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How Science Died at the World Trade Center

By Kevin Ryan | Dig Within | February 15, 2015

Science has been misused for political purposes many times in history. However, the most glaring example of politically motivated pseudoscience—that employed by U.S. government scientists to explain the destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC)—continues to be ignored by many scientists. As we pass the 10th anniversary of the introduction of that account, it is useful to review historic examples of fake science used for political purposes and the pattern that defines that abuse.

An early example of pseudoscience used to promote a political agenda was the concerted Soviet effort to contradict evolutionary theory and Mendelian inheritance. For nearly 45 years, the Soviet government used propaganda to foster unproven theories of agriculture promoted by its minister of agriculture, Trofim Lysenko. Scientists seeking favor with the Soviet hierarchy produced fake experimental data in support of Lysenko’s false claims. Scientific evidence from the fields of biology and genetics was banned in favor of educational programs that taught only Lysenkoism and many biologists and geneticists were executed or sent to labor camps. This propaganda-fueled program of anti-science continued for over forty years, until 1964, and spread to other countries including China.

In the 2010 book Merchants of Doubt, authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway describe several other examples of the misuse of science, spanning from the 1950s to the present. They show how widely respected scientists participated in clearly non-scientific efforts to promote the agendas of big business and big government. Examples include the tobacco industry’s misuse of science to obfuscate the links between smoking and cancer, the military industrial complex’s use of scientists to support the scientifically indefensible Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and several abuses of environmental science.

As Oreskes and Conway made clear, science is about evidence. “It is about claims that can be, and have been, tested through scientific research—experiment, experience, and observation—research that is then subject to critical review by a jury of scientific peers.” In science, if experiments performed do not support a hypothesis, that hypothesis must be rejected. If conclusions fail to pass peer-review due to a lack of supportive evidence or the discovery of evidence that directly contradicts them, those conclusions must be rejected.

From Lysenkoism through the examples given by Oreskes and Conway, politically motivated pseudoscience demonstrates a pattern of characteristics as follows.

  1. There is a lack of experiments.
  2. The results of experiments are ignored or contradicted in the conclusions.
  3. There is either no peer-review or peer-reviewer concerns are ignored.
  4. The findings cannot be replicated or falsified due to the withholding of data.
  5. False conclusions are supported by marketing or media propaganda.
  6. Hypotheses that are supported by the evidence are ignored.

All six of these characteristics of pseudo-science are exhibited by the U.S. government investigation into what happened at the WTC on September 11th, 2001. That investigation was conducted by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and it had much in common with the examples given by Oreskes and Conway. As with the false science that supported tobacco use, millions of lives were lost as a result—in this case through the “War on Terror.” Like support for the Strategic Defense Initiative, the abuses were focused on supporting the military-industrial complex. And as with the environmental examples, NIST’s manipulations affect everyone on the planet because they prop up a never-ending war.

In terms of historical experience, the destruction of the three WTC skyscrapers was unprecedented. No tall building had ever experienced global collapse for any reason other than explosive demolition and none ever has since that time. In terms of observation, nearly everyone who examines the videos from the day recognizes the many similarities to explosive demolition. Perhaps the most compelling evidence in favor of the demolition theory is that the NIST WTC Reports, which took up to seven years to produce, exhibit all six of the characteristics of politically motivated pseudoscience.

The lack of experiment:

NIST performed no physical experiments to support its conclusions on WTC Building 7. Its primary conclusion, that a few steel floor beams experienced linear thermal expansion thereby shearing many structural connections, could have easily been confirmed through physical testing but no such testing was performed. Moreover, other scientists had performed such tests in the past but since the results did not support NIST’s conclusions, those results were ignored (see peer-review comments below).

The results of experiments were ignored or contradicted in the conclusions:

  • For the Twin Towers, steel temperature tests performed on the few steel samples saved suggested that the steel reached only about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than one thousand degrees below the temperature needed to soften steel and make it malleable—a key requirement of NIST’s hypothesis. NIST responded by exaggerating temperatures in its computer model.
  • Another key requirement of NIST’s explanation for the Twin Towers was that floor assemblies had sagged severely under thermal stress. Floor model tests conducted by my former company Underwriters Laboratories showed that the floor assemblies would sag only 3 to 4 inches, even after removal of all fireproofing and exposure to much higher temperatures than existed in the buildings. NIST responded by exaggerating the results—claiming up to 42-inches worth of floor assembly sagging in its computer model.
  • After criticism of its draft report in April 2005, NIST quietly inserted a short description of shotgun tests conducted to evaluate fireproofing loss in the towers. These results also failed to support NIST’s conclusions because the shotgun blasts were not reflective of the distribution or trajectories of the aircraft debris. Additionally, the tests suggested that the energy required to “widely dislodge” fireproofing over five acre-wide floors—required by NIST’s findings—was simply not available.

There was no peer review and public comments from peers were ignored:

NIST published its own WTC reports and therefore its work was not subject to peer-review as is the case for all legitimate science. The people and companies involved in the NIST investigation were either government employees or contractors dependent on government work and were therefore not objective participants.

In terms of indirect peer-review, the international building construction community has made no changes to building construction standards in response to NIST’s officially cited root causes for the WTC destruction. Furthermore, no existing buildings have been retrofitted to ensure that they do not fail from those alleged causes.

NIST provided a period for public comment on its draft reports but the comments provided by those not beholden to government were not supportive of NIST’s findings. In some cases, as with NIST’s linear expansion claim for WTC 7, independent scientists submitted comments about physical tests they had performed (which NIST had not) that directly contradicted NIST’s findings.

There was one important exception to NIST’s ignoring of public comments. After a physics teacher’s well-publicized comments, NIST was forced to admit that WTC 7 was in free-fall for a vertical distance equivalent to at least eight stories of the building. Structural engineers have since noted that many hundreds of high-strength steel bolts and steel welds would have had to vanish instantaneously for an 8-story section of the building to fall without any resistance.

The findings cannot be replicated or falsified due to the withholding of data:

NIST will not share it computer models with the public. A NIST spokesman declared, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, that revealing the computer models would “jeopardize public safety.” Because NIST’s conclusions depend entirely on those computer models, they cannot be verified or falsified by independent scientists.

False conclusions are supported by media or marketing propaganda:

As with the Soviet propaganda machine that supported Lysenkoism and the tobacco industry’s marketing propaganda, NIST’s pseudoscience was fully and uncritically supported by the mainstream media. Hearst Publications, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and Skeptic magazine are examples of media that went to great lengths to stifle any questioning of the official account and divert attention from the glaring discrepancies.

NIST depended on that media support as indicated by the timing of its release of reports. NIST’s final report appeared to be scheduled for dual political purposes, to coincide with the seventh anniversary of 9/11 and to give the appearance of finished business at the end of the Bush Administration. The timing of NIST’s other reports coincided with political events as well. These included the draft report on the towers in October 2004—just before the election, the final report on the towers—just before the fourth anniversary of 9/11, and NIST’s first “responses to FAQs”—just before the fifth anniversary. All of them appeared to involve politically motivated release dates.

The report release dates allowed time for the media to quickly present the official story while public interest was high, but did not allow time for critical review. With the report on WTC 7, the public was given just three weeks prior to September 11th, 2008 to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making.

Hypotheses that are supported by the evidence were ignored:

Throughout its seven-year investigation, NIST ignored the obvious hypothesis for the destruction of the WTC buildings—demolition. That evidence includes:

  • Free-fall or near-free fall acceleration of all three buildings (now acknowledged by NIST for WTC 7)
  • Photographic and video evidence demonstrating the characteristics of demolition for both the Twin Towers and WTC 7

The WTC reports produced by NIST represent the most obvious example of politically motivated pseudoscience in history. The physical experiments NIST performed did not support its conclusions. The reports were not peer-reviewed and public comments that challenged the findings were ignored. NIST will not share its computer models—the last supposed evidence that supports its conclusions—with the public and therefore its conclusions are not verifiable.

These glaring facts should be readily recognizable by any scientist and, given the unprecedented impact of the resulting War on Terror, this abuse of science should be the basis for a global outcry from the scientific community. The fact that it is not—with even Oreskes and Conway ignoring this most obvious example—indicates that many scientists today still cannot recognize false science or cannot speak out about it for fear of social stigma. It’s possible that our society has not suffered enough to compel scientists to move out of their comfort zones and challenge such exploitation of their profession. If so, the abuse of science for political and commercial purposes will only get worse.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 4 Comments

Peña Nieto Wants to Keep Oil Privatization Deals Secret

teleSUR | February 14, 2015

The government of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed changing a key transparency law that would allow the state to keep key information secret over controversial energy reform plans.

According to a document presented before the Congress by the ruling party PRI and its ally the Ecological Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), there would be 82 changes to the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information.

The recommendations made by the legal adviser to the Presidency of the Republic propose removing the requirement to disclose contracts, permits, alliances and partnerships that the State signed with national and foreign companies on oil exploration.

Last year President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a package of so-called secondary laws to the country’s controversial energy reform approved in 2013. The reform opens Mexico’s public energy sector to private competition for the first time in 76 years after the former populist president, Lazaro Cardenas, nationalized the sector in 1938.

Opposition senators Dolores Padierna and Alejandro Encinas, from the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD), rejected the proposal saying Mexicans deserve to know what will happen with hydrocarbons, a key economic sector, especially as the reforms will see profits going to foreign oil companies.

Padierna added that the energy sector should be forced to provide information about its operation and activity, and that decisions taken during the process of liberalization and privatization should respond to the transparency law.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Latin American Legacy

Re-Militarizing Honduras

By NICK ALEXANDROV | CounterPunch | February 13, 2015

Nearly a decade ago, a keen observer of Honduras produced a damning analysis of the country. “In a very real sense, Honduras is a captured state,” he began. “Elite manipulation of the public sector, particularly the weak legal system, has turned it into a tool to protect the powerful,” and “voters choose mainly between the two major entrenched political parties, both beholden to the interests of individuals from the same economic elite.” The situation required a “strategy that will give people the means to influence public policy,” the report concluded.

Its author was James Williard, the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Honduras in 2005. In the following years, Manuel Zelaya, the Honduran president from 2006-2009, formulated a strategy like the one Williard mentioned. The country’s rulers reacted by toppling Zelaya in June 2009, manipulating the feeble legal system to justify his overthrow. Washington feigned outrage, but then recognized the marred November 2009 national election, its 2013 follow-up—and heaped supplies on the military. About “half of all U.S. arms exports for the entire Western Hemisphere” went to Honduras in 2011, Martha Mendoza disclosed, referring to the $1.3 billion in military electronics that “neither the State Department nor the Pentagon” would explain.

Zelaya had planned to conduct a poll the day of the coup, to see whether the public desired a referendum on constitutional reform that November. “Critics said it was part of an illegal attempt by Mr. Zelaya to defy the Constitution’s limit of a single four-year term for the president,” New York Times reporter Elisabeth Malkin wrote immediately after the ouster.

That was the official line. But U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens had a different take. “The fact is we have no hard intelligence suggesting any consideration”—let alone effort—“by Zelaya or any members of his government to usurp democracy and suspend constitutional rule,” he wrote five days before the coup. Zelaya’s “public support” then was somewhere “in the 55 percent range,” with the poll’s as high as 75%. These figures signaled the nightmare. “Zelaya and his allies advocate radical reform of the political system and replacement of ‘representative democracy’ with a ‘participatory’ version modeled on President Correa’s model in Ecuador,” Llorens panicked.

He need not have. Repression crushed the hope of reform, and today’s Honduras recalls its 1980s death-squad heyday. The Constitution Zelaya allegedly violated dates from that era, and “contained perverse elements such as military autonomy from civilian control,” Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson explains, adding that “during the 1980s the military chief negotiated defense policy directly with the U.S. government and then informed the Honduran president of what was decided.”

General Gustavo Álvarez Martínez helmed the army until 1984. “Trained in Argentina, as he rose to power he openly declared to U.S. Ambassador Binns that he admired the Argentine methods used during the murderous Dirty Wars there and planned to use the same techniques in Honduras,” Jennifer Harbury notes. Álvarez wasn’t kidding. He proceeded to form Battalion 316, whose members the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies trained. One of its targets was union leader German Pérez Alemán. Battalion hit men forced him into a car on a busy street near Tegucigalpa’s airport, then killed him with torture. Journalist Oscar Reyes was another victim. “He was strung up naked and beaten ‘like a piñata,’” Harbury writes, while his wife, Gloria, “was given electrical shocks to the genitals that damaged her internal organs.”

Reagan dealt with Álvarez by awarding him the Legion of Merit in 1983. Now a new generation continues the Battalion’s work. “In the ’80s we had armed forces that were excessively empowered. Today Honduras is extremely similar,” activist Bertha Oliva stated, emphasizing that “the presence of the U.S. in the country was extremely significant” then, and is now. “Military personnel now control state institutions that in the 1990s were taken from them,” added Héctor Becerra, Director of the Honduran Committee for Free Expression.

One example is the Public Order Military Police (PMOP, in Spanish), first deployed weeks before the 2013 election. That October 10, it “raided the home of Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Vice President of SITRAPANI (National Child Welfare Agency Workers’ Union),” then “broke down the doors” of seasoned activist Edwin Robelo Espinal’s home a few weeks later, human rights group PROAH reported. Several legislators opposed the law creating the PMOP. A top Honduran human rights official declared it unconstitutional. But not only was its champion, ex-Congressman Juan Orlando Hernández, allowed to retain his position—he’s now president.

And “since taking office in January 2014 [he] has presided over several deployments of soldiers and expanded the PMOP,” the Security Assistance Monitor points out. PROAH reviews some case studies in citizen security, like one “where the police have been complicit in the kidnapping and torture of two fishermen, and another where soldiers were directly responsible for the torture of two miners.” A former police agent, in a sworn statement, described other experiments in sadism “that implicate top level commanders of the national security forces,” according to TeleSUR. A “woman was taken to a security house in the exclusive Trejo neighborhood, interrogated for 48 hours, hanged and disappeared,” for example. The agent also recounted how his team had abducted three gang members, who “were tortured and killed. They were then decapitated and their bodies appeared in different parts of the city. A different head was placed on each body to make it more difficult to identify the person killed.”

International policy expert Alexander Main writes that U.S. support for Honduran militarization has been not only “tacit”—seen in “the steady increase of U.S. assistance to national armed forces” since the coup—but also “direct.” A DEA Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST), for example, “set up camp in Honduras to train a local counternarcotics police unit” from 2011-2012. U.S. and Colombian Special Forces later instructed “a new ‘elite’ police unit called the Intelligence Troop and Special Security Group” (TIGRES, in Spanish). When $1.3 million vanished in a drug raid last year, evidence emerged implicating dozens of TIGRES members. It seems the training paid off.

We can say the same of U.S. efforts to shape Honduran society. The “military simply did not exist in any institutionalized form” there for much of the 20th century, Kirk Bowman observes. This situation changed after the U.S. and Honduran governments signed a Bilateral Treaty of Military Assistance in May 1954. We see the outcomes today. The journalists gunned down by passing assassins, the poor farmers stalked and murdered for defending their land—this is as much a part of Obama’s Latin America legacy as his celebrated Cuba thaw.

Nick Alexandrov lives in Washington, DC.  He can be reached at:


February 15, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Jonathan Freedland Isn’t Fit to be the New Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian

By Blake Alcott | CounterPunch | February 13, 2015

Should Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian’s Executive Editor, Opinion, take over the editor-in-chief’s post from Alan Rusbridger? Freedland’s instalment is rumoured to be a condition set by the New York Times if the two enlightened North Atlantic papers are to merge, but even without this his chances seem good.

A central topic for both papers, as for the world in general, is Palestine, Israel, the Middle East. The topic is said by Freedland himself to have been his specialty for some twenty years. I have read through 100 of his writings on the subject in the Guardian, the Jewish Chronicle and the New York Review of Books and conclude that their content should worry the Guardian staff, its readers and his employer The Scott Trust. His support for Israel is unbalanced, violates the Guardian’s commitment to liberalism and is rooted in an ethnocentricity that enables him to alternatively ignore Palestinians and justify their forced transfer out of Palestine.

In order of decreasing importance:

* He justifies the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

* His writing is Israel-centric and biased towards Israel.

* His Mideast world is largely free of Palestinians.

* He conflates criticism of Israel with ‘anti-semitism’.

* His narrative is largely that of Israeli hasbara.

Ethnic cleansing condoned

Freedland’s friend and Ha’aretz journalist Ari Shavit made a stir in 2013 with his portrayal of Israel’s ethnic cleansing, by murder and expulsion, of the Arab-Palestinian town of Lydda in July 1948. In one of his reviews of Shavit’s story Freedland correctly writes that Shavit “meticulously reconstructs events in the mainly [sic] Arab town of Lydda in July 1948, when soldiers of the embryonic [sic] Israeli army emptied the place [sic] of its Palestinian inhabitants and… killed more than 300 civilians”. He confirms Shavit’s admission that “Zionism carried out a massacre”; it resolved that the Arabs of Lydda be “expelled quickly”: “if a Jewish state was to exist in Palestine an Arab Lydda could not exist…”

In another review of Shavit his claim is incorrect, however, that Shavit only “touches on the question of justification too” and “avoids a direct answer”. Shavit’s ‘shoot and weep’ approval is very clear. He writes that “the choice is stark: either reject Zionism because of Lydda or accept Zionism along with Lydda… I will not damn the brigade commander and the military governor and the 3rd Battalion soldiers. On the contrary, if need be, I’ll stand by the damned, because I know that if not for them the State of Israel would not have been born… They did the dirty, filthy work that enables my people, myself, my daughter, and my sons to live.” Shavit harbours righteous anger towards the “critics of later years who condemn what they did in Lydda but enjoy the fruits of their deed.” His final solution is the status quo: “Do I wash my hands of Zionism? Do I turn my back on the Jewish national movement that carried out the destruction of Lydda? No.”

Freedland concurs. As Ben White shows, already in 2004 in a book chapter Freedland wrote, “I have long believed Israel should be strong enough to admit the reality of 1948 – and to defend it all the same.” White demonstrates that while Freedland has passionately condemned ethnic cleansing in Darfur and Kosovo, he not only does not condemn the Zionist actions of 1948 (and since) but, as in his book Jacob’s Gift as well, he condones the ethnic cleansing; the “flight, expulsion and dispossession, the emptying of 400 villages and the creation of around 700,000 refugees” was all right because “the creation of a Jewish state was a moral necessity”, the Jews had “the right… of the drowning man” to force the Palestinians off Palestinian land. As Shavit says, “If Zionism was to be, Lydda could not be. If Lydda was to be, Zionism could not be.” Both Shavit and Freedland choose Zionism. In the same breath and in bad taste, Freedland exhibits his cleverness by joking that Shavit is “a Wasp, a White Ashkenazi Supporter of Peace”.

Further hard evidence against Freedland is found in a 2008 Guardian ‘Sounds Jewish’ podcast wherein he says, “I’m of the view that says admit the price that was paid but then say to the world, tragically, it was necessary, given the place the Jews were in given the calamity of their own, the slaughter in the holocaust. So I think you have to, you can be cleared-eyed and honest about this. It doesn’t actually compromise the moral need that Israel had 60 years ago, to admit that in order to implement that moral need there were terrible sufferings for other people involved.” As he preaches in his August 2014 review, while the blood of Operation Protective Edge was flowing, “the Jewish state had become a mortal [sic] need” and a “moral necessity”.

To understand the endorsement of how Israel was ‘born’ by ‘left Zionists’ such as Shavit, Freedland and Benny Morris it is necessary to read Shavit’s seminal 2004 Ha’aretz interview with Morris, reprinted in full in Counterpunch. In Freedland’s own critical yet friendly 2009 Guardian interview of Morris, Freedland eschews any expression of his personal opinion on Morris’ derogatory generalisations about Arabs, but instead uses rhetorical displacement to note merely that Morris’ language will make “liberal Israelis, liberal Jews, just liberals… squirm”; “people would [say] that’s… racism”. Compare Shavit’s relatively bold reply to Morris’ approval of Ben Gurion’s “purification” of Israel of gentiles: “I don’t hear you condemning him.”

Readers who like to read between the lines will like Freedland’s review of three biographies of Ariel Sharon, the ‘Butcher of Beirut’, Israel’s main post-1947 purifier who “embodied [Zionism’s] determined quest for land and its readiness to use brutal force.” Notwithstanding some ambiguity, Freedland is an admirer. Sharon may be an “enigma” to Freedland – less so, one suspects, to Palestinians – and have left an “uncertain legacy” – a view that would induce bafflement amongst Palestinians and Lebanese – but he was a “warrior” whose life was “rich in the raw material from which myths are made”, a “soldier… who… chased away enemies” and debriefed his own soldiers “even as a bullet remained freshly lodged in his leg”, a “new breed of Jewish warrior” who was “ruthless in the pursuit of safe and generous borders for the Jewish state”.

In an example of his amoral attitude towards Palestinian issues, Freedland judges Sharon’s building of “the separation barrier”, his decision that the Palestinians must be “bombed, harassed and intimidated” and his “pursuit of the settlement project” not on ethical grounds but rather on the grounds that these undermine Israel’s true interests. Sharon is nothing worse than “a weak strategist” who failed to see “the problem” of the demographic threat to Israel’s Jewish nature of equal numbers of Palestinians – in Freedland’s words, the need to leave “fewer Palestinians on Israel’s books, so to speak”. In violation of a central liberal tenet, Zionism and Israel have always manipulated demographics for political ends.

Back to the present. In his piece last summer ‘Liberal Zionism after Gaza’ Freedland’s writes, “Privately, people admit to growing tired of defending Israeli military action when it comes at such a heavy cost in civilian life, its futility confirmed by the frequency with which it has to be repeated.” One reads and gasps: murder “has to be” done. Freedland is by the way neither emotionally nor intellectually able to regard Gazans’ firing of rockets using the same lifeboat ethics used by the “liberal Zionists” [sic] regarding Lydda: a question of survival, either you or me.

Freedland’s support for ethnic cleansing is by itself enough to disqualify him from not only the chief editorship but his present job. Condoning the Nakba is out of bounds. It is a moral failing to believe Palestinians should pay for crimes committed by Christians in Europe. The message that two wrongs don’t make a right is beneath every standard for which the Guardian otherwise battles day in and day out.


Freedland is strongly and openly biased towards Zionism/Israel in this century-old conflict. He takes sides, is both personally and ideologically bound up with Israel, admittedly looking for its name in any list of countries, quickening at any sight of its flag. Outside of New York and London his time is spent in Israel, not Palestine or other Arab places. As he wrote in 2013, “My views [are] rooted in the firm desire to see Israel survive and thrive…” However, because Israel’s thriving is at the expense of the lives and dignity of the Palestinians his personal, understandable bias becomes relevant to one of the leading liberal newspapers of the world.

Freedland admits to following Israeli politics “obsessively”. What little he writes about Palestinian or Arab politics is superficial, and even columns about recent events in Syria or Egypt, or the Arab Spring, are analysed almost exclusively in their relation to Israel. “Where those watching from afar can afford to feel only hope for Arab democracy, it is understandable that Israelis feel mainly fear.” While noting that Zionism “was all about” a similar quest for “self-determination”, he “understands” Israel’s lack of joy at the prospect of the Arab spring and Arab democracy, cynically if circumspectly endorsing Moshe Aren’s dictum that “Peace you make with dictators.” Israel’s support for anti-democracy in its region is “understandable”. Freedland is using a double standard, and his allegiance to democracy less than full.

As with democracy, so with pluralism. Simultaneously downplaying and confirming the strength of the Israel lobby in the US, Freedland once warns AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to be more tolerant of opposing views. AIPAC’s intolerance “is not just an offence against pluralism, it also hurts the very cause AIPAC purports to serve: Israel.” The bottom line is not ethics or liberalism, it is Israel.

When in May 2013 Stephen Hawking joined the academic boycott by cancelling a planned appearance in Israel, Freedland directed his concern not to the reasons why Hawking might adhere to the boycott call, and much less to the arguments of the Palestinian academics making the call, but to the frightful prospect that the boycott’s endorsement by people of the calibre of Hawking might lead to Israel’s being “shunned and vilified” as a “pariah state” by the “mainstream”. As so often Freedland addresses “those who wish the best for Israel”, evidencing no interest in the meaning for Palestinians of Hawking’s employing this peaceful method of pressuring Israel. Similarly, at the height of the bloodshed in Gaza he used the Tricycle Theatre’s refusal to host films financed by the Israeli government as a chance to once again arrive at his bottom line, namely Israel’s “strategically calamitous situation”, its “pariah status that is looming”, and the damage to its “standing in the world”.

Even the funeral of Nelson Mandela interests Freedland only because Netanyahu and Peres did not attend. It cast shame on Israel to be absent “when the family of nations gathered”; Zionism, after all, had fulfilled the need for “the Jewish people to re-join the family of nations”. He even cannot resist calling the funeral “a shambolic affair”, and his blindness to Israel’s apartheid-like characteristics prevents him from seeing that it might have been bad taste for it to show up at the ultimate honours for a man who spent 27 years in jail for fighting apartheid.

Even his support for Palestinian statehood stems from his support of Israel. In arguing for recognition of Palestine he writes that such recognition would “support the idea of ‘Israel alongside a Palestinian state, thereby entrenching Israel’s legitimacy and its permanence’. Having the general assembly… vote for such a resolution would amount to de facto recognition of Israel – and reassure those who fear the country’s ‘delegitimisation’.” He praises Peter Beinart for “distinguishing democratic [sic], pre-1967 Israel from the post-1967 territories” and for Beinart’s “goal of simultaneously ‘delegitimising the occupation and legitimising Israel’ – all for the sake of securing Israel’s own future.” What matters is the well-being of Israel; the intrinsic rights of Palestinians are not even an afterthought.

Freedland’s narrow focus becomes callous in a column about ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in January 2009 entitled ‘Gaza after a Hamas rout will be an even greater threat to Israel’. His concern is much less with the fate of dead and wounded Palestinians than with the war’s “damage to [Israel’s] international reputation” and the “dangers” for Israel of weakening Fatah’s position over against that of Hamas. He once similarly wrote that while the IRA always accepted Great Britain as such, Hamas doesn’t accept Israel, and that “Israel could truthfully cite the Ulster precedent when it says it cannot sit down with Hamas until it renounces violence.” He just cannot see that most Palestinians refuse to sit down with Israel until it renounces its decades of violence.

Writing “as the war in Gaza wound down” from his Greek holiday in summer 2014, Freedland reflects that although the Greek economy is in the doldrums Greece is not at war, but “Ashdod and Israel are not so lucky.” Aha, it is all a matter of luck. Gaza City, Jabalia City and Rafah – with rubble and corpses not to be found in Ashdod – are not worth mentioning. For Freedland the problem with last year’s Gaza war is that it is “self-defeating” – for Israel; it “will give Israel no security”.

Throughout, Freedland elides Jewishness and Zionism, for instance routinely calling Israel “the Jewish state”. One example is a piece in which he rejects the idea of one democratic state (supported he says only by “diehard Arab rejectionists” and “old-school student lefties from the 1980s”) his paragraphs use the terms “Zionism”, “Israel”, “the Jewish state” and even “the Jews” interchangeably. It is therefore more accurate to describe his starting-point as ‘Jewish-Israel-centric’.

Freedland’s characterisation of Israel in ethno-religious terms could be ignored. We could see its conflict with the indigenous population as purely political, economic, military. Unless, as is Freedland’s tendency, we want to let the twenty percent of Israel’s citizens who are not Jewish disappear conceptually altogether, making their second-class status easier to ignore. Freedland overwhelmingly does neglect them, a consequence of his elision of Israel and Jewishness.

The conflation has the further consequence of enabling Freedland in his 2004 book chapter ‘Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?’ to regard it as “not an absurd claim” to say that “to attack Israel is to attack Jews”. He argues for this by claiming that “Jewish affinity with Israel is now so widespread and entrenched, across the political and religious spectrum, that it has indeed become a central part of Jewish identity.” This shows his sympathy for the (absurd) idea that Israel criticism is ‘anti-semitic’ (correctly: judophobic), and in co-opting all Jews for Zionism it is factually wrong: many Jews are anti-Zionists. But this group, with the exception of Norman Finkelstein, earns little of Freedland’s attention.

Perhaps the cruelest aspect of Freedland’s conflation is the conflation of Jewish suffering in Europe with the geographical and political area of the Middle East known as Palestine. Zionism always chose the Arab inhabitants of Palestine as those who must pay for the pogroms of Eastern Europe, the Dreyfus scandal, or the Holocaust, in willful ignorance of the fact that the Palestinians had absolutely nothing – zero – to do with it.

His quasi-equation of Israel and “Jewish identity” led him to intervene as well in the controversy over London’s Tricycle Theatre’s attempt to not screen films sponsored by the Israeli regime: “The Tricycle’s insistence that the festival was only welcome if it cut all financial ties with the Israeli Embassy… seemed a realisation of long-held Jewish fears. Did this mean that Jewish participation in the cultural life of the country… would now be conditional on our first issuing a public disavowal of Israel?” Like a magician, Freedland in two sentences has changed the Theatre’s objection to “Israel” into opposition to “Jewish” participation – surely not the result of a reading difficulty. Similarly eliding gracefully between Israel, Jewish culture, the Israeli embassy in London, and ‘anti-semitism’ is an anonymous piece most likely written by Freedland which ends with non-sequiturs about attacks on French synagogues – but rhetorical analysis of this masterpiece is over my head.

Although Freedland often brings his own Jewishness into his political columns about Palestine and ‘anti-semitism’, it is not relevant to the points just made showing that the conflation of Israel and Jewishness is necessarily disadvantageous to Palestinian citizens of Israel, critics of Israel, Jewish anti-Zionists and Palestinians in general. Scores of gentile journalists, commentators and politicians share his outlook putting Israel, Jewish Israelis and worldwide “Jewish identity” at the centre of the Palestine question.

Finally, there is a nice teapot-kettle irony in Freedland’s “singling out” of Israel for journalistic and literary attention, for he often insinuates that ‘anti-semitism’ motivates those who “single out” Israel for criticism, as opposed for example to Syria or Darfur. He once feigns bafflement as to why people “single out” Israel; we who do so are even a “mob”. Whereby Freedland himself week in, week out singles out Israel for loving criticism, naming “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” his journalistic specialty. Is he therefore guilty of the inverse racism of ‘philo-Semitism’? No.

Daphna Baram quotes Freedland in her 2004 book (pp 227-228) as follows: “Some Guardian people might wish it were otherwise, but it is a fact that the vast majority of Jews in the world today identify themselves with Israel, and see any attack on it as an attack on themselves. The result is that much of what we publish can and does offend our Jewish readers. My view is that if we are regularly offending most members of an ethnic minority, then that has to be a cause of concern…. [S]upport of Zionism is part of the Guardian’s own history. This is our heritage and we cannot break from it lightly.” That is, the Guardian should tailor its coverage of Israel to its Jewish, rather than its Arab or Palestinian, readership. And anyway, pro-Zionism is in the Guardian’s DNA.

When the desire for the well-being of any group, whether Jews, Christians, Moslems or Hindus, leads to justification of political privilege, it is relevant both to those discriminated against and, I believe, to what the Guardian should be. But even without this ethno-religious aspect, hiring Freedland as editor-in-chief will strengthen the Guardian’s pro-Israel bias.

The unimportance of Palestinians

The other side of the coin is that in Freedland’s world Palestinians are nearly absent. After distilling 100 of his articles I claim that he sees Israelis at the expense of seeing Palestinians. Like previous Zionists who saw the solution to the European ‘Jewish problem’ in Palestine, a purportedly literally or culturally empty place, they are his Oriental Other. Only once did I find him putting himself in the Palestinians’ shoes for longer than a half sentence, conceding that “the Palestinians feel exactly the same way [as the Jews]. They too have nowhere else.”

In the one column where I found general sympathy for Arab self-determination – he compares it to that achieved for Jews by the Zionists – my joy was short-lived. Lo and behold, he was referring only to self-determination in the surrounding Arab spring countries, excluding Palestine, that is, the group of Arabs in front of his nose, of which there is no mention whatsoever.

Palestinian refugees make up around 60% of the Palestinian population, but Freedland has devoted not more than perhaps three entire sentences to them. His moving article on Jewish refugee Otto Dov Kulka has never to my knowledge been balanced with more than a paragraph on any of the millions of ethnically cleansed Palestinians who lost their homeland 67 or 47 or 5 years ago or yesterday.

He does see Palestinians when they fire rockets. One description of the situation at the time of Cast Lead reveals his bias: “the Israelis of Sderot cowering in shelters from the Qassam rockets launched from Gaza; and the Palestinians, whose suffering only seems to deepen”. That is, Palestinians are the agents of Israeli suffering, while the Palestinians’ suffering simply happens, somehow, with no agent in sight.

Baram (p 197) mentions that Freedland characterised as “some of the most important on the topic…” the Guardian’s interviews in one year “with Ariel Sharon, the leftwing activist Uri Avneri, Rabbi Sacks, the refusnik Rami Kaplan, the Palestinian politician Sa’eb Arikat, Yossi Beilin,… and Shimon Peres.” Amongst these seven people exactly one is a Palestinian who, to boot, is a collaborator in the ‘Oslo process’ and the Zionist two-state-solution project supported by Freedland.

In the few columns in which Palestinians do appear, Freedland is advocating (in Israel’s self-interest of course) Israeli recognition of Palestinian suffering. But this “recognition” is all they get – no land, self-determination or permission to return. Freedland doesn’t even manage the word ‘apology’. He once hopes Israel will “acknowledge” that the Palestinians “suffer[ed] a nakba.” He asks: “If Israel could one day make such an admission, who knows what accommodation might follow?” Accommodation on the part of the Palestinians, that is.

In another piece he fantasises a similarly biased deal of “Israelis finally acknowledging the plight of the refugees created by the birth of the state of Israel, and Palestinians finally deciding whether they can accept a Jewish state.” Again, in return for “acknowledgement” the Palestinians give 80% of Palestine to the Zionists. He then sweetens the deal by reassuring the Palestinians that they will not be “asked… to reject the entire narrative of their recent history.” This is magnanimous: they can evidently retain half their narrative of the recent part of their millennia of history.

Similarly, his take on the “liberal Zionist” [sic] two-state solution is that “Jews could have a state of their own, without depriving Palestinians of their legitimate national aspirations.” [Some] Jews get a state, while Palestinians get “aspirations” – moreover only their “legitimate” ones, not their ‘illegitimate’ ones.

In his 2004 book chapter he goes farther when saying that “Israel should make amends [for the Nakba] – through compensation, restitution, and commemoration. Let those four hundred villages that were emptied be named and marked, and let Palestinians remember what they see as the naqba, the catastrophe, their way.” The generosity of the vague offer of “restitution” notwithstanding, what the Palestinians get is naming, marking, commemoration and memories – no return to present Israeli territory, which is the elephant in this paragraph’s room – while Israel keeps Palestine. And as Ben White adds, “It is unclear why Palestinians need this permission.”

Standing over against and of course outweighing these “aspirations” are what Freedland dozens of times calls the Jewish “need” for a state (in Palestine), or even “the craving for a place the Jews could call their own… Whatever view you ultimately take on the Israel-Palestine question, you cannot hope to understand that conflict unless you also understand this need.” Martin Buber might have given equal time to the needs of the Palestinians, but not Jonathan Freedland.

This theme of a state of their own – which Freedland also deceptively calls a “homeland” – recurs starkly combined with the theme of the Nazi Holocaust: The Israelis “are a nation formed by those who had no other place to live. The Holocaust, inevitably, looms large in this: the establishment of a Jewish state just three years after the liberation of Auschwitz was no coincidence” because “the world” saw it as a “basic right” for Jews to have “a place of their own”. In his description elsewhere of Holocaust survivors he writes that “it’s useful to know the harrowing past of loss and violent bereavement – often but not only in the Holocaust – that shaped so many of them, the fear that transformed itself into a desperate longing to survive.”

But Freedland is making a very large and visible logical mistake: The Palestinians had nothing to do with the Holocaust. Neither could they take part in pre-Holocaust pogroms in Europe, since they didn’t live in Europe. The leap from persecution in Europe to Jewish ‘self-determination’ in Palestine is not only an obvious misuse of the term ‘self-determination’ but takes the corpses of the indigenous and the ruins of their houses in stride.

Even granting the legitimacy of the desire of many Jews (not “the Jews”, as Freedland repeatedly has it) for a Jewish state, the practical question facing the Zionists ever since the turn of the twentieth century has been where. It is embarrassing to have to mention, much less belabor, this point – which Freedland only briefly touches upon in his 2004 essay, but never in his columns. But if no empty land is found (or desired), the question of where? turns into the question of on whose land? The practical issue becomes a moral one. The beef the world has with Zionism is that two wrongs don’t make a right. Freedland sees this only hazily, because he does not really see Palestinians, because he identifies with Israel.

Is criticism of Israel ‘anti-semitic’?

In a 2012 column entitled ‘We condemn Israel. So why the silence on Syria?’ Freedland claims that focussing on Israeli crimes more than on those of Bashar al-Assad is judophobic. After accusing Caryl Churchill of not writing a play called ‘Seven Syrian Children’ and Lindsey German of Stop the War Coalition of not organising a demonstration against Assad, he states: “It’s not simply a bias against Jews that regards an Arab or Muslim death as only deserving condemnation when Israel is responsible.” That is, the positions of Churchill and German do stem from “bias against Jews”, but not only therefrom.

He loathes the Stop the War NGO German leads, writing recently, tastelessly and perhaps libellously of the “comforting hope that what we are up against [in the Charlie Hebdo case] is not a fanatic death cult but rather the armed wing of the Stop the War Coalition”. Sweeping more broadly and with X-ray insight into the hearts of his leftist enemies, he elsewhere emits the proclamation that “the suffering of… hundreds of millions of Arabs… has [not] stirred the compassion of left-leaning liberal types…”, and of “activists who can barely stir themselves to deplore the slaughter in Congo, Darfur or Sri Lanka.” Hopefully such slurs, leftist-bashing and impugning of motives, without evidence or rational argument, contradicts the job profile of a Guardian chief editor.

In 2013 he repeated the theme. After playing the numbers game showing that in a certain period of time Assad had killed more Syrians than Israel had Palestinians – perhaps the murderer of two people must be jailed, while the murderer of one person can walk – he writes, “I’m especially tired that so many otherwise smart, sophisticated people apparently struggle to talk about Israel-Palestine without reaching, even unwittingly, for the dog-eared lexicon of anti-Jewish cliché…” Apparently reference to “Israel/US ‘global domination’” was enough for Freedland to hang his case on. In any event “Israel’s shift to the right” will alienate “those it needs most” – and oh yes, perhaps also some Palestinians.

In a final slur in late 2013 he asserts, again with X-ray vision, that “the loss of [Syrian] lives failed to touch the activists who so rapidly organised the demos and student sit-ins against Israel.” I infer that Freedland’s license to haughtiness derives from his organisation of anti-Assad demonstrations.

In his chapter ‘Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?’ Freedland concludes that it isn’t necessarily, but usually is. He places the burden of proof (of innocence of ‘anti-semitism’) on those who reject Israel or Zionism. His main argument for the Yes answer to the essay’s question is however not defended “intellectually” but by feeling, by listening to “tones of voices”, to “how” rather than “what” is said. Even worse: evidence of ‘anti-semitism’ lies not so much in the “singling out” of Israel but rather in the “fervor” with which this is done. To avoid even this vague, emotional charge of ‘anti-semitism’ critics should I suppose tone things down, observe persecution of Palestinians with appropriate coolness. By this criterion the present critique of Freedland stems from my ‘anti-semitism’, done as it is with considerable effort, dedication, perhaps “fervor” – even if I have shown that exactly the same criticism could be made of the views of anybody applying for this Guardian job.

He thus concedes that much of the argument that anti-Zionism is ‘anti-semitic’ has no basis “intellectually”. For instance in a Jewish Chronicle round table he asks regarding some Israel-critical points “made in any of the plays we have talked about… why [it is] we feel somehow this is about us, rather than just about this country and the Middle East?” The judophobia is felt “somehow”. He also explicitly judges Israel criticism on the basis not of what is said, but who levels it. If it is Peter Beinart or Howard Jacobson, writing “from within, not without, the Jewish family”, it is OK. Coming from the likes of Norman Finkelstein – a Jewish “outsider” – it is “wicked”. He even throws the “self-hating Jew” epithet at Finkelstein before seamlessly connecting him to David Irving and claiming he “is closer to the people who created the Holocaust than to those who suffered in it”.

Not only should this provide work for the Guardian’s libel lawyers, but while it is good enough for the odd column, it is not good enough for editorial decisions affecting the entire paper. Remember that gentiles make identical arguments and that obviously for most Guardian readers and staff, conflating issues of human, civil and political rights with any ethnic and religious belonging is contrary to the Guardian’s liberalism.

After the Daily Mail’s attack on Ralph Miliband as a disloyal communist, Freedland squeezed five paragraphs of ‘anti-semitism’ out of single clause of a single sentence in which the paper denies its intent – unlike “the jealous God of Deuteronomy” – to hold David and Ed Miliband responsible for their father’s purported sins.

His take on the Charlie Hebdo murders dismisses as motives pride in Islam, piety towards Allah and the Prophet, French and Western foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s decades of subjugation of Palestinians in favour of the single explanatory variable ‘anti-semitism’.

Freedland’s stance on this issue is relevant to the near future due to the present government’s intention of passing its Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill which regards criticism of Israel as prima facie evidence of ‘anti-semitism’. In a 2011 JC column he makes the hyperbolic claim that the academic boycott of Israeli institutions complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian rights is “anti-semitic”. Furthermore, he has found it necessary to deny that fear of the charge of ‘anti-semitism’ sometimes silences criticism of Israel before it is uttered, or waters it down.

In the coming debate the interests of neither the Palestinians nor the Guardian are served by a chief editor who does not look at criticism of Zionism on its merits and without a presumption of guilt. And in the interests of fighting real ‘anti-semitism’ the Guardian editor in chief should not see it behind every bush. One wishes a Guardian editorial stance that instead starts with universal human rights, equal rights, indigenous rights and refugee rights and places the Palestinian and Israel perspectives on equal footing. Freedland starts with Israel.

Tropes of the Israel-Palestine discourse

Two myths of the dominant discourse about the Zionist-Palestinian conflict are (1) there are two morally and militarily equivalent sides and (2) Israel will permit a Palestinian state. Two of the discourse’s ‘silences’ are that Israel liquidates and ethnically cleanses Palestinians and that it wants maximum territory. Jonathan Cook adds to these Israel’s claims for its robust democracy and the need for a safe haven for Jewish people (in Palestine). Freedland follows this narrative in spades.

The false picture of symmetry imbues Freedland’s report of his participation in a role-playing event between ‘Israelis’ and ‘Palestinians’ where “the two [equally angry] sides” are negotiating – two teams out on the pitch. The goal is to find out where “the midpoint between the two sides lies.” The successful outcome, in his view, was agreement on two “states” or “nations”. The conflict is moreover reduced to one between two equally strong perceptions: the Israelis [he means of course Jewish Israelis] are only “cast as” the stronger party. Israelis “have a narrative involving dispossession and suffering too, but it tends to relate to the past, even if it is the relatively recent past.” In addition to ignoring the reality of Palestinian military and diplomatic inferiority Freedland here again misses the brightly illuminated sign announcing that the Jewish suffering was in Europe, not at the hands of the Palestinians.

In the same vein he argues for an “honourable draw” between the two teams, who are “fated to fight”. That is, Zionism did not throw the first stone; it was fate wot done it. “Two peoples” are in a sort of marriage needing a “divorce”. From this false premise of symmetry Freedland derives the shabby two-state solution, twice arrogantly and incorrectly asserting that “everyone knows” this is the only answer. Conveniently, this mythical ‘solution’ leaves his beloved Israel permanently in control of eighty percent of Palestine, treating its Palestinian citizens as second-class and locking the refugees out for good. The “two sides” narrative has served its purpose.

Somewhat improbably, Freedland evidences ignorance of the fact that Israel will never stop short of ruling all of Palestine from the river to the sea, romantically but falsely claiming, contrary to the empirical record of a whole century, that “two states is the destiny Israel envisages for their shared future.” He does not comprehend the meaning of the Israeli regime’s rule of always calling the West Bank ‘Judea and Samaria’. The myth of Israeli acceptance of a Palestinian statelet continues to serve the oppressive status quo.

Another baffling departure from reality is Freedland’s fantasy about “an Israeli peace with the Egyptian people [rather than Egypt’s dictators], one underpinned by their genuine consent.” Who else among us does not grasp that the consent of Arab people is conditional upon Palestinian sovereignty over Palestine?

Regarding democracy, Freedland supports Israel’s party line that it is both democratic and Jewish, stating for instance that “the two-state solution [is] the only guarantor of an Israel that is both Jewish and democratic.” He repeatedly upholds this mainstay of the Israeli narrative, once speaking of “the Israel we love [which] is the Jewish, democratic state established in the Declaration of Independence.” The jury has long been in with the verdict that the ‘Jewish, democratic’ state is an oxymoron – as are conceptions of ‘Christian’, ‘Moslem’, or ‘Hindu’ democracies. Again, a worrying inability to approach issues logically.

The corollary is his often expressed outright rejection, in favour of two (ethnically-defined) states, of a bog-standard democracy in Palestine. That vision of a single state, a proportional, multi-ethnic democracy as we know it in Europe, is a “sobering vision”. Why? The answer is creepy. Because therein “Jews will fast become a minority”. This implicit endorsement of Israel’s racist policy of maintaining at all costs the majority status of one ethno-religious group appears as well in the pages of the Guardian: Prevention of “a Palestinian Arab population that would one day be its numeric equal” is a necessary precondition of the dominant ethno-religious group of the Israel he so believes in.

Elsewhere as well Freedland’s democratic credentials fall short of Guardian standards. He for instance writes, “The success of Hamas in Palestinian elections in January apparently confirmed the notion on which unilateralism was predicated: that there is no partner on the Palestinian side.” Fact is that in January 2006 Hamas achieved a majority, but because Hamas rejects Zionism more than Fatah, the government fairly elected by the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza is illegitimate and can be rejected as a “partner”. For both Tony Blair’s Quartet and Freedland, Palestinian self-determination is worth nothing.

In a 2007 history lesson Freedland wrote that in 1948 “Israel had done something remarkable, defeating the armies of three nations that had vowed its destruction.” This is official, debunked Israeli history, unenlightened by either Palestinian or Jewish-Israeli ‘new historians’. Freedland and Israel thereby blank out the Mandate, US support, collusion with the ruler of Jordan, land confiscation, murder of Palestinians returning to their fields, and crucially early 1948’s Plan Dalet, which, to my knowledge, Freedland has never mentioned. Even an opinion editor should read up on the history of his region of specialisation.

Freedland even makes an original contribution to hasbara. Like all winners, he argues that the victims must sometimes forget the past; that is, forget the injustice done to them. Resourcefully mobilising the example of Northern Ireland IRA victims’ need for truth, justice and peace of mind, he first sympathises. But then he has news for them, paternalistically whispered: “It is this. In places torn by war, there is all too often a choice to be made between justice and peace… But the bleak truth is, we cannot have both.”

Moving on to the actual subject of the piece, “the battle of Israelis and Palestinians”, he is urging Palestinians to let bygones be bygones, to give up on justice in order to gain peace. This lets Israel off the hook, although even he must know that in Israel there is no Adams, no McGuiness, no de Klerk willing even to apologise. He even cynically throws in the observation that South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission omits the word ‘justice’. Truth will however within twenty years be demanded of Zionism and its Western apologists such as Freedland.

The title of one tenderly critical piece is “This is Israel? Not the one I love.” Freedland loves Israel, and again and again appeals to the “true friends of Israel” or “those who care about Israel” to adopt this, that, or the other viewpoint. The Guardian arguably needs a Middle East expert, but Freedland is not in a position to fulfil this role: he is party to the Zionism-Palestinian conflict. An Israel loyalist, he would make a competent successor or assistant to the man he says is “a frequent visitor to the Guardian offices”, Mark Regev.


In 2009, two weeks after the momentarily last Gazan child had been killed during Operation Cast Lead by an Israeli rocket, or bomb, or gun, Freedland wrote an article in which he describes that three-week long Israeli attack simply as “mayhem in Gaza”. Mayhem: a disorder, chaos, without named cause. That is, Freedland cannot even name Israel as the destroyer.

A novelist who researches well, there are few errors in Freedland’s columns: a wrong depiction of the sequence of events in a pro-Israel animated cartoon; wrongly saying Israel’s jocular phrase ‘mowing the lawn’ refers to the West Bank rather than Gaza; a slight misquote here and there. A polemicist to be sure, he has activists getting “feverishly… excited” when Israel commits a crime; he has his opponents “lazily brand” Israel a colonial project (he denies any resemblance of Israel to a “western imperialist”, British/Ashkenazi colony). A liberal, he gets some basics right, opposing for instance the oath of allegiance by non-Jews to the Jewish state, outlawing mention of the Nakba and bans on Jews’ renting rooms to non-Jews.

However, my objections are mainly ethical. One can perhaps understand Freedland’s admiration for Holocaust survivors seeking “justice and revenge” for Nazi crimes, avengers he celebrates in his Sam Bourne novel The Final Reckoning. Nazi crimes against Jews were monumental. But again, Freedland first of all morally fails to concede that the crimes had nothing to do with the Palestinians: as the novel’s Jewish-resistance hero says, in 1945 after the work in Europe “we were to put down our guns and grenades and head off to the next front in the war for Jewish survival: Palestine.” But two wrongs don’t make a right. Furthermore it is factually untrue that all European Holocaust survivors desired or needed to emigrate to Palestine, as Freedland implies.

In any case, his novel and his column on the avengers, together with his love of Passover, celebrating Jews not only as “victims” but as “victors” and ending in the death of masses of Egyptians, reveal his attraction to a certain kind of bloodiness. In this there is irony anew, for the same columnist who revels in vengeance and extra-legal assassinations feels it incumbent upon himself to advise the Palestinians not to throw stones but choose the path of non-violence.

Freedland shows little ability to apply principles universally. He for instance knows that George Habash as a twenty-one-year-old witnessed death and destruction in his home town of… Lydda, but he is oblivious to the possibility that Habash might have sought vengeance. Or another instance: if he embraces lifeboat ethics he must at least condone rockets from Gaza as an attempt by Palestinians to survive.

By coincidence Freedland would be chief editor on the hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 2017. Finally, in isolated columns, like Shavit and Morris he has seen that the story did not begin in 1967 but goes back to 1948. His insight to be sure is mainly theoretical. Still stuck in ‘1967’ is for instance his offer to the vanquished of a West Bank/Gaza ‘Bantustine’, with six million refugees wiped from consciousness, and as recently as last summer he relapsed into the narrative that it is mainly the second occupation of 1967 that has to be solved. But the racist, ersatz-settler-colonial episode of Mandatory Britain, which will soon be debated in the UK in connection with the Balfour Declaration’s anniversary, took up the three decades before 1948. Like Freedland it was both Zionist and British, and Freedland may not be able to deal with it with any objectivity.

After averaging one column on Israel/Palestine every 2 months for the last ten years, since last summer Freedland has gone strangely silent. Since 26 July 2014 there is only one Guardian piece (on new president Reuven Rivlin) and only two in the Jewish Chronicle. Whether this has to do with an internal announcement of Rusbridger’s resignation, I don’t know.

Again, today’s apologists for Zionism – the Freedlands, Remnicks, Frasers, Beinarts, Jacobsons, whose self-depiction as ‘liberals’ is of zero interest to Zionism’s victims, the Palestinians – will eventually be forced to apologise. As so often in history, they will have to retrospectively ‘explain’ their support for an ethnocracy. The Guardian can now avoid this fate by correcting its century-long pro-Zionism, by applying basic ethical and political standards to Mr Freedland’s job application.

Freedland’s refusal to honour the right of self-determination to the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine is undemocratic and thus inconsistent with the liberal principles of the Guardian’s owner, the Scott Trust Limited. And to my mind his justification of ethnic cleansing is sufficient reason for the Guardian to reject him. To maintain this position Freedland cannot afford to pay much attention to, or develop empathy for, one of the “sides” in the Zionist-Palestinian conflict, the conflict that has so vexed the world and the Guardian for a century.

Blake Alcott can be reached at:

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

700 artists announce a cultural boycott of Israel

MEMO | February 14, 2015

Over 700 British artists, from the worlds of literature, film, stage and music, have pledged to boycott Israel “as long as the state continues to deny basic Palestinian rights.”

The campaign was launched Saturday with a letter in The Guardian signed by Peter Kosminsky, Mike Leigh, Jimmy McGovern, Miriam Margolyes, Riz Ahmed, Jeremy Hardy, Brian Eno, Richard Ashcroft, Gillian Slovo, China Miéville, and Liz Lochhead, among others.

The pledge in full, organised by ‘Artists for Palestine UK‘, states:

We support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. In response to the call from Palestinian artists and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge to accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions linked to its government until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

Former English PEN president, writer Gillian Slovo, said: “As a South African I witnessed the way the cultural boycott of South Africa helped apply pressure on the apartheid government and its supporters. This Artists’ Pledge for Palestine has drawn lessons from that boycott to produce an even more nuanced, non-violent way for us to call for change and for justice for all.”

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

US Officials Silent on Israeli Abuse of Palestinian Children

By Matt Peppe | Just the Facts | February 14, 2015

Six weeks after being abducted on her way home from school in the occupied West Bank, 14-year-old Malak al-Khatib was released from the Israeli jail where she had been imprisoned on Friday. She was the youngest Palestinian girl ever to be incarcerated, and is one of hundreds of children to be prosecuted through the Israeli military court system each year. As of the December 2014, there were 156 child prisoners, 17 of which were under 16 years old, according to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. As the patron benefactor of the illegal Israeli occupation, the United States government is complicit in Israeli’s disgraceful persecution and abuse of Palestinian children. While American officials refrain from condemning human rights violations against Palestinian children, they vocally condemn any resistance against the violent Israeli occupation.

During Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in August, the Obama administration expressed its strongest indignation regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during President Obama’s six years in office. After the apparent capture of Israeli Occupation soldier Hadar Goldin by the Palestinian resistance, administration officials said the action was “barbaric” and “outrageous.”

That morning a cease-fire was set to take effect after nearly two weeks of fighting in which hundreds of Palestinian civilians had already been slaughtered. A few hours before the designated cease-fire time, Israeli occupation troops continued operations trying to destroy tunnels inside Gaza used to smuggle food and goods that were denied to the Palestinian territory as part of the eight-year-long blockade imposed by Israel for voting the wrong way. When the IOF forces reached a tunnel they encountered resistance from Palestinian fighters in the Qassam Brigades. Several Israeli troops were killed. It appeared that Goldin had been captured and led away into the tunnel.

The Occupation Forces then reportedly employed the savage Hannibal Directive, a repulsive military procedure developed nearly 30 years ago in which the Israeli army uses massive amounts of firepower in an attempt to kill their own soldier rather than allow him to be captured. Journalist Max Blumenthal says that Israeli troops employed an “indiscriminate assault on the entire circumference of the area where … Goldin was allegedly taken.” According to Blumenthal, this was one of three possible instance of the Hannibal Directive during Israel’s murderous summer rampage in Gaza.

So during a military operation inside Palestinian territory shortly before or at the time Israel had agreed to a cease-fire the Palestinian militants defending themselves from the savage onslaught against homes, hospitals, mosques, parks, sports clubs, cafés, high-rises, ambulances, disability centers, power plants, and  UN schools, captured an enemy combatant consistent with the laws of war. Israel then orders indiscriminate fire to kill him rather then let him be taken alive. This is the situation American officials found to be barbaric – by the Palestinians, not the Israelis.

A month later, when Israel finally agreed to a cease-fire (which it has continued to violate nearly every day with impunity) more than 2,100 Palestinians had been killed, including 578 children. Among the children whose lives had been snuffed out was four-year-old Sahir Abu Namous, whose head was blown open by shrapnel; five-month-old Faris Juma al-Mahmoum, killed along with his mother and 18 other family members in shelling; five-day-old Shayma Sheikh Khalil, born prematurely after her mother was killed by an Israeli airstrike; and four cousins playing soccer on a beach, at least one of whom was killed in a second explosion after the Israeli gunner who had failed to kill him with an original shell re-aimed and fired again.

In his strongest language against the Israeli operation, Obama told Netanyahu that he was “deeply concerned” about further escalation. Yet he did not call any Israeli actions – which numerous human rights groups have since decried as war crimes that must be referred to the International Criminal Court – “barbaric” or “outrageous.” And he was apparently not concerned enough to stop the delivery of weapons to resupply Israeli so they could be used to massacre more Palestinian civilians. Neither was he concerned enough to direct his administration to join 29 other nations on the UN Human Rights Council in voting just to investigate potential war crimes.

The US government even fails to oppose child abuse by Israel against its own citizen. Several weeks before the bloodbath in Gaza, 15-year-old Tarek Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian-American from Tampa, was savagely beaten by Israeli police. The teen from Tampa was visiting Jerusalem with his family shortly after a cousin had been abducted, doused with gasoline and burned alive by Israeli settlers. Tarek and his family claimed he was ambushed while on his family’s property. After the assault that left the teenager with head wounds, he was jailed. This was deemed by the US administration to be “profoundly troubling,” but again not “barbaric” or even “outrageous.”

For teenagers who do not hold American citizenship, their mistreatment by the US-funded occupation does not elicit as much as a shrug from American officials. As the Electronic Intifada reported, Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem have demanded that the Israeli forces stop harassing schoolchildren and provoking confrontations with them.

As was the case with Malak al-Khatib, many Palestinian children are accused of throwing stones. Malak was also accused of having a knife, which would not be a problem if she were an Israeli settler, many of whom carry and use guns.

Human rights groups have claimed that Palestinian children are often accused of stone-throwing. When they are arrested and thrown into the Israeli military justice system, they are often detained arbitrarily and questioned without an adult present.

Malak was convicted after an alleged confession, which was obtained after hours of questioning by Israeli soldiers while she was unaccompanied. Her father dismissed the veracity of her alleged confession, telling the Israeli paper Haaretz “How can you question her without her parents and without a lawyer? Interrogate a little girl like this and she’ll admit to being in possession of an M16 rifle, too.”

Regardless, throwing stones is a legitimate act of resistance according to international law. A 1987 UN General Assembly resolution differentiates terrorism from the “struggle of peoples for national liberation.” The resolution grants “peoples under colonial and racist regimes and foreign occupation … the right to these peoples to struggle to this end.” The measure was approved with 153 votes in favor. Only the United States and Israel voted against it.

Even militant resistance against occupying troops is clearly protected as part of a struggle against occupation. Clearly, stone-throwing falls within the protections explicitly stated by the UN resolution. In fact, some people have even said that Palestinians have a “duty to throw stones.”

“Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule,” wrote Israeli journalist Amira Hass. “Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance. Persecution of stone-throwers, including 8-year-old children, is an inseparable part – though it’s not always spelled out – of the job requirements of the foreign ruler, no less than shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources.”

Yet like Malak, the Israeli occupation uses stone-throwing to punish and abuse children whose land they have illegally occupied for 47 years.

The human rights group Defence for Children International Palestine found that “Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last year fell victim to a pattern of abuse designed to coerce confessions.”

They reported that Israeli occupiers ordered solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, and torture against the children they abduct. “Impunity for violations was a significant obstacle in 2014 as DCIP filed nine complaints with Israeli authorities concerning the ill-treatment and torture of five children while in Israeli military detention. Not a single indictment has been issued against a perpetrator,” the group wrote.

Another human rights group reported that 240 children detained in Jerusalem by Israeli authorities suffered sexual abuse.

Yet the only thing that the United States government will declare as “barbaric” is the capture of an adult Israeli combatant in a defensive military operation. To American officials, Palestinian life – even for children – does not matter. When Israelis teens are killed, President Obama and American officials express their condolences and lament the “terror against innocent youth.” This is never reciprocated for Palestinian children, who are killed by Israelis at nearly more than 15 times the rate of Israeli children being killed by Palestinians – with 2,060 Palestinian children killed since September 2000.

The United States government has long held as its policy that it values its strategic relationship with Israel above any concerns for democracy and human rights. Regardless of how serious Israel’s offenses of its oppression against Palestinians – including and especially children – government officials will refuse to allow actions to change this predetermined policy.

Not even the lives of Palestinian children matter enough to force American officials to show any semblance of humanity for the tragedy that they aid and abet in Palestine. The only outrage the US government is capable of showing is when Palestinians dare to resist the violence and colonial domination that Israel subjects them to, under approving American sponsorship.

Matt Peppe writes about politics, U.S. foreign policy and Latin America on his blog. You can follow him on twitter.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jewish organization to start “aggressive” excavations under Aqsa mosque

Ma’an – February 15, 2015

JERUSALEM – A right-wing Jewish organization called the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has circulated an invitation for bids to conduct excavations in tunnels under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a top Palestinian official said Sunday.

Ahmad Qurei, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the work would start on Feb. 20.

In a statement, Qurei, who chairs a PLO department for Jerusalem affairs, described the move as dangerous. He said that Israeli engineers and contractors had toured the al-Aqsa mosque compound secretly a few days ago to explore the location before they submit their bids.

The Israeli occupation government, added the statement, through these “aggressive excavations,” plans to create new paths and chambers under the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in order to enhance its grab on the Old City of Jerusalem and eventually transform it into a Jewish city both physically and demographically.

Israel has already excavated dozens of tunnels under the Old City as part of its efforts to displace the indigenous Palestinian residents and replace them with Jewish settlers, according to Qurei.

One of the tunnels, he said, runs from Ein Silwan to the western wall of the al-Aqsa mosque. Another major tunnel runs from the wall to the Omari school in the Muslim quarter. A third tunnel runs from the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa mosque.

In addition, added Qurei, there are ongoing excavations in attempts to connect between illegal settlement outposts in the Old City.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Netanyahu urges European Jews to move to Israel after Denmark attack

RT | February 15, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has urged European Jews to immigrate to Israel following the shooting dead of a Danish Jew outside a Copenhagen synagogue on Sunday.

Netanyahu announced the government will discuss Sunday a $46 million plan to encourage Jewish migration from Belgium, France and Ukraine and said at the start of a cabinet meeting that Israel is the home of all Jews.

The shooting at the Krystalgade synagogue that killed a 38-year old Jewish security guard came just hours after another deadly shooting at a free-speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

Five Danish police officers were also wounded in the shootings. Police said Sunday they had shot and killed the man who had carried out both the attacks.

“We send our condolences to the Danish people, and also to the Jewish community in Denmark. Once again Jews are murdered on the soil of Europe just for being Jews. This wave of terror attacks is expected to continue, including these murderous anti-Semitic attacks,” said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said that Jews should feel protected wherever they live and then called on the Jewish community in Denmark to move to Israel.

“We are preparing for a wave of mass aliya [Jewish immigration] from Europe; we are calling for a wave of mass aliya from Europe. I want to tell all the Jews of Europe, and Jews wherever they may be: ‘Israel is the home of every Jew… Israel awaits you with open arms,” he said.

Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, called for an even tougher stance to be taken and said Jews were the canaries in the coal mine in the battle against Islamic extremism.

“The international community in its entirety cannot be satisfied with declarations and demonstrations against this terror, but must throw off the rules of political correctness and conduct and a truly uncompromising war against Islamic terror and its causes,” said Liberman.

Jair Melchior, Denmark’s chief rabbi, said he was “disappointed” by Netanyahu’s call for immigration.

“Terror is not a reason to move to Israel,” he said.

This is not the first time Netanyahu has called on Europe’s Jews to move to Israel. After the terror attacks in Paris that involved Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and a kosher shop he called on Jews to leave Europe because of what he said is “the rising tide of anti-Semitism”.

“Europe is waking up to a new era, a new reality, to which we in Israel and around the Jewish world have been pointing out for the last 10 years. We are witnessing a rise of anti-Semitic attacks and expressions,” expert on anti-Semitism from the World Zionist organization Eitan Uri Bakhar told RT.

“We need to wake up and say, ‘You know what? It is the responsibility of every government in Europe and around the world to protect their minorities and their citizens,” he added.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

This One-Minute Andy Griffith Clip Shows Just How Out of Control the Police State has Gotten

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | February 14, 2015

A short clip from the Andy Griffith Show has been making the rounds on the web, and for good reason.

The clip shows a young Opie, (Ron Howard), and Andy Taylor (Griffith), discussing a recording that Opie had obtained from the jail cell.

Griffith explains to Opie the unjust reasoning behind recording a conversation that is meant to be private, no matter who is involved, or what crime they’re suspected of committing.

The short clip is disheartening for those of us who have been watching citizens’ rights be devoured in the name of fighting the state’s ever-changing and contrived boogeymen.

Despite the myriad of boogeymen the state devised throughout the 1960’s, pop-culture still portrayed the role of law enforcement with honor and morals.

“You overheard a conversation that’s supposed to be private. I can’t be a part of that,” Andy says in reference to the eavesdropping young Opie had just conducted.

Nothing could be further from that example today.

Government spying is now so familiar that it’s reached comedic proportions.

Due process is but a fleeting memory in the heads of most Americans. Sadly, the majority thinks that government spying on them, “keeps them safe.”

“If you have nothing to hide,” they say, “you have nothing to fear.” — this phrase has become the tagline for despotic societies throughout history.

However, having nothing to hide is no defense from the brutal machine known as Police State USA. A quick search through the Free Thought Project archives will prove that innocence, cannot and will not protect you from the modern day iron fist.

Tyranny in the 21st century alone has exploded. Prior to September 11, 2001 the TSA did not exist, indefinite detention did not exist, the NSA did not spy on American citizens, the police weren’t given armored assault vehicles, and Americans could not be assassinated without trial.

This police state industrial complex has grown exponentially, in spite of record low crime rates.

Sadly these atrocities have simply become an accepted reality. However, there is a small but growing, irate and tireless minority who choose not to accept this reality — we are the resistance.

Through the spreading of peaceful ideas and seeking a lesser ignorance, the liberty movement has been catching, like wildfire.

Once the patriotic blinders are removed through refusing to consume the fear mongering propaganda of the state, this brutal Leviathan cannot be unseen.

The video clip below serves as a benchmark to illustrate how much freedom the American population has surrendered over the years.

Comparing this decades-old clip that glorifies the protection of rights, to today’s television shows that promote torture, war, and militarized police forces, should shock the conscience.

What the hell happened America? What the hell indeed…. Share this article and video to show those on the verge of seeing the police state, just how far gone we actually are. Only after we accept that something is wrong, can we do anything to change it.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments

Poland to spend $42 billion on military buildup

Press TV – February 15, 2015

Poland, a NATO member, has launched an unprecedented multi-billion military spending spree amid tensions between the Western military alliance and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Warsaw has reportedly earmarked 33.6 billion euros (USD 42 billion) to upgrade its military equipment over a decade, including a missile shield and anti-aircraft systems as well as combat drones.

The largest purchase is seventy multi-role helicopters worth 2.5 billion euros, while the Eastern European NATO member also plans to buy armored personnel carriers, submarines and cruise missiles.

The cruise missiles would reportedly enable the Polish air force to attack targets in Russia without having to leave their own airspace.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has said that the military boost is a reaction to the crisis in neighboring Ukraine, which he has described as the biggest security threat to Europe since the end of the Cold War.

NATO expansion in Eastern Europe

The move also comes as NATO is planning to expand its military presence in Eastern Europe amid the Ukraine crisis.

The defense ministers of NATO’s 28 member states agreed on February 5 to establish six new command and control posts in the Eastern European nations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania.

NATO also decided to set up a new headquarters in western Poland to support northeastern member states as well as a similar site in Romania for members in southeastern Europe.

The military alliance has over the past year increased its presence and conducted several exercises in Eastern Europe amid the crisis in Ukraine. In 2014, NATO forces held some 200 military exercises and the alliance’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has promised that such drills would continue.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned NATO’s exercises and military buildup toward its borders.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said NATO’s move provokes confrontation and undermines European security.

Russia’s Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov announced last month that Moscow plans to boost its military capabilities in the Crimean peninsula, the Arctic and the westernmost Kaliningrad region, amid NATO build-up in Eastern Europe.

NATO-Russia relations

Relations between Russia and NATO strained after Ukraine’s Crimea re-integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, 2014. The military alliance ended all practical cooperation with Russia over the ensuing crisis in Ukraine last April.

Russia approved last December an updated version of the country’s military doctrine which considers NATO military buildup as a major foreign threat against its national security.

The United States and its European allies accuse the Kremlin of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a number of sanctions against Russian and pro-Moscow figures. Russia, however, rejects the accusation and has retaliated with sanctions of its own.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Minsk II’ – What About Foreign Troops in Ukraine?

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | February 12, 2015

After a marathon 17 hour negotiation session, the leaders of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine agreed on an upgraded ceasefire plan, “Minsk II,” that lays out 13 points to be implemented by the west-backed government in Kiev and the independence-seeking regions in eastern Ukraine.

While there is much to be skeptical about in such an agreement — the devil is always in not just the details but especially in the interpretation of the agreement — there is one point of the plan that appears very much worth pondering.

According to a translation of the 13 points, point number ten reads:

All foreign troops, heavy weapons and mercenaries are to be withdrawn from Ukraine. Illegal armed groups would be disarmed, but local authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk would be allowed to have legal militia units.

There are two very significant points to ponder in this statement to which all sides agreed. First, it is most likely that when proposing this point, France and Germany, along with Kiev, were thinking of what they claim are as many as 10,500 regular Russian soldiers fighting inside Ukraine. For this point to be implemented and thus the plan carried out in good faith, the “10,500 Russians” as well as a handful of French and other volunteers for the breakaway regions must return home.

But the statement is unequivocal: All foreign troops must leave Ukraine.

What about US troops, including CIA and Special Forces, that are said to be assisting the US-backed government in Kiev? Would Kiev not have the same obligation to expel these foreign troops? And, most importantly, what of the 600 US paratroopers that are to be sent by President Obama to train the Ukrainian military starting next month?

Would it not be a violation of “Minsk II” ceasefire agreement for the US to go through with sending 600 troops into Ukraine?

The second important issue to consider about point ten of the agreement is the 10,500 regular Russian army troops that Kiev claims are fighting in the breakaway east. Russia has always maintained that this claim is a fiction and has called on Kiev and Washington to produce some evidence for the claim. Surely a satellite photo would easily prove such a claim.

However, something significant will happen either way on point ten of the agreement. There are three possibilities: either, 1)  Russia will initiate a massive withdrawal of troops that will be easily visible to anyone watching; 2) Russia will not initiate a massive and easily visible withdrawal of troops from eastern Ukraine because it chooses to violate the “Minsk II” agreement; or, finally, 3) Russia will not initiate a massive withdrawal of troops from eastern Ukraine because there are no regular Russian army troops in eastern Ukraine.

In other words, point ten of the agreement is key to determine who is lying about Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.

Indeed, point ten appears a make or break issue in the agreement. Will Kiev break the agreement by allowing in 600 American troops — or even American weapons? Will Russia finally prove or disprove the claims made about the Russian military in Ukraine?

Something interesting is bound to happen soon. Don’t count on the western mainstream media to report it, however.

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Leave a comment