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New report documents ‘torture in the heart of Jerusalem’

Israeli security forces brutally arrest Palestinian protesters in West Bank [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | September 20, 2018

A new report by Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer claims that Israeli officials “routinely” carry out the “practice of torture” at a key interrogation facility in occupied East Jerusalem.

The report, “I’ve Been There: A Study of Torture and Inhumane Treatment in Al-Moscobiyeh Interrogation Centre”, is based on the testimonies of 138 individuals held in the Russian Compound of Jerusalem gathered during the period 2015-2017.

“For generations of Palestinians, the Russian Compound has represented the most severe interrogation facility in all of the occupied territory,” Addameer states.

“It has been the place of intentionally inflicted suffering for hundreds of prisoners. Its location in the heart of Jerusalem, next to the Old City, is something of a metaphor for the whole apparatus of the occupation. The domination is hidden in plain sight.”

According to the testimonies acquired by Addameer, eight forms of abuse were identified at the facility: positional torture such as “stress positions”; beatings during interrogation; isolation/solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and long interrogation, threats to family members, being subjected to sounds of torture, deliberate medical neglect, and screaming and cursing.

More than half of those surveyed reported being held in stress positions; one 18-year-old former prisoner was held in a stress position for eight hours a day, for 18 days. A third of prisoners reported being beaten, while a fifth of individuals were subjected to violent shaking.

Addameer noted that “children are no exception when it comes to mistreatment and intimidation”, with 47.8 per cent reporting “that they were beaten during their arrest”, 45.5 per cent experiencing positional torture during interrogation, and 40.9 per cent “threatened with the potentially injuring of their families if they did not cooperate”.

According to the rights group, “the primary conclusion that the above research and indicators provide is that mistreatment, and coercion, amounting to torture, are commonplace and systematic within the occupation’s interrogation systems”.

Addameer added that “as a result of torture’s status in international law, the international community has a distinct responsibility to take action to sanction the perpetrating entity”, urging “the international community to begin sanctioning the occupier for its crimes”.

Read also:

Palestinian man dies after Israel forces beat him at his home

September 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel gets far more than $38 billion under the new deal

By Nicole Feied | If Americans Knew | September 19, 2018

The AIPAC sponsored bill that guarantees $38 billion to Israel over the next ten years is a dramatic departure from the deal offered under President Obama’s 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).[1] Passed by the House of Representatives on September 12, 2018, the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 effectively rolls back every limitation that President Obama placed on the amount of aid we give to Israel.

In addition, the House version provides Israel even more perks than the version passed by the Senate on August 11.

Most dramatically, this new act would eviscerate the ability of President Trump and his successors for the next ten years to withhold United States aid to Israel. Historically, almost every president since Eisenhower has attempted to withhold such aid at one time or another in order to force Israel to the peace table or to stop Israel from committing human right abuses or illegal acts such as taking Palestinian land and giving it to Israeli settlers.

In an unprecedented gift of our executive power to Israel, the House has passed for the very first time a law that forces the American president to give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year. We have, in effect, crippled our ability to promote US interests in the Middle East.

President Eisenhower was the last American President who managed to use this threat effectively, when he forced Israel to withdraw from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1957.

Notably, President George Bush Senior failed miserably to make good on his threat to delay aid to Israel when their actions threatened a possible peace agreement with the neighboring Arab countries, complaining that he was “just one little lonely guy” in his battle against pro-Israel lobbyists. (New York Times, 1991 article, Bush Urges Delay On Aid For Israel; Threatens A Veto.)

Aid to Israel likely to increase even more

The second most important effect of this act is in Section 103. While the MOU limits the amount of aid we give Israel to the amount agreed upon, in this case $38 billion over 10 years, Section 103 of the current bill removes all limitations on how much we give Israel. Under the new act, instead of 38 billion being the cap, as Obama stipulated in his 2016 MOU, we must now give Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion per year until 2028.

Without a cap, and with incessant lobbying by Israel and her proxies in the United States, the amount we give could conceivably double over the next 10 years. This is a huge coup for Prime Minister Netanyahu and quite a slap in the face to the Obama administration.

Section 106 will increase Israel’s access to a war-reserve stockpile by completely removing the limits on how many precision guided missiles we can give Israel. The existing law set a maximum of $200 million worth of arms from the stockpile per year, to be charged against the agreed aid package.

An Israeli official gloated that the package was obtained “despite budget cuts, including defense cuts, in the U.S.”

The House version of the bill differs from the Senate version, replacing the words “sell” and “sale” to “transfer,” which appears to open the door for more gifts in excess of the $38 billion. To put this in context, a Tomahawk Missile currently costs about $1 million. The media recently lambasted President Trump for using 60 such missiles in Syria because of the high cost.

Section 107 calls on the President to prescribe procedures for the rapid acquisition and deployment of precision guided munitions. The House text differs from the Senate version in that it removes all the detailed requirements for Israel to have such rapid acquisition. In the version just passed by the House, there is only one, extremely broad requirement, that Israel is under direct threat of missiles (in Israel’s opinion).

Israel can export U.S. arms

Section 108 of the Act authorizes Israel to export arms it receives from the U.S., even though this violates U.S. law. The Senate version included a provision calling on the President to make an assessment of Israel’s eligibility before adding Israel to the exemption list.

The House version deleted that requirement, and simply orders the American President to grant Israel the privilege. In fact, Israel is ineligible, having repeatedly made unauthorized sales in violation of this Act. The Export Act further forbids granting such an exemption to any country that is in violation of International Nuclear Non-proliferation Agreement, which Israel has refused to sign. Israel is known to be in possession of nuclear weapons, and hence in violation and ineligible for the export exemption. Congress thus reiterates the message that it will force the President to continue funding Israel even when that violates our laws.

NASA

Section 201 orders NASA to work with the Israel Space Agency, even though an Israeli space official has been accused of illegally obtaining classified scientific technology from a NASA research project. U.S. agencies periodically name Israel as a top espionage threat against the United States. The section also states that United States Agency for International Development (USAID) must partner with Israel in “a wide variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, education, environment, global health, and water and sanitation.”

Israel eludes usual military aid requirement

All countries except Israel are required to spend US military aid on American goods. This ensures that the American economy benefits to some degree from these massive gifts. (Of course, if americans wished to subsidize these U.S. companies, money could be provided directly to them, and Israel and other countries left to buy their equipment with their own money.)

In the past, Israel has spent 40 percent of U.S. aid on Israeli companies, at the expense of U.S. industry. Under Obama’s 2016 MOU, this percentage was to be decreased over the 10-year span, and eventually Israel’s unique right not to spend use U.S. military aid to purchase items from American companies was to be ended. The new Act eliminates this requirement, putting Israeli economic interests before our own.

Many in Israel criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu for his aggressive attempts to undermine President Obama’s Iran deal, fearing that it would anger the White House and result in a less favorable aid offer. Analysts were particularly worried about what might happen if Trump were elected, since in 2016 he had said that he expected Israel to pay back the security assistance it receives from the US.

Yet just two years later it looks like the Israeli Prime Minister will obtain everything he sought and more. This is not surprising, since Trump, under extreme political pressure, is increasingly pandering to hardcore Israel supporters like billionaire Sheldon Adelson and South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham. (Graham is a top recipient of pro-Israel campaign donations.[2])

Sheldon Adelson is known as the casino mogul who drives Trump’s Middle East policy

Lindsay Graham (R-SC) with pro-Israel billionaires Sheldon Adelson on his right and Haim Saban on his left. LobeLog reported: Over a glass of Riesling Graham described how to finance his campaign: “If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing… I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.”

Netanyahu has demonstrated to the world that Israel can continue to act contrary to U.S. interests and still manage to get ever more military aid and greater concessions, greater access to U.S. secrets and technology, and greater control of U.S. foreign policy. An Israeli spokesperson crowed: “The landmark deal was reached despite budget cuts, including defense cuts, in the U.S.”

The bill now will go back to the Senate for approval, and then to Trump to be signed into U.S. law.

The $38 billion package amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second. And that’s before Israel advocates and ambitious politicians in our own country push it even higher.


Nicole Feied is an American writer and former criminal defense attorney, currently based in Greece. Alison Weir also contributed to the article. 


Americans who wish to object, may contact their Congressional representatives here.
Informational cards to distribute about the bill, containing the top image, can be downloaded here


1. The bill was timed to be introduced just before AIPAC’s 2018 annual conference in Washington D.C., so that delegates could lobby their representatives while they were in D.C.

2. Lobelog reported in 2015:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke bluntly about his plans for raising campaign funds for his prospective presidential campaign in an interview published today on “Washington Wire,” a Wall Street Journal blog. Over a glass of Riesling, according to the account, he answered a series of questions, including how he plans to finance his campaign.

He described “the means” as the biggest hurdle facing his potential campaign, adding:

If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…  I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.

The House renamed the bill to honor Miami Congresswoman Ilean Ros-Lehtinen’s long service to Israel. The new name is now officially the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.”

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 4 Comments

Israel’s Failed Attempt to Start WWIII Is the Beginning of the End in Syria

By Tom LUONGO | Strategic Culture Foundation | 19.09.2018

There is one thing that Israel fears more than anything else in Syria. The loss of its ability to fly its F-16’s with impunity and hit whatever targets it wants claiming defensive measures to stop Iran, their existential enemy.

Israel finally admitted to carrying out over 200 such missions over the past 18 months, only a few of which ever made any kind of international media, recently.

And with the sneak attack on Latakia which involved using a Russian IL-20 ELINT war plane as radar cover Israel has now not only raised the stakes to an unacceptable level, it has also ensured that this may be the last such aerial assault it will ever be able to carry out.

The setup is pretty clear. Israel and France coordinated an attack on multiple targets within Syria without US involvement but with absolute US knowledge of the operation to provoke Russia into going off half-cocked by attacking the inconsequential French frigate which assisted Israel’s air attack.

Any denunciation of sinister intent by Israeli Defense Forces is hollow because if they had not intended to provoke a wider conflict they would have given Russia more than one minute to clear their planes from the area.

That would constitute an attack on a NATO member state and require a response from NATO, thereby getting the exact escalation needed to continue the war in Syria indefinitely and touch off WWIII.

This neatly bypasses any objections to a wider conflict by President Trump who would have to respond militarily to a Russian attack on a NATO ally. It also would reassert NATO’s necessity in the public dialogue, further marginalizing Trump’s attacks on it and any perceived drive of his for peace.

That this took place within the 60 days window of the mid-term elections should also not be discounted.

This attack took place just hours after Presidents Erdogan and Putin negotiated a ‘peaceful’ settlement for Idlib province by declaring a De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) 15-20 kilometers wide which everyone, including Erdogan’s pets Jabhat al-Nusra would have to abide by.

Peace was breaking out in Syria and Israel and the war-hawks in D.C. weren’t standing for that.

By conducting this attack like this Israel and the NATO crowd figured it would be a win/win for them.

If Russia strikes back at France, then NATO invokes Article 5 and they get their wider war.

If Russia doesn’t strike back Putin loses face within Russia, his popularity drops 5 points and John Bolton begins salivating at the prospect of regime change in Russia. Yes, they are that insane.

It was a neat piece of geopolitical maneuvering, almost judo-like. Russia and Syria looked to be on the verge of victory, extending themselves in a major conflict that would result in months of bad press. We were expecting a possible false-flag chemical weapons attack, cries of humanitarian crisis and all the rest of the tired virtue-signaling we can expect by US ‘diplomatic’ officials that has been all too common even under Trump.

What we got was the opposite, a carefully-crafted assault on Russian military forces wherein Russia’s vaunted air-defense systems would be blamed for its own people’s deaths and a mistaken counter-attack that justifies the “Putin is a Vile War-Monger” narrative to justify a US invasion of Syria which has been held in amber since 2013 and Putin’s skillful defusing that situation via diplomatic means.

For once, this almost looked like a well-thought out plan. Not the usual ham-fisted crudities we’ve been treated to over the last few years. But, here’s the rub.

It didn’t work.

By naming names and immediately not responding militarily during the ‘fog of war’ Russia and Putin again prove to be more skilled at this than their adversaries.

Because none of what I just outlined will come to pass. And France, Israel and the US will be the ones to lose face here. And with Israel betraying Putin’s forbearance after April’s air strikes on Damascus, he will have no choice but to upgrade Syria’s air defense systems from S-200’s to S-300’s and possibly S-400’s.

This is Israel’s worst nightmare. A situation where any aerial assault on targets within Syria would be suicide missions, puncturing the myth of the Israeli air force’s superiority and shifting the delicate balance of power in Syria decidedly against them.

This is why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked Putin so hard over the last two years. But, this incident wipes that slate clean. This was a cynical betrayal of Putin’s trust and patience. And Israel will now pay the price for their miscalculation.

Giving Syria S-300’s does not avenge the fifteen dead Russian soldiers. Putin will have to respond to that in a more concrete way to appease the hardliners in his government and at home. His patience and seeming passivity are being pushed to their limit politically. This is, after all, a side benefit to all of this for the neoconservative and globalist hawks in D.C., Europe and Tel Aviv.

But, the real loss here for Israel will be Russia instituting a no-fly zone over western Syria. Any less response from Putin will be seized upon by and the situation will escalate from here. So, Putin has to deploy S-300’s here. And once that happens, the real solution to Syria begins in earnest.

Because at that point it will be the US’s move to flat-out invade without provocation, now that a solution is in place in Syria between Russia and a NATO member, Turkey.

The only good news in all of this is that US forces were not involved. This still tells me that Trump and Mattis are still in charge of their chain of command and that other forces are conspiring to drag them into a conflict no one in their right minds wants.

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian Dies after Brutal Assault by Israeli Forces

Mohammed Al-Rimawi (24) was beaten to death in his bedroom by the Israeli forces in Beit Rima. (Photo: via Facebook)
Ma’an – September 18, 2018

RAMALLAH – A 24-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his injuries, on Tuesday morning, after he was brutally assaulted by Israeli forces as they detained him from his home in the Beit Rima village in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in predawn raids.

The Palestinian liaison identified the youth as Muhammad Zaghlul Rimawi (al-Khatib), 24.

Muhammad’s brother, Bashir Rimawi, told Ma’an that some 40 Israeli soldiers raided their house in Beit Rima on predawn Tuesday, assaulted Muhammad while he was still laying in bed, wearing his nightwear, which Israeli forces ripped off of his body.

Bashir added that Israeli forces continued to brutally beat his brother, while unconscious, carried him outside the house and took him to an unknown location.

Bashir said that the Palestinian liaison contacted the family later and informed them that Muhammad had succumbed to his wounds; no other information was given regarding Muhammad’s death or when would his body be returned to the family for funeral processions.

The Israeli authorities reportedly transferred Muhammad’s body to Abu Kabir Forensic Center in Jaffa for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The Rimawi family accuse Israeli forces of being responsible for the death of their son, Muhammad, due to the brutal assault he was subjected to during his detention hours before being declared dead.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) also confirmed that Muhammad’s death resulted from excessive beating by Israeli forces.

PPS held Israel fully responsible for the killing of Muhammad Rimawi, “whose death was added to a long list of crimes and unjust executions carried out against Palestinian detainees and prisoners inside detention centers and prisons.”

The Addameer human rights organization said that the excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers during Rimawi’s detention was the cause for his death.

Addameer added that Rimawi did not pose any threat to the soldiers to require them to use such excessive force against him, pointing out that this is a violation of the international humanitarian law which bans the use of force against civilians who do not pose any real and direct threat.

The organization considered the use of such lethal force in this manner extrajudicial execution.The number of killed Palestinian detainees and prisoners since 1967 has risen to 217, according to a report by PPS; 75 of whom were executed after detention, 72 died of torture, 62 of “medical neglect” and seven were “directly shot and killed by Israeli soldiers and guards inside jails and detention centers.”

PPS also warned against the continued silence of the international community and international organizations, which allow Israeli forces to kill Palestinians “in cold blood,” without any restraint to the ongoing crimes.

According to the testimonies of hundreds of Palestinian detainees and prisoners, who were transferred for interrogation and into detention centers, 95% of them were subjected to both physical and mental abuse, PPS reported.

PPS pointed out that Rimawi is the 3rd Palestinian to be tortured to death by Israel this year; Palestinian Yassin al-Saradih from Jericho was assaulted to death by Israeli forces following his detention on February 22nd, 2018, and prisoner Aziz Eweisat from Jerusalem, who was killed after being assaulted by Israeli “Nahshon” forces inside Israeli jails on May 19th, 2018.

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | September 18, 2018

Like vultures, Israeli soldiers descended on Khan Al-Ahmar, on Sep. 14, recreating a menacing scene with which the residents of this small Palestinian village, located East of Jerusalem, are all-too-familiar.

The strategic location of Khan Al-Ahmar makes the story behind the imminent Israeli demolition of the peaceful village unique amid the ongoing destruction of Palestinian homes and lives throughout besieged Gaza and Occupied West Bank.

Throughout the years, Khan Al-Ahmar, once part of an uninterrupted Palestinian physical landscape has grown increasingly isolated. Decades of Israeli colonisation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank left Khan Al-Ahmar trapped between massive and vastly expanding Israeli colonial projects: Ma’ale Adumim, Kfar Adumim among others.

The unfortunate village, its adjacent school and 173 residents are the last obstacle facing the E1 Zone project, an Israeli plan that aims to link illegal Jewish colonies in Occupied East Jerusalem with West Jerusalem, thus cutting off East Jerusalem entirely from its Palestinian environs in the West Bank.

Like the Neqab (Negev) village of Al-Araqib, which has been demolished by Israel and rebuilt by its residents 133 times, Khan Al-Ahmar residents are facing armed soldiers and military bulldozers with their bare chests and whatever local and international solidarity they can obtain.

Despite the particular circumstances and unique historical context of Khan Al-Ahmar, however, the story of this village is but a chapter in a protracted narrative of a tragedy that has extended over the course of seventy years.

It would be a mistake to discuss the destruction of Khan Al-Ahmar or any other Palestinian village outside the larger context of demolition that has stood at the heart of Israel’s particular breed of settler colonialism.

It is true that other colonial powers used the destruction of homes and properties, and the exile of whole communities as a tactic to subdue rebellious populations. The British Mandate government in Palestine used the demolition of homes as a ‘deterrence’ tactic against Palestinians who dared rebel against injustice throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s, till Israel took over in 1948.

The Israeli strategy is far more convoluted than a mere ‘deterrence’. It is now carved in the Israeli psyche that Palestine must be destroyed for Israel to exist. Therefore, Israel is engaging in a seemingly endless campaign of erasing everything Palestinian, because the latter, from an Israeli viewpoint, represents an existential threat to the former.

This is precisely why Israel sees the natural demographic growth among Palestinians as an ‘existential threat’ to Israel’s ‘Jewish identity’.

This can only be justified with an irrational degree of hate and fear that has accumulated throughout generations to the point that it now forms a collective Israeli psychosis for which Palestinians continue to pay a heavy price.

The repeated destruction of Gaza is symptomatic of this Israeli psychosis.

Israel is a “country that when you fire on its citizens, it responds by going wild – and this is a good thing,” was the official explanation offered by Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister in January 2009 to justify its country’s war on the blockaded Gaza Strip. The Israel ‘going wild’ strategy has led to the destruction of 22,000 homes, schools and other facilities during one of Israel’s deadliest wars on the Strip.

A few years later, in the summer of 2014, Israel went ‘wild’ again, leading to even greater destruction and loss of lives.

Israel’s mass demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza, and everywhere else, preceded Hamas by decades. It has nothing to do with the method of resistance that Palestinians utilise in their struggle against Israel. Israel’s demolishing of Palestine – whether the actual physical structures or the idea, history, narrative, and even street names – is an Israeli decision through and through.

A quick scan of historical facts demonstrates that Israel demolished Palestinian homes and communities in diverse political and historical contexts, where Israel’s ‘security’ was not in the least a factor.

Nearly 600 Palestinian towns, villages and localities were destroyed between 1947 and 1948, and approximately 800,000 Palestinians were exiled to make room for the establishment of Israel.

According to the Land Research Center (LRC), Israel had destroyed 5,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem alone since it occupied the city in 1967, leading to the permanent exile of nearly 70,000 people. Coupled with the fact that almost 200,000 Jerusalemites were driven out during the Nakba, the Catastrophe’ of 1948, and the ongoing slow ethnic cleansing, the Holy City has been in a constant state of destruction since the establishment of Israel.

In fact, between 2000 and 2017, over 1,700 Palestinian homes were demolished, displacing nearly 10,000 people. This is not a policy of ‘deterrence’ but of erasure – the eradication of the very Palestinian culture.

Gaza and Jerusalem are not unique examples either. According to the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD’s) report last December, since 1967 “nearly 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures have been demolished – displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and affecting the livelihoods of thousands of others.”

Combined with the destruction of Palestinian villages upon the establishment of Israel, and the demolition of Palestinian homes inside Israel itself, ICAHD puts the total number of homes destroyed since 1948 at more than 100,000.

In fact, as the group itself acknowledges, the figure above is quite conservative. Indeed, it is. In Gaza alone, and in the last ten years which witnessed three major Israeli wars, nearly 50,000 homes and structures were reportedly destroyed.

So why does Israel destroy with consistency, impunity and no remorse?

It is for the same reason that it passed laws to change historic street names from Arabic to Hebrew. For the same reason, it recently passed the racist Nation-state law, elevating everything Jewish and completely ignoring and downgrading the existence of the indigenous Palestinians, their language and their culture that goes back millennia.

Israel demolishes, destroys and pulverizes because, in the racist mindset of Israeli rulers, there can be no room between the Sea and the River but for Jews; where the Palestinians – oppressed, colonised and dehumanised – don’t factor in the least in Israel’s ruthless calculations.

This is not just a question of Khan Al-Ahmar. It is a question of the very survival of the Palestinian people, threatened by a racist state that has been allowed to ‘go wild’ for 70 years, untamed and without repercussions.

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

It’s clear the US and Israel favoured Abbas. It’s also clear he failed.

US President Donald Trump with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]
By Dr Mohammad Makram Balawi | MEMO | September 18, 2018

A few years after Arafat assumed the leadership of the Palestinian national movement he tried to tempt the West to offer him something in return for what he called peace. Many people still remember him with his white sweater, in the United Nations General Assembly in 1974, saying: “I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

As one Fatah former leader and Arafat companion once told me, Arafat and his group always thought that liberation should happen within their lifetime and that they should enjoy its fruits. They were convinced from the early stages that they cannot beat the Zionists with all the American and Western support behind them. They were ready from the beginning for something other than complete liberation, unlike most Palestinians. It was not a surprise to my friend that Arafat ended up trapped with a lousy agreement, the Oslo Accords, engineered secretively by Mahmoud Abbas, his successor.

Almost all Palestinian factions, including those who are members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), rejected it and many Fatah and Palestinian National Council (PNC) members resigned in protest against the agreement, including Mahmoud Darwish, Ibrahim Abu Lughod and Edward Said, who accused Arafat of treason.

The attempts of Fatah to lead the Palestinian national movement led eventually to the complete monopoly of the Palestinian national decision. All other factions who used to get their financial support and annual budget from the PLO had to concede to Arafat’s decisions even if they opposed them, and for those who refused to do so Arafat used to smear, intimidate and in many cases use brutal force against them, including assassination if necessary.

Although the PLO’s institutions and other Palestinian bodies had elections, most of the time they were decorative. Most of the Palestinian leadership, including Arafat, did not believe in leadership succession and democratic transition. Opposition was never allowed unless it was superficial and could beautify the face of the PLO and give legitimacy to the “historical leadership”, as Arafat and his group used to be called by their supporters.

In the eighties, after Hamas and Islamic Jihad (IJ) became serious contenders, Fatah tried to combat them. In the beginning Arafat refused to recognise that these movements ever existed. Then he spread a rumour, which many still believe in, that these movements were the creation of Israel to divide the national Palestinian decision. Fatah and its members used to assault members of Hamas and IJ, in universities, Israeli detention camps, mosques and wherever they could.

In 1993 the Oslo Accords were signed and from that moment on a deep rift was created between the Palestinian people, who were once always united behind resistance. Arafat believed, and made many Palestinians believe, that through diplomacy Palestinians could have their independent state. This sweet dream was a mere illusion, which Arafat eventually realised before his mysterious death.

The “peace process” – which was supposed to yield according to Oslo a Palestinian state within six years – continued for about two decades and managed only to consolidate Israeli control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Arafat eventually realised that the United States and Israel had turned him into a policeman whose duty it is to keep his own people calm and accept the gradual annexation of land and the looting of resources.

By the beginning of the second intifada, which was triggered by Ariel Sharon’s intrusion into Al-Aqsa Mosque, Arafat started local resistance groups in secret and released many Hamas leaders and members from his prisons. Sharon and George W. Bush decided that it was time to get rid of him and the Israeli Army destroyed almost all the infrastructure Arafat managed to build with European aid in the West Bank, surrounded his headquarters in Ramallah, and imposed Mahmoud Abbas on him as a prime minister.

It was by then very clear that the Americans and the Israelis despised Arafat and favoured Abbas. Arafat’s health gradually and mysteriously deteriorated, he finally died and Abbas took over. Abbas did not believe in pressurising Israel using armed resistance, nor with peaceful resistance, as is evident in the way he runs the areas under his jurisdiction. He seems to believe that the only way to implement his plans of having a state is to convince the Americans and reassure the Israelis, which seems a very naïve approach.

Yet there were some serious obstacles to overcome. First was the armed Fatah groups Arafat founded and financed, which Abbas could liquidate quickly. The second is groups like Hamas, which Arafat, with all his might, could not contain. Abbas chose a new tactic; elections. Abbas managed to convince Hamas’ leadership to take part in the general elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, inaccurately estimating that it would not get more than 30 per cent of the seats of the Legislative Council, and he would emerge victorious and impose his views on Hamas through democracy.

Abbas found no other way except to recognise the results of the elections but worked to undermine the work of the government which was formed by Hamas, and boycotted by most of the other Palestinian factions due to Abbas’ pressure. Through Fatah armed groups and PA security agencies, Abbas started with the help of people like Mohmmed Dahlan – who was then the head of the Preventive Security Force in Gaza – an armed revolt. Abbas made the work of the government almost impossible.

Local Hamas leaders got fed up of the situation and with their smaller and less equipped forces, kicked Dahlan and the armed leaders of Fatah out of the Gaza Strip, and Abbas in return cracked down on Hamas in the West Bank. From that time on Abbas and his group monopolised Palestinian representation under the pretext that Hamas carried out a coup in Gaza and unless it surrenders and hands over everything to Abbas there will be no reconciliation, which gave Abbas all the liberty he wanted to go on his way undisputed.

Yes, Abbas ruled undisputed, but it is very clear that he failed. Abbas worked for three decades to make the Oslo Accords a reality but ended up cursing his partners, the Americans and the Israelis, in a vulgar way, for he has nothing else he could do. Abbas lacks the courage to declare that he led the Palestinian people into a disaster, apologise and give way to a new leadership. One day, most probably soon, Abbas like Arafat will pass away, and leave his people face to face with his disastrous heritage.

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

British PM pledges to protect Israel, Jews in dig at Corbyn

Press TV – September 18, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to protect British Jews and what she called “Israel’s right to defend itself” in what appeared to be a veiled attack on Jeremy Corbyn, who has been accused of tolerating anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Addressing a dinner held by the United Jewish Israel Appeal, which works to build links between British Jews and Israel, May said she was “sickened” by the idea that some Jews had doubt whether Britain was a safe place to raise their children.

“I have come here tonight as prime minister of our country to say that I stand with you,” she told the crowd Monday night. “I stand with the UJIA. I stand with Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. And I stand with the entire Jewish community in Britain.”

The Labour Party has been mired in rows over what critics describe as its failure to address anti-Semitism among party supporters and its initial reluctance to fully adopt a broader definition of anti-Semitism.

Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights, has come under attack for criticizing the Israeli regime’s policies, which some view as being anti-Semitic. The Labour leader argued earlier this year that party members should be allowed to criticize Israel.

In August, Britain’s former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks labeled Corbyn anti-Semite and said his 2013 comments about Zionists were the most offensive by a senior British politician in half a century.

Corbyn said five years ago, before he was Labour’s leader, that British Zionists “don’t understand English irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”

“If we are to stand up for the values that we share – then one of the things we need to do is give young Jewish people the confidence to be proud of their identity – as British, Jewish and Zionist too,” May said.

“There is no contradiction between these identities – and we must never let anyone try to suggest that there should be.”

In a barely coded message to Corbyn, the prime minister said, “Let me be clear: you cannot claim to be tackling racism, if you are not tackling anti-Semitism.”

Furthermore, May said she was committed to strong economic ties between London and Tel Aviv.

“You can also count on my commitment to Israel’s security,” she said. “I am clear that we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

Turkey’s pro-Erdoğan daily declares Trump, Pence ‘lunatics of a deviant sect’

There Are No Sunglasses | September 17, 2018

The pro-Erdoğan Turkish Yeni Şafak daily claimed on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence are pondering a “crusade,” saying the US is run by the “lunatics of a deviant sect.”

“The world is facing the attacks of the Zionist-Christian sect of evangelicalism. The ‘superpower’ US is run by neocon evangelicals who espouse wiping out humanity to get to paradise. The lunatics of this deviant sect, US President Trump, who can shake the markets with a tweet, and his deputy Pence are a threat to humanity,” said the daily in its lead story.

“If Pence becomes president, it will pave the way for the US turning into a religious state,” the daily asserted, adding that Trump has been using the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey to get the support of evangelicals in the November 2018 congressional elections.

Yeni Şafak’s story was also shared on the websites of the Sabah, Takvim and Akşam newspapers, which are run by people close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey has been experiencing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over a court decision to put American pastor Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.

Following the court ruling, Trump and Pence threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey if Brunson were not freed.

After declaring economic sanctions on two Turkish ministers on Aug. 1 for their role in Brunson’s continuing detention, Trump on Aug. 10 ramped up his attack on Turkey by doubling US tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports to 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

“Some unaware people among us think that their target is Tayyip Erdoğan. No, the target is Turkey. The target is Islam,” Erdoğan said on Aug. 26, linking regional conflicts and the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey to previous attempts to invade Anatolia.

Erdoğan on Aug. 20 said, “attacks against the Turkish economy are no different than attacking the adhan [call to prayer] and the flag.” (turkishminute.com)

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Lieberman, Netanyahu reject plans to reduce Palestinian prisoners’ sentences

MEMO | September 17, 2018

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday rejected an Israeli army discussion of establishing a committee to see whether life sentences issued against Palestinian prisoners should be reduced, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

“As long as I am the defence minister, no terrorist will have his sentence shortened by even one hour,” Lieberman announced on Twitter.

All Palestinians who stand up against the occupation, including children who protests, are referred to as “terrorists” by Israeli officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also voiced out his rejection to the proposal that sentences be reduced.

“Regarding the talk about shortening terrorists’ sentences—I strongly oppose this. I know that this is also the position of the defence minister and, therefore, it will not happen,” he was quoted by the Israeli news website Ynet News as saying.

The Israeli media has reported that an official order is expected to be issued to establish a committee that will examine parole requests for Palestinian prisoners who are serving life terms imposed by military courts in the occupied West Bank.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that, if established, the committee would discuss the possibility to equating military life sentences, which are 99 years, with the civil life terms.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

A quarter of a century in a mirage

By Dr Amira Abo el-Fetouh | MEMO | September 17, 2018

Last week saw the 25th anniversary of the signing of the cursed Oslo Accords that eliminated the Palestinian national constants. It replaced them with the recognition of Israel in exchange for imaginary power for the Palestinian people and false promises of establishing a Palestinian state.

A quarter of a century has passed since the “peace agreement” between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation signed by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the then Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. It was signed on the White House lawn under the auspices of US President Bill Clinton, and it derailed the path of the great struggle in which the heroic Palestinians offered their lives for the sake of their land, not for the sake of creating a fake authority that serves the Israeli occupation. On that fateful day in Washington, the PLO was burned, along with its national charter, which stipulated that Israel is a colonial entity which has stolen Palestine and that the organisation does not recognise it.

A quarter of a century has passed since the PLO laid down its arms and removed armed struggle against the Israeli enemy from its charter. This is despite the fact that this was its means of liberating Palestine from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan; instead, “peace” became the strategic choice of the umbrella organisation.

Throughout the post-Oslo quarter of a century, Israel has achieved more of its objectives than it did in its previous wars; the Palestinians have lost too much in concession after concession. The US now recognises all of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has moved its embassy there. Israel is pushing ahead with its Judaisation of Jerusalem and the Old City is being emptied of Palestinians; their numbers are dwindling. Meanwhile, the number of Jews inside Jerusalem has increased, as has the number of settlements surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque, not to mention the ongoing settlement expansion in the West Bank, home to around 800,000 illegal settlers. The Palestinians now have just 20 per cent of historical Palestine for their supposed state; this figure is likely to get smaller as there are plans to establish new settlements to cater for up to 1.5 million settlers.

The “Jewish Nation State Law”, approved by the Knesset last month, unmasked Israel’s ugly racist face; it was passed to legitimise these settlements by making Palestine a homeland solely for the Jewish people. “The land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people, in which the State of Israel was established,” says the new law. “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

Furthermore, in order to promote the Jewishness of the state, the law makes Hebrew Israel’s only official language. The state’s Palestinian citizens — 20 per cent of the population — must either leave the country or live as second-class citizens with no access to full citizenship and equal rights.

The Zionist lie for more than a century has been that Palestine is solely for the Jews; the Promised Land given to them by God which they cannot abandon. Turning reality upside down, the presence of the Palestinians is regarded as that of occupiers from whom the 1948 war was a war of liberation.

Moreover, the implication of the new law is that the settlements regarded as illegal under international law are not built on occupied land; they are simply an extension of Israeli territory. “The state views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation,” it announces. “The state will be open for Jewish immigration and the ingathering of exiles.” The “exiles” in this case does not mean the Palestinian refugees who have been ethnically cleansed since 1948, so the law unilaterally annuls their legitimate right of return.

The Palestinians have been disoriented for a quarter of a century, entering negotiations and disengaging, only to engage in new ones, and so one, lost in an endless cycle of talks. Their cause has been lost in the corridors of power while the Palestinian Authority — with its imaginary authority — has become a part of the Israeli project, by means of its security coordination with the occupation. The PA is the tool used by Israel to restrict and suffocate the Palestinians; to arrest activists and inform on Palestinian resistance members to the Israeli security agencies.

Given what has happened, why were the Oslo Accords signed? Oslo was preceded by the Madrid Conference and, prior to that, secret talks between the Palestinians and Israelis in preparation for the Accords. This followed the outbreak of the first intifada in 1987, which haunted the Israelis and carried a huge financial cost. The entire international community sympathised with this intifada and the children of the stones; Israel found itself surrounded domestically and internationally. Hence, it sought an agreement to calm the situation and allow the crisis to pass.

In its usual deceitful manner, Israel signed the Oslo Accords and made false promises about establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat acknowledged the right of Israel to live in peace and security, and said that the Declaration of Principles would mark the beginning of a violence-free era. The PLO condemned the use of terrorism — the label applied to legitimate Palestinian struggle against occupation — and other acts of violence and amended the clauses of the national charter accordingly. It also took it upon itself to force every member of the PLO to adhere to the changes, prohibiting them from violating the new clauses and disciplining anyone who did. Based on Arafat’s commitment, the intifada was stopped by his direct order and he began cracking down on the Palestinians and banning them from any act of resistance against Israel’s occupation.

In fact, Arafat had accepted years earlier that the Israeli presence was an inevitable reality and that the state could not be erased. In mid-1973 he wrote to former US President Richard Nixon via a back channel — this is mentioned by Kai Bird in the book The Good Spy — telling the Americans that he and his colleagues in the Palestinian leadership were convinced that Israel was established for good and its demise was out of the question. The person who dragged us to the Oslo disaster thus began dragging us there at least 20 years beforehand.

Arafat lived in dreamland, and forced the Palestinians to do the same, waiting for his promised state until he woke up at the Camp David negotiations in 2000. He realised that he was running after a fantasy and had been deluded into thinking that Israel would ever give up Jerusalem or accept the right of return. He pulled out of negotiations and returned from the US disappointed, with the hopes of the Palestinian people unfulfilled.

That’s when he announced the return to resistance; Al-Aqsa intifada broke out after the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, visited Al-Aqsa Mosque in September 2000. As a result of his actions, Arafat was besieged in his compound in Ramallah, until he was poisoned and killed in 2004.

His chapter was closed, and the pages of the Palestinian struggle are now limited to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. They are being suffocated by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian “sacred security coordination” Authority, who is now a key player in the overall Israeli project. The past twenty-five years since hope-filled Oslo have been a mirage.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Texas: ‘Arab rejection of Israel led to Israeli-Palestinian conflict’

Ma’an – September 17, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The State Board of Education of Texas, in the United States, voted to require teachers to teach students that the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict,” The Dallas Morning News reported.

The Jerusalem Post news outlet said that “this change will be made in ‘the rise of independence movements in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia and reasons for ongoing conflicts’ section in high school social studies curriculum.”

The board also voted, over the weekend, to remove certain historical figures from the teaching syllabus, such as former first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton and author and political [anti-war] activist Helen Keller, as part of an effort to “streamline” the curriculum in public schools.

Reportedly, “the board also included Moses as an influence on the writing of the nation’s founding documents, while it removed political philosopher Thomas Hobbes from that section.”

The Dallas Morning News also reported that the voting was not final yet and could be amended by the board before the final vote in November.

This is not the first time all eyes focused on Texas’s education system. “In 2002 and 2014, the board adopted a new generation of social studies products. Moses was mentioned explicitly in learning standards in Texas, and publishers responded by including him in textbooks,” according to National Public Radio.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Forget Putin, Trump is Acting in Every Way Like Netanyahu’s Manchurian Candidate

By Miko Peled | Mint Press News | September 15, 2018

In the months leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, the U.S. has colluded with Israel in a string of policies and decisions that completely undermine the legitimacy of the agreement, not to mention Palestinian claims to justice, freedom and ultimately peace. As these policies unfold, one cannot help recalling the words of the great Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, who said that talking with the Israelis is “a conversation between the sword and the neck.”

There is a clear common thread that binds several of the U.S. policies enacted by President Donald Trump since last December. Moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; pulling out of the Iran agreement; defunding UNRWA, and closing the PLO mission in D.C. all satisfy the objectives of the Israeli government while not benefiting the United States in the least. One might imagine that the United States is executing Israel’s policy, reading as it were from a menu that was provided by Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, the Trump administration is every Israeli prime minister’s dream.

Jerusalem

Moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was reckless, dangerous and absurd. The occupation and annexation of Jerusalem by Israel was in violation of UN resolution 181 from November 1947, which states in “Part III, City of Jerusalem” that:

“The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.”

Resolution 194 from December 1948 — in other words, more than a year after Resolution 181 was passed and the western half of Jerusalem was occupied and subjected to a total full ethnic cleansing, where not one Palestinian was permitted to remain — reiterates this:

8 | Resolves that, in view of its association with three world religions, the Jerusalem area, including the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern, Shu’fat, should be accorded special and separate treatment from the rest of Palestine and should be placed under effective United Nations control …

For this reason all diplomatic missions to Israel are situated in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem. The diplomatic missions in Jerusalem mostly pre-date the establishment of the State of Israel and are considered sovereign and independent of their countries’ embassies in Tel Aviv. Even the U.S. consulate until recently reported directly to Washington, and the consul general was in fact an ambassador. This was not unlike placing the U.S. embassy to France in Berlin and — according to sources I spoke to at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem — now that the ambassador’s office was moved to Jerusalem, the place is in a state of confusion and it is not at all clear who is responsible for what.

In addition to all of the above, the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel legitimizes the crime of ethnic cleansing and destruction which Israel has perpetrated in Jerusalem since 1948. This move did not benefit the U.S. in any way but it boosted Benjamin Netanyahu’s political power, and can be viewed as nothing less than a personal political gift from the president of the United States to Netanyahu.

Iran Deal

Israel, and Netanyahu, in particular, have been against the nuclear deal with Iran from the very beginning. Needing a diversion from its own war crimes and violations of international law, Israel has for many years pointed to Iran as a threat to itself and the rest of the world. This was a point of serious disagreement between the Obama administration and Israel and then Donald Trump put the disagreement to rest and the U.S. withdrew from the agreement.

According to a piece in Rand.com, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement “despite a lack of evidence that Iran is violating the agreement. To the contrary, the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified Iran’s compliance numerous times.” The article continues by saying, “the implications of this decision could be disastrous for the Middle East under any conceivable scenario.”

piece in the British Independent bluntly claims that:

“The president’s foreign policy has so far been marked by a significant ratcheting of tensions with Iran, driven by his administration’s noted friendliness towards Israel, which opposes the [Iran nuclear] deal.”

According to a report from August 2018 by the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency:

“Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.” The report states that among other things:

“Since 16 January, 2016 [JCPOA Implementation Day], the Agency has verified and monitored Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments in accordance with the modalities set out in the JCPOA.”

The report states clearly that Iran was and continues to be compliant in all areas of the agreement. All the other countries that are signatories to the agreement remain committed to it, and they all insisted that a U.S. withdrawal was a mistake. Only one person insisted the U.S. must withdraw, and that is Benjamin Netanyahu, and he is the one person whose claims President Trump decided to accept. Once again, the United States had nothing to gain and everything to lose from the withdrawal and once again Netanyahu personally gained political strength as the sole voice to which the president of the United States listens.

UNRWA

The United States can see no benefit whatsoever in denying UNRWA funding; yet this is what the Trump administration decided to do. The very agency responsible for providing relief, albeit inadequate, to the refugees of Palestine was receiving $300 million per year, which is a drop in the bucket in terms of relief and of course in terms of the U.S. government’s total budget. In an open letter to Palestine refugees and UNRWA staff, dated September 1, 2018, Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA Commissioner-General, writes,

“The need for humanitarian action … in the case of Palestine refugees, was caused by forced displacement, dispossession, loss of homes and livelihoods, as well as by statelessness and occupation. … [T]he undeniable fact remains that they have rights under international law and represent a community of 5.4 million men, women and children who cannot simply be wished away.”

“The attempt to make UNRWA somehow responsible for perpetuating the crisis is disingenuous at best,” the commissioner said, responding to claims made by Netanyahu that “UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the problem of the Palestinian refugees.” Netanyahu also stated that UNRWA “perpetuates the narrative of the so-called ‘right of return,’” which the state of Israel fears — and therefore, according to Netanyahu, “UNRWA must disappear.”

According to The New York Times, this move was pushed hard by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “as part of a plan to compel Palestinian politicians to drop demands for many of those refugees to return.”  The right of the refugees to return is enshrined in UN Resolution 194, and one wonders why the U.S. should object to Palestinian demand for return of the refugees to their homes? Once again this is a gift to Netanyahu, who wants to see the refugee issue disappear.

PLO Mission

A product of the Oslo Accords, the PLO mission in Washington is the de-facto embassy of Palestine, the face and the voice of the Palestinian Authority in the U.S. Now, almost exactly on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Accords, the Trump administration announces the closing of the mission. It could have come as no surprise when Netanyahu, who fiercely opposed the Accords, applauded the U.S. administration decision. This was yet one more insignificant step for the U.S., and one giant gift to Benjamin Netanyahu.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 7 Comments