Aletho News


WPost Plays Ukraine’s Lapdog

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | June 11, 2015

There once was a time when the U.S. news media investigated U.S. imperial adventures overseas, such as Washington-sponsored coups. Journalists also asked tough questions to officials implicated in corruption even if those queries were inconvenient to the desired propaganda themes. But those days are long gone, as the Washington Post demonstrated again this week.

On Wednesday, the Post’s editorial board had a chance to press Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the U.S. government’s role in the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that elevated him to his current post – after he was handpicked by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who declared “Yats is the guy” in a pre-coup intercepted phone call.

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to ask Yatsenyuk about his pre-coup contacts with Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and what their role was in fomenting the “regime change” that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and hurtled Ukraine into a civil war? Sure, Yatsenyuk might have ducked the questions, but isn’t that the role that journalists are supposed to play, at least ask? [See’sWhat Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

Or why not question Yatsenyuk about the presence of neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists who spearheaded the violent coup and then were deployed as the shock troops in Ukraine’s “anti-terrorism operation” that has slaughtered thousands of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine? Wouldn’t that question have spiced up the interview? [See’sWretched US Journalism on Ukraine.”]

And, since Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko was at the editorial board meeting as well, wouldn’t it have made sense to ask her about the propriety of her enriching herself while managing a $150 million U.S.-taxpayer-financed investment fund for Ukraine over the past decade? What kind of message does her prior work send to the people of Ukraine as they’re asked to tighten their belts even more, with cuts to pensions, reduction of worker protections, and elimination of heating subsidies?

How would Jaresko justify her various schemes to increase her compensation beyond the $150,000 limit set by the U.S. Agency for International Development and her decision to take court action to gag her ex-husband when he tried to blow the whistle on some improprieties? Wouldn’t such an exchange enlighten the Post’s readers about the complexities of the crisis? [See’sUkraine Finance Minister’s American ‘Values.’”]

Yet, based on what the Post decided to report to its readers, the editorial board simply performed the stenographic task of taking down whatever Yatsenyuk and Jaresko wanted to say. There was no indication of any probing question or even the slightest skepticism toward their assertions.

On Thursday, the Post combined a news article on the visit with an editorial that repeated pretty much as flat fact what Yatsenyuk and Jaresko had said. So, after Yatsenyuk alleged that Russia had 10,000 troops on the ground inside Ukraine, the Post’s editorial writers simply asserted the same number as a fact in its lead editorial, which stated: “Russia … has deployed an estimated 10,000 troops to eastern Ukraine and, with its local proxies, attacks Ukrainian forces on a near-daily basis.”

Though both assertions are in dispute – with many of the cease-fire violations resulting from Ukrainian government assaults around the rebel-controlled Donetsk Airport – the Post had no interest in showing any skepticism, arguably one of the consequences from the failure to impose any accountability for the Post’s similarly biased writing prior to the Iraq War.

In 2002-03, editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt repeatedly declared as flat fact that Saddam Hussein possessed stockpiles of WMDs, thus supposedly justifying the U.S.-led invasion. After the invasion failed to locate these WMD stockpiles, Hiatt was asked about his editorials and responded:

“If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction,” Hiatt said. “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004]

Yes, journalists generally aren’t supposed to say something is a fact when it isn’t – and when a news executive oversees such a catastrophic error, which contributed to the deaths of nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, you might expect him to be fired.

Yet, Hiatt remains the Post’s editorial-page editor today, continuing to push neoconservative propaganda themes, now including equally one-sided accounts of dangerous crises in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere. [See’sWhy WPost’s Hiatt Should Be Fired.”]

On Ukraine – although the risks of neocon “tough-guy-ism” against nuclear-armed Russia could mean extermination of life on the planet – the Post refuses to present any kind of balanced reporting. Nor apparently will the Post even direct newsworthy questions to Ukrainian officials.


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

Reviving the Cold War

By JACK BALKWILL | CounterPunch | June 11, 2015

The National Security State is risking our lives in an attempt to promote a new arms race and revive the old Cold War.

At the center of this they are pushing an ABM system initially labeled “Star Wars” by its opponents, since having been known by a great many euphemisms since, starting with “The Strategic Defense Initiative,” and lately “missile defense.”

The ABM program will not die, for once “defense” contractors develop a new profit source, it dispenses cash forever in the best government money can buy.

Strategic weapons experts say if the Russians built such an ABM system on our borders we would attack it and blow it up, because it would interfere with our nuclear deterrent. In other words, it would be feared as a component of a first-strike nuclear attack.

But that doesn’t stop the USA from building one on Russia’s borders and supplementing it with ship-borne components in the seas around Russia, even knowing the Russians and Chinese have declared they will manufacture more nuclear weapons in response. This throws arms control out the window, exactly as planned by the “Nuclear Mafia,” a term coined by former Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces, Admiral Noel Gaylor, to describe defense contractors.


Our National Security State is pushing for a new arms race which could result in global investors and global corporations bringing in as much as trillions of dollars over time. Astronomer and anti-nuclear activist Carl Sagan (and friend, I edited some of his anti-nuke work) once estimated that the old Cold War cost over $10 trillion, enough money, at the time, to buy everything in the USA except for the land.

The Nuclear Mafia see the current “War on Terror” as extensively manpower-based, and the cost of maintaining a large troop force is competing with their funding for strategic weapons systems. They don’t want expensive-to-maintain troops, they want strategic submarines, manned bombers and ICBMs that provide stunning profit.

So the National Security State folks in the Executive Branch and Congress, on behalf of their Nuclear Mafia sponsors, are worrying the Russians by enlisting former Warsaw Pact nations and former Soviet Republics into NATO, right on their borders. At the end of the old Cold War, Secretary of State James Baker promised the Russians we wouldn’t do this.

This week, in Pravda, Vyacheslav Tetekin, who sits on the Russian Duma Committee on Defense, said “Our own sworn friends have been moving their red lines closer and closer to Moscow. They may eventually say that Russia can not have its troops stationed somewhere near Moscow, as it would threaten Europe’s security.”

He continued, “In a nutshell, they have been progressively moving towards Russia’s borders. At first, they made Eastern European countries NATO members. Afterwards, they moved into the territory of the former Soviet Union and approached key industrial and military centers. They are unacceptably close – I am talking about the Baltic region. Today, they say that any response from the Russian side would be considered as Russia’s aggression against the West.”

Coupled with this NATO encroachment, the USA is initiating the new Star Wars system on Russia’s borders, an obvious attempt to trigger a new arms race, since there is no practical reason for doing this. One feeble excuse given was that the ABM system is to defend against Iranian missiles, but Iran has no ICBM nor nuclear warhead, so this was just propaganda with which to fool the American public.

These belligerent acts have caused the Russians to begin building weapons systems with which to defend themselves, exactly as planned. The Nuclear Mafia are using this as an excuse to build weapons systems in further response, even though we could stop it all by agreeing not to build any of this, because the Russians had largely disarmed after the end of the Cold War, and really don’t want to spend money on another ridiculous arms race. Our government is selling us out, and endangering people everywhere by this corrupt act.

And the corruption is as deep as it goes. Our tax dollars are going toward TV commercials for the defense contractors, and commercials in newspapers and online with no reasonable explanation, since there is only one buyer, the US government, already besieged by Nuclear Mafia lobbyists. Our tax dollars are also going for millions of dollars in Nuclear Mafia campaign contributions with which to bribe the Congressional and presidential candidates. The Nuclear Mafia say the money comes from a different pot, which is ridiculous when one looks into what the money buys– public opinion and government leaders to push programs which are not only unnecessary, but dangerous to global security.

Back during the Cold War I interviewed retired Admiral Gene LaRocque, when the USA had 30,000 nuclear warheads, and asked him if we had enough for our defense. He gave me a confused look, replying “How can you defend someone with a nuclear weapon?” These strategic nuclear forces have nothing to do with defense.

The idea that the Russians are a threat to global peace is itself ridiculous coming from a nation with 800 overseas military bases. Russia has one, in Tartus, Syria.

“Russia is not building up its offensive military capabilities overseas and is only responding to security threats caused by US and NATO military expansion on its borders, “President Vladimir Putin told Italian outlet Il Corriere della Sera this week. Putin added, “I think that only an insane person and only in a dream can one imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO.

The reason for the ongoing belligerence against Russia and China is to trigger a new cold war with a lucrative arms race, like the fifty-year cold war that brought in billions in profit for the Nuclear Mafia who all but run the country today and are willing to risk global, thermonuclear war for the profits that a new arms race would bring them.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

US encircling Russia with bioweapons labs, covertly spreads them – Russian FM

RT | June 11, 2015

The US is obstructing international efforts to eradicate biological weapons, seeking to involve other nations covertly in research on weaponized diseases, Moscow charged. America’s record of handling bioweapons is poor.

The accusations of mishandling biological weapons voiced by the Russian Foreign Ministry refer to a recent report that the US military shipped live anthrax by mistake. Last week, the Pentagon admitted sending samples of the highly dangerous disease to at least 51 labs in 17 US states and three foreign countries.

The delivery “posed a high risk of outbreak that threatened not only the US population, but also other countries, including Canada and Australia. Of great concern is the shipment of bacteria to a US military facility in a third country, the Osan Air Base in South Korea,” the Russian ministry said in a statement.

It added that an anthrax outbreak incident occurred in 2001, which also involved a US military lab.

For Russia such incidents are of particular concern, because one of its neighbors, Georgia, hosts a research facility for high-level biohazard agents. The Richard G. Lugar Center for Public and Animal Health Research near Tbilisi is an undercover American bioweapons lab, a branch of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Russia believes.

“American and Georgian authorities are trying to cover up the real nature of this US military unit, which studies highly dangerous infectious diseases. The Pentagon is trying to establish similar covert medico-biological facilities in other countries [in Russia’s neighborhood],” the Russian ministry said.

Moscow says the US is de facto derailing international efforts under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), a 1972 international treaty aimed at eradicating bioweapons worldwide.

“The US administration is obviously not interested in strengthening this convention. It’s known that in 2001 the US unilaterally torpedoed multilateral talks in Geneva to work on a verification mechanism for the BWTC and have since obstructed their restart. Decades of international effort to strengthen the convention were derailed,” the statement said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s indictment comes amid a wider list of accusations against the US over what Moscow sees as American violations of various international agreements dealing with weapons control, non-proliferation and disarmament.

The statement came in response to a US annual report on the issue, which accused Russia of various wrongdoings. Moscow considers such reports “megaphone diplomacy.” Such tactics aren’t aimed at resolving any differences, but instead support America’s pretense to be the ultimate judge of other nation’s behavior, the ministry said.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Americans support military force against Russia if necessary: Poll

Press TV – June 11, 2015

A majority of people in the United States are supporting a military strike against Russia in response to an attack by Moscow on a NATO country, according to a new survey.

The poll conducted by the Pew Research Center showed Wednesday that 56 percent of Americans back a military response.

The result is in sharp contrast with the European countries as people in Germany, Italy and France do not support war on Russia.

In Germany, 58 percent of the respondents said they are against the use of military force. People in France and Italy oppose the idea 53 and 51 percent respectively.

After the US, 53 percent of the public in Canada are in favor of a military response.

“Many allied countries are reluctant to uphold Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which requires NATO members to defend an ally with armed force if necessary,” the survey said.

The survey also indicated that people in NATO countries view Russia as the culprit in the deadly Ukraine conflict.

The US accuses Russia of destabilizing Ukraine by supporting pro-Russian forces in the eastern regions. The Kremlin, however, denies the allegations.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukraine crisis was deliberately manufactured by “unprofessional actions” of the West.

“I believe that this crisis was created deliberately and it is the result of our partner’s unprofessional actions,” Putin said.

“I would like to emphasize once more: this was not our choice, we did not seek it, we are simply forced to respond to what is happening,” he added.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | 9 Comments

Egypt’s Sisi cancels South Africa visit amid calls for his arrest

MEMO | June 11, 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Thursday cancelled a trip to South Africa to attend the African Union Summit after a group of lawyers filed an official legal request for his arrest.

The Egyptian president was supposed to arrive Friday in Johannesburg to lead his country’s delegation in the African summit titled “Enabling African Women,” which will take place on June 14 and 15.

“We believe Al-Sisi committed war crimes and crimes against humanity for the horrendous killings that resulted from the (2013) coup in Egypt,” attorney Yousha Tayoub, a member of the South African Muslim Lawyers Association, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

A well-informed African diplomatic source told Anadolu Agency that Al-Sisi would not participate. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that Egypt had officially informed the host country that Al-Sisi would not participate in the summit, and that PM Ibrahim Mehleb will lead the Egyptian delegation instead.

A former military commander, Al-Sisi is widely seen as the architect of the 2013 coup against President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader.

At the time, the South African government had vocally criticized Morsi’s ouster and the subsequent crackdown on political dissent waged by Egypt’s army-backed government.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

The Henry Jackson Society and the Degeneration of British Neo-conservatism

MEMO | June 11, 2015

A new report by Spinwatch, a public interest investigation group, provides an in-depth scrutiny of The Henry Jackson Society and the Degeneration of British Neo-conservatism; it examines the history, activities and politics of the right-wing think tank, which is a leading exponent of neo-conservatism in Britain.

Based at the University of Bath, Spinwatch has developed a reputation for carrying out cutting-edge research and investigations into key social, political, environmental and health issues in Britain and Europe. Its previous report in this area was a detailed investigation into the Cold War on British Muslims that is being advanced by the political right-wing.

The new report is sponsored by the Cordoba Foundation, a London-based research and advocacy group promoting religious and cultural understanding. It exposes the Henry Jackson Society’s activities in pushing for liberal interventionism abroad, spreading Islamophobia and its stalwart support for the “war on terror”.

In the 83-page report, the four authors trace the ideological as well as the organisational evolution of the HJS. Beginning with a short biography of the eponymous US senator, whose most consistent characteristic was military intervention as the answer to almost all foreign problems, they sketch the militaristic and uncompromising worldview of the think tank’s mentors. The list includes US hawks like Richard Pearl, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and others whose neo-conservative world view combined with strategic manoeuvring under the second Bush administration and led to arguably the worst foreign policy disasters of our time.

Many striking features of the cross Atlantic group are described in the report. None is more remarkable, perhaps, than its ubiquitous presence within the corridors of power and evolution from a small Cambridge group to an influential think tank in Westminster with powerful financial and political backers in Britain and the US.

Within the six different sections of the report, a number of interesting and at times worrying details of the group – which has influence over many British lawmakers and public officials – are exposed. Its close connection with William Shawcross, for example, an ex-director of the HJS and the current chair of Britain’s Charity Commission raises difficult questions about the impartiality of the regulator and its ability to investigate political lobby groups – such as the Henry Jackson Society – that are also registered charities.

The first part of the report sketches the political context and ideological roots that gave rise to the non-profit organisation back in 2005. The report portrays the organisation as a fluid movement capable of taking advantage of political ebbs and flows to further its own narrow agenda. It then takes us through the Cambridge Movement from 2004-2007 during which the HJS emerged as a leading institutional expression of British neo-conservatism, a novel creation of British intellectuals who shared the same concerns as the original American neo-conservatives in the face of an emerging popular anti-war movement in Britain.

Its flexibility is highlighted further in part three, in which the authors examine the internal coup followed by a sharp turn away from the pro-European style Atlanticism associated with its founders, such as the academic and historian Brendan Simms, towards a position more in line with the dominant Euro-scepticism of the British right.

It was during this period that the society aligned itself distinctly with illiberal anti-Muslim groups and figures like Daniel Pipes and Frank Gaffney, who worked previously under Richard Pearl. As the Henry Jackson Society’s Zionist credentials were strengthened, many of its founders were replaced by key people from Just Journalism, a pro-Israel media watchdog.

The society entered a new phase after 2011. It purged some of its less xenophobic staff members and merged with the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC); the latter’s director, Douglas Murray, joined the Henry Jackson Society as an associate director. Its lurch to the right and metamorphosis into a leading proponent of Israel and vilifier of Islam was complete. The society consolidated itself ideologically, matured as an organisation and relocated to Milbank Tower, a building known for housing high-profile political organisations, including the Conservative Party.

Financially secure and ideologically confident, the HJS began to have noticeable influence in Westminster through all-party parliamentary groups: it operated as a secretariat for Homeland Security, for example, and Transatlantic and International Security. This is the subject of discussion in part five of the report, which goes on to detail the frenzied lobbying and lack of transparency in carrying out parliamentary affairs, including the organisation of briefings and seminars.

Part six provides an eye opener about the exponential growth in the group’s funding levels which increased from a few thousand to over a million pounds. The sharp increase in donations in 2010 and 2011 appears to coincide with the period of the Henry Jackson Society’s controversial merger with the CSC, a move that marked a definitive break with the more liberal aspirations of some of the society’s early members.

An examination of known funding sources leads the authors to make two main conclusions. For a start, there has been a large overlap between the funders of the HJS and other pro-Israel groups in recent years. Secondly, the HJS’s largest known donors include a number of prominent backers of the Conservative Party.

The funding sources provide more evidence of the view that Israel and its international supporters are manoeuvring to influence the British democratic process in order to serve Israel’s interests. The pro-Israel lobby has, from 9/11 onwards (and perhaps earlier) wanted to link the pro-Palestine movement to terrorism. Zionist lobbyists want governments like Britain’s to create a regulatory framework that would mean the legal harassment of pro-Palestine activism. This is one of the desired outcomes of a very long game in which the Henry Jackson Society is playing a part.

Spinwatch has again produced a timely report which sheds light on the growing Islamophobia industry on both sides of the Atlantic, one that is also sweeping through Europe. The authors have raised a number of concerns, not least the hijacking of the democratic process on key issues such as foreign policy and Britain’s approach to “radical Islam” and the “war on terror”.

The rise in prejudice, anti-Muslim bigotry and suppression of pro-Palestine activism coincides with the rise of the Henry Jackson Society within the British establishment. In exposing this, if nothing else, Spinwatch has done us all a great service.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photographer barred from treatment after being shot by Israeli forces

AFP – June 11, 2015

JERUSALEM – Israel has barred a Palestinian photographer allegedly shot in the eye by Israeli forces from entering occupied East Jerusalem for specialist treatment, the injured photographer told AFP on Wednesday.

Nidal Shtayyeh, who works for Chinese news agency Xinhua, was wounded while covering a small demonstration at Huwarra checkpoint near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on May 16.

As he was covering the rally, Shtayyeh was hit in the face by a rubber bullet which entered his eye, causing serious damage, he told AFP.

“The march was peaceful and no stones were thrown, no photographers were taking any pictures,” he said, accusing soldiers of firing sound bombs at the photographers without any provocation.

“I raised my camera to my right eye to take a picture, but a soldier shot me in my left eye with his rifle, and the rubber bullet went through my gas mask’s glass eye cover and into my eye.”

An Italian camerawoman was also injured during the same demonstration which came as Palestinians commemorated 67 years since the “Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” when an estimated 760,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes during the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

At the time, Israeli forces said at least 100 Palestinians had been throwing stones and petrol bombs, and that the forces had responded with “riot dispersal means.”

Shtayyeh’s injury comes as rights groups criticize Israel for disproportionate use of force against unarmed civilians during such demonstrations.

While crowd control weapons are intended to be non-lethal, many methods used by Israeli forces can cause death, severe injury, and damage to property, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Shtayyeh was rushed to Rafidiya hospital in Nablus for initial treatment but was prescribed specialist help at St John’s eye hospital in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 in a move considered illegal by the international community, and Palestinians living in the West Bank, are often barred by Israel from crossing into the city, which they consider their capital.

As a Palestinian living in the West Bank, Shtayyeh had to apply for an Israeli permit to enter, however Israeli authorities turned down his request.

He tried again two more times — once through the Red Cross and once through a private Israeli lawyer. But both requests were rejected.

A spokesman for the Shin Bet internal security agency did not have an immediate response.

Shtayyeh’s lawyer, Itai Matt, told AFP that his client had been informed it was the Shin Bet preventing his entry, despite his having been granted such permission in the past.

According to Matt, Israeli security services “regularly bar entry to anyone wounded by the army”.

“They even bar entry to wounded children seeking treatment in Jerusalem, because they are worried that anyone wounded will try and take revenge after their treatment,” he said.

Xinhua did not respond to AFP’s requests for a comment on the incident.

Shtayyeh is one of nearly 1,000 Palestinians to be injured by Israeli forces since the start of 2015, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Israeli military courts rarely prosecute members of Israeli forces who cause injury or death . From 2000-2012, only 117 of 2,207 investigations opened by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division were indicted, about 5% of the total files opened, according to Israeli human rights group Yesh-Din.

Shtayyah’s injury and inability to access treatment comes as groups Foreign Press Association and Reporters Without Borders have alleged that Israeli forces deliberately target press covering demonstrations.

Ma’an staff contributed to this report.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Time is running out for Abu Nowwar


MEMO | June 11, 2015

Construction of the new planned townships that will house Palestinians displaced by Israel’s E1 plan is already well underway although the demolition of the current villages has not yet been implemented. The E1 plan will displace thousands of Palestinian Bedouin from the Jerusalem periphery area.

Within this colonial project – that has received significant criticism from across the ‘international community’ – the story of the village of Abu Nowwar is in many ways seen as a test case.

The residents of Abu Nowwar are themselves already refugees, as are the majority of all Bedouin in the West Bank, having been originally displaced in the early 1950’s from their ancestral lands in the Naqab. The more than 100 family homes in the village are all slated for demolition.

In early May, residents were told by the Israeli authorities that they must sign documents by May 31st stating that they agreed to being transferred to one of the planned new townships – a site known as al-Jabal – alongside a large Jerusalem Municipality landfill site. The community was told that anybody who refused to sign would have their houses immediately demolished. Yet the community resisted.

For now a legal challenge in the Israeli Supreme Court has delayed the promised demolitions, but time is short. Many people believe that the case of Abu Nowwar, if won by the State in the Supreme Court, will set a legal precedent that will allow E1 to be quickly implemented. None of the planned demolitions of entire communities in this latest phase of E1 have yet been implemented but this legal precedent, if granted, could set a swift and dangerous ball rolling.

Despite the widespread criticism that the E1 project has received internationally, no action has yet been taken to prevent this major advance within Israel’s settler-colonial project. E1 will link Ma’ale Adumim and other Israeli West Bank settlements in a contiguous ring to and around Jerusalem.

‘Forcible transfer’, which is an inherent aspect of the E1 plan, is a breach of the Geneva Conventions, and is recognised by both the Nuremberg Charter and the International Criminal Court as a ‘war crime’.

Image by MEMO Photographer Rich Wiles.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israel every day for the past 48 years


MEMO | June 10, 2015

Data provided by the Israeli military and the UN has revealed that since martial law was imposed on the occupied West Bank in 1967, around 95,000 Palestinian children have been arrested by Israel, an average of more than 5 children per day. Almost 60,000 are believed to have been subjected to some form of physical abuse whilst in detention.

The details were revealed this week in a report submitted by rights group Military Court Watch (MCW) to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Over 300 pages of evidence relating to the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention were included in the report.

MCW pointed out that the evidence included details of 200 minors detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank between January 2013 and May 2015. The submission confirmed an earlier finding by UNICEF that “the ill-treatment of children, who come in contact with the military detention system, appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalised.”

According to the rights group, this finding is based on recent evidence that shows that intimidation, threats, verbal abuse, physical violence and the denial of basic legal rights are still commonplace within the system. “Based on the evidence, the submission also drew a link between this industrial scale abuse and the maintenance of Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” added MCW. “It concluded that in order to enable 370,000 Israeli settlers to live in the West Bank in violation of international law without serious interference, the military is required to adopt a strategy of mass intimidation and collective punishment.”

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exposing the Myth that Palestinians Target Israeli Civilians

By Don Shay | ANTIMEDIA | June 10, 2015

I’ve always found it fascinating that supporters of Israeli-sponsored terrorism criticize Palestinian militants for targeting civilians—in spite of the fact that Israeli soldiers kill far more Palestinian non-combatants and destroy much greater amounts of civilian property. One can verify this claim by familiarizing themselves with the casualty statistics of Israel’s last rampage in Gaza last summer, also referred to as “Operation Protective Edge”.

During Operation Protective Edge, more than 2,000 Palestinian civilians were killed, among them 550 children. On the Israeli side, 5 civilians were killed, including 1 child. This is a ratio of 550-1 for the number of Palestinian children deaths versus their Israeli counterparts. More than 3,300 Palestinian children were injured, of whom over 1,000 were permanently disabled. On the Israeli side, 261 Israeli civilians were injured (included in the casualty reports were those who sustained injuries while running to bomb shelters and were not wounded by Palestinian weapons). Nearly 20,000 Palestinian homes were razed or severely damaged, compared to just one Israeli home being destroyed. While Israel’s property damage amounted to $11 million in reconstruction costs, Gaza’s property damage surpassed $6 billion in reconstruction costs over the next 20 years.

And we’re expected to believe that Palestinians are deliberately targeting civilians while Israelis do everything they can to avoid harming civilian lives and property? Does such data vindicate Israel’s position that it isn’t targeting civilians? Does such data undermine the claim that Palestinians are the only ones targeting civilians? While I will never argue that numbers tell an entire story, I can say at the very least that these casualty statistics suggest Israeli military operations are killing civilians and destroying civilian property at a much higher rate than operations conducted by the Palestinians. Such data is worth considering when we analyze Israeli arguments demonizing Palestinians for their choice of tactics in war.

We’ve had it pounded into our heads that Palestinian militants are the bad guys in this conflict because “they purposely target civilians.” That statement couldn’t be further from the truth: Palestinian projectiles, or what the media refers to as “rockets,” have no guiding system. This means Palestinians can’t target anyone. They can only lob a rocket into the sky and let gravity take its course.  Palestinian rockets are guided by gravity, not by Palestinians. Palestinians do launch them, but they do not dictate who or what the rocket targets.

If your concern is targeting civilians, Israel should be held to a higher standard of criticism because her forces have modernized weapons in their arsenal which allow them to avoid and reduce civilian casualties. Israeli missiles are capable of targeting a specific location and confining the blast to a desired radius. How then, is it possible, that Israeli forces do everything in their capacity to avoid causing civilian deaths while causing the most civilian deaths in the conflict? Israeli apologists will argue it’s because ‘Palestinians are using their civilians as human shields,’ or whatever other ludicrous explanations are offered by their political pimps. Such an argument is not an argument at all, but a confession of ignorance.

Israel is purposely targeting civilians because that happens to be the only way it can ensure its strategic goals. Last summer, Israel announced its intention to enforce a 3 kilometer buffer zone around the entire Gaza-Israel border. The size of this buffer zone effectively amounts to roughly 44% of Palestinian territory, which is ultimately forcing thousands of Palestinians living in that area to either flee or die. During its operations in “Protective Edge,” Israeli military forces destroyed neighborhoods and turned entire civilian zones to rubble. Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilians and property by bombing houses, businesses and other civilian infrastructure. Israel is documented to have done this at great lengths.

This is the grotesque absurdity inherently present in Israel’s narrative: Israel purposely targets civilians and their property while purporting to be the good guys defending themselves. They then demonize Palestinians for “targeting civilians”–despite the fact that Palestinians are in fact doing no such thing. You can make the argument that Palestinians are putting civilian lives’ at risk by launching unguided projectiles, but you can’t make the argument that they’re deliberately targeting civilians. For all we know, they want those rockets to hit Israeli soldiers, not civilians. Regardless, it is simply hypocritical and silly to say Palestinians are wrong for doing what Israelis do, but on a smaller scale.

For argument’s sake, however, let’s assume that Palestinians are deliberately targeting civilians and they just don’t have the capacity to achieve that goal. Should we take seriously the argument that Israelis have a right to engage in the practice of indiscriminately killing civilians with modernized weaponry while simultaneously condemning Palestinians for doing the same on a much smaller scale? In order for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peaceful end, we must accept Israel’s role in perpetuating it. Only when we recognize that Israel is the main obstacle to peace can we begin to advance a discussion that offers tangible solutions to the conflict.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Could Israel use dirty bombs?

RT | June 10, 2015

Israeli Middle East commentator Meir Javedanfar and political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi shared their strongly differing opinions on the latest report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

According to the article there are fears that Israel has been testing radioactive ‘dirty bombs.’ These kinds of weapon are intended to contaminate large areas with radiation, and can potentially have a long-lasting impact on the hit zone.

RT: The report claims Israel has dirty bombs for defense purposes only. Might this include preemptive strikes against countries like Iran?

Meir Javedanfar: Of course the state of Israel has never ever threatened to use any such weapons, Israel doesn’t even admit to having nuclear capabilities; it is something that has been reported only by foreign organizations. All that we understand is that the chances of Israel using such a weapon are almost zero. Israel’s alleged nuclear program is for defensive purposes only…

We [Israelis] are very worried if ISIS one day gets their hands on a dirty weapon they would use it against us, make no mistake. I think it’s very logical to be prepared for such a scenario.

It doesn’t matter if you’re Jew or Muslim; it doesn’t matter if you’re Sunni or Shia – this is an organization which would use such a weapon. You can’t use such a weapon back against them because ISIS leaders don’t care about their own population. So the least you can do is to be prepared.

RT: Do you think these allegations are correct? Do you think Israel is testing dirty bombs?

MJ: All I have is the same report that you’re reading from. If that report is true, Israel would only do this for defensive purposes, because if they do offensive testing of dirty bombs right now, it would carry a very high price for the state of Israel because right now we’re trying to convince Iran to stop its nuclear program. For Israel to go and test such weapons for offensive purposes it would be very counterproductive and very expensive… At the same time this is not about Iran, this is much more about ISIS; this is much more about Jihadi organizations.

RT: Israel is one of the staunchest critics of Iran’s nuclear program. Isn’t that a little hypocritical, if it really is secretly testing dirty bombs?

MJ: …The enemy in question is probably going to be the Jihadi organizations. Even in Israel we don’t think that Israel would use such weapons.

One of the reasons [there is ] this belief why the Americans invaded Afghanistan in 2001 after the September 11 attacks was because it is believed that [Osama] bin Laden was developing biological weapons; he was working on it, or he had plans to work on it. And this was something that they had to stop. And I think that is something that the states of Israel, Russia – and even Iran – have in common- all of us have to be prepared for the day if somebody like ISIS gets its hands on a dirty weapon, we could all be victims.

RT: There is a danger of arms escalation in region. If that is proved that Israel is experimenting with these dirty bombs, some countries might want to do the same thing, mightn’t they?

MJ: It really depends on what you use it for…. This was not aimed at any of our neighbors, we were not threatening anybody, we are not calling for anybody’s elimination, as the Iranian regime is doing to us. But you have to be realistic, this is not simulation.

RT: If this news is proved how, do you think it is going to go down in Iran?

MJ: I think this is something that Iran and Israel have in common: We are both potential victims of ISIS. ISIS is an extremist Sunni organization; so-called Sunni, I’m not sure they are real Sunnis; they are against Shia. When they take over Shia areas they are looting, they are burning, they are massacring and ethnic-cleansing Shia. Once they are finished with the Shias, the way they see it, the next target is the Jews… Both of us have to be prepared for the doomsday scenario… that if one day [ISIS] gets its hands on a chemical or biological weapon, first Iran would be the target, and then the state of Israel.

Kaveh Afrasiabi, political scientist, doesn’t agree with Meir Javedanfar’s viewpoint that the chances of Israel using dirty bombs “are almost zero.”

RT: The dirty bombs are reportedly intended for defense purposes only. Israel has the right to defend itself, doesn’t it?

Kaveh Afrasiabi: Well, so do all the other nations. I respectfully disagree with [Mr. Javedanfar] because you can’t find any nuclear weapons state that publically states that its weapons are for offensive purposes, everybody says it is for defensive. So if Israel detonated these dirty nuclear bombs, it’s in violation of its own commitments and the comprehensive test treaty, to which it is a signatory, although it hasn’t ratified. And I think it is a trial for a bigger test, and Israel is waiting to see the reaction by the international community to see if there is any will to stand up to it, and unfortunately there hasn’t been any. We saw that the US recently blocked the Middle East summit on nuclear disarmament – WMD-free in the Middle East – to appease Israel. A month later we hear this news that Israel has detonated not one or two, but 20 bombs. And I really question the timing of it coming on the verge of the deadline for the nuclear talks in Iran. One wonders if it’s part of ferocious Israeli propaganda effort to torpedo those talks.

RT: Do you think this test poses any real threat to Israel’s perceived enemies in the region?

KA: Of course, if Israel has tested these nuclear bombs, and has the capability to deliver them, as we all know they do, then that poses a clear and present danger to its Arab neighbors and beyond. And I really believe that Israel poses a nuclear threat to Iran and its allies in the region.

RT: If those weapons were being tested in Iran we would probably know what the international reaction would be. What do you expect the international reaction to be to Israel?

KA: This reflects the tremendous double standard that is operative in the international community that consistently turns a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear status and its refusal to allow the slightest inspection of its nuclear facilities. A part of that hypocrisy was demonstrated by the head of the UN’s Atomic Agency, Mr. [Yukiya] Amano, who about a year and half ago praised Israel’s nuclear air force instead of pressuring them to open up these facilities.

I really think that the time has come to stop [treating]Israel with kid gloves and put[ting] it into an exceptional bracket above international law, above proliferation concerns, and so on. At the time when Iran, which is a party to the non-proliferation treaty, has allowed the most extensive inspection of civilian nuclear facilities is under international sanctions and all the related pressures, and even military threat.

So the time has come to stop this hypocritical double standard on the part of the international community, and especially the Western states led by the US, which is the main defender and protector of Israel and its nuclear status.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Breast cancer cases near Welsh nuclear plant 5 times higher than expected – academic

RT | June 10, 2015

Breast cancer rates are five times higher than expected near a defunct nuclear power plant in Wales, according to a study by environmental scientist Dr Chris Busby.

The power plant in Trawsfynydd, which has not been in use since 1993 but is yet to be decommissioned, relied on a nearby lake to operate its cooling system.

It’s alleged that contaminated water was returned to the same body of water.

Busby’s investigation claims 90 percent of those living in areas downwind of the plant have been tested.

The report, published in the Jacobs Journal of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, says: “Trawsfynydd is a ‘dirty’ nuclear power station. As it has carbon dioxide gas-cooled graphite block reactors, its releases to air are higher than most other types of nuclear reactor.

“In addition, all the liquid releases are discharged to the lake, where they have accumulated to the lake body sediment,” the investigation claims.

“Results show very clearly that the downwind population has suffered because of these exposures.”

“This is most clear in breast cancer in younger women below 60, where the rates were almost five times the expected.”

“Additionally we see a doubling of risk in those who ate fish from Trawsfynydd Lake, which supports the conclusion that it is mainly a nuclear power station effect that is being seen.”

Busby, who has acted as an adviser to the Green Party, has been the subject of controversy in the past.

In 2011, his claims there was a leukemia cluster in North Wales were met with opposition from other prominent environmental activists, including the [pro-nuclear energy] Guardian writer George Monbiot.

In a piece for the paper published in 2011, Monbiot wrote that Busby’s claims “were the result of some astonishing statistical mistakes.”

He claimed an assessment of Busby’s findings – which were not peer-reviewed – found that Busby has counted Welsh leukemia incidences twice and overestimated the number of child leukemia cases by 90 percent.

Public Health Wales is currently investigating, in co-operation with local health teams, whether or not such a cluster exists around Traswfynydd.

June 11, 2015 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | , , , | Leave a comment