brought up in the Jewish faith. He told the Board of Deputies he would not tolerate local authority approved BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns against those profiteering from Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. “Local authorities should not be wasting time and taxpayer’s money by dabbling in foreign policy or pursuing anti-Israel political obsessions, but instead focusing on delivering first class local public services.” The same could be said of his colleague Williamson’s pro-Israel obsession – and his own – when they should be getting on with governing Britain, but of course they are exempt from their own rules.

Both Jenrick and Williamson appear to fall foul of the Ministerial Code. The first two paragraphs are enough to banish them to outer darkness, one would have thought.

1.1 Ministers of the Crown are expected to maintain high standards of behaviour and to behave in a way that upholds the highest standards of propriety.

1.2 Ministers should be professional in all their dealings and treat all those with whom they come into contact with consideration and respect. Working relationships…. should be proper and appropriate. Harassing, bullying or other inappropriate or discriminating behaviour wherever it takes place is not consistent with the   Ministerial Code and will not be tolerated.

Elsewhere the Code decrees that “ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests” and they are expected to observe the Seven Principles of Public Life. The Principle of Integrity states that holders of public office “must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence their work”.

That suggests to me they ought to be slung out on their ear and never allowed near the levers of power again. But nobody in government is principled enough or has the balls to do it.

What do you think?

Israeli Security Forces Kill Palestinians with Impunity

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Since stealing 78% of Occupied Palestine in 1948, the rest in 1967, Israeli soldiers and police have systematically killed and terrorized defenseless Palestinians with impunity.

The Jewish state gets away with murder and much more because the world community fails to hold it accountable.

Notably the US and other Western countries turn a blind eye to its high crimes of war, against humanity, and daily apartheid persecution of a long-suffering people – illegally blockaded Gazans harmed most since 2007.

Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier accused Israel of “heinous war crimes inflicted every day…against the Palestinian people,” including “willful killing” and state terror.

The late Law Professor Michael Mandel called illegal Israeli settlements “war crimes,” citing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Geneva Conventions, along with other international and Canadian law.

On October 1, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel highlighted the disturbing reality for long-suffering Palestinians under apartheid occupation, saying the following:

“Israel’s perception of Palestinian citizens as (the Jewish state’s) ‘enemy’ continues to grant blanket impunity to police for killings.

The 10 commandments and hundreds of others fundamentalist Jews believe were given to their people by the almighty apply only to others of the faith, no one else — including No 6: Thou shalt not kill.

In October 2000, Israeli police killed 13 Palestinians who were nonviolently protesting for rights denied them.

All but one were Israeli citizens, the other a Gaza resident.

The killings Israel calls the “October 2000 events” followed Likud-leader Ariel Sharon’s provocative, heavily guarded, visit to the Haram al-Sharif, Islam’s third holiest site – sparking the Second Intifada.

The horrific five-year toll included:

• 4,166 Palestinian deaths, including 886 children and 271 women;

• 554 extrajudicial assassinations, including 253 peaceful bystanders;

• 3,530 Palestinians disabled or maimed;

• 8,600 imprisoned, including 288 children and 115 women;

• 576 students killed, including 199 university-level ones and 32 teachers;

• another 4,713 students injured and 1,389 detained;

• 2,329,659 dunums of confiscated Palestinian land;

• another 73,613 dunums of razed land plus 1,355,290 uprooted trees; and

• 7,761 demolished homes and another 93,842 damaged.

All of the above are unpunished high crimes of war and against humanity — an apartheid Israel speciality.

Established to investigate what happened in October 2000, Israel’s Or Commission found no justification for the killings that sparked all of the above.

Nothing warranted lethal and related violence against nonthreatening Palestinians.

To this day, no Israeli police officer or anyone more senior was held accountable for cold-blooded murder.

At the time, “(a)bout 660 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested in connection with these events, and hundreds, including scores of minors, were indicted and detained without bond until the end of trial,” Adalah explained.

In September 2005, Israeli police formally declined to hold officers in its ranks accountable for butchery.

In January 2007, Israel’s attorney general closed the case.

“Adalah has continued to demand justice and accountability for the Palestinians killed and for their families, including the punishment of those responsible,” it said, adding: 

“Adalah has also continued to confront the Israeli police and Mahash for their brutality and unaccountability towards Palestinian citizens of Israel, while calling for adherence to the Or Commission’s recommendations.”

For over 72 years and events preceding them, Israeli security forces have terrorized, brutalized and massacred defenseless Palestinians for crime of being Arabs in a Jewish state — their mark of Cain.

Are You Feeling Safer? ‘War of the Worlds’ Pits U.S. and Israel Against Everyone Else

By Philip Giraldi

Source

Trump Netanyahu Abraham Accords ee19e

The media being focused on an upcoming election, coronavirus, fires on the West Coast and burgeoning BLM and Antifa unrest, it is perhaps no surprise that some stories are not exactly making it through to the evening news. Last week an important vote in the United Nations General Assembly went heavily against the United States. It was regarding a non-binding resolution that sought to suspend all economic sanctions worldwide while the coronavirus cases continue to increase. It called for “intensified international cooperation and solidarity to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic and its consequences.” It was a humanitarian gesture to help overwhelmed governments and health care systems cope with the pandemic by having a free hand to import food and medicines.

The final tally was 169 to 2, with only Israel and the United States voting against. Both governments apparently viewed the U.N. resolution as problematical because they fully support the unilateral economic warfare that they have been waging to bring about regime change in countries like Iran, Syria and Venezuela. Sanctions imposed on those countries are designed to punish the people more than the governments in the expectation that there will be an uprising to bring about regime change. This, of course, has never actually happened as a consequence of sanctions and all that is really delivered is suffering. When they cast their ballots, some delegates at the U.N. might even have been recalling former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s claim that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. imposed sanctions had been “worth it.”

Clearly, a huge majority of the world’s governments, to include the closest U.S. allies, no longer buy the American big lie when it claims to be the leader of the free world, a promoter of liberal democracy and a force for good.  The vote prompted one observer, John Whitbeck, a former international lawyer based in Paris, to comment how “On almost every significant issue facing mankind and the planet, it is Israel and the United States against mankind and the planet.”

The United Nations was not the only venue where the U.S. was able to demonstrate what kind of nation it has become. Estimates of how many civilians have been killed directly or indirectly as a consequence of the so-called Global War on Terror initiated by George W. Bush are in the millions, with roughly 4 million being frequently cited. Nearly all of the dead have been Muslims. Now there is a new estimate of the number of civilians that have fled their homes as a result of the worldwide conflict initiated by Washington and its dwindling number of allies since 2001. The estimate comes from Brown University’s “Costs of War Project,” which has issued a report Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States Post-9/11 Wars that seeks to quantify those who have “fled their homes in the eight most violent wars the U.S. military has launched or participated in since 2001.”

The project tracks the number of refugees, asylum seekers applying for refugee status, and internally displaced people or persons (IDPs) in the countries that America and its allies have most targeted since 9/11: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria. All are predominantly Muslim countries with the sole exception of the Philippines, which has a large Muslim minority.

The estimate suggests that between 37 and 59 million civilians have become displaced, with an extremely sharp increase occurring in the past year when the total was calculated to be 21 million. The largest number of those displaced were from Iraq, where fighting against Islamic State has been intermittent, estimated at 9.2 million. Syria, which has seen fighting between the government and various foreign supported insurgencies, had the second-highest number of displacements at 7.1 million. Afghanistan, which has seen a resurgent Taliban, was third having an estimated 5.3 million people displaced.

The authors of the report observe that even the lower figure of 37 million is “almost as large as the population of Canada” and “more than those displaced by any other war or disaster since at least the start of the 20th century with the sole exception of World War II.” And it is also important to note what is not included in the study. The report has excluded sub-Saharan Africa as well as several Arab nations generally considered to be U.S. allies. These constitute “the millions more who have been displaced by other post-9/11 conflicts where U.S. forces have been involved in ‘counterterror’ activities in more limited yet significant ways, including in: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.”

Yemen should be added to that list given U.S. military materiel assistance that has enabled the Saudi Arabian bombing attacks on that country, also producing a wave of refugees. There are also reports that the White House is becoming concerned over the situation in Yemen as pressure is growing to initiate an international investigation of the Saudi war crimes in that civilian infrastructure targets to include hospitals and schools are being deliberately targeted.

And even the United States Congress has begun to notice that something bad is taking place as there is growing concern that both the Saudi and U.S. governments might be charged with war crimes over the civilian deaths. Reports are now suggesting that as early as 2016, when Barack Obama was still president, the State Department’s legal office concluded that “top American officials could be charged with war crimes for approving bomb sales to the Saudis and their partners” that have killed more than 125,000 including at least 13,400 targeted civilians.

That conclusion preceded the steps undertaken by the Donald Trump White House to make arms sales to the Saudis and their allies in the United Arab Emirates central to his foreign policy, a program that has become an integral part of the promotion of the “Deal of the Century” Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Given that, current senior State Department officials have repressed the assessment made in 2016 and have also “gone to great lengths” to conceal the legal office finding. A State Department inspector general investigation earlier this year considered the Department’s failure to address the legal risks of selling offensive weapons to the Saudis, but the details were hidden by placing them in a classified part of the public report released in August, heavily redacted so that even Congressmen with high level access could not see them.

Democrats in Congress, which had previously blocked some arms sales in the conflict, are looking into the Saudi connection because it can do damage to Trump, but it would be far better if they were to look at what the United States and Israel have been up to more generally speaking. The U.S. benefits from the fact that even though international judges and tribunals are increasingly embracing the concept of holding Americans accountable for war crimes since the start of the GWOT, U.S. refusal to cooperate has been daunting. Last March, when the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague authorized its chief prosecutor to open an investigation into U.S. crimes in Afghanistan the White House reacted by imposing sanctions on the chief prosecutor and his staff lawyer. And Washington has also warned that any tribunal going after Israel will face the wrath of the United States.

Nevertheless, when you are on the losing side on a vote in a respected international body by 169 to 2 someone in Washington should at least be smart enough to discern that something is very, very wrong. But I wouldn’t count on anyone named Trump or Biden to work that out.

Israel and the UAE Hope to Turn Yemen’s Remote Islands into an Intel Gathering Hub

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

Often a flashpoint for tensions between international rivals and a major chokepoint for much of the world’s maritime transit, the waters surrounding Yemen have become a much-vaunted prize for regional intelligence services.

SOCOTRA, YEMEN — In the wake of the recent normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in August, it is becoming increasingly clear that Tel Aviv is set to take on an increasingly active role in the war on Yemen, a war that the UAE – together with Saudi Arabia – launched over six years ago.

Yemen’s strategic islands, particularly the sparsely populated archipelago containing Socotra located at the mouth of Gulf Aden in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is of particular importance. Often a flashpoint for tensions between Iran and the United States, Yemen and the Saudi Coalition, and a major chokepoint for much of the world’s maritime transit, the waters surrounding Yemen, particularly the island of Socotra, have become a much-vaunted prize for regional intelligence and security apparatus. Now, both the UAE and Israel are working to establish military and intelligence centers on Socotra, which lays some 240 kilometers east of the coast of Somalia and 380 kilometers south of the Arabian Peninsula.

According to one Yemeni source, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have already completed logistical operations to establish intelligence-gathering bases and new military facilities on the island. A presence on Socotra will not only allow the new alliance to establish a foothold against Yemen’s Houthi-led opposition, but will allow it to conduct surveillance on Oman, Iran, Pakistan, and China, who, in recent years, has established a presence on the nearby horn of Africa.

Last week, an Emirati ship arrived on Socotra laden with personnel from the UAE and Israel and transporting weapons and communication equipment according to a local source on the island. Even before the UAE-Israel normalization deal was announced, the two countries were sending delegations to Perim Island, known as Mayyun in Arabic, a volcanic island in the Strait of Mandeb at the south entrance to the Red Sea.

In Socotra, locals report that the same Emirati-Israeli team arrived on an Emirati aircraft various times throughout the year to examine locations in the Momi district on the east of the island and the Qatnan locality on its western coast.

Issa Salem Bin Yaqoot al-Soctari, the head of indigenous tribes on the island, said in a statement recently that the UAE has brought Israel to Socotra and that both sides have already started building new bases there. With much consternation, al-Soctari complained of the UAE’s “policy of repression, starvation, and intimidation” against the island’s residents. Mirroring Israel’s policy in Palestine, al-Soctrai also accused Emirati forces of intentionally changing the Island’s demographics by housing foreigners on the island en masse.

Israel has few friends in Yemen

Israel is far from a welcome presence in Yemen and local support for the Palestinian cause is nearly universal. Large demonstrations have already taken place in Abyan, Taiz, and Shabwah against the normalization of ties with Israel and against any Israeli presence in Yemen.

In early September, a meeting of high-ranking officials was held, headed by the prime minister of the National Salvation Government in Houthi-controlled Sana’a, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Habtoor, in which a council affirmed support for the “preparation of lawsuits” to be filed with international courts against the presence of foreign “occupiers.”

All of Yemen’s political parties, including local tribes allied with the Saudi-led Coalition, staunchly reject the presence of Israel in Socotra. or any place in Yemen for that matter, yet of all Yemen’s myriad political forces, the Houthis are likely the most willing to take preemptive action against Israeli ambitions in the country. Sources in Ansar Allah, the political wing of the Houthis, reported that plans are already being made to use ballistic missiles and drones to destroy any intelligence-gathering and military facilities belonging to both Israel and UAE.

Officials in Yemen’s easternmost province of al-Mahrah told MintPress that the security cooperation between UAE and Israel is being actively supported by Saudi Arabia and aims to help the Saudi-led coalition carry out its long-held goal of tightening control over the province by gathering intelligence on the ground. Intelligence gathering operations on Socotra would also cast neighboring Oman under UAE and Israeli radars. Oman enjoys long borders and solid relations with Yemen, and much to the dismay of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, it also enjoys cordial relations with Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran, a relationship that the Coalition is eager to undermine.

Socotra has been a prize for the UAE, and indeed for Israel, for years. The Emirati-backed separatist militant group, the Southern Transitional Council (STC), has already effectively captured Socotra and established a secret relationship with Israel following talks with officials in Tel Aviv sponsored by the UAE. In fact, the UAE has had its grip on the island archipelago since 2018 and has already built military bases, installed communications networks, and used its considerable oil wealth to purchase thousands of hectares of private land from locals.

The Chinese connection

The establishment of a strong central intelligence-gathering facility on the Yemeni islands not only has local and regional implications but, supported by the United States, represents a bold bid for Israel’s geopolitical and strategic dominance in the region and could pay off for the U.S.-Israeli axis along with its newly minted Gulf Arab allies.

Israeli and UAE radars on Socotra, located at the mouth of one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, could not only examine sea and air traffic in the region but also could help Israel, a strong ally to India, monitor Pakistan, a country which Israel views with animus and one that is strongly opposed to normalization. Both the UAE and Israel – and more importantly the United States – could also keep a close eye on the Gwadar Port of Pakistan. The Gwadar Port is still under development. A jewel in China’s  Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) crown, once complete, the port is slated to compete directly with Dubai and would allow China to export goods should the United States decide to block China from access to the straits of Malacca.

Yemenis are concerned that the presence of Israel on Socotra not only could pose a security risk but could also undermine China’s efforts to develop Yemen’s economy under the Belt and Road Initiative. Both Yemen and China support the inclusion of Yemen into the BRI. Chinese officials have stated that they stand ready to participate in the economic reconstruction of Yemen and officials in Sana`a are working hard to join the BRI as they hope it will present an opportunity to reconstruct the infrastructure that has been destroyed by six years of Saudi-Colation bombing.

How a Senate Inquiry Revealed the Israeli Surveillance Industry’s Role in Orchestrating Russiagate

By Raul Diego

Source

A Senate investigation reveals that a consortium of Israeli hacking and surveillance firms coordinated and facilitated meetings between Trump campaign operatives and Russia during the 2016 campaign, but they don’t really want to talk about it.

Alleged Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election is headline news, once again, as a Ukrainian lawmaker is charged by the Trump administration “in a sweeping plot to sow distrust in the American political process,” reports the Associated Press. Microsoft also made claims that it detected “hacking attempts targeting U.S. political campaigns, parties and consultants” by agents from Russia, China, and Iran. In a September 10 blog post, Microsoft’s Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security & Trust, listed three groups from each region that Microsoft “observed” carrying out their cyber operations.

Rarely in the news, however, is the role played by Israeli cybersecurity startups in the creation of the Russiagate narrative itself. Incubated within the Israeli military apparatus and benefiting from an uninterrupted stream of billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars, these “private Mossads” have been present behind the scenes throughout the numerous Russia-related scandals fomented by the mainstream press to sow partisan discord among the American electorate and line the pockets of network executives.

Evidence of their activities has been exposed – though not pursued – in the latest volume of a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which shows how then-candidate Donald Trump personally embarked on a parallel campaign on behalf of Israel to block a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Originally submitted by Egypt, UNSCR 2334 strips Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders of any “legal validity” in the eyes of the international community and brands them a “flagrant violation under international law.” Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, had refused all of the advances made by Trump’s operatives to use its veto power against the measure, and Trump himself would prevail upon Egyptian President al-Sisi – whom Trump calls his “favorite dictator” – to withdraw the declaration. Together with Israeli pressure, UNSCR 2334 seemed destined to languish in obscurity as Egypt acquiesced and delayed the vote to “permit them to conduct an additional meeting of the Arab League’s foreign ministers to work on the resolution’s wording.”

The Senate’s inquiries uncovered a consistent thread of IDF-linked cybersecurity firms and intelligence assets coordinating and facilitating meetings between the coterie of Russian characters that make up the Russiagate universe and the Trump campaign, including protagonists like Guccifer 2.0, the hacker who released Hilary Clinton’s infamous emails to Wikileaks via a cell phone registered in Israel.

George Birnbaum, a former chief of staff to Benjamin Netanyahu and GOP operative, told the committee how Trump aide Rick Gates had inquired about using “Israeli technology” to collect dirt on opponent Hillary Clinton at a March 2016 meeting, explaining to the senators what would be so attractive about Israeli companies, specifically:

“These guys came out of the military intelligence army unit, and it’s like coming out with a triple Ph.D. from MIT. The amount of knowledge these guys have in terms of cybersecurity, cyber-intelligence… [is] just so beyond what you could get [with] a normal education that it’s just unique … there are hundreds and hundreds of Israeli start-up companies that the founders are guys who came out of this unit.”

The unit Birnbaum is referring to is the IDF’s Unit 8200, where these “hundreds and hundreds” of tech startups are born right in the bowels of the Israeli national security state and propagate throughout the world and the United States, in particular.

Described as “private Mossads” for hire, many of the Israeli hacking and surveillance firms that moved behind the scenes, brokering meetings between Trump’s people and Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska during the height of the so-called Russian “collusion,” were working through a “key middle man” with close ties to then-Trump National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who was himself also working in an advisory capacity with the “consortium of cyber-spy companies run by former Israeli intelligence officers” known as the NSO Group, that is comprised of several of the Israeli startups summoned before the committee for voluntary, closed-door testimony.

While the American public was fed one Russophobic scandal after another, and Robert Mueller held court in the press for two years straight, no one – especially Mueller – was paying attention to this perverse network of Israeli surveillance companies who operated the virtual scaffold upon which the Russiagate narrative was being constructed and whose fellow Unit 8200 graduates in other subsectors of the cybersecurity industry are deeply ensconced in highly questionable activities surrounding the coming 2020 election.

The NSO Group

The NSO Group gained notoriety when it was identified as the developer of Pegasus, the iPhone spyware that was found installed on slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s phone in the days leading up to his gruesome death. NSO’s cell phone tracking technology has been associated with other ghastly events, such as the scandal involving Pegasus in Mexico, where a team of international investigators looking into the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa was targeted by the spyware, as well as Mexican journalists and their families.

One of the NSO companies questioned by the Senate committee in relation to Russian interference, Psy-Group, is currently under investigation in California, where it was caught red-handed actually trying to rig a local election for a paying customer. Another, Circles, was founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer and is “known for covertly intercepting phone calls, text messages, and tracking locations of unaware citizens,” according to a report by Forensic News. In 2018, Haaretz published an expose on the company disclosing the extent to which Circles and the Israeli espionage industry is helping “world dictators hunt dissidents and gays,” among other nefarious opportunities available in the “global commerce” of surveillance technologies.

FILE PHOTO: A man reads at a stand of the NSO Group Technologies, an Israeli technology firm known for its Pegasus spyware enabling the remote surveillance of smartphones, at the annual European Police Congress in Berlin, Germany, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

The middle man the Senate investigation identified is Walter Soriano; singled out for his association with several Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska and Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought Trump’s West Palm Beach mansion in 2008. The Senate report accuses Soriano and Israeli cybersecurity companies of coordinating “between the Trump Campaign and Russia,” but fails to pursue the matter beyond that.

The UN resolution denouncing Israeli settlements would pass on December 23, 2016, after four temporary Security Council members, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela reportedly took matters into their own hands and moved the vote forward. UNSCR 2334 became official as a result of a historic breach of established pro-Israel policy by the United States, which abstained from the vote. Widely reported as Obama’s “parting shot” to Netanyahu and the incoming administration, the passing of the resolution went against Obama’s own record of using U.S.’ veto power to banish similar proposals.

President-elect Donald Trump would take office in a matter of weeks and the Mueller investigation kicked off the barrage of Russophobic content peddled over the digital airwaves night after night. Stories like Maria Butina’s were plastered all over the media to buttress the Russiagate narrative.

The legend of Maria Butina

Butina’s former lover, Paul Erickson joked about being a CIA asset and had built a phony reputation as a man of staunch moral Christian values. Erickson worked for several Republican campaigns dating back to the late ‘80s, including a stint as national policy director for Pat Buchanan’s ’92 White House run. He first achieved international notoriety as Mobutu Sese Seko’s lawyer, reportedly accepting a $30,000 lobbying contract to obtain a U.S. visa for the African despot, which was ultimately denied.

It was Erickson’s long-standing ties to the NRA and the organization’s former president David Keene, which set the stage for the Maria Butina story as a Russian infiltrator looking for “access to U.S. political organizations.” Erickson had worked with Keene as a registered foreign agent since the 1990s and formed part of the NRA’s efforts to forge closer ties to Israel since at least 2011.

Prosecutors would paint Butina as a seductress, ensnaring Erickson in a “duplicitous relationship,” but it was the cunning GOP operative who first spotted Butina during a 2013 trip to Moscow with Keene. Butina and Erickson would meet again in Israel one year later where they would begin their ‘love affair’ during which he would become “integral to Butina’s activities,” assisting the Russian gun enthusiast “in developing relationships with individuals and organizations involved in U.S. politics,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In this photo taken on Sunday, April 22, 2012, Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist, poses for a photo at a shooting range in Moscow, Russia. When gun activist Maria Butina arrived in Washington in 2014 to network with the NRA, she was peddling a Russian gun rights movement that was already dead. Fellow gun enthusiasts and arms industry officials describe the strange trajectory of her Russian gun lobby project, which U.S. prosecutors say was a cover for a Russian influence campaign. Accused of working as a foreign agent, Butina faces a hearing Monday, Sept. 10 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pavel Ptitsin)

con-artist by most accounts, Erickson is described by a Republican legislator as “the single biggest phony I’ve ever met in South Dakota politics.” South Dakota was where Yale-educated Erickson came up in the political arena and where he’s left a long trail of burned business associates and friends. In 2019, Erickson pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, admitting he had bilked 78 people of $2.3 Million over 22 years and was sentenced this past July to seven years in federal prison.

The NRA has been forging ties to the Israeli security state for years now. In 2013, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, joined a delegation of 30 in Jerusalem for a 10-day tour of Israel’s police institutions. The honorary NRA member stated on that occasion, that Israel could “serve as a model for American security.” The legend of Maria Butina, itself, was seeded in Israel that same year when an “obscure” Israeli gun-rights group posted on Facebook that she had announced to have signed a cooperation agreement with the NRA and “neighboring countries” to promote gun rights at a meeting with its members.

Butina would meet with Erickson and Keene two weeks later in Moscow, along with Alexander Torshin, former deputy governor of Russia’s central bank and lifetime NRA member. Torshin, who has been targeted by U.S. sanctions, traveled with Butina to the United States to “discuss U.S.-Russian economic relations” in April 2015. The pair met with several senior American officials, like Federal Reserve vice chairman and former Israel central bank chief, Stanley Fischer; the Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, Nathan Sheets and others in a meeting “moderated” by AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg. The details of the high-level meeting, two months before Donald Trump made his announcement to run for president, have never been made public.

Who Buys This Phony ‘Anti-Semitism’ Smear Language?

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

If you support the genuine inheritors of the Holy Land you’re ‘pro-Semitic’.
smear weapon 28d34

Semites are a language group not a religious group. They spoke (and still do) Semitic languages, especially the Canaanite and later Aramaic dialects of Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. 

The Western world today is seething with accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’, a threatening term with nasty connotations. Before 1879 nobody had heard of ‘anti-Semitism’ although hard feelings towards Jews as a religious group had existed for many centuries. One thinks immediately of the atrocities of the first Crusades (1096), the massacre at York in 1190, and the expulsion of Jews from England by Edward I in 1290 (only to be allowed back in 1657 by Oliver Cromwell). But discrimination against Jews existed long before, in various countries and for various reasons.

Then along came a German agitator and journalist, Wilhelm Marr, who coined the expression ‘anti-Semitism’ knowing full well that it embraced all Semitic peoples including Hebrews, Arabs and Christians of the Holy Land. It wasn’t long before it was twisted to become a metaphor for hostility only toward Jews based on a belief that they sought national and even world power. More recently Holocaust denial and criticism of the state of Israel’s vile behaviour have been considered anti-Semitic. Anti-Zionism too is claimed to be anti-Semitic because it singles out Jewish national aspirations as illegitimate and a racist endeavour. Which of course they are, as Israel’s recently enacted nation state laws prove.

Indeed, some hardcore Israel flag wavers regard any pro-Palestinian, pro-Syrian or pro-Lebanese sentiments to be anti-Semitic even though those peoples are constantly victims of Israeli military aggression.

A catch-all smear weapon

The hijacking of the term anti-Semitism and its fraudulent conversion into a propaganda tool for defending the Zionist Project has enabled brazen attacks on our rights to free speech and attempts to shut down peaceful debate on Israel’s crimes. The word anti-Semitism, as now used, is a distortion of language and a deliberate misnomer larded with fear and trembling for those touched by it. This prompted Miko Peled, the Israeli general’s son, to warn a Labour Party conference that “they are going to pull all the stops, they are going to smear, they are going to try anything they can to stop Corbyn… the reason anti-Semitism is used is because they [the Israelis] have no argument…”

And so they did. Jeremy Corbyn, a genuine anti-racist, critic of Israel and champion of Palestinian rights, was soon gone. He was the only British leader who might have reduced Israel’s sinister influence on UK policy. But his Labour Party, like the cowards they are, surrendered to Israel lobby pressure and helped bring him down. Israel’s pimps at Westminster and in local parties across the country were able to chalk up a famous victory.

They even managed to force the Party to adopt the discredited International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism and incorporate it into the Party’s code of conduct. The new leader is their obedient stooge. He has publicly bent the knee, tugged the forelock.

 Who has the claim?

However, it has been shown that most Jews today are not descended from the ancient Israelites at all. For example, research by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, published by the Oxford University Press in 2012 on behalf of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, found the Khazarian Hypothesis to be scientifically correct, meaning that most Jews are Khazars and confirming what some scholars had been saying. The Khazarians converted to Talmudic Judaism in the 8th Century and were never in ancient Israel.

No doubt these finding will be challenged by Zionist adherents till the end of time. But DNA research suggests that no more than 2 per cent of Jews in present-day Israel are actually Israelites. So, even if you believe the myth that God gave the land to the Israelites, He certainly didn’t give it to Netanyahu, Lieberman and the other East European thugs who infiltrated the Holy Land and now run the apartheid regime. It seems the Palestinians (Muslim and Christian) have more Israelite blood. They are the true Semites.

As for Zionists’ preposterous claim to exclusive sovereignty over Jerusalem, the city was at least 2000 years old and an established fortification when King David captured it. Jerusalem dates back some 5000 years and the name is likely derived from Uru-Shalem, meaning “founded by Shalem”, the Canaanite God of Dusk.

In its ‘City of David’ form Jerusalem lasted less than 80 years. In 928BC the Kingdom divided into Israel and Judah with Jerusalem the capital of Judah, and in 597BC the Babylonians conquered it. Ten years later in a second siege the city was largely destroyed including Solomon’s temple. The Jews recaptured it in 164BC but finally lost it to the Roman Empire in 63BC. A Christian (Crusader) kingdom of Jerusalem existed from 1099 to 1291 but held the city for only 101 of those years. Before the present-day shambles, cooked up by Balfour and stoked by the US, the Jews had controlled Jerusalem for around 500 years, say historians – small beer compared to the 1,277 years it was subsequently ruled by Muslims and the 2000 years, or thereabouts, it originally belonged to the Canaanites.

Counter-measure

Since the three main Semitic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity – all have historical claims to Jerusalem and a presence there, and masses of non-Semitic believers around the world also wish to visit the holy places, the best solution seems to be the one recommended by United Nations General Assembly resolutions 181 and 194: that Jerusalem is made a corpus separatum, an open city administered by an international regime or the UN itself. Why this hasn’t been implemented isn’t clear. We’ve seen the abominable discrimination inflicted on Palestinian Muslims and Christians by Israel since seizing control of Jerusalem.

The other side could play word games too – and with more honesty. Anti-Semitism has been fashioned by the Zionists into a catch-all smear weapon. What if pro-Palestinian groups and the BDS movement declared themselves (in correct parlance) to be ‘pro-Semitic’, i.e. supportive of all those with genuine ancestral links to the ancient Holy Land and entitled to live there in freedom?

They could coin a new expression just like Marr and establish it through usage.

“This is How Armed Gangs Operate” Israel Admits its Troops Planted IEDs in a Palestinian Town

Israel Palestinians

By Alan Macleod

Source

The IDF admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area.

A seven-year-old Palestinian boy was walking with his mother just outside the West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum a few miles to west of the city of Nablus. Seeing a strange orange and black package held down with some rocks, the boy approached, thinking it was a toy. His mother quickly stopped him, summoning a relative to investigate. Foolishly, the man shook the package and it exploded, injuring his face and hands.

Along the popular path they found another device, this time photographing it and throwing stones at it until it too exploded.

That device was housed in a metal box used by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to store grenades, Israeli outlet Haaretz reports. That evening, after the images had caused outrage on social media, Israeli military units came and neutralized a third IED they had left on the path.

IDF sources freely admitted that they put the explosives on the commonly used road, doing it to “create a deterrence,” because “riots have regularly occurred” in the area. Kafr Qaddum is known as a hotbed of protest against the Israeli occupation, suggesting this was done in response to their activism. Warning signs, written in Hebrew only, were found close to the IEDs. “People live there, and children wander around,” said the injured man, “it’s lucky nothing worse happened.”

“Even in a place where revenge operations by soldiers have already become routine, soldiers planting improvised explosive devices is exceptional, and it’s pure luck that it didn’t cause far worse injuries,” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said.

This is how armed gangs operate, not a regular army. But the action reflects the spirit of the army’s commanders and the government, both of which send the message that Palestinian lives and limbs are fair game.”

“When this story came to me I did not believe it was true. But it is,” said Haaretz’s Hagar Shezaf, who covered the story. Yet despite the fact that she obtained confessions from IDF sources, she entertained the idea that the whole thing was a Palestinian false flag operation.

Needless to say, placing explosive devices in civilian areas is a serious war crime. However, compared to the weeks-long bombing campaign against Gaza it is currently undertaking, planting some IEDs is perhaps a minor incident. Western media have shown little interest in covering the campaign, reflexively taking the Israeli side when doing so. Indeed, Canadian broadcaster CBC issued a public apology for using the word “Palestine” on air during an interview.

The humanitarian fallout from the bombing is likely worse than the bombing itself. The only power plant in Gaza has been forced out of action, and Israel is limiting the area to only three to four hours of electricity per day by restricting fuel imports. Oxfam warns that the conditions are likely to spark a COVID-19 epidemic that authorities will not be able to handle. Gaza has only 97 intensive care hospital beds, and people’s access to clean water has shrunk from 80 to 20 liters per day. “People are forced to choose between hygiene and food,” explained Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s country director for Israel and Palestine.

Malnutrition has also reached the point of crisis, with one third of Palestine (and over two-thirds of Gazans) food insecure, according to the World Food Program, who found that nearly eight percent of Palestinian children under the age of five showed moderate to severe signs of stunted growth.

The United States holds a huge amount of influence in the region. However, both political parties appear steadfast in their support for Israeli actions. Trump has emboldened Netanyahu to announce the annexation of much of the fertile Jordan Valley, while the Democratic ticket seems eager to outdo the president. “I pledge to you the Biden-Harris administration will sustain our unbreakable commitment to Israel’s security, including the unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation pioneered during the Obama-Biden administration and the guarantee that Israel will always maintain its qualitative military edge,” Harris said at a fundraiser on Wednesday.

On the subject of the IEDs, Haaretz was concerned enough to print an editorial. “This phenomenon must be shut down and those responsible punished. The IDF must make sure there are no more such devices in the area, and that there are no other locations where orange boxes await curious children or their parents,” they wrote. Whether the IDF heed their words remains to be seen.

The Collaborator’s Reward: the UAE, from Syria to Israel

By Tim Anderson

Source

Mohamad Bin Zayed Bashar Assad 9062b

What do Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and the UAE’s Mohamad Bin Zayed (MBZ) all have in common? They dreamed that their collaboration with the imperial power would allow them the freedom to pursue their own ambitions.

Very wrong. Once Noriega was employed by the CIA to betray compatriot nationalists and to be used as a tool against independent Cuba and Nicaragua, imperialism owned him. Once Saddam was armed (including with poison gas) by NATO countries to attack Revolutionary Iran and slaughter dissident Iraqis, imperialism owned him. And once MBZ collaborated with Mossad against the Palestinian resistance and armed terrorist groups against Syria, imperialism owned him.

After Noriega sought to play a more independent role in Central America the US, under Bush the First, invaded Panama killing thousands (see ‘The Panama Deception’), just to kidnap Noriega and jail him on drug trafficking charges. Saddam was not allowed to pursue his own interests in Kuwait. Instead his ambitions were used as a pretext to starve and then destroy Iraq. Saddam himself was eventually lynched, under US military occupation. MBZ, for his supposed crime of resuming relations with Syria in 2018, was forced to recognise Israel, thus becoming the new disgrace of the Arab and Muslim world. Once a collaborator is owned he is owned.

The UAE gained nothing by openly recognising the zionist regime. There was no political or economic benefit. The UAE was already collaborating deeply with Israel, as evidenced by the open access enjoyed by the Mossad team which murdered Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in February 2010 (Lewis, Borger and McCarthy 2010), and later kidnapped Australian-Israeli whistle-blower Ben Zygier, after he had provided Dubai authorities with “names and pictures and accurate details” of the team, supposedly in exchange for UAE protection. However Israel kidnapped Zygier in the UAE and he later died from ‘suicide’ in an Israeli jail (Rudoran 2013).

There was no independent motive behind the disgraceful UAE move, other than fear and obedience. The Trump regime pressured and threatened MBZ into recognising Israel, just to help with its 2020 election campaign.

How do we know this? Two months before the UAE officially recognised Israel, Trump envoy James Jeffrey threatened the UAE regime for its renewed relations with Syria, which went against Trump’s subsequent ‘Caesar Act’ (MEMO 2020), a piece of legislation primarily aimed at imposing discipline on third party ‘allies’ which sought to normalise relations with Damascus.

Washington’s ‘Caesar’ law (part of an omnibus NDAA Act) pretends to authorise the US President to impose fines and confiscate the assets of those, anywhere in the world, who “support or engage in a significant transaction” with the Syrian government (SJAC 2020). It aimed at Persian Gulf allies, principally the UAE, and perhaps some Europeans who were considering renewed relations with Damascus (Anderson 2020)

As it happened, in late December 2018, the UAE resumed relations with the Syrian Government and resumed investment in the besieged country. This was despite the anti-Syrian role of the UAE in the early days of the conflict and, in particular, their backing of ISIS terrorism. That role was acknowledged by senior US officials in late 2014.

Head of the US Army General Martin Dempsey in September 2014 admitted that “major Arab allies” of the US funded ISIS (Rothman 2014). The following month US Vice President Joe Biden specified that US allies “Turkey, Qatar and the UAE had extended “billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” to all manner of fanatical Islamist fighters, including ISIS, in efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad (Maskanian 2014). Biden later offered a hollow apology to the UAE for his remarks (Al Jazeera 2014). A sanitised Atlantic Council version of this history was that the UAE had backed “armed opposition groups – such as the Free Syrian Army” (Santucci 2020).

In any case, with Washington’s regime change war lost – certainly after the expanded role of Russia in Syria from September 2015 onwards – the UAE began to change tack. In November 2015 UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash expressed cautious support for Russia’s role and in April 2018 he characterised the conflict as one between the Syrian Government and Islamic extremism. On 27 December the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus (Ramani 2020). Bahrain followed suit the next day. The MBZ regime claims to have provided over $530 million “to alleviate the suffering” of Syria since 2012 (Santucci 2020), though how much of this went into armed Islamist groups is unclear.

But there certainly have been some UAE-funded construction projects in Syria in recent times. No doubt wealthy UAE investors saw some opportunities in post-war reconstruction. The Emirates hosted a Syrian trade delegation in January 2019 and in August 2019 some private Emirati companies participated in the Damascus International Trade Fair (Cafiero 2020).

But in early 2020 the Trump regime passed its Caesar law, aimed at reining in its wandering ‘allies’. In June envoy James Jeffrey pointed his finger at the UAE, saying: “the UAE knows that we absolutely refuse that countries take such steps [in Syria] … we have clearly stressed that we consider this a bad idea … anyone who engages in economic activities … may be targeted by these sanctions” (MEMO 2020).

That could mean big trouble for the UAE. The Obama regime (through the US Treasury’s ‘Office of Foreign Assets Control’) had already ‘fined’ European banks more than 12 billion dollars for their business with Iran and Cuba, in breach of Washington’s unilateral coercive measures (Anderson 2019: 42).

Two months later in August the UAE’s open recognition of Israel presented the semblance of some sort of change in the region. An Atlantic Council paper hoped that might be to derail the UAE’s ‘normalization policy with Syria’ (Santucci 2020). That indeed was one part of the project: tighten the siege on the independent region: from Palestine through Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to Iran. In the process 80% of the besieged Syrian population was living in poverty, and on the brink of starvation (Cafiero 2020). This was a determined if failing strategy, set in place by Bush the Second and carried through faithfully by Obama and Trump, despite the latter’s pragmatic misgivings.

The other part of the project was to strong-arm the little petro-monarchy into boosting the Trump election campaign. The UAE’s recognition of Israel did nothing to help MBZ, but was well received in Tel Aviv (though it did not change the constellation of Resistance forces) and was skilfully presented in the USA as some sort of concession to Palestine. Yet Trump’s flimsy pretext (a ‘freeze’ on further annexations) was quickly discredited. Israeli Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said that a ‘freeze’ was in place before the UAE deal (Khalil 2020). Netanyahu maintained that further annexations were still ‘on the table’ (Al Jazeera 2020). Indeed he had announced such ‘freezes’ before (Ravid 2009).

In any case, Trump was clearly no advocate for Palestinian or Arab rights. He had broken with previous US regimes by giving his blessing to Tel Aviv’s annexation of both East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, disregarding international law (BBC 2019). Disgraced in the region, the UAE was simply acting as Washington’s puppet. That is the collaborator’s reward.

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References

Al Jazeera (2014) ‘Biden ‘apologises’ to UAE for ISIL remarks’, 6 October, online: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/10/uae-says-amazed-joe-biden-syria-remarks-20141058153239733.html

Al Jazeera (2020) ‘Netanyahu says West Bank annexation plans still ‘on the table’’, 13 August, online: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/netanyahu-west-bank-annexation-plans-table-200813183431066.html

Anderson, Tim (2019) Axis of Resistance: towards an independent Middle East, Clarity Press, Atlanta GA

Anderson, Tim (2020) ‘Trump’s ‘Caesar’ Style Siege on Syria, A Sign of Impending Regional Failure’, American Herald Tribune, 12 June, online: https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/syria-crisis/4218-trump-caesar-style-siege.html

BBC (2019) ‘Golan Heights: Trump signs order recognising occupied area as Israeli’, 25 March, online: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47697717

Cafiero, Giorgio (2020) ‘The Caesar Act and the United Arab Emirates’, TRT World, 29 June, online: https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/the-caesar-act-and-the-united-arab-emirates-37702

Khalil, Zein (2020) ‘Annexation frozen before UAE deal: Israeli minister’, 16 August, online: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/annexation-frozen-before-uae-deal-israeli-minister/1943528

Lewis, Paul; Julian Borger and Rory McCarthy (2010) ‘Dubai murder: fake identities, disguised faces and a clinical assassination’, The Guardian, 16 February, online: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/feb/16/dubai-murder-fake-identities-hamas

Maskanian, Bahram (2014) ‘Vice President Joe Biden stated that US key allies in the Middle East were behind nurturing ISIS’, YouTube, 2 December, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25aDP7io30U

MEMO (2020) ‘US threatens UAE with Caesar Act, due to support for Assad regime’, 19 June, online: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200619-us-threatens-uae-with-caesar-act-due-to-support-for-assad-regime/

Ramani, Samuel (2020) ‘Foreign policy and commercial interests drive closer UAE-Syria ties’, Middle East Institute, 21 January online: https://www.mei.edu/publications/foreign-policy-and-commercial-interests-drive-closer-uae-syria-ties

Ravid, Barak (2009) ‘Netanyahu Declares 10-month Settlement Freeze ‘To Restart Peace Talks’’, Haaretz, 25 November, online: https://www.haaretz.com/1.5122924

Rothman, Noah (2014) ‘Dempsey: I know of Arab allies who fund ISIS’, YouTube, 16 September, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA39iVSo7XE

Rudoran, Jodi (2013) ‘Israel’s Prisoner X Is Linked to Dubai Assassination in a New Report’, New York Times, 14 February, online: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/world/middleeast/israels-prisoner-x-linked-to-dubai-assassination-in-new-report.html

Santucci, Emily (2020) ‘The Caesar Act might alter the UAE’s normalization policy with Syria’ Atlantic Council, online: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/the-caesar-act-might-alter-the-uaes-normalization-policy-with-syria/

SJAC (2020) ‘The Caesar Act: Impacts and Implementation’, Syria Justice and Accountability Centre’, 20 February, online: https://syriaaccountability.org/updates/2020/02/20/the-caesar-act-impacts-and-implementation/

Wolf, Albert B. (2020) ‘The UAE-Israel Agreement Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be’, Foreign Policy, 15 August, online: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/15/the-uae-israel-agreement-isnt-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

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