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Stanford’s Hoover Institution implicated in “astroturfed” pro-Israel demonstration

If Americans Knew | October 12, 2018

A leaked clip from a censored documentary indicates that a pro-Israel, anti-Arab protest was manufactured with the help of some staff and students from the Hoover Institution.

The documentary, produced by Al Jazeera, says that the protestors at the demonstration were “on a fellowship program run by a conservative think tank called the Hoover Institution.” A student says in the clip that they were “forced” to participate.

The Hoover Institution is located at Stanford University and is funded under Stanford University’s tax-exempt status as an educational institution.  The Hoover Institution has refused to answer questions about the report.

Hoover Tower occupies a central place on the Stanford campus, one of four Hoover Institution buildings at Stanford.

The student in the clip has not yet been identified, and it is unclear which Hoover program he was on. At one point in the video he laughs and says that he and others “sold out” for $50,000 and benefits.

Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reports about the clip:

The Al Jazeera reporter joined a group of students who received a fellowship from the right-wing Hoover Institution, and they are seen telling him that their presence in a small pro-Israeli demonstration has been declared mandatory by their supervisors.

“’his is actually the first foot-soldier activity that we’ve been forced to do,” one of the students says. Another describes it as “a chance to shout at Arabs” who will protest against Israel at the same location.

The students also describe their presence at the demonstration as “astroturfing” – a political term that describes inauthentic political activism, which pretends to be grass-roots based activism. “It’s when you set up fake protests,” one student says. The same students are later seen holding “pro-Israel” signs at the demonstration.

The clip is from an Al Jazeera documentary about the Israel lobby in the U.S. that has not yet been broadcast. Ha’aretz reports that the film was pulled in a bid “to appease the U.S. Jewish community.”

Two sources from pro-Israeli organizations confirmed that the video excerpts were indeed filmed by the Al Jazeera reporter.

Hoover officials have refused to comment on the actions by Hoover staff members reported in the documentary, and it is unclear whether the institution approves of their behavior.

Stanford officials also failed to respond to inquiries about the report.

Hoover’s director is Thomas W. Gilligan, 650-723-1198, and its associate director is Eryn Witcher Tillman (also listed as a media contact for Stanford), 650-725-3076.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation funded shadowy group that targets students

If Americans Knew | October 12, 2018

The Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation has admitted that it funded the Israeli organization reported to run Canary Mission, the online blacklist of American pro-justice student activists. The Israeli government has used the list to interrogate and detain U.S. citizens.

For years Canary Mission managed to keep the identity of its funders secret, and major Jewish leaders claimed they didn’t know who was behind the effort to harm American students.

An exposé published by the Forward now reports: “Evidence is now building that major Jewish institutions with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, and boards of directors that include prominent members of the U.S. Jewish community, have played a significant role in bankrolling the site.”

A foundation controlled by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco had previously been discovered to have been funding the Israeli group, Megamot Shalom.

The New York City-based Jewish Communal Fund and the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, refused to respond to the Forward’s questions about whether they have also funded Canary Mission.

The Forward article, by Josh Nathan-Kazis, reports:

“The grants from the Los Angeles foundation to Megamot Shalom were made at the advice of a donor whose identity the foundation would not disclose. They were made through the foundation’s donor advised fund, a philanthropic device that allows wealthy individuals to park assets at the charity. While donors to a donor advised fund can suggest how their gifts should be used, the assets belong to the charity, and the charity must approve all grant recommendations.

The foundation, with net assets of $726 million, has close ties to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, known as the major Jewish fundraising organization in Los Angeles.

The Forward states: “Canary Mission operated in absolute secrecy for three years while posting political dossiers on more than a thousand undergraduates, most of them involved in pro-Palestinian activism. The site says that it intends to damage the students’ job prospects.”

The Helen Diller Family Foundation, one of the San Francisco Community Foundation’s major supporting foundations, earmarked $100,000 for Canary Mission.

Diller is headed by San Francisco real estate developer Jaclyn Safier, who also sits on the Board of Visitors of the University of California, Berkeley. According to its website, the Board of Visitors “provides advice and support to the chancellor, executive vice chancellor and provost, and campus leadership.”

Diller has also funded groups known for promoting bigotry against Muslims.

Both the Los Angeles Community Foundation and the San Francisco Community Foundation now say they will stop funding Canary Mission.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel Rattled By UNESCO’s Palestinian Protection Pledges

Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Twitter)
Palestine Chronicle | October 12, 2018

The executive council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has left Israel disquieted, after vowing to effect protections for Palestinian heritage.

A statement, issued by Israel’s United Nations ambassador Danny Danon, said:

“This is an additional proof for those who did not understand why the United States and Israel withdrew from UNESCO. This proves once again that UNESCO is a body based on lies, biases and deliberate action against us. Israel will not be a member of an organization that is trying to rewrite history and accept to be exploited by our enemies.”

The protections cover educational and cultural institutions, the need to protect and preserve the monuments, culture and education in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and to show Israeli violations against Palestinian heritage, cultural and natural sites, particularly the Old City of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Compound, the Church of the Nativity, the mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah in Bethlehem, the Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron (Al-Khalil) and the Gaza Strip.

Israel sternly rejected the mandate which the council unanimously espoused Wednesday during a Palestine resolutions session at the body’s 205th plenary meeting in Paris.

The disputed resolutions detail, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that,

“The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” reaffirming that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”

The Program and External Relations Commission (PX) of the UNESCO executive also adopted a second resolution to include crimes committed by Israel, such as the destruction of schools and other crimes committed in Khan Al-Ahmar.

The UNESCO declaration stated:

“The two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” are “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.”

It also added:

“The ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship.”

Both resolutions are supported by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.

“Tthe spirit of dialogue and the sense of responsibility that led to this result. A trend towards consensus is now emerging,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay added.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Russia says Iran’s presence in Syria none of Israel’s business

Press TV – October 12, 2018

A senior Russian official has dismissed the Israeli regime’s demand that Iran be forced out of Syria, saying that the issue is none of Tel Aviv’s business as it is Syria’s sovereign right to authorize Iranian forces on its soil.

“Syria is a member of the United Nations,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, adding that the Arab country “has equal rights” over its self-determination with Russia, the US and any other member of the UN.

“This is a sovereign country led by a legitimate government. It can agree on cooperation with any other country, including Iran, Russia, Israel,” he noted in an interview with the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS released Thursday night.

“That’s Syria’s sovereign right, and it’s not the business of a third party to intervene in these subjects of politics or policy of a sovereign country,” said Bogdanov, who is also President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East.

He went on to say that Moscow had already explained to Israel and the US that “this is a sovereign decision for Syria who should be on their territory.”

“They asked us and the Iranians to be there. The Iranians have said repeatedly on many levels that Syria asked them to help them in the fight against terrorists, and when Mr. Assad tells them that their mission is accomplished and they are no longer needed, they will leave Syria, just like us.”

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

However, over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.

In the latest Israeli airstrikes on Syria a few weeks ago, a Russian Il-20 plane was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defenses in Latakia Province, northwestern Syria. The Syrian S-200 missile defense system was responding to a wave of strikes by four Israeli warplanes.

Moscow blamed Tel Aviv for the incident, which killed all 15 people on board, saying the Israeli warplanes had deliberately “created a dangerous situation” that led to the crash.

Shortly after the attack, Russia delivered a modern version of its S-300 missile defense system to Syria in a bid to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Plane crash changed rules of the game

In his interview with i24NEWS, Bogdanov underlined that the Israeli pilots’ fault in that incident totally changed the rules of the game.

“The rules of the game were violated when Israeli pilots used a Russian aircraft for cover, knowing how it threatened the Russian crew,” he noted.

“You can imagine what would have happened if 15 Israeli officers had been killed through our fault,” he said.

Netanyahu’s UN theatricals on Iran nuclear site

Elsewhere in his remarks, Bogdanov mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s theatrical performance at the United Nations, in which he used placards with satellite pictures to make claims about a secret atomic warehouse in Tehran.

“It’s naive to think that only one country and only one secret service knows something that nobody else knows,” Bogdanov told i24NEWS, refuting allegations leveled by the Israeli PM about an atomic warehouse in Turquzabad, a village close to Tehran.

“It’s the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is supposed to check this. It is a professional and serious organisation. It has authority and legitimacy,” he said, adding that the IAEA can inspect any site at any time under the agreement it has with Iran.

“To tell the whole world they have something, and show pictures, maybe some people like this and it helps him, maybe it’s intended to score points and for internal consumption,” Bogdanov noted.

“Speaking seriously… Israel should have taken a different approach and not worked with journalists and with what we call ‘megaphone diplomacy’,” he noted.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Moscow Offers Washington to Sign Written Pledges on Mutual Non-Interference

Sputnik – 12.10.2018

MOSCOW – Russia has offered the United States to make written commitments about non-interference in each other’s affairs as Moscow is ready to give such guarantees “at any time,” but Washington has shown no such desire, Georgy Borisenko, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of North America, told Sputnik.

“Now we are proposing to exchange letters of more or less the same content, for example, between the foreign ministers of Russia and the United States. Unfortunately, Washington is stubbornly ignoring it, they are just categorically rejecting it,” Georgy Borisenko noted.

The Russian diplomat said that Moscow had “repeatedly offered to make written commitments on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs with the US.”

“At the same time, we have pointed out that it is possible to use the experience of restoring diplomatic relations between our countries in 1933. Then the USSR People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinov and US President Franklin Roosevelt exchanged personal notes, which contained a commitment not to infringe upon each other’s internal affairs. What is interesting is that it was the US authorities who insisted on it, because they were very afraid of Soviet influence during the Great Depression,” Borisenko explained.

According to the official, Moscow made a similar proposal to Washington in June, even before the summit in Helsinki.

“We sent a draft of such a letter to our US colleagues so that they could consider it. The United States rejected it… We are ready to give them written guarantees at any time, but the US shows no such desire,” Borisenko said.

The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of interference in the 2016 presidential election and is investigating Trump’s team members’ alleged links to the Kremlin.

Russia, for its part, has refuted all the accusations, calling such claims groundless.

Russia Never Planned to Interfere in US Midterms

Russia has never tampered in US elections and is not going to, Georgy Borisenko, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of North America, told Sputnik.

“Our side has repeatedly said that Russia has never meddled, is not meddling and has no plans to meddle in US elections. We regard the electoral process [in the US] as something that only the US people should have a say in. Interfering in other countries’ affairs is what the US does,” he said.

The United States will go to the polls on November 6.

Second Putin-Trump Meeting

Moscow is ready to discuss the possibility of arranging another summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump if the White House is interested in continuing top-level dialogue, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of North America head Georgy Borisenko told Sputnik in an interview.

“We are surely open to discussions on the whole spectrum of bilateral relations with Washington. If the US is interested in continuing dialogue, and President Trump seems to have demonstrated such interest, we will see when and how it can be done,” the official said.

Answering a question on whether the two leaders will meet on November 11 in Paris during events marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the official said that contact was possible, but no requests for a meeting had been received from the US so far.

Putin and Trump held their first full-fledged summit in the Finnish capital of Helsinki on July 16.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Co-founder of Steele dossier firm Fusion GPS refuses to testify before House committee

RT | October 12, 2018

Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, a research firm that commissioned the notorious anti-Trump Steele dossier while funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign money, has refused to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

In a scathing letter*, unusually strong-worded for legal communication, lawyers for Simpson argued that the House Judiciary Committee is not seeking the truth but is aiming to “discredit and otherwise damage witnesses to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”

The subpoena, issued to Simpson by the committee, is thus only a smokescreen that will be used by the panel to further tarnish Simpson’s reputation with “selective” leaks from a closed-door deposition, the letter claims.

Those who have already suffered from the committee’s actions, according to the letter, are former British spy and author of the notorious Trump dossier – Christopher Steele – and former  associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr.

Simpson, who was set to testify on October 16, was thereby invoking his First and Fifth Amendment rights, and would not appear before the lawmakers, the letter says.

Any attempt to shed light on the ties between Fusion GPS and the Obama officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice are no more than “an effort to protect a president who has sought to placate and curry favor with a hostile foreign power,” it continues.

Proving a supposed connection between Trump and Russia had been the whole point of the Steele dossier – however, a protracted investigation has so far not produced any proof to back up the collusion claim, while racking up a bill of over $17 million in taxpayers’ money.

Trump and his Republican supporters, meanwhile, maintain that the dossier’s entire premise is illegal: funded by Clinton campaign money, it was used by the FBI as grounds to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The dossier includes some salacious allegations against Trump, including him hiring prostitutes in Moscow to urinate on the hotel bed Barack Obama had used.

Trump ordered “immediate declassification” of all the documents related the FBI’s surveillance of his campaign in late September but backed down on his decision after consulting with the DOJ. Trump said that the documents would still be published upon a review by the Department’s Inspector General, noting that he could declassify them at any minute. The materials would have also included the FBI interviews with Bruce Ohr – whose wife used to work for Fusion GPS – and the FISA warrant applications to spy on Page.

Simpson’s refusal to testify drew anger from Republicans.

* Letter on Scribd

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Catalan Parliament Passes Resolution to Abolish Monarchy in Spain

Sputnik – 11.10.2018

The resolution was proposed by the regional branch of the Spanish Podemos party, Catalunya en Comu-Podem, which has 8 mandates out of 135 in the Catalan parliament. A total of 69 lawmakers supported the resolution, while 57 parliamentarians voted against and four abstained. The voting was aired on the parliament’s website.

In particular, the resolution condemns the position of King Felipe VI of Spain during the Catalan independence crisis and his address to the nation on October 3 last year, which “justified violence” at polling stations during the referendum.

The document also calls for adherence to republican values and to “abolition the outdated and anti-democratic institution of monarchy.”

On October 1, 2017, Catalonia held an independence vote, which resulted in over 90 percent of those who voted backing the region’s autonomy. Madrid objected to the referendum and refused to recognize its results.

In late October, Madrid imposed direct rule over Catalonia and dissolved the regional parliament, after the Catalan government proclaimed the region’s independence.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 1 Comment

Ottawa’s incestuous world of pro-military lobbying

By Yves Engler · October 11, 2018

How do you feel about taxpayer-funded organizations using your tax dollars to lobby elected politicians for more of your tax dollars?

Welcome to the Canadian military.

Last week Anju Dhillon told the House of Commons “I saw first-hand the sacrifices that our men and women in the navy have made to protect our country.” The Liberal MP recently participated in the Canadian Leaders at Sea Program, which takes influential individuals on “action-packed” multi-day navy operations. Conducted on both coasts numerous times annually, nine Parliamentarians from all parties participated in a Spring 2017 excursion and a number more joined at the end of last year. The Commander of the Atlantic Fleet, Commodore Craig Baines, describes the initiative’s political objective: “By exposing them to the work of our men and women at sea, they gain a newfound appreciation for how the RCN protects and defends Canada at home and abroad. They can then help us spread that message to Canadians when they return home.”

And vote for more military spending.

MPs are also drawn into the military’s orbit in a variety of other ways. Set up by DND’s Director of External Communications and Public Relations in 2000, the Canadian Forces Parliamentary Program was labeled a “valuable public-relations tool” by the Globe and Mail. Different programs embed MPs in the army, navy and air force. According to the Canadian Parliamentary Review, the MPs “learn how the equipment works, they train with the troops, and they deploy with their units on operations. Parliamentarians are integrated into the unit by wearing the same uniform, living on bases, eating in messes, using CF facilities and equipment.” As part of the program, the military even flew MPs to the Persian Gulf to join a naval vessel on patrol.

The NATO Parliamentary Association is another militarist lobby in the nation’s capital. Established in 1955, the association seeks “to increase knowledge of the concerns of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly among parliamentarians.” In The Blaikie Report: An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics long time NDP external and defence critic Bill Blaikie describes how a presentation at a NATO meeting convinced him to support the organization’s bombing of the former Yugoslavia.

Military officials regularly brief members of parliament. Additionally, a slew of “arms-length” military organizations/think tanks I detail in A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation speak at defence and international affairs committees.

More politically dependent than almost all other industries, arms manufacturers play for keeps in the nation’s capital. They target ads and events sponsorships at decision makers while hiring insiders and military stars to lobby on their behalf.

Arms sellers’ foremost concern in Ottawa is accessing contracts. But, they also push to increase Canadian Forces funding, ties to the US military and government support for arms exports, as well as resisting arms control measures.

In a recent “12-Month Lobbying Activity Search” of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada the names of Lockheed Martin, CAE, Bombardier, General Dynamics, Raytheon, BAE, Boeing and Airbus Defence were listed dozens of times. To facilitate access to government officials, international arms makers Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, BAE, General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Airbus, United Technologies, Rayethon, etc. all have offices in Ottawa (most are blocks from parliament).

The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries is the primary industry lobby group. Representing over 900 corporations, CADSI has two-dozen staff. With an office near parliament, CADSI lobbyists focus on industry-wide political concerns. The association’s 2016 report described: “an intense engagement plan that included hundreds of engagements with targeted decision makers, half of which were with Members of Parliament, key ministers and their staffs, including the Prime Minister’s Office. From one-on-one meetings, to roundtables, to parliamentary committee appearances, to our first ever reception on Parliament Hill, we took every opportunity to ensure the government understood our industries and heard our message.”

CADSI organizes regular events in Ottawa, which often include the participation of government agencies. The CANSEC arms bazar is the largest event CADSI organizes in the nation’s capital. For more than two decades the annual conference has brought together representatives of arms companies, DND, CF, as well as the Canadian Commercial Corporation, Defence Research and Development Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Public Services and Government Services Canada, Trade Commissioner Service and dozens of foreign governments. In 2017 more than 11,000 people attended the two-day conference, including 14 MPs, senators and cabinet ministers,andmany generals and admirals. The minister of defence often speaks at the 600-booth exhibit.

The sad fact is enormous profits flow to a few from warfare. In a system where money talks, militarists on Parliament Hill will always be among the loudest voices.

To rise above their din, we need to figure out ways to amplify the sound of the millions of Canadians who prefer peace.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 3 Comments