Saturday 20th of April 2024

moving to the next stage: highway robbery...


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.


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even churchill would approve...


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

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


Pete Kimberley


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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. 

charity to the US weapons merchants via tel aviv...

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris might as well be Israelis, though they’re both running for the Presidency of America.

The PAC (officially a “lobbying organization”) called AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee, instead of “American Israel Political Action Committee”) represents some American Jews and Christian evangelicals — it represents the ones who place Israel’s Government above America’s Government, and who therefore lobby in the U.S. Congress for continuation of the $3.8 billion per year that America’s taxpayers, of all faiths and beliefs, must continue to pay to fund Israel’s annual purchases of weaponry from Lockheed Martin and other U.S. weapons-makers, a welfare program for America’s armaments-firms and for the billionaires who own them. And it’s welfare also for the taxpayers of Israel, who don’t have to pay that $3.8 billion per year to fund those purchases, of American weapons, to use against Palestinians, and against Syrians, and against Iranians — against Israel’s enemies, perhaps, but certainly not against America’s enemies. It’s instead for this particular enemy of America, an enemy not only because Israel is an apartheid state (which is supposed to be unAmerican), and not only because this apartheid state sucks $3.8 billion each year out of America’s taxpayers, but also because Israel is militarily an enemy of Americans — see this, for example; and also because the hostility that America’s subservience to Israel produces, throughout the Islamic world, is an even bigger loss for the American people, though America’s billionaires don’t lose anything, at all, from it — and the ones who invest in firms such as Lockheed Martin and ExxonMobil gain considerably from it. But are those  corporations America?

America’s public suffers from AIPAC, but Israel’s Jews in that supremacist-Jewish apartheid land gain greatly from it, at Palestinians’ expense. America has many Jewish and other pro-Israeli billionaires (they buy ‘our’ political winners), but no billionaires that are Palestinian or even pro-Palestinian. However, the American Christian billionaire Tom Gores, who was born in Israel and whose family moved to the U.S. “when he was still a toddler”, is sometimes listed as being an “Arab” from “Palestine”, because he’s not a Jew and because some wealthy Arabs want to call him an “Arab” from “Palestine,” and not an American Catholic who had been born in Israel. Mr. Gores is non-political, but some of his extended family are pro-Palestinian and some are pro-Israel. Seven years after Tom bought his Republican uncle’s newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, it endorsed Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.

Obviously, America’s super-rich are virtually 100% against Palestinians, and the very idea of America brokering a ‘deal’ for ‘peace’ in the Middle East is absurd, really stupid, but ‘our’ billionaires’ politicians constantly promise it. And Joe Biden and Kamala Harris especially do, just as does ‘our’ current billionaire President, Donald Trump.

Here are three recent years’ speakers-lists for AIPAC’s recent annual conferences:

http://www.policyconference. (2019)



All of those speakers are neoconservatives, and they were highly supportive of America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, and want the same now for Iran. After all: America does Israel’s bidding. Anyone who wants more of the same is in agreement with them.

And here is what Joe Biden told them at the 2016 AIPAC conference (along with his windbag platitudes):

No matter what legitimate disagreements the Palestinian people may have with Israel, there is no excuse for killing innocents or remaining silent in the face of terrorism [he meant only killings by Palestinians and never by Israelis]. … The only way, in my view, to guarantee Israelis’ future and security [and what about Palestinians’ security?], its identity as a Jewish [but the Palestinians aren’t Jews] and Democratic [How is apartheid democratic?] state is with a two-state solution.

But given the way that Israel has been treating Palestinians recently, no Palestinian leader would survive who would meet with an Israeli leader under such one-sided conditions — it  would be perceived as surrender to tyrants. And Biden offered no reason why Palestinians should want to continue their grinding oppression by Israel’s Jewish Government — Biden doesn’t care, at all, about those people. He’s not looking for their votes. He just wants to sucker whatever Democrats he can get to vote him to become ‘their’ nominee.

And here is what Kamala Harris told AIPAC at the 2017 conference:

I believe that the only viable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is two states for two people living side by side in peace and security. I believe that a resolution to this conflict cannot be imposed. It must be agreed upon by the parties themselves. Peace can only come through a reconciliation of differences, and that can only happen at the negotiating table. …

But negotiations are impossible if only one side has all the power. For the other side, that’s surrender, no negotiation. Kamala Harris lies in order to get Israeli money — the donations like Trump has, from billionaire agents for Israel.

Is this okay? BOTH Parties being neocon  — is that okay? Anyone who votes for Biden or Harris thinks it’s okay, or else doesn’t care.

These candidates are pitching, of course, to a lobbying organization. But it’s also PACs. Wikipedia’s article on AIPAC says: “The Washington Post described the perceived differences between AIPAC and J Street: ‘While both groups call themselves bipartisan, AIPAC has won support from an overwhelming majority of Republican Jews, while J Street is presenting itself as an alternative for Democrats who have grown uncomfortable with both Netanyahu’s policies and the conservatives’ flocking to AIPAC.’[10]” So: Biden and Harris are pitching to Republican billionaires there. Is this what Democratic Party voters find attractive? Do they know that this is the situation? Do they even care that it is?

J Street says that “a new direction in American policy will advance U.S. interests in the Middle East and promote real peace and security for Israel and the region.” Biden at the 2016 J Street Gala, on 19 April 2016, said “We are Israel’s maybe not-only friend, but only absolutely certain friend.” But it’s the Palestinians, not the Israelis, who have been abandoned. They really need friends in American politics. Could Biden credibly assert the same to them that he asserts to Israel’s lobbyists? Obviously not, but he doesn’t even care about Palestinians, because none of his donors are Palestinians, and none will be voting for him.

Anybody who cares about basic decency in a candidate should just cross both Biden and Harris off their list for consideration. The only differences they have from Trump regarding Israel are the atmospherics of their rhetoric. Clearly, if “a new direction in American policy will advance U.S. interests in the Middle East and promote real peace and security for Israel and the region,” it won’t come from any of these politicians.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


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anti-democratic and islamophobe israel...

US President Donald Trump’s call for Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to be denied entry into Israel appeared to become reality on Thursday after Omar tweeted a statement against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ahead of the duo’s trip next week. However, Israel faces mounting opposition from Americans to let them in.

Omar and Tlaib, critics of Netanyahu’s government, supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and also the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, were set to visit Israel from August 18 to August 21 until Trump’s Thursday morning comments on Twitter.

Not even three hours later, Trump tweeted another attack at the two Muslim congresswomen. 

“Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!” reiterated the US leader. 

In response, Omar issued a statement slamming Netanyahu, saying that he “has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.” 

Similarly, Tlaib tweeted that Israel’s decision to bar her from entering the country “is a sign of weakness [because] the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening.” 

Though there was some back-and-forth between the Israeli prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry concerning who actually issued the ban, Netanyahu ultimately said in a Thursday release that he stands by the ministry’s decision and pushed back against the idea that denying the lawmakers entry would hinder US-Israeli relations. 

Miko Peled, journalist and author of “The General’s Son - A Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five,” told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Thursday that whether Israel obeys Trump or not, the exposure of the Israeli government’s regime will happen all the same.


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israel's heart of gold...

The decision to let Tlaib in comes a day after Israel's Interior Ministry blocked her and fellow Democratic congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, from visiting the country due to their support for the pro-Palestinian BDS movement.

Israel's Interior Ministry on Friday announced that it would let US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in on “humanitarian grounds”, reversing its previous decision to bar her and Rep. Ilhan Omar from visiting the country.

In a letter to Interior Minister Arye Dery, Tlaib asked to be allowed into Israel to see her grandmother living in the Palestinian village of Beit Ur al-Fouqa in the northern West Bank.

“This could be my last opportunity to see her,” Tlaib wrote, vowing not to promote anti-Israel boycotts during her stay in the country.

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US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has rejected an offer by Israel to let her travel to the West Bank, saying she would not visit her family there because the Israeli Government had imposed "oppressive conditions" in order to humiliate her.

Key points:
  • Israel decided to allow Ms Tlaib to visit family in the Israel-occupied West Bank
  • The visa was on humanitarian grounds, which Ms Tlaib rejected
  • Under Israeli law, pro-Palestinian backers can be denied entry


Ms Tlaib, a Democrat in the US House of Representatives who has been critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, had planned to make an official visit to Israel along with fellow Democrat congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure from Republican US President Donald Trump, on Thursday (local time) said he would not allow the pair to make a planned trip to Israel.



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formalising the non-declared long standing do-nothing policy...

The US has effectively backed Israel's right to build Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade position that they were "inconsistent with international law". 

Key points:
  • Mr Pompeo said the settlements were "not, per se, inconsistent with international law"
  • He said his country's former stance against the Israeli communities in West Bank did not help the cause of peace
  • But the EU says its stance remains unchanged, with the union's foreign policy chief calling on Israel to end its settlement activity 


The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a defeat for the Palestinians but a victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is struggling to remain in power after two inconclusive Israeli elections this year.

Mr Pompeo said US statements about the settlements on the West Bank — which Israel captured during a 1967 war — had been inconsistent, saying Democrat president Jimmy Carter in 1978 found they were not consistent with international law and Republican president Ronald Reagan in 1981 said he did not view them as inherently illegal.


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Despite making noises contrary to the "Jewish" settlements, the previous US presidents DID NOTHING TO PREVENT ISRAEL FOR TAKING OVER PALESTINIAN LANDS...

meanwhile in dresden...

royal palace dresden

Royal Palace Dresden (picture by Gus Leonisky)...

They were tiny terrors.

The two crooks who busted into a German museum and made off with an estimated $1 billion in gems were “conspicuously small” — enabling them to squeeze through a 1-foot gap in a smashed window to gain access to the site, authorities said, according to The Sun of Britain.

Surveillance video caught the diminutive black-clad pair using an ax to bust a display case once inside the famed Green Vault museum in Dresden’s Royal Palace in the wee hours Monday.

The pint-sized pilferers then swiped handfuls of priceless — and uninsured — centuries-old, gem-encrusted items before fleeing out the same window.

“They must have been really small and really fit. It is no bigger than my head,’’ a German NTV journalist marveled of the opening, according to the Daily Mail.


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A few years ago, some small thieves (possibly kids under "instructions") smashed one of Gus's best stained glass windows and squeezed through the bars of the security grilles... They fled empty handed in a hurry after the LOUD alarm (sensors detecting movement and heat) was set off as soon as one of them got a head through the very narrow opening. One cannot be too careful. Other security features were added after this annoying breakage...

gulf diplomatic relations with Israel...

It was a historic step: In mid-August, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nahyan became the first Gulf state to establish official diplomatic relations with Israel.

DER SPIEGEL conducted the following interview with Jeremy Issacharoff, 65, the Israeli Ambassador to Germany, who played a decisive role in the deal.

DER SPIEGEL: When Israel issues new building permits for settlements, the criticism from Europe is usually immediate. Last week, it took German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas almost a full day to congratulate Israel on its rapprochement with the United Arab Emirates. Do you think good news overwhelms German diplomacy?

Issacharoff: Good news is not the norm in the Middle East. Often enough, no news is already good news. For many, the deal came as a surprise. Only a very discreet circle knew about it. What matters is that the German government views the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) positively, which Foreign Minister Maas immediately communicated to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and said it openly.

DER SPIEGEL: Do Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Emirate Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nahyan (MbZ) and United States President Donald Trump now stand at the same level as Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin und Jimmy Carter, who closed the peace deal between Israel and Egypt in 1979?

"It Was a Very Discreet Process"

Issacharoff: It's always difficult to make historical comparisons. In my mind, any courageous step toward reconciliation in the Middle East gives the people in the area a reason for hope. I remember well the enthusiasm with which we greeted Sadat’s motorcade in Jerusalem in 1977. The process with the UAE was different in that our two countries were not in a state of war. The negotiations between Sadat and Begin developed within a very short time and in front of the world publicly. With the UAE, it was a very discreet process which started more than 25 years ago.

DER SPIEGEL: In 1994, you became the first Israeli diplomat to meet with an Emirati representative. How did this come about?

Issacharoff: I was No. 3 in Washington responsible for strategic issues. One day, a Washington consultant came to me and said the UAE were interested in purchasing U.S. defense equipment and wanted to know if we Israelis would have a problem with that. I said: If the Emiratis have an interest in how we see this, then I'd be more than happy to meet with them and begin a dialogue so that we could understand each other better rather than be given messages from third parties.

DER SPIEGEL: The New Yorker wrote that your counterpart was Jamal Al-Suwaidi, an Emirati academic who set up a government-backed think tank in Abu Dhabi called the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research.

Issacharoff: Dr. Suwaidi was a high-ranking adviser to MbZ. We met two or three times in Washington. Within a very short time, we put aside all the stereotypes that Arabs and Israelis may have and became friends. We realized that we have so much more in common than we thought. We both had the essential feeling that we want to talk more in order to know more about each other. That is the problem in the Middle East: We don't talk enough -- Israelis, Arabs, Palestinians.

DER SPIEGEL: Did the UAE get their F-16 planes?

Issacharoff: I remember a meeting of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Pentagon and, as has already been reported, Rabin said, "We won’t object.” It was a diplomatic move that created the trust to open a more sustained dialogue through other means.

DER SPIEGEL: Did you stay in touch after you left Washington?

Issacharoff: Yes, I did. One result of my talks in Washington was that we had a discreet presence in the UAE. Then, there were tensions during the second Palestinian intifada that led me to visit Abu Dhabi for the first time. We continued to maintain a dialogue with the UAE, also prior to the second Gulf War.

DER SPIEGEL: What happened then?

Issacharoff: We sat together for seven hours. Interestingly, the conversation wasn't just about bilateral issues. We spoke about regional challenges -- first and foremost about the threat from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Every few months, we would go there with a team. Each time, we met a more senior government representative. At times, it was hard to find topics on which we did not agree.

DER SPIEGEL: In 2005, you returned to Washington as deputy ambassador and met Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the U.S. at the time.

Issacharoff: In 2009, shortly after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, there was a joint initiative of our two countries. The UAE shared our concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and the threats from then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So, we met with Dennis Ross, Obama’s Middle East adviser, Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor and al-Otaiba. We did not coordinate ourselves in advance -- it was amazing to see how our analyses complemented each other.

"I Was Not Surprised By the Agreement"

DER SPIEGEL: What led to the breakthrough now? Having a joint enemy in Iran?

Issacharoff: I can’t speak for the UAE. I think that this cumulative amount of converging interests in the regional context created that moment and related to the question of sovereignty.

DER SPIEGEL: You mean the annexation of Palestinian territories.

Issacharoff: Two months ago, al-Otaiba, the ambassador of the UAE to Washington, wrote an unprecedented op-ed in the Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonot in which he warned that this step would be an obstacle to normalization between Israel and the Arab world. In that sense, I was not surprised by the agreement that ensued.

DER SPIEGEL: With that, the UAE broke an Arab taboo - namely that there can only be peace with Israel if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

Issacharoff: I don't know if it's an Arab taboo. My feeling is that the Israeli-Palestinian track has not progressed because there wasn't sufficient support in the Arab world for the Palestinians. I think that the fact that moderate Arab countries are now working with Israel is one of the greatest chances that we can move forward on the Israel-Palestinian track.

DER SPIEGEL: Critics argue that there is less pressure on Israel now.

Issacharoff: Was there so much pressure before? There was no peace process that could be ruined.

DER SPIEGEL: U.S. President Trump supported the annexation plans in the beginning. Now, David Friedman, his ambassador to Israel, recently tweeted: "We prioritized peace in the region over West Bank annexation … you can't have peace and annexation at the same time.” Is that also the Israeli government’s position?

Issacharoff: I would say: You can have peace and solve issues of sovereignty at the same time. There will be adjustments. Part of our foreign policy since the Six Day War has been not to go back to the 1967 borders. The best peace plan is to get the two sides in the same room and negotiate. But for that, the Palestinians have to be ready to engage.

DER SPIEGEL: As was already reported, the F-16 deal in the 1990s worked as a door opener for the talks with the UAE. Is Israeli agreement on the sale of F-35 planes to the UAE part of the recent deal?

Issacharoff: You can’t compare it with the situation today. The F-35 question, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, is not part of the recent deal.

DER SPIEGEL: There were positive reactions from the government in Sudan, Bahrain and Oman. Will more Arab states follow the example of the UAE?

Issacharoff: In the past, I have had exchanges not just with representatives from the UAE, but also with interlocutors from other Gulf countries. And I could see the great commonality of interests between them and us. The step the UAE were ready to take is part of a wider change of consciousness. The Middle East context is changing in a way that demands greater openness and cooperation. I very much hope that other countries will follow the example of the UAE.


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