Aletho News


Third Federal Court Blocks Anti-BDS Law as Unconstitutional

ACLU | April 25, 2019

AUSTIN — A federal court in Texas today blocked a state law requiring government contractors to certify that they are not engaged in boycotts of Israel or companies that do business in Israel or territories controlled by Israel, ruling that the law violates the First Amendment. The ruling came in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas on behalf of four Texans, as well as a separate case brought by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“This is now the third time a federal court has blocked an anti-BDS law on First Amendment grounds,” said Brian Hauss, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “Whatever their views on the BDS movement, members of Congress and state legislators should heed this strong message from the courts: The right to boycott is alive and well in the United States and any attempt to suppress it puts you squarely on the wrong side of the Constitution.”

The ACLU’s lawsuit was brought on behalf of four people who were forced under the law to choose between signing the certification or forgoing professional opportunities and losing income: John Pluecker, a freelance writer who lost two service contracts from the University of Houston; George Hale, a reporter for KETR who was forced to sign the certification against his conscience in order to keep his job; Obinna Dennar, a Ph.D. candidate at Rice University, who was forced to forfeit payment for judging at a debate tournament; and Zachary Abdelhadi, a student at Texas State University, who has had to forego opportunities to judge high school debate tournaments.

In his ruling, United States District Judge Robert Pitman stated that the law “threatens ‘to suppress unpopular ideas’ and ‘manipulate the public debate through coercion rather than persuasion’” and that “no amount of narrowing its application will cure its constitutional infirmity.”

Federal courts in Arizona and Kansas also blocked similar state anti-boycott laws in First Amendment challenges brought by the ACLU and ACLU affiliates in the respective states. In January 2018, a federal district court preliminarily enjoined an anti-boycott law in Kansas, holding that the First Amendment protects citizens’ right to “band together” and “express collectively their dissatisfaction with the injustice and violence they perceive, as experienced both by Palestinians and Israeli citizens.” In September, a district court enjoined a similar anti-boycott law in Arizona.

The ACLU takes no position on boycotts of Israel or of any other foreign country, but it has long defended the right to boycott, which is protected under the First Amendment.

The court’s opinion can be found here:

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

FBI Director hypes ‘365-days-a-year threat’ from election-meddling Russia

RT | April 27, 2019

FBI Director Christopher Wray has confirmed the anti-Russian hype is not going anywhere, claiming Moscow will try to interfere in the 2020 US presidential election, and has been ‘spinning up’ Americans every day.

“What has continued pretty much unabated is the use of social media, fake news, propaganda, false personas, et cetera, to spin us up,” Wray told the Council on Foreign Relations Friday.

Russian intelligence agencies seek to “pit us against each other, sow divisiveness, discord, undermine Americans’ faith in democracy,” the Bush Jr. assistant attorney general added.

He said the 2020 election would be a repeat of both the 2016 race as well as 2018’s congressional election, where US intelligence agencies have alleged Russian interference.

Cutting against Wray’s dire warnings, however, are two Senate-commissioned studies published last year examining the actual impact of the alleged Kremlin meddling. Both studies found that the social media activities of the Russian Internet Research Agency’s (IRA), an alleged “troll factory” Washington is accusing of being an internet warfare outfit of the Russian government, had negligible impact on the 2016 election, and that only 11 percent of the IRA’s online content had anything to do with the race at all.

The studies also found the IRA spent microscopic amounts of money on social media ads, about half of one percent of the combined $81 million spent on Facebook ads by candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The alleged conspiracy between Kremlin and Donald Trump, which Clinton and her supporters have blamed at least partially for her loss in 2016, was also disproved by the nearly two-year-long investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Still, the hardcore Russia-blamers refuse to let go, with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez among the latest with his announcement that the US is at a cyberwar with Russia – and now, with the FBI chief.

Wray’s hyped up counterintelligence threat is sure to do some ‘spinning up’ of its own, amid ongoing demands for additional investigation into President Trump and his alleged Russian ties.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Ukraine Tapped By Obama Admin To Hurt Trump, Help Clinton And Protect Bidens

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 04/27/2019

In January, 2016, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to discuss several ongoing matters under the guise of coordinating “anti-corruption efforts,” reports The Hill’s John Solomon.

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long — during the meetings and afterward — to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump. –The Hill

The Obama officials – likely knowing that lobbyist Paul Manafort was about to join President Trump’s campaign soon (he joined that March), were interested in reviving a closed investigation into payments to US figures from Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions – which both Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta did unregistered work for, according to former Ukrainian Embassy political officer Andrii Telizhenko.

The 2014 investigation focused heavily on Manafort, whose firm was tied to Trump through his longtime partner and Trump adviser, Roger Stone.

Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying.

The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort

Telizhenko and other attendees of the January, 2016 meeting recall DOJ employees asking Ukrainian investigators from their National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could locate new evidence about the Party of Regions’ payments to Americans.

“It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election,” said Telizhenko – which makes the January 2016 gathering in DC one of the earliest documented efforts to compile a case against Trump and those in his orbit.

Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn’t remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.

But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election. Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort — a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions — was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump’s campaign chairman.

“Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious,” said Kholodnytskyy – who specifically instructed NABU not to share the “black ledger” with the media.

“I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort,” he added. “For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial.”

Manafort joined Trump’s campaign on March 29, 2016 and became campaign manager on May 19, 2016. The ledger’s existence leaked on May 29, 2016, while Manafort would be fired from the Trump campaign that August.

NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.

A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU’s release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine’s parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Ignoring others, protecting Bidens

Kostiantyn Kulyk – deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general’s international affairs office, said that Ukraine also had evidence of other Western figures receiving money from Yanukovych’s party – such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig – but the Americans weren’t interested.

“They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else,” said Kulyk.

Another case raised at the January 2016 meeting involved the Bidens – specifically Burisma Holdings; a Ukrainian energy company which was under investigation at the time for improper foreign transfers of money. Burisma allegedly paid then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter more than $3 million in 2014-15 as both a board member and a consultant, according to bank records.

According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.

Last Wednesday on Fox and Friends, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said “I ask you to keep your eye on Ukraine,” referring to collusion to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

What’s more, DOJ documents support Telizhenko’s claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort case as the 2016 election ramped up – including communications between Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele, as Solomon writes.

Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.

DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the “black ledger” documents that led to Manafort’s prosecution.

“Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions’ Black Cashbox,” Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU’s release of the documents.

Politico reported previously that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted the Hillary Clinton campaign through a DNC contractor, while the Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges that it got requests from a DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort (though it denies providing any improper assistance.”

As Solomon concludes: “what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report.”

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment

Baseline of a Desecrated Land X: Demographic Threat

Behind a curtain of wine, war, and industrial tourism, Israel is losing a pyrrhic population race with the more fertile Arabs.

By Dick Callahan | September 30, 2018

We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster, urging Jews to move to his country.

Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster as the population rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and absolutely no room for any species other than humans.” Professor Alon Tal, Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University on Israel’s population explosion.

The Demographic Threat

Israel has been in an officially declared State of Emergency since 1948. The word ‘crisis’ is as expected in their daily news feeds as fish is expected on seafood restaurant menus. Threat after threat. The population scarcely has time to digest the crisis du jour before the next is on the doorstep.

In this environment, the fact that Israel’s population is growing at 1.58 percent compared with 2.71 percent for Palestinians, is known in the Jewish state as, ‘the demographic threat.’ To forestall this dire eventuality Israel has brought millions of Jews and Jewish-when-it-suits-them people from Russia, Europe, the Bronx or wherever, and they’re always recruiting for more. Any Jew from anywhere in the world can hop on a plane to Israel and be handed citizenship, a gun, help finding a job, and an apartment. Then there’s one more person sucking up a couple hundred liters of water a day. Still, the demographic threat continues to increase because: Jewish recruitment to Israel is slowing down, many Jewish immigrants leave Israel after a few years, and Israelis on the whole are quite a bit older than Palestinians.

The median [half are over, half are under] age of females in Israel is 30.6 years-old. Female median age in the Occupied West Bank is 21.3 years-old. Female median age in Gaza is 17.5 years-old. And so, as Israeli women are aging out of their child bearing years, Palestinian women are just moving into their peak child bearing years. This means that even though Palestinian life expectancy is ten years less than Israeli life expectancy a few miles away, and, even though Palestinian infant mortality rates are five times what they are on the Israeli side of the segregation wall, Palestinian women have more children than Israeli women at total fertility rates of 3.91 children/woman and 2.92 children/woman, respectively. In addition, there are another 5.5 million Palestinian refugees in the diaspora.

One of three core demands of the Palestinian (BDS) movement is that Palestinians–and their descendants–who the Zionists drove off their land in 1948, have the same right to return under international law as say, German Jews have the right to return to Germany. At the end of World War II Germany passed a law that any Jew who fled the Nazis–and their descendants–could get citizenship in Germany. This is why Israeli Jews are “…the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany.” So Israelis get the concept, at least when it’s applied to themselves.

When success arrives for the BDS movement, as it eventually must, how will the land fare? Right now the Israeli Jewish population and the Palestinian population inside Israel and in the OPT are even at about 6.85 million each, (although the Jewish number counts Israelis living outside the country, including up to a million living in America, who probably won’t settle back to Israel). If all the Palestinians in the diaspora return there will be 19.2 million people in that small arid parcel.

Population density in perspective

What would America look with the population density of Israel, the West Bank or Gaza? America has 327 million people on about 3,797,000 square miles. Israel has 8.45 million people on 8019 square miles. The West Bank has 2.7 million Palestinians on 2,183 square miles—except Israel has effectively annexed two thirds of the West Bank Area C, so the Palestinians get 742.22 square miles. Gaza has 2 million people on 141 square miles.

Doing the math as simple ratios, if Amerca had Israel’s population density we would have over 4 billion people. That wouldn’t be viable. We’re already strapped with less than a tenth of that population If America had the full West Bank’s population density we’d have about 4.7 billion people. If America had the West Bank’s population in Area’s A and B but not including Area C, we’d have 13.9 billion people. If America had Gaza’s population density we’d have 53.86 billion people.

Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza have a combined area of about 10,343 square miles. Combining the three populations and the diaspora (about 19.2 million total) on that 10,343 square miles, would give a population density of 1,856 per square mile. Applying that same population density to America’s 3.797 million square miles, would give us a population of 7.081 billion people. That’s more than the entire 2011 human population of earth.

At the end of the day, if you could snap your fingers and make everybody in Israel and the OPT either Jewish or Palestinian, it wouldn’t matter. They’d still be high and dry, water-wise.


American support for Israel, especially among college students, has been going down like a tire iron in a swimming pool. It took less than ten years of social media to break the dam holding back a reservoir fifty years deep in carefully crafted Zionist narrative. Today anyone with the inclination can see unfiltered truths about what’s going on in the occupied territories. That, combined with the Trump/Netanyahu bromance culminating in the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has created what Israelis view as a public relations crisis. How can Zionism sell American college students on Israel and the embassy move at the same time? They’ve allocated something over $120 million on a tourism campaign called; ‘One Break, Two Cities.’

At some level you’ve got to hand it to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism for trying. Where’s the embassy going? Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. You can go too.

‘One Break, Two Cities’ has a 30 second commercial with two girls, who are clearly majoring in bums and boobs, snapping selfies at the beach, the fountains, the bars, and a boat at sea. What strikes a viewer, after the bums and boobs, is how much clean water there is. Tourists expect water and use more of it than they do at home. They commonly take multiple showers per day. Higher rated hotels use more water than lower rated hotels. The websites want visitors to know that Israeli beaches have public showers.

A typical tourist to Israel spends $1,500 in 8.2 days. Even if they only averaged 300 liters of water per day, the 3.6 million tourists in 2017 soaked up 8,856,000 metric tons of water, which has got to be hard to watch from Gaza or the West Bank where people pay high prices for water and get less than 70 liters per day.

A little glass of wine

Growing wine for the European market in what is now Israel goes back to 1870 when Barron Rothschild funded Mikveh Israel, the first Jewish experimental agricultural station in Palestine. Today, freed by imports from needing water for growing grains and feed, Israeli entrepreneurs use the water for more lucrative crops like cut flowers and wine. The water footprint of that 148 ml (5oz glass) glass of wine on the table is about 130 liters. Over a million Palestinians get less than 60 liters of water per day and in West Bank Area C thousands get by on as little as 20 liters of water per day. (20 liters is what Americans use for every flush of an older toilet.) So, each glass of Israeli wine you pour represents between two and six days worth of water taken from some destitute Palestinian.

In spite of that, or because of it, Israel has built an archipelago of wineries in the West Bank, Syrian Golan Heights and within Israel itself. They’re lucrative and they suck up phenomenal amounts of water that formerly went to Palestinians. Because of mounting European’s concern about the plight of Palestinians, and Israeli concern that the Boycott over Israel’s occupation will cut their market, Israelis attempt to disguise the origin of grapes and wines from the OPT by claiming tiny Israel has five grape growing regions some of which overlap between occupied territories and areas inside the Green Line. Westerners are increasingly aware that Jewish wineries in Palestine are given special concessions by the Israeli government in the form of subsidies, seized [Palestinian] land, extra water, and military troops to protect them. In return, many wineries normalize the occupation by promoting themselves as tourist destinations and offering tours, lodging, hot tubs, etc. Advocates have filmed grapes harvested in the OPT being trucked straight to a major wine maker inside Israel. With no way to be sure that an Israeli wine didn’t come from the occupied territories Americans and Europeans increasingly boycott Israeli wines.


The Zionist’s perpetual ‘State of Emergency’ has overwhelmed water infrastructure, and contaminated ground water,  surface water, and sea water with petroleum, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, ordinance, radioactive isotopes…and that’s just inside their own country. They’ve invaded all the neighbors multiple times commandeering their water supplies when they can and damaging them when they can’t, in the process making millions of people refugees in over-crowded, water-strapped refugee camps.

Because the United States government has made it a law that Israel will always be the dominant military power in the region, the Israelis brandish the latest American weapons systems with the predictable result that their neighbors try to keep up which creates an endless cycle of water wasting escalation.

Footnote on populations”
Population: 5,04,041 (West Bank and Gaza plus about 1.1 million in Israel and 300,000 thousand in E. Jerusalem. Not to mention over 1.5 million Palestinians in camps in neighboring countries, plus 4 million in neighboring countries outside refugee camps.)
Median age Gaza both: 17.2 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median age Gaza: 16.8 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Female Median age Gaza: 17.5 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Median age West Bank both: 21.1 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median Age West Bank: 20.9 years
Female Median Age West Bank: 21.3 years
Palestine growth rate 2.71% (as of 2017)
Net change per day: 361
Life Expectancy male 71.83 years
female 75.74 years
both 73.73 years
Mean age at childbearing 28.86 years
Total Fertility rate 3.91 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth 1.05 males per female
Infant mortality rate 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births (Gaza)
Infant mortality rate 14.1 deaths/1000 live births (West Bank)
Under 5 mortality rate 20.827 deaths/thousand
*40% of the Palestinian population is under 14 years old.

Population: As of February 2018, 8,404,916. (Israeli census includes the 650,000 Jewish colonists in the OPT as Israeli citizens but does not include the millions of Christian and Muslim Arabs that live there.)
Median age both: 29.9 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median age: 29.3 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Female Median age: 30.6 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Israel growth rate 1.58% (as of 2017)
Net change per day: 355
Life Expectancy male 81.03 years
female 84.31 years
both 82.74 years
Mean age at childbearing: 30.698 years
Total Fertility rate: 2.92 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth: 1.053 males per female
Infant mortality rate: 2.732 deaths/1,000 live births
(infant mortality among Arab Israeli babies is  about 3 times higher than Jewish babies)
Under 5 mortality rate: 3.361 deaths/thousand
*Jewish people from former Soviet Union and Europe and their Israeli born descendants (Ashkenazi) are 50 percent of Jews in Israel. About 6.5 percent of Israel’s Jewish population lives in OPT colonies.

USA:Population: 325,916,518
Median age both: 38.1 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
Male Median age: 36.8 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
Female Median age: 39.4 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
US growth rate 0.93 (as of 2010)
Net change per day: 6,298
Life Expectancy male 77.34 years
female 81.88 years
both 79.62 years
Mean age at childbearing 29.514 years
Total Fertility rate: 1.886 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth 1.04 males per female
Infant mortality rate 5.195 deaths/1,000 live births
Under 5 mortality rate 6.079 deaths/thousand
MLA Citation Palestine population: (2017-12-20) Retrieved 2018-01.07, from

(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn

Recognition 10: Demographic Threat Wine, War, Tourism: Selected Sources
04.30.2017 This is how Israel inflates its Jewish majority Haaretz Editorial Haaretz calls the annual Israeli population report “a ludicrous piece of propaganda” that includes the 650,000 Jewish settlers in the occupied territories but excludes the millions of Palestinians who live there. Article shows a map of Israel published in the report that doesn’t include any borders of the occupied territories, so it looks as if the Palestinian territories have been absorbed into Israel.
02.16.2015 Leaders reject Netanyahu calls for Jewish mass migration to Israel The Guardian by Peter Beaumont. “We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster
09.25.2015 Israel’s soaring population: promised land running out of room? Reuters by Tova Cohen & Steven Scheer. “Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster as the population rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and absolutely no room for any species other than humans.” Professor Alon Tal, Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University.
04.08.2012 Jews stream back to Germany Forward by Donald Snyder.
Dr. Sima Saltzberg of Bar-Illam University ‘says over 100,000 Israelis have applied for and received German passports.’ “This is the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany.” says Emanual Nashon, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli embassy in Berlin. Article notes that ‘under German law, since 1949 any Jew—or the decendents of a Jew, who fled Nazi Germany has the right the right to become a naturalized German. (emphasis added)
05.01.2017 Editorial/This is how Israel inflates its Jewish majority Haaretz
08.01.2017 Can Israel bring home its million US expats? Jerusalem Post by Ben Soles. Article says hundreds of thousands, up to a million, Israelis have moved to America.
08/0213Average Tourist Spends $1,500 in Israel Y Net news, Israel Travel,7340,L-4412806,00.html
Water footprint of wine is 125 ml (4.2 oz glass) costs 110 liters of water to grow.
08.21.2012 Wine Talk: Deep in the desert Jerusalem Post by Adam Montefiore.
Yatir winery close to the Dead Sea.
Tel Arad wineries in the the Negev:
Boker Valley—on route 40, lodge and cabins, hot tub, gift shop. About 15 miles from Eqypt border.
Midbar Winery—in Arad.
Rota Winery—in Erez Rota.
Kadesh Barnea—Nitzana near Egypt border.
Sde Boker Winery—at Kibbutz Sde Boker off route 40
Carmey Andat Winery—off Route 40 near Adat
Neot Smadar Winery—southernmost winery 60 km from Eilat
Israeli Wine Direct
Ein Teina
04.2011 Forbidden Fruit: The Israeli Wine Industry and the Occupation April
Coalition of Women for The Israelis have built hundreds of wineries in the West Bank, Syrian Golan Heights and within Israel itself. They try to disguise the origin of grapes and wines from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) by claiming Israel has five growing regions some of which overlap occupied territories with Israel areas inside the Green Line. Wineries are given special concessions by the government in the form of subsidies, land, and extra water. In return, many of them normalize the occupation by promoting themselves as tourist destinations and offering tours, lodging, hot tubs, etc.
01.17.2018 Israeli’s wine industry grows better with age. Jewish News Syndicate by Elina Rudee.“A big part of what we are trying to do is sell Israel as a product.” Vera Ben-Sadon, founder of Tura Winery in the OPT.
03.12.2013 The Best Kosher wine in Israel may not be from Israel Smithsonian, by Yochi Dreazen. “Everything we do is about settling more Jews in Israel.” says Daniella Weiss (chief backer of West Bank Winery, who indicates she thinks the West Bank is part of Israel)

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Butina’s sentence ‘criminalizes what thousands of international students abroad do’

RT | April 26, 2019

The politically motivated sentence of Russian gun activist Maria Butina, brought on by the anti-Russian agenda in the US, makes anyone going to study abroad – including Americans – look like a criminal, analysts have told RT.

The 18-month prison sentence for Butina “is a horrific miscarriage of justice,” belives Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute. “The only thing she’s guilty of is being a Russian in America at a time that America is under a spell of some kind of anti-Russian hysteria.”

“This woman was held in maximum security solitary confinement for ten months for a crime for which an average person would get a small fine and be sent off,” McAdams added.

Butina, who arrived in the US on a student visa in 2016 and became active in pro-gun circles, was sentenced on Friday for acting as a foreign agent on behalf of the Kremlin without a proper registration.

“What she did is what thousands and thousands of other foreign international students do in the US. They come to the US to get to know the country; to get to know how the political system works; to make friends… The idea that she is some sort of Russian spy is absolutely absurd,” McAdams told RT.

Thousands of American students abroad do the same as well, and the ruling against Butina “criminalized” them all, he added.

“There’s danger that there could be a tit-for-tat response from Russia,” said independent political commentator Anthony Webber.

“I don’t think it helps relationships on the world stage. What’s needed is for Russia is to be calm and not overreact,” he told RT, adding that the history of Russian-American relations shows that Moscow is actually “good at not overreacting to over-the-top provocations.”

After being held in solitary confinement for months, Butina pleaded guilty to being a de facto lobbyist, saying that she was unaware that a registration was needed.

“Going to jail for that seems really over the top,” Webber said. “I don’t think it makes the democratic process or the judicial process look very good either.”

Her whole case “has been blown out of proportion to fit the anti-Russian agenda, which has been going on in the US since the 2016 presidential election… She’s just being made use of as a pawn,” the analyst said.

The entire affair has been “political from the beginning,” said Patrick Henningsen, editor at 21st Century Wire. “Some of the media stories that have been circulating about her early on have been proven to be false, like that she was exchanging sexual favors for information and somehow trying to corrupt the democratic system through her activities. This is all mainly in the wake of the 2016 election.”

The prison sentence handed to the 30-year-old might have been “a face-saving exercise” on the part of the US, Henningsen suggested.

“To have her going free and speaking to the media, telling her story – it’s going to be hugely embarrassing” for Washington, he told RT, adding that the ruling means that Butina will be released “in the thick of the 2020 US presidential election. So this should be very interesting.”

International attorney Douglas McNabb believes that 18 months is an appropriate sentence for Butina, however, considering that “the statutory maximum for the crime that she pleaded guilty to is five years.”

With Butina receiving credit for her pretrial custody of 9 months and good time credit cutting the sentence by another two months, she’ll actually spend seven more months in federal custody, McNabb pointed out.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 2 Comments

Accused ‘spy’ Maria Butina wouldn’t be in jail if she ‘wasn’t Russian’ – attorney

RT | April 26, 2019

After gun activist Maria Butina was sentenced to 18 months in jail for failing to register as a foreign agent, her lawyer stated that things would be completely different if she wasn’t guilty of the crime of being Russian.

“Anyone who thinks that someone who wasn’t Russian would be in this situation is fooling themselves,” attorney Robert Driscoll told reporters on Friday. Butina had just been sentenced to 18 months in prison, with nine served already, and will be deported to Russia after serving her time.

From the moment of her arrest, right up to her sentencing, Butina’s treatment at the hands of the US justice system and in the court of public opinion has been tainted by the cloud of Russian hysteria hanging over Washington DC.

A gun rights activist who wanted to make Russia’s restrictive gun laws more like the US’, Butina landed in the US in 2016 on a student visa. As the founder of a pro-gun group in Russia, Butina hobnobbed with National Rifle Association and Republican figures in America.

However, Butina was arrested last year for failing to register as a foreign agent, a requirement that the 30-year-old didn’t even know she had to meet. Curiously, as she was unaware of the requirement, Butina was charged with a more serious offense that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who knew the law but didn’t follow it.

Given the timing of Butina’s arrest, the media and prosecution went into overdrive. Here, at long last, was a Russian agent caught meddling in American affairs. Assistant US Attorney Erik M. Kenerson claimed she was offering an individual “sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization.”

Kenerson later backtracked his statement, which he said was based on a “mistaken” understanding of text messages between Butina and a romantic partner.

The media took the bait though. “Sex and schmoozing are common Russian spy tactics. Publicity makes Maria Butina different,” read a USA Today headline. Butina, Time Magazine wrote at the same time, “lived a double life by using sex and a love of guns to infiltrate American political organizations…in order to advance Moscow’s agenda.” Journalists didn’t question Butina’s operation in the open, with USA Today concluding her transparency about her agenda is “evidence the Russians have grown bolder in their spy efforts.”

Would the same low-grade Cold War spy erotica have graced the pages of national news outlets if Butina were, say, a French gun activist?

With the outrage machine at full steam, Butina spent much of the past nine months stewing in a Virginia jail. There, she was allegedly subjected to conditions described by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as “normally reserved for dangerous repeat offenders.”

The Russian embassy in Washington DC, which sent staff to meet with Butina frequently, described the conditions of her detention as “borderline torture,” and detailed a litany of abuses against the Russian activist. Butina was strip searched, denied medication and hygiene items, kept in solitary confinement, and regularly had her sleep disrupted, the embassy claimed.

Lavrov stated that such treatment was designed to poke Butina into accepting a plea deal with prosecutors, which she eventually did in December.

But why were American authorities so desperate to prove sinister Russian activity?

“There’s no allegation of espionage, there’s no allegation of classified information, there’s no allegation she was paying anyone off, there’s no allegation she was recruiting spies. None of the things you would typically see in an espionage case,” Driscoll told RT last year.

“I think this was a political gambit to deal with bigger geopolitical issues to try to ruin the outcome of the summit between Trump and Putin,” human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik told RT at the time, noting that Butina was arrested one day before Presidents Trump and Putin met in Helsinki. As long as the case against Butina dragged on, the US government had human proof that the specter of ‘Russian meddling’ in US politics was alive and well.

In court on Friday, prosecutors did their best to keep the narrative alive. Prosecutor Erik Kenerson told the judge that Butina was concocting a plan to establish communications between the Trump White House and Russia, an issue he said was ‘of extreme importance to the Russian Federation.”

“Her conduct shows how easy it can be for a foreign government to target Americans in the US,” he added.

Butina’s treatment, meanwhile, shows how easy it can be for an innocent student to be targeted by a justice system bent on finding Russians meddling in everything.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 2 Comments

Canada Gets Cozy with Repressive Middle East Monarchies

By Yves Engler | Dissident Voice | April 26, 2019

While Justin Trudeau’s government embraces repressive Middle East monarchies, they want us to believe their campaign to oust Venezuela’s government is motivated by support for democracy and human rights.

On a tour of the Middle East last week Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan met his United Arab Emirates counterpart Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi in Abu Dhabi. According to Emirates News Agency, Canadian and UAE officials discussed “cooperation in the military and defence sectors” at a time when the oil rich nation plays a key role in the horrendous violence in Yemen.

The Trudeau government is promoting arm sales to the UAE and other regional monarchies. With support from “15 trade commissioners and representatives from the Government of Ontario, National Defence, Global Affairs Canada, and the Canadian Commercial Corporation”, 50 Canadian arms companies flogged their wares at the Abu Dhabi-based International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in February. To help the arms companies move their wares, Commander of the Bahrain-based Combined Task Force 150, Commodore Darren Garnier, led a Canadian military delegation to IDEX.

During his recent tour Sajjan met King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein in Jordan. He discussed military cooperation with a monarch known for prosecuting individuals for “extending one’s tongue” (having a big mouth) against the King. At the end of March, Trudeau phoned King Abdullah II.

On April 9 the Canadian and Jordanian armed forces broke ground on a road project along the Jordanian-Syrian border. During a ceremony for the Canadian-funded initiative Commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Michael Rouleau, said: “this important road rehabilitation project is a tangible example of the close relationship between Jordan and Canada. It will help keep the people of Jordan safe by allowing the Jordanian armed forces to deter, monitor and interdict incursions along the northern border with Syria, which will help to enhance security in Jordan and in the region.”

On his Middle East tour Sajjan also met Kuwait’s Prime Minister and Defence Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who is part of a family that has ruled for 250 years. According to the Kuwait News Agency, Canada’s defence minister “stressed deep relations between Kuwait and Canada and pointed out mutual willingness to bolster and consolidate bilateral ties.”

Earlier in the month finance minister Bill Morneau and Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra participated in the inaugural Kuwait and Canada Investment Forum. At the time Alghabra wrote, “let’s celebrate and continue our efforts to grow the relationship between Canada and Kuwait in investments, trade and defence.”

Military ties with Kuwait are important because the Canadian forces have a small base there. In December the Canadian Navy took command of Combined Task Force 150 from their Saudi counterparts. Canada also has a small number of troops in the monarchies of Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar.

Last month Canada’s Ambassador to Qatar Stefanie McCollum boasted of growing relations between the countries, claiming “our values structures are very similar.” In an interview with Al Bawaba the Canadian diplomat also said Ottawa is seeking to deepen business ties with the natural gas rich monarchy and that the two countries are in the final stage of signing a defence cooperation agreement.

Notwithstanding the diplomatic spat last summer, the Trudeau government has mostly continued business as usual with the most powerful and repressive monarchy in the region. Recently foreign minister Chrystia Freeland looked the other way when Saudi student Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi fled Canada — presumably with help from the embassy — to avoid sexual assault charges in Cape Breton. While Freeland told reporters that Global Affairs was investigating the matter, Halifax Chronicle Herald journalist Aaron Beswick’s Access to Information request suggests they didn’t even bother contacting the Saudi embassy concerning the matter.

According to an access request by PhD researcher Anthony Fenton, Freeland phoned new Saudi foreign minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf in January. In briefing notes for the (unannounced) discussion Freeland was encouraged to tell her counterpart (under the headline “points to register” regarding Yemen): “Appreciate the hard work and heavy lifting by the Saudis and encourage ongoing efforts in this regard.”

Despite their devastating war in Yemen and dismembering of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia continues to receive large shipments of Canadian weaponry. 2018 was a record year for Canadian rifle and armoured vehicle sales to the Saudis. $17.64 million in rifles were exported to the kingdom last year and another $1.896 million worth of guns were delivered in February. In the first month of this year Canada exported $367 million worth of “tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles” to the Saudis.

As Fenton has documented in detail on his highly informative Twitter handle, armoured vehicles made by Canadian company Streit Group in the UAE have been repeatedly videoed in Yemen. Equipment from three other Canadian armoured vehicle makers – Terradyne, IAG Guardian and General Dynamics – was found with Saudi-backed forces in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition used Canadian-made rifles as well.

On Tuesday the Saudis beheaded 37 mostly minority Shiites. Ottawa waited 48 hours — after many other countries criticized the mass execution — to release a “muted” statement. The Trudeau government has stayed mum on the Saudi’s recent effort to derail pro-democracy demonstrations in Sudan and Algeria as well as Riyadh’s funding for Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar’s bid to seize Tripoli by force.

The close and friendly relationships between the Trudeau government and repressive Middle East monarchies demonstrates how little the Liberals care about democracy abroad and illustrates the hypocrisy of Canada’s claims that its efforts to oust Venezuela’s government is all about supporting democracy.

Yves Engler is the author of 10 books, including A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation.

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment