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Likud Becomes a Regional Member of the European Parliament

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | CounterPunch | April 27, 2016

Although Israel is geographically located in Asia, the self-described “Jewish state” has emphasized its Europeanness whenever it has suited it to do so. It has been allowed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1973, as the Israeli Broadcasting Authority has been a member of the European Broadcasting Union since 1957. Israeli soccer clubs began playing in European competitions in 1991 and Israel became a member of UEFA in 1994. Even more importantly, in the political sphere, Tel Aviv’s recent major political step towards realizing its apparent desire of becoming a fully-fledged European state has passed under the radar of the media.

In March, a delegation from the Likud visited Strasbourg at the invitation of the European Conservatives and Reformists faction in the European Parliament. According to the Jerusalem Post, the delegation explained the Likud’s policies to a group of 15 ECR members of Parliament. The Likud reached an agreement with the ECR that enables it to become one of the ECR’s “regional members,” which allows Likud representatives to attend ECR faction meetings and influence its policies.

Within a year, the Likud will become a regional party ally of the European Conservatives and Reformists faction in the European Parliament. The move is likely to boost relations between Israel’s ruling party and Europe. The ECR decided the Likud could already become observers in the faction and that a delegation of ECR members would be hosted by the Likud in Israel in October.

Eli Hazan, the Likud’s deputy director-general for public and foreign relations, said he would take the parliament members to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, the Likud’s Tel Aviv headquarters, and “communities in Samaria,” using the Israeli term for part of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

“This is a significant step, because at a time of boycotts of Israel, the Likud will be added to a group in Europe that has power,” Hazan said.

“When anti-Israel motions are debated in the European Parliament, we will now be able to send Likud MKs to defend Israel to members of the parliament in an official capacity,” Hazan added.

Hazan led the delegation, which included mayors, city council members and advisers to Likud leaders. MKs weren’t part of the group, because in a 61-member coalition, they were all needed in the 120-seat Knesset.

Founded by members of the British Conservative Party, the ECR has 75 MEPs from 17 EU countries, making it the third-largest group in the European Parliament.

It has alliances with the ruling Turkish AKP, with the U.S. Republican Party and parties in Australia, Canada, Morocco and New Zealand.

The most recent alliance emerged from Hazan’s efforts to build relations between the Likud and Center-Right parties across Europe.

The meeting with the ECR arose out of Hazan’s success in reaching out to party officials on a recent trip to London.

It is hardly a coincidence that the rapprochement began in the British capital. According to the 2009 television program “Dispatches: Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby,” up to 80 percent of the Conservative Party are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel. “The pro-Israeli lobby in this country is the most powerful lobby; there’s nothing to touch them,” one British politician told the investigative television program.

Before last year’s election, Ha’aretz published an article that posed the question “Is David Cameron the Most pro-Israel British PM Ever?” As the Israeli daily observed, “The United Kingdom may no longer be a major player on the world stage, but its prime minister has still been able to work quietly in support of the Jewish State.”

During a visit to Israel the previous year, Cameron told the Knesset in a speech about his great-great-grandfather, a Jewish banker who emigrated from Germany.

The link gave Mr. Cameron “some sense of connection” to the Israeli people, he said, as he hailed their “extraordinary journey” and history of persecution.

In the address he vowed to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with what he described as a “vulnerable” state against terrorism, despite the fact that Israel is the region’s preeminent military power and its sole possessor of nuclear weapons. “We are with you,” the prime minister then said in Hebrew.

“My Jewish ancestry is relatively limited but I do feel just some sense of connection. From the lexicon of my great, great grandfather Emile Levita, a Jewish man who came from Germany to Britain 150 years ago to the story of my forefather Elijah Levita who wrote what is thought to have been the first ever Yiddish novel,” he said.

While the British Prime Minister’s Jewish ancestry may be “relatively limited,” his party’s behind-the-scenes service to the Zionist state may yet have a significant impact on its mixed relations with the European Union. Notwithstanding the newsworthiness of this development, the only media to date to report this story has been The Jerusalem Post. Given the media’s apparent lack of interest in Likud becoming a regional member of the European Parliament, Israel remains free to counter the increasingly unlikely threat of a EU boycott.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an author, analyst and political commentator. His forthcoming book is “Agents, Assets and Sayanim: Israel’s ‘People in Between’ You and the Facts.”

April 27, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Pirate Party’s leader detained in Germany for citing poem about Erdogan

RT | April 23, 2016

During a rally supporting comedian Jan Boehmermann, Bruno Kramm, the head of the Berlin branch of Germany’s Pirate Party, was arrested for “insulting a representative of a foreign state” by quoting a line from the comic’s satirical poem slamming Erdogan.

German police arrested Kramm while he was conducting a “literary analysis” of the German comedian’s satirical poem in front of the Turkish embassy in Berlin during a protest held under the slogan “No Power for Erdowahn, Freedom Instead of Erdogan” [Keine Macht dem Erdowahn, Freiheit statt Erdogan], the Morgenpost newspaper reported.

The politician cited a couple of lines from the now-infamous piece that landed Boehmermann in hot water, namely, “Kicking Kurds, beating Christians,” which refer to the Turkish authorities’ reported crackdown on minorities.

Kramm was approached by several police officers as he was reciting the lines and taken into custody. The police dispersed the gathering shortly thereafter.

One of the activists, Franz-Josef Schmitt, posted a photo of a police van, saying that nobody is allowed to visit Kramm.

According to the newspaper, police have accused Kramm of violating a rarely used section of the German criminal code, namely section 103, that prohibits insulting “organs and representatives of foreign states.”

“When people slightly criticize the government in Turkey, they are persecuted, beaten or disappear. In contrast to this, the dictator Erdogan is allowed to significantly restrict the right of assembly and the freedom of expression in Germany merely for a statement, that he beats Kurds and Christians,” Kramm had written in a statement published on the German Pirate Party’s official website.

“Who makes such people agents of inhumane refugee policy, should not be surprised when fundamental rights disappear also in Europe,” he added, referring to the heavily criticized EU-Turkey migrant deal recently praised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The police had reportedly sanctioned the rally on condition that the activists would not quote any lines from Boehmermann’s poem, because “it may constitute a criminal offense of defamation,” said police spokesman Stefan Redlich, as cited by Morgenpost.

Ahead of the rally, Schmitt wrote that “police have explicitly banned us from performing critical dialectical analysis of the Boehmermann’s poem…otherwise they will bring criminal charges and remove a microphone.”

The party says it has been staging weekly demonstrations in front of the Turkish embassy on Fridays to protest the “systemic terror of censorship, oppression, despotism and killings of the dictator Erdogan.”

Earlier on Friday, Merkel admitted that it had been a mistake to express her personal opinion of the German comedian’s poem, which she condemned for being “deliberately insulting.”

“In hindsight, that was an error,” Merkel said in Berlin on Friday, adding that she feared that her comments might be taken to mean that “freedom of opinion is not important, that freedom of the press is not important.”

However, she didn’t backtrack on authorizing the prosecution of the disrespectful comedian under section 103, despite the public outcry.

“I believe [allowing the investigation] to be correct, same as before,” she stressed, as cited by DW.

Boehmermann suspended his show last week after Merkel heeded Turkish President Erdogan’s calls to begin the proceedings.

April 23, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-CIA officer to be extradited to Italy for role in Egyptian cleric kidnapping

RT | April 22, 2016

A former CIA officer, now residing in Portugal, faces extradition to Italy after her alleged involvement in the kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, otherwise known as Abu Omar, in Milan 13 years ago, The Washington Post reported.

An Italian court convicted Sabrina De Sousa, 60, in absentia along with 26 other Americans, sentencing her to four years in prison. In 2009, De Sousa avoided potential imprisonment by leaving Italy before the trial started.

However, extradition talks began after De Sousa moved to Portugal last spring to be closer to her relatives.

Local police detained the former CIA agent on a European arrest warrant at the Lisbon airport in October.

A key development in the case happened this week, when Portugal’s highest court upheld the lower courts’ ruling that local authorities did not violate the constitution when detaining De Sousa. She is now scheduled to be extradited to Italy on May 4.

One of the conditions of the ruling is that De Sousa be given another trial and a chance to appeal her sentence in Italy since she was sentenced in absentia.

However, De Sousa is not sure that Italian authorities will grant her a new trial, and fears that she will simply be sent straight to jail to start serving her four-year sentence.

“It’s kind of a surreal situation,” De Sousa told The Washington Post. “I’ve spent years wanting to counter the charges against me. Right now, I want to know what happens, step by step, in Italy.”

Former CIA chief historian Benjamin Fischer described De Sousa’s case as “unprecedented,” according to the Post.

De Sousa holds dual Portuguese and American citizenship. She admitted that flying to Europe did leave her more vulnerable to arrest.

“If I was a natural-born US citizen and my entire family lived in Kansas, for example, then maybe I wouldn’t need to worry about going to Europe again,” De Sousa said.

Terror suspect Egyptian cleric Nasr was kidnapped from a Milan street in 2003. He was transported to Egypt by the CIA as part of their extraordinary rendition program, where he was allegedly tortured for seven months and eventually released.

It was only in 2005 when reports of Italian government investigating CIA agents involved in the kidnapping came to light.

Evidence discovered by Italian law enforcement reportedly embarrassed the CIA’s spy craft skills.

Meanwhile, De Sousa was unable to persuade her employer to grant her immunity and ended up resigning from the CIA in 2009.

De Sousa asserts she played only a minor role in the abduction of the cleric, translating for CIA officers in Italy in early 2002 before the kidnapping took place.

“But at that point, rendition was just a concept,” she said, adding that Nasr’s name was not even mentioned during the talks.

Read more:

Former CIA agent blames Bush, Rice for kidnapping of Egyptian cleric in Italy

Still guilty: Italy upholds verdict against 23 CIA agents in rendition trial

April 22, 2016 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch people are stupid and they shouldn’t be allowed to vote!*

(*What Anne Applebaum really meant but couldn’t say in her Washington Post column.)

By Bryan MacDonald | RT | April 16, 2016

The Washington Post’s foreign affairs columnist seems to believe that Dutch people are stupid and, as a result, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Of course, she can’t write it directly. So, instead, she blames RT, and other Russian media, for a democratic choice that delivered a result she doesn’t like.

In the legendary 1976 movie, Network, Peter Finch, as Howard Beale, famously bellowed: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” The film was loaded with preachy rants and self-righteous contempt for ordinary folk watching the television channel in question.

Anne Applebaum is a pro-establishment Howard Beale. Given to similar hubris from her various soapboxes. Yet, her visceral hatred of Russia helps makes her position even more entrenched than the fictional anti-hero. As a result, Applebaum seems incapable of reviewing a situation without seeing Russia’s hand somewhere.

Take last week’s Dutch Referendum on the proposed association agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

Numerous analysts, actual EU officials, the Dutch Prime Minister and voters themselves, have given reasons why the scheme was rejected. They have, most prominently, cited anger with the EU’s lack of transparency, Ukrainian corruption, fear of eventual EU membership for another large, poor eastern state and internal Dutch disillusion with the country’s elite.

Over in Kiev, locals have blamed “their (own) political leaders for not doing enough to tackle corruption and improve the country’s image,” according to Reuters correspondents on the ground. Here’s a sample reaction: “People there in Europe understand the level of corruption, that the authorities are now simply incapable of doing anything better for their own citizens,” said Ilya Zhyzhyyan, a 29-year-old Kiev resident. “So the Dutch probably think – why do they need a country that can’t do any good for its own people?”

The head of the Ukrainian parliament’s own committee on European integration MP, Iryna Herashchenko, blasted the fallout from the Panama Papers. The massive data leak contained information that Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko was probably evading taxes while his impoverished country endured a brutal civil war.

As you can see, people directly affected by the Netherlands ballot are capable of offering reasonable explanations for the negative verdict. They make grown up, measured arguments. Yet, Applebaum can only see Russia, Russia, Russia!

Blinkered views

In her latest Washington Post column, her primary argument is that “the Dutch just showed the world how Russia influences Western European elections.” You can translate that to mean that Applebaum refuses to accept any other reason for failure aside from dastardly Russian meddling. This is utterly bizarre.

She takes issue with 59 percent of Dutch ‘no’ voters stating that Ukrainian corruption motivated their unfavorable ballots. Applebaum derides their, quite understandable, worries as “hardly a rational argument.” Yet, two years ago, she wrote: “The West has let Russian corruption destabilize Europe. It’s time to stop it.” It’s beyond reasonable logic that anybody could believe that Russian corruption is a grave threat to Europe, but extortion in Ukraine is totally harmless.

Even Ukrainians admit that bribery in their nation is endemic. In fact, Transparency International reports that it’s the “most corrupt country in Europe.” Indeed, many experts believe that graft has actually worsened since the Maidan coup in 2014. Even the Wall Street Journal has acknowledged the fact. Without question, this situation is depressing, considering that corruption was ostensibly the motivation for the initial, peaceful, marches against Viktor Yanukovich’s government. Nevertheless, remaining in denial about it isn’t going to help matters.

A European Dream

She also argues that Dutch voters are wrong to blame Ukraine for the MH17 disaster. However, families of the victims are suing Kiev for not closing its airspace during a time of war. Even if, as investigators believe, the Donbass rebels were responsible, they didn’t have control of civilian aviation.

Applebaum further rails against the belief “that the treaty would (eventually) guarantee Ukraine’s membership in the European Union.” The problem is that it’s not Russians scaring people with this notion. It’s Ukrainians. President Poroshenko has stated that Ukraine will be “ready to join the EU in five years.” Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk  recently said that he is “sure that Ukraine will become a European Union member state despite all the challenges and hardships.”

Applebaum has written extensively about her support for democracy. Indeed, she’s warned that we “shouldn’t take it for granted.” Now, because of a verdict she objects to, she backtracks. “A treaty already approved by 27 countries can’t be renegotiated from scratch,” our hero writes.

The problem here is that these countries didn’t vote on the Ukrainian question. Their governments merely nodded through the agreement, as is the norm on EU issues. Yet, when one country actually let the people decide, the verdict was an overwhelming ‘no.’ Now, Applebaum, a self-styled champion of democracy, suggests we ignore that choice. This is amazing hypocrisy.

Applebaum is blinkered by her association with a Eurocrat elite, who are doing their best to suppress suffrage within the EU. Despite platitudes about “liberation” and “freedom,” these people are vigorously anti-populist and are determined to deny people the right to choose their own fate. It’s revealing that Carl Bildt, a close political ally of Applebaum’s husband Radoslaw Sikorski, expressed almost identical sentiments on Twitter after the results became known.

Utterly convinced that their Atlanticist, neoliberal outlook is the only possible future for Europe, they are unwilling to accept their own inadequacies or admit their own failures. Thus, whenever something puts a brake on their plans, they need to blame a third-party. Russia, as the only major European nation outside the EU/NATO blocs, is their favorite whipping boy.

If something doesn’t go the way Brussels/Washington establishments want, the Kremlin is always behind it. This denies ordinary EU citizens any kind of respect for their own concerns and interests.

Nobody, with any grip on reality, could honestly believe that 2.5 million Dutch voters rejected closer cooperation with Ukraine because Russia, and its media services, told them to. So why does the Washington Post’s star foreign affairs columnist, and, presumably, the editorial board who appointed her, think people will swallow this nonsense?

April 17, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 3 Comments

Dutch Set to Deliver Second EU Bombshell Referendum Over TTIP Deal

Sputnik | April 15, 2016

A Dutch petition demanding another referendum – this time on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the European Union and the United State – has gone past the 100,000 mark and is rapidly gaining support.

People in the Netherlands delivered a blow to the European Union last week in a referendum over Ukraine’s accession to the EU, which developed into a vote of confidence in the EU. On a turnout of about 33 percent, 61 percent voted against the Approval Act.

Both petitions use the Dutch system, whereby 300,000 signatures are needed to force a referendum and, although the Ukraine one was started as a joke by a satirical magazine, the TTIP vote could prove more damaging and controversial.

The TTIP negotiations are due to create the biggest trade pact in the world, between the European Union and the United States. However, the talks have been beset by controversy — not least over the massive lobbying by multinational companies and worries that they are likely to be able to sue governments for loss of trade.

Critics of the TTIP deal point to the fact the European food regulations are different from — and some say more stringent than — those in the US.

They also fear strict European environmental regulations will be flouted under the proposed deal, which critics say has been dominated by big business lobbying. Concerns have also been raised that EU regulations in every sector will be rendered powerless, because multinational companies will hold more powers under TTIP.

States Sued

Crucially, at the heart of the TTIP is a controversial proposal for an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which would allow companies to sue governments if their regulations or laws affected their profits. Thus, if a US multinational company lost profits because their product or service was banned by law for health or other reasons, they would be able to sue a government — or the EU — for loss of earnings.

Under ISDS, in April 1997 the Canadian parliament banned the import and transport of MMT, a gasoline additive, over concerns that it poses a significant public health risk. Ethyl Corporation, the additive’s manufacturer, sued the Canadian Government for US$251 million, to cover losses resulting from the “expropriation” of both its MMT production plant and its “good reputation.”

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is currently suing Uruguay and Australia over tobacco packaging and the Dutch insurance company, Achmea, is suing the Slovakia for trying to reverse health privatization.

The Dutch petitioners say:

“Large companies can sue governments in special tribunal. Europe will have to accept the often poorer American standards for consumer protection, social rights and environmental protection. Then we will see the introduction of US legislation in Europe without citizens or parliaments having any say over it.”

April 16, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Aeroflot to cut Airbus & Boeing orders after Transaero takeover

RT | April 15, 2016

Russian flagship airline Aeroflot may cut back on new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus after inheriting 35 airliners from bankrupt rival Transaero, says the company’s Deputy CEO Giorgio Callegari cited by Bloomberg.

State-run Aeroflot plans to take over leases on 16 Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A321 single-aisle aircraft as well as operate 19 Boeing 747 and 777 wide-bodies which were in service with Transaero.

Aeroflot is reviewing the order for 22 Airbus A350s and the same number of 787 Dreamliners manufactured by Boeing.

“It would be inaccurate and unprofessional to say that if I put 19 wide-bodies into my group then the plan stays the same. It cannot be,” said Callegari, adding that the overall fleet plan needed corrections and updates.

The 19 planes Aeroflot will get from Transaero are to be deployed on routes to Russia’s Far East, including Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, and the Kamchatka peninsula.

They’ll be operated under the Rossiya brand, around which Aeroflot is consolidating regional operations, though some of the jets will also provide charter services in collaboration with Russian tour operators.

The company doesn’t need the four new Boeing 747-8s ordered by Transaero, according to the CEO.

Transaero, once the second biggest airline in Russia, filed for bankruptcy in October 2015. The company was unable to service its debts including leasing obligations of about $4 billion.

As part of the takeover of some of Transaero’s routes and aircraft, Aeroflot is obliged to save as many jobs as possible at the bankrupt airline.

READ MORE: Transaero, Russia’s biggest private airline files for bankruptcy

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Merkel agreement with Turkish President Erdogan ‘real treason’ – Marine Le Pen

RT | April 13, 2016

Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front party, has called Angela Merkel’s talks with Turkey over the migrant deal “real treason,” saying Erdogan’s government shows “unacceptable leniency” towards Islamic State and “buys oil from terrorists.”

Le Pen has described the recent deal with Turkey as “a serious democratic problem.”

Last month, EU leaders and Turkey agreed a plan aimed at opening a “safe and legal” route to the EU for Syrian refugees. Under the deal, sealed on March 20, Ankara is to take back all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who cross the Aegean Sea and enter Greece illegally. In return, the EU will take in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey, rewarding Ankara with a fast visa-free travel regime, advancement in EU membership talks and – last but not least – more money.

“First of all, Frau Merkel did not possess the necessary powers [to strike the deal]. Secondly, she went against the will of the majority of the people in Europe. She conducted talks with Erdogan on unacceptable conditions, such as the €6-billion subvention, visa-free travel for Turks, and even Turkey’s admission to the EU – something that France has been strongly against. This is real treason and betrayal of the people,” the far-right National Front (FN) leader said in an exclusive interview with LifeNews.

“France’s National Front has long been saying that Erdogan’s government shows unacceptable leniency towards Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). I’m talking about Turkey buying oil from terrorists. We strongly resist Turkey’s integration with the EU, and we insist on respect for freedom of choice, and the French people’s refusal to follow the direction imposed by Frau Merkel,” Le Pen said.

“Today Turkey is establishing relations with Islamic fundamentalists. This goes against the interests of our country. Besides, I’m sorry to say it: Turkey is not a European country, neither historically, nor culturally and geographically. This means it has no business being part of the European Union,” she added.

Last month, the FN leader described Turkey’s request for the EU to provide it with an extra € 3 billion ($3.3 billion) to deal with the refugee crisis as blackmail.

“We have become so weak due to the removing of our [EU] borders that we have given in to Turkey’s blackmail,” Le Pen told RTL.

Last week, President Erdogan warned that Turkey won’t take back Syrian refugees if the EU doesn’t fulfill its promises, according to Reuters. It was previously reported that the Turkish president had threatened to flood the European Union with migrants, should Ankara not be offered enough cash to help curb the influx.

The first deportations started in Greece in early April amid repeated warnings by human rights groups that Turkey is “not a safe third country for refugees.”

In December, the Russian Defense Ministry released evidence it said unmasks the vast and illegal oil trade by Islamic State. It points to Turkey as the main destination for the smuggled oil, implying Ankara’s leadership in aiding the terrorists. However, the ministry said that since the start of Russia’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria on September 30, Islamic State’s income from oil smuggling has been significantly reduced. Erdogan has denied that Turkey procures oil from anything other than legitimate sources.

Le Pen has praised the Russian military mission in Syria, saying: “It’s a relief for us to see Islamic State retreat, and how Russia has succeeded where the EU has totally failed.”

“Russia’s presence in Syria has helped Europe a lot. Of course, our minister of foreign affairs has appropriated the success of airstrikes against Islamic State targets. In reality, the merit is due solely to the Russian troops,” she told LifeNews.

Le Pen said she had long been calling on France to restore diplomatic relations with Syria. “Despite harsh criticism of Bashar Assad’s government, it is the lesser evil in comparison with ISIS. We need to stabilize Syria, to strengthen through diplomacy the government system, which currently appears to be in ruins, with all the power in IS’ hands. We need to maintain high-level relations between the Syrian and French intelligence services. This will help us prevent terrorist acts in France.”

April 13, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European parliamentarians urge release, EU action on case of Khalida Jarrar

Khalida-Jarrar

samidoun – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | April 12, 2016

23 Members of European Parliament directed a letter today, 12 April, to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, expressing their “great concern with the arrest, detention and sentencing of the Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar.” Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian leftist, feminist and advocate for political prisoners, is serving a 15-month term in Israeli prison; she was arrested on 2 April 2015.

The MEPs called on Mogherini to raise Jarrar’s case with the Israeli government and demand her immediate release, that the issue of Palestinian political prisoners is raised and investigated, and that the EU mission in Israel and future EU delegations visit Jarrar and fellow Palestinian prisoners.

Further, they raised the overall situation of Israeli military courts, which convict Palestinians at a rate of over 99%, the transfer of Palestinian prisoners inside Israel, and new legislation threatening heavy sentences for children and stone-throwers, as well as the legislation allowing force-feeding of hunger strikers.

The letter, signed by members of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA), and Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) groups in the Parliament, highlighted the injustice of Israeli military courts and the nature of “prohibited organization” charges which deny Palestinian freedom of association and criminalize Palestinian politics. The letter discussed the nature of the charges against Jarrar, which focused on public political activity and speeches, and the use of alleged secret evidence to jail Jarrar and deny her bail.

Download letter here: Letter on Khalida Jarrar’s situation

April 12, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Zionism: Imperialism in the Age of Counter-revolution

Coercive Engineered Migration: Zionism’s War on Europe (Part 11 of an 11 Part Series)

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin | Dissident Voice | April 11, 2016

During the 1920s General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin formulated what he considered to be the essential contribution of Lenin to Marxist political economy. Leninism, he wrote, is Marxism in the era of proletarian revolution. Since 1989 proletarian and national liberation revolutions throughout the world have been overturned by a general, global counter-revolutionary upsurge. It is a a political phenomenon that has seen the onslaught of US colour revolutions, which seek to do away with the bourgeois nation-state itself, the last barrier to the total exploitation of the world by the global corporate and financial elite.

In this essay I have argued that the contemporary form of this counter-revolutionary ideology, of this imperial drive for global domination, is Zionism. One could therefore, echoing Stalin’s definition of Leninism, assert that Zionism is imperialism in the age of capitalist counter-revolution. In other words, Zionism is the very form of contemporary Western imperialism. However, unlike Russian and Chinese imperialism, Western imperialism or Zionism has both a religious and ethnic dimension. Zionism is a Messianic and racist ideology which is not based simply on secular, Jewish nationalism but has its roots in Talmudism.

Zionism, through its control of Western finance capitalism, is striving for global governance. Lenin, writing in 1915, described as ‘indisputable’ the fact that ‘development is proceeding towards monopolies, hence, towards a single world monopoly, towards a single world trust’. But Lenin also pointed out that this drive towards unipolar global power would also intensify the contradictions in the global economy. A cogent example of this today is the low-intensity covert war currently being waged by the United States/Israel against Germany: The Western imperial alliance is turning on itself.

However, no people’s resistance to Zionism can be mounted if the empire continues to outsmart its opponents. The aforementioned General Barnett understands his enemies well. He used to teach Marxism in Harvard university and has written a book comparing the African policies of the German Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Romania. In his book Blueprint For Action, he points out that the father of Fourth Generation Warfare is Mao Zedong.  Imperial grand strategy is now waging war using techniques developed during the Chinese revolution, one of the greatest anti-colonial struggles in history. The key for anti-imperialist resistance today, therefore, has to be to understand how to turn the tools of imperialism against imperialism.

Marxism is an indispensable tool for understanding capitalism, but is insufficient for a full comprehension of the complexities of imperial strategy and tactics in the information age. Barnett and many other US and Israeli military strategists are keen students of social psychology, and in particular General Boyd’s OODA Loop Theory. The OODA stands for observation, orientation, decision, action. According to Boyd, decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby “get inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage.

One could see this psychology at work during the Arab Spring. The rigid ideological orientation of the average ‘leftist’ saw the uprisings in Tunisia as proof that people were rebelling against a US-backed dictator and his ‘neo-liberal’ regime. This interpretation was reinforced by strategically placed ‘critics’ of US-foreign policy in the news station of Zionism’s ancillary regime, Qatar, while the initial indifference of the Western press confirmed the interpretation of the Tunisian revolt as a genuine, grass roots uprising against US imperialism.

US and Israeli strategists were capable of doing this through their deep understanding of ‘leftist’ discourse. They also understood that the ‘anti-globalisation’ form of the protest movement would fool genuine critics of US imperialism, thereby impeding their ability to react to the US-orchestrated revolutions in a rational manner.

In the Arab Spring, inverted Marxian dialectics, Systems Theory, Psychology, Military Science and Utility Theory were waged against a feckless and discombobulated anti-war movement who would repeat the sound bites of ‘popular uprising’ and the ‘defeat of US imperialism in the Middle East’ implanted in their minds by one of the most impressive and successful US/Israeli geostrategic operations in modern history.

On the eve of NATO’s bombing of Libya, the BBC predictably called upon an old reliable ‘critic of US foreign-policy’ Noam Chomsky. The veteran American philosopher agreed that the West had a “duty” to “stop the massacres” in Libya thus ensuring there would be no moral outrage among the so-called “anti-war movement” to a NATO military intervention. The invitation of Noam Chomsky by the Zionist-controlled BBC illustrates the importance for British intelligence of ideologically disarming potential ‘leftist’ opponents in the run-up to meticulously planned wars of aggression, disguised as ‘humanitarian interventions’.

Chomsky stated that ‘there may come a time when it would make sense for the West to become involved… but the question is has that time come.’ No anti-imperialist would ever suggest that it could make sense for the West to intervene militarily in another country, under any circumstances.

Given Chomsky’s anarchist ideology — the very ideology instrumentalised by the CIA in colour revolutions — the BBC knew he would go along with their fake ‘popular uprising’ in Benghazi; thus providing justification to wage ‘humanitarian’ warfare in support of the ‘revolution’.

In 2013, a massive military destablisation of Brazil was undertaken by US NGOs, operating under the guidance of the CIA, in order to weaken the popularity of a government moving far too close to Russia and China in the eyes of Washington. Again, the CIA’s ‘Vinegar Revolution‘ received full support from most ‘leftist’ quarters. Once again, military geostrategy had triumphed over anti-imperialist analysis.

The current refugee crisis proves that US/Israeli military geostrategy is running circles around its opponents who, instead of identifying the culprits who are using human beings as weapons, are unwittingly collaborating with Zionism’s plan to inundate Europe with migrants for the purposes of fomenting civil war in the European peninsula.  It is a desperate effort to prevent Eurasian integration, a prospect inimical to what the Pentagon refers to as ‘full spectrum dominance’.

Those who have joined in the chorus of welcoming the refugees/migrants are unwitting participants in an extension of Zionism’s neo-colonial wars in Africa and the Middle East. They are also complicit in the endorsement and cover-up of a modern slave trade. Opposing imperialism requires study of the logic of its geostrategic operations. Imperialism’s deliberate flooding of Europe with a Wahhabised lumpen-proletariat from a war-torn Southern Hemisphere will not help the cause of labour, the cause of human freedom. Rather, it will contribute to preventing the unification of the European-peninsula with the Eurasian Heartland. It will also contribute towards the further colonisation and destruction of independent African and Middle Eastern nations such as Eritrea and Syria.

An example of Marxist Leninist parties’ inability to deal with imperialism’s weaponization of migrants comes from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist). Their argument in favour of immigration is sound under normal circumstances but they fail to address the problem of when immigration becomes a tool of imperialism, a specific geopolitical strategy aimed at destabilizing both the country of origin and the destination of the migrant.

The recent resolution of the CPGBML is worth reproducing here in full:

This party firmly believes that immigration is not the cause of the ills of the working class in Britain, which are solely the result of the failings of the capitalist system.

Immigration and asylum legislation and controls under capitalism have only one real goal: the division of the working class along racial lines, thus fatally weakening that class’s ability to organise itself and to wage a revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of imperialism.

These controls have the further effect of creating an army of ‘illegal’ immigrant workers, prey to super exploitation and living in dire conditions as an underclass, outside the system, afraid to organise and exercising a downward pull on the wages and conditions of all workers.

The scourge of racism, along with all other ills of capitalism, will only be finally abolished after the successful overthrow of imperialism. But since immigration can no more be abolished under capitalism than can wage slavery, our call should not be for the further control and scapegoating of immigrants, but the abolition of all border controls, as part of the wider fight to uproot racism from the working-class movement and build unity among workers in Britain, so strengthening the fight for communism.

The problem here is that no distinction is made between immigration into imperialist countries and immigration into semi-colonial type countries. For example, Syria has been forced to close its borders due to the passage of terrorists in the service of imperialism. In such circumstances, it would be ludicrous to condemn the Syrian government for erecting fences to protect its borders. Similarly, Hungary, a small country which has just taken modest steps towards escaping from the clutches of US imperialism under the control of the IMF, has decided to erect fences to protect its borders from what it perceives as an attempt by US imperialism to destabilize the country. Under these conditions, such a decision is entirely justified. The CPGBML argues correctly that “the scourge of racism, along with all other ills of capitalism, will only be finally abolished after the successful overthrow of imperialism.” The erection of fences in Hungary is part of that fight against imperialism, when migrants are clearly being used as weapons of imperialist strategy against recalcitrant nation-states.

The fact that Zionism is using the refugee crisis to further its imperialist agenda does not mean, however, that all refugees in the world are being used for this purpose. Rather, just as in the Arab Spring where the social inequalities of capitalism were used by imperialism to further the cause of capitalism, many refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa are being used for the same purpose.

Throughout the world Homo sapiens is being supplanted by Homo economicus: a vacuous, brain-washed, rootless cosmopolitan, a deterritorialised and acculturated nomad, hopelessly blown hither and thither by the exigencies of capital. Meanwhile, Zionism continues to stoke up the incessant and utterly fraudulent War on Terror, with omnipresent mass surveillance of the “nations” (goyim) while at the same time Jews are being encouraged by the Israeli regime to leave Europe for settlement on Arab lands, ruined and depopulated by Zionism’s wars.

The ‘refugee crisis’ is indubitably one more step towards the creation of a Greater Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu recently told the Israeli National News that Israel must become a “world power”.

To politically correct pundits, Victor Orban’s fence might appear inhumane and xenophobic, but at this moment in history the concrete choice presented to us is between temporary fences designed to protect nations from imperialism or Zionist walls built to imprison humanity.

• Read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten

Gearóid Ó Colmáin is a journalist and political analyst based in Paris. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle.

April 12, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Ukraine Collapses, Europeans Tire of US Interventions

By Ron Paul | April 10, 2016

On Sunday Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk resigned, just four days after the Dutch voted against Ukraine joining the European Union. Taken together, these two events are clear signals that the US-backed coup in Ukraine has not given that country freedom and democracy. They also suggest a deeper dissatisfaction among Europeans over Washington’s addiction to interventionism.

According to US and EU governments – and repeated without question by the mainstream media – the Ukrainian people stood up on their own in 2014 to throw off the chains of a corrupt government in the back pocket of Moscow and finally plant themselves in the pro-west camp. According to these people, US government personnel who handed out cookies and even took the stage in Kiev to urge the people to overthrow their government had nothing at all to do with the coup.

When Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was videotaped bragging about how the US government spent $5 billion to “promote democracy” in Ukraine, it had nothing to do with the overthrow of the Yanukovich government. When Nuland was recorded telling the US Ambassador in Kiev that Yatsenyuk is the US choice for prime minister, it was not US interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine. In fact, the neocons still consider it a “conspiracy theory” to suggest the US had anything to do with the overthrow.

I have no doubt that the previous government was corrupt. Corruption is the stock-in-trade of governments. But according to Transparency International, corruption in the Ukrainian government is about the same after the US-backed coup as it was before. So the intervention failed to improve anything, and now the US-installed government is falling apart. Is a Ukraine in chaos to be considered a Washington success story?

This brings us back to the Dutch vote. The overwhelming rejection of the EU plan for Ukrainian membership demonstrates the deep level of frustration and anger in Europe over EU leadership following Washington’s interventionist foreign policy at the expense of European security and prosperity. The other EU member countries did not even dare hold popular referenda on the matter – their parliaments rubber-stamped the agreement.

Brussels backs US bombing in the Middle East and hundreds of thousands of refugees produced by the bombing overwhelm Europe. The people are told they must be taxed even more to pay for the victims of Washington’s foreign policy.

Brussels backs US regime change plans for Ukraine and EU citizens are told they must bear the burden of bringing an economic basket case up to European standards. How much would it cost EU citizens to bring in Ukraine as a member? No one dares mention it. But Europeans are rightly angry with their leaders blindly following Washington and then leaving them holding the bag.

The anger is rising and there is no telling where it will end. In June, the United Kingdom will vote on whether to exit the European Union. The campaign for an exit is broad-based, bringing in conservatives, populists, and progressives. Regardless of the outcome, the vote should be considered very important. Europeans are tired of their unelected leaders in Brussels pushing them around and destroying their financial and personal security by following Washington’s foolish interventionism. No one can call any of these recent interventions a success and the Europeans know it.

One way or the other, the US empire is coming to an end. Either the money will go or the allies will go, but it cannot be sustained. The sooner the American people demand an end to these foolish policies the better.

April 11, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dismisses Importance of Dutch Referendum

Sputnik – 09.04.2016

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin is certain that the results of the referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement held in the Netherlands will not affect the Dutch government’s decision on the treaty.

On Wednesday, 61.1 percent of Dutch voters rejected the EU-Ukraine association deal’s ratification in an advisory referendum, according to preliminary results. A turnout of 32.2 percent passed the 30-percent threshold required for the vote to have legal weight.

“There are clear assurances that the visa-free regime is a completely separate path. And if the European Commission is giving the go-ahead – and a relevant decision within the European Commission has already been prepared, that Ukraine has fulfilled all the requirements on the path to a visa-free regime – then we are moving towards a visa-free regime,” Klimkin told Inter TV, Ukraine’s national broadcaster.

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, establishing a political and economic association between Kiev and Brussels, was signed in 2014. It commits Kiev to implementing vast reforms in order to meet the bloc’s high economic, political, social, legal and technical criteria. It also grants Ukraine expanded access to the EU single market.

The Netherlands is the only EU member state that has not yet ratified the agreement. The Dutch government decided to hold a non-binding referendum after over 400,000 people signed a petition to put the matter to a nationwide vote.

Official referendum results are expected on Tuesday, April 12.

April 9, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

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