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Former Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, speaks at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, June 22, 2013. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)Interview Of Former Qatar PM Confessing Role In Syrian War Goes Viral

The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad.

A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top-secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.”Importantly, “this admission will help build a case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form the basis for compensation claims.”

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

By ZeroHedge.com  Mint Press News 

Israel’s Latest Act Of War: Another Attempt To Stop A “Peace Offensive”

“One nation openly attacking another on the latter’s territory would create a crisis anywhere else in the world. Not in Gaza though.” Perhaps the bigger questions are was this necessary and why now?

Relatives of Palestinian Muhammed al-Aqraa, who was killed in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel at the border between Gaza and Egypt, mourn over his body in his family house during his funeral, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Palestinian officials say an Israeli pre-dawn airstrike has killed several Gaza residents and wounded five others in a smuggling tunnel along the border with Egypt. The bombing appears to be the first to target smuggling tunnels since the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

Relatives of Palestinian Muhammed al-Aqraa, who was killed in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel at the border between Gaza and Egypt, mourn over his body in his family house during his funeral, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Palestinian officials say an Israeli pre-dawn airstrike has killed several Gaza residents and wounded five others in a smuggling tunnel along the border with Egypt. The bombing appears to be the first to target smuggling tunnels since the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

GAZA (Analysis) — On Monday, October 30, Israel fired five missiles at a tunnel under construction in Gazan territory east of Khan Younis. Seven Palestinians were killed and nine wounded during the attack. Israel asserts that the tunnel had reached the Israeli side of the perimeter wall it has built around Gaza, but it attacked the tunnel on the Gaza side, thus resulting in the 16 casualties. Since Israel has provided no proof that the tunnel had actually reached Israeli territory, the analysis that follows looks at either possibility.

Palestine is still the issue

palestinian_girl_copy.jpg

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

“Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green.

They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

It was the first lie. Most of the orange groves and vineyards belonged to Palestinians who had been tilling the soil and exporting oranges and grapes to Europe since the eighteenth century. The former Palestinian town of Jaffa was known by its previous inhabitants as “the place of sad oranges”.

On the kibbutz, the word “Palestinian” was never used. Why, I asked. The answer was a troubled silence.

All over the colonised world, the true sovereignty of indigenous people is feared by those who can never quite cover the fact, and the crime, that they live on stolen land.

Denying people’s humanity is the next step – as the Jewish people know only too well. Defiling people’s dignity and culture and pride follows as logically as violence.

In Ramallah, following an invasion of the West Bank by the late Ariel Sharon in 2002, I walked through streets of crushed cars and demolished houses, to the Palestinian Cultural Centre. Until that morning, Israeli soldiers had camped there. I was met by the centre’s director, the novelist, Liana Badr, whose original manuscripts lay scattered and torn across the floor. The hard-drive containing her fiction, and a library of plays and poetry had been taken by Israeli soldiers. Almost everything was smashed, and defiled.

By John Pilger  JohnPilger.com  July 10, 2017

Three years after its last war with Israel, Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis

On the anniversary of Operation Protective Edge – the deadliest Israeli intervention in Gaza to date – life in the Strip is getting worse, not better.

“I built a tent and stayed in it for three years, while waiting for Gaza to be rebuilt. We’re still living in it,” father of four Thaer al-Sheesh said.

“We are alive now because death hasn’t bothered to take us yet. It will be way better for us to die, as we won’t face problems anymore.”

It’s been a hot summer in Gaza this year. As temperatures have soared to 40 degrees celsius, the Strip’s burgeoning water and electricity crises have taken their toll, and three years on since Hamas’ last devastating war with Israel, it’s clear things in the Strip are getting worse, rather than better.

Bethan McKernan  Beirut  Independent  August 25, 2017

Children stand in the rubble of destroyed buildings in Syria.

Children stand in the rubble of destroyed buildings in Syria. | Photo: EFE

Afraa speaks with Dr. Rhymes about the war on Syria, the major players in the region funding and fueling the terrorists and “moderate rebels,” what life was like in Syria before the proxy war, the black market organ trade that has besieged Syrians and what changed transformed her from architect to activist/journalist.

By Rhymes Media Group  August 1, 2017

The Israelization of the Middle East Quagmire in the US Media

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

— Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel, Nobel Peace Prize address, 1986

The media’s role is to inform and enlighten, to be the eyes and ears of the people, and to monitor power. However, in their coverage of the Palestine-Israel quagmire they have consistently favored the partisan views of the United States and Israeli governments at the expense of the Palestinian experience. And they have failed the public in understanding this longest of Middle East conflicts, which is at the heart of so many of the problems in the region.

Not only is Israel waging a military campaign in the occupied territories, but a second battle is being waged through the American media to ensure continued U.S. support for its expansionist policies.

 

The Prisoners’ Revolt: The Real Reasons Behind The Palestinian Hunger Strike

Palestinian demand release of prisoners in Israeli prisons. (Photo: palsolidarity, file)By Ramzy Baroud for Politics for the People – Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison. The West Bank is a prison, too, segmented into various wards, known as areas A, B and C. In fact, all Palestinians are subjected to varied degrees of military restrictions. At some level, they are all prisoners. East Jerusalem is cut off from the West Bank, and those in the West Bank are separated from one another. Palestinians in Israel are treated slightly better than their brethren in the Occupied Territories, but subsist in degrading conditions compared to the first-class status given to Israeli Jews, as per the virtue of their ethnicity alone. Palestinians ‘lucky’ enough to escape the handcuffs and shackles are still trapped in different ways. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s Ein el-Hilweh, like millions of Palestinian refugees in ‘shattat’ (Diaspora), are prisoners in refugee camps, carrying precarious, meaningless identification, cannot travel and are denied access to work. They languish in refugee camps, waiting for life to move forward, however slightly – as their fathers and grandfathers have done before them for nearly seventy years. -more-

 Popular Resistance  May 5, 2017

Head Of UN Agency Resigns After Refusing To Retract Report Calling Israel An ‘Apartheid Regime’

Rima Khalaf, former head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. (Photo: ESCWA)Rima Khalaf, the head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). resigned today after she was asked to withdraw a report her agency published earlier this week that stated Israel is an “apartheid regime.” “The secretary-general demanded yesterday that I withdraw the report, and I refused,”Khalaf told reporters at a press conference in Beirut today, according to the Middle East Eye. “It was expected that Israel and its allies would put enormous pressure on the United Nations secretary general to renounce the report,” she also said, according to Reuters. Then Khalaf stated that the United Nations “had scrubbed the report from its website.” -more-

By Allison Deger of Mondoweiss   Popular Resistance  March 19, 2017

Swedish Doctors for Human Rights: White Helmets Video, Macabre Manipulation of Dead Children and Staged Chemical Weapons Attack to Justify a “No-Fly Zone” in Syria

An examination of a White Helmets video, conducted by Swedish medical doctors, specialists in various fields, including paediatrics, have revealed that the life-saving procedures seen in the film are incorrect – in fact life-threatening – or simply fake, including simulated emergency resuscitation techniques being used on already lifeless children.

By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, SWEDHR chair   March 2017 issue

Life in Gaza Is Shaped by the Electricity Crisis

Since 2007, Palestinians in Gaza have lived with limited electricity because of infrastructure damage caused by Israeli attacks, as well as a blockade that hinders repairs. This crisis has jeopardized critical services, such as hospitals, schools and water sanitation systems, affecting the health and well-being of Gaza residents.

Mike Merryman-Lotze   Truthout  March 10, 2017

Jim Crow is alive and well in Israel

Long before Israel erected separate communities, the United States perfected the art of the artificial divide.

Israel as seen from over the wall running past Aida refugee camp [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images]

For years, Israel has sold, and we in the United States have bought, the cheap peel-away sticker that it is the “lone democracy” in the Middle East.

It has a nice, assuring ring to it, sort of like “opportunity” or “peace”, whatever these chants may, in practice, mean. But, like beauty, it remains very much in the eye of the beholder, and like reality, sooner or later the truth surfaces, no matter how well its fiction is packaged.

We in the US are damn good at packaging ourselves, and our charade of equality and justice is second to none. We sell stuff; lots of it. Much of it false. Very much like a willing stepchild, Israel has learned from us that if you say something long enough with vigour, power and money to back it, it begins to take on a surreal life of its own, no matter how much reality puts the lie to its embroideryIndeed, we are quite accomplished at obfuscation. We know it all too well. We’ve hidden behind the fog of it for so long that, even today, those who remind us that the earth is, in fact, not flat, remain heretics to be scorned. Have we found the weapons of mass destruction yet?

Long before Israel erected separate communities divided by will of law to segregate its Jewish citizens from its almost two million Palestinian Arab ones, the US perfected the art of artificial divide.

By   AlJazeera  March 1, 2017

Stanley L Cohen is an attorney and human rights activist who has done extensive work in the Middle East and Africa.

People and the Land, Chapter 2: Sharing the Land of Canaan

Qumsiyeh: A Human Rights Web about Palestine, written by a Palestinian scholar and activist who lives in Palestine.

Israel orders demolition of Palestinian village in West Bank

Tel Aviv decided to finally move on the long-sought land after years of holding back, due mainly to international pressure.

 A Palestinian girl stands near a hut in the Khan Al-Ahmar encampment in the central West Bank on Wednesday. The Israeli Civil Administration distributed demolition orders this week to the village, located in Area C, which is under full Israeli civil and military control. Khan Al-Ahmar is surrounded by Israeli settlements outside of Jerusalem in the Judean Desert. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI  | License Photo

Feb. 22 (UPI) — Israel’s government this week issued demolition orders for a Palestinian encampment near Jerusalem, giving residents just a few days to evacuate their homes.

Israel Defense Forces raided the settlement and imposed a military closure on dozens of structures in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar on Sunday — including tents, huts and a school.

Israeli forces stormed the village and even surrounded the 8-year-old school, the only one serving the Bedouin community in the area, preventing teachers and students from entering.

By Doug G. Ware   |   UPI   Updated Feb. 23, 2017

Syrian Regime Change In The Context Of US-Syria History

The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the horrors of World War II. Today there are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)—an all-time high, as violence and persecution around the world are on the rise. CREDIT: UNHCR CREDIT: UNHCR The Middle East, North Africa, and Western Asia are particularly hard hit. Millions of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen are fleeing violence and war in their countries. In all of 2014, approximately 219,000 people tried to cross the Mediterranean to seek asylum in Europe. In just the first eight months of 2015, over 300,000 refugees tried to cross the sea, according to the UNHCR. More than 2,500 died. Human rights organizations warn the Gulf states, Israel, Iran, a nd Russia—all of which have taken zero refugees—along with the US, Canada, and Europe—which have taken few—are not doing enough to provide refuge to the asylum-seekers. CREDIT: Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP CREDIT: Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP The majority of the refugees are from Syria. More than four million Syrian refugees are registered with the UN. Another seven million have been internally displaced. Over half of the entire population of the country has been uprooted since 2011. Because Syrians comprise the bulk of refugees, the plights of other refugees have scarcely been reported on. Governments are essentially only considering taking asylum-seekers from war-torn Syria, embroiled for over four years now in intense violence. The Syrian Civil War has resulted in what is often referred to as “the worst refugee crisis of our generation.” Using statistics from the UN, news reports, and the University of California, Berkeley, Statista details how the Syrian refugee crisis compares to other refugee crises in the past few decades: Credit: Statista Credit: Statista In terms of sheer scale, the Syrian refugee crisis is significantly worse than those resulting from the US and Soviet wars in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, the genocide in Rwanda, the NATO bombing of Kosovo, and more. Credit: Middle East Eye Credit: Middle East Eye Most of the refugees from Syria are youths. Middle East Eye reports 51% of Syrian asylum-seekers are under age 18, and 39% are under age 11. In other words, two out of every five Syrian refugees are children under age 11. The story that brought much of this suffering to the attention of the Western media was that of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian Kurd refugee whose lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach. The photo of his tiny figure went viral, and has become a symbol of the refugee crisis. Kurdi’s family say they applied for asylum in Canada, yet the Canadian government denied their application. The immigration ministry says the f amily’s application “was returned as it was incomplete.” The crisis has also emboldened racists to be open with their anti-Arab bigotry. German neo-Nazis have attacked refugees and shelters created for asylum-seekers. “Europe responds to desperate refugees with razor wire and racism,” the Washington Post writes. Here is a guide to the worst refugee crisis since World War II, with information about every country you need to know. Syria’s Neighbors The vast preponderance of Syrian refugees have been taken by Syria’s neighbors. CREDIT: Mercy Corps CREDIT: Mercy Corps Turkey has taken the most, close to 2 million. The tiny nation of Lebanon has accepted over 1.1 million Syrian refugees, who now comprise almost one-fifth of its entire population. Jordan has accepted around 630,000. Approximately one in every 13 people in Jordan is a Syrian refugee. CREDIT: Forbes / Statista CREDIT: Forbes / Statista Lebanon and Jordan now have the most refugees per capita in the world. In s pite of the war behind waged inside of its borders and the growth of ISIS, Iraq has also taken in almost 250,000 Syrian refugees. Most were welcomed by Iraqi Kurdistan, in the north. US The US has fueled the conflicts in all five of the Middle Eastern nations from which most refugees are fleeing, and it is directly responsible for the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. The US’ over a decade-long war in and occupation of Iraq resulted in the deaths of at least a million people, greatly weakened the government, brought al-Qaeda into the country, and led to the rise of ISIS. Over 3.3 million people in Iraq have been displaced because of ISIS. In Afghanistan, US occupation is ongoing and the war is escalating, in spite of Obama’s constant insistence that it would end by 2014. There are 2.6 million Afghan refugees, according to the UN. The US-led NATO bombing of Libya destroyed the government, fomenting chaos that led to the rise of ISIS affiliates in northern Africa. Many tho usands of Libyans are now fleeing the country, often on dangerous smuggler boats and rafts. The UN estimates there are over 360,000 displaced Libyans. A coalition of Middle Eastern nations, led by Saudi Arabia, has pummeled Yemen for half a year, leading to the deaths of over 4,500 people. The US has steadfastly backed the coalition, in spite of human rights organizations accusing it of war crimes, including the intentional targeting of civilians and aid buildings. As a result, the UN says there are over 330,000 displaced Yemenis. CREDIT: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters CREDIT: Yannis Behrakis / ReutersBy Staff of WashingtonsBlog – The U.S. Carried Out Regime Change In Syria In 1949 … and Tried Again In 1957, 1986, 1991 and 2011-Today. The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes: Recently declassified records… confirm that beginning on November 30, 1948, [CIA operative Stephen] Meade met secretly with Colonel Zaim at least six times to discuss the “possibility [of an] army supported dictatorship.” [“Cold War and Covert Action: The United States and Syria, 1945-1958,” Middle East Journal, Winter 1990, p. 55] -more-

Popular Resistance  March 1, 2017

The lies around Syria have led to death and destruction in the country.

The lies around Syria have led to death and destruction in the country. | Photo: Reuters

 The White Helmets film is a tactic in the ongoing campaign of distortion and deception against Syria.

The Netflix film titled, “The White Helmets,” may win an Oscar in the “short documentary” category at the Academy Awards Sunday and it will not be a surprise, despite the fact that the group is a fraud and the movie is a contrived infomercial.

“The White Helmets” is a “feel good” story like a Disney hero movie: 90 percent myth and fabrication. Most of what is claimed about the Syrian rescue group is untrue. They are not primarily Syrian, the group was initiated by British military contractor James LeMesurier and has been heavily funded — about US$100 million — by the U.S., U.K. and other governments.

They are not volunteers, they are paid. This is confirmed in the Al Jazeera video which shows some White Helmet “volunteers’ talking about going on strike if they don’t get paid soon. Most of the heavy funding goes to the marketing which is run by “The Syria Campaign” based in New York. The manager is an Irish-American woman Anna Nolan who has never been to Syria. As an example of its deception, The Syria Campaign website features video showing children dancing and playing soccer implying they are part of the opposition demand for a “free and peaceful” Syria. But the video images are taken from a 2010 BBC documentary about education in Syria under the Baath government.

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Telesur English  February 22, 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu Rejected an Offer by John Kerry and Arab Leaders for Peace Talks

Last year this time, Secretary of State John Kerry was trying to put together a huge peace deal between Israel and the Arab world, according to Aron Heller and Matthew Lee of the Associated Press.

Farewell to Doublespeak: Israel’s Terrifying Vision for the Future

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

Empirical historical evidence combined with little common-sense are enough to tell us the type of future options that Israel has in store for the Palestinian people: perpetual Apartheid or ethnic cleansing, or a mix of both.

The passing of the ‘Regularization Bill‘ on February 6 is all we need to imagine the Israeli-envisaged future. The new law allows the Israeli government to retroactively recognize Jewish outposts built without official permission on privately-owned Palestinian land.

All settlements – officially recognized settlements and unauthorized outposts – are illegal under international law. The verdict has been passed numerous times by the United Nations and, more recently, pronounced with unmistakable clarity in UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

Game Change: Syria, Interrupted

Photo by watch smart | CC BY 2.0
Photo by watch smart | CC BY 2.0

Introduction: The recapture of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies marks a turning point not only in the conflict in Syria, but also in the dynamic of international conflict. For the first time since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the rolling imperial engine of regime change via American-led military intervention has been stopped in its tracks. To be sure, it’s certainly not out of service, even in Syria, and it will seek and find new paths for devastating disobedient countries, but its assumed endgame for subjugating Syria has been rudely interrupted. And in our historical context, Syria interrupted is imperialism interrupted.

Excerpt: The Russians and the rest of the world also now know how destructive the American project of regime change via jihadi proxies is, having seen its results in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Only deluded and arrogant American exceptionalists—conservative militarists and liberal humanitarian interventionists alike—haven’t learned that lesson.

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Israeli court approves demolition of Palestinian villages in occupied West Bank

Demolitions by Israeli forces leave Palestinian families homeless in Jerusalem [file photo]

Demolitions by Israeli forces leave Palestinian families homeless in Jerusalem [file photo]
 Israel’s High Court of Justice has decided to allow the Civil Administration in the occupied West Bank to demolish eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills because the land is “needed” for military training purposes, Haaretz reported on Thursday. Around 1,500 Palestinians will be affected by the destruction of their homes.

The eight villages in question are among 12 that the Israeli defence ministry wants to be demolished as they are located within the range of Firing Zone 918. The government plans to move the residents to the town of Yatta, where, it claims, most of them have permanent homes. The Palestinians, added the ministry, will be allowed to work on their land and graze their flocks when exercises are not taking place.

Middle East Monitor  January 26, 2017

Israel Announces 2,500 More West Bank Settlement Homes

Al Jazeera
Excerpt: “Israel has approved a plan to construct 2,500 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, two days after the country accepted building permits for more than 500 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem.”
READ MORE

Reader Supported News  January 25, 2017

Terrorism: How The Israeli State Was Won

Initial reports on King David Hotel bombing said 50 dead; the blast killed 91. But as Suárez explains in State of Terror (p 146), the King David bombing was not, as is commonly believed, the most deadly terror attack of the pre-state period.By Tom Suarez for Mondoweiss – Good evening, thank you so much for taking time out of what I know are your busy schedules to be here now. My thanks to Jenny Tonge for making this meeting possible; and I would like to thank three people without whom the book would not exist: Karl Sabbagh, my publisher; Ghada Karmi, who inspired the book; and my partner, Nancy Elan, who was my constant alter-ego during my research and without whom I surely would have given up. My work is based principally on declassified source documents in the National Archives in Kew. When I have had to rely on published works, I have trusted established historians who cite first-hand sources. -more-

Popular Resistance  January 5, 2016

A girl reacts during the funeral of Palestinian Sara Tarayra Hjoj who was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Bani Naem, near Hebron Dec. 17, 2016.

A girl reacts during the funeral of Palestinian Sara Tarayra Hjoj who was killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Bani Naem, near Hebron Dec. 17, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Israeli forces killed more than 100 people, including 33 children, in 2016, marking the highest numbers of deaths in Palestine in a decade.

More than 111 Palestinian were killed in 2016, almost all of them at the hands of Israeli forces, according to a tally by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency which also reported that the past year has been the deadliest for Palestinian children in more than a decade.

Telesur  January 2, 2017

Vanessa Beeley and Andrew Ashdow ASP report East Aleppo with Tom Duggan and Sinan Saeed (Video)

The truth about East Aleppo ,no Main Stream Media went to transit point in East Aleppo, these two independent witnesses did what no western journalist would, BBC left Syria 4 days prior to the liberation of east Aleppo ,no news team would leave a news story in till that story as big as Aleppo was completed, the reason they left was the story did not fit past narrative on BBC news reports

Tom Duggan

Controlling the Narrative on Syria

In the current environment, to express even a mildly dissenting opinion, point out basic but unwelcome facts such as the presence of significant public support for the government in Syria, or highlight the frequently brutal acts of rebel groups, has seen many people ridiculed and attacked on social media.  These attacks are rarely, if ever, reasoned critiques of opposing views; instead they frequently descend into personal, often hysterical, insults and baseless, vitriolic allegations.  Generally, a set of core arguments are used to denounce those who question the dominant narrative: they include the notion that it is somehow Islamophobic to criticise the actions of rebel groups or to label them as extremists, and that to highlight the central role of US imperialism in the conflict is Orientalist as it denies Syrians their ‘agency’.  Often, legitimate criticism is simply dismissed outright as ‘fascist’, ‘Stalinist’, ‘Putinist’ or all three.

The policing of acceptable opinion in this way has a simple and practical function: to foster a climate in which people feel too intimidated to speak out, thus allowing the dominant narrative to remain unquestioned so that, crucially, it can continue to be utilised to generate public support for further Western intervention in Syria.

By Louis Allday  MRZine  December 13, 2016

Netanyahu halts Israeli funding of UN bodies in revenge for ‘crazy’ resolution

RT December 24, 2016

107 reporters killed in Syria since conflict began – report

Syria was the deadliest country for journalists in 2016, according to a report. At least 14 journalists were killed there in the line of duty this year alone, bringing the total number of war reporters who have died since the conflict broke out to at least 107.

According to the report by international press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), deaths in combat or crossfire reached their highest number since 2013, as conflicts in the Middle East showed no sign of ending.

RT December 19, 2016

Journalists face off over Syria news sources in RT debate (Video)

RT  December 16, 2016

Aleppo Rebels Were Defeated Because They Alienated Syrians

The fall of the East Aleppo pocket dooms such a negotiated outcome of the civil war.  The regime of Bashar al-Assad will be emboldened, as it has pledged, to try to take back over all the territory militarily, and to re-institute its seedy one-party state replete with intensive domestic spying, arbitrary arrest and torture.

That said, the rebel forces in East Aleppo do bear some of the blame for their defeat.  It seems a harsh thing to say at a time of heart-wrenching scenes of noncombatants waiting in the cold for an evacuation that only seems to come in fits and starts.  But it is necessary for us to understand what is happening and not only to feel it.  Because al-Assad is understandably hated in democratic societies, there is a tendency to see the reassertion of the regime there as purely an act of brutal force.

It is at least that, of course.  Russian and Syrian aerial bombing of a dense urban area has killed noncombatants in ways that are likely war crimes.

But this brutality cannot explain what happened.

PATRICK COCKBURN  The Rebels of Aleppo Will Fight On, But Assad Has Taken Their Power

JONATHAN COOK  Israel’s West Bank Tourism Drive Makes Palestinians Invisible

RAMZY BAROUD  Navigating War: Has the War in Syria also Destroyed Journalism?

Three from Counterpunch  December 18, 2016

What’s Happening in Aleppo Isn’t as Black and White as ‘Our Political Masters’ Make It Out to Be

In a thought-provoking piece published Tuesday, Robert Fisk, The Independent’s award-winning correspondent, reports that while the bloody clash in the Syrian city of Aleppo is horrific, many questions remain about American and British involvement and Western media’s portrayal of the conflict. Fisk points out that while Russia and Bashar Assad’s regime have been depicted as the outright enemies in the Syrian war, the U.S. and U.K., through their alliance with Saudi Arabia, continually back rebels with ties to al-Qaida. In addition, some Syrian soldiers believe the U.S. has allowed Islamic State fighters to leave Mosul in order to attack Syrian regime fighters.

All in all, the journalist paints a vastly different picture in Syria than the one many of us have become accustomed to reading about in many Western newspapers.

Truthdig  December 14, 2016

Syria From Someone Who Knows (Video) 

Canadian freelance journalist Eva Bartlett totally schools a mainstream reporter on what’s actually going on in Syria during a recent news conference at the United Nations in New York City.

Eva has lived for three years in Gaza, spent time in Lebanon and visited Syria three times since April 2014.

By Bruce Gagnon  Organizing Notes  December 13, 2016

Clinton’s “No-Fly Zone” over Syria Will Not “Save Lives”. It Will Lead to War with Russia. Warning of JCS Chairman General Dunford

no fly zone

The media has failed to address the confrontation between the U.S. State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Francis Dunford (image right) has warned both the US Senate as well Secretary of State John Kerry in no uncertain terms that a “No Fly Zone” over Syria would lead to war with both Syria and Russia, intimating a dangerous process of military escalation. 

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky  Global Research, October 23, 2016

Syrian White Helmets a ‘terrorist support group & Western propaganda tool’

Created out of militants who invaded Aleppo, the Western-funded White Helmets is a terrorist support group fraudulently masquerading as a humanitarian organization to undermine Syrian government, says independent researcher and journalist Vanessa Bee

RT  October 25, 2016

Patrick Cockburn | Talk of a No-Fly Zone Distracts From Realistic Solutions for Aleppo

Cockburn writes: “Are there alternative scenarios, if not solutions? In Syria there usually are because there are so many players inside and outside the country, all claiming hypocritically to be acting in the interests of the Syrian people but invariably onsulting their own interests first, second and third.”
READ MORE

Patrick Cockburn  The Independent  Reader Supported News  November 3, 2016

Why do we hear only of the “humanitarian crisis in Aleppo” and not of the humanitarian crisis everywhere else in Syria where the evil that rules in Washington has unleashed its ISIL mercenaries to slaughter the Syrian people?  Why do we not hear about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen where the US and its Saudi Arabian vassal are slaughtering Yemeni women and children?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Libya where Washington destroyed a country leaving chaos in its place?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, ongoing now for 13 years, or the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan now 15 years old?

The answer is that the crisis in Aleppo is the crisis of Washington losing its ISIL mercenaries to the Syrian army and Russian air force.  The jihadists sent by Obama and the killer Hillary (“We came, we saw, he died”) to destroy Syria are being themselves destroyed.  The Obama regime and the Western presstitutes are trying to save the jihadists by covering them in the blanket of “humanitarian crisis.”

Such hypocrisy is standard fare for Washington.  If the Obama regime gave a hoot about “humanitarian crisis,” the Obama regime would not have orchestrated humanitarian crisis in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen.

Muslim Students Speak Out Against FBI Informant Plan Exposed by The Intercept

Student leaders respond to The Intercept’s story about the FBI targeting young Yemenis on Facebook and in Muslim student associations.

Cora Currier   The Intercept  October 17, 2016

“People don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and no one can agree on why,” begins a sympathetic piece on the Democratic Party presidential candidate in Fast Company last July.

by Sharmine Narwani  RT  October 14, 2016

Debate Moderator Distorted Syrian Reality

The American people are receiving a highly distorted view of the Syrian war – much propaganda, little truth – including from one of the moderators at the second presidential debate

Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ chief global affairs correspondent, presented the Syrian conflict as simply a case of barbaric aggression by the Syrian government and its Russian allies against the Syrian people, especially the innocents living in Aleppo. (Screenshot: ABC News/YouTube)

How ABC News’ Martha Raddatz framed her question about Syria in the second presidential debate shows why the mainstream U.S. news media, with its deep-seated biases and inability to deal with complexity, has become such a driving force for wider wars and even a threat to the future of the planet.

By Robert Parry  Consortium News  Common Ground  October 11, 2016

U.S. Admits Israel Is Building Permanent Apartheid Regime

By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – IN 2010, ISRAEL’S then-defense minister, Ehud Barak, explicitly warned that Israel would become a permanent “apartheid” state if it failed to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians that creates their own sovereign nation and vests them with full political rights. “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel, it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” Barak said. “If this bloc of millions of ­Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.” -more-

Popular Resistance  October 11, 2016

State Department’s alternate reality on Palestine

The US State Department says Israeli settlement construction is cementing a one-state reality
in Palestine.
Oren ZivActiveStills

The Obama administration just handed Israel the largest military aid deal in US history. Now it is feigning outrage that Israel keeps colonizing the occupied West Bank, as it has done for decades, in defiance of the White House’s wishes.

“We strongly condemn the Israeli government’s recent decision to advance a plan that would create a significant new settlement deep in the West Bank,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said on Wednesday.

Toner added that “this settlement’s location deep in the West Bank, far closer to Jordan than Israel, would link a string of outposts that effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.”

Though this was worded more robustly than usual, similar condemnations have been issued by the State Department countless times before.

Maureen Clare Murphy Power Suits Electronic Intifada  October 7, 2016

Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Zaytouna-Oliva Women to be ‘Deported’. Details Emerge about the Capture

womens-boat-to-gaza

Two journalists from Al Jazeera who were on board Zaytouna-Oliva have been released and have safely reached London and Moscow. The other 11 women of the Women’s Boat to Gaza are still in detention, but we anticipate that they will be ‘deported’ soon, as they were moved yesterday from Givon Prison to a detention facility at Ben-Gurion airport.

Wendy Goldsmith, a member of the land team working to secure the release of the women stated that, “the deportation is happening much quicker than in previous flotillas. While we had a great legal team assisting the women, we suspect that the reason for the quick release was because of all the negative media attention Israel has been receiving for its illegal interception, including the demand of rock band Pink Floyd.” According to early reports from the women released, the Zaytouna-Oliva was surrounded by two warships along with four to five smaller naval boats. The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) demanded that the Zaytouna-Oliva stop its course towards Gaza. When the warning was refused, at least seven IOF members, both male and female, boarded our yacht and commandeered it in international waters.

In the course of their capture, the women insisted that Israel’s attack was illegal and that they were being taken against their will to Israel. The Women’s Boat to Gaza campaign asserts that while the captivity of the women on board Zaytouna-Oliva may soon be over, the captivity of 1.9 million Palestinian people in Gaza remains. Whilst the term “peaceful” has been used in some media to describe the attack and capture of our boat, this is inaccurate. Peace is more than merely the absence of physical violence. Oppression, occupation, denial of human rights and taking a boat of unarmed, non-violent women against their will are not peaceful activities. Indeed, as Zaytouna-Oliva approached Palestine, the IOF launched multiple air raids across the Gaza Strip.

The Women’s Boat to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will continue to sail until Palestine is free.

Outrage as Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign bank accounts closed

A 2014 Dublin protest in solidarity with Gaza, Palestine. Paul ReynoldsRabble.ie

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign announced on Monday that its accounts had been closed by the Bank of Ireland.

The IPSC is seeking answers from the bank, which would only say the organization no longer met its “risk appetite.”

In a statement the IPSC said the move appeared to be “part of a campaign orchestrated by the Israeli government.”

The group also described the bank’s decision as “an attack on Palestinian rights and BDS,” the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The Electronic Intifada  Asa Winstanley Activism and BDS Beat
October 6, 2016

Anti-BDS Campaign Aims to Undermine Academic Freedom and Free Speech on Palestine

Investigations into claims of anti-Semitism among Palestine solidarity groups often find the claims to be unfounded, says Dima Khalidi of Palestine Legal

2016-09-26 |

The recent US airstrike against Syrian forces that reportedly killed scores of soldiers in the Syrian city of Dayr al-Zawr was deliberate, says an anti-war activist in Chicago.

“For five years, the US and NATO have backed foreign armies attacking the people of Syria,” said Joe Iosbaker, a leader of the United National Antiwar Committee.

Press TV  September 20, 2016

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Syria: Attack on Aid Convoy Kills Twenty, Destroys Aid, And Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group?

By Felicity Arbuthnot, September 21 2016

In the words of Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova: “We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: That the White House is defending the Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that”.

AleppoVideo: Contradictory Reports regarding “Humanitarian Convoy” Destroyed on Road near Aleppo

By South Front, September 21 2016

Heavy clashes resumed in Syria after the truce officially collapsed on September 19. The Jabhtat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) terrorist group and its allies launched a full-scale advance against the Syrian army, the National Defense Forces and Hezbollah in southwestern Aleppo.

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Voices from Syria: “This Country is being Violated by Terrorists who Destroy History, and People”

By Mark Taliano, September 21 2016

Radwan Altaweel and his 24 year old son, Basel Altaweel, work at Shop.Altaweel Copper and Brass Designs. Basel’s 30 year old brother is currently in the military, serving with the Syrian Arab Army.  The family name means “tall”, and they are both standing tall against the Western designs to destroy their homeland.

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Kashmir: “We The People” Should Stand Up

By Chandra Muzaffar, September 21 2016

The armed conflict in Kashmir has reached a dangerous point. The killing of 17 Indian soldiers in the Uri camp, 6 kilometres from the Line of Control (LoC) that separates the two state protagonists, India and Pakistan, could lead to a further deterioration of a volatile situation that threatens to spiral into a much larger conflagration.  Indian authorities allege that the four militants who killed the soldiers were trained by Pakistan. Pakistan has denied the allegation.

Edward-Snowden

The Washington Post and Edward Snowden

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, September 21 2016

The tensions between those engaged in the dangerous and compromising pursuit of whistleblowing, and those who use the fruit of such efforts has been all too coarsely revealed in the Washington Post stance on Edward Snowden. Oliver Stone’s Snowden has done a good deal of stirring on its release, suggesting that the pardon powers of the Presidential office should be activated.  A recent petition calling for a pardon of the former National Security Agency contractor has already received signatures from Steve Wozniak, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jack Dorsey.

US Won’t Release Text Of Secret Deal With Russia To Bomb Syria

“At one point we’re going to be asked to support in greater detail this Russo-U.S. plan, so to do that we will need to have all the information,” Continue reading →

MintPress News  September 16, 2016

Truthdig Photo of the Week: Palestinians Celebrate Eid al-Adha in Israel

Brazilian Jews, left, and Palestinian Muslims encounter each other on a beach in Tel Aviv during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. (Oded Balilty / AP)

Diversely clad, smiling and conversing in the kind of setting from which state authorities in France forcibly drove conservative Muslim women over the summer, Muslims and Jews interact in the image above in a way Americans are rarely shown. What could they be discussing?

The Associated Press says the three Jewish women on the left are from Brazil. The Palestinians are from the city of Nablus, 30 miles northeast of Tel Aviv, where the groups encountered each other on a beach Tuesday during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. Translating as “Festival of the Sacrifice,” the holiday celebrates the devotion of Abraham—a major figure in both Judaism and Islam—to God, to whom the Old Testament says Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son.

The Israeli government permitted 100,000 Palestinians from the West Bank to travel to Israel’s beaches for Eid al-Adha. In the area of Jaffa, travelers were “ecstatic” to be at the beach, The Jerusalem Post reported. “[B]ut this did not change their negative image of the [Israel Defense Forces].” A visitor identified as Mohammed told the Post, “The army makes it so hard for us to travel and to be here. I’m happy, but the fact that I have to ask the army to see the ocean is crazy.”

By Alexander Reed Kelly  Truthdig  September 17, 2016

Syrian Rebels Beg Israel For Help As Tensions Escalate In Occupied Golan Heights

A video shows a field commander of a Syrian rebel group pleading for military aid from Israel.  Continue reading →

MintPress News.  September 16, 2016

It’s Almost Palestinian Hunting Season, Again

May 2017 will mark fifty years of Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, characterized by institutionalized inequality and injustice toward Palestinians.

At the bidding of the government, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) routinely and violently confronts Palestinians, but also Israeli and international dissidents who dare challenge the continued expansion and entrenchment of the illegal settlements in the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza strip. Protesters run the risk of getting cursed, spat on, detained, beaten up, stoned, stabbed, shot, kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured or any combination thereof. Moreover, in an unfortunate yet predictable move, the Israeli government has recently declared war on the nonviolent boycott divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Like clockwork, every few years a cycle of violence disproportionately bathes Palestinian society in blood and tears and serves to further fortify the occupation (see “Israeli Occupation for Dummies”). According to renowned scholar Ilan Pappe, Israeli society needs a regular dose of war not only as a means to justify its excessive military budget and lucrative arms industry, but as a tool to reaffirm itself as a cohesive settler-colonialist entity faced with an existential threat. Continue reading →

MintPress News.  September 16, 2016

Syria Truce Holds, Despite Questions on Humanitarian Aid

The London pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-`Arabi   reports that the truce that began Monday night held during its first twenty-four hours, in the areas designated for a cease-fire by Russia and the United States.  The boom of artillery fire faded away at nightfall on Monday.  It coincided with the beginning of the Muslim holy day, Eid al-Adha.  The Syrian Observatory also confirmed that the main battlefields in Aleppo, Damascus and Idlib had fallen quiet.

By Juan Cole / Informed Comment Truthdig September 14, 2016

EXPOSED: NATO’s Sleeper Cells Within US Anti-War Movement

hand in hand with al qaeda2

There has been a spate of truly dreadful anti-Syria articles published recently in ‘alternative’ media. Taken individually they would not normally be taken seriously, but as they seem to be feeding off each other, and as they share common characteristics, admittedly not unique to them, it is worth paying them some attention.

Three articles in particular come to mind, written by Ashley Smith, Anti-Imperialism and the Syrian Revolution, Terry Burke, US Activists Aren’t Listening to Progressive Syrian Voices, and Andy Berman, Reasserting Dignity in the US AntiWar Movement. The articles are strikingly similar with the same essential thesis, and the same premises. They have another point in common – they are all spectacularly dishonest.

The essential flaws of all three articles are encapsulated in the opening paragraph of Ashley Smith’s offering:

“The Syrian Revolution has tested the left internationally by posing a blunt question:
Which side are you on? Do you support the popular struggle against dictatorship
and for democracy? Or are you with Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime, his imperial
backer Russia, his regional ally Iran and Iran’s proxies like Hezbollah from Lebanon?”

BY    21st Century Wire   September 4, 2016
Barbara McKenzie  Lying for NATO 

The Real US Syria Scandal: Supporting Sectarian War

The main criticism of US policy in Syria has long been that President Barack Obama should have used US military force or more aggressive arms aid to strengthen the armed opposition to Assad.

By Gareth Porter, Middle East Eye  Posted on World Beyond War  August 30, 2016

Apartheid Israel’s War on Water

Sumaya Awad, Socialist Worker: People might be shocked to find out that Ramallah, one of the largest cities in the West Bank, actually receives more annual rainfall than London. So why during the month of June did Palestinians face some of the harshest water shortages in decades?

Read the Article   Truthout  August 10, 2016

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This photo shows a general view of the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, May 17, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
This photo shows a general view of the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, May 17, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations and Palestinian officials have strongly denounced Israeli plans to construct nearly 800 illegal settler units in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

According to Israeli non-profit organization, Ir Amim, which opposes settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories, the units would expand the Gilo settlement on the southern perimeter of East al-Quds. They are part of a larger plan for around 1,200 settler units approved some three years ago.

The move to further advance the plans has drawn condemnation both from UN and Palestinian officials.

PressTV  July 25, 2016

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Afghan men carry empty coffins for the victims of yesterday

Afghan men carry empty coffins for the victims of yesterday’s suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 24, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

 More than 1,500 children were killed and wounded in the war, pushing overall casualties in the country to the highest six-month total ever recorded by the United Nations.

The numbers of civilians casualties in Afghanistan have reached record levels, the United Nations reported on Monday, with at least 1,601 killed and 3,565 wounded in the first six months of 2016.

RELATED:
Suicide Bombers at Kabul Demonstration Kill at Least 80

“Every civilian casualty represents a failure of commitment and should be a call to action for parties to the conflict to take meaningful, concrete steps to reduce civilians’ suffering and increase protection,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, said in the report.

“Platitudes not backed by meaningful action ring hollow over time. History and the collective memory of the Afghan people will judge leaders of all parties to this conflict by their actual conduct.”

The U.N. attributes the majority of the civilian casualties to anti-government groups, most notably the Taliban, which was strongly criticized in the report for their continued use of “indiscriminate tactics, including carrying out devastating complex and suicide attacks in civilian areas.”

The Islamic State group, which has made some limited inroads in Afghanistan, accounted for 122 casualties in the first six months of 2016 compared with 13 casualties attributed to it in the same period last year.

Telesur  July 25, 2016

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Saudis Push Washington Revolt Against Obama on Syria

That 51 US diplomats reproached President Obama’s Syria policy by calling for greater American military force deployed against the Damascus government was itself a remarkable sign of official dissent within Washington. But the president’s authority was further brazenly undermined when a few days later the Saudi rulers endorsed the dissenting US diplomats – while being received at the White House.

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM  Strategic Culture  July 23, 2016

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Democratic clash over Palestine signals changing party

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Syrian Opposition Demands U.S.-Led Coalition Halt Air Strikes

Reports say 56 civilians killed by air campaign

Undated image posted by the Raqqa Media Center showing ISIS fighters by a government fighter jet following battle in Raqqa, Syria / AP

A coalition of Syrian opposition groups requested the suspension of U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State terror group in Syria pending an investigation into reports that the campaign killed more than 50 civilians this week.

Syrian National Coalition president Anas al-Abdah warned in a letter to the foreign ministers of the anti-ISIS coalition that the killings of civilians by U.S.-led aircraft would “prove to be a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 56 civilians were killed in air strikes Tuesday north of the ISIS-held city of Manbij, including 11 children. The group said a day earlier that 21 civilians had been killed in the city.

BY:  The Washington Free Beacon  July 21, 2016

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Israel imprisons journalist for Facebook status

Palestinians take part in a protest calling for the release of Bilal Kayed, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike, in Gaza City, on 19 June. Ashraf AmraAPA images

An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced a Palestinian journalist to six month in prison for “incitement.”

Samah Dweik, 25, works for the Al-Quds newspaper and the online Quds News Network.

She was arrested on 10 April from her Jerusalem home and was charged with incitement for writing a status and posting an image on Facebook in support of Palestinians recently killed by Israeli forces.

Charlotte Silver Rights and Accountability 20 July 2016  Electronic Intifada

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Activists defeat anti-BDS legislation in Massachusetts

Activists defeat anti-BDS legislation in Massachusetts

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Battle Over Palestine May Spill Into Democratic Convention

Rania Khalek, The Electronic Intifada: Throughout the Democratic platform writing process, those appointed to the drafting committee by Sen. Bernie Sanders shattered the illusion of lockstep Democratic support for Israel. Sanders delegates proposed calling for an end to Israel’s decades-long military occupation.

Read the Article   Truthout  July 21, 2016
By Rania Khalek, The Electronic Intifada | News Analysis

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“François, Tu es un criminel”: President Hollande Ordered the Killing of Syrian Women and Children In Retaliation for the “Alleged” ISIS Bastille Day Attack

Syria_UNIn the immediate wake of the 14th of July Nice Terror Attack which resulted in more than 84 dead, France’s President Francois Hollande intimated in an official address (without evidence) that the attacks had been conducted by the Islamic State based in Northern Syria. He immediately ordered the French Air Force to intensify the bombing campaign allegedly against the ISIS in Northern Syria.

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky  Global Research, July 21, 2016

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Damascus: Life Returns 5 Years After NATO Destabilization Efforts

Life for many in Damascus, Syria is beginning to regain a sense of normalcy. Once besieged by foreign fighters, the ancient city and it’s residents struggle to rebuild their lives, land and livelihood, rejoicing in the simple mundanity of day-to-day life. Continue reading →

The post Damascus: Life Returns 5 Years After NATO Destabilization Efforts appeared first on MintPress News. July 20, 2016

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US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill 77 in ‘Worst Week’ for Civilian Deaths

Airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition killed 21 civilians on Monday and another 56 civilians on Tuesday

The strikes appeared to have been a mistake, with the civilians taken for ISIS militants, a human rights monitoring group said on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

Dozens of civilians, including children, were killed on Monday and Tuesday by U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria.

The No-State Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

obstaclepeaceTwelve years ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion at the request of the United Nations General Assembly on the legality of the wall Israel has constructed in the West Bank. The ICJ affirmed that all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territory”, and that Israel’s wall, as well as its settlements, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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Millions Approved for New, Illegal West Bank Settlements

Israeli ministers have approved millions of dollars for Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli ministers have approved millions of dollars for Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.  Photo Reuters

Israeli expansion threatens peace process, Egypt’s foreign minister says in rare visit.

Expanding its illegal occupation, the Israeli government has approved $13 million for new settlements in the West Bank, Al-Jazeera reported Monday.

Telesur  English  July 11, 2016

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60 Black Democrats Sign Letter in AIPAC-Backed Effort to Discredit Cornel West and BDS ROKU

TheRealNews

Israeli Land Theft: 440% Increase In 2016

Pro-Palestinian Activists Protest NY Senators' Support Of IsraelBy Staff of Palestinian Information Center/PNN – Israeli land confiscation policy has notably escalated in occupied Jerusalem and West Bank by 439% since the beginning of 2016, in comparison to last year, a Palestinian report revealed on Tuesday. Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) revealed that Israeli authorities confiscated, since the beginning of the year, 7,773 acres of Palestinian-owned lands, recording an increase by 439% in comparison with last year, where 1,442 acres were seized. -more-

Popular Resistance  July 2, 2016

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UK High Court: Criticism of Israel is NOT anti-Semitism

The attempt by Israel and its supporters in Britain to paint any opposition to Israeli policy as anti-Semitism suffered a double setback In particular, the court rejected the claim made by Jewish Human Rights Watch that the resolutions, which expressed varying degrees of support for a boycott of Israeli goods and criticism of Israel’s violations of international law, necessarily constituted attacks on the Jewish community in Britain.
MIDDLEEASTEYE.NET  The Palestine Project

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“BOYCOTT IS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE”– ALBANY RALLY SHOWS GROWING BACKLASH TO EXECUTIVE ORDER ON BDS

“Boycott is a tool for social justice”– Albany rally shows growing backlash to executive order on BDS
New Yorkers traveled from across the state to rally and deliver a petition to Governor Cuomo
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Despite France’s repression of #BDS, Paris suburb votes to boycott Israeli settlement goods 

Haaretz  June 27, 2016
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Why the Arab peace initiative is more appealing to Netanyahu than its French counterpart

By Omar Karmi The Electronic Intifada 30 June 2016   Electronic Intifada@intifada
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Weaponized Water: Israel Cuts off Palestinian Access to Their Own Water Supplies

UK high court rules in favour of local councils who support boycott of Israeli occupation

UK High Court rules in favor of local councils taking action in solidarity with the Palestinian people. French local council near Paris votes to boycott illegal Israeli settlement produce The High Court in the UK has dealt a blow to … Continue reading 

July 1, 2016 by BNC

Tom Dispatch  June 28, 2016

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Mint Press News's photo.

The US State Department “has no comment” on the theft of CIA weapons meant for rebels in Syria.

Mint Press News  June 28, 2016

Full story: http://www.mintpressnews.com/cia-weapons-shipments-d…/217791

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Chris Hedges goes inside Israel and the Occupied Territories with Amira Hass, the Haaretz Correspondent for the Occupied Territories.

RT On Contact  June 26, 2016

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US Journalist in Syria Target of Possible US Drone Strike

“Targeting journalists in this way is a war crime,” said CAGE Outreach Director Moazzem Begg.

Telesur  June 30, 2016

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Israel And Turkey Strike Deal That Would Secure Control Of Syrian Oil

Israel agreed to establish a $20 million fund for activists killed in a 2010 attack on a Turkish aid ship bound for Palestine, but the deal has far more to do with oil than human rights.

Mint Press News  June 28, 2016

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The Greater Middle East Reacts to Britain’s Exit From the EU (Video)

By Juan Cole  Truthdig  June 26, 2016

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Saudis Lobby Washington Insiders To Support U.S. Led Regime Change In Syria

The audacious undermining of Obama by the Saudis in their backing of a Washington revolt against the president’s policy strongly suggests that the war in Syria is going to escalate. Continue reading →

MintPress News  June 28, 2016

New Yorkers protest “McCarthyite” blacklist of supporters of Israel boycott movement BDS

Over 300 people protested outside NY Gov. Cuomo’s office, demanding he rescind “unconstitutional” executive order

By Ben Norton  BDSMovement.net  June 19, 2016

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‘Israel’s water war against Palestinians form of collective punishment’

Israel has done so much to ensure that Palestinians don’t have access to water – not only as a form of collective punishment, but to also to ensure Palestinians do not develop their economy, says Ramzy Baroud, editor of The Palestine Chronicle.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have reportedly been left without access to safe drinking water, according to Palestinian authorities.

In an official response to RT, Israel’s national water company denied the allegations. It claimed that following a shortage in supplies, it was forced to reduce the volume of water for all residents and not just Palestinians.

It also said the supply is enough to meet consumption.

The timing could not be worse for Palestinians as temperatures are high, and the Holy month of fasting for Muslims is only worsening the situation.

RT: Why do you think Israel is doing this?

RT  June 17, 2016

Meet the New Face of Israel’s Growing Military Refuser Movement

By Mariam Elba, Waging Nonviolence | Interview  May 22, 2016

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CHRIS HEDGES: WHERE IS OUR JEREMY CORBYN?

Hedges: I will not support a politician who sells out the Palestinians and panders to the Israel lobby any more than I will support a politician who refuses to confront the bloated military and arms industry or white supremacy and racial injustice. The Palestinian issue is not a tangential issue. It is an integral part of Americans’ efforts to dismantle our war machine, the neoliberal policies that see austerity and violence as the primary language for speaking to the rest of the world, and the corroding influence of money in the U.S. political system.

By Chris Hedges  truthdig.com  September 13, 2015

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Bashar Assad’s Brutality in Syria Is Matched by U.S. Devastation Across the Region

By Sonali Kolhatkar — Why should Facebook users come down harder on the Syrian leader than on the United States government when it comes to horrific actions and war crimes in that part of the world?
truthdig.com  May 9, 2016

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Racism and the State of Israel

israel-flag

“Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination,” reads UN General Assembly Resolution 3379. The measure was adopted 40 years ago, on Nov. 10, 1975, and the majority of the international community backed it. 72 countries voted for the resolution, with just 35 opposed (and 32 abstentions).

Although little-known in the US today (it is remarkable how effectively the US and its allies have rewritten history in their favor), UN 3379. “Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination,” made an indelible imprint on history.

Global Research, May 07, 2016
The Olive Tree 5 May 2016

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9/11 Commission Didn’t Clear Saudis

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, on Aug. 27, 2002. (White House photo)As the Obama administration belatedly weighs releasing the 28 pages on the Saudi role in 9/11, Americans should not be fooled by claims minimizing the Saudi involvement, writes 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser.

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A New Anti-Assad Propaganda Offensive

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media, including the “liberal” New Yorker, is reprising its propagandistic role before the Iraq War now in Syria with a new round of one-sided reporting, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Read more →

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What’s Left of Palmyra — and Syria

Tour guide “Tony” in front of the ruins of the Temple of Baal blown up by Daesh’ He’s holding a drawing of the temple as it used to appear.By pouring weapons and money into the Syrian war, the West and its Gulf state allies share in the guilt for the Islamic State’s partial destruction of Palmyra’s historic ruins, which Jeff Klein visited.

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Stiffing Iran on the Nuke Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry (third from right) with other diplomats who negotiated an interim agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, including Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, (fifth from the right) . (Photo credit: State Department)Secretary of State Kerry boasts about how little Iran has gotten from the nuclear deal – accessing only $3 billion of its frozen assets – but that hurts U.S. credibility and endangers the deal, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

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Netanyahu’s Neocon Mind

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.An admirer of Benjamin Netanyahu says the Israeli Prime Minister shares the American neocons’ stark view of the world that disdains diplomacy and compromise with adversaries, notes Lawrence Davidson.

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A New Anti-Assad Propaganda Offensive

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media, including the “liberal” New Yorker, is reprising its propagandistic role before the Iraq War now in Syria with a new round of one-sided reporting, as Daniel Lazare explains.

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The Israel Lobby’s Growing Assault on Free Speech

Journalist and author Max Blumenthal talks about the growing BDS movement and the efforts to muzzle it.

April 11, 2016   The Real News Network

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THAT “TERRORISM” IS a malleable term of propaganda, with no fixed meaning or consistent application, is now quite well-established. Still, its recent application to a spate of violence targeting Israel’s occupying soldiers in the West Bank is so manipulative and extreme that it’s well worth highlighting.

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In Israel, BDS is winning

The first ever anti-BDS conference in Israel brought together politicians of all stripes to show their commitment to the fight against boycotts. In doing so, however, they showed just how effective the boycott movement really is.

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WikiLeaks: Google & Al-Jazeera Encouraged Civil War In Syria

Together with Al-Jazeera, Google developed a tool to track defections in Syria, hoping to encourage more former Assad allies to join the civil war.

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How Putin’s Leverage Shaped the Syrian Ceasefire

By his military withdrawal, Putin was actually enhancing his leverage over both the military situation and the political negotiations still to come

Published on

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March 2016 in Numbers

Washington Report

1902 18th St NW • Washington, DC 20009 | (800) 368-5788 • Fax: (202) 265-4574

ACTION ALERT   April 1, 2016
Contact: dsprusan@wrmea.org

March 2016 in Numbers

11 members of Congress—including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 10 representatives—sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking his department to investigate claims that Israeli and Egyptian security forces have committed “gross violations of human rights.” Israel’s unprecedented inclusion on such a letter elicited an angry backlash from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who claimed his country’s security forces protect the innocent from “bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them.”

4 presidential candidates—Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich—addressed the annual AIPAC conference in mid-March. All four candidates used their remarks to pander to the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group. Sen. Bernie Sanders declined to address the conference.

1 Israeli soldier was caught on camera fatally shooting an already wounded and immobilized Palestinian at point-blank range in the occupied city of Hebron on March 24. The execution took place after the Palestinian man allegedly attacked an IDF soldier with a knife. The damning video shows the other IDF soldiers unfazed by the execution, suggesting that such incidents are not uncommon in the West Bank.

48 percent of Israeli Jews favor transferring or expelling the country’s Arab citizens, according to a Pew Research Center report released on March 8. Jews constitute about 80 percent of Israel’s population. The poll also found that 45 percent of Israeli Jews do not believe that a Palestinian state can exist alongside Israel.

91 percent of Palestinians believe that Israel does not abide by the Oslo agreement,according to a poll published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in late March. The poll also found that 63 percent of West Bank Palestinians and 75 percent of Gazans believe that another armed intifada would help achieve national rights in ways negotiations could not.

$1 million was awarded to Palestinian teacher Hanan al-Hroub upon winning the 2016 Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize. Al-Hroub, who grew up in a Bethlehem refugee camp, was recognized for developing a play-centered teaching technique that has successfully led to a reduction in violent behavior in schools.

6 states—most recently Georgia on March 24—have passed legislation targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Georgia’s law forbids the government from contracting with individuals or companies that are engaged in boycotts of Israel. Georgia’s law even shields illegal settlements from the BDS movement.

1 year of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen was marked in March. The conflict between Yemen’s Houthi movement and Saudi Arabia has devastated Yemen. According to the U.N., more than 3,000 civilians have been killed and 5,000 injured since the war began.

10,000-plus people took to the streets of Sana’a on March 26 to protest the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted during the Arab Spring but has since forged an alliance with the insurgent Houthis, made a rare appearance at the rally.

11 of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the verge of famine as a result of the ongoing war, according to the U.N. World Food Program. More than 13 million Yemenis are believed to be in need of food aid.

The 6 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members announced in early March their decision to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The move is a reflection of the GCC’s growing unease about the role of Iran (which is a major funder of Hezbollah) in Lebanon.

480,000 Syrian refugees must be accepted within the next three years by nations across the world, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged in late March. He rebuked political leaders for demonizing refugees and said that neighboring countries “have done far more than their share” to assist those fleeing the violence in Syria.

1,073 people died in violence in Iraq in March, according to Iraq Body Count.

69 people were killed in a suicide attack at a park in Lahore, Pakistan on March 27. The attack was meant to target Christians celebrating the Easter holiday, however most of the victims were Muslims.

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs(www.wrmea.org) and maintains Middle East Books and More (middleeastbooks.com).

+++

How The World’s Biggest Bribe Scandal Unfolded In Iraq.

A Monaco-based company called Unaoil cultivated an astonishing web of influence. Huffington Post.  March 30, 2016

+++

FOCUS: The US Wants the Islamic State Group to Win in Syria

Reader Supported News, David Swanson, TeleSUR, Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL, Assad, Syrian Army, Palmyra

READERSUPPORTEDNEWS.ORG|BY DAVID SWANSON, TELESUR

+++

Groveling Before AIPAC

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican candidate for U.S. President.The recent AIPAC meeting brought four of the five remaining presidential candidates – all exceptBernie Sanders – to Washington to grovel at the feet of the Israel lobby, a depressing scene, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

+++

Putin’s Hardheaded ‘Realism’ on Syria

By intervening in defense of the Syrian government and then pulling back Russian forces, President Putin has revealed himself to be a foreign policy “realist” who avoids ideological quagmires, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

By Paul R. Pillar

Whenever Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a significant move, several common reactions are routinely heard in American discussion. One such reaction, as Mark Katz notes, is to remark on how clever Putin supposedly is. Another common response is to express surprise. Many people expressed surprise when Russia militarily intervened last year in the conflict in Syria, and many of the same people are expressing surprise over the announced drawdown of Russian forces there.

+++

The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”
By Prof. Tim Anderson
Global Research, March 14, 2016
Url of this article:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-dirty-war-on-syria/5491859Although every war makes ample use of lies and deception, the dirty war on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. The British-Australian journalist Philip Knightley pointed out that war propaganda typically involves ‘a depressingly predictable pattern’ of demonising the enemy leader, then demonising the enemy people through atrocity stories, real or imagined (Knightley 2001). Accordingly, a mild-mannered eye doctor called Bashar al Assad became the new evil in the world and, according to consistent western media reports, the Syrian Army did nothing but kill civilians for more than four years. To this day, many imagine the Syrian conflict is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or some sort of internal sectarian conflict. These myths are, in many respects, a substantial achievement for the big powers which have driven a series of ‘regime change’ operations in the Middle East region, all on false pretexts, over the past 15 years.

+++

Empire Files: Palestine’s Rebellion, Israel’s Fascism

Abby Martin interviews journalist and author Max Blumenthal about the ongoing rebellion, the rising dominance of far-right, ultra-racist ideology in Israel, eyewitness accounts of the aftermath of the Gaza war, and the Israeli government’s fear of Palestinian resistance.
DATE: 2015-11-15 | LENGTH: 28:10
therealnews.com

+++

The Empire Files: The Distortion & Death Behind Israel/Palestine Coverage

A crisis in Palestine is again all over the headlines. From stabbings and molotov cocktails, to killing of protesters and anti-Arab lynch mobs–how much of the mass media coverage can we really trust?
teleSUR DATE: 2015-11-06 | LENGTH: 25:35
t
herealnews.com

+++

Terrorist Attacks in Paris: Can Tragedy Bring Change?byDIANA JOHNSTONE Counterpunch  November 16, 2015

Paris.

The chaos is spreading from the Middle East into Europe.  An endless stream of unidentifiable refugees and migrants trudge through the Balkans toward the promised lands of Germany and Sweden. Fights are breaking out in refugee camps between national groups. Both the migrants massed near Calais trying vainly to enter Britain and the exasperated citizens of Calais are increasingly impatient and angry. National leaders who, with the vision of happy European integration on their minds, embraced and advocated the ideals of open borders and multiculturalism, are rudely awakening to their inability to cope.  And now Paris has suffered the sort of attacks that are familiar to Beirut or to Russia.

+++

Spain Issues Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Senior Israeli OfficialsPosted on Nov 16, 2015  truthdig.com

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and six other former and current government officials are at risk of arrest if they enter Spain, following the issue of what is effectively an arrest warrant for the group by a Spanish judge.

Spanish national court judge Jose de la Mata ordered the police and civil guard to notify him if Netanyahu or the other men enter the country, the Latin American Herald Tribune reports. That could result in the reopening of a case against them concerning the Gaza Freedom Flotilla attack of 2010.

The other men named in the issue are former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman, former Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon, former Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Knesset member Benny Begin and Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, who was in charge of the attack.

+++

Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Impossible?

Consortium News  November 13, 2015

Israel’s long-running persecution of the Palestinians continues to stir up hatreds and violence across the Middle East, but Prime Minister Netanyahu remains intent on shifting the collective blame to the people under Israeli occupation, a dilemma that Michael Winship examines.

Read more →

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What’s at Stake for Iran in Syria?Prof. Cyrus Bina says during the Iran-Iraq war, Assad’s Syria was the only Arab state that supported Iran –   October 29, 2015

Transcript AvailablePAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to Reality Asserts Itself on the Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.It’s a very complicated and very dangerous world we live in. And perhaps the fight or conflict that’s most complicated right now is emblematic of how difficult it is to come to terms with the current balance of forces in the world is what’s going on in Syria. Just about everybody in the planet that has any real geopolitical power has their finger in that pie.Of course, the people who are paying the consequences in their tens and hundreds of thousands are the Syrian people.But we’re going to try to get more of a handle on what’s happening, and we’re going to do it through the prism of understanding Iran and their interests in the region. And through that, looking at the issue of oil and U.S. foreign policy. And now joining us to talk about all of this in the studio is Cyrus Bina. Cyrus was born in Tehran. He was an activist against the Shah. He left during the Shah regime for the United States in 1971. He continued his activism against the Shah while he was here. He’s now a Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota Morris. He’s the author of several books, including the latest: A Prelude to the Foundation of Political Economy: Oil, War, and Global Polity.Cyrus Bina is a Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota, and a Fellow with the Economists for Peace and Security.

 TheRealNewsOctober 29, 2015

+++

Israeli “Ethicist” Protested at University of Minnesota

UpTakeVideo

Published on Nov 5, 2015

The Anti-War Committee protested at the University of Minnesota Law School, Tuesday, November 3rd. The Law School hosted Hebrew University professor Moshe Halbertal and paid a $5,000 fee, for a lecture titled “Protecting Civilians: Moral Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare.”

+++Anti-Israel Activism Criminalized in the Land of Charlie Hebdo and “Free Speech”Glenn Greenwald   The Intercept  October 27, 2015+++Iran to Join Syria TalksPhyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies says the invitation to Iran is late but an essential move for a diplomatic regional solution, made possible by Russia’s escalated involvement in Syria.The Real News Network  October 27, 2015Uploaded on Oct 27, 2015

TheRealNews

+++

Thousands of Israelis March for Peace with Palestinianshttp://www.teleSURtv.net/english  October 24, 2015+++Three from TomDispatch.com

+++Two from Mint Press NewsRussia Blocked Israeli Military Fights Over Syria, Lebanon  October 19, 201572% Of Saudi Death Sentences Handed Down For Non-Violent Crimes  October 22, 2015+++THE DRONE PAPERS | PART 1: THE ASSASSINATION COMPLEX

October 16, 2015 · by Rise Up Times

All eight parts of The Drone Papers have now been published on RiseUpTimes.org. You may view them there or on The Intercept webpage.  All are related to drone strikes in the Middle East.

Scahill: The source said he decided to provide these documents to The Intercept because he believes the public has a right to understand the process by which people are placed on kill lists and ultimately assassinated on orders from the highest echelons of the U.S. government.

+++Netanyahu slammed for blaming Holocaust on Palestinians

Palestinians – along with Israeli opposition figures – have reacted angrily to recent statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in…

MIDDLEEASTMONITOR.COM  October 21, 2015

+++

US to increase its annual military aid to Israel by as much as $1bn

Published on Oct 22, 2015

The United States is planning to increase its annual military aid to Israel by as much as one billion dollars. This will add to the current 3.1 billion dollars that Tel Aviv annually receives from Washington. A source close to the military aid process says talks are now underway for finalizing the deal. Israeli officials have denied the report as a rumor. Tel Aviv had reportedly stalled the talks on the hike and a compensation package that it will receive because of Iran’s nuclear deal, until that agreement was approved. Tel Aviv uses Washington’s aid money to buy weapons as well as other equipment and supplies, such as fuel. As of 2012, the US has provided Israel with about 234 billion dollars in aid.

YOUTUBE.COM

PressTV News Videos

+++

Israel Receives $3.1B In US Aid While The Middle East’s Poor Struggle To Survive

By Kit O’Connell  @KitOConnell | October 19, 2015  Mint Press News

JERUSALEM — Every year, Israel receives billions of dollars in U.S. aid, despite the fact that its citizens enjoy a standard of living well above that of neighboring countries. And while the Middle East struggles through a historic refugee crisis, Israel is using U.S. taxpayer money to fuel its war crimes against Palestine and oppression of refugees.

Israelis earn an average per capita income of $34,990 — more than three-and-a-half times what its neighbors in Lebanon earn and almost 19 times more than Syrians take home each year — yet the country continues to receive billions in U.S. aid.

Third Intifada Or Zionist Jihad: Israel Escalates Tensions With Execution Style Force

No matter the label, one thing is clear: Violence is escalating and Netanyahu has no strategy for addressing Palestinian grievances short of more force and more blood spilled from Israelis and Palestinians alike.

October 16, 2015 Mint Press News

+++America’s ‘perpetual war’ in the Middle East must endOur involvement isn’t helping, and it’s bankrupting our nation.

STARTRIBUNE.COM

+++U.S. to Ax $500 Million Scheme to Train Syrian Rebelstruthdig.com Ear to the Ground  October 9, 1015+++Putin’s “Endgame” in SyriabyMIKE WHITNEY  Counterpunch.org  October 9, 2015

Russia doesn’t want to fight a war with Turkey, so Russian generals devised a simple, but effective plan to discourage Turkey from taking any action that could lead to a clash between the two nations.

+++Over 1,000 ISIS and Al Nusra Militants Surrender To Syrian Army In Last 24 Hours  Global Research  October 9, 2015+++Three from RiseUpTimes.org  October 9, 2015GLOBAL RESEARCH: NATO VOWS BIGGEST BUILDUP AGAINST RUSSIA SINCE COLD WARGLOBAL RESEARCH: WHY SYRIANS SUPPORT BASHAR AL ASSADVFP CHAPTER 27: LETTER TO MN CONGRESSPEOPLE RE GOLAN HEIGHTS+++

VIDEO | CHRIS HEDGES: THE REVOLUTIONARY AGE

October 7, 2015 · by Rise Up Times

Chris Hedges and Sabah Alnasseri dissect the genesis of political revolutions in the Middle East and discuss the role of religion and the reasons for the increased prevalence of fundamentalism in this episode of teleSUR’s Days of Revolt.

+++

Russia Strikes in Syriatruthdig.com  Posted on Oct 3, 2015Patrick Chappatte, International New York Times. Cagle Cartoons+++The Skies of the MideastPosted on Oct 2, 2015  By Jeff Danziger  truthdig.com+++Russian Involvement and a Redirection of Policy on Syria

Paul R. Pillar  The National Interest  September 20, 2015

+++

Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines

Don’t let anyone fool you: Sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.By Mnar Muhawesh  @mnarmuh | September 9, 2015

Mint Press Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect recent Wikileaks revelations of US State Department leaks that show plans to destabilize Syria and overthrow the Syrian government as early as 2006.  The leaks reveal that these plans were given to the US directly from the Israeli government and would be formalized through instigating civil strife and sectarianism through partnership with nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and even Egypt to break down the power structure in Syria to weaken Iran and Hezbolla.

In his appearance on the RT show “Going Underground,” Wikileaks editor Julian Assange elaborated on the cable’s contents:

“… That plan was to use a number of different factors to create paranoia within the Syrian government; to push it to overreact, to make it fear there’s a coup …”

Assange continued, explaining that the U.S. government sought to make the Syrian government appear weak by causing Assad to overreact to the threat of Islamic extremists crossing into his country.

The cable also details plans to foster sectarian strife in the region and make Iran appear like a larger threat to Assad than it really was, Assange continued:

“In particular, to take rumors that are known to be false … or exaggerations and promote them – that Iran is trying to convert poor Sunnis, and to work with Saudi and Egypt to foster that perception in order to make it harder for Iran to have influence, and also harder for the government to have influence in the population.”

“[I]f Syria sufficiently destabilized, it [Israel] might be in a position where it can keep the Golan Heights forever, or even advance that territory,” Assange said.

+++

Is The US Setting Up A Proxy War Against Russia In Syria?

The “fight” has to be on America’s terms, even if the terms the US has laid out publicly don’t make any sense, with the US nominally trying to destroy ISIS, destroy al-Qaeda, and destroy the Syrian government all at the same time, installing some non-existent pro-US faction in their place.By Jason Ditz for Antiwar.com | September 16, 2015  via Mint Press News

+++

AIPAC SPENT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO DEFEAT THE IRAN DEAL. INSTEAD, IT MAY HAVE DESTROYED ITSELF.

M.J. Rosenberg  The Nation  September 11, 2015

+++

Madness of Blockading Syria’s Regime

Robert Parry   Consortium News  September 10, 2015

Exclusive: The U.S. State Department is trying to block Russian supplies going to Syria’s embattled government despite the risk that collapsing the regime would create a vacuum filled by the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, another nightmare dreamt up by the neocons and liberal hawks, writes Robert Parry.

+++Russia Ramping up Military Involvement in Syria?

By Juan Cole | Sep. 10, 2015 |

(Informed Comment)

Reuters reports, based on sources in Beirut, that Russia is increasing its involvement in Syria, backing the military of beleaguered dictator Bashar al-Assad. Russia appears to be offloading tanks at its Tartous naval base on the Syrian coast, and may also be establishing an interior air field for Russian planes. Increased numbers of Russian advisers and support troops are being embedded in Syrian army units. …

****
Russia seems mainly, however, to intend to put some steel in the spine of al-Assad’s forces. If the reports of increased Russian presence in Syria are true, these steps resemble the Obama administration’s reestablishment of an Iraq command from last year in the face of the Daesh onslaught.

+++GARETH PORTER: Why the US and Iran Aren’t Cooperating Against ISISCounterpunch  September 10, 2015+++

Israel Lobby Stops Iran’s Help on Syria

Gareth Porter  Consortium News  September 9, 2015

Despite the worsening Mideast crisis, President Obama can’t escape the tight policy constraints imposed by neocon thinking. The obvious move to work with Iran to save Syria from an Islamic State or Al Qaeda victory is blocked by the influence of the Israel lobby, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.

+++

More Incoherence in Syria Policy

Greg Maybury  Consortium News  September 9, 2015

Australia is the latest U.S. ally to join the bombing campaigns against Islamic State militants inside Syria, but the incoherence of the strategy is underscored by Washington’s continuing refusal to negotiate seriously with the Syrian government about a realistic political settlement of the war, writes Greg Maybury.

+++42 Senators Now Back Iran Deal, Ensuring Passage House Plans 9/11 Iran Vote as GOP Looks to Undermine Nuclear Deal Iran Nuclear Deal Battle Is Over, but Fight Is Just Beginning+++CO-OP NEWS   Co-op Anti-War Café Berlin  September 2015+++German Left Party: U.S. Main Cause of the Refugee Crisis. Must Be Held ResponsibleIn a statement published in the German media this Sunday, the chairs of the German Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht and Dietmar Bartsch have stated the following:
“Western countries led by the U.S. have destabilized entire regions, by making possible and using terrorist organizations. Murderous gangs, such as the Islamic state (IS) were indirectly supported and supplied by countries allied with Germany – this happened unhindered. It happened through financial support and weapons. Millions of people were thereby exposed to brutal wars, civil wars.”+++The following article is presented in full because some may not have access to a translation.

Sahra Wagenknecht makes the United States for the refugee crisis in Europe partly responsible.

© dpa

Updated: 06.09.15  Merkur.de

DESTABILIZATION IN THE MIDDLE EASTLeft: US to blame for refugee onslaught

Washington – The leftists make the United States responsible for the high number of refugees in Europe.

“Western countries led by the US have entire regions destabilized by they have made and instrumentalized possible among other terrorist organizations,” it says in a position paper of the designated group chairmen Dietmar Bartsch and Sahra Wagenknecht, which was present to the AFP news agency on Sunday.

“Cutthroats” as the Islamic State (IS) were indirectly supported and been supplied by countries allied with Germany unhindered with money and weapons. “Millions of people were exposed as brutal wars and civil wars.”

From Syria, but also from other war and crisis zones, many more refugees were expected, it said in a position paper. In order to improve the situation of people in the countries of origin and to eliminate causes of flight, “a course reversal in the prevailing policies necessary”.

“Who turned the Middle East with wars, terror drones, arms shipments and deliberate destabilization in a fire, is responsible for ensuring that millions of people to leave their homes,” said Wagenknecht. “If the federal government would have a minimum level of Courage, it would require the United States, as the main cause of the refugee tragedy, at least one contribution to the costs.”

The refugee reception must be placed into the considerable responsibility in the government, according to the paper by Wagenknecht and Bartsch, who are previously deputy faction leaders. The federal government should take over the cost of the asylum procedure duration and for a transitional period after the recognition, so that states and municipalities can focus on local integration.

AFP

+++U.S. and its allies responsible for refugee crisisFightBackNews.org  September 5, 2015+++

YEMEN’S HIDDEN WAR: HOW THE SAUDI-LED COALITION IS KILLING CIVILIANS

Iona Craig

Sep. 1 2015, 9:45 a.m.  TheIntecept.com

IN THE ISLAMIC CONCEPT of qadar, your divine destiny is inescapable. If you try to cheat death it will find you. For two women on a dusty road in mid-June on the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula, their repeated attempts to dodge fate ended in tragic failure

+++Posts from Middle East Eye  August 29, 2015This is how one German town welcomed a coach-load of Syrian refugees

Turkish planes hit IS in Syria with coalition for first time #TurkeyAtWar

Hamas releases new details of Israel’s ‘Black Friday’ massacre #GazaAftermath

Canada calls for ‘immediate’ return of convicted Al-Jazeera journalist #EgyptTurmoil

Saudi preacher accused of murdering and raping daughter released #SaudiStruggle

One man’s journey to Europe: Syria’s Givara reaches Germany #JourneyToEurope

+++

US backing of Saudi use of cluster bombs very despicable: Analyst

Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:1PM   PressTV

Video: US State Department spokesman John Kirby

The US State Department’s comments indirectly backing the use of cluster bombs by Saudi forces in Yemen are “very despicable,” a geopolitical commentator in Missouri says.

+++

U.S. Debates Iran Nuclear Deal While Supporting Israel’s Nuclear Weapons

Israel is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead three ways: through fighter jets, a midrange missile system, or using submarines.By Kit O’Connell  @KitOConnell | August 21, 2015

JERUSALEM — While the Iran deal is often touted as the only possible solution to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, both U.S. and Israeli intelligence reports suggest that country never intended to build a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, Israel, one of its regional neighbors, possesses not only 80 functioning nuclear warheads but also the capability to use them.

+++Hundreds of casualties in air raids on Syrian market

At least 110 people dead and 300 injured in a string of regime air raids on Douma near Damascus, activists say.

16 Aug 2015 23:51 GMT | Middle East, Syria  Al Jazeera

Highest number of Syria air strikes recorded in July

Syria conducts 6,673 air raids, highest since start of uprising in 2011, killing 791 civilians, monitoring group says.

War & Conflict, Middle East, Syria, Syrian crisis  Al Jazeera

UN urged to demand halt to Syria air strikes

More than 70 nations sign letter to UN General Assembly to demand end to deadly attacks, especially use of barrel bombs.

War & Conflict, Middle East, Syria, Bashar al-Assad  Al Jazeera

+++

Obama’s Stupid Blame-Iran Game

by Gareth Porter

August 14, 2015  Consortium News

President Obama always bows to Official Washington’s conventional wisdom no matter how wrongheaded it is – and then either falls in line behind some reckless neocon policy prescription or turns away just before falling off some geopolitical cliff. His continued Iran-bashing is a case in point, says Gareth Porter at Middle East Eye.

Read more →

+++

Neocons Falsify Iraq War ‘Lessons’

August 15, 2015  Consortium News

Having escaped accountability for the Iraq War disaster, U.S. neocons are urging the use of more military force in the Mideast, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand to block the Iran nuclear deal. From their important perches of power, these war hawks also twist the history of their catastrophic misjudgments, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Read more →

+++Three articles from truthdig.com, August 15, 2015How the Israel Lobbies Hurt the University of Illinois and the First Amendment in the Salaita Case
By Juan ColePlaces That AIPAC Would Never Show U.S. Congress Members on Their Upcoming Propaganda Trip to Israel
By Max BlumenthalPutin Pitches Grand Alliance Against Islamic State, but Syrian Rebels Want Assad Gone (Video)
By Juan Cole+++If It’s Going to Push Us to War, Is It Time for AIPAC to Register as a Foreign Agent?   By Juan Cole  truthdig.com  Aug. 11, 2015Top Iran General Endorses Nuclear Deal With the U.S. and the U.N. (Video)   By Juan Cole  truthdig.com  Aug. 11, 2015+++Behind Israel’s Hysterical Opposition to the Iran Nuclear DealbyISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH  Counterpunch  August 7, 2015

In light of the fact that Israel is in possession of at least 200 (surreptitiously-built) nuclear warheads, and considering the reality that, according to both US and Israeli intelligence sources, Iran neither possesses nor pursues nuclear weapons, the relentless hysterical campaign by Israel and its lobby against the Iran nuclear deal can safely be characterized as the mother of all ironies—a clear case of chutzpah.

+++

Obama’s Pragmatic Appeal for Iran Peace

August 5, 2015 Consortium News

Exclusive: President Obama defended the Iran nuclear deal and urged Americans to support this initiative for peace, but his choice of American University for the speech invited comparisons with JFK’s famous words that “we all inhabit this small planet” and Obama fell far short of that standard, writes Robert Parry.

+++

LIZA BURR | ISRAELI HISTORIAN ILAN PAPPE ON CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: ISRAEL/PALESTINE

July 25, 2015 · by Rise Up Times

From the article: Islam is not the issue. The issue is Israel’s human and civil rights record, on which Israel should be measured with the same yardstick by which other countries are measured.

+++

MARY BEAUDOIN/SAMI RASOULI | IRAQ AND I$I$: TODAY IS BETTER THAN TOMORROW

July 24, 2015 · by Rise Up Times

From the article: “In Iraq, we say today will be better than tomorrow.” This is the dire pessimism with which the people of Iraq now view their circumstances, Sami Rasouli said in June when he was in Minneapolis, the city in which he had lived for so many years before returning to found the Muslim Peacemaker Teams,(5) a nonprofit organization based in Najaf that works on peace building and responding to human needs. He reported that the situation for Iraqis only continues to decline in livability and increase in danger and disaster

+++

NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE IN PALESTINE: STEADFASTNESS, CREATIVITY & HOPE

July 23, 2015 · by Rise Up Times

“We have to have hope to resist”
As the Stop the Wall Coalition demonstrates, steadfastness (sumud) in Arabic and nonviolent discipline are essential ingredients of a successful movement. Members of the village communities have learned that they must continue to struggle, day by day, week by week, despite the violence directed at them. Freedom does not come easy. “You have to be willing to sacrifice for freedom, and above all else, believe in your cause and what you’re struggling for. If you believe, you will continue, if you continue, you will succeed.”

+++

Gareth Porter on Iran Deal 

By Counterspin  July 17, 2015

 DOWNLOAD MP3

This week on CounterSpin: The New York Times tells readers Barack Obama was moved to negotiate a deal with Iran because of his personal “faith in diplomacy.” Is that an appropriate way to understand how these negotiations came to be? Our guest has an alternate view. We’ll hear from investigative journalist Gareth Porter, author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

MP3 Link

+++No, Mr. Netanyahu, Iran isn’t trying to Take over the world & it isn’t ISIL

By Juan Cole | Jul. 13, 2015  (Informed Comment) |

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanahu charged last week that Iran was the major sponsor of terrorism in the world and that it wants to take over the whole world. He also likened Iran to the faux caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Iran is not trying to take over the world. Here are some replies to Netanyahu’s silliness:

  1. One sign Iran is not trying to take over the world is that, as I have written before, “it has a small military budget, about $10 bn., on the order of that of Norway or Singapore. It has no air force to speak of. The US military budget is roughly 80 times that of Iran.”

+++Report: Draft of nuclear deal with Iran gives UN access to military sites

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pauses as he delivers a statement on the Iran talks in Vienna, Austria, July 9, 2015. Photo by Reuters

UN inspectors would have access to all suspect Iranian sites, including military ones, under a draft nuclear deal that six major powers and Iran areworking to finalize on Tuesday, a diplomatic source said.The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the UN access would be based on consultations between the six powers and Iran under the draft deal, which would impose limits on the Iranian nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.+++UN Report on War Crimes during Israel’s 51 Day Assault on GazaExactly a year ago, for 51 days between July 7 and August 26 Israel carried out its third major military assault (2008-09; 2012; 2014) on Gaza in the past six years. This last one, code named Operation Protective Edge by Israeli Defense Forces, was the most vicious, killing 2,251 Palestinians, of which 1,462 were civilians, and included 299 women and 551 children, as well as injuring 11,231, a number that includes 3,436 children, 10% of whom have permanent disabilities, and another 1,500 have been orphaned. Israel also suffered casualties: 73 killed of whom 67 were military personnel, and 1,600 injured. Additional to the human casualties, 18,000 Palestinian housing units were destroyed, along with substantial damage to Gaza’s electricity and sanitation systems, 500, 000 Palestinians (almost 1/3 of Gaza’s population) were forcibly displaced during the military operations and 100,000 remain so a year later, and 73 medical facilities and ambulances were destroyed or damaged. Due to the Israeli blockade, the aftermath of this onslaught has prevented a normal recovery, extending the period of suffering endured by the entire Gazan population.  —Richard Falk.  To read more click on the title.+++They did it! UCC Divests from Israeli Occupation, and More!by US Campaign Staff
June 30th, 2015There is no turning back now…It passed! The United Church of Christ (UCC) just voted OVERWHELMINGLY to divest from the Israeli occupation, to boycott Israeli settlement products, to persist in pressuring Congress to end U.S. unconditional military aid to Israel, and to study Kairos Palestine and heed its call in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Congratulations to member group United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (UCC-PIN), which led this historic initiative and issued a statement here.- See more at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4486#sthash.O5tTFRPL.dpuf+++

 Netanyahu’s ‘Genocidal’ Cabinet Promises More Conflict, Isolation For Israel

Members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new cabinet have previously called Palestinians “beasts” and their children “little snakes,” warned of the “cancer-like attributes” of Palestinian society, and celebrated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, among other atrocities.

By Joe Catron  @jncatron | May 15, 2015


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, heads the new government as ministers take their place including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, left, and Moshe Kahlon, Housing Minister, second left, as the prime minister fills cabinet posts at the last minute forming the 34th government of Israel, two months after the mid-March general elections.

NEW YORK — The extremism of the cabinet announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on May 6 will bring further conflict and isolation to his country, analysts told MintPress News this week.

Members of the government have previously called Palestinians “beasts” and their children “little snakes,” warned of the “cancer-like attributes” of Palestinian society, celebrated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and called for wholesale bombings of their homes and funerals.

The unprecedented ferocity of these comments has sparked wide concern among international observers, as well as Palestinians.

+++

Five Things That Won’t Work in Iraq
When at First You Don’t Succeed, Fail, Fail Again 

By Peter Van Buren  TomDispatch  June 25, 2015

In one form or another, the U.S. has been at war with Iraq since 1990, including a sort-of invasion in 1991 and a full-scale one in 2003. During that quarter-century, Washington imposed several changes of government, spent trillions of dollars, and was involved in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. None of those efforts were a success by any conceivable definition of the term Washington has been capable of offering.

Nonetheless, it’s the American Way to believe with all our hearts that every problem is ours to solve and every problem must have a solution, which simply must be found. As a result, the indispensable nation faces a new round of calls for ideas on what “we” should do next in Iraq.

With that in mind, here are five possible “strategies” for that country on which only one thing is guaranteed: none of them will work.

Read more »

+++

Libya: Wake Up, Benghazi!

On June 25, 2014, Salwa Bugaighis was shot dead in her home by unknown militants, marking a new milestone in the country’s descent towards anarchy: the first female political assassination.

By Cameron Hickey and Zainab Salb  New York Times   June 7, 2015

Continue reading the main story

Scores or perhaps hundreds of killings remain unsolved in Benghazi, Libya, since the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi nearly four years ago. But no victim has symbolized the crushed hopes of the Libyan uprising more than Salwa Bugaighis.+++

MIDDLE EAST

Families of Drone Strike Victims in Yemen File Suit in Washington

By SCOTT SHANE  New York Times  JUNE 8, 2015

 Faisal bin Ali Jaber, brother-in-law of the cleric Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber and uncle of the police officer Waleed bin Ali Jaber, at a news conference in Washington in 2013.CreditNicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The families of an anti-Qaeda cleric and a police officer killed in an American drone strike in Yemen filed suit in federal court in Washington on Sunday night, asking the court to declare that the strike was unlawful.

The lawsuit, which seeks no monetary damages, is described by the complainants as an attempt to break through the secrecy surrounding drone strikes and to have the court impose some public accountability for mistakes made in the program.

+++This note was in Rise Up Times comments.

John Mesler

meslerjohn@yahoo.com

73.199.44.206

Submitted on 2015/06/05 at 11:36 am

I recently returned from Syria as part of a reconciliation/peace meeting sponsered by Damascus University. Dr. Ahmed Saleh has asked me to help get more US writers /activists,. etc. to go again. Please contact me f you know of anyone interested. We’ve got to stop the rebel/terrorists .sectarian Islamist funding. Thank you, John Mesler phone 908-403-8860

+++

NYT’s New Propaganda on Syria

Consortium News  June 3, 2015

Exclusive: The New York Times’ new conspiracy theory about Syria is that the Assad regime is in cahoots with the Islamic State, calling those two bitter foes only “nominal enemies” and using this new story to implicitly push for another U.S.-imposed “regime change,” writes Robert Parry.

+++Faculty call on New York University to reveal Israel investments

Submitted by Nora Barrows-Friedman on Wed, 05/27/2015  Electronic Intifada

Dozens of faculty at New York University (NYU) have signed a petition calling for the university to divest from multinational companies that profit from Israel’s occupation in Palestine.

+++Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS

UCC vote.

The Empire Files: The Distortion & Death Behind Israel/Palestine Coverage

A crisis in Palestine is again all over the headlines. From stabbings and molotov cocktails, to killing of protesters and anti-Arab lynch mobs–how much of the mass media coverage can we really trust? Watch more on teleSUR DATE: 2015-11-06 | LENGTH: 25:35

 By Nafeez Ahmed  Medium.com  May 22, 2015

Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’

+++

Egypt’s Descent into Despotism

Consortium News  May 30, 2015

Egypt’s brief experiment with democracy was crushed by internal and external forces alarmed by a populist Islamic government. With the backing of Israel, Saudi Arabia and others, a brutal military despotism took over and consolidated power, but it shouldn’t be called a government, says Lawrence Davidson.

Read more →

+++

Is War on ISIS America’s Fight?

The Sunni resistance to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to what is now ISIS or the Islamic State, and many U.S. hawks now want President Obama to “surge” troops back into Iraq to fight this brutal force. But what is the right calibration for U.S. involvement, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar  Consortium News  May 29, 2015

Read more →

+++

Israeli Air Force Carries Out Airstrikes On Besieged Gaza Strip

The Israeli army said the shelling was in retaliation for at least one shell, allegedly fired from Gaza into open areas in the Lachish Regional Council of Settlements.By IMEMC News | May 27, 2015  MintPressNews.com+++

US Presses Israel On talks For Middle East Nuclear-Free Zone

Israel has never publicly declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program.

By AP | May 21, 2015

Israel’s Sorek nuclear reactor center near the central Israeli town of Yavne.

UNITED NATIONS — The United States has sent a top official to Israel in an effort to revive talks on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons, a central issue of a nuclear treaty review conference that some fear will end Friday without progress on global disarmament.

+++

Palestinian Detainees In Israeli Prisons Continue To Be Abused By Interrogators

Israeli forces use extreme and brutal methods to force confessions out of Palestinian detainees for “crimes against Israel” such as stone-throwing.

By IMEMC News | May 26, 2015

An Israeli border policeman detains a Palestinian protester during a weekly demonstration against Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.

The head of the Palestinian Authority prisoners’ affairs committee, Issa Qarage, met with former detainee Noor Muhammad Hilmi Hamamrah, age 15, while visiting prisoners’ families in the northern West Bank village of Qusin in the Nablus district.

+++

The U.S and Israel Have the Worst Income Inequality in the Developed WorldTruthdig  May 21, 2015+++

Why Islamic State Is Winning

Consortium News  May 23, 2015

Exclusive: The Saudi-Israeli alliance and U.S. neocons have pressured President Obama into continuing U.S. hostility toward the secular Syrian government despite major military gains by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, leading to an emerging catastrophe in the Mideast, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Read more →

+++

Obama Winks at Terrorist Gains

Consortium News  May 23, 2015

President Obama is playing a reckless game as he winks at Saudi and other Sunni oil-state support for al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, with the very real possibility that the secular government will collapse and the terrorist black flag will be hoisted over Damascus, writes Gareth Porter.

Read more →

Israel Seeks International Law Rewrite

Consortium News  May 23, 2015

Israel and its supporters are leading a charge to rewrite how international law defines crimes against humanity to create more leeway for military attacks that kill large numbers of civilians, a bitterly ironic development, says Lawrence Davidson.

Read more →

+++

Economy of Gaza on ‘Verge of Collapse’ With World’s Highest UnemploymentPosted on May 22, 2015  truthdig.com

Unemployment rates of 43 percent for Gaza’s general population and 60 percent for young people suggest a bleak future for Israel as well as Gaza.

The Guardian reports:

The economy of Gaza – assailed by war, poor governance and a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade – has reached the “verge of collapse” with the coastal strip suffering the highest rate of unemployment in the world.

The bleak picture is presented in a devastating report by the World Bank, released on Friday, which said that Gaza’s economy had been strangled by years of blockades, war and poor governance and faces a dangerous crisis over its ability to meet wages and other spending requirements.

Calling for the “lifting of the blockade on the movement of goods and people to allow Gaza’s tradable sectors to recover” the report warned that about 43% of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents are unemployed, with youth unemployment reaching about 60% by the end of last year.

Continue reading here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Related Entries

The U.S. and Israel Have the Worst Income Inequality in the Developed World

Where Does Israel Get the Right to Lock Thousands of Civilians Behind a Gate?

Whom Does Jerusalem Belong To?

Palestinians Welcome the Pope’s Recognition of Their State

+++

How the US Treasury Department Promotes Israel’s Propaganda LinesBy Gareth Porter, Truthout | News Analysis

The US Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC. (Photo: Florian Hirzinger)

In February, a press release by the US Treasury Department pushed the Israeli propaganda line about worldwide Hezbollah terrorist cells – this time in Nigeria. A closer look at the case reveals that Mossad had engineered a frame-up of two Lebanese businessmen through its power over Nigeria’s State Security Service.

Read more…+++Confirmed: US “Operation Rooms” Backing Al Qaeda in SyriaBy Tony Cartalucci  Global Research  May 11, 2015Url of this article:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/confirmed-us-operation-rooms-backing-al-qaeda-in-syria/5448712

US policy think-tank Brookings Institution confirms that contrary to propaganda, US-Saudi “moderates” and Turkey-Qatar “Islamists” have been coordinating all along.The war in Syria continues to drag on, with a recent and renewed vigor demonstrated behind an opposition long portrayed as fractured and reflecting a myriad of competing foreign interests. Chief among these competing interests, the public has been told, were the US and Saudis on one side, backing so-called “moderate rebels,” and Turkey and Qatar on the other openly backing Al Qaeda and its various franchises including the Islamic State (ISIS).+++“Kill Anything”: Israeli Soldiers Say Gaza Atrocities Came from Orders for Indiscriminate FireDemocracy Now!  May 6, 2015A new report based on testimonies of Israeli soldiers concludes the massive civilian death toll from last summer’s Israeli assault on Gaza resulted from a policy of indiscriminate fire. The Israeli veterans group Breaking the Silence released testimonies of more than 60 Israeli officers and soldiers which it says illustrate a “broad ethical failure” that “comes from the top of the chain of command.” More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in the assault, the vast majority civilians. On Israel’s side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers.+++

US Media Shields Saudi War on Yemen

May 5, 2015  Consortium News

The U.S. news media always seems to have an excuse for the actions of the Saudi-Israeli alliance, now trivializing Saudi Arabia’s open aggression against Yemen as simply one side of a “proxy war” with Iran, a misleading depiction, says Gareth Porter.

Read more →
SAMPLES OF ISRAELI HORRIFIC BRUTALITY AND WAR CRIMINALITY IN GAZAThe Intercept  Glenn Greenwald  May 4, 2015The Israeli group Breaking the Silence issued a report this morning containing testimony from Israeli soldiers about the savagery and criminality committed by the Israeli military during the attack on Gaza last summer. The Independent has a good article describing the report’s findings: “The Israeli military deliberately pounded civilian areas in the Gaza Strip with incessant fire of inaccurate ordinance” and “was at best indifferent about casualties among the Palestinian population.” At best.+++

Citing Iran to Justify Yemen Slaughter

April 23, 2015  Consortium News

The indiscriminate and U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign over a largely defenseless Yemen has reportedly killed hundreds of civilians and devastated historic cities. To justify the slaughter, the mainstream U.S. media has trumpeted dubious allegations about Iranian influence, notes Gareth Porter.

Read more →

+++

+++

A Fact-Resistant ‘Group Think’ on Syria

April 20, 2015  Consortium News

Exclusive: CBS News’ anchor Scott Pelley is known for his clueless journalism which never goes beyond Official Washington’s “group think” – and he was at it again in a dangerously provocative “60 Minutes” segment on the sarin gas attack near Damascus, Syria, in 2013, reports Robert Parry.

+++

GLENN GREENWALD: RELIGIOUS FANATICISM IS A HUGE FACTOR FOR AMERICANS’ SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL

Greenwald: …there is no denying that religious extremism plays a very significant role in American attitudes toward Israel. Given its importance, this is a remarkably under-discussed phenomenon, mostly because American media figures are very comfortable maligning other countries as being driven by religious fanaticism while ignoring how much their own country is.

+++

+++

For those in the Twin Cities, please come on Saturday, April 25, to hear Diana Johnstone speak on this most important issue.

Join

Using Smart Power to Drum Up War in Ukraine & The Middle East: Live from France with Diana Johnstone

Saturday, April 25 at 10:00am

Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) event

+++

Neocon ‘Chaos Promotion’ in the Mideast

By Ray McGovern  Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 by Common Dreams

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz were key architects of the Iraq War debacle under President George W. Bush. (Photo: file)

Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia “won’t stop us.”

+++

How to Deal with the Iranian Genii?

BY ERIC MARGOLIS   The UNZ Review   APRIL 11, 2015

The deal reached in Lausanne, Switzerland by Iran and five powers, led by the US, appears to be about nuclear capability.

In fact, the real issue was not nuclear weapons, which Iran does not now possess, but Iran’s potential geopolitical power.

 

Progressives Warn Hawks: No War With Iran

Democrats who end up on ‘wrong side’ of Iran vote ‘will have to answer for their decision for the rest of their careers.’

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer
Published on Thursday, April 09, 2015 by 
Common Dreams

+++Yemen Articles about Yemen from CommonDreams.org +++Obama’s Fateful Indecisionby  Robert Parry

With Israel and Saudi Arabia siding with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda versus Iran and its allies, President Obama faces a critical decision – whether to repudiate those old allies and cooperate with Iran or watch as Sunni terrorist groups possibly take control of a major country in the Mideast.

Published on Tuesday, April 07, 2015 by Consortium News

+++

Seven Steps of Highly Effective ManipulatorsWhite Helmets, Avaaz, Nicholas Kristof and Syria No Fly Zoneby Rick Sterling / DissidentVoice.org April 9th, 2015+++Palestinian leader, parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar arrested by Israeli occupation forces Picked up from Global Peace FB page.

In the early morning hours of Thursday, April 2, dozens of Israeli occupation soldiers raided the home of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar, a prominent leftist leader, feminist, and human rights advocate, arresting her, kicking down the door and holding her husband in a separate room. A leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jarrar defeated an Israeli occupation attempt in September 2014 to expel her from Ramallah to Jericho for six months.

Click Here To Take action: Demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar!

+++

Netanyahu’s Spying Denials Contradicted by Secret NSA Documents

GLENN GREENWALD AND ANDREW FISHMAN The Intercept  03/25/2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday vehemently denied a Wall Street Journalreport, leaked by the Obama White House, that Israel spied on U.S. negotiations with Iran and then fed the intelligence to Congressional Republicans. His office’s denial was categorical and absolute, extending beyond this specific story to U.S.-targeted spying generally, claiming: “The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies.”

What We Get Wrong About Yemen

Foreign intervention in a local fight would be the worst course anyone could take.

By Adam Baron  Common Dreams  March 26, 2015

NYT Publishes Call to Bomb Iran

By Robert Parry  Consortium News  March 28, 2015

Exclusive: The New York Times continues its slide into becoming little more than a neocon propaganda sheet as it followed the Washington Post in publishing an op-ed advocating the unprovoked bombing of Iran, reports Robert Parry.

NETANYAHU’S SPYING DENIALS CONTRADICTED BY SECRET NSA DOCUMENTSBY GLENN GREENWALD AND ANDREW FISHMAN  The InterceptIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday vehemently denied aWall Street Journal report, leaked by the Obama White House, that Israel spied on U.S. negotiations with Iran and then fed the intelligence to Congressional Republicans. His office’s denial was categorical and absolute, extending beyond this specific story to U.S.-targeted spying generally, claiming: “The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies.”
Evergreene DigestDEFENSE INDUSTRY WHORES

  • We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. –Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Part 1: Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur destroys the ‘defense industry whores’ pushing for war with Iran
  • Part 2: Companies Profiting The Most From War

Compiled by David Culver <evergreenedigest@earthlink.net>, Ed., Evergreene DigestPart 1: Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur destroys the ‘defense industry whores’ pushing for war with IranScott Kaufman, Raw Story16 Mar 2015 | In a new video from The Young Turks, host Cenk Uygur lit into “defense industry whores” who will do anything they can to force the United States into a military engagement with Iran.Uygur began by berating former Democratic senator Evan Byah for collaborating with a group that produced “one of the worst fear-mongering ads that I’ve ever seen.”“It’s about our negotiations with Iran — and the point of those negotiations is that they don’t get nukes, and they can verify, absolutely positively, that they will not have nukes,” he continued. “This ad, of course, lies and says the exact opposite — that if we strike a peace deal with them and can verify that they don’t have nukes, they will get nukes.”Scott Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club’s Internet Film School and an associate editor at the Raw Story. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it.Full story … Part 2: Companies Profiting The Most From War, Mark Lieberman & Thomas C. Frohlich, 24/7 Wall St. Despite the global drop (in world-wide military expenditure(s), weapons producers generated massive profits from arms sales, and U.S. and European companies continued to dominate the top 10 global companies in terms of arms deals.March 18, 2015 | Worldwide military expenditure shrunk in 2013 for the second consecutive year, falling by 1.9% to $1.75 trillion. The 100 largest arms-producers sold a combined $402 billion worth of arms and military services in 2013, also down — for the third consecutive year.However, not all countries are spending less. Military spending in North America and in Western and Central European countries has continued to decline, while other countries such as Brazil and Russia have increased their arms investments.Mark Lieberman & Thomas C. Frohlich are writers for 24/7 Wall St.Full story … 

Pentagon loses track of $500 million in weapons, equipment given to Yemen

By Craig Whitlock The Washington Post  March 17

The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.With Yemen in turmoil and its government splintering, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the whereabouts of small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles and other supplies donated by the United States. T

UN Report Reveals How Israel is Coordinating with ISIS Militants Inside Syria

Posted on February 21, 2015  Info-wars.org  

The Syrian conflict continues to develop into a proxy war, pitting various foreign ‘national interests’ against one another, including US vs. Syria, US vs Iran, Saudi Arabia vs Syria, Qatar vs. Syria, Turkey vs. Kurdistan and Iran vs. Israel – to name only a few. So the support network behind Washington’s ‘Moderate Rebels’ and terrorist groups fighting in Syria is …

+++

The Israeli guns that took part in the Rwanda genocide

A Tel Aviv court has rejected a petition to reveal documentation of arms exports to the Hutu government in the ’90s.

By Uri Misgav   haaretz.com   Jan. 3, 2015

+++


Shutterstock

The Uses, and Abuses, of History in the Middle East Conflict

by William Pfaff

The murder of Coptic Christians is one more instance of the sheer ignorance that’s influencing events in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 17, 2015 READ MORE

truthdig.com

+++

2 comments

  1. I’ve found this linked report to be helpful in waking people up to the tragedy that is unfolding:

    http://ref.ec/sf

    Liked by 1 person

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