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Step to nuclear doomsday: US puts low-yield nukes on submarines to counter made-up Russian ‘strategy’

By Scott Ritter | RT | February 5, 2020

The US has deployed “low-yield” nuclear missiles on submarines, saying it’s to discourage nuclear conflict with Russia. The move is based on a “Russian strategy” made up in Washington and will only bring mass annihilation closer.

In a statement released earlier this week, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood announced that “the US Navy has fielded the W76-2 low-yield submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead.” This new operational capability, Rood declared, “demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario.”

The threat underpinning justification for this new US nuclear deterrent had its roots in testimony delivered to the House Armed Services Committee in June 2015 by US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, who declared that “Russian military doctrine includes what some have called an ‘escalate to deescalate strategy’ – a strategy that purportedly seeks to deescalate a conventional conflict through coercive threats, including limited nuclear use.”

However, any review of actual Russian nuclear doctrine would have shown this to be a false premise. Provision 27 of the 2014 edition of ‘Russian Military Doctrine’ states that Russia “shall reserve the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies, as well as in the event of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy. The decision to use nuclear weapons shall be taken by the President of the Russian Federation.”

Russian threat, made in America

Despite this, the concept of ‘escalate to deescalate’ as official Russian military doctrine had become ingrained in official US nuclear doctrine by 2018, with the publication of the US Defense Department’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). Moscow, the 2018 NPR claimed, “threatens and exercises limited nuclear first use, suggesting a mistaken expectation that coercive nuclear threats or limited first use could paralyze the United States and NATO and thereby end a conflict on terms favorable to Russia. Some in the United States refer to this as Russia’s ‘escalate to deescalate’ doctrine.”

In response to this “made in America” Russian threat, the 2018 NPR identified a requirement to modify a number of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with low-yield nuclear warheads to strengthen US nuclear deterrence by providing US military commanders with a weapon that addresses “the conclusion that potential adversaries, like Russia, believe that employment of low-yield nuclear weapons will give them an advantage over the United States and its allies and partners.”

As was the case with Robert Work’s 2015 congressional testimony, the 2018 NPR did not provide the source for the existence of a Russian ‘escalate to deescalate’ doctrine, except to note that it originated in the US – not Russia. Nonetheless, based upon the 2018 NPR, President Donald Trump requested that the Defense Department acquire a new low-yield nuclear warhead for the Trident SLBM, setting in motion a process which culminated in the recent announcement that this new warhead had reached operational capacity.

Voices of reason fall on deaf ears

In response to President Trump’s request, a letter, signed by a laundry list of notable American statesmen, politicians and military officers, including former Secretary of State George Schultz, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General James Cartwright, was sent to the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, stating that there was no need for this new “low yield” warhead. The letter furthermore noted that the premise of this warhead — the so called ‘escalate to deescalate’ Russian doctrine — was derived from a “false narrative” combining non-existent Russian intent with an equally fictitious “deterrence gap” that could only be filled by the new nuclear weapon. This letter fell on deaf ears.

At a meeting of the Valdai Club in October 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the issue of Russian nuclear doctrine, prompted by questions raised by the publication of the 2018 NPR. “There is no provision for a pre-emptive strike in our nuclear weapons doctrine,” Putin declared. “Our concept is based on a reciprocal counter strike. There is no need to explain what this is to those who understand, as for those who do not, I would like to say it again: this means that we are prepared and will use nuclear weapons only when we know for certain that some potential aggressor is attacking Russia, our territory…[o]nly when we know for certain — and this takes a few seconds to understand — that Russia is being attacked we will deliver a counter strike. This would be a reciprocal counter strike. Why do I say ‘counter’? Because we will counter missiles flying towards us by sending a missile in the direction of an aggressor.”

There’s no such thing as ‘limited’ nuke use

In a 1982 article published in Foreign Affairs entitled ‘Nuclear Weapons and the Atlantic Alliance’, four senior American statesmen (McGeorge Bundy, George F. Kennan, Robert S. McNamara and Gerard C. Smith) who had a hand in crafting US nuclear policy declared that “No one has ever succeeded in advancing any persuasive reason to believe that any use of nuclear weapons, even on the smallest scale, could reliably be expected to remain limited.”

This fact holds as true today as it did when the article was written. Perhaps there is no better voice to emphasize this point than Russian President Vladimir Putin, again addressing the 2018 Valdai Conference.

“Of course, [the decision to launch nuclear weapons in defense of Russia] amounts to a global catastrophe, but I would like to repeat that we cannot be the initiators of such a catastrophe because we have no provision for a pre-emptive strike. Yes, it looks like we are sitting on our hands and waiting until someone uses nuclear weapons against us. Well, yes, this is what it is. But then any aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable, and they will be annihilated.”

“And we as the victims of an aggression, we as martyrs would go to paradise while they will simply perish because they won’t even have time to repent their sins.”

The Trump administration would do well to ponder these words as they embrace the false deterrence of the new “low yield” nuclear-armed Trident SLBM. The fact of the matter is it deters nothing, and only invites global annihilation.


Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, served in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 served as a Chief Weapons Inspector with the UN in Iraq. Mr. Ritter currently writes on issues pertaining to international security, military affairs, Russia and the Middle East, and arms control and nonproliferation. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

Also on rt.com:

US says it won’t rule out nuclear first strike, because allies wouldn’t trust it otherwise

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

DNC Loses Public Trust in Primary Process on Very First Day

By Caitlin Johnstone | February 5, 2020

After a 2016 presidential primary race riddled with scandals, all of which worked against Bernie Sanders to the advantage of anointed establishment favorite Hillary Clinton, the 2020 Democratic presidential primary elections officially began with a massive scandal working against Bernie Sanders to the advantage of an establishment favorite.

The 2020 Iowa caucuses turned out to have been designed to depend on the use of a new, untested app with extensive ties to establishment insiders and to the Pete Buttigeig campaign, and because of problems using this app as of this writing we are still waiting on the full results of the election. The Iowa Democratic Party has bizarrely released a partial result with 62 percent of 99 counties reporting, which just so happens to have favored the campaign of a Mr. Peter Buttigeig, who in the sample came out on top in delegates despite coming in second in votes. [After 71 percent of the vote counted Buttigieg was still ahead on Wednesday morning.]

According to an Iowa precinct chair, the problems using the app (developed by the aptly named Shadow, Inc) included literally switching the numbers entered into it on the final step of reporting results.

“A precinct chair in Iowa said the app got stuck on the last step when reporting results,” CNN reports. “It was uploading a picture of the precinct’s results. The chair said they were finally able to upload, so they took a screenshot. The app then showed different numbers than what they had submitted as captured in their screenshot.”

It doesn’t actually matter anymore who really won Iowa at this point; the damage is already done. Iowa is a sparsely populated state with an insignificant number of delegates; nobody campaigns there for the delegates, they campaign to make headlines and generate excitement and favorable press for themselves in the first electoral contest of the presidential primary race. This has already happened, and with Buttigeig first declaring victory before any results were in, followed by his delegate count lead announced hours later, the favorable press has predominantly gone his way.

Even if Sanders turns out to have won the delegate count as well, this will already have happened. He will have already lost the opportunity to start off the primary contest with a win and a rousing victory speech. In every way that matters, he has already been robbed, by extremely shady establishment dealings, in the very first electoral contest of the race.

The very first. Berners are already as outraged as they were at the height of the 2016 DNC scandal, which was still months out from this point in the race. They’re already getting screwed over, and it’s just getting started.

I see many people blaming this on incompetence, some in bad faith and some in good, but in either case there is no legitimate reason to do that anymore. It has been my experience that if someone seems to be totally incompetent but every “oopsie” they make just happens to end up benefiting them, it’s manipulation you’re dealing with, not incompetence. Some people are happy to look dumb if they can get what they want. If you watch their actions and ignore their words, a very revealing pattern shows up immediately.

This is all extremely blatant, and the feelings it brings up in people are completely legitimate. Yet narrative managers like Neera Tanden and Shannon Watts are telling everyone they’re just like Trump if they suspect the Democratic establishment is again doing the thing it did just four years ago.

If such extremely shady shenanigans had occurred in Russia or Venezuela, within minutes Mike Pompeo would have been holding a press conference demanding a new election under UN supervision and an international coalition of sanctions. It’s hilarious how America is constantly staging coups, implementing sanctions and arming violent militias on the basis that their government has an illegitimate democratic process, yet its own most important electoral proceedings would make any third world tin pot dictator blush.

And don’t give me that crap about how Democratic Party primaries are separate from the U.S. electoral system and therefore don’t undermine American democracy; of course they do. If your country has a rigidly enforced two-party system and one of those parties has bogus internal elections, then you do not have any degree of democracy in your country. Saying “Well if you don’t like our rigged primary process you can vote for the other corrupt warmongering pro-establishment party” is not democracy.

The difference between a true totalitarian dictatorship and America is that the totalitarian dictatorship enforces one political belief system which supports the status quo, whereas in America you get the freedom of choice between two political belief systems which support the status quo. The entire system is stacked to ensure the continued rule of the oligarchs, spooks and warmongers who really run things behind the two-handed sock puppet show of the official elected government.

The U.S. doesn’t attack and undermine nations when they lack “freedom” or “democracy”, they attack and undermine them when they refuse to bow to the demands of the power establishment which controls the U.S. government and its allies.

The sooner people wake up to this, the better. In Iowa, things couldn’t have gone worse for those responsible for keeping people asleep.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website.

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Internet Censorship on 9/11 Freefall

911FreeFall.com | December 2019

Host Andy Steele is joined by James Corbett of The Corbett Report to discuss the steps that YouTube has taken in recent years to diminish the presence of alternative information and voices on its platform.

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube or Download the mp4

SHOW NOTES
9/11: A Conspiracy Theory

YouTube Blacklists Federal Reserve Information. It’s Up To YOU To Spread It!

Chris Hayes’ tweetstorm

Google Video in 2006 (note multiple 9/11 and truth related videos on front page)

Outrage as YouTube Reportedly Blocks History Teachers Uploading Hitler Archive Clips

What is a ‘False Flag’ Attack — and Was Boston One? (Yahoo / The Atlantic)

YouTube To Delete All Accounts That Aren’t “Commercially Viable” Starting Dec. 10th

Be Careful What You Wish For: TikTok Tries To Stop Bullying On Its Platforms… By Suppressing Those It Thought Might Get Bullied

TikTok owns up to censoring some users’ videos to stop bullying

Episode 344 – Problem Reaction Solution: Internet Censorship Edition

nterview 1465 – Glyn Moody on the EU Copyright Directive

Corbett Report on Minds / Bitchute / Steemit / IPFS

February 5, 2020 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 3 Comments

US uneasy as Iraq gets new prime minister

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | February 5, 2020

In happier times, Washington and Tehran might well have zeroed in on Mohammed Tawfik Allawi as their consensus candidate for the post of Iraq’s prime minister.

Why not? He was opposed to Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship — although, unlike most Shia politicians who fled from Saddam’s tyranny, he never lived in Iran but chose UK.

However, unlike his famous (notorious) cousin Iyad Allawi who also lived in exile in the UK and whom the US handpicked to head the first government during its occupation (2004-2005), Mohammed Allawi didn’t work for the western intelligence.

Even detractors dare not say that he ever was on Tehran’s payroll. In fact, he wasn’t — unlike another famous relative Ahmed Chalabi.

Yet, although part of Iraqi Shia aristocracy, he was sensible enough as an aspiring Iraqi politician to have good rapport with Iran.

Mohammed Allawi is said to be deeply religious and yet is secular-minded. He twice resigned from former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s cabinet protesting against the latter’s “sectarian agenda and political interference”.

There is no conceivable reason why the US cannot be happy that Iran has failed at this crucial juncture in regional politics to insert an ‘yes man’ as the head of the new government in Baghdad.

But prioritising Iraq’s stability more than anything else, Tehran welcomed Mohammed Allawai’s appointment. On the contrary, even after five days since President Barham Salih gave him the appointment letter, Washington is holding back.

American think tankers wired into the US establishment have run down Mohammed Allawi as a mere frontman of Moqtada Al Sadr’s Sairoon coalition and its rival, the Fatah alliance led by Hadi Al Amiri. They anticipate that he is doomed to fail.

The heart of the matter is that there is much angst in the American mind that Mohammed Allawi, once confirmed as prime minister by the Iraqi parliament, may not only restructure US-Iraqi relations, but eventually take the winds out of the sails of the so-called protests whom Washington and its regional allies have inserted since October into the Iraqi body polity as an extra-constitutional centre.

Today, the US’ capacity to influence the Iraqi political elite — a vast unwieldy network of politicians, Shia political parties, security forces, militias, and religious figures that make up Iraq’s muhasasa (sectarian power-sharing) political system — stands much diminished. Clawing its way back up the greasy pole is difficult.

Thus, the protest movement in Iraq, which is now entering its fourth month, has come to be the principal instrument for Washington (and its Saudi and Emirati allies) to surreptiously advance the broader geopolitical confrontation with Iran that is being played out within the country.

The Iraqi protest movement bears striking similarity with Hong Kong’s, which too had brought the local government down on its knees. In Iraq too, it is a remarkably young movement made up almost entirely of adolescents or youth below the age of 25 and a significant female participation.

The movement has an inchoate programme that keeps mutating — ranging from electoral reforms to eradication of corruption — amidst the artistic graffiti, rap videos, and citizen journalism as modes of political activism and civic engagement.

The Iraqi protest movement too has no unified leadership and yet through its abstract calls for the removal of the current political elite it has worked to insert itself as a factor in the decision-making over the prime minister’s nomination. Some hidden forces are evidently pulling the strings from behind, as in Hong Kong.

The outgoing Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi bitterly complained in the Iraqi parliament on January 5 that in two telephone conversations, the US President Donald Trump had threatened him with precisely such protests to overthrow him if he didn’t comply with US demands.

POTUS allegedly threatened to position US marine snipers “atop the highest buildings,” who will target and kill protesters and security forces alike in an attempt to pressure the Prime Minister.

Therefore, it is hugely significant that the Iraqi protestors have rejected Mohammed Allawi’s appointment. Iraq is now at a political impasse. In essence, Washington will do everything in its power to prevent the new government from settling in.

In Hong Kong, the turmoil began subsiding once the US-China trade deal was signed. In Iraq, everything depends on the negotiation of the terms of engagement with the US. The amorphous nature of the protest movement means that it may meet with sudden death as well.

The Trump administration hopes to salvage relations with Baghdad and smother the Iraqi demand for American troop withdrawal. The top US commander in the Middle East Gen. Frank McKenzie visited Baghdad on Tuesday to set the ball rolling.

In a longer perspective, US hopes that the Sadrists could be exploited as a powerful driver of placing the Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Force (PMF) structure under real controls of the government.

But there’s a caveat. As a seasoned American analyst puts it, “Moqtada also believes he has a role to play as a ‘guide’ focused on ‘social justice’… While unlikely to be a ruler in the mould of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Moqtada is also unlikely to be a ‘quietist’ cleric in the style of Sistani. Something in-between is more likely, raising parallels with Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah. This is not a comparison that should reassure (Washington).”

In fact, on Tuesday, Sadr supporters took control of the iconic Tahir Square building in Baghdad and evicted the protestors ensconced there.

The bottom line is that although the level of emotion in the Sadrist discourse about American forces in Iraq is no more acute as it used to be a decade ago, it still remains a deeply held conviction of the movement, from Moqtada himself to the militant cadres, that the presence of foreign military forces should not become a proforma reality of Iraqi life.

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Iranian Strike on US Base Was Modeled After Trump’s Syria Strikes

By Paul Iddon – Offiziere.ch – February 4, 2020

In many ways, the Iranian ballistic missiles attack on U.S. forces in Iraq and the U.S. missile strikes against targets in Syria were strikingly similar in the way they sought to avoid bringing about any serious escalation that could have led to war.

On January 8, Iranian ballistic missiles simultaneously targeted the Al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar province (see image above) and Erbil International Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan, where U.S. military personnel is housed. While Iran fired at least 22 ballistic missiles, the U.S. did not suffer any fatalities. Tehran said the attack was retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3. Washington did not retaliate and fears of a significant escalation, or the dire prospect of a direct US-Iran war, subsequently decreased.

Tehran launched the attack after giving plenty of forewarning. On January 5, Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s military advisor, told CNN that the then-upcoming attack would come directly from Iran, rather than from Tehran’s proxy militias, against U.S. “military sites” in the region. “Our reaction will be wise, well considered and in time, with decisive deterrent effect”, he said. His statement made it unequivocally clear that, rather than attack any U.S. bases or targets in the Gulf states, Iran’s retaliation would come in Iraq, giving U.S. forces based there about three days to prepare themselves.

Five days after the strike, Reuters cited two Iraqi officers based in Al-Asad as saying that American and Iraqi forces began moving troops and hardware to fortified bunkers eight hours before the strike. Reuters also cited another Iraqi intelligence source, who went so far as to say that the U.S. troops seemed “totally aware” that the attack would come “after midnight”. Consequently, the Iranian missiles simply hit “empty bunkers that had been evacuated hours before”. It was later revealed, despite U.S. President Donald Trump dismissing the symptoms as mere “headaches“, that Iran’s missile strike did wound 64 U.S. personnel by giving them traumatic brain injuries.

The way in which Tehran carried out this missile strike was not wholly dissimilar to the two past U.S. cruise missile strikes against Syrian regime targets in April 2017 and April 2018. For example, on the morning of April 7, 2017,  the U.S. responded to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack [details] carried out three days earlier by hitting Syria’s Shayrat Airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. It did so after giving prior warning to Russia, a major ally and backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow likely gave Damascus some prior warning, and it was also likely the regime knew that particular base would be hit. “Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line”, said Navy Captain Jeff Davis at the time. “US military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield”. Despite that enormous strike package of 59 Tomahawk missiles raining down on the base, Syrian Armed Forces’ remaining Su-22s were able to land and take off from the base hours later. The situation did not escalate into any major confrontation with Damascus.

On April 14, 2018, the United States, this time in a coordinated strike with the United Kingdom and France, fired even more cruise missiles at three targets related to Syria’s chemical weapons program, in response to a [fake] chemical attack in Douma one week earlier. As with the Shayrat attack, the U.S. gave notice to ensure there were no serious casualties or subsequent escalation. The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., published a statement on Facebook in which he explained that: “Before we took action, the U.S. communicated with the RF [Russian Federation] to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties”. Additionally, a pro-Syrian regime official confirmed that: “We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians… and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago”. These measures were clearly taken to avoid any significant escalation or war.

Later, Trump came close to bombing targets inside Iran following Tehran’s shooting down of a U.S. surveillance drone over the Gulf of Oman on June 20, 2019 (see image right). According to Trump, he approved strikes against three targets but then called it off a mere 10 minutes before it was set to commence. His decision came after the U.S. military gave him its prediction that at least 150 Iranians would have been killed, something Trump deemed wouldn’t have been “proportionate” to the destruction of an unmanned aircraft. Also, more likely than not, the U.S. military made clear to him that a limited strike similar to the previous ones against Syria would be much harder to carry out against Iran itself and escalation or major war would have, therefore, been far more likely.

Tensions between Iran and the United States remain high, and the prospect of war or a major escalation cannot be discounted. Nevertheless, de-escalation measures, however imperfect, taken by Tehran and Washington in these incidents indicate that neither side actually wants a full-blown war.

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Just Don’t Call It Global Warming! – #PropagandaWatch

Corbett • 02/04/2020

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube

Global warming. Climate change. Climate weirding. Climate emergency. What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. So much so, in fact, that the advertising execs over at Ad Age are openly wondering whether they can “rebrand” climate change so it sounds scarier. Yipee!

SHOW NOTES

RENAMING CLIMATE CHANGE: CAN A NEW NAME FINALLY MAKE US TAKE ACTION?

Oxford Word of the Year: “Climate Emergency”… Seriously?

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 2 Comments

Leading Ireland parties support boycotting settlement produce, as elections nears

MEMO | February 4, 2020

Leading Irish political parties, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, have published election manifestos which support the adoption of the Occupied Territories Bill in Ireland.

The bill, first tabled in 2018, bans trade with territories which are considered to be under occupation. Adopting the bill into law would effectively stop trade between Ireland and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Fianna Fáil’s manifesto, published on 24 January, said the party would “progress the Occupied Territories Bill” in government. Former foreign affairs spokesperson for Fianna Fáil, Niall Collins, told the Electronic Intifada: “We didn’t have to put it into our manifesto… but we insisted on doing so.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin promised to “ban goods from Israel’s illegal colonial settlements in Palestine from entering the Irish market by implementing the Occupied Territories Bill” in a manifesto published on days later. Denise Mitchell, a Sinn Fein politician, said that “this Bill aims to uphold international law… clearly this applies to the ongoing disgraceful actions of Israel in the Palestinian West Bank”.

The Occupied Territories Bill was drafted by Sadaka, an Irish organisation which defends the rights of Palestinians. If passed, the law would make Ireland the first EU country to criminalise commercial interactions with illegal settlements.

A report published by Trading Away Peace found that the EU imported about €50 million ($55 million) worth of goods from Israel between January and October 2018, approximately one per cent – $552,300 – of which comes from the settlements. The analysis also reported that the EU imports 15 times more from the illegal settlements than from Palestine.

However, the European Commission dealt a blow to the landmark legislation in December 2019, announcing that only the EU has the power to ban imports from a non-EU country, the Times reported.

The outgoing minority government, led by the Fine Gael party, was the only Irish party to vote against the bill in January 2019, claiming that it clashes with Ireland’s obligations as a member of the European Union.

While, ten members of US Congress wrote a strongly worded letter to current Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, detailing their opposition to the bill and calling for the legislation to be abandoned, in March 2019.

Nevertheless, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil are tied for first place in the most recent polls, in advance of the election on Saturday, local media, Raidió Teilifís Êireann reported.

While, the Green, Labour, and Solidarity parties have also moved to support the bill, and the Social Democrats spoke in favour of the move during a parliamentary debate but have yet to confirm their commitment.

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

EU funding criterion accused of ‘criminalising Palestinian resistance’

MEMO | February 4, 2020

The European Union has been criticised for caving-in to Israeli pressure following its adoption of a new funding criterion, which critics have warned is intended to criminalise Palestinian dissent. Fresh concerns were raised over terms added by the EU last year, which required Palestinian institutions to ensure that no beneficiaries of their projects or programmes are affiliated with groups listed as terrorist organisations by the bloc.

When the new criterion was introduced, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations (PNGO) network rejected the terms in a letter signed by 134 Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem two months ago. Although the EU defend its criterion, insisting that the new restrictions would not affect individuals and was aimed at political entities, the NGOs expressed concerns over the document’s ambiguity.

Palestinian institutions said that the new demands were not included in previous agreements with the EU, and that approving them would mean that they would be required to apply a political test on who was entitled to receive donor funds.

“The danger in agreeing to these terms lies in excluding the legitimate struggle of the Palestine people from its international legal framework and including it in the circle of terrorism,” said Muhsien Abu Ramadan, a leading Palestinian analyst, writer and former president of the PNGO network in the Gaza Strip.

Mustafa Barghouti, general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, dismissed the new criterion: “Palestinian civil society institutions will not distinguish between one citizen and another because of their political opinions, race, religion or anything else.”

While the EU’s funding covers around 70 per cent of the projects in the Palestinian territories, it had not directly involved itself in any controversy over who receives the money. That task was left to accredited Palestinian NGOs.

This change in EU policy is believed to be a consequence of Israeli pressure, according to Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Tariq Dana. “The latest EU move has been a result of constant Israeli pressure on the EU to refrain from funding many Palestinian organisations, especially those engaged in revealing and reporting on Israeli colonial practices, human rights violations and crimes,” explained Dana.

Israeli forces fire at Palestinian protesters in Hebron, West Bank on 30 January 2020 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

The assistant professor at the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies believes that the new criterion has to be situated in “the context of ongoing Israeli colonisation” and is a new mechanism for controlling Palestinian lives. Defunding Palestinians NGOs has become a key goal for Israel in its attempt to supress dissenting voices, Dana claimed. Legitimate organisations which use international law to report human rights violations, such as Al-Haq and Addameer, are thought to be at risk of having donations cut.

Others are also in danger, such as the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, an organisation which implements projects in Area C. According to Dana, the centre “supports the steadfastness of local communities suffering from the Israeli military and settlers.” The director of Bisan Centre, Ubai Aboudi, is thought to have been arrested by Israel recently and is being held with neither charge nor trial in administrative detention.

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment