Aletho News


Who are Canary Mission?

Semitic Controversies | June 2, 2019

Canary Mission is a jewish pro-Israel organisation that is fairly infamous amongst the anti-Zionist community given that it has created and maintained a blacklist of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (hereafter BDS) activists. It then pushes for these blacklists to be used to identify ‘enemies of Israel/the jewish people’ by jews and ‘friends of Israel’ in communal and private organizations as well as the Israeli government.

In an article in the normally ardently pro-Israel ‘Tablet Magazine’ jewish academics David Greenberg, Rebecca Lesses, Jeffry Mallow, Deborah Dash Moore, Sharon Ann Musher, Cary Nelson, Kenneth Stern and Irene Tucker summarized Canary Mission’s strategy as:

‘Canary Mission, however, is not simply creating lists. It urges action to punish the students it targets, including the call to private organizations to shun them when hiring. But private organizations with a political mission are better off interviewing and inquiring to make sure they are making appropriate hires, rather than relying on Canary Mission’s dubious lists. They don’t need and should not turn to any blacklist to help them screen applicants. Canary Mission’s efforts enhance the potential for the unethical political screening of job applicants.’ (1)

They go on to explain Canary Mission’s modus operandi as follows:

‘In the spring of 2015 an anonymous group of people established a website announcing the formation of an organization they called Canary Mission. They began posting photos of college student activists working on behalf of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, along with brief accounts of their activities. They described the website as a database “created to document the people and groups that are promoting hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews on college campuses in North America.” A smaller number of pro-BDS faculty were also documented on the site. From about 50 dossiers in the spring, the site grew to 150 by fall 2015. Canary Mission also began tweeting notices about BDS advocacy and organizing, along with tweets about the people the site was highlighting. As of mid-October 2016, there are 63 faculty members and 602 “individuals,” mostly students, identified on the site.’ (2)

This extremely cavalier and broad-brush approach to labeling people – often jews – as being ‘BDS activists’ and/or ‘enemies of Israel/the jewish people’ is seen most obviously in the fact that Canary Mission have routinely labelled Liberal Zionists such as David Biale of the University of California, Davis as such despite their obvious pro-Israel advocacy and credentials. (3)

Perhaps predictably once jews realized that if you weren’t a hard-line Revisionist Zionist of the Likudnik or more radical variety then you ran the risk of being labelled a ‘BDS activist’ and/or ‘enemy of Israel/the jewish people’ then they have begun protesting and kvetching loudly about Canary Mission’s mislabeling them but without too much upset about the tactics Canary Mission have used per se. (4)

Tilly Shames – a jewess who runs Hillel at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbour (aka an ardent Zionist) – was quoted by the ‘Jewish Daily Forward’ as stating that:

‘The tactics of the organization are troubling, both from a moral standpoint, but have also proven to be ineffective and counterproductive.’ (5)

And ‘Shames said that Canary Mission’s publication of dossiers on students on her campus had led to greater support for the targeted students and their beliefs, and had spread mistrust of pro-Israel students, who were suspected of spying for Canary Mission.’ (6)

Greenberg et al writing in the previously-mentioned article in ‘Tablet Magazine’ are also deeply suspicious of Canary Mission’s tactics and write that:

‘After a collage of campus demonstrations, including one of an anti-war rally, it continues: “Join us to combat this wave of hatred, protect freedom, and make campus life safe for everyone. It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.”

As part of its fear-mongering agenda, the video tracks slowly across a Holocaust photograph. Whether this allusion is more absurd or despicable may depend on your perspective.’ (7)

This allusion to the central place of the ‘Holocaust’ in Revisionist Zionist thought and – what has been termed ‘the founding myths of Israel’ by the French writer Roger Garaudy – by Greenberg has been analysed in detail by academics such as Jacqueline Rose. (8) For our purposes we need to note the direct association by Canary Mission of the ‘Holocaust’ with non-support for Revisionist Zionist ideological positions.

This is important to note as we get on to who runs Canary Mission and its ever increasing ‘blacklist’ (9) as that links back to who runs it and confirms it via the strong ideological bias shown by Canary Mission even in its attempt to get into the jewish communal organization fetish of ‘published research reports’ about so-called ‘anti-Semitism’. (10)

Just who was running Canary Mission was a mystery until 2018 when Josh Nathan-Kazis of the ‘Jewish Daily Forward’ managed to find the disguised funding trail from a mysterious Israeli charity named ‘Megamot Shalom’ which has been receiving donations for Canary Mission from jewish communal organizations such as $100,000 from the San Francisco-based ‘Helen Diller Family Foundation’ in late 2016. (11)

To quote Nathan-Kazis’s summary at length:

‘According to filings with Israel’s charities registry, Megamot Shalom was set up in July 2016, just over a year after Canary Mission’s website appeared online. Its mission, according to the filings, is to “ensure the national image and strength of the state of Israel via the use of information disseminated by technological means.”

The public filings don’t mention Canary Mission by name, though they do say that the organization paid freelancers for editing website content and a consultant for data security. Among Megamot Shalom’s only reported assets are computers worth around $5,000.

Megamot Shalom’s publicly available financial reports bear two signatures. One signature is illegible in English and Hebrew. The other is the signature of Jonathan Bash, a British-born Jerusalem resident who two people, granted anonymity to speak about private conversations, told the Forward identified himself to them as the person who operates Canary Mission, as the Forward first reported in August.

Bash is identified in the filing as a “member of the directorate” of Megamot Shalom. When the Forward emailed him for comment in late September, two of his email accounts bounced back auto responses saying he was on an extended vacation.

Megamot Shalom has virtually no online footprint. What does exist on the Internet was scrubbed after the Forward began asking questions about the organization. An Israel-based writer named Zahava Raymond previously identified herself on LinkedIn as a “writer-researcher” for Megamot Shalom, but removed the organization’s name from her profile after the Forward sent her a query over Facebook. Raymond previously worked for Honest Reporting and NGO Monitor, pro-Israel advocacy groups.

Megamot Shalom received roughly $165,000 in the last six months of 2016, according to its financial report. It has not yet filed its financial report for 2017, which was due at the end of August. It’s not clear whether the donation from the Diller Foundation is reflected in the 2016 filings, or if it came in the 2017 calendar year.’ (12)

The ‘Helen Diller Family Foundation’ and its trustees are not without influence in American life since as Nathan-Kazis further points out:

‘The president of its board, real estate developer Jaclyn Safier, sits on the board of visitors of the University of California, Berkeley, and is a distinguished director of a foundation that supports the University of California, San Francisco. Another board member, Richard Rosenberg, is the former chairman and chief executive of Bank of America.’ (13)

This foundation also supports a vast array of other Revisionist Zionist and Israel First organizations operating in the Diaspora as proxies for the more politically extreme elements of the Israeli government as Sue Fishkoff has explained in San Francisco’s ‘JWeekly’:

‘Several other right-wing organizations that have received funding through Federation donor-advised funds or supporting foundations are now off the table as well, Grossman said. They include David Horowitz Freedom Center; the American Freedom Defense Initiative, founded by Pam Geller and Robert Spencer; and the American Freedom Law Center, co-founded by Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi. Past funding for these organizations has been criticized in recent reports in the Forward and Haaretz.’ (14)

Nor is the ‘Helen Diller Family Foundation’ alone in its unhappy position of being discovered financially supporting Israeli attempts to undermine the First Amendment in the United States and suffering the considerable backlash from their own members as a result. (15)

Between November 2016 and September 2017 the ‘Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles’, ‘one of the largest Jewish charities in the country, made a series of grants totaling $250,000 to Megamot Shalom, the Israeli not-for-profit organization that the Forward has identified as the likely operator of Canary Mission. The foundation now says that it will not fund Megamot Shalom in the future.’ (16)

Despite the ‘Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles’ donating four times to ‘Megamot Shalom’; it has tried to spin this by claiming that it only knew that ‘Megamot Shalom’ was ‘fighting anti-Semitism’ (17) and apparently was so utterly incompetent as to never do basic due diligence on the groups that it was dishing out money to.

It sort of sounds like a jewish conspiracy: doesn’t it?

Now this large amount of kosher cash being distributed to Canary Mission went somewhere and to whom it went was not so much the a-forenamed jew-pretending-to-be-gentile Jonathan Bash. (18)

Bash is merely a front-man for Rabbi Ben Packer – an activist and leader of the goy-hating movement of literal jewish terrorists named Kach based on the writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane – (19) who is using the money to fund Canary Mission and label his political enemies – of which there are legion – as Israeli daily ‘Haaretz’ has exposed.  (20)

Perhaps the scariest thing about Rabbi Packer’s running of Canary Mission is the fact that it has direct links to the Israeli government or more specifically the rabidly Revisionist Zionist ‘Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry’ – run until recently by goy-hating extraordinaire Naftali Bennett – whose primary responsibility is ‘Public Diplomacy’, which is better known to the reading public as ‘Hasbara’.

This is demonstrated by the fact that the ‘Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry’ has been using Canary Mission’s blacklists as the basis for its own visa blacklists used to deny ‘enemies of Israel/the jewish people’ entry visas at Israeli immigration checkpoints. (21)

Nor is Canary Mission the only organisation of this type run by/closely allied to the ‘Israel on Campus Coalition’ and the new outfit ‘Know Your Professor’ – similar outfits to Canary Mission but more focused on blacklisting opponents in academia than in general – (22) also linked back to the Israeli government. (23)

Sounds like a jewish conspiracy to manipulate non-jews run in part by the Israeli government: doesn’t it?


(2) Ibid.
(6) Ibid.
(8) Jacqueline Rose, 2003, ‘The Question of Zion’, 1st Edition, Princeton University Press: Princeton, especially pp. 58-107
(13) Ibid.
(19) Cf. Ami Pedahzur, Arie Perliger, 2009, ‘Jewish Terrorism in Israel’, 1st Edition, Columbia University Press: New York

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 1 Comment

Trump Has a $259 million Reason to Bomb Iran

By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | June 22, 2019

On Thursday, the United States came perilously close to a military confrontation with Iran after it downed a U.S. drone that may or may not have entered the country’s air space. President Donald Trump reportedly ordered a retaliatory military strike on Iran but called it off, according to Trump’s own tweets on Friday morning, because a general told him that “150 people” might die in the strike.

Much analysis of Trump’s slide toward war with Iran has focused on his hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, who, reportedly requested options from the Pentagon to deploy as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East and hit Iran with 500 missiles per day. Bolton is the loudest voice inside the White House pushing for a military escalation to the administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for his part, is staking out the position that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force allows the administration to take military action against Iran without congressional approval, an unusual and broadly criticized interpretation of congressional oversight.

Yet, there’s another omnipresent influence on Trump: $259 million given by some of the GOP’s top supporters to boost his campaign in 2016 and support Republican congressional and senate campaigns in 2016 and 2018.

Those funds  came from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus, donors who have made no secret, both through public statements and funding think tanks that support military action against Iran, of their desire for the United States to destroy the Islamic Republic.

Adelson, who alongside his wife Miriam are the biggest donors to Trump and the GOP, contributed $205 million to Republicans in the past two political cycles and reportedly sent $35 million to the Future 45 Super PAC that supported Trump’s presidential bid. His role as the biggest funder of Republican House and Senate campaigns makes him a vital ally for Trump—who relied on Adelson’s campaign donations to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate and curb Republican losses in the House in the 2018 midterm election—and any Republican seeking national office.

Adelson publicly suggested using nuclear weapons against Iran and pushed for Trump to replace then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster with Bolton, partly due to the former’s perceived unwillingness to take a harder line on Iran. In 2017, the Zionist Organization of America, which receives much of its funding from the Adelsons, led a public campaign against McMaster, accusing him of being “opposed to President Trump’s basic policy positions on Israel, Iran, and Islamist terror.”

In 2015, Trump mocked his primary opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for seeking Adelson’s financial support, warning that Adelson expects a degree of control over candidates in exchange for campaign contributions. Trump tweeted:

Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!

And Adelson isn’t alone.

Billionaire Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus is the second largest contributor to Trump’s campaign, providing $7 million. He also champions John Bolton, contributing $530,000 to John Bolton’s super PAC over its lifetime. And he’s a major contributor to GOP campaigns, contributing over $13 million to Trump’s presidential campaign and GOP congressional campaigns in 2016 and nearly $8 million to GOP midterm efforts in 2018.

Marcus, like Adelson, makes no qualms about his views on Iran, which he characterized as “the devil” in a 2015 Fox Business interview.

Unlike Adelson and Marcus, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer was a “never Trump” conservative until Trump won the election. Then he donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Singer is far more careful with his words than Marcus and Adelson, but his money supports some of the most hawkish think tank experts and politicians in Washington.

Singer, alongside Marcus and Adelson, has contributed generously to the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose experts have spent the past decade regularly promoting policies to pressure Iran economically and militarily, including most recently Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach.

According to donor rolls of FDD’s biggest supporters by the end of 2011, a year that saw a sharp rise in tensions and rumors of war by Israel against Iran, Adelson contributed $1.5 million, Paul Singer contributed $3.6 million, and Bernard Marcus, who sits on FDD’s board, contributed $10.7 million.

(FDD says that Adelson is no longer a contributor, but Marcus continues to give generously, contributing $3.63 million in 2017, over a quarter of FDD’s contributions that year.)

Employees of Singer’s firm, Elliott Management, were the second largest source of funds for the 2014 candidacy of the Senate’s most outspoken Iran hawk, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who urged Trump to conduct a “retaliatory strike” against Iran for purportedly attacking two commercial tankers last week.

Singer donated $26 million to Republicans in the 2016 election and $6.4 million to the GOP’s midterm campaigns.

The billionaire Iran hawks—the Adelsons, Singer, and Marcus—made combined donations of over $259 million to GOP politicians in the past two cycles, making them some of the Republican Party’s most important donors. That quarter-billion-dollars doesn’t include contributions to dark money 501c4 groups and donations to 501c3 nonprofits, such as think tanks like FDD.

News coverage of Trump’s slide toward war frames the discussion as a competition between his better instincts and a national security advisor and secretary of state who, to varying degrees, favor military action.

But the $259 million that helped elect Trump and Trump-friendly Republicans must loom large over the president.

As Trump evaluates his options with Iran and turns his attention to the 2020 election, he knows he’ll need to rely on the Adelsons, Singer, and Marcus to boost his campaign, maintain a narrow majority in the Senate, and attempt a takeback of the House.

These donors have made their policy preferences on Iran plainly known. They surely expect a return on their investment in Trump’s GOP.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Israel is leading Trump up the garden path

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | June 23, 2019

When Michael Rubin at the American Enterprise Institute argued in an article in the National Interest last week that the ‘maximum pressure’ policy of the Trump administration against Iran must be maintained despite the dangerous brinkmanship at the Strait of Hormuz last week, we got an authentic version of Israel’s stance on the current US-Iran standoff. Rubin’s main arguments are three:

A. ’Pressure can work on Iran.’ Rubin cites as examples: release of American hostages by Iran in 1981; Iran’s acceptance of ceasefire with Iraq in 1988; and, US-Iranian negotiations resulting in the 2015 deal.

B. The recent personnel changes at the top of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and armed forces put the newly-appointed commanders under pressure to ‘prove their revolutionary mettle’ and they feel tempted ‘to test long-established red lines.’

C. The Iranian system is about to implode under American pressure. Therefore, Trump should be ‘wise enough to allow his ‘maximum pressure campaign’ to work’.

Rubin sees Iran through the Israeli eyes. And it is a jaundiced view. Nonetheless, it serves to expose that the entire US strategy against Iran, which is driven by Israel, is based on a narrative that is poppycock.

Indeed, what was the hostage crisis of 1979-1980 all about? Quintessentially, the crisis helped the weak fledgling Islamic regime that was formed following the 1979 revolution create space for its political consolidation.

The regime was highly apprehensive about a US-backed counterrevolution (and was rightly so, given the long history of American interference in Iran’s domestic politics.) The hostage crisis put the US on the defensive, throwing Washington’s Iran policies into total disarray by crippling the American intelligence network within Iran and derailing covert operations aimed at subverting the country’s social and political order.

Tehran probably delayed the release of the American hostages on the basis of some ‘feelers’ from Ronald Reagan’s camp that once he was elected in the 1980 election, he’d comprehensively review Iran policies. At any rate, Tehran released the hostages only after the Shah left the United States in December 1979.

To recap, the US had rejected Iran’s demands for the return of the Shah who had taken refuge in America following the Islamic Revolution, in order to stand trial for crimes committed during his reign. Iran had suspicions over the American intentions behind Washington’s granting asylum to the Shah. The hostages were formally handed over to American custody the day after the signing of the Algiers Accords (January, 1981) between Iran and the US.

The main provisions of the Algiers Accords were that: the US would not intervene politically or militarily in Iranian internal affairs; the US would remove the freeze on Iranian assets and trade sanctions on Iran; both countries would end litigation between their respective governments and citizens, referring them instead to international arbitration, namely to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (created as a result of the agreement); and, the US would ensure that US court decisions regarding the transfer of any property of the former Shah would be independent from “sovereign immunity principles” and would be enforced. (Of course, it is a different story that the US eventually dumped the Algiers Accords in the dustbin.) 

Again, did Iran accept the UN-brokered ceasefire with Iraq in 1988 under American pressure? Nonsense. It was a tactical decision by Iran’s collective leadership which Ayatollah Khomeini reluctantly approved. One million Iranians had died and pressing ahead with the war might have only harmed Iranian interests in the medium and long term.

Khomeini’s decision indeed paid off. By 1990, Iraq and Iran restored diplomatic relations, and Iraq agreed to Iranian terms for the settlement of the war: the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from occupied Iranian territory, division of sovereignty over the Shaṭṭ al-ʿArab waterway, and a prisoner-of-war exchange.

Again, did Iran negotiate with the Obama administration on the nuclear issue under US pressure? Of course not. On the contrary, Iran had repeatedly offered to negotiate with the previous US administrations. According to former secretary of state John Kerry, Iran offered then President George W Bush a nuclear deal in 2003.

Simply put, President Barack Obama estimated that the US sanctions had proved counterproductive, since before July 2015, Iran had a large stockpile of enriched uranium and almost 20,000 centrifuges, enough to create eight to 10 bombs. The US experts estimated that if Iran had decided to rush to make a bomb, it would take two to three months until it had enough 90%-enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon — the so-called “break-out time”. Suffice to say, Obama understood that there was no alternative but to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.

What Rubin glosses over conveniently is that Iran has scrupulously fulfilled its obligations under the 2015 deal and Israel should never have conspired to undermine the deal, having been a nuclear weapon state all this while. The changes agreed under the 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear programme were far-reaching.

Isn’t that funny that Rubin, a Jew himself, is complaining that Iran manipulates US politics? Is Iran’s clout even 1% of that of the Jewish lobby in the US? Read a stunning essay — Trump Has A $259 Million Reason To Bomb Iran — how a clutch of Jewish billionaires acting in Israeli interests wield influence on President Trump and may be singularly responsible for his current policies toward Iran.

As for the shibboleth that Rubin propagates about the Iranian system, the less said the better. It is standard Israeli fare that a collapse of the regime in Tehran is round the corner. Indeed, the US sanctions have put immense pressure on the Iranian economy. But is that translating as mass resentment against the authorities? On the contrary, Iranian nationalism remains a potent force.

One-dimensional minds like Rubin’s refuse to accept that the US sanctions are having just the opposite effect. In an opinion piece last week, the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen quoted Kerry as saying: “The CIA has evidently been unable to penetrate Trump’s mind with a psychological profile of the people he’s dealing with. The Iranians have been around for several thousand years. This policy just tightens their willpower to hang in there…”   

It is precisely this “willpower to hang in there” that was on display last Thursday when the Iranians shot down the US drone to demonstrate their deterrent power but let go the manned spy plane flying nearby, which they had in their sights alright, because it had 38 American military personnel on board.

Tehran understands perfectly well what this confrontation is about. As a senior IRGC commander Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid put it, Iran is engaged in a “strategic confrontation to preserve its stability and existence as well as its position as a regional power in the face of an American-Zionist-Saudi coalition.”

That is why Trump’s latest decision to ratchet up sanctions even more is a serious mistake and can only have dangerous consequences. Trump is virtually closing doors on de-escalation and is challenging Tehran to escalate further. This is exactly what Israel desires.

To quote Gen. Rashid, “Either we will all move on the path of stability or the region will be engulfed by instability and war due to America’s interventionist policies, and provocations of certain known states. To avert war, mere words are not enough; they need to be followed by determination and proper behaviour.”

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 4 Comments

US plan will not lure Lebanon into settling Palestinians

MEMO | June 23, 2019

Lebanon will not be lured by a US plan to invest billions in the country in return for settling Palestinian refugees, its parliament speaker Nabih Berri said on Sunday, reports Reuters.

US President Donald Trump’s blueprint for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, set to be presented by his son-in-law Jared Kushner at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26, envisions a $50 billion investment plan to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies. But it has met broad rejection in the Arab world, even as some in the Gulf called for giving it a chance.

Lebanese parties have long held that Palestinian refugees cannot be permanently settled in the country, which is widely believed in Lebanon to be a goal of the Kushner plan.

“Those who think that waving billions of dollars can lure Lebanon, which is under the weight of a suffocating economic crisis, into succumbing or bartering over its principles are mistaken,” Berri said in a statement from his office.

The rejection of settling Palestinian refugees who must have the right of return stands at the forefront of these principles, he said.

Any investment “at the expense of the Palestinian cause” will not find fertile ground in Lebanon, Berri said.

The idea of permanently settling mainly Sunni Muslim refugees is highly sensitive in Lebanon, sparking fears of rocking its delicate sectarian balance.

Estimates of how many Palestinian refugees are in Lebanon vary. The United Nations says 470,000 Palestinian refugees are registered, though a 2017 official Lebanese census found the number to be around 175,000.

The US plan envisions spending more than half of the $50 billion in the Palestinian territories over 10 years while the rest would be split between Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

The Trump administration hopes that wealthy Gulf states and nations in Europe and Asia, along with private investors, would foot much of the bill, Kushner told Reuters on Saturday.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian Foreign Ministry Denounces Balfour Declaration II

Al-Manar | June 23, 2019

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates today described the new US-led economic plan for the Middle East, titled “prosperity for peace”, as the second Balfour Declaration.

“This project does not talk about the economy of the Palestinian state and its components, but tries to whitewash the occupation and settlement,” the ministry said in a press release.

It continued, “The Trump team is trying to restrict the Palestinian economy with the chains of occupation while depriving it of any opportunity to prosper and develop as an independent state economy. This [prosperity] cannot happen under occupation, settlements, the theft of the Palestinian land and the takeover of the Palestinian natural resources.”

“Day after day,” the ministry added, “the reality of the American intentions and attitudes against the Palestinian people and their rights unfolds in what can be called the obnoxious Trump Declaration or the Balfour Declaration II, which denies the existence of the Palestinian people.”

“[America] is dealing with the Palestinian people as a population group that was found by accident in this place that has been given by Trump to the Israelis.”

It concluded, “The Trump administration is re-producing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using new templates and does not seek to solve it in any way. The problem of this type of thinking is its theoretical nature and its complete alienation from reality.”

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Anti-Palestinian repression in Germany: Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat banned from speaking

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | June 23, 2019

The repression of Palestinian rights advocacy in Germany continued last night, Saturday, 22 June, as Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat was banned by the Berlin authorities from delivering a speech on the so-called “deal of the century” spearheaded by Donald Trump and the Arab and Palestinian response. He was also banned from engaging in all political activities and events in Germany until 31 July, whether directly (in-person) or “indirectly” (over video.) This outrageous attack on freedom of expression is only the latest assault on Palestinian rights carried out by the German government.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on Friday, 21 June, organized by an Arab community discussion group that regularly hosts speakers on important events in the Arab world. The city-owned venue reportedly received complaints about the event from pro-Zionist and pro-Israeli apartheid organizations, and informed the hosts that they could not hold the event. The event was instead relocated to a Sudanese community center on Saturday, 22 June. With the Bahrain conference to promote so-called “economic peace” at the expense of Palestinian rights expected in the coming days, the talk was of particular importance.

However, without notice or explanation, there were large numbers of police stretching from the closest U-Bahn station to the venue and blocking the street. When Barakat approached with Samidoun international coordinator Charlotte Kates, they were stopped by police and told the event would not take place tonight because it had been prohibited. They were then taken in a police van to a larger police station, where they were met by a German-Arabic translator, more police and two representatives of the Foreigners’ Office of Berlin.

Barakat was presented with an 8-page document and told that he was not allowed to give speeches in person or over video, participate in political meetings or events or even attend social gatherings of over 10 people; he was told that violations were punishable by up to a year in prison. Under German law, non-citizens can be barred from political activity if it could harm the “security or stability” of Germany. The accusations, which purport to show that his political activity is “dangerous,” do not do so; instead, there is mainly a list of speeches and events as well as a 2014 interview with Rote Fahne News, the publication of the MLPD (Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany.) Despite claiming that Barakat’s speech could increase tensions or “political conflict” between Jews and Palestinians and Arabs in Germany, the document points to absolutely no negative repercussions whatsoever of all of his previous speeches in the country.

The document also accuses Barakat of being a member of the Palestinian leftist party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Despite noting that the PFLP is, in fact, not banned in Germany, it notes that it is listed on the EU terrorist list and thus presents a danger, even though none of the listed allegations indicate any danger at all. It could not be more clear that this is the latest attempt on Palestinian expression and advocacy and the further restriction of freedom of speech, expression and association in Germany.

Barakat and Kates were also told that their residency in Germany would not be renewed and would “come to an end,” although they were not presented with that decision.

This incident comes amid an ongoing campaign by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the so-called “anti-BDS ministry,” to attack Palestinian and solidarity organizations, especially leftists. Barakat has been singled out by this ministry on multiple occasions, as has Samidoun and its work. It also comes following a series of attacks on Palestinian rights and freedom of speech in Germany, including:

It should be noted that this repression comes hand in hand with political attacks on the Arab and Muslim communities in Germany spearheaded by the far-right rhetoric of the AfD and other parties, but with the active complicity of the official “left,” which continues to support the suppression of Palestinian community organizing and Palestine solidarity in defense of a colonial, apartheid, racist system. It also comes amid ongoing criminalization of popular movements in Europe, including trials of trade union leaders and refugee solidarity organizers in various countries.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses our deepest outrage at the political ban against Khaled Barakat. We believe that it indicates a serious danger that outright bans, police repression and residency revocation are becoming a police state norm for suppressing unwanted Palestinian political speech that defends rights, justice and liberation.

On Friday, 28 June, a protest is being organized against the Bundestag’s anti-BDS resolution under the slogan Palästina Spricht (Palestine Speaks), and we urge all to attend and participate. Internationally, your statements and voices of solidarity are critical in helping to fight back against this intensified repression. These attacks will not silence Khaled Barakat or the Palestinian people – but it is critical that we build our international movement to defend Palestine, especially as it is targeted for liquidation.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon Pumps Millions Into German Universities for Research – Reports

Sputnik – June 23, 2019

German universities and research institutions have received $21.7 million in grants from the Pentagon since 2008, the German magazine Der Spiegel calculated after examining US budget data. According to the outlet, 260 such transfers have been registered with some of the universities repeatedly receiving financing from the US military. The support is mainly focused on technical and scientific disciplines.

Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich is said to be the leading individual recipient, receiving nearly $3.7 million from the US Department of Defence since 2008 over 23 individual transfers. Additionally, it was the Bavarian university that was apparently paid the largest single grant when it received $1.72 million to finance a project, researching chemicals and possible replacements for an explosive called RDX, widely used in the military.

Other leading recipients are the Technichal University Darmstadt and RWTH Aachen, which has been given more than $1 million since 2008.

The outlet points to a contradiction with educational regulations, stating that universities should be committed to peaceful goals and fulfil their special responsibility for sustainable development, which some interpret as a clear requirement to reject military funding.

The corresponding clause was introduced in one German state, North Rhine-Westphalia, and remains in force despite discussions to abolish it. However, the data, studied by Der Spiegel, suggested that three universities there have been funded by the Pentagon since 2014: RWTH Aachen University, Ruhr University Bochum, and the University of Paderborn.

RWTH Aachen, when commenting on the matter expressed commitment to peaceful research and denied that it had conducted armaments research, saying its goal is to “be the academic foundation for sustainable solutions to respond to today’s and tomorrow’s civil challenges”.

As Der Spiegel concludes, the problem is that a lot of research  can be used for both militarily and civilian purposes, ranging from communications technology to robots and software, so accepting the US Department of Defence’s funding is “a tightrope walk”.

The US military, in several project descriptions, notes unambiguously that it is interested in basic research, which is “related to the improvement of army programs and operations or has such a potential”. Other documents outline the objective of “maintaining technological superiority in the scientific fields relevant to the needs of the Air Force” as well as the goal of preventing “technological surprises for our nation”, meaning the US, and develop such surprises “for our opponents”.

Examples of such dual-purpose research include several projects at RWTH Aachen. The university, however, has defended its ventures, including a $530,000 grant for research called “A scalable and high-performance approach to the readout of silicon qubits” that explores important components of quantum computers. The university insisted in a statement that although it was initially driven by the ability to decrypt messages, economic usage is now in the foreground. Another project concerns stable power supply for ships, also funded by the Pentagon.

Despite receiving $300,000 from the US military, the university argues that it was “basic research that could be applied to any kind of ships”. One of RWTH’s projects developed textiles for military and commercial applications that are designed to repel insects using only physical agents without insecticides.

Non-university research institutes also were among US funding recipients with dual-use projects. The most generous grants have gone to the Max Planck Society, to the German Aerospace Centre, and to the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. They included funding for an infrared-based automated whale detection project by AWI researchers, who received a total sum of $973,000. As the outlet points out, this could be used for hunting gigantic mammals as well as submarines.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Scientists map huge undersea fresh-water aquifer off US Northeast

Scientists have mapped a huge aquifer off the US Northeast (hatched area). Solid yellow or white lines with triangles show ship tracks. Dotted white line near shore shows edge of the glacial ice sheet that melted about 15,000 years ago. Further out, dark blue, the continental shelf drops off into the Atlantic abyss. Credit: Gustafson et al., Scientific Reports, 2019

In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the U.S. Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean. It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world. The aquifer stretches from the shore at least from Massachusetts to New Jersey, extending more or less continuously out about 50 miles to the edge of the continental shelf. If found on the surface, it would create a lake covering some 15,000 square miles. The study suggests that such aquifers probably lie off many other coasts worldwide, and could provide desperately needed water for arid areas that are now in danger of running out.

The researchers employed innovative measurements of electromagnetic waves to map the , which remained invisible to other technologies. “We knew there was fresh water down there in isolated places, but we did not know the extent or geometry,” said lead author Chloe Gustafson, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “It could turn out to be an important resource in other parts of the world.” The study appears this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

The first hints of the aquifer came in the 1970s, when companies drilled off the coastline for oil, but sometimes instead hit fresh water. Drill holes are just pinpricks in the seafloor, and scientists debated whether the water deposits were just isolated pockets or something bigger. Starting about 20 years ago, study coauthor Kerry Key, now a Lamont-Doherty geophysicist, helped oil companies develop techniques to use electromagnetic imaging of the sub-seafloor to look for oil. More recently, Key decided to see if some form of the technology could also be used also to find fresh-water deposits. In 2015, he and Rob L. Evans of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution spent 10 days on the Lamont-Doherty research vessel Marcus G. Langseth making measurements off southern New Jersey and the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, where scattered drill holes had hit fresh-water-rich sediments.

They dropped receivers to the seafloor to measure electromagnetic fields below, and the degree to which natural disruptions such as solar winds and lightning strikes resonated through them. An apparatus towed behind the ship also emitted artificial electromagnetic pulses and recorded the same type of reactions from the subseafloor. Both methods work in a simple way: is a better conductor of electromagnetic waves than fresh water, so the freshwater stood out as a band of low conductance. Analyses indicated that the deposits are not scattered; they are more or less continuous, starting at the shoreline and extending far out within the shallow continental shelf—in some cases, as far as 75 miles. For the most part, they begin at around 600 feet below the , and bottom out at about 1,200 feet.

An electromagnetic receiver used in the study being deployed off the research vessel Marcus Langseth. Credit: Kerry Key

The consistency of the data from both study areas allowed to the researchers to infer with a high degree of confidence that fresh water sediments continuously span not just New Jersey and much of Massachusetts, but the intervening coasts of Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. They estimate that the region holds at least 670 cubic miles of fresh water. If future research shows the aquifer extends further north and south, it would rival the great Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies vital groundwater to eight Great Plains states, from South Dakota to Texas.

The water probably got under the seabed in one of two different ways, say the researchers. Some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, toward the end of the last glacial age, much of the world’s water was locked up in mile-deep ice; in North America, it extended through what is now northern New Jersey, Long Island and the New England coast. Sea levels were much lower, exposing much of what is now the underwater U.S. continental shelf. When the ice melted, sediments formed huge river deltas on top of the shelf, and fresh water got trapped there in scattered pockets. Later, sea levels rose. Up to now, the trapping of such “fossil” water has been the common explanation for any fresh water found under the ocean.

But the researchers say the new findings indicate that the aquifer is also being fed by modern subterranean runoff from the land. As water from rainfall and water bodies percolates through onshore sediments, it is likely pumped seaward by the rising and falling pressure of tides, said Key. He likened this to a person pressing up and down on a sponge to suck in water from the sponge’s sides. Also, the aquifer is generally freshest near the shore, and saltier the farther out you go, suggesting that it mixes gradually with ocean water over time. Terrestrial usually contains less than 1 part per thousand salt, and this is about the value found undersea near land. By the time the aquifer reaches its outer edges, it rises to 15 parts per thousand. (Typical seawater is 35 parts per thousand.)

If water from the outer parts of the were to be withdrawn, it would have to be desalinated for most uses, but the cost would be much less than processing seawater, said Key. “We probably don’t need to do that in this region, but if we can show there are large aquifers in other regions, that might potentially represent a resource” in places like southern California, Australia, the Mideast or Saharan Africa, he said. His group hopes to expand its surveys.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment