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Bedouin Mass Eviction is Part of Israel’s Efforts to Drive Palestinians off their Historic Lands

Tens of thousands are to be driven out of their homes because their numbers pose a major demographic threat to a Jewish state

By Jonathan Cook | The National | October 16, 2019

The decades-long struggle by tens of thousands of Israelis against being uprooted from their homes – some for the second or third time – should be proof enough that Israel is not the western-style liberal democracy it claims to be.

Last week 36,000 Bedouin – all of them Israeli citizens – discovered that their state is about to make them refugees in their own country, driving them into holding camps. These Israelis, it seems, are the wrong kind.

Their treatment has painful echoes of the past. In 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were expelled by the Israeli army outside the borders of the newly declared Jewish state established on their homeland – what the Palestinians call their Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel is regularly criticised for its belligerent occupation, its relentless expansion of illegal settlements on Palestinian land and its repeated and savage military attacks, especially on Gaza.

On rare occasions, analysts also notice Israel’s systematic discrimination against the 1.8 million Palestinians whose ancestors survived the Nakba and live inside Israel, ostensibly as citizens.

But each of these abuses is dealt with in isolation, as though unrelated, rather than as different facets of an overarching project. A pattern is discernible, one driven by an ideology that dehumanises Palestinians everywhere Israel encounters them.

That ideology has a name. Zionism provides the thread that connects the past – the Nakba – with Israel’s current ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the destruction of Gaza, and the state’s concerted efforts to drive Palestinian citizens of Israel out of what is left of their historic lands and into ghettos.

The logic of Zionism, even if its more naive supporters fail to grasp it, is to replace Palestinians with Jews – what Israel officially terms Judaisation.

The Palestinians’ suffering is not some unfortunate side effect of conflict. It is the very aim of Zionism: to incentivise Palestinians still in place to leave “voluntarily”, to escape further suffocation and misery.

The starkest example of this people replacement strategy is Israel’s long-standing treatment of 250,000 Bedouin who formally have citizenship.

The Bedouin are the poorest group in Israel, living in isolated communities mainly in the vast, semi-arid area of the Negev, the country’s south. Largely out of view, Israel has had a relatively free hand in its efforts to “replace” them.

That was why, for a decade after it had supposedly finished its 1948 ethnic cleansing operations and won recognition in western capitals, Israel continued secretly expelling thousands of Bedouin outside its borders, despite their claim on citizenship.

Meanwhile, other Bedouin in Israel were forced off their ancestral lands to be driven either into confined holding areas or state-planned townships that became the most deprived communities in Israel.

It is hard to cast the Bedouin, simple farmers and pastoralists, as a security threat, as was done with the Palestinians under occupation.

But Israel has a much broader definition of security than simple physical safety. Its security is premised on the maintenance of an absolute demographic dominance by Jews.

The Bedouin may be peaceable but their numbers pose a major demographic threat and their pastoral way of life obstructs the fate intended for them – penning them up tightly inside ghettos.

Most of the Bedouin have title deeds to their lands that long predate Israel’s creation. But Israel has refused to honour these claims and many tens of thousands have been criminalised by the state, their villages denied legal recognition.

For decades they have been forced to live in tin shacks or tents because the authorities refuse to approve proper homes and they are denied public services like schools, water and electricity.

The Bedouin have one option if they wish to live within the law: they must abandon their ancestral lands and their way of life to relocate to one of the poor townships.

Many of the Bedouin have resisted, clinging on to their historic lands despite the dire conditions imposed on them.

One such unrecognised village, Al Araqib, has been used to set an example. Israeli forces have demolished the makeshift homes there more than 160 times in less than a decade. In August, an Israeli court approved the state billing six of the villagers $370,000 (Dh1.6 million) for the repeated evictions.

Al Araqib’s 70-year-old leader, Sheikh Sayah Abu Madhim, recently spent months in jail after his conviction for trespassing, even though his tent is a stone’s throw from the cemetery where his ancestors are buried.

Now the Israel authorities are losing patience with the Bedouin.

Last January, plans were unveiled for the urgent and forcible eviction of nearly 40,000 Bedouin from their homes in unrecognised villages under the guise of “economic development” projects. It will be the largest expulsion in decades.

“Development”, like “security”, has a different connotation in Israel. It really means Jewish development, or Judaisation – not development for Palestinians.

The projects include a new highway, a high-voltage power line, a weapons testing facility, a military live-fire zone and a phosphate mine.

It was revealed last week that the families would be forced into displacement centres in the townships, living in temporary accommodation for years as their ultimate fate is decided. Already these sites are being compared to the refugee camps established for Palestinians in the wake of the Nakba.

The barely concealed aim is to impose on the Bedouin such awful conditions that they will eventually agree to be confined for good in the townships on Israel’s terms.

Six leading United Nations human rights experts sent a letter to Israel in the summer protesting the grave violations of the Bedouin families’ rights in international law and arguing that alternative approaches were possible.

Adalah, a legal group for Palestinians in Israel, notes that Israel has been forcibly evicting the Bedouin over seven decades, treating them not as human beings but as pawns in its never-ending battle to replace them with Jewish settlers.

The Bedouin’s living space has endlessly shrunk and their way of life has been crushed.

This contrasts starkly with the rapid expansion of Jewish towns and single-family farming ranches on the land from which the Bedouin are being evicted.

It is hard not to conclude that what is taking place is an administrative version of the ethnic cleansing Israeli officials conduct more flagrantly in the occupied territories on so-called security grounds.

These interminable expulsions look less like a necessary, considered policy and more like an ugly, ideological nervous tic.

October 17, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children

By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | October 15, 2019

Children learn what they live.

As family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wisely observed, “If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.”

And if children live with terror, trauma and violence—forced to watch helplessly as their loved ones are executed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later—will they in turn learn to terrorize, traumatize and inflict violence on the world around them?

I’m not willing to risk it. Are you?

It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the toxic stress of the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to protect children from the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.

Case in point: in Hugo, Oklahoma, plain clothes police officers opened fire on a pickup truck parked in front of a food bank, heedless of the damage such a hail of bullets—26 shots were fired—could have on those in the vicinity. Three of the four children inside the parked vehicle were shot: a 4-year-old girl was shot in the head and ended up with a bullet in the brain; a 5-year-old boy received a skull fracture; and a 1-year-old girl had deep cuts on her face from gunfire or shattered window glass. Only the 2-year-old was spared any physical harm, although the terror will likely linger for a long time. “They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” the family attorney said. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’”

The reason for the use of such excessive force?

Police were searching for a suspect in a weeks-old robbery of a pizza parlor that netted $400.

This may be the worst use of excessive force on innocent children to date. Unfortunately, it is one of many in a steady stream of cases that speak to the need for police to de-escalate their tactics and stop resorting to excessive force when less lethal means are available to them.

For instance, in Cleveland, police shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was seen playing on a playground with a pellet gun. Surveillance footage shows police shooting the boy two seconds after getting out of a moving patrol car.

In Detroit, 7-year-old Aiyana Jones was killed after a Detroit SWAT team launched a flash-bang grenade into her family’s apartment, broke through the door and opened fire, hitting the little girl who was asleep on the living room couch. The cops were in the wrong apartment.

In Georgia, Christopher Roupe, 17, was shot and killed after opening the door to a police officer. The officer, mistaking the remote control in Roupe’s hand for a gun, shot him in the chest.

These children are more than grim statistics on a police blotter. They are the heartbreaking casualties of the government’s endless, deadly wars on terror, on drugs, and on the American people themselves.

Then you have the growing number of incidents involving children who are forced to watch helplessly as trigger-happy police open fire on loved ones and community members alike.

In Texas, an 8-year-old boy watched as police—dispatched to do a welfare check on a home with its windows open—shot and killed his aunt through her bedroom window while she was playing video games with him.

In Minnesota, a 4-year-old girl watched from the backseat of a car as cops shot and killed her mother’s boyfriend, Philando Castile, a school cafeteria supervisor, during a routine traffic stop merely because Castile disclosed that he had a gun in his possession, for which he had a lawful conceal-and-carry permit. That’s all it took for police to shoot Castile four times as he was reaching for his license and registration.

A child doesn’t even have to be directly exposed to a police shooting to learn the police state’s lessons in compliance and terror, which are being meted out with every SWAT team raid, roadside strip search, and school drill.

Indeed, there can be no avoiding the hands-on lessons being taught in the schools about the role of police in our lives, ranging from active shooter drills and school-wide lockdowns to incidents in which children engaging in typically childlike behavior are suspended (for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate), handcuffed (for being disruptive at school), arrested (for throwing water balloons as part of a school prank), and even tasered (for not obeying instructions).

What is particularly chilling is how effective these lessons in compliance are in indoctrinating young people to accept their role in the police state, either as criminals or prison guards.

If these exercises are intended to instill fear, paranoia and compliance into young people, clearly, our children are getting the message, but it’s not the message that was intended by those who fomented a revolution and wrote our founding documents. Their philosophy was that the police work for us, and “we the people” are the masters, and they are to be our servants.

Now that philosophy has been turned on its head.

Certainly, it’s getting harder by the day to insist that we live in a nation that values freedom and which is governed by the rule of law.

Yet unless something changes and soon, there will soon be nothing left to teach young people about freedom as we have known it beyond remembered stories of the “good old days.”

For starters, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s time to take a hard look at the greatest perpetrators of violence in our culture—the U.S. government and its agents—and do something about it: de-militarize the police, prohibit the Pentagon from distributing military weapons to domestic police agencies, train the police in de-escalation techniques, stop insulating police officers from charges of misconduct and wrongdoing, and require police to take precautionary steps before engaging in violence in the presence of young people.

We must stop the carnage.


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

UK under fire for compiling secret database on Britons

By Bianca Rahimi | Press TV | October 15, 2019

London – Human rights groups describe it as “utterly chilling” experts as a “trawling exercise”. The UK government is under fire for a secret database supposedly used to prevent radicalization and terrorism.

The personal details of thousands of people are recorded and can be accessed by any bobby on the beat. Rights groups say it’s purpose is not keeping Britain safe though.

If you live in the UK your most personal information, from what you do and who you associate with, to what you drew as a toddler in nursery, might be on a secret government database. One compiled by counter-terrorism police and fed into by the controversial anti-radicalization program called Prevent.

The police say recording referrals ensures accountability and allows forces to understand when vulnerabilities are increasing; but human rights campaigners say it is nothing more than a trawling exercise.

Schools now have a legal duty to act but experts warn that educators are poorly trained. Teachers are scrutinizing pupils as young as 4 for signs of radicalization but according to their unions, teachers feel burdened by this responsibility and may refer too often and arbitrarily to cover their backs.

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

How The US Quietly Lost The 1st Amendment

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 10/12/2019

While many would argue that Americans’ First Amendment rights have long since dwindled from the liberties initially granted in The Bill of Rights, a decision by the European Union’s highest court could well mark the final nail in the coffin of free speech.

As Politico reports, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that Facebook can be ordered to track down and remove content globally if it was found to be illegal in any EU country. In its ruling, CJEU said that EU law allowed local judges to order the world’s largest social network to remove illegal content, as well as delete material that conveyed a similar message under certain circumstances.

The decision is not just a slap in the face of worldwide citizens’ freedom of expression, but a big defeat for Facebook as it will force them to be more responsible for what is appearing on the internet (and thus what is seen by those who make the rules as not appropriate for the genpop).

“This judgement raises critical questions around freedom of expression and the role that internet companies should play in monitoring, interpreting and removing speech,” Toby Partlett, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement.

“We hope the courts take a proportionate and measured approach to avoid having a chilling effect on freedom of expression.”

Of course, it won’t as EU bureaucrats have hardly shown the ability to undertake measured responses when it comes to cracking down on non-sanctioned thoughts, words, and memes. Facebook officials went to exclaim that:

… the ruling “undermines the longstanding principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country.”

As Politico details, the ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2016 by Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, an Austrian lawmaker, who had requested that Facebook delete defamatory posts made about her by an anonymous user.

When an Austrian court sided with her, the company initially only removed the content from being viewed in Austria, but subsequent appeals had focused on whether such takedowns should apply globally, and if Facebook should be required to remove similar content once it has been made aware of the defamatory material.

Following the ruling by Europe’s highest court, her case will now be referred back to Austrian judges, who will make the final ruling about how to apply Thursday’s decision.

As one would expect, digital rights campaigners were incensed by the breadth of the decision:

“The court’s decision opens the door for serious restrictions on freedom of expression due to the takedown of legitimate speech. Extending removal to the vague concept of “equivalent” content is harmful because the context as well as motivation of users re-sharing content may significantly differ with each re-upload,” said Eliška Pírková, Europe policy analyst at Access Now, a campaigning group.

Those who believe tyranny cannot come to the United States should take a look around because it’s already here and as the EU court’s decision shows, it is not just Washington that Americans should fear.

October 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Imran Khan ‘Puzzled’ Over Vast Media Coverage of Hong Kong and ‘Disregard’ of Kashmir Issue

Sputnik – October 11, 2019

Ahead of last month’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) summit, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan raised various concerns while travelling to New York, accusing world leaders of avoiding the Kashmir issue and the alleged humanitarian crisis in the Kashmir valley.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter​ to say how “puzzled” he is over the sharp contrast in international media coverage of the situations in Hong Kong and Kashmir while squarely blaming the press for not highlighting the situation in Kashmir properly.

He claimed that the media paid much attention to the ongoing Hong Kong protests while surprisingly avoided giving importance to the “dire human rights situation” in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Khan, who returned from China on Thursday, chose to highlight the issue hours ahead of the crucial second Informal Summit to be held between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China has already extended its full support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. In a joint statement, it has said: “The Kashmir issue is a historical dispute, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.”

China has already expressed its opposition to India’s unilateral action on 5 August to strip the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state and split the region into two federally administered territories. It has said the decision scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir “complicates the situation”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Khan in his Tweet has said the communications blackout and curfew in Kashmir since 5 August is a growing humanitarian crisis.

“For over two months there has been a complete blackout of communications, thousands imprisoned, including the entire spectrum of political leadership and children, and a growing humanitarian crisis. In Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir 100 thousand Kashmiris have been killed over 30 years of fighting for their right to self-determination,” he added.

India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over Kashmir since they attained independence from British Colonial rule in 1947. While the two neighbours both claim the entire territory, they administer separate parts of Kashmir.

October 11, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment

Sanctioning Away Free Speech: Americans Meet With Iranians at Their Peril

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 10, 2019

The issue of the United States waging what seems to be a global war by way of sanctions rarely surfaces in the western media. The argument being made by the White House is that sanctions are capable of putting maximum pressure on a rogue regime without the necessity of having to go to war and actually kill people, but while economic warfare may seem to be more benign than bombing and shooting the reality is that thousands of people die anyway, whether through starvation or inability to obtain medicines. It is often noted that 500,000 Iraqi children died in the 1990s due to sanctions imposed by the Bill Clinton White House and current estimates of deaths in Syria, Iran and Venezuela number in the tens of thousands.

Meanwhile the regimes that are under siege through sanctions do not, in fact, capitulate to American demands even when they are feeling considerable pain. Cuba has been sanctioned by Washington since 1960 and nothing has been accomplished, apart from providing an excuse for the regime to tighten its control over the people. Indeed, one might argue that free trade and travel would have likely succeeded in democratizing Cuba much more quickly than threats coupled with a policy of economic and political isolation.

Apart from their ineffectiveness, the dark side of sanctions is what they do to third parties who get caught up in the conflict. America’s recently imposed total ban on Iranian petroleum exports comes with secondary sanctions that can be initiated on any country that buys the oil, alienating Washington’s few remaining friends and creating universal concern regarding the United States’ long-term intentions. Indeed, the United States was a country that prior to the “Global war on terror” was generally liked and respected, but today it is widely regarded as the most dangerous threat to peace in the world. This shift in perception is due to the actual wars that the US has started as well as the sanctions regime which has as its objective regime change of governments that it disapproves of.

Another aspect to sanctions that is somewhat invisible is the impact that government action has had on what are regarded as the constitutional rights of American citizens. Max Blumenthal has written an interesting article on a recent application of sanctions that has affected a group of citizens who were seeking to attend a conference in Beirut Lebanon.

Blumenthal describes how the attempt to criminalize any participation in a conference sponsored by the Iranian NGO New Horizon as a “significant escalation in the Trump administration’s strategy of ‘maximum pressure’ to bring about regime change in Iran.” A number of Americans who had intended to speak or otherwise participate in the conference were approached in advance by FBI agents, evidently acting under orders from Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The Agents warned that any participants in the conference might be subject to arrest upon return to the US because New Horizon is under sanctions. One of those who was approached by the Bureau explained that “They’re interpreting the regulations to say that even if you associate with someone who has been sanctioned, you are subject to fines and imprisonment. I haven’t seen anything in the regulations that allows that, but they’ve set the bar so low that anyone can be designated.”

The New Horizon Conference is an annual event organized by Iranian TV host and filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh and his wife, Zeina Mehanna. New Horizon was placed under financial sanctions earlier this year by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). [Full disclosure: the author attended and spoke at the conference in Mashhad last year]

US government interest in New Horizon conferences appeared to begin in 2014, after the Jewish Anti-Defamation league (ADL) called that year’s meeting an “anti-Semitic gathering” that “included US and international anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and anti-war activists.”

Potential participants in the Beirut conference made strenuous efforts to find out just what the consequences might be if they were to attend the event, but the Treasury Department refused to be drawn into a debate over restrictions that were arguably unconstitutional. Lawyers who were consulted warned that any notice from the FBI that someone might be arrested should be interpreted as meaning that someone will be arrested. Other sources in the government suggested privately that the Trump Administration would be delighted if it could make an example of some Americans who were soft on Iran.

Now that the conference has been concluded without any significant American presence, there has been some clarification of how the sanctions might be applied. Responding to a query by a potential participant, an OFAC employee explained that “transaction” and “dealing in transactions,” as those terms are used by OFAC, are broadly construed to include not only monetary dealings or exchanges, but also “providing any sort of service” and “non-monetary service,” including giving a presentation at a conference. Any person engaging in that activity could be subject to legal consequences because the Treasury Department and OFAC have broad latitude to take action against persons who violate its rules or guidelines, and that a range of factors are taken into consideration when deciding to take action against any specific person or for any specific violation.

When asked whether dealing with non-sanctioned Iranian organizations might also be construed negatively, the OFAC employee observed that there could or might be consequences. That’s because Iran (along with North Korea and a few other countries) is a “comprehensively sanctioned” country, meaning that anything having to do with “supporting it” is sanctionable.

Exactly how speaking at any Iranian sponsored event is damaging to American interests remains unclear, in spite of the “clarification” provided by OFAC, but the real damage is to those US citizens who choose to travel to countries that are at odds with Washington to offer a different perspective on what Americans actually think. And there is also considerable value in those travelers returning to the United States to share with fellow citizens perceptions of how foreigners regard US foreign policy, insofar as anything describable as a policy actually exists. In truth, the sanctions regime with its steady diet of punishment has now entered a new phase, as Blumenthal observed, where White House aggression overseas is now blowing back, eroding the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights in an act of self-destruction that is both unnecessary and incomprehensible.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

Hunger striker reveals details of her horrific torture in Israeli prisons

Palestinian prisoner, Heba Al-Labadi is on the eighth day of hunger strike after being sentenced to administrative detention for five months without charge or trial on 20 August 2019 [Twitter]

Palestinian prisoner, Heba Al-Labadi was sentenced to administrative detention for five months without charge or trial on 20 August 2019 [Twitter]
MEMO | October 8, 2019

A Palestinian-Jordanian who has been on hunger strike for 15 days in Israeli prisons has revealed the details of her horrific interrogation and torture, the PLO Prisoners’ Committee reported on Monday. Heba Al-Labadi, 24, was arrested on 20 August by Israeli soldiers as she crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan to attend a wedding in the occupied West Bank with her mother.

According to her lawyer, Al-Labadi has been subjected to inhumane treatment in detention. She was apparently stripped of all of her clothes as soon as she was arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded and leg-chained before being moved to the Bitah-Tikva investigation centre. She told her lawyer that she was embarrassed when she saw the female Israeli soldiers looking at her private parts when she entered and left the toilet.

Al-Labadi also explained that she was interrogated for 20 consecutive hours during the first 16 days of her detention and said that she was given only two breaks for meals every day. She was then moved to rooms full of collaborators, who started to interrogate her; this lasted for up to 35 days, during which she was subjected to verbal, physical and psychological abuse and torture. The Israeli interrogators, she insisted, got close to her body intentionally and used the dirtiest words to insult her.

“They also insulted Islam and Christianity,” she said, “and said that I am an extremist and told me that they had arrested my mother and sister and they would put me under renewable administrative detention for seven and a half years and then release me to the West Bank and put me under 24-hour surveillance.”

A large number of investigators are said to have interrogated Al-Labadi and kept her in a very dirty cell with insects and spiders. The cell had rough walls and a bright light which prevented her from sleeping. The “very thin” mattress had no cover or clean sheets. The interrogators told her that she would “rot” in prison.

On 25 September, Heba Al-Labadi was issued with a 5-month administrative detention order with neither charges made against her nor a trial. That was why she started her hunger strike.

Two days later, she was moved to a cell monitored by four cameras. The toilet in her cell has a see-through door, so her every move is monitored by the prison guards.

Despite being ordered to end her hunger strike, she insisted that the “tragedy” of the administrative detention must end first. “I will continue until the end or I shall die.”

October 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel to build camps as preparation for displacing Arab citizens

MEMO | October 8, 2019

Israel’s District Planning and Building Committee considered a plan on Sunday submitted by the Bedouin Settlement Authority in the Negev which aims to build camps as preparation for the displacement of 36,000 Arab citizens, Arab48.com has reported. The plan targets Palestinian-Arab residents within Israel who live in Bedouin villages “unrecognised” by the Israeli occupation government.

Such villages have often been in place for hundreds of years before the creation of the Israeli occupation state. Nevertheless, it is insisting on displacing their residents and replacing the villages with housing projects for Jewish Israeli settlers.

A letter has been sent to the head of the District Planning and Building Committee asking them not to accept the plan. It was sent on behalf of Adalah Centre, an Israeli rights group seeking justice for Arab residents, along with the Regional Council for the Unrecognised Villages in the Negev, the Peaceful Coexistence Club and Shatil Association.

Submitted by lawyer Suha Bsharah from Adalah, the letter stressed the importance of rejecting the plan, which is simply a tool to displace Arabs from their homes and villages within Israel. It also reiterated that such an action amounts to a “flagrant violation of the basic rights of the Arab citizens on top of which is the right to respect, dignity and equality.”

The letter noted that this plan reinforces the suffering inflicted on the Arab residents of the unrecognised villages as Israel is planning to displace them under the pretext of carrying out government projects. “It is unreasonable that the authorities displace tens of thousands of residents from their homes and lands,” wrote the signatories. “[The plan] will destroy a complete generation of Arab children, women and youths.”

According to Bsharah, “The Israeli authorities are seriously looking for a legal cover for the displacement of Arabs by getting the approval of the District Planning and Building Committee. They are not looking for a just and appropriate solution that would maintain the right to live with respect, dignity and safety for the Arabs who have been living here for decades, if not hundreds of years.”

The head of the Council of the Unrecognised Villages, Atiyyeh Al-Asam said: “The Council rejects this plan because its implicit and explicit goal is to forcibly displace the residents of the unrecognised villages. We believe that this plan is materialising the spirit of the [withdrawn] Prawer Plan which was based on displacing tens of thousands of Arabs.”

October 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Protests over fuel prices escalate in Ecuador, oil facilities seized

Press TV – October 8, 2019

Hundreds of people in Ecuador have clashed with security forces as they marched toward the country’s capital of Quito to protest soaring fuel prices.

Riot police and military forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters on Monday after they blocked roads with burning tires and other barricades in the town of Machachi on the outskirts of Quito.

Chanting anti-government slogans, the protesters also attempted to force their way into the National Legislative Assembly in the capital.

Thousands of indigenous people are due to converge on Quito for a protest on Wednesday.

“More than 20,000 indigenous people will be arriving in Quito,” said Jaime Vargas, the leader of the umbrella indigenous organization CONAIE, which was key to driving then-president Jamil Mahuad from office during an economic crisis in 2000.

The protesters, some armed with sticks and whips, hail from southern Andean provinces and are heading to the capital aboard pick-up trucks and on foot.

Meanwhile, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy said in a statement on Monday that activities in three oil fields in the Amazon region had been suspended “due to the seizure of the facilities by groups of people outside the operation,” without identifying the groups responsible.

The seizures affected 12 percent of the country’s oil production, or 63,250 barrels of crude per day, according to the ministry statement.

The Latin American country has been rocked by days of mass demonstrations since increases of up to 120 percent in fuel prices came into force on October 3.

President Lenin Moreno scrapped fuel subsidies as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain loans despite Ecuador’s high public debt.

The Ecuadorian government says the protests have so far left one civilian dead and 77 injured, the majority of them security forces. A total of 477 people have also been detained.

In a radio and television address on Sunday, Moreno blamed the deterioration in the country’s finances on his predecessor, Rafael Correa, also accusing him of an “attempted coup” and of “using some indigenous groups, taking advantage of their mobilization to plunder and destroy.”

The Ecuadorian president called for dialog with the indigenous community to alleviate their grievances.

“I am committed to a dialog with you, my indigenous brothers, with whom we share so many priorities,” Moreno said in his address. “Let’s talk about how to use our national resources to help those in the greatest need.”

But his plea was met with harsh opposition from Vargas, the indigenous leader.

“We are sick of so much dialog… There have been thousands of calls, thousands and thousands of calls, and until this point, we have not brought out our response,” he said.

Moreno declared a state of emergency in indigenous areas on Thursday, allowing the government to restrict movement and to use the armed forces for maintaining order as well as censoring the press.

October 8, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel Has Murdered 500 Palestinians Since Trump Declared Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel

By Robert Inlakesh – 21rst Century Wire – October 4, 2019

Since December 2017, when Trump announced his recognition that “Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital”, at least 481 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli forces according to a new report.

The Centre for Jerusalem Studies, based in the old city of Jerusalem, provided documentation showing that of the 481 murders, 102 were children and 18 were women, 6 of those killed have been described having special needs.

Since the start of the Gaza’s Great Return March, on the 30th of March 2018, over 330 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli forces. No Israelis have been killed or sustained significant injuries, beyond scratches, from the demonstrators. Israel however, still insists that the protests have been non-stop riots which have been going on for nearly a year and a half straight.

Israel is now in the process of figuring out whether Benjamin Netanyahu, currently battling a corruption and bribery scandal, or Benny Gantz, who was summoned to the Hague during his election campaign for involvement in the execution of a family in Gaza, will be their next Prime Minister. But regardless of whom it is, Trump’s alleged ‘Deal of the Century’ seem to be looming on the horizon.

If the Trump administration goes ahead and attempts to implement his plan, which has been alleged to include the possible swallowing of sections of the West Bank by Jordan, as well as the “resettlement” of Gazans to the Egyptian Sinai, the violence will inevitably grow.

Right now, the mainstream Western press is fixated on the Hong Kong protests. They are providing coverage to the anti-China demonstrators in an attempt to lionize groups, many of which have engaged in real violence and vandalism. Yet the demonstrations in Gaza are not only largely ignored, but are perpetually portrayed as violent and the narrative of the Israeli government is sometimes quoted almost word for word.

So a valid question, given the hypocrisy of mainstream media outlets coverage on Hong Kong when paralleled with Gaza, would be, why are they also still pretending to oppose US President Donald Trump? Clearly the agenda behind backing the Hong Kong protests, works hand in hand with President Trump’s plans for China and even more evident is it that channels such as the BBC, CNN, MSNBC etc., clearly are helping Trump get away with allowing the violence against Palestinians to continue.

The reason Palestinians can be executed in such large-scale attacks and massacres, is the fault of the media and international community. This includes the United Nations (UN), International Criminal Court (ICC), Human Rights Organizations and all the self-proclaimed “objective” media outlets. If there is no direct action against Israel for its crimes, we should expect another surge in constantly escalating cycle of violence, perpetuated upon the Palestinian people by the Israelis.

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Author Robert Inlakesh is a special contributor to 21WIRE and European correspondent for Press TV. He has reported from on the ground in occupied Palestine

October 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 2 Comments

EU can order Facebook to remove ‘hate speech’ even if it’s outside Europe, top court says in landmark ruling

RT | October 3, 2019

Facebook must comply with demands from EU nations to remove content deemed illegal, even if the material falls outside of their jurisdiction, a top court has ruled. The decision could undermine freedom of speech on the internet.

The European Court of Justice, the bloc’s top court, said on Thursday that an individual country can order Facebook to remove posts, photographs, and videos, and even restrict access to these materials to people all over the world.

According to the Luxembourg-based court, a national court of any EU country has the right to instruct the social media giant to take down posts considered defamatory in regions beyond its jurisdiction.

The ruling upholds a non-binding opinion from an ECJ adviser in June, which Facebook argued “undermines the longstanding principle that one country should not have the right to limit free expression in other countries.”

The initial opinion came after an Austrian Green party politician sued Facebook, demanding that the platform delete defamatory content about her posted by a user, as well as duplicates of the same material. The complaint was referred to the ECJ by Austria’s High Court. The politician, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, insisted that Facebook prevent the content from being viewed worldwide.

This is the second major ECJ ruling in as many months concerning freedom of expression on the internet. In September, the court said that Google does not have to apply the EU’s “right to be forgotten” law globally. The directive requires the tech giant to remove search result listings to pages containing damaging or false information about a person. As a result, Google implemented a feature that prevents European users from being able to see delisted links.

October 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Jordanian-Palestinian Woman on 9th Day Of Hunger Strike in Israeli Prison

By Robert Inlakesh – 21st Century Wire – October 2, 2019

A young Jordanian woman of Palestinian descent has been illegally detained by Israeli forces and is currently on her 9th day of a hunger strike. The Western media would have been expected to have picked this story up, but unfortunately there is deafening silence.

On the 20th of August, Israel detained 24 year old Heba al-Labadi, on the King Hussein Bridge, whilst on the way to attend a family wedding in the West Bank city of Nablus. Heba is a Jordanian citizen and of Palestinian descent, she was travelling with her mother at the time of her detainment.

The Israeli authorities have offered no explanation as to why Heba was detained and sentenced her to 5 months in administrative detention. Administrative detention is essentially being held without charge or trial. Israel has the ability to detain Palestinians indefinitely if it so chooses.

Reports have also surfaced, claiming that Heba, who is being kept in Petah Tikva Israeli intelligence detainment centre, has been subjected to various forms of torture. Heba’s family were also forbade access to a hired lawyer.

The times of Israel reported, upon statements made by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, that a Jordanian diplomat in Israel had visited Labadi, in order to “provide support”.

Sufyan Qudah, a spokesperson for Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has stated on several occasions that Jordan is working to ensure the freedom of its recently detained citizens. Yet it seems to have been to no avail.

Hatem al-Labadi, Heba’s brother spoke to the al-Mamlaka news outlet of his sister’s detainment, stating that Israel had not given the family any specifics as to why Heba was detained, only stating that her arrest was due to “security reasons”. Hatem explained that his sister has a Palestinian Authority issued I.D., meaning that despite her Jordanian citizenship, she is placed under Israeli occupation rule when entering the West Bank.

The young 24 year old woman holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and has previously worked in the United Arab Emirates. Now she remains in an Israeli jail cell and relies on pressure applied to the Israeli government to ensure her release.

Heba has for 8 days been on a hunger strike, in protest of her detainment, joining Ahmad Ghannam (42yrs old) who was diagnosed with cancer and has been on hunger strike for over 80 days and also Tarek Ghaddan (46 years old) who has been on hunger strike for more than 60 days.

According to the latest statistics released at the end of January, 2019, by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem a total number of 413 Palestinians were held in Israeli administrative detention alone.

A lack of action

This case seems to represent well the value that is placed upon a Palestinian life internationally.

In Heba al-Labadi we have a clear case of the abuse of a young woman’s life. She has been kidnapped for no stated reason, she has been reportedly abused and she has not been granted the rights that any human-being is supposed to be whilst detained.

Despite being a Jordanian citizen, she is allowed by Jordan’s lack lustre action against Israel to be held as if she was an animal.

King Abdullah of Jordan recently spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on the basic human rights that he urged be respected of the Palestinian people, yet he is not looking to intervene over a woman who was sitting in an Israeli jail cell at the very moment he delivered his speech.

Often women’s rights groups in West will do great work on campaigns for women abused by the state, but it seems like there are no women’s rights groups in the West that are yet to develop a campaign for the likes of Heba and other Palestinian women who currently strive for their freedom.

Whether it is the devaluing of Palestinians lives, because they are not of a specific origin or just a general lack of care all together, the sad reality is that if the world continues to allow Israel to get away with this type of action, it will.

If the United Nations and Human Rights Organizations also refrain from acting against Israel for these types of violations of human rights, Israel will not change and these international organizations may as well not even exist.

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Author Robert Inlakesh is a special contributor to 21WIRE and European correspondent for Press TV. He has reported from on the ground in occupied Palestine.

October 2, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment