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Chile Denounces Over 350 Eye Injuries On Human Rights Day

teleSUR | December 10, 2019

After more than two months of mobilizations against the policies of right-wing President Sebastian Piñera, sectors of the population took to the streets Tuesday in what was called “March for the Eyes of Chile,” in commemoration of the International Human Rights day.

The Chilean people denounced the government’s excessive violence after 352 people lost their vision partially or totally during the violent repression to social protests.​​​​​​ Organizations defending the rights of peoples mobilized to the meeting point for protesters at the renamed ‘Plaza of Dignity.’

The main objective of the march was to denounce the violent repression by police that until Dec. 6, caused 3,449 injured, including 2,767 men, 397 women, and 254 children and adolescents, according to the National Human Rights Commission.

Those attending the demonstration came with posters that had one eye drawn to remember the 352 people who have eye wounds, of which 331 are from injury or trauma and 21 from bursting or loss.

The posters also show a message denouncing “the eyes of the people accuse the terrorist state.”

For his part, the Director of the NHRC Sergio Micco said that the organization has proven on countless occasions that serious violations of human rights have occurred in the demonstrations. “We are facing a situation of denunciation of serious violations of human rights… there are abusive and negative behaviors that are continually repeated such as excessive use of riot guns,” he commented.

The Director of the Carabineros, Chile’s military police Mario Rozas, announced the suspension of the use of pellets as an anti-riot tool, except in cases of “legitimate defense when it represents a death threat.”

The measure follows a study by the University of Chile that states that these pellets are composed of only 20 percent rubber, while the other 80 percent have different elements, such as lead. However, on Nov. 23, Al Jazeera reported that Chilean police continue to implement pellets despite the official suspension of their use.

The unrest in the South-American country was sparked by a government’s decision to increase metro fees [premised on reduced carbon energy] but quickly spread to hold other social issues such as income inequality and swelling costs of living. The state’s response to the popular grievances has since led to the death of 23 demonstrators while around 3,000 have been injured.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) along with numerous other rights groups condemned the constant violations of human rights by police and military against the population in Chile.

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 2 Comments

European taxpayers’ money going to Israeli entities accused of international law violations

MEMO | December 11, 2019

The European Union (EU) is channelling European taxpayers’ money to Israeli entities accused of international law violations, according to a new briefing by human rights campaigners.

The research, carried out by the Brussels-based group European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), was published Tuesday.

“EU research funds have been a very important source of funding for Israeli academics, corporations and state institutions, among them a number of military companies and those involved in illegal Israeli settlements”, stated ECCP in a press release launching ‘EU and Israel: The Case of Complicity’.

“For many years European and Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations have been raising concerns over European taxpayers’ money being channelled to Israeli companies and institutions accused of war crimes and involved in violations of international law and human rights”.

According to ECCP, even at the same time as the EU has been criticising Israeli actions over the years in the occupied Palestinian territory, the body has also been “funding the very companies that sustain these unlawful activities”.

Thus, the human rights campaigners add, “when it comes to Israel the EU continues to violate its own directives and commitments to international law by funding Israeli complicit entities at the expense of Palestinians”.

In one example cited in the research, as part of the last funding cycle known as ‘Horizon 2020’, two of Israel’s largest military companies – Elbit Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industry – received almost 10 million Euros of European taxpayers’ money.

Although Israel is not an EU country, Israeli applicants have been able to access EU research funds on the same basis as member states since 1995 through the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

“While Israel, as the Occupying Power, bears the main responsibility to ensure respect for international law and human rights of the occupied Palestinian population”, ECCP states, “third states which are not party to the conflict, such as the EU and its member states, also have an obligation to not aid, assist or recognise bodies that violate international law”.

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Report: 557 Israeli violations against Palestinian media

MEMO | December 11, 2019

The Israeli occupation has committed 557 violations against Palestinian mass media during 2019 alone, the Government Media Office (GMO) revealed in a report issued on Tuesday.

Commenting on the report, GMO director, Salama Marouf, announced that Palestinian journalists are facing the “worst violations” by the Israeli occupation, noting that a number of them were killed, with some losing body parts or suffering from serious injuries.

The most recent Israeli violation, according to Marouf, was the Israeli shooting of the Palestinian photojournalist from the West Bank, Muath Amarneh, causing serious injuries to his eye leading to its removal.

Marouf also cited the Israeli closure of Palestine TV’s office in Jerusalem, after raiding it and confiscating its contents.

Marouf stressed that the Israeli occupation forces use “direct excessive force” to crackdown on Palestinian journalists and mass media, in order to undermine their coverage of the Israeli violations against the Palestinians.

Recounting only some of the Israeli violations against journalists, Marouf cited “the Israeli occupation forces beat them, insult them, hinder their work, arrest them, raid their homes, confiscate their equipment and impose travel bans on them.”

Marouf also described the Israeli pressure and cooperation with the owners of the different social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, which closed and disabled hundreds of Palestinian pages and accounts, as part of the violations against Palestinian media.

He called for bringing the Israeli occupation to court over its crimes against Palestinian journalists and mass media, and called for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2222, which guarantees the protection of journalists.

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran scientist Soleimani arrives home after over one year behind bars in US

Press TV – December 7, 2019

Freed Iranian stem cell scientist Dr. Masoud Soleimani has arrived in Tehran after over one year of imprisonment in the United States.

Soleimani arrived at Tehran Mehrabad airport on Saturday evening after he was released by the US in a prisoner swap. He was welcomed by his family members and Iranian officials upon his arrival.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accompanied the released scientist from Zurich where the swap took place.

The Iranian foreign minister said in a tweet earlier in the day that the top scholar, along with Xiyue Wang — a Chinese-born US citizen who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage in Iran in 2017 — had been delivered to the Swiss officials and would “be joining their families shortly.”

Back in October last year, Soleimani, 49, left Iran on sabbatical last year but was arrested upon arrival in Chicago and transferred to prison in Atlanta, Georgia for unspecified reasons.

When he left Tehran last fall, Soleimani, a professor and biomedical researcher at Tarbiat Modares University (TMU) in Tehran, planned to complete his research on treating stroke patients as a visiting scholar at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Prosecutors in Atlanta had accused him and two of his former students of conspiring and attempting to export vials of human growth hormone from the US to Iran without authorization, in violation of US sanctions.

The human growth hormone is not banned in the US or Iran and was being used “exclusively for medical research,” which is still considered largely exempt from US sanctions, according to his Atlanta attorney Leonard Franco.

The two students were charged in a court and released after posting bail because they held US citizenship.

December 7, 2019 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

When holidays bring hate: Sarah’s Day in Occupied Hebron

Extremist and racist propaganda placed around Hebron (H2) ahead of Sarah’s Day, a major Jewish holiday.
International Solidarity Movement | November 28, 2019

Hebron, occupied Palestine – The Jewish holiday of Shabbat Chayei Sarah (Sarah’s day’) took place in Al Khalil (also known as Hebron) over the weekend of 22-23 November. Over the two days around 50,000 Israeli settlers flocked to the city, to celebrate the festival in the place that Zionists believe is their religious right (despite the fact that it is historically Palestinian and is clearly within the demarcation of Palestinian Territories).

For weeks the area was being adapted and prepared to accommodate the thousands of visitors. Israeli settlers from nearby illegal settlement Kiryat Arba were to be joined by other observant Jews from across Israel, as well as from countries abroad such as France, the UK, and the USA. The mood was set by blatant Zionist propaganda adorning the streets, such as a banner proclaiming “Palestine never existed – and never will”. Whole areas of the old city and surrounding areas were taken over by gazebos, tents and caravans for the weekend. Exclusive and expensive VIP tickets to celebrate ‘Sarah’s day’ were available for hundreds of US dollars, enabling attendees to meet and dine with religious leaders, alongside Knesset members, and IDF commanders.

By Friday afternoon, thousands of celebrants had arrived in the city and the already extensive Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) presence (normally 4000 IOF soldiers guard the 400 Israeli settlers) was even greater than usual. Enhanced security measures were in place and major roads were blocked off, obstructing Palestinian movement around the city, and forcing Arab shops to close for business in an already suffocated economic environment (due to businesses and areas being closed by military order, and commerce/tourism heavily suppressed by restrictions on movement through checkpoints).

Many of the visiting settlers were visibly armed, with handguns or automated weapons, in stark contrast to Palestinians for whom it is illegal to carry a weapon, tightly enforced at all of the numerous checkpoints.

Each day International Solidarity Movement (ISM) received reports of serious, violent attacks on Palestinians living in or passing through vulnerable areas where settlers filled the streets.

On Friday evening, on the ‘Prayer Road’, leading up to the large settlement of Kiryat Arba, a group of 8 Palestinians were attacked in a barber shop. ISM spoke to one of the victims, Fayed, who reported a large group of settlers forcing entry to his father’s shop. Despite attempts to persuade the settlers to leave, more arrived to join the attack. Up to 100 settlers sprayed pepper spray, threw stones, chairs and pieces of wood, damaging property and injuring Fayed, his brother, his uncle and father. Fayed’s 21 year old cousin suffered a broken hand, whilst he and his uncle and father sustained injuries to the head and arms, resulting in hospitalization. The police eventually moved the settlers on however no arrests were made. Only basic details of the attack were taken down and there has been no further investigation of the crime.

Later that night there were further reports of violent attacks by groups of settlers in the same area, including an assault on a young old child, who was kicked and sprayed with pepper spray, requiring him to be taken to hospital. A Palestinian bride was also harassed and attacked by settlers as she celebrated her wedding day.

Despite the heaviness of occupation pressing down on them, the brutal and unprovoked attacks from the settlers, and frustration at the lack of protection from the authorities, Fayed and his family are quietly resistant. “Our life here is hard, but we have to resist. We try to be nice to everyone… to treat them nice, we don’t want any violence. Violence is not the solution…. the settlers carry M16 guns. It’s normal for us and our situation here – to be attacked, arrested, killed. We grew up like this. What can we do? We don’t have a lot of power or support. We can’t fight with guns or knives, this is not the solution. How many Palestinians have been killed? Guns and knives are not free, they do not make Palestine free. We are not against Jews, we are against Zionists and settlers, and those that occupy our houses. ”

The following day, the entire old city plus large swathes of the normally unrestricted area (known as ‘H1’) was locked down, making way for thousands of settlers to be given religious tours of the city. Many were intoxicated, chanting provocative anti-Palestinian songs, shouting abuse, and urinating on Palestinian property. As the day progressed, their behavior became increasingly violent, with numerous incidents of settlers throwing rocks, bottles and other items at Palestinian people and homes, as well as unlawfully entering or climbing on Palestinian property. IOF remained passive, merely supervising the passage of the crowds through Palestinian areas.

In one shocking incident, a group of settlers attacked the home of a known Palestinian activist, Imad, who has been frequently targeted since speaking out against the murder of a Palestinian by the IOF several years ago.

Imad and his family are some of the few Palestinians brave enough to continue living in Tel Rumeida, part of an area in the heart of the old city which has been designated a restricted military zone (known as ‘H2’). Since 1968 Al Khalil has been subject to the establishment of illegal Jewish settlements, and over the last 20 years, the area has seen a huge influx of hardcore settlers who believe for religious reasons they have a right to occupy the land. These are some of the most extreme settlers in Israel, who routinely perpetrate abuse and violence against Palestinian residents, including children going to school. Many Palestinians have been forced out of their homes and for those who remain, living in this area is extremely dangerous for Palestinians. There is a daily threat to life and limb.

On Saturday, as the streets of Tel Rumeida were inundated with thousands more armed settlers, the violence and intimidation escalated. There were multiple reports of attacks on Palestinian people and property. Footage was recorded of large groups of drunk settlers climbing on the roofs of Palestinian homes, and abusing and intimidating residents.

On Saturday Imad remained confined at home with his grandchildren, due to the large numbers of settlers who had been marching and congregating in the streets outside, making it unsafe for Palestinians to leave the house. Imad heard settlers climbing on his roof, and trying to enter his home through the entrance way. He called friends to come and help. and unsuccessfully tried to convince the settlers to leave. The large group were shouting abuse, spitting and throwing stones at bottles. Moments later Imad heard crying from where his 18 month old grandson was sleeping. As he ran into the room he discovered that a settler had thrown a stone through the open window, striking the child on the head and wounding him.

Due to the closed and restricted nature of this part of the city, an ambulance was unable to reach the house to attend to the child. The child had to be carried through the streets, protected by a circle of local people from the settlers who continued to try to attack the group as they tried to reach the ambulance.

Imad explains that the IOF soldiers arrived at the house during the attack, however they only stood watching, and failed to intervene to stop the violence. When local Palestinian’s arrived to provide support, the soldiers pushed and held them back, threatening to arrest them. The IOF also failed to provide any first aid or show concern for the injured child.

Despite the heavy IOF and Israeli police presence throughout the city during this weekend, it was abundantly clear that they were there to protect the settlers, and not the Palestinian residents. There was a complete failure to protect the Palestinians under attack. Police also failed to undertake any investigation into the various incidents, or attempt to bring to justice those settlers engaging in violence against Palestinians.

This raises concerns that the IOF are turning a blind eye to the violence, sanctioning and enabling it to occur, or alternatively that they simply have no power or authority to control the settlers’ violence. The risk for Palestinians trying to resist the occupation and violence, such as Imad, is to be punished, singly or collectively, for their defiance in the face of the creeping genocide of the Palestinian land and people.

Whilst trying to document and observe violence and abuse, ISM experienced hostility and aggression from both settlers and the IOF, including physical and verbal threats, restriction of movement as well as having our passports photographed by police and threatened arrest, in a clear attempt to deter us from our work. Pro-Palestinian activists in Israel risk deportation, including a 10 year ban from the country, serving to silence and prevent the documenting of human rights violations in Palestine.

December 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Criticism of Israel Already an Official Hate Crime in America?

 By Philip Giraldi – American Free Press – December 2, 2019

One subject that congressmen and the mainstream media tend to avoid is the erosion of fundamental liberties in the United States as a consequence of the war on terror and American involvement in the Middle East. Some of America’s legislators apparently do not even understand that freedom of speech actually means that one can say things that others might find distasteful. The assault on freedom of speech has been accelerated through the invention of so-called “hate speech,” which has in turn morphed into “hate crimes” where punishments are increased if there is any suggestion that hatred of groups or individuals is involved. Some have rightly questioned the whole concept, pointing out that if you murder someone the result is the same whether you hate your victim or not.

Freedom of speech is particularly threatened in any situations having to do with Israel, a reflection of the power of that country’s lobby in the United States. At a recent town hall gathering, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) demonstrated how he and his colleagues run and hide whenever the issue of Israel is raised when he would not respond directly to a question over whether any criticism of Israel should or should not be protected under the First Amendment. Crenshaw is a Republican and generally reliably conservative, though he recently spoke out against the “For the People Act of 2019,” which he claimed “would limit free speech dramatically.”

A constituent specifically asked Crenshaw’s opinion about federal laws that require citizens in some states to sign a pledge that they will not boycott Israel if they wish to get government contracts or obtain a government job. The audience member also mentioned a law passed in Florida that bans anti-Semitism in public schools and universities, defining “anti-Semitism” as criticism of Israel. The constituent observed, “These laws are obviously flagrant and troubling violations of the First Amendment to free speech.”

“Will you honor your oath and denounce these laws here, now and forever?” Crenshaw was then asked. Crenshaw quickly fired back that the critic was “cloaking yourself in the First Amendment” to enable engaging in “vehement anti-Semitism.” Crenshaw then asserted that the questioner was “advocating the BDS movement,” a recent target of much of the legislation that the critic was addressing.

BDS refers to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which calls on people to protest Israel by pulling investments from and boycotting the country.

Israel is engaged in what might be described as a war with the objective of driving any and all criticism of the Jewish state out of polite discourse, making it illegal wherever and whenever possible. The Knesset has passed legislation criminalizing anyone who supports BDS and has set up a semi-clandestine group called Kella Shlomo to counteract its message. The country’s education minister has called BDS supporters “enemy soldiers” and has compared them to Nazis. Netanyahu has also backed up the new law with a restriction on foreigners who support the BDS movement entering the country, including American Jewish dissidents, several of whom have been turned around at the airport and sent home.

Israel has been particularly successful at promoting its own preferred narrative, together with sanctions for those who do not concur, in the English language speaking world and also in France, which has the largest Jewish population in Europe. The U.S. government under Donald Trump is completely under the thumb of the Israeli prime minister’s office, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently saying “our major focus is stamping out anti-Semitism.”

Sanctions already in place in Europe consist of fines and even jail time. The legal penalties come into play for those criticizing Israel or questioning the accuracy of the accepted holocaust narrative, i.e., disputing that “6 million died.” Even attacking specific Israeli government policies, like its slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza every Friday, can be found guilty of anti-Semitism, which is now considered a hate crime in Britain, France, Germany, and, most recently, the Czech Republic. In Britain, where the Jewish lobby is extremely strong, a law passed in December 2016 made the UK one of the first countries to use the definition of anti-Semitism agreed upon earlier in the year at a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

A statement from the British prime minister’s office at that time explained that the intention of the new definition was to “ensure that culprits will not be able to get away with being anti-Semitic because the term is ill-defined, or because different organizations or bodies have different interpretations of it.”

The British government’s own definition relies on guidance provided by the IHRA, which asserts that it is considered anti-Semitic to accuse Jews of being “more loyal to Israel or their religion than to their own nations, or to say the existence of Israel is intrinsically racist.” In other words, even if many Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the countries they live in and even though Israel is in fact intrinsically racist, it is now illegal to say so in Great Britain.

One should not be surprised, as the British government’s subservience to Jewish and Israeli interests is nearly as enthusiastic as is government in the United States, though it is driven by the same sorts of things—Jewish money and Jewish power, particularly in the media. A majority of Conservative Party members of parliament have joined Conservative Friends of Israel, and the Labour counterpart is also a major force to be reckoned with on the political left.

Here in the United States, the friends of Israel appear to believe that anyone who is unwilling to do business with Israel or even with the territories that it has illegally occupied should not be allowed to obtain any benefit from federal, state or even local governments. Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association for every American are apparently not valid if one particular highly favored foreign country is involved, as the discussion with Crenshaw reveals.

Twenty-seven states now have laws sanctioning those who criticize or boycott Israel. And one particular pending piece of federal legislation that is regularly re-introduced into the Senate would far exceed what is happening at the state level and would set a new standard for deference to Israeli interests on the part of the national government. It would criminalize any U.S. citizen “engaged in interstate or foreign commerce” who supports a boycott of Israel or who even goes about “requesting the furnishing of information” regarding it, with penalties enforced through amendments of two existing laws, the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export-Import Act of 1945, that include potential fines of between $250,000 and $1 million and up to 20 years in prison.

Israel, and its friends like Crenshaw, are particularly fearful of the BDS movement because its non-violence is attractive to college students, including many young Jews, who would not otherwise get involved on the issue. The Israeli government clearly understands, correctly, that BDS can do more damage than any number of terrorist attacks, as it represents a serious critique of the behavior of the Jewish state while also challenging the actual legitimacy of the Israeli government and its colonizing activity in Palestine. Much of the current hate crime legislation in places like Germany and the Czech Republic directly targets BDS, stating specifically that it is “inherently” anti-Semitic. In late July, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed its own resolution condemning BDS explicitly in a 398-to-17 vote.

Going hand-in-hand with the condemnation of BDS is a drive to maintain the exclusivity of Jewish suffering. In June, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (D-N.Y.) called border detention centers holding asylum seekers “concentration camps,” she was inundated with protests from Jewish groups that claimed she was denigrating the holocaust and “insulting victims of genocide.” The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum even published a statement objecting to comparisons between “the holocaust and other events.”

It is important for Americans to realize that Israel not only spies on the U.S., digs its paws deep into our Treasury, and perverts Washington’s Middle East policy, it is also attempting to dictate what we the people can and cannot say. And Congress and much of the media are fully on board, which is the real tragedy.

December 4, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

French MPs pass pro-Zionism resolution, defy warnings by advocates of Palestine rights

Press TV – December 4, 2019

The lower house of France’s Parliament has passed a nonbinding resolution equating criticism of the Zionists occupying Palestinian territories with anti-Semitism, defying warnings that such a move could serve to stifle the advocates of Palestinian rights.

The National Assembly passed the resolution on Tuesday, with 154 votes for and 72 against, various media outlets reported.

The resolution states, “Criticizing the very existence of Israel as a collective composed of Jewish citizens is tantamount to hatred towards the Jewish community as a whole.”

“Such abuses increasingly make anti-Zionism ‘one of the contemporary forms of anti-Semitism’ in the words of the President of the Republic,” it adds, citing French President Emanuel Macron.

The Zionist entity proclaimed existence in 1948 after occupying huge swathes of regional countries during a Western-backed war.

Right before the war, it had already gone on a campaign of ethnic cleansing that lasted until 1949, leading to the expulsion of between 750,000 and 850,000 Palestinians from their homeland while the Israeli regime was replacing them with a similar number of Jewish migrants.

Still using far-and-wide Western backing, the regime staged another wholesale war in 1967 that saw it seizing more chunks of land, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds, the Gaza Strip and parts of Syria’s Golan Heights.

Many Jews worldwide are opposed to the occupation of Palestinian land and reject the Zionist concept of Israel being a legitimate Jewish state, arguing that the Zionist entity has hijacked their religious identity so it could push ahead with its land theft agenda.

Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan applauded the French lawmakers’ approval of the resolution, urging Paris to take “practical steps” against the international pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations and later turned international. It is meant to initiate “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law” and end its occupation of Palestinian lands.

The French MPs’ move came despite earlier warnings by activists and rights organizations that such a resolution could work to block any criticism of the occupying entity.

In a letter to National Assembly President Richard Ferrand in October, 39 organizations said the resolution would compromise “defense of freedom of expression and assembly for groups and activists that must be allowed to defend the rights of Palestinians and criticize Israel’s policy without being falsely accused of anti-Semitism.”

The resolution would also “weaken the universalist approach” to combating all forms of racism,” the letter added.

As the French legislators were about to adopt the measure, a group of 129 Jewish and Israeli scholars signed a petition calling on the parliament to vote against the resolution.

The signatories said, “It is cynical and insensitive to stigmatize them (Palestinians) as anti-Semites for opposing Zionism… They oppose Zionism not because they hate Jews, but because they experience Zionism as an oppressive political movement.”

Speaking to France 24, James Cohen, a professor at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 and one of the signatories, said that “by equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, you’re broadening the definition of anti-Semitism too much […] you’re going very far afield.”

December 4, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only 19.7% of Americans agree with US State Dept on Israeli settlements

IRmep Poll: “International law SHOULD APPLY to Israel’s military occupation & colonization of the West Bank, Golan Heights, E. Jerusalem and displacement of their indigenous populations. Do you Disagree or Agree?”

More than 80 percent of Americans seem unwilling to let Israel reinterpret international law to suit its colonialist agenda.
By Grant F. Smith | IRmep Polls

IRmep representative public opinion poll of 2,034 American adults through Google Surveys on November 20-22. Answer order randomly reversed.

Most American adults of voting age don’t appear willing to reject the applicability of international law to Israel’s ongoing colonization of occupied territories in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights.

On Monday, November 18, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reversed a 1978 State Department legal opinion stating that Israeli settlements were “inconsistent with international law.” Citing President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 assessment that the settlements were not “inherently illegal,” Pompeo stated that, “After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate… the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

The Trump administration relocated the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 and recognized the city as the capital of Israel. This most recent announcement is yet another blow to rule of law and international consensus. However, when polled, 53.6 percent of Americans don’t yet appear ready to register any concrete view on the matter. This may be due to the longstanding absence of serious U.S. mass media coverage of historical and legal issues. In other countries, informed and ongoing international legal analysis is the norm. Given that reality, it is surprising that 26.7 percent of Americans believe international law still applies, while only 19.7 percent believe it does not.

In a Nov. 21 letter sent to Pompeo, 107 House Democrats condemned the State Department’s recent decision on settlements.


Grant F. Smith is the director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, DC. For more IRmep polls, visit https://IRmep.org/Polls.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pentagon’s Destruction of the Bill of Rights

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | December 3, 2019

It is supremely ironic that Pentagon officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution because they intentionally destroyed the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution when they set up their “judicial” system at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In fact, the very reason the Pentagon established its system in Cuba, rather than the United States, was to circumvent and avoid the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Prior to the 9/11 attacks, whenever someone was charged with terrorism or any other criminal offense, U.S. officials would secure a grand-jury indictment and then prosecute him in a U.S. District Court. The accused in the federal court system is guaranteed certain procedural protections, many of which were carved out during centuries of resistance by British citizens to the tyranny of their own government. Our American ancestors demanded that many of those procedural protections be expressly enshrined in the Bill of Rights so that everyone would know that federal officials would have to abide by them whenever they charged people with federal crimes.

Examples of procedural guarantees include no cruel and unusual punishments, the right to confront adverse witnesses, the right to counsel, the right to due process of law, the right of trial by jury, the right to be presumed innocent, the right to remain silent, the right of speedy trial, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to be free of coerced confessions, and the right to counsel.

After 9/11, the Pentagon established its own “judicial” system at Gitmo to try terrorism cases, as an alternative to the federal judicial system in the United States. Yet, one searches in vain for any authority in the Constitution for the Pentagon to do that. When one reads the Constitution, the intent of the Framers is clear: one judicial system — the federal system — for trying all cases involving the commission of federal offenses.

Contrary to what some people maintain, terrorism is not an act of war. It is a federal criminal offense. That’s why it’s listed in the U.S. Code, which enumerates federal criminal offenses. It’s also why terrorism cases have long been tried in federal district court. It’s also why the Pentagon is prosecuting terrorism defendants in its “judicial” system in Cuba.

The establishment of the Pentagon’s system now enables federal officials the option of sending people who are accused of terrorism into two different systems — one run by the federal courts and the other run by the Pentagon. Thus, if two different people are charged with participating in the same terrorism offense, one can be sent into the federal court system and the other can be sent into the Pentagon’s system.

The choice makes all the difference in the world to people who are accused of terrorism because the two systems are total opposites. The Pentagon’s system has destroyed the procedural guarantees that the federal court system still protects. There is no trial by jury in the Pentagon’s system; trial is by military tribunal. Torture and other cruel and unusual punishments are meted out in the Pentagon’s system, oftentimes before conviction. Confessions can be coerced and are admissible into evidence. Hearsay evidence is admissible, which nullifies the right to confront adverse witnesses. Defendants are presumed guilty and treated accordingly. There is no right of speedy trial; some people have languished in the Pentagon’s system for more than a decade without trial. In the beginning, the Pentagon wasn’t even going to allow its prisoners have lawyers, but the Supreme Court put the quietus to that plan by ordering otherwise. Even then, the Pentagon has secretly monitored communications between attorney and client, a severe violation of the attorney-client privilege that is sacred in the federal court system.

Again, this was all by design. The U.S. military has long been a conservative organization, and conservatives have long poo-pooed the procedural protections in the Bill of Rights as nothing more than ludicrous constitutional “technicalities” intended to let guilty people go free. After 9/11, the Pentagon decided that it was going to show how an ideal “judicial” system would operate, one in which such constitutional “technicalities” could be ignored.

In the process, America ended up adopting a “judicial” system that is very similar to those in totalitarian regimes. After more than 200 years of Bill of Rights protection, the fear generated by the 9/11 attacks enabled the Pentagon to figure how a way to successfully circumvent those protections. In the name of keeping us “safe” from “the terrorists,” the result has been a destruction of critically important parts of the Bill of Rights.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

KONE To Put Facial Recognition And Alexa Listening Devices In Elevators

MassPrivateI | December 3, 2019

The good old days of elevator music being a minor distraction is about change.

VentureBeat reports that “elevators of the future will have virtual windows, voice-activated controls, music-streaming, and more.”

KONE’s DX Class, elevators will give security and the buildings owners, unparalleled access to view what is happening inside their elevators.

“Yesterday’s announcement concerned new elevators designed from the get-go with connectivity built in, allowing building owners to remotely control, activate, and deactivate specific services from a central dashboard. The setup includes a dynamic display, acoustics, and lighting that can be used to tailor the ambiance and interior.”

KONE’s “Monitoring Solutions” page also reveals that security and law enforcement can identify elevator riders in real-time. They even went so far as to trademark their real-time elevator spying program. It’s called KONE E-Link:

“With KONE E-Link you can monitor all your elevators and escalators from a single location. It gives you a real-time overview of equipment status, demand, traffic performance, and availability.”

Not only will security and the buildings owners have access to what is going on inside their elevators in real-time, but residents can also use Alexa to call the elevator while they are in their apartments.

VentureBeat’s story revealed that KONE plans to use Alexa and other companies like Robotise and BlindSquare to track people in the elevator.

Putting microphones inside elevators will transform them into Big Brother listening devices that will spy on you and your family.

As CNN reported earlier this year,

“Amazon reportedly employs thousands of full-time workers and contractors in several countries, including the United States, Costa Rica and Romania, to listen to as many as 1,000 audio clips in shifts that last up to nine hours. The audio clips they listen to were described as mundane and even sometimes possibly criminal, including listening to a potential sexual assault.”

Forbes warned that company’s usage of Alexa Guard is much more intrusive than their normal consumer used Alexa because it requires no wake word, is always listening, and cannot be turned off. (To learn more about Alexa Guard, click here.)

Turning elevators into 24/7 listening devices will make everyone long for the good old days when elevators just played bad music.

Kone plans to put facial recognition in elevators

Credit: Times UK

Tomio Pihkala, KONE’s executive vice president said,

“Computer vision is really one of the big things which we are working on quite a lot, Pihkala added. There are many use cases — facial recognition in the context of accessibility is a really obvious one for us.”

As VentureBeat pointed out, KONE has 450,000 customers worldwide. Their “Press Releases” page documents nearly 15 years of acquisitions and installations that would make even the most cynical person cringe.

Some of KONE’s recent contracts are Chicago’s Union Station Tower, the Garden Office Tower in Boston and the City of Kansas City. They are even in a cruise ship called the Harmony of the Seas.

KONE’s “Traffic History Playback” feature is also a major privacy concern for elevator riders.

“The history playback facility is a unique KONE E-Link feature. The need for playback may arise due to suspected misuse, reported incidents, or complaints by tenants. This feature facilitates reruns and study of elevator and escalator operating events and status changes, as if on a video recorder.”

How long does law enforcement or security store elevator video footage for? And are they recording audio?

For those of you who thought smart city surveillance ended the moment you walked inside a building or went on a cruise ship, guess what it doesn’t.  When elevators are being monetized to listen to our conversations and identify us, we all lose.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

French vote one step closer to anti-Zionism ban

By Ramin Mazaheri – Press TV – December 3, 2019

Paris – France’s media has remained nearly silent ahead of a vote on a resolution which is one step away from criminalizing opposition to Zionism.

If the motion passes, in a vote on December 3rd, it will throw open the door to false accusations of anti-Semitism for anyone openly criticising Israeli crimes, war atrocities and its Apartheid policies.

The resolution purposely tries to confuse “Zionism”, which refers to the imperialist and segregationist political project upon which Israel is based, with “anti-Semitism” which is a bigotry against Jews and Judaism that has nothing to do with Israeli massacres and crimes against Palestinians and non-Jews.

The hypocritical irony is that the law arrives just as France is in the midst of its latest wave of Islamophobia. Last month many top, alleged leftist politicians refused to denounce Islamophobia because they said that doing so could mean they are not allowed to publicly criticise the tenets of Islam. Protesters in Paris asked: where are France’s many self-proclaimed defenders of free speech?

The resolution states that, “Criticizing the existence of a Jewish state is a way to express hate towards the entire Jewish community.” Not only is this logically false, but inaccurate: studies show the majority of Jews in Europe are also anti-Zionist. Such a view also unjustly and dangerously tries to hold all Jews responsible for the crimes committed by Israel.

Many believe that nowhere in the world is right and wrong clearer than in Palestine, and the inability to discuss the imperialist, segregationist and constantly murderous project of Zionism will surely lead to more funerals for innocent Palestinians.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

DHS proposes MANDATORY facial recognition checks for US citizens at airports

RT | December 3, 2019

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing to impose mandatory facial recognition scans on all Americans entering or leaving the United States, moving to close a loophole that allows citizens to opt out.

Proposed in a recent filing, the DHS requested a change to the current rules in order to “provide that all travelers, including US citizens, may be required to be photographed upon entry and/or departure” from the US, citing the need to identify criminals or “suspected terrorists.” While not yet implemented, the rule change is in the “final stages of clearance,” a DHS official told CNN Business.

Under the existing guidelines, US citizens and other lawful permanent residents have the ability to avoid airport biometric scans and identify themselves by another means. While some travelers have found it difficult to opt out given opaque or inconsistent guidelines from airport to airport, the DHS would apparently like to cut down on the confusion by doing away with the exemption altogether.

The new rule was rejected by civil liberties groups and privacy advocates, who said it would only further erode Americans’ privacy and subject them to yet another layer of intrusive government surveillance.

“Time and again, the government told the public and members of Congress that US citizens would not be required to submit to this intrusive surveillance technology as a condition of traveling,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy at the American Civil Liberties Union, adding that the rule raises “profound privacy concerns.”

“Travelers, including US citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel.”

The DHS is currently set to outfit 20 of America’s largest airports with biometric scanners by 2021, despite a flurry of privacy issues and ongoing technical problems. Last year, an internal watchdog report found that the department’s facial recognition tech was not performing up to snuff and “may be unable to meet expectations” by its deadline. The DHS also piqued security concerns last year when it announced it would partner with Amazon for its all-seeing HART system, which will pass highly detailed information on some 250 million people to the tech giant for storage.

Recalling a data breach in June which saw 100,000 license plate and traveler images stolen from a private contractor hired to store information for the DHS, Stanley said the government simply “cannot be trusted” with the invasive technology.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment