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‘Europe is lost’: Barcelona’s chief rabbi urges Jews to move to Israel

RT | August 19, 2017

In the aftermath of this week’s terrorist attacks in Barcelona, the city’s chief rabbi has warned his community that Jews in the region are doomed because of the threat of radical Islam.

At least 14 people were killed and over 100 injured in two separate terrorist attacks in Barcelona and the nearby coastal town of Cambrils. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack on Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

“I tell my congregants: Don’t think we’re here for good, and I encourage them to buy property in Israel,” Rabbi Meir Bar-Hen said in an interview with Jewish news agency JTA.

“This place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better [get out] early than late.”

Bar-Hen said the attacks highlighted the presence of a large Muslim community with “radical fringes” in the region, and alleged Spanish authorities are reluctant to confront Islamist terrorism.

The rabbi cited the recent decision to allow Palestinian Leila Khaled to enter Spain for a book festival as apparent evidence of his claim. Khaled was involved in high-profile airplane hijackings in 1969 and 1970.

The rabbi, who was keen to stress that he was speaking in a private capacity and not on behalf of the community, also said this applied more widely to Europe as a whole.

“Europe is lost,” he concluded.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain appear not to share Bar-Hen’s pessimistic outlook. The organization issued a statement Thursday, saying: “Spanish Jews trust the State Security Corps that work daily to prevent radical fanatics and Islamists from sowing chaos and pain in our cities.”

The group also urged politicians to “deal intelligently and determinedly with the struggle against fanaticism and in favor of freedom and democracy.”

August 19, 2017 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to Impose Fines for Commemoration of Nakba

IMEMC News & Agencies – August 17, 2017

Israeli occupation authorities are prepared to impose massive fines on Palestinians who commemorate the Israeli occupation of Palestine, a report revealed on Tuesday.

An Arab member of the Knesset said, according to Days of Palestine, that occupation authorities have decided to fine institutions which rent out space for events organized by non-Jewish citizens, which the state regards as illegal.

“The Israeli measure is against the simplest basics of democracy and free speech,” explained Jamal Zahalkeh MK. “It is racist because it targets Arab citizens and their institutions.”

On Sunday, the Israeli Culture and Sport Minister, Miri Regev, and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit met and agreed on how to implement the so-called “Nakba Law” which first surfaced in 2011.

It stipulates that any institution in receipt of government funds will be fined up to three times of the said funds if it rejects Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state; incites racism, violence or terrorism; supports armed resistance or terrorist acts against Israel; or commemorates Israel’s “independence day” as Palestinian Nakba Day.

Israel Hayom said that Regev asked for the meeting after reports about an event hosted by a Jaffa theatre in honor of former Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, who was indicted for smuggling telephones to Palestinian security prisoners.

Regev and Mendelblit, the newspaper said, agreed that complaints about alleged violations of the Nakba Law, by public institutions, would be passed on to the finance ministry, which would have a week to respond on whether a given incident in fact violates the law.

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli army restrict international access to Kafr Qaddum during confrontation

International Solidarity Movement | August 17, 2017

Kafr Qaddum, occupied Palestine – Israeli occupation forces blocked international access to Kafr Qaddum on Saturday, before apparently attacking Palestinian demonstrators for the second time in two days.

Israeli force searching Palestinian cars

The Israeli military set up a road block at the entrance to the village, which has seen weekly demonstrations for several years, searching cars and checking IDs. Internationals who attempted to enter were detained for three hours with their passports confiscated. No reason was given for their detention, other than that the village was ‘dangerous’.

Israeli forces inspecting Palestinian cars

Kafr Qaddum, a small town in the Nablus area, has seen biweekly demonstrations for 6 years, since Israel blocked off their main access to Nablus in order to facilitate settler travel. The roadblock has doubled the length of journeys into Nablus, including for ambulances which are forced to take a 13km detour.

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment

Artists boycott Israel sponsored festival in Germany

MEMO | August 16, 2017

Four artists have cancelled their scheduled performances at an international festival in Berlin citing the festival’s partnership with the Israeli embassy and their support for the Palestinian call for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Pop-Kultur festival, which is due to take place in Berlin next week, is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors. While the two-day event also boasts over 30 sponsors including several internationally recognised brands, Israel appears to be the only foreign country taking a keen interest.

Tunisian singer-songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, one of the four to cancel their performance, said in a statement posted on Facebook yesterday that she “was looking forward to playing until [I] realised the festival was sponsored by Israeli embassy”. The musician went on to say: “As things get tougher inside and outside Palestine, what each one of us can always do is show solidarity and empathy, as artists it starts by being true and faithful.”

Announcing their cancellation, the Egyptian group Islam Chipsy said on Monday that they had cancelled their performance because of the participation of the Israeli embassy. The group posted on Facebook that they wanted to make it clear that their music seeks to “resist violence, persecution and discrimination of any kind against each other”.

Mohammad Abu Hajar of the Mazzaj Rap Band, who was previously jailed in Syria for his activism, explained why his group had cancelled its appearance last week:

It did not take us a minute to know what we had to do; we will not participate in a festival that accepts the partnership with an embassy representing a state and a government – led by right-wing party Likud and Netanyahu – which openly declared on many different occasions anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and anti-Black attitudes.

“Given this and its perpetration of all previous government’s colonial behaviour, we understand the partnership with an embassy as an attempt to whitewash the image of its government and an endorsement of its behaviour.”

Abu Hajar went on to say that the festival cannot achieve its stated aim of bringing artists from different backgrounds together on one stage under such conditions. “Our stand is not against a culture, but resistance against a discriminatory, colonial government,” he added. “It is not merely an opinion that we disagree with, but a whole set of oppressive structures, manifesting themselves in the policies of the Israeli state.”

Syrian DJ and producer Hello Psychaleppo, the third artist to cancel, said on Monday that at the time he agreed to take part in the festival over a couple of months ago, he was not aware that the Israeli embassy was amongst the sponsors of the event.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) welcomed the cancellations saying in a statement released yesterday: “[PACBI] salutes the artists who have cancelled their participation in Pop-Kultur to protest Israel’s sponsorship.”

As in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, a regime of oppression and racism should never be welcomed in cultural spaces claiming to advocate for openness, inclusion and human rights.

PACBI, a founding member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) National Committee, went on to condemn Pop-Kultur’s acceptance of Israel’s sponsorship describing the decision as “a conscious act of complicity in whitewashing Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid”.

Pop-Kultur responded to the string of cancellations in a statement yesterday to confirm that the four artists had cancelled their performances at this year’s festival due to its partnership with the Israeli embassy. They also confirmed that the Israeli embassy “partly contributes to the travel expenses for artists performing at the festival”.

Meanwhile, Artists for Palestine UK (APUK) published an open letter addressed to UK musicians scheduled to perform at Pop-Kultur calling on them to withdraw from the event.

“When you signed up to play Berlin Pop-Kultur, you possibly didn’t know that the Israeli embassy in Germany was a sponsor. Maybe you also don’t know that Palestinian civil society, living under Israeli military occupation or in exile, is appealing to artists not to take part in events sponsored by the state of Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinians’ long struggle for rights and freedom.”

“But now that you do know, will you follow the example of the musicians who have withdrawn from Pop-Kultur in the past few days?”

APUK, whose pledge to uphold the cultural boycott of Israel has been signed by more than 1,200 UK artists continued:

You have the power to tell the Palestinians they are not alone under occupation and in exile. Please use your power. Please withdraw from Berlin Pop-Kultur.

Pop-Kultur is one of several cultural festivals which the Israeli embassy has been keen to support. The Edinburgh Fringe, one of the UK’s major festivals, also partnered with the Israeli embassy. Critics say that under the banner of coexistence and cultural cooperation Israel is trying to whitewash its brutal occupation of Palestine and the long list of human rights abuses committed by its occupying forces against the Palestinians.

Read also: Palestinians protest Radiohead’s support for ‘apartheid’ Israel

August 16, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s Chorus Sings Again

Less than total loyalty to Israel is un-American

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • August 15, 2017

Congress is on a one-month summer recess. You would think that given the recent turmoil over the bill to eliminate Obamacare and the upcoming debate over tax policy the nation’s legislators would be back in their home districts talking to the voters. Some are, but many are not. “More than fifty” Congressmen are off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to demonstrate that “there is no stronger bond with any ally we have.” Yes indeed, a congress which cannot pass legislation to benefit the American people finds that it has only one voice when it comes to our troublesome little client state that also doubles as the leading recipient of U.S. tax dollars in the world.

How do they do it? They do it by relentless courting of the congress critters and media talking heads, all of whom know how to repay a favor. Some readers might be asking how Congress (spouses included) can accept these free trips from a foreign government? The current trip is estimated to be costing $10,000 per person. Well, the answer is that they can’t do it directly, which would be illegal, so the clever rascals at the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have created an “charitable” foundation that pays the bills. It’s called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF is a tax exempt 501(c)3 foundation that had income of more than $80 million in 2015. As it is tax exempt that means that its activities are, in effect, being subsidized by the U.S. Treasury so the congressmen are being “charitably educated” while they are also being wined and dined and propagandized in part on the taxpayers’ dime. A couple of the congress critters hardly hit the ground before they were singing the praises of their hosts, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy crooning “We have shared values! Shared security interests! No stronger bond!” And plenty of feel-good all around as Israel is “The Only Democracy in the Middle East!”

Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who has had his head up the Israeli derriere for decades, was also quick on the uptake, enthusing how support for Israel is completely bipartisan, “We are not here as Democrats and Republicans, we are here as Americans who support Israel’s security, its sovereignty and the safety of its people.” And as if it is not enough to go around bragging how one is subordinating U.S. sovereignty to that of Israel, the gnomes are hard at work back at home preparing to pass into law the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which will criminalize for many Americans their First Amendment right to criticize Israel, and a completely bipartisan bit of new legislation being pushed by the Israeli government that will take away aid currently given to the Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to provide subsidies to help support the families of those individuals being held prisoner by the Israelis. As most aid actually goes towards training Palestinian security forces that are intended to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, the bill is as wrong-headed as can be, but it just goes to show how far Congress will go to punish Arabs on behalf of Israel.

And finally there has been a series of Israel-centric attacks on leading members of the Trump Administration. A month ago, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2016. The report, as always, describes threats of violence in the Middle East from an Israeli perspective, but it was honest enough to also include two sentences that state that “Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians… and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive. The PA has [also] taken significant steps… to not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”

B’nai B’rith immediately blasted the report for “parroting the false Palestinian narrative” and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resign because the report was “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel hating, error ridden.” ZOA went on to praise the co-chairman of the Republican Israel Caucus, Congressman Peter Roskam for demanding that the State Department correct the “numerous mischaracterizations” in the report.

Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is “less hard” on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.

Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his “loyalty” to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the “speed and intensity” of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic, which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.

It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as “deeply hostile to Israel.” She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.

McMaster’s other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump’s recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick’s sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick’s point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.

We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.

So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.

August 15, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lebanese Hezbollah leader says Israel not able to wage new war on Lebanon

Press TV – August 13, 2017

The Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement says Israel is not able to launch a new war on Lebanon, because it knows that Hezbollah is much more powerful than 2006 and any such war would cost Tel Aviv dearly.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in a speech on the anniversary of Israel’s defeat in the 33-day military onslaught against Lebanon back in the summer of 2006.

During his speech, Nasrallah noted that the main reason behind the victory of Hezbollah fighters in the war with Israel was their patience, steadfastness, valor and faith.

Stressing the rise in Hezbollah’s power since the war in 2006, Nasrallah noted that the resistance group is ready to counter any further act of aggression, warning that in case of new Israeli aggression, Israel will face a 100 times tougher response than the one its forces saw during the 2006 war.

Nasrallah added that Israeli analysts were still analyzing the results of that war, because it destroyed their self-confidence and they have admitted to their defeat in the summer war in 2006.

Everything that Israelis say about the power of Hezbollah is because of their defeat in summer 2006 war, Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah chief stated that Israelis wanted to destroy Hezbollah, but after 11 years, they say Hezbollah has become stronger and more powerful and this shows that they have failed to achieve the goals they pursued through 2006 war.

Elsewhere in his speech, Nasrallah explained that Hezbollah only fights outside the Lebanese borders and will not use force in domestic developments of the country.

He added that in return for its victories, Hezbollah does not seek personal, party, or tribal interests, noting that today, the resistance movement is more powerful than ever and the enemy has reached the conclusion that any new aggression against Lebanon will be very costly.

Rejecting any chance of a new Israeli aggression against Lebanon, Nasrallah noted that the time of toying with Lebanon is over and Israelis themselves have owned up to the high cost of such a war and have said that war with Lebanon should not take place.

They wanted to crush the resistance in 2006 war, but they failed to achieve this goal, Nasrallah said.

The Hezbollah chief added that not only Israel, but all those parties which seek to crush Hezbollah at the present time will fail to achieve this goal.

Nasrallah said that due to its inability to wage new war on Lebanon, Israel wants to collectively punish the entire Lebanese nation, and it is putting high pressure on the administration of US President Donald Trump, but they will fail to achieve anything as in the past.

About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives during Israel’s 33-day war on Lebanon back in the summer of 2006.

According to the 629-page Winograd Report by the Israeli regime itself, Hezbollah fighters involved in defending Lebanon against the Israeli war defeated the enemy and Tel Aviv was compelled to withdraw without having achieved any of its objectives.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the 2006 war, calls on Israel to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network on Jul 14, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sayyed Hashem Safieddine stated that the resistance movement will “surprise” Israel in any future war, relying on its enhanced military capabilities.

Safieddine stressed that Hezbollah has been changing and developing new military capabilities, and Israeli reports on Hezbollah’s weaponry are “inaccurate as the enemy intelligence agencies can never reach veracious data in this context.”

August 13, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel to occupy Africa

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets people during his arrival at James Spriggs Payne Airport in Monrovia, Liberia on 4 June 2017 [Prime Ministry of Israel/Anadolu Agency]
By Helmi Al-Asmar | Al-Araby Al-Jadeed* | August 10, 2017

With the exception of the popular efforts made by the Conference for Palestinians Abroad to hinder the rabid Israeli efforts to hold a major conference next October entitled the Israeli-African Summit in Togo, we have barely seen any official or popular Arab efforts in this direction. This is despite the great danger posed by convening such a summit, which Israel has been laying the foundations for for several years, in light of the almost complete absence of the Arabs, which is an unprecedented development in Israel’s tireless efforts to bypass the wide wall of isolation and moral rejection it faces in Africa. It aims to present itself as a trusted partner for the continent’s nations.

The Conference for Palestinians Abroad viewed this summit, rightly so, as an insult to the struggles of the African nations and a disregard for their generations’ fair fight for liberation from colonisation and racism. It is also an attempt on the occupation government’s part to portray itself as a trusted partner for the African countries in order to fabricate its reality. It is not coming to Africa in order to spread love and unity, but instead aims to make Africa a market for the lethal products it produces and a place to export its mercenaries to help the dictators of the continent.

This is despite the fact that the African nations’ true interests and their efforts towards sustainable development, prosperity and growth do not align with the colonial racist occupation government in Palestine, given its record of hostility and terrorism. This is documented by several international and independent reports, including the ESCWA report regarding the escalations of the Israeli apartheid policies issued this year.

In addition to this, Israel, which commits war crimes, mass killings, flagrant violations and intimidation methods, as well as confiscates the Palestinian people’s land and resources and sponsors illegal extremist settler gangs, does not have the right to be a partner to developing nations seeking advancement, prosperity and the combat of terrorism.

The efforts of the Conference for Palestinians Abroad are focused on mobilising governments, official and popular institutions, parties, civil society organisations, public figures, community leaders and the media across Africa and the entire world, in order to rally the efforts against the Israeli government’s actions. These actions are an attempt on Israel’s part to promote itself in the continent in a misleading manner, ignoring the principles of justice, the peoples’ rights and international laws and conventions. The conference summoned its efforts and began taking action, contacting concerned parties, especially the influential forces in the African nations in order to confront Israel’s attempts of exploitation and deception.

These are commendable efforts but of course they are not enough to stop this hateful and racist emergence in Africa. Putting an end to the conference is the duty of all African countries, organisations, committees, and people specifically, and generally the duty of the Arab and Muslim countries. This is because Israel’s presence in the continent will not be in the best interest of the African people, but rather in Israel’s interest as it exports death, mercenaries and tyranny to all the countries of the world. It also supports the totalitarian regimes that commit the ugliest forms of aggression, looting and pillage. Therefore, resisting this conference and sabotaging it by all means available is the duty of all nations on Earth.

It is worth mentioning in this regard that the only Arab action against the convention of this summit was by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, during his visit to Khartoum in July 2016. In his meeting with Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, Abbas raised the issue of developing the Arab strategy in the African continent and cooperating in order to stop Israel’s attempts to achieve a breakthrough in Africa.

We do not expect Sudan or the PA to do anything now, as it is too late and their political/diplomatic capabilities are limited. Moreover, their problems and misfortunes are too many to count, according to the former Egyptian Ambassador to Angola, Sao Tome and Niger, Belal Al-Masry, who, in an important article published on the Democratic Arab Centre website, listed five reasons why the Israeli summit in Africa is dangerous. These points should be considered and reflected upon, the most important of which is the fact that the conference’s purpose is to restore and develop the African voting bloc in order to use it to support Israel’s international status.

Israel views the countries of the African continent as a voting bloc consisting of at least 50 votes. This was confirmed by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seven African leaders with whom he met in Rwanda in July 2016. He also reiterated this in his speech to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Monrovia in June 2017. Hence, his statement regarding Israel having a bright future in the UN during his speech before the UN General Assembly at its regular session in September 2016, wasn’t too far from the truth. He also stated that his main diplomatic goal was to stop the African states from automatically voting against Israel at the UN and that the day he would achieve this isn’t too far. Therefore, holding the Israeli summit in Africa will mark the end of the Egyptian and Arab role, in general, in Africa and Israel will join the international forces competing for influence in the African continent. These countries include China, the United States, France, India, Russia, Iran and recently, Turkey.

It is not an overstatement to say that the Israeli conference in Togo will pave the way for Israel to reoccupy Africa, or at least a large part of it, politically, economically and militarily. This will further strengthen Israel’s international and regional standing and increase the suffering of the Palestinian people, who are paying the price for the fragmentation of the Arab system and their preoccupation with resisting the effects of the Arab Spring revolutions.

*Translation by MEMO

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

OAS Chief Almagro Praises Israel, Condemns Venezuela

teleSur | August 10, 2017

Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro used his one-day visit to Israel to condemn Venezuela’s leftist government while expressing “pride that Israel is a friend of the Americas,” praising what he called Tel Aviv’s record of respecting human rights and democracy.

The tour seemed less like the diplomacy of a “supra-president” representing the Western Hemisphere, and more like a roadshow for the OAS chief to reiterate Trump administration talking points.

“As friends, Israel and the Americas share key values such as democracy and human rights. We have opportunities to learn from each other,” he told a gathering of World Jewish Congress members in Jerusalem. Despite Tel Aviv’s globally unrecognized claims that the ancient city is its “national capital,” Jerusalem remains under illegal occupation.

The themes of democracy and human rights were repeated multiple times by the secretary-general during his time with Israeli officials, usually in such contexts as “Israeli … our essential partner in the Middle East — due to its commitment to democracy and to human rights.”

Israeli authorities face routine criticism from world legal bodies like the U.N. for their disregard of human rights standards, especially in their discriminatory treatment of the Palestinian population.

“Israel is a democratic state in which the institutions function,” Almagro told Haaretz. “The functionality of institutions and the balance of powers are fundamental for us and are the paradigm of the health of a democracy.”

Israeli institutions systematically deny the people of Palestine their right to self-determination, imposing stringent restrictions on their movement, travel, and trade. Israeli security forces have been criticized by rights organizations for resorting to excessive force, including extrajudicial killings, on a regular basis, while unarmed Palestinian demonstrators — adults and children — face imprisonment, torture, and abuse for taking part in protests against occupation activities. The construction of massive settlements deep in the occupied West Bank likewise is illegal under international law.

Almagro’s tone jars dramatically with his opinion five years ago as foreign minister of Uruguay, admitting in an interview that he voted on U.N. resolutions condemning Israeli settlements and human rights violations “with both hands” while arguing that the Israeli occupation’s crimes were irrefutable from a legal standpoint.

On the subject of Venezuela, Almagro struck an emphatic tone consistent with his prior calls to remove the country’s government through “regime change” efforts.

“It is a dictatorship, there’s no other definition for Venezuela today,” Almagro told Israeli daily Haaretz.

Seemingly oblivious to the irony in his words, he then condemned the left for having “flinched on democracy and human rights” in the South American nation.

Opining about U.S. unilateral sanctions on Venezuela, Almagro said, “no country feels comfortable in this situation … but that does not mean the sanctions don’t hit hard and hit those specific places that most affect the regime.”

Since becoming secretary-general of the OAS, Almagro has become a partisan of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, railing against alleged abuses by the “ruling regime” and issuing thousands of tweets against the Bolivarian government, accompanied by calls for foreign intervention in the country.

In contrast, Almagro has been relatively silent in respect to the Western Hemisphere’s most pressing human rights crises — such as the Mexican government’s crackdowns on social movements resisting neoliberal structural reforms, assassinations of social movement leaders and paramilitary attacks on rural and Indigenous communities throughout Latin America, and the parliamentary coup against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

The OAS chief’s contradictory messages underscore Bolivian President Evo Morales’ description of Almagro’s “submission to the North American empire.”

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli settlers torch cars, vandalize property during attack on Ramallah-area village

Ma’an – August 9, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Israeli settlers set fire to two Palestinian-owned vehicles on Wednesday in the village of Umm Safa in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in an alleged revenge attack for three Israeli settlers who were killed by a Palestinian in the nearby Halamish settlement last month.

Palestinian news agency Wafa received testimony from Marwan Sabah, the village council head, who said that Israeli settlers had set fire to the vehicles around 2:30 a.m.

While Israeli soldiers were reportedly stationed at the entrance of the village at night, the settlers attacked homes on the outskirts of the village after the soldiers had left, Sabah said.

However, Israeli soldiers are rarely able to control Israeli settlers, and reports often emerge of Israeli soldiers watching settler attacks on Palestinians without intervening. If any action is taken by Israeli soldiers, it is typically in the form of shooting “crowd control measures,” such as tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and often live ammunition, at Palestinians.

The settlers had also reportedly graffitied hate slogans on walls in the village, calling for revenge attacks on Palestinians in response to a deadly attack last month when a Palestinian from the Ramallah-area village of Kobar entered the Halamish settlement and stabbed three Israeli settlers to death.

According to the Israeli army, the incident would be under the jurisdiction of the Israeli police. However, an Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

According to Sabah, Israeli forces arrived in the village in the morning following the attack “to examine the area.” An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into any follow-up reports on the incident.

Israeli forces raided Kobar village in the predawn hours of Wednesday, detaining the father and uncle of the Halamish attacker, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed. Three others from the village were also detained during clashes that left 15 injured, some with live fire.

Last week, some 200 settlers from the Halamish settlement attacked the Kobar village. Israeli forces responded by violently suppressing clashes that had broken out between the settlers and Palestinian locals, which resulted in one Palestinian being injured by live ammunition shot by the Israeli army.

An upwards of some 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. The international community has repeatedly called their presence and rising population the main impediment to potential peace in the region.

The UN reported on Saturday that after a three-year decline of settler attacks on Palestinians, the first half of 2017 showed a major increase in such attacks, with 89 incidents being documented so far this year.

“On a monthly average, this represents an increase of 88 percent compared with 2016,” the UN said. The attacks during this time period have led to the deaths of three Palestinians.

Israeli media has reported that the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, has also warned the Israeli government over the alarming trend and has “called on the government to adopt urgent measures to prevent further deterioration,” according to the UN.

Palestinian activists and rights groups have long accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.

Meanwhile, Palestinians allegedly or actually committing any attacks on Israelis are often shot dead at the scene, in what rights groups have deemed “extrajudicial executions,” or face long prison sentences.

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s secret attempt to buy-out North Korea’s missile export program

Sputnik – 10.08.2017

In an exceptional episode, little-known and never acknowledged in the Western mainstream media, Israel secretly negotiated a billion dollar buy-out of North Korea’s missile export program to the Middle East. […]

Supporters of the effort believe Israel could have forged ties with North Korea and aided the “rogue” nation’s rapprochement with the West — detractors dismiss the idea as foolish fantasy.

While Israel recognized China in 1950, it had never established relations with North Korea. Perhaps as a result, perhaps unrelatedly, the latter provided Libya, Iran, Syria and other countries in the region hostile to Israel with advanced missile technology.

Tensions between the two countries remained frosty at best, and outright hostile at worst, until the early 1990s.

The severe economic crisis that befell North Korea at that time, and the terminal illness of founder and President Kim Il-sung, opened up doors on both sides for potential conciliation.

Efforts began in earnest September 1992, when Eytan Bentsur, the then-Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general, proposed to Pyongyang that Israel would purchase a defunct gold mine in North Korea in exchange for the country freezing or limiting its arms deals with Iran.

The offer was top secret — not even the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Asia department was informed.

On November 1, 1992, five Israelis, including Bentsur, and two geologists flew to Pyongyang to assess the mine. They received a fairly warm welcome upon arrival, staying for several days in the government’s official guesthouse, being flown around the country in Il-sung’s private helicopter and entertained grandly. A meeting with Kim’s son-in-law, responsible for the country’s arms exports, was set up.

What Bentsur et al didn’t know was they weren’t the only Israelis in Pyongyang at that time. A second delegation, headed by Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, was also visiting the capital.

Perhaps predictably, it’s unknown what Mossad’s representatives did during their trip — conversely, the Foreign Ministry contingent was taken to the Unsan gold mine. Bentsur and colleagues were certain North Korea was genuinely open to rapprochement at the time, a view he holds to this day — and government representatives did express a willingness to allow Israel to open a diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, and host an official visit from President Shimon Peres.

For their part, Israeli representatives made clear any relationship between the two was contingent on arms exports to the Middle East ceasing.

In the initial weeks after the trip, there was much optimism that a deal could be struck, and Pyongyang seemed genuinely interested in warming relations with the US and other Western powers.

However, Mossad chief Halevy quickly concluded the regime was going to continue selling missiles to Israel’s enemies, a deal was improbable, and it would be advisable to jettison their ambitions.

Nonetheless, in January 1993, North Korea invited Peres and Bentsur to Pyongyang, but Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, who agreed with Havely, refused.

Those who believe a deal could’ve been struck are adamant Mossad played the key role in derailing negotiations. Bentsur suggests the agency lobbied the CIA into pressuring US Secretary of State Warren Christopher to call for a halt to all talks.

Others are more circumspect. In an interview with local media, Moshe Yegar, the then-Foreign Ministry’s Asia chief, said the “ugly” episode was a “fiasco from every angle” and “nonsense of the first order.” He believes there was “absolutely no way” Israel could have ever gotten Pyongyang to play ball. … Full article

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel to expel Al Jazeera, block broadcasts & revoke journalists’ credentials

RT | August 6, 2017

Israel has announced plans to effectively expel the Al Jazeera network from the country, revoking journalists’ credentials, shutting the company’s bureau in Jerusalem and pulling its broadcasts from national cable and satellite television networks.

Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara announced the measures Sunday at a news conference. Journalists and representatives from Al Jazeera were not permitted to attend.

“We are going to set measures in order to illustrate our war on terrorism, on radical Islam and our solidarity with the sane Arab world,” Kara stated.

While the proposal will not take immediate effect, Kara confirmed that both the Arabic and English versions of the news channel will be shuttered once the proposal is passed in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

“I am the only one [in government] who is an Arabic speaker, who understands Arabic and my native language is Arabic. You cannot fool me with Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic. I know how to identify how disturbing reporting becomes incitement instead of being free speech,” he added.

Kara claimed that such extreme measures are ostensibly intended to improve journalistic practice in the country by creating “a situation that channels based in Israel will report objectively.”

“We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work.”

“I congratulate the Minister of communications, Ayoob for my guidance took today in line with practical steps to stop the activity of incitement in Israel,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of Kara’s proposal on Twitter.

In July, Netanyahu announced that he was working to shut down the network which he accuses of stoking tensions and inciting violence in Israel, particularly at the al-Aqsa mosque where six Palestinians and five Israelis, including two police officers, have been killed in recent clashes.

“This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism.” Aidan White, director of the London-based Ethical Journalism Network told Al Jazeera.

The network’s offices in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank city of Ramallah would not be affected.

The network will not give up its Jerusalem bureau without a fight, however.

“Al Jazeera deplores this action from a state that is called the only democratic state in the Middle East and considers what it has done is dangerous,” an unnamed official with Al Jazeera told the AFP.

The broadcaster “will follow up the subject through appropriate legal and judicial procedures,” he added.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan have both shut Al Jazeera bureaux this year as part of the ongoing ‘cold war’ playing out in the Gulf, which culminated in the full blockade of Qatar.

Egypt banned the Al Jazeera network and several other websites that were critical of the government in May and broadcasts have also been blocked in the UAE.

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

Chris Matthews got it: Neocons want to destroy the Middle East for Israel

By Jonas E. Alexis | Veterans Today | August 4, 2107

Chris Matthews attacked the Neocon project in 2015 by saying that the Neocons and warmongers in the United States aspire to create complete chaos in the Middle East, presumably for Israel. His words are worth quoting in full:

Why were the people in the administration like [Paul] Wolfowitz and the others talking about going into Iraq from the very beginning, when they got into the white house long before there was a 911 long before there was WMD. It seemed like there was a deeper reason. I don’t get it. It seemed like WMD was a cover story.

“The reason I go back to that is there’s a consistent pattern: the people who wanted that war in the worst ways, neocons so called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney.. it’s the same crowd of people that want us to overthrow Bashar Assad, .. it’s the same group of people that don’t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don’t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians, they want to fight that war. They’re willing to go in there and bomb.

“They have a consistent impulsive desire to make war on Arab and Islamic states in a never-ending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive, that’s why I have a problem with that thinking. … we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Why did they take us to Iraq, because that’s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran.”

Yours truly and many others have been saying the same thing for years. We would not have perpetual wars in the Middle East if the Neocons did not take their orders from Israel. Even George W. Bush implicitly admitted this.

George W. Bush once asked his father to define Neoconservatism. “‘What’s a neocon?’ ‘Do you want names, or a description?’ answered [the elder Bush]. ‘Description.’ ‘Well,’ said the former president of the United States, ‘I’ll give it to you in one word: Israel.’”[1]

Scholars such as Halper and Clarke note the same thing, arguing that for the neocons, there is “a keen interest in the affairs of Israel”[2] and Ginsberg confirms that a central focus of the neoconservatives is “their attachment to Israel.”[3]

No serious scholar can logically argue that the Neocon ideology has been good for America. To cite again retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army and academic Andrew J. Bacevich:

“Apart from a handful of deluded neoconservatives, no one believes that the United States accomplished its objectives in Iraq, unless the main objective was to commit mayhem, apply a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding, and then declare the patient stable while hastily leaving the scene of the crime…”[4]

Unless you are a political prostitute like Ann Coulter or Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann or Lindsey Graham or John McCain, you will inexorably come to the conclusion that the Neocon project has always placed America in hot water.

Now the same Neocons are perversely arguing that Russia is our enemy. They cooked up lies and fabrications and expect the vast majority of Americans to take them seriously. Perhaps it is high time for all decent Americans to tell those people quite bluntly, “No, we ain’t gonna take anymore.”

[1] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (New York: Scribner, 2007), 219.

[2] Halper and Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 58.

[3] Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: The Jews and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 231.

[4] Andrew Bacevich, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed their Soldiers and Their Country (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2013), 94, 105.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments