Aletho News


MH17: What we know on eve of Dutch Safety Board report

RT | October 12, 2015

On Tuesday, the Dutch Safety Board will release its final report on the fate of the crashed Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight. Ahead of the report’s publication we take a look at the key facts, theories and false trails surrounding the investigation.

The crash of Malaysian flight MH17 took place on July 17, 2014, in Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew members onboard, among them 80 children.

The international probe launched immediately after the crash has taken 15 months to prepare.

Preliminary findings claimed that the plane broke up mid-air after being hit by high-energy objects. The final report of the Dutch Safety Board is expected to be delivered on Tuesday, October 13.


On July 23, 2014, it was confirmed that the MH17 black boxes were delivered by Dutch officials to a British laboratory for analysis, promising results “inside 24 hours.” That was nearly 15 months ago and the general public is still unfamiliar with this data. The mainstream media were quick to point the finger at Russia right from the start, claiming that Moscow was responsible for bringing down the plane.

Western media carried strong anti-Russian headlines, most of them blaming President Putin personally for the deaths of all the passengers and crew on board.

That was well before any investigators had even reached the crash site, and the allegations were based on snap judgments and little information. The day after the crash, Ukraine released what it called “intercepted phone conversations,” allegedly proving that anti-government fighters shot down MH17 by mistake. Kiev also alleged that the rebels obtained a BUK air defense missile system from Russia. Moscow dismissed the tapes that could not be verified independently as outright fakes.


Actually, there are two separate international probes into the crash – the technical probe led by the Dutch Safety Board, which is due to present in conclusions on Tuesday, and a criminal probe, carried out by a Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team, which is still ongoing.

While the Dutch Safety Board is looking into what caused the accident, the criminal probe is supposed to reach a conclusion on who was responsible for the crash.

Russia has appealed to the head of the UN aviation agency to intervene in the investigation into the MH17 crash to prevent the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) from ignoring the findings of their Russian counterparts.

A letter from the Deputy Chief of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) claims that the DSB ignored “comprehensive information” relating to the downing of the Boeing 777 over war-torn Eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, provided by the Russian side and violated the principle of “sequence of conclusions.”

There are two main theories as to what brought down the plane, and both imply use of weapons: either a surface-to-air missile, or an air-to-air missile.

Theory #1: ‘Russian BUK Missile’

The Dutch Safety Board delivered a preliminary report about a year ago, concluding that flight MH17 broke up in mid-air and came down after being hit by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the plane from the outside and ruptured the fuselage. The report did not mention where those high-energy objects came from.

The first theory maintains that the MH17 flight was downed by a surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile. It is considered by many as the most likely theory and one that’s been widely cited in the media. The only question is who did it.

The West and Ukraine claim the rebels shot the plane with a Russian BUK missile. In the framework of this theory, a YouTube video of a BUK weapons system with one rocket missing being transported somewhere in Ukraine just hours after the crash was presented as a smoking gun, claiming that the missile system was sneakily cleared out of Ukraine into Russia.

But some local bloggers identified the location as the Ukrainian town of Krasnoarmeysk, which was under control of the Kiev forces at the time.

The fact that the video emerged online suspiciously quickly, was followed by lots of so-called social media evidence, and is almost impossible to authenticate, only fueled suspicions.

Theory #2: ‘Ukrainian BUK missile’

At the same time Russia’s Defense Ministry made public satellite images of the area, taken several days prior to the crash. The satellite pictures showed Ukrainian army positions on three days before the crash, and a BUK missile launcher could be spotted there. But on the day of the crash, it had moved somewhere else. The question is why – and where it had gone?

In June 2015, Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey presented the results of its own probe into the causes of the MH17 crash. Looking into the option of a surface-to-air missile downing the Boing-777, experts stressed that it could only have been caused by one of the missiles from an older modification of the BUK missile system, namely the Buk-M1 – the type of the weapon the Ukrainian army is equipped with. The Russian army uses modern and later BUK missile systems.

Theory #3: ‘Air-to-Air Missile’

Another theory is that Flight MH17 may have been shot down from the air.

Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) has been conducting its own investigation into the crash. On June 3, the Committee identified the key witness to the MH17 crash as Evgeny Agapov, an aviation armaments mechanic in the Ukrainian Air Force. Agapov testified that on July 17, 2014 a Ukrainian Sukhoi SU-25 jet aircraft piloted by Captain Voloshin “set out for a military task” and returned without ammunition. Agapov implied that an air-to-air missile was missing and claimed he overheard Voloshin say to his colleagues that some plane was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Also, in a video shot by Ukraine’s anti-government militia when they arrived at the crash site immediately after the catastrophe and released by an Australian broadcaster almost a year after the tragedy, one important part was largely ignored.

The video, shown by News Corp Australia, is a short, 5-minute clip made from an original video 17 minutes long, but the channel published online a full transcript of the original version.

The transcript cited the rebel commander as saying “the Sukhoi jet brought down the civilian plane and ours brought down the fighter jet.”

Later, the same person says once again that there were two planes shot down, and another voice in the background says, “They decided to do it this way, to look like we have brought down the plane.”

Those who oppose the theory say the Sukhoi Su-25 close support fighter jet spotted in the skies at the time of the incident cannot reach a height of 10,000 meters, where the Malaysian airliner was at cruising altitude. But a documentary crew making a film about the MH17 catastrophe has actually proven them wrong, staging an experiment and taking an Su-25 to a height of 11,880 meters – with a pilot wearing an oxygen mask.

The report coming out Tuesday will be technical in nature. Its goal is to specify how the plane was brought down, not to place blame on any side. This is the responsibility of the criminal probe, which is still ongoing.

READ MORE: Bogus photos of ‘Russian’ air-defense systems in Ukraine debunked by bloggers

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian child bleeds out while Israeli police & civilians watch, shouting insults

IMEMC & Agencies | October 12, 2015

manasra_ahmad13“Die, you son of a whore!! Die!!” shouted Israeli men at a seriously wounded Palestinian child, who was left to bleed while police stood around him doing nothing. One of the officers repeatedly pushed the boy down with his foot, whenever he tried to sit up.

While the child was bleeding to death, Israelis surrounded him, shouting at him in a mix of Arabic and Hebrew, “Die, you son of a whore!”, “Die, you son of the biggest whore!”, and telling the police to “Do him a favor, and shoot him in the head!”

The officers did not shoot him, but left him bleeding with head injuries, broken legs and other serious injuries on the ground. The boy was able to raise his head a few times, but the police officers kicked him back down.

The Palestinian child has been identified as Hasan Khaled Manasra, 15 years of age, while his cousin Ahmad Saleh Manasra, 13, suffered a serious injury. They are both from Beit Hanina, in Jerusalem.

The incident took place near Pisgat Zeev Israeli settlement, in occupied Jerusalem. The police claimed that the boys stabbed two settlers, wounding them.

A settler who chased the boys with his car also rammed Ahmad. But the police presented no evidence to connect the two children with the crime that they claimed the boys committed. […]

Since October 1st, when two Israelis were killed in a ‘lone wolf’ attack by a Palestinian in Jerusalem, 26 Palestinians have been killed, including a pregnant woman and her two-year old child killed in an Israeli bombing on Sunday morning. Over 1200 Palestinians have been injured, many of them hit by live ammunition fired by Israeli troops at Palestinian demonstrators armed only with stones.

During that time period, no Israelis have been killed beyond the two who died in the October 1st attack, but six have been wounded in alleged attacks by Palestinians. No Palestinian faction has claimed responsibility for any attack, and it appears that the Palestinians who wounded Israelis were acting on their own.

In addition, Israeli authorities have been revealed on several occasions to have lied about the Palestinians they have killed – claiming falsely that the Palestinians had been attempting to stab or attack Israelis, but eyewitness and video evidence disproved this claim in a number of cases. – Full article with video (warning, extremely graphic)

The youtube upload at IMEMC has been taken down. Therefore I am posting another upload here and will attempt to maintain a working upload.

By Rima Najjar Merriman

This incredibly shocking and painful-to-watch video in the Jewish colony of Pisgat Ze’ev in annexed and occupied East #‎Jerusalem is being shared on Israeli social media sites. The #‎Palestinian teenager (Ahmad Manasra, 13) is surrounded by Israeli police and Jewish “settlers” hurling insults at him, as he bleeds to death. The circumstances of the shooting are unclear. My ex-colleague at Al-Quds University (Randa Hilal) writes: “What’s happening is a new #‎Nakba, new terror and forced displacement of the [Palestinian] people of #Jerusalem. They are killing school children. Today, three school children were killed, the latest a girl from Al-Ma’mounieh school. A [Jewish] colonist threw a knife next to her and started screaming for her to be shot.”

الي بصير نكبة جديدة وأسلوب جديد وترهيب وتهجير لاهالي القدس
عم يقتلو أطفال مدارس
اليوم ٣ أطفال آخرهم بنت من مدرسه المامونيه مستوطن رمى سكينه جنبها وصار يصيح قتلوها

I downloaded this clip from the FB wall of Mira Atmi (…), who has the following comment in Hebrew attached to it (The terrorist bastard in Pisgat Ze’ev in Jerusalem):

המחבל הבן זונה בפסגת זאב בירושלים
(The terrorist bastard Pisgat Ze’ev in Jerusalem)

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Settler attacks international – eats notebook

International Solidarity Movement | October 12, 2015

Hebron, occupied Palestine – Yesterday afternoon, two girls were arrested by Israeli forces in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). International human rights observers documenting the ungrounded arrest were harassed by settlers in front of the Israeli police station.

Two young school-girls, aged 14 and 16, were stopped by Israeli forces at one of the many checkpoints at Ibrahimi mosque. Israeli forces accused them of having a knife and walked them to the police station at the Ibrahimi mosque. Both of them were eventually released after being taken to the police station in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, which clearly illustrates that the arrest was based on a random accusation. Child arrests in the recent weeks have skyrocketed in al-Khalil, with children facing the threat of arrest at any given time of the day. The rights of Palestinian children in al-Khalil are continuously violated by the Israeli forces, with illegal arrests, ill-treatment during arrests and detentions as well as violent attacks with tear-gas, rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition on children on the increase.

hungry-anat-2International observers, documenting the arrest, were accosted by settlers while waiting outside the police station to find out the names of the children. After about two hours of waiting, the infamous and violent settler Ofer called another group of settlers to come to the police station, amongst them the infamous and aggressive settler woman Anat Cohen. Immediately after her arrival, she confronted the international volunteers and stole a notebook from one of the internationals, attempting to hit her in the face and punch her several times.

In order to make sure that the international would not be able to get her notebook back, Anat Cohen put part of it in her mouth and chewed it up. Even though all of this happened right in front of the police station, about five soldiers and two police men watching everything happen refused to intervene, even when the internationals present repeatedly asked them to stop the attacks. Instead, after they allowed the settlers to leave with the stolen notebook, they told the international to ‘go to Syria’.

Anat Cohen eating the notebook

Anat Cohen eating the notebook

This again illustrates the total impunity settlers are granted by the Israeli forces for their actions, even if it involves internationals – who usually receive more protection under the law than do Palestinians.

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Putin and the Press: The Demonology School of Journalism

By James Petras | October 11, 2015

The major influential western print media are engaged in a prolonged, large-scale effort to demonize Russian President Putin, his politics and persona. There is an article (or several articles) every day in which he is personally stigmatized as a dictator, authoritarian, czar, ‘former KGB operative’ and Soviet-style ruler; anything but the repeatedly elected President of Russia.

He is accused of hijacking Russia from the ‘road to democracy’, as pursued by his grotesquely corrupt predecessor Boris Yeltsin; of directing the bloody repression of the ‘freedom loving Chechens’; of jailing innocent, independent, and critical oligarchs and robber barons; of fomenting an uprising in the ‘democratic, newly pro-Western’ Ukraine and seizing control of Crimea; of backing a ‘bloody tyrant’ in Syria (elected President Bashar Assad) in a civil war against ISIS terrorists; of running the Russian economy into the ground; and of militarily threatening the Baltic and Eastern European NATO member countries.

In a word, the media have propagated an image of an ‘out-of-control autocrat’, who makes a mockery of ‘democratic’ norms and ‘Western values’, and who seeks to revive the ‘Soviet (aka Evil) Empire’.

The corollary is that ‘Western powers’, despite their peace-loving propensities and fraternal attempts to bring Russia into the democratic ‘fold’, have been ‘forced’ to now surround Russia with NATO military bases and missiles; to finance a violent coup in the Ukraine (on Russia’s frontier) and arm the Ukrainian putsch government and neo-fascist militias to ‘restore democracy’ and violently suppress ethnic Russian ‘separatists’ in Eastern Ukraine. We are told that US and EU sanctions against Russia were carefully crafted ‘diplomatic’ measures designed to punish the Moscow ‘aggressor’.

In reality, the Western media has relentlessly demonized Vladimir Putin in a campaign to further NATO military expansion and undermine the Russian economy and its national security. The goal is ultimately to force a ‘regime change’, restoring the neo-liberal elites who had pillaged Russia’s economy during the 1990s and whose brutal economic policies led to the premature death of over 6 million Russians due to deprivation and the collapse of the healthcare system.

Putin: Demon or Realist, Autocrat or Democrat, Vassal or Independent Leader?

The Western media has backed every oligarch, gangster, and fraudster who has gone on trial and been convicted during Putin’s term in office. The propagandists tell us the reason for this affinity between the Western media and the gangster-oligarchs is that these convicted felons, who claim to be ‘political dissidents’ and critics of Putin’s rule, have been dispossessed, and jailed for upholding ‘Western values’.

The Western media conveniently ignore the well-documented studies on the source of the gangster-oligarchs’ wealth: The violent and illegal seizure of multi-billion dollars-worth of natural resources (aluminum, oil and gas), banks, factories, pension funds and real estate. During the Yeltsin period the oligarchs controlled thousands of armed gangsters and engaged in internal warfare during which thousands were killed, including top government regulators, police officials and journalists who dared to oppose or expose their pillage and property grabs.

Putin’s prosecution of a mere fraction of the most notorious oligarch-gangsters has won the support of the vast majority of Russian citizens because it represents a return to law and order and the return of stolen public wealth.

Only the Western media has dared to refer to these convicted felons as ‘political victims and reformers’. They did so because the oligarchs had become the most loyal and submissive assets in the US and EU governments’ efforts to convert Russia into an irreversibly weak vassal state.

The Western media constantly refer to President Putin as the ‘authoritarian ruler’, despite the fact that he has been repeatedly elected by large majorities in competitive elections against Western backed and funded candidates. His popularity is attested to by opinion polls conducted by Western agencies.

In 2015, President Putin’s support soared to over 85%. The pro-Western Russian neo-liberal politicians scored in the low single digits according to the same independent polls.

Clearly the Russian public does not want to return to the poverty and chaos of the Western-backed gangster politics of the 1990s.

Whatever reservations working and middle class Russians have over President Putin’s style of decision-making, they clearly value his crackdown on gangster-controlled elections, Chechen terrorism, and his restoration of Russian military defense of its frontiers, including the annexation of Crimea, following the US-engineered coup in Ukraine.

Every day, the Western media recycle reports of the ‘decline and demise’ of the Russian economy, blaming ‘statist’ mismanagement of the economy by Putin. They claim ‘declining living standards’, the ‘negative growth’ of the economy and the ‘growing isolation’ of an ‘expansionist’ Russia in the face of Western sanctions.

These media claims are laughable. Readily available data demonstrate that living standards of the vast majority of Russian citizens have significantly increased under President Putin’s administration, especially after the utter collapse under the free marketers of the 1990s. Russian workers receive their pay, pensioners their pensions, enterprises their loans – on time. During the ‘free market’ days of Boris Yeltsin, workers went up to a year without pay, pensioners were selling their heirlooms in the street to survive and enterprises paid extortionate interest rates to oligarch-gangster controlled banks! Comparative data, easily obtained, are deliberately ignored by the mass media because it doesn’t fit the demonological narrative.

The mass media present the neo-liberal ‘opposition’ and ‘liberal critics’ as Russian democrats defending ‘Western values’. They forget to mention that these ‘liberal critics’ have been directly funded by Western foundations (National Endowment for Democracy, Soros Foundation, etc.) and Russian non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) with longstanding ties to US and EU governments, intelligence agencies and exiled Russian billionaires. The so-called ‘Russian’ democratic opposition revealed their abject servility to Western interests when they openly supported the Ukrainian coup and Kiev’s bloody assault on ethnic Russian-Ukrainians in the eastern ‘Donbas’ regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Odessa. Whatever shreds of respectability and credibility the ‘democratic opposition’ retained with the Russian public, up to that point, was lost. They were seen for what they are: propaganda arms of Western imperialism and mouth-pieces for neo-fascists.

The Western mass media charge Putin’s government with the same crimes that their own governments commit. After the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland admitted to channeling $5 billion to fund the 2014 coup in Ukraine and after the Polish regime boasted of training far right street fighters, whose mob violence served as a pretext for the coup, and after neo-fascist coalition partners in Odessa of burned alive four dozen ethnic Russian-Ukrainian citizens opposed to the coup, the Western mass media accused Putin of ‘intervening’ in Ukraine. This was because Russia had convoked a referendum in Crimea, in which over 80% of the electorate voted to secede from the illegitimate Ukrainian coup regime and rejoin Russia.

In truth, the Putin government is a victim of the Western power grab in the Ukraine, with Russia having to absorb hundreds of thousands of ethnic Russian refugees driven out of the Donbas, yet the Western media portray Putin as the executioner. Meanwhile the Western coup-makers and their far-right allies are depicted as victims… forced to bomb and decimate the Donbas region.

The charade continued. The Western media portray the subsequent punitive, economic sanctions imposed by the expansionist US and EU on Russia as a result of Putin’s ‘aggression’, referring to Russia’s defense of Crimea’s self-determination and the rights of the millions of bilingual ethnic Russian citizens of Ukraine.

The absurdity and convoluted nature of Western demonological propaganda has reached new even more bizarre heights with their hysteria against Russia’s military support of the secular Syrian government against ISIS and other jihadi terrorists.

The Western mass media have launched a global campaign charging that the Russian air force bombs ‘non-ISIS military bases’, presumably the bases of Western-backed ‘friendly’ jihadi terrorists. This ridiculous ‘reportage’ and its accompanying ‘photos’ were published before the Russian air strikes even took place!!

Apparently timing doesn’t matter in Washington’s ‘alternative universe of lies’!

NATO passed its political line to the media that Russian support for the legitimate regime of President Assad must be discredited; that the Russian presence is ‘provocative’ and responsible for ‘creating tensions’ in the region – after years of Western-sponsored jihadi terrorism against Syria!

Obedient to its masters, the Western media breathlessly ‘reported’ that the Russians were ‘really’ engaged in Syria in order destroy the pro-Western ‘fighters’, leaving ISIS alone.

No credible evidence for this propaganda was ever presented. They trotted out aerial photos of wreckage, which had likely been lifted from previous US bombings.

The media’s clumsy execution of the Pentagon’s line managed to embarrass even the US Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, who backed off of such claims and called for an explanation from Russia. Even Secretary Kerry, who now seeks to secure Putin’s military support for the US against ISIS while withdrawing Russia’s political backing of President Assad, has cautioned the media to modify its line, now that the US favors ‘greater coordination’ with Russia — but under US leadership. The media has recently conformed to this line, although it has not managed to explain how Washington could now work with the demonic President Putin.


Western media is engaged in an intense long-term propaganda campaign to demonize President Putin. Its role is to convince world public opinion and world leaders to blindly follow the US and EU, as well as their ‘allies’ and vassal states, in a campaign to degrade and undermine Russia, and consolidate a unipolar empire under US tutelage.

The Western mass media is important; but it must be remembered that the media is an instrument of imperial state power. Its lies and fabrications, its demonization of leaders, like President Putin, are one part of a global military offensive to establish dominance and to destroy adversaries.

The more intense the imperial campaign, the riskier the power grab, the greater the need to demonize the victims.

This explains how the escalation of the rabid anti-Putin propaganda campaign coincides with the single biggest Western power grab — the Ukraine coup (‘regime change’) — since West Germany annexed East Germany, and NATO and the EU incorporated the Baltic States, Eastern Europe and the Balkans into the West’s strategic alliance. The West’s bloody break-up of the Yugoslav federation was part of this strategic program.

The problem with the Western demonization of adversaries, whether it is Russia, Iran and China today, or earlier Cuba, Libya and Yemen in the past, is that Washington and the EU face severe economic crises at home and military defeats abroad by armed Islamic and nationalist resistance movements.

The US had invested hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up a shaky puppet regime in US-occupied Iraq, yet the US-trained and supplied Iraqi Army fled as the Baathist-Islamist ‘ISIS’ quickly over-ran half the country.

US troops have occupied Afghanistan for fourteen years, losing tens of thousands of lives and limbs and yet the nationalist-Islamist Taliban can easily take over Afghanistan’s third largest city, Kunduz (population 300,000), and occupies three quarters of the rest of the countryside.

Libya and Somalia are a disaster. And still Washington allocates a half billion dollars to train pro-Western mercenaries to overthrow Syria’s President Assad – mercenaries who give up their arms or join ISIS the moment they cross the border from Jordan or Turkey. The US trained mercenaries have handed over untold millions of dollars worth of heavy and light weapons and armored carriers to ISIS and Al Qaeda. The EU and the US face the dismal reality that Libya, Somalia and Syria are over-run by anti-Western Islamic fighters.

In Asia, China is demonized in the Western media, portrayed as being on the verge of collapse, facing a hard landing, even as China grows at 7%. The Western media wring their collective hands over the crisis in China while Beijing finances two new international development banks for $100 billion, raises its contribution to the IMF and brings 50 countries, including most of the EU but minus the US and Japan, into a new infrastructure lending institution.

Two big questions face the US and EU:

Why do the Western media launch a campaign of demonization that doesn’t correspond to reality? What is the goal of such demonization, which objectively undermines the possibility of forming tactical alliances to end the US’ military losses, political defeats and diplomatic isolation? The US needs Russia to defeat ISIS.

For Moscow, the fight against ISIS is crucial to Russian national security: thousands of Chechen terrorists (some trained by the US) are fighting with ISIS and threaten to return to the Caucuses and terrorize Russia. Unlike the US public’s opposition to Washington’s role in forcing ‘regime change’ in Syria, the Russian public supports Moscow’s military support for the Syrian government because the Chechens’ campaign of terror within Russia, especially the 2004 massacre of hundreds of school children, teachers, and parents in Beslan, is seared into their memory – a fact conveniently ignored by Western media when it ‘sympathizes’ with Chechen ‘freedom fighters’.

In reality, Washington should have a common interest to ally with Russia in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. However Obama is committed to ousting Assad (Russia’s ally) to expand US dominance in the Middle East in partnership with Israel and Saudi Arabia. Clearly there are insurmountable contradictions between short-term military objectives (fighting ISIS) and strategic imperial political imperatives (consolidating US-Israeli hegemony over the Middle East and Iran).

Washington has moved to end its isolation in Latin America by re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Meanwhile, Washington retains the economic blockade of Cuba and its huge US military base in Guantanamo. Cuba is seen as a tactical political ally in ‘moderating’ the leftist government of Venezuela and pressuring the Colombian FARC to disarm, even as Washington deepens its military presence in the continent.

Obama signed off on a nuclear agreement with Iran (but the crippling sanctions and blockade remain in place) in order to secure Tehran’s support for the war against ISIS in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Temporarily, the Western mass media has ‘toned-down’ its demonological reporting on Iran and Cuba, for tactical purposes.

The Obama regime has adopted a ‘good cop/bad cop’ (or schizophrenic) posture with Russia on Syria – Secretary of State John Kerry speaks of joint co-operation with Moscow while Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter proposes to militarily confront ‘Russian aggression’. The media hasn’t made the switch because they don’t know which orders to obey or which line to ‘parrot’.

In the meantime, the domestic economic crisis deepens, ISIS advances, the Taliban approaches Kabul, the Russians are arming and defending President Assad and millions of refugees, fleeing the war zones, have over- run Europe. European border wars are raging. And Obama wrings his hands in impotence. Demonology offers no allies, no solutions and no positive path to peace and co-existence.

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is the Israeli Lobby in Australia Doing in Interfaith Dialogue?

By Ali Kazak | Dissident Voice | October 11, 2015

For years Israel and its lobby around the world have been trying to normalise their relations with Arabs and Muslims without solving the Palestine Question.

One of the methods they resorted to in the last few years is using human rights and community organizations such as interfaith dialogue and Multiculturalism to achieve this objective and to: isolate the Palestinians, marginalise the Palestine question, end Israel’s isolation, and prevent criticism of Israel, knowing that these organisations will be the first to stand against Israel’s violations, racial and religious discrimination.

The group responsible for this task in Australia is The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC); its Director of International & Community Affairs, Jeremy Jones is in charge of lobbying religious community organizations, specifically Muslims and Christians. Consequently he convened the Faith Communities for Reconciliation, founding participant in the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations and the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims & Jews.

AIJAC is a private political propaganda group. It is recognised as the main Israeli lobby in Australia. It coordinates its activities and works intimately with the Israeli embassy in Canberra and different institutions in Israel. It is privately funded by some Jewish businessmen. It monitors closely Australian politicians, the media, ethnic and religious groups, (especially Arabs and Muslims), unions and academics on their stands towards Israel and the Palestine question.

AIJAC’s task is to spread Israel’s misleading propaganda, targets all those who oppose Israel’s violations and foil the Australian government and community from taking a stand in support of Palestinian rights. Its mouthpiece was Australia/Israel Review renamed later The Review.

The fact that, as a professional pro-Israeli lobby group and not a religious organization or representative of the Jewish community, AIJAC’s self-appointment to represent Judaism and the Jewish community highlights the political objectives it is trying to achieve by serving Israel’s interests and infiltrating ethnic and religious community organizations under the pretext of ethnicity, religion and “religious dialogue”.

Stephen Rothman, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President, said “AIJAC is a private think-tank. It is not a body that is in any way elected or in a democratic sense representative of the community” (“It was mishandled – community president” in Australian Jewish News (AJN) on 7 Nov. 2003).

Adding to this irony is the major role AIJAC has been playing for years in inciting against Palestinians, Arabs, Islam and Muslims in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Region by inviting and organizing speaking tours of anti-Muslim racists, and underneath the surface of its representative Jeremy Jones’s sweet talk and attempt to climb to the highest steps of morality, virtue and principles which he tries to impress his audience with and outbid everyone else, there is an ugly reality that speaks to the contrary.

Let me give you some examples.

Jones was reported in the AJN, on 19 Feb. 1988 as saying “I am concerned at the fact that Islam is today the major non-Christian religion in Australia”! Imagine if someone expressed their concern at the number of the Jews in Australia? This is the man who is disguised as working for reconciliation, the partnership of religious organizations and dialogue.

Jones’s hostility towards Palestinian human and national rights goes back to his activism in the Jewish Union of Students on campus. He intentionally confuses between anti-Semites and critics of Israel’s crimes and violations whom he accuse of having a hidden anti-Semitic agenda. In his “Media Watch” column which Jones wrote in the AJN for eight years as well as his column in The Review he was renowned for attacking all critics of Israel’s crimes from community group leaders, politicians, academics, journalists and Christian, Moslem and Jewish religious leaders such as the Neturei Karta. Furthermore he attacked the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees and called for the Australian government to use its contribution to pressure the UN organization to adopt policies suitable to Israel, the perpetrator of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Federal Member of Parliament, the Hon. Leo McLeay, said in a speech to parliament ‘It amazes me how intolerant Mr Jones and the pro-Israeli lobby can be. If you are not an enthusiastic supporter of the Sharon version of the Berlin Wall, you are considered to be anti-Jewish. When will the Jeremy Joneses of this world understand that criticism of the Israeli government and its actions is not anti- Semitism?’ (Hansard 11.8.2003 House of Representatives)

In a letter to the editor F. Pojer wrote in the AJN of 8 November 1991, commenting on the “Media Watch” column “as a loyal reader of the AJN over many years I am speaking, I believe, on behalf of many others, about the content and tone of the regular feature Media Watch. The articles are always written in an aggressive and antagonising manner rather than in a rational and conciliatory style more acceptable to the majority of peace-loving people.” This comment is not in isolation but typical of people who objected to Jones’s extremism.

In 2003 Jeremy Jones, then president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, vigorously attacked the Sydney Peace Foundation for awarding the Sydney Peace Prize to Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a prominent Palestinian activist, academic and Member of Parliament who has been a tireless worker for justice and peace in the Middle East.

Throughout the years AIJAC has been inviting and organizing speaking tours of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racists.

One of the speaking tours they organized in Australia and New Zealand is for David Pryce-Jones, who was reported in the Weekend Australian of 1-2 Dec. 1990, as describing the Arabs as having a “culture of violence”, saying “aggression and war are nearly inevitable in the Arab world” and that “Arab culture is a closed circle of status-seeking from which the Arabs cannot escape”. “When the West tries to be understanding and progressive in its dealing with the Arabs, it is really making the mistake of thinking that the Arabs are just like us”.

And on another speaking tour organized also by AIJAC he was reported by the Melbourne Herald-Sun on 7 Nov. 1995 saying “to shoot one’s prime minister is what the Arabs do, not what the Jews do”, ironically he said that at a time when Israel’s prime minister Rabin was shot by an extremist Jewish terrorist. He furthermore, described the Arabs and Palestinians in particular, as assassins, lawless and living like animals. Arab society he says is a violent society. But this time as a result of a complaint by the Australia Arabic Council, under the Racial Hatred Act, AIJAC was forced to make a public apology which appeared in the Herald Sun on 23 Dec. 1997. If you think that AIJAC’s apology was genuine you are mistaken. More speaking tours were organized by AIJAC for David Pryce-Jones.

Another favourite and regular guest of AIJAC’s is Daniel Pipes, who built his career on preaching hate against Muslims and Islam. A review of one of his books in the Washington Post in 1983 found his work exhibiting “a disturbing hostility to contemporary Muslims… and frequently contemptuous of them.” He has repeatedly called into question the loyalty of American Muslims and singled them out as somehow anti-American.

On a visit to Australia in 1998 Pipes vilified and offended the Australian Moslem community. His aims were to stereotype Moslems and incite the public against them, especially the Jewish community by deliberately mixing Zionism with Judaism and showing Moslems as anti-Jewish rather than against Zionism and Israel’s occupation and racial discrimination.

He was reported in the AJN of 18 Dec. 1998 as saying “Antisemitism is now primarily a Moslem phenomenon… I advise Jewish organizations to take their eyes off the Christians and start focusing on Islam.” And to a question about Palestinians who favour peace? He replied “Show me a moderate Palestinian.”

In an article in The Nation on 11 Nov. 2002, Kristine McNeil wrote: “Pipes is notorious for calling Moslems ‘barbarians’ and ‘potential killers’ in a 2001 National Review article, and accusing them of scheming to ‘replace the [US] constitution with the Koran’. In a 1990 National Review article [he] insisted that ‘Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene… All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Moslem customs are more troublesome than most.”

Another AIJAC guest professor Raphael Israeli, was reported by the AJN of 16 Feb. 2007 urging Australia to cap its intake of Muslim immigration warning “life will become untenable, unless the Muslim population is kept in check … then they control whole section of the economy … even students who apply to come from Islamic countries to the West” and called for a “preventative policy” to protect national security and ensure Muslims remained a “marginal minority.”

Only following a storm of protest over his racist comments, AIJAC was forced to withdraw its support.

An article in the AJN on 23 Feb. 2007 titled “A few facts in the service of gross distortion” expressed the views of many Jews who are unhappy with the extremist activities of some mainstream Jewish organizations and AIJAC, Dr Mark Baker wrote: “One needn’t be a prophet in an age of Google to predict what Professor Israeli would speak about behind open doors. The same can be said for Melanie Phillips, the author of Londonistan, whose visit is being sponsored by AIJAC to provoke the same message of fear and discord. No doubt, the invitation has also been extended to Bat Yeor, author of Eurabia, along with the annual visit by Daniel Pipes, thought-patroller of western academia.”

And Mr. Gordon Drennan wrote:

My congratulations to Mark Leibler and Dr. Colin Rubenstein at AIJAC. It’s quite an achievement to arrange things so that you get to have your cake and eat it too. They invite Professor Raphael Israeli to Australia, knowing full well he’s an Islamophobe. They could not know, they could not have invited him for any other reason – he’s written 20 books. Then they make sure his views end up in the mainstream media so they then get the chance to disown him and say his racist views are repugnant to Jews. But he still gets to stay here, give his talks and spread his race hate, and he gets way more publicity when he does. Masterful. (AJN, “AIJAC Achievement” (9.3.2007)

Those are only some examples of the anti-Muslims and anti-Arabs amongst the numerous guests of AIJAC and some other Jewish organizations in Australia.

It is an absolute farce to have Israeli apologists in an “interfaith dialogue” when Israel is grossly violating both Christian and Muslim Palestinians human and religious rights, ethnically cleansing Muslims and Christians and preventing their return to their homeland just because they are not Jews and preventing those under occupation from moving freely in their own country to go to their Churches and Mosques to worship in Jerusalem.

Since its creation in Palestine in 1948 Israel has destroyed and desecrated thousands of churches, mosques and cemeteries and turned some historic mosques into restaurants-bars.

To mention but a few cases: the mosque of the village of Ain Hud in the Haifa district has been transformed into a restaurant bar. The mosque of the village of Caesaria similarly serves as a restaurant bar. The mosque of the city of Safad in the Galilee has been transformed into an art gallery, while the central mosque of Beer Sheba serves as the city museum. The Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel and the adjacent park, named Independence Park, are built on the site of Abed Al-Nabi Muslim cemetery. The Jerusalem Plaza Hotel and the adjacent park, also named Independence Park, are likewise built on the site of the Mamilla Muslim cemetery.

The pillaging of the historic Islamic cemetery of Mamilla Cemetery with thousands of graves is still ongoing today to build housing, shops and the so called “Museum of Tolerance”!! This is not to mention the massacres, such as Al Aqsa Mosque massacre (8.10.90) and the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre (25.2.94), the frequent desecration and arson attacks against churches and mosques carried out by Jewish extremists who are armed and protected by the Israeli army and their recent murderous arson attack on the Dawabsheh family while sleeping in their home burning alive the father, mother and 18 month old baby, leaving a 4 year old boy orphaned with second-degree burns on more that 60 percent of his body.

In their government-funded schools, Jewish religious extremists teach hatred and racism to the pupils. One example of this is a song sung by children of Kiryat Arba settlement in the West Bank in an SBS Australian Television documentary “A Season inside God’s Bunker” screened on 3 May 1994. The song went as follows:

All the world hates Arabs,
And the main thing is to kill them one by one,
With these feet I stepped on my enemy,
With these teeth I bit his skin,
With these lips I sucked his blood,
And I still haven’t had enough revenge.

AIJAC has never condemned Israel’s racial and religious discrimination against non-Jews in Israel and the 1967 Palestinian occupied territories. How could one support the rights of one indigenous people and not another? Or support multiculturalism and equal religious coexistence in one country and not another?

There is nothing wrong in interfaith dialogue; in fact it is a civilized and healthy conduct if it is held in good faith, for understanding and against all form of religious discrimination. But what is wrong here is that a lobby group which does not represent Judaism or the Jewish community is using the dialogue to advance a political agenda on behalf of one of the most oppressive violators of religious rights in the world today. This is contempt and an affront to the other parties of the dialogue and to the society as a whole and should not be acceptable

Unfortunately, some Muslim groups accept of AIJAC in Australia, out of ignorance of its role. And the establishment of relations with it has given AIJAC credibility and misled other Muslim organizations overseas, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in Indonesia, the world’s largest membership Muslim organisation, which hosted Jeremy Jones recently and introduced him as “a friend of NU and a pioneer in Jewish-Muslim dialogue”. Prior and subsequent to his visit, Jones embarked on a speaking tour organised by the NU participants in this January’s Muslim-Jewish dialogue in Israel hosted by AIJAC.

It was reported that during his visit, he met “politicians, political advisers, human rights NGOs, representatives of both the historic and new organisations of Jewish Indonesians, academics and religious leaders, represented Judaism at the Jakarta Interfaith Hallal BiHallal (a post-Ramadan event designed to improve interpersonal relations).”

Muslim group leaders in Australia, Indonesia, and elsewhere need to review their relations with AIJAC and Jones and put the interest of equality and peace in Palestine above personal and other interests.

Ali Kazak is a former Palestinian ambassador.

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obama Third President in a Row to Oversee Attack on a Hospital

By Steve Straehley | AllGov | October 12, 2015

6016a69d-95f0-4e26-a407-65ee60a8091dWhen the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan was attacked on Oct. 3 by a U.S. AC-130 gunship, it was not a unique event. Hospitals have come under fire during conflicts presided over by the two previous presidents as well as Barack Obama.

The Geneva Convention, to which the United States is a signatory, prohibits the targeting of hospitals. “Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict,” according to the treaty.

After the Kunduz attack, U.S. officials at first said Afghan forces had been taking fire from the building. Obama later apologized for the attack in which 22 patients and staff members were killed. Médecins Sans Frontières has called the attack a war crime and wants an independent investigation.

Hospitals also came under fire during the Iraq War under the George W. Bush administration. U.S. planes bombed a Baghdad maternity hospital in 2003, according to ThinkProgress. Several people were killed in the attack and 27 injured.

Nor were hospitals safe under Bill Clinton’s watch. NATO forces bombed a hospital in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1999, killing four. Technical problems were blamed for the attack. Also that year in Nis, Serbia, NATO dropped cluster bombs on an outdoor market and neighboring hospital, killing three in the hospital.

In 1993, U.S. and Turkish forces bombed the largest hospital in Mogadishu, Serbia, where Médecins Sans Frontières was working. Three patients were killed. The United Nations said the hospital was attacked because it was being used as a hideout by forces loyal to Gen. Mohammad Farah Aidid, the Somali military commander who had taken over the government in a coup.

Photo: Médecins Sans Frontières

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Syria ‘opposition’ says will boycott UN-backed peace negotiations

Press TV – October 11, 2015

Syria’s main foreign-backed opposition group says it plans to boycott peace negotiations proposed by the United Nations in protest against Russian airstrikes in the Arab country.

The so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) made the announcement in a statement on Sunday, saying it did not favor the talks proposed by UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura.

The opposition group said it had “decided not to participate in the consultative working groups and considers adherence to the Geneva communique and UN Security Council resolutions and an end to Russian” airstrikes targeting Daesh militants in Syria as a basis for the resumption of peace talks.

The opposition was pointing to a document agreed by some states in 2012, which outlined a roadmap to resolve the crisis in Syria, including the formation of a transitional governing body and the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

Back in July, the UN envoy proposed the formation of working groups for both opposition and government representatives to address their concerns.

Since September 30, Russia has been carrying out its airstrikes in coordination with the Syrian government and has repeatedly voiced its support for a solution which includes Assad.

A report released by the Wall Street Journal last week said Russian airstrikes were also targeting militants backed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Syria.

Russian air force jet fighters have reportedly demolished numerous vehicles, command posts, communication centers, fuel and ammunition depots, plants used for making bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as several training camps, all used by Daesh.

Hundreds of Daesh militants, including a number of commanders, have reportedly been killed in the Russian airstrikes.

Syria has been fighting a foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011. So far, more than 250,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict.

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

US Hedge Fund Threatens Peru over Military Regime’s Debt

teleSUR | October 10, 2015

A U.S. hedge fund is threatening to sue Peru for payment of US$5.1 billion in unpaid bonds issued by the country’s former military government.

The fund, Gramercy, purchased the defaulted debt in 2008 for pennies on the dollar and is now demanding full repayment.

The tactic is similar to one employed by another U.S. hedge fund, Elliot Management, which has tried to use the U.S. legal system to compel the government of Argentina to repay the full amount of its own defaulted bonds.

“It’s ironic that this threat is coming amidst global meetings in Peru that continue to try and stop this kind of predatory behavior,” said Jubilee USA executive director Eric LeCompte, referring to the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund currently taking place in Lima.

Firms that try to collect defaulted debt in this manner are disparagingly referred to as “vulture funds.”

Gramercy is specifically threatening to sue Peru through a tribunal system known as the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism, or ISDS.

Peru’s finance minister, Alonso Segura, said on Friday that the government would oppose any legal action outside its borders. “That’s not going to happen,” he said. “This issue will be dealt with by Peruvian laws.”

The ISDS is comprised of special legal tribunals, often established through “free trade” agreements, that allow corporations in one country to collect on debts in another. Critics argue the system prevents country’s from overcoming crippling debts—in Peru’s case, debts incurred by an unelected military regime.

An ISDS-style trade tribunal is reportedly part of the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes Peru and 11 other Pacific Rim nations.

​As an alternative to the ISDS, the Union of South American Nations is currently reviewing a proposal to establish a regional Arbitration Center, which would analyze and propose mechanisms to reform arbitration proceedings that could take into account the broader needs of the society and continent as a whole.

October 12, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , , , | 2 Comments