Germany and Poland will lose the most trade with Russia, and neighboring Finland and Baltic states Lithuania and Latvia will lose a bigger proportion of their GDP. Norway will see fish sales to Russia disappear, and US damages would be very limited.
Russia has banned imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products from the 28 countries of the EU, the US, Canada, Norway, and Australia for one year.
EU trade is heavily dependent on Russian food imports. Last year Russia bought $16 billion worth of food from the bloc, or about 10 percent of total exports, according to Eurostat.
In terms of losses, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands- the top three EU food suppliers to Russia in 2013 – will be hit hardest. Food for Russia makes up around 3.3 percent of total German exports.
French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said his government is already working together with Germany and Poland to reach a coordinated policy on the new Russian sanction regime.
Last year, Ireland exported €4.5 million worth of cheese to Russia, and not being able to do so this year is a big worry, Simon Coveney, the country’s agriculture minister, said.
Farmers across Europe could face big losses if they aren’t able to find alternative markets for their goods, especially fruit and vegetables.
Some are already demanding their governments provide compensation for lost revenue.
“If there isn’t a sufficient market, prices will go down, and we don’t know if we can cover the costs of production, because it is so expensive,” Jose Emilio Bofi, an orange farmer in Spain, told RT.
On July 30, Dissident Voice published an article by Yves Engler remarking on increasingly strident support for Israel among sections of the Toronto Jewish community.
He describes aggressive Jewish support for the child-murderers of the Israeli Defense Forces, including attacks on protesters like himself, then contrasts this with what Jews were like before world war two:
The idea that Toronto’s Jewish community in 2014 would be front-and-centre in backing racist militarism is profoundly depressing and quite the historic reversal. Seven decades ago righteous Jewish youth fought back against fascist thugs terrorizing non-Anglo-Saxons in the 1933 Christie Pits Riot.
But perhaps the reason Jews defended other minorities against “fascist thugs” is because it was in their interests to do so. Perhaps that’s why many of them support “racist militarism” today – so long as it’s Jewish racist militarism. A consistent sense of Jewish ethnic identity would lead to strong opposition to white supremacists, and strong support for Jewish supremacists. The most economical explanation of the “reversal” Engler talks about is that it’s not a reversal at all.
Not only is this the more parsimonious explanation, it is a more realistic approach to Palestinian solidarity. It’s Engler’s approach that is “profoundly depressing”, because it continues to fail to grasp the nettle of the connection between Jewish identity, Jewish politics, and the Jewish state.
Another of my attempts to dabble in Canadian Jewish leftist politics, can also be found on Dissident Voice – Defend Jennifer Peto, a Brave Canadian Critic of Zionism.
Russia’s BRICS partner, Brazil has said it would step up to fill in the void of chicken imports to Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning certain food imports from countries that have sanctioned Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
Russian news agency Ria Novosti quoted a Brazilian official as saying the Latin American economy could increase chicken exports to Russia by 150,000 tons. Brazil, the world’s largest chicken exporter currently exports 60,000 tons of chicken to Russia. US exports of poultry to Russia are expected to be affected after Russia hit back at the US in a tit-for-tat move.
Head of the Brazilian Poultry Association Francisco Turra said the numbers of poultry plants licensed to send chicken to Russia will grow from the current figure of 20 as US and Canadian chicken and pork industries brace for a heavy blow to business after Putin’s announcement of the anti-sanction decree on Wednesday.
Brazilian firms like chicken exporter BRF SA and meatpacker JBS SA stand to majorly benefit from the move.
The Dilma Rousseff government in Brazil was quick to respond to Putin’s strong criticism of the EU’s latest round of sanctions against Russian businesses by offering to step up dairy and meat exports to Russia.
Russia’s agricultural watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor, is expected to hold discussions on increasing exports from Latin American countries on Thursday.
Earlier on Wednesday, Putin signed a decree prohibiting “import into the territory of the Russian Federation of certain agricultural products, raw materials and foodstuffs originating in the state, has decided to impose economic sanctions against Russian legal entities and (or) physical individual or party to this decision”, said a Kremlin statement.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the US, EU, Australia and Norway would be banned for the stipulated one-year period according to the decree signed by President Putin yesterday.
“We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognized norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasize the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others,” said the joint declaration at the end of the BRICS leaders plenary meet in Fortaleza in July.
From a left-wing community once at the forefront of struggles against racism, unconditional support for Israel has turned a significant proportion of Toronto Jews into promoters of hatred against “Arabs” and into allies of right wing, bigoted, homophobic Christian Bible literalists.
During 15 years of activism in Montréal, Ottawa and Vancouver I haven’t seen anything equivalent to the racist, militarist pro-Israel movement experienced recently in Toronto. And sadly the quasi-fascistic organization driving the charge seems increasingly enmeshed within a community that once led the fight against racism and fascism in the city.
On Saturday at Queen’s Park (the grounds of the Ontario legislature) I was shoved, spat on, had my bike damaged and lock stolen by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a hate group that is banned in the U.S. and Israel. My offence was to chant “kill more Palestinian children” as hundreds of JDL and B’nai B’rith supporters rallied to applaud the onslaught on Gaza in a counter demonstration to those opposed to Israel’s massacres.
The following day, also at Queen’s Park, a JDL member knocked a pro-Palestinian counter demonstrator to the ground and kicked him in the face. Half an hour after this happened, a JDL member walked some 50 metres around a barricade to where I was standing alone chanting at the pro-war rally and spat on me three times. Both incidents were caught on tape by major media outlets.
New to pro-Palestinian activism in Toronto, I was unaware of just how aggressive and organized the JDL had become. It’s reached the point where some Palestinian solidarity groups avoid publicizing pickets out of fear they might disrupt them.
In the US the JDL has been outlawed since 2001. Its members have been convicted in a series of acts of terror, including the killing of the regional director of the American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee and a plot to assassinate a Congressman. A member of the JDL’s sister organization in Israel killed 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers in the Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre twenty years ago. In 2011 the RCMP launched an investigation against a number of JDL members who were thought to be plotting to bomb Palestine House in Mississauga.
Despite the group’s links to terrorism, the JDL appears to find support from much of the organized Jewish community and even in Ottawa. In a significant boost to the group, Stephen Harper included a member in his official delegation on a recent trip to Israel; recent Canadian Jewish News coverage of the group has been sympathetic; rabbis attended the JDL/B’nai B’rith sponsored counter-demonstration Saturday, On Sunday the group provided “security” for the Canadians for Israel rally. Rather than being an isolated fringe group the Jewish mainstream tries to ostracize, the JDL seems to be gaining influence.
The growth of Canada’s JDL parallels the increasingly extreme violence of the Israeli government and the resulting worldwide outrage over that country’s aggressive expansionism.
The mainstream Jewish community is marching in lockstep with the Israeli state and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have not only accepted it, they have promoted it. Over the past three weeks Israel has killed over 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza, displaced more than a tenth of the population and destroyed most of the area’s electricity and water supply. Yet, the Israeli government still receives unequivocal support from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai B’rith and other leading Canadian Jewish organizations. As part of its support for the recent killings in Gaza the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, the community’s main philanthropic arm, has added $2.25 million to its annual aid to Israel.
While the JDL would likely back the complete incineration of Gaza, one wonders just how far the more mainstream groups are willing to go in cheering on Israel’s current onslaught, its third large-scale assault on Gaza in five years. Will the Jewish establishment withdraw support if 2,000 Palestinians are killed? Or is the break-point 5,000? Or maybe B’nai B’rith and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs would back the Israeli military all the way to 50,000 dead?
While one might want to believe that the warmongering promoted by dominant Jewish organizations is not widely shared by the community they claim to represent, I’ve seen too many sizable pro-war rallies and witnessed too many outbursts of anti-Arab racism over the past three weeks in Toronto to be hopeful in this regard. Wide swaths of Toronto’s Jewish community seem to be mimicking the Israeli public’s racist militarism. (Google stories about Israelis chanting “death to the Arabs”, celebrating military blasts on Gaza from hilltops nearby or beating peace activists.) On Bloor Street two weeks ago a middle-aged man walking with his partner crumpled a leaflet I handed him, pointed at two older Arab looking men who responded, and yelled “barbarians”.
In a similarly bizarre racist outburst, a man who was biking past the demonstration stopped to engage and soon after he was pointing at a young Arab looking child close by and telling me that I was indoctrinating him to kill. And then on Sunday an older woman interrupted a phone conversation I was having about Israel’s destruction of Gaza and yelled she hoped Israel kills “10,000 more”.
The idea that Toronto’s Jewish community in 2014 would be front-and-centre in backing racist militarism is profoundly depressing and quite the historic reversal. Seven decades ago righteous Jewish youth fought back against fascist thugs terrorizing non-Anglo-Saxons in the 1933 Christie Pits Riot. Two decades after that the Canadian Jewish Congress helped win the famous Noble v. Alley Supreme Court case, which prompted Ontario to pass a law voiding racist land covenants, a major victory in the battle for racial equality.
But, while six decades ago Jewish organizations fought racist land restrictions, today there is no other community that so strongly and openly backs racist supremacy in land use. Six months ago some 4,500 people packed the Toronto Convention Centre to honour Stephen Harper at a Jewish National Fund fundraiser. Owner of 13% of Israel’s land, the Jewish National Fund excludes Palestinian citizens of Israel and other non-Jews from its properties.
In 2014 “respectable” members of the pro-Zionist Jewish community fund-raise for an organization with racist land covenants, work together with Christian fundamentalists and defend Israel’s slaughter of civilians in Gaza, while the harder edge youth attend JDL demonstrations or enlist as “lone soldiers” with a murderous foreign army.
Paul Estrin is the President of the Green Party of Canada. He recently shared his thoughts on the current fighting in Israel and Gaza.
I thought his comments were worth going over in some detail, if only because they’re so incongruous with what I believe to be some fundamental ‘Green’ principles: namely equality, social justice, human rights and self-determination.
So without further ado . . .
On the Israeli ‘withdrawal’ from Gaza in 2005, Estrin writes:
‘Israel decided to leave, fighting its own citizens, showing once more that it sticks to its word about the settlements not being permanent, but instead something to be removed painfully if peace is achievable to be had’.
But Alvaro De Soto, who was the U.N.’s Peace Envoy to the Middle East at the time, gives quite a different version of events.
In a leaked U.N. report from 2007, he writes that:
‘I don’t think the disengagement marked in any way a conversion by Sharon to the idea of an independent and viable Palestinian state – on the contrary, it was basically a spectacular move that killed and put into ‘formaldehyde’ the Road Map, to quote his key advisor. Sharon used the disengagement to gain vital concessions from the U.S. – including the Bush letter of assurances on retention of settlement blocs and non-return of Palestinian refugees to Israel – while proceeding with the construction of the barrier and the implementation of more settlers in the West Bank’.
The number of settlers living in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has increased by over 100’000 since 2005, giving credence to De Soto’s analysis.
The De Soto report also disputes that the Israeli occupation of Gaza ever ended, saying that:
‘Since, as I recall, the test of occupation in international law is effective control of the population, few international lawyers contest the assessment that Gaza remains occupied, with it’s connections to the outside world by land, sea and air in the hands of Israel’.
On how Hamas came to be the dominant political force in Gaza, Estrin writes:
‘And then Hamas took power. It has nearly been ten years. Since August 2005, Gazans have been in control of their own destiny’.
It might be worth mentioning here that Hamas actually won parliamentary elections in 2006.
The usual narrative is then to say that Hamas went on to wrest complete control of Gaza in a coup in 2007, driving Fatah out in the process. But that isn’t the full story.
Another facet to the story is that elements in Fatah, working alongside Israel and a George Bush/Condoleezza Rice/Elliot Abrams axis in the U.S., had themselves planned a coup to overthrow Hamas – the democratically elected government of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, remember – and Hamas had simply got wind and pre-empted it.
This is according a lengthy Vanity Fair article based on leaked documents and the testimony of some of those involved.
Either way, to say that Hamas simply ‘took power’ is to remove some important context (and the claim that ‘Gazans have been in control of their own destiny’ since 2005 is just downright false, for reasons already mentioned).
On the state of the economy in Gaza, Estrin writes:
‘instead of showing openness to the world, or managing, or caring . . . Gaza has instead shown that it is not interested in peace, in building a stable economy, in a secure future’.
Notice here that he’s stopped referring to ‘Hamas’, and is openly referring to Gaza as a whole. And Gaza as a whole is not ‘interested in peace, in building a stable economy, in a secure future’, apparently. Is he implying a kind of collective guilt?
But it is no secret that, since 2007, Israel has been deliberately trying to strangle the Gazan economy, as a means of inflicting collective punishment on the population of Gaza. That’s what the so-called blockade is expressly designed to do.
As the International Committee of the Red Cross put it in 2010:
‘The closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is about to enter its fourth year, choking off any real possibility of economic development . . . The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law’.
Estrin is quite simply engaged in victim blaming here. Lambasting Gazans for not building their economy, while Israel has been deliberately implementing policies to prevent them doing so.
And I just wonder how the U.S., U.K. and Canada would manage their economies if a near total ban on imports and exports was placed on them, and their means of production were destroyed via aerial bombardment every couple of years.
On the Hamas charter, Estrin writes:
‘In Canada and elsewhere, national charters protect the people. In Gaza, the first article calls for the death of Israel and the Jew. (Let me quote just a bit: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”‘.
Personally, I’m more perturbed by the fact that whole areas of Gaza are being obliterated right now, than I am about what a Charter written in 1988 says.
And there are in fact real questions over just how relevant to Hamas’ political program the 1988 charter is anymore.
In January 2009, Jeremy Greenstock – who is a former U.K. ambassador to the U.N., and who has negotiated with Hamas leaders as part of his work with the Ditchley Foundation – told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that Hamas:
‘ . . . are not intent on the destruction of Israel. That is a rhetorical statement of resistance . . . The charter was drawn up by a Hamas linked Imam some years ago, and has never been adopted, since Hamas was elected as the Palestinian government in January 2006, as part of their political program. This is a grievance based organisation desperate to end the occupation’.
Greenstock is Establishment to the bone, and yet even he recognises that the focus on Hamas’ charter is a red herring while Israel continues to build settlements in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, thus making a just two-state solution a virtual impossibility.
On Gaza Vs Syria, Estrin writes:
‘It looks very bad for Israel. 800+ Gazans dead. 1000s injured. Lots of destruction. Meanwhile, in Syria, how many hundreds of thousands of people, including so many Palestinians, are dead or injured … where are the inflammatory protests …’.
This is basically a claim that Israel is being unfairly singled out as compared to Syria.
First and foremost, it’s worth pointing out that the regime in Israel is heavily supported by the governments of the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada. That support takes the form of military sales, economic aid, general praise and diplomatic protection (e.g. the U.S. using its veto to thwart attempts by the U.N.S.C. to hold Israel accountable for its serial war crimes).
I suspect that protests against Israel in the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada are as much designed to get the respective governments in those countries to stop facilitating Israeli crimes as they are designed to express outrage at Israel itself.
Such support for the Assad regime, however, hasn’t been forthcoming from said same governments, and so there have been no protests designed to stop it.
You could argue that there should still have been more protests against the Assad regime regardless, but that doesn’t change this basic context.
And indeed, in other important ways, Israel is actually being given highly preferential treatment as compared to Syria. There is no talk of formally sanctioning Israel, for example. No talk of ‘no-fly zones’ or ‘humanitarian intervention’, and no talk of equipping Palestinian rebels with high-tech weaponry so they can better defend themselves and their people.
Compare that to Syria now or Libya in February 2011, when some or all of those things were put on the agenda pretty much straight away, and were then carried out to a greater or lesser degree (for reasons that had nothing to do with humanitarianism or human rights, obviously).
Israel is literally getting away with mass murder scot free, for the third time in five years, and so the idea of Israel being singled out is simply untenable.
On the people who have attended protests against Israeli state violence over the last couple of weeks, Estrin writes:
‘if it is anti-Israel it is an easy band-wagon to get on, to get their anti-Israel war-paint on and join their friends between potlucks, veggie smoothies and coffee breaks’.
Seriously, why didn’t he just call them Long Haired Hippy Freaks and have done with it?
On Israel’s military tactics, Estrin writes:
‘Military experts look at Israel’s military strategy: No carpet bombing, no quick actions, but instead pinpoint strikes whilst warning the enemy in advance of what their plans are, and slow movements . . . What other military calls up the enemy on their phone to tell them that their building will be bombed, to kindly leave, yes, you have enough time to leave, just thought it would be the neighbourly thing to do … anyone else in war, and that is what Hamas is calling this time in Gaza, would simply bomb, kill and destroy’.
Once again, research carried out by mainstream human rights organisations belies this claim that the IDF is a profoundly moral army that tries its hardest to avoid inflicting civilian casualties.
On July 16th, Human Rights Watch published a short report documenting how:
‘Israeli air attacks . . . have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war . . . Recent documented cases in Gaza sadly fit Israel’s long record of unlawful airstrikes with high civilian casualties’.
On July 21st, Amnesty International published a short report documenting how:
‘Israel’s continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the shelling of a hospital, add to the list of possible war crimes that demand an urgent independent international investigation’.
Also on July 21st, Medicins Sans Frontieres published a short report documenting how:
‘Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, the majority of the dead and wounded in Gaza are civilians and medical workers are also coming under fire’.
Circa 1,000 Palestinian civilians now lie dead, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and over 100’00 civilians have been displaced. ‘Hell of a pin-point operation’, as John Kerry said.
I am absolutely certain that when international investigators get into Gaza and research these attacks in more detail, they will conclude that Israel has indeed been wilfully targeting civilian infrastructure, and systemically as well, to the extent that both war crimes and Crimes against Humanity have been committed by them.
On ‘Gaza’s’ respect for human life, Estrin writes:
‘And that is it in a nutshell: Whilst Israel does all that is in its power to protect the lives of all its citizens and the lives of those it is attacking, Gaza does all in its power to have all the more die’.
Once again, Estrin is engaged in shameless victim blaming here, and once again he is referring to ‘Gaza’ as a whole. They are trying to get themselves killed in large numbers, see, to make Israel look bad.
But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, as on previous occasions, the claim that Hamas uses Palestinians as ‘human shields’ turns out to be without foundation – Israeli propaganda, in other words.
For example, the BBC’s senior middle east correspondent, Jeremy Bowen, recently wrote in an article for the New Statesman :
‘I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields’.
And as they are doing now, Israeli spokespeople also continually accused Hamas of using ‘human shields’ during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009, but the Goldstone Report found:
‘ . . . no evidence . . . to suggest that Palestinian armed groups either directed civilians to areas where attacks were being launched or that they forced civilians to remain within the vicinity of the attacks’.
They did, however, uncover:
‘ . . . four incidents in which the Israeli armed forces coerced Palestinian civilian men at gunpoint to take part in house searches during the military operations . . . The Mission concludes that this practice amounts to the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields and is therefore prohibited by international humanitarian law’.
So if anything, it is the IDF, and not Hamas, who have form for using Palestinians as ‘human shields’ in this kind of operation.
Only in the bizarro world inhabited by apologists for Israeli state violence is Gaza free from occupation, and Israel keen on ending the settlement enterprise in the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Only in the bizarro world inhabited by apologists for Israeli state violence are Gazans responsible for the ruination of their own economy, and desperate to get themselves killed.
And only in the bizarro world inhabited by apologists for Israeli state violence does the IDF make strenuous efforts to avoid civilian casualties.
In the real world inhabited by the rest of us, the complete opposite is true, and demonstrably so.
Estrin has apparently chosen to firmly ensconce himself in that bizarro world, and its to the detriment of the Green Party of Canada.
Attorneys for a Canadian man who spent a decade detained by the United States military at Guantanamo Bay say details in the Obama administration’s recently released “drone memo” exonerates their client of war crimes.
Omar Khadr was only 15 years old when he was captured by American forces in Afghanistan in 2002 and taken to the Bagram Air Base, then Guantanamo, where he later pleaded guilty to murder in violation of the laws of war — according to military prosecutors, Khadr tossed a grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer.
After being transferred to Canadian custody in 2012, Khadr said he pleaded guilty to war crimes because he was “left with a hopeless choice” of either accepting the charges or risk facing “continued abuse and torture” at the hands of his Gitmo jailers.
But in a recent court filing [PDF], lawyers for Khadr, now 27, say a just-published US Department of Justice memorandum contains information that directly challenges the American government’s case against their client.
Khadr’s attorneys wrote this week that the secret “drone memo” released by the White House last month — the DOJ document that the government relied on to justify the 2010 drone strike in Yemen that killed American citizen and suspected AL-Qaeda member Anwar Al-Awlaki — suggests prosecutors had no place to charge the Canadian teenager with murder in violation of the laws of war after he allegedly killed an American soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan.
The DOJ memo itself was a penned by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in response to the question of whether Central Intelligence Agency officers — who are not members of the US military — can be blamed for war crimes by launching drone strikes. The memo was written in July 2010, and justified the strike that later that year killed Al-Awlaki.
According to a footnote within the memo, released June 24 of this year due to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, “lethal activities conducted in accordance with the laws of war, and undertaken in the course of lawfully authorized hostilities, do not violate the laws of war by virtue of the fact that they are carried out in part by government actors who are not entitled to the combatant’s privilege.”
“That completely blows away one of the major prongs of the government’s theory in all these Guantanamo cases,” Sam Morison, Khadr’s Pentagon-based lawyer, told The Canadian Press during an interview on Wednesday this week.
Although Khadr was charged with violating the “US common law of war” that dates back centuries, his attorneys say the memo concerning CIA drone strikes suggest such legislation simply doesn’t exist.
“The whole purpose…was to evaluate whether the CIA agents were violating the law,” Morison said. “The only reasonable interpretation of that analysis is that there is no such thing (as the common law of war).”
On Monday this week, Morrison and the rest of Khadr’s legal counsel, filed a motion in Guantanamo’s appeals court asking that the conviction against their client be vacated.
“The Americans made up serious charges that they knew were false,” Dennis Edney, a Canadian based lawyer for Khadr, told the Toronto Star this week. “It’s a complete violation of everything we understand about justice.”
Should Khadr’s attorneys succeed, then a number of cases pertaining to current or former Guantanamo detainees accused of war crimes could be called into question. According to Human Rights Watch, however, only six of the 149 detainees at Gitmo face any formal charges — fewer than the number of prisoners who have died while held there in military custody.
The Canadian media is awash with hysteria about what it calls a potential Iranian-sponsored terror attack in Ottawa.
Unsurprisingly, the hype is rooted in baseless innuendo typical of neocon warmongers who act as loudspeakers for the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.
The neoconservative National Post, which is for all intents and purposes an Israeli propaganda organ, published a scurrilous piece on June 16 quoting from alarmist Canadian intelligence reports which state that Iran and Hezbollah (Lebanon’s national resistance movement) may be planning to strike Ottawa.
What evidence do these intelligence analysts proffer to support their slanderous assertions about Iran and Hezbollah? Absolutely none.
The National Post admitted the documents “do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region.”
So they claim there is a “threat” but cannot even specify what that threat is or in what form it may manifest?
“[I]n the past,” the dubious intelligence report continued, “Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally.”
This Zionist rhetoric looks as if it could have been written by Stephen Harper’s “good friend” Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
Despite feeble Zionist disinformation, Iran has not sponsored any international terror attacks. The bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina in 1994, which took the lives of 85 people, is still unsolved. The Zionists immediately pinned the blame for the atrocity on their Iranian and Lebanese foes, offering not one particle of proof. Argentinian researcher Adrian Salbuchi contends that the attack was a false flag operation engineered by the Israeli secret services to swing public opinion against its enemies.
When in late 2013 Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez announced that she would launch a new joint Iranian-Argentinian probe into the 1994 attack, the Zionists went berserk and their mouthpieces in Ottawa and Washington condemned the move to have a real investigation into what happened, for obvious reasons.
Canada’s intelligence services function as a political tool of the neoconservative, pro-Zionist regime in Ottawa led by the rabid Likudnik Harper. As such, their reports about Iran, Hezbollah and anything else related to the Middle East, Arabs and “terrorism” cannot be considered to be anything but propaganda and misdirection designed to serve Israel’s geopolitical agenda.
In his book “Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid,” Canadian foreign policy expert Yves Engler documented the close ties between Canada’s spy agency CSIS and Israel’s spy agency Mossad. The two spook organizations work together closely, sharing intelligence and conducting joint espionage operations targeting Arabs in Canada and abroad. Mossad has often used forged Canadian passports on covert missions (even attempted assassinations), and CSIS has looked the other way.
What may lie behind this latest dose of Iranophobic poison emanating from Ottawa? The National Post says that the Canadian intelligence documents it based its story around are from late 2013, so why promote it now?
Well, a number of events that have unfolded over the past few weeks may explain it.
On June 13 three Israeli teens were allegedly kidnapped from an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The circumstances surrounding the alleged kidnapping are murky. Strangely, nobody has taken credit for the kidnapping nor has anyone demanded a ransom. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the militant Palestinian resistance group Hamas is to blame for the abduction and vowed swift action against it Monday,” reported a June 16 Globe and Mail article.
If Hamas was behind the capture of the three Israelis, surely they would have demanded a prisoner exchange as thousands of Palestinians are unjustly held as political prisoners in Israeli jails. But they have not done this, and as the Globe noted, Hamas has nothing to gain from such a reckless move at this critical juncture when they have just recently formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu called the new Hamas-PA unity government “bad for Israel.”
The only beneficiary of the kidnapping, it seems, is Israel.
Political analyst Kevin Barrett noted in a recent article on Veterans Today that this kidnapping incident may have been staged by Israel as a political stunt to undermine the new Palestinian unity government and to justify a crackdown on Hamas. “How dare the Palestinians unify against us,” the Zionist occupiers are saying to themselves.
Israel’s military chief of staff Benny Gantz has pledged a “broad operation” against Hamas. “Our aim is to find the three boys, bring them home and hurt Hamas as much as possible,” he said. Using the kidnapping incident as a pretext, Israel has arrested more than 160 Palestinians and conducted several air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials are now lusting to re-arrest all 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who were freed in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, reported the Globe.
“Israeli political leaders on the right,” the Globe article continued, “have demanded all sorts of punitive action be taken against Hamas [as a result of the unsolved kidnapping]: some advocate expelling the group’s leaders to Gaza; others want to annex parts of the West Bank… Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted at a return to the practice of targeted killings – assassinations – of Hamas leaders.”
To back up his false flag hypothesis, Kevin Barrett cited a revealing June 15 Haaretz article headlined, “Mossad chief’s chillingly prescient kidnap prophecy.” In the article Israeli journalist Barak Ravid disclosed that, “Ten days ago, at a security cabinet meeting, Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo outlined a scenario spookily similar to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens missing since Thursday night.”
The security meeting in question “dealt with the report of the Shamgar Committee on prisoner exchanges and on the Habayit Hayehudi bill that prohibits granting pardons to terrorists.”
Pardo and his colleagues tried to convince Israeli ministers not to pass the bill, arguing that it would “limit the government’s room for maneuver in future abduction cases, would keep its hands tied, and prevent it from considering other solutions for dealing with a potential crisis.”
“What will you do if in a week three 14-year-old girls will be kidnapped from one of the settlements?” Pardo asked. “Will you say there is a law, and we don’t release terrorists?”
As Haaretz inadvertently demonstrated, Zionists have quite a talent for predicting and foreshadowing future events. In 1979, the founder of Israel’s spy agencies, Isser Harel, predicted 9/11 with amazing precision, telling an Evangelical Zionist named Michael Evans over dinner that “Islamic fundamentalists” would eventually strike New York City’s “tallest building.”
Zionist neocons of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think-tank spoke of a “New Pearl Harbour” that would facilitate their militarist foreign policy objectives exactly one year before the planes hit the twin towers in New York in 2001.
Israeli dirty tricks of this nature are nothing new. Shortly after 9/11, the Israelis were caught red-handed establishing a fake al-Qaeda cell in Gaza. Ariel ‘the butcher’ Sharon attempted to use the existence of the counterfeit “terror cell” as a pretext to bomb the beleaguered coastal enclave. “Israel ‘faked al-Qaeda presence’,” noted a Dec. 2002 BBC headline, which unveiled Israel’s deception.
A Sept. 10, 2001, Washington Times report also shed light on Israel’s penchant for ruthlessness and deception. Reporting on the content of a US Army study on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Times article quoted the study’s authors who stated that Israel is “known to disregard international law to accomplish mission.” The US Army analysts were even more blunt in their assessment of Israel’s Mossad, characterizing the rogue agency as a “ruthless and cunning” wildcard that is “[capable of targeting] U.S. forces” and making it “look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”
Knowing Israel’s sordid history of false flags and dirty tricks, one would be foolhardy to dismiss the possibility that the “kidnapping” scandal that has unfolded over the past few days is yet another Machiavellian stage-play designed to derail Palestine’s unity government and expedite Israel’s expansionist aims.
With Syria and Iraq being overrun by bloodthirsty Western-backed mercenaries and brutes, Israel sees an opportunity to push forward with its imperialist schemes to neutralize Palestinian resistance to the occupation.
Ottawa’s ratcheting up of anti-Iranian hysteria at this conspicuous time can only be seen as a gesture of support for Tel Aviv’s campaign of terror in Gaza and the West Bank, deflecting international attention from the Israeli cuckoo in the nest.
Since 2010, I have been Press TV’s Canadian correspondent based in Calgary, Alberta. I have been forced by the actions and statements of Canada’s ruling neoconservatives to hone in on the role Zionists and the organized Jewish community play in Canadian society.
Canada’s current government has shifted this country from being a comparatively benign and peaceful nation to being a warmongering de facto colony of Israel. I believe the evidence suggests this didn’t just happen by accident; the Zionization of Canada was a carefully planned, well-oiled operation.
If I was wrong in my analyses of the interface between Canada’s government and pro-Israel forces, I believe I would have been invited on one of the many Zionist-controlled media organs here, debated by some high-IQ Zionist intellectual and exposed as erroneous and foolish. I believe it is because we at Press TV are accurate in our analyses of Canadian power and politics that a segment of the organized Jewish community has decided to turn to coercion.
I would like to make available an email I received from the Jewish Defense League, a group described in an FBI report entitled “Terrorism 2000/2001” as a “violent extremist organization:”
In the middle of the last century, Jews had no right or means of response when they were demonised, persecuted and attacked by your ideological soulmates. Today, the world is a very different place. When we are attacked by hate-filled antisemites like you, we respond with all the resources at our disposal, and with extreme prejudice.
You clearly enjoy indulging your pathological hatred of Jews, but there are three things that you should remember: The code that we live by is ‘never again'; our loathing of those who incite hatred against Jews is stronger than their hatred of us; we didn’t choose you as an enemy, you chose us.”
There are several fallacies committed in this unpleasant email. Firstly, I am not a “hate-filled anti-Semite.” I define Anti-Semitism as an “irrational hatred of all Jews generically.” You have to dislike all Jews and irrationally so to qualify as an Anti-Semite in my book. I merely oppose the actions, arguments and assumptions of those Jews who are oppressors, warmongers, apologists for Israel and proponents of a Zionist exeptionalist police state, etc. Some Jews agree with me, some almost agree with me and others evidently hate me. Either way, criticizing those in power, regardless of their ethnicity, is a natural right which I embrace zealously.
Unlike the JDL, who claim they intend to act with “extreme prejudice” against me, I’m guided by post-judice insofar as my conclusions are derived from an analysis of the factual record. My analyses are rational, logical and evidence based. Evidence emerged of Israeli involvement in 9/11 and then I deduced that Israel conducts false-flag terrorism against the US. The evidence came first, then my conclusion.
Equally misguided is to characterize my alleged “hatred of Jews” as “pathological.” The usage of psychoanalytic verbiage to quash criticism of Jews is the product of Sigmund Freud and members of the Frankfurt School, Jewish thinkers who popularized their ethnocentric doctrines in the first half of the 20th Century. By describing my criticism of certain Jews as “pathological,” the writer of the email exempts himself from addressing the content of my criticisms. If my criticisms are the product of a psychopathology, then they have no relation to the real world and thus need not be addressed. How convenient.
Some academicians and law experts have advised me to take this threatening email to the authorities here in Canada. However, I am intuitively averse to having the state decide which emails are good and which are bad. I’d rather engage in debate and dialogue with my interlocutors. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that Canada’s current regime would ever prosecute Jewish ethnic activists like the members of the JDL. That would be in contravention of the Jewish-exceptionalist ideology that seemingly governs this country at the present time.
The Canadian state has defenestrated the values of British Common Law that once guided Canadian society (such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, adversarial argumentation, habeas corpus and freedom of movement) in favor of the eliminationist ideology of Jewish exceptionalism. Critics of Jews find themselves arrested for “hate speech” or “inciting genocide” and non-Canadian citizens are barred from the country or deported.
For example, it has now been demonstrated that Canada’s ruling neoconservatives barred pro-Palestinian peace activist and parliamentarian George Galloway from Canada in 2009 at the behest of the JDL. This is one reason I don’t fear the JDL per se; there was a time when they had no political clout and thus had to actively engage in their own thuggery and aggression toward those whose perspectives they sought to suppress. Now they have Canada’s MPs and politicized police forces at their disposal to do their dirty work for them. If Mr. Galloway had turned up at the Canadian border in mid-2009, the police would have arrested and incarcerated the six-times-elected British MP, based on lobbying efforts by the JDL. In this epoch, the JDL can sit back and let Israel’s client regime in Ottawa do all the work.
The extent of the Zionization of Canada is revealed by the very presence of the JDL in this country. The militant organization is reportedly proscribed in the US and in many EU countries. In spite of this, periodically Meir Weinstein, leader of the JDL in Canada, pops up on our TV screens as if he is a moderate Canadian political pundit. Quite what the members of the JDL contribute to Canadian society other than aggressive censoriousness and ethnic tension is unclear.
In 1995 German ethnic-activist and historian Ernst Zundel had his house firebombed by Zionist terrorists who disagreed with his historical conclusions. A group called the Jewish Armed Resistance Movement claimed responsibility for the attack but the Toronto Star later claimed that the group had ties to the JDL. Instead of locking up those aggressors who arrogated to themselves the right to revoke Mr. Zundel’s freedom of speech and destroy his property, the police incarcerated Zundel under so-called anti-terrorism legislation, which was later found to be unconstitutional.
Another falsehood in the email is the claim that “we didn’t choose you as an enemy, you chose us.” I grew up in a philo-Semitic household with holidays to Israel and visits to Auschwitz (and I’m not even Jewish!). It was primarily Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians and proven involvement in false flag attacks on Western countries that spurred me to voice criticism of certain Jews. Within recent days, Australia’s former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has confirmed that Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in June 1967. Is he a “pathological” “antisemite” too?
So, to repeat, my conclusions are post-judicial not prejudicial (I actually pre-judged Jews favorably). The Zionists want to use countries like Britain, Canada and the US as playthings to advance Israeli geopolitical goals, expending the blood and treasure of us stupid goyim rather than that of Jews. Certain Zionist fanatics in my view declared war on my historically philo-Semitic people not vice-versa.
I’m keen to engage in dialogue with my detractors. It seems because I have the moral high ground and evidence on my side that some Zionists are now resorting to coercion to silence me.
In my view, the pen is mightier than the sword. The JDL should take a leaf out of my book instead of trying to eliminate anybody who criticizes them and their fellow Zionist ideologues.
The exhibit is an opportunity for Canadians to view imagery that captures the humanity of a real situation (Public ART/Facebook)
The woman behind the exhibit is artist Rehab Nazzal, a Canadian citizen born in Jenin, an historic town located in Palestine in a territory under occupation since 1967. Nazzal’s exhibit of 1700 photographic images along with four short videos, were collected by her over the fourteen years. Segments of these images depict life in the experience of occupation.
Nazzal’s premise of this collection is based on the idea that people leave traces of their existence and the traces in this case are part of the collective memory of occupied Palestine. Not being the first time this collection has been exhibited, it was also featured in Toronto at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival 2013.
Stumbling across the exhibit at Ottawa’s City Hall in the Karsh-Masson Gallery, the Israeli Ambassador to Canada felt that such an exhibit should prohibited. The Ambassador operating outside of his mission, met with Mayor Jim Watson and Deputy City Manager Steven Kanellakos of the City of Ottawa, to demand closure of the exhibit, stating it “glorified terrorism”. Somehow in the unidentified 1700 images and four videos, the Ambassador was able to single out seven individuals he described as terrorists.
The 4th Geneva Convention that Israel and Canada are signatories as well as the Hague Regulations, provides that people under occupation have the right to resist their occupiers. Palestinians are in a situation where they are resisting occupation. The Israeli government and their representatives dispute this occupation in spite of the presence of its military. Terrorism terminology by Israel has become so common and so pervasive that many inside and outside of Israel perceive Palestinians as terrorists – a racist generalization that is pejorative and isolating.
Nazzal’s work reveals human cost of military violence and war, and it is not a call for more human loss, contrary to the Ambassador’s allegations. It is a catalog of Palestinian history, creativity and expression for Forgotten Survivors; a lament for their homeland; and sadness for those who have died in a long hopeless conflict. Her work is a strong counter-narrative articulated creatively using visual vocabulary, transforming the oppressive tools of Israel and its discriminatory policies into elements of hope and life. Her political art communicates messages of dignity and liberation and has undoubtedly inspired many, not just Arabs but non-Arabs as well. The strong media attention certainly indicates that her message is worthy of consideration and appreciation.
Not satisfied with the responses from the Canadian public and City of Ottawa, the Ambassador has escalated his inflammatory language including allegations of “blood libel” and descriptors such as “child murderers”. Is this the role of a foreign diplomat to Canada? His call on Jewish groups to demand action is of great concern. Individuals who have yet to see the exhibit but have read the Ambassador’s false and inflammatory statements, are responding through promotion of these false allegations in blogs, emails to City Hall and online comments. Canadians are being presented with a bias that perpetuates this terrorism label.
The Israeli suppression of the Palestinian narrative appears to now be officially part of the Canadian art and political stream of understanding. It has no place nor is it appropriate. Instead of approaching the situation as an ethnic denial of people, that would appear racist to Canadians, the Ambassador of Israel instead invokes falsely the understandably reactionary term – terrorist.
Censorship of art, especially political art has a history associated with oppressive regimes. Artists in Canada of all faiths, backgrounds and cultures have the full right to artistic expression as granted by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Therefore uncensored artists are able to explore difficult themes; which is a victory for democracy and freedom of expression.
Realizing that Mayor Watson and his staff have stood by the Charter, the Ambassador requested that Mayor Watson review the process of selecting future art exhibitions at the Karsh-Masson Gallery. This is also censorship. Does this mean future exhibitions could be at risk? That the City of Ottawa should influence the selection panel of professional artists? Do we want elected politicians interfering with these processes, and especially at the behest of a foreign country and its diplomatic body?
The situation is of concern to Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and other ethnic minority artists who may not be featured by galleries across Canada due to the fear of facing the public wrath of Jewish groups and/or the Israeli government. As Canadians, we don’t want to be controlled in how our art is expressed.
We know from the history of others, that when governments and special interest groups control the message of art, that in many cases, target groups who are censored are in danger of future marginalization. In Europe in the 1930’s a number of countries excelled in this practice further legitimizing their hateful actions against minorities, including Roma and Jews. For some countries this was the beginning of their marginalization process against an ethnic minority. Canada must uphold its values for this reason as our laws and freedoms are for everybody, and not to be denied for a specified group, especially under pressure from an outside country.
The exhibit created by Nazzal is an opportunity for Canadians to view imagery that captures the humanity of a real situation. People are not exploited in their suffering or celebrations, they are living an experience that is untold by the media and has been for as much as four decades.
To be Palestinian is not anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli. In actuality it is a culture that is centuries old in its cuisine, dance, literature, art, architecture, music, costume and other elements we all embrace in our own.
Canada, a country of hundreds of cultures, cannot be part and parcel of this type of denial, and should not be afraid in embracing its citizens. Removing this show would set a precedence that would allow one group at odds with another group to demand censorship in the Canadian milieu. Influencing selection committees of art galleries, are creating the environment of fearing to present a Palestinian artist would also be an act of censorship and stifling our right to the freedom of expression. This is not a Canada we want.
- Rana Abdulla is a Canadian professional accountant, living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Shawn Robinson is a Canadian artist in graphic design and creative writing. She lives in Ottawa.
For full version of these videos, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
You are missed
© 2012, Rehab Nazzal
A Canadian proposal that calls for a nuclear waste storage facility less than a mile away from the Great Lakes is coming under heavy fire from Michigan lawmakers and environmental groups, who are now attempting to stop the project.
Under a plan crafted by energy supplier Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the company would construct a “deep geologic repository” (DGR), which would feature waste storage sites more than 2,200 feet underground to store nearly 53 million gallons of both low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste. The location of the proposed site, however – in Kincardine, Ontario, just three-quarters of a mile away from Lake Huron – has drawn criticism from numerous groups who fear potential contamination.
The fact that Lake Huron is connected to all the other Great Lakes via waterways has also drawn concern, since the five bodies of water make up the largest collection of freshwater lakes on the Earth and provide drinking supplies to tens of millions of Americans and Canadians.
According to the Detroit News, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have continued criticizing the plan, and are now proposing legislation that calls on the federal government to get involved. In addition to requesting that President Obama stake out a position on the issue, state Senate and House members are asking Secretary of State John Kerry to officially ask the International Joint Commission – established to mediate disputes over the Great Lakes – to rule on the matter.
The legislation would also “stop the importation of radioactive waste into Michigan from Canada.”
“Building a nuclear waste dump less than a mile from one of the largest freshwater sources in the world is a reckless act that should be universally opposed,” Michigan Rep. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township) said in a statement Monday, as quoted by the Huffington Post.
While lawmakers continue to get involved in the situation – Michigan’s Senators in Washington have also urged the State Department to bring the IJC into the debate – environmental groups have come out against the plan.
“Burying nuclear waste a quarter-mile from the Great Lakes is a shockingly bad idea — it poses a serious threat to people, fish, wildlife, and the lakes themselves,” said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center, in a statement to the Detroit News.
Notably, the proposed plan has garnered the support of most Kincardine residents and other neighboring communities, many of whom have jobs within the nuclear industry.
For its part, OPG has maintained that its facility would be a safe place to store radioactive material such as rags, mop heads, paper towels, clothing, and more. According to the Associated Press, the low-level material the company plans to bury beneath the earth would decay in 300 years, while the intermediate-level material – described as “resins, filters, and used reactor components” – would take more than 100,000 years to decay.
Despite the company’s confidence, however, one former OPG scientist recently looked at the plan and came away unconvinced, saying the radioactivity of the materials that would be buried has been “seriously underestimated.” Dr. Frank Greening wrote to the Canadian panel charged with reviewing the proposal, arguing the material is sometimes 100 times more radioactive than estimated. In some cases, the material is 600 times more radioactive.
“My first feeling was, look, you messed up the most basic first step in establishing the safety of this facility, namely, how much radioactive waste they’re going to be putting in the ground, you admit you got that wrong, but now you’re telling me that everything else is okay,” Greening told Michigan Radio, according to Huffington Post. “You can’t just fluff off this error as one error. It raises too many questions about all your other numbers. And I’m sorry, I now have lost faith in what you’re doing.”
Asked about Greening’s findings, OPG spokesman Neal Kelly told the Toronto Star the facility would still be safe even if the evidence bears out.
“Some of his points are valid, and were already under review within OPG for future revisions to the waste inventory,” he said, adding the DGR’s design is “very, very conservative… The safety case would still be strong, even if these factors were to bear out.”
CBC Fifth Estate’s 1991 documentary titled “Canada Park; Park with No Peace”