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An Electronic Engineer in Orwell’s Britain

By Eve Mykytyn | June 13, 2019

Dr. Ali was dismissed from his job at the University of Essex for alleged anti Semitism. The charges stemmed from his opposition to a new campus society, a branch of the Zionist organization, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and from four of the many posts Dr Ali has made to Facebook over the last ten years. For more: SEE. Dr. Ali’s story makes plain that although the University claimed to dismiss him for anti Semitism, in fact he was dismissed for anti Zionism. The following interview with Dr Ali will be one of the first articles in which he will be able to tell his side of the story, which differs in important ways from the story told in the British press.

EM: Can you give us a brief bio, including where you grew up and your academic background?

MA: My family moved to London from the then newly independent country of Bangladesh in 1975 when I was seven,. We came as refugees, we had lost 22 members of our family including my elder brother who was murdered when he was barely thirteen. My father was a Professor of History and a Barrister (Lincoln’s Inn).

I grew up in the eastern suburbs of London and was educated at Chigwell School in Essex. I earned my PhD in Electronic Engineering at King’s College London. I have spent most of my career as a university lecturer in the UK.

EM: How did you get involved in the debate over the new Jewish society? Were you opposed to the formation of any Jewish group?

MA: At the University of Essex, student union members are invited by email to vote on any new student society, and a favorable vote by a majority is required for formation. Before a vote, the proposed society must clearly state its aims and objectives.

I read UJS’s manifesto and did not agree with their zealous promotion of Zionism and the state of Israel. That was my only concern. I was not voting against Jews, Judaism or their culture. When I was a student, I voted against the formation of political Islamic societies even though I am a Muslim.

The same concerns regarding the political Zionist basis of the UJS were raised by Student Union Committee Members, the University Amnesty Society, the University Palestinian Solidarity Group and 240 other students. I would like to stress that I did not and would not vote against the formation of a Jewish Society that was not politically Zionist.

EM: Did any of your students complain of anti-Semitism? Did the issue ever come up in one of your classes?

MA: I never discuss religion or politics in my lectures nor have the issues of Zionism or anti Semitism ever come up in any of my classes during my career. There has never been any complaint made against me by any student at the University or at any university at which I have taught.

Two former students, one a 50+ year old ex-British soldier, wrote a letter to Human Resources at the University defending me and stating that I was always inclusive, never discussed religion or politics and that I was an excellent lecturer. The other, a woman who is an ex- US marine who heard about my case, wrote to the Vice Chancellor directly. Neither letter was taken into consideration by the University.

 EM: Why do you think you were singled out? Were there other opponents of the UJS?

MA: I made a comment on the University Palestinian Solidarity Facebook page that Zionists were trying to create a society at our University. Someone asked why I was against Jews. I replied that I was not against Jews, their religion or their culture. I was opposed to the Zionist ideology presented in the society’s manifesto. In my 10 years on Facebook, I have never posted anything supporting the destruction of the state of Israel.

Obviously, I was singled out. The media falsely portrayed me as a ringleader of the 240 students who voted against the UJS. I did not urge these students to vote ‘no.’ I am a part-time Bangladeshi lecturer without powerful connections, and a bearded Muslim Asian – I was a useful scapegoat for their witch hunt.

The media failed to report that the vote was cancelled because of the 240 ‘no’ votes. After that, the UJS changed their manifesto and softened their wording regarding Israel and Zionism. They denied making this change, even though some students had screenshots of the two different manifestos.

I was asked to be part of a second vote, but I declined and did not vote. Part way thorough the second vote, the Vice Chancellor cancelled the election and created UJS as a “University” society. Later on, the Student Union revealed  that ‘“some” of the 600 votes in favor of the UJS had been cast “externally” by non-students.

The University tribunal charged me based on the UJS’s second less political manifesto, to which I never objected nor even voted on. Despite my vehement objection the University failed to take notice that it was the first manifesto to which I and others objected.

EM: So all you did was post an objection to the UJS based on their first, more extreme manifesto and then vote against it?

 MA: Yes

EM: What about the Facebook posts they claimed were anti Semitic?

MA: The tribunal considered six posts and dismissed two of them. Until the tribunal no one had ever complained about a post of mine and Facebook never warned or took any action against me. The posts they considered were as follows.

1.  A post from smoloko.com I made four years ago that a French police officer allegedly killed in terror attacks in Paris was actually a Mossad agent. There are many such theories about the 2015 attacks and I posted it for discussion purposes.

2. In 2016 I posted that 50,000 Jews in New York protested Israel’s policies and that the event was not really covered by the media. In the tribunal, I pointed out that my post clearly distinguished between Jews and Zionists

3. Posted on 1 August 2018 and clearly labeled as ‘revisionist history’ was a quote from Edgar Steele that the number of Holocaust survivors receiving pensions exceeded the number of Jews in Europe before the Holocaust.

4. A post on 17 January 2019 stating that the Jews put Palestinians in concentration camps. The Tribunal said I was comparing Jews to Nazis by the use of the word “concentration.” My Jewish Union rep. objected, pointing out that it was the British who originated the term ‘concentration camp’ when they used them in South Africa.

EM: You are not anti Semitic but you do have problems with the behavior of the state of Israel? Who defended you and what procedure did the University follow in making its decision?

MA: I am not anti-Semitic and the investigation and the tribunal both found that I, as a person, was not anti-Semitic.  I do have problems with all kinds of oppression; against humans, animals or the environment. As I told the tribunal, I have criticised almost all governments. The tribunal brushed aside my criticism of Israel’s oppressive activities. My opinions were backed up by reports from the UN, the Red Cross, Israeli human rights organisations and newspapers like Haaretz.

I was defended personally by one University Union member,  a Professor who is Jewish, but who has not given me permission to reveal his name. He told the tribunal that he believed that neither I nor my posts were anti-Semitic even though he did not agree with some of the posts.

Prominent Jewish voice for Peace (JVP) member, Prof. Haim Bresheeth, an Israeli-British film maker and a Professor at the University of London, wrote to the Vice Chancellor on my behalf. He made clear the distinction between Zionism and Judaism and wrote that opposing Zionism or criticizing Israel is not anti Semitism. In addition, renowned Professor, Norman Finkelstein, wrote a letter of support for me.

The University claimed my case had been investigated by “independent” investigator Nigel Youngman. My objections to the lack of actual investigation by Mr. Youngman were totally disregarded by the tribunal. He did not interview any of the key witnesses, not the 240 students who voted no, not a single member of the University’s Amnesty Society or Palestinian Society, and not members or staff at the Student Union.  Youngman never asked anyone why he objected to the first manifesto or why there were two manifestos. When he spoke to the tribunal he read from the second less extreme manifesto as if that was the one to which I had objected, although I had repeatedly told him that my reaction was to the first manifesto.

The University’s rules provided me the right to present a witness. I informed the tribunal that I intended to bring Prof. Bresheeth, and although I followed their procedural rules, the tribunal denied me my right to a witness claiming only a certain date was available as the tribunal was to be attended by “very important” people.

I knew as soon as the tribunal began that the University intended to dismiss me. They followed their procedures only to the extent that they would not affect the preordained outcome. For example, Prof. Andrew Le Sueur, who acted as prosecutor, instructed the tribunal to ignore the letters from Prof Finkelstein and Prof Bresheeth and not to take JVP’s statement against Zionism into consideration. That made it clear the tribunal was a farce, intended to allow them to dismiss me while pretending to the media that I had been given ‘due process.’

The major problem I faced was that the University treated Zionism as just a harmless Jewish belief. I do not know why they are so ignorant. The University would not listen when I tried to explain that there is a difference between Judaism and Zionism and that many people, including Jews, object to Israel’s actions but are not anti Semitic. I am happy that there were many Jews from JVP who came to my defense.

EM: The University advised you not to speak to the press. Do you now think that advice was for your benefit?

MA: I should not have listened to them since I believe the decision to dismiss me was made well before the hearing. From the beginning, I wanted to set the record straight and explain that I was not at all the person the media portrayed. I had written a careful apology to the University and, contrary to my expectations, the University did not share either my position or my apology.

EM: What have been the other effects of the dismissal? Will you be able to get another academic job in the UK?

MA: I have been dismissed from all my other part-time positions, including my work for St John Ambulance. When St John first investigated the allegations, I was found not to be anti Semitic. After the University dismissed me, St John fired me.

I have lost all sources of income, a financial loss I am not in a position to cover. It seems this is the penalty imposed upon opponents of Zionism.

I am not sure if I can find another job in the UK let alone an academic job. I could only be employed by someone who is willing to stand up to Zionist bullying and intimidation.

EM: Did you receive any hate mail?

MA: Yes I received a barrage of xenophobic, Islamophobic hate emails, threatening death to my family and me. Careful examination revealed that all the emails originated from only 14 unique email addresses. The British police are currently investigating these threatening emails.

In addition, there was a smear campaign against me as nearly all the 65 pages of British newspaper and online articles were essentially copied from an unfavorable and inaccurate article in the Jewish Chronicle.

EM: Was a police complaint or legal action filed against you?

MA: No police action has been taken against me, even though some of the hate emails claimed that I was being reported to the police for hate crimes and anti Semitism.

EM: Has your family faced discrimination in the UK? Is there is a double standard?

MA: Yes, my children have faced terrible discrimination. Some boys at his school threw my eldest son on the ground and tried to force feed him pork. He was called many horrible names including ‘terrorist.’ His school took no action against the boys who assaulted my son.

There is a clear double standard at the University of Essex. Two examples:

A Muslim Bangladeshi staff member was threatened by his immediate boss, a Latvian, who said any Muslim who came to his country would be murdered by him. He was reported but the University has done nothing in response to the threat.

A Muslim woman, a student, was harassed by her flatmate, a staff member of the University’s Law School. He told her: “your religion will make you bomb a building.” In front of a witness he said, “I can do whatever I want with you and I will not be punished for it.” She suffered death threats, physical abuse, and eventually left the school. A police lawsuit was shelved for lack of evidence despite a witness and a bruised arm. The University did not see that he breached any code of conduct, instead the University is doing everything to protect this staff member and have threatened a lawsuit if his name is revealed. More information can be found at this link: https://www.facebook.com/516992240/posts/10157873235557241?sfns=mo

The University of Essex that claims to have ‘zero tolerance to hate’ seems to apply that standard based upon who the victim is.

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

UK Rights Group’s Legal Challenge Shows MI5 Illegally Preserved Surveillance Data

Sputnik – 12.06.2019

The ongoing legal challenge of UK human rights group Liberty over data privacy breaches committed by MI5 has revealed new details about the violations, showing that the security service has been failing to remove collected bulk surveillance data on time and received surveillance warrants based on knowingly false information.

Under the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), MI5 has the authority to collect, upon authorization, personal data of a large number of innocent people and store it for potential future investigations. Security services, however, cannot store such data indefinitely: they are obliged to delete it within certain time limits.

Documents released during a court hearing on Tuesday showed that the MI5 legal team said, as quoted by the Liberty, that there is “a high likelihood [of material] being discovered when it should have been deleted, in a disclosure exercise leading to substantial legal or oversight failure.”

Moreover, a senior official from the intelligence service said that people’s personal data was being kept in “ungoverned spaces,” the rights group said in a statement, published on its official website.

“These shocking revelations expose how MI5 has been illegally mishandling our data for years, storing it when they have no legal basis to do so. This could include our most deeply sensitive information – our calls and messages, our location data, our web browsing history,” Liberty lawyer Megan Goulding said, as quoted by the rights group.

Investigatory Powers Commissioner and Lord Justice Adrian Fulford, who is responsible for verifying that the security services respect data privacy provisions laid out in the IPA, described MI5’s actions as “undoubtedly unlawful.”

“Without seeking to be emotive, I consider that MI5’s use of warranted data … is currently, in effect, in ‘special measures’ and the historical lack of compliance … is of such gravity that IPCO [Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office] will need to be satisfied to a greater degree than usual that it is ‘fit for purpose'” Fulford said as quoted by the Liberty website.

According to the rights group, the commissioner said that the intelligence would have never obtained permissions for their surveillance activities if the watchdog had known that MI5 was violating the IPA.

“Warrants for bulk surveillance were issued by senior judges (known as Judicial Commissioners) on the understanding that MI5’s data handling obligations under the IPA were being met – when they were not,” Liberty said.

The rights group raised the alarm about MI5’s violations in May, prompting the investigatory powers commissioner to start an investigation into the matter.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

UK report on ‘human rights’ forgets to mention Saudi Arabia in section on Yemen war

RT | June 12, 2019

The UK has published its annual human rights report, but with some notable omissions in its section on Yemen’s war – namely the identity of the country bombing its civilians, and the UK’s own involvement in the conflict.

The 2018 “Human Rights & Democracy”report from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) includes an almost 800-word section on the humanitarian situation in Yemen – but, to a reader unfamiliar with the specifics, the document offers few clues as to who bears most responsibility for the crisis, since the British report seems to have forgotten to mention some key details.
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The FCO report laments that the “human rights situation worsened in Yemen in 2018” and “the conflict in the country has had a devastating effect.” It then details the estimated numbers of lives lost and displaced citizens according to UN statistics, but doesn’t seem eager to pin blame on anyone in particular, laying responsibility at the feet of “multiple parties.”

“Multiple parties across the country committed a wide range of human rights abuses and violations.”

Yet, a UN investigative report last year found that airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition had caused “most of the documented civilian casualties” in the country – and said the indiscriminate strikes had hit “residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities.”

The UN also criticized the Saudi coalition’s sea and air blockades, which, it argued, could violate international humanitarian law, and called on the “international community” to “refrain from providing arms that could be used in the conflict.”

But who is providing arms? The FCO report is quiet on that front, too.

It has been estimated that the UK sold more than £4.7 billion-worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since its bombing of Yemen began in 2015. British arms sales to Riyadh account for nearly half of the UK’s major weapons exports. Calls for an end to Britain’s direct complicity in the war have fallen on deaf ears.

Former UK foreign secretary –and frontrunner for the Tory leadership– Boris Johnson recommended that the UK sell British bomb parts to Riyadh, immediately after an airstrike had hit a potato factory, killing 14 people, UK media reported this week, after emails obtained by arms trade expert Dr Anna Stavrianakis, through an FOI request, revealed Johnson’s enthusiasm for the sale. In justifying the sale, the FCO’s Arms Policy Export Team argued that there was no “clear risk” that the weapons would be used to violate humanitarian law and said the UK had “confidence” in the Saudi’s “dynamic targeting processes.”

The day after Johnson recommended the sale, a village school was hit in another airstrike, killing 10 children and injuring 20. Johnson’s successor, current UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has incredibly argued that it would be “morally bankrupt” for the UK to stop arming the Saudis, because if it did, “the people of Yemen would be the biggest losers.”

Yet, the FCO report praises what it calls the UK’s“continued commitment to improving the overall human rights situation” in the country and touts its provision of “emergency cash assistance” to vulnerable displaced women and girls, as well as a UK programme aiming to “increase Yemeni women’s inclusion in the peace process.”

The one (and only) mention of Saudi Arabia came more than halfway through the section on Yemen – a tepid line on the use of secret prisons “in areas under the Saudi-led coalition’s control” – inserted without any context as to who makes up the coalition, who supports it and what it is doing.

The report then quickly switches back to self-praise mode, with the FCO promising that the UK “will continue to lead international efforts to work towards an end to the conflict.”

The section on UK ally Saudi Arabia itself begins by lauding the “positive trajectory of social reform” in the country and condemns various continued human rights violations, but makes no mention of Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen.

June 12, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Pompeo’s promise to intervene against Corbyn should surprise no one

By Catte Black | OffGuardian | June 10, 2019

The alt media-verse is currently on fire with the news that the US State Dept’s answer to Al Capone, Mike Pompeo, has been caught promising “Jewish leaders” to send the boys round to Jeremy Corbyn if he should get elected and subsequently prove to be uppity and out of line. According to the WaPo, who broke the story:

The remarks, which are contained in audio of a private meeting leaked to The Washington Post, make Pompeo the second senior U.S. official to comment on Britain’s turbulent leadership succession in the past week.

During his meeting with Jewish leaders in New York, Pompeo was asked if Corbyn “is elected, would you be willing to work with us to take on actions if life becomes very difficult for Jews in the U.K.?”

In response, Pompeo said, “It could be that Mr. Corbyn manages to run the gantlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best,” he said to fervent applause from attendees.

“It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened,” he said.

Of course the idea the “Jewish leaders” harbor any real fear that Jeremy Corbyn (Jeremy Corbyn!) is going to make life “difficult” for British Jews if elected is simply risible. They know, just as every moderately informed person knows, that that’s absurd. They know Corbyn has no wish to make life difficult for anybody – except possibly the uber wealthy and the profiteer class.

They know the “antisemitism” fear is just a cover for the very very real fear that a Corbyn government will break the unwritten rules of modern western governance and reject the agenda of austerity, exploitation and perpetual war that has been creating huge profits and ideological thrills for the blessed few over the last twenty years.

They know that what Pompeo is promising is action to prevent this possibility coming about.

People are up in arms about this, and some seem quite shocked. Apparently the idea the neoliberal elites would try regime change or regime-control on a relatively prosperous western country was something they didn’t previously think possible.

Unfortunately it’s more than possible. The state apparatus of the different western nations are a tight bond of mutual regard and interest, just as likely to foment regime change on their own or their allies’ elected representatives as on those of impoverished or “developing” countries, if they believe those representatives threaten the perceived interests of the state. Of course it isn’t too often necessary, since the same western state apparatus also works to ensure that only governments that don’t threaten perceived state interests manage to get elected. But, when the unthinkable happens, MI5 and the CIA are quite happy to step up to the plate and throw their own or their allies’ democratic governments out the window. It’s happened – or nearly happened – at least twice in the last fifty years.

In the 1960s the UK security agencies, senior military and members of the royal family were apparently contemplating a full blown coup against Labour prime minister Harold Wilson.

In 1975 it was Australia’s turn, when democratically elected reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam was overthrown in a bloodless constitutional coup organised jointly by the US and UK.

The old empire and the new have form in this regard, and this means no one should take Pompeo’s words (spoken in private let’s not forget) lightly.

It’s also interesting to look at how the WaPo frames the revelation. There’s no sense of outrage or surprise there. In fact it’s an almost matter-of-fact piece, written with no awareness of its potential impact. Even those in the comments who object in some form are mostly doing it within the permissible current language of dissent – blaming Trump, because in these identity politics-saturated times, your morality resides in who or what you are NOT in what you do.

To the WaPo – and many of its readers – there’s nothing intrinsically either wrong or surprising in the idea a US secretary of state should be overtly promising to interfere in the democratic governance of another country.

It’s just what they do when they need to.

Catte Black is an OffGuardian co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The lessons of Chernobyl: It’s the West that now needs Glasnost

By Neil Clark | RT | June 10, 2019

The much-acclaimed series ‘Chernobyl’ tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster and the authorities’ attempts to play it down. Ironically, 33 years on, it’s Western leaders who need to learn how to be honest and transparent.

It was the accident which some think led directly to the fall of communism. “Reformers in the Soviet Union, and Mikhail Gorbachev himself, used Chernobyl as an argument for more accountability and greater frankness, because the initial reaction of the Soviet authorities was anything but transparent. It became a symbol of what was wrong with the Soviet system,” says Professor Archie Brown, author of ‘The Rise and Fall of Communism’, as cited in yesterday’s Sunday Express newspaper.

Just three-and-a-half years after Chernobyl, the Berlin Wall came down, and in 1991, the USSR itself ceased to exist.

Western ideologues were quick to gloat, saying that a system which kept telling people lies and trying to cover things up was always doomed to fail, but in terms of openness and telling the truth, are we really much better than the Soviet Union of the 1980s?

Consider the way a succession of illegal wars has been sold to the public. We were told in 2003 that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ which could be assembled and launched within 45 minutes. It was false, patently so, yet the Chilcot Report was only published 13 years later, and even now, no one has been prosecuted in relation to a war which led to the deaths of one million and the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

In 2011, we went to war again, against Libya. Once more, our politicians were less than honest with us. We were told that we had to bomb because Colonel Gaddafi was going to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi. Only five-and-a-half years later were we allowed to know the truth. In September 2016, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report held that “the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence… the Government failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element.”

Again, we were tricked into war. By ‘nice’ Western politicians, mark you, and not ‘lying’ Soviet ones. Once more, there’s been no accountability. Libya, a country which had the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa, was destroyed. It was a far worse disaster than Chernobyl, as indeed Iraq was. When will the HBO dramas on these catastrophes be screening?

It’s not just the illegal wars. There have been cover-ups of plenty of other things, too. Three years after Chernobyl, there was the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death. It was the worst disaster in British sporting history. To add insult to tragedy, the fans themselves were blamed. Rupert Murdoch’s Sun claimed on its front page that fans had urinated on policemen and picked the pockets of victims. It took nearly 30 years to get the record formally put right and achieve ‘Justice for the 96’ when a jury held that the fans were ‘unlawfully killed’. The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, which wants a public inquiry into the way striking miners in South Yorkshire were ‘brutalised’ by police in the so-called ‘Battle of Orgreave’ in 1984, are still waiting. In 2016, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there would be no inquiry.

Where’s the openness and transparency here?

Likewise with the cover-ups over suspected Establishment pedophiles and other high-up wrong-doers. We learnt only this year that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had, back in the 80s, personally protected a senior Conservative MP who allegedly had a “penchant for small boys.”

We don’t know whether a leading Soviet politician who was a child-abuser would have been prosecuted. Probably not. But we do know that in Britain in the 1980s, such cover-ups definitely occurred. And who really believes that’s still not the case today?

Bergson and Popper famously divided societies into ‘open’ and ‘closed’ ones, but Western ‘openness’ is not quite as ‘open’ as we’re led to believe. It does not extend to politicians frankly acknowledging the role that Western foreign policy has played in aiding, directly or indirectly, the very same terrorists who have gone on to target Western civilians. That’s a taboo subject, even after the Manchester Arena bombings and the bomber’s link to the MI5-‘sorted’ anti-Gaddafi LIFG, and the slaughter of tourists on the beach in Tunisia by a man who reportedly trained at an IS camp in neighboring ‘liberated’ Libya.

There are many more subjects too that are so taboo I dare not even mention them here. By contrast, dishonest or fact-lite narratives, such as ‘Russiagate’, or the one that holds that the UK Labour Party, an anti-racist party, is ‘awash with anti-Semitism’, hold sway. We CAN talk about these and indeed some commentators talk about little else.

It is the greatest of ironies that at the very same time that we are being told how HBO’s Chernobyl exposes the rottenness of the ‘closed’ Soviet system, a man who does believe in openness and transparency, a free press, and government accountability, is languishing in a maximum security prison in ‘open’ London, facing a possible extradition to the US and sentences of up to 175 years in jail. Julian Assange, whose only crime is wanting to show us what was behind the curtain, is no less persecuted than the Soviet dissidents about whom we heard an awful lot in the 1980s.

It’s been said that if you feud with someone long enough you end up being like them, or at least how you liked to portray them. When we think of the old Cold War and what’s going on today, that seems to have come true.

In its lack of transparency and openness, and the way in which lying has become the new normal, the West is now behaving the way the Soviet Union is supposed to have operated at the time of Chernobyl.

Who, I wonder, will be the equivalent of Mikhail Gorbachev to introduce some much-needed Western Glasnost?

June 10, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Film Review, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Zionists Call Up Heavy Artillery to Blast Disobedient UK Labour

But could it backfire?

Marie van der Zyl. Credit:Twitter)
By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | June 4, 2019

Zionist pressure groups are crowing with delight at the decision by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s to investigate anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl welcomed it. “In the past four years we have seen a large number of cases of anti-Semitism throughout the party from bottom to top. Despite the Jewish community demonstrating in their thousands outside Parliament, this has still not been addressed seriously by the party leadership.”

The Jewish leadership Council issued a statement on what it called the Labour Party’s unlawful discrimination against Jewish people. “We have drawn public attention over the last year to the leadership of the Party’s failure to address the anti-Jewish racism in the party. The fact that they have obfuscated, denied the problem and we have been accused of smears should be countered by today’s announcement by the EHRC. This is a very serious development.”

The EHRC for its part says it took the decision to investigate after receiving a number of complaints about allegations of anti-Semitism in the Party. The investigation will seek to determine:

  • whether unlawful acts have been committed by the Party and/or its employees and/or its agents, and
  • whether the Party has responded to complaints of unlawful acts in a lawful, efficient and effective manner

The terms of reference also state that the investigation will focus on “the Party’s response to a sample of complaints of alleged unlawful acts”.

In the course of the investigation, the Commission says it may have regard to the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s) working definition of anti-Semitism and associated examples “while recognizing it is a non-legally binding definition”.

So perhaps the complainers shouldn’t celebrate too soon.

Two ‘sample’ cases that I doubt will be investigated

Some readers may remember that I conducted my own investigation last year into a small sample of anti-Semitic cases that turned out to be utterly bogus. Two Scottish Labour politicians, both regional councilors, had been accused of anti-Semitic remarks and were languishing, paralyzed, under the cosh of the party’s blundering, slow-motion disciplinary regime.

In the first case Constituency party officials declared the councilor guilty and issued a press statement to that effect without waiting for him to be heard, hugely prejudicing any inquiry. His Council leader publicly called on him to resign as a councilor, saying his thinking belonged to the Dark Ages: “To smear an entire community both past and present, to say he has lost ‘all empathy’ for them is utterly deplorable,” he told the press.

What was the ‘crime’? The councilor had tweeted: “For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering. No longer, due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long-suffering people of Britain…”

The other councilor was accused of anti-Semitism by a former Labour MP who, in 2015, wrote to the Culture Secretary urging a debate to ban Hitler’s Mein Kampf, a best seller, and claiming many would argue that it is “too offensive to be made available”. He suggested there was “a compelling case for a national debate on whether there should be limits on the freedom of expression”.

A Tory MP then put the boot in, telling the media it was clear to the vast majority of people that the councilor in question was no longer fit to hold office and suspension didn’t go far enough.

What exactly was this councilors‘ crime’? She’d had the audacity to voice suspicion on social media that Israeli spies might be plotting to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader after three Jewish newspapers ganged up to publish a joint front page warning that a Corbyn-led government would pose an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country”.

She added that if it was a Mossad assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour Government (which would be pledged to recognize Palestine) it amounted to an unwarranted interference in our democracy. For good measure she said Israel was a racist State and since the Palestinians are also Semites, an anti-Semitic State too.

Everyone and his dog, including the entire Labour Party and the Zionist movement, surely knew that in January 2017 a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, had plotted with stooges among British MPs and other maggots in the political woodwork to “take down” senior government figures including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan. And that Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s former chief spokesman and the mastermind behind Israel’s hasbara program of disinformation and dirty tricks, had recently arrived in London as the new ambassador.

Masot was almost certainly a Mossad asset. His hostile activities were revealed not by Britain’s own security services and media, as one would have wished, but an Al Jazeera undercover news team. Her Majesty’s Government’s response? “The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed.” But not everyone considered it closed and at a Labour Party conference fringe meeting Israel insider Miko Peled warned that “they are going to pull all the stops, they are going to smear, they are going to try anything they can to stop Corbyn…. the reason anti-Semitism is used is because they [the Israelis] have no argument….”

As for the councilor’s claim that Israel is a racist State, its discriminatory laws, ethnic cleansing and other brutal policies over 70 years make it obvious. And its new Nation State laws reinforce the fact. The councilor’s point about Semitism is also fair comment. DNA research shows that only a tiny proportion of Jews are Semitic (see for example the Johns Hopkins University study published by Oxford University Press) whereas most indigenous Arabs in the Holy Land, especially Palestinians, are Semites. ‘Anti-Semitism’, although meant to describe hatred of Jews, is a term that’s misused.

And what happens to the false accusers?

Remember the Tory MP who said the councillor wasn’t fit to hold office and suspension wasn’t good enough?  It turned out that he was chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews which is funded, supported and administered by the Board of Deputies who were, and still are, a major player in the campaign to humiliate Jeremy Corbyn and weaken the Labour Party. I don’t suppose the Conservative Party took disciplinary action against him.

Both Scottish Labour councilors were suspended for months without a hearing and the accusations against them paraded in public, seriously disrupting performance of their duties and their work on behalf of their constituents. One of them had to wait 16 weeks ‘under sentence’ and posted on Facebook: “I can’t make any decisions about my personal, political, or professional future whilst this hangs over me. I am constantly tired and anxious, and feel I am making mistakes. I have lost paid work because of what has happened.”

In these two cases a simple, informal assessment at the outset would have shown no need for formal action. Councilors don’t ‘belong’ to the Labour Party or any other party; if they belong to anybody it’s the public who elect them as their representative. Their right to free expression is guaranteed by international convention and domestic law. Labour (and the other parties) ought to heed the warnings by top legal opinion (for example Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sir Stephen Sedley) that the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is “most unsatisfactory” and has no legal force, and using it to punish could be unlawful.

When a suspension is lifted the Labour Party rarely issues a statement exonerating the wrongly accused. They are left struggling to re-establish their good name. The accuser, often motivated by political or racial malice or plain ignorance, gets off scot-free after causing untold damage and isn’t even disciplined.

Why, in the first place, take allegations of anti-Semitism seriously from bully-boys who themselves practice or support racism? And why suspend someone without first checking whether the allegations, on the face of it, are remotely valid?

There are within Labour’s ranks some who say idiotic things about Jews, gratuitously insulting them to the detriment of the campaign for justice in the Holy Land. Their remarks are so stupidly provocative that one suspects those making them are Zionist plants. OK, anti-semitic feeling is often brought on by Israel’s endless crimes and brutality. But what is the point of bringing up Hitler and the Holocaust when Israel is the perpetrator of more war crimes and other breaches of international law and human decency than you can shake a stick at?

The investigation needs to happen. I don’t suppose the two cases I looked at will be included in the EHRC’s ‘sample’. Nevertheless, the Labour Party must get its act together if only to protect the free-thinking innocent. This investigation may force it to.

A piece of good news – maybe – for those under Zionist bombardment is the launch of a new campaign group, Labour Against Zionist Islamophobic Racism (LAZIR), which aims to build a network of Labour activists who will work to “kick Zionism out of the British Labour Party” and to “stop the creeping Zionism that pollutes politics in the UK”.

While insisting they are not anti-Jewish they intend working against “the toxic Jewish Labour Movement” in a campaign to allow anyone to decry apartheid in Israel without being branded anti-Semites.

They set out 7 policies which, at this early stage, are perhaps best regarded as work in progress.

June 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 3 Comments

The New York Times Tries to Get Itself Out of the Duckgate Hole Using a Spade

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | June 5, 2019

A number of people, including myself, wrote to the New York Times journalist, Julian Barnes, to point out that the piece he and his colleague, Adam Goldman, published on 16th April 2019 about the CIA Director, Gina Haspel, contained a part which unwittingly showed that she had misled President Trump into expelling 60 Russian diplomats in March 2018. Here were the paragraphs of interest:

“During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the “strong option” was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack.

Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

Ms. Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.

The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.”

I pointed out to the authors in an (unanswered) email that this was an extraordinary claim, because no children became sick due to poisoning by a toxic chemical, and nor did any ducks die. And so unless they were prepared to correct or retract their piece, there could only be two possibilities:

  1. Ms Haspel unwittingly showed false images to no less a person than the President of the United States, supplied to her by the British Government who knew them to be false, which persuaded him to embrace the “strong option”.
  2. Ms Haspel knowingly showed false images to no less a person than the President of the United States, which persuaded him to embrace the “strong option”.

It seems that the two journalists have not ignored mine and the many other emails they received about this issue, and they have today corrected their story. The paragraphs of interest now read as follows:

“During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the “strong option” was to expel 60 diplomats.

To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel tried to demonstrate the dangers of using a nerve agent like Novichok in a populated area. Ms. Haspel showed pictures from other nerve agent attacks that showed their effects on people.

The British government had told Trump administration officials about early intelligence reports that said children were sickened and ducks were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.

The information was based on early reporting, and Trump administration officials had requested more details about the children and ducks, a person familiar with the intelligence said, though Ms. Haspel did not present that information to the president. After this article was published, local health officials in Britain said that no children were harmed.

Ms. Haspel was not the first to use emotional appeals to the president. She and Mr. Pompeo showed Mr. Trump images of children sickened by chemical weapons attacks in Syria, in an earlier presentation. But Ms. Haspel’s strategy in the March briefing was to pair emotional appeals with her hard-nosed realism and it proved effective. At the end of the briefing, Mr. Trump embraced the strong option. [my emphasis]”

Below is Mr Barnes’s explanation on Twitter for the error and the correction:

“I made a significant error in my April 16 profile of Gina Haspel. It took a while to figure out where I went wrong. Initially, I reported that in March 2018, Gina Haspel, then the future CIA director, briefed President Trump about the Skirpal nerve agent attack, showing pictures of sickened children and dead ducks. That was wrong. There are—so far as we know—no pictures of dead ducks or sickened kids. Haspel did show pictures to Trump, but they were about the effects of nerve agents in general, they were not specific to the attack in the UK.

British officials did brief the Trump administration about early reports of dead ducks & sick children. Officials sought more info, believing such intel would be persuasive to Trump, who was skeptical of the proposed expulsion of 60 Russians in response to the attack. But Haspel did not brief the president on that intelligence.

Local UK health officials deny that any animals or children were sickened, as British officials pointed out soon after our story published. (In response to good reporting by @haynesdeborah, @guardian and others.) (link: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/18/no-children-ducks-harmed-novichok-attack-wiltshire-health-officials)

The intelligence about the ducks and children were based on an early intelligence report, according to people familiar with the matter. The intelligence was presented to the US in an effort to share all that was known, not to deceive the Trump administration. This correction was delayed because conducting the research to figure out what I got wrong, how I got it wrong and what was the correct information took time.

I regret the error and offer my apology. I strive to get information right the first time. That is what subscribers pay for. But when I get something wrong, I fix it.”

Here is my response on Twitter to Mr Barnes:

Dear Julian,

Thanks for taking the time to correct your report. However, it unfortunately raises just as many questions as the initial report.

Firstly, you say British officials briefed the Trump administration about early reports of dead ducks & sick children.

Really? Which early reports were these? There were none. The parents of the children who had tests to see if they had been contaminated were only contacted 2 weeks after the incident, and none of them was found to be ill. This is the first report on it, and it confirms the children were given the all clear. And there were never any dead ducks in Salisbury nor any reports of them.

Secondly, you say that “Officials sought more info, believing such intel would be persuasive to Trump, who was skeptical of the proposed expulsion of 60 Russians in response to the attack.” But the fact is that any further (truthful) info could not have persuaded Mr Trump, for the simple reason that no other people were harmed in Salisbury than the three people who were initially harmed. How, then, was he persuaded?

Thirdly, you presumably give the answer to the second point, when you say “Haspel did show pictures to Trump, but they were about the effects of nerve agents in general, they were not specific to the attack in the UK.” So in other words, Ms Haspel couldn’t show any pictures from Salisbury to persuade the sceptical Mr Trump, because there weren’t any to show. So she showed him pictures from other nerve agent attacks, which were presumably sufficiently bad to turn him from his scepticism, to expelling 60 diplomats. Even though nothing like that happened in Salisbury.

Thank you for clarifying that Ms Haspel did indeed wilfully mislead the President.”

Despite NYT’s correction, the question it poses is this: Which is worse:

  • The deputy director of the CIA showing a sceptical President some fake pictures of dead ducks and sick children to persuade him to take the strongest action?
  • Or the deputy director of the CIA, knowing full well that there weren’t any pictures of the effects of nerve agent on the population of Salisbury because only three people were ever affected, showing some pictures of actual nerve agent victims who were never anywhere near Salisbury to persuade him to take the strongest action?

The answer is they’re both as bad. In both scenarios, an utterly false picture of what happened in Salisbury was given to the sceptical President to twist his arm into taking action he didn’t want to take.

As they say, when in a hole, better stop digging.

June 5, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

The Apparently Irresistible Cry of Anti Semitism

By Eve Mykytyn | June 3, 2019

What does it take to force a university to act contrary to the principles of free expression that are at the core of academic freedom? If the story of Dr. Maaruf Ali is representative, then the answer is: not much. In the 25-30 news stories I read in preparing this summary, each article repeated the characterization of Dr. Ali’s posts as anti Semitic and none offered any counter interpretation. It seems no institution offered support to Dr. Ali. Not a union, nor a political party nor the university itself.

Dr. Ali’s problems at The  University of Essex began with a vote the student union held in February over whether to authorize a proposed new Jewish student society, a branch of the Union of Jewish Students. The UJS is frankly Zionist and political, offering on its website as its ‘core values:’ 1.) cross communalism defined as “open to all Jewish students regardless of political or religious affiliation or denomination. 2.) Peer-leadership 3.) Representation: “… Jewish students should have their voices heard both locally and nationally.” And, 4.) Engagement with Israel. “… to strengthen, celebrate and explore a personal relationship with Israel as part of an evolving expression of Jewish identity.”

The few students who bothered to vote on the issue voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new society. 200 students out of the 600 who voted (the University of Essex boasts over 15,000 students) voted against the society. None of the news outlets that covered this story mentioned that very few students cared to participate, exaggerating the importance of the issue at the University. Apparently panicked by this lopsided vote in its favor, the student union cancelled the vote and authorized the society’s immediate creation.

Histrionics prevailed in the Jewish press and among the UK’s Jewish advocates.  Following the vote, the national Union of Jewish Students said the fact that so many people were against the ratification of the society was “simply shocking.”  Apparently not constrained by facts, Amanda Bowman, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “This is racism, pure and simple. Those students who voted to exclude Jewish students should hang their heads in shame.” Of course, 200 students voted against a society, there was no vote to exclude Jewish students.

Luckily for those seeking to extract revenge for the elusive sin of anti Semitism, they had an object for their wrath in University lecturer, Dr. Maaruf Ali. Ali opposed the society and shared a number of posts alleging that “the Zionists next want to create a society here at our University.” This quote was widely circulated as evidence of his anti Semitism although UJS is an openly Zionist organization.

In support of his opinion Ali posted that: “50,000 Jews protest[ed] Israel” in New York, but that there was a “total mainstream media blackout by the Zionist mafia.” There indeed was such a protest in New York,  and it was only lightly covered in the media.

Ali wrote that Israel planned to expel 36,000 Palestinians from the Negev. In fact, Israel was expelling 36,000 Palestinian Bedouins from the Negev, and his point was correct.

Then Ali shared a claim from smoloko.com that a French police officer allegedly killed in terror attacks in Paris was actually a Mossad agent. I couldn’t verify this claim, but there are many such theories about the 2015 attacks See.

Dr. Ali also shared the following post from Edgar Steele, an Idaho lawyer who defended members of the Aryan nation.

Hello, World!

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 2 Comments

Regime Change in Iran: Been There, Done That

By Philip Giraldi | American Free Press | May 27, 2019

The failed coup attempt in Caracas in early May brings to mind the techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British intelligence in Iran in 1953 to overthrow the Mohammad Mossadeq government. It is quite astonishing how that regime-change long-ago operation parallels what is currently taking place in Venezuela and also with regards to Iran yet again.

Mossadeq was the democratically elected prime minister of Iran beginning in 1951, serving in a government in which the Shah with limited authority was the head of state presiding over a parliamentary system. Iran was nominally independent at the time, but it was heavily influenced by the neighboring Soviet Union, which retained control over several Iranian provinces after the Second World War ended, and Great Britain, which exploited the country’s oil resources through the mechanism of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), which was owned by the British government. When Mossadeq, frustrated by lack of progress in negotiations with the British over sharing of oil revenues, eventually declared that he would nationalize the AIOC, London and Washington conspired to remove him.

The new National Iranian Oil Company was immediately attacked by the British, who used the Royal Navy to block export of oil from Iran’s Abadan refinery. Ships carrying Iranian oil were stopped and boarded with their shipments confiscated as “stolen property” in light of the British government’s former ownership claim on the AIOC.

By mid-1952, Britain’s blockade of Iranian oil exports had badly hurt the Iranian economy, which eventually led to government bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the American CIA, which was initially ambivalent about what the proper role in the Anglo-Iranian conflict might be, joined British agents in supporting groups inside Iran that were hostile to Mossadeq. In the Majlis parliamentary election in the spring of 1952, Mossadeq faced serious opposition funded by the Anglo-Americans, and the election eventually was suspended. By early 1953, pro-communist and pro-Shah mobs supported and coordinated by the U.S. and Britain roamed the streets, sometimes fighting each other. Fearing a communist takeover and also under pressure from London, which was threatening to withdraw from the Korean War as a quid pro quo, President Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed to carry out a joint coup d’état.

Losing popular support due to a sinking economy, as early as August 1952 a struggling Mossadeq began ruling by emergency powers and started to jail opponents, which only aggravated the crisis. A rigged referendum to dissolve parliament and grant Mossadeq authority to govern by decree passed with 99.9% approval but led to accusations that the prime minister was seeking “total and dictatorial power.” The New York Times reported, “A plebiscite more fantastic and farcical than any ever held under Hitler or Stalin is now being staged in Iran by Premier Mossadeq in an effort to make himself unchallenged dictator of the country.” The move by Mossadeq also led to the first coup attempt, which was organized by the CIA.

On Aug. 15, 1953, Col. Nemathollah Nassiri, the commander of the Shah’s Imperial Guard, delivered to Mossadeq a decree from the Shah dismissing him. Mossadeq, who had been warned of the plot, had Nassiri arrested, and the Shah and his family fled into exile in Italy. The first coup thus ended with a whimper, but it was lessons learned for the second, better organized successful attempt which followed a few days later, Operation Ajax, coordinated by Kermit Roosevelt of the CIA.

Exploiting pro-Shah sentiment in the military, the CIA and the British turned to their stables of recruited army officers while also exploiting agents infiltrated into the communist party Tudeh, which rose to the occasion by launching mass demonstrations, to include looting and arson, which quickly alienated the public and also provided a pretext for Western support of the coup as it could be promoted as “anti-communist.” Efforts were also made to turn influential clerics against Mossadeq. The Iranian people blamed the government for all their woes and rioting soon led to the calling out of the army to restore order. The army did so and then had Mossadeq arrested. He was condemned to death, but his sentence was later commuted to three years in solitary confinement followed by house arrest. He died in 1967.

End of story, but not quite. All the elements currently being used against Venezuela and Iran were there back in 1953 to bring down Mossadeq and also appear in a detailed 2018 Pentagon plan describing how to bring about a coup in Caracas. Wrecking the countries’ economies through sanctions and exclusion from the global banking network creates a crisis where one need not have existed. Meanwhile, a sustained campaign of vilification by Western political leaders and the media establishes the narrative that the benevolent intention is to block extremism and restore democracy while also eliminating a threat to the United States. And, as a last resort, the threat or actual use of force to stop the export of commodities to further wreck the economy becomes a clearly stated policy option, currently also employing secondary sanctions for anyone who dares to trade with the designated victim. Recently, America’s unilaterally imposed global ban on the export and sale of Iranian oil began. Venezuela’s oil sales are also being blocked and even its electricity grid is being attacked in an attempt to starve the Venezuelan people into rebelling against their government.

But you also have to have spies, secret agents, to get the ball rolling, just as was true in 1953. One assumes that the CIA has been active in recruiting the agents of influence inside Venezuelan political opposition as well as military circles who will bring out increasingly larger mobs as the situation continues to deteriorate. How successful they have been is difficult to determine, but Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido failed the first time around, reportedly because the Venezuelan government was aware of what was happening and the contacts that the CIA was relying on to bring out the army were in fact double agents.

The suffering Iranian and Venezuelan people have yet to rise up in revolt. No matter. It took more than one try to bring down Mossadeq, and National Security Advisor John Bolton has recently warned Iran that its government won’t have any more anniversaries to celebrate if it continues with its “threats.” The Trump administration is also reported to be preparing military options for dealing with Venezuela.

Bolton has even warned the Russians, who are assisting Venezuela’s government: “This is our hemisphere. It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering. This is a mistake on their part.”  He is seemingly unaware of the irony, that the Russians might make the same claim about Eurasia and the Iranians regarding the Persian Gulf, where Bolton and his neocon friends in Washington have been the source of nearly continuous conflict.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Chernobyl’ is a blast of a TV series – but don’t call it ‘authentic’

Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgard in Chernobyl ©  Liam Daniel/HBO
By Igor Ogorodnev | RT | June 2, 2019

Building film sets out of old Soviet buildings is easier than understanding the people who inhabited them – and the hit HBO show doesn’t grasp either why the nuclear accident was allowed to happen, nor the heroism that followed.

Authenticity is not an essential virtue even for a docudrama, but it has been one of the main selling points of Chernobyl, the five-part mini-series that is currently the highest-ever rated TV program on film database IMDB.

Now, my qualms aren’t with the factual inaccuracies, the creation of Emily Watson’s fictional female scientist in place of the thousands of women actually involved, or the squeezing of such a grand-scale, multi-faceted story into what is, for the most part, a disaster film with two leads.

All of this artistic license could have been acceptable if only a higher truth had been preserved. But Chernobyl is fundamentally phony.

Because for all his strengths as a dramatist and thousands of hours of earnest research, New Yorker Craig Mazin, who wrote and produced the show, does not have an accurate mental picture of Soviet society on the edge of Perestroika.

And this is important. The reason Chernobyl struck the USSR so deeply wasn’t just the invisible terror of radiation, but how every stage of the catastrophe – from the flawed reactor design, to its shoddy construction, the carelessness and obstinacy of its staff, the cover-up afterwards, and the human cost – perfectly embodied the pathological deficiencies of a soon-to-collapse Communist order. April 26, 1986 was a systemic disaster, the harbinger of seismic change.

But there are no Soviet people in Chernobyl – and I am not talking about the British accents.

Mazin’s party officials are more like sullen gangsters protecting their own patch – they bully, shout, laugh ostentatiously, and bang their fists on the table. Stellan Skarsgard’s senior cabinet minister threatens to throw Jared Harris’s renowned academic off a helicopter, then to shoot him, but the conversation is as implausible as it would be if it were shown between Vice President George H.W. Bush and physicist Richard Feynman, to pick two contemporaries.

In real life, it was a disaster of consummate elite bureaucrats, who spoke to each other in a mix of déclassé party jargon and that matter-of-fact Russian frankness. The shortcomings of these people, almost all of whom thought they were doing the right thing, was not cartoonish villainy – but a callous sense of careerist self-preservation, a distancing from human suffering, wrong priorities, and an unwillingness to challenge the system. And in skilful hands the chilliness of the Soviet apparatchik could have been every bit as sinister and tragic as the scenery-chewing on display.

Similarly, the ordinary Russians tasked with the dirty and dangerous jobs are shown either as patriotic naïfs stirred by speeches, or independent-minded salt-of-the-earth types. But it was neither one nor the other. Other than the very first firefighters, the hundreds of thousands of Soviets involved in the clean-up were broadly aware of the risks they faced, but they went along anyway. Many went with fear, others with a sense of duty, but most complied simply because they lived in a totalitarian state, in which if the government tells you to do something, you do it. The most jarring scene is a Soviet minister bargaining with coal miners at gunpoint to persuade them to dig a tunnel under Chernobyl. Moscow mandarins did not negotiate with those 10 rungs below them – they sent down orders and didn’t need bullets to enforce them.

Once again there is drama in the get-on-with-it heroism of people who were thrown at the problem like faceless numbers, but it requires a more sensitive approach.

These elements of Soviet life may seem like the background to the central human stories, but in fact they dictated how each scene shown in Chernobyl unfolded in real life. And although occasionally the show hits upon the right note, perhaps when it sticks closest to a verbatim recreation, it does not seem to realize it. Most of the time, those involved act wrong on the wrong motivations, talk about the wrong things, and say them in the wrong order with an alien cadence that is more than just a different language.

Like an English upper class drama, staged by an Italian who grew up in his own culture and doesn’t speak the language, starring Italian actors, the whole thing feels off, ersatz. The mostly convincing sets show up the inauthenticity of the content.

This is not about defending my own cultural turf. Foreigners have every right to write about Chernobyl, and post-Soviet filmmakers are welcome to try and show that they remember the era better themselves through their own conflicted legacies and agendas.

But a caution: you are not REALLY learning about the Soviet Union or Russia or Ukraine from Chernobyl. And if you do want to dig through the testimonies and videos and books, there exists for you a story that is no less harrowing, but perhaps deeper and more involving.

Igor Ogorodnev is a Russian-British journalist, who has worked at RT since 2007 as a correspondent, editor and writer.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Film Review | | Leave a comment

The Incredible Disappearance of Shai Masot

By Craig Murray | June 2, 2019

A Google news search reveals that not one single mainstream media outlet has mentioned Shai Masot in 2019. Not even once.

Yet the main political news story the last two days has been the suspension of Labour’s Peter Willsman for “anti-semitism” for making the suggestion that the “anti-semitism” witch-hunt is promoted by the Israeli-Embassy. This has been demonstrably a massive story:

The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands who will read this article know who Shai Masot is and know why his activities are absolutely central to the Willsman story.

And here is the truly terrifying thing.

The overwhelming majority of the mainstream media “journalists” who produced those scores of stories about Willsman also know exactly who Shai Masot is and why his activities are central to the Willsman narrative. And every single one of those journalists chose to self-censor the crucial information that casts a shade over the “Willsman is an anti-semite” line. Every single one. Their self-censorship is not necessarily a conscious and singular act, though in many cases it will be. They are simply imbued with the line they are supposed to adopt, the facts they are supposed to ignore, to forward their career and remain accepted in their social group.

Because the plain truth is that the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby (part 1 below) showed to the entire political world that Mr Willsman’s thesis about the involvement of the Israeli Embassy in British politics and its objectives is broadly true. It says something about the current dystopia that is the UK, that this truly shocking documentary did not result in any official action against Joan Ryan (who has thankfully since hurtled herself into the political abyss), but that pointing out the undeniable truth about Israeli Embassy interference in British politics is an expulsion offence.

I should be very happy to go on the BBC and say this and so would many other people. Yet the mainstream media have been unable to quote this point of view from a single person. Yesterday’s 12 noon news on the BBC had Willsman as the top story with interviews with first Charlie Falconer, calling for Mr Willsman’s expulsion, then a six minute live rant from extreme zionist John Mann, calling for Mr Willsman’s expulsion. There was no attempt to balance this at all with a remotely sane guest. To be fair, the presenter did baulk at some of Mr Mann’s more frothy mouthed utterances, but the BBC knew precisely what they would get when they invited him, and the decision to have a major news item with only two intervewees, both from the same side of the argument, was a quite deliberate one.

This was a much worse example of lack of balance than those for which Russia Today is routinely censured by Ofcom and threatened with closure. But doubtless as it was a pro-Israel and anti-Corbyn lack of balance (Corbyn was condemned by both interviewees) Ofcom will take no action whatsoever. I am however putting in a complaint to Ofcom about this specific news item and I urge you to do the same.

Al Jazeera’s exposure of Shai Masot led to his quietly being removed from the UK, however he was but the tip of the iceberg. With my FCO inside knowledge I could show that the Israeli Embassy has an extraordinary and disproportionate number of “technical and administrative staff” like Masot, and that there was a mystery over what kind of visa he had to live in the UK. The FCO refused to answer my questions and no mainstream media “journalist” was willing to pursue the case.

The readership of this blog has grown fast over the last two years. I therefore do recommend that you read this blog post which ties in Masot’s activities to the Mossad collaboration of Liam Fox and Adam Werritty – which was the real story behind the Werritty scandal, again completely hidden by the mainstream media. I should mark my debt to the late Paul Flynn MP in helping me prove that fact beyond dispute, as you will see if you read the article. Not one of the media and political hypocrites who so recently eulogised Paul was willing to support him in this or even mention the facts that he had winkled out. Jeremy Corbyn also helped me expose the Werritty/Israel links in his pre-leadership days by asking parliamentary questions.

I do blame Jeremy for not taking a more robust line. Genuine anti-semitism should always be called out and condemned, and it plainly exists, even in the Labour Party. But the open attempt to stifle all criticism of Israel, and in effect to make adherence to Zionism a pre-condition for membership of the Labour Party – or indeed acceptance in wider society – is a vicious form of authoritarianism that should have been repudiated robustly from day one.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

A Robust Message from Palestine’s Foreign Minister and an Attempt at Israeli Propaganda from BBC Israeli Hasbara Asset Raffi Berg

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Al-Maliki, talking in Catham House, London, May 2019
By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | May 29, 2019

Chatham House, the international affairs think-tank in London, recently invited Dr Riad Malki, Palestine’s minister of foreign affairs, to talk about the future of Palestine ahead of the “Deal of the century” dreamed up by the Trump administration. Malki is involved in shaping the Palestinian response to that initiative when it is finally revealed.

During questions Raffi Berg (pictured at right), editor of the BBC News website’s Middle East section, said that while the official Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) position is for two states as the solution to the conflict, he mischievously suggested that the recent Israel election results showed that Israelis consider the Palestinians’ position to be “insincere”. He asked: “Can you make clear whether you fully accept the presence of Israel as a country in the Middle East within/outside [indistinct] the 1967 ceasefire line?”

This sounded a little off-key from the BBC, which is supposed to maintain an air of utter impartiality. However, Malki dealt with the unfriendly prod quite firmly:

We have made it very clear that we are going to accept, and we have taken the decision to accept, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, to accept the historic compromise that the state of Palestine will be established on the 22 per cent of historic Palestine. It is not only the Palestinian position, it is the position of almost every country around the world.

He reminded the audience that there is international consensus about the two-state solution and that the Palestinian state should be established on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem the capital of Palestine and of Israel. He continued:

We have also agreed in principle that we are ready during negotiations to talk about territorial exchange but always to keep the 1967 border as the border of the state of Palestine. So, we are not going to accept anything less than that.

If anyone talks about the State of Palestine on less than the 1967 border, or the State of Israel beyond that line, this is not acceptable because it defies not only the negotiating position but international law and the international consensus.

I recently wrote about Hanan Ashrawi, a long-time member of the PLO executive and an all-round formidable lady, saying we should see and hear more of her in a front line spokes role. The same goes for Raid Malki who is well informed and articulate and came across well at Chatham House. That they remain invisible to the Western world is the fault of the PLO and Palestinian Authority who are simply not media savvy and stubbornly intend to remain that way. Their embassies (or missions) around the globe are the same.

Malki was a one-time leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and has a PhD in civil engineering from the American University. His impressive CV includes Head of the Civil Engineering Department at Birzeit University, the European Peace Prize in 2000 in Copenhagen and the Italian Peace Prize (Lombardi) in 2005. He is a visiting professor at several European universities.

In his Chatham House speech Malki pulls no punches: “I know that some may be uncomfortable to hear the words ‘colonialism’ and ‘apartheid’ associated with Israel. But they are what we experience on a daily basis and what is visible to the naked eye.”

As for America, “the US administration has shown nothing but disregard for Palestinian rights and Palestinian lives, for international law and the internationally recognised terms of reference, and for common sense and decency”.

The Palestinian people, he insists, “want freedom not conditional liberty. They want sovereignty and not limited autonomy. They want peace and coexistence not domination and subjugation. He continued:

There are two ways to end the conflict: a peace accord or capitulation, meaning a surrender act. We continue to stand ready to negotiate the peace accords based on the internationally recognised terms of reference and the pre-1967 borders, under international monitoring holding accountable the parties and within a determined and binding timeframe. We will never be ready to sign a surrender act.

It is worth watching the video. Sparks are set to fly when Trump and Kushner eventually unveil their big deal.

I’m not a reader of the BBC News website. Long ago I came to distrust the BBC’s reporting of Middle East affairs, so I tend to ignore it. Berg’s line of questioning prompted me to look deeper and I found this piece from 2013 by Amena Saleem in Electronic Intifada titled “BBC editor urged colleagues to downplay Israel’s siege of Gaza”, in which she reports that Berg, during Israel’s eight-day assault on Gaza in November 2012 which killed nearly 200 Palestinians, emailed BBC staff to write more favourably about Israel. He urged them, allegedly, not to blame Israel for the prolonged onslaught but to promote the Israeli government line that the “offensive” was “aimed at ending rocket fire from Gaza”, despite the fact that it was Israel which broke the ceasefire.

In another email, he told them: “Please remember, Israel doesn’t maintain a blockade around Gaza. Egypt controls the southern border.” However, the United Nations regards Israel as the occupying power in Gaza and had called on Israel to end its siege, which is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860.

It is interesting to read that Berg’s boss until last year was James Harding, an ex-Murdoch editor and self-proclaimed Israel supporter – a strange choice for a supposedly non-partisan head of BBC News. Almost as strange as the appointment around the same time of ex-Labour minister and former Chairman of Labour Friends of Israel James Purnell as director of strategy at this beacon of impartiality. Purnell is still there.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment