Posts tagged ‘israel’

January 30, 2017

What Trump and Israel have in Common? Apartheid Walls

by mkleit

 

Source

By Ben White

In US President Donald Trump’s first week in office, three policy issues dominated the headlines: his plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, the President’s support for torture, and his executive order targeting refugees, residents and visitors from seven Muslim majority countries.

All three have prompted widespread outrage, in particular, the ban on refugees and blanket immigration restrictions being applied on the basis of national origin and religion.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, however, only issued a reluctant and mealy mouthed criticism of Trump’s scorched-earth approach to his first few days in the White House. May is one of only a handful of world leaders seemingly eager to position themselves at Trump’s right hand side.

One other leader, however, has gone even further than the British PM in seeking to praise Trump, both before and since his inauguration – and that’s Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu. There are a few reasons for this, including the tacit approval a Trump administration is expected to give to the settlement expansion bonanza already underway.

But there’s another element at play here, which goes deeper than Netanyahu’s political agenda. For what many do not realise, is that the policies – and their undergirding ideology – that Trump is unleashing on the US have been pursued by the state of Israel for decades.

 

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First, let’s take the wall. Israel began the construction of its Separation Wall in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) almost fifteen years ago. Justified in the name of “security”, some 85 percent of the wall’s route is built inside the OPT, to incorporate illegal West Bank settlements.

It was on that basis that, in 2004, judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague deemed the wall illegal, and called for its immediate dismantling.

Israel’s Wall is not even the security miracle that its defenders claim. None other than Israel’s own security services attributed a sharp decrease in “terror attacks” in 2005 to the “truce” unilaterally adopted by Hamas. Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers without permits enter Israel every day, with some 200 miles of “gaps” in the Wall’s route remaining.

The real link to Trump’s ideas comes in the justification of Israel’s Wall on “demographic” grounds; in other words, keeping Palestinians out because they are Palestinians – and note that the idea of a wall aimed at “separation” actually pre-dates the Second Intifada.

An Israeli official admitted in 2010 that the Wall was “built for political and demographic reasons”, while the man who designed it revealed how “the main thing the government told me in giving me the job was to include as many Israelis inside the fence and leave as many Palestinians outside.”

 

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ORACIÓN DEL VIERNES EN A RAM

 

Then there’s torture. Trump’s unabashed endorsement of torture has horrified politicians, human rights activists and former prisoners alike. In Israel, however, the torture of prisoners is routine – and rubber-stamped by not just the state, but also by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Just last week, Israeli interrogators confirmed in Haaretz some of the methods used on detainees – including physical and psychological abuse. The revelations came as no surprise to Palestinians, nor those Israelis who have documented practices such as sexual torture.

This grim reality is also well-known to international human rights groups – Amnesty’s most recent annual report described how “Israeli military and police forces, as well as Israel Security Agency (ISA) personnel, tortured and otherwise ill-treated Palestinian detainees, including children.”

“Methods included beating with batons, slapping, throttling, prolonged shackling, stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats”, Amnesty added, further noting how despite almost 1,000 complaints since 2001, the authorities have not opened a single criminal investigation.

And finally, what about immigration? As horrendous as Trump’s orders have been, thus far they pale in comparison in scale and duration to what Israel has been implementing for some seven decades.

Since 1948 Israel has enforced a “Palestinian Ban” (Muslims and Christians), designed to ensure that no refugees can return to the lands and homes from which they were expelled. In parallel, the state’s borders are open for any Jewish person, from anywhere in the world.

Not only that, but in more recent times, Israel has also passed legislation – backed again by the Supreme Court – that prevents Palestinians with Israeli citizenship from family reunification – purely “on the basis of the ethnicity or national belonging of their spouse.”

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said of the law: “There is no need to hide behind security arguments. There is a need for the existence of a Jewish state.” Trump – and the likes of Steve Bannon – would approve. Just as they would, no doubt, of the fact that Israel approved just eight requests for asylum, out of 7,218 requests filed by Eritreans from 2009 to 2016.

Writing in +972 Magazine, Edo Konrad noted the double standards of those who condemn Trump, but who back institutionalised racism in Israel. Here in Britain too, Trump’s critics include those who justify, or ignore, Israel’s own toxic mix of walls, discriminatory immigration system and torture.

This dissonance is only likely to become more publicly uncomfortable for Israel’s friends in the West. For Netanyahu’s embrace of a Trump White House is not just political manoeuvrings – it is reflective of a disturbing reality with which the Palestinians are only too familiar.

 

January 27, 2016

Iceland Boycotts Israel

by mkleit

Source
By Stephen Lendman

The whole world needs to follow Iceland’s lead. Its capital City of Reykjavik no longer will buy products made in Israel.

 

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Map of Iceland

 

Its city council voted for boycott as long as it continues occupying Palestinian territory – a bold act deserving high praise, perhaps inspiring greater numbers of cities worldwide to follow suit, then maybe countries if enough effective popular resistance against its viciousness materializes.

Petitions in Britain and America to arrest Netanyahu attracted growing thousands of ordinary people – expressing justifiable anger against an apartheid state brutalizing Palestinians for not being Jewish.

Reykjavik Social Democratic Alliance councilwoman Bjork Vilhelmsdottir introduced the motion to boycott – her last action before retiring from politics, expressing support for long-suffering Palestinians, recognizing their self-determination right, free from Israeli oppression.

Left Green Alliance governing coalition member Soley Tomasdottir expressed hope Reykjavik’s action will be a step toward ending Israel’s illegal occupation. Boycotting other countries guilty of human rights abuses may follow, she said.

By acting, “we as a city council, even though we are a small city in the far north, are doing what we can to put pressure on the government of Israel to stop the occupation of Palestinian territory,” she told Icelandic public broadcaster RUV.

Israel reacted as expected. “A volcano of hatred is erupting in the Reykjavik city council,” blustered foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

“There is no reason or justification for this move, besides hate itself, which is being heard in the form of calls for a boycott against Israel, the Jewish state,” he added.

“We hope that someone in Iceland will wake up and stop this blindness and one sidedness which is aimed against the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.”

The move is largely symbolic, yet another BDS success. Its web site highlighted “a decade of effective solidarity with Palestinians,” citing the following:

 

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BDS activists in Iceland – Reuters

 

A UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report shows year-over-year direct foreign investment in Israel declined 46% in 2014.

UNCTAD’s Ronny Manos said “(w)e believe that what led to the drop in investment in Israel are Operation Protective Edge and the boycotts Israel is facing.”

French transnational company Veolia failed to win major contracts across Europe and in other countries because of its involvement in Israeli human rights abuses.

The University of Johannesburg cut ties to Israel’s Ben-Gurion University in response to boycott calls from 400 South African academics. Three-fourths of London’s SOAS University academics and students voted to back BDS.

Growing numbers of entertainers refuse to perform in Israel. Many academics decline to lecture there or participate in Israeli conferences. Thousands of professionals and activists support culturally boycotting Israel.

Over 30 US student associations and 11 in Canada voted to support BDS. Israel’s largest defense company Elbit Systems lost a major Brazilian contract. SodaStream closed its settlement factory.

The American Studies Association is the nation’s oldest and largest organization involved in the interdisciplinary study of US culture and history. It voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

Kuwait boycotted 50 companies profiting from Israel’s occupation. The African National Congress declared support for BDS. Sao Paulo Festival organizers ended a sponsorship arrangement with Israel.

Major European banks divested from Israeli companies. Community actions blocked Israeli ships from docking at world ports.

 

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Gazan boy stand in front of destroyed house due to israeli bombs in last war over Gaza

 

Israeli exporters are experiencing sales declines in Europe. Chile suspended a trade agreement with Israel following its summer 2014 Gaza aggression.

US churches are divesting from companies involved in Israel’s occupation. Its state owned Mekorot water company lost contracts in Argentina, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Over 500 European academics called for EU nations to boycott Israeli settlement products. Growing numbers of European city councils support BDS.

Citing Israeli “state terrorism,” Venezuela and Bolivia cut diplomatic ties. Norway refuses to sell it weapons.

These and numerous other examples of BDS effectiveness show growing world outrage against daily Israeli crimes too horrific to ignore, including against young Palestinian children.

They’re terrorized, brutalized, or murdered in cold blood. Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) reported around 2,000 Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in the past 15 years.

It blamed Israel’s “hyper-militarized environment” – calling its summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge a war on Gazan children. Over 550 died – 68% under age 12.

It blasted Israel’s judicial system for denying Palestinian children basic rights. It said conditions won’t improve until occupation ends.

Global BDS activism is the single most effective campaign against Israeli lawlessness. It hits hard where it hurts most – economically, as well as exposing its phony image as a democratic state. It highlights its apartheid viciousness.

October 11, 2015

How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists

by mkleit

Source

ScreenHunter_1549-Apr.-20-16.42

Many doubts, questions, and dilemmas have arisen concerning the contradicting conduct of the West while dealing with extremist movements. The West exploited these movements in Afghanistan during the late 1970’s, opposed them in the Arabian Peninsula in the nineties, and then launched war against them in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Iraq after the invasion of 2003. However, in 2011, the West returned to taking advantage of these extremist groups and we are currently faced with a rather vague Western connection with Isis.

The reason behind the doubts and different points of view is that analyses are based on relatively rigid mental paradigms which fail to proceed in accordance with the flexibility and pragmatic segmentation of the cowboy mentality. On the other hand, the alignment of extremist groups in many instances with the West has induced powers which oppose these groups to accuse them of treacherous conduct.

This is accurate, but it is accomplished through the Western scheme of indirect control of these groups. This indirect control is due to the ideological and strategic disorder which extremist groups suffer from, and the disapproval which those in their infrastructure, supportive environment, and their mustering forces maintain toward any connection with the United States- let alone full alliance with America. This is what the inconstancies in relations from 1979 up until this day indicate.

Another factor which has spurned these doubts is the vehement self-defense which the “takfiris” display when they are accused of having connections with the United States or with any countries which adhere to America or revolve around it.

The examination of the course of this movement leads to a specific model which displays how the relation with Isis is controlled by Western powers with the United States at their head. This model is composed of three aspects:

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1) Commission 2) Steering 3) Restraint

Each one of these aspects forms a set of tools which The US select according to the time and condition they deem as most appropriate. They do not necessarily benefit from all of these aspects in a simultaneous manner.

1) Commission

This policy depends on assessing which geographical area is most suitable for the movement of extremist groups, but under the condition that these movements do not pose a threat on American interests and that they also provide a strategic advantage. This policy is fulfilled according to circumstances and through certain means which are chosen according to time and place. There are five essential means.

1) Ensuring geographical domains: Weakening a country’s control in the target region through commotions, political turmoil, political settlement, and national uprising – as was the case in Syria in 2011, and Mosul in 2014.

2) Securing logistical pathways: Ensuring roads for extremists to reach target regions whether these pathways are by land, sea, or air. They also provide visas and even means of transportation in order to reach the area of conflict. They used Egypt, Pakistan, and Yemen as transits during the war on Afghanistan in 1979, and Turkey and Jordan during the war on Syria in 2011

3) Allowing financial aid and armament: Giving approval to their allied powers which wish to support extremist groups with money and weapons whether directly or indirectly (through certain institutions and weapon dealers). Rationing and organizing financial aid is done according to the time which ensures the imposition of a strategic course upon extremist groups.

The United States might also resort to direct weapon provision in some cases of tactical exceptions, such as throwing weapons and equipment from the air to Isis fighters in Kobani more than five times, and presenting this act in the guise of “a mistake”.

4) Transport: Expelling extremists from the countries which are harmed by their presence or from countries which desire to take advantage of them.

5) Facilitating the work of preachers: Allowing extremist preachers to fulfill their activity of spreading extremist ideology and mobilizing “takfiris” in the areas of transference, at departure, and at arrival. Extremist preachers are also allowed to spread their views on satellite TV stations and through different media.

2) Steering

This policy is based upon exerting an effort in media, mobilization, and in the field of action in order to direct the strategic priority of extremist groups toward movement in a certain sphere only, to target a specific enemy, or even to change the strategic and tactical course at a certain stage. All of this is done according to circumstances, requirements, and capacity.

The United States is very active in this domain with the aid of its regional and international allies. It achieves its aim through nine principal means.

1) Specifying the “preferable enemy”: the US have created “stars” among the “takfiri” environment for their own purposes and interests. They shed light on commanders or convenient extremist factions through inserting them on the list of terrorism. They focus on them in the media and select them in a way in which their prominence on the political scene leads to regional and international political achievements. For example, at the beginning of the war on Iraq, Colin Powell proclaimed that the enemy of the United States was al-Zarqawi. The US media machine placed him under the spotlight in a way where he became a prominent figure on the scene, and the conflict considerably shifted to internal Iraqi strife.

This is what Israel did a few months ago when it imposed on Jabhat Nusra to assign certain commanders in charge of control of the positions along the Jolan Heights- under threat of military intervention.

2) Assassinating commanders: Targeting extremist leaders who pose a threat on American or Western national security, or leaders whose regional influence negatively affects the scheme of steering and exploiting. For example, assassinating Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-‘Awlaqi, and most Qaeda commanders in Yemen.

3) Arabian and International Media: Delivering ideological and provocative concepts which aggravate extremist groups and urge them to head to a certain target region to fight the side which America chooses.

4) Saudi Arabian clerics: The Saudi Arabian religious institution is performing a central role through issuing fatwas which declare jihad in a target region.

5) Security Breaches: Recruiting, sending “Islamized” Western men to fight, the role of Arabian secret services, imprisonment, and attracting a supportive environment which is discontent with the conduct of the extremists. Prisons play a central role in recruiting commanders and prominent figures whether in an explicit or indirect way.

6) Taking command of conflicts: Handling the crisis in the target region in a way which achieves the goals of the United States, and preserving the controllable and exploitable extremist power through suspicious operations and different means of steering.

7) Causing a suitable environment of strife: Creating a setting of conflict in which the mustering forces of the extremist groups are presented as the targets, the oppressed, and the infringed upon – as in the case of Afghanistan and Syria.

8) Dividing the “takfiri” factions: Creating conflicts, tactical clashes in the field of combat, and producing a multiple set of goals and priorities through different means in order to prevent the formation of a unified power- as in the case of the clash between Isis and Jabhat Nusra in Syria.

9) Strategic Theorization: Presenting comprehensive strategic plans which represent the interest of the extremist scheme in the targeted geographical range. The security services infiltrates the Salafist jihadi virtual world and make their own Salafist websites, and in some cases they have the advantage of recruiting few ideologue under the coercion or persuasive instrument in the secret jails, those ideologue are capable of making the paradigm shift when needed.

3) Restraint

Takfiri factions strive to maintain their own agendas – in spite of the great influence of the United States and its agents – in order to preserve their rank among their mustering forces and political authorities. Western powers need to restrain takfiri groups in order to prevent them from crossing strategic or military limits, and they fulfill this through force or control of their incomes.

Regulation is based on six essential means:
1) Direct Confrontation: Carrying out direct military operations to strike at the critical takfiri forces or those which pose a threat, as in the case of Afghanistan in 2001 for example.

2) Limiting financial aid and armament: Monitoring the flow of money and weapons; the amount, type, and timing. They also uphold the limits which prevent the takfiris from becoming a threat while allowing them to act in a way which benefits the United States, as in the case of Syria since 2011.

3) Geographical Restraint: When necessary, the military forces of the United States or its allies fire at the posts where takfiris pose a current or future threat, as the coalition forces did when Isis fighters entered Irbil.

4) Providing a Geographical Substitute: If takfiri groups increase in number or if it becomes hard to control them or their actions, a new battlefield is provided which forms a vent for emotional and military zeal. The most prominent example is allowing Isis forces to engage in fighting in Mosul.

5) Steering through the Media: Provocations in the media contribute to maintaining military and political zeal to achieve the intended and previously specified goal. Thus, it becomes difficult for the leaders of takfiri factions to turn around on the intermediate range.

6) Assassinating Commanders: This was explained among the aforementioned means of steering. The best example on resorting to this course of action during operations of restraint is the assassination of Al-Zarqawi when the United States became suspicious that he had pledged allegiance to Bin Laden and that he had restored the struggle against America as his main priority.

terrorist Abu Mes'ab al Zarqawi

terrorist Abu Mes’ab al Zarqawi

Exemplification

The usage of these means was fulfilled in different circumstances and course of events. In Afghanistan in 1979, the United States had previously designated the course of events. The National Security Advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, had formulated a plan to bring Islamists to Afghanistan, to lure the Soviets, and to trigger a long term exhaustive struggle between them.

The second example was after the eleventh of September when the United States resorted to means of restraint in the face of takfiri groups which had left Afghanistan in search of a range of movement. A clash of interests ensued and resulted in the war on Afghanistan in 2001 and the operation of complete security restraint in Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, the zeal of these takfiri groups was directed toward Iraq in 2003 under the banner of fighting America only to be steered toward internal strife.

After that, the great operation to engage in Syria commenced and it is still continuing. The takfiri factions had envisioned in their consciousness and political cognizance an old enterprise in that country. One of the results of this operation was the emergence of Isis whose military effort has been steered once again toward Iraq- in limited mutual interests which the United States has not allowed to cross their specified sphere. Now, Isis is heading toward targeting Saudi Arabia which induced the international coalition to strike it.

Art of the Possible

The United States, its allies, and its regional adherents have adopted this three dimensional policy. This is due to the deep hostility which Arabian and Islamic nations hold toward America, the inability of the US army to engage in the battlefield for military and economic reasons, and the steady growth of powers which oppose America and Israel. Thus, the need for substitute armies able to accomplish strategic and tactical missions arose.

The second reason is the difficulty in engaging in direct combat with takfiri groups which Bin Laden had been temporarily able to drive toward fighting the far enemy in the late nineties and the new millennium, and the need which arose after September eleventh to return these groups to their favorite ideology of targeting the near enemy and regional foes.

Thirdly, Western powers were most of the time in need for an excuse for military intervention. They were also in need of signing long-term agreements (in security, economics…) with the terrorist takfiris. This is why they enabled the takfiris to be present- in order to justify intervention as in the case of Iraq in 2003.

Fourth is the need of America and Western countries to import the takfiri individuals who are active on their soil and to get rid of them.

Regional allies have other concerns – the most important which is the need to vent the internal pressure which these takfiri movements of revolutionary quality pose, and to solve jurisprudential issues when dealing with takfiri groups which lessen their excommunicative speech against certain regimes when they find a suitable range of movement abroad.

On another level, Arabian and Islamic countries need to get rid of the organizational structures of the takfiris or to weaken them as much as possible through driving them toward areas of conflict and strategic ambushes, as Saudi Arabia did in 2003 when it imported its dilemma with Qaeda to Iraq and got rid of that great predicament. The final motive for countries which are involved in the strategy of indirect control has to do with the regional aspect- they make use of takfiri groups to accomplish political regional goals, as in the case of Syria since 2011.

The nature of the takfiri groups is the reason why they have a tendency to be under this strategy. They are hostile and excommunicate everyone, even one another. Thus, they are prone to be steered in any possible direction. Due to the intellectual and jurisprudential differences among takfiri groups, and the lack of a unified command and strategy, they have a tendency to be infiltrated and to be steered in different directions. They also suffer from great vulnerability in security and this has facilitated the endeavors to recruit agents and secret intelligence infiltration.

They are also faced with a major problem which is financial aid – they lack an independent Islamic country which provides them with the money they need. This is why they depend on countries which exclusively adhere to the United States such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Pakistan. On the other hand, due to the security and political pressure exerted on takfiri groups, they are usually in search of any available outlet- especially since their speech carries very ambitious goals in comparison with their ability and narrow range of movement.

ألعوبة السعودية في سوريا

ألعوبة السعودية في سوريا

Courses of Action and Achievements

The main cases in this strategy are Afghanistan 1979, Iraq 2003, and Syria 2011. These cases have been generally successful in accomplishing their main goal which is transformation as much as possible of the threat which takfiri movements pose into a chance, and to take advantage of their blood-thirsty and destructive nature for the benefit of strategic US enterprises. They were successful in Afghanistan which the Soviets left, and they were successful in kindling sectarian and ethnic turmoil in Iraq in 2003. Currently, the United States has benefitted from these takfiri groups in Syria through destroying a great deal of the infrastructure of that country which is central in the allegiance of resistance. Israel has benefitted in creating an obstructive line on the border of the Jolan Heights which is formed of the Jabhat Nusra forces. In Iraq today, Isis represents a case which we wait to discover its outcomes and strategic courses.

On the long term, this strategy has been successful in shifting the military effort of takfiri groups away from directly targeting the West. In Afghanistan, the enemy was the Soviet Union, and in the period after that the targeting of American interests commenced up until the eleventh of September. Steering and indirect control were successful in Iraq in making American interests a secondary priority for takfiri groups in opposition to the priority of targeting other regional powers. As for Syria, American interests became completely distant from takfiri attacks, and Isis has almost fully eliminated attempts to target American interests. The main concern has become the geographical region- to establish the state of Isis, expand it, and to preserve its lands.

The profound and structural results show that America has been able to prevent takfiris from being active in regions where they pose threats on American interests. As a result of wide American domination, takfiri groups have not been able to move in an effective way which has influential political results anymore. They are only able to do so when there is no opposition to US interests which means where the US are at an advantage due to their presence. Thus, these takfiri groups – in an objective way- have become a part of the American scheme. With time they have avoided all regions vital to the United States and are active in less crucial areas.

October 10, 2015

Time for an Efficient BDS حان وقت المقاطعة الفعالة

by mkleit

المقاطعة الإقتصادية كلفت الكيان الصهيوني أكثر من مليار ونصف المليار دولار خلال سنة، وحوالي 7 مليارات دولارات في السنوات الخمس الماضية… وهي حركة تراكمية، أي إن استمرت لعشر سنوات متتالية، ستكلف الكيان الصهيوني 47 مليار دولار، بحسب منظمة RAND للأبحاث والإحصائيات.

الصور أدناه هي دليل من موقع “حملة المقاطعة” لأبرز الشركات الداعمة للكيان الصهيوني في الشق الإقتصادي (هناك دعم فني وثقافي وعسكري إلخ…)، يليها صور من المواجهات الأخيرة ما بين الفلسطيين والإسرائيليين في عدة مناطق فلسطينية محتلة.

The israeli entity has suffered from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) campaign around 1.4 billion dollars annually, and a 7 billion in the recent five years… it’s an accumulative movement, where it would cost “israel” around 47 billion dollars if it lasted for 10 consecutive years, in accordance to RAND corporation for research and analysis.

Below are images from “Boycott Campaign” website that introduce the most prominent economic supporters of the israeli entity (there’s also artistic, cultural, and military support…), followed by images of recent confrontations between Palestinian youth and israeli occupational soldiers in different areas of occupied Palestine.

Boycott Campaign

Click to enlarge
BDS

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Interior of al Aqsa mosque after israeli occupational forces raided it - unknown photographer

Interior of al Aqsa mosque after israeli occupational forces raided it – unknown photographer

Palestinian guy resting near burning tires after a day of throwing stones on israeli occupational forces - unknown photographer

Palestinian guy resting near burning tires after a day of throwing stones on israeli occupational forces – unknown photographer

israeli settlers wearing Palestinian Kufiya to apprehend Palestinians throwing stones at israeli occupational forces - unknown photographer

israeli settlers wearing Palestinian Kufiya to apprehend Palestinians throwing stones at israeli occupational forces – unknown photographer

Palestinian girl holding stones in defense of her village against israeli occupation - unknown photographer

Palestinian girl holding stones in defense of her village against israeli occupation – unknown photographer

July 14, 2015

Yemen: A Voice in the Wilderness

by mkleit

“Yemeni people are not bad people, they are good people. They want to be respected, they want their sovereignty to be respected. We did not wage a war, a war was brought upon us. Our issue was an internal one and it would have been sorted out internally”

Hanan al-Harazi, her mother and her 8 year old daughter fled Yemen 10 days after the first bombs started to tear holes in her beloved country. Hanan’s daughter had begun to present the early signs of PTSD and for her sanity, the family decided to split itself down the middle, leaving Hanan’s husband behind in Yemen with his family and her two brothers. Hanan brings us a moving and powerful insight into the events leading up to the present devastation of Yemen at the hands of their Saudi oppressors and their imperialist allies.

Neutron bomb on the outskirts of Yemeni capital Sanaa

Neutron bomb on the outskirts of Yemeni capital Sanaa

Vanessa Beeley: When did you leave Yemen?

Hanan al-Harazi: I think we were in Yemen for almost 10 days after the bombing started and then there was a rocket attack on our immediate neighbourhood, very close to where we lived. After this, my daughter developed urinary incontinence and a sudden fear of any loud sound. Recently, I was looking for her for over an hour and I eventually found her hiding in the closet because she had heard an aircraft flying overhead. It will take decades to erase this trauma from her memory. I can’t even imagine what the other children still in Yemen have been going through after almost 103 days of continuous air raids. It is devastating.

V: How old is your daughter?

H: She is turning 9 in August. I used to work at a school so I know that children are not able to express themselves in words as well as adults.

I just gave her a piece of paper and I told her to write down her feelings. It was heart-breaking for me to read the pain and suffering in those baby words. A few days later, it’s the same thing, all she can draw or paint are jets bombing her country, really sad images. I know that the sun represents something really positive in a child’s life but when you have a child depicting a crying sun with a sad face, it should really pass a powerful message to the world.

We were lucky enough to have foreign passports that meant we could leave Yemen.Nobody is issuing visas to Yemeni nationals so this means 23 million people trapped inside a country that is being mercilessly and indiscriminately bombed with complete disregard for civilian life.

V: There are reports that state over 80% of the population are now enduring a humanitarian crisis. Is this figure realistic?

H: Absolutely! There is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis unfolding in Yemen. My fear is that if the blockade is not lifted we are going to witness something horrific by all standards. You are talking about a population of which almost 60% are living below the poverty line. They don’t know how to secure the next meal and this was when their world was “ok” and not in a state of war. I would say the few people who had jobs have lost them and food prices have rocketed. The capital may have slightly better facilities than some outlying areas but even there, the water is now contaminated and the cost of bottled water has trebled in price. I have no idea how people are coping.

Food is still available in the markets but supplies are sparse. Once these supplies do run out, Yemen will starve. We produce very little food in Yemen itself, the majority of foodstuff is imported so the movement of goods is essential to our survival. The blockade will ensure that we cannot survive. There has been a tiny trickle of aid via certain aid groups and NGOs but this has only reached hardest hit areas like Aden, leaving entire swaths of the country without food, water or medical facilities. The cumulative effects will be horrendous and the Humanitarian crisis will be crippling.

V: I am assuming that KSA [as Israel did in Gaza] is targeting Yemen’s infrastructure in order to destroy the civilian ability to survive this onslaught.

H: Yes absolutely. If you look back to yesterday, the events in Amran and Lahj, they have targeted food markets and livestock markets. More evidence of the coalition determination to starve the people of Yemen. The livestock constitutes part of our minimal domestic produce, so this is a deliberate destruction of the civilian ability to survive. The footage that is coming out shows that they are targeting civilian areas, schools have been hit, stadiums, sports facilities, you name it. They have hit everything. They are saying they are only targeting military centres. Perhaps in the beginning this was true. Over the last few weeks we have seen far more random & intense bombing of civilian sites.

The Ansarullah movement is pretty much part of the Yemeni fabric, the Yemeni society. They don’t carry any markings or insignia to distinguish them from the local population so it is beyond ridiculous to say that they are hitting only Ansarullah targets in a city like Sanaa, that has a population of 3 million people .The civilian death toll is way higher than if they were only targeting Ansarullah operatives.

Doctor holds bomb-surviving three-days-old girl in Sanaa, Yemeni capital

Doctor holds bomb-surviving three-days-old girl in Sanaa, Yemeni capital

V: In your view is there any alternative to resisting this attack on Yemen? Is there an option for surrender and negotiation?

H: Look, I will speak for myself and for a lot of people in Yemen. The question of Yemen’s sovereignty has always been uppermost in Yemeni minds and this led to the 2011 revolution to get rid of our long- time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh because we knew he was largely a Saudi puppet. He was pushing the Saudi agenda in Yemen and giving it priority over the interests of the country. During this time many people lost their livelihoods and their lives and most of the major cities caught up in the revolt, came to a standstill for a while.

We have not come this far only to have another Saudi puppet government in place in Yemen. If this continues we no longer have an identity. Yemeni people are not bad people, they are good people. They want to be respected, they want their sovereignty to be respected. We did not wage a war, a war was brought upon us. Our issue was an internal one and it would have been sorted out internally.

Jamal Benomar, the former UN peace envoy to Yemen stated very openly that the warring factions were actually reaching an agreement before the first bomb hit. “When this campaign started, one thing that was significant but went unnoticed is that the Yemenis were close to a deal that would institute power-sharing with all sides, including the Houthis,” said Mr. Benomar, a Moroccan diplomat. Thus it becomes obvious that our aspirations are being sacrificed at the altar of Imperialist greed and ambition.

V: We are seeing this across the region, these internal attempts at reconciliation and agreement that are being derailed by the Imperialist agenda and their sectarian propaganda. From what you are saying, this is also happening in Yemen?

H: I can categorically state, there is no sectarian conflict in Yemen. They have been trying to ignite a sectarian war in Yemen but Yemen is one country where we have had Shafi Sunnis and Zaydi Shias praying in the same mosques for hundreds of years. We are a society that is known to intermarry between these two sects. In reality they instigated this territorial war when they wanted to split Yemen into a 6 federal state system. We are tired of having their agenda imposed upon us and being forced to implement it.

I have lived in Yemen for the last 21 years and I never knew that my next door neighbour was a Shafi Sunni or a Zaydi Shia. It was not part of our culture, we never asked. We peacefully coexisted. This balkanisation agenda was the start of the entire problem. Their division was all wrong. They left some areas totally isolated.

The Ansarullah movement and the Southern Separatist movement were both in favour of a confederal state system where Yemen would be divided into north and south existing within a federal state. Most of us were ok with that.

President Hadi [although I hate to call him our President] was pushing the Saudi agenda of the 6 state system. Another thing that a lot of people don’t realise, is that when they divided the 6 state system they purposefully isolated one state called Azal. Azal incorporated many of the Zaydi strongholds, Sadaa, Amran, Sanaa and Dhamar. Azal was left without any resources or any access to the sea. It was blatant imprisonment and suppression of what we would term the “traditional powers” in that area. It was a deliberate attempt to weaken their influence in Yemen.

So Hadi’s plan would have divided Yemen into smaller sectarian states while the Ansarullah plan was more like going back to the boundaries before unity where the south would have greater autonomy over its own internal affairs.

V: How great is the “extremist” threat in Yemen?

H: Let me give you an example. The al-Jauf area has both Sunni and Shia populations and so does Marib and elsewhere. The Zaydi Shias and Shafi Sunnis are both very moderate sects. Yemeni people have no affiliation to the Wahabi sect of Saudi Arabia. Wahabism is alien to Yemen.

We do see certain areas in the South, like Hadramaut which has been in the media lately, parts of which are totally under control of Al Qaeda. The funny thing is, the bombs are falling on the very people that are fighting these extremists. Not a single bomb has been dropped on the extremist strongholds. Even though they know that AQ is in total control of al-Mukalla in Hadramaut and the seaport in that area. That has to be a huge question mark over their true agenda in the region.

The bombing has only achieved one thing and that is to further strengthen these extremist groups in Yemen. I know that in Ansarullah controlled-areas we have the local popular committees that are in charge of security and they have been working round the clock to ensure that the extremist elements are kept at bay. On the battleground their progress has been immensely impeded thanks to the airstrikes that serve as cover for the advancing extremists.

I am not sure if there are any foreign fighters at the moment. I know there are some Saudis, but I am not aware of foreigners from Afghanistan, Chechnya for example. If things escalate I believe we will see many more of these extremists entering Yemen via our borders, yes. Right now the northern borders are secure, apart from Marib where there is heavy fighting going on.

V: How much support are you receiving from Iran?

H: I do not believe that Iran is playing any active role. They support Yemen from a media perspective only. I believe Iran’s “support” is a propaganda ploy to justify hitting Yemen. This war was planned a long time ago, even before Ansarullah moved towards the capital. It becomes very suspicious when you have a president in power and a minority group leaves its stronghold in the northernmost tip of Yemen and moves down towards the capital, Sanaa, in the centre of the country. One city after another in the north falls to them and the president says nothing. Then just as they reach agreement which was the Peace and Partnership Initiative, Hadi suddenly decides that he does not want Ansarullah to have even marginal representation in Government. That was obviously never going to be acceptable, Ansarullah is a force on the ground that must be considered part of the coalition. That is where the conflict originated and that is why they placed Hadi under house arrest because he was following Saudi instructions. Saudi was against the Ansarullah inclusion in Yemen’s government. Then Hadi fled to the south.

My personal take was that the plan was always for Hadi to flee to the south and ask the Saudis for help which justified their bombing of the north of Yemen which has traditionally been the Zaydi stronghold and a thorn in their side. Ansarullah and the army discovered this plan and moved very quickly down to the south and hence you see this widespread bombing in all areas, not just in the north.

As a final point in the analysis of Iran’s role in Yemen. Yemen is a sovereign state and we are free to have bilateral ties with whomsoever we choose. Saudi had a problem with Yemen opening up about 12 flights per week to Iran mainly for bilateral reasons because the rest of the world shut down against Yemen. We have been under Saudi influence for, at least, the last 30 years. Many will say it’s much longer due to Saudi having been implicated in the assassination of President Ibrahim Al Hamdi who was probably the best President that Yemen has ever had.

Yemen’s greatest problems are economic in nature. Saudi never did anything to resolve our economic issues other than putting our leaders on their payroll in order to effectively destroy the country. It’s nearly impossible for a Yemeni to get a visa to travel, even to the UAE.

How can a country flourish when there are so many restrictions upon its people? When Ansarullah came to power our options were reviewed and bilateral ties with Iran were naturally investigated.

Injured kid after Saudi bombing on Talah, in Sada district, northern Yemen

Injured kid after Saudi bombing on Talah, in Sada district, northern Yemen

V: There is a very strong sense of Yemen’s isolation. Even last night 180 Yemeni civilians were massacred in Amran and Lahj yet the media barely mentions it. Is this how you perceive it?

H: Yes. This goes back to decades and decades of isolation. Let me ask this question to the world. The government collapsed in Yemen in September 2014. Can you imagine a country that has gone months and months without a government in place, without a police force, without an army, with a population that does carry arms and with crushing poverty, yet the crime rate is less than “first world” countries like America. Why are these people isolated when they have this inestimable respect for human life? They are an example to the world.

News trickles out via internet, Yemen Today channel and Ansarullah’s channel, al-Masirah. It pains me that people seem to be largely ignoring our suffering, particularly when it is relatively easy to inform themselves these days. For instance, Yemen has had no coverage regarding the internationally banned weaponry that is being used against us. I know that where I work, the area has been decimated. It is an area called Faj Attan a densely populated civilian area where there are shopping areas, thousands of residential homes, schools. How can you use such weapons of mass destruction in an area like this and be exempt from investigation?

V: Are you receiving any help through Oman?

H: Oman appears to have taken a neutral stance, for which I am grateful. The interesting thing is, about a month before the bombing started, I read a report from inside Oman stating that they were preparing for a refugee crisis. They were talking about the possibility of setting up refugee camps on the Yemen/Oman borders. So when the first bombs hit at 1.30 am when we were all asleep, I knew immediately that this had all been pre-planned. Maybe because Oman are part of the Gulf Cooperative [GCC] they had information that something was being prepared against Yemen. I do know that a lot of people have been flown into Oman for treatment, particularly during the suicide bomb attacks on the mosques in Yemen.

V: How is the internet in Yemen? How much electricity or alternative power source is available?

H: People are struggling, there is no power. Can you imagine a country in the 21st century without any power at all? Many people don’t realise that much of the water used in Yemen is pumped from underground reservoirs and so we need diesel or electricity to enable this pumping process, neither of which are available.

From what I hear, electricity is available maybe 40 minutes per week in the capital, Sanaa. There are other areas in the country that have no power at all. We did have this black out problem even before the war but never to this extent. Yes some have generators but black market fuel prices are crippling.

V: You mention WMD. I know there were reports on the use of nuclear bombs. The information coming out of Yemen is sketchy. Do you have any further information or evidence of this claim?

H: I know that 2 of the bombs that were used did produce a nuclear “type” mushroom cloud. Obviously the effects of any radiation will only be seen after time.

Yemen cluster bombs, But even if they did not use nuclear missiles..the weapons they are using are still illegal and devastating. Their use of cluster bombs is well documented, some have failed to detonate and have been photographed on the ground. They have used neutron bombs which generate so much pressure. When my neighbourhood came under attack in first 10 days, the pressure I felt from a relatively distant explosion was terrifying. I had pain in my ears from the pressure draft for weeks afterwards.

The Yemenis were leading normal lives before being suddenly flung into a war zone, its bewildering for everyone. My husband is part of a food distribution network for the poor during Ramadan. He had just gone to deliver some goods to someone in the neighbourhood. Two minutes after he left there were direct rocket hits on this area and this poor man who didn’t even know where his next meal was coming from, was killed. How many more people must die senselessly to serve an Imperialist agenda?

V: Do you have a personal concept of what that Imperialist agenda is?

H: I do not think it is related to Iran despite the propaganda to the contrary. I think we are paying dearly for trying to free ourselves from Saudi slavery. We are paying for our freedom with our lives.

I have been told there are oil and more importantly, gas reserves in al-Jawf which is bordering Saudi Arabia and has been protected by them for years. In 2011 when the people took to the streets demanding a better life, President Saleh was forced to admit its existence publicly for the first time. So we are cursed, we are cursed because we have oil & gas. Every country that has natural resources is cursed and a target of Imperialist intervention.

Saudi Arabia has fostered corruption in Yemen for decades. Ansarullah were committed to ending this poisonous influence on our leaders and this would have countermanded Saudi power in Yemen. When the first bombs hit, the “sold” tribal sheikhs and politicians were seen fleeing to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi air force destroys mosque in bordering governorate of Saada in Yemen

Saudi air force destroys mosque in bordering governorate of Saada in Yemen

V: Would you be able to just elaborate on the situation in Aden and also address why Yemen is so important to Saudi Arabia.

H: Aden is being portrayed by the pro aggression media as being a battle for the legitimacy of Hadi. In 2011 Hadi was the only viable choice to fill the power vacuum. 6 million northerners voted for him while the south actually boycotted elections. This alone should counter the claims that he has legitimacy in the South of Yemen.

In Aden what is happening now is that Hadi has gone back to the South but it has to be made clear that the people of Aden and the surrounding area are not pro Hadi, they are also fighting for their independence and are not pro Saudi aggression.

If you look at a map of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is landlocked. Its only access or lifeline to the outside world is via the Bab-el-Mandeb straits in the south of Yemen and the Straits of Hormuz which are controlled by Iran. Yemen has never attempted to block or to impede movement through the Yemeni controlled Mandeb straits. To be honest I don’t even think that Yemen truly controls this area, it is covertly under the control of the Imperialist nations. Saudi Arabia has a lot of internal turmoil and is brutally crushing its own internal opposition. We would never interfere in Saudi internal affairs but I believe that they fear a strong Yemen. With our new constitution clearly stating that leaders can only have two terms in power, we would be the only republic in the GCC block. In Saudi Arabia, which is a despotic regime, our evolution could threaten the stability of their ruling families.

V: What is the message that you would like to convey to the outside world.

H: My hope right now, apart from a miracle from God, is that there are more good people than bad people in this world and I wish we could reach out to them and tell them, today it is me, tomorrow it is you.

We just want to survive, we want to live. Yemen is not the country it is being portrayed to be. We are not terrorists. We are proud of our culture. We are a peace loving people. Yemen is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. We are being portrayed as savages by a media that is supporting the savaging of our land.

I also have to say I respect Ansarullah for their wisdom and self -restraint especially when our mosques came under attack. Mosques that may have been built by Zaydi but are inclusive of all sects for worship. Ansarullah released a statement instructing people not to be drawn into the foreign conspiracy to ignite sectarian divisions. I feel they genuinely represent millions of Yemeni who are fighting for self-determination and recognition as a sovereign nation.

Surrender is not an option while our own internal peace process is being derailed by external aggression. Saudi Arabia has failed to send in ground troops and they are attempting to bomb us into submission. They see that this will not succeed so they have now imposed this brutal, horrific, cruel, vicious blockade on Yemen in the hope that the Yemeni people will turn against those who are fighting the Saudi invaders. I am proud of the solidarity that my people have shown to one another. Even in a situation like this where they have so few resources they will still take care of their neighbours. We are human beings and we have a right to a decent life.

Yemen is far from perfect but no country in this world is perfect. We did not wage this war, we did not provoke this war. For the first 40 days of the Saudi offensive, Yemen did not fire one bullet towards Saudi Arabia. It is rank hypocrisy from Saudi Arabia to label us the aggressor. It has always been the opposite, Saudi Arabia has always been sending its filthy elements into my country and attempting to spread its disgusting Wahabi ideology. Whether Zaydi or Shafi we will never adopt this distorted, twisted, ugly version of Islam.

I would go so far as to state that Yemen has potential to be a model for true democracy in the Middle East. There are 25 million people who call Yemen, home. We simply ask to be left in Peace. Is that too much to ask?

Two small refugees from Sada district to Houdeida in Yemen

Two small refugees from Sada district to Houdeida in Yemen

This interview first appeared at thewallwillfall.wordpress.com

Vanessa Beeley is a photographer, writer, peace activist and volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. She lived in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defence and again in 2013. In 2014 she established the Gaza Smile Project to raise funds for children in Gaza. She spent her childhood in Egypt with her father, Sir Harold Beeley who was Special Envoy to Cairo during both Suez Crises, confirmed Nasserist and Middle East Advisor to Ernest Bevin. Since 2011, Vanessa has spent most of her time in the Middle East . She was recently invited to be on the steering committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement. Visit her blog thewallwillfall.wordpress.com.

July 1, 2015

Gaza: The hijacking of The Marianne by “The Pirates of the Mediterranean”Map of occupied Palestine

by mkleit

London Progressive Journal

Map of occupied Palestine

Map of occupied Palestine

Piracy:” The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.” (Oxford English Dictionary)

The “international community” is, it would seem, remarkably selective over piracy.

Concern over Somali pirates was such that foreign navies were sent to protect shipping in international waters. In one incident three alleged pirates were killed and a Somali teenager spirited a way to the US to be tried, whilst eleven others were sent for trial to Kenya.(1)

However, in the early hours of the morning (local time) of 29th June, three Isr aeli Navy ships intercepted and hijacked a Swedish flagged ship, the Marianne av Göteborg on route to Gaza in the State of Palestine (recognized as a State by the United Nations on 30th November 2012 by an overwhelming vote of 138-9, elevating Palestine to Non-Member Observer State – a status bestowed on just one other entity, The Vatican).

The ship was in international waters (approximately one hundred nautical miles off shore) but was boarded, towed by Israeli Navy vessels to Israel’s port of Ashdod. Cameras, computers, mobile phones and belongings h ave been allegedly stolen by those who boarded. It is hoped they will be returned but the track record is not good judging by the lack of return of personal – or any – items, including aid cargo purchased by public donations destined for the people of Gaza, from the numerous previously pirated vessels. The Marianne was carrying a consignment of solar panels for a people whom, for most, a constant electricity supply has become a distant memory

Israel’s territorial waters (in to which the Marianne had no intention of heading) presumably should extend just twelve nautical miles from shore, as laid down in the 1984 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which directs that :

“Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.” They do not extend one hundred nautical miles.

Israel has stated the Marianne was requested to change course a number of times. Israel has no legal right to demand anything of a vessel in international waters

Marianne av Göteborg flotilla

Marianne av Göteborg flotilla

In a mind numbingly schizophrenic communication to the Marianne, the Israeli government wrote:

“There is no blockade on the Gaza Strip, and you are invited to transfer humanitarian supplies through Israel. ”If there is “no blockade”, it has to be asked, why should humanitarian supplies be sent to Israel and why indulge in multiple warship piracy, towing the ship to a foreign country to which it had never intended to travel?

The communiqué ended in regret that the Marianne’s passengers had not chosen to visit Israel where they would have been “impressed” by the democracy upheld by the Jewish state that affords equality and religious freedoms for all its citizens. So they we re forcibly taken there to experience the “freedoms” from the inside of Givon prison, where all but two are currently being held. It is surely a truly mad world in “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Perhaps the government scribe was unaware of the latest of innumerable acts far from resembling democracy or equality , targeting, as ever, children:

“While budget allocations for private Christian schools have steadily shrunk, the private yeshivas serving Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish population have received increased allotments, to the point that the state now covers 100 percent of their budgets. The yeshivas do not teach the Ministry of Education’s core curriculum, and their matriculation rate hovers at a dismal 10 percent.” (2)

Further: “State schools that serve Palestinian citizens of Israel are notoriously underfunded, with a recent report finding that the state allots $1,100 per year per Jewish student versus $192 per Arab student in the state system. No surprise, then, that average matriculation rates at state-run Arab high schools are about 27 percent, compared with 95 percent for the leading Christian schools. What’s more, teachers at state schools in the Arab sector must be vetted by Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service. And the schools’ state-mandated curriculum places draconian limitations on teaching Palestinian history and literature.”

However, regarding the Christian schools:

“Last summer, the situation became critical after the ministry set a cap so low on the amount the schools may raise through tuition that they could no longer make up the shortfall caused by the shrinking state budget allocation.

Father Fahim Abdelmasih , the head of the Christian Schools’ Office in Israel, said that six months of negotiating with the Ministry of Education yielded no solution, calling the tuition caps a ‘death sentence’ for Christian schools in Israel.”

So much for equality and religious freedom for all its citizens – and then there is that wall, the segregation roads, the segregation buses, the checkpoints, the travel bans, bombed home repair bans, home demolitions, olive grove arsons, flower, fruit, vegetable export bans – an embargo on all normality.

The passengers of the Marianne currently being “impressed” by Israeli democracy from the inside of Givon Prison are:

Dror Feiler (Sweden) Musician and Composer

Ana Miranda (Spain) Member of the European Parliament

Nadya Kervorkova (Russia) Journalist

Kajsa Ekis Ekman (Sweden) Journalist, Author

Robert Lovelace (Canada) University Professor and retired Algonquin Chief

Joel Opperdoes (Sweden) Crew

Gustave Bergstrom (Sweden)

Herman Reksten (Norway)

Kevin Neish (Canada)

Jonas Karlin (Sweden)

Charlie Andreasson (Sweden)

Ammar Al- Hamdan (Norway) Aljajeera Arabic

Mohammed El Bakkali (Morocco) Aljazeera Arabic

Ohad Hemo (Israel) Channel 2 Israeli TV

Ruwani Perera (New Zealand) Maori TV

Jacob Bryant (New Zealand) Maori TV

Alarmingly , the whereabouts of passengers Dr Moncef Marzouki, former President of Tunisia (2011-2014), and Palestinian politician Bassel Ghattas, a Member of the Israeli Knesset, are unknown at the time of writing.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, binding for one hundred and fifty four nations and the European Union (not yet ratified by the United States) makes “piracy a universal crime and subjects pirates to arrest and prosecution by any nation. ” However, for all the quoting of its fine words here, surprise, Israel has not signed this important, detailed Convention as it has ignored or violated innumerable UN Resolutions (3), starting from the country’s infancy with Resolution 57 of 18th September 1948, which expressed: “deep shock at the assassination of the UN Mediator in Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, by Zionist terrorists. ”

Marianne's position before being pirated by israeli navy

Marianne’s position before being pirated by israeli navy

No doubt some of the reasons for disregarding the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea can be found in Part 7:

Article 89: No State may validly purport to subject any part of the high seas to its sovereignty.

Article 90: Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.

Article 100: All States shall cooperate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State.

Ironically Somalia was an early signatory to the Convention, signing in 1982, thus can be held accountable. Will accountability ever apply to “the only democracy …” Will the UN, the “international community ” ever demand it?

“The “Pirates of the Mediterranean”, tweeted someone this morning.

What a tragedy that a people who have historically suffered so grievously are being tarred by the actions of a relative few and of the government of Israel, a haven defined by Lord Balfour (2nd November 1917) as : “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people … it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine …”

The “existing non-Jewish community” are either exiled, bombed, restricted, or in an open prison. Those who raise money and sail in solidarity are hijacked, put in a closed prison or, as in the case of the Mavi Marmara, murdered.

When will impunity end?

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8003936.stm

2. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/6/5/israels-funding-policy-on-christian-schools-spurs-controvery.html

3. http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/01/27/rogue-state-israeli-violations-of-u-n-security-council-resolutions/

June 19, 2015

The History of the Rothschilds, Zionism, and israel

by mkleit

The world is owned and made by a privatized banking system, managed by a few families

May 9, 2015

أهالي صعدة، هلأ لوين؟

by mkleit

 خريطة-اليمن-تظهر-فيها-المناطق-التي-استولت-عليها-السعودية

طالب تحالف العدوان السعودي بخروج جميع المدنيّين قبل الساعة 7 مساءاً من مدينة صعدة من أجل “قصف المراكز العسكرية للحوثيين”، وذلك حوالي الساعة 3 من بعد ظهر يوم الجمعة 8 أيار، رغم أنه قصف شبكات الاتصالات في صعدة، ما أدى إلى عزلها عن العالم الخارجي، ولعل المرء يستحضر كلام المتحدث باسم جيش الاحتلال الصهيوني أفيخاي أدرعي، إبّان العدوان الصهيوني على غزة سنة 2014، حيث طلب من “عامة المسلمين في قطاع غزة بمغادرته” من أجل استهداف ما أسماها “المراكز الأمنية والعسكرية”.

تقع المحافظة اليمنية صعدة على الحدود مع السعودية، حيث تحيطها من الجهة الشمالية مناطق نجران وجيزان (سابقا لليمن قبل أن تتخلى عنهم الدولة لصالح السعودية بعد إحتلالها)، ومن جهة الشرق محافظة الجوف، والجنوب محافظة عمران، والغرب محافظة حجة. ولكن تشترك كل هذه المحافظات بالنصيب الأكبر من القصف السعودي اليومي، فأين يذهب أهالي صعدة؟ إن أخذنا بالاعتبار أن أقرب المناطق خارج المحافظة يتطلب من المرء القيادة لثلاث ساعات متواصلة، وهو وقت غير كافي للجميع بسبب شحّ الوقود في المحافظات كافة بفعل الحصار السعودي الشامل على اليمن.

قصف مقام السيد حسين الحوثي في صعدة

قصف مقام السيد حسين الحوثي في صعدة

عانى أهالي قطاع غزة من الأمر عينه، فكان العدو من أمامهم والبحر من خلفهم، والمصري يغلق المعابر الحدودية الوحيدة. فلا مفرّ للغزاوي إلا بتلقّي القذائف أو السباحة هرباً منها. بيد أن أهالي صعدة لا خيار لهم سوى تلقّي القذائف التي سببت المجازر تلو المجازر على مدى أكثر من 40 يوماً من العدوان على اليمن، “وين يروح؟ في الخلاء؟” يقول أحد العاملين في قناة المسيرة اليمنية.

فمنذ صدور الإعلان عن قيادة التحالف السعودي، توقع العاملون في القناة حصول مجازر كثيرة بحق المدنيّين في صعدة “أكثر مما يحصل يومياً”، يقول أحد الصحافيين. ولكن أكد الآخرون على وقوف الشعب وثبوته خلف القوات الأمنية المشتركة واللجان الشعبية بعد هذه الضربات، كما حصل إبّان العدوان الصهيوني على لبنان في تموز 2006 والقصف الهمجي على الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت. حيث نهض بعض المواطنون من تحت ركام منازلهم ليأكدوا على دعمهم للمقاومة الإسلامية والعمليات العسكرية ضد الإحتلال الصهيوني.

وهي ذات الوقفات والنداءات، من صعدة وحجة والجوف إلى عدن وشبوة ومأرب وتعز، وكان الفعل موازياً للكلام، حيث كان الدعم بالسلاح والغذاء والمال والذهب والدم لعناصر القوات الأمنية المشتركة واللجان الشعبية، ويقوم الأخيران بتحرير المناطق الجنوبية من سيطرة تنظيم القاعدة الإرهابي. بالإضافة إلى قيام  مطالبات شعبية في الجوف وضواحي صنعاء وذمار والحديدة بالدخول البري إلى السعودية للرد على كل جرائم العدوان ميدانياً.

هناك تشابه كبير بين ما حصل لغزة في 2014 ويحصل اليوم في اليمن، ولكن التشابه الأكبر يأتي بين تعامل الصهيوني والسعودي مع الحروب على الشعوب، إن كان بعدم وجود بنك أهداف واضح المعالم ومحدد، أو بتبرير قتل المدنيّين وتدمير مساكنهم باستهداف “مراكز عسكرية للعدو”. بالإضافة إلى إضفاء معاني “الشرعية والودّ” للعمليات العسكرية عبر إعطائها أسماء “لطيفة” مثل “إعادة الأمل” التابعة للعدوان السعودي أو “Protective Edge الزاوية الوقائية” التابعة للجيش الإسرائيلي في عدوانها الأخير على غزة والتي أسمتها كذلك للإعلام الغربي، بينما كان “الجرف الصامد” للإعلام العربي.

صورة من العدوان الإسرائيلي على غزة 2014

صورة من العدوان الإسرائيلي على غزة 2014

May 6, 2015

Wikileaks Sony Hack Reveals Hollywood’s Hand In Repairing Israel’s Broken Image

by mkleit

By

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hollywoodforisraelfinishedglowlighterbluebetter

CULVER CITY, California — A MintPress News analysis of emails contained in WikiLeaks archive of the Sony Hack reveals how Hollywood executives are working to repair Israel’s public image in the wake of the savage death toll from last summer’s Operation Protective Edge offensive against Gaza. This includes a proposed documentary which would attempt to tie support for Palestine to anti-semitic violence in Europe and the United States.

A group of hackers called Guardians Of Peace held Sony computers hostage last year before leaking thousands of files to the Internet. The U.S. government has attempted to link the crime to North Korea, citing retaliation for the controversial Sony Pictures film “The Interview.”

Searchable Sony archive shows Hollywood’s Zionist bias

Previous analysis of the leaked documents revealed how Sony executives, including Amy Beth Pascal, chairwoman of the Motion Pictures Group of Sony Pictures Entertainment from 2006 until just after the Sony Hack in 2015, made racially insensitive comments about Barack Obama.

WikiLeaks released a searchable archive of leaked internal emails and documents on April 16. Investigation of the archive shows a pattern of support for Israel and its violent Zionist policies both during and after the 2014 assault on Gaza by Sony employees and other important members of the film industry.

Known as Operation Protective Edge, the brutal assault left at least 2,000 civilians dead and some 150,000 homeless. Pascal and almost 200 other Hollywood executives publicly signed a Creative Community For Peacepetition blaming Hamas for the devastation of Israel’s attack on Gaza — an action the Jewish Journal cautioned “should not be confused with courage” in an op-ed titled “Hollywood Zionists are alive and well.”

A leaked email shows that the Creative Community For Peace works in direct opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to end investment in Israel and is especially strong on college campuses.

David Lonner, a TV producer on shows like “Devious Maids,” writers to Pascal on behalf of the CCFP:

“Over the past couple of years, I, along with a group of influential music execs put together a group called Creative Community for Peace which battles the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) which has tried to stop artists from performing in Israel. We have been very successful in making sure artists like Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Paul McCartney and others were not intimidated.”

Ali Abunimah, writing for The Electronic Intifada, revealed April 2014 emails showing Sony executives taunting Ehab Al Shihabi, CEO of Al-Jazeera America, in response to the network’s unbiased reporting on Palestine. Emails from August quote another executive, Steven Bernard, complaining to several other executives, including Pascal, that a report from Iran’s PressTV links Sony cameras to the guidance systems of Israeli rockets.

A deeper analysis of the emails by MintPress shows that Sony corporate culture is deeply aligned with Zionism, and many within Hollywood seek to take a more active role in creating propaganda opposed to Palestinian rights and statehood.

“Now, let’s win the media war

Pascal was on a mailing list for The Israel Project, a non-profit with financial ties to groups involved with other forms of propaganda, including planting pro-Israel stories on social media via paid interns.

In one fundraising email, received in September 2014, The Israel Project tells Pascal, “Israel Won. Now, Let’s Win The Media War.” The email continues:

“Israel won. Hamas lost. The terrorists have been forced to stop their onslaught without achieving anything. But the struggle isn’t over. Now, the battle moves to the global media. … Help the fight against Hamas by donating today.”

Though it’s not known whether Pascal ever donated as a result of this or similar campaigns, the WikiLeaks archive clearly demonstrates Sony and other Hollywood executive’s desire to win the “media war.”

Both Hollywood media sources and Mondoweiss have already covered an August 2014 email thread between Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media and a Hollywood producer (“The Social Network”), and another producer, Ron Rotholz (“Canadian Bacon”), which included dozens of celebrities and Hollywood elite in its “cc:” list — a list that inadvertently exposed a secret Natalie Portman email. Kavanaugh also signed the Creative Community For Peace petition.

During this exchange, Kavanaugh complains:

“The problem is that Moore ‘ law is kicking in. Before the summer 50 percent of college students supported israel, today less the 25 percent do. There are hate crimes against heed happening in almost every major metropolitan city, now including the US.”

The concern raised by Kavanaugh and other participants is that declining opinions of Israel could lead to a second Holocaust. “So what do we do?” he asks.

The same email thread returns in October, when Kavanaugh revives it by sharing a link to a CBS Evening News story about armed guards protecting synagogues in Germany during Yom Kippur. The email has a new subject: “Happy New Year. Too bad Germany is now a no travel zone for jews.”

It’s here that several film industry executives begin planning a more active role in the “media war.”

“The greatest messaging machine

Cassian Elwes, a British producer (“The Dallas Buyers Club”), responds to Kavanaugh’s link:

“How about we all club together and make a documentary about the rise of new anti semitism in Europe  I would be willing to contribute and put time into it if others here would do the same. Between all of us I’m sure we could figure out a way to distribute it and get it into places like Cannes so we could have a response to guys like loach. Perhaps we try to use it to rally support from film communities in Europe to help us distribute it there”

“Loach” refers to Ken Loach, a British filmmaker, who called for a boycott of Israeli cultural products at the 2014 Sarajevo Film Festival.

The idea is met with enthusiasm.

“I’m in,” replies Kavanaugh.

“Me too,” says Pascal.

Mark Canton, producer of films like “300,” jumps in to suggest: “Lets organize this.”

Jason Binn, founder of luxury fashion magazine DuJour, offers to promote the film, sight unseen, while Hollywood attorney and occasional actor Glenn Feig offers legal representation.

From this point forward, a new, smaller group begins sharing links to reports of anti-Semitism in Europe and the U.S., but now with an eye toward building evidence for their proposed documentary. In addition to Elwes, Kavanaugh, Pascal, Feig, Binn and Rotholz, the group is joined by TV producer Ben Silverman (“Mob Wives”).

“Ron and I are talking in earnest tomorrow about directors. I don’t know if any if you know or have an opinion about him but I’m an admirer if Errol Morris,” writes Elwes on Oct. 10.

John Battsek, a producer of documentaries for Passion Pictures, is also discussed for possible involvement.

It’s clear that Elwes is aware of the power that Hollywood holds over the opinion of the global public.

“We work in the greatest messaging machine in the world and if we can’t get this message across no one can,”he writes on Oct. 5.

Linking Palestine to anti-Semitism

The group’s message is one that explicitly links anti-Semitism not just to recent, violent attacks on Jews worldwide but to any opposition to the policies of Israel. Because they believe that criticism of Israel could lead to a new Holocaust against Jews, all such criticism has to be vigorously opposed.

In September, Rotholz and Kavanaugh attacked a New York City performance of “The Death Of Klinghoffer,” a modern opera that’s critical of Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ways it leads to unrest and terrorism.

Kavanaugh explicitly links the opera to fears of a renewed Holocaust:

“We can continue to be silent and pretend this isn’t happening because it is not in our country yet. We can ignore the anti semitism akin to pre ww2 Germany … now lining the streets of london, France Germany and around the world. We all may think we’re protected here in the free US. We are not. It had now hit our doorstep and yet we remain silent?”

In reply, Rotholz writes:

“And tommorrow the UK Parliament are voting to recognise the State of Palestine, which would mean the recoginition of the current govt. co-run by Hamas …… Sweden, Poland and Hungary have already done this ……. many lines are being crossed …….. it’s a new reality for us.  The tacit and subtle recognition of Hamas as a legitimate government with legitimate policies and a legitimate charter, by Western governments is a hate crime on a global scale.”

Rotholz links to a video titled “The Jewish Voices on Campus,” in which students on U.S. campuses liken support for Palestine to anti-Semitic attacks.

“The issue is we do experience a lot of anti-semitism, in a lot of different ways,” Henry, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, says in one of the video’s first spoken sentences.

In the next shot, Michael, a Harvard University student, is seen speaking at a microphone. “To be completely honest with you, you know, being against Israel has become the cool thing to do,” he says.

Immediately following this statement is footage of peaceful, pro-Palestine demonstrators chanting on an unidentified college campus, while another student is heard describing a college professor who reportedly called his students “little jihadis.”

Later, in October 2014, the group working on the documentary project shares news of both recognition of Palestine by European governments and swastikas painted on university campuses with equal interest and dismay.

Based on the WikiLeaks archive and the other sources available, MintPress was unable to determine whether the documentary project remains active. If discussions continued after the hack, they are not available to the public. No IMDB listings or other industry news could be found for the proposed film.

While the proposed documentary may never reach theaters, it’s clear that Hollywood, the world’s “greatest messaging machine,” has been engaged in producing propaganda on behalf of Israel.

Natalie Portman - Israeli Shill 2

March 20, 2015

Israeli army admits aiding al-Qaeda in Syria

by mkleit

Asa Winstanley

ME Monitor

israeli occupation troops with al Nusra terrorist mercenaries at Syrian Golan Heights (unknown source)

An under-noticed news report last week confirmed previously-held suspicions and strong implications that Israeli troops are aiding the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate.

Speaking to Israeli occupation troops last week, a Wall Street Journal reporter on the ground in Mount Bental (part of the occupied Golan Heights) found that Israeli troops receive wounded al-Qaeda fighters, treat them in Israeli hospitals and send them back to continue fighting against the government in Syria.

The Nusra Front in August overran the Qunaitra crossing, the checkpoint between the Israeli-occupied and Syrian-controlled sectors of the Golan Heights. Israeli invaded that region of south-west Syria in 1967 and has illegally occupied most of the Golan Heights ever since.

As I pointed out in a previous column, the reports of UN peacekeeping forces since Nusra took over the checkpoint were highly suggestive of Israeli contacts and even military aid to the al-Qaeda rebels. But this Wall Street Journal report has confirmed the fact.

“We don’t ask who they are, we don’t do any screening,” the unnamed Israeli military official told the paper of the hospital treatment of al-Qaeda fighters. “Once the treatment is done, we take them back to the border [sic – ceasefire line] and they go on their way [in Syria],” he said.

An unnamed military official also said there is an “understanding” between Israeli forces and al-Qaeda fighters there and that “there is a familiarity of the [al-Qaeda] forces on the ground”.

Popular conspiracy theories have it that al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” (also known as ISIS or ISIL) are Israeli- and/or US-intelligence creations. While there’s no evidence for that, it’s certainly true that the US-UK invasion of Iraq in 2003, and its consciously sectarian occupation regime of the country thereafter, created the conditions in which al-Qaeda in Iraq (later known as ISIS) was formed and thrived. Veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn demonstrates this most convincingly in his essential new book The Rise of Islamic State, which I have previously lauded here.

And now it seems that Israel is in a direct alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria. This is a tactical alliance, meant purely to bleed the country and prolong the civil war.

Read the quotes from Israeli officials in recent months about the Nusra Front and you will see a strange sort of soft-peddling of the group, casting them as a kind of “moderate al-Qaeda” if you will.

“Nusra is a unique version of al-Qaeda,” retired Brigadier General Michael Herzog told the Wall Street Journal. “They manage to cooperate with non-Islamist and non-jihadi organizations in one coalition.” Herzog is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP, the think tank of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the première Israel lobby group in the US) and former chief of staff for Israel’s defence minister. The Nusra Front “are totally focused on the war in Syria and aren’t focused on us,” he claimed. “But when Hezbollah and Iran and others are pushing south, they are very much focused on us.”

Hizballah and Iran, allies of the Bashar al-Assad regime, are aiding the government in Syria and fighting on the ground alongside Syrian army troops against al-Qaeda, the “Islamic State” and other Sunni rebel groups.

Even before Nusra took over the Qunairtra checkpoint in August, reports suggested Israel seemed on rather friendly terms with the al-Qaeda affiliate.

In June, army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told Foreign Policy that the Israeli government has provided medical assistance to more than 1,000 Syrians over the past fourteen months. “We give medical aid to people who are in dire need,” he said in a telephone interview with the magazine, echoing the statement made last week to the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t do any vetting or check where they are from or which group they are fighting for, or whether they are civilians.”

Ehud Yaari, an Israeli fellow at WINEP, admitted that Israeli assistance has benefited fighters: “The wounded are both fighters and civilians but there are not too many civilians left because of the fighting raging there … Close to 900 Syrians have been treated in Israel.”

Foreign Policy reports that, even earlier than June 2014, in March 2013: “Some 400 armed opposition fighters, backed by artillery fire from three tanks, seized a Syrian military outpost atop a hill at Tal al-Garbi, planting four black flags and raising concern that extremist groups are moving into the zone.

“More than two weeks later, opposition fighters captured two other strategically important hilltop military outposts in Tal al-Jabiya and Tal al-Sharqi.

“‘In the afternoon of 24 April, two members of the armed opposition displayed the severed head of a presumed Syrian armed forces officer as they passed’ a UN outpost, according to the [UN] report. By the end of April [2013], UN observers ‘detected the flying of black flags believed to be associated with militant groups scattered throughout the central and southern part of the area of separation, including three Syrian armed forces positions captured by the armed members of the opposition.'”

So Israeli aid to al-Qaeda in Syria may have been ongoing for as long as nearly two years now. But what is sure is that Israeli aid to al-Qaeda in Syria has now been confirmed.

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