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“Israel” razes Palestinian house in the 1948 occupied lands

Palestine Information Center | September 22, 2019

NAZARETH – Israeli authorities in the 1948 occupied lands on Sunday morning demolished a Palestinian house under construction in Qalansuwa city at the pretext that it was built with no license.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli bulldozers escorted by municipal employees and police forces stormed al-Sahel al-Gharbi area of Qalansuwa and later embarked on razing the house, which belonged to the family of Abu Arrar.

The Israeli authorities had already demolished two homes belonging to the same family in the area about four years ago.

Like in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Israel systematically demolishes Palestinian homes and structures in the Palestinian towns and cities in the 1948 occupied lands at the pretext of unlicensed construction, while it prevents the local residents from obtaining permits or make it difficult for them to meet construction conditions.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 2 Comments

BDS founder unable to attend UK Labour event due to visa delay

MEMO | September 22, 2019

Co-founder of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) will be unable to speak at an event at the UK Labour Party’s upcoming annual conference due to his visa request being delayed, according to Palestine Post 24

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), a pro-BDS group hosting the event on the sidelines of the Labour conference in Brighton, said on Friday that Omar Barghouti would instead address the gathering by video due to the UK government’s “unexplained, abnormal delay” in issuing him a visa.

“The unprecedented delay in processing Barghouti’s travel visa application by the British government is part and parcel of the growing efforts by Israel and its allies to suppress Palestinian voices and the movements for Palestinian rights,” PSC said in a statement.

Barghouti had been set to speak at the “Palestine in the age of Trump” event alongside Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Unite union chief Len McCluskey, both allies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“They fear our shining a light of truth that reveals their lies. They dread our tireless quest for freedom, justice and equality,” Barghouti said, according to the PSC statement.

There was no immediate comment from the UK Home Office, which handles visa requests.

Earlier this year, Barghouti was denied entry to the US for a multi-city speaking tour.

The Arab American Institute said at the time that Barghouti, a resident of Acre who is married to an Arab Israeli and holds Israeli permanent resident status, was not provided an explanation for his denial of entry beyond being told it was an “immigration matter.”

James Zogby, the head of the Arab American Institute, called Barghouti’s ban an “arbitrary political decision,” and accused the Trump administration of working to “silence Palestinian voices.”

Israel has barred Barghouti from leaving the county a number of times in recent years by refusing to renew travel documents granted to Palestinian residents of Israel who do not have full citizenship.

The BDS campaign, a non-violent movement, advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 2 Comments

On the liberty to teach, pursue, and discuss knowledge without restriction

By Gilad Atzmon | September 22, 2019

It didn’t  take long for the American Administration to crudely interfere with an open society’s most sacred ethos, that of academic freedom. We learned this weekend that the US Department of Education has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to remake their joint Middle East studies program after concluding that they were offering students “a biased curriculum that, among other complaints, did not present enough “positive” imagery of Judaism and Christianity in the region.”

Academic freedom is a relatively simple principle. It refers to the ”liberty to teach, pursue, and discuss knowledge without restriction or interference, as by school or public officials.”

This principle seems to be under attack in America. The American administration has openly interfered with the liberty to freely teach, pursue and discuss knowledge.

The New York Times writes: “in a rare instance of federal intervention in college course content, the department asserted that the universities’ Middle East program violated the standards of a federal program that awards funding to international studies and foreign language programs.”

According to the NYT the focus on ‘anti Israeli bias’ “appears to reflect the views of an agency leadership that includes a civil rights chief, Kenneth L. Marcus, who has made a career of pro-Israel advocacy and has waged a years long campaign to delegitimize and defund Middle East studies programs that he has criticized as rife with anti-Israel bias.”

One may wonder why America is willing to sacrifice its liberal ethos on the pro Israel altar? Miriam Elman provides a possible answer. Elman is an associate professor at Syracuse University and executive director of the Academic Engagement Network, which opposes BDS. Elman told the NYT that this “should be a wake-up call… what they’re (the Federal government presumably) saying is, ‘If you want to be biased and show an unbalanced view of the Middle East, you can do that, but you’re not going to get federal and taxpayer money.”

In Elman’s view academic freedom has stayed intact, it is just the dollars that will be withheld unless a university adheres to pro Israel politics.

Those who follow the history of Zionism, Israeli politics and Jewish nationalism find this latest development unsurprising. Zionism, once dedicated to the concept of a “promised land,” morphed decades ago into an aspiration toward a ‘promised planet.’ Zionism is a global project operating in most, if not all, Western states. Jewish pressure groups, Zionist think tanks and Pro Israel lobbies work intensively to suppress elementary freedoms and reshape the public, political and cultural discourse all to achieve Zionism’s ambitious goal. After all, Jewish power, as I define it, is the power to suppress criticism of Jewish power.

This authoritarian symptom is not at all new. It is apparently a wandering phenomenon. It has popped out in different forms at different times. What happened in the USSR provides a perfect illustration of this  symptom. In the early days of Soviet Russia, anti-Semitism was met with the death penalty as stated by Joseph Stalin in answer to an inquiry made by the Jewish News Agency : “In the U.S.S.R. anti-semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-semites are liable to the death penalty.”

In the Weimar Republic, Jewish anti defamation leagues attempted to suppress the rise in anti Jewish sentiments in the 1920s. There’s no need to elaborate on the dramatic failure of these efforts in Germany. And despite Stalin’s early pro-Jewish stance, the Soviet leader turned against the so- called rootless cosmopolitans.” This campaign led to the 1950s Doctors’ plot, in which a group of doctors (mostly Jewish) were subjected to a show trial for supposedly having plotted to assassinate the Soviet leader.

In Britain and other Western nations we have seen fierce pro Israel campaigns waged to suppress criticism of Israel and Jewish politics. Different lobbies have been utilizing different means amongst them the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism by governments and institutions. In Britain, France, Germany and other European countries, intellectuals, artists, politicians, party members and ordinary citizens are constantly harassed by a few powerful Jewish pressure groups. In dark Orwellian Britain 2019, critics of Israel have yet to face the death sentence, but they are subjected to severe reprisals ranging from personal intimidation to police actions and criminal prosecution. People have lost their jobs for supporting Palestine, others have been expelled from Corbyn’s compromised Labour Party for making truthful statements. Some have even been jailed for satirical content. And as you might guess, none of this has made Israel, its supporters or its stooges popular. Quite the opposite.  

I learned from the NYT that the administration “ordered” the universities’ consortium to submit a revised schedule of events it planned to support, a full list of the courses it offers and the professors working in its Middle East studies program. I wonder who in the administration possesses the scholarly credentials to assess the academic level of university courses or professors? Professor Trump himself, or maybe Kushner & Ivanka or Kushner’s coffee boy Avi Berkovitch, or maybe recently retired ‘peace maker’ Jason Greenblatt?

It takes years to build academic institutions, departments, libraries and research facilities. Apparently, it takes one determined lobby to ruin the future of American scholarship.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

Washington’s Warmongering Keeps Claiming New Victims


By Grete Mautner – New Eastern Outlook – 22.09.2019

According to the data presented in a number of American media sources, a total of 6,979 US servicemen perished in the so-called Global War on Terror that was launched back in 2001 and lasted up until 2018. Over the same time span, the number of civilian casualties that became victims of US-led wars in the Middle East and other regions of the world reached hundreds of thousands. As has been revealed by the UN, in Afghanistan alone some 32 thousand civilians died in the course of US-led air strikes and ground operations over the last decade.

However, nobody seems to be willing to acknowledge that various weapons research programs can be as lethal to the civil population as military conflicts are. Nothing is ever being said about the countless nuclear weapons tests that Washington conducted in the second half of the 20th century that keep claiming human lives to this day.

Back in 1986, in the aftermath of the horrendous Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the US would launch a media campaign against the USSR, saying that the radioactive contamination of Europe that followed the disaster was unacceptable. At the same time, Washington chose to conceal the truth about the damage it inflicted upon this planet through a series of nuclear weapon tests on the Marshall Islands.

Against this backdrop, it’s particularly revealing that the recent piece run by the Business Insider states that the contaminated zone of alienation around Chernobyl is less radioactive than the above mentioned islands that were known for their idyllic landscapes prior to a series of nuclear weapon tests. In total, the United States conducted 67 of those in a time span from 1946 to 1958 on the once pristine Marshall Islands.

Less than three years after its atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Washington started conducting nuclear weapon tests on the Marshall Islands, with the most powerful of them being the “Bravo” hydrogen bomb in 1954, which was 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It’s been pointed out that the total explosive yield of American nuclear militarism in the Marshall Islands was 93 times that of all US atmospheric tests in Nevada, and more than 7,000 Hiroshima bombs.

Recent studies show that the seabed around the islands, and their soil upon which fruit bearing trees grow have been accumulating radioactive particles at rates that far exceeds any safety standards. Upon testing the soil of Bikini and Enewetok atolls, scientists came to a conclusion that nuclear weapon tests must have produced a more lasting damage to the environment than was originally anticipated.

As has been revealed by Monica Rouco, who was deputy director of Project K = 1, the center of nuclear studies at Columbia University, there have been no independent investigations of radioactive contamination levels and the possible consequences of those on the Marshall Islands, says El Pais. According to this publication, Monica led a group of K=1 scientists they carried out a series of tests on the Marshall between 2015 and 2018. Prior to that, the only tests carried out across this former Spanish colony were conducted by the US military personnel from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, that had no interest in telling the rest of the world the truth about the contamination levels.

Against this backdrop, a recent study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that the lasting effect of a series of US nuclear weapon tests in the Marshall Islands lies in the contaminated soil. It states specifically that:

We were not able to detect any 37Cs contamination in fruits from Enewetak and Utirik Atolls. However, Bikini and Rongelap Atolls have 137Cs levels in fruits that exceed action limits set by IPPNW in 2016, and the governments of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Japan, in response to nuclear disasters in those countries. Additionally, they exceed values found near Fukushima in February 2018 and values measured from 2011 to 2015 in areas near the Chernobyl accident.

Against this backdrop, it’s particularly telling that back in 1968 Washington announced that the Bikini atoll was perfectly safe for humans and announced that the indigenous population may return to their homes, if they choose to do so. When we know that even fifty years after the tests this area remains contaminated, it’s hardly a surprise that some 840 inhabitants of the Bikini atoll died from cancer and other illnesses associated with radioactive poisoning over this period of time. However, nobody wants to speak about these facts in the West.

According to Barbara Rose Johnston, an anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology, it wasn’t reported to an interested world public that the heavily exposed people of Rongelap, once evacuated, were immediately enrolled as human subjects in a top-secret study, Project 4.1, which documented the array of health outcomes from their acute exposures, but did not treat the pain or discomfort of radiation burns, nor utilize antibiotics to offset any potential infection.

There’s no public discussion of the fact that in 1977 the United States used a crater from an especially large nuclear bomb test on Runit Island to stash away the radioactive soil. The 328-foot crater from a May 1958 test was designated the dumping ground. It means that the radioactive isotope plutonium-239, a byproduct of nuclear bombs that decays with a half-life of 24,100 years may be leaking into the Pacific Ocean.

Yet, there’s no strict control over the weapons tests that are being carried in utmost secrecy in various parts of the world today, and safe to say that should something go wrong in one of such tests, we, just like the inhabitants of the Bikini atoll will be the last to learn about that.

Grete Mautner is an independent researcher and journalist from Germany.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 3 Comments

Argentina: Cristina Fernandez Goes to Trial Again Amid Campaign

teleSUR | September 21, 2019

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon: “Like Lula and Correa, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is being the object of a clear political persecution because she defends the people and faces immeasurable power structures.”

Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio on Friday asked Argentine’s Senate to take away Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s legislative immunity in order to put the lawmaker in preventive detention for alleged connections to the “Notebooks” corruption case.

For the second time in less than a year, former president Fernandez (2007-2015) must appear in federal court for her alleged connections to irregular public spending during her administration.

The judge’s decision comes just as Fernandez de Kirchner is running for vice president alongside Alberto Fernandez for the Oct. 27 elections, and polls and primaries show them as the favorites to win.

Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli accuses Fernandez de Kirchner of being the “boss” of an illicit ring of politicians who raised money from private companies in exchange for granting them public contracts. A ledger ‘notebook’ supposedly lists all the transactions. A former chauffeur of Fernandez de Kirchner allegedly recorded the sums of money that the former president and her husband, Nestor Kirchner, also a former head of state, received.

More than 170 people have already been processed in the Notebooks case, among them are the owners of large private businesses who have already been released.

During the previous legal proceedings related to the case, Fernandez de Kirchern’s lawyers denounced several irregularities, including biased statements made by other defendants, indiscriminate detentions, burned evidence and other constitutional and due process violations.

According to Judge Bonadino, the vice presidential candidate should appear at an oral trial in the near future, but his request for Cristina’s preventive detention cannot be executed until the Argentinian legislative removes Fernandez de Kirchner’s legal immunity as a sitting legislator.

If this were to happen before the next elections on Oct. 27, Argentina would experience an unprecedented political crisis, amid growing popular mobilizations which are being carried out in rejection of President Mauricio Macri’s neoliberal policies, rising unemployment, poverty and hunger.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Saudi regime owes US $181mn for refueling support in bombarding Yemen

Press TV – September 22, 2019

Saudi Arabia still owes the US military $181 million for aerial refueling assistance it received for its brutal bombardment of Yemen’s mostly civilian targets amid Pentagon plans to send more troops to the despotic kingdom to purportedly bolster its air defenses against retaliatory drone attacks by Yemeni forces.

Despite Washington’s emphasis on US-Saudi alliance following Yemen’s destructive drone attack on the Kingdom’s huge Aramco oil facilities, Riyadh has failed to repay the Pentagon for providing midair refueling assistance for Saudi Arabia’s bombing runs over Yemen nine month after American military announced plans to seek reimbursement of its expenses, US-based Defense News reported Friday citing congressional sources.

‘Saudi Arabia pays cash’

The development came after US President Donald Trump emphasized to reporters on Monday that the despotic regime in Riyadh has been a “great ally” for its investments across America, insisting that “Saudi Arabia pays cash.”

While addressing reporters at the White House on Friday, Trump further pointed to Washington’s efforts to build a regional coalition against Iran and emphasized: “We’re also working on the cost of this whole endeavor, and Saudi Arabia has been very generous.”

According to the report however, Saudi’s refusal to pay for US refueling support has already enraged American legislators, many of whom feel frustrated with the kingdom’s involvement in the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as the massive civilian casualties the regime has inflicted during its war of aggression on neighboring Yemen.

Saudi’s refusal to pay Pentagon dues angers US lawmakers

“Saudi failure to reimburse us for aircraft refueling — hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars — involves both deep insult and costly injury. It is entirely unacceptable that the Saudis have not reimbursed the Department of Defense for hundreds of millions in refueling costs,” said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut in a statement cited in the report.

“The American taxpayer-funded US Department of Defense is not the Saudi Royal Family’s piggy bank,” it added.

Inquiries from Blumenthal and Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack Reed of Rhode Island also prompted the US military to announce in December that it would seek to recoup the money it failed to charge Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the midair refueling assistance ― which Riyadh ended in 2018.

The report further cited congressional sources as saying that the original balance due was since revised from $331 million to $291 million, and the Pentagon has separately recovered $118 million from the UAE, but Saudi Arabia has not repaid the US.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich refused on Thursday to elaborate on its collection efforts but confirmed that “the process of reimbursement is continuing, and we continue to expect full reimbursement of refueling expenses.”

Trump warned against anti-Iran military move

This is while Trump was due to hold a meeting on Friday to purportedly consider military options against Iran, the report added, citing “US officials familiar with the planned discussions.” It further pointed out that the American president was also due to be warned that any military action against the Islamic Republic would likely escalate into a war.

The US announced Friday it would send more troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to the recent attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Tehran has fiercely rejected any involvement in the retaliatory attack by Yemeni forces against Saudi oil facilities and warned Washington that any military action against it will spell into an “all-out war” with immediate retaliation.

Meanwhile, congressional critics of the US president insist that he should not lead the country into an unnecessary conflict with Iran to protect Saudi Arabian oil.

Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, who sits on Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, pledged to file a war powers resolution to force a Senate vote to immediately end any such military action.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 2 Comments

‘We don’t need aircraft carriers, we need weapons to sink them with’ – Russian defense minister

RT | September 22, 2019

The US may have a military budget that far exceeds that of Russia, but it doesn’t matter since the Russian military is there to defend the country, not attack other nations, the Russian defense minister said.

Russia’s military budget received a hike a few years ago for a massive rearmament program, but has been rolled back in recent years. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated Russia to be the world’s sixth biggest defense spender in 2018, behind the US, China, Saudi Arabia, India, and France. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has been showered with money under the Trump administration, dwarfing other nations’ military budgets.

But the man in charge of the Russian Defense Ministry says his fellow Russians have no reasons to worry, because their taxpayer rubles are well spent.

“The US spends huge amounts of money on private military contractors, on aircraft carriers. Well, does Russia really need five to ten aircraft carrier strike groups, considering that we do not intend to attack anyone?” Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told a Russian newspaper.

“We need the means we could use against the enemy’s carrier strike groups should our country come under attack. They are far less costly and more efficient.”

The minister also criticized Washington for its habit of justifying its military interventions throughout the world by the interests of the people living in the nations it targets.

“In which of the nations they went ‘to bring democracy’ did democracy flourish? Was that Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria?” Shoigu said. “And one certainly can forget about sovereignty and independence after American involvement.”

He added that the US doesn’t seem to be losing its appetite for ruining other nations, be it through military intervention or other means.

“Our Western colleagues love to accuse Russia of waging ‘hybrid wars’ or whatever. Well, I say [the] West is the one conducting actual hybrid warfare. The US now is about to leave Afghanistan in half-ruins and at the same time they work hard to stir things in Venezuela – all for the ‘triumph of democracy’ of course.”

The US tried this year to topple the Venezuelan government by supporting Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of the Latin American country. His pretendership, however, has not been that successful. His two attempts at triggering a large-scale public uprising and ousting President Nicolas Maduro fizzled despite Washington’s promise that it would lift crippling economic sanctions against Venezuela once their man takes control.

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 3 Comments