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‘Thoroughly Delegitimized’: UK Media Slammed Over ‘Vicious’ Corbyn Coverage

Sputnik – July 18, 2016

UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has long been a critic of his coverage in the British press, and now a new study has found that three-quarters of newspaper stories about the Labour leader’s first months of leadership either distorted or failed to represent his actual views.

Academics from the London School of Economics (LSE) undertook a review of Corbyn-related stories in national newspapers from September 1 to November 1 last year, concluding that the Labour leader had been “thoroughly delegitimized” as a result of the coverage he received.

The research concluded that in 52 percent of articles about the Labour leader, Corbyn’s views were not included in the story, while in a further 22 percent of articles his views were “present but taken out of context.”

Meanwhile, out of the more than 800 articles analyzed, 15 percent presented and challenged Corbyn’s views, while just 11 percent presented the Labour leader’s views without challenge or alteration.

“Our analysis shows that Corbyn was thoroughly delegitimized as a political actor from the moment he became a prominent candidate and even more so after he was elected as party leader,” LSE project director Dr Bart Cammaerts said.

Concerns Over Impact on Democracy

Researchers also pointed to the impact this distorted coverage of Corbyn’s views was having on British democracy.

“These results relating to sources and ‘voice’ are evidently troublesome from a democratic perspective,” Cammaerts added.

“Allowing an important and legitimate political actor, ie the leader of the main opposition party, to develop their own narrative and have a voice in the public space is paramount in a democracy.

“Denying such an important political actor a voice or distorting his views and ideas through the exercise of mediated power is highly problematic.”

The LSE team said Corbyn had been “systematically attacked” ever since coming to prominence last summer, and that the British media had “played an attackdog, rather than a watchdog, role.”

Crazy Marxist and Terrorist Friends

The report highlighted particular examples where Corbyn was portrayed as being a radical leftist or as someone with links to terrorist groups such as the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah.

“Corbyn is systematically ridiculed, scorned and the object of personal attacks by most newspapers. Even more problematic were a set of associations which deligitimised Corbyn as a politician, calling him loony, unpatriotic, a terrorist friend and a dangerous individual,” the report concluded.

Broadcaster Sky News removed an article from its website last year that referred to Corbyn as “Jihadi Jez” following widespread public criticism.

Corbyn has himself hit out at the media following his portrayal over the past 12 months, banning journalists from asking questions outside the front of his home.

“We have a party under attack from much of the media in this country like it has never been under attack before,” he said earlier this year.

The study featured publications with views ranging all across the political spectrum and included The Sun, The Daily Express, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, the Independent, the Daily Mirror and the Guardian.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 6 Comments

‘Senior US military source’

Xymphora – July 18, 2016

The lie about Erdoğan being refused asylum in Germany appears to have originated (see from 13:50 in the video here) with a tweet from an MSNBC producer called Kyle Griffin, based on information from a ‘senior US military source’.  I believe that conclusively refutes any American claims to non-involvement.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , | Leave a comment

UN chief’s report violates JCPOA spirit: Iran

Press TV – July 18, 2016

Iran says the latest report by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the implementation of last July’s nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries violates the letter and spirit of the deal.

Speaking ahead of a scheduled meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qasemi, dismissed as unbalanced and biased the UN chief’s report about the implementation of the council’s Resolution 2231 that endorsed the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“This report runs counter to the letter and spirit of the JCPOA and even the Resolution 2231,” Qasemi said, adding, “This report has been drawn up under obvious pressure by the US on the United Nations secretariat and the allegations made in it against Iran are baseless.”

On July 7, Reuters quoted a confidential report by the UN secretary general as saying that Iran’s ballistic missile launches “are not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the JCPOA.

Ban, however, said that it is up to the UN Security Council to decide if Iran’s missile launches violated the resolution the Security Council adopted last year as part of the nuclear agreement.

“I call upon Iran to refrain from conducting such ballistic missile launches since they have the potential to increase tensions in the region,” the UN chief wrote in his first biannual report to the 15-member Security Council.

The Iranian spokesperson further described as a positive move the UN chief’s inclusion in his report of the failure of the US and the Western sides to fulfill their obligations under the JCPOA.

“However, it is regrettable that the report ignores such cases very easily and refrains from making a serious request on the P5+1 members to remain committed to their obligations,” Qasemi added.

He emphasized that the international community expects the UN chief to explicitly state the cases of the failure of the US and some members of the P5+1 to fulfill their JCPOA obligations, an issue which has been verified by many countries.

“The expression of concern by the report about Iran’s missile tests was a completely spiteful and biased move because the secretary general has made comments about the issue in blatant violation of the very content of Resolution 2231 and by merely resorting to criteria declared by the US, which violate all professional principles,” the spokesman said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran once again emphasizes that Iran’s ballistic missiles by no means fall within the jurisdiction of Resolution 2231, because they have not been designed to carry nuclear warheads and the Islamic Republic of Iran will, therefore, not allow anyone to even opine about its defense system,” Qasemi pointed out.

He said the JCPOA was the outcome of long-term collective measures in order to find a diplomatic solution to a fabricated and unnecessary crisis, adding that the agreement’s longevity requires the political will of all sides to remain committed to their obligations as well as professional and supportive measures by bodies such as the UN.

He once again reiterated Iran’s commitment to its obligations but emphasized that the country would “take exigent reciprocal action” in case the other sides fail to honor their part of the deal.

Qasemi emphasized that it has been repeatedly proved that the adoption of hostile approaches by the UN Security Council against Iran will bear no fruit.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran warns that repetition of previous experiences will poison the spirit of the JCPOA and the positive atmosphere created as its result and this will never be beneficial to any side and the international community,” he said.

On March 9, Iran successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles as part of military drill to assess its defense capabilities. The missiles dubbed Qadr-H and Qadr-F were fired during a large-scale drill, code-named Eqtedar-e-Velayat.

A day earlier, the country’s Armed Forces had fired another ballistic missile called Qiam from silo-based launchers in different locations across the country.

The US claims that Iran’s missile tests violate the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Resolution 2231 adopted on July 20, 2015 provides for the termination of the provisions of previous Security Council resolutions on the Iranian nuclear program and establishes specific restrictions that apply to all states without exception.

The resolution calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | Leave a comment

The Indian Point Nukes: a Disaster Waiting to Happen

By Karl Grossman | CounterPunch | July 18, 2016

“Indian Point” is a film about the long problem-plagued Indian Point nuclear power plants that are “so, so risky—so close to New York City,” notes its director and producer Ivy Meeropol. “Times Square is 35 miles away.”

The plants constitute a disaster waiting to happen threatening especially the lives of the 22 million people who live within 50 miles from them. “There is no way to evacuate—what I’ve learned about an evacuation plan is that there is none,” says Meeropol. The plants are “on two earthquake fault lines,” she notes. “And there is a natural gas pipeline right there that an earthquake could rupture.”

Meanwhile, both plants, located in Buchanan, New York along the Hudson River, are now essentially running without licenses. The federal government’s 40-year operating license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 and Indian Point 3’s license expired last year. Their owner, Entergy, is seeking to have them run for another 20 years—although nuclear plants were never seen as running for more than 40 years because of radioactivity embrittling metal parts and otherwise causing safety problems. (Indian Point 1 was opened in 1962 and closed in 1974, its emergency core cooling system deemed impossible to fix.)

At Indian Point 2 and 3 there have been frequent accidents and issues involving releases of radioactivity through the years. The discharges of tritium or irradiated water, H30, which cannot be filtered out of good water, into the aquifer below the Westinghouse nuclear plants and also the Hudson River have been a major concern.

But it’s not just Indian Point that “Indian Point” is about. The film emphasizes: “With so much attention focused on Indian Point, the future of nuclear plants in the United States might depend on what happens here.”

“I would give the film an ‘A.’ I wholeheartedly recommend it for wide release throughout the United States,” says Priscilla Star, founder of the Coalition Against Nukes: “It is a stellar learning tool. It depicts the David-versus-Goliath struggle involving those trying to close these decrepit nuclear plants and the profit-hungry nuclear industry. It shows grassroots activists fighting the time bombs in their community.”

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year. For the past two weeks it has been showing five-times-a-day at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, also in Manhattan. That run will go until Thursday, July 21. On Friday, July 22, it is to open in Los Angeles. After its theatrical release, it will air on the Epix cable TV channel.

Among those in the film are anti-Indian Point activist Marilyn Elie and long-time environmental journalist Roger Witherspoon who has written extensively about Indian Point. And also Entergy employees appear. Meeropol and her crew were given full access to the nuclear plants.

The documentary provides a special focus on Dr. Gregory Jaczko. He was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan began in March 2011. As notes Meeropol, Jaczko sought to have “lessons learned” from the Fukushima catastrophe—which involved General Electric nuclear plants—applied to nuclear power plants in the U.S. And he was given “a really tough time.” Pressure by the nuclear industry caused Jaczko, with a doctorate in physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to be “pushed out” as NRC chairman and member. Meeropol tells of how “this guy, a decent person trying to do his job, was completely abused.”

Meeropol, in an interview, said the NRC “is too closely linked to the nuclear industry. It’s not going to do anything that the nuclear industry regards as too costly or onerous. I want that to be one of the biggest takeaways from the film—how a regulatory body cares more about the industry it is supposed to regulate than the public. And of all industries that should be regulated, it’s the nuclear power industry.” She said she found the nuclear industry and nuclear energy officials in the U.S. government “one and the same.”

Meeropol began the “Indian Point” film project in January 2011. She had moved from Brooklyn up to the Hudson Valley “a decade ago when our son was born. Commuting in and out of the city on the Metro-North train, I went right past the plants. They looked so foreboding and odd there in that beautiful landscape.”

Also, until she, her husband and son moved upstate, “having lived in New York City, I had no idea how close they were to the city.”

Further, in the community where they went to live, Cold Spring, 15 miles from the plants. “we could hear the [emergency] sirens” from the plants and she was unsettled receiving in the mail an “emergency preparedness booklet titled: ‘Are You Ready?’”

So the experienced filmmaker started doing research on the “dangerous endeavor of making nuclear energy.” With the Fukushima disaster beginning just a few months after she started on the film, that “broadened” its perspective.

She said the films she has made have always been “character-driven” and she was attracted to feature in “Indian Point” Marilyn Elie—“she knows her stuff”—and Roger Witherspoon. “I liked his dynamic. He is a journalist. She is an activist.” She stressed to Entergy officials that she would be even-handed “and quite amazingly was given access” to the plants. Her connecting with Jaczko was crucial. It “became my crusade to redeem Greg Jaczko before the world.”

She started making the film on a shoe string. “I ran out of money numerous times.” But she was able to get financial support from the Sundance Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Catapult Fund, and individual contributions. And “partnering” with Julie Goldman, founder of Motto Films, was extremely important. Goldman is also producer of “Indian Point.” A “very generous grant” was received from the MacArthur Foundation which also “opened up other doors.”

The avidly pro-nuclear New York Times (its pro-Indian Point editorials never cease and its last reporter who long covered the plants and the nuclear industry has now gone on to a job with the PR arm of the industry) said in its review: “’Indian Point’ is a good overview of the issues, with insights into the problems of regulating the industry.” It complained about Meeropol’s being “steadfast in providing both sides.”

Meanwhile, Indian Point sits there on the Hudson, continuing with accidents and in emitting what the NRC says are “permissible” levels of radioactivity. They are highly likely candidates for a Chernobyl or Fukushima-level catastrophe in the most highly populated area of the United States. And the NRC, steadfastly ignoring Jaczko’s warnings, in league with Entergy, seeks to let the decrepit time bombs run for another 20 years—just asking for disaster.

The good news is that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has been endeavoring to have the Indian Point nuclear plants closed and safe-energy activists and an array of environmental and safe-energy organizations are working hard to shut them down—and the film “Indian Point” is out.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Film Review, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Harvard Lawless School and You

By Ralph Nader | Dissident Voice | July 18, 2016

Lawlessness, the kind that is considered as factual non-compliance with existing law, is often far more widespread than the studied phenomenon known as compliance.

I am reminded of the long history of this duality by in a 1932 review by Daniel James of The Modern Corporation and Private Property – a famous book by Adolf A Berle, Jr. and Gardiner C. Means that documented the split between ownership (the shareholders) and control (by the corporate executives). He wrote then what is worse now, that “There is a paper government for corporations and there is an actual government. The one is embodied in Constitutional provisions, statutes, charters, by-laws, decisions; the other has its being in the conduct of men who control corporate activity…With them as with all human institutions there is a divergence of the intended and the realized, the ought and the is.”

The “is”, declared Mr. James, is “made up of blunt, realistic facts” which is what Harvard Lawless School would teach and take off from.

What’s all this got to do with you? Just about everything. If you cannot use the law to pursue your rights – say health coverage – under fine-print contracts or gain adequate compensation for your wrongful injuries, you are being strapped by lawlessness through the design of the power elites. They, of course, live under their own rules – monetarily greased through their plunder of the political economy – and, not surprisingly, use these special rules to their advantage in ways that disadvantage you and most other people.

Business crooks get away with over $300 billion a year just in computerized billing fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry, despite the existing laws against fraud. Starvation enforcement budgets for the federal cops on the corporate beat are allocated by an indentured Congress. Thus, a routinely vast area of theft drives a political climate of lawlessness and exacerbates crime in the suites.

When Congress cuts the IRS’s budget year after year, the agency cannot collect what it estimates is over $450 billion a year in “uncollected taxes.” Add additional massive sums of “avoided taxes” by corporate lobbyists driven through Congress, and you end up paying more taxes, or receiving fewer public services or incurring larger government deficits. Huge sums of money are outside the tax laws.

As the protections of tort law – the law of wrongful injuries – are diminished, millions of Americans are left outside the civil justice system – unable to hold perpetrators accountable. The forced under-utilization of consumer, environmental and worker protection laws by their supposed beneficiaries against violators is overwhelmingly the norm.

Expanding areas of lawlessness flow wildly from existing laws.  Crimes, of wars of choice, mass government surveillance, the tortures and the licenses accorded military contractors are examples of rampant lawlessness. Wars of aggression (Iraq, Libya) are not declared, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is violated routinely, torture and unlawful imprisonment (euphemistically called ‘detention’) are the stuff of media exposés that go nowhere.

Domestically, using the law itself as an instrument of oppression, prosecutorial abuses, police and prison lawlessness and entrenched procurement violations between vendors and governments are institutionalized dimensions of lawlessness.

Who enforces the legal boundaries on the Federal Reserve, whose widening unaccountable penumbras of lawless discretion are worrying Right and Left in this country. Former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson told the Washington Post that he had “no authorities” to engage in his serial bailouts of Wall Street, but somebody had to do it.

There are no international laws regarding the ongoing, growing cyberwarfare; no laws governing the tumultuous nanotechnology, few rules that can contain the spread of migrating, untested biotechnology.

When at least 250,000 Americans can die yearly (about 700 a day!) because of medical malpractice, medical error, hospital-induced infections and mis-prescription of medicines and their lethal side-effects, there clearly is no “rule of law” applicable in this realm of preventable mass violence with any quantitative significance.

This short introduction to a hypothetical curriculum at Harvard Lawless School only scratches the surface of the “blunt, realistic facts.” Students, professors and courses at this kind of law school would not be mired in what Professor Jon Hanson has called “the illusion of law.”

Hypotheticals can spark the imagination to connect law to justice in thought and practice. Who knows what the future holds for an imaginative Harvard Law(less) School?

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Many States Out of Step with the Constitution on the Use of Force by Police

By José-Antonio Orosco | CounterPunch | July 18, 2016

Recently, President Obama held a town hall meeting to address the growing tension between minority communities and police forces after the shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas.  He urged police officers to forge trust with communities and recommended better training and more resources.

Many groups around the country have been asking for better training programs, mandatory body cameras, and other reforms. These may indeed help to reduce shootings of civilians, but a deeper concern has to do with the laws surrounding the use of deadly force by law enforcement. What legal standards exist that police officers can use to defend their actions after the fact?

Last year, Amnesty International conducted an investigation into the legal standards for the use of deadly force by police officers in the United States, comparing them with current Supreme Court rulings and international human rights standards, and found enormous disparities.

* It turns out that nine states and the city of Washington, DC have absolutely no legal standards about when officers may use deadly force in arresting suspects.

* There are no states in the country that comply with international law enforcement standards. The current United Nations standard is that police officers should only use deadly force when it is a last resort, and then, only to prevent grave harm or imminent death to themselves or another person.

* What is even more astounding is that there are 13 states that that do not even comply with current constitutional standards set by the US Supreme Court.  In the 1985 case of Tennessee v. Garner, the Court ruled that police officers may only use deadly force if they have probable cause that the suspect poses significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers or others.

My home state of Oregon is one of these places out of step with the Constitution, along with the very populated states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California.  In Oregon, for instance, police officers are allowed to shoot to kill if the police officers have a reasonable belief that a fleeing suspect has committed a kidnapping, arson, burglary, or indeed, any felony at all, even if the suspect is not posing an immediate threat of death of physical harm. Oregon law does not require that a suspect be given a warning of the use of deadly force, even though such a warning is an international legal standard. Up to 20 states allow police officers to kill a suspect simply for trying to escape prison or jail.

Given this legal framework, incidents of police shootings will not be reduced by body cameras or better training alone since it is the law itself that licenses wide discretion on whom and when police can kill.

This year, at least one state, Missouri, has started working to change that. After the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the protests that followed, legislators looked at the use of force provisions (which allowed officers to kill suspects who they believed had committed a felony) and found that it was out of step with the Garner standard.

Everyone who is concerned about the tension in the country and the grievances of the Black Lives Matter movement should press their state lawmakers to ensure that law enforcement officials in their states are at least upholding the US Constitution.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian journalist Samah Dweik sentenced to six months in Israeli prison

samah-dweik

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – July 18, 2016

Palestinian journalist Samah Dweik has been sentenced by the Israeli Jerusalem court to six months and one day in prison, on charges of “incitement” for posting on her Facebook page. She was arrested on 10 April 2016 from her home in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of Silwan, Jerusalem, in a pre-dawn raid in which occupation soldiers invaded and ransacked her home, accused of posting in support of the intifada on Facebook.

She is one of hundreds of Palestinians targeted for arrest and persecution on the basis of postings on social media. Dweik, 25, is a freelance journalist who works with Quds News Network. She is one of over 20 Palestinian journalists detained and imprisoned by Israel, including Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate leader Omar Nazzal, Addameer media coordinator Hasan Safadi, and multiple journalists accused of “incitement” for posting on social media.

banan-mafarjahDweik is one of over 60 Palestinian women imprisoned by Israel, held in HaSharon and Damon prisons. On Saturday, 16 July, two more Palestinian women were arrested: Banan Mahmoud Mafarjah, 21, a medical student at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, Jerusalem, was arrested at an Israeli occupation “flying checkpoint” west of Ramallah; while Amal Masalmah of al-Khalil was among 10 Palestinians detained in late night and pre-dawn raids on 17 July.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu Corruption Scandal Envelops Wealthy U.S. Haredi Family

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | July 17, 2016

… I reported yesterday on an investigation that has caught up Netanyahu, his son, Yair, possibly his wife, Sara, and his former chief of staff Ari Harow. …

Today, a Channel 2 news report snares a new player in the scandal, Shlomo Rechnitz. There’s a baseball saying: you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. As this criminal probe expands, I’ll try to keep the players clearly identified and offer some background.

robert reichnitz & netanyahu

Robert Rechnitz with pal, Bibi Netanyahu

Rechnitz comes from a wealthy, extended ultra-Orthodox family based in California.  The scion of the family and Shlomo’s uncle, is Robert Rechnitz, a real estate investor who founded the Bomel Companies and an Israeli subsidiary, Bomel Israel. He has been vice chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and founded a Congressional lobbying group on behalf of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system (or should I say, “racket system?) the Iron Dome Tribute.  He even developed a branding slogan: “the Humane Defensive Weapon.” I always thought the words “humane” and “weapon” were oxymorons. But not in the topsy-turvy world that is pro-Israel advocacy.

I learned all this not from Wikipedia or Rechnitz’s corporate biography, but from the corporate PR firm Rechnitz hired to polish his image, the Friedlander Group.  Unfortunately, he didn’t hire them to monitor the reputation of his children and close family members. Because now two of them are in very hot water.

His nephew, Shlomo owns the largest nursing home conglomerate in California: Brius Healthcare Services (brius is the Yiddish version of the word for “health”). The State of California has investigated his firm numerous times for violations of health regulations. He was the subject of a class-action suit. His Pasadena nursing care facility was accused of recruiting felons as patients. Several employees faced criminal charges from that escapade. He complained once to the Sacramento Bee that the charges against him made him out to be “the Charles Manson of the nursing home business.” I’m guessing no one from Friedlander was available to accompany him to this interview. That image really sticks in your mind.

Not to mention the time he announced that his employees, for whom he’d purchased 18,000 Powerball tickets, had won the Powerball jackpot. The NY Times even featured him in a major story. Well, it turns out it wasn’t true. It was all a hoax, supposedly perpetrated by the son of one of the “winning” employees.

Rechnitz is also reported to have bought the anti-Haredi blog, Failed Messiah, written for years by Shmaryahu Rosenberg. Rechnitz and many of his associates had been skewered in its posts for years.  Though conditions of the sale were not made public, they apparently bar Rosenberg from creating a new blog; or at least one covering the same subject as his old one. That online property promptly disappeared from the internet.  Clearly, the Haredi community had withstood the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune from Rosenberg’s pen for too long. The tycoon stepped in to end the attacks.  Lately, a new iteration of the blog, Lost Messiah, was launched by readers of the old blog who wished to maintain the service it had done to the Orthodox community and the Jewish world.

Rechnitz appears to be playing a lead role in the Scandal of the Day as a major donor to Netanyahu and the Likud. His uncle, Robert, was the western chair of American Friends of the Likud, which would mean he both donated and raised massive sums from Orthodox Jews on behalf of the Israel far-right. As such, the elder Rechnitz would’ve worked closely with Ari Harow, the man in the spotlight of the current scandal. That’s how Shlomo would’ve come to the attention of the Israeli police investigating the money-laundering operation.

I haven’t dug deeply into the background of Victor Deutsch, Harow’s former business partner. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he too is Orthodox and perhaps a close friend of the Rechnitz family. If this guess turns out to be true, Deutsch would have excellent motive to benefit Harow and the Likud by the sort of fraudulent business transaction they’re accused of arranging, in selling the latter’s company for $3-million in largely unaccounted-for funds.

Jonah Reichnitz

Jona Rechnitz: show him the money!

Another Rechnitz facing the glare of bad PR is Jona, Robert’s son and cousin to Shlomo. Jona attended Yeshiva University and was photographed during his student days visiting the Cave of the Patriarch, a venerated settler holy site where Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinian worshippers.

Jona began his career in real estate working for Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel. Leviev, who began his own career as a blood diamond merchant to the stars, also maintains vast real estate holdings in the U.S., Britain and Israel. His company has also built Israeli settlements. Jona helped manage the Leviev real estate portfolio in New York until they had a falling out. After that, Rechnitz formed his own company, JSR Capital.

Jona and another wealthy Hasidic Jew have been swept up in the bribery and corruption scandal which has rocked the De Blasio administration in New York City. They did favors for the corrupt head of the city prison officers union, Norman Seabrook, and offered gifts and benefits to senior police officers in the precinct where they lived.  Among the crooked deals was a $60,000 payment to Seabrook (paid in a $1,000 Ferragamo hand bag) in return for the union boss’ steering $20-million to a Rechnitz associate’s investment fund. Seabrook was miffed as he’d been told he could net $150,000 from the arrangement.

Among other favors were all-expenses paid gambling junkets to Las Vegas on a private jet.  Another part of the entertainment provided was a prostitute dressed as a flight attendant whose “services” included far more than providing drinks and snacks.

Presumably, Rechnitz did this so he could gain favorable service response and attention from local police personnel in Brooklyn Orthodox neighborhoods. But he had even bigger ambitions, which led him and his associate to make six-figure donations to various DeBlasio political fundraising vehicles once he’d won the Democratic mayoral primary.

Jona lobbied the City Council and succeeded in gaining a $655,000 “discretionary” allocation to underwrite a “cultural sensitivity” police training seminar hosted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which was Rechnitz’ pet project.  Presumably, part of the curriculum was learning sensitivity to the special interests of the Haredi community.  You certainly won’t find any sensitivity to the Muslim community in this program.

All of this paints a portrait of a wealthy Haredi family parlaying money into political clout on a local, national and international scale. Unlike other American families in which wealth is wielded within discrete nuclear families, in the Haredi world extended families (clans) unite to pursue objectives that benefit both their families personally and their extended Orthodox communities. It’s certainly cleaner and less deadly than the old Italian mob. But as the Netanyahu investigation shows, it’s no less venal and corrupt.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian journalist ordered to administrative detention, campaign launched for syndicate leader’s release

adib-alatrash

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – July 18, 2016

The Israeli Ofer military court issued a thee-month administrative detention order against Palestinian journalist Adib al-Atrash on Sunday, 17 July, as the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate launched an international effort to free syndicate leader Omar Nazzal, also held under administrative detention without charge or trial.

Al-Atrash, who recently graduated from Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus, was arrested by Israeli occupation forces on Monday, 20 June from his family’s home in Al-Khalil. Al-Atrash and Nazzal are two of over twenty Palestinian journalists detained and imprisoned by the Israeli occupation.

Nazzal was arrested by Israeli occupation forces on 23 April 2016, as he attempted to cross at the Karameh crossing from Palestine’s West Bank to Jordan, to travel to the European Federation of Journalists’ annual general meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nazzal, a member of the PJS’ general secretariat, was representing the syndicate at the conference; he was also ordered to four months’ administrative detention without charge or trial.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate is working with the International Federation of Journalists and international syndicates of journalists to campaign for freedom for Nazzal and his imprisoned colleagues. The IFJ has called for the release of Nazzal and other imprisoned Palestinian journalists, including former hunger striker and administrative detainee Mohammed al-Qeeq.

Al-Atrash and Nazzal are among nearly 750 Palestinians held under administrative detention without charge or trial, out of a total of 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Administrative detention orders, issued for periods of one to six months on the basis of secret evidence, are indefinitely renewable.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment