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News Stories Avoid Naming Israel

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 19, 2020

There are two stories that seem to have been under-reported in the past couple of weeks. The first involves Michael Flynn’s dealings with the Russian United Nations Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. And the second describes yet another bit of espionage conducted by a foreign country directed against the United States. Both stories involve the State of Israel.

The bigger story is, of course, the dismissal by Attorney General William Barr of the criminal charges against former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn based on malfeasance by the FBI investigators. The curious aspect of the story as it is being related by the mainstream media is that it repeatedly refers to Flynn as having unauthorized contacts with the Russian Ambassador and then having lied about it. The implication is that there was something decidedly shady about Flynn talking to the Russians and that the Russians were up to something.

In reality, the part left out of the story is that the phone call to Kislyak on December 22, 2016, was made by Flynn at the direction of Jared Kushner, who in turn had been approached by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu had learned that the Obama Administrating was going to abstain on a United Nations vote condemning the Israeli settlements policy, meaning that for the first time in years a U.N. resolution critical of Israel would pass without drawing a U.S. veto. Kushner, acting for Netanyahu, asked Flynn to contact each delegate from the various countries on the Security Council to delay or kill the resolution. Flynn agreed to do so, which included a call to the Russians. Kislyak took the call but did not agree to veto Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed unanimously on December 23rd.

In taking the phone calls from a soon-to-be senior American official who would within weeks be part of a new administration in Washington, the Russians did nothing wrong, but the media is acting like there was some kind of Kremlin conspiracy seeking to undermine U.S. democracy. It would not be inappropriate to have some conversations with an incoming government team and Kislyak also did nothing that might be regarded as particularly responsive to Team Trump overtures since he voted contrary to Flynn’s request.

The phone call made at the request of Israel was neither benign or ethical as the Barack Administration was still in power and managing the nation’s foreign policy. At the time, son-in-law Jared Kushner was Trump’s point man on the Middle East. He and his family have extensive ties both to Israel and to Netanyahu personally, to include Netanyahu’s staying at the Kushner family home in New York. The Kushner Family Foundation has funded some of Israel’s illegal settlements and also a number of conservative political groups in that country. Jared has served as a director of that foundation and it is reported that he failed to disclose the relationship when he filled out his background investigation sheet for a security clearance. All of which suggests that if you are looking for possible foreign government collusion with the incoming Trumpsters, look no further.

And it should be observed that the Israelis were not exactly shy about their disapproval of Obama and their willingness to express their views to the incoming Trump. Kushner went far beyond merely disagreeing over an aspect of foreign policy as he was actively trying to clandestinely subvert and reverse a decision made by his own legally constituted government. His closeness to Netanyahu made him, in intelligence terms, a quite likely Israeli government agent of influence, even if he didn’t quite see himself that way.

Kushner’s actions, as well as those of Flynn, would most certainly have been covered by the Logan Act of 1799, which bars private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments on behalf of the United States and also could be construed as a “conspiracy against the United States.” But in spite of all that the investigation went after Flynn instead of Kushner. As Kushner is Jewish and certainly could be accused of dual loyalty in extremis, that part of the story obviously makes many in the U.S. Establishment and media uncomfortable, so it was and continues to be both ignored and expunged from the record as quickly as possible.

The second story, which has basically been made to disappear, relates to spying by Israel against critics in the United States. The revelation that Israel was again using its telecommunications skills to spy on foreigners came from an Oakland California federal court lawsuit initiated by Facebook (FB) against the Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group. FB claimed that NSO has been using servers located in the United States to infect with spyware hundreds of smartphones being used by attorneys, journalists, human rights activists, critics of Israel and even of government officials. NSO allegedly used WhatsApp, a messaging app owned by FB, to hack into the phones and install malware that would enable the company to monitor what was going on with the devices. It did so by employing networks of remote servers located in California to enter the accounts.

NSO has inevitably claimed that they do indeed provide spyware, but that it is sold to clients who themselves operate it with the “advice and technical support to assist customers in setting up” but it also promotes its products as being “used to stop terrorism, curb violent crime, and save lives.” It also asserts that its software cannot be used against U.S. phone numbers.

Facebook, which did its own extensive research into NSO activity, alleges that NSO rented a Los Angeles-based server from a U.S. company called QuadraNet that it then used to launch 720 hacks on smartphones and other devices. It further claims in the court filing that the company reverse-engineering WhatsApp, using an program that it developed to access WhatsApp’s servers and deploy “its spyware against approximately 1,400 targets” before “…covertly transmit[ting] malicious code through WhatsApp servers and inject[ing]” spyware into telephones without the knowledge of the owners.”

The filing goes on to assert that the “Defendants had no authority to access WhatsApp’s servers with an imposter program, manipulate network settings, and commandeer the servers to attack WhatsApp users. That invasion of WhatsApp’s servers and users’ devices constitutes unlawful computer hacking.”

NSO, which is largely staffed by former (sic) Israeli intelligence officers, had previously been in the news for its proprietary spyware known as Pegasus, which “can gather information about a mobile phone’s location, access its camera, microphone and internal hard drive, and covertly record emails, phone calls and text messages.” Pegasus was reportedly used in the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Adnan Kashoggi in Istanbul last year and it has more recently been suggested as a resource for tracking coronavirus distance violators. Outside experts have accused the company of selling its technology and expertise to countries that have used it to spy on dissidents, journalists and other critics.

Israel routinely exploits the access provided by its telecommunications industry to spy on the host countries where those companies operate. The companies themselves report regularly back to Mossad contacts and the technology they provide routinely has a “backdoor” for secretly accessing the information accessible through the software. In fact, Israel conducts espionage and influence operations both directly and through proxies against the United States more aggressively than any other “friendly” country, which once upon a time included being able to tap into the “secure” White House phones used by Bill Clinton to speak with Monica Lewinsky.

Last September, it was revealed that the placement of technical surveillance devices by Israel in Washington D.C. was clearly intended to target cellphone communications to and from the Trump White House. As the president frequently chats with top aides and friends on non-secure phones, the operation sought to pick up conversations involving Trump with the expectation that the security-averse president would say things off the record that might be considered top secret.

A Politico report detailed how “miniature surveillance devices” referred to as “Stingrays” were used to imitate regular cell phone towers to fool phones being used nearby into providing information on their locations and identities. According to the article, the devices are referred to by technicians as “international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.”

Over one year ago, government security agencies discovered the electronic footprints that indicated the presence of the surveillance devices near the White House. Forensic analysis involved dismantling the devices to let them “tell you a little about their history, where the parts and pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help get you to what the origins are.” One source observed afterwards that “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible.”

So two significant stories currently making the rounds have been bowdlerized and disappeared to make the Israeli role in manipulating and spying against the United States go away. They are only two of many stories framed by a Zionist dominated media to control the narrative in a way favorable to the Jewish state. One would think that having a president of the United States who is the most pro-Israel ever, which is saying a great deal in and of itself, would be enough, but unfortunately when dealing with folks like Benjamin Netanyahu there can never be any restraint when dealing with the “useful idiots” in Washington.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

May 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Forces Threaten Al-Aqsa Mosque Imam, Raid His House

Palestine Chronicle | April 28, 2020

Israeli intelligence services threatened the Preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, after raiding his house in occupied East Jerusalem.

The threat came after Sheikh Sabri said that he will reopen Al-Aqsa Mosque’s doors if occupation forces allowed Jewish settlers to storm the Muslim site.

“Israeli intelligence forces came to my house and threatened me saying that they will hold me responsible for any tension in Al-Aqsa Mosque, ” Sheikh Sabri told Anadolu Agency.

“I told them that suspending the reception of worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque does not mean in any way that it is permissible to the settlers to enter it,” he added.

“Israel should not be allowed to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic and attempt to impose new restrictions on Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

In March, Israeli police summoned Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of Al-Aqsa, for questioning at the Russian Compound interrogation center in West Jerusalem.

Tensions at the Al-Aqsa compound have been rising for some time, as increasing settler raids have been reported. Last month, the Islamic Endowments Department announced that it had suspended the reception of worshippers to prayers as a preventive measure amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On Sunday, Jewish settlers called on Israeli authorities to let them storm Al-Aqsa Mosque unilaterally.

April 28, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Palestinians wounded in violent Israeli raid on Kafr Qaddum, Settlers pitch tent in Bethlehem

Palestine Information Center – April 26, 2020

WEST BANK – Two Palestinian young men were badly injured during violent clashes on Saturday with the Israeli occupation forces in Kafr Qaddum town, east of Qalqilya.

Local activist Murad Shetaiwi said that a large number of Israeli troops stormed the town from different sides and embarked on intensively firing live and rubber bullets at local youths.

Shetaiwi added that two young men suffered rubber bullet injuries, one in his neck and the other in his face.

He also said that soldiers deliberately fired live ammunition at water tanks on rooftops of some houses, causing damage to them.

Every week, Palestinians and foreign activists stage a weekly march in the town of Kafr Qaddum to protest Israel’s closure of the village’s main street and settlement activities.

The Israeli occupation army blocked off the road after expanding the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim in 2003, forcing village residents to take a bypass road in order to travel to Nablus, which has extended the travel time to Nablus from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

In a separate incident, a horde of extremist Jewish settlers on the same day deployed a tent on Palestinian land in al-Khinzeer area in Jab’a village, south of Bethlehem.

Recently, Jewish settlers living in illegal West Bank settlements escalated their violations in different areas of Bethlehem, where they set up a prefabricated house in the Palestinian area of Khilat al-Nahla and planted saplings on plots of land in the south of the city as part of their attempts to seize more lands.

April 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel settlements turn Palestinian house into cage

The Gharibs' house in Beit Ijza, caged by a fence and surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Givon Hahadasha, as seen here in a 2018 sattelite image, west of Jerusalem [screen grab from Geomolg]

The Gharibs’ house in Beit Ijza, caged by a fence and surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Givon Hahadasha, as seen here in a 2018 satellite image. [screen grab from Geomolg]
MEMO | April 4, 2020

Palestinian Saadat Sabri Gharib, 38, had never imagined that his house, which was built by his father in 1979, would be turned into a very narrow cage surrounded by barbed wire and surveillance cameras.

Gharib’s house is located in the Biet Ijza neighbourhood, west of occupied Jerusalem. It was surrounded by about 100 dunams of land owned by Gharib’s father. However, the Israeli settlers stole all of this land and kept the house, which is only 500-metres square.

Gharib told Anadolu Agency, that since 2008, his house has been turned into a very small cage surrounded with concrete walls and located in the middle of an Israeli settlement. It has only a very narrow passage with 12 cameras monitoring it.

Gharib, his mother, his wife and three children live in this house. “Our house is a real prison,” he explains, adding: “It is surrounded with wires from all sides. It was built in the middle of a wide area of land, but today it is a small prison in the middle of Giv’on Hahadasha settlement.”

“We are subjected to stone throwing, live bullet shooting, insulting and burning,” Gharib, who owns all the documents that prove the ownership of the land, revealed.

“However, we had seven demolition orders, but I fought in the Israeli courts and stopped them,” stating that 40 dunams were stolen by the Israeli occupation authorities in 1979 and 60 dunams were isolated from his house by the apartheid wall in 2007. “We do not access them except once a year with permission from the Israeli occupation,” Gharib explains, noting that his house is monitored 24/7.

In 1979, the settlers offered his father a large amount of money for the land, but he refused and said: “If you give me all of Israel’s money, I would never concede an inch of my land.”

Later on, the Israeli occupation stole it with its settlement power.

Putting pressure on Gharib in order to leave his house, the Israeli occupation prevents him from planting any trees near his house, from carrying out any renovation works or from making any repairs.

Gharib points out:

“A few months ago, the water tank was damaged and I wanted to change it, but Israel refused. They want to push us to leave our house. But if the house was demolished, I would live in a tent. I will never leave my family’s house to the settlers.

“We live a very difficult life. The gate of the passage leading to my house is controlled by the Israeli occupation and could be closed any time. In 2008, it was closed for three consecutive months, but we fought until it was opened 24 hours a day.”

Around 900 Palestinians live in Beit Ijza, which was part of Jerusalem before the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Since the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1993, Beit Ijza became part of the Palestinian Governorate of Jerusalem Suburbs.

This neighbourhood is one of many others which were isolated from Jerusalem by the apartheid wall, so they were connected with the occupied West Bank through tunnels or bridges.

According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, more than 50,000 Palestinians holding Jerusalem’s ID cards were isolated by the apartheid wall and deprived from living in Jerusalem.

In 2002, Israel decided to build a 710-kilometre wall to separate the occupied West Bank from Israel and the illegal Israeli settlements in the depths of the occupied territories.

April 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel settlers attack Palestinian farmers in Jordan Valley

MEMO | March 16, 2020

While Palestinians are busy fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus, Israeli occupation settlers have increased their attacks in the occupied Jordan Valley, Al Mugtama Magazine reported yesterday.

The armed settlers carried out a wide-scale campaign of attacks on the Palestinian herders and farmers. They stole scores of animals and damaged wide swathes of farmlands.

“The situation in the Jordan Valley is very difficult,” Mahmoud Bsharat, who has received an expropriation order for his farm, told the magazine.

He said that the “gangs of settlers” cut trees and steal cattle, as well as opening fire at the Palestinian shepherds. They also steal tractors from Palestinian farmers and damage their farms.

Activist Aref Daraghmeh told the magazine that Jewish settlers carried out 45 attacks over the past few days in the Jordan Valley, noting that they stole farming equipment in addition to damaging farms and homes.

He also said that the occupation imposed high fines on Palestinians and has been carrying out military drills that damage their crops.

This, Daraghmeh explained, was part of the settlers’ efforts to force Palestinians out of the area in preparation for its annexation by Israel.

The Palestinian Authority warned that Israel may use the state of emergency brought on by the COVID-19 to carry out its “colonial” plans in the occupied West Bank based on what was announced in the US ‘deal of the century’.

March 16, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 8 Comments

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Teenager near Nablus

Mohammad Hamayel, 15, was killed by Israeli gunfire near Nablus.
Palestine Chronicle | March 11, 2020

A Palestinian teen was killed on Wednesday by Israeli gunfire during confrontations that broke out at Mount Al-‘Arma, south of Nablus, Palestinian Health Ministry announced.

The Ministry announced that Mohammad Hamayel, 15, succumbed to his critical injury at the Rafida Government Hospital after being hit in the head with a round of live ammunition shot by Israeli forces at Mount Al-‘Arma, also known in Arabic as Jabal al-‘Arma.

On Wednesday morning, scores of Israeli military vehicles stormed the site, on the outskirts of Beita town, and assaulted Palestinians who gathered atop the mountain to fend off an Israeli settlers’ attempt to seize it.

The spokesman for the Health Ministry Tarif Ashour confirmed that medics at the Rafidia Government Hospital treated 17 casualties, including the head of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee Walid Assaf.

Jewish settlers overnight renewed their attempt to reach the top of the mountain, but hundreds of the residents of Beita, which lies south of Nablus, repelled their attempt.

Residents of Beita have continued their daily sit-ins atop the mountain since Friday, February 28, when settlers made the first attempt to seize the mountain and turn it into an Israeli religious tourist route.

The confrontation left 93 people injured by Israeli live fire and rubber bullets.

Jabal al-‘Arma, which spreads over 250 dunums, is one of the most archeological sites in Nablus, and the highest peak in Beita.

According to historians, it has been inhabited since the early Bronze Age, about 3,200 years ago.

Such features make the mountain a prime target for Jewish settlers as colonial settlements are often positioned above water reserves, effectively stealing water as well as land.

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 3 Comments

New settlement on Qalandia Airport Land to isolate East Jerusalem

By Madeeha Araj – PNN – February 24, 2020

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report, that although the Israeli-American “Deal of the Century” proposes the right to establish a ‘special Palestinian tourism zone’ in the Atarot area (i.e. the old Qalandia Airport north of Jerusalem), to support Muslim tourism, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing is planning to build a new settlement there, to be larger than “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Qalandia airport has been closed by Israeli authorities since the outbreak of the second Intifada, in the year 2000.

In an obvious escalation to isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings, the Occupation Government decided to build the new settlement as the Israeli PM Netanyahu vowed to build 9,000 settlement units, commercial centers and a hotel, as well as water tanks and others, adding that the number of units will reach 11,000, by 2030. Thus, signs and marks were placed by the Israeli occupation, on 21 Palestinian homes in order to be demolished.

Within his campaign for the upcoming Knesset’s elections, the Israeli PM, Netanyahu, announced plans to build 5,200 new settlement units in Jerusalem, including 2,200 in the “Har Homa” settlement, and 3,000 settlement units in the “Givat Hamtus” settlement, which means increasing the number of settlers there up to 10.000 settlers. For his part, Minister of the Occupation Army, Naftali Bennett, decided to hold a meeting for the Higher Planning Committee affiliated to the Israeli Civil Administration, to approve the building of 1900 settlement units in the West Bank, in the Ramallah Governorate, of which 600 settlement units in the Eili settlement, and 534 units in the Shvut Rachel settlement.

It is also noted that the Israeli Government plans to control Areas B in the West Bank, as the Minister of the Israeli Occupation Army, Naftali Bennett decided to prevent the Palestinians from building in these areas under security pretext. Accordingly, the Israeli occupation forces started to build a 7-kilometer settlement road with a cost of NIS 100s of millions, including tunnels and bridges south of Nablus, extended from the Za’tara village through Hawara town, and Beita and Udala villages, which means confiscating about 406 dunums of 7 Palestinian villages.

For their part, a delegation from the American Congress visited settlements, and the Ibrahimi Mosque’s courtyard in Hebron, and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, and the Gush Etzion’s pool as well. The delegation consisted of 2 Congress members, who said that these areas have to be part of Israel.

On the other hand, the UN Human Rights Office issued the black list of companies operating in settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. For his part, Michael Link praised the decision, saying it is ‘an important step.’ Adding that because of settlements, thousands of Palestinian dunums were confiscated, thousands of homes and properties were destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees were displaced, and several natural resources were leveled.

With regard to the giant American corporations that encourage settlement, the Financial Times newspaper conducted an extensive investigation on the Amazon corporation that provides free shipping to all Israeli settlements, but it does not provide the same free service to the Palestinians unless they include Israel as their country during the completion of the registration process. The newspaper pointed out during its investigation that the free shipping includes orders that exceed US$ 49, noting that the company started its activity there in last November. It stipulated that it provides the same free service to the Palestinians, in case they mentioned that they live in Israel.

February 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Profiting from Loss: How Business in Illegal Israeli Settlements Continues Unchecked

UN efforts to protect Palestinian land from economic exploitation are failing, and exposing the hypocrisy of western states 

By Jonathan Cook – The National – February 18, 2020

After lengthy delays, the United Nations finally published a database last week of businesses that have been profiting from Israel’s illegal annexation and settlement activity in the West Bank.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, announced that 112 major companies had been identified as operating in Israeli settlements in ways that violate human rights.

Aside from major Israeli banks, transport services, cafes, supermarkets, and energy, building and telecoms firms, prominent international businesses include Airbnb, booking.com, Motorola, Trip Advisor, JCB, Expedia and General Mills.

Human Rights Watch, a global watchdog, noted in response to the list’s publication that the settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. It argued that the firms’ activities mean they have aided “in the commission of war crimes”.

The companies’ presence in the settlements has helped to blur the distinction between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. That in turn has normalised the erosion of international law and subverted a long-held international consensus on establishing a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Work on compiling the database began four years ago. But both Israel and the United States put strong pressure on the UN in the hope of preventing the list from ever seeing the light of day.

The UN body’s belated assertiveness looks suspiciously like a rebuke to the Trump administration for releasing this month its Middle East “peace” plan. It green-lights Israel’s annexation of the settlements and the most fertile and water-rich areas of the West Bank.

In response to the database, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to intensify his country’s interference in US politics. He noted that his officials had already “promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.”

He was backed by all Israel’s main Jewish parties. Amir Peretz, leader of the centre-left Labour party, vowed to “work in every forum to repeal this decision”. And Yair Lapid, a leader of Blue and White, the main rival to Netanyahu, called Bachelet the “commissioner for terrorists’ rights”.

Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, accused the UN of “unrelenting anti-Israel bias” and of aiding the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In fact, the UN is not taking any meaningful action against the 112 companies, nor is it encouraging others to do so. The list is intended as a shaming tool – highlighting that these firms have condoned, through their commercial activities, Israel’s land and resource theft from Palestinians.

The UN has even taken an extremely narrow view of what constitutes involvement with the settlements. For example, it excluded organisations like FIFA, the international football association, whose Israeli subsidiary includes six settlement teams.

One of the identified companies, Airbnb, announced in late 2018 that it would remove from its accommodation bookings website all settlement properties – presumably to avoid being publicly embarrassed.

But a short time later Airbnb backed down. It is hard to imagine the decision was taken on strictly commercial grounds: the firm has only 200 settlement properties on its site.

A more realistic conclusion is that Airbnb feared the backlash from Washington and was intimidated by a barrage of accusations from pro-Israel groups that its new policy was anti-semitic.

In fact, the UN’s timing could not be more tragic. The list looks more like the last gasp of those who – through their negligence over nearly three decades – have enabled the two-state solution to wither to nothing.

Trump’s so-called peace plan could afford to be so one-sided only because western powers had already allowed Israel to void any hope of Palestinian statehood through decades of unremitting settlement expansion. Today, nearly 700,000 Israeli Jews are housed on occupied Palestinian territory.

On Monday European Union foreign ministers were due to meet to discuss their response to the plan. Tepid criticism was the most that could be expected.

The actions of several European states continue to speak much louder than any words.

On Friday, Germany followed the Czech Republic in filing a petition to the International Criminal Court at The Hague siding with Israel as the court deliberates whether to prosecute Israeli officials for war crimes, including over the establishment of settlements.

Germany does not appear to deny that the settlements are war crimes. Instead, it hopes to block the case on dubious technical grounds: that despite Palestine signing up to the Rome Statute, which established the Hague court, it is not yet a fully fledged state.

So far Austria, Hungary, Australia and Brazil appear to be following suit.

But if Palestine lacks the proper attributes of statehood, it is because the US and Europe, including Germany, have consistently broken promises to the Palestinians.

They not only refused to intervene to save the two-state solution, but rewarded Israel with trade deals and diplomatic and financial incentives, even as Israel eroded the institutional and territorial integrity necessary for Palestinian self-rule.

Germany’s stance, like that of the rest of Europe, is hypocritical. They have claimed opposition to Israel’s endless settlement expansion, and now to Trump’s plan, but their actions have paved the way to the annexation of the West Bank the plan condones.

Back in November the European Court of Justice finally ruled that products made in West Bank settlements – using illegally seized Palestinian resources on illegally seized Palestinian land – should not be labelled deceptively as “Made in Israel”.

And yet European countries are still postponing implementation of the decision. Instead, some of them are legislating against their citizens’ right to express support for a settlement boycott.

Similarly, Europe and North America continue to afford the Jewish National Fund, an entity that finances settlement-building, “charitable status”, giving it tax breaks as it raises funds inside their jurisdictions.

The Israeli media is full of stories of how the JNF actively assists extremist settler groups in evicting Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem. But Britain and other states are blocking legal efforts to challenge the JNF’s special status.

Soon, it seems, Europe will no longer have to worry about its hypocrisy being so visible. Once the settlements have been annexed, as the Trump administration intends, the EU can set aside its ineffectual agonising and treat the settlements as irrevocably Israeli – just as it has done in practice with the Israeli “neighbourhoods” of occupied East Jerusalem.

Then, the UN’s list of shame can join decades’ worth of condemnatory resolutions that have been quietly gathering dust.

February 18, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amazon Provides Free Shipping to Illegal Jewish Settlers, Charges Palestinians

Palestine Chronicle – February 15, 2020

In blatant defiance of international law, global e-commerce company Amazon is offering free shipping to illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, but not to Palestinians living in the same area, according to the Financial Times.

The investigative report reveals that Amazon’s free shipping offer extends to nearly all Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, considered illegal under international law.

Palestinian customers who list their address as “the Palestinian Territories” are forced to pay shipping and handling fees starting from $24.

Amazon spokesman Nick Caplin told the Financial Times that Palestinians can only circumvent the issue by selecting Israel as their country.

“If a customer within the Palestinian Territories enters their address and selects Israel as the country, they can receive free shipping through the same promotion,” said Caplin.

Amazon was not included in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s database of companies operating in the illegal settlements released last week.

February 15, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

In ‘victory for international law’, UN releases list of firms linked to Israeli settlements

Press TV – February 12, 2020

The United Nations human rights office has released a report identifying companies with business ties to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move hailed by Palestinians as a victory for international law.

The office said in a statement on Wednesday that it had named 112 business entities, including 94 based in Israel and 18 others in six different countries. It said it had reasonable grounds to conclude that the firms have ties with Israeli settlements.

“I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday.

The office said, “While the settlements as such are regarded as illegal under international law, this report does not provide a legal characterization of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them.”

The move was hailed by the Palestinian foreign minister, who described it as a victory.

“The publication of the list of companies and parties operating in settlements is a victory for international law,” Riyad al-Maliki’s office said in a statement.

The minister also called on UN member states and the UN Human Rights council to “issue recommendations and instructions to these companies to end their work immediately with the settlements.”

The newly released report drew condemnation from Tel Aviv, with Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying in a statement, “The announcement by the UN Human Rights Office of the publication of a ‘blacklist’ of businesses is shameful capitulation to pressure from countries and organizations that are interested in hurting Israel.”

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.


Below is the full list of companies that do business in illegal Jewish settlements, as indicated in the OHCHR report

Afikim Public Transportation Ltd.

Airbnb Inc.

American Israeli Gas Corporation Ltd.

Amir Marketing and Investments in Agriculture Ltd.

Amos Hadar Properties and Investments Ltd.

Angel Bakeries

Archivists Ltd.

Ariel Properties Group

Ashtrom Industries Ltd.

Ashtrom Properties Ltd.

Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd.

Bank Hapoalim B.M.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M.

Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.

Beit Haarchiv Ltd.

Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication

Corp Ltd.

Booking.com B.V.

C Mer Industries Ltd.

Café Café Israel Ltd.

Caliber 3

Cellcom Israel Ltd.

Cherriessa Ltd.

Chish Nofei Israel Ltd.

Citadis Israel Ltd.

Comasco Ltd.

Darban Investments Ltd.

Delek Group Ltd.

Delta Israel

Dor Alon Energy in Israel 1988 Ltd.

Egis Rail

Egged, Israel Transportation Cooperative Society Ltd.

Energix Renewable Energies Ltd.

EPR Systems Ltd.

Extal Ltd.

Expedia Group Inc.

Field Produce Ltd.

Field Produce Marketing Ltd.

First International Bank of Israel Ltd.

Galshan Shvakim Ltd.

General Mills Israel Ltd.

Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers Cooperative Ltd.

Hot Mobile Ltd.

Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd.

Industrial Buildings Corporation Ltd.

Israel Discount Bank Ltd.

Israel Railways Corporation Ltd.

Italek Ltd.

JC Bamford Excavators Ltd.

Jerusalem Economy Ltd.

Kavim Public Transportation Ltd.

Lipski Installation and Sanitation Ltd.

Matrix IT Ltd.

Mayer Davidov Garages Ltd.

Mekorot Water Company Ltd.

Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd.

Merkavim Transportation Technologies Ltd.

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.

Modi’in Ezrachi Group Ltd.

Mordechai Aviv Taasiot Beniyah 1973 Ltd.

Motorola Solutions Israel Ltd.

Municipal Bank Ltd.

Naaman Group Ltd.

Nof Yam Security Ltd.

Ofertex Industries 1997 Ltd.

Opodo Ltd.

Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal Ltd.  

Partner Communications Company Ltd.

Paz Oil Company Ltd.

Pelegas Ltd.

Pelephone Communications Ltd.

Proffimat S.R. Ltd.

Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd.

Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing Communication Ltd.

Re/Max Israel

Shalgal Food Ltd.

Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd.

Shufersal Ltd.

Sonol Israel Ltd.

Superbus Ltd.

Tahal Group International B.V.

TripAdvisor Inc.

Twitoplast Ltd.

Unikowsky Maoz Ltd.

YES

Zakai Agricultural Know-how and inputs Ltd.

ZF Development and Construction

ZMH Hammermand Ltd.

Zorganika Ltd.

Zriha Hlavin Industries Ltd.

Alon Blue Square Israel Ltd.

Alstom S.A.

Altice Europe N.V.

Amnon Mesilot Ltd.

Ashtrom Group Ltd.

Booking Holdings Inc.

Brand Industries Ltd.

Delta Galil Industries Ltd.

eDreams ODIGEO S.A.

Egis S.A.

Electra Ltd.

Export Investment Company Ltd.

General Mills Inc.

Hadar Group

Hamat Group Ltd.

Indorama Ventures P.C.L.

Kardan N.V.

Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Co. Ltd.

Motorola Solutions Inc.

Natoon Group

Villar International Ltd.

Greenkote P.L.C.

February 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From a Blessing to a Curse: How UN Resolution 2334 Accelerated Israel’s Colonization in the West Bank

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | December 18, 2019

Three years ago, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334. With fourteen members voting in favor and one abstention, the Resolution was the equivalent of a political earthquake. Indeed, it was the first time in many years that the international body roundly condemned Israel for its illegal settlement policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Unlike previous attempts at holding Israel accountable, this time, the Americans did nothing to protect its closest ally.

What has happened since then, however, has been a testimony to the failure of the UN to furnish meaningful mechanisms that would force violators of international law, like Israel, to respect international consensus. In some way, 2334, although externally supportive of Palestinian rights, turned out to be one of the most costly decisions ever made by the international institution.

Immediately after the adoption of 2334 on December 23, 2016, Israel thumbed its nose at the whole world by announcing, twice in the following January, plans to construct thousands of new homes in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his then-Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, rationalized the provocative moves as a “response to the housing needs” within the settlements. Nothing could have been further from the truth, as the subsequent three years demonstrated.

Now, it has become clear that the settlement expansion was part of a much larger strategy aimed at killing any chance of establishing a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and parting ways with the so-called “land for peace formula”, itself molded through years of American mediation and “peace process”.

The Israeli strategy was a complete success. Thanks to the blank cheque issued by the Trump administration to Israel’s right-wing government coalition, Israeli politicians are now openly plotting what was once nearly unthinkable: the unilateral annexation of major Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank along with large swathes of the Jordan Valley.

Throughout the last three years, Washington has turned a blind eye to Israel’s sinister designs. Worse, it has fully embraced and validated the Israeli political discourse, while taking every necessary measure to provide a cover for Israeli actions. The declaration by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on November 18 that Jewish settlements “are not inconsistent with international law” is but one of many such positions adopted by Washington to pave the road for Israel’s insolence and violation of international law.

Retrospectively, President Obama had the chance to do more than merely abstaining from voting against a UN Resolution – which lacked any enforcement mechanism, anyway – by using the generous US financial aid to Israel as a bargaining chip. That way, he could have potentially forced Netanyahu to freeze settlement expansion altogether. Alas, Obama did the exact opposite – as he bankrolled the Israeli military and financed every Israeli war on Gaza. Instead, his belated move opened the stage for the Trump administration to unleash a cruel war on Palestinians and international law, as well.

It seems that the two-year term of US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hailey, was mainly dedicated to rectifying the supposed “betrayal” of the Obama administration of Israel. In the name of defending Israel against imaginary global “anti-Semitism”, the US severed its ties with several UN organizations, eventually isolating Washington itself from the rest of the world.

With the UN being designated as the common enemy by both Washington and Tel Aviv, international law was rendered irrelevant. Gradually, the US government fortified its protective shield around Israel, thus making 2334 and many other UN resolutions meaningless. In other words, the US managed to turn international consensus regarding the illegality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine into an opportunity for Tel Aviv to disown any commitment, not only to the UN, but to the so-called two-state solution, and the “peace process”, as well.

While Israel accelerated its settlement projects unhindered, the US ensured that the Palestinian leadership is denied the opportunity to fight back, even if symbolically, through the various international institutions and any available political and legal platform. This was engineered through systematic economic warfare, which saw the cutting of all aid to the Palestinian Authority in August 2018, followed, a week later, by stopping all funds to the UN organization responsible for the welfare of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

US-Israeli war on Palestinians was staged on two fronts. One front focused on the seizure of more Palestinian land, the building of new and the expansion of existing settlements, as a precursor of the imminent steps of annexing most of the West Bank. The other front witnessed the relentless US administration’s pressure on Palestinians through political and financial means.

Three years after 2334, a new status quo is upon us. Gone are the days of traditional American “peace-making” and its adjoining elaborate discourse centered on a two-state and other make-believe solutions. Now, Israel is single-handedly formulating its own “vision” for a future that is designed to meet the expectations of the country’s unhinged and ever-growing right-wing constituency. As for the US, its role has been relegated to the cheerleader, unfazed by such seemingly trivial matters as that of international law, human rights, justice, peace or even regional stability.

Shortly after being appointed as Israel’s new Defense Minister on November 9, Naftali Bennett has taken the dangerous and consequential decision of building a new Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Hebron). Naturally, Jewish settlers rejoiced as they will finally see the destruction of the old Hebron market, which is older than Israel itself, and the potential for further settlement expansion and more annexation in the city.

At the same time, Palestinians are cringing, for a move against Hebron is the final proof that Israel is now operating in Palestine without the slightest fear of political or legal repercussions. Not only did UN Resolution 2334 fail to hold Israel accountable, it, in some way, facilitated further Israeli expansion in the West Bank, paving the road for the annexation that will surely follow.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net 

December 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian Foreign Ministry: Settlers Involved in Attacks Against Palestinians Must be Added to Terrorist List

IMEMC & Agencies – December 17, 2019

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, on Monday, called on world governments to place Israeli settlers involved in attacking and terrorizing the Palestinian civilian population in the occupied territories on their terrorist lists and ban them entry into their countries, the Palestinian News and Info Agency reported.

In a statement, it said that settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank have multiplied in recent years, describing the groups that carry them out, namely the Price Tag and Youth of the Hills groups as “organized terrorism.”

It said the attacks include cutting and torching trees, seizure of land by force, slashing car tires, violent attacks of homes with the intent to hurt their occupants, vandalism of structures and equipment, destroying water networks and roads, hurling stones at cars driving on West Bank roads near the settlements, shooting at people, particularly at checkpoints.

Israeli reports documented 256 attacks against Palestinians in the occupied territories since the start of 2019, while many other attacks remain undocumented, explained the statement.

“The Ministry condemns in the strongest terms terrorism in all its forms and holds the Israeli government and its various arms, fully and directly responsible for this dangerous escalation in the attacks by settler organizations and their armed terrorist militias. The occupation forces support, train and protect the settlers as they carry out violent attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, and even attack and repress the Palestinians to prevent them from defending themselves and confronting settler attacks,” it said, adding, “the occupier’s military and judicial agencies provide impunity for the settlers involved in committing these crimes. Rarely are settler terrorists arrested, especially in the Yitzhar settlement outpost, and if they are arrested, they will soon be released under various pretexts, or face bogus trials, which also end with their release and acquittal in order to continue their sabotage operations.”

Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam

December 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment