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Current News and Analysis

Dozens of Palestinian cars vandalized by Israeli settlers

Palestine Information Center | October 18, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Twenty-eight cars were vandalized earlier this week in the Palestinian West Bank village of Mazra’a al-Qibliya near Ramallah, Haaretz has reported.

Quoting Palestinian reports, Haaretz said tires of dozens of Palestinian vehicles were slashed, and several cars were spray-painted with Stars of David and racist graffiti in Hebrew.

Head of the village, Sa’id Shartah, said that on Sunday night or Monday morning the locals found cars parked in the area with all their tires slashed and others spray-painted with Hebrew-speaking graffiti. … Full article

Israel settlers destroy hundreds of trees in Palestinian villages

MEMO | October 18, 2018

Hundreds of olive trees and vines were found destroyed on Sunday on land belonging to five different villages in the West Bank, reported Haaretz, citing Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups.

According to the paper, “in at least four of these cases, the trees were in plots Palestinians can only harvest under army supervision due to the plots’ proximity to settlements or outposts from which Israelis have attacked Palestinian farmers”.

Some 100 uprooted trees were discovered in the village of Mreir, 25 trees were damaged in Deir Nidham, and 59 trees were destroyed in Tal. In addition, 60 trees were damaged on land belonging to Far’ata, while in Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, 370 vines and 30 olive trees were uprooted. … Full article

Palestinian family goes homeless as Israeli forces demolish tent

Palestine Information Center | October 18, 2018

AL-KHALIL – Israeli occupation forces demolished a Palestinian tent in Musafer Yatta, in the southern West Bank on Wednesday.

A PIC news correspondent said Israeli border cops raided Sosiya village, in Yatta, before they knocked down a tent owned by the Palestinian instructor Khader Nawaj’a and seized his furniture.

Speaking with PIC, Nawaj’a said: “I set up the tent to take shelter in with my family in winter after the occupation forces demolished our homes and structures. Now we have been left without a roof over our head after the occupation forces demolished our tent and stole our blankets, foodstuff, gas cylinder, and cattle feed”, he stated.

“The Israeli occupation authorities do not allow us to construct homes to take cover in”, he added. “They just seek to force us out of our lands.”

Headstones smashed in Christian cemetery near Jerusalem

“The incident joins a string of hate crimes committed in recent days”

MEMO | October 18, 2018

A cemetery at a Christian monastery near the central Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, has been vandalised, reported Haaretz, with some 30 headstones found smashed yesterday.

According to the paper, “this is the second time that the cemetery of the Beit Jamal Monastery was defaced. In 2013, a firebomb was thrown at a door and hateful slogans were scrawled on the monastery walls.”

In addition, “it was also damaged in a hate crime in 2016, when unknown perpetrators entered the prayer house and smashed statues.” … Full article

Israeli Colonialists Attack Shepherds, Steal Sheep

IMEMC News | October 17, 2018

A number of illegal extremist Israeli colonialists attacked Palestinian shepherds in the Northern Plains of the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, and stole a sheep.

Aref Daraghma, a human rights activist, said the colonists chased several Palestinian shepherds, forcing them out of grazing lands, near the illegal Shidmot colony.

Daraghma added that the assailants attacked the shepherds, and stole a sheep owned by a local shepherd, identified as Barakat Ali Zohdi.

In related news, Israeli soldiers invaded Khirbat Yizra village, east of Tubas in northeastern West Bank, and used drone to photograph Palestinian homes and structures.

Furthermore, a group of colonialist settlers, illegally living on Palestinian lands, west of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, attacked Palestinians while picking their olive trees, wounding one, identified as Mahmoud Hussein, 22, who suffered serious cuts and bruises to his face and left hand.

New York Gala Raises $32m for Israeli Army

Palestine Chronicle | October 18, 2018

A New York City gala held by the Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF) yesterday evening raised $32 million for members of Israel’s occupation forces.

The event was attended by 1,200 US business people, as well as key figures from the Israeli establishment, including Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon and Israel’s Consul General in New York Dani Dayan. Army Chief of the General Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, was also slated to attend but was called back to Israel amid an escalation of Israeli air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip yesterday.

Among the biggest donors to the gala were Or Lachayal – an organization which works to “strengthen the Jewish identity of the Israeli army” – which pledged $2.5 million and Nefesh B’Nefesh – which promotes Jewish immigration to Israel – which pledged $1.3 million, Arutz Sheva reported.

FIDF has a long history of fundraising for Israel’s occupation forces, the proceeds of which it then spends on “educational, cultural, recreational, and social services” for Israeli soldiers. It operates 20 offices across the US and Panama, according to its own website.

Support for the army from US organizations and the US government has been a cornerstone of Israel’s ability to continue its now 50-year-old occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Earlier this month the largest ever US military aid package to Israel – worth $38 billion over a ten year period – entered into force.

Australia and its Israel Embassy: What are they Thinking?

By James O’Neill | OffGuardian | October 18, 2018

According to recent media reports, the Liberal candidate in the Wentworth (Sydney) by-election, former diplomat David Sharma said he “was open” to the idea that Australia’s embassy in Israel could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a separate tweet he went further and said Australia “should consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The ostensible reason is that it would be following the lead of the United States.

In separate reports, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is said to be making an announcement in Canberra on 16 October also suggesting that Australia should follow the US lead.

Sharma did qualify his suggestion that Australia’s embassy shift to Jerusalem “should be looked at in the context of a two-state solution (to Israel-Palestine)“.

It is possible that both Sharma and Morrison have timed their statements to coincide with the by-election by making a pitch for the Jewish vote in that electorate. According to census data, Wentworth has 12.5 percent of its population professing the Jewish faith, a significant figure in electoral terms. That is the kindest interpretation that can be placed on their remarks. … continue

The reduction of Israel’s reliance on Bin Salman

MEMO | October 18, 2018

There have been remarks in Israel recently expressing disappointment at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s performance regarding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This does not stem from his bloody repression of his opponents, but from the fact that this policy has reduced Israel’s ability to rely on him to draw a new map of the Middle East or to push US President Donald Trump’s plan for the Palestinian cause in a manner that serves the policies of the occupation. Reading between the lines, we can also see more of Israel’s hidden aspirations for Bin Salman.

A comment in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper yesterday is a case in point. An Israeli journalist specialising in Arab affairs noted that the regional strategy adopted by the Trump administration and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu for the Arab region depends on two things: a close alliance with Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s Egypt and the anti-Iran axis in the Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia. In the journalist’s opinion, the Israel-Saudi axis was supposed to completely change the status quo in the region regarding the anti-Tehran front by achieving comprehensive open normalisation with Israel. At the same time, she stressed that many Israelis and Jews who have met with Bin Salman said that he gave them a strong impression of being “the Arab leader” capable of bringing about such change. She noted that unlike many other Arab leaders who agree with the Israelis on everything behind closed doors and then attack it publically, Bin Salman’s discourse regarding Israel in the Saudi media and social media is very positive.

In this regard, we must note that Israeli research centres have warned in the past against relying on Arab states defined as moderate by Israel to force the Palestinians to accept Trump’s plan. One institute described this assumption as “a dangerous illusion.” … continue

Israeli warplanes stalk Lebanese-Syrian border

By Leith Aboufadel – AMN – 2018-10-18

BEIRUT, LEBANON – The Syrian military has been placed on high alert this evening after Israeli warplanes were spotted flying incredibly close to the Syrian-Lebanese border.

According to reports, the Israeli warplanes made their way from Lebanon’s Nabatieh Governorate to the Beqa’a Valley, where they flew close to the northwestern part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria.

Lebanon’s National News Agency has also reported a heavy Israeli air presence over the Nabatieh Governorate.

The Israeli warplanes have not crossed over into Syrian territory; however, this is believed to be their closest approach to Syria since Damascus received the S-300 Air Defense System from the Russian Federation.

In the past, the Israeli Air Force has used this route from Lebanon to bomb western Syria; however, they also fly over this area to monitor the border movements.

NPC Memes and Judaic Aniconism

By Gilad Atzmon | October 18, 2018

The mainstream media reported today that Twitter suspended hundreds of accounts after users on the pro-Trump Reddit forum r/The_Donald coordinated efforts to use Twitter to set up ‘Non-Player Character’ (NPC) profiles mocking liberals.

The artistic campaign was born out of their characterisation of liberals as uncritical characters – automatons, name callers not capable of independent authentic thinking.

The BBC reported that within 24 hours there were more than 30,000 uses of the term NPC on Twitter, and Facebook pages dedicated to the trend amassed tens of thousands of followers.

The term NPC is borrowed from the digital games industry. It refers to characters managed by artificial intelligence whose behavior is limited to certain scripted responses and actions.

The NPC meme began as a satirical attempt to ridicule the New Left’s sound-bite, cliched culture. The BBC quoted one poster saying, “If you get in a discussion with them it’s always the same buzzwords and hackneyed arguments…It’s like in a when you accidentally talk to somebody twice and they give you the exact lines word for word once more.” … continue

Treasury official charged with leaking classified info to feed ‘Russia meddling’ narrative

RT | October 18, 2018

A US Treasury official was arrested and charged with conspiracy for leaking secret banking documents to the press, feeding a everlasting stream of often bogus ‘bombshell’ reports about Mueller’s notorious ‘Russian meddling’ probe.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, was named in the criminal complaint filed in the federal court in New York on Wednesday. Edwards was a senior advisor at the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN. In that capacity, the government says, she illegally copied and sent to the media Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR), starting in October 2017.

The complaint described a “pattern of unauthorized disclosures” concerning the investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice related to Russia, including “among other things, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, the Russian Embassy, Mariia [sic] Butina, and Prevezon Alexander.” Manafort and Gates were indicted by Mueller as part of the “Russian meddling” probe – on charges that had nothing to do with Russia or the 2016 US election – and Butina was accused of being a Russian agent. Prevezon Alexander is a Russian-owned real-estate company.

At the time of her arrest, Edwards had a flash drive that contained some 24,000 files, including “thousands” of SARs. Other documents found on the drive contained “highly sensitive material relating to Russia, Iran” and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the complaint said.

The FBI also searched her cell phone, and found “numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information” to the reporter. They reportedly exchanged at least 300 messages.

Though the complaint does not name the reporters or the organization Edwards leaked to, it does mention several of the dozen articles in which her information was used, which carry the bylines of Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier of BuzzFeed News.

One of these articles, titled “Secret Finding: 60 Russian Payments ‘To Finance Election Campaign of 2016’,” was presented as bombshell proof of Russian “meddling” in US elections, until it emerged that the transactions were about the Russian parliamentary election that year. … continue

US to Impose Sanctions on Russia ‘Every Month or Two’ – Volker

Sputnik – 18.10.2018

Russia has faced several rounds of sanctions from the United States and the European Union over its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections, and alleged involvement in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK city of Salisbury in early March.

US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker has stated that the Trump administration will impose sanctions on Russia “every month or two.”

“The second thing we’ve done is we’ve tried to increase the pressure we are putting on Russia in order to get them to negotiate toward a solution. That includes keeping sanctions in place in the United States and increasing those sanctions periodically over time, and that’s the track that we have been on during the course of the Trump administration, and we’ll continue to be on,” Volker said. “You’ll see additional sanctions come into play every month or two months or so as we’ve seen.”

Volker noted that the United States is “working very closely with European allies” on the issue of anti-Russian sanctions. … continue

US Supreme Court Takes Case That Could End Internet Censorship, Expand First Amendment

By Carmine Sabia | Citizen Truth | October 17, 2018

After the recent purge of over 800 independent media outlets on Facebook, the Supreme Court is now hearing a case that could have ramifications for any future attempts at similar purges.

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to take a case that could change free speech on the Internet forever.

Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, the case that it has agreed to take, will decide if the private operator of a public access network is considered a state actor, CNBC reported.

The case could affect how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube are governed. If the Court were to issue a far-reaching ruling it could subject such companies to First Amendment lawsuits and force them to allow a much broader scope of free speech from its users.

The Court decided to take the case on Friday and it is the first case that was taken after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Court. … continue

The People ‘Stopping Election Interference’ Are the Ones Who Are Actually Rigging the Election

By Daisy Luther | Organic Prepper | October 15, 2018

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg made the media rounds to give a rather shady explanation of why Facebook suddenly closed hundreds of incredibly popular pages in what’s being called The Alternative Media Purge. Zuckerberg accused the closed pages, many of which had millions of fans, of spreading “political spam.”

Ironically, many of the pages that were shut down had absolutely nothing to do with politics or elections, unless you include the fact that they recommended skipping the entire circus. None of these pages were accused of being “the Russians,” who were the scapegoat of the last surprise presidential election results. A couple of the things that many of the pages did have in common, incidentally, were an anti-war outlook and a police watchdog mentality.

But as far as making the election more resistant to interference, the result of the Alternative Media Purge is the diametric opposite. People will now only get one side of the story. … continue

Twitter & NATO think tanks publish database of tweets, pics… and GIFs by ‘Russian trolls’

RT | October 18, 2018

Ahead of midterm elections, Twitter has reminded Americans that democracy is still under threat by releasing millions of tweets by pesky Russians (and Iranians) from the past decade. How do they know? Well, that’s the question.

Twitter says the database released on Wednesday contains an archive of tweets and media “we believe resulted from potentially state-backed information operations.” Translation: dastardly Russian (and some Iranian!) trolls looking to corrupt the sanctity of American elections.

Some ten million posts – dating back to 2009 – come from 3,841 accounts Twitter thinks are highly likely connected to the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), and from 770 supposedly “backed by” Iran. Most of the content dealt with American politics, weighing in on both sides of the widening left-right divide in the US. Posts about Black Lives Matter activism: Russian bots. Gun rights? Russian bots. NFL players kneeling for the national anthem? Yep, Russian bots.

Twitter did not say exactly how it came to “believe” these offending tweets originated from an alleged Russian troll-farm, but Congressional testimony from its Acting General Counsel Sean J. Edgett last year may shed some light on the company’s investigative methods.

Edgett told a Senate committee that Twitter considered an account “Russian-linked” if it met a single one of a set of criteria. These included “whether the account was created in Russia, whether the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email address, whether the user’s display name contains Cyrillic characters, whether the user frequently Tweets in Russian, and whether the user has logged in from any Russian IP address, even a single time.”

Logged into Twitter during a layover in Moscow, Bulgaria or Belarus? Tweeted the name of that lovely little cafe in Belgrade? Congratulations, you’re now “Russian-linked.” … Full article

The US Meddles In Syria’s Constitutional Reform Process By Threatening Sanctions

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 18/10/2018

The US is threatening to further sanction Syria if Damascus doesn’t make progress in America’s preferred direction during the ongoing constitutional reform process.

The US special representative for Syria James Jeffrey conveyed this intention on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly after his country and a handful of others called upon Staffan de Mistura to report back to them by the end of this month about which of the 50 people he’s supposed to select to participate in Syria’s constitutional committee.

Prior agreements on the creation of this important political mechanism stipulate that the delegates will be chosen from members of the pro-government, domestic opposition, and external opposition factions, and while this is admittedly an ultra-sensitive process, the US and its allies feel that Syria has been dragging its heels on it for far too long and that’s why they want to crank up the pressure on Damascus by threatening more sanctions against it. … continue

The Khashoggi Disappearance and the Stalled Vision 2030 Plan

Our Vexed and Bitter Masters Seek Regime Change Again

By Scott Creighton | nomadiceveryman | October 18, 2018

Back in April of this year, a journalist in Gaza wearing a vest marked “PRESS” was deliberately shot and killed by IDF snipers. That brings the total number killed to 18 since the start of the Second Intifada. No one of consequence called for regime change in Israel.

As of July this year, there had already been six journalists killed in Mexico by drug cartels linked to Mexico’s corrupt government and our own intelligence services. The last one beaten to death in a horrific murder. Last year the number of journalists murdered set a new record for the country at 42. As far as I know, the MSM and Lindsey Graham have yet to call for sanctions and regime change.

In Columbia there have been two murdered for covering things the rulers didn’t want covered. But we like Columbia’s neoliberal government so for now, not a peep about changing it.

What makes the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi so different? This is a question a few writers and researchers have been asking themselves and a couple of us have come to some honest, sensible, business-oriented answers… since of course the U.S. and her allies are all about Business.

Now let’s be clear. I write about Khashoggi’s disappearance because the only hard evidence that we have before us is this… continue


Aangirfan | October 18, 2018

Jerusalem Post columnist Seth Frantzman foresees the possibility of closer ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia coming following the suspected killing of Khashoggi.

“If the US loosens ties with Riyadh, that could bring Saudi Arabia and Israel closer, as the kingdom feels isolated. That is what happened during the Obama administration,” he wrote. … Full article

“This Guy a Wrecking Ball, Toxic”: US Senator on MBS

Al-Manar | October 17, 2018

Senator Lindsey Graham, long one of Saudi Arabia’s most vocal defenders in Congress, said Tuesday that the kingdom’s nearly all-powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has “got to go” and vowed never to return to the country as long as the young leader remains in power. Graham also pledged to impose sanctions.

Later Tuesday, the influential member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said he favored suspending US weapons sales to the country.

“This guy is a wrecking ball. He had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it — I feel used and abused,” Graham, a close ally of President Donald Trump, said during an interview with “Fox & Friends.”

Graham added that “there is a difference between a country and an individual,” but said that bin Salman is “toxic” and “can never be a world leader on the world stage.” … Full article

Pompeo warned Saudis they have 72 hrs to finish probe into Khashoggi case, or risk blowback – report

RT | October 18, 2018

Mike Pompeo told Saudi Arabia’s crown prince that he had 72 hours to finish his probe into the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi if he wanted to avoid tarnishing the kingdom’s “place on the world stage,” according to Axios.

The Secretary of State met with Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Tuesday. According to Axios, Pompeo told Salman during their meeting that the Saudi leader needs to “own” the situation surrounding the alleged macabre murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Pompeo also reportedly warned the crown prince that the timeline for dealing with the scandal is “limited” due to increasing global outrage.

Pompeo had previously expressed confidence that the Saudi probe into Khashoggi’s disappearance would be “thorough, complete and transparent.” […]

Turkish police claim to have found “certain evidence” which proves that the journalist died there. However, these claims have yet to be substantiated by concrete evidence. … Full article

Global Warming Pause Extends… Becoming Clear IPCC Grossly Overstated Projected Warming

No Tricks Zone | October 17, 2018

The continuing global cooling and the start of the grand minimum require new targets in climate policy and a complete withdrawal from the previous warming madness.

After a complete failure by the IPCC climate models and the crazy assignment of CO2 as a pollutant, scientific reason must once again return to the climate discussion.

Neither did the sea ice in the Arctic disappear in the summer of 2016 as it was often predicted by nutty scientists (even by NASA, who wrote that Arctic summers would be ice-free by 2013), nor have global temperatures risen by any significance over the past 20 years, thus contradicting the projections of IPCC models. … continue

Mysterious IPCC Expertise

The IPCC publishes the citizenship and gender of its authors – but says nothing about their scientific expertise

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | October 17, 2018

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims to be a scientific organization. But it’s really a political one.

An obvious tell is how it describes its personnel. … continue

Radioactive, but… ‘safe’? Japan to dump Fukushima wastewater in Pacific despite objections

RT | October 17, 2018

Running out of space to store water contaminated by fuel that escaped during the Fukushima meltdown, the Japanese government is preparing to release it into the Pacific Ocean – despite the presence of radioactive elements.

Currently, 1.09 million tons of contaminated water is stored in 900 tanks near the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, which suffered a catastrophic release of fuel following an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The government claims that radioactive material is being reduced to non-detectable levels through the Advanced Liquid Processing System procedure, but there is evidence that this process does not remove many radioactive elements, including antimony, cobalt, iodine, rhodium, ruthenium, strontium, and tellurium. Tepco, which operates the plant, admits the water contains tritium, but insist the levels are “safe.”

The UK Telegraph has obtained documents from Japanese government sources indicating that authorities are aware ALPS, developed by Hitachi, is not actually eliminating radioactive elements to non-detectable levels. Tepco was forced last month to admit that 80 percent of the water still contains radioactive substances after local residents and fishermen protested plans to dispose of it in the ocean.

Tepco admits that 65,000 tons of ALPS-cleansed water retain more than 100 times the amount of strontium-90 legally permitted. Strontium-90 accumulates in teeth and bones and can cause leukemia and bone cancer. … Full article

How the FBI Silences Whistleblowers

Consortium News – October 16, 2018

Speaking truth to power has ruined Darin Jones, a former FBI contract specialist who reported evidence of serious procurement improprieties. He should be the last federal whistleblower victimized, writes John Kiriakou. – Read article

Palestinian Dies From Serious Wounds Suffered Monday

IMEMC | October 17, 2018

The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has reported that a young man died, on Tuesday at night, from serious wounds he suffered a day earlier after Israeli soldiers shot him with live fire in northern Gaza.

It identified the slain Palestinian as Saddam Abu Shallash, 27, from Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

He was shot with live Israeli army fire, near Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza, and was rushed to surgery, and then to intensive care, but succumbed to his wounds.

It is worth mentioning that Saddam is the brother of Sharif Abu Shallash, 28, who was killed by Israeli soldiers on December 23rd 2017. … Full article

Palestinian injured in settler attack

Palestine Information Center | October 17, 2018

NABLUS – A Palestinian young man was injured Wednesday after being attacked by a group of settlers in Barqa town west of Nablus, northern West Bank.

Head of the village council Jihad Salah affirmed that dozens of settlers violently attacked the young man Mahmoud Sa’id Hussein, 20, while picking olives in his agricultural land near the evacuated settlement of Homesh.

The injured youth was taken to hospital for treatment, suffering different bruises and injuries in his hand and face.

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Former Political Prisoner, South Of Bethlehem

IMEMC | October 17, 2018

Israeli soldiers abducted, Wednesday, a Palestinian former political prisoner from the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

Ahmad Salah, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Annexation Wall and Colonies in al-Khader, said the soldiers abducted Rezeq Ali Khader Salah, 54, while working on his land, west of the town.

He added that Salah is a former political prisoner, who was held by Israeli for 21 years, and was released under the Shalit Swap Deal, in 2012.

On Wednesday at dawn, the soldiers abducted three Palestinians, including a teenage boy, from their homes in Bethlehem governorate, and five more Palestinians in Tubas, Qalqilia and Tulkarem.

French media accuses Israel ambassador of attempts to censor

MEMO | October 17, 2018

Israel’s Ambassador to Paris, Aliza Bin-Noun, has been at the centre of a “censorship” storm, reported Ynet, after lobbying a French television channel to pull a report on Palestinians shot by the Israeli army in the occupied Gaza Strip.

The item, “Gaza’s disabled teens”, was broadcast on France 2 and “discussed the stories of several young Palestinians who had lost their legs after being shot by IDF snipers and who spoke of their broken dreams”, Ynet reported. “One of the teens said his dream was to become a cyclist”.

Even before the segment was broadcast, Bin-Noun wrote to the France 2 management and “demanded the item be cancelled, saying it is unbalanced, portrays Israel in a negative light and claiming it will cause incitement and physical harm against the French Jewish community”.

After the report was shown, Bin-Noun shared her original letter to France 2 on social media, adding that she was “very disappointed” the channel “did not respond to our demand to reconsider broadcasting the report”, a segment she said “vilifies Israel”.

As reported by Ynet, the ambassador’s interventions “turned out to be an own goal”, and in fact created “a lot of interest” in the TV report. … Full article

Army Demolishes A Home In Jerusalem And Attacks The Family

IMEMC | October 17, 2018

Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded Jabal a-Mokabber neighborhood, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday morning and attacked a Palestinian family, causing several injuries, before demolishing their home.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic), in Jerusalem, said the soldiers demolished the 100 square/meter home of Khalil Za’atra, reportedly for being built without a permit.

Za’atra lived in his home along with eight members of his family; most of them are children, who were all rendered homeless.

The soldiers attacked Za’atra and his family, causing various cuts and bruises, while forcing them out of their home before demolishing it. … Full article

Israeli settlers assault Palestinians in Nablus

Ma’an – October 17, 2018

NABLUS – Israeli settlers assaulted several Palestinians near the Burqa village in western Nablus district of the northern occupied West Bank, on Wednesday.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the Shavi Shamron settlement in western Nablus attacked several Palestinians near agricultural lands in Burqa.

Daghlas identified the assaulted Palestinians as Mahmoud and Manna Said Hussein, from the Bazariya village adjacent to Burqa.

The Hussein brothers were reportedly transferred to the Rafidiya Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, several armed Israeli settlers also attacked a bulldozer and a transport vehicle that had broken down near the settlement.

Israeli settlers smashed the vehicle and assaulted the driver of the bulldozer, identified as Aaref Khader, causing him injuries.

During the past week, Israeli settlers have carried out several attacks against Palestinians in Nablus, including attacking farmers in Deir al-Hattab and Burin villages, uprooting olive trees, attacking Palestinian vehicles on the road and puncturing vehicles. … Full article

Israeli political party publishes anti-assimilation poster in Ramle

MEMO | October 17, 2018

Jewish Home, an Israeli political party sitting in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, has launched a poster campaign warning of inter-marriage between Jews and Muslims.

According to the Times of Israel, the municipal election poster campaign in Ramle features a young woman in a hijab “against a background of two white candles and a wine cup, items traditionally used to mark the start of the Jewish Shabbat”.

“Hundreds of cases of assimilation in Ramle, and no one cares,” the posters declared. “Tomorrow it could be your daughter. Only a strong Jewish Home will maintain a Jewish Ramle.”

The news site noted that “it was the latest in a series of controversial campaign ploys by various parties running in nationwide municipal elections on October 30.” … Full article

Study: Polluted water main cause of death in Gaza

MEMO | October 17, 2018

More than a quarter of illnesses in Gaza are caused by water pollution, a new study has said, noting that this is the main cause of mortality in the coastal enclave that has endured an Israeli siege since 2007.

The study, which the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a copy of, was carried out by RAND Corporation, an American NGO. It said that it reached these findings four years ago and that “since that time these numbers have continued to grow”.

Based on the report, Haaretz said that the collapse of water infrastructure has led to a sharp rise in germs and viruses such as rotavirus, cholera and salmonella.

The report said the situation is worsening due to repeated Israeli operations in Gaza which started in 2008.

“Today, 97 per cent of drinking water in the Strip is not drinkable by any recognised international standard,” Haaretz reported. … Full article

Why is Holocaust Education Failing?

By Gilad Atzmon | October 17, 2018

Despite the vast amount invested in Holocaust education and in spite of the fact that the Holocaust is the only compulsory subject in the British national history curriculum, British pupils seem not to follow the message of the rigid topic. For some reason, they struggle to buy into the primacy of Jewish suffering. They show little interest and learn mostly nothing. Yesterday’s Tablet Magazine article, “The Failure of Holocaust Education in Britain”, produced a clumsy attempt to grasp the reason for the failures of Holocaust education.

UCL’s  Centre for Holocaust Education has recently conducted  the ‘world’s largest ever study of its kind, it interviewed over 8,000 pupils aged 11-18 in England. Andy Pearce who work as a researcher at the centre told the Tablet that apparently  25-30 years of Holocaust education “is failing to make an impact.”continue

US strike ‘kills 60’ in Somalia amid its increasing Africa presence

Press TV – October 17, 2018

The United States claims that at least 60 militants were killed in Somalia in a “precision airstrike” that purportedly targeted their positions in the East African country last week.

The Pentagon’s Africa Command said in a statement on Tuesday that it had carried out the airstrikes in Somalia on Friday. […]

“We currently assess this airstrike killed approximately 60 terrorists,” it claimed.

The command also claimed that the strike “was the largest airstrike against al-Shabaab since November 21, 2017, when US forces conducted an airstrike against an al-Shabaab camp killing approximately 100 terrorists.”

Citing US military officials, CNN said the strike was carried out by a drone.

None of that information could be independently verified.

The US has carried out at least 27 airstrikes in Somalia this year. The militant group, however, is more powerful now in central Somalia, carrying out attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in the capital, Mogadishu, as well as regional towns. … Full article

Vanessa Beeley Meets the White Helmets and Armed Group Leader in Daraa Al Balad

By Vanessa Beeley | 21st Century Wire | October 17, 2018

“If you shout at us we will cry, we are so sensitive” Abu Mohanad Al Mahamid told me on the 20th September 2018. Al Mahamid is the leader of the still-functioning White Helmet center in Dara’a Al Balad to the south of Damascus in Syria. Al Mahamid had donned his white helmet for the camera before he spoke to us about the role of these White Helmets who had remained in Dara’a Al Balad, when other White Helmet members had boarded the buses for Idlib with Nusra Front or for Israel and Jordan as part of the special evacuation organised by the members of the US Coalition. … continue

US Will Walk Out of Nuke Treaty Again if Iran Agrees to New Deal – Scholar

Sputnik – 17.10.2018

Six months after Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Washington is proposing to sign a new agreement with Tehran.

The US is ready to give “a whole lot” to sign a new treaty with Iran that would take into account all of Washington’s concerns, including Tehran’s missile program, the US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said.

It is not the first time that Washington has invited Iran to conclude a new treaty since it walked out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

Tehran insists that it won’t ink a new agreement with the US after Washington’s mistake of withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In his address to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would agree to negotiate with the US but only if Washington changed its attitude towards the Islamic Republic.

In an interview with Sputnik Persian, Iranian political observer Ali Reza Rezakhah and a Tehran University expert in US affairs, Mohammad Marandi, spoke about the terms on which Tehran would be ready to sign a new accord with Washington. … continue

Saudi-led military aggression left over 15,000 civilians dead: Rights group

Press TV – October 16, 2018

The Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen says the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the impoverished and conflict-plagued Arab country has claimed the lives of more than 15,000 civilians.

The center, in a statement released on Monday, announced that the aggression has resulted in the death of 15,185 civilians, including 3,527 children and 2,277 women.

A total of 23,822 civilians, among them 3,526 children and 2,587 women, have also sustained injuries, and are currently suffering from the lack of medicine, medical supplies and poor treatment due to the crippling Saudi siege.

The center further noted that the Saudi military aggression has also caused the death of nearly 2,200 Yemenis from cholera. It highlighted that aerial assaults being conducted by the Saudi-led alliance have resulted in the destruction of 15 airports and 14 ports, and damaged 2,559 roads and bridges in addition to 781 water storage facilities, 191 power stations and 426 telecommunications towers.

The statement went on to say that the incessant Saudi-led bombardment campaign has destroyed more than 421,911 houses, 930 mosques, 888 schools, 327 hospitals and health facilities plus 38 media organizations, halted the operation of 4,500 schools and left more than 4 million people internally displaced.

In addition, the Saudi-led coalition has targeted 1,818 government facilities, 749 food storehouses, 621 food trucks, 628 shops and commercial compounds, 362 fuel stations, 265 tankers, 339 factories, 310 poultry and livestock farms, 219 archaeological sites, 279 tourist facilities and 112 playgrounds and sports complexes. … continue

American mercenary boasts of role in ‘targeted assassination program’ in Yemen

RT | October 17, 2018

A Hungarian-Israeli security contractor based in the US, Abraham Golan, has claimed he ran a targeted assassination program in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition currently waging a proxy war against Iran-backed Houthis.

The US is supplying weapons, intelligence, and other support to the coalition, but Golan’s account, as told to BuzzFeed, reads like something out of a spy thriller.

Golan claims the United Arab Emirates (UAE), part of the coalition, hired his mercenary company, Spear Operations Group, to kill specific enemies, including Anssaf Ali Mayo, leader of the Yemeni political party Al-Islah, which the UAE considers a terrorist group. The Mayo assassination was ultimately unsuccessful – Mayo disappeared from Yemeni politics for a while, and the Spear crew even thought he was dead, but he is currently serving in the Yemeni government, alive and well.

The botched assassination of December 29, 2015 is seen by observers from both sides as the opening salvo in a “targeted campaign,” which former UN investigator Gregory Johnsen says eventually took out 25 to 30 members of Al-Islah and other clerics. … continue

Diplomatic Deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea Talks Survive Maximum Pressure?

By Gregory Elich | Counterpunch | October 16, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un on September 18-20 culminated in the signing of the Pyongyang Declaration, which marked a significant advance towards peace and heralded a welcome warming in relations. Since that time, however, contradictions within the Trump administration’s North Korea policy threaten to forestall further progress and test the patience of its South Korean ally.

Among the measures outlined in the Pyongyang Declaration, the two sides agreed to “expand the cessation of military hostility in regions of confrontation such as the DMZ,” with the goal of removing the danger of war “across the entire Korean Peninsula.” [1] North and South Korea quickly moved to begin to implement the plan, shutting down some border guard posts and initiating the removal of landmines from the Joint Security Area. Plans are also afoot to establish a no-fly zone over the DMZ, and communication procedures are being established to prevent armed clashes. … continue

US sanctions Iranian banks, factories & mines

RT | October 16, 2018

Washington has blacklisted some 20 Iranian companies, including banks, steel mills, zinc mines, and manufacturers of cars, buses and tractors – accused by the US of supporting recruitment of “child soldiers” for Iran.

The sanctions target a “multibillion-dollar financial network” that supports the Basij Resistance Force, a volunteer militia that works with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to recruit and train “child soldiers,” the Treasury said.

“This vast network provides financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

One of the 20 entities added to the US Treasury’s blacklist on Tuesday is the Bonyad Taavon Basij, the Basij cooperative foundation. The list, however, also includes companies like the Tehran-based Bahman Group, which produces vehicles under license by Mazda, Isuzu and Mitsubishi, and the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company.

In addition to the makers of cars and tractors, the US sanctions targeted a number of mining and metallurgy industries, including the Bandar Abbas Zinc Production Co, Iran Zinc Mines Development Co, and Qeshm Zinc Smelting and Reduction Company. The mining conglomerate Calcimin, Esfahan’s Mobarahek Steel Co, the Parsian Catalyst Chemical Company and Zanjan Acid Production Co. rounded off the mining and metallurgy portion of the list.

Several banks found themselves on the blacklist as well: Sina, Mellat, Parsian and Mehr Eqtesad. The finance-targeted sanctions also struck the Mehr Eqtesad investment group, Andisheh Mehvaran Investment Co., Negin Sahel Royal Investment Company, Tadbirgaran Atiyeh Iranian Investment Co, and Taktar Investment.

The new sanctions come just a day after eight Iranian newspapers published a rare joint editorial criticizing the US sanctions as a human rights violation, targeting the Iranian civilian population. The newspapers called the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal an “an undiplomatic and immoral” policy. … Full article

The Dark Story Behind Global Warming aka Climate Change

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 16.10.2018

The recent UN global warming conference under auspices of the deceptively-named International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded its meeting in South Korea discussing how to drastically limit global temperature rise. Mainstream media is predictably retailing various panic scenarios “predicting” catastrophic climate change because of man-made emissions of Greenhouse Gases, especially CO2, if drastic changes in our lifestyle are not urgently undertaken. There is only one thing wrong with all that. It’s based on fake science and corrupted climate modelers who have reaped by now [many] billions in government research grants to buttress the arguments for radical change in our standard of living. We might casually ask “What’s the point?” The answer is not positive. … continue

African Penguin Decline – BBC Fake News

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | October 16, 2018

As we found out last week, the directive has come down from on high at the BBC to ramp up climate alarm at every opportunity they get.

The memo has evidently been received in the BBC newsroom, who broadcast this flagrantly dishonest piece yesterday about African penguins on Outside Source […]

The African penguin population has been declining sharply since the early 1900s, and the reasons are well understood and have nothing to do with climate change, as the Organization for the Conservation of Penguins explains… Read full article

New BBC documentary ‘Dangerous Dynasty’ ignores the West’s role in destabilizing Syria

By Neil Clark | RT | October 16, 2018

The new BBC2 documentary, ‘A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad’, should be contrasted with the 2010 BBC4 series ‘Syrian School’, which eschewed neocon propaganda and allowed us to make our own minds up about Baathist Syria.

Whatever happened to objective film making? Why does everyone today feel that the film or program maker must take sides and not just show us things as they are?

These thoughts were uppermost in my mind when watching the first episode of the 72 Films production, ‘A Dangerous Dynasty’ last week.

You could say the title was a bit of a giveaway. If you were expecting to see a balanced, intellectual analysis of Baathist rule in Syria, providing historical perspective, and putting the ‘House of Assad’ in some kind of regional context, you’d have been very disappointed. … continue


Global Network for Syria | October 16, 2018

A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic claimed to show how chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian Government as part of a deliberate military strategy. Yet there are serious concerns over the investigation’s reliance on ‘broadly impartial’ sources — who are not named — and consequently the reliability of the report’s findings.

The Panorama programme is called ‘Syria’s Chemical War’ and was first broadcast on Monday 15 October on BBC One… continue

BBC accused of ‘fake news’ after quoting parody Assange account as real thing

RT | October 16, 2018

The BBC were accused of spreading ‘fake news’ about Julian Assange after attributing quotes to the whistleblower that originated from a parody account.

The story was instigated after conditions put on Assange for allowing him access to the internet were leaked online.

In an article headlined: “Julian Assange given feline ultimatum by Ecuador” on the alleged warning the embassy has given the activist over his treatment of his cat, the BBC write: “It is unclear what is behind Ecuador’s concern over Mr Assange’s treatment of his roommate.

On the subject of cleanliness, however, Mr Assange tweeted earlier this year: “Save water, don’t shower.”

Historian Mark Curtis was quick to point out that the quote was in fact from a Spanish parody account. … Full article

First Le Pen, now Melenchon? Another Macron critic has headquarters raided

RT | October 16, 2018

Former French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon’s home has been raided by police, as part of an investigation into alleged misuse of EU funds that also targeted political firebrand and Macron critic Marine Le Pen.

The leader of France’s left-wing La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) livestreamed the unannounced intrusion on Facebook, vowing to exact revenge on France’s Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet for the raid, which targeted his home as well as his party’s headquarters.

“Nicole Belloubet, are you proud of what you are doing? Have you forgotten everything: who are you, who I am? So you have no dignity? All shots are allowed?” he said during the livestream.

“You do not know what you’re up against – a political force, not an isolated person. We will make you pay politically.” … continue

Why Liberal Jews in Israel and the US have made Lara Alqasem a Cause Celebre

By Jonathan Cook | The National | October 15, 2018

An American student of Palestinian descent detained in Israel’s airport for nearly a fortnight has become an unexpected cause celebre. Lara Alqasem was refused entry under legislation passed last year against boycott activists, and Israeli courts are now deciding whether allowing her to study human rights at an Israeli university threatens public order.

Usually those held at the border are swiftly deported, but Ms Alqasem appealed against the decision, becoming in the process an improbable “prisoner of conscience” for the boycott cause. … continue

Pandering to Israel

Time to cut the tie that binds

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • October 16, 2018

The ability of Israel and its powerful Lobby to control many aspects of American government while also sustaining an essentially false narrative about the alleged virtues of the Jewish State is remarkable. Politicians and journalists learned long ago that it was better to cultivate Israel’s friends than it was to support actual American interests. They also discovered to speak the truth about the Jewish State often would prove to be a death sentence career-wise, witness the experiences of Cynthia McKinney, Paul Findlay, William Fulbright, Chuck Percy, James Traficant, Pete McCloskey and Rick Sanchez.

More recently, we have seen the ascent to real political power on the part of a number of politicians whose pandering to Israel has been notorious, indicating that the path to the White House goes through Tel Aviv and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) offices on H Street in the District of Columbia. Nikki Haley, who recently resigned as United Nations Ambassador, gained national attention when she became the first state governor to sign off on laws that would punish supporters of the non-violent BDS movement. Subsequently, as ambassador, she became noted for her impassioned defense of Israel, to include complaining that “nowhere has the U.N.’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel.” She vowed that the “days of Israel bashing are over” and is now being groomed by the neocons as a possible presidential candidate for 2020. Whichever way it goes, she will be showered with money by Israel supporters as she finds her perch in the private sector, like others before her doing “work” that she does not understand while also making speeches about the importance of the Israeli relationship.continue

Self-Censorship: Where The Real Damage Is Being Done

By Caitlyn Johnstone | Medium | October 15, 2018

I was going to write another article today about a different topic, but I backed down because I didn’t think I could deliver the kind of fiery, forceful, unmitigated argument it would need to be without risking getting banned from social media and blogging platforms. … continue

RT Number One TV News Network on YouTube With Record 7 Billion Views

RT | October 16, 2018

RT has reached a record 7 billion views on YouTube, maintaining its undisputed leadership among all TV news networks, far surpassing the total number of views of BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Euronews. RT’s YouTube channels also have over 10 million subscribers. […]

In 2007, RT was the first Russian TV network to begin posting its content on YouTube, and in 2013, it became the world’s first news network to reach 1 billion views. … Full article