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EU Blasted for Ever Closer Co-Operation with Terror Regime in Israel

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | June 13, 2019

155 European Researchers and academics have delivered a stinging rebuke to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, and Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Science, Research & Innovation.

In a beautifully crafted letter they express the outrage felt throughout the world, and especially in European countries including the UK, at the EU’s policy of rewarding the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel. Each new act of unspeakable brutality, each new onslaught of disproportionate force against civilians brings fresh privileges, fresh co-operation, fresh embraces from an enthusiastic EU elite.

Perhaps the most shameful thing about Europe’s relations with Israel is the EU-Israel Association Agreement which came into force in 2000. This is about special trading and other privileges and its purpose is to promote (1) peace and security, (2) shared prosperity through, for example, the creation of a free trade zone, and (3) cross-cultural rapprochement. It governs not only EU-Israel relations but Israel’s relations with the EU’s other Mediterranean partners, including the Palestinian National Authority.

To enjoy the Association’s privileges Israel undertook to show “respect for human rights and democratic principles” as set out as a general condition in Article 2, which says: “Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.

“Essential” being the operative word. Respecting human rights and democratic principles is not optional. Article 2 allows steps to be taken to enforce the contractual obligations regarding human rights and to dissuade partners from pursuing policies and practices that disrespect those rights. The Agreement also requires respect for self-determination of peoples and fundamental freedoms for all.

Well, that’s a joke for a start. Given Israel’s contempt for such principles the EU, had it been an honourable group, would have enforced Article 2 and not let matters slide. They would have suspended Israel’s membership until the regime fully complied. Israel relies heavily on exports to Europe so the EU could by now have forced an end to the brutal occupation of the Holy Land instead of always rewarding it.

The signatories to the letter to Mogherini and Moedas aptly quote the warning by Israel’s own human rights group B’Tselem: “If the international community does not come to its senses and force Israel to abide by the rules that are binding to every state in the world, it will pull the rug out from under the global effort to protect human rights in the post-WW2 era.

Here is that excellent letter:

To Ms. Federica Mogherini – High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

To Mr Carlos Moedas – European Commission, DG for Research and Innovation

Brussels, June 4, 2019

Re: Letter from European researchers and academics concerning Israel’s participation in Horizon Europe

Dear Ms. Federica Mogherini, Dear Mr. Moedas,

We researchers and academics from Europe are writing to you in order to express our deep concern about the participation of Israel and its military companies in EU Research Programs. While we write, new Israeli raids flare up and the smoldering remnant of Gaza protesters of the Great March of Return, already forgotten and forsaken. More than 270 unarmed civilians were killed during the March of return, including women, children and persons with disabilities and thousands more were injured [28.939, of whom 7.247 by live fire]. They were only demanding their rights enshrined in international law: end of the illegal blockade and for the right of return to their ancestral homes from which they were expelled.

A report of the United Nation’s Independent Commission of Inquiry published earlier this year concluded that the Israeli army might have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by indiscriminately killing health workers, journalists and unarmed protesters who did not pose any imminent threats to the soldiers.

Relentless violence rages again after 11 years of inhumane siege and three military assaults that shattered the fabric of normal life. Gaza is declared to be uninhabitable by 2020 according to a report by the UN, but this “environmentally defined” deadline reflects only the intentionality of an imposed series of emergencies, followed each time by a further decrease in health, energy, food independence and commerce after each episode of armed aggression since 2007.

The hermetic siege combined with the systematic large scale military destruction is slowly strangling nearly the two million inhabitants of Gaza. None of the basic civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and power plants, was ever sufficiently rebuilt after each of the three military assaults due to severe restrictions by the blockade. Electricity is available only a few hours a day, 98% of water is not drinkable, and many hospitals periodically stop functioning due to lack of medication, spare parts of machinery, electricity and fuel. Permission for patients to leave in order to receive life-saving treatment elsewhere has been continually declining in time. Tools for education, number of teachers, and rebuilding of schools are severely impaired. The inhabitants of Gaza have been consistently denied basic human rights and human dignity.

The disproportionate use of force on the civilians amounting to war crimes has also been systematic throughout all, long and short term, military operations, including the almost daily assaults to fishermen and agricultural workers.

These facts have been meticulously documented in authoritative reports by the UN and human rights organizations and widely condemned by the international community. Yet Israel’s policies of aggression and repression have continued.

This ongoing impunity is allowing Gaza, the world’s largest open air prison, to be used as a military testfield. In each offensive Israel deployed, tested and perfected new high-tech military weapons and surveillance systems. These new cutting edge high-tech products are exhibited and sold as “battle-tested”, an exclusive label Israeli home land security industry boasts. Israel became the world’s top arms exporter per capita.This grave violation of human rights is thus highly profitable for Israel’s war industry disclosing another side of the claim of “only self-defense” and the interests beyond the lack of measure in the aggressions on Palestinians of Gaza.

Nonethelss, in spite of continual and serious breaches of international law and violation of human rights, and regardless of the commitment for upholding human rights of European countries, Israel enjoys an exceptionally privileged status in dealing with Europe also through the Association Agreement and has been receiving grants from the European Commission in the area of research and innovation (FP7 and its successor Horizon 2020).

Funds are granted even to Israeli arms producers such as Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), the producers of lethal drones that were used in the Gaza military assaults against civilians, together with numerous academic institutions that have close ties with Israeli military industry.

We appeal to the European Union to impose a comprehensive military embargo on Israel, as long as Israel continues to blatantly violate human rights. We are deeply disturbed that public funds contributed by European tax payers are channeled to a country that not only disregards human rights but also uses most advanced knowledge and technology for the very violation of human rights. We believe that knowledge and innovation should serve progress in humanity and society, not to develop dual use or military research of a country that has a record history of grave human rights violations. This is not compatible with the values Europe upholds.

In 2017 more than 150 European trade unions, political parties, human rights organizations and faith groups from over 16 European countries issued a call urging the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and exclude Israeli military companies from EU Framework Programs.

We support Amnesty International call for a military embargo on Israel issued last year following the attacks on the unarmed protesters of the Great March of Return using maiming bullets and brutal means by the Israeli army, unnecessary in that context.

Youth of Gaza appealed to you to stop funding Israeli manufacturers of weapons and surveillance system that guard their open-air prison, maimed them and destroyed their future. In support of their outcry we call upon European Union and European Commission to suspend the Association Agreement with Israel and exclude Israel as an eligible partner for Horizon Europe (successor of Horizon 2020), as long as it refuses to comply with the rules of international law. We also share the concern of B’Tselem, Israeli human rights organization, which stated “If the international community does not come to its senses and force Israel to abide by the rules that are binding to every state in the world, it will pull the rug out from under the global effort to protect human rights in the post-WWII era.”

Signatories*:

1.Dr. Nozomi Takahashi, Center for Inflammation Research, VIB-Ghent University, Belgium
2.Prof. Marc Van Ranst,Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, KU Leuven,Belgium
3.Dr. Leander Meuris, Medical Biotechnology, VIB-Ghent University, Belgium
4.Prof. Tarek Meguid,
5.Prof. Em. John Dugard, Universities of Leiden and the Witwatersrand (UN Special Rapporteur onthe human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 2001-2008)
6.Prof. Em. Herman De Ley, Ghent University, Belgium
7.Dr. Andrea Balduzzi, Università di Genova, Italy
8.Prof.Giuliano Donzellini, University of Genua, Italy
9.Prof.Sergio Morra,University of Genua, Italy
10.Prof. Paolo Bartolini, University of Genua, Italy
11.Dr.Angela Waldegg, Austria
12.Prof. Salvatore Palidda,University of Genua, Italy
13.Andrea Sbarbaro,office worker (psychologist),University of Genua, Italy
14.Prof.Marcello Maneri, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
15.Dr.Syksy Räsäne, University of Helsinki, Finland
16.PhD. Prof. Haseeb Shehadeh, University of Helsinki, Finland
17.Paola Manduca, Former Associate Professor Genetics,University of Genoa, Italy
18.Prof. Em.Giorgio Forti, Unuversità degli Studi di Milkano, Italy
19.Adjunct Professor Pertti Multanen, University of Tampere, Finland
20.Dr. Angela Flynn, University College Cork, Ireland
21.Docente ordinario Giuseppe Mosconi, Università di Padova, Italy
22.Prof.Anna Boato, Uniiversità di Genova, Italy
23.Dr. Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
24.Mathias Urban, Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Education, Dublin City University, Ireland
25.Prof. Sancia Gaetani, Già Istituto Nazionale Nutrizione, Italy
26.James Roche, Lecturer,Technoligical University Dublin, Ireland
27.Prof. Angelo Baracca,University of Florence, Italy
28.Prof.Giorgio M. Giallocosta, University of Genoa, Italy
29.Prof PhD Alessandro Bianchi, Department Informatics – Univ. Bari, Italy
30.Em. Prof Elisabetta Donini, University of Turin, Italy
31.Prof. Luca Queirolo Palmas,University of Genoa, Italy
32.Rosella Franconi, Senior scientist, Italy
33.Pediatric surgeon Bruno Cigliano, University “Federico II” Naples-Italy
34.Prof. Vittorio Agnoletto,University of Milan, Italy
35.Em. Prof.Andrea Frova, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, Physics Dept, Italy
36.Em. Prof. Mariapiera Marenzana, Ministry of Education, Italy
37.Massimo Di Rosa, Italy
38.Prof. Iain Chambers, University of Naples, “Orientale”, Italy
39.Dr. Paola Rivetti, Dublin City University, Ireland
40.Prof. Lidia Curti, University of Naples, Italy
41.Phd. Kati Juva, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland
42.Hessel Christiane, Epouse de l’Ambassadeur de France Stéphane Hessel, France
43.Phd. Bruno Lapauw, Ghent University, Belgium
44.Prof. Matthieu Lenoir, Ghent University, Belgium
45.Prof. Stef Craps, Ghent University, Belgium
46.Prof. Dr. De Baerdemaeker Luc, Ghent University, Belgium
47.Ana Cabal, University of Antwerp, Belgium
48.Dr. Kristina Mercelis, Belgium
49.Arch assistant. Geert Pauwels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
50.R. Van Laere, Royal academy for Archaeology of Belgium
51.Prof. Karel Arnaut, KU Leuven – IMMRC, Belgium
52.Prof. Dr.Willie van Peer, University of Munich, Austria
53.Prof. Dr. Em. Frans Daems,University of Antwerp, Belgium
54.Omar Jabary Salamanca, Ghent University, Belgium
55.Prof. Jan Delrue, KU Leuven University, Belgium
56.Em. Prof. Christian Kesteloot, KU Leuven University, Belgium
57.Prof. Em. Aviel Verbruggen, University of Antwerp, Belgium
58.Medical student Serhat Yildirim,Ghent University , Belgium
59.Prof. Emer. Piet Mertens, KU Leuven, Belgium
60.Associate Professor Nadia Fadil, KU Leuven, Belgium
61.Em. Prof. Dr. Patric Jacobs, Ghent University, Geology Deparment, Belgium
62.Honourary Professor Michel Vanhoorne, Ghent University, Belgium
63.Docent Jan Wyns, Belgium
64.Em. Prof. Marc David, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
65.Prof. Pieter Rombouts, Ghent University, Belgium
66.Mireille Gleizes, Belgium
67.Dr. Barbara Van Dyck, University of Sussex, UK
68.Em. Prof. Claude Veraart, University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium
69.Professeur Honoraire Pierre Gillis, Université de Mons, Belgium
70.Researcher Patrick Italiano, University of Liege, Belgium
71.Professeur Ordinaire Honoraire André Gob, Université de Liège, Belgium
72.Researcher Jacques Moriau, ULB, Belgium
73.Philosopher Marc Vandepitte, Technische Scholen Mechelen, Belgium
74.Abdessalam Faraj, Belgium
75.PhD Gillet S. University of Namur, Belgium
76.Em. Prof. Mateo Alaluf, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
77.Prof. Em. Biesemans Monique, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
78.Em. Prof. Fred Louckx, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
79.Prof. Marc Jacquemain, University of Liege, Belgium
80.Prof. Germain Marc, Université de Lille, France
81.Professeur-chercheur Lucienne Strivay, Université de Liège, Belgium
82.Prof. Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, Ghent University, Belgium
83.Researcher Andrew Crosby, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
84.Prof. Bert Cornillie, KU Leuven, Belgium
85.Docent Dario Giugliano, Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli, Italy
86.Prof. de Beer Daniel, Université Saint-Louis, Belgium
87.Researcher M Louise Carels, Université de Liège, Belgium
88.Prof. Victor Ginsburgh, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
89.Em. Prof. Heinz D. Hurwitz, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
90.M.A. Maria Aurora De Angelis, SOAS University of London, UK
91.Dr. Jef Peeters, KU Leuven, Belgium
92.Em. Prof. Magda Devos, University of Ghent, Belgium
93.Em. Prof. Norbert Van den Bergh, Gent University, Belgium
94.Em. Prof. Stefan Kesenne, University of Antwerp, Belgium
95.Prof. Dr. Em. Madeline Lutjeharms, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
96.Marie Scheirlinck, Belgium
97.Koen Verrept, VUB, Belgium
98.Prof. Roberto Beneduce, University of Turin, Italy
99.Prof. Patricia Willson, Université de Liège, Belgium
100.Em. Prof. Christiane Schomblond, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
101.Em. Prof. Florimond De Smedt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
102.Professeur Honoraire Mormont Marc, Université de Liège, Belgium
103.Dr. Zahidi, University of Antwerpen, Belgium
104.PhD Leena Saraste, Finland
105.Em. Prof. P. Marage, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
106.Em. Prof. Michel Gevers, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
107.Senior Research Associate Giselle Corradi, Ghent University, Belgium
108.Tiziana Terranova, Italy
109.Honorary Prof. Albert Martens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
110.Em. Prof. Vandermotten Christian, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
111.Prof. Jean-Claude Gregoire, Université libre de Bruxeles, Belgium
112.Researcher Xavier May, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
113.Dr. Duez Colette, University of Liege, Belgium
114.Phd Tanneke Herklots, the Netherlands,
115.Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere, Gent University, Belgium
116. Researcher Antonio Mazzeo, Italy
117. Prof. Michele Carducci, UniSalento – Lecce, Italy
118. Prof. Carine Defoort, KU Leuven, Belgium
119. Dr. Chiara Cardelli, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Vienna, Austria
120. Prof. Em. Pieter Saey, Gent University, Belgium
121. Independent scholar Celeste Ianniciello, Italy
122. Em. Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics, UK
123. Prof. Dr. Em. Erik Van der Straeten, Belgium
124. Prof. James Dickins, University of Leeds, UK
125. Dr. Tajul Islam, University of Leeds, UK
126. Dr. Barry Heselwood, University of Leeds, UK
127. Patrik Lasure, Pax Christi Vlaanderen, Belgium
128. Wim Nerinckx, Belgium
129. René Weemaels, Belgium
130. André Posman, Belgium
131. Technician Kelly Lemeire, University of Ghent, Belgium
132. Em. Prof. Schomblond Christiane, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
133. Dr. Gie Van Den Berghe, University Gent, Belgium
134. Rasha Soliman, University of Leeds, UK
135. Simona Antonova, UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands
136. PhD Michail Mamantopoulos, Belgium
137. Dr. Tom Moerenhout, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland
138. Prof. Dirk Vandermeulen, KU Leuven, Belgium
139. Em. Prof. Heinz Hurwitz, Université Libre Bruxelles, Belgium
140. Sénateur Honoraire Galand Pierre, Belgium
141. Prof. Megan Povey, University of Leeds, UK
142. Branch President UCL UCU Sean Wallis, University College London, UK
143. Dr. M Akhtar, University of Leeds, UK
144. Tom Hickey, University of Brighton, UK
145. Dr. Karen Evans, University of Liverpool, UK
146. Dr. Anne Alexander, University of Cambridge, UK
147. Dr Anandi Ramamurthy, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
148. Prof. Franco Montanari, University of Genoa, Italy
149. Dr. Stephanie Kourula, Belgium
150. Em. Prof. Chris Roberts, University of Manchester, UK
151. Researcher- PhD student Ainhoa Ruiz Benedicto, Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau, Spain
152. Tica Font, Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau, Spain
153. Researcher Edgard Vega, Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau, Spain
154. Ph Dr. Retired Assistant Professor Xavier Bohigas, Uinversitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Catalonia-Spain
155. Prof. Jan Dumolyn, University of Ghent, Belgium

* Institutions are added for identification purposes only. All signatories have signed the letter in a personal capacity

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

An Electronic Engineer in Orwell’s Britain

By Eve Mykytyn | June 13, 2019

Dr. Ali was dismissed from his job at the University of Essex for alleged anti Semitism. The charges stemmed from his opposition to a new campus society, a branch of the Zionist organization, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and from four of the many posts Dr Ali has made to Facebook over the last ten years. For more: SEE. Dr. Ali’s story makes plain that although the University claimed to dismiss him for anti Semitism, in fact he was dismissed for anti Zionism. The following interview with Dr Ali will be one of the first articles in which he will be able to tell his side of the story, which differs in important ways from the story told in the British press.

EM: Can you give us a brief bio, including where you grew up and your academic background?

MA: My family moved to London from the then newly independent country of Bangladesh in 1975 when I was seven,. We came as refugees, we had lost 22 members of our family including my elder brother who was murdered when he was barely thirteen. My father was a Professor of History and a Barrister (Lincoln’s Inn).

I grew up in the eastern suburbs of London and was educated at Chigwell School in Essex. I earned my PhD in Electronic Engineering at King’s College London. I have spent most of my career as a university lecturer in the UK.

EM: How did you get involved in the debate over the new Jewish society? Were you opposed to the formation of any Jewish group?

MA: At the University of Essex, student union members are invited by email to vote on any new student society, and a favorable vote by a majority is required for formation. Before a vote, the proposed society must clearly state its aims and objectives.

I read UJS’s manifesto and did not agree with their zealous promotion of Zionism and the state of Israel. That was my only concern. I was not voting against Jews, Judaism or their culture. When I was a student, I voted against the formation of political Islamic societies even though I am a Muslim.

The same concerns regarding the political Zionist basis of the UJS were raised by Student Union Committee Members, the University Amnesty Society, the University Palestinian Solidarity Group and 240 other students. I would like to stress that I did not and would not vote against the formation of a Jewish Society that was not politically Zionist.

EM: Did any of your students complain of anti-Semitism? Did the issue ever come up in one of your classes?

MA: I never discuss religion or politics in my lectures nor have the issues of Zionism or anti Semitism ever come up in any of my classes during my career. There has never been any complaint made against me by any student at the University or at any university at which I have taught.

Two former students, one a 50+ year old ex-British soldier, wrote a letter to Human Resources at the University defending me and stating that I was always inclusive, never discussed religion or politics and that I was an excellent lecturer. The other, a woman who is an ex- US marine who heard about my case, wrote to the Vice Chancellor directly. Neither letter was taken into consideration by the University.

 EM: Why do you think you were singled out? Were there other opponents of the UJS?

MA: I made a comment on the University Palestinian Solidarity Facebook page that Zionists were trying to create a society at our University. Someone asked why I was against Jews. I replied that I was not against Jews, their religion or their culture. I was opposed to the Zionist ideology presented in the society’s manifesto. In my 10 years on Facebook, I have never posted anything supporting the destruction of the state of Israel.

Obviously, I was singled out. The media falsely portrayed me as a ringleader of the 240 students who voted against the UJS. I did not urge these students to vote ‘no.’ I am a part-time Bangladeshi lecturer without powerful connections, and a bearded Muslim Asian – I was a useful scapegoat for their witch hunt.

The media failed to report that the vote was cancelled because of the 240 ‘no’ votes. After that, the UJS changed their manifesto and softened their wording regarding Israel and Zionism. They denied making this change, even though some students had screenshots of the two different manifestos.

I was asked to be part of a second vote, but I declined and did not vote. Part way thorough the second vote, the Vice Chancellor cancelled the election and created UJS as a “University” society. Later on, the Student Union revealed  that ‘“some” of the 600 votes in favor of the UJS had been cast “externally” by non-students.

The University tribunal charged me based on the UJS’s second less political manifesto, to which I never objected nor even voted on. Despite my vehement objection the University failed to take notice that it was the first manifesto to which I and others objected.

EM: So all you did was post an objection to the UJS based on their first, more extreme manifesto and then vote against it?

 MA: Yes

EM: What about the Facebook posts they claimed were anti Semitic?

MA: The tribunal considered six posts and dismissed two of them. Until the tribunal no one had ever complained about a post of mine and Facebook never warned or took any action against me. The posts they considered were as follows.

1.  A post from smoloko.com I made four years ago that a French police officer allegedly killed in terror attacks in Paris was actually a Mossad agent. There are many such theories about the 2015 attacks and I posted it for discussion purposes.

2. In 2016 I posted that 50,000 Jews in New York protested Israel’s policies and that the event was not really covered by the media. In the tribunal, I pointed out that my post clearly distinguished between Jews and Zionists

3. Posted on 1 August 2018 and clearly labeled as ‘revisionist history’ was a quote from Edgar Steele that the number of Holocaust survivors receiving pensions exceeded the number of Jews in Europe before the Holocaust.

4. A post on 17 January 2019 stating that the Jews put Palestinians in concentration camps. The Tribunal said I was comparing Jews to Nazis by the use of the word “concentration.” My Jewish Union rep. objected, pointing out that it was the British who originated the term ‘concentration camp’ when they used them in South Africa.

EM: You are not anti Semitic but you do have problems with the behavior of the state of Israel? Who defended you and what procedure did the University follow in making its decision?

MA: I am not anti-Semitic and the investigation and the tribunal both found that I, as a person, was not anti-Semitic.  I do have problems with all kinds of oppression; against humans, animals or the environment. As I told the tribunal, I have criticised almost all governments. The tribunal brushed aside my criticism of Israel’s oppressive activities. My opinions were backed up by reports from the UN, the Red Cross, Israeli human rights organisations and newspapers like Haaretz.

I was defended personally by one University Union member,  a Professor who is Jewish, but who has not given me permission to reveal his name. He told the tribunal that he believed that neither I nor my posts were anti-Semitic even though he did not agree with some of the posts.

Prominent Jewish voice for Peace (JVP) member, Prof. Haim Bresheeth, an Israeli-British film maker and a Professor at the University of London, wrote to the Vice Chancellor on my behalf. He made clear the distinction between Zionism and Judaism and wrote that opposing Zionism or criticizing Israel is not anti Semitism. In addition, renowned Professor, Norman Finkelstein, wrote a letter of support for me.

The University claimed my case had been investigated by “independent” investigator Nigel Youngman. My objections to the lack of actual investigation by Mr. Youngman were totally disregarded by the tribunal. He did not interview any of the key witnesses, not the 240 students who voted no, not a single member of the University’s Amnesty Society or Palestinian Society, and not members or staff at the Student Union.  Youngman never asked anyone why he objected to the first manifesto or why there were two manifestos. When he spoke to the tribunal he read from the second less extreme manifesto as if that was the one to which I had objected, although I had repeatedly told him that my reaction was to the first manifesto.

The University’s rules provided me the right to present a witness. I informed the tribunal that I intended to bring Prof. Bresheeth, and although I followed their procedural rules, the tribunal denied me my right to a witness claiming only a certain date was available as the tribunal was to be attended by “very important” people.

I knew as soon as the tribunal began that the University intended to dismiss me. They followed their procedures only to the extent that they would not affect the preordained outcome. For example, Prof. Andrew Le Sueur, who acted as prosecutor, instructed the tribunal to ignore the letters from Prof Finkelstein and Prof Bresheeth and not to take JVP’s statement against Zionism into consideration. That made it clear the tribunal was a farce, intended to allow them to dismiss me while pretending to the media that I had been given ‘due process.’

The major problem I faced was that the University treated Zionism as just a harmless Jewish belief. I do not know why they are so ignorant. The University would not listen when I tried to explain that there is a difference between Judaism and Zionism and that many people, including Jews, object to Israel’s actions but are not anti Semitic. I am happy that there were many Jews from JVP who came to my defense.

EM: The University advised you not to speak to the press. Do you now think that advice was for your benefit?

MA: I should not have listened to them since I believe the decision to dismiss me was made well before the hearing. From the beginning, I wanted to set the record straight and explain that I was not at all the person the media portrayed. I had written a careful apology to the University and, contrary to my expectations, the University did not share either my position or my apology.

EM: What have been the other effects of the dismissal? Will you be able to get another academic job in the UK?

MA: I have been dismissed from all my other part-time positions, including my work for St John Ambulance. When St John first investigated the allegations, I was found not to be anti Semitic. After the University dismissed me, St John fired me.

I have lost all sources of income, a financial loss I am not in a position to cover. It seems this is the penalty imposed upon opponents of Zionism.

I am not sure if I can find another job in the UK let alone an academic job. I could only be employed by someone who is willing to stand up to Zionist bullying and intimidation.

EM: Did you receive any hate mail?

MA: Yes I received a barrage of xenophobic, Islamophobic hate emails, threatening death to my family and me. Careful examination revealed that all the emails originated from only 14 unique email addresses. The British police are currently investigating these threatening emails.

In addition, there was a smear campaign against me as nearly all the 65 pages of British newspaper and online articles were essentially copied from an unfavorable and inaccurate article in the Jewish Chronicle.

EM: Was a police complaint or legal action filed against you?

MA: No police action has been taken against me, even though some of the hate emails claimed that I was being reported to the police for hate crimes and anti Semitism.

EM: Has your family faced discrimination in the UK? Is there is a double standard?

MA: Yes, my children have faced terrible discrimination. Some boys at his school threw my eldest son on the ground and tried to force feed him pork. He was called many horrible names including ‘terrorist.’ His school took no action against the boys who assaulted my son.

There is a clear double standard at the University of Essex. Two examples:

A Muslim Bangladeshi staff member was threatened by his immediate boss, a Latvian, who said any Muslim who came to his country would be murdered by him. He was reported but the University has done nothing in response to the threat.

A Muslim woman, a student, was harassed by her flatmate, a staff member of the University’s Law School. He told her: “your religion will make you bomb a building.” In front of a witness he said, “I can do whatever I want with you and I will not be punished for it.” She suffered death threats, physical abuse, and eventually left the school. A police lawsuit was shelved for lack of evidence despite a witness and a bruised arm. The University did not see that he breached any code of conduct, instead the University is doing everything to protect this staff member and have threatened a lawsuit if his name is revealed. More information can be found at this link: https://www.facebook.com/516992240/posts/10157873235557241?sfns=mo

The University of Essex that claims to have ‘zero tolerance to hate’ seems to apply that standard based upon who the victim is.

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

UK Rights Group’s Legal Challenge Shows MI5 Illegally Preserved Surveillance Data

Sputnik – 12.06.2019

The ongoing legal challenge of UK human rights group Liberty over data privacy breaches committed by MI5 has revealed new details about the violations, showing that the security service has been failing to remove collected bulk surveillance data on time and received surveillance warrants based on knowingly false information.

Under the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), MI5 has the authority to collect, upon authorization, personal data of a large number of innocent people and store it for potential future investigations. Security services, however, cannot store such data indefinitely: they are obliged to delete it within certain time limits.

Documents released during a court hearing on Tuesday showed that the MI5 legal team said, as quoted by the Liberty, that there is “a high likelihood [of material] being discovered when it should have been deleted, in a disclosure exercise leading to substantial legal or oversight failure.”

Moreover, a senior official from the intelligence service said that people’s personal data was being kept in “ungoverned spaces,” the rights group said in a statement, published on its official website.

“These shocking revelations expose how MI5 has been illegally mishandling our data for years, storing it when they have no legal basis to do so. This could include our most deeply sensitive information – our calls and messages, our location data, our web browsing history,” Liberty lawyer Megan Goulding said, as quoted by the rights group.

Investigatory Powers Commissioner and Lord Justice Adrian Fulford, who is responsible for verifying that the security services respect data privacy provisions laid out in the IPA, described MI5’s actions as “undoubtedly unlawful.”

“Without seeking to be emotive, I consider that MI5’s use of warranted data … is currently, in effect, in ‘special measures’ and the historical lack of compliance … is of such gravity that IPCO [Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office] will need to be satisfied to a greater degree than usual that it is ‘fit for purpose'” Fulford said as quoted by the Liberty website.

According to the rights group, the commissioner said that the intelligence would have never obtained permissions for their surveillance activities if the watchdog had known that MI5 was violating the IPA.

“Warrants for bulk surveillance were issued by senior judges (known as Judicial Commissioners) on the understanding that MI5’s data handling obligations under the IPA were being met – when they were not,” Liberty said.

The rights group raised the alarm about MI5’s violations in May, prompting the investigatory powers commissioner to start an investigation into the matter.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

UK report on ‘human rights’ forgets to mention Saudi Arabia in section on Yemen war

RT | June 12, 2019

The UK has published its annual human rights report, but with some notable omissions in its section on Yemen’s war – namely the identity of the country bombing its civilians, and the UK’s own involvement in the conflict.

The 2018 “Human Rights & Democracy”report from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) includes an almost 800-word section on the humanitarian situation in Yemen – but, to a reader unfamiliar with the specifics, the document offers few clues as to who bears most responsibility for the crisis, since the British report seems to have forgotten to mention some key details.
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The FCO report laments that the “human rights situation worsened in Yemen in 2018” and “the conflict in the country has had a devastating effect.” It then details the estimated numbers of lives lost and displaced citizens according to UN statistics, but doesn’t seem eager to pin blame on anyone in particular, laying responsibility at the feet of “multiple parties.”

“Multiple parties across the country committed a wide range of human rights abuses and violations.”

Yet, a UN investigative report last year found that airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition had caused “most of the documented civilian casualties” in the country – and said the indiscriminate strikes had hit “residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities.”

The UN also criticized the Saudi coalition’s sea and air blockades, which, it argued, could violate international humanitarian law, and called on the “international community” to “refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict.”

But who is providing arms? The FCO report is quiet on that front, too.

It has been estimated that the UK sold more than £4.7 billion-worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since its bombing of Yemen began in 2015. British arms sales to Riyadh account for nearly half of the UK’s major weapons exports. Calls for an end to Britain’s direct complicity in the war have fallen on deaf ears.

Former UK foreign secretary –and frontrunner for the Tory leadership– Boris Johnson recommended that the UK sell British bomb parts to Riyadh, immediately after an airstrike had hit a potato factory, killing 14 people, UK media reported this week, after emails obtained by arms trade expert Dr Anna Stavrianakis, through an FOI request, revealed Johnson’s enthusiasm for the sale. In justifying the sale, the FCO’s Arms Policy Export Team argued that there was no “clear risk” that the weapons would be used to violate humanitarian law and said the UK had “confidence” in the Saudi’s “dynamic targeting processes.”

The day after Johnson recommended the sale, a village school was hit in another airstrike, killing 10 children and injuring 20. Johnson’s successor, current UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has incredibly argued that it would be “morally bankrupt” for the UK to stop arming the Saudis, because if it did, “the people of Yemen would be the biggest losers.”

Yet, the FCO report praises what it calls the UK’s“continued commitment to improving the overall human rights situation” in the country and touts its provision of “emergency cash assistance” to vulnerable displaced women and girls, as well as a UK programme aiming to “increase Yemeni women’s inclusion in the peace process.”

The one (and only) mention of Saudi Arabia came more than halfway through the section on Yemen – a tepid line on the use of secret prisons “in areas under the Saudi-led coalition’s control” – inserted without any context as to who makes up the coalition, who supports it and what it is doing.

The report then quickly switches back to self-praise mode, with the FCO promising that the UK “will continue to lead international efforts to work towards an end to the conflict.”

The section on UK ally Saudi Arabia itself begins by lauding the “positive trajectory of social reform” in the country and condemns various continued human rights violations, but makes no mention of Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Kushner as a Colonial Administrator

Let’s Talk About the “Israeli Model”

By Ramzy Baroud | Dissident Voice | June 11, 2019

In a TV interview on June 2, on the news docuseries “Axios” on the HBO channel, Jared Kushner opened up regarding many issues, in which his ‘Deal of the Century’ was a prime focus.

The major revelation made by Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, was least surprising. Kushner believes that Palestinians are not capable of governing themselves.

Not surprising, because Kushner thinks he is capable of arranging the future of the Palestinian people without the inclusion of the Palestinian leadership. He has been pushing his so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ relentlessly, while including in his various meets and conferences countries such as Poland, Brazil and Croatia, but not Palestine.

Indeed, this is what transpired at the Warsaw conference on ‘peace and security’ in the Middle East. The same charade, also led by Kushner, is expected to be rebooted in Bahrain on June 25.

Much has been said about the subtle racism in Kushner’s words, reeking with the stench of old colonial discourses where the natives were seen as lesser, incapable of rational thinking beings who needed the civilized ‘whites’ of the western hemisphere to help them cope with their backwardness and inherent incompetence.

Kushner, whose credentials are merely based on his familial connections to Trump and family friendship with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is now poised to be the colonial administrator of old, making and enforcing the law while the hapless natives have no other option but to either accommodate or receive their due punishment.

This is not an exaggeration. In fact, according to leaked information concerning Kushner’s ‘Deal of the Century,’ and published in the Israeli daily newspaper, Israel Hayom, if Palestinian groups refuse to accept the US-Israeli diktats, “the US will cancel all financial support to the Palestinians and ensure that no country transfers funds to them.”

In the HBO interview, Kushner offered the Palestinians a lifeline. They could be considered capable of governing themselves should they manage to achieve the following: “a fair judicial system … freedom of the press, freedom of expression, tolerance for all religions.”

The fact that Palestine is an occupied country, subject in every possible way to Israel’s military law, and that Israel has never been held accountable for its 52-year occupation seems to be of no relevance whatsoever, as far as Kushner is concerned.

On the contrary, the subtext in all of what Kushner has said in the interview is that Israel is the antithesis to the unquestionable Palestinian failure. Unlike Palestine, Israel needs to do little to demonstrate its ability to be a worthy peace partner.

While the term ‘US bias towards Israel’ is as old as the state of Israel itself, what is hardly discussed are the specifics of that bias, the decidedly condescending, patronizing and, often, racist view that US political classes have of Palestinians – and all Arabs and Muslims, for that matter; and the utter infatuation with Israel, which is often cited as a model for democracy, judicial transparency and successful ‘anti-terror’ tactics.

According to Kushner a ‘fair judicial system’ is a conditio sine qua non to determine a country’s ability to govern itself. But is the Israeli judicial system “fair” and “democratic”?

Israel does not have a single judicial system, but two. This duality has, in fact, defined Israeli courts from the very inception of Israel in 1948. This de facto apartheid system openly differentiates between Jews and Arabs, a fact that is true in both civil and criminal law.

“Criminal law is applied separately and unequally in the West Bank, based on nationality alone (Israeli versus Palestinian), inventively weaving its way around the contours of international law in order to preserve and develop its ‘(illegal Jewish) settlement enterprise’,” Israeli scholar, Emily Omer-Man, explained in her essay ‘Separate and Unequal’.

In practice, Palestinians and Israelis who commit the exact same crime will be judged according to two different systems, with two different procedures: “The settler will be processed according to the Israeli Penal Code (while) the Palestinian will be processed according to military order.”

This unfairness is constituent of a massively unjust judicial apparatus that has defined the Israeli legal system from the onset. Take the measure of administrative detention as an example. Palestinians can be held without trial and without any stated legal justification. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been subjected to this undemocratic ‘law’ and hundreds of them are currently held in Israeli jails.

It is ironic that Kushner raised the issue of freedom of the press, in particular, as Israel is being derided for its dismal record in that regard. Israel has reportedly committed 811 violations against Palestinian journalists since the start of the ‘March of Return’ in Gaza in March 2018. Two journalists – Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein – were killed and 155 were wounded by Israeli snipers.

Like the imbalanced Israeli judicial system, targeting the press is also a part of a protracted pattern. According to a press release issued by the Palestinian Journalists Union last May, Israel has killed 102 Palestinian journalists since 1972.

The fact that Palestinian intellectuals, poets and activists have been imprisoned for Facebook and other social media posts should tell us volumes about the limits of Israel’s freedom of press and expression.

It is also worth mentioning that in June 2018, the Israeli Knesset voted for a bill that prohibits the filming of Israeli soldiers as a way to mask their crimes and shelter them from any future legal accountability.

As for freedom of religion, despite its many shortcomings, the Palestinian Authority hardly discriminates against religious minorities. The same cannot be said about Israel.

Although discrimination against non-Jews in Israel has been the raison d’être of the very idea of Israel, the Nation-State Law of July 2018 further cemented the superiority of the Jews and inferior status of everyone else.

According to the new Basic Law, Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” only and “the right to exercise national self-determination is unique to the Jewish people.”

Palestinians do not need to be lectured on how to meet Israeli and American expectations, nor should they ever aspire to imitate the undemocratic Israeli model. What they urgently need, instead, is international solidarity to help them win the fight against Israeli occupation, racism and apartheid.


Dr. Ramzy Baroud is an author and a journalist. He is athor of The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle and his latest My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. He can be reached at ramzybaroud@hotmail.com.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Report: Israel committed 84 violations against Palestinian journalists in May

Press TV – June 9, 2019

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) says the Israeli military committed 84 violations against Palestinian journalists in the month of May as the Tel Aviv regime continues its repressive measures against members of the press both in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.

MADA, in a report published on Sunday, announced that the number marks a sharp increase compared to the preceding month of April, when 19 violations were documented.

The report then pointed to the recent closure of Facebook accounts of at least 65 Palestinian journalists and activists in a campaign carried out on May 23 and 24.

MADA further noted that Israeli military aircraft targeted and destroyed the office of Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, besides the office of Palestine Liberation Organization-affiliated Abdullah al-Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation when they bombed the Gaza Strip on May 4.

The report went on to say that Palestinian photojournalist Mohammed Mahmoud Hassan suffered a gunshot wound as he was covering a weekly demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian lands by the Israeli regime in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, on May 10.

Two journalists, identified as 42-year-old Abdel Rahim Mohammed Khatib and Ramzi Hatem al-Shukrit, 35, were also separately injured during their coverage of the anti-occupation Great March of Return protests east of the border city of Rafah, located 30 kilometers south of Gaza City, on the same day.

One of them was struck by a rubber-coated metal bullet, while the other was directly hit by a tear gas canister.

On May 12, Israeli military forces arrested seven journalists and human rights activists in the northern Jordan Valley area, and prevented them from covering deportations being carried out by the military against Palestinian farmers and residents living there.

Furthermore, Israeli forces prevented Munther Mohammed Shehadeh al-Khatib, a photographer for al-Ghad satellite television network, from filming scenes of crowds of Palestinian worshippers flocking to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds to perform the last Friday prayers of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and threatened to destroy the camera, forcing him to leave the area.

According to the report, Ahmed Salah al-Najjar, who worked as a photographer with Noor media network, suffered an Israeli gunshot wound in the back while covering an anti-occupation protest east of Khan Yunis on May 31.

June 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 3 Comments

Saudi Arabia tightens grip on Palestinians, hampers remittances to Gaza: Report

Press TV – June 8, 2019

Less than a week after Saudi authorities arrested more than 60 people, including Palestinian expatriates and Saudi nationals, on charges of supporting the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, they have now blocked money transfers between the kingdom and the Gaza Strip.

The new step taken by the Riyadh regime against Palestinians involves official and non-official money transfers as the procedure has witnessed a marked decline over the past week and during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website reported.

The report described residents of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip as the main victims of the move. Most of the bank transfers that used to be carried out normally in the past, were frozen just a few days before the start of the holiday.

Remittance transactions are taking much longer time than usual – something that used to be done in a matter of few hours.

Many Palestinians have complained of the move, and termed it as “unprecedented.” They argue that the process of transferring money between Saudi Arabia and the Gaza Strip has become extraordinarily difficult.

Abu Fuad, a resident of the Gaza Strip who refused to give his last name for fear that his family could be persecuted in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, said he has experienced difficulty receiving money from his family.

“It is three days since the remittance has been made, but I have not received anything. Financial transfers used to be done in a few hours and without any obstacles in the past. But since the week before the Eid, the procedures have become complex and most of the transfers are frozen without any obvious reason,” he said.

Abu Fuad considered the measure as a “new crackdown on the Palestinian community living in Saudi Arabia,” stressing that it would aggravate their sufferings as students rely heavily on money transferred from their families living outside the kingdom.

He called upon the Palestinian Embassy in Riyadh to intervene immediately, and try to work out a quick and practical solution to the crisis, which has negatively affected the Palestinian community in Saudi Arabia.

Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas resistance movement financially, politically or through social networking sites.

The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.

All remittances of Palestinian expatriates are being tightly controlled, fearing that these funds could be diverted indirectly and through other countries to Hamas.

Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to bring forward strong arguments for conversion, and do not allow the ceiling of one’s money transfer to exceed $3,000.

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia to Execute 18-year-old for Allegedly “Sowing Sedition”

Al-Manar | June 8, 2019

Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for an 18-year-old it detained in 2014 for protesting on his bicycle as a 10-year-old.

It would make him the fourth teenager to be executed this year.

Murtaja Qureiris was retrospectively arrested by Saudi police in 2014 for allegedly staging a number of protests during the country’s Arab Spring movement in 2011.

Saudi prosecutors claim that Qureiris’ alleged activities encouraged the “sowing of sedition” and made him part of “an extremist terror group,” which warranted the death penalty. Qureiris denies those charges.

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Election? What Election? EU Elite Will Censor Their Way Out of This Mess (or Die Trying)

By Helen Buyniski | Aletho News | June 7, 2019

The neoliberal establishment is wringing its hands in the wake of European elections that proved a resounding victory for populist parties across the continent, casting around for someone to blame but utterly incapable of realizing their own interference has doomed them. Doubling down on the censorship, they are determined to provoke the catastrophe they need to make free speech history.

The NGO-industrial complex was operating at maximum capacity in the weeks leading up to the election, shutting down hundreds of Facebook pages deemed “fake” or “hate speech” in the hope of controlling the messages reaching voters before they made the terrible mistake of voting for a candidate who represents their interests.

Led by Avaaz, which claims to be a “global citizens’ movement monitoring election freedom and disinformation,” this well-heeled fifth column whipped the press into paranoid frenzies with reports like “Fakewatch,” which breathlessly documented 500 “suspicious” pages and groups it claims are “spreading massive disinformation.” The groups have little in common other than their alleged “link[s] to right-wing and anti-EU organizations,” a capital offense for the promoters of “democracy,” which can only be permitted where it doesn’t stray from the center-left path of most #Resistance.

“Far-right and anti-EU groups are weaponizing social media at scale to spread false and hateful content,” the study warns, gloating that after sharing its findings with Facebook, the platform shut down an “unprecedented” number of pages on the eve of the election (77 out of the 500, according to VentureBeat, which has credulously signal-boosted every utterance of Avaaz as if it is divine truth from the Oracle of Delphi). Avaaz’s reports frame the problem as an affliction of the right wing only, even though disinformation is second nature to political operatives at both ends of the spectrum (and, more importantly, in the sanctified center).

The Computational Propaganda Project, an Oxford-based research group, made no secret of its elitist leanings, declaiming, “On Facebook, while many more users interact with mainstream content overall, individual junk news stories can still hugely outperform even the best, most important, professionally produced stories,” as if users have no choice but to consume “professionally-produced” Oxford-approved material or wallow in junk content. And Facebook’s own statistics bear out the hypothesis that coordinated inauthentic behavior has surged – the site removed almost 3.4 billion “fake” accounts from October 2018 to March 2019, more than the number of actual users.

Activist wearing a mask depicting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demonstrates during the EU finance ministers meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

But Facebook is not simply targeting fake accounts for takedown. Last Sunday, as Europeans prepared to head out to the polls, Facebook froze the largest group used by the Yellow Vests to organize protests and share information, silencing its 350,000+ members at a critical moment in French politics. More than one group member, reduced to commenting on existing posts, pointed out that President Emmanuel Macron met with Facebook chief executive android Mark Zuckerberg three weeks earlier to discuss a first-of-its-kind collaboration in which French government officials are being given access to material censored from users’ newsfeeds, essentially permitting them direct control of what the French are allowed to see on social media. Facebook, then, is providing France with the same techno-fascist services it provides the US government: Facebook will take on the burden of actually censoring dissent, thus skirting any pesky free-speech laws that might otherwise trip up a government that attempted to do the same.

Avaaz focused on the Yellow Vests in its coverage of the French elections, complaining RT France was getting huge quantities of views compared to native French media – perhaps because native French media have been doing Macron’s bidding and attempting to minimize the protests. By framing RT as a perpetrator of “information warfare,” the NGO was making a deliberate effort to have it deplatformed under one of Macron’s controversial police-state laws passed in 2018, by which any outlet spreading so-called “false information” can be gagged for three months leading up to an election. Yet Macron’s own interior minister, Christophe Castaner, lied on Twitter when he claimed the Yellow Vests had attacked the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, and RT was the first outlet to publish the truth about the incident. Who is the disinfo agent?

When the election results came in, Avaaz and its political allies in the neoliberal center could only gape in disbelief. Surely they had wiped La Liga and the Front National (now National Rally) from social media, salting the earth in their wake? How had they won? And what happened in Germany, where Angela Merkel’s CDU performed worse than ever in European election history? Merkel could blame YouTube – 70 influential video stars put out a call to their followers to shun her coalition – but the creators also called for shunning the far-right AfD, so the platform couldn’t be demonized as a tool of the ever-present Nazi Threat. That didn’t stop her party from trying, of course – CDU party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer complained about online “propaganda” and promised to “tackle this discussion quite aggressively.”

The populist parties won in large part because of the establishment’s unseemly embrace of fascist tactics, from the UK’s totalitarian information warfare disguised as “protecting citizens” or France’s visceral police violence, maiming protesters as if for sport. Europeans voted out of disgust with an establishment so insecure in its control of the narrative that it has sought to annihilate all signs of dissent, dismissing euroskepticism as Russian astroturfing and xenophobia and plugging its ears to the legitimate grievances of its subjects. The National Rally may have beat Macron’s jackbooted thugs, who in the past two months have hauled half a dozen journalists in for questioning by intelligence agencies for publishing stories that embarrassed the regime, but nearly half of French voters refused to vote for anyone at all, according to an Ipsos poll, and Germany’s Greens mopped the floor with Merkel’s coalition among young voters.

The triumph of Nigel Farage’s Brexit party in the UK is the product of a populace wrestling with cognitive dissonance, forced to realize that the “constitutional monarchy” they believed they lived in isn’t so constitutional after all, having jettisoned its democratic mask to cling to the EU under the guise of good old British pragmatism. Even passionate Remainers are happy to see Theresa Maybe go, though it remains to be seen whether her successor will be any more inclined to honor the result of 2016’s referendum. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s embarrassing attempt to shame Farage over a handful of appearances on the Alex Jones show – the paper claimed any reference to “globalists” and “new world order” were dog-whistles for the dreaded “antisemitic conspiracy theories” – proves the establishment media will never regain narrative primacy as long as alternatives exist. Jones, for all his flaws (and they are legion), has a massive audience; the Guardian, despite being propped up by the UK government’s Operation Mockingbird-esque “Integrity Initiative” (and the award for most ironic name ever goes to…), does not.

With the vast American election-fraud apparatus scrambling to prepare itself for 2020, now enabled by Pentagon-funded, Unit-8200-approved Microsoft “election security” software from the makers of the wrongthink-babysitter browser plugin NewsGuard, the US ruling class seems to be poised to make the same mistake as its global peers. Facebook, working hand in hand with the Atlantic Council, has banned and shadowbanned legions of anti-neoliberal activists over the past year, selectively applying (and inventing) new rules in an effort to keep popular content-creators jumping through hoops instead of influencing the discourse. Facebook has been allowed its place of privilege because as a “private corporation” it is legally permitted to violate users’ free speech rights in ways the US government cannot. But if Facebook can’t deliver a victory for the “right guys” this time around, it will be punished. Indeed, a massive anti-trust probe appears to be in the offing, 14 years of Zuckerberg apologies notwithstanding.

The site learned back when it tried to roll out a “disputed” tag for “wrongthink” stories that people were actually more likely to click on those stories; it learned the lesson again when its hugely expensive Facebook Watch news show featuring Anderson Cooper flopped last year. Zuckerberg is on the record begging for government regulation; will Facebook and Twitter use the outcome of this round of elections as a springboard for further crackdowns?

YouTube already has – thousands of creators found their channels demonetized and riddled with takedown notices this week in what has been dubbed the #VoxAdpocalypse after a pathologically whiny Vox blogger became the face of the mass deplatforming, but the censorship appears to be more of a response to Macron’s Orwellian “Christchurch call” to censor “extremism” – that ill-defined conveniently-variable catch-all whose borders are perpetually expanding to engulf all inconvenient speech – aided and abetted by the ADL than Google taking pity on a thin-skinned professional victim.

A sinister coalition of MEPs, “civil society” groups, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity – a who’s who of war criminals, psychopaths, and oligarchs that includes Michael Chertoff, John “death squad” Negroponte, Victor Pinchuk, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen – has already demanded “parliamentary inquiries into the impact of the use and abuse of technology platforms on democracy and elections.” It’s no coincidence that several of these “election integrity” enthusiasts sit on the board of NewsGuard, which is currently trying to weasel into the EU’s internet regulatory framework by playing up the “disinformation” threat. 

The blue-check intelligentsia has been trying for years to convince the hoi polloi that “conspiratorial” thinking is somehow detrimental to democracy. Former Obama labor secretary Robert Reich told Buzzfeed exactly that – “If we become a conspiracy society, we all carry around a degree of paranoia and that’s not healthy for democracy.” But this divorces cause from effect, as if “conspiracy theorists” have formulated their theories out of whole cloth – as if there isn’t evidence for these theories piled knee-deep, as if once-trusted institutions haven’t proven themselves time and again to be as trustworthy as tabloid tales of Elvis risen from the grave. If paranoia is unhealthy for democracy, how is a media incentivized to lie, misdirect and obfuscate any better?

The populist wave has been conflated with an uptick in “hate” in an attempt to delegitimize and demonize it. Outside of groups like the ADL, whose statistics are easily debunked, there is no credible evidence bigotry is on the rise, but as an actual Nazi once said, tell a big enough lie often enough, and it might as well be real. Beginning around 2012, the establishment media began relentlessly flogging the “white privilege” narrative in an effort to fan the flames of interracial conflict. Political science doctoral student Zach Goldberg performed an analysis of several terms using the LexisNexis database and found evidence of heavy narrative manipulation – “whiteness” was mentioned in four times as many news articles in 2017 as in 2012, “white privilege” was mentioned ten times as often in 2017 as in 2012, and “racism” was mentioned ten times as often in the New York Times alone in 2017 as in 2012. Yet even as the media has seemingly talked of nothing else, actual prejudice – by whites against non-whites, at least – has declined since 2008, according to a University of Pennsylvania study published last month, and the FBI’s own statistics show hate crimes against most minority groups are on the decline. Because few European governments separate “hate crimes” from “normal” crime statistics, information on bigotry in Europe often comes solely from NGOs and “civil society” groups that rely for their funding on the perception that Hate is on the march. Populists are capable of prejudice like anyone else, but it is their defining characteristic – a “prejudice” against oligarchy – that motivates the smears churned out by the media.

Protest votes like Trump and Brexit are cries for help from a disenfranchised populace. The European elections boasted the highest turnout in decades, and the ruling class ignores the results at its peril. When the election ritual no longer satisfies a population’s need to feel it is exerting its free will on society, we get public hexings of political figures, people reasoning black magic is more likely to solve their problems than voting. This is the same desperation that leads people like Arnav Gupta to set themselves on fire in front of the White House. Europeans have demonstrated unequivocally that they are sick of unaccountable dictatorship from Brussels, where EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, never one for sympathy with the little guy, sneers at the “populist, nationalists, stupid nationalists” who are “in love with their own countries.” They are sick of being displaced from their homes by a seemingly endless tide of migrants, just as those migrants themselves are displaced from their homes by a seemingly endless tide of American wars. Both groups are victimized by the IMF’s neoliberal austerity policies, epitomized by Juncker, who has done more than perhaps any one person to help Europe’s corporate “citizens” dodge taxes while nickel-and-diming the humans.

Instead of addressing these legitimate grievances, those in power on both sides of the Atlantic tighten the screws on online discourse – out of sight, out of mind. YouTube declares conspiracy theorizing a form of hate speech and plays whack-a-mole with a documentary confirming everyone’s long-standing suspicions that “save-the-migrants” NGOs are cashing in on the desperate human tide. Big Tech promises to work even more closely with Big Brother to crack down on dissident speech, tarring its victims as Nazis while hoping no one will point out such collusion is one of the defining characteristics of fascism.

These measures are guaranteed to further radicalize the discontent. Deleting social media accounts does not delete the people behind them, and France has already proven that starving a protest movement of media attention only makes it angrier. The ruling class may welcome their rage, aiming to use the inevitable outbreak of violence to choke off the last avenues of free expression, but once the guillotines come out, it isn’t the masses’ heads that will be rolling in the streets.

June 7, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

YouTube’s Latest Purge

Video sharing platform enforces new rules against “extremist content”

By Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | June 5, 2019

YouTube has just announced they have changed their “community standards” to combat “extremist content” on their platform. This is just the latest step in the war against free speech online.

This move comes as no surprise – the press have been laying the groundwork for this for weeks, even months.

Three weeks ago Buzzfeed reported that YouTube’s monetised chat was “pushing creators to more extreme content”, and just yesterday it was reported that YouTube’s recommend algorithm was “sexualising children”.

You cannot move for stories about how bad YouTube is.

Given that, it comes as no surprise that the mainstream media are celebrating this latest “purge”.The Guardian reported:

YouTube bans videos promoting Nazi ideology

Whilst the Financial Times went with:

YouTube to ban supremacist videos

Both these headlines are wildly inaccurate, deliberately playing the racism/white supremacy angle in the hopes that people will clap along without reading anything else.

Vox was a little more truthful in its headline, reporting:

YouTube finally banned content from neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and Sandy Hook skeptics

The Independent likewise:

YouTube to delete thousands of accounts after it bans supremacists, conspiracy theorists and other ‘harmful’ users

However, even these headlines – though a touch closer to the whole truth – leave out some really important information (I’m sure entirely by accident).

As much as the media are playing the neo-Nazi/hate speech angle, there’s far more to it than that.

To really dig down into what this means, we need to ignore the media and go straight to the source. This is YouTube’s official statement on the matter, posted on their blog.

The bans, contrary to the media headlines, are not about racism. They are far more incoherent than that – they are about “supremacist content”.

YouTube’s delightfully vague description of which, is as follows:

videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

Honestly, almost any video you wanted – that expresses a political position – could be twisted into fitting that description. But it doesn’t end there:

Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.

What does “well documented” mean? It’s a deliberately ambiguous phrase.

The cited examples, the Holocaust and Sandy Hook, are chosen for shock value – but they are only examples: “Like the holocaust”.

What other examples might there be? The Douma gas attack from last year? The poisoning of Sergei Skripal?

You can’t deny people the right to ask simple questions. “Did that really happen?”, “Is the government telling the truth?”

These are the basic questions of journalism. You can’t simply pass history off as “well documented” and put it beyond question. Don’t let them cite the Holocaust as an example to bully you into silence. Free speech applies to all topics, and all opinions, no matter how “well documented” they are.

In an increasingly fake world, where government actions are routinely narrative-based rather than reality-based, outlawing the ability to simply say “that didn’t happen, you made that up!” is incredibly powerful.

It doesn’t stop at that either, “violent incidents” are just the start. There are other kinds of “harmful content”:

harmful misinformation, such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat

Again, note the use of extreme examples – flat earth and “miracle cures”. It’s manipulation. What they’re talking about is “well documented” science. They mean the big three: Climate change, GM crops and vaccinations. Questioning any of those will become “harmful”.

People will say “obviously people shouldn’t be allowed to question vaccination”, but they’re wrong. People should – people must – be allowed to question everything. That’s what free speech means. Imagine this was seventy years ago, corporate consensus then was that smoking was good for you. Studies saying otherwise would have been described as “harmful misinformation” that were “shaking public confidence in our industry”.

Whether censoring lies or censoring truth, censorship serves the same agenda – protecting authority. What is “harmful content”? Harmful content is anything that attacks the “well documented” official consensus.

For that matter, what is hate speech? The phrase is used half-a-dozen times in the statement, but it can mean all kinds of things.

Critics giving bad reviews to Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the Ghostbusters remake were described as “misogynists” just because the main characters were women. Will poorly reviewing films with a female, or ethnic minority, main character be hate speech too?

This might seem a trivial example, but it hands enormous power to film studios to shut down negative opinions on their films, and Hollywood is a huge propaganda outlet for mainstream ideology. Besides, the triviality is the point.

This blanket term can be applied anywhere and everywhere, and with the increasingly hysterical tone of identity politics, almost anything could be deemed “hate speech”.

As we have said many times, “hate speech” is a term which can mean whatever they want it to mean. YouTube are expanding on that though, creating a whole new category called “almost a bit like hate speech”.

Yes, you don’t even have to actually break the rules anymore:

In addition to removing videos that violate our policies, we also want to reduce the spread of content that comes right up to the line.

See? YouTube will ban channels, or at least suppress creators, who “bump up against the line”.

Meaning, even if you’re incredibly clever, and work seriously hard to keep anything that a dishonest mind could potentially twist into “hate speech” out of your content…they’ll just ban you anyway and claim you “nearly did hate speech”.

Another way they’re combatting all this “dangerous misinformation” is by “boosting authoritative sources”:

For example, if a user is watching a video that comes close to violating our policies, our systems may include more videos from authoritative sources (like top news channels) in the “watch next” panel.

For example, if you watch an alt-news interview with Vanessa Beeley, your next “recommended video” will be a piece of western propaganda mainstream news from a massive corporate interest an authoritative source telling you to ignore everything you just heard, and/or calling Beeley an “apologist for war crimes”.

It’s a beautiful system, really. Very efficient and not-at-all Orwellian.

Don’t worry though, you can still use the platform, as long as Google trusts you [emphasis ours]:

Finally, it’s critical that our monetization systems reward trusted creators who add value to YouTube. We have longstanding advertiser-friendly guidelines that prohibit ads from running on videos that include hateful content and we enforce these rigorously…In the case of hate speech, we are strengthening enforcement of our existing YouTube Partner Program policies. Channels that repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, meaning they can’t run ads on their channel or use other monetization features like Super Chat.

See? If you’re a “trusted creator” you still get your ad money. Just don’t break the rules – or even come near breaking the rules – or the money stops.

This is about creating an environment free of hate, and NOT enforcing a state-backed consensus using vague threats to people’s financial well-being. Shame on you for thinking otherwise.

Now, how will YouTube decide which stories “come up to the line” or “spread misinformation” or “hate speech”? How is it determined which users are “trusted creators”?

Well, simply put, the government will tell them. YouTube freely admits to this. Outside of its wishy-washy definitions, its incredibly vague buzzwords, and its platitude filled “reassurances”, the most important part of YouTube’s statement is this:

As we do this, we’re partnering closely with lawmakers and civil society around the globe to limit the spread of violent extremist content online.

“Partnering closely with lawmakers” means “working with the government”, essentially an admission that YouTube (owned by Google, in turn, owned by Alphabet Corp.) will remove any videos the state orders them to remove.

Something we all knew already, but it’s refreshing they’re admitting it.

So, some questions arise:

  • Will this be the death of youtube as any kind of source for alternate information?
  • What will be classified as “conspiracy theories”?
  • What about, for example, people questioning the official story of the Douma “attack”? Or MH17?
  • How long before there is a mass migration to rival platforms?
  • Will those platforms be allowed to exist?

If you know of any good channels that are being shut down, let us know below and we’ll see if we can put together a list.

In the meantime, we suggest migrating to other video platforms, such as d.tube or bitchute. We will be embedding/linking to non-YouTube videos wherever possible. If you have any other alternate platforms to recommend, post them below and we’ll add links to them as well.

June 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

You’re Under Arrest: How the Police State Muzzles Our Right to Speak Truth to Power

By John W. Whitehead | Rutherford Institute | June 5, 2019

The freedom to speak without risking arrest is ‘one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation.”—Justice Neil Gorsuch

We live in an age in which “we the people” are at the mercy of militarized, weaponized, immunized cops who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

As such, those who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights during encounters with the police are increasingly finding that there is no such thing as freedom of speech.

This is the painful lesson being imparted with every incident in which someone gets arrested and charged with any of the growing number of contempt charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that get trotted out anytime a citizen voices discontent with the government or challenges or even questions the authority of the powers-that-be.

Merely daring to question, challenge or hesitate when a cop issues an order can get you charged with resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, free speech be damned.

In fact, getting charged or arrested is now the best case scenario for encounters with police officers who are allowed to operate under the assumption that their word is law and that there is no room for any form of disagreement or even question.

The worst case scenario involves getting probed, beaten, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, shot, or killed by police.

This mindset that anyone who wears a government uniform (soldier, police officer, prison guard) must be obeyed without question is a telltale sign of authoritarianism goose-stepping its way towards totalitarianism.

Be warned: there can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.

What is this language of force?

Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality. Contempt of cop charges.

This is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to speak freely.

Just recently, in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling protecting police from lawsuits by persons arrested on bogus “contempt of cop” charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that result from lawful First Amendment activities (filming police, asking a question of police, refusing to speak with police).

In Nieves v. Bartlett, the Court ruled 6-3 to dismiss the case of Russell Bartlett, an Alaska resident who was arrested at an outdoor festival for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he refused to be interrogated by police and then intervened when police attempted to question other attendees about their drinking.

Another case currently before the Supreme Court, Ogle v. State of Texas, involves the prosecution of a Texas man who faces up to one year in jail and a $4000 fine for sending emails to police criticizing them for failing to respond to his requests for assistance.

In yet another case, a rapper was charged with making terroristic threats after posting a song critical of police on Facebook and YouTube. In refusing to hear the case of Knox v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court paved the way for individuals who engage in controversial and unpopular political or artistic expression, by criticizing the police for example, to be labeled terrorists and subject to prosecution and suppression by the government.

These cases reflect a growing awareness about the state of free speech in America: it’s all a lie.

Protest laws, free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws, and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors are aimed at one thing only: discouraging dissent and reminding the populace that resistance to the tyranny of the police state is futile.

Weaponized by police, prosecutors, courts and legislatures, “contempt of cop” charges have become yet another means by which to punish those individuals who refuse to be muzzled.

This is the unfortunate price of exercising one’s freedoms today: you may have distinct, protected rights on paper, but dare to exercise those rights and you put yourself at risk for fines, arrests, injuries and even death.

In theory, of course, “we the people” have a constitutional right to talk back to the government.

The Constitution does not require Americans to be servile or even civil to government officials.

Neither does the Constitution require obedience (although it does insist on nonviolence).

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded as much in City of Houston v. Hill when it struck down a city ordinance prohibiting verbal abuse of police officers as unconstitutionally overbroad and a criminalization of protected speech.

Unfortunately, the brutal reality of the age in which we live is far different from the ideals set forth in the Bill of Rights: talking back—especially when the police are involved—can get you killed.

The government does not want us to remember that we have rights, let alone attempting to exercise those rights peaceably and lawfully. And it definitely does not want us to engage in First Amendment activities that challenge the government’s power, reveal the government’s corruption, expose the government’s lies, and encourage the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices.

We’re in deep trouble, folks.

Freedom no longer means what it once did.

Not only do we no longer have dominion over our bodies, our families, our property and our lives, but the government continues to chip away at what few rights we still have to speak freely and think for ourselves.

Yet as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if the government can control speech, it can control thought and, in turn, it can control the minds of the citizenry.

Protest laws, contempt of cop charges, and all of the other bogus violations used by cops and prosecutors to muzzle discontent and discourage anyone from challenging government authority are intended to send a strong message that in the American police state, you’re either part of the herd, marching in lockstep with the government’s dictates, or you’re a pariah, a suspect, a criminal, a troublemaker, a terrorist, a radical, a revolutionary.

June 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment