Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Schoolchildren exposed to teargas seven of the last eight days

CPTnet | February 25, 2014

Israeli soldiers have shot teargas and sound grenades at children who cross checkpoints 29 and 209 on their way to school in the morning on seven of the last eight school days.

International observers and human rights workers in Hebron have witnessed Israeli soldiers repeatedly firing grenades and sound bombs into the streets near these checkpoints while children are walking to school.  The children attend several schools located both in the Old City and in the area of Hebron designated as H2, on the other side of the checkpoints, and include preschool students as young as four.  Depending on where they live and which school they attend, children must cross these checkpoints in both directions to reach schools both inside the old city and in H2.

Because the Israeli military does not allow buses that transport younger children to preschool and kindergarten classes in H2 to cross the checkpoints, very young children living in the Old City must walk through these checkpoint areas in order to reach their school buses.

At times, the use of teargas by soldiers has been in response to several children throwing stones, but internationals have also witnessed soldiers firing teargas canisters without provocation.  In any event, because so many children pass through the same area to reach school at the same time, hundreds of children, many of them in primary grades, suffer the effects of gas on an almost daily basis. Additionally, because the agents used to manufacture teargas are actually solids, they remain inside shops, on clothing, and in the streets where children walk and play throughout the day.

Although the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) prohibits the use of teargas and pepper spray in warfare, domestic police and state forces are allowed to use these weapons on people as “riot control” agents.

Tear gas is a non-lethal chemical weapon that stimulates the corneal nerves in the eyes to cause tears, pain—which can be extreme, immediate and severe nausea, and even blindness. Longer term effects include persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and other lung-related problems (heightened in people who already have lung problems), heart and liver damage, delayed menstruation, and an increase in miscarriages and stillbirths in women exposed to the gas. The NGO Physicians for Human Rights believes that “‘tear gas’ is a misnomer for a group of poisonous gases which, far from being innocuous, have serious acute and longer-term adverse effects on the health of significant numbers of those exposed.”

In addition to the effects of the gas, the teargas cartridges fired by soldiers can cause serious injury and even death if they strike people, especially if soldiers fire the cartridges straight into crowds rather than into the air.  Internationals and Palestinians report having seen soldiers fire teargas straight into the roads near these checkpoints.

The teargas used on school children in Hebron comes primarily from the United States and is manufactured primarily by Combined Systems Inc. of Jamestown, Pennsylvania and Defense Technology of Casper, Wyoming. Combined Systems Inc. (CSI)—often manufacturing under the brand name Combined Tactical Systems (CTS) are owned by Point Lookout Capital and the Carlyle Group.  CSI is the primary supplier of tear gas to the Israeli military as well as a provider to Israel’s police (and border police) for use in occupied Palestine.

Defense Technology is headquartered in Casper, Wyoming. Along with U.S. company Federal Laboratories, with which it shares a product line, it has links to the U.K. arms giant BAE Systems through BAE’s ownership of U.S. arms company Armor Holdings.

The War Resisters League has launched a campaign to abolish teargas, and to encourage people who have been impacted by its use to tell their stories.  The campaign seeks “the global ban of tear gas by first ending the sale, manufacture, and shipment of tear gas made in the US through organizing and applying grassroots pressure on

To learn more about teargas in Palestine and throughout the world, or to add your story to the campaign, visit facingteargas.org

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Luxembourg pension fund boycotts major Israeli banks

Ma’an | February 25, 2014

BETHLEHEM – Luxembourg’s general pension fund has decided to boycott five major Israeli banks and a number of major Israeli investment companies over their involvement in supporting construction in illegal settlements in the West Bank, according to the Hebrew-language news site Walla.

In a report published Tuesday, Walla news highlighted that names of the Israeli banks and companies appeared on a list banned by the Fond De Compensation last updated on Nov. 15, 2013. The list, titled on the FDC website as “Exclusion List,” included 60 international banks and companies which FDC decided to boycott over human rights violations.

The Israeli banks and companies on the list are the Africa Israel Investment group identified by FDC as Real Estate, Management and Development group, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Elbit Systems, aerospace and defense group, Finmeccaneca, also aerospace and defense group, First International Bank of Israel, Israel Discount Bank, Jerusalem Economy LTD, the Real Estate, Management and Development Group and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank LTD.

It was explained on the list that the Israeli banks and organizations appeared because they support and finance construction of “illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Territories of the State of Palestine” and some provide security systems for the “illegal separation barrier on Occupied Territories of the State of Palestine.”

The Walla report highlighted that the direct impact of this boycott could be zero, but it is still worrying because it is a chain in an ongoing divestment process.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Call It Democracy

BRUCE COCKBURN

“Call It Democracy”

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament –
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

True Colors of Venezuelan Student Movement Apparent in Feb. 22nd Releases

By Alex Main | CEPR Americas Blog | February 24, 2014

On the night of February 22nd, a bizarre incident took place in the Venezuela media-sphere. At around 4:00 pm Venezuela time, a number of the country’s private media outlets posted a release from a protest group identified only as the “student movement.” The rhetoric and tone of the statement matches the positions often expressed by extreme rightwing factions within Venezuela’s opposition over the last 14 years. Venezuela, it alleges, is in the grip of Cuban communists:

Foreign forces have laid a military siege on Venezuela. Their mercenaries attack us in a vile and savage manner. Their goal is to enslave us and be the masters of our existence, dishonoring the flags that we have held up in the street and that we will defend with our lives.

We want our Freedom. To protect it it’s vital to defend the Sovereignty of the Nation, expelling the Cuban communists that are here usurping the government and the Armed Forces.

The release demands that “the usurper [Venezuelan president] Nicolas Maduro and all of his cabinet be deposed” and states that the protests will continue until this and other demands are met. The statement also calls for defensive action against state security:

The regime has declared war on any civilian who doesn’t accept its marxist ideology. Our call is for defense: to not allow the invaders profane your street, your avenue, your property. Prevent their access so that they don’t shoot up your neighborhood, don’t destroy your properties, don’t hurt your loved ones and, above all, so that they know that here there are battle-seasoned Venezuelans, who won’t allow themselves to be enslaved through the use of force.

The rhetoric found in this release is reminiscent of the language used by the promoters of the “guarimba” protests in 2004 which – similarly to many of the protests that have been occurring in Venezuela over the last two weeks – involved protesters blocking major roads and with bonfires and barricades and damaging public property. The explicit goal of the 2004 guarimba protests was to create enormous chaos in city streets thereby forcing the government to either step down or engage in mass repression. Or, in the words of Luis Alonso, the main promoter of the guarimba ten years ago:

THE ONLY objective of “THE GUARIMBA” (…) is to create anarchistic chaos on the national level with the help of all citizens and in the main cities of Venezuela, so as to force the CASTRO-COMMUNIST regime of Venezuela to order “PLAN AVILA [a military contingency plan to enforce public order that was used during the 1989 Caracazo protests and that left thousands dead].”

If mass repression occurred, the guarimberos believed that elements of the military opposed to the “Castro-communist” project would rebel and oust the government.

Needless to say, the terminology and goals of the students’ release probably doesn’t reflect the point of view of most Venezuelan opposition supporters and it certainly doesn’t reinforce the common portrayal of the young protesters as peaceful and reasonable.

But then, as if by magic, the original release of the unnamed “students’ movement” was removed from many sites and in a few cases replaced with a much less polemical text. Here is a link to the early version of an El Nacional article on the student movement release that contains the text of the original statement. Later that evening the editors quietly replaced the original statement with the second one, as you can see in this updated version of the same article. El Nacional, one of the largest newspapers in the country, and other outlets that made the switch, never informed their readers of having done so. Here’s a translation of a few key excerpts from the second release:

[Venezuela’s] youth can’t stay silent in the face of the profound pain in all Venezuelans’ hearts resulting from the hate and division that is being sowed. Our consciences remain clear in protesting those who wish to establish violence, ignore the country’s most urgent problems and trample human rights.

The exacerbation of insecurity, the deterioration of the quality of life of Venezuelans, the economic crisis, the repression and criminalization of citizens’ protests cause us to raise our voices. We want reconciliation and respect for democratic principles and the Constitution.

(…) We dream of a Venezuela where inclusion, peace and prosperity are possible.

No more talk of “Cuban communists” that have taken over the government and army or of the need to remove the “usurper” Nicolás Maduro.  Instead, we see a series of demands that, while based at times on highly questionable premises, appear to be more reasonable, e.g., “liberty for all of the detained young people, (…) the disarming of violent groups, (…) the end of media censorship [regarding the claim of censorship, I recommend reading Mark Weisbrot’s latest post on the Venezuelan media].”

However, one demand from the re-worked release is similar to the main demand of the original release: the second release calls for “the renovation and re-legitimizing of public powers.” Though this language may seem innocuous at full glance, the basic meaning is clear: those in power are not legitimate and should be removed. In the most charitable interpretation, this can be read as a call for immediate elections, despite the fact that Maduro was elected less than a year ago and that his popular legitimacy was reaffirmed in municipal elections last December in which pro-government parties won the total vote by a ten-point margin.

It is also interesting to note that, unlike most recent youth protest movements like the 2011-2013 Chilean movement, the 2012 Quebec student protests or even the U.S. Occupy Wall Street movement, the demands of the Venezuelan students who have taken to the streets focus neither on social justice issues nor on the government’s education policies. It is telling that the University of Chile Student Federation which was instrumental in ending the Pinochet dictatorship and played a key role in the 2011-2013 protests, released a statement which had the following to say about the Venezuelan student movement:

We reject any attempt at destabilization, hoarding of food and of coup-mongering that aims to bypass the sovereign decisions of the people of Venezuela (…) Similarly, we don’t feel represented by the actions of Venezuelan student sectors that have taken the side of the defense of the old order and are opposed to the path that the people have defined.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Oppose the Oakland Spy Center

By OAKLAND PRIVACY WORKING GROUP | CounterPunch | February 25, 2014

On March 4, 2014, the Oakland City Council will decide to award a contract that, if approved, will impact your civil rights. The Domain Awareness Center (“DAC”) is a full-time mass surveillance project encompassing the city and Port of Oakland and initially funded by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).  The Oakland Privacy Working Group opposes this project because city staff and the Oakland Police Department (“OPD”) have proven they can’t be trusted to oversee something this critical; furthermore it won’t solve crime, there is great potential for abuse of civil liberties, and the city cannot afford it.  The city has no data retention and privacy policy or oversight committee for the DAC, which is absurd when one considers the potential harm and past wrongdoing by the city.

The DAC will share live video and data with regional government, law enforcement, and as stated by Port Facilities Security Officer Mike O’Brien at the February 18, 2014 City Council meeting, “there is an expectation by the Feds that we will share information with them.”  Future proposed DAC phases include adding cameras at Oakland Unified School District buildings and throughout Oakland Housing Authority properties, automatic license plate readers, facial recognition software, and social media monitoring.  Strangely, Oakland Police Department (“OPD”) has suggested including planning, business, and property tax databases, which are unrelated to crime fighting.

We are being sold the line that the DAC will help solve Oakland’s crime problem, yet there is no data that proves mass surveillance does so.  And city staff has shown no interest in solving crimes with the DAC.  As stated by the East Bay Express in the Dec. 18, 2013 article “The Real Purpose of Oakland’s Surveillance Center, “While the emails reveal a great deal about the DAC, they are also notable for what they do not talk about … city staffers do not discuss any studies pertaining to the use of surveillance cameras in combating crime, nor do they discuss how the Domain Awareness System could help OPD with its longstanding problems with solving violent crimes. In more than 3,000 pages of emails, the terms ‘murder,’ ‘homicide,’ ‘assault,’ ‘robbery,’ and ‘theft’ are never mentioned.”

OPD can’t manage its resources and has a poor relationship with the community.  In a February 6, 2014 report by the city auditor, “OPD spent at least $1.87 million on technology that was never used or underused.”  According to OPD’s report to the Public Safety Committee at its September 2013 meeting, the city has over 650 homicide investigations with unexamined evidence, some cases going back seven years.  Alameda County has over 1,900 rape kits that have never been looked at.  In the same September 2013 meeting, OPD stated that it needed $1.2 million to increase staff at its crime lab, an amount that will now be usurped by the DAC’s estimated annual operating costs to the city of $1.6 million.

For 10+ years running, OPD has failed to comply with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement from the infamous Riders trial.  Yet, the City Council is poised to hand over to OPD the most advanced surveillance and tracking tools in history.  In her February 13, 2014 letter to the City Council, ACLU Nor-Cal staff attorney Linda Lye noted that “black people were twice as likely (68%) to be surveilled for ‘no obvious reasons’ than whites” by video surveillance systems.

City staff disregards Oakland’s contracting policies and cannot be trusted to oversee something more critical like our private data.  The work on Phase 1 was completed by SAIC, a contractor found to be in noncompliance with the City’s Nuclear Free Zone Ordinance (“NFZO”).  SAIC defrauded the city of New York on a payroll system contract, agreeing in 2012 to pay $500 million to avoid prosecution.  As revealed by internal city emails, Oakland city staff knew these facts prior to execution of the Phase 1 contract and concealed these facts from the City Council as SAIC received payment.  Unsurprisingly, SAIC overcharged the city on Phase 1.  In 2013 SAIC was exposed and prevented from pursuing the Phase 2 contract.  Noncompliance with the NFZO is also a problem for the staff-selected Phase 2 contractor.

Most importantly, ours is a civil rights movement.  The Bill of Rights codified our civil liberties.  The California Constitution has an express right to privacy.  Long-held legal doctrines such as freedom of speech, the press, and assembly and the requirement of due process and probable cause, form the basis of our civil society.  Many lives have been lost defending these rights.  The result of mass surveillance is a chilling effect upon legal activities, such as meeting in a public plaza or attending a mosque for worship in this post-9/11 world.

Oakland has in the past rejected mass surveillance, in 1997 and 1999.  Council member Henry Chang reflected on his decision to come to the United States, saying, “We came because we don’t want to be watched by Big Brother all the time.”  Council member Ignacio De La Fuente cast his no vote by citing a lack of evidence that cameras are effective in reducing crime and concluding that the program was not “worth the risk of violating people’s privacy rights.”

The DAC won’t reduce crime.  It is a financial boondoggle.  Staff and OPD have proven they cannot be trusted to oversee it.  Most importantly, the DAC will infringe upon our civil liberties.

Oakland Privacy Working Group can be reached through their website: oaklandprivacy.wordpress.com

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Police “Heat List” Renews Old Fears About Government Flagging and Tagging

By Jay Stanley | ACLU | February 25, 2014

The Verge had a story last week (expanding on an August report from the Chicago Tribune that I’d missed) that the Chicago police have created a list of the “400 most dangerous people in Chicago.” The Trib reported on one fellow, who had no criminal arrests, expressing surprise over having received a visit from the police and being told he was on this list. A 17-year-old girl was also shocked when told she was on the list.

The database, according to the Verge, is based on historic crime information, disturbance calls, and suspicious person reports. The CPD’s list is heavily based on social network analysis (which is interesting considering the debates now swirling around the uses of metadata and the analysis such data enables). A sociologist whose work inspired the list, Andrew Papachristos, told the author of a Chicago Magazine piece (which goes into some interesting depth on some of the theory behind the list): “It’s not just about your friends and who you’re hanging out with, it’s actually the structure of these networks that matter.”

The list was funded through a Justice Department grant known as “Two Degrees of Association.” (At least that’s one less hop than the NSA uses.)

I’m still consistently surprised how often things we worry about in the abstract actually show up in the real world. For years, privacy advocates have been warning about how databases might be mined by the authorities for information used to label, sort, and prejudge people. True, there are all too many precedents for this sort of thing, including the CAPPS II program proposed early in the Bush Administration, the nation’s terrorist watch lists, various police gang lists, and the Automated Targeting System. The TSA’s Pre-Check whitelist is also a cousin of this kind of program. All are based on using various information sources and grinding them through one or another logic engines to spit out a judgment about individuals and their supposed dangerousness or safeness as a human being. But still, this program amazes me in how starkly it replicates the kinds of things we have been warning about in many different contexts.

Just two weeks ago, for example, I was asked by several news outlets what we think about police officers using Google Glass. I told them that Glass is basically a body camera, and that the issues were the same as those outlined in our white paper on police use of that technology. The principal difference between Glass and the body cameras being marketed to police is that Glass can also display information. I said this shouldn’t be a problem—unless (I added almost apologetically because of the slightly fanciful nature of this point) the police started using them with face recognition to display some kind of rating or warning for individuals who have been somehow determined to be untrustworthy.

“Of course, that’s not a problem today,” I said, “it’s more of a futuristic concern.”

Ha! Barely a week later, that scenario doesn’t seem so futuristic any more to me, especially at a time when some want to use face recognition to warn them when someone on a blacklist tries to enter a store or school. (True, Google doesn’t currently permit FaceRec apps on Glass, but it’s unclear how long that will last.)

Some further points and questions about Chicago’s heat list:

  • The principal problem with flagging suspicious individuals in this way may be the risk of guilt by association. Although we don’t know how valid, accurate, and fair the algorithm is, it’s important to note that even if its measures were valid statistically—that one particular individual really does have an increased risk of crime because of certain things about his or her life—it may still constitute guilt-by-association for a person who actually remains innocent. It is simply not fair for people to be subject to punishments and disadvantages because of the groups they belong to or what other people in similar circumstances tend to do. I keep going back to the example of the man whose credit rating was lowered because the other customers of a store where he shopped had poor repayment histories.
  • Why should the police restrict their hotlist to 400? Why not 4,000 or 40,000? In fact, why not give every citizen a rating, between 1 and 100 say, of how “risky” they might be? Then the police could program their Google Glass to display that score hovering above the head of every person who comes into their field of vision. This is a path it’s all too easy to see the police sliding down, and one we should not take even the first steps towards.
  • Remember too the point that (as I made here) there are a vast number of laws on the books, many complicated and obscure, and anyone who is scrutinized closely enough by the authorities is far more likely to actually be found to have run afoul of some law than a person who isn’t. In that respect inclusion on the list could become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
  • Will the Chicago police carry out any kind of analysis to measure how effective this technique is? Will they look at the success of their predictions, search for any discriminatory effects, or attempt to find out whether these rankings become a self-fulfilling prophesy? The police often have little inclination to do any such things—to adopt rigorous criteria for measuring whether their new toys and gizmos are providing a good return on investment. Purely from an oversight point of view, every aspect of this program would ideally be made public so the world could scrutinize it—certainly the algorithm. Privacy concerns, however, suggest that the names of individuals who are (quite possibly totally unfairly) flagged by these algorithms not be made public, nor any personal data that is being fed into the algorithms.
  • A Chicago police commander is quoted as saying, “If you end up on that list, there’s a reason you’re there.” This framing begs the question at the heart of this approach: is it valid and accurate? Such circular logic is genuinely frightening when it comes from a police officer talking about matters of guilt and innocence.
  • It’s true that there could be a fine line between laudable efforts to identify and help “at-risk youth,” and efforts to tag some people with labels that are used to discriminate and stigmatize. Research on the “epidemiology of violence” could be valuable if used as part of a public health approach to crime. But if it’s part of a criminal justice “pre-crime” approach, then that’s where the problems arise.

Overall, the key question is this: will being flagged by these systems lead to good things in a person’s life, like increased support, opportunities, and chances to escape crime—or bad things, such as surveillance and prejudicial encounters with the police? Unfortunately, there are all too many reasons to worry that this program will veer towards the worst nightmares of those who have been closely watching the growth of the data-based society.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Abby Martin peddles Jewish exceptionalism, fears WW2 truth

By Brandon Martinez | February 24, 2014

Recently, Abby Martin, the host of “Breaking the Set” on the Putin-funded Russia Today network, released two segments on the subjects of the Nazis and the “holocaust,” an event which she described as “a horrific genocide that forever changed the world.”

One wonders why Martin – like her compatriots in the Zionist-dominated Hollywood establishment — places exceptional status on the “holocaust” when in fact a far greater number of non-Jews — particularly Germans, Russians and Chinese — perished during the Second World War than even the highest exaggerations of the sacred Shoah.

Why have the Western media and academia placed such an importance and focus on Jewish deaths in World War II? Are Jewish deaths more tragic than non-Jewish deaths? Are Jewish lives worth more than those of non-Jews? Does Jewish suffering trump that of non-Jewish peoples? The supremacist and racist disposition of Jewish eminence in this regard must necessarily be the viewpoint of those who promote the “holocaust” as a seminal event in history, elevating it to sacrosanct status. Whether they realize it or not, commentators who advance the primacy of Jewish suffering are enabling the Zionists’ continued genocidal subjugation of the Palestinians.

Most people, including Martin, are blinded by decades of intense Zionist propaganda on the subject and cannot bring themselves to overcome their brainwashing. Or they are just too proud to admit they were wrong. If such people took the time and effort to do a little research, they would quickly discover that millions of “holocaust victims” have been excised from the official death total. For 45 years, the standard histories told us four million people died at Auschwitz. When the communist iron curtain disintegrated in 1990, the figure was revised downwards to 1.5 million, but the real death total still remains a mystery. Some historians estimate less than 100,000 people died in that camp, primarily from disease and starvation caused by Allied bombing. Death totals at other major German camps have likewise been significantly reduced by official sources. The Majdanek and Mauthausen camps were at one time claimed to be the resting places of 3.5 million Jews and others. Establishment sources now contend that around 74,000 Jews died in those two facilities combined.

Deborah Lipstadt, a leading holocaust industry figure, pointed out in a review of Tom Segev’s biography of the famed “Nazi hunter” Simon Wiesenthal, that Wiesenthal invented the figure of five million non-Jewish victims of Hitler in order to stimulate interest in the holocaust among non-Jews. “He chose five million because it was almost, but not quite, as large as six million,” she writes, but the figure, according to Lipstadt, “had no basis in historical reality.”

The most infamous German camp, Auschwitz, is the Rosetta Stone of the holocaust story. The camp’s true purpose bears little resemblance to the picture painted in Hollywood movies and mainstream history books. It is an irrefutable fact that Auschwitz had facilities one would never expect to find in a bona fide “death factory,” such as a swimming pool, a soccer pitch, a theater, a library, a post office, a hospital, dental facilities, kitchens and so on. Inmates were encouraged to participate in orchestras, theater productions, soccer matches and other cultural and leisure activities.

“We also had an orchestra where some of the musicians played together,” said one former Jewish inmate. Another former inmate noted some of the cultural activities in Auschwitz: “We had a piano. Not just a piano, a grand piano was brought into Block One,” she said. “Once that new block was built, the downstairs room was assigned for theater. I had a big table where I could work and lay out all the paper. That was very peaceful and relaxing,” she added. “I went out to pick the leaves, which would be used to make tea for the whole camp.”

“At the beginning of those days there was a library where people could get books to read,” said a former Buchenwald inmate. “There were newspapers that we could get … and later on … [the German authorities] made a movie theater in the camp.” “Once I came to the main camp we were allowed twice a month to write home,” he said. Other former inmates recounted memories of soccer matches in various German camps, including Auschwitz, Theresienstadt and Gross-Rosen. “On the weekends we got a group of us together and made a soccer team, we played soccer,” said one former inmate. Another explained, “In 1944 we had soccer games. We organized very well. Each nationality organized a … team. [German SS officers] even played soccer with us.”

In his article “Auschwitz: Myths and Facts,” historian Mark Weber noted that around 200,000 inmates were transferred from Auschwitz to other camps and 8,000 prisoners were found alive and well when the Soviets arrived in January of 1945. Many of the self-styled “holocaust survivors” claim to have survived internment in multiple “death camps,” which makes little sense. Weber also pointed out that about 1,500 inmates who had served their sentences were released from Auschwitz and returned home before the war’s end. “If Auschwitz had actually been a top secret extermination center,” Weber observed, “it is difficult to believe that the German authorities would have released inmates who ‘knew’ what was happening there.”

In reality, Auschwitz was a labour camp. “Arbeit macht frei (Work makes you free),” read the sign over the camp’s gated entrance. Inmates worked in the nearby factories to produce armaments, synthetic rubber and other materials for the German war effort. It makes no practical sense why the German government would waste so much time and resources to kill off their own labour force, especially when they were fighting a war on two fronts against formidable enemies. It goes without saying that labour camps are reprehensible, but when put into context, the practice was not particularly unusual. The Soviets established a vast network of forced labour camps (known as the Gulag) long before the Germans set up their labour facilities during the war, but there is far less criticism or condemnation of the Soviets for this, even though their camps were far more inhumane than those of their German counterparts.

In the 1990s, the Jewish revisionist researcher David Cole produced a film where he explored the various facilities at Auschwitz. He was taken on the traditional tour of the camp and asked the tour guide some probing questions. One of his queries related to the alleged “gas chamber” room shown to tourists in Auschwitz’s main camp. For decades Auschwitz guides had been telling naïve tourists that the room was a “homicidal gas chamber” that was in “original state.” Cole later confirmed in an interview with Auschwitz’s senior curator, Dr. Franciszek Piper, that the room was not in original state, but was a reconstruction built several years after the war by the Polish communist authorities. Revisionist historians had long held that the room was a fraudulent post-war contrivance of the communists and that it had never functioned as a gas chamber, but was actually a morgue that was later converted into an air raid shelter.

Some of the glaring problems with the structure include: the chimney, which was essential for evacuating the gas, is not connected to the building; the plain wooden doors at either end of the room are not air-tight; there are clear marks on the walls and floors showing where walls had once stood and toilets had once been; and multiple holes had been crudely smashed into the ceiling to give the appearance of openings for Zyklon B gas pellets to be dropped from. The location of the chamber was also conspicuous, situated extremely close to the hospital and other buildings. The poison gas would have infected the whole area, creating an environmental disaster.

The gassing stories form the foundational myths of the holocaust, but experts have challenged these claims. Experts contend that gassing is the most inefficient and dangerous method for executions. In 1988, researcher Ernst Zundel commissioned an expert to examine the rooms in Auschwitz and Majdanek which were claimed to have functioned as gas chambers for killing mass amounts of people. Fred Leuchter, a specialist who designed execution equipment including gas chambers for American prisons, did a forensic examination of these facilities. Going into the endeavor, Leuchter fully believed the official story about gassings, but was quickly amazed at how implausible it would have been for these rooms to function as mass execution gas chambers. He was bewildered as to why the National Socialists would have chosen such a risky method. He took brick samples of the walls of the alleged gas chambers and sent them to a chemical laboratory in Massachusetts. The test results revealed the brick samples contained negligible traces of cyanide residue. These results were contrasted with other samples taken from walls of delousing chambers — rooms where Zyklon B was sprayed on clothing and mattresses to kill lice – and these samples contained high traces of cyanide residue. “It is the best engineering opinion of this author that the alleged gas chambers at the inspected sites could not have [been] utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers,” writes Leuchter in his 1988 report entitled The Leuchter Report.

Another problem with the gassing story is the issue of blue staining caused by Zyklon B. “[T]he walls within the buildings in which Zyklon B is proved to have been used to delouse inmate clothing exhibit massive, blotchy, bluish discoloration,” writes chemist Germar Rudolf in his 1993 study The Rudolf Report. Massive blue staining is visibly present in rooms used for delousing, but no such stains are visible in any of the rooms claimed to have been “homicidal gas chambers.” “For chemical-physical reasons,” Rudolf concludes in his report, “the claimed mass gassings with hydrocyanic acid in the alleged ‘gas chambers’ in Auschwitz did not take place.” Contrary to eyewitness claims, Rudolf explains, “The supposed facilities for mass killing in Auschwitz and Birkenau were not suitable for this purpose… The supposed gas chambers in Auschwitz and Birkenau did not come into contact with Zyklon B. In legal language: the weapon was not loaded.”

A notable point which undermines the homicidal gassing story is that in April 1944 German authorities ordered the exact same amount of Zyklon B (195 kg) to be delivered to two camps: Auschwitz and Oranienburg. No historian contends that anyone was killed by gassing at the latter camp, yet the same amount of Zyklon gas was delivered there to be used for disinfection purposes. This begs another question: Why did the German authorities go out of their way to disinfect inmates’ clothing and bedding from lice (which spread the typhus disease) if their intention all along was to exterminate them? Wouldn’t they just let them get sick and die? In contravention of the extermination hypothesis, the Germans’ delousing policy was designed to save lives, not take them.

Additionally, a December 1942 directive authored by the head of the SS camp administration office criticized the high death rates in Germany’s labour camps due to disease, and issued an order to take measures to combat the trend. The directive ordered camp physicians to “use all means at their disposal to significantly reduce the death rate in the various camps.” It further called on camp doctors to supervise the nutrition of the prisoners more closely and commanded them “to see to it that the working conditions at the various labor places are improved as much as possible.” The directive stresses the seriousness of the order to reduce deaths in the camps, stating that it originated from SS chief Heinrich Himmler himself.

Interestingly, the German SS commandant of Buchenwald, Karl Koch, was charged and convicted by a Third Reich court of abuses in the camp and was sentenced to death for his transgressions. There are many other examples of German officers being punished for committing excesses against inmates and Jews. If the official state policy of the Third Reich was to systematically murder the inmates of these camps, then why would the SS punish their own officers for excesses and abuses in the camps as they did with Koch?

Not only have we been misled about the true nature of Germany’s wartime concentration camps, we have also been deceived about the real culprits behind the Second World War itself and their motivations. Official Western propaganda places all of the blame for the war squarely on Hitler, but renowned historian David Irving revealed a clue into the hidden forces behind the escalation of tensions between the Western Allies and Germany. Irving unearthed a letter written by the Jewish-Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, who became the first president of Israel in 1948, which contained a pledge as well as a stunning admission. In exchange for helping to build a Jewish fighting force for the future Zionist conquest of Palestine, Wiezmann assured British leader Winston Churchill that American Jewry would use their collective power to drag the United States into the war on Britain’s side. “There is only one big ethnic group which is willing to stand, to a man, for Great Britain, and a policy of ‘all-out-aid’ for her: the five million American Jews,” wrote Wiezmann in the letter dated Sept. 10, 1941. “From Secretary Morgenthau, Governor Lehman, Justice Frankfurter, down to the simplest Jewish workman or trader, they are conscious of all that this struggle against Hitler implies.” “It has been repeatedly acknowledged by British Statesmen,” Wiezmann continued, “that it was the Jews who, in the last [world] war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it – and may do it – again.” Weizmann emphasized that American Jewry “waits for a word – a call – from His Majesty’s Government. The formation of a Jewish fighting force would be that signal.”

Secret Polish documents captured by the Germans in Warsaw in 1939 confirm Weizmann’s boastful assertion that American Jewry was a primary factor responsible for America’s entry into the war against Germany and that they indeed had the power to bring the US into wars that are not in the country’s national interest. In February 1938, Count Jerzy Potocki, the Polish Ambassador in Washington, divulged to the foreign minister in Warsaw the leading role of Jewish elites in guiding then US President Franklin Roosevelt’s foreign policy and shaping public opinion to favour a war with Germany.

“The pressure of the Jews on President Roosevelt and on the State Department is becoming ever more powerful,” Potocki warned. “The Jews are right now the leaders in creating a war psychosis which would plunge the entire world into war.” Potocki explained that the American media was largely in the hands of Zionist Jews and that they were feverishly inciting for war with Germany. “The American public is subject to an ever more alarming propaganda which is under Jewish influence,” he opined, adding, “Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent radio, film, daily and periodical press.” “In conversations with Jewish press representatives,” Potocki continued, “I have repeatedly come up against the inexorable and convinced view that war is inevitable. This international Jewry exploits every means of propaganda to oppose any tendency towards any kind of consolidation and understanding between nations.” Potocki asserted that President Roosevelt’s foreign policy was not his own, but rather was predicated on the desires of influential Jewish policymakers surrounding him such as Bernard Baruch, Felix Frankfurter and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. “Roosevelt has been given the foundation for activating American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous military stocks for the coming war, for which the Jews are striving very consciously,” he wrote.

The underlying motivation of all this deception and subterfuge on the part of the Jewish-Zionist elite was outlined in 1900 by an influential American rabbi and Zionist leader named Stephen S. Wise. “There are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favor of Zionism,” he announced at a meeting of the Federation of American Zionists. The notion of “six million” Jews either being persecuted or on the precipice of a “holocaust” was forwarded more than 250 times between the years 1900 and 1945. In his book The First Holocaust, researcher Don Heddesheimer documented that the primary aim of these reckless propaganda campaigns was to promote sympathy for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine as well as to raise funds for Jewish settlement there. The Soviet-Jewish war propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg disseminated the erroneous claim that precisely “six million Jews” had been killed by Germany several months before the end of World War II, long before any accurate statistical data on war deaths would become available, and thus unveiled the pre-meditated and altogether fraudulent nature of the story.

In October 1940, Arthur Greenwood, a British politician and member of the war cabinet, publicly pledged a “new world order” to World Jewry. He announced that once Germany was defeated in the war and Nazism was crushed, Jews everywhere would be given an opportunity to make a “distinctive and constructive contribution in the rebuilding of the world.” Fifty-one years later, in November 1991, an official of the Zionist society of B’nai B’rith announced that memorializing ‘the holocaust’ was a central component of Zionist plans for a “new world order.” Pacifying the Gentile world with guilt constitutes a major portion of the global Zionist agenda. In his book The Holocaust Industry, the Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein observed that “The holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon” and that invoking it “is a ploy to delegitimize all criticism of Jews. By conferring total blamelessness on Jews, the Holocaust dogma immunizes Israel and American Jewry from legitimate censure.”

In a comment on her Facebook page in response to this author, Abby Martin denounced “holocaust denial,” decrying those who question certain aspects of the victors’ version of the Second World War. That prompted this author to pose the question, “If I disbelieve the official story of 9/11, does that make me a ‘9/11 denier?’” When Galileo contradicted the established dogma of the Catholic Church, which erroneously held that the earth is at the center of this solar system, he was assailed as a “heretic” and forced to recant his “heretical theories.” Today, Galileo’s enlightened expositions are accepted fact. Similar witch-hunts to the one that victimized Galileo have been aimed at revisionist historians who challenge Zionist fictions about what life was like in Germany’s wartime concentration camps.

In the second segment of her show dealing with this subject, Martin did a report about how “Nazis” infiltrated America via Operation Paperclip, a CIA covert program to bring German scientists to the US to serve the American war machine during the Cold War. She denounces these mere scientists (who had no power to make political or military decisions during the war) as defacto “Nazi war criminals” and cites the Nuremberg trials as if they were legitimate justice. This is the same trial where Stalin’s handpicked Soviet judges submitted forged documents and coerced witnesses to blame Germany for the Katyn forest massacre of tens of thousands of Poles which took place in 1940, a heinous crime that was committed by the Soviets themselves. This is the same show trial, presided over by the victorious powers, that accused the Germans of such patently absurd things as killing people by means of steam and electricity, manufacturing soap and lampshades out of human tissue, the production of shrunken heads from inmates, and of having bicycle races in the gas chamber of Birkenau. Those are but a few of the sensationalist war propaganda stories that are no longer contended to be true by anyone, not even the staunchest holocaust promoters.

Conveniently, Martin forgets to mention that her own nation of America – a country founded upon ethnic cleansing and genocide — committed egregious war crimes against Germany and Japan during the Second World War, starving to death more than 1.5 million German POWs in concentration camps after the end of the war, and dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Not to mention the Allied carpet-bombing of German cities during the war, killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians in a matter of hours. The Allied Powers fully aided and abetted Stalin’s crimes against humanity, and took part in the massive ethnic cleansing of Germans after the war from territory stripped from Germany and given to surrounding countries. According to historian James Baque, more than nine million Germans died between the years 1944 and 1950 as a result of deliberate Allied-Soviet expulsion and starvation tactics. More than two million German women ware mass raped and tortured by invading hordes of Soviet Red Army troops.

Absent from all of Martin’s exposés of elite corruption is any coverage of the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevism and the unmitigated evil that it spawned. “The Communist movement and ideology played an important part in Jewish life, particularly in the 1920s, 1930s, and during and after World War II,” explained the Encyclopaedia Judaica (a Jewish publication) in its article on Communism. “Individual Jews,” the article continued, “played an important role in the early stages of Bolshevism and the Soviet Regime.” The Judaica revealed that “the bulk of Russian Jewish youth” joined the ranks of the Bolsheviks in 1917. The article further observed that “Jews became the leading element in the legal and illegal Communist parties and in some cases were even instructed by the Communist International to change their Jewish-sounding names and pose as non-Jews.” It adds that Jews occupied “many responsible positions in all branches of the party and state machinery at the central and local seats of power.” It goes on to produce a sizable list of top Jewish Bolshevik functionaries in the Soviet state, which included: Maxim Litvinov (Wallach), M. Liadov (Mandelshtam), Grigori Shklovsky, A. Soltz, Grigori Zinoviev (Radomyslsky), Lev Kamenev (Rosenfeld), Rozaliya Zemliachka (Zalkind), Helena Rozmirovich, Jacob Sverdlov, Y. Yaklovlev (Epstein), Lazar Kaganovich, D. Shvartsman, Simon Dimanstein, Leon Trotsky (Bronstein), M. Uritsky, M. Volodarsky, J. Steklov, Adolf Joffe, David Riazanov (Goldendach), Yuri Larin, Karl Radek (Sobelsohn) and many others.

Without the Jewish element, the communist victory in Russia would not have succeeded. The Wall Street Jewish banker Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. heavily subsidized the Bolshevik effort to depose the Czar. “Mr. Schiff has always used his wealth and his influence in the best interests of his people,” noted the Jewish Communal Register of New York City (1917-1918). “He financed the enemies of the autocratic Russia and used his financial influence to keep Russia away from the money market of the United States.” In 1917 Schiff publicly declared, “Thanks are due to the Jew that the Russian revolution succeeded.”

Eliminating opponents of Jewish intrigue was evidently crucial to the success of Bolshevism. In 1918, Vladimir Lenin instructed all Bolshevik deputies to “take uncompromising measures to tear the anti-Semitic movement out by the roots. Pogromists and pogrom agitators are to be placed outside of the law.” Lenin declared that expressions and actions against Jews “are fatal to the interests of the … revolution” and called upon everyone sympathetic to Bolshevism to “fight this evil with all the means at their disposal.” Leon Trotsky (real name: Bronstein), Lenin’s right-hand man who founded the murderous Red Army, boasted in a newspaper interview that the very first order of the Bolshevik regime led by Lenin was to immediately execute anti-Semites “on the spot without trial.” Stalin upheld Lenin’s homicidal decree, explaining, “anti-Semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-Semites are liable to the death penalty.” In a 1936 speech before the eighth All-Union Congress of Soviets, then Soviet foreign minister Molotov proudly acknowledged that “in the Soviet Union actual anti-Semites are shot.”

The genocidal policies of the Soviet Bolsheviks, a large portion of whom were Jewish, led to the deaths of at least 40 million people, a number that far exceeds even the greatest myths about the holocaust. In 1932 alone, the Soviet secret police (the Cheka) orchestrated the demise of more than seven million Ukrainians in what is now known as the Holodomor, an artificial famine-genocide sponsored by Moscow. In 2009, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Ukraine’s security service “is pressing the case against a list of former Soviet officials accused of committing the Holodomor, which caused the deaths of millions in Ukraine in 1932-33.” “Most of the names on the list,” the article noted, “were Jewish.” In 2010, the Israeli president and veritable war criminal Shimon Peres visited Ukraine and gave a speech. “If I were asked what advice Ukraine, I would say: forget history. History in general is not important at all,” said Peres in a vile display of hubris and contempt for Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor.

The Israeli writer Sever Plocker put it succinctly in an op-ed for the Israeli publication Ynet News. “We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish,” he writes in the sub-head of the article, acknowledging the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevist bloodletting. Plocker observed that Genrikh Yagoda, the fearsome NKVD chieftain for many years, was “the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century.” “Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin’s collectivization orders,” writes Plocker, “and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system.” He also drew attention to the activities of the Jewish official Lazar Kaganovich, Stalin’s right-hand man, whose leading role in communist crimes against humanity has been swept under the rug of history. “Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity,” writes Plocker, concluding: “Even if we deny it, we cannot escape the Jewishness of ‘our hangmen,’ who served the Red Terror with loyalty and dedication from its establishment. After all, others will always remind us of their origin.”

All forms of exceptionalism and supremacism are equally detestable, but it seems that only one particular form of ethnic supremacism has been placed outside the bounds of legitimate rebuke: Jewish supremacy. Is it wrong or ‘racist’ for one to point out that leading Jewish religious figures steep their followers in the principles of Jewish supremacy quite openly? “Non-Jews only exist to serve Jews as slaves,” declared Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas, a major Israeli political party. “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel,” he said. More than 800,000 Israeli Jews attended Yosef’s funeral when he died in October 2013, including Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Another prominent Israeli rabbi once said, “One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the extremist Chabad movement, advanced the view that non-Jews have evil souls “with no redeeming qualities whatsoever… All Jews are innately good, all Gentiles are innately evil.” A revered Jewish religious leader named Rabbi Kook the Elder explained that the difference between the souls of Jews and non-Jews “is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.” “[T]he Jews are the highest and most cultured people on earth,” writes Rabbi Harry Waton in his 1938 text A Program for the Jews. Because of their self-professed superiority, Waton believed that “The Jews have a right to subordinate to themselves the rest of mankind and to be the masters over the whole earth.” Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “There have been only two great peoples: the Greeks and the Jews.” Such supremacist opinions are not the ravings of fringe lunatics, but rather constitute mainstream Zionist thought and belief.

In conclusion, the media’s obsession with the holocaust is part and parcel of the Zionist campaign to cast a spell over the collective consciousness of the Western world in order to desensitize the public to the suffering of the Palestinians and shield Israel from criticism. The Orwellian attempt to stifle unfettered debate about questionable aspects of the holocaust story and censor skeptics by enshrining laws that punish dissenting opinions only fortifies the revisionist position.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Two Palestinian Human Rights Defenders Kidnapped In Nablus

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC | February 25, 2014

460_0___10000000_0_0_0_0_0_hasan_beetwayThe Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights (SFHR) has reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday at dawn, its lawyer and its researcher, after the army violently invaded their homes in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The foundation said dozens of soldiers invaded the home of SFHR lawyer Abu al-Hasan, in the Rojeeb Housing Projects area, east of Nablus, and kidnapped him after violently searching his home causing property damage.

Soldiers detonated the door of Abu al-Hasan’s home, invading the place and terrifying the family.

They also interrogated Abu al-Hasan’s father for more than an hour, and confiscated documents and files. Abu al-Hasan was moved to the Petah Tikva interrogation facility.

It added that the soldiers also broke into several nearby homes, violently searched them and ransacked their property and belongings, and used their rooftops as monitoring towers during the invasion.

Meanwhile, soldiers also detonated the front door of the home of SFHR researcher Ahmad al-Beetawy, and invaded the property in the Dahia area, south of Nablus, searched it for more than an hour and kidnapped him.

His brother said the soldiers also invaded the home of their mother, in the same neighborhood, and violently searched it. Al-Beetway defends the rights of Palestinian political prisoners, illegally held by Israel.

The foundation said that the soldiers also invaded its office in al-Isra’ building, in the center of Nablus city, and confiscated computers and files after violently searching the property.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Knesset passes bill differentiating Christian Palestinians from 1948 Palestinian community

By Yazan al-Saadi | Al-Akhbar | February 25, 2014

Israel’s legislative branch, known as the Knesset, passed a controversial bill into law that defines 1948 Christian Palestinians as “non-Arabs”, Israeli media reported.

The new law – passed on Monday with a vote of 31 in favor and 6 against – for the first time differentiates Christian Palestinians from the rest of the Palestinian community, who had survived the 1947-48 ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces, and remained within the 1948 territories.

“This is a historic law. It’s the first time there is separate representation for Christians,” Likud Beytenu coalition chairman Yariv Levin, who proposed the bill, was quoted by the Israeli press prior to the the vote.

“Soon we’ll expand on this and give [Christians] all the separate representation they deserve,” he added.

Previously, Levin justified the bill as “an important, historic step that could introduce balance to the State of Israel, and connect us [Jews] with the Christians, I am careful not to refer to them as Arabs, because they are not Arabs.”

“We and the Christians have a lot in common. They’re our natural allies, a counterweight to the Muslims that want to destroy the country from within… We will use an iron hand and demonstrate zero tolerance of Arabs who tend to identify with the terror of the Palestinian state,” he added. According to reports, the law will enforce a separate representation on the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity within the Employment Commission, by extending the number of panel members to ten, adding specific seats for the ultra-Orthodox, Druze, Christian, Circassian populations, and others.

‘Palestinian Christians are Arabs’

CIA statistics put the Arab Christian population living in Occupied Palestine at around 123,000. These people will be directly affected by the new law.

Arab members of the Knesset unanimously condemned the bill as a “racist” act and a “divide-and-conquer” tactic.

“Colonialists try to separate groups of natives. The prime example of this is South Africa,” MK Hanin Zoabi of the Arab political party, Balad, reportedly said to the media after the vote.

“We are the natives here and we have a clear identity, [we] are Palestinians, part of the Arab nation, and your law will fail. Part of the Zionist project is to oppress our identity, but I have the right to speak in the name of Palestinians.”

Khalid Musmar, an official for the Palestinian National Council, told Al-Akhbar,“The Palestinian Christian community will rebuke this before anyone else. The Palestinian Christians are Arab despite the wishes of anyone in the Knesset or otherwise.”

“They have always said they were Arabs and have fought side-by-side with their Muslim brethren, from the times of the Crusades to today. The Palestinian community, in all it’s colors and creeds, is a unified Arab community confronting occupation. They are struggling for a Palestinian nation with Jerusalem as it’s capital. This will not change by the acts of Knesset or anyone else,” the official said.

“The community in 1948 will not remain quiet. This is a major move by the forces of occupation and colonization, and there will be mobilizations just like how we saw the creation and continuation of Land Day protests within 1948 lands. We will see protests in the future.”

“If [Israel] wants to do right to the Palestinians in general and Christians in particular,” said Jumana, from the Galilee region of northern occupied Palestine, during a separate conversation with Al-Akhbar, “let them approve the return of the refugees and internally displaced Palestinians from the two Christian villages of Ekrith and Birem, who already have a court ruling allowing them to return to their destroyed villages.”

She added that this law comes at a time when “the government is attempting to make the drafting to the Israeli Army obligatory to Palestinian Christians, [and] this is completely not acceptable, since this is their way of dividing the Palestinian minority and fragmenting the community as a whole.”

In a similar vein, a 1948 Palestinian Christian from Nazareth, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Al-Akhbar, “I think [Levin’s comments] are outrageous and untrue. It is part of Israel’s broader attempt to segment and fragmentize the Palestinian community from one another inside Israel. Other examples of this are with the Bedouins and the Druze, and this is part of [Israel’s] attempt to break up what is a cohesive community. It won’t work.”

“I see myself as an Arab and so do other Palestinian Christians. [Levin’s] logic only reaffirms the agenda to separate and break-up minorities within minorities,” she added.

“There should be more representation of Palestinians in Israel in general. Christian Palestinians are just as repressed as Muslims.”

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Assad: Syria Seeks to Build National Dialogue, Coalitions

Al-Manar | February 25, 2014

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed Monday the importance of dialogue among the state’s parties in order to reach a sound political environment.

During his meeting with Baath party figures – Damascus branch, Assad pointed out to the importance of the Syrian capital Damascus, which is featured by preserving the Islamic and Christian inheritance together, thus presenting a model of modern openness.

“Damascus played a major role in Syria’s steadfastness during a three-year crisis,” the Syrian President indicated.

He also stressed the need for dialogue and effective and constructive communication with the new parties in Syria, in order to identify future mechanisms of sound communication.

“We are facing great challenges emerged by the crisis and the first one is to confront the extremist ideology which tries to penetrate the society,” he stated.

“We also have unprecedented serious intellectual vacuum… Our duty is to deal with it,” Assad went on to say, adding that “Without dialogue we cannot develop neither the party (Baath) nor the country.”

President Assad assured that the popular support of terrorism is shrinking while the reconciliation circle is being widened, and it is the most effective way to fight off the project of defeating Syria.”

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment