Sunday 21st of July 2019

moving to the next stage: highway robbery...

isr

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected.

Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday and Mr Netanyahu is competing for votes with right-wing parties who support annexing part of the West Bank.

The settlements are illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Last month the US recognised the occupied Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967, as Israeli territory.

Israel has settled about 400,000 Jews in West Bank settlements, with another 200,000 living in East Jerusalem. There are about 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. 

Palestinians want to establish a state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

What happens to the settlements is one of the most contentious issues between Israel and the Palestinians - Palestinians say the presence of settlements make a future independent state impossible. 

Israel says the Palestinians are using the issue of settlements as a pretext to avoid direct peace talks. It says settlements are not a genuine obstacle to peace and are negotiable.

What exactly did Netanyahu say?

He was asked during an interview on Israeli TV why he had not extended Israeli sovereignty to large settlements in the West Bank.

"You are asking whether we are moving on to the next stage - the answer is yes, we will move to the next stage," he said.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47840033

even churchill would approve...

churchill

Mischief by Gus Leonisky...

the "christians" from hell...

 

by Renee Parsons


There was little pretense that when former UN Ambassador John Bolton became President Trump’s National Security Adviser and former Rep. Mike Pompeo moved into the Secretary of State position, that either would bring a professionally credible and respectable presence to world diplomacy or foreign affairs.

It is fair to say that both have surpassed any of the bleak expectations and proven to be more extreme in their ideology, more personally amoral and malevolent than previously feared. What we are seeing now is as if all constraints have been removed with free rein to fulfil their zio-neocon agendas specifically against Venezuela and Iran. 

While speaking to a student audience recently at Texas A&M University, Pompeo revealed his utter contempt for a democratic government based on the rule of law when he bragged about “lying, cheating and stealing” as CIA Director. To an audience of undergraduates which clapped and laughed throughout, Pompeo offered 

 

What’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. [laughing as if he had said something humorous] We had entire training courses. [Audience applause and cheers] It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” 

 

First in his class at West Point and a graduate of Harvard Law School, Pompeo prides himself on having “come to an understanding of Jesus that fundamentally changed” his life as a cadet and today claims to be a “man of faith.”

It is not clear who Pompeo thinks he is kidding with the religious fervor schtick, but for sure it is not any divine deity which will one day sit in Judgment on his character and integrity. The Texas A&M exchange reveals an unscrupulous bully who knows no limit to his omnipotence and a willingness to condone war crimes on behalf of the disreputable Empire he serves. 

Keynote speaker at AIPAC’s 2019 conference, Pompeo proved where his fidelity lies when he declared “Let me go on record: Anti-zionism is anti-semitism.” which has become the new rallying cry for the poor, beleaguered state of Israel. 

As the State Department is now defining the term ‘anti-Zionism,’ Pompeo appointed Elan Carr as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism with the ultimate goal to intimidate and criminalize critics of Israel’s foreign policy objectives. 

In describing his responsibilities, Carr’s stated priorities will be to “reduce the feelings of insecurity,’ review ‘indoctrination of antisemitic textbooks”and “focus relentlessly on eradicating this false distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism.”

It takes living in a simulated reality to not grasp the distinction between criticism of Israel’s apartheid policy toward the Palestinians and its belligerent foreign policy in the Middle East and a genuine prejudice or discrimination based on one’s religious preference or ethnic differences.

At his press briefing, Carr was immediately in the weeds and lost total control of the narrative before being shut down by the State Department official spokesman. 

As a one dimensional thinker, Mr Carr never described who or how anti-semitism will be identified. Will the State Department issue a weekly list of anti-Semitic offenders and what will be the penalty? Will State provide a list of forbidden anti-semitic words? How will deliberate intent be determined?

If a non-jew utters words like apartheid, yenta, yarmulke or illegal settlements, will they be considered proof of anti-Semitic? Will the Nazis still be permitted to march in Skokie? Will the tech giants rewrite their algorithms to search for ‘banned’ words? 

On April 10th, Omar Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian human rights defender and a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement was denied entry by the US Consulate before departing Ben Gurion Airport despite having valid travel documents and having visited the US previously. Barghouti responded that

 

Supporters of Israeli apartheid in the US are desperately trying to deny US lawmakers, media, diverse audiences at universities, a bookstore and a synagogue, their right to listen, first-hand, to a Palestinian human rights advocate calling for ending US complicity in Israel’s crimes against our people.”

 

In a 2016 report, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda initiated an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan involving the torture of 61 prisoners committed by the US Army and the torture and rape of 27 prisoners committed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at CIA prison sites in Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

In response to the ICC inquiry in 2018, Bolton warned:

 

We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans,” 

 

In March 2019, Pompeo repeated the ICC threats with no apology in a straight forward defense of torture and war criminals

 

Since 1998, the US has declined to join the ICC because of its broad unaccountable prosecutorial powers and the threat it poses to American national sovereignty.

We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation.

I’m announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of US personnel. These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis without allies consent.

These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts. We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change course,” 

 

After the Court responded that it would continue its investigation with “war crimes and crimes against humanity were, and continue to be, committed by foreign government forces in Afghanistan,” Reference to ‘allied” personnel and Israeli involvement in US war crimes remains impenetrable. True to his word, in early April Pompeo revoked the visa for Bensouda

In a devastating setback for the ICC, its pre-trial chamber recently refused to approve the investigation from moving forward citing a lack of US cooperation. Certainly the Pompeo – Bolton threat to criminally prosecute and personally sanction the Court’s judges or that the US would ‘use any means necessary ” had nothing to do with that decision. Bensouda says she will appeal the chamber’s decision. 

After the January meeting with North Korea ended in failure, NK’s Deputy Defense Minister, who took part in the meeting, revealed that while Trump had shown a willingness to lift some sanctions based on NK’s moratorium on missile tests, he was later overridden by Pompeo and Bolton who brought “an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust” to the table with their “gangster like behavior.”

As the zio-neocons continue to move on Venezuela and/or Iran as uncontrollable malevolent fiends, loose cannons with no concept of international law or the need for global harmony, men of no conscience and no morality, it is only a matter of time before cosmic law balances the scale

 

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/05/20/the-pompeo-bolton-tag-team-from-hell...

 

 

 

 

 

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promoting the bulldozers...

According to incoming reports, on June 25 and 26 Washington intends to hold a Peace to Prosperity workshop in the capital of Bahrain, which could serve as a platform for announcing the economic part of the so-called “deal of the century” for the Middle East peace process. By all accounts the United States seeks to mobilise major financial resources, including from donors, for large-scale investment projects allegedly designed to improve the lives of Palestinians living in Palestine, as well as in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. The Palestinian leadership has already flatly refused to be part of this US-led project, saying that the Palestine Liberation Organisation will never give up on its exclusive right to decide on far-reaching matters related to fulfilling the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

It is obvious that this is yet another attempt by the United States to shift the priorities on the regional agenda and impose the American vision of the Israeli-Palestinian settlement, following in the footsteps of the de facto failed forum in Warsaw. Persistent attempts to substitute the goal of achieving a comprehensive political settlement with a package of economic bonuses while undermining the principle of two states for two people are a matter of grave concern.

In this context, Russia reaffirms its principled position that it would be unacceptable to divert the Middle East peace process from the international legal framework, including as set forth in the corresponding UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, as well as the territory-for-peace principle approved at the 1991 Madrid Conference and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Like never before, this challenging stage requires truly collective efforts to promote direct and durable Israeli-Palestinian talks instead of imposing momentary unilateral deals from the outside.

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article206621.html

 

 

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really helping the Palestinians...

Jordan’s King Abdullah told US President Donald Trump’s adviser, Jared Kushner, that a lasting Middle East peace can only come with the creation of a Palestinian state on land captured by Israel in a 1967 war, and with east Jerusalem as its capital, Reuters said.

Kushner is leading a US delegation to the Middle East this week seeking support for a late June workshop aimed at helping the Palestinians.

A palace statement on Wednesday said the monarch told Kushner Israel had to withdraw from the West Bank that was under Jordanian control before Israel captured it in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Jordan is reportedly worried that a still-secret Washington plan to end the Arab-Israeli conflict could jettison the two-state solution.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/newsline/460567-middle-east-jordan-kushner/

 

 

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Meanwhile:

 

Israel’s Knesset has voted to dissolve, ending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition-forming struggles and triggering new elections.

The vote passed its second reading shortly after midnight, with 77 members of the Knesset voting in favor and 45 against. After a third and final vote, the parliament was dissolved and fresh elections called. Netanyahu had faced a midnight deadline for pulling together a government.

Netanyahu's efforts ultimately fell flat after him and ally Avigdor Lieberman, and a collection of ultra-Orthodox parties failed to agree on a controversial military draft bill for Orthodox religious students.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/460587-israel-knesset-dissolution-vote-netanyahu...

good to hear, but...

How is Donald Trump handling the Israëlo-Palestinian question?

by Thierry Meyssan

President Trump does nothing like his predecessors (except for his model, Andrew Jackson), thereby destabilising his partners. The « Deal of the Century » that he dreamed up for Palestine angered President Abbas, who interpreted it from the point of view of previous US propositions. Could he have been wrong?


President Donald Trump has declared several times that his method of government was enough to solve many different conflicts, and that he even hoped, during the course of his mandate (or mandates), to attain peace between the Palestinians and the Israëlis.


According to the international Press, Donald Trump has evolved, for US electoral reasons. Although he once seemed little interested by religious questions, he has apparently moved closer to the Christian Zionists and is now under the influence of his vice-President, the Evangelical Christian Mike Pence, and one of his sponsors, the Jewish casino-operator Sheldon Adelson.


President Trump’s decisions to move the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, to interrupt the financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and then to recognise Israëli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan, have been interpreted as confirming his pro-Israëli bias.


All this is true, but does not enable us to understand Donald Trump’s singular approach to the Palestinian conflict, which could lead to serious errors of interpretation. In order to grasp his approach, we have to study his model, President Andrew Jackson, and replace it in the particular situation of the United States before the War of Secession.


Two British colonies – the United States and Israël


Like Israël and Rhodesia, the United States is a Western colony which has freed itself from the British Empire. However, their situations are very different.


Israël is colony born of a political project formulated in the 17th century by Lord Cromwell – the instrumentation of the Jewish diaspora by the Empire. Its realisation, even via the auto-proclamation of independence by armed forces, still corresponds to this project. On the contrary, the United States is the fruit of the Puritan and Egalitarian project of the same Lord Protector for the British population. In both cases, the goal was to create a new model of society defined by the religious principles of a single Christian sect (and not Jewish) [1].


Colonisation, occupation and extermination of the native Americans


In the Americas, more than half of the British immigrants before independence were poor wretches who hoped to use their own production tool, a patch of land, in exchange for a service to the King. They accepted the status of indentured servant for between 4 and 7 years, and were harshly treated. In order to complete the work of these temporary British slaves, the King opted for permanent African slaves. As from the declaration of independence, voluntary immigration was accelerated and diversified – Germans, French, Dutch and Jews – while the indentured servants were replaced by African slaves, who were treated even worse. The Europeans settled progressively on the lands of the natives, the Indians. The space was so vast that the arrival of a few hundred thousand foreigners posed no serious problem. But they kept coming.


At the beginning of the 19th century, the humanist President Thomas Jefferson imagined a plan for the sharing of the continent by force – to the West of the Mississippi, the Indians, and to the East, the Europeans. After having deported the tribes to Louisiana, he recommended allowing the individuals who were « civilised » to move to the East and integrate the colonial culture. He thought it would become progressively possible to negotiate with them according the norms of his own culture.


In fact, the main problem was not the space. Even with the immigrants, whether they were free or slaves, the land was still underpopulated. It was a question of the cultural difference. The Indians did not believe that it was possible to own land, but that a tribe could exercise its sovereignty over a certain area. Since, according to their beliefs, the Earth could not be owned, it could not be bought or sold. To pursue this comparison, in Palestine, the Syrians [2] had already been colonised by the Ottomans, and had got used to it. They were mainly sedentary, and accepted individual ownership of the Earth, but - in agreement with the colonial power – they considered that Muslim land could not be governed by non-Muslims.


When General Andrew Jackson became President (1829-37), the demographic pressure of the Europeans was increasing as they arriving in ever-growing increasing numbers in the East. Jackson therefore decided to extend Jefferson’s policy. Instead of war with the different Indian tribes, he attempted to substitute Treaties which would guarantee their relocation to « reserves », always further West. Most of the tribes refused this compromise. The principle was of course rejected by the following waves of immigrants and by the most powerful landowners.


On the contrary, today in Palestine, the Jewish population is stable - immigration no longer even compensates for the emigration – while the Arab population is growing. And yet the expansion of Israëli territory continues without any necessity.


Andrew Jackson has remained in history as the mass murderer of the Indians, the man who planned the genocide of the « Trail of Tears » [3]. This is wrong. He refused systematic extermination – which was later commanded by General Custer - and sought to solve a problem for which there was no solution. The colonists, just like the Israëlis today, can not return to to the lands which their parents had left. Meanwhile, the only Indian tribes which had survived the massacres had signed a peace treaty with Jackson. The only truly peaceful solution would have been the fusion of the two communities, but this was impossible due to the cultural divide - an obstacle which no longer exists in Palestine [4].


The « Deal of the Century »


When Donald Trump proposed the economic development of Gaza and the West Bank, with no exchange, he was applying Thomas Jefferson’s policy for the « civilised Indians ». He believed that by integrating them into « the market », he would arrive at peace. He did this all the more generously in that this development would not be financed by the United States, but by the Arab monarchies. In this way, he opposed the Israëli strategy – supported by Sheldon Adelson – of sabotaging the Palestinian economy with the intention of forcing the Palestinians to flee in order to survive.


When Donald Trump refused to support the two-state solution, and returned the question for negotiation between the parties concerned, he acted as Andrew Jackson had done during the negotiations for the Indian Treaties. By doing so, he was opposing the policy adopted by Israël since the Oslo Accords.


The Palestinian Authority considers that it has already accepted a compromise by supporting the UNO resolutions. It therefore demands their application, which Israël has been has been refusing to implement for 70 years. It therefore rejects out of hand the « Deal of the Century », because Donald Trump is ignoring this demand.


This attitude is legitimate and honourable. All the governments in the world know that if the resolution of the conflict is founded on the rules of Anglo-Saxon Law, in violation of those of International Law, peace here would open the doors to other wars elsewhere.


Indeed, Anglo-Saxon Law distinguishes itself from all other forms of Justice in the world. It states that two opposing parties in a case of criminal offence can close the affair by way of a transaction which ignores local Law. In the national context, this is class Justice, while in the international context, it’s the law of the strongest.


In any case, the Palestinian Authority is wrong to accuse Donald Trump of being more favourable to Israël than George Bush Jr. On this point, their attitude can only be explained by the fact that they owe their judicial existence to the Oslo Accords. It would be more efficient to consider that, despite his arrogance, Donald Trump is acting in good faith – that his plan is less favourable to the Israëlis than the status quo, and that he is not hostile to international Law – in short, that certain aspects of his mediation could be positive for the Palestinian cause.


My analysis may be polluted by the fact that I have not lived under occupation for 70 years, and that I was educated by a colonising nation, but I do not believe that the present choice is between Collaboration or Resistance, as it was during the Nakba [5]. Thus I have no lessons to give, but wish simply to state that we must not repeat the errors of the past and insult a person who is opening a door in good faith.


It seems that President Mahmoud Abbas is thinking about reorientating his position. He ordered the release of the business leader who, according to Abbas, betrayed the Palestinian cause by taking part in the Bahrein workshop on the « Deal of the Century ». and is preparing a delegation to go and check the temperature of the White House.


[1] « Qui est l’ennemi ? », by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 4 August 2014.


[2] Reminder – before the British colonisation, Palestine was not an independent state, but a region of Greater Syria within the Ottoman Empire.


[3] During their deportation, several thousand Cherokees died of hunger and fatigue on the « Trail of Tears ».


[4] In 1948, David Ben Gourion unilaterally proclaimed the independence of the Hebrew state, in the name of the Jewish security forces. Simultaneously, between 700,000 and 900,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and their land. This was the Nakba (catastrophe).


Thierry Meyssan

Translation 

Pete Kimberley

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article207006.html

 

 

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Trump is not ethical so to speak. Not even pragmatic like his "idol" Jackson "was". Meyssan is giving The Donald the benefit of the doubt, of possibly having honourable intent... but... 

 

But, had Trump been somewhat genuine with the Palestinian, he would not have "given" the Golan Heights to Israel... Trump is just a bully with no refinement, nor any understanding of anything. This make him a hit and miss catastrophe who may be lucky from time to time. What he says or do will stir passions, from his opponents who will hate him and from his supporters who will reinforce their love of El Puncho Trumpo... Here trump practices what he has done all his life: crooked deals, treats and threats, bankruptcy, loonitude with a lot of broken china in the shop being cleaned up by others while he robs the till.