Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

After 70 Years of Abuse, a Definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism

Is this where the fight-back begins?

By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | October 10, 2018

What is the matter with the Palestine solidarity movement? Since 1948 (and before that, even) the Palestinians have been viciously abused and dispossessed while the perpetrators and their supporters have continually played the anti-Semitism card.

Bemused spectators have been bored witless by the long and ludicrous propaganda campaign to vilify Jeremy Corbyn, bully the Labour Party into accepting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism as a cornerstone in their code of conduct and stifle discussion of Israel’s crimes against  the Palestinian people. The expected riposte never came.

Anti-Palestinian Racism

Now Jewish Voice For Labour, of all people, have struck back with a useful looking definition of Anti-Palestinian Racism which they decribe as “hatred towards or prejudice against Palestinians as Palestinians”. In a document faintly mocking the pronouncements on anti-Semitism they suggest that manifestations of anti-Palestinian racism might include the denial of Palestinian rights to a state of Palestine as recognised by over 130 member countries of the United Nations and blaming Palestinians for their own plight under brutal military occupation and lock-down. Here’s how they put it:

Contemporary examples of anti-Palestinian racism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and nationhood, or actively conspiring to prevent the exercise of this right.
  2. Denial that Israel is in breach of international law in its continued occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  3. Denial that Israel is an apartheid state according to the definition of the International Convention on Apartheid.
  4. Denial of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba and of their right, and the right of their descendants, to return to their homeland.
  5. Denial that Palestinians have lived in what is now the land of Israel for hundreds of years and have their own distinctive national identity and culture.
  6. Denial that the laws and policies which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel (such as the recently passed Nation State Law) are inherently racist.
  7. Denial that there is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories in matters of employment, housing, justice, education, water supply, etc, etc.
  8. Tolerating the killing or harming of Palestinians by violent settlers in the name of an extremist view of religion.
  9. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Palestinians — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth of a Palestinian conspiracy to wipe Israel off the map.
  10. Justifying the collective punishment of Palestinians (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) in response to the acts of individuals or groups.
  11. Accusing the Palestinians as a people, of encouraging the Holocaust.

I am not sure how Palestinians, as genuine Semites living there for thousands of years, will react to No.5 which claims their homeland is “now the land of Israel”. Despite being illegally occupied by an apartheid entity most of whose members have no ancestral links to the ancient “land of Israel” it is still Palestine.

For decades activists have been telling the Israel lobby to look in the mirror and address their own racial hatred towards the Palestinians. You must truly hate people to deny them their freedom and even their right to return to their homes and livelihoods. Why has it taken so long for such a simple and obvious weapon to be produced? Doesn’t it make you wonder about the true agenda of those in charge of Palestine solidarity? And why has it taken a group of Jews (bless ’em) to do it?

The question now is how best to deliver this somewhat delayed riposte. It might have been best delivered while the iron was hot, at the height of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt and media onslaught. Many activists wanted Corbyn to turn on his tormentors and tell them to mend their own vile attitude towards Palestinian Arabs before daring to smear others with accusations of  anti-Semitism.

On the other hand it will benefit from careful honing, cool planning and the massing of pro-Palestinian support to make the hit really count.

For reasons we know only too well our politicians won’t adopt it as eagerly as they embraced the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. But it is at least a starting point in the fight-back especially if deployed by a coalition of genuine pro-Palestine groups and the BDS movement as the centrepiece of their new, combined campaign strategy.

Lies, damned lies….

Meanwhile I hope all those who allowed themselves to be suckered by the Israel lobby will hang their heads in shame when they read this report by the Media Reform Coalition: Labour, Antisemitism and the News – A disinformation paradigm.

The Executive summary says that an analysis of over 250 articles and news segments from the largest UK news providers (online and television) showed:

  • 29 examples of false statements or claims, several of them made by anchors or correspondents themselves, six of them surfacing on BBC television news programmes, and eight on TheGuardian.com
  • A further 66 clear instances of misleading or distorted coverage including misquotations, reliance on single source accounts, omission of essential facts or right of reply, and repeated assumptions made by broadcasters without evidence or qualification. In total, a quarter of the sample contained at least one documented inaccuracy or distortion.
  • Overwhelming source imbalance, especially on television news where voices critical of Labour’s code of conduct were regularly given an unchallenged and exclusive platform, outnumbering those defending Labour by nearly 4 to 1.

In all, there were 95 clear-cut examples of misleading or inaccurate reporting on mainstream television and online news platforms, with a quarter of the total sample containing at least one such example. On TV two thirds of the news segments contained at least one reporting error or substantive distortion.

The report points to “a persistent subversion of conventional news values”. Furthermore, coverage of Labour’s revised code of conduct during the summer of 2018 often omitted critical discussion of the ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism promoted by the IHRA and wrongly described it as universally adopted. “We established through background case research that although the IHRA is an international body with representatives from 31 countries, only six  of those countries have, to date, formally adopted the definition themselves.

  • In spite of a call for local authorities to adopt the definition by the UK’s central government in early 2017, less than a third of councils have responded and several of those have chosen not to include any of the controversial examples contained within the working definition.
  • Several high-profile bodies have rejected or distanced themselves from the working definition, including the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (a successor to the body that drafted the original wording on which the definition is based) and academic institutions including the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Mainstream academic and legal opinion has been overwhelmingly critical of the IHRA definition, including formal opinions produced by three senior UK barristers and one former appeals court judge. Virtually none of this essential context found its way into news reports of the controversy. Instead, the Labour Party was routinely portrayed by both sources and correspondents as beyond the pale of conventional thinking on the IHRA definition.“

Which all goes to show that Britain’s mainstream media has a hill to climb to get back its self-respect.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lady Justice Sits Down With a Stiff Drink to Consider Her Next Career Move

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | October 10, 2018

I am currently in the U.S., and so watching from afar as the biggest criminal investigation Britain has ever seen is sub-contracted out to the Atlantic Council/Soros-sponsored website, Bellingcat. Pinch yourself once. Pinch yourself twice. Yes, it really is happening.

It is truly remarkable that having seen millions of pounds spent on an investigation which has failed to give consistent and logical answers to some of the biggest questions in the case, and which has been remarkably economical with the actualité on things like timelines, a website with dubious connections to various neo-conservative organisations has now ridden to the rescue to fill in the gaps which The Met has apparently missed (as an aside neo-conservative is of course a misnomer, since they don’t actually conserve anything. They are in reality neo-Trotskyists, since they are globalists and like destroying stuff). Any taxpayers out there feel like a refund?

The media seems to be having a field day quoting Bellingcat as if it were now the official mouthpiece of The Metropolitan Police and the Government. Of course it may well be the official mouthpiece, only we can’t quite tell as The Met and HMG sneakily hide behind the claims instead of either confirming or denying them:

A spokesman for the Home Office said it would not comment as it was a police investigation.”

The Metropolitan Police said they would not comment on the ‘speculation’.”

“And Lady Justice said she would not comment on the case anymore, because she’s had enough and needs to sit down in a corner of a darkened room with a stiff drink, before considering what her next career move might be.”

I have no intention of being sucked into the black hole of analysing the Bellingcat claims. I have no idea of the validity of their claims. They may well be correct. They may well not. However, as I have pointed out many times before, the case against the two suspects is not that they were undercover intelligence officers; rather, it is that they carried out an assassination attempt at the front door of 47 Christie Miller Road using something called “Novichok”. And I am only really interested in whether that case does, or does not stack up.

Reading through the charges made against the two men again, which were given in the statement put out by The Metropolitan Police on 5th September, it strikes me as fairly obvious that investigators do not actually have the evidence of the men’s culpability that they claimed to have when they said:

“We now have sufficient evidence to bring charges in relation to the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.”

Why do I say this? Because although Mr Basu stated that he would go through their movements “in detail”, in actual fact he did nothing of the sort. Take a look at what he said about their movements on Saturday 3rd March:

“On Saturday, 3 March, they left the hotel and took the underground to Waterloo station, arriving at approximately 11.45am, where they caught a train to Salisbury, arriving at approximately 2.25pm. They are believed to have taken a similar route when they returned to London on the afternoon of Saturday, 3 March. Leaving Salisbury at approximately 4.10pm and arriving in Bow at approximately 8.05 pm.”

Question: How much detail did he actually give about their movements in Salisbury that day? The answer is none at all. Read it again. There’s nothing. Yes, there’s a lot of fluff about their movements in London, but other than the fact that they arrived in Salisbury, and then left Salisbury, there is nothing whatsoever about their movements whilst they were there. And just to remind you, the charge against the men relates to what they did in Salisbury, not in London.

Why is this and what does it indicate?

Well, it isn’t that they don’t have evidence of the movements of the two men. One of the commenters here, Peter, has established via a Freedom of Information request to Wiltshire Council that all CCTV cameras were operational on both days, and that all footage in relation to the March incident was handed over to the Counter-Terrorism Police.

This means that The Met has detailed footage of the two men in Salisbury on 3rd March, but not only have they chosen to release none of it, apart from one still image of the men at Salisbury station heading back to London, but they have also declined to give any actual detail of the men’s movements in the town that day. Surely if the footage exists — which it does — then The Met ought to be able to tell us what the two men were doing and where they went. But the extraordinary thing is, not only did they fail to do this, but they actually appealed for help in establishing their movements:

“We’d also like to hear from anyone who saw them while they were in the UK between Friday, 2 March and Sunday, 4 March. We are particularly interested in establishing as much as possible about their movements during the period 2pm to 4.30pm on Saturday, 3 March, and 11.30am to 2pm on Sunday, 4 March.”

Why would they need help when plenty of CCTV exists for them to be able to trace their movements?

Actually, it gets worse. Despite the existence of CCTV showing the men’s movements, but still apparently not knowing where the men went, The Met felt fit to draw the following conclusion:

“We assess that this trip was for reconnaissance of the Salisbury area and do not believe that there was any risk to the public from their movements on this day.”

Reconnaissance? What on earth is this supposed to mean? Did they go and check out Mr Skripal’s house that day? If so, where is the CCTV footage of them doing so? Presumably there would be footage of them walking past the Shell garage on that day too. Where, then, is it (and again, I’m asking for footage, not a still image)?

The use of the word reconnaissance is simply absurd. It makes it sound like they were involved in some clandestine military operation, behind enemy lines, checking out the lie of the land. But actually they were in the rather genteel city of Salisbury, and could have checked their destination using Google maps. Or were they just checking that the door had a handle?

Let’s see how The Met fares on the Sunday:

On Sunday, 4 March, they made the same journey from the hotel, again using the underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05am, before continuing their journey by train to Salisbury. CCTV shows them in the vicinity of Mr Skripal’s house and we believe that they contaminated the front door with Novichok. They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo Station, arriving at approximately 4.45pm and boarded the London Underground at approximately 6.30pm to London Heathrow Airport.”

Again, most of this is fluff. What has their journey from their hotel to Waterloo got to do with what they are charged with doing in Salisbury? What has their return journey to Waterloo and on to Heathrow got to do with what they are charged with doing in Salisbury? Not much. The charge against them is that they carried out an assassination attempt in Salisbury, not that they got on a train here, a tube there, and an airplane somewhere else.

Ah but they do mention what happened in Salisbury, don’t they? Well, yes they do, but as I pointed out in my previous piece, it’s actually a deeply misleading claim. The CCTV footage released by The Met does not show the men in the vicinity of Mr Skripal’s house; it shows them on a different street altogether, hundreds of yards away.

The entirety of the evidence given verbally by Mr Basu of the two men’s activities in Salisbury on both the 3rd and 4th March, is therefore this:

“CCTV shows them in the vicinity of Mr Skripal’s house and we believe that they contaminated the front door with Novichok.”

That’s it! Nothing more! Not exactly compelling, is it?

But here’s the thing: The Met knows exactly where the men went on both days, because it has an awful lot of CCTV footage showing where they went. Yet not only does it refuse to release footage, but it skips out all details of Saturday’s Salisbury wanderings, and makes a misleading statement about the Sunday wanderings. I would submit that the most plausible explanation for this is not that the CCTV doesn’t exist (it does). Nor is it that it exists, but is deemed too sensitive to be released (it isn’t). Rather, the most plausible explanation is that it does exist, but it doesn’t actually back up the claims being made.

Even if the Bellingcat claims turn out to be true, it doesn’t alter this crucial point: The Metropolitan Police has so far failed to provide any convincing evidence that the two suspects they have named walked up to 47 Christie Miller Road and placed “Novichok” on the door handle. They have CCTV footage of the men in Salisbury on 3rd and 4th March. And yet the actual details of their movements that they have given out are in reality non-existent. Perhaps Bellingcat would like to answer the question of why this is. Since they appear to have taken over the investigation, that is.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

US Mk-41 Systems Deployment in Romania, Poland Contradicts INF Treaty – Moscow

Sputnik – October 10, 2018

The United States started deploying Aegis Ashore missile defense systems, as well as MK-41 Vertical Launching Systems tubes that could be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles in Europe in June, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Deployment of the US Mk-41 launching systems in Romania and Poland contradicts the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Vladimir Ermakov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, stated.

“There are also serious questions regarding the actions of our American colleagues that are contrary to the INF Treaty, including the ground-based deployment of universal Mk-41 launchers in Romania and Poland,” said Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Ermakov during a general debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

He noted that Russia as a responsible and consistent supporter of the nuclear disarmament process for over 50 years has made a large-scale contribution to the reduction of strategic offensive weapons, and on February 5, 2018, Russia reached the maximum levels of carriers and warheads under the Russian-American START Treaty, as a result of which Russia’s nuclear arsenal has been reduced by more than 85% compared to the peak of the Cold War.

In May, US President Donald Trump accused Russia of allegedly violating the INF Treaty and ordered US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to propose new sanctions against Russia in connection with these breaches. The Kremlin responded by saying that Russia had never violated the agreement.

The INF Treaty, which the Soviet Union and the United States signed in December 1987, requires the parties to eliminate all of their nuclear and conventional missiles and their launchers with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (311 to 3,417 miles). Russia and the United States have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF Treaty.

READ MORE:

‘Most Plausible Conclusion’: NATO Sec Gen Alleges Russia Breached INF Treaty

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

S-300 vs. F-35: Stealth and Invincible Are Not Exactly Synonyms

By Andrei AKULOV | Strategic Culture Foundation | 10.10.2018

How effective is the S-300 PMU-2 “Favorit” that Russia has just delivered to Syria? Especially when employed against the F-35 stealth fighters that Israel intends to make more use of when attacking targets in Syria? Who has the edge? This is truly a hot topic for the press right now. It would be better, of course, to avoid the military hostilities and leave this as a theoretical, unanswered question, because no definite answer is possible until a real shootout takes place. Stealth technology includes both active and passive measures that reduce visibility and the chance of detection. Some of those are classified, as are the specifications and capabilities of the S-300. This makes it much more complicated to offer predictions or conclusions. But the known facts can be considered impartially and objectively.

Israeli officials play down the significance of the shipment of the S-300 to Syrian government forces. “The operational abilities of the air force are such that those (S-300) batteries really do not constrain the air force’s abilities to act,” said Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s regional cooperation minister. “You know that we have stealth fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries are not even able to detect them.” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in April that “if anyone attacks us, we will retaliate, regardless of S-300, S-700 or any anything else’s presence there”. The Pentagon has also cast doubt on the S-300’s effectiveness.

Let’s give the devil his due. The F-35 is a fine example of low observable aircraft with extraordinary capabilities. It’s a formidable weapon, but so is the S-300. If the worst happens, Israel’s high-end F-35I Adir aircraft will be checkmated by this Russian-made, state-of-the-art air-defense system.

A stealth aircraft is not invincible. It has its strengths and weaknesses. In Syria, Israeli F-35s will be up against a tight, integrated air-defense network with multiple radars trying to detect and track the target from different directions.

Excessive use of stealth technology restricts the combat capabilities of an aircraft like the F-35. A plane based on stealth technology does not perform exceptionally well in combat. It cannot carry many weapons because everything is hidden inside the body. Its ability to remain invisible is reduced as soon as the radar is turned on. Low frequencies can detect a stealth aircraft. A bomb bay that has been opened to launch weapons will also give the plane away.

The S-300’s 48N6E2 missiles boast single-shot kill probability of 80% to 93% for an aerial target, 40% to 85% for cruise missiles. and 50% to 77% for theater ballistic missiles. The Russian system uses the 96L6 all-altitude detector and acquisition radar, which works in L-band. It has a 300 km range and enhanced resolution. The S-300 PMU-2 version can detect and track 100 targets. The radar is said to be able to detect stealth targets.

Large wavelength radiations are reflected by “invisible” aircraft. Radar that operates in the VHF, UHF, L and S bands can detect and even track the F-35 without transmitting weapons-quality track. It is true that no accurate targeting is possible, but at least you can tell where the plane is.

The S-300’s vertically launched missiles can be re-targeted during flight. The explosion is so powerful that no kinetic kill is needed. Multiple killing elements will strike targets throughout the vicinity.

The IAF F-35s still need to be integrated with other assets in order to enhance their chances of carrying out missions. Just to be on the safe side, they will probably be escorted by electronic warfare aircraft, which are not stealth, thus giving away their position and providing the enemy with enough time to take countermeasures. Israel has only 12 F-35s, with 50 more arriving by 2024. The price tag for each is about $100 million. It’ll be a long time before they are in place and integrated into the Air Force. And twelve are simply not enough.

Besides, the aircraft still needs to be upgraded with the full operational capability of Block 3F and subsequent Block 4 software and hardware configurations.

Once the S-300s are operational, all other Israeli non-stealth planes will face huge risks any time they fly an offensive mission into Syria. It should also be taken into account that Russia will jam the radar, navigation, and communications systems on any aircraft attacking targets in Syria via the Mediterranean Sea, as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned on Sept. 24, 2018.

Israel boasts a broad repertoire of standoff weapons, along with highly advanced electronic warfare systems and enhanced cyber capabilities. It also has very experienced and well trained personnel. Nevertheless, the S-300 in Syria is a deterrent to be reckoned with. Hopefully, the peace process in that war-torn country will move forward and there will be no escalation to provoke an S-300 vs. F-35 fight.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

US professor urges release of student held in Israel

MEMO | October 10, 2018

A professor at the University of Florida appealed Tuesday for the release of a former student who has been held by Israeli authorities for a week, Anadolu reports.

Lara Alqasem, a US citizen, has been in Israeli custody since arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport last Tuesday with a valid student visa hoping to study law, human rights and freedom of travel at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials are denying 22-year-old Alqasem entry based on allegations that she supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which urges businesses, educational institutions and celebrities to cut ties with Israel.

The movement has long been criticized by Israeli officials, and the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, passed a law in 2017 allowing authorities to deny entry to individuals who make public calls for a boycott of Israel.

Dror Abend-David, who taught Alqasem at the University of Florida, said he is “one of many people,” including her former professors, who think she should be released and allowed to study immediately.

“Everyone who taught her was very impressed with her,” he told Anadolu Agency. “There’s a very active group of professors here on campus who are working for her.”

One of the proposals being floated, Abend-David said, is a reevaluation of the university’s study abroad program in Israel.

That could effectively make Israel’s policy of denying entry to BDS supporters an own goal.

When asked if he thought Israeli officials could ironically be accomplishing BDS’ goals for the movement, Abend-David pointed to two works of Soviet-era Russian literature that he said, “made the point that bureaucrats don’t see irony”.

Hebrew University President Asher Cohen told Israel’s Army Radio that Israel’s actions could harm the university’s anti-BDS efforts and could end up serving the movement instead, according to the Times of Israel.

Israel earlier Tuesday conditioned Alqasem’s release on her issuing a public apology for her alleged support of the global boycott.

”If Alqasem comes forward tomorrow morning with her own voice, not with all sorts of lawyers’ wisecracking and statements that could be construed this way or another – and declares that supporting BDS, she thinks today, is illegitimate and she regrets what she did on this matter, we will consider our stance,” Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Her first appeal against the Israeli decision to deny her entry was denied last week. A second appeal is expected to be heard in the coming days.

The US State Department on Tuesday punted on questions about Alqasem’s case, saying it is up to Israel to decide who it allows into the country.

Israeli officials and their supporters have regularly alleged the BDS movement is inherently anti-Semitic. But when asked if he thought Alqasem was anti-Semitic herself, Abend-David was unequivocal in his response.

“Lara was not anti-Semitic in any way, shape or form,” he said. “She has been kind and polite and helpful with no hint that she felt badly of Israel or anyone who is connected with that country.”

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Netanyahu wants to redraw map in the Golan, Russia says – go to the UNSC

RT | October 10, 2018

Recognizing the illegally-annexed Golan Heights as part of Israel would be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Russia’s foreign minister has said, in an apparent rebuke to an appeal made by Israel’s prime minister.

Changing the status of the Golan Heights would be a “direct violation” of United Nations Security Council resolutions which dictate the international community’s stance on the disputed territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted.

On Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan, Syrian territory seized by Israel fifty-one years ago.

“Israel on the Golan Heights is a fact that the international community must recognize and as long as it depends on me, the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu said during an inauguration of a synagogue in the Golan Heights.

In August, Netanyahu expressed hope that Washington would recognize Israel’s claim to the territory, but US National Security Advisor John Bolton insisted that “there’s no discussion of it, no decision within the US government.”

Israel seized part of the Golan Heights during the Six Day War of 1967. In 1981, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, unilaterally proclaimed the occupied land to be part of the Jewish state. The declaration was swiftly declared illegal by the UN Security Council.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 10 Comments

“Good” Bombing: NATO Op Against Yugoslavia Was a War Crime – Lawyer

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 10.10.2018

Jens Stoltenberg’s claim that NATO “protected” Yugoslavia from the government of Slobodan Milosevic is nothing but propaganda, Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer told Sputnik, stressing that NATO had no legal reason to attack Yugoslavia and de facto committed a war crime against the sovereign nation.

“The NATO attack on Yugoslavia has nothing whatsoever to do with protecting anyone since the claims made by NATO against the government of Yugoslavia were false and were just a pretext for their aggression,” says Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations.

Black’s comment comes in response to a statement made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who told Serbia’s RTS: “We are aware in NATO that many people in Serbia still have bad memories about the bombing, the airstrikes in 1999. I stress that we did this to protect civilians and stop the Milosevic regime,” the NATO chief said.

“NATO countries had no legal right to bomb anyone for any reason as that is a violation of international law, the UN Charter, Nuremberg Principles etc.,” the scholar underscored. “Their attack was aggression and therefore a war crime and they committed war crimes during the attack.”

The NATO military campaign against sovereign Yugoslavia codenamed Operation Allied Force kicked off amid the Kosovo war (February, 1998 — June, 1999) between the country’s government forces and Albanian separatists. The alliance’s 78-day air raids resulted in 5,700 civilian deaths, infrastructural damages and contamination of the part of the region with depleted uranium.

Rambouillet Diktat: The Trigger for War

“The real reason NATO attacked is set out in the Rambouillet diktat presented by [then Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright to [then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan] Milosevic in early 1999 that Yugoslavia must surrender its sovereignty and allow its total occupation by NATO forces and give up its socialist system for a free enterprise one,” Black said. “If Yugoslavia refused NATO promised to attack. The Yugoslav government had to refuse such a diktat and so NATO attacked.”

Rambouillet Accords envisaged the creation of a de facto independent entity in Kosovo which violated Yugoslavia’s independence and sovereignty.While the refusal to accept the unacceptable accord was used by the alliance as a trigger for the attack, there were several reasons behind NATO’s invasion, the lawyer explained.

“NATO wanted to establish a base in the Balkans against Russia, to take over mineral resources at the Trepca Mine complex in Kosovo and to destroy the last socialist state in Europe,” the legal practitioner said. “To justify their aggression they concocted the same types of lies against the government as they are now doing against Russia.”

Almost two decades after the NATO bombing, the Trepca mining and metallurgical complex in Kosovo still remains a bone of contention between Pristina and Belgrade. The complex is split between ethnic lines, however, in October 2016 the parliament of the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo voted to take control over the complex despite Serbia’s protests.

When commemorating the enterprise’s 90th anniversary in December 2017 — Europe’s largest lead-zinc and silver ore mine — Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stressed that Belgrade would continue to fight for it, dubbing the complex “a part of family and national heritage, a part of tradition,” as quoted by Serbian news outlet RTV B92.

NATO’s Expansion in the Balkans

Besides claiming that NATO bombed Yugoslavia to “protect it,” Stoltenberg drew attention to the “close partnership” between NATO and Serbia. Although he noted that the alliance respected Belgrade’s neutrality, the question arises whether that the North Atlantic military bloc is seeking to absorb Serbia in the long run, after admitting Montenegro and signaling readiness to let Macedonia join.

Commenting on the issue, the lawyer recalled that “the Yugoslav and Serbian government was overthrown in 2000 in a putsch organized by NATO forces and their fascist agents in the group called OTPOR and the DOS organizations which were NATO assets.”

He said that “the president [was] arrested on false charges and the government [was] taken over by the Quislings of the DOS group.” According to Black, these groups are still powerful in Serbia. They do not represent aspirations of the Serbian people, he stressed.

Manipulating the Judgments

Black, who has long criticized the imprisonment of Slobodan Milosevic at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, stressed that the tribunal “manipulated the judgments to put out different stories as it suits them.”

“As I said above the NATO claims were pure propaganda. It was NATO that used force and massive force to destroy a nation that resisted its diktats,” the lawyer highlighted, calling the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) “a NATO tribunal under UN guise.”

“The point is that the charges against Milosevic were bogus, he proved it in his trial,” Black said.

The former Yugoslav president died in his prison cell on March 11, 2006 while on trial for war crimes at the ICTY. Although it was officially stated that Milosevic died from a heart attack the lawyer does not rule out that the ex-Yugoslav leader could have been killed, since “they did not want to release him and could not convict him.”

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

France sued for crimes against humanity over nuclear tests

Press TV – October 10, 2018

France will be facing the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity over a series of nuclear tests it had been conducting in the South Pacific for some three decades.

A French Polynesian opposition leader said a complaint has already been filed to “hold all the living French presidents accountable for the nuclear tests against,” conducted against Polynesia – French oversees territory in the South Pacific.

“It’s with a great sense of duty and determination that we filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court on October 2 for crimes against humanity,” Oscar Temaru said at the United Nations.

“We owe it to all the people who died from the consequences of nuclear colonialism,” he added.

France carried out 193 out of 210 nuclear tests from 1960 to 1996 in Polynesia. For decades, it had claimed that the explosions were controlled and clean and denied its responsibility for the health and environmental impacts of the testing.

Back in 2013, declassified documents of the defense ministry however revealed that extent of plutonium fall-out from the tests was kept hidden.

According to the documents, plutonium fallout hit the whole of French Polynesia, a much broader area than France had previously admitted.

French daily Le Parisien wrote at the time that the documents “lifted the lid on one of the biggest secrets of the French army.”

French Polynesia with a population of about 290,000 people is best known nowadays for its tourist island of Tahiti, which was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation.

“We see French nuclear tests as no less than the direct result of colonization,” Temaru said, adding the testing was imposed upon the islanders “with the direct threat of imposing military rule if we refused.”

Temaru said France has “ignored and shown contempt” for repeated offers since 2013 to come to the table under supervision of the United Nations.

Earlier this year, French Polynesia’s nuclear test veterans organization, Moruroa e tatou, said only if France increases its compensation efforts 100 times, it will become credible that it takes the problem seriously.

Marking the 52nd anniversary of the first of the weapons tests, the organization said in July that despite confessions from France it was working on compensation for victims of the weapons test, the process was not functioning as it should.

It said France has been considering only four cases this year, while 100 times more cases would have to be dealt with.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes, Environmentalism, Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Wasn’t she supposed to serve US? Twitter unamused as IDF ‘salutes’ Haley for her support for Israel

RT | October 10, 2018

A tweet from the IDF thanking Nikki Haley for her “unwavering support” for Israel has sparked an avalanche of snarky comments, with many pointing out that Haley was supposed to be the US, not Israeli, envoy to the UN.

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Haley resigned her post as Washington’s envoy to the United Nations. Haley’s departure ignited a Twitter storm of speculation about why she chose to step down, and what she’s planning next. Israel’s military, however, used the announcement as an opportunity to thank the retiring US diplomat for her service to the Jewish state.

“Thank you @nikkihaley for your service in the @UN and unwavering support for Israel and the truth. The soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces salute you!” the IDF’s official Twitter account wrote.

But the IDF’s appreciative “salute” to Haley was immediately swarmed with angry and sarcastic replies, with Twitter users accusing the former US envoy of putting Israel’s interests ahead of her own country’s.

“’Unwavering support’ aka, blind allegiance,” one Twitter user noted bluntly.

“You love her for the reasons the rest of us despise her,” another netizen shot back at the IDF. “She left the Human Rights Council, pulled the US out of Iran deal, slashed funds to UNRWA, moved embassy to Jerusalem, and was exaggerated in her support for the IDF when they abuse Palestinian human rights.”

Twitter user “Alan” made a similar, although considerably more succinct, observation: “I thought she was meant to be serving… Never mind.”

Haley has been a fierce defender of Israel, repeatedly using her seat on the UN Security Council to shield Tel Aviv from international criticism. During her tenure at the UN, the US envoy lashed out at the international community for allegedly “bullying” Tel Aviv, warning that the she “wasn’t going to have it.”

“We had the back of Israel, and if they were going to mess with Israel they had to mess with the US,” she said.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Haley for leading an “uncompromising struggle” on behalf of the “justice of our country.”

He was referring to Israel, not the United States. Just to be clear.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments

US foreign military sales for 2018 total $55.66B, up 33 percent

Press TV – October 9, 2018

Sales of US military equipment to foreign governments have increased by 33 percent compared to the previous year’s total, a US administration official says.

Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, told Reuters on Tuesday that the US foreign military sales hit 55.6 billion dollars in the fiscal year ending September 30.

According to Reuters, the increase in foreign military sales came in part because the Trump administration rolled out a new “Buy American” plan in April that relaxed restrictions on sales while encouraging US officials to take a bigger role in increasing business overseas for the US weapons industry.

Hooper said the $55.6 billion figure represented signed letters of agreement for foreign military sales between the United States and allies.

The United States sold over $40 billion worth of weapons last year, maintaining its position as the world’s dominant arms supplier.

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed in March that the US has increased its arms sales by 25 percent over the past five years.

It also said some half of US arms exports during that period have gone to the Middle East, and that Saudi Arabia registered a 225-percent rise in military purchases – almost all from the US and Europe.

Saudi Arabia was the first country US President Donald Trump visited after taking office last year. It was announced during his visit to Riyadh that Washington could sell $110 billion in military equipment to Saudi Arabia in a period of 10 years. The State Department said at the time that the deal could grow to $350 billion over a decade.

The massive arms sales come despite repeated international calls on the US to stop supporting the Saudis with modern weaponry, which the kingdom has, according to many reports, used in its devastating war on Yemen.

The White House has also been criticized by both human rights groups and US lawmakers in Congress from both political parties for allowing its Saudi ally to bomb Yemen.

Some 15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudi-led aggression in March 2015.

Washington has denied it is directly supplying the Saudis with weapons in the war but numerous reports have suggested that US arms have played a part in massive civilian casualties.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment