There are oh so many varieties of Zio-washing: pink-washing, green-washing, Black-washing, even Muslim-washing. Now, there’s another to add to the treasury of hasbara promoted by Israel to the world: nuke-washing. I wrote about a similar domestic effort at cleansing Israel’s nuclear warheads of the stench of potential mass murder.
The IAEA celebrated its 60th anniversary in Vienna, its headquarters, recently. And Israel was there with its very own exhibit featuring the innovations and contributions which Israel’s nuclear program has bestowed on humanity. No mention, of course, of Israel’s 200 nuclear weapons and the legacy that they’ve given the world. No mention, of course, that Israel has refused to join the only international agreement limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the NPT. No mention of the fact that Israel has torpedoed a U.S. and Arab effort to hold a regional conference leading to declaring the Mideast a nuclear-free zone.
Instead, we have Rays of Hope (get it? radiation=rays), Israel’s latest marketing effort to persuade the world to ignore its worst deeds and focus instead on deeds that are marginal at best in their overall impact on Israel or the world. A press release from the prime minister’s office hails this as Israel’s first international exhibit of its accomplishments in the field. Here’s some of the marketing jargon, which is about as revoltingly hypocritical as any political statement can be:
The Israeli pavilion highlights Israel as a master of research innovation in the areas of nuclear use for educational, scientific, and agricultural purposes, and for production of clean energy. Director of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, Brig. Gen. (res.) Zeev Snir told the attendees:
“Israeli developments in the nuclear field have spread Rays of Hope and inspiration to many people. Our scientific achievements permit us to manufacture critical equipment for medical treatment, agriculture, security, and safety throughout the world. Our future in the Middle East must include cooperation and joint responsibility for the health and well-being of the people’s of the region. In the spirit of the IAEA, I call upon our neighbors to join to join us and transform a dream into reality.”
Really? Cooperation? Like Israel’s rejection of the NPT? Responsibility for the health and well-being of the region? Does that include the massive poisoning of the environment surrounding the Dimona nuclear reactor and the hundreds, if not thousands of workers who’ve died of lethal doses of radiation? Does it include the impact that Israel’s 200 warheads might have on the region if even one of them was used, as Moshe Dayan advocated during a bleak moment at the outset of the 1973 War?
More nuke-washing: happy shiny Dimona’s website home page
One month into his stint as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, Peter Baker has struck a world-weary tone: In his telling, the turmoil of Palestine-Israel is nothing more than an ancient feud, and the United Nations has grown tired of hearing about it from two intransigent leaders.
The effect of this jaded stance is to leave readers with the impression that Palestinians and Israelis face off over a level playing field and they have been doing so for millennia, two notions that serve to benefit Israel above all.
In a piece about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Baker juxtaposes their comments as if they were two contenders facing off in a boxing ring, hurling invectives at each other. Where Abbas speaks of “heinous crimes” and an “historic catastrophe,” he says, Netanyahu lashes out with charges of “fanaticism” and “inhumanity.”
The two men, Baker writes, are “guilt-tripping” the international community; they are “filled with grievance and bristling with resentment;” and they “summon the ghosts of history from hundreds and even thousands of years ago to make their cases.” But, he states, “the world has begun to move on” as other crises, such as the war in Syria, take center stage.
The tenor is one of fatigue and cynicism, which does a disservice to readers and to the cause of honest journalism. Baker makes no attempt to discern the truth or falsity of any of the statements, dismissing them all as nothing more than rivalry.
When he says that the world has moved on, this implies that the United Nations itself has grown weary of the conflict, but late in his piece Baker quotes Netanyahu on the world body, providing readers with clear evidence that the organization is still very much engaged in the issue.
Baker tells us that the Israeli prime minister bitterly attacked the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the UN cultural agency, and knowledgeable readers will find the reasons for Netanyahu’s resentment obvious: UN agencies frequently report on Israeli violations of international and humanitarian law, and the UN has granted membership status to Palestine, over the objections of Israel.
Nevertheless, the Times article would have us believe that the Israel-Palestinian conflict has become passé, that the world is tired of these two bitter rivals who refuse to make up.
In presenting the issue in this light, Baker hides the terrible disparity between the two sides and ignores the urgent issues of injustice and international law.
He writes in this vein knowing that Abbas and Netanyahu represent two very different political and military realities. The United States, as the Times has recently reported, provides massive amounts of military aid to Israel each year, but it provides absolutely none to Palestinians. It also supports Israel at the United Nations, wielding its veto power to block resolutions critical of Israel, even those that echo its own policy statements.
Moreover, Baker and Times editors certainly know that Palestinians have no army, air force or navy; no tanks, warships, drones or nuclear arms; and that Israel has all this and more. They also have UN data for 2016, which show that, as of Sept. 19, 89 Palestinians had been killed by Israelis, while 10 Israelis had died at the hands of Palestinians.
Moreover, they know the shocking Gaza death toll from the summer of 2014, in which, according to the Israeli organization B’Tselem, Israeli forces killed 2,202 Palestinians, two-thirds of them civilians and 526 of them children. By contrast, Gaza fighters and rockets killed 72 Israelis, including 62 soldiers and one child.
The disparity is enormous, yet Baker has chosen to present the situation as a conflict between two equal sides. He has also adopted the “ancient hatreds” line that ignores the reality of Palestinian dispossession since 1947 and the present brutality inflicted on an occupied people by the powerful Israeli state.
Two days after his Abbas vs. Netanyahu story appeared, Baker published a piece on soccer in the West Bank, writing in the lead that “the latest battleground in the age-old struggle” between Israelis and Palestinians” was a dispute over whether FIFA rules allow Israeli soccer teams to play in West Bank settlements.
He thus manages to distort history, trivialize Palestinian resistance and maintain the false impression of parity between the two sides, ignoring evidence that pre-Zionist Palestine saw peaceful coexistence between Jews, Christians and Muslims. The “age-old struggle” is actually a recent one.
In dubbing conflict over soccer as “latest battlefield” he turns his back on urgent and immediate issues: recent Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli security forces; the state-sponsored destruction of homes and livelihoods (including humanitarian aid donated to struggling communities); and continued attacks on unarmed fishermen and farmers in Gaza.
When Baker suggests that the conflict is fueled by ancient and intractable animosities, that only the two sides take any real interest in its outcome and that it involves petty disputes and little more than a war of words, this serves the Israeli agenda. He is directing our attention away from the core issues, allowing Israel to carry out its brutal regime of dispossession and oppression well under the radar.
Follow @TimesWarp on Twitter.
On 9/11/2001, Donald Trump did a live phone interview with New York’s WWOR. Digging this up 15 years later, Politico and Mother Jones pointed out how Trump bragged about the new status of his 71-story Trump Tower, “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest—and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”
It was a small dig at Trump’s huge vanity. A much more interesting bit from the interview was passed over, however. TruthMakesPeace finally broadcast it on 9/16/16. Trump:
“It wasn’t architectural defect. The World Trade Center was always known as a very, very strong building. Don’t forget that took a big bomb in the basement [in 1993]. Now, the basement is the most vulnerable place because that’s your foundation, and it withstood that, and I got to see that area about three or four days after it took place because one of my structural engineers actually took me for a tour, because he did the building, and I said, ‘I can’t believe it.’ The building was standing solid and half of the columns were blown out, so this was an unbelievably powerful building. If you don’t know anything about structure, it was one of the first buildings that was built from the outside. The steel, the reason the World Trade Center had such narrow windows is that in between all the windows, you had the steel on the outside, so you had the steel on the outside of the building. That’s why when I first looked, and you had these big heavy I-beams, when I first looked at it, I couldn’t believe it because there was a hole in the steel, and this is steel that was… You remember the width of the windows of the World Trade Center, folks. I think you know if you were ever up there, they were quite narrow and in between was this heavy steel. I said how could a plane, even a plane, even a 767 or 747 or whatever it might have been, how could it possibly go through this steel? I happen to think that they had not only a plane, but they had bombs that exploded almost simultaneously, because I just can’t imagine anything being able to go through that wall. Most buildings are built with the steel on the inside around the elevator shaft. This one was built from the outside, which is the strongest structure you can have, and it was almost just like a can of soup.
“I just think that there was a plane with more than just fuel. I think, obviously, they were very big planes. They were going very rapidly, because I was also watching where the plane seemed to be not only going fast, it seemed to be coming down into the building. So it’s getting the speed from going down hill, so to speak. It just seemed to me that to do that kind of destruction is even more than a big plane, because you’re talking about taking out steel, the heaviest caliber steel that was used on the building. Well, these buildings were rock-solid, and you know it’s just an amazing, amazing thing. This country is different today and it’s going to be different than it ever was for many years to come.”
Since there was no official version of what had happened, Trump was not refuting anything, but merely giving his seasoned opinions based on two decades of overseeing skyscrapers being built. Knowing the Twin Towers, Trump couldn’t believe a plane could pierce them, much less bring them down.
Though Trump the builder gave us a frank take on 9/11, Trump the politician has gone full retard with the official version that 19 Muslims somehow did it. More tellingly, the mainstream media have not pressed Trump on this discrepancy. The reason should be obvious. They don’t want you to be swayed by Trump’s expert insights, spoken plainly, on that day.
Instead, the mainstream media have taken Trump to task for each of his 9/11 blunders, real or imagined. A Daily Beast article, “15 Years of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Lies, Insults, and Slights,” faults Trump for not showing enough emotion at the September 11 Memorial and Museum, “Trump proceeded past the faces with no manifest interest. He breezed by a haunting photo of a woman standing at the edge of the monstrous charred hole that an airliner had punched in the uptown side of the North Tower.”
CNN headlined a malapropism, “Donald Trump mixes up ‘9/11’ with ‘7/11.’”
The New Republic and many others mocked Trump for claiming to see, from more than four miles away, “Many people jumped and I witnessed it, I watched that. I have a view—a view in my apartment that was specifically aimed at the World Trade Center.”
They chastised Trump for falsely claiming that thousands of Muslims cheered 9/11 in Jersey City.
Though scrutinizing Trump on 9/11, they stay clear of his preemptive rebuttal of the government’s farcical explanation. Trump himself won’t dig it up, of course, since he’s angling to be the face of this criminal outfit.
Speaking to AIPAC in March of 2016, Trump proudly declared, “I speak to you today as a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel. I am a newcomer to politics, but not to backing the Jewish state.”
Trump spoke of 9/11 as “perpetrated by the Islamic fundamentalists,” and Palestinians as hating Jews for no apparent reason, “In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews. We can’t let this continue. We can’t let this happen any longer. You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace. It is a horrible, horrible way to think. It’s a barrier that can’t be broken. That will end and it’ll end soon, believe me.”
When people have their land stolen, their love ones killed and their way of life destroyed, they will fight back, Donald, but you can’t make sense as you’re pandering. Thus, Israel is America’s “cultural brother,” “the only Democracy in the Middle East” and “there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally.”
A most reliable ally in what? Sowing global terror, bankrupting Americans and turning Washington DC into a whorehouse?
Trump the politician couldn’t have brown-nosed Israel more abjectly, “I love the people in this room. I love Israel. I love Israel. I’ve been with Israel so long in terms of I’ve received some of my greatest honors from Israel, my father before me, incredible. My daughter, Ivanka, is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.”
Though knowing that the War on Terror was a farce from the beginning, Trump is going along with the Muslim blame game. Craving to be president, Trump must kowtow to the Jewish neo-cons and Israel. Far from being an America-first nativist, Trump will continue that Beltway tradition of destroying America financially, politically and even spiritually, all to prop up Israel.
Contrary to the incessant grandstanding by US and British politicians that they are committed to promoting freedom, democracy and peace around the world, the evidence proves that the Anglo-American establishment is in the business of war, destabilization and conflict creation. On top of the numerous imperial wars in the Middle East and North Africa that the Anglo-American establishment has spearheaded, the true nature of these two powers is further confirmed by the fact that Britain is now officially the second biggest arms dealer on the planet, second only to the US.
On average over the last decade, Britain has sold more weapons than Russia, China and France, according to the UK Trade and Investment department. Two-thirds of the weapons have been sold to Middle Eastern countries since 2010, fuelling many of the deadly conflicts in the region. Recipients of British weapons include 22 of the 30 countries on the UK governments own human rights watch list, further illustrating the complete hypocrisy of British politicians.
Britain has supplied an array of deplorable powers with military hardware, many of which are involved in committing atrocities with those weapons: including illegally supplying Saudi Arabia with Eurofighter Typhoon jets and missiles that have been used in the abhorrent war on Yemen; supplying Israel with arms that have been used in the IDF’s frequent massacres of Palestinians; in addition to selling shotguns, stun grenades and teargas, to the regime in Bahrain – which have been used to suppress protests in the country.
When the US and Britain are not busy killing Syrian soldiers who are fighting against ISIS, they are flooding the most war-torn region on earth (thanks to Western wars) with weapons. The likes of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and BAE Systems, have been making a killing off the perennial wars we have seen in the 21st century. The new Western-manufactured Cold War 2.0 has also proved to be beneficial for the war giants, as this is used to justify exorbitant defense/war budgets.
The power and influence of war contractors is nothing new in the West however. In his farewell address to the nation in 1961, the 34th President of the US, Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned the American people of the dangers of this insidious “military-industrial complex:”
“This conjunction, of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry, is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognise the imperative need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications… In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”
It is clear that Eisenhower’s warning fell on deaf ears, as the nefarious influence of the military-industrial complex has only grown since he made his historic speech. The amount of money the US spends on defence is staggering comparative to the rest of the world, with the 2015 US defense budget more than three times the size of China’s, and more than nine times the size of Russia’s. The American taxpayer has been filling the pockets of the CEOs of the war giants for too long now, with the decade-and-a-half since 9/11 proving to be an immensely profitable period for these immoral contractors.
Russia Now Earns More from Agriculture than Arms
Whilst the US and Britain are leading the world in arms sales, Russia is now earning more from agricultural exports than arms sales. Last year, Russia replaced the US as the largest producer and exporter of wheat, with grain production increasing in Russia over the past six years. Russia has also established herself as one of the main leaders of the organic revolution that we have seen sweep the world in recent years, as the toxicity of GMO becomes blatantly evident for all to see.
Western aggression is, and will continue to be, the most destructive force on earth. The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, have brought nothing but misery and devastation to these countries. The West’s proxy war in Syria brought further destabilization and chaos to the region, as well causing the refugee and migrant crisis that has gripped Europe. The 2013-14 colour revolution in Ukraine and the subsequent war in the country serves as yet another example of the pernicious fruits of Western imperialism. If we add on top of all this carnage, the US-led drone wars and the Anglo-American dominated arms industry, there is no question that the Anglo-American war machine is the greatest impediment to global stability today.
Bibi wants more and Congress might deliver
As an American it is difficult to imagine a more unseemly bit of political theater playing out than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance before his cabinet to claim that he had gotten every last dollar of military assistance out of the Obama Administration. Netanyahu argued that he had obtained all that was on the table, adding that his bad blood with President Barack Obama had not proven to be detrimental in the bilateral negotiations that had been ongoing for more than a year. The Prime Minister was on the defensive because some of his critics claimed that he might have gotten $100 million more per annum, admittedly chump change on top of the $38 billion over ten years that the Memorandum of Understand will provide Netanyahu from the U.S. Treasury.
The critics also argued that the “real money” obtained from Washington was less than it seemed because of inflation, but the gift of $38 billion to Israel was nevertheless a considerable increase over the roughly $3.3 billion per year that Israel is currently receiving. The protracted negotiations over the exact sum to be handed over were reportedly due to Netanyahu’s demanding much more money, possibly as much as $5 billion per year. The deal did come with a minor problem for the Israeli defense industries, which had become accustomed to skimming 26% off the top of the annual U.S. grant to build and market their own weapons. Someone in Washington finally figured out that the U.S. taxpayer was directly funding foreign competition for its own defense industries, costing thousands of American jobs. But not to worry, the Israeli companies are now setting up U.S. subsidiaries, so the gravy train will almost certainly continue to deliver.
Israel’s argument for more money, such as it was, was based on claims that Obama had weakened its security by coming to an agreement with Iran over that nation’s nuclear program. Israel objected that sharply limiting Tehran’s ability to develop a weapon was not in its own interest, an odd assertion but explicable in terms of Netanyahu’s real objective in dealing with the Mullah’s, which was to have the U.S. take the lead in bombing them into the stone age.
Missing in the discussions was any benefit obtained for the United States by giving Israel all that moolah. America’s largely invisible National Security Adviser Susan Rice spoke of an “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security” and commented that the agreement was good for the United States because “our security is linked” though she characteristically did not explain exactly why that was so. She called the deal a “win-win,” creating jobs in America and making our “ally and partner” Israel more secure.
In reality, as Rice knows perfectly well, Israel is a strategic liability. Apart from the annual Danegeld paid to it, it also requires the expenditure of considerable American political capital to protect it in the U.N. It also cannot be used as a forward base for the U.S. military. During Desert Storm in 1991, it had to be bribed by Washington to stay out of the conflict against Saddam Hussein to keep America’s Arab allies on board. As Colin Powell’s former aide Colonel Larry Wilkerson has observed there is indeed an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East that the U.S. relies on to extend the reach of its armed forces. It is called Kuwait, not Israel, while Bahrain hosts the American Sixth Fleet and the U.S. Air Force operates out of Qatar. They are all Arab countries.
Rice also did not mention another important issue. As money is fungible subsidizing Israel’s military frees up cash in the budget to build new settlements on the West Bank, which U.S. policy nominally opposes. Some critics have also noted that medical care and higher education in Israel are free, a benefit that Americans do not enjoy and which derives in part from the U.S. largesse.
And Israel’s reckless foreign policy has to be considered. There is a tendency for Israeli policy makers to actually use new weapons if only to try them out on live targets. The reality is that providing Israel with a ton of money to buy upgraded weapons will also give Netanyahu a lot of shiny new toys to use on his neighbors while also fueling an arms race in the region as other countries try to keep up to enable their own militaries to deter Israel. Iran has, for example, responded to the often repeated Israeli threats by improving its own air defenses with sophisticated Russian made integrated systems that can easily shoot down U.S. warplanes, while other missiles in its arsenal can defeat the defenses of American aircraft carrier groups.
Focusing on Israel’s $38 billion haul has also obscured how the country benefits in other ways. It has long been a development partner with the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security to produce defense technologies that are important to Israel but relatively useless for Washington. This has most recently included Washington’s direct funding of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which Tel Aviv is actively marketing, and anti-tunneling technologies.
Israel also receives billions of dollars every year in the form of charitable contributions from American Jews and Christian Zionists. The money often goes to support foundations that in turn fund settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, developments that are illegal both under international and U.S. law. And then there are direct fund-raisers for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). A 2014 star studded Hollywood gala event raised $33 million tax exempt dollars for an organization known as the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). FIDF’s slogan is “Their job is to look after Israel. Ours is to look after them.” Similar fundraisers are held all over the United States and there is an annual parade in Manhattan.
As most observers of the odd United States relationship with the Middle East will no doubt agree, when it comes to Israel and the U.S. Treasury “too much” is not part of the vocabulary. Obama’s agreement with Israel stipulated that in return for the guaranteed money every year Israel would not go to Congress seeking more unless there is a war. As “war” was not defined and Israel is both frequently in conflict with its neighbors and also quite capable of cranking up an incident on demand, Netanyahu may have been smiling as he agreed to that stipulation. And knowing that Obama is a lame duck means that the door to the cash vault is closed but will be reopening in January. Given all of that, Netanyahu was apparently willing to back off even though he wanted more money, possibly expecting that the deal will be subject to renegotiation when Hillary invites him to the White House.
And it now appears that many Congressmen also agree that Israel’s leader and America’s best friend did not get what he deserves. Senator Lindsey Graham opined while the negotiations were still in progress that any agreement with Israel would be a base-line, meaning that congress could and should vote additional special appropriations. Currently a bill co-sponsored by Graham and Senators Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Mark Kirk, Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt is moving through the Senate that will do just that. It will allow Congress to give Israel more cash and will lift the restrictions on how it is spent, permitting Netanyahu to continue to directly subsidize his own defense industry with U.S. taxpayer money. If Democratic Israel-firsters like Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez rally behind the bill it is quite likely to be passed.
The reality is that U.S. military assistance to Israel is actually all about the effectiveness of an extremely powerful domestic lobby. The tie that binds the two countries has nothing whatsoever to do with either nation’s security or interests but it has a great deal to do with tying Washington to Israel no matter what Israel does. Israel is a wealthy country with a per capita gross domestic product of $35,000 that is greater than that of Japan, South Korea or Italy. It could easily survive without that extra cash from Uncle Sam. It is the greatest military power in its region by every possible metric and it is also the only country possessing nuclear weapons to include both ballistic missiles and submarines to deliver the weapons on target. It is in no way threatened.
Massive amounts of aid to Israel constitute a particularly important element of the push to maintain a “special relationship” that seeks to make Israel appear to be an essential American ally, even though it is anything but. American politicians who call Israel the U.S.’s greatest friend and ally know they are lying as Israel is neither. Instead, Israel and its own parochial interests have been key elements in involving Washington in the spiral of violence that has gripped the Middle East since 2001, including the ill-fated invasion of Iraq.
Is it just business as usual in Washington, though admittedly with an extraordinarily large price tag? Perhaps. But an opinion poll reveals that 81% of Americans oppose giving Israel more money. Unfortunately our bifurcated democratic system means that no one will be able to effectively vote on the issue in November as both major parties are lined up squarely behind Israel even if many Democrats are beginning to wobble.
Groveling to Israel is in the American political DNA. Even progressive groups that claim to be supportive of Palestinian rights and opposed to growing fascism in Israel exhibit the usual ambivalence when it comes to issues that might actually have an impact. They go silent and become curiously absent from the debate. Go to the website of Jewish Voice for Peace and you will find no mention of the $38 billion. Code Pink and End the Occupation claim to oppose weapons sales to Israel but seem to have lost sight of the latest outrage. Strange that. Or perhaps not so strange. J Street, which claims to be pro-Israel and pro-peace, “warmly welcomes the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel that will ensure Israel’s security and its qualitative military advantage over any potential enemy for the next 10 years.”
The point is that giving Israel $38 billion over ten years is robbery pure and simple having nothing whatsoever to do with anyone’s security. It is stealing from the American taxpayer because certain politicians aided and abetted by the media and acting in deference to a powerful lobby would have it so. Israel is no ally, has never been an ally, and is being rewarded for doing nothing. The only Americans who benefit from the deal are defense contractors. If it were Goldman Sachs or General Motors doing the stealing there would at least be some outcry. But as it is, because it is Israel, the media and chattering class are silent.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton meet in New York, September 25, 2016.
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that she opposes a UN-brokered solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pledging to fight efforts to “delegitimize” the Tel Aviv regime.
The former US secretary of state and Netanyahu met at a hotel in Manhattan, New York, on Sunday evening, hours after the Israeli PM’s meeting with Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump.
During the meeting, Clinton endorsed the two-state solution for the ongoing conflict in Palestine, but also expressed “her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution,” including the UN Security Council, her campaign said in a statement.
Clinton doubled down on “her commitment to countering attempts to delegitimize Israel, including through the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement,” the statement further read.
The BDS movement was 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.”
Since then, thousands of volunteers worldwide have joined the BDS to help promote the Palestinian cause.
The former first lady also backed Washington’s military support for Tel Aviv, saying that a “strong and secure Israel” was vital to the US.
Washington has been providing the Israeli regime with $3.1 billion annually since 2007, under a 10-year agreement with the administration of former president George W. Bush. The figure was recently raised to $3.8 billion for the next decade.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu went to the Trump Tower in New York City to meet with the billionaire businessman.
During the 90-minute meeting, Trump promised Netanyahu that he will “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” the candidate’s campaign said in a statement.
He described East Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel since 1967, as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
Like Clinton, Trump backed America’s military support for Israel, hailing it as an “excellent investment for America.”
Netanyahu, who was being accompanied by Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer during the meetings, thanked both candidates for their “friendship and support for Israel.”
© nationaltheatret beklager / YouTube
Tel Aviv has urged the National Theatre of Norway to deny links to and remove a video in which a fake theater official called for a boycott of Israel and its HaBima Theater. The Norwegian theater denied its part but stopped short of criticizing the clip.
While the theater apparently had no role in producing the video, the Israeli Foreign Ministry demanded that it should “clearly and immediately repudiate” the clip, as well as take “necessary measures to have the video removed from every site.”
It went on to compare the video to “the works of the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, or the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl,” adding that it is “actively pursuing the matter with all involved parties.”
In response, the National Theater of Norway wrote in a statement published on its website that it was in no way part of making the video, and does not engage in boycotts.
“The article and video are not made by The National Theater of Norway – and do not represent The National Theater of Norway’s attitude – they are an expression of artistic freedom. The National Theater of Norway still has greater faith in collaboration with artists across national borders and from regimes we are critical to, than boycotts and silence,” it wrote.
Although the six-minute video claims to be from the National Theater of Norway, it was actually created by a group of actors from the art project “Monsters of Reality,” which is part of the 2016 International Ibsen Festival.
In the video, a person claiming to be a spokesperson for the theater lashes out against Israel and its occupation of Palestinian territories. She apologizes on behalf of the playhouse, for collaborating with Israel’s HaBima Theater between 2013 and 2015.
“This is a great day for the National Theater of Norway. It is the day when we publicly apologize for our shameful collaboration with HaBima, the national theater of Israel…” the spokesperson says.
She goes on to state that when the theatre agreed to collaborate with Israel, it did not know “what a powerful role HaBima and other Israeli art institutions play in normalizing the Israeli occupation,” calling Israeli art a “tool” for building an image of “a humanistic nation” instead of an “apartheid state.”
She claims the two theatres were collaborating as Israel “executed its horrific bombing over the Gaza strip,” and that the Norwegian one was unaware of HaBima’s alleged role because it did not do “one single piece of research…we didn’t bother to find out.”
“Five-hundred Palestinian children lost their lives while HaBima was busy entertaining Israeli soldiers,” she says.
In conclusion, the woman posing as spokesperson makes three promises on behalf of the theatre. The first is that it will fully support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, and cancel its membership with the “politically irresponsible” European Theatre Union.
Next, the spokesperson claims the theatre will dedicate all means of production to “work with the situation in the Middle East” from 2017 to 2019. She even promises that the facility’s director will give 50 percent of her salary to Palestinian theatre in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law,” according to the Palestinian BDS National Committee’s website.
A 13-year-old girl who was shot five times by Israeli soldiers has told RT she is still haunted by the incident, and hopes that soldiers will restrain themselves from shooting other “innocent children.” Her father says he wants Israel to compensate his family.
Speaking to RT, 13-year-old Bara’a Owaisi said she had traveled to a West Bank checkpoint after dreaming about her aunt, who had been killed there.
“She called to me saying, ‘I want to see you.’ So I went to the checkpoint to see where my aunt died, because I miss her,” Owaisi explained.
“The Israeli soldiers spoke to me, but I couldn’t understand them, so some Arab workers explained. They asked me to take my bag off my back and put it down. I removed my bag. I said I wanted to see where my aunt died. They asked for my aunt’s name and I answered… then they opened fire on me. The two soldiers said, ‘This one is a terrorist,’ and ordered the others to open fire,” she said.
Owaisi went on to say that she constantly replays the incident in her mind.
“I have nightmares. I was terrified of [the soldiers], and I see them in my dreams. They shoot at me all the time. I hope the soldiers don’t shoot at any more innocent children,” she said.
Her father spoke of how incomprehensible it was to shoot his daughter so many times.
“They wanted to kill her. They shot her five times. One bullet is enough to take someone down, not five. They shot her in cold blood. She wasn’t doing anything. The Israeli soldiers were shouting at her without any reason. My daughter can’t do anything.”
He went on to state that his wife must now carry the young girl to the bathroom, and that he hopes his daughter will walk again. He said he wants Israel to pay compensation for the incident.
“I want Israel to pay compensation. It is not the first time this has happened. The Israelis try to kill many Palestinian children, and I want the world to know about this.”
RT reached out to the Israeli Defense Ministry, but received no response. A statement from the ministry following the shooting said the girl told interrogators that she went to the checkpoint “to die.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Republican nominee Donald Trump during a meeting in New York on September 25, 2016. (photo via @IsraeliPM)
Republican nominee Donald Trump promises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel” if he emerges victor in the US 2016 presidential election.
The meeting at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Sunday took nearly 90 minutes as Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, Jared Kushner, was on hand for the meeting along with Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
“A Trump administration would finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel,” the Trump campaign said in a press release.
The two talked about “the special relationship between America and Israel and the unbreakable bond between the two countries.”
Trump asserted that the US military aid to Israeli missile system is “an excellent investment for America,” further calling Tel Aviv a “vital partner” in the war against “Islamic terrorism,” from which the Israelis have “suffered far too long.”
On the agenda at the meeting was also the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, including the United States.
Trump described East Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel since 1967, as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
Trump’s statement was devoid of any reference to Israel’s heavy-handed crackdown in Palestine or even the so-called two –state solution, pursued in the foreign policy of the administration of President Barack Obama.
“The meeting concluded with both leaders promising the highest level of mutual support and cooperation should Mr. Trump have the honor and privilege of being elected president of the United States,” concluded the statement.
East Jerusalem al-Quds was occupied in 1967 and Israel later annexed it heedless of international condemnations.
The Palestinian Authority, which administers the occupied West Bank, views the city as the capital of its future state. Palestinians have also resisted numerous Israeli plans for exerting full control over the territory.
Al-Quds University journalism student Malik al-Qadi following his release from administrative detention
JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities released former hunger-striking prisoner Malik al-Qadi to Palestinian medics on Saturday to transfer him to a hospital in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Saturday morning that its staff was transferring al-Qadi from the Israeli Wolfson Medical Center to the Istishari Arab Hospital in the city of Ramallah.
Al-Qadi is in a dire health condition after going without food for 68 days to protest being held in administrative detention — internment without trial or charges — by Israel.
Al-Qadi ended his hunger strike on Wednesday, along with fellow prisoners Muhammad and Mahmoud al-Balboul, after an agreement with the Israeli prisons services not to renew their administrative detentions.
Muhammad Balboul, 26, had refused food for 77 days since July 7, while his 23-year-old brother Mahmoud had been on hunger strike 79 days since July 5, and al-Qadi, 25, declared his hunger strike on July 16.
Qaraqe said in a statement on Wednesday that Muhammad and Mahmoud al-Balboul were set to be released on Dec. 8, while Malik al-Qadi would be released on Sep. 22, and that all three of their administrative detentions would not be renewed.
The three had initially launched their hunger strikes amid a mass movement across Israeli prisons in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Kayid, who after 71 days suspended his hunger strike after striking a deal with Israel to end his administrative detention sentence. He was reportedly set to be released on Dec. 12.
Kayid was one of the most high-profile hunger strikers since Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq came near death during a 94-day hunger strike protesting his administrative detention order, before he was finally released in May.
Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s administrative detention policy, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence, has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, students, and journalists.
Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
According to Addameer, as of August, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 700 of whom were being held under administrative detention.
Before the externally-orchestrated dirty war on Syria started with the externally-orchestrated “Arab Spring” psy op; before the “peaceful protestors” shot the unarmed Syrian security forces; and before the West armed, trained and funded the international mercenary cannibals who loot, rape, and plunder; Syria was an oasis of civilization surrounded by imperial puppet states.
Syria was prosperous, with a growing economy. It had food sovereignty, with a “strategic” stock of millions of tons of high quality wheat , not the “Franken-food” bio-tech variety; it had a strong central bank with no usurious IMF loans; it had a popular, reformer President; it had a mostly well-educated, secular, pluralist, forward-looking population; and it was the fourth safest country in the world.
After almost six years of illegal war launched by some of the most militarily advanced countries, and years of illegal sanctions imposed by these same criminal governments – including Canada’s puppet government – Syria is still standing strong. It still has a popular, elected President and government. And it is still a beacon of civilization.
Despite the collective punishment of sanctions and the terror of war, Syrians remain defiant. Arabi Shaher exemplified this defiance when he said,” Do whatever you like, this is our country; it will remain our country.” He, like many Syrians, sees through the lies. And his appraisal of the root cause of the war is openly shared by many Syrians: Israel.
Israel and its allies “benefit” from a balkanized and destroyed Syria. Even conflicting pipeline interests are subordinated by Israel’s perceived needs as presaged by the Oded Yinon plan. Syrians commonly report that Israel first and foremost, and its allies, are the number one agents driving the current holocaust. These interests are said to subordinate the “oil” interests. Same in Iraq.
Not surprisingly, Syria, ranked among the top five countries in terms of safety before the war, is now a war zone on about 2,000 fronts, but life goes on for all Syrians.
Despite the Western assaults on Syria, Syria still provides free health care and schooling for all in government –controlled areas, even as terrorists teach children to be “child soldiers”, and to adopt the degenerate Wahhabi ideology that violently excludes all other ideologies and religions.
All of the violence, including the daily exposure to bombings, is currently being “normalized”. Outsiders report that when a mortar bomb strikes nearby, Syrian pedestrians barely notice, and continue on their way. The trauma of the war will present challenges for years to come.
Despite, or maybe because of its challenges, Syria treats all of its inhabitants – regardless of their country of origin – as Syrians.
“Wesam”, a man born to Palestinian refugees, explains that Palestinian refugees have the same rights as Syrians. They can buy a home, they can buy land, and they can legally work in Syria. In contrast, he explains that Palestinian refugees have no rights in neighbouring Lebanon; they cannot work legally, and they cannot buy a home outside of the refugee camp.
And so life goes on in Syria. The West is doing everything that it can to change this – economic sanctions, mercenary terrorists, bombing grain silos, bombing Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions, disinformation warfare – but it isn’t working.
Damascus, one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world, is strong. Observers mistakenly thought that the capital would fall within months, but it hasn’t happened yet, and it is unlikely to happen at all.
Syria has strong institutions, a strong army, and strong allies. It also has a strong civilizing core. Syria’s victory will be everyone’s victory.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has censured certain governments in the Middle East and the West for taking advantage of the humanitarian sufferings of Syrians to reach their political objectives.
In an address to the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Muallem said Syria was being constantly blamed for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country, especially in the war-ravaged northern part, regardless of the fact that certain states favored the continued humanitarian catastrophe to advance their own objectives.
The Syrian foreign minister said Western governments continued to accuse the Syrian military of resorting to siege and starvation as a tactic of war, but at the same time supported militants to use people most affected by the conflict as human shields.
Muallem said Syria would spare no effort to put an end to the sufferings of Syrians and give them back their dignity. He also stated that the country faced a tough task of coping with systematic destruction by foreign-backed militants.
Israeli regime supporting terrorists
Elsewhere in his remarks, Muallem said Syria’s confrontation with mercenary terrorism was not new as the country had long confronted the terrorism of Israel, which occupied the Golan Heights in 1967.
He said Israel was intervening militarily and directly in Syria to assist terrorists operating in the Golan Heights.
The top Syrian diplomat called on the international community to pressure Israel to conform to UN resolutions that guarantee Syria’s sovereignty over Golan.
“We hope that the UN could regain the trust of the people through upholding its Charter, which guarantees the protection of the country’s sovereignty,” Muallem stated.
‘Recent US airstrike was intentional’
Muallem rejected claims by the United States that an airstrike a week ago on a Syrian army base in the east of the country was a mistake, saying the strike, which killed over 80 Syrian soldiers, was “intentional.”
“The Syrian government holds the United States fully responsible for this aggression, because facts show that it was an intentional attack, and not an error, even if the United States claims otherwise,” the Syrian foreign minister said.
Muallem reiterated Syria’s commitment to moving forward with the UN-led peace process, saying, however, that the complicity of the US and its allies with the Takfiri Daesh terrorists and other militants was a major obstacle to honoring pledges on the cessation of hostilities.
On September 9, Russia and the United States agreed on a milestone deal on the crisis in Syria after some 13 hours of marathon talks in the Swiss city of Geneva. The deal, which went into effect on September 12 and was initially agreed to last seven days, called for increased humanitarian aid for those trapped inside the northwestern city of Aleppo.
The Syrian army announced an end to the week-long ceasefire on September 19, when US-led coalition warplanes attacked a Syrian army base and an aid convoy was hit near the city.