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Over 8,000 Mau Mau victims seek compensation from Britain

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Press TV – June 5, 2013

More than 8,000 Kenyans, severely mistreated under British colonial rule during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising, are seeking compensation from the UK.

According to the reports, thousands of names have been submitted to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), seeking multi-million pound compensation from the British government.

“The Law Society of Kenya has received lists of ex-Mau Mau fighters seeking compensation running into billions of shillings from the British government,” LSK chief Apollo Mboya said in a statement.

More names are expected to be submitted from the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the statement added.

There are also reports that Britain agreed on a compensation settlement totaling £14 million. Britain’s Foreign Office, however, has refused to comment on the issue.

At least 10,000 people died during the 1952-1960 Mau Mau uprising against British colonial rule, with some sources giving far higher estimates.

The British government has admitted to British forces’ torturing of detainees at the time following disclosure of a vast archive of colonial-era documents which the Foreign Office had kept secret for decades.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Over 8,000 Mau Mau victims seek compensation from Britain

Libyan Rebels and International Criminal Court (ICC) Battle Over Seif al-Islam

Son and heir-apparent to Gaddafi still held by militias after nearly two years

By Abayomi Azikiwe – Pan-African News Wire – June 4, 2013

A disagreement between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the current Libyan government has highlighted the crises that have worsened during the post-Gaddafi era in the North African state of Libya. Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the martyred leader of Libya, has been held nearly two years by a militia group in Zintan in the western region of the country.

Seif was captured after the United States and NATO supported rebels had seized control of the capital of Tripoli and the city of Sirte, which held out for eight months against rebel attacks and a massive bombing campaign that resulted in 26,000 sorties and 9,600 airstrikes between March 19 and October 31 of 2011. In addition to Seif al-Islam, thousands of people are still being held illegally inside the country.

During the course of the war against Libya, the ICC initiated a perfunctory “investigation” into alleged human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The charges which resulted from these ICC activities were related to the Libyan government’s defense against the western-backed rebels and the U.S.-NATO airstrikes which caused an estimated 50,000-100,000 deaths and the displacement of two million Libyans and foreign nationals.

Libya prior to the war had the most prosperous state in Africa with living standards that rivaled those in western industrialized states. The political system of Jamahiriya, which was based on local governing councils, provided food, housing, land, medical services and education as part of the social rights inherited by the Libyan people.

Today, since the toppling of the previous government, Libya has become a source of instability and economic underdevelopment both domestically and regionally. Armed militias roam the cities and countryside carrying out atrocities against civilians.

With the failure of the General National Congress (GNC), the new political system inside the country, to provide security and social services to the majority of the Libyan people, it will be impossible for Seif al-Islam to receive any semblance of justice relying on the almost non-existent criminal justice structures. Access to legal advice, bond hearings and a reasonable method of determining the legitimacy of the charges being brought against Seif al-Islam and other political prisoners inside Libya is completely absent.

Even during 2012, when a delegation of ICC legal observers visited Seif al-Islam who was being held by the militia, several of their personnel were detained by the rebels. It was only through international pressure that these individuals were released.

ICC Orders Rebel Government to Handover Seif al-Islam

After determining that the legal and political system in Libya cannot provide the necessary resources for a trial, the ICC has demanded that the GNC and the militia group holding Seif al-Islam hand him over to the international body based in The Hague. The GNC government in Libya has rejected this decision and has launched an appeal against the entire process.

“We will give what is needed to convince the ICC that Libya is capable of conducting a fair trial in accordance with international standards,” Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani told the official GNC news agency. “Libya will appeal the decision … A team of Libyan and international experts is working on preparing the appeal.” (Telegraph, UK, June 3)

This challenge by the post-Gaddafi regime in Libya is taking place at the same time that the African Union (AU) recently condemned the role that the ICC is playing on the continent. At the AU Jubilee Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in May, a draft resolution was discussed which would have called for the withdrawal of African states from the Rome Statute, the document which provided the legal basis for the creation of the ICC.

What eventually was agreed upon at the AU Summit was, in the case of Kenya, that the ICC should remand the case back to Nairobi for resolution. AU Commission Chair, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, stated that since Kenya had adopted a new constitution and held internationally-supervised elections, then the country should be allowed to address the charges brought by the ICC against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

Charges against President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto stemmed from the post-election violence in Kenya during 2007-2008 where over 1,000 people were killed. Both Kenyatta and Ruto have pledged to cooperate with the ICC which has refused to drop the charges or follow the recommendations from the AU Summit.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW), which also played a role in attempts to isolate the Libyan government under Gaddafi, issued a statement supporting the ICC position saying that the GNC regime should abide by their wishes. However, HRW has said very little about the gross human rights violations being carried out by the western-backed regime in Tripoli or the imperialist states that routinely abuse civilians in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

Both the ICC and the GNC regime in Libya have no right to place Seif al-Islam on trial. The ICC is clearly biased against African governments and rebel leaders who are their sole preoccupation. It is the role of the ICC in Africa through its attacks against the leaders of Sudan, Libya and Kenya that has drawn such harsh criticism by the AU.

Imperialist leaders and their allies have not been targeted for investigation or prosecution by the ICC despite all of the well-documented war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the U.S., Britain, France, Israel and various NATO states. The ICC has been utilized to bolster imperialist aims and objectives internationally and this is being carried out while the U.S. and other western states are not even signatories to the Rome Statute and are therefore exempt from review by the ICC.

The only real just settlement of the legal crises in Libya would come from a popular movement for the removal of the current regime and the holding of internationally-monitored elections where a government of the people could be created. Since the war in 2011, those loyal to the Jamahiriya have been banned from the political process.

Within the new political dispensation even those who were former members of the Gaddafi government have been forced to resign by legislative action that was prompted by armed actions from various rebel militias. Even though these individuals had long turned their backs on the Libyan people and joined the counter-revolution sponsored by the U.S. and NATO, they have still been forced to leave any positions of putative authority inside the country.

Short of a people’s revolution in Libya, Seif al-Islam and the thousands of other political prisoners should be released and given an option to take up residence in a third country where their safety could be ensured. The western-backed GNC rebels are actively hunting down former members of the Gaddafi government who have taken refuge in Niger, Mauritania, Egypt, South Africa and other African states.

The political atmosphere inside Libya is turning violently against the U.S.-backed GNC forces. Attacks have been carried out against the U.S. compound in Benghazi last September as well as other diplomatic outposts from the Western European nations that participated in the overthrow of the Gaddafi government in 2011.

Developments in Libya illustrate clearly the bankruptcy of U.S. and NATO foreign policy in Africa. The imperialists have nothing to offer the people of Africa and other parts of the world except poverty, internal divisions, political chaos and perpetual insecurity and war.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Comments Off on Libyan Rebels and International Criminal Court (ICC) Battle Over Seif al-Islam

Corporate Media Drones on about Venezuela’s Defence Program

By Tamara Pearson | Venezuelanalysis | June 4th 2013

Merida – After President Nicolas Maduro attended a military display in Aragua state which included Venezuela’s three unarmed drones, some mainstream media have highlighted Venezuela’s defence program, stressing Venezuela’s relationship with Iran.

Maduro presided over a ceremony to hand over and display National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) equipment last week. There was a demonstration of Venezuela’s Harpy System of Drone Planes.

The unarmed planes are operated by remote, can take photographs and be used for disaster situations, agricultural research and protection of the electrical grid, according to Defence minister Diego Molero.

Molero said that through the Simon Bolivar satellite, the drones can observe any part of Venezuela. He also presented the Gavilan project, for a drone plane which he said has been designed completely with Venezuelan technology.

Venezuela’s Harpy drones are small and can only be used for remote controlled long distance surveillance. They weigh 85kg, have a maximum flight distance of 100km and flight time of 90 minutes, a cargo capacity of 17 kg, and video cameras which can transmit in real time.

Venezuela’s Cavim (Venezuelan Military Industrial Company) manufactured the drones, with the help of Venezuelan military engineers who were trained in Iran. The system consists of three planes, a launcher, and a control unit.

Ciudad CCS reports that the government eventually hopes to have “at least a dozen” Harpies (Arpías in Spanish).

“We’re advancing in the development and management of military science and technology, for preserving peace and security in Venezuela,” Maduro said at the demonstration, adding that Venezuela is “prepared to resist any attack that could be fabricated overseas, against Venezuela”.

Minister for internal affairs at the time, Tareck el Aissami reported in September last year that Venezuela’s drones had detected a plane with a US registration number, allegedly transporting drugs, in Venezuelan territory. The first Harpy (Arpia-001) was manufactured in January 2012.

Media and U.S. response

Last week’s military demonstration led to some corporate media headlines over the following days about Venezuela “launching” its drones system. Media in and outside Venezuela have reported that the drones are for surveillance and to be used to “curb drug trafficking” but has also emphasised that Iran “helped to build them”.

Univision Noticias headlined with, “Venezuela will use drones to protect the country from any threat”. Fox News and AP reported that “Venezuela’s announcement comes as the United States has begun to use unmanned drones to hunt drug traffickers on both the U.S.’s southern border with Mexico and in the open waters of the Caribbean.”

Last year the U.S. said it would watch Venezuela’s drone development closely, with U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland saying at the time, “Our concern, obviously, would be with any breaking of international sanctions on Iran. And we will be most vigilant in watching how this goes forward”.

Further, according to an April 2013 article by the InterAmerican Security Watch (IASW), which “monitors threats to regional security” and the Jerusalem Post, “the growing military ties between Iran and Venezuela… have raised concerns in both the US[sic] and Israel”.

The IASW also made the claim that “Iran’s extended reach in Latin America could pose a threat to US national security; Tehran’s strategies in the region could also threaten Jewish and Israeli interests”.

However, while Venezuela’s 3 small drones are unarmed and have not left Venezuelan territory, the U.S. has used armed and unarmed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia, while Israel has used them in Lebanon. According to a February 2012 report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, U.S. drones had killed at least 2,413 civilians in Pakistan alone, between May 2009 and the date of the report.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

London Declaration on Anti-Semitism – a Glimpse Into Jewish Phobia

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon | June 5, 2013

Below you will find the London Declaration on Antisemitism followed by a great analytical deconstruction by Stuart Littlewood.

The declaration doesn’t leave much room for doubt, Israel and its Lobby are in a state of panic.  The London Statement is a clear attempt to stop discussion on issues to do with Jewish past, the Holocaust, the Jewish State and its Jewish nature.

Interestingly enough, the declaration provides us with an insight into Zionist projection. Far from being a universal statement, the declaration is primarily concerned with anti-Jewish discrimination. The declaration is a brutal and crude attempt to interfere with freedom of expression that is still regarded by some as a precious human value.

The declaration is full of logical flaws. Here is one example. Though Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, the declaration calls to stop those who “target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity” (1). I guess that the meaning of it is simple. Israel  is happy to define itself as a Jewish State but it doesn’t like to be defined as such by others.

The declaration calls  “national governments, parliaments, international institutions… to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.”  I would expect the Israeli Government to follow this call and to make sure that Israel, once and for all, becomes a ‘state of its citizens’ and succumb to principles of ‘human values’ and true democracy, because at the moment Israel is still a ‘Jewish State’ and its legal system discriminates non-Jews.

The declaration is an attempt to seal Jewish past “Governments must challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust” (3). It is obviously clear that some Jews don’t like it when gentiles look into their past.  But the question is why? Is there something secretive in Jewish past? The declaration also fails to define exactly what denial, denigration or trivialization may entail.

I guess that the desperate appeal to law and international community is taking place now because Israel and its supporters grasp that the tide has changed. -resentment towards Israel and its lobbies cannot be contained anymore.

I guess that Israel and its Lobby better learn to self-reflect rather than attempting to silence criticism.

http://www.antisem.org/london-declaration/

The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism, signed by some of the worlds leading parliamentarians, represents a new era in global cooperation in the fight against antisemitism.

Parliamentarians wishing to sign the declaration should click here

The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism

Preamble

We, Representatives of our respective Parliaments from across the world, convening in London for the founding Conference and Summit of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, draw the democratic world’s attention to the resurgence of antisemitism as a potent force in politics, international affairs and society.

We note the dramatic increase in recorded antisemitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions.

We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations in rhetoric and political action -against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel.

We are alarmed by Government-backed antisemitism in general, and state-backed genocidal antisemitism, in particular.

We, as Parliamentarians, affirm our commitment to a comprehensive programme of action to meet this challenge.

We call upon national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.

We today in London resolve that;

Challenging Antisemitism

1. Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity;

2. Parliamentarians should speak out against antisemitism and discrimination directed against any minority, and guard against equivocation, hesitation and justification in the face of expressions of hatred;

3. Governments must challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust and must encourage civil society to be vigilant to this phenomenon and to openly condemn it;

4. Parliamentarians should campaign for their Government to uphold international commitments on combating antisemitism -including the OSCE Berlin Declaration and its eight main principles;

5. The UN should reaffirm its call for every member state to commit itself to the principles laid out in the Holocaust Remembrance initiative including specific and targeted policies to eradicate Holocaust denial and trivialisation;

6. Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for antisemitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena, and we will never witness – or be party to -another gathering like the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and other related Intolerances in Durban in 2001;

7. The OSCE should encourage its member states to fulfil their commitments under the 2004 Berlin Declaration and to fully utilise programmes to combat antisemitism including the Law Enforcement programme LEOP;

8. The European Union, inter-state institutions, multilateral fora and religious communities must make a concerted effort to combat antisemitism and lead their members to adopt proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;

9. Leaders of all religious faiths should be called upon to use all the means possible to combat antisemitism and all types of discriminatory hostilities among believers and society at large;

  1. The EU Council of MinistersProhibitions
  2. Governments
  3. Parliamentarians should legislate effective Hate Crime legislation recognising “hate aggravated crimes” and, where consistent with local legal standards, “incitement to hatred” offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict;
  4. Governments that are signatories to the Hate Speech Protocol of the Council of Europe ‘Convention on Cybercrime’ (and the ‘Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems’) should enact domestic enabling legislation;
Identifying the threat
  5. Parliamentarians should return to their legislature, Parliament or Assembly and establish inquiry scrutiny panels that are tasked with determining the existing nature and state of antisemitism in their countries and developing recommendations for government and civil society action;
  6. Parliamentarians should engage with their governments in order to measure the effectiveness of existing policies and mechanisms in place and to recommend proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;
  7. Governments should ensure they have publicly accessible incident reporting systems, and that statistics collected on antisemitism should be the subject of regular review and action by government and state prosecutors and that an adequate legislative framework is in place to tackle hate crime;
  8. Governments must expand the use of the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform policy of national and international organisations and as a basis for training material for use by Criminal Justice Agencies;
  9. Police services should record allegations of hate crimes and incidents -including antisemitism -as routine part of reporting crimes;
  10. The OSCE
  1. Education, awareness and training
  2. Governments
  3. Governments
  4. The Council of Europe should act efficiently for the full implementation of its ‘Declaration and Programme for Education for Democratic Citizenship based on the Rights and Responsibilities of the Citizens’, adopted on 7 May 1999 in Budapest;
  5. Governments should include a comprehensive training programme across the Criminal Justice System using programmes such as the LEOP programme;
  6. Education Authorities

Community Support

  1. The Criminal Justice System should publicly notify local communities when antisemitic hate crimes are prosecuted by the courts to build community confidence in reporting and pursuing convictions through the Criminal Justice system;
  2. Parliamentarians

Media and the Internet

  1. Governments should acknowledge the challenge and opportunity of the growing new forms of communication;
  2. Media Regulatory Bodies should utilise the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform media standards;
  3. Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes;
  4. The OSCE should seek ways to coordinate the response of member states to combat the use of the internet to promote incitement to hatred;
  5. Law enforcement authorities should use domestic “hate crime”, “incitement to hatred” and other legislation as well as other means to mitigate and, where permissible, to prosecute “Hate on the Internet” where racist and antisemitic content is hosted, published and written;
  6. An international task force

Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism

  1. Participants will endeavour to maintain contact with fellow delegates through the working group framework, communicating successes or requesting further support where required;
  2. Delegates

Please click the links below for French, German & Spanish translations.

The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism (FR)

The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism (GER)

The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism (SPA)

~

http://palestinechronicle.com/london-declaration-on-anti-semitism-seeking-to-criminalize-criticism-of-israel/#.Ua7VZOt5FQa

London Declaration on Anti-Semitism: Seeking to Criminalize Criticism of Israel

Criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

By Stuart Littlewood | June 4 2013

Australian federal and state MPs have been indulging in an orgy of anti-anti-Semitism by signing en masse the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism. Over 100 have put their mark on it.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that even more of the nation’s 226 federal parliamentarians in Canberra are expected to sign up, and all 105 federal Liberal MPs and senators have done so.

About 300 other lawmakers from some 60 countries have also signed, according to a spokesperson from the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism. Fifty of these are Canadians, 18 are British, six are Israeli and two are American (what, only two?).

Moreover, last month Australia’s Julia Gillard became the fourth prime minister to sign, after Britain’s Gordon Brown and David Cameron, and Canada’s Stephen Harper, who in 2010 signed the Ottawa Protocol, reaffirming the London Declaration.

The Stooges’ Pledge

So what exactly have they put their names to? The full document can be found here. It seeks to “draw the democratic world’s attention to the resurgence of anti-Semitism as a potent force in politics, international affairs and society”.

The authors of this one-sided treatise (the aforementioned Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism) want their 34 “commandments” enforced by all the big battalions – national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, non-governmental organizations and civil society.

In the process, of course, efforts to expose the tightening noose of Zionism on those very same areas of politics, international affairs and society, will be stifled.

Commandment no.1 states that “Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the state of Israel as a Jewish collectivity”.

Oh dear, how confusing. Here I was foolishly thinking the state of Israel was indeed some sort of Jewish collective since its founding document says:

“We, members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz Israel and of the Zionist movement hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel,to be known as the State of Israel. The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles… We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding…”

Commandment no.6 states that “Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for anti-Semitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena…”

In other words, mustn’t pick on, criticize or punish Israel for its horrendous crimes. It’s an old tune.

Commandment no.24 states that “Education authorities should ensure that freedom of speech is upheld within the law and to protect students and staff from illegal anti-Semitic discourse and a hostile environment in whatever form it takes including calls for boycotts”.

But what exactly constitutes “illegal anti-Semitic discourse”? And is this an attempt to make boycotting illegal? Surely, that would be an infringement of personal and civil liberty.

Commandment no.29 states that “Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of antisemitic programmes.”

The heavy hand of state censorship rides again.

“A Flawed Document”

There is good, sensible stuff in the declaration but it is laced with neurotic nonsense. The above are just a few examples. Readers will find more to annoy them when they see the full text, including its hectoring tone, and may feel the whole thing trespasses too far on their personal discretion and good sense.

To their credit two Australian Green MPs, John Kaye and David Shoebridge, have publicly refused to sign the declaration, saying that the document,

“wrongly conflates valid criticism of the state of Israel with anti-Semitism” and is “an unacceptable slander on those of us who speak up for the rights of the Palestinians. Criticism of the state of Israel… that is motivated by concern for a people dispossessed of their land, the consequences of a state that is founded on a religion or ethnicity or the actions of a government that ignores UN resolutions, is a valid contribution to public discourse.”

They add: “It is a tragedy that the London Declaration is a flawed document. The fundamental intent – to combat and end irrational hatred against a people – is too important to be subverted by the political objectives of Zionism.”

They further argue:

“When people of goodwill express their opposition to Israeli soldiers routinely humiliating Palestinians at checkpoints, the construction of an apartheid-style segregation wall through the West Bank or the brutal use of Israeli military force against civilians in Gaza, their motivation is not to denigrate the Jewish people but to highlight injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people.”

Is there a working definition of anti-Semitism? According to the European Forum on anti-Semitism,

“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

For example….

Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

When did fact become myth? Is Jewish ownership of large sections of the media a myth? Is the subservience of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the US government to Israel a myth? Is repeated interference in church affairs by Jewish groups a myth?

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Legitimate worries over dual loyalty are here to stay.

There’s more to chew on in this part of the document:

Examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:

-Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour.

-Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

-Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

-Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

-Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

Self-determination? The Israelis have denied the Palestinians their right to self-determination for decades and just recently opposed their moves towards statehood. And let’s get this straight: critics require from Israel only the same standards of behaviour expected of other countries, i.e. conformity with international law, proper respect for humanitarian law and acceptable standards of justice. This is core.

Furthermore, the state of Israel is always welcome to demonstrate to the world that it is not a racist endeavour after all.
 Wanted: a declaration against irrational hatred of all kinds, not just anti-Semitism

So, are you entirely comfortable with these “commandments”? Would you brandish the blue pencil or eagerly sign up like those fine, thrusting parliamentarians in Australia and Canada – and Brown and Cameron?

What’s the alternative? It seems to me that some Jews would do well to examine their own thoughts and deeds before pleading a special case. Tackling anti-Jewish hatred is a priority but not the only one. Hatred of non-Jews also needs to be curbed, and I’m thinking especially of the Israelis’ Arab neighbours – Christian and Muslim – whose lands, homes and resources they have stolen, whose economy, wellbeing and livelihoods they daily trash, and whose freedom, security and dignity they have long denied. This hatred often spills over into cruelty, murder and other atrocities such as out-and-out military assaults and mass bombing of civilians and infrastructure essential to life.

So here’s a suggestion for the promoters of both documents. Please delete the word “anti-Semitism” from the title and redraft to make it a fair and balanced undertaking against irrational hatred of all kinds.

That, hopefully, would earn universal support. Note the word “earn”. Reasonable, sensible people won’t be pushed and shoved.

It is astonishing how any self-respecting lawmaker could wholeheartedly subscribe to the declaration as it stands.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Comments Off on London Declaration on Anti-Semitism – a Glimpse Into Jewish Phobia

MSNBC Aligns With Objectives of the State

By MICHAEL ARRIA | CounterPunch | June 5, 2013

Celebrated liberal news outlet MSNBC has made some new hires, a couple weeks ago one of them being Mother Jones blogger Adam Serwer. According to TVNewser’s Alex Weprin “MSNBC.com is staffing up ahead of a major relaunch later this year. The relaunched site will focus on the world of politics and the personalities that populate MSNBC’s programming. There will also, however, be plenty of political news and information.”

Recently journalist Charles Davis tweeted about an online run-in he once had with Serwer. Disturbed by the military culture that had permeated a women’s soccer game, he blogged, “No other country on Earth, barring perhaps North Korea, worships its military in such a prevalent, mindless and such seemingly oblivious fashion as the good ‘ol USA.”

This perturbed MSNBC’s new hire, who was writing for the American Prospect at the time, and prompted him to post this comment “We should support servicemembers unconditionally because their service is unconditional, and I have yet to hear a rational argument for why allowing servicemembers to disregard civilian authority over the military is a good idea, which is essentially what calling for civil disobedience by servicemembers is.”

Serwer continued:

“What if General Petraeus decides that the Afghan surge isn’t big enough, so he’s morally obligated to take over and make the decision for himself, to save us from ourselves? He’s morally obligated to protect his country in the way he thinks is best right? Who cares what the law says?

The whole point of civilian control is to ensure that the people with guns don’t get to do whatever they want, that the power given them can only be used with the consent of the political branches, elected by the people. And if you don’t think that power is being used properly, than you can change that through the political process.”

Davis responded on his blog:

“But no one’s arguing, of course, that soldiers should merely do whatever they feel. The argument, at least as I have made it, is that killing people is wrong, except in instances of absolute self-defense, no matter what politician or politically appointed court sanctions it. Now, abiding by one’s conscience is typically consistent with the whole not murdering people thing — poor foreigner or not — but where it differs, it’s subservient to that latter, foundational principal of any truly civilized society. Again, the argument is that people ought to defy orders to kill — and ostracize, rather than worship, the institutions tasked with carrying out the state-sponsored carnage — not that they should kill more people if they feel like it.

And instead of wading through a corrupt political process designed to thwart change and serve the needs of the powerful, the legitimacy of which Serwer asserts but does not bother to demonstrate, it’s the responsibility of all human beings with a capacity for moral thought, be they uniformed or not, to reject blind obedience [to] authority and the ‘legal’ facade it provides to immoral acts. The idea that only the political process is an acceptable means of challenging injustice treats the average person as but an unthinking cog in the machinery of the state, bound to abide by whatever ‘lawful’ edicts their rulers issue, a worldview that does not allow for principled civil disobedience. We, soldier and citizen, are not entitled to determine what’s right and wrong, whether it be a preemptive war or, say, the institution of slavery — that’s left to legislatures.”

It’s probably worth noting that Serwer’s entire response to all of Davis’ comments was, “We do have some job openings, but nothing quite as prestigious as writing for Code Pink, I’m sad to say.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that someone at MSNBC had worked out a bizarre calculus regarding his or her relationship to the state. For example, during the recent ten-year anniversary of the Iraq War, Ezra Klein (who economist Doug Henwood has referred to as a, “Neoliberal über-dweeb”) explained that his support of the Bush administration’s invasion was predicated on an “analytical failure.”  “It wasn’t worth doing precisely because the odds were high that we couldn’t do it right,” wrote Klein.

The bizarre and robotic nature of this “apology” aside, the political theorist Corey Robin immediately spotted something fishy in Klein’s grammar, “Klein doesn’t think a state invaded another state; he thinks ‘we’ went to war. He identifies with the state. Whether he’s supporting or dissenting from a policy, he sees himself as part of it. He sees himself on the jeeps with the troops. That’s why his calls for skepticism, for not taking things on authority, ring so hollow. In the end, he’s on the team. Or the jeep.”

After the tragic Trayvon Martin murder, Touré appeared on Piers Morgan’s program and took him to task for his interview with the family of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. One of Touré ‘s main problems with the interview seemed to be Morgan’s inability to understand how American journalism functioned. “What you understand as challenging, perhaps, maybe that’s what goes in England. That’s not what we do in terms of challenging in America…I would have liked to see him pushed and challenged, more followup, more pushback, more research to understand.”

Of all the things to criticize Piers Morgan for, the veracity of the American media in comparison to England’s is, probably, one of the least sensible. Later, when Touré sparked something of a controversy by arguing that President Obama had the right to assassinate an American citizen, he demonstrated very little of his aforementioned pushback. On a panel discussing drone strikes, the media personality seemed completely unaware that the administration had killed a 16-year-old kid: “What do you mean a 16-year old who is killed? I’m not talking about civilians.” After Steve Kornacki and S.E. Cupp explained to Touré who Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki was, he shrugged, “If people are working against America, then they need to die.”

The political theorist Falguni Sheth connected the dots between the two situations, “There is a certain nativist, if not xenophobic, consistency on Touré’s part. Rightfully insisting on paying attention to the racist context surrounding Martin’s death, he nevertheless challenges Morgan’s attitudes on the grounds that Morgan is not “from here.” For all of Touré’s understanding about the racial context of unfair murders, he appears to be ignorant of and indifferent to the fact that a young Muslim (American) boy was killed by a drone under the auspices of the POTUS. We see a similar nativism in Touré’s sentiments about restricting due process to “Americans”—even after he learns that Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki IS American.”

Aligning themselves with the objectives of the state is always an easier task for liberals when the leader is a Democrat, it requires much less cognitive dissonance on the part of the pundit. In his book, Killer Politics: How Big Money and Bad Politics Are Destroying the Great American Middle Class, MSNBC host Ed Schultz quotes Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech before opining, “… I do not believe that preemptive war with Iraq was justified. I think it was a blunder that set a dangerous modern-day precedent for preemptive war and seriously damaged U.S. credibility around the world-something only time and credible action in the future can mitigate. History alone knows how this war will play out. What we can be certain about is that Bush’s Iraq folly placed a tremendous financial burden on the nation that has critically weakened us both militarily and financially.”

Jesus. I wonder what it did to Iraq.

Things have, of course, shifted in the last five years and, thus, certain pronouns can be embraced without caveats. As Rachel Maddow explained to her viewing audience after the disastrous NATO intervention in Libya, “President Obama announced his own military intervention, but he pointedly declined the opportunity to do it in a way that US presidents usually do. Obama has foresworn “the chest-thumping commander-in-chief theater that goes with military intervention of any kind… that in itself is a fascinating and rather blunt demonstration of just how much this presidency is not like that of George W. Bush.”

I think Serwer is going to fit right in.

Michael Arria writes for Vice’s Motherboard.tv.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Comments Off on MSNBC Aligns With Objectives of the State

The U.S. Base on Diego Garcia: An Overlooked Atrocity

By Sheldon Richman | FFF |June 4, 2013

The largest criminal organizations in the world are governments. The bigger they are, the more capable of perpetrating atrocities. Not only do they obtain great wealth through compulsion (taxation), they also have an ideological mystique that permits them uniquely to get away with murder, torture, and theft.

The U.S. government is no exception. This is demonstrated by, among many other things, the atomic bombings of noncombatants in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World II. But let’s examine a lesser-known case, one we might know nothing about were it not for David Vine, who teaches anthropology at the American University. Vine has written a book, Island of Shame, and a follow-up article at the Huffington Post about the savage treatment of the people of Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Americans may know Diego Garcia as a U.S. military base. It “helped launch the Afghan and Iraq wars and was part of the CIA’s secret ‘rendition’ program for captured terrorist suspects,” Vine writes.

What’s not widely known is that the island was once home to a couple of thousand people who were forcibly removed to make room for the U.S. military. The victims’ 40-year effort to return or to be compensated for their losses have been futile.

Great Britain claims the island. According to Vine, African slaves, indentured Indians, and their descendants had been living on the Chagos islands for about 200 years. “In 1965, after years of secret negotiations, Britain agreed to separate Chagos from colonial Mauritius (contravening UN decolonization rules) to create a new colony, the British Indian Ocean Territory. In a secret 1966 agreement, Britain gave U.S. officials base rights on Diego Garcia.”

But it did more than that. Britain “agreed to take those ‘administrative measures’ necessary to remove the nearly 2,000 Chagossians in exchange for $14 million in secret U.S. payments.”

The British kept their end of the bargain. In 1968, Britain began blocking the return of Chagossians who left to obtain medical treatment or to go on vacation, “marooning them often without family members and almost all their possessions,” Vine writes.

British officials soon began restricting food and medical supplies to Chagos. Anglo-American officials designed a public relations plan aimed at, as one British bureaucrat said, “maintaining the fiction” that Chagossians were migrant laborers rather than a people with roots in Chagos for five generations or more. Another British official called them “Tarzans” and “Man Fridays.”

Then, in 1971, the final order came down, reminiscent of a Russian czar expelling Jews from their village. “The U.S. Navy’s highest-ranking admiral, Elmo Zumwalt, issued … a three-word memo.… ‘Absolutely must go.’”

British agents, with the help of Navy Seabees, quickly rounded up the islanders’ pet dogs, gassing and burning them in sealed cargo sheds. They ordered … the remaining Chagossians onto overcrowded cargo ships. During the deportations, which took place in stages until May 1973, most Chagossians slept in the ship’s hold atop guano — bird crap. Prized horses stayed on deck. By the end of the five-day trip, vomit, urine, and excrement were everywhere. At least one woman miscarried.

Arriving in Mauritius and the Seychelles, Chagossians were literally left on the docks. They were homeless, jobless, and had little money, and they received no resettlement assistance.

Remember, this was happening, not in the 18th or 19th century, but in the late 20th century. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the last of the expulsions.

The personal toll has been great. The Chagossians remain poor, and many suffer from illnesses traced to their dispossession. “Scores more Chagossians have reported deaths from sadness and sagren,” or “profound sorrow,” according to Vine.

Five years ago the Chagossians had some ray of hope when three British courts declared the deportations illegal. But the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom overruled the lower courts. “Last year,” Vine adds, “the European Court of Human Rights dismissed the Chagossians’ final appeal on procedural grounds.…”

“A day after the European court ruling, the Obama administration rejected the demands of an online petition signed by some 30,000 asking the White House to ‘redress wrongs against the Chagossians.’”

The British were adequately looking after the matter, the administration said.

Here is government in all its glory.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The U.S. Base on Diego Garcia: An Overlooked Atrocity

British attempts to blacklist Lebanese resistance movement end in failure

Press TV – June 5, 2013

The UK government has failed in its desperate attempt at the European Union to blacklist the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah as a “terrorist group”, local media reported.

The failure came after Britain was unable to convince its European allies that Hezbollah was behind an attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year, according to British media outlets.

The bombing happened last July in the Black Sea resort of Burgas, where five Israeli tourists, a Bulgarian driver and the bomber were killed.

This was considered as a crucial part of the UK government’s rationale to convince the EU to blacklist Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

However, several EU countries voiced doubt over the evidence linking the resistance movement to the bombing.

Hezbollah enjoys a major political and social standing within the Lebanese society and the EU nation also voiced concerns that blacklisting it could create instability in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, after a one-year probe, the Bulgarian government too was unable to submit credible proof that Hezbollah was involved in the attack.

“An attack takes place and immediately all over the world, governments are saying it was Hezbollah,” said Elena Pavlova, a Middle East analyst based in Sofia. “Yet, we have waited a year and still no one has given any proof.”

Along with local journalist Ruslan Yordanov, she found al Qaida-linked martyrdom videos online, claiming responsibility a day after the bombing in Burgas.

They wonder whether evidence pointing towards alternative perpetrators was deliberately ignored to meet the demands of Israeli and Western governments seeking an excuse to ban Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has also dismissed allegations of involvement in the Burgas plot, and the attempt to blacklist the resistance movement has brought heated responses from Lebanon.

“Any listing of the group as a terrorist organisation will be considered as political provocation,” Lebanon’s acting foreign minister Adnan Mansour, who is seen as close to the Syrian government, said last week. “We know there are Israeli pressures practised on more than one international side in order to accuse Hezbollah of terrorism.”

Enough doubts remain to make several EU governments uncomfortable about blacklisting the group, and the support of all 27 members is needed for the motion to pass.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Comments Off on British attempts to blacklist Lebanese resistance movement end in failure

Monsanto can’t explain how GMO wheat survived

RT | June 4, 2013

Monsanto claims it has no idea how its herbicide-resistant strain of wheat made its way onto an Oregon field. The global biotech giant based in Missouri says it abandoned research on it in 2004 and is mystified by its emergence nearly a decade later.

Monsanto tested the GMO varieties in 17 US states between 1998 and 2004. Although it also tested the GM wheat in Oregon, the company claims it destroyed all of the material upon the conclusion of the program and that it never grew the wheat strain on the farm where it was found last month.

“The company’s internal assessments suggest that neither seed left in the soil nor wheat pollen flow serve as reasonable explanations behind this reported detection,” the biotech giant said in a news release Friday.

The company claims that even if the wheat seed had been left in the ground, it would not have survived longer than one or two years in the soil. Monsanto also states that its seed varieties could not have possibly traveled across the state, since 99 percent of wheat pollen is deposited within 10 meters of the plant.

“This report is unusual since our program was discontinued nine years ago, and this is the only report after more than 500 million acres (200 million hectare) of wheat have been grown,” the company said in its statement.

Since May 29, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has conducted a multi-state investigation to determine how the GM wheat reached the Oregon farm.

A local farmer discovered it after dousing his field with Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” pesticide and realizing that some of the wheat plants were resistant to it. He alerted the USDA, which soon determined that the herbicide-resistant wheat crop was the same variety Monsanto tested nearly a decade ago.

The USDA never approved the strain, and environmentalists have expressed deep concern about potential health risks involving the mysterious GM crop. The finding has already had a detrimental impact on US trade: Japanese authorities last week announced that they would suspend imports of US wheat.

Shortly after the announcement, wheat for July delivery fell by 8.25 cents to $6.945 per bushel on the Chicago Board Trade.

And Monsanto’s asserted bewilderment serves as no comfort to those concerned about the presence of unapproved GM crops in the US, particularly foreign importers who fear that the GM variety may have been present in their crop purchases.

A USDA spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday that there are “no indications that there is any GE wheat in commerce.” But if investigators find any more of the unapproved wheat variety growing on US farms, the agriculture industry could take an even harder hit.

Genetically modified wheat has not been approved for commercial growing, and Asian and European buyers have expressed little interest in it, which in large part influenced Monsanto’s decision not to market the GM crop after testing it.

A team of 15 investigators is continuing its probe into the mysterious crop’s emergence – a phenomenon that Monsanto says it cannot explain.

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Comments Off on Monsanto can’t explain how GMO wheat survived