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Canadian and Israeli colonialism versus First Nations

By Yves Engler · July 20, 2018

Ironic: Interesting, strange or funny because of being very different from what you would usually expect.

By allowing the Haudenosaunee to travel to Israel for the World Lacrosse Championships on their own passports Canada undermined its colonial authority. But, Ottawa did so at the behest of those promoting the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism.

As indigenous peoples, we have both seen our traditional lands colonized, our people ethnically cleansed and massacred by colonial settlers,” the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel wrote the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Nationals on July 4.

“We are asking you to respect our nonviolent picket line by withdrawing from the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships, denying Israel the opportunity to use the national sport of the Iroquois to cover up its escalating, violent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians throughout our ancestral lands.”

While a number of Nationals players expressed support for the Palestinians’ plight, the team rejected the call, possibly fearing a fine or banishment from future tournaments. Also affecting the Iroquois’ decision, whose confederacy crosses the Canada-US border, was the political importance they place on competing internationally.

As “the only First Nations team officially sanctioned to compete in any sport internationally”, playing lacrosse internationally is a way to assert their sovereignty, especially when governments accept their Haudenosaunee passports. As such, Canada often makes it difficult for them to travel on their First Nation passports. The Nationals were forced to withdraw from the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in England for that reason.

Last Monday the Nationals were stopped from flying out of Toronto on their Haudenosaunee passports. But, two days later Ottawa came to an agreement with Tel Aviv after Israeli officials, former justice minister Irwin Cotler, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) intervened out of fear their nonparticipation in the tournament would bolster the Palestinian BDS movement.

According to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada granted the team, though “no other Haudenosaunee passport holders, a one-time exemption to travel to Israel using their Indigenous passports.”

In response, the co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah, noted on Twitter,

“Justin Trudeau bends Canada’s refusal to recognize Haudenosaunee passports, but only for Israel.”

Anti-Palestinian groups labeled the Nationals participation in the tournament “a victory for Israel”. “The fact that they are here is a tremendous victory against BDS”, exclaimed former Israeli Knesset Member Dov Lipman, who played a key role in navigating intense diplomatic discussions between Canada and Israel, detailed in a Jerusalem Post story titled “The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team’s incredible journey to Israel.”

Born and raised in the traditional territory of the Piscataway, Lipman immigrated from the US to the Israeli city of Bet Shemesh in 2004. Designated as part of the Palestinian state in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Bet Shemesh was built on the ruins of the Palestinian town of Bayt Nattif, which Israeli forces depopulated of non-Jews in October 1948.

For its part, CIJA announced that they “were pleased to play a role in helping the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team overcome challenges related to their journey to participate in FILacrosse 2018 World Championships in Netanya. The team is now en route to Israel.”

The campaign to get the Nationals to Israel is the latest example of Israel lobby groups’ work to thwart those who associate the plight of First Nations and Palestinians. Over the past fifteen years, Jewish and Christian Zionist groups have brought hundreds of First Nations leaders, educators, students and clergy to Israel.

In 2006 the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) took Assembly of First Nations (AFN) leaders, including Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, to Israel. Two years later the CJC sponsored a delegation of indigenous women to the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre. In 2007 and 2010 former Grand Chief of the AFN and head of the Misipawistik Cree, Ovide Mercredi, participated in tours organized by the explicitly racist and colonial Jewish National Fund.

In 2012 CIJA sponsored an Indigenous Tour to Israel with Cree and Inuit leaders as well as indigenous representatives from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, and Greenland. One participant was the Chief of Norway House Cree Nation, Ron Evans. A former Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Evans called Jews “the true, historic Indigenous people of Israel.”

In 2014 StandWithUs Canada sponsored a trip for Ryan Bellerose, a Metis from northern Alberta, who has become a leading Israel advocate. Bellerose writes articles titled “Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel? Yes” and speaks about the “effective use of the indigenous rights argument in Israel advocacy.”

Despite running into trouble for labeling Palestinians resistance members “sewage” and implying that women in Gaza were “goats” or “sheep”, B’nai Brith hired Bellerose as its advocacy coordinator for western Canada in 2016.

In Manitoba, B’nai Brith is part of a Jewish/Aboriginal/Christian Round Table that has promoted indigenous Christian Zionism. One of its acolytes is leading aboriginal Christian Zionist preacher Raymond McLean, who was profiled in a November Walrus story titled “Inside the Controversial US Evangelical Movement Targeting Indigenous People.”

To highlight Israel’s 60th, the pastor of the First Nations Family Worship Centre in Winnipeg launched World Indigenous Nations for Israel. McLean told Israel birthday revelers in Winnipeg: “We are going to be celebrating all year because the Jewish people got their land back that God had promised them.” McLean, who visited Israel 16 times between 2003 and 2012, said: “I believe that since the Jewish people are God’s chosen people, we have to stand with them.”

McLean explicitly dismisses the connection between settler colonialism in Canada and Israel. But, in doing so he employs a terra nullius/Doctrine of Discovery type argument — which was used to justify settling Turtle Island — to deny Palestinian indigeneity. According to McLean:

There were Arab nomads who lived in the Holy Land prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 who were hired by the new Jewish settlers.

Also, neighboring Arabs from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt sought employment and were hired by the Jews who were settling in their new land after returning from exile after 2,500 years to reclaim their inheritance left by the ancestors. These Arabs became known as Palestinians but were originally Arab nomads and neighbors of Israel who Israel endorsed and recognized as Israeli citizens.”

Israel lobby groups have worked hard to build support among First Nations. By enabling the Nationals to participate in the World Lacrosse Championships they succeeded in gaining indigenous cover for the most aggressive ongoing European settler colonialism.

July 21, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hezbollah at War (3): Missiles on Haifa (July 16, 2006)

Speech by Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, on July 16, 2006, the fourth day of the war against Israel, in which Haifa was hit for the first time.

Translated for the first time on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the event. All speeches of Hezbollah Secretary General during the 2006 war will be fully translated, subtitled and published in English for the first time on their anniversary this summer.

“We concentrated our missile / rocket strikes exclusively on military positions, without striking any Israeli settlements or urban centers in the north of occupied Palestine. But the enemy’s army, unable to face Hezbollah fighters, started from day one to target cities, villages, civilians and civilian facilities, as well as Lebanon’s infrastructure. […] So we had no choice but to keep the promise we made ourselves, and we hit the city of Haifa. [..] Our weapons are not weapons of vengeance, but weapons of deterrence, weapons whose purpose is to bring back some reason and common sense to the madmen in the Olmert government, so that they put an end to their arrogance, hubris, and I can even say their very peculiar imbecility and stupidity.” Hassan Nasrallah, July 16, 2006.

Unsurprisingly, in the first days of the war, Israel poured out its destructive fury on Lebanon and the Lebanese population, purposely striking the infrastructure (bridges, power plants, airport…) in order to paralyze the country, as well as the urban centers to inflict a collective punishment on the Lebanese people –especially the Shiite-majority areas of the southern suburbs of Beirut, to exact the highest price from the Hezbollah base–, sparing neither homes nor convoys of civilians fleeing the areas bombed and in particular the south, nor the ambulances, the refuges, nor the food industry, subjecting the country to a real blockade. Robert Fisk had reported the war crime of Marwaheen, a particularly vile and spiteful act of vengeance, mentioned by Hassan Nasrallah in this speech:

“[Lebanon] is being vandalized and smashed up by a country which says it believes in purity of arms. And these civilian deaths, I don’t believe that they’re by chance. I don’t believe it was a mistake when they hit that army barracks of logistic soldiers, who are trying to repair [a bridge and restore electricity in] their own country, which they have every right to do.

And Marwaheen is a particular — this is a village in Southern Lebanon, where Mossad, the Israelis, ordered the villagers out. I should add that this is a village closest to the scene of the killing and capture of the Israeli soldiers on Wednesday. They were ordered to leave the village. They did so in a convoy of cars, 20 of them. They went to the United Nations, who ordered them away — Ghanaian Battalion, shamefully — and set off to Tyre. And an F-16 came down and burned them all alive with bombs. Outrageous massacre.”

In a few days, there were more than 300 dead, almost exclusively civilians, thousands of wounded and nearly one million displaced. The Lebanese army, scandalously neutral in this conflict –we would learn much later that Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who called on Hezbollah to return the soldiers to Israel, making the Resistance de facto responsible for the war, had given instructions for the army to hinder Hezbollah activity–, was not even spared in its civil engineering actions. Anxious to maintain as much as possible the national cohesion and not to play the game of the enemy, Hassan Nasrallah would not evoke these facts until 2008, nor the collusion of the Gulf monarchies, and Saudi Arabia in particular, with the Israeli aggression.

But while Israel emerged as the criminal army it has always been, Hezbollah, for its part, demonstrated its ethics, targeting Israeli civilians only after several days of restraint. Having no other choice to protect its own population (the final civilian / military ratio of Hezbollah victims will be the reverse of Israel’s, 1/10 versus 10/1), as well as its great military expertise: while the Lebanese guerrillas achieved success after success (Israel corvette destroyed, military bases of the north localized and hit…), Israel revealed to all the incapacity of its infantry, whose attempts of incursion were immediately stopped, and even of its services intelligence, essential auxiliaries of the air force. On the first day, Olmert had pompously announced the destruction of almost all of Hezbollah’s ballistic capacity, but he received a stinging denial from the ever-increasing rocket and missile strikes that hit Israel daily, until the last day of the confrontation, up to Haifa and, as the next stage will show, well beyond Haifa. This discourse, where victory and reconstruction are evoked as soon-to-be and certain perspectives, clearly shows that Hezbollah always was in a position of strength in this conflict.

Sayed Hasan

Transcript:

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

“– Say: Nothing (bad) can happen to us except what God has decreed for us. He is our Protector: and on God let the believers put their trust. – Say: Can you expect for us (any fate) other than one of two glorious things (victory or martyrdom)? But (as for us), we can expect for you either that God will send His punishment from Himself or by our hands. So wait (expectant); we too will wait with you (the outcome of our battle).” (Quran, IX, 50-51)

God the Almighty and Most High has spoken the truth.

Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings.

In this speech, I wish to speak to you again on this day, Sunday [July 16], shortly before 1pm, to discuss with you some points relating to the battlefield and the political (situation), that I must evoke in this particularly sensitive and important situation we are living today.

First, regarding the events on the ground. From the beginning, we tried to act with calm, precision and without precipitation. We announced clear positions and clear warnings. The first day, we focused our missile/rocket strikes exclusively on military positions, without targeting any Israeli settlement or urban center in northern occupied Palestine. But the army of the enemy, unable to face the mujahedeen (Hezbollah fighters), started from day one to target cities, villages, civilians and civilian facilities as well as (Lebanon’s) infrastructure.

Despite this, we have waited and continued our struggle (targeting only enemy) soldiers and military forces, and military positions in the north of occupied Palestine. And very important strikes took place successfully, especially one that targeted several Command centers of Brigades in the north (of Israel), whether the Command of the northern zone, the Command of the naval forces or the Command of air operations in Meron, and the impact and damage caused by these unprecedented strikes were considerable. But in spite of that, we saw that the Zionists concentrated their strikes on civilians and civilian facilities.

(The enemy) tried to advance in the area of ​​‘Ayt al-Sha`b, but the mujahedeen (fighters) faced him and destroyed an Israeli tank that is among the strongest that exists to this day in Israel. A second tank approached and was also destroyed, and a third came forward and was damaged. And this event was an opportunity to humiliate the Israeli infantry at the Mount Amel border.

The main cities of Lebanon were hit by Israel, as well as villages, and they killed civilians in their homes. In several villages, civilian homes were destroyed, and the husband, the wife and children (whole families) got killed. Here, there are 10 martyrs; there, 8 martyrs; there again, 7 martyrs, etc. (Their crimes went as far as) the terrible and atrocious martyrdom of refugees of the city (South Lebanon) of Marwaheen, mostly women and children (fleeing the combat zone at Israel’s request), and destructive strikes against a number of towns, and especially against the southern suburb of Beirut.

It seems that the enemy has misinterpreted our restraint of the early days. In truth, we have been patient against this aggression and retaliated by hitting only military (targets), to confirm that our battle is with them, even if we consider that all (the Israelis) are accomplices (of the attack). But as long as we were not forced to hit civilian targets, we had no reason to do so. We waited (patiently) and achieved a great success when we hit the Israeli military corvette (who operated) off the coast of Beirut, as a clear sign that we punish those who strike our cities and infrastructure, and assault our people.

But the Zionists continued (their widespread strikes) regardless of our warnings, and their false reading of (our restraint) lead them to continue their wide aggression against southern Lebanon, the Bekaa, especially against the cities of Baalbek-Hermel, up to the north, and always target more civilian facilities and infrastructure. We didn’t have a choice today but to keep the promise we had made ourselves, and we hit the city of Haifa. We know the importance of this city and its particular sensitivity. And if we had launched our missiles on chemical and petrochemical plants, a major disaster would have hit the inhabitants of this city. But we have deliberately avoided these plants, which are within the range of our missiles, due to our care not to push things to the unknown, and to ensure that our weapons are not weapons of vengeance, but weapons of deterrence, weapons (aiming to) bring back some sanity and common sense to the madmen in the Olmert government, to put an end to their arrogance, their hubris, and I can even say the idiocy and stupidity by which they truly stand out.

But the fact that we have avoided (hitting chemical installations, cities or settlements) does not mean that this is an irrevocable decision: at any time, we consider that we are responsible to defend our country, our people and our families, and therefore all means in our power to ensure that defense will be implemented. As long as the enemy will lead its aggression without limits or red line, we also (have every right to) organize our Resistance without limits or red line.

O noble Lebanese people to whom I address this speech, I also want to confirm some points after the presentation of the situation on the ground. We still have, thank God, our full power and our full strength. It is we who have the initiative of the time and place (of confrontation), and the enemy cannot force us to resort to any means of defense, nor can he impose the time at which we use them.

We continue to carry out our Resistance in a precise and organized way, something the enemy did not expect: Israel assumed that in the first days, his violent strikes would lead to a dismemberment of the (Hezbollah) Command and of our (military) base, but no such thing happened, and I will get back to this issue later. And one of our major strong points is that the enemy does not know our power and our capabilities. And when they announce their position or make their calculations, they base them on erroneous data and false information. For example… And this is why the enemy also resorts to lies.

For example, the first day, all the targets hit in the villages of southern Lebanon are civilian homes, civilian houses in which there were no launching pads nor storage of missiles/rockets, nor anything resembling what the Israelis alleged to have targeted. Then the Israelis announced that the largest portion of the ballistic (missiles/rockets) power of Hezbollah was destroyed on the first day. I tell the Israeli Army that these information are false and unfounded. The people you killed are civilians, women and children. And the houses you destroyed are civilian homes, empty of any missile or rocket you mention. (Hezbollah’s) arsenal that you dread so much and consider very thoughtfully in all your calculations is still intact, and what we have launched so far is only a small part of this arsenal. We always have the ability to launch a large number of rockets/missiles.

Today, the Zionists based all their plans and calculations on the assumption that the number of rockets or missiles in the hands of Hezbollah able to strike Haifa, Acre, Tiberias or beyond Haifa does not exceed a few dozen. If your battle is based on this postulate, then I bring you good news of your defeat (to come), by the grace of God. It only makes us more optimistic and enthusiastic, stronger and more confident in our ability to defeat you.

And I say to the Zionist people that your government and your army deceive you. During the operation “Grapes of Wrath” (1996), they organized their entire battle on the (erroneous) assumption that all what Hezbollah actually had in terms of Katyusha rockets did not exceed 500. Then they were surprised to find out that this information was false. On this point, I can confirm that the enemy is completely unaware of (the full extent of) our ability. He ignores what we have at all levels. And this is our most important strength, and we have always prided ourselves of it within the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah). We take pride in the fact that we are not infiltrated by the Israeli intelligence services. We are proud to have built our strength, in every respect, with the required concealment and secrecy as we were preparing carefully for the day Israel would try to avenge the defeat Lebanon inflicted on it (in 2000).

For the next stage, we will keep behaving as we do now, since it is they who have opted for this open war, and we will be careful to avoid targeting civilians as much as possible, except when we are compelled to it. In the previous step, even when we were forced to target civilians, we focused our strikes on main cities and large settlements, though we had the ability to hit every settlement, every village and every city, at least those in the north of occupied Palestine, but we chose to keep things in the limit required to pressure the government of this enemy. But as I have said, even in this context, when the Zionists act on the principle that there are no rules, no red line and no limit to their aggression, then we also have the right to behave the same way in return.

Today, Israelis speak of a violent bombardment (from them), as if what happened in the early days was a light bombardment. Many towns and villages of Lebanon have suffered these (massive) strikes, including the southern suburb of Beirut last night, which suffered a methodical destruction of certain neighborhoods. The world will see the reality of it all, and although during the first stage, we wanted some scenes (particularly atrocious) not to be broadcast, the world is beginning to see the extent of the destruction inflicted by the enemy to the buildings (and of the massacres). But can it alter our determination, our will or our decision? Never, under any circumstances.

We will continue to fight, and we have very, very large abilities, and we are only at the beginning. And the Zionists will infallibly see, I repeat it again and again, that what I say and promise is the absolute truth (and will certainly happen).

Today, we also hear in Zionist circles (military / media) about the idea of launching ​​a ground incursion towards certain places. They already tried to advance on the Raheb position located west of Ayt al-Sha`b, and tried again last night (in vain). We heard today that they would use weapons prohibited by the international community. Anyway, we are present in the south, our mujahedeen (fighters) are just as ready (to fight) as one can conceive, they have a passion for combat and an enthusiastic desire to inflict a (stinging) defeat on the enemy. This is not a desperate people seeking martyrdom, but an optimistic people certain of his victory, who wants to offer Arabs a new example (of victorious Resistance). And therefore, as we have surprised them at sea (with the destruction of their corvette), as we surprised them (when we hit) Haifa, and as we will surprise them (when we strike) beyond Haifa, I also promise them a surprise with their ground offensive. And we look forward to it with great hope, because it will give us the opportunity to directly hit the enemy tanks and soldiers, who are currently hiding in fortified retreats and planes; and obviously, as their Air Force is the most powerful in the region, they may be out of our reach because they strike us from very high locations in the sky. Any ground incursion will be very good news for the Resistance because it will get us closer to victory and allow us to humiliate the Israeli enemy, as we humiliated him in recent days. This prospect does not worry us.

I have a word to say to the (Lebanese) people, this generous people, enduring, honorable, pure, from which we heard these days in the media expressions of patience, support, assistance and love (for the Resistance ). You are truly a great people, and these are not (vain) bragging words, exaggeration or embellishment (of reality). You are a historical people, on which rests the hope to get Lebanon and even all this (Arab-Muslim) Community, the whole Community, out of the state of submission and humiliation in which it is today, and to reinvigorate it with hope. I assure you once again that with your support, your embrace, your love, your patience and endurance, we will be victorious.

The houses and buildings that are destroyed will surely be rebuilt, with our cooperation and that of the institutions of the Lebanese State, but in this respect, I declare to you: do not worry at all about all that is destroyed by the Israeli war machine (because we will rebuild everything). We only wish recovery to the wounded, and long life to all the Lebanese in health and well-being; and as to what is bombed and destroyed, with the help of God Almighty and Exalted, with the help of the Lebanese State and also with the help of Hezbollah, which is an interested and concerned party, we are determined to be serious and effective in rebuilding all that was destroyed; and I tell you, without going into details now, that we have friends (Iran) seriously engaged in this issue, who have a great ability to help us with clean, pure and honorable money, without any political conditions. Do not worry about the reconstruction of our country. The importance today is to resist, and to emerge victorious from this battle.

I also have a word to say on some points currently raised by the media of the enemy, and I will conclude with a word that I will address the peoples of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

The enemy today resorts to lies and strong psychological warfare, which is quite natural, especially with an enemy like this. For example, they first tried to say that no Zionist warship was destroyed at sea, then they eventually recognized it. And I can confirm, and we also have elements that confirm this: a corvette was hit by two missiles. That’s the first point. And as for the fact that they have tried to make people believe that the missiles of the Resistance struck a commercial vessel or something like that, the days have shown that this was part of the Israeli lies. In the event that a commercial vessel would indeed have been targeted or hit, certainly, it would be the action of Israeli warships.

Another point in this regard, the fact that they talk of Iranian soldiers, and that it would be Iranians who have launched or helped to launch the two (ground-sea) missiles (that struck the corvette). Israeli reconnaissance aircraft were present above the area where the missiles were launched and watched every move. How could this confined area contain Iranian soldiers? Anyway, I categorically deny the presence of any Iranian soldier, either during this operation or any other. Those who have the comprehensive expertise and themselves use these (military) capabilities present in Hezbollah’s hands are Lebanese, children of Lebanese and belong to Lebanese families since hundreds of years. The Israelis speak of Iranians and Iranian soldiers, and could speak tomorrow of North Koreans, Japanese, Russians or Chinese in order to lessen (our abilities) and insult us, as they always have done with us, the Lebanese and Arab peoples, considering that we are at a lower level, and that we are not sufficiently developed, capable or do not have the necessary expertise for a confrontation of this nature. This is part of the lies that the Zionists resort to in this war. I really wanted to clarify that. And therefore, by the grace of God, in the next stage, through the arms of the mujahideen (fighters) and honorable Lebanese Resistance, we will continue our struggle and defeat our enemy.

Finally, I wish to address the Arab and Muslim peoples. Of course, I am speaking to them to clarify things and make them face up to their responsibilities. I am not going to implore, call for help or request anything.

Since the first moments of Operation “Truthful Promise” and the confrontations that ensued, we resolved and we are bound by common consent, me and my brothers, to ask nothing to any man in this confrontation. And many people have contacted us and offered assistance, but we said we do not need anything, and we never took the initiative to ask for anything, whether at the material, political, media, popular, military levels, etc. Of course, we pray, we ask, we invoke and we intercede only to God, the Almighty and Exalted, because we believe in Him, in His abilities, in His omnipotence, that He embraces all things, and He is true to His promise of victory addressed to (true) believers. And “God suffices us and He is the best of Protectors.” (Quran, III, 173).

And today, when I address the Arab and Islamic peoples, it is certainly not to tell them to come to our rescue, to save us, absolutely not. We’re perfectly fine, thank God, and we are in a position of strength, and at the beginning of a confrontation on which we pin great hopes. But I wish only to make them face up to their responsibilities.

Yesterday you saw, especially the Arab peoples, the results of the Council of Arab Ministers, and what the Arab League can do. They talk themselves of the failure of what they refer to as the “Peace process”, and it has also become clear that they are unable, as governments, leaders and regimes, to do anything at all. Anyway, we never counted on them.

You, Arab and Muslim peoples, have the duty to take a stance, for the sake of your (life in the) Hereafter, in case you do believe in Heaven, and for the sake of your mortal life, your fate, your dignity, your honor, your future and the future of your children and grandchildren.

Here is the situation today: if, in this confrontation, God forbid, Israel managed to defeat the Resistance in Palestine and the Resistance in Lebanon, then all the Arab world, both governments and peoples, would be drowned forever in humiliation, without any way of salvation. The arrogance of the Zionists against Arab governments and peoples would only grow, as well as that of their US masters, who stand behind them, American and Israeli interference in the affairs of our peoples and governments would grow, and therefore, the looting of our resources would continue and worsen, as the trampling down on our civilization and culture. This region would be dislocated and dismembered, and pushed into internal sedition, etc.

Today, the Arab community and the Muslim community have an historic opportunity to unite, to get out of the division, sectarian strife and civil wars in which the United States are pushing our region and our peoples. The peoples of the Arab and Muslim worlds are now facing a historic opportunity to achieve a major historic victory against the Zionist enemy. It is not the question of who will impose his conditions on who. Today, an exceptional opportunity of this nature is before us, and I do not exaggerate.

In Lebanon, in 2000, we have offered, with limited capacity, modest efforts and a very limited number of fighters, equipment and weapons, a true example of Resistance that can defeat the army of occupation. Today, we offer an example (of Resistance), alongside the Lebanese people and all of Lebanon, even if we (Hezbollah) are the spearhead of the war, with the villages, towns and neighborhoods where our popular base is strongest, these being most heavily subjected to death and destruction. Even if no Lebanese is spared, it is mainly on our popular basis that the strikes are focused.

We also try to offer another example (different from the traditional Arab submission) in terms of endurance, power, patience, strength, courage and ability to inflict a defeat on the enemy. And in fact, this battle is not an equal battle in terms of material means (weapons and technology, where Israel clearly has the upper hand), but with regards to the soul, the spirit, the will, reason, wisdom, planning, perseverance and confidence in God the Almighty and Exalted, it is unequal but in our favor.

Where are you, O Arab and Muslim peoples? What are you doing ? How will you behave? That concerns you. As for us, when we started the Resistance in 1982, we were not looking beyond the borders (of Lebanon for any help), no. We were not expecting anything from anyone, except from God, and we relied (solely) on our people and our mujahedeen (fighters). Today we do the same.

But what I wanted to say in this sensitive time, and after several military exploits in recent days, after several surprises befallen and coming by the grace of God, I tell you this: No, today, Hezbollah is not leading Hezbollah’s battle nor Lebanon’s battle. Today, we are leading the battle of the whole (Arab and Muslim) Community. Whether we like it or not, whether the Lebanese like it or not, today, Lebanon and the Resistance in Lebanon are leading the battle of the Community.

Where is the (Arab and Muslim) Community in this battle? This is a question that I address you out of concern for your mortal life and for your life in the Hereafter.

O my brothers and sisters, and above all, O our enduring Lebanese people, O our enduring people in occupied Palestine, O honorable Resistants, put your trust in God, and ask Him for His help because He is the Best of Helpers and Assistants to achieve Victory.

Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings.

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

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July 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Apartheid Rule Over Palestinians Enacted Into Israeli Basic Law

By Stephen Lendman | July 19, 2018

From inception, democracy in Israel was pure fantasy. Now rights for Jews alone is official with Knesset enactment of apartheid rule over Palestinian citizens.

The new Basic Law, the equivalent of US constitutional law, way exceeds contentiousness.

It’s the Jewish state’s version of Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws. Israel is to Palestinians what Hitler’s regime was to Jews – in both countries treated like subhumans, forced to endure virtually every type indignity, degradation and crime against humanity.

Palestinians and Israeli Arab citizens are discriminated against in virtually all aspects of their lives – their fundamental freedoms denied, their personal safety jeopardized by what the late Edward Said called “refined (Israeli) viciousness.”

Ahead of enactment of Israel’s Nation-State law, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said the following:

The Basic Law “falls within the bounds of absolute prohibitions under international law and is therefore illegitimate as a colonial law with characteristics of apartheid.”

Last Sunday, Adalah’s general director Hassan Jabareen said:

“The Nation-State Basic Law is illegitimate, as it establishes a colonial regime with distinct apartheid characteristics in that it seeks to maintain a regime in which one ethnic-national group controls an indigenous-national group living in the same territory while advancing ethnic superiority by promoting racist policies in the most basic aspects of life.”

Adalah attorney Sawsan Zaher earlier explained that the Nation-State Law conveys to Israeli Arab citizens that “Jewish rights are superior” to theirs.

Here’s a link to Adalah’s July 16, 2018 position paper on Israel’s Nation-State Law.

Separately, Adalah said “(n)o country in the world today is defined as a democratic state where the constitutional identity is determined by ethnic affiliation that overrides the principle of equal citizenship.”

Enacting the measure illegitimately enshrines Jewish supremacy over equal rights for Arab citizens into Israeli Basic Law – what apartheid is all about.

It exceed the worst of South Africa’s version – including murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrests, illegal imprisonments, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by Jews on Arabs.

Former UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, Richard Falk, earlier said “Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid in relation to the Palestine people should be taken with the utmost seriousness by all those who affirm human solidarity and care about making visible the long ordeal of a suffering and vulnerable people.”

Writing for the Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid, Karine MacAllister earlier said:

It “involves or necessitates the denial of the other; of their presence, rights and existence on the land and reconstruction of the past, namely that the land was empty before the advent of Zionist settlement, hence the movement’s slogan, (creating the myth about) ‘a land without people for a people without land,”

adding:

Zionism is “a sophisticated legal, social, economic and political regime of racial discrimination that has led to colonialism and apartheid as well as the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people.”

“Colonialism flourishes by separating indigenous people from their land and heritage.”

Article 7(1)(j) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls apartheid a crime, stating:

“For the purpose of this Statute, (a) ‘crime against humanity’ means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Murder;

(b) Extermination;

(c) Enslavement;

(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

(f) Torture;

(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;

(j) The crime of apartheid;

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”

From inception, Israel stands guilty of virtually all of the above abuses and other high crimes against Palestinians – yet remains unaccountable because the world community supports the Jewish state, doing nothing to hold it accountable, nothing supporting fundamental Palestinian rights.

Apartheid is racism on steroids, institutionalized in Israel – now illegally codified under its Basic Law, defying international law, declaring the country to be the exclusive “nation-state of the Jewish people (and their) historic homeland…they have an exclusive right to…”

On Thursday, the measure was enacted by a 62 – 55 vote – officially adopting apartheid rule as the law of land, ending the myth of democratic rule once and for all.

Joint (Arab) List chairman Ayman Odeh denounced the bill, saying it “declare(s) (Israel) does not want us here,” affirming “Jewish supremacy…tell(ing) us that we will always be second-class citizens.”

Netanyahu praised enactment of the apartheid law, calling it “a defining moment.”

Indeed so – revealing Israeli viciousness in the cold light of day, its discriminatory nature, its contempt for Palestinians rights, officially denying what’s affirmed under international laws, norms and standards.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Assessing the Putin-Trump Helsinki summit: neither a breakthrough nor a damp squib but a possible start towards detente

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | July 18, 2018

The summit meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin has finally taken place in Helsinki to thunderous condemnation on the part of many in the West.

Some talk luridly of the beginning of the end of the West  Others talk hysterically of treason.

Others see the summit as a damp squib, which will change nothing and which will leave the relationship between the US and Russia and between Russia and the West essentially unchanged, with the current state of hostility continuing indefinitely unabated.

In my opinion both views are wrong (the first obviously so) and both misunderstand, and in the case of the first wilfully misrepresent, what actually happened in Helsinki.

I discussed the background to the summit in an article I wrote a month ago for The Duran at a time when first reports that the summit was in the offing were beginning to circulate.

In that article I said that there was no possibility that Putin would make unilateral concessions to Trump over the status of Crimea or over the conflict in Ukraine and that the idea that he would agree to the US and Ukrainian proposal for a peacekeeping force to be deployed to the Donbass was certainly wrong and that that idea had already been categorically ruled out by the Russians.

I was also skeptical that there would be any sort of ‘grand bargain’ between the US and the Russians over Syria.

On the subject of Syria, in the weeks leading up to the summit there were some media reports suggesting that Donald Trump was coming under pressure from Israel, the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates to agree a deal at the summit with Putin whereby Russia would be granted sanctions relief and possibly even recognition of Crimea, US troops in Syria would be withdrawn, and in return the Russians would agree that Iranian forces would be expelled from Syria.

The Russians were clearly worried by these reports. Not only did they go out of their way to deny them, but Putin and Lavrov held talks in Moscow on 12th July 2018 with Ali Akbar Velayati, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s Special Adviser on International Relations, in order to reassure the Iranians that they were not true.

As I explained in my lengthy discussion of Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Moscow on Victory Day, it would in fact be wholly contrary to established principles of Russian foreign policy for the Russians to agree to a ‘grand bargain’ like this.

From the Russian point of view relations between Iran and Syria are relations between two sovereign nations and are none of Russia’s business.

Not only is it not Russia’s business to interfere in whatever relations Iran and Syria have with each other, but Russia lacks the means to do so anyway, with any request from Moscow to Tehran and Damascus to sever or downgrade their relations certain to be refused, and with Russia having no means to force either country to comply with such a request save through steps which would put at risk its relations with both of these countries.

All Russia would achieve were it ever to make such a request would be to damage its relations with Iran and Syria and lose face, bringing down upon itself accusations of bad faith from the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel when it inevitably failed to follow through.

Here is what I said about how Putin would respond to a demand from Netanyahu to rein in the Iranians in Syria if it were made to him during Netanyahu’s Victory Day visit, and nothing which has happened since would have caused Putin to change his position,

Contrary to what some people are saying, I think it is most unlikely that Putin would have given Netanyahu any assurances that Russia would act to rein in Iranian activities in Syria.

If Netanyahu asked Putin for such assurances (which I also think unlikely) Putin would almost certainly have told him what the Russians always say when faced with requests for such assurances: Iran and Syria are sovereign states and Russia cannot interfere in arrangements two sovereign states make with each other.

I suspect that the source of some of the stories about a ‘grand bargain’ between Putin and Trump involving the role of the Iranians in Syria is the regular discussions the Russians have with the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians whereby the Russians routinely pass on to the Iranians and the Syrians Israeli concerns about the presence of Iranian forces in Syria in particular locations as well as Israeli concerns about specific actions which the Iranians take.

A good example of these sort of discussions was an exchange between Putin and Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s most recent trip to Moscow on 11th July 2018. The Kremlin’s website reports Netanyahu and Putin saying the following to each other,

Benjamin Netanyahu: … Of course, our focus is on developments in Syria, the presence of Iran. This is not new to you. Several hours ago, an unmanned aerial vehicle entered the territory of Israel from Syria and was successfully brought down. I would like to emphasise that we will counter any and all attempts to violate our air or land borders.

Cooperation between us is an essential, key factor that can stabilise the entire region. So, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and discuss these things.

Vladimir Putin: We are aware of your concerns. Let us discuss them in detail.

(bold italics added)

The Russians are not engaged here in discussions over some sort of ‘grand bargain’ to remove all Iranian troops from Syria, which as I have said they would see as counterproductive and impossible. Rather they are engaged in the classic diplomatic exercise of conflict prevention: keeping the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians informed about each other’s moves and red lines in order to prevent an uncontrolled escalation of the conflict between them, which might risk an all-out war, which nobody wants, and which the Russians are doing their best to prevent.

Recent reports of an understanding between the Israelis, the Iranians and the Syrians supposedly brokered by the Russians whereby Iranian forces agreed not to participate in the Syrian army’s ongoing military operations in south west Syria close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights are a case in point.

The Iranians and the Syrians agreed to this, not because the Russians forced them to but because it is in their interest to. The Syrian army does not need Iranian help to defeat the Jihadis in southwest Syria so keeping the Iranians away from the area allows the Syrians to clear the area of the Jihadis without risking a military confrontation with Israel.

Needless to say, just as the Russians were not prepared to make concessions on Crimea and Donbass or on Syria, so they were not prepared to back Donald Trump’s ongoing campaign against Iran.

Not only are the Russians deeply committed to the JCPOA (which they partly brokered) but they are also committed to improving their relations with Iran. In addition, given that the ongoing US campaign against Iran is clearly intended to achieve regime change there, the Russians are bound to oppose it because they oppose regime change everywhere.

If the Russians were not prepared to make unilateral concessions to Trump on Crimea, Donbass, Syria or Iran, neither was Trump despite all the pre-summit scaremongering going to make unilateral concessions to Russians.

Stories that Trump would announce a cancellation of US military exercises in Europe or even a withdrawal of US troops from Europe had no basis in reality, and needless to say nothing like that happened. Nor did Donald Trump recognise Crimea as Russian or announce that he would lift sanctions on Russia.

The question of the sanctions and of the recognition of Crimea as Russian requires a little discussion since there is a widespread view that Trump is prevented by the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATS) from either lifting the sanctions or from recognising Crimea as Russian

This is something of a misconception. In reality, as I discussed last year at the time when CAATS was enacted, CAATS is unconstitutional, as Donald Trump himself carefully explained in his Signing Statement, because of the unconstitutional restrictions it places on the President’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

If and when Donald Trump decides that the time has come to lift the sanctions and to recognise Crimea as Russian, then all he has to do is apply to the US Supreme Court to have CAATS set aside. His Signing Statement shows that he has had legal advice that it will do so.

That point has not yet been reached for political not legal reasons. In the meantime it is an error to think of CAATS as the insuperable constraint on Donald Trump’s actions that many appear to believe it is.

Trump did not commit himself to lift the sanctions, and he did not recognise Crimea as Russian, not so much because of the legal constraints placed upon him by CAATS but because doing so would have put at risk his political position in the US in advance of November’s mid-term elections, and because – compulsive deal-maker that he is – he is hardly likely to take such radical steps anyway without first getting something back in return.

One of the fundamental problems caused by the hysterical campaign which is being waged against Donald Trump is that it causes even many of Donald Trump’s supporters to believe that he is more supportive of Russia’s positions on a variety of issues than he really is. The result is that he is constantly suspected of being prepared to make unilateral concessions to the Russians when unilateral concessions are precisely the sort of things which as a self-professed master deal-maker he is known to most abhor.

Donald Trump is – as he repeatedly says – an America First nationalist, and his overriding priority is to make what he considers to be the best possible deal for the United States. Unilateral concessions just don’t come into it and it is a fundamental error to think that they do.

Putin understands all this very well, as he made clear during his joint press conference with Trump in Helsinki.

VladimirPutin: Regarding whom you can believe and whom you can’t, you shouldn’t believe anyone. What makes you think President Trump trusts me and that I fully trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America. I defend the interests of the Russian Federation. We do have converging interests, and we are seeking common ground. We have issues that we disagree on so far. We are seeking options to settle these differences and make our work more constructive.

Which brings me to the fundamental reason for the summit, and why it is also a mistake in my opinion to see it as an empty show or a damp squib.

Donald Trump sought the summit – it is clear that the initiative for the summit came from him – because as he has repeatedly said since before he was elected President, prior to the summit he did not know Putin well.

The number of times Trump has said this is in fact practically beyond count. For example, he said it during a news conference in Miami on 27th June 2016,

I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. … I never met Putin….

He also said it during the second Presidential debate on 9th October 2016,

I don’t know Putin….

Trump has gone on to say the same thing again and again since. He has also repeatedly said that only time would tell whether he and Putin would get on with each other and would be able to come to agreements with each other.

A fundamental prerequisite for any successful negotiation is for the two parties to the negotiation to know each other’s minds so that a modicum of trust and understanding – essential if any agreement is to be reached – can be established between them.

As a businessman Trump knows this very well. He therefore needed to meet with Putin in a lengthy one-to-one encounter in order to get to know Putin properly so as to see whether Putin is in fact the sort of person he can negotiate and eventually do a deal with.

That is the reason why Trump insisted that his first meeting with Putin should take the form of a one-to-one encounter.

That by the way is absolutely standard practice in negotiations – both commercial negotiations and diplomatic negotiations – with leaders of negotiating teams often meeting privately in one-to-one meetings in order to get to know each other better to see whether a deal between them is even possible. Once a proper relationship between them is established the full negotiating teams can be brought into the negotiations in what in diplomacy are called ‘plenary sessions’. Needless to say it is during the plenary sessions – with each side’s experts present – that the details are discussed and ironed out.

Not only is this standard practice in negotiations – Putin does it all the time – but it is simply not true as some people are suggesting that there was no one else present in the room when Putin and Trump met with each other.

Both Putin and Trump obviously had interpreters present. Trump doesn’t speak Russian and Putin speaks English badly. The job of the interpreters – who are full time state officials – is not just to interpret what the leaders say to each other but also to prepare a written transcript (a “stenographic record”) of what they said.

Once this transcript is written up – something which normally takes no more than a few days – it is circulated to senior officials including in the US case to the US President’s two most important foreign policy advisers, Bolton and Pompeo. By now it is highly likely that Bolton and Pompeo have already seen and read through the transcript, and that they therefore know exactly what Putin and Trump said to each other.

Since the one-to-one meeting was first and foremost a “get-to-know” you session, no binding agreements would have been reached during it, and neither Putin nor Trump – each in their own way an experienced negotiator – would ever have imagined that they would be.

In summary, the one-to-one meeting between Putin and Trump is not a sign of some secret understanding between them; far less is it a case of an “intelligence asset” meeting his “controller” as some are crazily suggesting.

On the contrary it is further proof of what each of them has repeatedly said at various times: before the summit they did not know each other well, so that the summit was called precisely in order to give each of them the opportunity to get to know the other better.

The essential point about the summit is that Putin and Trump did find that they could deal with each other and did discover areas of common concern which in time it might be possible for them to build on as they search for areas of agreement between them. During their joint press conference Putin confirmed as much,

We do have converging interests, and we are seeking common ground. We have issues that we disagree on so far. We are seeking options to settle these differences and make our work more constructive.

As for the points of possible convergence, Putin in his usual structured way set them out,

I consider it important, as we discussed, to get the dialogue on strategic stability and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on track. We made a note with a number of concrete proposals on this matter available to our American colleagues.

We believe that continued joint efforts to fully work through the military-political and disarmament dossier is necessary. That includes the renewal of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, the dangerous situation surrounding the development of elements of the US global missile defence system, the implementation of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, and the topic of deploying weapons in space.

We are in favour of continued cooperation in the sphere of combating terrorism and ensuring cybersecurity. Notably, our special services are working together quite successfully. The most recent example of that is the close operational interaction with a group of US security experts as part of the World Cup in Russia that ended yesterday. Contacts between the special services should be made systematic. I reminded the President of the United States about the proposal to reconstitute the anti-terror working group.

We covered regional crises extensively. Our positions do not coincide on all matters, but nonetheless there are many overlapping interests. We should be looking for common ground and working more closely, including at international forums.

Of course, we talked about regional crises, including Syria. With regard to Syria, restoring peace and harmony in that country could serve as an example of successful joint work.

Of course, Russia and the United States can take the lead in this matter and organise cooperation to overcome the humanitarian crisis and help refugees return to their hearths.

We have all the requisite elements for effective cooperation on Syria. Notably, Russian and American military have gained useful experience of interaction and coordination in the air and on land.

I would also like to note that after the terrorists are routed in southwest Syria, in the so-called “southern zone”, the situation in the Golan Heights should be brought into full conformity with the 1974 agreement on the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces.

This will make it possible to bring tranquillity to the Golan Heights and restore the ceasefire between the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Israel. The President devoted special attention to this issue today…..

We paid special attention to the economy. Obviously, there is interest in cooperation in the business circles of both countries. The US delegation was one of the biggest at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in May. It consisted of over 500 US entrepreneurs.

To develop trade and investment, President Trump and I agreed to establish a high-level group that would unite captains of Russian and American business. Business people better understand how to go about mutually beneficial cooperation. Let them consider what can be done and make recommendations

The emphasis – as I discussed in my article of a month ago – is on arms control, though Putin also seems to have gone out of his way to reassure Trump that the restoration of the Syrian government’s control over southwest Syria would not put in jeopardy Israel’s position in the Golan Heights. In addition there also seems to have been a fair amount of discussion about future economic cooperation.

The result was an agreement between Putin and Trump to reopen channels of communication between their governments and to meet regularly with each other as they feel their way towards a rapprochement.

To be clear, that rapprochement will not mean and is not intended to mean that the US and Russia will cease to be adversaries and will become friends.

Instead what is being discussed are steps to bring to a stop the downward spiral in their relations, with each side obtaining a better understanding of the other side’s moves and red lines, so that hopefully geopolitical disasters like the 2014 Maidan coup can be avoided in future.

That would be a major advance over what has existed previously given that since the USSR collapsed in 1991 the US has refused to acknowledge that Russia has any right to any opinions at all, let alone to act independently or set out red lines.

Needless to say the more often Putin and Trump meet the more ‘normalised’ relations between the US and Russia become, with each meeting provoking less controversy than the previous one, with the whole process beyond a certain point becoming routine so that it attracts ever less attention and (hopefully) eventually becomes uncontroversial.

It is because the powerful forces in the US who scorn the idea of a ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ and want ever greater confrontation between the US and Russia do not want to see relations ‘normalised’ in this way that their reaction to the summit has been so hysterical.

As of the time of writing it is these people who in the media and on twitter are making the running. However it may be a mistake to see in the volume of the noise they are making a true reflection of their influence.

Last February’s Nuclear Posture Review suggests that there is a very powerful constituency within the US and specifically within the Pentagon which might potentially support the sort of ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ with Russia that Donald Trump appears to be gradually working towards.

The Nuclear Posture Review shows that some sections of the US military understand how dangerously overstretched the US has become as it responds simultaneously to challenges from Russia in Europe and from China in the Pacific.  Both Putin and Trump mentioned during their news conference the extent to which their respective militaries are already in contact with each other and are working well together

Donald Trump: Well, our militaries do get along. In fact, our militaries actually have gotten along probably better than our political leaders for years, but our militaries do get along very well and they do coordinate in Syria and other places. Ok? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:……..On the whole, I really agree with the President. Our military cooperation is going quite well. I hope that they will continue to be able to come to agreements just as they have been…..

That may be a sign that there is more understanding of what Donald Trump is trying to do – at least within the US defence establishment – than the hysteria the Helsinki summit has provoked might suggest.

Overall, provided it is clearly understood that what Putin and Trump are working towards is a detente style ‘geopolitical ceasefire’ and not ‘friendship’ – and certainly not an alliance –  it can be said that their summit in Helsinki was a good start and a success.

What happens next depends on whether the forces of realism and sanity in the US can prevail over those of megalomania and hysteria. Given how entrenched the latter have become unfortunately no one can count on this.

However some sort of process which may in time lead to detente and an easing of tensions between the nuclear superpowers has begun. Given the circumstances in which it has been launched that is more than might have been expected even a short time ago, and for that one should be grateful.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump administration officials slam Hamas in new op-ed

MEMO | July 20, 2018

Senior US officials, including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, have once again attacked Hamas in a new op-ed published in the Washington Post today.

The comment piece is published as jointly authored by Kushner, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

“The nightmare of Hamas’ leadership is continuing and needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” states the op-ed, which does not once refer to Israel’s military occupation or internationally-condemned blockade of the territory.

“Until governance changes or Hamas recognises the state of Israel, abides by previous diplomatic agreements and renounces violence, there is no good option,” the officials add.

In a reference to plans widely rumoured to being prepared by the Trump administration, the officials write: “Life could significantly improve in short order for the Palestinian people if Hamas allowed it…If Hamas demonstrates clear, peaceful intentions — not just by word but, more importantly, by deed — then all manner of new opportunities becomes possible.”

The op-ed also claims that the US can help Palestinians “integrate into a thriving regional economy” but makes no reference to the Palestinians’ political rights or right to self-determination.

Responding to the op-ed, Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the latest salvo from the Trump administration shows American officials are “mere spokesmen for the Israeli occupation”.

“Kushner and Greenblatt are adopting the Israeli narrative, and their aggression against Hamas points to the contempt of the American government,” he added.

July 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hamas: Nation-State bill officially defines Israel as apartheid entity

Palestine Information Center – July 19, 2018

GAZA – Hamas strongly denounced on Thursday the adoption by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, of the new Nation-State Basic Law, charging Israel of officially adopting an apartheid system of rule.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said “such a racist law” has seen the day thanks to the US unconditional support for the Israeli occupation and its apartheid regime.

“Such a law will not change the defacto situation. The Palestinians are and will forever remain the real sovereigns in Palestine”, said Barhoum.

He called on the Palestinians to opt for a unified national strategy so as to defend Palestinians’ rights and land against such schemes.

Hamas urged the international community to work on reining in the unabated flow of Israel’s apartheid policies and prosecute the Israeli occupation for its flagrant breaches of international resolutions.

The Israeli Knesset voted 62 to 55 early Thursday to approve the Jewish Nation-State Basic Law that constitutionally enshrines the identity of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

It guarantees the ethnic-religious character of Israel as exclusively Jewish and entrenches the privileges enjoyed by Jewish citizens, while simultaneously anchoring discrimination against Palestinian citizens and legitimizing exclusion, racism, and systemic inequality. It is considered as the “law of laws” capable of overriding any ordinary legislation.

The danger of the law lies in the fact that it denies the Palestinian citizens their right to self-determination to instead be determined by the Jewish population. The Jewish Nation-State bill officially legalizes apartheid, in what observers dubbed one of the most dangerous laws adopted in recent decades to legalize discrimination against Arabs.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Iran rejects Israeli claim of stealing nuclear data as ‘laughably absurd’

Press TV – July 19, 2018

Iran has dismissed as “laughably absurd” an Israel-fabricated scenario, in which the agents with the regime’s Mossad spy agency are claimed to have spirited away loads of “secret documents” on the country’s nuclear work from a site in southern Tehran.

Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations, was responding to recent reports by The New York Times and other news outlets about the details of Mossad’s purported operation near the Iranian capital in the rather Hollywood-style scenario.

The scenario was initially unveiled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is widely known to have a penchant for theatrics. Netanyahu went live on television in late April for yet another dubious show against Iran and put on display what he claimed to be records from a secret warehouse in Tehran.

Netanyahu claimed Israeli agents had managed to break into the warehouse in an overnight raid and bring back “half a ton of the material” consisting of 55,000 pages and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs.

The Israel premier’s vaudeville — which came only days before the US announced its withdrawal from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran — was meant to persuade the world that Iran has been lying about its nuclear program, without providing even a single piece of evidence.

The New York Times published an article on July 15, in which it elaborated on the purported Mossad operation, which it claimed lasted for over six hours.

Reacting to the report, Miryousefi once again rejected Israel’s claims in a statement and said, “It’s almost as if they are trying to see what outlandish claims they can get a Western audience to believe.”

“Iran has always been clear that creating indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction is against what we stand for as a country, and the notion that Iran would abandon any kind of sensitive information in some random warehouse in Tehran is laughably absurd,” he added.

Netanyahu’s April 30 show was so cheaply theatrical that it was quickly held up to ridicule inside Iran and abroad, with observers raising serious questions about the purported Mossad raid.

Back then, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the Israeli premier “the boy who can’t stop crying wolf is at it again,” recalling a similar anti-Iran rant by Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly in 2012– during which he used a cartoon bomb in an attempt to portray the Islamic Republic as a threat.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also said that Netanyahu was playing a baseless childish and naive game against Iran.

The Israeli leader was back then involved in an intense lobbying campaign aimed at dissuading Washington and the other parties to the Iran deal from supporting the landmark agreement, officially dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Except in the US, Netanyahu’s claims, however, fell on deaf ears.

Reacting to the show hours later, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on May 1 that Netanyahu’s presentation failed to question Tehran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal and that any such claims should solely be assessed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA — which uses strict mechanisms to monitor the technical aspect of the JCPOA’s implementation — has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain.

The latest New York Times piece comes as Iran and its other parties in the deal — Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany — are engaged in a diplomatic process aimed at working out ways to keep the JCPOA in place despite Washington’s pullout in May.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

UK doubles arms deals with governments on its own rights blacklist: Report

Press TV – July 19, 2018

The UK has almost doubled its arms deals with governments that it has blacklisted as violators of human rights, figures show.

The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May approved some £1.5 billion in arms licenses in 2017, up from £820 million it did the year before, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) pressure group reported Wednesday.

The licenses allowed weapons sales to 18 countries on Home Office blacklist, which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Pakistan and the Israeli regime.

Arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which has been running a deadly military aggression against Yemen since March 2015, accounted for £1.13 billion of the total amount, the group said.

The ruling Tory government is “actively arming and supporting many of the regimes that even it believes are responsible for terrible human rights abuses,” CAAT’s Andrew Smith told The Independent.

“There is little oversight in the system, and no controls over how these arms will be used once they have left the UK,” he added.

“The arms sales being agreed today could be used to fuel atrocities for years to come. Right now UK-made fighter jets and bombs are playing a central role in the Saudi-led destruction of Yemen, and the government and arms companies have totally failed to monitor or evaluate how this deadly equipment is being used.”

“These arms sales don’t just provide dictatorships and human rights abusers with the means to kill, they also give them a huge degree of political support,” Andrews continued.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall its former Riyadh-allied government. The military aggression has so far killed over 13,600 Yemenis.

The UK has increased its weapons sales by around 500 percent since the onset of the Saudi invasion, according to a report by The Independent. The UK has, so far, sold more than £6 billion worth of arms to the kingdom.

Israel second largest blacklisted buyer

With a total of £221 million of licenses granted, Israel was the second-biggest purchaser of UK arms last year to be featured on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) human rights priority list.

In its latest version of the watch list, published this week, the FCO blasted Israel for violating the international law during its ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and Gaza.

It also slammed the Tel Aviv regime’s “systematic policy of settlement expansion,” despite constant calls by the UN, the European Union and many other international organizations to end them.

Bahrain became the third largest buyer on the list, acquiring £30.7 million of British arms in 2017, while Egypt imported £6.5 million and Pakistan, £11.2 million.

CAAT’s figures came amid efforts by British members of Parliament sitting on the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) to reform the UK’s arms export regime and stop arms sales to blacklisted governments.

In its latest report, the committee called on cabinet ministers to consider imposing a “presumption of denial” when weighing arms sales applications for such countries.

“We believe there must always be a more stringent process in place for any arms exports to such countries,” read the report.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s nukes, not Syria: Man kicked out from Trump-Putin summit says AP misquoted him

Security removes Sam Husseini before the Putin-Trump press conference in Helsinki. © Lehtikuva/Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Reuters
RT | July 18, 2018

Political activist and writer Sam Husseini, who was ousted from a joint media conference by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, accuses the media of lying about his goal at the event. He had a question about Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

Husseini, a contributor to The Nation who also wrote for a number of major media outlets as well as the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), was evicted from a media conference held by the two presidents on Tuesday in Helsinki.

The news agency Associated Press (AP) quoted him as saying that he had a question “on Syria’s nuclear policy” and the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia.

Husseini says AP misquoted him and that he wanted to hear Putin’s and Trump’s opinion on Israel’s clandestine nuclear arsenal, the existence of which the Jewish state neither acknowledges nor denies.

In further tweets Husseini called the AP story by Jari Tanner a “piece of garbage” that has spread to other media outlets. He added his ousting from the event was falsely attributed by many to Russian officials, while in fact the decision was made by Finnish security. The statement even made it to his Wikipedia page.

July 18, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

While His Opponents Cry Treason Trump Sues for Peace

By Tom LUONGO | Strategic Culture Foundation | 18.07.2018

For the second time in as many months President Trump went against the grain of US foreign policy.

I will not mince words. I was hoping for more from the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki; something concrete. Even a small agreement about a quid pro quo in Syria would have been welcome.

But, given the level of histrionics on display in the US media and on the left I guess I should have tempered my expectations. Cries of Trump being guilty of ‘treason’ and ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ are rampant.

And they aren’t going to stop.

Crying treason for opening up diplomatic contact with a foreign leader whom we are not at war with is beyond hyperbole. It is the height of insanity. And I don’t use that term lightly.

Trump’s opponents both from members of the Deep State and media as well as those citizens supporting ‘The Resistance’ are so unhinged they have become indistinguishable from Colonel Jack T. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove.

I swear I saw a tweet from Obama Administration CIA Director John Brennan discussing bodily fluids, but I may have misread it.

They have nurtured their own angst and denial at having lost an election they have erected a bogeyman in Vladimir Putin as the only way in which the disgusting Trump could possibly have won.

And the Deep State of permanent government has cultivated this psychological poison perfectly. Now there are truly millions of otherwise normal people frothing at the mouth about everything Trump does is proof that he is the puppet of Putin, his evil master.

This has placed them firmly in the camp of wanting perpetual, undeclared war with everyone Trump wants peace with.

All because they don’t have the emotional maturity to accept reality.

And Trump, never one to miss an opportunity to twist the knife, in a moment of near sublime statesmanship during the post-summit press conference declared, “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. I will not make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics, the media, or Democrats who want to resist and obstruct.”

That statement won his candidates the mid-term elections and likely won him re-election in 2020. It’s a statement that he can campaign on and give not only his base a boost but convince even more of the political center to reject the insanity of the left and side with him.

After all, he just put something above politics and that something is the very thing that got him elected in the first place, peace.

And that is eternally to his credit.

It is also in stark contrast to his ill-conceived bombing of the Al-Shairat airbase while hosting Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in April of 2017. This was an act of pure political optics, designed to appease his virulent critics.

But, as he learned from that act and many others since then, nothing will appease these people than his removal from the office. The Resistance needs it to vindicate their descent into madness. The Deep State needs it to ensure the gravy train keeps flowing.

There are too many cozy relationships at risk, too many think tank jobs on the block, and too many weapons contracts at stake and too many more taxpayer-funded junkets to attend for Trump and Putin to remake the post-WWII political order.

Putin, for his part, was obviously firm in his dealings with Trump. There were many rumors of offers being made which were rejected. As myself and many others have pointed out, Trump didn’t have much to offer Putin in concrete terms on many of the outstanding issues of the day.

I believe the only thing they can agree on is that Syria is nearly settled in Assad’s favor and all that needs to be done now is convince the Israelis and Iran to behave themselves. In all of the furor over Trump’s meeting with Putin this tweet from uber-hawk and MIC-mouthpiece, Senator Lindsay Graham is the most telling.

“It is beyond absurd to believe that Russia will ‘police Iran’ or drive them out of Syria. Iran is Assad’s biggest ally – even more so than Russia. Russia policing Iran makes about as much sense as trusting Russia to police the removal/destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.” — Lindsay Graham, July 16th

No one that I know of other than myself and a very small handful of equally obscure political commentators have broached the subject of Russia policing Syria after the US picks up and leaves as any Grand Bargain for Middle East Peace.

Remember, Graham was just in Syria trying to drum up further support for Kurdish independence in a clear attempt to undermine what he just told everyone Trump’s plan was.

So, to me, this signals strongly that peace in Syria is what Trump and Putin discussed at length in their meeting and why the Deep State has so thoroughly gone off the deep end. Graham just told everyone what the plan is, folks.

And the plan is peace in the Middle East.

Trump and Putin both referenced working with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to craft a post-Civil War plan of action in Syria. Putin mentioned restoring Syria to the 1974 border of the Golan Heights while Trump made it clear he no longer wants our people there.

Moreover, Trump sent an envoy from the US to sit down and talk peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan, putting paid Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion that the US is ready to talk. Lindsay must be shaking in his thigh-highs over the prospect of this as well.

Remember, the US only negotiates when it knows it is losing. Empires dictate terms, they don’t sue for peace.

And that is exactly what Trump is beginning to do with Russia on a number of fronts across Central Asia. And for this he is being vilified by his opponents for being a traitor. A traitor to what?

Chaos.

July 18, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chief Rabbi Vs. Labour Party

By Gilad Atzmon | July 17, 2018

The BBC reports this morning that Britan’s chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said Labour will be “on the wrong side” of the fight against racism unless it toughens up its anti-Semitism code of conduct.

Rabbi Mirvis said Labour’s new anti-Semitism definition sent “an unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community”.

Apparently the Chief Rabbi is not alone. The J Post reports this morning that “Sixty-eight British rabbis signed an open letter decrying antisemitism in the country’s labor Party and calling on the party to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.”

Labour has defended its new code as the most “comprehensive” of any party.

But one may wonder, why do we need a special definition for antisemitsm? Is a general and universal denouncement of racism, bigotry and discrimination of all kinds not sufficient?  Are Jews somehow special?

The new Labour code does endorse the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism and includes behaviours it lists as likely to be regarded as anti-Semitic – yet Jewish critics point out that it leaves out four examples from that definition:

*  Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than their home country

*  Claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour

*  Requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations

*  Comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis

Far from being surprising, Corbyn’s Labour see Israeli criminality as a problem and insists upon the right to criticise the actions of the Jewish State and its lobbies in political, cultural and historical contexts.

Rabbi Mirvis attacked the omission of these examples by the Labour and said it was “astonishing that the Labour Party presumes it is more qualified” to define anti-Semitism than the Jewish community.

The Rabbi could be slightly confused here.  Jews are more than welcome to define antisemitsm, as they like, but the labour party has the duty to define what it regards as an anti Jewish bigotry in accordance to its own alleged universal values.

Mirvis said Labour risked being on the “wrong side of the fight” against racism and intolerance

I would argue however that the Labour party, Rabbi Mirvis and most British Jewish institutions are on the wrong side of history here. If racism and Bigotry are defined as the discrimination of X for being X (X=woman, Jew, Black, Muslim, Gay, White etc.), then for Britain to move forward and to sustain the spirit of the common law, it must oppose all forms of racism and bigotry all together and equally.

To fight racism we need to follow one simple universal guideline rather than looking for the specific demands of one group or another.

Support Gilad’s legal costs.

July 17, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Is Israel’s “Useful Idiot”

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald tribune | July 16, 2018

The claim made by many neoconservatives that Israel and the United States are partners in the Middle East because their strategic interests are identical is belied by the fact that the Israelis are more than willing to ignore Washington when its suits them to do so. The claim of identical interests has always been false, promoted by the Zionist media and an intensively lobbied Congress to make the lopsided relationship with an essentially racist and apartheid regime more palatable to the American public, but, in wake of the slaughter in Gaza and pending legislation in the Knesset empowering Israeli communities to ban non-Jewish residents, it completely lacks any credibility.

It would probably surprise most American friends of Israel to learn that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited Moscow three times so far this year, particularly as Russia has been getting vilified in the U.S. mainstream media on an almost daily basis. There is a reason for the Russophobia beyond what Moscow might or might not have done in the 2016 election. Russia has become a particular target of hostility for the burgeoning number of neoconservative foundations, also closely linked to Israel, whose funding from defense contractors depends on having a powerful enemy. The ability of Israel and its supporters to play both sides regardless of what the accepted perception of what American interests might be should therefore be an issue of some concern.

The United States military is deeply engaged in Syria, in part due to Israeli pressure, seeking to depose the existing government of President Bashar al-Assad and replace it with a Syria composed primarily of fragmented local jurisdictions representing tribal and religious groups rather than a unified state. Israel believes that a shattered Syria would not pose any threat to its continued possession of the occupied Golan Heights and might even offer an opportunity to expand that occupation.

In response to Israeli interests, the U.S. has sought regime change in Syria and has toyed with the creation of mini states within the country controlled by the Kurds and the so-called moderate rebels. It would mean the end of Syria as a nation, which has been an Israeli objective since 1967. Israel has been contributing to the turmoil by attacking targets inside Syria. The targets are generally described as either “Iranian” or “Hezbollah,” but they have also included Syrian Army installations. One such attack took place last week after a drone allegedly entered Israeli territory.

Israel has also collaborated with rebel groups inside Syria, to include al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS, which puts Washington in an awkward position as it claims to be in Syria primarily to defeat ISIS and other terrorists. In one bizarre episode, ISIS actually apologized to Israel for inadvertently attacking Israeli positions in the Golan Heights. There have also been reports of Israeli hospitals treating wounded terrorists.

The Israeli willingness to play all sides in the Syrian conflict recognizes that Russia rather than the United States has assumed the pivotal role in determining what the ultimate political outcome of the fighting is likely to be. Apart from weakening and fragmenting Syria itself, Israel’s clearly stated objective has been to reduce or, even better, eliminate Iranian presence in the country, which Netanyahu describes hyperbolically as “… very important for the national security of the state of Israel.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s visits to Russia can be seen as efforts to get Moscow’s backing to push back against Iran, admittedly a Sisyphean task as both Russia and Iran are in Syria by invitation of the legitimate government and both have been critical to the success of Damascus’s successful counter-offensive. There are, however, differences in perception, as Moscow’s role has been limited and largely high-tech while Iran has supplied as many as 80,000 of the foot soldiers in the conflict. Russia would prefer that Syria not become an Iranian satrapy after the fighting is over.

With both Iran and Israel courting Russian favor, President Vladimir Putin hosted last week back-to-back visits by Netanyahu and Iranian senior foreign policy adviser Ali Akbar Velayati. Netanyahu was open about his desire to explain to Putin why a significant Iranian presence in Syria post-war would be undesirable and even dangerous. He pushed for restoration of a United Nations monitored demilitarized zone along the Golan Heights and also for complete withdrawal of Iranian forces from the country. In return, the Russians suggested that they would support an Iranian military presence “tens of kilometers” away from the Israeli border, but Putin also made clear that Syria would be reunited under its government in Damascus and that the Iranians should have a role in the country’s reconstruction and defense. Netanyahu did not get what he wanted but the conversation with a basically friendly Russia will continue. Expect more visits.

The Iranians, for their part, were dealing with the broader issue of impending United States sanctions on the Iranian oil industry. They obtained a commitment from Putin to continue investment in Iranian oil development and also to continue cooperation to stabilize Syria and drive out the last of the so-called rebels. As Russia is an energy exporter, the issue of buying Iranian oil was irrelevant, but Velayati was reportedly on his way to China to press for a commitment from Beijing to continue purchases of oil in spite of the threat of sanctions from Washington after November 4th.

Whatever one believes about the Syrian conflict and Washington’s role in it, the adherence to Israeli points of view in framing policy has made the United States largely irrelevant and has handed control of the situation to enemy du jour Russia. The Israelis have found the new administration in Washington to be what Lenin once described as a “useful idiot,” prepared to support whatever Netanyahu proposes while at the same time so clueless that the Israeli government can freely and openly simultaneously cut deals with Moscow that undermine the U.S. continued presence in the country.

Donald Trump’s recent comment that the United States might move to get out of Syria completely by the end of the year suggests that he might actually be figuring things out and is no longer willing to be the Israeli patsy in developments in that country. It just might also be that the White House has finally realized that continued engagement in Syria is a lose-lose no matter how it turns out.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 3 Comments