Highlights of Israeli Ruthlessness

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Last year was devastating for long-suffering Palestinians, the way things have been for over seven decades.

B’Tselem compiled examples of Israeli ruthlessness in 2018. Its security forces murdered 290 defenseless Palestinian civilians, including 55 children.

The toll includes 254 Gazan deaths, mostly during peaceful Great March of Return demonstrations, assaulted by extreme Israeli violence. 

Another 34 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, two others in Jewish state territory – all of it stolen from Palestinians.

Repeated incidents throughout the year, and every year, “are a direct result of Israel’s reckless open-fire policy, authorized by the government and the top military command, and backed by the judicial system,” B’Tselem stressed, adding: 

“As long as Israel adheres to this policy, despite its predictable outcomes, the casualties will continue to amass.”

Extremist settlers killed at least three Palestinians, harmed many others, including young children. A Palestinians woman threatening no one, Aishah Rabi, was stoned to death in a car she was riding in.

Most Palestinian deaths are because of Israel’s shoot-first-ask-no-questions policy, its longstanding contempt for Palestinian lives and welfare.

Israel considers cold-blooded murder self-defense. Soldiers given unlawful orders use live fire against peaceful demonstrators in Gaza and elsewhere in the Territories.

“Despite the predictable lethal outcomes, Israel has refused to alter its policy,” said B’Tselem, adding:

“This ongoing profound disregard for the lives of Palestinians is broadly backed by senior policy-makers in the military, the government and the judicial system.” 

Almost never is anyone “held accountable for these incidents, and the military law enforcement system whitewashes them. Given this sweeping support and the lack of accountability for these deaths, such incidents will continue” – as they have since the Jewish state’s creation.

Law enforcement in Occupied Palestine is “a whitewash mechanism,” B’Tselem stressed. Investigations when conducted, including violent incidents causing deaths and injuries, are routinely whitewashed.

Senior government and military officials are never held accountable for the worst of high crimes against Palestinians – rank-and-file military personnel almost never. The rarest of rare exceptions prove the rule.

Military law enforcement shows almost no attempts to punish Israeli wrongdoers when it comes crimes against Palestinians.

Settlers nearly always go unpunished for violent and vandalism incidents. One aggrieved Palestinian said the following:

“The settlers have the army, the state and the law on their side to protect them. We don’t have anyone. We’re guilty even if we did nothing. We’re always the guilty ones. It’s really hard to feel that your life is in danger and your property is being destroyed in front of your eyes.”

A Palestinian woman recounted the horror of a settler attack she and her husband endured, saying the following:

“At first, I thought that the people standing by the road were Palestinians who work in the settlements. As we got closer, I noticed that they were masked, and then they started to throw stones at us.” 

“One of the stones shattered the front windshield and I hollered in fear. I told my husband to drive quickly.” 

“I heard the stones hitting the car and felt that we were about to die, especially when the settlers chased after us after we’d passed them.” 

“Iman asked me to recite verses from the Quran and to trust in God. I was shaking with fear and cold, because the window had been broken and it was very windy.” 

‘Small fragments of glass got in my eye and I felt stinging and pain. I couldn’t open my eye and lots of tears were coming out.” 

“When we got home, I left Rital with my sister and went to see the doctor at the village clinic. He cleaned my eye and gave me some liquid to rinse it with.” 

“I got home at about eleven o’clock and I couldn’t sleep because I was so scared. I couldn’t get the images of the attack out of my mind.” 

“It’s like they found live prey to attack. I still panic when I think about it. On Saturday my husband went to Nablus to replace the front windshield. It cost us 700 shekels. The body of the car also need to be repaired, and that will cost us more money and take time.”

Countless other horror stories are similar to the above ones. Yesh Din volunteers for human rights include lawyers, human rights experts, and other professionals.

They document, compile, and disseminate information on human rights violations in the Territories – by security forces and settlers, complicit with each other against defenseless Palestinians.

Numerous incidents happen almost daily. Palestinians are longstanding victims of a ruthless occupier, Gazans suffering most of all.

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Israel Has Been Weakened by The War on Syria: Only 5% of The Iranian And Hezbollah Arsenal Has Been Destroyed in Syria

By Elijah. J. Magnier
Source

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Intelligence sources said “Israel wants Syria to return to the era before 2011 when the leaders of the country were less powerful and experienced than they are today after seven years of warfare, the delivery of Russian advanced equipment mostly for air defence, the supply and manufacturer of sophisticated Iranian missiles in Syria and the formative presence of Iranian and Hezbollah advisors”. The sources reveal that “Israeli officials told their American counterparts that it would be inappropriate to withdraw forces from the northeast of Syria, leaving Iran and its allies behind. The withdrawal – which now seems partial – of US forces should be done, if not before, at least simultaneously with the departure of all foreign forces operating on Syrian soil to create a balance of power on the ground. Also, it is important to stipulate that President Bashar al-Assad must refrain from using his mid-range precision missiles against Israel any time in the future as part of any US withdrawal from Syria deal. Israel argued that the US is delivering the Levant to Russia and the ‘Axis of the Resistance’ without any concessions in return”, according to the source.

The US establishment seems unwilling to cater to Israeli’s exaggerated anxieties. US officials visiting Tel Aviv told local officials that “the Israeli army holds enough military power to defend itself and that since 1974 Israel has no longer been on the defensive in the region. On the contrary, Israel has been on the offensive, taking the initiative to attack targets in Syria during these seven years of war”. According to western officials, the US reminded Israel that thousands of American forces are based in the country, in the Mediterranean and in various military bases the Middle East. These can intervene in favour of Israel in a timely way whenever appropriate. Therefore, Israel should stop screaming for unneeded help, when it is the one inflicting damage on its adversaries”.

Israel has repeatedly bombed targets in Syria belonging to the Syrian army and the “Axis of the Resistance”. It pushed the red lines even further when it bombed Iranian officials at the T4 airbase in 2018, killing several Iranian officers. In 2019, Israel already bombed a warehouse at Damascus airport, hours after the off-loading of Iranian military cargo. Although most of the Israeli missiles were shot down, a few managed to reach their target. Nevertheless, these bombings have little meaning on the strategic level because, although Israel has shown the long reach of its missiles, it has dramatically failed in its goal of crippling the missile capability of Syria and of Hezbollah in the Lebanon and Syria. During his recent visit to Cairo US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Hezbollah today has “over 130,000 missiles”.

If, as Israeli Chief of Staff General Gadi Eisenkot says, Israel “has complete intelligence superiority in the area” of Lebanon and Syria, how can he explain the arrival and deployment of a hundred and thirty thousands missiles – according to Pompeo – in Hezbollah’s hands? Eisenkot misled the Israelis when he said “Hezbollah possesses no accurate missile capabilities, except for small and negligible ones”. Indeed, when the leader of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, warned Israel that he would “respond against any Israeli attack on Lebanon”, Israel heeded his warning and refrained from attacking any target in Lebanon. Throughout the war in Syria, Israeli jets violated the Lebanese airspace and flew over Lebanon to bomb Syria but didn’t dare to attack any Hezbollah objective in Lebanon, limiting themselves to attacking Hezbollah’s military trucks, Syrian and Iranian objectives in the Levant.

According to well-connected sources, Israeli jets fired warning missiles in front of targeted trucks – before destroying the target later on – to avoid human casualties for fear of Hezbollah retaliation. If Israeli intelligence about the supposedly limited military power of Hezbollah is accurate, it makes no sense for Eisenkot to boast about his allegedly almighty military power against a “negligible enemy,” as he describes the military capability of the Lebanese “party of God”.

Sources operating in Syria and Lebanon agree with Israeli statements that Israel has bombarded various objectives in Syria with thousands of bombs, as announced by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Nevertheless, they claim that only 5% of the total weapon supply was intercepted and destroyed.

“Israel’s bombing of targets in Syria has been neither strategic nor tactical. They were political attacks aimed at boosting Netanyahu’s image. These strikes did not weaken the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) nor Hezbollah. Israel contradicts itself all the time. For example, the Israelis say: Hezbollah is the fifth most powerful force in the world, but is very weak and has limited power… Hezbollah is digging four tunnels which represent a serious threat to Israel’s national security, etc.”, said the source.

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In fact, Israel has not provoked or attacked Hezbollah since the 2006 war. The only serious attack was registered in 2015 by a drone in Quneitra that killed Jihad Mughnnieh and the Iranian General Mohammad Ali AllahDade. The attack was not planned but rather an opportunistic attack on an Iranian-Hezbollah convoy of 3 four-wheel drive vehicles who spent several hours playing in the snow in an area in sight of an Israeli observation point. Israel didn’t know who was the target and certainly was unaware of the presence of the IRGC General. In retaliation, Hezbollah attacked an Israeli patrol in the Shebaa Farms killing several soldiers and an officer. Israel turned a blind eye and the tit-for-tat was closed between the two sides.

President Assad and his allies believe that Israel is trying to provoke Syria to respond to its violations of Syrian sovereignty in order to postpone or avoid a US withdrawal from Syria. For this reason, they prefer to not respond directly to Israeli provocations, in the expectation of a US withdrawal. Nevertheless, President Trump’s recent comments about “a 20 mile buffer zone” on the borders is an indication that he now intends to keep some forces in Syria and carry out only a partial rather than a full withdrawal of US troops.

Syria and its allies will need to reassess their strategy in response to Israeli aggression and US occupying troops when the dust settles in the northeast of Syria. So far, it is impossible to ascertain what Trump will decide in view of his ongoing contradictory statements about the US occupation of Syria.

Notwithstanding Trump’s intentions towards Syria and his fickle withdrawal plans, Israel has failed in all of its objectives in Syria: the Syrian government is still in place, the army has been rebuilt and Hezbollah and Iran have trained local fighters who are determined to stand against Israel in due course. Today, in 2019, Hezbollah has received all the missiles and different weaponry needed – as Pompeo has admitted– and Iran is a source of great concern for Israel and the US, present on its Syria front where before it was present only on the borders with Lebanon. Therefore, Israel, despite its heated media declarations and the thousands of targets it has hit in Syria in recent years, feels much more vulnerable today than it did in 2011.

Also, the Iraqi front cannot be discounted: al-Hashd al-Shaabi, the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Force, was created in 2014 to stand against ISIS. Today it is made up of tens of thousands of men highly trained and equipped with a strong ideology comparable to that of Hezbollah and Iran. Iranian influence has expanded from Lebanon to Syria and Iraq. Israel has grounds for concern.

But that is not all: Iran is present in Yemen where Saudi Arabia’s destructive war against the Houthis has offered Iran a unique opportunity to support the oppressed against the oppressor. Iran has also managed to create a foothold in Afghanistan: the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was invited to Tehran along with a high-ranking Taliban delegation. Iran licked its wounds when Taliban killed ten Iranian diplomats in Mazar i-Sharif and eventually managed to overcome its differences with Taliban for the greater cause of standing up to US hegemony in Afghanistan.

Iran and Syria have shown patience in biding their time and building their strength. After its 1979 revolution Iran’s government had little international experience. It began support of Hezbollah in 1982. Thirty-five years later, Hezbollah has become an organised irregular army present on many Middle Eastern fronts. While Israel may enjoy provoking Syria with tactical attacks and thousands of bombardments against various targets, the new strategic reality is inescapable. Both Iran and Syria have survived continuous threats and wars but have managed to pull through stronger. At the same time Israel, a nuclear power with the strongest air force in the Middle East, is to-date refraining from attacking Lebanon, a small country hardly visible on the world map. Israel is deterred by three words from Sayyed Nasrallah to the powerful Tel Aviv leaders who enjoy the unlimited support of a superpower (USA): Don’t try us!

The International Reputation of Israel Is in Tatters, Even in US Congress

By Robert Fantina
Source

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Within the hallowed halls of United States governance, where for generations Israel has been king, and Palestine an unimportant footnote, nothing more than an annoyance to the Zionist entity, a seismic shift is occurring and has been for some time. In November, Rashida Tlaib became the first Palestinian-American to be elected to Congress. She is also the first member of Congress to open support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Newly-elected Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, has also endorsed the BDS movement.

Currently, Congress has opposed voting on a bill that would criminalize boycotting Israel. Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has proclaimed that the bill is not being considered, because, he states, many Democrats support BDS. We can all be certain that he doesn’t. During his campaign for re-election in 2016, pro-Israel lobbies donated $468,307.00 to his campaign. This disreputable senator has the dubious distinction of being the top senatorial recipient of apartheid largess.

Whether or not ‘many’ Democrats are closet BDS supports is unknown; however, despite one’s opinion of BDS, Congress has an excellent reason to oppose criminalizing it. Simply this: such a law would be unconstitutional. U.S. citizens have the right to boycott; this right has been confirmed in earlier Supreme Court decisions. Many states have passed such legislation, and where it has been challenged in court, it has not stood.

The world over, the BDS movement is increasingly impacting the Zionist regime, such that that apartheid nation is spending millions of dollars to counter this impact. The international reputation of Israel is in tatters, as more and more people around the world recognize its brutality, violation of human rights and international law, and see it as the pariah of the global community. While Republicans in Congress may be blind to these realities, an increasing number of Democrats seem to be opening their eyes.

It was not so long ago that any legislation supported by AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee; the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in the U.S.) would pass without more than token resistance. Lobbyist sometimes even write legislation for members of Congress to introduce. It didn’t matter if it assisted Israelis at the expense of U.S. citizens; if AIPAC wanted it, it became law. It must be remembered that Israel receives $4 billion in foreign aid from the U.S. every year. In Israel, university education is very inexpensive. In the U.S., students often leave university owing tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the U.S. government for student loans. Why, one might ask, is Congress more willing to provide low-cost education to Israelis than to U.S. citizens?

Congresswoman Tlaib has already shown herself to be outspoken; she is sure to find a Congressional audience far more responsive to human rights and international law than has previously been seen.

International support for Palestinians is also strong.

At the very end of 2018, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei met with the General Secretary of Islamic Jihad of Palestine. Mr. Ziad Al Nakhala discussed recent developments in Palestine, including the preparation that resistance groups are making. He stated that, regardless of continuing Israeli barbarity, the Palestinians remain strong. He pointed out that U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, as yet unannounced, has no possibility of being accepted by the people of Palestine. They, and they alone will determine their destiny. It will not be decided by a foreign colonial power, either Israel or the United States. They may be powerful nations, but they have not broken, and can never break, the courage and unrelenting strength of the Palestinian people.

The U.S., in violation of international law, moved the U.S. embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; this decision was overwhelmingly condemned by the United Nations General Assembly. Since then, a few other countries, including Paraguay, have followed suit. However, once a new president was inaugurated in Paraguay, he ordered the embassy moved back to Tel Aviv. The U.S. president may be disappointed that the rest of the world didn’t follow his lead; that most countries didn’t indicates their greater respect for international law than the U.S. ever demonstrates.

For several months now, there have been weekly ‘Right of Return’ protests in the Gaza Strip, with Palestinians demanding the internationally-guaranteed right of all displaced Palestinians to return to their homes. Israel has met these peaceful protests with murderous violence, killing hundreds of peaceful, unarmed demonstrators. News reports of this in North America are limited but are starting to be shown. This coverage, of course, is nothing compared to the coverage that any so-called offense committed by a Palestinian against an Israeli garner. But some coverage is a start.

We must not be overly optimistic; Israel, in desperation, is increasing its oppression of the Palestinian people, in conjunction with the U.S. government. While this writer sees Congressional attitudes shifting, the people of Palestine are still oppressed: imports and exports are restricted by Israel, crippling the economy and preventing families from rebuilding homes destroyed by the Zionist entity. In the West Bank, checkpoints, harassment, and murder by illegal settlers and IDF terrorists continue unabated. Jerusalem remains occupied, with sacred sites routinely desecrated by Zionists.

The efforts of people around the world on behalf of the Palestinians must not cease; now, more than ever, with progress being made in the governing bodies of that most imperial of nations, the United States, our efforts must increase. As long as one inch of Palestine remains occupied, the resistance will continue.

U.S. anthropologist Margaret Mead once said this: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. The BDS movement, and other support for Palestine started as “a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” committed to change the world. It is now a large, world-wide movement, and one that will, in fact, change the world. Such a change is long overdue for the beleaguered, suffering Palestinians. We must all work to bring about justice and human rights for all Palestinians.

Pentagon Big Lies About Civilian Casualties in Iraq and Syria

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Nothing Pentagon reports say about civilian and other casualties in US war theaters is credible. 

Big Lies substitute for hard truths, suppressed by Western media, complicit by supporting what demands condemnation.

Pentagon operations comprise about 95% of so-called “coalition” terror-bombings in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, Britain and France responsible for most of the rest, partnering in US high crimes.

On December 30, the Pentagon lied, claiming it’s been combating ISIS in Iraq and Syria along with its partners since 2014 – suppressing Washington’s responsibility for creating and supporting its scourge, along with al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and likeminded jihadists, using them as proxy forces.

The Pentagon lied saying “nearly 8 million Iraqis and Syrians (were) liberat(ed) from ISIS’s brutal rule” – perhaps from their lives, no other way.

It lied claiming “(w)e continue to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to minimize the impact of our operations on civilian populations and infrastructure.”

Fact: The US, NATO, Israel, Turkey, the Saudis, UAE, and their partners deliberately target and massacre civilians. Israel openly considers them legitimate targets, including young children, infants, the elderly and infirm.

The US and its imperial allies wage war without mercy, flagrantly breaching international, constitutional and US statute laws.

According to Gideon Polya’s global body count on “avoidable deaths, deaths that should not have happened, excess mortality, and avoidable mortality,” US-led Western states (NATO) and its partners are responsible for “over 30 million Muslim deaths from violence or deprivation (including starvation and untreated diseases) in (their) War (OF) Terror – aka” Pentagon-led war on Muslims in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and elsewhere, adding:

“Fundamentalist jihadi non-state terrorists have been a major asset of US imperialism. (E)very jihadi atrocity has been used an as excuse to support further massive violence against Muslims by the US and its anti-Arab, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic allies.” 

“Jihadi non-state terrorists were (and continue to be) backed by the US to overthrow secular rule” in one country after another – smashing them, massacring their people, civilians comprising the vast majority of casualties.

What’s going on since US-initiated Security Council genocidal sanctions on Iraq (August 1990 – May 2003) and 1991 Gulf War followed by endless aggression still ongoing are some of history’s greatest crimes without punishment for responsible parties, Washington guilty most of all. 

Its planned, orchestrated, and implemented horrors continue with no end of them in prospect. When Soviet Russia dissolved in December 1991, Muslims became the convenient US enemy of choice – to unjustifiably justify endless wars of aggression against invented enemies.

No real ones exist, not then or now. The Pentagon’s latest civilian casualty count in Iraq and Syria alone is an affront to the millions who’ve perished from US imperial wars of aggression for over generation since begun by Bush I, continued by the Clintons, Bush II and Cheney, Obama, and now Trump.

The official Pentagon body count from Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, pretending to be combating the scourge of ISIS the US supports is 1,139 civilians “unintentionally” killed by the US and its imperial partners – a colossal Big Lie.

The rape and destruction of Mosul, Iraq (October 2016 – July 2017) and Raqqa, Syria (June – October 2017) turning both cities to rubble, were responsible for tens of thousands of civilians massacred in each city.

Since the Gulf War and over a dozen years of genocidal sanctions on Iraq, millions of its civilians perished – 5,000 children under age-5 monthly from sanctions-caused starvation and untreated diseases.

Millions more perished in Afghanistan from over 17 years of US aggression, countless numbers more in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere, the body count mounting exponentially daily.

For over a generation, under five US regimes, Washington has been waging genocidal wars against Muslim countries – no end of them in prospect as far ahead as anyone dare imagine, forever wars that won’t end in our lifetime.

Operation Inherent Resolve and all other US wars of aggression are the highest of high crimes of war, against humanity and genocide, accountability not forthcoming.

US and Israel Formally Quit UNESCO

By Stephen Lendman
Source

The Trump and Netanyahu regimes announced their intention to leave the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organization in 2017. 

Earlier, the State Department said “(t)his decision…reflects US concerns (about its alleged) anti-Israel bias.” The Netanyahu regime used the same pretext to pullout.

The organization fosters “building peace in the minds of men and women” – notions Washington and Israel reject.

It “works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.”

Through dialogue it hopes the “world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.”\

Ahead of her departure as US UN envoy, Nikki Haley embarrassed herself a final time, tweeting: “UNESCO is among the most corrupt and politically biased UN agencies. Today the US withdrawal from this cesspool became official.”

She gone and won’t be missed. Good riddance to bad rubbish, an expression I remember from my boyhood and adolescent days.

In mid-December, Haley turned truth on its head, claiming the US “demonstrated time and again our commitment to peace in the Middle East” – ignoring endless US wars of aggression in multiple theaters, an imperial agenda she wholeheartedly endorses.

She also lied saying “(w)e…offer our hand in friendship to the Palestinian people.” The Trump regime and its predecessors long ago abandoned them, one-sidedly supporting Israel, contemptuous of Palestinian rights.

The agendas of UNESCO v. the US and Israel are polar opposite. The organization should have expelled both countries and their imperial allies long ago. They have no place in an organization supporting world peace.

They partner in endless wars of aggression against nations threatening no one. UNESCO’s message for the new year said the following: 

“Our wishes for 2019? Just one. One word. One hope. One goal. PEACE 🕊☮#HappyNewYear to everyone!!

It’s what the world needs now to prevent US-led warlords from destroying it. Withdrawal is a symbolic blow to world peace, a notion the US, NATO, and Israel abhor.

Anti-Israeli bias is all about truth-telling on its apartheid ruthlessness, its wars against Gazans and regional nations, its contempt for rule of law principles and democratic values.

The US operates the same way on a global scale. Washington and Israel stopped funding UNESCO in 2011.

The same year it granted Palestinians full membership in the organization. Israel called the move a “tragedy.”

Earlier, US and Israeli pressure to block UNESCO’s pro-Palestinian resolutions failed – notably its aim to safeguard “the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem,” calling Israel’s control of the city “illegal,” along with recognizing Hebron’s Old City as a Palestinian World Heritage Site.”

Commenting earlier on the Trump regime’s announced pullout, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said “(a)t the time when the fight against violent extremism calls for renewed investment in education, in dialogue among cultures to prevent hatred, it is deeply regrettable that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations agency leading these issues.”

“At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack.”

Bokova failed to explain Washington’s responsibility for creating violent extremism, along with stoking and perpetuating conflicts worldwide.

Ahead of his own withdrawal announcement, Netanyahu praised Trump’s deplorable action, calling it “a brave and moral decision,” adding “UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd. Instead of preserving history, it distorts it” – typical Netanyahu bald-faced lies.

The US is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Israel a junior partner in its endless war on humanity.

Truth-telling about their destructive agendas is called “bias.” Pile it on, lots more of the same needed in the new year and others to come.

US/Israeli New Year’s Resolution on Iran

By Stephen Lendman
Source

US/Israeli Iran bashing has been ongoing for nearly 40 years, regime change the objective of both countries.

Long-planned US naked aggression on the Islamic Republic may be coming if its political, economic, financial, and propaganda war fails to achieve its objective.

A year ago ahead of Trump’s inauguration, a joint House/Senate Resolution 10: Authorization of Use of Force Against Iran Resolution was introduced.

Though not adopted, it called for “us(ing) the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines necessary and appropriate in order to achieve the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons” – knowing the Islamic Republic’s legitimate nuclear program has no military component.

Time and again, its leadership called for eliminating these weapons. Nothing suggests they intend developing them, nor does any evidence indicate Iran threatens Israel, the US, or any other countries. 

It’s the region’s leading proponent of peace and stability, its agenda polar opposite how the US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners operate.

The issue about Iran is its sovereign independence, its refusal to subordinate its sovereignty to US interests, the way all countries everywhere should operate.

US sanctions and other actions against the Islamic Republic are flagrantly illegal. Its claims about its regional policies are Big Lies.

A Trump regime State Department report on Iran vilified the country with malicious disinformation.

It lied claiming the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “regularly threatens freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf while its Aerospace Force directs the country’s ballistic missile program in defiance of Security Council resolutions.”

It lied saying Tehran supports regional terrorist groups, adding “(s)ince 1979, Iran has made it a policy of state to actively direct, facilitate, and carry out terrorist activity globally” – a US, NATO, Israeli specialty, polar opposite how the Islamic Republic operates.

It lied claiming “Iran’s development of ballistic missiles…pose a critical threat to regional security.” The Islamic Republic’s military and legitimate weapons are solely for defense.

Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries. It threatens none now. The US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners threaten everyone everywhere.

A further litany of Big Lies followed, how the US operates ahead of and while pursuing regime change actions against targeted countries, Iran a prime one.

That’s what US imperialism is all about, a diabolical plot for global hegemony by whatever it takes to achieve its aims, endless wars its favored strategy.

Will Iran be targeted in the new year? Will Trump regime hardliners go this far to replace its legitimate government with pro-Western puppet rule?

On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo and Benjamin Netanyahu met face-to-face. They vowed to continue jointly cooperating on countering Syria and nonexistent Iranian “aggression” – whether US forces stay or leave the Syrian Arab Republic.

Commenting for the first time on Trump’s troop withdrawal announcement, Pompeo said it “in no way changes anything that this administration is working on alongside Israel,” adding:

“The counter-ISIS campaign (sic) continues, our efforts to counter Iranian aggression (sic) continue, and our commitment to Middle East stability (sic) and the protection of Israel continues in the same way it did before that decision was made.”

Netanyahu said that “(w)e’re going to (continue) our intense (regional) cooperation” in countering Syria and Iran,” turning truth on its head claiming Israeli actions are for “self-defense” – ignoring that the US and Israel have no enemies in the Middle East or anywhere else, just invented ones to unjustifiably justify waging forever wars.

Deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino lied, saying Pompeo and Netanyahu “discussed the unacceptable threat that regional aggression and provocation by Iran and its agents (sic) poses to Israeli and regional security.”

When repeated endlessly, Big Lies take on a life of their own, Iran unjustifiably assaulted by them since its 1979 revolution.

Relentless US-led hostility toward the country failed to achieve its objectives? Is war on the Islamic Republic likely in the new year?

For sure, US/Israeli hostility toward Iran will continue intensively, perhaps escalate beyond what’s now ongoing.

It’s unknown how far Trump and Netanyahu will go. War remains an ominous possibility – risking Russian involvement if launched, heightening the chance for East/West confrontation beyond what’s happened so far.

Previous articles discussed the ominous possibility of US launched global war with nuclear weapons, hardliners in Washington thinking they can win.

US war plans were prepared long ago and updated against all its adversaries, notably Russia, China and Iran. 

The sole purpose of NATO is to pursue Washington’s imperial objectives, including its endless wars, wanting ruling authorities in all sovereign independent countries eliminated.

That’s where things are heading because militarist hardliners run Washington’s geopolitical agenda.

US presidents are frontmen for their policies. Their aim to colonize and control planet earth may destroy it. Their drive for global hegemony should scare everyone.

Lots More Anti-Israel Bias Needed in the New Year

By Stephen Lendman
Source

UK Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s 67-word declaration to British Zionist Federation’s Lord Rothschild launched a century of Palestinian and regional misery.

Israel’s partnership with the US threatens world peace. The Jewish state is run by Zionist ideologues, war-mongering fascist extremists, and religious fundamentalists – their agenda hostile to what just societies hold dear.

Like America and other Western nations, Israel is a fantasy democracy, not the real thing, the way it’s always been from inception.

Its regimes defile the rule of law, attack regional states, and govern by apartheid ruthlessness.

They terrorize Palestinians, hold them hostage to their imperial agenda, steal their land, breach their fundamental rights, and wage slow-motion genocide to achieve maximum Jews and minimum Arabs.

Their racist, violent, destructive agenda is fully supported and encouraged by Republicans and undemocratic Dems, the world community complicit in what’s going on by doing nothing to challenge it.

Zionism is hostile to Jews and non-Jews alike. Challenging it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. Claiming otherwise is a long ago discredited canard. 

Its ideological extremism is tyranny by another name – undemocratic, hateful, ruthless, racist, destructive, and hostile to peace, equity and justice.

It’s contemptuous of fundamental legal, moral and ethical principles – a monster threatening everyone and everything it opposes, a cancer infesting Israel, America, other societies.

It defends the indefensible, espousing Jewish supremacy, strength through militarism and intimidation, dominance through violence over conciliation, confrontation, not diplomacy, war instead of peace, racist hatred toward Palestinians for not being Jews.

Terrorized by Zionist zealots, they  have no control over their daily lives, living in constant fear, not knowing from day to day if they’ll live, die, or be arrested and confined to gulag harshness – for being Arabs, not Jews, for being unwanted in their own country, stolen by Israeli conquest and brutal occupation.

They’re victimized by Fourth Geneva-banned collective punishment (Article 33), apartheid ruthlessness, isolation, economic strangulation, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, separation walls, curfews, displacement, and settlement construction on land stolen for exclusive Jewish development and use.

They’re denied fundamental human rights affirmed under international humanitarian laws, enduring every imaginable indignity and degradation under illegal occupation.

Edward Said called Israel’s agenda an “atrocity,” a longstanding crime against humanity, the Mahmoud Abbas-led PA serving as its enforcer.

Said deplored its betrayal of their own people, comparing the actions of its officials to asking an “executioner if he wouldn’t mind sharpening his axe a little before having another go.”

He advocated what Israel and its US paymaster abhor and won’t tolerate – a one-party state for all its people, saying what’s vitally needed is “entirely missing from both Israeli and Palestinian realities today: the idea and practice of citizenship, not of ethnic or racial community, as the main vehicle of coexistence.”

“Palestinian self-determination in a separate state is unworkable.  The question” isn’t separation. It’s “to see whether it is possible for (Jews and Palestinians) to live together as fairly and peacefully as possible.”

“What exists now is a disheartening…bloody impasse. There is no way for Israel to get rid of Palestinians or for Palestinians to wish Israelis away.”

“I see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, sharing it in a truly democratic way, with equal rights for each citizen.”

Neither side deserves “special status at the expense of the other,” Said stressed. For millennia, Palestine was (and remains) “multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious.” No “historical justification for homogeneity” or “notions of national or ethnic and religious purity” exist. 

“The alternatives are unpleasantly simple: either the war continues” with its unacceptable costs or an equitable solution is achieved. There’s no in between, not now or ever.

In 1948, supported by the West, Zionist ideologues stole 78% of historic Palestine, taking the rest in June 1967, including Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city, colonized and controlled illegally as Israel’s exclusive capital.

Its ruling authorities defied seven Security Council resolutions, constituting international law, condemning Israel’s seizure and control of the international city, calling its action legally invalid, including its 1980 Jerusalem Law – unlawfully declaring it “complete and united” as Israel’s exclusive capital.

In December 2016, Security Council 2334 was adopted by a 14 – 0 vote, Washington abstaining.

It said settlements have “no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law.”

It demanded “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

It recognized no territorial changes “to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

It “(c)alled upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

It “(c)alled for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard…”

Israel ignores all SC resolutions and other international laws opposing its lawless agenda – supported by Washington, notably the Trump regime, more one-sided for Israel than its predecessors.

Looking ahead in the new year, things are likely to worsen in Occupied Palestine, the region, and elsewhere globally – because of the US/Israeli axis of evil, supported by their imperial partners.

As long as war criminals, crooks, and likeminded scoundrels run things in these countries, a criminal class waging war on humanity, wanting whole continents carved up for control and plunder, Palestinians and all other ordinary people will be brutally exploited and abused – things exceeding the worst of Orwell’s 1984.

Peace, equity and justice aren’t coming in the new year, not in Occupied Palestine or anywhere else – not as long as the US/NATO/Israeli killing machines continue their relentless aim for unchallenged dominance.

A year ago I suggested the new year will be more dismal than the previous one. US-led wars of aggression rage endlessly, new ones in the wings to be launched when ordered.

Russia, China and Iran are prime targets for regime change by whatever it takes for the US to achieve its imperial aims.

Ordinary people in the West are exploited, what continuing Yellow Vest protests in France are all about, Israeli state terror against Palestinians ongoing with no end of it in prospect.

Another Israeli war on Gaza is just a matter of time. US/UK-led Russophobia in the West risks WW III by accident or design.

Holiday season tidings are grim. Harsher times than already are likely coming. As long as dark forces exploit others for their own self-interest, the world will remain unsafe and unfit to live in.

Jack Kennedy once said “if more politicians knew poetry and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live…”

Maybe so, maybe not. He likely didn’t imagine how badly things could deteriorate since his time. 

Possible nuclear war haunts humanity because of Washington’s rage to dominate, risking armageddon to achieve its aims.

I yearn one day for looking ahead in the new year with hope for better times. Maybe some day, not now, not any time soon – the disturbing reality of what imperial rage is all about.

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