Aletho News


Is slapping a soldier in the face worse than shooting a child in the face?

Mohammed Tamimi
By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 7, 2018

Many in Israel and mainstream media seem to consider slapping an Israeli soldier in the face a more notable offense than shooting a Palestinian child in the face.

A CNN report on Ahed Tamimi’s slap of an Israeli soldier did not mention that an Israeli soldier had just shot her young cousin in the face.

An Atlantic article that contained much valuable information about the situation nevertheless buried and minimized the shooting of a boy, mentioning it in one paragraph low in the story.

Below is some information many mainstream media are omitting:

Mohammed Tamimi is about 15 years old (some reports said he was 14). He was unarmed and posed no risk to anyone when an Israeli soldier a few meters away shot him in the face. The bullet entered Mohammed’s face below his nose. It broke his jaw and then lodged in his skull. According to a witness, “The blood was pouring from his face like a fountain.”

With difficulty due to Israel’s many military checkpoints on Palestinian land, the teen was eventually taken to a hospital, where he underwent a six-hour procedure involving seven surgeons. The doctors removed the bullet, reconstructed his jaw and put him into an artificial coma for 72 hours.

A Ha’aretz article reports: “The left side of his face is twisted, swollen, fragmented, scarred; there’s congealed blood by his nose, stitches in his face; one eye is shut, a seam line stretches across his whole scalp. A boy’s face turned scar-face. Some of his skull bones were removed in surgery and won’t be returned to their place for another six months.”

The fact that a soldier shot a boy in the face from close range would normally be the focus of a news story. Since this soldier was Israeli, the boy was Palestinian, and this kind of atrocity is a fairly frequent occurrence in Palestine, it was barely mentioned.

In fact, if Mohammed’s cousin hadn’t then slapped a heavily armed, combat-ready soldier invading her home (which had earlier been tear-gassed), almost no one would even know about Mohammed.

And now, instead of a soldier facing trial for shooting an unarmed boy in the face, it is a 16-year-old girl and her mother who are facing years in prison.

One high Israeli minister said they “should end their lives in jail.”

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 5 Comments

German opposition calls to reverse online hate speech law

RT | January 7, 2108

New online hate speech regulations which took effect Monday, stipulates that German authorities can impose huge fines of up to €50 million ($60.1 million) on social media platforms which fail to promptly delete offensive content.

The parliamentary leader of the Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht, called the legislation a “slap in the face for all democratic principles,” claiming the courts, rather than private companies, should determine what constitutes unlawful content.

Nicola Beer, the General Secretary of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), expressed similar sentiments. “The past few days have clearly shown private providers aren’t always able to make the right decision,” she told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Other politicians, such as the leader of the Greens, Simone Peter, argued the law hampered free speech in Germany, leaving it at hands of US corporations to decide what was “hate speech” and what was not.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

BDS calls for boycotting US projects in Palestine

Press TV – January 7, 2018

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has called for the boycott of American projects in the occupied Palestinian territories in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

In reaction to Trump’s December announcement, the BDS has called for a boycott of “activities organized or sponsored by US institutions, in Jerusalem and abroad.”

Managers of US-funded programs in Palestinian territories say the announcement has been followed by protests and refusals to meet with their project managers.

Activists have also urged groups working with the American programs to remove US-linked branding – including the US flag- from their promotional materials.

Palestinians have also rejected US assistance in various areas. Some law schools, for example, have pulled out of an international event for which the US consulate had planned to buy plane tickets.

Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement, told The Guardian that most Palestinians were upset with Trump’s decision and saw Washington as an accomplice to Israel’s crimes.

“The overwhelming majority of Palestinians has always recognized successive US administrations as not just patrons of, but also partners in crime with Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid,” he said.

The activist also warned that Trump’s unconditional support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the constant undermining of Palestinian rights at the United Nations had taken the protests to an unprecedented level.

“The latest attempt by the far-right, anti-Palestinian Trump-Netanyahu alliance to take off the table UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people, including Jerusalem, has taken popular Palestinian protests against this deepening official US complicity to a level that has not been seen since the 1993 Oslo accords,” he argued.

Israel has placed a travel ban against Barghouti as part of a broad policy to counter BDS. He was recently denied to travel to Jordan for his mother’s surgery.

Infuriated by the campaign’s worldwide success and growing popularity, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published on Sunday a blacklist of organizations whose activists were partaking in the BDS movement.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Why cutting US aid to the Palestinian Authority is not a bad idea

Dr Alaa Tartir | Middle East Eye | January 5, 2018

Many observers and analysts warn that cutting US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is dangerous and may threaten stability. Some have even argued that US President Donald Trump’s funding threat to Palestinians is more dangerous than his decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“Do you think that the PA’s days are now numbered?” is one of the most recurring question by journalists over the past few days after Trump’s statement that “we pay the Palestinians hundred of millions of dollars a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue.”

Actions against Palestinians

Trump continued by saying “with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”. However, Trump’s threat to withdraw aid to the PA should not come as a surprise.

US aid has been always used as a political tool, and the conditionality attached to it has been harmful and damaging for the Palestinians.

But in case the threat of cutting aid to the PA materialises, is it really that bad? I argue no; it is not that bad. Arguably it may prove beneficial – possibly not in the short term, but certainly in the long term.

US aid to the PA largely aims to solidify the role of the PA as a subcontractor to Israel’s occupation and has made the Israeli occupation cheaper and longer, which has benefited Israel’s economy, entrenched Palestinian fragmentation, and denied the potential for Palestinian democracy. For all these reasons, cutting US aid to the PA is not that bad.

The first and foremost goal of the US to Palestine is to promote “the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel”. In other words, aid is provided to the Palestinians to secure Israel; but is that an assistance to the Palestinians or to Israel?

Israel-first paradigm

According to this Israel-first security paradigm, the US administration poured millions of dollars of security assistance to the PA as a way to “professionalise” its security forces for the stability and the security of Israel, its occupation, and settlers in the occupied West Bank.

This skewed logic meant that the PA became a subcontractor to the Israeli occupation, thanks to US aid and conditionality.

This did not only sustain Israel’s occupation, but also it made it profitable for Israel, its economy and its companies. US assistance to the Palestinians is often used to pay PA creditors directly, many of which are Israeli companies charging predatory rates and taking advantage of a captive PA economy.

In addition, the majority of US aid for Palestine (up to 72 percent), especially the securitised aid, ends up in Israel’s economy. Therefore, a large portion of the US “assistance” to the Palestinians effectively translates to additional support for Israel and its security apparatus.

US aid has also entrenched Palestinian fragmentation over the past decade and fuelled the divide between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Also, the aid does not only deny the potential for Palestinian democracy but sponsors the emergence of an authoritarian style of governance in the West Bank.

Driven by its securitised agenda, the US-sponsored securitised processes aims to criminalise resistance against Israel’s occupation and supress the Palestinian people’s needs and aspirations.

US aid intervention

The operations and interventions of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the office of the US Security Coordinator (USSC), were instrumental in causing all this harm. By doing so, these two institutions not only violate key international principles of aid delivery, but also they effectively act as a complementary arm of the Israeli colonial occupation.

Certainly, these damages and harmful consequences of the US aid intervention will not be automatically reversed if Trump’s threat to cut aid becomes a reality.

It is far more complex than that, as it requires dismantling complex structures, dynamics, and institutions that have emerged and solidified over the past quarter of a century.

What is crucial at this stage is that Palestinians do not panic and curse their luck for “losing” $300mn to $400mn a year; rather, they should act – and they have plenty of choices. As a starter, they should hold USAID and the USSC accountable, and they should revoke the registry exemptions the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat gave to USAID to operate without any Palestinian oversight.

Reverse vetting process

It is time to reverse the “vetting process”; instead of USAID vetting the Palestinians, it is time for the Palestinians to do the necessary vetting to USAID and the other US bodies in the aid industry in Palestine.

Doing so requires the political will and courage among Palestine’s political leadership. However, the current PA leadership remains fixated on its failing approaches and formulas.

The inability of the PA leadership to perform small actions, such as revoking USAID registry exemptions, reflects a deeper legitimacy crisis and illustrates the tactical moves by the current PA leadership to buy time, remain in authority, or re-arrange “peace” talk cards. Those ideas must be urgently resisted and replaced by new strategic directions that are dictated by the Palestinian people.

The remaining major challenge, however, is how to channel the Palestinian people’s demands and aspirations into a legitimate polity and representative institutions.

From the ordinary Palestinian people perspective, there will be short-term negative consequences in the event of Trump’s threat to cut aid  materialising. However, it is also crucial to recognise that aid to the PA does not automatically translate to aid to the Palestinian people.

It is misleading to assume that aid and its benefits trickle down to ordinary Palestinian people. The aid industry is designed to benefit few and harm many.

Sam Bahour, the chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy, recently argued: “I would not lose any sleep if Congress totally stopped funding the Palestinian Authority. It would not make daily life easier under occupation, but maybe it would wake up enough American leaders to see the absurdity of their being dragged around like a flock of sheep by their Israeli herder.”

I would not lose any sleep, either. While a US aid cut will have some negative consequences on Palestinian lives, long-term prospects may prove more more positive as this action would push the PA to abandon the framework of the Oslo Accords aid model. It’s time to lay the failed Oslo aid model to rest.

But a phasing out process requires serious actions, concrete and clear steps, and a national action/rescue plan for a transition toward a post two-state formula and a post-Oslo Accords framework.

Finally, while humanitarian assistance is important, what matters more for the ordinary Palestinians is not a coupon to get wheat or sardines, but rather the political roots to fight against the denial of their rights.

Until those political roots are addressed and no matter of how big the aid flows get, ordinary Palestinians will not feel the positive outcome of aid, be it American, European, or Arab aid.

Trump’s threat to cut aid offers ordinary Palestinians a new opportunity to place the principles of self-determination and dignity in the core of the aid framework and industry.

Dr Alaa Tartir is the programme director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, and a research associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. Follow Alaa Tartir on Twitter @alaatartir and read his publications at  

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran Bans English in Primary Schools

Sputnik – January 7, 2018

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has reportedly said that early learning of the English language paves the way for the West’s “cultural invasion” of Iran.

The head of the state-run High Education Council, Mehdi Navid-Adham, said to local TV on Sunday that English classes in primary schools are “against laws and regulations.” He added that English was no longer part of the educational curriculum. High school students will keep learning English, the official added.

Accroding to Mehdi Navid-Adham, primary schools will now focus on the Farsi language and classes of Iranian culture.

The news comes after an announcement from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps regarding recent protests. The Revolutionary Guard declared that the demonstrations had been orchestrated with the help of external forces, including the United States and Britain, and had been successfully suppressed.

Earlier in January, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo said during an emergency UN Security Council meeting that Tehran had “hard evidence” proving protests were “directed from abroad.” The meeting was called by the US, which has repeatedly accused Iranian authorities of cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.

A wave of protests has swept across the country in recent weeks, with thousands of people taking part in demonstrations. At least 21 people have been killed and over 400 hundred more arrested as a result of the unrest. However, most of those detained have been subsequently released, according to sources in police.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Iran’s Aseman Airlines to purchase another 30 Boeing jets

Press TV – January 7, 2018

Iran says it plans to purchase another 30 planes from US aviation giant Boeing if the administration of US President Donald Trump creates no obstacles for the existing order by one of its key airlines.

The announcement was made by Vali Azarvash, the managing director of Atieh Saba Investment Company which is one of the main shareholders of Aseman Airlines.

Azarvash emphasized that no problem had so far occurred as per the previous order by Aseman Airlines to purchase 30 planes from Boeing. The first planes, he said, would be delivered within the next two years.

He said that Atieh Saba Investment would support 95 percent of the costs for purchasing the planes ordered with Boeing.

“If the US politicians create no problems on the way of the implementation of the existing contract, Aseman Airlines will purchase another 30 planes from Boeing,” he was quoted as saying by Iran’s IRNA news agency.

The agreement for the first batch of Boeing planes involves 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets and was signed between the two sides last August.

This came after almost a year of negotiations between Aseman Airlines and the US aviation giant, according to an IRNA report published at the time the contract was signed.

Boeing is to provide 50 planes of the same type to Iran’s flag-carrier airline Iran Air through a similar agreement. The overall value of Iran Air’s order that also involves 30 long-range wide-body 777 aircraft is estimated to be $16.6 billion.

Boeing 737 MAX planes – that would enter service in the second half of 2017 – have a passenger capacity of 130 people and are specifically adequate for domestic and regional flights, IRNA added in its report.

The planes that Aseman Airlines has purchased from Boeing would increase the company’s passenger transportation capacity to above 8,000 seats, it emphasized.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Dictator who sterilized 300,000 women: ‘I Dream of a Peru Without Resentment’

teleSUR | January 6, 2018

Recently pardoned Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori, freshly discharged from hospital and living in a luxury mansion, has shared his aspirations for a “Peru without resentment.”

The controversial figure is linked to commanding death squads that carried out disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the war against insurgent groups Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, which claimed at least 70,000 lives.

Fujimori, now 79, also directed the forced sterilization of approximately 300,000 mostly Indigenous women between 1996 and 2000.

He was detained in Chile in 2005 and sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for several crimes, including premeditated murder and kidnapping.

Last week he was discharged from the Centenario clinic, where he had been hospitalized since December 23, just 12 days after being pardoned by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a controversial move that prompted several cabinet ministers to resign in protest.

Safely ensconced in a US$5,000-a-month mansion in one of Lima’s most exclusive residential districts, Fujimori – now a free man – took to his Twitter account on Saturday to describe the “new phase” of his life.

“In the first hours of this new phase of my life, I would like to share the dreams that constantly invade me,” he posted. “I dream of a Peru without resentment, with everybody working for a superior objective.”

Responding, Fujimori’s supporters said his critics are “blinded by hate” and should learn to forgive and move forward to build a better country.

But others were less forgiving. “Accept responsibility for your cimes, ask the victims for forgiveness, ask the whole nation for forgiveness for running away like a criminal, return the stolen money and then we could talk about it,” posted one Twitter user.

Fujimori’s pardon is believed to be part of a political agreement between his party Popular Force and current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Protests erupted following Fujimori’s pardon, with widespread calls for it to be rescinded.

Last month a group of 239 renowned Peruvian writers, led by Nobel Prize-winner Mario Vargas Llosa, signed an open letter saying: “Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and corruption.

“He was responsible for a coup d’état as well as the dismantling of our institutions. His pardon demonstrates the lack of appreciation for the dignity and equality before the law, and the right to memory.”

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

FBI found ‘no evidence’ US diplomats in Cuba attacked with ‘sonic weapon’ – US senator

RT | January 7, 2018

The FBI has found no evidence that American diplomats in Havana were the victims of attacks with unknown weapons, according to Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

During a meeting with top Cuban officials, including Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Flake was informed that after four trips to Cuba, the FBI had found no evidence that the mysterious sickness experienced by several US diplomats was the result of foul play.

“Nobody is saying that these people didn’t experience some event, but there’s no evidence that that was a deliberate attack by somebody, either the Cubans or anybody else,” Flake told the Associated Press.

Twenty-four US government officials and spouses fell ill in Havana starting in 2016. The illnesses spurred the US to withdraw most of its diplomats from Havana, and also led to the expulsion of many Cuban diplomats from Washington.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said he is “convinced these were targeted attacks.” Cuba says the mysterious string of illnesses has been unjustly used to damage relations between the two countries – which were partially restored under President Barack Obama.

January 7, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , | Leave a comment