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Haley and Abbas have exposed the fallacy of PA representation at the UN

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | February 22, 2018

The outcome of the UN Security Council meeting does not bode well for the people of Palestine. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas gave a lengthy speech during which opportunities for hammering out the truth of the matter were reduced to statements showing that little has changed in terms of how the PA interprets history and time frames.

Abbas declared that Israel “has transformed the occupation from a temporary situation as per international law into a situation of permanent settlement colonisation.” He also described the PA as having become “an Authority without authority.” The inaccuracy of these statements is the suggestion that their claims have just become obvious, highlighting the refusal to recognise that the facts of the matter have been very clear since the start of the occupation — Zionism is an expansionist ideology forever seeking “Greater Israel” — and the creation of the PA, whose sole role is to serve Israeli interests. Having allocated enough space in order to portray the alleged deterioration of the situation as opposed to current circumstances being the result of a premeditated plan of colonisation and collaboration, Abbas is entrenching a poor bargaining position for Palestinians.

This deficiency has been recognised by the US. The response to Abbas by America’s Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, emphasised that the only option considered by the US is “compromise”. In Haley’s words: “You can choose to put aside your anger about the location of our embassy and move forward with us towards a negotiated compromise that holds great potential for improving the lives of the Palestinian people.” In other words, forget about a state; you can have the crumbs off the table, which is better than no crumbs at all.

Haley’s response cannot be read solely within the context of a diatribe against Abbas. It is a direct attack on Palestinians rights and aspirations for liberation. Indeed, this exchange portrays the consequences which Palestinians suffer as a result of political isolation. The rhetoric within international institutions takes place in such a detached manner that it is possible to discern a narrative for UN forums that only skims the surface of what is deemed acceptable to discuss. The choice of discourse has been determined away from Palestinian reality.

The diverging narratives are imbued with recognition and repudiation, with the latter reserved for Palestinians. Haley is emphasising this discrepancy and exploiting it at a time when Israel and the US are working overtly to accelerate the colonisation process so that “Greater Israel” becomes more of a reality day by day. Recognising the colonial narrative at an international level is aided by the fact that Abbas is not speaking for all Palestinians. His calculated discourse, which should generate outrage at the way decades of Israeli violations are being recognised by himself and the PA so belatedly — particularly after US President Donald Trump’s unilateral declaration on Jerusalem — is a blatant example of pandering to colonial complicity.

Haley’s statement on Palestinians’ limitations unfortunately rings true. Whether or not the US is involved in negotiations, the damage to the Palestinians and their cause is immense. Turning to international organisations with weak leadership for solutions will ultimately result in the diminished power of the people. The fact that Abbas continues to engage with the international community without acknowledging its role in isolating Palestinian voices can only mean an extension of the current situation, with long-term benefits for Israel. Engaging with the US after the measures it has taken to hinder the legitimate claims of Palestinians on their territory to the point of elimination should not be an option.

Whatever Abbas chooses, and recent history has shown many examples of how the PA fluctuates from one degenerative option to another, it is important to remember that the decisions are not Palestinian choices. The people of Palestine have been experimented upon from all sides — even militarily — and options offered by parties across the political spectrum ignore the fact that the genuine possibilities for Palestinians can only be generated from within; Abbas knows this only too well. It is with calculated intent that the entire world has been allowed to impose anything and everything upon the Palestinians apart from their legitimate rights. The added indignity is having these same impositions articulated in the name of the Palestinian people by someone like Mahmoud Abbas.

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Corruption, Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

US curbs bid to take Iran off FATF financial blacklist

Press TV – February 24, 2018

The world’s financial watchdog has extended a waiver for punitive measures against Iran for another six months but refused to remove the country from its blacklist.

The Paris-based the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had been weighing Tehran’s request for the lifting of so-called countermeasures for some time but a flurry of recent visits by a top US official to France and other European countries thwarted the bid.

Change of heart

Iran’s removal from the blacklist had gained support in European capitals in recognition of the steps Tehran has taken in recent years to enact legislation barring terrorist financing and money laundering.

However, the US sent the official to France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium ahead of a plenary meeting of the task force Friday to warn that keeping Iran on the FATF blacklist was a top priority, and that Washington would aggressively pursue that policy.

As a result, the FATF decided to continue the suspension of countermeasures, taking into account the fact that Iran has draft legislation currently before Parliament, but did not remove the country from the list in a decision which many believe is political.

The FATF suspended its punitive measures for a year in 2016 when Iran reached a landmark nuclear deal and promised to step up its fight on money-laundering. The task force extended the waiver last July and again on Friday.

The Iranian government hopes that the exit from the FATF blacklist would remove one hurdle to foreign investment. Critics of the government, however, say membership in the Financial Action Task Force has not only failed to attract investment, but it has also exposed various institutions to extraterritorial regulations and penalties.

Iranian institutions targeted

In its Friday decision, the FATF threatened Iran with new penalties in June if it doesn’t bolster oversight of alleged terrorism financing and money laundering within its borders.

Some in Iran believe the US is using the FATF to target key organizations such as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) which has both a role in the Iranian economy and supports groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah regarded as legitimate “resistance” entities by the Islamic Republic.

The FATF cited nine “action items” which Iran had to fully address before the body considers its bid for removal from the blacklist.

“Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified in the Action Plan, the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system,” it said.

“The FATF, therefore, calls on its members and urges all jurisdictions to continue to advise their financial institutions to apply enhanced due diligence to business relationships and transactions with natural and legal persons from Iran, consistent with FATF Recommendation 19,” it added.

Countries that do not follow FATF are often labeled as high-risk or uncooperative jurisdictions by the West, making international trade costly and difficult.

US threats

Iran agreed to scale back its nuclear energy program in return for the lifting of sanctions which would facilitate business with the world and pave the way for foreign investment. However, US pressures on bodies such as FATF and its threats have driven away banks, investors and companies.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said Tehran will withdraw from the nuclear deal if there is no economic benefit and major banks continue to shun the Islamic Republic.

Big banks are afraid of falling foul of remaining US sanctions.

Araqchi said even if US President Donald Trump relents and issues fresh “waivers” to continue suspending sanctions on Tehran, the existing situation is unacceptable for Iran.

“The deal would not survive this way even if the ultimatum is passed and waivers are extended,” Araqchi, Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, said in a speech at the Chatham House think tank in London.

“If the same policy of confusion and uncertainties about the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) continues, if companies and banks are not working with Iran, we cannot remain in a deal that has no benefit for us,” he said. “That’s a fact.”

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

Drones and Jets: The “Brazenness” Belongs to Israel

By Brenda Heard | Aletho News | February 24, 2018

“Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty,” stated Netanyahu on 10 February. “They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel.”

In response to this alleged reconnaissance drone, which the Israeli military characterized as a “serious Iranian attack on Israeli territory,” Israel promptly bombed twelve Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria.

A vagueness persists about the alleged drone. Iran stated the claim was “baseless” and “ridiculous.” The US called the drone “provocative.” Israel noted that it waited for the drone to enter its territory and “chose where to bring it down,” just ninety seconds later. Some sources indicate it was over Beit Shean, some say over the Golan. While the drone caused no damage, Israeli airstrikes killed six people.

At the Munich Security Conference a week later, Netanyahu underscored his indignation: “[Iran’s] brazenness reached new heights, literally new heights. It sent a drone into Israeli territory, violating Israel’s sovereignty, threatening our security. We destroyed that drone and the control center that operated it from Syria.” He then portrayed Israel as the innocent victim under threat, characterising the alleged drone as an “act of aggression.”

Talk about brazen.

Let us recall that in August 2014 it was Israel’s drone that was shot down in Iranian territory. While Israeli media reported that the “device looks like a kind of UAV used by the Israeli military,” all sources agree with Reuters’ observation: “Israel has always declined comment on such accusations.” ­Did the Netanyahu-labelled “tyrants of Tehran” respond as Israel has just done? Did Iran retaliate by sending fighter jets into Israel? Absolutely not. Instead, Iran did what it was meant to do as a cooperative member of the international community. It verbally  condemned the affront; it reported it to the IAEA (INFCIRC/867) and to the UN Security Council (S/2014/641). The IAEA merely circulated the complaint to member states, and the world ignored the brazenness of Israel.

Let us recall that in August 2011 it was a US drone that was shot down in Iranian territory. Somehow this was not “provocative,” but was rather, as then-current and former officials said, “part of an increasingly aggressive intelligence collection program aimed at Iran,” encouraged by “public debate in Israel.” This 2011 drone is even flaunted in current Israeli media, noting the US “initially denied the incident but eventually acknowledged the loss.” A bit brazen, wouldn’t you say?

Let us recall Israel’s unconscionable use of air power, including drones, over Occupied Palestine. Seen as “near continual surveillance and intermittent death raining down from the sky,” its decades-long aerial persecution of the Palestinians epitomises brazenness.

Lastly, let us recall Lebanon. Since the 1960s, Israel has routinely occupied Lebanese skies. This flagrant defiance of international law is a matter of record. Lebanon has issued numerous formal complaints with the UN—to no avail. Lebanese skies are violated virtually daily by a combination of helicopters, reconnaissance aircraft, and two, four or eight Israeli warplanes. They fly through all regions of Lebanon, including over UNIFIL territory, over Beirut, and over the Ba‘abda Presidential Palace. The Israeli overflights might just spy, or they might create sonic booms, or they might fire flares, or they might fly round-the-clock shifts so that there are always one or two Israeli aircraft in the skies of Lebanon. Or they might fly through Lebanese airspace to bomb Syria.

A recent UN Security Council Report states:

“Israel continued to violate Lebanese airspace on a daily basis, in violation of resolution 1701 (2006) and Lebanese sovereignty. From 1 July to 30 October [2017], UNIFIL recorded 758 air violations, totalling 3,188 overflight hours, an increase of 80 per cent compared with the same period in 2016.”

This was, of course, despite the Security Council’s previously reiterated call for “Israel to cease immediately its overflights of Lebanese airspace.” But, then again, that call has been reiterated by the UN for decades. Extraordinary brazenness.

It has been argued that Israel should not be bound by Resolution 1701 because Hezbollah has remained armed. Such an argument is simply making excuses for Israel’s belligerent conduct. It should be noted that:

  • UN Resolutions do not subscribe to the all-or-none approach; they specify obligations to each party separately.
  • Israeli overflights in Lebanese airspace are in direct violation of the 1949 Armistice, which forbids Israel to “enter into or pass through the air space” of Lebanon, clarifying specifically “for any purpose whatsoever.”
  • Prior to the formation of the Hezbollah Resistance there were already 28 Security Council Resolutions condemning Israel’s aggressions against Lebanon. Since at least 1972—a decade before Hezbollah—UNSC Resolution 316 called on Israel specifically “to desist forthwith from any violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon.”
  • Resolution 1701 states that prohibitions on weaponry “shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL.”  This authorization is indeed expressed, as is custom, in the 2016 Ministerial Statement of the Government, which emphasises the right of Lebanese citizens to resist the Israeli occupation and to respond to its aggression. As President Aoun, a former Army General, explained: “Hizbullah’s arms do not contradict with the State and are an essential component of the means to defend Lebanon.”

With 552 violations of Lebanese airspace in 2016, Israel has exhibited extreme brazenness. With 805 violations in the ten months of 2017 that have been officially reported, Israel has surely forfeited the right to stand in judgement. Fifty years of consistent air violations in Lebanon and Palestine. And Netanyahu calls Iran “brazen” for ninety seconds?

Brenda Heard is the founder of Friends of Lebanon UK. She is the author of Hezbollah: An Outsider’s Inside View (2015). She can be reached at brenda.heard@friendsoflebanon.org.

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Montreal Gazette’s anti-Palestinian bias

By Yves Engler · February 24, 2018

Shame on the Montréal Gazette. Shame on Dan Delmar. Even when McGill’s uber-Israeli nationalist administration dismisses allegations of “anti-Semitism” the paper and its writer uses them to smear freedom promoting students.

In October Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee activist Noah Lew cried “anti-Semitism” after he wasn’t voted on to the Board of Directors of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU). At a General Assembly Democratize SSMU sought to impeach the student union’s president Muna Tojiboeva. The ad-hoc student group was angry over her role in suspending an SSMU vice president and adopting a Judicial Board decision that declared a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution unconstitutional. While they couldn’t muster the two thirds of votes required to oust the non-Jewish president of the student union, Democratize SSMU succeeded in blocking the re-election of two Board of Directors candidates who supported the effort to outlaw BDS resolutions.

After failing to be re-elected to the Board of Directors at the same meeting Noah Lew claimed he was “blocked from participating in student government because of my Jewish identity and my affiliations with Jewish organizations.” Lew’s claim received international coverage, including coverage in the Gazette.

As she’s done on previous occasions, McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier echoed the Israel activists’ claims. Fortier sent out two emails to all students and faculty about the incident with one of them noting, “allegations have arisen suggesting that the votes against one or more of those directors were motivated by anti-Semitism.” At the time she announced an investigation into the incident.

Released two weeks ago, the investigation dismissed Lew’s claim of anti-Semitism. After interviewing 38 students over three-and-a-half weeks, former Student Ombudsman Dr. Spencer Boudreau concluded that he could “not substantiate the notion that the vote was motivated by anti-Semitism” and couldn’t find “evidence that would equate students’ protests about Israel’s policies with anti-Semitism.” Rather, Boudreau found that the vote was “motivated by politics, that is, based on his [Lew] support for Israel and Zionism and/or for his view of the BDS movement.”

Instead of covering the investigation, the Gazette repeated the Israel nationalist’s baseless smear. A story headlined “Student says anti-Semitism still an issue in McGill student government” quoted Lew and Israel lobby organizations objecting to the report’s findings. The article barely acknowledged the central conclusion of the investigation and failed to quote from it.

Four days after the news story Gazette columnist Dan Delmar criticized the report in a story titled “If anti-Semitism isn’t the problem on campus, what is?” The long-time anti-Palestinian commentator wrote, “for many if not most Canadian Jews, this writer included, the phenomenon of campus anti-Semitism in Canada is a reality and has been particularly problematic for nearly two decades.”

While the Gazette’s attacks are shameful, they are not surprising. The paper has engaged in a multi-year smear campaign against Palestine solidarity activists at McGill. According to a search of the Gazette’s database, the paper has published 12 stories referring to anti-Semitism at McGill since 2014 (I couldn’t find a single Gazette story detailing anti-Black, Asian or indigenous discrimination at the elite university). Rather than a sudden growth of anti-Jewishness, the spate of anti-Semitism stories are a response to students campaigning to divest from corporations complicit in Israel’s occupation. Between 2014 and 2016 there were three votes inspired by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement at biannual SSMU General Assemblies. After two close votes, in February 2016 a motion mandating the student union to support some BDS demands passed the union’s largest ever General Assembly, but failed an online confirmation vote after the McGill administration, Montreal’s English media and pro-Israel Jewish groups blitzed students.

Since that vote Lew and other anti-Palestinian activists have sought to have SSMU define BDS resolutions as unconstitutional. Concurrently, the university’s board of governors is seeking changes to its endowment’s social responsibility criteria, which would effectively block the possibility of divesting from companies violating Palestinian rights or causing climate disturbances.

The Gazette has ignored the Israel activists and administration’s extreme anti-Palestinian measures. The paper has also ignored the administration’s pro-Israel orientation. In May Principal Fortier traveled to that country and in November McGill Vice-Principal Innovation Angelique Mannella participated in an event put on by the explicitly racist Jewish National Fund.

In his column Delmar asks, “If anti-Semitism isn’t the problem on campus, what is?” The answer is obvious: Many students feel embarrassed and angry about their university — and other Canadian institutions’ — complicity in Palestinian dispossession. When they try to channel their emotions into non-violent action to help liberate a long-oppressed people they are blocked by powerful institutions and called names. The problem is the anti-Palestinian bias of those institutions, including the Gazette.

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 1 Comment

Zionists, Traitors and Congressmen

Mantiq al-Tayer | February 23, 2018

As mindless zionist-bullshit-fed Americans worry about Russiagate, an unspeakable evil is about to descend upon the once great capital city of what is left of the United States. This evil is so thoroughly ingrained in the consciousness – for lack of a better term – of the inside-the-beltway crowd that it can come like a thief in the night and be mistaken for a guest, a friend, an ally. But it is none of those.

Yes, we are talking about this year’s AIPAC policy conference which will officially begin shitting on Washington on March 4th. Among the chief shitters and shit eaters are 18 members of the allegedly US Congress. To see if any of your representatives are speaking at this treason fest, go here.

And what gathering of bigoted warmongering motherfuckers would be complete without the presence as a keynote speaker of the puke-generating Nikki Haley who has got to be the worst woman on the planet? […]

Anyway, this post is actually about the video below. It’s a sort of a modern-day example of billboard correction. Video correction in honor of AIPAC’s upcoming treason fest. To see the original video you can go to AIPAC’s site and find it. I won’t even link to it here, but I digress. … Full post

February 23, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Corruption, Video | , , , , | 3 Comments

Painting an Israeli Attack on Syria as Israeli ‘Retaliation’

By Gregory Shupak | FAIR | February 21, 2018

Israel claimed that it intercepted an Iranian drone in Israeli airspace on Saturday, February 10; Iran denied that it had a drone there. Israel then bombed a Syrian airbase, saying it was the command-and-control center from which Iran had launched the drone. The Syrian government shot down an Israeli jet that had bombed the base, and Israel subsequently launched more airstrikes against Syria.

Reuters (2/13/18) described the latter airstrikes as Israel having “retaliated” for the downing of its aircraft. Vice (2/13/18) too characterized them as “retaliatory”; the Los Angeles Times (2/11/18) did the same three times. These word choices wrongly imply that Israel was acting defensively, when it was Israel who fired the first shots in the weekend’s exchanges: These outlets were saying that Israel was “retaliating” against Syria for defending itself against an ongoing Israeli attack.

“Retaliation” is an exculpatory term. To say that a party is “retaliating” is to say that their actions are an understandable response to another party’s provocation. As FAIR’s Rachel Coen and Peter Hart (Extra!, 5–6/02) wrote more than a decade and a half ago, the term “lays responsibility for the cycle of violence at the doorstep of the party being ‘retaliated’ against, since they presumably initiated the conflict.” In this case, casting Syria and Iran as the aggressors rests on the dubious assumption that flying a drone over Israel—if Israel’s charge is accurate—is more aggressive than Israel dropping bombs on Syria.

CNN: Israel: Jets Faced Heavy Syrian Anti-Aircraft Fire

Painting warplanes carrying out an aggressive bombing raid as victims

It also rests on the flawed assumption that the timeline of hostilities between Israel and the Syrian government began on Friday, February 9. However, despite the Associated Press’s untenable claim (2/10/18) that “Israel has mostly stayed out of the prolonged fighting in Syria,” Israel admits to having bombed the Syrian government and its ally Hezbollah nearly 100 times since the war in Syria began in 2011 (Reuters, 2/6/18). If Brigadier General Amnon Ein Dar, the head of the Israeli Air Force’s Air Division, is to be believed (Ynet, 2/11/18), the Israeli military has “carried out thousands of missions in Syria in the last year alone.”

A Washington Post article (2/10/18) made the similarly dubious assertion that “Israel has largely stood on the sidelines of the Syrian conflict over the past seven years.” In the next paragraph, though, the author acknowledges that “Israel has conducted dozens of covert airstrikes against [the Syrian government-aligned] Hezbollah weapons convoys in Syria,” and the piece goes on, in a spectacular display of self-contradiction, to note that “Israel has carried out a number of significant attacks in Syria in recent months.”

Israel has also supported the Syrian armed opposition for years, the Wall Street Journal (6/18/17) reported, supplying fighters with food, fuel, medical supplies “and money payments to commanders that help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons.” According to the Journal, the Israeli army “is in regular communication with rebel groups,” and Israel “has established a military unit that oversees the support in Syria—a country that it has been in a state of war with for decades—and set aside a specific budget for the aid, said one person familiar with Israeli operation.” There is even reason to believe that Israel has had an alliance with the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria (Middle East Monitor, 5/26/15; Electronic Intifada, 6/16/15). None of the articles cited here on the February 10 clashes mentioned this important backdrop.

Turning an Occupation Into a ‘Border’

Coverage of these events also failed to correctly describe the status of the Golan Heights, a piece of land that is central to the Israeli/Syrian conflict. Israel occupied the territory in the 1967 war, fought off a Syrian effort to reclaim it in 1973, and illegally annexed it in 1981. Israel has sought to take advantage of the war that has devastated Syria for nearly seven years by, as Matt Broomfield writes in the Electronic Intifada (11/11/16), planning a fivefold increase in the number of Israeli settlers in the Golan, allocating $108 million for 750 new Israeli agricultural projects in the territory, and significantly expanding military forces along the boundary between Syria and the area under Israeli control.

The New York Times (2/10/18) made two references to “the Israeli-held portion of the Golan Heights,”  a rather anodyne depiction of territory that is internationally recognized as Syrian, but which Israel seized by force of arms and claimed for itself.

The Washington Post (2/10/18) said that “Israel shares a contentious border with Syria—the Golan Heights.” But the Golan isn’t “a contentious border”; it’s a territory that, despite Israeli claims to the contrary, unambiguously belongs to Syria under international law.

A CNN report (2/11/18) closed by saying that “authorities also accused Syria in November of violating the 1974 ceasefire agreement [with Israel] by “conducting construction work” in the northern part of the Golan Demilitarized Zone.” While it’s unclear which authorities are being referenced, this passage neglects to mention that by late 2015, Israel had built 30 settlements, housing 20,000 settlers, in the Golan, or that a year later it announced plans for 1,600 new homes in the territory, “construction work” that has been roundly condemned by “authorities” like the United Nations.

Moreover, 20,000 Syrians live in the Golan, and many are directly harmed by Israeli policies. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Israel’s discriminatory land, housing and development policies in the territory have made it hard for Syrians to get building permits, leading to increasingly overcrowded Syrian towns and villages. The UNHRC also points out that Israel has demolished a Syrian home, and that a number of Syrian homeowners have reportedly received demolition notices.

This larger context of Israel’s Syria policies would have helped news readers make sense of what occurred on February 10, but it was absent. Given that Israel had just launched an airstrike on a Syrian base, has apparently bombed Syria close to 100 times in the past six years, has carried out perhaps 1,000 attacks against it in the last year, has backed an armed insurgency against the Syrian government, and has stolen and illegally colonized Syrian land while oppressing and dispossessing Syrian civilians, it is far more accurate to say that Syria retaliated against Israel on February 10.

February 23, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 10 Comments

Hamas: Abbas’s speech did not rise up to the desired level

Palestine Information Center – February 22, 2018

GAZA – Palestinian resistance group Hamas criticized Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas following his speech at the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

In a press release, Hamas underlined that the political plan presented by Abbas in his speech does not reflect the national position which calls for an end to the Oslo Accords and which opposes a resumption of negotiations with Israel.

“Abbas’s speech did not rise up to the desired level, nor did it reflect the national consensus, which wants to terminate the Oslo agreements and rejects negotiations with the occupiers,” Hamas said.

Abbas is working to create a new mechanism for the failed peace process despite Israel’s violations and crimes against Palestinian women and children and the dangerous bias of the United States in favor of Israel on Jerusalem and the refugees and the encouragement it gives Israel to commit crimes and liquidate the Palestinian cause, the statement reads.

In this context, Hamas demanded an end to Abbas’s unilateral decision-making, and instead of following the path of a political process, to accelerate the unification of the ranks within the Palestinian arena and reach an agreement on a national strategy that focuses on the path of resistance.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

When Will Congress Investigate All Interference in Elections?

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 22.02.2018

The atmosphere in the United States regarding possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is something like hysteria, with a real danger that bilateral relations might break down completely as a result. Indeed, a number of politicians and senior government officials have described the allegations that Moscow sought to influence the election results as an “act of war” with Congressman Jerold Nadler even declaring that it was similar to Pearl Harbor.

Assuming that the indictment against 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies filed last week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is accurate, the reported activity of the Internet Research Agency could indeed have been part of an intelligence operation seeking to influence developments in the US, but the organization’s employees also displayed considerable amateur behavior, suggesting that they were not professional spies, supporting the stronger argument that it was not a Russian government-run operation at all.

And the United States is hardly innocent when it comes to interfering in the domestic politics of both friends and enemies. That is very often what intelligence agencies are designed to do, and no one is more active in interfering in foreign governments and elections than the United States of America. The Russian election featuring Boris Yeltsin in 1996 was arranged by Washington working with the International Monetary Fund, and more recently there was the $5 billion invested in bringing “democracy” to Ukraine in 2014. The US was also involved in many of the elections in post-war Europe, most particularly in countries whose own democratic systems were still evolving. The CIA worked to keep communists out of the government in Italy’s 1976 national election. Conservative parties received sacks of money and articles warning about communism appeared in all the major newspapers. The major covert action proceeded even though Italy was a NATO member and the corruption that the intervention brought with it has blighted Italian politics to this day.

And then, there are America’s friends who in similar fashion interfere in US politics to support their own national agendas. Most active recently have been Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of which have an identical foreign policy goal, which is to end what they describe as the Iranian threat in their region. As neither has the resources to go it alone, both seek to involve the United States in what would likely be a catastrophic war for all involved, leaving Riyadh and Tel Aviv standing on the sidelines to pick up the pieces.

The Saudi lobby in the United States operates largely below the surface, working on individual congressmen and through the funding of think tanks. Israel’s manipulation of the US is, however, much more in the open. One can argue that what we are now calling Russiagate all started when Trump National Security Adviser designate Michael Flynn called Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, on December 22, 2016. The call was made at the direction of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, who, in turn, had been approached by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to change a U.N. vote critical of Israel.

Kushner asked Flynn, the soon-to-be National Security Adviser, to help Israel by undermining what was being done by the still-in-power American government in Washington headed by President Barack Obama. In legal terms this most certainly could be construed as covered by the “conspiracy against the United States” statute that the Mueller investigation has exploited in the recent Russian indictments.

Mueller’s indictment specifically claimed that the Russians created false US personas while also stealing actual identities. But the Russians are being accused of involvement in activity that Israel engages in openly. It has interfered in US elections, to include promoting Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in 2012, and has a powerful and well-funded lobby in AIPAC that intervenes aggressively in American foreign and domestic policy. And the Israeli government’s propaganda arm uses its hasbara to use false internet identities to confuse and deflect critical stories. They do so routinely and do not even try to hide what they are doing. Part of their agenda is to smear critics and elect politicians favorable to them.

So, when will Mueller and the several congressional committees that are investigating the Russians move on to the topic of Israel and Saudi Arabia to find out what really effective foreign influencing operations looks like? Given the power of Israel and the Saudis over Congress, probably never.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 4 Comments

The Palestinian People Are Not Fooled any More

By Rima Najjar | Palestine Chronicle | February 21, 2018

As a Palestinian, I am skeptical about Mahmoud Abbas’s address, billed by the press as “Abbas delivers rare address at UNSC meeting, which calls for two states.

Whereas I believe that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s goals can be achieved through more than one political accommodation, including a two-state scenario in historic Palestine as a solution to its violent partition in 1948, I am skeptical about the ability or will of the international order to achieve this end without compromising Palestinian fundamental human rights.

Read my answer to ‘Why is it so difficult to reform the United Nations Security Council?’ here.

Abbas is addressing a world order impotent to stand up to Israel – one that is also committed to Israel’s Jewish national identity and to advancing its national security. They are the very same players who have, without question, deceived the Palestinian people throughout the long decades of Oslo.

As the ESCWA report on Israel’s Apartheid noted in the introduction,

“the policies, practices and measures applied by Israel to enforce a system of racial discrimination threaten regional peace and security. United Nation resolutions have long recognized that danger and called for resolution of conflict so as to restore and maintain peace and stability in the region.”

Recognition has yet to translate into action as far as the U.N. is concerned.

Additionally, instead of unifying all segments of the Palestinian people (who are fragmented as a condition imposed by Israel) behind the goal of liberation, Abbas is cooperating with Israel and its allies in the escalation of the deprivation of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip – in order to pressure them into relinquishing their political objectives.

Such political maneuvering on Abbas’s part has turned the goal of the Palestinian people, as Karma Nabulsi expressed it, on its head:

“The goal of Palestinians is to unify for the struggle to liberate their land and return to it, and to restore their inalienable human rights taken by force – principles enshrined in centuries of international treaties, charters, and resolutions, and in natural justice.”

The creation of a Jewish state in Palestine dispossessed Palestinian Arabs, against their will, of land and property, as well as of their fundamental right to self-determination in their own homeland in favor of self-determination for Jews worldwide.

In my opinion, without addressing Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state in Palestine, the Palestinian people are unlikely ever to achieve self-determination in their own homeland. The right of the Jewish people to self-determination in a state of their own is a right acknowledged internationally today, but one that must be challenged, if only from a demographic perspective in Palestine.

As Albert T. Clay wrote in the February 1921 issue of The Atlantic:

“A visit to some of the better established Jewish colonies will not fail to awaken sympathy for Economic Zionism. No unbiased observer of past events could think of throwing obstacles in the way of those Jews who, being persecuted in certain lands, prefer to live in a community solely Jewish; or who, through historical sentiment, long to reside in a purely Jewish cultural community in the land of their ancestors. Only an extremist would deny the gratification of their desires to as many of these people as can be accommodated; yet it must be borne in mind that, as estimated by experts, the tiny country can support only about a million and a half additional inhabitants; which number, if all were Jews, would represent only one tenth of the fifteen millions in the world.”

The Palestinians have never held the bargaining chips in their tragedy and might as well go for broke – ending the Apartheid Zionist colonial regime in all of historic Palestine. We have spent enough time agreeing to piecemeal “solutions” during the so-called peace process that achieved nothing but unspeakable inhumanity and suffering.

– Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel may pay settlers millions to leave illegal outpost

Yair Lapid (centre) and Naftali Bennett (left) joined settlers on 23 July 2017 at the inauguration of a monument that was rebuilt in the illegal settlement outpost of Netiv HaAvot after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the outpost’s demolition and the evacuation of all settlers [Yigal Dilmoni/Twitter]
MEMO | February 20, 2018

The Israeli government is preparing to give 20 million shekels ($5.68 million) in compensation to settlers who have been living in an illegal outpost on private Palestinian land, reports Haaretz.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking the approval of his coalition partners, ahead of the impending evacuation of 15 Israeli settler families from Netiv Haavot settlement outpost.

One of the buildings in Netiv HaAvot was demolished in November 2017. The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state to demolish the other 15 houses in March, but, according to Haaretz, “the state is expected to request that the supreme court delay the outpost’s evacuation”.

Government ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked “visited the outpost on Sunday and promised the residents they would try to postpone their eviction by three months, until construction starts on alterative homes nearby, for ‘humanitarian’ reasons”, the paper added.

According to the Times of Israel, residents of the illegal outpost will establish a “protest test” outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office, where they will demand “an immediate solution to prevent the evacuation as well as the construction of 350 homes in the Etzion [settlement] bloc”.

Israeli NGO Peace Now slammed the compensation plan as “political bribery for building offenders”.

“The residents of Nativ Ha’avot stole land, took control of it, and built their homes on it without permission from any official source.”

“This is not according to us, but rather according to the state, which issued demolition orders for all the structures,” said NGO official Shabtay Bendet.

“Now they are receiving very generous financial compensation from the same state.”

Read also: 

Israel refuses to return Palestinian land, handing it to settlers

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Israelis who kill Palestinians receive government stipends

MEMO | February 20, 2018

The PLO’s Committee for Prisoners and Freed Prisoners revealed on Monday that the Israeli authorities pay stipends to Jewish settlers indicted of crimes against Palestinians, Quds Press has reported. Israel has complained frequently about payments to the families of Palestinian prisoners by the Palestinian Authority, claiming that they “encourage terrorism”.

As an example of the Israeli payments, the rights group mentioned the case of Israeli settler Yoram Skolnik, who shot dead Musa Abu Sabha while he was lying with his face on the ground and his hands tied behind his back in March 1993. The killing took place near the illegal settlement of Susia in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and the killer has been receiving a monthly salary in addition to his national insurance payments.

Furthermore, Skolnik also received financial assistance from the government to start a business after he was released from prison, the Committee pointed out. It noted that the Israeli authorities reduced his sentence from life to just eight years.

Israel’s official and popular support for criminals and appeals for their release from prison are part of the “rising racism, fascism and encouragement of extremism against the Palestinians,” the Committee claimed. Ninety-nine per cent of Israeli Jews who were imprisoned after killing Palestinians were released and received legal and social support, as well as full protection by successive Israeli governments, it added.

According to the Head of the Committee, Issa Qaraqe, the international community must take steps against Israeli laws which clearly target human rights and the rights of the Palestinians.

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Argentina: Fernandez Brands ‘Iranian Pact’ Allegations ‘Arbitrary,’ Demands Immediate Trial

teleSUR | February 20, 2018

Argentine senator and former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has requested a public trial be held “immediately” to “expose the arbitrariness of the accusation (against her) to the whole society.” Fernandez is being prosecuted for an alleged cover-up of Iranian officials and citizens accused of perpetrating a terror attack in 1994.

In July 1994 the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), a Jewish community center, was attacked with a car bomb killing 85 people and injuring 300 more.

In a legal recourse sent Monday to judge Claudio Bonadio by Fernandez’s lawyers, Alejandro Rua and Graciana Peñafort, they demand the investigation be elevated to a public trial.

Judge Bonadio prosecuted the former head of state and other former government officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Hector Timerman, for concealment and treason.

The treason charge was dropped in a second instance hearing, but the National Chamber of Criminal and Correctional Appeals confirmed the prosecution of the defendants for concealment arguing they covered up Iranians accused of the AMIA attack through a Memorandum of Understanding with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government.

The memorandum, which would have created a Truth Commission to investigate the case, was never applied because it wasn’t ratified by the Iranian parliament.

The case against Fernandez was opened after federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman formally accused her and other politicians in 2013 of covering up Iranian suspects. Nisman was found dead in 2015, before testifying.

A federal judge dismissed the case arguing the minimum conditions to launch a criminal investigation were not met. According to Pagina 12, a local newspaper, five prominent Argentine jurists agreed that there was no crime in Nisman’s accusation. However, the dismissal was revoked last year after an appeal by the Delegation of Israeli Argentine Associations.

In the document elevated to the court by Fernandez’s lawyers, they claim Bonadio’s conclusions “are false and are contradicted by the collected proof,” and clarify they will not request the dismissal because their client “does not expect Justice” from Bonadio’s court.

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment