Is It an Act of War to Designate Iran’s IRGC as a Terrorist Organization?

By Prof. Anthony Hall

Source

The Israel Lobby’s Relationship to Trudeau, Trump and NATO

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The Israel Lobby in Canada is demanding that the government of Justin Trudeau follow the lead of Netanyahu and Trump, the notorious duo of anti-Iranian warmongers. Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, has been leading the drive to have Canadian law brought into conformity with US and Israeli prototypes of post-9/11 terrorist designations.

At a press conference on January 13 in Canada’s Parliament, the Canadian branch of the US and Israeli-based ADL, demanded that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) be designated as a terrorist organization. Canada has already designated the Quds division of the IRCG as a terrorist group. Iranian General Qassem Suleimani was the leader of the Quds force until he was assassinated on January 2 of this year.

Mr. Mostryn presented the Canadian government with something of an ultimatum with the following comment. “We are asking for the IRGC to be designated as a terrorist group in Canada within the next 30 days. No further delays will be accepted by Canadians on this important public safety issue.”

There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates that Mr. Mostyn does not speak for all Jews in Canada or even for most of them. Certainly, this well paid functionary of the Israel Lobby does not speak for all Canadians when it comes to the issue of Canada’s relations with Iran. After the assassination of General Suleimani, Canadians have added cause to be skeptical about adopting the extravagant language and principles of the Israel Lobby as elevated to pre-eminence following 9/11.

After January 2, Canadian citizens and members of the global community generally are coming to understand better the lethal booby traps attached to pinning the status of “terrorist” on individuals and organizations without any due process whatsoever. The post-9/11 adoption of the principles of pre-emptive warfare promotes the ethos of shoot to kill first, worry later (if at all) about proof, justification and adherence to the older principles of international law. This ethos of kill first, deal with proof later, has essentially eliminated the legal principle that people, whether they be princes or paupers, are innocent until proven guilty.

The Displacement of Well-Founded Principles of International Law with the Pseudo-Laws of the Global War on Terror

The kind of agenda that Mr. Mostyn wants to import into Canada from Israel and the United States undermines the integrity and enforceability of international law. The United Nations and the International Criminal Court at the Hague are basically sidelined as credible organizations. The result is that officials effectively lack the capacity to command accountability from war criminals at the highest level.

The still-misrepresented events of 9/11 ushered in many transformations dramatically for the worse in the global community. These transformations include the negation of much of the juridical inheritance emanating from centuries of evolutionary progress in the community of nations. For the time being this juridical inheritance has been pretty much swept into the garbage bin leaving the world a much more dangerous place. Atrocities like the Israeli treatment of indigenous Palestinians or the extrajudicial Baghdad drone strikes of 2 January 2020 epitomize the subordination of the rule of law to the law of the jungle.

Senator Linda Frum

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Setting Up NATO Soldiers and Iranian Soldiers to Kill Each Other to Advance

Israel’s Expansionary Ambitions

The decades-old Israeli push to pressure the United States and its “allies” into war with Iran was renewed in April of 2019. As reported in The Times of Israel, just days before an Israeli general election, Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Donald Trump for increasing his chances of being re-elected. Netanyahu’s thank you was for Trump’s political decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. In a Hebrew language tweet Netanyahu thanked Trump for “acceding to another one of my important requests.”

As Tamar Pileggi reported in The Times of Israel

Trump said his administration’s “unprecedented” designation “recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”…. Since taking office, Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

There is cause to be suspicious about the deadline announced for the Trudeau government’s ratification of the B’nai Brith Canada’s demand. To designate the whole armed forces of a foreign country as a “terrorist organization” is basically to declare war on the host country of that military organization. How is it in Canada’s interests or in the interests of the United States for that matter to give way to Israeli pressure pushing North America into a war with Iran?

The issue of time comes up because of recent announcements from the White House that Trump and Pompeo want to see NATO troops, including those of Canada, take over from US troops in Iraq. Trump needs this concession from NATO countries to meet an election promise. He has to have some symbolic bringing of US soldiers home from the Middle East prior to the US presidential election later this year.

Is it the goal of the Israel Lobby to push Canada and other NATO countries into a war posture with Iran after Trump bragged about assassinating “the number one terrorist anywhere in the world.” At the bidding of Trump, the NATO countries are pushed to enter a Middle East after it has been transformed by the criminal drone strike on the Iranian people’s most popular and beloved war hero?

Indeed, the admiration of General Suleimani, a real foe, not a pretend foe, of the Daesh proxy army is not limited to Iran, to the Muslim world or the Middle East. I can think of no military figure in the Western world that commands anything like the degree of respectful recognition that General Suleimani earned even from some that consider themselves enemies of the polities that the Quds force fought to help.

Is the issuing of the 30-day time limit by B’nai Brith Canada based on insider knowledge? Does the Israel Lobby in Canada know that there will soon be an influx of Canadian soldiers to replace US soldiers in Iraq? After the events of January 2, these US soldiers in Iraq and throughout the Middle East have had targets painted on their back by the war mongering of their Israeli-puppet Commander In Chief in the White House.

Is the rush to get the Canadian government to accept the terrorist designation part of a plan to encourage young NATO soldiers to kill young Iranian soldiers if they encounter one another in Iraq? Are we witnessing a plan to assemble NATO fighting forces in Iraq with the view that they would then be in a more strategic position to invade neighboring Iran?

Boris Johnson Flies the Israeli Flag over Number 10

By Stuart Littlewood

Source

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Christians in the Gaza Strip are not allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas this year.  Israel says so.

Gisha, an Israeli rights group, said the ban points “to the intensifying of access restrictions between the two parts of the Palestinian territory,” calling it “a deepening of Israel’s separation policy” for the West Bank and Gaza. Christian leaders in Jerusalem complain: “Other people around the world are allowed to travel to Bethlehem. We think Gaza’s Christians should have that right, too.”

I well remember Gaza’s Catholic priest telling me, some years ago, that he hadn’t seen his family for 9 years. They lived just a few miles away in the West Bank but the occupying Israeli authorities warned that if he left Gaza they would not allow him back and his ‘flock’ would be without a minister.

If that isn’t religious warfare I don’t know what is.

Meanwhile, sinister moves are afoot in the UK to preserve Israel’s impunity for its crimes against the Palestinians and its contempt for international law. Boris Johnson’s new government is to pass legislation banning public bodies from imposing their own boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions (BDS) campaigns against foreign countries, including Israel, on the grounds that these “undermine community cohesion”.

Where’s the harm in BDS? It’s a peaceful response to Israel’s thuggery. It urges non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law by meeting three demands:

  1. Ending its unlawful occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall (international law recognizes the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights as occupied by Israel).
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality.
  3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

And how is Boris Johnson proposing to block BDS? Briefing notes accompanying the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, which sets out the Government’s program, say:

  • ● We will stop public institutions from imposing their own approach or views about international relations, through preventing boycotts, divestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries and those who trade with them.
  • ● This will create a coherent approach to foreign relations from all public institutions, by ensuring that they do not go beyond the UK Government’s settled policy towards a foreign country. The UK Government is responsible for foreign relations and determining the best way to interact with its international neighbors.

The notes point out that public institutions should not be pursuing their own foreign policy agenda with public money and there are concerns that such boycotts have legitimized anti-Semitism. The ban will apply to institutions across the public sector, not just councils, and will cover purchasing, procurement and investment decisions which undermine cohesion and integration.

Johnson is getting his knickers in a frightful twist over this. His party’s election manifesto had already pledged:

  • “We will ensure that no one is put off from engaging in politics or standing in an election by threats, harassment or abuse, whether in person or online.”
  • “We will champion freedom of expression and tolerance, both in the UK and overseas.”
  • “To support free speech, we will repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014, which seeks to coerce the press.”

The Conservatives also promised to champion the rule of law, human rights, free trade, anti-corruption efforts and a rules-based international system – all of which Israel refuses to comply with.

Johnson and his underlings just don’t get it. BDS is a legitimate, peaceful way of opposing the Israeli occupation. Furthermore, the foreign policies of successive UK governments have not met the approval of the British people. Far from it. There is no “coherent approach” or “community cohesion” and never will be with US-Israel axis pimps in control at Westminster.

Just look at our government line-up.

Johnson calls himself “a passionate Zionist”. He praised the ‘genius of Israel’ at a parliamentary reception marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and said he was proud of ‘Britain’s part in creating Israel’.

When the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a resolution to set up an independent, international Commission of Inquiry to investigate all violations of humanitarian and international human rights law in the occupied Palestinian territory, with particular focus on recent events in Gaza, Johnson (then Foreign Secretary) couldn’t bring himself to vote for it.

Conservative glamour-girl Priti Patel, while International Development Secretary, had 14 meetings with Israeli politicians (including prime minister Netanyahu and his security minister) during a family holiday in Israel without telling the Foreign Office, her civil servants or her boss Theresa May, and without government officials present. This was not only a two-finger salute to the ministerial Code of Conduct but a gross breach of security. But what do you expect from a former vice-chair of Conservative Friends of Israel?

She was accused of freelancing in foreign policy and is said to have tried persuading colleagues to send British taxpayers’ money as aid for an Israeli forces project in the Golan Heights…. like we didn’t need the money here with 300,000 homeless and sleeping rough. She actually visited the Golan knowing it to be Syrian territory stolen in 1967 by the Israelis who have illegally occupied it ever since. Touring it with the thieving occupation army was a monumental diplomatic blunder. She was forced to resign. This bird-brain is now Home Secretary.

Muslim Sajid Javid, now Chancellor, remarked in December 2012: “Israel, the only nation in the Middle East that shares the same democratic values as Britain….” He honeymooned in Israel and is a Conservative Friend of Israel. And he has proscribed Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah came into being as a resistance organization in response to the 1978 and 1982 Israeli invasions of Lebanon. Israel is delighted.

Michael Gove has described himself as “a proud Zionist” since he was a boy. He too is a Conservative Friend of Israel, believes BDS is anti-Semitic and that Israel is “free, democratic, liberal and western”.

Few people I know believe Israel has a friend in the whole world apart from those it has bought, threatened or terrorized into submission and, of course, the sad folk who have allowed themselves to be perverted by Christian-Zionist pastors and the Scofield bible.

Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “The campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) seeks to hold Israel accountable for its violations of Palestinian rights and of international law.

“Failing to take action to hold Israel to account makes one complicit. Israel has been engaged in a global campaign to have laws prohibiting BDS introduced so that it can act with impunity. All those who believe in international law, human rights and freedom of expression must vigorously oppose this legislation.”

Former Spy Details Israel’s Main Motive Behind Epstein’s Sexual Blackmail Operation

By Whitney Webb

Source

MONTREAL — In recent weeks, renewed attention has been brought to the allegations that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking and sexual blackmail operation was run on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. Those claims revolve around statements made by a former Israeli military intelligence official turned public relations consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, whose allegations regarding the Epstein scandal were reported by MintPress this past October.

Ben-Menashe’s claims related to Epstein first surfaced in an interview between Ben-Menashe and Zev Shalev of the independent news outlet, Narativ. As detailed in a MintPress summary and commentary of that interview, Ben-Menashe claimed to have seen Jeffrey Epstein in the office of Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, several times in the 1980s.

At the time, Ben-Menashe was in close contact with Robert Maxwell regarding their work mutual work with Israeli military intelligence. Maxwell, in addition to heading a media empire and being a one-time member of U.K. parliament, was a longtime operative for Israeli intelligence, so much so that his 1991 funeral was attended by no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence as well as several high-ranking Israeli politicians and prime ministers. 

Maxwell is alleged to have recruited Jeffrey Epstein for Israeli intelligence and later introduced Epstein to Ben-Menashe and another operative, Nicholas Davies. Epstein was introduced to Ben-Menashe as having been pre-approved by leading figures in Israel’s military intelligence directorate, known as Aman.

MintPress recently conducted its own interview with Mr. Ben-Menashe as part of an ongoing investigation on the life and connections of the now-infamous Jeffrey Epstein.

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Part of that interview is provided below with relevant commentary, particularly regarding claims related to the relationship between Epstein and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Epstein’s trip to Tel Aviv immediately prior to his first arrest, and the reasons for Israeli military intelligence’s interest in orchestrating and financing a major sexual blackmail operation targeting top U.S. politicians.

“Israel Requested that Epstein Target Clinton”

MintPress News first asked Ben-Menashe about Robert Maxwell, a known asset and operative for Israeli intelligence, having recruited Jeffrey Epstein. Ben-Menashe =confirmed this to MintPress and also noted that, after their initial meeting, Epstein was frequently present in Maxwell’s office in London.

During the 1980s, as MintPress previously reported, Epstein claimed to have been an intelligence operative and so-called “bounty hunter” in the world of shadow finance. During this time, he was known to have developed close relationships with several British arms dealers, particularly Sir Douglas Leese. Thus, Epstein appeared to frequently be traveling between the Middle East and London, which is also supported by Epstein’s now-infamous Austrian passport which he was believed to have carried during this period of time.

Ben-Menashe told MintPress that he had not only met Epstein after Epstein had been recently recruited by Israeli military intelligence, but had seen him on several occasions thereafter as Epstein “used to be in [Robert Maxwell’s] office [in London] quite often” and would arrive there between trips to and from Israel.

In addition, Ben-Menashe revealed his understanding of why Epstein was eventually shepherded into acting as a professional sexual blackmailer on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. Per Ben-Menashe, there were concerns among Israeli intelligence figures that, following the Reagan Era, a new president would push for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, something those officials sought to avoid by any means necessary.

ABM | Here’s the thing… Mr. Carter… as in President Carter… the Israelis feared that Mr. Clinton, when he was campaigning for President, will be a repeat of Mr. Carter. He wanted to press them for peace with the Palestinians and all that stuff. They feared… Clinton wasn’t that… but they feared he was that… And I think Mr. Epstein was sent early on to catch up with President Clinton.

MintPress News (MPN) | Well, that’s interesting because the first year Clinton was in office, Epstein was already attending donor dinners at the White House and making White House visits as well.

ABM | Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. I believe his biggest client was Mr. Clinton catch, or catch, or whatever, and he had a few other congressmen and what not but Clinton was, was his biggest catch.

Thus, Ben-Menashe argues, when Bill Clinton’s candidacy in the 1992 U.S. Presidential election became clear, efforts were made to target him via sexual blackmail and Jeffrey Epstein was chosen for that purpose. Bill Clinton was eventually blackmailed by the state of Israel and his administration was also targeted by Israeli espionage as part of the “Mega” spy scandal. Epstein’s involvement in the Clinton administration and his visits to the White House date back to Clinton’s first year in office. More information on the Epstein-Clinton relationship can be found in this MintPress report.

In addition, MintPress also asked Ben-Menashe if he was aware of Ghislaine Maxwell being directly involved with her father’s intelligence-related activities prior to his death in 1991. Ben-Menashe noted that Ghislaine accompanied her father so frequently, including on a now-infamous 1989 party on Maxwell’s yacht where Donald Trump and several key figures in the PROMIS software scandal were in attendance, that she was involved in his intelligence-related activities to some extent. However, he stopped short of saying how involved she was or what she has specifically been involved in prior to her father’s death.

When did Epstein really meet Ehud Barak?

One of the more controversial ties between Epstein and powerful politicians is that between Epstein and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak has claimed to have only met Epstein in 2002 and, from that point on, their relationship was very public, with Barak frequently visiting and even spending the night at residences owned by Epstein, including apartments where he housed the underage girls that he exploited. Barak also visited Epstein’s now-infamous island and recruited him to help fund the Israeli intelligence-connected company, Carbyne911.

However, there appear to be indications that Epstein and Barak may have met much earlier than Barak has since claimed. Given that Ben-Menashe claimed to have learned of Epstein’s recruitment by Israeli military intelligence in the 1980s, MintPress asked if one of the people involved in his recruitment was Ehud Barak. Barak served as head of Israel’s military intelligence directorate, Aman, from April 1983 to January 1986.

Ben-Menashe could not recall the exact year when he first became aware of Epstein’s recruitment by Israeli military intelligence but stated that it was “most likely” during Ehud Barak’s tenure as the head of Aman. Yet, even if Epstein’s recruitment did not take place while Barak headed Aman, it is highly likely — per Ben-Menashe — that Epstein had met Barak during this time because “Robert Maxwell became buddies with Ehud Barak…and he [Robert Maxwell] probably introduced them, the young man [Epstein] to Mr. Barak” if the two were not already acquainted.

Since the Epstein scandal broke, Ehud Barak has insisted that he did not meet Epstein until the year 2002 and claimed that the two had been introduced by former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Ben-Menashe dismissed the possibility that this claim was true, emphatically stating that he was “sure they had met before” and that he did not believe that their first meeting was in 2002.

Epstein’s 2008 Trip to Tel Aviv

Just a few months before he was sentenced to prison for the first time in June 2008, Jeffrey Epstein had made a sudden visit to the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv. In April of that year, the Palm Beach Daily News reported that Epstein was staying at the Tel Aviv Hilton and quoted an Epstein spokesman as saying that he was “spending Passover, meeting with Israeli research scientists, and taking a tour of military bases.”

Sometime prior to Epstein’s sentencing on June 30 of that year, Alexander Acosta –then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida– signed off on a lenient sentence for Epstein who was charged with soliciting sex from a minor. That legal arrangement has since been nicknamed the “sweetheart deal.” Acosta later told Trump transition officials prior to his nomination for Secretary of Labor that his decision to approve the “sweetheart deal” came after he had been told to back off in the Epstein case because Epstein “belonged to intelligence.”

Though Acosta did not specify from whom he had received this information, former CIA agent Phil Giraldi has made a convincing case that they originated from Epstein’s then-lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a close associate of Epstein with ties to high-ranking Israeli politicians, and Barry Krischer, then-Florida State Attorney for Palm Beach who recently received an award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his “outstanding contribution to the legal profession and to the community at large.”

As detailed in a previous MintPress report on Epstein’s ties to Israel published this past August, the ADL’s long-time top funders have close ties to Epstein and his sexual blackmail network, particularly the Bronfman family of Seagrams fame.

Ben-Menashe told MintPress that Epstein’s 2008 Tel Aviv visit was likely “blowing smoke” and involved Epstein “trying to make himself important maybe not to get arrested” and “hoping that the Israelis would help him.” He then added that “At the time they probably did” help Epstein, but added that “the second time around [i.e. 2019], well…it would be a harder sell.”

 

Why the UK Establishment Hates Jeremy Corbyn

By Johann Ross

Source

Jeremy Corbyn in Nottingham with Robin Hood statue 39d74

He’s been termed a ‘national security risk’ and an ‘enemy of the state’ by the mainstream media. On Sky News recently former Conservative and Times columnist Matthew Parris referred to his ‘mad’ conspiracy theories as he discussed with other journalists the danger of him being elected to power. One might think they were discussing a terrorist or criminal, but instead it was none other than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition, whose only crime has been to speak out against the harmful aspects of Britain’s foreign policy in recent years. Against regime change wars, against arms sales to Saudi Arabia and a supporter of Palestine – Corbyn has openly contradicted the establishment position for decades. Why? Because, like most conscious individuals, he deemed it to be immoral.

You see the problem with Jeremy Corbyn is that he tells the truth. Lord Finkelstein, writing in The Times on Wednesday, wrote a piece designed to send shivers down the spine of Britain’s most ardent capitalists. ‘How Lenin inspired Corbyn’s world view’ it was entitled, as he tried to persuade the public that the Labour leader threatens everything the UK establishment stands for. He quotes from a 2011 foreword written by Corbyn to the book Imperialism, in which he wrote,

“Since World War Two, the big imperial force has been the United States on behalf of global capitalism and the biggest, mostly US-based corporations. The propaganda for this has presented itself as a voice for ‘freedom’ and carefully and consciously conflated it with market economics.” He goes further to suggest that Soviet expansionism was different from that of the US:

“The influence of the Soviet Union around the world was huge, but tempered by an inadequate industrial base in comparison to the United States and the ruinously expensive arms race that hastened its decline, and eventual collapse in 1990. But the Soviet influence was always different, and its allies often acted quite independently.”

These ‘dangerous’ opinions are of course opposed by the establishment, whose very existence depends on a flourishing capitalist order.

The reason this subject has resurfaced of late is, of course, because of the 70th anniversary of NATO. This military alliance, consistently portrayed in the West as a force only for good in the world, has been criticized by Corbyn in the past for its ‘obsession with Cold War politics’ and for provoking Russia through its expansion into Eastern Europe.  Describing it as a ‘US tool’ for shaping policy in Europe, in his 2014 Corbyn article entitled ‘NATO belligerence endangers us all’ has dared to venture into territory that no other UK politician would dare go into. Suggesting that there were ‘huge questions surrounding the West’s intentions in Ukraine’, that NATO has been wrongly allowed ‘to act outside its own area since the Afghan war’ and that ‘it’s time we talked with Russia’ are statements strong enough to raise more than a few eyebrows in Westminster. Dismissed as crackpot conspiracy theories, there are very few mainstream journalists and commentators willing to tolerate such views for a second, let alone work out what they might mean.

Thankfully there are some who have been able to see past the propaganda that Corbyn is some kind of ‘Soviet sleeper’ and terrorist sympathizer intent on undermining national security and destroying Britain’s ‘special relationship’ with the US, and as such he has got to the position he is in.  For the reality is that Corbyn’s mantra is essentially based on one basic principle: promote peace not war. And that is something which unfortunately is a huge threat to weapons manufacturers, from which the UK made £14bn last year, making it the world’s second largest arms exporter.

Therefore the ‘deep state’, will do everything it can to persuade the British public that Jeremy Corbyn is our enemy. Former MI6 head, Sir Richard Dearlove, writing in the Mail on Sunday last month warned ‘do not even think about taking the risk of handing this politician the keys of No.10’ as he boasted that neither Corbyn nor many of his close allies would have passed security vetting in order to join the agency. He asserted that Corbyn and his strategist, Seamus Milne, were ‘compromised by their past’ as they had ‘embraced the interests’ of Britain’s enemies. Dearlove, whose resilience has survived the criticism he faced over his role in the Iraq war, is still be listened to it seems. Indeed, his anti-Corbyn articles have featured regular in the mainstream press in recent years, along with several television interviews. And he is not the only former intelligence officer to have spoken out against Corbyn, despite the fact that the security services are supposed to remain neutral.

A recent article by Mark Kennard illustrates the extent to which this principle is being flouted. He writes “The stories — which quote former or current members of the army, navy and special forces, as well as MI5, MI6 and an ex-senior civil servant — have averaged one every six weeks since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in September 2015. There have, however, been significant spikes in frequency during the 2017 and 2019 general election campaigns.” Kennard goes on suggest that intelligence officers have in fact provided journalists in the mainstream media with secret documents as part of what he terms a ‘campaign’. It’s not hard to agree that this is a strong possibility. In 2018 the government’s Integrity Initiative scheme – an intelligence operation involving journalists and academics, designed to counter ‘Russian propaganda’ – was exposed, and it was found to be openly tweeting against Corbyn. This was one of the first indications that the media campaign against Corbyn could be orchestrated. In a previous interview with Professor David Miller at the University of Bristol, he also told me of the ‘unconstitutional animus’ towards the Labour leader which he said was operating in the same way as the Zinoviev case in 1924.

So the threat Corbyn poses is, in fact, nothing new – we’ve been here before with previous potential socialist governments. With baited breath one awaits the result of next week’s election; for if indeed Jeremy Corbyn does gain the keys to No.10 Downing Street we can only imagine what turmoil the establishment will be in…

فرنسا تشهر سلاح القانون… دفاعاً عن الصهيونية

لينا كنوش

السبت 7 كانون الأول 2019

فرنسا تشهر سلاح القانون... دفاعاً عن الصهيونية

حظي خطاب مساواة العداء للصهيونية بالعداء للسامية بأول اعتراف رسمي فرنسي سنة 2004 (أ ف ب )

تطوّر جديد على جبهة الحرب الأيديولوجية ـــــ الإعلامية الهادفة إلى مساواة العداء للصهيونية بالعداء للسامية، تمثّل في تصويت البرلمان الفرنسي على قرار، وهو بعكس أي نص قانوني ليست لديه صفة إلزامية، في الثالث من الشهر الجاري، بـ154 صوتاً من أصل 177، يتبنى فيه التعريف الغامض والتضليلي للعداء للسامية الذي يشيعه «التحالف الدولي لذاكرة الهلوكوست». وقد أدان 127 مثقفاً يهودياً، في مقالة نُشرت في اليوم نفسه، مبادرة غايتها «إسكات من ينتقد دولة إسرائيل خاصة منظمات حقوق الإنسان». إسباغ الشرعية على هذا الانزلاق اللغوي من «العداء للصهيونية»، أي رفض الأيديولوجيا التي تفترض أن اليهود غير قابلين للاندماج في بلدانهم الأصلية وأن عليهم إقامة دولة خاصة بهم، إلى «العداء للسامية»، وهو حال من العنصرية، يأتي كنتيجة لمعركة طويلة الأمد. إذ أطلقت مجموعة من التنظيمات والجمعيات والشخصيات الصهيونية الحملة الهادفة إلى المساواة بين العداء للصهيونية والعداء للسامية منذ سنة 2000. وأصدر «اتحاد الطلبة اليهود في فرنسا» وجمعية «إس. أو. أس عنصرية» كتاباً بعنوان «أعداء اليهود: الكتاب الأبيض عن أعمال العنف المعادية للسامية في فرنسا منذ أيلول 2000»، زعما فيه أن نمطاً جديداً من العداء للسامية نما متلطياً بأيديولوجية نزع الشرعية عن إسرائيل باسم الإسلام والنضال ضد الاستعمار ومناهضة العنصرية. ورأيا أن «العداء للسامية سيتراجع عندما سيتوقف العداء للصهيونية عن توفير الذرائع له. التهجم على اليهود بسبب تضامنهم مع دولة إسرائيل ليس بريئاً ولا إجبارهم على تبرير انتمائهم لإقصائهم عن الجماعة الوطنية». وذهب المفكر الصهيوني بيير أندري تاغييف، في الاتجاه نفسه في كتابه «العداء الحديث لليهود، تحولات الكراهية»، عندما رأى أن الأيديولوجيا التي تتهم إسرائيل بالعنف المنهجي وبممارسة التمييز العنصري وتدعو في صيغتها الأكثر راديكالية إلى إزالتها تشكّل «النمط الأخير من الكراهية القديمة والمتعدّدة الأشكال لليهود».

تحاول الدعاية الإسرائيلية الاستناد إلى نصوص قانونية لمحاربة «المقاطعة»

حظي خطاب مساواة العداء للصهيونية بالعداء للسامية بأول اعتراف رسمي فرنسي سنة 2004 عبر التقرير الذي أعدّه جان كريستوف روفان لوزير الداخلية، والذي يصف فيه «العداء الجذري للصهيونية بعداء غير مباشر للسامية»، لكن المرة الأولى التي أقدم فيها رئيس فرنسي على مثل هذه المساواة كانت سنة 2017. ففي خطاب ألقاه في 16/7/2017 بحضور بنيامين نتنياهو، أكد إيمانويل ماكرون تصميمه على «عدم تقديم تنازلات للعداء للصهيونية لأنها الشكل المستجدّ للعداء للسامية». ظن البعض آنذاك أن الأمر لا يتعدى ارتكاب ماكرون هفوة سياسية، لكن المؤرّخ دومنيك فيدال جزم في كتابه «معاداة الصهيونية =معاداة السامية؟ ردّ على إيمانويل ماكرون»، أن المساواة بين جناية (العداء للسامية) وموقف سياسي (العداء للصهيونية) تمثّل إنكاراً لوقائع التاريخ وخطأ سياسياً. ويذكر المؤلف أن الصهيونية بقيت تياراً هامشياً في مرحلة ما بين الحربين، لأن «الأغلبية الساحقة بين اليهود، 90% إلى 95% من يهود العالم، لا يؤيّدون مشروع تيودور هرتزل وذلك منذ عقد المؤتمر الصهيوني العالمي الأول سنة 1897 وإلى سنة 1939». هذا لا يعني بالطبع أنهم كانوا معادين للسامية، إلا إذا اعتمدنا الخطاب المؤيد لإسرائيل الذي يتهمهم بـ«كره الذات». ويحذر فيدال أن مثل هذه المساواة ستفضي إلى إعادة الاعتبار قانونياً لمفهوم جريمة الرأي للمرة الأولى منذ حرب الجزائر.
بالخلط المتعمّد بين العداء للصهيونية والعداء للسامية، يحاول أنصار إسرائيل منع أي نقد لسياسة تل أبيب وتجريم حركة المقاطعة «BDS»، التي تسببت في خسائر لها بعشرات مليارات الدولارات سنوياً. الدعاية الإسرائيلية تحاول الاستناد إلى نصوص قانونية لمحاربة حركة باتت تُصنَّف على أنها «تهديد استراتيجي أساسي» من تل أبيب التي استصدرت قانوناً في آذار 2017 يحظّر دخول المواطنين الأجانب الذين يدعون للمقاطعة.

 

Norman Finkelstein: Fatou Bensouda Has Done Everything in Her Power to Prevent an Investigation of the Israeli Crimes by the ICC

By Slava Zilber

Source

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Slava Zilber: I would like to interview you about your new book. Could you please explain the title: “I Accuse!: Herewith A Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt That ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda Whitewashed Israel

Norman Finkelstein: As you know, Israel has been occupying Gaza since 1967, which is more now than a half-century. Israel has imposed an illegal, immoral, and inhumane blockade on Gaza since January 2006, and Gaza is rapidly becoming – it might have already become – physically an unlivable space. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the population of Gaza is more than half children. And 70 percent of the population consists of refugees and children of refugees and successive generations of refugees.

So you have a population more than half of which is children, 70 percent of which is refugees and successive generations which for more than half a century has been living under a brutal Israeli occupation and since 2006 has been living under an illegal, an immoral, an inhuman blockade that has rendered Gaza, in effect, physicallyunlivable.

Now, in the course of the occupation and the blockade, there have been several incidents as they are called in international law jargon. They have been referred to the International Criminal Court, the ICC. And the chief prosecutor is named Fatou Bensouda. And Fatou Bensouda has been desperately trying to quash these complaints – the technical term is referrals – to the ICC.

And on one of the two complaints, there have been proceedings that have gone on since 2013, which is more than six years ago now. A complaint was filed with her office. And Bensouda has repeatedly declared that she will not launch an investigation of the complaint filed with the ICC. And the case is closed. She said that twice now. But there are forces within the ICC which have been pushing back against her clear whitewash of Israel. And so she declares the case closed, then other forces say ‘not so fast,’ and other forces within the ICC say Bensouda has to reopen the case. And it has been going back and forth. Now, there is supposed to be an important intervention by Bensouda on December 2nd. And I wrote the book with one, very specific purpose in mind and that is to expose Bensouda’s lies, her falsifications, her fabrications, her misrepresentations in this systematic and methodical whitewash of Israel and to force her to either investigate Israeli crimes which to date she refuses to do or to step down from office.

Why does the International Criminal Court whitewash these crimes? To what extent is it about Bensouda? You have spoken very critically about her predecessor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo. To what extent is it about the ICC? Has there been outside influence? You spoke about the retraction of the Goldstone Report.

Richard Goldstone was the South African judge who was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity after Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9. After Goldstone issued a devastating report on Israel’s crimes during Operation Cast Lead, he came under a vicious attack by Israel and its apologists. And, for reasons which aren’t entirely clear, he then was forced to retract the report, whether he succumbed to the pressures that were exerted on him or he was blackmailed. I am inclined to believe the latter. Whether it was external pressures or internal blackmail, he succumbed. At that point, a lot of the human rights community got very nervous that, if you attack Israel, the Mossad and various other Israeli agencies are going to dig deep into your closet in order to find skeletons that can tarnish and, worse, destroy your reputation. So I think part of the reason Bensouda has been lying, fabricating, falsifying is the fear that she will become the target of the very same agencies that brought down Richard Goldstone. And also the US has made plain under the Trump administration – they have said literally, in no subtle language: If the ICC investigates the United States or Israel, the US will destroy the ICC.

So there are both personal motives, the fear that the many skeletons in Bensouda’s closet will be exposed to public view, and the institutional fear that the ICC itself will be under attack. On both those grounds, she has done everything in her power to prevent an investigation of the Israeli crimes by the ICC.

Recently, there has been a scandal regarding the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. There was an official report and then another report [an engineering assessment] was leaked. And now two whistleblowers have come forward. 

Is there an organization that still has integrity on the issue of Israel/Palestine, which is not just a puppet of outside powers and can be objectively trusted to report on the human rights abuses?

It’s a question of degrees and gradations. Amnesty International can be very good, but it can be very bad. Human Rights Watch can be very bad, but occasionally it can be quite good. B’Tselem under its previous leadership – the executive director was Jessica Montell – was quite bad, but under its current leadership, [Hagai] ElAd, the Israeli physicist, its record has been very good. So these kinds of organizations are subject to – always – a lot of external pressure. Sometimes they resist, and sometimes they succumb.

Have you contacted the people involved in this process at the International Criminal Court? Can people write petitions? Can people reach out and make a plea?

I have tried to contact a few of the individuals, not many. However, we have an expression in English: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” And I rather then see the finished product. Quite a few of them are serious. They don’t just read the cover and the blurb. And so I am hoping once they read the book, they will be convinced that I’ve made an overwhelming case and then hopefully will act on it. So it is a little bit premature to expect any action. They have to read my argument. And then we will see what they say. And we will see what they do.     

What would the symbolic and the practical value of the indictment be?

It depends. Sometimes, symbolism can have a real, material impact. If the prosecutor is sufficiently embarrassed that she has to press ahead with an investigation, then a diplomatic conflict will erupt, and then we will have to wait and see what comes of it. The US, along with Israel, will push hard against the ICC. And then we’ll have to see how hard the ICC pushes back or whether it succumbs. It’s a battle, but it’s a battle about to cast light on Israeli crimes against Gaza. And that would be a good thing.

Is there a realistic prospect of somebody being put on trial and possibly convicted?

No, it’s not a realistic prospect. A realistic prospect is [that] pressure will be exerted on Israel to lift the blockade in order to avoid an investigation. It will be quiet backroom discussions: ‘You know, this guy makes a big case. A lot of people are very angry. They are calling me a liar. They are calling me a whitewasher. So maybe you can just lift the blockade so we can avoid this mess because I really don’t want to investigate you, you know. I don’t really have a choice now.’ So maybe it’ll put pressure on Israel to lift the blockade. But no indictments. That’s not possible. The ICC only indicts Africans. That’s why they call it the International Caucasian Court.

One could argue that this whitewashing by Ms. Bensouda and her predecessors is basically the function of this court. It’s fulfilling its function as International Caucasian Court.

I know a very good jurist, one of the leading international law jurists in the world. He is very respected. And I talk to him privately. He says the ICC is not a court; it’s a joke. It’s so corrupt. It’s so contemptible, just put into power to prosecute war criminals, for sure, but criminals in the great scheme of things who don’t really compare to, say, a Tony Blair, a George Bush or any of the others who are culpable for massive war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In recent years and now during the presidential election, do you see a shift when it comes to discourse about Israel and Palestine and the issue you address in your book? Are reactions different now?

We could see of the leading candidates it is pretty much down the middle. Two candidates, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, are of the old world, 100 percent support for Israel, basically abetters and appeasers of war crimes. And two candidates, Elizabeth Warren and in particular Bernie Sanders, have adopted a much more critical approach towards Israel. Elizabeth Warren is still pretty weak, but she issued a good statement on the recent Israeli massacres in Gaza. Bernie Sanders has, in general, been very decent.

So you see within the leading presidential candidates a manifestation in their statements of the split within the Democratic Party between the old guard, blind supporters of Israel, and the new constituencies in the Democratic Party which are more willing to out the Israeli criminality.

What is next for you, Prof. Finkelstein?

I don’t know. It depends on what happens in the world. For the moment, I am focused on the Bernie Sanders candidacy. If he wins, it’s a game changer. We will be living in a new country. I should amend that. We will be living in a country in which the left will have the potential to exercise serious institutional power and that would be a very good change. So let’s wait and see what happens.

Where Comedy ends and Hasbara Begins

 

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by Gilad Atzmon

Two days ago at the ADL conference Jewish Zionist comedian Sacha Baron Cohen criticised the internet and social media companies for allowing freedom of speech. This grotesque character who has made a career of marginalising oppressed minorities by depicting stereotypical characters and then ridiculing them is now calling on social media to adopt gag orders and to move us further into an Orwellian realm.

Galvanized by the support it received from the Jewish comedian, the ADL is now demanding that 10 social media accounts “should be removed immediately.”

For one reason or another I am included on the list. I need not mention that I have never been charged with any crime let alone a hate crime.  I’ve never once been questioned by a single law enforcement body anywhere in the world. This does not stop the ADL from writing of me: “Gilad Atzmon is an anti-Semitic author and musician who describes himself as an ‘ex-Israeli’ and an ‘ex-Jew.’

I am indeed an ex Israeli and ex Jew and I am also a musician. However, I deny the accusation of anti-Semitism, I have never criticized Jews, or anyone else for the matter, as ‘a people,’ as ‘a race,’ as ‘a biology’ or as ‘an ethnicity.’ In fact, for my entire life I have opposed all forms of racism and this includes Jewish racism. I do criticise Jewish identitarian politics and some aspects of Jewish culture and ideology. I grew up in Israel and as far as I can remember, in the Jewish state, criticism of culture, ideology and politics is considered a perfectly kosher activity.

The ADL says of me that I am an “outspoken promoter of classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” This is an absurd lie as I have repeatedly argued that there are no Jewish conspiracies since it is all done in the open: from Epstein’s Lolita Express, to Israeli war crimes, to advocacy of Zioncon global conflicts and plans for an ‘New American Century.’ The UK chief rabbi’s call for Brits to turn their backs on their opposition party is not exactly a conspiratorial clandestine move, it is actually mainstream news in Britain this morning. There are no Jewish conspiracies, what happens takes place in front of our eyes but we cannot discuss it because Jewish power, as I define it, is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power.

From then on, what the ADL says about me is somewhat accurate. He is “a fierce critic of Jewish identity.”  I am.

 “He has written that ‘Jewish ideological, political, and cultural discourse is…foreign to universalism and ideas of true equality.’ My exact words can be found here. What I say is “We must find a way to admit to ourselves that the Jewish ideological, political and cultural discourse is a tribal discourse: it is foreign to universalism and ideas of true equality.” Here the ADL is engaged  in a rather obvious attempt to deceive. In my original text, being ‘foreign to universalism and true equality’ elucidates the notion of tribal discourse. You may wonder why the ADL acts in a duplicitous manner.

 The ADL complains that “although Atzmon frequently attacks Zionism, he has also argued that Zionism itself was originally a ‘universalist and humanist’ movement which was ‘hijacked by Judaism.’ In fact, this is exactly what I argue and I wonder, where exactly is the ‘crime?’  The battle between ‘the Israeli’ and ‘the Jew’ was at the centre of the Israeli political debate in the last election. Am I guilty of identifying the core of Israel’s identity crisis a decade before anyone else?

Finally the ADL complains that I say of Israel that it is a  “tyranny inspired by a deep Talmudic intolerance.” I am afraid that the Israeli National Bill is the materialisation of the above.  I think I remember that the ADL’s Abe Foxman also wasn’t pleased with Israel’s National Bill for pretty much the same reasons. Is the ADL going to ask to delete his twitter account?

Sooner or later we will have to examine the question whether the relentless attack by Jewish institutions on freedom of speech, 1st amendments and the core Western ethos has been ‘good for the Jews.’


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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