‘Difficult, full of disagreements’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a breakthrough was not reached in Friday morning’s talks on Ukraine, Reuters reports.
“I cannot see a breakthrough here at all so far,” Merkel said after top EU leaders met with Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the sidelines of an EU-Asia summit.
“We will continue to talk. There was progress on some details, but the main issue is continued violations of the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” she added.
A political solution to the conflict in Ukraine has not yet been found, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy commented after the meeting, according to RIA Novosti.
Rompuy said the participants have all agreed on the need to follow through on the peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus at the beginning of September.
“What we agreed was the protocol of Minsk on the ceasefire, and the peace plan is of crucial importance,” Rompuy said.
“We have to implement this. This would guarantee again a future for Ukraine. So implementation, implementation, implementation — those are the key words.”
Earlier Vladimir Putin described his meeting with the Ukrainian president on Friday as “positive.” The Russian president’s spokesman however noted some of the meeting participants were reluctant to understand the true situation in eastern Ukraine.
“It was good, it was positive,” a smiling Putin told reporters after the discussions at the margins of a summit of Asian and European leaders in Italy according to Reuters.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, meanwhile acknowledged the negotiations were “difficult” ones due to a number of differences and misunderstandings among the participants.
“The negotiations are really difficult, full of disagreements, full of misunderstandings,” Peskov said. “Nevertheless they are still taking place. There’s an exchange of opinions.”
“The participants have discussed in detail the implementation of the Minsk agreements effectively enough,” Peskov said.
“Unfortunately, some of the breakfast participants demonstrated their complete reluctance to understand the real situation in the southeast of Ukraine.”
The presidents of Russia and Ukraine met on Friday morning in Milan. They were joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The meeting was hosted by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who said that while some progress had been made, “a lot of differences” still remain on the Ukrainian crisis.
There’s a possibility Putin and Poroshenko will hold a bilateral meeting at the summit, Peskov said, adding that Russia would like journalists to participate.
“[Journalist participation] will depend upon our Ukrainian partners. We are open – we hope they are too.”
Putin drew gas figures for Merkel
Russian gas supplies to Ukraine are expected to be one of the most difficult issues on the summit agenda. Kiev is due to pay out $3.1 billion debt to Gazprom until the New Year, according to the latest Russia-Ukraine agreement. There are fears, though, that the crisis-struck country will not be able to make the payment, possibly leading to disruptions of gas supplies, including those to Europe via Ukraine.
The gas issue was among things the Russian president discussed with the German chancellor during their meeting on Thursday.
“Yesterday Putin informed Merkel in detail about the gas issues,” Putin’s spokesman said. “He literally took a pen and drew figures on a piece of paper to explain the situation.”
More gas discussions are to follow, as Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak and head of Gazprom Aleksey Miller are part of the Russian delegation in Italy.
According to Peskov, Thursday’s reports from Poland have shed much light on the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Our Polish partners have reacted in such a lively way to news of Ukraine wanting to get Polish coal almost free of charge,” Peskov said. “This is the best illustration of what’s going on in the gas sphere. The Poles were greatly impressed and did not conceal their shock. But still they can fully understand the desire to have gas free of charge.”
The Anadolu news agency reported a statement for Zoabi saying she had informed the Israeli police of her plan to appeal to the Israeli court against the “arbitrary” banning of women from entering the mosque.
She did not disclose with which court she was planning to file the appeal, but the process starts by filing an appeal to the magistrate court, then to the district court then to the High Court.
Zoabi described Israel’s ban on Palestinian women entering Al-Aqsa Mosque as a “dangerous precedent”, noting that the reason behind banning them is their role in “facing the settlers’ desecration of the mosque” in recent months.
For more than two months, Israeli police have banned women from entering the mosque from time to time. “They [Palestinian women] formed the front defence line against the Israeli violations and aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Zoabi said.
The Knesset member said she had sent a written letter to the Israeli Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovich informing him of the “violations” committed by the Israeli police and Israeli border guards against women around and inside the holy site.
She noted in her letter that the violations and aggression on Palestinian women and banning them from entering into the mosque “undermines and ignores” their freedom. She also stressed that the lack of punishment against aggressors is a “green light” for more violations.
For about two months, the Israeli settlers, including extremist officials such as Knesset Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin have stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on almost a daily basis.
Palestinians remain inside the mosque trying to prevent such aggressions, but the Israeli police and occupation forces took measures to secure the settlers including preventing women and men under the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa’s grounds.
Yesterday, 20 Palestinians, including women, were wounded in clashes in the mosque and seven others were arrested, including minors.
|This photo was taken in a supermarket in Gilo – an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem – by an activist who documented the sale of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the settlements of Gilo (pop. 28,980), Pisgat Ze’ev (pop. 39,748) and Ma’ale Adumim (pop. 35,673), and in the industrial park of Mishor Edomim, which services Ma’ale Adumim.|
Ben & Jerry’s Caters to Illegal Israeli Settlements
In August, 2011, an Israeli Jewish activist working with us contacted Ben & Jerry’s factory in Israel, by e-mail and telephone, and confirmed that the company delivers ice cream to Israeli settlements in the occupied territory. Here is an e-mail communication, translated into English, between an employee at the factory and the Israeli activist, discussing arrangements for an ice cream cart to travel to the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim:
B&J Employee: Thanks for writing. Our ice cream cart comes with 5 flavors to choose from, glasses, wafers, ice cream toppings, 2 stewards and all accessories. The cost for 250 people (free distribution); 3,500 [NIS (Israeli Shekels), or $919 US] including VAT. Attached is a list of flavors. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
Activist: Is there an extra cost that relates to the distance of your factory to the location of the party? i.e., is there an extra cost because the event is held in Ma’ale Adumin? I’m sorry about the need for detail but it’s necessary for our accounting department.
B&J Employee: Yes, the cost of transportation is 250 [NIS (Israeli Shekels), $65 US]. This is because we come from Be’er Tuvia (near Kiryat Malachi) to Ma’ale Adumim.
Israeli Settlements are Illegal Under International Law
Israel’s settlements in the Palestinian Territory violate Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which declares that “the Occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The commentary to the Convention states that this provision was intended “to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territory. Such transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race.”
Transfer of settlers to occupied territory by an occupying power is also an international war crime under Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Moreover, the UN Security Council and General Assembly, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and most legal scholars have concluded that Israel’s settlements in the oPt contravene international law. The International Court of Justice declared in a 2004 decision that “the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law.”
Ben & Jerry’s business in illegal Israeli settlements also violates its obligations under the U.N.’s “Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises,” which asserts that corporations “shall not engage in nor benefit from war crimes, [or] crimes against humanity…” nor take actions that obstruct or impede economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.
[Citations for the references above are in Our Report on Ben & Jerry’s business practices in the occupied Palestinian Territory.]
|The Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal distributes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at stores both in Israel and in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory.
The map at left, with dots denoting the locations of their stores, was displayed in their store in Mishor Adumim (an industrial zone that services one of Israel’s largest settlements, Ma’ale Adumim). Notice that it depicts Israel and occupied Palestine as one state. Palestinians under occupation are not allowed to enter most Israeli settlements, so the supermarkets in those places only sell Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Jewish settlers.
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel Calls on Ben & Jerry’s to:
Until Israel ends its occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands in compliance with international law:
- End the marketing, catering and sales of Ben & Jerry’s products in Israel and Jewish-only settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
- Stop manufacturing ice cream in Israel.
- Issue a statement (a) calling on Israel to end its occupation and settlement enterprise and (b) appealing directly to other socially responsible companies to do likewise and to cease business operations in Israel and its illegal settlements.
Click here to send a message to
Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont.
Tell Ben & Jerry’s that its complicity in Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlements is wrong and must stop!
Boycott Divestment & Sanctions:
In Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel’s opposition to Ben & Jerry’s business practices in Israel and occupied Palestine is motivated by the grave human rights abuses being committed by the State of Israel. We are are also aware that in 2005 Palestinian civil society called for an international campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with three rights codified in international law.
- End Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle its separation wall;
- Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
- Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations Resolution 194.
|Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Jostein Solheim, said in an interview:
“My mantra that I’ve repeated a hundred times since starting at Ben & Jerry’s is: ‘Change is a wonderful thing,’…. The world needs dramatic change to address the social and environmental challenges we are facing. Values led businesses can play a critical role in driving that positive change. We need to lead by example, and prove to the world that this is the best way to run a business. Historically, this company has been and must continue to be a pioneer to continually challenge how business can be a force for good and address inequities inherent in global business.”
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel agrees: The world – including Israel-Palestine
Stay tuned on http://apophenia.altervista.org for parts 3, 4 and 5.
Documentary produced by Béatrice Pignède, with footage shot by Jonathan Moadab, Sylvia Page, Jean-Sébastien Farez and Saber Farzard. Music by Gilad Atzmon.
Members of the British House of Commons voted last night to recognise Palestine as a state. This non-binding resolution, tabled by Labour MP Grahame Morris, will not change this current government’s stance on the issue but has laid the groundwork for a change when this government is voted out of office. Unfortunately an amendment was tabled alongside the original motion due to internal (and external) Labour Party friction and fear which urged the recognition of Palestine within a “negotiated two-state solution“. This returned to the model of giving Israel an overwhelming position on whether Palestine is a state or not. Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, opposed the amendment stating;
I oppose an amendment that seeks to make British recognition of Palestine dependent on the conclusion of successful peace negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
Neither Israel nor Palestine’s right to exist should be subject to veto or any kind of conditions and we must actively challenge any refusal by either side to deny the other’s right to exist.
Members of all sides of the house stood up and gave their views. Many remarked on the thousands of e-mails and letters they had received from their constituents urging them to vote to recognise Palestine. Some of what the members said was either inaccurate or misleading but was at least based on a clear and passionate support of the Palestinian people. For example there was much support for the strategy of Mahmoud Abbas and his presidency. Despite the fact that many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip see his role as a collaborator with the occupation, members of the house rose to argue that this vote would support the moderates in Palestine such as Abbas and his government. They failed to acknowledge that this way of moderation had achieved nothing in the West Bank apart from a huge expansion of illegal settlements, thousands of arrests and hundreds of deaths. Not that Hamas has achieved much for the people it represents, yet each time Palestinians violently resist at least the international community wakes up during these periods and calls for a just solution. When negotiations take place between the unequals, everyone seems to look the other way and pray that the Israeli leadership will show some magnanimity. Keep praying.
There was even the occasional Israel-firster, who stood and spoke to make the debate livelier. Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP, made the extraordinary decades-old and much widely ridiculed claim that there is already a Palestinian state, Jordan. Halfon went on to say that if a Palestinian state was recognised;
There would be three Palestinian states, one that already exists in Jordan and two statelets, run by Hamas and by Fatah.”
A member of his own party intervened with;
Surely the member is not suggesting that because hundreds of thousands of Palestinans fled and were forced across the border into Jordan that they should accept this as their state?
Halfton failed to respond to this remark. Indeed according to him Palestinians who stayed in the West Bank were happy under the rule of King Abdullah of Jordan up until the 1967 war;
Abdullah even called himself the King of Jordan and Palestine as his country controlled the West Bank.
Well that’s fine then, as long as the dictator was happy to accept his own legitimacy?! This is the same old rubbish that has been spouted for decades by both those in Israel and their supporters in an attempt to delegitimise the Palestinians as a people, as a people who belong to and have existed on the land of Palestine as a people for centuries.
For some this vote was all about being anti-Israel because literally none of the members who voted for the motion had anything better to do than stand with, for this briefest of moments and with conditions, the Palestinian people who have suffered for over half a century at the whim of successive Israeli governments. Whether this motion does anything to advance the cause of the Palestinian people in their search for justice or actually enforces the status quo is moot. The vote passed and the recognition within the British body politic that the British people will no longer put up with British support and silence in the face of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians also passed.
Israelis should not despair but be optimistic about the continuing plummet of international citizenry and government support for their government’s policies against the Palestinians. One day this growing pressure from outside may force those within Israel to re-evaluate what they are told by their government and military and lead to a demand for a real and just peace with the Palestinians. When this day comes, the sky is the limit for both Palestinians and Israelis.
There are all sorts of varieties of insane extremists among the settlers. By “insane” I don’t mean that they’re aberrations from the Israeli norm. Just that in polite western society (not Israel, of course) these people would be viewed as nutcases and ignored. Only in Israel (and perhaps this happens in other religious extremist societies as well) are such people turned into prophets, prime ministers, and even esteemed academics.
Such a one is Prof. Hillel Weiss, who teaches not Hebrew literature, mind you, a term he banned from his department–but rather the literature of the Jewish people. You see Hebrew is the language and literature of the Jewish people. There is no other. Yiddish? Feh, jargon. Jewish literature in English? Derivative, degenerate and a mark of the bankruptcy of galut.
Professor Weiss teaches, where else, at Bar Ilan University. That’s also the home of such other wunder-mensches as Mordechai Kedar, who advocates raping Palestinian women as a deterrent to terrorism; and Gerald Steinberg, that convicted libelist who runs the fraudulent NGO known as NGO Monitor.
Here is what Weiss posted on his Facebook page:
Listen, Abu Mazen: you aren’t a people and therefore there can be no genocide [against Palestinians]. To exterminate you like a simple rabble is a mitzvah and it will be fulfilled finally despite the fact that the government of Israel still doesn’t accept its responsibility for raising mendacious international recognition of you [Palestine]. [This process] started with Begin ended with Gal-On. It contributed to the deception of the entire world and [increased] the popularity of these monsters [Palestinians] who rose up due to our weakness and lack of faith.
The quicker you [Abu Mazen] can concede that you are not a people and that your place is nowhere within the borders of the land of Israel, the better off you will be… as long as you evacuate the country of your own volition.
Weiss concludes his scholarly lecture with a reference to Deuteronomy 32:21, 43, which originally was meant as a curse against the pagan peoples who surrounded the ancient Israelites. But in the context in which Weiss invokes the verse, it’s deeply Islamophobic, essentially calling Islam a pagan, “villanous” religion. This is eliminationism of the purest sort:
They have roused Me to jealousy with a no-god; they have provoked Me with their vanities; and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people; I will provoke them with a villanous nation…
Nations, celebrate His people; for He avenges the blood of His servants, and returns vengeance upon His enemies, and atones for the land of His people.
Prof. Weiss is also one of those blessed Judeans who’s planning to revive the Sanhedrin, so we can return to stoning Sodomites and adulterers like in the old days. He can also count himself among the Chosen who hope to raze the Dome of the Rock and replace it with the Third Temple, “God willing.”
I swear if anyone tries to claim that this guy is a fruitcake who represents no more than a fringe of a fringe, I may be sick. You know that his views are embraced by almost the entire ruling coalition and that they’re being implemented by the government in every way it can. Hillel Weiss is the beating heart of both Israeli settlerism and Israel itself. What the good professor shouts from the mountain top and on Facebook is beating inside Bibi’s heart. They are one.
By the way, we should give credit where it’s due to Arab-American oil man, Jamal Daniel and the folks at Al Monitor, who see fit to publish the similarly inchoate messianic ramblings of Yuval Avivi, who regularly covers this garbage in its pages. That a publication funded by an Arab-American would present such inflammatory drivel is mystifying to me.
There is good news and bad news of late for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. On the one hand, companies such as Veolia, willing partners in the occupation, are losing out on mega-contracts. Despite plans to withdraw from Israel, the French company just lost a $750 million contract to provide waste management services to Kuwait City. Pleasing for BDS was the explicit reference to Veolia’s association with Israel and a head nod to their campaigning efforts. It comes on top of nearly $24 billion in lost contracts, seemingly over support for Israel.
Likewise G4S are suffering setbacks. Earlier this year, Bill Gates announced a massive divestment, while a report over the summer (by the Financial Times) suggested they would soon end their activities in Israel. Campaigners are rightly cautious – the company have gone back on their word in the past.
Companies like G4S and Veolia are the traditional bogeymen of leftist, progressive, anti-war or anti-globalisation movements. They are big targets, household names, transnational corporations that everyone can relate to – and when I say everyone, I mean the general public, not activists.
I can go down to my local train station and see a G4S security van parked outside. I see a Veolia truck pass my house once a week to collect my rubbish. Companies like Hewlett Packard advertise on television.
With such high profile and controversial brands, in some ways – isn’t this the easier end of the campaign?
After all – how many households would sign a petition against Serco? Quite a few, most people have heard of them.
But what then? There are thousands of British companies trading with Israel. Their names, headquarters and management are constantly changing – the past 12 months alone saw 37 acquisitions, mergers and IPOs of those companies. There are hundreds of thousands more trading from other countries. A tiny proportion are household names.
Raising awareness of each of these companies requires disproportionate effort by a small number of time poor activists.
The BDS movement has put itself into a massive fight. And though there are some successes, figures released this week show that UK-Israel trade actually grew by 28 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2014, now amounting to £2.5 billion. There may be successes here and there, but the machine of modern commerce is an extremely hard one to slow.
And despite the popular narrative of “well, it worked in South Africa”, the uncomfortable truth is that many economists and historians disagree.
“Perversely, South African businesses reaped at least $5 billion to $10 billion in windfalls as Western firms disinvested at fire sale prices between 1984 and 1989,” noted Thomas W. Hazlett, now at George Mason University. The political effect of the sanctions movement saw the white power elite retrench. Apartheid policies worsened – the police and military cracked down even harder.
In truth, the collapse of Soviet Communism, populist black movements in South Africa, white supremacists working with blacks rather than oppressing them, just to keep their families fed – led to the fall of apartheid. It’s nice to think the West played the lead role, but in truth, South Africa did a lot of it itself. Its role is, somewhat patronisingly, rarely acknowledged.
As the BDS movement has grown stronger – the domestic politics of Israel is tipping to the hard right. Attacks on Gaza are becoming more frequent. Knesset hard-liners have advocated genocide against Palestinian mothers, or published detailed plans on their Facebook pages about how the entire population of Gaza should be deported. Attacks on journalists, artists and pro-war activists by far right extremists are on the increase. The Israeli media propagates an us-and-them attitude to not only the Arab world, but also their detractors in the West. Are we already seeing what really happened in South Africa play out? Are the worst parts of Israeli society becoming stronger?
The campaign has some positives with regards solidarity, it contributes to educating the public – but ultimately, we don’t know whether it will make things worse and, as a pro-sanctions or boycott movement, it doesn’t yet have a successful precedent or contemporary model for success – just look at North Korea, Iran, Russia or indeed the porous Arab boycott against Israel.
But aside from the uncertain and potentially dangerous side-effects of BDS, we are ignoring the bigger problem. The crux of bringing the Israeli hawks to heel isn’t so much about corporate investments – it’s about political money, dripping from the campaign coffers of Western politicians bribed and briefed by Jerusalem cronies.
The funding is mysterious, ambiguous and seemingly unimpeachable, protected by anti-Semitism laws which forbid honest discussion of it, or by hasbara attack dogs who discredit any journalist or academic who speaks out.
But imagine the tabloid outcry if hundreds of millions in “Muslim” donations began pouring in to Western politics, Muslims with strong interests in the domestic or foreign policies of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Iran.
You don’t have to imagine – last month Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (and Norway) were caught funding influential foreign policy think tanks in Washington. And there was an outcry.
But many feel uncomfortable taking on the Israeli lobby – because it’s scary. It comes with great risk – people have lost their jobs, careers and reputations. Nobody likes to be labelled an anti-Semite, which is their preferred mode of attack.
Assuming for a moment that South African white supremacists had actually wanted to continue with apartheid, if they had had the financial resources and strategic nous to invest millions into Washington and Westminster, a boycott campaign would have stood almost no chance of success.
Campaigning against corporate involvement in morally dubious interests should not be stopped. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if Western corporations, pension funds, or governments invested in arms deals with dodgy regimes, or became complicit in mass human rights abuses, and nobody knew about it.
But we should recognise the limits of the BDS movement – both by recognising that the “low-hanging fruit” of corporate targets – international corporations who are already disliked by the public, may only be the warm-up, by better understanding what really happened in South Africa, and by asking – are we really attacking the root of the problem?
BDS, in some ways, detracts from directly dealing with the real problem: the foreign policy of the West has been seriously corrupted by Israeli influence, almost wherever you look.
Dismantling “the Israel lobby” is a tougher fight, but it’s a far more important one.
If we are over-awed by the challenge, or if indeed the BDS movement was itself a function of an inability to crack the lobby directly, there may still be cause for optimism. Removing big money from politics, in general, is an extremely populist movement.
There are very few Westerners who want the status quo to continue, for big corporations and foreign interests to hold such sway on our democracies – on any issue. You don’t have to be pro-Palestinian to recognise this.
A broader coalition of groups, from charities, to environmental campaigners, to trade unions, to newer organisations like Change.org and 38 Degrees could be the key. The influence of the Israel lobby isn’t a unique problem. Perhaps by looking to other marginalised groups who face similar challenges, the pro-Palestinian campaign can find yet more life.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity, told Ma’an that a group of settlers broke the doors and windows of the Abu Baker al-Saddiq mosque and vandalized the interior with racist slogans.
The settlers then set fire to part of the mosque before being chased away by Palestinian villagers.
Locals managed to extinguish the fire and prevent it from burning down the whole mosque.
In Jan. 2014, settlers torched a mosque in Salfit and sprayed “Arabs out!” on the building.
Settlers in the occupied West Bank attack Palestinians and their property routinely yet rarely face prosecution by Israeli authorities.
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Today at the Salaymeh checkpoint in al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli soldiers fired four long-range tear gas canisters, and threw three stun grenades, all towards children leaving school to walk home.
One tear gas grenade was also thrown directly at ISM activists documenting the military violence.
Israeli soldiers were positioned very close to the school, due to the new position of the concrete blocks that designate the end of H2 (the area of Hebron under full Israeli military control).
Yesterday they were moved further away from Salaymeh checkpoint to further encroach upon Palestinian territory.
Two Israeli soldiers also occupied the top floor of a Palestinian apartment block and positioned themselves above the schoolchildren.
The ICC Charges Kenyatta Instead of Netanyahu; and Operation Protective Edge Is Forgotten
As a consequence of the corporate mass media’s blackout of the news about Israeli crimes against humanity; as a consequence of the International Criminal Court’s cowardly disregard of crimes committed by Israeli leaders while instead charging Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta with crimes against humanity; and as a consequence of the West’s Israeli orchestrated preoccupation with the necessity to wage war against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) — which came into being with covert encouragement and assistance from the real axis of evil of the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia — Israel’s latest barbaric assault euphemistically codenamed Operation Protective Edge but in reality intended to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people, has been quietly and quickly forgotten.
Collective corporate mass media amnesia comes as no surprise considering that in the U.S. alone 90% of what Americans read, watch and listen to is controlled by just six corporations whose combined revenue in 2010 was $275.9 billion. Furthermore, all six of those corporations like for example Rupert Murdoch’s [not the actual] News Corp (Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and New York Post) have Israeli aligned global news tentacles that distort, mislead, and even suppress the true facts. Mass media bias towards Israel is even prevalent at the supposedly dispassionate and honest taxpayer funded BBC where coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires finding “a balance” that is in actual fact strongly tilted towards Israel.
As part of its “balance” the BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen (surprise, surprise), has announced plans to air a series of special programs next year that will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The programs are to be broadcast around Holocaust industry Memorial Day on January 27, 2015 and will range from interviews with survivors of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau camp to a new drama about the 1961 trial in Israel of Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann who was seized in Argentina by Israeli agents and smuggled back to Israel on an El Al airliner. Cohen’s announcement was welcomed with “We are delighted that the BBC will be ensuring that Holocaust Memorial Day is marked by the widest possible audience,” declared Olivia Marks-Woldman, chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. The question is have fine Jewish people of status like Olivia felt the slightest twinge of conscience over the recent horrific images coming from the Gaza Strip as a result Israel’s Operation Protective Edge: an operation that had Israeli Jews chanting “tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.”?
Such passionate racist hate can only beget hate from the victims and global condemnation form compassionate people. But are such reactions anti-Semitic or simply the consequence of Apartheid Israel’s incitement to genocide of the Palestinian people who — contrary to what Israeli Jews keep telling us — are human beings and not beasts; are a people in their own right; and do exist on their own land with an inalienable entitlement as follows:
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Israel is a signatory but from which it is apparently exempt from respecting because of the Holocaust.
Will BBC viewers be watching programs at any time in the near future that document the atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinians by an Apartheid Israeli war criminal state that fine people like Olivia Marks-Woldman unconditionally support? No doubt force-feeding “the widest possible audience” of gullible gentiles with memories of the genocide of Jews by the Nazis helps to offset current condemnation of the equally abhorrent genocide of Palestinians by Jews.
“Israelis and American Jews fully agree that the memory of the Holocaust is an indispensable weapon — one that must be used relentlessly against their common enemy … Jewish organisations and individuals thus labor continuously to remind the world of it. In America, the perpetuation of the Holocaust memory is now a $100-million-a-year enterprise, part of which is government funded.”
According to Israeli author Moshe Leshem, the expansion of Israeli power is commensurate with the expansion of the “Holocaust” propaganda.1
Last month the Russell Tribunal (comprised of international law experts) announced that Israel was guilty of “incitement to genocide,” and that Israel’s long-term collective punishment of Palestinians seemed to be designed to “inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the incremental destruction of the Palestinians as a group.” Despite that announcement of what has been obvious for decades (not short-term occupation, but long-term extermination), the International Criminal Court has maintained its usual avoidance of pursuing the big fish — like Henry Kissinger, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and many others including equally indictable Israeli leaders such as Benjamin Netanyahu — while concentrating on minnows like Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta who became the first sitting head of state to appear before the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in unleashing a wave of post-election violence during 2007-08.
Uhuru (Swahili for “freedom”) whose alleged guilt is far from being as obvious as that of Israeli leaders, is the son of Jomo Kenyatta “the founding father” who led Kenya from its independence in 1963 until his death in 1978. Independent Kenya, like most post-colonial nations, was also the beneficiary of colonialism’s main legacy of injustice and corruption of which Jomo had personal experience at his trial along with five others accused of managing the Mau Mau. The accused appeared before Mr. Justice Thacker, a man who practiced his profession in the same self-serving mould as that of Tony Blair, the war criminal “Middle East Peace Envoy.” Thacker accepted a bribe of £20,000 (a small fortune in those days) from the Governor of Kenya, Evelyn Baring, 1st Baron Howick of Glendale, who wanted to ensure that Thacker would find the accused guilty. Also according to Baring, “Every possible effort has been made to offer them [the witnesses] rewards and to protect them but no one can tell what will really happen when they are confronted in court by Kenyatta’s formidable personality …” One witness did in fact subsequently recant, admit he had been bribed, and was convicted of perjury.
After finding the accused guilty at the end of the trial, “Justice” Thacker — who had also unashamedly asked for an honour from the Queen but was refused — then fled the country on the first available flight. As an aside to this tale of unbridled corruption of justice, Ngina Kenyatta — widow of Jomo and mother of Uhuru — is the fourth richest woman in Africa with a net worth of $500 million while the majority of Kenyans exist in abject poverty. For most African people the only notable difference between colonial and post-colonial rule has been the colour change of their corrupt political exploiters from white to black.
The West’s current Israeli-inspired and U.S.-led fabricated necessity for waging war against ISIS is not a recent development but part of a long-established strategy promoted by Israeli sponsored U.S. neoconservatives who ensure the constant existence of Islamic enemies so as to justify costly and never ending wars that ultimately benefit Israel through the destruction of surrounding Arab neighbour infrastructures. The creation of ISIS arose from the necessity to replace the old Islamic ogre of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda with a new one.
In March 2007, General Wesley Clark, a retired 4-star U.S. Army general and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia, had the following to say in an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now:
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, ‘Are we still going to war with Iraq?’ And he said, ‘Oh, it’s worse than that.’ He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, ‘I just got this down from upstairs’ — meaning the Secretary of Defence’s office — ‘today.’ And he said, ‘This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.’ I said, ‘Is it classified?’ He said, ‘Yes, sir.’ I said, ‘Well, don’t show it to me.’ And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, ‘You remember that?’ He said, ‘Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you.’
General Clark’s allegation is amply substantiated by recent Israeli-inspired and U.S.-led conflicts in the Middle East and provides proof that plans for such conflicts were already in place long before the justification for them had even been fabricated. Such Middle East conflicts serve to benefit Israel in three ways: the first is to destabilise and fragment but preferably destroy surrounding Arab states; the second is to achieve the first by getting Western nations at their taxpayers expense to bear all the cost and do the fighting; and the third is to have such conflicts serve as a distraction from Zionist Apartheid Israel’s lying, cheating, stealing, double-crossing, and killing along with all its other barbaric violations of international law including human rights.
Concerned, decent, and responsible people everywhere must relentlessly demand honest and impartial media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict which must not be overlooked or forgotten until Palestinians receive justice and reparations for the decades of heinous crimes perpetrated against them by Israeli Jews; they must resolutely resist the Anglo-Zionist Political Corporate Military Industrial Empire’s voracious dependency on continual military conflict that maintains the status quo of almost half the world’s wealth belonging to just one percent of the population; and they must unconditionally insist that the ICC fully fulfils its charter as described in the Rome Statute’s Preamble by charging Israeli leaders with the crimes that everybody knows they have been guilty of committing.
Israeli Jews have every right to have a “world of their own” if they want, but not on ethnically cleansed Palestinian land and at the expense of goyim taxpayers.
- Balaam’s Curse: How Israel Lost its Way, and How it Can find it Again, Simon & Schuster, 1989.
Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Today in al-Khalil (Hebron), as part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, thousands of settlers and Zionist tourists descended upon the city. The Israeli military presence in Hebron, which is already a large and oppressive part of everyday life, greatly increased.
Hebron is the only city in the West Bank where there is an illegal settlement in the heart of the city. It is split into H1 and H2, H1 under Palestinian Authority Control, and H2 under Israeli military control.
This morning, in both the Salaymeh and Qeitun neighbourhoods, the checkpoints designating the end of H1 were extended further into Palestinian territory.
Israeli soldiers drove between Salaymeh and Qeitun, entering houses, hiding in alleyways, and aiming their guns at passing schoolchildren and other people in the area.
In the afternoon, the army presence was just as heavy, with children walking home past heavily armed soldiers.
In H1, Bab al-Zawiye (the centre of Hebron), Israeli forces partially closed the road to allow settlers and Zionist tourists through the checkpoint to visit a religious holy site.
They were escorted by approximately 45 Israeli border police and soldiers. Several Palestinian shops were forced to close for several hours, to allow the setters and tourists to pass.
The Ibrahimi mosque and nearby checkpoint was also closed today, with all Palestinian shops in the area forced to close with it.