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Draft Version of Scotland Yard’s Statement on Behalf of Sergei Skripal

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | May 25, 2018

Warning: It is “highly likely” that this statement contains traces of satire.

“I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 18th May, more than two months after being poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia.

Like my daughter Yulia, I find myself in a new and unique set of circumstances than the ones I faced before the 4th March, when I was poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia.

I am now spending the time of my convalescence seeking to come to terms with my prospects, and looking forward to a future without trepidation, despite having being poisoned by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia.

I would like to take this opportunity to correct a number of erroneous stories that have been circulating on the worldwide web, especially on a number of sites devoted to the propagation of conspiracy theories.

The first is in respect to my alleged connections with my former MI6 handler, who also happens to live in Salisbury, and with whom I was in the habit of frequenting one of the City’s establishments for the consumption of certain comestibles and beverages. I would like to assure those attempting to make these links that there is no credibility in them whatsoever, and that they should desist from making them. We were merely old friends who happened to share a passion for gardening, backgammon, and Châteauneuf-Du-Pape 2014 Réserve Des Oliviers. Any connection between this relationship and my poisoning — by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia — is entirely without foundation.

I would also like to address those who claim that I am being held against my will and denied my rights. I want to clarify that this supposition is very wide of the mark and bears no relation to the actualité. On the contrary, I have the freedom to go wherever I wish, naturally within the bounds of the beautiful location in which I currently reside, and I would also want to reassure everyone that I have full access to friends, family, and information. I am free to call my mother at anytime, and I may well do this, when I judge that it will not be prejudicial to my continued recovery. All such talk of disappearance or abduction is arrant nonsense.

I have been assigned specially trained officers who have helped to take care of all my needs and who have explained the details of the painstaking investigative processes that are being undertaken to establish how I and my daughter were poisoned by a military grade nerve agent — of a type developed by Russia — on the door handle of my abode. They have also explained that the substance must have been carefully designed to take effect on the two of us at precisely the same time, some four hours after its administration, and after we had visited a public house and a restaurant in the City. They have also been very helpful in explaining how it was nothing short of a miracle that Yulia and I recovered from what I understand is ordinarily the most deadly of substances, with no irreparable damage.

I wish to make clear that I have been given the names and email addresses of staff at the Russian Embassy in London, and naturally I am perfectly free to contact them at any time, should I wish to avail myself of their services. However, at this particular juncture, whilst I am simply overwhelmed by their abundant kindness in attempting to contact me, I would like them know that I do not wish to speak to them or see them, and I would ask them to kindly desist from all their efforts to pressure the British Government into granting access to me.

Although I feel perfectly safe and secure at my new location, which understandably cannot be disclosed, I do not yet feel able to face the media to give a full interview, although it is the deepest desire of my heart to one day do so. Until such time, I want to make it abundantly clear that nobody speaks for me or on my behalf, except of course the fully trained and highly professional officers of Scotland Yard, whom I have authorised to speak and release statements on my behalf.

Any suggestion that this statement was written by them without my knowledge, or that it was written by me whilst under duress, is — to coin a popular English idiom — manufactured from whole cloth. I would ask that, out of respect for my privacy, people desist from asking any further questions in this respect.

I want to end by thanking the British Prime Minister, Mrs May, and her colleague, Mr Johnson, who I understand acted swiftly, decisively and — I might add — courageously in dealing with the political ramifications of the poisoning, by a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia. Their actions in attributing culpability so swiftly are highly commendable and a demonstration of their undoubted bravery, their commitment to upholding the rule of law, and of course their remarkable fitness to lead in their respective ministerial positions.

I hope very much to be able to return to Russia one day, but in the short term, I look forward to being reunited with my pet cat and two guinea pigs, which I understand are being well looked after at an undisclosed location.”

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | | Leave a comment

Ugly Canadians active in Brazil

By Yves Engler · May 23, 2018

New revelations about Brazilian military violence offer an opportunity to reflect on Canadian support for that country’s 1964 coup and how Ottawa’s policy towards our South American neighbour is similar today.

A spate of international and Brazilian media have reported on a recently uncovered memo from CIA director William Colby to then US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, detailing a meeting between president Ernesto Geisel and three Brazilian generals. At the 1974 meeting the new Brazilian president is reported to have supported extending “summary executions” of enemies of the military dictatorship. An army officer, Geisel ordered National Information Service head João Baptista Figueiredo — who would replace him as president — to authorize the executions.

While it has long been accepted that the military dictatorship was responsible for hundreds of murders — a 2014 national truth commission blamed it for 191 killings and 210 disappearances — military backers have sought to put the blame on lower level officers. But the uncovered memo clearly reveals Geisel, who was considered more moderate than other top military leaders, was directly responsible for some deaths.

Ottawa passively supported the military coup against elected President João Goulart that instituted the 1964–85 military dictatorship. “The Canadian reaction to the military coup of 1964 was careful, polite and allied with American rhetoric,” notes Brazil and Canada in the Americas. Prime Minister Lester Pearson failed to publicly condemn the ouster of Goulart.

Washington played a pivotal role in the overthrow of Brazilian democracy. At one point President Lyndon Johnson urged ambassador Lincoln Gordon to take “every step that we can” to support Goulart’s removal. In a declassified cable between Gordon and Washington, the ambassador acknowledged US involvement in “covert support for pro-democracy street rallies … and encouragement [of] democratic and anti-communist sentiment in Congress, armed forces, friendly labor and student groups, church, and business.”

Washington, Ottawa and leading segments of Brazil’s business community opposed Goulart’s Reformas de Base (basic reforms). Goulart wanted to expand suffrage by giving illiterates and low ranking military officers the vote. He also wanted to put 15% of the national income into education and to implement land reform. To pay for this the government planned to introduce a proportional income tax and greater controls on the profit transfers of multinational corporations.

As important as following Washington’s lead, Pearson’s tacit support for the coup was driven by Canadian corporate interests. Among the biggest firms in Latin America at the time, Brascan was commonly known as the “the Canadian octopus” since its tentacles reached into so many areas of Brazil’s economy. A study of the Toronto-based company that began operating in Brazil in 1899 noted, “[Brazilian Traction’s vice-president Antonio] Gallotti doesn’t hide his participation in the moves and operations that led to the coup d’état against Goulart in 1964.” After the elected government was overthrown, Brazilian Traction president Grant Glassco stated, “the new government of Brazil is … made up of men of proven competence and integrity. The President, Humberto Castello Branco, commands the respect of the entire nation.”

Overthrowing the Goulart government, which had made it more difficult for companies to export profits, was good business. After the 1964 coup the Financial Post noted “the price of Brazilian Traction common shares almost doubled overnight with the change of government from an April 1 low of $1.95 to an April 3 high of $3.60.” Between 1965 and 1974, Brascan drained Brazil of $342 million ($2 billion today). When Brascan’s Canadian president, Robert Winters, was asked why the company’s profits grew so rapidly in the late 1960s his response was simple: “The Revolution.”

As opposition to the Brazilian military regime’s rights violations grew in Canada, Ottawa downplayed the gravity of the human rights situation. In a June 1972 memo to the Canadian embassy, the Director of the Latin American Division at Foreign Affairs stated: “We have, however, done our best to avoid drawing attention to this problem [human rights violations] because we are anxious to build a vigorous and healthy relationship with Brazil. We hope that in the future these unfortunate events and publicity, which damages the Brazilian image in Canada, can be avoided.”

The military dictatorship’s assassination program has contemporary relevance. In 2016 Workers Party President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in a “soft coup” and the social democratic party’s candidate for the upcoming presidential election, Lula da Silva, was recently jailed. The night before the Supreme Court was set to determine Lula’s fate the general in charge of the army hinted at military intervention if the judges ruled in favour of the former president and election frontrunner.

While they’ve made dozens of statements criticizing Venezuela over the past two years, the Justin Trudeau government seems to have remained silent on Rousseff’s ouster, Lula’s imprisonment and persecution of the left. The only comment I found was a Global Affairs official telling Sputnik that Canada would maintain relations with Brazil after Rousseff was impeached. Since that time Canada has begun negotiating to join the Brazilian led MERCOSUR trade block (just after Venezuela was expelled).

As many Brazilians worry about their country returning to military rule, Canadians should demand their government doesn’t contribute to weakening the country’s fragile democracy.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Claim: $220 Billion “Family Planning” Equivalent to a Trillion Dollars of Climate Tech Investment

Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State. By Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Flickr, OGL, Link
By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | May 22, 2018

Family planning charities suggest helping poor women “control their fertility” will save as much CO2 as a trillion dollars of investment in low carbon technologies. But provision of family planning wrapped around a higher purpose has a long and ugly history.

Worried About Climate Change? Investing in Reproductive Health Must Be Part of the Solution

Monday, 21st May 2018
Chris Turner

Since the invention of the contraceptive pill in the 1950’s, access to modern contraception has driven some of the key demographic and social changes in history. It has delivered improved health outcomes for mothers and babies as women are able to wait longer between births or delay having their first child. It created demographic shifts, as populations have fewer dependents and a more productive labour force. It has empowered girls and women to stay in school longer, seek higher education and participate in the formal economy. And now recent research has determined that contraception also has a key role to play in addressing climate change.

Poverty reduction and strengthening economies

When women can exercise reproductive choice, they are more likely to participate in education and the workforce. In most developing countries, female participation in the formal economy has increased as fertility has fallen. Women’s participation in the economy promotes economic growth and economies that are strong are better able to absorb the disturbances of climate change and recover from climate-related events.

Women’s participation and leadership

Women’s participation and leadership is important to climate change preparedness, resilience and action. Enabling women to control their bodies and reproductive health can help create opportunities for women to participate, lead and contribute to the conversation.

As a climate change mitigation strategy, family planning programs are also more cost-effective than other conventional, energy-focused solutions. One study found that $220 billion spent on providing family planning to those with an unmet need would reduce 34 gigatons of global carbon emissions, compared to $1 trillion for a similar outcome if spent on low carbon technologies.

Read more: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/05/worried-climate-change-investing-reproductive-health-must-part-solution/

Regardless of your position on birth control and abortion, I think we can all feel a sense of unease when efforts to provide “family planning” are offered as part of a larger mission to reduce population, rather than placing the interests of the recipients of the medical aid first.

Provision of birth control to poor people has a long, ugly history. For example, consider this Guardian story about the Bangladesh government’s recent efforts to offer sterilisation services to inconvenient Rohingya refugees displaced by ongoing political turmoil in Burma.

Bangladesh to offer sterilisation to Rohingya in refugee camps

Family planning authorities have asked the government to launch vasectomies and tubectomies for women in Cox’s Bazar, where 1m refugees fight for space.

Bangladesh is planning to introduce voluntary sterilisation in its overcrowded Rohingya camps, where nearly a million refugees are fighting for space, after efforts to encourage birth control failed.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar in August triggered an exodus, straining resources in the impoverished country.

The latest arrivals have joined hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled in earlier waves from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the stateless Muslim minority has endured decades of persecution.

Most live in desperate conditions with limited access to food, sanitation or health facilities and local officials fear a lack of family planning could stretch resources even further.

Many of the refugees told AFP they believed a large family would help them survive in the camps, where access to food and water remains a daily battle and children are often sent out to fetch and carry supplies.

Others had been told contraception was against the tenets of Islam.

Farhana Sultana, a family planning volunteer who works with Rohingya refugees in the camps, said many of the women she spoke to believed birth control was a sin.

“In Rakhine they did not go to family planning clinics, fearing the Myanmar authorities would give medicine that harms them or their children,” Sultana said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/28/bangladesh-to-offer-sterilisation-to-rohingya-in-refugee-camps

You could reasonably argue that refugee women having 19 children each is unsustainable. But I doubt the first concern of the Bangladeshi authorities is the well-being of the Rohingya. I suspect the Bangladeshi authorities would be overjoyed if the Rohingya refugee problem just quietly disappeared.

Over zealous family planning doesn’t just occur in poor countries. The USA has experienced domestic scandals in the past related to forced sterilisation, and scandals with the practices of organisations like Planned Parenthood, including accusations of medical racism.

My point is I personally have no problem with women having access to the medical services they need to create a better life for themselves and their families. I understand some people likely have different opinions about reproductive issues, what is an is not acceptable, to myself.

But surely we can all agree that mixing family planning with another mission like reducing humanity’s global carbon footprint creates a horrifying risk that the welfare of patients will not be the top priority. There are many ugly historical examples to support this concern.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Russia ‘absolutely’ rejects Dutch & Aussie accusations it’s responsible for MH17 downing

RT | May 25, 2018

Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia “responsible” for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014.

Moscow neither accepts nor trusts the results of an international investigation into the MH17 crash as it was not allowed to take part in it, according to the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“Of course, without being able to be a full participant, Russia does not know to what extent the results of this work can be trusted,” he said.

Peskov echoed the position of the Russian president Vladimir Putin who earlier said that, although Ukraine was included in the probe, Russia was barred from participating in establishing the truth.

Asked if he can confirm that Russia vehemently denies any involvement in the MH17 downing, Peskov replied “absolutely.”

Earlier on Friday, Amsterdam and Canberra said Russia is “responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17” following a Thursday press conference of the Dutch-led International Investigation Team (JIT). The latter concluded that a BUK missile system from a Russian 53rd brigade was transported to eastern Ukraine and used to down the passenger plane with more than 300 people onboard. The system was then said to have returned to Russia.

“The [Dutch] government is now taking the next step by formally holding Russia accountable,” Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok said in a statement. However, the Russian military earlier said that not a single weapons system crossed the border.

MH17 tragedy may be used to achieve political goals – Lavrov

The country’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Moscow would not reject closer cooperation on the MH17 probe, but only if the data it provides is included as well. He also compared the case with the Skripal scandal, in which London made groundless allegations and pinned the blame on Moscow, but failed to provide any proof.

“If our partners have decided to speculate on this case, when it comes to the most serious human tragedy, the death of hundreds of people, to achieve their political goals, I leave it on their conscience,” Lavrov said.

Despite the JIT claiming that it conducted a separate probe, it did not move any further than the British investigative group Bellingcat – some reports of which came under fire and were refuted by Russian activists. Among other flaws in the earlier Bellingcat claims was the assertion that the Ukrainian Army had no Buk systems in the conflict area. However, in a countering statement, Russian activists presented reports from the Ukrainian media itself showing Buk missiles in the area prior to the downing of the plane.

Bellingcat’s online investigations have previously raised questions regarding their accuracy. After the group’s founder, Eliot Higgins, published one of his reports on Syria, he was asked to discuss his findings with prominent MIT physicist Theodore Postol. However, the blogger declined the debate and insulted the scientist, triggering an avalanche of criticism on Twitter.

The allegation that the missile belonged to the Russian military had earlier been debunked by the Buk manufacturer, Almaz-Antey. Its real-time experiment showed that the projectile which hit MH17 (Boeing 777) was from an earlier generation and is no longer in service with the Russian military. It was found that the plane was likely shot down using an old 9M38 missile, not the newer type 9M38M1 with distinct butterfly-shaped metal fragments, which were allegedly recovered by the Dutch Safety Board.

Moreover, Almaz-Antey’s findings, which analyzed the angle from which the projectiles entered the cockpit of the ill-fated flight, showed that the most probable location of the launch site could be only on Kiev-controlled territory. Untampered Russian radar data provided by Moscow led to similar conclusions.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Ukrainian forces kept around 20 Buk systems, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The military also stressed that Moscow has not supplied any new missiles to Ukraine since then.

Read more:

Accusations and threats, but where are the facts? – Russia challenges West on truth

May 25, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Time for UK to Apologize to Moscow for Accusations Over Skripal Case – Embassy

Sputnik – 25.05.2018

The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said on Friday it was time for the UK side to apologize to Russia for accusations over the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, as no evidence was provided by London to substantiate its claims of Moscow’s involvement during the three months which passed since the incident.

“Time has come for British authorities to apologize to Russia for the hollow accusations accompanied by an unprecedented anti-Russian campaign, to give answers to all the questions and requests officially sent to the British side on this matter, to engage with Russian law enforcement agencies that have opened the criminal case regarding the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal, and to stop isolating the two Russian citizens,” the embassy’s press release read.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged to stop speculations on the so-called Skripal case and conduct a joint objective investigation instead.

“We need to either carry out a joint objective and thorough investigation, or simply stop talking on this topic, because it does not lead to anything but a deterioration of relations,” he said.

Putin also questioned the alleged fact of poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter by a military-grade nerve agent.

“I’m not a specialist in chemical warfare agents, but as far as I can imagine, if a warfare agent is used, the victims of this attack die on the spot, almost immediately. But nothing happened in this case. Skripal himself and his daughter are alive, and have been discharged from the hospital. His daughter looks quite alright, everyone is alive and well,” the president stressed.

On May 1, UK National Security Adviser Mark Sedwill told the UK lower house defense committee that no suspects had been identified in the March’s attack on the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.

Analysis by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of the Salisbury incident confirmed the UK findings related to the nature of the chemical used in the poisoning, but did not include any information that would help the UK government substantiate claims about Russian involvement in the incident.

The United Kingdom and its allies have blamed Russia for an alleged role in the poisoning despite presenting no proof. Over a hundred Russian diplomats have since been expelled from these countries in solidarity with London and to put pressure on Moscow, which denies any involvement.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

US Stealth Aircraft Manufacturer to Open Preschools in Jerusalem – Reports

Sputnik – 25.05.2018

One of the biggest defense manufacturers in the United States is reportedly moving to invest in kindergarten education in Jerusalem.

Lockheed Martin is about to open several science-oriented preschools in the city of Jerusalem with the backing of the Israeli Ministry of Education, Haaretz reports.

According to the newspaper, the company that produces a wide array of ordnance and military aircraft, including the F-35 stealth fighter, is opening these preschools as part of a larger project called MadaKids.

Also, Lockheed Martin intends to fund robotics courses for first and second graders for children who graduate from these preschools.

The company’s representatives added that Lockheed Martin will only pay for the preschools’ science curriculum.

“We’re supporting them financially, but we don’t have teachers in the preschools and we’re not intervening in the programming or curriculum,” said Joshua Shani, CEO of Lockheed Martin Israel.

While Shani did admit that Lockheed Martin’s involvement in this preschool program “isn’t logical”, he argued that “the moment a commercial company wants to contribute to the community, it becomes worthwhile.”

“We could have set up a research institute on military aviation worldwide, but we went in the direction of education because that’s what fires us up,” he declared.

The Ministry of Education noted that it does not object to commercial enterprises setting up preschools as long as commercial content doesn’t get introduced into curriculum.

The commander of the Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin earlier declared that Israel became the first country in the world to carry out an attack using the US-manufactured F-35 stealth fighter.

He claimed that Israel is “flying the F-35 all over the Middle East and have already attacked twice on two different fronts.”

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel bill seeks to criminalise documentation of soldiers’ actions

Israeli forces disrupt a Palestinian protest against Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands in Bethlehem, West Bank on March 30, 2017. (Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency )
MEMO | May 25, 2018

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss, Sunday, a bill that would prohibit the documentation of Israeli soldiers’ human rights violations against Palestinian citizens.

On Thursday, Israel Hayom explained that the chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu bloc in the Knesset, Robert Ilatov, proposed the bill with the support of his party’s leader, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The bill states, “anyone who shoots a video or a photo, or records soldiers while they are doing their job, with the aim of disturbing the morale of soldiers and citizens, will be sentenced to five years imprisonment. In case this is done with the aim of destabilising the state’s security, the perpetrator will be sentenced to ten years imprisonment.”

In addition, the bill prohibits the sharing of photographs or recorded content on social media or in the media.

Israeli MP Ilatov asserted that his proposal comes as part of an attempt to respond to the movement of left-wing activists in exposing Israeli practices against Palestinian citizens in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

He justified his proposal by saying,

Israel has long been facing a disturbing phenomenon; that of the documentation of Israeli army soldiers, by video shooting or audio recordings by organisations that are hostile to Israel and supportive of the Palestinians, such as B’Tselem, Machsom Watch, Breaking the Silence, BDS and other organisations

He claimed that “the majority of these organisations receive support from associations and governments with anti-Israel agenda, and that they are using these contents to jeopardise Israel and its security.”

He added, “It is unreasonable for an activist or leftist organisation, supported by a foreign entity, to be granted the freedom to document soldiers while doing their duties. The best conditions must be provided for the soldiers to do their duty without worrying about any activist or organisation publishing their photos to intimidate them.”

Read also:

Student societies ask Britain to end arms sales to Israel

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

MESA: Israeli Government Involved in Cyberbullying US College Students

A letter from the Middle East Studies Association to Israeli Security Minister Gilad Erdan charges Israeli government harassment of American students.

By Judith Tucker | May 25, 2018

Dear Minister Erdan:

We write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our dismay that the Israeli government has been involved in facilitating and directing abusive actions, including cyberbullying, against students at universities in the United States who have been active in campaigns for divestment from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This constitutes unwarranted interference by a foreign power in these students’ free speech rights and threatens academic freedom at institutions of higher education in the United States.

MESA was founded in 1966 to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa. The preeminent organization in the field, MESA publishes the International Journal of Middle East Studies and has nearly 2,500 members worldwide. MESA is committed to ensuring academic freedom of expression, both within the region and in connection with the study of the region in North America and elsewhere.

The most recent incident of which we are aware took place at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. during April 2018. On 16 April 2018, a Student Senate vote on a resolution urging the university to divest from a number of companies (including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Elbit Systems, Caterpillar, CEMEX, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Motorola Solutions) was cancelled after students witnessed two unidentified individuals placing threatening posters around the university. The vote was rescheduled for 24 April 2018 and on that date the divestment resolution was approved by a vote of 18-6, with 6 abstentions.

Two men wearing bird costumes and masks, apparently evoking the Canary Mission website which features some two thousand derogatory and generally inaccurate and misleading profiles of students and faculty who have advocated for Palestinian rights, along with someone who appeared to be coordinating their activities, stood outside the room in which the Senate Senators were meeting to vote on the resolution. The clear intent was to intimidate the Senators as well as student supporters of the resolution. These individuals were later seen putting up posters around campus that read, “SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine], you saw two of us, we saw all of you.”

After the vote, administrators of the Act.il app, which media reports indicate your ministry was integrally involved in developing and promoting in order to combat the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, began directing its users to “like” and share a Facebook page set up to threaten and bully the GWU Student Senators who voted in support of the resolution. The Facebook page was taken down soon after the Senate vote, but Act.il did not remove its listing of the cyberbullying campaign as a “mission” to be conducted by anti-BDS activists until it expired.

We note in this connection that you personally promoted the launch of Act.il at the February 2017 Celebrate Israel Parade and that your ministry placed paid articles advertising the app in the Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel (see The Forward ).

Your status as an official of the Israeli government makes your involvement, and that of the ministry you head, in campaigns to try to intimidate American college and university students and to inhibit or suppress their freedom of expression especially egregious. These students have a right to be free of harassment, intimidation and cyberbullying by people who are in effect agents of the Israeli government. We therefore call on you and your ministry to cease promoting or supporting such campaigns of harassment, whether online or in person, and to refrain from interference of any kind when students and faculty in the United States exercise their constitutionally protected right of free speech and their academic freedom rights.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Judith E. Tucker
MESA President
Professor, Georgetown University

Amy W. Newhall
MESA Executive Director

Judith E. Tucker is the President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and writes on behalf of the MESA Committee on Academic Freedom. She is Professor of History at Georgetown University, former Director of the Master of Arts in Arab Studies Program, former Editor of the International Journal of Middle East Studies. 

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Congressional bill would apply Israel-centric definition of antisemitism to campuses

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | May 25, 2018

A group of US lawmakers from both houses of Congress introduced legislation on Wednesday to apply an Israel-centric definition of anti-Semitism to the American educational system. If passed, this would likely be used to to censor information on Israel-Palestine on U.S. campuses.

The basic formulation on which the definition is based was originally created by an Israeli official in 2004. Versions have since been inserted into various entities both internationally and in the U.S., where a definition created in Europe in 2005 was adopted by an Israel partisan in the State Department in 2010. This definition is now called “the State Department definition” of antisemitism. It is this version that the current law would apply to U.S. campuses. (For more information see this.)

The current legislation (H.R.6421 & S.2940) is entitled “A bill to provide for the consideration of a definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.” (Text here) The short title is ‘‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018.’’

A similar bill, “Anti-Semitism Act of 2016,” was supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federations of North America, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center but was not enacted.

Legal experts have warned that such bills would violate the First Amendment. Palestine Legal points out:

The redefinition of antisemitism is so broadly drawn—and its examples so vague—that any speech critical of Israel or supportive of Palestinian rights could conceivably fall within it. For example, a human rights supporter who speaks out for Palestinian rights, citing reports by such bodies as the United Nations or Amnesty International regarding Israeli human rights abuses, could be labeled antisemitic for applying a double standard by requiring of Israel behavior not expected or demanded of others.

If U.S. government entities adopt and apply this overbroad re-definition of antisemitism to censor political viewpoints critical of Israel, they would likely violate the First Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated that the 2016 bill posed “a serious threat to the First Amendment free speech rights of those on campus who may hold certain political views.”

The ACLU stated: “The First Amendment prevents the federal government from using its great weight to impose severe penalties on a person simply for sharing a political viewpoint critical of Israel.”

In some cases legislators may not be fully aware of what the bill contains and how it can be used. A press release from Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers fails to inform the public that the definition is a nontraditional one that when applied to campuses will likely restrict certain factual statements about a foreign country.

The Times of Israel reports that other co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida), Rep Jerrold Nadler, (D-New York), Rep. Peter Roskam, (R-Illinois), Rep. Doug Collins, (R-Georgia), Sen. Tim Scott, (R-South Carolina), and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania). The previous bill had 23 co-sponsors.

Similar legislation is also being introduced in state legislatures around the country, with South Carolina recently passing it. While most South Carolina state legislators considered the bill an insignificant gesture, their action made headlines in Israel, where it was seen as a major breakthrough for the country.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel.” 


Click image to see video. Hannah Rosenthal adopted the new definition while she served as Antisemitism Envoy in the State Department.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Naomi Wolf and Anti-semitism’s Mystification

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | May 24, 2018

My previous post was about the firing of a cartoonist, Dieter Hanitzsch, by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung after its editor became concerned – though, it seems, far from sure – that a cartoon he had published of Benjamin Netanyahu might be anti-semitic. Here is the image again.

As I argued then, the meaning seems pretty clear and uncoloured by any traditional notion of anti-semitism. It shows the danger that Israel, a highly militarised state, will use its win at the Eurovision song contest, and its hosting of next year’s competition in occupied Jerusalem, to whitewash the sort of war crimes it just committed in Gaza, where it has massacred large numbers of unarmed Palestinians.

In fact, the cartoonist is far from alone in highlighting such concerns. The New York Times has reported delight among Israelis at the prospect of what they regard as a “diplomatic victory” as much as musical one. And, according to the Haaretz newspaper, the Eurovision contest organisers have already expressed concern to Israeli broadcasters about likely attempts by Israel to “politicise” the competition.

Among those responding on Twitter to my post was Naomi Wolf, a US Jewish intellectual and feminist scholar whose body of work I admire. She disagreed with my blog post, arguing that the cartoon was, in her words, “kind of anti-semitic”.

In our subsequent exchange she also noted that she was uncomfortable with the fact that the cartoonist was German. (For those interested, the complete exchange can be found here.)

In the end, and admittedly under some pressure from me for clarification, she offered an illustration of why she thought the cartoon was “kind of anti-semitic”. She sent a link to the image below, stating that she thought Hanitzsch’s cartoon of Netanyahu had echoes of this Nazi image of “the Jew” alongside an Aryan German woman.

Frankly, I was astounded by the comparison.

Nazi propaganda

Cartoons in Nazi propaganda sheets like Der Sturmer were anti-semitic because they emphasised specific themes to “otherise” Jews, presenting them as a collective menace to Germany or the world. Those themes included the threat of plague and disease, with Jews often represented as rats; or secret Jewish control over key institutions, illustrated, for example, by the tentacles of an octopus spanning the globe; or the disloyalty of Jews, selling out their country, as they hungered for money.

As Wolf notes, anti-semitic cartoonists would give the portrayed “Jew” grotesque or sinister facial features to alienate readers from him and convey the threat he posed. These features famously included a large or hooked nose, voracious lips, and a bulbous or disfigured head.

So how did the cartoon of Netanyahu qualify on any of these grounds? There is no implication that Netanyahu represents “Jews”, or even Israelis. He is illustrated straightforwardly as the leader of a country, Israel. There is no sense of disease, world control or money associated with Netanyahu’s depiction. Just his well-known hawkishness and Israel’s well-documented status as a highly militarised state.

And there is nothing “grotesque” or “other” about Netanyahu. This is a typical caricature, certainly by European standards, of a world leader. It’s no more offensive than common depictions of Barack Obama, George Bush, Tony Blair, or Donald Trump.

So how exactly is this Netanyahu cartoon “kind of anti-semitic”?

Limiting political debate

What follows is not meant as an attack on Wolf. In fact, I greatly appreciate the fact that she was prepared to engage sincerely and openly with me on Twitter. And I acknowledge her point that judgments about what is anti-semitic are subjective.

But at the same time ideas about anti-semitism have become far vaguer, more all-encompassing, than ever before. In fact, I would go so far as to say the idea of anti-semitism has been metamorphosing before our eyes in ways extremely damaging to the health of our political conversations. It is the current mystification of anti-semitism – or what we might term its transformation into a “kind of antisemitism” – that has allowed it to be weaponised, limiting all sorts of vital debates we need to be having.

It is precisely the promotion of a “kind of anti-semitism”, as opposed to real anti-semitism, that has just forced Ken Livingstone to resign from the Labour party; that empowered Labour’s Blairite bureaucracy to publicly lynch a well-known black anti-racism activist, Marc Wadsworth; that persuaded a dissident comedian and supporter of the Palestinian cause, Frankie Boyle, to use his TV show to prioritise an attack on a supposedly “anti-semitic” Labour party over support for Gaza; that is being used to vilify grassroots movements campaigning against “global elites” and the “1 per cent”; and that may yet finish off Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, currently the only credible political force for progressive change in the UK.

None of this is, of course, to suggest that Wolf would herself want any of these outcomes or that she is trying to misuse anti-semitism. I fully acccept that she has been a strong Jewish critic of Israel and doubtless paid a price for it with friends and colleagues.

But unlike Wolf, those who do consciously and cynically weaponise anti-semitism gain their power from our inability to stand back and think critically about what they are doing, and why it matters. There is an intellectual and cultural blind spot that has been created and is being readily exploited by those who want to prevent discussions not only about Israel’s actions but about the wider political culture we desperately need to change.

Israel and Jews

In fact, the mystification of anti-semitism is not new, though it is rapidly intensifying. It began the moment Israel was created. That was why a Nazi cartoon – drawn before Israel’s establishment in 1948 – could never have been described as “kind of anti-semitic”. It simply was anti-semitic. It attributed menacing or subversive qualities to Jews because they were Jews.

To understand how the current mystification works we need briefly to consider Israel’s character as a state – something very few people are prepared to do in the “mainstream”, because it is likely to result in allegations of … anti-semitism! As I observed in my previous post, this has provided the perfect get-out-jail-free card for Israel and its supporters.

Israel was created as the national homeland of all Jewish people – not of those who became citizens (which included a significant number of Palestinians), or even of those Jews who ended up living there. Israel declared that it represented all Jewish people around the world, including Wolf.

This idea is central to Zionism, and is embodied in its Declaration of Independence; its constitutional-like Basic Laws; its immigration legislation, the Law of Return; its land laws; and the integration into Israel’s state structures of extra-territorial Zionist organisations like the Jewish National Fund, the World Zionist Organisation and the Jewish Agency.

A dangerous confusion

It is also why the rationale for Israel is premised on anti-semitism: Israel was created as a sanctuary for all Jews because, according to Zionists, Jews can never be truly safe anywhere outside Israel. Without anti-semitism, Israel would be superfluous. It is also why Israel has a reason to inflate the threat of anti-semitism – or, if we are cynical about the lengths states will go to promote their interests, to help generate anti-semitism to justify the existence of a Jewish state and encourage Jews to immigrate.

So from the moment of its birth, the ideas of “Israel” and “anti-semitism” became disturbingly enmeshed – and in ways almost impossible to disentangle.

For most of Israel’s history, that fact could be obscured in the west because western governments and media were little more than cheerleaders for Israel. Criticism of Israel was rarely allowed into the mainstream, and when it did appear it was invariably limited to condemnations of the occupation. Even then, there was rarely any implication of systematic wrongdoing on Israel’s part.

That changed only when the exclusive grip of the western corporate media over information dissemination weakened, first with the emergence of the internet and satellite channels like Al Jazeera, and more recently and decisively with social media. Criticism of Israel’s occupation has increasingly broadened into suspicions about its enduring bad faith. Among more knowledgeable sections of the progressive left, there is a mounting sense that Israel’s unwillingness to end the occupation is rooted in its character as a Jewish state, and maybe its intimate ideological relationship with anti-semitism.

These are vital conversations to be having about Israel, and they are all the more pressing now that Israel has shown that it is fully prepared to gun down in public unarmed Palestinians engaging in civil disobedience. Many, many more Palestinians are going to have their lives taken from them unless we aggressively pursue and resolve these conversations in ways that Israel is determined to prevent.

And this is why the “kind of anti-semitic” confusion – a confusion that Israel precisely needs and encourages – is so dangerous. Because it justifies – without evidence – shutting down those conversations before they can achieve anything.

The Livingstone problem

In 2016 Ken Livingstone tried to initiate a conversation about Zionism and its symbiotic relationship with anti-semites, in this case with the early Nazi leadership. We can’t understand what Israel is, why the vast majority of Jews once abhorred Zionism, why Israel is so beloved of modern anti-semites like the alt-right and hardcore Christian evangelicals, why Israel cannot concede a Palestinian state, and why it won’t abandon the occupation without overwhelming penalties from the international community, unless we finish the conversation Livingstone started.

Which is why that conversation was shut down instantly with the accusation that it was “anti-semitic”. But Livingstone’s crime is one no mainstream commentator wants to address or explain. If pressed to do so, they will tell you it is because his comments were perceived to be “offensive” or “hurtful”, or because they were “unnecessary” and “foolish”, or because they brought the Labour party “into disrepute” (Labour’s version of “kind of anti-semitic”). No one will tell you what was substantively anti-semitic about his remark.

Similarly, when pressed to explain how Hanitzsch’s cartoon of Netanyahu was anti-semitic, Wolf digressed to the entirely irrelevant issue of his nationality.

This is the power and the danger of this “kind of anti-semitic” logic, and why it needs to be confronted and exposed for the hollow shell it is.

A mural becomes anti-semitic

The next stage in the evolution of the “kind of anti-semitic” argument is already discernible, as I have warned before. It is so powerful that it has forced Corbyn to concede, against all evidence, that Labour has an anti-semitism problem and to castigate himself, again against all evidence, for indulging in anti-semitic thinking.

Corbyn has been on the defensive since a “controversy” erupted in March over his expression of support back in 2012 for street art and opposition to censorship amid a row over a London mural that was about to be painted over.

After he was elected Labour leader in 2015, the first efforts were made to weaponise the mural issue to damage him. The deeply anti-Corbyn Jewish Chronicle newspaper was – like Hanitzsch’s boss at the Süddeutsche Zeitung – initially unsure whether the mural was actually anti-semitic. Then the newspaper simply highlighted concerns that it might have “anti-semitic undertones”. By spring 2018, when the row resurfaced, the status of the mural had been transformed. Every mainstream British commentator was convinced it was “clearly” and “obviously” anti-semitic – and by implication, Corbyn had been unmasked as an anti-semite for supporting it.

Again, no one wanted to debate how it was anti-semitic. The artist has said it was an image of historical bankers, most of whom were not Jewish, closely associated with the capitalist class’s war on the rest of us. There is nothing in the mural to suggest he is lying about his intention or the mural’s meaning. And yet everyone in the “mainstream” is now confident that the mural is anti-semitic, even though none of them wants to specify what exactly is anti-semitic about it.

The 1 per cent off-limits

Much else is rapidly becoming “anti-semitic”. It is an indication of how quickly this slippage is occuring that repeating now a slogan of the Occupy Movement from only seven years ago – that we are ruled by a “global elite” and the “1 per cent” – is cited as proof of anti-semitism. The liberal New Statesman recently ran an article dedicated to proving that the articulation of basic socialist principles – including ideas of class war and the 1 per cent – was evidence of anti-semitism.

On Frankie Boyle’s popular TV show last week, comedian David Baddiel was allowed to misrepresent – unchallenged – an opinion poll that found 28 per cent of Corbyn supporters agreed with the statement “the world is controlled by a secretive elite”. Baddiel asserted, without any evidence, that when they spoke of a global elite the respondents were referring to Jews. What was this assumption based on? A hunch? A sense that such a statement must be “kind of anti-semitic”?

Lots of young people who support Corbyn have never heard of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and have little idea about Der Sturmer or Nazi propaganda. More likely when they think of a secretive global elite, they imagine not a cabal of Jews but faceless global corporations they feel powerless to influence and a military industrial complex raking in endless profits by engineering endless wars.

The mystification of anti-semitism is so dangerous because it can be exploited for any end those who dominate the public square care to put it to – whether it be sacking a cartoonist, justifying Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians, destroying a progressive party leader, or preventing any criticism of a turbo-charged neoliberal capitalism destroying our planet.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 5 Comments

‘Ukraine war on free speech coordinated with US’

RT | May 24, 2018

There is no independent policy in Kiev, they do everything in conjunction with the US, and new sanctions against Russian media reinforce those suspicions, executive editor of 21st Century Wire.com Patrick Henningsen told RT.

Ukraine has blocked access to the websites of Russian news organizations by including them on a sanctions list that is in sync with the US Treasury. RIA Novosti-Ukraine and Sputnik with the agencies’ resources are banned for three years.

RT: How do you view these sanctions against Russian media organizations? Is there a violation of freedom of speech?

Patrick Henningsen: I think you could make that argument anywhere in the world. We should make that argument anywhere in the world. This is clearly a political move; this also follows a pattern of targeting foreign media in countries like the US with its insistence that RT America employees register as foreign agents, etc. There have been similar attacks on PressTV in the UK, taking them off Eutelsat as well in Europe in 2012. It is definitely a war on free speech. But it is also an effort by the US; it seems very much a coordinated US effort to control public opinion, to control narratives. If you look at it in a wider scope, it is really about the management of information.

RT: Why are they doing it now?

PH: I think the timing is essential. I think we are seeing this at the very exact time you are seeing an escalation of tensions, and combat and military activities by Kiev in the Donbass. This would make sense. If a war is to escalate or if fighting is to escalate, the first thing you would like to do is to cut off any sources of opposition information. And certainly, they might view any Russian media outlets in Ukraine as a potential source of sympathetic narratives towards the people of Donbass and Luhansk. That doesn’t surprise me at all. In the wake of any war, if you look at history, one of the first targets will be media, right before the tensions are escalating or the war is beginning, this is the first thing you will see.

RT: Do you think will there be international reaction to this?

PH: In America, there are a lot of people cheering this on. Certainly, the government and the mainstream press and corporate media in America will look at this as a great thing. They need to get the Russians out because Russians only produce propaganda – this is how the narrative goes. This is why this is kind of a disturbing trend. The scope of discourse is being limited under the guise of national security. This is what the US is endorsing in Ukraine. So, one would except the US would follow suit within its own borders because… Kiev is acting as an agent of the US. And everybody is accusing the US favorite or installed, some like say, government in Kiev as being a puppet of the US. These actions only reinforce those suspicions. Clearly, there is no independent policy in Kiev, they are doing everything in conjunction with the US…

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Sputnik, RIA Novosti Ukraine Blocked in Ukraine According to New Sanctions List

Sputnik – May 24, 2018

Ukrainian authorities have added Sputnik and RIA Novosti-Ukraine to a sanctions list for three years, with the agencies’ resources and websites blocked in Ukraine.

“Blocking of assets — temporary restriction of the right of a person to use and dispose of his property; suspension of fulfillment of economic and financial obligations; restriction or termination of the provision of telecommunications services and the use of public telecommunications networks,” reads the document published on the website of the President of Ukraine.

Also included in the sanctions list is the RIA Novosti-Ukraine news portal, whose head Kirill Vyshinsk, was recently arrested. Ukraine has also blocked access to the sites россиясегодня.рф, Sputniknews.com, Ria.ru, Rsport.ria.ru, 1prime.ru, and realty.ria.ru, according to the site of the Ukrainian president.

The head of the Russian State Duma’s CIS Committee, Leonid Kalashnikov, called for an immediate halt to economic cooperation with Ukraine in response to the blocking of Sputnik and RIA Novosti-Ukraine.

“We need to draw conclusions for ourselves, including starting to take [measures] in economic cooperation with Ukraine, reducing it and stopping it,” Kalashnikov told Sputnik.

Commenting on the situation, Rossiya Segodnya director-general Dmitry Kiselev said that Ukraine’s decision shows the powerlessness of Kiev authorities which may be preparing to “cleanse” the media space ahead of next spring’s presidential elections.

“This shows the powerlessness of the regime which came to force as a result of a bloody coup and failed to establish normal life according to modern democratic canon. There is nothing left for it to do apart from persecuting its own citizens, persecuting journalists, persecuting freedom of speech, banning respected outlets, and, possibly preparing for a cleansing of the media space ahead of the so-called presidential elections,” Kiselev said.

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) broke into the offices of RIA Novosti-Ukraine in Kiev. Agency head Kirill Vyshinsky was detained on charges of treason. The SBU accuses Vyshinsky of supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in Ukraine’s war-torn southeast. Later, a court in the Ukrainian city of Kherson ruled that Vyshinsky would be put under arrest.

On May 16, the International Federation of Journalists called on Ukrainian authorities to immediately release Vyshinsky, and condemned Kiev’s actions as inadmissible.

Freedom of Press Concerns in Ukraine

The block against RIA Novosti-Ukraine and Russian news resources including Sputnik is another step in a long list of measures affecting press freedoms in Ukraine since the 2014 Maidan coup d’etat. Before Vyshinsky, a number of other Ukrainian journalists have been arrested, killed under mysterious circumstances, or forced to flee their home country.

High profile cases include the 2015 murder of well-known opposition journalist Oles Buzina, the 2015 detention of journalist and peace campaigner Ruslan Kotsaba, who urged Ukrainians to resist mobilization for Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine, and the arrests of other journalists, including Vasily Muravitsky, Dmitry Vasilets and Yevgeny Timonin, charged with “treason,” “supporting terrorist organizations” and other offenses for their opposition journalism or coverage of the civil war in the east.Over the last four years, Kiev has devoted considerable resources to blocking Russian television broadcasts in the country, and to impeding the work of foreign journalists in the country. The country’s authorities have also targeted Russian books, movies and television shows, going so far as to list Russian fairy tales as a threat to Ukraine’s national security. In late 2016, President Poroshenko signed a decree restricting access to so-called “anti-Ukrainian content” coming from Russia.

A May 2017 decree targeted Sputnik, Rossiya Segodnya, as well as Russian television channels Zvezda, TVC, NTV, RenTV, RBC and others. Last year, the Ukrainian government also banned Russian social media services Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, a move which was met with discontent among many ordinary Ukrainians.

This week, on the eve of Saturday’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev, Russian sports journalists have issued an appeal to Ukrainian authorities to release Vyshinsky from his detention, saying his arrest is an infringement of journalists’ rights in Ukraine.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment