Ankara has pledged to help the Gaza Strip to tackle its decade-long electricity crisis as part of a deal to normalize ties with Israel that were severed six years ago, but Palestinians told Sputnik that they doubt that Turkish authorities will deliver on the promise.
Mustapha Al-Agha who lives in Gaza said that locals have lost their hope in Turkey after Ankara decided not to pressure Israel to lift the blockade which has been in place since 2007. Turkey’s “help is limited to humanitarian aid,” he said. “All promises given to the Gaza Strip have turned out to be a ‘downer pill’ meant to receive support for the agreement between Turkey and Israel.”
Itaf Mukhanna, a mother of seven, maintained that lifting the blockade was a priority, urging Arab nations to do something about it.
“Situation here is unbearable. Youth unemployment has worsened. Electricity, water and gas have become an everyday dream that each local is trying to fulfil,” she said.
On June 28, Turkey and Israel announced that they would restore diplomatic ties. Ankara has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to and build a power plant in Gaza as part of this deal. Two weeks later a Turkish delegation visited the region to discuss ways to resolve the crisis with Israeli and Hamas officials.
The delegation is expected to prepare a report that will be directed to Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, the cabinet and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government will then work on a roadmap to implement measures outlined in the report.
Last week Turkey delivered 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid meant for Gaza. The cargo was offloaded in the Israeli port city of Ashdod.
The Gaza Strip’s electricity crisis is acute. The region has a single power plant that has operated at less than 50 percent capacity since 2006 when Israel bombed the facility.
Gaza needs at least 450 megawatts per day, but it receives no more than 185 megawatts in the summer and 200 megawatts during the winter, Tare Lubbad, communications director at a Gazan electric company, told Sputnik.
“The energy crisis in the Gaza Strip has become worse since one of [four] generators at the power plant has not been working due to the lack of fuel,” he said.
The plant needs at least 500 tons of fuel per day to operate at its current full capacity, but the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has imposed a tax on fuel purchased in Israel.
A well-connected retired general in the Saudi military has traveled to Israel, in the latest indication of a growing link between Tel Aviv and Riyadh which has come to light in recent months.
Anwar Eshki made the visit earlier in the week, meeting with Israel’s foreign ministry director general Dore Gold Yoav Mordechai and a number of Knesset members, the daily Ha’aretz reported.
The daily called the visit “a highly unusual one,” as Eshki couldn’t have traveled to Israel without approval from the Saudi government.
Eshki and Gold raised an uproar first in June 2015 when they held a publicized joint event in Washington, after meeting privately several times over the preceding year.
Gold attended the event a few days before assuming the role of director general of the Israeli foreign ministry.
Israeli legislator Esawi Freige, who organized Eshki’s meeting with his fellow members of Knesset, shed some light on the trip. “The Saudis want to open up to Israel,” he said.
“This is a strategic step for them. They said they want to continue what former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat started. They want to get closer to Israel. This is clearly evident,” Fregie noted.
He was referring to the former Egyptian president’s negotiations with Israel, which culminated in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in 1979 – the first between an Arab state and Tel Aviv at the time.
Haaretz said that during the meeting with the parliamentarians, Eshki encouraged dialog in Israel on Saudi Arabia’s Arab Peace Initiative.
The proposal was unveiled in 2002, offering normalized ties with Israel by 22 Arab countries in return for Tel Aviv’s withdrawal from the occupied West Bank.
During an interview with the Qatari news channel Al Jazeera in April, Eshki said Riyadh would open an embassy in Tel Aviv if Israel accepted the Saudi initiative. He also said the Saudis were not interested in “Israel becoming isolated in the region.”
Back in May, Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva reported that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies [sic], namely Jordan and Egypt, had been sending messages to Israel through various emissaries, including former British PM Tony Blair.
They had asked Tel Aviv to resume Middle East negotiations under new terms, which included changes to the Saudi initiative, the paper said.
Most Arab governments have no diplomatic relations with Israel. Even so, reports have indicated that several of them, including Saudi Arabia, have had secret relations with Tel Aviv.
Last November, the Associated Press reported that Israel was set to open a “permanent mission” in the UAE.
In May, the Middle East Eye news portal reported that Israel and some Arab countries, including the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan, were planning to overthrow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and replace him with former leader of the Fatah movement Mohammad Dahlan.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry traveled to Jerusalem al-Quds for talks with Israeli leaders earlier this month.
The minister outraged many Egyptians for visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s family, during which the two watched the Euro 2016 soccer final.
Palestinian student activist Donya Musleh was sentenced to 10 months in Israeli prison and a fine of NIS 2,000 (approximately $500) on charges of “incitement” for posting on Facebook about the Israeli occupation and Palestinian resistance.
Musleh, 19, a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh camp near Bethlehem, is a student at Palestine National University and an activist with the leftist student organization, the Progressive Student Labor Front. She was arrested in a raid on her home in the camp on 16 November 2015.
Musleh is one of hundreds of Palestinians arrested, charged, or ordered to administrative detention for posting their political opinions and views about their occupied homeland on social media. Just days ago, journalist Samah Dweik was sentenced to six months and one day in prison for posting on Facebook. Astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi is currently being charged with Facebook “incitement,” after winning an end to his administrative detention with the support of hundreds of international scientists. Poet Dareen Tatour is held in house arrest after three months in prison, for posting her poetry on Youtube.
The PSLF is currently calling for a World Student Day of Solidarity with Bilal Kayed and Palestinian Prisoners on 25 July. Bilal Kayed, 35, is on hunger strike for the 37th day in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial, imposed upon him after 14.5 years of Israeli imprisonment.
The detention of two more Palestinian women, Banan Mahmoud Mafarjah, 21, a medical student at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, arrested at an Israeli occupation “flying checkpoint” west of Ramallah on 16 July; and Samaher Abdul Qader Musalma, of Beit Awwa near al-Khalil, arrested on 18 July while visiting her husband Nabil in the Negev desert prison; were extended until Sunday, 24 July. There are approximately 61 Palestinian women currently held in Israeli jails.
Deir Qaddis, Occupied Palestine – On the morning of July 14th, Israeli excavators arrived on Majid Mahmoud’s farmland in Deir Qaddis to begin work on an illegal expansion of a wastewater facility for the nearby illegal settlement of Nili.
Construction vehicles and Occupation forces were met by about fifty Palestinians from Deir Qaddis and nearby Nil’in in protest of the theft and destruction of village land, who refused to leave until the construction was halted. Through nonviolent means the villagers managed to temporarily prevent the destruction of their grazing lands, though excavation and land clearing did resume in the days afterwards. Illegal settlements around Deir Qaddis have been expanding for decades, swallowing up thousands of dunams and dispossessing farmers and agricultural workers in the area.
Majid’s land, now on the other side of a settler road, has been rendered mostly inaccessible by both the expansion of illegal settlements and the threat of violence from Israeli forces and private settlement security.
“We have no rights under this Occupation. I cannot ask the soldiers why they are on my land. It is as if I am being beaten, but cannot question it or raise my hands to stop it,” Majid said. “We have all the papers to prove ownership, but it does not matter.”
Majid and members of the local council are planning to bring the case to court and have all the documentation necessary to do so. They are not optimistic, however, about their chances.
Though the people of Deir Qaddis did succeed in halting the illegal construction on Thursday, it has since resumed. Fares Naser, mayor of the village, has little confidence that the settlement expansion and illegal construction will ever end. “It will not stop,” said Fares, “and the next generation will wonder why it is this way.”
Deir Qaddis is surrounded on three sides by the Apartheid Wall and the illegal Israeli settlements of Nili, Modi’in Illit, and Na’aleh, cutting it off from much of the West Bank. According to Fares, only 4,000 of the village’s original 10,000 dunams have not yet been seized by Israeli forces and settlers. Over ninety percent of the Deir Qaddis is classified as “Area C,” territory in which Israel maintains full military and civil control.
In 1999, Israeli authorities assured the people of Deir Qaddis that all land lying west of the town would remain untouched. Israel has since broken that promise, with both state confiscation and private theft of valuable farmland within Deir Qaddis. According to international law, all Israeli settlements are illegal, as is nearly every piece of the Israeli colonial apparatus. Israel will continue to build, and the people of Deir Qaddis will continue to resist the ongoing theft of their land and livelihoods.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The Israeli occupation police have handed professor Jamil Hamami, secretary-general of the higher Islamic commission in Occupied Jerusalem, a written order banning his travel abroad and to the West Bank.
According to this police order, Hamami will be prohibited from entering the West Bank for four months and the previous ban on his travel abroad will be extended for six months.
The police justified the measure against Hamami by saying that he is involved in banned activities and his departure for other countries will constitute a security threat to Israel.
For his part, Hamami, who works as a lecturer at al-Quds University, condemned Israel’s decision against him as “unjust and a violation of the Palestinians’ right to travel and movement”. He considered this Israeli step as “part of the Israeli campaign that targets the Palestinian dignitaries in Jerusalem.”
Last night, Pence addressed the Republican Convention: “And if the world knows nothing else, it will know this: America stands with Israel.”
I’ve heard him say that before.
Being a journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area, I try to ask tough questions of political figures when I can. Perhaps my favorite question is some variation of “do you acknowledge that Israel has nuclear weapons?” I’ve asked this of many political figures and virtually none have given me a straightforward response.
But the most surreal — almost comical — response came from Donald Trump’s VP pic, Mike Pence, in 2011. At the time, he was a congressman and vice-chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia:
Question: You’ve also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Do you know that Israel has nuclear weapons?
Pence: [long pause, looks down] I’m — I am aware that Israel is our most cherished ally. And I strongly support Israel’s right of self defense and to take such actions as are necessary to secure their homeland as much as we take actions to secure ours.”
Question: “Do you think it increases or decreases U.S. credibility around the world when U.S. government officials can’t even acknowledge that Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal?”
Pence: “The American people support Israel. I call Israel our most cherished ally and I will continue to stand — without apology — for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and strong cooperation with our most cherished ally in a very volatile part of the world.”
He was utterly incapable of engaging on the issue. The passionate attachment has become a mantra and no inconvenient facts need enter the equation.
Some other responses from political luminaries: “The Absurd U.S. Stance on Israel’s Nukes: A Video Sampling of Denial“.
Since my questioning these figures, information has come out about gag orders on the subject. As Grant Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy wrote in 2015: “Under two known gag orders — punishable by imprisonment — U.S. security-cleared government agency employees and contractors may not disclose that Israel has a nuclear weapons program. GEN-16 is a ‘no-comment’ regulation on ‘classified information in the public domain.’ ‘DOE Classification Bulletin WPN-136 on Foreign Nuclear Capabilities’ forbids stating what 63.9 percent of Americans already know — that Israel has a nuclear arsenal.'”
The successful mission by a Hezbollah drone entering Israeli air space in the Golan Heights and taking photographs is a significant development at various levels. At its most obvious, Hezbollah has mocked Israel’s vaunted air superiority. Three Israeli missiles, including one fired by an F-16, couldn’t bring down the drone which returned safely to Syria. For Israel, it amounts to a humiliating show of contempt by the Hezbollah. (Sputnik )
Second, Russian radar would have certainly picked up the drone, but did nothing about it. It is straight out of Sherlock Holmes – the dog didn’t bark. The bottom line is, neither will Russia rush to protect the Hezbollah nor move a little finger to deter it.
Third, of course, the drone is a technology demonstrator, underscoring Hezbollah’s growing capability to hit back at Israel if attacked. This particular drone probably didn’t carry weapons, but the next one always could.
To be sure, Israel can only wonder how Hezbollah has gained access to such sophisticated technology. From Russia? Or, Iran? Or, is it Hezbollah technology?
Then, there is the ‘big picture’. Israel has been reminded that Golan Heights is still a frontline. Israel’s best hope is that Syria will remain weak and fragmented with no central authority in Damascus to challenge its future annexation of the occupied territories in Golan Heights. Hezbollah may have signalled that that remains a pipedream. In fact, the Syrian government forces are incrementally gaining the upper hand on the ground. The blockade of Aleppo turns the tide of war. In a telling sign of the tide turning, there are reports that Turkey has sent ‘feelers’ to the Syrian government. (Guardian )
Now, the developments in Turkey can only mean that Ankara may roll back its intervention in Syria. Turkey’s focus is on preempting a Kurdistan taking shape on its borders with tacit US support (which Israel too welcomes) and on this platform Syria, Iran and Iraq are Ankara’s ‘natural allies’.
On the other hand, without Turkey, neither Saudi Arabia nor Qatar or the other Sheikhdoms in the Gulf would have the spunk to advance the ‘regime change’ agenda in Syria. Simply put, Israel is being reduced to a mute witness to dramatic changes and realignments in its very neighbourhood with no role or capacity to influence them politically or militarily. Arguably, Israel and Saudi Arabia are the biggest ‘losers’ in the failed coup in Turkey. Both will be desperately hoping that the US will come up with some bright idea to retrieve the Syrian situation at the 2-day anti-ISIS coalition conference taking place in Washington on July 20-21. But then, the Turkish-US standoff over the extradition of Fetullah Gulen has introduced new uncertainty regarding the US’ capacity to influence the course of events in Syria.
All in all, the drone provocation by Hezbollah calls attention to the big shift in the balance of forces in the Middle East as a result of the Syrian conflict. For the first time, Israel has to contend with superior military power in its neighborhood. Indeed, but for the Russian presence, Israeli jets would have been raining destruction on Syria by now in retaliation. Fortunately, Israel faces no ‘blowback’ as such from the ISIS or the al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front — unlike Turkey or Saudi Arabia — for its intervention in the Syrian conflict. (Read an Iranian commentary Turkey Coup: Who Else Is Going the Way Of Iraq and Syria?)
Are these the tell-tale signs of kids at risk of committing violence: An 8-year-old who wore a t-shirt saying he wanted to be like a seventh-century Muslim leader? A 17-year-old who sought to draw attention to the water shortage in Gaza by handing out leaflets? A 4-year-old who drew a picture of his dad slicing a vegetable?
Teachers and school officials in the United Kingdom thought so, and they referred these children for investigation as potential terrorists. They were interrogated by U.K. law enforcement. They’re likely subject to ongoing monitoring, with details of their childhoods maintained in secret government files potentially indefinitely.
A report released last week by Rights Watch (UK) highlights these and other children’s experiences under a U.K. countering violent extremism (CVE) program known as Prevent. Prevent imposes a legal obligation on schools to implement policies assessing whether children have “extremist” views or are at risk of engaging in terrorism, and to “intervene as appropriate.” Intervention may include referring the child to a related program in which panels of police officers, teachers, and other government employees identify children they think are vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.
Why should any of this concern Americans? Because the FBI wants to do something a little bit too close for comfort in U.S. schools, and American schoolchildren may come under similar suspicion and scrutiny.
While there’s no similar government-imposed duty on American schools, U.S. CVE initiatives are based on the Prevent model. Due to this, a core component of the U.S. CVE plan tasks teachers, social workers, and school administrators with monitoring and reporting to law enforcement on children in their care. An FBI document released earlier this year tells teachers to spy on their students’ thoughts and suggests that administrators essentially turn schools into mini-FBI offices. Rights Watch’s report shows what might happen if American schools actually follow the FBI’s proposals.
Prevent, unsurprisingly, turns out to be controversial and divisive—a “toxic brand.” Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s largest teachers union voted to reject the program, calling it ineffective and counterproductive and stating that it causes “suspicion in the classroom and confusion in the staff room.”
We’ve written before about one fundamental concern with CVE programs: They are premised on disproven theories and junk science. Despite years of study, there is no reliable indicator to predict who will engage in violence. In the absence of reliable indicators, the Rights Watch report shows that U.K. programs rely on over-broad and ambiguous criteria describing common and entirely innocent conduct. These so-called indicators include changing one’s style of dress or appearance to match a certain group, expressing a need for identity or belonging, or “becoming quieter” — factors so general it would be difficult to find a child or teenager who hasn’t exhibited such behavior at some point.
Unsurprisingly, when teachers are required to report on “extremist” thoughts or conduct using unreliable and vague criteria, some of those teachers’ suspicions reflect society’s prejudice. Rights Watch found that although Prevent purports to apply to all children at risk of extremism, it disproportionately targeted Muslim children. According to Rights Watch:
“[T]argeting Muslim children, making them feel that they are not welcome to discuss political or religious matters at school, and creating a dynamic in which Muslim youth come to be fearful of the educational setting and distrustful of their teachers and their classmates, is counter-productive, discriminatory, and a violation of the fundamental rights that are at the heart of the very civil society the government seeks to protect.”
CVE programs in the United States using similarly over-broad and ambiguous criteria will inevitably result in discriminatory and unfair targeting of American Muslim children, too.
Another concern about CVE programs is that the government uses them to task people to spy on each other. The Rights Watch report bears out this concern — and its consequences. In the U.K., students fear that reading “controversial” books or engaging in classroom discussion may cause teachers to report them as potential terrorists. Teachers in turn report that Muslim students are ceasing to engage in classroom debate and that teachers themselves are self-censoring the topics they discuss in classrooms. Rights Watch found resulting violations of students’ freedoms of speech and association and their rights to privacy and equal treatment in education.
Here in the United States, the first principle of the National Education Association’s Code of Ethics is a commitment to the student. Teachers may not deny a student’s access to different viewpoints, deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to a student’s progress, or restrict benefits to any student on the basis of race, national origin, or political or religious beliefs. The Rights Watch report is a warning to American principals and teachers of how CVE programs can violate that first principle. It’s also a warning to the U.S. agencies charged with formulating or implementing CVE, including the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Education.
There are some things we just shouldn’t import — and on the top of that list should be a discriminatory government program that turns teachers into spies and stifles children’s ability to learn, ask questions, and debate ideas.
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel has slammed a newly-passed Israeli law designed to facilitate the expulsion of publicly-elected Palestinian parliamentarians in the Knesset.
The law, approved overnight by a vote of 62 to 45, is described by Adalah as posing a “grave danger to basic democratic rights”, and intended to expel those Arab Knesset members “who ‘dare’ to stray beyond boundaries dictated to them by Israeli Jewish majority.”
As Adalah explains, under the new law, “a majority of 90 Knesset members may oust a serving Knesset member on two grounds, as enumerated in Section 7A of the Basic Law: The Knesset: 1) incitement to racism; and 2) support for armed struggle against Israel.”
In addition, “the law stipulates that when the Knesset decides on an expulsion, the statements of the ‘suspect’ Knesset member will also be examined and not only their aims or actions.”
The law also provides that: 1) a member’s expulsion lasts for the full period of the Knesset’s remaining term; 2) the commencement of expulsion proceedings requires the support of 70 Knesset members, including a minimum of 10 opposition members; and 3) suspension proceedings may not commence during an election campaign.
Described as “the latest attempt by the government to trample on the political rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel”, according to Adalah, “there are no existing laws in western democratic states comparable to Israel’s new Expulsion Law.”
The Expulsion Law is the latest expression in a disturbing national tendency over the past several years – including many attempts to disqualify Arab Members of Knesset and Arab party lists from participating in the elections, the government’s decision to outlaw the Islamic Movement in 2015, and the Knesset’s approval of a series of laws such as the ‘Electoral Threshold Law’, the ‘Nakba Law’, and the ‘Boycott Law’ – all intended, via varying means, to silence the Arab public.
As the state of emergency is extended in France in the wake of the recent Nice terrorist attacks, the French public is beginning to lose faith in the state’s ability to protect them. But will they ever really understand the true function of the imperial state?
On July 14th Tunisian citizen Mohammed Lahouaiej Bouhlel allegedly drove a 19 tonne lorry into a crowd of people on the Promenade des Anglais beach front in the city of Nice, France, killing 84 people and wounding 303 others. Richard Gutjahr, a German journalist and actor who is married to former Israeli intelligence (Mossad) agent Einat Wilf, was close to the scene and filmed some of the terrorist attack.
Gutjahr’s Israeli wife, Einat Wilf is a rising star in the world of Zionism and is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So, there is an important Israeli link to the storytelling of the massacre. But perhaps the Israeli link goes further. The Telegraph newspaper reported that a Jewish man did not attend the Bastille Day celebrations after being warned of the attack by his father.
French investigative reporter Eric Laurent shocked television viewers in 2011 when he revealed in that Jews working in the World Trade Centre had been warned about the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.
According to the Israeli press, French Jews were also warned about the Bataclan attacks in November 2015.
The Israeli government has admitted it carried out false-flag terrorist attacks in France, blaming them on Muslims.
‘Islamist’ terrorist attacks serve Zionism’s agenda of taking over the Middle East as they demonise Muslims and Arabs, thus criminalising legitimate resistance to Israeli colonialism. ‘Islamist’ terrrorism also drives the Zionist agenda, referred to by Samuel Huntington as the ‘clash of civilisations’- the idea that Muslims have no place in ‘Western civilisation’.
Although the truck slaughtered over 84 people and injured hundreds more, there was no blood visible on the published photos of the vehicle. Perhaps there is a simple explanation for this apparent discrepancy. I hope to see a good ‘debunking’ video or article of the blood problem soon!
We are also informed that police opened up the barricades to the Promenade des Anglais minutes before the attack. There have been reports of up to four trucks in the area that day. Trucks are not authorised to drive through streets during festivals or national holidays. France is in a state of emergency! How is all of this possible?
Bouhlel’s patsy profile
Bouhlel, who was married with three children, was also said to have been a practising homosexual in a relationship with a 73 year old man, frequenting gay bars in the Tunisian city of Souse, where the Mossad have an office. The Mossad have increased espionage in Tunisia since the US/Israeli fomented ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011.
The truck appears to have been parked for nine hours near the Negresco Hotel, which is an infamous gay locale in Nice. There are reports that Bouhlel may have worked as a rent-boy. The identity of his 73 year old ‘partner’ remains unknown. Why?
Homosexuals, who are often the victims of child abuse, are sometimes used by intelligence agencies as double agents and patsies. The terrorist’s sister told the media he had had psychological problems. He is said to have been suffering from a nervous breakdown. Bouhlel had all the classic characteristics of an intelligence patsy.
Although the US/Israeli-created ‘Islamic State’ has been blamed for the Nice Attack, Bouhlel does not seem to have had any links with Islamist organisations. In fact, his profile is remarkably similar to that of Saleh Abdeslam, who was blamed for the Bataclan attack in Paris in 2015 and recent Orlando massacre in the USA – a homosexual, narcotics and alcohol abuser and petty criminal known to the police.
Fides quaerens intellectum
The French people are losing faith in the government, faith in the police, faith in the system. They are beginning to understand something profound- that they are most definitely governed by incompetent fools and possibly even by psychopaths.
Medieval Christendom was characterised by the all-pervasive doctrine of fides quaerens intellectum -faith seeking understanding. The faith of the people in the transcendental authority of God as revealed in the scriptures was supplemented with increasing understanding of their meaning through human reason.
Since the French revolution the bourgeois state has supplanted divine authority and citizens are indoctrinated into the belief in state infallibility concerning observance of the principle of the rule of law. Hitherto, there has been widespread faith in the bourgeois state and understanding of its mysteries has been copiously provided by its myriad sacerdotal institutions. But it now looks like this holy war may be undermining people’s faith in the bourgeois order and its catechism of human rights, democracy and freedom.
It is difficult to believe the story of what happened in Nice. We are told that Bouhlel was shot dead. But another suspect was seen being arrested by police at the crime scene. Who is this suspect? Was there a second terrorist or did Bouhlel rise from the dead? There are too many unanswered questions.
Some videos of the massacre scene posted on line appear to show dummies rather than dead bodies. The authenticity of those videos cannot be verified. But there is little that can be verified in these terrorist attacks as the highly paid press reporters who the public believe ask hard questions and investigate terrorist attacks do not do so. On the contrary, they smugly attack and ridicule citizen journalists and Internet activists for seeking the truth.
The French government is now encouraging youth to join the army reserve. It may become treasonous not to enlist. We are passing from an era where dissent is ridiculed towards an era where dissent is criminalised.
The public is being told to believe a story for which there is scant evidence. Why should they? Why should they believe governments who serve the interests of foreign bond-holders and bankers? Why should they trust a ruling class who, instead of fighting to raise the material, cultural, moral and intellectual welfare of the people, do the opposite, attempting at every opportunity to rob, acculturate, demoralise and stultify the masses?
In his work The Republic Plato described oligarchy as a city-state where the rich are constantly conspiring against the poor. Aristotle in his book on Politics notes how Greek tyrants would take oaths to protect the interests of their class by conspiring against the masses and, in an era long before the surveillance systems of today, Greek tyrants would force citizens to congregate in special areas of the city so that the state could constantly spy on them.
The extraction of surplus value from labour is the primordial conspiracy against human creativity. Is it inconceivable that terrorism would be the art of governance in a world where finance capital and the moral turpitude it engenders, triumphs over honest labour and solidarity; where enterprises of lies and war flout all laws; where the poor man is locked up for minor misdemeanours while wealthy war criminals walk free?
Is it inconceivable that such a class of people would orchestrate the most fascinorous conspiracies against the people? Lenin described the state as the means by which one class represses another. We live in a class dictatorship – where those with property and power use every means necessary to keep the masses under their control. Human freedom is, as Jack London described it, crushed under an iron heel. The entire matrix of commodity production is predicated on lies and deception while man is beholden to its infinite spells and fetishisms.
In the society of the spectacle, who cares if white trucks can slaughter crowds and remain unbesmirched with blood or executed terrorists rise from the dead? Who cares if everything we are told militates against reason? The masters of discourse have a new story for the poor toilers of this world; it is short, simple and palatable enough to be consumed on a junk-food break. We need more security; more surveillance;more war; more respect for wealthy Jews, more contempt for poor Muslims. The world is run by forces beyond our control. Therefore we must submit to the all-merciful police state which is trying to protect us. Those who seek understanding before faith are terrorists.
Former hunger striker, brother of slain activist, among 18 Palestinians arrested by occupation forces
In a series of late-night and pre-dawn raids, Israeli occupation forces seized at least 18 Palestinians between 18 and 19 July. They include Ghassan Zawahreh, former prisoner, hunger striker against administrative detention, and the brother of Moataz Zawahreh, shot dead by occupation forces as he participated in a protest in Dheisheh refugee camp on 15 October 2015.
In an invasion of Dheisheh camp by occupation forces, Zawahreh was seized in a pre-dawn raid with a massive military presence. Zawahreh has spent nearly ten years in Israeli prisons over various arrests, including many under administrative detention without charge or trial. He has permanent injuries to his right hand and left leg due to beatings by Israeli occupation forces during earlier arrests, including his first arrest in 2002; he was denied treatment for his knee injury for three years. Zawahreh was released on 30 November 2015, after being held in administrative detention since 4 August 2014. He was one of the initiators of the “Battle of Breaking the Chains,” the 40-day hunger strike by five Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention.
Moataz, his brother, returned from a study program in France in order to support Ghassan’s strike; he was shot dead by Israeli forces during a demonstration in the refugee camp. When Ghassan was released, he immediately headed directly to his brother’s gravesite to pay his respects and two days later, spoke at a memorial for his brother, video here:
The invasion of Dheisheh camp followed a large protest action in the camp in support of hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Kayed, hospitalized after 35 days of hunger strike for freedom from administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.
Four former prisoners – all students at An-Najah University in Nablus – were detained by occupation forces: Mahmoud Asida, Malek Bilal Shtayyeh, Mumin Munir Sabah, and Karam Kheir Bani Fadel.
Five Palestinians in Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem were arrested: Muath Alayan, Mohammed Samih Muteir, Mahmoud Samih Muteir, Haitham Udwan, and Muhannad Kanaan. In the town of Taqua, east of Bethlehem, two Palestinians were seized by occupation forces, Mohammed Salim Abu Mafarah and Musa Mohammed Amour. Hussein Issa, of al-Khader village west of Bethlehem, was also arrested by occupation forces.
Also yesterday, Israeli occupation forces arrested two more An-Najah university students yesterday, Mohammed Shehadeh at Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus, and Said al-Tawil in Far’ata village. Samaher Abdul Qader Musalma, of Beit Awwa near al-Khalil, was arrested while visiting her husband in the Negev desert prison, and her husband, Nabil Musalma, was transferred to an unknown prison.