Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton meet in New York, September 25, 2016.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that she opposes a UN-brokered solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pledging to fight efforts to “delegitimize” the Tel Aviv regime.
The former US secretary of state and Netanyahu met at a hotel in Manhattan, New York, on Sunday evening, hours after the Israeli PM’s meeting with Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump.
During the meeting, Clinton endorsed the two-state solution for the ongoing conflict in Palestine, but also expressed “her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution,” including the UN Security Council, her campaign said in a statement.
Clinton doubled down on “her commitment to countering attempts to delegitimize Israel, including through the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement,” the statement further read.
The BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”
Since then, thousands of volunteers worldwide have joined the BDS to help promote the Palestinian cause.
The former first lady also backed Washington’s military support for Tel Aviv, saying that a “strong and secure Israel” was vital to the US.
Washington has been providing the Israeli regime with $3.1 billion annually since 2007, under a 10-year agreement with the administration of former president George W. Bush. The figure was recently raised to $3.8 billion for the next decade.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu went to the Trump Tower in New York City to meet with the billionaire businessman.
During the 90-minute meeting, Trump promised Netanyahu that he will “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” the candidate’s campaign said in a statement.
He described East Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel since 1967, as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
Like Clinton, Trump backed America’s military support for Israel, hailing it as an “excellent investment for America.”
Netanyahu, who was being accompanied by Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer during the meetings, thanked both candidates for their “friendship and support for Israel.”
If the British Empire was built on the playing fields of Eton, United States world hegemony gets its training in Hollywood studios and advertising agencies. Selling your product, or yourself, by looking sincere is a cultivated American art. Current top U.S. leaders are expert practitioners.
In the space of a few days, Samantha Power, John Kerry, and Barack Obama all turned in war-winning performances.
Three Deadly U.S. Blows to Hopes of Peace In Syria
Last August 8, on that serious think tank the Charlie Rose show, former acting CIA director Michael Morell said that U.S. policy in Syria should be to make Iran and Russia “pay a price”. Russians and Iranians should be killed “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it”, he said. Morell proposed that U.S. forces begin bombing Syrian government installations, in order to “scare Assad”. Probably angling for a good job next year, he is on record supporting Hillary Clinton as a “highly qualified commander in chief” and a “strong proponent of a more aggressive approach” in Syria.
Act I – An Act of War
Then, on Saturday, September 17, the U.S. Air Force did exactly what that CIA insider had called for. In sustained air strikes, four U.S. jets bombed a key Syrian Army position that had been defending the town of Deir ez-Zor from ISIS/Daech fighters. More than sixty Syrian soldiers were killed and over a hundred wounded. Daesh forces immediately took advantage of the strikes to overrun the government position. In effect, the U.S. Air Force acted as air cover for the Islamic fanatics U.S. to advance against the legitimate army of Syria.
This was not only a violation of the cease-fire painstakingly worked out by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. It was an open military aggression by the United States on the territory of a sovereign state.
The Russians immediately called an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to respond to this deadly violation of the truce supposedly intended to facilitate peace negotiations and humanitarian aid. When Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin took the floor to speak, his American counterpart, Samantha Power, draped in her long red mane, walked out to give a press conference that clearly illustrated the difference between Russian and U.S. diplomacy.
Churkin, like Lavrov a few days later, cited facts and analysed the situation rationally. Samantha Power put on a show of evasion and insults.
Why all the fuss? was her opening theme. After all, we halted the attack when we were informed that “it was possible we might be hitting Syrian regime personnel and vehicles”, she stated, adding that “if” we did so, “that was not our intention”. That should settle the question; who could believe that the United States might deliberately attack the regime their politicians have been saying “must go”?
The best defense is offensive, and Power can be most offensive:
“Even by Russia’s standards, tonight’s stunt – replete with moralism and grandstanding is uniquely cynical and hypocritical”, she declared.
Samantha Power, that conniving arriviste whose carefully constructed career has been built on moralism, grandstanding, cynicism and hypocrisy, had all the nerve in the world to turn these epithets against the prime target of her own habitual moralism, grandstanding, cynicism and hypocrisy.
If the air strikes hadn’t been enough to destroy Russian confidence in dealing with the United States, Samantha Power’s contemptuous reaction was sure to do the trick.
Act II – Change the Subject
Next ploy: change the subject. Our little accidental bombing is nothing, Power implied, compared to the alleged fact that “since 2011 the Assad regime has intentionally been striking civilian targets with horrifying, predictable regularity”. Here is the core of the Samantha Power fraud, containing two elements:
1/ While good-hearted bumbling America occasionally kills a few people by accident, the others do it all the time and above all intentionally.
2/ Killing civilians is what war is all about. War is not about battles between armed forces for control of territory. It is not about geopolitical power struggles. It is about “civilian victims”.
At the close of her stunt, grandstanding and scoring cheap points, Samantha Power exhorted Russia “to stop the cheap point scoring and the grandstanding and the stunts and focus on what matters, which is implementation of something we negotiated in good faith with them.” Good faith? They are supposed to believe we negotiated “in good faith” an agreement which we just flagrantly destroyed?
Lo and behold, only two days after the U.S. bombing of Deie ez-Zor, the subject was definitively changed when an international humanitarian aid convoy was attacked on its way to Aleppo. Twenty aid workers were killed and the aid mission was halted. Without waiting for any evidence, the unanimous cry went up from Washington that “the Russians did it!”
In the U.N. Security Council this time, John Kerry took the stage. Again, the critical point was the contrast between what we certainly did and what they allegedly did. Yes, we committed “a terrible accident”. But what they (allegedly) did was worse.
“I got to tell you, people running around with guns on the ground, from the air, is a very different thing from trucks in a convoy with big UN markings all over them,” Kerry declared. He was implying that the difference was between an understandable accident, whose victims were “running around with guns”, and an attack on civilians. Yes, but in war, attacking soldiers is the whole point. It can make a difference in the outcome. Hitting an aid convoy is “collateral damage”, as the U.S. calls it when the bombs are American. By bombing Deir ez-Zor, the United States was taking part in a war in which Syria is fighting for its life.
It cannot be ruled out that Syrian forces attacked the aid convoy because the truce was already broken at Deir ez-Zor and they believed it concealed weapons being transported to Daesh. Such things happen. Or the attack could have been carried out by rebels as an act of propaganda, a “false flag”, designed precisely to be used to accuse the adversary. Such things also happen.
It has already been established by careful research that the notorious Al Ghouta chemical weapons attack, attributed to Assad, was almost certainly carried out by rebels precisely in order to incite the United States to cross the “red line” set by President Obama and bomb Damascus. The War Party which by now controls the Pentagon, much of the State Department, most of Congress, as well as leading media and think tanks, has been castigating Obama ever since for not having seized that opportunity to wage a full-scale “regime change” war against Syria. The critics have never forgiven Obama for accepting the Russian proposal to use the occasion to rid Syria of its chemical arsenal, instead of overthrowing the Syrian government.
But in recent weeks, as the Hillary Clinton campaign grows more frantic, Obama himself has joined the War Party.
Act III – Wallow in Sentimentality
On September 20, President Obama used a Leaders Summit on Refugees to portray the Syrian episode in what increasingly appears to be World War III as a sentimental children’s story. Obama read the letter from 6-year-old Alex, who lives in Scarsdale, New York, expressing his wish to adopt Omran Daqneesh, the bewildered 5-year-old boy with a mop of dusty hair whose photo sitting in an orange ambulance seat was iconized across the world. The letter, provided to mass media by the White House, with its childish writing but nearly perfect spelling, was full of touching details about butterfly collections and shared toys. Obama read the letter, as people reached for Kleenexes all over the country, and then commented:
“Those are the words of a six-year-old boy – a young child you has not learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they come from, how they look, or how they pray. We should all be more like Alex. Imagine what the world would look like if we were.”
The little boys are very cute, very sweet. Fortunately, Omran Daneesh’s parents are alive, so there is no need to adopt him. Many other children are dead, notably in Yemen, killed by Washington’s ally Saudi Arabia with arms provided by the United States. Too late to adopt them.
“We should all be more like Alex”, Obama tells his good people. Imagine indeed, if all Americans were as innocent and naïve as six-year-old children. And indeed, that seems to be the goal of government propaganda.
This propagandistic heartstring tugging is aimed at distracting from U.S. involvement in a long-term joint criminal enterprise to overthrow a government that indeed did not discriminate against people because of “how they pray”, and replace it by fanatics who are ready to behead people because of “how they pray”.
An infantilized public will believe that “geopolitics” and “national sovereignty” are just big words that don’t mean anything. An infantilized public will believe that when the United States goes to war, it is all about protecting little children from their bad, mean dictators, whose only aspiration is to “bomb their own people”. They will believe that the world out there is Little Red Riding Hood, threatened by the Big Bad Wolf, and that there really is a Santa Claus.
It will never occur to an infantilized public that the war to destroy Syria has been planned for years – even though someone like General Wesley Clark revealed this years ago. Or that it is carried out to eliminate Israel’s enemies, keep Arabs busy killing each other, and incidentally help Saudi Arabia spread its Wahhabite fanaticism. No, that will never occur to them.
They won’t even notice that the Obama administration has now effectively given up any effort to justify the Nobel Peace Prize so foolishly bestowed on the apprentice president, and is now engaged in a scenario designed to prepare for Hillary’s next successful regime change war in Syria.
And it won’t occur to them that the photo of the little boy in the orange seat was quite deliberately iconized by Western media as part of the campaign promoting the Islamic rebel-connected “White Helmets” for the future Nobel Peace Prize.
Another subtle step in demonizing the “Assad regime” before Hillary takes over to administer the planned coup de grace. The future chuckler-in-chief is looking forward to seeing another head fall. This is called “smart power”.
Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book is Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. She can be reached at email@example.com
Allegations regarding the “peace-loving nature of Saudi Arabia and its aspirations amid the so-called fight against terrorism have been recently discussed by political circles across Western countries.
Western officials have unleashed particularly harsh criticism toward Riyadh in connection with its ongoing military operations in Yemen that have claimed civilian lives by the hundreds. For instance, the UN coordinator for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, announced on August 30 that the Saudi armed intervention resulted in a civilian death toll of 10,000 people in just 18 months of fighting.
British political and business circles are now questioning the approval of the sale of 3 billion pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia that London approved, similarly such concerns are being voiced in France, with Paris having sold up to 13 billion euros worth of weapons to Riyadh.
This year, Saudi Arabia has been particularly busy purchasing weapons from among the largest arms exporters in the world, including the United States, Germany and Canada. The total worth of all contracts exceeds a staggering sum of 16 billion dollars. A brief analysis of the weapons purchased by the Saudis indicates modernization attempts made in a bid to prepare for a large scale ground conflict.
Last June, Saudi Arabia purchased 419 Canadian LAV-6 lightly-armored infantry fighting vehicles also known as Kodiaks. In August, the United States approved the sale of 153 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Saudi Arabia, a contract that will earn Washington 1.15 billion dollars. Additionally, Saudi Arabia is expected to purchase 153 .50 caliber heavy machine gun, 266 M240 medium machine guns, smoke grenade launchers and an extensive amount of equipment for field repairs for their new American-made tanks.
Along with the modernization of its ground forces, Riyadh continues to strengthen its naval fleet. In the first quarter of this year Riyadh has purchased 48 patrol ships (TNC-35s and FPB-38s) built in Germany.
The drastic increase in Saudi weapons imports is closely connected with Riyadh’s intervention in Yemen, and its possible confrontation with Iran, the conflict in Syria, and Saudi aspirations to take an active part in the resolution of various geopolitical crises across the Middle East in accordance with its own interests.
According to the The Boston Globe, certain representatives of US political circles opposed vigorously continuous arms shipments to Saudi Arabia. It’s been reported that a total of sixty-four members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter warning that the deal would have ” a deeply troubling effect on civilians“ in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is conducting a fierce military campaign.
The United Nations has estimated that the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing Yemen is responsible for “twice as many civilian casualties as all other forces put together.” Yet the Obama administration wants to sell the Saudis 153 battle tanks made by General Dynamics, some of which are to be used in Yemen.
Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has made 42 arms deals with Saudi Arabia, worth a staggering 115 billion dollars. For some members of the US Congress, the latest deal represents a breaking point, since they are reluctant to send weapons that will be used first in Yemen and then in other conflicts likely to be equally as barbaric, serving Saudi, not American interests. “There is an American imprint on every civilian life lost. in Yemen, “said Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the resolution to block the deal. Another co-sponsor, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, called the deal ”a recipe for disaster and an escalation of an ongoing arms race in the region.”
However, despite the attempts made by a number of American politicians to put an end to Saudi war crimes, the Senate voted 71 to 27 to kill legislation that would have stopped the 115 billion deals. The overwhelming vote stopped an effort led by Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to block the deal over concerns including Saudi Arabia’s role in the 18-month-long war in Yemen and worries that it might fuel an ongoing regional arms race.
It is clear that Riyadh is not going to end its current campaign of regional aggression, leaving few other options other than banning United States arms sales to the Kingdom.
However, the voice of reason has been drowned out by the sheer greed by the pro-war lobby in Congress, providing Riyadh with carte blanche to carry on with its military interventions across the region, unhindered and unopposed. The US political establishment has once again shown its true face, as a willing accomplice, and approving any sort of massacre as long as it can obtain profits from it.
Head of Ansarullah politburo Saleh al-Sammad
Head of the new Yemeni council, Salah al-Sammad, proposed on Sunday a truce on the country’s border with Saudi Arabia in an exchange for a halt in Saudi-led strikes on his country.
The proposal coincided with a surge in fighting after peace talks were suspended last month.
Sammad called on Saudi Arabia to “stop naval, air and land aggression, cease air raids and lift the blockade of our country, in exchange for an end to combat operations on the border and to missile launches into Saudi territory,” he said, in a speech published on the sabanews website.
Sammad also urged the UN and “peace-loving states” to exert pressure on the attacking Saudi regime to accept the offer.
He also suggested an amnesty for “combatants who have sided with the aggression,” a reference to fighters who back the Saudi-US assault on Yemen.
The Huthis are allied with soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Saudi Arabia in March 2015 formed an Arab coalition to begin air strikes on Yemen. More than 6,600 people have been killed since the coalition launched its intervention, most of them civilians, and at least three million people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has backed an official inquiry into British troops’ possible crimes abroad, while calling for smaller armed forces and intelligence services in Britain.
Speaking at Labour Party’s conference in Liverpool on Sunday, Corbyn argued that probing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was necessary to show London’s commitment to international law.
“I do think there has to be a recognition that we have signed up to international law on the behavior of troops,” said Corbyn. “So I think there has to be investigation. Saying never to prosecute, I think, would be a step too far.”
The opposition leader, who was recently re-elected to lead the party, said that, the British military was consuming too much money and that Britain should no longer have a “huge land-based defense force.”
Corbyn then slammed the country’s intelligence services for planning new recruitment programs.
The UK Secret Intelligence Service, aka MI6, is about to employ an extra 1,000 spies.
“I don’t necessarily think that’s particularly necessary,” he said. “There has to be security for everybody but I’m unclear as to why they want to be so much bigger.”
Corbyn’s call for the investigations is a slap in the face for former British prime minister Tony Blair, who backed the US in its 2003 invasion of Iraq by sending nearly 170,000 military personnel to the Arab country.
Blair, who was battered in the Chilcot report for starting a war that plunged Iraq into chaos, has condemned the investigation into British soldiers.
Corbyn’s remarks elicited attacks from both inside and outside of his own party.
“The current investigatory system has led to too many vexatious claims against service personnel. This has come at tremendous cost to them, their families and indeed the public purse,” Dan Jarvis, a former British Army Major and Labour MP, told the Telegraph.
“Unfortunately it shows he is out of touch with Labour policy – as he was over the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent,” said John Spellar, a former Labour Armed Forces minister.
The 67-year-old socialist has shown little interest for Britain’s special relationship with the US and is opposed to nuclear weapons, including the costly Trident nuclear missile system.
The Sunday Express reports: “Jewish community furious at re-election of ‘antisemitic’ Jeremy Corbyn”
Jewish campaigners have reacted with fury to the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn, warning that with the left-winger in charge, the Labour Party is “no longer a safe place for British Jews”. Maybe, but also maybe it is time to accept that Jews don’t feel safe anywhere – not in France, not in Belgium, not in Monroe, NY, not even in Israel despite the IDF being one of the strongest armies in the world. But beware. If Jews do not feel safe anywhere, then making the Labour party into a Jewish safe haven may well be considered an anti-Jewish act.
It’s fair to say that Jews have worked hard to make the Labour party and Corbyn supporters, hostile to their interests and their political-lobbying culture. Yet, despite the intensive Jewish campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran Left leader again won the mandate by a landslide (62% of the votes). But in a statement released minutes after the result of the leadership contest was announced, Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, blasted: “Though we are an apolitical organisation … the Labour Party is no longer a safe place for British Jews.”
We also learn that Parry Mitchell, a senior Jewish Labour peer has quit the Labour party today over Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘lukewarm’ approach to anti-Semitism. The Jewish peer struggles to cope with the democratic process. “Jeremy has no leadership qualities whatsoever – his little group like him and they think he’s the Messiah, but he will never become the leader and prime minister of this country,” Lord Mitchell told BBC One’s Sunday Politics.
At least the Jewish peer was honest enough to admit that it is his tribal interests that motivates him. “I’m Jewish and I’m very strongly Jewish… he (Corbyn) surrounds himself with a coterie of people who hold violent, violent anti-Israel views, and allied with it they are very hostile to Jews so, in my view, they’re pretty bad guys.” So perhaps now’s the time for the Jewish Labour peer to accept that Israeli brutality is just not consistent with Labour values. After all, is it not only natural for left-leaning people to advocate left ideas even if this only happens rarely?
The Jewish campaign against Corbyn was, as ever, well orchestrated and well-funded. In the last few months we have been following Jewish Labour donor Michael Foster, who thought that £400,000 would be about enough to buy the Labour party, and we learned this week that a new anti-Corbyn group is receiving funding from Tony Blair’s former spin doctor – who now runs Peter Mandelson’s consultancy firm, Electoral Commission. The Independent reported this week that Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, the managing partner at Peter Mandelson’s Global Counsel, a company that helps businesses “trying to influence policy,” has also invested in the destruction of Corbyn’s Labour. On 27 June, Wegg-Prosser loaned Labour Tomorrow Ltd £10,000 – at the same time as MPs resigned en masse from the shadow cabinet in the so-called “coup”.
But British Jews shouldn’t panic yet. Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan has just been nominated for the Annual Shabbos Goy Award when he vowed to spearhead a drive to stop the party being anti-Semitic. Writing for the Holocaust Educational Trust today, Khan says: “Whenever anti-semitism rears its ugly head, I’ll be the first to call it out, condemn it and then work to stamp it out.”
I’ve a hunch Sadiq Khan knows exactly where to find the shekels for his next campaign.
© nationaltheatret beklager / YouTube
Tel Aviv has urged the National Theatre of Norway to deny links to and remove a video in which a fake theater official called for a boycott of Israel and its HaBima Theater. The Norwegian theater denied its part but stopped short of criticizing the clip.
While the theater apparently had no role in producing the video, the Israeli Foreign Ministry demanded that it should “clearly and immediately repudiate” the clip, as well as take “necessary measures to have the video removed from every site.”
It went on to compare the video to “the works of the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, or the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl,” adding that it is “actively pursuing the matter with all involved parties.”
In response, the National Theater of Norway wrote in a statement published on its website that it was in no way part of making the video, and does not engage in boycotts.
“The article and video are not made by The National Theater of Norway – and do not represent The National Theater of Norway’s attitude – they are an expression of artistic freedom. The National Theater of Norway still has greater faith in collaboration with artists across national borders and from regimes we are critical to, than boycotts and silence,” it wrote.
Although the six-minute video claims to be from the National Theater of Norway, it was actually created by a group of actors from the art project “Monsters of Reality,” which is part of the 2016 International Ibsen Festival.
In the video, a person claiming to be a spokesperson for the theater lashes out against Israel and its occupation of Palestinian territories. She apologizes on behalf of the playhouse, for collaborating with Israel’s HaBima Theater between 2013 and 2015.
“This is a great day for the National Theater of Norway. It is the day when we publicly apologize for our shameful collaboration with HaBima, the national theater of Israel…” the spokesperson says.
She goes on to state that when the theatre agreed to collaborate with Israel, it did not know “what a powerful role HaBima and other Israeli art institutions play in normalizing the Israeli occupation,” calling Israeli art a “tool” for building an image of “a humanistic nation” instead of an “apartheid state.”
She claims the two theatres were collaborating as Israel “executed its horrific bombing over the Gaza strip,” and that the Norwegian one was unaware of HaBima’s alleged role because it did not do “one single piece of research…we didn’t bother to find out.”
“Five-hundred Palestinian children lost their lives while HaBima was busy entertaining Israeli soldiers,” she says.
In conclusion, the woman posing as spokesperson makes three promises on behalf of the theatre. The first is that it will fully support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, and cancel its membership with the “politically irresponsible” European Theatre Union.
Next, the spokesperson claims the theatre will dedicate all means of production to “work with the situation in the Middle East” from 2017 to 2019. She even promises that the facility’s director will give 50 percent of her salary to Palestinian theatre in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law,” according to the Palestinian BDS National Committee’s website.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused world football’s governing body FIFA of “tarnishing the beautiful game” by allowing “games on stolen land”.
In a report published on Sunday, HRW said that FIFA was legitimizing the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank—considered illegal under international law—and was sponsoring business activity that supports the settlements.
The New York-based body urged FIFA to force six Israeli football clubs based in settlements in the West Bank to relocate from occupied territories or be banned from competitions recognized by football’s governing body.
The six clubs in question are located in the West Bank and play in the lower Israeli leagues—Beitar Givat Ze’ev, Beitar Ironi Ariel, Ironi Yehuda, Beitar Ironi Maale Adumim and Hapoel Bik’at Hayarden.
The report follows an online petition that has gained more than 150,000 signatures, calling for FIFA official Tokyo Sexwale—who is heading up FIFA’s investigation into the issue—to ban settlement clubs from FIFA-recognized competitions.
More than 60 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also sent an open letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino earlier in September, calling for the settlement clubs to be relocated or excluded from the Israeli Football Association (IFA).
FIFA’s rulebook states that football clubs that are a member of one football association may not play on the territory of another football association without the other association’s permission. The Palestinian Football Association has been recognized by FIFA since 1998.
“By holding games on stolen land, FIFA is tarnishing the beautiful game of football,” said Sari Bashi, ‘Israel’ and Palestine country director at HRW.
A 13-year-old girl who was shot five times by Israeli soldiers has told RT she is still haunted by the incident, and hopes that soldiers will restrain themselves from shooting other “innocent children.” Her father says he wants Israel to compensate his family.
Speaking to RT, 13-year-old Bara’a Owaisi said she had traveled to a West Bank checkpoint after dreaming about her aunt, who had been killed there.
“She called to me saying, ‘I want to see you.’ So I went to the checkpoint to see where my aunt died, because I miss her,” Owaisi explained.
“The Israeli soldiers spoke to me, but I couldn’t understand them, so some Arab workers explained. They asked me to take my bag off my back and put it down. I removed my bag. I said I wanted to see where my aunt died. They asked for my aunt’s name and I answered… then they opened fire on me. The two soldiers said, ‘This one is a terrorist,’ and ordered the others to open fire,” she said.
Owaisi went on to say that she constantly replays the incident in her mind.
“I have nightmares. I was terrified of [the soldiers], and I see them in my dreams. They shoot at me all the time. I hope the soldiers don’t shoot at any more innocent children,” she said.
Her father spoke of how incomprehensible it was to shoot his daughter so many times.
“They wanted to kill her. They shot her five times. One bullet is enough to take someone down, not five. They shot her in cold blood. She wasn’t doing anything. The Israeli soldiers were shouting at her without any reason. My daughter can’t do anything.”
He went on to state that his wife must now carry the young girl to the bathroom, and that he hopes his daughter will walk again. He said he wants Israel to pay compensation for the incident.
“I want Israel to pay compensation. It is not the first time this has happened. The Israelis try to kill many Palestinian children, and I want the world to know about this.”
RT reached out to the Israeli Defense Ministry, but received no response. A statement from the ministry following the shooting said the girl told interrogators that she went to the checkpoint “to die.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Republican nominee Donald Trump during a meeting in New York on September 25, 2016. (photo via @IsraeliPM)
Republican nominee Donald Trump promises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel” if he emerges victor in the US 2016 presidential election.
The meeting at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Sunday took nearly 90 minutes as Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, Jared Kushner, was on hand for the meeting along with Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
“A Trump administration would finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” the Trump campaign said in a press release.
The two talked about “the special relationship between America and Israel and the unbreakable bond between the two countries.”
Trump asserted that the US military aid to Israeli missile system is “an excellent investment for America,” further calling Tel Aviv a “vital partner” in the war against “Islamic terrorism,” from which the Israelis have “suffered far too long.”
On the agenda at the meeting was also the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, including the United States.
Trump described East Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel since 1967, as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
Trump’s statement was devoid of any reference to Israel’s heavy-handed crackdown in Palestine or even the so-called two –state solution, pursued in the foreign policy of the administration of President Barack Obama.
“The meeting concluded with both leaders promising the highest level of mutual support and cooperation should Mr. Trump have the honor and privilege of being elected president of the United States,” concluded the statement.
East Jerusalem al-Quds was occupied in 1967 and Israel later annexed it heedless of international condemnations.
The Palestinian Authority, which administers the occupied West Bank, views the city as the capital of its future state. Palestinians have also resisted numerous Israeli plans for exerting full control over the territory.
This time, a Florida public school principal threatened to remove students from school-sponsored sporting events if they choose not to stand for the National Anthem.
“You will stand and you will stay quiet, if you don’t, you are going to be sent home and you’re not going to have a refund of your ticket price,” Lely High School Principal Ryan Nemeth said in a video, according to an NBC 2 report. “It’s something that I’m very passionate about and something we are going to do.”
Nemeth obviously feels strongly about this issue, but that doesn’t mean he can force others to adopt his view. People who choose not to stand probably feel passionate about their form of protest as well. I can’t stress enough that we don’t force the perceived version of patriotism in this country, and that distinguishes our freedom for the better.
Some were quick to challenge authority, as one student and basketball player, Adrianas Pena, told NBC 2 that Nemeth “shouldn’t be ejecting people just because they don’t wanna stand. Everybody has their voice to say something with it.”
This type of threat, especially from taxpayer-funded schools like Lely High, is unacceptable. The explanation for the video is even more irking.
This should always be voluntary.
On Thursday, Greg Turchetta, a spokesman for the Collier County school district said that the video was “taken out of context” because it came after students were “disruptive” during the anthem at a volleyball game.
Really, though? Is the school district really trying to argue that a warning that says “stand for the national anthem or get ejected from the game” is ambiguous and can be taken out of context? Really?
“They may have been laughing and joking, you know, it’s the beginning of an athletic competition,” Truchetta said. “They just came in, I’ve seen it sometimes when people don’t even realize what’s going on… oh the anthem is on, and they might have been slow to react to it.”
Let’s say that’s the case – students were chatting and didn’t even realize the anthem was being played. Surely there were other ways to deal with that than a grown man making a video trying to force every student to be a minion. And if some students made a conscious decision not to take part, they have that right. The Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that if students have a religious- or conscience-based objection to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, they could opt out. The same rules would surely apply to the National Anthem.
Unfortunately, Truchetta doesn’t think the Constitution applies to minors, since apparently, students can only protest during the anthem if they have written permission from their parents and if their protest is a silent or “peaceful” one. (This is ironic since the video was inspired by Kaepernick’s peaceful protest, but by all means)
I think Fort Myers attorney Michael Noone said it best when he told a local TV station: “I don’t recall anywhere in the Constitution where it says that your freedom of speech rights come into effect when you turn 18.”
I don’t recall that either.
Al-Quds University journalism student Malik al-Qadi following his release from administrative detention
JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities released former hunger-striking prisoner Malik al-Qadi to Palestinian medics on Saturday to transfer him to a hospital in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Saturday morning that its staff was transferring al-Qadi from the Israeli Wolfson Medical Center to the Istishari Arab Hospital in the city of Ramallah.
Al-Qadi is in a dire health condition after going without food for 68 days to protest being held in administrative detention — internment without trial or charges — by Israel.
Al-Qadi ended his hunger strike on Wednesday, along with fellow prisoners Muhammad and Mahmoud al-Balboul, after an agreement with the Israeli prisons services not to renew their administrative detentions.
Muhammad Balboul, 26, had refused food for 77 days since July 7, while his 23-year-old brother Mahmoud had been on hunger strike 79 days since July 5, and al-Qadi, 25, declared his hunger strike on July 16.
Qaraqe said in a statement on Wednesday that Muhammad and Mahmoud al-Balboul were set to be released on Dec. 8, while Malik al-Qadi would be released on Sep. 22, and that all three of their administrative detentions would not be renewed.
The three had initially launched their hunger strikes amid a mass movement across Israeli prisons in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Kayid, who after 71 days suspended his hunger strike after striking a deal with Israel to end his administrative detention sentence. He was reportedly set to be released on Dec. 12.
Kayid was one of the most high-profile hunger strikers since Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq came near death during a 94-day hunger strike protesting his administrative detention order, before he was finally released in May.
Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence, has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, students, and journalists.
Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
According to Addameer, as of August, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 700 of whom were being held under administrative detention.