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Turkey’s pro-Erdoğan daily declares Trump, Pence ‘lunatics of a deviant sect’

There Are No Sunglasses | September 17, 2018

The pro-Erdoğan Turkish Yeni Şafak daily claimed on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence are pondering a “crusade,” saying the US is run by the “lunatics of a deviant sect.”

“The world is facing the attacks of the Zionist-Christian sect of evangelicalism. The ‘superpower’ US is run by neocon evangelicals who espouse wiping out humanity to get to paradise. The lunatics of this deviant sect, US President Trump, who can shake the markets with a tweet, and his deputy Pence are a threat to humanity,” said the daily in its lead story.

“If Pence becomes president, it will pave the way for the US turning into a religious state,” the daily asserted, adding that Trump has been using the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey to get the support of evangelicals in the November 2018 congressional elections.

Yeni Şafak’s story was also shared on the websites of the Sabah, Takvim and Akşam newspapers, which are run by people close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey has been experiencing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision to put American pastor Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.

Following the court ruling, Trump and Pence threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey if Brunson were not freed.

After declaring economic sanctions on two Turkish ministers on Aug. 1 for their role in Brunson’s continuing detention, Trump on Aug. 10 ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

“Some unaware people among us think that their target is Tayyip Erdoğan. No, the target is Turkey. The target is Islam,” Erdoğan said on Aug. 26, linking regional conflicts and the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey to previous attempts to invade Anatolia.

Erdoğan on Aug. 20 said, “attacks against the Turkish economy are no different than attacking the adhan [call to prayer] and the flag.” (turkishminute.com)

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Putin & Erdogan agree Idlib buffer zone to avert new Syria crisis

RT | September 17, 2018

Russia and Turkey have agreed a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops in Syria’s Idlib, President Vladimir Putin said after hours-long talks with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on solving the crisis.

“We’ve focused on the situation in the province of Idlib, considering presence of large militant groups and their infrastructure there,” Putin said at a press conference after the talks.

“We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide, with full withdrawal of hardline militants from there, including the Jabhat Al-Nusra.”

As part of solving the deadlock, all heavy weaponry, including tanks and artillery, will be withdrawn from the zone before October 10, Putin said. The zone will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian military units.

Before the end of the year, roads between Aleppo and Hama, and Aleppo and Latakia must be reopened for transit traffic, he said.

The agreement has received “general support” from the Syrian government, according to Putin.

The deal and other issues of Russian-Turkish ties apparently took almost 5 hours to hammer out. In what appears to a breakthrough solution, Putin and Erdogan have agreed to ensure peace with the help of Russian and Turkish troops.

“The territory controlled by the Syrian opposition must be demilitarized and the Syrian opposition that is holding these territories will remain there. But together with Russia we will make efforts to clear these territories of radical elements,” Erdogan said.

The agreement is designed to prevent a new “humanitarian crisis” in Syria, Erdogan stressed, and will help Turkey to avoid an even more “difficult situation.” He had previously warned of a surge in refugees hitting the country should a full-blown war break out in Idlib.

The plan is a major landmark for Syria, where the standoff in the last militant stronghold of Idlib has threatened to turn into a major international crisis in recent weeks. The US and other NATO countries backing anti-government forces had repeatedly warned Russia and Syria not to launch any new offensive in the region. US President Donald Trump tweeted earlier this month that to do so would be a “grave humanitarian error,” while US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley outright said that any Russian attack on Idlib would provoke “dire” consequences.

About 70 percent of Idlib province is controlled by various terrorist factions, including Al Qaeda’s Syria affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as the Al-Nusra Front), according to the Russian military. At the same time, both Turkey and the West support various militant groups they consider as “moderate” opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

This turned out to be a dilemma for Ankara, with the Turkish president simultaneously worried about Russia and Syrian action weakening the rebel groups, but also having concerns over the spread of terrorists and the potential influx of new refugees into areas bordering Turkey.

Now it appears that despite the rocky last few years of Russian-Turkish relations, the mutual trust built up between Putin and Erdogan has allowed them to overcome a clash of interests and reach a compromise.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Russian plane disappears from radars during Israeli attack on Syria’s Latakia – MoD

RT | September 17, 2018

A Russian military Il-20 aircraft with 14 service members on board went off the radars during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Air traffic controllers at the Khmeimim Air Base “lost contact” with the aircraft on Wednesday evening, during the attack of Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia, said the MOD.

Russian radars also registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on the evening of September 17.

Fourteen people were on board the plane at the time of the disappearance. A search and rescue mission is underway.

The Ilyushin 20 (IL-20) surveillance turboprop plane is an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) platform, equipped with a wide range of antennas, infrared and optical sensors. The aircraft’s SLAR (Side-Looking Airborne Radar) and the plane’s satellite link allows the Russian military to monitor Syrian skies in real time.

An hour-long attack on Latakia began around 10 pm local time, and targeted a power station as well as two facilities belonging to the Syrian military. Syrian officials said the attack was “foreign” and came “from the sea,” but could not initially confirm rumors that Israel was behind it. Seven people were injured in the attack, according to Syrian officials.

While the Russian military said it recorded four F-16 Israeli jets over Syria at the time of the attack on Latakia, the IDF has refused to comment on the report.

The attack on Latakia came just hours after Russia and Turkey negotiated a partial demilitarization of the Idlib province, which is the last remaining stronghold of anti-government militants, including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (also known as the Jabhat Al-Nusra).

READ MORE:

Russia detects missile launches from French frigate off Syria’s coast in Mediterranean – MoD

September 17, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

Lieberman, Netanyahu reject plans to reduce Palestinian prisoners’ sentences

MEMO | September 17, 2018

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday rejected an Israeli army discussion of establishing a committee to see whether life sentences issued against Palestinian prisoners should be reduced, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

“As long as I am the defence minister, no terrorist will have his sentence shortened by even one hour,” Lieberman announced on Twitter.

All Palestinians who stand up against the occupation, including children who protests, are referred to as “terrorists” by Israeli officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also voiced out his rejection to the proposal that sentences be reduced.

“Regarding the talk about shortening terrorists’ sentences—I strongly oppose this. I know that this is also the position of the defence minister and, therefore, it will not happen,” he was quoted by the Israeli news website Ynet News as saying.

The Israeli media has reported that an official order is expected to be issued to establish a committee that will examine parole requests for Palestinian prisoners who are serving life terms imposed by military courts in the occupied West Bank.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that, if established, the committee would discuss the possibility to equating military life sentences, which are 99 years, with the civil life terms.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

A quarter of a century in a mirage

By Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | September 17, 2018

Last week saw the 25th anniversary of the signing of the cursed Oslo Accords that eliminated the Palestinian national constants. It replaced them with the recognition of Israel in exchange for imaginary power for the Palestinian people and false promises of establishing a Palestinian state.

A quarter of a century has passed since the “peace agreement” between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation signed by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the then Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. It was signed on the White House lawn under the auspices of US President Bill Clinton, and it derailed the path of the great struggle in which the heroic Palestinians offered their lives for the sake of their land, not for the sake of creating a fake authority that serves the Israeli occupation. On that fateful day in Washington, the PLO was burned, along with its national charter, which stipulated that Israel is a colonial entity which has stolen Palestine and that the organisation does not recognise it.

A quarter of a century has passed since the PLO laid down its arms and removed armed struggle against the Israeli enemy from its charter. This is despite the fact that this was its means of liberating Palestine from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan; instead, “peace” became the strategic choice of the umbrella organisation.

Throughout the post-Oslo quarter of a century, Israel has achieved more of its objectives than it did in its previous wars; the Palestinians have lost too much in concession after concession. The US now recognises all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has moved its embassy there. Israel is pushing ahead with its Judaisation of Jerusalem and the Old City is being emptied of Palestinians; their numbers are dwindling. Meanwhile, the number of Jews inside Jerusalem has increased, as has the number of settlements surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque, not to mention the ongoing settlement expansion in the West Bank, home to around 800,000 illegal settlers. The Palestinians now have just 20 per cent of historical Palestine for their supposed state; this figure is likely to get smaller as there are plans to establish new settlements to cater for up to 1.5 million settlers.

The “Jewish Nation State Law”, approved by the Knesset last month, unmasked Israel’s ugly racist face; it was passed to legitimise these settlements by making Palestine a homeland solely for the Jewish people. “The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established,” says the new law. “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

Furthermore, in order to promote the Jewishness of the state, the law makes Hebrew Israel’s only official language. The state’s Palestinian citizens — 20 per cent of the population — must either leave the country or live as second-class citizens with no access to full citizenship and equal rights.

The Zionist lie for more than a century has been that Palestine is solely for the Jews; the Promised Land given to them by God which they cannot abandon. Turning reality upside down, the presence of the Palestinians is regarded as that of occupiers from whom the 1948 war was a war of liberation.

Moreover, the implication of the new law is that the settlements regarded as illegal under international law are not built on occupied land; they are simply an extension of Israeli territory. “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation,” it announces. “The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles.” The “exiles” in this case does not mean the Palestinian refugees who have been ethnically cleansed since 1948, so the law unilaterally annuls their legitimate right of return.

The Palestinians have been disoriented for a quarter of a century, entering negotiations and disengaging, only to engage in new ones, and so one, lost in an endless cycle of talks. Their cause has been lost in the corridors of power while the Palestinian Authority — with its imaginary authority — has become a part of the Israeli project, by means of its security coordination with the occupation. The PA is the tool used by Israel to restrict and suffocate the Palestinians; to arrest activists and inform on Palestinian resistance members to the Israeli security agencies.

Given what has happened, why were the Oslo Accords signed? Oslo was preceded by the Madrid Conference and, prior to that, secret talks between the Palestinians and Israelis in preparation for the Accords. This followed the outbreak of the first intifada in 1987, which haunted the Israelis and carried a huge financial cost. The entire international community sympathised with this intifada and the children of the stones; Israel found itself surrounded domestically and internationally. Hence, it sought an agreement to calm the situation and allow the crisis to pass.

In its usual deceitful manner, Israel signed the Oslo Accords and made false promises about establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat acknowledged the right of Israel to live in peace and security, and said that the Declaration of Principles would mark the beginning of a violence-free era. The PLO condemned the use of terrorism — the label applied to legitimate Palestinian struggle against occupation — and other acts of violence and amended the clauses of the national charter accordingly. It also took it upon itself to force every member of the PLO to adhere to the changes, prohibiting them from violating the new clauses and disciplining anyone who did. Based on Arafat’s commitment, the intifada was stopped by his direct order and he began cracking down on the Palestinians and banning them from any act of resistance against Israel’s occupation.

In fact, Arafat had accepted years earlier that the Israeli presence was an inevitable reality and that the state could not be erased. In mid-1973 he wrote to former US President Richard Nixon via a back channel — this is mentioned by Kai Bird in the book The Good Spy — telling the Americans that he and his colleagues in the Palestinian leadership were convinced that Israel was established for good and its demise was out of the question. The person who dragged us to the Oslo disaster thus began dragging us there at least 20 years beforehand.

Arafat lived in dreamland, and forced the Palestinians to do the same, waiting for his promised state until he woke up at the Camp David negotiations in 2000. He realised that he was running after a fantasy and had been deluded into thinking that Israel would ever give up Jerusalem or accept the right of return. He pulled out of negotiations and returned from the US disappointed, with the hopes of the Palestinian people unfulfilled.

That’s when he announced the return to resistance; Al-Aqsa intifada broke out after the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, visited Al-Aqsa Mosque in September 2000. As a result of his actions, Arafat was besieged in his compound in Ramallah, until he was poisoned and killed in 2004.

His chapter was closed, and the pages of the Palestinian struggle are now limited to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. They are being suffocated by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian “sacred security coordination” Authority, who is now a key player in the overall Israeli project. The past twenty-five years since hope-filled Oslo have been a mirage.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Texas: ‘Arab rejection of Israel led to Israeli-Palestinian conflict’

Ma’an – September 17, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The State Board of Education of Texas, in the United States, voted to require teachers to teach students that the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict,” The Dallas Morning News reported.

The Jerusalem Post news outlet said that “this change will be made in ‘the rise of independence movements in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia and reasons for ongoing conflicts’ section in high school social studies curriculum.”

The board also voted, over the weekend, to remove certain historical figures from the teaching syllabus, such as former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton and author and political [anti-war] activist Helen Keller, as part of an effort to “streamline” the curriculum in public schools.

Reportedly, “the board also included Moses as an influence on the writing of the nation’s founding documents, while it removed political philosopher Thomas Hobbes from that section.”

The Dallas Morning News also reported that the voting was not final yet and could be amended by the board before the final vote in November.

This is not the first time all eyes focused on Texas’s education system. “In 2002 and 2014, the board adopted a new generation of social studies products. Moses was mentioned explicitly in learning standards in Texas, and publishers responded by including him in textbooks,” according to National Public Radio.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Operation Nina – A Conspirator’s View

There’s never a shortage of commentators reporting on how Russia planned the attack on the Skripals, or how Syria planned its chemical weapons massacres. So let’s just turn the tables on these prejudiced and blinkered proponents of the Western narrative…

By David Macilwain | American Herald Tribune | September 17, 2018

The current impasse between the UK and Russia, initiated by the Skripal poisoning on March 4th and crystallized by the identification of two Russian “suspects” this week, calls for new thinking. Despite what appears to most Russians as the complete exposure of the UK’s dirty game, where its “smoking gun” evidence has been trashed by the appearance of the two “guns” on Russian TV, the UK’s leaders and their dutiful media remain unrepentant.

Worse than that, the “spycatchers” are re-invigorated with passionate Russophobia, full of indignation over the “brazen appearance” of their assassins on the BBC’s nemesis, RT.  After they spent so many months combing through 11,000 hours of CCTV footage to put together a picture of the men, whose recorded movements almost coincided with the location and movements of the Skripals, it would be vexing to see that work squandered in less than a week.

Or so it might seem.

But before we feel too sorry for those unnamed individuals who finally found the proverbial needles in the haystack of Russians visiting Salisbury, albeit, at rather a quiet time, we might consider this inconvenient detail: “Novichok” was found on swabs taken at the City Stay Hotel on MAY 4th.

This, of course, was only two months after the attack on the Skripals, when the nerve agent might have been considered “fresh” and possibly dangerous; more recent re-testing found no trace of Novichok, though it was suggested this was because all of the substance had been removed on the swabs in May. Yes.

Given that no-one at the hotel reported being affected by Novichok, one must conclude that police had already identified Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov by the end of April, as Russians who had flown into London on that snowy weekend in March, and who had visited Salisbury while staying at City Stay Hotel.

But before we waste time speculating how and why it took them another four months to release the mug-shots of the suspected “GRU agents”, we should consider how much earlier the two Russians may have been under suspicion as the possible culprits and purveyors of the Nina Ricci perfume “Nouveau Truc”.

If authorities assumed the assassins had come from Russia, with the extensive monitoring and searching capabilities now available to them, might Petrov and Boshirov (their real names) not have been identified within days?

But now here’s the rub.

Accepting that the “Novichok” poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal did NOT take place, neither as claimed by the UK from contact with a Novichok-smeared doorknob, nor in fact from any contact at all, we should now logically consider if these two Russian guys were identified before they came to London.

This is not some “conspiracy theory” – because it’s clear that there was a conspiracy. And with every new piece of “evidence”, and every repetition of the original false and fabricated claims against Russia this conspiracy becomes deeper and more malignant.

It is often useful when accusations are made against countries of – for instance – military expansionism, to reverse the protagonists; would the US be happy to see Chinese warships “maintaining freedom of navigation” between Cuba and Florida? While building military bases in neighboring countries and installing anti-missile defense systems in them?

So in considering the attack on the Skripals, and the apparent connection with false-flag chemical weapons attacks in Syria, it is useful to take what we may call a “conspirator’s eye view”.

Despite the credulity of Western media and its audience in the fabricated stories of chemical weapons use both in Syria and in Salisbury, there is now no alternative but to count these Western populations amongst the victims of a massive conspiracy by the UK and its allies; one that threatens to even exceed the criminality and deception involved in that “Mother of all Conspiracies” that launched the Imperial Wars of Terror seventeen years ago.

Considering this conspiracy, or operation – as it may appear to those who planned and executed the whole deception – from their perspective, opens up a whole new line of inquiry, and interest in past events that may have otherwise been overlooked. It may also take us into a realm of human psychology that is highly discomfiting, and for which it may be better to pretend that this is simply an academic inquiry.

A “what if the Skripal poisoning was staged by GCHQ to frame the Russians and provide a pretext for sanctions, because of their support for the Syrian government?” inquiry. But just remember this is a pretense.

First, we must assume that this operation was well-planned, and at least some months in advance. While considerations of the coming Russian Presidential election and the World Cup Football may have figured, along with Russia’s resistance in Ukraine and on its borders, the key driver behind “Operation Nina” (as we may choose to call it after the UK’s choice of “perfume”) must surely have been the situation in Syria.

This became quite clear when Theresa May delivered the “first use of a chemical weapon in Europe since WW2” accusation against Russia, timed as it was so cleverly only weeks before the staging of the Douma gas attack. Rather than simple guilt by association – supporting the “murderous Assad regime” – Russia could now be framed as a collaborator and user of chemical weapons.

One need only look at the rise in toxic Russophobia, and support for extreme measures against Russia which are entirely unjustifiable, to realize just who benefits from this framing of the West’s chief bugbear, and thus who might consider such an operation.

Russia’s enormous commitment to restoring peace and justice in Syria for the last seven years, and dedication to diplomacy and negotiation, with military action as the last resort, has been completely obscured by the NATO campaign of disinformation and subversive action, and to an extraordinary degree.

Clearly from the conspirators’ point of view, “Operation Nina” and the concomitant “White Helmets” and “Doctors Under Fire” operations in Syria have been a resounding success – even though the presumed goal of regime change still eludes them, whether in Damascus or Moscow. Certainly in terms of intent, and what the opposing parties stood to gain from assassinating Sergei Skripal there can be no argument – Russia only stood to lose, a little or a lot, while the UK and its allies stood to prevail both militarily and politically in their own interests, however morally repugnant and legally unjustified these were.

So we have the motive, and know the details of the bizarre method; what of the planning?

Is it possible that the unwitting Russian “agents”, whose visit to Salisbury has now become the clincher of the UK’s Novichok case, were actually lured to the vicinity of Sergei Skripal’s home, with the conveniently placed chemical weapons labs at nearby Porton Down? Without doubting the innocence of Petrov and Boshirov over any involvement in the BZ attack on the Skripals, might we consider if they were on a different mission, and victims of a “honey trap” not involving women?

This possibility – including their comment that “a friend suggested we visit Salisbury” could explain their slightly evasive and unconvincing answers on why they returned to the city for a second time. While we know that they weren’t caught on CCTV walking along Wilton Road “near the Skripal house” because that was their destination, it’s fair to ask why they chose to walk that way rather than the road north to Old Sarum, which they professed a desire to see.

Old Sarum is about two miles from the city center, so Petrov and Boshirov could have easily visited the site. But perhaps their friend had a different recommendation, and one they understandably would be reluctant to reveal – a venue which appears to be about the same distance from the center, along Wilton Road.

If this explanation for some anomalies in the Russians’ story is true, then it has an ironic twist; at the same time as they were striding off down Wilton Road, the final moves of the conspiracy to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter were taking place back in the city center.

The exact circumstances and timing of the attack – presumably on the park bench on which they were discovered incapacitated – may only be known to those who set it up, but we may be sure nothing was left to chance. This is in contrast to the apparently haphazard behavior and conflicting reports afterward, despite some serious preparations just beforehand.

To anyone familiar with Salisbury, its proximity to the largest Chemical and Biological Weapons research facility in Europe ranks alongside its ancient cathedral and prehistoric sites as a subject of interest, if not as a destination. For some in the past, it proved a final destination, as revealed at an inquest in 2003, fifty years after the death of a MoD guinea pig, RAF volunteer Ronald Maddison, from Sarin poisoning.

The UK government and its agencies will, of course, assure the public that “nowadays” Porton Down is merely involved in research into protection and defense against other states’ chemical, biological and nuclear agents. It gave similar assurances to the 3000 odd volunteers in the ‘50s, telling them they were helping to develop a cure for the common cold, as drops of Sarin were put on their skin.

It seems that nothing much has changed, except that in those days – like Soviet propaganda – no-one really believed Whitehall’s bland reassurances or imagined that Porton Down was full of harmless boffins working for the common good.

What has changed is that the “elite” at the helm of today’s conspiracies has become supremely confident in its ability to deceive the public into believing whatever story best suits their special interests. As is illustrated by the whole crazy “Novichok” story – which has appeared as barely believable even to those who would readily blame Russia for it – the public can now be made to believe in anything, and with conviction.

And so it seems that as in Mossad’s motto – “By way of deception though shalt wage war”; this has become the modus operandi for the UK and its allies in their war on Russia and Syria, and anyone else standing in the way of their hegemonic and demonic ambitions.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Forget Putin, Trump is Acting in Every Way Like Netanyahu’s Manchurian Candidate

By Miko Peled | Mint Press News | September 15, 2018

In the months leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, the U.S. has colluded with Israel in a string of policies and decisions that completely undermine the legitimacy of the agreement, not to mention Palestinian claims to justice, freedom and ultimately peace. As these policies unfold, one cannot help recalling the words of the great Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, who said that talking with the Israelis is “a conversation between the sword and the neck.”

There is a clear common thread that binds several of the U.S. policies enacted by President Donald Trump since last December. Moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; pulling out of the Iran agreement; defunding UNRWA, and closing the PLO mission in D.C. all satisfy the objectives of the Israeli government while not benefiting the United States in the least. One might imagine that the United States is executing Israel’s policy, reading as it were from a menu that was provided by Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, the Trump administration is every Israeli prime minister’s dream.

Jerusalem

Moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was reckless, dangerous and absurd. The occupation and annexation of Jerusalem by Israel was in violation of UN resolution 181 from November 1947, which states in “Part III, City of Jerusalem” that:

“The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.”

Resolution 194 from December 1948 — in other words, more than a year after Resolution 181 was passed and the western half of Jerusalem was occupied and subjected to a total full ethnic cleansing, where not one Palestinian was permitted to remain — reiterates this:

8 | Resolves that, in view of its association with three world religions, the Jerusalem area, including the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern, Shu’fat, should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control …

For this reason all diplomatic missions to Israel are situated in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem. The diplomatic missions in Jerusalem mostly pre-date the establishment of the State of Israel and are considered sovereign and independent of their countries’ embassies in Tel Aviv. Even the U.S. consulate until recently reported directly to Washington, and the consul general was in fact an ambassador. This was not unlike placing the U.S. embassy to France in Berlin and — according to sources I spoke to at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem — now that the ambassador’s office was moved to Jerusalem, the place is in a state of confusion and it is not at all clear who is responsible for what.

In addition to all of the above, the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel legitimizes the crime of ethnic cleansing and destruction which Israel has perpetrated in Jerusalem since 1948. This move did not benefit the U.S. in any way but it boosted Benjamin Netanyahu’s political power, and can be viewed as nothing less than a personal political gift from the president of the United States to Netanyahu.

Iran Deal

Israel, and Netanyahu, in particular, have been against the nuclear deal with Iran from the very beginning. Needing a diversion from its own war crimes and violations of international law, Israel has for many years pointed to Iran as a threat to itself and the rest of the world. This was a point of serious disagreement between the Obama administration and Israel and then Donald Trump put the disagreement to rest and the U.S. withdrew from the agreement.

According to a piece in Rand.com, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement “despite a lack of evidence that Iran is violating the agreement. To the contrary, the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran’s compliance numerous times.” The article continues by saying, “the implications of this decision could be disastrous for the Middle East under any conceivable scenario.”

piece in the British Independent bluntly claims that:

“The president’s foreign policy has so far been marked by a significant ratcheting of tensions with Iran, driven by his administration’s noted friendliness towards Israel, which opposes the [Iran nuclear] deal.”

According to a report from August 2018 by the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency:

“Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.” The report states that among other things:

“Since 16 January, 2016 [JCPOA Implementation Day], the Agency has verified and monitored Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments in accordance with the modalities set out in the JCPOA.”

The report states clearly that Iran was and continues to be compliant in all areas of the agreement. All the other countries that are signatories to the agreement remain committed to it, and they all insisted that a U.S. withdrawal was a mistake. Only one person insisted the U.S. must withdraw, and that is Benjamin Netanyahu, and he is the one person whose claims President Trump decided to accept. Once again, the United States had nothing to gain and everything to lose from the withdrawal and once again Netanyahu personally gained political strength as the sole voice to which the president of the United States listens.

UNRWA

The United States can see no benefit whatsoever in denying UNRWA funding; yet this is what the Trump administration decided to do. The very agency responsible for providing relief, albeit inadequate, to the refugees of Palestine was receiving $300 million per year, which is a drop in the bucket in terms of relief and of course in terms of the U.S. government’s total budget. In an open letter to Palestine refugees and UNRWA staff, dated September 1, 2018, Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA Commissioner-General, writes,

“The need for humanitarian action … in the case of Palestine refugees, was caused by forced displacement, dispossession, loss of homes and livelihoods, as well as by statelessness and occupation. … [T]he undeniable fact remains that they have rights under international law and represent a community of 5.4 million men, women and children who cannot simply be wished away.”

“The attempt to make UNRWA somehow responsible for perpetuating the crisis is disingenuous at best,” the commissioner said, responding to claims made by Netanyahu that “UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the problem of the Palestinian refugees.” Netanyahu also stated that UNRWA “perpetuates the narrative of the so-called ‘right of return,’” which the state of Israel fears — and therefore, according to Netanyahu, “UNRWA must disappear.”

According to The New York Times, this move was pushed hard by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “as part of a plan to compel Palestinian politicians to drop demands for many of those refugees to return.”  The right of the refugees to return is enshrined in UN Resolution 194, and one wonders why the U.S. should object to Palestinian demand for return of the refugees to their homes? Once again this is a gift to Netanyahu, who wants to see the refugee issue disappear.

PLO Mission

A product of the Oslo Accords, the PLO mission in Washington is the de-facto embassy of Palestine, the face and the voice of the Palestinian Authority in the U.S. Now, almost exactly on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Accords, the Trump administration announces the closing of the mission. It could have come as no surprise when Netanyahu, who fiercely opposed the Accords, applauded the U.S. administration decision. This was yet one more insignificant step for the U.S., and one giant gift to Benjamin Netanyahu.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

No bad reviews? Amazon employees might have deleted them for bribes

RT | September 17, 2018

Some Amazon employees have reportedly been bribed by sellers to remove bad reviews of products sold through the online retail giant. The average bribe is around $300 per review, with most of the demand coming from China.

The retail giant has launched an internal investigation into the shady practice, with a probe ongoing since May, when Eric Broussard, Amazon’s vice president, was reportedly notified of the problem, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

The transactions were facilitated by middlemen who used the messaging service WeChat in China.

Citing people familiar with the scheme, the WSJ reported that it costs around $300 to delete one review. However, brokers prefer to trade wholesale, with the minimum number of reviews for removal standing at five.

Depending on the type of data and its volume, the brokers also charge between $80 and $2,000 for coveted data.

Up for grabs are internal sales statistics, including keywords, as well as an option to delete reviews or buy customers’ email addresses.

One of the incentives prompting Amazon workers to go down this slippery slope and violate strict internal regulations that ban sharing sales and customer data, is the relatively low wages they receive in China, the publication notes.

Amazon has come under fire in the past for underpaying its employees and forcing them to work in harrowing conditions not only in China, but also across Europe and in the US. An undercover journalist working at an Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire, UK reported that workers are forced to pee in bottles so as not to miss work targets. In the US, a group of employees recently complained of exhaustion, dehydration and fatigue, as they were working without air-conditioning in the company’s warehouse in Minnesota.

At the moment, several suspected bribery cases, including one in the US, are reportedly being investigated by Amazon.

A spokesperson for the company has confirmed that the probe is ongoing, noting that it has been taking steps to avert the malpractice happening in the future by installing systems that would restrict workers’ access and monitor their actions.

While the trustworthiness of online reviews is crucial for businesses like Amazon, since online buyers are not able to examine a product themselves, it has long been plagued by the problem of fake reviews.

FakeSport.com founder Saoud Khalifah has recently estimated that some 30 percent of Amazon reviews are probably fake, with the number nearing 95 percent for “Chinese no-name companies.”

Read more:

What about your workers? Amazon’s Bezos gets grief for $2bn fund to help homeless & children

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | | 9 Comments

Serial numbers of missile that downed MH17 show it was produced in 1986, owned by Ukraine – Russia

RT | September 17, 2018

The serial numbers found on debris of the Buk missile which downed Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine show it was produced in 1986, the Russian military said. The projectile was owned by Ukraine, they added.

There are two serial numbers found on fragments of the missile, which shot down the passenger airliner in June 2014 according to an international team of investigators led by the Netherlands. The numbers were marked on the engine and the nozzle of the missile.

The Russian military on Monday said they had traced them to a missile which had the producer serial number 8868720.

Speaking to journalists, Gen. Nikolay Parshin showed a document trail of the Buk missile. According to the documents, some of which have been declassified for the presentation, it was produced at a military plant in Dolgoprudny in the Moscow region in 1986.

The missile was shipped from the plant on December 29, 1986 and delivered to military unit 20152 located in what is now Ukraine. It is now called 223rd anti-aircraft defense regiment of the Ukrainian armed forces, the report said. The unit took part in Kiev’s crackdown on rebels in eastern Ukraine in June 2014, the general said.

The evidence disproves the accusations by Ukraine and some other parties, which claim that a missile fired by a launcher, secretly delivered from Russia, was responsible for the downing of MH17, the Ministry of Defense report said. All the materials have been sent to the Dutch investigators, the Russian military added.

The Russian military also challenges video footage used by the UK-based group Bellingcat, which calls itself a citizen journalism organization, to back its allegations about the delivery of the Buk launcher from Russia. The Defense Ministry showed a video clip with some of the footage, highlighting inconsistencies, which it said proved that the footage had been manipulated to place images of the launcher into background which were not in the original.

The Bellingcat investigation was featured in the latest update by Dutch prosecutors involved in the MH17 investigation, prompting them to directly accuse Russia of providing the launcher and the missile. The Russian military said it decided after this to study the purported trail of photo and video evidence showing the path of the launcher in detail. The Russian video showed an example of how an Abrams tank can be shown to be carried by a trailer in the streets of Ukraine in the same way.

The third part of the presentation was what the Russian officials called a record of intercepted communications of Ukrainian officials discussing, in 2016, the risk of flying through restricted airspace over Ukraine. Among a barrage of complaints one phrase says unless the restrictions are respected “we’ll f***ing f**k up another Malaysian Boeing”.

The Russian military say the complaints came from Col. Ruslan Grinchak, who serves in a brigade responsible for radar control in Ukrainian airspace. His unit tracked the MH17 flight in 2014, so he may have information which is not publicly available about the disaster, and his outburst may have been factual rather than hyperbolic, they suggested.

Gen. Igor Konashenkov, who hosted the briefing, said that Ukraine failed to provide radar data from its stations to the Dutch investigators. He also suggested that archive documents from the Ukrainian unit, which received the Buk missile back in 1986, would be of use to the probe, unless Kiev claims that they are no longer available. He stressed rules are in place which mean that such documents should still be stored in Ukraine.

The Russian military said they had no evidence to disprove a scenario, involving the Ukrainian rebels capturing the missile from the Ukrainian army, but pointed out that Ukrainian officials publicly denied anything like this had ever happened.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, falling in the rebel-held part of the country. The crash claimed the lives of 283 passengers and 15 crew members, most of them Dutch nationals. Russia was blamed by Western media in the first days after the tragedy, even before any evidence had been collected on the ground.

The Joint Investigation Team, which is lead by the Netherlands, includes Ukraine, but not Russia. Moscow believes that the investigation is biased, failing to obtain all necessary evidence from Ukraine and relying on questionable sources while ignoring evidence provided by Russia, which doesn’t fit the theory favored by Kiev. For instance, Moscow said a theory was never tested that the airliner could have been downed by a fighter jet spotted by Russian radar stations near flight MH17. The theory was later proven false by the discovery of debris from the Buk rocket.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Anarchist group attacks Iranian Embassy in Greece

Press TV – September 17, 2018

Members of an anarchist group in Greece have reportedly attacked the Iranian Embassy building in the capital Athens with bottles of paint.

Some 10 members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas riding motorbikes hurled the bottles at the outer walls of the Iranian Embassy at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Monday, the Greek Reporter online news portal said.

They fled afterwards.

The Greek Reporter said no arrests had been made. And it was not clear if the Iranian ambassador and other diplomatic personnel had already arrived at the perimeters for the daily work.

Iranian officials are also yet to confirm the attack.

The group has on several occasions attacked official and government buildings in Greece with paint, including the building of the Greek Foreign Ministry in July.

On Friday, the Iranian Embassy in France was attacked by supporters of a terrorist group calling itself the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, which is based in northern Iraq.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had earlier, on September 9, fired missiles at the terrorist group’s headquarters in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The IRGC said the missile strikes were in response to recent terrorist activities along the Iranian border with Iraq and came after terrorist ringleaders ignored serious warnings by officials from the Iraqi Kurdistan region about the Islamic Republic’s determination to dismantle their bases and the need to end their activities against Iran.

Following the violation of the Iranian diplomatic perimeters in Paris, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that French police’s response to the incident had been slow and that Iran was studying the matter.

Rouvikonas, the anarchist group involved in the Monday raid against the Iranian Embassy in Athens, also said later in a post on Facebook that the attack had been in response to “Iran’s brutal repression of the Kurds,” according to the Greek Reporter.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 3 Comments

Who Conflates Zionism and Judaism?

Gilad Atzmon | September 16, 2018

Every Sabbath the good people of Ann Arbor protest against their local synagogue. They have been doing it for 15 years.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment