Iran Warns the ‘Israeli’ Regime Citing its History in the Region

November 28, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani advised neighboring countries to revisit their ties with the Zionist entity, not ruling out attacks against the ‘Israeli’ regime given its history in the region.

Referring to the recent anti-Iranian resolution issued at the UN Human Rights Council, Kanaani said the Islamic Republic will never cooperate with a such fact-finding mission on alleged human rights issues.

“Within the framework of its national responsibilities, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] has formed a national committee with the presence of experts, lawyers, and official and unofficial representatives, in the sense that it believes in its inherent and national responsibility,” the spokesperson stated, adding that the country is carrying out duties and comprehensive investigation in this regard.

“Therefore, the hasty use of human rights mechanisms and political approaches are rejected and will not contribute to the concept of human rights.”

The spokesman appeared on Monday with a chemical mask in his weekly press conference in reference to Germany’s support in the war imposed on Iran by Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s regime [1980-1988] and the provision of chemical weapons by the German government to the Saddam regime.

Saddam Hussein’s regime had no obstacles in using weapons and chemical bombs against the Iranians during the war, Kanaani said, adding that the western governments, including the German government, gave the chemical substances to the Iraqi Baath regime, and many crimes were committed against the people of Iran and Iraq with these weapons and equipment.

“The United Nations has clarified Germany’s role in arming Iraq with chemical substances, Germany has received 139 warnings from the United Nations regarding the sale of biological and chemical weapons,” Kanaani noted.

“The results of UN reports show that Germany has played an important role in this field, and DER Spiegel magazine has also written about this, and we have always witnessed violations of human rights and women’s rights in Germany,” he went on to say.

Meanwhile, in response to a question about the attack on an ‘Israeli’-owned oil tanker, which the Zionists accused Iran of, the spokesman rejected these accusations and said that false accusations against Iran are the goal of the Zionist regime and its other allies and if Iran does something, it is brave enough to take responsibility for it.

On the level of the Kurdistan region, Kanaani said it is part of the territory of Iraq and the Iraqi government is responsible for the security of the border lines shared by the two countries of Iran and Iraq: “We heard the news that the Iraqi government has decided to deploy its official forces on the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan. We hope that this deployment will take place. If the Iraqi government needs technical assistance in this regard, we are ready to help the Iraqi government.”

Regarding the nuclear deal, Kanaani said “The European governments that are part of the deal proved that they want to behave upon the US policies,” adding that “The Americans’ proposal implies that they don’t want to continue the negotiations, but at the same time they keep sending Iran messages.”

General Time opens the countdown for the Americans and the Israelis
The region is on the verge of major transformations in a rapidly changing world, and Palestine is the compas
Solidarity with Iran / the events of the hour in an interview with Brigadier General Dr. Amin Hoteit and the leader, Ihsan Ataya, via the Twitter platform


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UN Celebrates World’s 8 Billionth Person Regardless of 80+ Yemeni Newborns Dying Everyday

NOVEMBER 19, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

A baby born somewhere on Tuesday was the world’s 8 billionth person, a United Nations’ projection was eager to announce!

“The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

However, the UN chief’s mischief goes beyond this responsibility…

While busy counting the number of living humans on Earth, the WORLD body, whether on purpose or not, forgot about other humans who happen to be in Yemen, Palestine, and several other uncovered places on this planet.

The UN didn’t do its homework very well. The organization would have gained more respect had it done the math the way it ought to be.

Just two days later, an official with Yemen’s Health Ministry sounded the alarm that more than 80 newborn babies lose their lives on a daily basis because the war-torn country does not have the required medical equipment due to the Saudi-led war and blockade.

Najeeb al-Qubati, the undersecretary of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population for the Population Sector, announced that some 39% of babies are born premature, which shows a significant increase compared to the pre-war period.

The official said the use of prohibited weapons was one of the reasons behind the growing trend. He said several human rights organizations have already acknowledged and condemned Saudis for using such arms.

Yemeni medical centers are in need of some 2,000 incubators, he said, noting that 632 incubators have been provided so far.

Since launching the war with the support of Washington in March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has used internationally-banned weapons, including US-made cluster bombs, to target residential areas, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor.

Apart from the war, Saudi Arabia has imposed a blockade on Yemen which, combined, have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The military aggression has destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, including the health sector.

On Wednesday, the Yemeni Health Ministry said mosquito-borne diseases such as Malaria and dengue have been on the rise since the start of the war.

Speaking at a press conference in al-Huadaydah, Muhammad al-Mansour, the undersecretary of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population for the Primary Care Sector, said war and blockade were two main reasons behind the increase of epidemics and diseases in the country.

Failure to implement to malaria control program led to a rise in cases from 513,000 in 2015 to 1,100,000 in 2019, he said, noting the rate was higher in areas where citizens were displaced such as in al-Hudaydah.

Malaria and dengue fever claimed the lives of more than 260,000 Yemenis between 2015 and 2019, he said, naming the closure of ports which has led to delays in the arrival of equipment and medicine as one of the leading factors.

In September, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported that the Ministry of Public Health and Population had confirmed the Saudi-led blockade had raised acute malnutrition cases to more than 632,000 children under the age of five and 1.5 million pregnant and lactating women.

“The siege and intense bombardment with prohibited weapons caused a high rate of congenital abnormalities and miscarriages, with an average of 350,000 miscarriages and 12,000 malformations,” it said. According to the ministry, the siege led to an eight-percent increase in premature births compared to the situation before the war.

The blockade has also increased the number of cancer patients by 50 percent. The figure showed 46,204 cases registered during the year 2021.

The ministry said the Saudi-led war had destroyed 162 health facilities completely or 375 partially and put them out of work.

The objective of the war was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

Not only has the Saudi-led coalition failed to meet its objectives, it has also killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and created what the UN calls the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis.”

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90% of the Syrian People Living Below Poverty

 ARABI SOURI 

No thanks to the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people by the US-led camp of humanitarian hypocrites, 90 percent of the Syrians live under the poverty line, the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights Alena Douhan said concluding her 12 days visit to Syria.

NATO countries continue to occupy large areas of Syria, namely the United States of America and Turkey, and coincidentally or purposely the areas they occupy are the country’s resource-rich areas considered the food basket and the main source of water, oil, and gas, stealing these much-needed essentials and depriving the Syrian people of their own food and fuel.

“I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war.”
UN Rappporteur Alena Duhan

The once self-sufficient Syrian nation exporting food, medicine, and a wide range of products to dozens of countries around the world is now having “limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, cooking, and heating fuel, transportation, and healthcare with the country facing a massive brain-drain due to growing economic hardship,” the UN expert added.

The UN rapporteur spent 12 days across the country and concluded her findings by attributing the hardship to the ‘blocking of payments and refusal of deliveries by foreign producers and banks, coupled with sanctions-induced limited foreign currency reserves.’

“With more than half of the vital infrastructure either completely destroyed or severely damaged, the imposition of unilateral sanctions on key economic sectors, including oil, gas, electricity, trade, construction, and engineering have quashed national income, and undermine efforts towards economic recovery and reconstruction.

Previous similar calls by United Nations officials were made to lift the unilateral coercive measures dubbed wrongly as sanctions imposed on the Syrian people with no attention from those imposing those measures, instead:

“I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding, and reconstruction.”

It is strange that this report has not been given the attention it needed despite the fact that the man-made suffering is inflicted on over 20 million human beings who have done nothing to harm those inflicting that suffering on them, namely the United States of America and its UK, Canada, and Australia lackeys, and its European Union vassal states.

Not only does the United States of America impose its coercive measures on Syrian institutions, but it also extended its measures against third parties dealing with Syrian institutions which prevented hesitant companies including state-owned companies in countries presumably allied with Syria in the war on the US-sponsored terrorism, from doing business with Syria, despite the fact that they themselves are targeted by the fading US empire.

The same countries that are flooding the world’s arenas with crocodile tears over the suffering of the Ukrainian people they caused by starting the conflict with Russia in 2014 are inflicting more severe suffering on the Syrian people in addition to commanding terrorist organizations, the likes of al Qaeda and ISIS (ISIL – Daesh) to kill, maim, and kidnap Syrians.


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No pain, no grain: Putin’s Black Sea comeback

After the western military attack on Sevastopol briefly halted Russian grain transports, Moscow is back in business with a stronger hand and more favorable terms.

November 02 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

So, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan picks up the phone and calls his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin: let’s talk about the “grain deal.” Putin, cool, calm and collected, explains the facts to the Sultan:

First, the reason why Russia withdrew from the export grain deal.

Second, how Moscow seeks a serious investigation into the – terrorist – attack on the Black Sea fleet, which for all practical purposes seems to have violated the deal.

And third, how Kiev must guarantee it will uphold the deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN.

Only then would Russia consider coming back to the table.

And then – today, 2 November – the coup de theatre: Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) announces the country is back to the Black Sea grain deal, after receiving the necessary written guarantees from Kiev.

The MoD, quite diplomatically, praised the “efforts” of both Turkey and the UN: Kiev is committed not to use the “Maritime Humanitarian Corridor” for combat operations, and only in accordance with the provisions of the Black Sea Initiative.

Moscow said the guarantees are sufficient “for the time being.” Implying that can always change.

All rise to the Sultan’s persuasion

Erdogan must have been extremely persuasive with Kiev. Before the phone call to Putin, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) had already explained that the attack on the Black Sea Fleet was conducted by 9 aerial drones and 7 naval drones, plus an American RQ-4B Global Hawk observation drone lurking in the sky over neutral waters.

The attack happened under the cover of civilian ships and targeted Russian vessels that escorted the grain corridor in the perimeter of their responsibility, as well as the infrastructure of the Russian base in Sevastopol.

The MoD explicitly designated British experts deployed in the Ochakov base in the Nikolaev region as the designers of this military operation.

At the UN Security Council, Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzya declared himself “surprised” that the UN leadership “failed not only to condemn, but even to express concern over the terrorist attacks.”

After stating that the Brit-organized Kiev operation on the Black Sea Fleet “put an end to the humanitarian dimension of the Istanbul agreements,” Nebenzya also clarified:

“It is our understanding that the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine agreed on under UN supervision on 22 July, must not be implemented without Russia, and so we do not view the decisions that were made without our involvement as binding.”

This means, in practice, that Moscow “cannot allow for unimpeded passage of vessels without our inspection.” The crucial question is how and where these inspections will be carried out – as Russia has warned the UN that it will definitely inspect dry cargo ships in the Black Sea.

The UN, for its part, tried at best to put on a brave face, believing Russia’s suspension is “temporary” and looking forward to welcoming “its highly professional team” back to the Joint Coordination Center.

According to humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths, the UN also proclaims to be “ready to address concerns.” And that has to be soon, because the deal reaches its 120-day extension point on November 19.

Well, “addressing concerns” is not exactly the case. Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia Dmitry Polyansky said that at the UN Security Council meeting western nations simply could not deny their involvement in the Sevastopol attack; instead, they simply blamed Russia.

All the way to Odessa

Prior to the phone call with Erdogan, Putin had already pointed out that “34 percent of the grain exported under the deal goes to Turkey, 35 percent to EU countries and only 3-4 percent to the poorest countries. Is this what we did everything for?”

That’s correct. For instance, 1.8 million tons of grain went to Spain; 1.3 million tons to Turkey; and 0.86 million tons to Italy. By contrast, only 0,067 tons went to “starving” Yemen and 0,04 tons to “starving” Afghanistan.

Putin made it very clear that Moscow was not withdrawing from the grain deal but had only suspended its participation.

And as a further gesture of good will, Moscow announced it would willingly ship 500,000 tons of grain to poorer nations for free, in an effort to replace the integral amount that Ukraine should have been able to export.

All this time, Erdogan skillfully maneuvered to convey the impression he was occupying the higher ground: even if Russia behaves in an “indecisive” manner, as he defined it, we will continue to pursue the grain deal.

So, it seems like Moscow was being tested – by the UN and by Ankara, which happens to be the main beneficiary of the grain deal and is clearly profiting from this economic corridor. Ships continue to depart from Odessa to Turkish ports – mainly Istanbul – without Moscow’s agreement. It was expected they would be “filtered” by Russia when coming back to Odessa.

The immediate Russian means of pressure was unleashed in no time: preventing Odessa from becoming a terrorist infrastructure node. This means constant visits by cruise missiles.

Well, the Russians have already “visited” the Ochakov base occupied by Kiev and the British experts. Ochakov – between Nikolaev and Odessa – was built way back in 2017, with key American input.

The British units that were involved in the sabotage of the Nord Streams – according to Moscow – are the same ones that planned the Sevastopol operation. Ochakov is constantly spied upon and sometimes hit out of positions that the Russians have cleared last month only 8 km to the south, on the extremity of the Kinburn peninsula. And yet the base has not been totally destroyed.

To reinforce the “message,” the real response to the attack on Sevastopol has been this week’s relentless “visits” of Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure; if maintained, virtually the whole of Ukraine will soon be plunged into darkness.

Closing down the Black Sea

The attack on Sevastopol may have been the catalyst leading to a Russian move to close down the Black Sea – with Odessa converted into an absolutely priority for the Russian Army. There are serious rumblings across Russia on why Russophone Odessa had not been the object of pinpointed targeting before.

Top infrastructure for Ukrainian Special Forces and British advisers is based in Odessa and Nikolaev. Now there’s no question these will be destroyed.

Even with the grain deal in theory back on track, it is hopeless to expect Kiev to abide by any agreements. After all, every major decision is taken either by Washington or by the Brits at NATO. Just like bombing the Crimea Bridge, and then the Nord Streams, attacking the Black Sea Fleet was designed as a serious provocation.

The brilliant designers though seem to have IQs lower than refrigerator temperatures: every Russian response always plunges Ukraine deeper down an inescapable – and now literally black – hole.

The grain deal seemed to be a sort of win-win. Kiev would not contaminate Black Sea ports again after they were demined. Turkey turned into a grain transport hub for the poorest nations (actually that’s not what happened: the main beneficiary was the EU). And sanctions on Russia were eased on the export of agricultural products and fertilizers.

This was, in principle, a boost for Russian exports. In the end, it did not work out because many players were worried about possible secondary sanctions.

It is important to remember that the Black Sea grain deal is actually two deals: Kiev signed a deal with Turkey and the UN, and Russia signed a separate deal with Turkey.

The corridor for the grain carriers is only 2 km wide. Minesweepers move in parallel along the corridor. Ships are inspected by Ankara. So the Kiev-Ankara-UN deal remains in place. It has nothing to do with Russia – which in this case does not escort and/or inspect the cargoes.

What changes with Russia “suspending” its own deal with Ankara and the UN, is that from now on, Moscow can proceed anyway it deems fit to neutralize terrorist threats and even invade and take over Ukrainian ports: that will not represent a violation of the deal with Ankara and the UN.

So in this respect, it is a game-changer.

Seems like Erdogan fully understood the stakes, and told Kiev in no uncertain terms to behave. There’s no guarantee, though, that western powers won’t come up with another Black Sea provocation. Which means that sooner or later – perhaps by the Spring of 2023 – General Armageddon will have to come up with the goods. That translates as advancing all the way to Odessa.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

November 2, 2022 

By Sarraa Al-Shahari

The crises resulting from the Saudi-led aggression and blockade on Yemen don’t seem to be ending. The truce has ended without a true humanitarian relief to the Yemenis’ sufferings. The forces of the coalition of aggression, along with the United Nations, were more unjust than sparing those people a window for life after more than seven years of their tight siege and aggression.

The Yemenis are circulating news of embryological malformation at an unprecedented pace. To tackle the issue, Al-Ahed News lens documented some cases at the Sabeen Hospital in the capital, which is the first standard maternity and childhood hospital in Yemen.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

It was astonishing to see a premature baby, who was born in the seventh month of pregnancy, and came to life with several malformation in the head, the neck, the back, and the limbs. His pain didn’t have the chance to be embraced by his mother, as his deteriorating health condition requires to be kept inside the incubator.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

Doctors soon brought another baby with a swollen belly. The doctor diagnosed his case as having a colonic malformation.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

Such horrible cases weren’t reported before the war. It was very rare to have a malformed baby or an early delivery.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

Other incubators were full of premature babies whose malformations are complicated and spread all over their body organs.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

The incubators were full of children who came to life with malformations resulting from the criminality of the American-Saudi aggression. They had in their inside and outside alike scars that pain the heart.

Record Embryological Malformation in Yemen Due to The Saudi Use of Internationally Prohibited Weapons

The Intensive Care staff confirmed to Al-Ahed News that they receive similar cases on a daily basis, with the Health Ministry being unable to finalize an accurate survey to the ongoing war. An earlier report by the Health Ministry, published in August, emphasized that the blockade and the heavy bombardment of internationally prohibited weapons, have led to the rise in the congenital anomalies and miscarriages at the level of 350,000 miscarriages and 12000 malformed cases.

In a visit to one of the hospitals in the capital we discovered this number of cases, so what is the size of the nationwide catastrophe that the aggression has committed against the future generations? Who will bear the repercussions? And when will the aggression stop stealing the rights of the Yemeni people in front of the hypocrite world’s eyes?

The continued closure of Sana’a International Airport has tragic effects that threaten the lives of many, such as the case of thalassemia patients

Australia’s Jerusalem Reversal Marks the Death of Trump’s « Deal of the Century »

INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Feature photo | Protesters burn effigies of pictures of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and U.S. President Donald Trump, during a demonstration against the United Arab Emirates’ deal with Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Aug. 14, 2020. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Ramzy Baroud
US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” was meant to represent a finality of sorts, an event reminiscent of Francis Fukuyama’s premature declaration of the “End of History” and the uncontested supremacy of western capitalism. In effect, it was a declaration that “we” – the US, Israel, and a few allies – have won, and “you”, isolated and marginalized Palestinians, lost.

In the same way, Fukuyama failed to consider the unceasing evolution of history, the US and Israeli governments also failed to understand that the Middle East, in fact, the world, is not governed by Israeli expectations and American diktats.

The above is a verifiable assertion. On October 17, the Australian government announced that it is revoking its 2018 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Expectedly, the new decision, officially made by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, was strongly criticized by Israel, celebrated by Palestinians, and welcomed by Arab countries who praised the responsible diplomacy of Canberra.

Any serious analysis of the Australian move, however, must not be confined to Australia’s own political shifts but must be extended to include the dramatic changes underway in Palestine, the Middle East, and, indeed, the world.

For many years, but especially since the US invasion of Iraq as part of the politically-motivated “war on terror”, Washington perceived itself as the main, if not the only, power that is able to shape political outcomes in the Middle East. Yet, as its Iraq quagmire began destabilizing the entire region, with revolts, social upheavals, and wars breaking out, Washington began losing its grip.

It was then rightly understood that, while the US may succeed in waging wars, as it did in Iraq and Libya, it is unable to restore even a small degree of peace and stability. Though Trump seemed disinterested in engaging in major military conflicts, he converted that energy to facilitate the rise of Israel as a regional power, which is incorporated into the Middle East’s political and economic grids through a process of political “normalization”, which is wholly delinked from the struggle in Palestine or the freedom of the Palestinians.

The Americans were so confident in their power to orchestrate such a major political transformation to the extent that Jared Kushner – Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law – was revealed to have attempted to cancel the very status of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, an attempt that was met with a decisive Jordanian rejection.

Kushner’s arrogance reached the point that, in January 2020, he declared that his father-in-law’s plan was such a “great deal” which, if rejected by Palestinians, “they’re going to screw up another opportunity like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence”.

All of this hubris was joined with many American concessions to Israel, whereby Washington virtually fulfilled all Israeli wishes. The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem was merely the icing on the cake of a much larger political scheme that included the financial boycott of Palestinians, the cancellation of funds that benefited Palestinian refugees, the recognition of the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights as part of Israel and the support of Tel Aviv’s decision to annex much of the occupied West Bank.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies had hoped that, as soon as Washington carried out such moves, many other countries would follow, and that, in no time, Palestinians would find themselves friendless, broke, and irrelevant.

This was hardly the case, and what started with a bang ended with a whimper. Though the Biden administration still refuses to commit to any new “peace process”, it has largely avoided engaging in Trump’s provocative politics. Not just that, the Palestinians are anything but isolated, and Arab countries remain united, at least officially, in the centrality of Palestine to their collective political priorities.

In April 2021, Washington restored funding to the Palestinians, including money allocated to the UN refugee agency, UNRWA. It did not do so for charitable reasons, of course, but because it wanted to ensure the allegiance of the Palestinian Authority, and to remain a relevant political party in the region. Even then, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas, still declared, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan on October 12, that “we [Palestinians] don’t trust America”.

Moreover, the annexation scheme, at least officially, did not go through. The rejection of any Israeli steps that could change the legal status of the occupied Palestinian territories proved unpopular with most UN members, including most of Israel’s western allies.

Australia remained the exception, but not for long. Unsurprisingly, Canberra’s reversal of its earlier decision regarding the status of Jerusalem earned it much criticism in Tel Aviv. Four years following its initial policy shift, Australia shifted yet once more, as it found it more beneficial to realign itself with the position of most world capitals than to that of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has failed simply because neither Washington nor Tel Aviv had enough political cards to shape a whole new reality in the Middle East. Most parties involved, Trump, Netanyahu, Scott Morrison in Australia, and a few others, were simply playing a political game linked to their own interests at home. Similarly, the currently embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss is now jumping on the bandwagon of relocating the British embassy to Jerusalem so that she may win the approval of pro-Israel politicians. The move further demonstrates her lack of political experience and, regardless of what Westminster decides to do next, it will unlikely greatly affect the political reality in Palestine and the Middle East.

In the final analysis, it has become clear that the “Deal of the Century” was not an irreversible historical event, but an opportunistic and thoughtless political process that lacked a deep understanding of history and the political balances that continue to control the Middle East.

Another important lesson to be gleaned from all of this is that, as long as the Palestinian people continue to resist and fight for their freedom and as long as international solidarity continues to grow around them, the Palestinian cause will remain central to all Arabs and to all conscientious people around the world.


Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. His other books include “My Father was a Freedom Fighter” and “The Last Earth”. Baroud is a non-resident senior research fellow at the centre for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is ramzybaroud.net

Aoun and Lapid Sign Maritime Deal, Eyes on Naqoura ahead of S. Nasrallah Speech-Hochstein Refuses to Take Al-Manar Reporter’s Question (Video)

October 27, 2022

Lebanese President Michel Aoun and US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein at Baabda Palace (Thursday, October 27, 2022)

Lebanese President Michel Aoun signed on Thursday the official US letter on maritime deal, ahead of an official ceremony at the southern town of Naqoura. Meanwhile, eyes are on Beirut’s Dahiyeh where Hezbollah Secretary General is to deliver a speech that likely will address the deal.

US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein, who arrived in Beirut late Wednesday, handed over the official letter on the deal to President Aoun, who signed on the deal.

The meeting in Baabda Palace was attended by Deputy House Speaker Elias Bou Saab, who led the indirect negotiation, and caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

After the meeting with President Aoun, Hochstein described Thursday as a “historic day”, saying the deal would “provide stability on both sides of the border.”

Talking to reporters, Hochstein affirmed that “there are no clauses in the demarcation deal that would delay Lebanon’s exploration for energy.”

UN peacekeepers at UNIFIL post in Lebanese southern town of Naqoura (photo from June 2022).

Hochstein Meets Mikati, Berri

Hochstein then reached the Grand Serail, where he met with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who thanked Hochstein for his efforts in brokering the deal, hoping that Lebanon would soon benefit from its offshore gas and oil resources.

After that, the US mediator headed to Ain El-Tineh to meet Speaker Nabih Berri.

Afternoon, Hochstein will attend the ceremony in Naqoura, where a ceremony to sign the deal will be held.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported that during ceremony, delegations representing Lebanon and the Zionist entity will sign the deal in separate rooms.

Sources told AL-Manar that the Lebanese delegation to Naqoura includes: Lebanese Presidency Director-General Antoine Choucair, Lebanese Government Coordinator with UNIFIL Brigadier General Mounir Chehade, Member of Lebanese Petroleum Administration Wissam Chbat and the Legal Adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmad Arafa.

“Lebanon is not expected to sign the agreement until after the Israel side does so,” Al-Akhbar said, adding that once the deal is inked, Beirut and Tel Aviv will send letters to the United Nations laying out the terms of the deal.

‘Israel’ Approves Maritime Deal

On the other hand, the Israeli cabinet approved the US-brokered maritime deal, as Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed it.

Israeli PM Yair Lapid signs the US-brokered maritime deal (Thursday, October 27, 2022).

“It is not every day that an enemy state recognizes the State of Israel, in a written agreement, in view of the entire international community,” Lapid said at the start of the special cabinet meeting to vote on the deal.

“This agreement strengthens and fortifies Israel’s security and our freedom of action against Hezbollah and the threats from the north. There is a rare consensus from the whole defense establishment on the importance of the agreement,” Lapid said, adding that the deal was also an economic achievement.

Lapid signed the agreement shortly after the cabinet vote.

د. وسيم بزي: من الآن يمكننا القول إنَّ لبنان أصبح بلداً نفطياً/ مانشيت صوت المدى

Hochstein Refuses to Take Al-Manar Reporter’s Question (Video)

 October 27, 2022

Al-Manar correspondent Hasan Hamazeh among reporters at Baabda Palace as US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein delivers remarks (Thursday, October 27, 2022).

US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein rejected to take a question by Al-Manar correspondent while talking to reporters after a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday.

Al-Manar’s Hasan Hamzeh took permission from Baabda Palace officials to ask Hochstein. When he started to say that the microphone is with him and that he would pose a question, US Ambassador Dorothy Shea instantly asked Rafik Chalala, the head of the Presidency’s press office, if the reporter who was talking was Al-Manar reporter.

When Shea was sure that Hamzeh was our correspondent she whispered to Hochstein, who ignored the question.

Hochstein Refuses to Take Al-Manar Reporter’s Question (Video)

Hamzeh added, meanwhile, that he was requested to move away the microphone which holds the logo of Al-Manar.

Hochstein was in Baabda Palace, where he handed over the official maritime deal between Lebanon and the Zionist entity to President Michel Aoun who signed the deal.

After leaving Baabda, Hochstein headed to the southern town of Naqoura, where a ceremony to sign the deal will be held.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported that during ceremony, Lebanese and Israeli delegations will sign the deal in separate rooms.

“Lebanon is not expected to sign the agreement until after the Israel side does so,” Al-Akhbar said, adding that once the deal is inked, Beirut and Tel Aviv will send letters to the United Nations laying out the terms of the deal.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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UN Renews Call on ‘Israel’ to End Administrative Detention of Palestinian Activists

 October 22, 2022

Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric (photo from archive).

The United Nations renewed its call on the Israeli regime to end the illegal practice of administrative detention of Palestinian activists.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, said in a press briefing on Friday that the United Nations has repeatedly called on the Zionist entity to end the practice of administrative detention of Palestinians, either by releasing or charging them.

Asked by a reporter about the continuous Israeli administrative detention of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri, who was on hunger strike along with 29 other Palestinian administrative detainees demanding an end to their illegal incarceration, Dujarric said that the Secretary-General is closely following the case of Hammouri and other Palestinian administrative detainees.

“We are closely following the situation of Mr. Hammouri and other Palestinian administrative detainees held by Israel. We’re aware that there is about 30 detainees, including him, who’ve recently ended their hunger strike, which had been going on since September. And obviously, we have… as you know, we have repeatedly called for Israel to end the practice of administration detainees by either releasing people or charging them when there are grounds to do so,” he said.

This call comes in the wake of a statement issued by human rights experts last week on the situation of Palestinian detainees, expressing their deep concern about the widespread misuse of administrative and criminal law procedures by the Israeli occupation, and its use of confidential information against Palestinians, including human rights defenders such as Hammouri.

They stressed that the occupation authorities targeted Hammouri during the past 20 years with harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention and other forms of violations, noting that retaliatory measures against him intensified after he became a human rights defender and lawyer defending the rights of prisoners through Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, one of six Palestinian civil society organizations that the Israeli authorities have been harassing for exposing their illegal practices and eventually deemed them illegal and forced them shut.

The 30 administrative detainees suspended on October 13 their hunger strike, which lasted for 19 days, to give a chance to the prisoners’ representatives to address their issue with the Israeli authorities.

More than 780 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention without charge or trial; including at least six minors and two women.

Source: Agencies

65 Organizations Call on New UN Human Rights Chief to Prioritize Palestine

October 19, 2022

Volker Türk is the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (Photo: Jean Marc Ferré, via UNHCR Website)

Dozens of Palestinian and international organizations have called on the new UN human rights chief to prioritize the human rights situation in Palestine.

In a letter on Monday, the organizations welcomed new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, who officially began his new role that day.

Among the 65 signatories were the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer and legal NGO Al-Haq, in addition to Jewish Voice for Peace and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK.

“The Palestinian people [have been] denied their right to self-determination, they have been enduring over seven decades of Israel’s settler-colonialism and apartheid, and 55 years of belligerent occupation,” the organizations wrote.

“Gaza residents [have been] surviving in near-unliveable circumstances for 15 years, and Palestinian refugees [are] unable to exercise their right of return.”

The groups said they want the human rights situation in Palestine to be at the top of Türk’s agenda.

“For far too long, the question of Palestine has been treated as an exception to the implementation of international law,” they added.

The letter raised Israel’s use of administrative detention against Palestinians, which allows it to jail detainees indefinitely without charge.

Moreover, the letter addressed the 5,330 Palestinians killed by Israel’s “five full-scale military offensives” in Gaza between 2008 and 2022. It also drew attention to the recent increase in its military incursions into occupied West Bank cities.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

No ceasefire extension with Saudi Arabia until all our demands are met: Yemen FM

Sanaa is demanding full access to its territorial rights and resources at a time when the west is fearful that a new escalation could further shrink Saudi and Emirati oil exports

October 12 2022

Supporters of Yemen’s Huthi rebels attend a rally, marking the sixth anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen, in the capital Sanaa on March 26, 2021. – A Saudi-led military coalition entered Yemen in March 2015 with the goal of restoring its “legitimate” government to power after the Huthis and their allies took over Sanaa. (Photo by Mohammed HUWAIS / AFP)

ByNews Desk- 

Yemeni Foreign Minister in the National Salvation Government (NSG), Hisham Sharaf, said on 11 October that there will be no talks about extending the UN-brokered truce with the Saudi-led coalition until Sanaa’s “legitimate demands are fully met.”

He made the comments during a meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Joyce Msuya.

Sharaf highlighted that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are fully aware of Sanaa’s demands, which include using Yemen’s oil revenue to pay the salaries of the state employees and setting the stage to begin peace negotiations.

“We do not accept a situation where Yemeni people are caught between war and peace,” the Yemeni foreign minister said, adding that Sanaa wants to lead the country “away from any foreign tutelage or dictates.”

Sharaf pointed out that the Saudi-led coalition’s continued seizure of fuel shipments headed for the port of Hodeidah – and the failure to open Sanaa airport completely and to more destinations – have worsened an already dire humanitarian situation across Yemen.

His words came one day before the coalition seized a new fuel ship headed towards Hodeidah despite it passing UN inspections.

The Yemeni official also asked the UN to step up its humanitarian programs and provide the Arab world’s poorest nation with more food and medical supplies.

For her part, Msuya underlined that Yemen remains a high priority for the UN, and called for the political settlement of the conflict in Yemen.

A UN-brokered truce between the Saudi-led coalition and Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance group expired at the start of October, six months after it was first implemented.

On 11 October, Lebanese daily Al Akhbar cited well-informed sources in Sanaa as saying that Oman has been making headway in mediating the dispute between Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition.

The report also cites experts as saying they expect Muscat’s efforts to achieve a breakthrough under the “heavy support” of the US and the UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg.

Diplomatic sources reportedly confirmed that “regional and international powers” have pressured the Yemeni side to revive the truce agreement.

This new pressure on Yemen is allegedly a result of the recent oil supply cut by OPEC+, as Washington is now fearful of any repercussions a military escalation by Sanaa would have on Saudi and Emirati energy supplies, at a time when the west is struggling to keep fuel prices down.

A tour of the US envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, to move the file to extend the armistice

European Spyware Investigators Slam “Israeli” Regime Over Sale of Pegasus

 September 23, 202

By Staff, Agencies

European Parliament, which is investigating the use of “Israeli” spyware by EU governments, has slammed the Tel Aviv regime for a lack of transparency in allowing the sale of Pegasus to European governments to use it against critics.

The European lawmakers condemned the approach of the Polish government for refusing to meet and talk with them during the meeting of the fact-finding committee in Warsaw, which ended on Wednesday.

“It is regrettable and we condemn the fact that the Polish authorities did not want to cooperate with our investigation committee,” Jeroen Lenaers, the head of the delegation, said at a news conference in Warsaw.

“We think it also is a telling sign of the complete lack of importance this government attaches to checks and balances, to democratic scrutiny, and to dialog with elected representatives.”

The European Union’s fact-finding committee is investigating the use of the entity’s Pegasus spyware and other invasive surveillance tools by the European governments, saying the technology poses a serious threat to democracy in European countries.

Pegasus is “Israeli” spyware that was designed and developed by the entity’s NSO group and is used to break into mobile phones and spy on a large part of personal information including text messages, passwords, locations, and microphone and camera receivers.

The “Israeli” company marketed this technology as a tool to target its desired targets in the world.

Many European governments have used this controversial software to suppress dissidents, journalists, and political opponents around the world.

In Europe, some cyber detectives have found traces of the use of Pegasus or some other spyware in Poland, Hungary, Spain, and Greece.

Sophie in ’t Veld, the rapporteur of the inquiry, said the committee found out in its research that the NSO group sold this spyware to 14 European Union member states with official permission from Tel Aviv.

According to reports, Poland and Hungary are not allowed to buy this spyware from NSO due to some political issues, details of which remain unclear.

“Why can we not say with certainty that Poland was one of the two countries of which the contract has been terminated?” she said.

“Why is it that NSO is allowed to operate in the European Union, conduct its finances through Luxembourg, sell its products to now 12 member states, products that have been used to violate the rights of European citizens and to attack democracy of the European Union?”

Recently, Greece revealed that Nikos Androulakis, a member of the European Parliament and the head of the third largest political party in Greece, was monitored using Predator software last year when he was running for the leadership of the PASOK party.

It is said that a journalist from Mali was also under surveillance.

Recently, it was revealed that Poland, Hungary, and some Catalan separatists in Spain were using this software to suppress their critics and opponents.

The 10-member delegation of the EU’s fact-finding committee during its trip that began on Monday met with Poles targeted by the Pegasus spyware, including a prosecutor and a senator, and some members of the opposition-controlled Senate.

A report of the obtained results as well as some recommendations and solutions are supposed to be published on November 8 of this year.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned of the threat posed by spying programs such as the Pegasus spyware to UN human rights activists in a report to be released next week.

In recent days, Pegasus and some other spyware have threatened a group of UN human rights activists.

Guterres warned that the increase in digital surveillance by governments and some non-governmental sources has affected the activities of civil society activists in providing reliable information to the world body and has made them vulnerable to fear and threats of retaliation.

“United Nations actors have pointed to growing and concerning evidence of online surveillance, privacy intrusion, and cyberattacks by state and non-state actors of victims and civil society communications and activities,” the UN chief noted.

“The lack of trust in the digital sphere among those sharing information and testimony with the United Nations on sensitive issues can discourage future cooperation.”

The findings are part of an annual report that tracks the challenges facing those seeking to work with the organization and focuses on April 2021 to May 2022.

During this period, much of the UN’s activities following the Covid-19 pandemic have gone digital, and at the same time, espionage threats have increased.

According to UN officials, this software has also spied on the activities of Palestinian, Bahraini, and Moroccan organizations and some human rights activists of the UN during this period.

In his recent report, Guterres warned that in 2021, the mobile phones of employees of three prominent Palestinian NGOs – Addameer, Al-Haq, and Bisan Center for Research and Development – were hacked using Pegasus spyware.

The “Israeli” NSO Group has earned notoriety for trying to have its spy apparatuses maintain an edge over their international counterparts.

The regime makes extensive use of Pegasus and other locally-made spyware for espionage.

According to observers, Tel Aviv has treated NSO as a de-facto arm of the regime, granting licenses for the sale of the spyware to countries to forge stronger security and diplomatic ties.

In January, the New York Times reported that the FBI had purchased Pegasus software in 2019.

It also stated that in 2018 the CIA had purchased Pegasus for the government of Djibouti to conduct counterterrorism operations, despite that country’s record of torturing political opposition figures and imprisoning journalists.

‘The Palestinian View’ – with Ramzy Baroud: Will the UN Deliver Justice for Palestine? (VIDEO)

September 21, 2022

Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In the latest Palestine Chronicle episode of the “Palestinian View’, Ramzy Baroud raises the question “Will the United Nations Finally Deliver Justice for Palestine?”

Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. 

To understand the historical context of this issue and to offer your own opinion, make sure to watch and share the Palestine Chronicle’s latest production. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

Biden: Nuclear war cannot be won, must never be fought

21 Sep 2022 20:53

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The US President claims that the United States does not seek conflict with China or a new Cold War.

US President Joe Biden during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York (Reuters)

    US President Joe Biden accused Wednesday Russia of violating the core tenets of membership in the United Nations over the war in Ukraine, claiming that Moscow was making “irresponsible” threats to use nuclear weapons.

    During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Biden criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war.

    “Again, just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe, in a reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the nonproliferation regime,” Biden said.

    “A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter,” the US President claimed.

    Earlier, Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia as the war in Ukraine has now lasted for almost seven months.

    “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” Biden said.

    The US President claimed that Russia was not threatened by any side and that Moscow had sought conflict, vowing that the United States would stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

    US does not seek ‘Cold War’ or ‘conflict’ with China

    Regarding the ongoing tensions with China, Biden told the United Nations that the United States does not seek “conflict” with China or a new Cold War.

    “Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China. As we manage shifting geopolitical trends, the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader,” he said.

    He also claimed that “we do not seek conflict. We do not seek a Cold War. We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner.”

    Nuclear wars ‘cannot be won,’ US ready to negotiate arms treaties

    In a different context, Biden warned that nuclear wars “cannot be won” and claimed that Washington is ready to pursue arms control measures.

    “A nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought,” Biden told the UN General Assembly, saying that Moscow made “irresponsible nuclear threats.”

    “The United States is ready to pursue critical armed control measures,” said Biden, vowing that Washington will not allow Tehran to obtain atomic weapons, which the Iranian President denied seeking only a few hours earlier at the same session. 

    Americans ‘stand with the brave women of Iran’

    Regarding the case of young Iranian journalist, Mahsa Amini, Biden claimed that Americans “stand with the brave women of Iran.”

    “Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights,” the US President told the UNGA, completely disregarding Iranian reports and CCTV footage which clearly show that Amini was not touched by the police officer and that her death was the result of a medical condition she is suffering from. 

    Biden supports expanding UN Security Council

    Furthermore, Biden indicated that Washington supports the expansion of the UN Security Council to better represent areas including Africa and Latin America.

    “The United States supports increasing the number of both permanent and non-permanent representatives of the council,” he said, adding that “this includes permanent seats for those nations we’ve long supported — permanent seats for countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean. The United States is committed to this vital work.”

    Biden calls for the extension of grain deal

    During his speech, Biden said, “The United States will work with every nation, including our competitors, to solve global problems like climate change. Climate diplomacy is not a favor to the United States or any other nation and walking away hurts the entire world.”

    Biden said that US sanctions allow Russia to export food and fertilizer, claiming that it was “Russia’s war that is worsening food insecurity.”

    He also called for the extension of the July grain deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, which allowed Ukraine to resume Black Sea food and fertilizer exports.

    Read more: Iran that was a victim of terrorism became a haven of security: Raisi

    MORE ON THE TOPIC:

    Faina Savenkova about the Ukronazi website “peacemaker

    September 08, 2022

    Source

    Yesterday, a press conference was held in Moscow by Mira Terada’s Foundation to Battle Injustice, attended by Western journalists working in the Donbass. The details of these journalists, like mine, are listed on the website myrotvorets.center (ukr. Peacemaker). I know many of them and they, like me, are in danger. Because they tell the truth about what is happening in our country. When a year ago my data became public and I was called an enemy of Ukraine and a “Kremlin special operation”, I reacted to it in the media in the best possible way. Many thought my actions were useless, nonsense.

    But be that as it may, I tried to do everything I could to make this story known to the world. I know it’s a long and difficult road, but the fact that the UN has heard about it, that human rights activists have looked into it, that journalists have talked about it – that’s a small success. Yes, I’m just a teenager who doesn’t know anything about politics or public relations, and I don’t think children should do that, but if adults aren’t being heard, children should try to tell the world the truth. I don’t know if much has been achieved yet, but in Germany, Europe and America people are starting to talk about it.

    Oliver Stone’s producer, Yuri Lopotenok, whose details are also on this website, is talking about it in his programmes. And that’s great. I don’t know how the war with the “peacemaker” (myrotvorets.centre) will end, but the most important thing is that I am no longer alone and the quiet voice of a child is heard by adults. So it was not all in vain. I really wish that the people whose details are on this website would speak up so that parents whose children are at risk can protect their children. After all, something can only change if people do not remain silent but speak openly about injustice.

    Saudi-Led Coalition Holding 3 Yemen-Bound Fuel Ships in Violation of UN-Brokered Ceasefire

    August 27, 2022

    By Staff, Agencies

    The Saudi-led coalition forces are holding three Yemen-bound oil tankers carrying thousands of tons of fuel for the crisis-stricken country in flagrant breach of a UN-brokered ceasefire.

    The coalition has impounded the tankers, including two laden with tens of thousands of liters of diesel fuel, and is not allowing them to sail towards Yemen, Essam al-Mutawakil, a spokesman for the Yemen Petroleum Company [YPC], told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Friday.

    Mutawakil added that the ships, destined for Yemen’s western port of Hodeida, are being held despite being inspected and cleared for the port call by the United Nations staff.

    The senior Yemeni energy official went on to highlight that a total of 54 fuel ships were expected to moor in Hudaydah port as a result of the UN-sponsored truce.

    Only 33 vessels have arrived at the port since the ceasefire initially took effect on April 2 and was extended on June 2 for another two months.

    The official argued that the United Nations and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg have failed to pressure the Saudi-led military alliance into allowing Yemen-bound fuel ships.

    “The truce agreement has not allowed for shipments of fuel to arrive in Hudaydah easily,” Mutawakil said.

    He lambasted the United Nations for simply implementing an aid plan for war-torn Yemen, where millions face hunger, and dismally failing to lift the crippling siege imposed on the country.

    Earlier this month, Grundberg said the extended UN-sponsored truce, running from August 2 to October 2, included a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible.

    Under the terms of the truce, commercial flights have resumed from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a to Jordan and Egypt, while oil tankers have been able to dock in the lifeline port city of Hodeida.

    Moreover, in line with the agreement, the coalition agreed to end its attacks on Yemeni soil and end a simultaneous siege that it has been enforcing against Yemen.

    Yemen has, however, reported many violations of the truce by the Saudi-led forces.

    Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

    The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

    While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has martyred hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

    Iranian Airbus 655 Anniversary Should Be a Chilling Reminder of U.S. Blundering

    July 6, 2022

    Martin Jay

    The incident should be remembered and considered in the context of today’s proxy war which the West is waging with Russia.

    The anniversary of Iran Air Flight 655, a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas which was shot down on 3 July 1988 by a missile fired by the USS Vincennes, passed perhaps unsurprisingly with no press coverage from western media.

    The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 civilians on board were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran‘s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq-Iran war, along the flight’s usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, thought to be an F-14 Tomcat owned by the Iranian air force.

    The event is an important one as it represents both an all-time low of relations between the U.S. and Iran but also highlights the extraordinary, unparalleled arrogance of the Americans, both in the act itself – which was in Iranian waters – and secondly in their inability to actually apologise for the error.

    Partly responsible for the panicky response by the captain of the Vincennes, was that his vessel was engaged with a chaotic battle with tiny Iranian attack boats in the Strait of Hormuz. Also, the Vincennes didn’t use the correct communication codes when it attempted to contact the Airbus, not to mention the plane’s continuous radar ‘squeak’ from its transponder.

    There was never actually a formal apology, although something close to one was formed by President Reagan.

    Yet the incident should be remembered and considered in the context of today’s proxy war which the West is waging with Russia. As the West continues to supply heavier and heavier artillery and more sophisticated antitank weapons against Russia, the real worry is that the situation gets much worse and spills over the sides of the frontiers of Ukraine.

    A WWIII scenario is not unrealistic and Putin has warned many times about this.

    The Iranian airliner shooting was both a result of Reagan-era testosterone by its navy and blinding incompetence of a military which had bitten off more than it could chew in the Persian Gulf in 1988, in its quest to put in line Iran, which was attacking tankers.

    Given that the immediate threat now from the Ukraine war is Africa becoming the next victim as wheat shipments cannot leave the port of Odessa, there is a very real possibility that the Black Sea will be the next place where NATO forces believe they can send their ships, squaring off with the Russian navy.

    Ideally, the UN could step in and offer to broker a deal which would allow it to remove Ukrainian mines in and around the port, while Russia could agree to pull back its warships. This would allow ships to get in and load the wheat. In reality, the UN chief Antonio Guterres is only able to offer lame words in a tweet about the growing crisis, but not offer any solutions. Reports, statements and press releases have been prepared but the ineptitude of the UN is seen in the bare light for what it is: a largely corrupt, useless international organisation whose chief role is to keep its elite on the payroll.

    At some point, African countries, which don’t want to take sides in the Ukraine war, will reach breaking point and start to experience famine, due to not having the normal access to the wheat. 21 out of 25 African countries which import wheat from Ukraine and Russia, take their wheat from Russia itself, which to some extent explains why such countries don’t wish to clash with Moscow. It’s also about Putin helping many of these countries’ governments stay in power as the usual support they would receive from London and Paris is no longer there, which leaves them to turn to Russian mercenary group Wagner, in some cases. It’s the same story in the Middle East where GCC countries are determined to keep good relations with Russia while sustaining amicable, working relations with their traditional allies in the West.

    But a breaking point will come. And when that point arrives, African countries will ask their historical colonial masters for emergency aid. At this point, the absurdity of the Ukraine war – and how the west can’t really afford to fund it – will be driven home. In the UK, Boris Johnson will be asked by former British African colonies for emergency aid to help the starving masses. If he refuses, which is likely, then those countries will not miss a heartbeat in breaking off relations altogether for the new relationship with Moscow which has already happened in Mali.

    At this same time, NATO governments will start to look at the Black Sea as the new area to fix. And God help us all if they decide that they need to send an Armada there. It would be madness on a whole new scale, which is losing its edge in terms of its shock value, when you have people like Liz Truss in Britain who recently announced that Britain and other western countries should be sending arms also to Taiwan. It seems that one world war with Russia is not enough to completely destroy what’s left of the British economy, but in fact a second one with China is what is needed to make the UK a basket case where it will soon be getting food aid from the World Bank. The implosion of EU economies has already started as food shortages and farming outputs have been hugely affected by the lack of fertilisers in the market place. But when gasoline prices climb even higher and the lines of people at food banks makes headline news, how likely is it that Boris or Biden bite the bullet and think about their own political salvation and pull the plug on this sanctions plan which is a gun which constantly blows the head off the one who fires it? Pray that they are not drawn into the Black Sea as many of us can still not forget flight 655. Misjudgement is the biggest threat and it is more likely to come from the UK and the U.S. looking for a solution to a war which they have created and have no idea of how to stop.

    HOW AIPAC IS LEADING EFFORTS TO DISMANTLE THE UN INQUIRY ON PALESTINE

    JULY 1ST, 2022

    By Jessica Buxbaum

    Source

    This month, the United Nations’ Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel found that the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine is the root cause of the decades-long conflict in the region. But as the probe gets underway, the Israel lobby’s flagship organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is actively attempting to extinguish it.

    In response to the inquiry led by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), members of Congress have initiated legislation to abolish the investigation in both the House and the Senate. On June 14, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen introduced the COI Elimination Act S.4389. The bill is similar but not identical to H.R.7223, also called the COI Elimination Act, introduced by Representatives Gregory Steube, Vincente Gonzalez, and Joe Wilson in March.

    Both bills seek to abolish the UN inquiry as well as other UN groups in order “to combat systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international fora.” The legislation also calls for restricting U.S. funding to the UNHRC by 25 percent of the amount budgeted. While the Senate bill only has three co-sponsors currently, the House version has nearly 70 signatories made up of mostly Republican representatives.

    The UN inquiry came as a result of the Israeli attacks on Gaza and occupied East Jerusalem in May 2021, with the purpose of investigating human rights abuses that occurred during that period. The U.S., Israel, and 19 other countries have sharply condemned the inquiry following the release of its first report.

    “We believe the nature of the COI established last May is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the Council and must stop,” U.S. Ambassador to the UNHRC Michèle Taylor said during the 50th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, as the UN inquiry’s first report was being debated.

    The State Department has also rebuked the UN inquiry, its spokesperson Ned Price remarking,

    …[W]e firmly oppose the open-ended and vaguely defined nature of the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, which represents a one-sided, biased approach that does nothing to advance the prospects for peace.”

    The UNHCR did not respond to press queries on the congressional bills, instead reiterating the COI’s goals and that all member states must abide by its actions. However, a UNHCR spokesperson did tell MintPress News that,

    The mandate of the Commission of Inquiry was supported by a majority of member states of the Council and the allocation of a budget was then approved by the General Assembly. All members of the Human Rights Council are expected to fully cooperate with its decisions, as reaffirmed in General Assembly resolution 50/251 of 2005.”

    ‘AIPAC-DRIVEN’

    According to Jewish Insider, AIPAC has spent this month lobbying on Capitol Hill for more members of Congress to support the COI Elimination Act as part of its first in-person National Council meeting in Washington, D.C., since the start of the pandemic.

    Their efforts appear to have succeeded as nearly 40 House Representatives signed onto the bill over the last two weeks.

    “It’s simply another AIPAC-driven effort to demonize the UN in order to obfuscate the cruel and inhumane realities on the ground in Israel-Palestine and to deny the apartheid nature of the state,” historian Walter L. Hixson told MintPress News.

    The author of “Israel’s Armor: The Israel Lobby and the First Generation of the Palestine Conflict”, Hixon explained that AIPAC activists don’t have a secret lobbying tactic but rather pressure members of Congress through their financial clout.

    “It’s what they always do,” he said. “They let them know that people who support them can get support from AIPAC and people who oppose them can expect their next campaign opponents to be funded by AIPAC.”

    “It’s pretty ruthless lobbying that exerts its influence, and unfortunately there are a lot of members of Congress who are very easily swayed, unprincipled, fearful and tow the AIPAC line,” Hixson added.

    In addition to lobbying members of Congress directly, AIPAC is also encouraging Americans to urge their representatives to support the legislation.

    Yet they are not the only Israel lobby organization tackling the COI. Richard Goldberg, senior advisor at the Israel lobby group Foundation for Defense of Democracies published an op-ed in the New York Post railing against the COI. Pro-Israel groups B’nai B’rith International, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the National Jewish Advocacy Center have also come out against the COI.

    AIPAC has also pressured Congress on other issues during their recent Capitol Hill tour, such as continuing military aid to Israel, supporting the Stop Iranian Drones Act, and rejecting a Senate letter urging the U.S. government to investigate the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Sent last week, a letter signed by nearly half of the Democrats serving in the Senate calls on President Joe Biden to directly involve the U.S. in probing Akleh’s killing.

    AIPAC talking points sent to lawmakers ahead of the letter’s publication and seen by Israeli newspaper Haaretz said “the circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Abu Akleh remain unclear despite the hasty conclusions of various media outlets,” whereas the letter “implies both Israeli culpability and inability to conduct an objective, thorough investigation of the incident.”

    AIPAC STILL KING

    While the COI Elimination Act has received significant backing, the bill’s stated purpose is far-fetched. The U.S. cannot — with a stroke of a pen — unilaterally eradicate a world agency investigation.

    However, according to Hixson, the country does have considerable control over the UN and by withholding a quarter of funding (as promised within the bill) can prove detrimental to the UN’s efforts.

    “The UN has always been — from its inception in 1945 — heavily influenced by the United States,” Hixson said, noting how its headquarters are in New York and the U.S. has been a longtime funder of the entity. “They can’t dictate to the UN to change a policy, but they can certainly hurt it financially and influence decision-making,” he added.

    Whether the bill comes to fruition remains to be seen. But Hixson believes it has a chance, especially given that Democrats are signing onto it as well. Currently, nine Democrats have sponsored the House version and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal has signed on to the Senate act.

    Israel lobby experts have suggested that AIPAC’s influence on Capitol Hill is waning as more Democratic politicians and American Jews become increasingly critical of the Israeli government’s actions. For example, experts have speculated that AIPAC establishing political action committees last year is just a desperate attempt to cement its authority over Washington politics.

    While Hixson agrees, he also asserts that AIPAC still remains quite influential. And with in-person lobbying again a feature of AIPAC’s work as pandemic restrictions dissipate, the organization may continue to see its influence balloon.

    “AIPAC is very determined. They’ve increased their funding. They’ve increased their office space. They’ve increased their number of personnel,” he said. “It remains a very powerful lobby, not just for a foreign policy for a foreign country, but period. It’s as powerful as any lobby really in Washington, and probably more powerful than the gun lobby.”

    Nevertheless, public support for Israel has waned substantially in the last decade, mirrored by an increasing sympathy for the Palestinian cause, especially among Democrats. According to a February Gallup poll, sympathy for Israelis has declined from 64% to 55% from 2013 to 2022 and climbed from 12% to 26% for Palestinians.

    While Israel might be losing the battle for public opinion, in the realm of political influence in Washington, it is still winning the war.

    Putin: Address to participants of 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum

    June 30, 2022

    Address to participants of 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum

    Vladimir Putin gave a video address to greet the participants of a plenary session of the 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum. This year’s plenary session was themed Law in a Multipolar World. The video address was recorded during the President’s recent visit to St Petersburg.

    President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

    Colleagues,

    I would like to welcome you to the 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum, which, as always, has brought together leading jurists and practicing lawyers from many countries.

    I am glad that after a forced interruption, the forum is again being held in person because even the most advanced communication technologies cannot replace a direct dialogue and face-to-face meetings.

    Participants at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum recently discussed the most relevant political, financial, technological and cultural issues on the global agenda; many of these issues directly related to international law. It is important that you continue this conversation within this forum and discuss important topics like Law in a Multipolar World.

    It is true, a multipolar system of international relations is now being formed. It is an irreversible process; it is happening before our eyes and is objective in nature. The position of Russia and many other countries is that this democratic, more just world order should be built on the basis of mutual respect and trust, and, of course, on the generally accepted principles of international law and the UN Charter.

    At the same time, it is being said that law cannot adequately respond to the problems and challenges of today, to today’s turbulent and fundamental changes. There are also more radical assessments that the idea of international law is being dismantled. I fundamentally disagree with these conclusions.

    Undoubtedly, the system of international law needs to be further developed, but we should not confuse cause and effect. Crises happen not because law is faulty, but because of attempts to replace law with dictate, and international standards with the national jurisdiction of certain states or groups of states in a deliberate refusal to follow essential legal principles – justice, conscientiousness, equality and humanity. These are not just legal ideals, but values that reflect the diversity of our civilisation.

    Some states are not ready to accept losing their supremacy on the international stage, and they are striving to preserve the unjust unipolar model. Under the guise of what they call order based on rules, and other questionable concepts, they try to control and direct global processes at their own discretion, and hold to a course of creating closed blocs and coalitions that make decisions for the benefit of one country, the United States of America. The natural rights of others in international relations are being ignored; the fundamental principle of indivisibility of security is being used selectively. The West’s unilateral, illegitimate sanctions against sovereign states have reached an unprecedented scale.

    I will add that the countries that advocate their own exceptionalism also overstep the law and cross out such concepts as inviolability of property and freedom of speech in their own domestic policy as well. In sum, the domination of one country or a group of countries on the global stage is not only counter-productive, but also dangerous and inevitably creates global, systemic risk.

    The multipolar world of the 21st century does not have a place for inequality or for discrimination against states and peoples. Therefore, our country speaks for the practical realisation of the pivotal international legal principle of the sovereign equality of states and the right of each state to pursue its own development model.

    The Russian foreign affairs agenda has always been and remains constructive. We develop multipolar relations with all who are interested in them and place great value on cooperation within the UN, the G20, BRICS, the SCO and other associations.

    Russia is open to dialogue on ensuring strategic stability, preserving agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and improving the situation in arms control. We are focused on joining efforts on crucial issues like the climate agenda, fighting famine, providing stability in food and energy markets, and fair rules in international trade and competition.

    All of these areas require appropriate and flexible legal regulation and meticulous cooperation. With this approach, we could avoid crises such as the current one in Donbass that is happening to protect its residents from genocide – and there can be no other definition for the Kiev regime’s actions than “a crime against humanity.”

    At the same time, Russia will continue to create a more democratic and just world where the rights of all peoples are guaranteed and mankind’s cultural and civilizational diversity is preserved.

    I am confident that, by consistently following international law and joining our efforts, it is possible to resolve the most difficult problems that the world is facing and to provide for the stable, sustainable and progressive development of all states. Both practicing lawyers and jurists can and should bring a significant contribution to the recreation of the authority of law, strengthening its legal institutions and rebuilding trust in international relations.

    I wish all of you productive work and interesting networking.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Sanctions against Russia are leading Latin America to the abyss

    June 27, 2022

    Machine translated from:  http://www.opciones.cu/internacionales/2022-04-13/las-extorsiones-contra-rusia-golpean-a-latinoamerica

    The war situation between Russia and Ukraine, together with the numerous extortions that the United States and its allies have imposed against Moscow, not only hit economically this nation but also Latin American countries.

    One of the most affected is Ecuador because if in 2021, 20% of the bananas it exported were destined to Russia (about 85 million boxes) now it has nowhere to put them and they will spoil with the consequent monetary loss.

    Last year Ecuador obtained 706 million dollars for banana exports to the Eurasian giant; 142 million dollars for shrimp; 99 million dollars for flowers; 28 million dollars for fish and 17 million dollars for coffee.

    Paraguay had Russia as its second buyer of beef and in 2021 it sent 79 213 tons which represented an income of 314 million dollars and now with the disconnection of Moscow from the international banking system (swift) it does not know how to collect or send the product.

    Something similar is happening with Brazil. In the previous period, Brazil sold soybean to Russia for 343 million dollars, 167 million for poultry meat, 133 million for coffee and 117 million for beef.

    As for Mexico, it sent cars, computers, beer, tequila, among other products, and bought fertilizers. If it lacks this supply, agriculture will suffer losses and food will become more expensive.

    This situation will lead to a worsening of the economic crisis in those nations, with the consequent wage cuts, layoffs of workers and price increases.

    The enormous pressures exerted by the United States for Latin American nations to join the policy of Russophobia that it has imposed on the planet by controlling the main media, could aggravate these problems.

    For example, an intergovernmental cooperation agreement between Russia and Argentina for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, particularly in the areas of basic and applied research, construction and operation of nuclear power plants and reactors, would be halted.

    In addition, Moscow has expressed its interest in participating in a tender for the construction of a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at the Atucha II nuclear power plant in the South American nation.

    Washington uses all kinds of extortion to that end: political influence, economic promises and blackmail, as was the case during the recent vote at the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. After the vote, several delegates expressed that for various reasons they had been forced to vote that way.

    Due to the impact of the Western “sanctions” war, the supply of fertilizers has been affected, which poses a threat to Latin American farmers, but is advantageous for the United States, which manufactures large quantities of fertilizer. Already, U.S. producers are looking to increase exports to countries in the region.

    Fertilizer prices are currently at an all-time high and in the first quarter of 2022 they rose by 30%, which exceeds those reached in 2008 during the global financial crisis.

    Due to the “sanctions”, shipments from Russia have been interrupted and this country is one of the main producers and exporters globally.

    Moscow is the largest exporter of nitrogen fertilizers and the second largest exporter of potash and phosphorus fertilizers.

    In 2021 the Eurasian giant shipped fertilizers worth $12.5 billion. Among its main buyers were Brazil and the European Union with 25% respectively, and the United States with 14%.

    As is to be expected, if the fertilizers do not arrive, agricultural production in these countries will be greatly affected.

    This complex scenario comes at a time when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) reported that the food price index reached 159.3 points in March, an all-time high, while in February it had already beaten the record since the creation of the cost index in 1990.

    The agency added that among the five categories that make up the index, four have never recorded such high prices: vegetable oils (248.6 points), cereals (170.1), dairy products (145.2) and meat (120.0).

    Two of the categories increased prices in February due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict: cereals by 17% and vegetable oils by 23%. These countries together export 30 % of the wheat and 20 % of the corn consumed in the world.

    The present and future prospects for the Latin American economies are considered difficult because they will have to face the high costs of food products, without yet recovering from the enormous losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    As a corollary, it can be stated that the string of extortions imposed by the United States, not only on Russia but also on more than 30 countries in the world, are leading several Latin American nations into an abyss.

    Al-Houthi: Saudi-led coalition intends to starve Yemeni people

    June 20, 2022

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    The Yemeni official says that the Saudi-led coalition blockade on Yemen is a deliberate crime against all Yemenis.

    Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi (Archive)

    Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi, a senior member of the Yemeni Supreme Political Council, considered Sunday that the Saudi-led coalition is intending to starve the Yemeni people as a weapon of war against Yemen.

    In a tweet, Al-Houthi condemned the ongoing naval and air blockade on Yemen, adding that the blockade is a deliberate crime against all Yemenis.

    “The continuation of the siege and the Saudi-led coalition’s refusal to implement provisions of the ceasefire, which is an official document under the auspices of the United Nations and the Security Council, amounts to an intentional crime against all Yemeni people,” Al-Houthi affirmed.

    Al-Ruwishan: Yemenis will restore their rights by all available means

    In the same context, Jalal Al-Ruwishan, Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs, indicated that there is clear evidence that the Saudi-led coalition is continuing its aggression on Yemen in violation of the extended UN-brokered truce.

    In an interview for Al-Masirah television, Al-Ruwishan pointed out that the truce would be “meaningless and pointless” if it does not lead to the reopening of Yemeni ports and airports.

    The official stressed that Yemenis will restore their rights by all available means, adding that “if the Saudi-led war coalition keeps on violating the ceasefire, the Yemeni nation will not accept a failed truce.”

    Al-Ruwishan underscored that “our people and armed forces have not tied domestic and defense issues to the truce, and have been not held down by it. They are doubtful about the sincerity of aggressors and forces of aggression.”

    He also mentioned that Saudi Arabia and its allies are not abiding by the UN-brokered truce.

    Yemen…we have strategic deterrence weapons to extract our rights without decreasing
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