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Current News and Analysis

Palestine, South Africa and the Myth of One State

By Nahida | Exiled Palestinian | May 22, 2019

Insisting on squeezing the Palestinian struggle to fit the apartheid model of South Africa or black America is a double whammy:

* Firstly, presenting the Zionist entity as a normal state with a few apartheid policies that can be changed is fundamentally false:

a) what is happening in Palestine is not mere segregation and apartheid, what is going on is ethnic cleansing, wiping a country off the map and slow genocide.

b) Racism in the “Jewish state” is ideological, grounded in “sacred” texts, cultural practices and the inherent concept of “chosen-ness”, unlike South Africa in which racism was a momentary convenience, reflecting opportunistic fulfillment of self-interest of a white minority.

* Secondly, when activists are intoxicated with the deceptive mantra of “Equal rights, One State, Two People”, offered as the best formula and ideal model of solution rather than other successful models of Liberation, such as Algeria for example, that means the they participates in whitewashing and rewarding the century-ongoing Zionist crimes, such paradigm gives a lee-way to the thriving of an illegal genocidal expansionist racist entity.

Such solution would mean blessing the expansion of “israel” and granting the Zionist occupier a comprehensive and “peaceful” take over, and unrestricted control over our land and our lives. … continue

Girl Reportedly Bullied by Teacher, Classmates for Refusing to ‘Climate Strike’

Sputnik – 23.05.2019

A Swedish girl who refused to join her classmates in skipping school for the sake of the climate has ended up being labelled as a “climate denier”, which her mother described as “mass psychosis”.

A high-school pupil who refused to attend a so-called “school strike for climate” has been bullied not only by her classmates, but the teacher as well, the magazine Det Goda Samhället reported.

When the girl’s classmates decided to join the “climate strike” spearheaded by teenage activist-turned-superstar Greta Thunberg, “Sanna” declared she didn’t want to attend and was given a tongue-lashing from the teacher.

“The teacher said ‘Sanna’ was uncommitted and failed to understand the seriousness of the climate threat. She asked her to reconsider her decision, and she said it openly, for the entire class to hear. ‘Sanna’ felt like the teacher was trying to ridicule her in front of the others”, “Lena”, the girl’s mother, told Det Goda Samhället. … continue

Confused Pelosi says Trump needs ‘intervention’ but calls for ‘common ground’ with president

RT | May 23, 2019

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Democrats should ‘find common ground’ with President Donald Trump, even as she called for an ‘intervention’ by his family and staff to save the country from him.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday, Pelosi gave a dizzying series of arguments for why Democrats should both seek closer cooperation with Trump and continue to attack him at every turn, going so far as to claim the president wants to be impeached and is baiting the opposition party into trying.

The presser was meant to address an infrastructure meeting that Trump abruptly scrapped earlier this week, after Pelosi had accused him of engaging in a “coverup” related to the Mueller investigation. Trump had informed reporters of the cancellation at a press conference in the White House’s Rose Garden on Wednesday.

“The president stormed out, pounded the table, walked out the door,” the California Democrat told reporters. “I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family, the administration, and his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”

In the very next breath, however, Pelosi called for Democrats to cooperate with the White House.

“Of course [I can work with him],” she said. “I do think we have a responsibility to find common ground.”

When a reporter asked whether Pelosi might be able to get along better if she refrained from “provoking” the president with insults and accusations, however, the speaker would have none of it. Scrapping the infrastructure meeting was part of Trump’s “bag of tricks,” and her comments were not the real reason, she argued.

“You have bought into his excuse,” she replied, wagging her finger. “I do not intend to [dishonor] my oath of office … to protect and defend the Constitution.”

In response, Trump tweeted the he was “extremely calm” during his brief meeting with Democrats, knowing that he would be accused of “rage” by Pelosi and the “fake news media.”

Pelosi also continued to send mixed signals on the question of removing Trump from office, arguing that he undeniably engaged in impeachable offenses, but opposing actually going through the process as too “divisive” a step.

EU’s Juncker says ‘stupid nationalists’ are ‘in love with their country’ & hate foreigners

RT | May 23, 2019

Ahead of the EU elections, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has blasted “stupid nationalists,” who dare to “love their own counties” and dislike migrants.

Juncker took to CNN on Wednesday to share his belief the nationalist politicians pose a distinct threat to European unity with their stance on migration.

“These populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists, they are in love with their own countries,” he said, urging the EU to show “solidarity” with migrants instead.

They don’t like those coming from far away, I like those coming from far away… we have to act in solidarity with those who are in a worse situation than we are in.

Right-wing parties, which openly criticize the EU’s migration policies, have been on the rise in the past few years, and are expected to get a fair share of votes during the European elections. Juncker argued their success can be explained rather simply, since it’s “always easier to mobilize negative forces” than promote “positive” things.

In the same interview, Juncker found the ‘bright’ side of the never-ending Brexit fiasco that the UK got itself into, claiming that “since Brexit… the number of those in favor of the European Union is increasing because people are watching what is happening and they are seeing that leaving the European Union is not as easy as they were told.”

Juncker, who’s set to leave his post in late 2019, advocates a second Brexit referendum for the UK, yet he still believes the “result might not be any different.” Incidentally, independent immigration policy was one of the two major talking points of the Leave campaign, the other being the national sovereignty.

Israel launches massive recruitment drive for social media warriors

MEMO | May 23, 2019

Israel has embarked on a massive recruitment drive to support the country’s online propaganda campaign one day after its companies were exposed for spreading disinformation and meddling in the elections of several African, Asian and Latin American countries.

The new initiative, which would see the government funding pro-Israel groups overseas, was unveiled by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, a government arm set up to combat the global rise of pro-Palestinian activism and Israel’s poor global image. … continue

Report: Israelis incite against Palestinians every 66 seconds on social media

MEMO | May 23, 2019

A new report has found that last year Israelis incited against Palestinians on social media every 66 seconds, pointing to a worrying increase in anti-Palestinian rhetoric.

The report – which was conducted by 7amleh: The Arab Centre for the Advancement of Social Media and distributed by Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network – found that, in 2018, Israelis posted “inciting content” every 66 seconds, up from every 71 seconds in 2017.

In addition, one in ten social media posts against Palestinian citizens of Israel denied Palestinian identity, contained hate speech or calls for violence such as rape and murder, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday, citing 7amleh’s findings. … Full article

How a BBC documentary promoted Israel’s narrative about the Gaza protests

By Motasem A Dalloul | MEMO | May 23, 2019

A documentary aired recently by the BBC, One Day in Gaza, was produced by award-winning filmmaker Olly Lambert. It covered a day in 2018 of the ongoing protests when Palestinians specifically marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) of the creation of the State of Israel, while Israelis and Americans celebrated the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Nakba anniversary and the embassy relocation provoked the largest demonstration at the time since the start of the Great March of Return protests on 30 March last year. Unarmed Palestinians were met by lethal force from the Israeli army; soldiers killed at least 60 demonstrators and wounded more than 3,000 others in a single day.

Lambert showed Israeli brutality in his film, a rare occurrence on Western TV screens. Unfortunately, though, he was clearly trying to justify that brutality judging by the selective interviews with Palestinian and Israeli witnesses and spokespersons which survived the editing process. … continue

UNRWA rejects US call for dismantling UN agency for Palestinian refugees

Press TV – May 23, 2019

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has rejected a US call to dismantle the agency, saying it cannot be blamed for the stalemate in the so-called peace efforts.

“I unreservedly reject the accompanying narrative that suggests that somehow UNRWA is to blame for the continuation of the refugee-hood of Palestine refugees, of their growing numbers and their growing needs,” UNRWA’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl said in a press conference in the Gaza City on Thursday.

His comments were in response to a question about what Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, provocatively had said a day earlier, claiming that the agency had run its course and was no longer needed. … continue

The 2020 Sweepstakes Begin. Let’s Keep Israel and the Phony Claims of Anti-Semitism out of It

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 23, 2019

… Navigating the shoals of Greater Israel can be tricky, as several Democrats have learned to their dismay. … Read full article

Do Iranian ‘Threats’ Signal Organized U.S.-Israel Subterfuge?

The intel they’ve provided is thin, the origins murky and suspect—haven’t we heard this story before?

By Gareth Porter • The American Conservative • May 21, 2019

President Donald Trump’s national security team has been leaking “intelligence” about Iranian threats for a week now in an attempt to justify escalating tensions, including moving American air attack assets to the Persian Gulf.

But a closer look suggests that National Security Advisor John Bolton and other senior officials are trying to pull off an intelligence deception comparable to the fraudulent pretense for war in Iraq.

There’s also credible evidence that Israel could be playing a key role in this subterfuge. … continue

Khamenei Slams Handling of JCPOA Implementation – Statement

Sputnik – 23.05.2019

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has expressed discontent over the way the implementation of the embattled Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal was handled.

“The Leader of the Islamic Revolution reminded his audience that His Eminence did not approve of the JCPOA but allowed for the negotiations to be held: The way the JCPOA was handled, I did not really believe in it, and mentioned this to the president [Hassan Rouhani] and the foreign minister [Mohammad Javad Zarif] and had warned them several times”, the official Khamenei web page said after the Iranian Supreme Leader met with a group of Iranian students.” … Full article

Rand Corp: how to destroy Russia

By Manlio Dinucci | Voltairenet | May 21, 2019

The conclusions of the latest confidential report by the Rand Corporation were recently made public in a « Brief ». They explain how to wage a new Cold War against Russia. Certain recommendations have already been implemented, but this systemic exposure enables us to understand their true objective.

Force the adversary to expand recklessly in order to unbalance him, and then destroy him. This is not the description of a judo hold, but a plan against Russia elaborated by the Rand Corporation, the most influential think tank in the USA. With a staff of thousands of experts, Rand presents itself as the world’s most reliable source for Intelligence and political analysis for the leaders of the United States and their allies. … continue

Let’s not make a drama about Skripal case before important questions are answered

By Neil Clark | RT | May 22, 2019

… The truth is that the Met has been unable to prove that and manslaughter charges against the two Russian suspects have not been brought.

Commissioning a two-part drama about an event which remains clouded in so much uncertainty is premature. Surely it would be better to try and establish exactly what happened first, and then make the drama? Perhaps Government DSMA Notices (formerly D-Notices) are the reason why proper investigative journalism is not taking place. We know of at least two DSMAs being issued in relation to the Skripal affair. But these notices are not legally enforceable and Britain is not –or at least not yet – a totalitarian state. It should be possible to make a painstakingly-factual documentary on the Skripal case without compromising national security. … Read full article

Democracy vs. The Putin-Nazis

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory, Inc | May 23, 2019

… The “Democracy versus The Putin-Nazis” narrative is our new “reality,” whether we like it or not. It does not matter one iota that there is zero evidence to support this narrative, other than the claims of intelligence agencies, politicians, the corporate media, and other servants of the ruling classes. The Russians are “attacking democracy” because the ruling classes tell us they are. “Fascism is on the march again” because the ruling classes say it is. Anyone who disagrees is a “Putin-sympathizer,” a “Putin-apologist,” or “linked to Russia,” or “favored by Russia,” or an “anti-Semite,” or a “fascist apologist.” … Read full article

EU’s Russian interference trail goes cold

By Anna Belkina | RT | May 22, 2019

Last-ditch efforts by the European intelligence community, politicians and the mainstream media to find the “Russian trail” ahead of the EU parliamentary elections lead to nowhere.

They tried. They really tried.

For years the European establishment has been sounding the alarm about a seemingly ever-imminent Russian interference campaign in European politics. Accusations against Russian media and, specifically RT, often took center stage. Now, hundreds of conferences, articles and speeches later, and with just a couple of days to go until the European Parliamentary elections; shock horror there is no evidence of interference. Even the final efforts to pre-emptively find a scapegoat for any unsatisfactory result have come up with nothing.

However, it hasn’t stopped attempts to push that narrative. … continue

UK to warn NATO allies of Russian cyber attack campaign

Press TV | May 23, 2019

Britain is providing information to 16 allies in the NATO military alliance about Russia’s cyber activities in their territories over the last 18 months, Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt will announce later on Thursday, a statement that is expected to further muddy the waters between London and Moscow.

Hunt will make the remarks during a speech at the NATO Cyber Defense Pledge Conference in London, where he is expected to accuse Russia’s intelligence services of running a “global campaign” that has targeted the critical infrastructure of at least 16 member-states, according to extracts of the speech released by his department.

“This global campaign also seeks to compromise central government networks,” he will warn the meeting, which is to be attended by the alliance’s head Jens Stoltenberg.

“I can disclose that in the last 18 months, the National Cyber Security Centre has shared information and assessments with 16 NATO Allies — and even more nations outside the Alliance — of Russian cyber activity in their countries,” Hunt will add.

The British FM will call on NATO’s all 29 members to team up against Moscow and deliver a “proportionate” response if Russia ever attacks.

“Together, we possess options for responding to any attacks. We should be prepared to use them.” … continue

UK told to give back Chagos Islands in overwhelming UN vote

RT | May 22, 2019

The United Nations has ordered Britain to give up sovereignty over a series of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, home to a key military base. The decision was approved by a supermajority of member states.

Wednesday’s resolution called on the UK to cede control of the Chagos Islands, which it said were unlawfully annexed from the Republic of Mauritius, then a British colony, in 1965. The General Assembly gave Britain six months to leave.

An extended legal battle over the territory culminated in a ruling last February in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the top UN body for inter-state disputes. The court ordered Britain to leave Chagos “as rapidly as possible,” but the decision was ignored, prompting Mauritius to turn to the General Assembly for another vote.

The latest resolution was adopted with the overwhelming support of 116 countries, with just four nations joining Britain and the United States in opposition. Seventy-one states either abstained or didn’t cast a vote. … continue

The Money in the Trump-Kushner Peace Plan

Dean Baker | Beat the Press | May 20, 2019

The New York Times had an article on the Middle East peace plan being developed by Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. The piece tells readers:

“The idea is to secure financial commitments from wealthy Persian Gulf states as well as donors in Europe and Asia to induce the Palestinians and their allies to make political concessions to resolve the decades-old conflict with Israel. The White House has indicated that it is seeking tens of billions of dollars but would not identify a precise figure; diplomats and lawmakers have been told the goal is about $68 billion for the Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.”

This is obviously quite vague, but it might be helpful to readers to put this $68 billion figure in context. First, it is a bit more than half of the estimated fortune of Jeff Bezos.

More importantly, if we take the total population of the four groups listed, it comes to roughly 120 million. This means that the sum that Trump and Kushner hope to raise to induce a commitment to their peace plan comes to $560 per person. This seems to be a one-time figure rather than any ongoing commitment of aid.

Hamas delegation to Lebanon denounces deal of century

Palestine Information Center – May 22, 2019

BEIRUT – Hamas’s spokesman and senior official Izzat al-Risheq on Tuesday said that the Palestinian people are united in their rejection of the deal of the century.

Al-Risheq said during a meeting between a Hamas delegation and the Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, “We will not accept solutions that violate our rights, even if they are backed by the US.”

Al-Risheq added that the deal of the century is aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause and dropping central issues like Jerusalem and refugees.

The Palestinian leadership has refused to deal with any US moves for the peace process since the US president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 then moved his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

The Palestinians accuse the US president of being biased in favor of the Israeli occupation, and believe that Jerusalem will be the capital of their future state.

A delegation from Hamas movement consisting of al-Risheq, Osama Hamdan, and Ali Baraka on Monday met with Saad Hariri and the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon Nabih Berri to discuss the situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

According to the latest census of the Lebanese Central Administration of Statistics, 174,422 Palestinian refugees live in 12 camps and 156 Palestinian communities in Lebanon’s five governorates.

Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led West Bank & Gaza investment meeting despite Palestinians’ boycott

RT | May 22, 2019

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The event is seen as part of US President Donald Trump’s Israel-Palestinian peace plan.

The “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop, to be hosted on June 25-26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting, Reuters said.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning will attend, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

Israel government admits journalists beaten by soldiers were not ‘rioters’

MEMO | May 22, 2019

The Israeli government has retracted its claim that two journalists “led a riot” in Nabi Saleh in 2015, “and that their beating by soldiers was therefore justified”, reported Haaretz.

According to the article, “this is the gist of a compromise reached between the Jerusalem district attorney and the two photographers, Abbas Mumani and Haim Schwarczenberg”, who had sued the Israeli military over the assault.

While the plaintiffs have been awarded a fraction of the damages initially sought, “the significance of the compromise”, Haaretz reported, “lies in the state’s admission that its version of events, throughout the proceedings, was incorrect”.

The incident occurred on 24 April 2015, as Israeli occupation forces violently suppressed a Palestinian demonstration in Nabi Saleh, a village in the West Bank.

Soldiers approached Schwarczenberg and Mumani and told them to leave, before kicking, shoving, beating, and verbally abusing the pair. One soldier even “threw a rock at Schwarczenberg, and ran at him and knocked him down”.

That same day, the Israeli army spokesperson claimed that soldiers had used “reasonable force” against the journalists. … continue

Two Palestinians wounded by Israeli gunfire in Deheisheh camp

Palestine Information Center – May 22, 2019

BETHLEHEM – Two Palestinian young men suffered bullet injuries at dawn Wednesday after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed al-Deheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, and clashed with local residents.

Eyewitnesses said that a large number of Israeli troops stormed the camp at dawn and opened fire randomly at local young men.

They added that two young men were badly injured and rushed to a hospital in Bethlehem.

During their presence in the camp, the IOF kidnapped Mohamed and Shadi Abu Hadrous (two brothers) and Wisam al-Shawabkeh from their homes.

Israeli Forces Force Out Al-Aqsa Worshippers at Gunpoint

IMEMC News & Agencies – May 22, 2019

Israeli authorities, last night, broke into the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound and drove out Palestinians performing Iʿtikāf inside its courtyards, at gunpoint.

Jerusalemite Al Ray sources reported that Israeli forces stormed the mosque, forced worshipers out. They also photographed them and demanded their IDs.

The sources added that worshipers were prevented from capturing the event with mobiles, and seized the passport of a Swedish worshipper, there, after he had refused to hand it over.

For over a week, Israeli forces have deliberately been targeting people performing Iʿtikāf in the courtyards of the compound, during the holy month of Ramadan, and ejectingthem from its courtyards by force.

Daily Mail apologises to MEMO director, pays damages and costs

MEMO | May 22, 2019

British Newspaper the Daily Mail has settled a libel claim brought by Director of Middle East Monitor (MEMO) Dr Daud Abdullah, after it wrongly accused him of advocating suicide bombings in support of the Palestinian cause.

In a retraction published today, the Daily Mail admitted that “[its] article on 17 January wrongly stated that Dr Daud Abdullah had told the BBC that he was ‘prepared to blow himself up in a suicide attack’ in support of the Palestinian cause. We are happy to clarify that Dr Abdullah did not say this and that he does not hold this view. We apologise for the error.”

The newspaper also agreed to pay Abdullah damages and cover his legal costs as part of the settlement, which was fought by London-based Carter-Ruck Solicitors. Upon news of apology and settlement, Abdullah said he “deeply appreciated” the efforts of his legal team to secure the retraction. … continue

Israel’s influence on US foreign policy leads to increased tensions with Iran

By Sarah Abed | InfoRos | May 22, 2019

In order to understand the role that Israel plays in the increased tensions between Washington and Tehran, I reached out to Press TV Correspondent, Ali Musawi. … continue

Alleged Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Needs to be Investigated – Moscow

Sputnik – May 22, 2019

MOSCOW – Russia stands for investigating all reported cases of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday, adding that this investigation should aim to find the truth rather than bring new accusations against Damascus.

“We have the information that provocations using chemical substances are constantly being prepared by militants and terrorists. Our US colleagues and their allies remain unresponsive to this information. In the OPCW [the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons], a so-called attributive mechanism has been created in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which now has to act, apparently, taking into account the principles that are politically formulated by Western countries in this field. We advocate the investigation of all cases with the use of poisonous weapons, but this must be an investigation and not just the pinning of labels,” Ryabkov told reporters.

He noted that the investigation should entail visits to the scene of the incident, interviews with witnesses and collection of uncontaminated evidence.

Previous such incidents only resulted in accusations against Damascus and no probes of this kind, the diplomat stressed.

“As a result, trust in the OPCW, once the most effective, successful international organization, which is universal in this area, has been undermined”, Ryabkov added. … continue

Erdogan must honor his promise to return occupied Syrian territory

Turkish army pullout will bring peace to Northern Syria

By Firas Samuri | Aletho News | May 22, 2019

In mid-January 2018, the Turkish General Staff announced the beginning of Olive Branch Operation. The goal was to oust the Kurds from the outskirts of Afrin, as well as to create a buffer zone along the Syrian-Turkish border.

These steps were sharply criticized by the world community, but Ankara hastened to declare that the presence of its troops in Syria was temporary. Erdogan promised to return these territories to Syrians. Indeed, the fighting stopped on March 20 2018, after capturing Afrin when several hundred Kurds were killed and wounded. However, now it looks like Turkey is not going to leave the occupied territory.

Kurdistan 24 TV channel recently published information that Ankara is building a concrete wall around the city of Afrin to isolate it from its surroundings. “Sources on the ground in Afrin see this as another step of Turkey’s annexation of Afrin into its borders,” said Mutlu Çiviroğlu, a Syria and Kurdish affairs analyst. Though several locals support Turkish activity, it doesn’t bring peace and stability to the region. Just remember the events of the last year. … continue

US trying to entrap Iranian scientists: Minister

Press TV – May 22, 2019

Iran’s minister of science, research, and technology says the United States has set a trap for Iranian scientists, enabling their entry into the country before arresting them.

Speaking to ISNA, Mansour Gholami, said the US has identified a number of Iranian professors, who have conducted research in certain areas, published relevant scientific articles, and ordered and bought laboratory equipment, the agency reported on Wednesday.

“They issue visas for Iranian professors and arrest them upon their arrival in the US,” he said, noting. “This is a type of game they play to lure Iranian professors there.” … continue

BBC’s Catastrophic Sea Level Rise (It’s Only An Opinion!)

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | May 21, 2019

… The junk study which Matt McGrath gives prolific coverage to has many flaws. For instance:

1) It assumes warming of 5C by 2100, far more than any serious projections.

2) The error margins prove that their “expert judgements” are nothing more than guesswork. For example:

“For 2100, the ice sheet contribution is very likely in the range of 7-178cm

3) Unhappy that computer models aren’t scary enough, the scientists make predictions based on their knowledge and understanding of what is happening in Greenland, West and East Antarctica.

Sorry, but subjective judgements are not science. … Read full article

Two scenarios on Trump-Russia investigators — and neither is comforting

By Sharyl Attkisson – The Hill – 05/21/19

As the investigations into the Trump-Russia investigation proceed, it’s not too difficult to figure out a few of the theoretical starting points.

The first and most obvious theory is the one largely promulgated in the media for the better part of two years. It goes something like this: The sharp, super-sleuth investigative skills of top officials within the Justice Department and our intel community enabled them to identify Donald Trump and his campaign as treacherous conduits to Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

That theory was summarily dismissed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that there wasn’t so much as even coordination between Russia and Trump, or any American. So that leaves several other possibilities … and none of them is good… continue

Roger Stone Shines New Light on Russia-Gate Hoax

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 21, 2019

As if more evidence was needed to debunk the pathetic narrative that the Russians hacked the DNC computers during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump confidant Roger Stone, currently on trial for lying during the Mueller inquisition released an important truth to the light of day on May 10th. During a court filing, Stone’s lawyers finally gave a voice for the first time in an official setting to former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, who has been fighting to have his testimony heard by special prosecutor Robert Mueller for nearly two years to no avail.

Binney’s incredible array of forensic evidence demonstrating the impossibility of a Russian hack brings the focus back to the real motive behind Russia-Gate: The destruction of the potential alliance between Russia and a reformed USA under a non-technocratic leader.continue

US Navy wants to create archive of 350 BILLION social media posts for ‘research’ purposes

RT | May 21, 2019

The US Navy is seeking to create an archive that will store no less than 350 billion social media posts, as part of the military branch’s “research efforts” into “modes of collective expression.”

The Department of the Navy has posted a solicitation asking contractors to bid on a project that would amass a staggering 350 billion social media posts dating from 2014 through 2016. The data will be taken from a single social media platform – but the solicitation does not specify which one.

“We seek to acquire a large-scale global historical archive of social media data, providing the full text of all public social media posts, across all countries and languages covered by the social media platform,” the contract synopsis reads. The Navy said that the archive would be used in “ongoing research efforts” into “the evolution of linguistic communities” and “emerging modes of collective expression, over time and across countries.” … continue

What is ‘the Palestinian Cause’?

By Blake Alcott | Palestine Chronicle | May 21, 2019

At a recent Palestine conference in Istanbul, many speakers talked of ‘the Palestinian cause’. Many also spoke of ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians. What do these words mean?

Although I’ve been active in solidarity with the Palestinian cause for ten years, I had to admit to myself that if asked by a ‘man on the street’ in the West, I could only give a vague or even contradictory answer to the questions of what the cause is, and with what one is being asked to be in solidarity with. We all have a general idea and can point to specific rights violations, or know that Zionism itself is the problem, but a short, precise answer?

In the fight against Apartheid South Africa, internationals like myself could say the cause is ‘one man, one vote’ – a standard human rights-based democracy modeled on constitutions from all over the world. One could point to the Freedom Charter and to the broad anti-Apartheid consensus, after the offer of Bantustans was rejected, as to what internationals are in solidarity with.

In the Civil Rights struggle in the U.S., similarly, there was a clear and unanimous call for equality as citizens. And I suppose that, after most feminists had rejected various offers of partial enfranchisement, men the world over knew exactly what the cause was when they supported Women’s Suffrage.

Palestine is, of course, more complicated, both because it has been divided in addition to being conquered and because the PLO in the late 1980s and early 1990s abandoned the simple goal of national liberation. Consequently, some Palestinians support the two-state solution, some a re-unified democratic state and others a re-unified Islamic state. There is no clarity or straightforward vision.

But can a liberation movement do without a vision that is 1) inspiring and 2) simple to convey? … continue

The two-state compromise and Trump’s deal of the century both normalise Israel

MEMO | May 21, 2019

From the details which have emerged so far about the Bahrain economic summit, the US has made clear that the first phase of its so-called “deal of the century” will not involve any political discussion. An unnamed US official described this decision as an opportunity to show that, “You can’t have peace without economic stability and opportunity.” If the economic plan works, Palestinians “really have the opportunity to thrive.”

The condescending language does not hide the fact that US President Donald Trump is overtly pushing for the ultimate normalisation of Israel’s colonial existence. By commencing with business and investment, the deal is clearly intended to determine the political course for Palestinians, which is tantamount to enshrining the existing conditions in addition to a new framework which leaves no chance of political autonomy.

Refraining from political discourse during the summit is actually a decision taken for overtly political reasons. Representatives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, no doubt hailing from countries that support the two-state compromise and the international community’s imposition of what constitutes Palestinian rights, are participating in the summit. … Full article

Dissecting The Unfathomable American-Iranian War

By Ghassan Kadi | The Saker Blog | May 21, 2019

As the American military build-up continues around the Strait of Hormuz, and as a potential American-Iranian war looms, many analysts are convinced that war is imminent. I beg to differ. … continue

Establishment Narrative Managers Struggle With New Syria Plot Holes

By Caitlin Johnstone | May 20, 2019

… There are still plenty of unanswered questions about the Douma incident. The leaked document doesn’t by itself prove that the Engineering Assessment is correct and the official OPCW findings are incorrect, it just proves that there were other analyses which differed sharply with the official conclusions we’ve been permitted to see, and that we weren’t permitted to see those analyses. In a post-Iraq invasion world, this by itself is entirely unacceptable. And, rather than pushing for answers and accountability, the so-called journalists of the largest media outlets in the west are completely ignoring it. – Read full article

OPCW, Douma and the Post Truth World

By James O’Neill – New Eastern Outlook – 21.05.2019

… Those conclusions raised a number of obvious questions. The first is, how did the victims, so graphically displayed, actually die? The forensic evidence clearly shows that these victims were undoubtedly hung upside down, their eyes blindfolded, and then murdered with exposure to a toxic chemical. Their bodies were then transported to the location where they were photographed, to form the pictorial backdrop to the allegations of a chemical attack by Syrian government forces.

The terrorists were the only ones with the means, motive and opportunity to murder these victims and then arrange the scenes for their propaganda purposes. It is an irresistible inference that in these staged scenes they were aided and abetted by the White Helmets. Far from being a neutral humanitarian group, the White Helmets, trained by the British, are not part of the solution; they are part of the problem. … Read full article

Has OPCW Become a Four-Letter Word?

By Martin Jay | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 21, 2019

The information war between those who believe that OPCW investigations in Syria over the chemical attack of Douma in 2018 was staged – verses those who choose to believe the West’s blithe claim that Assad poisoned his own people – is more or less over.

In recent months a number of curious elements of the investigation have been questioned by cynics who don’t swallow the West’s assertion that President Assad was dropping chemicals – sarin or chlorine – on his own people, such as the delay in the reaction of the OPCW itself in getting investigators there on the ground, through to the obvious bias of the way the investigation was handled. There was always a whiff of something quite unsavoury about the probe into the Douma chemical attack, which we should not forget resulted in air strikes being carried out in April of 2018 by France, the US and the UK.

And now we know what it is and a great deal of the mystery around the OPCW and its investigation can now be revealed. … continue

Yemen’s Houthis deny targeting Mecca with ballistic missiles

RT | May 21, 2019

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said on Tuesday they launched a bomb-laden drone into Saudi Arabia, targeting an airport with a military base. The Houthis said it had targeted an arms depot at Najran airport in Saudi Arabia, according to the group’s Al Masirah TV.

The attack was acknowledged by the kingdom, and Saudi-led coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said the Houthis “had tried to target” a civilian site in Najran. The statement did not mention casualties.

On Monday, Houthis denied Saudi media reports that it had fired a ballistic missile toward Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, Reuters reports. The developments come at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied to the US.

US warplane crashes, 4th to go down this month

Press TV – May 21, 2019

A US Marine Corps (USMC) Harrier fighter jet has crashed in North Carolina, raising concerns among Pentagon officials about another bad year for military aviation as the Pentagon has already lost four aircraft this month.

The aircraft went down near Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock on Monday, according to a report by website

The pilot ejected before hitting the ground but had to be taken to hospital to receive treatment, the report added.

No civilian casualties or property damage were reported after the crash, according to a release by the Marine Corps.

“The crash site has been cordoned off by military officials,” the USMC news release stated. “The cause of the mishap is currently under investigation.”

Officials did not respond to questions about the time of the crash, the squadron the Harrier was assigned to or the nature of the flight and the possible reasons for the crash.

Just days ago, an Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse outside March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County in Southern California.

The pilot ejected before the crash but 11 people were injured inside the building. The aircraft was on a training mission at the time of the incident.

The Harrier crash brings to four the number of US military aircraft crashes this month. Two T-45 and T-6 training aircraft crashed earlier in May.

This latest mishaps are giving flashbacks to last year, when the US military lost numerous aircraft in crashes, including the loss of another USMC Harrier in Djibouti.

Observations & Implications Of A Possible BJP Victory

By Andrew Korybko | EurasiaFuture | 2019-05-21

Many media outlets are reporting that the BJP will probably win re-election according to exit polling conducted over the month-long electoral process that was finally made public after it ended, which would be the result of several important factors if true and also carry with it some very significant implications.

Practically all international media outlets are predicting a landslide re-election for the BJP-led “National Democratic Alliance” according to recently released exit polling conducted over the month-long electoral process, and while the official results won’t be known until later this week, it’s still possible to assess the reasons why this might happen as well as the effect that it’ll have on India’s domestic and foreign affairs. The following is a brief listing of some of the most important observations and implications related to this scenario, which is intended to provide a look at both the past and the future in order for the reader to better understand the historic moment in which India might very well find itself… continue

Palestinian killed in hit-and-run by Jewish settler

Palestine Information Center – May 21, 2019

QALQILYA – A Palestinian citizen died on Tuesday morning after a Jewish settler driving at a high speed deliberately ran him over on a road near Kafr Laqif village, east of Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank.

According to local sources, a citizen called Hasan Burhom died after he was hit intentionally by a settler’s car on a road near the village, at the junction of the illegal settlement of Karnei Shomron.

The victim was crossing the road when a settler accelerated his car and ran over him. The settler fled the scene.

Illegal Colonists Pump Wastewater Into Palestinian Lands Near Nablus

IMEMC News – May 21, 2019

On Monday, several illegal Israeli colonists invaded Palestinian agricultural lands, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and flooded them with wastewater.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s colonialist activities in the northern West Bank, said the assailants came from the illegal Aliyah colony, which was built on Palestinian lands.

He added that the colonists flooded agricultural lands owned by Palestinians from the as-Sawiya, al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, Yitma and Qaryout villages, devastating dozens of trees and plants.

The attack is the latest in a series of ongoing and escalating violations targeting the Palestinians, their homes and lands, and their holy sites.

Israel’s colonies in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Conventions, and various United Nations and Security Council Resolutions.

Soldiers Confiscate A Garbage Truck Near Nablus

IMEMC News – May 21, 2019

Israeli soldiers confiscated a garbage truck owned by the local council of a Palestinian village, east of Nablus, in northern West Bank on Tuesday.

Media sources said the soldiers stopped a garbage truck operated by employees of the Rojeeb Village Council, east of Nablus, and confiscated it.

They added that the soldiers stopped the truck near the dump area, east of Rojeeb village, and alleged that it was close to Itamar colony.

The soldiers detained the driver and workers for a short while, and released them after confiscating the truck.

Israel’s War Criminals In Their Own Words

Shooting unarmed Palestinian demonstrators “preserves Israeli values”

By Philip Giraldi | Unz Review | May 21, 2019

Israel’s public face, sustained and propagated by a wealthy and powerful diaspora that has significant control over the media, insists that the country is the Middle East’s only true democracy, that it operates under a rule of law for all its citizens and that its army is the “most moral in the world.” All of those assertions are false. Israel’s government favors its Jewish citizens through laws and regulations that are defined by religion. It in fact now identifies itself legally as a Jewish state with Christians and Muslim citizens having second class status. Israel’s army, meanwhile, has committed numerous war crimes against largely unarmed civilian populations in the past seventy years, both in Lebanon and directed against the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. … continue

US Lawmakers Urge More Pressure, Full CAATSA Sanctions Against Russia, Iran

Sputnik – 21.05.2019

WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump should fully implement sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act as a result of the activities of Iran and Russia in Syria, 400 US lawmakers said in a letter to the US president.

“Increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria”, the letter said. “America must continue economic and diplomatic efforts to counter Iran’s support for Hezbollah and other terrorist groups as well as Russia’s support for the brutal Assad regime. We encourage full implementation of sanctions authorized in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a broadly supported bipartisan bill that you signed into law”.

The lawmakers expressed concern by the threat posed by terrorists and US adversaries in Syria and recommended steps the United States can take to limit the terrorists’ presence, counter adversaries as well as strengthen Israel’s security and continue to oppose international efforts to isolate and weaken the Jewish state. … continue