US Republican presidential hopefuls and some other GOP lawmakers were in the state of Nevada on Saturday to attract big donors for their campaign funding.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Senator Rob Portman (OH), Governor Mike Pence (IN), and Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), all Republicans, were in Las Vegas for the annual Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting which began on Thursday.
The candidates wrapped up 3 days of lobbying for Israel to attract potentially billions of dollars in donations in the biggest gambling hub in the US.
They were there to win big donations from casino tycoons, most notably Zionist Sheldon Adelson who is the largest campaign donor in the US.
As far as the GOP contenders in Las Vegas are concerned, the fight to win Adelson’s support and others in Las Vegas is all about showing support and solidarity for Tel Aviv.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry said, “Ignoring the lessons of history, our president aims to sign an agreement with… the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“Sadly, the American friendship and alliance with Israel has never been more imperiled than it is right now today under this administration,” said Ted Cruz, one of the Republican presidential candidates.
About 800 members of the summit enthusiastically cheered the consecutive slaps on Obama and on a potential nuclear agreement with Iran and promises of loyalty to Tel Aviv.
In fact, Adelson was not there on Saturday, according to local media, because that’s when the session was open to the media.
It is reported that Adelson has a favorite candidate so far, and that’s Senator Marco Rubio who the tycoon “speaks to once every 2 weeks.”
Adelson spent almost $150 million in the last presidential election in 2012 and he is set to throw in millions of more dollars behind his favorite contender in 2016.
Adelson, a Jewish American and the country’s eighth-wealthiest person, has said that he will not invest in the 2016 elections based on personal loyalty but on a more strategic aim.
He is a prominent supporter of Israel’s Likud Party, which is currently headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is also known for his anti-Iran rants.
During a speech at Yeshiva University in New York City in October 2014, Adelson said that the US should drop a nuclear bomb on Iran before beginning negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Peter Rushton, a historian and political commentator from London, and Lawrence J. Korb, a former US Assistant Secretary of Defense in Washington, to discuss Washington’s delivery of new F-35 fighter jets to Israel.
Rushton says the delivery of fighter jets truly shows that the policies of US President Barack Obama are totally in line with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush, adding the most worrying fact is that the White House continues its military deals with Tel Aviv despite the regime’s longstanding aggressive policies.
The analyst slammed the recent military deal with Israel, which is the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East, saying such an accord strips Washington of any means of leverage that could enable the US to contain Tel Aviv’s warmongering policies.
Meanwhile, Korb believes the US is selling the equipment to Israel only to bolster the regime’s deterrence power in the face of dangers in the region.
BETHLEHEM – The US Court of Appeals in New York has rejected an appeal from a group of 13 Palestinians seeking damages for alleged “terrorist attacks” by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported Friday.
The complaint was filed against US-based charities that financially support settlements, alleging that such support leads to terrorist activity and is in violation of US anti-terrorism laws, reported Israeli news source Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The USA Patriot Act enacted in October 2001 prohibits citizens from “knowingly providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.”
Plaintiffs in the case argued that charities were financially supporting terrorist activity by funding settlers who have carried out acts of violence against Palestinians and their land, and desecrated houses of prayer.
Charities accused in the case included Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, the Hebron Fund, Central Fund of Israel, One Israel Fund and American Friends of Ateret Cohanim.
After District Judge Jesse Furman initially rejected the case last year, the appeal was rejected again this week by a panel of appellate judges.
“American federal judges recognize the difference between the financing of murder and violence… and legitimate bona fide financial support of the daily needs of peaceful Israeli settlements over the Green Line,” Israeli Haaretz quoted attorney Nathan Lewin, who represented the charities in the trials.
Privately funded violence
The dismissal of the case is a setback for those fighting to shed light on private US funding that is currently helping to sustain illegal settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, as well as the violence that results from it.
While the U.S. government has condemned ongoing settlement expansion, its citizens have been able to freely donate millions to the illegal enclaves.
The New York Times identified at least 40 American groups in 2010 that had collected over $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank over the last decade.
Israeli watchdog Americans for Peace Now have long fought against tax-exempt donations to settlements.
Among other criticisms, the groups point out that IRS regulations exempting charities from tax deduction define a charitable organization as one that “includes relief of the poor and distressed or of the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening of the burdens of government; promotion of social welfare.”
Such a definition does not extend to charities funneling funds to the Jewish-only settlements of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the group argues, and such donations should not be tax-exempt.
The court ruling on the 13 Palestinians’ appeal is only the latest example of a number of cases in which Israeli settlers have gained legal backing from the US government for illegal practices.
Attacks carried out with impunity
Human rights groups in Israel and the Palestinian Territories have long fought for effective Israeli law enforcement against the type of violent acts committed by Israeli settlers that the 13 Palestinians were drawing attention to.
Such acts are often termed “price-tag attacks,” and are carried out to retaliate perceived pressure from both Israeli and foreign governments against settlements, most often with Palestinian civilians as their victims.
They are nearly always carried out with impunity from the law.
Following price-tag attacks on Vatican-owned offices in occupied East Jerusalem in May 2014, Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the government planned to begin using administrative detention against suspected extremists.
Although Israeli police had made scores of arrests before that time, there had been few successful prosecutions for price-tag attacks and the government was facing mounting pressure to authorize the Shin Bet internal security agency to step in.
The US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism discussed price-tag attacks for the first time in 2013, citing UN figures of some “399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage.”
The report said such attacks were “largely unprosecuted.”
The Palestinian News & Info Agency WAFA has reported that the soldiers stopped the Palestinian, who was walking with a young woman from his family, and started provoking the two, before the soldiers uttered vulgar words towards the young woman.
The incident caused the young man to engage in a scuffle with the soldiers before one of them shot him dead.
The army is alleging the Palestinian “attempted to stab a soldier,” and was shot dead while trying to flee the scene.
The name of the slain Palestinian is Ali Sa’id Abu Ghannam, 16 years of age.
The Israeli army refused to hand the body of the slain Palestinian to the Red Crescent ambulance that arrived on the scene, and took it to an unknown destination.
The Israeli Police alleged the young Palestinian arrived at the roadblock “and started running towards the soldiers while carrying a butcher knife.”
Ynet News quoted a police statement alleging that one of the soldiers managed to hold the Palestinian, “but he continued to run towards the soldiers,” and they shot him dead.
In related news, Palestinian medical sources have reported that two Palestinians were shot and injured, on Friday, after Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians east of Abasan town, east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.
One of the wounded was moved to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, suffering a gunshot injury, while the second received treatment by local medics after being shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet.
Norwegian doctor Mads Frederick Gilbert (C) treats a Palestinian child wounded in an Israeli airstrike at al-Shifa hospital on July 17, 2014
Partisans of Israel are not content merely to murder and maim Palestinian civilians. They also launch “weaponized words” against anyone who speaks out against their crimes . . . including the world’s most prestigious medical journals.
The Zionists’ latest verbal salvo has targeted The Lancet, the world’s best-known medical journal. Medical apologists for Israel’s July 2014 assault on Gaza have posted a letter claiming The Lancet’s July 22 2014 article on Israeli war crimes constitutes “stereotypical extremist hate propaganda.” It seems the Israel lobby’s medical division has declared war on The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, and its publisher, Reed Elsevier.
The Zionists, who have bought up the Western mainstream media and are currently targeting Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians in the biggest wave of hate propaganda in history, are hardly qualified to issue such accusations.
The Zionist doctors’ letter accuses The Lancet of a long list of vague and portentously-worded alleged misdeeds. But it offers virtually no specifics whatsoever to back up its hyper-general accusations. The vacuous list of charges against The Lancet includes “ethical and scientific lapses” (such as?), “failure to apply the normal rigorous standards of honesty and transparency” (with no examples given), failure to “publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed” (without offering a single concrete example of anything the Lancet published that required any such correction).
The Zionist letter attacks The Lancet’s July 22 2014 article “An open letter for the people in Gaza.” The angry authors bombastically assert: “ ‘An open letter for the people in Gaza’ by Manduca et al contains false assertions, unverifiable dishonest ‘facts’, many of them libellous, and glaring omissions.”
But the Zionists cannot name a single false assertion. They are just blowing smoke, hoping that nobody is paying close attention.
The Lancet Ombudsman had already investigated “An open letter for the people in Gaza” and found no false statements. According to HandsOffTheLancet.com, the Ombudsman did cite a “’regrettable statement’ that, because only 5% of Israeli academics had supported an appeal to” Israel to end the “military operation in Gaza (Gur-Arieh 2014), the authors had been ‘tempted to conclude that … the rest of the Israeli academics [had been] complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza.’”
But what is regrettable about such a statement? Can there be any doubt that the vast majority of Israeli academics, indeed a virtual unanimity of Zionists in Occupied Palestine, were actively or passively complicit in the massacre, and the larger genocide? While it may be regrettable that the Zionists in Occupied Palestine are complicit in Tel Aviv’s war crimes, and its larger ongoing program of genocide, it is not the slightest bit regrettable that The Lancet writers have pointed out such a disturbing but indisputable fact. (Polls show that virtually all Zionists in Occupied Palestine support the Gaza massacres, including the so-called Cast Lead in 2008-2009 and Protective Edge last summer.)
The roughly 500 Zionist doctors who are fulminating against The Lancet ought to have their licenses to practice medicine revoked. Then they ought to be put on trial for complicity in genocide propaganda. They are a disgrace to the medical profession, like the Nazi doctors who were indirectly responsible for brutalizing helpless people in World War II Germany because they averted their gazes from the crimes of their countrymen.
Unlike the Nazi Doctors (and their mirror images, the Zionist Doctors), the authors of “An open letter for the people in Gaza” could not avert their gaze:
“The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes…”
The Zionist Doctors have not demonstrated a single factual error in the above words, nor in any other passage from “An open letter for the people in Gaza.”
The current assault on The Lancet is not the first Zionist war on a leading medical journal. In 2004, British Medical Journal (BMJ) published “Palestine: the assault on health and other war crimes.” According to the article:
“Two thirds of the 621 children (two thirds under 15 years) killed at checkpoints, in the street, on the way to school, in their homes, died from small arms fire, directed in over half of cases to the head, neck and chest – the sniper’s wound… Clearly, soldiers are routinely authorized to shoot to kill children in situations of minimal or no threat.”
The BMJ article was unprecedented. For first time in history, one of the world’s leading medical journals had documented the murder by sniper fire of more than 600 helpless Palestinian children – many of them “hunted for sport” as described by one horrified eyewitness, the journalist Chris Hedges, in his famous article “Gaza Diary.”
The Zionist reaction was swift. BMJ was castigated with the usual blustering Zionist rhetoric. But not a single factual mistake was found. As usual, the Zionists used vicious ad hominem attacks to obscure the hollowness of their arguments.
On December 9th, 1946, an American military tribunal charged twenty-three leading German physicians with crimes against humanity. Sixteen were convicted, and seven were executed.
Will the Zionist Doctors, whose complicity in genocide propaganda has been demonstrated by their attack on The Lancet, one day meet a similar fate?
BETHLEHEM – The South African minister of higher education said late Thursday that he had been denied entry to Palestine by Israeli authorities in revenge for political stances against Israeli policies.
“This is not only an act against him, but also an act against him as a member of the Cabinet, so by extension it’s an anti-government protest by Israel,” spokesperson KhayeNkwanyana told South African news website News24.
Minister Blade Nzimande was due to travel to the West Bank for a six-day working visit to discuss collaborations between the University of Johannesburg and Palestinian universities, a follow up to an agreement signed when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited South Africa last year.
The Ministry said, however, that the Israeli consulate refused to grant him a visa as a result of his political views in what is being labeled an “attack” on the South African government itself in the local press.
Nkwanyana said that the visa rejection was creating a “serious diplomatic problem,” noting that it effectively barred all South African officials from visiting both Palestine as well as Israel.
All travel in and out of the West Bank is controlled by Israel, meaning that Israeli military authorities hold ultimate control over any individual trying to reach the Palestinian territories.
“We must just boycott Israel,” the minister said in a statement to the press, adding that Israel was trying to “minimize the number of people who can actually see what is happening on the ground.”
He also said that he would urge South African institutions of higher education to cut their ties to Israeli institutions.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki condemned the move in a statement released on the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
“Israel’s policies would not succeed in isolating the Palestinians,” he said.
“It will only embolden them into more struggle for ending Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.”
South Africa is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause and numerous government officials have repeatedly compared the Israeli occupation and the systematic discrimination practiced against Palestinians to the racial apartheid policies practiced by the South African government against its black citizens until 1994.
Israeli authorities have repeatedly denied entry to officials from other countries and even from international bodies such as the United Nations that it feel have taken antagonistic political stances.
In January, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes, and consequences, Rashida Manjoo said she had been denied entry by Israel.
She said she had tried for months to get permission to enter in order to undertake a fact-finding mission, but had been refused entry.
In November, Israeli authorities banned the Colombian foreign minister from visiting the West Bank after discovering that she did not plan to meet with Israeli officials as well.
Academia is far from the bastion of free thinking and free speech it would like to claim for itself, as a newly confected “row” involving the leading medical journal The Lancet confirms.
Recently Southampton University in the UK caved in on hosting an important conference examining Israel and international law, following an intensive campaign of intimidation from Israeli apologists.
Now some 400 medical professors are blackmailing Reed Elsevier, publishers of The Lancet, by threatening to boycott its publications unless the company sacks editor Richard Horton – or as they duplicitously phrase it, “enforce appropriate ethical standards of editorship”.
By refusing to publish papers or peer review them, the professors, including five Nobel winners, hope Reed Elsevier will capitulate from fear that such a boycott might bring it to its knees.
Why target Horton? Because he has committed the cardinal sin of transforming what was once a sleepy academic publication into a journal dealing seriously with global health issues, including – and here’s the rub – reporting on the medical implications for Palestinians of Israel’s occupation, especially its attack on Gaza last summer.
According to the eminent professors, this is “stereotypical extremist hate propaganda” and “dishonest and malicious material that incites hatred and violence”.
What the professors would like is for The Lancet to follow the medical establishment’s traditional Three Wise Monkeys approach: they see, hear and speak no evil when it comes to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, including its documented torture, even of children, in its prisons, overseen by Israeli doctors.
Much is at stake here. Very gradually, the space to have an honest and critical debate about Israel is opening up in places where once it was almost impossible, including in the media, in academia and even among the conservative medical community. Those committed to protecting Israel at all costs are desperate to shut down those spaces. It is important that we don’t let them succeed.
There are signs that the apologists’ hand is weakening. Note that Southampton University was so incapable of justifying its decision to shut down the conference on academic or ethical grounds, it was forced to lie and claim that, despite police assurances that they could cope with any protests, the conference could not go ahead because of “safety concerns”.
Therefore, we should support Horton and The Lancet and make sure Reed Elsevier understands that there is also a price to pay if it capitulates to the authoritarian professors. It is good to see that a rival set of medical academics has already written to Reed Elsevier in support of Horton and The Lancet here.
US Vice President Joe Biden said that Israel will be getting a shipment of the United States’ new F-35 fighter jet so that its military can retain its “qualitative edge” in the Middle East.
Biden made the announcement in Washington, DC while giving a speech during a celebration of Israel’s Independence Day, Reuters reported. The relationship between Israel and the US has been strained over the past few years due to disagreements about Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories and Iran’s nuclear program, but the two nations continue to maintain strong military ties.
“Next year we will deliver to Israel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, our finest, making Israel the only country in the Middle East to have this fifth-generation aircraft,” Biden said.
According to Haaretz, the deal involves Israel purchasing 14 F-35 jets for $110 million each. That is in addition to a previous agreement in 2010 that saw Israel agree to buy 19 jets. The first two planes are set to arrive in Israel in 2016, with the others making their way into the country by 2021.
While the US has invested a lot of time and money into the high-tech, high-powered F-35, questions remain about its effectiveness. The trillion-dollar program has suffered numerous setbacks over the years and issues continue to crop up.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives’ Armed Services Committee learned that the jet’s software maintenance system gives false-positive readings 80 percent of the time. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is meant to flag issues with the plane so that maintenance teams can repair them, but Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told lawmakers it still “has a long way to go.”
“We have taken steps in the last two years to change fundamentally the way we develop ALIS, but it takes time to realize those results,” Bogdan said, though he added that the software is not a central part of the plane. A smaller version is being developed that should be ready in July.
Before that, news reports stated that a computer glitch kept the aircraft’s four-barreled rotary cannon from firing, potentially delaying the jet from being fully operational until 2019.
Last year, the vice president of the Super Hornet and Growler programs at Boeing – a rival of Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-35 – questioned the stealth capabilities of the jet, arguing that it’s not as effective against Chinese and Russian air defense systems as other aircraft are.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never been and will never be a threat to the [Middle East] region and neighboring countries, but it will react with full strength against any aggression.” — Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei
Iran has not acted aggressively against its neighbors since Nader Shah invaded India in 1738. Yet US politicians, military leaders and the media persist in portraying Iran as an untrustworthy menace threatening the entire civilized world.
Given that the US military now appears to have a Zionist in charge as its new defense secretary and the relentless threatening rhetoric, we must ask, if a final nuclear deal with Iran is sealed, can the US be trusted to abide by its provisions? Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has justifiable reservations.
In a speech on April 19, 2015 before a group of Iran’s high-level military commanders, Ayatollah Khamenei correctly observed, “Today, the biggest threats to the world and to the region are the US and the Zionist regime, which intervene in any spot they deem necessary and trigger killings, without any consideration and without conforming to religious and conscientious obligations and criteria.” The veracity of the Leader’s words are demonstrated by the US support for the despotic Saudi regime’s bombing campaign against Yemen, which has targeted refugee camps, hospitals, schools, urban neighborhoods and soccer stadiums, resulting in the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people. Similarly, the Israeli entity supports its newfound Saudi ally in its latest aggression in Yemen. Of course, the occupant of the Oval Office whose middle name is Hussein has assured the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of “US full commitment to sustain Saudi Arabia’s capabilities to defend itself,” in the same way that as he has reaffirmed “Israel’s right to defend itself” while the Zionist regime was systematically slaughtering innocent, unarmed civilians in Gaza with US-supplied weapons. How could the Leader of Iran trust a nation whose president had stood in Zionist leader Netanyahu’s residence in occupied Al-Quds just a year earlier and blatantly threatening the Islamic Republic avowed, “All options are on the table. We will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world’s worst weapons.”
The incessant barrage of US threats against Iran appears to be the byproduct of a thorough Israeli penetration into the highest levels of the American government, resulting in a convergence of neocon Iranophobic dogma and Zionist security paranoia. That Congress is an “Israeli-occupied territory” has been known for years, but now Tel Aviv’s tentacles extend to the US military. For verification, one need look no further than Obama’s new war chief, Ashton Carter, who during a 2013 visit to the Israeli entity remarked, “Protecting America means protecting Israel, and that’s why we’re here in the first place.” According to the Zionist organization United with Israel, Carter “is regarded by Israel as an honest and perceptive friend in the uppermost echelons of the Pentagon.”
Apparently, Carter not only believes that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but also appears intent on conflating the two remaining independent members of George W. Bush’s infamous Axis of Evil. “With respect to the nuclear weapons situation in Iran … those negotiations that are being conducted by us and our P5-plus-1 partners with the Iranians have the objective of arresting the North Korean — I mean, not North Korean, excuse me, the Iranian nuclear program,” averred the US defense secretary during a recent Pentagon press conference. Perhaps the mistake reflects Carter’s long standing desire to bomb North Korea’s nuclear facilities, which in 2006 he viewed as “a prudent policy.”
While the slip of the tongue is somewhat amusing, Carter’s obsession with security is alarming but in perfect alignment with Zionist interests. In a 1998 paper coauthored with John Deutch and Philip Zelikow, Carter expounded his thesis that nations should be “obliged to reassure other states that are worried and to take reasonable measures to prove they are not secretly developing weapons of mass destruction. Failure to supply such proof or to prosecute the criminals living within their borders should entitle worried nations to take all necessary actions for their self-defense.” Hence Carter’s philosophy meshes perfectly with Netanyahu’s ceaseless cacophony of concerns over an imagined “Iranian nuclear threat.” Furthermore, any nuclear agreement with Iran would represent a concrete implementation of Carter’s view that the burden of proof of compliance rests on the suspect nation. From this it follows rather quickly that suspicion alone is sufficient to justify military threats. Of course that Carter would not apply his burden of proof on the suspect nation doctrine to the Israeli entity goes without saying.
During the same meeting with military commanders, Ayatollah Khamenei stated, “After a [short] period of silence by the opposite side, one of their officials recently spoke once more of options on the table.” The Leader was referring to US joint chiefs of staff chairman Martin Dempsey, who, in a press conference emphasized, “The military option that I owe the president to both encourage the diplomatic solution and, if the diplomacy fails, to ensure that Iran doesn’t achieve a nuclear weapon, is intact.” This same threat was voiced one day before the detailed nuclear outline was signed in Lausanne, Switzerland when Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, after being asked by a reporter what if the negotiations fail, emphasized, “There is, of course, a military option that’s sitting on the table.”
And the military option is on a table that has an expensive nuclear centerpiece called the B61-12. A so-called LEP (life extension program) of earlier B61 designs, the B61-12 is a nuclear smart bomb specifically designed as an earth penetrator. According to Hans M. Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, the B61-12 is a new nuclear weapon with improved military capabilities, and is “the most expensive nuclear bomb project ever.” The development of this B61-12 smart nuke places the US squarely in violation not only of its own 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, but also Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which commits the US to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
And as if the B61-12 nuclear “device” were not enough, the Pentagon has unveiled the improved Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) GBU-57A-B, a 30,000 lb. conventional-explosive bomb specifically designed to target Iran’s hardened nuclear facilities. Why spend obscene sums of money to develop bigger and better bunker buster bombs if indeed the Washington regime seeks peaceful relations? The answer seems obvious that Washington has no such peaceful intentions. By accusing Iran’s civil nuclear program of having a weapons dimension while simultaneously providing political cover for the Israeli entity’s very real nuclear weapons program, US leaders are obviously talking out of both sides of their imperial mouths.
As insane as this may sound, Andrew C. Weber, US assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, insists that “maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear stockpile is critical to deterring potential adversaries and assuring US allies and partners.” Perhaps Ayatollah Khamenei had this in mind in addition to Dempsey’s recent threat when he commented, “On the one hand, they bluff this way and on the other, they say the Islamic Republic of Iran should stop its defense progress, which is an idiotic remark.” Undeniably it is idiotic, and in view of these stark realities, Iran would be foolish not to deploy the S-300 missile air defense systems against the American aggressor. The Leader wisely instructed all of Iran’s Defense Forces to “boost their military and defense preparedness as well as their combat readiness” in his April 19 speech before Iranian military leaders.
Nevertheless, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and the Israeli entity all cling tenaciously to their nuclear weapons. Despite hopes for disarmament, counting warheads in storage and awaiting dismantlement, there are some 15,700 nuclear weapons in the world. Evidently, the goal here is not the complete elimination of nuclear weapons or else why would the US create a new nuclear weapon with new capabilities? Moreover, by ignoring the Israeli entity’s nuclear arsenal, the US has undermined its own credibility in attempting to police the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
“Over the past 250 years, Iran has not waged a single war of aggression against its neighbors, nor has it initiated any hostilities,” political scientist and former advisor to Iran’s nuclear negotiating team Dr. Kaveh L. Afrasiabi reminds us. Without a single nuclear weapon and no intention of acquiring one, Iran is clearly not threatening world peace. It is the hypocritical US along with eight other nuclear-armed states, which still possess over 10,000 nuclear warheads, who are collectively threatening our planet. How can Iran trust such a nation?
The University of East Anglia’s student body has endorsed the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in a motion passed last Thursday.
Meeting for the final time this academic year, the Council of the Union of UEA students passed the motion “in support of international law and human rights in Palestine” with 41 in favour and 15 against, with 11 abstentions.
The motion commits the SU to severing ties with companies that “facilitate Israel’s human rights abuses, military capacity, or settlement expansion”, as well as to opposing any university contract with complicit companies.
The SU also resolved to lobby the university “to adopt an academic boycott of Israeli universities” and provide scholarships for Palestinian students.
The motion describes Israel as “an apartheid state” and mentions specific crimes and abuses including illegal settlements, atrocities in Gaza, and “systematic” discrimination in both the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and inside Israel’s pre-1967 lines.
Israel’s “expansion” in the oPt is described as “a settler-colonial project, predicated on the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of its indigenous people.”
Proposed by a member of the campus Amnesty International group and seconded by the Ethnic Minorities Officer, the motion notes recent pro-BDS resolutions at NUS National Executive Council, NUS Women’s Conference, NUS Postgraduate Conference and NUS Black Students Conference.
In addition, it was recalled that students have voted for boycotts of Israel on campuses across the UK, including “Kent, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, Kingston, Swansea, Exeter, Brunel, the University of Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Dundee, Essex, Sussex and SOAS.”
The case for BDS, according to the motion, is based on “Israel’s multitude of human rights and international law violations” and its lack of accountability. The motion affirms Palestinian students’ right to education unhindered by discrimination, and the necessity of international solidarity from students in response to the BDS campaign.
The motion asserts that “global boycotts are a non-violent, legitimate and effective tactic”, that “all other methods of pressuring Israel and the ending of the occupation have failed,” and that members of an academic community “have a responsibility to ensure that ethical considerations and social justice are at the heart of research and academia.”
The Union Council rejected a proposed amendment which would have removed BDS from the motion. Procedural motions to delay the vote were also voted down.
Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) chief investgator advises “Ukrainophobes” to keep quiet for their own safety
The Head of the investigation department of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Vasily Vovk, advises “Ukrainophobes” to stop their rhetoric for their own safety following the recent murders of government critics in Ukraine. He said this on the ICTV television program Freedom of Speech on the evening of April 20.
“As the head of the Investigation Department, I believe that at present time, when there’s practically a war out there, the Ukrainophobes should either shut up or tone down their rhetoric to zero. No one should be taking a stand against Ukraine and Ukrainian-ness,”
Responding to a question about whether he has a scientific or legal definition of ‘Ukrainophobia’, Vovk said, “There’s none. But we do know what we’re talking about.”
As reported by Korrespondent.net, Oleg Kalashnikov, former member of the Party of Regions and member of the Verkhovna Rada, fifth convocation, was shot dead in Kiev on April 15. The journalist and writer, Oles Buzina, was gunned down in the capital near the entrance of his house on the afternoon of April 16.
President Petro Poroshenko has urged a prompt investigation of the murders of Kalashnikov and Buzina.
Translation to English by New Cold War.org.