Yet another reason for Scottish independence, Hammond blocks Yousaf’s visit to Gaza

Anger as Foreign Office ‘blocks’ Scottish Minister’s visit to Gaza

Yousaf has written to his Westminster counterpart, foreign secretary Philip Hammond, in protest after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) withdrew its support for the trip to the Palestinian territory.

Humza Yousaf (Photo:Hhuffingtonpost)

He said that foreign office officials, who had previously been happy to facilitate the trip, made a u-turn after deciding that security could not be guaranteed and that the foreign policy agenda towards Gaza was reserved to Westminster.

 

A number of UK officials have made the trip in recent months, including Baroness Morris of Bolton, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the Palestinian Territories, and Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the FCO with special responsibility for the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Yousaf however has been unable to secure support for a visit to see first-hand the work being done with £500k of funding that the Scottish Government made to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Gaza Flash Appeal in July 2014.

 

Yousaf’s letter to the FCO, shown exclusively to the Sunday Herald, states:

“Although FCO officials initially said that they were in principle able to provide support for such a visit, I have since been informed that the FCO view has changed and that the FCO would not support a visit to Gaza for two reasons: firstly that the security situation in the region presents a greater than usual risk and that officials are advising against all ministerial travel; and secondly an assertion that the UK works exclusively to a reserved foreign affairs agenda in Gaza.”

It adds:

“Given the focus of UK Ministers’ visits, I must challenge the proposition that the UK Government works exclusively to a foreign affairs agenda in Gaza: clearly the UK Government is also, and quite rightly, concerned with humanitarian relief and economic development.

“A Scottish Ministerial visit to Gaza would be similarly concerned with humanitarian issues, and would serve to highlight the Scottish Government’s international development agenda and the support that it has given in this area.

“I note the FCO offer for the British Consul General in Jerusalem to provide an update on the use of the funding and would welcome this information.

“However, I find it disappointing and frustrating that the FCO is effectively blocking Scottish Ministers from visiting Humanitarian projects in Gaza.

“I would therefore seek your agreement that the FCO will support a visit by a Scottish minister to Gaza once the security situation allows for ministerial travel to Gaza to resume.”

 

Scottish Government funding was supplied to the UNRWA in July last year, following a flare up in the Israel- Gaza conflict during which the Israeli military launched an offensive involving extensive bombardment of the coastal strip.

 

This action, dubbed Operation Protective Edge by the Israelis, was they claimed aimed at stopping Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. More than 2,100 Gazans and 66 Israeli soldiers died and there was widespread damage to civilian infrastructure.

 

Massive numbers of Palestinians were driven from their homes in Gaza during the fighting, with many seeking safety in UNRWA Designated Emergency Shelters (DES).

 

In response to the humanitarian crisis, UNRWA expanded its emergency response and launched an appeal for £36 million in addition to the original £40 million set aside.

 

The fighting came to an end in August with a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

 

Yousaf had previously called for an end to the blockade of Gaza, which the Scottish Government along with other bodies and human rights organisations have described as “collective punishment”.

 

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “The safety of British nationals is of paramount importance and the FCO’s travel advice for British nationals is clear; we advise against all travel to Gaza.”

This article was originally published in Herald Scotland and can be accessed here.

Anti-Semitism Gilad Atzmon and Nottingham Jazz

By Jeanie Barton

I have always considered music a universal language; perhaps the only form of communication that can unite us regardless of creed, race, religion or even species – life connects with the beauty and passion of musical expression.  I was therefore recently very disturbed that, a small number of Nottingham residents succeeded in lobbying Gedling Borough Council to cancel a concert by a popular, critically acclaimed saxophonist who is also an Israeli critic of Jewish Identity Politics and identity in general.

When I heard that just 13 people had managed to cancel the musical performance of Gilad Atzmon, whose band has previously played The Bonington Arts Theatre 9 times to packed houses, without any complaint from audiences or residents, Jewish or Gentile, I balked at what this could mean for freedom of speech, jazz and music in general.

 Gilad is critical of ‘Jewish Power’.  He is not alone.  Following last summer’s latest military assault on Gaza by Israel, supported politically and financially by the US and her allies, there has been a profound awakening in the western public’s consciousness that all is not well and good in Palestine and that ‘we’ are complicit in the continued bloodshed and heartache.

Although not directly relevant to Gilad’s music, this campaign against him highlights the subsequent increase in people being labelled as anti-Semitic.  In the wake of operation Protective Edge (which killed around 2200 Gazans and 71 Israelis) I know many people critical of Israel, Zionism and ‘Jewish Power’ globally, have been accused of being anti-Semitic or ‘self-hating Jews’.  The desired result of these accusations is to silence discourse and in this case it went so far as to silence instrumental music.

So is Gilad anti-Semitic, and did Gedling Borough Council have any legal right to cancel his musical performance when he has never had any formal charges relating to anti-Semitism brought against him?

When I meet him he readily admits to being an “arrogant c*nt” but denies being anti-Semitic.  He points out that his latest book, The Wandering Who (within which the complainers site ‘anti-Semitic’ statements) has so far been published within 12 countries, including some who have laws against Holocaust denial. It has received numerous endorsements from leading scholars and eminent global political figures including;  Professor Richard Falk (United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine), Professor John J. Mearsheimer, Greta Berlin (Co-Founder, the Free Gaza movement), Professor William A. CookProfessor Norton Mezvinsky  (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 2012) the list goes on and on

Although one of the complainants, Dave Rio emailed and called my attention to an online document wherein 24 Palestinian solidarity activists denounce Atzmon, it rather put me in mind of the adage that ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time’.   Whose list of accreditors/condemners is more worthy or correct?  That is a subjective argument and would still not prove Atzmon is an anti-Semite.  We can only know that his book’s endorsements are by people who have definitely read the work in full.

As Gilad told me, Jews are generally very easily offended.  If his observations and statements are offensive to some, does that mean those few should get to choose for others what they hear – even if those others just wanted to hear jazz music and likely had no interest in politics?  Dave stated to me that “I would not tolerate anyone who made comparable remarks about black people or Muslims playing in Nottingham.” But who is he or the other 12 signatories to ‘tolerate’ or not?  This is a level of presumed moral authority that I’m not sure can be legitimised – they always had the option to boycott the concert themselves.

Gilad has previously questioned the definition of anti-Semitism;

“You are either a racist, which I am not, or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism, which I have.”

He has also defended himself from being labelled an anti-Semite with the witticism

“while in the past an ‘anti-Semite’ was someone who hated Jews, nowadays it is the other way around, an anti-Semite is someone the Jews hate.”

Following the cancellation of his concert at the Bonington on the 15th January (which went ahead at The Five Ways pub), Gilad arranged to come back for a talk, where his accusers could discuss with him their concerns at the Canalhouse, Canal Street, Nottingham on the 2nd February.  I popped there before my gig nearby only to find the whole pub in darkness – it turns out that someone had tipped off the venue and police that the meet could cause trouble and that the safety of the public and staff might be at risk, so they completely closed as a precaution!  Jaw dropping levels of panic!  The talk was moved last minute to the Salutation where around 35 people gathered, none of which were the mysterious 13.  It was calm, ordered and professional consisting mostly of local academics and jazz lovers.  Goodness knows why the venue or police thought it would become violent?

This level of fear surrounding criticism of Israel and Jewish Power to me is the most frightening aspect of this saga.  With new steps being introduced to outlaw anti-Semitism in Canada and elsewhere, the Orwellian thought police are now a reality – but ironically we were actively encouraged to criticise and mock Muslims post Charlie Hebdo by world leaders who marched in Paris on 11th January?  Many have spotted this screaming hypocrisy.

Another irony here is that in trying to destroy Gilad’s music career, the actions of these 13 individuals and Gedling Borough Council have created an enormous amount of publicity for him and his work!  Gigs and talks across the country are now flooding his diary – his band joked that he probably orchestrated the whole thing, but he professes not to be that clever…

Joking aside, I found out recently how unjust and upsetting it is to have your music attacked because of your opinions.  In a small way I experienced this by being outspoken about the detrimental effect of the NET tram construction, which has wreaked havoc on residents and cost many businesses tens of thousands of pounds (including my family’s firm, which did not qualify for compensation). Compounding this misery, it recently became public that local Councillors have been involved in using fake identities to ‘flood the press’ with positive PR.  Aliases and pseudonyms on the Nottingham Post website that had previously only commented on articles about the tram, trolling those who do not adhere to the ‘positive’ light rail narrative, quickly moved across to attack me professionally under the article about my appointment as the new jazz columnist.

 However, this new age of poison pen letters merely compels us to continue exposing injustice locally, nationally and internationally; an attack on our music because of our opinions will only succeed in making us more outspoken.  I can only surmise that the nearer the target one gets the more flak you receive and that jazz music has a history of attracting rebels.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9qVUnJcVb0

Applauding Israel’s Transgressions

Mughniyeh Father (left) and Son (Right)

Blaming Hezbollah

JANUARY 21, 2015

So after “headlining” that anti-terrorism joke of a parade last week and basking in the Parisian sun of selective humanitarianism and international solidarity with freedom of speech; the first order of (shoddy) business for Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was lambasting the International Criminal Court, for merely entertaining the (anti-Semitic?) notion of investigating “possible” Israeli war crimes in Gaza (how dare they?), going as far as threatening to lobby member-states and allies to cut off funding for the tribunal and practically pull a repeat of the UNESCO farce when the Obama Administration, at the behest and for the benefit of its darling Israel, froze funding for the cultural organization, after granting the Palestinians full membership into the agency, plunging the UN body into the worst financial dire strait in its history.

It is more than likely that Netanyahu will get his way this time too.

The second order of business, however, was sending a military helicopter gunship over to Syrian territory and bombing a convoy belonging to the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah, killing six operatives including the son of assassinated leader Imad Mughnyyieh and field commander Mohammad Issa in addition to one Iranian General, in the Syrian village of Quneitra close to the border area with Lebanon in the Golan heights.

Business as usual for humanitarian extraordinaire Bibi and Co.

Of course this was no terrorist attack, at least not according to the mainstream media; so you won’t be seeing #jesuishizbollah anywhere on social media and no solidarity marches in real life, just another daily recount of internationally tolerable Israeli shenanigans in the region.

Evidently, unless it involves scraggy young men with weird, unpronounceable Middle Eastern names, wearing Keffiyehs, wielding shabby Kalashnikovs and storming the streets of a western city then it’s not terrorism, and in the case of the latest Israel airstrike in the Syrian Golan heights; it was just a military operation, clean and surgical, according to the BBC at least; not forgetting of course to tail the news with the little tidbit that this is not the first time Israel has conducted air strikes inside Syria, to “prevent the transfer of stockpiles of weapons from Syria to Hezbollah”. So, all should be fine and dandy then.

You see it’s completely acceptable for the BBC to venture justifications on behalf of the Israeli army for its various terrorist operations and transgressions in the region, we’ve seen it before in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon; covering Israeli crimes in the complacent mainstream media usually comes with peppered excuses and rationalizations that supposedly give some sort of subtle credence to any act of aggression committed by the Zionist entity, wrapping it with the usual, tattered caveat of “self-defense”; the AP’s report on the latest attack, for instance, highlighted the fact that Hezbollah had recently boasted of its “ability to hit any part of the Jewish state” with rockets, in reference to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasserallah’s recent interview. Imagine the outrage!

Whereas if one so much as dared to attempt a mildly rational and lucid reading of the Charlie Hebdo massacre; he’d be immediately castigated at best and lumped into the same category as the Kouachi brothers as an Al Qaida sympathizer at worst; that’s the freedom of speech they were marching for in Paris I guess.

Speaking of Al Qaida; do you know who were rubbing their hands with ecstatic glee over the Israeli airstrike against Hezbollah? None other than Al Qaida’s very own Al Nusra Front (or the moderate Syrian opposition force worthy of caches of weapons and funding, according to the west) and other rag-tag, ideologically like-minded militant groups whose evident ironclad alliance with Israel has transcended the widely reported medical assistance and treatment of the injured in Israeli hospitals into providing direct military backing and air cover when needed especially in areas where the Syrian opposition’s tenuous grab is slipping in favor of the Syrian Army along with Hezbollah forces. Areas such as Al Quneitra.

In a sense this latest Israeli attack against a Hezbollah target in Syria serves as a perfect cliff note for the uninitiated to disentangle this seemingly complicated cobweb of alliances in the Syrian war. On the one side you have the Syrian Government of Bashar Al Assad backed by Hezbollah and Iran, while on the other you have a who’s who of the region’s nastiest terrorists; from the mismatched posses of Islamic extremists fighting under the Islamic Army moniker, to ISIS and Al Nusra Front, backed by the deep-pocketed Gulf monarchies along with Erdogan’s Turkey and the U.S., with Netanyahu’s Israel added to the mix for good measure. Talk about a true rogues gallery.

A cursory glance over GCC media and social networks is more than enough to note a certain air of unabashed exuberance over the Israeli airstrike; Syrian “revolutionaries” along with their GCC sponsors could not contain their jubilation as soon as news of the bombing broke; gloating over the assassination and mocking Hezbollah’s rhetoric of vowing vengeance for its slain operatives “at the time and place of its choosing”.

The rotten logic of the “lesser of two evils”, in reference to the Zionist regime, has become such a stable in the armory of the anti-Hezbollah/anti-Iran crowd in the Arab World, invoked every time the Israeli terrorist army commits a new atrocity to soften the impact of its crimes and desensitize the public to Israel’s parasitic existence on Arab lands. And this time was no different; with many reveling in the claim that Hezbollah “had it coming” for backing the government of Bashar Al Assad.

In an article confessedly titled “How Did We End up Applauding for Israel”, published in the Saudi-financed, crude Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, which by the way, itself exhibited an unmistakable celebratory tone while covering the latest Israel strike especially over the slain Iranian General, Saudi writer Abdel Rahman al-Rashed actually “laments” the fact that there are growing cheerleading voices in the Arab world for Israel and that (some) Arabs have become increasingly more vocal in their support for the Zionist entity just out of sheer “spite” for Hezbollah and Iran, especially on social media websites and even among supporters of Islamic Jihadi groups.

Nonetheless, al-Rashed places the brunt of the blame on… yes you guessed it… Hezbollah, Israel’s arch enemy, for ostensibly transforming poor, gullible Arabs en mass into hordes of hardcore Israel-enthusiasts, through its alleged role in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al Hariri (according to a sham international tribunal anyway), and the Lebanese party’s military involvement in the Syrian civil war. Talk about connecting all the wrong dots.

Never mind that the Lebanese movement has been the subject of an unrelenting smear campaign steeped in vile sectarianism, all manner of character assassination and outright fabrications targeting its leaders, and discrediting its military achievements against Israel ever since 2005, courtesy of Saudi Arabia along with the rest of the GCC club (aka Al Rashed’s sole meal tickets) and their labyrinthine network of media outlets including Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper where anti-Shiite sentiments run amok and distinct pro-Israel bias reigns supreme.

Never mind the fact that the Arab public has been bombarded with a nonstop barrage of demonization and vilification sprees directed not only at Hezbollah, but also at any movement, party or political group which just so happens to adopt an anti-Israel stance and/or rhetoric, including the Palestinian movements of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, only with the sole endgame of reshuffling the public’s priorities to accommodate the West’s political agenda in our region where Israel gets to sit snugly and comfortably in our midst all the while Iran is being touted and over-hyped as the biggest threat to the stability of the Arab world.

It’s true; we do applaud for Israel. Its transgressions and air strikes on Arab soil no longer provoke a sense of outrage or even the merest of condemnations, but we only have the GCC to thank for that.

Ahmad Barqawi is a freelance columnist and writer.

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What Jews can learn from Muslims…

January 14, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA:

The following is a letter to the the Guardian written by Deborah Maccoby-Executive, Jews for Justice for Palestinians.  The text is a window into the Jewish Left confusion on issues of Israel, Zionism and Palestine. On the one hand, Maccoby admits that “most Jewish communal associations around the world” support “Israel’s massacre last summer of over 1,400 civilians, including over 500 children, in Gaza.” But on the other hand Maccoby says, “if world Jewish organisations were to learn from their Muslim counterparts and say loud and clear in response to Israeli atrocities “not in my name”, this could help to reduce antisemitism…” in short, the Jewish ‘justice’ enthusiast advises Jewish leaders to lie, to pretend, to say ‘not in my name,’ while  knowing and believing that Israel is the Jewish state and Zionism has become the voice of world Jewry for some time.

 

What Jews can learn from Muslims – The Guardian, January 12/15
by Deborah Maccoby

Jonathan Freedland (First they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews, 10 January), claims that Jews are targeted simply as “a kind of ultimate symbol of the west”, as a result of “a curious kink in the ultra-Islamist mindset”, or as the traditional scapegoat of European fascists.

But the Israeli government, with its new bill proposing to make Israel the nation-state of all the Jews in the world, and Jewish organisations such as the Board of Deputies, with their claim that the majority of Jews support Israel’s oppressive policies, contribute to the conflation of Jews with Israel and the subsequent rise in antisemitism and attacks on Jews.

To point this out is not of course to justify the conflation of Jews with Israel, just as it is wrong and unjustifiable to identify jihadis with Muslims. But the recent massacre in France of 17 people was purportedly carried out in the name of Islam; and the swift and powerful condemnation issued by Muslim groups all over the world will help to reduce anti-Muslim feeling and deter young Muslims from joining the jihadis.

This condemnation by Muslims contrasts strongly with the support given by most Jewish communal associations around the world to Israel’s massacre last summer of over 1,400 civilians, including over 500 children, in Gaza.
If world Jewish organisations were to learn from their Muslim counterparts and say loud and clear in response to Israeli atrocities “not in my name”, this could help to reduce antisemitism and make the recruitment of young Muslims by jihadis more difficult. Despite Freedland’s claim that Jews have “no control” over Israeli policies, such condemnation could also exert strong pressure on the Israeli government to stop its atrocities and enter into genuine peace negotiations with the Palestinian unity government.
Deborah Maccoby
Executive, Jews for Justice for Palestinians

US Slams ICC Probe of Israel as “Tragic Irony”

Local Editor

17-01-2015

The United States condemned the International Criminal Court decision to open a preliminary probe Friday into “possible” war crimes committed against Palestinians, blasting it as a “tragic irony”.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would conduct an “analysis in full independence and impartiality” into war crimes by Israel, including those committed during last year’s Gaza offensive.Gaza children martyrs

Her decision comes after Palestine formally joined the ICC earlier this month, allowing it to lodge war crimes and crimes against humanity complaints against Israel as of April.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, and more than 11,000 others were injured during last summer’s war on Gaza.

The US criticized the decision late Friday, saying it opposed actions against Israel at the ICC as “counterproductive to the cause of peace”.

“It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC,” US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement.

Gambian-born Bensouda had earlier stressed that “a preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available… on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”

Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch a full investigation.

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US Threatens Palestinians after Move to Join ICC

 

SYRIA 360°

Posted on January 2, 2015

Palestinians delivered documents Friday to join the International Criminal Court and other international treaties.

A senior official with the U.S. State Department stated on Friday that any further steps by the Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) will have implications for U.S. aid to the beleaguered people.

“It should come as no surprise that there will be implications for this step, but we continue to review,” said the official.

On Friday, Palestinians delivered documents on joining the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and other international treaties to U.N. headquarters . The chief Palestinian observer at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, and U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed the handover of the diplomatic documents at the world body’s headquarters.

The Hague-based court looks at cases of severe war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as genocide. According to regulations, once documents have been submitted, the Palestinians will become a party to the court on the first day of the month that follows a 60-day waiting period.

It is widely expected that the Palestinians will seek to have Israel investigated for war crimes should it be accepted as a member of the ICC.

“This is a very significant step,” Mansour said. “It is an option that we are seeking in order to seek justice for all the victims that have been killed by Israel, the occupying power.”

Mansour said the Palestinians have also formally requested retroactive ICC jurisdiction “with regard to the crimes committed during the last war in Gaza,” referring to Israel’s 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip this past summer where more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed.

Under U.S. law, aid would be cut off if the Palestinians used membership in the International Criminal Court to make claims against Israel.

The U.S. State Department has previously attempted to use the withdrawal of aid in order to try to coerce Palestinians. In 2006, the U.S. suspended much of its aid after Hamas won parliamentary elections. Washington sends about US$400 million in economic support aid to the Palestinians every year.

After repeatedly being frustrated by the intransigence of Israel, the Palestinian leadership has opted to pursue of policy of seeking international recognition independent of a negotiated peace process. Palestinian President Abbas succeeded in a bid for de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood at the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, which made Palestinians eligible to join the ICC.

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Israelis Are Furious Over A Leaked IDF Video

December 12, 2014  /  Gilad Atzmon

Israeli army officials are outraged over a leaked IDF’s video analysis of two Palestinian sea-borne heroic commando raids during the recent onslaught on Gaza.

The nearly six-minute-long debriefing video and audio is made of an amalgam of CCTV footage from secretive army human and electronic surveillance outposts close to the beach at the northern end of the Gaza Strip. The video reveals an outstanding Palestinian heroism, but it also exposes the level of  surveillance coverage around Israel’s border.  The cuts are taken from various locations, angles and heights, include manned and remote watch towers, helicopters, drones, seaborne weapons-systems viewfinders and targeting systems, all synced together in order to track the Palestinian commandos.

The broadcast of the full, uncensored footage, of the leaked video in Arab media has alarmed IDF officials. ‘This is an internal army analysis, whose revelation is a serious incident, and one that will be investigated and handled accordingly, and not via the media,” an IDF source commented.

 

Pro Israeli Jewish Terrorist Who Attacked George Galloway Is Jailed For 16 Months

December 12, 2014  /  Gilad Atzmon

http://www.presstv.ir/

A London court has sentenced a pro-Israel British man to 16 months in jail for attacking British lawmaker and Press TV presenter George Galloway earlier this year.

Judge Aidon Marron of the Isleworth Crown Court sentenced former BBC employee Niel Masterson on Thursday for assaulting the Bradford lawmaker in August.

Marron said during the sentencing that the assault on Galloway was a completely unprovoked and sustained attack, which involved kicking and repeated heavy punching.

Masterson attacked Galloway on a street in Notting Hill, west London, on August 29. The Bradford MP was taken to hospital for treatment of severe bruising on his face and head as well as a broken rib.

The assailant was wearing an Israeli military T-shirt when he was arrested by police officials nearby.

Commenting on the Thursday verdict, Galloway said if the court had not dropped the religiously aggravated part of the charges against Masterson, the jail sentence would have been considerably higher.

“It was no doubt it was religiously motivated. This man, Masterson, was a converted Jew who attacked me because he said I was a mouthpiece for Muslims,” Galloway told Press TV.

“He attacked me for explicitly political reasons, if a Muslim had attacked a pro-Israel MP, it would have been called what it was an attack of terrorism,” Galloway added.

The British lawmaker also criticized Prime Minister David Cameron and senior parliament officials for refusing to publically condemn the attack.

This is while the court also heard that after Masterson will be released from prison, he will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel from an unknown sponsor.

The attack on Galloway is believed to have been connected to his remarks censuring the Israeli regime for the atrocities it committed in its latest 50-day military onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Germany donates funds to rebuild Gaza while financing Israeli warships

A Palestinian woman pauses amid buildings destroyed during the Israeli summer assault on in Gaza. AFP/ Mohammed Abed

Published Monday, December 15, 2014

Al Akhbar

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Monday signed two agreements with the German Development Bank (GDB) worth a total of 25 million euros (approximately $31.3 million) to assist Palestinians in war-torn Gaza as well as struggling Palestinian refugees from Syria who are seeking refuge in Lebanon.

Germany also plans to finance part of the cost of four new corvette warships for the Israeli navy.

Twenty of the 25 million euros – provided by the GDB on behalf of the German government – will go towards “cash assistance for temporary shelter, as well as major repairs and the reconstruction of homes in Gaza,” the UNRWA said in a statement.

“This will help families who are still homeless following the summer 2014 hostilities [the Israeli assault on the Gaza strip] move into transitional shelter until their home repairs have been completed,” it said.

The remaining 5 million euros, the UNRWA added, would “provide vital assistance to the most vulnerable Palestine refugees from Syria in Lebanon through targeted cash assistance for food, shelter and winterization needs.”

“This donation will also fund essential improvements to UNRWA infrastructure and environmental health services,” the UN refugee agency added. “These improvements will help maintain healthy environments in refugee camps and provide emergency collective shelter rehabilitation.”

On Tuesday, the agency called on the international community to earmark $414 million to support Palestinian refugees in the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The UNRWA provides assistance and protection for some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees.

Besides donating money for Gaza reconstruction, Germany also plans to finance part of the cost of four new corvette warships for the Israeli navy.

The government said Monday that it will help finance the four corvette warships, made by German firm Thyssen Krupp, under a deal struck with the Zionist state back in November.

Following approval by German parliament’s budget committee the contract could be finalized before the end of this year, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

The mass-circulation Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday that Berlin had earmarked up to 115 million euros for the warships – which would cost around 1 billion euros in total.

Seibert declined comment on the size of the German contribution.

As part of its atonement for the Nazi Holocaust, Germany is committed to Israel’s security and has often helped pay for the cost of military equipment such as submarines.

These military equipment were used by Israel this summer during the 51-day aggression on Gaza.

According to the UN, more than 2,160 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed and 11,000 injured.

Moreover, as many as 80,000 Palestinians homes were damaged or destroyed during the days of hostilities, a higher figure than was previously thought, and over 106,000 of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents have been displaced to UN shelters and host families.

The Palestinian Authority has estimated that rebuilding Gaza will cost $7.8 billion.

(Anadolu, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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‘War crime’: Amnesty International says IDF destroyed Gaza blocks as ‘collective punishment’

Posted on December 9, 2014

An explosion during an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip is pictured from the Israeli border with Gaza. (Reuters / Ronen Zvulun)

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: ‘Nothing is immune’: Israel’s destruction of landmark buildings in Gaza

Download:

Index Number: MDE 15/029/2014

Date Published: 9 December 2014

Categories: Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories

In the last four days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli army launched four attacks that totally destroyed multistorey landmark buildings in Gaza. While no one was killed, the attacks are of great significance because they are examples of what appears to have been deliberate destruction and targeting of civilian buildings and property on a large scale, carried out without military necessity. This briefing focuses exclusively on these attacks and considers whether they were militarily justified. It concludes that the destruction was extensive and appeared to have been wanton and not justified by military necessity.

This document is also available in:

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RT logo

Human rights group Amnesty International accused Israel of the unjustified destruction of civilian buildings in Gaza during this summer’s conflict, branding it a symbolic form of “collective punishment.” Israel says the buildings served as Hamas bases.

The advocacy group has called for an international investigation of Israel’s behavior during the incursion, in which over 2,100 Palestinians and 60 Israelis died. In its latest report, Amnesty particularly noted that in the last – relatively bloodless – days of the war, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deliberately bombed several large civilian constructions without any apparent necessity.

“While no one was killed during the destruction of the four landmark civilian buildings in the Gaza Strip during the four last days of the war, the attacks are of great significance because they are examples of what appears to have been deliberate destruction and targeting of civilian buildings and property on a large scale, carried out without military necessity,” the group said, referring to three apartment blocks and one shopping center which were bombarded by Israeli shells between August 23-26, for allegedly harboring militants.

“The timing of these attacks and statements by Israeli officials suggest that these were instances of collective punishment, ones with long-term impact on the already perilous economic situation of Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” Amnesty International said.

If Israel’s intent is proven, “it would be a grave breach of the prohibition against such attacks in international humanitarian law (the laws of war), including the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a state party, and therefore amount to a war crime.”

RT spoke with officials from both the Israeli government and Amnesty International, and asked them for their side of the story.

Israel has refuted the contents of the report, saying it is Hamas – Gaza’s leading political and military organization – which should be investigated, and that it purposefully concealed terrorist units in civilian buildings.

“We know for sure that those buildings were used for Hamas as military bases. Now, we have our sources. We cannot reveal our intelligence sources because we are compromising people there who face Hamas, who are trying to avoid the casualties within the civilian Palestinians,” Alon Melchior, deputy spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, told RT.

“Now, the question is why Hamas is using those civilian buildings as terrorist bases – that’s what Amnesty should ask, should investigate why Hamas is using the Palestinian people as human shields,” Melchior said.

Israel has rejected the testimonies of Gaza locals and Amnesty researchers.

“We know for a fact that all the evidence in the report is based on false evidence, no one can question those testimonies over there – no one can check their credibility. There is only one true evidence that we agree on: that no one was killed during those attacks that were checked,” said Melchior.

“We think that Amnesty are victims of Hamas propaganda,” the Israeli official claimed.

Amnesty International’s Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, responded to the allegations live on RT, calling them “absolutely nonsense.”

“This report is based on meticulous research that has looked into these four airstrikes in particular…it didn’t just take out those buildings, of course, it destroyed hundreds of homes and livelihoods. And the reality is that the evidence that we’ve gathered and that we’ve presented is detailed – and it is based not just on the facts on the ground, but on statements by Israeli military authorities and others at the time of the conflict,” Luther told RT.

According to Luther, “scores of people were injured in neighboring buildings as a result of the attack” and had their homes wiped out, “and this for people who already have a precarious existence because of Israel’s longstanding military blockade on the Gaza Strip.”

“If Israel was serious about wanting to have the testimonies that we’ve gathered, question the research that we’ve gathered, it should start by allowing in the UN Commission of Inquiry that’s been set up to look into allegations of war crimes during the conflict, into Gaza. It’s refusing to allow them in, it’s refusing to allow Amnesty International into Gaza, and it has done so since the beginning of the conflict,” Luther stressed.

The rights group’s official also drew attention to the fact that the latest report comes as part of Amnesty’s series of reports on war crimes and human rights violations by both Israel and Palestinian radical groups, including Hamas. Luther said he believes that an International Criminal Court investigation into violations by both sides of the conflict is “absolutely essential.”

Palestinians gather around the remains of a commercial center, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike on Saturday, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 24, 2014. (Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

 Palestinians gather around the remains of a commercial center, which witnesses said was hit by an Israeli air strike on Saturday, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip August 24, 2014. (Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

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GILAD ATZMON: ZIONIST PROJECT HAS FAILED; ISRAEL VERY BIG THREAT TO WORLD PEACE

israel falling down

Press TV: Gilad Atzmon and Geoffrey Alderman on Bibi, Zipi and Yair

On this Press TV’s-The Debate Episode (3.12.14) Zionist academic Geoffrey Alderman and Musician/Author Gilad Atzmon are found to be in total agreement with each other re Israeli politics, the nature of the Jewish State, Netanyahu’s Politics, Jewish Lobby Domination and other topics. Fascinating though hardly a debate.

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US declares Israel ‘a major strategic partner’

A Palestinian child, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a UN school in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, is pictured at Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahia early on July 30, 2014. AFP / Mohammed Abed

Published Thursday, December 4, 2014
Al Akhbar

US lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to pass legislation making Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, deepening a bilateral bond that has recently shown signs of strain.

In a voice vote, the House approved the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, which expands cooperation in defense and security, energy, research and development, business, agriculture, water management and academics.

The measure reflects “the sense of Congress that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States,” and declares Washington’s “unwavering support” for Israel as “a Jewish state.”

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous Balfour Declaration, called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.

The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously in September, now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The legislation would expand the US weapons stockpile in Israel by some $200 million in value, to a total of $1.8 billion, so that the Pentagon can be better prepared to conduct military operations in the volatile Middle East.

It also crucially allows Israel to use the weapons in the event of an emergency, as it did this summer during its operation “Protective Edge” in Gaza.

Earlier this year Congress dramatically increased US funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, to $351 million for the fiscal year 2015 up from $235 million the previous year.

Veteran Democrat Eliot Engel noted how the bill was aimed in part at helping Israel maintain a “qualitative military edge” over its adversaries.

“We must always be working to ensure that our support for Israel keeps pace with the threats proliferating against the country – from Iran to Hamas,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce added in a statement.

For 51 days this summer, during the so-called “Protective Edge” operation, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip – by air, land and sea – with the stated aim of ending rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

According to UN figures, at least 505 Palestinian children were killed during the 50-day assault. The cumulative death toll among Palestinians is at least 2,180, at least 70 percent of whom were civilians. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians died during the conflict.

UNRWA said 138 of its students were killed during the Israeli aggression, and the organization’s spokesperson Christopher Gunness said an additional 814 UNRWA students were injured and 560 have become orphans due to the Israeli onslaught.

The agency also said over 241,000 children are in need of psychological support.

Moreover, according to the UN, as many as 80,000 Palestinians homes were damaged or destroyed during the days of hostilities, a higher figure than was previously thought, and over 106,000 of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents have been displaced to UN shelters and host families.

“Israel is a bright light in a very, very dark region,” Engel asserted on the House floor shortly before the vote.

Since September 2000, following the Second Intifada, at least 9,100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, including 2,053 Palestinian children, the equivalent of one Palestinian child being killed every three days for the past 14 years.

Since 1967, more than 850,000 Palestinians have been held in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

In 2013, the UN children’s fund (UNICEF) reported that Israel was the only country in the world where children were “systematically tried” in military courts and gave evidence of practices it said were “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”

Over the past decade, UNICEF noted that Israel has detained “an average of two children each day.”

About 6,500 Palestinians, including 300 children, are now being held in Israeli prisons, 1,500 of whom are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

The legislation also requires the Obama administration to move toward allowing Israel to be included in the top-tier category for license-free exports of certain US technologies and products, and it places Israel on the US list of countries that participate in the visa waiver program.

Israel is widely believed to possess a substantial nuclear arsenal, which it does not officially acknowledge.

On Tuesday, a UN General Assembly committee responsible for global security passed on an Egypt-drafted resolution demanding that Israel give up its nuclear arsenal and put its nuclear facilities under international oversight.

Entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” the non-binding draft resolution, obtained the support of 161 states against five others including the United States, while 18 countries abstained from the vote.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

Related

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Israel’s Humanitarian Dome Against Norwegian Doctors

NO ONE IS WILLING TO OWN UP TO THE RECENT IDF DEFEAT IN GAZA

Reported by Gilad Atzmon

“Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”
John F. Kennedy

No one in Israel is willing to take responsibility for IDF’s recent military blunder in Gaza. Israel was caught unprepared for a war and its elite ground forces were minced by highly motivated and well prepared Hamas combatants. In the last few days, IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) openly blamed each other for the fiasco.

Ynet reports today:

According to a report by Israel’s Channel 2 television, Shin Bet officials claimed that they had raised concerns with the political echelons as far back as January, regarding early signs attesting to Hamas preparations for a conflict with Israel. IDF chief Benny Gantz reacted furiously to the report, writing to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Shin Bet officials who had made the claims had “breached every moral and ethical standard.”

The Shin Bet officials said that their reports had piled up, ignored. In April, Shin Bet claimed that its Chief, Yoram Cohen, presented Jerusalem with warnings of a wide-ranging strategic terror attack Hamas was planning to execute within the next few months, sending its militants through a tunnel from Gaza into the Israeli border community of Kerem Shalom…

But IDF sources claimed no warning of a potential conflict had been received from Shin Bet, either in the winter or spring of 2014. Defense officials said the clash erupted between Cohen and Military Intelligence director Aviv Kochavi during a cabinet meeting at the close of Operation Protective Edge in late August.

On Wednesday afternoon Prime Minister Netanyahu hosted Gantts and Cohen in his office. Netanyahu instructed the two men to refrain from publicly debating matters that should be resolved between security forces. 

Israel bans renowned Norwegian doctor from Gaza for life

Published Friday, November 14, 2014

Al-akhbar

Israel has banned Norwegian doctor and human rights activist Mads Gilbert from entering the Gaza strip for life, the Norwegian daily The Local reported.

Gilbert, a professor at the University Hospital of North Norway, earned international praise for his philanthropic work in late 2008 during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, an attack against Gaza that left at least 1,400 dead, including over 800 civilians, 350 of whom were children.

This summer, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, a 51-day attack against Gaza that left over 2,180 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead, and another 111,000 injured, the 67-year-old doctor travelled to Gaza once again and worked as a doctor at al-Shifa Medical Center.

Last month, Gilbert, who has been treating patients in conflict zones for over 30 years, was stopped en route to the Gaza Strip by Israeli officials.

“Israeli soldiers at the Erez border station told me that I’m not allowed to go into Gaza,” the physician was quoted by The Local as saying.

According to the report, the Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv took up the incident with the Israeli authorities, who claimed that Gilbert has been banned from entering Gaza for “security reasons.”

“From the Norwegian perspective, we have raised Gilbert’s exclusion from Gaza and asked Israel to change their decision. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is still difficult and there is a need for all health workers,” Norway’s Secretary of State Bard Glad Pedersen was quoted by the daily as telling local newspaper Verdens Gang.

In Gilbert’s opinion, the ban is in response to his critical comments against Israel.

While volunteering at al-Shifa Hospital in July, Gilbert wrote a letter to the global media describing in graphic detail the unspeakable horrors the Israeli military was carrying out.

“This is a complete disaster,” he remarked, calling the situation in Gaza “the worst man-made disaster” he could think of. “There are injuries you just don’t want to see in this world.”

Furthermore, in an interview during the Israeli aggression, the doctor said that the “vast majority” of victims were women, children, and men civilians, adding that among the hundreds of patients he had seen at that point, only two had been fighters.

“These numbers are contradictory to everything Israel says,” he reported.

Gilbert also directed a message to US President Barack Obama, writing

“Mr. Obama, do you have a heart? I invite you to spend one night – just one night – with us in al-Shifa.

I am convinced, 100 percent, it would change history. Nobody with a heart could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.”

  • Letter From Doctor Mads Gilbert in Gaza

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GAZA LOSS OF INNOCENCE

Children of Gaza asking for Help
Music: Revolution by DAM, Long Live Gaza by Lowkey, Masters of War arr and performed by Barb Jungr, and Featuring Land of Plenty Arr. and performed by Barb Jungr.

    • “Land of Plenty” by Barb Jungr

LUPE’S FIASCO: PRO-PALESTINE TO BLAIR-GATE AND THE PSEUDO-ISLAMIC MASQUERADE PARTY

lupe fiasco palestine scarf

by Khanverse (Mouqawamah Music Exclusive)

Lupe Fiasco was born in 1982, as Wasalu Jaco, to a Black-West African Muslim family in Chicago. His parents exposed him to a wide array of cultural phenomena, life experiences, and influences that led to the cerebral and sensitive character who emerged on the national scene with the release of “Food and Liquor” in 2006.

On this album, released by Atlantic, Lupe hinted at a possible future in Islamic Liberationist Hip-Hop with tracks like “American Terrorist” which yielded two sequels.  On a later album there was “Words I Never Said” which dropped this:

I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullshit
Just a poor excuse for you to use up all your bullets
How much money does it take to really make a full clip?
9/11, Building 7 did they really pull it?

….

Gaza Strip was getting bombed
Obama didn’t say shit

And:

But if we know better than we probably deserve it
Jihad is not a holy war, wheres that in the worship?
Murdering is not Islam!
And you are not observant
And you are not a muslim
Israel don’t take my side cause look how far you’ve pushed them

On “Conflict Diamonds” Lupe says:

I see the Russian Mafia, the Jewish Mobsters
The undercover terrorists and the traps for the hustlers
Homie, it’s a rap for the nonsense rhyming
Props to Kenya I call it conflict diamonds

Delineating “Islamic” Identity

Though both Islam and Hip-Hop both have deep roots inMouqawamah Consciousness, Islam is also a codified way of life complete with personal, social and international spiritual codes of conduct. Harmonizing a demanding religion’s dictates with a life marinating in the throes of the self-destructive hedonism that pervades the music industry proves very difficult, practically. Rather than feel weak or ashamed of their hypocrisy, most ‘Muslim’ musicians wear their indiscretions proudly on their sleeves and express their solidarity with the spiritual life through references in their art, banal gestures, and lifeless symbolic amulets and adornments.

Some identify with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, others with a more esoteric offshoot of the NOI known as the 5 Percent Nation of Clarence 13X. The Moorish Science Temple of Noble Drew Ali gets love too. Usually, these identities are seamlessly interwoven with Pan-African spiritualism and the deification of the ‘original’ African man. We surmise this is likely a reactionary phenomenon to the unique historical experience of Black Americans as a survival mechanism in a hostile, slaughterously racist environment.

Wu-Tang is the most notable and memorable collective which promoted a loose Islamic identity, but many others have made references to the 5 Percent Nation like Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and the Poor Righteous Teachers to Nas and AZ.

Noted Jewish stooge and masonic rap godfather Jay-Z recently anointed protégé Jay Electronica — who threw away his lyrical gifts and bright, awakened Hip-Hop future for a bizarre fling with a Rothschild heiress — on stage with a 5 Percent Nation medallion. As these fringe ideologies become co-opted by the power matrix, they lose their  power and only recycle inert symbols devoid of revolutionary transformative power.

Ultimately, a variety of pseudo-Islamic identities flourish in the industry and are more than tolerated because they have neither liberationist aims nor transformative principles. In fact, many artists who identify as “MuslIm” betray elitism, to enhance a brand image of being different, controversial, fearless, disciplined or any number of loose associations with the term “Muslim” in a Hip-Hop context. Artists from Brand Nubian to Busta Rhymes and Ice Cube identify as “Muslim” with their own undefined nebulous connotations.

Lupe has been unique in this context in the mainstream. Though he grew up with his parents’ Black Nationalism, quiet and withdrawn Wasalu was also raised in traditional Sunni Islam with roots among the Palestinian and Arab communities of Bridgeview, IL. It was inevitable for Fiasco to develop an internationalist activist sense. In the past he had waived the Palestine flag at concerts and said things like,

“So this just my personal political view. I just so happen to have millions of fans that listen to what i say. Lupe Fiasco, as a member of the human race, put in my vote for Palestine to be the newest state, yeah……Free Palestine everyone… Free Palestine.”

Or on “The End of The World”,

She love her people so much
Came to my show just to throw her flag up and
Pray to God that I saw her
Wonder if she saw my scarf for Palestine all on it

Most mainstream personalities rarely venture into these subjects though recently, despite the ever-present toxicity, random squeaks like Rihanna’s tweet, Free Palestine, immediately deleted, proved the Jewish-Zionist Power Matrix still doesn’t tolerate solidarity with Palestinians from public figures.

What’s interesting about this latest genocidal massacre of Protective Edge in Gaza, is that while almost universally there was anger and frustration towards Israel, there was Lupe trying to be cool and different again:

@Moismail33: @LupeFiasco What are your thoughts on though?” I don’t really have any…both sides overreact as usual.

#12 I apologize to all who took offense to my hard advice as well as to the Israeli people if my tweets in any inspired violence against u

How utterly pathetic and disrespectful for an intelligent, aware,politically conscious lyricist who grew up deeply embedded in the Palestinian liberation cause to apologize to the genocidal Israeli occupiers and their psychotic collective of supremacists pretending to be a “society” for meaningless spineless tweets? This change in Lupe’s sympathy from oppressed to the oppressor belittles the legacy of all stalwart defenders of the weak whose narrative Fiasco has co-opted through toothless symbolic gestures as part of his wide branding canvas.

The Obama Inauguration

Many saw Lupe being booted off the stage in Obama’s celebration as a brave moment of speak truth to power rather than the manufactured controversy it was. Someone on the edges of mainstream can certainly corner its defanged share of the boisterous rebellion niche. Given that Fiasco pronounced that Obama is the ‘biggest terrorist’ in 2011, getting invited, and no doubt, paid handsomely to be part of the 2nd term celebration festivities does seem rather oddly incompetent for a president’s staff. Apparently, it took quite a spat of inflammatory commentary and bizarre repetition of a supposed “anti-war” song to get Lupe reluctantly booted off stage to fulfill the controversial non-event. The gaffe seems rather superfluous unless to validate Lupe as a political or even revolutionary artist. The phony adversarial narrative is even more laughable because Lupe performed at the pre-party the night before as well with no issues.

Wishy-Washy Radicalism

Lupe bit off more than he can chew with emotive odes to Conscious, Political, Socially Just Islamic Hip-Hop through the years. Catering to this audience requires consistency and unrelenting resistance to the cultural architects molding the zeitgeist. Lupe has done just enough to get by on his hipster fanbase, especially as compared to commercial, cookie-cutter rappers, with tracks like “Bitch Bad” or “The Cool“, leaning towards the abstract rather than the concrete.

This hypocritical inconsistency is, ironically enough, consistentthrough all his interviews and public appearances.

“At the end of the day, it’s about power and control. They control the world. It’s already theirs. So it’s just a matter of, people want to be aware about it, make a game out of it. … It sparks people interests. It’s the ‘Boogeyman’.”

Lupe says later,

“If you know what you’re doing, if you have a message, you got, kind of a game plan.. I got a full game plan, for me, this is all middle game. My end game is very wicked.”

Let’s hope so. Backtracking to the side of the oppressor on obvious issues like Palestine or Iraq or even hedonistic nihilism, to be different, cool and edgy doesn’t suit Mr. Fiasco.

But then he finishes with, “Play as much as you want, at the end of the day, get what you want out of it,” so we won’t hold our breath.

– Lupe on the Illuminati 

On the song “Change”, Joy Denalane, the sultry, soulful German crooner outshined him with her powerful chorus and verse, sung in a melodious joyful tune.

Lupe, presented with a grand opportunity to hit a home run with this verse on a song to breed consciousness, solidarity and optimism, delivered a woefully inadequate performance, even by his own assumed standard.

You can compare their lyrics.

Among his core, hipster fan base the notion that he is holding backuntil he’s finally independent holds significant weight as they tolerate his deplorable retrogression in lyrical dynamism and coherent message with confusing self-indulgent yawners like “PU$$Y” and “SLR

Justifying the promotion of negativity in Hip-Hop, Lupe says,

“I don’t know [if it gets tiring being a conscious rapper], it all depends on what your intentions are, what you’re trying to get out of it, how much you’re willing to put up with, how much you can actually take at the end of the day,” he said. “There’s all these different factors, so it’s not like a simple yes or no kind of thing; there’s certain things you have to do for the sake of sending your little sisters to college – that’s the greater good, and sometimes greater good means you have to go through a lot of nonsense to get there. But I don’t really look at the industry in those terms as black and white, conscious or not. Everybody do their piece and do their part – a lot of the most, that kind of ignorant music that people make sometimes, they can turn around a massive fortune off of that and…in one check, write away the ills of their community.”

Proliferated democratized access to new forms of media makes us instantaneously interconnected.  Our collective wisdom is increased with the useful and similarly diminished by the useless as confusion erodes the morsels of practical information we gain, resulting in stagnation in views and actions.

Thus, given the access created by these technologies, the wrath of the booing fan or biting critic can create echo chambers of doubt, insecurity, and spiritual confusion in artists consciously pawning off their autonomy to create corrosive tunes for their Judeo-Masonic masters to hypnotize the masses, especially those artists who have no spiritual center to keep them grounded and protected from the insidious influence of the hyper-ungodly music industry.

The last few years, Lupe’s interviews have been increasingly void of substance and he has slid down the slippery slope of nihilism shaping the environment in the New Age industry. There were his whiny histrionics about retirement over an internet “beef” with troubled young Chicago “thug” rapper Chief Keef, as well as the rumors of suicidal depression plaguing him and pushing him to the brink.

In 2011, after it became known that Atlantic was delaying the release of his record, Lupe got 15,000 signatures on a petition to release his album. Curiously, even notorious Jewish-Israeli industry puppeteer Lyor Cohen came out with a boombox in support of Lupe at a rally arranged in protest of Atlantic delaying the release of his record. Hip-Hop historians may recall Lyor Cohen was behind the move that anointed Jay-Z as the undisputed King of Hip-Hop while banishing his outspoken partner Dame Dash to the fringe of the industry.

Lupe Fiasco has always been more of an abstract, babbling, Aesop Rock-type of lyricist. Cerebral and sensitive, Lupe seems to havestruggled in the trappings of the industry life, the degenerate hedonism of our cultural architects, proving he too is not immune as a “positive”, “conscious” even “Muslim” rapper.

However, in order to adequately fill the void of the urban hero archetype he styles himself to be: Malcolm, Huey, 2pac right before his execution at the hands of the JDL, Lupe must dig in his heels, against his flight instinct, and give a peek behind the curtain to his fans in a principled and disciplined manner. Passive sloganeering and inconsistency are making his core audience question his motivations:

  1. @LupeFiasco Mate, no one is asking you to defend that. I wouldn’t dare either, but “Palestinian Overreaction”? c’mon @Omar_Gaza @SmithSofia

Overreacting by shooting rockets into Israel at the announcement of the Palestinian boys murder @DaraDeBrun @Omar_Gaza @SmithSofia

Hamas, along with other Palestinian Resistance groups like Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and the Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades, shot rockets after repeated, unprovoked Zionist operations which resulted in the extrajudicial murder of Palestinian civilians. No liberationist guerrilla force should ever relinquish arms in the struggle for emancipation and decolonization.

  1. Lol @LupeFiasco trying to say Palestine is overreacting. yeah rock throwing is very lethal.

@RanimEatsBrains: Lol @LupeFiasco trying to say Palestine is overreacting. yeah rock throwing is very lethal.” I meant the Hamas rockets

Wait. Hamas, the legitimate, democratically elected voice of Palestinians in Gaza, has no right to self-defense? The same geneva conventions (4th) Lupe mentions in “Conflict Diamonds” establish the right of occupied peoples to resist the occupation with armed struggle in self-defense of basic human rights. In the midst of a massacre carried out by a supremacist bully against a defenseless, besieged civilian population — half of them children — how can a politically conscious emcee who braggadociously proclaims to be “for the people” ever entertain siding with the tyrant and the colonizers? Were the sanguinary Islamic slave revolts in Brazil unjustified? Were there two sides that were both overreacting?

No, of course not. Lupe’s just trying to be cool once more and is thus exposing his aura as an amalgamation of fictionalized funk, deceptivedopeness and artificial intellectuality.

The Blair-Selfie

lublair

As many of our astute readers may be aware, Zionist puppet and war criminal Tony Blair has played a very prominent role in keeping Western nations inundated with hasbara about the “threat of radical Islam.” Tony Blair has unabashedly offered all of his talents to the multi-pronged Zionist war on Islam, especially in polemics.

As exposed elsewhere on Mask of ZionTony Blair’s “jewish cabal” directs him towards accomplishing the ultimate aims of the Jewish Power Configuration: Fratricide in Islamic countries and consolidation of large blocs through powerful international think tanks’ lobbying.

After being lambasted repeatedly with angry tweets Lupe reluctantly offered this about the event that brought him and Tony Blair together:

Yeah it was about teaching Islam and other faiths in US schools to curve radicalism based on ignorance and closed mindedness.

What?

The US-British-Zionist-Nato axis, which has routinely installed closed-minded, heavy-handed, vile puppet dictators all throughout the Global South, is now leading the charge of interfaith dialogue to curb radicalism? Not exactly. What this shaytanic alliance is doing is the exact opposite in fact; it is furthering the expansion of radicalism through the arming, funding and training of various Takfiri gangs, most prominently ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. But Lupe’s down for Blair nevertheless.

As the vitriol increased in intensity and volume, Lupe, exasperatingly said:

Funny party is after today he has more faith in the ummah than I do…ain’t that a bitch

Really? What kind of Muslim would say such a thing? This murderous Zionist war profiteer Blair — who is responsible for the deaths of millions of Iraqis and Afghans — believes in the Muslim people more than Lupe? Or is this more contrived cool?

Blair’s foundation was appreciative of Lupe’s support:

  1. Hey @Tonyblair_TBFF had an eye-opening experience last night much success to your goal of youth interfaith dialogue http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org 

.@LupeFiasco Thank you for your support > our edu prog helps young people understand other religious & cultural views http://bit.ly/1mmlhm4 

Lupe also reveals his underdeveloped historical sense with a salutatory ode to Haile Sellaisie, Ethiopian dictator, crusher of the Eritrean liberation struggle and close friend of Israel. Sellaisie, who considered himself a “Lion of Judah”, was so intimate with Israel after developing political and military ties that the usurping Zionist entity helped preempt a coup against his rule in 1960. Not exactly the kind of example that should or would be promoted even by atrocious liberals obsessed with “human rights” in the empire sense of the overused phrase, let alone a revolutionary emcee steeped in Black Consciousness and Islamic Liberation Theology.

Public Diplomacy through Jazz & Hip-Hop

In the 50s, the U.S. State Department dispatched black Jazz musicians for cultural outreach tours from Jim Crow America to counteract Soviet exposure of America’s racial caste system culture and law and lynch mob society. In the early Cold War era, American cultural imperialism was dealt a major blow when the horrific images of the very gruesome cruelty with which supremacist whites murdered and subsequently grotesquely disfigured a 14 year old black child from Chicago, Emmitt Till, for allegedly whistling at a girl. Adam Clayton Powell Jr, an advisor to Eisenhower, suggested a “black face” of diplomacy would soften the anti-American sentiment growing in the rest of the world. Soon Jazz “ambassadors” were sent across the world to win over hearts and minds.

Hisham Aidi, a notable professor at Columbia University in NY has drawn attention to this subject in his book, “Rebel Music.” Aidi  recounts how there was widespread mistrust and skepticism from the indigenous to these tours and some Jazz musicians later questioned the merit of their involvement.

Black consciousness and free expression transitioned from Jazz to Hip-Hop in the 70s and 80s. As early Jazz music represented boisterous, uninhibited black redemption sound, Hip-Hop, the revolution from the Bronx, took those qualities to another level with the additional layer of powerful words, speaking to and for the people. “The Message” and “Fight the Power” are iconic cuts, symbolic and emblematic of the revolutionary fervor in the black community, in the 70s and 80s. Reinvigorated in fiery Afrocentric pride despite having leaders assassinated by the power matrix like Malcolm, Medgar, Martin and Huey, through this liberationist Hip-Hop, Black Americans gained a greater overstanding of the power structure and ways to organize against it.

It’s from the primordial milieu of the COINTELPRO-era, Black Panther and NOI influenced, Last Poets, Gil Scott Heron and the Watts Prophets that later acts like the Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan, KRS-One and Rakim drew their inspiration and ammo.

The modern State Department emcees like Omar Offendum and the Narcicyst promulgate soft liberal platitudes around plurality and nuanced diaspora experience. These pseudo-Islamic cultural-marxist Hip-Hop artists serve as tokenized symbols of Western intellectual freedom where diversity of political opinion is tolerated. Outside of the unique circumstances of immigrant Muslim ghettos in British cities and the banlieues of France, this attempt to legitimize America’s Zionist War on Terror through friendly and pacifistic art is transparent and  largely unsuccessful if not counter-productive in changing perceptions around reality on the ground.

Unfortunately, some of these eccentric brown artists helped ignite clamor for NED-imposed freedom and democracy in places like Libya and Syria, specifically through Khaled M and Omar Offendum. Far beyond serving the State Department’s strategic communication andperception management agenda, these plucked artists help legitimize the “humanitarian” wars and deceive both the nation and the diaspora with hasbara-filled sloganeering. Though the Axis of Resistance is still strong, Libya was utterly devastated and is now overrun by the dreadful violence of the aforementioned Takfiri scourge sponsored by the GCC, the illegitimate Israeli regime and NATO.

Lupe’s future involvement with Blair’s Foundation would be along similar lines to alter the organic discourse, and, in true orientalist fashion, put the blame of the victim’s plight, in this case innocent Muslims, onto the victims themselves, who in their blind, backwards savagery have failed to appreciate the loving embrace of the Western world’s glorious democracy and culture which far supersedes any and all things in Muslims’ civilizational lineage. The mere thought of it embodies self-hatred and mental colonization.

Traditional Islam and purist Hip-Hop intersect in the manner of righteous rebellion, social revolution, and the clear potency of message. Where these vortices are utilized for their collaborative brilliance, a potent Global message of unification against all tyrants and oppressors can emerge. It is in this very vacuum that Love & Truth and Mouqawamah Music artists will engage the discourse through Hip-Hop from the Enlightened Liberationist Islamic stance.

(Relevant corrections and additions provided by Mouqawamah Music Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Azaziah)

~ The End ~

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

More Israeli War Crimes Documented in Two Additional Reports

Two days ago I posted an article about a new report from Amnesty International documenting what appear to be war crimes in Israel’s recent campaign in Gaza, specifically in the targeting of residential homes and apartment buildings. The report examined eight separate instances of attacks upon civilian homes, attacks in which approximately 104 people were killed.

Now comes two new reports, from the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, also documenting Israeli war crimes in Gaza over the past summer. One of the reports, like the Amnesty report, focuses on the deliberate targeting of civilians, and is entitled “Indiscriminate Attacks and Deliberate Killing,” while the second , entitled “The Israeli Matrix of  Control,” examines the Israeli military’s practice of using Palestinians as human shields. The use of human shields is a charge Israel often levels against Hamas, but evidently it is a practice that the Zionist state, rather hypocritically, engages in itself, and apparently not all that infrequently. The Euro-Mid report documents six instances, in Khan Younis alone, of Palestinians being forced to become human shields during the 51-day conflict.

First Comprehensive Investigation of Latest Israeli Assault Documents War Crimes

Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights

In the wake of the 50-day Israeli assault that devastated the Gaza Strip, reconstruction must not be the only priority, according to the nonprofit organization Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. All perpetrators of war crimes must be held to account, and Euro-Mid has taken the initial step by completing the first comprehensive investigation into Israeli actions during “Operation Protective Edge.”

“If we want young Palestinians to turn away from violent resistance in the future, they must believe that international law will be respected and enforced,” said Ihsan Adel, legal officer for Euro-Mid, a nongovernmental human rights watchdog focusing on the Middle East-North Africa region. “Our investigation documented both indiscriminate attacks on civilians by Israeli forces and their use of captured Palestinians as human shields. When the UN Human Rights Council arrives in the coming days to conducts its own investigation, our reports will already have laid the groundwork. Now it is up to the international community to demonstrate to the youth of today that the rule of law applies to everyone.”

The initial fieldwork for the Euro-Mid investigation began on July 10, the second day of the massive Israeli assault on Gaza. Throughout the course of the conflict, 24 Gaza-based researchers, many with legal backgrounds, visited every hot spot that erupted, interviewing more than 432 individuals involved in or eyewitnesses to144 instances in which more than two Palestinians were killed at one time.

The Euro-Mid investigation is summarized in two reports: “Indiscriminate Attacks and Deliberate Killing: Israel Takes Revenge on Gaza by Killing Civilians,” and “Israeli Matrix of Control: Use of Palestinians as Human Shields.”

Indiscriminate Attacks

Between 8 July and 26 August, Israeli forces conducted an estimated 60,664 raids into the Gaza Strip. This report documents that in many cases, the attacks were indiscriminate. Not only did Israeli forces fail to take sufficient measures to protect noncombatants, including children and the disabled, but in a number of instances they deliberately targeted locations with concentrations of civilians. Reports from physicians on the ground strongly suggest that Israel deployed “unconventional weapons” (nail bombs and DIME – “dense inert metal explosive” – munitions), which are designed to cause maximum damage and thus are not considered permissible in densely populated areas – either legally or morally.

Likewise, the investigation showed that the so-called “warnings” issued by the government of Israel, typically in the form of telephone calls or “roof knocks,” were insufficient to offer protection.

Use of Palestinians as Human Shields

Euro-Mid documented use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by Israeli military forces in at least six cases in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. These civilians were held against their will for hours or days to protect Israeli soldiers from fire, and in the meantime were subjected to inhumane and abusive treatment such as beating, humiliation and exposure to the hot sun while naked for long periods of time.

In contrast, the Euro-Mid team did not find any evidence of Palestinians who were forced to stay in their homes or to use their bodies for the protection of Palestinian resistance factions, as charged by the Israeli government.

Call to action

The indiscriminate attacks on noncombatants, deployment of unconventional weapons and the use of Palestinians as human shields are violations of international humanitarian law and constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights calls on the Fact Finding Committee on the Gaza Conflict recently established by the UN Human Rights Council, soon to arrive in Gaza, to make every effort to focus international attention and pressure on all parties found to be guilty of these crimes. Likewise, the UN Security Council and General Assembly must back these efforts with their own positions of authority and visibility

“The reconstruction of Gaza is needed for Palestinians to be able to live,” said Ramy Abdu, PhD, Euro-Mid chairman. “However, without accountability for crimes and protection of human rights, it will be a life without dignity or hope.”

To See the report “Indiscriminate Attacks and Deliberate Killing”: Here

To See the report “Israeli Matrix of Control”: Here

Top Retired Israeli Security Officials Support Peace with Palestinians

 

Including 98 retired generals. Two former Mossad directors. Three retired national police chiefs – 103 in all.
Some reports said 105. Others 106. Key is scores of former high-ranking Israeli security officials embracing peace. Publicly.
Words mean nothing without meaningful action. Former officials can only influence public opinion.
Much more than letter-writing is needed. Sustained longterm commitment matters most.
A desire to end decades of conflict. The will to make it happen. Equitably. Polar opposite numerous phony Israeli peace plans.
Meaningless. One-way. All take. No give. Dead on arrival for good reason.
Former security officials’ letter said the following:
“To: The Prime Minister – Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu
Jerusalem
Re: Political-regional outlook – two states for two peoples
Dear Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned, are IDF commanders and police officers in the reserves that have fought in Israel’s wars.
We know from experience the heavy and painful price exacted by these wars; we fought powerfully for the State in the hope that our children would live here in peace.
But the reality is that we are again sending our children to the battlefields, watching them don uniforms and bulletproof vests to fight in Operation Protective Edge.
We were impressed by your level-headed leadership in Operation Protective Edge; in those circumstances Israel could not and cannot allow fire on our homes nor to put the public in danger.
But this operation may turn out to be in vain if we do not act to prevent the next war. The government of Israel and its residents do not have the privilege of sitting around idly.
It is time to take responsibility for our future and take advantage of the historical opportunity that has come up following Operation Protective Edge.
We are in the midst of the memorial days marking the fallen of the Yom Kippur War, a war that stemmed from the political blindness of the Israeli leadership.
We are concerned that similar blindness will thwart the opportunity before us.
Therefore we call on you to adopt the political-regional approach and begin negotiations with moderate Arab states and with the Palestinians (in the West Bank and in Gaza, too) based on the Saudi-Arab Peace Initiative, as proposed to Israel by the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at the recent international conference in Cairo, and Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal last July.
Sir, you yourself have declared a political horizon and stated that there are shared interests.
You know that the moderate Arab states want to promote together with us a political arrangement that will enable us to confront our mutual enemies together and stabilize the Middle East.
You know that this is the real answer to the Iranian threat and the terror threats of ISIL, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations.
You also know that only the political-regional approach and an arrangement with the moderate Arab states has a chance of bringing about an agreement with the Palestinians, stability, security and economic prosperity.
The political-regional approach brings with it great hope. Only this approach can create the dramatic political change that will lead to socio-economic growth and turn Israel into model society for its citizens, the Jews of the Diaspora and the nations of the world.
Only this approach can be the weight that will tip the socio-economic scale, lower the high cost of living and impact the quality of life of the public that is raising its voice in economic protest.
This is not a question of right or left.
This is not a question of fear. This is another idea for the solution of the conflict that is not based on negotiations with the Palestinians that have failed time and again.
Sir, please do not join those who, every other day, use warnings of danger as an excuse to do nothing. We know what is necessary to achieve security for Israel, and we know that regional cooperation will contribute to this goal.
There is a high chance that this initiative will succeed! But even if it doesn’t, you owe this to the people of Israel.
Only then can we look our children and grandchildren in the eye and say: ‘We tried; we are sorry, we did not succeed.’
We expect of you a courageous initiative, leadership and vision.
As a fighter, you were raised on the slogan ‘only he who dares, succeeds.’
As a politician, adopt the slogan ‘only he who initiates, succeeds.’
Lead the way and we will stand behind you!”
Signatories include:
Zamir, Zvi, former head of Mossad, Major General (res). Yatom, Danny, former MK; former head of Mossad; Major General (res).
Hefetz, Assaf, Commissioner (ret.) Turner, Yaakov, Commissioner (ret.) ; Brigadier General (res.) Shaffir, Herzl, Commissioner (ret.).
Major General (res.) Avigdor, Gideon, Brigadier General (res.) Even Zahav, Yehu, Brigadier General (res.). Egozi, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Agmon, Uri, Brigadier General (res.) Agmon, Yoram, Brigadier General (res.). Ohayon, Berti, Major General (ret.- police) Ophir, Gabi, Major General (res.) Oron, Israela, Brigadier General (res.) Ilya, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Almog, Avraham, Brigadier General (res.) Almog, Zeev, Major General (res.) Erez, Haim, Major General (res.) Erez, Oded, Brigadier General (res.) Asher, Danny, Brigadier General (res.) Baharav, Yisrael, Brigadier General (res.) Biton, Dan, Major General (res.) Ben Bashat, David, Major General (res.) Ben David, Shimon, Brigadier General (res.) Ben Nun, Aviyahu, Major General (res.) Ben Porat, Mordechai, Brigadier General (res.) Ben Reuven, Eyal, Major General (res.) Bar, (Y.B.) Yehuda, Brigadier General (res.) Bar-David, Avraham, Brigadier General (res.) Baram, Amos, Brigadier General (res.) Barak, Haim, Brigadier General (res.) Gavish, Yeshayahu (Shaike), Major General (res.) Givoli, Shaul, Major General (ret.- police); Brigadier General (res.) Gonen, Yosef, Brigadier General (res.) Gofen, Haim, Brigadier General (res.) Goren, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Gazit, Shlomo, Major General (res.) Gross, Ehud, Brigadier General (res.) Dolev, Eran, Brigadier General (res.) Dotan, Yishai, Brigadier General (res.) Dotan, Rami, Brigadier General (res.) Waks, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Vardi, Danny, Brigadier General (res.) Zohar, Avi, Brigadier General (res.) Zacharin, Zeev, Brigadier General (res.) Zamir, Itzhak, Brigadier General (res.) Zaken, Nahum, Brigadier General (res.) Haike, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Hefetz, Shimon, Brigadier General (res.) Tiller, Avi, Major General (ret.- police) Tal, Alex, Major General (res.) Taran, Benny, Major General (res.) Yutov, Herzl, Major General (ret.- police) Yoseph, Eyal, Brigadier General (res.) Yaari, Aviezer (Avi), Major General (res.) Yitzhaki, Yair, Major General (ret.- police) Yitzhaki, Sasson, Brigadier General (res.) Yaron, Amos, Major General (res.) Kitri, Ron, Brigadier General (res.) Lev, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Lev Tzur, Uzi, Brigadier General (res.) Levi, Asher, Brigadier General (res.) Levin, Amiram, Major General (res.) Lapid, Ephrain, Brigadier General (res.) Lapidot, Amos, Major General (res.) Morag, Ami, Brigadier General (res.) Mizrachi, Avi, Major General (res.) Mizrachi, Aryeh, Brigadier General (res.) Mitzna, Amram, MK; Major General (res.) Maron, Menachem (Modi), Major General (res.) Spector, Yiftach, Brigadier General (res.) Spector, Moshe, Brigadier General (res.) Ivri-Sukenik, Moshe, Major General (res.) Eilam, Uzi, Brigadier General (res.) Eini, Menachem,, Brigadier General (res.) Einan, Menachem, Major General (res.) Amir, Amos, Brigadier General (res.) Inbar, Menashe, Brigadier General (res.) Inbar, Shlomo, Major General (res.) Peled, Elad, Major General (res.) Palant, Emi, Brigadier General (res.) Tsur, David (Tsuri) , MK, Major General (ret.- police) Kadmiel, Doron, Brigadier General (res.) Koren, Zeev, Brigadier General (res.) Keinan-Kauli, Eitan, Brigadier General (res.) Kanor, Zvi. Brigadier General (res.) Krauza, David, Major General (ret.- police) Keren, Aryeh, Brigadier General (res.) Rabin, Yitzhak, Brigadier General (res.) Rothschild, Danny, Major General (res.) Rom, Giora, Major General (res.) Ron, Elik, Major General (ret.- police) Ram (Furman), Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Ram, Micha, Major General (res.) Reshef, Amnon, Major General (res.) Saguy, Uri, Major General (res.) Shachor, Oren, Major General (res.) Stern, Elazar, MK; Major General (res.) Shalom, Hagai, Major General (res.) Sheffi, Shaul, Brigadier General (res.) Shaked, Emanuel (Mano), Brigadier General (res.) Sharon, Menachem, Brigadier General (res.) Sharoni, Nati, Major General (res.) Tamari, Dov, Brigadier General (res.)
Israel’s YNet News said Major General (ret.) Amnon Reshef initiated the above letter. Getting scores of other top retired security officials to be signatories.
“If you add up the total number of the years they spent in the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police and the Mossad, you come to the incomprehensible sum of more than 3.5 millennia in the service of state security,” said YNet News.
They’re with others wanting Netanyahu “not to join the ranks of those who use threats as an excuse for resting on our laurels, and to initiate a political process.”
They’re not ordinary former security officials. They’re important ones. Major figures during active service.
It begs the question. Why now? Why not earlier? When it counted most. When they held positions able to make a difference.
Why ruin things now. By vilifying Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah irresponsibly. Wrongfully accusing them of terrorism. Supporting Operation Protective Edge aggression. Instead of denouncing it.
These figures are now largely sideline observers. It bears repeating. Letters have little impact. Policies alone matter.
Nothing suggests forthcoming change. Netanyahu can’t be trusted. Representing the worst of hardline Israeli governance.
A serial liar. A war criminal multiple times over. Operation Protective Edge is Exhibit A. So are repeated Israeli ceasefire violations.
Blaming Palestinians for Israeli crimes. Waging premeditated wars of aggression. Getting away with mass murder and destruction.
Doing so unaccountably. Former top Israeli security officials have their own crosses to bear.
Better late than never to think responsibly. Far more is needed to change decades of Israeli lawlessness. Nothing in sight suggests it.
Most everything indicates worse ahead. Endless wars. Police state repression. Exploitive monied interests taking full advantage.
War profiteering on a grand scale. Greater than ever ecological destruction. Neoliberal harshness. Institutionalized inequality.
In Israel. America. Other Western societies. Carving up whole continents for profit. Plundering world resources.
Exploiting ordinary people everywhere. Fast-tracking toward tyranny and ruin. Israel a microcosm of widespread institutionalized ruthlessness.
Ongoing for longer than most people can remember. Far worse than ever now. A metastasizing cancer, according to John McMurtry.
Reflecting social collapse. Ecological destruction. Maximizing money gains to make more of it. Combined with unrestrained power.
Unsustainable by any standard. Risking humanity’s survival. Change requires committed opposition. Nothing half way.
Staying the course. Opposing business as usual. Doing it because it matters. Survival demands no other choice.
Retired Major General (res.) Hagai Shalom “fear(s) for (Israel’s) future,” he said.

“The situation here has never been a simple one, but the picture appears blacker than usual of late. There’s a lack of purpose. You don’t see anyone taking the lead along a chosen path, towards hope.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is very talented and he’s a fighter, but he’s caught up with his own political survival  – and that, rather than the fate of the country, is the main focus of his concerns. Unfortunately, the country needs more these days.”

“I don’t know if the petition will lead to change, but we have to start somewhere. We need to find a way to unite all the sane voices, inside and outside government, so as to put an end to the processes that lead us into dangerous situations.”

“And I’m talking about Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid. Anyone who chooses to remain in the government, from the right or the center, and lends a hand to the government without instigating a political process is committing a very big sin.”

Israeli policies affect regional ones. Eurasian ones. Global ones. Justice or injustice. Democracy or despotism. War or peace. Survival or annihilation.
Change begins with understanding. Knowing what’s ongoing is unsustainable. Rejecting business as usual.
Supporting meaningful change. Enlisting former high-ranking officials elsewhere to join them.
Ordinary people with them. A worldwide campaign for responsible change.
Demanding policies with teeth. Nothing less. Knowing survival depends on it.
At the same time, nothing in prospect looks encouraging. Things today are more dire than ever.
World peace hangs by a thread. Lunatics running things in America, Israel and rogue EU states threaten it.
Humans may become the only species ever to destroy itself. Taking virtually all other life forms with it. If preventing possible annihilation isn’t important enough, what is?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

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