Aletho News


BDS suppression backfires as universities pass resolutions

RT | April 25, 2016

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union at the University of California has been fighting to uphold a resolution passed to support the BDS movement against Israel. Its struggle has inspired other university unions to pass their own resolutions.

The UAW Local 2865, which includes some 14,000 students and teaching assistants working for the University of California, passed a resolution to support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement in 2014, becoming the first major labor union to do so, with 65 percent voting in favor of divestment and 52 percent supporting an academic boycott among the student-workers union of the University of California.

“The University of California divest from companies involved in the occupation of Palestine; that UAW International to divest from these same entities; the US government to end military aid to Israel. Fifty-two percent of voting members pledged not to ‘take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel’ until such time as these universities take steps to end complicity with dispossession, occupation, and apartheid.” UAW Local 2865 Resolution

An anti-BDS arm of the union called Informed Grads appealed the result, with the help of Gibson, Dunn & Crutche, a law firm that has defended Walmart, Amazon and Chevron, Salon reports. The firm has represented Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other corporations that gain from Israel’s defense spending.

While the International Executive Board defended the integrity of the vote, saying it represented the will of the members, it claimed it could interfere with the flow of commerce and pointed to the possibility of discrimination, despite the number of Jewish and Israeli members that supported the resolution and later wrote a letter attesting to the fact.

Following the decision, lawyer Scott Edelman expressed pleasure at the UAW’s “forceful rejection of BDS, which sets a powerful precedent for other labor unions and national organizations.”

UAW Local 2865 appealed the decision, saying the “IEB improperly ignored the UAW constitutional mandate to solidify the labor movement and build solidarities with other unions, such as the Palestinian labor unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers who issued the call for BDS in 2005.”

The appeal has gone to the UAW Public Review Board who will make a final ruling in the next few months.

The nullification of the resolution has led to increased support for both UAW Local 2865 and the BDS movement among university staff.

UAW chapters at the University of Washington, Univeristy of Massachusetts Amherst and NYU wrote letters of support for the resolution, and went on to pass their own resolutions in April with Massachusetts securing 95 percent of the vote and NYU’s chapter taking 67 percent.

Both groups cited the nullification as a motivating factor for their own votes.

Jennifer Mogannam, a PhD candidate at UC San Diego and member of the union, told Shadowproof the attacks are “part and parcel of the larger Zionist movement’s suppression and attacking of those fighting for Palestinian self-determination and against Israeli settler colonialism.”

A recent BDS victory that saw security firm G4S announce it would end its contracts in Israel has caused Florida country club members to partake in their own boycott. The country club members are threatening to end G4S’s contract with their country clubs in a show of support for Israel.

READ MORE: Israel connects BDS with terrorism while cracking down on German banks

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Israel, an Ugly Tide sweeps over Palestinians

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | April 25, 2016

In Israel’s evermore tribal politics, there is no such thing as a “good” Arab – and the worst failing in a Jew is to be unmasked as an “Arab lover”. Or so was the message last week from Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s so-called peace camp. The shock waves of popular anger at the recent indictment of an Israeli army medic, Elor Azaria, on a charge of “negligent homicide” are being felt across Israel’s political landscape.

Most Israeli Jews bitterly resent the soldier being put on trial, even though Azaria was caught on camera firing a bullet into the head of a badly injured Palestinian, Abdel Fattah Al Sharif.

In the current climate, Herzog and his opposition party Zionist Union have found themselves highly uncomfortable at having in their midst a single non-Jewish legislator.

Zuheir Bahloul, an accommodating figure who made his name as a sportscaster before entering politics, belongs to the minority of 1.7 million Palestinian citizens, one in five of the population.

Unlike most of Israel’s Palestinian politicians, he preferred to join a Zionist party than one of several specifically Arab parties. Nonetheless, he embarrassed colleagues by briefly pricking the bubble of unreason cocooning the country.

Attacks on soldiers were wrong, said Bahloul, but a Palestinian such as Al Sharif – who tried to stab soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron – was not a “terrorist” by any normal definition. Terrorists target civilians, Bahloul noted, not soldiers enforcing an illegal occupation.

Other Zionist Union MPs raced to disown Bahloul, while Herzog warned that the party was unelectable as long as it was seen as full of “Arab lovers”.

Bahloul is hardly the first Palestinian politician in Israel to find himself denounced as a “bad” Arab. But the others have mostly sinned by demanding an end to Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Israel is currently promulgating a law to oust such dissenters from the parliament.

Now the earth is shifting beneath the feet of formerly “good Arabs” such as Bahloul, the small number who cling to the belief that a self-declared Jewish state can be fair to them.

It is no longer just the state’s Jewishness that is sacrosanct. The occupation is too.

Salim Joubran, the only Palestinian judge in the supreme court, fell foul of this creed last week as the court considered an appeal from Raed Salah, leader of the northern Islamic Movement, against his jail sentence for incitement to violence.

There is almost continual incitement by Jewish political and religious leaders, but indictments are almost unheard of. Two rabbis who wrote a book, the King’s Torah, calling for the killing of Palestinian babies were investigated but not charged.

In his minority opinion, Joubran thought it reasonable to observe that Salah’s remark urging the Arab world to support the Palestinians with a “global intifada” to protect Jerusalem’s Islamic holy sites under occupation was more rhetorical than a call to arms.

He was wrong. Israelis took to social media calling for an “intifada” against both him and the supreme court.

The ugly political tide turning against the most moderate and pragmatic elements in Israel’s Palestinian minority was also exemplified by threats against Ayman Odeh, leader of the only joint Jewish-Arab party in the parliament.

Odeh’s crime was to describe the assassinations of Palestinian leaders by the Shin Bet intelligence service as “executions without trial”.

Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet head who is now a legislator in the ruling Likud party, wondered aloud about the merits of assassinating Odeh, before concluding it was not worth “wasting the ammunition”. Dichter knows there is no danger he will face a trial for incitement to violence.

Meanwhile, a TV investigation last week turned a critical lens on the late Rehavam Zeevi, a hero of the occupation. The programme revealed that the general had serially raped and assaulted women under his command, and used underworld connections to silence critics.

Tellingly, however, while the programme highlighted his crimes against Jews, it was largely untroubled by his many well-documented abuses of Palestinians.

Zeevi once proudly boasted of killing prisoners, and famously terrorised Palestinians by flying over their villages with a Palestinian corpse hanging from his helicopter undercarriage.

Later he sat in government as head of a party calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland.

When he was assassinated by Palestinians in 2001, he was quickly beatified. Scores of roads and parks are named after him, and a commemoration law requires that his “legacy and values” be taught in schools.

The anti-Arab values Zeevi embodied are in no danger of being discarded. Rather, they are being entrenched. Today, the definition of a “bad Arab” stretches from those, such as Al Sharif, who take up arms against the occupation to those, such as Bahloul, who do nothing more than raise their voice against it.

The trigger-happy soldier Elor Azaria and the peace camp leader Isaac Herzog have more in common than either might wish to admit. In their different ways, both have helped to turn all Palestinians into outcasts – and crush any hope of concessions from Israel to peace.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US deploys F-22 stealth fighter jets to Romanian base on Black Sea

RT | April 25, 2016

Two American F-22 Raptor 5G stealth fighter jets and a refueling aircraft have been deployed to an airfield in Romania as manifestation of NATO’s support to its Eastern European members against “Russian aggression.”

The US Air Force aircraft arrived at the air base on the Black Sea, less than 400km from the Russian military stronghold of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula.

“For the first time in Romania, the next-generation combat aircraft F-22 Raptor, part of the US Air Force Europe mission, arrived today at Mihail Kogalniceanu military base,” the US Embassy said on its Facebook page Monday.

A KC-135 refueling plane accompanied two F-22 Raptor fighters on their way from the UK, where Washington has deployed 12 F-22s at Lakenheath, a British air base in eastern England, Reuters reports.

After citizens of the Crimean Peninsula voted in favor of reuniting with Russia in 2014, European countries and the US introduced economic and political sanctions against Moscow. US President Barack Obama further promised in 2014 to bolster military capabilities of NATO’s eastern members. The bloc has been conducting a large number of military training near the Russia’s western borders over the last two years, though without permanently stationing large forces on the territory of alliance’s new member states.

In August 2015, US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the F-22 deployment to Europe as part of the “European Reassurance Initiative,” would occur “very soon.”

By the end of August 2015, four F-22 Raptors assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany as part of Pentagon’s continued “push to deter Russia.”

The alliance’s warships are maintaining constant presence in the Black and Baltic Seas as part of intelligence and containment purposes, which has already led to a rise of tensions.

In its national security strategy for 2016, Russia proclaimed NATO’s expansion to the east a threat. Moscow also held several wide-scale military drills all across Russia, including its western borders, in the past year.

Most recently, Russian pilots on Sukhoi Su-24 bombers buzzed the destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea in mid-April, when the US destroyer was around 70km away from a Russian naval base.

With a reported price tag of $190 million, F-22 Raptor fighter jet developed by Boeing and Lockheed Martin remains the most expensive fighter jet in the world. The aircraft was introduced into service in 2005 and its production was halted in 2009 because of the price.

Altogether 187 aircraft have been constructed though initially production of 749 planes was planned.

The first military deployment of the aircraft took place in 2014 in military operation against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

Obama dismisses Pyongyang’s bid to halt nuclear tests


Press TV – April 25, 2016

US President Barack Obama has rejected an offer by North Korea to ditch its nuclear tests in exchange for Washington’s suspension of joint annual war games with South Korea.

Obama, who was speaking Sunday at a presser in Hanover with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said, “We don’t take seriously a promise to simply halt until the next time they decide to do a test these kinds of activities.”

“What we’ve said consistently… is that if North Korea shows seriousness in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, then we’ll be prepared to enter into some serious conversations with them about reducing tensions and our approach to protecting our allies in the region. But that’s not something that happens based on a press release in the wake of a series of provocative behaviors. They’re going to have to do better than that.”

The remarks come on the heels of a Saturday interview by The Associated Press with North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong who told the US news agency that his country was ready to stop its nuclear tests if Washington halted its annual military drills with Seoul.

“Stop the nuclear war exercises in the Korean Peninsula, then we should also cease our nuclear tests,” Ri told AP.

He also maintained that the US drove his country to develop nuclear devices as an act of self-defense.

“If we continue on this path of confrontation, this will lead to very catastrophic results, not only for the two countries but for the whole entire world as well,” he said.

“It is really crucial for the United States government to withdraw its hostile policy against the DPRK (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and as an expression of this stop the military exercises, war exercises, in the Korean Peninsula. Then we will respond likewise.”

On January 6, North Korea said it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, its fourth nuclear test, vowing to build up its nuclear program as deterrence against potential aggression from the US and its regional allies.

Pyongyang accuses the US of plotting with regional allies to topple its government, saying it will not relinquish its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and dissolves the US-led UN command in South Korea.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Mexican authorities obstruct probe of missing students case: report

Press TV – April 25, 2016

A panel of international experts probing the 2014 massacre of 43 Mexican students has accused the government of obstructing its inquiry into Mexico’s most notorious murder case in recent years.

Foreign experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued their final report Sunday, saying the government’s stonewalling stopped them from reaching the truth.

The five-member panel, who has been investigating the case for a year, said Mexican authorities showed “little interest” in moving forward with the probe.

The panel also accused the Mexican government of allowing a smear campaign against its investigation in an attempt to discredit the final report as it prepared to leave the country.

A group 43 students from Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College went missing on the night of September 26, 2014, after they participated in a protest in the south-western city of Iguala, in Guerrero state.

Mexican prosecutors say they were arrested by corrupt municipal policemen and handed over to the local criminal gang of Guerreros Unidos, which apparently massacred them and burned their bodies at a garage dump.

Relatives of the victims dismiss the government version of the incident, accusing authorities of trying to cover up the involvement of senior politicians and army officers in the killings.

The international report also dismissed the government’s narrative, saying there is no evidence that the 43 students were incinerated at the dump.

It said the claim that the students had been burned is scientifically impossible given the heat needed to reduce human remains to ash.

It said the remains of only one student were fully identified after they were found in a nearby river.

“More than a year and a half after the students’ disappearance, we are no closer to knowing what really happened that night but one thing’s for certain: the credibility of the Mexican government is more in doubt than ever,” the report noted.

The case sparked outrage across the country and has led to street protests against President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The report also accused the government of torturing some of the suspects detained in relation to the case.

It said medical report of the suspects shows “significant indications of mistreatment and torture” against 17 of the detainees. More than 100 suspects were detained in the case.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment

Dominican Republic: First Stage of America’s ‘Rainbow’ Experiment in Latin America and Caribbean

By Nil NIKANDROV | Strategic Culture Foundation | 25.04.2016

In 2015, the US Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, legalising same-sex marriage throughout the country. President Obama wrote on Twitter: «Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins».

Obama’s directive, which identifies the protection of sexual minorities as a priority of US foreign policy and stipulates that their rights be defended, has also been sent to US missions overseas. US State Secretary John Kerry is giving the issue his utmost attention. The post of Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons has been created under his personal supervision, to which the American diplomat and homosexual Randy Berry has been appointed. He has stated that he intends to fervently defend the interests of LGBT persons in Latin America, primarily in countries not known for their tolerance of sexual minorities.

One of the first steps of Obama’s ‘rainbow’ experiment was the appointment of James ‘Wally’ Brewster as US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 2013. It should be noted that Santo Domingo was the very first city to be colonised by the Spanish Crown in the Western hemisphere: it is the site of the first university, the first Catholic cathedral and the first fortress.

The people of the Dominican Republic, who are traditionally conservative in everything related to family life and the raising of children, greeted the news of Brewster’s appointment with indignation. Reverend Cristóbal Cardozo, leader of the Dominican Evangelical Fraternity, openly referred to the appointment of the gay ambassador as «an insult to good Dominican customs». In an address to the Dominican senate, the United Left Movement also expressed concern at the appointment. The rationale is obvious: the people who sent Brewster «have not taken into account the cultural practices and religious principles of the Dominican people».

Before Brewster’s departure for the Dominican Republic, he married Bob J. Satawake, a wealthy real estate agent, who is referred to in the Dominican media as the ambassador’s husband. The newly-weds have vigorously set about strengthening the position of LGBT persons in conservative Dominican society, with a particular focus on work with young people in schools and universities.

Not all of the ambassador’s initiatives are proving successful, however. The country’s Ministry of Tourism, for example, did not embrace the vision put forward by the US Embassy of tourism marketed to LGBT persons from the US with a projected profit of up to $1.5 billion. Brewster complained to friends that the Dominican people were incapable of doing basic math, since the majority of gay tourists are among the most solvent, which would prove extremely profitable for the Dominican Republic.

Catholic bishops and priests view Brewster as an enemy, strongly condemning the sin of same-sex cohabitation and protesting every time Brewster and his husband visit educational establishments.

General elections are due to take place in the Dominican Republic on 15 May 2016. The election campaign has been accompanied by scandals, at the centre of which is the US Embassy and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Indignation at America’s interference in the Dominican election process has become particularly acute following statements made by Alexandria Panehal, the USAID Mission Director in the country, on the existence of a special $1 million fund to promote LGBT programmes and LGBT ideology. According to Panehal, the US Embassy and USAID are using this money to fund the election campaigns of homosexual Dominican politicians. The creation of an LGBT Chamber of Commerce has also been announced.

Panehal’s announcements have caused a storm of protests and a rise in anti-American sentiment in the Dominican Republic’s social, political and religious circles. So why is Panehal doing it? She has enough international experience, after all. Almost all of her overseas assignments have involved countries where the situation has been complex, and a variety of threats required cautious approach. She worked closely with the CIA on the ‘democratisation’ of Nicaragua project, as well as programmes to prevent a rapprochement between Honduras and ‘populist’ states and between the Republic of Haiti and Venezuela following a devastating earthquake. Panehal was involved in attempts to overthrow President Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and has also served as USAID Deputy Mission Director in the Regional Mission for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus (a post reserved for a CIA representative).

Some political analysts have expressed the view that US representatives are carrying out a multistage experiment in the Dominican Republic, studying the «emotional and psychological resilience» level of Dominicans to new techniques involving the erosion of the traditional family and marriage. The tone was set by Obama himself when, in April 2015, he placed the treatment of LGBT community as one of the first topics to be discussed during an official visit to Jamaica, expressing his concern over the fact that homosexuality is illegal on the island.

Experts consider Luis Abinader, leader of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), to be the US candidate in the Dominican Republic’s forthcoming elections. He has been trying to keep his links with the US quiet, but in Catholic circles it is believed that Abinader has already reached an agreement with the US Embassy to relax the government’s LGBT policy and amend the constitution to allow same-sex marriage. The current president, Danilo Medina (Dominican Liberation Party), intends to retain his post and, judging by the polls, he has every chance. He has spoken with restraint about the US Ambassador’s theatrical stunts, apparently believing that Brewster has compromised himself so much that he does not pose a threat to the religious and moral values of the Dominican people.

The severity of the criticism that has been raining down on the gay US diplomat from Catholic bishops has reached its peak and representatives of the Catholic episcopate have not been shy about their choice of words. Seventy-five-year old Cardinal Jesus Lopez Rodriguez has openly used offensive remarks with regard to the ambassador and has suggested that he should «focus on housework, since he’s the wife to a man». In response to criticism from the US about his intolerance, the cardinal said that with regard to the LGBT issue, he has always maintained the same position and expressed his views openly and he has no intention of changing them. As one would expect, Ambassador Brewster is mobilising the local LGBT community for an offensive against «reactionary Catholic circles». The immediate goal is to remove Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez.

At the same time, the US Embassy is doing everything it can to ensure the broadest possible presence of overt and covert LGBT activists in the country’s legislative and executive powers. The elections in May will show whether America’s gay conspirators have succeeded in implementing Obama’s plan for the Dominican Republic – to turn it into a nature reserve for LGBT tourists and a stronghold for the penetration of LGBT ideology into other Caribbean and Latin American countries.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish Lobby finds 250 Hizbullah agents in Berlin

Rehmat’s World | April 25, 2016

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has accused the Berlin-based theater project, Refugee Club Impulse (RCI) of harboring anti-Israel Lebanese Islamic resistance and political party Hizbullah agents.

The Jewish lobby has accused Nadia Grossmann (Jewish), artistic director of RCI and her sister Maryam, a pedagogical director at RCI of organizing the annual pro-Hizbullah and pro-Iran Al-Quds Day.

Iran’s Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of the month of Muslim fasting as Al-Quds Day in 1981 in support of the Palestinian struggle to regain their land stolen by European Zionist Jews in 1948.

“The RCI is expected to receive 100,000 euros from Berlin government for refugee work. German taxpayers [funds] have been furnished to the RCI for number of years,” said Benjamin Weinthal, The Jerusalem Post, April 20,2016.

Pity! Weinthal’s Zionist entity received only $93 billion from German taxpayers since 1950s.

Nadia and Miryams’ father Jurgen Grossmann told the press that his daughters were not co-organizers of the International Al-Quds Day, but that they along with their father support Palestinian cause.

Volker Beck, a Green Party member in the Bundestag (parliament) and former spokesperson of LGBT Germany, and Benedikt Lux, member of the Berlin City Senate have raised their concerns over “the danger of giving taxpayers’ money to RCI that supports antisemitic forces.”

On March 16, 2016, Barack Obama’s Czar to monitor so-called anti-Semitism around the world, Ira Forman (a Zionist Jew) delivered a speech in Berlin in which he warned Europeans that they risk turning their continent into a breeding ground for the vilest form of Jew hatred.

I suppose, this idiot like Netanyahu too believes that the Mufti of Palestine ordered Adolf Hitler to burn 6 million Jews.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Army Closes Entrance Of Hebron Emergency Center With Concrete Blocks

IMEMC – April 25, 2016

HWC1-e1461576206112Israeli soldiers closed the main entrance of the Hebron Emergency Center, run by the Hebron Health Committees, by placing concrete blocks, completely sealing it, and deployed dozens of soldiers on its rooftop on Monday morning.

Dr. Ramzi Abu Yousef, director of the Health Work Committees (HWC) in Hebron, said many soldiers occupied the center’s rooftop, and turned it into a military base.

Abu Yousef warned of the consequences of this violation, especially since the center receives hundreds of patients on a daily basis, and added that the center provides its medical services to more than 60,000 Palestinians.

“For years now, the center has been subject to frequent Israeli military violations, including many invasions, and the soldiers even fired gas bombs at it,” Abu Yousef said, “They also repeatedly sprayed it with waste-water mixed with chemicals, in addition to harassing the patients and their families, and the various measures restricting their freedom of movement.”

The HWC voiced an urgent appeal to various human rights groups to intervene, and provide the needed protection to Palestinian health centers, in addition to pressuring Israel into halting its serious violations.

“People who need medical care have the right to receive it, but Israel continues to violate it,” the HWC added, “International Humanitarian Law stresses on the importance of unrestricted access to medical facilities.”

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trust the IDF investigation

By Yossi Gurvitz | Yesh Din | April 25, 2016

The case of Bassem Abu Rahme challenges the army’s claim that it can conduct a serious investigation of itself.Memorial for Bassem Abu Rahme, Bil'in, West Bank, 26.5.2009

On April 17th 2009, Bassem Abu Rahme was demonstrating against the separation wall in his village, Bil’in. After another demonstrator was hit by crowd-dispersal weapons shot by Israeli security forces, Abu Rahme shouted at the soldiers and Border Policemen that the person was wounded. Seconds later, a person in Israeli uniform (it is unclear whether he or she was an IDF soldier or a Border Policeman) fired a tear gas canister directly into Abu Rahme’s chest; the wound was fatal, and within hours Abu Rahme was dead.

These facts were not, until recently, in contention. Even so, almost seven years after his death, no one has been held responsible for Abu Rahme’s death. Seven years of foot dragging and avoiding investigation (more on that in these two posts). This is what happens when a member of the security forces shoots an unarmed man — who everyone agrees posed no danger to — and the cameras (three of them, actually) document the event – yet are not aimed directly at the shooter.

We do not know who shot Abu Rahme, whether he or she was an IDF soldier or a Border Policeman. We do, however, have forensic evidence pointing to where the shooters stood. According to the ballistics examination, conducted by the IDF itself, “the only possibility of this sort of armament hitting the target is only by direct fire and using a flat angle — in the single digits — no more than three or four angles.” That is, there is no possibility of Abu Rahme being hit by a canister shot according to the orders and hitting him by mistake; even were the canister to ricochet off a fence, it would still be fired directly, contrary to orders.

The Chief of the IDF’s Photo Reconnaissance Department told the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID) in 2013 that direct fire of tear gas canisters is forbidden and that it should hold a lineup to determine where each of the shooters stood. The MPCID refrained from doing so.

Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court heard an appeal by Yesh Din and human rights NGO B’Tselem , in which we demanded that the shooter be indicted, or that at least the army indict his commander. The hearing was held ex parte due to a strike by the prosecution. We estimate that the state would have argued that the shooters cannot be identified; and that it would also try to avoid mentioning the fact that the MPCID and the military prosecution did everything in their power to refrain from investigating the case for 15 months, and were forced to open an investigation after our first petition to the High Corut of Justice. The government is likely to claim that the canister that hit Abu Rahme’s chest ricocheted off something – and will play down the fact that even if it did, its own ballistic diagnosis ruled that it was fired contrary to orders.

The government is further likely to argue that it has no clue as to whom it should prosecute, hoping the judges will not think too much of the fact that it strangled the investigation for years. Our demand is simple: even if there is no chance to indict the shooters themselves, and we contend this claim since the MPCID’s failure to investigate rendered the case no longer investigable, the commanders should still bear responsibility.

So far, none of this has happened. The justices decided to rescind the petition, since under the Turkel Commission’s recommendations one may now object to the Attorney General over the military prosecution’s decision – a process that did not exist when we made our appeal. Justice, it seems, will have to keep waiting.

It is important to emphasize this time and again: Abu Rahme was unarmed. He was a danger to no one. He was protesting an injustice in his village – an injustice recognized by the High Court of Justice. And yet, an Israeli security officer, perhaps more than one, fired at a demonstrator in a life-threatening manner and caused his death. We note that one of the suspects said in his interrogation that he never received proper training with the weapon he was using. The commanders of these warriors, who are responsible for their actions, continue dodging this responsibility to this day.

Over the last few weeks, the very well-documented murder in Hebron has been called an exceptional, unrepresentative, and isolated incident by senior IDF and political figures. Every person of conscience should wonder whether this is so; whether the important statement in the case was not made of by Chief of Staff Eizenkot, but rather by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who phoned the father of the shooter and told him (Hebrew) to “trust the IDF investigation.”

What ought an Israeli security officer understand from the prime minister’s remarks? A reasonable interpretation would be: “don’t worry, our investigation will find you acted properly.” This, after all, is the unwritten contract between the government and its soldiers: we send you to do the dirty work of oppressing a civilian population, and in return we will turn a blind eye if you sometimes exceed your orders – unless are caught red-handed, that is. In such a case, we shall regrettably have to begin the investigation show.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli occupation forces kidnap professor near Ramallah

Palestinian Information Center – April 25, 2016

806742812RAMALLAH – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday kidnapped Palestinian astrophysicist Imad al-Barghouthi at Nabi Saleh checkpoint, northwest of Ramallah.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center that Israeli soldiers at the checkpoint detained Barghouthi and took him to an undeclared place.

Barghouthi, 53, is a professor of theoretical space plasma physics at al-Quds University and has worked for some time at NASA in the United States. His scientific work is widely published internationally in academic journals.

The IOF previously kidnapped him on December 6, 2014 at al-Karama border crossing as he was trying to cross to Jordan in order to attend a scientific conference in the United Arab Emirates.

At the time, he was reportedly interrogated for participating in a mass march against Israel’s war on Gaza.

Copyright © The Palestinian Information Center

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey exercises ‘decisive influence’ on Syrian ‘HNC’: Lavrov

Press TV – April 25, 2016

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Turkey exercises a “decisive influence” on the so-called opposition group High Negotiations Committee (HNC) which is in peace talks with the Damascus government.

Lavrov made the remarks on Monday while commenting on the progress of the latest round of negotiations between the Syrian government and HNC, which began in Geneva on April 13.

Syria peace talks are going on despite the absence of the Saudi-backed opposition as the group’s leaders left the talks on April 19 to protest at what they called escalating violence and restrictions on humanitarian access in Syria.

A ceasefire, brokered by Russia and the US, went into effect on February 27 across Syria. Fighting, however, picked up and left the truce in tatters. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has agreed on a six-month deadline for drafting a new constitution for the Arab country in line with the proposal of the International Syria Support Group.

“In order to come to terms over six months it is necessary not to slam the door and dig in heels, as several delegates of the so-called Riyadh group have done, Lavrov said, adding that “it’s no secret” that Turkey has a “decisive influence” on them.

“So one should not come for talks with ultimatums but should sit down at the negotiating table and reach an agreement,” Lavrov added, noting that the situation at the UN-brokered talks could have been better if HNC had not left Geneva.

The top Russian diplomat also said that Moscow was preparing a report for the UN Security Council to extend the list of terrorist groups in Syria.

“We are currently collecting information that Jebhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) subjugates groups that seemed to have declared truce and readiness to join ceasefire,” Lavrov said, adding, “We will summarize facts and present them to [the] UN Security Council to adjust terrorist lists.”

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Damascus says Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are the main supporters of the militants fighting the government forces.

According to UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, some 400,000 people have lost their lives as a result of over five years of conflict in Syria.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey bars entry to photojournalist on Bild assignment

RT | April 25, 2016

Greek freelance photojournalist Giorgos Moutafis, who was trying to travel through Turkey on an assignment from German tabloid Bild, has been barred from entering the country without explanation.

Moutafis, 38, was denied entry to Turkey after landing in Istanbul on Saturday and sent back to Athens. He was kicked out of the country less than an hour after German Chancellor Angela Merkel left it after visiting a refugee camp in Gaziantep, the newspaper pointed out. He intended to go to Libya from Turkey.

“I was told at the passport control that my name was on a blacklist and that I’m not allowed to enter Turkey. Then my passport was taken from me until the early morning. I had to spend the night in a room in the airport. The reasons why I’m on this list were not explained to me,” Moutafis said.

He added that he entered Turkey six months ago with no problems, and that he cannot explain why he could have been banned since then.

Moutafis is an internationally-acclaimed journalist and filmmaker, who has covered stories for outlets such as Newsweek, TIME, the New Yorker, Der Spiegel, the Guardian, Al Jazeera, CBS, CNN and the BBC, among others. He received the 2014 Press Freedom Award from Reporters Without Borders.

The focus of his work is on the perils of asylum seekers travelling to Europe from the Middle East, but he also reported on the battle for the Kurdish city of Kobani in Syria, which may explain the Turkish authorities’ attitude.

Last week, Turkey barred Volker Schwenck, a journalist working for the TV channel ARD, from entering the country. Ankara cited “security reasons.” Schwenck, who heads the channel’s Cairo bureau, intended to travel to Gaziantep to cover Merkel’s visit.

Turkey’s crackdown on the media is a hot topic in Germany after Merkel failed to oppose the prosecution of a comedian who recited a crude poem criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara had complained that the poem was insulting.

Some 2,000 libel cases have been filed in Turkey against people accused of insulting the president.

Read more:

Dutch columnist detained in Turkey ‘over Erdogan tweet’

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment