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Trump Goes to Israel: Another Settler from the United States?

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald tribune | November 19, 2019

President Donald Trump’s lack of any precision when he speaks or tweets sometimes means that multiple meanings can be construed from what he chooses to say or write. At a private gathering last week in which he was wooing potential Orthodox Jewish donors, he responded to a blessing from a rabbi with what he thought to be a joke. Fighting for his political life in the middle of an impeachment process, he observed that if things do no go well in the United States, he could always move to Israel and run for office, saying “if anything happens here, I’m taking a trip over to Israel. I’ll be prime minister.”

The fund-raiser at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan was arranged by the America First Super PAC. Trump’s son-in-law and principal adviser Jared Kushner and his special representative for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz, both Orthodox Jews, also were in attendance. Numerous Trump supporters were present in the ballroom and began shouting out “Four more years!” when the president rose to speak. Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson offered a blessing, saying “Blessed are you, our Lord, King of the universe, that you have shared of your glory and love and compassion with a human being who maintains the honor of every innocent person and Jew. Thank you, amen.”

The Trump joke appeared to be based on media reports that he enjoys an approval rating of 98% among Jewish voters in Israel, the only country in the world where he has a favorable rating. And he was also presumably referring to the fact that Israel has had two deadlocked elections and may be heading for a third due to the fact that neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor his opponent Benny Gantz seems able to pull  together a governing coalition. Trump quipped in his usual self-serving fashion, “What kind of a system is it over there, right, with Bibi? They’re all fighting and fighting. We have different kinds of fights, but at least we know who the boss is. They keep having elections, and nobody’s elected.”

The president also spent some time affirming his complete support for the Jewish state, citing how it was at that moment defending itself from missile attacks coming from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group and Hamas in Gaza. He also recalled for the potential donors his unilateral (and illegal) recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights and his decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program. As expected, the audience cheered.

Also, in a statement that should offend and serve as a wake-up call for all of America’s remaining Arab friends, Trump described how he was able to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He claimed that when he received calls from Arab leaders objecting to the proposed shift, he refused to speak to them, saying to his aides “Just tell them I’m very busy, I’ll call them back. And then I did it, we got it done, it’s done. And then I announced it, and then I went into the office, I made about 25 calls…. I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s done already; there’s nothing I could do about it.’ It’s much easier. I say, ‘I’m sorry, I wish I could have gotten back to you sooner.’”

So, on the surface it was a complete rah-rah evening among friends, saying wonderful things about Israel and dumb things about Arabs while also bringing in $4 million in donations from the Orthodox Jewish businessmen who made up most of the audience. But at the same time, the Trump remark about moving to Israel and being elected prime minister can be construed as having a darker meaning as Israel is, in fact, a settler state that illegally has dispossessed the original residents of the country and replaced them. Foreign Jews can move to Israel and become citizens automatically under the “law of return” but the people who used to live on that land cannot go to their homes. Trump, who joked about moving and becoming Israeli, described in his usual caustic, off-hand fashion the racist reality of the Jewish state.

Donald Trump might not have been in such a humorous mood if he had considered the fact that while he is wildly popular in Israel because he gives the Israeli Jews everything they want, he continues to be mistrusted and not very well received by American Jews, who continue to vote for and provide most of the funding for the Democratic Party. Some Israelis and many American Zionists have even come to the conclusion that Trump is not to be relied upon when he pledges total support for the Jewish state. They point to the recent White House decision to pull out of Syria, which was made in consultation with Turkey, which the Israelis regard as a hostile power, and without any input from Israel. The fact that Trump then reversed himself also has been noted as characteristic of his basic unreliability.

Some Israelis and their think tank associates in the United States have also expressed particular concern over the fact that Trump and Netanyahu, who still heads the interim government, have not even spoken over the phone in weeks. As Trump’s policy making style is best described as impulsive, there is concern that he will make bad decisions from the Israeli perspective. It is often noted that the Administration’s desire to confront Iran appears to have waned and will probably be even less evident as the 2020 election approaches. Some observers have also cited the example of the betrayal of the Kurds, suggesting that Trump might be inclined to abandon Israel and its other allies in the Middle East in the same fashion.

To be sure, Donald Trump has done everything possible to pander to American Zionists and to Israelis and it is clear that he considers Jews to be a group that has to be courted, if only due to their influence over the media and their willingness to donate large sums to political causes. Israeli concerns that he will pull the plug on them are overstated to put it mildly given their control over Congress and the media. As long as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson continues to be willing to donate $100 million to the GOP every two years, the status quo is guaranteed. But there remains a long-term problem due to the fact that American Jews are overwhelmingly politically liberal and they do not like Trump, no matter what he does for Israel. And Adelson is reported to be in poor health. If he dies and the cash flow dies with him, Trump’s view of Israel just might change dramatically.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Holocaust Training for American Police

Law enforcement copies Israeli brutality

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 19, 2019

Jewish groups in the United States are adept at creating mechanisms that benefit themselves and also frequently Israel at the expense of the American taxpayer. The proliferating holocaust museums are a good example, sometimes built by private donations but then paid for and operated by the local government. The national holocaust museum in Washington is, for example, supported by the taxpayer to the tune of $54 million per year. When one considers that the so-called holocaust occurred nearly eighty years ago and did not involve the United States at all, it is a remarkable achievement to so memorialize the claimed uniqueness of Jewish suffering, which then is used to justify other abuses and excuse Israel’s ongoing war crimes.

For those who deny that claims of the uniqueness of Jewish suffering are exploited and even promoted in order to be able to influence public opinion while also obtaining special favors from government, one might cite specific instances where that has most definitely been the case. Jewish organizations receive over 90% of discretionary grants from the Department of Homeland Security, for example, and Israel benefits from $1.8 billion in aid annually plus another $10 billion through bogus charities, trade concessions and U.S. government funded projects approved by Congress that the American public knows little or nothing about.

And benefiting Jews worldwide is also part of the agenda. Apart from the creation of the state of Israel itself, which was opposed by most of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, the first major effort to condition U.S. foreign policy to benefit Jews specifically came with the Jackson-Vanik Amendment of 1975, which made some aspects of relations with the Soviet Union conditional on that country’s willingness to let Jews emigrate. Far more outrageous was the so-called Lautenberg Amendment enshrined in the 1990 Public Law 101-167 that granted refugee status to Russian Jews even though they were not actually being persecuted or in any way endangered. The refugee status is significant as it provided food stamps, housing, social security, Medicaid and educational benefits along with a free ticket into the U.S. to an “estimated… 350,000 to 400,000 Jews [who] entered the United States …”

Holocaust education is mandatory in the public schools of 15 states and Jewish groups are active in determining just what appears in textbooks about Israel, which means that the propagandizing about Jews and Israel begins early and continues throughout one’s education. Twenty-seven states have laws criminalizing or otherwise punishing anyone who advocates boycotts of Israel while the federal government has similar legislation in the pipeline and has declared that criticism of Israel is ipso facto anti-Semitism.

Given all of that it is perhaps not surprising to learn that policemen in Tampa Florida are now undergoing “holocaust training,” sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. Conveniently, there is a holocaust museum located just down the road in St. Petersburg where the first group of officers was taken to be indoctrinated.

The training is mandatory and is reported to be the first in the state of Florida, though more such initiatives will likely be in the pipeline as governor Ron DeSantis has declared himself to be the most pro-Israel head of any state in the U.S. The newscaster discussing the training also observed in passing that “holocaust awareness training” has been mandatory “for about a decade” for all federal law enforcement officers. It is difficult to imagine what such training is intended to do in the American context, though it clearly seeks to remind trainees that in Nazi Germany policemen were involved in concentration camps and the claimed execution of Jews.

One would think that the public will eventually arrive at an “enough already” point when it comes to government and private sector efforts to exploit the holocaust and monetize Jewish suffering. Unless the Jewish creators of the “training” program honestly believe that something like Germany 1939-45 is coming to the United States and are intent on giving a warning, it would seem to be yet one more tip of the hat to Jewish power in America, quite likely also intended to send a positive message about what Israel represents. What it all has to do with U.S. national security or in benefiting the American people is, of course, irrelevant.

Joint training programs run in Israel are also being used to indoctrinate American police forces and are equally difficult to comprehend as the Israelis are clueless when it comes to conducting investigations or protecting all of their country’s citizens. Israel’s cops are at the forefront of state violence against Palestinians as well as serving as protectors of rampaging heavily armed settlers who destroy Arab livelihoods so they can steal their land. The Israeli police are also quite good at using the “Palestinian chair” for torture when they are not shooting Arab teenagers in the back, skills that American cops hopefully will not emulate.

In fact, there have been suggestions that certain policemen might well be picking up some unanticipated pointers from the Israelis. Georgia has been experiencing a surge in officer involved shootings, nearly half of the victims being unarmed or shot from behind. As this has unfolded, the state continues to pursue a “police exchange” program with Israel run through Georgia State University.

The police “exchange programs” began twenty-seven years ago in 1992 and are paid for through grants from the U.S. Department of Justice as well as from the state and local governments. Reportedly “law enforcement from [a number of] U.S. states have participated in the program, including those from Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.” In some states and local jurisdictions, the Israel exchange program is managed by the Anti-Defamation League, which also sponsors propagandistic seminars on Israeli “counter-terrorism” practices throughout the U.S.

Some states and cities, however, concerned over being linked to Israel’s militarized police forces and their brutal occupation of Palestinian land, are beginning to withdraw from the training program. Recently the Vermont State Police, the Northampton, Massachusetts police department and the Durham North Carolina city police have canceled their planned training in Israel.

There has been particular concern expressed over the Israeli “us-versus-them” dual track mode of policing where the 20% of the country’s citizens that are Arab are regarded as an enemy while the settlers who prey on the Palestinians are automatically protected by police solely because they are Jewish. Lethal force is frequently resorted to on a “shoot-to-kill” basis in any incident involving Arabs and Jews, even when there is no serious threat. Some critics of the training note how that type of policing is basically racial profiling while areas on what was once the Palestinian West Bank and along the Gaza border have become free fire zones for the Israeli army and law enforcement, killing hundreds of Arabs, many of them children. Palestinians injured by policemen or settlers also obtain no redress from the Israeli courts with only 3 per cent of investigations resulting in a conviction.

That some American police forces are now questioning the wisdom of training in an Israel where police officers can freely shoot and kill members of an oppressed religious and ethnic minority should not be a surprise but for the fact that it took so long. That Jewish groups in the United States get away with obtaining taxpayer money to promote an essentially criminal Israeli enterprise is perhaps just as discouraging as it suggests that Jewish power and money will continue to prevail in the brainwashing of the American public. Holocaust training and exchanges in Israel for police officers are shameful ideas, promoted by the usual ambitious government officials who pander to the Jewish lobby for their own personal gain.

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

November 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 4 Comments

Israel justice ministry contradicts police on killing of Palestinian

Fares Abu Nab, from Ras Al-Amud in occupied East Jerusalem was shot dead by Israeli police

MEMO | November 18, 2019

Israel’s Justice Ministry has contradicted the police’s account of the killing of a Palestinian, stating that officers shot the man after he had emerged from his vehicle, reported Haaretz.

The ministry’s department responsible for investigating police misconduct announced yesterday that the police officer who shot Fares Abu Nab, from Ras Al-Amud in occupied East Jerusalem, did not in fact shoot the suspect during a car chase, as previously claimed by police.

A gag order has been placed on releasing the name of the police officer involved.

According to police, officers were chasing suspected car thieves when one of the drivers “endangered the lives of policemen and other users of the road”, without specifying how.

“He was shot in order to neutralise the threat he posed,” the original police statement added.

According to Haaretz, yesterday three other Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem were arrested “on suspicion of belonging to the gang of alleged car thieves that included Abu Nab”.

The three men arrived in court “with signs of violence on their bodies”, and their lawyers “said they had been beaten by policemen”.

The paper noted that “six people have died so far this year in incidents that involved the use of force by the police”, but that “none of the policemen involved has yet been indicted”.

Furthermore, “only in two of the six cases did the Justice Ministry department that investigates police misconduct question the policemen as suspects.”

One of these cases was closed, while the other, “the shooting of Ethiopian-Israeli Solomon Teka by an off-duty policeman in Kiryat Haim in June”, is awaiting a decision by the State Prosecutor.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 2 Comments

Is the Middle East Beginning a Self-Correction?

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 18, 2019

“Two years, three years, five years’ maximum from now, you will not recognize the same Middle East”, says the former Egyptian FM, Arab League Secretary General and Presidential Candidate, Amr Moussa, in an interview with Al-Monitor.

Mousa made some unexpected points, beyond warning of major change ahead (“the thing now is that the simple Arab man follows everything” – all the events). And in reference to the protests in Iraq, Moussa says that Iraq is in “a preparatory stage for them to choose their way as Iraqis — emphasizing that “the discord between Sunni and Shia is about to fade away.”

The present regional turbulence, he suggests, is [essentially] a reaction to the US playing the sectarian card – manipulating “the issues of sect and religion, et cetera, was not only a dangerous, but a sinister kind of policy”. He added however, “I don’t say that it will happen tomorrow, but [the discord between Sunnis and the Shi’a fading away], will certainly happen in the foreseeable future, which will reflect on Lebanon too.”

What we are witnessing in Iraq and Lebanon, he adds, “are these things correcting themselves. It will take time, but they will correct themselves. Iraq is a big country in the region, no less than Iran, no less than Turkey. Iraq is a country to reckon with. I don’t know whether this was the reason why it had to be destroyed. Could be. But there are forces in Iraq that are being rebuilt … Iraq will come back. And this phase – what we see today, perhaps this is the — what can I say? A preparatory stage?”

Of course, these comments – coming from a leading Establishment Sunni figure – will appear stunningly counter-intuitive to those living outside the region, where the MSM narrative – from Colombia to Gulf States – is that the current protests are sectarian, and directed predominantly at Hizbullah and Iran. Certainly there is a thread of iconoclasm to this global ‘Age of Anger’, targeting all leaderships, everywhere. In these tempestuous times, of course, the world reads into events what it hopes and expects to see. Moussa calls such sectarian ‘framing’ both dangerous and “sinister”.

But look rather, at the core issue on which practically all Lebanese demonstrators concur: It is that the cast-iron sectarian ‘cage’ (decreed initially by France, and subsequently ‘corrected’ by Saudi Arabia at Taif, to shift economic power into the hands of the Sunnis), is the root cause to the institutionalised, semi-hereditary corruption and mal-governance that has infected Lebanon.

Is this not precisely articulated in the demand for a ‘technocratic government’ – that is to say in the demand for the ousting of all these hereditary sectarian Zaim in a non-sectarian articulation of national interests. Of course, being Lebanon, one tribe will always be keener for one, rather than another, sectarian leader to be cast as villain to the piece. The reality is, however, that technocratic government exactly is a break from Taif – even if the next PM is nominally Sunni (but yet not partisan Sunni)?

And just for clarity’s sake: An end to the compartmentalised sectarian constitution is in Hizbullah’s interest. The Shi’i – the largest minority in Lebanon – were always given the smallest slice of the national cake, under the sectarian divide.

What is driving this sudden focus on ‘the flawed system’ in Lebanon – more plausibly – is simply, hard reality. Most Lebanese understand that they no longer possess a functional economy. Its erstwhile ‘business model’ is bust.

Lebanon used to have real exports – agricultural produce exported to Syria and Iraq, but that avenue was closed by the war in Syria. Lebanon’s (legal) exports today effectively are ‘zilch’, but it imports hugely (thanks to having an artificially high Lebanese pound). All this – i.e. the resulting trade, and government budget deficit – used to be balanced out by the large inward flow of dollars.

Inward remittances from the 8 – 9 million Lebanese living overseas was one key part – and dollar deposits arriving in Lebanon’s once ‘safe-haven’ banking system was the other. But that ‘business model’ effectively is bust. The remittances have been fading for years, and the Banking system has the US Treasury crawling all over it (looking for sanctionable Hizbullah accounts).

Which brings us back to that other key point made by Moussa, namely, that the Iraqi disturbances are, in his view, “a preparatory stage for them to choose their way as Iraqis … and that will reflect on Lebanon too”.

If the ‘model’ – either economically or politically – is systemically bust, then tinkering will not do. A new direction is required.

Look at it this way: Sayyed Nasrallah has noted in recent days that other alternatives for Lebanon to a US alignment are possible, but have not yet consolidated into a definitive alternative. That option, in essence, is to ‘look East’: to Russia and China.

It makes sense: At one level, an arrangement with Moscow might untie a number of ‘knots’: It could lead to a re-opening of trade, through Syria, into Iraq for Lebanon’s agricultural produce; it could lead to a return of Syrian refugees out from Lebanon, back to their homes; China could shoulder the Economic Development plan, at a fraction of its projected $20 billion cost – and, above all it could avoid the ‘poison pill’ of a wholesale privatisation of Lebanese state assets on which the French are insisting. In the longer term, Lebanon could participate in the trade and ‘energy corridor’ plans that Russia and China have in mind for the norther tier of the Middle East and Turkey. At least, this alternative seems to offer a real ‘vision’ for the future. Of course, America is threatening Lebanon with horrible consequences – for even thinking of ‘looking East’.

On the other hand, at a donors’ conference at Paris in April, donors pledged to give Lebanon $11bn in loans and grants – but only if it implements certain ‘reforms’. The conditions include a commitment to direct $7 bn towards privatising government assets and state property – as well as austerity measures such as raising taxes, cutting public sector wages and reducing social services.

Great! But how will this correct Lebanon’s broken ‘business model’? Answer: It would not. Devaluation of the Lebanese pound (almost inevitable, and implying big price rises) and further austerity will not either make Lebanon a financial safe-haven again, nor boost income from remittances. It is the classic misery recipe, and one which leaves Lebanon in the hands of external creditors.

Paris has taken on the role of advancing this austerity agenda by emphasising that only a cabinet acceptable to the creditors will do, to release crucial funds. It seems that France believes that it is sufficient to introduce reforms, impose the rule of law and build the institutions – in order to Gulliverise Hizbullah. This premise of US or Israeli acquiescence to this Gulliverisation plan – seems questionable.

The issue for Aoun must be the potential costs that the US might impose – extending even to the possible exclusion of Lebanese banks from the dollar clearing system (i.e. the infamous US Treasury neutron bomb). Washington is intent more on pushing Lebanon to the financial brink, as hostage to its (i.e. Israel’s) demand that Hizbullah be disarmed, and its missiles destroyed. It might misjudge, however, and send Lebanon over the brink into the abyss.

But President Aoun, or any new government, cannot disarm Hizbullah. Israel’s newly ambiguous strategic situation (post – Abqaiq), will likely hike the pressures on Lebanon to act against Hizbullah, through one means or another. Were Aoun or his government to try to mitigate the US pressures through acquiescence to the ‘reform’ package, would that be the end to it? Where would it all end, for Lebanon?

And it is a similar conundrum in Iraq: The economic situation though, is quite different. Iraq has one-fifth of the population of neighbouring Iran, but five times the daily oil sales. Yet the infrastructure of its cities, following the two wars, is still a picture of ruination and poverty. The wealth of Iraq is stolen, and sits in bank accounts abroad. In Iraq, it is primarily the political model that is bust, and needs to be re-cast.

Is this Moussa’s point – that Iraq presently is in the preparatory stage of choosing a new path ahead? He describes it as a self-correcting process leading out from the fissures of sectarianism. Conventional Washington thinking however, is that Iran seeks only a Shi’i hegemony for Iraq. But that is a misreading: Iran’s policy is much more nuanced. It is not some sectarian hegemony that is its objective, but the more limited aim to have the strategic edge across the region – in an amorphous, ambiguous, and not easily defined way – so that a fully sovereign Iraq becomes able to push-back against Israel and the US – deniably, and well short of all-out war.

This is the point: the end to sectarianism is an Iranian interest, and not sectarian hegemony.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Washington threatens Egypt with Sanctions over Russian Su-35 fighter jet purchase

By Sarah Abed | November 18, 2019

Washington’s latest attempt to dissuade an ally from making arms deals with Russia came in the form of a letter sent on last Wednesday to Egyptian officials warning them that they could face sanctions if they continued with their $2 billion dollar Su-35 fighter jets contract.

In addition to sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki in Wednesday’s letter that “Major new arms deals with Russia would — at a minimum — complicate future U.S. defense transactions with and security assistance to Egypt.” The United States sends Egypt $1.3 billion annually in military assistance.

Russia has become one of Egypt’s major arms suppliers. This particular arms between Egypt and Russia for ten fighter jets was signed at the end of 2018, with delivery of the Su-35 Flanker-E air superiority fighter aircraft as well as weapons for the planes starting in 2020-2021.

In order to counter Russia’s expanding military influence in the Middle East and dissuade countries from buying Russian-made arms, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was signed by President Donald Trump in August 2017. Countries that are trading with Russia’s defense or intelligence sectors could face secondary sanctions.

Russia estimates that since 2014 it has lost $760 million dollars in potential weapons sales due to the international sanctions sealing off the U.S. market.

However, the CAATSA is not limited to sanctioning Russia and those who purchase Russian-made weapons, this U.S. Federal law also imposes economic sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The first case for secondary sanctions under CAATSA took place in September 2018 when sanctions were imposed by the Trump administration on the Chinese military for purchasing 10 Su-35 aircraft and S-400’s from Russia, also 33 people and entities were blacklisted due to links to Russian military and intelligence.

The second case would be Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system with the first delivery of its components having taken place in July of this year. As a result of going through with their purchase and delivery, Turkey was also suspended from participating in the F-35 program and the F-35 air systems it had already purchased are now under U.S. control.

Although requirements have been met for CAATSA to be enforced there is a gray area as to how, and to what extent the sanctions should be applied. A waiver is also in place that the president can use. Also, both the U.S. executive and legislative branches play a role in determining the action that would be taken against Turkey for doing business with Russian personnel targeted by sanctions.

India is paying close attention to how the US is reacting to Turkey’s purchase as they too have purchased Russia’s S-400 SAMS system which would put them in conflict with the CAATSA as well. However, relations between India and the United States are strong and the likelihood that a waiver will be used to avoid making India suffer collateral damage is likely.

For the past decade Russia has been expanding its military influence in the Middle East, much to the dissatisfaction of the United States. Russia and Egypt’s military and technical cooperation has been deepening and expanding for years. Both nations have repeatedly held joint naval and airborne counterterrorism exercises since 2015. From October 27th till November 7th of this year the Egyptian air force’s tactical training center near Cairo hosted joint Russian/Egyptian military drills dubbed Arrow of Friendship-1.

There’s even been speculation about the prospect of Russia setting up a military base in Egypt, due to the increase of Russian activity on Egyptian grounds. Just two years ago a draft agreement which would “allow each side to use the other’s airspace and air bases” was approved by Moscow and Cairo. Even though it didn’t specify setting up a military base it did set the ground for significant expansion in military cooperation between the two countries.

While the US fumbles around in the Middle East leaving death and destruction in its tracks, Russia has become the main peace broker. While maintaining good relations with all the major players in the region, Russia intervened militarily in Syria at the request of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to fight terrorism and derail a strong regime-change plan by the Obama administration. Relations and business with Iran and Turkey have also increased.

Moscow knows that security in neighboring countries directly impacts its own and standing by allies will only help grow its influence and positive image in the Middle East and beyond.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 8 Comments

Mossad And The JFK Assassination

John-F-Kennedy.net

“Israel need not apologize for the assassination or destruction of those who seek to destroy it. The first order of business for any country is the protection of its people.” – Washington Jewish Week, October 9, 1997

In March, 1992, Illinois Representative Paul Findley said in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, “It is interesting – but not surprising – to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned.”

Considering that the Mossad is quite possibly the most ruthless and efficient intelligence agency in the world, it is peculiar that they have never been scrutinized in relation to the Kennedy assassination, especially when practically every other entity in the world (short of Elvis impersonators) has been implicated. But that all changed in January, 1994 with the release of Michael Collins Piper’s Final Judgment. In this book, Piper says, “Israel’s Mossad was a primary (and critical) behind the scenes player in the conspiracy that ended the life of JFK. Through its own vast resources and through its international contacts in the intelligence community and in organized crime, Israel had the means, it had the opportunity, and it had the motive to play a major frontline role in the crime of the century – and it did.”

Their motive? Israel’s much touted Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who ruled that country from its inception in 1948 until he resigned on June 16, 1963, was so enraged at John F. Kennedy for not allowing Israel to become a nuclear power that, Collins asserts, in his final days in office he commanded the Mossad to become involved in a plot to kill America’s president.

Ben-Gurion was so convinced that Israel’s very survival was in dire jeopardy that in one of his final letters to JFK he said, “Mr. President, my people have the right to exist, and this existence is in danger.”

In the days leading up to Ben-Gurion’s resignation from office, he and JFK had been involved in an unpublicized, contentious debate over the possibility of Israel getting nuclear capabilities. Their disagreement eventually escalated into a full-fledged war of words that was virtually ignored in the press. Ethan Bronner wrote about this secret battle between JFK and Ben-Gurion years later in a New York Times article on October 31, 1998, calling it a “fiercely hidden subject.” In fact, the Kennedy/Ben-Gurion conversations are still classified by the United States Government. Maybe this is the case because Ben-Gurion’s rage and frustration became so intense – and his power so great within Israel – that Piper contends it was at the center of the conspiracy to kill John Kennedy. This stance is supported by New York banker Abe Feinberg, who describes the situation as such: “Ben-Gurion could be vicious, and he had such a hatred of the old man [Joe Kennedy, Sr., JFK’s father].” Ben-Gurion despised Joe Kennedy because he felt that not only was he an anti-Semite, but that he had also sided with Hitler during the 1930’s and 40’s. [We will touch upon this aspect of the story in an upcoming article entitled The CIA and Organized Crime: Two Sides of the Same Coin].

Anyway, Ben-Gurion was convinced that Israel needed nuclear weapons to insure its survival, while Kennedy was dead-set against it. This inability to reach an agreement caused obvious problems. One of them revolved around Kennedy’s decision that he would make America his top priority in regard to foreign policy, and not Israel! Kennedy planned to honor the 1950 Tripartite Declaration which said that the United States would retaliate against any nation in the Middle East that attacked any other country. Ben-Gurion, on the other hand, wanted the Kennedy Administration to sell them offensive weapons, particularly Hawk missiles.

The two leaders thus engaged in a brutal letter exchange, but Kennedy wouldn’t budge. Ben-Gurion, obsessed by this issue, slipped into total paranoia, feeling that Kennedy’s obstinance was a blatant threat to the very existence of Israel as a nation. Piper writes, “Ben-Gurion had devoted a lifetime creating a Jewish State and guiding it into the world arena. And, in Ben-Gurion’s eyes, John F. Kennedy was an enemy of the Jewish people and his beloved state of Israel.” He continues, “The ‘nuclear option’ was not only at the very core of Ben-Gurion’s personal world view, but the very foundation of Israel’s national security policy.”

Ben-Gurion was so preoccupied with obtaining nuclear weapons that on June 27, 1963, eleven days after resigning from office, he announced, “I do not know of any other nation whose neighbors declare that they wish to terminate it, and not only declare, but prepare for it by all means available to them. We must have no illusions that what is declared every day in Cairo, Damascus, and Iraq are just words. This is the thought that guides the Arab leaders … I am confident … that science is able to provide us with the weapons that will serve the peace and deter our enemies.”

Avner Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, published by Columbia University Press, reinforces this sense of urgency by writing, “Imbued with lessons of the Holocaust, Ben-Gurion was consumed by fears of security … Anxiety about the Holocaust reached beyond Ben-Gurion to infuse Israel’s military thinking.” He further adds fuel to this point by pointing out, “Ben-Gurion had no qualms about Israel’s need for weapons of mass destruction,” and “Ben-Gurion’s world view and his decisive governing style shaped his critical role in instigating Israel’s nuclear progress.”

Kennedy, on the other hand, was adamant in his refusal to promote Israel’s ascension to the nuclear stage. Avener Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, stresses, “No American president was more concerned with the danger of nuclear proliferation than John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was convinced that the spread of nuclear weapons would make the world more dangerous and undermine U.S. interests.” Cohen continues at the end of this passage, “The only example Kennedy used to make this point was Israel.”

Realizing that Kennedy would not change his mind, Ben-Gurion decided to join forces with Communist China. Both countries were greatly interested in creating nuclear programs, and so began their secret joint dealings. Working in unison through intermediary Shaul Eisenberg, who was a partner of Mossad gun-runner and accountant Tibor Rosenbaum, Israel and China proceeded to develop their own nuclear capabilities without the knowledge of the United States.

If you find this scenario improbable, I strongly urge you to read Gordon Thomas’ excellent book, Seeds of Fire, where he exposes how the Mossad and CSIS (Chinese secret service) have conspired on many occasions to not only steal American military secrets, but to also doctor U.S. intelligence programs such as the Justice Department’s PROMISE software. This instance, I am afraid to say, is but the first where echoes of the JFK assassination can still be felt today reverberating through our post 9-11 world. The danger of Israel developing the Bomb in unison with China became a highly volatile situation, and was closely monitored by the CIA.

Intent on pursuing this path, the Israeli’s constructed a nuclear facility at Dimona. When Kennedy demanded that the U.S. inspect this plant, Ben-Gurion was so incensed that he erected another PHONY facility that held no evidence of nuclear research and development. (Does this scenario sound eerily familiar to the game we’re playing with Saddam Hussein in Iraq right now?) Fully aware of their shenanigans, though, JFK told Charles Bartlett, “The sons of bitches lie to me constantly about their nuclear capability.”

Avner Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, reiterates this claim by saying that Ben-Gurion had taken the nuclear issue so closely to heart that he, “concluded that he could not tell the truth about Dimona to American leaders, not even in private.”

Dr. Gerald M. Steinberg, political science professor at Bar-Ilan University’s BESA Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, weighs in by saying, “Between 1961 and 1963, the Kennedy administration placed a great deal of pressure on Ben-Gurion in the effort to pressure for acceptance of international inspection of Dimona and Israeli abdication of their nuclear weapons. This pressure apparently did not alter Israeli policy, but it was a contributing factor to Ben-Gurion’s resignation in 1963.”

To convey how serious this situation had become in modern terms, look at what is happening in Iraq with United Nations security teams inspecting the royal palaces and bunkers for nuclear weapons and materials. This matter is so urgent that our nation is on the verge of war. Forty years earlier, the heat that JFK was placing on Ben-Gurion was equally as strong as what George Bush is laying on Saddam Hussein today.

In Israel and the Bomb, Avner Cohen reinforces this point. “To force Ben-Gurion to accept the conditions, Kennedy exerted the most useful leverage available to an American president in dealing with Israel: a threat that an unsatisfactory solution would jeopardize the U.S. government’s commitment to, and support of, Israel.”

The pressure on Ben-Gurion was so immense that he ended up leaving office. But Kennedy, in true pit-bull style, didn’t let up on Ben-Gurion’s successor, Levi Eshkol, as Avner Cohen reports. “Kennedy told Eshkol that the U.S. commitment and support of Israel ‘could be seriously jeopardized’ if Israel did not let the U.S. obtain ‘reliable information’ about its efforts in the nuclear field. Kennedy’s demands were unprecedented. They amounted, in effect, to an ultimatum.” Cohen concludes this thought by asserting, “Kennedy’s letter precipitated a near-crisis situation in Eshkol’s office.”

In the end, as we’re all aware, Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963; but less known is that China conducted its first nuclear test in October, 1964. What makes this event more profound is Piper’s claim that even though Israel said its first nuclear tests took place in 1979, they actually occurred in October, 1964 along with the Chinese! If this is true, other than August, 1945 when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, October 1964 may possibly be the most dangerous month in 20th century history.

Let’s return, though, to JFK’s assassination and the direct results of it in regard to the Jewish lobby, American foreign policy, and the militarization of Israel. To understand how powerful the Israeli lobby is in this country, venerable Senator J. William Fulbright told CBS Face the Nation on April 15, 1973, “Israel controls the U.S. Senate. The Senate is subservient, much too much; we should be more concerned about U.S. interests rather than doing the bidding of Israel. The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. – somewhere around 80% – is completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants; Israel gets. This has been demonstrated time and again, and this has made [foreign policy] difficult for our government.”

Do you hear what Senator Fulbright said? This isn’t a crazy conspiracy theorist or a KKK anti-Semite. It’s a much-respected U.S. Senator saying that about 80% of the Senate is in Israel’s hip pocket. Adding clout to this argument is Rep. Paul Findley, who was quoted in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in March, 1992, “During John Kennedy’s campaign for the presidency, a group of New York Jews had privately offered to meet his campaign expenses if he would let them set his Middle East policy. He did not agree … As the president, he provided only limited support of Israel.”

To understand how important Kennedy’s decisions were during his short-lived presidency, we need to look at the issue of campaign finance. Considering how influential the Israeli lobby is in the U.S. Senate (hearkening back to the words of Senator Fulbright), they had to have been enraged when President Kennedy genuinely wanted to cut the knees out from under the current campaign finance methods because it made politicians so reliant upon the huge cash inlays of special-interest groups. Regrettably, Kennedy did not have the time to implement this program, and to this day our political system is still monopolized by lobbyists from the very same special-interest groups. One can only imagine what changes would have occurred in regard to our foreign policy had Kennedy eradicated these vipers and blood-suckers from the halls of Congress.

Tragically, Kennedy’s ideas never came to fruition, and his heated battle with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion over whether Israel should be allowed to develop a nuclear program was ultimately lost. The reason why is that Lyndon Baines Johnson, who Kennedy intended to drop from his ticket in 1964 due to his extreme dislike for, had a complete reversal in foreign policy. As you will see, not only did Israel’s nuclear program move ahead unchecked; they also became the primary beneficiary of our foreign aid.

But this absolute turnaround would not have occurred if Kennedy would not have been assassinated. Up until LBJ became president, Kennedy dealt with the Middle East in a way that most benefited the U.S. His primary goal – and one which would most keep the peace – was a balance of power in the Middle East so that each and every nation would be secure. This decision adhered to the Tripartite Declaration which the U.S. signed in 1950. But under the Johnson administration, this fragile balance was overturned, and by 1967 – only four years after Kennedy’s assassination – the U.S. was Israel’s main weapons supplier, and OUR best interests were put well behind those of Israel!

As Michael Collins Piper writes: “The bottom line is this: JFK was adamantly determined to stop Israel from building the nuclear bomb. LBJ simply looked the other way. JFK’s death did indeed prove beneficial to Israel’s nuclear ambitions and the evidence proves it.”

Reuven Pedatzer, in a review of Avner Cohen’s Israel and the Bomb, in the Israeli Newspaper Ha’aretz on February 5, 1999 wrote, “The murder of American president John F. Kennedy brought to an abrupt end the massive pressure being applied by the U.S. administration on the government of Israel to discontinue their nuclear program.” He continues, “Kennedy made it quite clear to the Israeli Prime Minister that he would not under any circumstances agree to Israel becoming a nuclear state.” Pedatzer concludes, “Had Kennedy remained alive, it is doubtful whether Israel would today have a nuclear option,” and that, “Ben-Gurion’s decision to resign in 1963 was taken to a large extent against the background of the tremendous pressure that Kennedy was applying on him concerning the nuclear issue.”

If you’re still not convinced; how about some numbers? In Kennedy’s last fiscal budget year of 1964, Israeli aid was $40 million. In LBJ’s first budget of 1965, it soared to $71 million, and in 1966 more than tripled from two years earlier to $130 million! Plus, during Kennedy’s administration, almost none of our aid to Israel was military in nature. Instead, it was split equally between development loans and food assistance under the PL480 Program. Yet in 1965 under the Johnson administration, 20% of our aid to Israel was for the military, while in 1966, 71% was used for war-related materials.

Continuing in this same vein, in 1963 the Kennedy administration sold 5 Hawk missiles to Israel as part of an air-defense system. In 1965-66, though, LBJ laid 250 tanks on Israel, 48 Skyhawk attack aircrafts, plus guns and artillery which were all offensive in nature. If you ever wondered when the Israeli War Machine was created, this is it! LBJ was its father.

According to Stephen Green in Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations with a Militant Israel, “The $92 million in military assistance provided in fiscal year 1966 was greater than the total of all official military aid provided to Israel cumulatively in all the years going back to the foundation of that nation in 1948.”

Green continues, “70% of all U.S. official assistance to Israel has been military. America has given Israel over $17 billion in military aid since 1946, virtually all of which – over 99% – has been provided since 1965.”

Can you see what’s happening here? Within two years of JFK’s assassination, Israel went from being a weak, outmatched member of the volatile Middle Eastern community that was not allowed to develop nuclear weapons to one that was well on its way to becoming a undeniable military force on the world stage. John Kennedy adamantly put his foot down and refused to allow Israel to develop a nuclear program, while LBJ bent over backward to facilitate and bolster them. Or, as Seymour Hersh wrote in The Samson Option, “By 1968, the president had no intention of doing anything to stop the Israeli bomb.”

The result of this shift in focus from the Kennedy to Johnson administration is, in my opinion, the PRIMARY reason behind our current troubles in the Middle East which culminated in the 9-11 attacks and our upcoming war with Iraq (and beyond). I have a great deal of confidence in this statement, for as Michael Collins Piper points out, here are the results of John F. Kennedy’s assassination:

1) Our foreign and military aid to Israel increased dramatically once LBJ became president.

2) Rather than trying to maintain a BALANCE in the Middle East, Israel suddenly emerged as the dominant force.

3) Since the LBJ administration, Israel has always had weaponry that was superior to any of its direct neighbors.

4) Due to this undeniable and obvious increase in Israel’s War Machine, a constant struggle has been perpetuated in the Middle East.

5) LBJ also allowed Israel to proceed with its nuclear development, resulting in them becoming the 6th largest nuclear force in the world.

6) Finally, our huge outlays of foreign aid to Israel (approximately $10 billion/year when all is said and done) has created a situation of never-ending attacks and retaliation in the Middle East, plus outright scorn and enmity against the U.S. for playing the role of Israel’s military enabler.

In Israel’s, and especially David Ben-Gurion’s eyes then, what were their alternatives – to remain weakened (or at least balanced) in relation to their neighbors and handcuffed by JFK’s refusal to bow to their will, or KILL the one man standing in their way to becoming dominant in the Middle East, the recipient of huge amounts of military aid, and one of the premier nuclear forces in the world? It’s something to think about.

November 17, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

UN Votes to Renew UNRWA Mandate

Palestine Chronicle – November 16, 2019

The overwhelming vote at the United Nations General Assembly’s Fourth Committee in favor of renewing the mandate of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) dominated the front page of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies today.

This issue was given special attention in light of American and Israeli efforts to do away with UNRWA as part of a plan to undermine Palestinian refugee rights in their homeland they were expelled from 70 years ago when Israel was created on their land and in their homes.

The US and Israel were the only two states voting against the renewal of the mandate while 170 countries voted in favor.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the vote.

November 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Western Media Bias Allows Israel to Get away with Murder in Gaza

By Ramzy Baroud | Dissident Voice | November 16, 2019

An Israeli attack on Gaza was imminent, and not because of any provocations by Palestinian groups in the besieged, impoverished Gaza Strip. The Israeli military escalation was foreseeable because it factors neatly in Israel’s contentious political scene. The war was not a question of “if”, but “when”.

The answer came on November 12, when the Israeli military launched a major strike against Gaza, killing an Islamic Jihad Commander, Bahaa Abu al-Ata, along with his wife Asma.

More strikes followed, targeting what the Israeli military described as Islamic Jihad installations. However, the identities of the victims, along with damning social media footage, pictures, and eyewitness accounts indicate that civilians and civilian infrastructure were bombed and destroyed as well.

As of November 14, when a truce was announced, 32 Palestinians have been killed and over 80 wounded in the Israeli aggression.

What truly frustrates any meaningful discussion on the horrific situation in Gaza is the feeble response, whether by international organizations that exist with the sole purpose of ensuring world peace or by Western monopoly media, that ceaselessly celebrates its own accuracy and impartiality.

A most disappointing response to the Israeli violence was offered by Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Mladenov, whose job should have long been deemed pointless considering that no “peace process” actually exists, expressed his “concern” about the “ongoing and serious escalation between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel”.

Not only Mladenov’s statement creates a moral equivalence between an occupying power, which instigated the war in the first place, and a small group of a few hundred armed men, it is also dishonest.

“The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars against population centres is absolutely unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Mladenov elaborated, putting great emphasis on the fact that, “there can be no justification for any attacks against civilians”.

Shockingly, Mladenov was referring to Israeli, not Palestinian civilians. At the time that his statement was released to the media, there were already dozens of Palestinian civilians that had been killed and wounded, while Israeli media reports spoke of few Israelis who had been treated for “anxiety”.

The European Union did not fare any better. The EU parroted the same American knee-jerk response by condemning “the barrage of rocket attacks reaching deep into Israel”.

“The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop,” a statement by the European bloc read.

Is it not possible that Mladenov and top EU foreign policymakers do not truly comprehend the political context of the latest Israeli onslaught — that embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using military escalation as a way of fortifying his weakening grip on power.

Considering this, what is one to make of the poor media coverage, the inept analyses and the absence of balanced reports in major Western news media?

In a report published by the BBC on November 13, the British broadcaster referred to “cross-border violence between Israel and militants in Gaza”.

But Gaza is not an independent country and, per international law, it is still under Israeli occupation. Israel declared Gaza a “hostile territory” in September 2007, arbitrarily establishing a “border” between it and the besieged Palestinian territory. For some reason, the BBC finds this designation acceptable.

CNN, on the other hand, reported on November 13 that “Israel’s military campaign against Islamic Jihad” is entering its second day, while emphasizing the UN condemnation of the rocket attacks.

CNN, like most of its American corporate counterparts, reports on Israeli military campaigns as a part and parcel of some imagined “war on terror”. Therefore, analyzing the language of US mainstream media with the purpose of underlining and emphasizing its failures and biases, is a useless exercise.

Sadly, US bias regarding Palestine has extended to mainstream media in European countries that were, to some degree, fairer, if not somewhat sympathetic, with the Palestinian peoples’ situation.

El Mundo of Spain, for example, spoke of a number of Palestinians — making sure to emphasize that they were “mostly militants”, — who “died” as opposed to “were killed” by the Israeli military.

“The escalation followed the death of Gaza’s armed branch leader,” El Mundo reported, failing once more to pinpoint the culprits in these seemingly mysterious deaths.

La Repubblica, which is perceived in Italy as a “leftist” outlet, sounded more like a right-wing Israeli newspaper, in its description of the events that led to the death and wounding of many Palestinians. The Italian newspaper used a fabricated timeline that only exists in the mind of Israeli military and decision-makers.

“Violence continued. Several rockets were thrown towards Israel by Gaza’s Islamic Jihad (militants), breaking the brief truce, according to (right-wing Israeli newspaper) The Jerusalem Post and to the Israeli army”.

It remains unclear what “truce” La Repubblica was referring to.

France’s Le Monde followed suit, reporting the same deceptive and cliched Israeli lines and emphasizing statements by the Israeli military and government. Interestingly, the death and wounding of many Palestinians in Gaza did not deserve a place on the French newspaper’s homepage. Instead, it chose to highlight a comparatively irrelevant news item where Israel denounced the labeling of illegal settlement products as “discriminatory”.

Maybe, one could have excused these across-the-board journalistic and moral failings if it were not for the fact that the Gaza story has been one of the most covered news topics anywhere in the world for over a decade.

It is obvious that the West’s “newspapers of record” have maintained their blindspot on fairly reporting on Gaza and intentionally kept the truth from their readers for many years so as not to offend the sensibilities of the Israeli government and its powerful allies and lobbies.

While one cannot help but bemoan the death of good journalism in the West, it is also important to acknowledge with much appreciation the courage and sacrifices of Gaza’s young journalists and bloggers who, at times, are targeted and killed by the Israeli army for conveying the truth on the plight of the besieged but tenacious Strip.


Dr. Ramzy Baroud is an author and a journalist. He is athor of The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle and his latest My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. He can be reached at ramzybaroud@hotmail.com.

November 16, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Israel has cracked down on Palestinian education, criminalising hundreds of students

By Megan Giovannetti | MEMO | November 15, 2019

Khaleel Shaheen is a senior at Birzeit University in Ramallah. When he heard that four close friends and fellow students were arrested by the Israeli authorities, he didn’t go to the campus for five days.

As a volunteer with Birzeit’s Right to Education Campaign — a student-led group which monitors Israeli violations against students — Shaheen is finding it difficult to continue his work as normally as possible while this latest crackdown against students unfolds.

“I feel so angry,” he told me. “I feel so helpless. “I cannot just go to school. I cannot focus. I cannot function to go to class.”

According to the Right to Education Campaign, 20 students have been detained by the Israeli authorities since the beginning of the current academic year. This is nothing new. Since 2004, more than 1,000 students enrolled at Birzeit have been arrested, 80 of whom are still in Israeli prisons. Seventeen of these are currently held under administrative detention, a process which Israel uses systematically to hold Palestinians indefinitely with neither charge nor trial.

Students are often denied access to a lawyer for up to 60 days and subjected to harsh interrogation and treatment in Israeli custody. Most are taken from their homes in the middle of the night or even kidnapped directly from campus.

Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support and human rights association, told me that a total of 250 students across various Palestinian universities are currently in Israeli prisons. “There are also around 190 Palestinian children detained and imprisoned in Israeli jails, of whom 20 are under 16 years old,” Addameer’s advocacy officer pointed out. “Those children are all students in primary or secondary schools.”

In an exclusive statement to MEMO, Birzeit University described this escalation of arrests as an ongoing Israeli policy targeting students who have political affiliations and activism. “They are targeting students who are very active in the student movement in the university,” Shaheen explained. “They are not just going after people at random.”

Birzeit University is the only West Bank higher education institution which holds student body elections, with representation from all Palestinian political parties. In a society that has not held a General Election since 2007 — hence the deadlocked political system and a president whose own term ended 10 years ago — Birzeit University’s elections are one of the only ways to gauge public opinion.

“These elections are very, very important for both the [Palestinian] government and the [Israeli] occupation [because] it depicts the streets… and what the new generations are voting for,” said Shaheen. He confirmed that no particular political party’s members appear to be targeted; arrests occur across the spectrum of political affiliation.

Birzeit seems to be targeted because of its reputation for producing politically active students. “The students care so much about politics,” added Shaheen. “They care about what is happening on the streets.” He told me about the weekly demonstrations that students arrange in support of prisoners, refugees and martyrs; or simply demanding their right to education.

The student body council has the power to gather students together and give them a voice. “For the Israelis, this is dangerous. It’s dangerous for them [to have] active students who have a voice and opinions, and influence the opinions of others.”

Last year, a video went viral of undercover Israeli forces kidnapping the president of the student body council, Omar Kiswani, directly from Birzeit’s campus. The video and various reports show six plain-clothed officers beating Kiswani and firing their guns in broad daylight.

Birzeit University faculty member and Professor of Media Dr Widad Bargouthi was swept up in the latest round of Israeli arrests based on a military law of “incitement”. According to Addameer, the indictment was based on social media posts made by Dr Bargouthi, despite them being a part of a class regarding the basic journalistic principles of freedom of expression.

“I believe that most of those arrests [are carried out] to create an atmosphere of fear inside the university,” Shaheen said. This has drawn students away from making social media posts or even simply attending classes. “They want to make students fearful of everything.”

When asked for a comment, the office of the Israel Defence Forces spokesperson indicated that the cases are under investigation by Shin Bet, the internal security agency, and no information could be shared. “The students that are in custody have been suspected of terrorist attacks in which Israeli citizens were killed,” is all that the spokesperson would say. No details of the specific “terrorist attacks” in question were provided.

A public gag order on all student cases was issued on 10 September and has been renewed twice. The current order will expire on 7 December. This limits Addameer’s ability for advocacy. The order — requested by Shin Bet — was not issued by a military court, but a civil court in Jerusalem. “The session was one-sided, without the prisoners or their lawyers [present],” said Addameer’s advocacy officer.

Birzeit University told MEMO that Israel’s policy of arresting students and teachers is a “grave violation” of basic rights to education and academic freedom. “The reality now is turning higher education in Palestine from safe spaces where students can grow, excel and express themselves freely, into zones where students are in grave danger both on and off campus.”

Israel’s crackdown on Palestinian education is criminalising hundreds of young people. This is not the act of a genuine democracy.

READ ALSO:

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November 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 2 Comments

The TRUTH About Trump’s Oil Grab in Syria

21stCenturyWireTV | November 10, 2019

When Trump says “Take the Oil” in Syria, what does he really mean? Does the US really need the oil? Not really. So what was this major media event about last week? UK Column News co-hosts Mike Robinson and Patrick Henningsen answer this question, as they bring you the early week’s headlines from around the world. (This is a clip of the full news program broadcast on Nov 4, 2019).

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Video, Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Israel is a ‘Terrorist State’: Seven Times Bolivia and Morales Took a Stance for Palestine

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | November 14, 2019

On November 10 Bolivian President Evo Morales, announced his resignation from office following what was described by his deputy, Álvaro García Linera, as a military coup.

Morales’ 14 years in office have been seen by many as a triumph for the indigenous people of Bolivia; in fact, for indigenous peoples everywhere. Along with late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and late Cuban President Fidel Castro, among other socialist or socialist-leaning South American leaders, Morales represented the hope of an entire generation.

All of this came crashing down following the general election in the country on October 20. Morales’ opponents, who have traditionally received strong backing from Washington, accused the president’s camp of rigging the elections. Following the announcement of the results which gave Morales a 10% point lead over his rival, an orchestrated campaign was launched by the opposition to overthrow the president.

Well-publicized opposition protests resulted in national upheaval, political turmoil, and an army ultimatum to Morales. Fearing further violence and chaos in the country, the president announced his resignation.

It would be safe to argue that this is not the end of Bolivia’s socialism or the people’s-led drive for justice and equality. Bolivia’s grassroots movement is strong and rooted not just in Bolivia itself, but throughout the region and beyond. This is one of the reasons why Palestinians of all backgrounds are watching the developments in Bolivia with much anxiety and concern.

Palestinians see in Bolivia, although geopolitically removed from the Middle East, a true friend, and a trusted ally. On the other hand, the resignation of Morales is welcomed news in Tel Aviv.

Highlighted below are seven instances where Bolivia, under Morales, showed the type of solidarity with the Palestinian people that was, at times, unparalleled anywhere else in the world:

  1. Cutting Ties with Israel:

Even before Bolivia officially recognized Palestine, on January 14, 2009, it cut ties with Israel. Later that same day, Venezuela followed suit. The Bolivian decision was made in response to the destructive Israeli war on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead. At the time, Morales called for the stripping of the Israeli President Shimon Peres, of his Nobel Peace Prize due to his support of the Israeli crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip.

  1. Recognizing Palestine: 

On December 22, Morales followed his decision of severing ties with Israel with officially recognizing the State of Palestine as an independent and sovereign State. The Bolivian move was clearly part of a coordinated South American effort to show greater solidarity with the Palestinian people, as it came at the heels of a similar decision made by Brazil and Argentina.

  1. Supporting Palestine at the United Nations: 

At his September 21, 2011, UN General Assembly speech in New York, President Morales said, “not only does Bolivia support the Palestinian recognition by the United Nations, our position is to welcome the Palestinians to the United Nations”. Morales also denounced Israel for “bombing, attacking, killing and taking land”, from the indigenous Palestinian people. Bolivia’s support of Palestine at the United Nations remained strong and unfaltering for at least the last decade.

  1. Declaring Israel a terrorist state: 

On July 30, 2014, President Morales went further by declaring Israel a “terrorist state”, following the latter’s most recent war on the Gaza enclave. Morales’ statement was not mere rhetoric as it was coupled with concrete steps to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against occupied and besieged Palestinians. On that day, Bolivia also classified Israel as a “group 3” country, which means that any Israeli wanting to visit Bolivia needed to obtain a visa that required the approval of the National Migration Administration.

  1. Prioritizing Palestine: 

When Bolivia assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council in June 2017, it declared Palestine a top priority on its political agenda. “Our priorities: conflict in the Middle East of 50 years of the occupation of Palestine, and non-proliferation of chemical and nuclear weapons,” President Morales tweeted at the time.

  1. Naming Palestinian martyrs: 

On May 15, 2018, the Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations registered one of the most symbolic, yet emotive gestures of solidarity towards Palestine that was ever displayed at international institutions. Sacha Llorenti started his talk at a UN emergency session by naming all 61 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza’s Great March of Return. The Palestinian victims were all killed in non-violent popular protests that demanded an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza.

  1. Cooperating with Palestine: 

On June 22, 2019, Bolivia sealed its solidarity with the Palestinian people with the signing of the development cooperation agreement between the two countries. Although free trade and cooperation between both economies is not an easy task, if at all possible, considering that Palestine is under total Israeli control, the agreement was a natural and organic evolution of the political support and the grassroots solidarity with Palestine that has been in the making for many years.

It would be untenable to discount the power of the indigenous movement of Bolivia despite Morales’ abrupt resignation. It would be equally wrong to conclude that the absence of Morales would automatically sever the strong rapport predicated on people’s solidarity and common struggle between Palestine and Bolivia.

– Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle. His last book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London) and his forthcoming book is These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU).

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | 4 Comments