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Removing Billboard “Honoring the First Responders of Gaza” is Attack on Free Speech

By Palestine Advocacy Project | Dissident Voice | November 15th, 2018

Nearly 3 weeks into its planned 4-week run, an electronic billboard honoring first responders in the Gaza Strip was pulled November 13th because the billboard company received phone calls and email complaints calling their staff terrorists and anti-Semites, and threatening a boycott.

The Palestine Advocacy Project sponsored the billboard on Interstate 93 near Boston to highlight the desperate situation in the Gaza strip, and to emphasize the humanity and agency of the people of Gaza, who are often portrayed as terrorists or victims. The billboard included a photo of deceased Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar and text reading: “Honoring the First Responders of Gaza. Saving Lives. Rescuing Hope.” It was estimated to be viewed by over a half million motorists each week of its planned 4-week run, beginning 24 October. The billboard was met with positive media coverage.

This week, a coordinated, aggressive campaign was launched against the billboard company with accusations of anti-Semitism, intended to damage the company for hosting this billboard. Sarah Gold, a volunteer with the Palestine Advocacy Project, said, “This campaign is neither engaging us nor our perspective. Instead it is attempting through intimidation to eradicate the avenues of free speech we have endeavored to use; to silence us.”

The billboard is another casualty in an ongoing attack on free speech. Palestine Legal states in their 2017 report “The Israeli state and its proxy organizations in the U.S. are investing heavily in punitive measures to intimidate and chill the free speech of those who wish to express criticism of Israeli policies.” The report documents 308 attacks on U.S.-based Palestine-related free speech in 2017 alone.

Razan al-Najjar and other Gazan first responders were doing their best to attend to wounded civilians; yet celebrating them is construed as an act of “hate & anti-semitism.” One complaint reads in part: “A billboard glorifying those who try to kill and destroy our People and Homeland! Anti Semitism is as old as time itself, Hate of Israel is hate of Jews, completely unacceptable!” This negative campaign appears to be based on the erroneous notions that all Gazans are anti-Semites intent on murdering Jews, that Gazans are not entitled to basic human rights, and that any display of solidarity with them equates to a call for the destruction of Israel.

Richard Colbath-Hess, founder of the Palestine Advocacy Project, remarked that “The billboard was extremely positive and does not even mention Israel. Instead it was a celebration of Palestinian heroes. Apparently, there cannot be Palestinian heroes without some advocates of Israel feeling attacked.”

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

A New Body On Nuclear Disarmament?

By Vladimir KOZIN – Oriental Review – 15/11/2018

In October 2018, Senior Adjunct Fellow of the Federation of American Scientists and former safeguards inspector with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Thomas Shea, unveiled his book Verifying Nuclear Disarmament at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

A key element of his publication is the establishment of a new international control mechanism for the phased and complete elimination of nuclear weapons by all nuclear powers, which will simultaneously monitor any attempts to re-create such weapons of mass destruction again.

In his book, the 78-year-old author, who began his military career on a US aircraft carrier fitting carrier-based aircraft with nuclear bombs, builds on the provisions of the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted in July 2017 by suggesting that a special implementing body be set up, which he calls the International Nuclear Disarmament Agency (INDA), to complement the IAEA should the treaty ever enter into force.

According to the US expert, the INDA would be a key body for controlling the entire process of global nuclear disarmament, it would oversee the dismantling of nuclear warheads and the equipment needed to make them at nuclear weapons facilities, and it would also ensure that nuclear weapons are never made again. The agency would operate in accordance with the principles set out in the text of the TPNW.

Thomas Shea has worked out the organisational structure of the INDA and sets this out in his book, along with the principles of its interaction with nuclear states and the IAEA.

The American researcher believes that the INDA should be headed by a Nuclear Disarmament Council made up of 24 members (one from each country party to the TPNW). The council would have nine permanent committees that would control the process of eliminating nuclear weapons, safeguard weapon-sensitive information, ensure the safety and security of nuclear weapons, and carry out inspections to verify nuclear disarmament agreements, so perform certain supranational functions, in other words. The council would also oversee the day-to-day activities of the new disarmament control agency and help implement all the provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The INDA’s research work will be provided by its staffed Research Institute and its Center for Research and Development related to the verification of nuclear disarmament.

The book’s author has developed key principles for preventing rearmament following the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the world’s arsenals, including the introduction of a strict inspection regime and the international control of fissile material that could be used to make nuclear warheads. He also suggests converting highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium as soon as possible, which could then only be used in nuclear power plants.

The American researcher proposes starting the nuclear disarmament process by determining for each nuclear state the minimum amount of fissile material that could be used to made nuclear warheads. He believes it would then be possible to embark on a reciprocal exchange of information about operationally deployed nuclear warheads, which should be eliminated first, and then information about non-deployed warheads, which should be disposed of second. The next step in the nuclear disarmament process would be an agreement to reduce the amount of fissile material intended for nuclear weapons and place all remaining stocks of fissile material under special international control to rule out future rearmament.

Thomas Shea suggests that nuclear states take ten confidence-building nuclear disarmament measures. In particular, he believes that an important measure to increase the level of trust between nuclear states in the nuclear missile sphere would be their mutual commitment not to be the first to use nuclear weapons against each other or not to use them at all, whether first, second, or third, and he also calls for the signing of bilateral agreements on the gradual reduction of nuclear arsenals.

Referring to the Nuclear Posture Review approved by the Trump administration in February 2018, Thomas Shea criticises Russia, China and North Korea for modernising their nuclear weapons, while ignoring the fact that the nuclear arsenals of the West’s “nuclear troika” (Great Britain, the US and France) have been upgraded, as have those of the de facto nuclear powers – Israel, India and Pakistan.

Thomas Shea expresses support for the eventual entry into force of the international TPNW. This contradicts Washington’s official negative position on general nuclear disarmament, which is the most strongly opposed to the idea being implemented in comparison with the other nuclear-armed states. It is well known that the US has already started making plans to create a completely new strategic nuclear triad over the next seven to eight years, which America’s current military and political leaders envisage will exist right up to the 2080s.

The US researcher does not mention any deadlines in his book for reaching global nuclear zero, recognising that the process for complete nuclear disarmament could take many years due to existing disagreements on the issue between nuclear-armed states. He simply notes more generally that nuclear disarmament can only take place when every legal nuclear power – which is to say the “nuclear five” represented by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – and the four de facto nuclear powers that are not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty – namely Israel, North Korea, India and Pakistan – understand that they will not be able to fully safeguard their security with nuclear weapons alone and so will switch to non-nuclear means to protect their defence interests. Thomas Shea believes that “disarmament won’t come quickly, quietly or cheaply”.

It is likely that the book will arouse some interest among those in the field as an example of the author’s development of a global mechanism for verifying complete nuclear disarmament at some point in the future. It is unlikely to become a catalyst for discussions on how to create a world completely free of nuclear weapons, however, given that the level of nuclear missile confrontation in the world has grown significantly thanks to the biggest nuclear power – America – while the threshold for using nuclear weapons has been lowered, particularly given the Pentagon’s readiness to use low-yield nuclear warheads, which is to say nuclear warheads with an explosive power of less than 5 kilotons.

The real situation in the world today shows that there are too many doctrinal and military-technical obstacles preventing the complete and irreversible elimination of all nuclear weapons. Their elimination is also made more complicated by the lack of a global consensus. There has also been no noticeable increase in the level of trust between nuclear-armed states, which all have different views on nuclear arms control and the doctrinal basis for their actual use.

It is important to bear in mind that only two-thirds of UN member states voted in favour of adopting the TPNW and it did not have the support of every nuclear power. The process of joining it is even worse: only a third of UN member states have actually signed it. The ratification process is moving along just as slowly. As of November 2018, it had been ratified by less than half of the 50 countries required.

The difficulties in implementing the TPNW are also reflected in the fact that a large proportion of the global community does not want to retain the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in its current form. This is clearly shown by the results of a UN vote. In October 2018, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which debates disarmament and international security, unfortunately voted against a draft resolution in support of the INF Treaty. Thirty-one countries voted in favour, 54 countries abstained, and 55 countries, including the US, Great Britain, Canada, France and Ukraine, voted against.

In other words, there is a lack of a global consensus on nuclear disarmament. In fact, it is possible that America’s targeted efforts to unilaterally withdraw from the INF Treaty and its refusal to extend START III could undermine the nuclear non-proliferation regime that has existed for many decades, as well as the entire international legal system for nuclear and conventional arms control that has been established with such difficulty over a long period of time.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take

Photo Source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0
By Sam Bahour | CounterPunch | November 14, 2018

Israel has made a colossal mockery of the concept of security.

In debating an Israeli friend from Jerusalem, I challenged him that Israel consciously plans and uses its military might to damage the Palestinian’s national project to build a state and free itself from Israeli control. Avner, my Israeli friend, argued otherwise, buying into the Israeli state narrative that Israel is “forced” to take measures which negatively affect Palestinians because Israeli security requires it. My knee-jerk reaction as someone living and working under Israeli military occupation for over two decades, was that this was hogwash and, short of ending its illegal (note: legal occupations are temporary by definition) occupation of Palestinians, I claimed that Israel—the occupying power—could immediately take 101 measures to reduce tensions on the ground, without jeopardizing any true and rational security needs. He shrugged and said, “tell me”?

In the years to follow, I have given numerous talks on the state of affairs under Israeli occupation to groups visiting Palestine from all corners of the world. A large number of those talks were to Jewish-American groups—many participants being rabbinical students and mainstream Jewish influencers hosted by the U.S. not-for-profit Encounter—who traveled to Palestine for an Encounter Program. In a recent Encounter talk, one rabbi attentively listened as I made the same claim, Israel can take 101 actions tomorrow morning without jeopardizing security. He raised his hand and asked, where can we get that list?

So, here it is. A quick compilation, with the generous assistance of several friends here in Palestine, and with a few items selected from the umpteen reports being published about the rapidly deteriorating state of affairs. This list is not intended to be comprehensive by any means, but rather a look beyond the daily headlines to give readers, especially those who have bought into the Israeli propaganda—hook, line and sinker—that this military occupation is all about “security”.

I attempted to place a few subtitles to categorize the list, although many items are multifaceted. Space does not allow for a full explanation of each proposed action, so if anyone wants to be directed to a more in-depth explanation of any listed action, or otherwise, please feel free to reach out at the email listed below.

Before offering the list, I must state upfront and clearly, my goal in presenting these ideas is not to assist the powers-that-be to design an embellished military occupation intended as permanent. Rather, my purpose is to reveal Israel’s underlying intentions, its indefinite time frame for continued domination, and the cornucopia of diverse types of actions carefully calculated to humiliate each and every Palestinian, while structurally blocking a path to Palestinian statehood, otherwise known as the two-state solution. That noted, for those who simply cannot fathom the notion of a Palestinian state free from Israeli occupation, I welcome all efforts to get my list addressed while the occupation continues, which would align Israel’s actions somewhat better with the law of occupation, the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention, 12 August 1949).

101 actions Israel could take

Gaza

1) Allow for free movement of goods to/from Gaza

2) Open the Erez [Passenger] Crossing to the West Bank 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the nearly 2 million Palestinian residents of Gaza

3) Permit Palestinians to tap their natural gas wells discovered in the sea of Gaza in 2000

4) Allow access to the Gaza Strip’s land

5) Allow access to the Gaza Strip’s territorial waters, expanding Gaza’s fishing zone: The Government of Israel halved Gaza’s fishing zone from 6 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles; compare that to the twenty-nautical mile limit set by the Oslo Accords. (World Bank)

6) Allow access to the Gaza Strip’s air space, releasing 3G frequencies for wireless internet access for Gaza

7) Keep the Karm Abu Salem cargo crossing open (World Bank)

8) Allow solar panels into Gaza (World Bank)

Jerusalem

9) Stop stripping Jerusalemites of their Jerusalem residency status

10) Eliminate arbitrary taxation regime being applied to Palestinians in East Jerusalem, especially those in the Old City

11) Increase public services to East Jerusalem to align with the level of taxation paid by East Jerusalem residents and with their proportion of the entire city’s population

12) Allow daily mechanism for Palestinians’ freedom of religion, not only on the occasional holidays (entry to Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, e.g.)

Education

13) Remove barriers inside the West Bank between children and their schools

14) Stop soldiers at checkpoints from harassing school age students, stop the delaying and excessive searching of students (and teachers) coming to/from Jerusalem through the Qalandia checkpoint, especially of those who are unaccompanied by parents

15) Provide teachers open access to their workplaces, i.e. crossing checkpoints, etc.

16) Eliminate routine Israeli military forces incursions into schools

17) Allow academic/educational institutions to operate comfortably and freely within Palestinian communities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including East Jerusalem

18) Recognize/accredit the degrees granted by all Palestinian higher educational institution as legitimate credentials for continuing education in Israel or for professional work permits

19) Stop delaying release of textbook shipments

20) Stop delaying release of, and desist from tampering with, examination papers and answer sheets coming from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)

21) Stop banning basic laboratory supplies for students’ laboratory experiments

22) Grant permits for school education/recreational trips: an entire generation has never seen the sea

23) Stop systematically targeting schools in marginalized areas like Khan al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley

24) Allow importing of educational accessories and tools: During the Microsoft International Student Competition, smart pens, circuits, and other similar materials required by participants were discarded at the Israeli border on the pretext that these educational materials were a threat to Israel’s security

25) Allow student travel. During the Microsoft International Student Competition, the Palestinian team won first place over 23 Arab countries in the innovation category and were qualified to compete in the US. One of the students, despite the student having no security issues, and with an official invitation from Microsoft and the US consulate in hand, was unable to get Israeli permission to enter Jerusalem to process his US visa.

Humanitarian

26) Stop the arrests, especially of children: Number of Palestinians who have been held in Israeli jails for periods ranging from 1 week to life, 1967-1988: 600,000; number of Palestinians arrested during the first intifada (1987-94): 175,000

27) Stop the torture: Documented percentage of Palestinian detainees who have been tortured during interrogation: 85%

28) Stop the deportations: Documented number of Palestinians deported between 1967 and 1992: 1,522; between 1970 and 1973: 785; in 1992: 415; number deported from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, 2002-2004: 32

29) Stop the house demolitions: Documented number of Palestinian homes in the oPt demolished by Israeli authorities, June 1967-March 2009: 24,145

30) Stop the killings: Killings during the two Intifadas: Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces and civilians, December 9, 1987 to September 28, 2000: in the oPt: 1,489; within the Green Line: 60. Number killed, September 28, 2000 – September 28, 2004: 3,234

31) Release the bodies of killed Palestinians to their families

32) Stop ripping apart bicultural families: Provide clear and easy access via family re-unification for foreign nationals married to Palestinians

33) Stop arbitrary denial of entries and restrictions on visiting foreign nationals, allowing Palestinian firms to recruit Palestinian and international talent abroad by issuance of work visas/permits for any such person who does not have a Palestinian identity card.

34) Respect Palestinian water rights as defined under international law and honor applicable, signed bilateral water-related agreements

35) Stop spraying of herbicides intended to destroy crops, especially on outskirts of the Gaza Strip

36) Respect the Bedouin community’s way of life, stop the displacement of Bedouin communities

Municipalities

37) Reclassify areas currently classified as Area C if they are within defined city boundaries

38) Expedite landfill approvals: The regional landfill in Rammun (center of West Bank) took about 15 years for the Israeli side to approve

39) Expedite cemetery approvals: The new Ramallah cemetery project took about 12 years for the Israeli side to approve

40) Expedite water/sanitation approvals: The project for a central purification plant in Ein Griot has been waiting for Israeli approval for years now

41) Expedite approvals for new or improved transportation routes: The desperately needed Ramallah ring road project, a case in point, has submitted all required details and continues to await Israeli approval

Economic

42) Stop the illegal dumping of Israeli goods and services into the Palestinian markets, Stop unlicensed Israeli firms, such as Israeli telecommunications firms, from illegally selling their services to the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas

43) Stop the arbitrary delays in importation of technology products

44) Release 4G frequencies for West Bank and Gaza

45) Allow for free movement of goods within the oPt

46) Allow for unfettered imports

47) Allow for unfettered exports

48) Allow the entry of Palestinian goods into the Israeli market, as the Paris Protocol (4/94) provided for in a unique economic and trade regime named the Customs Envelope

49) Stop using an Israeli-specific “Dual Use List” for Palestinians, causing unjustified additional restrictions to importation of goods into Gaza and considerable delays and difficulties for West Bank economic projects, such as the Bethlehem Industrial Estate (BMIP)

50) Stop the extensive security checks within the West Bank which pose an economic obstacle to trade

51) Allow for delivery of large machinery/equipment/vehicles related to PA and international projects, especially for agriculture and construction

52) Eliminate all military checkpoints between Palestinian cities/villages inside the oPt

53) Provide humane/non-segregated access to Palestinians via air, sea and land ports

54) Provide PA security forces full access to all oPt areas

55) Provide PA police full control of all oPt roads

56) Stop issuing licenses to Israeli firms quarrying of Palestinian lands in the oPt

57) Remove closures to all entrances to villages and cities in the oPt, as some residents travel 90-120 additional minutes to reach destinations literally minutes away

58) Allow Palestinians full privileges on “Israeli-only” roads

59) Allow 24/7 access on Israeli-issued travel permits

60) Allow Palestinians with multi-day Israeli travel permits to lawfully stay overnight in Jerusalem and Israel

61) Eliminate the recent requirement of a so called “Magnetic Card” required to apply for an Israeli travel permit to Jerusalem or Israel

62) Eliminate the so called “BMC – Businessman’s Card” required to apply for a multi month Israeli travel permit to Jerusalem or Israel, which artificially segments Palestinian society

63) Allow ease of rehabilitation of deteriorating old cities, especially in Hebron and Jerusalem

64) De-monopolize the Israeli/Jerusalem tourism sector (tourism operators, guides, licenses, etc.), ending the demand to adhere to the “Israeli narrative”

65) Apply and enforce the laws and adjudicate violations equally with respect to all residents/citizens under Israeli jurisdiction as an occupying power

66) De-legitimize “open carry” of weapons for Israeli settlers or accord Palestinian farmers the same privileges

67) Secure Palestinian farmers yearlong access to their farm land, not only partial harvesting seasons

68) Maximize allowed farming area, especially near settlements

69) Expedite issuance of land deeds (Tabu), especially in Area C

70) Allow legal building in Areas B and C

71) Allow access to natural water sources in Area C

72) Allow postal mail and packages to reach the Palestinian Post in a timely manner: In August 2018 Israel dumped 10 tons of mail they held up from 2010

Israeli Crossings and Ports

Border Crossings with Jordan / Allenby/King Hussein Bridge (KHB)

73) Open this sole passenger crossing to Jordan 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the nearly 3 million Palestinian residents of West Bank

74) Increase the number of vehicles, load capacity of cargo loading and unloading, and operating hours at the KHB

75) Streamline the logistics for imports entering the oPt: For example, cement silos could be constructed to store bulk cement until transferred by Palestinian trucks into the Palestinian territory.

Border Crossings with Israel

76) Stop restrictions on shipments through cargo crossings from the oPt into Israel, such as limited number and capacity of cargo crossings, limited working hours, and strict security restrictions: This encourages tax evasion and unfair competition in the form of goods smuggled into the oPt by Israeli trucks that freely enter the Palestinian areas via the crossings and need not unload their cargos, unlike the Palestinian trucks. Moreover, Israeli cargo trucks are not subject to inspection by the Palestinian Authorities.

77) Stop random sampling security checks of cargo which cause cargo damage, as well as, long security checks of perishable cargo which is damaged when delayed for a long period for security inspection purposes.

78) Logistical arrangements for the entrance of goods into the Gaza Strip is an ultra-complicated and troublesome task. In addition to the very long waiting hours at Erez Crossing, the facility has unsystematic working hours with the constant possibility of sudden closure for “security” reasons.

Container Ports

79) Allow direct imports to the oPt via a Palestinian clearing agent. Currently, all kinds of raw materials and goods need to be imported through an Israeli agent. Such a procedural requirement incurs high costs for the Palestinian importer for security and customs inspection. Additionally, the Palestinian importer incurs fees of relevant bonded Israeli warehouses and storage facilities as long as the cargo is withheld in the Israeli ports for inspection purposes, sometimes weeks, months or years on end.

80) Allow Palestinians to define their own import needs. Currently the quantity, quality, destination of imported goods and materials are determined according to the outdated Paris Protocol, which provides the annual ceiling of imports per country of origin.

Area C

81) Stop the prohibition of construction in Area C: Obtaining a permit to construct any factory or plant in Area C is made unbearably difficult and the process should be streamlined, simplified, and not subject to arbitrary regulations and delays.

82) As things stand, permits issued for Area C are time-bound and must be renewed on an annual basis, causing significant delays and a barrier to investment; revise these regulations to streamline the process.

83) Streamline the exhausting “security”-driven bureaucratic procedures to establish land titles, especially in Area

84) Expand spatial plans for Palestinian villages in Area C (World Bank)

85) Grant approval to Palestinian business projects in Area C (World Bank)

Constraints on Movement and Permits

86) Issue and abide by clear and lawful policies and procedures for obtaining all types of visas for foreign visitors, including granting visas to international faculty as they return for a new academic year and eliminating denial of long-term visas to international and regional experts working in the oPt

87) Lift the military ban on Palestinian commercial drivers’ entering Israel with a Palestinian-registered vehicle: This ban is enormously expensive for Palestinian employers, who bear the added logistical costs to rent an Israeli truck for the Israeli side of the route travelled, incurring more than double the rental cost of the Palestinian truck alone.

88) Allow for permits to manage commercial operations within Israeli areas, such as the management of warehouses in these areas. Currently, the limitations on permits issued shackle Palestinian firms’ ability to manage their internal affairs.

89) Allow Palestinian clearing agents access to Israeli ports at Ashdod, Haifa or Eilat. Currently, an Israeli agent needs to be hired as a go-between with the Palestinian importer.

90) Many Palestinian companies are active in both the West Bank and Gaza. Allow permits for West Bank company staff to enter the Gaza Strip and vice versa. At present, absent such permits, staff is unable to follow up on work in progress, attend meetings, or participate in training courses.

91) Permit Palestinian firms’ shareholders to travel to/from the West Bank/Gaza Strip to attend the annual general meetings of firms they are invested in. At present, to work around this, firms incur the extra expense of arranging two venues for a meeting; one in the West Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip, to ensure an equal opportunity for all the shareholders in Palestine to attend the meetings, which are connected by video conferencing.

Legal Issues

92) Streamline legal actions for Palestinian firms having issues with Israeli citizens/cheques; currently, the problem of the Israeli citizen/firm’s being subject to another jurisdiction creates manifold obstacles to prompt resolution.

93) Recognize a third country arbitration between Israeli and Palestinian businesses. If a commercial dispute arises between Palestinian and Israeli parties, Israeli laws requires that arbitration be made in Israeli areas for security purposes and for the safety of the Israeli party. This practice is a clear violation of customary international practices and norms that the seat of arbitration should be in a third and neutral country.

94) Stop the military ban on a large number of Gazan traders who have been commercially banned by Israel without due process, rendering them unable to sell or purchase goods and materials.

Quality inspection

95) Stop the discrimination in dealing with standards certificates. The required Israeli quality inspection of imports transshipped through Israel and acquiring of the Israeli Standards Certificate require a lot of time that might extend up to six months with high costs. Currently, Israeli shipments require one certificate for every product being imported, despite the number of times imported, whereas the Palestinian importer must get a new certificate for every shipment of the same product, adding time and cost to every importation of goods.

96) Allow Israeli products entering the Palestinian market to get a Palestinian Standards Certificate. Currently, the Palestinian market is flooded with Israeli products that bypass Palestinian standards certification.

Financial

97) Stop withholding/delaying the various monetary transfers to the Gaza Strip, imposing extra costs to cover transfers

98) Pay the Palestinian Authority seigniorage for their use of Israeli currency

99) Stop delays in transferring payments to Palestinian government, further indebting the PA: VAT and Import duties collected by the Government of Israel (GoI) on behalf of the PA and should be transferred monthly based on an arrangement instituted by the Paris protocol. (World Bank)

100) Stop unilateral deductions from Palestinian funds, further indebting the PA: These are deductions made by the GoI from clearance revenues to settle utility bills owed by Palestinian Local Government Units (LGUs), utilities and distribution companies to Israeli suppliers. (World Bank)

101) Transfer to the Palestinian Authority fiscal losses accumulated over the years. The signed agreements defined specific arrangements through which the GoI collects VAT, import duties and other income, or the so-called clearance revenues, on behalf of the PA and shares it with the latter on a monthly basis. Some of these arrangements have become outdated and others have not been implemented as envisaged by the agreements, resulting in fiscal losses for the PA. The quantified annual loss (excluding revenues collected by the GoI in Area C that could not be quantified due to data constraints) amounts to USD 285 million, or 2.2 percent of Palestinian GDP. (World Bank)

So, here you have it, a detailed sampling of what the Israeli military occupation means from ground zero. These and dozens of other Israeli restrictions are what mainly underlie the inability of Palestinians, individually and collectively, to create a different reality on the ground, let alone properly prepare for a free and independent state.

A longtime Jewish-American attorney friend with whom I shared this list as a draft in process responded unequivocally: These issues, he said, are not Israeli security threats; on the contrary. If they were rationally addressed, the results would serve Israeli security needs. With that, one must step back a bit and reflect on what Israel’s real intentions might be in sustaining its 50-year military occupation through the use of this vast web of “security” regulations.

Sam Bahour is managing partner of Applied Information Management (AIM), a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, a secretariat member of the Palestine Strategy Group, and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. He blogs at http://www.epalestine.com. Twitter: @SamBahour

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Is Israel turning a blind eye as Israeli scammers swindle victims in France, US, elsewhere?

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | November 14, 2018

French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million.  Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money.

This is the latest of numerous examples of Israeli officials stone-walling international efforts against the perpetrators of massive financial swindles around the world, according to Israeli investigative journalists and others. These scams have brought estimated billions into the Israeli economy, propping up a regime widely condemned for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing against indigenous Palestinians. Together, the stories paint a picture of a government that seems to be turning a blind eye to – and even protecting – scammers.

Finance Magnates analysis reports that one of the swindles alone has brought in over a billion dollars and employs 5,000 people. And a new scam, described below, may help what is predicted to be “the next major driver of the Israeli economy.”

A former IRS expert on international crime notes that “fraudulent industries are often major economic drivers, and that can translate into political clout.”

Some Israeli journalists have been working to expose the situation in Israeli newspapers, publishing exposés like “As Israel turns blind eye to vast binary options fraud, French investigators step in” and “Are French Jewish criminals using Israel as a get-out-of-jail card?” (Short answer: yes.)

Victimizing French business owners & churches

The victims of the recent scam against French citizens included churches and the owners of small businesses – delicatessens, car repair shops, hair salons, plumbers, etc. Some lost their life savings and describe being threatened and intimidated by the scammers.

The masterminds of the scam reportedly were Antoine Ilan Frau (aka Ilan Frau) and Michael Nedjar, both of whom resided in Israel at the time. French police arrested the two at the Paris airport in 2016 as they were about to return to Israel. While they and 25 others were subsequently found guilty in a French court, other alleged co-conspirators have not yet been arrested and are believed to be in Israel.

The Times of Israel (TOI) reports that most of the money was channeled to Israel and has not yet been recovered. The newspaper reports that Israeli law enforcement authorities “have been unhelpful in enabling further investigation of the scam and in recovering the stolen funds.”

TOI, which obtained the full French verdict statement, reports: “In 200 pages of matter-of-fact legal prose, the verdict paints a picture of Israeli authorities unwilling to cooperate with their French counterparts.”

Another Times of Israel article reports: “The exact number of French citizens thought to be evading authorities in Israel is unknown, but France has sent to Israel at least 70 formal requests for judicial assistance with cases involving suspected fraud by dual nationals residing in the Jewish state.”

Below are some of the other Israeli-connected scams victimizing people around the world that observers accuse the Israeli government of largely ignoring.

Gilbert Chikli, “the world’s greatest con artist”

In 2016 Ha’aretz reported on an Israeli con artist named Gilbert Chikli, who boasts of pioneering a multi-million dollar scam that also targeted people in France. The New York Post has called him “the world’s greatest con artist.”

The scam targeted banks and business, cost French companies an estimated 7.9 million euros. Approximately 52 employees of the companies taken in by him were subsequently fired.

Despite French extradition requests, Ha’aretz reported in 2016 that Chikli “mysteriously remains a free man, living in luxury in his villa in a seaside Israeli city as French authorities try to bring him to justice over a massive con for which he was previously convicted.”

Although a French court sentenced Chikli to a seven-year prison sentence, Ha’aretz reported that instead of being incarcerated, Chikli was “hanging out at his private swimming pool.” Israeli officials refused to explain why Chikli was allowed to live freely in Israel.

Far from disputing the French conviction, Chikli bragged on Israeli TV about his technique: “You get off on it. Because you’re 5,000 kilometers from Paris with a telephone and a 100-euro calling card and you can make 10 million euros” [over $11 million].

Chikli boasted that he had a good life in Israel, where he dealt in real estate (in addition, it appears, to continuing his scams). He also made an estimated several thousand euros for “consultancy services” to a director who made a film based on Chikli’s story.

The film generated unprecedented attention in France, as it depicted “an Israeli-French underworld out of reach of French authorities,” in the words of TOI, “because of the complications in extraditing suspects from Israel.”

Chikli remained free in Israel from 2009 until he traveled to the Ukraine in 2017, where he and another Israeli (also wanted by French authorities) were finally arrested, and Chikli was extradited to France. He was jailed and indicted for an additional scam perpetrated while he was at large.

French report states that during his time in Ukrainian detention, Chikli was “filmed drinking vodka in his cell, toasting his wealth, swearing never to return to France, and abusing the French judicial system.” … continue reading

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

John Bolton Wins “Defender of Israel” Award From Zionist Lobby Group That Helped Appoint Him

Pictured left to right: Joseph Frager, Alan Dershowitz, and John Bolton at the 2018 Zionist Organization of America awards. Photo | ZOA
By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | November 12, 2018

The ZOA, Bolton’s enthusiastic sponsor, led the campaign to remove former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from his post after railing against McMaster’s “anti-Israel” positions, most notably his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) recently awarded U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton the “Defender of Israel Award” during its annual awards dinner, which took place in New York on Sunday night.

Other awardees included U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as well as Fox News television host Mark Levin. Both Grenell and Levin are close to Bolton, with the former having served as Bolton’s spokesman and the latter having worked closely with Bolton at the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration.

Though Bolton has received several awards from the Israel lobby in the past, due to his fervent promotion of Zionism and Israeli government policy, this more recent award is notable, as the ZOA is largely responsible for Bolton’s appointment as National Security Adviser within the Trump administration.

Indeed, beginning in August 2017, the ZOA – under the leadership of its president, Morton Klein – led the campaign to remove former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from his post after railing against McMaster’s “anti-Israel” positions, most notably his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

However, McMaster had also earned the ire of American Zionists for allegedly referring to Israel as an “occupying power” and acknowledging the existence of Palestine — as Zionists at ZOA and like-minded organizations support a revisionist history of the creation of the Israeli state that asserts that Palestine as a state never existed prior to Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Leaked emails reported on by MintPress earlier this year revealed that ZOA’s campaign to remove McMaster soon won the support of Trump’s top political donor, Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson. It was later revealed that Adelson had been instrumental in placing Bolton in the position McMaster vacated, as Bolton had long been a confidant of the politically influential casino magnate and Adelson had previously lobbied Trump – then president-elect – to include Bolton in his cabinet.

Bolton has not disappointed his sponsors

Since his appointment in April, Bolton has promoted and helped bring to fruition policies long supported by Adelson and the ZOA – which Adelson helps fund – as well as related groups. Under Bolton’s influence, President Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from the JCPOA and imposed harsh sanctions against Iran, which disproportionately affect Iranian civilians. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently stated that Iranian leaders would need to fall in line if “they want their people to eat,” underscoring the fact that the Iranian people are by and large the target of the U.S. sanctions targeting Iran.

In addition, Bolton has also used his role as National Security Adviser to advocate for other troubling policies in the Middle East to the benefit of Israel, such as the continuation and expansion of the U.S.’ occupation of around 30 percent of Syrian territory.

Bolton announced in July that the U.S. would maintain its military presence in Syria until the “Iranian menace was wiped off the map.” Bolton’s announcement became administration policy just two months later in September. However, just days before Bolton took over for McMaster, Trump had announced that he wanted to remove U.S. troops from Syria “very quickly.”

Ultimately, Bolton’s recent award from the Adelson-backed ZOA for “defending Israel” is the result of events that ZOA itself helped made possible. Now that Bolton – who they helped install into power – has helped bring about the very policies they had hoped he would manifest, ZOA has granted him a “prestigious” award. Perhaps it is only fitting that he receive such thanks for the service to Zionism he was installed to provide. Indeed, it is a cause and ideology that Bolton has repeatedly supported – often at the expense of U.S. government interests and even U.S. national security.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

See also:

Bolton’s Past Advocacy for Israel at US Expense Heralds Dangerous New Era in Geopolitics

Copyright © Whitney Webb, MintPress News, 2018

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

For Arab eyes only: Threat of war vanishes from Israeli military’s English-language Twitter account

©COGAT
RT | November 13, 2018

A thinly-veiled threat to unleash the full military power of Israel on residents of the Gaza strip is apparently meant for Arabs only, since its English-language version is now gone from an Israeli military Twitter account.

Amid the latest flare-up of hostilities between Israel and Hamas militants both sides are also battling for hearts and minds online. Part of the Israeli messaging effort was a threat on Twitter, on the account of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a defense ministry unit that enacts policies related to civilian issues in occupied Palestinian territories.

The threat said Hamas crossed the red line with its latest attacks and that Israel will be responding with an iron fist. “Residents of Gaza look carefully at the pictures from Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – a picture is worth a thousand words,” said the account, citing a statement by COGAT chief, Major General Kamil Abu Rukon. A composition picture showing the aftermath of airstrikes from the 2014 war in Gaza and a recent retaliation [sic] by the IDF was supplied.

But hours later the entire thread was deleted – even though the original statement on the Arabic version of COGAT’s Twitter feed remained intact. Some commenters suggested that the Israeli officials realized that such thinly-veiled threats to Palestinian civilians are not meant for the English-speaking audiences and erased it. Others suggested Twitter could have deleted it following complaints about threats of violence by other users.

The 2014 Israeli offensive on Gaza claimed almost 1,500 civilian lives, according to a UN count, and caused damage to buildings estimated at some $7.8 billion, with thousands of homes obliterated or severely damaged.

Considering that Gaza Strip is one of the world’s most densely populated areas and Israel maintains a blockade of the area, effectively trapping people inside, many critics see the military campaign as a form of collective punishment of Palestinians. Israel says Hamas is responsible for the civilian suffering, because it allegedly uses civilians as human shields.

Amid the latest violence, the Israeli forces bombed a Hamas-linked TV station, branding it a propaganda outlet that made itself a legitimate military target. The decision indicates the Israeli government’s willingness to stretch it definitions in order to justify attacking non-combatants.

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel Wins 2018 Election

No matter who is elected Israel comes first

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 13, 2018

Judging from the mainstream media, Israel was not a major issue in the midterm election but it sure did come up a lot when candidates for office were wooing Jewish or Evangelical voters. To cite only one example, Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis criticized his opponent Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum during their gubernatorial race for receiving support from the Dream Defenders, a group favoring Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, and giving a speech welcoming members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to his city. DeSantis claimed in a video clip that “I can find anti-Semites around him, but it’s almost like ‘we don’t want to discuss that.’”

DeSantis, who sponsored the 2013 Palestinian Accountability Act which called for the withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, charged that Gillum would not be a “friend” of Israel. In 2017, he co-founded the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, saying “Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East, as we share common national interests and possess similar national values. Israel is not the problem in the Middle East; it is the solution to many of the problems that bedevil the region. American policy must ensure that Israel emerges victorious against those who deny or threaten her existence.” Earlier this year, DeSantis drafted a proposal calling on the U.S. to recognize Syria’s Golan Heights as an ‘integral part’ of the State of Israel.

DeSantis boasted about his presence in Jerusalem when the U.S. Embassy was moved to that city in May and has promised as governor to visit Israel’s illegal settlements on the West Bank, which he refers to by the preferred Israeli usage as “Judea and Samaria.” He threatens critics that “If you boycott Israel, the state of Florida will boycott you.”

One might note at a minimum that for Ron DeSantis and ambitious slimeballs like him it is all about Israel due to their own political self-interest, with nothing actually in the mix for either Florida or the United States. The uninformed public buys into the narrative because it doesn’t know any better thanks to the media’s heavy slant in favor of Israel, allowing uncritical support for the Jewish state to continue under the radar unchallenged. DeSantis, a former U.S. Navy lawyer, has demonstrated that he reveres Israel even more than his former comrades in arms. In his congressional district there are a number of survivors of the U.S.S. Liberty, which was attacked in international waters by Israel on June 8, 1967, killing 34 crewmen and injuring 171 more. They report that DeSantis has been completely unsympathetic to their requests that a commission of inquiry finally be convened to determine what actually happened on that day.

In fact, Americans have never had the option of voting on the “special relationship” that Israel enjoys with the United States as no Congressman would dare run against it lest they be smeared in the media and find themselves running against an extraordinarily well funded opponent benefiting from large donations coming from out of state sources. The list of prominent politicians “taken down” by Israel is lengthy, and includes Cynthia McKinney, Adlai Stevenson III, Paul Findley, Chuck Percy, William Fulbright, Roger Jepsen, and Pete McCloskey.

It is particularly ironic that as the midterm campaigns were drawing to a close there appeared some serious investigative journalism that demonstrates precisely how Israel and Jewish groups corrupt the political process in America to provide virtually unlimited support for anything and everything that the despicable Benjamin Netanyahu and his gang of war criminals seek to do. How the process has succeeded is best illustrated by the current Israeli government’s policy of “mowing the grass” in Gaza where it is using army snipers to kill unarmed Palestinian protesters. Washington not only does not protest against the in-your-face war crime, it aids and abets it with U.S. Ambassador David Friedman justifying the military response as measured and appropriate.

Another area where Washington chooses to look the other way is regarding Israel’s nuclear arsenal, believed to consist of two hundred warheads. Under U.S. law, any country that has an undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal cannot obtain American-made weapons and cannot received aid of any type. Congress and the White House pretend that the Israeli nuclear arsenal does not exist, in spite of the fact that the Israelis themselves have more than once implicitly acknowledged it and instead of cutting aid to Israel have instead increased it. It is currently $3.8 billion per year guaranteed for the next ten years, with extra money also available if needed. No other country benefits from such largess and gives in return so little.

To be sure, the groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, which appeared in 2007, pulled no punches in describing how the Israel Lobby operates in the United States. It also made clear that the relationship with Israel serves no United States national interest whatsoever and exists solely because of the corruption of the political system and the media by principally Jewish individuals and groups that are dedicated to that task.

While acknowledging the great debt to Walt and Mearsheimer, it is one thing to read about something in a book and quite another thing to see it live, which is what the new evidence of Israeli interference consists of. Several years ago, the Qatari news service al-Jazeera commissioned two investigations. The first was on the activities of the Israeli Lobby in Britain and the second was on the lobby in the United States. The material consisted largely of meetings with members of Israel’s active lobby that were secretly filmed by journalists who were pretending to be supporters and who eventually managed to penetrate some of the organizations that were most active in promoting Israel’s interests.

The British expose, in two parts, aired in January, and was based on discussions and interviews that took place between June and November 2017. It demonstrated how the Israeli Embassy in London connived with government officials to “take down” parliamentarians and government ministers who were considered to be critical of the Jewish State. It also revealed how the Israeli Embassy was secretly subsidizing and advising private groups promoting Israeli interests, including associations of Members of Parliament (MPs).

The secret recording revealed how an Israeli Embassy diplomat/spy named Shai Masot connived with a senior civil servant to get rid of Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, regarded as a supporter of an independent Palestinian state. To Masot’s additional query “Can I give you some MPs that I would suggest you would take down?” the civil servant suggested “… if you look hard enough, I’m sure there is something that they’re trying to hide… a little scandal maybe.” Another alleged pro-Arab member of Parliament Crispin Blunt was also identified and confirmed to be on a “hit list.”

It was also learned that Masot had been secretly subsidizing and advising two ostensibly independent groups, the parliamentary Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). Masot did, however, express concern that Israel’s control over incoming parliamentarians was not quite what it used to be: “For years, every MP that joined the parliament joined the LFI. They’re not doing that any more in the Labour Party. CFI, they’re doing it automatically. All the 14 new MPs who got elected in the last elections did it automatically.”

The documentary was initially a sensation in Britain but then, predictably, it went away as Israel’s loyal host of media scriveners took charge. Masot was recalled to Israel and Prime Minister Teresa May, as good a friend to Jewish money and power as one is likely to find, decided to do nothing. Her characteristically toothless reaction to the suggestion that her government officials might be removed by the clandestine activity of a foreign country was: “The Israeli ambassador has apologized… the U.K. has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.”

The four-part series by al-Jazeera on the Lobby in the U.S. was meanwhile temporarily spiked because the Qatari government was seeking to obtain the mediation of prominent American Jews to pressure the White House to help resolve its outstanding conflict with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The documentary has remained in limbo but in the past two weeks it has surfaced and is now available. Its undercover investigative journalist, a British Jew named Tony Kleinfeld, quickly charmed his way into the inner circle of Israel’s supporters where he discovered a network of organizations that act as fronts for the Israeli government. Their activities include spying on supporters of Palestinian rights and disrupting demonstrations, with a particular focus on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which Israel has particularly targeted. They also resorted to tactics like smearing critics by generating false accusations of sexual and personal misconduct, all of which was coordinated by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs. The ministry’s director general is Sima Vaknin-Gil, a former senior officer with Israel’s military intelligence, and is staff consists mostly of former spies drawn from Israel’s various security agencies.

Later, Kleinfeld became involved with The Israel Project, which is a U.S. based Israeli government backed propaganda organ that claims to be “a non-partisan American educational organization dedicated to informing the media and public conversation about Israel and the Middle East.”

In a recorded conversation, Project employee Jordan Schachtel, explained the objectives and extent of a secret Facebook operation. “We’re putting together a lot of pro-Israel media through various social media channels that aren’t The Israel Project’s channels. So we have a lot of side projects that we are trying to influence the public debate with. That’s why it’s a secretive thing, because we don’t want people to know that these side projects are associated with The Israel Project.”

In another episode, the Israel on Campus Coalition’s Jacob Baime, who claimed to have a $2 million budget, described coordinating with the Israeli government, with an approach “modeled on General Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq… copied a lot from that strategy that has been working really well for us, actually” using “offensive information operations.” Baime described putting “up some anonymous website” along with targeted Facebook ads so that critics “either shut down or they spend time responding to it and investigating it, which is time they can’t spend attacking Israel. It’s psychological warfare, it drives them crazy.”

Kleinfeld also met with other groups. Foundation for Defense of Democracies was revealed as yet another agent of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, its directors meeting regularly with Israeli Embassy staff in Washington. In spite of that the Treasury Department has not compelled it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). It is also registered with the IRS as a tax exempt 501(c)3 “charity.” Indeed, no Jewish organization active on behalf of Israel has ever had to register under FARA and most are classified as tax exempt charities or educational foundations. Interestingly, however, the FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer lamented in his recorded conversation with Kleinfeld that “anti-Semitism as a smear is not what is used to be.”

In another bizarre episode, Kleinfeld visited the neocon dominated Hoover Institute in California where he participated in a demonstration together with a group of bored young conservative think tankers compelled by their professors to protest against a Students for Justice in Palestine conference. The think tank fellows admit that they were “astroturfing” – rent-a-crowd activism to make a small demonstration appear much larger.

Another segment includes Israeli Lobby financier Adam Milstein, who is reported to be the principal funder of Canary Mission, which has targeted some 1,900 students and academics in its profiles since 2015, smearing them as “racist,” “anti-American” and “anti-Semitic.” Jacob Baime, executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, boasts in the film that “Canary Mission is highly, highly effective to the extent that we monitor the Students for Justice in Palestine and their allies.”

In his recording, Milstein also talks about the need to “investigate” and “expose” critics of Israel, who Milstein claims are anti-Semites, as well as “anti-Christian” and “anti-freedom” activists who “terrorize us.” His foundation also funds numerous anti-Palestinian organizations, including the Israel on Campus Coalition, StandWithUs, CAMERA, the AMCHA Initiative and the FDD. Milstein also funds and is chairman of the board of the Israeli-American Council. An Israeli-born California based real estate developer, Milstein reportedly served time in federal prison after a 2009 conviction for tax evasion.

An Israeli spy at the University of California at Davis, Julia Reifkind also described to Kleinfeld how the system worked at the campus level. She used multiple fake Facebook accounts to monitor the activities of Students for Justice in Palestine. “I follow all the SJP accounts. I have some fake names. My name is Jay Bernard or something. It just sounds like an old white guy, which was the plan. I join all these groups.” The information she obtained was then passed on to her contact in the Embassy for forwarding on to Israel to be entered into their data base of enemies.

So, Israel was engaging in interfering in legitimate political activity and also generating fake news on the social media in both 2016 and 2018, the same accusation that has been leveled against Moscow, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller seems curiously uninterested. And beyond the al-Jazeera revelations, there is also the evidence that it was Israel that sought favors from the incoming Trump Administration in 2016, not Russia. So who was actually corrupting whom?

And then there are the more overt Israeli front groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) with its $100 million annual budget and 200 employees, as well as the other special arrangements to pander to Israel and the powerful American Jews who have made it their mission to use the U.S. government as a mechanism to protect and nurture Israel. Last week in Los Angeles $60 million was raised by Hollywood’s finest for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), “Their Job is to Look After Israel. Ours is to Look After Them,” the website proclaims. Last month, an additional $32 million was raised for the IDF in New York City. Donations are tax exempt, to support the armed forces of a country that is currently engaged in war crimes and that has a secret nuclear arsenal.

So, Israel was technically speaking not running in the 2018 election, but it was very much in the race. Jewish Democrats are already boasting how the presence of a couple of Israel critics in the House, who will be “reeducated” on the Middle East, will make no difference, that the party will be solid for the Jewish state with more Jewish congressmen than ever before. Indeed, the “special relationship” bond will be stronger than ever. Five committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives will be in the hands of passionate Israel firsters, including Adam Schiff at the Intelligence Committee and Eliot Engel at Foreign Affairs. On the Republican side, the House is already 100% in Israel’s pocket. And as part of the White House team we have John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. Donald Trump’s Ambassador to Israel David Friedman expressed the dual loyalty phenomenon best in a recent speech. The United States is his “country of citizenship” but Israel is the country he “loves so much.”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas condemn Israel destruction of Al Aqsa TV station

MEMO | November 12, 2018

The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – has condemned Israel’s destruction of Al Aqsa TV station in the Gaza Strip. A spokesman for the movement, Fawzi Barhoum, described the targeting of the TV Channel and demolishing of its headquarters as a blatant act of aggression against journalism and all free voices dedicated to communicating the truth.

Barhoum called on international, legal and media organisations to denounce this latest act of Israeli aggression against journalism and freedom of expression.

Hamas said that Israel’s crimes would never stop Palestinian journalists from continuing their humanitarian and professional mission to expose the occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people.

In airstrikes late Monday, Israeli fighter jets tried to wipe the Hamas-run TV station in Gaza off the map.

Firing 10 missiles at the Al-Aqsa TV station, Israeli jets destroyed its headquarters, witnesses said.

Amid the airstrikes, the station went off the air briefly before resuming operations. Many buildings around the station were also damaged.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , | 5 Comments

Egypt tortures Palestinian resistance combatants: Report

MEMO | November 12, 2018

“We were a group of 15 combatants returning from a training mission from one of the countries that supports the Palestinian resistance. When we arrived at Cairo airport, we were taken to an underground place. We were blindfolded, handcuffed, and transferred to a number of prisons.” This is a part of a testimony of a Palestinian resistance combatant who was detained in Egyptian prisons and has been released recently.

Al-Khaleej Online will reveal in this investigation that the Egyptian intelligence and national security services tortured a number of Palestinian resistance combatants and students during their travel and study, in order to extract security information related to the Palestinian resistance.

The investigation documented a number of testimonies of more than 20 Palestinians, including those fighting in the Palestinian resistance, who were detained in secret prisons of Egyptian intelligence and national security, and subjected to physical and psychological torture throughout their interrogation period.

According to these Palestinians’ testimonies, the Egyptian officers had mostly asked them about their military action, especially during the waves of escalation with the Israeli occupation, and their way of firing shells from inside the Strip.

The data Al-Khaleej Online has revealed about the Egyptian security’s torture and interrogation of resistance combatants have been confirmed by sources in the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip use Cairo Airport to travel around the world because there is no airport inside the Strip and the occupation does not allow them to travel through Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing.

The Egyptian authorities have been using the so-called “deportation” system for Palestinian travellers wishing to travel outside Egypt. A bus from Rafah Border Crossing is transferred to Cairo Airport under high-security measures. No one from inside the bus would be allowed to leave it until it gets inside the airport. The travellers are then handed over to the security authorities there.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 6 Comments

Nasrallah speech given on the first anniversary of the Liberation of Lebanon against terrorist groups

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

Transcript:

[…] I want to tell you, on this first anniversary of the (Second) Liberation (of Lebanon against terrorist groups in August 2017), that in these battles against the Al-Nusra Front on the one hand, and ISIS in the Jurd (Ersal) on the other hand, the number of our fighters was higher than what was required in numbers on both fronts. And I asked the military officials, “Why do you bring so many forces?” I was concerned above all by the preservation of the blood (life and health) of our brothers, and I also cared about the fact that each of them would open fire, and it would have a price in terms of ammunition and money, but my main concern was to preserve the blood of our brothers. They said that they could not prevent the youth (Hezbollah fighters) from coming (voluntarily and massively in Syria). Especially because it was summer and there was no school or university courses, which is why the majority of fighters were (Hezbollah) students in universities and high school, because our practice is not to allow young people under 18 to fight, and there was therefore a significant number of young people among our martyrs.

And today also, these same young people, the same generation (is fighting in Syria and elsewhere). Some may think that the generation of 1982 or 1985 was different (more heroic than today), as well as that which fought in 2000 or 2006, but not in any case! Today’s generation has all the momentum, enthusiasm, presence, consciousness and alertness (found in the earlier ones). And it proved it during all the past years.

But on the other side, when you look at Israel, for example, we see in studies of which the Israeli media are currently speaking that the real crisis of the enemy, of the Israeli army, is in the human element (the soldiers themselves). The leaders and staff of the Israeli army have great difficulty to attract young (Israeli soldiers) to the combat units and troops and to the special brigades (elite forces), because the young Israelis prefer to serve in other units than combat. They do not have any motivation, the spirit of sacrifice disappears and there is no cause in which they believe and for which they are ready to be killed. This is a real problem, which many studies are devoted to, but I do not have time to discuss them in detail.

And there is also another problem that was revealed a few days ago with precise figures, namely the increase of mental disorders among soldiers of the enemy, who are monitored by psychologists in the army. “During the year 2017 –I quote the Israeli media–, nearly 44,000 soldiers asked support from psychologists officers.” It is a figure quite significant for the Israeli army. Against 39 000 soldiers for 2003. Last year, 44,000 soldiers went to see who? Psychologists doctors. Psychologists doctors. And that’s why…

When they speak of the reasons (of their depression), they say they do not want to die, to sacrifice, to get tired, to get up at dawn, their morale is low or nonexistent, they want a more comfortable and better paid position, etc. That’s what they say themselves. And that is why the strategists of the enemy entity always say that this army is not ready to enter into a new war. Despite the fact that since 2006 to this day, they got new aircraft (F-35), new missiles and developed many of their assets and capabilities. We know this and monitor it (closely). But since 2006 and to date, they have not managed to change the spirit of defeat that swept over their officers, their soldiers, and their people. They have failed to remedy the state of doubt and suspicion (prevalent) between soldiers and officers, and they were unable to find historical leaders able to mobilize again.

As for us, today, our strength lies in our young generations of these true and sincere fighters, willing to sacrifice, loyal, ready to shed their blood, who believe in dignity, in glory and in honor, and for whom the dignity of their people, the glory of their country, the honor and life of their loved ones deserve from them all the sacrifices and all these gifts. And this is what has allowed the Second Liberation (of Lebanon in August 2017), as well as the First Liberation (in 2000). […]

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on September 20, 2018, on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

Transcript:

[…] Sixth, regarding Israel, we must always stay on alert, my brothers and sisters. The Israelis are angry, the Israelis are worried. They are angry because their project in the region collapsed. The Israelis had high hopes on what was happening in Syria and Iraq. In the past, they had high hopes on what was happening in Lebanon. But all their illusions were scattered to the four winds. The Israelis know that the Resistance Axis will come back (to face them) stronger than ever. The Israelis know that new countries (Iraq, Yemen) are now part of the Resistance Axis, and that (whole) peoples who were outside the sphere of the struggle against the Israeli enemy are now within this sphere, in a strong, active and integrated manner. Israel is angry, Israel is worried, and that is why we must all stay on alert. I am not speaking of assumptions (of aggression) here and there, but I know that no one should allow himself to be reassured concerning this enemy, or even with the analyzes (about it), even if, as I have always confirmed to you, he fears any confrontation in the region, especially against Lebanon. And he knows well that any battle, any war he would launch could have a huge impact on the region. He knows he now has weaknesses that have become exposed (to everyone), and he knows very well our strengths.

Some days ago, (the Israeli Minister of War) Lieberman said on the occasion (of the commemoration) of the 1973 war: “We must understand that in the Middle East, two truly strategic changes have occurred: the first is that our enemies –meaning us (Hezbollah) and our allies– now have high-precision missiles and the second thing –of course, he still has no solution to these missiles, and logically, this will delay and repel the prospect of an Israeli war– and the second thing is that the home front (of the Zionist entity) has become the central front in any future war. If, during the 1973 war, the (Israeli) soldiers could fight on the front, while in Tel Aviv, people were (peacefully) sitting in coffee shops, reading newspapers, –during the 1973 war, the fighting took place on the front, at the borders, but the people who lived in Tel Aviv were quietly sitting in coffe shops, reading newspapers– but now everything has changed.” What he said about the current situation is a treat (to our ears). “Now everything has changed.” Yes, today everything has changed. We must also be conscious of this reality, just like the enemy is aware of it. The enemy knows (well) that major changes have occurred in this region, which he did not expect and that he had not anticipated.

As for the high-precision missiles and his attempts in Syria to cut the way for this power and this ability, today, I want to say something he already knows, but I want to say it publicly, for his people to be informed and take heed, and for our people to be informed and gain confidence. I say to Israel: Whatever you do to prevent the (weapons transfers), it’s already too late. Everything has already been done and completed, and the Resistance (in Lebanon) already has all the high precision missiles and such, all the capabilities and armaments it needs, so much that if Israel imposes a war in Lebanon, they will face a destiny and a reality they never anticipated.

This is the reality of the situation. And likewise, many things that have changed within their army. When I spoke at Hermel (on August 26), in commemoration of the Second Liberation (of Lebanon from terrorists), I talked about the situation with regard to the morale, spirit and psychological state of the Israeli army (disastrous according to recent studies in Israel). There is almost no one inside the entity that has not answered me. The President of the entity, the Head of government, the War minister, other ministers, MPs, journalists, etc., all have answered me, some by naming me and others without naming me, but it was clear that they were referring to me. Because I put light on a painful truth for them, for their people and for their future. And they know that now, technology alone is not enough to win in a battle, and that the decisive factor in a battle is the human element (soldiers). This is what experience has shown, whether in 2000, in 2006 or in recent years (Syria, Iraq, Yemen).Look how ridiculous these Israelis are: how did they answer me? With what facts did they answer me? They responded, and here you can see their weakness, by threatening Lebanon, but what did they say? Long ago, before 1982, they threatened to invade Beirut. But today, does anyone hear them speak about an invasion of Beirut? Did you hear such a thing? From 2000 to today, my brothers, (say) from 2006 to the present, did Israel ever claim that they were going to invade Lebanon and reach Beirut? It’s over! Why? Because an invasion of Lebanon up to Beirut requires ground forces (worthy of the name). This is not aviation, missiles and warships that can achieve such a thing. This army (able) to invade Lebanon and reach Beirut no longer exists! There is nothing like that in Israel, but in Lebanon, the situation is very different. Today, in Lebanon, something very different is found (real fighters, battle-hardened and in high spirits). And that’s why all the (Israeli) response consisted of threats to destroy and raze Lebanon to the ground. That is to say, they drew their strength (only) from their firepower, and dare not boast of the human element. […]

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nasrallah: Lebanon’s resistance will respond to any Israeli aggression

Palestine Information Center – November 11, 2018

BEIRUT – Hezbollah secretary-general Hasan Nasrallah has warned that any Israeli military attack on Lebanon will be strongly responded to, stressing that the Lebanese resistance will defend the country by all means.

In a ceremony held for Hezbollah martyrs, Nasrallah affirmed that any threats, pressures and sanctions would never affect Hezbollah, pointing out that Lebanon enjoys security and dignity thanks to what he described as “the golden equation which the resistance has imposed on the enemy.”

He said that the missile capability of the Lebanese resistance is the point of strength because the local army is not allowed to have advanced missiles.

Recent Israeli news reports claimed that Lebanon had received warning letters from European and American diplomats saying that Israel could take military action against Lebanon if alleged precision-missile factories built by Iran were not removed.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Russia keeps Israel’s Netanyahu in anteroom

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | November 11, 2018

It is over a month since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that he was going to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with a view to open a new page in the relations between the two countries following the incident over Syrian skies on September 17 when a Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down killing 15 personnel.

However, Moscow has not scheduled Netanyahu’s visit so far. Netanyahu hoped that on the sidelines of the ceremony marking the centenary of the World War 1 armistice in Paris tomorrow there might be an opportunity for a meeting with Putin. The Israelis sought a meeting. But Moscow apparently hasn’t confirmed Putin’s convenience.

Clearly, Moscow is keeping Netanyahu in the anteroom to cool his heels, signaling that it cannot be ‘business as usual’. In a hard-hitting interview with Times of Israel, the Russian ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov made it clear in the weekend that the September 17 incident rankled. He said the Russian defence establishment is “extremely disappointed” with the Israeli military’s response to the incident.

Ambassador Viktorov also rubbed it in that the Israeli demand for the removal of all Iranian troops on Syrian soil is both “unrealistic” and unnecessary since Iran has no plans to attack Israel and it is Israelis, after all, who are killing Iranians and not vice versa!

Quite obviously, Russia has hardened its stance vis-à-vis Israel. Conceivably, Moscow must be pleased with the ‘new normal’. According to Russian reports, since the deployment of the awesome S-300 missile system in Syria, the Israeli Air Force “hasn’t conducted a single air mission in Syria.” That is to say, the Israeli stance that the S-300 deployment notwithstanding, Israeli jets reserve the right to attack Syria, etc. is just bravado.

Tel Aviv is not taking chances, given the scale of deployment of the S-300 and the probability that Russia has also imposed electronic countermeasures over Syria’s coastline to suppress satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory.

In political terms, the longer this impasse continues, the weaker the Israeli claim that the Iranian presence in Syria threatens its security becomes. In reality, though, Israel has all along been using the ‘Iranian threat’ as a pretext to attack Syria, thereby staking claim to have a voice in any peace settlement. Israel’s agenda is to get some sort of international legitimacy for its illegal annexation of the Golan Heights.

The Russians are apparently taunting the Israelis by admitting that S-300 may not be hundred percent fool proof. In another report, a senior Syrian military official has been quoted by Russian media as saying, “There is no concept of zero probability in military strategy. We cannot say that this probability has been reduced to zero, because we are talking about open skies, extended borders, various technologies… Therefore, I cannot say that in the end there will not be such a probability, however, the probability of this aggression achieving its goals has been minimized.”

Nonetheless, for the Israelis this is a piquant situation of the “unknown unknown”. Russia is keeping Israel guessing how dangerously risky it could be for its pilots to undertake strikes under these obscure circumstances. Russia may be planning to seek an overhaul of the entire mechanism regarding Israel notifying in advance its air strikes on Syria. Israel was giving Russians only short notice before undertaking missions and had been getting away with it, but the September 17 incident has changed the calculus.

Certainly, for the overall stabilization of the Syrian situation, it is helpful that Israel is prevented from inserting itself into the security situation. Interestingly, Tehran and Damascus have left it entirely to Moscow to needle the Israelis, but it stands to reason that the three allies are also in consultation as regards any new ground rules for the Israelis in the Syrian conflict.

The bottom line is that the Israeli swagger that Netanyahu and Putin have had a special thing going between them at the personal level stands exposed.

Apparently, that is not the case. It seems Moscow deals with Israel strictly on the basis of its willingness to behave responsibly.

Given the state of play currently in the US-Russian relations, Israel is unable to leverage the Trump administration to intervene on its behalf with Moscow. At the Helsinki summit in July between Putin and President Trump, the latter had underscored Israeli security concerns as an agenda item.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment