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UN General Assembly condemns Israel for ‘excessive use of force’ on Gaza border

RT | June 13, 2018

The UN General Assembly has adopted a nonbinding resolution condemning Israel’s use of ‘excessive force’ against Palestinian protesters in Gaza. A US amendment to condemn Hamas did not get enough support.

The resolution condemns Israel for “excessive use of force” against Palestinian demonstrators on the Israeli-Gaza border and calls for the “protection of the Palestinian civilian population” in Gaza. It was adopted with 120 votes in favor and eight votes against, with 45 abstentions.

The amendment offered by US envoy Nikki Haley sought to condemn Hamas, which runs the elected government in Gaza, for firing rockets at Israel. The amendment received 62 votes in favor, with 58 nations opposed and 42 abstaining. It needed a two-thirds majority to pass, however, so it was not included in the final resolution.

The nearly identical resolution proposed by Kuwait was vetoed by the US in the Security Council on Tuesday. Unlike the Security Council resolutions, those adopted in the General Assembly are non-binding.

Haley condemned the adopted resolution as “morally bankrupt.”

“The resolution is one-sided, makes not one mention of Hamas which routinely initiates violence,” the US envoy said during the debate preceding the vote, adding that “What makes Gaza different is that attacking Israel is their favorite political sport.”

Israeli ambassador Danny Danon slammed the resolution as “empowering Hamas” and the countries that support it as “colluding with a terrorist organization.”

“I have a simple message for those who support this resolution. You are the ammunition for Hamas’s guns, you are the warheads for its missiles,” he said.

Over 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during the protests along the border with Gaza that began on March 30. The deadliest day so far has been May 14, when the US embassy officially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people,” said Riyad Mansour, Palestinian envoy to the UN.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Australia needs an urgent reappraisal of its place in a changing world

By James O’Neill | OffGuardian | June 13, 2018

It seems likely that the Australian House and Senate will pass the governments legislative proposals, ostensibly aimed at alleged foreign interference in Australia’s electoral process. Despite denials to the contrary, the legislation is manifestly aimed at alleged Chinese interference, although the scope of the proposed legislative provisions amounts to a sustained attack upon the ability of critics in the media and elsewhere to do their job of holding governments to account.

The cynic might argue that such legislation is hardly necessary, as serious and sustained criticism of the policies of successive Australian governments, and certainly in the “defence” and “national security” areas has been conspicuously absent for many years both from the mainstream media and the Labor opposition.

There has been a noticeable increase in the barrage of one-dimensional propaganda in recent decades, and a corresponding reduction in the presentation of fact based analysis. As equally insidious as the propaganda nature of much of what is termed “news” is the systematic ignoring of actual events.

A stark illustration of this is in the initial coverage of the alleged assassination attempt upon Sergei and Yulia Skripal and the almost complete disappearance of this story from the news cycle as the original absurd claims of the British government have been systematically destroyed.

The fact that the British government issued a “D” notice after the Daily Telegraph referred to the existence of Skripal’s MI6 “handler” (whom they did not name) living in Salisbury is significant, but the Australian media have completely ignored that fact. That Skripal and his MI6 handler were also associated with the author of the so-called Trump dossier through the same company (Fusion) is important to an understanding of the Skripal incident and the likely motive for the attack upon Skripal and his daughter.

Instead of investigating these issues, the media have simply repeated parrot fashion the British claims. The Australian government has been no better. It simply expelled two Russian diplomats when the investigation into the Skripal incident had barely begun, and certainly before there was any evidence to support the British government’s allegations. Foreign Minister Bishop’s statement at the time was merely a repeating of the British claims made in a memorandum circulated to 80 foreign embassies in Moscow.

A further variation of the media’s inability to present an objective analysis is the use of language that denigrates the object of ridicule by pejorative adjectives. The Assad government of Syria is invariably described as a “regime”; Russia’s President Putin is “brutal” or “authoritarian”; and China’s policies are “increasingly aggressive” or “assertive.”

Such terminology is never applied to the actions of allies such as the United States, Israel or Saudi Arabia, although by any objective measure the actions of those three governments over the past seven decades far exceeds in brutality and ruthlessness anything that could be attributed to either Russia or China. William Blum among others, including John Menadue in these pages has provided chapter and verse on the wholesale carnage wrought by the United States.

The violent exercise of “regime change” by bombings, invasions, colour revolutions, sanctions and bribery is now in excess of 70 countries, with a death toll of more than 30 million and counting.

In many of these exercises in regime change Australia has been a willing participant. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are only some of the better-known examples. What is especially galling is that these illegal wars are invariably accompanied by the relentless mantra of Australia’s support for the “rules based international order.”

The subtext of this mantra is that it is our definition of “rules” and “order” that is applied and any alternative view is denied any legitimacy. Even on its own definition however, the actions of Australia and its allies fail the legal test. The invasion of Afghanistan and it’s continuing occupation after that more than 16 years is an ongoing violation of international law. The recent revelations of alleged war crimes by Australian troops in Afghanistan are merely the latest in a long line of reported atrocities by the occupying forces.

The same is true of the 2003 invasion and the occupation of Iraq, also ongoing after more than 15 years. That invasion was based upon a particularly blatant set of lies. The illegality is compounded in Australia’s case by a continuing refusal to hold the perpetrators accountable, or even to hold a Chilcot type inquiry.

The current involvement in the Syrian war is an another example of illegality, compounded by a lack of proper parliamentary accountability, and a veil of secrecy over military operations that at the very least involved Australia as a party to war crimes being carried out by United States forces.

The free pass given by the mainstream media to such terrorist aligned groups as the “White Helmets”, and the constant reiteration of the “Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons” when such allegations have been comprehensively debunked, illustrate the abysmal state of journalism in this country.

Another favoured mantra is the exercise of so called “freedom of navigation exercises” by United States warships, vocally supported by Australia. The “peaceful” transit of shipping is guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which China is a party and the United States is not.

There is not a single demonstrated instance of China impeding the transit of shipping in the South China Sea. If free passage was hindered, the biggest loser would be the PRC itself, for whom the South China Sea is a vital facility for both exports and imports. It is not difficult to imagine what the American reaction would be if China were to conduct similar exercises off the American coast or in the Gulf of Mexico. One has only to recall the 1962 Cuban missile crisis for an intimation of the likely reaction.

Critics of China point to the building of artificial islands in disputed waters and their fortification in some cases. That identical cases of creating artificial islands and their fortification have been done by Vietnam and Taiwan among others is never mentioned in the mainstream media.

The media is similarly silent on the annual joint US- Australian military exercise code named Operation Talisman Sabre, one of whose objectives is the blockading of the narrow (2.5km) Malacca Strait through which more than 80% of China’s oil imports pass.

That China might have legitimate security concerns as a result of Operation Talisman Sabre, the carrying out of regular military exercises in or near Chinese territorial waters or land borders, and the existence of 400 US military bases whose primary purpose is to “contain” China or act as a springboard in the event of an outbreak of war, is never conceded by the mainstream media. China is also acutely aware that in recent decades major wars (Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) have been fought on or near China’s borders.

Australian politicians and media have been similarly silent on the blockade of Gaza and Yemen, both of which are illegal under international law and have been nothing short of genocidal in their consequences. Australia’s continued support of Israel in the United Nations is completely inconsistent with any sincere belief in international law, yet such support is one of the dominant features of Australian foreign policy.

Ironically, it was the Americans and the Israelis who have expressed concern about the government’s anti-interference laws, as it would inhibit their own activities. There is a steady procession of Australian legislators to Tel Aviv, yet no one in the media is willing to discuss the relationship between that fact and the support given to Israel by Australia in the UN and elsewhere.

Australia’s voting record in the United Nations and its constant involvement in other people’s illegal wars that should be the basis of a discussion of “foreign interference. Interference is a two way street, and Australia’s record in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, East Timor and Nauru provide ample evidence.

That Australia is essentially a United States colony reflected in Malcolm Turnbull’s “joined at the hip” supine characterization of the Australia-US relationship is far more a legitimate concern than alleged Chinese “interference”.

One suspects that what is at the root of this manufactured panic about China and Russia is a dawning realization that the era of US hegemony and the unipolar world is rapidly disintegrating. The past 300 or so years of western domination is an historical aberration and a reassertion of the traditional dominance of the East is underway.

Australia has actually been a beneficiary of this transition, as the trade, education, tourism and investment figures attest. What has been lacking in politics and the media, has been a comparable transition in Australia’s strategic thinking. The time for an informed and subtle reappraisal of that transition and its longer-term implications is well overdue.

The current myopia and ill-informed hysteria manifestly does not serve Australia’s national interest.

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

How Pro Israel Neocons Pushed for War in Iraq (Alison Weir)

If Americans Knew | June 11, 2018

Israel partisans in the Bush administration played a central role in pushing the U.S. into the disastrous Iraq war. The video gives specifics and cites the following resources:

“White Man’s Burden,” by Ari Shavit, Ha’aretz, April 3, 2003: http://iakn.us/2ggApnF

“Perles of Wisdom for the Feithful,” by Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz, October 1, 2002: http://iakn.us/2hkzdzo

“The Bush Neocons and Israel,” by Kathleen and Bill Christison, Counterpunch, December 2002: http://iakn.us/2h1ajEi

“Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration,” by Stephen Green, Counterpunch, February 2004: http://iakn.us/2ggBcVi

“The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel​” by Dr. Stephen J Sniegoski: http://iakn.us/2geT2mJ​

“The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War” by Muhammad Idrees Ahmad: http://iakn.us/2hoz4Hn

“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt: http://iakn.us/2gfPFAR

Some additional books with information on this topic:

“Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market​” by Janine R. Wedel: http://iakn.us/2hoBKEW

“Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton”​ by Diane Johnstone: http://iakn.us/2gojmhO

Wedell discusses the “massive and concerted ​’information​’ effort conducted by the Neocon core and their associates, with crucial participation from certain columnists and reporters, that was essential in taking the United States to war in Iraq​.”​

“​….​ beginning in the mid-1970s, they employed methods ranging from the creation of alternative intelligence; to might-be-authorized, might-not-be authorized diplomacy; to setting up pressure groups; to suspending standard government process, always contesting government information, assessments, and expertise. These methods—perfected over the years—would be deployed in full force in the Neocon core’s effort to take the United States to war in 2003.​”

Johnstone states: “… the neocons gained notoriety as architects of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. The main thinker behind this war was Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Paul Wolfowitz​…”

“… two veterans of the defunct PNAC, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, returned in 2009 to found the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI). Robert Kagan is the current leading neocon theorist and the husband of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, instigator of the Ukrainian coup in early 2014.​​​”

For information on the early roots of the Israel lobby, please see Alison Weir’s book, “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel”: http://iakn.us/AOBJ-book

More information at http://ifamericaknew.org/us_ints/neoc…

For information on the efforts against Iran, please see http://iakn.us/2gUjFif and http://iakn.us/2gUls6T

UPDATE: On December 11, Code Pink said they would post Alison’s testimony on their website. Although we are disappointed that this information was not included in the live-feed testimonies given on Dec. 1-2 in Washington DC, covered by some news media, we’re pleased that it will be on their site.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Oil for Israel: The Truth about the Iraq War, 15 Years Later:
http://iakn.us/2FPFpaF

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nicaragua : Defeating the Soft Coup

By Tortilla Con Sal | teleSUR | June 12, 2018

Nicaragua has been a good example of how Western corporate and alternative news media are able to create a custom-made bizarro-world to suit the propaganda requirements of their countries’ elites. The current media onslaught against Nicaragua uses the whole toolbox of propaganda tricks portraying aggressors as victims, reporting non-existent massacres of peacefully protesting students, denying systematic destruction by opposition paramilitaries of public property and private businesses, even omitting attacks on hospitals and ambulances. The big fundamental fiction has been that a majority of people in Nicaragua reject the Sandinista government led by President Daniel Ortega. The converse of the lie is that most people support the so-called Civic Alliance composed of right-wing business leaders, right-wing political parties, reactionary Catholic bishops, US-funded NGOs and university students allied to those interests.

But events in real life contradict the minority opposition storyline. On April 22nd, the supposed dictatorship proposed a national dialogue mediated by the Catholic church. It took the opposition almost three weeks to agree. They did so on condition the government withdraw the police from the streets. In fact, police had already been ordered not to intervene against the violent opposition paramilitaries. The government agreed, but when the dialogue began the bishops refused to condemn opposition violence while still falsely accusing the government of violent repression. The opposition never tried to negotiate in good faith, simply demanding the government resign and refusing to dismantle roadblocks which the government, supposedly a dictatorship, allowed to operate so as to avoid more violent conflict.

The government strategy has been to accept extraordinary levels of opposition violence and intimidation so as to allow the opposition to discredit themselves with public opinion. The opposition violence and roadblocks have disrupted economic life, affecting thousands of small and micro businesses, throwing tens of thousands into unemployment and causing hardship for many thousands of people with serious health problems. The opposition paramilitary violence has destroyed numerous public buildings and government offices in various cities, decimated the tourist industry, cost the lives of around 150 people and left over 1100 injured. Some of the worst violence has been in the tourist cities of Granada and Masaya where hundreds of businesses have been practically destroyed. In that context, the Catholic bishops categorically betrayed their mediation role last week by presenting President Ortega with an undisclosed ultimatum very obviously in sympathy with the political opposition and demanding a response in two days.

Following that ultimatum delivered on June 7th, the opposition paramilitaries staged a wave of attacks against government offices in León, Masaya and Jinotega, also attacking police stations elsewhere to steal firearms, kidnapping and torturing police officers. In an attack on Monday, June 11th, a gang of paramilitaries killed two more police officers, wounding two in Mulukukú in the country’s northern Mining Triangle. At the same time, they intensified their roadblocks almost completely stopping traffic along the highway between Managua and the north of the country. That same day, police acted to clear some of the roadblocks in what many people view as the beginning of President Ortega’s response to the bishops’ ultimatum. The government decision to act against the roadblocks strangling the economy is clearly supported by a majority of people in the country. But it remains to be seen how the opposition will react.

One feature in particular of the crisis covered up by alternative and corporate media has been the role in the opposition violence of organized crime and delinquents. From the very start of the crisis on April 18th criminals and youth gangs have operated alongside right-wing extremists to foment civil disturbances and lethal violence. One notorious group involved in attacks portrayed as political protest and also responsible for various murders, including one of a US citizen, was broken up by police on May 31st. The group operated out of the private Polytechnic University occupied by opposition students and associated protestors, including this group of criminals The police have accused right-wing political activist Felix Maradiaga of involvement with that criminal group. Maradiaga, one of the leaders of the opposition protests against the government is currently in the United States where he went to lobby against the Nicaraguan government in the Organization of American States General Assembly on June 4th and 5th.

During that OAS General Assembly, Nicaragua’s diplomats defeated opposition efforts to secure any condemnation of President Ortega’s government. Secretary-General Luis Almagro had previously denounced deceitful and misleading statements from Nicaragua’s opposition, insisting on a constitutional resolution of the country’s crisis. That lead Felix Maradiaga to accuse Almagro of being President Ortega’s accomplice, to which Almagro retorted that he is indeed an accomplice, but an accomplice of democracy against anti-democratic moves in violation of constitutional norms. Subsequently, the United Nations Secretary-General expressed his satisfaction that the Nicaraguan government is working closely with the OAS to reach a negotiated settlement to Nicaragua’s political crisis, a position supported by the European Union and, at least nominally, even by the US State Department.

These setbacks at the international level for Nicaragua’s political opposition have been followed by the collapse of the Catholic bishops’ credibility as mediators for the dialogue and the emergence of clear majority support nationally for an end to the violence and the economic damage and distress it has caused. In this new context, Nicaragua’s Sandinista government seems to be moving cautiously to clear the roadblocks while at the same time developing local initiatives for peace and dialogue aimed at isolating the violent opposition paramilitary groups. As that process advances, Nicaragua’s political opposition are likely to act with increasing desperation to try and mitigate the likely consequences of their attempted coup. While the next couple of weeks may well see the beginnings of a political settlement of the crisis, achieving that outcome is likely to come at the price of yet more death and destruction from Nicaragua’s opposition extremists.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Mueller Scrambles To Limit Evidence After Indicted Russians Actually Show Up In Court

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 06/13/2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrambling to limit pretrial evidence handed over to a Russian company he indicted in February over alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, according to Bloomberg.

Mueller asked a Washington federal Judge for a protective order that would prevent the delivery of copious evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, one of three Russian firms and 13 Russian nationals. The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters.

The special counsel’s office argues that the risk of the evidence leaking or falling into the hands of foreign intelligence services, especially Russia, would assist the Kremlin’s active “interference operations” against the United States.

“The substance of the government’s evidence identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment,” prosecutors wrote.

Improper disclosure would tip foreign intelligence services about how the U.S. operates, which would “allow foreign actors to learn of those techniques and adjust their conduct, thus undermining ongoing and future national security operations,” according to the filing.

The evidence includes thousands of documents involving U.S. residents not charged with crimes who prosecutors say were unwittingly recruited by Russian defendants and co-conspirators to engage in political activity in the U.S., prosecutors wrote. –Bloomberg

Mueller also accused Concord of “knowingly and intentionally” conspiring to interfere with the election by using social media to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

And Concord Management decided to fight it… 

As Powerline notes, Mueller probably didn’t see that coming – and the indictment itself was perhaps nothing more than a PR stunt to bolster the Russian interference narrative.

I don’t think anyone (including Mueller) anticipated that any of the defendants would appear in court to defend against the charges. Rather, the Mueller prosecutors seem to have obtained the indictment to serve a public relations purpose, laying out the case for interference as understood by the government and lending a veneer of respectability to the Mueller Switch Project.

One of the Russian corporate defendants nevertheless hired counsel to contest the charges. In April two Washington-area attorneys — Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of the Reed Smith firm — filed appearances in court on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting. Josh Gerstein covered that turn of events for Politico here. –Powerline Blog

Politico’s Gerstein notes that by defending against the charges, “Concord could force prosecutors to turn over discovery about how the case was assembled as well as evidence that might undermine the prosecution’s theories.”

In a mad scramble to put the brakes on the case, Mueller’s team tried to delay the trial – saying that Concord never formally accepted the court summons related to the case, wrapping themselves in a “cloud of confusion” as Powerline puts it. “Until the Court has an opportunity to determine if Concord was properly served, it would be inadvisable to conduct an initial appearance and arraignment at which important rights will be communicated and a plea entertained.”

The Judge, Dabney Friedrich – a Trump appointee, didn’t buy it – denying Mueller a delay in the high-profile trial.

The Russians hit back – filing a response to let the court know that “[Concord] voluntarily appeared through counsel as provided for in [the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure], and further intends to enter a plea of not guilty. [Concord] has not sought a limited appearance nor has it moved to quash the summons. As such, the briefing sought by the Special Counsel’s motion is pettifoggery.

And the Judge agreed

A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller’s request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case. –Politico

In other words, Mueller was denied the opportunity to kick the can down the road, forcing him to produce the requested evidence or withdraw the indictment, potentially jeopardizing the PR aspect of the entire “Trump collusion” probe.

And now Mueller is pointing to Russian “interference operations” in a last-ditch effort.

Of note, Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman, tossed a major hand grenade in the “pro-Trump” Russian meddling narrative in February when he fired off a series of tweets the day of the Russian indictments. Most notably, Goldman pointed out that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election, were hardly pro-Trump, and they was designed to “sow discord and divide Americans”, something which Americans have been quite adept at doing on their own ever since the Fed decided to unleash a record class, wealth, income divide by keeping capital markets artificially afloat at any cost.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces take over archaeological house in Hebron, turn it into outpost

WAFA | June 13, 2018

Israeli forces Wednesday took over an archaeological house in the Old City of Hebron and turned it into a military outpost.

The house is located in an area that has been under full Israeli military control for over 15 years now.

The house, which is located in an area that was declared a closed military zone and belongs to two Palestinian families; al-Qudsi and al-Kard, is considered one of the oldest heritage houses in the area.

Hebron Rehabilitation Committee said Israeli forces blocked the windows with sand bags and turned the roof into a military outpost.

Director General of the committee, Imad Hamdan, said archaeological buildings in Hebron’s Old City are considered a strategic target for both the Israeli authorities and settlers.

He explained that Israeli authorities take over the archaeological buildings in the area, turn them into military outposts and prevent Palestinians from living there and from rehabilitating them, while settlers steal their stones and use them on their own homes to give the houses a historic landmark status in an attempt to falsify history.

 

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

HP Faces $120 Million Potential Loss Due to Complicity in Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Human Rights

IMEMC News & Agencies | June 13, 2018

Hewlett Packard (HP) faces over $120 million in potential losses since India’s largest student federation passed a resolution to support the BDS movement and to boycott Hewlett Packard companies over their well-documented complicity in Israel’s grave violations of Palestinian human rights.

Apoorva Gautam, the India-based South Asia coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, which leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, explained:

The Students Federation of India (SFI) is more than 4 million members strong, and on June 9, they joined the global campaign to boycott HP. This means that Hewlett Packard companies now risk losing over 4 million potential clients in India because of their complicity in Israel’s gross violations of Palestinian human rights.

Given that the cheapest HP laptop in India costs about $300, this means that HP may be losing a potential student market of over $120 million. This is enormously significant.

What Palestinians and Indian students are showing is that companies seeking to profit from Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory regime face growing popular opposition and risk a serious hit to both their reputations and pocket-books.

HP has provided technology and services that support Israel’s military occupation and racial discrimination policies, including its devastating siege suffocating nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, and illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.

Today, HP-branded companies provide the Israeli government with the servers that house its notorious population registry, a key component in the apparatus of apartheid. Records also indicate that HP-branded companies are still responsible for selling computers to the Israeli military. As such, HP products and services enable racial segregation and denial of basic rights.

In its resolution to boycott HP, the Students Federation of India (SFI) condemned Israel’s recent violence against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, where Israel killed at least 121 Palestinians and injured more than 13,000 in just the last two months. It also criticized the current right-wing government in India for its “close security and military ties with Israel” and for having become “the largest arms buyer from Israel.”

Vikram Singh, the federation’s General Secretary, promised that the campaign to boycott HP in India would grow:

Our federation will spread the BDS movement and the HP boycott campaign in college and university campuses across India. We will work to convince university administrations to adopt procurement policies that prohibit doing business with HP companies until they prove that they are no longer complicit in Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights. Until then, this boycott will continue and will grow even stronger.

Abdulrahman Abunahel, a Gaza-based community organizer and coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) welcomed the resolution:

Palestinian students and youth movements deeply appreciate the solidarity expressed by our counterparts in the Students Federation of India. As a young Palestinian in Gaza, I know first hand how difficult it is to study, and to simply live, under decades of Israel’s brutal military rule and devastating siege. And I’m heartened by this important gesture of support from India, which reaffirms that where governments fail, people have the the power to act and make a difference.

In the past few years, US church denominations such as the US Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Christ have divested from HP. Friends Fiduciary Corporation, the socially responsible investment firm serving over three hundred Quaker institutions in the United States, divested from HP in 2012. Most recently, the Dublin City Council joined the BDS movement and called for ending ties with HP because of the company’s complicity in Israeli apartheid.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine denounces Indonesian clerics’ participation in interfaith conference

Palestine Information Center – June 13, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Sheikh Mohamed Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, has strongly denounced the participation of some Indonesian religious figures in the Zio-American interfaith conference in Occupied Jerusalem.

In press remarks, Sheikh Hussein described the conference as part of Israel’s systematic misleading campaigns that are intended to embellish it and make it appear as a country that advocates for peace and rapprochement between religions.

He condemned the Indonesian delegation’s visit as “a crime against the Palestinian cause and against the Muslim nation,” and said it ignored the international boycott campaigns against the occupation and its racist practices, especially after the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

The Mufti also slammed the visit as “shameful and unacceptable” and “contradicting the official and popular Indonesian position that support the Palestinian people and their just cause.”

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | 1 Comment

NYT Carries IDF Attack on Murdered Medic–Reveals It’s a Smear in 20th Paragraph

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | June 11, 2018

A reporter at the most influential paper in English-language media appears to not know the difference between a government “tightly editing” and selectively editing video.

New York Times reporter Herbert Buchsbaum (6/7/18) wrote up a propaganda video posted by the Israeli Defense Force, showing Rouzan al-Najjar–a 21-year-old medic the Israeli Defense Force shot and killed earlier this month—apparently throwing a tear-gas canister, along with a brief clip of her purportedly saying, “I am here on the front line and I act as a human shield.”

The video seems to suggest that throwing a device spewing caustic gas away from people into an empty field is a sort of violence. (“This medic was incited by Hamas,” the video reads as she grabs the canister.) But the primary problem with the IDF video is that it deceptively edits her comments to distort what she said—a fact not noted by the Buchsbaum until paragraph 20, when he threw in this crucial piece of information:

In the longer video, the comment that the military translated as “I act as a human shield” was part of a sentence in which Ms. Najjar said, “I’m acting as a human rescue shield to protect the injured inside the armistice line.”

“Acting as a human shield to protect the injured inside the armistice line” has a radically different meaning than the commonly understood canard about Palestinians using “human shields” to protect “terrorists.” This hugely consequential fact should have led the story; instead, it’s casually tossed out in the third-to-last paragraph. The story here is that the IDF—as it has been doing for decades—casually lies and distorts facts to suit its narrative. Like all militaries, the Israeli military is not presenting a “dueling narrative” in good faith, as a New York Times tweet suggested; it’s manipulating video, hoping credulous journalists help them muddy the waters, as Buchsbaum did.

Indeed, the bizarre IDF press release write-up serves no other purpose than to reframe the gunning down of the unarmed medic from a clear crime committed by Israel to a Fog of War “dueling narratives between Israel and Hamas” tale of “both sidesism.” Buchsbaum vaguely alludes to—but strangely omits—the deceptive editing in the opening with his risible turn of phrase in paragraph two:

The tightly edited video shows a woman identified as the medic, Rouzan al-Najjar, throwing what appears to be a tear-gas canister.

“Tightly edited”? What does this mean, exactly? “Tight” editing is generally considered a compliment in the film and TV world, and says nothing about deliberate omissions for the purposes of misleading the viewer. When videographer Tate B. James confronted Buchsbaum about this fact, Buchsbaum appeared to think he had covered his bases:

Either Buchsbaum doesn’t know he’s being misleading, and is thus severely unqualified to be writing for a major paper, or he knows he’s spinning in Israel’s favor, but was hoping no one would really notice. Either way, the New York Times is once again (FAIR.org, 7/14/17, 5/17/18, 5/15/18) using its pages to confuse readers to the benefit of the Israeli military.


You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com (Twitter:@NYTOpinion). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 4 Comments

US-Backed Kurds Agree To “Unconditional Talks” With Syrian Government After Pentagon-Turkey Deal

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 06/12/2018

We’ve long predicted that the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces currently holding a vast chunk of land in Syria’s northeast with the help of American coalition air power will naturally drift toward striking a deal with Assad, as the two sides have throughout the war exercised some degree of quiet cooperation against ISIS, foreign jihadists, and Turkish expansionism.

In a huge weekend development which has gone largely unnoticed by mainstream media, the political wing of the US-trained and supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced it is open to entering into unprecedented direct negotiations with the Assad government over the future of the country.

The Syrian Democratic Council, or SDC, is the political arm of the powerful alliance of mostly Kurdish and Arab fighters that make up the SDF, and on Sunday declared willingness to enter into “unconditional talks” with the Syrian government. 

The London based international Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reports the following:

In a statement on Sunday, the SDC said it was committed to resolving Syria’s deadly conflict through dialogue, and would not “hesitate to agree to unconditional talks”.

“It is positive to see comments about a summit for Syrians, to pave the way to start a new page,” it said.

Leading SDC member Hekmat Habib told AFP that both the council and the SDF “are serious about opening the door to dialogue” with the regime.

“With the SDF’s control of 30 percent of Syria, and the regime’s control of swathes of the country, these are the only two forces who can sit at the negotiating table and formulate a solution to the Syrian crisis,” he said.

As Syria analyst Joshua Landis confirms, the surprise SDC announcement comes just days after a controversial deal reached between Turkey and the US for the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish forces from Manbij.

Syrian Kurdish leaders were enraged by the agreement, announced over the weekend, which allows for US and Turkish forces to patrol the northern Syrian city — though the Syrian Kurdish SDF wrested the city from ISIS in a major 2016 offensive. Turkey has consistently demanded Kurdish withdrawal from Manbij after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invaded northern Syria in his non-ironically named ‘Operation Olive Branch’ early this year, aimed primarily at annexing Afrin canton.

Increasingly, America’s incoherent policy regarding the Kurds and Syria more broadly has put the more than 2000 US troops occupying northeast Kurdish heavy regions of the country in the middle of a Kurdish-Turkey-Damascus final showdown for the future of Syria.

As we remarked after Mattis’ weekend comments stating his desire to keep troops in Syria, Syria looks to be going the way of other major US wars: an open-ended situation short of success in which officials simultaneously are unable to come up with a plan to “win,” but will resist any pullout so they never completely lose.

Both the Syrian government and Syrian Kurdish forces understand this well, and know that Syrians alone are the lasting stakeholders in the country — something increasingly obvious as the US appears to be handing over sovereign Syrian territory over to expansionist NATO ally Turkey.

A Syrian Kurdish SDC official further stated of weekend developments, “We are looking forward, in the next phase, to the departure of all military forces from Syria and the return to Syrian-Syrian dialogue” — in a reference to both Turkish and US occupying forces.

We predicted this almost year a year ago in our analysis of Pentagon goals in northern Syria as it became clearer that Assad and Russia were emerging victorious in the 6-year proxy war:

Though the US endgame continues to be the ultimate million dollar question in all of this, it appears at least for now that this endgame has something to do with the Pentagon forcing itself into a place of affecting the Syrian war’s outcome and final apportionment of power: the best case scenario for American power in the region being permanent US bases under a Syrian Kurdish federated zone with favored access to Syrian oil doled out by Kurdish partners, and we could now be witnessing the early phases of such negotiations. 

But if indeed the Kurds are cutting separate deals with Russia, a US exit from Syria could be forced sooner rather than later.

Notably, in a wide-ranging interview with RT News last month, President Assad issued an ultimatum to Syrian Kurdish militias backed by the US: “We’re going to deal with it by two options: the first one we started now opening doors for negotiations, because the majority of them [SDF] are Syrians. Supposedly they like their country, they don’t like to be puppets to any foreigners,” Assad said.

“If not, we’re going to resort … to liberating those areas by force. It’s our land, it’s our right, and it’s our duty to liberate it, and the Americans should leave. Somehow they’re going to leave,” Assad added while speaking to RT.

While it appears the Pentagon is now (predictably) selling out the Kurds to Turkey, Assad has consistently taken a pragmatic approach in dealing with the US-backed SDF, reminding them that no foreign supporters could possibly have Syrian best interests in mind: “either you have a country or you don’t have a country” he said in the RT interview of the foreign invasion of Syrian soil over the past years of war.

Should SDC-SDF and Syrian government negotiations come to full fruition, this could mark lasting peace and the final exit of foreign forces, American troops foremost among them.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

US-led warplanes strike northeastern Syria, kill four civilians

Press TV – June 13, 2018

Four civilians have been killed when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group conducted an airstrike against Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that the aerial attack targeted residential buildings in al-Hardan village, which is located in the southeastern part of the province, on Wednesday, causing the fatalities.

A dozen civilians lost their lives and several others sustained injuries on Tuesday, when US-led military aircraft bombarded Tal Shayr village in the same Syrian province.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

Syria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters addressed to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the rotating President of the UN Security Council Vasily Nebenzya on June 5, condemned the continuing attacks by the US-led coalition against innocent Syrians, and its assaults on the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the conflict-plagued Arab country.

The letters further noted that the “illegal” US-led coalition continues to perpetrate massacres against Syrian civilians, leaving scores of people, including elderly people, women and children, dead over the past few days and destroying homes as well as civilian properties and infrastructure in targeted villages.

The Syrian foreign ministry added that the US-led coalition is devoid of any international legitimacy, and has bombarded people in the provinces of Hasakah, Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr after they did not agree to support US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militants.

“The United States has organized these militants in a bid to target the positions of the Syrian army, and recapture areas liberated by the Syrian army soldiers and their allies from the menace of terrorism,” the letters pointed out.

They noted, “The United States has on occasions offered direct support to Daesh Takfiri terrorist group – the latest of which was on May 24 when US-led fighter aircraft struck Syrian army military sites between Albu Kamal border town and Hmeimim Air Base less than 24 hours after government forces thwarted Daesh assaults on its positions.”

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US shows ‘political imprudence’ accusing Russian firm of jet fuel deliveries to Syria – Moscow

RT | June 13, 2018

The United States has again demonstrated its “political imprudence” by accusing the Russian shipping company Sovfracht of aviation fuel deliveries to Syria, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Back in 2016-2017, the US blocked in its banks this company’s money transfers worth $5.5 million and now has made this new infamous step in response to our demands to return these funds,” the ministry said, as cited by TASS.

The aviation fuel whose deliveries were ensured by Sovfracht was “intended for units of Russia’s Aerospace Force,” which are helping to fight terrorist groups in Syria, the ministry added.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment