Ray Boisvert, a former assistant director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), has been busy trying to deflect blame from his former employer in the developing scandal involving an alleged CSIS asset who helped three British schoolgirls and others join ISIS.
Boisvert’s impetus is to shield CSIS and the Canadian state when their hand is exposed in duplicitous activity at home and abroad. He has frequently appeared as a pundit on mainstream media programs, and unsurprisingly was trotted out by the usual suspects to comment on revelations that a Syrian national who spied for CSIS was acting as a liaison for ISIS, helping Westerners travel through Turkey to join the militant group in Syria.
The former CSIS big-wig told media that:
If [the suspected ISIS liaison Mohammed Mehmet] Rashid worked in some capacity for CSIS, and based on reports his computer contained images of passport and travel documents of several apparent ISIL recruits, it’s conceivable he was actually gathering intelligence for CSIS about those recruits and the methods, logistics and contacts for spiriting them into Syria.
Boisvert implied that,
If [Rashid] was a CSIS asset, he’s likely an observer whose only job is to report what he saw. If Rashid was working for CSIS in some fashion, the spy agency’s current mandate would prevent him or the organization from doing anything to have stopped the three British girls from reaching Syria. Under current Canadian law, CSIS and its assets are only allowed to gather intelligence.
Boisvert’s damage control narrative is ludicrous. He is obviously trying to exonerate CSIS from culpability in this by erroneously suggesting that CSIS’s asset Rashid, who was essentially helping people join ISIS, could not act to stop them from linking up with ISIS in Syria because that is not in CSIS’s mandate. The asset could only ‘observe’ the situation and report back to his handlers. This hogwash is dumbfounding.
Firstly, he is presuming that CSIS always abides by its ‘mandate,’ when there’s no reasons to believe that they do. Secondly, the fact is that the CSIS asset did not just ‘observe’ the ISIS recruits, he directly facilitated their safe travel through Turkey and entry into Syria to link up with ISIS. Without him, many of these recruits would likely not have made it to their destination. He was in effect ensuring that the recruits made it safely into the hands of ISIS. He wasn’t sitting by a window with binoculars observing from afar or listening in to phone calls, he was directly participating in the recruiting process, facilitating that process every step of the way.
This means that CSIS, which represents the Canadian government, is aiding and abetting ISIS – an extremely damaging revelation for the Western ‘coalition’ who maintain the bogus pre tense that they are presently ‘at war’ with the radical group.
Copyright 2015 Non-Aligned Media
The Ottawa Citizen has reported that an individual who authorities believe helped three British schoolgirls travel to Syria to join ISIS is linked to Canada’s intelligence agency, CSIS.
The Citizen noted that, “Turkish news agencies reported Thursday that a foreign intelligence agent detained in that country on suspicion of helping the girls travel to neighbouring Syria to join ISIL was working for the Canadian government.”
Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the suspect in question was working for an intelligence agency that is part of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS, adding that it wasn’t the US or an EU member.
Turkish media reports later identified the suspect as a CSIS agent, citing sources close to the Turkish government.
Ottawa issued a prototypical denial that one of their operatives was involved.
The story confirms what many analysts have been saying all along, which is that ISIS is an elaborate Western intelligence operation.
Thousands of Western citizens have joined ISIS over the past year, but who is arranging their safe travel out of their countries of origin and into Syria without being nabbed by authorities?
As this case demonstrates, these individuals are being safely escorted to Syria by Western operatives.
The idea that Western intelligence agencies don’t have the resources to track these people is absurd. Russia Today ran a report showing how a Canadian open source intelligence research group called iBRABO geo-tracked a Canadian woman who joined ISIS through her Twitter account. Every tweet she posted revealed her exact location. Intelligence agencies have far more resources at their disposal than a private research group, so the suggestion that these people just slip under the radar doesn’t hold up.
Analysts contend that Western intelligence agencies are trolling for young, impressionable, and disenfranchised people to send off to fight and die in Syria. This is done in accordance with the West’s ‘regime change’ policy in Syria.
US Senator Rand Paul recently told CNN that the United States is “allied” with ISIS in Syria as Washington aims to depose the secular government of Bashar al-Assad. Former US General Wesley Clark said that America’s allies (and by extension America itself) funded ISIS to weaken the Shia arc of resistance consisting of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.
While the West fights an artificial ‘fake war’ against ISIS officially, it continues to clandestinely support the group as it beheads its way to Damascus, and on to Beirut and Tehran.
Copyright 2015 Non-Aligned Media
Canadian military intelligence knew that NATO’s March 2011 intervention in Libya would aid militant theocratic Islamists aligned with al-Qaeda and could create long-term chaos in the country, according to David Pugliese, a reporter with The Ottawa Citizen, who obtained Canadian intelligence documents.
At the time, NATO military leader, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, denied that opposition to the secular leftist Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi was dominated by rightwing Islamist theocrats, calling the bulk of the opposition forces “responsible men and women.”
But Canadian intelligence was clear-eyed about the nature of the Libyan opposition.
Pugliese revealed that “A Canadian intelligence report written in late 2009 described the anti-Gadhafi stronghold of eastern Libya,” from which the uprising against Gaddafi erupted, “as an epicentre of Islamist extremism.”
And Canadian pilots joked privately that they were part of al-Qaeda’s air force, “since their bombing runs helped to pave the way for rebels aligned with the terrorist group.”
Pugliese reports that just days before NATO’s intervention in Libya,
Canadian intelligence specialists sent a briefing report shared with senior officers. ‘There is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war,’ they wrote in their March 15, 2011 assessment. ‘This is particularly probable if opposition forces receive military assistance from foreign militaries.’
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper later denied that NATO’s intervention created the chaos that has paralyzed Libya, despite his own military’s warning that there was a good chance it would.
This reveals a dishonest attempt to manipulate public opinion through outright deception, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to mobilize support for military intervention in Iran by warning in 2012 that Iran was only a year away from making a nuclear bomb when his own intelligence agency had concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”.
Pugliese’s report can be read here.
February 18, 2015
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister:
Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor’s many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation—the new anti-terrorism act—is being described by leading Canadian civil liberties scholars as hazardous to Canadian democracy.
A central criticism was ably summarized in a February 2015 Globe and Mail editorial titled “Parliament Must Reject Harper’s Secret Policeman Bill,” to wit:
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper never tires of telling Canadians that we are at war with the Islamic State. Under the cloud of fear produced by his repeated hyperbole about the scope and nature of the threat, he now wants to turn our domestic spy agency into something that looks disturbingly like a secret police force.
Canadians should not be willing to accept such an obvious threat to their basic liberties. Our existing laws and our society are strong enough to stand up to the threat of terrorism without compromising our values.”
Particularly noticeable in your announcement were your exaggerated expressions that exceed the paranoia of Washington’s chief attack dog, former vice-president Dick Cheney. Mr. Cheney periodically surfaces to update his pathological war mongering oblivious to facts—past and present—including his criminal war of aggression which devastated Iraq—a country that never threatened the U.S.
You are quoted as saying that “jihadi terrorism is one of the most dangerous enemies our world has ever faced” as a predicate for your gross over-reaction that “violent jihadism seeks to destroy” Canadian “rights.” Really? Pray tell, which rights rooted in Canadian law are “jihadis” fighting in the Middle East to obliterate? You talk like George W. Bush.
How does “jihadism” match up with the lives of tens of millions of innocent civilians, destroyed since 1900 by state terrorism—west and east, north and south—or the continuing efforts seeking to seize or occupy territory?
Reading your apoplectic oratory reminds one of the prior history of your country as one of the world’s peacekeepers from the inspiration of Lester Pearson to the United Nations. That noble pursuit has been replaced by deploying Canadian soldiers in the belligerent service of the American Empire and its boomeranging wars, invasions and attacks that violate our Constitution, statutes and international treaties to which both our countries are signatories.
What has all this post-9/11 loss of American life plus injuries and sickness, in addition to trillions of American tax dollars, accomplished? Has it led to the stability of those nations invaded or attacked by the U.S. and its reluctant western “allies?” Just the opposite, the colossal blowback evidenced by the metastasis of al-Qaeda’s offshoots and similar new groups like the self-styled Islamic state are now proliferating in and threatening over a dozen countries.
Have you digested what is happening in Iraq and why Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said no to Washington? Or now chaotic Libya, which like Iraq never had any presence of Al-Qaeda before the U.S.’s destabilizing military attacks? (See the New York Times’ editorial on February 15, 2015 titled “What Libya’s Unraveling Means”.)
Perhaps you will find a former veteran CIA station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan, Robert L. Grenier more credible. Writing in his just released book: 88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary (Simon & Schuster), he sums up U.S. government policy this way: “Our current abandonment of Afghanistan is the product of a…colossal overreach, from 2005 onwards.” He writes, “in the process we overwhelmed a primitive country, with a largely illiterate population, a tiny agrarian economy, a tribal social structure and nascent national institutions. We triggered massive corruption through our profligacy; convinced a substantial number of Afghans that we were, in fact, occupiers and facilitated the resurgence of the Taliban” (Alissa J. Rubin, Robert L. Grenier’s ‘88 Days to Kandahar,’ New York Times, February 15, 2015).
You may recall George W. Bush’s White House counterterrorism czar, Richard Clarke, who wrote in his 2004 book, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror—What Really Happened, “It was as if Osama bin Laden, hidden in some high mountain redoubt, were engaging in long-range mind control of George Bush, chanting, ‘Invade Iraq, you must invade Iraq.’”
Mr. Bush committed sociocide against that country’s twenty-seven million people. Over 1 million innocent Iraqi civilians lost their lives, in addition to millions sick and injured. Refugees have reached five million and growing. He destroyed critical public services and sparked sectarian massacres—massive war crimes, which in turn produce ever-expanding blowbacks.
Canadians might be most concerned about your increased dictatorial policies and practices, as well as this bill’s provision for secret law and courts in the name of fighting terrorism—too vaguely defined. Study what comparable practices have done to the United States – a course that you seem to be mimicking, including the militarization of police forces (see The Walrus, December 2014).
If passed, this act, piled on already stringent legal authority, will expand your national security bureaucracies and their jurisdictional disputes, further encourage dragnet snooping and roundups, fuel fear and suspicion among law-abiding Canadians, stifle free speech and civic action and drain billions of dollars from being used for the necessities of Canadian society. This is not hypothetical. Along with an already frayed social safety net, once the envy of the world, you almost got away with a $30 billion dollar purchase of unneeded costly F-35s (including maintenance) to bail out the failing budget-busting F-35 project in Washington.
You may think that Canadians will fall prey to a politics of fear before an election. But you may be misreading the extent to which Canadians will allow the attachment of their Maple Leaf to the aggressive talons of a hijacked American Eagle.
Canada could be a model for independence against the backdrop of bankrupt American military adventures steeped in big business profits… a model that might help both nations restore their better angels.
Canada has added Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, and the CEO of Rostec, to a sanctions blacklist along with 37 Ukrainians and 17 Russian and Ukrainian organizations. They are all covered by economic sanctions and travel bans.
It’s a coordinated move with the European Union and the United States, who have already imposed a number of sanctions on Russia, according to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“In coordination with our EU and US partners, Canada is once again intensifying its response to the situation by announcing further sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities,” Harper said in a statement on his official website on Tuesday.
Canada has been trying for months to resist the pressure on taking any further restrictive measures against Russia, despite the fact it had already sanctioned 80 Russian and Ukrainian officials last year.Last May, the country decided not to impose sanctions against Rosneft and Rostec because it didn’t want politics to hurt Canada’s biggest business projects.
Russia’s oil giant Rosneft owns about 30 percent of an ExxonMobil oil field in the Canadian province of Alberta. Rosneft purchased a stake in the Cardium basin deposit in 2012; the deal became Russia’s first Canadian presence and was expected to benefit Canada’s economy by accelerating resource development.
Russian state-owned industrial and defense firm Rostec, and Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier signed a $3.4 billion deal two years ago. The companies had decided to establish joint venture to produce Q400 aircraft, which Canada recognized as a “landmark opportunity for the Q400 NextGen aircraft program.” The venture intended to build 24 aircraft a year, with some 250 constructed by 2030. The deal was postponed last year due to the anti-Russian sanctions imposed then by the Canadian government.
Iranian musician and Kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor along with Indian sitar maestro Shujaat Husain Khan is slated to perform in New York, Boston and Irvine
The duo is planning to present their program accompanied by Ghazal Ensemble in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University on March 22, 2015.
Ghazal (with Shujaat Hussein Khan and Sandeep Das) March 2015 events are:
13 Mar: Kay Meek Theater, Vancouver, Canada
15 Mar: Skirball Center, Los Anegeles, CA
17 Mar: Irvine Barclay Theater, Irvine, CA
19 Mar: Freer Gallery, Washington, DC
21 Mar: Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA
22 Mar: Schimmel Center at Pace University, NY
25-28 Mar: Agha Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada
29 Mar: Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX
Other Kayhan Kalhor early 2015 events (Europe, US): www.facebook.com/kalhor.kayhan
Ghazal Ensemble, formed in 1997 by Kalhor and Husain Khan, has been touring the world and it is acclaimed for performing Indo-Persian music.
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “utterly captivating… an irresistible expression of creative musical passion,” Ghazal’s performances and recordings have garnered critical acclaim as well as a 2004 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album for their 2003 live album The Rain. Amazon named Ghazal’s first CD, Lost Songs of the Silk Road, to its list of the best 100 world music albums ever recorded.
Kalhor is known for his brilliant performances on the traditional instrument Kamancheh and creating a unique mixture of classical Persian music with folk tunes of the Kurdistan region.
He held many concerts along with the world-renowned musicians and ensembles such as the string quartet, Brooklyn Rider ensemble, in Minneapolis, United States, in 2012.
Kalhor also presented joint programs with the veteran Turkish Baglama player Erdal Erzincan in New York’s GlobalFest held at the Marlin Room on January 13, 2013.
He also performed introspective performances with a number of world-class Asian musicians at BT River of Music in London.
Shujaat Husain Khan is one of today’s greatest North Indian artists, who represent the seventh generation of illustrious musicians, which includes his father, the great sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan.
BIOGRAPHY – KAYHAN KALHOR
Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (Persian spiked fiddle). His performances of Persian music and his many collaborations have attracted audiences around the globe.
Born in Tehran, Iran, he began his musical studies at the age of seven. At thirteen, he was invited to work with the National Orchestra of Radio and Television of Iran, where he performed for five years. When he was seventeen he began working with the Shayda Ensemble of the Chavosh Cultural Center, the most prestigious arts organization in Iran at the time. At a musical conservatory in Tehran around age 20 Kalhor worked under the directorship of Mohammad-Reza Lotfi who is from Northern Khorasan. He has traveled extensively throughout Iran, studying the music of its many regions, in particular those of Khorason and Kordestan. … http://theotheriran.com/2015/02/03/keyhan-kalhor-iranian-music-maestro-and-former-grammy-awards-nominee-to-perform-in-the-us-and-canada/
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has introduced new anti-terror laws, which significantly expands the powers of the country’s spy agencies.
The proposed legislation announced on Friday would allow anyone suspected of being involved in a terror plot to be taken into custody for up to a week without any charges.
The law would make it a felony for any person to call for a terrorist attack, even without making any specific threat.
In addition, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), would receive additional powers to track and arrest suspects, including preventing Canadian citizens from traveling abroad for terror purposes by cancelling their plane or other travel reservations.
Furthermore, authorities will have the right to remove terror-related material posted on any Canadian website.
Harper said the new law is required as militants have declared war on Canada and it would be wrong to ignore their threats.
The proposed law still has to be approved by the country’s parliament. However, the legislation is likely to be adopted as Harper’s Conservative administration holds the majority of seats in the assembly.
The legislation has drawn criticism from a number of figures including, opposition leader Tom Mulcair, who expressed concern about oversight and abuses.
Kent Roach, a law professor at the University of Toronto, also voiced concern over the proposed law, saying it has a “potential” of suppressing expression.
Harper’s proposal comes in the wake two so-called terrorism-related attacks in the capital of Ottawa and in the city of Quebec last October.
On October 22, 2014, an armed assailant, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed a soldier at the country’s national war memorial in the capital and then stormed the parliament before being shot dead by police.
In another incident just two days earlier, a radicalized Quebec man, identified as Martin Couture-Rouleau, was shot dead by police after he ran down two soldiers, killing one of them, with his vehicle near a military compound.
Canada monitors all internet downloads January 28, 2015
Canada police allowed to search phones December 12, 2014
January 24, 2015
Dear University of Toronto and University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:
This is in response to the recent assault on student activism and student spaces at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus:
On Thursday November 6, a 34 year-old man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto furiously entered the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union office after hours. He stole a poster that read WARNING: THIS UNIVERSITY PROFITS OFF ISRAELI APARTHEID AND OCCUPATION. All attempts to calm him down failed. After stealing the poster he drove off, recording the incident with his phone. Campus police filed a report and said to notify them if the man returns. After a couple of weeks we put up another sign. The man came back. He forced his way into the student union. We tried to calm him down and initiate dialogue. The man replied with, “I’ll rip your fucking throat out” and “I have twelve guys on standby ready”—implying that he or other people will be back. He shouted that he use to be a part of the “israeli” military and regularly killed “terrorists”. Campus police came to the scene and issued the man a Notice of Trespass for the UTSC campus.
In fury, we wondered how a man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto invaded student spaces, threatened students, stole private property, and walked away with just a Notice of Trespass. Why hasn’t the University been held accountable for investing in companies such as Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, both of which supply F-16 bomber jets and Hellfire missiles to “israel”? Why do our tuition dollars continue to fund “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine? The University—rather than addressing their complicity—responded with increased policing of student union spaces and activism. We are not looking for increased policing of activist activities, we want to cut ties with international law violations without facing death threats. If the University of Toronto did not invest in these companies we would not be threatened repeatedly on University grounds.
We demand that the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:
- Immediately divest from companies complicit in international law violations, including all companies profiting off “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land.
– Apologize and take accountability for the violence and death threats we’ve incurred as a result of raising awareness of UTAM’s investments.
– Ensure safer spaces for student organizers not through increased policing and surveillance but rather by validating our voices and addressing our concerns.
U of T Divest – Scarborough
Brandon Martinez interviews Hafsa Kara-Mustapha on a January 18, 2015 episode of the Non-Aligned Media Podcast.
Hafsa Kara-Mustapha is a London-based journalist and political commentator who has written extensively about the Middle East for publications such as Middle East Magazine, Jane’s Foreign Report and El Watan newspaper. She also appears frequently on Press TV and Russia Today.
Brandon Martinez is an independent writer and journalist from Canada who specializes in foreign policy issues, international affairs and 20th and 21st century history. For years he has written on Zionism, Israel-Palestine, American and Canadian foreign policy, war, terrorism and deception in media and politics. Listeners can contact him at martinezperspective[at]hotmail.com or visit his blog.
Joshua Blakeney was interviewed on January 5, 2014, by Bob Tuskin for his radio show. They discussed a number of issues including:
– The Ottawa shooting of October 22, 2014
– Zionist hegemony in Canada
– “Hate Speech” legislation and other thought-crime laws
– Election fraud in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election
– Blakeney’s research at the National Diet Library in Tokyo
– The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Pan-Asianism, Shūmei Ōkawa and Western imperialism in Asia
– The inorganic nature of Communism in Asia
– Press TV, Russia Today and the importance of counter-hegemonic discourses
– Fukushima and the energy crisis in Japan
A study published by a top US literary organization on Monday, found that an increasing number of writers in democratic countries are censoring themselves due to fears about government surveillance.
The study entitled “Global chilling: The impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers” surveyed 772 writers in 50 countries and concluded that writers and journalists are self-censoring for fear of reprisal.
A similar report published in November 2013 found that writers were “worried about mass surveillance, and were engaged in multiple forms of self-censorship as a result.”
A full report from writers around the world will be issued in the spring of 2015. As writers are considered to be the “canaries in the coalmine” therefore they are likely to give an accurate picture of the impact of surveillance on privacy and freedom of expression.
Writers living in democratic countries were found to be nearly as concerned as those living in non-democratic states with long histories of mass surveillance.
It found that while 61 percent of writers living in the countries labeled as ‘Not Free’ by Freedom House avoided writing or speaking about a certain topic because of government surveillance this was now true of 34 percent of writers in ‘Free’ countries.
“Writers are concerned that expressing certain views even privately or researching certain topics may lead to negative consequences,” the study concluded.
It also found that writers outside the US shared many of the same fears and uncertainties, particularly in the countries in the Five Eyes alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US.
One respondent said he “hesitated – and thought to answer very honestly – these questions.”
There was also a sharp decline in how writers viewed the US as a haven for free expression, with 36 percent of writers surveyed in so-called ‘Free’ countries believing that their own country offers better protection for freedom of expression than the US.
The Pen document ends with recommendations that the US government stops dragnet monitoring and the collection of US citizen’s communications. It also advises that collection of digital metadata be suspended and advises greater judicial, legislative and executive oversight of US intelligence agency programs.
It also pointed out that the US has to respect the privacy and rights to free expression of foreign citizens either in or out of the US.
“As the United Nations has repeatedly stated, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the US is a party, requires it to respect the human rights to privacy and free expression of all individuals affected by its surveillance programs,” the report says.
By Robert Fantina | Aletho News | December 31, 2014
The United States once again disgraced itself on the world stage at the United Nations on December 30, when it voted against full recognition of Palestine. It proved to the world, if any further proof was required, that it has no interest in fostering the human rights and self-determination of any people that doesn’t benefit it in some way, either through making available to the U.S. coveted natural resources, allowing military bases to be built in the country, or funneling huge amounts of money into the campaign coffers of elected officials.
The vote was close: eight in favor, two opposed and five abstentions. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a weak and spineless leader if ever there was one, had vowed to join all the U.N. organizations it became eligible for when Palestine was voted ‘non-member observer state status’ by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012, and the International Criminal Court, if the resolution failed to pass. It will be interesting to see if he finally puts the needs of the Palestinians first, and follows through with this promise.
Although the vote failed, and even if it had passed, the U.S. would have vetoed it, it was, nonetheless, a significant milestone. Increasingly, and especially since Israel’s latest genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip, the world is recognizing what a few governments still deny: Israel is an apartheid regime, determined to destroy Palestine, its people and culture. Thanks in large part to the international Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, and the ready access that so many people have to social media, Israel is becoming increasingly isolated as a global pariah, with only the U.S. and a few other countries, including Canada (to its everlasting shame), still defending it.
After Tuesday’s vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said, incredibly, that ‘no other country in the world has invested more than the United States in pursuing peace between Israel and the Palestinians.’ It might be useful to look at what the U.S. has, in fact, done in this regard.
- Vetoed resolutions condemning continued illegal settlement building in the West Bank. It is in violation of international law for an occupying nation (Israel) to move its citizens permanently into the occupied territory (Palestine). Israel has relocated over 500,000 Israelis into the West Bank, property that the international community says belongs to Palestine. And Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu says that not one of those settlers will ever be displaced. In early 2011, when the U.S. vetoed a resolution condemning settlement building, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said that the U.S. recognizes the illegality of settlement building, but didn’t feel the U.N. was the place to address it. Where, one might reasonably ask, should violations of international law be addressed if not at the United Nations?
- Gives $3 billion to Israel annually, and nothing to Palestine. This enables Israel to have one of the most powerful military machines in the world, while Palestine has no army, navy or air force.
- Supports the carpet-bombing of Palestine. Periodically, sometimes in response to ineffective rocket fire from Gaza, rockets that Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors and an active proponent of Palestinian rights, calls ‘enhanced fire works’, and sometimes just on a whim, Israel begins bombing homes, schools, mosques, U.N. refugee centers and press offices, all in violation of international law. The U.S. proclaims that Israel has a right to defend itself, despite the illogic of an occupying nation defending itself from the nation it occupies. Also, international law that the U.S. recognizes states that an occupied nation has the right to defend itself. Even when Israeli soldiers target children, and bomb U.N. refugee centers, and the U.S. issues some mild criticism, it continues to send advanced weaponry to Israel.
- Ignores the horrific suffering of the Palestinian people. In the Gaza Strip, thanks to Israel’s illegal blockade and periodic bombing, the economy is decimated. Unemployment is among the highest in the world, and thousands of people are homeless due to U.S.-supplied bombs. As much as 90% of the water is not fit to drink. Yet not only does the U.S. send no aid, it allows Israel to block aid from other countries.
- Sponsors the farce of ongoing negotiations. It is a basic fact that negotiations can only occur between two parties, each of which has something the other wants that it can only obtain by surrendering something it has. Israel is able to take with impunity anything it wants from Palestine. It bulldozes entire villages to build illegal settlements, and uses Palestinian natural resources for manufacturing its own products. This is all in violation of international law, law that the U.S. recognizes.
A look at the United States relations with an earlier apartheid regime, South Africa, may help clarify U.S. support for Israel. Through the 1970s and 1980s, most U.S. administrations condemned the apartheid government, but opposed any economic sanctions to discourage it. As late as the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the U.S. had very friendly ties with South Africa. Mr. Reagan accused opponents of the apartheid government, most notably the African National Congress, of being pro-communist. In 1984, Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu characterized the Reagan policy as ‘immoral, evil and totally un-Christian’. The U.S. finally imposed economic sanctions, only after Congress overrode a presidential veto.
Today, the U.S. demonizes Hamas, the democratically-elected government in Gaza, which earlier this year reunified with Fatah, the puppet government in the West Bank, a reunification that enraged Mr. Netanyahu and was the probable cause of his murderous assault on Gaza. The U.S. condemns illegal settlement construction, but finances it through its very generous foreign aid to Israel.
Like the situation in South Africa a generation ago, it will not be the U.S. that leads the way to freedom and self-determination for the Palestinian people. No, that will occur in spite of, and not because of, U.S. actions. As indicated by the vote in the General Assembly in 2012 to grant Palestine Non-Member Observer State Status, yesterday’s close albeit unsuccessful vote to recognize Palestine in the Security Council, the growing BDS movement, the resolutions of many countries calling on their governments to recognize Palestine, Sweden’s recent recognition of Palestine, and worldwide outrage at Israel’s savage treatment of Palestinians, the U.S. will not be able to prevent the end of the occupation forever. It could be a force for freedom and human rights, but chooses instead to be an imperial nation, supporting the colonization of countries that can’t provide it with profits, ignoring and even financing horrific human rights abuses, and practicing savage racism within its own borders. U.S. citizens may still believe their nation’s public relations campaigns that proclaim it as a beacon of peace and freedom throughout the world, but that myth is not accepted beyond its borders. Rather than a major diplomatic player on the world stage, the U.S. is a farce, feared for its military power, but gaining no respect anywhere.