Talk of Western intervention in the Black Sea is pure fantasy

January 19, 2019

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author)Talk of Western intervention in the Black Sea is pure fantasy

Crimea is essential to Russia strategically and economically, but speculation over Ankara helping to boost the US presence in the Black Sea is far-fetched given Turkey’s energy deals with Moscow.

A power struggle over the Black Sea between Russia and the US plus NATO has the potential to develop as a seminal plot of the 21st century New Great Game – alongside the current jostling for re-positioning in the Eastern Mediterranean.

By now it’s established the US and NATO are stepping up military pressure from Poland to Romania and Bulgaria all the way to Ukraine and east of the Black Sea, which seems, at least for the moment, relatively peaceful, just as Crimea’s return to Russia starts to be regarded, in realpolitik terms, as a fait accompli.

After a recent series of conversations with top analysts from Istanbul to Moscow, it’s possible to identify the main trends ahead.

Just as independent Turkish analysts like Professor Hasan Unal are alarmed at Ankara’s isolation in the Eastern Mediterranean energy sphere by an alliance of Greece, Cyprus and Israel, Washington’s military buildup in both Romania and Bulgaria is also identified as posing a threat to Turkey.

It’s under this perspective that Ankara’s obstinance in establishing a security “corridor” in northern Syria, east of the Euphrates river, and free from the YPG Kurds, should be examined. It’s a matter of policing at least one sensitive border.

Still, in the chessboard from Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, Turkey and Crimea, the specter of “foreign intervention” setting fire to the Intermarium – from the Baltics to the Black Sea – simply refuses to die.

Ukraine Russia map

‘Russian lake’?

By the end of the last glacial era, around 20,000 years ago, the Black Sea – separated from the Mediterranean by an isthmus – was just a shallow lake, much smaller in size than it is today.

The legendary journey of Jason and the Argonauts, before the Trojan war, followed the Argo ship to the farther shore of Pontus Euxinus (the ‘Black Sea’) to recover the Golden Fleece – the cure for all evils – from its location in Colchis (currently in Georgia).

In Ancient Greece, steeped in mythology, the Black Sea was routinely depicted as the boundary between the known world and terra incognita. But then it was “discovered” – like America many centuries later – to the point where it was configured as a “string of pearls” of Greek trading colonies linked to the Mediterranean.

The Black Sea is more than strategic, it’s crucial geopolitically. There has been a constant drive in modern Russian history to be active across maritime trade routes through the strategic straits – the Dardanelles, the Bosphorus and Kerch in Crimea – to warmer waters further south.

As I observed early last month in Sevastopol, Crimea is now a seriously built fortress – incorporating S-400 and Iskander-M missiles – capable of ensuring total Russian primacy all across the eastern Black Sea.

A visit to Crimea reveals how its genes are Russian, not Ukrainian. A case can be made that the very concept of Ukraine is relatively spurious, propelled by the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the 19th century and especially before World War I to weaken Russia. Ukraine was part of Russia for 400 years, far longer than California and New Mexico have been part of the US.

Now compare the reconquest of Crimea by Russia, without firing a shot and validated by a democratic referendum, to the US “conquests” of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Moreover, I saw Crimea being rebuilt and on the way to prosperity, complete with Tatars voting with their feet to return; compare it to Ukraine, which is an IMF basket case.

Crimea is essential to Russia not only from a geostrategic but also an economic point of view, as it solidifies the Black Sea as a virtual “Russian lake”.

It’s immaterial that Turkish strategists may vehemently disagree, as well as US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker who, trying to seduce Turkey, dreams about increasing the US presence in the Black Sea, “whether on a bilateral basis or under EU auspices.”

Under this context, the building of the Turk Stream pipeline should be read as Ankara’s sharp response to the rampant Russophobia in Brussels.

Ankara has, in tandem, consistently shown it won’t shelve the acquisition of Russian S-400 missile systems because of American pressure. This has nothing to do with pretentions of neo-Ottomanism; it’s about Turkey’s energy and security priorities. Ankara now seems more than ready to live with a powerful Russian presence across the Black Sea.

It all comes down to Montreux

Not by accident the comings and goings on NATO’s eastern flank was a key theme at last summer’s biennial Atlanticist summit. After all, Russia, in the wake of reincorporating Crimea, denied access over the eastern Black Sea.

NATO, though, is a large mixed bag of geopolitical agendas. So, in the end, there’s no cohesive strategy to deal with the Black Sea, apart from a vague, rhetorical “support for Ukraine” and also vague exhortations for Turkey to assume its responsibilities.

But because Ankara’s priorities are in fact the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkish-Syrian border, east of the Euphrates river, there’s no realistic horizon for NATO to come up with permanent Black Sea patrols disguised as a “freedom of navigation” scheme – as much as Kiev may beg for it.

What does remain very much in place is the guarantee of freedom of navigation in the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits controlled by Turkey, as sanctioned by the 1936 Montreux Convention.

The key vector, once again, is that the Black Sea links Europe with the Caucasus and allows Russia trade access to southern warm waters. We always need to go back to Catherine the Great, who incorporated Crimea into the empire in the 18th century after half a millennium of Tatar and then Ottoman rule, and then ordered the construction of a huge naval base for the Black Sea fleet.

By now some facts on the ground are more than established.

Next year the Black Sea fleet will be upgraded with an array of anti-ship missiles; protected by S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems; and supported by a new “permanent deployment” of Sukhoi SU-27s and SU-30s.

Far-fetched scenarios of the Turkish navy fighting the Russian Black Sea fleet will continue to be peddled by misinformed think tanks, oblivious to the inevitability of the Russia-Turkey energy partnership. Without Turkey, NATO is a cripple in the Black Sea region.

Intriguing developments such as a Viking Silk Road across the Intermarium won’t alter the fact that Poland, the Baltics and Romania will continue to clamor for “more NATO” in their areas to fight “Russian aggression”.

And it will be up to a new government in Kiev after the upcoming March elections to realize that any provocation designed to drag NATO into a Kerch Strait entanglement is doomed to failure.

Ancient Greek sailors had a deep fear of the Black Sea’s howling winds. As it now stands, call it the calm before a (Black Sea) storm.

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Mass Psychosis and The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism

Mass Psychosis and The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism

January 03, 2019

by David Penner for The Saker Blog

Ask any American liberal aged sixty-five and older what they think about Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler and they will vehemently denounce these men as tyrants, murderers, and despots. Ask them what they think about the Vietnam War and they will say it was a tragedy, not only for the Vietnamese, but for the poor American soldiers who were drafted and used as cannon fodder. Liberals also once defended the civil rights movement and the New Deal while vigorously opposing McCarthyism. That these same people would go on to support deunionization, resegregation, and Russophobia while enthusiastically backing barbarous wars and interventions in Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine constitutes not only a betrayal of leftist principles, but is indicative of a rejection of reason and the reality-based world.

Like the proverbial general always fighting the last war, liberals remain trapped in the past, unable to adapt to rapidly unfolding kinetic developments. The problem is that not only is this general fighting the last war, this is a general that can no longer distinguish between right and left and has lost any semblance of a moral compass.

There’s a Hitler on The Danube

One could argue that the new Cold War began with Bill Clinton bringing Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic into NATO. For Russians that were not yet alarmed by this perfidy, their red lines were irrefutably crossed with the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia and the bombing of Serbia, regarded by Russians as a brotherly nation. This constituted an illegal war of aggression, and was carried out without a mandate from the United Nations Security Council. Indeed, the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia initiated an unraveling of international law and marked an erosion in the equilibrium between the great powers.

As Noam Chomsky has noted, Yugoslavia was marked for destruction, because unlike the other formerly communist European countries they did not embrace privatization. The destruction of Yugoslavia was not only a violation of the UN Charter, but was also the first “humanitarian intervention” following the collapse of the USSR that liberals were duped into embracing. In an article on the RT website titled “15 years on: Looking back at NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombing of Yugoslavia,” the author writes, “NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ ‘war on terror,’ or ‘preventive war’ – something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.”

While Milošević and the Serbs were marked for demonization due to their lack of enthusiasm for neoliberal “reforms,” Croatian secessionists (many of whom subscribed to a neo-Nazi and neo-Ustasha ideology), Muslim fundamentalists in Bosnia, and the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were supported by the West. Brigadier-General Pierre Marie Gallois of the French Army has condemned the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia, and has gone on record stating that the endless stories of Serb atrocities, such as mass rapes and the siege of Sarajevo were fabricated. Gallois also argues that the German elite sought revenge for the fierce Serb resistance during the two world wars, especially with regard to the Serb partisans that held up German divisions that were headed towards Leningrad and Moscow during Operation Barbarossa. While relentlessly demonized, the Serbs were in many ways the greatest victims of the NATO-orchestrated Balkan wars, as hundreds of thousands of Serbs were forcibly expelled from both Croatia and Kosovo while Serbia was turned into a free-fire zone by NATO for over seventy days. Washington took advantage of the conflict to solidify control over its European vassals.

During the aerial campaign, between ten and fifteen tons of depleted uranium were dropped on Serbia resulting in extremely high rates of cancer. The Independent coyly informed its readers that the forced expulsion of Serbs from Croatia, which they refer to as an “exodus” – is a great mystery – a “riddle.” The only “riddle” is how liberals can denounce genocide and speak ad nauseam about human rights while supporting neo-Nazi regimes, such as the Poroshenko government in Kiev and the Tudjman government in Croatia, which have perpetrated genocidal war crimes in broad daylight. The forced expulsion of Serbs from Croatia was eventually reported by The New York Times, but four years too late. Liberal-backed jihadists in Libya and Syria have likewise carried out one ethnic cleansing after another.

Endless calls by the mainstream press to stop the evil Serbs from establishing a “greater Serbia” were blatant propaganda, as there was no way that the hundreds of thousands of Serbs in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo could have “invaded” these territories, as they had already been living there for centuries. Indeed, this very scenario holds true for the ethnic Russians in the Donbass. Moreover, as the mass media was busy vilifying the Serbs, behind the scenes American diplomats had no illusions about who they were dealing with, referring to the Croatian nationalists as “our junkyard dogs.”

In an article titled “The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia,” Michael Parenti writes:

Tudjman presided over the forced evacuation of over half a million Serbs from Croatia between 1991 and 1995, replete with rapes and summary executions. This included the 200,000 from Krajina in 1995, whose expulsion was facilitated by attacks from NATO war planes and missiles. Needless to say, U.S. leaders did nothing to stop and much to assist these atrocities, while the U.S. media looked the other way.

Kosovo was also prized by the Western elites because of its rich deposits of coal, lead, zinc, cadmium, gold and silver valued in the billions of dollars. The tragic balkanization of Yugoslavia, where brother was pitted against brother, brought about the destruction of a non-aligned country with a nationalized economy thereby bolstering the power of Western finance capital.  Of the NATO bombings, Parenti posits that, “To destroy publicly-run Yugoslav factories that produced auto parts, appliances, or fertilizer…is to enhance the investment value of western producers. And every television or radio station closed down by NATO troops or blown up by NATO bombs extends the monopolizing dominance of the western media cartels. The aerial destruction of Yugoslavia’s social capital served that purpose.”

Lamentably, all of this was drowned out by the mass media’s vilification of the Serbs. An article in The Guardian titled “Serbs enslaved Muslim women at rape camps” encapsulates perfectly how Western liberals were duped into embracing a war which was waged for no other reason than to fortify the power of US and NATO hegemony. This propaganda is particularly galling in light of the fact that women’s rights have been thrown back into the Stone Age precisely in the very countries which have come under attack by Washington and her proxies, such as Libya, jihadist-occupied Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“Save Benghazi” and More Humanitarian Psychosis

Repeated calls by the presstitutes to “save Benghazi” sufficed to obtain liberal support for a war of aggression that has left Libya in such a state of anarchy and chaos, that Libyans who have been unable to flee the country are now trapped in a failed state where warring militias vie for power. In an article in Foreign Affairs titled “Obama’s Libya Debacle,” Alan J. Kuperman writes, “With Moscow’s acquiescence, the United Nations Security Council had approved the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya and other measures to protect civilians. But NATO exceeded that mandate to pursue regime change.”

Under Gaddafi Libyans enjoyed a high standard of living, and health care and education were free. Gaddafi’s desire to set up a gold-backed dinar put him in the crosshairs of the Western elites, as this would have liberated Africans from domination by the World Bank and the IMF through establishing a common gold-backed currency. Alas, this was lost on the human rights crusaders of the holier-than-thou faux left.

Libya, which formerly had the highest standard of living in Africa, has been annihilated as a nation state. Slave markets are a legacy of this great “humanitarian intervention,” as are pogroms carried out against black Africans, formerly given refuge by the Gaddafi regime. An article in The Telegraph, which appeared in March of 2011, titled “Libya crisis: Benghazi fights for its life as Gaddafi attacks,” was one of countless articles in the mainstream press that incited messianic liberals into supporting a war of aggression against a people that had become too independent.

Once a country is marked for destruction by the Western elites no story is too outrageous, as evidenced by Susan Rice’s claim that Gaddafi supplied his troops with Viagra so that they could more effectively carry out mass rapes. This barbaric destruction of a sovereign state was summed up by liberal icon Hillary Clinton, who when asked about the brutal murder of Gaddafi, happily blurted out “We came! We saw! He died!

In what constituted the most genocidal invasion of a country following the end of the Vietnam War, Iraq was marked for annihilation after Saddam Hussein made the decision to sell oil in euros. In a rare moment of candor from a high priest of liberalism, Madeleine Albright, when asked about the half a million children that died due to the Clinton-backed sanctions, replied “We think the price is worth it.” This chilling remark underscores the fact that, contrary to liberal theology, the destruction of Iraq was perpetrated with equal fervor by both parties. Incredibly, even after spending trillions of dollars systematically destroying Iraqi social and political institutions, Washington failed to install a puppet government in Baghdad which has forged alliances with Tehran, Damascus, and Moscow.

Liberal saint Obama, in comparing the reunification of Crimea and Russia with the Iraq War, informs us that the “annexation of Crimea” – which was enthusiastically backed by the overwhelming majority of Crimeans – was worse than the invasion of Iraq, which resulted in a million deaths, destroyed a civilization and fueled the rise of ISIS.

As if her abysmal record makes her a Marxist scholar, Albright now warns Americans of the dangers of fascism, her implication of course being that the rise of Trump represents a threat to our democracy. Perhaps the Donald’s desire to pursue detente with Russia, and the fact that he has yet to start any new wars are what liberals are really upset about.

The Obama administration’s support for the Saudi war on Yemen is yet another impressive achievement for the liberal class, and has yielded such an earthly paradise that Yemenis have resorted to eating leaves to survive. For this extravaganza of mass murder the presstitutes didn’t even bother coming up with a fictitious narrative, allowing the salt of the earth to set aside their pom-poms for a while and take a nap.

Syria: Mass Murder in Paradise

Unsurprisingly, the mass media had no trouble duping imaginary leftists into believing that Syrians were being indiscriminately slaughtered by the Syrian Arab Army and the evil Russians. Unbeknownst to The Guardian and The New York Times, the US military presence in Syria is illegal, while Russian and Iranian military personnel are there at the invitation of the Syrian government. The Obama administration and its vassals are clearly responsible for the carnage in Syria, as they poured billions of dollars into backing the many jihadist groups. The mass media also hoodwinked liberals into thinking that the US military has been fighting ISIS, when they have used ISIS along with Al-Nusra Front and other illegal armed formations, as proxies with which to wage war on Syrian society. If Washington were battling the jihadists in Syria, why would they simultaneously be antagonists with the Syrian government and the Russians, who together saved Syria from being overrun by these very barbarians? Indeed, such questions have become a form of unmitigated heresy.

Articles such as “The Effects of Suspending American Aid to Moderate Syrian Opposition Groups,” by Hosam al-Jablawi, which appeared on The Atlantic Council’s website, seek to further the fallacy that the militants have been mostly democratic and secular. Washington and her vassals have poured enormous amounts of weaponry into the conflict zone, and Israeli weapons have been discovered in Syrian territories liberated from Daesh. That German machine guns from the Second World War have been discovered in some of these hideouts is symbolic of the true intentions of these murderous and sociopathic gangs.

The New York Post has referred to the jihadists in Syria as “freedom fighters.” While this may not be regarded as a “liberal” publication, an even more inane sentiment was expressed on Democracy Now, where Amy Goodman discussed the fighting in Eastern Ghouta with Rawya Rageh, Alia Malek, and Wendy Pearlman. Throughout the entire discussion of what can only be called an imaginary war, the fact that a large swath of Syria was taken over by jihadists, many of whom were not even Syrians but foreigners, is not even mentioned. In this cloud-cuckoo-land that passes for journalism the militants do not even exist. Assad and Putin are simply killing as many Syrians as possible, and doing so in an orgy of gratuitous savagery.

An article in The Guardian titled “You’re on your own, US tells Syrian rebels, as Assad goes on offensive” is deliberately written with the intention of stirring up liberal outrage over “indifference in the face of genocide,” and seeks to evoke memories of the Holocaust, the appeasement of Hitler, and the defeat of the Republicans by the forces of Franco. Meanwhile, independent media is shunned by liberals, who dismiss efforts at real journalism and political analysis as “conspiracy theory.” Thankfully for the insane, there is no shortage of good reading material.

Moscow has repeatedly maintained that the Syrian Arab Army is no longer in possession of chemical weapons, and there is ample evidence that the chemical attacks in Syria are false flag operations carried out by the jihadists to justify NATO aerial attacks on the Syrian Arab Army and Syrian infrastructure. Clearly, these incidents make for great Hollywood and have been extremely effective in stirring up gullible liberals who proceed to bray, as if on cue, for another regime change.

Tied to the mass media’s obsession with accusing Assad of “gassing his own people” are the White Helmets, who have been funded by the West, and who are clearly allied with the jihadists. The White Helmets played a critical role in duping liberal fundamentalists into thinking that there was a democratic uprising in Syria, and that the West must intervene “to put an end to the suffering.” Time will tell if Washington truly ceases all military operations in this war-ravaged country.

Forgotten Killing Fields: Afghanistan and Ukraine

The invasion and military occupation of Afghanistan was sold as a war to free oppressed women. An article in The Independent by Jane Dalton titled “Afghanistan’s first female military pilot granted asylum in US after fleeing Taliban death threats,” is crude propaganda, yet very effective nevertheless. This is a great way to distract insouciant liberals from what Americans are more likely to do in their dealings with Afghans, which is to murder them, and then urinate over their dead bodies. What the mass media doesn’t like to talk about is how the rise of the Taliban is a direct result of Washington’s support for the mujahideen in their insurgency against the secular Afghan communist government in the 1980s. Washington is furious with the International Criminal Court over considering prosecution of American officials for war crimes in Afghanistan, and has even threatened to arrest ICC judges in retaliation. Unbeknownst to these judges, Americans are God’s chosen people. Consequently, they are incapable of war crimes.

Samantha Power is a particularly pious priest in the Church of Humanitarian Interventionism. Power was a staunch advocate of military intervention in Libya, and used her influence to cover up the crimes of the US-Saudi genocidal assault on Yemen. She defended Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, and yet was extremely critical of the “annexation of Crimea.” That the reunification of Crimea and Russia was in fact a legitimate humanitarian intervention is an irony that was undoubtedly lost on her. In a 2016 showdown with Vitaly Churkin at the UN Power accused Russia, Syria, and Iran of slaughtering civilians in Aleppo, when they were liberating the city from jihadists backed by Washington and her vassals. Power also spoke of the liberation of Aleppo as if the jihadists were Jews bravely defending themselves in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Syrian and Russian troops were fascists perpetrating brutal acts of collective punishment. Following this deranged rant, Churkin said, “The speech by the US representative is particularly strange to me; she gave her speech as if she was Mother Teresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country.”

The NATO-backed putsch in Kiev, supported wholeheartedly by the Obama administration, resulted in an unconstitutional seizure of power by the heirs of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, as well as a genocidal war waged against the ethnic Russians of the Donbass who have steadfastly refused to recognize the Banderite regime. In pitting neo-Nazis against neo-partisans, the restoration of Ukrainian nationalism has resurrected the demons of the past, as the bodies of slain Novorossiyan fighters are mingled with the bones of their heroic grandfathers.

Despite blathering on about the Nazis for decades, liberals were fully complicit in bringing this odious regime to power, as they were easily hoodwinked into thinking that the coup was a grassroots democratic uprising, and that the armed formations battling the Ukrainian military in the Donbass were divisions from the Russian Armed Forces, when they are overwhelmingly comprised of locals from Donetsk and Lugansk.

Moreover, as the Western elites impose multiculturalism and identity politics at home, they are simultaneously fomenting the rise of neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe. This underscores the moral bankruptcy, duplicity, and schizophrenia of the liberal class and has trapped Europeans in an intellectual paralysis where they are being offered a choice between neo-Nazism or multiculturalism, both of which benefit the oligarchy. The Maidan coup, executed by pogromists, neo-Nazis, and Banderites has legitimized unconstitutional seizures of power and inspired those who would like to carry out a putsch of their own in Germany.

A Hitler on The Moskva River?

As Putin has noted, following the collapse of the USSR Washington and NATO have pursued a policy of unilateralism. These wars have not only been carried out in flagrant violation of the UN Charter that condemns wars of aggression, but have also contributed to the degradation of the rule of law within the West itself. Western stenographers like to complain about terrorism, but terrorists filled the vacuum following the destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and a large swath of jihadist-occupied Syria – “humanitarian interventions” – where liberal complicity is undeniable and irrefutable.

The Church of Humanitarian Interventionism is rooted in the myth that the invasion of Normandy brought about the defeat of fascism. While this is not to denigrate the contributions made by resistance groups in Western Europe or those who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, the fact is that the defeat of fascism was achieved by the Red Army and allied partisans who bore the brunt of the best German troops, together with the courage of the Russian people who suffered the loss of twenty-seven million of their countrymen. This much vaunted invasion was launched on June 6, 1944, and only after it was clear that the Nazis were going to lose the war.

The descent of liberals into a morass of madness and bestiality is intertwined with a gross naivete regarding the true intentions of publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Guardian which are leading their readers around like so many poodles. Sadly, most of these creatures will go to their graves never understanding the treachery of these periodicals that they have given their very souls to. Liberals have also decided that it is better to spend trillions of dollars on illegal wars of aggression while their sons and daughters have inadequate health insurance and wallow in dead-end jobs working for the minimum wage.

In a spectacular display of Russophobia and Apocalypticism, Nikki Haley, who could easily work for either party and not know the difference, recently wrote on her Twitter page that “Lying, cheating, and rogue behavior have become the new norm of the Russian culture.” Washington’s decision to make Putin their favorite new bogeyman undoubtedly helps justify the obscene budget of the military industrial complex. Let’s pray that the bells of humanitarian intervention don’t ring out in strident cacophony over the Kremlin, which would assuredly take us to a place from which there is no dawning, and the evanescing of the sun of mankind forever.
——-
David Penner’s articles on politics and health care have appeared in Dissident Voice, CounterPunch, Russia Insider and KevinMD. Also a photographer and native New Yorker, he is the author of three books: Faces of The New Economy, Faces of Manhattan Island, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at 321davidadam@gmail.com.

Ukrainian Goods Prohibited For Import Into the Territory of the Russian Federation

December 31, 2018

By Colonel Cassad

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with
source:

A sanctions list was published that includes a list of Ukrainian goods that are banned from importation to the territory of the Russian Federation within the framework of the adopted package of sanctions against Ukraine.

The list turned out to be very extensive and problems are now guaranteed in a number of spheres of the Ukrainian economy focused on exportation to Russia.

  • Wheat and meslin;
  • Sunflower oil, safflower, or cotton and their components, refined or unrefined, but without a change in their chemical composition;
  • Extracts and juice from meat, fish, or crustacea, mollusks, or other water invertebrates;
  • Ready or tinned fish; caviar sturgeon and its substitutes made of fish eggs;
  • Confectionery from sugar (including white chocolate) that do not contain some cocoa;
  • Chocolate and other ready foodstuff containing cocoa;
  • Bread, flour confectionery, cakes, cookies, and other bakery and flour confectionery that may or may not contain some cocoa; wafer sheets, empty pods suitable for use for pharmaceutical purposes and for wafer;
  • Juice fruit (including grape must) and vegetable juice, unfermented and not containing alcohol additives, with or without added sugar or other sweetening substances;
  • Malt beer;
  • Natural grape wines, including fortified; grape must, except for the ones specified as a commodity position;
  • Non-denatured alcohol ethyl with a concentration of alcohol less than 80%; spirit tinctures, liqueurs, and other alcoholic drinks;
  • Pebble, gravel, crushed stone;
  • Limestone, dolomite, and other calcareous stones broken or shredded, other crushed stones, usually used as fillers in concrete, ballast for highways or railway tracks, or other ballast;
  • Boulders that are thermally processed or raw; granules, crumbs, and powders from stone of commodity position 2515 (except marble) or 2516, thermally processed or raw;
  • Organic surfactants (except soap); surface-active means, detergents (including auxiliary detergents) and means for cleaning, containing or not containing soap (except ones in commodity position 3401);
  • Hot-water bottles and combined hot-water bottles;
  • Wood chipboards, oriented strand board (OSB), and the similar sheets (for example, wafer board) from wood or other lignified materials that are coated or not coated with resins or other organic binding substances;
  • Other uncoated paper and cardboard, in rolls or sheets, without further processing or processed as is specified in note 3 to this group;
  • Wallpaper and similar wall coverings; transparent paper for windows;
  • Wall coverings made of textile materials;
  • Steam boilers or other steam-generating boilers (except central heating capable water boilers that are also capable of producing low-pressure steam); superheated water boilers (except for superheated water boilers for ship equipment and their parts);
  • Water steam turbines and other steam turbines (except for turbine parts);
  • Gas powered turbines no more than 5000 kW (except for turbines for civil aircrafts);
  • Gas powered turbines more than 5000 kW (except for turbines for civil aircrafts);
  • Parts of liquid pumps;
  • Furniture (chambers, cases, show-windows, counters, and similar furniture) for storage and demonstration, with built-in refrigerating or freezing appliances
  • Loading devices that are specially developed for use in agriculture: others;
  • Seeders, planters, and machine planters;
  • Milking machines and equipment for collecting and processing milk;
  • Machines and mechanisms for preparation of forages for animals;
  • Machines for cleaning, sorting, or grading seeds, grain, or dry bean cultures; equipment for the flour-grinding industry or for processing grain or dry bean crops, except for equipment used on agricultural farms;
  • Equipment for the production of bakery products;
  • Equipment for the sugar industry;
  • Machines for mixing mineral substances with bitumen;
  • Transmission shafts and others;
  • Other transmissions;
  • Other speed variators;
  • Engines and electricity generators (except power generating equipment)
  • Energy generating equipment and rotating electricity converters;
  • Liquid dielectric transformers with a capacity of no more than 650 kVA;
  • Liquid dielectric transformers with a capacity of more than 650 kVA, but no more than 10000 kVA;
  • Liquid dielectric transformers with a capacity of more than 10000 kVA;
  • Copper winding wires;
  • Other winding wires;
  • Co-axial cables and other co-axial electric conductors;
  • Other electric conductors with a voltage of no more than 1000 V (with an exception: ones used in telecommunication, e.g. no more than 80 V; for civil aircrafts; for industrial assembly of motor vehicles, their components and units; for the production of aviation engines)
  • Electricity conductors with a voltage of more than 1000 V (except for electricity conductors with a voltage of more than 1000 V for the industrial assembly of motor vehicles of commodity positions 8701-8705, their components and units)
  • Tractors (except tractors of commodity position 8709);
  • Self-loading or self-dumping trailers and semi-trailers for agriculture
  • Feminine sanitary pads and tampons, children’s swaddling clothes and diapers and similar products, made from any material.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:1983832_900.jpg

 

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven

MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven

Eric ZUESSE | 31.12.2018
MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven
Finally, a clear and convincing — and unrefuted — case can now be presented to the public, as to precisely whom the guilty party was, that downed the MH17 Malaysian airliner over Ukraine on 17 July 2014, and why it was done. The complete case, which will be fully documented here, displays unequivocally who needed the MH17 murders (of 298 persons) to be perpetrated. This mass-murder was done for one leader’s very pressing obsession. For him, it simply had to be done, and done at that precise time. The full MH17 case will be presented here, to be judged by the public, because no court of law which possesses the power to bring this (or even any) case on the MH17 murders, is willing to do so, and because the evidence in this 17 July 2014 case has become overwhelming, and is unrefuted. This evidence is accepted by both sides. But it still remains effectively hidden from the publics in the United States and its allied countries. (The present news-report, which is the first ever to present this entire case, is submitted to all news-media in English-speaking countries, so that any of them that wishes to provide its audience access to this uncontested and conclusive evidence in the MH17 case can do so, by publishing this article. Any of them that won’t, don’t want their audience to have access to the conclusive evidence in this case, because this article is being made available to all of them to publish, free of charge; so, there is no other reason not to publish it.)

The complete evidence will be described, and all of the conclusive evidence is linked-to, proving who perpetrated, and who demanded, the shoot-down on 17 July 2014 of the Malaysian airliner MH17.

This article will start by demonstrating the most important thing, and will demonstrate it by means of links to the most conclusive evidence of all. This is the evidence which absolutely proves that the official Netherlands-headed investigation into this matter is an intentional and utter fraud — a fraud which has already been conclusively answered and exposed by the Russian Government. (Netherlands headed the investigation because 196 of the 298 murder-victims were Dutch.) Russia’s response provided, in excruciating detail, not only clear disproofs of the Netherlands-headed investigation’s conclusions of Russian guilt, but also (and on the basis of the very same evidence that the official investigation had made public on 24 May 2018) provided the still-unrefuted (but nonetheless still effectively hidden) proofs of Ukraine’s actual and incontestable guilt, in this mass-murder. This evidence, of the Netherlands team’s fraudulence, carries the investigation a large part of the way toward its ultimate conclusion, regarding whom the person was who had demanded Ukraine to commit this crime.

Incidentally, the Netherlands Government had partially funded the coup that in February 2014 overturned Ukraine’s Government and installed the new regime, which regime is allied with the United States Government and actually perpetrated the MH17 shoot-down. The Government of Netherlands is not a neutral in this case that it is judging. It had helped install the present regime in Ukraine. In fact, as you can see here, Netherlands’ Government had been the largest single contributor to Ukraine’s Hromadske TV, which was propagandizing to exterminate the residents in Ukraine’s former Donbass region, which breakaway region had voted over 90% for Ukraine’s Democratically elected President, whom Obama’s coup had just overthrown. This operation in Ukraine is an extension from the corrupt Nazi Prince Bernhard’s having established in Netherlands in 1954 the secretive Bilderberg group to coordinate NATO’s efforts for the US and its allies to conquer ultimately the world. He got caught in 1976, for one of his skimming operations, a million-dollar kickback from Lockheed Corporation. Holland’s Deep State is anything but benign.

So, Russia’s response, on 17 September 2018, used that Netherlands-headed team’s own documentation, to disprove that team’s attribution of guilt to Russia, and to prove conclusively Ukraine’s guilt as having been the actual perpetrator of this mass-murder. Thus, the Netherlands-headed team includes the actual perpetrator, Ukraine, and not only the Netherlands Government, which had helped overthrow Ukraine’s prior and democratically elected Government and bring Ukraine’s current regime into power in February 2014, just months prior to the MH17 shoot-down, which resulted from that US coup.

Most readers who click onto the links here will be shocked. What will shock them is the evidence, because it has not been published in The West (except summarized in less than a half-dozen obscure news-media — and, even there, generally not documented, such as it is here).

The links will document and fully prove this stunning turnabout, from Russia to Ukraine. The documentation that was cited by Ukraine and Ukraine’s fellow team-member (the team’s leader) Netherlands, against Russia, on May 24th of 2018, contained previously unrecognized details (which were first pointed out in the Russian presentation on September 17th of 2018) which irrefutably convict Ukraine. Consequently, Russia’s response was ignored in The West, despite that presentation’s having been based upon the very same items of evidence that had been introduced by the Netherlands-led team on May 24th. Thus, the items of evidence, there, are the same that the Netherlands-led team had themselves provided. The items of evidence here are not in dispute.

The current article will be the first-ever to hone-in on the especially shocking key data in Russia’s data-packed September 17th response, the key evidence that Russia was calling attention to there, and which prove Ukraine’s guilt beyond any reasonable doubt — prove it on the basis of the very same evidence that had been introduced by Ukraine’s own team in their presentation four months earlier. Using the other side’s evidence to convict that other side is what makes this denouement the stunning turnabout that it is.

The Netherlands-headed Ukrainian team still refuses to answer the Russian presentation, which responds to the Ukrainian team’s May 24th presentation. Western ‘news’-media have likewise almost completely ignored Russia’s response. (One Dutch medium did report on it but dismissed it by focusing on a subordinate part: their report said and focused on “Russia now claims that the video images the investigators used to track the missile’s transport to the Ukraine, were manipulated.” However, the part of Russia’s presentation that will be discussed in the present article was being entirely ignored in that Dutch news-report, which, as you will see here, has nothing to do with any claim of manipulated evidence. Britain’s BBC likewise focused-in on the “manipulated evidence” that Russia’s presentation had attacked. The Washington Post instead headlined “Who spread disinformation about the MH17 crash? We followed the Twitter trail”, and it focused-in on how polarized the public is over the MH17 case. The West’s ‘news’-coverage was virtually entirely misdirection and disinformation, as you will recognize from what follows here. And the evidence here is linked-to, so that you can see it for yourself.)

Russia’s response documented beyond any question, at all, that this airliner was shot down by the Ukrainian Government, and that Western (i.e., US-allied) ‘news’media have been and are covering-up this crucial historical fact and The West’s still-ongoing lies about the downing of MH17.

Those lies are the basis of US and EU anti-Russia sanctions, which remain in effect despite the basis for those sanctions having been exposed unequivocally, on September 17th, to be based on lies. Thus, continuing to hide those lies is crucial to the liars. This is the reason why Russia’s blazingly detailed presentation on September 17th has been virtually ignored — to protect the actually guilty. The evidence here proves that those sanctions, themselves, are nothing but frauds against the public, and crimes against Russia — ongoing additional crimes, which have been, and remain, effectively hidden till now.

The reader can see and consider here all of the conclusive evidence in the MH17 case — it can be reached via the present article’s links. Unlike the ‘news’-reports in The West’s ‘news’-media, the presentation here is not presuming readers’ trust, but is instead providing to all readers access to the actual evidence — evidence that is accepted by both sides. That’s what the links here are for: examination by any skeptics.

Skepticism in judging anything is not only good; it is essential to justice. Trust should never be given; it should only be earned. Otherwise, no democracy can function. Only dictatorship can function in a country that’s controlled by lies, and by liars. Liars are believed by people who have faith in them. Thus, faith in anything or anyone can poison judgment. The way to test the case that is presented here is to click onto a link wherever one wants to see and examine the evidence. Without examining (usually by spot-checking) the evidence, no reader can intelligently judge any case. Dictatorship is almost inevitable in a counry where spot-checking of the actual evidence isn’t the norm. Most ‘news’-media don’t even enable such spot-checking. This is why ‘news’-media are so often actually propaganda-media instead.

So, here’s the complete MH17 case, for any reader to judge:

The last announcement from the official investigation, the Netherlands-headed “Joint Investigative Team” (JIT), was on 24 May 2018, and it headlined “Update in criminal investigation MH17 disaster”. It said:

The JIT is convinced that the BUK-TELAR [missile and launcher] that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. … This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones. The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014.

Consequently, the JIT presumes that within the 53rd brigade and within the circle around it, people have knowledge about the operation in which that particular BUK-TELAR was deployed. … Already in September 2016, the JIT disclosed that MH17 was downed with a BUK missile of the 9M38 series. …

The missile engine’s casing shows the number 9 д 1318869032.

Typical of Western ‘news’-media’s coverage of that presentation, was CNN’s report the same day, May 24th of 2018. It was headlined “Missile that downed MH17 ‘owned by Russian brigade’”. It stated: “‘At the time this area was under control of pro-Russian separatists,’ said Fred Westerbeke, chief prosecutor of the National Prosecutor’s Office of the Netherlands. The Buk launcher of the 9M38 series ‘was transported from the territory of the Russian Federation and was returned to that territory of the Russian Federation afterwards’.”

The Ukrainian side claimed they had finally found evidence which would enable them definitively to place the blame for the MH17 shoot-down on Russia. So, the very next day, May 25th, Britain’s Telegraph bannered “Netherlands and Australia call for compensation for MH17 victims as they accuse Russia of downing plane” and reported that “Australia and the Netherlands have said they hold Russia legally responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014 and will seek reparations for relatives of the 298 people killed.” This demand against Russia was coming “the day after the Dutch-led international investigation concluded that the Russian military had deployed the Buk surface-to-air missile that shot down the plane.”

Four months later, on 17 September 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defense youtubed its response, which is titled “Briefing on newly discovered evidence pertaining to the crash of the MH17 flight”. It presented the actual history of the Buk missile and launcher which Ukraine and the other Governments on the JIT said had brought down the MH17. (The JIT includes four countries, Netherlands, Ukraine, Belgium, and Australia, with a fifth, Malaysia, having been brought in only later, after it finally agreed to allow Ukraine a veto over any conclusions that the team will publish. Malaysia’s participation started on 4 December 2014; but whether Malaysia has actually been allowed to play a role in the ‘investigation’ isn’t clear.) Russia, during the intervening months after the JIT’s May 24th presentation, had tracked down all of those serial numbers, 8868720, and 1318869032, and 9M38, and found (as you can see there by clicking on each, especially onto the “Briefing” itself) that after the acquisition of the launcher and missile, by Ukraine in 1986, from Russia, that missile and its launcher had always, and constantly since their transfer to Ukraine in 1986, remained in Ukraine, and never again were located in Russia. So: if the JIT’s supplied evidence is authentic — which the Ukrainian team asserts it to be — then it outright convicts Ukraine. This is an evidentiary checkmate, against the Ukrainian side.

With the passage now of years, the precise cause of the shooting-down of the Malaysian passenger plane MH17 on 17 July 2014 has been becoming clearer and clearer, despite the rigorous continuing attempts by Western ‘news’ media to cover it up and to hide from the public the growing and by-now irrefutable evidence (presented here) that clearly shows what and who actually brought down this airliner.

In the years since I headlined on August 24th of 2014 the news, “MH-17 ‘Investigation’: Secret August 8th Agreement Seeps Out: Perpetrator of the Downing in Ukraine, of the Malaysian Airliner, Will Stay Hidden”, the key fact about the official ‘investigation’ has actually been that the Government of Ukraine was, on 8 August 2014, granted veto-power over any official finding which would be produced by the Joint Investigative Team. On 20 November 2014, Russian Television headlined “Dutch government refuses to reveal ‘secret deal’ into MH17 crash probe” and reported that Holland’s science-publishers Elsevier had filed for this information under that country’s Freedom of Information Act, and the Government simply refused to comply with that law. The leaders of Western nations apparently want the black-box and much other basic data in their possession to remain hidden, and the four nations had signed this secret agreement to allow the Government of Ukraine to block any report that incriminates Ukraine in the MH17 shoot-down. But additional evidence has nonetheless become public, and all of it confirms and adds yet further details to the explanation that was first put forth by the retired German Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko, whose independent investigation had concluded that Ukrainian Government fighter-jets intentionally shot down this civilian plane. He did not rule out the possibility that a Buk missile had simultaneously been used there, but he made clear that at least one fighter-jet had been used in this shoot-down.

However, if those parts of a Buk missile, which were the focus of the Netherlands team’s presentation on May 24th, were indeed retrieved from the crash-site as that team claims, then a Buk missile had also hit the MH17. Serious question would nonetheless exist as to whether that Buk was fired by troops who were working for Ukraine, or instead for Russia (or else for Donbas separatists who were working in conjunction with Russia, which was Ukraine’s and America’s original version of the event).

Precisely what the method was, by which the direct perpetrators brought down the MH17, has gradually become clearer, despite this continuation of Western secrecy (and Ukraine’s veto-power over the ‘findings’) regarding the contents of the black boxes, and of the US satellite images, and of the Ukrainian air-traffic-control radar recordings, and of other evidence-sources that are still being held secret by The West and not made available to their ‘news’ media nor to anyone outside a tight official circle of those Western nations’ intelligence agencies.

But now, Russia has actually — on 17 September 2018 — exposed the outright fraudulence of the JIT’s 24 May 2018 presentation, and The West (the US Government’s allies) entirely ignored the conclusive evidence that that presentation by the JIT itself actually contained and to which Russia was pointing, so that there can no longer be reasonable doubt about The West’s intentional and still ongoing fraudulence regarding the entire MH17 matter.

Also entirely ignored in the Ukrainain team’s ‘explanation’ of the event is why Ukraine’s air-traffic control had guided the MH17’s pilot to fly over the conflict-zone where Ukraine’s civil war was being waged and where Ukraine’s war-planes were bombing. The MH17’s pilot was instructed by Ukraine’s air-traffic control to take that path instead of the one that the airline had planned and that had become normal during the civil war. This was highly abnormal, and it doomed the MH17. Clearly, only Ukraine’s Government could, and did, do that — change the route, and for only that one plane. Yet, still, the Netherlands-headed team blames Russia and is trusted in The West, but Russia is not. (Now, why would that be?)

Russia has constantly been releasing its own investigations regarding MH-17; and, in the process, Russia on September 17th not only provided further details as to how the downing actually happened (it wasn’t by mistake, as the West contends it was), but they have also, in prior presentations, exposed the absurd impossibility of the Ukrainian Government’s ‘explanation’ of this event (that only a Buk had been used), which is the ‘explanation’ that is still being parroted unquestioningly and unflinchingly by officials in Washington, Europe, and NATO, and also by Western ‘news’ media. (As my news-report on 24 August 2014 explained, that secret August 8th agreement was signed by the four governments which formed the JIT team and which had been handed by Malaysia the black boxes to study — Ukraine, Belgium, Australia, and Netherlands — and the JIT granted to the Ukrainian Government a veto over anything that the team’s official report would say. This is probably the reason why the subsequent officially released report on those black boxes said essentially nothing. It was a brazen insult to the 298 victims’ families. The presumption has been that all of them will have faith, not be skeptical, regarding the JIT team.)

Though Russia doesn’t possess those black boxes (which, by chance, were handed by the pro-Russian separatists to the Malaysian Government’s representative, and yet that Government handed them to Netherland’s Government instead of to Russia’s — apparently trusting Netherlands more than trusting Russia or even themselves), Russia does possess, and publicly reveals, evidence that’s conclusive on its own; and it is 100% consistent with Haisenko’s reconstruction of the event, regardless whether a Buk was involved or not. Russian Television had issued in October 2014 a 25-minute documentary on the event, and it starts with people whom they interviewed in that region, who were describing their having seen at least one and perhaps two planes rising toward the airliner, and then the airliner coming down from the sky. Other witnesses told them that they saw an SU-25 fighter plane take off in that general area just minutes before the airliner came down.

FIRST, THE MISSING BBC REPORT:

The BBC had previously posted to their website on 23 July 2014, just six days after the event itself, a news report in Russian via their Russian service (fortunately archived by Global Research), about the downing, but they quickly removed it without explanation. Fortunately, however, some Russian-speakers had managed to download it before it was yanked; and at least two of those downloads were posted to youtube, the first one having been posted there on 28 July 2014, with English subscripts, and with the headline, “UKRAINE Eyewitness Confirm Military Jet Flew Besides MH17 Airliner: BBC Censors Video 25Jul2014”. (It’s gone now, but, actually, several witnesses, and not just one, were interviewed there — there wasn’t just one “Eyewitness”.) Furthermore, Global Research posted on 10 September 2014 a transcript of it, headlining, “Deleted BBC Report. ‘Ukrainian Fighter Jet Shot Down MHI7’, Donetsk Eyewitnesses.” (The video itself is still at youtube and it will be linked-to just below here, so that you will be able to view it.)

The interviews by the BBC were done by their reporter Olga Ivshina. (Also see http://archive.is/vFoh9.) She had filmed local residents in the crash-debris area. In one passage of her 23 July 2014 news-report, there were two residents simultaneously who described what they had seen. One of them said, “And there was another aircraft.” The other continued immediately, in order to describe the other plane, “a military one, beside it [‘it’ being the airliner]. Everybody saw it. It was proceeding underneath below the civilian one.”

Here is the second, and clearer, version of that clip. (It’s the one that’s still live at youtube.) The key portion on it is at 0:38-042 in the video:

That was the 9 September 2014 repost of it, with the same subscript-translation into English, only the visual is sharper.

And here is an apology, dated 25 July 2014, by the BBC, for their having removed their original video of this interview — and yet they still didn’t repost it; they still continue to blockade it; even today the only versions available, of these, the earliest recorded interviews of people who said they witnessed the event, are the independently posted ones, but here is the BBC’s apology:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/russian/blogs/2014/07/140725_blog_editors_bbc_story_republished.shtml

Here, then, is that BBC apology google-translated into English: http://archive.is/kc291

So: clearly, BBC has done all that they could to remove evidence, which they had mistakenly broadcast, which had fit the retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko’s reconstruction of the event, and which contradicted the US-Ukrainian reconstruction of it — the reconstruction that Western ‘news’ media project, and on the basis of which US President Barack Obama won from the EU stiff increases in, and subsequent extensions of, the economic sanctions against Russia, all on the basis of lies.

(Subsequently, on 17 December 2018, South Front headlined “‘EDITORIAL BOARD DEMANDS BLOOD’: INSIDE LOOK AT HOW BBC TRIES TO FIND PROOF OF RUSSIAN INFLUENCE ON YELLOW VEST PROTESTS”, and they reported that Ivshina had texted to a BBC stringer, on the streets of Paris, instructions of what story-lines were wanted by BBC management regarding the “Yellow Vests” demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron, ”Yes, I’m searching for the angles))) The editorial board wants blood, yo)))”. “And if you find these ultra-rightists [at the protests], will they talk about Putin and Moscow? Well, at least the Russians go to the protests, right?” Ivshina was instructing her French stringer what to look for, in order for her to be able to report the type of ‘news’ that her bosses wanted to publish. Perhaps Ivshina had been chastised in 2014 and had learned to never again be caught reporting anything that challenges the UK Government’s anti-Russia propaganda-line.)

So, this valuable eyewitness-testimony to the MH17 event is available despite Western ‘news’ media (or, more-accurately, propaganda-media), and the reason for the news-suppression is clear to anyone who views that BBC 23 July 2014 report, which presents several eyewitnesses, interviewed separately as individuals, not as a group, and yet all of whose testimonies — perhaps despite Ivshina’s wish for them not to say this — report having observed the very same basic narrative, of at least one military jet rising toward the airliner just before it came down.

In other words: it is clear that BBC had yanked this report because it didn’t confirm the West’s story-line, which says that Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists had fired a “Buk” ground-based missile at the airliner, thinking that the civilian plane was a Ukrainian Government war-plane about to bomb them and their families. But, first of all, the Ukrainian Government was virtually admitting there that they were bombing these villagers, which means that they were perpetrating an ethnic cleansing operation there, which indeed that Government was doing; but, secondly, the Ukrainian Government’s statement also acknowledged that if the event had happened in that way, it would have been unintentional, a tragic accident on the part of the rebels there. (The JIT’s line now is that it was instead an outright Russian attack against the MH17.)

So, then, why did “the international community” respond with massive economic sanctions against Russia on account of this downing — by, as it turns out, Ukraine? The whole Western propaganda position was designed for a public of sheer fools, if not of outright psychopathic ones, who cared not a bit about the plights of the victims of an ethnic-cleansing campaign. They cared only about victims in “The West.” The West’s basic story-line doesn’t make sense without recognizing that we were financing ethnic cleansing to clear the land in southeastern Ukraine, and that any support that Russia would be providing to those separatists would have been defensive in nature, not offensive. Yet Russia gets the blame when this passenger jet goes down? Even though Ukraine’s air-traffic control had guided the pilot there? In any case, that story-line of Russian guilt is false, from start to finish. And now (at least after 17 September 2018) it is finished. But Western ‘news’-media still continue to broadcast the lies, as if it weren’t.

Here is how outright ludicrous it actually is, and sound reason in itself that anyone in the military had to have known, from the very get-go, that the “Buk” ‘explanation’ was a line of pure malarkey:

THE RUSSIAN DOCUMENTARY:

The 22 October 2014 Russian documentary was titled, “MH-17: The Untold Story,” and it presents, among much else, videos of several “Buk” missiles being fired on other occasions, just to show how utterly ludicrous the initial Ukraine-US-and-allied ‘explanation of the MH17 event was. On 5 November 2014, I summarized that, with screen-shots from the Russian documentary.

So, when even the BBC’s reporter wasn’t able to find anyone in that entire region who recounts having seen anything of the sort, just how likely would the Ukrainian Government’s line on that matter — that not only was this done by a lone Buk but it was fired by (at first) pro-Russian separatists, and (then) by the Russian army — actually be? Obviously, any person with any military knowledge whatsoever had to have recognized virtually immediately that the Ukrainian Government’s story-line on the MH-17 downing was a pile of sheer malarkey, but did anyone in the Western ‘news’ media report that it was — that the Western line there was not just a lie, but an absurd one, one that requires an ignorant public in order for it to be able to be taken seriously at all by the public? One that requires an ignorant public, to remain ignorant? This is supposed to be the Western ‘news’ media, with a free press, and a democracy, a truthfully informed citizenry, who can vote based upon truths, not on mere lies?

Here is the way that the Russian TV documentary opens:

Several of the locals there told Russian TV’s reporter that they had seen a military jet rise toward the airliner; and not a one of these individuals were any of the same ones who had testified the exact same thing to the BBC’s reporter, whose news-piece had been squelched by her managers.

HERE IS HOW MH17 WAS SHOT DOWN:

Now, to the substance of the explanation of how this plane was actually brought down:

Earlier, I had summarized the evidence for Peter Haisenko’s reconstruction of the event, but I questioned his having accepted the eyewitness testimony to the effect that the planes that shot down the airliner were SU-25s. In Haisenko’s Russian TV interview, he stuck by his belief that it was probably SU-25s instead of SU-27s or Mig 29s, both of which are also in the Ukrainian Air Force, and all three of which use 30-millimeter machine-guns or “cannons.” But since the fact is that all three of those attack-plane models use machine-guns (“cannons”) with 30-caliber bullets (which is the size that clearly was used, especially on the cockpit), the effect would be identically-sized round 30-caliber entry-holes, no matter what. My last major report on that evidence, prior to the 8 August 2014 formation of the JIT and their mutual agreement to report nothing that would be incriminating to Ukraine’s Government regarding the MH17 incident, was “Systematically Reconstructing the Shoot-Down of the Malaysian Airliner: The Guilt Is Clear and Damning.” That basically fills in (and the links, in that report, document with pictures and videos that) the actual way that this plane was downed, and that why it was downed was “to get the EU to go along with stiffened sanctions against Russia”. Obama (via the regime that he had installed in a February 2014 coup in Kiev) succeeded there in getting the international sanctions against Russia that he had been wanting. Obama, and certainly not Putin — and now we know it wasn’t Russia at all (not even if a Buk was involved) — was the key person behind this. The 298 MH17 murder-victims on 17 July 2014 were murdered by Barack Obama (via his agents such as Victoria Nuland — she ran Obama’s Ukrainian operation), just as clearly as (if not even more clearly than) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud (via his agents at the Sauds’ Istanbul Consulate) murdered Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October 2018.

International actions (such as economic sanctions) are based upon such fabrications, and ‘evidence’ taken out of its full context, as this from the far-right Forbes commentator Paul Roderick Gregory, but there are no such fakes, nor out-of-context items of evidence, in the case that has been presented here. That’s the difference between news-reporting versus propaganda; but, in the United States today, propaganda passes as if it were ‘news,’ and authentic news that doesn’t fit the regime’s cooked-up narrative is suppressed entirely. The scandal isn’t just Obama, and it’s not just Ukraine; it is also the propaganda-organs, and even (though to the least extent) their audiences who subscribe to such lying ‘news’-media.

Western governments, and their ‘news’ media, are treating their citizens, their own publics, not really as citizens, but as suckers. They are treating them as subjects, instead of as citizens. This is not authentic democracy. It is neo-feudal; it is, in fact, fascism.

The entire “Buk” ‘explanation’ of the downing of the Malaysian airliner (the idea that only a Buk missile caused the physical wreckage which was found) is for suckers only; and everyone in official circles, and in the press, who peddles it, is just as fake as the ridiculous story-line that he or she is peddling. To fall for it, after being provided all of the authentic evidence, which has been linked-to here, one would have to be a willing slave to psychopaths. In this case, the psychopath was Obama, who not only had perpetrated a bloody coup to overthrow the democratically elected President of Ukraine in February 2014 but who also was now struggling, and had a very pressing obsession, to get the EU to accept his sanctions against Russia for its having accepted the pleas of Crimeans (who had voted 75% for that President) to become restored again to Russia. The 14 July 2014 mass-murder that was set up to be blamed against Russia was Obama’s trick that enabled him to win his way on this.

CONCLUSIONS:

By no means do we know every detail about how the MH17 was shot down, but what we do now know for certain is that the narrative for that event which was supplied by Ukraine’s team on May 24th — the official account of how it happened — isn’t just false; it is outright fraudulent. Ukraine’s team supplied evidence which, if it is authentic, actually convicts Ukraine. And Western ‘news’-media hide this crucial fact.

So, now, we know why Western governments have hidden, instead of making available to the public, the black-box data and the other evidence that they still refuse to provide to the public. They are aiming to scam the public, not to inform it. Lying is their game. They might call it ‘patriotism.’ Traitors would likely do that. Traitors to any country could do it. And, so, they do. Their believers constitute their political base.

Unfortunately, anyone they fool becomes their tool, and everyone else is purely their victim — helpless to oust (much less, to replace) the tyrants who make things bad for everyone but themselves and their colleagues, the insiders at the very top.

Just the day before the MH17 shoot-down, Bloomberg News had headlined, on 16 July 2014, “EU Readies Russia Sanctions Amid US Pressure on Ukraine”, and reported that “the US urges the bloc to take a tougher stance against Moscow.” The day before that, on July 15th, Bloomberg’s headline had been “EU Leaders Weigh Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine”, and that report opened, “European Union leaders meeting in Brussels will consider expanded sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict, as the US urges the bloc to take a tougher stand against Moscow.” Was the July 17th event only coincidentally timed perfectly in order to achieve what Obama was determined to produce: the first Ukraine-based anti-Russia sanctions? The regime that Obama had installed in Ukraine in February 2014 needed not only his support, but also the support of the IMF (in order to obtain loans), and of the EU (which it was seeking to join). There was probably even more pressure placed upon the leaders in Ukraine than there was upon the leaders in the EU. But there was plenty upon them both. The EU was widely reported to be balking at increasing the sanctions against Russia. Obama needed the EU to approve quickly his increased sanctions, so as to keep the momentum going for his entire anti-Russian campaign, which had been the reason behind his February 2014 coup in Ukraine. Something dramatic now was needed, in order for Obama to win the EU’s full cooperation. After all, Obama had secretly started at least by 2011 his operation to take over Ukraine. This operation was, for him, one of the central objectives of his entire two-term Presidency. Ukraine — and Ukraine alone — now had within its power the capacity to deliver to him the EU’s participation. Ukraine delivered it, precisely when it was the most urgently needed. This was essential in order for Ukraine to be able to enter the EU. And entering the EU would be essential in order for Ukraine to be able to enter NATO — the next key step in the Bilderbergers’ plan.

Continuing the sanctions is easier than originally imposing them was. On 22 December 2018, UAwire headlined “EU extends economic sanctions against Russia”, and reported that on December 14th, the EU’s sanctions against Russia, which are based upon alleged Russian aggressions in or against Ukraine, are being extended: UAwire noted “These measures were initially introduced on July 31, 2014 for one year in response to Russia’s actions to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, and then strengthened in September 2014.” The EU supports, and participates in, the US regime’s lies and sanctions against Russia. These crimes and lies started as Obama’s, but continued under his successor Trump, and have been also the EU’s crimes throughout, by the EU’s joining, instead of condemning, not only those sanctions but also the lies upon which those sanctions are based. The EU thus indirectly shares the US Government’s guilt in the mass-murders that occurred on 17 July 2014.

Perhaps the survivors’ families and Malaysia Airlines (which is owned by the Malaysian Government), and their Governments, will file both civil and criminal charges now initially against Ukraine and its President Petro Poroshenko, and ultimately against Victoria Nuland, Barack Obama, and the United States, but also against the Dutch Government, for its collusion with the United States Government in its fraudulent ‘investigation’ that had pre-established blame against Russia. (However, the secret agreement that Malaysia signed to join the JIT might prohibit Malaysia from joining such suits.) Netherlands pre-established Russian blame especially by means of its 8 August 2014 secret four-party agreement (joined later by Malaysia’s Government) to allow Ukraine, an actual suspect in this case, to hold veto power over the assignment of blame in this entire matter. However, not only the survivors of the 298 victims should be suing, but all of the victims should be represented in this case. There were also many violations of international laws. Obama’s coup against Ukraine was one such. The MH17 shoot-down resulted from that coup, couldn’t have occurred without it, and was an extension from it. That coup is thus an important part of the MH17 case.

On 20 September 2017, the now 5 countries in the JIT signed a joint “Memorandum of Understanding” saying “Arrangements for signatories and other grieving nations to make financial contributions to the national proceedings in the Netherlands will be laid down in a financial memorandum of understanding,” and that “This Memorandum will remain in effect for five years and will be automatically extended for successive five-year periods.” So, they intend to continue their ‘investigation’ into MH17 until they can present to the world evidence that Russia did it. Perhaps before that happens, however, all of the victims and their children will already have passed away and this fraud and farce will finally end, as secretly as it began, and only few people will even care, anymore, about it.

Or will victims and their families, instead, initiate whatever legal proceedings they can, right now, against all members of the JIT, for their cover-up, and against the ringleaders, in the US, who demanded this mass-murder to be done, and against the perpetrators in Ukraine, who actually ordered and did it?

Maybe they’ll even be able to get Barack Obama to return to the Nobel committee their 2009 Peace Prize.

The US regime masterminded this mass-murder in order to win the EU’s support for sanctions against Russia, and the EU knowingly complied, and continues to comply, with the American regime’s ongoing aggressions and lies against Russia. The 298 MH17 murder-victims are thus not only the US regime’s victims, but vicariously victims also of the EU — and not, at all, of Russia. Russia was instead the real intended target of the possible Ukrainian Buk missile, and of the Ukrainian fighter-jets, that brought down the MH17. The MH17 victims were merely “collateral damages” in the US regime’s secret decades-long and ongoing anti-Russia war. This is how today’s America competes in the world, by playing very dirty, and getting away with it, helped by its allies, which endorse, and join in, the US regime’s atrocities.

Now, which major news-media in The West will report these solidly documented facts? Isn’t it time, finally, that they should start doing that? Or, do they have no honor, at all?

 

Ukraine to declare war on Russia next?

December 22, 2018Ukraine to declare war on Russia next?

Note by The Saker: Eugenia and the other translators were wondering whether it was worth translating such a demented piece of proposed legislation, but I asked them to go ahead and do it even though I fully agree with them that the author of this text is clearly completely insane and the ideas this draft legislation are the product of sick, hateful and infinitely stupid minds.  But that is precisely the point! 

I am personally sick and tired of the western patrons and sponsors of the Euromaidan and of the very notion of a “Ukraine” constantly trying to constantly put some half-way decent make-up on what are the demented, corrupt and, yes, Nazi faces of the ruling Ukronazi junta in Kiev.  The truth is that just like in the cases of Noriega, Saddam Husein, al-Qaeda, the Takfiris in Syria and elsewhere, the West is yet again allied with, and protector of, an ugly clique of hateful and demented people.  This resolution is a very good example of the kind of ideas which this AngloZionist ruling gang of thugs have advocated for many decades (beginning with the hate-saturated propaganda of  RFE/RL, VOA, BBC, DW and the rest of them), then inside the Ukraine since even before 1991 and now from the Ukie Rada and Presidency. 

When we post this text, we are simply holding up a mirror to the collective face of the AngloZionists but, as we say in Russian, don’t blame the mirror if your face looks crooked!   This translation is important because it shows what kind of demented monsters the collective West has lovingly nurtured for decades.  It is also important because it is a direct attack on Poroshenko from the Nazi-crazies in the Rada, folks who might well one day replace him as the President of the “Independent Euro-compatible the Ukraine”.  When that happens, at least they won’t be quite able to say “we did not know”.  Yes, you did know, you have known for decades, and at the end of the day, this resolution is not the product of the demented mind of one crazy Ukie, but a pure product of the rabid russophobia of the collective West.  And for that I say: shame on you!
The Saker
——-

Translation by Eugenia

On December 21st just four days after Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia will not wage war against Ukraine, three days after Speaker A.Parubiy met US Special Representative K.Volker to discuss “recent Russian aggression” and “further support of Ukraine by United States of America,” and a day after A.Parubiy named the UK to be mightiest balancing military force in the Black Sea, Vitaly Kupriy, a member of the Ukrainian Rada, and an associate of Israeli oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, submitted a draft resolution No. 9442 titled “Draft Resolution on the appeal of the Supreme (Verkhovna) Rada of Ukraine to the President of Ukraine about declaration of war, termination of diplomatic relations and the cessation of transport connections with the Russian Federation.

The text of the proposed resolution is still absent on the official website, but the Ukrainian lawmaker graciously posted it on his official FaceBook page, accompanied by a memorandum titled: Down with usurpation!

Friday, December 21st, was Rada’s last day in section before winter recess. It will be back on January 5th, 2019.

 

Vitaly Kupriy (member of the Ukrainian Rada)

Down with usurpation!

“The hybrid” war must be stopped!

Poroshenko is an enemy of the Ukrainian state, who skillfully fools some of our people. One part of his uninterrupted lies is his stated intention to win the war with Putin.

He sends our service people to be captured or killed, but neither wants to nor has the ability to free our territory. Recently, this happened with our sailors. The existence of the so-called “hybrid” war with Russia allows Putin to mock our patriots, keep them in jail like criminals, because de-jure during the fifth year of the war we do not have an enemy. Even the international UN court in 2017 did not recognize Russia as an aggressor or even a combatant.

There is no hybrid war. Tens of thousands have died, hundreds of thousands were maimed, millions lost their dwellings. What kind of hybrid is this? It is obvious that this kind of war keeps Poroshenko in power, and he makes a lot of money on the blood spilled.

This hapless, unlawful position of Poroshenko does not allow us to ask for the international help, as everybody believes that we are fighting ourselves. Non-declaration of war under clear signs of aggression contravenes the 1907 Hague Convention, and Poroshenko and Turchinov must go to prison for a long time for that.

I want to calm the Ukrainians. The declaration of war is not a prelude to an offensive at the front. But after that happens, nobody in the world would consider that we are aggressors. On the contrary, it will be the beginning of the full-scale non-military legal operation of freeing our territory and repairing the damage caused by Kremlin. This is the way to a peaceful victory, this is the way to save the lives of the Ukrainians!!!

Our tough and lawful position as well as ratification of the Rome Statute of International Criminal Court, the established status of Russia as a hostile country and aggressor at the level of UN will force our “allies” to introduce real sanctions against Russia, up to disconnection from the international paying system SWIFT, introduction full-scale trade and economic embargo, etc. We also must introduce serious sanctions against the aggressor, impound and nationalize all Russian property in Ukraine, cut diplomatic relations, try criminals-collaborators, as well as stop any official collaboration with Russia.

Then Putin would be unable to withstand that and will back off. He does not have the will or the force for any full-scale war with Ukraine. Otherwise, his regime will fold like the house of cards. Economic problems, failures in social sphere and pensions, a union of unhappy elites and the people would be the death of the ruler in the Kremlin. Putin understands that the “best” President for him is Poroshenko. Poroshenko would never dare to do what I indicated in my draft of Rada resolution. Poroshenko is a collaborator who helps Putin to remain on his throne.

I would also like to note that legal consequences of the declaration of war and of the identification of the enemy, as well as cancellation of the martial law, will not include taking away any constitutional human rights. The elections won’t be cancelled, people will keep living their normal lives. In contrast, the introduction of martial law without declaration of war and identification of the enemy is a game, the only purpose of which is that the person chosen by the Kremlin usurps power!

 

Draft of the resolution

Introduced by Kupriy V.M.

Resolution of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine

Appeal of Supreme Rada of Ukraine to the President of Ukraine about declaration of war, termination of diplomatic relations and the cessation of transport connections with the Russian Federation

Because of the annexation of a part of the Ukrainian territory, occupation by foreign troops of additional territory, as well as military aggression of the Russian Federation, taking into account the failure of the Ukrainian President to fulfill his constitutional duties to defend our country, our Fatherland, the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Supreme Rada of Ukraine, expressing the sovereign will of the people and taking responsibility for the situation in Ukraine, as a sole national representative organ in Ukraine, declares:

  1. Suggest the following to the President of Ukraine:
  • introduce to the Supreme Rada a suggestion to declare war at the Russian Federation;
  • terminate diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation;
  • create the General Staff structure under the Commander-in-Chief to organize a proper response to the country-aggressor;
  • inform the United Nations and countries who signed the appropriate international conventions about the state of war with Russian Federation and demand implementation of the international humanitarian law to free the Ukrainian prisoners of war and ban passing of military ships via Bosporus and Dardanelle straits;
  • request that Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense and Supreme Rada introduce martial law in occupied territories and along the war lines to 50 kilometers;
  • disallow restrictions on the constitutional rights of people on the Ukrainian territory where the martial law is not declared, including the right to elect and be elected to the national and local governments;
  • request that the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense introduce personal sanctions against persons and legal entities from country-aggressor, including: block their assets –temporarily limit their rights to use and dispose of their property; limit trade operations; completely terminate transit of resources, flights, and transportation via Ukrainian territory;
  • initiate criminal prosecution of collaborators of the country-aggressor, including Victor Medvedchuk and other agents of the Russian intelligence, who constitute a threat to the Ukrainian national security;
  • initiate measures to ensure energy independence from the country-aggressor, the Russian Federation, in particular, produce nuclear fuel in Ukraine, separate from Russian electric grid, etc.

 

  1. This declaration takes effect upon its adoption.

 

The speaker of the Supreme Rada                                 A. Parubiy

 

 

Explanatory Note

 

To the draft of the Supreme Rada resolution “Appeal of the Supreme Rada of Ukraine to the President of Ukraine about declaration of war, termination of diplomatic relations and transport connections with Russian Federation”

  1. Explanation why this act is necessary

The military aggression of Russian Federation against Ukraine lasts more than four years. In 2014, a part of the Ukrainian territory was annexed, and another part was occupied by foreign troops; armed aggression continues, and as a result, people are killed virtually daily.

Only on November 26, 2018, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine approved the decree of the President of Ukraine #393 “On the introduction of martial law in Ukraine”, which introduced the martial law in the following regions: Vinnitsa, Lugansk, Nikolaev, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernygov, Donetsk, Zaporozzie, Herson, and in the Ukrainian territorial waters of Azov-Kerch area.

In spite of that, the President of Ukraine does not fulfill his constitutional duties regarding the national defense.

The article four of the Ukrainian law “On the defense of Ukraine” states that in case of armed aggression against Ukraine or a threat of aggression the President of Ukraine makes decisions about total or partial mobilization and introduction of martial law in Ukraine or its regions, use of the Ukrainian armed forces, other military units created in accordance with Ukrainian laws, submits these decisions to the Ukrainian Supreme Rada, and introduces to the Supreme Rada a suggestion regarding the declaration of war.

The President still has not introduced to the Supreme Rada a request to declare war at the Russian Federation, which, according to Article 106 of Ukrainian Constitution, is his exclusive competence.

Because of this, the Ukrainian Supreme Rada, as the only national representative organ in Ukraine, must propose to the President of Ukraine the declaration of war and other actions for the effective defense of the country, with a view of further defense of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

  1. Goals of enacting this resolution

The goal of the suggested draft of the resolution is to exert political pressure on the President of Ukraine to make him fulfill his constitutional duties regarding the defense of the country against a foreign occupier – the Russian Federation.

  1. Key points of this resolution

Suggest to the President of Ukraine:

  • introduce to the Supreme Rada suggestion to declare war with the Russian Federation;
  • terminate the diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation;
  • create the General Staff under the Commander-in-Chief to organize a proper response to the country-aggressor;
  • inform the United Nations and the countries that signed appropriate international conventions about the state of war with the Russian Federation and demand implementation of the international humanitarian law to free Ukrainian prisoners of war and ban the passing of military ships via Bosporus and Dardanelle straits;
  • request that the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense and the Supreme Rada introduce martial law in occupied territories and along the war lines to 50 kilometers;
  • disallow limitations of constitutional rights of people on the Ukrainian territory where the martial law is not declared, including the right to elect and be elected to national and local governments;
  • request that the Ukrainian Council of the National Security and Defense introduce personal sanctions against persons and legal entities from the country-aggressor, including: block their assets – temporarily limit their rights to use and dispose of their property; limit trade operations; completely terminate transit of resources, flights, and transportation via Ukrainian territory;
  • initiate criminal prosecution of collaborators of the country-aggressor, including Victor Medvedchuk and other agents of the Russian intelligence, who constitute a threat to the Ukrainian national security;
  • initiate measures to ensure energy independence from the country-aggressor, the Russian Federation, specifically, produce nuclear fuel in Ukraine, separate from Russian electric grid, etc.
  1. Legal basis in this sphere of the law

Key laws that regulate these issues are: the Ukrainian Constitution; the Ukrainian law “On the defense of Ukraine”, the Ukrainian law “About the legal rules of the martial law”, the Ukrainian law “On sanctions”. The adoption of this resolution does not require changes in these laws.

  1. Financial and economic basis

The realization of this resolution would not require additional spending of the Ukrainian State Budget.

  1. Prevention of corruption

This draft of the resolution does not contain rules or procedures that create risks of corruption.

  1. Prognosis of social, economic, legal and other consequences of the adoption of this resolution

The adoption of this resolution will exert influence on the President of Ukraine with a view of making him declare the state or war with the Russian Federation and take other actions necessary to defend the country, which would make him properly fulfill his constitutional duties to defend the Fatherland, the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

 

Member of Rada                                        V.M.Kupriy

Lavrov’s interview with Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda

December 19, 2018

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moscow, December 17, 2018

 

Question: Mr Lavrov, we met with you in the same format one and a half year ago.

We began by stating that the foreign policy situation surrounding Russia at the time was growing alarming. But you assured us that there would be no war because the Russian leaders were absolutely against it. Our partners, as you said, were certainly not interested in it either. Now, one and a half year later, we can see no improvements. On the contrary, things are growing increasingly alarming. Some of our listeners even feel scared. Others compare the current situation with the late 1930s. One of the readers even asks: “Please be honest and say what we should expect? Will we be attacked?”

Sergey Lavrov: There are comparisons that go farther back into history. Both in this country and elsewhere, there are figures who predict that a situation will arise resembling that on the eve of World War I. They are referring to the pent-up antagonisms existing in Europe, including, by the way, in the Balkans. But it is my strong, firm conviction that the politicians in the key countries cannot allow a big war to happen. The public opinion and the nations themselves will not let them. I hope that the parliaments in each Western country will also display maximal responsibility.

But I absolutely agree that tensions are being fomented in an unprecedented way. We see international agreements collapsing. Not so long ago, the United States unilaterally disrupted the ABM Treaty. We had to adopt measures that would prevent this extremely negative event from undermining strategic stability. Next in line is the INF Treaty, which Washington believes to be outmoded, while accusing us of violating it. In so doing, they are hinting in no uncertain terms that they would like to extend the restriction identical to that assumed by the USSR and the United States to China and a number of other countries, including North Korea and Iran.

We are categorically against this initiative. We are in favour of keeping the INF Treaty. The entire international community has repeatedly recognised it as a cornerstone of international security and strategic stability. Today at the UN, we will make a second attempt to submit a General Assembly resolution in support of preserving this Treaty.

Apart from that, we have presented the US with our concerns regarding how it implements this Treaty. These concerns are based on concrete facts and developments in the military technical sphere, specifically the deployment of a US military base in Romania and deployment plans for Poland. We hear statements by our US colleagues that the only way to save the Treaty is to destroy the 9M729 missile, which Russia has allegedly developed with a range exceeding the limit imposed by the Treaty. In response, Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu, following similar steps at the expert level, has officially suggested that he and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis meet and start a professional discussion. The US did not even reply or at least formally acknowledge the receipt of the invitation. Possibly, if they had done this, they would have had to explain why they are evading a professional discussion and continue to act in the notorious “highly likely” style, as though wishing to say that what remains for us is to repent because we are allegedly to blame for everything.

While we are on this subject, I would like to say this. I have no doubt that US President Donald Trump was sincere when he said during his election campaign that he wanted good relations with the Russian Federation. Regrettably, the consequences of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton have caused a tsunami in US domestic political life, primarily because the so-called system elites have felt uncomfortable. They saw the current developments as something that was putting power within reach of ordinary voters. Since then, no one has ever corroborated with facts the repeated charges of Russian meddling in the US elections, hacker attacks on the Democratic Party and other US agencies, etc.

Let me note that this Russophobia, as we are convinced, is to a decisive degree linked to the internal political infighting [in the US]. The United States, no matter who would advocate good relations with Russia, sees us as a rival as it does China. It is not accidental that for the lack of facts proving our “sins” against US democracy, the Russophobic campaign has brought no results whatsoever.

In recent days, the US propagandists have pitched in at China. In their view, China is already the “chief hacker” undermining the mainstay of US society. It is regrettable that the interests of the international community, global strategic stability and international security are being sacrificed for the sake of domestic political squabbles. But we will always be ready for dialogue. Even under these circumstances, we never refuse to take part in a professional discussion in areas where our partners are prepared to consider the existing threats and problems in an equal and honest manner.

After a long break, yet another round of talks on fighting terrorism has been held. Our security services are in contact on a number of other issues, including Syrian settlement, the North Korean nuclear problem and Afghanistan. We maintain regular enough contacts, even though we are not always on the same page.

Question: They write, with such friends, who needs enemies?

Sergey Lavrov: We have this proverb in Russian.

Question: When we mentioned the growing tension in the world, we actually meant Ukraine. The Kerch Strait incident is going too far. We also had in mind Donbass, where almost every day they are expecting an attack. Why do we compare poorly to Ukraine, according to the opinion of the world community?

Ukraine has assumed a clear ideological position: Russia confronts us, so we fight Russia, defending ourselves, and so on. We – Russia – are declared the enemy. Soon our church, our priests may become great martyrs, because we do not know what will happen to them. Some get imprisoned, and criminal cases are brought against them. Then, there might be a religious war, we have already gone this far. With the situation so aggravated, we still hold a sluggish, relaxed position, when Ukraine has openly declared us an enemy, and introduced martial law. Why don’t we declare Ukraine a Nazi regime? We have a lot of evidence: the new law on the Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army recognising Hitler’s rabble as heroes. This has already been proven. Why do we not explicitly declare that Nazism is a rabid dog one doesn’t talk to, but shoots? This would give us a moral trump card in the global community. This would not be a conflict with Ukraine, which has declared us an enemy and has already declared martial law, but a fight against the Nazi regime. The Ukrainian people are not our enemy. The enemy is the Nazi regime. Why not declare it directly?

We are putting our diplomats who remain there at risk (our readers write about this). Why not withdraw the Embassy from that country?

Many people ask us when Russia will recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

Sergey Lavrov: We are not at war with the Ukrainian regime, which has all the features of the Nazi and neo-Nazi. The Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine who live in Donbass are fighting it.

Question: Then maybe we should break off the relations with them? How can we have a relationship with the Nazi regime?

Sergey Lavrov: We have relations with the Ukrainian state. The Ukrainian state is much more important for us than the regime that came to power thanks to the West betraying all norms of international law and international behaviour.

The Ukrainian people have nothing to do with it. The overwhelming majority, I am sure, wants peace in the country, wants to get rid of this shameful regime and return to normal relations with the Russian Federation. For that, the internal problems of Ukraine will have to be resolved, of course. They are much wider, and much deeper than just the DPR and the LPR. As a reminder, it all happened because the West has committed criminal connivance, I should say. Back in February 2014, the European Union, through the foreign ministers of Germany, Poland, and France, guaranteed an agreement between Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. The next morning, the opposition destroyed that agreement. Neither France, nor Germany, nor Poland, nor the United States, which did not sign the document, but actively supported it, lifted a finger. They did not even apologise to those who had hoped that the agreement would lead to a peaceful settlement.

Three days later, Dmitry Yarosh who led all the military operations on the Maidan, publicly stated (it was his official statement and is still available) that “Russians should not be in Crimea, because they will never glorify Stepan Bandera or Roman Shukhevych and will never think in Ukrainian.” Therefore, he said, Russians in Crimea “must either be destroyed or expelled.” After that, unrest began among the Crimean people. When Yarosh later tried to organise an attack on the Supreme Council, it erupted in a protest, which led to a referendum and eventually to the decision to return Crimea to the Russian Federation.

Now we are obliged to fulfill the Minsk Agreements.

Question: They collapsed long ago. You spoke about this 18 months ago. Nobody remembers that now, except Donbass.

If you come to the village of Zaitsevo, where every household has buried someone, and if you mention the Minsk Agreements, I don’t know what they will do to you. They honour them, and the fact that they are being killed on a daily basis – is that Minsk Agreements as well?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe that there is no alternative to the Minsk Agreements, and I also said that back in 2016. The UN Charter has also been violated many times, and it has also malfunctioned on many occasions. But we must not give in to panic. Are you suggesting that we recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics?

Question: Yes, of course.

Sergey Lavrov: And then what?

Question: After that, we would defend our territory, recognised by us, and we would help our fraternal peoples.

Sergey Lavrov: Do you want to lose the rest of Ukraine? Do you want to leave it at the mercy of the Nazis?

Question: As I see it, we should go to war against the Nazi regime because they declared martial law against us, they have called us enemies, and they attack our ships.

Sergey Lavrov: We will not go to war against Ukraine, I can promise you that.

Question: What should be done about the church?

Sergey Lavrov: You suggest recognising the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and declaring war (I don’t know how you imagine that Russia would attack Ukraine). That would just amount to a nervous breakdown and weakness. If we want to preserve Ukraine as a normal, adequate and neutral country, we must ensure that people living in Ukraine have a comfortable life. I disagree with your position if you want the rest of Ukraine to celebrate the creation of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, as well as the birthdays of Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera, rather than May 9, as their national holidays. The Minsk Agreements formalise the principle of Ukraine’s decentralisation and the use of the Russian language where Russian-speaking people want to speak it. Today, this regime is moving to wreck its own constitution, which guarantees the rights of the Russian language, as well as its international obligations; but this does not mean that we must abandon all Ukrainians who are governed by this regime to their own devices.

Question: Why don’t we officially recognise it as a Nazi regime, and why don’t we say that we will not have any dealings with it because it is impossible to have dealings with Hitler?

Sergey Lavrov: This is an appealing position. Somewhere in the village of Zaitsevo people will probably rejoice for a week if we now sever all relations with this regime. And what will happen next? After that, you will need to explain why progressive and civilised humankind lost Ukraine.

We want to keep it. Today, we have the right under international law to demand this from Ukraine and, most importantly, from the West, which now controls Ukraine.

Question: What do you think of the OSCE’s work in that region? Its representatives are coming here while in fact working against us, spying against the Donbass defenders and communicating their information to Kiev. After the OSCE visits a town or a village, they become subject to strikes. It is a known fact. The OSCE is never on our side.

Sergey Lavrov: First of all, it is not true that the OSCE brings shells to their targets. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) is indeed under very serious pressure – mainly from pro-Western Ukrainians; but the mission is also susceptible to our influence and is gradually making steps in the right direction, although it takes a while to be pushed first. I will give you an example. We have been asking the SMM to stop writing such things in their reports as “this week, so many strikes took place, so many civilian facilities were destroyed, there were so many civilian casualties”, but to specify from which side of the contact line [the strikes came], which victims and what kind of destruction. A year ago, with great difficulty, we managed to get the OSCE to write its first report on this matter which said that the eastern side of the contact line – where the self-defence forces are living and defending themselves – account for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties and destruction in the civilian sector.

Ukraine tried hard to stop this report, to stop it from being published. But it failed. The OSCE eventually did what it was supposed to do and the required statistics became publicly available.

We have one more concern regarding our Western partners (who, I believe, discredited themselves in this Ukrainian story starting in February 2014, when they failed to compel the opposition to fulfil the agreement with the government). This, in fact, has to do with the media. You, for example, go to Donbass. Our television crews are working at the contact line 24/7 to show the frontline from the perspective of the self-defence forces. When our Western partners claim that the self-defence forces are to blame for all the clashes and attacks, that they provoke them, we show them our journalists’ work, which is always available on air and is broadcast repeatedly on the news. We ask them: if they are so sure that the Ukrainian government is acting in the right way and they want to show the truth to international audiences, then why are there no Western journalists working on the western side of the contact line the same hours as our journalists? There were a couple of cases when, I think, BBC reporters travelled there for a few days and, by the way, filmed a rather objective report (perhaps this is why this practice was stopped).

They can’t wait for us to break off the relationship with Ukraine and withdraw from the Minsk Agreements. Just like after the coup of February 21, 2014, they will wash their hands of them and say, “so it died” – meaning they are not bound by anything. It will be a huge mistake.

Question: If President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko now sends troops to Donbass or warships to break through the Kerch Strait, what will we do?

Sergey Lavrov: I am sure that there will be provocations. The day before yesterday we heard Petr Poroshenko speak at a show called Unification Council for Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Actually, he has never stuck to the diplomatic language before, but this time he crossed all lines imaginable and unimaginable. I have never heard such rudeness from a leader who considers himself a politician. He seemed to actually lose control a few times. Apparently, something is happening to him. But this is not my problem.

Commenting on the martial law he wanted to introduce for 60 days, then 30, first across the country, then only in Russian-speaking areas, where he has a very low popularity rating (it is low enough everywhere, but there he is not popular at all, and does not even enjoy minimum understanding), Poroshenko said they would not extend martial law unless there are armed provocations along the contact line in Donbass or, as he put it, “on the administrative border” with Crimea.

The 30-day martial law expires on December 25. We have information (official Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has mentioned this more than once) that Ukraine has concentrated around 12,000 troops and a large amount of equipment on the contact line. American, British and, apparently, other instructors are actively helping them. An American drone regularly patrols the area. We have reported this. According to additional information that we tend to believe, in the last ten days of December, President Poroshenko is planning an armed provocation on the border with the Russian Federation – Crimea.

He will get a response. He won’t find it funny, I can assure you.

This is our country, our border, and we will not allow him to try in any way to defend “his interests” as he sees them and violate those rights that the Crimeans have defended in full accordance with international law. Moreover, according to our information, he is discussing this provocation on the border with Crimea with his Western curators and “trustees.”

According to our data, which seem credible, he is advised to maintain low-intensity hostilities to support the ongoing outcry in the propaganda space about “Russians attacking Ukraine” and “Russians need to be further sanctioned,” but in no case should military operations be allowed to reach a phase to elicit a full-blown response. Nasty, petty provocation. Our respective services take all necessary measures to prevent such excesses from happening.

Question: I would like to talk about Russian-US relations again. Mr Poroshenko is behaving boorishly, but I think he is emulating US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who made unacceptable comments about the Russian Government after our bombers arrived in Venezuela, telling us how we must spend public funds.

As for President Donald Trump, he doesn’t seem to know his own mind. You said he was really willing to meet with President Vladimir Putin. He said when boarding the plane for the G20 summit that he was looking forward to a face-to-face with President Putin. But when he disembarked in Argentina several hours later, he said he had called off the meeting. He did an about-face, as the saying goes. Maybe they really don’t want to conduct a constructive dialogue with us?

Sergey Lavrov: They are extremely pragmatic people. They want to talk when this can benefit them, especially now that the business mentality is taking a hold in US foreign policy.

This is a very short-sighted position, because it can help you get something today but will undermine your long-term positions and harm your strategic interests. The Americans live in two-year cycles. Every two years they need to show everyone that they are tough guys who can do what others can’t, and that everyone else is soft.

Look at the unilateral sanctions that have been imposed not only on Russia or China but also on some of the US allies. The United States continues to threaten others with sanctions and imposes new sanctions simply for violating a US law that prohibits trade with Iran. There are no such laws in France or Germany. But when their companies engage in business that is perfectly legal from the viewpoint of their own legislation or international law, they are forced to pay billions of dollars in a deal that would allow them to work in the United States. This is racketeering.

There are also sanctions that concern settlements in US dollars. In  the near future before the next elections, these sanctions may benefit US companies, weaken their rivals and increase employment in the United States, but in the long run they will undermine trust in the dollar. This will harm the fundamental interests of the US because many countries are thinking of reducing their dependence on the dollar.

Question: Do the Americans see this danger?

Sergey Lavrov: Analysts possibly do. But politicians think in the moment, they want to win the election, and they don’t care what happens afterwards.

As for Mr Pompeo, it’s a long time since we met. I think he is no longer involved with US policy towards Russia. But both of us understand that we need to meet and to talk.

As of now, US foreign policy has been clearly delegated to John Bolton. He has come to Russia several times. He has met with President Putin and his counterpart, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. I have held rather lengthy talks with Mr Bolton. There is a kind of dialogue.

We have not met for a long time at the level of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the US Department of State. The last time was in New York in September, when the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council held a traditional meeting. But it was not a bilateral meeting. Our deputies and department directors hold meetings, although the Americans often pull stunts and cancel meetings with barely a day’s notice. But as I said, we don’t hold on to grudges.

Question: Why?

Sergey Lavrov: Because a grudge is a heavy burden to carry.

Question: Well, a grudge is, indeed, a heavy burden to carry. For example, what is Russia doing in the Council of Europe, where it has no right to vote? Why does such a sovereign state as Russia submit to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg? Why don’t we withdraw completely from such organisations, where we don’t play any role at all? We can use this money to build schools. What are we doing there? And how much do we pay to the European Court of Human Rights?

Sergey Lavrov: We don’t pay anything to the European Court of Human Rights. We pay for its decisions. Do you know what percentage of our payments to the ECHR has to do with Russian courts’ decisions on payments to our citizens that the Russian Treasury violates and withholds the payments?

Question: In that case we must get back to our own problems. Why are we running to foreigners for help?

Sergey Lavrov: As you probably know, we are now facing a situation that we are actively discussing: the future of Russia’s Council of Europe membership is in question. There is no doubt that our decision to join this organisation was sincere and met the country’s interests. You should discuss this matter with judges, representatives of the Supreme and Constitutional courts and the Ministry of Justice. A huge set of laws that make life easier for Russian citizens and protect their life and rights was passed during our cooperation with the Council of Europe and as a result of our perception of the practices that could be applied to Russian legislation. Russian citizens are forced to apply to the European Court of Human Rights after a Russian court has ruled that the state must pay them. If the state has failed to pay a citizen in compliance with a Russian court’s ruling, do you think that therefore he or she does not deserve this payment?

Question: Of course, they deserve them. But instead of taking the case to a foreign court, we need to sort things out at home. What is your opinion of this?

Sergey Lavrov: In some cases, we were unable to rectify the situation without the ECHR. I will tell you more: Russia is now by no means the main client of the European Court of Human Rights.

We make an overwhelming majority of payments under Russian courts’ decisions.  Please keep that in mind.

Question: Are we going to leave the Council of Europe?

Sergey Lavrov: To show that we don’t care?

Question: If they don’t take us seriously, yes, we should show them that we don’t care.

Sergey Lavrov: No, we shouldn’t do that. Instead we should have a sense of dignity.

Speaking of the Council of Europe, we have no right to vote only at the Parliamentary Assembly, which would be an unimportant body if it weren’t for its function to elect judges, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

No one has deprived us of any rights at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is a regulatory, rather than consultative, body.

Today, we are trying to convince the Council of Europe that this situation cannot last indefinitely, and that, under the Council of Europe Statute, all member countries have equal rights at all its bodies. The incumbent Secretary General’s legal findings state that the PACE decision runs counter to the Council of Europe Statute and should therefore be modified.

We have repeatedly explained to our colleagues that there can be no halfway decisions here. They tried to assuage our concerns by proposing to reinstate our right to elect officials, including judges, the Secretary General and the Commissioner for Human Rights, but to withhold all other rights for the time being. We emphatically rejected this offer.

The moment of truth will come in June, when the new Council of Europe Secretary General will be elected. If we don’t take part in this election, it would send a message that the Council of Europe is losing its importance for us as an organisation that does not respect the principle of equality.

Question: You mentioned dignity. As I see it, our dignity is being trampled in various situations.

Poland has destroyed many monuments to Soviet soldiers. Actually, 600,000 of our boys were killed there. Why doesn’t Russia give an appropriate response in line with diplomatic traditions?

Do you want to hit our monuments? In that case, we will send bulldozers to Katyn, and we will demolish your monuments if you touch ours.

Sergey Lavrov: Are you serious?

Question: Absolutely. Why can they wreck our monuments?

Sergey Lavrov: I wish you were not serious. I was hoping this is a joke.

Question: Unfortunately, my colleague is voicing a common opinion that is expressed by our audiences. What can you say on this score?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe this position has nothing to do with Orthodox Christianity or Christianity in general.

Question: Are they acting like Christians?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, not.

Question: So, where is our symmetrical diplomatic response? You do something nasty to us, and we will reciprocate. Where is our dignity?

Sergey Lavrov: Our dignity tells us that we must be above all this, and that we must never descend to the level of these neo-Nazis.

Question: We are always above that. We were above it in the Skripal case too.

But what about the Skripals? Where is our consul? Where is Yulia Skripal? Local lawyers ask me why our consuls are not suing to see Yulia Skripal – dead or alive. After all, she is a Russian citizen. The West operates only through courts. The state should sue and demand access to Yulia Skripal. All conventions are on our side. Why are we being so sluggish?

Why don’t we sue, when British Prime Minister Theresa May accuses our President of having committed murder? We could hire Swiss lawyers and sue. Could it be that there are things we don’t know and an action of this sort is being pursued?

Sergey Lavrov: If you followed our Ministry’s reports, including the information delivered by the ministry spokesperson at her briefings, you would have a somewhat different picture of what is happening.

We have been acting in full conformity with international law, because English law is of no help in this case. There is the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which makes it mandatory for the British government to grant us access to a Russian citizen. Sergey Skripal is an arguable case because he has dual citizenship, but Yulia Skripal is only a Russian citizen.

Question: But we can apply to the British court, can’t we? Lawyers in the UK explained this to me. And Swiss layers also said we could apply to the British court for the Russian citizen to be delivered to us or at least in order to arrange her meeting with a Russian consul.

Sergey Lavrov: No court will help us. There is an international obligation, the Vienna Convention, which is absolutely irrevocable. And we will demand that it is obeyed.

Question: What stage are the talks at now?

Sergey Lavrov: I am not yet through with the courts. Let me remind you how we tried to deal with the Litvinenko case, when [Litvinenko] was also allegedly poisoned.

The court did not want to prove anything. The court just made the investigation secret and conducted it in a format that banned the demonstration of security service documents.

In this instance, when we demanded information on the Skripals that was linked, among other things, to the British exploiting the Skripal theme at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, we got an official reply to the effect that this issue was related to British security. For this reason, it is not subject to any disclosure or London’s meaningful reply.

Question: But international law has precedence over their law, hasn’t it? Does the Vienna Convention have precedence?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes it does.

Question: Can’t we achieve anything through the courts?

Sergey Lavrov: We will continue to press for a meeting with our citizen.

Question: But isn’t it their minister who said that Russia should “shut up and go away?”

Sergey Lavrov: He (the UK Defence Secretary. – Ed.) is a man whose oversized amour propre is superimposed upon an inferiority complex. I saw his colleague too, and it is very sad that the UK assigns foreign ministers of this sort to handle foreign policy.

He contacted me when five ministers of foreign affairs of the five permanent member states of the UN Security Council were meeting in New York. The five of us were just sitting around a table. After that he went out and started saying that he had challenged me on 12 counts and accused me of everything.

Question: What did you say to him in response?

Sergey Lavrov: I didn’t say anything: you can’t talk with people like that.

As for the Skripal case, I can assure you that we will not drop this issue. I am absolutely convinced that we must demand answers, just like with the Malaysian Boeing. And the longer our partners delay with a response, the more out of line they will look.

Question: But we have been sued by the relatives of those who have died in the Boeing crash.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, they have sued us. There is one thing we need to understand. They say that we have done it to the Skripals and that we must say whether it was done on orders from President Putin or whether he had lost control over the secret services which did this without his consent. Nobody else had a clear reason [to poison the Skripals], so it is highly likely that Russia is responsible, they say.

This is baby talk, not a serious investigation.

We put concrete questions to them: Where is Yulia Skripal? Why has her cousin been denied a visa which we requested officially many times? Unfortunately, you can’t sue for a visa.

We ask similar questions about the Malaysian Boeing. Why haven’t they included in their investigation the material that has been provided by Almaz-Antey, the producer of the Buk systems? Why haven’t the Ukrainians provided their radar data, unlike Russia, or the transcript of what their air controllers said? Why haven’t the Americans provided their satellite information? No answer. But we will continue to ask these questions and we will keep reminding everyone that a day will come when these shameful intrigues will end.

Question: Maybe we should not remind but demand? There are already jokes about your recommendations on social media. Can I tell one of them?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, certainly. I have read many things about myself.

Question: Sergey Lavrov enters a room for talks with Mike Pompeo, opens his briefcase and takes out a jar of fat chance, a dead donkey’s ears and a heap of fig leaves. He lights a cigarette and politely says “Hello” to Mike Pompeo.

Maybe this is how we should talk with them, not “express concern” or “draw their attention” to problems?

Sergey Lavrov: The meeting I had in this joke was not with Pompeo but with Taro Kono.

Really, do you want us to use four-letter words in international discourse, so that we will all be in the same league? No, I think that if Jupiter is angry, it means he is wrong.

I have read your reports from hot spots, and I respect you for what you are doing. We have criticised our Western colleagues for not sending their journalists to Donbass to report the truth. There are few Western journalists in Syria as well. When somebody wants to drive you mad and you resort to foul language in response, I would caution against this, even if we are not full of grace ourselves. We must not exceed the bounds of decency even if we ourselves set the boundaries.

Question: Is it true that the Foreign Ministry cellars are stocked with coffers of your great patience?

Sergey Lavrov: We have no cellars.

Question: I have worked in Armenia and Georgia. The situation there is dramatic.

I am shocked that we have let go of the situation in Georgia. The Americans are building a deep-water port in Anaklia, a stone’s throw from Sochi. Initially, they planned to deploy their nuclear submarines there, which would be extremely dangerous for us. A NATO base is under construction near Tbilisi. They have signed an official declaration to this effect. And there are three bio laboratories in Georgia.

The Americans are training nine motorised battalions. When I asked who these battalions would be used against, the answer was, “Against our enemies, against Russia.”

President Elect Salome Zurabishvili said at her inauguration that she would do her utmost to fight the Russian occupation.

The situation is very serious, considering that the Americans have failed to build a naval base in Crimea. But now they will build it on our doorstep, on Abkhazia’s border with Georgia. Yet we remain silent.

The Georgians who are on our side – 40 per cent of people in Georgia are for rapprochement and 80 per cent for dialogue with Russia – say that we are feeding them.

Their shops are stocked with Russian goods. There were 1.6 million [Russian] tourists.

Sergey Lavrov: I know this.

Question: They ask why we keep silent, why we don’t say to them that either they shut down the bases, which are a direct threat to our security, or we close the border to their goods.

Sergey Lavrov: Where did you find these highway advisers?

Question: Why do we sell Georgian wines? They are making money through us, and at the same time they are fighting against our “occupation.”

Sergey Lavrov: You surely know that Ukrainians earn millions of roubles in Russia.

Question: We must respond to this. Why do we remain the whipping boys?

Sergey Lavrov: We don’t say that we know all the answers. How can we respond? Close the border? Sever all ties?

Question: The Georgians themselves have proposed closing the border and suspending trade and money transfers until the construction of a base on Russia’s doorstep is stopped. They complain that we don’t have a policy towards Georgia, that we are glad that Mikheil Saakashvili is no longer in Georgia. But we forget that there are very many other anti-Russia forces working there.

Sergey Lavrov: Just imagine how it would be if we severed the relations which we have been developing in recent years.

First we launched chartered flights. Now we have scheduled flights, and their number has increased to include Tbilisi, Moscow, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Kutaisi. The planes are filled with tourists. Our trade is on the upswing. I believe Russia has become Georgia’s largest trade partner. Our civil societies hold regular events. People are meeting, talking and trying to understand which point in our relations we have reached.

Imagine that we stop all this simply to please your friends, who feel hurt. We stop all this, but they complete the base anyway and train the battalions, and the bio laboratory continues working. Who will stand to gain from this?

Question: Should there be some response from our side? What should we do?

Sergey Lavrov: I would like to ask you, do you think that we need to respond just to establish our importance or what?

Question: We do need to show our importance.

Sergey Lavrov: And that’s all?

Question: No, that’s not all. There are levers of economic pressure, similar to military ones. If Georgia lives at our expense, it will howl when it has nothing to eat.

Sergey Lavrov: I assure you, they will find a way to live. I would like to look at this from a different angle. Are you proposing to choke Georgia? What for? You say 40 percent of the population supports contacts with Russia. Break these contacts, and it will be 2 percent.

Question: But we will need to explain why we are doing this. We can say: it threatens our security.

Sergey Lavrov: Once again. The most serious threat here is the biological laboratories. I am confident that they will not go anywhere with their battalions. They understand that we have allied relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and we will not allow anyone to attack our allies. There are bio labs not only in Georgia, but also in Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. It will be useless to talk about it with Ukraine. We are talking about it with Georgia through the relevant organisations, the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons. Similarly, we are talking with Kazakhstan and Armenia. Georgians have already invited diplomats to their bio lab to look around. We thanked them because it was a large group of diplomats and we noted that we would be more interested in sending professionals who understand what is being done in this bio lab better than diplomats. We need to know how big a threat these experiments pose to the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries.

On principle, I am categorically against a foreign policy that amounts to breaking off relations every time someone does us wrong. Otherwise we would have to break off relations with America and Britain. Do you by any chance have friends there who offer you advice?

Question: America clearly responds with sanctions. We do not impose sanctions. Introduce sanctions against Georgia. Armenia is our strategic ally. Why did we allow the building of three US bio labs there in 2016? We have the best friendship in the Eurasian Economic Union.

Sergey Lavrov: With Armenia, we are completing the work on a document that will guarantee the non-presence of the foreign military in these biological labs and full transparency.

Question: And Kazakhstan?

Sergey Lavrov: The same.

Question: Will they remove these labs? Or make sure there are no foreign nationals?

Sergey Lavrov: You are not listening to me. I have just told you that an agreement is being prepared that will guarantee that there will be no foreign military in the bio labs and everything that is done there will be transparent, with guarantees, without any threats or risks.

Question: Consider this example: When you come to Armenia, you find 19 Russian diplomats and 2,500 American workers there – an impressive ratio, of course. I do not understand how we can have only 19 diplomats in such a strategically important country. Political strategists in Armenia say: “Russia really uses clumsy force against the former Soviet republics. It never works with the opposition, so for Russia, Nikol Pashinyan came as a huge surprise. Russia never works with the civil society, but only with people in power who are hated in society and whose ratings, according to your Russian officers, are below zero. What is it, the blindness of your diplomacy? I do not know; it is unexplainable. There are normal people in the opposition with whom you could be cooperating.”

Sergey Lavrov: Who writes all this to you?

Question: Political observers with whom I spoke in Armenia.

Sergey Lavrov: This “your diplomacy” – have Armenians written this?

Question: Yes, Armenians. Why isn’t Russian diplomacy working with the opposition? Remember the last time we argued about soft power? There are 5,000 US NGOs that are canvassing young people who then grow up pro-America and anti-Russia, but there are no Russian NGOs or media there. We have already spoken about this many times.

Sergey Lavrov: So what is your bottom line? As I understand it, the options are either to send 3,000 diplomats and create 5,000 NGOs there, or to break off diplomatic relations.

Question: This is where I think soft power is the best option.

Sergey Lavrov: Why?

Question: At least the people’s attitude to Russia was good; now it has grown worse. It will continue deteriorating. The youth is growing up.

Sergey Lavrov: We are treated well in Georgia. And you propose breaking off relations.

Question: What ideas are being fed to young people? They are raised on the idea that Russia is bad. They are now arguing who was the first to attack.

Sergey Lavrov: Where – in Georgia?

Question: I just watched a talk show where they are proving to children that it was Russia who attacked Georgia ten years ago. And the children are listening.

Sergey Lavrov: There is a report prepared for the EU by a group of experts led by Heidi Tagliavini, which clearly blames Saakashvili for starting the war. Nobody in the EU has contested this conclusion. Now they say that our response was unacceptable. This is sheer hypocrisy.

As for soft power, I fully agree on this. There are two or three times fewer Russian diplomats in Armenia or any other CIS country than American ones. Our diplomatic staff numbers 2,500 together with rotation personnel.

Question: The Americans have the largest staff in Bagdad and second largest in Armenia.

Sergey Lavrov: They have their own criteria for their work. And we have our traditions and financial limitations, because their non-governmental team working in the former Soviet republics costs big money. In most cases, these NGOs are financed by the Agency for International Development of the US State Department, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which is affiliated with the Democratic Party, or other similar organisations. George Soros is very active there, just as in many other parts of our space and beyond. Of course, they have the  advantage in numbers. We cannot respond in kind; we cannot create the same number of puppet organisations. Very many of them have a provocative negative agenda.

I agree that we must work with all political forces, which we are doing. We are working with everyone not only in the South Caucasus but also in other post-Soviet republics. We are working with registered opposition groups. We don’t work with nonregistered or underground groups. I believe that this is correct. We have maintained ties with various parliamentary groups, including the nine MPs who represented Nikol Pashinyan’s party when Serzh Sargsyan was president of Armenia.

It is another matter that we have probably acquired immunity against revolutions, because everything the West is doing in the post-Soviet space is preparing revolutions. This may be our problem, but we definitely cannot be blamed for this. We have survived several revolutions, which claimed a great number of lives and destroyed cities and villages. We don’t want to see a repetition of this, and we don’t wish it on others.

Therefore, the conclusion is simple: we must work with society and people, promote projects of interest to them in culture, language, sport, education and people-to-people interaction. I believe we can report certain positive results in this sphere. But we must not stop now. You can’t have enough of such events. We have established interregional forums, days of culture and educational exchanges with nearly all CSTO countries. We are opening branches of our universities there. I have recently visited Azerbaijan where MGIMO University is opening a branch. It is a very popular form of cooperation.

Question: Yet the most influential instrument is mass media. But Margarita Simonyan cannot work for all of us. We need our own local media outlets that will look to you in their work. Very many people would like to work in this way. But they simply don’t have the money.

Sergey Lavrov: Exactly.

Question: Do you mean that we don’t have the money for this?

Sergey Lavrov: The Foreign Ministry doesn’t.

Question: Why cannot we ask our oligarchs? They could be made responsible for certain areas.

Sergey Lavrov: Those of our people who have big money buy media outlets, including in Russia. If they do the same abroad, we would not complain.

Question: The Americans do this. They have more money.

Sergey Lavrov: But they don’t buy on behalf of the state.

Question: They set up a state fund to finance such projects.

Question: Why not lease the Kuril Islands? The sovereignty would be ours either way. Hong Kong was once leased on these terms. China leased a village and got a major modern city.

Question: There is such a thing as zugzwang in chess, when any move leads to a worse position. We have not had this peace treaty, so why do we need this “piece of paper?” We have diplomatic and economic relations, but no military relations. Nor will there be any in the future. Why do we need a peace treaty with Japan, if we consider the Kuril issue on this basis?

Sergey Lavrov: We are interested in having good relations with Japan.

The situation is very simple. We are people obeying international law. In 1956, the USSR signed an agreement with Japan, the so-called 1956 Declaration. When the USSR was dissolved, the Russian Federation was recognised not just as the legal successor state (all constituent republics except the Baltic states became legal successors) but the USSR’s only continuing state. This is the legal status under which we assumed all the obligations as well as all the assets of the USSR. This was one of the grounds for signing, within the CIS, a treaty on the “zero option” for properties abroad. We assumed all of the USSR’s debt obligations as all the properties were transferred to us (something that is happening today). This is why, when President Vladimir Putin was elected and this issue came up for the first time during his presidency in some situation (I think it was a meeting with then prime minister, Yoshiro Mori) he said that as the successor to the USSR we assumed the 1956 Declaration and were prepared to sign a peace treaty based on that.

In Singapore, we agreed to declare that we had come to terms on revisiting negotiations on signing a peace treaty based on the 1956 Declaration. In this regard, it is very important to understand what this document is all about and basically what situation has taken shape around it. It says: You shall sign a peace treaty. After that, the USSR – as a goodwill gesture and with regard for the interests of the neighbourly Japanese people, not as a move to return [the islands] – will be prepared to transfer the Habomai Ridge and Shikotan Island. President Putin has repeatedly explained, including at his news conference in Singapore and later in Buenos Aires, that this was not a directly applicable obligation of the USSR that had transferred to Russia and that the parties would have to discuss how, to whom, when, and in what form to transfer [whatever there is to transfer].

This was in 1956. After that were the events of 1960, when Japan and the US signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, under which the Americans could deploy their military bases practically wherever they wanted, in any part of Japanese territory. Under the same treaty, the US is creating the Asian segment of its antimissile defence system and deploying antimissile launchers that can be used to fire Tomahawk missiles.

Japan has withdrawn from the Declaration of its own free will. Of course, the USSR responded to the signing of the US-Japan security treaty. Therefore, when we say “based on the Declaration,” we cannot ignore the fact that the events of 1960 have taken place since then, which, from the point of view of a US military presence on the Japanese islands, are increasingly of a very serious nature as a threat to our security. We have explained all of this to our Japanese colleagues at talks with foreign ministry and security council representatives. We are waiting for a response. For us, this is a problem of direct practical importance.

But, most importantly, when we say “based on the 1956 Declaration,” this expresses Japan’s unconditional recognition of the results of World War II. So far, our Japanese colleagues are not ready for this, and they are sending all sorts of signals to the effect that this will not work out. This is a serious issue.

Recently, my Japanese counterpart went on record as saying that he apologised to the Japanese media for having avoided answering the question about the upcoming talks, on several occasions. He stated that he was unwilling to discuss the subject because Japan’s position was unchanged but, if he said this he would provoke his Russian colleagues to state their point of view. Consider that it was not he who provoked us. It is just that we were never ashamed of our position. If Japan’s position is unchanged then we are in the same position we have always been in. This is basically a refusal to recognise the results of World War II, while recognising the results of World War II is an inalienable first step in any talks, let alone any legal negotiations.

Question: Should we perhaps leave this matter to the judgment of future generations and place it on record as is?

Sergey Lavrov: We do not refuse to talk, but I have outlined the terms and the framework, within which these talks will proceed.

Question: May I ask you a few private questions that are often asked by our readers – in the blitz mode?

Sergey Lavrov: Go ahead.

Question: You are one of the most popular and best-known politicians in our country. How do you feel in that capacity?

Sergey Lavrov: I have never thought about it. It is a pleasure for me to communicate with people when I go somewhere, whether on a working mission or not. I talk to young people. It is interesting to listen to questions and comments. If my work meets with a positive response, I am pleased for our Ministry.

Question: As you know, the former Soviet Foreign Minister Alexei Gromyko was dubbed in the West as nothing other than “Mr No”. Andrei Kozyrev must have been a “Mr Yes”. How would you describe your own image in similar terms? Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov is “Mr what?”

Sergey Lavrov: Whatever, but certainly not “Mr Yesman.”

Question: In your interviews, you nearly always refer to our foes as partners. Why?

Sergey Lavrov: Sometimes, I fail to express irony through intonation.

Question: In one of your interviews, you said that you respect Vladimir Vysotsky’s work. What words from his songs would you use to describe the current international situation?

Sergey Lavrov (laughing): “Lukomorye exists no more…” and so on and so forth.

Question: Your opponents were talking such nonsense lately. What self-composure you have. Is it hard to deal with a negotiating partner if you feel that he or she has a grudge against you?

Sergey Lavrov: I have grown used to it.

Question: What helps you remain so calm and coolheaded?

Sergey Lavrov: Maybe life has hardened me over the past years. In New York, I had a good schooling in terms of responding to all sorts of crisis situations at the UN Security Council. Someone would dash in and say that something had erupted, broken out and it was necessary to urgently adopt a resolution, when we wanted to work the matter through and take no abrupt steps.

Question: Were there episodes during your service as minister, when things grew very alarming and even frightening?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably not, considering that I was already accustomed to crisis situations in my work prior to my appointment to this post. Maybe, that experience helps.

Question: Do you feel like putting work aside

And sailing down the river with a guitar,

Making a campfire at sunset

And talking of peace and love?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, certainly. Moreover, I even do that.

Question: What is the largest fish that you caught during your river trips? Where did it happen and how much did it weigh?

Sergey Lavrov: I do not remember, because, actually, I am not really a fishing sort. When we go canoeing down the river Katun, two of our group members handle the fishing and I break camp and watch the campfire.

Question: Suppose you had a time machine, who of our country’s rulers of the past years or even centuries would you like to talk to and what essential question would you ask that person?

Sergey Lavrov: Among our fellow countrymen – Alexander Gorchakov. Much has been written about him and all his diplomatic achievements are well known. I would ask him exactly the same thing that you asked me – about his self-composure that enabled him to return Crimea.

Question: Who of the US presidents of the past would you like to talk to and what would you ask him?

Sergey Lavrov: Maybe, Harry Truman. After Franklin Roosevelt’s policy, he made a sharp turn towards the “cold war”. It would be interesting to understand why. Though, as a matter of fact, it looks like everyone understands everything. The USSR was a real ally of Britain and the United States in the war, but maybe a situational ally, after all, though that situation was about the life or death of the whole of humanity. Almost. And it was a genuine alliance. Nevertheless, they never fully considered us to be one of theirs, and back then they already saw a threat.

Question: If you had the opportunity to turn back the clock and influence some event in our country or elsewhere, what would you change?

Sergey Lavrov: First, I have no opportunity to turn back the clock. Second, I do not want to. Third, we all know that history has no “ifs”. Whatever God does is for the best. There are many proverbs, for example, “it does not hurt to dream.”

Question: Will the Eurasian Economic Union survive as an entity, considering our problems with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakhstan?

Sergey Lavrov: It will survive. In any event, we have common interests. In the five years of its existence or even less (there used to be a Customs Union, followed by the Eurasian Economic Union), we are making great strides forward, as compared with the deadlines that allowed Europe to achieve the same level of integration.

Question: It was easier for us.

Sergey Lavrov: Nevertheless, economic ties were disrupted considerably after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Question: President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko says that he is planning to leave the Eurasian Economic Union.

Sergey Lavrov: Just like other countries’ leaders, we judge the policies of other countries by their deeds, rather than words. When US President Donald Trump conducts talks, he also makes all kinds of statements.

Question: Is this blackmail?

Sergey Lavrov: It is preparations for talks, if you like. I cannot say that US President Donald Trump is blackmailing anyone, although he exerts tough pressure.

Question: What would be the first thing you saved if the Foreign Ministry building caught fire?

Sergey Lavrov: God forbid.  We don’t need any self-fulfilling prophecies, and we have a good fire safety system.

Question: What do you eat to improve your mood?

Sergey Lavrov: I prefer tasty food.

Question: Could you be more specific? All of us like tasty food.

Sergey Lavrov: Sauerkraut shchi and borsch. I like soups very much.

Question: How do you relax? And what is your favourite music? How do you manage to stay in shape all the time? Perhaps you like rap music?

Sergey Lavrov: I am not into rap music. I like bard singers, including Vladimir Vysotsky, Bulat Okudzhava, Yury Vizbor and Oleg Mityayev. And I love the outdoors.

Question: If on New Year’s Eve you found a magic lantern that could grant any personal wish, what would it be?

Sergey Lavrov: A personal wish? I don’t know. Never thought about it. I am not used to making wishes. I am more of a realist than a dreamer.

Question: So when the Kremlin chimes welcome the New Year in, you never make a wish?

Sergey Lavrov: No. On my rafting team, we have this principle – never drink to anything in advance. We do not celebrate what is to come, but celebrate what happened. If it’s someone’s birthday, we raise a glass of champagne. But we never toast what is still to come. It is even considered wrong.

Question: Figuratively speaking, if we take Russia’s foreign policy in recent years, was there anything you would toast with a glass of champagne with your colleagues?

Sergey Lavrov: I am not assessing the work of my Ministry now. One of our most significant projects in recent years was the chemical disarmament agreement in Syria, which helped us avoid an act of American aggression. This agreement was documented in a UN Security Council resolution, but, unfortunately, after that, the OPCW, whose job was to physically remove and destroy toxic substances from Syria, suffered a hostile takeover from the inside.

Question: Do you mean following the Skripal case?

Sergey Lavrov: No, this was not following the Skripal case. It primarily had to do with Syria. It was a separate story. Some of our western partners are now trying to replace international law with a “rules-based order.” But what they mean is not any universally agreed rules, but those they consider convenient for themselves. Western media are already openly writing about it. In particular, the British newspaper The Times wrote that the departure from international law is leading to a very unstable system, where relationships will be determined by the balance of power, brute force or economic and financial pressure such as blackmail, and bilateral agreements. This is roughly what the Americans are trying to do now, breaking the multilateral structures, including the World Trade Organisation, and moving from relations with the EU to resolving all problems bilaterally. Therefore, the agreement on chemical disarmament in Syria was indeed a serious achievement. Now, under various far-fetched pretexts, the Americans and their closest allies are trying to claim that not everything has been destroyed. Although international organisations, namely the OPCW, in the presence of observers, including those from the United States, verified the destruction of all chemical facilities and substances in Syria. Such are our partners.

Question: Do we still have any influence in that organisation?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes.

Question: Do you remember the most unusual New Year gift you received or gave?

Sergey Lavrov: My “hard drive” does not store such things. They have been erased from memory. These days I am more busy thinking about work than about the New Year.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the listeners and readers of Komsomolskaya Pravda a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best to you, good health and good luck.

Riding the Tiger: Zionism, israel (apartheid state) and the Far Right

Source

18.12.2018
Much has been made in recent years by defenders of Israel of the purported estrangement of the political Left from the cause of Zionism. This perceived anti-Israelism, borne out of the Leftist view that Israel is a fundamentally unjust and inequitable colonial-settler state, is argued to extend further from an ideological animus to one of racial hostility; a state of affairs which has been expressed as “the Left’s Jewish problem”. One of the key manifestations of this hostility is claimed to be a putative alliance between the Left and political Islam. Jewish and Israeli critics have written perplexedly about a union between the “illiberal Left and political Islam”, and other times of the Left’s “hypocritical embrace of Islamism”. However, these critics are somewhat muted and even silent about the links between pro-Zionist Jewish organisations and individuals with extremists of the political Far Right.
Further, Israel has developed alliances and arrangements with several European parties of the Far-Right, a phenomenon that is redolent of the agreements reached between some within the Zionist movement and the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy prior to World War Two. These contemporary alliances with nationalist movements, many of which are overtly racially conscious and in most instances, avowedly anti-Muslim, raise three key problems.
First, is that such collaborations carry with them the risk of legitimising racist attitudes and philosophies.
Secondly, it brings into sharp focus troublesome parallels between political Zionism and white nationalist aspirations, and, thirdly, it can be argued that they contribute to facilitating the creation of a climate of racial and religious intolerance, which will in the long run produce negative, unintended consequences for Jewry.
“In working for Palestine, I would even ally myself with the devil.”
– Vladimir Jabotinsky
The rise of nationalist sentiment has historically being a thing of concern for Jewish diaspora communities. The inevitable emphasis by nationalist movements on having a shared cultural identity and what often tended towards an inevitable insistence on racial exclusivity, left Jews vulnerable to being designated as an alien people upon whom fear, hostility and contempt could be focused.
For instance, during the interwar years of the 20th century, many European countries experienced a surge in the numbers of political parties espousing nationalistic ideologies which were defined by anti-Semitism. The anti-Republican alliance prior to and during the Spanish Civil War was marked to a degree by anti-Jewish attitudes. And while Spain had a relatively small Jewish population, the larger Jewish communities in eastern Europe were victimised during a period of increased influence of Fascist parties such as the Iron Guard in Romania, the Arrow Cross Party in Hungary, as well as the ultra-nationalist parties which emerged in Poland after the era of the philo-Semitic Marshal Pilsudski. In Fascist Italy, the promulgation of the leggi razziali in 1938 followed the template set by the Nuremberg Laws three years earlier by Nazi Germany. These developments were, of course, part of the prelude that led to the catastrophe that befell European Jewry during World War Two.
Today, nationalism and white identitarian-thinking is on the rise in both Europe and North America. Among the pot-pourri of political parties, pressure groups and media outlets are those designated as the ‘alt-right’ who espouse philosophies such as biological determinism, and who pronounce political agendas that aim to create white-only ethno-states. They are usually anti-immigration and invariably anti-Muslim. Some are avowedly anti-Jewish. Yet, while they are universally judged to fit into the far-Right of the political spectrum, there are significant links between many of these movements and Jewish individuals, Jewish organisations and the Jewish state of Israel.
While the record of historical and contemporary alliances and accommodations with extremist movements may ultimately be construed as a survival strategy for a people who have long perceived themselves as being constantly imperilled by the threat of periodic outbursts by other peoples who seek their destruction, these connections require scrutiny, not least because of the moral contradictions which they reveal.
What is more, the rationalising by some of the efficacy of such accommodations as the prudent exercise of pragmatism may come to be seen in hindsight as short-sightedness in circumstances where links can be made with situations where Jews as individuals and communities are harmed. For instance, if Jewish individuals or organisations co-operate with or otherwise give succour to white nationalist organisations on the basis of each having a shared hatred for Islam and its adherents, to what degree should there be a residual responsibility for acts directed at Jews in a climate of fomented hate?
They may also raise an uncomfortable analysis of a coherence in philosophies between the ideologies of groups deemed to be objectionable and that of the state which much of organised Jewry is pledged to preserve and protect. After all, it was Richard Spencer, an intellectual leader of the ‘alt-right’ who proclaimed his “great admiration” for Israel’s recently passed nation-state law. “Jews”, Spencer tweeted, “are, once again, at the vanguard, rethinking politics and sovereignty for the future, showing a path forward for Europeans.”
The implications of Spencer’s praise are not lost to the objective bystander. They speak of an ideological affinity which he has consistently alluded to. It was Spencer who while informing an audience at the University of Florida in October 2017 of the states from the past to the present which had influenced his thinking, offered a conclusion that “the most important and perhaps most revolutionary ethno-state, the one that I turn to for guidance, even though I might not always agree with its foreign policy decisions (is) the Jewish state of Israel.”
Spencer’s views about Israel and its state ideology were echoed by the far-Right Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, who in praising the passage of Israel’s nation-state law as “fantastic” and an “example to us all”, called on his countrymen to “define our own nation-state, our indigenous culture, our language and flag, define who and what we are and make it dominant by law”.
Many were simultaneously perplexed and repulsed by the presence of Israeli flags at rallies of Pegida, the German nationalist movement which is stridently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. This is a phenomenon repeated at rallies by offshoot groups in countries such as Britain and Australia where the flag of Israel has been waved alongside banners identifying with neo-Nazism and neo-Fascism. The blue hexagram and blue stripes of Israel have also been flown at demonstrations and meetings of the far-Right English Defence League (EDL), which for a period of time had a Jewish Division led by Jewish individuals respectively of Brazilian and Canadian origin.
In Germany, some members of the Jewish community offer vociferous support to the far-Right Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party. And as was the case with the EDL, it formed its own Jewish wing in October of this year headed by a female Jewish physician of Uzbek origin. The aims of the Jewish component is revealing.They are against the immigration of “Muslim males with anti-Semitic views”, and consider the AfD to be “defenders” of German Jews and Israel.
Some months ago, it was revealed that the Middle East Forum (MEF), a hardline pro-Israel think-tank had helped fund the legal expenses of Tommy Robinson, a former leader of the EDL, as well as the the costs of organising protests which had taken place in support of him while he was in jail for contempt of court.
The MEF issued a statement explaining that it had helped Robinson “in his moment of danger” in “three main ways”. These were firstly, by using “monies to fund his legal defence”, secondly, by “bringing foreign pressure on the UK government to ensure Mr. Robinson’s safety and eventual release”, and thirdly, by “organising and funding” a rally held on June 9th, 2018.
The MEF along with the David Horowitz Freedom Centre, which describes itself as a “right-wing Conservative foundation”, were both recently involved in attempts to organise a speaking tour of the United States by Robinson. Robinson is also employed by Rebel Media, which is run by Ezra Levant, a Jewish-Canadian who is often at pains to emphasise the boundaries between the sort of civic nationalism he purportedly represents and the race-based nationalism of white identitarians. Yet, what these Israel-supporting entities have in common alongside individuals such as Debbie Schlussel, Laura Loomer and Melanie Phillips is a raison detre to stoke up anti-Muslim sentiment. It is an objective that is consistent with an overarching aim of political Zionism.
Stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment has been an avowed goal of Israel for many decades. The rationale behind this strategy is based on the desire to reframe the conflict with the Palestinian people and the wider Arab world from one between a colonising power and a people with genuine grievances about being dispossessed of their land, to that of a conflict between two antithetical philosophies with Israel purportedly reflecting the Western value system that is ‘democratic’ and ‘tolerant’, and the majority Muslim Arabs reflecting ‘tyranny’ and ‘intolerance’.
In other words, it is intended to create a climate in which the injustice of dispossessing the Palestinians of a substantial portion of land upon which they lived for centuries is overshadowed. A corollary of this is to legitimise the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from what land they have left in the militarily occupied West Bank, which many Jews, regardless of their ideological inclinations or level of religious observance believe is the God-given land of what they refer to as Judea and Samaria.
Israel’s relations with far-Right governments in Europe is based on harnessing the fears and misgivings that they have about Islam to the disadvantage of Palestinian interests. Thus it is that Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s current prime minister, sees the Right-wing governments of Poland and Hungary as key allies among the member states of the European Union who are useful when it comes to blocking policies and initiatives which are favourable to the Palestinians.
It is an alliance which Israel has strenuously sought to preserve despite misgivings over the overt anti-Semitism that plays a part in the policies followed by the ruling parties of both countries, as well as the historical legacy of eastern Europe as the repository of the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism.
Indeed, the Christian nationalist anti-Semitism of Poland’s Law and Justice Party and Hungary’s Fidesz Party, both purveyors of what has been termed “Zionist anti-Semitism”, forms the basis of a consensus ad idem with the Jewish state. The mentality of Zionist anti-Semites, whose ranks have included the Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, is to consider Israel to be the first line of defence against the Muslim hordes who in their thinking are primed to expand into Europe.
Netanyahu has praised Hungary for its abstention from the United Nations General Assembly’s overwhelming rejection of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It had, along with the Czech Republic and Romania, blocked an EU statement criticising America’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
But such alliances with anti-Semitic, far-Right and other extremist states and organisations are not new to adherents to the cause of Zionism. There is a well-documented history going all the way back to the deeds of the modern founder of Political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, as well as key Zionist figures such as Vladimir Jabotinsky and Avharam Stern.
Herzl, the founding father of modern Zionism, reached out to Vyacheslav von Plevhe, the Tsarist minister of the interior who is said to have been the brainchild behind the pogrom in Kishenev, Bessarabia during the Easter of 1903. Herzl’s goal was to convince Russia’s influential ministers to use the taxes collected from its Jewish subjects to fund emigration to Palestine and to finance any forms of negotiation with the Ottoman Empire over the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Eighteen years after Herzl’s meeting with von Plevhe in August 1903, Vladimir Jabotinsky met with Maxim Slavinsky, the ambassador of the pogromist Ukrainian leader, Symon Petlura in Prague. The idea was that Jabotinsky, the founder of the Haganah (the precursor of the the Israeli Defence Force), would organise a Zionist police force which would guard Jewish populations found in territories that Ukrainian nationalists could manage to reclaim from the Bolshevik Expeditionary Force which had run Petlura’s short-lived government out of Kiev.
Jabotinsky’s Ukrainian Pact of 1921 earned the scorn of many Jews who were aware that Petlura’s armies had been responsible for about half of the deaths of an estimated 60,000 Jews murdered in Ukraine between 1917 and 1921. But while his agreement had brought the disapprobation of members of the World Zionist Organisation, Jabotinsky, whose efforts on behalf of the allied cause during World War 1 had rendered him in the eyes of many Jews as an associate of the dreaded Tsarist government, would appropriate the words of Giuseppe Mazzini and boldly state “In working for Palestine, I would even ally myself with the devil.”
A deal with the devil is how many perceived -and still perceive- the agreement reached between elements within the Zionist movement and Nazi Germany. The Ha’avara (or Transfer) Agreement was achieved because of a coincidence of interests: The National Socialist aim of removing the Jews from Germany somewhat mirrored the Zionist goal of persuading German Jews to leave. And to Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann and Reinhard Heydrich, there appeared to be an inexorable logic to refer to themselves as “Zionist”.
Heydrich, a prominent leader of the SS is claimed to have remarked to his associates: “As a National Socialist, I am a Zionist”. And in a conversation with one Anny Stern, a survivor of Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, Eichmann, after ascertaining that Stern was a Zionist, told her “I am a Zionist too. I want every Jew to leave for Palestine.” Eichmann was quoted in a 1960 Lifemagazine article as informing Jews with whom he had dealings that if he had been a Jew, “I would have been a fanatical Zionist”.
The Ha’avara Agreement observed the following modus operandi: A German Jew would deposit money into a specific account in a German bank. The money would then be used to buy German goods for export, usually to Palestine. The Jewish emigres to Palestine would then receive payment for the goods which they had previously purchased after their final sale.
This occurred at a moment in time when the majority of world Jewry was embarked on a trade boycott against the Nazi regime, and the German Zionist-Nazi trade agreement arguably served to undermine this. It split the Zionist movement, and one consequence was the 1933 assassination of Chaim Arlosoroff in Tel Aviv soon after his return from negotiations in Germany.
While Jabotinsky had opposed any dealings with the Nazis and had sneered at Mussolini’s Fascist movement in the 1920s, as the 1930s progressed, he warmed to Italian Fascism which he began to perceive as “an ideology of racial equality”. In fact, he made an alliance between his Betar youth movement and the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini by establishing a naval training academy at Civitavecchia, a naval base north of Rome. Mussolini himself would tell David Prato, who later became Chief Rabbi of Rome that “For Zionism to succeed you need to have a Jewish state, with a Jewish flag and a Jewish language. The person who really understands that is your fascist, Jabotinsky”.
Another Zionist leader who counternanced forming an alliance with Fascist Italy was Avharam Stern. Stern was the leader of the terror group known as Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel), which is better known today by the British designation ‘The Stern Gang’. The group was formed after Stern’s release from British custody in 1940 and was an offshoot of the Irgun, the main Zionist terror group in Palestine.
While other Zionists suspended operations against the British for the duration of the war against Nazi Germany, Stern refused to do this unless the British recognised the claim for a Jewish state on both sides of the River Jordan. In his thinking, only the defeat Britain in the Middle East by an outside power would bring about a Jewish state. To this end, he sought a pact first with Fascist Italy, and, after being rebuffed, he pinned his hopes on forming an alliance with Nazi Germany.
Stern was contemptuous of liberal democracy and imbued with a volkish-like racism. The proposed pact with Nazi Germany referred to the “establishment of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis” in a new order in which there would be “cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed Volkish-national Hebrium”. The 1941 document, which was discovered among files in the German Embassy in Ankara, offered to “actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”
That is the history. And the state which came into being in 1948 has continued to nurture alliances with a range of politically extreme forces. Apart from Israel’s arrangement with eastern European Christian Nationalist parties, there is evidence of links to far-Right groups in Ukraine and a long relationship with a litany of Islamist groups.
The United States-sponsored Maidan coup which culminated in the overthrow of the elected government led by Viktor Yanukovytch, involved the use of far-Right and ultra-nationalist proxies, most, if not all of whom were Banderovsti, the name given to contemporary disciples and worshippers of Stepan Bandera, the nationalist figure whose organisation was behind the slaughter of Jewish and Polish communities during the Second World War. During that conflict, Banderites were members of specially composed Ukrainian Waffen-SS units such as the Galician, Nictengall and Roland Divisions.
Yet, Israel supplies arms to the Ukrainian military which is composed of significant elements who honour Bandera’s legacy, and whose members are unabashedly anti-Semitic in attitude and ideologically neo-Nazi. According to the founder of the militia, Andriy Biletsky, who is now a Ukrainian member of parliament, “(Ukraine’s) historic mission at this critical juncture is to lead the final march of the white race towards its survival. This is a march against sub-humans who are led by the Semite race.”
Pictures of members of the Azov Battalion, a former volunteer militia that has since been incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, posing with Israeli-made weapons incensed Israeli human rights groups who filed a petition seeking a court injunction to prevent arms exports to Ukraine. This is not the first time that the government of Israel has armed an anti-Semitic regime. Back in the 1970s, it supplied arms to the Argentinian military Junta which was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews.
It is also worth noting the involvement of Israeli citizens during the Maidan coup. Five Ukrainian Jewish emigres, who were former Israeli Defence Force soldiers, led a group of 40 street thugs in battles against the security forces of the Yanukovytch government. These street fighters belonged to the ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok had in the past spoken about liberating Ukraine from what he described as the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia”. An article in April 2013 carried by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported a cadre of Svoboda thugs wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the kikes.”
Tyahnybok would in the latter part of 2013 given a pledge to the Israeli ambassador that his party was no longer anti-Semitic. Similar assurances were given in February 2014 by the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor group to the ambassador when its leader claimed that it had rejected xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
As to what motive Israel would have beyond financial gain and diplomatic influence in Ukraine, it may be that such support is predicated on a trans-generational Jewish antipathy towards Russia, a country with which it maintains a complex relationship. But as with its links to Polish and Hungarian ruling parties, it raises the disturbing issue of the Israeli state supporting governments which seek to minimise and even deny the historical role of their nations in the calamity that befell Jews in the 20th century.
Israel has also cultivated links with Islamic extremist groups. From funding the nascent Hamas organisation so that it would serve as a counter-weight to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), to funding, arming and medically treating militia men linked to al-Qaeda who are fighting the secular government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Israel has sought to bolster its geopolitical objectives.
While such scheming may be justified on the rationale that it operates on “strong survival instincts”, it again opens up the legitimate criticism of the policies of the Zionist state being prone to short-sighted expediency and to moral contradiction.
It accuses Hamas, a group elected to power in Gaza, of being a “terrorist” body when in fact it bears a huge responsibility for its genesis into a political and military force. Israel’s role in building Hamas was admitted to by Brigadier-General Yitzhak Segev, a military governor of Gaza in the 1980s.
Its support of Islamist groups in Syria, which was recently revealed not to be limited to those located near the Golan Heights, has helped prolong a particularly cruel conflict.
The initial position that it was offering medical aid to jihadists professing the ideology of those who are said to bear responsibility for the September 11 attacks for humanitarian reasons, was exposed as patently untrue. When Efraim Halevy, a former head of Mossad, asserted that it was always useful to “deal with your enemies in a humane way”, he was challenged as to whether Israel would support the treatment of wounded Hezbollah fighters. To this, Halevy responded that while Israel has been targeted by Hezbollah, it had not been “specifically targeted by al-Qaeda.”
It should also be noted that during the Soviet-Afghan War, Israeli military intelligence was responsible for arming and training the guerillas of Herzb-i-Islami Mujahideen, one of the most hardline of the anti-Soviet Islamist groups of that war. Led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the group splintered after the war and its remnants merged into al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
From the time of its creation, Israel has worked tirelessly through multifarious channels to ensure that it has the political, economic and military backing of the United States. It has an extremely well-funded and aggressive lobby working on its behalf. One of the most critically important alliances forged by Jewish organisations and the government of Israel in the realm of American politics is that with conservative Christian Christian evangelicals.
In Christian Zionism, political Zionism again has formed an alliance with an ideological partner which ultimately is antithetical to Judaism. For while many such as John Hagee, chairman of Christians United for Israel, pledge a love for Israel, the eschatological doctrine is premised on the belief that the Jews, who rejected Jesus, will be given a final opportunity to accept Christ as their saviour and will be put to the sword if they refuse.
Arthur Balfour, whose letter to Lord Lionel Rothschild, the leader of Britain’s Jews, provided a critical step towards the creation of a Jewish homeland, was what would be termed today a Christian Zionist. Such homeland made perfect sense to a man who recoiled from the idea of Britain accepting more Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. Modern leaders of the pre-tribulationist, pre-millennial dispensationalists of the pro-Israel Christian Right have on occasion betrayed anti-Jewish sentiment. For instance, Pat Robertson, the founder of the strongly pro-Israel Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) once referred to the Jewish founder of the US Military Religious Foundation as a “little Jewish radical” for promoting secularism in the American military. Robertson had earlier claimed that Jews were too busy “polishing diamonds” to do weekend chores. His contemporary, the late Jerry Falwell once stated that “most evangelicals believe the antichrist will, by necessity, be a Jewish male”.
Yet, for Israel, nurturing American evangelicals has been a beneficial task because of the importance of the Christian Right in American politics. They have exercised influence on American foreign policy and have contributed millions of dollars to Israeli groups. Their practical use for Zionism is that they economically support those in Israel’s society who are most opposed to any form of concessions to the Palestinians and encourage the colonisation of Palestinian land by the most fanatical Jewish settlers.
While it is argued that this “long, uneasy love affair” may have peaked, the American evangelical Right is still viewed favourably by the Israel. In early 2018, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Right-wing Home Party, expressed his happiness at the relationship and was quoted as saying: “We need to use the opportunity to the best of Israel’s national interests and security.”
In Donald Trump, the current American president, Israeli interests and security are assiduously catered to. The most pro-Israel president since Lyndon Johnson has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has moved his country’s embassy to that city. He has abrogated the Five Plus One Treaty in which the United States and other world powers reached agreement with Iran to monitor its nuclear development programme. Indeed, Trump’s overarching objective in cultivating an anti-Iranian Middle East coalition, at the heart of which are Israel and Saudi Arabia, is clearly designed towards staging a military attack on Iran.
So lauded have Trump’s efforts being that Binyamin Netanyahu compared him to Cyrus the Great, the ancient Persian King who enabled the return of Jews from exile 2,500 years ago. Netanyahu also compared Trump to Lord Balfour and President Harry Truman, the former being the instigator of ‘The Balfour Declaration’ while the latter provided Israel with de facto recognition after its declaration of independence in 1948. Balfour’s anti-Semitism is well known, and while Harry Truman was largely thought of as being a philo-Semite, a posthumously revealed entry in his diary recorded that he found Jews to be “very, very selfish”. “When they have power”, he continued, “physical, financial or political, neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment for the underdog”.
While in Trump, the Jewish state has found an extremely supportive ally in the White House, it is also clear that he has purposefully courted those among his countrymen who are sympathetic to the cause of white nationalism. In doing this, he resorted to using what were considered as anti-Semitic tropes during his campaign for the presidency. There were numerous examples of this. For instance, his comments before a gathering of potential Jewish donors at the Republican Jewish Convention about them not supporting him “because I don’t want your money”, more than hinted at the stereotype of Jews controlling electoral candidates. So too was his delay in disavowing the endorsement given to him by David Duke, the former Klansman who now styles himself as a white civil rights activist. He also posted a twitter meme of Hillary Clinton implying that what he captioned “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” was backed by Jewish money. Then his final campaign advertisement, which juxtaposed images of Jewish figures in the financial world with rhetoric alluding to Jewish power (“global power structure”), effectively suggested that Jews were at the heart of America’s economic malaise.
Yet, this has not stopped influential Jewish figures such as Alan Dershowitz from offering Trump critical support because of Trump’s pro-Israel policies. Prime Minister Netanyahu has often voiced his support for Trump including his proposal to build a wall on the United States border with Mexico. “President Trump is right”, Netanyahu tweeted in January 2017. “I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”
Netanyahu’s comments came after the furore caused by using Israel as an example when forcefully putting forward his case that a wall be built on the US’s southern border. Trump’s proposal was criticised as being symptomatic of the intolerant streak running through many of his policies. Yet, many of his critics do not react in the same manner when attention is turned to Israel.
Contemporary Israel is not the bastion of tolerance which many of its advocates are fond of proclaiming. The coalition government which presently governs it is by common agreement the most Right-wing in Israeli history. It is a drift which several people foresaw in 1948 when Herut, the Right-wing nationalist party headed by former Irgun leader Menachem Begin was formed. This development was met with great dismay by many Jewish intellectuals including Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt who took it upon themselves to write an open letter to the New York Times to warn that Israel would head down a path which legitimised “ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial supremacy”.
Israel maintains a brutal occupation of what is left of Palestine in the West Bank and continues the strangulation of Gaza via a blockade, showing no moral qualms when snipers of the IDF kill and maim unarmed Palestinian protesters with little chance of breaching the system of iron wiring and moats which surround them. The colonising of West Bank continues with Palestinian land being taken by force while plans for the fresh construction of settlements are given intermittently. The Jewish settlers are then given choice land on which to reside and their security as well as day-to-day living needs are catered to. For instance, they travel on roads reserved only for Jews and have access to water resources which are increasingly in short supply to the inexorably constricted Palestinian enclaves.
In contemporary Israel, which demonises African migrants as ‘infiltrators’ -a term consistently used by Netanyahu himself- a clear majority of the population oppose the accepting of refugees. African refugees, who at a peak population of 60,000 would amount to one per cent of the 8 million Israeli population, were, because they were black and non-Jewish, claimed to pose a threat to Israel’s Jewish character. According to Miri Regev, a Likud member of the Knesset who is now culture minister, they are like a “cancer in the body”. Although she offered an apology, a poll conducted soon after her statement by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) Peace Index in May 2012, found that 52% of Israelis agreed with her.
As of writing, fewer than a dozen African migrants had been granted asylum, and Israel has consistently sought ways by which refugees can be removed or otherwise persuaded to leave: by threat of jail, deportations to third party African states, and through a regulation whereby 20 percent of their wages are retained by the state until they leave the country. In 2012, set against a rise in widespread fear and animosity over migrants who were blamed for worsening the economy and crime rates, anti-black rioting broke out in Tel-Aviv. This involved acts of vandalism, looting and firebombing. No deaths were reported, but there were many injuries.
Anti-black racism has also been directed at Ethiopian Jews, many of whom live in poverty and are socially ostracised. Some years previously, it was discovered that the Israeli state had embarked on programme of secretly sterilising Ethiopian Jewish women. They are also subjected to harassment and brutality at the hands of police. In a notorious incident in 2016, an IDF soldier of Ethiopian ethnicity was captured on camera being violently assaulted by a police officer who had threatened to put a bullet in his head.
But the passage of the nation-state law, which one Arab member of the Knesset bitterly denounced as “the end of democracy”, and “the official beginning of fascism and apartheid”, is in many respects merely consolidating a long-existing state of affairs. After all, Israel’s identification as the Jewish state found quick expression through the passage in 1950 of the Law of Return. This has intrinsically meant that the needs of its non-Jewish citizens, the approximately 21 percent Arab minority, is less of a priority than those of its Jewish citizens, and, indeed, that of the Jewish diaspora. The discrimination against and the neglect of Arab-Israeli communities was acknowledged in the report issued by the Orr Commission in 2003.
The governing Likud Party, which first came to power in 1977, and which for a lengthy period of time has returned the largest number of seats in the Knesset, is an offshoot of Begin’s Herut party, the creation of which caused such consternation in the likes of Einstein and Arendt. Likud thus traces a direct line of influence to the Revisionist Zionism of Jabotinsky, who Mussolini referred to as a “fascist”.
The ‘Iron Wall’ mentality and its values permeate Israel today. After all it was, Yair Golan then deputy chief of staff of the IDF who at a speech at the Holocaust Remembrance Day in May 2016 likened “revolting trends” in Israeli society to that of pre-Holocaust Nazi Germany. And Moshe Yaalon, a former IDF chief of staff, who resigned from his position as minister of defence prior to being replaced by the hardliner Avigdor Lieberman, said that he was “fearful for Israel’s future” given this tilt to the Right.
Israel’s embrace of the global far-Right led by Likud’s Netanyahu thus cannot be characterised solely as an expedient manoeuvre that is a continuum of the Zionist mentality aiming to perform any bargain that advances the interests if its cause. There is also a marked coherence in ideology. When Netanyahu hails the electoral victory in Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro and refers to Bolsonaro as “a true friend of the state of Israel”, and the Italian far-Right politician, Matteo Salvini as “a great friend of Israel”, his gestures have not gone unrequited. Like Netanyahu, both are nationalist and xenophobic in both philosophy and policies.
And just as Avharam Stern contemplated an ethno-Jewish state forming a part of a New Order in the Middle East which would complement the racial New Order he expected to come to fruition in a Europe under Nazi domination, Netanyahu’s actions in highlighting the commonalities between Israel and the global far-Right provides evidence of an acceptance and welcoming of a new-era form of global ethno-nationalism.
It is something Israel has sought to impose on its neighbours in the Middle East via their balkanisation into ethnic and religious mini-states, albeit that its motivation for doing this is to promote its regional hegemony. The creation of Sunni, Shia and Christian mini-states would serve not only to weaken countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but also provide a justification for Israel’s existence as an ethno-state.
The allure of ethno-nationalism to Right-wing secular and religious Jews is apparent to those in Jewish communities who have been dismayed by those Jews who offer support and succour to the extremist element of the European and North American extreme Right. Among American Orthodox Jews, the majority of whom voted for Donald Trump, there has been a noticeable spread of white nationalist sentiment. They, along with those neoconservatives such as Ben Shapiro, Joel Pollack and Dennis Prager, as well as those associated with the alt-right such as Laura Loomer who applaud and condone the typically derogatory statements directed at non-whites and Muslims by the alt-right are accused by their fellow Jews of creating the conditions which will have negative consequences for Jews.
These stances reveal a fundamental hypocrisy. For those Jewish individuals who claim to be supportive of European nationalism and North American white nationalism, so long as it is a “healthy” sort, it is often the case that they are contented only when vitriol is directed at others and not at Jews.
But even then, the support by some is not overridden by demonstrable anti-Semitism. Consider for instance the statement made by the co-leader of the German AfD who minimised the Nazi persecution of Jews when stating that the Nazi-era was a mere “speck of bird poo in over 1,000 years of successful German history”. And Ezra Levant was noticeably forgiving after Gavin McInnes, a contributor to Levant’s Rebel Media, once spoke about the Jews “ruining the world with their lies and their money and their hooked-nose bagel-eating faces”.
As noted earlier, the key reason why the embrace of the alt-Right and white nationalism by some Jews is considered to be a surprising development is because they have historically borne the brunt of attendant hatred and persecution from nationalist movements. Thus, Jewish communities have, for good reason, long being considered to be ineluctably hostile to nationalist movements, albeit that the extreme Right has traditionally maintained that leaders of organised Jewry conveniently do not extend their reservations to Jewish nationalism.
Jewish-American uneasiness about Donald Trump, whose recent statement that he was a “nationalist” was interpreted as a coded reference to the ideology of white nationalism, was expressed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) when Trump first referred to his election platform as being one of “America First”. The ADL urged him to drop his ‘America First’ campaign slogan on the grounds that it had an “anti-Semitic past”, owing to the stance of prominent members of the America First Committee such as Charles Lindbergh who asserted that Jews were pushing isolationist America towards military involvement in the European war that became World War II.
Some may be inclined to consider whether some Diaspora Jews have been lulled into a false sense of security. They have, after all, lived during an era when levels of anti-Semitism fell to record lows, are proud of their social and economic achievements, and consider themselves conservative and sufficiently distinct from the traditional extreme-Right conception of the Jew as a dangerous leftist radical. Importantly, most are white-skinned and of European (Ashkenazi) descent.
But this is, of course, not the equivalent of possessing anAriernachweis, and many would consider it to be a dangerous speculation to assume that Jewish communities will be unscathed when, amid great polarisations in society, campaigns of demonisation ensue and violence erupts.
Yet, for those Jews who support the sentiments of white nationalist hatred and contempt for non-whites, the remarks made by Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch in a sermon delivered at the Stephen Wise Synagogue after the murder of of eleven worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, present a cautionary note: “Even if we are not the immediate target of prejudice, sooner or later it will come back to the Jews anyway,” adding poignantly, “Did anyone think that an atmosphere of intolerance would bypass Jews?…that we can mark the doorposts of our house and that the angel of death can pass over us?”
They are words worth ruminating over by those Jews, whether as representatives of the Jewish state or as individuals, who enthusiastically continue to ride the tiger of white nationalism.

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