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Sanctions on Iran, Others Facing Coronavirus Must Be Urgently Re-evaluated: UN

Al-Manar | March 25, 2020

The United Nations rights chief says any sanctions imposed on Iran, among other countries grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, should be “urgently re-evaluated” to support lives of millions of people worldwide.

“At this crucial time, both for global public health reasons, and to support the rights and lives of millions of people in these countries, sectoral sanctions should be eased or suspended,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement on Tuesday.

She warned, “In a context of global pandemic, impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us.”

She stressed the importance of giving broad and practical effect to humanitarian exemptions from sanctions measures “with prompt, flexible authorization for essential medical equipment and supplies.”

Bachelet pointed in particular to the case of Iran, one of the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic, and said the COVID-19 outbreak was also spreading to neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan.

She said even before the pandemic, human rights reports had repeatedly emphasized the impact of sectorial sanctions on Iran’s access to essential medicines and medical equipment, including respirators and protective gear for healthcare workers.

Nearly 500,000 people worldwide have been infected and over 17,000 have died of the viral disease, according to the latest tallies.

Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Tuesday that the number of coronavirus deaths had risen to 1,934 and the total infections to 24,811 during the past 24 hours.

“There have been 122 new deaths and 1,762 new infections since Sunday,” he said. Jahanpour further put the number of patients who have recovered from the viral disease at 8,913.

US President Donald Trump reinstated Washington’s sanctions on Iran in May 2018 after he unilaterally left the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and major world powers.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) — known as the World Court — has ordered the White House to lift the sanctions it has illegally re-imposed on humanitarian supplies to Iran.

The US claims the bans do not get in the way of food and medicine exports to Iran, but the Islamic Republic says Washington has been working to make problems for a Swiss humanitarian channel launched to enable the transfer of commodities to Iran.

In a phone conversation with Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the United States’ move to prevent the dispatch of medical and humanitarian aid and the facilitation of banking interactions to meet the Iranian people’s needs suffering from the deadly new coronavirus contravenes human and the United Nations regulations.

Rouhani said the US administration has intensified its cruel measures and sanctions against the Iranian people even under the current difficult conditions caused by the virus outbreak.

March 25, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

The UN’s Planet Saving Delusion

The UN couldn’t help Haiti recover from an earthquake. But it’s gonna rescue the planet.

This graphic accompanies the UNESCO editorial. Read it online here; download it here
By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | February 19, 2020

UNESCO is supposed to be about cultural preservation. Toward the end of last year, its in-house magazine nevertheless published a special issue on climate change. The official editorial employs the usual cliches. Catastrophic consequences. The “greatest global challenge of our times.” Blah, blah.

Hilariously, this editorial implies that, without a UN plan, the planet simply won’t survive. Earth to UNESCO: could we spend five minutes talking about how the UN has failed – tragically and comprehensively – to save Haiti?

That nation has less than 12 million people. It’s slightly smaller than the US state of Maryland. Because it comprises half of an island, its borders are well-defined. The UN has been a significant presence there since 2004, yet Haiti remains a basket case.

After a devastating earthquake struck in 2010, rebuilding was a huge job at which the UN was spectacularly inept. But that isn’t the half of it. UN peacekeepers then infected the already traumatized local population with cholera.

The peacekeepers were from Nepal, which had just experienced a cholera outbreak. The UN took no steps to ensure its personnel weren’t carrying the disease. Nor did it establish proper sanitation at their encampment. Untreated sewage got dumped into the country’s most important river, contaminating water that was used for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

A news report from Haiti, October 2010:

This triggered the worst cholera epidemic of modern times, an epidemic Haitian doctors were ill-equipped to combat since the disease had never been recorded there before.

The 10,000 deaths and decade of sickness that followed is a UN-caused calamity. But when Ban Ki-moon finally got around to apologizing for how the situation had been handled, six years after the epidemic began, he failed to take full responsibility. The UN, you see, is protected by diplomatic immunity. There’s a permanent get-of-jail-free-card in its back pocket. It can never be held truly accountable for the harm it inflicts.

Anyone who imagines the UN is capable of saving the entire planet needs to take a few days out of their life to read two books. The first is written by Jonathan Katz, the Associated Press journalist stationed in Haiti when the earthquake occurred. It’s titled: The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.

The other is called Deadly River: Cholera and Cover-up in Post-Earthquake Haiti. It tells the story of Renaud Piarroux, a French physician who was called in to investigate. Written by his medical colleague, Ralph Frerichs, it shows the UN failing one moral test after another.

Rather than receiving cooperation and assistance, Piarroux, who had led efforts to stamp out cholera elsewhere, had to battle the UN itself.

It is standard procedure in such situations to identify the source of an outbreak as quickly as possible. In this instance, officials at several UN bodies – including the World Health Organization (WHO) – insisted there were more important considerations than assigning blame. Frerichs writes:

there was an active effort to suppress any search for the origin. [p. 34]

all international officials, with no exceptions, adopted the same position, exonerating [UN] soldiers. [p.66]

The [UN’s Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] maps continued to falsify where cholera began… [p. 70]

For years the UN, aided and abetted by certain prominent experts, tried to link the outbreak to climate change:

it became apparent that there was an active effort to obfuscate the role of the Nepalese UN peacekeepers, aided by those who believed that cholera originates from climatic or environmental changes… [p 108]

There was not a single piece of evidence to support the environmental hypothesis that [cholera] had been lying dormant and then…had been upset by the January 2010 earthquake. The outbreak had occurred nine months after the earthquake! [p. 137]

On January 6, the members of the ‘independent’ UN panel were announced… The panel members were… firmly tied to the environmental theory. [pp. 160-161]

At the end of its investigation, even the UN panel had to dismiss the environmental hypothesis… [p. 182]

Overall, the UN report was a whitewash that chose not to talk about the peacekeepers, yet criticized the victims. Here are a few more quotes from the book:

How could the supposedly independent UN panel have failed to identify the humans responsible for the… outbreak? [p. 189]

the panel did not hesitate to assign some blame to Haitians and to their local public health environment. [p. 190]

Details on the source [of the cholera] were also omitted from [a WHO publication] when the scientific facts were clearly known…WHO regulations have long stipulated that ‘all information available on the origin of infection’ must be reported. [p. 194]

The UN is a massive bureaucracy. Bureaucracies are never held accountable. They’re staffed by careerists who hop from assignment to assignment, avoiding the consequences of the decisions they make about other people’s lives.

When something goes wrong, the buck gets passed here, there, and everywhere. There’s little incentive for UN personnel to acknowledge their mistakes, never mind learn from them.

The world is comprised of doers and talkers. Haiti shows us that UN personnel are good at talking and writing reports. But they’re pathetic at getting anything done in the real world.

At ground zero of a terrible natural disaster, UN personnel made things worse rather than better. They then wasted precious time denying, stonewalling, and covering up the harm they’d inflicted.

February 21, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception | , | 1 Comment

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

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

By Jonathan Cook – The National – February 18, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press TV – February 12, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Afikim Public Transportation Ltd.

Airbnb Inc.

American Israeli Gas Corporation Ltd.

Amir Marketing and Investments in Agriculture Ltd.

Amos Hadar Properties and Investments Ltd.

Angel Bakeries

Archivists Ltd.

Ariel Properties Group

Ashtrom Industries Ltd.

Ashtrom Properties Ltd.

Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd.

Bank Hapoalim B.M.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M.

Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.

Beit Haarchiv Ltd.

Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication

Corp Ltd.

Booking.com B.V.

C Mer Industries Ltd.

Café Café Israel Ltd.

Caliber 3

Cellcom Israel Ltd.

Cherriessa Ltd.

Chish Nofei Israel Ltd.

Citadis Israel Ltd.

Comasco Ltd.

Darban Investments Ltd.

Delek Group Ltd.

Delta Israel

Dor Alon Energy in Israel 1988 Ltd.

Egis Rail

Egged, Israel Transportation Cooperative Society Ltd.

Energix Renewable Energies Ltd.

EPR Systems Ltd.

Extal Ltd.

Expedia Group Inc.

Field Produce Ltd.

Field Produce Marketing Ltd.

First International Bank of Israel Ltd.

Galshan Shvakim Ltd.

General Mills Israel Ltd.

Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers Cooperative Ltd.

Hot Mobile Ltd.

Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd.

Industrial Buildings Corporation Ltd.

Israel Discount Bank Ltd.

Israel Railways Corporation Ltd.

Italek Ltd.

JC Bamford Excavators Ltd.

Jerusalem Economy Ltd.

Kavim Public Transportation Ltd.

Lipski Installation and Sanitation Ltd.

Matrix IT Ltd.

Mayer Davidov Garages Ltd.

Mekorot Water Company Ltd.

Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd.

Merkavim Transportation Technologies Ltd.

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.

Modi’in Ezrachi Group Ltd.

Mordechai Aviv Taasiot Beniyah 1973 Ltd.

Motorola Solutions Israel Ltd.

Municipal Bank Ltd.

Naaman Group Ltd.

Nof Yam Security Ltd.

Ofertex Industries 1997 Ltd.

Opodo Ltd.

Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal Ltd.  

Partner Communications Company Ltd.

Paz Oil Company Ltd.

Pelegas Ltd.

Pelephone Communications Ltd.

Proffimat S.R. Ltd.

Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd.

Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing Communication Ltd.

Re/Max Israel

Shalgal Food Ltd.

Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd.

Shufersal Ltd.

Sonol Israel Ltd.

Superbus Ltd.

Tahal Group International B.V.

TripAdvisor Inc.

Twitoplast Ltd.

Unikowsky Maoz Ltd.

YES

Zakai Agricultural Know-how and inputs Ltd.

ZF Development and Construction

ZMH Hammermand Ltd.

Zorganika Ltd.

Zriha Hlavin Industries Ltd.

Alon Blue Square Israel Ltd.

Alstom S.A.

Altice Europe N.V.

Amnon Mesilot Ltd.

Ashtrom Group Ltd.

Booking Holdings Inc.

Brand Industries Ltd.

Delta Galil Industries Ltd.

eDreams ODIGEO S.A.

Egis S.A.

Electra Ltd.

Export Investment Company Ltd.

General Mills Inc.

Hadar Group

Hamat Group Ltd.

Indorama Ventures P.C.L.

Kardan N.V.

Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Co. Ltd.

Motorola Solutions Inc.

Natoon Group

Villar International Ltd.

Greenkote P.L.C.

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

Abbas is a mouthpiece for international impositions on Palestine

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | February 6, 2020

The Palestinian Authority has learned nothing from decades of futile UN Security Council Resolutions. Do the people of Palestine really need international consensus regarding the already very clear illegality of US President Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century?

Pushing on regardless, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is pursuing repetitive, useless and time-wasting options to give an impression of being engaged diplomatically with the international community and its impositions. While Abbas pleads at the UN to obtain another symbolic show of alleged international support, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon is lobbying the Security Council “to enlist their support for the joint US-Israeli action and to prevent support for any Palestinian declarations of protest.”

The draft resolution calls for a rejection of Trump’s deal and seeks yet another endorsement of the two-state compromise, despite the impossibility of its implementation. Abbas’s refusal to consider a unified Palestinian approach that encompasses all legitimate forms of resistance against Israeli colonisation makes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s job of presiding over the constant Israeli violations of international law and human rights easier. As long as the PA scrambles after the international community for a solution, the UN only has to regurgitate the same rhetoric about its two-state vision. Accountability in this regard is not applicable, as the PA and the UN know full well.

In what would now be perceived as a weak condemnation of Trump’s deal, Guterres cautioned against “actions that would erode the possibility of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state,” with reference to Israeli settlement expansion. However, the US-Israeli scheming goes beyond expansion to formal, rather than merely fact-on-the-ground annexation. The UN is, as usual, several strategic steps behind, so as not to run out of the plethora of violations to speak out against during opportune moments in which the Palestinian cause is exploited yet again.

If the US vetoes the resolution, which is certain, the PA is likely to get another round of passive support from the UN General Assembly. For Abbas, a show of votes might be enough to claim validity, yet again, for the two-state compromise, as opposed to Palestinians’ political rights. The truth, however, is that the international community has only supported rhetoric about Palestinian rights. Altering its trajectory now would spell disaster for the UN in terms of its own complicity in endorsing Israel’s colonisation of Palestine. Hence, the cautious warnings against settlement expansion while refusing to advocate in favour of decolonisation. Likewise, the UN will entertain Abbas and his overtures because the PA has proved that it squanders any potential for change.

Trump’s deal is the least of the international community’s concerns. Abbas is only accentuating his irrelevance with resolution gimmicks at the UN. Palestinians are voiceless at the UN primarily because of the UN’s protection of Israel, but also due to Abbas consolidating his role as spokesman for international demands and counter-narratives about what Palestinians want. A resolution confirming what is already known makes no difference to the political violence that Israel continues to inflict upon Palestinians. The PA should be turning towards its own people, as it should have done on previous occasions and refused, instead of wasting time at the UN for yet another opportunity to lament about delays.

February 6, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia’s UN Envoy Blasts ‘Deal of the Century’ Map Which Shows Golan Heights as Part of Israel

Sputnik – 30.01.2020

Israel took over part of Syria’s Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War, annexing the area in 1981. The UN denounced Tel Aviv’s decision as “null and void and without international legal effect.” Last March, Washington formally recognised the occupied area as Israeli territory. Damascus blasted the move and vowed to regain its lands someday.

The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vaily Nebenzya has called on the architects of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ Israeli-Palestinian peace plan to remember that the Golan Heights belong to Syria.

“Yesterday, Washington published its vision for a settlement in the Middle East. We could not help but notice that the maps included in the plan defined the Golan Heights as Israeli territory,” Nebenzya said, referring to a pair of maps tweeted out by President Trump showing the proposed Israeli and Palestinian states which clearly show the Golan Heights northeast of the Sea of Galilee as part of Israel.

“In this connection, we would like to remind the ‘geographer’ who created this map that we and Security Council Resolution 497 do not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan,” Nebenzya added.

“The Golan Heights are illegally occupied Syrian territory,” the ambassador stressed.

In 1981, after Tel Aviv moved to annex the occupied areas of the Golan Heights, the United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution saying that Israeli claims to the Golan Heights were “null and void and without international legal effect.” In 1982, 86 other countries in the General Assembly adopted a second resolution calling for a general boycott of Israel over its occupation of Syrian territory, but the US and its European allies rejected the initiative. Israel gained control of the Golan Heights in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, a brief conflict which took place in June 1967 which began when Israel launched preemptive airstrikes against an Arab coalition led by Egypt.

US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in March 2019 after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Dozens of countries including the US’s European allies rejected Washington’s change in position, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov characterised the decision as a “conscious, deliberate demonstration of lawlessness.”

Syria warned that it would never give up its claims to the Golan Heights territories, and indicated that it has the legal right to regain the Golan Heights by any means possible, alleging that force was “the only language which Israel understands.” Skirmishes have been reported in the area in the months since, with Israel occasionally reporting the destruction of projectiles launched from the Syrian side of the border, while Syrian air defences have reported the shootdown of Israeli missiles.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited ‘Deal of the Century’ Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The proposal envisions a two-state solution, recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and grants the Palestinian Authority several neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. It also offers the Palestinian side $50 billion in investments. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the proposal outright, telling Trump Jerusalem was “not for sale,” and vowing that the deal would “not go through” under his watch.

January 30, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

UN rejects US deal of the century

MEMO | January 29, 2020

The United Nations has rejected US President Donald Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ and reiterated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be solved based on UN resolutions and international law.

In a statement, a copy of which was sent to MEMO, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, said: “The position of the United Nations on the two-State solution has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat is bound.”

He added: “The United Nations remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis in resolving the conflict on the basis of United Nations resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements and realizing the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.”

It is worth noting that Trump has ignored the two-state solution adopted by the UN and the international community and proposed his own view of the two-state solution, which ignores the 1967 borders and has all of Jerusalem under full Israeli sovereignty.

January 29, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

US didn’t discuss ‘deal of century’ with Moscow, Russia’s UN envoy says

RT | January 28, 2020

The US did not hold consultations with Moscow on a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia has said.

“We were not consulted, we don’t know what this plan consists of,” he said in response to a question from a reporter.

Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon, meanwhile, said that his country was looking forward to the unveiling of the plan, TASS reported on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump previously announced that the White House would unveil a plan for peace in the Middle East on Tuesday.

January 28, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

No opposition from the international community as Israel alters the two-state paradigm

Israel forces Jerusalemite to demolish his home [Maannews]

Israel forces Jerusalemite to demolish his home [Maannews ]
By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | January 21, 2020

The EU is predicting an increase in Israeli demolitions of Palestinian dwellings and structures in the occupied West Bank, thus perpetuating the problem of displacement. Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has described the plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to Area C as “a real and immediate battle for the future of the Land of Israel.”

In 2019, Israel exceeded the statistics for demolitions and displacement in the previous year. Targeting EU-funded and Palestinian structures alike, the EUobserver stated that Israel had demolished 35 per cent more dwellings and displaced 95 per cent more Palestinians, when compared with 2018.

Despite this, the EU refrains from taking a stance against Israeli colonisation, even as it demands compensation from Israel for the damage to structures funded by the bloc. Last week, Israel demolished a Palestinian home and the foundations of a school in Al-Rifaiyya and Birin respectively.

Bennett’s simplistic justification for the colonisation of Area C attempted to downplay the international consensus. “We are not at the United Nations,” he declared.

Israel’s contempt for international law is well known. However, the ways in which the UN and the EU aid the Zionist state in its trajectory are cast aside. On Monday, the UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ursula Mueller, called for “continued commitment and consistent and sustained funding to help alleviate the challenges faced by Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”

Mueller’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territories and Tel Aviv illustrated the discrepancy which the UN persists in upholding. In the oPt, the UN official witnessed first-hand the deprivation which left Palestinian communities at risk of losing access to basic necessities, all as a direct result of Israel’s colonisation of their land. In Tel Aviv, however, Mueller “commended Israel on its contribution to global emergency relief efforts.”

In the same way that the UN isolates Palestinians politically, Mueller isolated Palestine from what she means by “global”. The prevailing trend of contributing to Israel’s humanitarian propaganda while refusing to hold it accountable for the decline in Palestinian rights is hypocritical, to say the least.

Bennett’s plans for Area C will increase the humanitarian impact for Palestinians and the financial responsibility will once again fall upon international actors which define Palestine solely through the lens of humanitarian aid.

This generalisation makes it easier to gloss over the human rights violations perpetrated by Israel through enforced military control, impediments to freedom of movement and additional forced displacement, the most recent being the demolition orders for 18 homes in Masafer Yatta.

It is clear that both the UN and the EU are unwilling to act upon their own statistics when it comes to protecting Palestinians and their land. Bennett’s announcement to create “nature reserves” — a frequent euphemism for land theft by the state — in Area C has also fallen on deaf ears, despite the implication of further appropriation of Palestinian territory. With the consequences of Bennett’s action in mind, which part of the two-state compromise is the international community pledging to protect at all costs, indeed to the exclusion of “plan B”?

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly refused to consider alternatives, if these come from Palestinians, of course. Israel’s altering of Palestine and the international two-state paradigm, once again, is absent from UN concerns, no doubt deliberately so. To put it another way, there is no international opposition to “plan B”, as long as Israel is its architect.

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Worst lie since fake claim sparked Iraq war? OPCW report behind Syria bombings was altered, whistleblower tells UNSC

RT | January 21, 2020

A former inspector with the OPCW has accused the chemical weapons watchdog of issuing a sanitized report on the alleged 2018 attack in Douma, Syria, arguing it ignored serious reservations of its own fact-finding team.

The OPCW’s final report on the Douma incident, released last March, omitted key findings of its own inspection team which would have cast serious doubt on whether a chemical attack took place at all, a now former OPCW specialist, Ian Henderson, told members of the United Nations Security Council in a recorded video address – after his visa application to attend the meeting in person was rejected.

“The findings in the final [Fact Finding Mission] report were contradictory, were a complete turnaround with what the team had understood collectively during and after the Douma deployments,” Henderson said.

Even though several members of the fact finding team “had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred” as early as July 2018, the organization’s final report – compiled by another group that never even visited the incident site – nonetheless concluded there were “reasonable grounds” to all but pin the blame for the attack on Damascus.

Sanitized of any dissenting opinion, the report ignored “findings, facts, information, data or analysis” gathered by the team in the areas of witness testimony, toxicology studies, chemical analysis, as well as ballistics, the retired inspector said.

Washington and its allies blamed the Syrian government for the Douma incident, with the US, France, and the UK launching joint strikes against Syria a week later, well before any official investigation could even start, and even delaying it. Western politicians and media claimed at the time – based purely on visual materials and witness accounts provided by the notorious White Helmets and other militant-linked sources – that the Syrian government forces had ‘highly likely’ dropped two poisonous gas cylinders, killing scores of civilians.

Henderson carried out a closer analysis of that pair of cylinders mysteriously found in a residential area of Douma. His ‘Engineering Assessment’ was initially leaked last May, laying out a number of hypotheses for how the cylinders wound up at the site in Douma. Most significantly, it noted a “higher probability” that they were “manually placed” instead of being “delivered from aircraft,” suggesting a party other than the Syrian government may have planted them there.

“In my case, I had followed up with a further six months of engineering and ballistics studies into the cylinders, the result of which had provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack.”

Subsequent WikiLeaks publications would reveal that a senior OPCW official ordered “all traces” of Henderson’s assessment to be scrubbed from its archives. But despite the internal battle undermining the OPCW’s credibility, Henderson insisted the dispute should not be a matter of “political debate,” urging for any discrepancies to be “properly resolved… through the rigors of science and engineering.”

The informal UNSC meeting to assess the situation and inconsistencies around the FMM’s report was convened at the request of Moscow on Monday. The US and its allies accused Russia of trying to “discredit the well-respected OPCW and its staff,” even though Moscow insists that the goal, on the contrary, was to restore trust in the organization.

“The chemical incident in Syrian Douma. Why is it so important? Because it was a justification of missile strikes by the US, France and the UK in April 2018, who immediately named the Syrian Government guilty,” said Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, who accused the US and allies of “crying wolf.”

“Since not so long… ago, some of our colleagues invented a new paradigm, the world of ‘highly likely’.”

Besides listening to Henderson’s testimony, the UNSC was addressed by Russia’s OPCW representative, Alexander Shulgin, and the chief of an NGO that had previously interviewed over 300 residents of Douma, shattering the official Western narrative.

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Deception, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny. Who Is Really in Charge of the U.S. Military?

By Cynthia Chung | Strategic Culture Foundation | January 19, 2020

“There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold.”

– William Shakespeare

Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by. The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person. The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen and undeniably an essential key figure in combating terrorism in Southwest Asia, was a terrible crime, an abhorrently repugnant provocation. It was meant to cause an apoplectic fervour, it was meant to make us who desire peace, lose our minds in indignation. And therefore, that is exactly what we should not do.

In order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation unfortunately causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of ‘official government statements’.

Thus, before we may find firm ground to stand on regarding the situation of today, we must first have an understanding as to what caused the United States to enter into an endless campaign of regime-change warfare after WWII, or as former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Prouty stated, three decades of the Indochina war.

An Internal Shifting of Chess Pieces in the Shadows

It is interesting timing that on Sept 2, 1945, the very day that WWII ended, Ho Chi Minh would announce the independence of Indochina. That on the very day that one of the most destructive wars to ever occur in history ended, another long war was declared at its doorstep. Churchill would announce his “Iron Curtain” against communism on March 5th, 1946, and there was no turning back at that point. The world had a mere 6 months to recover before it would be embroiled in another terrible war, except for the French, who would go to war against the Viet Minh opponents in French Indochina only days after WWII was over.

In a previous paper I wrote titled “On Churchill’s Sinews of Peace”, I went over a major re-organisation of the American government and its foreign intelligence bureau on the onset of Truman’s de facto presidency. Recall that there was an attempted military coup d’état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.

One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows. In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President’s principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.

In Col. Prouty’s book he states, “In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions, provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to “provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA” as an official function.

What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC’s policies.

An Inheritance of Secret Wars

There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” – Sun Tzu

On January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States. Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, he was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA.

JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon, they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict for what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years. Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration’s March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office.

This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election or judgement by the people. It shows the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President’s power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters.

Within three months into JFK’s term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17th to 20th 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and the land invasion was a calamitous failure and a decisive victory for Castro’s Cuba. It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed. That the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them. If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country and internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War.

What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro’s last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself. Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro’s last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro’s threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA’s plan for Cuba.

Kennedy’s order for the airstrike on Castro’s jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade’s B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua, Kennedy was not brought into this decision. In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was unbelievably out of the country on the day of the landings.

Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborates on this situation “Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an “air cover” position written into the official invasion plan… The “air cover” story that has been created is incorrect.

As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy’s telephone call to General Cabell (who was also CIA Deputy Director) that cancelled the President’s air strike order.

Kennedy had them.

Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA’s intervention into the President’s orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Prouty states, “When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy’s coffin.

If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell.

In Oct 1962, Kennedy was informed that Cuba had offensive Soviet missiles 90 miles from American shores. Soviet ships with more missiles were on their way towards Cuba but ended up turning around last minute. Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir.

NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released on Oct 11th, 1963, and outlined a policy decision “to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963” and further stated that “It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965.” The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY ’65. Kennedy was winning the game and the American people.

This was to be the final nail in Kennedy’s coffin.

Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d’état that it was and is. The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison’s book. And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie “JFK”)

Through the Looking Glass

On Nov. 26th 1963, a full four days after Kennedy’s murder, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 to begin the change of Kennedy’s policy under #263. And on March 4th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.

The Vietnam War, or more accurately the Indochina War, would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy’s death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans.

Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 74 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China. Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979.

It had been understood far in advance by the CIA and US military that the toppling of sovereignty in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran needed to occur before Russia and China could be taken over. Such war tactics were formulaic after 3 decades of counterinsurgency against the CIA fueled “communist-insurgency” of Indochina. This is how today’s terrorist-inspired insurgency functions, as a perfect CIA formula for an endless bloodbath.

Former CIA Deputy Director (2010-2013) Michael Morell, who was supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential election campaign and vehemently against the election of Trump, whom he claimed was being manipulated by Putin, said in a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to ‘pay the price’.

Therefore, when a drone stroke occurs assassinating an Iranian Maj. Gen., even if the U.S. President takes onus on it, I would not be so quick as to believe that that is necessarily the case, or the full story. Just as I would not take the statements of President Rouhani accepting responsibility for the Iranian military shooting down ‘by accident’ the Boeing 737-800 plane which contained 176 civilians, who were mostly Iranian, as something that can be relegated to criminal negligence, but rather that there is very likely something else going on here.

I would also not be quick to dismiss the timely release, or better described as leaked, draft letter from the US Command in Baghdad to the Iraqi government that suggests a removal of American forces from the country. Its timing certainly puts the President in a compromised situation. Though the decision to keep the American forces within Iraq or not is hardly a simple matter that the President alone can determine. In fact there is no reason why, after reviewing the case of JFK, we should think such a thing.

One could speculate that the President was set up, with the official designation of the IRGC as “terrorist” occurring in April 2019 by the US State Department, a decision that was strongly supported by both Bolton and Pompeo, who were both members of the NSC at the time. This made it legal for a US military drone strike to occur against Soleimani under the 2001 AUMF, where the US military can attack any armed group deemed to be a terrorist threat. Both Bolton and Pompeo made no secret that they were overjoyed by Soleimani’s assassination and Bolton went so far as to tweet “Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.” Bolton has also made it no secret that he is eager to testify against Trump in his possible impeachment trial.

Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently, but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points’ cadet motto is “You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”, his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.

Thus, it should be no surprise to anyone in the world at this point in history, that the CIA holds no allegiance to any country. And it can be hardly expected that a President, who is actively under attack from all sides within his own country, is in a position to hold the CIA accountable for its past and future crimes.

January 19, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

120 NAM member states protest US visa refusal to Iran’s Zarif

Press TV – January 11, 2020

The 120-member nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have strongly opposed Washington’s refusal to issue Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif a visa to attend an upcoming United Nations Security Council meeting.

The NAM countries voiced their opposition to the US move in a statement on Saturday by citing paragraph 24.6 of the final document adopted at their 18th summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, last April.

The document states that the US visa denial constitutes an outright violation of the terms of a 1947 UN Headquarters agreement which requires Washington to allow foreign officials into the country for UN affairs.

“The Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) strongly rejects the denial of the issuance of the entry visa by the Government of the United States to Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to attend the United Nations Security Council Meeting at the invitation of the current President of the Security Council scheduled for 9 January 2020 as a flagrant violation of the provisions of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement as well as international law,” the NAM said in the statement.

“The Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) calls upon all countries hosting United Nations and other international meetings to abide by their obligations to issue, without discrimination and undue delay, entry visas to member country delegations in accordance with the host country agreements,” it added.

Zarif earlier said US statesmen were vastly terrified of someone going to their country and conveying the truth to the American people.

The top Iranian diplomat explained that his ministry had “weeks ago” requested a visa to take part in the January 9 Security Council meeting on the importance of upholding the UN Charter, rejecting as false claims by American officials that they did not have time to process the application.

Zarif said the move was indicative of the moral bankruptcy of the US administration and President Donald Trump’s team.

The Security Council meeting would have given Zarif a global spotlight to publicly criticize the United States for assassinating General Qassem Soleimani, which has prompted an outpouring of public anger worldwide.

Zarif last traveled to New York in September for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations after the US imposed sanctions on him in August for what Iran called “great fear” of his eloquent delivery of the Iranian nation’s message to the world.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment