The Sheep Syndrome

The Sheep Syndrome
Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020).

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

January 15, 2021

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

Today and during the last few days new “measures” – restrictions of freedom imposed by governments for reasons of “public health security”, i. e. preventing the spread of covid infections – have been tightened throughout Europe. Literally, these treacherous governments say, “we have to tighten the screws”. Seriously. WTF – who do they think they are? Servant of the people who elected them and who pay them. This is high treason. But people take it without asking too many questions, some complaints but not strong enough… we are living in the midst of the Sheep Syndrome.

They – these supposedly people friendly governments – call them “measures”, a euphemism for lockdown – sounds better in the ears of a public tired of continuous and more and more repressions. This second, in some countries even third lockdown, includes further business closing, more severe control on home-office work, police-enhanced social distancing, mask wearing, no indoor group activities, only 5 people may meet in an apartment… and, and, and.

For example, there are about 75 studies – give or take a couple – about the uselessness and even dangers of mask wearing. They address especially the danger for children and young adults… but nobody, nobody in the bought-compromised and coerced, bribed – western governments pays any attention to them, nor does, of course, the presstitute mainstream media. They keep to the narrative – MUST wear a mask – MUST keep the safe 6ft. distance – police enforced.

They also impose homeoffice, knowing damn well that any serious psychologist and sociologist tells you how devastating this is for the individual – loneliness, lack of physical contact, encounter and interaction with colleagues – as well as for society as a whole. Without physical contact it breaks apart. This is of course all wanton – thus, all restaurant closings, all events where people gather and interchange, is forbidden.

People are unhappy. Yes, but not enough to stop this tyranny! – Well, I better behave otherwise I’m going to be punished. – FEAR! – Fear leads to the sheep syndrome – that deep-deep social disease which besets us today – and has done so for a while. People, we got to get out of it.

But, it seems, people are not yet tired enough to stand up in unison, screaming “enough is enough”, we do not continue this is government tyranny, we stop beying.

And yes, to give the tyranny more weight, more credibility, it is enhanced by a so-called Task Force (TF), a group of coopted “scientists”, especially established by the Powers that Be, to inform them what to do. It is an old method of a decision-making duality, when governments have to, or want to, take decisions that are not popular, they ask the Task Force for advice. However, the TF has been told and knows exactly what they have to advise. That’s a premeditated lie.

In the UK and France new lockdown measures were imposed already for days, Austria and Switzerland announced them a couple of days ago – the EU as an entity – says nothing, does not coordinate, does not want see that these lockdowns are not only destroying the individual nations’ economy, but they bring the entire EU to economic suicide. The EU is hamstrung by Washington and by NATO.

The new lockdowns – and possibly more are planned as more waves of covid are in the making – until everybody is vaxxed – and has his / her electromagnetic gel injected in their bodies with an DNA-altering substance. So now, they are totally controllable over time. And the time horizon set for total digitization of everything is 2030. AI and robot control of humans – making them into transhumans that’s the goal for the UN Agenda 21-30. And the instrument to achieve it is the Bill Gates created Agenda ID2020 (see https://www.globalresearch.ca/coronavirus-causes-effects-real-danger-agenda-id2020/5706153 )

More lockdowns are killing more small businesses, shops, and restaurants. Creating more hardship of small business owner, more bankruptcies, more misery for the people and their families, losing their jobs.

Just imagine – home-teaching, a family of 4, both parents work, the kids have to have each one a reasonably powerful computer to be able to connect to the school teacher – the kids have to have reasonable computer skills to manage home-learning, and the parents, even if they have time, do they all have the reasonable computer skills to help their kids? – Does every family in the already much covid-hardship affected society have the resources to spare for buying the needed electronic gear for the kids?

It is a disaster. Again, a wanton disaster. Because it will result in less or non-educated children in the west – non-educated kids will become easier manipulatable adults – well, they are expected to fall – in lockstep – into their parents Sheep Syndrome. – Or will they? – That’s where dynamics may not meet linear elite thinking and expectations.

Now, this is happening in the Global North. Imagine how it is in the Global South, where increasing poverty, misery and famine is ravaging entire societies, in cases more than two thirds of a country’s population. How will these kids be distance-taught? – They simply won’t. So, we have a situation where the Global South produces uneducated kids, because they simply don’t go to school. Most of them will remain poor, they will be the perfect laborers for the elite – or cannon fodder for the wars the rich nations have to (or want to) fight to satisfy their greed. Never forget, wars are profitable. But foremost because of their sociopathic thirst for more and more power and money.

Listening and talking to people in the street and to small business owners, they are all upset, and many of them say they may not survive, may never reopen, despite the subsidy they receive form governments. In Switzerland, the head of “Gastronomie Suisse” said with another lockdown, up to 50% of restaurants may not survive. A similar figure had been mentioned in Germany and Austria – and surely the situation is likewise devastating elsewhere too.

We are talking predominantly for the west. The situation in the East, Russia and China and their allies in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is different, in as much as they have a people-friendlier approach to covid-eradication.

In the west, in some cases, people’s entire lifesaving, their life achievements, their family businesses, are killed for the sake of a useless and purely oppressive rule. The purpose of this rule is not to stamp out a disease, but covid is a means to instill fear and make us compliant, for worse times to come. Because, let me tell you, whatever you may think that in the summer of 2021, or next year, 2022, we will get back to normal – we will not. Never. If we let them do what they are doing now.

This small Globalist Cabal, via its ultra-rich handlers – billionaires with two and three digits of Silicon Valley – does not only have the power to censoring whoever is against the Matrix, but they are all censuring in unison the President of the United States. What does that say about a country, or about a society we live in, a society that calls itself “democratic”?

No matter how much you like or dislike your President, doesn’t it occur to you that this is the embodiment of freedom of speech that is taken away from you? – But again, we do nothing. We watch and complain, but we do nothing. We let it happen. Wouldn’t this be a golden opportunity to block and boycott all social media platforms? Period. – Live without them, for Christ’s sake, some 20, 30 years ago we didn’t even know that they existed, or to what extent we will be hooked on them.

If we can still think independently, it’s now the time to cut yourself loose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and what all their names are — don’t use them. Get back to regular human-to-human communications, dialogues, meeting each other, calling on the phone, landline if possible. Yes, I’m serious.

Think about the consequences of following this trend of no free speech, but a steady increase in AI-ization by algorithms that are precisely using the data you give them on the social platform to further enslave you; by ever more robotization and digitization – to the point when we don’t even realize that our brains have been wired and “hacked” by DARPA-developed super-computers, and we will believe and follow orders we are directly implanted by such super-computers, managed, guess by whom – by the Globalist Cabal – at which point we have irreversibly become the embodiment of the Sheep Syndrome. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is an advanced research and technology branch of the Pentagon.

Does anyone want that?
I doubt it.

We have to find a way to act now. I don’t have the solution. But maybe collectively connecting with each other spiritually, we will find a solution – or we will make a solution emerge.

That would be the noble way – changing an utterly abusive environment with conscientiousness and with spiritual thinking; emitting high-vibrating vibes that influence our collective destiny. But we have to believe in it and in ourselves as a solid and solidary collectivity.

If we fail as humans to claim back our human and civil rights and preserve them, eventually Mother Earth will clean herself. She will clean out the inhuman swamp. Maybe it needs one or two huge and lasting cataclysms; a massive earthquake with a disastrous tsunami, a gigantic eruption of one or several volcanos, darkening the sky for weeks, or a monster hurricane or ice storm that destroys and paralyzes parts of civilization, or a huge solar explosion, knocking out the world’s electric and electronic grid – ending digitization of everything on the spot.  – All this might be much worse than what covid, or its inventors, ever did.

After such a cataclysm, much of humanity might have to start from scratch – from near-to-zero, and certainly without digitization – but with the now lost freedom, to start afresh and develop freely and sovereignly according to our needs.

For decades the Global Cabal has showered us with self-aggrandizing lies, with promises of comfort, of well-being, but with the notion that competition rather than cooperation will be the salvation. These well-thought-out lies led to a society of egocentric psychopaths – not only, but enough to influence the trend of society, of our dystopian lives. We have gradually acquiesced in LOCKSTEP to a move of societal, even civilizational destruction, from where there is no return.

Let’s work ourselves out of the Sheep Syndrome – NOW.


US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

US post-Capitol: Armed, hysterical, depressed & yet out for blood

January 14, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) for the Saker Blog

The FBI says armed protests are being planned in all 50 states from January 16 until Joe Biden’s inauguration day on January 20.

It’s a living nightmare in the US right now – what else can be said?

“Hysteria” is the one word which described the United States in 2020, but in 2021 we are witnessing what happens when a hysterical sprinter just can’t stop sprinting – it is ugly.

I can objectively report that since the Electoral College decided the presidency – following the end of the Capitol Hill protest – seemingly everybody here is depressed and unhappy. The US cannot handle what is going on and everyone feels things are spinning out of control. What’s worse is that they cannot even help themselves from contributing to the spinning: The solution of those who opposed the armed protests is to antagonise the potential armed protesters?

It is ugly.

This is a pretty ambitious column, if “ambitious column” isn’t a journalistic oxymoron: I think all of the upcoming paragraphs can be turned into stand-alone columns because the US is, sadly, in such a hideously twisted shape.

It’s totally absurd to compare 9/11 to “1/6”, but that is what The New York Times did today – it only shows how inoculated modern Americans are from war on their own soil. Do Americans realise that the Capitol Hill protests are exactly what Washington has encouraged in Hong Kong, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Iran, etc.? And that’s just in your recent memory banks – go back to World War II and the’ve done this in half the world. I can report absolutely nobody in the Mainstream Media here is making that connection. Well, America, the sight of a bloody and brewing civil war is pretty terrible, isn’t it? Like I wrote this is a whole column, but the US has hit what is a comparatively tiny bump in the road – when compared to what they have so gleefully fomented for so very long and with such self-righteousness – and Americans are absolutely falling to pieces.

Do Americans realise that the worst thing to do right now is to spend much time consulting their corporate-dominated media? The Capitol Hill protest was spectacular for ratings, and this country – which totally lacks a sizeable, patriotic and neutral government media – wants to make big bucks until at least inauguration day by hyping what should not be hyped. Do not tune into the news during this time of hysteria – you will thank me for it.

I also have encouraged people to not tune into social media. It’s not that the average person doesn’t know what he or she is talking about – I always insist that the “person on the street” interviews I do often provide me with better insights than interviews with degreed experts – it’s that there simply is no filter. Trump is toxic on his social media because that’s what American social media is – toxic. Western, uncensored social media is seemingly designed to provide a direct counterweight to the Asian cultural model of “saving” and “giving” face. I would guess that the overwhelming majority of Americans – after this roughly 15-year experiment with it – would say that social media has been a societal and personal disappointment.

On the macro level of social media: the US has created a monster, as there simply is no way to regulate Big Tech. They are clearly a monopoly power which can shut down political speech, like with the app Parler, and yet it is their “legal right” to do so because they are a business and not a press – i.e., they have no social responsibilities, but do have all the human rights America insanely grants to corporations. This, of course, enrages an American populace which (falsely) believes their country is a global leader in defending the human right to free press. Facebook took down PressTV’s page for a few hours – of course: If they will ban President Trump on Twitter why would they hesitate much longer for Iran? We are only just comprehending what “social media” can really do to a society, but the negative case study is: the US 2020 election.

Joe Biden is being tasked with healing the whole country even though he also spent the last four years demonising half the country. That is perhaps the best way to gauge what the upcoming chances are for “reconciliation” in America. I just don’t find the idea that the United States will rally around a hugely discredited and wilfully, remorselessly divisive Democratic Party even remotely credible.

Biden has just picked his head of the CIA – it was a person who was also a top candidate for the Secretary of State (foreign minister) post. That the nation’s top spy and top diplomat are interchangeable – and that this goes uncommented upon – says a lot about the United States. Washington does not try to persuade anyone – they just apply pressure, spy on them and make sure the national needs of their allies are subverted to the national needs of the US. Angela Merkel denounced Trump’s Twitter ban, just as she denounced Obama spying on her calls. The US has no allies, and while they will blame Trump for losing all their “international standing” the reality is they had none and want none.

Today’s impeachment of Trump is a spectacularly foolish errand: they will never get the Senate supermajority to actually impeach Trump; he’s leaving in seven days; Trump is correct that it will – of course – cause “tremendous anger”; it is clearly designed to sabotage Trump’s 2024 election chances, at whatever cost to national unity; 40% of the country already feels like their presidential vote was disenfranchised – now you want to impeach their leader (which comes after the censorship of him and before the prosecution of him)? It’s just useless theatre – the US election circus continues.

Is it possible that I was wrong to say that a violent right-wing movement – something comparable in determination (though not at all comparable in aims) to what the US saw last summer in response to never-ending police brutality – cannot ever grow strong enough in the US to “Occupy Capitol Hill”, or something similar? I still don’t think I am wrong and that once this final week passes so will these protests. American conservatives are too status-quo loving, too law and order-worshipping and too jingoistic to really try and change America.

I think the Capitol Hill protest was a one-time act of civil disobedience which spontaneously grew beyond the intentions of the mass majority of protesters – I have seen that happen countless times in person as a journalist. It obviously never morphed into an “Occupy Capitol Hill” multi-day protest because it was obviously never intended to (and for the same reason above). The people at the front lines of such protests are always a different breed; always run the range of political views from right to left; always have a range of motivations, from being mere adrenaline-seekers to genuine political integrity. I have also seen the video footage – captured by a left-wing Black Lives Matter member (because there is always this range of values) – of a Capitol cop, whose life was not threatened, shoot and kill female protester Ashlii Babbitt. I’m appalled there’s not more MSM discussion about that, because the footage is so clear that this was police brutality, but any such discussion radically changes how the protest has to be covered by the MSM: it means taking a break from demonising the protesters, and the US corporate media does not want that.

It was totally clear in the week since Capitol Hill: It’s not enough that Biden won – the US anti-Trump elite wants blood. They want Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump, so they can censor and others (as they just did with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Iranian state media PressTV). They want to imprison the Capitol Hill protesters, so they can prevent any anti-Biden political protests in the next four years. They want to impeach and jail Trump, so they can prevent Trumpism from growing beyond their idiotic, “how did I get here” leader into something which could upend the world’s oldest duopoly.

These are all columns because they are all huge issues which cannot be resolved in a few sentences – only summed up. I’m only stopping because I have word limits – feel free to point out which issues weren’t included.

The bottom line on the Democrat side is: Many Americans have spent four years hysterically demonising Trump supporters – they can’t turn it off: Winning the Electoral College obviously wasn’t enough. They want animals put in cages whom they can go poke; they want to fabricate a moral high ground which they believe is so high that it exonerates them from open debate; they want compound interest on the four years they wasted on the perennial US political circus.

The other bottom line on the Republican side is: Trump supporters are in shock that they lost – every one I talked with was so very certain of his victory. Then many of them were certain the Donald would pull it out, but what the Donald did was pass up every opportunity to take a courageous stand and to essentially say, “I’ve been using you supporters all this time.” Trump supporters now see this atrocious past week as if the US elite is presenting them with only two choices: either return to being mainstream Republicans or leave politics altogether. Many will choose the latter. Many Americans will not miss them. They will still be here, I point out to the victors.

I also point out to the victors: Trump losing the election did not solve all this country’s problems, as it was long promised. America in 2021 has way too many problems for such a simple solution.

*************************************************************

Dispatches from the United States after the presidential election

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (1/2) – November 5, 2020

Results are in: Americans lose, duopoly wins, Trumpism not merely a cult (2/2) – November 6, 2020

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020

US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’? – November 10, 2020

CNN’s Jake Tapper: The overseer keeping all journalists in line (1/2) – November 13, 2020

‘Bidenism’ domestically: no free press, no lawyer, one-party state? (2/2) – November 15, 2020

Where’s Donald? When 40% of voters cry ‘fraud’ you’ve got a big problem – November 17, 2020

The 4-year (neoliberal) radicalisation of US media & Bidenites’ ‘unradical radicalism’ – November 22, 2020

80% of US partisan losers think the last 2 elections were stolen – December 3, 2020

Trump declares civil war for voter integrity in breaking (or broken) USA – December 5, 2020

Mess with Texas via mail-in ballot? States secede from presidential vote – December 8, 2020

Biden won? 2016-2020 showed what the US does to even mild reformers – Dec 18, 2020

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed – January 2, 2020

This week in the US: The ‘model nation’ for no nation anymore – January 7, 2020

Biggest threat to global leftism returns to power: US fake-leftism (1/2) – January 8, 2021

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Freedom of Expression: Good for the Western Goose, Forbidden for the Muslim Gander

By Kim Petersen

Source

Aussie soldier gulping beer 43f4f

When French President Emmanuel Macron was pilloried in some quarters for defending freedom of expression as a French value, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison backed his European counterpart: “We share values. We stand for the same things.” This professed French/Australian value for freedom of expression has now come back to bite the backside of the Australian prime minister.

When it comes to publication of inflammatory western depictions of the prophet Mohammed that raise the ire of many Muslims worldwide, many western voices will step forth to defend freedom of expression. However, this fidelity to the freedom of expression will often change when what is being expressed casts the West in a negative light; a case in point being an image of an Australian soldier slitting a Muslim child’s throat.

News.com.au featured a 60 Minutes Australia report about “disturbing allegations of the murder of children and a ‘killing as a sport’ culture” among Australian fighters deployed in Afghanistan.

A sociologist, Samantha Crompvoets, spent months interviewing Special Forces soldiers about alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Among the insouciant acts noted were soldiers tallying their kills on wall boards — kills that included civilians and prisoners.

60 Minutes described the killers as a “rogue band” of special forces soldiers. One especially “disturbing allegation” described how Australian Special Forces soldiers mercilessly slit the throats of 14-year-old boys, bagged their bodies, and tossed them in a river.

Guardian exclusive exposed depravity with a photo of an Australian soldier drinking beer from a Taliban fighter’s prosthetic leg.

The findings by Crompvoets and the 60 Minutes report were corroborated by the Australian government’s redacted Brereton Report of “possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia’s military history”:

… 39 unlawful killings by or involving ADF members. The Report also discloses separate allegations that ADF members cruelly treated persons under their control. None of these alleged crimes was committed during the heat of battle. The alleged victims were non-combatants or no longer combatants.

What particularly stuck in the craw of political Australia was a tweet by a Chinese official, Zhao Lijian, of a gruesome throat-slitting image.

Australian prime minister Morrison was apoplectic, calling the post “repugnant,” “deeply offensive to every Australian, every Australian who has served in that uniform,” “utterly outrageous,” and unjustifiable noting that it was a “false image.” Morrison demanded an apology from the Chinese government, the firing of Zhao Lijian, and for Twitter to remove the post.

“It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever, the Chinese Government should be totally ashamed of this post,” Morrison said.

First, calling the image false is deflection because anyone who gives more than a cursory glance to the image will right away realize that it is has been photo-shopped and does not purport in any way to be an untouched photograph.

Second, the Australian prime minister obviously has backward moral priorities. I submit that what should be deeply offensive to Morrison and every human being — not just Australians — and especially offensive for every Australian who has served in the Australian military are the egregious war crimes committed by those wearing the same uniform. The starting and focal point for condemnation must be the war crimes. Logically, if the spate of gruesome war crimes had not been committed by Australians in uniform, then outcry at the crimes would not have been filliped.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did address the outrage by Morrison in a TV address.

“These cruel crimes have been condemned by the international community,” said Hua.

“The Australian government should do some soul searching and bring the culprits to justice, and offer an official apology to the Afghan people and make the solemn pledge that they will never repeat such crimes. Earlier, they said the Chinese government should feel ashamed but it is Australian soldiers who committed such cruel crimes.”

“Shouldn’t the Australian government feel ashamed? Shouldn’t they feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians?”

According to Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani, Morrison did express — not a full-fledged apology — but “his deepest sorrow over the misconduct by some Australian troops.” Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne also wrote to her Afghan counterpart to extend “apologies for the misconduct identified by the inquiry, by some Australian military personnel in Afghanistan.” The wording would seem to diminish the atrocities as “misconduct.” There is also a overarching emphasis that the crimes were committed by some troops, seeking to exculpate the bulk of the troops from bad apples among them.

It would seem Australia is trying to distract from its horrendous war crimes. Colloquially put, Australia’s political honcho is trying to cover the military’s bare ass.

World Socialist Web Site was scathing in denouncing the Australian Establishment’s response,

The tweet by a mid-ranking Chinese official, condemning Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, has been met with hysterical denunciations by the entire political and media establishment. The response can only be described as a staggering exercise in hypocrisy, confected outrage and an attempt to whip-up a wartime nationalist frenzy.

The illustration is based on an investigative report by the Australian Department of Defense, Hua pointed out, noting that “although it is a painting, it reflects the facts.”

Hua pointed to Morrison’s real purpose: to divert attention and shift pressure from Australian war crimes to criticism of China.

Australia Liberal MP Andrew Hastie preferred that the war crimes had been kept buried. Hastie (who as a captain in the Special Air Services was cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation into soldiers under his command who chopped the hands off dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan) criticized the Australian Defence Force for releasing allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, saying it has allowed China to malign Australian troops.

Bipartisan support was forthcoming for Australian government indignation as Labor leader Anthony Albanese also criticized the image and shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong called it “gratuitous” and “inflammatory.”

Prosecuting Western War Crimes

At the end of World War II war crimes tribunals were set up. In Europe there was the Nuremberg Tribunal and in Asia the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. It was victor’s justice and no Allies were tried. This although the United States and, to a lesser degree France, engaged in a deliberate policy of starving German prisoners of war (who the US re-designated as disarmed enemy forces to evade the Geneva Conventions on POWs, as president George W Bush would later similarly do in Afghanistan when he refused to recognize POWs, labeling them instead as unlawful enemy combatants) and civilians. Germans stated that over 1,700,000 soldiers alive at the end of the war never returned home.

In the Far East, there were no allies prosecuted at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. It must be noted that just as Nazi scientists were brought back to work at the behest of the US, class A Japanese war criminals were also protected by the US from prosecution.

Australia is not alone in the commission of war crimes. Canadian Airborne Regiment troops tied and blind-folded 16-year-old Shidane Arone, beat him with a metal bar, and burned with cigarellos for hours (he was later found to have burns on his penis), and took “trophy pics.” Arone was dead the following morning. The Canadian Airborne Regiment would be disbanded. US war crimes are numerous. They include My Lai in Viet Nam, Bagram in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, etc.

Western war criminals are seldom punished, or when punished, then not in a meaningful way proportionate to the crimes committed. In fact, if you expose the war crimes perpetrated by a western allied country, then you risk becoming targeted for imprisonment. Such is the situation that Julian Assange finds himself in today. Although an Australian citizen, Morrison has been unsympathetic to the WikiLeaks founder and publisher who exposed egregious US war crimes. Said Morrison, “Mr Assange will get the same support that any other Australian would … he’s not going to be given any special treatment.”

This is what adherence to the tenet of freedom of expression genuinely signifies in much of the western world. In other words, freedom of expression is good for the western goose but bad when it is for the Muslim gander.

For further background view the damning allegations of serious war crimes, including the execution of innocent civilians and detainees.

Dr Pascal Sacré: Emergency Physician Unjustly Fired for His Writings on the COVID Crisis: The Right of Response

Thanks to all of you who want a world where the word is respected, truth is defended, freedom is a reality. I will never let fear rule my life. Don’t negotiate with fear.

By Dr. Pascal Sacré

Global Research, November 28, 2020

There, it happened.

For my words, my words, my writings, I was dismissed like a waste, a thief, without the right to answer.

An experienced, competent emergency physician, appreciated by his colleagues for my actions in stressful situations, fired in the middle of COVID!

For words, for an image.

All you had to do was reassure people, defend your doctor, attenuate and wait for the storm to calm down…  and then talk.

I write, it’s true, things that disturb, dissident points of view, those who follow me on this site since 2009 know it.

When I resumed my writing starting in 2020, about the political management of the COVID crisis, but also generally, about the endemic corruption of medicine, science and official bodies in Belgium, I felt that it would be risky, really.

But I did not give up because I will never let my life be controlled by fear.

Some people say that I am unconscious. Do you think that after 17 years of treating people, in emergency, stress, often for 24 hours at a time, I could have done all this while being unconscious?

Some people say that I am irresponsible. I have always taken my responsibilities, preferred writing to speaking because it allows reflection, rereading, and I have always turned my tongue 7 times in my mouth, before finishing an article and sending it with all its sources and references. I have always respected the rules of the hospital, of society, even when, as they stand, they seemed crazy to me and likely to cause more harm than good. I have always put the safety of my patients above my convictions, preferring to explain, to convince through words and writings.

Some say I am a disgrace to the profession.

Those who say that are ignorant of my profession. Many people talk about critical care, especially today with Covid, when critical care has been around for 70 years, but do they even know, these accusing people, what they are talking about?

We can’t pretend, this is live, live, surrounded by death and suffering,

We don’t know how to lie and if we do, we get out. I’ve held on to it for 17 years and I only had to stop suddenly because of people who don’t like what I say, don’t like my opinions!

Some say, the most beautiful things, that I am anti-everything. Those who say that are certainly much more so than I am. I will tell you all the things I am for:

  1. The truth, in any case its permanent search and accept for that, to deceive me.
  2. Tolerance of other people’s ideas, opinions and writings.
  3. The will, in turn, to be able to express my ideas, opinions and writings.
  4. Respect for nature and animals
  5. Relief of pain and suffering
  6. Life in all its facets, music, sounds, songs, dances, colors, and therefore accept death, because one cannot live like this without accepting the idea of dying at any time.

I only wanted to ask questions, to give my points of view without ever imposing them, to question, to nuance, to contextualize, to reassure when others only want to terrorize.

I was condemned, thrown away for that.

I was forced to abandon my colleagues in difficulty, summoned to leave burning places by people who should not so easily spit on the help of one of their own, a resuscitator, for words, a picture!

That’s how it is.

They have that power.

And yet,

  • Professor Didier Raoult (France)
  • Professor Christian Perronne (France)
  • Professor Toubiana (France)
  • Professor Toussaint (France)
  • Professor Gala (Belgium)
  • And all those other doctors, caregivers, health care professionals,

Belgium :  https://docs4opendebate.be/fr/open-brief/ 

Netherlands: https://opendebat.info/  et https://brandbriefggz.nl/ 

US Frontline Doctors : https://www.xandernieuws.net/algemeen/groep-artsen-vs-komt-in-verzet-facebook-bant-hun-17-miljoen-keer-bekeken-video/ 

Spain: https://niburu.co/gezondheid/15385-artsen-komen-massaal-met-coronawaarheid-naar-buiten 

Germany: https://acu2020.org/international/ 

Belgium : https://omgekeerdelockdown.simplesite.com/?fbclid=IwAR2bJAAShAlIidjnRQPyVSoZbk1Uj-FTHAthL77hKX_Oo8aMLN3V6DdwAac 

https://www.lalibre.be/belgique/enseignement/septante-medecins-flamands-demandent-l-abolition-du-masque-dans-les-ecoles-une-menace-serieuse-pour-leur-developpement-5f58a5189978e2322fa9d32c

https://belgiumbeyondcovid.be/

France : https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/bouches-du-rhone/marseille/covid-tribune-pres-300-scientifiques-denoncent-mesures-gouvernementales-disproportionnees-1878840.html 

We are all of them.

There are thousands of us.

Thanks to all of you who want a world where the word is respected, truth is defended, freedom is a reality.

I will never let fear rule my life. Don’t negotiate with fear.

Dr. Pascal Sacré

Featured Photo: Citizen Initiative VideoThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Dr. Pascal Sacré, Global Research, 2020

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’

November 24, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

The revolving results and aspirations of having a clear outcome of the American Presidential elections are bringing many related issues to the surface. Perhaps none bigger than the heightened call by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for a ‘Great Reset’.

The mission of the WEF, stated beneath its logo reads that it is: ‘Committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas’.

This is a vague mission statement that is riddled with logical and philosophical flaws.

What does ‘improving the state of the world’ exactly mean? There are many issues in the world that can be improved, and not all of them are based on economics for an economic forum to attempt to improve. Consider freedom of speech for example, freedom of information, the abuse of information in the form of mis-information and dis-information, just to name one example. Have we not seen that this very aspect has reached unprecedented heights in the American elections?

When the WEF invited Greta Thunberg to attend the January 2020 meeting, not only did it endorse her concept of climate change, but it also advertently ignored the counter-theory which is actually supported by many climatologists and scientists in other related areas. So how can the state of the world be improved if science is hushed up and theories are accepted for fact without proof?

By way of its mission statement and putting it into practice therefore, the WEF does not seem to take much notice of the importance of correct information and, on the contrary, works against it. Is this improvement of the world or moving it backwards towards the dark ages?

And talking about Greta, according to the mission statement, she ‘qualified’ to participate and be engaged even though she is not a leader in either business, politics or academia. She must then, by definition, be considered by the WEF as a ‘leader of society’. But even if we assume that she is a leader in this capacity, realistically what kind of input can she make in reaching and implementing realistic recommendations in order to improve the world? Was she only invited to mesmerize and recruit the youth?

But Greta is not the only oddity. Guess who else was there in January 2020? George Soros. Actually, Soros has been a repeat contributor.

Soros is definitely a huge business person and I have no problem with him fitting the qualification criteria. But isn’t Mr. Soros one of the main reasons behind many of the problems and issues facing humanity and which the WEF proclaims the desire to improve?

How can one invite the butcher to the ‘Save the Sheep’ forum?

This brings in the issue of morality.

Who gave the WEF the moral mandate to decide what is good and bad for the rest of the world? This again takes us back to the flaws of the mission statement. The statement does not make any mention of morality and/or the engagement of renowned ethicists in the membership panel.

Whilst many may have some reservations about Mandela, he was nonetheless an ethicist and a moralist over and above being a political and community leader. He was once invited and he gave an address to the 1992 WEF forum in Davos. But people of the caliber of Mandela, and they are far and few between, should be more than just occasional guests. They should be on a permanent panel of elders who inform and advise policy and legislation action based on moral value. Will the world be able to find enough ‘perfect’ humans to empanel and assign such a huge task to? Certainly not. No one is perfect, but a group of wise elders is certainly more trustworthy than a pact of globalists.

The WEF can amend its mission statement and come clean and admit that it is comprised of the elites who are the actual reason behind the world problems and not the ones to offer solutions. To be able to be truthful to its mission statement however, it must not base its criteria and recommendations on economics and economics only.

We have taken recent interest in the WEF because the term ‘Great Reset’ [1] has jumped up from almost nowhere, suddenly [2] becoming almost everyone’s mantra. It took us a while to realize that the term actually refers to a new book by the name of ‘COVID-19 The Great Reset’ written by none other than Dr. Klaus Schwab, the 82 y/o founder and ongoing CEO of the WEF ever since its inception in 1971. The above WEF link includes toward the end of the document an interesting diagram which summarizes the Great Reset plan, titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”. [3]

And what is exactly the position of Dr. Schwab? How can he take the wiser-than-thou stand and proclaim to be the saviour of the world? Under which mandate is he allowed to tell governments, people, all people of all nations, cultures, religions and political views to follow his vision of how to create a better new world?

A most eloquent, smooth speaker, but it doesn’t take much probing to see that Schwab is at best either a megalomaniac or a fool, but he definitely displays archetypal symptoms of megalomania, and in a very dangerous attire. When Mao declared his short-sighted Cultural Revolution, he was seen in the West as a new Hitler. But ironically the same West sees Schwab as a saviour.

Don’t listen to these words, hear him speak about what he calls the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. He claims that the steam engine heralded the first revolution, mass production the second, and computers the third. And now, according to him, the fourth industrial revolution is about ‘a fusion of our physical, digital and biological identities’ This is an hour-long video, [4] and if readers cannot listen to it all, they can find those exact words at the 15m:45s mark. And what is our ‘digital identity’ by the way?

Actually, he is perhaps neither a megalomaniac nor a fool, but a freak, the kind of villain that jumps straight out of Batman comics. Alongside the Penguin and the Joker, Schwab should be locked up behind bars, dressed in a straight jacket and pumped to the hilt with antipsychotic drugs, but he is not. He has appointed himself as an advisor to global political leaders, and those buffoons take him seriously.

The man has not been elected by anyone, he does not represent anyone, he seems to not have consulted with anyone elected to speak on behalf of citizens. If this is not what defines a dictator, what does? The WEF is actually his own lovechild, and its name gives it a guise of legitimacy, but it is in fact an NGO just like any other. It neither has any official structure nor the power to generate binding policies. And Soros is not the only shady dude ever invited to speak at the forum.

Schwab is the person who invites whom he chooses. Over the years, the guest list included movie stars and rock stars, but the ‘permanent’ members are CEO’s of big business with turnovers in the billions. We are only talking about some 1000 “leading” companies [5] among millions worldwide who are given a “platform”. They are the biggest pollutants and profiteering culprits on the face of the planet. They are also the biggest benefactors; they donate millions of dollars annually to support the WEF.

Other members include the Saudi royals, the Ford Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto, just to name a few. One would have to have rocks in his/her head to even imagine that those people and the globalist entities they represent get together in order to discuss how to make the world a better place for the underprivileged. He/she would have to be delusional to believe that those rascals convene for any reason other than bolstering their grab-hold of global wealth and monopoly of power.

This is not to mention the irony of Monsanto and Greta being on the same forum.

If anything, the WEF is the biggest known organization that is comprised of the elite of the elite, the culprits behind the inequity and injustice in this world. It is perhaps the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing on the prowl.

But how will the ordinary man and woman on the street respond to the concept of being part human part machine? And what is more frightening here is; how seriously are world leaders going to take Schwab’s recommendations and how will they implement them in democratic countries in which changes much smaller than what he is recommending require referendums? Furthermore, what will be the ‘fate’ of individuals and nations that do not heed and comply with his directives? Will they be sanctioned? Will non-compliant individuals be able to find jobs or keep existing ones? Will non-compliant nations face trade sanctions?

Many ideologies have come and gone, but none in recent times, since the various versions of Marxism, including Maoism, tried to portray itself in a manner that attempts to sound rational and pragmatic. We must exclude religions here, because religions are based on faith, they are spiritual beliefs, and they are not only and specifically based on and aimed for social reform. But this ‘Great Reset’ theory is very different from any of its predecessors. On the surface, it is based on living frugally in order to protect the environment and generate greater social justice [6], and this does not sound like a bad idea. But at a deeper level, it is a call for thought policing and control of individuals and robbing them of their choices; including their own identity.

Did pre-COVID humanity go wrong to the extent that it needed a great reset?

Well, we only have to look at the trajectory of humanity to realize that it was (still is in fact) unsustainable. All we need to look at is one major aspect; population growth. We simply cannot expect the trend in population growth to go unchecked especially when coupled with increases in affluence and higher standards of living in some countries. If anything, that trend has been generating a huge growing gap between the haves and the have-nots. But even with this knowledge, humanity did not flinch at the news and images of wide-spread famines and literally thousands dying on a daily basis because of their inability to find food; all the while the ‘other half’ is dying from being overweight and overfed.

Whilst some evil-minded people think that the practical way out of this dilemma can be achieved by implementing different modes of eugenics, the voices of compassion have become less audible, and at best, ignored even muted.

Did the pre-COVID world need a reset? Definitely. Many of its founding determinants have been based on injustice, shortsightedness, divisiveness, lack of good old values, the inability of being sustainable; just to name a few.

When millions cannot find food to eat and clean water to drink yet others fly half the way across the world to attend a baby shower, something must be amiss and a reset is way overdue.

But what is it that the vision of the WEF and its ‘Bible’ (COVID-19 The Great Reset) have to offer in order to provide the world and future generations with a brighter new direction?

It doesn’t take long to see that within the WEF “Great Reset” article [7] there are clear indications that what it is attempting to do is to create more compliant robotic individuals and draw the world and its population deeper into the abyss.

The WEF “Great Reset” article is carefully written and worded in a manner that by the time the reader builds a huge deal of trust in the writer, trust in his intentions, and eventually reaches the recommendations, he/she finds that there is no reason, none at all, to disagree with any of its recommendations. If you examine the diagram [8] in the article titled “The Great Reset Transformation Map”, you will find it is very telling.

Even a quick analysis of the WEF principles and modus operandi shows that the whole ethos is based on individuals and companies the practices of whom have led the world to the current state of loss and despair and entrapment that it is in. Certainly, the cause cannot be the cure; not in this instance.

The paper is a blatant endorsement of the Neo-Left, its agendas and attempts to break down cultural values that glue society together, and turn the world into an obedient slave camp.

Apart from the frightening Schwab’s definition of the fourth industrial revolution, the actual recommendations for the ‘Great Reset’ are quite alarming and unsettling to say the least. It promotes digital currency. How does this restore hope in this new world? This is not to mention encouraging the use of robots, drones, and exponentially increasing reliance on technology instead of aspiring to reinstate the good old values of morality that have worked for millennia.

The words morality, honesty, care, compassion, kindness, happiness, courage, generosity, charity etc., are not mentioned even once in the document; not even a single one of them. Why, one may ask? What is it that drones can do to save humanity from an impending disaster that none of the above innate human values can?

Actually, when it comes to human values, Schwab shamelessly argues that as in the future there will be less cooperation based on shared values with an increasingly multipolar world emerging, relationships will have to be based on shared interests; not values (see at 40:00 min)[9]. For him not to believe in the goodness within humanity, he surely must have deeply-founded psychological disorders. We should pity him, but not if he wants to dictate to us how to lead our lives.

What is more concerning about the man is that he asks, almost demands, that all that he proposes must be implemented now and without any further delay, because he argues that the COVID crisis [10] is giving humanity an opportunity that must not be missed. During a recent visit to India, it was reported that Schwab has said that the country now has the opportunity in leapfrogging [11] to a more digital and sustainable economy.

If we want to be cynics, which we are, we would conclude that those who design and run the WEF do not only sleep in the same bed as those who have destroyed the world, THEY ARE the ones who destroyed it, and yet have the audacity to say they are trying to save it. Unfortunately many follow them and take them at face value.

The great reset humanity really needs is one that takes it back to its roots, its values that include freedom of choice and expression. It needs a reboot, not just a reset, and definitely not the reset that is pre-set by maniacal dictators who wish to create implantable microchips that can read one’s mind. [12]

To the likes of Dr. Schwab, the world population must rise, even against their leaders if they must, and together chant ‘no pasarán’

  1. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  2. ‘Great Reset’ trends on Twitter after Trudeau speech on Covid-19 hints it’s not just a ‘conspiracy theory’, 16 Novemner 2020, RT. https://www.rt.com/news/506887-trudeau-great-reset-conspiracy-reveal/
  3. The Great Reset Transformation Map
    https://intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1G0X000006OLciUAG?tab=publications
  4. “World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Streamed live on 13 May 2019 at Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=CVIy3rjuKGY.
  5. “Our Partners” World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/about/our-partners
  6. Searching through WEF site and speeches many references exist regarding living more simply to save the environment and the word “redistribution” often is associated with this. Further research is required by the interested reader to determine whether this implies a redistribution of wealth and what exactly that entails.. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/can-redistributing-wealth-also-be-good-for-growth/
  7. Of the WEF, Ken Moelis, Founder and CEO of Moelis & Co. told the Wall Street Journal’s Matt Murray.“ “Davos would do better thinking of growth, rather than redistribution,” (toward the end of video) https://www.wsj.com/video/moelis-davos-should-focus-on-growth-not-wealth-redistribution/C3EC8119-09F4-4CBE-909E-8D59CED4D321.html
  8. “Now is the time for a great reset”; Klaus Schwab, 3 June 2020, World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/?fbclid=IwAR1jQO1l6S4ZM7PEe21QiPLa7Espjlm2uh33ovefznJdK-MRZcO1KYzQA1E
  9. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  10. Schwab, 13 May 2019, Chicago Council on Global Affairs 40:00 min
  11. Schwab, 3 June 2020, Ibid.
  12. “Schwab Hails India’s Policy In COVID-19 Fight; Says ‘has Potential To Shape Global Agenda’, 25 October 2020, Brigitte Fernandes, RREPUBLICWORLD.com https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/schwab-hails-indias-policy-in-covid-19-fight-says-has-potential-to-shape-global-agenda.html
  13. “Klaus Schwab: Great Reset Will “Lead to a Fusion of Our Physical, Digital and Biological Identity”, 16 November 202, Joseph Paul Watson, https://summit.news/2020/11/16/klaus-schwab-great-reset-will-lead-to-a-fusion-of-our-physical-digital-and-biological-identity/?fbclid=IwAR2IU4eIRZsXgplVnFHifWLY7fs5i-9uwCDRnqqt_vnNZPLICmL3Gk6LYvk

Global Research: Independent Media Under Attack

By The Global Research Team

Global Research, November 16, 2020

Global Research

Independent media is under attack, the search engines want to squeeze us out. At the same time a witch-hunt is being waged in the mainstream media against independent journalists, renowned academics, and scientists. Despite the wide variety of topics covered on our site by all manner of experts and academics from the world over, there is a relentless campaign against us.

Our financial situation is dependent on support from our readership. Without your contributions, our future remains uncertain and the mainstream media lies continue to rise to the top, eventually relegating any voice of dissent to the shadows.

The alternative is a world without independent voices, brought to you by corporate sponsors and hidden agendas. We are not coopted. We are not a government mouthpiece. Global Research is committed to “Freedom of Expression”, a fundamental right which is being snuffed out all over the globe.

With your help, we can continue to fight for truth to prevail, as we have always done. Please click below to make a donation or become a member to show your support:

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Macron wants to identify himself with the American Zionism: Lebanese cleric

By Mohammad Mazhari

November 14, 2020 – 10:58

TEHRAN – Shaikh Ghazi Honainah, a member of the leadership of the Islamic Action Front in Lebanon, believes that the motive that drove the French president to back the sacrilegious cartoons against the Prophet of Islam by the Charlie Hebdo magazine is that he wants to “identify himself with the American Zionism.” 

Shaikh Honainah tells the Tehran Times that Emanuel Macron endorsed insulting Islam and its Prophet Muhammad to “identify himself with the American Zionism, which bears arrogant hostility to Mohammad as the Messenger of God and his message.”
“The message of Prophet Mohammad has become today worldwide despite all efforts to distort the true image of the Messenger and Islam,” the Lebanese cleric emphasizes.
The following is the text of the interview:

Q:    Last month, French President Emanuel Macron publicly attacked Islam in defense of the publication of the derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) under the pretext of freedom of speech. What do you think of his remarks?

 A: Regarding the recent remarks of the French president, in which he endorsed the aggressive approach of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo towards Islam and the Messenger of Islam, I should say that this is a president of a country that claims civilization, advancement, enlightenment, human rights, and addresses freedom, equality, and justice.

 This president takes this stance as if he is an ordinary person in the street. I think the motive that drove him to make such a remark is that he wants to identify himself with the American Zionism, which bears arrogant hostility to Mohammad as the Messenger of God and his message.

 The message of Prophet Mohammad has become today worldwide despite all attempts to distort the true image of the Messenger and Islam.

Macron wants to show his loyalty to global Zionism and the new Freemasonry to gain their green light for his second presidential bid. 

Otherwise, why should someone on the level of the president of the French Republic, who represents France in the world, take such a position?

France is an important member of the (UN) Security Council and has a key role in resolving disputes in the region, especially in Lebanon.

Therefore, he wants to make propaganda against Islam and its Prophet in order to use it as a trump card in the upcoming French election.

Q: What are the definitions and limits of freedom in Islam?

A: Islamic education came to found basic principles of human societies’ lives; tolerant religion focuses on permanent principles, namely freedom, justice, and equality that never change, whether for Muslims or non-Muslims. Perhaps these principles are consistent with the slogans of the French Revolution. For example, about “freedom,” God said, “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (Al-Baqarah -256), and in Surah Yunus Ayah 99, it is said that “Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Will you compel people to become believers?” God also said, “The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills—let him believe. And whoever wills—let him disbelieve.” (Al-Kahf -30).

That is why Almighty God said in his holy book, “You have no control over them.” (Al-Ghashiyah – 22)

Hence we understand that Islamic educations endorse the concept of freedom: freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom of worship, and freedom of thought. Therefore, the Islamic source mentioned the second caliphate asked person, “Why did you enslave people when their mothers gave birth to them free?”

 The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said, “All of you are Adam’s sons, and Adam was created out of the dust of the ground. Therefore, from the standpoint of equality in Islamic educations, all people have equal rights, and duties at all levels, the rich and the poor, men and women, young and old, Arab and non-Arab, all people in the eyes of Islam are equal.

This freedom, which Islam affirmed, does not give the right to attack others and violate others’ rights. Therefore, according to Islamic law, our freedom ends when the rights of others begin. In Islam, we do not have the right to assault the beliefs of others.
God asks us, “Do not insult those they call upon besides God, lest they insult God out of hostility and ignorance” (Al-An’am -108).

 That is why the Messenger of God forbade us from humiliating others’ dignity or insulting them, even in times of war. Prophet asked us not to scorn people who believe in a different way and those who are out of Islam. Therefore, freedom in this peaceful religion has limits, and we have not right to assault the sanctities and beliefs of others.

Q: What is the right way to respond to the West’s provocative moves against Islam?

A: First of all, I emphasize that calling Islam and spreading its message among people needs a peaceful atmosphere as societies should be open to each other and cherish dialogue and communication.

The first step is to open doors and bridge divides so that people will be aware of their bonds, gather them, and communicate and debate for what is beneficial for humanity and human society. 

Therefore, these provocative moves and actions in France undoubtedly lead to undermining relations between people, cutting off communication, and further strife, and this does not serve the interests of peace and Muslims.

In our relations with people, we need to address them calmly, within a reasonable argument, and with sound logic.

Our position should be strong, and with a bright thought, we can defend Islam. Therefore, the repercussions of the attack on others’ sanctities and beliefs will trigger the hatred and reaction of others against all Muslims as a whole. 

This is harmful to Islam and Muslims as the number of Muslims is increasing drastically in the West. This is what worries Muslims’ enemies in those societies and frightens those who see that the spread of Islam as a threat to their future.

Violent reactions do not serve the relationships between people and also the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and others.

Q:  How do you assess the reaction of Islamic countries and their leaders to Macron’s statements?

A: What we noticed in the recent period after re-infusion of the poisons of insulting the Messenger of God and supported by the French president, showed that the Islamic states and regimes, except a few of them, went into a deep coma or took sleeping pills as if what happened does not concern them, especially those who consider themselves the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

We have not heard a position or condemnation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, neither at the official level nor from its nation. Unfortunately, this is what hurts us and grieves us and makes us feel that the Arab regimes do not care about Islamic causes and issues: peace, mercy, and blessings of God.

Q: Do you confirm violence in response to insult to the Prophet of Islam?

A: As Muslims, we have our way of defending Islamic sanctity; we have to deal with this issue differently. As long as the issue was in this context, we avoid insulting others’ sanctuaries, greatness, and prophets, whether he is Jesus, peace be upon him, or his mother Virgin Mary, peace be upon her, or Prophet Moses, peace be upon him.

If others offend Muslims, we are forbidden from insulting any prophet on earth. God says, “The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, as did the believers. They all have believed in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers. The believers make no distinction between any of His messengers” (Al-Baqarah- 285). 

Therefore our reaction is to argue with them in the best manner as God said, “Do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in the best manner possible, except those who do wrong among them. And say, ‘We believe in what was revealed to us, and in what was revealed to you, and our God and your God is One,  and to Him we are submissive.'” 

We have in Quran that God made a covenant with the Children of Israel to worship none but God and be good to parents, and relatives, and orphans, and the needy; and speak nicely to people. 

But beheading of a teacher in France in response to insulting Islam and its Prophet is not acceptable. Any attack against Christians and churches is condemned in Islam, according to Prophet Muhammad’s educations.
 

RELATED NEWS

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] Birth Anniversary

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on Prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] Birth Anniversary

Translated by Staff

Speech of His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of the birth of Prophet Muhammad
10-30-2020

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.
God Almighty said in his glorified book:

{In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. And give good tidings to the believers that they will have from Allah great bounty. Almighty God has spoken truly.}

To start with, I congratulate all Muslims in the world as well as all the Lebanese who are one people and partners in happiness and sorrow.

I congratulate Muslims and everyone else on the birth of the greatest Messenger, our Master, and Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH], as well as on the birth of his great grandson, Imam Jaafar bin Muhammad Al-Sadiq [PBUH].

I’ll begin by talking about the occasion a little. From there, I’ll talk about some files and topics relevant to the current stage.

Our Master Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH] was born approximately 1495 years ago, in what was known as the Year of the Elephant [Am Al-Fil], in the month of Rabi ‘al-Awwal – this month. Some say he was born on 12 Rabi al-Awwal, others say 17 Rabi al-Awwal.

This blessed birth was the natural introduction to the birth and proclamation of the final divine message, after which there is no abrogation, modification, or alteration. Hence, ‘what is permissible [halal] during Muhammad’s era is permissible until the Day of Judgement, and what is forbidden [haram] during Muhammad’s era is forbidden until the Day of Judgement.’

It was also an introduction to rebirth of the true human life, for generations that would emerge from darkness into light, through this newborn child, and also the birth of a nation that would remain immortal until the Day of Resurrection.

We all know that the prophets and messengers performed miracles and accomplishments, especially when we are talking about great prophets like Ibrahim, Musa, and Isa [PBUT]. They all had miracles that were witnessed by the era they lived in and the generation that lived there.

These accounts were told to us. They were preserved in holy books, especially the Holy Quran, as well as history books. These accounts reached all the people – Muslims, Christians, and Jews. 

The Messenger of Allah Muhammad [PBUH] performed various miracles as well. The people of his time bore witness to them. Now his time has passed, and accounts were passed on to us through stories and history books. We, however, did not witness these miracles. The Messenger of God Muhammad [may God bless him and his family and grant them peace] had various miracles as well, as is the case with the miracles of the previous prophets. 

However, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad [PBUH] possesses an immortal miracle that will continue to live on until the Day of Resurrection and will be witnessed by all generations in all times and in all places. This miracle is His sacred book that God sent down to him – the Holy Quran.

One of the miracles of this great book is that its words, verses, and surahs have not been subject to any distortion, forgery, or modification for more than 1450 years. This means that despite the reasons, factors, and motives – among Muslims and non-Muslims, from within Islam and otherwise – to distort this religious book, its verses and surahs, it remained preserved form 1450 years.

This holy book remaining in this accurate and wondrous form is in itself a miracle. It is the fulfillment and validation of the divine promise: {Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.}

A religious book so important to the lives of millions and hundreds of millions, and now nearly two billion people cannot be preserved in this manner without being touched despite the existence of all reasons, doctrinal reasons, and political reasons to distort, falsify, or amend it.

This is evidence of divine preservation of this Prophet’s book. This Qur’an has been challenging humanity for the last 1450 years. And this challenge will remain until the coming of the Hour – if they all gathered to produce the like of this, to bring forth ten surahs like it, or produce a surah of the like.

And this Qur’an, which is still vibrant and brings people out of the darkness and into the light, is its immortal miracle. The prophets and messengers also have their accomplishments, and the greatest achievement of our Prophet and our Master, the Messenger of God Muhammad is this human achievement that has been achieved by his hands. It is in itself it the closest thing to a miracle – this deep and tremendous transformation that has been achieved in the society of the Arabian Peninsula by his hands and thanks to his vocation, efforts and jihad.

If we go back in history, the Arabian Peninsula was made up of Mecca, Yathrib [it was not called Medina yet], the city of Taif, a group of large towns, tribes, and clans, all the way to Yemen including its cities, civilization, and former kings. This entire region that we now refer to as the Arabian Peninsula was the main setting for the Prophet’s movement and missionary work.

Let us take a look at the people in that community before the birth of the Prophet and his missionary activities – their way of life, their religious life [What did they worship? What did they believe in?], their education [reading and writing], their level of knowledge, their culture, their values, their traditions, the values governing that society, poverty, deprivation, their security situation, the wars, the tribal wars, and their dispersion.

The Messenger of God [PBUH] did not come to address one aspect of the lives of these people, but rather all aspects, foremost is the doctrinal, belief, knowledge, cultural, ethical and behavioral dimensions. If we then studied the way of life of the people in the Arabian Peninsula after the Prophet’s missionary work, efforts, and jihad, what has become of these people?

What are the serious, deep, and very important transformations that took place, especially on the human side? Their faith and belief? The way they shifted from worshipping idols to worshipping the one God? Their sciences, their culture, and the system of values? Their perception of man, woman, other human beings, and the followers of other religions? Their customs, traditions, discipline, behavior, and morals?
This tremendous human transformation that took place in the Arabian Peninsula and constituted the main basis for the launch of this nation and the spread of its voice and message to the whole world, making it the basis for global change, is Prophet Muhammad’s accomplishment. 

The most important and very remarkable aspect is that this accomplished in 23 years only. We know that bringing about huge change in the lives of people within 10, 20, 30, and 40 years is hard, especially when it comes to culture, doctrine, values, and behavior. But this was achieved by the Messenger of God. He also paved the way, as we have said, for this humanitarian and religious pillar until the Hour of Resurrection.

I wanted to make this introduction so that I can delve into the topics that I want to speak about. All Muslims throughout history until the coming of the Hour have love, adoration, respect, and appreciation for this great Prophet, unmatched with any other human being and despite their love, appreciation, and reverence for all the prophets, messengers, awliya, imams, and righteous and good people throughout history.

All Muslims have a distinct view, a special faith and love, for this man, this person, and this figure. Muslims may disagree throughout history. This happened in several cases – intellectual cases of sometimes ideological nature, Islamic rulings, in cases of halal and haram, evaluating Islamic history, evaluating persons. In contemporary time, they may disagree on important social and political issues, conflicts, wars, etc.

But there are unanimous points and issues that Muslims have not disagree on throughout history, and they cannot depart from until the Hour of Resurrection. Among the most important of these unanimous points is their belief in Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH], his message, his prophethood, his greatness, and his stature.

They see him as the seal of the prophets since there is no prophet after him, the master of messengers, the master of creation, the master of beings, the most perfect man and the greatest human being, and the closest of God Almighty’s creations to Him, the most beloved and dearest of them to Him. This is how Muslims view this Messenger and this Prophet.

With this faith, his love is mixed with their blood, flesh, being, bodies, souls, minds and hearts because this belief is not only an epistemic belief, a philosophical belief, or a cultural or intellectual belief. No, there is a kind of distinct emotional, spiritual and psychological relationship. Of course, this is and will always be required towards the Prophet as they glorify him in this world and see his greatness and special stature in the Hereafter.

From here, we will use one point as a springboard to move on to other topics. Therefore, Muslims cannot tolerate any offense or insult directed at this great Messenger, and they consider defending the dignity of their Prophet as one of the highest priorities that comes before any interests and calculations, be it political, economic, or related to their lives. They consider this matter a top priority. They cannot be forgiving about it, nor can they remain silent about any behavior or practice that insults or offends the Great Messenger of Allah.

From here, I delve into the first file in tonight’s talk, which is the current problem that concerns all Muslims in the world today – the current problem between the French authorities [from the top of the pyramid] and Islam and the Muslims. I would like to speak calmly, objectively, and scientifically in order to dissect this issue and search for solutions, that is to reach a solution and not perpetuate enmities or search for new ones.

We begin with the latest incident that took place in the French city of Nice, in which a Muslim man killed three people and wounded others. 

We will start from the end and return to the beginning. We strongly condemn this incident, and Muslims from the various scholarly, religious, and political positions, as well as the Islamic world and Muslim communities in France, Europe, and everywhere condemned it.

Islam also condemns such incidents, and it is not permissible for anyone to regard it as belonging to Islam. Islam and the Islamic religion, which forbids killing, assaulting, or harming innocent people just because of differences in ideological affiliation, reject it and reject every similar incident that preceded it or comes after it.

For us Muslims and Islam, it is always rejected and condemned, wherever this incident occurred and whoever was targeted – in France or anywhere in the world.

Let us establish this point as a basis so that there is clarity later.

Secondly, in the context of this case, it is not permissible for the French authorities or others to hold the religion of the perpetrator or the followers of the perpetrator’s religion responsible for the perpetrator’s crime. In other words, if the perpetrator of the crime is a Muslim, it is thus not permissible for anyone to hold Islam or the Muslims in France or in the whole world responsible for this crime. This is fundamentally an incorrect, unrealistic, illegal, and immoral perception.

When a person commits a crime, he must be held responsible for this crime, regardless of his motives, even if he believed that his motives are religious. This happened in France and in Europe, and it is happening in other places in the world.

We might have to speak in terms of Muslim and Christian. We will, however, not come near the Jews. If a Christian man committed a crime of this kind – and this happened in France and most of the crimes that are committed in France are not committed by Muslims as well as in Europe – the media usually does not shed light on it. But whoever follows it knows about statistics and figures. Is it right for someone to say the one who is responsible for this crime is the Jesus Christ [PBUH], God forbid? Or the Christianity? Or hold the Christians in the world responsible? Or the Christians in the country where the crime was committed? No one accepts this behavior. Unfortunately, the French authorities are doing this.

President Macron and the rest of the French officials spoke about Islamic terrorism – now someone has translated it to Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism, a lack of difference. There is no such thing as Islamic terrorism or Islamic fascism. If someone is committing an act of terror, then he is a terrorist. And if he commits a crime, then he is a criminal. But we cannot say Islamic terrorism and Islamic fascism.

Today the United States of America is committing massacres all over the world from the year 2000 onwards, the wars they’ve committed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in the region after September 11. Let us put aside World War I and II, Hiroshima, and the likes and just talk about the current generation.

Millions of people have been killed, and the Americans admit that hundreds of thousands have been killed in these wars, even if some were killed by mistakes such as weddings that were bombed in Afghanistan, sometimes deliberately. Does anyone come out and say that since the United States of America’s president and government are Christians and its army is mostly Christian, then this American terrorism is a Christian terrorism? Or that the one who bears the responsibility for this terrorism, God forbid, is Jesus Christ or the Christian religion whose values and teachings contradict these terrorist acts? 

Muslims did not say that what the European armies, including the French army, did in Algeria and what the others did in Libya and elsewhere in our region is a Christian terrorism and that the Christian faith is responsible. Not at all. And if someone said this, then they are mistaken.

This phenomenon is at the very least not present. Therefore, it is absolutely impermissible to generalize and hold a religion or the Prophet of a religion or the nation that believes in a religion responsible for a crime committed by any person belonging to a certain ideology or religion whether he was a Muslim, Christian, or Jew. This is wrong and should stop. The French and French officials do it every day. However, there are those who are correcting and saying no, we respect Islam as a religion. If you respect Islam as a religion, you have to change the term “Islamic terrorism” and “Islamic fascism”, and you do not have to follow Trump who uses this kind of terms.

Third, we heard in the past few days that you are objecting that someone in France offended your Prophet. The most important is that some Muslims also offend your Prophet and your Islam. I would like to say here that some Muslims definitely offend Islam and that some Muslims offend the Prophet of Islam, and some commit very, very serious offenses.

And what we have witnessed in the past few years in terms of terrorist acts and crimes, including the demolition of mosques, churches, and historical monuments; the killing of people; the beheadings; the cutting open of chests; and the slaughtering of people like ewes based on their affiliations – foreign media have also promoted and photographed them in the world.

These are major offenses to our religion and our prophet, and we were attacking this and we strongly object to this, but suppose this is correct and not an assumption, if some Muslims offend our Prophet this does not justify you to offend our Prophet, if some of you offend your sanctities, are we allowed to offend your sanctities? This is absolutely no logic, the prophets, the apostles, the religions, the religious symbols, the sanctities of the nations must be respected, even if the followers, the nation or the group come out from within the community who does not perform this respect and exceed this respect.  

These are major offenses to our religion and our prophet, and we attacked this and strongly objected to this. But let us suppose, this is true and not an assumption, that some Muslims are offending our Prophet. This does not justify you to offend our Prophet. If some of you offend your sanctities, are we allowed to offend your sanctities? This is absolutely not logical. Prophets, messengers, religions, religious symbols, and the sanctities of nations must be respected, even if followers, a nation, or a group do not respect them.

Fourth, here I continue to address the French officials and the public. Instead of holding Islam and the Islamic nation responsible for these terrorist acts that are taking place in France, Europe, and other places, let us discuss together your responsibility towards these actions and groups.

Let us go back 10 years, from 2011 onwards – we won’t say 50 years ago – there was a terrorist takfiri ideology that adopted killing just because of ideological, intellectual, sectarian, and political differences. They even committed brutal crimes just because they disagreed with the other about a detail.

You protected this ideology. The Americans, the US administration, the French governments, the European governments, you protected it, you provided it with all the facilities in the world.
People that disagreed with your way of thought faced difficulties in obtaining a visa when they wanted to take part in an activity in your country. But doors were widely opened to those with this [takfiri] ideology and were protected.

You facilitated the presence of these groups that were formed and adopted this ideology in Syria and Iraq. You helped support, arm, and fund them until these groups gained experience and a fighting spirit. Now, you are surprised about a massacre or a beheading?

Where did this begin? Did it start in our region and countries? Who did this? You supported them politically, via the media, and financially. You provided them with international protection and international conferences. You opened borders for them, gave them passports, and facilitated their arrival to the region. Acknowledge your responsibility first and how much responsibility you bear regarding this matter.

I invite you to go back to the 2011-2012 archives where I or many others told this to you, especially to the Europeans – do not be part of this global war against Syria, Iraq and the region; these groups could not penetrate into Lebanon. Do not adopt them. Do not defend these people. Do not facilitate their arrival and do not strengthen them because you will lose this battle, and these groups will turn on you. This ideology will turn on you. These groups and these people will return to your country and will flood them with terror and destruction. 

They will return to your countries and do what they did in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries. On that exact day, we told you, America is far away, and the closest to our region is Europe, and the most serious threat is to Europe and you have to be aware. But you were too proud to listen. You believed that you will win this war, and it is known afterwards where you ended up.

Today, you must also acknowledge your responsibility. Do not blame those who have no responsibility. What is the relationship of the Messenger of Islam, Muhammad bin Abdullah, with these crimes? What is the relationship of his religion, Islam, and the Quran with these crimes? What is the relationship of a nation of two billion Muslims with these crimes?

The people you embraced, protected, nurtured, and brought to your countries are the ones who are responsible. This is what you should reconsider because you are still pursuing these sorts of policies. I will repeat what I said and use the same tone that we used when we were stating our position: We cannot be in a front alongside those who behead, cut chests open, eat livers, and slaughter. 

These were your allies and your groups, and they were protected by you. That is why you – the French, the Europeans, the Americans, and their allies in the region – must reconsider your behavior and methods, including the employment of these takfiri terrorist groups as tools in political projects and wars. You never learn. You did this in Afghanistan, and you paid for it on September 11. You made mistakes and are repeating the same mistakes. The use of these type of groups as tools must stop. Otherwise, you too will be paying the price of these mistakes.

Secondly, the French authorities have put themselves and France and also want to involve all of Europe and the European Union in a battle with Islam and the Muslims for flimsy and sometimes incomprehensible reasons. I will speak from a position of concern and not to score points. What is the reason? Meaning these developments that took place in the past weeks and was clearly shown by the media – an open and clear war in France from the president to the government, from the ministers to the parliament, and from the media to the street. What is the reason? What started this problem? Who assaulted the other? Who offended the other?

This issue began when the sinister French magazine published insulting cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, so Muslims rose up to protest in more than one place in the world. This matter then developed into a series of events, including the killing and beheading of the history professor.

Instead of taking the initiative to deal with this matter, to absorb it, and to have a real and correct attitude towards it – let us wait, not confuse truth with falsehood, not to mix things together; there is a main reason that led to these repercussions – instead of dealing with the repercussions, unfortunately the French authorities declared a war of this kind. They insisted that this is freedom of expression, and we want to continue practicing freedom of expression and the satirical cartoons. This came from the top of the pyramid. Basically, what is the message you are sending to the two billion Muslims in the world?

What are we talking about here? It is not about a political, financial, or economic matter, nor is it a conflict or a battle. We are talking about a matter related to their Prophet, their Messenger, and their Master, whom I spoke about at the beginning and stated what he represents to them. To the French authorities, what deserves this sacrifice?

You took it upon yourselves to protect this battle and adopt it, then you tell us you’ve got values including freedom of speech and that you don’t want to abandon them. Let us discuss this a little. Why did I say at the beginning, we want to speak calmly and objectively? The first discussion is operational and procedural. If it was really this and the way things are in France or in Europe, one could have said that let us see how we can approach the subject from another angle.

However, the issue is not like that. You must first convince the Muslims in the world that this claim is sincere. They do not accept that. This is not an honest claim. This is not a true claim. We have a lot of evidence and examples in France and Europe on practices by authorities that prevent freedom of expression, rather suppress freedom of expression. There are matters that may be less sensitive than a topic related to a prophet two billion people in the world believe in.

In order not to waste all the time, I will give one well-known example because it does not need much explanation. It’s about the French philosopher Roger Garaudy. You can find this example in television archives, documentaries, films, and articles. What the man did was write a book and a study regarding the myths behind the genocide of the Jews, or the so-called Holocaust. He presented a scientific discussion and figures, discussed numbers, wrote an academic scientific study, and spoke about the political exploitation of this incident. To date, Europe, especially Germany, is being blackmailed by international Zionism because of this issue. The man did not curse, insult, mock, or draw satirical cartoons. He did not even touch on Judaism. He only tackled an important and sensitive issue that happened in Europe. What did the French authorities do to this French philosopher?

The judiciary sued him. He was tried and defamed, and he was sentenced to prison. It is possible that because he was very old, they did not implement the sentence. The man was suppressed. Is this freedom of expression? Is this the value you are defending? Yes, it may be said that when the matter affects a certain sect, “Israel”, or the Zionists, then freedom of expression ceases to exist. But when it affects another sect, an entire nation with two billion people and their sanctities, freedom of expression remains absolute.

There are many more examples like Roger Garaudy that one can mention in different occasions, confirming that freedom of expression in France and in Europe is not absolute, but rather it is limited by legal, political, security, and other restrictions.

This claim – that it is an absolute freedom which allows anyone to do whatever they want, for a newspaper or a cartoonist to draw cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, or for someone to make a film mocking the Prophet of Islam – being acceptable is not right. We can give you many more examples. But this is unacceptable.

This means that your battle is now based on a non-existent and non-realistic basis. This is not your reality, and we can come up with a list of how you behave on television, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations because they adopt, for example, certain ideas or broadcast certain programs. This is in the archives. This is first.

The other aspect, which is also important, is the discussion – is it true that you really possess this value in this manner? If we look at it from a humanitarian and moral perspective, is there such a thing as absolute freedom of expression? Meaning, isn’t there a limit? Why does freedom of expression cease to exist when it comes to anti-Semitism? When a person insults, exposes, and attributes lies and crimes to others, is this acceptable? You don’t have a problem with this in France and in Europe? Is it really like this?

Is this true? If a person publishes secrets and documents affecting national security under the rubric of freedom of expression, how do you deal with him? How do America and the West deal with him?

If someone said some things, announced some things, or wrote about matters that may lead to internal strife or a civil war or breach national security, how do you deal with him? Does freedom of expression end when someone’s dignity is on the line?

We wish and demand a reconsideration because this is not a humanitarian value. This is contrary to humanity. This is not a moral value. This is against morals and moral values. Therefore, it must be reconsidered.

I would like to conclude this part and this file. I would like to address the French authorities and tell them, today in the Islamic world no one is looking for new enmities or new battles, and I do not think that two billion Muslims think in this way.

On the contrary, Muslims are working to alleviate enmities in this world and keep the specter of wars away from them and confrontations they always pay the price for. You should think about dealing with this sin and this great mistake that has been committed.

I heard French officials saying that we do not submit to terrorism. It is not required that you submit to terrorism. You are required to fix the mistake, and addressing the mistake is not submitting to terrorism. On the contrary, insisting on a mistake and going into confrontations that do not serve anyone is submitting to terrorism. It is heeding to the demands of terrorism and terrorists who want to blow up all the squares in the world. You must go back to the source and address this mistake. This is not submitting to terrorism.

First of all, you are applying it incorrectly. Apply it correctly. Apply it to Muslims just as you would apply it to non-Muslims. Be fair and be just. Offending our dignities, the dignity of our prophets, and the dignity of our Prophet is something that no Muslim in the world can accept. I would like to clearly tell you – even if the political regimes in the Arab and Islamic world found excuses for their conspiracies, concessions, and betrayals, they will not be able to remain silent and cover up the insults before their people when it comes to offending their holy Prophet who is adored and respected by the people. Therefore, this battle that you insist on fighting is a lost cause.

What will happen to the political and economic interests of France and the French people as well as its relations with the peoples of the Islamic world if it continues on this path? This matter must be addressed, and you can find a solution for it. 

I conclude by saying that instead of dealing with the repercussions and mobilizing more soldiers and security services to prevent terrorist operations of this kind, address the root of the problem. Stop the excuses and treat the root of the problem. Do not allow this mockery, this aggression, and this insult to continue, then the whole world will stand with you.

In any case, terrorist acts are condemned as I said at the beginning, but it is your responsibility and everyone’s responsibility to address matters from their roots.

Here, it is possible to consider His Eminence the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar’s proposal that calls for an international legislation to prohibit this type of action which concerns Muslims and the Islamic nation. The same or similar wording can be adopted. For example, we can talk about adopting international legislation criminalizing the act of insulting the prophets and messengers, insulting divine religions, or insulting the sanctities of nations. Any form of this kind.

Of course, if an international legislation of this kind is adopted, this will form a legal ruler over freedom of expression and will create a way out for the French government and for all other governments that claim to preserve freedom of expression as being part of their values and laws.

A solution to this matter must be found. The world does not need any more problems, confrontations, and wars. It is not permissible to push the world and its people, especially our Islamic nation and the European countries that such positions, into confrontations and wars of this kind for the sake of trivial, absurd claims that lack any humane, moral, and legal grounds. The responsibility of dealing with it today lies primarily on the French authorities, and everyone must cooperate to address this file and put an end to this strife.
This was the first file. In the context of marking the birth of the noble Prophet and the massive crowds we saw yesterday in Yemen’s Sana’a and in a number of Yemeni cities and governorates, one cannot help but take note of this scene and its indications.

Despite the devastating war – when we say war, that means there is killing, wounding, displacement, and destruction of buildings that is now in its sixth year – despite the blockade, the starvation, difficult living conditions, outbreaks and diseases, and despite all these difficult circumstances, we find the masses gathering in Yemeni cities. For what? To commemorate the birth of the Messenger of God and to defend him. I would like to talk about this topic for a few minutes. 

In Lebanon and elsewhere, we know what it means when a country is in a state of war. There is the possibility of an aerial bombardment at any moment, and the aggression does not hesitate to kill civilians including men, women and children. Despite all the security, health, and environmental dangers as well as the state of war, these people come out to express their deep faith in the Messenger of God, their great love for the Messenger of God, and their unparalleled willingness to defend the dignity and honor of the Messenger of God. Is this not a sign, a strong message that all people must take note of?

First and foremost, I call on Muslims in the world who believe in this Prophet, respect, and adore him to take note of what we saw yesterday in Yemen. These people chant for hours, repeat songs and slogans, and listen to their dear leader, His Eminence Sayyed Abdul Malik Al Houthi, as he explained and clarified. In the conclusion, he affirmed that they stood firmly and categorically by the Palestinian cause and alongside the Palestinian people.

Take a look. The besieged Yemenis, the strangers in this world today, the ones being attacked, those who are fighting diseases, hunger, blockade, and all difficult circumstances do not resort to any excuse to abandon Palestine, the Palestinian cause, or the Palestinian people. They declare their determination and adherence to Palestine and the Palestinian cause and their defense of the Palestinian people.

In return, there are those who have luxury and affluence, those who are immersed in the pleasures of the world, who did not engage in a war with the “Israeli” enemy in the first place rush to abandon Palestine, recognize “Israel” and normalize with it. Is this not a divine argument?

They affirmed that they will stand by the countries, people, resistance movements, and the axis of resistance in the face of American and Zionist projects, even though they are in dire need for the world to stand beside them and defend them. Muslims and all peoples of our Arab and Islamic region and the world should retake note of what we saw and heard yesterday.

They should take note of it with a humanitarian, ethical, and religious background. I tell you today this is a new, divine, religious argument on all Arab and Islamic scholars, officials, leaders, elites and people all over the world. It is a new, divine argument for them to break their silence. Those who support this American-Saudi-Emirati and unfortunately, Sudanese aggression against the people of Yemen must withdraw this support.

And those who are still silent about this daily crime should break their silence. A large and powerful wave and movement must be formed in the Arab and Islamic worlds to put pressure on those leaders, the leaders of the aggression who insist on continuing the aggression and the war. This is the least thing we can do to show loyalty to them – the people of knowledge, the people who adore the Messenger of God, and the people defending the Messenger of God [PBUH].

It is time for this unjust and criminal war to stop. The greatest and most urgent duty today is to work on ending this war. The greatest thing a Muslim can offer on these days to the Messenger of God is to stand by those who deeply believe in him, those who love him with affection, those who defend him with their souls, blood, money, and children. This is also in the context of the commemoration.

Time is over. I, in fact, wanted to talk a little about the topic of normalization in the region, the land border demarcation negotiations with occupied Palestine, the security situation at the southern Lebanese border with occupied Palestine, the “Israeli” military maneuvers, and the general situation in Lebanon. But considering that the first file took a lot of the time allotted, God willing, I will deliver a speech on Martyrs’ Day on 11-11, the day commemorating Hezbollah’s martyr. Therefore, I will postpone these topics. I will only talk about the formation of the government in Lebanon.

Of course, we hope that the Prime Minister-designate, in cooperation and understanding with His Excellency the President of the Republic and in cooperation with the rest of the parliamentary blocs, will be able to form a new Lebanese government as soon as possible. Of course, everyone knows that the financial, economic, and social conditions in Lebanon cannot be managed and addressed without a government with legal powers. The caretaker government cannot continue, so we carry this hope.

Our data indicate that the atmosphere is reasonable, positive, and good. We do not want to exaggerate the positivity, but the atmosphere is reasonable. We will cooperate from our part and will facilitate in whatever way we can, God willing.

Much of what is reported in the media and in articles is not true. Some are not accurate, while others are baseless, especially with regard to our approach to forming the government.

God willing, we are positive, and we will remain positive. We will provide whatever help we can to aid the concerned officials in forming the government as soon as possible. We will not spare any effort in this regard, God willing, especially now. This is the real challenge.

Regarding the anniversary of the October 17 movement, what was awaiting the country, and what some people were expecting, God willing, if there was time, we will talk about it later.

It’s not the time to engage in disputes and quarrels. It’s time for understanding, cooperation, and openness to form a government, God willing.

I want to conclude by mentioning the dangerous rise in coronavirus cases. Now, we are recording 2000 cases. This is a very dangerous thing. At the beginning, people used to complain when the numbers hit the 60, 70, or 100 mark. Now, the numbers are hitting 1600 and 1800 cases, and we will be nearing 2000. You know the situation of the hospitals. The death toll is rising day by day, and it seems that many people have become accustomed to this situation and are coexisting with it.

I repeat and say that negligence is inhumane, immoral, and illegal. In the religious sense, it is a sin, and it is haram.

There are countries in the world today -since we were talking about France- that are heading into lockdowns, the same in Germany, in Spain, and in Italy. The Americans cannot see in front of them – there are 80 thousand or 90 thousand cases. Some people in the world are going mad, while others are opting for new measures.

We cannot continue in this way in Lebanon. It is not a matter of the Health Ministry, but rather the whole government, the whole country, scholars, religious authorities, political leaders, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, parents, brothers, sisters. It is a humanitarian responsibility that concerns everyone. Everyone should wear masks, adhere to social distancing, and sanitize. These measures reduce the dangers of getting infected. Lockdowns that cause people to lose their jobs and starve are not the only solution. Coexistence is possible by adhering to the measures.

I would like to call on people once again and I will never tire because it is my legal, moral, religious, and humanitarian responsibility as well as the responsibility of each and every one of us to commit while we call on others to commit [to the health measures]. Otherwise, we are heading towards a very dangerous path at the health level that requires a major cry in the country and dissatisfaction with the existing reality.

I ask God to protect everyone, heal everyone, and guard everyone with his eye that does not sleep. Once again, I congratulate you on the birth of the Master of Messengers and the Seal of the Prophets Abi Al-Qassem Muhammad bin Abdullah. I ask God to make us among those who believe in him, his lovers, and those who are following on his path and are committed to his teachings. May He grant us his intercession on the Day of Resurrection and put us with him and never separate us from him in this life and in the Hereafter. May He allow us to mark this occasion again with goodness, blessing, victory, peace, and health. Many happy returns. Peace and Allah’s mercy be upon you.

Disbelief in human rationality; The Trump Factor

November 08, 2020

Disbelief in human rationality; The Trump Factor

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

Disbelief is probably the best word to describe today’s world. Disbelief that in the short span of my own lifetime thus far, I have lived to witness black whitewashed to become white, and when it doesn’t turn white, brains are brainwashed to see it white.

In am in disbelief that the political Left that I have grown to choose to either like or dislike is now owned and controlled by Western billionaires and oligarchs who have turned developing countries into slave labour camps.

I am in disbelief that the former promise of liberalism has been turned by the new-Left to become a mass movement that is devoid of free-thinking, one that literally coerces one to unconditionally accept it and follow its agenda without any questions or else face persecution, humiliation and slander.

Love or hate Castro and Guevara, I am in total disbelief that their political heirs, as it were, are Greta Thunberg, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the main benefactor of whom is George Soros; just to name a few.

I am in disbelief that decent people have condoned violent protests and looting and considered them as rightful civil rights activities.

I am in total disbelief that rudeness, thought-policing, political correctness, hypocrisy and double standards have become the new norms.

And now that Biden has illegally declared himself a winner, I am in disbelief that many of his supporters do not seem to care as to whether or not he has indeed committed electoral fraud or not despite allegations that indicate that ballots might have been fiddled with and which at least warrants an investigation. They seem happy to get rid of Trump even if this meant that fraud was actually committed.

I am in disbelief that world leaders are breaking the standards of political protocol and congratulating Biden before he is formally declared a winner.

I am in disbelief that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are allowed to censor personal opinion and make their own rules on what constitutes freedom of expression and what doesn’t. Even more, I am in disbelief that those giants are free to decide to ban publishing reports about allegations of corruption in the Biden family camp because they have not been legally and formally substantiated, but at the same time promote and publish unsubstantiated accusations about Trump and his supporters.

I am in disbelief that it became illegal to prescribe and sell hydroxychloroquine even though there are indications that it can treat COVID-19.

I am in disbelief that intelligent, well-meaning people, including many personal friends have believed the myriad of unsubstantiated stories that have been fabricated about Trump ever since he was elected. I am in disbelief that they believed in the Russiagate fiasco and that upon reflection did not feel any remorse when they were proved to be a lie. I am in disbelief that those who fabricated the story were not prosecuted.

I am in disbelief that the BLM movement appears to blame Trump for centuries of racial injustice in America. I am in disbelief that those same people do not look at Obama’s track record on race issues.

I am in disbelief that many mature and intelligent men and women believe that Greta is an expert on climate all the while ignoring what many eminent scientists are saying to the contrary. I am in disbelief that Trump is blamed for that so-called ‘Climate Change’ and that Biden truly believes that he is able to reach zero CO2 emission.

When I was growing up, reform and justice meant iconic issues such as freedom of worship, free speech, free education and medication. I am in disbelief to see that the new definition has morphed into the ‘rights’ of late term abortion and school children having gender change surgeries.

I am in disbelief that the same West that once mocked the use of the term ‘democratic’ in the rhetoric of the USSR and the names of entities like the German Democratic Republic finds itself at ease kicking democracy in the guts and have the so-called American Democratic Party ruled by a new ‘species’ of dictators and thugs.

I am in disbelief that the new definition of being progressive does not include decency and respect and that parents no longer teach their children simple rules like giving up their bus seats to the elderly.

I am in disbelief that the impact of COVID-19 and ‘alleged’ loss of life was blamed on Trump. I say ‘alleged’ loss of life not because I believe that the virus does not exist; it does, but because I have seen enough evidence to substantiate that the figures we have been presented with were highly exaggerated and that many people died of causes other than COVD-19 but were counted as COVID-19 victims; just to make Trump look bad. To this effect, if Trump does initiate a court challenge to the election results and loses, then all that Biden has to do is to start publishing the real figures of deaths caused by COVID-19, and that alone will make him look like a hero who managed to turn around the figures.

I must say that as a Syrian-Lebanese, Trump has been horrible for Syria. He did not manage to contain Erdogan. He sanctioned the theft of Syrian oil. He allowed for Syrian crops to be burnt. He intensified sanctions against Syria with his Caesar Act. For the above and other reasons, Syrians should be rejoicing to see him leave even though Biden and his team of Democrats have been beating the drums of war, but if they draw first blood, it will be a war they cannot win. In more ways than one, a military escalation in Syria now, one that does not expand to become an all-out war between America and Russia, may break the stalemate and create the foreground for moving forward in a new direction. In other words, as far as Syria is concerned, Biden can inadvertently be a better president than Trump. Time will tell.

I therefore have real, concrete and thought-out reasons to dislike Trump and even loath him. But I find myself in total disbelief when I ask many people the reason, the real reason, for which they hate Trump; they are unable to provide a single one. Some revert to his looks and/or his vocabulary, but come on, is this enough for them to hate him with the passion they do? I am in disbelief that they echo like parrots the words of the media, knowing from previous experiences that the only thing that the media is good at is lying. I am in disbelief that seemingly rational people are increasingly finding it easy and plausible for them to adopt very strong views, make loud and uncouth comments, without taking the effort of fact-finding.

I am in disbelief that the moment one speaks of fact-finding-based rationality, he/she is either ‘accused’ of being a Trumpie or a denialist. You are either 100% with them or against them. I am in disbelief that they do not see the grey lines in any given argument.

The perception of Trump by the world reminds me of that of President Assad in the Arab World a bit; not that a real comparison can be drawn between the two men. Many Arabs who hate Assad cannot provide one single legitimate reason for hating him, but when squeezed in a corner, they admit that they dislike him because he is an Alawite.

The planners of the anti-Trump campaign have worked very hard in order to demonize him and create a multi-faceted global anti-Trump hysteria. They planned to put together a coalition of haters of different persuasions united only by their hatred to Trump; again in a manner akin to how the ‘War on Syria’ started.

The public both within America and abroad has been bombarded with stories about Trump, portraying him as the public enemy number one at different levels and on many issues.

The Chinese have a great interest to see Trump go because Trump is a tough trade deal negotiator.

The EU nations, and NATO members to be specific, also have a great interest to see Trump go because he forced them to make larger contributions to the NATO budget.

And even though Trump canceled the Iran nuclear deal, endorsed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and facilitated peace settlements with three Arab states, the Israelis have no qualms about seeing Trump go because they know for a fact that Biden will not waver in his support to Israel. To Israel and the Israel lobby, the identity of the resident of the White House is totally immaterial.

Erdogan will be happy to see Trump go because he knows that Biden will be a much softer putty to mould. Biden is more than likely to give him a free hand dealing with the Kurds than Trump ever did.

The huge American industrialists and globalists will be happy to see Trump go because they do not wish to repatriate their factories and create American jobs. They do not want to pay higher salaries and higher taxes. They are totally indifferent as to how far and wide the rust belt expands; for as long as their companies are making profit having factories overseas.

Big Pharma is keen to see Trump go because it is tipped to make hundreds of billions of dollars selling vaccines.

Last but not least, the Deep State wishes for Trump to go. No former American President has ever dared to even mention the term ‘Deep State’ let alone take charge against it. I find myself in a state of disbelief because the alleged foot soldiers who are meant to stand up against the ‘Deep State’, ie the Left, are the ones taking charge against Trump. Work this one out.

Even the old guards at the GOP, the Republican Party are against Trump; because they are part-and-parcel of the Deep State, they have their fingers in the pie, and Trump does not represent them. In reality, in both of his election and re-election bids, Trump ran more like an independent than a GOP candidate. History will possibly mark him as the American President who was closest to being an independent candidate.

With all of the above said, I can fully understand why some have good reasons to dislike Trump and even hate him, and as mentioned above, I can have my own reasons. I can equally understand why some can be shortsighted enough to wish to see him go without giving much thought to who is to replace him. But for anyone to believe that Joe Biden is the man to restore America’s position in the world and make the world a better place, than unsubstantiated wishful thinking is the most polite manner to describe such aspirations.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the world is undergoing an inevitable polar shift and this is now unstoppable. The West is losing its technical edge and financial prowess as both are moving east. And even if Trump wins his touted court battle and is declared a winner, changes the constitution and gets re-elected for ten more terms, he will not be able to reverse this torrent even if the Democrats worked wholeheartedly with him.

If Biden ends up in the White House, he may and probably will attempt to gain initial support by publishing real COVID-19 death related figures as mentioned above. But what will he be able to conjure up in order to be able to save face when it comes to public debt, unemployment and other huge problems that America and the rest of the world face?

The cracks within America are sadly widening and the underlying foundations are crumbling, and if Biden is foolish enough to take the war gamble as a way out of the financial dilemma that he will have to deal with if he becomes president and squanders a few more trillion on a new war somewhere in the world, he will hasten the financial collapse. If he warms up to China and escalates his anti-Russian rhetoric to the extent of creating war with Russia, then God help us all. I suppose Greta and her minions will blame Russia for the nuclear fallout, provided that any of them and us will still be around to talk about it.

Whether Trump stays or goes, he has definitely and inadvertently accelerated the events in the age of disbelief. The word disbelief was once associated with heresy, but now, at least in my dictionary, it refers to the disbelief in the current state of human rationality.

I can go on and on but enough is said. With all the above reasons to have disbelief, I wonder if there is still any benefit in writing articles like this one and trying to talk people into having some common sense.

The world is quickly and steadfastly approaching a rather frightening stage of mass hysteria of Biblical proportions. Rational people now feel that they are surrounded by lunatics, and yet some say we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’.

May God have mercy on humanity, because humanity did not have mercy on itself.

Social media’s erasure of Palestinians is a grim warning for our future

Jonathan Cook

26 October 2020 12:39 UTC 

Facebook, Google and Twitter are not neutral platforms. They control the digital public square to aid the powerful – and can cancel any of us overnight

Palestinian critics say Facebook has become ‘another face of occupation’ (AFP/File photo)

There is a growing unease that the decisions taken by social media corporations can have a harmful impact on our lives. These platforms, despite enjoying an effective monopoly over the virtual public square, have long avoided serious scrutiny or accountability. 

In a new Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, former Silicon Valley executives warn of a dystopian future. Google, Facebook and Twitter have gathered vast quantities of data on us to better predict and manipulate our desires. Their products are gradually rewiring our brains to addict us to our screens and make us more pliable to advertisers. The result, as we are consigned to discrete ideological echo chambers, is ever greater social and political polarisation and turmoil.

Western publics are waking up very belatedly to the undemocratic power social media wields over them

As if to underline the ever-tightening grip these tech corporations exert on our lives, Facebook and Twitter decided this month to openly interfere in the most contentious US presidential election in living memory. They censored a story that could harm the electoral prospects of Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger to incumbent President Donald Trump. 

Given that nearly half of Americans receive their news chiefly via Facebook, the ramifications of such a decision on our political life were not hard to interpret. In excising any debate about purported corruption and influence-peddling by Biden’s son, Hunter, carried out in his father’s name, these social media platforms stepped firmly into the role of authoritarian arbiter of what we are allowed to say and know. 

‘Monopoly gatekeeper’

Western publics are waking up very belatedly to the undemocratic power social media wields over them. But if we wish to understand where this ultimately leads, there is no better case study than the very different ways Israelis and Palestinians have been treated by the tech giants. 

The treatment of Palestinians online serves as a warning that it would be foolish indeed to regard these globe-spanning corporations as politically neutral platforms, and their decisions as straightforwardly commercial. This is to doubly misunderstand their role.How Facebook threatens vulnerable Muslim communities Read More »

Social media firms are now effectively monopolistic communication grids – similar to the electricity and water grids, or the phone network of a quarter of a century ago. Their decisions are therefore no longer private matters, but instead have huge social, economic and political consequences. That is part of the reason why the US justice department launched a lawsuit last week against Google for acting as a “monopoly gatekeeper for the internet”. 

Google, Facebook and Twitter have no more a right to arbitrarily decide who and what they host on their sites than telecoms companies once had a right to decide whether a customer should be allowed a phone line. But unlike the phone company, social media corporations control not just the means of communication, but the content too. They can decide, as the Hunter Biden story shows, whether their customers get to participate in vital public debates about who leads them.

The Hunter Biden decision is as if the phone company of old not only listened in to conversations, but was able to cut the line if it did not like the politics of any particular customer. 

In fact, it is even worse than that. Social media now deliver the news to large sections of the population. Their censoring of a story is more akin to the electricity company turning off the power to everyone’s homes for the duration of a TV broadcast to ensure no one can see it.

Censorship by stealth

The tech giants are the wealthiest, most powerful corporations in human history, their riches measured in hundreds of billions, and now trillions, of dollars. But the argument that they are apolitical – aiming simply to maximise profits – was never true. 

They have every reason to promote politicians who side with them by committing not to break up their monopolies or regulate their activities, or, better still, by promising to weaken controls that might prevent them from growing even more fabulously rich and powerful. 

Social media algorithms help drive decisions on content removal (AFP/File photo)
Social media algorithms help drive decisions on content removal (AFP/File photo)

Conversely, the tech giants also have every incentive to use the digital space to penalise and marginalise political activists who urge greater regulation either of their activities, or of the marketplace more generally. 

Unlike their explicit deletion of the Hunter Biden story, which incensed the Trump administration, social media corporations more usually censor by stealth. That power is wielded through algorithms, the secret codes that decide whether something or someone appears in a search result or on a social media feed. If they desire, these tech titans can cancel any one of us overnight. 

This is not just political paranoia. The disproportionate impact of algorithm changes on “left-leaning” websites – those most critical of the neoliberal system that has enriched social media corporations – was highlighted this month by the Wall Street Journal. 

Wrong kinds of speech

Politicians increasingly understand the power of social media, which is why they want to harness it as best they can for their own ends. Since the shock of Trump’s election victory in late 2016, Facebook, Google and Twitter executives have regularly found themselves dragged before legislative oversight committees in the US and UK.

There, they are ritually rebuked by politicians for creating a crisis of “fake news” – a crisis that, in fact, long predated social media, as the deceptions of US and UK officials in linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and claiming that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” testify to only too clearly. 

The online fate of Palestinians points to a future in which the already-powerful will gain ever greater control over what we know and what we are allowed to think

Politicians have also begun holding internet corporations responsible for “foreign interference” in western elections – typically blamed on Russia – despite a dearth of serious evidence for most of their allegations

Political pressure is being exerted not to make the corporations more transparent and accountable, but to steer them towards enforcing even more assiduously restrictions on the wrong kinds of speech – whether it be violent racists on the right or critics of capitalism and western government policy on the left.

For that reason, social media’s original image as a neutral arena of information sharing, or as a tool for widening public debate and increasing civic engagement, or as a discourse leveller between the rich and powerful and weak and marginalised, grows ever more hollow.

Separate digital rights

Nowhere are ties between tech and state officials more evident than in their dealings with Israel. This has led to starkly different treatment of digital rights for Israelis and Palestinians. The online fate of Palestinians points to a future in which the already-powerful will gain ever greater control over what we know and what we are allowed to think, and over who is visible and who is erased from public life.

Israel was well-positioned to exploit social media before most other states had recognised its importance in manipulating popular attitudes and perceptions. For decades, Israel had, in part, outsourced an official programme of hasbara – or state propaganda – to its own citizens and supporters abroad. As new digital platforms emerged, these partisans were only too willing to expand their role.Facebook accused of censoring Palestinians under pretext of fighting hate speech Read More »

Israel had another advantage. After the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza, Israel began crafting a narrative of state victimhood by redefining antisemitism to suggest it was now a particular affliction of the left, not the right. So-called “new antisemitism” did not target Jews, but related instead to criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian rights. 

This highly dubious narrative proved easy to condense into social media-friendly soundbites. 

Israel still routinely describes any Palestinian resistance to its belligerent occupation or its illegal settlements as “terrorism”, and any support from other Palestinians as “incitement”. International solidarity with Palestinians is characterised as “delegitimisation” and equated with antisemitism. 

‘Flood the internet’

As far back as 2008, it emerged that a pro-Israel media lobby group, Camera, had been orchestrating covert efforts by Israel loyalists to infiltrate the online encyclopedia Wikipedia to edit entries and “rewrite history” in ways favourable to Israel. Soon afterwards, politician Naftali Bennett helped organise courses teaching “Zionist editing” of Wikipedia. 

In 2011, the Israeli army declared social media a new “battleground” and assigned “cyber warriors” to wage combat online. In 2015, Israel’s foreign ministry set up an additional command centre to recruit young, tech-savvy former soldiers from 8200, the army’s cyber intelligence unit, to lead the battle online. Many have gone on to establish hi-tech firms whose spying software became integral to the functioning of social media.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a 2019 cyber industry conference in Tel Aviv (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a 2019 cyber industry conference in Tel Aviv (AFP)

An app launched in 2017, Act.IL, mobilised Israel partisans to “swarm” sites hosting either criticism of Israel or support for Palestinians. The initiative, supported by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, was headed by veterans of Israeli intelligence services. 

According to the Forward, a US Jewish weekly, Israel’s intelligence services liaise closely with Act.IL and request help in getting content, including videos, removed by social media platforms. The Forward observed shortly after the app was rolled out: “Its work so far offers a startling glimpse of how it could shape the online conversations about Israel without ever showing its hand.”

Sima Vaknin-Gil, a former Israeli military censor who was then assigned to Israel’s strategic affairs ministry, said the goal was to “create a community of fighters” whose job was to “flood the internet” with Israeli propaganda

Willing allies

With advantages measured in personnel numbers and ideological zeal, in tech and propaganda experience, and in high-level influence in Washington and Silicon Valley, Israel was soon able to turn social media platforms into willing allies in its struggle to marginalise Palestinians online.  

In 2016, Israel’s justice ministry was boasting that Facebook, Google and YouTube were “complying with up to 95 percent of Israeli requests to delete content”, almost all of it Palestinian. The social media companies did not confirm this figure.

The Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Israel lobby group with a history of smearing Palestinian organisations and Jewish groups critical of Israel, established a “command centre” in Silicon Valley in 2017 to monitor what it termed “online hate speech”. That same year, it was appointed a “trusted flagger” organisation for YouTube, meaning its reporting of content for removal was prioritised. 

Tech corporations are now the undeclared, profit-driven arbiters of our speech rights. But their commitment is not to open and vigorous public debate

At a 2018 conference in Ramallah hosted by 7amleh, a Palestinian online advocacy group, local Google and Facebook representatives barely hid their priorities. It was important to their bottom line to avoid upsetting governments with the power to constrain their commercial activities – even if those governments were systematically violating international law and human rights. In this battle, the Palestinian Authority carries no weight at all. Israel presides over Palestinians’ communications and internet infrastructure. It controls the Palestinian economy and its key resources.

Since 2016, Israel’s justice ministry has reportedly suppressed tens of thousands of Palestinian posts. In a completely opaque process, Israel’s own algorithms detect content it deems “extremist” and then requests its removal. Hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested by Israel over social media posts, chilling online activity. 

Human Rights Watch warned late last year that Israel and Facebook were often blurring the distinction between legitimate criticism of Israel and incitement. Conversely, as Israel has shifted ever further rightwards, the Netanyahu government and social media platforms have not stemmed a surge of posts in Hebrew promoting anti-Palestinian incitement and calling for violence. 7amleh has noted that Israelis post racist or inciteful material against Palestinians roughly every minute. 

News agencies shut down

As well as excising tens of thousands of Palestinian posts, Israel has persuaded Facebook to take down the accounts of major Palestinian news agencies and leading journalists. 

By 2018, the Palestinian public had grown so incensed that a campaign of online protests and calls to boycott Facebook were led under the hashtag “FBcensorsPalestine”. In Gaza, demonstrators accused the company of being “another face of occupation”. Leila Khaled shutdown shows how corporate tech is enemy of free speechRead More »

Activism in solidarity with Palestinians in the US and Europe has been similarly targeted. Ads for films, as well as the films themselves, have been taken down and websites removed. 

Last month, Zoom, a video conferencing site that has boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, joined YouTube and Facebook in censoring a webinar organised by San Francisco State University because it included Leila Khaled, an icon of the Palestinian resistance movement now in her seventies.

On Friday, Zoom blocked a second scheduled appearance by Khaled – this time in a University of Hawaii webinar on censorship – as well as a spate of other events across the US to protest against her cancellation by the site. A statement concerning the day of action said campuses were “joining in the campaign to resist corporate and university silencing of Palestinian narratives and Palestinian voices”.

The decision, a flagrant attack on academic freedom, was reportedly taken after the social media groups were heavily pressured by the Israeli government and anti-Palestinian lobby groups, which labelled the webinar “antisemitic”.

Wiped off the map

The degree to which the tech giants’ discrimination against Palestinians is structural and entrenched has been underscored by the years-long struggle of activists both to include Palestinian villages on online maps and GPS services, and to name the Palestinian territories as “Palestine”, in accordance with Palestine’s recognition by the United Nations. 

That campaign has largely floundered, even though more than a million people have signed a petition in protest. Both Google and Apple have proved highly resistant to these appeals; hundreds of Palestinian villages are missing from their maps of the occupied West Bank, while Israel’s illegal settlements are identified in detail, accorded the same status as the Palestinian communities that are shown. 

New houses are built in the Nokdim settlement in the occupied West Bank on 13 October (AFP)
New houses being built in the Nokdim settlement in the occupied West Bank on 13 October (AFP)

The occupied Palestinian territories are subordinated under the name “Israel”, while Jerusalem is presented as Israel’s unified and undisputed capital, just as Israel claims – making the occupation of the Palestinian section of the city invisible. 

These are far from politically neutral decisions. Israeli governments have long pursued a Greater Israel ideology that requires driving Palestinians off their lands. This year, that dispossession programme was formalised with plans, backed by the Trump administration, to annex swathes of the West Bank. 

Google and Apple are effectively colluding in this policy by helping to erase Palestinians’ visible presence in their homeland. As two Palestinian scholars, George Zeidan and Haya Haddad, recently noted: “When Google and Apple erase Palestinian villages from their navigation, but proudly mark settlements, the effect is complicity in the Israeli nationalist narrative.” 

Out of the shadows

Israel’s ever-tightening relationship with social media corporations has played out largely behind the scenes. But these ties moved decisively out of the shadows in May, when Facebook announced that its new oversight board would include Emi Palmor, one of the architects of Israel’s online repression policy towards Palestinians. 

Palestinians know only too well how easy it is for technology to diminish and disappear the voices of the weak and oppressed, and to amplify the voices of the powerful

The board will issue precedent-setting rulings to help shape Facebook’s and Instagram’s censorship and free speech policies. But as the former director-general of the justice ministry, Palmor has shown no commitment to online free speech. Quite the reverse: she worked hand-in-hand with the tech giants to censor Palestinian posts and shut down Palestinian news websites. She oversaw the transformation of her department into what the human rights organisation Adalah has called the Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”. 

Tech corporations are now the undeclared, profit-driven arbiters of our speech rights. But their commitment is not to open and vigorous public debate, online transparency or greater civic engagement. Their only commitment is to the maintenance of a business environment in which they avoid any regulation by major governments infringing on their right to make money.

The appointment of Palmor perfectly illustrates the corrupting relationship between government and social media. Palestinians know only too well how easy it is for technology to diminish and disappear the voices of the weak and oppressed, and to amplify the voices of the powerful. 

Many more of us could soon find ourselves sharing the online fate of Palestinians.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Jonathan CookJonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

نصرالله عصر التنوير وماكرون محاكم التفتيش

ناصر قنديل

العلمانية التي ظهرت كنظام سياسي وعقد اجتماعي للدولة الأوروبية المعاصرة، هي منتج سياسي وقانوني لثقافة أعمق نهضت على أكتاف الثورة الصناعيّة وتجسّدت في القرنين الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر بثورة العقل والمنطق. وما عُرف بعصر التنوير الذي قاده عمالقة بحجم فولتير وروسو ومونتسكيو، وتبلورت شعاراتها السياسية بالحرية والأخاء والمساواة في الثورة الفرنسية، بينما تبلورت فلسفته العميقة بالاحتكام للعقل، وكانت قطيعة مع تاريخ معاكس مثلته محاكم التفتيش الكاثوليكية التي دفع فيلسوف كبير مثل برونو وعلماء كبار مثل كوبرنيكوس وجاليلو ثمناً باهظاً لها بتهمة الهرطقة على قاعدة تحريم الاحتكام للعقل والعلم، بينما سياسياً واجتماعياً طورد الإصلاحيون باسم التبرؤ من البدع كما حدث مع الفيلسوف ميشال سيرفيه الذي أحرق حياً في جنيف بتهمة رفض عقيدة التثليث، فيما شكلت جرائمها بحق المسلمين في الأندلس أبرز ما حمله سجلها التاريخي تحت عنوان فحص الولاء لله، وشكلت فكرياً وثقافياً وجهاً من وجوه استمرار الحملات الصليبية.

في ما يشبه استعادة مناخات الحروب الصليبية يتبادل الرئيسان الفرنسي والتركي عبثاً بالعقائد والعواطف والانفعالات المنبثقة عنها، حيث يصب كل منهما من طرفه وفي البيئة التي يخاطبها زيتاً على نار حرب عبثية، لا يتورّع فيها الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون عن التحدث عن أزمة في الإسلام، وإرهاب إسلامي، وفاشية إسلامية، أملاً بأن يتزعم جبهة تضم العلمانيين بداعي الدفاع عن حرية التعبير في شقها المتصل بالتغطية على ما يطال المقدسات الإسلامية، وتضم المتطرفين المسيحيين، الذين لا يخفون ضيقهم من تنامي حضور وتعداد المسلمين في فرنسا خصوصاً وأوروبا عموماً، وإلى الفريقين تضم اليمين الوطني الرافض لتكاثر المهاجرين من البلاد الإسلامية، أملاً بأن يشكل هذا الثلاثي مصدر زعامة تشبه زعامات بناها قادة الحروب الصليبية، بينما يسعى الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وفي ظل نزاع مصلحي بين الدولتين الفرنسية والتركية، لقيادة جبهة تضم الجاليات الإسلامية المقهورة تحت ظلم سياسات عنصرية في أوروبا، وتضم التنظيمات الإرهابية التكفيرية التي تشغّلها تركيا، وكانت فرنسا شريكها في التشغيل طوال سنوات الحرب على سورية، وتضم ثالثاً الشعوب العربية من المسلمين التي تسمع بصعوبة كلاماً منخفض الصوت لحكوماتها الواقعة تحت تبعية ذليلة لحكومات الغرب، فتعجز عن التجرؤ لمخاطبة الحكومات الغربية، والرئيس الفرنسي في المقدمة بلغة شجاعة تنتقد وتصحح وتعترض. وهذه الحكومات التابعة هي شريك لحكومات فرنسا وأوروبا في رعاية الجماعات الإرهابية وتشجيع الفكر التكفيري، لكن بغرض استعمال نتاج هذه الرعاية في ليبيا وسورية وليس في أوروبا.

في هذا القحط الفكري، والانفلات القاتل للعصبيّات، يخرج رجل دين معمّم من أتباع الرسول وعشاقه ليقود الدعوة للتعقل وتحمّل المسؤولية، ووضع النقاط على الحروف، مستعيداً المعاني العميقة لشعارات الثورة الفرنسية ودعوات روسو وفولتير، حيث الحرية هي الاحترام العميق لحرية المعتقد. وهو في الأولوية معتقد الأقلية والضعفاء والمقهورين، والأخاء هو الترفّع عن منطق التمييز العنصري على اساس الدين والعرق واللون والجنس، والمساواة هي نزاهة تطبيق معيار المحاكمة العقلية للمفاهيم قبل أن تكون المساواة أمام القانون، حيث لا يستوي نص تحريم الحرية والعقل تحت شعار معاداة السامية، ولو التزما كل التحفظ العلمي والضوابط الأخلاقية، وتطلق حرية بث الكراهيّة، ولو تمت بصورة عبثية تستخف بالضوابط الأخلاقية والقيمية للأخوة الإنسانية، تحت شعار حرية التعبير، فجادل رجل الدين المعمم، بلغة عصر التنوير كوريث لمنجزات الحضارة الإنسانية، من يفترض أنه الوصي على تنفيذ منتجاتها من الموقع الدستوري والسياسي، بعدما ارتضى أن يتحول إلى قائد جيش في الحرب الصليبية أو رئيس غرفة من غرف محاكم تفتيش.

كلام السيد حسن نصرلله في ما تشهده علاقة المسلمين والجاليات الإسلامية بالقضايا المثارة على مساحة أوروبا من وحي قضية الرسوم المسيئة للرسول والجرائم الإرهابية المتذرّعة بها، مرافعة فلسفية عقلانية تستعيد روح عصر التنوير والاحتكام للعقل، والحل الذي تبنّاه ختاماً لمرافعته، مستعيداً مقترح الأزهر بتشريع عالمي لتحريم النيل من المقدسات، حجر متعدد الأهداف في يوم الوحدة الإسلامية، بينما يتساءل بعض رجال القانون في فرنسا، لماذا لا تتم محاكمة أصحاب الرسوم المسيئة للرسول تحت بند العداء للسامية، أليس الرسول من أحفاد سام بن نوح، وقد روى الترمذي أن الرسول هو القائل بأن “سام أبو العرب ويافث أبو الروم وحام أبو الحبش”؟

Sayyed Nasrallah: Insulting the Prophet [PBUH] Unacceptable; US, The West to Pay the Price of Nurturing Takfirism

Sayyed Nasrallah: Insulting the Prophet [PBUH] Unacceptable; US, The West to Pay the Price of Nurturing Takfirism
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By Zeinab Abdallah

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech marking the birth anniversary of the Prophet of Mercy, the Messenger of Islam Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH] and his grandson the sixth Shia Imam Jaafar bin Muhammad al-Sadiq [AS].

After congratulating the entire Muslim world on the blessed occasions, Sayyed Nasrallah lectured France on the morale and rank of the holy prophet among his Muslim nation, and called the French authorities to reassess their measures and their standards upon which they tackle the freedom of expression.

His Eminence further elaborated on Prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] existing miracle that will remain until the day of resurrection, which is witnessed in all times, in reference to the holy book that Allah has sent his last prophet, the Holy Quran.

“The survival of this holy book in this accurate manner is a miracle in itself despite all reasons to distort it,” His Eminence stated, adding that “The most notable achievement of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] is the humanitarian achievement he made in the deep and huge transformation of the Arabian Peninsula community.”

All Muslims respect, sanctify, and appreciate this great prophet unlike any other human, though they love and appreciate all other prophets, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored.

“Among the most important social points for Muslims is that they believe in the greatness of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], and they view him as the most complete human and the closest creature to Allah the almighty,” His Eminence added.

Making clear that Muslims could never tolerate any insult or humiliation directed at the great prophet, Sayyed Nasrallah added that they consider defending the dignity of their prophet among the top priorities that is above all other interests and calculations.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Hezbollah Secretary General stated that the Nice incident is strongly condemned and rejected by Islam; the religion that forbids killing or attacking civilians. “All similar attacks are rejected in the first place from Islam’s viewpoint.”

However, he emphasized that neither the French authorities nor others are permitted to blame the religion or the community of the religion to which the perpetrator belongs.

Making the example closer to their minds, Sayyed Nasrallah asked: If a Christian man commits such a crime, which happened indeed in France, is it right to say that all world’s Christians are responsible for this crime?

“The US today commits crimes all over the world, and they admit the killing of thousands in such wars. Did any Muslim accuse Christians of those crimes just because the US President is Christian?” he then questioned.

Highlighting the importance of respecting Islam as a religion, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the matter requires to stop using the terms of “Islamic terrorism” and “Islamic fascism.”

“If some Muslims offended Islam it doesn’t give the right to any other side to offend it too. The Takfiri terrorist ideology, which adopted killing just for ideological differences in our region, was protected by the West.”

Blaming the West for nurturing the Takfiri and terrorist ideology, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “The West has, in the first place, to look for its responsibility for Takfiri groups, and the US administration and the European governments supported and funded Takfiri groups in Syria and Iraq.”

His Eminence then ruled out Islam’s involvement in such terrorist acts, adding that “Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and the Muslim nation have nothing to do with the crimes committed by the Takfiri groups.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also noted that the Americans and the Europeans should reassess their behavior of using terrorists as tools in their political schemes and wars. “Using such kind of tools must stop, otherwise you [the US and the West] will pay the prices for those mistakes.”

Referring to the origin of the Muslims’ problem with the French authorities, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that the crisis began when the notorious French magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], and the French authorities, instead of dealing with the issue, started a war of this kind and insisted to continue publishing such sarcastic cartoons.

Instead of dealing with the repercussions, Sayyed Nasrallah advised the French authorities to deal with the reasons. “We have many evidences that they suppressed the freedom of expression in less sensitive issues that insulting the Prophet. We have many evidences that they suppressed the freedom of expression in less sensitive issues that insulting the Prophet.”

Commenting on the double standards when it comes to the freedom of expression in France and Europe, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that is not an absolute matter, but rather restricted with security and political considerations. “When it comes to ‘Israel’, this freedom stops in France, and the examples are many. Why does it stop when it comes to anti-Semitism?”

His Eminence called for reassessing the concept of the freedom of expression, especially when it harms dignities, recommending the French authorities to deal with this grave mistake.

“Do not allow the progress of this aggression, violation and sarcasm. Offending the dignities of our Prophets is not accepted by any Muslim in the world,” Sayyed Nasrallah said as he addressed the French authorities.

He also assured them that they will lose this battle that they insist to continue. “Where are France’s interests in its relations with the Muslim world if it wants to continue in this situation?”

The responsibility for dealing with what happened in France is related to the French authorities’ performance, His Eminence added.

Blasting the Arab regimes that normalize with ‘Israel’, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that they are not allowed to remain silent and cover such offense against the sacred prophet for their people.

The resistance leader hailed the strong significances of the Yemenis’ presence in defending the Prophet [PBUH] despite all difficulties: “Despite the siege and war in Yemen, we find the Yemeni people assemble to celebrate the Prophet’s birth anniversary.”

He then urged Muslims and the entire world to read yesterday’s scene in Yemen with fidelity and religious background. “A major movement must be formed in the Arab world to press for ending this brutal war against Yemen. It is the least of our duties,” Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized.

He then called on Muslims to support the Yemeni people as the most notable thing they would present today to Prophet Muhammad [PBUH].

On the Lebanese level, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the country cannot continue with a caretaker government. He then assured that Hezbollah’s information say that the cabinet formation circumstances are good and acceptable, adding that: “We will cooperate and facilitate the formation. Time now is not for internal problems.”

As for the surging COVID-19 cases across Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah repeated and recalled that leniency in the battle with the Coronavirus is unethical, inhumane and illegitimate. “The responsibility for fighting the Coronavirus belongs to everybody; the government and people, not the Health Ministry alone,” His Eminence concluded.

Before ending his sermon, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that he will deliver a speech on November 11, the day that marks Hezbollah Martyr’s Day.

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Instagram Blocks Imam Khamenei Account following Letter to French Youths

Imam Khamenei

Instagram blocked the French-language account of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, two days after his eminence addressed French youths over the French insult to Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Iranian media reported the move, while the American photo and video sharing social networking service has not yet commented on the matter.

In his letter to the French youths, Imam Khamenei decried the French president’s support for anti-Islamic moves while the West has criminalized doubts about the Holocaust.

“Ask your President why he supports insulting God’s Messenger in the name of freedom of expression. Does freedom of expression mean insulting, especially a sacred personage? Isn’t this stupid act an insult to the reason of the people who elected him?” the Leader said in the post.

“The next question to ask is: why is it a crime to raise doubts about the Holocaust? Why should anyone who writes about such doubts be imprisoned while insulting the Prophet (PBUH) is allowed?” Imam Khamenei said in the message.

Earlier this month, Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he said was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities around France.

Source: Iranian media

Iran National Security Committee Spox: Iraq Ambassador to Remain in Place despite Sanctions

Iran National Security Committee Spox: Iraq Ambassador to Remain in Place despite Sanctions

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – The Americans are refusing to abandon their failed approach, especially during US President Donald Trump’s tenure, with Washington sanctioning the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, as well as the Islamic Radio and Television Union. This proves to the world that the US cannot tolerate free voices despite claiming to support freedom of expression.

In response to this American measure, the Islamic Republic made an important decision. It placed the American ambassador in Iraq and his assistant on the terror list for their involvement in the assassination of martyr General Haj Qassem Soleimani and his companions as well as for their role in other terrorist operations in the region. The move comes after a recent decision by Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly to look into terrorist officials in the United States.

Al-Ahed News sat down with the spokesman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament, Dr. Abolfazl Amoui, to discuss the recent American sanctions.

“By imposing sanctions, America is exploiting its position, especially with international institutions. The US wants to change the viewpoint of those who are working on the right side. But whoever opposes it and is working on the right side will not be affected by Washington’s measures and will not submit to it,” Amoui said.

“Sayyed Masjedi is the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq. He is working to strengthen relations with Iraq. He is a well-known figure and an active ambassador. And the accusations leveled against him are flimsy and mere false allegations. America must respect the immunity of diplomats on the basis of the Vienna Convention, so these sanctions are basically illegal,” Amoui added.

Amoui explains that the measure “contradicts international law, and Ambassador Masjedi will work with greater energy and strength to strengthen relations between Tehran and Baghdad and the bonds of love and friendship between the two countries.”

The Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union

Regarding the sanctions against the Islamic Radio and Television Union, Amoui warned that, “the Americans are seeking to silence the voices that they do not like. But instead of silencing them, they must fix their ears.”

“The Islamic Radio and Television Union is an independent institution that works to enhance cooperation between the media in the Islamic world, and these sanctions are illegal. America cannot silence free voices in the world. The US should know that America’s problems are those being discussed in the electoral debates, and therefore Washington cannot impose sanctions on independent media.”

Amoui concluded by recalling “how the American government took more than 500 children hostage and that America today suffers from poverty and social inequalities. This emerged in the elections. Independent media has nothing to do with these crises. On the contrary, the American administration is the one that created these crises. The independent media, in line with their responsibilities, publishes news.”

The Open Society and its Giant Enemies

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By Gilad Atzmon

 A few days ago I received this warning message from Twitter: 

 “Hi Gilad Atzmon, 

Your account, @GiladAtzmon has been locked for violating the Twitter Rules. I was accused by this anti social network of “violating” their  “rules against hateful conduct.”

The message took me by surprise as hatred is foreign to me. In fact, I dedicate a considerable amount of my energy to exposing the racism, racial supremacy and biological determinism that are found in many identitarian discourses. 

Twitter wrote to me “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

Here is my 5 year old tweet that prompted action by twitter:

 @GiladAtzmon

_What can Jews do about #Antisemitism? Simple– look in the mirror– introspect. #Palestine #Zionism #Israel #BDS

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 It seems that Twitter considers it  ‘hateful’ to  ask people to “look in the mirror”, to “introspect,” to consider the ‘remote’ possibility that maybe some of the Jewish State’s policies and practices may reflect badly on the Jews as a whole. I would like Twitter to explain to us how calling on people  to “introspect”  “promotes violence” or “threaten[s] or harass[es] people on the basis of race?” 

Twitter must have known that I didn’t commit any ‘hateful speech’ and offered me the chance to erase my 5 year old tweet that no one except my devoted Zionist stalkers would notice and who managed to pinpoint four other ‘hateful’ statements by me.  

Apparently sarcasm isn’t well received by Twitter’s moderators. They demanded that I also delete this 4 year old tweet:

@GiladAtzmon

I suggest instead of referring to the Swastika we just call it ‘Star of Adolf,’ it sounds friendly and it puts David’s in context…”

I accept that some Jews are upset by my dark cynicism, but considering the disastrous crimes that are committed by the country that decorates its tanks and airplanes with Stars of David, this is another call for Jews to introspect, to look in the mirror, to self-reflect. It by no means “promotes violence”, “threatens”, or “harasses” anyone. If anything it replicates the early Zionist insight which I agree with, that before anything else, Jews must first find their way to become ‘people like all other people.’ 

 Twitter also asked me to remove this exchange with an ardent Zionist: 

“@GiladAtzmon

@Saul_Freeman because the real holocaust is what you People do to Palestinians.”

I understand that I violated a tenet of the holocaust religion that no one is allowed to apply the H-word to any other people’s suffering. Certainly, no one is allowed to point at the slow genocide of the Palestinians. 

I don’t intend to bore you with each statement Twitter finds hateful. It doesn’t take much  to figure out that  Twitter was subjected to a Zionist blitz aimed at silencing me.  To some extent it was reassuring that my detractors couldn’t find a single remotely hateful statement in my entire Twitter oeuvre. And it was amusing to see how upset this caricature Zionist was to find out that my Twitter account was still active.  https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291278513534902281&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fgilad.online%2Fwritings%2F2020%2F8%2F8%2Fthe-open-society-and-its-giant-enemies&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

 What is clear to a growing number of people, perhaps most Westerners, is that Twitter, like FB and  Google are not what they initially promised to be. It took little time for these internet platforms to morph into authoritarian and draconian thought police. If there was an initial promise to emancipate us through the internet, it is gone, the internet giants have become the most rigid oppressive and totalitarian forces leading us into the next dark age. 

The chutzpah, and I indeed deliberately use the Yiddish word in this context,  exceeds former totalitarian oppressive measures. This time it is not our rulers, tyrants or monarchs who make us fearful of our own thoughts. It is not political parties who make us walk on our tiptoes. In 2020 Internet companies even suspend the activity of democratically elected  leaders if they don’t fit with the Zuckerberg agenda or Twitter’s ‘progressive’ goals. In 2020 Zuckerberg and a few of Google’s directors decide what scientists are allowed to say about Covid 19. In August 2020 the internet giants claimed to know what eradicated Beirut before even the Pentagon or the Lebanese produced an explanation.  

Once again I find myself  reiterating that the Tyranny of Correctness is at the very heart of the Jerusalemite ethos. While Athens introduces us to philosophy, science, logos, beauty – Jerusalem, is considered the city of revelation,  is all about obedience. In Jerusalem, we follow mitzvoth and commandments. In Jerusalem, ethics (the making of moral judgments)  is replaced by rules that dictate an image of morality. Jerusalem decrees what we can say, Athens teaches us how to think for ourselves. 

The USA was born as an Athenian realm. It was the Land of the Free, not because it has ever been free, but because it was inspired by the notion of freedom.  Not much is left out of this aspiration.  America, like Britain, France and other Western countries is now a Jerusalemite colony, its regime of correctness is defined by foreign sensitivities. 

For the West to stop its rapid decline, it must –  and right now, before it is too late, to reinstate its fidelity to the Athenian creed. If the West wants to survive, it must ensure that it isn’t a Zuckerberg, in whatever form, who defines the boundaries of the Covid-19 debate. It should not be Youtube that decides which doctors and scientists are kosher enough to deserve airtime.  

For us to have a prospect of hope, Jerusalem must be reduced into its natural magnitude.  The Zionists who are upset by such  thoughts should bear in mind that Zionism succeeded in achieving its early objectives because its Zionist founders rejected Jerusalem. Their aim was to make Zion into an Athenian province. Their mission ultimately failed, but not before it inspired some Jews to believe in the possibility of a metamorphosis.  

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IMPRESSIONS FROM AN INFORMAL MEETING WITH ASMA AL-ASSAD, SYRIA’S FIRST LADY

By Eva Bartlett

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*(All photos taken from the Facebook page “Asma al Assad – Syria’s First Lady“)

I had been sitting in a small entrance room for what seemed less than a minute when the door opened and Syria’s first lady, Her Excellency Asma al-Assad, greeted me with a warm smile, welcoming me inside a slightly larger sitting room. In official meetings I had had over the years in Syria, I was accustomed to a secretary or assistant escorting me into the meeting room. Asma al-Assad, however, does things up close and personal.

Over the years in Syria, I had heard from people I encountered that she and President Assad routinely meet with their fellow Syrians in crowded venues, mixing and engaging with the people. I had also seen countless photos and videos of the Assads visiting Syrians in their homes around the country.

While I have been to Syria over a dozen times in the past seven years, it had never occurred to me to request a meeting with the first lady. But when that opportunity recently presented itself, I leapt at the chance to speak with one of the most beloved figures in Syria, and to hear her thoughts on her country, her fellow Syrians, and on the plights they are all in. And as it turned out, it was a chance to hear her poignant insights on her role as a mother, a citizen, the wife of the President and a leader in her own right.

Even before assuming the role of Syria’s first lady, Asma al-Assad made it a priority to focus on the development of Syria, and over the years since she’s headed organizations focusing on a range of development issues, including financial, educational and vocational. To effectively work on the many issues she does, her level of awareness of Syrians’ situation on the ground is crucial.

She has travelled widely around Syria, to the smallest villages, to meet with those who could benefit from the various organizations she heads. Videos abound of the first lady, and also the president, visiting wounded soldiers, families of martyrs, cancer patients, and impoverished Syrians, greeting them with hugs and kisses to their cheeks. They often sit with them on the floor of their homes, listening to them talk about their experiences.

In fact, in an interview she gave in 2002, Asma al-Assad explained:

“I wanted to meet [ordinary Syrians] before they met me. Before the world met me. I was able to spend the first couple of months wandering around, meeting other Syrian people. It was my crash course. I would just tag along with one of the many programmes being run in the rural areas. Because people had no idea who I was, I was able to see people completely honestly, I was able to see what their problems were on the ground, what people are complaining about, what the issues are. What people’s hopes and aspirations are. And seeing it first-hand means you are not seeing it through someone else’s eyes. It was really just to see who they are, what they are doing.”

As I already had an appreciation for what she’s accomplished I approached our recent meeting with a great degree of admiration for the person she is and the compassion she exudes.

Since this meeting was not a formal interview, I did not seek to record the over two hours of conversation with Her Excellency. Immediately after leaving, however, I did jot down as many notes about our conversation as I could recall, and will do my best to do justice to what Asma al-Assad said, sometimes quoting her but in general paraphrasing her words.

Also, while I wish to express the respect she deserves in her role as the first lady, and whereas most would call her Your Excellency, I’m also aware that she isn’t fond of titles and fanfare, one of many traits evidencing her humility. Thus, to find middle ground I will either refer to her as the first lady or Asma al-Assad.

Finally, although I’ve begun this essay with focus on Asma al-Assad and her character, what follows is really about Syria, through her eyes, and at some points my own. From the way she spoke, it is very clear that everything she does for her country is for her country, and she does so with an admirably passionate commitment.

I was admittedly anticipating our meeting, wondering how it might unfold. As it turned out, from the initial greeting, conversation flowed naturally and comfortably, which I attribute not only to Asma al-Assad’s ability to put those she meets with at ease very quickly, but also to the genuine interest and attention she pays everyone she meets.

She asked about my family, and was concerned about my own well being—to which my answer was something along the lines of: I’m very gratefully in the place I would most want to be right now. She asked about my experiences in Palestine in general, and my years in Gaza specifically. This was not feigned interest, as the first lady has consistently shown support for Palestine.

In late 2008/early 2009, when Israel was committing a massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza who had nowhere to flee, I was living in Gaza, and during the war riding in ambulances, documenting Israel’s war crimes. For three weeks, civilians were bombarded relentlessly—including with White Phosphorous, DIME, dart (flechette) bombs, drone strikes, Apache and tank shelling, and the massive one ton bomb airstrikes. In the end, Israel’s assault killed over 1400 Palestinians.

During an interview she gave to CNN at the time, Syria’s first lady spoke on the horrors which Palestinians were enduring during the massacre and also due to the inhumane Israeli siege on Gaza, rendering Gaza a prison. She spoke movingly of the over 80 percent of Palestinians in Gaza reliant on food aid to merely survive, the nearly 1 million (there are far more now) who don’t have access to clean water, and on many of the other sordid realities about life under siege in Gaza.

“This is the 21st Century. Where in the world could this happen? Unfortunately, it is happening. Just imagine your children living in Gaza. Mothers in Gaza can’t cook. Why can’t they cook? Because they don’t have access to fuel, they don’t even have access to the basic foodstuffs that are required to get a meal together, so children don’t eat. You put your children to bed at night and you expect to see them in the morning. That’s a luxury that people in Gaza just do not have. So what would it be like for you, living under those circumstances?”

WORKING FOR SYRIANS

During our meeting I commented on her work drive, knowing that throughout the past months when around the world things have slowed to a halt she has continued working on issues related to Syria’s development and empowering Syrians from all walks of life.

In May she participated in a workshop with staff of Jarih al-Watan (The Nation’s Wounded), a national veteran support program created in 2014 to help injured soldiers rebuild their lives and reintegrate back into society. The program provides support in several key areas including physical rehabilitation, mental health, education grants, vocational training and financial aid for small and medium enterprises.

The first lady explained that working hard is natural for her. She graduated from university quite young and started working professionally at age 21. When it comes to her work for Syrians, it’s more than her natural drive, it is something she is compelled to do for her country.

She talked to me about her cancer treatment (2018-2019), saying that people likely expected her to stay home, to discontinue work or at least work less because she was ill and undergoing treatment. But for her, how could she, for example, delay a child from getting treatment for a hearing aid, or delay a patient from getting medical care, “simply because I was feeling tired.”

Most people who have had a cold or flu would stay home during their illness, justifiably so. That Asma al-Assad refused to do so while enduring cancer treatment and all of the painful and exhausting side effects speaks volumes to her devotion to her people, a point worth stressing given that Western media has done their utmost to vilify her and the President.

Apart from her development work, the first lady quietly works to change antiquated mindsets on how to do things in Syria. She is also keen to encourage people in general, especially children, including her own, to think for themselves.

“We are trying to encourage young people to ask questions and think critically, which should be in line with democracy and freedom of opinion…”

Encouraging critical thinking and questioning of everything are traits that make for a more open society. For at least the past decade, the US and allies have preached about wanting freedom and democracy in Syria. But while gushing about freedom, they were funding and supporting terrorism, illegally occupying Syrian land, stealing Syrian oil, and prolonging terrorism in the country.

The forward-thinking approach Asma al-Assad embodies could lead to changes for the better in Syria. Yet, because the West is on a mission to impose a government which will do America’s bidding, people and policies that are actually good for Syria are dismissed and ridiculed by America and her allies.

Meanwhile, ironically, in Western countries, censorship has become increasingly rife, with dissenting voices being deleted from Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, and with critical articles on current events being labelled as “fake news” by Western-government affiliated so-called “fact checkers”.

The first lady noted, “People are being steered by a narrative. They are not allowed to have an opinion any longer. There’s now no freedom of speech in the West.”

IMPACTS OF AMERICA’S DEADLY SANCTIONS

In June, America again ratcheted up its decades-old sanctions on Syria, adding a new round of sanctions meant to utterly debilitate the people of Syria— who’ve already suffered nearly ten years of war.

Every day where I am now in Syria, I hear and see things that drive home just how utterly brutal the US sanctions are: a friend whose aunt can’t get the medications needed for her cancer, another friend whose cousin died as a result of not getting the medications he needed for his chronic illness.

The sanctions are deliberately targeting Syrian civilians, and that is the intent of the United States. The US pretext of “helping Syrians” by sanctioning their country is sociopathic double-speak. The reality is they are slowly killing Syrians.

Under the latest sanctions, civilians are denied medicines, access to up to date medical equipment, and as a consequence, denied medical treatment.

The first lady spoke on how much harder life has gotten for Syrians.

“The medical equipment in Syria (like radiotherapy) needed to treat cancer patients is outdated and it is getting harder and harder to maintain these machines and keep them working. With the sanctions, chemotherapy drugs have become harder to source decreasing the likelihood of patients surviving cancer. If I was facing cancer now instead of two years ago, I wouldn’t be able to get the needed treatment. This is the case for Syrians now.”

I asked about importing the materials needed for local manufacturing. But the problem is, she told me, companies cancel contracts for fear of being punished by the US for violating sanctions.

The first lady asked me what I noticed in recent visits to Syria. I said that I had imagined things would be better after the 2018 liberation of eastern Ghouta and other areas occupied by terrorists and the cessation of their daily mortar and missile attacks on residential areas of Damascus.

But although there is peace, people I meet are despondent about the future. Young people want to leave, to find work or study abroad. And while Syria has started to rebuild, the truth is we don’t know how long that will take, particularly given that the latest sanctions target reconstruction as well. Nor do people know how or when the economy will improve.

The shattered economy is largely a product of ten years of terrorism, war, the sanctions, and the US-Turkish theft and destruction of Syria’s resources, particularly oil. The Syria-wide bout of crop fires in wheat and barley growing regions has devastated farmers and contributes to the country’s economic woes. Farmers blame US and Turkish occupation forces for deliberately setting some of the fires, with Turkish forces even allegedly firing on farmers to keep them from extinguishing the flames.

Destroying the economy, starving the people, bringing people to their knees, in hopes they will vote against their president. That is the US strategy.

However, the US and allies have from day one underestimated the Syrian people. Syrians have shown the world the meaning of steadfastness, facing the most powerful nations and their terrorist proxies, and rising undefeated. But doing so with untold, tragic losses.

HONOURING THE SACRIFICES OF SYRIAN SOLDIERS

The first lady spoke of supporting micro businesses as a long term strategy to improve the economy for all, not just for some. This is something she’s been doing for nearly twenty years in Syria, with a variety of initiatives on microfinance, funding and training.

Tied into this is the vocational training that enables startup projects.

This June, at Nasmet Jabal, in a mountainous area in northwestern Syria, I saw wounded former Syrian soldiers receiving vocational training, learning cheese and yogurt making, staples of the Syrian diet. In previous years, at a Damascus community centre supported by the Syria Trust, I saw women learning sewing skills, likewise to enable them to be employed or start their own businesses.

When speaking of her and her husband’s approach to raising their children, Asma al-Assad noted the importance of their children knowing the sacrifices of Syrian soldiers, stressing that her children are able to do the most basic things in life—walk, study, even just be alive—precisely because the army has defended Syria, and in many cases with soldiers paying a deep price in doing so.

This is one reason their three children frequently appear with the first lady and president in their visits to wounded soldiers.

Last month at the vocational training, I heard the testimonies of a number of such wounded soldiers, suffering injuries that should be life-shattering. But like wounded soldiers I’ve met over the years, they shared an inspirational drive to rebuild their lives, physically, materially and emotionally

In February 2011, Vogue published a surprisingly honest article on the first lady and her work for Syria, titled “Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert.” Although Vogue later removed it from their website, I would encourage people to read the archived copy. It gives a detailed sense of the work and life of the first lady. The author spent several days with Asma al-Assad, getting informative glimpses into the workings of her foundations, and of the first lady herself.

I was told some months ago that when the first lady learned of the title, she was not pleased as one might have expected.

“I am not the only rose, you are all roses,” she said to a room of women at the Syria Trust for Development.

Throughout Syria’s history women have played prominent roles, from Queen Zenobia in the 3rd century AD, to women defending Syria against terrorism, to Nibal Madhat Badr first female Brigadier General in the Syrian Army, to the mothers of martyrs.

Syria’s Vice President, Najah Al-Attar, is a woman, as is Bouthaina Shaaban, media and political advisor to the president. Armenian MP Nora Arissian and former independent MP Maria Saadeh are among countless others.

Asma al-Assad also balked at the portrayal of Syria as a desert, a portrayal physically depicting the country as a vast sandy region, but also incorrectly implying a lack of culture and education, a sense of backwardness.

Just as the cultural mosaic is vast and varied, so is Syria’s landscape, with snowy mountains, steaming coastal areas replete with citrus and banana trees, rolling hills in the northwest, and yes desert areas to the east.

Anyone who has had the fortune to come to Syria likewise is aware of how empowered women are, how rich the culture is, and how valued education is. Art and music flourish here. Teenagers participate in science Olympiads.

In the past four months, I’ve had some opportunities to see more of Syria’s beautiful landscapes that I’ve described. Prior to the war, Syria was a popular tourist destination, particularly for its rich culture and landscapes, as well as for its ancient areas and cities and historic sites.

But historic and cultural sites aside, there is an aspect of Syria’s history and culture that the first lady is extremely worried about losing: the intangible culture, customs passed down through generations. A dialect gets lost because people who fled an area sometimes will not return.

She told me of a village woman who still hand makes Freekah (whole grains of wheat harvested while still green) in the traditional way. But most young people in the village have left, so that tradition won’t be passed down.

Syria is trying to document its intangible culture, a monumental task considering how much there is to document.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’ll conclude by saying that whereas over the past decade there has been a systematic effort by Western media, politicians and government-aligned “human rights” groups to vilify the first lady, president and army, the reality on the ground is in stark contrast to the propaganda emanating from Washington.

Anyone who has followed the war on Syria, and the Western aggression against so many nations, will be aware that one of the first things America and allies does is to vilify the leadership, those same leaders they may have previously praised as being moderate.

The abrupt removal shortly after publication by Vogue of its feature on the first lady is a perfect example of the media being directed to not allow any positive reflections on Syria’s key figures. Only cartoonish denominations are allowed in Western media now. The 2002 interview with Asma al-Assad which I referenced at the start was published in the Guardian, an outlet which has since become a prime source of the most vile war propaganda against Syria and the whitewashing of terrorists’ crimes.

Meeting Syria’s first lady confirmed what I already knew from speaking with countless Syrians over the years, and from observing from afar the work she does: she is a strong, intelligent, down to earth, and compassionate woman dedicated to empowering and helping her fellow Syrians.

I am extremely grateful for the time I had with her. At a time of global instability, sitting with Asma al-Assad was calming and inspiring.

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Al-Qabas evokes the experience of its righteous son, Naji Al-Ali القبس تستحضر تجربة ابنها البار ناجي العلي —

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