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Palestinian-American Groups Withdraw from Women’s March in Protest of Pro-Israel Speaker, Scarlett Johannson

Palestine Chronicle | January 21, 2018

NBC reported that three Palestinian human rights groups pulled out of the Los Angeles Women’s March Saturday after it was announced that one of the featured speakers was actress Scarlett Johannson, who promoted SodaStream, a beverage company that owns a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

A former OXFAM ambassador, Johannson resigned her position with the humanitarian organization after criticism for supporting and promoting the support of Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.

The Southern California branch of the Palestinian Women’s Organization made a statement on their Facebook page about the decision to pull out of the march:

“PAWA recently became aware of LA March’s decision to include Scarlett Johansson in their lineup of special guest speakers. Johansson has expressed her unapologetic support of illegal settlements in the West Bank, a human rights violation recognized by the international community whose calls only led to a reaffirmation of her position, sending a clear message that Palestinian voices and human rights for Palestinians do not matter. While her position may not be reflective of all organizers at the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation, PAWA cannot in good conscience partner itself with an organization that fails to genuinely and thoughtfully recognize when their speaker selection contradicts their message.

“Currently, 16 year old Ahed Tamimi is being held in custody for standing up to two Israeli combat soldiers who raided her family home in the middle of the night on illegally occupied land. Her story, one among hundreds of Palestinian children being abused and imprisoned by Israeli military, has been heard across the globe with calls to #FreeAhed, making the decision to invite Scarlett Johansson speak at an event highlighting “the struggles of marginalized communities and all attacks on human rights” all the more tone deaf.

“We join Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, BDS-LA, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and other organizations who have signed the petition below in boycott of the January 20 march in Los Angeles.”

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hassan Nasrallah answers Trump on Hezbollah’s drug trafficking

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 19, 2018, on the occasion of the commemoration of the death of Fayez Moghniyeh, father of martyrs Jihad, Fouad and Imad Moghniyeh

In case this video is censored by Youtube, find it on Dailymotion, Vimeo or Rutube. See Kafka 2.0: How Youtube’s Political Censorship is Exercised

Hassan Nasrallah answers Trump on Hezbollah’s drug trafficking from Sayed Hasan on Vimeo

Transcript by Sayed Hasan | January 21, 2018:

In recent weeks, US accusations were made. They are not new but they are taking a new dimension. The US Department of Justice created a commission of inquiry that will come to Lebanon – I do not know if it is already there, the media have not made it clear – to meet with officials and Lebanese parties and to investigate. About what ? The Hezbollah links with drug trafficking.

A story was concocted in the US, that Obama would have prevented any investigation on the issue of Hezbollah drug trafficking, but Trump, being more intransigent, formed this Inquiry. The same approach is being carried out by France, and it seems there have been arrests of people linked to drug trafficking, money laundering, etc.

Anyway, I will not dwell at length on this subject, but I want to remind our unchanging position of principle. I want to tell you and all the spectators, categorically, that these are fabrications and false accusations which are not based on any fact and have no truth. Hezbollah, regarding this issue, has a clear religious, legal and ethical position. For us, the drug trade is illegal, prohibited, and is even among the major sins. And we prohibit drug trafficking even in the society of the enemy. Perhaps someone will say what is wrong with selling drugs to Israeli society to destroy it (from within)? Even the drug trade with Israeli society to destroy it is illicit in our view. The drug trafficking and spread are by principle illicit (whatever the circumstances) even to an enemy society. This has nothing to do with (warfare). Such are our ethics, such is our commitment, which stands absolutely.

And therefore, all (the accusations) have no basis of truth. The real question is: in what framework are these accusations made? I have already said and I repeat: as regards trade, and not just the issue of drugs, I have already reminded on more than one occasion, O people, that even the legal trade, we in Hezbollah are not doing. Even legitimate trade. All kinds of commercial or lucrative activity, we are completely detached from them. It is not by asceticism or because it would be illegal, I speak of legitimate trade. On the contrary, trade is a recommended action. Trade, from the standpoint of the (Islamic) law and rulings, is a recommended action. But as regards Hezbollah as a party, as a peculiar political and jihadist entity, we took the decision to make no trade.

And this decision is motivated by the sanctions, so that they will not harm the Lebanese traders, otherwise tomorrow all Lebanese traders would be accused of having Hezbollah money or of making it fructify. We conduct absolutely no lucrative activity. We do not invest our money (neither by trade, loans, bank interest …). The money we have at our disposal is only one that is sufficient for us, for our expenses on the various fields where we are, primarily the armed battles we lead. And therefore, we have no money fructifying, we have no business, and we do not have any member or office making any benefit from our money.

And also, incidentally, I have said it before and I repeat it today, for now, thanks God, after the victory in Iraq and the almost complete victory in Syria, the return of peace and reconstruction, there are companies and Lebanese traders who go to work in Iraq, Syria and other countries, I want to say to everyone: there is no one, no action project of this type belonging to Hezbollah. Hezbollah has nothing (like it). Hezbollah has nowhere any money invested, and is not involved nor a partner in any profit or commercial project.

Of course, we do not ban it. There are traders who are on the line of Hezbollah, who are our brothers, there may be rich, people who have abilities, but they work individually. We do not prohibit the Lebanese people to trade. If someone has money and does business, it is as as an individual, with his own money. These are individual companies. Hezbollah as Hezbollah hasn’t designated nor authorized anyone to speak in his name and conduct personal profit projects. For there is no such lucrative action. I say that to confirm this point.

On the issue of drugs, it is clearly an (unlawful) question for us, as I said, but (such accusations) are part of the war against us. It is part of the war being waged against us. And that’s a natural thing. When (former US ambassador) Feltman acknowledged that the US Embassy in Lebanon alone spent 5 billion – sorry, 5 million to sully the image of Hezbollah and keep young people away from it. This is part of the (enemy) effort to discredit us.

The Americans have done their best to convince the world that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Some countries went along, others not. And even some countries that have agreed to register us officially on the list of terrorist organizations, behind the scenes, they contact us and work with us and would (almost) be willing to die to preserve their relationship with us. The idea to (identify us as a) terrorist organization did not work. It is not logical.

Hezbollah has proved, especially in recent years, that it is one of the most important forces – not the largest, but one of the most important forces – fighting against terrorism and terrorist groups in the region. How could they describe us as terrorists while we fight the terrorists? Those that the world unanimously designates as terrorists (ISIS)?

This is why the Americans are trying something else. They want to present Hezbollah as a criminal organization. I hope that the public will pay attention to this. There’s designation as a terrorist organization and designation as a criminal organization. What is a criminal organization? An organization that makes drug trafficking, steals cars, made of gangsters, mercenaries and assassins, etc. They try to describe us as a criminal organization.

Very good. If they want to make an inquiry in Lebanon, they are welcome. I invite the Commission of the US Ministry of Justice to come do their investigation in Lebanon. And we hope that the Lebanese who will meet the members of this Commission will tell the truth and be honest. Let no one lie to incite against us. There are (unfortunately) people like that in Lebanon. In Lebanon, it is well known who has a tough stance on drug trafficking, drug traffickers and all of this. It’s well known. If someone has something against us, let him come forward. We hope they will tell the truth, even if I know that the Americans are not looking for the truth. They will look for anything to support that accusation and place Hezbollah on the list of criminal organizations.

Anyway, I said enough on this topic and I declare that we reject this accusation. On this issue, our position is firm and unchanging. We accept no charge. There is nothing dirty inside Hezbollah. Instead, they should first consider their own situation, investigate how the Americans, the CIA, the security agencies (FBI,  etc.) themselves are trafficking drugs and destroying societies by spreading drugs there. So you should rather make a Commission on your own actions, investigate drug trafficking of your own officials and security agencies. […]

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

The NSA Is a Blackmail Agency

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute For Political Economy | January 21, 2018

The main function of the National Security Administration is to collect the dirt on members of the house and senate, the staffs, principal contributors, and federal judges. The dirt is used to enforce silence about the crimes of the security agencies.

The blackmail mechanism was put into gear the minute the news reported that the House Intelligence Committee had assembled proof that the FBI, DOJ, and DNC created Russiagate as a conspiracy to unseat President Trump. Members of Congress with nothing to hide demanded the evidence be released to the public. Of course, it was to be expected that release of the facts would be denounced by Democrats, but Republicans, such as Rep. Mike Conaway (R, Texas), himself a member of the committee, joined in the effort to protect the Democrats and the corrupt FBI and DOJ from exposure. Hiding behind national security concerns, Conaway opposes revealing the classified information. “That’d be real dangerous,” he said.

As informed people know, 95% of the information that is classified is for purposes that have nothing to do with national security. The House Intelligence Committee memo has no information in it related to any security except that of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Hillary, Obama, Mueller, Rosenstein, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, the DNC, and the presstitute media. The logical assumption is that every member of Congress opposed to informing the American public of the Russiagate conspiracy to unseat the President of the United States is being blackmailed by the security agencies who planned, organized, and implemented the conspiracy against the President of the United States and American democracy.

American insouciance is a great enabler of the ability of the security agencies and their media whores to control the explanations.

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Executed’ North Koreans return to life

RT | January 21, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is famous in Western media for executing people that fall out of his favor – though some seem to have found the knack of returning from the dead.

Reports regularly surface on Kim’s latest means of execution, ranging from the relatively mundane firing squad to the theatrical, or even cartoonish – such as feeding foes to packs of starving dogs or roasting them with flame-throwers.

The pop star and ‘former lover’

The most recent case is North Korean popstar Hyon Song-wol, spotted alive and well in South Korea on Sunday despite having reportedly been killed in a purge of singers, musicians and dancers back in 2013.

The performer was reportedly executed along with 11 others, including other members of her group, the Moranbong Band, the head of Unhasu Orchestra, and several dancers from the Wangjaesan Light Music Band.

The 12 victims had allegedly been accused of, among other offenses, recording themselves having sex and selling the footage. The reported victims hadn’t been seen since, until Hyon Song-wol, with whom Kim had reportedly been romantically entwined, publicly resurfaced on Saturday to inspect Olympic venues in South Korea ahead of the Winter Games.

The military chief

Back in 2016, N. Korean army chief Ri Yong Gil was reportedly executed for “factionalism, misuse of authority, and corruption.” As with a lot of information emanating from the isolated country, this turned out to false.

South Korean intelligence officials seemed to take his removal as head of the army as confirmation of his execution. The only problem was that a couple of months later Ri Yong Gil apparently returned from the dead, with an array of new senior-level positions, when he attended the Workers’ Party Congress in May that year.

The uncle ‘executed by a pack of dogs’

Apparently Kim really has it in for his older relatives, if Western media reports are to believed. So much so, it seems, that Kim was willing to execute his own uncle, by setting a pack of 120 starving dogs on him as part of yet another purge back in 2014.

Though it appears that Jang Song Thaek was indeed executed, the ‘ripped apart by dogs’ story was a complete fabrication that first raised its head on a satirical Chinese microblogging website.

The aunt ‘poisoned on request’

Further to ‘feeding his uncle to dogs’, as mentioned above, he reportedly then turned his murderous gaze towards his aunt, Kim Kyong-hui.

Kyong-hui, Kim’s father’s sister and the wife of uncle Jang Song Thaek, was reportedly executed by poisoning on the leader’s orders.

However, once again these reports turned out to be false. South Korean news agency Yonhap reported last year that she is very much alive, although she is being treated for illnesses ranging from depression to cancer.

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 7 Comments

Court rejects school’s effort to dismiss free speech lawsuit

By Tyler Cochran | Campus Reform | January 19, 2018

Pierce College will have to defend the constitutionality of its policies restricting speech to just 0.003 percent of campus after a judge rejected its motion to dismiss a student’s lawsuit.

With help from attorneys at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), student Kevin Shaw sued the school in March after administrators refused to let him distribute copies of the Constitution outside of the school’s “free speech zone,” which encompasses just 616 square feet of the 426-acre campus.

Shaw was also told he must fill out a permit application to use the free speech zone, and that he would have to leave campus if he refused to comply, which the school’s defense attorneys have sought to justify by arguing that the campus is a “non-public forum.”

According to the court order, the motion was dismissed in part because “given the traditional purpose of the open, outdoor areas of universities, such as the ‘Mall’ on Pierce’s campus, the Court finds that these areas are traditional public fora, regardless of Pierce’s regulations naming them non-public fora.”

At issue was the school’s contention that rules established by the Los Angeles Community College District designate all areas of the district’s campuses “non-public fora” except for those that are specifically set aside as “Free Speech Areas.”

Shaw, however, pointed out that the California Education Code contradicts that policy, requiring community colleges to allow all lawful forms of free expression that do not substantially disrupt normal operations, thereby rendering them, at the very least, “designated public fora.”

“The court’s ruling sends an important message to colleges nationwide that still restrict student speech to free speech zones,” FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon remarked in a press release. “The campus is a college student’s public square. It’s their space to be engaged citizens. The public recognizes this. So do courts across the country. Now it’s time for LACCD to follow suit.”

“This decision sends a clear signal to all university administrators that mistakenly believe they can create rules that supersede the Constitution,” concurred Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Director of Free Speech Alexander Staudt. “I see this as a victory in the fight for free speech.”

“To walk completely across this campus would take hours and it is absurd that there is only a small space on that walk where free speech is allowed,” added Alex Murphy, president of the YAL chapter at Pierce College. “This case is not just about Pierce College, but every public university in the nation that has unconstitutional free speech policies.”

The LACCD is the largest community college district in the country, and Shaw’s lawsuit has the potential to affect the free speech rights of more than 150,000 students.

Pierce College spokesperson Yusef Robb told Campus Reform that “we do not comment on pending litigation,” but insisted that the school is not hostile to free speech.

“We are fully committed to free expression on our campuses,” Robb said. “As a community college district, promoting the free exchange of ideas and knowledge is at the core of what we do, every day.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @tylercochran54

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Twitter and Facebook and Russia: Consider the numbers

left i on the news | January 20, 2018

Remember how we were initially told that “Russia” (in quotes, because we have no idea who actually placed these ads, whether they had any relationship to the Russian government, or whether they were Russian at all) placed 3000 ads on Facebook? Only to learn later that 56% of them were placed after the election, 25% of them were never shown to anyone, 50% had ad budgets less than $3, and 99% of them had ad budgets less than $1000? Leaving approximately 14 ads seen during the election which had a budget exceeding $1000. And by the way virtually none of these ads mentioned Trump or Clinton at all; most dealt with issues like Black Lives Matter or gun rights. How that had an influence on the election is never quite specified. We’re told this is because Russia is trying to encourage “divisiveness” in America. As if we aren’t doing quite well on that score all by ourselves, with a little assist from FOX and MSNBC, and why that would effect that election anyway isn’t clear. Oh and most of those ads were geographically targeted, and some of the ones that were were targeted to non-“swing states”.

And then we were told by FB that those “Russian ads” reached “up to” 126 million Americans. There were 198 million Facebook users in 2016. According to Politico, 128 million people across the US generated 8.8 billion likes, posts, comments and shares related to the election. Which means that the ads reached 98.4% of all people who were posting or seeing posts about the election! Really? Bear in mind that are only 144 million Americans in the 18-65 age range, which is the default age range when you place an ad on FB (it can be changed of course). Which means that, according to FB, “Russian ads” reached a whopping 87.5% of all FB users aged 18-65. Again, really? Did you see any? I know I didn’t.

Now along comes Twitter with its own math challenges. They tell us they found 50,000 (!) accounts “linked to Russia”, which were followed, liked, or retweeted by at least 677,775 Americans, all of whom have received dire warnings from Twitter that their thinking may have been swayed by these tweets. 3,814 accounts were operated by alleged “Russian state operatives” connected to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a company allegedly “linked to” the Russian government (how has never exactly been specified). Twitter said these IRA accounts posted 175,993 tweets during the election period, and 8.4% of these were election-related.

Wait, what? This was the big attempt to influence our election, but 91.6% of the output of these alleged “trolls” couldn’t even be classified as “election-related” according to what were undoubtedly extremely loose criteria. So that’s not 176K tweets, but 15K tweets. Is that a lot? Well, to begin with that’s over an 18 month period, so we’re talking about fewer than 1K tweets per month, or fewer than 30 per day. What’s Twitter’s volume? According to them, more than 1 billion tweets about the election were sent out. 15K election-related tweets amounts to 0.0015% of that amount. Not 1%. Not a tenth of a percent. Not a hundredth of a percent One and a half thousandths of one percent.

And what about the daily rate of all tweets? There are 500 million tweets sent out every day. 21% of Twitter users are American, and I’m going to guess (because I can’t find the statistic) that they send out more than their share of tweets, so lets round up to 25% and say that Americans send out 125 million tweets/day (obviously people from other countries were also tweeting about the election, but we’re going to disregard that). So if these Russian trolls were sending out 325 tweets a day on all subjects (not just the election), that amounts to 0.00026% of the tweets on any given day. 2 and a half ten-thousandths of a percent of all tweets being sent out. Have you stopped laughing yet?

None of this, by the way, goes to the effectiveness of these FB ads or Tweets. If you’re following a rabidly pro-Trump account, chances are you’re either a rabidly pro-Trump person yourself, or perhaps the opposite just monitoring the opposition. How many neutral people whose minds were susceptible to be changed follow such accounts? There has yet to be any measurement, or for that matter even anecdotal accounts, of such things happening. “Well, I was going to vote for Hillary, but then I saw this Russian troll account tweet that Hillary lost the debate to Trump, so I changed my mind.” Really?

And now FB is going to let users rank news sources for trustworthiness. I can’t think of a worse idea. Trump supporters will rank FOX as credible and everything else as “Fake News”. The 99.5% of the population who have never even watched RT or listened to Sputnik will rank them as “untrustworthy”, because they’ve been told repeatedly that’s what they are, leaving the 0.5% of us who do to recognize they’re both as, or more credible, than any U.S. corporate media (and carry viewpoints we can’t get on the latter). Actually I can think of a worse idea, and that would be to let FB itself do the ranking. We’ve already seen what happens when Google does that, as progressive and left-wing sites, once easy to find when searching Google or Google News, have been harder or even impossible to find.

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel won’t prosecute embassy guard over Jordan shootings

MEMO | January 21, 2018

Israel will not prosecute a guard from its embassy in Amman who killed two Jordanians in July, as had long been demanded by the kingdom, two Israeli sources said to Reuters on Sunday.

Instead, the Foreign Ministry and Shin Bet security agency will review protocols surrounding the actions taken by the guard, Ze’ev Moyal, and his conduct, “and share the results with the Jordanians”, a diplomatic source said.

The killings led to a rift between the countries, which both said last week had been mended.

Jordan said Israel had apologised for the embassy deaths, would compensate the victims’ next of kin and “implement and follow up legal measures” in the case.

Jordanian officials were not immediately available to comment on the diplomatic source’s account. Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman declined comment.

Amman had previously demanded a homicide trial for the guard, whose repatriation under diplomatic immunity and hero’s welcome by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angered Jordanians.

Israel said in the aftermath of the incident that the guard had acted in self-defence, shooting a workman who stabbed and wounded him lightly, and that the second Jordanian was killed by stray fire.

Asked on Sunday whether criminal prosecution of the guard was possible, a second Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity: “No way.”

The guard’s prospects of remaining in the Israeli secret service may be in doubt, however, after a Jordanian newspaper published his name and photograph. Other fine-print elements of the reconciliation deal were designed to limit legal culpability for Israel, the diplomatic source said.

Israel would not pay damages to the next of kin directly, but instead provide a $5 million lump sum for the Jordanian government to disburse as compensation, that source said. The money is also meant to cover the needs of the family of a Jordanian shot dead by an Israeli border guard in 2014.

Two sources close to the families confirmed the payout sum.

The Israeli diplomatic source said the Netanyahu government had not apologised for the shooting of the alleged assailant but rather “voiced regret”.

On Thursday, a Jordanian government spokesman said Israel had sent a memorandum stating its “deep regrets and apologies”.

Yet Israel distinguishes between the two expressions of contrition, seeing in the latter a potential admission of guilt.

See Also:

Israel to Jordan: Reopen embassy or you will run dry

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

Is A “Great War” on Israel’s Horizon?

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | January 21, 2018

After more than a century the Zionists seem poised to deliver the coup-de-grace to Palestine, by annexing the West Bank. Limited in the first place to the settlements, it would be the forerunner to the annexation of the entire territory. The status of the Palestinian population would continue to be held in limbo until a permanent solution appears. After annexation, some might leave. The greater the number the greater the satisfaction for Israel, but two mass expulsions have taught the Palestinians that they must stay. There could still be a third wave of expulsions, with war again providing the smokescreen and, again, war is beckoning.

The Zionist founders never wanted anything less than all of Palestine. From the start they knew they would have to eject the indigenous population. The ‘binationalism’ of Martin Buber was a nice idea that had no traction in the political class. The intentions of the Zionist leadership had to be hidden until the colony had reached the point where it had the physical force to take Palestine over.

Weizmann and others proclaimed nothing but good intentions, nothing but wanting to live alongside the Palestinians and as for wanting a Jewish state, that was the furthest thing from their mind. Only in their diaries did they record what they really wanted, from Herzl’s wish to spirit the ‘penniless population’ out of Palestine to the conclusion in 1940 of Yosef Weitz, the director of the land settlement department of the Jewish National Fund that there was no room in Palestine for the settlers and ‘the Arabs’. The latter would have to go. These intentions were not anomalous but representative of what the Zionist leadership realised would have to be done if Palestine was to be theirs.

As the Palestinians would fight to the last, the land could be taken only by force. Step by step the Zionists were able to move forward towards this objective. The British helped by suppressing the Palestinian uprising in 1936-39, the first intifada, decapitating  the populist leadership that would have led the struggle against the Zionists in the 1940s. Thousands were killed and many more arrested.

The partition plan of 1947 did not represent the genuine wishes of UN members. It was imposed on the General Assembly by threats made to vulnerable members by the US and would never have passed otherwise. Israel benefitted from it politically but had no intention of adhering to its provisions, which would have left the Palestinians intact, three times the size of the Zionist settler community. The war of 1948 was a war of necessity: without the ethnic cleansing of Palestine there could have been no Israel.

The mass expulsions of 1948/49 were followed by a second bout of expulsions in 1967, followed by the slow strangulation of the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza, with Israel using all means possible, military, economic and pseudo-legal. There were other wars, all aimed at consolidating and expanding the Zionist hold on Palestine and destroying Israel’s enemies: Suez 1956, Lebanon 1978, 1982 and 2006, Gaza on numerous occasions, along with innumerable border ‘incursions’ taking, altogether, the lives of tens of thousands of Arab civilians.

There was also a ‘peace process’, an initiative of the PLO, which Israel only followed up to see what it could get out of it. Launched in 1993 it was clearly finished as early as 1995, although the corpse continues to pulsate to the present day. The ‘peace process’ was a diplomatic ruse giving Israel more time to strengthen its hold on the territories taken in 1967. Yasser Arafat was accepted as a negotiating partner and when there was nothing more he could or would give, Israel turned the peacemaker back into a terrorist and killed him. Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen of revolutionary days) followed Arafat, taking on the role of Israel’s tribune in the West Bank, also only to be discarded once Israel no longer had any use for him.

On the back of endless settlement-building and Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (rejected by virtually the rest of the world), along with a subsequent cut in US aid to UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees), the PLO is now threatening to ‘derecognize’ Israel. If this takes the ‘Palestine problem’ back to 1948, that is only appropriate, because Israel has never left it.

The time taken up from 1993 until now has allowed Israel to plant hundreds of thousands more settlers on the West Bank, whom it says cannot be removed without the risk of civil war. That might be true but the state put them there to stay, as they are bringing the Zionist project closer to fulfilment, and has never had any intention of removing them. Israel now intends to ‘legitimize’ what until it has called illegal settler ‘outposts’, as if there is any difference in international law between the complete illegality of the settler presence on the West Bank, whether in the settlements or in the outposts set up by the ‘hilltop youth’, running amuck whenever and wherever they please, beating, burning and destroying.  They are protected by the state and no wonder, as this is a state which has run amuck for more than seven decades.

The bellwether of the Zionist flock now is Naftali Bennett, the education minister, who has just spoken of ‘the end of the era of the Palestinian state and the beginning of the era of sovereignty’, by which he means Israeli annexation of the West Bank and sovereignty over all of Palestine. If there is a difference between Bennett, a likely next Prime Minister, and Netanyahu, it is only that the former speaks more plainly about his intentions. The glib Netanyahu, still seeing benefit in talking of a ‘peace process’, has others in his party to speak as openly as Bennett does. Tzipi Hotovely, for example, the Deputy Foreign Minister, also speaks of annexation: she can’t wait to see the Israeli flag flying over the Haram al Sharif and regards the former soldiers belonging to the protest movement Breaking the Silence as ‘war criminals.’

Bennett is only pointing in the direction Israel will be taking sooner or later. From the Zionist point of view the next substantial move has to be annexation. The peace tactic has been played out to the end, the two-state solution is dead (insofar as it ever lived), there is nothing more to be squeezed out of the Palestinian Authority and in Washington Israel has a friend, Donald Trump, who is delivering as much and more (recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital) than any previous US president going back to 1948: only Truman’s recognition of Israel the moment the state was declared compares. What can come next now but annexation? Bennett thinks the tide is turning in Israel’s favour and insofar as backroom dealings with gulf governments and even more lavish support from the US, he is right.

But is this enough to think the game is over and Israel has won, game, set and match? Perhaps not: perhaps not at all. This issue is not just about the Palestinians and never was. It is an Arab issue, a Muslim issue, a human rights issue and a world issue. It has not gone away and it will not go away. Ahed Tamimi, slapping an Israeli soldier on the face after he struck her (did anyone notice? Certainly not the mainstream media) and now locked away indefinitely for this heinous crime, is the latest example of Palestinian fortitude in the face of oppression.

From the beginning, however brave and steadfast, the Palestinians faced forces which no small group of people could overcome on their own: the British, the Zionists, the United States and the enormous resources they have poured into the occupation of Palestine over the past century. However, Palestine is not just a Palestinian issue and not just a broader human rights issue: it is an issue that goes to the heart of Arab history and identity. The road back to Palestine would always have to run through the Arab world. That was clear virtually from the beginning. So far, two Arab governments (Egypt and Jordan) have signed ‘peace’ treaties with Israel. These paper arrangements between governments have no popular support in either Egypt or Jordan: it is not that their people do not want peace, but that they are not prepared to sacrifice Palestine to get it. There is a slumbering giant here which Israel seems to think will slumber forever. The people are the dynamite at the end of the wick. In the right circumstances and by the right leaders they can be mobilized, as they have been before.

As a racist state Israel has a long history of treating ‘the Arabs’ with contempt or thinking them not capable of doing what they ended up doing. The prime example is 1973 when the Egyptians launched a brilliant cross-canal operation and caught the Israeli troops completely by surprise. They broke and ran and had not Sadat betrayed Hafiz al Assad, by calling the Egyptian offensive off after a week, Israel could have been driven out of the Sinai and off the Golan Heights as well. Only further US intervention (it was already directly intervening by airlifting military supplies directly into Sinai) could have prevented an Israeli defeat. In occupied southern Lebanon, Israel suffered shock after shock. It was outthought and outfought by Hezbollah, and effectively cut and run in 2000. It had another go in 2006, and was humiliated again, which is why Israel is determined to destroy Hezbollah next time, even if Lebanon has to be buried with it.

Naftali Bennett was one of Israel’s soldiers in Lebanon. He projects a tough guy persona. ‘I have killed lots of Arabs in my time and there’s no problem with that’, he has said.  Among ‘the Arabs’ he has helped to kill were the more 100 Lebanese civilians, many of them children, who had taken refuge in the UN compound at Qana, southern Lebanon, when it was shelled by an invading Israeli force in April, 1996. One man lost 31 members of his family, including nine children. Bennett was a member of the so-called ‘elite’ Maglan unit.  When his detachment was caught in an ambush by Hezbollah he called for help from an artillery unit. According to another officer, when he came on the line, Bennett was hysterical, but the shells came in and saved him, 13 exploding in the UN compound. Israel’s claim that it was a mistake was belied by UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, who filed a report with the Security Council showing that the bombing was unlikely to have been an error, given that the compound had been under reconnaissance by Israeli drones and helicopters. He lost his second term in office as a result, the US refusing to support him and backing Kofi Annan instead.

Bennett regards himself and his former military comrades as warriors. This is not an opinion shared by Hasan Nasrallah, on the basis of all the experiences Hezbollah has had with the Israelis. In a recent interview on Al Mayadeen television station Nasrallah derided the fighting capacity of Israeli soldiers. In his eyes the achievements of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine had shattered the myth of Israeli invincibility (a myth actually shattered at least as far back as the war of 1973). Hezbollah and allied forces had fought the takfiris for more than seven years in Syria and more than three years in Iraq. This was an enemy going into battle with squads of suicide bombers, an enemy ready to die ‘without limit’, compared to the Israelis whom, Nasrallah said, do not move forward unless they are preceded by armor, followed by ambulances and protected by fighter jets and helicopters overhead. ‘Such a soldier is defeated beforehand. He is a coward with no will to fight.’  Fighting the Islamic State was much more difficult than fighting Israel, which it was possible to defeat ‘bila shaq’ (without doubt). It was the human factor that gave the resistance the edge.

Nasrallah referred repeatedly to the coming ‘great war’ with Israel, which would involve not just the ‘axis of resistance’ (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and all organizations in the Arab world ‘that support this path’) but hundreds of thousands of Arab volunteers. Nasrallah said Sayyid Abd al Malik al Houthi had promised to send tens of thousands of fighters volunteers even if the Saudi-Yemeni war continued. This war, which Nasrallah has frequently said Hezbollah would carry across the armistice line into Galilee, and would stretch along the whole Lebanese and Syrian front with Israel, has been the central theme of all his recent interviews.

Israel’s strategy from the start will be the total destruction of Hezbollah as quickly as possible and as much of Lebanon as is needed to destroy Hezbollah. Air power will be the crux of Israel’s war strategies, as it has been in the past. This is what Hezbollah and its allies will have been working on for years to neutralize. That Israel is actively preparing for war is clear from the air and ground exercises it has held in the past six months, combining air, naval and ground forces, robotics, fighting in tunnels and the evacuation of civilians from the northern region up to the armistice line with Lebanon. The Israeli general staff has effectively acknowledged the poor performance of troops on the ground, in Gaza or in Lebanon in 2006 by increasing the ratio of soldiers and officers from a religious settler background, more strongly motivated to fight, it thinks, than young men from a secular background.

There is no doubt that the Israeli general staff analyses every word Nasrallah utters, takes him seriously and has respect for him on the basis of Hezbollah’s military achievements but little of what he says reaches the ‘western’ mainstream media. He is just the bushy-bearded cleric regularly presented as Iran’s proxy in Lebanon as if he has no mind of his own, rather than having one of the most impressive minds in the Middle East. Nasrallah never indulges in loose talk and talks only of the ‘possibility’ of a coming great war, so as not to alarm people, when clearly in his mind it is not just a probability but a war that will bring the historical confrontation with Israel to an end point. By inflicting a crushing defeat on its enemies, this is certainly what Israel will have in mind. Hezbollah is prepared and Nasrallah thinks it can win.

The very idea that Israel could be defeated on the battlefield has no place at all in a ‘western’ discourse built as it has been on media bias and centuries of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias. It would be regarded as unthinkable, nonsensical, and laughable. Israel has setbacks but it does not lose wars: the possibility does not exist in minds conditioned by endless media bias. Such a war should be regarded with dread: as Nasrallah says, no-one could say where it might not lead, but with all options for peace destroyed, the pendulum inevitably swings in this direction. Has Hasan Nasrallah drifted away from reality, talking of victory and the hundreds of thousands of fighters who will join this coming war, or does he know something that we don’t? He obviously knows many things that we don’t but to defeat Israel, its offensive and defensive air power would have to be neutralized. Have Hezbollah and Iran worked out how to do this? Is this the source of his confidence? We will have to wait for the war to find out.

January 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Erdogan accuses allies of sending ‘thousands of planeloads’ and ‘truckloads of arms’ to Kurds

RT | January 21, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned on Ankara’s allies, insinuating that the US in particular has been providing massive military support to Kurdish YPG in Syria.

In a speech to his ruling AK Party Erdogan said that ‘some allies’ of Turkey had provided the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia with 2,000 planeloads and 5,000 truckloads of weapons.

“Now, apart from 5,000 trucks, there are weapons and ammunition from around 2,000 planes.” the Turkish leader said. He also accused Ankara’s allies of dishonesty when they say that they do not provide weapons for “terrorists,” referring to Kurdish-linked YPG forces.

The president also vowed to hand over Afrin to its “real owners,” explaining that he aims to return 3.5 million refugees back to Syria from Turkey as soon as possible.

This weekend, Turkey began operation ‘Olive Branch’ against Kurdish forces in Afrin, deploying jets and land forces.

January 21, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments