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Fiasco In Islington, Part 2

Gilad Atzmon
By Richard Hugus | December 26, 2018

More facts have come to light in the case of Gilad Atzmon and his banning by the Islington Town Council from performing at a jazz concert on December 21, 2018. The original scenario was that one  e-mail from one person calling Atzmon an antisemite somehow persuaded the Islington council to take the drastic step of removing Atzmon from a town-owned venue. Many who heard the story felt this was a rash decision which would surely be reversed when the facts were brought to light. But the Council voted to uphold its decision and Atzmon was indeed not allowed to play.

Now it appears that the single complainant – Martin Rankoff –  was not just an anonymous fan of Israel but the UK director of Likud-Herut. Herut (or ‘freedom’) was Israel’s founding nationalist party from 1948 until it later merged with Likud. It is a militant and extreme Zionist organization whose roots go in a straight line from Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin up to Benjamin Netanyahu today. Jabotinsky and Begin helped form the Irgun terrorists in 1937. Irgun committed notorious massacres in Palestine leading up to and during the Nakba (or ‘catastrophe’) of 1947-1948. These include the bombing of the King David Hotel  in Jerusalem in 1946, killing 91 people, and the massacre at Deir Yassin  in 1948 in which 254 unarmed Palestinian villagers were brutally murdered as an incentive for other Palestinians to leave. On its web site Likud-Herut UK lists Jabotinsky and Begin as “visionaries.” Likud-Herut is a member of the World Zionist Organization and the Zionist Federation of the UK  who believe in “the inalienable right of all Jews to live and settle in all parts of the Land of Israel.”

In a letter to the New York Times in 1948 Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, and others compared Herut to the Nazis and Fascists who had just been defeated in World War II. Referring to this letter, Ramzy Baroud recently wrote, “the ‘Nazi and Fascist’ mentality that defined Herut in 1948 now defines the most powerful ruling class in Israel. Israel’s leaders speak openly of genocide and murder, yet they celebrate and promote Israel as if an icon of civilization, democracy and human rights.”

The history of Herut and Likud tells us a great deal about who the people are who complained about Atzmon to Islington Town Council. When Atzmon moved to appeal his being banned, formidable opponents again appeared in the form of the Simkins Law firm, one of the most expensive law practices in Britain, with  not one but two partners at Simkins being put on the case. These are Gideon Benaim and Tom Iverson. Benaim recently became well known in Britain for winning an invasion of privacy suit against the BBC on behalf of pop singer Cliff Richard, who said he spent £3.4m ($4.3 million) on the case. Clearly, representation by Simkins doesn’t come cheap. Also listed in Benaim’s resumé as a client is the Las Vegas Sands Corporation which likely has no problem with Simkins’ fees either. The Sands casino is owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who, as it happens, is a primary sponsor of the Likud Party in Israel, led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson owns the newspaper Israel Hayom, a mouthpiece for Netanyahu and Likud.

American businessman and investor Sheldon Adelson with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the ceremony of a laying of a cornerstone for new Medicine Faculty buildings at the Ariel University in the West Bank, on June 28, 2017. Photo by Ben Dori/Flash90

It now appears that Atzmon’s banning was not the result of a casual complaint; it was an intentional attack on a well-respected supporter of Palestinian human rights by the Likud organization, directly represented by Martin Rankoff. The attack was followed up by the hiring of a lawyer who has worked for Likud godfather Sheldon Adelson. The connection to these powerful forces may explain why Islington Town Council leader Richard Watts, without any delay or attempt at negotiation, took the step of going straight to a decision to hire an expensive law firm. This is while Islington is facing serious austerity and shortage of funds in its own operating budget. Islington has a population of about 206,000 people. This very month, 43 of those people were counted in one survey as homeless and sleeping on the streets.

Regarding the financial problems of his borough and others around London, Richard Watts, told The Independent in October 2018 :

“unprecedented” funding pressures and demand for adult and children’s social care and homelessness services was “pushing councils to the limit”.

“As a result less money is being spent on the other services that keep our communities running such as libraries, local roads, early intervention and local welfare support,” he added.

Yet, to Watts and his fellow councilors in Islington, backing partisans for a foreign country -Israel- took precedence over the pressing needs of the people whom they are supposed to represent. Either Watts was inexcusably careless with scarce town funds or a deal was made and he knew that he could depend on Likud-Herut to back him. Or, like politicians all across Europe and the US facing the power of the Israel lobby, he knew he couldn’t afford to say no.

According to Simkin’s web site, Gideon Benaim “has extensive expertise in the areas of defamation, privacy, harassment and copyright.” Perhaps it is not a coincidence that immediately after Islington brought in Simkins, identical statements from an unnamed Labour spokesman describing Atzmon as “a vile antisemite” appeared in both the BBC and The Guardian. Perhaps a lawyer experienced in defending people against defamation and harassment would also know how to perpetrate these things. Perhaps this was Benaim’s opening move. Character assassination is a common tactic in cases that have a weak legal foundation, such as this one, as it goes a long way to convicting the accused before their case ever reaches a courtroom.

The involvement of Likud-Herut in the attack on Gilad Atzmon, and Islington’s official backing of that attack, constitutes a monumental scandal. This wasn’t just a stupid mistake; it was a hit. It is an affront to reason that an an arch-racist organization like Likud, who from the beginning have stood for the removal of the people of Palestine from their own land by means of terror, murder, and forced expulsion, could possibly claim they they were defamed by someone pointing out these very crimes. There is a case of defamation here for sure – the defamation of Gilad Atzmon. For Zionists, defamation is nothing more than a tool to destroy opponents who can’t be dealt with by other means. We are long since tired of truth tellers being accused of antisemitism. We’re tired of national and local resources being used to prop up the criminal state of Israel. Coercion by advocates for Israel is at the center of this issue in Islington, as it is in many other towns and many other countries. For the sake of Palestine and our own sovereignty, it has to be called out and stopped.

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

Email: assemblyhall@islington.gov.uk

Contact the Council: +4420 7527 2000

To support Gilad’s legal battles:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

Fiasco In Islington

December 26, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Yair Netanyahu, Son of Israeli PM, Gets Brief Ban on Facebook

Palestine Chronicle | December 17, 2018

Facebook has briefly blocked the page of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s son, Yair after he shared previously banned content calling for “all Muslims [to] leave” Israel.

In a message posted Thursday on his Facebook page, after the latest flare-up in violence saw at least five Palestinians and three Israelis, including two soldiers, killed in recent days, Yair Netanyahu had called for the expulsion of Palestinians.

The prime minister’s son wrote: “Do you know where there are no attacks? In Iceland and in Japan where coincidentally there are no Muslims.”

In another post, he wrote that there were only two possible solutions for peace, either “all Jews leave [Israel] or all Muslims leave”.

“I prefer the second option,” added the 27-year-old, who has faced criticism of being a grown man living in the prime minister’s residence despite having no official role and benefitting from a bodyguard, a driver, and other perks.

Facebook deleted Yair Netanyahu’s posts, in which he called for “avenging the deaths” of the two Israeli soldiers.

Yair Netanyahu, who shared a screenshot of the earlier post in violation of Facebook’s community rules, took to Twitter to criticize the social networking giant, calling it a “dictatorship of thought”.

Facebook blocked his account for 24 hours.

Palestinian journalists and activists have long accused social media platforms such as Facebook of double standards regarding the enforcement of their policies, as well as an imbalance in how they deal with censorship in the Israeli-Palestinian context.

Last year, a damning report by The Intercept said that Facebook is deleting content and blocking users at the orders of the Israeli and the US governments.

December 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Putin tells Netanyahu of need for ‘strict’ stability in Mideast

Press TV – December 9, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reminded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the need to maintain stability following the recent Israeli operations near the Lebanese border.

Speaking over the phone, Putin and Netanyahu discussed the Israeli operations, the Kremlin said in a statement on Sunday.

“The president of Russia stressed the importance of ensuring stability in the region,” the statement said.

Ties between Damascus and Tel Aviv have been strained since Russia’s delivery of the S-300 missile defense system to Syria following the September downing of a Russian spy aircraft during an Israeli airstrike.

Russia has blamed Israel for the incident, which killed 15 Russian crew members. The Defense Ministry has said Israeli jets used the Russian plane as cover to attack Syria.

In their late Saturday talks held at the initiative of Netanyahu, Putin told him that Israel must improve its military coordination with Russia, the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader also emphasized the importance of the upcoming talks between their military experts to examine the circumstances of the September incident.

Israel has recently deployed additional troops along Lebanon’s border under the pretext of “cutting off” Hezbollah tunnels near the occupied territories.

Netanyahu has boasted that the Israeli operation was “only a small piece of the big picture” of what he called efforts to ensure its security.

The operation has drawn rebuke and ridicule even from Israeli leaders, with opposition leader Tzipi Livni criticizing Netanyahu for overdramatizing the campaign “for political gain.”

“We are not now in a situation where our soldiers are behind enemy lines. We are talking about engineering activity …,” she said, accusing the Israeli premier of “blowing the incident out of proportion.”

Intelligence and transport minister Israel Katz said Friday that Israeli forces may need to go into Lebanon to deal with the alleged tunnels.

An Israeli incursion into Lebanon would likely spark a major confrontation with Hezbollah. The Lebanese resistance movement has warned that Israel would “regret” invading Lebanon.

In his talks with Netanyahu, Putin “stressed the importance of ensuring stability in the region in strict accordance with Resolution 1701 of the UN Security Council,” the Kremlin statement read.

He was referring to the 2006 UN Security Council resolution issued after the Second Lebanon War, the last major conflict between Israel and Hezbollah which ended with the victory of the Lebanese movement.

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Bethlehem Mayor: Netanyahu Statement on Palestinian Christians is Another Attempt at Distorting the Reality of Occupation

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 16, 2018

Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said, in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such a statement “is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948.”

“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunams of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem, for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity, and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.

He continued, according to WAFA : “For example, in Jordan alone, a few kilometers away, there are at least 20,000 Palestinian Christians from the Bethlehem area that are denied family unification and even cannot enter the city, not even to celebrate Christmas, due to the Israeli military restrictions.

“We would like to remind Mr. Netanyahu that it was himself who supported the building of one of the most damaging colonial-settlements that surround Bethlehem, Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), and that, in 2015, he declared that by doing so he is preventing the connection between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.”

There are over 100,000 Israeli settlers surrounding Bethlehem from all sides, reducing the area of Palestinian control over Bethlehem to less than 13% of the district, and making it impossible to plan for the future of our city, said the statement.

Furthermore, it was Mr. Netanyahu who voiced objection to declaring the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route as a World Heritage site and his policies of harassment were behind the decision of the churches to close the church of the Holy Sepulcher for three days in Jerusalem in objection to church taxation policy, added the statement.

“His comment was also full of historical inaccuracies. It is shameful that while calling himself a ‘protector of Christianity’, he would use Christians as a tool for his Islamophobic talking points. The decrease in percentage of Christians in Bethlehem, as well as in the rest of Palestine, was provoked with the Nakba of 1948 and ongoing due to Israel’s colonial plans and policies that started in 1967.”

He said that this was also the case in West Jerusalem, from where a large Palestinian Christian community was expelled by Israel from Ein Karem, Talbiya, Qatamon, and other places. From 31,000 Christians in 1948, Jerusalem only has around 12,000 Christians today.

“We would like to advise Mr. Netanyahu to stop using Christians as a tool to pinkwash the occupation. The best he could do for a future of peace and coexistence, where the Christian community would thrive again, it is to respect his obligations under international law, including Security council resolutions 478 on Jerusalem and 2334 on settlements, dismantling illegal colonial-settlements and the annexation wall surrounding Bethlehem, including in the Cremisan Valley, fully end the occupation of Palestine and allow for the return of our people to their city. It is not the Palestinian government that prevents their return Mr. Netanyahu; It is your government.”

He said: “I would like to use this occasion to call upon the heads of the churches in Jerusalem as well as to the Holy See to raise their voices against the use of religion for political purposes. It cannot be tolerated anymore that the bible is used wrongfully in order to justify crimes and violations that go against the teachings of values spread by our lord Jesus Christ.”

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Russia says Iran’s presence in Syria none of Israel’s business

Press TV – October 12, 2018

A senior Russian official has dismissed the Israeli regime’s demand that Iran be forced out of Syria, saying that the issue is none of Tel Aviv’s business as it is Syria’s sovereign right to authorize Iranian forces on its soil.

“Syria is a member of the United Nations,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, adding that the Arab country “has equal rights” over its self-determination with Russia, the US and any other member of the UN.

“This is a sovereign country led by a legitimate government. It can agree on cooperation with any other country, including Iran, Russia, Israel,” he noted in an interview with the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS released Thursday night.

“That’s Syria’s sovereign right, and it’s not the business of a third party to intervene in these subjects of politics or policy of a sovereign country,” said Bogdanov, who is also President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East.

He went on to say that Moscow had already explained to Israel and the US that “this is a sovereign decision for Syria who should be on their territory.”

“They asked us and the Iranians to be there. The Iranians have said repeatedly on many levels that Syria asked them to help them in the fight against terrorists, and when Mr. Assad tells them that their mission is accomplished and they are no longer needed, they will leave Syria, just like us.”

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts against terror outfits.

However, over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.

In the latest Israeli airstrikes on Syria a few weeks ago, a Russian Il-20 plane was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defenses in Latakia Province, northwestern Syria. The Syrian S-200 missile defense system was responding to a wave of strikes by four Israeli warplanes.

Moscow blamed Tel Aviv for the incident, which killed all 15 people on board, saying the Israeli warplanes had deliberately “created a dangerous situation” that led to the crash.

Shortly after the attack, Russia delivered a modern version of its S-300 missile defense system to Syria in a bid to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Plane crash changed rules of the game

In his interview with i24NEWS, Bogdanov underlined that the Israeli pilots’ fault in that incident totally changed the rules of the game.

“The rules of the game were violated when Israeli pilots used a Russian aircraft for cover, knowing how it threatened the Russian crew,” he noted.

“You can imagine what would have happened if 15 Israeli officers had been killed through our fault,” he said.

Netanyahu’s UN theatricals on Iran nuclear site

Elsewhere in his remarks, Bogdanov mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s theatrical performance at the United Nations, in which he used placards with satellite pictures to make claims about a secret atomic warehouse in Tehran.

“It’s naive to think that only one country and only one secret service knows something that nobody else knows,” Bogdanov told i24NEWS, refuting allegations leveled by the Israeli PM about an atomic warehouse in Turquzabad, a village close to Tehran.

“It’s the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is supposed to check this. It is a professional and serious organisation. It has authority and legitimacy,” he said, adding that the IAEA can inspect any site at any time under the agreement it has with Iran.

“To tell the whole world they have something, and show pictures, maybe some people like this and it helps him, maybe it’s intended to score points and for internal consumption,” Bogdanov noted.

“Speaking seriously… Israel should have taken a different approach and not worked with journalists and with what we call ‘megaphone diplomacy’,” he noted.

October 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Netanyahu wants to redraw map in the Golan, Russia says – go to the UNSC

RT | October 10, 2018

Recognizing the illegally-annexed Golan Heights as part of Israel would be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Russia’s foreign minister has said, in an apparent rebuke to an appeal made by Israel’s prime minister.

Changing the status of the Golan Heights would be a “direct violation” of United Nations Security Council resolutions which dictate the international community’s stance on the disputed territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted.

On Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan, Syrian territory seized by Israel fifty-one years ago.

“Israel on the Golan Heights is a fact that the international community must recognize and as long as it depends on me, the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu said during an inauguration of a synagogue in the Golan Heights.

In August, Netanyahu expressed hope that Washington would recognize Israel’s claim to the territory, but US National Security Advisor John Bolton insisted that “there’s no discussion of it, no decision within the US government.”

Israel seized part of the Golan Heights during the Six Day War of 1967. In 1981, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, unilaterally proclaimed the occupied land to be part of the Jewish state. The declaration was swiftly declared illegal by the UN Security Council.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 10 Comments

Benjamin Netanyahu Is No Friend to America

By Scott Ritter | TruthDig | October 4, 2018

Benjamin Netanyahu is no stranger to the American spotlight. A career Israeli politician who attended school in the United States, he specializes in the kind of rhetoric that his American counterparts revel in—a kind of narcissism that’s more used car salesman than educator.

Netanyahu specializes in selling danger to the American people. This is an art he has practiced on numerous occasions, whether it be at the gatherings of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), his many appearances before the U.S. Congress, at televised events or during the general debate in the United Nations General Assembly, an annual gathering of global leaders and diplomats where each nation’s representative is provided the opportunity to address counterparts and the world on issues he or she deems to be of particular import.

Bibi (as he is known, affectionately or otherwise) delivered his latest address to the General Assembly on Sept. 27. Like others he had delivered previously, this one was a tour de force of angst, fear and anger with a nearly singular focus on the issue that has seized Netanyahu for more than two decades—Iran and its alleged nuclear weapons program.

In his 1995 campaign autobiography, “Fighting Terrorism,” Netanyahu, preparing to run for the office of prime minister of Israel, asserted that Iran was “three to five years” away from having a nuclear bomb. Bibi repeated this claim several times over the next 20-plus years, apparently unconcerned by the fact that his self-appointed timetable kept coming and going without the Iranian nuclear threat manifesting itself.

In September 2002, when he briefly found himself a private citizen, Netanyahu shifted his aim to Iraq, which he confidently asserted had a nuclear weapons program as he touted the benefits of removing Saddam Hussein from power—this during so-called “expert” testimony before the U.S. Congress. He was wrong on both counts, a fact that seems to slip the minds of those who continue to assign him a semblance of credibility given his proximity to Israel’s vaunted intelligence service.

As someone who spent four years (from 1994 to 1998) working closely with Israel’s intelligence service to uncover the truth about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, I can attest that Israeli intelligence is better than most at what it does, but far from perfect. For every good lead the Israelis delivered to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), for which I was working at the time, they provided a dozen or more that did not pan out. Their detailed analysis about the alleged organization and structure of Iraq’s covert nuclear program proved to be far removed from the truth. They got names wrong, affiliations wrong, locations wrong—in short, the Israelis made the exact same mistakes as any other intelligence service.

Iraq was a denied area, made less so by the presence of UNSCOM weapons inspectors like me who had unprecedented access to the most sensitive national security sites in the country. And still the Israelis got it wrong. They did so not because of “bad intelligence,” but because they, like the CIA and other intelligence agencies around the world, were privy to the vast amount of information and data collected by UNSCOM inspectors about the true state of Iraq’s proscribed weapons and related programs. They suffered from the same lack of imagination as did the others that postulated a nuclear-armed Iraq circa 2002, unwilling to consider the possibility that Saddam Hussein might be telling the truth about not having retained any weapons and related capabilities prohibited by the Security Council resolution. This same lack of imagination appears to fuel Netanyahu’s increasingly wild claims about Iran.

It is no secret that Netanyahu has opposed the Iran nuclear deal—officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action, or JCPOA—since the possibility of a negotiated solution to the stand-off between Iran and the rest of the world was put on the table by the Obama administration in 2012. He lobbied hard against the agreement, interjecting himself in American domestic politics in an unprecedented fashion to undermine the negotiations.

When Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Netanyahu found a kindred spirit whose intellectual curiosity would not permit any effective challenge to the narrative constructed by the Israeli prime minister. And when Trump faced resistance from his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, he simply replaced them with more compliant persons, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton respectively.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA was facilitated not by any supporting brief from the U.S. intelligence community, which held fast to the assessment that Iran was fully compliant with its obligations under the JCPOA, but rather by intel provided by Israel that featured wild claims of an operation in the heart of Tehran; hundreds of thousands of documents purported to outline a nuclear program that Iran insisted did not exist. In April 2018, Bibi unveiled the existence of what he termed Iran’s “Atomic Archive” as he detailed some of its contents, allegedly recovered during an Israeli operation.

While Netanyahu’s dramatic presentation proved to be enough to help push Trump into withdrawing from the JCPOA the following month, it failed to convince the rest of the world that Iran was operating in bad faith when it came to declaring the totality of its nuclear program. One of the main reasons for this is that the tale put forward by Bibi simply didn’t add up. Documents he presented as being derived from the newly captured archive were recognized by officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—which, along with supporting governments, is responsible for implementing the JCPOA—as matching those presented to the agency more than a decade ago. That cache of documents was allegedly recovered from a laptop computer sourced to an Iranian opposition group by Israeli intelligence.

At best, there is nothing new in these materials, and all the underlying issues alleged to have been “exposed” had already been discussed and rectified by the IAEA and Iran prior to the rectification of the JCPOA. At worst, Netanyahu was lying about the Israeli intelligence operation, and simply recycling old material—which may have been manufactured by Israel to begin with back in 2004—simply to provide political cover for Donald Trump.

Netanyahu spent much of his Sept. 27 address before the General Assembly detailing an alleged “Atomic Warehouse,” supposedly uncovered by Israeli intelligence in the heart of Tehran. As was the case with the “Atomic Archive” facility, Netanyahu made grand claims about Iranian malfeasance: The site contained “15 ship containers full of nuclear-related equipment and material,” along with “15 kilograms of radioactive material” that Iran allegedly evacuated from the site to evade detection. (Netanyahu seems to have overlooked the fact that the U.S. Department of Energy, prior to the JCPOA and in anticipation of such a scenario, “evacuated” nuclear material from one of its facilities during an exercise, only to have evidence of its existence uncovered by inspectors wielding the same detection capabilities as the IAEA.)

Netanyahu alleged that Iran was maintaining both an “Atomic Archive” and an “Atomic Warehouse” so that it could reconstitute its nuclear weapons program when the “time is right,” ostensibly when the sunset clauses of the JCPOA, which limit the number of centrifuges Iran can operate, expire. As with the “Atomic Archive” story, however, outside of Trump and his inner circle of anti-Iranian acolytes, informed American officials aren’t buying the Israeli leader’s tale, noting that Netanyahu has exaggerated the scope and scale of the warehouse in question. (These officials claim that the “material” being stored there is documentary in nature, a far cry from the “equipment” claimed by Netanyahu.)

Netanyahu bemoaned the fact that the world was promised “anywhere, anytime” inspections in Iran, and yet the IAEA has failed to take any steps to investigate the revelations provided by Israel. The reality is that the JCPOA promised no such thing. “Anywhere, anytime” was an artificial construct cobbled together by opponents of the deal by denigrating the investigatory capabilities of the IAEA. Moreover, the IAEA is intimately familiar with the quality of the intelligence information provided by Israel in the past, having spent months with Iran carefully deconstructing the claims contained within. The agency is hesitant to fall victim to Israeli exaggerations and falsifications again, and rightfully so.

More importantly, the JCPOA has a detailed mechanism in place to investigate claims such as those put forth by Israel. But by precipitously withdrawing from the JCPOA, the Trump administration has removed itself from that process. This means that Israel would need to turn to the Europeans, Russians or Chinese to plead its case. And the fact that neither France nor Germany nor the United Kingdom has picked up the mantle of Israel’s claims points to the inherent weakness of its intelligence. Netanyahu may be able to play siren to Trump’s Ulysses in order to crash America’s ship onto Iranian shoals, but the rest of the world is not following suit.

The American people should not tolerate this continued intrusion into their affairs by an outsider whose previous lies, prevarications and provocations helped get the United States entangled in one war, all the while advocating for our involvement in another. Bibi Netanyahu has a problem with telling the truth, and we give power to his words and deeds by not calling him out for what he truly is—a habitual liar with the blood of thousands of our fellow citizens on his hands. Netanyahu claims he is a friend of the American people. He is, in fact, the furthest thing from it.

Scott Ritter is the author of “Dealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” published by Clarity Press, October 2018.

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fun at the United Nations and in Congress: Israel Wins the Comedy Competition

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Image Credit: GPO
By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | October 8, 2018

Most people are unaware of the fact that the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly, which takes place in September, is actually a major audition opportunity for aspiring stand-up comedians. This year, American President Donald Trump was one of the pre-event favorites according to the Las Vegas betting line based on his hilarious tweets back in January explaining that he is “like, really smart,” before observing that he “would qualify as not smart, but genius…. and a very stable genius at that!”

To be sure, when he addressed the assembly on September 25th and rambled on about how “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” the audience was ready to share in the fun and laughed out loud at the absurdity of the notion. They were still giggling on the following day when U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley quipped with a straight face that the audience was actually laughing with Trump out of respect for him and what he was saying.

Netnyahu Bomb a4fdb

Trump’s tour de force seemed unbeatable but the wily Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an ace up his sleeve. Bibi’s performance back in 2012 when he produced the by now infamous cartoon of an alleged Iranian nuclear bomb about to go off was still recalled by many in the audience as the ultimate stand-up joke U.N. style, a legendary performance. But the same creative thinking that produced the bomb with its lit fuse had come up with a different kind of delayed action joke that Bibi knew would confuse his audience before being revealed for what it was, trumping Trump’s attempt at humor, so to speak. Netanyahu produced a series of large photos taken near Tehran by Israeli intelligence showing a wall and a gate. He said it was an Iranian “secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material for Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.”

Netanyahu Iran 31852

The audience gasped, clearly impressed by Bibi’s unexpected rollout of a hitherto unknown top secret installation, but the joke came the next day when it was revealed that the complex inside the wall actually contained a number of businesses, including a scrap metal dealership and a carpet cleaning service. Bibi likely reacted with his Gary Cooper grin, “Hey, the joke’s on you guys who are always whining about Israel’s nuclear stockpile.” A U.S. intelligence official was also apparently in on the jape, commenting a day later that “What Netanyahu said last night was slightly misleading. We knew about the facility in Tehran and it’s a place full of file cabinets and documents, not aluminum pipes or centrifuges.”

So it was a weekend of fun for the Israeli delegation, including convivial friendly banter with the representatives of all Israel’s four or five friends in the General Assembly, but you can only generate so much excitement when talking to a dry stick like Nikki Haley or the ambassador from Micronesia. Fortunately, good news had come through late in the week, concerning how seven more demonstrating Gazans had been shot dead by Israeli snipers, and there was also an exciting new development in that the Israeli navy had now gotten into the game, shooting Gazans demonstrating on the beaches along their own seafront since Israel regards anyone who seeks to access the water as being a terrorist, transgressing against Israel’s modern-day Mare Nostrum. Ninety-three more Palestinians were injured, 37 of whom were wounded by gunfire.

There was also a lot of funny stuff going on in Washington, perhaps driven by a desire to outdo the frolicking taking place at the U.N. building in New York City. Congressmen got together and said, “Hey, let’s see what we can give to Israel without anyone in the media coming out with so much as a peep.” One Congressman, possibly Chuck Schumer or Ben Cardin or even Lindsay Graham, must have come up with the idea for a new law that would compel the White House to give to Israel a minimum of $3.8 billion dollars a year for the next ten years no matter what Israel does or says. Shoot Arabs, kick them out of their homes, or just simply treat them like shit, it will all be the same to Uncle Sam. If they want to bomb Peoria, be my guest. Written into the bill is the provision that the president cannot in any way reduce or delay the payment going from the U.S. Treasury to the Israeli Central Bank.

And $3.8 billion is only a minimum. Section 103 of the House bill removes all limitations on how much money Israel gets. Under the new act, instead of $38 billion being the cap, as stipulated in the 2016 memorandum of understanding, it will be a minimum payment until 2028. Constant lobbying by Israel and its friends in the Congress will inevitably mean that the amount might double or triple during that time period. This is a huge gift to Netanyahu, who is undoubtedly laughing all the way to the bank, as the expression goes.

Section 106 of the bill is another freebee, increasing Israel’s access to a U.S. provided war-reserve stockpile that is maintained in Israel by completely removing the limits on how many weapons can be “transferred,” without any payment or charge. The existing limit of $200 million worth of arms per annum charged against the aid package has now been eliminated, allowing the Israelis to take whatever they want.

And there’s more. Section 108 of the Act permits Israel to export arms it receives from the United States, even though that violates U.S. law. And it will also be allowed to use the American aid to buy weapons from its own defense industries, eliminating any benefit for U.S. domestic arms manufacturers.

In short, the comedy routine by the U.S. Congress vis-à-vis Israel has consisted of rolling over and playing dead while handing over the reins of American foreign policy to a foreign power. Netanyahu has scored a hat trick, defying U.S. interests while increasing both aid and concessions. The House bill that spells it all out in detail will now go back for Senate approval, and then to Trump to be signed into law.

The only ones not laughing at the comedy routines both at the U.N. and in Washington are the American taxpayers and those of us who want U.S. foreign policy to respect American values and interests. And by the way, the House has named the bill after Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a well-known Israel firster whose groveling before Netanyahu and Jewish groups has been notable even by the low standards of the House of Representatives. The bill is now officially the “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.”

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

IAEA dismisses Israel’s call to inspect Iran facility

Press TV – October 2, 2018

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has declined to “take at face value” a recent Israeli claim that Iran has a secret atomic warehouse.

“The Agency uses all safeguards relevant information available to it but it does not take any information at face value,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Although Amano did not make an explicit reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim against Iran, it is his first public pronouncement since the premier’s speech.

“It should be noted that under the existing verification framework, the Agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed,” he added.

During his speech on Thursday at the 73rd annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Netanyahu once again took the stage to bring out fresh theatrics against Iran, repeating his threadbare allegation that the country is working to develop nuclear weapons at a “secret” site and urged the IAEA to inspect it.

“In May, we exposed the site of Iran’s secret atomic archive. Today, I’m revealing the site of a second facility; Iran’s secret atomic warehouse,” claimed the Israeli PM, who added, “Iran has not abandoned its goal to develop nuclear weapons.”

Amano further emphasized that the IAEA’s work related to nuclear verification “must always be impartial, factual, and professional,” saying, “In order to maintain credibility, the Agency’s independence in relation to the implementation of verification activities is of paramount importance.”

The IAEA chief added that the agency is conducting verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran signed with major world powers.

“These activities will continue to be carried out within the parameters of the relevant decisions and resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors and the UN Security Council as appropriate,” he pointed out.

Pointing to his reports to the IAEA Board of Governors, Amano noted that the agency would continue its evaluations regarding the absence of “undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran.”

“The Agency continues to evaluate Iran’s declarations under the Additional Protocol, and has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit,” the head of the UN nuclear agency said.

In his introductory statement to the Board of Governors in Vienna on September 10, Amano said Iran is living up to all its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

He added that the IAEA would continue to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.

Later in his opening address to the IAEA’s 62nd General Conference in Vienna on September 17, the IAEA director general reaffirmed that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement.

October 2, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

US Intel Officials Publicly Contradict Netanyahu’s UN Speech On ‘New’ Iran Atomic Facility

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge | September 28, 2018

Netanyahu’s Thursday UN General Assembly speech predictably included the familiar props and visuals condemning Iran over what the Israeli prime minister says is a continuing nuclear program it is hiding from the world’s view.

Like pretty much all prior Netanyahu speeches focusing on Iran, he held up a physical “evidence” to illustrate his points as he spoke — this time it was a “proof” that Iran has yet another secret warehouse holding nuclear-related material in the form of an aerial photograph of the Iranian capital marked with a red arrow pointing to a large building.

Though this was perhaps a step up from the cartoon bomb performance at the UNGA in 2012, the act is now a fixture and entirely predictable after many others spanning years, barely eliciting much media excitement compared to six years ago.

But unlike the last number of similar speeches, US intelligence officials have told Reuters that the claims are not true.

“I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran, a secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran’s secret nuclear program,” Netanyahu said as if breathlessly leading a breaking news press conference.

He said the site had previously held some 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of radioactive material that has since been moved in a curiously specific claim that would now seem very hard if not impossible to prove — given that… well it’s all been moved according to the claims. He called on the UN atomic agency to initiate immediate inspection with Geiger counters.

“Since we raided the atomic archive, they’ve been busy cleaning out the atomic warehouse. Just last month they removed 15 kilograms of radioactive material. You know what they did with it?” he said. “They took it out and they spread it around Tehran in an effort to hide the evidence.”

And on Twitter the Israeli prime minister began making a public appeal in parallel to his speech, asking people to “Google it” and offering the coordinates “35.5022 51.2997. It’s Iran’s secret nuclear warehouse in Tehran. Look for it and share it asking people to.”

Iranian officials were quick to seize upon his once again attempting to persuade through ample use of props and visuals, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif mocking, “No arts & craft show will ever obfuscate that Israel is only regime in our region with a *secret* and *undeclared* nuclear weapons program – including an *actual atomic arsenal*. Time for Israel to fess up and open its illegal nuclear weapons program to international inspectors.”

And elsewhere foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, “The world will only laugh loudly at this type of false, meaningless and unnecessary speech and false shows,” according to Fars news.

Considering this usual run of events anytime Netanyahu addresses the UN, the only surprise came later in the day, when Reuters cited US intelligence officials who immediately contradicted the content of his speech.

Reuters called the claims of the freshly revealed purported atomic facility “nothing new” to the Americans, according to an unnamed intelligence source:

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States is aware of the facility Netanyahu announced and described it as a ‘warehouse’ used to store ‘records and archives’ from Iran’s [civilian] nuclear program.

And further citing a second intelligence official, the report continued:

A second US intelligence official called Netanyahu’s comments ‘somewhat misleading. First, we have known about this facility for some time, and it’s full of file cabinets and paper, not aluminum tubes for centrifuges, and second, so far as anyone knows, there is nothing in it that would allow Iran to break out of the JCPOA any faster than it otherwise could.’

A separate Israeli media report also noted the contradiction between Netanyahu’s speech and US intelligence: “The claims gainsay the remarks made by Netanyahu, who said that the site, which sits a short distance from Shourabad, contained some 15 kg (33 pounds) of radioactive material that has since been moved.”

Thus it appears the media — including Israeli media — aren’t so lockstep in uncritically repeating Netanyahu’s talking points anymore.

Also on Thursday the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) made more claims connected with the UN speech, tweeting satellite images via its official account that claim Iran is establishing at least three missile factories inside Lebanon in partnership with Hezbollah, specifically in dense civilian neighborhoods of Beirut.

Israel has lately vowed to continue attacking Iranian forces stationed in Syria, and Thursday’s media information and propaganda blitz portend it is prepping for more rounds of strikes.

With Russia threatening response and now set to deliver the S-300 air defense system to Syria, it could be that Israel sets its sights on these purported Hezbollah “missile factories” on Lebanese soil.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | 2 Comments

United against Precision

By Gilad Atzmon | September 28, 2018

Yesterday PM Netanyahu, speaking at the UN, insisted that Israel has found the ‘secret atomic warehouse’ where Iran is allegedly “storing massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons programme.” Netanyahu failed to provide any evidence to support his claim, nor did he try to substantiate his comic assertion that Iranian government officials, in an attempt to dispose of 15kg of radioactive material, had spread the material around the streets of Tehran.

This is even funnier when you consider that the rest of the world knows exactly where Israel’s nukes factory is. The rest of the world also knows that it is actually Israel that doesn’t allow anyone into its WMD plant in Dimona, Rehovot or anywhere else.

Not for the first time, Netanyahu also brought some visual aids to illustrate his claims, seeming to believe that those who dwell outside of his ghetto are in desperate need of visual explanations.

The thing that surprised me the most was that Netanyahu was upset about the existence of Hezbollah’s underground precision missile production facilities in Beirut. I had thought that Israel would be delighted to find out that the Hezbollah are attempting at precision so they can hit military, logistic and strategic targets and avoid unnecessary killings of innocent civilians.

I guess that despite my intense efforts and my dedication to the study of the Jewish national project I still struggle to grasp the depth Netanyahu’s rationale.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | 15 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