Palestinians on Saturday marked the 68th anniversary of the massacre of more than 100 Palestinians civilians carried out by Zionist paramilitary groups in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948 prior to the establishment of Israel.
Deir Yassin has long been a symbol of Israeli violence for Palestinians because of the particularly gruesome nature of the slaughter, which targeted men, women, children, and the elderly in the small village west of Jerusalem.
The number of victims is generally believed to be around 107, though figures given at the time reached up to 254, out of a village that numbered around 600 at the time.
The Deir Yassin massacre was led by the Irgun group, whose head was future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, with support from other paramilitary groups Haganah and Lehi whose primary aim was to push Palestinians out through force.
Records of the massacre describe Palestinian homes blown up with residents inside, and families shot down as they attempted to flee.
The massacre came in spite of Deir Yassin resident’s efforts to maintain positive relations with new Jewish neighbors, including the signing of pact that was approved by Haganah, a main Zionist paramilitary organization during the British Mandate of Palestine.
An Israeli psychiatric hospital now lies on the ruins of Deir Yassin, the remainder of which was reportedly bulldozed in the 1980s to make way for Jewish housing and incorporated as a neighborhood of Jerusalem. Streets of the neighborhood hold names of Irgun militiamen who carried out the massacre.
The massacre was one of the first in what would become a long line of attacks on countless Palestinian villages, part of a broader strategy called Plan Dalet by Zionist groups to strike fear into local Palestinians in hopes that the ensuing terror would lead to an Arab exodus, to ensure only Jews were left in the “Jewish state.”
Thus the attack on Deir Yassin took place a month before the UN Partition Plan was expected to be carried out, and was part of reasons later given by neighboring Arab states for their intervention in Palestine.
The combination of forced expulsion and flight that the massacres — what would later become known among Palestinians as the Nakba, or catastrophe — precipitated left around 750,000 Palestinians as refugees abroad. Today their descendants number more than five million, and their right to return to Palestine is a central political demand.
The anniversary of the deadly razing of the village comes as modern day Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to fight for their livelihood in the face of illegal Israeli settlement expansion, widespread detention campaigns, extrajudicial executions by Israeli forces, and a surge in housing demolitions — most recently leaving 124 Palestinians homeless in a single day.
If there’s something to be happy about this week in France, surely it has to do with the fact that the Panama Papers don’t reveal much about the French political elite and their fiscal havens. The focus in the French media- albeit muted acknowledgement of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s off shore assets- has been entirely on the so-called enemies of freedom-‘dictators killing their own people’ such as Bashar Al-Assad of Syria and of course primus inter pares of the world’s great villains: Russian President Vladimir Putin; that is in spite of the fact Putin’s name does not appear on any document released by the Soros and USAID-funded International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Nowhere can one read in the French press, however, that institutions which represent the richest and most powerful people on the planet; institutions which are all intimately linked to to the Central Intelligence Agency- the Ford Foundation; Carnegie Endowment for Internatioanl Peace; and of course the parent company of US engineered destabilization campaigns throughout the world- the Open Society Foundation- are financing this ‘exclusive leak’ of documents.
Instead, we find leaders France has been diligently attempting to overthrow, conveniently linked to the Panama Papers. Notwithstanding the fact that Bashar Al-Assad’s name does not appear on any document, Le Monde published the Syrian president’s portrait on the front page of it April 4th edition.
The ‘Assad connection’ to the documents is provided by the Syrian president’s cousin Berkane Maklouf who, we are told, attempted to get around sanctions against his country by setting up off-shore companies which supplied parts to the Syrian air force. Maklouf’s declarations about wanting to stay and die in Syria are also quoted to show how loyal he is to the ‘brutal regime’.
Here we need to clarify a few points about Syria and it’s ‘brutal regime.’ Syria is a democratic republic. The Syrian government is, ipso facto, not a ‘brutal regime’. Since unknown snipers opened fire on police and protesters in the city of Deraa on March 17th 2011, Syria has been invaded by mercenary terrorists from all over the world-whose passage into the country has been prepared by Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council in accordance with NATO Central Command.
Most, if not all, of the crimes in this war have been committed by the NATO-backed ‘rebels’. The NATO-backed rebels are Takfiri terrorists. All European and American press agencies have been telling lies about the war in Syria, which means that thousands of journalists are complicit in war crimes- the very journalists now accusing the ‘Assad clan’ of financial fraud.
NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council are not attempting to defeat Daesh in Syria. Rather, as former NATO commander General Wesley Clark has admitted, Daesh is a creation of the United States and Israel, whose purpose is to crush the Shia axis of anti-Zionist resistance in the Middle East.
Media disinformation about Syria is an integral part of the NATO war effort- a fact admitted by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bzrezinski.
There was never any crackdown by the Syrian government on peaceful protests. The Syrian Arab Army has been fighting an armed insurgency supported by Western powers. All of its military operations are therefore fully in accordance with international law, which clearly stipulates that nations have a right to self-defense. A key strategy used by the terrorist brigades in Syria is to commit atrocities and blame them on the government.
The most infamous and widely publicized of these atrocities was the Houla Massacre of 2012, when the children of pro-government families were slaughtered by the Western-backed terrorists. One of the only journalists in the Western press to confirm this was Rainer Hermann of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an article published on June 6th 2012.
In spite of the fact that Hermann is considered to be one of Europe’s foremost experts on Syria, the Franco-German station ARTE ignored his analysis in their deeply dishonest documentary of 2012- which has since disappeared from their archives.
In the years leading up to the Syrian war, President Bashar Al-Assad was considered a ‘reformer’ by the Western political establishment. The reforms Assad was instituting favored the emerging national bourgeoisie at the expense of the country’s burgeoning working class. Privatization was ‘kept in the family’, with important contracts going to well-connected business men, loyal to the state, such as Berkane Maklouf.
The problem for the Western corporate elite, however, had nothing to do with the plight of the working class; rather it was that Syria still remained a sovereign, protectionist state, with no foreign debt and a high degree of political and economic autonomy. The ‘Washington Consensus’ demanded the ‘opening up’ of Syria to more direct, foreign investment, together with the weakening of its national sovereignty- so that the Arab nationalist state would no longer be able to defend itself against Israel. When Assad refused to comply, NATO fomented a proxy-war against the Arab nation.
Now an attempt is being made by the French press to smear the Assad family by portraying Berkane Maklouf as a money-laundering criminal; when in fact, the Syrian business man’s use of off-shore accounts to aid the Syrian war effort is not only excusable, it is highly commendable.
Maklouf contrasts poignantly with another Assad clan member, whose illegal activities were recently investigated by French courts; his name is Rifaat Al-Assad and he is an uncle of the Syrian incumbent. On April 28th 2014, Liberation reported that Rifaat’s expensive Parisian properties were being investigated by the French courts for tax evasion.
We are told in the headline that Rafaat is a cousin of the ‘Syrian dictator’; a few lines into the piece, we learn that he was disgraced and exiled after an aborted coup d’Etat in 1984; then the article casually reveals that the Syrian traitor and criminal had in fact joined an entirely different family: the French secret service. In essence, although the article appears to show the criminality of the Assad clan, it actually proves the opposite. For Rifaat Al-Assad, banished from Syria, had found work in the service of French foreign policy.
Similarly, as more documents are ‘leaked’ from the Panama Papers, real investigative journalists not on the Soros/USAID/CIA payroll will be better placed to make a concrete assessment of the Empire’s next stratagem of chaos.
German journalist Ernst Wolf, and French journalist Thierry Meyssan, have argued that the Panama Papers are part of a US financial conspiracy against Europe, whereby investors are being blackmailed into lodging their money in American banks-a prelude, they argue, to a new global financial crisis, which threatens to plunge the Old Continent into chaos.
In 1892, another major scandal involving Panama rocked Paris, when it was revealed that the French government- in order to cover up the bankruptcy of their canal project in Panama- had accepted bribes from the industrialists involved. The French political climate became particularly anti-Semitic when the newspaper La Libre Parole (Free Speech) began to publish all of the names of the financiers involved in the cover up- most of whom were Jewish. Given what we now know about those financing the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, France’s Zionist ruling class have nothing to fear this time round.
RT | April 6, 2016
The Netherlands is holding an advisory referendum on a key treaty between the European Union and Ukraine. This vote is important for a number of reasons – it is a unique opportunity to face head-on what many call the EU’s democracy deficit. Also, we will find out if the West’s institutionalized anti-Russia bias reflects the popular will.
CrossTalking with Ben Aris, Gilbert Doctorow, and Joost Niemoller.
Consortium News | April 7, 2016
Dutch voters struck a blow against the E.U.’s Ukrainian association agreement – and the incessant Russia-bashing that has surrounded it – creating hope for less belligerence in Europe, writes Gilbert Doctorow. – Read article
James Corbett | April 4, 2016
The Panama Papers are out and the Panama Papers propaganda is out right along with it. So why does this new mega-leak seemingly only expose those in the State Department crosshairs or expendable others and not a single prominent American politician or businessman? And what does this have to do with the OECD’s plan for a global taxation grid?
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=18320
Canada is being colonized by a Washington-led, transnational oligarchy. As with any colony, we are losing our political and economic self-determination and sovereignty.
We are increasingly a cog in an imperial apparatus of top down control and exploitation, and our economy is being re-structured to serve transnational oligarch interests. Wealth and power is increasingly concentrated upwards into the criminal hands of domestic and foreign oligarch classes.
We are being driven like cattle by a “full spectrum” apparatus of domination and control.
Synthetic terror events are engineering our consent to impoverishment, police state oppression, and criminal, genocidal foreign policy decisions.
We are supporting and inciting terrorism when we sell military armaments to Wahabbi Saudi Arabia. We are committing war crimes when we support and enable the neo-Nazi junta in the Ukraine, and when we support and enable ISIS in Syria. Writer Sharmine Narwani decodes the Syrian crisis here.
Interview starts at 3:00
All of this passes beneath the radar of public awareness because the oligarch class has, increasingly, “full spectrum” control: Corporate mainstream messaging is increasingly an engineered façade of lies, distortions, and omissions that furthers a pre-ordained agenda of permanent, globalized war and poverty.
Transnational corporate sovereignty deals are an economic arm of the transnational ruling class. Agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) entrench oligarchic control and supremacy over our political economy through Investor- State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses, mechanisms wherein supranational secret tribunals and appointed lawyers are the final adjudicators.
An article by David Korten, in Yes magazine, “A Trade Rule that Makes It Illegal to Favor Local Business? Newest Leak Shows TPP Would Do That And More,” identifies and explains the impacts of the TPP, should it be ratified, using these headings:
- Favouring local ownership is prohibited
- Corporations must be paid to stop polluting
- Three lawyers will decide who is right in secret tribunals
- Speculative money must remain free
- Corporate interests come before national ones
This predatory political economy creates poverty and disemployment in a myriad ways – the TPP alone is predicted cost Canada 58,000 jobs — as public dollars are funnelled to the transnational oligarchs through privatization schemes, de-regulated exploitation of national resources, reduced taxes, and military expenditures.
Instead of embracing P3 schemes, Canada should insist on (100%) publicly- funded hospitals and healthcare. In an article entitled “ ‘Privatization’ Is the Problem, Not the Solution,” the author demonstrates the wasteful squandering of public resources in the healthcare field alone:
- Ontario paid 75 per cent more to for-profit labs than it had to non-profit community labs over the previous 30 years, for the same tests.
- Public-private partnerships are 83 per cent costlier to finance than public projects.
- Canadians spend roughly half of what the private U.S. system spends per person and we get better coverage and outcomes.
- Studies comparing U.S. and Canadian outcomes for heart attacks, cancer, surgical procedures and chronic conditions show that Canada does at least as well, often better.
- A recent Canadian study found that expedited knee surgery in a for-profit clinic costs $3,222 compared to $959 in a public hospital (with worse return-to-work outcomes).
We are also being exploited by the financial sector. Instead of borrowing from private international and domestic institutions, and paying compound interest on government loans, Canada should be borrowing interest-free from its publicly-owned Bank of Canada – as it did until 1974 — when the debt and deficit were miniscule compared to today. Murray Dobbins explains in “Liberate the Bank of Canada, Intrepid Think Tank Urges|Canadians have been fleeced for billions, but no traction in media for complex banking case,” that by 2012, Canadians had paid one trillion (CAN) dollars in interest to private banks.
What additional steps can we take to de-colonize this country from its transnational colonizers?
- First, we should reject the TPP agreement and any transnational agreement that is bundled with an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause.
- Second, we should (continue to) decode and reject the lies and distortions of the criminal warmongers and the military-industrial-media complex.
- Third, we need to establish an independent foreign policy that complies with the rule of international law.
Each of these steps would help us break free from the toxic shackles of globalized war and poverty that “benefits” only a miniscule oligarch class. The current neo-con misgovernance is creating and perpetuating catastrophes – such as the 911 wars — instead of productively addressing catastrophes – such as catastrophic global warming. A global shift towards common sense and the common good is long overdue.
Gone are the good ol’ days when Russia was only a ‘threat’ to countries on its periphery. Moscow now represents a threat to “all of us” according to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Speaking to Reuters during a trip to Georgia, Hammond said Russia was a threat to all countries on the basis that it “ignores the norms of international conduct and breaks the rules of the international system” — and this, he said “represents a challenge and a threat to all of us.”
The first, but most minor point to make here is that Russia’s allies would probably beg to differ. Hammond’s comments are a prime example of the flippant way in which leaders and representatives of Western nations make sweeping statements about “us all” or the “international community” when what they actually mean is “us and our friends.”
But, like I said, that is a minor issue in comparison to the outrageously hypocritical reasoning Hammond gave to justify his opinion.
International law, except not for us
In March 2014, Curtis FJ Doebbler, a professor of international law in the Faculty of International Relations at Webster University in Geneva wrote for CounterPunch that “like any source of law, a large part of the legitimacy of international law depends on its equal application to all.” This, demonstrably, has not been the case when it comes to the United States.
American lawyers and diplomats, Doebbler continued, have attempted to twist international law “into an instrument justifying the actions of the United States, while criticizing the actions of other States based on misinterpretations or misapplication” of that law.
There simply can be no question mark here. It is incontrovertibly true. To get through all the examples of Washington’s blatant disregard for international law would take an eternity. But let’s do a quick recap of some of the more egregious examples:
- US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, illegal under international law: Civilian death toll up for debate, a Guardian report estimated that as many as 20,000 could have been killed in the first year of conflict alone.
- US invasion of Iraq in 2003, illegal under international law: Left one million dead, according to various reports.
- NATO intervention in Libya in 2011 violated the parameters of the UN resolution permitting NATO action, hence also illegal. The intervention left scores of civilians dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Libya, once the richest country in Africa, is now a failed state.
- US bombing of Syria in 2014, illegal under international law. Washington has been given no authority to carry out airstrikes in Syria. Nor, by the way, has the United Kingdom (maybe someone should tell Hammond?)
- Ongoing use of drone strikes, killing hundreds of innocents, including children.
- Continued use of Guantanamo Bay for indefinite detention and torture of people ‘perceived’ as threats. In one of the grossest injustices, Shaker Aamer was held at Guantanamo for 13 years without trial or charge before finally being reunited with his family in the UK.
None of this is up for debate — and yet Hammond has not, to my knowledge, classified the United States as a threat to “all of us”. If breaking international law is the benchmark here, it would follow that he probably should.
What’s an invasion or two among friends?
Unfortunately, as Hammond has just displayed, Western nations often confuse ‘consensus among friends’ to mean ‘legal’. As such, they believe that none of their actions deserve to be scrutinized in the same manner as the actions of their declared enemies. This however, does not stop them from using the subject of international law as an “instrument of political rhetoric” to condemn other countries.
Washington has displayed such flagrant disregard for international “norms” and the “rules of the international system” so consistently and so appalling that the world has become desensitized to it. To acknowledge the sheer scale of the horror that has been unleashed by our collective indifference is too uncomfortable. Our best bet is to distract ourselves with a convenient bogeyman.
Hammond might be happy to bury his head in the sand, but it doesn’t make what he is saying any less ridiculous when all the facts are laid on the table.
What Hammond really means
And it’s not the first time Hammond has hugely exaggerated (or fabricated, if you prefer) the threat Russia poses to the UK. In March of last year, he said Russia could potentially pose the “single greatest threat” to Britain’s security. It’s unclear what kind of alternate universe you need to be living in to believe this, but what is clear is that Hammond has upped sticks and taken residence there.
The truth is, what Hammond and his neighbors in cuckoo-land really mean when they say these things is that Russia is a threat to Western dominance; the dominance that allows their own breaches of international law to go unchecked and unpunished and anyone else’s to be amplified a thousand-fold. Any threat or challenge to that hegemony in international affairs is unacceptable. And that, more than anything, is the threat which Russia represents.
The funny thing is, Hammond probably doesn’t think that’s what he means. He probably genuinely believes that Russia threatens the security of Britain. Whether he thinks this conflict might take the form of an invasion, an unprovoked nuclear attack, information warfare or something else, he has probably convinced himself that there really is cause for huge concern. After all, he has admitted that for “anyone over the age of about 50” fearing Russia is familiar territory. He is not an expert on today’s Russia, its political system or its foreign policy. All he really has to go on are his bad memories of the Cold War and whatever terribly misinformed advice he is being given.
But threat or no threat, if the “rules of the international system” are really that important to Philip Hammond, he’s got a funny way of showing it.
Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance journalist and media analyst. She has lived in the US and Germany and is currently based in Moscow. She previously worked as a digital desk reporter for the Sunday Business Post in Dublin. She studied political reporting at the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism in Washington, DC and also has a degree in business and German. She focuses on US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias.
Corbettreport – March 28, 2016
SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=18241
The dust has barely settled on the site of the Brussels bomb blasts and already the EUreaucrats are salivating about the prospect of a pan-European intelligence agency. Join James for today’s Thought for the Day as he explains the latest example of how the authoritarians take more control after every major terror event.
Hebron, Occupied West Bank – On the 24th March, Israeli settlers from the illegal settlements in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron) celebrated the holiday of ‘Purim’. The settlers marched through the Old City of al-Khalil, starting off from the spot where just a few hours before, Israeli forces gunned down two Palestinian youth and then executed one of them in cold blood.
In the morning, Israeli forces shot and severely injured two Palestinian youth in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood and then left them lying on the ground seriously injured while Israeli medics were attending to a slightly injured Israeli soldier. Palestinian ambulances, that are not allowed to drive on this road that is only for settlers use, were prevented by Israeli forces from reaching the injured Palestinian youth. In a video published by B’Tselem, a soldier can clearly be seen shooting one of the youth in the head at point-blank range even though he is lying on the ground and is not posing a threat to anyone.
Only a few hours after this extrajudical execution, settlers started their joyous march, dressed up in costumes, with music blasting from a bus, dancing in the same spot where the two Palestinians were murdered in cold blood.
Illegal settlers celebrating in the exact spot where two Palestinians were murdered in cold-blood
Photo credit: Youth Against Settlements
The procession of settlers then proceeded down Shuhada Street, where the main illegal Israeli settlements in the heart of the city are located, before turning towards the Ibrahimi mosque. Shuhada Street, except for a tiny strip, has been completely closed for Palestinians, who are not allowed to even walk there – unlike the illegal settlers who can walk and drive. When the march reached the vicinity of Ibrahimi mosque, Israeli forces started closing off the area to all Palestinians, physically pushing back children behind barriers and preventing Palestinians from accessing the area, even if they were residents, in order to create a space free of Palestinians for the celebrations of the settlers to take place.
Settler children. One drinking wine, one holstering a machine gun and another aiming a pistol at onlookers
Israeli settlers celebrating while Palestinians are denied walking down the street
Palestinians and Internationals are not allowed to pass
One of the settlers, of which many were dressed up in costumes, was seen in a shirt flashing a raised fist on a yellow background, which is the symbol of the ‘Kach’, a party of extremist Israeli fundamentalist settlers, deemed a terrorist group even by the Israeli government. The party was founded by Meir Kahane, who publicly called for the expulsion of Palestinians and to end culture relations between Jewish and Palestinian students. On Tuesday, two days before, during celebrations for the same holiday, the loudspeakers of the Ibrahimi mosque were mis-used to broadcast hate-speech calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from al-Khalil.
Israeli settlers with a Kahane-shirt (settler in the middle)
One of the settler children dancing on top of a bus was playing with a pistol. Even though the police realized this, they merely took the weapon from him – but then gave it back shortly adfter. If a Palestinian of any age had been seen with anything resembling a weapon, the person would likely be shot immediately.
The settlers’ celebrations kept going uninterrupted with Israeli forces ensuring that Palestinians would not cross the way of the settlers, forcing them to stay back, and even closing Ibrahimi mosque checkpoint to ensure no one would even come close.
Palestinian civilians stopped by Israeli forces after they opened the street for Palestinians again while settlers freely pass the checkpoint
Israeli forces also used the roof of a Palestinian family home in the vicinity of the mosque as a look-out point. This is just another small example of the impunity and supremacy settlers enjoy with the active support of the Israeli forces, while Palestinians are systematically humiliated, oppressed and killed in cold blood under the Israeli military occupation.
Six Jewish vigilantes were jailed in Paris yesterday over a “savage gang attack” targeting attendees at a fundraising event for Gaza in 2009 in the French capital.
The defendants used iron bars, baseball bats and bike chains in the onslaught, in which they deliberately targeted anybody who looked like a Muslim.
Among their victims was a 22-year-old singer who suffered a “lynching” by the 20-strong mob who chanted “Death to Arabs” and “Long live Israel”.
All were leading members of the Jewish Defence League (JDL), a notorious vigilante group that is outlawed in both America and Israel because of its links with terrorism.
Despite this, the JDL is allowed to demonstrate openly in France, and its yellow and black clenched fist flags are regularly seen at events across the country.
Video of JDL disrupting a pro-Palestinian gathering. Defendent, Jason Tibi, is the tall thug who has the Israeli flag snatched from his hands, and ends up with bloodied face.
The 10th Chamber of the Paris Correctional Court heard how all had beaten up Hatem Essabbak and Mustapha Belkhir outside a Paris theatre in April 2009.
The case is considered one of the most sensitive in recent legal history, because of the way it illustrates how the Israel-Palestine conflict has been exported to the streets of major French cities.
No less than five examining judges were involved in the Paris enquiry, with four resigning one after the other because of the intense pressure.
The six men found guilty of carrying out aggravated violent assaults were Jason Tibi, Rudy Lalou, Azar Cohen, Maxime Schaffier, Yoia Bensimou and Yoni Sulman.
Other JDL gang members are said to have fled to Israel to avoid prosecution, while Tibi has admitted serving in the Israeli army while waiting for his case to come to court. At least two of those convicted today have since fled to Israel.
The damning verdict reads: “The facts of this case illustrate how the violence was aggravated by victims being targeted because of their race and religion.”
Dominique Cochain, Essabbak’s barrister, said: “Normally, this type of case is dealt with within three months. It has to be said that this is a very sensitive issue.”
Video of the JDL rioting in Central Paris, and then hiding behind the French police once the pro-Palestinian group charges.
Essabbak, a 22-year-old singer at the time, was with his girlfriend outside the Adyar Theatre, close to the Eiffel Tower, on Sunday 12 April 2009.
Both were taking part in “Our Talents for Gaza” – a showbiz event raising money for the surviving families of more than 1,400 Palestinians, including 400 children, killed by Israeli forces during an offensive a few weeks earlier.
Essabbak was surrounded by the JDL men who used their iron bars, bats, bike chains, crash helmets and fists in the “unprovoked lynching”, the court heard.
Essabbak said: “I was repeatedly hit in the face, around the head and on both legs. I then fell to the ground, and was hit again around the head. They carried on until they saw I wasn’t moving. My life stopped on April 12 2009.’
Mustapha Belkhir went to help Essabbak, and was also badly beaten up. Both men ended up in hospital.
Witnesses heard the attackers shouting: “Have this, it’s for Gaza, you dirty Arab”, and “Us Jews are going to f*** you, you dirty race”.
Most of the JDL members had their faces covered, but their mobile phones were later traced to the scene of the attack.
Tibi – who was described in court as the leader of the group – at first denied any knowledge of the attacks, but admitted taking part when confronted with evidence.
Tibi and Sulman received two year sentences, while the others were handed sentences of between nine months and a year.
Twenty-seven-year-old Tibi has a previous prison conviction for smashing up a Palestinian book shop in Paris, and has been filmed fighting in Marseille.
Essabbak’s lawyer Cochain told the court: “The evidence is that Mr Tibi has not changed. Videos on Google show that in 2011 he disrupted a pro-Palestine meeting in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, accompanied by JDL members, and wanted to stop debate.”
“They were shouting slogans like ‘F*** Palestine’. He was also in Marseille in June 2011 to protest against the Gaza flotilla taking supplies to the blockaded Palestinian territory. His face was covered in blood and he was saying ‘I’m here to protest’, ‘Israel will live, Israel will vanquish’.”
The JDL is regularly involved in attacks on pro-Palestine activists, politicians, journalists and other perceived enemies across France.
There have been numerous calls to ban the JDL in France, with Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve condemning their behaviour as ‘excessive’.
Home Secretary Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill, dubbed the snoopers’ charter, breaches international surveillance standards and is “unfit for purpose,” more than 200 senior lawyers have warned.
In a letter to the Guardian, the lawyers, including numerous Queen’s Council representatives and academics, said the bill will destroy privacy.
MPs are due to vote on the bill for the first time on Tuesday afternoon, and it is expected they will pass the motion. The bill itself sets out a series of legal frameworks for the government’s interception of data by GCHQ and establishes the breadth of government surveillance operations.
Chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee Kirsty Brimelow QC has signed the letter, as well as academics from 40 British law schools.
“A law that gives public authorities generalized access to electronic communications contents compromises the essence of the fundamental right to privacy and may be illegal,” the letter reads.
“The investigatory powers bill does this with its ‘bulk interception warrants’ and ‘bulk equipment interference warrants.’”
A well as bulk interception, the letter warns against “targeted interception warrants” which could be taken out on groups, organizations, or premises. The letter also warns that there need only be “reasonable suspicion” to intercept data, not demonstrable proof of threat.
“These are international standards found in the recent opinion of the UN special rapporteur for the right to privacy, and in judgments of the EU court of justice and the European court of human rights,” it continues.
“At present, the bill fails to meet these standards – the law is unfit for purpose.”
The aim of the bill is to establish a legal framework for interception, but critics of the bill say any bulk interception is a breach of privacy. The bill will also make it obligatory for internet companies to keep track of sites accessed by users for one year.
Other critics say the new bill will also criminalize IT staff who fail to destroy security services on its customers’ software on demand, or fail to hack into its customers’ systems upon a Home Office request.
GCHQ says it only targets an individual’s data in the context of a threat to national security, and would only pursue terrorist or criminal activity. It also argues that bulk interception is a necessary step to monitor criminal activity and the majority of intercepted material is never read.
However, the United Nations special rapporteur on privacy, Joseph Cannataci, also warned that the IP bill would legitimize mass surveillance.