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Qatar, Pakistan rule out possibility of normalization with Israel

Press TV – September 15, 2020

A high-ranking Qatari official says Doha will not follow in the footsteps of neighboring Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalize relations with Israel, emphasizing that Doha will not take such a measure as long as the Palestinian issue is unresolved.

“We don’t think that normalization was the core of this conflict and hence it can’t be the answer,” Qatari Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Rashid al-Khater, said in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg television news network on Monday.

She added, “The core of this conflict is about the drastic conditions that the Palestinians are living under” as “people without a country, living under occupation.”

Last week, Bahrain joined the UAE in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.

In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel said the agreement to establish ties was reached after US President Donald Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

The deal came one month after the UAE and the Tel Aviv regime agreed to normalize ties under a US-brokered accord.

Bahrain will join Israel and the UAE for a signing ceremony at the White House hosted by Trump later on Tuesday. The ceremony will be attended by Netanyahu, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Khater pointed to the attempts, backed by Kuwait, to end the economic and diplomatic blockade Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies imposed on gas-rich Qatar in June 2017, noting that the efforts have not yet reached a tipping point.

“In the past couple of months, there have been messages and messengers going back and forth,” she said.

“It’s very early to talk about a real breakthrough,” but “the coming few weeks might reveal something new,” the top Qatari official pointed out.

“We’re beyond this point. The point we are at is engaging constructively in unconditional negotiations and discussions” that “do not necessarily need to include all parties at once,” Khater said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, after the quartet officially accused Doha of meddling in regional affairs and supporting terrorism.

The quartet later issued a 13-point list of demands in return for the reconciliation, which was rejected as an attack on Qatar’s sovereignty.

‘Pakistan won’t compromise on Palestine cause’

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted to Bahrain’s normalization of ties with the Israeli regime following the UAE, saying, “Any recognition of Israel will face strong opposition from Palestinian people. We cannot make a decision which runs counter to the aspirations of the oppressed Palestinian nation. We will continue to support the fair resolution of the Palestinian issue.”

“If the whole world wants to recognize Israel, Islamabad would not do so and would never make a decision contrary to the wishes of the Palestinian people” Khan told Urdu-language 92 News television news network on Tuesday.

He underlined that the Pakistani government will never compromise on its fundamental principles of supporting Palestine and its liberation, as stated by the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

“Until a just solution to the Palestinian issue is produced, any recognition of the Zionist regime is ruled out. How can we accept to normalize with the Zionists when the main Palestinian parties do not accept it?” the Pakistani premier said.

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bahrain civil society groups reject normalisation agreement

MEMO | September 14, 2020

Civil society groups in Bahrain have rejected the government’s normalisation agreement with Israel which is expected to be signed formally in Washington DC on Tuesday. Seventeen organisations have issued a joint statement to this effect, with signatories including the General Federation of Workers’ Trade Unions in Bahrain, the Bahraini Bar Association and the Bahrain Women’s Association.

“We adhere to the constants of the Bahraini people regarding the just Palestinian cause and the provisions of the constitution that criminalise normalisation with the Zionist entity, in accordance with the official and popular Arab and Islamic consensus rejecting normalisation with this criminal entity,” said the groups. “All forms of normalisation with the Zionist entity initiated by some countries have neither produced peace nor restored the usurped rights of the Palestinian people, but have, rather, encouraged the enemy to commit more crimes against Palestine and the holy Arab and Muslim sites, foremost of which is Holy Jerusalem.”

The statement added that “what is known as a peace treaty between Bahrain and the Zionist enemy under the auspices of the US administration has brought about tremendous shock, resentment and widespread popular rejection among the Bahraini people, their political forces, civil society institutions, and all national actors and personalities.”

As a result, the signatories pointed out, nothing arising from the normalisation deal will have any popular legitimacy. “Generations of Bahrainis have believed in the just nature of the Palestinian cause,” they concluded.

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

US charges three over collecting monetary aid for war-torn Yemen

Press TV – August 29, 2020

The US Justice Department has charged three people in connection with a campaign to collect monetary assistance for the oppressed Yemenis, who are suffering under the years-long Saudi war and blockade.

It claimed that Muzzamil Zaidi and Asim Naqvi, US citizens living in Iran’s holy city of Qom and the American city of Houston, respectively, and Ali Chawla, a Pakistani national residing in Qom, had violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Justice Department officials alleged that the defendants “have considerable operational links” to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and moved US currency from the United States to Iran.

They claimed that Zaidi, Chawla and other members of an organization, called Islamic Pulse, received permission from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to collect a religious tax on his behalf and send half the money to Yemen.

“Zaidi, Naqvi, and Chawla allegedly raised money in the United States on behalf of Iran’s Supreme Leader, and illegally channeled these dollars to the government of Iran. As a result of today’s charges, their unlawful scheme has been exposed and brought to an end. The US Department of Justice and its National Security Division are committed to holding accountable individuals who operate covert networks within the United States in order to provide support and funds to hostile foreign governments like Iran in violation of US law,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.

The Justice Department also said Zaidi, 36, was charged with acting in the US as an agent of the Iranian government without first notifying the Attorney General.

The charges come at a time when the US has been continuing to supply weapons and military equipment to Saudi Arabia despite war crimes committed by the regime in Yemen.

The Yemeni army says Washington arms Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, defines goals for them and is involved in a political cover-up for their acts of aggression.

Saudi Arabia waged the devastating military aggression against its southern neighbor in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allied states.

The purported aim was to return to power a Riyadh-backed former regime and defeat the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement that took control of state matters after the resignation of the then president and his government.

The UN refers to the situation in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than half of hospitals and clinics destroyed or closed.

August 29, 2020 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 2 Comments

Yemen’s Ansarullah slams UAE-Israel deal as ‘great betrayal’ of Palestinians

Press TV – August 14, 2020

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has decried the deal reached between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to fully normalize relations as a “great betrayal” of the Palestinian cause.

In a statement issued on Friday, Ansarullah’s political bureau said the exposure of the UAE-Israel relations proved the emptiness of all the pan-Arabist slogans raised by the Saudi-led coalition in waging war on Yemen.

The statement added that the UAE was continuing to move forward on the wrong path of serving American and Israeli interests against the Muslim Ummah, referring to the Emirates’ participation in the Saudi-led war on Yemen, which began in March 2015 and has left tens of thousands of people killed.

Ansarullah dismissed assertions that normalization with the Israeli regime would lead to the establishment of peace and stability in the region as “mere delusions.”

It also called for isolating any regime that announces normalization with Israel and boycotting it economically and commercially, stressing that Arab and Muslim peoples were able to do a lot to help Palestine.

The deal between the UAE and Israel was announced on Thursday. US President Donald Trump, who apparently helped broker the deal, has attempted to paint it as a big breakthrough.

But the Palestinians have utterly rejected the deal.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas referred to the deal as an “aggression” against the Palestinian people and a “betrayal” of their cause. The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas described it as “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause.” And Palestinian people staged protests against the deal in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday.

The Emirates is now the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to normalize with Israel. Abu Dhabi was already believed to have clandestine relations with Tel Aviv.

August 14, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran is ready to help Beirut’s reconstruction

MEMO | August 10, 2020

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has visited the Lebanese Embassy in Tehran to express his condolences following last week’s devastating blast at Beirut Port which has now claimed the lives of 200 people and wounded at least 5,000.

“Dr Zarif presented his condolences on the tragic incident that befell Beirut on the 4th of August,” tweeted Lebanese Ambassador Hassan Abbas. “He also expressed Iran’s readiness to provide support in the rebuilding and reconstruction process.”

Tehran’s Ambassador in Lebanon, Mohammad Jalal Firouznia, said on Saturday that Iran plans to play an active role in the reconstruction of the areas of the Lebanese capital affected by the explosion.

In addition to the several medical and humanitarian aid consignments sent to Lebanon by the Iranian government, Iran’s Red Crescent Society (IRCS) has established a field hospital in Beirut, with the city’s hospitals already at full capacity. Mehr news agency reported today that the IRCS said that it is fully prepared to send more aid if Lebanon requires it.

Many Lebanese citizens have been on the streets ever since the blast last week to protest angrily at the government, which has long been accused of corruption and negligence.

While expressing its solidarity and support for Lebanon, Iran has cautioned against “external provocation” by groups and other countries seeking to exploit and misuse the tragedy for political ends. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said today that, “Clearly, some are pursuing specific [political] goals through external provocation.”

August 10, 2020 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Popular Resistance: Armed Syrian Arab Tribes Able to Defeat US-SDF Alliance, Ex-Diplomat Reveals

Sputnik – 07.08.2020

Earlier this week, a group of Syrian Arab tribes representatives broke into the local headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the cities of Deir ez-Zor, Diban, and Al-Hawaij in the eastern Deir ez-Zor Province.

Seyed Hadi Afgahi, an Iranian expert on the Middle East, and ex-diplomat at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, believes that Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) units play a destructive role in terms of Syria’s security and stability, but there are certain forces that can break them for good.

“After Daesh had been defeated, the Americans created an alternative force to destroy Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is a mixture of Arabs and Kurds, and plays a destructive role in terms of Syria’s stability and security. The Americans armed them and used them as a proxy to take control of oil in Eastern Syria. In fact, the United States is plundering Syrian oil reserves through these forces. That is why a popular resistance is being formed in Syria, similar to the one in Iraq in 2003, whose armed guerrillas repeatedly dealt a serious blow to the American military contingent in Iraq, forcing Barack Obama to conclude an agreement. This is exactly the way of forming a popular resistance among Arab tribes that is gradually gaining strength in Syria,” he said.

“Moreover, some of the Arab tribes elders’ sons in the area of Deir ez-Zor and in the east of Al-Hasakah have left their previous military units and returned to their homes, where they are already forming people’s armed resistance backed by the Syrian government. They are expanding their groups and attacking US forces,” he added.

“This is one of the ways to counter US presence in Syria, because currently the Syrian army is not strong enough to resist and is unable to strike, therefore the best way is to opt for popular resistance that can ‘strike and smash’”, the former diplomat concluded.

Afgahi’s comments come days after representatives of Syrian Arab tribes stormed several SDF headquarters in the cities of Deir ez-Zor, Diban, and Al-Hawaij in the eastern Deir ez-Zor Province. The armed tribesmen also detained SDF militants present in the buildings at that moment.

The storming of the SDF headquarters in the province happened after representatives of the tribes protested against arbitrary actions by militant groups supported by the US. The demonstration was held against a recent surge in killings of elders and sheikhs of the local tribes by the SDF militants. The protesters demanded that the group hand over those responsible for the killings.

The SDF and other Kurdish groups currently control most of Syria’s oil-rich east with the support of US troops, who have been tasked with “keeping” the local crude fields since October 2019 from alleged attempts by Daesh militants to seize them. The Syrian government has repeatedly slammed the presence of a US military contingent in the country as illegal since they didn’t receive a mandate either from Damascus or the UN.

August 7, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Medicine, Doctors, and More: Russia Sends Five Planes With Humanitarian Assistance to Beirut

Sputnik – August 5, 2020

The deadly explosion, which levelled the Lebanese capital’s port and severely damaged nearby areas, left at least 80 people dead and thousands more injured. The city’s hospitals are filled to the brim and countries around the world are rushing to offer their assistance.

Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations has announced that the first of its planes loaded with humanitarian aid for Beirut, intended to help local authorities cope with the aftermath of the 4 August blast, has lifted off and is en route to its destination. The ministry added that four more planes with aid will be sent within a day, with the total number of Russian specialists expected to arrive in Lebanon amounting to some 150 personnel.

The first cargo plane, an Il-76 aircraft transporting a mobile hospital and a first response team, has already arrived in the country. The third aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet, will bring a team of psychologists and members of the “Centrospas” – a dedicated mobile emergency response team that focuses on finding and rescuing survivors in catastrophes and disasters of all kinds.

The fourth and fifth planes will also bring more of the ministry’s personnel, emergency teams, and special equipment for managing the consequences of the explosion.

Beyond Just Relief Aid

Russia’s help extends beyond just assisting the Lebanese authorities with rescuing possible survivors and treating the wounded. The second plane flying from Russia to Beirut will bring a team of 15 epidemiologists, along with a mobile field laboratory, the ministry said. Their goal will be to prevent an uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus infection amid the chaos of the blast’s aftermath and Beirut’s overloaded hospitals.

This form of aid was specifically requested by Lebanese officials, Russia’s Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare said earlier in the day. The two countries’ foreign ministries have been coordinating their steps in regards to how Moscow can help Beirut cope with the tragic incident, the Russian ministry stated.

August 5, 2020 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | | Leave a comment

Iran slams ‘flurry of disinformation’ about potential China deal

Press TV – July 11, 2020

A senior Iranian foreign ministry official has slammed a “disinformation” campaign that seeks to stoke fears about the impacts of a potential agreement between Iran and China.

In remarks published on Saturday, Reza Zabib, a foreign minister aide for South Asia, dismissed “the hypothetical figures” reported in the media about Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, saying nothing has yet been finalized about the deal.

“The objective of those who spread this disinformation is to destroy the (bilateral) relations, to prevent the signing of the deal and to pile accusations on the (Iranian) government and system,” said Zabib in an interview with Persian daily Shargh.

The seasoned Iranian diplomat also said that scaremongering about the deal is an attempt by certain political elements inside Iran to extract information about the deal and to force the Iranian government to disclose more information about the ongoing talks with China.

He said that Iran and China are now in agreement about at least 75 percent of the terms of a draft deal that was proposed by Iran during a visit to Beijing last year by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Zabib said that the Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will allow the two countries to expand ties in three main fields of politics, military and economy.

He said that the economic part of the agreement would cover a wide range of areas, including energy, technology and infrastructure.

Zabib’s comments come against the backdrop of criticism suggesting that Iran has offered major discounts on its future sales of oil to China in return for Beijing’s long-term and sizable investment in the country.

Iranian authorities have dismissed the claims while also insisting that the potential deal with China would not be an attempt to offset the failure of a 2015 nuclear agreement involving major Western powers.

Zabib said China has always been a major economic partner for Iran, even at the times of normal relations between Tehran and some Western countries.

July 11, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Chile Senate approves resolution to adopt law boycotting settlement goods

MEMO | July 10, 2020

The Chilean Senate last week approved a resolution calling on President Sebastian Pinera Echenique to adopt a law boycotting settlement goods and banning commercial activity with companies that operate in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The motion passed on 30 June with 29 votes in favour and six abstentions, no votes were cast against the move.

The resolution also called on the government to promote legislation that would ban all Israeli settlement products; prohibit any company involved in the Israeli occupation from benefiting from any agreement or bid signed by Chile; apply tourism guidelines for Israel and Palestine that would not allow the promotion of trips to Israel using pictures of East Jerusalem or Bethlehem “among other Palestinian cities”; forbid any kind of cooperation, including monetary, with the Israeli colonisation of occupied Palestine; and ensure that no tax benefits will be afforded to any organisation operating in Chile if it is involved in the occupation of Palestine.

Yesterday, President of the Palestinian National Council Salim Al-Zanoun thanked the Senate for its decision which he said constitutes a victory for the right of “our people to establish an independent state with its capital, Jerusalem, on the borders of June 4, 1967”, and affirming the international consensus regarding the application of international law and the terms of reference of the peace process.

On 2 July, Chile, the country with the largest population of Palestinians in Latin America, lit up its Telephone Tower with the Palestinian kufiyeh in support of the Palestinian people and rejection of Israel’s plans to annex some 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 2 Comments

Russia, China keep the ‘dragon in the fog’

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | July 8, 2020

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a phone conversation today with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Beijing will “continue to work” with Moscow in “firmly supporting” each other’s efforts “rejecting external sabotage and intervention” so as to “preserve their respective sovereignty, security and development rights, and well safeguard their shared interests.”

This signifies the consolidation of a new template in the Russian-Chinese alliance, which appeared in the most recent months — mutual support to push back at the covert operations by western intelligence agencies to destabilise the internal situation in the two countries.

An quasi-alliance rooted in dynamic economic partnership — trade touched $110 bn last year — and intensifying cooperation and coordination in the foreign policy arena takes a big leap forward, as the two countries join hands to strengthen their political systems. Beijing’s interest to highlight it speaks for itself.

Xi’s phone call to Putin took place in the backdrop of the Russian constitutional referendum and the law on ensuring security in Hong Kong last week. Prima facie, one metaphor is common to them — the “dragon in the fog”, a Chinese concept to portray a strong player in an incomprehensible space who can strike at his competitors at any moment from an unexpected angle.

The metaphor was recently used by a Russian political analyst Alexey Chesnakov (who previously served as a Kremlin aide) to sum up the quintessence of the Russian referendum, which allows Putin notionally to seek two more six-year terms. As Chesnakov put it, President Putin “wants to remain a ‘dragon in the fog’ until the end of his presidency.”

Chesnakov explained that the sheer prospect of Putin remaining in power beyond 2024 would also send an unmistakable signal to the international community that the Russian leader is confident about remaining at the helm of affairs in his country for at least the next decade.

Coming to the Hong Kong legislation too, the leitmotif is the ‘dragon in the fog’. The new law strengthens China’s national unity and territorial integrity. The four categories of criminal offence outlined in the law are: secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security. In essence, the legislation will keep western intelligence guessing.

The western legal scholars’ principal argument is that the new law weakens the “one country, two systems” principle. But the paradox here is that while western critics put the accent on the “two-systems” part, Beijing estimates that it is the “one-country” leg that has dramatically weakened in the recent years due to the upheaval in Hong Kong.

Beijing had two options to bring about greater harmony — use of force to pull back the “two systems” concept from racing away or, alternatively, strengthen the “one country” part by providing security underpinnings. Beijing opted for the latter course after a great deal of deliberation.

The crux of the matter is that Beijing wants to keep Hong Kong as the financial hub of Asia, while at the same time strengthening the city’s security and stability. Of course, the interference of the western intelligence agencies — primarily British, Australian and American intelligence — to fuel the protests in Hong Kong formed the context.

Hong Kong has a long history of being the base camp of western intelligence agencies in the Asia-Pacific. Much has been written about the western intelligence agencies’ covert operations out of Hong Kong before, during and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China.

In the case of Russia, too, western intelligence activities are showing signs of making another determined push for a post-Putin scenario in the Kremlin. The West’s calculation is that if Putin were to step down in 2024, he would very soon become a “lame duck”. Like in Hong Kong, western intelligence has developed extensive networks within Russia through which it is feasible to fuel unrest if political uncertainties coalesce with social and economic grievances. The Russian counter-intelligence is very well aware of this danger.

Putin has outwitted the western game plan to destabilise Russia. The constitutional amendment allows him to seek another two six-year terms and he intends to keep everyone guessing. Keeping the western adversaries guessing is also what the Chinese security law in Hong Kong hopes to achieve.

The western intelligence operating out of the city henceforth comes under direct scrutiny of Beijing. Recruitment of local agents, planning and mounting operations inside China, or inciting unrest in Hong Kong to weaken China — such covert operations become far more difficult and risky for the US, British and Australian intelligence. Interestingly, Xi used the expression “external sabotage and intervention” in his conversation with Putin today.

Beijing and Moscow have voiced strong support for each other’s moves to strengthen national security. On June 2, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said,

“We note that the national referendum on constitutional amendments, a major event in Russia’s political calendar, is going on smoothly. Results released by the Central Elections Commission reflect the Russian people’s choice. As Russia’s friendly neighbour and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination for a new era, China will always respect the development path independently chosen by the Russian people and support Russia’s efforts to realise lasting stability and promote socioeconomic development.

“We stand ready to work together with the Russian side to act on the consensus reached by our heads of state, deepen all-round strategic coordination and mutually-beneficial cooperation in various areas, and bring greater benefits to our two peoples.”

On the same day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in Moscow, “We noted the entry into force of the law on ensuring national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC on July 1, 2020 by the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China.

“In this context, we would like to reaffirm that Russia’s position of principle on the situation in Hong Kong remains unchanged. We respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the PRC and consider all issues pertaining to Hong Kong to be China’s domestic affair. We are against any attempts by external forces to interfere in relations between the central government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC.”

Cooperation between the Russian and Chinese security agencies in the realm of internal security can only stem from a high level of mutual understanding at the highest level. Significantly, on July 4, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov poured cold water on President Trump’s invitation to Putin to attend a G7 summit in the US, calling it a “flawed” idea.

Moscow has any number of legitimate reasons to distance itself from Trump’s invite, but what Ryabkov chose was very telling. He said, “The idea of the so-called expanded G7 summit is flawed, because it is unclear to us how the authors of that initiative plan to consider the Chinese factor. Without China, it is just impossible to discuss certain issues in the modern world.”

In effect, Rybakov thwarted Washington’s move to isolate China. Trump’s advisors were naive to estimate that Moscow could be baited to join its containment strategy against China. Ryabkov publicly administered the Kremlin’s snub.

July 8, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , | 1 Comment

Veteran activists called out BLM as a tool of the Democrats from day 1. But agenda-driven $Millions drown out the grassroots

By Helen Buyniski | RT | July 6, 2020

The Black Lives Matter movement has made millions off black Americans’ suffering. A St. Louis activist explains how it comes from a long tradition of white liberals coopting grassroots movements to push a Democratic Party agenda.

The foundation-funded social justice activism of Black Lives Matter is using black pain to cash in on white liberal guilt, dividing American society in pursuit of a Democratic political agenda, St. Louis activist Nyota Uhura told RT.

Uhura founded her website handsupdontshoot in August 2014 to counter false narratives coming out of the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson following the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Having witnessed BLM’s rise up close as the nascent organization swooped into Ferguson amid the calls for justice triggered by Brown’s killing, methodically co-opting the genuine protest energy while ignoring or even obstructing those protesters’ demands, Uhura has fought to warn others of what the organization really represents – leveraging black activism into a boost for the Democratic Party.

The science of co-opting movements

Plucking a few Ferguson residents from the streets for a veneer of local credibility, BLM raised $33 million on the back of Brown’s death – money Uhura says her community never saw. Six years later, black St. Louis remains poor and plagued with violence, while BLM has found a new community to exploit.

“They overshadow the work of the grassroots, then they insert themselves as leaders and they go out in the media and claim to be leading these movements,” Uhura said.

Outlining the methodology of BLM and other astroturfed movements, she added that sometimes they literally just showed up at a protest they didn’t plan and did a news conference. This is a tradition she traces back to white liberals’ hijacking of the 1963 March on Washington.

That tradition has been boiled down to a science, she says, with organizations like NetRoots turning out phony ‘activists’ with the ruthless efficiency of an assembly line. “NetRoots is where activists go to audition to be puppets of the Democrats, special interest and white elite nonprofit,” she continued.

“It happens so fast that all the pieces are in place before you even have a chance to know what hit you… Before you even know it, you’re watching the news and they have coopted your movement.”

White liberal and progressive groups “use the energy of our movement to push their agenda” – in BLM’s case, weaponizing the concept of “intersectionality” to broaden the movement’s scope from race to feminism, immigrant rights, LGBT issues, and other causes that directly affect white people.

“In order to mobilize people, they need those black faces out front – because what are they going to look like protesting? Just in terms of optics it’ll look like a Klan rally,” Uhura joked. She has a point – just 17 percent of last month’s protesters were black, according to a Pew Research poll published last week, a statistic the organization’s foes are unlikely to let it forget.

Real activists disenfranchised

Uhura is far from the only grassroots activist to publicly speak out against BLM for pulling a bait-and-switch, substituting the Democratic Party’s pet causes in place of justice for the victims of police violence. The group’s Cincinnati chapter dropped the iconic phrase from its name in 2018, alleging the national organization “capitalized off a nameless groundswell of resistance sweeping the nation, branded it as their own, and profited off [black people’s deaths]” without making an effort to get justice for victims’ families.

The Cincinnati chapter also says that BLM’s 2015 conference in Cleveland – where 12-year-old Tamir Rice had just been gunned down by a cop for holding a toy gun – focused almost exclusively on black transgender rights, further dividing a suffering community.

Los Angeles activists slammed BLM’s local chapter for ignoring the killing of Ezell Ford, a mentally-ill man shot by police in 2014, to travel to Ferguson and piggyback on the Michael Brown shooting. Upon their return to Los Angeles, where the activist community was demanding the city’s district attorney indict Ford’s killers, BLM Los Angeles not only continued to ignore the injustice, one of its leaders actually bestowed a ‘Women in Action’ award on the same DA who exonerated the cops who killed him.

Others take issue with what they see as obvious grifting by some of BLM’s most prominent representatives. DeRay McKesson has promoted brands from Apple to McDonald’s, and even got himself arrested in a Twitter T-shirt in what many activists believe was a staged promotion.

Shaun King is so legendary for making large sums of money raised “for the movement” disappear that the Daily Beast wrote a story about it. King recently announced a “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission” in conjunction with three of the same “progressive prosecutors” that activists like Uhura have denounced for failing to police the police.

‘They always march us back into the voting booth’

Like all controlled opposition movements, one of BLM’s primary functions is to derail meaningful change. Uhura explained, “They always march us back into the voting booth.”

Well-heeled movement activists consistently divert money and energy into electing Democratic Party candidates or “progressive” prosecutors, none of whom hold police accountable when they murder innocent black men, whether it’s in Ferguson, Los Angeles, or New York City.

For this reason, she’s not convinced by the group’s recent calls to defund police, or the Minneapolis City Council’s pledge to do just that – the governments of Ferguson and St. Louis promised all manner of reforms they didn’t deliver. Many that did pass were hopelessly watered-down or have since been rolled back, and Uhura sees ‘defund the police’ as just another fundraising tactic.

The only electoral solution to the black community’s problems is “weaponizing our politics,” according to the veteran activist – all incumbents have to go. They’ve had their chance to make a difference, and proven themselves unwilling to deliver. “It might take one or two election cycles to mold a person into what we need, but right now we’re losing anyway,” she explained. “We have to just clean house and get rid of everybody. How can it be worse?”

BLM recently came under fire for doling out just six percent of its donations to local chapters over the past three years, with a whopping 83 percent going to pay consultants and travel costs. The complicated route the money takes from donor to chapter has elicited extensive speculation about the possibility of money laundering, and BLM representatives have been almost cartoonishly cagey when asked by reporters about their finances

Co-founder Alicia Garza has denied the group is backed by foundations at all, even though billionaire currency speculator George Soros alone has given over $33 million to BLM, its founders, and associated groups, and the Ford Foundation pledged to raise $100 million in 2016. Fellow co-founder Patrisse Cullors has held up a fact-check by PolitiFact, funded by the same Omidyar Network that funds BLM, as “proof” the group isn’t linked with the Democratic Party.

But it’s the group’s function as an ideological launderer that has thus far insulated it from accountability. From the corporations pouring millions of dollars into its coffers to burnish their woke cred, to the politicians donning Kente cloths and pandering their way to re-election, BLM positions itself as ‘the’ black activism group, overshadowing grassroots campaigners and sucking up all available cash – literally starving out the competition, as genuine movements struggle to be heard by the media and greater public over the foundation-funded din.

This model of activism has been so successful over the decades that it has come to dominate every cause from environmentalism to civil liberties, offering young people a “romanticized view of activism where it’s all hashtags, all patty-cake, all sugar and cream, when nothing could be further from the truth.”

Uhura, however, is confident that BLM’s true nature will be exposed, citing the movement’s own inherent discrimination: “How does Black Lives Matter get to decide WHICH black lives matter when they purposefully omit straight black people and straight black men whose death they profit from?”

But as long as grassroots activists are losing ground to foundation-funded rivals, new BLMs will keep popping up. Real activists must “create an alternative” to foundation-funded movements, she says – or risk losing the next generation to the Democratic operatives and keeping justice out of the reach of black communities forever.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator at RT. Follow her on Twitter @velocirapture23

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Solidarity and Activism | | 1 Comment

If Suez Canal Blocks Iran’s Aid Ships to Lebanon & Syria, Strait of Hormuz Will Be Closed: Al-Akhbar Report

Al-Manar | July 1, 2020

Amid the squeezing US economic blockade on Lebanon and Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran seeks to aid allies and provide them with the basic consumption items by all means.

The Lebanese daily newspaper, Al-Akhbar, reported Wednesday that Iran has offered to sell oil to Lebanon which would pay in the national currency in return, adding that the Iranian ships are ready to sail without any political or geographical barrier.

In this context, the paper pointed out that the Iranians have threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in case the Suez Canal is blocked to the aid ships heading to Lebanon and Syria, citing a positive Egyptian stance in this regard.

The Iranian offer, expected to leave Tehran losing hundreds of millions of dollars, is inexactly viewed in Lebanon, according to the Al-Akhbar report Hezbollah has informed the Lebanese authorities it will help finalize the deal when they approve it.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s latest speech tackled the Iranian offer on the basis of a promise his eminence received from the Supreme Leader Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Al-Akhbar mentioned.

July 1, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 2 Comments