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Hezbollah slams US criticism of its role in Lebanon’s government

Press TV – February 21, 2019

Hezbollah has lambasted remarks by US Ambassador to Beirut Elizabeth Richard about the resistance movement’s role in Lebanon’s new government, saying they violate the country’s sovereignty.

Hezbollah’s Thursday statement came after Richard said during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Tuesday that Washington had “concern over the growing role in the cabinet of an organization that continues to maintain a militia that is not under the control of the government.”

In the new cabinet, two ministries out of the total 30 ministries are headed by Hezbollah lawmakers. The health ministry, which has the fourth largest budget in the state, is also headed by Jamil Jabak, who is close to the resistance movement, but not a member of it.

The statement issued by Hezbollah lawmakers hit back at Richard’s provocative comments, saying, “The negative American position on Hezbollah, which American ambassadors are eager to repeat after meeting with any official in Lebanon, is rejected and condemned.”

The US stance, the statement added, “violates national sovereignty and ignores a legitimate right in international law – the right to self-defense and to resist every threat and aggression” and is biased towards “the terrorist entity” of Israel. … Full article

11 Palestinians homeless as Israel demolishes 2 flats in Jerusalem

MEMO | February 21, 2019

Israeli forces in occupied Jerusalem yesterday demolished two Palestinian apartments, making 11 Palestinians homeless, Quds Press reported.

The Israeli occupation municipality demolished the two Palestinian homes under the pretext of having no building licenses.

Palestinian Shadi Al-Muhtaseb told Quds Press that Israeli police stormed his and his father’s apartments, located in Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighbourhood, along with municipality staff and asked them to immediately leave their homes. The families were not given enough time to remove their belongings. … Full article

Four fishermen kidnaped, three injured in Gaza waters

Palestine Information Center – February 21, 2019

GAZA – The Israeli occupation navy on Wednesday night kidnapped four Palestinian fishermen after opening fire at them and wounded another off the southern coast of the Gaza Strip.

Chief of the fishermen committees Zakariya Baker said on his Facebook page that Israeli gunboats chased Palestinian fishermen as they were working off the shores of Khan Younis and Rafah and opened machinegun fire at their boats.

Baker added that one fishing boat sustained damage after several bullets penetrated its hull and a fisherman, Abdullah Abu Salima, was injured after an Israeli gunboat ran into his boat off the coast of Rafah.

According to the official, the Israeli naval forces confiscated the boat of fisherman Khader al-Sa’eidi and rounded him up along with another fisherman from the same family.

Meanwhile, two fishermen were also wounded and kidnapped and their boat was seized after naval forces chased them and intensively opened fire at them off the shores of Khan Younis. … Full article

Macron: anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism

MEMO | February 21, 2019

France is to recognise anti-Zionism, the denial of the state of Israel, as a form of anti-Semitism in response to a surge in acts against Jews not seen “since the Second World War”, reports The Telegraph.

French president, Emmanuel Macron, also promised new legislation in May to fight hate speech on the Internet, which could see platforms such as Facebook and Twitter fined for every minute they fail to take down racist or violent content.

Speaking at the annual meeting of France’s largest Jewish organization, CRIF, Macron said that France and other countries in Europe had recently witnessed “a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is probably unprecedented since World War II.” … continue

The End of Truth as We Know It – Or Knew It

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | February 21, 2019

… The members of the ‘western’ collective fight among themselves but always fall into line when the alpha dog barks at them. Considerations of right and wrong, law, ethics, morality and justice are irrelevant. The alpha dog has barked and the pack must obey. Riam Dalati’s exposure of media deceit is interesting but still a mere detail on a very large and dirty canvas as the ‘west’, its governments and its media, tries to maintain control of a world fast slipping from its hands. – Read full article

Caving under MSM pressure? Tulsi Gabbard interview on The View has some supporters fuming

RT | February 21, 2019

US Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is being accused of “flip-flopping” on her Syria stance and “caving” to mainstream media pressure after a combative interview on The View.

Questioned aggressively by panelist Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, Gabbard said there was “no disputing the fact” that Syrian President Bashar Assad is a “brutal dictator” who “used chemical weapons against his people.”

The comments stand in stark contrast to previous statements made by the Hawaii congresswoman, who in the past said she was “skeptical” about allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on citizens and called US efforts to overthrow Assad an “illegal war.” … continue

Vladimir Putin: 2019 State Of The Union Address To Russia’s Federal Assembly

Official translation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s State of the Union Address to Russia’s Federal Assembly as published by the Kremlin’s website on February 20, 2019. … continue

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

By Martin SIEFF | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.02.2019

Just over 100 years ago, Mexico had a popular, much beloved democratically elected President determined to reduce foreign influence and obscene profits flowing out of the country and raise the standard of living for his people. The US financial interests on Wall Street orchestrated a military coup and made sure he was brutally murdered.

The president obviously was not Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who has been set up to receive the same treatment this year, but his name was remarkably close – Madero not Maduro. The parallels and contrasts between the two men are thought-provoking. … continue

The Ramp Up to War on Iran is Here

By Tom Luongo | February 19, 2019

John Bolton never met a war he didn’t like, except Vietnam. That would be the one he refused to fight in.

Today he is calling up every marker he has to create the narrative for a legal justification for an attack on Iran that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spilled the beans on just before the Warsaw Stink Fest last week.

This morning GOP House Organ the Washington Times produced this howler of an exclusive to say that al-Qaeda groups in Syria are getting Double Ultra Secret funding from, guess who?

Iran. Because nothing says team-up like conservative Shia clerics and Salafist Sunni head-chopping animals, right? … continue

UK resettles 100 Syria White Helmets members, families

Press TV – February 21, 2019

Britain has resettled some 100 members of the White Helmets aid group, which is accused of staging fake gas attacks in Syria’s terrorist controlled areas as part of a sophisticated smear campaign against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

UK immigration minister Caroline Nokes told BBC on Wednesday that the government was working with local councils to volunteer to take in White Helmet members and their families as they arrived from Syria.

“I have no doubt that the UK going forward will continue to play its part in global resettlement, that we will provide aid,” she said.

In July 2018, more than 400 members of the UK-funded White Helmets were forced to flee Syria as Syrian government forces continued advancements towards their positions.

On their way out of the country, the group had to cross the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and enter Jordan with the help of Israeli soldiers and Western powers. … Full article

Lindsey Graham Blasts Trump’s Syria Plan

Sputnik – 21.02.2019

President Trump’s announcement that the US would be withdrawing its entire contingent of 2,000 troops from Syria amid the defeat of Daesh (ISIS)* has shaken pro-war officials and lawmakers across Washington, prompting to a string of resignations of senior administration members, including (now-ex) Pentagon chief Jim Mattis.

Senior South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a long-time critic of Donald Trump’s foreign policy, has lashed out at acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan on the Pentagon’s Syria policy. The Washington Post detailed the harsh exchange between Graham and Shanahan at the Munich Security Conference last week, which reportedly included the senator blasting the defence secretary on the US’ 30 April withdrawal deadline.

“Are you telling our allies that we are going to go to zero by April 30th?” Graham reportedly asked. “Yes, that’s been our direction [from the president],” Shanahan replied. “That’s the dumbest f***ing idea I’ve ever heard,” Graham responded.

The Republican senator then began listing off a series of terrible consequences that a US withdrawal would mean, including the return of Daesh, Turkish forces attacking Syria’s Kurds, and Iran gaining an ‘advantage’ in the country.

“That could very well happen,” Shanahan reportedly replied. “Well, if the policy is going to be that we are leaving by 30 April, I am now your adversary, not your friend,” Graham retorted.

Other lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, reportedly voiced similar frustrations with Shanahan, describing him as a “deer in the headlights”, and complaining that all he did was repeat the president’s instructions, without elaborating.

New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez complained to WaPo that Shanahan basically “got a chorus of voices that basically said, ‘This is not going to work, there is a bipartisan resolve not to let this happen, and you need to send a message back to the president that there’s a combined, unified view that this is not the way to go and he should change course’.” … Full article

Israel seeks to wage new conflict in Mideast: Analyst

Press TV – February 21, 2019

Israel seeks to initiate a new conflict in the Middle East in order to create alliances, says an analyst, adding that its bombing campaign in Syria can lead to a “full-fledged” war.

The comments came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the Israeli regime that its “dangerous” adventurism with its bombing campaign in Syria could result in a military conflict in the region.

“There is adventurism on Israel’s side, and adventurism is always dangerous,” Zarif said in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper published on Wednesday.

In his earlier remarks at the Munich Security Conference, Zarif had accused Israel of looking for war and warned that its actions and those of the United States were increasing the chances of a clash in the region.

“The problem is as everyone knows that Israel doesn’t care what’s in accordance with international law or against international law and as Minister Zarif says Israel loves war, it thrives on war. War makes money for Israel and it creates alliances and it makes other countries dependent upon Israel for war machinery and weapons and things like this. So Israel loves war but they have always loved war from the moment that they created their so-called state,” Paul Larudee, former US government adviser, told Press TV in an interview on Thursday.

“Israel requires, it needs conflict and it will wage conflict forever. Now if it gets out of hand, it becomes a war. If they invade Syria or countries then they are likely to have a full-fledged war on their hands and I don’t think they want that at this point but as long as they keep hitting and causing incitement in Syria and Lebanon and other places, then frankly nobody is going to stop them,” he added. … Full article

What If They Started a War and No One Showed Up?

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.02.2019

The humiliation of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Warsaw last week was a good thing. The ancient Greeks, exercising their demonstrated ability to synthesize defining characteristics, had a word for it: hubris. Hubris is when one develops an extreme and unreasonable feeling of confidence in a certain course of action that inevitably leads to one’s downfall when that conceit proves to be based on false principles.

Pompeo was in Warsaw for a “summit” arranged by the US State Department in partnership with the Polish government to discuss with representatives of sixty nations what to do about the fractious situation in the Middle East. In advance, he promised that the meeting would “deliver really good outcomes.” The gathering was initially conceived as a “war against Iran” precursor, intended to pull together a coalition against the Persians, but when it became clear that many of the potential participants would balk at such a designation, it assumed a broader agenda concerning “Peace and Security in the Middle East.”

Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria were not, not surprisingly, invited as some of them were the expected targets of whatever remedial action the conference might recommend. Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu was, of course, present, tweeting in advance of the gathering that it would be all about “war against Iran.” He also characteristically delivered a warning that Iran was planning a “second holocaust” for his country. … continue

MP who fabricated anti-Semitism scandal leaves Labour, citing ‘culture of racism and anti-Semitism’

RT | February 20, 2019

The latest Labour MP to jump ship over alleged racism and anti-Semitism is Joan Ryan, which is curious, because it was she who was exposed as having created an alleged anti-Semitism scandal within the Labour Party.

Ryan announced she was joining the Independent Group because of the “culture of anti-Jewish racism and hatred for Israel” within the party under leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday.

Ryan is chair of the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), which was exposed as having ties to the Israeli government and exerting influence on UK politics in a 2017 Al Jazeera documentary into the Israel lobby in the UK.

Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter filmed Ryan creating what would later be framed as an anti-Semitism scandal at the Labour conference in 2016. Labour member Jean Fitzpatrick approached a stand to ask questions about Labour’s support of a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine and was soon dismissed by Ryan.

Ryan later claimed the woman had made “anti-Semitic tropes” about Israel’s influence and banking, but the footage showed she made that up. … continue

Federal government shares terror watchlist with over 1000 private groups: report

By Michael Burke – The Hill – 02/19/19

The federal government shares its terrorist watchlist with more than 1,400 private groups, according to court papers reported on by the Associated Press.

The AP reported Tuesday that Timothy Groh, the deputy director of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), said in a written statement to a federal court that 1,441 private entities can access the watchlist, which is compiled by the TSC.

Groh’s statement came as part of a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria, brought by Muslims who say they have been wrongly included on the list. […]

The government has previously denied disseminating the list to private groups, the AP noted. The AP reported that government lawyer Dena Roth said at a pretrial hearing last year that the TSC “does not work with private partners, and that watchlist status itself … is considered law enforcement sensitive information and is not shared with the public.”

Gadeir Abbas, an attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the AP that the government’s use of the watchlist is shocking.

“We’ve always suspected there was private-sector dissemination of the terror watchlist, but we had no idea the breadth of the dissemination would be so large,” Abbas said.

Abbas and other attorneys have asked a judge to force the government to provide more details on which private groups are accessing the watchlist and how those groups are using the list, according to the AP.

Abbas also told the AP that the list has so many incorrect names that it is essentially a collection of “innocent Muslims who have never committed a crime.” … Full article

How the rule of the rabbis is fuelling a holy war in Israel

By Jonathon Cook | February 13, 2019

In which country did a senior, state-salaried cleric urge his followers last month to become “warriors”, emulating a group of young men who had murdered a woman of another faith?

The cleric did so with impunity. In fact, he was only echoing other highly placed colleagues who have endorsed a book – again without penalty – urging their disciples to murder babies belonging to other religions.

Where can the head of the clergy call black people “monkeys” and urge the expulsion of other religious communities?

Where does a clerical elite wield so much power that they alone decide who can marry or get divorced – and are backed by a law that can jail someone who tries to wed without their approval? They can even shut down the national railway system without notice.

Where are these holy men so feared that women are scrubbed from billboards, college campuses introduce gender segregation to appease them, and women find themselves literally pushed to the back of the bus? … continue

Fatal Houston PD Drug Raid Apparently Predicated On Drugs A Cop Had Stashed In His Car

By Tim Cushing | techdirt | February 19, 2019

The ugly Houston PD drug raid that resulted in four injured officers and two dead “suspects” just keeps getting uglier.

Officers swore a confidential informant purchased heroin from 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle in the house he shared with his wife of 21 years, Rhogena Nicholas. They swore the CI told them the house was filled with heroin packaged for purchase.

On the strength of this confidential informant’s claims, officers obtained a no-knock warrant and raided Tuttle’s house. The officers claimed Tuttle opened fire on them and that his wife tried to grab a shotgun from a downed officer. This was the supposed reason for SWAT team’s killing of Tuttle and Nicholas.

This was the narrative everyone was given. Not a single officer was wearing a body cam, despite the department possessing dozens of them. The only footage that survived — captured by a neighbor’s security camera — was confiscated by the Houston PD.

Even in this vacuum of information, the PD’s narrative quickly fell apart. … continue

AP’s articles on Ilhan Omar left out much of the story

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | February 20, 2019

The Associated Press sent out two versions of a story on responses to Ilhan Omar’s comments regarding the Israel lobby. Both were entitled “Omar’s edgy Israel tweet no surprise to some back home.” One version was slanted; the other made that one look good.

As we’ll see below, such distortion on Israel-Palestine. isn’t unusual for AP.

The long version

AP’s longer report led off with accusations against Omar claiming she was “antisemitic,” and stated that the concerns were “confirmed.”

Only at the end of five long paragraphs did the report finally mention that some people disagree with the accusations.

The story then included comments on “both sides.” The problem is that the article gave significantly more space to individuals who claimed Omar is “antisemitic” as to those who defended her.

While the long article includes quotes from local Jewish and Muslim communities, it failed to include comments from a Christian organization in the area that focuses on Palestine,  which could have described how false claims of antisemitism are often used to silence criticism of Israel.

The short version

AP also sent out a short version of the story, which seems to have been disseminated first. This version was even more prejudicial to Omar. It went to some newspapers and, especially, to radio and TV news programs.

In this report, only the accusations against Omar were published. There was no indication whatsoever that there are people who disagree with the accusations of antisemitism, believe her comments to be valid, and support her. … continue

Israeli Forces Raid al-Eesawiyya Mosque, Remove Palestinian flag

IMEMC News & Agencies – February 20, 2019

Israeli forces raided a mosque in the Eesawiyya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, on Monday, to remove the Palestinian flag and a picture of a Palestinian prisoner.

Member of a local follow-up committee, Muhammad Abu al-Hummos, told Ma’an News Agency that Israeli forces raided the mosque, after surrounding it, and demanded to take down the Palestinian flag and a picture of a Palestinian prisoner raised on the mosque.

Israeli forces assaulted Palestinians inside the mosque and smashed some of its windows. … Full article

Israeli forces assault Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa

Ma’an – February 20, 2019

JERUSALEM – Israeli forces assaulted Palestinian worshipers following sunset Maghrib and Isha prayers near the al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy) area inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Tuesday evening.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli police forces assaulted Palestinian youths and detained several of them.

Israeli forces surrounded the Al-Aqsa Mosque, completely preventing entry to worshipers.

According to locals, Israeli forces detained 22 Palestinians from the compound… Full article

US court reopens Palestinian lawsuit against billionaire Israel donor Adelson

MEMO | February 20, 2019

A US appeals court has reopened a billion-dollar lawsuit against Jewish-American tycoon Sheldon Adelson, which seeks to hold him and more than 30 others liable for war crimes and support of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (DC) Circuit yesterday voted unanimously in favour of reopening the case, arguing that a federal district judge concluded wrongly in August 2017 that all of the plaintiffs’ claims raised political questions that could not be decided in US courts, Ynet has reported. At the time, the district judge claimed that the lawsuit raised political questions over which the court had no authority, including who has sovereignty over the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip. Yesterday, however, US Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said that the sovereignty issue was separate from a broader question of whether war crimes were being committed in the oPt, reported Fortune Magazine.

“A legal determination that [illegal] Israeli settlers commit genocide in the disputed territory [oPt] would not decide ownership of the disputed territory and thus would not directly contradict any [US] foreign policy choice,” explained Judge Henderson. The lawsuit, she added, could thus be treated as a “purely legal issue” and, since genocide violates international law, the court could hear the case under America’s Alien Tort Statute, which allows foreign citizens to seek remedies in US courts for human rights violations committed outside the United States. … continue

Why Turkey won’t abandon the S-400 deal with Russia

By Ali Hussein Bakir | MEMO | February 20, 2019

Washington’s first deadline for Turkey to respond to its offer to buy the Patriot missile defence system passed last Friday with no progress made. Only one day after the deadline, US Vice President Mike Pence raised the issue once again with Ankara regarding Turkey’s recent deal to acquire the Russian S-400 missile defence system. In his speech at the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, Pence threatened Turkey, without mentioning it explicitly, when he said, “We’ve also made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO Allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defence of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

The Americans agreed recently to offer Turkey the Patriot missile deal, worth about $ 3.5 billion, but linked its agreement to do so on several conditions, including the need for Ankara to abandon the S-400 deal with Russia. The Turks initially welcomed the offer, but rejected the conditions tied to it. They also linked any possible agreement to the extent that it serves Turkey’s interests, especially regarding the timeframe offered for delivery of the system. The government in Ankara also stipulated the need for the deal to include the transfer of technology to Turkey as well as financial provisions to help pay for it. … continue

Russia remains Ukraine’s key trade partner despite Kiev’s claims of cutting economic ties

RT | February 20, 2019

Despite years of mutual trade restrictions, Russia remained Ukraine’s biggest trade partner in 2018, according to data published by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.

Sales of Russian produce to Ukraine saw 12.3-percent year-on-year growth to US$8.1 billion. That makes Russia the biggest Ukrainian supplier, leaving China, Germany, Belarus, and Poland far behind. At the same time, the Russian market remained a major destination for Ukrainian exports. Ukraine sold $3.7 billion worth of goods to Russia, marking a 7.1 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Moscow suspended the free trade zone deal with Kiev shortly after the Ukrainian government signed an association agreement with the EU. Ukraine was automatically included on Russia’s counter-sanctions list against the EU, introduced by Moscow in 2014 in retaliation to European penalties over re-unification with Crimea and Russia’s alleged military involvement in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

In 2015, Ukraine imposed sanctions on a wide range of food imports from Russia, including meat and fish, coffee, dairy products, chocolate and confectionery, grains, cigarettes, beer, and many others. Last year, Kiev added fertilizers to its endless list of restrictions. In December, the Ukrainian authorities extended the measures for another year. The country also introduced sanctions against several individuals and entities.

In response, Russia banned the import of more than 50 Ukrainian goods, worth $510 million. The Kremlin announced that the restrictions can be lifted if Kiev gives up its own restrictions targeting specific Russian goods.

Despite bilateral restrictions, trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine has been increasing in recent years, with Russia enjoying a significant trade surplus.

Pompeo, Pence & the Alienation of Europe

Consortium News | February 19, 2019

If the objective was to further isolate the U.S., the two officials could not have done a better job last week, writes Patrick Lawrence. – Read article

Rats Begin Leaving the Labour Ship

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | February 20, 2019

A group of seven perpetually-whingeing MPs has quit the UK Labour Party to go independent. They are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey. Their gripes are various but boil down to disgruntlement with Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership especially over Brexit and anti-Semitism.

Stop the War Coalition observes that the seven “have voted for war, foreign military intervention and the renewal of Trident throughout their political careers. A warmongering foreign policy is central to the so-called values they talked about in today’s launch and is arguably the main unifying strand of their political ideologies.”

STWC points out that the four of them who sat in Parliament in 2003 (Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie and Angela Smith) all voted for the Iraq War and have continually supported the policy of military intervention. With seven fewer warmongers in the Labour Party, says STWC, “now is a chance to redouble our efforts to ensure that Labour is never dragged into any more catastrophic wars and is a party rooted in peace.” … continue

UK Teen Stripped of Citizenship for Marrying Daesh Fighter

teleSUR | February 20, 2019

Britain stripped a teenager who traveled abroad to join Islamic State Group of her citizenship on security grounds, triggering a row over the ramifications of leaving a 19-year-old mother with a religious extremist fighter’s child to fend for herself in a war zone.

The fate of Shamima Begum, who was found in a detention camp in Syria last week, has illustrated the ethical, legal and security conundrum that governments face when dealing with the families of militants who swore to destroy the West.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party said the government’s decision was wrong.

“If the government is proposing to make Shamima Begum stateless it is not just a breach of international human rights law but is a failure to meet our security obligations to the international community,” Diane Abbott, Labour spokeswoman on home issues.

“What you can’t do is leave them in a camp in Syria being even more radicalized… until they disperse themselves through the world and make their way back here,” he said.

She had pleaded to be repatriated back to her family in London and said that she was not a threat. … Full article

When is a British Person Not British?

By Craig Murray | February 20, 2019

The attitude to immigrants which is betrayed by the stripping of citizenship from Shamima Begum is truly appalling. A British citizen, born in the UK, is deemed to be a citizen of another country they have never seen, because their immigrant parents came from there. To refuse to accept first generation Britons are Britons, as in Windrush, was bad enough. To claim that second generation Britons are not British, but rather citizens of where their ancestors “came from”, is racism pure and simple.

Begum is not a sympathetic figure. Savid Javid could not have found an easier target for his macho display of vindictiveness, guaranteed to win plaudits from the bigots whose votes Javid needs for his looming Tory leadership bid. Javid knows full well his decision will eventually be overturned by the courts, but he has already achieved his political objective of personal self-aggrandisement. … continue

UK: Daniel Finkelstein admits powerful Jews engage in secret political plotting

Diversity Macht Frei | February 20, 2019

Yet another case study in hypocrisy from the Chosen People.

First, here’s an incident they were complaining about a few days ago. … continue

What “community standards” did this comment breach? #18

OffGuardian | February 20, 2019

The following comment – posted to twitter by Craig Murray – was censored by The Guardian. Which of the well-publicised CiF “community standards” did they breach? … continue

Democracy and the Corrupt Seven – UPDATED

By Craig Murray | February 19, 2019

I have heard it argued again and again on television this last 48 hours that it is deeply undemocratic for the electorate to be offered a choice that is any more complicated than between Red Tories and Blue Tories. It is apparently unthinkable and deeply wrong that Corbyn’s standard German style social democracy – which is routinely labeled “hard left” and “communist” – should be proffered to voters for them to support, or not.

The overwhelmingly Blairite MPs have put this case again and again to Labour Party members in repeated leadership elections, and have been roundly and repeatedly defeated. But now, according to no less a person than Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the party, the losers’ policies must be embraced by the Party and adopted by its leadership, as to do otherwise is an affront to democracy. I confess I find this argument impossible to follow. … continue

US Threats to Venezuelan Military Violate UN Charter – Lavrov

Sputnik – 20.02.2019

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Washington’s threats to Venezuela’s military violated the United Nations Charter, and are representative of direct interference in the state’s internal affairs.

He also stated that Moscow grew worried about developments in Venezuela following US President Donald Trump’s recent statement urging the Venezuelan military to accept opposition leader Juan Guaido’s offer of amnesty.

“We are concerned about what is happening around Venezuela. The threats heard from the US, which are actively supported and stimulated by the Venezuelan opposition, which in fact directly invites external intervention, are certainly a violation of the UN Charter and direct interference in the internal affairs of an independent country,” Lavrov said during a press conference following talks with his Zambian counterpart Joseph Malanji.

Lavrov’s remarks come after US President Donald Trump said on Monday in a speech to Venezuelan Americans in Miami that the military of the Latin American country could either accept opposition leader Juan Guaido’s amnesty offer or “lose everything” as there would otherwise be no way out for them. … continue

Hispaniola Rising: How the US Coup in Venezuela Is Taking Root in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

By Ariel Fornari | MintPress News | February 15, 2019

For more than a decade Venezuela has aided the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic through a preferential system known as Petrocaribe, and the people of those nations are not taking their governments’ support for the US coup in Venezuela lightly. … continue

Canadian policy on Venezuela, Haiti reveals hypocrisy that media ignores

By Yves Engler · February 19, 2019

If the dominant media was serious about holding the Canadian government to account for its foreign policy decisions, there would be numerous stories pointing out the hypocrisy of Ottawa’s response to recent political developments in Haiti and Venezuela.

Instead silence, or worse, cheer-leading. … continue

This is why Al-Quds is being silenced

By Mohammed Ayesh | MEMO | February 19, 2019

If Al-Quds satellite station actually closes its doors and completely stops broadcasting, which is what is currently occurring, albeit gradually, this means that the enemies of the Palestinian national project succeeded in silencing the voice that has long plagued the occupation over the past ten years. Moreover, silencing Al-Quds carries a number of implications, most importantly those associated with the “deal of the century”, which is simmering on a low heat, and the need to silence voices opposed to it.

The collapse of Al-Quds, which broadcasts from Beirut, is occurring shortly after the imminent closure of Al-Aqsa television in Gaza, which almost occurred a few weeks ago. However, this was cancelled at the last minute. It is also occurring a few months after the complete shutdown of Al-Ketab satellite which was broadcast from Gaza. The common reason behind all of these closures and obstacles is a financial crisis.

Al-Quds has been a source of concern for the Israelis over the last ten years and it played an important role during the three wars waged against the Gaza Strip. It has therefore been bombed by the Israeli air force in Gaza and its crews were prohibited from operating in the occupied West Bank, occupied Jerusalem, and the territories inside the Green Line. Some of its journalists and correspondents were arrested and the channel was eventually shut down in those areas. … continue

Israeli forces detain 3 Palestinian women from Al-Aqsa

Ma’an – February 19, 2019

JERUSALEM – Israeli police forces detained three Palestinian women in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, on Tuesday afternoon.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli police forces held three Palestinian women after they entered the Lions Gate and transferred them in a police vehicle to an Israeli police station in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Sources identified the three detainees as Em Tareq Raoud, Samah Muhamid, and Islam Munasra.

The reason for their detention remained unknown.

Child arrested after settlers’ death threats

International Solidarity Movement | February 18, 2019

Al-Khalil, occupied Palestine – The day after a group of illegal settlers and soldiers invaded a Palestinians’ home and threatened to slaughter their children in front of them, one of their children was arrested by the Israeli police.

On Saturday, a group of settlers climbed down onto the rooftop of Emad Eqneibi’s home. Among them was Noam Arnon (נעם ארנון)–a right-wing settler who referred to Baruch Goldstein (the mass murderer of 29 worshipers in the Ibrahimi Mosque)–as an “extraordinary” and “lovely” person.

Under the protection of heavily-armed Israeli soldiers, Arnon told the Palestinian homeowner “If you don’t leave this house, I will slaughter your children one-after-the-other in front of you.”

Responding to settler complaints, a group of soldiers descended on Eqneibi’s house the following day and arrested his 14-year-old son, Amer Eqneibi. Video was captured as the soldiers were taking the child away.

Amer is currently being held in an adult prison Ofer outside Ramallah. Locals expect that it may be more than 40 days before the child is released.

Decades after French philosophers stopped fretting over existence, the thinking classes have embraced a new fad: the end of the world

By Charles Bremner – The Times – 19/02/19

Cited by converts from President Macron to pop singers … the doctrine of imminent apocalypse goes under the unlikely franglais name la collapsologie.

State officials have attended a new university master’s course in the Paris outskirts on the “risk of collapse and adapting to it”, while Facebook is awash with groups, including a popular one called: “Adoptez un collapso : let’s meet before the end of the world.”

La collapsologie, which Édouard Philippe, the prime minister, calls a personal obsession, is based on the assumption that climate change, declining resources and the extinction of species is driving the world to its destruction far more quickly than we imagine. […]

Les collapsologistes are strongly concentrated among left-leaning urban dwellers with at least one university degree, a survey showed. … Full story

Dutch Government admits it was wrong on energy bill hikes, used outdated figures

DutchNews – February 19, 2019

The cabinet has admitted it used old figures when calculating the impact of energy tax hikes and underestimated the impact on families.

On Monday, the national statistics agency CBS said the average household energy bill would go up by some €334 this year, more than double the earlier government estimate of €150.

However, economic affairs ministry officials now say they used statistics on energy consumption from 2017, which underestimated the amount of gas and electricity households actually use, much to the fury of MPs.

‘This is undermining trust in the government,’ Labour MP William Moorlag said.

The ministry spokesman told the AD that Dutch environmental assessment agency staff were too busy working on plans to tackle climate change to come up with specific estimates last year. … Full article

EU Commission Study Reveals International Competitive Disadvantage of Climate Policies

By Dr John Constable – GWPF – 19/02/19

… The third release of the EU Commission’s periodic study of global electricity and gas prices for the first time compares the EU 28 with the whole of the G20 for the period 2008 to 2016.

EU 28 household electricity prices are now more than double those in the G20, while industrial electricity prices are now nearly 50% higher.

The only G20 states with higher industrial electricity prices are those with heavy commitments to renewables. … Read full article

Gilets Jaunes, Round 14. Knocked out, the leaders are losing their mind

By Le yéti and translated by Le Saker Francophone | February 19, 2019

The explosion of hysteria that struck the ruling class in the aftermath of Act 14 shows that the Yellow vests are scoring decisive points.

Everything, they have tried everything, but none of the scare tactics they used to cast anathema and discredit on their opponents will have worked. The demonization of the Yellow Vests accused in November of being under the influence of the extreme right – failed! The stigmatization of the supposed violence of the bad Yellow vests – failed! The attempt to introduce the venom of the migratory problem on the roundabouts – failed!

The auditory hallucination of Benjamin Griveaux

Today, taking advantage of the fact that Alain Finkielkraut has been harassed [when he was passing by a group of Gilet jaunes, NdT], they tried with the usual anti-Semitism accusation, failed too! But yes, yeaaaah, Benjamin Griveaux, Macron’s spokesman, is screaming, we can hear it at the 22nd second of the video, we clearly hear the attackers shouting “dirty Jew!”, “dirty Jew!”!

It seems that Griveaux was probably under the influence of tinnitus [parasitic noises that a person hears without them really existing, editor’s note], because no one heard anything of the kind, not even the victim, present on the spot, who admitted not having heard any infamous “dirty Jew” in the mouths of his attackers. On the other hand, “Zionist bastard”, yes, he heard it, and very clearly… except that the person concerned deserve it! Simply listen to what Alain Finkielkraut said about the children of Gaza in June 2007, listen carefully.

Did you hear it well? Palestinian children in Gaza “who have no place in that world” are the result of an “unbridled production of surplus men”. You see, with this level of crap, it’s surprising that our “academician” has ONLY been subjected to verbal aggression. … continue

EU Claims ‘Russian Sources’ Are Threat to Parliamentary Elections in May

Sputnik – 19.02.2019

BRUSSELS – The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Tuesday, casting Russia as a threat to “free and fair” EU parliamentary elections in May, citing the country’s alleged “disinformation strategies.”

“The sources and phenomena of disinformation can be identified inside and outside the Union and are originating from a range of state and non-state actors. In this regard, efforts should target malign actors, notably Russian sources,” the Council of the European Union document read.

The Council accused unidentified Russian sources of increasingly deploying disinformation strategies and suggested that any action against them should be guided by threat analyses and intelligence assessments.

With less than a hundred days left until the European vote, the Council added another initiative to a raft of documents that seek to set out a common approach toward suspected disinformation and other malicious practices it believes could undermine the electoral process.

The Council called for an array of non-legislative measures, including enhancing preparedness to cyber threats, establishing a network of fact-checkers to detect disinformation on social and digital media, and setting up a rapid alert system to share data on perceived disinformation campaigns.

Russia has repeatedly refuted claims of interfering in other countries’ electoral processes. The Russian envoy to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, accused the bloc in December of blaming Russia for meddling in the May elections before they even began.

Russia shouldn’t go ‘tooth for a tooth’ after Facebook bans Russian-linked media – Lavrov

RT | February 19, 2019

Sergey Lavrov says he is opposed to retaliating against foreign media in Russia after the Facebook ban of Russia-linked pages. Moscow should instead focus on upholding the rights of its journalists abroad.

The recent suspension of four Maffick Media Facebook pages after a CNN report on their links to RT is “definitely another example of pressure against Russian media and against free speech,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told media after a meeting with his Slovak counterpart and current chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Miroslav Lajcak.

Lavrov said he had also brought to Lajcak’s attention recent cases of discrimination against Sputnik and RT, including journalists being arbitrarily banned from official events in Spain. … continue

Mideast accounted for over half of US arms sales in 2018

Press TV – February 19, 2019

The Middle East accounted for more than half of all the United States arms sales last year, a senior Pentagon official has revealed, saying Washington seeks to increase the figure in the coming years.

Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, the Director of the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), said Monday that Middle Eastern countries purchased more than $30 billion worth of weapons and other US military products in the 2018 fiscal year out of the Pentagon’s total $55 billion in foreign sales. … Full article

American and Israeli-made weapons left behind by terrorists found in Damascus Countryside

SANA | February 18, 2019

In the process of continuing work to secure the liberated areas in Damascus Countryside, the authorities found large quantities of weapons and ammunition including US and Israeli-made rockets.

A source told SANA that while the engineering units were combing areas liberated from terrorism in Damascus Countryside, the authorities found American and Israeli-made rockets, in addition to large quantities of ammunition, shells and various types of medium and light weapons hidden in underground warehouses.

The source said the confiscated munitions included large amounts of medium-size machine gun rounds, rifles, tank and artillery rounds, in addition to hundreds of Grad rockets and a large number of American made anti-tank missiles and Israeli 128 mm rockets.

The source added that the authorities also found large numbers of RPG rounds, cannons, Malyutka missiles and anti-tank shells.

Netanyahu Seeks to Save Face after Cancelled Central Europe Summit

Al-Manar | February 19, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to save face Tuesday after a summit with four central European nations was cancelled over a Holocaust-linked dispute with Poland, instead holding meetings with the remaining three leaders.

The dispute put a dent in Netanyahu’s attempts to forge deeper links with the four countries as part of his strategy to build alliances with nations providing strong backing to ‘Israel’ within the European Union.

Netanyahu frequently lashes out at what he calls the EU’s “hypocritical and hostile attitude,” referring to the bloc’s criticism of Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

The holding of a summit of the Visegrad group — Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic — in Jerusalem had been seen as a coup for Netanyahu’s efforts.

The Growing Anti-Semitism Scam

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • February 19, 2019

“An anti-Semite used to mean a man who hated Jews. Now it means a man who is hated by Jews.” – Joe Sobran

In his novel 1984 George Orwell invented the expression “newspeak” to describe the ambiguous or deliberately misleading use of language to make political propaganda and narrow the “thought options” of those who are on the receiving end. In the context of today’s political discourse, or what passes for the same, it would be interesting to know what George would think of the saturation use of “anti-Semitism” as something like a tactical discussion stopper, employed to end all dispute while also condemning those accused of the crime as somehow outside the pale, monsters who are consigned forever to derision and obscurity.continue