U.S. Universities Bow to Pressure of Israel Lobby – Global Research


29-10-19 01:33:00,

The Israel lobby in the United States and its counterparts in Europe have been paying particular attention to curtailing the activities of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). This is because BDS, which is non-violent and based on established human rights principles, is extremely appealing to college students, who will be tomorrow’s leaders. Israel, which promotes its own largely fictional narrative about itself, is reluctant to allow any competing stories about its foundation and current activities, so it has worked hard to exclude any and all criticism of its practices on college campuses and even among students in public high schools.

Unfortunately, many colleges and universities are all too ready to compromise their principles, such as they are, whenever a representative of Israel or of Jewish groups comes calling. A popular line that has proven to be particularly effective is that Jews on campus feel threatened whenever anyone advocates for the Palestinians or Iranians, intended to convey that their civil rights are being violated.

Even if that type of allegation is actually relevant to whether or not one allows free speech and association, one wonders how violated the Palestinians and Iranians must feel when confronted by the endless stream of hostility emanating from the U.S. media and Hollywood as well as from select politicians representing both parties and the White House.

In the most recent manifestation of suppression of views critical of Israel, the federal government’s Department of Education has ordered Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to reorganize the Consortium for Middle East Studies program run jointly by the two colleges based on their failure to include enough “positive” content relating to Christianity and Judaism. The demand came with a threat to suspend federal funding of Title VI Higher Education Act international studies and foreign language grants to the two schools if the curriculum is not changed.

Of course, the demands have nothing to do with Christian groups demanding inclusion and everything to do with organized Jewish pressure to present Israel in a positive light while also casting aspersions on the Jewish state’s perceived enemies in the region and also on university campuses. Anyone who has even cursory knowledge about the Middle East knows that Christians and Jews constitute only a tiny minority in the region,

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US pressure & EU inaction left Iran with ‘very few options’ except to retaliate


20-07-19 08:08:00,

The seizure of British-owned oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz is the signal that Iran’s patience has run out, due to European inaction for over a year after the US pullout from the nuclear deal, analysts told RT.

Prior to May, Iran exercised extreme restraint despite US sanctions and its frustration with Europe’s failure to offset the losses they caused, Hamed Mousavi, political science professor at the University of Tehran, said.

Eventually, Iran’s patience ran out, but not before the US “made sure that Iran has very few options remaining.”

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“For a year Tehran was not doing anything and was abiding by the nuclear deal to the letter in the hopes that the Europeans would come up with a form of a mechanism… that would allow Iran to circumvent the US sanctions,” Mousavi said.

By refusing to hold back any longer, Iran wants to send a clear signal to the UK, “but especially to the Americans,” that Tehran has “the means and the power to respond to pressure and to aggression.” Iran’s actions are also a response to the US military build-up at its Middle East doorstep, Mousavi said.

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Reports of Iran seizing 2nd UK oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian journalist and Middle East expert Abbas Aslani agreed that the US withdrawal was what triggered the crisis along with the “inaction of the Europeans.”

The US might flex its military muscles in the Persian Gulf, but it’s likely not looking forward to entangling itself in a major war with Iran, especially with the US presidential election inching closer. In part, it is because Iran has convinced the US that it would never be a short, victorious war.

“What [US President Donald Trump] might be after is a short and quick attack against the country, but Iran has made sure through the channels it has that no quick war will happen if the Americans attack the country.”

Instead, the US would be looking at a long campaign that could see Iran attacking its military bases and interests in the region,

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More than 40 US Organizations Pressure US Congress: End Trump’s Crusade for War in Venezuela – Global Research


04-04-19 03:46:00,

More than 40 organizations from around the United States are demanding their Congress put an end to U.S. intervention in Venezuela saying that, in particular, the illegal and “extensive economic sanctions, imposed unilaterally by the Trump government since August 2017, have caused great hardship and loss of life” in the South American country.

The organizations, including Codepink,  and dozens of other civil and religious society organizations, sent a letter to Congress Monday asking for them to encourage peaceful dialogue within Venezuela and to denounce the U.S. Republican administration’s dangerous economic sanctions and threats of military action in Venezuela.

“These threats are absolutely unacceptable, particularly towards a country that does not represent a threat to the United States,” said the authors of the letter that include Demand Progress, Peace Action, Sisters of Mercy Justice Team, American Friends Service Committee, Vote Vets, Common Defense, Alliance Americas, and CASA of Maryland, among others.

President Trump has gone so far as to say that Venezuela is the “country with which we should go to war, they have all that oil and they are right in our backyard.”

The letter was delivered to all Congressional elected officials Tuesday morning.

“The pressure from these grassroots organizations could not come at a more critical time for Venezuela,” said Alex Main, Director of International Policy for  Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

Main pointed out:

“The latest round of sanctions launched in January is worsening the current crisis and generating more suffering as it slows down imports, including food and medicines, and blocks the roads allowing economic recovery.”

So far, U.S. President Donald Trump and his hawkish advisors, including John Bolton and Elliot Abrams who have led the U.S. into drawn out and illegal wars under previous presidencies, have enacted over 20 sanctions against the Venezuelan government and individuals in the country in order to bring down the democratically-elected Nicolas Maduro presidency.

Hassan El-Tayyab, Co-Director of Just Foreign Policy, which organized the petition told CEPR:

“There is really no military solution to the crisis in Venezuela and more than 40 groups believe that our best chance to achieve peace is through dialogue, the lifting of sanctions and the total elimination of unauthorized war.”

Just Foreign Policy helped to pass legislation in December to end the U.S.’s congressionally unauthorized involvement in the war on impoverished Yemen.

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France put the pressure on Egypt keep its distance from Syria


07-02-19 02:53:00,

The daily newspaper, Al Hayat, has cited the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shukri as saying that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, probably put pressure on his Egyptian partner, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.

It is likely that, due to this pressure, Egypt backed away from letting Syria back into the Arab League.

Anoosha Boralessa

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How Companies Pressure Workers to Vote for Corporate Interests Over Their Own


07-11-18 09:23:00,

Voters are largely free to ignore the wave of television and direct mail ads aimed in their direction every election cycle. But what if the person trying to influence your vote is your boss?

Business groups are increasingly using the workplace as a staging ground to shape the outcomes of elections.

Last month, supervisors at the Phoenix corporate headquarters of the truck rental business U-Haul were told to bring their respective teams to an internal company town hall to hear from Steve Ferrara, the Republican candidate for Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, who ended up posting a picture of his talk with the workers on a campaign Facebook page. An umbrella group of mining companies, according to its own social media postings, has pushed workers to embrace candidates endorsed by company lobbyists — a list that is overwhelmingly Republican.

It’s not a new dynamic. Every year, companies are taking more and more liberties in attempting to influence workers’ political behavior.

“It used to be that voting was more private. Now, the environment is much more fraught with debate and tension and conflict.”

“It used to be that voting was more private,” said Paula Brantner, the executive director of Workplace Fairness, a nonprofit employee rights group. Brantner said that increased political polarization intensified employer messages to workers: “Now, the environment is much more fraught with debate and tension and conflict.”

Those efforts by bosses to push employees to certain choices at the ballot box are not just aimed at pushing particular candidates: Businesses are taking brazen steps to coerce workers into taking positions on ballot measures that align with the companies’ corporate interests. The Intercept collected accounts from both publicly available information and employees of several companies.

This year, employees of Western National Group, a privately held apartment building developer, received a letter — which was obtained by The Intercept — from chief executive Michael Hayde to “please join” him in opposing Proposition 10, a California ballot question to allow the expansion of rent control. And nurses at a health care provider, who asked not to be named, told The Intercept that they were bombarded with messages through their employee portal about the importance of voting against Proposition 8 — a California measure that would limit profits at dialysis treatment centers.

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The US Pseudo Pressure Game with Saudia | New Eastern Outlook


04-11-18 09:43:00,


The US call for immediate commencement of talks on Yemen with the view to bringing the war to an end is, more than anything else, a pseudo game of pressure that it is playing with Saudi Arabia. In this game, Saudia isn’t a US rival; it is its partner. For one thing, the US president Trump has already made it clear that they wouldn’t stop their defence deals, worth billions of dollars, with Saudi Arabia. US allies, such as the UK, are also following suit. For another, while the US has remained conspicuously silent for years over the atrocities the Saudi-led coalition has been committing in Yemen, the reason why its top officials have only now started to talk about stopping the war in Yemen is the up-coming mid-term elections in the US and the anti-Saudi mood prevailing among the general masses due to the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. As such, by portraying itself as ‘advocates of peace’ rather partners in crime with Saudia, the Trump administration is playing with its voters, and is highly unlikely to take any meaningful action against the House of Saud. It wouldn’t be wrong to say the possibility of such an action is zero.

As such, while James Mattis has said that the killing of Khashoggi was ‘threatening regional stability’, the top US general, CENTCOM Commander Joseph Votel confirmed in his latest interview that the US-Saudi relations are absolutely unchanged and that Saudi Arabia continues to be the most important military ally in the Middle Eastern region. To quote Votel, “there’s no change with any military relationship we have with Saudi Arabia. From the military perspective, I characterize the relationship as strong, deep, and I think a beneficial one for us. They have been an extraordinarily important security partner in the region.”

Even secretary Mattis, who initiated the call for bringing the war in Yemen to an abrupt end, also said at the Manama Dialogue, an annual gathering of Persian Gulf country security leaders, in the presence of the US’ gulf allies including Saudia that the US support for Saudi Arabia would continue unabated. “We do not accept that there is any reason for a slow-down in the effort to bring this to a negotiated end,” he added a day after his meeting with Saudi foreign minister Adel Jubeir.

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