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The US and Israel kick up a fake storm over Unesco

By Jonathon Cook | October 15, 2017

At first glance, the decision last week by the Trump administration, followed immediately by Israel, to quit the United Nation’s cultural agency seems strange. Why penalise a body that promotes clean water, literacy, heritage preservation and women’s rights?

Washington’s claim that the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) is biased against Israel obscures the real crimes the agency has committed in US eyes.

The first is that in 2011 Unesco became the first UN agency to accept Palestine as a member. That set the Palestinians on the path to upgrading their status at the General Assembly a year later.

It should be recalled that in 1993, as Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo accords on the White House lawn, the watching world assumed the aim was to create a Palestinian state.

But it seems most US politicians never received that memo. Under pressure from Israel’s powerful lobbyists, the US Congress hurriedly passed legislation to pre-empt the peace process. One such law compels the United States to cancel funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians.

Six years on, the US is $550 million in arrears and without voting rights at Unesco. Its departure is little more than a formality.

The agency’s second crime relates to its role selecting world heritage sites. That power has proved more than an irritant to Israel and the US.

The occupied territories, supposedly the locus of a future Palestinian state, are packed with such sites. Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Muslim relics promise not only the economic rewards of tourism but also the chance to control the historic narrative.

Israeli archaeologists, effectively the occupation’s scientific wing, are chiefly interested in excavating, preserving and highlighting Jewish layers of the Holy Land’s past. Those ties have then been used to justify driving out Palestinians and building Jewish settlements.

Unesco, by contrast, values all of the region’s heritage, and aims to protect the rights of living Palestinians, not just the ruins of long-dead civilisations.

Nowhere has the difference in agendas proved starker than in occupied Hebron, where tens of thousands of Palestinians live under the boot of a few hundred Jewish settlers and the soldiers who watch over them. In July, Unesco enraged Israel and the US by listing Hebron as one of a handful of world heritage sites “in danger”. Israel called the resolution “fake history”.

The third crime is the priority Unesco gives to the Palestinian names of heritage sites under belligerent occupation.

Much hangs on how sites are identified, as Israel understands. Names influence the collective memory, giving meaning and significance to places.

The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has coined the term “memoricide” for Israel’s erasure of most traces of the Palestinians’ past after it dispossessed them of four-fifths of their homeland in 1948 – what Palestinians term their Nakba, or Catastrophe.

Israel did more than just raze 500 Palestinian towns and villages. In their place it planted new Jewish communities with Hebracaised names intended to usurp the former Arabic names. Saffuriya became Tzipori; Hittin was supplanted by Hittim; Muyjadil was transformed into Migdal.

A similar process of what Israel calls “Judaisation” is under way in the occupied territories. The settlers of Beitar Ilit threaten the Palestinians of Battir. Nearby, the Palestinians of Sussiya have been dislodged by a Jewish settlement of exactly the same name.

The stakes are highest in Jerusalem. The vast Western Wall plaza below Al Aqsa mosque was created in 1967 after more than 1,000 Palestinians were evicted and their quarter demolished. Millions of visitors each year amble across the plaza, oblivious to this act of displacement.

Settlers, aided by the Israeli state, continue to encircle Christian and Muslim sites in the hope of taking them over.

That is the context for recent Unesco reports highlighting the threats to Jerusalem’s Old City, including Israel’s denial for most Palestinians of the right to worship at Al Aqsa.

Israel has lobbied to have Jerusalem removed from the list of endangered heritage sites. Alongside the US, it has whipped up a frenzy of moral outrage, berating Unesco for failing to prioritise the Hebrew names used by the occupation authorities.

Unesco’s responsibility, however, is not to safeguard the occupation or bolster Israel’s efforts at Judaisation. It is there to uphold international law and prevent Palestinians from being disappeared by Israel.

Mr Trump’s decision to quit Unesco is far from his alone. His predecessors have been scuffling with the agency since the 1970s, often over its refusal to cave in to Israeli pressure.

Now, Washington has a pressing additional reason to punish Unesco for allowing Palestine to become a member. It needs to make an example of the cultural body to dissuade other agencies from following suit.

President Trump’s confected indignation at Unesco, and his shrugging off of its vital global programmes, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realisation.

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s New Strategy on Iran Embraces “Israel-First”, “Saudi-Second” and “America-Last” Perspective

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | October 16, 2017

President Donald Trump’s move to decertify the Iranian nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), entered into a little over two years ago, was applauded by Israel, Saudi Arabia and a couple of Persian Gulf States, but by no one else. Quite the contrary, as the European and Asian co-signatories on the agreement, having failed to dissuade Trump, have clearly indicated that they will continue to abide by it. Also, the decision to kick the can down the road by giving Congress 60 days to increase pressure on Tehran in an attempt to include other issues beyond nuclear development like its ballistic missile program and labeling the country’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group are likely to create confusion as Washington is unable to communicate directly with Iran. That uncertainty could possibly lead to a fraught-with-danger Iranian decision to withdraw completely from the agreement.

The Trump speech could reasonably be described as embracing an “Israel-First” and “Saudi-Second” perspective that might plausibly suggest that it was actually drafted by their respective foreign ministries. Contrary to Trump’s campaign pledges, it might also be characterized as an “America-Last” speech, since it actually encourages nuclear proliferation while rendering it even more difficult for anyone to respect the agreements entered into by the United States government.

Fred Kaplan sums up the speech’s fundamental dishonesty with considerable clarity by observing that   “It flagrantly misrepresents what the deal was meant to do, the extent of Iran’s compliance, and the need for corrective measures. If he gets his way, he will blow up one of the most striking diplomatic triumphs of recent years, aggravate tensions in the Middle East, make it even harder to settle the North Korean crisis peacefully, and make it all but impossible for allies and adversaries to trust anything the United States says for as long as Trump is in office.”

Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar has also dissected the untruths and false analogies that made up the bulk of the Trump speech. In short, Pillar argues that the president is using faulty analysis to end a program that is working and that employs unprecedented intrusive inspections to guarantee that Iran can make no progress towards having a nuclear weapon for at least eight more years and quite likely for even longer. Against that, Iran could well end its cooperation and, out of fear of U.S. attack, might well turn towards possession of a nuclear arsenal to guarantee its own survival. Pillar calls ending JCPOA now because Iran just might develop a weapon after it expires in 2025 as “committing suicide because of fear of death.”

In a second highly partisan international action last week, the United States led a march out the door of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization due to its alleged “bias against Israel.” UNESCO had enraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by declaring that the Old City of Hebron and the associated Cave of the Patriarchs on the West Bank is an endangered Palestinian world cultural heritage site. A few hundred Israeli settlers live in Hebron, guarded by the Israeli Army, amidst 200,000 Palestinians who, according to The Guardian, “have long lived under harsh restrictions in the city, which is one of the starkest symbols of the Israeli occupation.” The U.S. is also threatening to pull out of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council “to protect Israel.”

Taken together, the two decisions made by the White House indicate a shift in the foreign policy team advising the president. One must now acknowledge that America’s United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, apparently operating in collusion with former UN Ambassador John Bolton, has become the most influential foreign policy voice whispering in the president’s ear, quite possibly because she is saying exactly what he wants to hear in terms of simplistic but rarely reality based responses to complex situations. That Haley, an inexperienced and instinctively aggressive ideologue who is closely aligned to Israeli thinking, should occupy such a position with an equally ignorant president ought to concern anyone who seeks to avoid a major conflagration with either Iran and North Korea, or even with both. Haley is also no friend of Russia, having once crudely advised Moscow to “choose to side with the civilized world.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, apparently joined by National Security Council chair H.R. McMaster, urged renewal of the Iran certification based on the fact that Tehran was compliant but were overruled. Even Israel’s former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad had publicly urged both the White House and Congress not to reject the JCPOA. The emergence of Haley advised by Bolton is a shift to the right in an administration that is already leaning towards the military option as its preferred diplomatic tool, also suggesting somewhat ominously that neoconservative foreign policy is again dominant in Washington.

Other commentators including Eli Clifton, have observed that Trump might well have been heavily influenced by major Republican donors including Paul Singer, Bernard Marcus and Sheldon Adelson to step up the pressure on Iran. Adelson has, in fact, called for unilaterally “nuking” the Iranians. Marcus has said that “I think that Iran is the devil.”

The real objective of the Trump White House is not to “fix” the Iran deal, which would be impossible both because Iran and the other signatories would not agree to it and because there is nothing that needs repair. As Paul Pillar and Fred Kaplan note, it is working. The real objective is to blow up the agreement completely as it is an impediment to going to war and bringing about regime change in Tehran by force. That is what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Senators like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton have been intent on doing and they have hardly been shy about expressing themselves. The choice is therefore quite simple. Do we Americans, 60% of whom support keeping the arrangement, want to maintain an inspection regime that deprives Iran of the ability to develop a nuclear weapon for the foreseeable future or do we want to go back to square one without any restrictions on what Tehran will choose to do. It would seem to me that the clear right choice is to stay the course.

October 16, 2017 Posted by | Wars for Israel, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Neocon Max Boot: Legal and illegal aliens need to enlist in the US army and die for Israel

By Jonas E. Alexis | Veterans Today | October 16, 2107

In 1973 Irving Kristol, the godfather of the Neoconservative movement, made a stunning statement which is still relevant to understanding the Israeli influence in US foreign policy. Kristol said:

Senator McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to cut the military budget by 30%. And this is to drive a knife in the heart of Israel… Jews don’t like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States…

“American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.”

Read the statement again very carefully. A big military budget, said Kristol, is only good for Israel, not America or much of the Western World. In other words, precious American soldiers who go to the Middle East to fight so-called terrorism are just working for Israel, not for America.

So, whenever the Neocons use words such as “democracy” or “freedom,” they are essentially conning decent Americans to support Israel’s perpetual wars. John Tirman, Principal Research Scientist and Executive Director of the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is saying similar things in his book The Death of Others.[1]

In fact, warmongers like Henry Kissinger do not consider American soldiers as decent human beings. Kissinger said very explicitly that military men are “dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”[2]

People like Kissinger have been killing those “dumb, stupid animals” like chickens in the Middle East for decade. Keep in mind that at least 4,486 American soldiers have already lost their precious lives in Iraq.[3] At least 6,845 Americans died and 900,000 were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.[4] In the space of eight years alone, the Iraq war has taken the lives of at least 116,000 civilians.[5] Under Obama, at least 2,500 Americans died in Iraq and Afghanistan.[6] And what have those soldiers received in return? Well…

“The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have produced more disability claims per veteran than other wars on the books, including Vietnam, Korea and World War II. While Vietnam extracted a far higher death toll – 58,000 died in that war – the total number of documented disabilities suffered by recent veterans is approaching that of the earlier conflict, according to VA documents.”[7]

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you think that the Zionist project has always been in the business of rebuilding countries it has literally destroyed, think again. Tirman writes:

“The money that did finally arrive in Afghanistan, if not siphoned off by President Karzai and his allies, frequently aided American or other foreign contractors who were in some cases doing the work Afghans could do. Even the best intentions were skewed. ‘Instead of giving aid money for Afghan schools to the Ministry of Education, for example, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds private American contractors to start literacy programs for adults,’ wrote Ann Jones, a veteran of Afghan reconstruction. ‘As a result, Afghan teachers abandon the public schools and education administrators leave the Ministry for higher paying jobs with those contractors, further undermining public education and governance.’

“In several locales, the contractors and USAID workers felt compelled to spend money faster than it could usefully be absorbed; private American firms would not get renewed contracts if their financial ‘burn rate’ left over funds at the end of the year, leading to shoddy workmanship and other waste. Frequently, outright fraud and failed projects were the result. To a troubling extent, Afghanistan also witness the uneasy marriage of security and development–projects like building roads but were essential to the U.S. military.

“The failure of both security and development in Afghanistan is attributable to the social and political dynamics that were misread by U.S. officials… By framing the deaths of innocents as mistakes, the U.S. sought to avoid the deeper moral and legal questions as to whether it was attacking legitimate military targets; whether such actions satisfied the proportionality rule; and whether its ground forces were placing themselves at sufficient risk in order to mitigate the horrors of war for innocent civilians.’

“The typical story was a U.S. warplane or helicopter killing ‘terrorists’ that turned out to be no more than civilians at a social gathering. A dispute over who was killed and why would occasionally be visible in the Western press, with villagers claiming civilians were the victims and the military spokesman insisting they were terrorists. Evidence would be brought forward, typically by eyewitnesses, and the American or NATO commanders would retreat to the safe confines of ordering an investigation into the ‘tragic incident.’”[8]

Neocon hawks like Max Boot know that American soldiers are dying by the thousands for Israel. As a result, Boot proposed what seemed to be a diabolical project in 2005, and here it is:

The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and women who are not here now but would like to come.

“No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period in return for one of the world’s most precious commodities — U.S. citizenship.”

Did you catch that? The U.S. military should open its ranks to everyone, both legal and illegal, so that they can go ahead and die in the Middle East. Boot never told the American people about the cost of this diabolical plan. He never told people that no country on earth can survive with that principle.

What we are seeing here is that the deaths of American soldiers in the Middle East aren’t enough for Boot. He has to enlist other Goyim in his essentially Talmudic plan. If people like Max Boot aren’t dangerous to America and much of the world, then no one is. It was good that Tucker Carlson told Boot to pick up a decent job like house painting.


[1] John Tirman, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[2] Quoted in Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), 194.

[3] H. A. Goodman, “4,486 American Soldiers Have Died in Iraq. President Obama Is Continuing a Pointless and Deadly Quagmire,” Huffington Post, November 17, 2014.

[4] H. A. Goodman, “6,845 Americans Died and 900,000 Were Injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Say ‘No’ to Obama’s War,” Huffington Post, February 12, 2015.

[5] David Blair, “Iraq war 10 years on: at least 116,000 civilians killed,” Telegraph, March 15, 2013.

[6] Tessa Stuart, “Some 2,500 Americans Have Died in Afghanistan and Iraq Under Obama,” Rolling Stone, May 30, 2016.

[7] Chris Adams, “Millions went to war in Iraq, Afghanistan, leaving many with lifelong scars,” McClatchy Newspapers, March 14, 2013.

[8] Tirman, The Deaths of Others, 272.

October 16, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli TV Shows Footage Of ISIS Training Camp On Israel’s Border

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | October 13, 2017

Last November Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country “won’t allow Islamic State figures or other enemy actors, under the cover of the war in Syria, to set up next to our borders,” but it appears this has already happened, to the point that a sizable ISIS training camp has been set up just across the Golan Heights border with Israel. Though Syrian al-Qaeda has long been a mainstay in southern Syria along Israel’s border, this constitutes the first widespread public acknowledgement and confirmation of a significant ISIS base of operations in the Golan region.

Israeli media this week is reporting news of the base camp after Israel’s Channel 2 aired an extensive report with video and photographic evidence of what’s being described as a training and recruitment center which has already attracted hundreds of new terror recruits. Channel 2 is one of Israel’s most visible and established news broadcast channels and operates under “The Second Authority for Television and Radio” licensed by the Knesset and the Ministry of Communications. According to the Times of Israel :

Israel’s Channel 2 said the commanders have made their way to an Islamic State-controlled enclave “close to the border” with Israel. They have set up a training camp to which they have recruited 300 local youths, said the report, which showed footage apparently of the camp and training sessions.

Among the commanders is one of Islamic State’s most notorious recruiters, Abu Hamam Jazrawi, the TV report said.

The commanders are also now running Islamic State internet propaganda campaigns from their new base, in place of the former campaign headquarters in Raqqa, the extremists’ former de facto capital in northwest Syria where the fight to oust them has entered what appear to be its final stages.

Featured in Israel’s Channel 2 broadcast: Islamic State training camp (Channel 2 screenshot)

Channel 2 screenshot purporting to show the ISIS base camp just across Israel’s border.

The Channel 2 exposé further notes the presence of multiple senior Islamic State commanders at the camp, which suggests the terror group could be attempting to relocate its assets to Syria’s south as it appears to be crumbling with the onset of SDF, Syrian Army, and Russian forces in the eastern part of the country.

The Times of Israel acknowledges another shocking fact, which has itself become an open secret of sorts among Israeli defense and policy officials: what it calls the long lasting “live and let live” relationship with al-Qaeda in the region. The Times of Israel explains:

Both the IS-affiliated Khalid ibn al-Walid Army and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly the al-Nusra Front, which is linked to al-Qaeda, have been set up on Israel’s borders for years.

Despite a relatively long-lasting “live and let live” relationship with these groups, the IDF has warned of a potential — some say inevitable — conflict with them and has been preparing to respond to cross-border attacks.

Though the IDF has “warned” of some “potential” direct action against the most notorious terrorist groups in the world which seem to be comfortably ensconced within eyesight of Israeli border posts, it has never taken significant direct action against these groups, instead routinely targeting the Syrian army, Iranian-linked militias, and Hezbollah with airstrikes. This is a general reflection of the Israeli strategy of regime change in Syria, which has resulted in a well-documented history of assistance to al-Qaeda affiliated rebel groups.

A Wall Street Journal investigation found that this relationship involved weapons transfers, salary payments to anti-Assad fighters, and treatment of wounded jihadists in Israeli hospitals, the latter which was widely promoted in photo ops picturing Netanyahu himself greeting militants. As even former Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell once directly told the Israeli public, Israel’s “dangerous game” in Syria consists in getting in bed with al-Qaeda in order to fight Shia Iran. 

Channel 2 News and the The Times of Israel also featured an image from a prior video of a lone ISIS militant holding an Islamic State flag with the Israeli side of the Golan border in clear view.


The Times of Israel featured the above image: “Threats from across the border in a video released by an Islamic State affiliate on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on September 3, 2016.”

In recent years, multiple current and former Israeli defense officials have gone so far as to say that ISIS is ultimately preferable to Iran and Assad. For example, former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren in 2014 surprised the audience at Colorado’s Aspen Ideas Festival when he said in comments related to ISIS that, “the lesser evil is the Sunnis over the Shias.” Oren, while articulating Israeli defense policy, fully acknowledged he thought ISIS was “the lesser evil.”

Likewise, for Netanyahu and other Israeli officials the chief concern was never the black clad death cult which filmed itself beheading Americans and burning people alive, but the possibility of, in the words of Henry Kissinger, “a Shia and pro-Iran territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut” and establishment of “an Iranian radical empire.”

With Israeli media now widely reporting the Islamic State’s presence along Israel’s border we wonder why such a clear and documented fact isn’t cause for bigger outrage. Though Israel’s Channel 2 bombshell report aired earlier this week, there’s been resounding silence in international press. ISIS is camping out along Israel’s border, yet all we hear about is the supposed “Iranian threat” to Israel’s existence.

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian children beaten, tortured under Israeli interrogation

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – October 13, 2017

Several Palestinian child prisoners in Ofer prison revealed their experiences with torture and mistreatment to Palestinian lawyer Wael Awakah, including beatings and threats by Israeli occupation soldiers and interrogators from the moment of their arrest.

Awakah reported that Waleed Riyad al-Dali, 14 years old, a tenth-grade student and a resident of the village of Biddu in the Ramallah district, was seized on 28 September 2017 at 5:00 pm from the center of his village by undercover Israeli occupation soldiers disguised as Palestinians. He was assaulted and beaten by the soldiers, punched in the head and left bloody by their attack.

Waleed was then taken to a settlement while shackled and blindfolded in a military jeep. He reported being beaten by the soldiers rifle butts and kicked by them during the travel to the settlement. At the settlement military base, Waleed was interrogated; the interrogator threatened to break his hands, refused him food and directed curses and obscene insults at him.

Yazid Akram Humaidan, 15, also a resident of Biddu, was also seized on 28 September from the center of town by undercover Israeli occupation soldiers, who threw him to the ground, punched and slapped him. Yazid said that one of the undercover occupation soldiers stomped on his neck so hard that he feared for his life as he was beaten on the head and face with sharp blows.

Yazid also said that he was screamed at and cursed by interrogators at a nearby settlement and that he was physically weak and tired during interrogation as he had had surgery only two months before.

Hamada Jamal Abu Eid, 16, was also seized by occupation forces operating undercover in Biddu on 28 September. He said that one put a gun to his head before shooting in the air, causing him to fall to the ground where he was beaten on the body and head. He said that he was hit and slapped while being taken to interrogation at a nearby settlement, and that during interrogation himself he was subject to insults and curses.

Awakah said that Hamada continued to appear tired and ill during the interview, with severe and ongoing pain in his head. The three are among approximately 300 Palestinian children held in Israeli jails, mostly in Ofer and Megiddo prison, as well as 10 minor girls held in HaSharon prison.

In addition, the practice of sending children – especially Jerusalemite children – to house imprisonment, highlighted in the September 2017 report of Palestinian prisoners’ human rights associations, has continued. House imprisonment denies children the right to leave their homes, even for study or medical treatment in many cases, and forces parents and adults around them to become jailers at the threat of further punishment and imprisonment.

On 12 October, Jerusalemite teen Bilal Khalil Ghatit was ordered to home imprisonment with the imposition of an “electronic monitoring bracelet” on his ankle. He has already been held under house imprisonment since May, and has been unable to leave his home, go to school or visit relatives. His parents have also become prisoners; one of them must stay at home with him at all times. Bilal was seized in April 2017 by occupation forces who invaded the family home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem; he was released in May but ordered to house arrest. A ninth-grade student, he has been denied the ability to go to school.

Bilal’s father reported that he pays NIS 180 ($55 USD) for the electronic monitoring device; in the event of any malfunction of the device or even a loss of electricity in the home, the house is subject to violent raids by occupation forces, he noted, recalling the day of Bilal’s arrest, when his room was invaded as he slept and his brother beaten when he tried to intervene.

Another Palestinian child, Adam Hamdan, 14 from Ras al-Amud neighborhood of Silwan in Jerusalem, was also ordered to house imprisonment on 12 October; he was arrested on Tuesday, 10 October as he walked to school and accused of “throwing stones,” one of the most popular charges used by the Israeli occupation to criminalize and imprison Palestinian children and youth.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the ongoing imprisonment, torture, mistreatment and abuse of Palestinian children at a systematic level by the Israeli occupation. We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian child prisoners in Israeli jails and urge greater international mobilization to support the hundreds of Palestinian children who are jailed each year, subject to solitary confinement and cruel and inhumane treatment, traumatic pre-dawn violent arrest raids and invasions of their homes, confiscation of their right to health and education – all as part of a systematic web of oppression at the hands of the Israeli settler colonial project. 

samidoun@samidoun.ca

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel opposed to any Palestinian reconciliation with Hamas ‘mass murderers’ – Netanyahu

RT | October 13, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out against the reconciliation deal reached between rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, claiming that peace between Israelis and Palestinians will now be “much harder to achieve.”

“There is nothing we want more than peace with all our neighbors, but reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes this peace much more difficult to achieve,” Netanyahu said in a statement published on his official Hebrew and English Facebook accounts.

Palestine’s civil discord started in 2007 when Hamas won the elections and obtained power in Gaza while the West Bank territories fell under Fatah’s control. Since then, all attempts to reconcile the two groups and form a Palestinian power-sharing government have stalled.

In 2014, the rival faction managed to briefly negotiate a deal, which also angered Tel Aviv. Israel swiftly suspended US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, refusing to deal with Hamas, which Tel Aviv considers a terrorist organization with the sole aim of destroying the State of Israel.

On Thursday, after intense negotiations, Hamas and Fatah reached a new reconciliation deal, which Israel once again immediately rejected.

“Israel is opposed to any form of reconciliation in which the terrorist organization of Hamas does not disarm and does not stop fighting for the destruction of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Tel Aviv, the Israeli PM said, will never accept Hamas’ strive to destroy Israel and will not deal with an organization that “advocates genocide” and launches “thousands” of rockets and tunnel incursions into Israel.

Netanyahu also accused Hamas of murdering children, oppressing the LGBT community and holding Israelis hostage. He believes Hamas is also guilty of “mourning” the death of former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, as well as “torturing” the opposition.

“Reconciliation with mass murderers makes you part of the problem and not the solution,” Netanyahu wrote. “Say yes to peace and not to collaboration with Hamas.”

While the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas reached a preliminary reconciliation agreement that the parties hope to implement in stages, they still seek to work out differences.

According to the agreement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is to assume all governing rolls in Gaza no later than December 1. The PA will also take over the responsibility for Gaza’s border crossings no later than November 1. Yet the key issues such as the fate of Hamas’ military wing and wider political strategies are to be discussed at a later date, Haaretz reported.

Palestinian unity is necessary in order to have meaningful discussions with Israel on a two-state solution. Yet Israel refuses to have militant Hamas be part of the government. Before any two-state solution negotiations can resume, Tel Aviv advised the Palestinians to disarm Hamas and force the organization to honor international law.

“Any reconciliation between [Hamas and Fatah] must include honoring [international] agreements [and] Quartet conditions, firstly [by] recognizing Israel [and] disarming Hamas,” spokesperson to the Arab media in the Israel Prime Minister’s Office, Ofir Gendelman‏, tweeted. He added that digging tunnels, manufacturing missiles and initiating terror attacks are “incompatible” Quartet conditions and US efforts to renew the Middle East peace process.

The Israeli spokesman called on Fatah to assume responsibility for any militant action in Gaza, after a PA takeover of the region in December.

“The PA mustn’t allow any base whatsoever for Hamas terrorist actions from PA areas or from Gaza,” Ofir tweeted. “As long as Hamas does not disarm [and] continues to call for our destruction, Israel holds it responsible for all terrorism originating in Gaza.”

Hamas’ original charter in 1988 called for the reclaiming of all of Mandatory Palestine, which includes present-day Israel. The PA instead has been trying to negotiate the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Reconciliation efforts between Palestinians and the Israelis have been supervised by the so-called Middle East Quartet – comprising the UN, Russia, the United States and the European Union – which advocates a two-state solution along the 1967 divide.

As long as the reconciliation process between the rival Palestinian faction proceeds, Israel will do all in its power to sabotage the process, political commentator Doctor Asa’ad Abusharekh from Gaza has told RT.

“Israel wants to see the Palestinian people all the time divided. I think Israel will try to torpedo and sabotage this reconciliation,” Abusharekh said. “We do not expect Israel to lift the siege of Gaza. Israel will probably put more obstacles simply because Israel is wary about this agreement.”

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs: Stoking Islamophobia and Defending Racism

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | October 10, 2017

Would a farmer ask a fox to help design a security system for her free-range chickens?

A group that stokes Islamophobia and defends an explicitly supremacist organization shouldn’t be part of a Public Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism in Québec. The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) should be removed from the “list of selected organizations” for this important initiative.

While groups participating in the just launched consultation are supposed to “develop concrete proposals to combat systemic discrimination and racism”, last summer CIJA campaigned aggressively against a Green Party of Canada resolution calling on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of an explicitly racist organization. The Green’s motion described the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) “discrimination against non-Jews in Israel through its bylaws which prohibit the lease or sale of its lands to non-Jews.” Owner of 13 percent of Israel’s land – mostly seized from Palestinians in 1948 – the JNF systematically discriminates against the 20% of non-Jewish Israeli citizens. JNF racism is not the all too common ‘personal’ or even ‘structural’ variety, rather a legalistic discrimination outlawed in Canada six decades ago.

CIJA and the JNF Canada often work together and sponsor each other’s events. Additionally, JNF Canada CEO Lance Davis previously worked as CIJA’s National Jewish Campus Life director.

Beyond defending racist land-use policies in Israel, CIJA has stigmatized marginalized Canadians by hyping “Islamic terror” and targeting Arab and Muslim community representatives, papers, organizations, etc. In response to a truck attack in Nice, France, last year CIJA declared “Canada is not immune to … Islamist terror” and in February they highlighted, “those strains of Islam that pose a real and imminent threat to Jews around the world.”

In a bid to deter organizations from associating with the Palestinian cause or opposing Israeli belligerence in the region, CIJA demonizes Canadian Arabs and Muslims by constantly accusing them of supporting “terror”. Last week the lobbying arm of Canada’s Jewish Federations said it was “shocked” Ottawa failed to rescind the charitable status of the Islamic Society of British Columbia. CIJA alleges that the Vancouver area mosque supports Hamas, which the federal government considers a terrorist organization but Palestinians (and most of the world) consider a political/resistance organization.

In 2014 CIJA pushed to proscribe as a terrorist entity Mississauga-based IRFAN (International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy). The Jewish group’s press release about the first Canadian-based group ever designated a terrorist organization boasted that “current CIJA board member, the Honourable Stockwell Day … called attention to IRFAN-Canada’s disturbing activities nearly a decade ago.”

In the early 2000s pro-Israel groups and the Conservative Party accused a charity that supported thousands of orphans in a dozen countries of working for Hamas. But, a Canada Revenue Agency audit failed to substantiate the claim. As the two-year audit was about to wrap up at the end of 2004, Stockwell Day and the Canadian Coalition of Democracies (CCD) held a press conference where they accused IRFAN of being a front for Hamas, which prompted a defamation suit (CCD eventually retracted the allegation while Day was protected by parliamentary privilege).

When Day’s Conservatives later took power the CRA renewed their investigation of IRFAN in what appeared to be an effort to prove that Muslim Canadians financed “Hamas terror”. In 2011 the CRA revoked the group’s charitable status, claiming “IRFAN-Canada is an integral part of an international fundraising effort to support Hamas.” A big part of the CRA’s supporting evidence was that IRFAN worked with the Gaza Ministry of Health and Ministry of Telecommunications, which came under Hamas’ direction after they won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. The Canadian organization tried to send a dialysis machine to Gaza and continued to support orphans in the impoverished territory with the money channelled through the Post Office controlled by the Telecommunications Ministry.

This author cannot claim any detailed knowledge of the charity, but on the surface of it the charge that IRFAN was a front for Hamas makes little sense. First of all, the group was registered with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank when the Fatah-controlled PA was waging war against Hamas. Are we to believe that CRA officials in Ottawa had a better sense of who supported Hamas then the PA in Ramallah? Additionally, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) viewed the Canadian charity as a legitimate partner. In 2009 IRFAN gave UNRWA $1.2 million to build a school for girls in Battir, a West Bank village.

In a sign of how the campaign against IRFAN stigmatized a marginalized group, the CRA’s findings were used to smear the 2012 edition of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto because IRFAN was one of 17 sponsors of one of the largest Muslim gatherings in North America.

While quick to attack Arabs and Muslims’ support for “terror” or “anti-Semitism”, CIJA clams up when explicit Jewish Islamophobia is brought to their attention. In 2012 the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) asked for CIJA’s help with an aggressively anti-Muslim textbook used at Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School in Toronto. It described Muslims as “rabid fanatics” with “savage beginnings”, but CIJA refused to respond.

In a more recent example of the group stoking anti-Muslim sentiment, CIJA aligned itself with the backlash against the term “Islamophobia” in bill M-103, which called for collecting data on hate crimes and studying the issue of “eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” CEO Shimon Fogel said the “wording of M-103 is flawed. Specifically, we are concerned with the word ‘Islamophobia’ because it is misleading, ambiguous, and politically charged.” It takes chutzpah for a Jewish community leader to make this argument since, as Rick Salutin points out, anti-Semitism is a more ambiguous term. But, Fogel would no doubt label as anti-Jewish someone who objected to the term anti-Semitism as “misleading, ambiguous, and politically charged”.

An initiative promoted by committed anti-racist campaigners, the Public Consultation on Systemic Discrimination and Racism in Québec is important. It should not include a group that stokes Islamophobia and defends an explicitly supremacist organization.


Yves Engler is the author of A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

October 11, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli-led “Women’s Peace March” Criticized as Normalization

By Celine Hagbard – IMEMC – October 11, 2017

A two-week march led by Israeli women calling for peace culminated in a rally in Jerusalem Sunday, although the march was largely boycotted by Palestinians who called it a part of the ‘normalization’ of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

The organizers of the march called for a return to the failed negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority – negotiations that were harshly criticized by most Palestinians for the power imbalance they maintained between the occupier and occupied.

‘Normalization’ is a term used by Palestinians to refer to efforts that claim to promote ‘peace’ without recognizing or addressing the extreme injustice of the Israeli military occupation. Some have criticized the ‘Women Wage Peace’ movement for its failure to advocate for Palestinian equal rights, instead issuing a vague call for ‘peace’.

Many of the participants in the march voiced a desire to have reconciliation with Palestinians, and said they hoped to meet with Palestinian women, with organizer Anat Negev saying that, “We all want a safe future for our children.” But Palestinian women’s organizations and civil society leaders said that the march was naive in issuing a call for peace without a clear call for justice, and for the end to the Israeli military occupation.

Some women marched for two weeks, in different parts of the West Bank, Israel and Jerusalem – but most of the locations of the march were closed to Palestinians who did not obtain special permits months in advance to be able to enter.

In response to the march and rally, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees issued a statement opposing the event, saying that Palestinian women were being used as props and tokenized by the Israeli women organizing it. The statement also said, “This activity is a shameless fraud that seeks to forcibly impose normalization with the occupier upon Palestinian women, in clear violation of the sacrifices of our women martyrs, prisoners, wounded and strugglers to liberate our people from that occupier. Our position as a Palestinian women’s movement in occupied Palestine against normalization is very clear, as is our demand for the boycott of occupation in all forms, including economic, cultural, academic and all other forms of boycott.”

October 11, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Markets ‘Essentially Failing’ Iron Dome Missile Defense System to US Army

Sputnik – 10.10.2017

The Iron Dome, the missile defense system innovated by Israel, is currently being showcased to US army chiefs, in the hope military top brass purchase the structure – despite previous expert analysis suggesting the system is “essentially failing” and intercepts perhaps five percent of the rockets fired at Tel Aviv.

Israel’s missile defense system, the Iron Dome, has gone on display in Washington, DC at a three-day Association of the US Army (AUSA) meeting, a showcase of the latest radar technology and operational launchers.

The summit, which opened October 9, connects the US Army to a wide range of industry products and services, offered by international suppliers.

​Designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries, the rocket interceptor is said to have attracted the attention of the US Department of Defense on the basis the US does not possess a similar unmanned system capable of shooting down incoming rockets, planes, helicopters and drones. Military chiefs have expressed a wish to construct a similar protective measure for forces stationed in Eastern Europe.

The Iron Dome system is designed to hit rockets traveling with interceptors six inches wide and 10 feet long, using sensors and real-time guidance systems to zero in on the rockets. When an interceptor gets close to an incoming rocket, a proximity fuse triggers the interceptor to detonate, spraying out metal rods intended to strike and detonate the rockets’ warheads, neutralizing their ability to maim and destroy.

Collaboration

The AUSA meeting is attended by high-ranking government officials, who will inspect the system first-hand at the head office of US dense giant Raytheon, which collaborated with its Israeli counterparts in its design, development and production.

The new system was part of a collaborative manufacturing agreement, signed on the condition Israel would receive substantial financial assistance for the system, while Raytheon would be tasked with manufacturing 50 percent of its components on American soil.

Cooperation with Raytheon is pivotal to selling the Iron Dome to the US Army, which rarely acquires weapons systems directly from foreign companies unless products are developed in conjunction with US firms. Nonetheless, the Israeli company is competing with other weapons-manufacturing giants, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Trial Runs

In 2016, the US successfully conducted tests with the Iron Dome, which intercepted a drone using a missile nicknamed the “Tamir” — and on September 4, a new series of US tests began in New Mexico, using a variety of missile defense systems, including the Iron Dome, to provide cover for soldiers in drills and exercises.

It has been claimed by Israeli officials the system’s roll-out has been a success, registering 1,500 interceptions of various types of rockets fired at the country, with a direct hit rate of 90 percent.

If the US does adopt the technology, it will be the only other country in the world to maintain such a structure.

In 2014, Theodore A. Postol, a professor of science, technology, and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), may have provided the answer.

After studying a variety of publicly available data, Professor Postol argued the Iron Dome’s intercept rate, defined as destruction of a rocket’s warhead, was “perhaps as low as five percent but could well be lower.”

​He moreover foresaw “significant insurance claims” arising in areas successfully defended by Iron Dome, as a successful intercept can at rare best destroy explosive warheads carried by artillery rockets, not pieces of debris from the artillery rocket itself, which will fall whether or not an artillery rocket has been intercepted. The Israelis, he noted, had not provided “any evidence of a reduction in ground damage” that would necessarily accompany the “amazing success rates” claimed for Iron Dome.

Professor Postol’s conclusion was stark — the Israeli government was “not telling the truth about” the Dome to its own population, or the US, which “provided the Israeli government with the bulk of the funding needed” to design and build the “much-heralded but apparently ineffective” rocket-defense system.

Postol’s conclusions were broadly confirmed by Richard Lloyd, a weapons expert formerly employed by Raytheon, who said interceptions “certainly [did] not” detonate rockets’ warheads, so the system was “essentially failing.”

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , | 3 Comments

Former Israeli Intel Chief Calls on Trump Not to Quit Nuclear Deal with Iran

Sputnik – October 10, 2017

The US President is facing an October 15 deadline to certify that Iran is complying with its terms under “the P5+1” nuclear deal. A senior US administration official said that the US leader is expected to quit the pact. Former Israeli intel chief Amos Yadlin, however, called on Trump to wait for better timing, which would create more pressure.

On Monday, former Israeli Defense Forces military chief Amos Yadlin, who is also the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), co-authored an essay with his INSS fellow and former National Security Council official Avner Golov, urging the US President against leaving the agreement.

Among the arguments provided by the authors was that any US steps at the moment “would lack European backing, let alone backing from Russia and China,” who are also parties to the deal.

The former military intelligence chief explained that first the US “must get its allies lined up for new UN resolutions against Iranian ballistic missile testing,” the Jerusalem Post quotes him as saying. “However, as the expiration date on the deal’s restrictions get closer, these countries will naturally become more worried about Iran trying to break out with a nuclear weapon and will be more ready to confront it,” the authors suggested.

“Instead of trying to end the Iran nuclear deal now, the US should pressure Iran with the threat of leaving the deal at a more strategic moment,” the authors concluded.

They also referred to a range of top US defense officials who oppose quitting the deal now, although they would support tougher inspections of Iran’s military nuclear sites and restrictions on Iran’s testing of advanced uranium centrifuges.

Ultimately, they say, “any decision by Trump to decertify the deal should be used by the US Congress and the West to raise pressure on Iran for a later battle, but not to leave the deal now and free Iran to go nuclear while blaming the US.”

Last week, a senior US administration official said that President Trump is expected to announce that he will decertify the landmark deal, more properly called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed in 2015 between Tehran, the five Security Council powers and Germany. The US leader had previously called the deal “an embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

SEE ALSO:

Lavrov Calls Reports of Trump’s Plans to Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal Rumors

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Catalan Police in Israel: repression courses #TestedInCombat

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

Shin Bet can reject or dismiss teachers in Israel’s Arab schools

MEMO | October 7, 2017

Israel’s Internal Security Agency, Shin Bet, has the power to reject the appointment of Arab teachers at the country’s Arab schools, Quds Press reported on Friday. The agency can also dismiss such staff for political reasons, it is claimed. A former official at the Israeli Ministry of Education, Emmanuel Koplovich, told Ynet News that Shin Bet has rejected the appointment of many qualified teachers.

“Shin Bet was involved in everything regarding recruitment for education positions,” confirmed the former head of the agency, Knesset member Yacob Berri. “It is still active in Arab schools to this day.”

The news website revealed that Shin Bet targeted the Arab teachers in cooperation with the ministry. Teachers did not know why they were dismissed or not accepted for a position. It also revealed that some of the teachers were not involved in any political activities, but were rejected because of the political activities of one of their relatives.

According to the reports, information about Arab teachers and head teachers was circulated among different government institutions, mainly the education ministry and the Prime Minister’s office.

The Director of Adalah Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Hassan Jabareen, said that Shin Bet’s interference in the recruitment and dismissal of Arab teachers and head teachers has been known for a long time in the Arab community. This, Quds Press suggested, reiterates the hostility of the Israeli Education Ministry towards the country’s Arab citizens, who make up a fifth of the population.

“The Shin Bet has an important role,” insisted the former Director General of the Ministry of Education, Samson Shoshani. “Its mission is to make sure than no oppression is practiced against anyone. We are not against extremist teachers, but against extremist people in regard to loyalty to the state.”

Read also: Education is a right being denied to Palestinian children, and Israel is the culprit

October 7, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments