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Facebook unblocks RT-linked pages but makes them comply with rules ‘no one else’ has to follow

RT | February 25, 2019

Social media giant Facebook has restored several RT-linked pages more than a week after it blocked them without prior notice. The pages were only freed-up after their administrators posted data about their management and funding.

The Facebook pages of InTheNow, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed – all operated by the Germany-based company Maffick Media, which is 51 percent owned by RT’s video agency Ruptly – were made accessible again as of Monday evening.

All the accounts were previously suspended by Facebook, which issued no warning before taking action against the pages, even though their administration had not violated any of the social media giant’s existing regulations.

The social network then said in a statement that it wants the pages’ administrators to reveal their “ties to Russia” to their audience in the name of greater transparency while still refraining from contacting the accounts’ managers directly. FB’s measure was taken following a CNN report, which accused the pages of concealing their ties to “the Kremlin,” even though their administrators had never actually made a secret of their relations to Ruptly and RT.

Maffick CEO Anissa Naouai said what Facebook had done was “blatant censorship.” She also said she believes that the move was prompted by the pages’ popularity and by their critical stance on several US policies, and the US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela in particular.

Facebook only contacted her on February 20, after staying silent for about five days, Naouai said. The blocking was apparently explained away by reference to a “new policy.”

Later, she also revealed that the social media giant agreed to unblock the pages, but only after their administration updated “our ‘About’ section, in a manner NO other page has been required to do.” The accounts now indeed feature information related to their funding and management, visible under the pages’ logos.

“I guess you could say we are making Facebook history or are the victims of blatant double standards.”

No other pages besides the four RT-linked ones have been forced to comply with the “new policy” so far, Naouai says.

The blocking of the accounts had been slammed by journalists and popular social media commentators. The head of the world’s largest media union, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), denounced it as an “act of censorship opposed by the IFJ.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept, also criticized Facebook’s actions as “highly disturbing.” Popular social and political commenter and stand-up comedian Jimmy Dore told RT that the “ultimate goal” of such actions is to “expand the security state’s control over social media.”

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

The Denial of Taxes to the PA is an Ominous Sign of Netanyahu’s Grand Plan

By Jonathan Cook | The National | February 25, 2019

Israel’s decision to withhold part of the taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and plunge it deeper into crisis starkly illustrates the hypocrisies and deceptions at the core of the two governments’ relationship.

Under the terms of what are now the quarter century-old Oslo accords, Israel is responsible for collecting about $200 million each month in taxes, which it is supposed to pass on to the PA, the Palestinian government-in-waiting in the West Bank.

The money belongs to the Palestinians but Israel has temporarily withheld it on several occasions in the past as a stick with which to beat the Palestinian leadership into line.

On this occasion, however, the stakes are far higher.

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu belatedly implemented a law passed last summer that requires his officials to retain part of the taxes owed to the Palestinians – those that the PA transfers to political prisoners’ families as a monthly stipend.

It echoes the Taylor Force Act, a law passed by the US Congress in 2016, that denies American economic aid to the PA until it stops sending those same stipends to 35,000 families of prisoners and those killed and maimed by the Israeli army.

The PA has tried to avert that threat by channelling the payments through a separate body, the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Israel and Washington regard the prisoners simply as terrorists. But most Palestinians view them as heroes, those who have paid the highest price in the struggle for national liberation.

The Palestinian public no more believes the families should be abandoned for their sacrifices than Irish republicans turned their backs on those who fought British rule or black South Africans forsook those who battled apartheid.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called Israel’s actions “robbery” and said he would rather cut funding for health and education than for the prisoners and their families. “They are the most respected and appreciated part of the Palestinian people,” he declared.

Then he played his ace card. He said he would refuse all tax money from Israel until the full sum was reinstated.

That risks plunging the PA into financial meltdown and – most importantly for Israel – might ultimately lead to the disbanding of the Palestinian security services. Their job has long been to act as a security contractor, keeping order on Israel’s behalf in the West Bank.

The security forces hoovered up a massive 20 per cent of the PA’s $5.8 billion state budget last year.

The PA is already reeling from a series of hammer blows to the Palestinian economy. They include Donald Trump’s decision to cut all funding to UNRWA, the refugee agency for Palestinians, and to hospitals in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.

In addition, Mr Abbas reportedly declined $60m in annual US aid for his security services last month for fear of exposing the PA to legal action. A new congressional measure makes aid recipients like the PA subject to American anti-terrorism laws.

But the current stand-off between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas lays bare the duplicity of the situation for all to see.

The PA leader may say the prisoners are the most cherished Palestinian constituency but he also describes his security services’ co-ordination with Israel as “sacred”.

The security services’ role is to assist the Israeli army in foiling Palestinian attacks and in arresting the very Palestinians he extols. Mr Abbas cannot realistically hold true to both positions at the same time.

Mr Netanyahu, on the other hand, has nothing to gain from harming the Palestinian security services, which the Israeli army relies on.

The decision to withhold taxes was taken chiefly to boost his popularity as rival right-wing parties compete for who appears the most hawkish before April’s general election.

Paradoxically, in withholding the PA’s tax money, Mr Netanyahu is punishing Mr Abbas, his supposed peace partner, while showing a preference for Hamas, Mr Abbas’s arch rival in Gaza.

Although Israel categorises Hamas as a terror organisation, Mr Netanyahu has been allowing extra funds into Gaza from Qatar to alleviate the enclave’s dire conditions.

Further, there is something richly ironic about Mr Netanyahu rebuking the PA for rewarding Palestinian “terrorists” in the same week he negotiated a deal to assist bringing Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power party, into the Israeli parliament.

The party is Israel’s version of the Ku Klux Klan, disciples of the late rabbi Meir Kahane, whose virulently anti-Arab Kach party was outlawed 25 years ago as a terror organisation.

So appalling is the prospect of this unholy alliance that even pro-Israel lobbies like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Jewish Committee felt compelled to issue statements condemning Jewish Power as “racist and reprehensible”.

Mr Netanyahu believes the extra votes Jewish Power will attract to the right in the election will ensure he has the support necessary to build a coalition that can keep him in power.

But there is another glaring flaw in Mr Netanyahu’s tax grab.

If Mr Abbas’s coffers run low, he will simply send even less money to Gaza, which is already being choked by Israel’s lengthy blockade.

That would intensify the unrest in Gaza, which could lead to rocket attacks into Israel and even larger mass protests by Palestinians at the perimeter fence encaging them.

At the same time, if things remain unresolved, an already fragile PA will move closer to collapse and Hamas might then be poised to fill the void left in the West Bank.

Loss of power for Mr Abbas, combined with loss of a security contractor for Mr Netanyahu, appear to make this confrontation mutually self-destructive – unless Mr Netanyahu and the right have another card up their sleeve.

Hani Al Masri, a Palestinian policy analyst, has wondered whether Mr Netanyahu is setting the stage for US President Donald Trump to introduce his long-awaited “peace deal” after the election.

Much of Mr Netanyahu’s coalition is keen to annex Palestinian areas outside the main West Bank cities, destroying any hope of a Palestinian state ever emerging. Mr Trump might be amenable.

In this scenario, argues Mr Al Masri, Israel would aim to “end what remains of the PA’s political role, preserving only its administrative and security role”. It would be reduced to bin collections and law enforcement.

Should the PA reject the process of being hollowed out, Israel and the US would then look for an alternative, such as rule by local warlords in each Palestinian city and expanded powers for Israeli military rulers in the West Bank.

The denial of taxes to the PA may not yet presage its demise. But it points to a future in which Palestinian self-rule is likely to become an ever-more distant prospect.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel Burying ‘Nuclear Waste With Radioactive Content’ in Golan – UN Report

Sputnik – 25.02.2019

The UN has been adopting resolutions condemning the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights for decades; however Tel Aviv hasn’t changed its policies and is continuing to exercise sovereignty over the disputed territory, including holding municipal elections.

Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres has presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council based on Syrian accusations against Israel’s action in the Golan Heights, saying that Israel has been burying “nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens” in the occupied territory. Most of the waste has allegedly been dumped in the area near Al-Sheikh Mountain.

According to the report, this puts “the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy” and violates the 4th Geneva Convention.

Israel is suspected of possessing nuclear weapons, but no evidence proving or disproving the suspicion has been presented so far. Tel Aviv has neither confirmed, nor denied possessing nuclear weapons.

The Golan Heights was seized by Israel from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967. In 1981, Tel Aviv decided to extend its laws to the occupied territory and established a civil administration in a move that drew condemnation from the UN Security Council and was labelled illegal in terms of international law. Israel justified the decision by saying that it was aimed at safeguarding its borders from aggressive military acts by its neighbours.

In 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging Israel to immediately withdraw its forces from the Golan Heights after Tel Aviv organised local elections in the Golan Heights on 30 October.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Has the Elite’s Slavish pro-Israel Agenda Finally Gone Too Far?

By Craig Murray | February 25, 2019

Hezbollah’s defeat of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the July war of 2006 was heroic and an essential redress to the Middle East power balance. I supported Hezbollah’s entirely defensive action then and I continue to applaud it now. That, beyond any shadow of a doubt, makes me guilty of the criminal offence of “glorifying terrorism”, now that Sajid Javid has proscribed Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. I am unrepentant and look forward to the prosecution.

A large majority of the public, and certainly almost everyone who remembers that 2006 invasion, would revolt from my being prosecuted on those grounds. The very absurdity of it is a sure measure that Sajid Javid has simply gone too far in naming Hezbollah – the legitimate political party representing in parliament the majority rural population in Southern Lebanon – as a terrorist organisation.

Together with the largely manufactured “Corbyn anti-semitism” row, Javid’s move is aimed at achieving in the UK the delegitimisation of political opposition to Israeli aggression and absorption of the occupied territories and the Golan Heights, in the way that has been achieved in the USA. However, there is a much better educated population in the UK and a great deal of popular awareness of decades of Israeli crimes. In fact, the continuing resilience of the Labour vote shows that at least over a third of the British population does not buy the “anti-semitism” tag applied to all those concerned at the continued plight of the Palestinians.

Hezbollah has never been implicated in any terrorist attack on the UK. Its military posture in Southern Lebanon vis a vis Israel is entirely defensive; it evolved as a military force in reaction to wave after wave of Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in which the Israeli “Defence” Force casually decimated Shia communities en route to attacking Palestinian refugee camps. Hezbollah has never invaded Israel. Hezbolla has played an effective and laudable role in assisting the defeat of Isis and their Jihadist allies in Syria.

Oh look, I just “glorified terrorism” again.

Javid’s move is primarily aimed at pleasing Israel and looking to score political points over Jeremy Corbyn, whose past contacts with Hezbollah can now be deemed terrorist. But it is also a move to please the UK elite’s other paymaster, Mohammed Bin Salman, by further forwarding his attempt to delegitimise and to subjugate Arab Shia communities. Coupled with the irony of announcing DFID support of £200 million for Yemeni victims of our very own bombs and “military support”, this is a shameful week for British foreign policy.

I first became devoted to the Palestinian cause as a first year student at Dundee University, when I watched a film about Israeli destruction of Palestinian olive trees in the occupied territories, to devastate their economic base and force families to leave. That film made me cry.

It is a matter of despair that, 42 years later, this practice continues, and indeed has been ongoing for that entire time. I find this almost as heinous as the continuing killing and imprisonment of Palestinian children. I find it a useful exercise every morning to ask yourself this question:

How many children has the Israeli “Defence” Force killed since the MSM last reported one?

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Magic Socialist

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory | February 25, 2019

So here it is, the announcement we’ve been waiting for … all aboard for another cruise on the new and improved U.S.S. Magic Socialist with your captain Bernie Sanders at the helm! If you’re not familiar with this extraordinary vessel, it’s like the luxury liner in The Magic Christian, except catering to credulous American socialists instead of the British filthy rich. Tickets start at just $27 dollars … so hurry, because they’re going fast!

That’s right, folks, Bernie is back, and this time it’s not just a sadistic prank where he gets you all fired up about his fake “revolution” for fifteen months, gets cheated out of the nomination, then backs whichever corporate-bought candidate the Democratic Party orders you to vote for.

No, this time the Bernster really means it! This time, when the DNC rigs the primaries to hand the nomination to Harris, or Biden, or some billionaire android like Michael Bloomberg, Bernie is not going to break your heart by refusing to run as an independent candidate, unbeholden to the corporations and oligarchs that own both political parties, or otherwise make you feel like a sucker for buying his “revolution” schtick. He’s not going to fold like a fifty dollar suit and start parroting whatever propaganda the corporate media will be prodigiously spewing to convince you the Russians and Nazis are coming unless you vote for the empire’s pre-anointed puppet!

Bernie would never dream of doing that … or at least he’d never dream of doing that twice.

There are limits, after all, to people’s gullibility. It’s not like you can just run the same con, with the same fake message and the same fake messiah, over and over, and expect folks to fall for it. If you could, well, that would be extremely depressing. That would mean you could get folks to believe almost anything, or that we were stuck in some eternally recurring multi-dimensional reality loop. The next year and a half in American politics would play out like one of those Groundhog Day knock offs meets The Magic Christian meets The Usual Suspects, directed by David Lynch, on acid. We’d be barraged by recycled Feel-the-Bern memes. Hacky sack shares would go through the roof. That creepy little bird would come fluttering back, land on Bernie’s podium again, and chirp out “L’Internationale.” People would start booking Tim Robbins for interviews. Ben & Jerry’s would roll out another revolutionary flavor of Bernie ice cream … and in the end it would all amount to nothing.

But that’s not going to happen this time. No, this time, the U.S.S. Magic Socialist is setting sail straight for Socialismland! This time, it’s really the Revolution! The end of global capitalism! And the best part of the whole deal is, you don’t even have to take up arms, stage a series of wildcat strikes, blockade major highways, occupy airports, or otherwise cripple the U.S. economy … all you have to do is vote for Bernie!

See, that’s the magic of electoral politics! The global capitalist ruling establishment, despite the fact that they own the banks and the corporations that own the government that owns the military and intelligence services, and despite the fact that they own the media, and all essential industries, and channels of trade, and are relentlessly restructuring the entire planet (which they rule with almost total impunity) to conform to their soulless neoliberal ideology, and are more than happy to unleash their militarized goons on anyone who gets in their way … despite all that, if we elect Bernie president, they will have no choice but to peacefully surrender, and transform America into a socialist wonderland!

Sure, they won’t be happy about it, but they will have no choice but to go along with whatever Bernie and his followers want, because that’s how American democracy works! We’ve seen it in action these last two years, since Donald Trump got elected president. The establishment wasn’t too thrilled about that, but they had to put aside their own selfish interests and respect the will of the American people … because imagine what might have happened if they hadn’t!

For example, they might have concocted a story about Trump being a Russian intelligence asset who was personally conspiring with Vladimir Putin to destroy the fabric of Western democracy so that Russia could take over the entire planet. They could have had respected newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post and television networks like CNN and MSNBC disseminate this story, and subtly reinforce it in endless variations, on a daily basis for over two years. They could have appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the facts of their made-up story, and indict a bunch of unextraditable Russians and a handful of inveterate D.C. slimebags to make the whole thing look legitimate. At the same time, they could have had the media warn everybody, over and over, that Trump, in addition to being a traitor, was also the second coming of Hitler, and was on the verge of torching the Capitol, declaring himself Führer, and rounding up the Jews. They could have generated so much mass hysteria and Putin-Nazi paranoia that liberals would literally be seeing Russians and Nazis coming out of the woodwork!

Fortunately, the global capitalist establishment, out of respect for democracy and the American people, decided not to go that route. If Americans chose to elect a jabbering imbecile president, that was their right, and far be it from the empire to interfere. Tempting as it must have been to use all their power to demonize Trump in order to teach the world what happens when you get elected president without their permission, they restrained themselves … and thank God for that! I don’t even want to contemplate the extent of the rage and cynicism they would have fomented among the public by doing those things I just outlined above. That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won’t be satisfied until they’ve remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image.

Thankfully, the ruling classes spared us all that, so now we can hop aboard the Magic Socialist and take another cruise with Cap’n Bernie! Considering how magnanimous they’ve been with Trump, once Bernie wins the election fair and square, the empire clearly won’t have any problems with him nationalizing the American healthcare system, tripling taxes on the super-rich, subsidizing university education, and all that other cool socialism stuff (i.e., the stuff we mostly still have here in Europe, along with some semblance of cultural solidarity, although the global capitalists are working to fix that).

Oh, yeah, and in case you’re worried about Bernie backing the empire’s ongoing regime change op in Venezuela, don’t be. He’s just playing 4D chess, like Obama did throughout his presidency, by pretending to do the empire’s bidding while he actually went about the business of resurrecting hope and eradicating racism. Bernie’s just being sly like that! It might seem like he’s aligning himself with mass murdering thugs like Elliot Abrams and sadistic ass freaks like Marco Rubio, but he isn’t. Not really. It’s just an act. I mean, he has to get elected, doesn’t he?

How else are we going to get to Socialismland?

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Britons who fight for Israel must also be held to account when they return to the UK

By Yvonne Ridley | MEMO | February 25, 2019

The thorny issue of foreign soldiers serving in the Israeli military is back in the headlines, triggered by the debate over the future of Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who ran away from home to join terror group Daesh in Syria. Thousands of young men and women from around the world, including Britain, Canada and America, volunteer to fight in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which faces regular accusations of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights abuses. The IDF’s treatment of Palestinians is brutal, even for an occupation army.

A letter written by the Britain’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, back in 2014 to the then Home Secretary Theresa May has just resurfaced. “I am aware of the Government’s policy of detaining and prosecuting those British citizens travelling to fight in the current Middle East conflicts,” wrote the Labour MP. “Will you be warning any British citizens considering engagement with the IDF that, in line with established British Government practice (e.g. the deprivation of British citizenship from, to date, at least 40 UK passport holders who have been involved in the Syrian civil war), such engagement may put their British citizenship in jeopardy?”

McDonnell wrote to May given the seriousness of the then Israeli military offensive on the Palestinians in Gaza and the apparent escalation of Israeli attacks. “I urge you to address these questions promptly so that any British citizen currently participating or planning to participate in these attacks is warned of the potential consequences and thus may be deterred from acting in this way.” He demanded that action should be taken against British-Israeli dual nationals, pointing out that some may even be implicated in war crimes, at the height of the aerial bombardment on Gaza in which hundreds of innocent women, men and their children were killed.

Several years down the line, and now Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, once one of the most powerful Muslim women in the British government, has said that British citizens who volunteer for the Israeli army should be prosecuted like others who fight for foreign forces. The former Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said that people should only be legally allowed to fight for the country where they are registered as a citizen. Warsi quit her role in the Foreign Office back in 2014 after calling the war in Gaza “morally indefensible”. Since then she appears to have been airbrushed from Conservative Party politics.

The British government’s current policy on the issue is, suggested Baroness Warsi, flawed and contains loopholes. “If you go out there and fight for any group,” she explained, “you will be subject to prosecution when you get back. If you go out and fight for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, I presume, under our law, that is okay. That can’t be right.” She claimed that the only reason we allow the loophole to exist is because of the IDF. “We are not brave enough to say that if you hold British citizenship, you make a choice. You fight for our state only.” The Yorkshire-born baroness said that this message has to go out loud and clear. She has made her views known at a time when Muslims in Britain continue to face questions about their loyalty.

“We don’t talk about it in relation to other communities,” she added. “We accept that other communities hold multiple identities. Let’s just shut down this loophole. If you don’t fight for Britain, you do not fight.”

Mick Napier, a co-founder of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) pointed out that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations all consider the IDF to be guilty of the most egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Clearly any British citizens serving in that army have questions to answer because they may have witnessed or been involved in war crimes. This must not be swept under the carpet.”

Indeed, he added, there is “well-documented evidence” of war crimes carried out by Israel on the Palestinian people and their children. “Those involved should be held to account under international law. Israel’s soldiers, regardless of nationality, like the misguided characters who joined Daesh, have to be held accountable for their actions.”

IDF recruits don’t necessarily have to be born in Israel or even hold dual citizenship. Anyone can join through the so-called “Mahal” programme if they meet specific background and age requirements. While British citizens fighting for some foreign forces have faced prosecution on their return to Britain, those who temporarily join up with the IDF have not. Nor have those fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria faced prosecution even though Britain’s NATO ally Turkey regards many of the Kurdish militia groups as terrorist organisations.

Israel’s Mahal initiative is for men under the age of 24 and women under 21. Applicants don’t have to hold Israeli citizenship or even be practising Jews. If they can prove that they have at least one Jewish grandparent they can sign up for 18 months in the IDF.

The whole question of loyalty and citizenship has been in the headlines a lot over the past few days. It can have serious implications. Last week, for example, an American appeal court ruled that a $1 billion lawsuit by Palestinians and Palestinian Americans against casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and other supporters of Israel for genocide and other war crimes can go forward. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court ruling dismissing the case because it felt that a court could not rule on political and foreign policy issues.

The lawsuit, reported MEMO, alleges a conspiracy by the pro-Israel defendants to expel non-Jews from the West Bank and Jerusalem, and accused them of committing or aiding in genocide and other war crimes. The other defendants named in the lawsuit include Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim; construction and support companies such as Hewlett Packard and Volvo; and 13 non-profit organisations. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said that the court can decide whether the defendants named in the lawsuit conspired to remove non-Jews from the West Bank or committed war crimes “without touching the sovereignty question, if it concluded that Israeli settlers are committing genocide.”

Meanwhile, the British Government will this week ask MPs to outlaw membership or support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah in any form; those who ignore the new legislation will face up to 10 years’ in prison. The plan to extend the existing ban on Hezbollah’s military wing to the organisation as a whole, even though Hezbollah MPs serve in the government, in Beirut will be discussed on Friday.

The British government announced that the group will be “proscribed” from this Friday as a terrorist organisation over its “attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East”; ministers claim that they can no longer distinguish between Hezbollah the political party and its already-banned military wing.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who is embroiled in the citizenship row over runaway Daesh bride Shamima Begum, announced the move. “My priority is to protect the British people,” he claimed. “As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology, which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.”

Other groups earmarked for British designation as terrorist organisations include Ansaroul Islam and JNIM, which operate in the Sahel region in Africa; and the Turkish Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKC), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front/Armed Propaganda Units (DHKC/SPB), which are aliases of the Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party—Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi) which is already proscribed. Organisations which are believed to be aliases of Daesh, including: Jaysh Khalid Bin Walid and Khalid Ibn Walid Army, are also scheduled to be banned by the British.

Will a strong stance be taken against British citizens who enlist in the Israel Defence Forces? It is unlikely, given the strong Zionist leanings of government ministers and MPs across the House of Commons. It is not that long ago, remember, that the British government changed the procedures governing universal jurisdiction to accommodate visits by Israeli politicians believed to be responsible for war crimes.

This is not about saying that those fighting for Daesh are the same as those in IDF uniforms. It is about having laws and applying the law to everyone. IDF members have, literally, got away with murder for many years. The British government must apply the same principles to everyone, so that Britons who fight for Israel will also be held to account when they return to the UK. Isn’t that what democracy and the rule of law is all about?

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

UK to impose full ban Lebanon’s Hezbollah as terrorist group, Israel urges EU to follow move

Press TV – February 25, 2019

The British government is to impose a full ban on activities of the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah as London becomes increasingly irritated by the group’s political and military success in the Middle East.

UK Home Secretary (interior minister) Sajid Javid said on Monday that the government will designate the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist entity as of Friday subject to the approval of the parliament.

Javid, an extreme right-wing politician of the Pakistani origin, said the UK government was no longer able to maintain a distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military activities and thus will include the group’s political unit in its blacklist.

“Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party,” said Javid, adding, “Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety,” he added in a statement.

Britain has become increasingly angered by Hezbollah’s role in an anti-militancy campaign in Syria, where London has for the past eight years supported terrorist groups opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hezbollah has played a major role in helping Assad purge the Syrian territory from terrorist groups. The intervention, once criticized inside Lebanon, has helped the resistance movement increase its political clout as the group now controls three ministries, a first on the history of the Lebanese government.

The Israeli regime swiftly welcomed Javid’s announcement with Israeli Security Minister Gilad Erdan saying in a tweet that the European Union, which unlike the United States has opposed designation of Hezbollah as terrorist entity, should follow suit.

There was no official reaction from Hezbollah although lawmakers representing the group in the Lebanese parliament said UK decision was a “violation of sovereignty”.

UK’s move to outlaw Hezbollah in its entirety would mean that anyone expressing support for the religiously-oriented organization could end up in UK jail for up to 10 year.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Soft child-porn’ or honest political debate? Take a guess which one YouTube failed to censor

By Robert Bridge | RT | February 25, 2019

Despite employing a small army of ‘anti-extremist’ flaggers, YouTube somehow overlooked an entire prison block of pedophiles on its platform. Is the video-sharing site wasting too many resources censoring political content?

Last week, a regular guy named Matt Watson, working at his home computer, shook the wired world to its very foundations by providing convincing evidence that YouTube supports – either wittingly or unwittingly – a pedophile ring that openly preys on the most vulnerable members of society, children.

As Watson demonstrated, not only are these bottom feeders free to comment on videos that feature minors, but they also provide time stamps, presumably for the benefit of the wider pedophile community, indicating exactly when the children can be seen in their most compromising positions. They also actively promote links to porn sites that cater for these twisted minds.

The discovery prompted some of the most popular corporate brands, including Disney and Nestle, to bolt for the emergency exits after it was discovered their ads were running alongside the work of sexually depraved deviants. Needless to say, not the best business model.

Aside from the lewd comments accompanying the videos, which is not overly surprising considering the planet’s high creep factor, one of the most disturbing revelations is how ‘user friendly’ YouTube has become for pedophiles. Watson showed how Google-owned YouTube, through no more than a couple mouse clicks, navigates users to a frolicking playground where the sidebar is loaded with nothing but children-themed videos, a virtual pedophile paradise. But it gets more disturbing.

Once a user has entered this “wormhole,” as Watson calls it, there are no alternative video options available for escaping from it. A user will not even find ‘awareness’ videos, for example, that discuss the threat of child predators. In other words, once the user makes it to YouTube’s children video section it is game over, so to speak, unless he or she physically activates a new search.

The reason that this scandal makes no sense is that YouTube has known about its pedophile problem for years. Back in 2017, advertisers were fleeing the platform for the very same reason they are today – their ads were being featured next to scantily clad girls, as well as the predictable depraved comments. Today, algorithm technology is so advanced that Google Maps, for example, is able to blur out the faces of every single person’s image that is captured by its Google Street View. Yet somehow YouTube appears to be technologically handicapped when it comes to finding ways to combat online pedophiles. Why is that?

One possible explanation is that Google and YouTube, as well as the majority of other IT companies, have become overly attentive to politics at the expense of everything else – and more so ever since Donald Trump ‘stole’ the White House from the Democratic darling Hillary Clinton.

First, it is important to state the obvious: Silicon Valley is to Liberals what Yankee Stadium is to the New York Yankees. In other words, the holy of the holies. To quote Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, Silicon Valley, the home to hundreds of IT companies, is an “extremely left-leaning place.” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, meanwhile, admitted that his company is so liberal that conservative employees “don’t feel safe to express their opinions” in the workplace.

Given this blatant liberal predilection within the industry, who do you think Google and YouTube teamed up with to police its content from ‘extremist’ (i.e. conservative) content? Certainly not far-right groups.

In 2017, YouTube doubled the size of its so-called ‘Trusted Flaggers’ program, which now partners with over 100 organizations, the full member list of the program remains confidential. Among the few members that have been made public, however, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), No Hate Speech and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), they could best be described as ‘extremist’ in their liberal ideology. Meanwhile, as the Wall Street Journal reported, “less than 10 of the slots are filled by government agencies.”

Ironically, given the nature of this discussion, several of those agencies deal with “child-safety” issues.

Conservatives argue that the glaring lack of transparency with regard to the secretive ‘Trusted Flaggers’ program, combined with the IT industry’s well-known liberal affections, explains why so many right-wing and alternative news sites are being either demonetized, downgraded, or outright banned. And since we are talking about private businesses, these organizations have no legal obligation to uphold the Constitution’s Second Amendment that guarantees ‘freedom of speech.’ They just casually shrug their shoulders and blame everything on the almighty algorithms. Yet, as even the most technologically handicapped person knows, algorithms were not magically conjured up out of thin air. Human beings, not robots (at least not yet), work tediously to develop them.

As just one example of the Orwellian atmosphere now pervading Planet Google, Jordan Peterson, a professor with a reputation for opposing political correctness, had one of his YouTube videos blocked in over two dozen countries last year. YouTube duly informed him that it had “received a legal complaint” about the video and decided to block it. Just like that!

Only after a major outcry on multiple social media platforms, which included Twitter user Ethan Klein and his one million followers, did YouTube finally back down, while portraying the event as some sort of fluke that was “fixed.”

This isn’t the first time YouTube users have experienced “glitches” with the platform. Last year, it was forced to explain the mass removal of right-wing video channels, calling it a “mistake.” What is so strange about these technological breakdowns is that they always seem to affect conservative users. This snafu happened shortly after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced she was bringing on board – in addition to the so-called ‘Trusted Flaggers’ – some 10,000 moderators to crack down on rising occurrences of hate speech and – wait for it – “child safety.”

Meanwhile, Google can take draconian measures to downgrade RT and Sputnik, for example, over totally unfounded charges related to ‘Russiagate’ hysteria, yet they seem incapable of micromanaging the comments section in kiddie videos.

What this is intended to show is that YouTube does not hesitate to take deliberate steps to intervene in issues that matter most to them, which overwhelmingly seem to be of a political nature. Yet, when the welfare of children is at stake, the mini-surveillance state that the platform has built always goes missing in action, as it has now for many years.

How is it possible that one young man, working alone and without pay, is able to weed out a viper’s den of pedophiles from YouTube’s dungeon? Yet YouTube, with its army of ‘flaggers’ and moderators and government agencies, has failed to filter these miscreants for several years?

The sad reality is that the world of IT is totally consumed with politics, and politics is totally consumed with the world of IT, to the point where society’s most vulnerable are left at risk.

Unfortunately, parents must assume a great deal of vigilance against pedophiles when their children use the video sharing platform because YouTube has obviously dropped the ball on the issue and simply cannot be trusted. Like the rest of the IT kingdom, their heart is in politics, and that is it.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

US Base in Okinawa to Be Relocated Despite Referendum Results – Japanese PM Abe

Sputnik – 25.02.2019

A total of 72.2 percent of those who voted in the referendum on the Japanese island of Okinawa voted against plans to build a new military airfield for US troops in their prefecture, the referendum’s results showed on 25 February.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he “took seriously” the results of the referendum in Okinawa on transferring the US Futenma base to Henoko in the same prefecture, but “it is impossible to postpone the transfer dates”.

“I have considered the referendum results with all seriousness and will do everything to reduce Okinawa’s burden… It’s been over 20 years since Japan and the United States signed an agreement about returning the entire territory of Futenma [to the prefecture]. But it has still not been returned. We cannot postpone the relocation any longer”, the prime minister stated.

He continued on by saying that the authorities need to “avoid a situation where the Futenma base, considered the most dangerous in the world, keeps being surrounded by schools and residential buildings”.

The statement comes after a non-binding referendum was held in Okinawa on 24 February, in which local residents expressed their attitude to the relocation of US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from the densely populated city of Ginowan, where it is currently situated, to the Henoko district.

A total of 19.1 percent of voters supported the plans for the US base relocation, while 8.8 percent refrained from responding yes or no.

In numerical terms, 434,273 people voted against the Tokyo-Washington plans, while 114,933 supported the move, with 52,682 others choosing neither of the options.

The US Marine Corps base Futenma was constructed in 1945. Talks on its relocation to a less populated area within the Okinawa prefecture started over two decades ago, but the government’s plans have been hampered by local residents’ protests.

While Ginowan residents have been calling on the government to close the Futenma base due to their environmental concerns, aircraft incidents and accidents related to the behavior of US troops, residents of Henoko district are also unwilling to see the base relocated to their region. The administration of Okinawa would like to see the base outside the prefecture instead of its relocation to another site within its administrative borders and called a non-binding referendum in hopes that it would demonstrate the prefecture’s strong opposition to the relocation project.

See also:

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

UN chief launches global push against ‘hate’ speech

Press TV – February 25, 2019

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday launched a new global strategy to combat hate speech, a growing scourge he said has “poisoned” debate on crucial challenges like migration.

Guterres announced the effort, which will be led by his special adviser on genocide prevention Adama Dieng, at the UN Human Rights Council.

“Hate is moving into the mainstream – in liberal democracies and authoritarian systems alike,” he said in a speech at the opening of the council’s 40th session.

“Some major political parties and leaders are cutting and pasting ideas from the fringes into their own propaganda and electoral campaigns,” he added.

Governments across the world have watched with concern as racist and other hate speech have coarsened the political climate.

France and Germany have raised particular alarm in recent weeks over resurgent anti-Semitism.

Guterres targeted his rebuke at the vast campaign he said was mobilized against the UN’s Global Compact on Migration, a non-binding text that aimed to set out best practices for managing refugee and migrant flows.

“We have seen how the debate on human mobility, for example, has been poisoned with false narratives linking refugees and migrants to terrorism and scapegoating them for many of society’s ills,” Guterres said.

He condemned “an insidious campaign sought to drown the Global Compact on Migration in a flood of lies about the nature and scope of the agreement.”

The UN chief noted that the campaign “failed.”

But 17 countries either abstained or voted against the compact at the General Assembly in December and debate over the text fuelled bitter political debate especially in Europe.

Guterres said Dieng, a Senegalese lawyer and veteran UN diplomat, will “define a system-wide strategy and present a global plan of action” to combat hate speech.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

‘Sick & twisted’: US Senator Rubio tweets picture of Gaddafi’s murder as a threat to Maduro

US Sen. Marco Rubio at Colombia-Venezuela border, February 17, 2019. © Reuters / Edgard Garrido
RT | February 25, 2019

US Senator Marco Rubio has posted a picture of the brutal murder of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a less-than-subtle threat to Venezuela’s Maduro. Twitter blasted Rubio as a manic warmonger… who has extremely poor taste.

The two pictures –one showing Gaddafi while still in power, the other showing the Libyan leader being tortured minutes before his brutal murder– were posted by Sen. Rubio (R-FL) on Twitter without any caption. Yet, given his open calls for an armed insurrection in the Latin American country to depose President Nicolas Maduro, the message was clear.

Openly threatening a head of a foreign country with a brutal death at the hands of US-propped militants was, apparently, just a tiny bit off: while a few Twitteratti supported Rubio’s vision of Maduro’s demise, the majority blasted the senator over an extreme lack of taste or decency.

Some argued that any account spewing warmongering propaganda at such a rate would likely be suspended – if it did not belong to a US Senator, of course. “Marco Rubio just posted a violent, graphic death threat. If any of the rest of us posted this, we’d be suspended for it,” journalist Bill Palmer tweeted.

Many noted that Libya is not the best example of the US bringing its democracy overseas, but arguably the worst one. With the slave trade there on the rise, the country is effectively fractured into several warring statelets, with gangs of armed ‘democrats’ fighting for control.

Apart from the pictures of Gaddafi, Rubio posted a similar split of Manuel Noriega – the de facto ruler of Panama in the 1980s. Once a valuable CIA asset who’d helped Washington in arming the Contras of Nicaragua, Noriega was ousted during the US invasion of the country. Needless to say, the invasion claimed many lives, while Noriega spent the rest of his life in prison.

February 25, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment