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Is a Social Credit System Coming for Us?

By Tessa Lena | May 13, 2022

A Social Credit Score System Is Piloted in Bologna, Italy

The city administration of Bologna, Italy, is piloting a program that brings the beast of the Fourth Industrial Revolution straight to the citizens. It’s an early reiteration of Klaus’ Schwab’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, the honey moon, so to speak — so it comes to the citizens wrapped in gift paper, with balloons, prizes, and party language. But make no mistake: underneath, there is cruel man-eating machine that wants to mine your data and control your behavior!

So, what exactly is happening in Bologna? The administration is “digitizing” their relationship with the citizens. For starters, they are launching an app — with a catch — that will provide an interface to get access to various local services. Without saying it, the they are implementing the “digital governance” aspect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Quoting the Italian source:

“We will give citizens services based on their needs – says the Mayor – and this will allow us to personalize their experience. People will be able to find everything the administration will do on their mobile phones or computers. The physical branches, however, will not disappear.

“We will maintain a ‘physical’ support for all people who do not use the web, especially the older ones,” assures Lepore [Mayor of Bologna]. But the goal is computer literacy that leaves no one behind.”

If we read this announcement with innocent eyes, it sounds like yet another initiative that the bureaucrats are launching, perhaps benevolently, to keep up with the times and with the buzzwords. And in an ideal world — a world filled with flowers, butterflies, rainbows, and harmless, caring bureaucrats — there would be nothing wrong with adding on a little extra convenience via technology.

Technology can be very helpful if done right, and if it comes to us without Trojan horses. But alas, at the moment, we don’t live in such a world!

We live in a world where Klaus Schwab and his buddies and masters are fighting with each other over who gets to eat the most peasants! We live in a world where those who already have great power are seeking even more power — and that world is quickly going back to the feudal-time psychological standards (while, ironically, keeping the modern standards for the levels of industrial poisons in everything around us.)

As far as Trojan horses, the Bologna municipal app actually comes with a social credit system! The “virtuous citizens,” doing nice things, such as using public transport, keeping their energy use low, etc., get “perks,” like points in gaming. For those points, they may be able to get discounts or prizes or access to additional services. Nice Trojan horse, right?

“Among the most innovative interventions is the smart citizen wallet [emphasis mine]. ‘The wallet of the virtuous citizen,’ explains Bugani, who had worked on the project with the Raggi [Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome from 2016 to 2021] administration (in Rome today the platform is active in an experimental phase). The idea is similar to the mechanism of ‘a supermarket points collection,’ as the councilor himself points out.

‘Citizens will be recognized if they separate waste, if they use public transport, if they manage energy well, if they do not incur sanctions from the municipal authority, if they are active with the Culture Card.’ Virtuous behaviors that will correspond to a score that the Bolognese will then be able to ‘spend’ on prizes, such as discounts, cultural activities and so on.”

In other words, it’s the “nice” face of digital control. Nice, for now. But we need to be clear: we are looking at the digital control of everything we do in the end of that journey!

Integrated Citizen Relationship Management in Rome

The Italian news source mentions that this approach is already in experimental use in Rome, Italy. In March 2022, Salesforce published the following announcement:

“Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today announced that the Municipality of Rome has chosen Salesforce to create an Integrated Citizen Relationship Management platform …

Leveraging Salesforce Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud will deliver omni-channel self-service capabilities, seamless collaboration between local government departments, and empower citizens to receive the information they need faster through AI-powered chatbots.

The launch of the MyRhome platform is another step on the Municipality’s path to creating a ‘smart city’ [emphasis mine] — an ecosystem of public and private stakeholders serving citizens wherever they are”.

Of course! We can’t expect any less from Salesforce, given that Marc Benioff is on WEF Board of Trustees!

Also, remember the famous “lockstep scenario” document released by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network? The document that the Rockefeller Foundation says today has been misinterpreted by the conspiracy theorists — because the good and virtuous Rockefeller Foundation totally didn’t mean to predict what actually happened in 2020 (and also probably had nothing to do with eugenics)?

Well, keeping in mind that “lockstep scenario” document, here is Peter Schwartz, the Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Salesforce and “an internationally renowned futurist and business strategist, specializing in scenario planning and working with corporations, governments, and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future … Prior to joining Salesforce, Peter was co-founder and chairman of Global Business Network [emphasis mine].” In the words of George Carlin, “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it! You and I are not in the big club!”

Their Motive for the “Digital Governance” Model? It’s the Data, Stupid!

At first, it’s the data (to train our future boss, the robot) — and then, increasingly, it’s mainly about control!

Let’s look at a very “interesting” 2017 write-up on digitizing governments on the World Economic Forum’s website. It talks about the importance of collecting data to build and train their beloved AI. It also complains about the fact that a lot of the data kept by governments just sits there in paper format and, dammit, is not making itself useful to the sacred goal of training the AI! Not good, they say, what a waste!

Therefore, to “open” that data to the AI beast, they want the governments to digitize their services — sorry that was the quiet part — what they actually say is that the citizens are craving those digital government systems because, who doesn’t know that the elimination of privacy is … good for us?

The World Economic Forum also suggests that the governments should develop new legal frameworks and data management systems to make data available for free. What a great idea! In 2017, the World Economic Forum mouthpieces were more upfront that today, so it is useful to read exactly what they said back then:

“Need for data is quickly becoming a central theme that applies to all aspects of our evolving digital society. A case in point is the field of artificial intelligence, which promises to revolutionize society (governments included). Companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft are using AI-related techniques to train computers to recognize objects in photos and understand human language.

It is possible to train computers to perform these difficult feats because we have the enormous quantities of data that is required. The same applies to all forms of machine learning, smart manufacturing and every other tech-driven trend shaping the future. They are all reliant on data, and are only as good as the data they crunch. In this context, data has been described as the new oil.'”

“Today, a large majority of the world’s data is in the hands of the private sector … The remainder of the global data sits in government hands, mostly stored in paper format, or legacy systems. To maximize the societal benefits of the data age, a new movement started promoting open data.

While government data is all data or information that government entities produce or collect, making it open refers to publishing and sharing data that can be readily and easily consulted and re-used by anyone with access to internet with no fees or technological barriers.

Most of this data currently remains locked up and proprietary (private property of companies, governments and other organizations). This severely limits its public value.

Data is now a new social good and governments will need to think of some form of data responsibility legislation that guides the private sector and other data owners on their duties in the data age: the duty to collect, manage and share in a timely manner [emphasis mine], as well as the duty to protect.

This legislation is needed over and above a government’s own open and big data management systems, and will need to cover all data stakeholders (irrespective of ownership or other governing rules).”

“Once a clear legal framework is in place, governments need to develop, and quickly master, a new core capability: data curation … Most governments around the world still struggle with legacy databases that are incompatible with each other, and work against any kind of data-sharing or data-driven design. Laws and regulations are still in their infancy and struggling to cope with the pace of change …”

“Governments must review a vast number of laws and regulations [emphasis mine]. From harmonizing and enforcing privacy regulations and protecting against data-breaches, to regulations that ensure net neutrality and data flows. Today’s debates over the future of big data are based on the assumption that the internet will remain a series of open networks through which data easily flows.

Some countries have begun to harden their internet systems, and the concept of net neutrality is uncertain. If the internet becomes a network of closed networks, the full potential of big data may not be realized.”

“Governments must also improve their capabilities when it comes to citizen engagement to effectively and actively engage with both providers and users of data. This requires governments to create a culture of open data [emphasis mine] – something governments are starting to do with various degrees of success.

The level of citizen engagement is not the typical government communication function, but a more open, horizontal, and fast-paced G2C platform.”

Must, must, must. So I am guessing, national sovereignty is a sore thumb in the way of our aspiring Davos masters because in their minds, they have already decided that they want our data (but not theirs) to be openly available, and that they don’t want any questions from the peasants.

A tangential comment: As a musician, I am remembering with some bitterness how Big Tech was pushing for “open data” and “open access” back in the day, selling it as “free expression” and “democracy,” and as a result — since buying music became unfashionable — musicians lost much of their income … and nobody cared!

I am glad that now at least, a lot more people are realizing what liars whose Big Tech companies are, and what liars they have always been all along, when they were talking about “free expression”! Look at them now, with their “free expression”! They are quite happy to censor! So it’s only our data that they want to be open — not our opinions!

And Here Is Another Curiosity From the World Economic Forum

They published this article in 2018:

Could robots do better than our current leaders

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to wreak havoc on labour markets, with AI and robots replacing various white-collar jobs. One job category largely excluded from scientific reports is that of government leaders, despite being one of the most critiqued, scrutinized and ridiculed jobs of all.”

“However, commentators from countries as diverse as India, the UKNew Zealand and Japan have started to suggest that robots as government leaders could drastically improve decision-making, by being much less irrational and erratic than their inherently flawed human counterparts.”

After freaking us out, the World Economic Forum writers chuckle and let us continue being governed by human politicians, at least for now:

“For the time being, it seems neither possible nor optimal for robots to replace government leaders, despite the clear imperfections displayed by the latter group … Ultimately, a more realistic and desirable scenario is one in which AI and automation are neither competitors nor substitutes to humans, but tools that government leaders can engage effectively and sometimes defer to, in order to make better, fairer and more inclusive decisions.”

Phew, it’s almost like … you know, when a street robber first tells us to give him all of your money but then agrees to take only half! Such a kindly, generous robber! We are so lucky!

World Economic Forum’s “Agile Nations”

The 2017 WEB write-up about digital governance reads like a “wish list” and a blueprint for the governments to act upon. (I guess, given the bribing and coercive power of the people who’ve composed the wish list, their wish list had a strong chance of becoming the bureaucrats’ blueprint the moment it was written.) So in 2020, seven nations got together and signed an agreement to essentially implement it. A quote from “Agile Canada“:

“In November 2020, seven countries signed on to the Agile Nations Charter, establishing Agile Nations as a forum for countries to collaborate on creating a global regulatory environment in which innovation can thrive.

Member countries include: Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) also participate as observers.”

“Priority areas for cooperation are: data and communications, transportation, medical diagnosis and treatment, clean technology, legal and professional services, pro-innovation regulatory approaches.”

And here’s from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought economic and social disruption worldwide. As people and businesses focus on recovery, governments must ensure that innovation, which will power economic growth and solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, is not held back by outdated regulations [emphasis mine].”

Translation from Orwellian to English: “We want your data, including your medical and biometric data — and we want it now. Look at how lovely our AI is … my precious! (Sorry couldn’t help it!) The so called national laws and regulations interfere with the speed at which we can get a hold of your data.

Like we said, we want it now, and so we would very much like it if so called national laws and regulation got replaced with a digital framework that we write and that we can update any time we like! Sounds like a good idea or what? Who wants some funding? You know what you need to do to get that funding, don’t you?” The quote continues:

“As part of the development of the OECD principles on Effective and Innovation Friendly Rule-Making in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have been co-operating to look deeper into the interlinkages between regulation and emerging technologies …

Ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship.”

“In addition, in support of the mission of the Agile Nations, representatives of Facebook also offered to launch a call for research – overseen by an independent steering committee of experts in the field of law, regulation and entrepreneurship – into what approaches to rulemaking (e.g. regulatory sandboxes, policy prototyping) were the most effective for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As this initiative continues to develop, other businesses will be encouraged and invited to co-sponsor this initiative, and to venture their own ideas to support the work of the Agile Nations.”

“In sum, the Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. The agreement paves the way for these nations to cooperate in helping innovators navigate each country’s rules, test new ideas with regulators and scale them across the seven markets.

Priority areas for cooperation include the green economy, mobility, data, financial and professional services, and medical diagnosis and treatment.”

“Scientific Management”

The World Economic Forum’s agenda is a strange mix of religious fundamentalism and “scientific management.” As I wrote earlier in an article about the mind of a technocrat, scientific management is a “method of industrial optimization developed by Taylor in the late 19th and early 20th century. The essence of his method was extreme fragmentation and compartmentalization of the production process.”

It required taking a complex process, breaking it down into very simple tasks, timing each task, optimizing it to the maximum using the stopwatch, and then assigning each of those simple tasks to different workers, while insisting that the workers should only use the pre-optimized motor patterns and work as efficiently as possible. Under scientific management, there was no room for workers’ creativity.

And while Taylor and Ford intended the scientific management method for the purpose of streamlining industrial production, the Davos charlatans aim to manage our entire lives, and justify it with some bogus “public good” and “community values”!

Whose “Community Values” Are Those, Anyway?

Here is the elephant in the room: It’s the Davos charlatans — and I want to repeat the word “charlatans” because that’s who they are underneath their bank accounts and their important speeches — who are writing our so called “community values”! They are trying to latch onto our natural social instincts and weaponize our good instincts against us!

They want us to be unassuming, guilty “good citizens” who put a limit on our carbon footprint and on the number of children we have — while they, the self-appointed “guardians” of the world, fly private jets to climate change conferences and have as many kids as they damn like!

And here’s the thing. There is nothing wrong with real community values! We are social creatures, and it benefits us to live together well. However, community values are only as good as the people who propose them — and community values turn into a pumpkin the moment someone like Schwab touches them!

As Good as the People

Let’s even forget about Schwab for a second and think how community values work in principle. Let’s imagine a small village. If the people living in that village are mostly healed and grounded, they will raise their children to seek wisdom and live well with others — from the heart, not from the letter.

However, if the people in the village have been abused, and abused, and abused again — and never healed — then even the authentic community values in that village could end up being anxious, rigid, and detrimental to freedom.

Hurt people tend to teach their children that life is meant to be joyless. They tend to slap their children’s wrists for wanting to be free, saying it’s a selfish folly. Hurt people hurt people! And at one point, the rigid rules might have been an invention of a cunning predator — but after prolonged abuse, people might have internalized them and passed them on to their children! (And look at how many people in the West sincerely adopted the religion of the Mask … they have internalized it!)

Another example: in my birth homeland of Russia, there are many small communities where the people carry so much hurt and sadness that the gloom is almost palpable in the air. I am saying this from personal experience, and with much pain and love for my people. I ran away from that gloom and immigrated to America because the “community values” felt too joyless!

So when it comes to Klaus Schwab and friends, they are only as powerful as we let them. I believe that that healing ourselves and our relationships is at the top of our priorities list in the battle against transhumanism — because anything we do from a place of love has more power than anything we do from the place of fear!

Why Will Transhumanism Fail?

This system, the entire man-eating beast, will eventually fail, I have no doubt — but we don’t know when, and we need to stay humble, brave, and very patient. The cruel beast may fail very soon, or it may take a while to fail. I think it depends on how quickly we remember to relate to each other in spirit, with love and happy humility — instead of labeling and judging each other based on ancestry, politics, or differences in opinion.

I think it depends on how quickly we realize that the freedom taken away from the people everywhere, throughout history, has been as existentially precious as the freedom that is being taken away from us right now — because there is no fundamental difference between us and other people, and never has been.

We, here and now, are dealing with the same dilemma that many in the past have dealt with, and some have died from. Spirit is spirit, and freedom is freedom! And I think that when we remember to stand together and honor each other and each other’s love and each other’s courage, we’ll be undefeatable. No Klaus Schwab can do anything to us if we refuse to betray our fellow human beings for any reason.

And sooner or later, spiritual clarity will prevail, and this transhumanist beast, the culmination of abuse, will fail. The reason why it will fail is simple. We are not machines, and when we are managed like machines — increasingly so over the centuries — our souls bleed badly. When we are managed like slaves, we suffer unbearably — and suffering, while it’s not a preferred way of obtaining clarity, still mysteriously leads to spiritual clarity. Life puts no suffering to waste!

And when the pain gets unbearable, and there is nowhere to go but toward our heart of hearts, our souls scream to the skies, and we pray for answers with no arrogance and no talking points, and then something magical happens. When our fear and pain become too much but we keep pushing, we grow our souls to where solutions show up out of nowhere.

And then we cry, laugh, and pray more for healing, and more solutions show up, and we look back and we suddenly know why we had to suffer, and why the sweetness was worth it. And then we start living well because, after all this suffering, we finally remember that everything in the world, everything-everything, has always been about love — and that living well with each other is not just pleasant but also very practical.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to send military attache to Bahrain soon, says envoy after Negev summit with Arab states

Press TV – March 29, 2022

Israel will “soon” appoint a military attache to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, says the Israeli ambassador to Manama, as diplomats from the Persian Gulf country and three other Arab states attend a meeting in the Negev desert in occupied Palestine.

“This will happen soon – an attache to the fleet,” Eitan Naeh told Israel’s Army Radio. “It is in the midst of various bureaucratic processes. I reckon that, by the summer, we will have a fuller staff, along with other officials who will join the embassy.”

Last month, the Israeli minister of military affairs, Benny Gantz, visited the US fleet in Bahrain and met with its commander, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, and Bahraini naval commanders.

Bahrain, a tiny island in the Persian Gulf and a former Iranian province, is some 300 kilometers to the south of the coastal Iranian province of Bushehr, which hosts a key nuclear power plant.

In Tehran, an Israeli presence so close to the Bushehr nuclear site is deemed a threat to the country’s national security, as the regime in Tel Aviv has in the past covertly carried out acts of sabotage against Iran’s nuclear facilities and assassinated Iranian scientists while overtly threatening to launch attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.

On Sunday, top diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, the United States, and Israel met in the Negev desert to press ahead with a US-brokered normalization of relations between the Arab states and the Israeli regime.

Egypt was the first Arab country to have diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, while the UAE and Bahrain reached normalization agreements with Israel in 2020 through the mediation of former US President Donald Trump’s administration.

Morocco and Sudan later reached similar US-brokered deals, which have been roundly condemned by Palestinians as a brazen betrayal of their cause.

US, Israel launch naval exercise

Also on Sunday, the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and the Israeli Navy launched a 10-day maritime exercise in the Red Sea.

The drill, dubbed Intrinsic Defender, focuses on maritime security operations, explosive ordnance disposal, health topics, and unmanned systems integration.

Over 300 American personnel as well as US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67), dry cargo ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8), and various unmanned vessels are also scheduled to participate in the exercise.

The drill comes amid Washington’s diminishing role in the region, including its withdrawal from Afghanistan and a change in its role in Iraq from military to advisory under the pressure of Iraqi resistance groups.

The US military is also expected to be expelled from Syria, where it has retained an illegal military presence throughout a foreign-sponsored conflict that began in 2011.

Observers believe Washington is scaling down its presence in the Middle East to focus on a large-scale confrontation with China, which is poised to soon overtake the US economically.

March 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UAE: There is no substitute for Russian oil

Samizdat | March 28, 2022

The world’s energy markets need Russian oil and no producer can replace it, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Energy Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Monday.

Russia produces some 10 million barrels of oil a day, which makes it a critical member of the OPEC+ energy alliance, al-Mazrouei explained during an energy forum in Dubai.

“Leaving the politics aside, that volume is needed today,” he insisted, adding that “unless someone is willing to come and deliver that amount, we don’t see that someone can substitute Russia.”

Russia is the world’s second biggest crude exporter after Saudi Arabia. Following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, some nations, led by the US, have pledged to stop buying Russian oil and gas. The United States, Europe, and others have been calling on Gulf Arab oil producers to ramp up production and help bring down crude prices, which at one point shot above $120 a barrel.

The International Energy Agency announced earlier this month that it had decided to release 60 million barrels of oil from its emergency reserves, saying that global oil markets were already tight with highly volatile prices and commercial inventories at their lowest level since 2014.

Many have expressed doubts, however, about whether it was possible to ditch Russia’s energy resources.

Last week, the EU stepped back from imposing an embargo on Russian crude and petroleum products, despite pressure from the US. An immediate embargo on Russia’s fossil fuels “from one day to the next would mean plunging our country and the whole of Europe into a recession,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said last week. Europe gets nearly 30% of its crude and roughly 50% of its petroleum products from Russia.

Reducing dependence on natural gas – something that the EU hopes to achieve over the next few years – may prove difficult as well. Qatar – which holds the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world – said last week that it was practically impossible to replace Russian gas on the European market, as between 30 and 40% of the total volume of gas supplied to the world market comes from Russia.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

UK’s Johnson fails to secure public oil rise pledges after talks with Saudi, UAE

MEMO | March 16, 2022

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, held talks about energy security on Wednesday with the de facto leaders of Gulf oil exporters, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, but secured no public pledge to ramp up production, Reuters reports.

Johnson’s trip to Abu Dhabi and Riyadh was aimed at securing oil supplies and raising pressure on President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to sweeping Western sanctions on Moscow and soaring world energy prices.

Johnson’s office said that, in his meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, he stressed the need to work together to stabilise global energy markets.

After his talks in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince,Mohammed bin Salman, Johnson was asked whether the Kingdom would increase oil production.

“I think you’d need to talk to the Saudis about that. But I think there was an understanding of the need to ensure stability in global oil markets and gas markets,” he said.

So far, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose close ties with Washington are under strain, have snubbed US pleas to ramp up oil production to tame the rise in crude prices that threatens global recession after the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

“The world must wean itself off Russian hydrocarbons and starve Putin’s addiction to oil and gas,” Johnson said before his meetings. “Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are key international partners in that effort.”

The two Gulf States are among the few OPEC oil exporters with spare oil capacity to raise output and potentially offset supply losses from Russia. But they have tried to steer a neutral stance between Western allies and Moscow, their partner in an oil producers’ grouping known as OPEC+.

The group has been raising output gradually each month by 400,000 barrels a day, resisting pressure to act more quickly.

The UAE remains committed to the OPEC+ deal, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters before the meeting.

It has deepened ties with Moscow and Beijing in the last few years and abstained, last month, in a US-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, which Russia has described as a “special military operation”.

Johnson “set out his deep concerns about the chaos unleashed by Russia’s unprovoked invasion, and stressed the importance of working together to improve stability in the global energy market”, his office said after his talks in Abu Dhabi.

Johnson and the Crown Prince also agreed on the need to bolster security, defence and intelligence cooperation to counter threats,including from Houthi forces who have fought a lengthy conflict in Yemen against Saudi and UAE forces.

Saudi executions 

Johnson is only the second major Western leader to visit Saudi Arabia since journalist, Jamal Khashoggi’s 2018 killing by Saudi government agents in Istanbul.

The CIA concluded that the Prince approved an operation to “capture or kill” Khashoggi. He has denied any involvement in the killing.

The Prime Minister’s trip also came just four days after Saudi Arabia executed 81 men, the largest number in a single day for decades, for offences ranging from joining militant groups to holding “deviant beliefs”.

Asked about criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, Johnson said: “I’ve raised all those issues many, many times over the past … and I’ll raise them all again today.

“But we have long, long standing relationships with this part of the world, and we need to recognise the very important relationship that we have … and not just in hydrocarbons.”

Saudi press agency, SPA, said Johnson and Prince Mohammed discussed the conflict in Ukraine and international issues, adding that Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic partnership.

March 16, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | Leave a comment

UAE ‘directly benefiting’ from illegal Israeli settlement enterprise

MEMO | February 7, 2022

The UAE is directly benefitting from Illegal Israeli settlements and is in violation of international law according to recently signed bilateral trade agreements between Abu Dhabi and the occupation state, Hugh Lovatt, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, has pointed out in a series of tweets.

Lovatt has worked to advance the concept of EU Differentiation, which includes a variety of measures taken by the European bloc and its member states to exclude settlement-linked entities and activities from bilateral relations with Israel.

The EU has never recognised the legality of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories (including those in East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan Heights that have been formally annexed by Israel). This means that the EU has an obligation to practically implement its non-recognition policy by fully and effectively implementing its own legislation against Israel’s incorporation of settlement entities and activities into its external relations with the EU.

In 2016, Lovatt worked to have this measure enshrined within UN Security Council Resolution 2334. It passed in a 14–0 vote, with the US notably abstaining. The Resolution states that Israel’s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”. It demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfil its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Lovatt claims that recently released details of bilateral agreements between the UAE and Israel show that that the Gulf State is in violation of Resolution 2334 and the principal of differentiation which all UN member states are expected to abide by.

“Has the UAE respected international law and its obligations to differentiate between Israel and the settlements as per UNSCR 2334?” asked Lovatt in his tweet. “The answer: No.”

Lovatt explained that “to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2334, every bilateral agreement signed with Israel should contain a ‘differentiation’ clause defining the territorial scope of its application to Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders. This is not the case in this UAE-Israel agreement”. He shared a screen shot of a clause from the bilateral agreement indicating that no such territorial distinction was made.

The definition of territory applied in the agreement includes all the land that is under “Israel’s jurisdiction”, which Lovatt explained include Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Notably Japan’s trade agreement with Israel includes a definition of “Israeli territory” which upholds the differentiation principal and, therefore, does not fall foul of Resolution 2334, Lovatt said. The absence of this distinction in the bilateral agreement between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv means that the UAE is “directly” befitting from illegal settlements through its normalisation with Israel.

Lovatt admits that the UAE may have a different interpretation of the agreement than he does, in which case “it would be incumbent on the UAE government to clarify the agreement’s territorial applicability as soon as possible,” he added.

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Somali court: Money confiscated from UAE plane in 2018 will not be returned

MEMO | January 31, 2022

A Somali court yesterday ruled that millions of dollars confiscated from an Emirati civilian plane in 2018 will not be returned, local media outlets reported.

According to reports, the Banadir Regional Court instructed the Central Bank not to release $9.6 million found in three unmarked bags aboard a Royal Jet plane that arrived at Mogadishu airport in April 2018.

The extent of the court’s jurisdiction on the government’s pledge to return the money is not clear and there has been no official comment from authorities.

The court’s decision coincides with the visit of the Somali caretaker Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, to the UAE where he will hold talks with Emirati officials on bilateral relations.

It is unclear whether the money was intended for the military or to buy political leverage. Somalia’s relations with the UAE have been unsettled since June 2017 when the Emirates – along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain – launched a blockage on Qatar. Somalia was pressured to support one of two camps.

Somalia, initially supported Qatar, but officially decided to ally with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in September last year after extensive lobbying by Abu Dhabi.

But last month, Somalia rejected a UAE port deal with Ethiopia and the self-declared state of Somaliland, claiming that it undermines its unity, sovereignty and constitution. Saudi Arabia offered to mediate between Somalia and the UAE but no diplomatic moves were made.

January 31, 2022 Posted by | Corruption | , , , | 1 Comment

Former Qatar PM: ‘Israel, Arab state planned last Sudan military coup’

MEMO | November 13, 2021

Former Head of Qatar’s Ministerial Council Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani revealed on Friday that Israel and an Arab state had planned the latest military coup in Sudan.

In a series of tweets commenting on Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan’s announcement of the formation of a new sovereign council, he posted: “The hands of the Israeli occupation along with the hands of a state from the region are behind this.”

Twitter users commenting on his tweet noted that the Arab state he referred to was the UAE, adding that several leaks relating to the issue have proven this.

“What happened in Sudan is a result of initial planning, cooperation and coordination between Israel and an Arab state,” Al-Thani tweeted.

“Unfortunately, this state claimed in the international meetings that it had changed its policies and started to concentrate only on economy and development,” he added.

The former senior Qatari official asserted that he did not reveal “this fact” to make headlines and stressed the importance of respecting peoples’ will.

November 13, 2021 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Tunisia’s instability and coup are backed by the UAE, Saudi

By Robert Inlakesh | MEMO | July 30, 2021

With Tunisian President Kais Saied seizing power, in what has been called a coup by the country’s largest political party, it seems that the last stronghold of democracy in Northern Africa, having emerged from the Arab Spring, is falling. Celebrated by some, such a transition could have its consequences especially with the involvement of Gulf dictatorships.

Tunisia is often held up as the one standing success story of the 2011 Arab Spring. Having overthrown former President and dictator Ben Ali, during the Jasmine Revolution, the people of Tunisia have experienced a bumpy ride since, but have maintained a democracy. This could all be changing soon with Gulf despots looking to pick up the pieces of any shattering of the nation’s democratic model.

Fears are now emerging, of a repeat of the affairs which transpired in Egypt, destroying the democratic system set up in the country and installing a military dictator. However we aren’t quite seeing such a dramatic shift and there are key differences between the move to dissolve parliament, fire the prime minister and consolidate power, in Tunisia, and the all out military coup which occurred in Egypt in 2013.

But, as there are differences between Egypt’s coup and Tunisia’s, there are also some alarmingly similar forces at work. In Egypt the target was the democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, he represented the Muslim Brotherhood and in order to remove him, we now know that the UAE and Saudi Arabia both worked to bankroll his overthrow. In Tunisia, for years the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been working to oust the ruling Ennahda Party, which is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The two Gulf regimes have historically bankrolled the opposition to Ennahda and Abu Dhabi was even accused of attempting to organise a coup in Tunisia. As President Kais Saied took control, the office of Al Jazeera came under attack by his security forces who stormed the Qatari funded outlet’s building and forced its journalists out. This has been interpreted as a clear attack on the channel, due to its political leanings towards the side of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last year it was also reported that Turkish intelligence had foiled an attempted coup plot inside Tunisia, which was allegedly coordinated by the United Arab Emirates. Around that time, a group of demonstrators calling themselves the ‘Salvation Front’ took to the streets of the capital to condemn the Ennahda Movement and its alignment of the Qatari/Turkish axis, it was later discovered that the facebook group for the movement was run by two individuals based in the UAE.

The UAE may have well backed last year’s alleged coup attempt, after their anti-Muslim Brotherhood ally in Libya, Khalifa Haftar, was starting to suffer loses following the introduction of Turkish military aid to help the GNA forces of Fayez Al-Sarraj. Being involved in combating neighbouring Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, could be in part about securing a pro-Haftar dictator for the UAE. The UAE has a well known track record of anti-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-democracy action, having backed reactionary actors in countries like Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Sudan and Yemen.

It’s also no secret whose side the UAE, Saudi Arabia and even their allies like Egypt are on, having celebrated the political turmoil in Tunisia as the “final fall” of the Muslim Brotherhood. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have also been using social media accounts to whip up anger online and drive the country further into chaos.

Prominent Saudi journalist, Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, wrote a celebratory opinion piece in the kingdom’s Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper saying something quite rich for a supporter of Saudi Arabia’s regime: “It is not surprising that the “Brotherhood” has fallen in Tunisia now, but rather it is years later than was expected… they were associated with chaos, assassinations, and deliberate obstruction operations to thwart government action”.

The economic problems, government mismanagement, corruption and the anger over the mishandling of the current health crisis, are all real issues and Tunisia has risen up many times since 2011 to demand a change. None of these real issues should be undermined, nor should it be stated that there is no Muslim Brotherhood alliance. But when it comes to a domestically created group which engages in a democratic process and the power of foreign brutal dictatorships with some of the worst human rights records on earth, it’s clear which option is more detrimental.

It cannot be understated, the insidious role that the UAE and, to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia, have been playing to stir up civil unrest in Tunisia. If President Kais Saied crowns himself dictator, aligning himself with Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, this could have serious repercussions for the country. It is not as of now certain that we will see such a takeover, but regardless of what transpires, the UAE and the Saudi will not stop working to destabilise Tunisia in order to remove the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence.

Importantly, if the West, which claims to care so much about democracy, truly cared for it at all, it would quickly drop its alliances with the brutal regimes of Saudi’s Mohammed Bin Salman and the UAE’s Mohammed Bin Zayed. The destructive role of these Gulf actors and their strides towards crushing all Arab democracies, whilst remaining the best of friends with the self proclaimed “worldwide spreader of democracy” [the US] shows exactly which side the American government is truly on.

July 30, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment

Documents reveal US pressure on ex-Yemeni regime to agree on normalizing ties with Israel

Press TV – July 12, 2021

The interior ministry of Yemen’s National Salvation Government has released a series of confidential documents detailing the United States pressure on the administration of former Yemeni dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to normalize relations with Israel and lift the blockade on products made in the Israeli occupied territories.

According to the documents, the US embassy in Sana’a had asked then-Yemeni authorities to end the economic embargo on Israeli goods, and not to participate in any activities deemed harmful to the Tel Aviv regime, the official Yemeni news agency Saba reported.

The papers expose the level of Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s discontent and frustration with the blockade, and how US officials left no stone unturned to force former Yemeni officials into opening the Arab country’s market to Israeli businesses and their products.

The former US ambassador to Yemen, Thomas C. Krajeski, called on Saleh’s regime to lift sanctions on companies with first-, second- or third-degree ties to Israel, which was not turned down by the Yemeni side.

Then-Yemeni foreign minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, later told the US ambassador that the so-called embargo on US and Israeli goods was not actually being enforced.

The documents go on to reveal that the US embassy urged the Yemeni foreign ministry not to dispatch representatives to an anti-Israel event at the University of Damascus in Syria.

Moreover, the American diplomat described Yemen’s removal of boycott of Israeli products as the fundamental prerequisite for the Arab state’s membership in the World Trade Organization, and its access to free trade and international investment.

Last month, Spokesman for Yemen’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree announced that Yemeni security forces had arrested a man involved in espionage activities on behalf of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

Saree said in a tweet at the time that more details on the matter will be provided in a documentary entitled “The Spy of Mossad in Yemen.”

The documentary will shed light on part of Israel’s intervention in the country and “the plan to target Yemen militarily, and other secrets revealed for the first time,” the senior Yemeni military figure pointed out.

The developments come as earlier reports said that Israel and the United Arab Emirates have been working to establish a spy base on Yemen’s strategically-located island of Socotra.

The UAE has also been accused of constructing an air base on the Mayyun Island, situated off the Yemeni coast in the Bab el-Mandeb.

Both activities have drawn strong condemnation from the Yemeni government, which has described them as violation of Yemen’s sovereignty and international law, especially following the illegally-run tours to Socotra from Abu Dhabi, some of which included Israeli tourists.

“The transfer of tourists to the Socotra Island reveals the plans and programs of the occupying UAE, which are in line with the Zionist schemes to dominate Yemeni islands as well as the steps towards normalization with the regime,” a statement read back then.

Yemen’s popular Ansaullah resistance movement has previously threatened to attack Israel if it was “involved in any action against Yemeni people.”

The Israeli regime took the threats seriously, and deployed its Iron Dome and Patriot missile systems around the southern city of Eilat early this year.

July 12, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where the Abraham Accords are (and aren’t) going

Israel has improved its relationship with the UAE, but what about other Gulf countries?

By Giorgio Cafiero and Kristian Coates Ulrichsen | Responsible Statecraft | July 7, 2021

On June 29, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrived in the United Arab Emirates, marking the first official trip by any chief Israeli diplomat to the Gulf country. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had wanted to visit Abu Dhabi while in office, so the timing of the visit so soon after the new Netanyahu-less government was sworn in was notable.

While Lapid was in the UAE, Israel inaugurated an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai, representing an important milestone in Emirati-Israeli relations nine months after the Abraham Accords were signed in Washington last September.

Lapid’s trip highlighted how the bilateral relationship has overcome challenges posed by the recent 11-day Gaza-Israel war. Although Emirati officialdom publicly condemned Israel’s conduct in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and called on both Hamas and Israel to halt attacks (which notably did not single out Israel) in May, the UAE is not cooling its relations with Israel. To the contrary, Abu Dhabi is keen to find ways to build on the Abraham Accords and enhance its ties with the Israelis notwithstanding the unresolved question of Palestine.

While with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lapid signed an economic and commercial cooperation agreement. The two also co-authored a highly optimistic article in Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper where they outlined their outlook for the Emirati-Israeli relationship as well as for “peace” across the greater region: “Peace isn’t an agreement you sign – it’s a way of life. The ceremonies we held this week aren’t the end of the road. They are just the beginning.” (Technically, the UAE-Israel accord is not a “peace” agreement because the UAE, which gained its independence in 1971, has never been at war with Israel.)

Beyond the rhetoric and the symbolism, what are this relationship’s substantive elements and what does this partnership truly mean in practice nine months after the accord’s signing?

Bilateral trade since September 2020 has reached around $675 million. The two countries have signed a long list of trade and cooperation agreements. Mediaeducation, and tourism are all promising sectors that are starting to take off. It is significant that amid the global pandemic, which greatly harmed the UAE and all other Gulf Cooperation Council states’ tourism sectors, 200,000 Israeli tourists visited the UAE with most flying to Dubai.

Technology may be the area where the Emiratis have the highest hopes for this relationship. The potential benefits of formalized ties with the region’s most technologically innovative and advanced country are clear to the UAE. This is particularly true with respect to cybersecurity and to the potential acquisition of offensive cyber-capabilities by the UAE. As Sheikh Abdullah stated, the Emiratis are pleased that the Israelis will participate in Expo2020, an event to be held later this year in Dubai that will bring 192 countries together through technology, innovation, science, and art.

Nonetheless, the Emirati-Israeli trade relationship has thus far not lived up to its expectations. There has also been a degree of disappointment among those who were expecting the partnership to take off much faster following then-President Donald Trump’s announcement of the Abraham Accords.

Some anticipated deals have not taken place. For example, there was the suspension of the 50 percent sale of Beitar Jerusalem (a Jerusalem-based professional football club with an anti-Arab image) to a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. In addition, an Israeli energy firm that planned to sell its share of a gas field to Mubadala Petroleum (a subsidiary of the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Investment Company) missed a deadline for completing the agreement, although, according to the UAE’s side, the deal remains set to proceed. Time will tell how many and how soon major government-to-government and private sector transactions will indeed take place.

Abraham Accords, the Gulf, and Africa

Despite the political risks for any Arab state that normalizes relations with Israel, the UAE has vocally stood by the Abraham Accords, which, in the words of its ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, “move the region beyond a troubled legacy of hostility and strife to a more hopeful destiny of peace and prosperity.” But Abu Dhabi at this point does not appear to be leading any trend within the Gulf region toward the formalization of relations with Israel.

In Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative remains popular and the only viable means of reaching a fair and lasting settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. This is true at the highest levels of government and among these countries’ general publics. But Tel Aviv almost certainly will not under any foreseeable circumstances agree to the API’s terms, which require Israel to return to the 1949-1967 borders and permit the Palestinians to have an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital in exchange for opening diplomatic relations. Therefore, among GCC states, the UAE, along with Bahrain, will probably stand alone on the normalization question for some time.

As the GCC state with the most pro-Palestinian stance, Kuwait is most strongly opposed to normalization and unlikely to change its position. Oman maintains pragmatic, albeit unofficial, relations with Israel as highlighted by Lapid’s phone call with Oman’s foreign minister Badr al Busaidi on June 24, plus Netanyahu and other Israeli prime ministers’ visits to Muscat since the 1990s. But Oman remains committed to the API, as affirmed by Muscat’s chief diplomat at an Atlantic Council event held on February 11.

Qatar has a special role to play in Gaza that would be jeopardized by “abandoning” the Palestinians in exchange for normalization with Israel. Through Al Jazeera, which focuses heavily on the plight of Palestinians, and the tendency of Qatari diplomats to advocate on behalf of Palestinians in international forums, Doha’s regional and global image has much to do with its ability to take firm positions on certain international issues that contribute to the image of a pro-human rights foreign policy.

Finally, Saudi Arabia, due to its special role across the wider Islamic world, its authorship of the API, and its own internal dynamics that are fundamentally different than the smaller GCC states, will likely continue seeing normalization of relations with Israel as too risky, at least so long as King Salman remains on the throne.

Within this context, Israel will likely have its next diplomatic openings in the Islamic world not in the Persian Gulf, but instead in impoverished parts of sub-Saharan Africa where countries such as Niger, Mali, and Mauritania could have their economic interests advanced by joining the Abraham Accords. It will be important to see what actions Abu Dhabi might take to incentivize these African countries, many of which are major recipients of Emirati aid, to formalize ties with Israel. Enhanced Emirati assistance in exchange for normalization with Israel was already evident in Sudan’s decision to normalize ties with Israel, and the UAE may take a similar approach with these and other predominantly Muslim and poor African states.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Arab regimes seek to field Israeli-backed Dahlan for Palestinian elections

Press TV – February 7, 2021

Several Arab states are reportedly putting pressure on Palestinian political factions to reinstate exiled former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan and field him against Hamas in the upcoming elections.

Sources told Arabic Post news website on Saturday that the UAE, Egypt and Jordan are trying to compel Fatah, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to reinstate the Israeli-backed Dahlan and his supporters.

Abbas dismissed Dahlan from the movement in 2011 and stripped the 58-year-old of all his merits, after which he fled to the United Arab Emirates.

Last September, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman set off an uproar after suggesting Washington was considering supporting Dahlan to overthrow Abbas as the next Palestinian Authority chief.

Dahlan was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in 2016 by a Palestinian court for corruption, and ordered to repay $16 million, according to his lawyers.

Dahlan once led a coup against the elected Hamas government in Gaza in 2007. The plan was a massive failure which saw Hamas rout out Dahlan’s forces in a matter of days in the summer of 2007.

President Abbas announced in a decree last month that the 2021 general elections will include legislative elections being held on May 22, presidential elections on July 31 and the Palestinian National Council elections on August 31.

Leaders of 14 Palestinian political factions, including Hamas and Fatah, are scheduled to start a comprehensive national dialog in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on February 8, aiming to reach an agreement on the mechanism for holding the general elections in Palestine.

February 7, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharjah: Emir’s wife criticises UAE-Israel education cooperation

MEMO | January 29, 2021

The wife of the Emir of Sharjah has criticised the UAE’s cooperation with Israel in the education field. Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al-Qasimi made her comment about an online meeting between the ministries of education in the UAE and Israel to discuss cooperation, student exchanges, and joint academic studies.

“Their [the Israelis’] curriculum encourages the killing of Arabs and stealing Arab lands,” she said on Twitter. The Sheikha also retweeted a post by “Ahmed”, a tour guide, about Andalusia in which he recalled the background of Israeli Minister of Education Yoav Galant.

“Who is the Israeli Education Minister Yoav Galant?” wrote the tour guide. “He is one of the bloodiest generals in the history of Israel. He participated in the killing of Hassan Salameh in Beirut in 1979. He is the leader of the operation to storm the Jenin [refugee] camp, which led to the killing of dozens of defenceless Palestinians, and operation Grapes of Wrath against Lebanon (Lebanese Qana massacre) in 1996.”

Sheikha Jawaher’s tweet is the most prominent and explicit objection to have emerged from the ruling circles in UAE against cooperation with Israel. Hundreds of Twitter users have praised her courage in expressing her opinion.

In 2013, the UN-appointed Sheikha Jawaher as the first prominent advocate for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the UAE. This, said the international organisation, was because of her “proven track record in the field of humanitarian work, community support, and women’s empowerment.”

The UAE and Israel signed an agreement last September to normalise their relations under US auspices, despite Palestinian and Arab objections.

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January 29, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment