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Jeffrey Goldberg: Pundit for Israel

If Americans Knew

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Guatemalan President Finally Resigns

teleSUR | September 3, 2015

Just a few hours after an arrest warrant was issued against him, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, who had vowed he would not resign, announced he would step down from office, his press team announced this Thursday morning.

Jorge Ortega, the president’s spokesman said that Molina submitted his resignation at midnight local time just hours after a judge issued an arrest warrant in his name late Wednesday.

Prosecutors accuse the president of masterminding a scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from customs service as part of a fraud ring, which the country’s vice president has already been jailed and faces charges over.

The allegations against Molina were made by influential sectors in Guatemala, including the office of human rights, the agricultural, rural, industrial, and financial committees, the Peasant Unity Committee, the Catholic and Evangelical churches and members of civil organizations.

The Central American country is still struggling to recover from the U.S.-funded civil war (1960-1996), which saw more than 200,000 Guatemalans killed, most of them Indigenous Mayans. It currently faces high rates of poverty and ranks among one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Police Shot Man in Back, Autopsy Disproves Police Claim Victim “Charged At Officers”

By Cassandra Fairbanks | PINAC | September 2, 2015

The El Paso Police Department has maintained that Erik Salas Sanchez, 22, was shot for charging at police, however, the autopsy report has revealed that he was shot in the back.

11051090_10205058881144573_426115540_nThe police claim that Sanchez had threatened them with a “metal object,” and charged at the officers.

The cops allegedly attempted to tase Sanchez, but were unsuccessful, and that is when a 10-year-veteran Texas police officer opened fire with his service weapon.

Sanchez was shot three times, in the right side of his back, the left side of his back, and his buttocks.  Quite a feat, as he was allegedly “charging at the officers.”

He was then handcuffed despite the severe injuries, and died soon after at the Del Sol Medical Center.

This west Texas police agency has released few details surrounding the incident which took place on April 29, when police were called to respond to a burglary in Sanchez’ neighborhood.

The fatal encounter did not take place at the residence that was allegedly burglarized however, and police will only say it was “different than the location he was suspected of burglarizing.”

The victim’s mother maintains that the shooting took place outside the home she shared with her son, after police arrived and asked her to come outside.

Erik Sanchez shouted in reply to the cops, which isn’t illegal.

It remains unclear why the El Paso police officers went to the family’s home in the first place.

The Mexican Consulate has also been involved with assisting the family, as Sanchez was a Mexican citizen who was living legally in the United States as many families whose lives straddle the border.

Mexico’s Consul General Jacob Prado is calling for a full investigation of the incident.

The El Paso officer who shot Sanchez was placed on administrative leave for a few days following the incident.  We all know that’s just cop speak for paid vacation.

The officer is supposed to remain on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation by the Texas Rangers, the El Paso Police, and the District Attorney’s office.

The investigation is anticipated to be complete by “early next year,” according to Prado.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Wars leave 13 million children without school in Mideast: UN


Press TV – September 3, 2015

The United Nations has voiced alarm over the “destructive impact” of the deadly wars on children’s education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), saying violence has forced at least 13 million kids out of schools there.

In a report released on Thursday on threats to the education system in six violence-torn countries and territories across the region, the United Nation’s children fund UNICEF warned that “the hopes of a generation” would be dashed should kids fail to return to classrooms in conflict zones of both regions.

Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian territories in the Middle East as well as Sudan and Libya in North Africa were the main countries the report focused on.

Over 8,850 schools are no longer usable due to the ongoing political instability and violence, said the report.

Peter Salama, the regional director for UNICEF in the MENA region, told AFP that “the destructive impact of conflict is being felt by children right across the region.”

“It’s not just the physical damage being done to schools, but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered,” he added.

According to the UN, one in four schools was closed this school year due to violence.

“Even those Syrian teachers who have ended up as refugees in other countries have faced obstacles which prevent them from working,” said the report, adding more than 52,000 teachers have left their posts.

UNICEF said that violence in Iraq has taken a heavy toll on the schooling of at least 950,000 children.

Iraq and Syria have been grappling with a spike in violence fueled by Takfiri terror groups, particularly Daesh, which controls swathes of land in both Arab states.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Saudi military has been pounding neighboring Yemen with fatal air raids over the past five months. Civilians as well as the country’s infrastructure have been the main target of Riyadh’s strikes.

The Saudi military campaign has led to the closure of hundreds of schools and colleges in Yemen since late March, according to the report.

UNICEF also said over 280 schools had been damaged and eight “completely destroyed” in the Tel Aviv regime’s 2014 war on the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip that left over 2,200 people dead.

In Libya, which is suffering from rising violence after the 2011 overthrow of former dictator Moamar Qaddafi, more than half of those displaced say their children cannot attend classes, while the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur and South Kordofan has also had a severe impact on the country’s creaking school infrastructure, the report said.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US/NATO Embrace Psy-ops and Info-War

By Don North | Consortium News | September 2, 2015

As reflected in a recent NATO conference in Latvia and in the Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual, the U.S. government has come to view the control and manipulation of information as a “soft power” weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase “strategic communications.”

This attitude has led to treating psy-ops – manipulative techniques for influencing a target population’s state of mind and surreptitiously shaping people’s perceptions – as just a normal part of U.S. and NATO’s information policy.

Dr. Stephen Badsey, Professor of Conflict studies, Wolverhampton University, U.K.

Dr. Stephen Badsey, Professor of Conflict studies, Wolverhampton University, U.K.

“The NATO case and argument is that NATO’s approach to psy-ops is to treat it as an essentially open, truthful and benign activity and that, plus the elimination of any meaningful distinctions between domestic and foreign media institutions and social media, means that psy-ops and public affairs have effectively fused,” said British military historian, Dr. Stephen Badsey, one of the world’s leading authorities on war and the media.

Badsey said NATO has largely abandoned the notion that there should be a clear distinction between psy-ops and public affairs, although NATO officially rules out the dissemination of “black propaganda,” knowingly false information designed to discredit an adversary.

“The long argument as to whether a firewall should be maintained between psy-ops and information activities and public affairs has now largely ended, and in my view the wrong side won,” Badsey added.

And, as part of this Brave New World of “strategic communications,” the U.S. military and NATO have now gone on the offensive against news organizations that present journalism which is deemed to undermine the perceptions that the U.S. government seeks to convey to the world.

That attitude led to the Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual which suggests journalists in wartime may be considered “spies” or “unprivileged belligerents,” creating the possibility that reporters could be subject to indefinite incarceration, military tribunals and extrajudicial execution – the same treatment applied to Al Qaeda terrorists who are also called “unprivileged belligerents.” [See’sPentagon Manual Calls Some Reporters Spies.”]

The revised “Law of War” manual has come under sharp criticism from representatives of both mainstream and independent media, including The New York Times’ editors and the Committee to Protect Journalists, as well as academics such as Dr. Badsey.

“The attitude toward the media expressed in the 2015 Pentagon manual is a violation of the international laws of war to which the USA is a signatory, going back to the 1907 Hague Convention, and including the Geneva Conventions,” said Badsey, a professor of conflict studies at Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom and a long-time contact of mine who is often critical of U.S. military information tactics.

“But [the manual] is a reflection of the attitude fully displayed more than a decade ago in Iraq where the Pentagon decided that some media outlets, notably Al Jazeera, were enemies to be destroyed rather than legitimate news sources.”

The Vietnam Debate

The Pentagon’s hostility toward journalists whose reporting undermines U.S. government propaganda goes back even further, becoming a tendentious issue during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s when the war’s supporters accused American journalists of behaving treasonously by reporting critically about the U.S. military’s strategies and tactics, including exposure of atrocities such as the My Lai massacre.

In the 1980s, conservatives in the Reagan administration – embracing as an article of faith that “liberal” reporters contributed to the U.S. defeat in Vietnam – moved aggressively to discredit journalists who wrote about human rights violations by U.S.-backed forces in Central America. In line with those hostile attitudes, news coverage of President Ronald Reagan’s invasion of Grenada in 1983 was barred, and in 1990-91, President George H.W. Bush tightly controlled journalists trying to report on the Persian Gulf War. By keeping out – or keeping a close eye on – reporters, the U.S. military acted with fewer constraints and abuses went largely unreported.

This so-called “weaponizing of information” turned even more lethal during the presidency of Bill Clinton and the war over Kosovo when NATO identified Serb TV as an enemy “propaganda center” and dispatched warplanes to destroy its studios in Belgrade. In April 1999, acting under orders from U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, American bombers fired two cruise missiles that reduced Radio Televizija Srbija to a pile of rubble and killed 16 civilian Serb journalists working for the government station.

Despite this willful slaughter of unarmed journalists, the reaction from most U.S. news organizations was muted. However, an independent association of electronic media in Yugoslavia condemned the attack.

“History has shown that no form of repression, particularly the organized and premeditated murder of journalists, can prevent the flow of information, nor can it prevent the public from choosing its own sources of information,” the group said.

The (London) Independent’s Robert Fisk remarked at the time, “once you kill people because you don’t like what they say, you change the rules of war.” Now, the Pentagon is doing exactly that, literally rewriting its “Law of War” manual to allow for the no-holds-barred treatment of “enemy” journalists as “unprivileged belligerents.”

Despite the 1999 targeting of a news outlet in order to silence its reporting, a case for war crimes was never pursued against the U.S. and NATO officials responsible, and retired General Clark is still a frequent guest on CNN and other American news programs.

Targeting Al Jazeera

During the presidency of George W. Bush, the Arab network Al Jazeera was depicted as “enemy media” deserving of destruction rather than being respected as a legitimate news organization – and the news network’s offices were struck by American bombs. On Nov. 13, 2001, during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, a U.S. missile hit Al Jazeera’s office in Kabul, destroying the building and damaging the homes of some employees.

On April 8, 2003, during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a U.S. missile hit an electricity generator at Al Jazeera’s Baghdad office, touching off a fire that killed reporter Tareq Ayyoub and wounding a colleague. The Bush administration insisted that the attacks on Al Jazeera offices were “accidents.”

However, in 2004, as the U.S. occupation of Iraq encountered increased resistance and U.S. forces mounted a major offensive in the city of Fallujah, Al Jazeera’s video of the assault graphically depicted the devastation – and on April 15, 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld decried Al Jazeera’s coverage as “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable.”

According to a British published report on the minutes of a meeting the next day between President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush suggested bombing Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar but was talked out of the idea by Blair who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

During the Iraq War, Dr. Badsey wrote the following observation which I cited in my book on military/media relations, Inappropriate Conduct: “The claim that in 2004 at the first battle of Fallujah the U.S. Marine Corps ‘weren’t beaten by the terrorists and insurgents, they were beaten by Al Jazeera television’ rather than that they [U.S. forces] employed inappropriate tactics for the political environment of their mission, is recognizable as yet another variant on the long-discredited claim that the Vietnam War was lost on the television screens of America.”

Although the notion of Vietnam-era journalists for U.S. media acting as a fifth column rather than a Fourth Estate is widely accepted among conservatives, the reality was always much different, with most of the early Vietnam War coverage largely favorable, even flattering, before journalists became more skeptical as the war dragged on.

In a recent interview on NPR radio, Charles Adams, a senior editor of the new “Law of War” manual, was unable to cite examples of journalists jeopardizing operations in the last five wars – and that may be because there were so few examples of journalistic misconduct and the handful of cases involved either confusion about rules or resistance to news embargoes that were considered unreasonable.

Examining the history of reporters dis-accredited during the Vietnam War, William Hammond, author of a two-volume history of U.S. Army relations with the media in Vietnam, found only eight dis-accreditations, according to military files.

Arguably the most serious case involved the Baltimore Sun’s John Carroll, an Army veteran himself who believed strongly that it was important that the American people be as thoroughly informed about the controversial war as possible. He got in trouble for reporting that the U.S. Marines were about to abandon their base at Khe Sahn. He was accused of violating an embargo and was stripped of his credentials, though he argued that the North Vietnamese surrounding the base were well aware of the troop movement.

Toward the end of the war, some reporters also considered the South Vietnamese government so penetrated by the communists that there were no secrets anyway. Prime Minister Nguyen van Thieu’s principal aide was a spy and everyone knew it except the American people.

During his long career, which included the editorship of the Los Angeles Times, Carroll came to view journalists “almost as public servants and a free press as essential to a self-governing nation,” according to his obituary in The New York Times after his death on June 14, 2015.

Strategic Communication

During the Obama administration, the concept of “strategic communication” – managing the perceptions of the world’s public – has grown more and more expansive and the crackdown on the flow of information unprecedented. More than any of his predecessors, President Barack Obama has authorized harsh legal action against government “leakers” who have exposed inconvenient truths about U.S. foreign policy and intelligence practices.

And Obama’s State Department has mounted a fierce public campaign against the Russian network, RT, that is reminiscent of the Clinton administration’s hostility toward Serb TV and Bush-43’s anger toward Al Jazeera.

Since RT doesn’t use the State Department’s preferred language regarding the Ukraine crisis and doesn’t show the requisite respect for the U.S.-backed regime in Kiev, the network is denounced for its “propaganda,” but this finger-pointing is really just part of the playbook for “information warfare,” raising doubts about the information coming from your adversary while creating a more favorable environment for your own propaganda. [See’sWho’s the Propagandist? US or RT?”]

This growing fascination with “strategic communication” has given rise to NATO’s new temple to information technology, called “The NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence” or STRATCOM, located in Latvia, a former Soviet republic that is now on the front lines of the tensions with Russia.

On Aug. 20, some of the most influential minds from the world of “strategic communications” gathered in Latvia’s capital of Riga for a two-day conference entitled “Perception Matters.” A quotation headlined in all its communications read: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed” – noble sentiments perhaps but not always reflected in the remarks by more than 200 defense and communications experts, many of whom viewed information not as some neutral factor necessary for enlightening the public and nourishing democracy, but as a “soft power” weapon to be wielded against an adversary.

Hawkish Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, led a delegation of U.S. senators and said STRATCOM was needed to combat Russia and its President Vladimir Putin. “This Center will help spread the truth,” said McCain – although “the truth” in the world of “strategic communications” can be a matter of perception.


Don North is a veteran war correspondent who covered the Vietnam War and many other conflicts around the world. He is the author of a new book, Inappropriate Conduct,  the story of a World War II correspondent whose career was crushed by the intrigue he uncovered.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Troops in Ukraine Violate Minsk Deal – Russian Foreign Ministry

Sputnik – 03.09.2015

CN-2HApW8AEVgSSMOSCOW – The deployment of US soldiers on Ukrainian territory violates the ceasefire deal agreed earlier this year, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

“US soldiers are firmly entrenched in Ukraine, which constitutes a flagrant violation of article 10 of the February 12 Minsk Agreement,” Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow.

Article 10 of the ceasefire agreement reached in the Belarusian capital of Minsk calls for the pullout of all foreign armed formations, military equipment and mercenaries from Ukraine.

As part of its security assistance program launched last year, the United States sent 300 military instructors to Ukraine in April this year and has provided $245 million of security-related aid to the country.

Ukraine hosted a number of NATO military exercises under US leadership this year, including Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident-2015 in late July. The drills involved over 1,800 servicemen from 18 NATO and other partner nations.

This month, Ukraine is hosting Sea Breeze-2015 naval military exercises in the Black Sea involving around 2,500 NATO forces and 150 warships, helicopters and armored vehicles.

The Ukrainian government has said it is planning to hold three joint drills with US troops later this year.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

Parents of Tamimi Boy Jailed


All members of Al-Tamimi family, including parents, daughter and two sons. The two sons are in cast, one of them because of an assault by an Israeli settler.
IMEMC News & Agencies | September 3, 2015

Israeli forces took into custody, on Tuesday, the parents of Mohammad al-Tamimi, the Palestinian boy who was beaten by a masked Israeli soldier in Al-Nabi Saleh Village on Friday. The pictures of the boy went viral on internet.

“The Israeli army arrested Basil and his wife, Nariman, as they tried to cross an Israel military checkpoint at the entrance of Al-Nabi Saleh Village north of Ramallah,” Bassam al-Tamimi, a relative, said.

He further stated, according to Days of Palestine : “The Israeli soldiers arrested Basel and his wife and prevented all of the family members from communicating with them.”

Palestinian sources confirmed the arrest, noting that the parents were taken by the Israeli soldiers to an unknown place.

Regarding Mohammad, the Israeli soldier beat him savagely, claiming he had threw stones at him. However, this remains questionable, as the boy’s hand was broken and clearly in a cast.

Female family members pulled at the boy, as he refused to be led by the Israeli soldiers, who then released him.

After the incident, a request was reportedly submitted to the Israeli police for the arrest of the Al-Tamimi family, who were accused of “assaulting” the soldier.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Wealth Transfer to the London Elite

By Craig Murray | September 2, 2015

The Guardian has a fascinating piece on house prices which deserves to be read and studied in detail. In London in 2013 the median house price had reached 300,000 while the median salary was 24,600. House prices are 12.2 x salary. That means it is in practice impossible for working people, without inherited wealth, to buy a house.

But the point is, that it should be equally impossible to rent a house. Landlords look for a rental return of approximately 6% of rental value. So that would put median rent in London at around 18,000 pa, which is a realistic figure. But nobody on a salary of 24,600 before tax can pay 18,000 pa in rent. So we should be at a stage where it is impossible for Londoners who have not inherited homes to live there at all.

Very little of the apparent gravity-defying power of the London property market is due to foreign buyers. Their major effect is very much concentrated on the top end of the market. Very few wealthy foreign buyers are purchasing semis in Plumstead or Acton. For prices to be this distorted from the potential of local buyers to pay would require literally hundreds of thousands of foreign purchasers in all segments of the market. They just do not exist.

No what is causing this incredible distortion is the conjunction of buy to let and state housing benefit. The state pays out 18 billion pounds a year in housing benefit, and the vast majority of that goes straight into the pockets of private landlords in the South East of England. State housing benefit underpins the entire system.

Now the brilliance of the trick is that, as it is labeled a benefit, the left fight to keep housing benefit as though it benefited poor people. In fact this is a great illusion. It does nothing of the sort. What would truly benefit poor people is lower rent or affordable homes. Housing benefit goes straight into the pockets of the landlord class.

The landlord class of course encompasses the political class, many of whom (including Cherie Blair, famously) are also landlords. As housing benefit is paid for from general taxation, the entire system is a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, and above all from the North and West to the South and East. The landlord class benefit not only from the taxpayer giving them enormous rents, but from the possession of artificially inflated property on which they can raise further money for more speculation.

The problem is national but is much worse in London and the South East of England. The reason that IDS has not made a serious assault on housing benefit is that it puts money straight into the pockets of most of his Tory chums. The largest benefit recipients in the UK are the great landlords.

The policy mix to tackle this must include building much more council housing, but must also include a phasing out of the payment of state housing benefit to private landlords. Let me put this simply – given a 6% rental return, pumping in 18 billion pounds of state money a year to rents adds 288 billion pounds to property values. Let me say that again because it is very, very important but not that easy to follow.

Given a 6% rental return, pumping in 18 billion pounds of state money to rents adds 288 billion pounds to property values. That explains how you reach the apparently impossible situation of median property at twelve times median income.

The landlord class will endeavour to ensure that any phasing out of such benefit causes maximum dislocation pain to tenants. But correcting the situation is an economic necessity. Ultimately property values have to halve, and rents too. That will provide pain to not just the landlord class but the entire Ponzi economy that Blair built. The ratio of property prices to income almost trebled in the Blair/Brown years, and is the aspect of their economic charlatanry which still overhangs us.

Seen from Edinburgh, another reason to escape to Independence as quickly as possible. The problem is not nearly so acute in Scotland. In England the situation can continue for a while. The Conservative government is delighted with this massive transfer of money to the rich. But once interest rates start to rise, it will bring a crash of gigantic proportions.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , | Leave a comment

Impunity for Jewish terrorism

When Israeli civilians try to kidnap a Palestinian child, the police do their best not to investigate

By Yossi Gurvitz | Yesh Din | September 2, 2015

The date is December 19, 2014. The Place: the AM/PM convenience store outside the West Bank village of Hawara. Majed Musa AbdAziz As’ous parks his vehicle across the road from the store, making certain the windows are open, and goes in for a quick purchase. In the front seat on his right sits five-and-a-half year old N.; two other children sit in the back seat.

As the father crosses the road, an Israeli vehicle — As’ous would later remember it being a red Subaru Justy, along with a few numbers from the license plate – with four young, Israeli men swerves into the scene. The Subaru parks near As’ous, with its back window adjacent to the windshield of As’ous’ car. The Israeli in the back seat of the Subaru leans across the window, seizes N., and tries to pull him into the Israeli vehicle.

Hearing N.’s terrified screams, As’ous runs back. He manages to see the Israeli vehicle escaping, only to catch a glimpse of the man who almost kidnapped his son. As’ous lodges a complaint with the Palestinian police the following day, which transfers it to the Israeli DCO.

In February 2015, two months after the incident, the complaint makes it to the Israeli police, which then pretend to investigate the case. They take As’ous’ testimony, who tells the cops he knows of another witness whom he can locate. In a second interview four days later, police investigator A.A. asks As’ous whether there are security cameras in the area — he says he thinks there are.

At this point, a reasonable man would assume A.A. would turn to the AM/PM shift manager, identify himself as a policeman, and ask for the relevant tapes. A.A. assumed that the chance that there is little chance these tapes exist (personally, I believe that his assumption was sound — too much time had indeed passed). Furthermore, wrote A.A. in a memo, it is not at all likely that the cameras actually covered the road area; from his rich experience, he believes they mainly cover the cash registers. Thus, A.A. decided not to look into the issue at all.

Rewind, slow motion: the crime – the attempted kidnapping of a child; the response of investigator A.A. – not to bother to even check whether evidence exists, or whether the cameras cover the road. He just assumes they don’t and closes the case under the ever-popular clause of Unknown Perpetrator.

Perhaps the cameras caught what had happened; perhaps they didn’t. Perhaps they did, but too much time had passed and the tapes were deleted. Or maybe, due to the whole mess of the kidnapping, the owners decided to keep the tapes for evidence. We’ll never know, because A.A. never bothered checking. He preferred to guess.

The negligence doesn’t end here. Leaving the tapes aside – the chance they still existed was indeed low – there were other, stronger leads. As’ous gave A.A. a fairly accurate description of the Israeli vehicle – but A.A. didn’t bother to cross that information with similar vehicles registered in the nearby outposts and settlements.

As’ous told him he knows of another witness – the police didn’t bother to summon him or take his statement. It’s just a Palestinian child, after all. As’ous says he thinks he may identify the kidnapper – but A.A., the SJPD’s Sherlock Holmes, doesn’t bother to ask him to look at the police felon photo book. In fact, A.A. doesn’t take any investigative action whatsoever; the entire case file is three pages long. When it comes to excuses, however, he’s a master.

All this information comes to us directly from the investigative files. Recently our attorneys, Noa Amrami and Michal Pasovsky, appealed the decision to close the case. Their demands are simple: carry out the aforementioned, minimalistic investigative actions, so that the life of a Palestinian child won’t be deemed negligible.

Our last post showed the Nationalistic Crime Section at its insufficient best; this time we show you the SJPD at its worst. It’s important to remember these days, when the SJPD and the Shin Bet tell you they’re doing everything they can to stop Jewish terrorists, that “all we can do” looks all too often like A.A.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Veolia sells its shares in the Jerusalem Light Rail and completes withdrawal from the Israeli market

Who Profits | August 2015

More than a decade after winning the tender for the construction and operation of the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), Veolia Environnement’s subsidiary, Transdev, has sold all of its holdings in the JLR to a group of Israeli investors.

The approval of the deal by the Israeli authorities and the completion of the ownership transfer, earlier this month, mark an end to Veolia’s operations in the Israeli market in general and to its involvement in the controversial JLR project in particular.

Israeli authorities’ approval and ownership transfer

Until August 2015, Trasndev, a Veolia Environnement subsidiary, held a minority interest (5%) in CityPass, a consortium tendered by the Israeli government to build the JLR, as well as full ownership (100%) of the train’s operator – Connex Jerusalem. The JLR was designed to connect the western part of Jerusalem with the illegal settlements surrounding the city. Operational since December 2011, the JLR crosses the Green Line and passes through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina.

On September 2nd 2014, Transdev (formerly: Veolia Transdev) signed a contract with the CityPass consortium for the sale of Connex Jerusalem and Transdev’s remaining 5% share in CityPass. The buyer, CityPass consortium, consists of three Israeli shareholders: The Ashtrom Group, IIF – Israel Infrastructure Fund and Harel Insurance.

Recent findings by Who Profits Research Center indicate that after almost a year- long negotiations between the companies, the Israeli authorities and the funding banks, the September deal was fulfilled and that the sale of Connex Jerusalem together with the 5% of CityPass shares reached completion.

On August 6th 2015, the Ashtrom Group – one of the buyers and a shareholder in CityPass, reported to the Israeli Stock Exchange that all conditions precedent in the JLR sale agreement with Transdev were fulfilled and that the agreement was completed. Ashtrom’s report also mentioned that on the same date, 1% of CityPass shares’ was passed into Ashtrom’s possession. For further information on the deal and necessary approvals, see Who Profits’ update from February 2014.

Later that month, on August 18th 2015, and according to the Israeli Companies’ Registrar, 100% of Connex Jerusalem shares’ were transferred from Transdev to an Israeli holding company jointly owned by the Ashtrom Group, IIF and Harel Insurance. According to the Registrar however, Transdev 5% share in CityPass still remained.

The Israeli financial newspaper – the Marker – has also confirmed the completion of the deal on August 2015. In an article (available in Hebrew), published on August 20th 2015, it was reported that Transdev received NIS 100 million for Connex Jerusalem. Contrary to Ashtrom’s report to the Israeli Stock Exchange and to the unaltered status of CityPass ownership in the Israeli Companies’ Registrar, The Marker reported that Trandev’s 5% share in CityPass was fully sold to IIF. Who Profits will continue to monitor the publications around the sale in order to determine which company is the current owner of Transdev’s former 5% share in CityPass.

Finally, Who Profits findings and analysis strongly suggest that the sale has been completed and that the formal ownership transfer of CityPass shares will soon show on public record.

The final step in a gradual withdrawal

The sale of the JLR is the final step in Veolia’s gradual withdrawal from the Israeli market and several illegal operations in the occupied Palestinian territory. Through its various Israeli subsidiaries, the company has engaged in multiple sectors of the local economy, including transportation, water, waste management and energy. Since the Israeli private sector, much like the Israeli government, considers the settlements as a legitimate part of Israel, Veolia’s Israeli subsidiaries operated freely beyond the Green Line. Their activities included the provision of public bus services to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the operation of a landfill in the occupied Jordan Valley, wastewater treatment facility for settlements’ sewage, and finally the construction and operation of the controversial JLR.

In the last few years, Veolia Environnement sold its Israeli subsidiaries piecemeal. In September 2013, the company sold its local bus services subsidiary to Afikim Company and in April 2015, water, waste and energy activities in Israel were also sold to the US-based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management. At the same time, Veolia tried to distance itself from the JLR by decreasing its holdings in Veolia Transportation – the multinational’s transport services division. In 2011, Veolia Transportation was merged with Transdev UK, leaving Veolia with a 50% share in the new company. To further blur Veolia’s involvement in the JLR, the new subsidiary – Veolia Transdev, changed its name to Transdev.

Simultaneously, Veolia negotiated with the Israeli Ministry of Transportation its way out of Jerusalem. In 2010, the Ministry has effectively blocked Veolia’s attempts to sell its holdings in the light rail to the local Egged Company. It did so by demanding previous international experience form the replacing operator. Due to the controversy surrounding the light rail, it appeared that international companies were hesitant to take on Veolia’s role, additionally with an unexperienced local transportation sector, Veolia was unable to sell Connex Jerusalem and its minority share in CityPass for years. Apparently, negotiations have now ended with the removal of the Israeli government’s objection to an unexperienced buyer and the acceptance of the CityPass consortium as capable rail operator.


As of August 2015, Veolia Environnement is no longer active in the Israeli market and in the occupied Palestinian territory. Nevertheless, the company has left behind irreversible facts on the ground. The construction of the railway involved the expropriation of occupied land that was not done for the benefit of the occupied population, and hence contradicts international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. The JLR continues to serve the Jewish settlement neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem and passes daily through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Shuafat, by doing so it will play a substantial role in the reinforcement of Israeli sovereignty over occupied East Jerusalem for years to come.

Only after a final determination of the owner of Transdev’s former 5% share in CityPass, Who Profits Research Center will remove the profiles of Veolia Environnement, Transdev and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations(CDC) from its database.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan Bank: US Sanctions Could Lead to Direct Ruble-Yen Swaps

Sputnik – 03.09.2015

VLADIVOSTOK – The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is turning to currency swaps as using the US dollar in transactions is difficult because of the Western anti-Russia sanctions, the bank’s senior managing director said answering a question from Sputnik.

“We’re now studying that [the effects of ruble devaluation]. We need some of the swap arrangements with the local banks. We are elaborating opportunities with Russian banks such as Gazprombank, VTB, VEB… Because of the US sanctions, we cannot use the US dollar anymore, we have to switch to other currencies,” Tadashi Maeda said on Thursday, speaking after a conference at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

Commenting on the usage of the ruble in swaps, he noted that its interest rate is very high at the moment and this could “hinder” the swaps.

China launched swaps and forwards between the yuan and the Russian ruble in December 2014, making the ruble the 11th currency in the yuan swaps trading.

In October of last year, the Bank of Russia and the People’s Bank of China reached a three-year agreement on currency swaps worth more than $2.4 billion.

In April, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that he expected the overall trade turnover between China and Russia to reach $100 billion in 2015.

Russia is currently holding the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the city of Vladivostok.

This is the first time that Russia has decided to hold a forum in the Far East since the introduction of Western sanctions over Moscow’s alleged involvement in Ukraine’s internal conflict, something that Russia has repeatedly denied.

China is sending an official government delegation and members of its business community to the EEF.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment