Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

UN official voices concern over Israel’s detention of rights defenders

WAFA | August 12, 2021

GENEVA – Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, expressed concern yesterday over arrests, harassment, criminalization and threats targeting human rights defenders by the Israeli occupation forces.

“Arrests and raids on the homes of Palestinian human right defenders [by Israeli occupation forces] form part of a wider crackdown against those defending the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” she said.

Lawlor was alarmed by the arbitrary arrest and detention of Farid Al-Atrash, a human rights defender and lawyer at the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR).

Mr. Al-Atrash was detained by Israeli military forces after peacefully participating in a demonstration in Bethlehem on 15 June and released on bail eight days later.

The rights expert also voiced concern over the forcible transfer of Palestinians living in the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods in Jerusalem.

“Muna Al-Kurd, Mohammed Al-Kurd and Zuhair Al Rajabi, human rights defenders at the forefront of protecting their communities against forced displacement, have been arrested and interrogated,” she said.

Another activist, Salah Hammouri, a Palestinian-French human rights defender and lawyer, is also at risk of having his permanent residency permit in Jerusalem revoked.

“I am shocked that members of the Health Work Committee, who provide health services to Palestinians living in remote areas of the West Bank, were arrested, interrogated and may be criminalised because of their human rights work,” Ms. Lawlor added.

Three Committee personnel are currently in prison. Director Shatha Odeh and former project coordinator, Juana Ruiz Sánchez, are being held in one facility, while accountant Tayseer Abu Sharbak, is in another. They are being tried on charges of participating in what has been described as “an illegal organisation”, said Ms.

Lawlor called on Israeli occupation authorities to immediately release them, and to investigate allegations of ill treatment against the two women rights defenders.

“The deteriorating health of Odeh and the solitary confinement of Sánchez are extremely worrying,” the UN expert said, noting that the rights defender, who has chronic underlying health conditions, had initially been denied access to necessary medication and clean clothes.

Lawlor underlined the importance of safeguarding Palestinian human rights defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially those who are protecting their communities’ rights to housing, healthcare and freedom of assembly and association.

“I call on the [Israeli] authorities to stop targeting these human rights defenders and allow them to carry out their legitimate and peaceful work free from any kind of restrictions,” she said.

August 13, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

‘They Make Unsubstantiated Accusations’: Venezuela Calls UN Report Fallacious

Orinoco Tribune | July 6, 2021

In a communiqué, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejected the fallacious content and highlighted the biased nature of a report published about the country’s situation by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on July 1, 2021.

This report is the result of a Resolution promoted by a small group of governments with serious domestic human rights violations, that conspired to satisfy the policy of “regime”-change promoted by the US against Venezuela.

Despite the attacks, Venezuela is distinguished by its harmonious constitutional system that guarantees and defends human rights. The state provides a protective shield for its people against the barbarous criminal blockade imposed and directed from Washington and the European Union, that constitutes a serious crime against humanity.

It is especially worrying that this report is based on information provided by individuals with unknown motivations, and has not been duly verified with the authorities of Venezuela, despite the extensive facilities that the Venezuelan Government has provided for the performance of the OHCHR functions within the country.

On this occasion, based on a handful of alleged complaints of human rights violations, unverified accusations are made against the Venezuelan institutions, further manipulating the false narrative constructed to artificially supplement the file currently before the International Criminal Court, with the political objective of destabilizing the democratic institutions of Venezuela.

In addition to this, the report omits mention of the 26 visits made to detention centers and headquarters of intelligence agencies during which the Office of the High Commissioner has been able to interview hundreds of prisoners, according to its own guidelines of operation. In the Office’s conclusions, delivered to the State, the people interviewed confirmed that their personal integrity was respected during their incarceration.

Venezuela has asked the Office of the High Commissioner to share information with the national authorities on the alleged cases referred to in the report, in order to carry out rigorous investigations and determine their veracity and, if applicable, the corresponding responsibilities, in full consistency with its policy of absolute respect for human rights. Similarly, the Office of the High Commissioner has been invited to accompany the investigation processes developed by local authorities.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in order to continue intensifying due cooperation with this office, ratifies its willingness to maintain channels of communication and dialogue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the basis of strict adherence to the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-politicization, respect for sovereignty, commitment to constructive dialogue, and—as required by international law—free from geopolitical agendas at the service of hegemonic powers.

July 9, 2021 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 2 Comments

U.N. Rejects Its Own Data to Claim ‘Climate Change’ Threatens Mass Starvation in Madagascar

Mainstream Media is Onboard with the Lie

By H. Sterling Burnett | ClimateRealism | June 24, 2021

A recent search of Google News for the term ‘climate change’ turns up a number of stories in the mainstream media promoting the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme saying climate change is causing a drought in Madagascar that threatens more than one million people with starvation.

Linking climate change to a temporary weather event, which this drought is, equates to a false comparison.

Also, the U.N.’s own data show Madagascar has been setting records in recent decades for crop production, so any food supply shortages are due to political or economic factors not declining crop production.

A story titled “Climate change has pushed a million people in Madagascar to the ‘edge of starvation,’ UN says,” by CNN is typical of the mainstream media’s uncritical coverage of the UN’s claims.

Climate change is the driving force of a developing food crisis in southern Madagascar, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) has warned,” writes CNN.

The African island has been plagued with back-to-back droughts — its worst in four decades — which have pushed 1.14 million people ‘right to the very edge of starvation,’ said WFP executive director David Beasley in a news release Wednesday.

The UN and CNN should check their premises and data. History shows back to back droughts are not unprecedented in Madagascar’s history.

Indeed, CNN’s own coverage notes the current drought is the worst in forty years. Forty years ago, during Madagascar’s last major drought, scientists were warning of a coming ice age, not global warming.

Peer-reviewed research shows Madagascar’s large megafauna declined sharply, with many species going extinct during previously extended droughts.

Research indicates Madagascar suffered extended droughts nearly 6,000 and again nearly 1,000 years ago.

A drought, approximately 950 years before the present, triggered a large transformation in vegetation, an increase in wildfires, and a sharp decline in the island’s megafauna.

It may be true that some people in Madagascar face potential starvation, but contrary to UN Food Programme’s claims it can’t be due to more than a very recent decline in food supplies, because data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization show Madagascar’s food production has set repeated records since 1980, as seen in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Primary crops in Madagascar, all available years. Graph created from the FAO Website. Source

Rice, cassava, and sweet potatoes are three of Madagascar’s staple crops. Each has set multiple records for production over the past few decades. Between 1980 and 2019, the last year for which the FAO has records for Madagascar:

  • Rice production increased by approximately 101 percent.
  • Cassava production grew by slightly more than 73 percent.
  • Sweet potato production increased by more than 198 percent.

The FAO reports Madagascar also saw its fresh vegetable production grow 63 percent between 1980 and 2019.

Madagascar’s current drought is hardly unique and as dire as the present food shortage its people face may be, there is no evidence supposed human-caused climate change is to blame.

Indeed, during the era of global warming, Madagascar’s food production, like food production for the world as a whole, has increased significantly.

Research shows at least part of the recent increase in food production is due to the fertilization effect from increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human fossil fuel use.

In a fervor to link the current drought and associated food shortages to climate change, the UN and CNN forgot a basic fact, weather is not climate and temporary weather conditions, such as back-to-back drought years, don’t necessarily reflect a changing climate.

The UN Food Programme should check its own data before it promotes climate alarm to the media.

Also, media outlets, like CNN, should be more skeptical of alarming climate change-related claims about drought and food production, which readily available data refute.


H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.

June 28, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 1 Comment

Palestine denounces UN for whitewashing Israeli crimes against Palestinian children

Press TV – June 21, 2021

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has criticized the United Nations for leaving Israel off the annual blacklist of parties responsible for grave violations against children, saying ignoring the regime’s crimes would guarantee impunity for the child-killing entity.

“The UN’s non-inclusion of the Zionist regime in the blacklist of governments and groups violating children’s rights in armed conflicts is a move in favor of the killer and in support of the criminals of the Zionist army and its terrorist settlers, and it would guarantee their escape from punishment,” the ministry said in a statement, Palestine’s Wafa news agency reported.

It said the UN action puts its reports at risk of “invalidity” and “dishonesty”, as well as skepticism about the principles on which the UN is based.

In a recent report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on the Israeli authorities to reduce army operations against children and guarantee punishment in all cases where children are killed, but he decided not to blacklist the regime for violating children’s rights in occupied Palestine.

While blaming the Israeli military for most of the major child abuses in 2020 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, Guterres merely called on the Israeli regime to investigate cases in which it used weapons. It also called for an end to the administrative detention of children and for prevention of any ill-treatment during detention or attempts to recruit children.

In the report, however, the UN secretary general blacklisted Ansarullah movement, which is defending Yemen against six years of Saudi-led military aggression on the impoverished country, while refusing to include Saudi Arabia for the war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni civilians.

He also blacklisted the Syrian army for allegedly violating children’s rights.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it closely follows the UN’s report on the rights of children in armed conflicts, which is to be published by Guterres soon.

The ministry said the Palestinian government expects the UN secretary general to blacklist the Israeli regime and its army and settlers as parties that gravely violate the rights of children in armed conflicts.

It added that a failure to comply with international law and its institutions and principles amounts to encouraging Israel to continue its organized terrorism and inviting the regime to continue its deliberate crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Hamas angered by UN

Earlier, Palestinian resistance group Hamas also expressed anger at the UN’s failure to blacklist Israel, saying the UN green-lighted Israel’s crimes against Palestinian children.

In a statement on Saturday, Hamas blamed Guterres for the non-inclusion, pointing to the Israeli massacre of 66 Palestinian children in the regime’s latest war on the Gaza Strip as well as the killing of innocent Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank as clear examples of the atrocities Israel commits against Palestinian children.

Hamas said the report lacks an impartial and transparent investigation into Israeli crimes, demanding that Guterres correct his mistake and add the name of “the occupation state” to its blacklist.

Meanwhile, the permanent representative of Palestine to the UN said the UN Security Council will hold a session next Thursday to follow up the implementation of Resolution 2334 on Israeli settlements.

The meeting will follow up on the ongoing Israeli violations, including the demolition of homes and the displacement of citizens in Jerusalem al-Quds, Ambassador Riyad Mansour told official Voice of Palestine radio on Saturday.

Mansour added the meeting comes as part of Palestine’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and “provide international protection to our people.”

Issued in 2016, Resolution 2334 reaffirmed that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity and constituted a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

June 21, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

Zarif defends Iran’s voting rights as Guterres set to get reelected as UN chief

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Press TV – June 9, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier this month, criticizing the United Nations’ decision to deprive Iran of its voting rights.

As the UN Security Council backed Guterres for a second term on Tuesday, it is worthwhile to read highlights of Zarif’s letter to the UN chief, in which the Iranian foreign minister slammed the UN decision as “fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified.”

“Iran’s inability to fulfill its financial obligation toward the United Nations is directly caused by ‘unlawful unilateral sanctions’ imposed by the United States to punish those who comply with a Security Council resolution,” Zarif wrote.

He was making a reference to the sanctions that the US slapped on Iran after former president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the historic pact.

The sanctions have blocked Iran’s access to global financial systems, and its money in foreign banks, including in South Korean, Japanese and Iraqi banks.

Zarif said the world is well aware that the people of Iran have been under unprecedented economic warfare and terrorism since the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, also called the JCPOA, in material breach of preemptory norms of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and Resolution 2231.

“It is astonishingly absurd that Iranian people, who have been forcibly blocked from transferring their own money and resources to buy food and medicine – let alone pay UN contributions arrears – by a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council, are now being punished for not being allowed to pay budget arrears by the secretariat of the same organization, which has unjustifiably chosen for the past 3 years to remain indifferent in the face of attempted mass starvation – a crime against humanity – by the United States,” he noted.

The letter came after the UN said it had suspended the voting rights of Iran and four other countries over dues under Article 19 of the UN Charter, which states that any member owing the previous two years of assessments may not vote in the General Assembly.

However, Zarif pointed out that the UN Charter gives the General Assembly the authority to decide “that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member,” and in that case a country can continue to vote.

“By what definition are Iran’s arrears not ‘due to conditions beyond control’?” the chief Iranian diplomat asked.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to fulfilling its financial obligations to the United Nations and will continue to make every effort to settle the arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the UN and other international organizations as soon as the underlying imposed conditions, i.e. the US unlawful unilateral coercive measures, is removed,” Zarif added.

The UN decision came while Iran and the other parties to the JCPOA are engaged in multilateral talks to bring the US back into compliance with the deal and remove the anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for the reversal of Iran’s nuclear activities that go beyond the JCPOA limits.

The talks, which began in early April, have not led to a tangible outcome yet.

Zarif said on Monday that it remains unclear whether US President Joe Biden and State Secretary Antony Blinken are ready to bury the failed “maximum pressure” policy of Trump and his State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

“Iran is in compliance with the #JCPOA. Just read paragraph 36,” Zarif wrote in a tweet. “Time to change course.”

June 9, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments

UN Challenges Delay of Palestinian Elections

IMEMC | May 4, 2021

The United Nations issued a statement Sunday calling on the Palestinian Authority to set a date for the Palestinian elections to be held. This statement follows the announcement on Friday by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would once again postpone the elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Abbas was last re-elected in 2006, and there have been no Palestinian elections since that year. Part of the reason for the ongoing delays in holding elections is the fact that the Israeli government, which rules the Palestinian Territories under martial law and has done so since 1967, has refused to recognize the results of the 2006 election, in which the Hamas party (the rival to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh party) won the majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature.

Since the Israeli military government does not approve of the Hamas party, they have refused to deal with the Palestinian Authority in certain areas in which Hamas is involved, and have frequently and repeatedly abducted elected Palestinian Parliament members who are affiliated with the Hamas party.

In this case, the elections, which had been set to take place on May 22nd (legislative election) and July 31st (presidential election) were postponed because of uncertainty as to the status of Palestinians in Jerusalem, and whether Israel would allow them to be able to vote.

Palestinians in Jerusalem hold a unique status in the world – they are citizens of no country, and cannot hold a Palestinian passport because the Israeli military authorities will not permit it. Because of the Israeli government’s stated objective of taking over Jerusalem for the state of Israel, many of the policies enacted by the Israeli government are aimed at stripping Palestinians in Jerusalem of their residency rights.

Any Palestinian landowner in Jerusalem who leaves their home for any period of time, for example, forfeits the ownership of their land to the Israeli government.

According to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his announcement of the election delay on Friday, “Facing this difficult situation, we decided to postpone the date of holding legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem and its people is guaranteed”.

In response, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said that he understood the “disappointment of the many Palestinians” about the delay. He called on the Palestinian Authority to “continue on the democratic path” and said that these elections have “widespread international support”.

Wennesland added, “This will also set the path toward meaningful negotiations to end the occupation and realize a two-State solution based on UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements.”

He called on Abbas to set a new date for the Palestinian elections – especially considering that the last elections took place more than 15 years ago.

Some Palestinians, however, have pointed out the absurdity of voting for a Palestinian Authority that wields no real power, given the fact that the West Bank and Gaza are, in reality, not governed by the Palestinian Authority, but are governed by Israeli martial law.

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Africans Deflect Biden’s Demand To End Fossil Fuel Use

By Duggan Flanakin ~ PA Pundits – International ~ April 17, 2021

As the merger of climate change and COVID panic materializes in front of our eyes, “global leaders” have found plenty developing world voices to join the crusade to “save the planet” from carbon (dioxide) “pollution.” But like their Chinese and Indian counterparts, many Africans, from heads of state to captains of industry and beyond, intend to expand, not shrink, reliance on fossil fuels to build their economies.

According to Oxford University researcher Galina Alova, “Africa’s electricity demand is set to increase significantly as the continent strives to industrialise and improve the well-being of its people,” but those who hope for rapid decarbonization in Africa will likely be disappointed.

Alova’s research found that Africa is likely to double its electricity generation by 2030, with fossil fuels providing two-thirds of the total, hydroelectric another 18 percent, and non-hydro renewables providing less than 10 percent.

Such an energy mix flies in the face of the firm commitment from the fledgling Biden Administration to demand an end to all international financing of fossil fuel based energy projects. Biden climate envoy John Kerry won a strong endorsement from 450 organizations worldwide after telling World Economic Forum members of the “plan for ending international finance of fossil fuel projects with public money.”

The Biden plan, which comports with the Paris climate agreement, echos the call by European Union foreign ministers for an end to financing fossil fuel projects abroad (which means in Africa). Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained that “development finance is a powerful tool for addressing the climate crisis” that the U.S. will use to “help drive investment toward climate solutions.” [Translation: “We intend to ram decarbonization down their throats!”]

Many Africans feel the need to placate their self-appointed betters and accept the climate change tenets.

World Bank veteran Ede Ijjasz and Africa Growth Initiative Director Aloysius Ordu claim that Africans must take advantage of the COVID pandemic to initiate a “great reset” of Africa’s economies according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the Paris agreement. The world, they claim, cannot afford to give Africa a pass on decarbonization (though China and India get a pass).

Others prefer a more temperate approach.

In late March, investment professional Tariye Gbadegesin challenged President Biden to prioritize African nations as part of his global climate initiative. While admitting that Africa’s urban centers are swelling, “threatening more emissions,” she asserted that striking a balance between this ongoing development and its climate impact must be a global priority. For example, Nigeria could build a hybrid grid using plentiful natural gas and solar energy. But, Gbadegesin implied, such a hybrid grid would not meet the Biden-EU financing guidelines.

In early April, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Global Center for Adaptation, and the Africa Adaptation Initiative held a virtual Leaders Dialogue in response to the State of the Climate in Africa 2019 report. Over 30 heads of state and other global leaders committed to prioritize actions that will help African countries both adapt to the presumed impacts of “climate change” and overcome widespread energy poverty. African Union chair Felix Tshisekedi listed “nature-based solutions, energy transition, an enhanced transparency framework, technology transfer, and climate finance” as critical areas for adaptation.

During the meeting, AfDB president Dr. Akinwumi Adesina noted the group intends to mobilize $25 billion in financing for the success of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program. “It is time,” he affirmed, “for developed countries to meet their promise of providing $100 billion annually for climate finance. And a greater share of this should go to climate adaptation.”

This African response to the Biden-EU decarbonization initiative – relying on adaptation and balance, not prohibition and eternal poverty, to achieve sustainability — reflects on the 1987 Brundtland Commission report, “Our Common Future.” In the report, the World Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainable development” as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Commission Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland acknowledged that, “A world in which poverty is endemic will always be prone to ecological and other catastrophe.” In her view, “Meeting essential needs requires not only a new era of economic growth for nations in which the majority are poor, but an assurance that those poor get their fair share of the resources required to sustain that growth.”

Sadly, U.S. and EU (and the UN) climate “monarchs” have long ignored Brundtland’s promises. The UN’s 20-year assessment of the document did not even mention “poverty” or “Africa.” CFACT reported that year that sub-Saharan Africa was “in very short supply of energy and power, especially electricity, and overland trade [was] greatly hindered by an almost total lack of infrastructure.” Worse. curable diseases ran rampant as people relied on toxic dung and wood for heating and cooking.

At the 2011 UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, nuclear physicist (and CFACT advisor) Kelvin Kemm reported that the African representatives were not happy. “Their general feeling,” he recounted, “was that the First World is trying to push Africa around, bully African countries into accepting its opinions, and, even worse, adopting its supposed ‘solutions’.”

That feeling remains. Responding to the Biden-EU renewables-only energy financing plan, W. Gyude Moore, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and former Liberian minister of public works, mused that, “There’s this idea that because Africa is lacking in legacy infrastructure, it’s a good canvas to paint the energy future. But no African country has volunteered itself for that.”

With nearly 600 million Africans lacking access to electricity, Moore added, “it seems immoral to restrict options for energy sources” for the world’s poorest continent. Later, Moore, with Vijaya Ramachandran of The Breakthrough Institute, wrote that a ban on oil and gas projects in Africa would stifle economic growth and thus make poor populations even more vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Moore and Ramachandran explained that the top priority in most African countries is economic growth, first in agriculture, then in industry and services. For most Africans, worries of an increased carbon footprint generated from economic growth are a weak second to worries that growth may not happen at all. In their view, people in poverty don’t just need to power a single lightbulb at home; they need abundant, affordable energy at work too.

Overall, Moore and Ramachandran noted, Africa’s needs are too great to be met solely with current green energy technologies. Its finances too stretched to be able to afford the cost of carbon-neutral energy. Keeping Africa poor to fight climate change will do nothing to help the people most affected by it. But President Biden, his EU allies, and the “green 450” disagree.

This arrogance makes it quite clear that “Our Common Future” is still in the future, if at all.

The difference is that, today, Africans are no longer waiting for the UN, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, or even the African Development Bank to finally invest in sorely needed African infrastructure.

By hook or by crook, Africans are committed to using available resources to do the job.

Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundations, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas.

April 18, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

US aid is tied to Palestinian acquiescence to the two-state illusion

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 30, 2021

The US has reversed one aspect of the Trump administration’s foreign policy in Palestine; humanitarian aid will be resumed with a $15 million grant for vulnerable Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. “Our engagements all have the same aim: to build support for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the US Representative to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, declared. Given that Washington used to give $350 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) before Trump stopped the support in 2018, this is a very limited “engagement”.

And it’s very selective support. Moreover, it comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is opposing the Palestinian Authority’s recourse to the International Criminal Court for justice over Israel’s war crimes. Such crimes, and the context of occupation in which they are carried out, contribute to humanitarian aid for the Palestinian being a necessity.

More importantly, humanitarian aid remains tied to the two-state compromise. Now that the US has returned to international consensus over the defunct paradigm, restoring humanitarian aid may be considered the next, logical step, only there is nothing logical about pursuing a strand of diplomacy that spells loss unless it results in a gain for Israel.

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed the resumption of humanitarian aid as “an important step in the right direction.” However, Palestinians still have no political direction and the PA is merely speaking about its standing in the diplomatic arena. Following restored humanitarian aid, the next step will most likely be renewed diplomatic relations. The PA will then feed upon the illusion that it is an important negotiating partner. Perhaps it is, in terms of “negotiating” the sell-out of what remains of Palestine to the Zionist colonial project.

For ordinary Palestinians, of course, it is a different story. The resumption of humanitarian aid within the context of the two-state compromise only sustains Israeli colonialism, while allowing the Palestinian people the necessary means for daily survival. Resuming the two-state cycle of humanitarian aid in return for acquiescence to the two-state illusion is not a better option than the so-called “deal of the century”. Both have generated loss, and the PA is merely favouring one form of loss over another.

To what extent can such a move be welcomed? Humanitarian aid to promote peace is a recipe for failure, given its reinforcement of the power dynamic bolstered by the billions of dollars that Israel gets each year from the US. It would be understandable if the PA spoke of humanitarian aid in terms of alleviation, but not as an “important step in the right direction” when Israel is not facing any punitive measures for advancing its illegal settlement expansion, for example.

It is to be expected that the US selectively lauds its meager support for Palestine, especially when, in contrast to the Trump administration, US President Joe Biden is yet to face significant scrutiny. For the PA to emulate the US rhetoric, however, is a different story. It seems as if the Ramallah authority is far more interested in asserting its earlier and premature, overtures to Biden even before the new foreign policy was revealed, despite the fact that the politics of humanitarian aid are a mere convenience for the international community in its process of aiding Israel to colonise what is left of Palestine.

March 30, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran takes United Nations ‘rights report’ apart, belies it bit by bit

Press TV – March 27, 2021

Iran has provided the United Nations with a detailed letter exposing all instances of falsification and deviation from the UN Human Rights Council’s standards in a recent controversial HRC report about the Islamic Republic.

Ali Baqeri-Kani, head of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights, forwarded the letter recently to the world body’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.

The message sought to “clarify the ambiguous allegations and accusations” leveled against the country in an earlier report by Javaid Rehman, the UN’s so-called special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

The rapporteur had thrown a flurry of accusations against the country, blaming it for a raft of self-proclaimed but unproven human rights abuses.

Among other things, he had alleged in his report that women were being treated in Iran as “second-class citizens” and attacked the Islamic Republic’s COVID-19 response.

UK, US, Saudi, Israeli footprints

Iran’s response noted how the report had been compiled based on information provided by anti-Iran counter-revolutionary and terrorist groups as well as fugitive and dangerous criminals , whom the report had glorified as “human rights defenders.”

It identified the alleged “sources” of the report as “organizations affiliated with governments hostile to the Iranian nation” such as the British, American, and Saudi governments as well as organizations linked to the Israeli regime.

The letter underlined those regimes’ own longstanding record of deadly human rights violations against the Iranian nation and other peoples around the world.

It further blasted the rapporteur for trying “to paint a black picture of the situation [of human rights in Iran] instead of stating the realities” and opting for “silence in the face of the biggest cause of violation of the rights of the Iranian nation.”

By the latter, the message was referring to the US’ long-drawn-out inhumane sanctions against Iranians, which have been illegally blocking their access to food and medicine among other vital items.

Elsewhere, the message asked how the report had failed “to reflect the views of the Islamic Republic” and “provide sufficient time for clarifications and responses to allegations and accusations.”

The Islamic Republic essentially discredits Rehman’s very mandate to report on Iran, calling the permission the result of a non-consensual resolution forced upon the Council by a few political actors.

Tehran also strongly disapproves of the way the Council tolerates such politicization of the human rights issue.

March 28, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Media Claims Climate Crisis in Ghana – As Crops Set New Records

By James Taylor | ClimateREALISM | March 17, 2021

The corporate media this week are hyping claims that Ghana is experiencing a climate crisis that is decimating crop production, driving farmers off their lands, and forcing them to become migrants to find food. United Nations articles are promoting such a narrative, corporate media outlets are publishing related stories, and Google News is featuring those articles among the top search results this week for “climate change.” However, objective and irrefutable data show Ghana is enjoying a long-term increase in crop yields as the climate warms, with new records being set on a regular basis. Far from a climate crisis, Ghana is experiencing a truth crisis in the media’s reporting on global warming.

The United Nations, for example, has published an article titled, “From the Field: Adapting to survive and thrive in Ghana.” The subhead reads, “In the West African country of Ghana, many people from farming backgrounds are forced to find new ways to survive, as droughts, floods, and erratic weather patterns upend age-old practices.” The article blames climate change for the asserted increase in erratic weather and more difficult farming conditions.

The corporate media are making similar claims. Google News, for example, is currently promoting an article titled, “How climate change is affecting agrarian migrants in Ghana.” The article claims, “in many African countries, access to food and water is deeply influenced by climate change.” The article reports that rural migrant farmers in Ghana report worsening rainfall and soil conditions, which are making farming more difficult.

Neither the United Nations article nor the related media articles cite actual data showing a decline in crop yields. That is rather odd, considering the United Nations itself meticulously collects and reports crop data for each country.

So, what do the UN crop data show?

According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) data reported by The Global Economy, the 10 years with the highest yields per acre in Ghana are the 10 most recent years on record. As shown in the Global Economy chart below, Ghana crop yields are up nearly 40 percent compared to just a decade ago, and crop yields have doubled since 1990.

Ghana cereal crop production, kilograms per hectar. Source, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reported by The Global Economy.

When it comes to Ghana crop production and climate change, believe the objective crop data, not the alarmist hype.

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland’s Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy.

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 3 Comments

Rights group slams exclusion of Israel, Saudi-led coalition from UN’s children-in-conflict blacklist

Press TV – March 19, 2021

A group of child rights experts has strongly criticized the UN secretary-general for excluding eight parties, including the Israeli regime and the Saudi-led coalition, from a global blacklist of parties accountable for harming children during conflicts.

In a report, experts from Watchlist on Children, an international child rights group, said at least eight parties to conflicts were found responsible for killing and maiming more than 100 children in a single year but were excluded from the blacklist.

There were “numerous discrepancies and omissions in listing decisions, as well as unwarranted delisting decisions,” the report said, noting that the UN Security Council’s 2001 resolution establishing the list to protect children from the horrors of war “is being seriously undermined” and could result in “putting children at even greater risk.”

“The secretary-general’s 2015 annual report acknowledges that the number of children killed by Israel in 2014 was the third highest in the world and the number of schools damaged or destroyed was the highest anywhere in the world that year, and yet Israel has not been listed in the report’s annexes,” the report said.

It added that at the time the news media reported that Israel and the United States conducted intense lobbying to prevent the regime’s blacklisting.

The child rights experts also cited annual reports that have repeatedly found Israeli forces responsible for high levels of Palestinian child casualties, including over 1,525 killed and maimed in 2020 alone.

“Yet Israeli forces have yet to be included in the annexed list of violators,” they added.

According to the AP, co-author Yanghee Lee, former chair of the committee that monitors implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, said: “We are calling on the secretary-general to urgently address these problems and commit to hold all countries and groups responsible for violations against children accountable without fear or favor.”

In response to the report, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stands by the report’s conclusions, expressing willingness to engage with relevant partners in how to improve the system.

Benyam Dawit Mezmur, another co-author of the report urged the UN to ensure that the list of perpetrators it issues is “more credible, accurate, complete, and evidence-based, or risk pulling apart this unique tool for the protection of children caught in war.”

The report also said the Saudi-led war coalition against Yemen was delisted in 2020 for killing and maiming children in the Arab country, despite being responsible for a documented 222 child casualties during the reporting period.

“With this delisting, the Saudi-led coalition has been removed from the Secretary-General’s list altogether,” it noted.

Citing the Secretary-general’s reports that said the Saudi-led coalition was delisted due to a “sustained significant decrease” in the number of violations they committed, the rights experts said such argument runs counter to the established delisting criteria.

“This runs counter to the delisting criteria established in 2010 and the Security Council’s stated expectations that listing is based on whether or not grave violations against children took place in violation of international obligations,” they maintained.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Saudi war on Yemen has killed a quarter of a million people, including women and children, since it was launched in March 2015 with the aim of restoring the Riyadh-friendly government of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Domestic Terrorism Goes Transnational: The war on Dissidents Picks Up Momentum

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 11, 2021

The claim is often made that President George W. Bush’s war on terror, which produced legislation that was employed to attack Iraq in 2003, eventually morphed into the worst foreign policy mistake in U.S. history when that conflict destabilized the entire region and led to an American multifront military engagement that now appears permanent. Few of those in the policymaking business appreciated that by turning “terrorism” into an especially invidious form of evil allowing governments to arrest or even assassinate without due process and bomb civilians if they fit a profile, Pandora’s box was being opened to expand that authority to commit other heinous abuses of authority.

Jim Bovard has described how post 9/11 there were hundreds of arrests for no good reason, in some cases only because someone had a name or countenance that appeared to be “Arabic.” Congressman Ron Paul and a handful of others observed at the time that the legislation would inevitably be used against domestic enemies of the state as well as against foreign or foreign-linked groups, meaning that the real damage done by the Patriot Act, the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) and the Military Commissions Act would be felt somewhere down the road, possibly at a point where the original objective of the legislation would be more or less forgotten.

Now that we have an identified “domestic terror” problem one should expect at a minimum a massive increase in surveillance of innocent citizens coupled with arbitrary arrests and incarcerations. Indeed, the process is already well underway with FBI Director Christopher Wray announcing that there are several thousand terror “cases” under development. There will also be increasing calls to take away guns and to control what is allowed to appear on the internet. Soon Americans will have nothing to measure their remaining liberties by and will be less free to exercise rights including free speech, possibly dramatically so.

So now we have reached a point where we have a government that is committed to further reducing one’s rights in order to “keep us safe” from a domestic threat and congress critters are openly speaking of bringing in “war on terror” type expedients to make sure that they have the tools available to do just that. The Joe Biden White House has made clear that it has embraced fighting domestic terrorists as a top priority. Last week, the Administration sought authorization from the Pentagon to keep thousands of national guard troops in the District of Columbia for 60 days more, presumably to protect the government buildings and staff. The pretext for the continued presence was a vaguely described plot constituting a “potential threat” to overrun the Capitol building on March 4th, a day when it was apparently anticipated that Donald Trump would miraculously be returned to office. The House of Representatives even canceled a session over concerns that they were about to be invaded by a hostile “militia.” Just how “real” the threat was has not been made clear beyond suggestions of “chatter” over the internet, nor has there been any explanation of why the 2,200 strong Capitol Police force is unable to deal with the problem.

Be that as it may, the Biden Administration thinks it knows exactly who the enemy is. The government already has a working definition of a domestic terrorist, i.e. “If you advocate violence as a tool to further political ends, and take concrete steps to do that, you’re a terrorist.” But if you thought that included groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) you would be wrong. For the Biden Administration it is the stereotyped right-wing extremist, who, among other attributes, is represented by the media and government as coming from the class that Hillary Clinton once described as “deplorables.”

The accepted definition of the enemy defies logic as the rioting, arson, and killing that has taken place over the past year has generally been inspired by Antifa and BLM, resulting in major damage and destruction in various cities and states. But the mobs who wrecked and looted have been mostly set free by the courts in the Democratic Party dominated cities. In Portland Oregon 90% of the [arrested] rioters were not prosecuted, presumably because the local judicial system believed that their “cause was just.” Against that is the trauma of the January 6th incident at the Capitol, much smaller in scope and damages but obviously terrifying to the media and Congress. Also what did occur bore a more comfortable theme for the Democrats which they have been beating to death ever since – “insurrection caused by right wing extremists who were overwhelmingly white and support Donald Trump.” That’s apparently all one needs to initiate a campaign to get rid of such dissidents.

For some suggestions about the direction the Biden Administration will be going in to eliminate domestic terrorism, one only has to review the comments of Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland at his Senate confirmation hearing on February 22nd, where he declared that going after domestic terrorists would be a top administration priority. When asked if he regards the numerous attempts by Antifa and BLM rioters to destroy federal courthouses in Portland and Seattle as acts of domestic extremism or terrorism, he hedged on the issue and replied:

“So an attack on a courthouse while in operation, trying to prevent judges from actually deciding cases, that plainly is, uhm, domestic extremism, uhm, domestic terrorism. An attack simply on a government property at night… or any other kind of circumstances, is a clear crime and a serious one and should be punished. I don’t mean… I don’t know enough about the facts of the example you’re talking about, but that’s where I draw the line. One is… both are criminal, but one is a core attack on our democratic institutions.”

According to the man who almost became a Supreme Court Justice and now appears to be on his way to becoming Attorney General if you attack and seek to destroy a government building when there is no one in it is a different level of criminality than seeking to disrupt what is going on inside during business hours. It clearly is a fine line, or at least Garland sees it that way, but in either case you are making the building non-functional in terms of its intended use. Indeed, groups like BLM have regularly condemned the criminal justice system and if you burn the building down it will be unusable for a long, long time. So clearly what makes something “terrorism” as opposed to only “criminality” is the expectation based on the events of 1/6 that it will be right-wing whites who will be doing the disruption. They are the terrorists.

So, it seems pretty clear that the Biden Administration is now preparing to go after the people that it objects to and will create new laws as necessary to do so. Garland will certainly have a hand in that development. And if anyone is thinking of leaving all of this behind by fleeing to another country where there is an actual rule of law, it would be best to consider the matter again. On February 22nd, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that white supremacy right-wing nationalist movements have become a “transnational threat” that has exploited the fear of the coronavirus pandemic to gain support. He said that “White supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats. They are becoming a transnational threat. Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries. Far too often, these hate groups are cheered on by people in positions of responsibility in ways that were considered unimaginable not long ago. We need global coordinated action to defeat this grave and growing danger.”

It means you can run but you can’t hide. It looks like there will be a worldwide coalition to extirpate the evils that come automatically with whiteness and, as BLM is now de facto a major constituency of the U.S. Democratic Party, you know that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will be leading the charge.

March 11, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment