Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

The Company We Sadly Keep

By Geoff Dutton | Progressive Pilgrim Review | October 25, 2107

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair

A triple-threat epidemic is sweeping the land—not just some deadly virus, water-born disease, or auto-immune reactions to toxins, although those too plague us—but of secrecy, unaccountability, and impunity, bypassing checks and balances, impervious to any outside scrutiny or supervision. This cancer on the Republic has metastasized throughout halls of power and workplaces almost everywhere.

In the private sector, when you sign on as an “exempt” employee (mostly meaning you get paid a fixed annual salary without union or overtime), you may be required to agree to:

  • Have your communications, even keystrokes, monitored
  • Company-arranged arbitration in the event of a dispute
  • Be dismissed for any violation of company policies
  • Possibly take a drug test and/or a personality test
  • Hold the company blameless for any grievance against a fellow employee
  • Not work for any company offering similar products or services for some period of time.

That is to say, we make the rules here, and what happens in the company stays in the company. It’s no one else’s business how or why they’re applied.

It gets worse. Let’s say you separate from the company on bad terms, having been harassed or blocked from advancing or doing your job, or because you were the wrong age, sex or race, or just weren’t sufficiently docile. If you take it upstairs, file a grievance, or hire a lawyer, eventually you may be offered a sum to settle the matter. In return, you must agree not to disclose terms of settlement or publicly allege abuse or misconduct. As we’ve been told, whatever Ailes, O’Reilly, and Weinstein affairs were “resolved” involved no admissions of culpability and gagging and binding the plaintiffs. Impervious to decency, justice, or shame, they have you by the gonads. Proving that you were wronged and then obtaining justice is a long, agonizing, and expensive process. Most people have better things to do with their time and money, something employers bank on.

Depending on where you work and what you do, it can get much, much worse. If you work for the federal government directly, as a contractor or an employee thereof, as a condition of employment you may be asked to sign a secrecy agreement, an offer you can’t refuse and an oath you cannot later renege. Such paper handcuffs first flowered in the idyllic 1950s, that post-war paradise of Leave-It-to-Beaver families in spanking new suburbs and lifetime jobs in unionized workplaces. To forestall leaks, spy agencies exacted them from employees who knew or might know state secrets. The higher the classification of content involved, the more draconian were the potential consequences for disclosure. The chances of leaks from today’s vast assemblages of classified materials in networked environments have multiplied manifold since then. Among other things, this implies a need to swear to secrecy any employee within two or three degrees of separation from someone who handles classified documents, such as the IT geeks and the receptionist.

Secrecy agreements are confidentiality agreements on steroids. Ironclad. Undoable. Not availing of congressional or judicial redress. And should you pester an I.G. with documentation of the organization’s illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities, any evidence you present on your behalf is likely to vanish from public scrutiny forever. It’s all set up so you can’t refuse and they can never lose. Item 8 of the standard Federal secrecy agreement (Standard Form 312; there are others) states “Unless and until I am released in writing by an authorized representative of the United States Government, I understand that all conditions and obligations imposed upon me by this Agreement apply during the time I am granted access to classified information, and at all times thereafter.” (emphasis added). It also advises “nothing in this Agreement constitutes a waiver by the United States of the right to prosecute me for any statutory violation.”

The statutes cited are sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952 and 1924, title 18, United States Code; the provisions of section 783(b}, title 50, United States Code; and the provisions of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. Also noted is section 4(b) of the infamous Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 (the McCarran Act), which has ruined many lives. After Harry Truman vetoed it (calling it “the greatest danger to freedom of speech, press, and assembly since the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798,” a “mockery of the Bill of Rights” and a “long step toward totalitarianism,”) Congress overrode the veto 286-48 and 57-10. Where were all the other lawmakers that fine September day, one might ask? Burning their ACLU membership cards?

* * *

By now, hundreds of thousands if not millions of workers have been coercively bound by secrecy agreements. Artfully, from Allen Dulles on, the capos and consiglieres of the security state insinuated their racket into military and civilian agencies and critical contractors, salting their ranks with spooks. Expanding their territory, of course, multiplied the number of workers privy to their operations. Given that any of these people might be inclined or induced to reveal mob activities, how to silence them? Simple; bind their lips as soon as they get involved with secrecy agreements. If any balk at that, use subtle means of persuasion like reassigning them to the boondocks, skipping them over for promotion, or threatening to have their heads examined.

Former high-ranking CIA analyst and covert operative Kevin Shipp came forward in 2010 with details on the shadow government of the deep state that intelligence agencies control, and how they manage to control Congress as well. A summary of Shipp’s recent presentation at a Geoengineering Watch assembly in ZeroHedge states:

… that there are “over 10,000 secret sites in the U.S.” that formed after 9/11. There are “1,271 secret government agencies, 1,931 large private corporations [involved with the spy agencies] and over 4,800,000 Americans that he knows of who have a secrecy clearance, and 854,000 who have Top Secret clearance, explaining they signed their lives away bound by an agreement.

The video of Shipp’s talk is an hour long, but worth watching.

What turned Shipp into a transparency activist, of all things, was toxic mold in a house the CIA put him and his family into while on assignment at Camp Stanley, an Army weapons depot near San Antonio. As detailed in a 2011 NYT story, the Shippses got sick and filed a wrongful harm lawsuit against the Agency that they predictably lost, and not long afterward he was drummed out after 25 years a spook. Shipp claims that his phone and house continue to be bugged and he is constantly followed when driving. (Incidentally, the only other NYT story to mention Mr. Shipp came in 2014. It identified Camp Stanley as a major CIA weapons depot that had supplied arms and ammunition for the Bay of Pigs and other CIA terrorist operations. More recently, it said, “the Army sought to purchase two million rounds of ammunition of the caliber that fits AK-47 rifles, which American soldiers do not use. The delivery address: Camp Stanley.”). The Times doesn’t seem interested in covering what Shipp has been saying about his former employer more recently. Some news is not fit to print.

* * *

One would think that out of all the ears and eyeballs privy to dicey classified programs more lips might loosen. But any insider bent on exposing misdeeds will soon find out that whistleblower protections are a farce; complaining about illegal activities to elected representatives or an I.G. can lead to harassment that can last for the rest of one’s life. In whistleblower lawsuits, the government can invoke the non-statutory State Secrets Privilege (I would call it the Secret State Privilege) to exclude evidence or dismiss the complaint entirely, and has done so about once a year since 1953. For more ugly details about how the Secret State silences whistleblowers, see Shipp’s communique to Geoengineering Watch two years ago.

As a further deterrent to truth-telling, Obama’s 2011 Executive order 13587 tasked all Federal agencies and associated contractors with implementing Insider Threat Programs (ITP) to identify, monitor, and profile potential leakers of secret information. TechDirt reported that when Senator Chuck Grassley asked the head of the ITP whether the program protects whistleblowers, he was assured that it does; to avoid being swept up, they simply need to “register” before blowing. I can hear it now: “Oh sure, Mr. Snowden, go right ahead. We’re sure you mean no harm.”

The Secret State (or as Shipp calls it, the Shadow Government) takes such extreme precautions because it needs its activities to remain invisible and deniable. Of course, this is what rulers and regimes have done since time immemorial. And to do this effectively requires a vast panopticon to oversee its minions and identify potential troublemakers; secret police, basically, such as the USSR’s KGB, East Germany’s Stasi, Turkey’s MIT, Syria’s GID, and so on. It’s simply the price of doing business as a cloaked agency. All this surveillance is costly, but the good news is you get more bang for your security buck nowadays. Thanks to the technology of illicit eavesdropping and cooperative agreements with the likes of AT&T and Google, the Internet and mobile networks make this ambitious task a piece of cake.

Aesop said “a man is known by the company he keeps.” CIA people call their agency The Company. Twelve US Presidents have not only kept it, they have allowed it to metastasize into a hideous monstrosity rampaging out of control. Of them, only John F. Kennedy threatened to dismantle it, and look what happened to him.

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 2 Comments

US threatens to shutter Palestinian office in Washington, DC

Press TV – November 18, 2017

The government of US President Donald Trump has threatened to close down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, DC, if it supports a Palestinian bid to prosecute Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to a law passed by the US Congress, Palestinians would be stripped of the right to have a mission in the US capital if they support an ICC investigation of Israelis for committing crimes against them.

Apparently, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson now thinks that Palestinian leaders have ran afoul of that law but it is up to Trump to make the decision, the Associated Press reported Friday, citing a State Department official.

This means Trump has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are in “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” the official said. If Trump determines they are, the Palestinian office stays open.

The official claimed that even if the office closes, Washington would not cut off relations with the Palestinians and continue to work towards “a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

Trump has tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with brokering a peace deal between the two sides. However, the president’s unclear stance on the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict has further pushed back expectations for an agreement.

The news came only two days after the US House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed legislation that would cut funding to the Palestinian Authority.

The committee approved the bill known as the Taylor Force Act on Wednesday. It stipulates a cut in funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it discontinues paying stipends to the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

Another piece of legislation, known as the Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act, would slap sanctions on foreign governments, entities, and individuals for providing financial and material support to Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

The measures are set to be put to a vote at the full chamber of the House of Representatives.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

5th Baltimore cop cleared of all charges relating to death of Freddie Gray

RT | November 17, 2017

Another police officer has been cleared of all administrative charges connected to the 2015 arrest and death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. Protests over the death escalated into a riot and prompted questions about racist policing.

Lieutenant Brian Rice was found not guilty by a three-member panel of law enforcement officers on Friday, the Baltimore Sun reports. Rice, who placed Gray in the back of a police van following his arrest, faced 10 administrative charges. He had previously been acquitted of manslaughter.

Gray was arrested on April 12, 2015 for possession of an illegal switchblade. He was placed in a van with handcuffs and leg shackles on, but was not restrained by a seat belt. According to police, when officers checked on the 25-year-old, he was unconscious and had suffered severe spinal cord injuries, which led to his death a week later. Gray’s death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner and caused a wave of violent protests in Baltimore.

Six officers involved in the arrest later faced charges including manslaughter and second-degree murder. After one mistrial and two acquittals, state attorney Marilyn Mosby dropped all the charges. Five of the officers then faced an internal disciplinary hearing, which began on October 30.

Rice’s acquittal comes just one week after Baltimore PD Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who drove the van, was acquitted of 21 administrative charges.

Two of the officers chose not to fight the charges and are now back at work with Baltimore Police Department. The rest have been acquitted, so far. Sergeant Alicia White is still facing a disciplinary hearing, scheduled for December 5.

A 2015 investigation of the Baltimore PD by the Department of Justice found the police were conducting unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests disproportionately targeting African-Americans, using excessive force, and retaliating against individuals for engaging in constitutionally protected expression. The city and the DOJ reached a settlement on police reform in January this year.

Read more:

No charges for police officers in Freddie Gray case – Justice Department

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

With anti-BDS laws and a pro-Israel parliament, Zionist hasbara is winning in Italy

By Romana Rubeo and Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | November 15, 2107

A proposed law awaiting consideration by the Italian parliament is set to punish those calling for a boycott of Israel. In the past, such an initiative would have been unthinkable. Alas, Italy — a country with historic sympathies for the Palestinian cause — has shifted its politics in a dramatic way in recent years. Most surprisingly, though, is that the Left is as implicated as the Right in the rush to please Israel, at the expense of Palestinian rights.

The sad reality is that Italy is moving into the Israeli camp. This is not only pertinent to political alignment, but in the reconfiguration of discourse as well. Israeli priorities, as articulated in Zionist hasbara (official propaganda) have now become part of the everyday lexicon of Italian media and politics. As a result, the Zionist agenda is now Italy’s political agenda too.

Italy’s anti-Fascist, anti-military occupation and revolutionary past is being overlooked by self-serving politicians, who are susceptible ever more frequently to the pressures of a burgeoning pro-Israel lobby.

Re-writing history

During the so-called “First Republic” (1948 to 1992), Italy was considered to be the West European country most sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, not only because of a widespread feeling of solidarity among Italians, but also because of the political environment at the time. Italian leaders were perfectly aware of the country’s unique position in the Mediterranean zone. While they were keen to display loyalty to the Atlantic Alliance, they also established good relations with the Arab world. Maintaining this balance was not always easy and led to what are being perceived as “radical choices”, which are now being disowned and criticised.

The pro-Israel trend has been in motion for years. In a famous interview with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in 2008, former Italian President Francesco Cossiga declared, “Dear Italian Jews, we sold you out.”

Cossiga was referring to the so-called “Lodo Moro”, an unofficial agreement which was allegedly signed in the 1970s by the then Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The deal supposedly allowed the Palestinian group to coordinate its actions throughout Italian territory, in exchange for it keeping Italy off its operational target list. The Lodo Moro is often used in Israeli hasbara to highlight Italy’s supposed failures in the past, and to continue associating Palestinians with terrorism.

In his interview, Cossiga went further, blaming the PFLP for the Bologna terrorist bombing and massacre, which devastated the city’s main railway station in 1980, killing 85 people. Cossiga’s words may have pleased Israel, but were baseless. The [false flag] attack was actually the work of an Italian neo-fascist organisation. Unfortunately, his nonsensical allegation was not an isolated example; it remains representative of the general change of attitude towards Palestine and Israel, one that is largely predicated on re-writing history.

Then and now

In 1974, the Italian government advocated for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s participation in the UN General Assembly. In 1980, it committed to the EEC Declaration of Venice, which recognised the Palestinian “right to self-determination”. As expected, this was strongly opposed by Israel and the US.

Throughout the 1980s, the attitude of successive Italian governments was openly pro-Palestinian, which often led to foreign policy clashes with Israel and its American benefactors, especially during the so-called Crisis of Sigonella in 1985. During a speech at the Italian parliament, socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi went as far as defending the Palestinian right to armed struggle. In 1982, the Italian President Sandro Pertini used his traditional end of year address to the nation to talk at length about the horror of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre of Palestinian refugees.

While centre-left political forces supported Palestine to keep good relations with Arab countries, left-wing parties were mainly motivated by the anti-imperialist struggle, which then resonated within Italian intellectual circles. However, this has changed; Italy is now living in its “post-ideological age”, where morality and ideas are flexible, and can be reshaped as needed to conform with political interests.

Today, left-wing parties don’t feel the need to stand up for oppressed nations. They are too beholden to the diktats of globalisation, and are thus driven by selfish agendas which, naturally, brings them closer to the US and Israel.

While neo-liberal politics has ravaged much of Europe in recent years, Italy has proven that it is not the exception. In October 2016, Italy abstained from the vote on the UNESCO resolution condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestinian East Jerusalem. Even that half-hearted move angered Israel, prompting the Israeli ambassador in Rome to protest.

The Italian Prime Minister moved quickly to reassure Israel, speaking harshly about UNESCO’S proposal. “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel,” insisted Matteo Renzi. One year earlier, Renzi had officially reaffirmed Italy’s commitment to Israel in the Israeli Knesset (parliament), when he declared, “Supporters of ‘stupid’ boycotts [of Israel] betray their own future.”

During his inaugural speech, Italy’s current President Sergio Mattarella addressed the “menace of international terrorism” by mentioning the 1982 attack in front of the Great Synagogue in Rome. His words “deeply touched Italian Jews,” according to the right-wing Jerusalem Post.

Rising Zionist influence

Zionist groups constantly try to sway Italian public opinion. Their strategy is predicated on two pillars: infusing Israel’s sense of victimhood (as in “poor little Israel fighting for survival among a sea of Arabs and Muslims”) and using the anti-Semitism card against anyone who challenges the Israeli narrative.

The hasbara weapons are working, as Italian politics and even culture (through the media) are increasingly identifying with Israel. Worse still, the pro-Israel feeling is now also completely acceptable among left-wing political parties.

According to Ugo Giannangeli, a prominent criminal lawyer who has devoted many years to defending Palestinian rights, the Italian parliament is working on several laws whose sole purpose is to win Israel’s approval. One of these initiatives is Draft law 2043 (Anti-discrimination Act). It ought to be called the Anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] Act. The signatories compare the boycott of Israel with “disguised anti-Semitism”. If approved, the legislation will sanction exemplary punishment for BDS campaigners in Italy.

Among the signatories of the draft law is Emma Fattorini, a member of the Italian Democratic Party as well as the “Committee for the protection and promotion of human rights”. Palestinian rights, of course, are of no concern to Fattorini at the moment; they are nowhere to be found in her “human rights” agenda.

Another signatory is Paolo Corsini, who abandoned the Democratic Party and moved to the left-wing MDP – Articolo 1. Corsini was also the rapporteur of the “Agreement between Italy and Israel on public safety”, already ratified by the Italian parliament. The agreement strengthens the relationship between the two countries in a more effective way, in exchange for Israel’s sharing of information on public order and how to control mass protests.

Only a few voices are being raised against Italy’s political and cultural subordination to Israel. Italian politician Massimo D’Alema, a former Foreign Minister, has criticised the change in Italian policies. In an interview with the Huffington Post, he was critical of Italy and Europe over their willingness to please Israeli leaders. He called on the left to reclaim its historic role in support of the Palestinian people.

Activists and progressive politicians can learn from the Italian experience: solidarity with Palestine begins at home. There is a need for strong opposition to any attempts to criminalise BDS, as well as strong countermeasures against pernicious Israeli hasbara that is penetrating every aspect of society on a daily basis.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Iran’s UN envoy slams Canada’s double standards on human rights

Canadians protest in support of indigenous women
Press TV – November 15, 2017

A senior Iranian diplomat has blasted Canada for proposing a “politically-motivated” UN resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, while Ottawa, itself, has long been involved in a broad range of human rights abuses at home and elsewhere.

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Es’haq Al-e Habib was reacting to a Canada-drafted human rights resolution, which was adopted Tuesday against Iran by the Third Committee of UN General Assembly with 83 votes in favor, 30 against and 68 abstentions.

Speaking during the session, Al-e Habib rejected the document as “politically-motivated” and said “double standards are an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy.”

“We regret that few unscrupulous Governments continue challenging integrity and credibility of the United Nations through pushing for this politically-motivated resolution that only underscores how selective, irrelevant and subjective UN decisions could sometimes become,” he added.

He pointed to some examples of Canada’s non-compliance by its international human rights obligations, including Ottawa’s discriminatory policies against indigenous people and its support for the Israeli regime.

“Ottawa along with very few others in the whole world have consistently and unconditionally supported Israel despite all the gross, abhorrent and systematic violations of human rights committed by that regime. This level of hypocrisy and double standard is mind-boggling,” the Iranian envoy pointed out.

Al-e Habib also referred to Canada’s discriminatory policies against its own indigenous people, adding, “While police brutality, forced disappearances and murder of the indigenous people are well documented, indigenous women and girls continue to suffer from the institutionalized discrimination and violence.”

“Canada should have realized thus far that such a pointless and futile exercise is a disservice to the human rights cause, a harmful measure against the UN human rights mechanisms and a disrespect to the wisdom of the people who closely monitor Canada’s selective stances on human rights situations,” the Iranian envoy said.

Saudi Arabia rights violations

During the session, Al-e Habib also lashed out at Saudi Arabia for supporting the Canada-drafted resolution against Iran, while Riyadh itself has been blatantly violating human rights both at home and in different parts of the world.

The Iranian envoy noted that Saudi Arabia kills more children in Yemen than al-Qaeda, Daesh and al-Nusra put together around the globe, adding, “Saudi regime being a partner in the global fight against terrorism and intolerance is blatant mockery of humanity, human rights, justice and peace.”

“Spending billions of dollars buying beautiful arms and Western public relation corporations cannot hide the real face of Saudi, whose money also fuels sectarianism in the Persian Gulf, Middle East and the world,” he said.

Al-e Habib went on to enumerate some instances of rights violations by Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh’s crackdown on all forms of dissent across the country, particularly in the eastern city of Awamiyah, mainly populated by minority Shia Muslims.

He highlighted the slavery of hundreds of thousands of female migrant workers inside Saudi Arabia, the systemic violation of human rights of minorities there.

The Iranian official also drew attention to the Saudi massacre of thousands of Yemeni civilians during its military campaign against the impoverished country as well as the number of the kingdom’s nationals, who have joined Takfiri terror outfits such as al-Qaeda, Daesh and al-Nusra Front.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi-led coalition air raid puts Yemen’s Sana’a airport out of service

MEMO | November 14, 2017

An air raid by the Saudi-led military coalition put the Ansarullah-controlled Yemeni airport in the capital Sana’a out of service today, jeopardising relief shipments to a country on the brink of famine, the state news agency SABA reported.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Ansarullah movement said last week it had closed all air, land and seaports in Yemen to stem what it said was the flow of arms to the Ansarullah from Iran.

Air raids destroyed radio navigation station for aircraft, civil aviation authorities told SABA, which is controlled by Ansarullah.

Air traffic in Sana’a’s airport is currently restricted to flights carrying humanitarian aid sent by the United Nations and other international organisations.

The Ansarullah control most of the north, including Sana’a and its international airport, while the Saudi-led coalition dominates the airspace. Any reopening would need an agreement between the two sides, which blame each other for Yemen’s humanitarian disaster.

The top UN aid official in Yemen called on the Saudi-led coalition today to open all Yemen’s sea ports urgently, saying it risked damaging the fight against cholera and hunger, with seven million already in “famine-like conditions”.

Millions of lives were at risk because of the blockade, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said to reporters in Geneva by telephone from Amman. The Saudi-led coalition was not immediately available for comment.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The resumption of PA security coordination with Israel is no surprise

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | November 14, 2017

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is not one to miss an opportunity to collaborate with Israel. At sporadic intervals, the suspension of security coordination with Israel was implemented temporarily only when Palestinians were protesting over Israeli violence or, for example, surveillance at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Despite congratulatory statements regarding Abbas’s decision to suspend what he has called “sacred” coordination with the occupation authorities, there was still doubt over its implementation; there were even occasional comments that security coordination had resumed even as the PA was still congratulating itself over the “suspension”.

Last week, all doubts were dissipated as the PA confirmed that it had resumed security coordination with Israel two weeks earlier. In terms of accuracy, the time frame can be contested, given that reports as early as August had already confirmed such collaboration. In light of the reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas, it is thus ever more pertinent to question the underlying motives behind such a deal, which has the potential to open up Gaza to Israel.

According to comments on Press TV, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum declared the movement’s “surprise” at the announcement. Security coordination “is the equivalent of the greatest danger to the Palestinian people, its unity and its legitimate rights, including the right to resist the occupation,” he said. Barhoum also described the move as distorting “the reputation” of the Palestinian people, their struggles and history.

While Barhoum’s comments show an understanding of the implications, claiming to be surprised was surely an exaggeration. Had Gaza not been forced to seek a compromise with Fatah, it is possible that the current political scenario would not be defined by a reconciliation agreement, particularly one which so far is seeking to overturn the resistance with which Hamas has been identified and which sets the movement apart from other political factions due to being forced into situations necessitating defence in the enclave.

Within the same time frame of the security coordination announcement, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook also stated that responsibility for Palestinians in Gaza now rests entirely with the PA as a sign of credibility to eliminate internal division. The problem is that the emphasis on internal division is being isolated from the repercussions upon Palestinians. If the current trend continues, Palestinian leaders will be making the same mistakes as the international community by separating the political from the humanitarian, thus creating different levels of responsibility, visibility and accountability.

If the PA determines the course of the reconciliation agreement, security coordination will ultimately provide Israel with access to the Gaza Strip unless Hamas decides on an alternative course of action, which is to refute the entire facade of “unity” that has been shaped by Mahmoud Abbas. Coercion has been a primary factor influencing the reconciliation agreement, compounded with the international isolation of Gaza, its people and Hamas. Security coordination is another form of coercion which will determine additional levels of oppression for Palestinians, including those in Gaza.

For many years, Abbas has sought to maintain different forms of violence in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, using deprivation and security coordination respectively. Under such circumstances, Hamas will be in dire need of further evaluation and a different strategy.

Read Also: What prisoners mean to the Palestinian Authority

PA’s security coordination with Israel greatest threat to unity

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli occupation forces seize former prisoner, raid village

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – November 14, 2107

Israeli occupation forces seized at least 14 Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine in pre-dawn raids on Monday, 13 November, including former prisoner and long-term hunger striker Tareq Qa’adan, a prominent leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement.

Qa’adan, 45, was seized after a 1:30 am raid on his home in the town of Arrabeh, south of Jenin. Occupation forces ransacked his home and interrogated him on the spot before seizing him. He has spent over 10 years in Israeli prions in previous detentions – mostly imprisoned without charge or trial – and is related to many other current and former prisoners; his sister, Mona Qa’adan, is also a freed prisoner and prominent activist.

Khader Adnan, prominent former prisoner and long-term hunger striker, said that evidence indicates that the Israeli occupation intends to transfer Qa’adan to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. He said that he is confident that imprisonment will not break Qa’adan’s will, and that “he adheres firmly to the defense of the Palestinian cause and homeland, even when the price is his freedom.”

The Islamic Jihad movement issued a statement on the detention of Qa’adan, saying that “this unjust detention…comes amid a wave of targeting and escalation by the occupation against the movement and our steadfast people…Our people have known him as a solid national leader who defends the rights of his people and the fundamentals of his cause. He is known for his positive and strong relationships with all political and national forces and their leaders, who has spent long years in detention in the occupation prisons and a hero of the battles of the open hunger strike.”

This was followed on Tuesday morning, 14 November, by raids across the occupied Palestinian West Bank in which Israeli occupation forces seized 18 Palestinians. In Deir Abu Mashaal village west of Ramallah, occupation fores once again engaged in collective punishment of Palestinian families. They stormed the home of the family of Baraa Saleh Atta, killed by occupation forces after he participated in an armed action in which several Israeli police were killed. They confiscated tens of thousands of shekels from the village and arrested Baraa’s brother Nidal. The stolen funds are those that were raised to help support the families of the three young men, whose homes were sealed off and demolished by occupation forces; the Israeli occupation accused that these funds were “supporting terrorism.”

They also raided the towns of Qabatiya, Zababdeh and Maysaloon near Jenin, while in Tulkarem, they seized former prisoner Muath Jaroun, ransacking his home. They also stationed themselves once again at Kadoorie University, where the presence of armed Israeli occupation forces has become a regular threat and barrier to education for Palestinian students.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Congressional Progressive Caucus Seeks Ban On US Financing Child Torture By Israel

U.S. lawmakers seek to prohibit taxpayer funds from supporting human rights violations against Palestinian minors in Israeli military detention system

No Way to Treat a Child campaign – November 14, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Members of Congress on Tuesday introduced a bill prohibiting U.S. financial support of abuses against Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system, putting violations under the magnifying glass of U.S. taxpayers.

The Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act requires the Secretary of State to certify annually that no funds obligated or expended in the previous year by the United States for assistance to Israel have been used to support the ill-treatment of Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces from the occupied West Bank.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) brought the bill to the floor, with eight original co-sponsors, including Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

An estimated 10,000 Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in the West Bank have been subject to arrest, detention, interrogation, and/or imprisonment under the jurisdiction of Israeli military courts since 2000. This bill was drafted in response to widely documented rights violations carried out by Israeli military and police against children within the military detention system, including torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.

“Despite ongoing engagement with UN bodies and repeated calls to abide by international law, Israeli military and police continue night arrests, physical violence, coercion, and threats against Palestinian children,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director of Defense for Children International – Palestine. “These practices remain institutionalized and systemic rather than last resort measures, and we call on the U.S. to halt its support of these violations.”

The bill aims to establish, as a minimum safeguard, a U.S. demand for basic due process rights for and an absolute prohibition against torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested and prosecuted within the Israeli military court system.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes an estimated 500 to 700 children each year in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections.

In every annual report on Israel and the occupied territories released since 2007, U.S. authorities have openly acknowledged the prevalence of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children and the denial of fair trials rights in the Israeli military detention system.

In 2013, UNICEF released a report titled Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations. The report concluded that “ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process.”

Despite sustained engagement by UNICEF and repeated calls to end night arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention, Israeli authorities have persistently failed to implement substantive reforms to end violence against child detainees.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel bars pro-BDS politicians from visiting jailed Palestinian leader

Press TV – November 14, 2017

Israel has refused to grant an entry visa to a group of French politicians, who intended to visit jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, over their support for a global pro-Palestine campaign against the regime’s occupation and land grab policies.

Israeli authorities said Monday that they would bar the seven-member delegation, including mayors and members of the EU Parliament, who were scheduled to visit the occupied territories from November 19 to 23.

Israel’s Interior Minister Arye Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had informed the French politicians in advance that they would be prevented when they land “so that they do not fly at all.”

“This is not the first time that I have prevented the entry of boycotts activists who are against Israel,” said Erdan.

“This time, however, we are talking about senior European officials who come to act against Israel. After examining the background and circumstances, I decided that the delegation [these seven politicians] had no place in Israel.

“These are senior politicians who support a boycott against Israel and are actively advancing it,” he said.

The group hoped to meet Barghouti, the jailed leader of the Palestinian Fatah Movement, who is serving five life terms over his role in the second Palestinian Intifada (Uprising) of 2000 to 2005. Supporters say Barghouti has been unjustly imprisoned by Israel, calling him the “Palestinian Mandela.”

The delegation also wanted to visit French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, who has been held without charge by Israel since August 23 under the so-called administrative detention, which is a policy of detention without trial or charge.

Israel passed legislation in March, denying entry permits and temporary residency permits to anyone who has publicly called for a boycott of the regime or its settlement activities, which are illegal under international law.

Several of the banned politicians have in the past supported the worldwide anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure corporations, artists and academic institutions to sever ties with Israel over its unjust practices toward the Palestinians.

The movement initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

The politicians have also called for an end to the EU Association Agreement with Israel, which sets out the terms of the diplomatic relationship between the two parties until such time as the regime withdraws from the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

They also signed a boycott petition and submitted it to former French President Francois Holland.

Thousands of volunteers worldwide have joined the BDS to help promote the Palestinian cause of ending Israeli occupation and oppression. Those include international trade unions, NGOs, initiatives, academic and business societies, trade unions, and cultural figures.

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 2 Comments

Balfour Mentality Has No Place in Civilized Society

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | November 14, 2017

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was hatched by Zionist schemers and foisted upon a gullible and desperate British government in time of war. Those dark forces then worked hard to ensure that the first part of the pledge (and much more) was implemented while the second part, which promised to safeguard the rights and interests of the existing non-Jewish population of Palestine, was permanently suppressed.

This betrayal has shamed and angered right-thinking British people for decades. The Government could apologise and make amends but lacks the moral fibre. In the meantime, the spectacle of sick-minded elements of the British Establishment celebrating 100 years of Balfour is beyond all bounds of decency. It was met with such strong counter-demonstrations that supporters of Israeli apartheid will hopefully feel more isolated from now on. They are relatively few, corralled in their Westminster bubble. We are many, and growing.

But we still have an ignorant, biased mainstream media to contend with. During his visit to join the jollifications Israeli prime minister Netanyahu was given a platform on the BBC’s flagship Andrew Marr Show where he spouted his propaganda lies without serious challenge from the usually forensic Marr. A pity George Galloway wasn’t on hand for the occasion.

The Daily Mail meanwhile accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of snubbing an invitation to the gala dinner with Netanyahu to honour Balfour and the birth of Israel and slammed him for speaking at a MEND (stands for Muslim Engagement Development) event instead. MEND in turn was accused of being a hard-line Islamist organisation masquerading as civil libertarians, and extremist with it.

Former Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles called Corbyn’s snub “a slap in the face of Israel, and of all British Jewish citizens of the United Kingdom”. He said: “To not make a dinner is perhaps excusable but to attend a meeting of extremists who are vowed to destroy Israel is contemptible.

The unswerving devotion by Tory grandees like Pickles to the real extremists, chief among them Her Majesty’s Government’s guest of honour Netanyahu, is nauseating. This hard-line nutter, with his repulsive gang, continues to expropriate Palestinian land and property and ethnically cleanse Palestinian citizens from their homeland at gunpoint and with armoured bulldozers. And Pickles calls Corbyn contemptible?

Jennifer Gerber, of Labour Friends of Israel, declared that it was “utterly unacceptable” for the Labour leader to attend an event organised by a group that has repeatedly peddled myths about the Israel lobby. So uncomfortable truths are relegated to myth? In any case what are agents of a foreign military power doing in the Labour Party and using it to influence the work of the British parliament? It’s high time all party leaders shut down the pro-Israel meddlers in their ranks, just as they’d crush interference on behalf of any other rogue state.

Personally I don’t believe Israel has a friend in the whole world apart from those it has bought and the sad folk who have allowed themselves to be perverted by Christian-Zionist pastors and the Scofield bible.

Then Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary, was criticised for “disgraceful” Balfour comments and accused of having “reflected Corbyn’s view that the Labour party has no place as a mediator in the Israel-Palestine conflict”. Professor Colin Shindler, a Senior Research Fellow in Israel Studies and an advisory board member of the Israel Institute, said: “Corbyn over the last thirty years has never been a mediator between Israel and Palestine but a propagandist for one side and one side only. This goes against all the talk about peace and reconciliation – it doesn’t make any sense at all.”

I wonder, has Shindler tried saying the same to the Conservative Party, with 80 percent if its MPs signed up to Friends of Israel?

Thornberry argued that the Balfour Declaration should not have been celebrated “because I think it was a turning point in the history of that area, and I think probably the most important way of marking it is to recognise Palestine”. This will strike most people as a perfectly reasonable position given that successive British governments over the last 40 years have fielded prime ministers and foreign secretaries who were eager stooges for Israel, happy to turn a blind eye to its crimes and only too pleased to help thwart attempts to win justice for those it has cruelly oppressed in the Holy Land.

The latest fiasco is the crazy adventures of Conservative glamour-girl Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary who had 14 meetings with Israeli politicians (including prime minister Netanyahu and his security minister) during a family holiday in Israel without telling the Foreign Office, her civil servants or her boss Theresa May, and without government officials present. This was not only a two-finger salute to the ministerial code of conduct but a gross breach of security.

She’s accused of freelancing in foreign policy and is said to have tried persuading colleagues to send British taxpayers’ money as aid for an Israeli forces project in the Golan Heights. Like we don’t need the money here, with 300,000 homeless and sleeping rough….  Furthermore, she actually visited the Golan. Everyone and his dog knows — except Patel, apparently — that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory stolen in 1967 by the Israelis who have illegally occupied it ever since. Touring it with the thieving occupation army was a monumental diplomatic blunder.

Patel’s meetings are said to have been arranged by Lord Polak. This individual was an official of the Board of Deputies of British Jews in the 1980s, joined the Conservative Friends of Israel in 1989, and served as its director for 26 years until appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for political service and made a life peer. It’s hard to see what political service Polak performed for anyone except the Israeli regime.

The Patel-Polak shambles is a disturbing echo of the Fox-Werrity affair back in 2011. The then shadow Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox had been quoted on the Conservative Friends of Israel website as saying: “In the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression — Israel’s enemies are our enemies.” The Jewish Chronicle hailed him as “a champion of Israel within the government”. Fox has continually rattled the sabre against Iran which, of course, is no enemy of Britain but regarded by Israel as an obstacle to its craving for supremacy in the region. So it was well advertised where Fox was coming from. No surprise, then, when he became the centre of an unsavoury scandal involving him, his ‘close friend’ Adam Werrity, the UK’s ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould (who had previously served at senior level in the embassy in Iran) and Israeli intelligence figures allegedly involved in plotting sanctions against Iran. The Foreign Office and civil servants knew little or nothing about these meetings.

Fox jumped before he was pushed, so did Patel. Pimping for Israel is never seriously punished in the corridors of British power and Fox was speedily rehabilitated in the bosom of the Conservative Party and is now Secretary of State for International Trade. We can expect to see Patel back on board quite soon.

She is replaced by Penny Mordaunt, also a good looking woman but with a much more impressive CV — and she’s a Royal Navy reservist.

Another pimp for Israel, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, was giving evidence before the Foreign Affairs Committee the other day. He said of Hamas: “If they want to enter the democratic process, then it’s very clear what they have to do. They have to renounce terror, they have to recognise the State of Israel, and they’ve got to stop spewing out anti-Semitic propaganda.” I wonder, has he tried saying the same to Netanyahu about the Israelis’ behaviour towards the Palestinians?

In the debate on the Balfour Declaration earlier Johnson said of Israel: “It is a pluralist society, a society that protects the rights of those who live within it. It is a democracy. It is, in my view, a country to be saluted and celebrated.” Completely taken in.

A few months ago Theresa May, if you remember, attacked the successful BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, warning that her government would “have no truck with those who subscribe to it”. 200 legal scholars and practising lawyers from all over Europe promptly pointed out that BDS is lawful freedom of expression and outlawing it undermines a basic human right protected by international convention. But May is so infatuated with Israel that she never misses a chance to tell everyone how she adores the Zionist entity. It’s time civil society made it clear that we’ll have no truck with her or any other supporter of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In other words, the Balfour mind-set has no place in our society.

This may be a good time to remember George Washington’s wise words: “The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave… a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”

November 14, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Guantánamo Bay victim sues Ottawa for $50 million

Rehmat’s World | November 13, 2017

Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian-born technician, who took refuge in Canada in 1995, has sued the Canadian government for $50 million as compensation for the detention, and physical abuse he suffered during his eleven years imprisonment (2002-2013) at the Guantánamo Bay Zionist torture camp.

Djamel Ameziane was deported to his native country by US authorities in 2013. Ameziane, 50, was never charged or prosecuted for the alleged terrorist activities by US authorities during his eleven years at Guantánamo Bay.

Nate Whitling, an Edmonton lawyer filed the petition in Ontario Superior Court on Monday last week – claiming $50 million in damages, alleging the Canadian government co-operated with the United States while his client was being arbitrarily detained without cause in the notorious American military prison in [occupied] Cuba.

The lawsuit alleges that after being tortured and detained in Kandahar, he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in February 2002, and that the Americans’ decision to transfer Ameziane was based on information and intelligence obtained in part from the Canadian government.

The lawsuit also alleges that while being held at Guantanamo Bay, Ameziane was subjected to horrific physical and psychological abuses.

It also alleges that Canadian officials arrived at Guantanamo and interrogated Ameziane multiple times, despite being aware of reports of abuse and mistreatment of detainees, and being aware that Ameziane was being held with no charges and no access to legal counsel.

Whitling has said that Ameziane’s case calls for a full-scale public inquiry into Canada’s alleged role in the treatment of innocent detainees held in Guantanamo Bay.

Earlier Whitling represented Omar Khadr, Canadian teenage prisoner at Guantanamo Bay for 15 years, who was paid Canadian $10 million out-of-court by the Canadian government and given a written apology earlier this year.

Listen below to the experiences of three British Muslims kept at Guantanamo Bay for years without prosecution in court for alleged terrorist activities.

November 13, 2017 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment