Aletho News


The ISIS Conspiracy: US-Israeli-Saudi Intrigue (Part 2)

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | September 6, 2015

In part 2 of the “ISIS Conspiracy” series, Brandon Martinez of Non-Aligned Media unravels the intricate web of deceit and double-dealing that lies behind the manufactured ISIS phenomenon, and shows how the US and Israel have for decades plotted behind the scenes to implode the Middle East.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Germany is ‘exploiting’ refugee suffering to recruit ‘slaves’ via mass immigration – Marine Le Pen

RT | September 7, 2015

As Germany welcomes thousands of refugees, with industries seeking ways to integrate newcomers into country’s workforce, Berlin’s move to temporarily bypass EU-wide regulations has met strong criticism from France’s Marine Le Pen who accused Germany of recruiting “slaves.”

The German drive to open its doors to refugees, as well as debated plans to resettle asylum seekers across the EU has been met with strong criticism from a number of politicians, including the leader of right-wing French party National Front, Marine Le Pen who accused Germany of imposing its immigration policy on the EU.

“Germany probably thinks its population is moribund, and it is probably seeking to lower wages and continue to recruit slaves through mass immigration,” Marine Le Pen said in Marseille, refusing to admit that pure benevolence was Germany’s only motive.

Le Pen criticised European politicians for “exploiting the suffering of these poor people who cross the Mediterranean Sea.”

“They are exploiting the death of the unfortunate in these trips organized by mafia, they show pictures, they exhibit the death of a child without any dignity just to blame the European consciences and make them accept the current situation,” the National Front leader said.

Following days of chaos and uncertainty, thousands of refugees – mostly Syrians – were bused from Hungary to Austria, and then brought by train to Germany, after the countries agreed on allowing migrants access, bypassing the Dublin Regulation.

By Sunday night almost 11,000 migrants arrived in Germany, authorities in Munich said. Germany in August registered more than 100,000 asylum seekers with some 800,000 refugees overall expected to come to Germany in total this year – four times the level of last year.

However, Le Pen blamed Germany for its policies which will affect the whole of the European Union.

“Germany seeks not only to rule our economy, it wants to force us to accept hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers,” she said, adding that France would not open its doors to the “world’s misery.”

While the French National Front leader criticized German actions and their potential knock-on effect in the EU, Turkish PM Ahmed Davutoglu said that German portion of the refugees influx is “ridiculously small.” He accused the EU of building a “Christian fortress” in Europe, pointing out that Turkey had already accommodated more than two million people from Syria and Iraq.

The Turkish PM’s comments came in reply to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s statements calling for the defense of Europe’s prosperity, identity and “Christian values” against Muslim migrants. On Sunday, the Hungarian PM, accused Germany of exacerbating the refugee crisis.

“As long as Austria and Germany don’t say clearly that they won’t take in any more migrants, several million new immigrants will come to Europe,” Orban told Austrian broadcaster ORF.

Austria has already announced that it planned to end emergency measures that have allowed thousands of refugees in Hungary entry into Austria and Germany, but provided no exact details.

“We have always said this is an emergency situation in which we must act quickly and humanely. We have helped more than 12,000 people in an acute situation,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said. “Now we have to move step-by-step away from emergency measures toward normality, in conformity with the law and dignity.”

Meanwhile even in the face of criticism, the Germans are doing everything to warmly welcome and help the newcomers. Berlin plans to introduce a supplementary budget to free up funds for the refugees while the business elite is looking to utilize migrant skills to close the gap in the lack of professional and skilled labor on the market.

On Saturday German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that hosting the migrants will cost the government, federal states and municipalities 10 billion euros this year as opposed to 2.4 billion euros in 2014. Angela Merkel meanwhile announced that Germany can cope with refugees without raising taxes.

Big businesses are optimistic about prospects for integrating the refugees into the German workforce, as an aging population in the country and low birth rate are eating away at its pool of skilled labor.

“If we can integrate them quickly into the jobs market, we’ll be helping the refugees, but also helping ourselves as well,” the head of the powerful BDI industry federation, Ulrich Grillo, said this week, cited by AFP.

Germany with its 6.4 percent unemployment rate is still short of 140,000 engineers, programmers and technicians. The healthcare and leisure sectors are also low on skilled workers, with sociological research showing that shortage of qualified workers will rise to 1.8 million in 2020. If nothing is done to reverse the trend as many as 3.9 million jobs will need to be filled by 2040.

The influx of migrants could therefore be the answer as many of them are young and have “really good qualifications,” said Grillo.

Meanwhile the flow of migrants risking the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean shows no sign of easing. More than 2,600 have died this year making the journey. But despite the massive influx of refugees and the flawed EU asylum system, the UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said the crisis was “manageable.”

“The European asylum system is deeply dysfunctional, it works badly. Some countries make the necessary effort, and the effort of many others is nearly non-existent,” he told French radio station RFI and the TV5Monde television channel.

Guterres’s comments came as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble urged EU states to “act together” to come up with a single EU-wide policy. Faymann meanwhile said there is “no alternative to a common European solution.”

On Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is scheduled to present a plan to relocate 120,000 refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary. Under the new arrangement Germany is to accept a further 31,000 migrants, followed by France with 24,000 and Spain with almost 15,000, Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

Israel building separation wall to keep refugees out

Press TV – September 6, 2015

Amid what is being referred to as the worst refugee crisis since WWII, the Israeli regime has announced construction of a separation wall to keep them out.

During a weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a 30-kilometer fence is being constructed along Israel’s border with Jordan to stop “migrants,” he associated with terrorists, to enter Israel.

Israel finished the construction of a 230-kilometer wall along the Egyptian border in 2013; it also has set up fences along the border with Lebanon and along the line between Syria and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Most of the West Bank has also been split by a barrier.

According to Bibi, the wall would connect with the Egyptian barrier and that construction has started along Israel’s eastern border between the city of Eilat and near the site of a new airport in Timna Valley.

“We will continue the fence up to the Golan Heights,” said the Israeli premier. “We will not allow Israel to be submerged by a wave of illegal migrants and terrorist activists.”

Golan Heights has been under the Israeli occupation since the 1960s. The Tel Aviv regime captured 1,200 square kilometers of the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed the region in 1981.

Netanyahu cited Israeli’s “very small” size and lack of “geographic depth or demographic depth” as the reasons behind the measures.

His comments came amid a refugee crisis in Europe due to influx of asylum seekers from conflict-ridden countries in Africa and the Middle East.

The United Nations estimates that 300,000 people have left the Middle East and North Africa for Europe this year, but 2,500 have died in their attempt, mainly through dangerous voyages across the Mediterranean in rickety boats. Media reports, however, say 350,000 have crossed into Europe this year.

Many of the world’s asylum seekers are ill-fated Syrians, fleeing the violence perpetrated by the Daesh Takfiri group.

According to documents from Israeli hospitals, the regime’s army has paid millions of dollars for the costs of treatment to the foreign-sponsored militants, injured during battles with Syrian government forces since 2011.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

U.S. Drops Fleas With Bubonic Plague on North Korea

By David Swanson – War Is A Crime – September 5, 2015

This happened some 63 years ago, but as the U.S. government has never stopped lying about it, and it’s generally known only outside the United States, I’m going to treat it as news.

Here in our little U.S. bubble we’ve heard of a couple versions of a film called The Manchurian Candidate. We’ve heard of the general concept of “brainwashing” and may even associate it with something evil that the Chinese supposedly did to U.S. prisoners during the Korean War. And I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who’ve heard of these things have at least a vague sense that they’re bullshit.

If you didn’t know, I’ll break it to you right now: people cannot actually be programed like the Manchurian candidate, which was a work of fiction. There was never the slightest evidence that China or North Korea had done any such thing. And the CIA spent decades trying to do such a thing, and finally gave up.

I’d also be willing to bet that very few people know what it was that the U.S. government promoted the myth of “brainwashing” to cover up. During the Korean War, the United States bombed virtually all of North Korea and a good bit of the South, killing millions of people. It dropped massive quantities of Napalm. It bombed dams, bridges, villages, houses. This was all-out mass-slaughter. But there was something the U.S. government didn’t want known, something deemed unethical in this genocidal madness.

It is well documented that the United States dropped on China and North Korea insects and feathers carrying anthrax, cholera, encephalitis, and bubonic plague. This was supposed to be a secret at the time, and the Chinese response of mass vaccinations and insect eradication probably contributed to the project’s general failure (hundreds were killed, but not millions). But members of the U.S. military taken prisoner by the Chinese confessed to what they had been a part of, and confessed publicly when they got back to the United States.

Some of them had felt guilty to begin with. Some had been shocked at China’s decent treatment of prisoners after U.S. depictions of the Chinese as savages. For whatever reasons, they confessed, and their confessions were highly credible, were borne out by independent scientific reviews, and have stood the test of time.

How to counter reports of the confessions? The answer for the CIA and the U.S. military and their allies in the corporate media was “brainwashing,” which conveniently explained away whatever former prisoners said as false narratives implanted in their brains by brainwashers.

And 300 million of so Americans more or less sort of believe that craziest-ever dog-ate-my-homework concoction to this day!

The propaganda struggle was intense. The support of the Guatemalan government for the reports of U.S. germ warfare in China were part of the U.S. motivation for overthrowing the Guatemalan government; and the same cover-up was likely part of the motivation for the CIA’s murder of Frank Olson.

There isn’t any debate that the United States had been working on bio-weapons for years, at Fort Detrick — then Camp Detrick — and numerous other locations. Nor is there any question that the United States employed the top bio-weapons killers from among both the Japanese and the Nazis from the end of World War II onward. Nor is there any question that the U.S. tested such weapons on the city of San Francisco and numerous other locations around the United States, and on U.S. soldiers. There’s a museum in Havana featuring evidence of years of U.S. bio-warfare against Cuba. We know that Plum Island, off the tip of Long Island, was used to test the weaponization of insects, including the ticks that created the ongoing outbreak of Lyme Disease.

Dave Chaddock’s book This Must Be the Place, which I found via Jeff Kaye’s review, collects the evidence that the United States indeed tried to wipe out millions of Chinese and North Koreans with deadly diseases.

“What does it matter now?” I can imagine people from only one corner of the earth asking.

I reply that it matters that we know the evils of war and try to stop the new ones. U.S. cluster bombs in Yemen, U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, U.S. guns in Syria, U.S. white phosphorus and Napalm and depleted uranium used in recent years, U.S. torture in prison camps, U.S. nuclear arsenals being expanded, U.S. coups empowering monsters in Ukraine and Honduras, U.S. lies about Iranian nukes, and indeed U.S. antagonization of North Korea as part of that never-yet-ended war — all of these things can be best confronted by people aware of a centuries-long pattern of lying.

And I reply, also, that it is not yet too late to apologize.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

The Rise of the Inhumanes

By Paul Craig Roberts – Sputnik – 02.09.2015

America’s descent into totalitarian violence is accelerating. Like the Bush regime, the Obama regime has a penchant for rewarding Justice (sic) Department officials who trample all over the US Constitution. Last year America’s First Black President nominated David Barron to be a judge on the First US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Barron is responsible for the Justice (sic) Department memo that gave the legal OK for Obama to murder a US citizen with a missile fired from a drone.

The execution took place without charges presented to a court, trial, and conviction. The target was a religious man whose sermons were believed by the paranoid Obama regime to encourage jihadism.

Apparently, it never occurred to Obama or the Justice (sic) Department that Washington’s mass murder and displacement of millions of Muslims in seven countries was all that was needed to encourage jihadism. Sermons would be redundant and would comprise little else but moral outrage after years of mass murder by Washington in pursuit of hegemony in the Middle East.

Barron’s confirmation ran into opposition from some Republicans, some Democrats, and the American Civil Liberties Union, but the US Senate confirmed Barron by a vote of 53-45 in May 2014. Just think, you could be judged in “freedom and democracy America” by a fiend who legalized extra-judicial murder.While awaiting his reward, Barron had a post on the faculty of the Harvard Law School, which tells you all you need to know about law schools. His wife ran for governor of Massachusetts. Elites are busy at work replacing law with power.

America now has as an appeals court judge, no doubt being groomed for the Supreme Court, who established the precedent in US law that, the Constitution not withstanding, American citizens can be executed without a trial.

Did law school faculties object? Not Georgetown law professor David Cole, who enthusiastically endorsed the new legal principle of execution without trial. Professor Cole put himself on the DOJ’s list of possible federal judicial appointees by declaring his support for Barron, whom he described as “thoughtful, considerate, open-minded, and brilliant.”

Once a country descends into evil, it doesn’t emerge.

The precedent  for Obama’s appointment of Barron was George W. Bush’s appointment of Jay Scott Bybee to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Bybee was John Yoo’s Justice (sic) Department colleague who co-authored the “legal” memos justifying torture despite US federal statutory law and international law prohibiting torture.  Everyone knew that torture was illegal, including those practicing it, but these two fiends provided a legal pass for the practitioners of torture.  Not even Pinochet in Chile went this far.

Bybee and Yoo got rid of torture by calling it “enhanced interrogation techniques.”  As Wikipedia reports, these techniques are considered to be torture by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, medical experts who treat torture victims, intelligence officials, America’s allies, and even by the Justice (sic) Department.Others who objected to the pass given to torture by Bybee and Yoo were Secretary of State Colin Powell, US Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora, and even Philip Zelikow, who orchestrated the 9/11 Commission coverup for the Bush regime.

After five years of foot-dragging, the Justice (sic) Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that Bybee and his deputy John Yoo committed “professional misconduct” by providing legal advice that was in violation of international and federal laws. The DOJ’s office of Professional Responsibility recommended that Bybee and Yoo be referred to the bar associations of the states where they were licensed for further disciplinary action and possible disbarment.

But Bybee and Yoo were saved by a regime-compliant Justice (sic) Department official, David Margolis, who concluded that Bybee and Yoo had used “poor judgement” but had not provided wrong legal advice.

So, today, instead of being disbarred, Bybee sits on a federal court just below the Supreme Court. John Yoo teaches constitutional law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Boalt Hall.

Try to imagine what has happened to America when Harvard and Berkeley law professors create legal justifications for torture and extra-judicial murder, and when US presidents engage in these heinous crimes.  Clearly America is exceptional in its immorality, lack of human compassion, and disrespect for law and its founding document.

Hitler and Stalin would be astonished at the ease with which totalitarianism has marched through American institutions. Now we have a West Point professor of law teaching the US military justifications for murdering American critics of war and the police state. Also here. The professor’s article is here.

William C. Bradford, the professor teaching our future military officers to regard moral Americans as threats to national security, blames Walter Cronkite for loosing the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War by reporting the offensive as an American defeat.  Tet was an American defeat in the sense that the offensive proved that the “defeated” enemy was capable of a massive offensive against US forces. The offensive succeeded in the sense that it demonstrated to Americans that the war was far from over. The implication of Bradford’s argument is that Cronkite should have been killed for his broadcasts that added to the doubts about American success.

The professor claims to have a list of 40 people who tell the truth who must be exterminated, or our country is lost. Here we have the full confession that Washington’s agenda cannot survive truth.

I am unaware of any report that the professor has been censored or fired for his disrespect for the constitutionally protected right of freedom of expression.

However, I have seen reports of professors destroyed because they criticized Israel’s war crimes, or used a word or term prohibited by political correctness, or were insufficiently appreciative of the privileges of “preferred minorities.”

What this tells us is that morality is sidetracked into self-serving agendas while evil overwhelms the morality of society.

Welcome to America today.  It is a land in which facts have been redefined as  enemy propaganda, a land in which legally protected whistleblowers are redefined as  “fifth columns” or foreign agents subject to extermination, a land in which America is immune from criticism and all crimes are blamed on those whom Washington intends to rule.

Barron, Bybee, Yoo, and Bradford are members of a new species—the Inhumanes—that has risen from the poisonous American environment of arrogance, hubris, and paranoia.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Real Refugee Problem – And How To Solve It

By Ron Paul | September 6, 2015

Last week Europe saw one of its worst crises in decades. Tens of thousands of migrants entered the European Union via Hungary, demanding passage to their hoped-for final destination, Germany.

While the media focuses on the human tragedy of so many people uprooted and traveling in dangerous circumstances, there is very little attention given to the events that led them to leave their countries. Certainly we all feel for the displaced people, especially the children, but let’s not forget that this is a man-made crisis and it is a government-made crisis.

The reason so many are fleeing places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq is that US and European interventionist foreign policy has left these countries destabilized with no hopes of economic recovery. This mass migration from the Middle East and beyond is a direct result of the neocon foreign policy of regime change, invasion, and pushing “democracy” at the barrel of a gun.

Even when they successfully change the regime, as in Iraq, what is left behind is an almost uninhabitable country. It reminds me of the saying attributed to a US major in the Vietnam War, discussing the bombing of Ben Tre: “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”

The Europeans share a good deal of blame as well. France and the UK were enthusiastic supporters of the attack on Libya and they were early backers of the “Assad must go” policy. Assad may not be a nice guy, but the forces that have been unleashed to overthrow him seem to be much worse and far more dangerous. No wonder people are so desperate to leave Syria.

Most of us have seen the heartbreaking photo of the young Syrian boy lying drowned on a Turkish beach. While the interventionists are exploiting this tragedy to call for direct US attacks on the Syrian government, in fact the little boy was from a Kurdish family fleeing ISIS in Kobane. And as we know there was no ISIS in either Iraq or Syria before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

As often happens when there is blowback from bad foreign policy, the same people who created the problem think they have a right to tell us how to fix it – while never admitting their fault in the first place.

Thus we see the disgraced General David Petraeus in the news last week offering his solution to the problem in Syria: make an alliance with al-Qaeda against ISIS! Petraeus was head of the CIA when the US launched its covert regime-change policy in Syria, and he was in charge of the “surge” in Iraq that contributed to the creation of al-Qaeda and ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The idea that the US can salvage its disastrous Syria policy by making an alliance with al-Qaeda is horrific. Does anyone think the refugee problem in Syria will not be worse if either al-Qaeda or ISIS takes over the country?

Here is the real solution to the refugee problem: stop meddling in the affairs of other countries. Embrace the prosperity that comes with a peaceful foreign policy, not the poverty that goes with running an empire. End the Empire!

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gaza water shortage catastrophic: ‘We can’t drink, cook or wash with it’


RT | September 6, 2015

More than 90 percent of the Gaza Strip’s water is undrinkable. The rest is quickly running out. A combination of factors is rapidly depriving the population of this most basic of needs. RT investigated day-to-day life under these conditions.

Just one fresh water source exists today, according to the locals – a coastal aquifer beneath the ground that is shared with Israel and Egypt. But Gaza is situated downstream from Israel, and Palestinians accuse the Jewish state of using the situation to its advantage, employing water deprivation as a tactic against the civilian population.

The grim water statistics are part of a recent UN report on Gaza, which says the strip will become uninhabitable by 2020. A number of reasons compound the problems, according to the document by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Gaza Strip’s GDP dropped 15 percent in 2014, with 72 percent of households suffering extremely low food security and unemployment at a record high of 44 percent. Further stress was added by relentless Israeli assaults. With three military operations in the last six years, coupled with eight years of economic blockade, prospects for recovery are looking very bleak.

The UN says that 500,000 people have been displaced in Gaza as a result of last year’s Israeli operation alone. More than 20,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, and 148 schools and 15 hospitals and 45 primary health-care centers were severely damaged. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

But worse still is when the populace is deprived of the prime source of life – water. Without it, no reconstruction and no rebuilding of lives can take place. Medicine, sanitation, hygiene and crucial facilities that depend on water all suffer.

RT investigated the extent of the hardship under these conditions.

“We can’t drink it, cook with it, or wash in the kitchen with it… we are forced to buy all the clean water separately,” said Umm Ibrahim Amna Abdel’al, as she stood in her kitchen, little more four bare cement walls and a sink.

A delivery pickup truck trundled through the streets outside with a water tank sitting in the back.

“The last war on Gaza, of course, resulted in the destruction of some of the infrastructure, the water holes and the pumping stations were [heavily hit.] More than 50 percent of the water infrastructure could not be accessed,” said Mahmoud Elkhafif, UNCTAD’s special coordinator for assistance to the Palestinian people.

“Part, of course, vanished,” he added.

RT’s Lizzie Phelan tasted what remains of the Strip’s water for herself: “This coffee tastes like it has salt not sugar in it. That’s because the water that’s used to wash it – like much of Gaza’s water – is contaminated with sea water.”

The woman went on to describe how “tiny kids suffer from cramps and colic” – a syndrome commonly associated with stomach infections.

“See my hand?” she pointed to the irritated skin on her palm. “It is because of the salty water. I have a skin infection. The water is full of salt. It is like sewage.”

And salt isn’t the only problem. The water coming into homes is also full of nitrate – a carcinogen. The levels rose even higher last year, during Israel’s bombardment of sewage pipes and clean water pipes. Now, the two chemicals have mixed.

But even though the water is filthy, Gazans pay exorbitantly for it.

Elkhafif put it bluntly: “Gaza suffers a catastrophic issue with water quality and water supply. And it’s a shame on the world that they are still watching this.”

Unless the situation is resolved, the Strip stands on the brink of a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe much greater than any airstrikes can cause.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Labeling Israeli Settlement Products Not Good Enough

By Stephen Lendman | September 6, 2015

Last spring, 16 European foreign ministers urged EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to require labeling of all Israeli settlement products – so consumers can buy or avoid them at their discretion.

Labeling is “an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy,” they said. At best, it’s symbolic. At worst, a weak-kneed gesture with no meaningful effect on Israel’s economy.

By year-end or sooner, the EU is expected to decide up or down on labeling. Mogherini said “(t)he work is close to being finished but it is still ongoing.” If implemented, it’ll only be a guideline, not mandated policy. Individual EU states can do what they please – showing what’s being considered is a sham, an insult to long-suffering Palestinians.

Some EU nations already intend to require labeling – regardless of what the European Commission decides. “We have to make sure that consumers can distinguish products that come from the territories occupied by Israel,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said.

Over 600,000 Israelis live on stolen Palestinian land – in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Numbers keep increasing exponentially – Palestinians forcibly displaced from their land for exclusive Jewish development.

Palestinian human rights groups justifiably demand a total boycott of all Israeli settlement products. In 2013, Al Haq prepared a report titled “Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States under International Law.”

“Given that trading in settlement goods amounts to a form of recognition and supports the sustainability of entities that violate peremptory norms of international law, a ban on settlement products… is to be considered amongst those actions that Third Party States should undertake to comply with their customary international law obligations,” it states.

Al Haq director Shawan Jabarin said products from settlements “help to sustain their very existence.”

“As things stand, the EU is doing little more than ticking a box by acknowledging that settlements are illegal. Until they support this rhetoric with action and ensure that no assistance or recognition are provided to settlements, even indirectly, any such criticism will continue to be meaningless.”

The EU is Israel’s largest trading partner. Settlement products represent a minuscule percent of Israeli exports. At the same time, they’re important “for the economic viability of many settlements,” the report said.

Economist Shir Hever said “(t)he significance of ending the import of colony products is much larger than the direct financial effect.”

“It (would be) a strong statement reminding Israel of the illegality of the colonization of the West Bank, and a blow to many Israeli and international companies who have turned the occupation into a source of profit.”

It would be a shot across the bow against all Israeli enterprises – a hopeful first step toward greater boycott and divestment from an apartheid state, aiming for total isolation.

Currently, nothing indicates business as usual changing. The 2000 EU/Israel Association Agreement governs relations between the Parties, including strengthening economic cooperation and trade.

Human rights groups blasted the enhanced partnership – showing EU officials say one thing and do another, effectively supporting Israeli high crimes.

After decades of mass slaughter and destruction, ethnic cleansing, illegal occupation and oppression, as well as international complicity with Israeli ruthlessness, mandated boycott, divestment and sanctions more than ever are essential – continued until Israel:

  • recognizes Palestinian self-determination unconditionally;
  • strictly observes international laws, norms and standards;
  • ends its illegal occupation and Gaza blockade unconditionally;
  • ends illegal aggression and all other hostile acts;
  • dismantles its Separation Wall;
  • frees all Palestinian political prisoners unconditionally;
  • grants Israeli Arabs equal rights as Jews;
  • ends apartheid racism;
  • complies with UN resolution 194, affirming the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homes and property or be fully compensated for loss or damage if they prefer;
  • recognizes East Jerusalem as Palestine’s exclusive capital within June 1967 borders; and
  • gives Palestinians control over their land, borders, air space, coastal waters and resources.

Ending Israeli high crimes against defenseless Palestinians is long overdue. Nothing less than its full observance of international law is tolerable.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran’s Growing Questions About The Sanctions

By Kaveh L. Afrasiabi | Eurasia Review | September 5, 2015

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has instructed the Parliament (Majlis) to review and vote on the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers in July, and has also questioned the parts of the deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that refer to the suspension rather than annulment of Iran sanctions.

Khamenei’s latest statement, raising questions about the JCPOA, comes at a time when various US officials devote most of their energy assuring the skeptics about the “snap back” and the like, instead of clarifying the nature and timeline of their removal of Iran sanctions; this is not to mention the unpleasant language of military threat that has resurfaced in full fury since the breakthrough agreement in Vienna.

With respect to Iran’s parliamentary approval, Ali Larijani, the powerful speaker of Majlis who was recently in New York for an inter-parliamentary meeting, told an Iranian audience that he foresees a more energetic role by Majlis on the nuclear issue in the near future. Larijani, who backs the deal and is considered an important ally of President Hassan Rouhani, will have his work cut out for him, in light of the strong reservations toward the deal by the majority faction known as the Principalists, some of whom have clashed with the members of the negotiation team who have testified at Majlis.

Henceforth, while President Obama has declared victory by securing the Congressional votes that safeguards the nuclear deal from any derailment by the opponents of the deal, the situation in Iran is turning more complicated and casts a cloud of uncertainty on the JCPOA’s future.

One of the thorny issues is the separate agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is confidential and is key to resolving the disputes over the so-called “Possible Military Dimension” (PMD) issues and concerns raised by the agency. Since this agreement is confidential, it is unclear if the members of Majlis will be privy to information about it, which might be essential to their ultimate verdict on the agreement.

According to the head of IAEA, Yukiya Amano, the PMD agreement is moving forward with Iran’s submission of substantial new information, and the issue is set to be resolved before the year’s end, assuming a smooth progress. Should the IAEA press for access to certain military sites, then this would certainly complicate the prospect of PMD’s resolution in the next three months. And since the IAEA’s certification of Iran’s compliance is key to the removal of sanctions, the whole issue has raised concerns in Iran that the IAEA might be manipulated by certain powers to refrain from giving Iran a ‘clean bill of health’ in order to linger the cloud of suspicion on Iran’s head and also to delay the sanctions’ relief, which is badly needed for the struggling Iranian economy, in light of the declining oil prices.

From Tehran’s vantage point, it is imperative that the other side provides further guarantees that it will stick to the terms of its obligations under the JCPOA and avoid bad-faith implementation that would erode the trust-building between the two sides. Tehran is certainly disquieted by the “liberal imperialist” American discourse that reinterprets the JCPOA as a means of “containing Iran” and uses it as a hammer to knock down Iranian power in the region.

The earlier expectations of the JCPOA as a prelude for the normalization of US-Iran relations has been to some extent evaporated, replaced instead by a new mood of mutual hostility — that is disfunctional for the vested interests of both sides, given the potential for incremental improvement and even select US-Iran cooperation on regional issues provided by the landmark agreement. Khamenei has questioned the hawkish anti-Iran pronouncements of US officials and former officials, which some view as directed for “domestic consumption” only, stating that such statements carry consequences and must be rebuffed by Iran.

In light of the above-said, the adoption and implementation of JCPOA faces many hurdles including in Iran, where the coming parliamentary elections have added sprinkles of political factionalism to the issue. While it remains to be seen how the critics of JCPOA inside the Majlis will utilize the green light by the Supreme Leader, what is clear however is that U.S. policy-makers have yet to jailbreak from the confines of “containment” strategy and its binary divisions, as a result of which the prospects for a genuine evolution of Iran-U.S. relations continues to remain suspended.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment