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Pro-Palestine posters on Balfour centenary ‘censored’ by London transport authority

RT | October 17, 2017

Transport for London (TfL) has been accused of censorship after refusing to allow campaigners to display posters giving the Palestinian perspective on the Balfour Declaration. The posters were designed to mark the 100th anniversary of the colonial-era document that led to the creation of Israel.

The declaration, signed on November 2, 1917, saw then-foreign secretary Arthur Balfour agree to the establishment of a national home for Jewish people in Palestine. Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian has accused TfL of censorship.

The advertising campaign, called Make It Right, includes images of life before and after 1948, when Palestinians were forced from their homes during the Arab-Israeli war.

At the time, the British Government believed their interests could be served by supporting Zionist ambitions in Palestine.

The Palestine Mission to the UK, the group behind the campaign, was left outraged after TfL said the adverts “did not comply fully with our guidelines.”

They were rejected under Clause 2.3(h) of the guidelines, which refers to campaigns relating to “matters of public controversy or sensitivity.”

“Palestinian history is a censored history,” Hassassian said in a statement.

“There has been a 100-year-long cover-up of the British Government’s broken promise, in the Balfour Declaration, to safeguard the rights of the Palestinians when it gave away their country to another people.

“TfL’s decision is not surprising as it is, at best, susceptible to or, at worst, complicit with, all the institutional forces and active lobby groups which continuously work to silence the Palestinian narrative.

“There may be free speech in Britain on every issue under the sun but not on Palestine,” added Hassassian.

The Palestinian charity said it was not asked to adapt the adverts, as can be requested by an advertising agency. It also questioned why an identical teaser ad was allowed in Westminster underground station last year without objection.

Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have requested that Britain apologizes for the Balfour Declaration.

The Government refused to issue an apology in April this year, saying it had helped to establish a “homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution.”

The Government did, however, recognize that the declaration should have protected Arab political rights.

Protests will take place across Britain in November as Theresa May and her Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrate the centenary.

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

US House Proposal on Surveillance ‘Does Not Protect Privacy of Americans’

Sputnik – October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union said on Friday that the current version of the USA Liberty Act leaves Americans vulnerable to unlimited spying.

The Legislation proposed by the US House of Representatives would give the US government improper authority to spy on private citizens, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a press release.

“As written, the bill still allows the government to read emails, text messages, and other communications of Americans without a probable cause warrant or even a shred of evidence suggesting that the person has information necessary to protect against an imminent threat,” ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani said in the release on Friday.

Neema Singh Guliani said that the bill does not do enough to protect Americans’ privacy and it must be improved.The measure does not address concerns that it includes a loophole that could be used to “improperly” spy on journalists, government critics, activists and other private citizens, the release said.

The measure dubbed USA Liberty Act, would extend the government’s surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year, the release said.

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties | | 1 Comment

‘Major impediment’: PACE says Ukraine education law violates ethnic minority rights

Schoolchildren at the celebratory assembly dedicated to the Day of Knowledge in Lviv. © Pavel Palamarchuk / Sputnik
RT | October 12, 2017

A new Ukrainian education law fails to “strike a balance” between the official language and those of minorities, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said in a resolution, adding that it is not conducive to “living together.”

PACE expressed its concerns over the articles relating to education in minority languages in the law recently adopted by Kiev. It “entails a heavy reduction in the rights previously recognized to ‘national minorities’ concerning their own language of education,” according to the document.

“The new legislation does not appear to strike an appropriate balance between the official language and the languages of national minorities,” the resolution adopted by PACE on Thursday says. The document was supported by 82 members of the 110 who took part in the vote, RIA Novosti reports. Only 11 parliamentarians opposed it while 17 others abstained.

The resolution further says that the Ukrainian education act “is not conducive to ‘living together,’” which particularly encompasses the principle of non-discrimination. PACE noted that any country’s measures aimed at promoting its official language must “go hand in hand with measures to protect and promote the languages of national minorities.”

The assembly said it “deplored” the fact that no consultations with the national minorities in Ukraine were held ahead of the adoption of the law. It further “expressed dissatisfaction” that the text of the legislation was submitted to the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) for an opinion only after it was approved by the Ukrainian parliament – the Supreme Rada – and signed by the president, Petro Poroshenko.

The resolution called on Kiev to ensure that there is enough “flexibility” in the planning and implementation of the educational reform to “avoid hasty changes prejudicing the quality of education provided to pupils and students belonging to national minorities.”

It also asked the Ukrainian authorities “to fully implement” the recommendations of the Venice Commission, which it is expected to deliver by the end of 2017. The controversial legislation adopted by the Supreme Rada on September 5, and signed by Poroshenko on September 27, is still causing concern in neighboring European countries.

The head of the Hungarian delegation at PACE, Zsolt Nemeth, accused Kiev of being at odds with European values and said that the newly adopted law could lead to instability in the western Ukrainian regions. He also called on European countries to “continue to exert pressure” on Ukraine to make it “stay within the framework of European values,” as reported by TASS.

Moldovan MP and also PACE member, Vlad Batrincea, said that Kiev is cherry-picking European values. Ukraine acts as if it had a “menu in a restaurant,” the MP said, adding that Kiev adopts some European norms but pretends it is unaware of others.

Following the adoption of the law, Romania cancelled a state visit to Ukraine by President Klaus Werner Iohannis and refused to host a parliamentary delegation from Ukraine in protest.

Moldovan President Igor Dodon warned that Ukraine’s Moldovan and Romanian minorities risked “denationalization” under the new law, while Hungary called it a “stab in the back.”

Later, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto threatened to block Ukraine’s EU integration under the Eastern Partnership program in response to the adoption of the law.

The legislation is expected to affect at least 400,000 children studying in 735 Ukrainian schools which offer instruction in minority languages. The majority of these children are ethnic Russians, but other minorities in Ukraine include Romanians, Hungarians, Moldovans and Poles.

Under the newly adopted law, only children in grades 1-4 would be allowed to learn the curriculum in their native tongues in Ukraine starting from 2018, and by 2020 even that will no longer be legal.

Read more:

Russian parliament blasts new Ukrainian language law as violation of European Charter

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Almost Half of Germans, French, Poles Think US Interferes in Foreign Elections

Sputnik – October 12, 2017

The majority of the educated European public think it is the US which exerts influence on the elections in other countries, according to Sputnik’s public poll, which has been conducted by the leading French pollster Ifop.

Sputnik asked French pollster Ifop (French Institute of Public Opinion), a renowned international market researcher that has been gathering public opinion for large companies and political parties worldwide since 1938, to discover what Europeans think about the issue of interference in foreign elections in the wake of the accusations of Russia of meddling in voting in other countries.

Russia has been accused by the US of interfering in foreign parliamentary and presidential elections, with the allegations leading to a new round of anti-Russian sanctions levied by Washington.

Ifop interviewed 3,228 respondents over 18 years of age in the UK, France, Germany and Poland, asking them, “Taking into account its political and economic influence and the capabilities of its special forces, which country exerts more influence on the elections in other countries?”

Among the suggested countries were the US, Russia and the EU bloc, other options suggested another country or none.

One-third of the UK residents think it is the US which exerts influence on the elections in other countries. However the percentage is higher in Germany and France (over 40%), the countries, which this year voted in federal and presidential elections correspondingly.

In Poland, which voted in parliamentary and presidential elections in 2015, 43% also think that it is the US.

21% of the UK residents and less than 30% of continental Europeans, however, believe that Russia has an influence on the voting in other countries.

The number of those who think that the EU interferes in the elections of other countries is almost twice as high in the UK (18%), than in France, Germany or Poland.

Age seemed to have an important influence on the answers, with the tech-savvy under 35’s showing less faith in the impartiality of the US political machine than the older generation.

In all four countries, the poll showed that education also played a factor, with those possessing a higher education choosing the US as the main culprit, in comparison to their less-educated peers.

With regards to their political preferences, in France, more supporters of the left (50%) think that the US is meddling in voting in other countries, than those who support the National Front and those who support the Democratic Movement party.

As for Germany, more Eastern Germans support the idea that the US interferes (46%), versus 39% of the Western Germans polled. Meanwhile, 31% of Westerners think the same about Russia, versus 18% in Eastern Germany.

In the UK, people residing outside the capital think the US interferes more, while about 30% of Londoners support this point of view.

In Poland, it is more the right (44%) and centrists (43%) who blame the US, while 38% of the left are of the same opinion.

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Power Corrupts: A Culture of Compliance Breeds Despots and Predators

By John W. Whitehead | Rutherford Institute | October 10, 2017

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.”― Frank Herbert

Power corrupts.

Worse, as 19th-century historian Lord Acton concluded, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency) too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be abused.

We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America.

A cop shoots an unarmed citizen for no credible reason and gets away with it. A president employs executive orders to sidestep the Constitution and gets away with it. A government agency spies on its citizens’ communications and gets away with it. An entertainment mogul sexually harasses aspiring actresses and gets away with it. The U.S. military bombs a civilian hospital and a school and gets away with it.

Abuse of power—and the ambition-fueled hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for misconduct that make those abuses possible—works the same whether you’re talking about sexual harassment, government corruption, or the rule of law.

For instance, 20 years ago, I took up a sexual harassment lawsuit on behalf of a young woman—a state employee—who claimed that her boss, a politically powerful man, had arranged for her to meet him in a hotel room, where he then allegedly dropped his pants, propositioned her and invited her to perform oral sex on him.

Despite the fact that this man had a well-known reputation for womanizing and this woman was merely one in a long line of women who had accused the man of groping, propositioning, and pressuring them for sexual favors in the workplace, she was denounced as white trash and subjected to a massive smear campaign by the man’s wife, friends and colleagues (including the leading women’s rights organizations of the day), while he was given lucrative book deals and paid lavish sums for speaking engagements.

William Jefferson Clinton eventually agreed to settle the case and pay Paula Jones $850,000.

Here we are 20 years later and not much has changed.

We’re still shocked by sexual harassment in the workplace, the victims of these sexual predators are still being harassed and smeared, and those who stand to gain the most by overlooking wrongdoing (all across the political spectrum) are still turning a blind eye to misconduct when it’s politically expedient to do so.

This time, it’s Hollywood producer Harvey Weinsteinlongtime Clinton associate and a powerhouse when it comes to raising money for Democrats—who is being accused of decades of sexual assaults, aggressively sexual overtures and harassment.

I won’t go into the nauseating details here. You can read them for yourself at the New York Times and the New Yorker.

Suffice it to say that it’s the same old story all over again: man rises to power, man abuses power abominably, man intimidates and threatens anyone who challenges him with retaliation or worse, and man gets away with it because of a culture of compliance in which no one speaks up because they don’t want to lose their job or their money or their place among the elite.

From what I’ve read, this was Hollywood’s worst-kept secret.

In other words, everyone who was anyone knew about it. They were either complicit in allowing the abuses to take place, turning a blind eye to them, or helping to cover them up.

It’s not just happening in Hollywood, however.

And it’s not just sexual predators that we have to worry about.

For every Harvey Weinstein (or Roger Ailes or Bill Cosby or Donald Trump) who eventually gets called out for his sexual misbehavior, there are hundreds—thousands—of others in the American police state who are getting away with murder—in many cases, literally—simply because they can.

The cop who shoots the unarmed citizen first and asks questions later might get put on paid leave for a while or take a job with another police department, but that’s just a slap on the wrist. The shootings and SWAT team raids and excessive use of force will continue, because the police unions and the politicians and the courts won’t do a thing to stop it. Case in point: The Justice Department will no longer attempt to police the police when it comes to official misconduct. Instead, it plans to give police agencies more money and authority to “fight” crime.

The war hawks who are making a profit by waging endless wars abroad, killing innocent civilians in hospitals and schools, and turning the American homeland into a domestic battlefield will continue to do so because neither the president nor the politicians will dare to challenge the military industrial complex. Case in point: Rather than scaling back on America’s endless wars, President Trump—like his predecessors—has continued to expand America’s military empire and its attempts to police the globe.

The National Security Agency that carries out warrantless surveillance on Americans’ internet and phone communications will continue to do so, because the government doesn’t want to relinquish any of its ill-gotten powers. Case in point: The USA Liberty Act, proposed as a way to “fix” all that’s wrong with domestic surveillance, will instead legitimize the government’s snooping powers.

Unless something changes in the way we deal with these ongoing, egregious abuses of power, the predators of the police state will continue to wreak havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives.

Police officers will continue to shoot and kill unarmed citizens. Government agents—including local police—will continue to dress and act like soldiers on a battlefield.

Bloated government agencies will continue to fleece taxpayers while eroding our liberties. Government technicians will continue to spy on our emails and phone calls. Government contractors will continue to make a killing by waging endless wars abroad.

And powerful men (and women) will continue to abuse the powers of their office by treating those around them as underlings and second-class citizens who are unworthy of dignity and respect and undeserving of the legal rights and protections that should be afforded to all Americans.

As Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the at the University of California, Berkeley, observed in the Harvard Business Review, “While people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance the interests of others, such as empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing; when they start to feel powerful or enjoy a position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade. The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and unethical behavior.”

After conducting a series of experiments into the phenomenon of how power corrupts, Keltner concluded: “Just the random assignment of power, and all kinds of mischief ensues, and people will become impulsive. They eat more resources than is their fair share. They take more money. People become more unethical. They think unethical behavior is okay if they engage in it. People are more likely to stereotype. They’re more likely to stop attending to other people carefully.”

Power corrupts.

And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

However, it takes a culture of entitlement and a nation of compliant, willfully ignorant, politically divided citizens to provide the foundations of tyranny.

As researchers Joris Lammers and Adam Galinsky found, those in power not only tend to abuse that power but they also feel entitled to abuse it: “People with power that they think is justified break rules not only because they can get away with it, but also because they feel at some intuitive level that they are entitled to take what they want.”

That sense of entitlement and immunity from charges of wrongdoing dovetails with Richard Nixon’s belief that “when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

For too long now, America has played politics with its principles and allowed the president and his colleagues to act in violation of the rule of law.

“We the people” are paying the price for it now.

Americans have allowed Congress, the White House and the Judiciary to wreak havoc with our freedoms. They have tolerated an oligarchy in which a powerful, elite group of wealthy donors is calling the shots. They have paid homage to patriotism while allowing the military industrial complex to spread death and destruction abroad. And they have turned a blind eye to all manner of wrongdoing when it was politically expedient.

This culture of compliance must stop.

The empowerment of petty tyrants and political gods must end.

For starters, let’s go back to the basics: the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Let’s recommit to abiding by the rule of law.

Here’s what the rule of law means in a nutshell: it means that everyone is treated the same under the law, everyone is held equally accountable to abiding by the law, and no one is given a free pass based on their politics, their connections, their wealth, their status or any other bright line test used to confer special treatment on the elite.

Let’s demand scrutiny and transparency at all levels of government, which in turn will lead to accountability.

We need to stop being victimized by these predators.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, I’m not just talking about the political predators in office, but the ones who are running the show behind the scenes—the shadow government—comprised of unelected government bureaucrats whose powers are unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and beyond the reach of the law.

There is no way to erase the scars left by the government’s greed for money and power, its disregard for human life, its corruption and graft, its pollution of the environment, its reliance on excessive force in order to ensure compliance, its covert activities, its illegal surveillance, and its blatant disdain for the rule of law.

“We the people”—men and women alike— have been victims of the police state for so long that not many Americans even remember what it is to be truly free anymore. Worse, few want to shoulder the responsibility that goes along with maintaining freedom.

Still, we must try.


ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Sputnik and RT Under Investigation

Is it news or propaganda? And what about the First Amendment?

Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • October 10, 2017

Somehow everything keeps coming back around to Russia. In one of its recent initiatives, the Justice Department (DOJ) appears to be attacking the First Amendment as part of the apparent bipartisan program to make Vladimir Putin the fall guy for everything that goes wrong in Washington. In the past month, the DOJ has revealed that the FBI is investigating Russian owned news outlets Sputnik News and RT International and has sent letters to the latter demanding that one of its business affiliates register as a foreign agent by October 17th. The apparent line of inquiry that the Bureau is pursuing is that both are agencies of the Russian government and that both have been spreading disinformation that is intended to discredit the United States government and its institutions. This alleged action would make them, in the DOJ view, a propaganda arm of a foreign government rather than a news service. It also makes them subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

Sputnik, which is owned by a Russian government media group headed by Putin consigliere Dimitri Kiselyov, has been under investigation due to the accusations made by a fired broadcaster named Andrew Feinberg. Feinberg, the former Sputnik White House correspondent, reportedly took with him a thumb drive containing some thousands of internal business files when he left his office. He has been interviewed by the FBI, has turned over his documents, and has claimed that much of the direction over what the network covered came from Moscow.

RT America, more television oriented than Sputnik, operates through two business entities: RTTV America and RTTV Studios. The Department of Justice has refused to identify which of the businesses has been targeted by a letter calling for registration under FARA, but it is believed to be RTTV America, which provides both operational support of the broadcasting as well as the production facilities. Both companies are actually owned by Russian-American businessman Alex Yazlovsky, though the funding for them presumably comes from the Russian government.

I have noticed very little pushback in the U.S. mainstream and alternative media regarding the Department of Justice moves, presumably because there is a broad consensus that the Russians have been interfering in our “democracy” and have had it coming. If that assumption on my part is correct, the silence over the issue reflects a certain naïvete while also constituting a near perfect example of a pervasive tunnel vision that obscures the significant collateral damage that might be forthcoming.

News organizations are normally considered to be exempt from the requirements of FARA. The Department of Justice action against the two Russian major media outlets is unprecedented insofar as I could determine. Even Qatar owned al-Jazeera, which was so vilified during the early stages of the Afghan War that it had its Kabul offices bombed by the U.S., did not have to register under FARA, was permitted to operate freely, and was even allowed to buy a television channel license for its American operations.

The DOJ is in effect saying that RT and Sputnik are nothing more than propaganda organs and do not qualify as journalism. I would have to disagree if one goes by the standards of contemporary journalism in the United States. America’s self-described “newspapers of record” the New York Times and the Washington Post pretend that they have a lock on stories that are “true.” The Post has adopted the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” while the Times proclaims “The truth is more important now than ever,” but anyone who has read either paper regularly for the past year knows perfectly well that they have been as often as not leading propaganda organs for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, pushing a particular agenda and denigrating Donald Trump. They differ little from the admittedly biased television news reporting provided by Fox News and MSNBC.

What exactly did the Russians do? According to last January’s report signed off on by the FBI, CIA and NSA, which may have motivated the DOJ to take action, RT and Sputnik “consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional U.S. media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment.” Well, they certainly got that one right and did better in their reporting of what was going on among the American public than either the Washington Post or New York Times.

Regarding Sputnik, Feinberg claimed inter alia that he was “pushed” to ask questions at White House press briefings suggesting that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad was not responsible for some of the chemical attacks that had taken place. One wonders at Feinberg’s reluctance as Sputnik and RT were not the only ones expressing skepticism over the claims of Syrian involvement, which have been widely debunked. And why is expressing a credible alternative view on an event in Syria even regarded as propaganda damaging to the American public?

There is a difficult to distinguish line between FARA restricted “trying to influence opinion” using what is regarded a fake news and propaganda and legitimate journalism reporting stories where the “facts” have been challenged. Even real journalists choose to cover stories selectively, inevitably producing a certain narrative for the viewer, listener or reader. All news services do that to a greater or lesser extent.

I have considerable personal experience of RT in particular and, to a lesser extent, with Sputnik. I also know many others who have been interviewed by one or both. No one who has done so has ever been coached or urged to follow a particular line or support a specific position insofar as I know. Nor do I know anyone who has actually been paid to appear. Most of us who are interviewed are appreciative of the fact that we are allowed to air views that are essentially banned on the mainstream media to include critique of maladroit policies in places like Syria and Afghanistan and biting critiques of the war on terror.

Sputnik, in my opinion, does, however, lean heavily towards stories that are critical of the United States and its policies, while RT has a global reach and is much more balanced in what it covers. For sure, it too criticizes U.S. policies and is protective of the Russian government, but it does not substantially differ from other national news services that I have had done interviews for. I find as much uniquely generated negative reporting about the U.S. (usually linked to violence or guns) on BBC World News, France24 and Deutsche Welle as I do on RT International. To describe it as part of an “influence campaign” driven by a “state-run propaganda machine” has a kernel of truth but it is nevertheless a bit of a stretch since one could make the same claims about any government financed news service, including Voice of America. Governments only get into broadcasting to promote their points of view, not to inform the public.

There is a serious problem in the threats to use FARA as it could advance the ongoing erosion of freedom of the press in the United States by establishing the precedent that a foreign news services that is critical of the U.S. will no longer be tolerated. It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game.

Going after news outlets also invites retaliation against U.S. media operating in Russia and, eventually, elsewhere. Currently Western media reports from Russia pretty much without being censored or pressured to avoid certain stories. I would note a recent series that appeared on CBS featuring the repulsive Stephen Colbert spending a week in Russia which mercilessly lampooned both the country and its government. No one arrested him or made him stop filming. No one claimed that he was trying to undermine the Russian government or discredit the country’s institutions, even though that is precisely what he was doing.

And then there is the issue of the “threat” posed by news media outlets like RT and Sputnik. Even combined the two services have limited access to the U.S. market, with a 2014 study suggesting that they have only 2.8 million actual weekly viewers. RT did not make the cut and is not included on the list of 100 most popular television channels in the U.S. and it has far less market penetration than other foreign news services like the BBC. It can be found on only a limited number of cable networks in a few, mostly urban areas. It does better in Europe, but its profile in the U.S. market is miniscule. As even bad news is good news in terms of selling a product, it probably did receive higher ratings when the intelligence agency report slamming it came out on it in January. Everyone probably wanted to learn what RT was all about.

So it seems to me that the United States’ moves against RT and Sputnik are little more than lashing out at a problem that is not really a problem in a bid to again promote the Russian “threat” to explain the ongoing dysfunction that prevails in America’s democratic process. One keeps reading or hearing how the American government has “indisputable” proof of Moscow’s intentions to subvert democracy in the U.S. as well as in Europe but the actual evidence is still elusive. Will Russiagate end with a bang or a whimper? No one seems to know.

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Al Jazeera ‘vindicated’, as Ofcom rejects all complaints about ‘The Lobby’

MEMO | October 9, 2017

Al Jazeera has declared itself “vindicated”, after British regulatory body Ofcom rejected all complaints made against the channel’s undercover series ‘The Lobby’, broadcast in January.

The four-episode investigation looked at efforts by the Israeli embassy in London and a number of pro-Israel lobby groups to influence British political debate, including by smearing critics of Israeli policies and supporters of Palestinian rights.

After ‘The Lobby’ was broadcast, Ofcom received a number of complaints, some of which prompted investigations. The results of these rulings were published today in the body’s regular bulletin.

In its lengthy rulings, Ofcom notes that the complaints received “raised a range of issues about the programme including that they were anti-Semitic and were not duly impartial”. Other complaints “considered that the programme was materially misleading”.

According to Ofcom, this latter allegation was dismissed without further investigation, following information received from Al Jazeera. With respect to the other complaints, Ofcom found Al Jazeera not in breach of the obligation to “due impartiality”, and similarly rejected claims of antisemitism.

“We considered that the allegations in the programme were not made on the grounds that any of the particular individuals concerned were Jewish and noted that no claims were made relating to their faith”, Ofcom states. “We did not consider that the programme portrayed any negative stereotypes of Jewish people as controlling or seeking to control the media or governments”.

It continues: “Rather, it was our view that these individuals featured in the programme in the context of its investigation into the alleged activities of a foreign state (the State of Israel acting through its UK Embassy) and their association with it”.

“We also noted that a number of the organisations featured in the programme, such as Labour Friends of Israel and Conservative Friends of Israel, are not defined by any adherence to Judaism or having a predominantly Jewish membership”.

In what some will see as an ironic twist, Ofcom made reference to a controversial definition of antisemitism that Israel advocacy groups have used in seeking to undermine Palestine solidarity activism and attack critics of Israel.

Citing this definition, Ofcom rejected claims that “critical analysis of the actions of a foreign state constituted anti-Semitism”, since “the overall focus of the programme was to examine whether the State of Israel was acting in a manner that would be expected of other democratic nations”.

Ofcom also rejected complaints made by three individuals who featured in the documentary: Ella Rose, Jewish Labour Movement director; Russell Langer, now at the Jewish Leadership Council, and Luke Akehurst, head of BICOM’s ‘We Believe in Israel’ project and a Labour Party activist.

Ofcom rejected Rose’s claim that she had been “treated unjustly or unfairly in the programme as broadcast”. Ofcom said it did not accept Rose’s claim that to reject her complaint “risks creating a precedent for the infringement of the privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life”.

Each privacy complaint we receive is considered on its facts, and must always be assessed in light of the particular circumstances of each case”

Ofcom similarly failed to uphold a complaint made of “unjust or unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy” made by Kingsley Napley LLP on behalf of Russell Langer, and a separate complaint on the same grounds by Kingsley Napley LLP on behalf of Luke Akehurst.

Responding to the published rulings, a statement by Al Jazeera said: “This goes to show that no matter what Al Jazeera’s critics say, its journalism meets and exceeds the highest standards of objectivity and balance. We feel vindicated by the rulings and evermore committed to exposing human rights violations by anyone—regardless of geography, religion, or the power of their lobbies”.

‘The Lobby’, made by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, made news in Britain and around the world, in particular for its covert footage of Shai Masot, the Israeli Embassy’s then Senior Political Officer, in discussion with a British civil servant plotting to “take down” government minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Masot was subsequently returned to Israel, and Ambassador Mark Regev formally apologised.

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The Lobby P2: The Training Session

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The Lobby P3: An Anti-Semitic Trope

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The Lobby P4: The Takedown

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Egyptian army starts third phase of buffer zone plan on Gaza borders

Palestine Information Center – October 5, 2017

CAIRO – North Sinai Governor Abdel Fattah Harhour announced Thursday that the third phase of the buffer zone plan along the border areas with Gaza Strip has started.

Buildings and facilities located in the area of the buffer zone have been completely surveyed in preparation for evacuation and demolition, he added.

The first and second phases have been completed, with each phase covering 500 meters. It is believed that the third phase will cover an additional 500 meters.

The first phase involved the displacement of more than 1,000 families, whilst the second phase involved the evacuation of 2,044 families from the area. The third phase will involve approximately 1,215 houses and 40 governmental facilities, according to Harhour’s statements.

The buffer zone is amongst the security measures taken by the Egyptian armed forces in 2014 in order to destroy smuggling tunnels connecting North Sinai with the Gaza Strip. The tunnels were used to smuggle “terrorists and weapons” into the restive Sinai Peninsula, according to Egyptian authorities.

October 5, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Report: Israel conceals from detainees social media posts that led to their arrests

Ma’an – October 4, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Israeli authorities are not revealing to detainees which of their social media posts led to their arrest, in an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression online that has largely targeted Palestinians, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, said in a report on its website Wednesday.

The NGO said the practice of concealing such evidence “is being employed disproportionately against Palestinian citizens of Israel and seriously impairs their ability to defend themselves.”

Adalah said it sent a letter on Sept. 11 to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Attorney Shai Nitzan, calling on them to order Israeli police to disclose to suspects and their lawyers during pre-trial detention hearings the content of the social media posts that allegedly constitute a criminal offense, such as “incitement,” and other crimes of expression.

“This problematic practice essentially turns an initial arrest into a full-fledged administrative detention,” Adalah attorney Fady Khoury wrote in the letter, referring to Israel’s widely-condemned practice of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence that is almost exclusively used against Palestinians.

“Just as it would be unthinkable to arrest someone suspected of theft without informing them or their lawyer… what they are believed to have stolen … and just as one cannot be arrested on suspicion of murder while the identity of the victim is left undisclosed until after an indictment is filed, so it is also in the case of an individual arrested on suspicion of committing a crime of expression involving a publication: there is a duty to inform suspects and their lawyers of the content of the expression… on which the arrest warrant is based,” he insisted.

Adalah’s letter included numerous examples of arrests of Palestinian citizens of Israel carried out for alleged crimes of expression that remained classified.

“For example, Razi Nabulsi, a Palestinian Arab citizen of Israel, was arrested on suspicion of ‘publishing a statement in support of a terrorist organization,’ but Israeli police maintained a ban on release of Nabulsi’s statement that formed the basis for his arrest for the entire duration of his seven-day detention,” the report said.

“The arrest of individuals suspected of incitement, for example — without revealing the statements that form the basis for the arrest –constitutes a serious infringement of suspects’ rights to due process, undermines the purpose of the criminal process, and severely limits detainees’ rights to plead their case and defend themselves, ” Khoury continued in the letter.

According to Adalah, the vast majority of arrests made in Israel in 2015 and the first half of 2016 for charges related to alleged incitement on social media outlets were of Palestinian citizens.

The NGO cited Israeli police statistics that said 82 percent of individuals arrested for incitement-related offenses in 2016 were Palestinian citizens, whereas only 18 percent were Jewish Israeli citizens.

In 2015, 81 percent of those arrested for incitement-related violations were Palestinian citizens and 19 percent were Jewish Israeli. The same year, 43 people were charged with incitement-related offenses –only three were Jewish citizens while the other 40 were Palestinian.

A report released by the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement 7amleh has further documented that slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users — with only very few cases being opened against Israelis.

Last month, Adalah also called on Israel to shut down its so-called Cyber Unit, which collaborates with social media platforms to censor content, saying the unit has “no legal authority.”

The Israeli government launched the unit in the second half of 2015, when Israeli authorities alleged that a wave of unrest that erupted that fall was encouraged largely by online “incitement.” The crackdown has seen hundreds of Palestinians detained, while social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have complied with hundreds of requests by the Israeli state to censor content.

Khoury had written in a letter to the Israeli attorney general that the Cyber Unit operations are a clear violation of free speech, explaining that the Israeli state attorney’s practice of criminalizing certain expression on social media is tantamount to “an unproven suspicion.”

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Bans Children from Playing in Al-Aqsa Mosque Courtyard

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 4, 2017

Israeli occupation authorities have prohibited Muslim children from playing in the courtyards surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque.

A report by the Israeli TV Channel 7 said that orders were issued to police units at Al-Aqsa in occupied Jerusalem not to allow children to play with balls in the courtyards.

It also reported, according to Days of Palestine, that the Israeli Supreme Court issued an order banning Jerusalemite children from playing in Al-Aqsa courtyards.

The order was issued after complaints filed, about a month ago, by settlers who stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and claimed to have seen children playing football around the schools.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, “ball games on Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] are prohibited as it violates its sanctity.”

According to the Israeli police, the order is aimed primarily at the areas adjacent to the Islamic schools located in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jewish organisations have demanded that such practices be banned and that those found doing so be prosecuted or at least have their balls confiscated.

They claim that playing football “is a violation of the law regarding holy areas. The maximum punishment for this is seven years of imprisonment.”

They also claimed that such practices are considered “a desecration of a holy site and cause emotional distress” to the Jews storming the mosque.

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment