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With more Palestinians than Jews, Israel is waging a numerical war of attrition

By Jonathon Cook | The National | April 2, 2018

The Israeli army’s trigger-finger against Palestinian protesters close to the fence surrounding Gaza at the weekend, killing at least 18 and injuring hundreds more, has an explanation rooted in more than normal conceptions of security.

Even before Israel’s creation, its leaders were obsessed with demography and winning a zero-sum numerical war of attrition with the Palestinians. The consequences are still playing out to this day.

Last week, ahead of the Gaza protests, the Israeli army made an unexpected admission. It told parliamentarians that for the first time Jews are outnumbered by Palestinians living under Israeli rule, both inside Israel as citizens and in the territories under occupation.

It was a moment whose significance was not lost on Israeli legislators. Many were appalled, refusing to accept the army’s assessment that there are now half a million more Palestinians than Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the river Jordan.

Avi Dichter, a right wing legislator and a former head of Israel’s secret police agency the Shin Bet, called the data “disconcerting”.

In 1948, when the Zionist movement saw a chance to seize control of as much of Palestine as possible, it understood that this goal could be achieved only through the ethnic cleansing of most of the native population. It was Zionism’s moment to create the “empty land” mythologised in its early slogans.

Today, the demographic successes of 1948 have been largely reversed. The Six-Day War of 1967 was over too quickly for Israel to expel more than a small proportion of the Palestinians living in the rest of the historic Palestine it had just conquered.

Higher Palestinian birth rates have been eroding the Jewish majority ever since while various schemes to force or pay Palestinians to leave have mostly failed.

Israeli officials’ ultimate fear in this demographic war is that the world will judge a minority of Israelis ruling over a majority of Palestinians as a new form of apartheid.

Seven decades on from its creation, Israel has won every battle, bar this one. The Palestinians are crushed. Washington now does little more than cheerleading for the settlers. Parts of the Middle East are in disarray. The Europeans have lost interest.

But in terms of the most pressing of all Israel’s struggles – for numerical dominance over Palestinians – Israel appears to be losing its seven-decade fight.

In a sign of growing levels of desperation, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, headed by settler leader Naftali Bennett, announced a plan last week to track down those around the globe with an “affinity” to Israel or Judaism. In the ministry’s view, 90 million people may qualify.

According to an editorial in the Israeli daily Haaretz, officials regard this group as “demographic treasure … potential candidates to join the Jewish people and immigrate to Israel”.

But Israel is not only trying to bolster its Jewish population. It has been devising tangible ways to reduce the Palestinian population too.

Since 2003, Israel has effectively banned family reunifications for Palestinians in Israel who marry Palestinians in the occupied territories. Such families are under pressure to move abroad so they can live together.

More significantly, two years later Israel pulled its few thousand settlers out of Gaza, in part so it could claim it was no longer occupying the coastal enclave, even as it blockaded it from land, air and sea. It has argued unconvincingly – as the weekend’s events prove – that about two million Palestinians there, who constitute the fastest-growing Palestinian population, have been removed from the demographic equation.

Withdrawing from the rest of the territories has proven even harder. There is almost no support among Israeli Jews for giving up East Jerusalem and its holy sites, even though it is home to 300,000 Palestinians.

And a rapidly shrinking Israeli centre-left has lost the campaign to withdraw from the parts of the West Bank where large numbers of Palestinians live.

The right is committed to seizing all of the West Bank. The question now is how to annex it without the Palestinians becoming the majority population. Palestinian legislator Ahmed Tibi warned his Jewish colleagues last week that they were bringing closer their nightmare scenario of a Greater Israel ruled by an “Arab prime minister”. But no one, including Mr Tibi, believes that will be allowed to happen.

Instead two varieties of annexationists have emerged.

The first are those who want to intensify the campaign to force Palestinians out of most of the West Bank, gradually herding them into a handful of cities, in preparation for a series of ever-expanding annexations.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem issued a warning last week that dozens of Palestinian farming communities were facing imminent expulsion from Area C, which forms two-thirds of the West Bank.

Israel has stepped up home demolitions, torn up roads, denied Palestinians electricity and water, encouraged settler violence and conducted military and live fire training on Palestinian land. The aim, said B’Tselem, is to avoid international censure as Israel makes “life unbearable to force them to leave, as if by free choice”.

These are the “moderates” in the government. The other camp, exemplified by deputy defence minister Eli Ben Dahan, believes all the West Bank can be annexed, with the Palestinians viewed more like trees than human beings.

Last week he told Arutz Sheva, a settler news agency, that the army’s warning of a Palestinian majority should not “scare us”. Palestinians would simply be denied voting rights for the foreseeable future.

“They are far from [a] meaningful democracy as we know it,” he said, adding that Palestinians might eventually earn citizenship in a Greater Israel if they submitted absolutely. “There are many examples of citizenship that are given gradually,” he added.

Seventy years on, as the massacre in Gaza has underscored, Israeli leaders are faced with the same dilemma as its founders: should they again use violence to drive Palestinians from their homeland or establish an unapologetic and brutal apartheid state ruling over them?

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Who cares about Ottawa interference in Venezuela’s election?

By Yves Engler · April 3, 2018

Is there no voice in Parliament willing to denounce Canadian interference in another country’s electoral process?

The Trudeau government is engaged in a wide-ranging campaign to weaken Venezuela’s elected government. In a bid to elicit “regime change,” Ottawa has worked to isolate Caracas, imposed sanctions, and supported the country’s opposition.

Recently, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland endorsed Peru’s decision to block Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from attending the mid-April Summit of the Americas in Lima. “As Venezuela slides deeper into dictatorship, and as Venezuelans continue to suffer, Maduro’s participation at a hemispheric leaders’ summit would have been farcical,” Freeland noted. But, Freeland has no problem with the presence of Brazilian President Michel Temer, who doesn’t have any pretence of electoral legitimacy. Nor has she opposed the participation of Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez who defied that country’s constitution in running for a second term and then ‘won’ a highly questionable election.

Since the summer Freeland has participated in five meetings of the Lima Group, a collection of foreign ministers opposed to Venezuela’s elected government. As part of this initiative she declared that Canada wouldn’t recognize the upcoming presidential election. Two months ago she tweeted out that “we reject this decision by the Gov of Venezuela to call these elections, as they do not give a reasonable amount of time to ensure free and fair elections” and then three weeks later Canada’s foreign minister “demand[ed] that presidential elections be called with sufficient advance notice.” When the opposition and government agreed to push back the presidential election from April 22 to May 20, Freeland responded by tweeting “Maduro regime’s decision to postpone Venezuela’s elections until May changes nothing.”

Another demand Freeland has made of the Venezuelan authorities is that international observers be allowed to monitor the election. Yet, the Venezuelan government’s vocal request for UN observers has been opposed by the country’s opposition alliance. Behind the scenes the US is undoubtedly lobbying the international body to reject Caracas’ request.

(Notwithstanding the partisan attacks, Venezuela has among the world’s most efficient, secure and transparent electoral systems. In 2012 former US President and head of the Carter Center Jimmy Carter stated, “as a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.”)

The third condition Freeland has imposed for respecting the election is “that all Venezuelan political players be included in the election.” But, the Maduro government doesn’t have the power to release those found guilty of crimes and repatriate political figures who have fled the country to avoid criminal charges.

Alongside its impossible-to-meet conditions, Canadian officials have prodded Caribbean countries to join its anti-Venezuela campaign. At a Jamaica-Canada bilateral consultation three weeks ago Canadian officials brought up Venezuela and earlier in the year Freeland tweeted that “Canada welcomes signatures by Saint Lucia & Guyana to Lima Group declaration.” Last month Freeland met Costa Rica’s vice minister of foreign affairs to discuss Venezuela and Canadian representatives were part of a recent session dealing with that country on the sidelines of a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting. Canadian officials are set to join an upcoming discussion of Venezuela called by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Following Washington’s lead, Ottawa imposed two rounds of sanctions on Venezuelan officials in the Fall. Last week the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning the economic sanctions the US, Canada and EU have adopted against Venezuela. It urged “states to refrain from imposing unilateral coercive measures (and) condemn(s) the continued unilateral application and enforcement by certain powers of such measures as tools of political or economic pressure.”

As I, Anthony Fenton, Neil A. Burron and others have detailed, Ottawa has supported opposition groups inside Venezuela. In August outgoing Canadian ambassador Ben Rowswell told the Ottawa Citizen: “We established quite a significant internet presence inside Venezuela, so that we could then engage tens of thousands of Venezuelan citizens in a conversation on human rights. We became one of the most vocal embassies in speaking out on human rights issues and encouraging Venezuelans to speak out.”

In line with its policy of amplifying oppositional voices, on March 7 the Canadian Embassy in Caracas gave a human rights prize to Francisco Valencia, director of the Coalición de Organizaciones por el Derecho a la Salud y la Vida (CODEVIDA). Numerous media outlets reported on the award given to an aggressive opponent of the Venezuelan government. “I believe that we are facing a criminal State”, Valencia told Crisis en Venezuela.

The Embassy’s human rights prize is co-sponsored with the Centro para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos. The director of that organization, Raúl Herrera, has repeatedly denounced the Venezuelan government. Six months ago Herrera said, “the Venezuelan State systematically and repeatedly violates the Human Rights of Venezuelans and political prisoners.”

Clearly Ottawa is guilty of interfering in the electoral process of Venezuela. When Russia has been accused of (a much more mild) form of intervention every party in Parliament is quick to condemn them.

Has the NDP become so tied into the American Empire that it cannot point out this obvious hypocrisy?

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

The Fear of Palestinian Existence

By Denijal Jecić | Palestine Chronicle | April 3, 2018

Fear has consistently shaped Zionism’s approach towards the indigenous Palestinians. As Palestinians have been blamed for merely standing in the way of the colonizer, their removal which has entailed multidimensional policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide, has been rhetorically rationalized through Orientalist transformations of Palestinians from the original owners of the land into “Islamist” terrorists. While Palestinians face a multitude of structural and physical violence, reoccurring culminations of Israeli aggressions resulting in the mass production of Palestinian death have repeatedly highlighted the always-already dehumanized position of Palestinians in the Western political and public sphere.

The Great Return March, a popular, peaceful protest of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, discloses once again that Palestinians are being blamed for their very existence by Israel and its allies. The protest is a colonized population’s call for the implementation of international law. Gazans are collectively incarcerated, besieged at land, air, and water, denied the right to return – a right that was granted in UN Resolution 194 in 1948 – for seven decades, while simultaneously facing a tremendous humanitarian catastrophe that entails the lack of food, water, and electricity. Reduced to bare existence, Israel regularly bombards them – like in the 2014 war – and tests new weapons on their bodies.

It was not surprising that this time again Israel’s advanced military immediately attacked the protesters. Audio-visual material shared on social media by Palestinians shows how Israeli snipers indiscriminately shot anyone who came near Israel’s “border fence.” This banal violence that resulted in a massacre of Palestinians was encouraged by the Israeli government, largely ignored by Western governments, and legitimized by Western media.

Major news outlets euphemized Israeli aggression as passive response, linguistically appealing to the readers’ implicit Orientalism and rationalizing the use of military aggression against peaceful protesters. For example, the Washington Post wrote about “deadly clashes” (March 30) and CNN narrated that Palestinians were “killed in confrontations with Israeli forces” (March 31). According to a New York Times article (March 30), which merely paraphrased the Israeli narrative, “the Israelis responded.” The same article concludes by retrospectively justifying Israel’s three wars on Gaza as a combat against “the threat posed by rockets fired by Hamas and other militant groups, and from tunnels crossing under the border.” Fox News blamed “Gaza attacks” on Hamas. Most reports included pictures of Kuffiye-wearing Palestinians throwing stones. Pictures and videos of  heavily armed Israeli soldiers, or of the shootings of unarmed Palestinian civilians – though omnipresent on social media – were omitted.

This fantasy of “clashes” and “confrontations” projects a conflict between two independent countries. Like the Israeli government, media deprives Palestinians of their geo-political and historical context, suggests a parity of power between colonizer and colonized, and implies that Palestinians simply die because they have to, not because they are massacred.

This is also Israel’s standard rhetoric. A cable sent out by Israel’s Foreign Ministry to Israeli diplomats outlines the simple copy-paste tactic the Israeli government has perpetually employed to justify any new killings of Palestinians: as usual, the protest is demonized as “dangerous,” “premeditated,” and a “Hamas-led confrontation campaign.” All Palestinians are rhetorically transformed into terrorists fighting for Hamas, which is depicted as the world’s most dangerous terror organization capable of rapidly destroying Israel. Hence, all violence against Palestinians is necessary self-defense. Concurrently, Palestinians are blamed for their own death – like in 2014, when Naftali Bennett blamed Hamas for a Palestinian “self-genocide.”

Following the narrative behind this widespread criminalization of Palestinian dissent, Palestinians would not protest because of unsustainable living conditions, because of the omnipresence of death, or because they are facing a brutal military occupation – but because they simply hate for no reason. These Orientalist assumptions suggest that Palestinians do not have any agency.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) defined the protests “a call for the end of the state of Israel.” The ADL is right. Palestinian demands, i.e. the implementation of international law, an end of the occupation, and the granting of human rights, would certainly lead to an end of Israel in its current forms. Indeed, Israel is based on settler-colonialism, occupation, apartheid, ethnocracy, ethnic cleansing, and genocidal policies, all of which presuppose the perpetuation of Orientalist, Eurocentric, and Islamophobic racialization and dehumanization of Palestinians, who remain simultaneously unknowable and imagined as violent. Palestinians are seen as guilty for not surrendering and for drawing worldwide attention to their struggle. Hence, they are blamed for their very human survival instinct and for not embracing their own death.

Media narratives reveal that Palestinians are comprehended as a plague. If the Israeli military’s shooting of an unarmed protester is considered a “clash,” then the danger stemming from Israeli weapons is on par with the danger coming from an unarmed Palestinian. Thus, Palestinians do not need to take weapons in order to be understood as dangerous. Their existence is comprehended as an attack per se, and the visibility of that existence continues to haunt the Zionist colonial project, as Israel continues trying to make Palestinians disappear discursively and physically.

 – Denijal Jegić is a doctoral researcher in Transnational American Studies.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

A Dangerous Crossroads: What’s in Store for the Relations Between Russia and the West?

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 03.04.2018

No, it’s not a return to George Kennan and his containment policy. It looks more like a slow strangulation, with mounting pressure everywhere. The furor over the Skripal poisoning case is being raised at a time when moves by the West are going almost unnoticed, eclipsed as they are by the narrative of nefarious Russia. Although it all started in Europe, it’s largely being done the American way.

Recent reports pieced together from different sources lead to the conclusion that a well-thought-out and well-orchestrated campaign is underway. As tensions mount, the US is calling on NATO to step up its combat readiness. At least 30,000 allied troops, accompanied by over 360 fighter planes and roughly 30 warships, should be ready for deployment to a trouble spot within 30 days after NATO commanders put their forces on alert. That proposal is being debated but the US position has generally been accepted. There is hardly any doubt that it will be approved at the NATO summit in July.

This is at a time when the EU is working in unison with NATO to make it easier for those forces to move across Europe. It has been reported recently that US MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will start operating from Greece’s Larissa air base in May. The drones are destined for intelligence missions in sensitive areas. The Greek ports of Alexandroupolis and Thessaloniki have attracted America’s attention as facilities that could bolster the rotating US military presence in the Black Sea. According to media reports, NATO is to have a helicopter base in Alexandroupolis.

After expelling its Russian diplomats, Poland signed a $4.75 billion agreement to buy the Patriot missile defense system from America. The price was supposed to be much higher. Warsaw received a discount because it borders Russia’s Kaliningrad region, where Iskander surface-to-surface missiles are deployed. The 16 launchers cannot protect all of Poland, but they certainly provide more protection for the US forces coming in to reinforce the NATO troops already in place, as well as the American Aegis Ashore missile-defense system that will be operational in 2020. NATO believes that the Patriot Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) upgrade sold to Warsaw will be capable of countering Russian Iskanders.

In their March 15 letter, 39 US senators called on the Treasury and State Departments to utilize all the sanction tools at their disposal to fight the Nord Stream 2 project to bring cheap Russian gas to Europe. On March 29, US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman told Russia’s RBK TV that he cannot rule out the possibility that Russian assets in America could be seized over the Skripal case. If Washington goes that far, it will be pure highway robbery. And the response will not be long in coming. That interview took place right after the British parliament had announced an investigation into some money-laundering schemes allegedly associated with Russia. The UK government has unveiled its “Fusion Doctrine” to counter what it’s calling Russian propaganda.

The US policy of making Europeans bow to pressure has been largely successful. The leading European powers — the UK, Germany and France –— are pushing to force the EU to impose new sanctions on Iran, in order to persuade the US not to pull out from the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last-minute attempt to keep the agreement in effect, as it is widely expected that President Trump will not certify it in May. Europeans may bow to American pressure in a bid to appease Washington, but Russia is also a party to the agreement, which cannot be scuttled without Moscow’s consent. Adding additional conditions will violate the terms of the deal. It won’t be supported internationally. If new Iran sanctions are introduced unilaterally by the West, the issue will become a bone of contention that will further worsen relations with Moscow.

What should we expect? John Bolton, the incoming NSA, has already called for a switch from targeted to broad sanctions, which would include the oil and gas sector. Cyber warfare is another domain where the US might step up its anti-Russia efforts. NATO is making moves to bolster its cyber operations. Information battles to win broad public support are already being waged. The diplomatic offensive will intensify. There will be a fight to diminish Russia’s global influence that has grown so much recently.

These tensions weaken European security and might lead to a balancing act on the brink of confrontation, plus an arms race that the US and its NATO allies are not winning. The plans to undermine Russia from within have failed. President Putin enjoys overwhelming support, as the recent presidential election has demonstrated. The economy is far from collapsing. Russia’s international standing has strengthened. Moscow has just scored another win, with India announcing its decision to buy the S-400 Triumph air-defense systems from Russia, worth over $5 billion. The two countries will jointly build four frigates and set up a facility to produce Kamov helicopters. Russia has scored a victory in Syria and greatly strengthened its position in the Middle East.

Russia and the West are at a dangerous crossroads and tensions continue to rise. The alternative is to set their differences aside and launch a dialog on a broad range of issues. The world has changed. There is a broad security agenda that needs to be addressed. That idea has been floating for some time, but without any serious discussion. Russia has tried to launch dialog but the West has failed to meet it halfway. There are some signs, however, that all is not lost. It’s not too late to switch from hostile actions and bellicose rhetoric to business-like approaches for the common good.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Special Relationship Born in Hell

The United States should cut all ties with war criminal Israel

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • April 3, 2018

If you want to understand what the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States really means consider the fact that Israeli Army snipers shot dead seventeen unarmed and largely peaceful Gazan demonstrators on Good Friday without a squeak coming out of the White House or State Department. Some of the protesters were shot in the back while running away, while another 1,000 Palestinians were wounded, an estimated 750 by gunfire, the remainder injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.

The offense committed by the Gazan protesters that has earned them a death sentence was coming too close to the Israeli containment fence that has turned the Gaza strip into the world’s largest outdoor prison. President Donald Trump’s chief Middle East negotiator David Greenblatt described the protest as “a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border… inciting violence against Israel.” And Nikki Haley at the U.N. has also used the U.S. veto to block any independent inquiry into the violence, demonstrating once again that the White House team is little more than Israel’s echo chamber. America’s enabling of the brutal reality that is today’s Israel makes it fully complicit in the war crimes carried out against the helpless and hapless Palestinian people.

So where was the outrage in the American media about the massacre of civilians? Characteristically, Israel portrays itself as somehow a victim and the U.S. media, when it bothers to report about dead Palestinians at all, picks up on that line. The Jewish State is portrayed as always endangered and struggling to survive even though it is the nuclear armed regional superpower that is only threatened because of its own criminal behavior. And even when it commits what are indisputable war crimes like the use of lethal force against an unarmed civilian population, the Jewish Lobby and its media accomplices are quick to take up the victimhood refrain.

Last week, the Israeli government described the protests an “an organized terrorist operation” while Gazans are dehumanized by claims that they act under the direction of evil Hamas to dig tunnels and rain down bottle rockets on hapless Israeli civilians. The reality is, however, quite different. It is the Gazans who have been subjected to murderous periodic incursions by the Israeli army, a procedure that Israel refers to as “mowing the grass,” a brutal exercise intended to keep the Palestinians terrified and docile.

The story of what happened in Gaza on Friday had largely disappeared from the U.S. media by Sunday. On Saturday, the New York Times reported the most recent violence this way: “… some began hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence, the Israelis responded with tear gas and gunfire.” Get it? The Palestinians started it all, according to Israeli sources, by throwing things at the fence and forcing the poor victimized Israeli soldiers to respond with gunfire, presumably as self-defense. The Times also repeated Israel’s uncorroborated claims that there were gunmen active on the Gazan side, but given the disparity in numbers killed and injured – zero on the Israeli side of the fence – the Palestinian shooters must have been using blanks. Or they never existed at all.

The Israelis reportedly also responded to “suspicious figures” on the Gazan side with rounds from tanks, killing, among others, a farmer far from the demonstrations who was working his field. Israeli warplanes and helicopters also joined in the fun, attacking targets on the Palestinian side. Drones flew over the demonstrators, spraying tear gas down on them. One recalls that the major Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014 included vignettes of Israeli families picnicking on the high ground overlooking the assault, enjoying the spectacle while observing the light-and-sound show that accompanied the carnage. At that time, more than 2,000 Gazans were killed and nearly 11,000 were wounded, including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were permanently disabled. If the current slaughter in Gaza continues, it would be a shame to forego the entertainment value of a good massacre right on one’s doorstep.

The reliably neocon Washington Post also framed the conflict as if Israel were behaving in a restrained fashion, leading off in its coverage with “Israel’s military warned Saturday it will step up its response to violence on the Gaza border if it continues…” You see, it’s the unarmed Palestinians who are creating the “violence.” Israel is the victim acting in self-defense.

The newspaper coverage was supplemented by television accounts of what had taken place. ABC News described “violent clashes,” implying that two somewhat equal sides were engaged in the fighting, even though the lethal force was only employed by Israel against an unarmed civilian population.

The backstory to the killing is what should disturb every American citizen. When it comes to disregard for US national sovereignty and interests, the Israelis and their amen chorus in Washington have dug a deep, dark hole and the U.S. Congress and White House have obligingly jumped right in. Since June 8, 1967, when the Israelis massacred the crew of the U.S.S. Liberty, Israel has realized it could do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, wherever it wants, any time it wants, to anybody… including American servicemen, and the U.S. would do nothing.

Let me speak plainly. The existence of many good Israelis who oppose their own government’s policies notwithstanding, the current Israel is an evil place that Americans should be condemning, not praising. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not be receiving 29 standing ovations from Congress. He should be rotting in jail. Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy and dehumanization of the Palestinian people is nothing to be proud of. That the United States is giving this band of racist war criminals billions of dollars every year is a travesty. That the reputation of American has been besmirched worldwide because of its reflexive support of anything and everything that this rogue regime does is a national disgrace.

Gazans are demonstrating in part because they are starving. They have no clean drinking water because Israel has destroyed the purification plants as part of a deliberate policy to make life in the Strip so miserable that everyone will leave or die in place. And even leaving is problematical as Israel controls the border and will not let Palestinians enter or depart. It also controls the Mediterranean Sea access to Gaza. Fisherman go out a short distance from the shore to bring in a meager catch. If they go any farther they are shot dead by the Israeli Navy.

Hospitals, schools and power stations in Gaza are routinely bombed in Israel’s frequent reprisal actions against what Netanyahu chooses to describe as aggressive moves by Hamas. Such claims are bogus as Israel enjoys a monopoly of force and is never hesitant to use it.

Over in the other Palestinian enclave the West Bank, or what remains of it, the story is the same. Brutal heavily armed Israeli settlers rampage, poisoning Palestinian water, maiming and killing their livestock and even murdering local residents. Children throw stones or slap a soldier and wind up in Israeli prisons. The settlers are backed up by the army and paramilitary police who also shoot first. The Israeli military courts, who have jurisdiction over the occupied West Bank, rarely convict a Jew when an Arab is killed or beaten.

And here in America a bought-and-paid-for Congress continues to do its bit. Last week President Trump signed the so-called Taylor Force Act, part of the marathon spending bill, which will cut aid going to the Palestinian Authority while also increasing the money going to Israel. Back in January, Congress had also cut the funding going to support Palestinians who are still living in U.N. run refugee camps in spite of resolutions demanding that they should be allowed to return to their homes, now occupied by Israeli Jews. During the perfunctory debate on the measure, Congressmen were lied to by pro-Israel lobbyists who claimed that Arabs are terrorism supporters and use the money to attack Israelis.

I could go on and on, but the message should be clear to every American. There is no net gain for the United States in continuing the lopsided and essentially immoral relationship with the self-styled Jewish State. There is no enhancement of American national security, quite the contrary, and there remains only the sad realization that the blood of many innocent people is, to a considerable extent, on our hands. This horror must end.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

NATO Plotted ‘Skripal Case’ to Justify Their Defense Spendings – Moscow

Sputnik – April 3, 2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it can’t discern how to convene a NATO-Russia Council in the current climate, considering absurd NATO’s statements regarding a readiness for dialogue while expelling Russian diplomats.

“Yes, indeed, seven people have been declared undesirable. And they (in Brussels) have announced that they will not issue visas to three other employees,” Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Alexander Grushko stated at the Valdai Discussion Club’s event.

According to the diplomat, the next meeting of the Russia-NATO Council (NRC) cannot be convened under the conditions of Russian diplomats being expelled.

“NATO, expelling Russian diplomats, cuts the branch on which it sits. This contradicts the numerous statements made by the Secretary-General and other representatives of the alliance about NATO being interested in a political dialogue and the convening of a regular meeting of the NRC… How can it be convened under these conditions?” the Alexander Grushko said.

Moscow does not rule out that the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom has been designed to justify the growing defense spending of NATO among other reasons, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stated.

“I think that all this was planned, including due to the fact that it would be necessary to explain to the public in the near future where the money is going because it is colossal spending,” Grushko said when asked whether Moscow expected NATO to increase defense spending over the so-called Skripal case.

Euro-Atlantic solidarity around Skripal case has become a direct danger to European security, according to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.

Moscow does not exclude that the Skripal case was plotted as the argument for NATO’s increase in defense expenditures, a great enemy is needed, the deputy minister said.

“NATO has crossed the line when it continued to expand its defense presence at Russia’s borders. Today, the situation along our borders has changed dramatically and in fact, not only in terms of politics but also in the field of military development, NATO has resorted to Cold War schemes that should have remained in the past and today cannot provide security… without Russia,” the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation noted.

London decided to follow a provocative path to support an atmosphere of Russophobia, Grushko said.

“It is obvious that this is a provocation. The whole situation was turned upside down, an ideological campaign was built in such a way as to exclude a normal dialogue, professional, in fact, what happened. The UK refused to use legally binding instruments, which are fixed in the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Therefore, these are all signs that this is a provocation chosen at a special moment in order to further aggravate the relations between Russia and the West, worsen the prospects for a return to normalcy, and prevent the transition to cooperation schemes in the areas of common interest,” Alexander Grushko stated.

Western countries, making claims over Russia on the “Skripal case”, should have understood that it is impossible to speak with Moscow in the language of ultimatums, Grushko emphasized.

“An ultimatum was delivered, which was not intended to be answered because the people who formulated this ultimatum could not fail to understand beforehand that this is not the language in which one can speak,” he said.

Moscow will answer in an asymmetric way to any unfriendly NATO move in order to protect our interests, Grushko noted.

RT, Sputnik Facing Pressure in West Due to Effective Work

“By the way, why are they closing Sputnik and Russia Today? For one simple reason – because they [media outlets] carry out their function effectively, they really influence public opinion,” Grushko said.

Tensions between Russia and Western countries began to grow after the Salisbury incident, where Sergei Skripal, former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter Yulia were harmed by a nerve agent. The UK accused Russia of orchestrating the attack and expelled 23 Russian diplomats. The move has been supported by more than 25 countries, despite of the fact that Russia has repeatedly denied the accusations and cited the lack of proof.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

NPR Runs IDF Playbook, Spinning Killing of 17 Palestinians

Photo credit – Said Khatib, AFP
By Adam Johnson | FAIR | April 2, 2018

NPR, as FAIR has noted throughout the years (e.g., 8/14/01, 11/01, 2/5/02, 11/15/12, 10/10/14), takes a default pro-Israel line when reporting on the affairs of Israel/Palestine. Its correspondents almost always live in West Jerusalem or in Israel proper, are rarely Palestinian or Arab, and they work consistently to deflect blame for Israeli violence—either shifting blame onto Palestinian victims or dispersing it through false parity.

A segment from Friday (All Things Considered, 3/30/18) on Israel’s killing of  Gaza protesters provides a case study in this process. NPR host Ari Shapiro set up the segment, an interview with reporter Daniel Estrin, by blaming the 17 dead and hundreds of injured Palestinians on “the militant group Hamas,” framing Israel as totally defensive. From the very first line, blame is deflected from the Israeli military:

Today saw some of the most violent clashes in years between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops.

We do not have one party’s snipers opening fire on another, unarmed party; we have “violent clashes”—a term, as FAIR (8/12/17) has noted before, that implies symmetry of forces and is often used to launder responsibility. The whitewashing got worse from there:

Tens of thousands of people in Gaza answered the militant group Hamas’ call to protest.

Palestinians have no organic reasons for wanting to protest the occupation of their homes; the whole thing was a top-down decree from “the militant group” Hamas.

They threw rocks and firebombs near the border fence with Israel. On the other side, Israeli troops assembled.

This conveys the impression the Israeli military was just sitting around, minding its own business, when it was aggressively attacked by hundreds of Palestinians, then responded to this assault.

The “firebombs” claim is repeated later in the piece by Estrin himself: “Israel responded to Palestinians throwing rocks, firebombs, burning tires.” This isn’t qualified with “according to the IDF” or “the Israeli government”—even though as of now, there’s no independent evidence firebombs were used, much less used before any sniper fire from Israel.

The issue isn’t trivial: The matter of first blood when it comes to the  Palestinian/Israeli “conflict” is a crucial one (, 12/8/17); framing Israel as always responding to threats, rather than inflicting aggressive violence on an occupied people, is a critical difference. And subtle framing devices like “clashes,” distorting timelines of who did what, or morphing IDF claims of “firebombs” into fact are how media keep this myth alive, and further delegitimize Palestinian resistance. (It should be borne in mind that opposition to occupation, even armed opposition, is a right guaranteed by international law.)

When FAIR pointed out to Estrin on Twitter that he had reported the “firebombs” as fact and not a claim by the IDF, he responded, “I reported the firebombs as an Israeli claim.” When FAIR showed evidence he and host Shapiro had done the opposite, Estrin deflected: “Be kind; it’s live radio.”

“Explain why this violence broke out today,” host Shapiro asked. It’s not a massacre or an attack or “firing on protesters,” as it is when official US enemies do it; it’s simply “violence breaking out.”

Estrin again took care to re-establish Hamas as the “driving force” and guilty party:

And it was billed as an independent Palestinian protest campaign. But actually Hamas, which controls Gaza, was a driving force.

This effectively militarized the whole of the protest, treating it not as an outpouring of popular grievances but as an operation quarterbacked by “a militant group.” This is where Estrin asserted the protesters used “firebombs” without attributing the claim to the Israeli attackers. Instead, he cited the IDF as a source on crowd size:

And according to the Israeli army, there were more than 30,000 Palestinians at six different spots along the border. Israel responded to Palestinians throwing rocks, firebombs, burning tires. Israel fired tear gas and live fire. It was the most violence in Gaza since the Gaza War in 2014.

A brief mention of the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza was thrown in, but it is blamed on an “ongoing internal Palestinian political fight” that has made the situation “even worse.” Estrin then erroneously told listeners “Hamas took control of Gaza by force a decade ago,” when Hamas actually gained power in Gaza in 2006 through an internationally recognized election. In 2007, Hamas won a civil war with US-backed Fatah, the faction it had defeated in the election, but to say Hamas “took control of Gaza by force” falsely paints it as an usurping force with no legitimate authority.

Asked what will happen next, Estrin shrugged and says more of the same, and that is it.

It’s a brief report, but a highly revealing one: Hamas is at fault, the Palestinians threw “firebombs” first, then the Israeli army “assembled.” The illegitimate Hamas astroturfed the protest, the people are being exploited. Israel just killed those 17 protesters in self-defense.

You can contact NPR ombud Elizabeth Jensen via NPR’s contact form or via Twitter@EJensenNYC. Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The UK Government – and Not Russia – is the Real Threat to UK Security

By Neil Clark | Sputnik | April 2, 2018

Here we go again. In the UK government’s latest 52 page ’National Security Capability Review’, guess who’s right there at the top of the threats Britain faces? Yes – those dastardly Russians!

‘The resurgence of state-based threats, intensifying wider state competition and the erosion of the rules-based international order, making it harder to build consensus and tackle global threats’, the report says. ‘The erosion of the rules-based international order’? Excuse me? Didn’t that happen when the UK and its NATO allies bombed Yugoslavia- without UNSC approval in 1999- and when the UK and its allies illegally invaded Iraq — again without UNSC approval- in 2003?

According to the report, those events just didn’t happen. Instead ‘Russian State Aggression’ is the thing we should all be worried about. The long litany of alleged Russian crimes include ‘supporting the Assad regime‘ and the ‘illegal annexation of Crimea’. Never mind that the so-called ‘Assad regime‘ requested Russian assistance in fighting ISIS [Daesh]/al-Qaeda linked jihadists whose co-ideologists have brought terror to the streets of Britain.

Nor that the predominately Russian people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly in a democratic referendum to return to Russia following a western-backed regime change operation in Ukraine in which virulently anti-Russian nationalists and neo-Nazis provided the cutting edge. Let’s not let little things like facts get in the way shall we?

Despite the British government providing no proof that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, or indeed that the Novichok nerve agent was definitely used, the report states boldly: The indiscriminate and reckless use of a military-grade nerve agent on British soil was an unlawful use of force by the Russian State.

The truth is that the official government narrative on Salisbury has more holes in it than a slab of Swiss cheese.

And that was before we were told last week that the oh-so-deadly nerve agent was probably on the Skripal’s front door- the door which police officers had been touching on a regular basis as they came in and out of the house.

As in 2003, with the UK government’s Iraqi WMD claims, a conspiracy theory is being presented as 100% established fact.

Everything is back to front. We’ve entered the ‘Through the Looking Glass’ world of Lewis Carroll- where we‘re being asked by Theresa May and co to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Far from posing a threat to British security, Russian actions in the Middle East are actually making British citizens safer. It’s the UK government which has been putting our lives at risk- not the ‘evil Putin‘.

The UK‘s neo-conservative foreign policy — which has been followed by Labour and Conservative governments over the past 20-or so years, has involved targeting independently-minded secular states for violent regime change. None of these states threatened Britain or the British public. On the contrary, they were actually opposed to the extremist terror groups who DO pose a threat. By working to destabilise countries such as Iraq, Libya and Syria, the UK government has greatly boosted the cause of global terrorism.

Saddam Hussein may have been a dictator but he was never going to attack Britain. By toppling the Iraqi strongman, and dismantling the entire state apparatus, Britain facilitated the rise of the Islamic State [Daesh] — a group whose adherents have carried out attacks against UK citizens.

In Libya, Britain — and NATO acted as the air-force of radical jihadist groups — as part of their strategy to oust Muammar Gaddafi. Members of the so-called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were able to travel freely between Britain and Libya. ‘The evidence points to the LIFG being seen by the UK as a proxy militia to promote its foreign policy objectives,’ writes Mark Curtis. ‘Both David Cameron, then Prime Minister, and Theresa May — who was Home Secretary in 2011 when Libyan radicals were encouraged to fight Qadafi — clearly have serious questions to answer.’

The first major ‘blowback’ to British citizens of the UK government‘s Libya policy came in 2015, when British tourists were killed by terrorist attacks in neighbouring Tunisia. One was killed in an attack on the Bardo National Museum in March 2015, while three months later, 30 British tourists lost their lives in the holiday resort of Port El Kantaoui. Among those killed was Denis Thwaites, a former professional footballer with Birmingham City. Tunisia had been a safe place for British tourists — before Cameron and co set about ‘regime-changing’ Libya and turning the country into a jihadists playground. It was reported that the Port El Kantaoui terrorist, Seifeddine Rezgui, had trained in an ISIS camp in ‘liberated’ Libya.

Then in May 2017, 22 people were blown up when leaving a pop concert in Manchester by Salman Abedi. The radicalised bomber had only returned from ‘liberated’ Libya a week earlier and is believed to have fought with his father with the LIFG, against Gaddafi — (and on the same side as NATO), six years earlier.

Again, remind me who is the biggest threat to UK security — the UK government — or Russia?

Having ticked off Libya from their ‘To Do’ list, the neocons in the UK government turned their attentions to Syria. Again, here was a country whose secular government posed no threat to the UK. President Bashar al-Assad, who trained as an eye doctor in London and whose wife Asma was born in England and brought up in Acton, could have been an ally, if the UK had been genuinely interested in fighting Islamist terrorism. But instead the UK supported hardcore Islamists, euphemistically referred to as ‘rebels‘ to try and bring down the Assad government.In June 2015, Seumas Milne reported how a trial in London of a man accused of terrorism in Syria had collapsed — when it emerged that British Intelligence had been backing the very same ‘rebel‘ groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

‘Clearly, the absurdity of sending someone to prison for doing what ministers and their security officials were up to themselves became too much,’ Milne noted. But it was not an isolated case.

The government is now talking about a new ‘Fusion Doctrine’ to ‘strengthen our collective approach to national security’. But here’s a better strategy. Let’s change our foreign policy. Let’s stop regime-change wars and destabilisation campaigns against countries which mean us no harm. Let’s stop supporting jihadist ‘rebels’ abroad in pursuance of neo-conservative objectives. Let’s start respecting international law. And let’s stop blaming Russia for problems which have been created at home.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran: Israel must be forced to join NPT

Press TV – April 3, 2018

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo has stressed that the Tel Aviv regime’s warlike policies are hampering efforts to denuclearize the Middle East.

“Forcing Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty and putting all of its nuclear activities and facilities under the safeguard of the International Atomic Energy Agency must be one of the commission’s main recommendations,” said Khoshroo while addressing the disarmament committee in New York on Monday.

He further called for an increase in international action aimed at protecting global peace and security in the face of the nuclear arms race.

Khoshroo noted that all nuclear weapons must be destroyed before they are used to destroy the human race.

Israel is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime, however, refuses to either accept or deny having the weapons.

It has also evaded signing the NPT amid staunch endeavor by the United States and other Western states on international levels in favor of its non-commitment to the accord.

April 3, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 4 Comments