Aletho News


New Cases by the EU General Court Striking Down Iran Sanctions Listings

By Dan Joyner | Arms Control law | July 7, 2014

I just wanted to draw attention to several cases recently decided by the EU General Court in which EU sanctions against designated individuals and businesses allegedly connected to Iran’s nuclear program have been annulled. These are just the latest in a growing line of cases in both the EU General Court and the European Court of Justice reaching similar decisions regarding EU sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program, which are essentially attempts to implement UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. I’ve written about this issue before on a couple of occasions. The EU Sanctions Blog has a great run down of the three recent cases here, here and here. I’m particularly pleased to note that the Sharif University of Technology was represented in its case by my friend Matthew Happold.  See the text of the court’s judgment in this case here. Congratulations to Matt and to the University.

In terms of the legal merits of these cases, they really are just a continuation of the same bases on which earlier cases in this line have been decided. Basically the EU courts are requiring the EU and state governments to provide evidence on which the sanctions are based, and the governments involved are refusing to do so. Thus, as a basic matter of due process, the court has decided that the sanctions cannot stand on a lack of proffered evidence.  A very sound holding in my view.

Hopefully, of course, the current round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran will produce a comprehensive agreement before the July 20 deadline, and this will lead to these EU sanctions being repealed, as part of a normalization of relations between Iran and the West.  I think it is reasonable to expect that both the UN Security Council and the EU will be willing and able to withdraw the sanctions they have imposed against Iran over the past ten years, pursuant to such a comprehensive diplomatic agreement (as long as the US administration chooses to at least not veto such a decision by the UNSC). I have just about zero confidence, however, that the US government will be able to implement meaningful sanctions relief promised under such a comprehensive agreement.  As I’ve said before, I think the biggest impediment to implementing a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program is the US Congress.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Chomsky, BDS And The Jewish Left Paradigm

By Gilad Atzmon | July 8, 2014

In his latest article in The Nation, Noam Chomsky selectively cherry picks the facts that fit his preferred narrative, while ignoring and disguising relevant details that contradict his thesis.  One would expect an academic of Chomsky’s stature to perform at a much higher standard of intellectual integrity.

Reviewing Chomsky’s latest criticism of the BDS reveals that the MIT linguist borders on deception. It is especially fascinating to examine Chomsky’s tactics in light of the current violent events in Israel/Palestine.

Chomsky writes, “The opening call of the BDS movement, by a group of Palestinian intellectuals in 2005, demanded that Israel fully comply with international law by “(1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall.”

This is simply not true.  In July 2005 BDS’ first goal read rather differently – “(1). Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.”

In 2005 the first BDS goal didn’t include any reference to 1967 as Noam Chomsky suggests. It expressed opposition to the Israeli occupation of the entire land of historic Palestine. This goal was very upsetting for Jews and especially distressful to members of the Jewish Left. For them, the meaning was obvious; it implied that the Zionist project was a pure land grab. Then, at some unknown date around 2010 and without any protocol that suggested a formal decision, the goal changed as if by ‘magic’ and the words “occupied in June 1967” were added.

Attempts to discover who, within the BDS movement, had made the change didn’t reveal any answers. We do know, however, that the change followed growing pressure from Jewish anti Zionists within the BDS movement. We also know that the change occurred when BDS formed a dependence on EU money and Wall Street financers such as George Soros. I would like to believe that Chomsky, who is a meticulous researcher who doesn’t miss details, is well aware of this change in BDS’ Goal statement. However, it may as well be possible that I am totally wrong and Chomsky was not aware of this BDS saga at the time he wrote his article.  

But what is really the difference between the original 2005 BDS goal that called for an end to the occupation of ‘all Arab lands’ and the amended call that specified opposition to land occupied in 1967 only?

The answer is clear. BDS was initially a forceful political tool aimed at delegitimizing Israel, but has now become an instrument of the Jewish Left used to legitimize the existence of the Jews only State. The recent considerable success of BDS in organizing a boycott of products from the settlements proves this point. By targeting the settlements, it implicitly legitimizes the pre 1967 Jewish State in accordance with the Left Zionist perception that the gist of the Arab/Israeli problem stems from the ‘occupation.’ The message of the Israeli Left is as simple as it is wrong: once the occupation ends, peace will prevail. But is that really the case? As shown below, recent events in Israel/Palestine prove the opposite. The violent clashes between the IDF and Arab Israeli citizens this week are well within the borders of pre 1967 Israel.   

It seems that the success of Jewish ‘anti’ Zionists’ in bending the BDS into submission served to increase the appetite of Jews-only groups. It was only a question of time until they asked for more Palestinians concessions.  In his article in ‘The Nation,’ Chomsky pursued just such a call.  He criticized the third goal of the BDS, “(3) Respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

Admittedly, the third BDS goal is uniquely weak. It ‘respects, ‘protects’ and ‘promotes’ the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. If I were a Palestinian refugee living in a camp for more than six decades, I would expect my ‘grassroots’ BDS movement to demand my absolute ethical ‘right to return’ to my land instead of weakly ‘respecting’ or ‘promoting’ it.

Chomsky, however, advocates the opposite goal. He tells the Palestinians – forget about your return, just move on. In his Nation piece Chomsky recommends that the BDS abolish the third goal. “Insistence on (3) is a virtual guarantee of failure….this could lead to a ‘no-state solution’ – the optimal one, in my view, and in the real world no less plausible than the ‘one-state solution’ that is commonly, but mistakenly, discussed as an alternative to the international consensus.”  To clarify the deliberately obscure, Noam Chomsky advises the Palestinians to dump the core of their cause. And why?        Because of an alleged ‘international consensus.’

This obsession with ‘legalism’, ‘international law‘ and ‘consensus’ while ignoring ethics, morality and justice is typical of the materialist thinking inherent in Left and progressive schools of thought. It is, once again, the commissar advocating the ‘correct’ political  ‘action’ instead of adopting a humanist discourse driven by an authentic sense of justice and truthfulness.

We should remind Chomsky, the master of detail, that Israel actually holds the world record in ignoring international law, dismissing human rights and scorning UN resolutions. Israel chooses instead to invest its energy buying political influence in the west through its forceful lobbies. And no surprise, the same Chomsky who now recommends that the Palestinians abandon their aspirations to return was also the first to criticize Mearsheimer and Walt’s work on the Israeli Lobby and its immense influence.

The message to the Palestinian Western activists who worked for years to build a dialogue with the Jewish Left is simple and devastating – you went to bed with the wrong people. Trust in the Jewish left killed your resistance and seems to have killed whatever is left of your cause. Chomsky, on the other hand, may not be the sophisticated mind that some people believe he is, but he is at least dedicated to his cause – Chomsky is a light Zionist by admission. He promotes and operates within Jews only political cells. Chomsky is consistent. However, the Palestinians who for years enlisted his support were tricked into betraying their own cause and their people’s interests.

Recent events in Israel and Palestine prove beyond doubt that that Left Zionist paradigm has been thoroughly misleading. The clashes this week are taking place within Israeli territory in Jerusalem, the Galilee and Negev, not in the occupied territories, and the violence has little to do with the ‘occupation.’

The Award-winning Palestinian novelist Sayed Kashua, probably the best Hebrew writer and for many years a symbol of Arab/Israeli co-existence, expressed this realisation better than anyone else.  Kashua concluded last week that co-existence is  “a lie.” Following the bloodthirsty calls for revenge coming from all quarters of Israeli society Kashua wrote about the continued prospect of living together – “this is really the end, it’s finished.” For Kashua, an Israeli Palestinian the Nakba II is now, he wants to leave Jerusalem and never return. He has been ethnically cleansed by the Jewish State.

The verdict is clear. The occupation is not the problem; it is just a symptom of the problem. The Jewish state is a problem and it is a serious problem. The Jewish Lobby is an even greater problem and it is a global one. And as it seems, even the Jewish Left a la Chomsky is also a grave problem. At the very least it has been an obstacle that prevented the Palestinians from grasping the real context of their struggle.  

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 4 Comments

Whitewashing Venezuela’s Right Wing

In the heated media war over Venezuela, studies produced by well-funded NGOs (usually with ties to powerful states) have been regularly cited by the western corporate media to paint a grim picture of the country.

A Venezuela report released by the International Crisis Group (ICG) in May might give some people the impression that it is an even handed account done by authors committed to decreasing political violence in Venezuela.  The report makes a few good recommendations, but it actually reveals that the ICG’s commitment to whitewashing right wing extremists is much stronger than any commitment to sensible analysis or to reducing political violence.

In the crucial section of the report where it discusses protest related violence, the ICG claims that there is only “weak evidence” that any opposition supporters ever used firearms:

In contrast to the abundant evidence linking security forces and pro-government civilians to deaths and injuries, it is unclear whether some in the opposition used firearms. In any case, the evidence on this is weak. The only deaths that appear clearly linked to the protesters are those involving accidents caused by barricades, including the use of barbed wire or other obstacles.

As far as the ICG is concerned, the bodies of several police and other pro government people shot to death while attempting to clear barricades in opposition strongholds are “weak evidence” of firearm use by anyone in the opposition.  It might be argued that “concrete proof” of the exact individuals who shot every one of those victims is lacking. However saying that anti-government protesters are not very strongly implicated in the shootings of any government supporters or police is beyond preposterous.

In an attempt to make the evidence appear weak, the ICG mentions one incident in which a journalist working for a right wing business newspaper, El Universal, claims that a government supporter shot and killed a policeman at an opposition barricade. This kind of counter claim had also been made by government officials about some opposition protesters who have been shot (some government officials claiming the shots were fired by other opposition people), but the ICG wouldn’t dare use these claims to conclude that there is only “weak evidence” that government supporters had ever used firearms. In fact, the ICG discusses the death of opposition protester Génesis Carmona without ever mentioning government claims that she had been shot by another protester.  Such inconsistent and biased standards for assessing evidence cannot possibly lead to a reliable version of events.

In addition to various opposition aligned sources, the ICG defers to the New York City based Human Rights Watch (HRW) to assess responsibility for violence. HRW was very recently sent a letter signed by two Nobel Peace Prize laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars all requesting that it take steps to close the revolving door between it and the US government. The letter noted:

In a 2012 letter to President Chávez, HRW criticized the country’s candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council, alleging that Venezuela had fallen “far short of acceptable standards” and questioning its “ability to serve as a credible voice on human rights.” At no point has U.S. membership in the same council merited censure from HRW, despite Washington’s secret, global assassination program, its preservation of renditions, and its illegal detention of individuals at Guantánamo Bay.

Ken Roth, head of HRW, once referred to Venezuela and a few other ALBA countries as the “most abusive” in Latin America – an insane remark as he should know by merely sampling his own organization’s reports about Colombia. Daniel Wilkinson, another HRW official, went so far as to lie about the Venezuelan TV media in an op-ed published in the New York Review of Books. HRW’s responses to the 2002 coup in Venezuela and as well as the 2004 coup in Haiti were disgraceful.  By now, anyone who uncritically cites HRW about any country at odds with the US is, at best, uninformed about HRW’s track record.

The ICG’s report makes no mention of numerous falsified images the opposition has spread through social media to bolster its allegations of repression. Even a corporate outlet like Reuters made mention of this tactic but the ICG ignored it. The ICG also cites the anti-government newspaper El National various times – a newspaper whose dishonesty is so flagrant it has sometimes dismayed opposition people. An atrocious record doesn’t “weaken” El Nacional articles as evidence in the view of the ICG or provoke any statement of caution.

Attempts to put the 2004 recall referendum results under a cloud

The ICG report made the astounding remark that the opposition merely lacked “concrete proof” of fraud in the 2004 recall referendum that was won by Hugo Chavez.  The report stated:

Concrete proof [of fraud] was not presented, though a peer-reviewed statistical analysis of the results later found significant anomalies. Maria M. Febres and Bernardo Márquez, “A Statistical Approach to Assess Referendum Results: The Venezuelan Recall Referendum 2004”, International Statistical Review, vol. 74, no. 3 (2006), p. 379. Jennifer McCoy, Carter Center election observation head in Venezuela, found the anomalies had not affected the referendum outcome.

In fact, elaborate statistical arguments – one of them based on “anomalies” in the distribution of votes – were made immediately after the referendum took place, not years later as the ICG implies. The Carter Center hired a team of very specialized statisticians – not simply Jennifer McCoy as the ICG very sloppily suggests – whose only job was to assess those arguments.  The statisticians explained why the arguments did not substantiate allegations of fraud. The oppositions’ various “statistical analyses” received expert scrutiny that decided something far more important than acceptability for publication (which is what peer-review committees decide for journals) and that required extensive review of the arguments made by both sides. One of the key points made by the Carter Center’s statisticians was that there was no credible explanation how the government could have perpetrated fraud such that the random audit of the results would have failed to expose it.

The government’s victory in the 2004 referendum was subjected to a remarkably severe test. One of the key monitors, the Carter Center, is deeply tied to the US establishment which has been very hostile to Chavista administrations.  In spite of all that, the ICG still pretends that there is reasonable doubt about the results. That will encourage the members of the opposition who allege that Chavista victories are stolen no matter how overwhelming the evidence is against them.

It’s unsurprising, given the ICG’s willingness to smear the 2004 referendum which was very far from close, that it also published a hopelessly one-sided account of the dispute surrounding the vastly closer presidential election of April 2013. The ICG absolved the opposition in advance for any act of violence by stating that the government must “clarify” the validity of the results or face “violent consequences”.  In reality, the Election Day audit of the results, as CEPR has reported, already proved that the odds of a Capriles victory were less than one in 25 thousand trillion. The audit was, nevertheless, expanded.

It is quite clear to anyone who has been paying attention that opposition claims of electoral fraud are not driven by the facts but by the level of support they expect from the US government, foreign media and groups like the ICG.

Speaking the opposition’s language

In section IX of the report the ICG contrasts the “left leaning regimes” of the Bolivarian Alliance for our America (ALBA) with “those representing more market-friendly, centre and right-leaning governments”. On the left the ICG describes “regimes” while elsewhere on the political spectrum it describes “governments”.

Some political scientists use the word “regime” in a neutral way, but it is most commonly used to describe an oppressive and undemocratic government.  I can find no example of the ICG ever referring to US government as a “regime” despite its abysmal human rights record and money-dominated political process. However it is very easy to find ICG reports replete with the word “regime” to describe states that the US government opposes.

The ICG also adopts the use of the word “coletivo” to mean an armed government supporter. It acknowledges that this is highly partisan usage by noting that it “is a term that covers pro-government community organisations of various kinds, most of them non-violent. But it has come to be used in particular for armed groups of the revolutionary left that have proliferated under chavista governments.”

In short, the opposition media (whom the ICG attempts to hide through the use of passive voice “has come to be used”) has demonized the word “colectivo” and the ICG reflexively follows suit.

Tamara Pearson, a proud colectivo member who has been living and working in Venezuela for several years, remarked about the media vilification campaign:

Where previously everything, even the drought or the actions of big business, were Chavez’s fault, now it must be “the collectives”. Now that Chavez is gone and the opposition still hasn’t got its electoral victory, they have realised it’s not enough to call the current president a “dictator” and belittle him because of his lack of formal university education, they need to demonise the active and organising people too. Because they aren’t going away.

A few good suggestions completely undermined

The ICG said that “the opposition can, and should, drop calls for the Maduro administration to step down “. This is a  sound suggestion, no doubt, but one that is hypocritical and ineffective coming from the ICG. Whitewashing opposition violence and impugning clean elections, as the ICG does, is a propaganda gift to the “regime change” crowd.

The ICG recommends that Venezuela’s “international partners” should “help de-escalate the violence by sending clear messages that only peaceful methods will be tolerated.” UNASUR, and even the OAS which has traditionally towed Washington’s line, have already sent that message. The ICG is sending the opposite message.

Written for teleSUR English, which will launch on July 24

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli universities establish committee to fight “growing” BDS campaign

MEMO | July 8, 2014

Israeli universities have established a new joint committee to fight the academic boycott campaign, described by Hebrew University president Menahem Ben-Sasson as an “increasingly growing phenomenon”.

The forum was announced Tuesday by the Committee of University Heads, a body representing the country’s seven research universities on matters such as budgeting and wages, and currently chaired by Ben-Sasson.

The committee will be headed by Zvi Ziegler, an academic at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and active in opposing boycotts since at least 2006. Its activities will include mapping out “the scope of the threat, gathering information on future potential boycotts as well as coordinating with relevant parties and institutions in Israel and abroad to minimize the damage”.

Ziegler stressed the importance of intelligence-gathering in fighting BDS, saying that “foreknowledge of boycott endeavours” would help “thwart the initiative before it stews”. He also said the committee would seek “information regarding cases of discrimination against Israeli researchers”.

According to The Jerusalem Post, while academic boycotts have so far “surfaced primarily in the humanities disciplines” there “remains great concern among Israeli universities and officials that the phenomenon will spread to encompass the sciences”.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli-Palestinian MKs cower to Netanyahu’s calls to end the protests

By Jamal Sweid | Al-Akhbar | July 8, 2014

The sight of protests and burning garbage containers bothered some Israeli-Palestinian MKs in the Israeli Knesset, who made a call to “stop the violence and put an end to the protests.” Along with several party leaders and municipality officials, they responded to Netanyahu’s calls to pacify the street despite popular demands.

Haifa – The charred body of Mohammed Abu Khudair from Jerusalem, which was left outside of Deir Yassin, brings back memories of the massacre in the same village which took place in 1948. The slaughter symbolized Israel’s brutality in the Palestinian psyche, causing popular unrest from Jerusalem to the occupied territories.

Clashes erupted in the occupied capital’s neighborhoods before Abu Khudair’s body was recovered and continued after his funeral. They quickly spread to the cities of 1948 occupied Palestine, but remained subject to a relative media blackout in an effort to contain them.

However, with the continued and escalating clashes in Jerusalem, the demonstrations in the cities and towns near Haifa turned into real clashes. They spread north to Umm al-Fahm and Wadi Ara, whose main road – considered a main artery linking central occupied Palestine with its north – was blocked.

On Saturday, confrontations between Palestinian youths and the occupation police extended to Nazareth in northern occupied Palestine. The streets of Nazareth seemed to be witnessing a war. By Sunday night, Israeli police were deployed in the remaining villages and cities of Galilee, such as Shafa Amr, Tamra, Arraba, Kfar Manda, and others.

This brought back memories of al-Aqsa [second] intifada in the minds of Israelis, who fell into a state of confusion following the end of the 48-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. This forced them to extend the deadline as they looked for a solution in what they call [in reference to Gaza] the “soft spot,” which threatened to evolve into a full-blown intifada and spread to the West Bank.

As a result of this pressure, the conflict between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman became public. “Throwing rocks at soldiers and the police in the state of Israel will not be allowed,” Netanyahu warned in a strongly worded statement addressed to Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. He requested from “leaders of the Arab community in Israel” to “restore the calm to its previous state.”

Netanyahu’s orders were implemented immediately. Successive statements were issued by Arab parties and movements calling for calm in the streets. They denounced what they termed “violence and destruction of public property.”

While there was no evidence of a single assault by demonstrators against public utilities, some Israeli-Palestinian Knesset members strongly denounced setting garbage containers on fire. Similarly, Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam described the confrontations as “rioting carried out by thugs,” calling for “calm and an end to the vandalism.”

On the other hand, head of the national committee of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, Mazen Ghanayem, called on Netanyahu to take measures against “members of the mini-cabinet who incite against the Arab public in Israel.” He was referring to ministers such as Lieberman during a meeting with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who promised to inform the cabinet of financial troubles faced by Arab local authorities.

Commenting on the situation, secretary of the Popular Committee for Solidarity with the Leadership and People of the Interior, Wasfi Abdul-Ghani, described such calls as “attempts to silence the streets.” However, he was confident about “the awareness of our youth and our people and their ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.”

The Palestinian reaction “was in condemnation of the heinous crime and to prevent the occupation authorities from covering up the scene as usual when it comes to crimes by settler gangs,” Abdul-Ghani explained to Al-Akhbar. “The reaction was spontaneous and not supported by the [Palestinian National] Authority or the leaders of the interior of all backgrounds.”

The anger in the streets seemed to embarrass Arab officials in the national committee and the various parties. Their statements seemed shy and awkward, squeezed between public fury and Netanyahu’s threats.

The recent events over the weekend led to hundreds detained and large numbers of people injured. No martyrs have fallen yet, due to fears by Israeli police that this would ignite an intifada. However, the Israeli government as a whole is demanding that Arab leadership stifle any popular mobilization, preventing from spreading and continuing.

In an attempt to calm the situation, Israeli radio mentioned that Netanyahu had called Hussein Abu Khudair, Mohammed’s father, and expressed “his shock and the shock of Israeli citizens for the abominable killing of his son.” Netanyahu promised to prosecute the killers and “rejects their brutal behavior.”

Abu Khudair commented on the news, telling the media the he “received dozens of calls from foreigners and Israelis,” but was not aware that the Israeli prime minister was one of them. He was surprised to see the story in the news. However, he rejected Netanyahu’s condolences since “he is the one giving the orders to kill Palestinians.”

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Fourteen Palestinians Killed In Gaza, Tuesday

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | July 8, 2014

Palestinian medical sources have reported that the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli missiles in Gaza since morning hours, Tuesday, has arrived to 14, including children, while around a 100 Palestinians have been injured.

One Palestinian identified as Fakhry Saleh al-‘Ajjoury, was killed when an Israeli missile that struck a residential area, near Sheikh Zayed towers, north of Gaza City.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qodra, spokesperson of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, stated that at least 100 Palestinians, including many children and women, have been injured due to ongoing Israeli strikes targeting residential areas and homes, in different parts of the Gaza Strip.

Also on Tuesday evening, two Palestinians, identified as Ahmad Mousa Habib, 48, and Ahmad ‘Aahed Habib, 19, have been killed when the Israeli Air Force fired a missile into the al-Baltaji Street, east of Gaza City.

Earlier on Tuesday, Seven Palestinians, including children, have been killed and at least 25 have been injured, after the Israeli Air Force fired a missile into a Palestinian home, in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

In an earlier attack, the army fired a missile into a civilian car, in the center of Gaza city, killing three Palestinians identified as Mohammad Sha’ban, 24, Amjad Sha’ban, 30, and Khader Abu Jabal. All are from Jabalia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

Also on Tuesday, a Palestinian identified as Rashad Yassin, was killed when the Israeli army fired missiles into the Nusseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, said Israel is preparing for a long battle, adding that all options are on the table, including the possibility of a ground invasion into the coastal region.

The statements were made as dozens of tanks, armored vehicles and military bulldozers, have been lined up across the border with Gaza.

Armed groups in Gaza fired a barrage of shells into different Israeli areas, and vowed to continue the firing of shells in retaliation to the ongoing and escalating Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian people.

Israel launches massive offensive in Gaza: “Operation Protective Edge”

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Massive Attack against Zionist War Machine

Open Letter Welcoming Massive Attack

Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon | July 8, 2014

Dear Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall,

On behalf of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon, we are delighted to welcome you to Lebanon for your forthcoming performance on July 29 at the Byblos International Festival, and to salute Massive Attack’s commitment to justice for Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Our campaign is one of solidarity with the Palestinian people, struggling against racism, dispossession, apartheid and occupation under Zionism, but it is also a form of resistance by the Lebanese people themselves. Tens of thousands of Lebanese have been killed by Israel over 66 years of multiple invasions and bombing campaigns targeting residential areas, medical facilities, and fundamental infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have been denied their right to return to their homes and lands – for which they have been struggling for over 66 years.

Through your active engagement and public support of the boycott of Israel, you are taking a stand against the bombs, the invasions, and the war machine of apartheid Israel.

On far too many occasions, we write to artists to call upon them to cancel their performances in Israel before they plan to perform in Lebanon. It is, therefore, a refreshing change to instead write to you welcoming your visit to Lebanon. Through your active engagement and public support of the boycott of Israel, you are taking a stand against the bombs, the invasions, and the war machine of apartheid Israel.

We are particularly delighted to hear Robert Del Naja stating that: “If the EU and the US pressured Israel for change and forced the end of the blockade, we might get somewhere. That pressure should also come culturally… So it doesn’t sit right for me to go back to Tel Aviv while there is a giant wall and an economic stranglehold on a whole nation of people.”

It is particularly important for artists and cultural workers, and for bands whose music, like yours, is heard around the world, to be heard clearly upholding Palestinian rights and refusing to engage with occupation – and Massive Attack presents an excellent example to other international cultural performers in this regard. We fully support Del Naja’s comments that “musicians have a major role to play…I find the more I get involved, the more the movement becomes something tangible. I remember going to ‘Artists Against Apartheid’ gigs, and ‘Rock Against Racism’ gigs around the same sort of time.” The legacy of cultural campaigns for justice in the past continues today in the cultural boycott of Israel.

We would like to invite you to meet with us during your visit to Lebanon, and arrange for you to visit Qana, the site of the 1996 and 2006 massacres of civilians by Israeli airstrikes; the detention centers in South Lebanon, where Israeli forces imprisoned Lebanese; and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. We would also like to discuss your involvement in cultural boycott and support for Palestine with Lebanese campaigners.

Again, we welcome you to Lebanon and salute your ongoing commitment to keep up the needed pressure through refusing to be part of the cultural machinery of war, apartheid, and occupation and supporting the Palestinian, Arab and international “picket line” boycotting Israel.

Best regards,

Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon

The Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon started in 2002 after the massacre in the Jenin refugee camp, and they are the first country-based BDS organization that documents, exposes, and protests Lebanese companies dealing with Israel.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

We Demand Justice for Amer Jubran

Amer Jubran Defense Campaign | July 8, 2014

Amer Jubran has now been detained for over 2 months without charge. Until last week, he was being held incommunicado. Because Amer is a political dissident, we are gravely concerned that he may be tried with serious offenses based on his political speech under Jordan’s legal framework. If so, he would be brought before the State Security Court in Jordan soon. The State Security Court is an institution that has been widely criticized by human rights advocates as a tribunal that lacks any real judicial independence from the Mukhabarat (Jordanian Secret Police).

Today, we sent an open letter to the recently elected UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein of Jordan demanding that he address the atrocious human rights abuses in Jordan, citing Amer’s case.

We are asking all supporters to take action on Wednesday July 9th.

Please take a few minutes to do the following on July 9th:

1) Please forward the open letter to Prince Zeid to all your contacts/lists and post to Facebook;

2) Please write your own letter reiterating the points in the open letter (see below) and e-mail your letter  to:

***Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner-Elect for Human Rights

***Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour  e-mail:

***Minister of Interior, Hussein Majali  e-mail:

***Minister of Justice, Bassam Talhouni   e-mail:

3) Please encourage your contacts to sign the petition to free Amer Jubran if they have not signed it already

Amer has always fought for justice. He needs your help now!

Please follow the action steps above on Wed July 9th and let us know if you receive any reply.
Thank you again for your continued support.


July 8, 2014

To UN High Commissioner-Elect for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein:

In light of your recent confirmation as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, we are writing now to urge you to turn your attention to your own country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and its atrocious history of human rights abuses.

The current case of Amer Jubran highlights Jordan’s ongoing contempt for the most basic international standards of civil and political rights. Mr. Jubran, a Jordanian citizen, was arrested at his home on May 5, 2014 by agents of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) and continues to be detained without charges. For the first seven weeks of his detention, he was held incommunicado, without access to a lawyer or family. The international human rights organization Alkarama recently filed his case with the UN as an instance of arbitrary detention ( ).

Mr. Jubran is an internationally known activist, speaker, and writer on Palestinian human rights and a critic of US and Israeli policies in the Arab world. All who know him and are familiar with his history recognize his arrest as a politically motivated silencing. We are therefore concerned that the amendments to Jordan’s “anti-terrorism” laws passed on June 1st criminalizing new categories of speech as “terrorism” may be applied in Mr. Jubran’s case. The legislation itself demonstrates the willingness of the Jordanian regime to exploit the label “terrorism” to further limit free speech, especially speech that is critical of the existing system of cooperation between Jordan, Israel and the United States. (See statement from Reporters without Borders:,46423.html  )

We further call attention to the use of the State Security Court as an instrument for political repression. As a direct extension of the executive branch of government, the State Security Court violates all standards of judicial independence. It is a rubber stamp for arrests and detentions carried out by the GID, which has a well-documented history of arbitrary detention and torture to silence political opposition ( The collaboration between the GID and the State Security Court in human rights abuses has been specifically cited by Alkarama: “The methods of torture most commonly employed by GID officers are beatings, beatings with cables, ropes, plastic pipes, whips etc all over the body including the soles of the feet (falaqa), stress positions, sleep deprivation, injections that cause states of extreme anxiety, humiliation, threats of rape against the victim and members of his family, electroshock, prolonged isolation, etc. Abuse is more prevalent in the GID due to its close collaboration with the judges of the State Security Court. Incommunicado detention, which is itself a form of mental torture, is routinely extended for undetermined amounts of time.” (

In your acceptance speech at your confirmation as the UN High Commissioner by the General Assembly in June, you spoke of the commitment to push forward the issue of human rights on the Asian continent. Such a commitment can only be taken seriously if you are willing to begin at home. We ask you to stand behind your words by demanding the release of Amer Jubran from his unjust imprisonment by unaccountable agencies within the state of Jordan, and to use your position to end extensive human rights violations carried out by the GID and the State Security Court.


The Amer Jubran Defense Campaign
National Lawyers Guild, Palestine Subcommittee
Defending Dissent Foundation

cc:  Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour (Jordan)
Minister of Interior Hussein Majali (Jordan)
Minister of Justice Bassam Talhouni (Jordan)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

US defends Kiev’s use of airstrikes

RT | July 8, 2014

The US State Department has defended Kiev’s right to use airstrikes against civilians in eastern Ukraine explaining that it is defending the country.

“The government of Ukraine is defending the country of Ukraine and I think they have every right to do that as does the international community,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in response to RT’s Gayane Chichakyan’s question about Ukrainian air force strikes in eastern Ukraine.

“The people of Ukraine have the right to live in peace and security without Russian-backed separatists attacking their homes and going into buildings and I think that is where the root cause of this is and we shouldn’t forget that fact,” Psaki added during the briefing on Monday.

Despite the horrific footage of eastern Ukrainian villages and towns being shelled by the Ukrainian air force, the State Department continues to stand behind Kiev’s actions, saying that all those killings are the fault of anti-Kiev forces.

“To be clear, on the ground the reports that we’ve seen and the vast majority of people who are reporting from the ground are reporting that the Russian-backed separatists are the ones who are not only engaged in violence and efforts to take over buildings and attack people and innocent civilians and they have no place doing that in a country that is a sovereign country like Ukraine.”

Just last week, 12 civilians were killed including a five-year old in the eastern Ukrainian village of Kondrashovka, which was shelled by Kiev troops. At least five shells hit the settlement, destroying an entire street in the peaceful Lugansk region community, 25km from the city of Lugansk.

Aside from approving Kiev’s actions, the US State Department denied reports on the number of refugees fleeing the conflict in eastern Ukraine to Russia, including UN’s statistics.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that the number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia has reached 110,000 people, while 54,400 others have been internally displaced. In response, the State Department’s spokesperson Maria Harf said she cannot confirm this data, and thus can’t consider it reliable.

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Video, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

7/7 attacks: What is MI5 hiding?

By Jane Calvari | Press TV | July 7, 2014

Lower Manhattan, New York City, September 11, 2001; a shocking event leads to the declaration of the so-called global “War on Terror” lead by the United States Government.

The world changed after 9/11. Since then Governments across the world and the British Government in particular have introduced anti-terror laws that have compromised essential liberties in the society.

But that was not enough for the British officials. There was a need for another shock to the society to introduce laws to discipline those who were outspoken about the Government’s behaviors.

On the morning of July 7, 2005, Londoners started their day with panicking news. On that day, several explosions occurred on the public transport system in the city of London.

Fifty-six people, including four alleged suicide bombers, died in three explosions on the London underground and one explosion on a London bus.

Within hours, the British Government, the Metropolitan Police, Intelligence agencies and many others started to propagate stories that do not simply add up to common sense.

Nine years on and there is still no clear picture of what happened that day. British officials hoped that time will erode the ambiguities, but they are now turned to snowballs attracting more attention among the public.

Preliminary Events: Coincidence or Planned?

In May 2004, the BBC’s investigative current affairs program “Panorama” had a panel of experts discussing how Britain would react to a terrorist attack just like the future 7/7 bombings. The scenario included three explosions on the London Underground and one of a vehicle.

The program entitled “London Under Attack” depicted a fictional terrorist attack. It was presented in a documentary style as if it were really happening. Surprisingly the simulation was as similar as possible to the real event that happened months later.

On the morning of 7 July 2005, there was one more territory that has caused controversy ever since. Senior Metropolitan police officer Peter Power was conducting a tabletop exercise that morning, that not only envisaged the attacks on the Underground involving three simultaneous explosions at 3 tube stations but a bombing on a bus. Power’s scenario involved the very same underground locations that were attacked in real life that morning.

Israel is Here Again

On the morning of 7/7 In London, Israeli Finance Minister of the time, Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled for an economic conference in London but he never left his hotel room adjacent to the site of the first explosion. In the confusion after the attacks, Associated Press reported that Scotland Yard had tipped off the Israeli delegation. A senior Israeli official admitted that, minutes before the explosions it had informed the Israeli delegations that it had received warnings of possible terror attacks.

Netanyahu and Scotland Yard have since denied the reports. The story itself was being reported by other sources and traveled right around the world’s media.

The former mayor of New York and staunch Zionist, Rudi Giuliani was also in Britain. On July 6th, he appeared up in Yorkshire, where he gave a rousing pro-war on terror speech. He admired Tony Blair, while deploring the way the world had allowed terrorists to get out of control through failing to take the problem seriously enough.

What was Giuliani doing in London that morning or indeed the UK? No one has ever answered that. Was it a coincidence that Giuliani who was the mayor of New York on 9/11 was in London on just the day the London bombs went off?

The Secret Services Knew about the Threat and Colluded with the Terrorists

Although there have been suspicions and anecdotal evidence of a fifth or more bombers, the official 7/7 story claims that only four home-grown extremists were responsible for the attacks. They were Mohammed Siddique Khan age 30 from Beeston Leeds, accused of the Edgware Road blast. Shehzad Tanweer aged 22 also from Beeston, accused of the Liverpool Aldgate blast. Jamaican-born Germaine Lindsay age 19 from Aylesbury, allegedly set off the bomb at the carriage heading from Russell Square station and Hasib Hussain the youngest at just 18 said to have blown himself up on the number 30 bus outside of Tavistock Square.

One may ask why were all these radicals and potential terrorists with links to networks overseas, residing in Britain in the years leading up to 7/7? That question is a long and complex one that includes elements of collusion by the state and security services with the extremists.

In his book “7/7: What Went Wrong” former British army officer and intelligence expert Crispin Black, wrote of a secret Government policy known as the covenant of security.

He says this refers to the long-standing British habit of providing refuge and welfare to extremists on the unspoken assumption that “if we give them a safe haven they will not attack us.”

Under the covenant Britain spent years harboring preachers like Abu Hamza former Imam of the Finsbury Park mosque and Omar Bakri former leader of “Almuhajeruns” now “Muslims Against Crusades.”

In fact at various stages, both men were assets of the MI5 and the MI6.

Abu Hamza became an informant for special Branch and the MI5 in 1997 and despite his inflammatory sermons and role in recruiting for terrorism he was told that what he was doing fell under freedom of speech.

“You don’t have to worry unless we see blood on the street” the authorities told him.

While they were turning a blind eye, Hamza was training young men how to use AK-47, handguns and mock rocket launchers during country retreats. He was preparing them for the tougher times they could face overseas that the authorities also knew he was funding.

Hamza was so protected on British soil that the French even considered kidnapping him to stop him. Egypt was so concerned that they offered to swap him for a British prisoner, but they were turned down.

Richard Reid the “Shoe Bomber” was a regular attendee of Hamza’s Finsbury Park Mosque before he attempted to down American Airline’s flight 63.

Hamza’s influence also did not escape those surrounding the future 7/7 bombings. Alleged bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Jermaine Lindsay had all attended his sermons at various stages.

It is hard to understand why there was such a careless policy of appeasement.

Was Britain really in such a position that it was safer to harbour extremists than it was to challenge them? One possibility is that the covenant was really to benefit Britain’s foreign policy goals. It’s easy for the Government to say four Muslims attacked Britain, but things get a lot more complicated when those four Muslims grew up in an extremist environment which the Government themselves permitted.

On the one hand, British citizens were told we’re fighting a war on terror but, on the other hand, their Government helped and supported the terrorists. What’s more worrying is that they may not have learned the lesson about this appeasement and collusion.

Since at least the 90s, the Government and its intelligence agencies put Britain at risk by harboring Wahhabi extremists and allowing them to groom young British men for terror overseas when it suited their foreign policy.

Paving the Way for Attacks

Despite all of the data, on June 2, 2005, just over a month before the attacks, the terror threat level was lowered, and police were moved out of the city. The official announcement stated “at present there is not a group with both the intent and the capability to attack the UK.”

So on the one hand, officials were warning about attacks on the underground and were conducting drills and exercises in preparation, yet on the other hand they lowered the threat level stating nobody was planning to attack, and had since claimed they had no inkling that anything like this was going to take place. Subsequent Government investigations have never adequately addressed this massive contradiction.

Resisting against Transparency

On May 1, 2007, survivors and relatives of those killed on July 7 2005, delivered a letter to the Home Office calling for an independent and impartial public inquiry into the attacks. That was brusquely rejected by the Government.

Perhaps what’s nonsensical and offensive is that survivors and family members of the victims had to wait five years for any judicial hearing.

What did take place was an inquest although it was long overdue. Its scope was limited, and the coroner’s main goal without certain guilt was to determine how the deaths occurred.

This proved extremely difficult because there were no internal post-mortems carried out on the bodies. There was no forensic evidence from the scenes as to what explosives were used. There was no CCTV on the trains or buses to verify the conflicting eyewitness’ reports and even the locations of the blasts in relation to the passengers have not been adequately determined.

The Home Office narrative gives locations for 3 of the alleged bombers on the tube and says that all of them took off their rucksacks containing the bombs, putting them on the floor and blew themselves up and killed those people. But the problem is that the Metropolitan police entered into evidence at the inquest a series of diagrams that do not for the most part, correspond with where the Home Office narrative says the explosions took place. So to talk about the official story of what exactly happened is a falsehood. There isn’t any accurate and clear official story.

The British establishment theory is that there was a conspiracy of four home-grown suicide bombers who were not known to the intelligence agencies, who attacked in London using home-made bombs with no outside help.

The MI5 were not challenged, or cross-examined at the inquest. It rejected recommendations put forward by the families to help prevent this happening in the future.

James Eadie QC arrogantly stated : “The evidence simply does not give rise to any concern about other deaths in the future or continuing risk.”

This echoed the King’s Cross Underground fire of 1987 when the authorities failed to implement recommendations even by 2005.

Consecutive Governments Tried to Hide Something?

Nick Clegg and David Cameron picked up on the events when they were in opposition and scolded Blair for rejecting the public’s wishes.

But now the coalition is in full swing. They too have shown no interest in getting to the truth behind Britain’s most devastating terrorist atrocity. Rather than becoming more transparent about their actions and protocols and more importantly their collusion with the very terrorists that citizens are supposed to be protected from, in November 2011 foreign secretary William Hague revealed plans to restrict further the ability of courts to discuss in public the work of the MI5 and the MI6, who suggested intelligence data should only be discussed in secret court hearing.

If that was the case following 7/7, we may not have been privy to most of the information covered in this report. What exactly are they trying to hide?

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | 2 Comments