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Senate Committee slips through $38 billion package to Israel

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | May 22, 2020

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee secretively passed a bill yesterday to give Israel a minimum of $38 billion over the next ten years despite the ongoing devastation to the US economy by coronavirus policies.

The bill – S.3176 –  will now go before the full Senate. Since the legislation has already been passed by the House of Representatives, if the Senate passes the bill, it will then go to the president to be signed into law.

The bill was passed by the committee under two unusual circumstances and with almost no public awareness.

First, Senate Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-Idaho) refused to allow a livestream of the meeting, despite the fact that the Senate Rules panel had recommended that extra efforts be taken to ensure public transparency while the Capitol is closed to the public and the presence of reporters is severely limited. The Senate’s Press Gallery Standing Committee of Correspondents had objected strongly to Risch’s decision.

Second, the bill was passed without being named, debated, or even discussed, even though it would set into law the largest such aid package in U.S. history. There has been no US mention of the bill by US mainstream media.

The massive package is particularly noteworthy in light of the current devastation to the American taxpayers who will be footing the bill – over $10 million per day. In recent months approximately 30 million Americans have lost jobs, 100,000 small businesses have already closed forever, and over seven million are at risk of doing so.

The bill was voted on as part of a package of 15 bills that were voted on “en bloc” (all together).

After Senator Kaine said he didn’t know what the list contained, Risch responded: “I’m not trying to pull anything here… this was circulated among the staff.”

Risch then rapidly listed the numbers, but did not give the titles. There was then a voice vote and the motion passed unanimously. (See video below.)

Democratic members of the committee had voiced strong objections to blocking a livestream of the meeting because of a different agenda item. After the meeting, Committee Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) released a video of the meeting.

None, however, voiced any concern to giving a massive aid package to a country widely documented as a major violator of human rights.

Neither did any Democrats on the committee object to requiring American taxpayers to give Israel over $7,000 per minute when many Americans are suffering catastrophic financial difficulties.

Democratic committee members Menendez, Ben Cardin, Cory Booker, and Chris Coons, like many of the Republican members, are particularly known for being under the influence of AIPAC and the Israel lobby and receiving pro-Israel campaign donations. Many of the members are co-sponsors of the bill.

The bill, entitled “United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020,” expands and sets into law a memorandum of understanding agreement signed by the Obama administration with Israel in 2016. This agreement is nonbinding and not required by law. It also set the $38 billion as a ceiling.

The legislation just passed by the committee would make this disbursal legally required, and, in addition, it would make the $38 billion a floor rather than a ceiling. In other words, the amount of money could legally go even higher.

Given the power of the pro-Israel lobby, combined with the fact that U.S. media are not informing Americans of this use of their tax money, the likelihood is that US money to Israel will go up in the future – possibly even this year.)

Most Americans say they feel the US is giving Israel too much money. Israel has received more US tax money than any other country – on average, about 7,000 times more per capita than others around the world.

The Council for the National Interest has posted a petition against this year’s installment, $3.8 billion. So far, it has been signed by close to 2,000 people.

The portion of the meeting that passed the bill:


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

May 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 5 Comments

Why does Israel celebrate its terrorists: Ben Uliel and the murder of the Dawabsheh Family

Israeli media and Zionist apologists everywhere are busy whitewashing Israel’s globally-tattered image using the rare indictment of an Israeli terrorist, Amiram Ben Uliel, who was recently convicted for murdering the Palestinian Dawabsheh family, including an 18-month-old toddler in the town of Duma, south of Nablus.

The conviction of Ben Uliel by an Israeli three-judge court on May 18, is expectedly celebrated by some as proof that the Israeli judicial system is fair and transparent, and that Israel does not need to be investigated by outside parties.

The timing of the Israeli court’s decision to convict Ben Uliel of three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder was particularly important, as it followed a decision by the the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to move forward with its investigation of war crimes committed in Occupied Palestine.

Considering how Israel’s extremists, especially those living illegally in the Occupied West Bank, are governed through a separate, and far more lenient system than the military regime that governs Palestinians, the seemingly-clear indictment of the Israeli terrorist deserves further scrutiny.

Israel’s apologists were quick to celebrate the verdict by the court, to the extent that Israel’s own internal intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, known for its notorious torture methods of Palestinian prisoners, described the decision as “an important milestone in the battle against Jewish terror”.

Others labored to separate Ben Uliel’s grizzly attack from the rest of Israeli society, implying that the man was a lone wolf and not the direct outcome of Israel’s unhinged racism and violent discourse directed at innocent Palestinians.

Despite the clear indictment of Ben Uliel, the Israeli court was keen on accentuating the point that the Israeli terrorist acted alone and that he was not a member of a terrorist organization. Based on that logic, the court argued that the judges “could not rule out that the attack was motivated by a desire for revenge or racism without Ben-Uliel actually being a member of an organized group.”

Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish settler, is lead by police for his sentencing hearing over the 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents [AVSHALOM SASSONI/POOL/AFP/Getty Images]

Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish settler, at his sentencing hearing over the 2015 arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler, Ali Saeed Dawabsheh and his parents [AVSHALOM SASSONI/POOL/AFP/Getty Images]

The verdict was a best case scenario for Israel’s image under the circumstances, as it deliberately absolved the massive terrorist network that spawned the likes of Ben Uliel and the Israeli army that protects those very extremists on a daily basis, while whitewashing Israel’s deservedly bad reputation as a violent society with an unjust judicial system.

But Ben Uliel is, by no measure, a lone wolf.

When the Israeli terrorist, along with other masked assailants, broke into the house of Sa’ad and Reham Dawabsheh at 4 am on July 31, 2015, he was clearly on a mission to elevate his name within the ardently racist, extremist society which has made the murder and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians a sort of a divine mission.

Ben Uliel achieved his objectives completely. Not only did he kill Sa’ad and Reham, but their 18-month-old son, Ali, as well. The only surviving member of the family was 4-year-old Ahmed, who was severely burnt.

The murder of the Palestinian family, little Ali in particular, quickly became the source of joy and celebration among Jewish extremists. In December 2015, six months after the murder of the Dawabsheh family, a 25-second video clip that went viral on social media showed a crowd of Israelis celebrating the death of Ali.

The video showed a “room of jumping, dancing men wearing white skullcaps, many with the long sidelocks of Orthodox Jews. Some of them are brandishing guns and knives,” The New York Times reported.

“Two (of the celebrating Israelis) appear to be stabbing pieces of paper they hold in their hands, which the television station identified as pictures of an 18-month-old child, Ali Dawabsheh.”

Despite Israeli police claims that they were ‘investigating’ the hate fest, there is little evidence to suggest that anyone was held accountable for the unmitigated celebration of violence against an innocent family and a toddler. In fact, Israeli State prosecutors later claimed that they had lost the original video of the dancing extremists.

The celebration of Israeli terrorism carried on unabated for years, to the extent that on June 19, 2018, Israeli extremists chanted openly, taunting Ali’s grandfather as he was leaving an Israeli court, with such obscene slogans, as “Where is Ali? Ali’s dead,” “Ali’s on the grill”.

The heinous murder of Ali and his family, and the subsequent trial were added to an array of other events that starkly challenged Israel’s carefully concocted image of being a liberal democracy.

On March 24, 2016, Elor Azaria killed a Palestinian man, Fattah al-Sharif, in cold blood. Al-Sharif was left bleeding on the ground while unconscious after, per Israeli army claim, trying to stab an Israeli soldier.

Azaria received a light sentence of eighteen months, soon to be freed in a massive celebration, like a conquering hero. Israel’s top government officials, including Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, supported the cold-blooded murderer throughout the trial. It will not come as a complete surprise if Azaria claims a top position in the Israeli government at some point in the future.

The celebration of murderers and terrorists like Ben Uliel and Azaria, is not a new phenomenon in Israeli society. Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli terrorist who killed scores of Palestinian worshippers while kneeling for prayer at Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil (Hebron) in 1994, is now perceived as a modern martyr, a saint of biblical proportions.

In such cases, when the nature of the crime is so overwhelmingly violent, the extent of which forces itself on global news media, Israel is left with only one option – to use the indictment of ‘Jewish terrorism’ as an opportunity to reinvent itself, its ‘democratic’ system, its ‘transparent’ judicial proceedings, and so on. Meanwhile, Israeli media and its affiliates worldwide labor to describe the collective ‘shock’ and ‘outrage’ felt by ‘law-abiding’, ‘peace-loving’ Israelis.

The murder of the Dawabsheh family, although one of numerous acts of violence perpetrated by Jewish extremists and the Israeli military against innocent Palestinians, is the perfect case in point.

Indeed, a quick look at the numbers and reports produced by the United Nations indicates that the Jewish settlers’ murder of the Palestinian family was not the exception but the norm.

In a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in June 2018, UN investigators spoke of an exponential rise of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians.

“Between January and April 2018, OCHA documented 84 incidents attributed to Israeli settlers resulting in Palestinian casualties (27 incidents) or in damage to Palestinian property (57 incidents),” the report read. That trend continued, at times markedly increasing, with very little accountability.

The Israeli rights group, Yesh Din, has been following up on the small percentage of settler violence cases that were opened by the Israeli military and police. The group concluded that, “of 185 investigations opened between 2014 and 2017 that reached a final stage, only 21, or 11.4%, led to the prosecution of offenders, while the other 164 files were closed without indictment.”

The reason for this is simple: the hundreds of thousands of Jewish extremists who have been transferred to permanently settle in the occupied territories, an act that starkly violates international law, do not operate outside the colonial paradigm designed by the Israeli government. In some way, they too, are ‘soldiers’, not only because they are armed and coordinate their movement with the Israeli army, but because their ever-expanding settlements lie at the heart of the Israeli occupation and its continued project of ethnic cleansing.

Therefore, Jewish settler violence, like that committed by Ben Uliel, should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army, but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society as a whole. It follows that settler violence can only end with the end of the military occupation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and with the demise of the racist Zionist ideology that spews hatred, embraces racism and rationalizes murder.

May 22, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 4 Comments

Is This Controlled Demolition all over Again?

By Gilad Atzmon | May 22, 2020

For years Eco-Enthusiasts, both activists and scientists, have been telling us that the ‘party’ will come to an end. The planet we are stuck on can’t take it for much longer, it is getting too crowded and unbearably warm. Most people didn’t take any real notice of the situation and for a reason. This planet, we tend to think, isn’t really ‘ours,’ we were thrown onto it and for a limited time. Once we grasp the true meaning of our temporality, we begin to acknowledge our terminality. ‘Being in the world’ as such is often the attempt to make our ‘life-time’ into a meaningful event.

Most of us who haven’t been overly  concerned with the ecological activists and their plans to slow us down knew that as long as Big Money runs the world, nothing of a dramatic nature would really happen. In the eyes of Big Money, we tended to think, we, the people, are mere consumers. We understood ourselves as the means that make the rich richer.

Rather unexpectedly, life has undergone a dramatic change. In the present age of Corona, Big Money ‘let’ the world lock itself down. Economies have been sentenced to imminent death. Our significance as consumers somehow evaporated. The emerging alliance we have been detecting between the new leaders of the world economy (knowledge companies) and those who carry the flag of ‘progress’ ‘justice’ and ‘equality’ has evolved into an authoritarian dystopian condition in which robots and algorithms police our speech and elementary freedoms.

How is it that the Left, that had been devoted to opposition to the rich, has so changed its tune? In fact, nothing has happened suddenly. The Left and the Progressive universe have, for some time,  been sustained financially by the rich. The Guardian is an illustrative case of the above. Once a left -leaning paper with a progressive orientation, the Guardian is now openly funded by Bill & Melinda Gates. It shamelessly operates as a mouthpiece for  George Soros: it even allowed Soros to disseminate his apocalyptic pre-Brexit view at the time he himself gambled on Brits’ anti- Brexit vote. By now it is close to impossible to regard the Guardian as a news outlet –  a propaganda outlet for the rich is a more suitable description. But the Guardian is far from alone. Our networks of progressive activists fall into the same trap. Not many of us were surprised to see Momentum, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign support group within the Labour Party, rallying for the ‘Holocaust Survivor’ and ‘philanthropist’  George Soros. When Corbyn led the Labour Party, I learned to accept that ‘socialists’ putting themselves in the line of fire defending oligarchs, bankers and Wall Street brokers must be the new ‘Left’ reality. We are now  inured to the fact that in the name of ‘progress’ Google has demoted itself  from a great search engine into a hasbara outlet. We are accustomed to Facebook and Twitter dictating their worldview in the name of community standards. The only question is what community they have in mind. Certainty not a tolerant and pluralist western one.

One may wonder what drives this new alliance that divides nearly every Western society? The left’s betrayal is hardly a surprise, yet, the crucial question is why, and out of the blue, did those who had been so successful in locating their filthy hands in our pockets go along with the current destruction of the economy? Surely, suicidal they aren’t.

It occurs to me that what we may be seeing is a controlled demolition all over again. This time it isn’t a building in NYC. It isn’t the destruction of a single industry or even a single class as we have seen before. This time, our understanding of Being as a productive and meaningful adventure is embattled. As things stand, our entire sense of livelihood is at risk.

It doesn’t take a financial expert to realise that in the last few years the world economy in general and western economies in particular have become a fat bubble ready to burst. When economic bubbles burst the outcome is unexpected even though often the culprit or trigger for the crash can be identified. What is unique in the current controlled demolition is the willingness of our compromised political class, the media and in particular Left/Progressive networks to participate in the destruction.

The alliance is wide and inclusive. The WHO, greatly funded by Bill Gates, sets the measures by which we are locked down, the Left and the Progressives fuel the apocalyptic phantasies to keep us hiding in our global attics, Dershowitz tries to rewrite the constitution, big Pharma’s agenda shapes our future and we also hear that Moderna and its leading Israeli doctor is ready to “fix” our genes. Meanwhile we learn that our governments are gearing up to stick a needle in our arms. Throughout this time, the Dow Jones has continued to rise. Maybe in this final stage of capitalism, we the people aren’t needed even as consumers. We can be left to rot at home, our governments seemingly willing to fund this new form of detention.

I believe that it was me who ten years ago coined the popular adage “We Are all Palestinians” – like the Palestinians, I thought at the time, we aren’t even allowed to name our oppressor…

May 22, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 3 Comments

Iranian Supreme Leader Tweets Country Will Support Any Nation That Fights Israel

Sputnik – 20.05.2020

Iran’s Supreme Leader announced on Wednesday his country would “support and assist any nation or any group anywhere” in its struggles against Israel. His comments follow a Palestinian withdrawal from agreements with Israel over its proposed annexation of the West Bank.

“The Zionist regime has proven it won’t abide by any treaty & understands no logic except force,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei wrote in a Wednesday statement posted on Twitter as a series of tweets. “The nature of the Zionist regime is incompatible with peace, because the Zionists seek to expand their territories & will certainly not be limited to what they have already occupied.”

“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime & Muslim, Christian & Jewish Palestinians choose their own govt & expel thugs like Netanyahu. This is ‘Eliminating Israel’ & it will happen,” the Shiite religious leader explained. “A proposal for a referendum to choose the type of govt for the historical country of #Palestine was registered with the UN as offered by Iran. We say the true Palestinians with Palestinian roots of at least 100 years, and Palestinians living abroad, choose the govt of Palestine.”

“Comprehensive struggles by the Palestinian nation – political, military & cultural – should continue till the usurpers submit to the referendum for the Palestinian nation. This nation should determine what political system should rule there; struggle must continue until then,” Khamenei continued. “We will support and assist any nation or any group anywhere who opposes and fights the Zionist regime, and we do not hesitate to say this.”

Khamenei’s comments follow an announcement by the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday that it would cease to abide by any of its agreements with either Israel or the United States – a move itself in response to an announcement by the newly formed Israeli government to begin annexing one-third of the West Bank as soon as July. […]

The area Tel Aviv seeks to annex is part of what is known as “Zone C” under the Second Oslo Accords in 1995, a part of the West Bank subjected to Israel military control. However, the area Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed annexing is roughly 30% of the West Bank and not all of Area C, but mostly the Jordan River valley. As Sputnik has reported, the Israel Defense Forces have used this control to systematically evict Palestinian villages from the fertile land along the River Jordan for decades, later turning the land over to Israeli settlers who now number close to 400,000 in the zone.

Full article

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Media Ignores Israel Connection to Eric Schmidt’s Push For NY “Smart Cities”

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | May 20, 2020

With NY Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announcing that former head of Google, Eric Schmidt, would lead an effort to “reimagine” post-pandemic life in the state, media reports have failed to note that the groundwork for that “reimagining” was laid last year and intimately involves the state of Israel.

In recent weeks, considerable media attention has been given to the decision by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to tap former Google executive Eric Schmidt to lead a 15-member panel tasked with “reimagining” New York’s post-pandemic tech infrastructure as well as its education, economic and healthcare system. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was also recruited for this initiative by Gov. Cuomo, leading some American media outlets to criticize the venture as turning New York “into a Silicon Valley science experiment.”

However, it is much more than merely a Silicon Valley experiment. As The Last American Vagabond reported last month, Schmidt currently chairs the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), which discussed plans last May regarding how to re-make American society to foster the mass adoption of AI-driven technologies, including so-called “smart cities” and related systems of mass surveillance. That commission includes key people, not just from Silicon Valley, but also the U.S. military and intelligence communities – a testament to how the divisions between Big Tech, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence have become increasingly blurred in recent years.

Unsurprisingly, one of the main initiatives that the Schmidt-chaired New York panel is set to promote is the fast-tracking of “smart city” implementation as outlined by the Schmidt-chaired NSCAI. The use of the term “reimagining” in the announcement that Schmidt would chair this panel also underscores this point, given that Google’s “smart city” subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, describes itself as “reimagining cities from the Internet up.” Smart cities are more accurately defined as cities that are micromanaged by technocrats via an all encompassing system of mass surveillance and a vast array of “internet of things” devices that provide a constant and massive stream of data that is analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI).

Notably, Cuomo’s appointment of Schmidt to lead this panel aimed at “reimagining” life in New York came right before news broke that a Google subsidiary was scrapping its plans to build a smart city prototype in Toronto. Schmidt still chaired Google’s parent company, Alphabet, when that deal was first negotiated in 2017. At the time, Schmidt had said that Google’s effort to turn Toronto into a “smart city” had come “from Google’s founders getting excited thinking of ‘all the things you could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge’.”

Though smart cities have been largely unpopular among Americans to date, the coronavirus crisis has led to a spate of positive PR pieces promoting their implementation, such as a recent piece in Wired which claims that “smart city planning could slow future pandemics” and an article from Forbes about how “smart cities are protecting against coronavirus.”

While the current coronavirus crisis and Schmidt’s increasingly public role in ushering in AI-driven technological “solutions” throughout New York have given a boost to the smart city agenda, the plan to create these cities in New York was in the works well before coronavirus. However, those pre-pandemic smart city plans intimately involve one key actor that has, thus far, gone unnamed in recent media reports – the state of Israel.

Who will build New York’s Smart Cities?

Last June, NY Governor Cuomo announced a $2 million partnership agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority, a branch of Israel’s Economy Ministry, that aimed to “further strengthen economic development ties between New York State and Israel.” The agreement was specifically related to the “co-development and commercialization” for technologies related to smart cities, cybersecurity and drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), among others.

A key component of this partnership was the creation of the “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership (SCIP),” which Cuomo’s office described as “a new initiative that will share innovative technologies, research, talent and business resources between cities in New York and Israel.” It was also stated that “New York and Israel will contribute an equivalent amount of matching resources” to the project. Cuomo, at the time, also said that New York’s Incubator programs for start-ups – an initiative with funds exceeding $5 million — would “implement a new focus on Israeli companies,” as opposed to local companies.

Regarding this new “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership,” Dr. Ami Applebaum – chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientists of the Israel’s Economy Ministry – stated the following:

“As technology advances and touches every facet of our daily lives, the future of Smart Cities is just around the corner and highly depends to [sic] new and innovative technologies. This collaboration between the ESD (Empire State Development of New York State) and the Israel Innovation Authority, facilitated by our Americas Operations desk and the Ministry of Economy, Foreign Trade Administration (FTA), headed by Mr. Inon Elroy, Economic Minister to North America, will provide startups an opportunity for pilot validation sites to address the strategic concerns of both States such as cybersecurity, supply chain, energy, health, transportation, wastewater, water, civic engagement, parks, public works, and safety.”

The partnership specifically called for the establishment of five “Smart Cities” in Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) regions in New York that would interact with “test bed sites” created in Israel. This means that this “smart city” partnership only involves the creation of smart cities in New York, not Israel, but gives Israeli companies a major role in designing these five New York smart cities.

Though the press release from last year claims this would be an “equal venture,” an article on the SCIP published by The Jerusalem Post in March asserts that New York’s state government will be funding the entire $2 million project, giving $1 million to the Israel Innovation Authority and $1 million to Israeli companies. The New York government website, however, currently states that the $2 million partnership involves New York state giving $1 million exclusively to New York-based companies and the Israel Innovation Authority giving additional $1 million exclusively for Israeli companies seeking to develop New York-based projects.

On March 18, the SCIP was launched “via educational outreach and solicitation of interest in different New York localities.” The five “winning” New York municipalities, who will be announced in July, will be required “to designate physical or virtual sites to be used in new pilot technologies” sometime over the course of 2020, with those “smart city” technologies being implemented in early 2021.

The selection of the projects will be overseen by Eric Gertler, President and CEO of the Empire State Development (ESD), who was nominated to the position shortly after Cuomo announced the NY-Israel Smart City partnership and returned to a trip from Israel. Notably, Gertler is also currently chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) and is on the Board of Governors for Tel Aviv University and Israel’s Technion. He also has long-standing close ties to Mort Zuckerman, a Zionist media mogul who recently came under fire for his ties to his former business associate, Jeffrey Epstein. Gertler used to work for Zuckerman as former co-publisher of the Zuckerman-owned New York Daily News and Gertler is also a trustee of Zuckerman’s family foundation.

Smart Cities and CyberNYC

The initiation of the SCIP followed the launch of another major New York partnership with Israel that created two new, massive cybersecurity centers. Those cybersecurity centers, built in New York City and funded by New York taxpayers, are managed by private Israeli companies with close ties to Israel’s government, pro-Israel lobby organizations and Israeli intelligence-linked firms. Known as “CyberNYC” and first announced in 2018, the program officially seeks to “spur the creation of 10,000 cybersecurity jobs and make New York City a global leader in cyber innovation.”

However, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and SOSA –the two Israeli companies set to run these two “CyberNYC” centers – have been rather clear that they view the centers, not as a “collaborative” effort, but as a means for providing Israeli cybersecurity companies a foothold in the American market and as a springboard for their global expansion. A report I previously wrote for MintPress News noted that both JVP and SOSA are Israeli government and military contractors and are also connected to Israel’s intelligence apparatus, particularly companies started by former members of Israel’s Unit 8200 signal intelligence unit. Notably, SOSA’s “CyberNYC” center in particular is associated with the America-Israel Friendship League, chaired by the President of New York’s ESD Eric Gertler who is involved in the NY-Israel “Smart Cities Innovation Partnership.”

Though there are numerous other such connections, the most crucial and relevant to note is that the “CyberNYC” initiative directly involves the participation of the Unit 8200 “start-up incubator” called Team8. As I previously reported for MintPress :

“Team8, particularly its presence in New York, has long been associated with the push by pro-Israel political donor and American hedge fund manager Paul Singer and Israel’s government to make Israel the global cybersecurity leader as a means of preventing countries from boycotting Israel over human rights violations and war crimes. Team8’s role in CyberNYC will see them not only finance part of the initiative but also training cybersecurity workers who will be hired as part of the partnership.”

Team8, in addition to being closely tied with controversial Unit 8200-linked companies like Cybereason, also has developed close ties to former U.S. government officials, including the former head of the U.S.’ National Security Agency (NSA) Mike Rogers, who now works for Team8. Another notable U.S. connection to Team8 is the fact that one of Team8’s leading investors is none other than Eric Schmidt, who is now set to “reimagine” life in New York at Cuomo’s behest. In addition to Team8, Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors fund is heavily invested in several Israeli “internet of things” companies and other Israeli hi-tech start-ups.

In addition, Schmidt’s former employer, Google, has partnered with the Israeli company Carbyne911 for the implementation of emergency services and 911 call functions for “smart cities.” Carbyne911 is chaired by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and was partially financed by Barak’s close friend Jeffery Epstein. Its software, designed by former Unit 8200 members, has built-in “pre-crime” functionality, among other Orwellian features.

Given that Schmidt’s involvement in the new Cuomo-created panel to “reimagine” New York’s tech infrastructure, it is very disconcerting that media reports have failed to even mention the clear role that Israeli government-backed initiatives, as well as Israeli intelligence-linked start-ups and incubators, are set to have on New York’s future.

These ties are particularly concerning given that Israel’s government and intelligence service has a long history of aggressively spying on the U.S. federal government and/or blackmailing top American politicians, particularly using technological means. In addition, Israel’s government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has an explicit policy of creating U.S. dependence on Israeli tech companies in order to counter the nonviolent Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement within the U.S. and to make Israel the dominant global “cyber power.” It is no coincidence, then, that Israel has also been chosen by other countries with strong Zionist lobbies to create “smart cities,” some specifically for “low-income residents,” in places like Brazil and elsewhere in the years since this policy began in 2012.

Of course, while these policies and the NY-Israel smart city partnership are set to be a major boon for Israeli companies and Israel’s geopolitical goals, New Yorkers stand to be the biggest losers of the “reimagining” of their state. Not only are high-paying jobs in New York’s hi-tech future being given to foreigners and foreign-owned companies, but also the already privacy-eroding potential of “smart cities” will be placed largely in the hands of a foreign power.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 3 Comments

Israel strikes Syria to keep the USA in the Levant

By Elijah J. Magnier – 19/05/2020

Following its defeat in the second war on Lebanon, Israel discovered that its only way to suppress Hezbollah would be to close the supply line between Lebanon and Syria. That could only be achieved by removing President Bashar al-Assad from power, disrupting the “Axis of the Resistance” that extends from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Gaza. But Israel and the US, supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, Turkey, Europe and many other countries all failed to achieve their goal of making Syria a failed state. President Assad called upon his allies whose own national security was in jeopardy. If Syria were to fall, jihadists of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” would be fighting in the streets of Beirut, Baghdad and Tehran. The jihadists would also be powerful enough to remove Russia from its Syrian naval base and to export the war beyond the Levant’s borders. So, Israel and the US failed to destroy Syria and to corner Hezbollah. On the contrary, Hezbollah has become stronger than ever. The Resistance has reaped the harvest of its victory. It has become the decision-maker with key institutions in Lebanon.

Israel sought to destroy Hezbollah because it is an obstacle to Israel’s expansionist plans in Lebanon, namely to steal Lebanon’s water and some of its territories, to force a peace deal of unconditional surrender, to break Lebanon’s alliance with Iran and deprive Tehran of its strongest ally in the Middle East. For the last forty years, since the victory of the “Islamic Republic” in 1979 led by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini which unseated the US proxy ruler, the Shah of Iran, Washington has imposed sanctions, because Iran has refused to submit to US power and because it supports its allies in the Middle East, mainly Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, to stand against Israel.

In 2006, the US was involved in the planning of Israel’s war on Lebanon. At the 2006 G8 Summit, President George W. Bush described the relationship between Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as one of the root causes of “instability”: “The World must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria, and continue to work to isolate Iran.” (Roshandel J. & Lean C.N. (2011) Iran, Israel and the United States, ABC-CLIO, CA, p. 109).

US Secretary Condoleezza Rice refused to mediate a ceasefire unless “the conditions are conducive”, thinking Israel would win the war. Hezbollah was not only left on its own to face the US and Israel, but Lebanese US-Saudi proxies (Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Druse leader Walid Jumblat) supported the position of the US and Israel, and argued that there was “no point in a ceasefire.” (Wilkins H. (2013). The Making Of Lebanese Foreign Policy: understanding the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War, Routledge, Introduction).

When Israel failed to achieve its objectives, the US agreed to mediate an end to the war. Negotiations concentrated on ceasing all hostilities (not a ceasefire) between the two countries. Tel Aviv and Washington failed to obtain the deployment of United Nations Forces in Lebanon, UNIFIL, on the borders with Syria. The US sought to accommodate Israel in its attempt to gain by negotiation what it failed to achieve using its huge war machine in 33 days of the war in 2006. “Israel’s objective was never realistic”, said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

When its attempt to control the Lebanese-Syrian borders failed after its defeat in the 2006 war, Israel had one remaining option with which to counter Hezbollah: close the road via Damascus and find a way to curb Hezbollah’s supply line. This required war on Syria.

Since confronting Hezbollah face-face was no longer an option, Syria became the next target in the campaign to isolate Iran, as President Bush declared. The motives behind the war in Syria have been erroneously described by many researchers and analysts around the globe, who have depicted the war as the outcome of an “Arab Spring” against a dictatorial regime. Yet Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and other Gulf countries have been ruled by dictatorships and the same family members for decades and indeed are considered by the west as its closest- oil-rich- partners!

Actually, the war on Syria started just after the al-Qaeda 9/11 attack on the US. Four-star US general Wesley Clark disclosed Washington’s plan as he learned of it in the days after 9/11: “occupy Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finish with Iran.” Just a few months after the US invasion of Iraq, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited President Bashar al-Assad and warned him that the US would invade Syria if he refused to interrupt his support for the anti-Israel organisations, Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups: the Syrian president would share the same fate as the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was far from being a piece of cake. The US occupation generated new resistance among both Sunni and the Shia. This encouraged President Assad to rebuff the US threat, unaware of what the future held for Syria. Dozens of states, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, the Emirates, Europe and the US all supported a regime change operation via Takfiri proxies. But the consequences of destabilising Syria gave a unique opportunity for al-Qaeda to blossom in Syria and a more lethal group emerged, the “Islamic State” ISIS. President Assad called upon his few allies, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, to stand against the massive coalition gathered to create this failed state in Syria. The Syrian war which ensued offered unprecedented experience to the Syrian army, gave birth to a new Syrian resistance and offered unique warfare knowledge to Hezbollah, with a base for Iran that Tehran could never before have dreamed of having in the Levant.

Hezbollah had forced unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in the year 2000 and challenged all those Israeli-US plans for a “new Middle East” after the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006. And the long nine years of war in Syria forced Hezbollah to refine its tactics and armaments and provided Hezbollah with an unprecedented victory. Just as Israel had boosted the creation of Hezbollah, it taught this quasi-state actor all manner of skills and forced it to acquire more training and weapons to repel wars and dismantle the enemy’s objectives. Israel’s former Chief of Staff and Prime Ministerial candidate Benny Gantz believed that Hezbollah had become one of the strongest irregular-organised armies in the Middle East, capable of imposing its rules of engagement and its “balance of deterrence” on the strongest classical army in the Middle East.

“Show me four or five states with more firepower than Hezbollah: they are the US, China, Russia, Israel, France, & the UK,” Gantz said when speaking at the 2014 Herzliya Conference.

That was Israel’s assessment in 2014. Six years later, last February, Israel’s minister of defence Naftali Bennet said: “For every convoy you hit, you miss five convoys and slowly Hezbollah accumulates the critical mass of rockets [missiles] that threaten us.”

Hezbollah has become stronger than many armies in the Middle East. Hezbollah is no longer the organisation that clashes with the Israelis on a hill or site or ambushes a patrol behind an alley. Rather, in Syria and Iraq, it has successfully experienced different warfare scenarios. It has acquired many advanced weapons and became a strategic threat to Israel if it ever contemplated waging outright war on Lebanon and Syria.

Israel set as its goal bringing down Assad in Syria and separating Syria from the “Axis of Resistance.” Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said that “Israel prefers ISIS on its borders over Assad.” But Israel, America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates have lost the war. Israel has now chosen to maintain the conflict because it fears that America would let go. This is why Israel is hitting hundreds of targets in Syria, – most of the time without no strategic value whatsoever.

Sources in the “Axis of Resistance” in Syria say that:

“Israel targeted the Iranian HQ at Damascus airport (a building with green glass where Israel destroyed two floors). The following day, Iran restored it and it is back in operation. Israel has repeatedly targeted warehouses with Iranian weapons but also an abandoned training centre in the Kiswa area that has been empty for years. Their aim is to signal to the US that Israel is threatened and that the departure of the US forces would constitute a threat to Israel’s national security. It is indeed too late for Israeli jets to make any difference to Syria’s capabilities. Iran is not exporting weapons but manufacturing them. If it took Israel 9 years and 300 bombing raids to destroy Iranian warehouses in Syria, it took Iran only one year to refill and equip the Syrian army with much more sophisticated precision missiles – and all strategic missiles are in underground warehouses.”

Iran has only a few hundred advisers and officers in Syria, but it leads some tens of thousands of allies from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and auxiliary Syrian forces that resemble irregular-organised military formations.

In Syria, Hezbollah was able to operate in an area ten times the size of Lebanon, which gave it a unique experience any army in the world would have wished to have. It was also subjected to attacks by a NATO member, Turkey, which used armed drones on the battlefield. That provided Hezbollah with a wealth of experience and taught them lessons that have become integrated into curricula at military schools and colleges in Iran with Hezbollah and their allies.

President Assad does not say that it is time for his allies (especially Hezbollah) to leave Syria. Rather, he says – according to this source – that “Syria has a debt to Hezbollah. Wherever Hezbollah wants to be, it will be also Syria’s wishes.” America and Israel created an unbreakable alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has started to harvest its gains. Hezbollah was able to impose the name of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, despite repeated opposition from Saudi Arabia and the US, the losers in the Syrian war. Lebanon remained without a president for several months until General Aoun assumed the presidency.

Hezbollah rejected multiple offers from different countries by giving the Presidency of the Parliament to anyone other than President Nabih Berri, leader of the Amal movement, who has been on this throne for decades. Hezbollah holds the real power – though not all of it – in Lebanon to call for the appointment of the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the Parliament.

As for the premiership, it cannot be assumed without Hezbollah’s approval of the candidate. Hezbollah has sufficient political weight within the House of Representatives and the Presidency of the Republic to nominate or accept the nomination or direct the appointing of a prime minister. Former prime minister Saad Hariri is making sure his daily friendly contacts with Hezbollah are maintained because he would very much like to return to power. Hariri knows that the door to the premiership goes through one gate: Hezbollah.

This does not mean that Hezbollah wants to take control of Lebanon as a whole. Hezbollah leaders are aware that the Druse leader Kamal Jumblatt, Sunni leader Rafic Hariri, the Maronite Christian leader Bashir Gemayel and the Palestinians have all failed in controlling Lebanon and seizing the country. Hezbollah does not want to succumb to the same mistakes and doesn’t wish to control all of Lebanon. This means that the counter influence of other countries exists and is well-rooted in Lebanon. For example, the US ambassador in Beirut is threatening the Lebanese government with a warning not to remove the Central Bank Governor Riad Salama. Also, the US removed a Lebanese-Israeli agent, Amer Al-Fakhouri, via a plane which landed him at the US embassy without taking into consideration Lebanese sovereignty. The US supports the Lebanese army and internal security forces to maintain its dominance over certain key figures.

Syria has given the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, powers in Lebanon that he would not have obtained without the intervention of Israel and the allies in Syria. Hezbollah has managed to preserve its military pipeline via Syria by defeating the Takfiris (al-Qaeda and ISIS) and has prevented them from establishing an “Islamic emirate” in Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah’s victory comes at a price: thousands of martyrs and thousands of wounded. However, the resulting harvest is so abundant and strategic that the Lebanese Shiites now enjoy more power in Lebanon and Bilad al-Sham than they have since the year 661 when the fourth caliphate’s Imam Ali bin Abi Talib was killed.

Proofread by:  C.G.B. and Maurice Brasher

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May 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Biden Opposes Withholding US Aid to Israel under Any Circumstances

Palestine Chronicle | May 20, 2020

Presidential candidate Joe Biden would oppose cutting off US aid to Israel under any circumstances, a foreign policy advisor has said.

Anthony Blinken, an advisor to the former vice president, reiterated on Monday Biden’s “complete” opposition to reducing or withholding military aid to the US ally, just a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to go forward with the annexation of large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

“He completely opposes it, he would not tie military assistance to Israel to any political decisions Israel makes,” Blinken said in a call organized by lobby organization the Democratic Majority for Israel.

Biden has previously stated that he believes conditioning US aid to Israel on its policies would be “outrageous” and “wrong”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday presented his unity government before parliament, putting an end to more than a year of political paralysis with a renewed pledge to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

After three general elections and an unprecedented deadlock, all within the course of one year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz signed a government coalition agreement on April 20.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinian president ends agreements with Israel, US over annexation

Press TV – May 20, 2020

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared an end to all agreements with Israel and the United States in response to an Israeli regime’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Abbas announced in a statement on Tuesday that he intends not to abide by security agreements and understandings signed between Tel Aviv and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as well as cooperation with the United States.

“The Palestine Liberation Organization and the state of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the commitments based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones,” Abbas said in the statement.

The Palestinian president stressed that the move was in reaction to the Israeli regime’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, which had been envisaged in US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century unveiled earlier this year.

“We place full responsibility on the US administration for the occupation of the Palestinian people, and consider it a key partner in Israel’s actions and decisions against the rights of the Palestinian people,” Abbas underlined.

Earlier in the day, Germany and the Palestinian Authority released a joint statement expressing “grave concern” over Israel’s declared intention to proceed with the annexation plan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a number of criminal indictments, has time and again announced that he would start plans for annexing more areas in the occupied West Bank on July 1, in accordance with Trump’s peace scheme, further infuriating Palestinians.

The American president officially unveiled his scheme, the so-called deal of the century, in January at the White House with Netanyahu on his side, while Palestinian representatives were not invited.

The proposal gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders, enshrining the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allowing the regime to annex settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Trump’s highly provocative scheme, which further denies the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homeland, is also in complete disregard of UN Security Council resolutions and rejected by the vast majority of the international community.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. But Israel’s aggressive settlement expansion and annexation plans have dealt a serious blow to any prospects of peace.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

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

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Israel Instructed Its Worst Nightmare in the Art of War

A woman mocks an Israeli tank left behind when withdrawing from south of Lebanon in the year 2000, using it as a hanger to dry cloths. Credit: Younes Zaatari
By Elijah J. Magnier | American Herld Tribune | May 17, 2020

We were Hezbollah trainers. It is an organization that learns quickly. The Hezbollah we met at the beginning (1982) is different from the one we left behind in 2000”. This is what the former Chief of Staff and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabi Ashkenazi, said twenty years after the Israeli unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon.

For the first time we met a non-conventional army, but also an ideological organization with deep faith: and this faith triumphed over us. We were more powerful, more technologically advanced and better armed but not possessing the fighting spirit …They were stronger than us”. This is what Brigadier General Effi Eitam, Commander of the 91st Division in counter-guerrilla operation in south Lebanon said.

Alon Ben-David, senior defense correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13, specialized in defense and military issues, said: “Hezbollah stood up and defeated the powerful Israeli Army”.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the architect of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, said: “The withdrawal didn’t go as planned. The deterrence of Hezbollah and its capability increased greatly. We withdrew from a nightmare”. Barak meant he had planned to leave behind him a buffer zone under the control of his Israeli proxies led by the “South Lebanon Army” (SLA) commander Antoine Lahad. However, his plans were dismantled and the resistance forced Lahad’s men to run towards the borders, freeing the occupied buffer zone. As they left Lebanon, the Israeli soldiers said: “Thank God we are leaving: no one in Israel wants to return”.

In 1982, Israel believed the time had come to invade Lebanon and force it to sign a peace agreement after eliminating the various Palestinian organizations. These groups had deviated from the Palestinian compass and had become embroiled in sectarian conflict with the Lebanese Phalange, believing that “the road to Jerusalem passed through Jounieh” (the Maronite stronghold on Mt. Lebanon, northwest of Beirut, a slogan used by Abu Iyad). Israel intended Lebanon to become the domicile of its Palestinian conflict. It failed to realize that in so doing it was letting the Shiite genie out of the bottle. Signs of this genie began to appear after the arrival of Sayyed Musa al-Sadr in Lebanon and the return of students of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr from Najaf to their home country and residency in the Lebanese Bekaa. Also, the victory of Imam Khomeini and the “Islamic revolution” in Iran in 1979 was not taken into consideration by Israel, and the potential consequences for the Lebanese Shia were overlooked.

The 1982 Israeli invasion triggered the emergence of the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon”, which later became known as “Hezbollah”, and it forced Israel to leave Lebanon unconditionally in 2000. This made Lebanon the first country to humiliate the Israeli army. Following their victory over the Arabs in 1949, 1956, 1967 and 1973, Israeli officials had come to believe they could occupy any Arab country “with a brass band”.

Israeli soldiers exited through the “Fatima Gate” (on the Lebanese border, also known as Good Fence, HaGader HaTova) under the watchful eyes of Suzanne Goldenberg on the other side of the border. She wrote:

After two decades and the loss of more than 1000 men, the chaotic Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon leaves its northern flank dangerously exposed, with Hezbollah guerrillas sitting directly on its border. The scale of the Israeli fiasco was beginning to unfold… After the Israelis pulled out of Bint Jubayl in the middle of the night, their SLA allies, already in a state of collapse in the center of the strip, simply gave up. Branded collaborators, they and their families headed for exile. Behind them, they left tanks and other heavy equipment donated by their patrons. Shlomo Hayun, an Israeli farmer who lives on Shaar Yeshuv farm, said of the withdrawal, “This was the first time I have been ashamed to be Israeli. It was chaotic and disorganized.”

What did Israel and its allies in the Middle East achieve?

In 1978, Israel occupied a part of southern Lebanon and in 1982, for the first time, it occupied an Arab capital, Beirut. During its presence as an occupation force, Israel was responsible for several massacres amounting to war crimes. In 1992, Israel thought that it could strike a death blow to Hezbollah by assassinating its leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi. He was replaced by his student, the charismatic leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah has proved to be more truthful than the Israeli leaders, and thus capable of affecting the Israeli public through his speeches, as Israeli colonel Ronen, chief Intelligence officer for the Central Command of Israel Defence Forces, has said.

The new Hezbollah leader showed his potential for standing up to and confronting Israel through TV appearances. He mastered the psychological aspects of warfare, just as he mastered the art of guerrilla war. He leads a non-conventional but organized army of militants “stronger than several armies in the Middle East,” according to Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, the former Israeli Chief of Staff.

The Israeli doctrine relies on the principle of pre-emptively striking what is considered as a potential threat, in order to extinguish it in its cradle. Israel first annexed Jerusalem by declaring it in 1980 an integral part of the so-called “capital of the state of Israel”. In June 1981, it attacked and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor that France had helped build. In 2007, Israel struck a building in Deir Ezzor, Syria, before it was completed, claiming that the government had been building a nuclear reactor.

6 years after its withdrawal, Israel declared war on Lebanon in 2006, with the aim of eradicating Hezbollah from the south and destroying its military capacity. Avi Kober, a member of the department of political studies at Bar Ilan University and researcher at the Israeli BESA center said:

“The war was conducted under unprecedented and favorable conditions the like which Israel has never enjoyed – internal consensus, broad international support (including tacit support on the part of moderate Arab States), and a sense of having almost unlimited time to achieve the war objectives. The IDF’s performance during this war was unsatisfactory, reflecting flawed military conceptions and poor professionalism and generalship. Not only the IDF fail in achieving battlefield decisions against Hezbollah, that is, denying the enemy’s ability to carry on the fight, despite some tactical achievements, throughout the war, it played into Hizballah’s hands.”

Israel withdrew from the battle without achieving its goals: it was surprised by Hezbollah’s military equipment and fighting capabilities. Hezbollah had managed to hide its advanced weapons from the eyes of Israeli intelligence and its allies, who are present in every country including Lebanon. The result was 121 Israeli soldiers killed, 2,000 wounded, and the pride of the Israeli army and industry destroyed in the Merkava Cemetery in southern Lebanon where the Israeli advance into Wadi al-Hujeir was thwarted.

Hezbollah hit the most advanced class Israeli destroyer, the INS Spear saar-5, opposite the Lebanese coast. In the last 72 hours of the war, Israel fired 2.7 million bomblets, or cluster bombs, to cause long-term pain for Lebanon’s population, either through impeding their return or disrupting cultivation and harvest once they did return. “An unjustified degree of vindictiveness and an effort to punish the population as a whole”, said the report of the UN commission of inquiry conducted in November 2006 (Arkin M. W. (2007), Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, Air University Press, Alabama, pp 67-71).

The battle ended, Israel withdrew again, closed the doors behind its army, raised a fence on the Lebanese borders, and installed electronic devices and cameras to prevent any possible Hezbollah crossing into Palestine.

When Israel’s chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said “Israel instructed Hezbollah in the art of war”, he was right. Hezbollah has learned from the wars that Israel has waged over the years. In every war, Hezbollah saw the necessity of developing its weapons and training to match and overcome the Israeli army (which is outnumbered) and which enjoys the tacit support of Middle Eastern regimes and the most powerful western countries. Hezbollah developed its special forces’ training and armed itself with precision missiles to impose new rules of engagement, posing a real threat to the continuity of the permanent Israeli violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Today, Hezbollah has sophisticated weapons, including the armed drones that it used in Syria in its war against the Takfirists, and precision missiles that can reach every region, city and airport in Israel. It has anti-ship missiles to neutralize the Israeli navy in any future attack or war on Lebanon and to hit any harbor or oil platform. It is also equipped with missiles that prevent helicopters from being involved in any future battle. The balance of deterrence has been achieved. Hezbollah can take Israel back to the Stone Age just as easily as Israel envisages returning Lebanon to the Stone Age.

Hezbollah is Israel’s worst nightmare, and it was largely created by the Israeli attempt to overthrow the regime in Lebanon, occupy Lebanon, and impose an agreement that Israel could then mold to its own liking. But the tables were turned: a very small force emerged in Lebanon to become a regional power whose powerful support was then extended to the neighboring countries of Syria and Iraq. The harvest journey has begun.

May 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

News Stories Avoid Naming Israel

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 19, 2020

There are two stories that seem to have been under-reported in the past couple of weeks. The first involves Michael Flynn’s dealings with the Russian United Nations Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. And the second describes yet another bit of espionage conducted by a foreign country directed against the United States. Both stories involve the State of Israel.

The bigger story is, of course, the dismissal by Attorney General William Barr of the criminal charges against former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn based on malfeasance by the FBI investigators. The curious aspect of the story as it is being related by the mainstream media is that it repeatedly refers to Flynn as having unauthorized contacts with the Russian Ambassador and then having lied about it. The implication is that there was something decidedly shady about Flynn talking to the Russians and that the Russians were up to something.

In reality, the part left out of the story is that the phone call to Kislyak on December 22, 2016, was made by Flynn at the direction of Jared Kushner, who in turn had been approached by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu had learned that the Obama Administrating was going to abstain on a United Nations vote condemning the Israeli settlements policy, meaning that for the first time in years a U.N. resolution critical of Israel would pass without drawing a U.S. veto. Kushner, acting for Netanyahu, asked Flynn to contact each delegate from the various countries on the Security Council to delay or kill the resolution. Flynn agreed to do so, which included a call to the Russians. Kislyak took the call but did not agree to veto Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed unanimously on December 23rd.

In taking the phone calls from a soon-to-be senior American official who would within weeks be part of a new administration in Washington, the Russians did nothing wrong, but the media is acting like there was some kind of Kremlin conspiracy seeking to undermine U.S. democracy. It would not be inappropriate to have some conversations with an incoming government team and Kislyak also did nothing that might be regarded as particularly responsive to Team Trump overtures since he voted contrary to Flynn’s request.

The phone call made at the request of Israel was neither benign or ethical as the Barack Administration was still in power and managing the nation’s foreign policy. At the time, son-in-law Jared Kushner was Trump’s point man on the Middle East. He and his family have extensive ties both to Israel and to Netanyahu personally, to include Netanyahu’s staying at the Kushner family home in New York. The Kushner Family Foundation has funded some of Israel’s illegal settlements and also a number of conservative political groups in that country. Jared has served as a director of that foundation and it is reported that he failed to disclose the relationship when he filled out his background investigation sheet for a security clearance. All of which suggests that if you are looking for possible foreign government collusion with the incoming Trumpsters, look no further.

And it should be observed that the Israelis were not exactly shy about their disapproval of Obama and their willingness to express their views to the incoming Trump. Kushner went far beyond merely disagreeing over an aspect of foreign policy as he was actively trying to clandestinely subvert and reverse a decision made by his own legally constituted government. His closeness to Netanyahu made him, in intelligence terms, a quite likely Israeli government agent of influence, even if he didn’t quite see himself that way.

Kushner’s actions, as well as those of Flynn, would most certainly have been covered by the Logan Act of 1799, which bars private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments on behalf of the United States and also could be construed as a “conspiracy against the United States.” But in spite of all that the investigation went after Flynn instead of Kushner. As Kushner is Jewish and certainly could be accused of dual loyalty in extremis, that part of the story obviously makes many in the U.S. Establishment and media uncomfortable, so it was and continues to be both ignored and expunged from the record as quickly as possible.

The second story, which has basically been made to disappear, relates to spying by Israel against critics in the United States. The revelation that Israel was again using its telecommunications skills to spy on foreigners came from an Oakland California federal court lawsuit initiated by Facebook (FB) against the Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group. FB claimed that NSO has been using servers located in the United States to infect with spyware hundreds of smartphones being used by attorneys, journalists, human rights activists, critics of Israel and even of government officials. NSO allegedly used WhatsApp, a messaging app owned by FB, to hack into the phones and install malware that would enable the company to monitor what was going on with the devices. It did so by employing networks of remote servers located in California to enter the accounts.

NSO has inevitably claimed that they do indeed provide spyware, but that it is sold to clients who themselves operate it with the “advice and technical support to assist customers in setting up” but it also promotes its products as being “used to stop terrorism, curb violent crime, and save lives.” It also asserts that its software cannot be used against U.S. phone numbers.

Facebook, which did its own extensive research into NSO activity, alleges that NSO rented a Los Angeles-based server from a U.S. company called QuadraNet that it then used to launch 720 hacks on smartphones and other devices. It further claims in the court filing that the company reverse-engineering WhatsApp, using an program that it developed to access WhatsApp’s servers and deploy “its spyware against approximately 1,400 targets” before “…covertly transmit[ting] malicious code through WhatsApp servers and inject[ing]” spyware into telephones without the knowledge of the owners.”

The filing goes on to assert that the “Defendants had no authority to access WhatsApp’s servers with an imposter program, manipulate network settings, and commandeer the servers to attack WhatsApp users. That invasion of WhatsApp’s servers and users’ devices constitutes unlawful computer hacking.”

NSO, which is largely staffed by former (sic) Israeli intelligence officers, had previously been in the news for its proprietary spyware known as Pegasus, which “can gather information about a mobile phone’s location, access its camera, microphone and internal hard drive, and covertly record emails, phone calls and text messages.” Pegasus was reportedly used in the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Adnan Kashoggi in Istanbul last year and it has more recently been suggested as a resource for tracking coronavirus distance violators. Outside experts have accused the company of selling its technology and expertise to countries that have used it to spy on dissidents, journalists and other critics.

Israel routinely exploits the access provided by its telecommunications industry to spy on the host countries where those companies operate. The companies themselves report regularly back to Mossad contacts and the technology they provide routinely has a “backdoor” for secretly accessing the information accessible through the software. In fact, Israel conducts espionage and influence operations both directly and through proxies against the United States more aggressively than any other “friendly” country, which once upon a time included being able to tap into the “secure” White House phones used by Bill Clinton to speak with Monica Lewinsky.

Last September, it was revealed that the placement of technical surveillance devices by Israel in Washington D.C. was clearly intended to target cellphone communications to and from the Trump White House. As the president frequently chats with top aides and friends on non-secure phones, the operation sought to pick up conversations involving Trump with the expectation that the security-averse president would say things off the record that might be considered top secret.

A Politico report detailed how “miniature surveillance devices” referred to as “Stingrays” were used to imitate regular cell phone towers to fool phones being used nearby into providing information on their locations and identities. According to the article, the devices are referred to by technicians as “international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use.”

Over one year ago, government security agencies discovered the electronic footprints that indicated the presence of the surveillance devices near the White House. Forensic analysis involved dismantling the devices to let them “tell you a little about their history, where the parts and pieces come from, how old are they, who had access to them, and that will help get you to what the origins are.” One source observed afterwards that “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible.”

So two significant stories currently making the rounds have been bowdlerized and disappeared to make the Israeli role in manipulating and spying against the United States go away. They are only two of many stories framed by a Zionist dominated media to control the narrative in a way favorable to the Jewish state. One would think that having a president of the United States who is the most pro-Israel ever, which is saying a great deal in and of itself, would be enough, but unfortunately when dealing with folks like Benjamin Netanyahu there can never be any restraint when dealing with the “useful idiots” in Washington.

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 https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

May 19, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

US, other foreign forces must leave Syria, respect its sovereignty: Iran

Press TV – May 18, 2020

Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations says the US must end its illegal occupation of Syria and stop shielding terrorist groups under the mask of fighting terrorism.

Majid Takht Ravanchi made the remarks in a Monday address to a virtual meeting of United Nations Security Council dubbed “Middle East: Syria – Political”.

“Sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be fully respected by all, and accordingly, all foreign forces whose presence is not permitted by the Syrian Government must leave the Syrian territory,” the Iranian diplomat said.

“In this regard, the living example is the occupation of certain parts of Syria by the US forces who continue to support and shield terrorist groups under the mask of combatting terrorism,” he went on to say.

He further rejected any separatist agendas as well as “any and all attempts to create new realities on the ground, including through illegitimate self-rule initiatives.”

Takht Ravanchi slammed the “illegal” occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights by Israel, and said the recognition by the US of its annexation to Israel is null and void.

“Condemning such unlawful irresponsible act, we stress that Golan is and will remain a part and parcel of the Syrian territory,” he added.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. However, in a highly provocative move on March 25 last year US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s “sovereignty” over the Syrian territory.

Damascus strongly condemned the move and called it a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Syria.

Since the onset of the occupation, Tel Aviv has been building dozens of settlements in the region and has used it to carry out a number of military operations against the Arab country.

In his Monday speech, Takht Ravanchi also condemned Israel’s aggressions against Syria as a “gross violation of international law and the UN Charter”, stressing that the Syrian Government has a sovereign right to decide how and when to exercise its inherent right to individual or collective self-defense.

“Such aggressions must come to an end,” he urged.

Israel frequently attacks military targets inside Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up foreign-backed Takfiri terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.

The Damascus government has several times complained to the UN about Israel’s illegal strikes on Syria.

May 18, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Profits before People: Spanish Company CAF to Join Illegal Construction around Occupied Jerusalem

By Santiago González Vallejo | Palestine Chronicle | May 18, 2020

The controversial Israeli expansion project of the red tram or light rail line that will run through the occupied Palestinian area around Jerusalem is now entering a new phase.

Both the mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion, and the Israeli infrastructure authorities seem to consider that the forced lockdown and the consequent reduction of activity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to speed up these works. Thus, their planning bodies have been instructed to accelerate the project, which was awarded to the JNET consortium.

JNET is a consortium made up of the Israeli engineering company, Shapir, and the Spanish company CAF, based in Beasain, in the Basque Country. Shapir has been identified by the United Nations Human Rights Council as one of 112 companies profiting from illegal occupation.

The JNET consortium is in charge of executing the extension of both the existing red line and the planned new blue tram line, which will cover also occupied Palestinian territories. Both projects have already been pre-planned, so there is now a go-ahead to accelerate the works in this new scenario, justified by the decrease in road traffic that will make it easier to work in relevant crossroads in the settlements.

The work will include both the excavation and laying of the railway infrastructure, as well as communications infrastructure, and possibly the laying of rails. The construction would be carried out in the Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Ze’ev settlements along Arthur Hanke and Henrietta Szold streets; and from the other end, they will proceed from Herzl Street on until the Ora crossing, and then to Hadassah Ein Kerem in the following stage.

Originally, the construction in these areas was scheduled to begin last October. According to the new plans, the work at the crossings will commence in the coming weeks, with the hope to advance construction as much as possible before the end of the lockdown, thus before regular traffic is restored.

Last February, Israel decided to reach a termination agreement with the former concessionaire of the Red CityPass tram line to take control of it and recover the concession, upon payment of compensations of around 420 million euros, awarding management control to the new JNET consortium.

Among the beneficiaries of this operation is the company Alsthom (a competitor of CAF) that held 50% of the CityPass shares, and which – in addition to earning a substantial capital gain – would receive an additional reward, since they would be in a position to request their exclusion from the list of companies that profit from their participation in activities promoting the occupation of Palestinian territories — not a petty matter that causes significant damage to the corporate image and prestige of the companies involved in those illegal activities and remains a heavy burden for their taking part in other international tenders.

On the contrary, the CAF management took the decision to obtain this contract, assuming that the risk would be minimal and that a long-term impact is unlikely.

The unquestionable fact is that Shapir, CAF’s Israeli partner, has been formally listed by the UN among companies profiting from the occupation and that CAF may be singled out as such by executing a project so unjustifiable that it violates innumerable United Nations resolutions, as well as the Geneva Convention. All of this is taking place in a favorable political context for Israel, where right-wing Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz are now both part of a joint national unity government. A top priority on this new government’s agenda is the annexation of some illegal settlements and of 30% of the occupied West Bank.

The choice of CAF CEOs and managers to remain in the consortium and obtain short-term profits stains the corporate image of the company, and will most definitely harm the relationship with other international vendors.

CAF managers now stand on shaky grounds. Their partaking in the Israeli violation of international law in occupied Palestine is destroying the credibility of a company that has been, otherwise, exemplary in many other respects. CAF’s miscalculations will also increase the risks for the company’s shareholders and workers, and, needless to say, the very government that protects CAF’s operations.

Santiago González Vallejo is the head of the Comité de Solidaridad de la Causa Arabe (CSCA).

May 18, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment