It is known that the US has for long had a comprehensive and combined plan with Israel to attack Iranian targets with huge, non-nuclear, bunker-busting, 10 ton, GBU-43 air-blast bombs capable of destroying the deepest underground installations – these are the most powerful non-nuclear ordnance pieces ever produced – but first the Trump-Netanyahu war-plan needed a credible excuse.
It is also known that the Israeli military have been an integral part of that US plan to first cripple the Iranian economy with global oil sanctions and then to initiate an air and sea attack against the Iranian state and its people.
But first, a credible excuse was required. That excuse was orchestrated jointly by a belligerent Trump and Netanyahu, this week, when two oil tankers were structurally damaged by limpet mines, off the coast of Oman – subsequent to a similar action the previous week – and the sabotage immediately blamed by US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, without any evidence whatsoever, upon Iran. However, the state actor concerned was, almost certainly, not Iran but very probably the Israeli navy with its state-of-the-art, German-built, nuclear-armed submarines, covertly patrolling the deep waters of the Gulf.
Iran, of course, unlike Israel, has no nuclear weapons of mass destruction but does have a nuclear-power program and it is these non-military installations that the combined forces of the US and Israel are determined to destroy at any cost in order to further cripple Iran’s civil infrastructure in addition to enforcing a global ban on its oil so as to decimate its economy and to force, yet another, regime change.
The deliberate sabotaging of four shipping tankers in the Gulf and the too obvious accusations against Iran, indicate that US-Israeli plans for a combined attack against the Iranian state are now fairly imminent. And that fact should make the world take notice because such unwarranted and unprovoked aggression against a sovereign state could very easily escalate into a global conflict. These are very dangerous times, indeed, with an unpredictable and unstable US President determined to instigate a war in the Middle East with a committed partner who has long wanted to destroy Iran in its own bid for regional dominance.
If the conflict materialises and there is an attack against Iran by combined US-Israeli forces,
Israeli intelligence arm Mossad has worked with the BDS-fighting Strategic Affairs Ministry to counter the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, government diaries reveal.
The Strategic Affairs Ministry has been referred to as Israel’s ‘anti-BDS start up,’ and was behind the blacklist of 20 international BDS groups. It also set up the secretive Kella Shlomo corporation –now called Concert– with $36 million in government funding to carry out covert “mass awareness activities” and online engagement efforts to counter boycotts supporting Palestinians and the “delegitimization” of Israel.
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Israel launches secret squad to challenge negative image & boycott campaign
The 2018 diaries of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan reveal he met with Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency Mossad, to discuss “the struggle against the boycott.”
The diaries were obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the Hatzlaha movement which requested the same information from all ministers. Erdan’s office told Haaretz the meeting was just a “review,” but its sources confirmed the ministry works with the Mossad.
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Manufacturing dissent: Leaked footage reveals US Israel lobby astroturfing student event (VIDEO)
Further to the Mossad revelation, Erdan held meetings with the head of Israel’s National Security Council and its intelligence branch. The diaries show that the minister also met with a number of US Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the US Reform Movement.
His chief of staff, meanwhile, met and had phone calls with a number of foreign leaders and diplomats, as well as with leaders of Israeli settlements.
Many of Erdan’s meetings were reportedly about Concert, which is exempt from Israel’s freedom of information law.
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An Israeli minister has called on settlers to continue entering Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa compound and thanked security officials for making their visits possible after hundreds broke into the mosque during the final days of Ramadan.
In a video released on Monday, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said:
“We should do everything to keep ascending to the Temple Mount [the name used by Jews for Al-Aqsa].”
“And hopefully soon, we will pray in the Temple Mount, our sacred place,” she added.
Regev also thanked Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Interior Security Minister, and Jerusalem’s Police Chief for their “fight and contribution for Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount”.
Regev’s comments come days after Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the compound. On Sunday, tensions ratcheted up in the city with Israel’s Jerusalem Day – a celebration of the country’s capture and occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967 – coinciding with the last days of Ramadan.
As Israelis planned to march through the Old City, including the Muslim Quarter, to observe the holiday, Palestinians were urged to occupy the Al-Aqsa compound, an act of defiance against Jewish Israelis that were expected to enter the holy site.
In response to Palestinians rallying in Al-Aqsa, Israeli police – who reportedly allowed the settlers to enter the site – raided the mosque.
The Waqf, an Islamic organisation that oversees the site, said Israeli police fired rubber bullets and used pepper spray against Palestinians as they cracked down on the rally. Two Palestinians were arrested, the Waqf said.
In a statement, the police said protesters had barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and threw chairs and stones at forces who were attempting to “disperse” them.
Settlers regularly praying at holy site
The status of the Al-Aqsa compound is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Al-Aqsa compound is one of the holiest sites in Islam and served as the first Qibla, the direction towards which Muslims must turn to pray, before that was changed to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
It is also the holiest site in Judaism, believed to be the location of the Jewish temple that was destroyed 2,000 years ago.
What the Israeli Election Is All About
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s associates have reportedly told the premier that snap elections would likely deny him the time needed to pass legislation shielding him from prosecution in three corruption cases.”
Trump’s favorite foreign “leader” is trying desperately to use an election to shield himself from the law. No doubt Trump will issue a pardon for Netanyahu.
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This article was originally published in April 2017.
In the midst of complaining about the Islamist threat to Israel and the world, Bibi Netanyahu conveniently forgets that his own country enjoys a tacit alliance with ISIS in Syria. It is an alliance of convenience to be sure and one that’s not boasted about by either party. But is not terribly different from one than Israel enjoys with its other Muslim allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
Bogie Yaalon served as defence minister in the current Israeli government till he had a falling out with Netanyahu in May 2016. Now Yaalon plans to form his own party and run against his former boss. Unfortunately for him, he’s not polling well and doesn’t appear to be much of a political threat.
So Yaalon enjoys the position of having little to lose. He can speak more candidly than the average politician. In this context, he spoke at length on security matters at a public event in Afula. There is always much that I disagree with whenever I read Yaalon’s views. For example, while warning in this video about the danger of favoring too heavily one side over the other in Syria, he essentially justifies Israel’s interventionist approach. It largely has favored Assad’s Islamist opponents. Nor do I much like, in another context, Yaalon’s choice of political allies–from Islamophobe blogger Pam Geller to Meir Kahane’s grandson.
But he did reveal Israel’s ties to ISIS in Syria. I’ve documented, along with other journalists, Israeli collaboration with al-Nusra, an affiliate of al-Qaeda. But no Israeli till now has admitted it has collaborated with ISIS as well. Below Yaalon implicitly confirms this:
…Within Syria there are many factions: the regime, Iran, the Russians, and even al-Qaeda and ISIS. In such circumstances, one must develop a responsible, carefully-balanced policy by which you protect your own interests on the one hand, and on the other hand you don’t intervene. Because if Israel does intervene on behalf of one side, it will serve the interests of the other; which is why we’ve established red lines.
Following Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache’s resignation amid a corruption scandal, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has hinted that Israeli political strategist Tal Silberstein may have orchestrated the debacle.
Strache resigned on Saturday, one day after a video surfaced in German outlets showing the vice-chancellor discussing a quid-pro-quo agreement with a woman presented by the media as a niece of a Russian oligarch, filmed in Ibiza in 2017. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz quickly condemned Strache’s alleged misdeeds, and called for snap elections.
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‘As soon as possible’: Austria’s Kurz on snap elections following leaked video scandal
However, both Strache – who headed Austria’s Freedom Party, the junior coalition partner to Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party – and Kurz alleged dirty tricks were afoot.
Strache called the surreptitiously recorded tape a “targeted political assassination,” and Kurz compared the scandal to a “dirty campaign” waged against him in 2017 by Austria’s Social Democrats, via political adviser Tal Silberstein.
Speaking to German tabloid Bild on Sunday, Kurz again dropped Silberstein’s name.
“Concerning the methods, this strongly reminds me of Tal Silberstein, the campaign aide of the SPÖ (Social Democrats) in 2017,” Kurz said. “He used similar methods all across the world.”
Kurz’s first run-in with Silberstein occurred during Austria’s general election two years ago. Well on track to becoming Austria’s youngest-ever leader at the time, Kurz was hit with allegations that his supporters ran websites churning out racist content and conspiracy theories. As well as the sites purporting to be from his supporters, another hit-site called “The Truth About Sebastian Kurz” alleged that the center-right leader was secretly working in the service of billionaire liberal financier George Soros.
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‘Enemies of freedom’? Germany launches anti-rightwing crusade amid Austrian govt crisis
Breaking two weeks before the country went to the polls, the scandal could have dealt damage to Kurz’ election bid, until it emerged that the websites were the work of Silberstein, paid €400,000 ($447,000) to mastermind then-chancellor Christian Kern’s re-election bid.
Silberstein’s work in Austria began in 2002,
Israeli rabbis at military prep school are caught on video praising Hitler
At the height of the Israeli-Gazan cross-border flare-up, the IDF tweeted pictures of children playing with toy guns who, it claimed, attended a Hamas-run pre-school. The blunt propaganda wasn’t well received on social media.
“Hamas is robbing the children of Gaza of their future, and attempts to rob the children of Israel of theirs. We won’t let them. No country would,” the IDF said, releasing images of young Palestinians in green bandanas receiving what appears to be military training.
While children in Israel ran for shelter from incoming rocket fire from Gaza, these children in Gaza graduated from kindergarten.
Hamas is robbing the children of Gaza of their future, and attempts to rob the children of Israel of theirs. We won’t let them. No country would. pic.twitter.com/mS2etmf1KE
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 5, 2019
“While children in Israel ran for shelter from incoming rocket fire from Gaza, these children in Gaza graduated from kindergarten,” the tweet added.
Maby they wouldn’t need to do this if you stopped launching rockets at them 😧
— Cesar Sanchez (@CesarSan1998) May 5, 2019
The message, sent out as tensions spilled into Sunday after a weekend of heavy cross-border fire, immediately sparked controversy online, with many twitterattis reminding the IDF that Israel is just as guilty of indoctrinating its youth. “Maybe they wouldn’t need to do this if you stopped launching rockets at them,” one user said, while others began posting pictures of young Israelis being briefed on how to use guns.
Nurturing patriotism from a very early age seems important to both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, against the background of the unrelenting mutual animosity that has dragged on for the last seven decades.
Palestinians, who believe they are being oppressed by ‘Israeli occupation,’ believe it is necessary to train their youth to claim their right to the land which they believe they lost when the state of Israel was created in 1948. Hamas, which since 2007 has been the ruler in the Gaza Strip, regularly organized summer camps where teens undergo training in military drills.
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Sirens ring out &
Israeli Rabbis Declare Israel to Be a Racist State
An Israeli citizen provides films of Israeli rabbis teaching that Hitler was correct that there is a Master Race and was only mistaken in his belief that Germans were the Master Race, whereas in fact Jews are the MasterRace. All other peoples are only fit to be the slaves of the Jews. Apparently, this is not some isolated view of a few rabbis.
It is easy to understand why Israeli rabbis have reached this conclusion. After all, they have as slaves the president of the United States, 26 state legislatures, the major American universities and media, and every establishment political leader in the Western world.
The rabbis also teach that the Holocaust was God’s warning to Jews that the diaspora is over and it is time to return to Israel.
With over 97% of votes counted, Netanyahu and leading challenger Benny Gantz each won 35 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, according to the unofficial tally.
Apartheid right wing parties won a super-majority on Tuesday, results similar to recent past elections.
Israelis have themselves to blame, keeping Netanyahu in power as prime minister for the past decade, another four-year term likely as analysts believe a majority of Knesset members support him.
Likud under him represents extremist fascist rule – neoliberal harshness for most Jews, apartheid for Israeli Arabs and Occupied Palestinians.
Institutionalized racism is official Israeli policy under all its ruling coalitions. So is state terrorism, as well as undeclared war on Palestinians and Syria, slow-motion genocide against two million Gazans, suffocating under politicized blockade, attacked repeated by the IDF, the world community doing nothing to stop their suffering.
Israel is a fantasy democracy, not the real thing. Millions of Palestinians are disenfranchised. Their entire population in Israel and the Territories has no say over how they’re governed.
Nearly five million Palestinians in the Territories and Israel are victimized by occupation, colonization, and apartheid state terror, high crimes under international law by any standard.
No matter how Israeli elections turn out, their persecution continues, self-determination denied them by all Israeli regimes.
No-peace/peace talks when held represent the greatest hoax in modern times – along with the US war OF terror, not on it.
Unofficial results have Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White party tied with 35 seats (each with 26% of the vote), around 14,000 votes separating them with about 100,000 remaining to be counted as of 9AM local time.
Ultra-orthodox/religious fundamentalist Shas and United Torah Judaism parties each got eight seats, Union of Right-Wing Parties and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu both with five, and Kulanu four.
Labor and Arab party Hadash-Ta’al each got six seats, Meretz five, and United Arab List-Balad four.
Naftali Bennett, Ayelet (“little snakes”) Shaked, along with other hard-right figures failed to gain enough votes for Knesset seats. Turnout was 68%, down from 72% in 2015, largely because most Israeli Arabs opted out of the process, knowing no matter who wins, they lose.
Published time: 1 Apr, 2019 13:11 Edited time: 1 Apr, 2019 16:35
An Israeli watchdog has said that it found a network of social media bots disseminating messages in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of next week’s elections. Noam Rotem and Yuval Adam, two researchers operating the Big Bots Project, said in a report published on Monday that they uncovered hundreds of fake accounts spreading messages in support of Netanyahu’s Likud party and smearing his opponents. Israelis head to the polls in eight days, and Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term in office. Rotem said it seems people were hired to open and run multiple Twitter profiles, AP reports. The accounts’ posts involve “a combination of spreading the narrative of the Likud party… and attacking anyone that is criticizing them,” according to Rotem.
Israelis, who get enrolled into their government’s oppression of the Palestinian people are victims just like those they oppress, iconic Palestinian activist and former prisoner Ahed Tamimi told RT’s Going Underground.
“I pity [the Israelis] because they are dehumanized. They are only filled with hatred. It is not about occupying the land, it is about occupying the minds,” she said.
Tamimi, who got international fame after being arrested by Israel for slapping a soldier, made the argument about Israelis being victimized by the policies of their government after being released from an Israeli jail.
The young activist spoke to program host Afshin Rattansi ahead of the first anniversary of the Great Return March, the ongoing mass protest by Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip staged near Israel’s border wall. Israel justifies its heavy-handed response to the protest, which resulted in at least 183 people being killed and over 9,000 injured, by saying the movement is just a cover for the militant movement Hamas to launch its attacks against Israel.
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On Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 March 2019, Israeli forces carried out dozens of airstrikes on various targets across the Gaza Strip. These airstrikes have been the most violent in recent months that have not spared civilians and displaced dozens of them after 10 days of a similar aggression.
For 12 hours, two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip lived in a state of terror and fear due to the continuous Israeli airstrikes that targeted various locations; some were in densely-populated areas throughout the Gaza Strip.
According to the documentation by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli warplanes launched 66 missiles at 34 targets across the Gaza Strip, including residential buildings and civil facilities, under the pretext of having security service offices underneath or near them. As a result, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded due to the scattering glass and bricks following those airstrikes.
During and after the airstrikes, dozens of civilians were forced to evacuate from their houses dreadfully in the cold weather at night, rendering 13 families comprised of 70 members, including 44 children and 14 women, homeless.
The most prominent civilian facilities that were targeted were as follows:
- Targeting al-Multazem Insurance Company located in the ground floor of al-Ghazali Building. Al-Ghazali was comprised of 2 buildings on an area of 662 square meters and included 10 residential apartments next to the Municipality Park in Gaza City. The Israeli drones and warplanes targeted the building with 5 missiles after the Israeli Intelligence called the building’s owner and ordered him to evacuate. As a result, the nearby buildings sustained severe damage, and families of 29 members, including 19 children and women, were displaced.
- Targeting Hassounah 4-storey building, which include 8 residential apartments and whose warehouses were rented by the Internal Security Service, in western Gaza City. The Israeli warplanes targeted the building with 8 consecutive missiles after calling the residents and ordering them to evacuate. As a result, the building was completely destroyed, and nearby buildings sustained severe damage. Moreover, 9 families of 41 members, including 25 children and 9 women, were displaced.
- Targeting the office of Head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyah, in al-Naser neighborhood in Gaza City and completely destroying it with 4 missiles in addition to causing extensive damage to the nearby houses and facilities,
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman. On Thursday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, white supremacy, and other forms of hate. The resolution, as initially written, was seen as a direct rebuke of Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar for her comments about U.S. foreign policy with Israel. The vote capped a week of intense debate among congressional Democrats about anti-Semitism and U.S. policy on Israel.
We’re joined now by three guests. In Tel Aviv, Gideon Levy, longtime Israeli journalist, Haaretz columnist, member of the newspaper’s editorial board, his latest piece headlined “Keep It Up, Ilhan Omar.” He’s also the author of The Punishment of Gaza.
Phyllis Bennis is with us in Washington, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, serves on the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace, her recent piece for In These Times headlined “Why False Accusations of Anti-Semitism Against Ilhan Omar Are So Harmful.”
And Remi Kanazi is with us here in New York, a Palestinian-American poet and activist, the author of a collection of poetry, Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine.
We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Let’s go to Tel Aviv first. Gideon Levy, your response to the debate and the final passage of the resolution on Thursday in the House of Representatives?
GIDEON LEVY: It’s wonderful that the House deals with anti-Semitism. It’s wonderful that the House condemns anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism should be condemned. But the context is very suspicious and very troubling. Let me be very frank with you, Amy. We have to say the truth: The Israeli lobby, the Jewish lobby, are, by far, too strong and too aggressive. It’s not good for the Jewish community. It’s not good for Israel.
What is happening now is that some kind of fresh air, some kind of new voices are emerging from Capitol Hill, raising legitimate questions about Israel, about America’s foreign policy toward Israel and about the Israeli lobby in the States. Those are very legitimate questions, and it is more than needed to raise them.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to throw the power of its naval force – and urges the world to join in – to block the Iranian oil shipments circumventing unilaterally imposed US sanctions against Tehran.
“Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through the covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions,” Netanyahu said at a navy cadets’ graduation ceremony in Haifa on Wednesday.
Failing to explain how exactly Israel’s relatively small naval force would impose the suggested blockade against Iranian oil tankers, Netanyahu only emphasized that Israeli sailors are well-trained and adept at carrying out sea missions against adversaries.
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Iran in economic, psychological war with US & its allies – President Rouhani
Washington sanctioned Iran’s oil, shipping and banking industries last November after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 JCPOA ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ to applause from Israel and to strong objections from the other signatories of the milestone accord and from Tehran’s business partners.
Aiming to reduce Tehran’s oil exports to “zero,” the US threatened global oil buyers with secondary sanctions. Then, after the pressure failed to achieve expected results, a handful of countries were granted a special exemption, with Washington generously allowing them to continue buying crude from Tehran, for the time being.
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IDF tries its hand in MS Paint warfare to tell Iran ‘where it belongs’
Furious at American bullying tactics, Iran’s armed forces have said they will protect its fleet of oil tankers against any threats that might jeopardize the shipments. Tehran is especially committed to ensuring safe passage through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the rest of the world.
To tackle what it called Iran’s “illicit” economic activity at sea, Israel would need to expand its operating theater. Currently, the country is primarily active in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea areas. Whether or not such potential Israeli missions would yield success is questionable,
On January 12, 2016, Yuli Novak called her staff of a dozen people together in their Tel Aviv offices to reveal the identity of a spy who had infiltrated the organization. At the time, Novak was the executive director of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli anti-occupation group that collects testimonies of Israeli soldiers operating in Palestinian territories. She informed the staff that a man calling himself “Chai” had been secretly videotaping them. Chai had been active with the group for a year and a half, visiting their office on a weekly basis, and had grown close to several staff members.
“The moment I said it, everyone’s first reaction was to look left and right,” Novak told me over iced tea in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, in July. “The initial feeling was paranoia — everyone thinking to themselves, Who else? People were automatically suspicious. In that moment, you don’t know who is for you and who is against you.” Frima Bubis, who joined Breaking the Silence just before Chai was exposed, remembers the feeling. “Your mind just runs — I even suspected Yuli. It was awful. Everyone scared of the other, but everyone looking to others for support,” Bubis said. “I remember it as a moment of serious trauma of trust. It was a relief that it wasn’t anyone from the staff.”
Chai, whose real name turned out to be Chaim Fremd, had been hired by a right-wing Israeli group called Ad Kan, or “no more” in Hebrew. Ad Kan, part of the powerful political network that supports Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, holds as its mission to dig up dirt on Israelis who “seek to join the anti-Israel platform.”
Chai wasn’t the first mole. In the months prior, there were less successful attempts to sabotage Breaking the Silence’s work. including people who approached the group with fabricated accounts of their service in an effort to entrap the organization into publishing inaccurate testimonies. Among them was Oren Hazan, who in 2015 tried to get the group to publish a testimony he made up about Israel’s 2014 military operation in Gaza; he later admitted when confronted by a journalist in the halls of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, that he was part of a settler-funded campaign to “expose” left-wing groups.
On 49th Friday of Great March of Return and Breaking Siege, Israeli Forces Wound 83 Civilians, including 23 Children, Woman, 3 Paramedics, and Journalist. Report By The Palestinian Center For Human Right (PCHR).
On Friday evening, 01 March 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 49th Friday of the March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 83 civilians, including 23 children, a woman, three paramedics, and a journalist, in eastern Gaza Strip. The injury of three of the wounded civilians was reported serious.
According to observations by PCHR’s fieldworkers, the Israeli forces who stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators by opening fire and firing tear gas canisters at them.
As a result, dozens of the demonstrators were hit with bullets and teargas canisters without posing any imminent threat or danger to the life of soldiers.
These new violations come one day after The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violations committed in the oPt, published their findings and results during the period from 30 March to 31 December 2018.
These incidents confirm that Israel continues to violate the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
It should be noted that The UN Commission found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli soldiers violated the international humanitarian law and international human rights law during the demonstrations of the Great March of Return.
Moreover, these violations may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, and Israel should investigate them immediately.
On Friday, 01 March 2019, the incidents were as follows:
At approximately 15:00, thousands of civilians, including women, children and entire families, started swarming to the five encampments established by the Supreme National Authority of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege adjacent to the border fence with Israel in eastern Gaza Strip cities.
Hundreds, including children and women, approached the border fence with Israel in front of each encampment and gathered tens of meters away from the main border fence, attempting to throw stones at the Israeli forces and firing incendiary balloons along the border fence.
Tel Aviv has no desire to seek out a peace process that will have long-term benefits for both Palestinians and Israelis, the former commander-in-chief of the Israeli navy told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze.
Admiral Ami Ayalon, who also served as the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, explained to Shevardnadze why he fears that Israel is heading towards another war.
“It seems the Israeli government doesn’t have any interest in creating any kind of peace process or any kind of negotiations that will lead to a better future for the Israelis and the Palestinians,” he told the SophieCo host.
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Israel slams ‘absurd’ UN report suggesting potential war crimes against Gaza protesters
He expressed disappointment in how the Trump administration has handled the Israel-Palestine issue and mused that Washington has a poor grasp of the decades-long conflict.
“When I listen, especially to American voices during the last 20 years, they do not understand the Middle East, they do not understand Palestinians, and, if you ask me, they do not understand Israel the way I believe Israel should be,” Ayalon stated. He predicted that unfortunately, upcoming elections in Israel are unlikely to “change our political direction” for the better.
Watch the full interview:
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Three months after Israeli police recommended that the country’s attorney general pursue charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his alleged involvement in “Bezeq Walla Affair”, it appears an indictment is finally being handed down on Thursday, much to the longtime leader’s chagrin.
Since Netanyahu and his wife have become embroiled in multiple scandals over the past few years, seemingly all of which have yielded recommendations of prosecution, let us pause a moment for a quick refresher on the most serious allegations. The crux of the case is that Netanyahu and his wife accepted bribes from Shaul Elovitch, the owner of Israel’s largest telecoms firm, Bezeq. Elovitch also owns the “Walla” news website. The prime minister crossed a line when he allegedly fired Communications Ministry Director-General Avi Berger and hired ex-Netanyahu campaign manager Shlomo Filber in a bid to help guarantee special treatment for Elovitch and his companies. In exchange, Netanyahu and his wife purportedly struck a deal with Elovitch for favorable coverage on his news website.
In addition to the bribery and breach of trust charges stemming from Bezeq-Walla, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said Thursday that he intends to indict Netanyahu for fraud and breach of trust in two other cases. All charges are pending a hearing where Netanyahu will be given a chance to respond, according to Haaretz.
The Israeli Shekel dropped on the news.
The indictments, which followed a three-year long investigation, mark the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister has been indicted, and come just six weeks before a general election (though Netanyahu is far from the first Israeli politician to face serious criminal charges).
A brief explainer of the charges can be found below:
Courtesy of Haaretz
In a last-ditch effort to block the announcement, Netanyahu’s Likud party petitioned the High Court on Thursday and put them off until after the April 9 election, but Justice Minister Mendelblit rebuffed this request, citing the “principle of equality before the law.”
Likud party leaders slammed the indictment as a “political hit job” and have claimed that the case is a “house of cards”
Israeli forces have shifted from a doctrine of “war by stealth” to openly declared aggression on its northern neighbor Syria. For two straight days, the Israelis bombarded Syria’s capital Damascus and its environs with dozens of air-launched cruise missiles. Many of the projectiles were reportedly intercepted by Russian-supplied air defense systems.
Nevertheless the Israeli blitzkrieg resulted in at least four Syrian military personnel being killed and damage to the civilian international airport near Damascus. That amounts to an outrageous war crime, as have countless air strikes carried out previously by Israel on Syria. Shamefully, the United Nations and Western governments maintain a hypocritical silence, while slapping sanctions on Syria, Russia and Iran over various alleged “transgressions”.
But what’s remarkable about the latest Israeli aggression is the public acknowledgement by the government in Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while on an African tour at the weekend, openly acknowledged the Israeli air strikes, as did the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
“We have a set policy, to target the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, and to harm whoever tried to harm us,” said Netanyahu on a visit to Chad.
In a statement, the IDF said: “We have started striking Iranian Quds [Revolutionary Guards] targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory.”
Earlier this month, Netanyahu bragged to his cabinet members in televised comments about the “success” of repeated air strikes on Syria purportedly against Iranian targets.
That was also around the same time the outgoing IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot boasted to Western media about “running a bombing campaign” against Syria with “thousands of strikes” over recent years on an almost daily basis.
One of those air strikes last September resulted in the death of 15 Russian aircrew when their IL-20 surveillance plane was mistakenly shot down by Syrian air defenses in what appeared to be a deliberate aerial trap set up by Israeli fighter jets. The incident sparked outrage in Moscow which then promptly delivered upgraded S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Those air defense systems may account for the successful interception of dozens of Israeli missiles in the latest barrage.
This change in Israeli policy from habitually issuing “no comment” responses after air strikes are reported in Syria to one where senior government figures are publicly exulting in the conduct of attacks is an extraordinary development.
09:30:00 AM Ralph Nader: Opening Remarks
09:50:00 AM Bert Foer: Antitrust & How Kleptocracy Corrupts What Markets Are Supposed to Do
10:10:00 AM William Black: Financial and Insurance Rackets
10:30:00 AM Robert Kuttner: The Virtues and Limits of Markets
10:50:00 AM Greg LeRoy: Subsidies, Handouts, Giveaways and Bailouts
11:10:00 AM James Henry: Systematized Tax Evasion
11:30:00 AM Lunch
12:15:00 PM Russell Mokhiber: Systemic Corporate Crime—Business as Usual
12:35:00 PM Rob Weissman: How Market Fundamentalism Corrupts The Political Process
12:55:00 PM Dennis Kelleher: Endemic Market Failure/Inequality
01:15:00 PM Tom McGarity: The Assault on Regulation (And the Case for It)
01:35:00 PM Rena Steinzor: The Assault on Regulation (And the Case for It)
01:55:00 PM Damon Silvers: SEC and the Inadequacy of Financial Regulation
02:15:00 PM Joel Rogers: Public Goods
02:35:00 PM William Lazonick: Stock Buybacks
02:55:00 PM Lori Wallach: Market Fundamentalism and Trade
03:15:00 PM Steven Clifford: The Lack of a Free Market for Executive Compensation
03:35:00 PM Ralph Nader: Institutionalizing Lawlessness—Systematically Subverting Markets
3:50-4:30 PM Discussion » Lees verder
Almost ten years ago, Israel invaded Gaza under “Operation Cast Lead”.
The following article was first published by Global Research in January 2009 at the height of the Israeli bombing and invasion under Operation Cast Lead.
In the wake of the invasion, Palestinian gas fields were de facto confiscated by Israel in derogation of international law.
A year following “Operation Cast Lead”, Tel Aviv announced the discovery of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean “off the coast of Israel.”
At the time the gas field was: “ … the most prominent field ever found in the sub-explored area of the Levantine Basin, which covers about 83,000 square kilometres of the eastern Mediterranean region.” (i)
Coupled with Tamar field, in the same location, discovered in 2009, the prospects are for an energy bonanza for Israel, for Houston, Texas based Noble Energy and partners Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration. (See Felicity Arbuthnot, Israel: Gas, Oil and Trouble in the Levant, Global Research, December 30, 2013
The Gazan gas fields are part of the broader Levant assessment area.
What is now unfolding is the integration of these adjoining gas fields including those belonging to Palestine into the orbit of Israel. (see map below).
It should be noted that the entire Eastern Mediterranean coastline extending from Egypt’s Sinai to Syria constitutes an area encompassing large gas as well as oil reserves.
It is important to relate issue of Gaza’s offshore gas reserves to the recent massacres undertaken by IDF forces directed against the People of Palestine who own the offshore gas fields.
Michel Chossudovsky, June 12, 2018
War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields
by Michel Chossudovsky
January 8, 2009
The December 2008 military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves.
This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline.
Senior Israeli Lawmaker Calls for Killing All Palestinians, “Because they are just Nazis Anyhow”
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said that “the number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”
Chair of the Defence Committee at the Israeli Parliament Avi Dichter has called for killing all the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
As he was commenting on the peaceful protests of the Great March of Return taking place along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, he said:
“The Israeli army has enough bullets for every Palestinian.”
Dichter is a senior member of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, which is a right wing one.
Former director of Shin Bet internal security service and Minister of Internal Security Dichter said that the Israeli army is prepared to use all means, including lethal force to deter the Palestinians protesters.
Since March 31, thousands of peaceful Palestinian protesters have been staging protests along the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, calling for lifting the 12-year-old Israeli siege and reinforcing the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan repeatedly referred to the protesters killed in Gaza as “Nazis,” saying that there were no demonstrations, just “Nazi anger.”
He later added:
“The number [of peaceful Palestinian protesters] killed does not mean anything because they are just Nazis anyhow.”
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French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million. Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money.
This is the latest of numerous examples of Israeli officials stone-walling international efforts against the perpetrators of massive financial swindles around the world, according to Israeli investigative journalists and others. These scams have brought estimated billions into the Israeli economy, propping up a regime widely condemned for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing against indigenous Palestinians. Together, the stories paint a picture of a government that seems to be turning a blind eye to – and even protecting – scammers.
A Finance Magnates analysis reports that one of the swindles alone has brought in over a billion dollars and employs 5,000 people. And a new scam, described below, may help what is predicted to be “the next major driver of the Israeli economy.”
A former IRS expert on international crime notes that “fraudulent industries are often major economic drivers, and that can translate into political clout.”
Some Israeli journalists have been working to expose the situation in Israeli newspapers, publishing exposés like “As Israel turns blind eye to vast binary options fraud, French investigators step in” and “Are French Jewish criminals using Israel as a get-out-of-jail card?” (Short answer: yes.)
Victimizing French business owners & churches
The victims of the recent scam against French citizens included churches and the owners of small businesses – delicatessens, car repair shops, hair salons, plumbers, etc. Some lost their life savings and describe being threatened and intimidated by the scammers.
The masterminds of the scam reportedly were Antoine Ilan Frau (aka Ilan Frau) and Michael Nedjar, both of whom resided in Israel at the time. French police arrested the two at the Paris airport in 2016 as they were about to return to Israel. While they and 25 others were subsequently found guilty in a French court, other alleged co-conspirators have not yet been arrested and are believed to be in Israel.
Weeks ago NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was the first to reveal that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to target murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, accusing a Tel Aviv-based compmany called NSO Group of “selling a digital burglary tool,” adding it “is not just being used for catching criminals and stopping terrorist attacks, not just for saving lives, but for making money… such a level of recklessness… actually starts costing lives.”
This has now been confirmed in detail by a new bombshell investigative report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which outlines how NSO Group representatives met with Saudi intelligence officials in Vienna in 2017 in order to demonstrate the powerful and easy hacking capability of its advanced Pagasus 3 system, which using a mere SIM card number can turn a person’s phone into an all-purpose spying device sweeping up the user’s voice conversations, camera, messages, and social media usage.
Among the first requests the Saudi delegation made of NSO while negotiating a $55 million deal to procure the technology was that the company help Riyadh uncover the true identities behind dissident Saudi Twitter accounts. The June 2017 deal for the hacking tool came just months before crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s infamous purge which would see multiple dozens of princes and top officials rounded up and imprisoned in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel the following November, which also involved the days-long detention of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
These latest revelations originated in a complaint to Israeli police now under investigation involving at least one company-linked whistleblower who thinks the Saudis used NSO’s hacking tool to track down and ultimately murder dissidents.
Haaretz confirmed the secret deal with Saudi intelligence “based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents”. This comes at a sensitive moment when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become increasingly vocal over his desire to deepen ties with Gulf states, especially by supplying advanced Israeli technology.
One among a series of meetings documented included a who’s who of top Saudi intelligence officials.
Editor’s note: This report comes from DEBKA which is a publication from the Israeli militant right-wing. It is also an sometimes accused of being an outlet for the Israeli intelligence. As such some of its reports may not reflect reality, or even what DEBKA editors believe is, or may be, reality–but merely what information the Israeli uber-hawks want out there. Nonetheless, the theory presented is an interesting one, and not entirely unplausible. Russia has vowed to help defend Syrian airspace from Israeli air power, but Israeli jets can still missiles into Syria from Lebanon (and indeed from Israel itself). Thus extending the guarantee to Lebanon — albeit politically costly and entangling for Russia — would make basic military sense.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has asked Moscow to bring Lebanese air space under the protection of the Russian air defense system being deployed in Syria, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal. President Vladimir Putin has not yet replied to the request which Aoun posted through back channels. But neither has he so far turned him down. For now, it is under discussion at the highest levels of the Russian defense ministry, which tend to recommend approval.
According to our sources, the framing of Beirut’s request went through several drafts with the help of President Aoun’s friend and ally, Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, until he approved it – meaning, until Tehran approved it. If Putin decides to grant the Lebanese request for Russian air defense cover, Israel would face a further Russian restraint on its air force’s operations in the eastern Mediterranean, over and above the powerful Russian air defense system which is in the last stages of deployment in Syria. This system is composed of S-300, S-400 and Pantsir-S1E air defense missiles, boosted by layers of medium- and short-range anti-air batteries and an advanced electronic warfare network. This sophisticated edifice was designed by Moscow to provide the ultimate answer to any aerial threats the US and Israeli warplanes were capable of posing from Syria’s skies.
Putin’s accession to the Lebanese request would provide Hizballah, Iran’s proxy, for the first time with an umbrella by a world power against a potential Israeli air attack.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s assurance to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on Sunday,
Three Israeli Critics Elected to Congress Won’t Change a Thing
Bipartisan congressional support for Israel is rock solid. It’s been this way for decades without any prospect for weakening the longstanding special relationship.
Rarely is anyone critical of Israel elected to either house, its lobby going all-out to defeat them in future elections when happens.
According to the Center for Responsible Politics, “(f)ew lobbies dedicated to international issues are so active and well-financed as the Israel lobby,” adding:
“The question of Israel’s future has the right mix to attract monied interests. It’s a highly fractious issue with high stakes, and it plays a big role in domestic politics.”
Super-PAC mega-donor, close Netanyahu ally, billionaire Sheldon Adelson alone contributed $92.8 million to GOP super-PACs earlier, millions of dollars more annually.
The power of money keeps Congress strongly pro-Israel, large sums earmarked for Israeli loyalists and candidates opposing anyone not solidly for the Jewish state.
Political action committees nationwide supply large amounts of pro-Israeli funding – AIPAC the most prominent member of the powerful Israeli lobby community of Zionist organizations.
Cheers about three newly elected Dem women/Israeli critics are way overblown. Their presence against virtually all other House and Senate members/Israeli supporters won’t make a dime’s worth of difference in US policy toward the Jewish state.
They also have yet to establish a voting record as House members – all that counts. Campaign rhetoric is meaningless. Most often, promises made are breached, rare profiles in courage the exceptions.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress – Omar a Somali, Tlaib a Palestinian America, for both women a historic first, true as well for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
She’s the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, scoring a stunning triumph over longtime undemocratic Dem/Wall Street favorite incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s primary election, then triumphing last Tuesday.
The notion that these women and several other candidates defeating machine favorites represents a progressive wave in Washington is nonsensical.
The electoral result changed nothing. Dirty business as usual won like every time before.
On 5 November 2018, the Israeli Minister for Transport and Intelligence, Israel Katz, presented his plan for a railway linking the Mediterranean to the Gulf. The plan is to construct a rail route that would pass through Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman.
Israel Katz has already talked about this project in April 2017. But this time he presented it to the World Congress of the International Union of Transport by Road (IRU) which took place at Oman. Now, this organization is not a UN specialized agency for railways but a syndicate of road transporters (lorries and buses), that have to negotiate the conditions for cross border traffic.
There was really no reason to make this announcement at this time. The motive for the announcement was linked to the recent Israeli diplomatic deployment in the Gulf (the Prime Minister’s trip to Oman, the judo players’ participation in the World Championship held in the Emirates, the Minister of Sports and Culture’s visit to the Mosque of Sheikh Zayed of the Emirates).
The “Railway of Peace”, as Israel has called it, should leave from the Israeli Port of Haïfa (licensed to the Shanghai International Port Group). It is supposed to cross Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince, “MBS”, secretly visited Israel a year ago. It should end in Oman, whose Sultan Qabous, acutely inflicted by Alzheimer’s, pretended to receive Benjamin Netanyahu.
The US envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, tweeted: “these efforts support ours”, thereby suggesting that this railway plan could be linked to the “Deal of the Century” announced by US President Trump.
Israel’s Education Minister Wants “Shoot to Kill” Policy Against Palestinian Children
October 9, 2018 at 11:02 am
Written by Middle East Monitor
(MEMO) — Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett said yesterday that he would impose a “shoot to kill” policy in Gaza, including against Palestinian children.
Bennett made the comment on Israel’s Army Radio after he was asked what he would do differently if he were the defence minister. Bennett replied:
“Everything. I would not allow terrorists to cross the border from Gaza every day… and if they do, we should shoot to kill. Terrorists from Gaza should not enter Israel… Just as in Lebanon, Syria or anywhere else we should shoot to kill.”
Bennett was then asked if he would also instruct the Israeli army to adopt a shoot to kill policy against Palestinian children, to which he replied: “They are not children — they are terrorists. We are fooling ourselves,” the Times of Israel reported.
His approach would not be limited to Palestinians trying to break Israel’s 11-year siege of the Strip, but also to those who launch so-called incendiary balloons and kites from the enclave. Bennett emphasised:
“Tactically, we need to shoot those who send arson balloons from Gaza. We did not deal with the problem when it was small […] We will do what we should have done half a year ago, only with interest.”
Bennett’s comments come against the backdrop of an ongoing feud with Israel’s Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Last week Bennett, who is also the leader of the religious-Zionist Jewish Home party, accused Lieberman of “weakness” for engaging in ceasefire talks in Gaza. Bennett claimed that “the terror is continuing at the expense of the security of [Israeli] residents thanks to Lieberman’s policy of restraint and weakness”. He continued: “This is how a policy of failure looks […] The current situation is a direct result of Lieberman’s policy toward Gaza.”
This is not the first time Bennett has made extreme comments and advocated for violence against Palestinian children. In July, he said that Israeli warplanes should drop bombs over the heads of Palestinian children flying kites into Israel. » Lees verder
After leaving the military, some Israelis are selling intelligence technology globally. (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)
Israeli cybersecurity companies sold lucrative surveillance systems to countries that then committed human rights violations, according to a report by Haaretz published Friday. The programs were used to prosecute LGBT citizens, detain human rights activists and discriminate against Muslims, according to 100 sources in 15 countries.
Intelligence experts who previously served in the Israeli Defense Force’s Unit 8200 went on to take new products to market, according to the report. A sprawling, lucrative, largely unregulated industry, based in the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Herzliya Pituah, sells to foreign governments that then use the products to spy on their citizens’ electronic communications.
One source who worked for the company Verint, which makes a range of surveillance products, in Latin America: “There was one time that I was teaching people how to collect information from the social networks. I’m working with the trainees and explaining things to them, when suddenly they ask me to run a check on [political] demonstrators. Just like that, in the middle of the training session.”
Israeli equipment has been used to monitor dissidents in South Sudan, Nigeria and Colombia. It was also used to monitor social networks in Angola and Malaysia.
According to an anonymous source who works in the Israeli cybersecurity field:
Even when limitations are placed over the capabilities of the computer programs, the companies don’t know who they will be used against. Everyone in this field knows that we are manufacturing systems that invade people’s lives and violate their most basic rights. It’s a weapon— like selling a pistol. The thing is that in this industry, people think about the technological challenges, not about the implications. I want to believe that the Defense Ministry supervises exports in the right way.
“I can’t constrict my client’s capabilities,” another Israeli cybersecurity expert said. “You can’t sell someone a Mercedes and tell him not to drive faster than 100 kilometers an hour. The truth is that the Israeli companies don’t know what use will be made of the systems they sell.”
Naomi LaChance has written for local newspapers such as the Poughkeepsie Journal and the Berkshire Eagle as well as national outlets including NPR,
SKRIPAL CASE: ISRAELI EXPERT ON THE WORK OF THE SPECIAL AGENTS
Date of publication: 28 09 2018, 12:05
An Israeli expert on international terrorism, writer Alexander Brass, shared his view on the case of the Skripals poisoning in Salisbury. Brass draws parallels between the work of the special services of Israel and Russia – he believes that if to compare the British version with the practice of the special agents, then the absurdity becomes obvious.
“Alexander, so what, in your opinion, happened in Salisbury?”
-There was a rough provocation by the British special services. In my opinion, this is obvious.
– Why do you think so?
“There’s a lot of stupidity on stupidity.” The story with Petrov and Boshirov does not hold up any professional peer review. According to the Brits, the Skripals were poisoned by GRU agents (this is what the department is called, although this is now the Main Directorate of the RF General Staff).
I want to explain how the special services work. If you need someone to eliminate, then this is a very serious operation, which is being prepared for a long time. A very significant material and human resource is allocated. We are talking about dozens of employees. On the territory of this state, an “advanced command post” is being created.
In the operation, a technical support group, a logistic group, a cover group, an external surveillance group and a group of performers are involved.
The performers themselves appear at the very last moment. They do not go anywhere, lighting up on cameras, do not use public transport, but move on rented cars, which they do not rent themselves. And the more they will not stop in hotels, but will live on safe houses provided by the logistics group.
Such groups do not come under the passport of their country, do not go to the embassy for obtaining a visa, leaving fingerprints. This is complete nonsense. Professionals do not work that way.
If the GRU acted, both the killers and the other participants in the operation would come to the UK on the passports of other countries that have visa-free relations with it. Here, two alleged GRU officers go to the embassy, » Lees verder
The author is the founder and editor of The Unz Review, a leading conservative American political website. He is also a silicon valley entrepreneur, and a one-time candidate for the governor of California. He was once described as ‘the smartest guy in his class’ at Harvard (Class of 2004). His biography on Wikipedia is interesting.
He is Jewish, raised in a Yiddish speaking household, and writes frequently on the Jewish Question.
Back in 1999 I was invited to join Steve Sailer’s HBD email group, where I encountered all sorts of interesting people. The participants were mostly intellectuals or journalists having sharply heterodox views about racial differences, especially those involving IQ and crime, and this was reflected in the somewhat euphemistic title, which stood for “Human Bio-Diversity.” A reasonable sense of the controversial roster is that less than a year earlier a founding member named Glayde Whitney had contributed the Foreword to David Duke’s 700 page opus My Awakening.
Although the discussions were intended to focus on scientific matters, it sometimes seemed that half the heated arguments revolved around immigration, and on that highly contentious topic, I was invariably outnumbered around 99-to-1, with even the handful of self-proclaimed liberals regularly ranging themselves against me. Despite such apparently long odds, I regarded myself as always victorious in all those endless debates, though I would have to admit that 99% of the audience probably would have disagreed with my verdict.
Particularly contentious was the question of Hispanic immigrant crime rates, which I claimed were roughly the same as those of whites, a position that virtually all those professors and authors denounced as utter lunacy. That particular dispute went on for so many years that eventually I no longer even bothered to argue the case, but just every now and then provided some satirical jibes on the topic.
As it happens, the late J. Philippe Rushton, longtime professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, was a very occasional participant, and one of my jokes happened to catch his eye. Being a bit on the humorless side, he failed to comprehend that my remarks were actually tongue-in-cheek, and after three or four explanatory exchanges,