ISRAEL | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ISRAEL

Jan 28 10:05

Benny Gantz and Israel’s drive to become a modern-day Sparta

With April’s elections looming, Benjamin Netanyahu has good reason to fear Benny Gantz, his former army chief. Gantz has launched a new party, named Israeli Resilience, just as the net of corruption indictments is closing around the prime minister.

Already, at this early stage of campaigning, some 31 per cent of the Israeli public prefer Gantz to head the next government over Netanyahu, who is only months away from becoming the longest-serving leader in Israel’s history.

Gantz is being feted as the new hope, a chance to change direction after a series of governments under Netanyahu’s leadership have over the past decade shifted Israel ever further to the right.

Like Israel’s former politician generals, from Yitzhak Rabin to Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon, Gantz is being portrayed – and portraying himself – as a battle-hardened warrior, able to make peace from a position of strength.

Jan 28 09:59

UK band boycotts Eurovision to be held in Israel

An upcoming British band has refused to enter the Eurovision Song Contest due to it being hosted in Israel this year.

Confirming their decision on Twitter, the three-girl band The Tuts, prompted a backlash from supporters of Israel.

Jan 28 09:59

Netanyahu ‘recognises’ Venezuela opposition leader as ‘president’

The Israeli government announced its recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela on Sunday, Arab48 has reported. This is apparently following pressure by the United States for the Zionist state to speed up its declaration of support for the coup d’état aimed at toppling elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of Latin America and Europe in recognising the new leadership in Venezuela,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video posted on his official website.

“We will be happy to renew relations with Israel, and we expect to work in partnership with the Israeli government,” an anonymous opposition official from Venezuela responded. “We will not act like [late Venezuelan President] Hugo Chavez, who has cursed Israel and described Israeli officials as murderers. On the contrary, we will embrace Israel.”

Jan 28 09:57

Israel approves exports of cannabis for medical use

The Israeli cabinet yesterday approved a law that allows the export of cannabis for medical use, Israeli media reported.

The Knesset had approved the law in December, according to the Israeli news reports, and exports may begin in nine months.

“I am glad this is finally happening,” Ynet News reported Israel Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked saying. “It opens a very big market in Israel.”

“The technology is here in Israel and until now we simply had to give the technology to other countries. Therefore, I am glad we can reap the profits here in Israel,” she said.

Jan 28 09:57

Israel’s reliance on forgery and violence is rooted in its history

A recent investigation by a group of experts showed conclusive evidence that Israel doctored one of its propaganda videos from Gaza. Two Palestinian teenagers were minding their own business in July 2018, taking a selfie on a roof in Gaza City, when they were bombed to death by Israel.

Israel’s online propaganda accounts then promoted a video that it is now clear was actively fabricated and doctored. This was by no means the first time Israel has fabricated “evidence” of its supposed benevolence. In many ways, the state of Israel itself is founded on fabrication.

The first fabrication was the idea that Palestine was empty of any population, a “desert” which should be handed over to the Zionist movement for colonisation. The slogan – first adopted by Christian Zionists and later by Jewish Zionists – was “a land without a people, for a people without a land,” meaning Palestine is empty so should be handed over to the Jews, who had no land of their own anyway.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Jan 28 09:55

Israeli leaders appeal to voters with pride in their crimes against Palestinians

Earlier this week, the former chief of staff of the Israeli Army, General Benny Gantz, started his election campaign by taking pride in the destruction of the Gaza Strip and his troops’ killing of hundreds of Palestinians. He published a series of short videos, one of which included horrific scenes of the massive destruction inflicted in 2014 on the coastal enclave, which has been under a strict Israeli-led siege for over 12 years. Gantz is proud that he could send Gaza “back to the Stone Age” and boasted that he destroyed 6,231 targets and killed 1,364 “terrorists” in exchange for three and a half years of quiet. He concluded with the slogan “Only the Strong Win”.

Jan 28 09:54

US Pullout From Syria at Risk as Israel Demands US Keep a Base

President Trump announced the withdrawal of US forces from Syria in mid-December, and here we are in late January still wondering about the pace of the process. Whether a full pullout will even happen is now also in doubt.

Israel was seen as dubious about the US pullout from the start, but didn’t publicly denounce it. Now, however, reports are that Israel is demanding that the US keep at least one base in Syria, the al-Tanf base, for Israel’s sake.

This seems to be at least under consideration, with some officials suggesting the US might keep al-Tanf to “challenge Iran,” which is of course exactly what Israel is hoping for. This might also allow the administration to skirt legal concerts about changing the Syrian War from fighting ISIS to fighting Iran, as it’s less likely to face challenge in Congress if done at Israel’s behest.

Jan 28 09:51

Israeli ex-general Benny Gantz ‘uses stolen Palestinian film’ for campaign video boasting of destruction in Gaza 

A former Israeli general running for prime minister allegedly used stolen Palestinian footage for a series of campaign ads in which he boasted of sending parts of Gaza “back to the Stone Age” during the 2014 war.

Benny Gantz was the head of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) during the 2014 conflict but has now entered politics and is running against Benjamin Netanyahu in April's elections.

The 59-year-old has said little about his political positions so far but released a series of videos burnishing his military credentials.

One boasts of killing 1,364 Palestinian terrorists during the war, while another says that under Mr Gantz’s command “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age.” The videos make no mention of the 1,462 civilians killed during the conflict, according to a UN count.

Jan 28 09:51

IRmep Lawsuit: US nuclear “policy substitution” for Israel undermines NPT, AECA and bilks US taxpayers

On January 17, IRmep filed a 59-page brief (PDF HTML) in a lawsuit demanding release of a series of secret presidential letters promising not to force Israel to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Jan 28 09:08

Palestinian killed during attack by West Bank settlers

A Palestinian father of four was fatally shot on Saturday as Israeli settlers, protected by soldiers, stormed the village of al-Mughayyir, near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Hamdi Talib Saadeh Naasan, 38, a former prisoner, was taken to hospital in critical condition where he died of his injuries.

The settlers entered the village Saturday afternoon “and rioted on the streets while opening fire at several houses,” according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

Palestinians gathered to resist the settler and army incursion with stones and empty bottles.

In response, “the settlers immediately and randomly fired a barrage of bullets,” wounding Naasan “with a bullet that entered his lower back, hit the lungs and then exited from the chest,” PCHR stated.

“Following that, the Israeli forces moved into the village to provide protection for settlers and opened fire at the Palestinian protesters,” PCHR added.

Jan 28 09:04

International spies target watchdog that revealed Israel software was used to hack associates of Jamal Khashoggi

The researchers who reported that Israeli software was used to spy on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle before his gruesome death are being targeted in turn by international undercover operatives, The Associated Press has found.

Twice in the past two months, men masquerading as socially conscious investors have lured members of the Citizen Lab internet watchdog group to meetings at luxury hotels to quiz them for hours about their work exposing Israeli surveillance and the details of their personal lives. In both cases, the researchers believe they were secretly recorded.

Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert described the stunts as “a new low.”

Jan 28 04:53

A Tale of Two Walls

Many of the Democrats who are currently criticizing the southern border wall on moral grounds have failed to apply the same standard to another infamous wall, that which is being built by Israel ... The Israeli wall is at many points larger and more intimidating than that planned by Trump, and it is also designed to physically and economically devastate the Palestinian population adjacent to it ... So, for many in Washington a legal and relatively apolitical wall by the United States to protect its border is a horrible prospect while the Israeli version built on someone else's land with the intention to damage the local Arab population as much as possible is perfectly fine. The reality is that America's Establishment, which is dominated by veneration of Israel for a number of reasons, is completely hypocritical

Jan 27 19:01

UNDERCOVER AGENTS TARGET CYBERSECURITY WATCHDOG CITIZEN LAB FOR EXPOSING DETAILS IN JAMAL KHASHOGGI’S CASE

The researchers who reported that Israeli software was used to spy on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle before his gruesome death are being targeted in turn by international undercover operatives, The Associated Press has found.

Jan 27 09:08

GOTTA LOVE IT WHEN ZION LOSES OUT BIG

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has now gone full circle: It announced that it has voted to give its human rights award to Angela Davis after all!

The Institute originally decided to give the scholar and activist the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award last December. Then on January 4, reportedly under pressure from Jewish groups because of Davis’s support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel, the Institute voted to rescind the award and cancel the gala at which she was to be honored. It had no idea what was coming. The institute suffered a nationwide onslaught of criticism for its cowardice, as well as outrage from the Birmingham city council and school board and mayor. Three board members of the BCRI resigned, and the institute apologized for “missteps” on January 14. Meanwhile, plans were announced for Davis to receive an honor from her native city on the same day as the canceled BCRI gala.

Jan 27 09:07

Israel Recognises Guaido as Venezuela's President - Netanyahu

On Saturday, Venezuelan military attache in Washington Col. Jose Luis Silva called on the international community to recognise Juan Guaido, who declared himself the interim president of Venezuela, as the country's new head of state.

Israel recognises the head of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the new leader of the Latin American country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday in a video statement.

"Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America and countries in Europe in recognising the new leadership in Venezuela," Netanyahu said in a statement published on his Facebook page.

Jan 27 05:13

ADL to the Woodshed

Jan 26 20:02

US calls on countries to 'pick a side' on Venezuela

Russia accuses US of orchestrating a 'coup' attempt, as US secretary of state urges support for opposition leader.

Pompeo called for free and fair elections as soon as possible in a speech at the UNSC [Johannes Eisele/AFP]
Pompeo called for free and fair elections as soon as possible in a speech at the UNSC [Johannes Eisele/AFP]
The US secretary of state has called on countries to "pick a side" on Venezuela, urging them to back opposition leader Juan Guaido and calling for free and fair elections as soon as possible in a speech at the UN Security Council.

"Now, it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with [Nicolas] Maduro and his mayhem," Mike Pompeo told the 15-member UNSC on Saturday.
***
Russia unsuccessfully tried to stop the meeting requested by the United States. Moscow has accused Washington of plotting a coup attempt, placing Venezuela at the heart of a growing geopolitical duel.

"Venezuela does not represent a threat to peace and security," Russia's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council.

"If anything does represent a threat to peace, it is the shameless and aggressive action of the United States and their allies aimed at the ouster of the legitimately elected president of Venezuela," he said.

Russia, China block US push for UN to back Guaido
Russia, China, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea blocked a US push for a UN Security Council statement expressing full support for Venezuela's National Assembly as the country's "only democratically elected institution".

>>>

Jan 26 14:02

How Zionist Israel Masterminded the Syrian Conflict -video

The dividing of Syria to create a Kurdish state is part of a long-term Zionist plan by David Ben Gurion and other Zionists to carve up the Middle East to reduce the power of the Arab world

Jan 26 11:10

1 Palestinian killed, 22 injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza: medics

One Palestinian demonstrator was killed and at least 22 others injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed on the border area between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, medics said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza's health ministry spokesman, told reporters that Eihab Aabed, 25, was shot dead in his chest by Israeli gunfire in the east of Rafah town in southern Gaza.

Among the 22 injured is a local photojournalist and a paramedic, he said, adding that dozens suffered suffocation after inhaling the Israeli tear gas.

Jan 26 11:09

Israeli forces injure 150 prisoners in raid at Ofer Military Prison in Ramallah

Early on the morning of January 22nd some 150 Palestinian prisoners at Israel’s Ofer Military Prison in Ramallah were injured by a raid carried out by the Metzada unit, a subset of the Israeli military. Of the approximately 150 prisoners reportedly injured, 40 of them suffered head injuries and an additional six were treated for broken bones during a raid which saw the use of dogs, tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets, and sound bombs against prisoners.

Jan 26 11:08

Israeli Campaign Ad Stars Former Soldier Lauded for Executing Palestinian Suspect

ELOR AZARIA, a former Israeli Army medic who became a hero to that nation’s far right by publicly executing a wounded Palestinian suspect in the occupied West Bank in 2016, is the star of a new political advertising campaign for a deputy minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

The former soldier, who was convicted of manslaughter based on video evidence of the crime, served just nine months in jail before being released last summer. In a poster and video message published on Facebook this week by the deputy environment minister, Yaron Mazuz, Azaria is seen grinning and shaking the politician’s hand.

Jan 26 11:07

Israeli Criminality, Hubris in Syria Invites Catastrophe

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”.

Jan 26 10:35

Florida governor punishes Airbnb for “discrimination” against Israeli settlers

Florida’s governor has directed that his state should cease doing business with Airbnb after the firm announced it would stop listing accommodations in Israel’s illegal settlements.

Ron DeSantis alleges that the company has engaged in “commercial discrimination” against Israel and is in violation of Florida’s laws that punish supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This needs to go to the Supreme Court.

Jan 26 10:33

Israel kills child in West Bank, protester in Gaza

Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian child in the West Bank as well as a man during Great March of Return protests in Gaza on Friday.

The deaths bring to four the number of Palestinians who died by Israeli military fire during the week after soldiers shot and killed a man in the West Bank on Monday and fired an artillery shell at a Hamas observation post in Gaza on Tuesday, killing a fighter.

Ayman Ahmad Hamid, 16, died on Friday after being shot by Israeli soldiers along Route 60, a highway used by settlers, near Silwad village in the central West Bank.

The Israeli military claimed that it fired at three persons suspected of throwing stones at vehicles traveling along the highway. A second Palestinian was injured in his hand during the incident and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Jan 26 09:18

IRAN ANNOUNCES OIL DISCOVERY IN UNTAPPED REGION

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has told the media that the national oil company NIOC struck light sweet oil in a hitherto untapped oil region.
“This is the first time we’ve reached oil in the Abadan region,” Zanganeh said, adding that the grade was very light and sweet, but giving no details regarding the amount of reserves contained in the reservoir.

Iran has continued to pursue new oil production opportunities despite US sanctions that have reduced its crude oil exports significantly although probably not as significantly, to date, as planned. As of December, Iran was shipping some 1.3 million bpd abroad, the International Energy Agency said in its latest Oil Market Report.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like ,yet AGAIN, President Trump's sanctions on Iran are crumbling catastrophically, very much like the thoroughly lousy asphalt roads (obviously awarded to the lowest bidders here on Oahu) to which its drivers are subjected daily).

Not only that, but in his "mega-sanction-blitz", he has succeeded, rather splendidly, to drive China, Iran, and Russia closer together economically and politically; and if that was NOT his design intent, he had better wash the chalk off the blackboard, and start from scratch, and quickly.

Jan 26 09:02

QATAR BEGINS DISTRIBUTING CASH TO GAZA RESIDENTS

Thousands of impoverished Gazans received $100 payments from Qatar on Saturday, the AFP news agency reported, after the Gulf state brought in over nine million dollars in aid funds for the Palestinian territory.

Hundreds of people queued at post offices in the Gaza Strip to each collect a $100 bill.

Palestinian media earlier quoted the Qatari ambassador to Gaza as saying the money would go to Gaza's poor.

"The Qatari grant for needy families will enter Gaza Saturday and be distributed ... to 94,000 families," Mohammed al-Emadi was quoted as saying.

Half the funds would be distributed Saturday and the rest Sunday, he said, with each family receiving $100.

Emadi was not immediately available to confirm the arrangement.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that families in Gaza would receive $400 in total, paid in four monthly instalments.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Gazan Palestinians, are some of the poorest of the poor in this region of the Middle East. I seriously hope that most of the money will be distributed as intended, if Tel Aviv is not, at the end of the day, demanding some other perk with which to scotch the deal.

Jan 26 08:09

How Much Is Ireland Willing to Pay to Boycott Israel?

Bless the Irish.

Jan 25 13:38

IRELAND PASSES BDS BILL BANNING ISRAEL SETTLEMENT GOODS

Ireland has advanced a bill which will prevent the sale of goods from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The lower house of the Irish parliament – the Dail – yesterday voted in favour of a bill which will ban the purchase of all goods and services from Israel’s West Bank settlements, which are considered illegal under international law. The bill was previously passed through the parliament’s upper house – the Seanad – before proceeding to the lower house and receiving a 78-45 majority in favour, Al Jazeera explained.

The bill – officially known as the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill – still needs to pass several more stages before being signed into Irish law, but it is expected to progress given its broad base of support from Irish opposition parties.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wouldn't hold my breath that this will actually wind up as Irish law, but am hopeful it will.

When it comes to the issue of Money, it is a language common to all Israeli businesses; when this starts to hurt them, financially, perhaps they will bring some pressure to bear, that the IDF will start treating Palestinians as human beings, worthy of dignity and less draconian treatment than happens at present.

Jan 25 12:11

Israel deploys Iron Dome missile defence system near Tel Aviv

The Israeli army yesterday deployed the Iron Dome missile defence system in Tel Aviv amid growing tension on the northern border with Lebanon and Syria, local media reported.

The army also deployed the system in southern Israel in anticipation of any tension with the Gaza Strip.

Jan 25 11:34

Syria Ready to Strike Tel-Aviv, Determined to Liberate Golan

Yesterday, the Israeli occupation forces once again committed a series of aggression using missiles targeting the Syrian Arab Republic territories from above Lebanese territories – it was mentioned by my colleague, the representative of Lebanon in great detail. They attacked us from above the Lebanese territories, from the occupied Palestinian territories and from the See of Galilee in the occupied Syrian Golan. This was a gross violation of international law, of the UN Charter and of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement (between Israel and Syria).

Jan 25 11:23

Qalandiya: How Palestinians experience the largest Israeli checkpoint, in photographs

Ramallah, occupied West Bank — On a typical day at the largest Israeli checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, hundreds of mostly West Bank Palestinians line up and patiently stand in between metal bars, their hands gripped around their “hawiya”, or identity cards, waiting to cross the maze of concrete called Qalandiya.

Their voices are drowned out by the beeping of metal detectors and the rattling of steel as Palestinians push through turnstiles, one after the other. Orders are shouted by an Israeli soldier from a loudspeaker in Hebrew — a language most Palestinians in the West Bank do not understand.

Jan 25 11:22

Don’t use the murder of my family members to suppress criticism of Israel

What I observed at the vigil would be indicative of how the tragedy came to be framed on a much broader scale. In the same way that the profound horror of the Holocaust has been weaponized in the service of Jewish nationalism, the Pittsburgh massacre would soon be cynically exploited by those who have decided that Palestinian blood is cheap.

Jan 25 11:21

Trump’s biggest donors’ ‘mission in life is to protect… the state of Israel’

Miriam and Sheldon Adelson are Donald Trump’s largest supporters. Together they gave more than $177 million to Trump’s campaign in 2016 and Republican causes in 2016-2018. Dr. Adelson then was given the presidential medal of freedom last year, in recognition in part of her work on drug addiction.

The 73-year-old spelled out her worldview at the Israeli American Council conference last month, and stated that she and her husband alongside her share those views: Jews are unsafe in the west, Israel makes Jews everywhere safe and proud, so all the criticism of Israel is just masked anti-Semitism. Therefore, protecting Israel is their “mission in life,” Dr. Adelson said; and American Democrats must join them in supporting Israel.

Jan 25 11:19

Jewish Communal Fund board member compares Jewish critics to David Duke following report showing organization’s ties to anti-Muslim hate groups

In an response to activists who wrote a report about a leading Jewish charity donating millions to “anti-Muslim hate groups” a board member of the foundation has likened the authors to former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke and said the findings are “spewage.”

The report, “The Shame of the UJA-Federation of New York: How Its Jewish Communal Fund Supports Anti-Muslim Hate Groups,” was published last December by three New York based activists groups, Jews Against Anti-Muslim Racism, Jews Say NO!, and Jewish Voice for Peace–New York City.

By reviewing tax records researchers tallied the Jewish Communal Fund (JCF), the largest Jewish donor advised fund in the U.S., handed out more than $2 million in disbursements to six anti-Muslim groups and also received contributions from far right groups.

Jan 25 09:52

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (17 – 23 January 2019)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 17 – 23 January, 2019.

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded 7 others, including 3 children and a journalist, in the West Bank. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 125 civilians, including 41 children, 6 women, 4 journalists, and 6 paramedics, were wounded; the injury of one of them was reported as serious.

Jan 25 09:45

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 25, 2019: ISRAELI PATROL CAME UNDER FIRE IN GOLAN HEIGHTS

A firefight broke out on the contact line between Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan Heights, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on January 24.

According to the statement, forces from the Syrian side of the contact line opened fired on an IDF patrol. Israeli soldiers returned fire. The IDF reported no casualties, but did not specify where the incident took place.

The IDF also revealed that it had deployed an additional battery of the Iron Dome air defense system in the area of Gush Dan.

These developments came just a few days after extensive Israeli airstrikes on Syrian military and alleged Iranian targets in the countryside of Damascus, which took place on January 20-21. On January 23, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated that Israel’s “policy is clear and it will not change” promising more actions against Iranian in Syria. With no doubt the Israeli-Iranian as well as Israeli-Syrian conflicts continue to escalate.

Jan 25 09:41

Gas brings Israel and Egypt closer than ever

The alliance between Israel and Egypt is now stronger than ever.

Egyptian ruler Abdulfattah al-Sisi acknowledged recently that the two countries have been cooperating to an unprecedented level on security in the Sinai peninsula. Following that admission, Israel and Egypt have reached a deal on their most significant economic cooperation to date.

Israel is taking part in preparations for establishing the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum. That gas market – to be based in Egypt – will include Jordan, Italy, Cyprus, Greece and the Palestinian Authority.

The forum aims to “create a regional gas market that serves the interests of its members by ensuring supply and demand, optimizing resource development, rationalizing the cost of infrastructure, offering competitive prices and improving trade relations,” Egypt’s petroleum ministry stated, according to Reuters.

Jan 25 09:41

Irish parliament passes bill to ban Israeli settlement goods

A bill to outlaw trade in goods from Israeli settlements has been passed by the lower house of Ireland’s parliament, a major step on its journey into law.

On Thursday, the Dáil overwhelmingly approved the Occupied Territories Bill by a vote of 78-45, dealing a big defeat to the government of Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister.

Frances Black, the independent senator who initiated the legislation last year, greeted the result as “amazing,” adding that “Ireland will always stand for international law and human rights, and we’re one step closer to making history.”

Jan 24 15:30

University of California Regents: Distance yourself from Canary Mission

U.S. campuses are sites of political controversy and, at their best, spaces for debate and engagement across different perspectives. At universities across the U.S., the question of whether and how professors and students can exercise free speech has emerged as the most salient of our time. Often ignored in the discussion of academic freedom is the power dynamic inherent to the space of communication. On campuses, both funding and political influence privilege certain actors to exercise “free speech,” while others are censored and even vilified. In this climate, exposure of power is in itself a political act. The California Scholars for Academic Freedom has decided to be pro-active in challenging the online website the Canary Mission, because of the serious harm it has caused to students and faculty in California institutions of higher learning and, more broadly, to academic freedom in the United States.

Jan 24 15:30

Jewish stones are better than Palestinian stones

Following the killing-by-stones of Palestinian Aisha al-Rabi, 48, on October 12th, allegedly by Jewish settler youths, Israel is facing an ideological question of how to regard stones, and whether stones have a nationality.

“A stone thrower is a terrorist,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in 2015, when Israel was amending a law that establishes stiff prison terms for stone-throwers (up to 20 years if harmful intent is proven, 10 years even if the stone-thrower does not intend harm).

In the al-Rabi case, there has now reportedly been found forensic evidence– that is DNA on the very stone that killed her as she, her husband, and daughter were traveling in a car on the occupied West Bank– tying it to one of the five Jewish suspects (as Nir Hasson reported yesterday in Haaretz).

Jan 24 13:04

Netanyahu denounces Israeli TV channels as 'propaganda' brainwashing public ahead of elections

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has attacked the country's largest news channels as "propaganda," claiming they are conspiring to "brainwash" the public into deposing him on Election Day as he braces for a possible indictment.

"Channels 12 and 13 will try to brainwash you every night with unending false and distorted leaks" from the ongoing criminal probes that have dogged his reelection campaign, Netanyahu warned in a tweet in Hebrew, warning that "Leaks from investigations are a criminal offense with a maximum three-year sentence!"

Even while dismissing Channel 13 as propaganda, Netanyahu sent his associates to the station to accuse State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan of "subverting democracy" by pushing Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to indict the PM on bribery charges before the election. Nitzan, they said, wanted to "be remembered" for taking down their boss.

Jan 24 11:45

MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS LITERALLY MAKING PEOPLE SICK

I do not for one second doubt that Americans are feeling more stressed and suffering more health-degrading symptoms as a result than they were prior to Trump’s election. But Pacific Standard and its “growing body of research” ignore the most obvious and significant culprit behind this phenomenon which is tearing people’s health to shreds: the mass media which has been deliberately fanning the flames of Trump panic.

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia’s natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is infinitely more grating, from where I sit, is not the "Trump Panic Syndrome", but the "Trump Reality Syndrome", which includes things he had promised on the campaign trail which he has not done... and things President Trump has done, in these first two years of his Presidency.

1. The massive disparity between the monied and the desperate keeps growing exponentially. There are little victories, of smaller companies moving back to the US (probably with some rich state/town perks and benefits for having done so.) But the consistent off-shoring, out-sourcing of American jobs continues apace. There is an epidemic of homelessness in this country which is unprecedented.

Remember the stunning scenario which inspired Victor Hugo to create his "Les Miserables"?!? In 1845, on the streets of Paris, he observed the same incident that triggers the novel's action. On a sunny but cold day, he saw an impoverished man being arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. As the man stood on the street, an ornate carriage pulled up beside him. Inside there was a dazzlingly beautiful woman dressed in velvet, playing with a child hidden under ribbons, embroidery and furs. The impoverished man stared at the woman in the carriage, but she was totally unaware of him. Hugo wrote that he saw this man as, "The spectre of misery, the ghostly forewarning in full light of day, in the sunshine, of the revolution still plunged in the shadows of darkness, but emerging from them. The moment he became aware of her existence, while she remained unaware of his, a catastrophe was inevitable."

Folks, we're there, right now; history may not necessarily repeat, but occasionally it rhymes. And let me say, for the record; as a Christian pacifist activist, I abhor violence,and would never advocate its use.

And those great pronouncements about the employment in this country, are running so low; this is a marvelous subterfuge, and a neat "hat trick", courtesy of the Department of Labor Statistics.

You see, people who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, are deliberately purged from the figures as not interested in working, almost as though they had never existed at all.

If the US unemployment rate included everyone who says they want a job, it would be nearly double

2. President Trump withdrew the US from the P5+1 deal, even though the IAEA continues to state that the Iranians are currently keeping their end of the deal. I cannot begin to articulate just how completely insane, and counter productive this was. There are many things about which I rightly criticized the Obama Administration, but this was not of them. And the consequences?!?

Remember: demonization, plus Sanctions, create the American Preludes to War.

We are on the doorstep of such a war against Iran, because Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, keeps advocating it, calling Iran "the existential enemy" of Israel. We are plunged into our "2 minutes of hate against Iran", ad nauseum, by the corporate presstitutes. So, let's see, what could possibly go wrong here?!?

Emboldened by one of his BFFs in the Middle East, President Trump, Israel has been making bombing runs into Syria to destroy alleged Iranian placements of personnel, and equipment in that country. Netanyahu: we will not stop fighting Iran as long as I lead Needless to say, Iran is not amused with these actions, and Russia, who has been assisting the Syrian government in getting rid of US backed, equipped, and funded jihadis in Syria, has told Israel in no uncertain terms, to back off. As of yesterday, Russia blasted Netanyahu with the following demand: Israel's airstrikes against Syria must stop. We also see the following headline: World War III: Iran, Syria, Russia and Israel

I do hope our President understands the following: Tel Aviv thoroughly expects the costs of such a war to be borne in American blood and money; not Israeli. Should such a war begin, expect Russia (and perhaps China) to come into the fray on Iran's side.

3. And speaking of war, let's remember the Saudi war against Yemen, where the American government and military are complicit in Saudi war crimes. Why Are U.S. Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen?

The reason is simple: The Saudis love to buy American bombs to continue to create a genocide in Yemen.Saudi Arabia is the top buyer of US weapons" President Trump has, by default, and his sign-off on all these deals, has given him yet another title: The American Merchant of Death in Chief.

Please think about that for a minute. Did you ever think, when you were a kid, about how you would feel, understanding you would be a citizen of a US government which would be complicit in war crimes?!?

3. The illegal immigration solutions President Trump promised the American people, have gone down in flames.

4. Us sanctions around the globe in places like Russia, China, and Venezuela, are pushing other countries further away from the US, both in relationships, and finding creative ways to ditch the dollar, and come to other understandings about how finance can be conducted.

5. I notice the corporate presstitutes are continually spewing out their vile codswallop against countries which have done nothing to the US, to further the governments'agendas which, at this time, seem to be all-out war-centric. The two countries which come to mind, are Iran, and Russia.

The US government accuses Russia of having "annexed Crimea", which never, in reality, did happen; After the 2014 Putsch in Ukraine, Crimea did two things; in a fair and peaceful referendum, the Crimean government asked the people of Crimea, if they wanted to stay in Ukraine, or petition the Russian Federation for membership. The Crimean people voted overwhelmingly to petition the Russian Federation for a membership, and the Russian Federation accepted this. And please remember: in an interview with CNN, President Obama confessed to have brokered a deal for "regime change" in Ukraine. In a CNN interview, President Obama Confesses that the US brokered a deal for" Regime change" in Ukraine, January, 2015

6. The US has left a ton of military footprints around the world. the list is breathlessly long, and may contain country names you haven't thought about since High School Geography, or may have been recently created

These are the true issues of "The Trump Reality Syndrome".

Please understand that I am just as angry about these issues as many of you are, but realize that I need to channel my anger into logic, research, and coming up with alternate ways in which this country could get what it wants, geopolitically, without resorting to war.

Because right now, war - and the monied who become enriched through war and military conflicts around the world - are winning, and I am singularly depressed about this.

Jan 24 10:48

The Times of Israel’s Flawed Attack on the NY Times’ MLK and Palestinian Rights

Michelle Alexander, a now-famous scholar for her work on race relations and her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “Time to Break the Silence on Palestine,” calling for public discourse on how Israel oppresses Palestinians. A significant part of her column analyzed how Martin Luther King would not have stayed silent on the current state of affairs.

Jan 24 10:23

Rivlin warns Macron: Israel may have to hit Hezbollah rocket factories in Beirut

President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday told his French counterpart that Israel could be forced to strike the Hezbollah terror group’s rocket-building operations “in the heart of Beirut,” a development he warned would drag Lebanon into a punishing regional war that neither side wants.

Rivlin made the remarks during a meeting with France’s President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace in Paris during an official visit to mark 70 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and France.

Jan 24 10:16

Bill Would Label Criticism of Israel in Florida Schools “Anti-Semitic”

In May 2018, the state of South Carolina passed a bill lawmakers said was aimed at fighting anti-Semitism in the state’s public school system. But many critics were instead alarmed: Rather than simply cracking down on speech critical of Jewish people, the law instead banned criticism of the state of Israel. For example, the bill banned teachers and students from bringing up Israeli human-rights violations or from “singling out” Israel for criticism or “denying Israel the right to exist.” When a South Carolina congressman then tried to file a similar law at the federal level, the American Civil Liberties Union labeled that bill an “attack on free speech” that would “silence criticism of Israel that is protected by the First Amendment.”

Jan 24 09:34

Israeli News: IDF confirms: Iron Dome is worthless

For some time we’ve been arguing that the touted Iron Dome missile defense is practically useless because it is just too expensive to operate: a $200,000 interceptor missile for a $100 rocket.

The army has decided against deploying the Iron Dome in Sderot. The available systems will only be deployed during war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"So what if Iron Dome costs $200,000 a shot. We get the Americans to pay for it!" -- Nodding Yahoo

Jan 24 09:27

Russia tells Israel: No more 'arbitrary' airstrikes in Syria

"The practice of arbitrary strikes on the territory of a sovereign state, in this case, we are talking about Syria, should be ruled out," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, in answer to a question from Russian news agency TASS about recent Israeli air strikes on Syria.

She said such strikes added to tensions in the region, which she said was not in the long-term interests of any country there, including Israel.

"We should never allow Syria, which has suffered years of armed conflict, to be turned into an arena where geopolitical scores are settled," TASS cited her as saying.

Jan 24 09:24

BLOCKING APARTHEID

Over a dozen Palestinian activists, along with Israeli and international supporters, blockaded the entrance to Israel’s new ‘Apartheid Road’ in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

The group of activists closed the gates to the newly opened road and formed a human chain, raising banners in Arabic, English, and Hebrew saying “No to Apartheid” and “No to Annexation.”

Israeli forces arrived to the scene, which is located adjacent to an Israeli military base, shortly after the activists closed the road and attempted to forcibly remove them.

Two protesters were arrested and at least four others were injured. One of the detained protesters was identified as Ibrahim Musalem, from the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Jan 23 15:35

Charity of bullies: The Campaign Against anti-Semitism

harity of bullies: The Campaign Against anti-Semitism. Eve Mykytyn examines the behaviour of Britain’s “Campaign Against anti-Semitism”, a secretive organisation bizarrely registered by the British authorities as a “charity”, which uses bully tactics to silence organisations and individuals with whom it disagrees.>>

Jan 23 14:07

Syria Ceasefire On Brink Of Collapse As Russia Blames Turkey For Terrorist Growth

The collapse of the prior 'deescalation' agreement comes at a time when the White House has vowed to stick to the planned US pullout, however, this could be yet a another major development to complicate or delay any possible withdrawal timeline. FT described current Turkish-Russian talks in Moscow as follows:

Russia has accused Turkey of failing to live up to a promise to clear Syria’s Idlib of extremist militant groups and admitted that a landmark ceasefire agreement made last September had failed. Ahead of crunch talks between the leaders of the two countries in Moscow on Wednesday, Russia’s foreign ministry said the Islamist extremist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) had “full control” of Syria’s last remaining major opposition stronghold. The damning assessment came four months after Moscow agreed to postpone a planned military assault on the city in exchange for a promise from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clear it of militants.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people of Syria have suffered extensively, during this Western-lead funding, and training, and arming their their adversaries.

They want their country - and their cities - back.

Jan 23 11:11

The Pro-Israel Push to Purge US Campus Critics

While Palestinian rights are getting more attention than ever, advocates still face accusations of Israel-centric anti-Semitism, anti-BDS harassment, and most of all, censorship on college campuses – as evidenced in the Marc Lamont Hill incident. The Anti-Defamation League and Zionist Organization of America have put pressure wherever they see criticism of Israel, endangering both free speech and academic freedom.

The capacity to critically evaluate the exercise of state power is vital to responsible citizenship, and the US – and Israel – should encourage, not discourage, healthy dialogue.

Jan 23 11:09

Crimes against Humanity: Israeli Snipers have shot down 45 Child Gaza Protesters

56 children were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2018; 45 of them were killed in the Gaza Strip since March 30. In the overwhelming majority of cases, DCIP was able to confirm children did not present any imminent, mortal threat or threat of serious injury when killed by Israeli forces.

The report concludes Israeli forces and officials are responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law for the killing of Palestinian child protesters in Gaza.

Jan 23 11:08

Israel army website lists ‘State of Judea and Samaria’, erasing West Bank

An Israeli army website has listed the “State of Judea and Samaria” as an option for recruits to list their place of birth, erasing the occupied West Bank.

The website – which belongs to the Meitav military unit that sorts new army recruits – asks new soldiers to fill out an online form before their arrival at the recruitment office. The soldiers are asked to state their mother’s country of birth by selecting from two options: the State of Israel or the State of Judea and Samaria.

Judea and Samaria is Israel’s name for the West Bank, which it has occupied since the Six Day War of 1967.

Jan 23 10:46

Gaza Escalation: Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Strip, Withholds Qatari Cash

The Israel Air Force struck targets in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Israeli army said in statement. According to the statement, Israeli fighter jets bombed several targets at a Hamas training camp.

"The strike was executed following earlier strikes during the day and in response to the shooting incidents against our forces," said the statement.

The strikes came hours after an Israeli official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided not to allow a Qatari money transfer into the Strip following Tuesday's escalation along the Gaza border, which saw one Israeli soldier lightly wounded and one Palestinian killed.

Jan 23 10:45

Syria: If Israel Can Strike Damascus, We Can Strike Tel Aviv

Syria's United Nations envoy called on the world body's Security Council to take measures against Israel's continued assault on Syrian territories, as reported by the Syrian news agency Sana, wondering whether it would take a Syrian attack on Tel Aviv Airport to draw the council's attention.

"Does drawing the attention of the war-makers in this Council require us to exercise our legitimate right to self-defense and respond to Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport by responding in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?" the Syrian envoy, Dr. Bashar Al-Ja'afari, asked.

Al-Ja'afri also accused UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov of being equivocal rather than definitive in calling out Israel's "daily crimes" and breaches of UN resolutions.

Jan 23 10:31

ZION STILL REELING AT THE (FINAL) TRUTH IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

We are delighted here at the site that Michelle Alexander’s excellent long New York Times column is getting huge attention.

Jan 23 10:30

ZIONISM …. ‘NO GUILT, NO ATONEMENT’

While Palestinian rights are rarely taken into account, the “Jewish state” has increasingly established itself as the only power in Palestine.

Jan 23 10:28

Israel must stop 'spontaneous' Syria strikes: Russia

Russia has urged Israel to stop its "spontaneous" airstrikes on Syria, days after the Israeli military carried out fresh strikes against targets near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Israel has repeatedly attacked Syrian government positions under the pretext that its attacking Iranian military advisers, who are in the country on a request from President Bashar al-Assad to assist the Syrian Army in their fight against foreign-backed terrorists.

"The practice of spontaneous strikes on the territory of a sovereign state, in this case Syria, must end," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday, according to Russia's TASS state news agency.

Zakharova (pictured below) said such moves by Tel Aviv only fueled tensions in the region and harmed the long-term interests of all regional players, including Israel itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Zakharova can repeat that request ad infinitum, but it not going to make any change in Netanyahu's behaviour, and it appears that anything President Trump says, regarding creating a wider war in the region, is going in one ear, and out the other. Hubristic, imperious leaders cannot learn from their mistakes, so keep on making them ... until they are stopped.

History will not judge Netanyahu kindly, for all the foul-ups, bleeps, and blunders he has created for the Israeli people, and the future may not be kind in its recollection of him, or his tenure as Prime Minister.

Jan 23 10:28

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 23, 2019: SYRIA THREATENS TO STRIKE ‘TEL AVIV AIRPORT’

Late on January 22, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) repelled a major attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

According to the Russian military, about 150-200 militants supported by 15-20 vehicles equipped with machine guns attacked SAA positions in the areas of Abu al-Duhur and Abu Sharja. They also employed at least one suicide vehicle borne explosive device. The militants overran the first line of defense and penetrated about 1.5-2 km deep into the SAA-controlled area.

Then, the military deployed reinforcements and with support of artillery units SAA troops repelled the advance and forced militants to withdraw from the recently captured positions.

According to pro-SAA sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham members suffered significant casualties.

Jan 23 09:38

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel

TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel
TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3 fears were sparked this week after Israel hit the Syrian capital of Damascus early on Monday as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there. In response, Iran issued a chilling message to arch-enemy Israel – warning it is “impatient” and ready to confront and destroy the nation in a statement issued just hours after Israel launched the air raids in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Such a war would be horrific and costly for all concerned; I hope that the leaders of all these countries can find a way for it not to happen; unfortunately, too many of the actors in this environment have much to gain; the weapons manufacturers will profit; possibly the US will go back to the draft; and martial law will most probably be imposed here in the US.

I frequently talk about the possibility of a Department of Peace, tasked with achieving those geopolitical goals the US government wants to achieve, but without firing a single shot; unfortunately, however, I have seen this coming conflagration for far too long, to believe that the US government is going to give up on the complete occupation of Iran; Syria; Libya, Lebanon, Afghanistan; or Yemen.

Jan 23 09:08

Damascus Threatens to Respond to Israeli Attack With Strike on Tel Aviv Airport

Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said that it was time that the United Nations Security Council took action to stop constant Israeli attacks on Syrian territory, adding that Damascus might exercise its right to self-defence and respond to the Israeli attack on Damascus Airport with a symmetric strike on Tel Aviv Airport.

"Isn't it is the right time for this council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country or should we attract the attention of the war makers in this council be exercising our legitimate right for self-defence and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Airport by launching an aggression against Tel Aviv Airport?" Jaafari said speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is all for show; Jaafari knows that the UN is impotent against Israel; one world leader, however, who is capable of bloodying Israel's nose militarily, is President Putin of Russia.

There have been reports of conversations between Putin and Netanyahu; I have to wonder how true they are, because it doesn't look as though Putin has been able to neutralize Netanyahu's behaviour.

Time will sort that mystery, however.

Jan 23 08:20

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

Damascus has threatened to exercise its legitimate right for self-defense against Israeli aggression and target Tel Aviv airport in a mirror response, unless the Security Council puts an end to IDF intrusions into Syrian airspace.

Apparently fed up with years of Israeli impunity in the Syrian skies and regular strikes carried out in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, Syria has threatened to retaliate in explicit terms.

Jan 23 02:12

UN Report: +250 Gazans Killed by Israeli Fire Since March 2018

(*Israel is made up of the most illegal of immigrants on earth , and oddly enough The U.S. has partnered up with them , and support their destructive acts towards The Nation of Palestine , and beyond , into Syria , and eventually Iran .)

Jan 23 02:09

Israeli Strikes Aimed at Prolonging Crisis in Syria

Damascus: Israeli Strikes Aimed at Prolonging Crisis in Syria
Syria has once again written protest letters to the United Nations, urging the world body to take a decisive step and put an end to Israel's acts of aggression against its territory as Tel Aviv's hostile strikes are aimed at “prolonging” the crisis in the Arab country.

According to SANA official news agency, the development came after Syria’s air defenses shot down more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during Israel's aerial attacks in the early hours of Monday.

>>>

Jan 23 01:58

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS ISRAEL'S PARTNER

PLO: Trump Administration Is Israel's Partner in Targeting UNRWA, Palestinian Refugees
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said the Israeli government's provocative decision targeting Palestinian refugees in Jerusalem, including closing down and appropriating UNRWA institutions is an affront to international law and international humanitarian law as well as the will of the international community as expressed in United Nations resolutions.

***
“In its campaign against Jerusalem, Palestine refugees and UNRWA, Israel is empowered by the US Administration's illegal and unilateral decisions against Palestinian rights,” she added.

This includes the defunding of UNRWA as well as other positions aimed at preempting final status issues and undermining Palestinian national rights. The Donald Trump administration is thus Israel's partner in this vicious campaign, Ashrawi stressed.

“We call on all governments to assume their responsibilities in confronting this destructive American-Israeli campaign.>>>

Jan 23 01:52

ISRAEL DESTROYED EIGHT SYRIAN MILITARY TARGETS, KILLED AT LEAST 11 TROOPS

Despite claiming that their Sunday night airstrikes against Syria were exclusively targeting Iran’s Quds Force, Israeli airstrikes against Syria appear to have almost exclusively hit Syrian military targets, particularly the nation’s air defenses around Damascus airport.

Israeli strikes destroyed eight Syrian air defense batteries, and killed at least 11 troops in the strikes. The batteries were mostly aging Soviet designs, the sort Syria has traditionally favored for targeting incoming Israeli missiles.

The Syrian systems had some success, too, with Russia reporting that the Syrians had successfully intercepted more than 30 Israeli missiles during the attack. Conspicuously absent from the engagement, however, were the Russian S-300 systems recently provided to Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am holding my breath, waiting to see how Russia's President Putin, ultimate responds to this.

Jan 23 01:38

US Aims to Use Iraq to Wall off Syria from Iran

Washington is attempting to turn Iraq into a wall between Iran and Syria, a prominent Iraqi security expert opined.

Kazzem al-Haaj was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying on Tuesday that the US wants to establish bases in specific zones with respect to their geographical and demographical conditions in Iraq, specially regions near the Iraqi Kurdistan region, to drive a wedge between Iran and Syria and Lebanon.

He warned that the measure is aimed at paving the ground for Washington to implement the next stage of its plot and launch a war against the resistance front and Iran.

>>>

Jan 22 16:15

Breaking: Syrian military on high alert as Israeli warplanes return to border

The Syrian military has been placed on high alert this evening after Israeli warplanes were spotted along the Lebanon-Syria border.

According to a military source in Damascus, Israeli warplanes were once again spotted along the Lebanon-Syria border at night, prompting the Syrian military to prepare their air defenses for a possible breach.

The Israeli warplanes reportedly entered Lebanon from the Nabatieh Governorate before making their way to the Jabal Sheikh (Mount Hermon) region along the Syrian border.

Jan 22 15:54

Want to boycott Israel? The 1st Amendment allows it — but Texas doesn’t

Bahia Amawi worked for nine years as a speech pathologist for a Texas school district. But in September, when it came time to renew her contract for the coming year, she was asked — under the provisions of a recent state law — to affirm that she does not and would not boycott Israel.

That put her in a tough position. As an American of Palestinian descent, she does try to avoid buying products from Israel. So she declined to sign the contract. And she lost her job.

That is as ludicrous as it is un-American. Regardless of one’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, it should be clear that a U.S. citizen like Amawi has a right to make choices for herself about what kind of hummus or olive oil she does or does not want to buy, and about what kind of political statements she wants to make through her purchases.

Jan 22 13:57

IDF chief turned PM candidate touts body count & bombing Gaza into ‘stone age’ in campaign ad

Parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages,” one clip boasts over footage of the bombed-out shells of Palestinian buildings. As chief of general staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Gantz led the offensive that bombarded Gaza for 51 days, killing – as the ad boasts – “1,364 terrorists” and bringing “3.5 years of quiet.”

The second ad in the series shows a running tally of deaths over scenes of Palestinian funerals, and a third shows the targeted assassination of a Hamas leader whose car explodes in a ball of flame.

Haaretz notes that even the official Israeli military figures counts less than half of the Palestinian casualties as militants – meaning Gantz included close to 500 civilian casualties in his “terrorist” tally.

These people were the real Nazis, Hitler and the Germans were just caught in their crossfire.

Download copies for education purposes & report the videos.

Jan 22 11:49

ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND ANALYSIS OF ISRAELI STRIKE ON SYRIAN PANTSIR-S AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM

The released clip was spliced from at least two separate videos. This can be clearly seen at 17 and 22 seconds marks.

The fist part of the video shows an active system, which is firing at Israeli targets. The second part of the video, which includes a direct hit, shows an inactive Pantisr-S1 system:

This system is not firing;
Its radar is disabled;
A possible loading vehicle can be spotted near it.
Therefore, it becomes apparent that the IDF spliced footage from different munitions to show like the Pantsir-S1 system was targeted during an active engagement. The goal was to show that an active system was not capable to repel the attack. This very video was actively used by the Israeli media in its propaganda campaign on the conflict.

In fact, the IDF strike hit an inactive system. It likely spent all of its ammunition and was waiting for a reloading.

Jan 22 11:37

Let the Holy Meme War Begin! IDF Mocks Iran on Twitter

The sarcastic tweet continues the Israeli rhetoric towards Iran, which was recently reiterated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who claimed that Israel had targeted Iranian forces in Syria in its recent airstrikes. Tehran has repeatedly denied Tel Aviv's accusations, stating that it has only sent military advisers to the Arab Republic.

The official Twitter account of the Israel Defence Forces has posted a mocking picture featuring a map of the Middle East with an arrow drawn pointing at Syria and captioned "where Iran is" and several arrows pointing to Iran on the map with the caption "where Iran belongs" in an apparent reference to Israeli claims that Tehran has sent units from its Quds Force to the Arab Republic.

Jan 22 11:26

Iran is ready to take risks in its struggle with Israel

In response to Israel’s attack Sunday on Iranian targets in the Damascus region, the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard fired a medium-range surface-to-surface missile at the Hermon Mountain vicinity. Apparently, the attack had been planned for a long time and approved by the Iranian regime in Tehran. The missile was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system.

Jan 22 11:08

Israeli Espionage Operations against Hamas Commander Exposed

The Palestinian resistance forces could discover an advanced system mounted near the house of a senior Hamas commander in Gaza to spy on him.

The Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper quoted informed security sources affiliated to the Palestinian resistance as saying that the system was due to eavesdrop on Mrwan Issa, a senior commander of al-Qassam Brigades, but the resistance forces could find and dismantle it.

The sources said that the system received sound waves from Issa's house and sent it to the receivers inside the occupied territories, adding that it is considered as a new method used by the Israelis to spy on Palestinians.

According to the paper, the resistance forces also could find and arrest the "mercenary who had planted the system in the region.

The military wing of Hamas said earlier this month that the botched undercover Israeli operation in the Palestinian enclave in November was aimed to plant spying devices in their communications network.

Jan 22 10:32

Israeli Forces Storm Al-Aqsa, Take Measurements and Photographs

Israeli forces stormed into Al Aqsa Mosque, on Monday morning, and began to photograph the mosque’s landmarks and take measurements without mentioning any reasons for it.

Later this morning, groups of Israeli settlers renewed the provocative incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque through the Moroccan Gate, carried out tours inside the mosque, under high security reinforcement, until they left the mosque.

In the same context, Israeli occupation authorities decided, on Sunday, to temporarily expel five guards from Al-Aqsa Mosque for periods ranging from four to six months.

According to Al Ray, the six-month deportation decision included guards Fadi Alian, Louai Abu Saad, Ahmed Abu Alia and a member of the Jerusalem district Awad Salaymeh.

The occupation decided to expel Yahya Shehadeh and Salman Abu Miyaleh, for 4 months, from the mosque.

Israeli settlers storm the Islamic holy site on a daily basis, in an attempt to divide the mosque temporally and spatially.

Jan 22 10:09

Israel Destroyed Eight Syrian Air Defense Targets, Killed 11 Troops

Despite claiming that their Sunday night airstrikes against Syria were exclusively targeting Iran’s Quds Force, Israeli airstrikes against Syria appear to have almost exclusively hit Syrian military targets, particularly the nation’s air defenses around Damascus airport.

Israeli strikes destroyed eight Syrian air defense batteries, and killed at least 11 troops in the strikes. The batteries were mostly aging Soviet designs, the sort Syria has traditionally favored for targeting incoming Israeli missiles.

The Syrian systems had some success, too, with Russia reporting that the Syrians had successfully intercepted more than 30 Israeli missiles during the attack. Conspicuously absent from the engagement, however, were the Russian S-300 systems recently provided to Syria.

Jan 22 10:07

Syria shot down more than 30 Israeli cruise missiles, bombs - Ifax

Syrian military air defences destroyed more than 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs during Israeli air strikes in the early hours of Monday, Russia’s defence control centre was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

Israeli air strikes targeting an airport in southeastern Damascus killed four Syrian soldiers and wounded six, the military centre was quoted by RIA news agency as saying.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think Israel carried out this massive attack (and announced it) to goad Syria into using the S-300 system. Had Syria fallen for it, and used up the S-300 on guided bombs and cruise missiles, I suspect Israel would have followed up with a major air strike.

Jan 22 10:05

WHY HASN’T SYRIA USED THE S-300?

When the S-300 missile system was deployed it was portrayed as a game changer. But Reuters had reported in 2015 and again in October 2018 that Israel had trained against the S-300 system in Greece.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have a different theory. Syria is not going to waste the costly S-300 shooting at Israeli missiles. They are holding the S-300 in reserve until Israel aircraft cross the border.

Jan 22 10:02

Head of Israeli bar association named as suspect in 'sex-for-judgeship' scandal

A top Israeli lawyer has been arrested on suspicions that he advocated in favour of the promotion of at least two judges in exchange for sexual favours, Israeli media reported.

Efraim Naveh, president of the Israel Bar Association, was arrested on Wednesday and appeared in court later that evening, Haaretz newspaper said.

His identity was only released publicly later in the day as the investigation into the case, dubbed by Israeli media outlets as the "sex for judgeship scandal", was under a gag order.

Naveh, who Israeli media outlets say has close ties to senior Israeli governmental and judicial officials, appointed a female judge to a magistrate court, as well as another judge, Haaretz said, citing Israeli police.

Before his identity was made public, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police anti-corruption unit Lahav 433 was leading an investigation into a male lawyer.

Jan 22 09:49

VIDEO - World War 3 Alert! Iranian Forces Fire Missile To Israel, IDF Responds With Waves Of Guided Missiles

Israel and Iran are edging dangerously close to a state of all-out war.

Jan 22 08:21

INTELLIGENCE MINISTER: ISRAEL IS IN OPEN CONFRONTATION WITH IRAN IN SYRIA

Israeli policy for attacking targets in Syria has changed and is intensifying, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said Monday morning in an interview with Army Radio.

In response to a missile launch by Iranian forces from Syria into Israeli territory which intended to hit the northern Golan Heights, IDF fighter planes attacked Syrian military targets and Syrian air defense batteries overnight on Sunday and early Monday morning.

Jan 22 08:20

ISRAEL TO HEAD COMMITTEE OF NGOS AT THE UNITED NATIONS

Lauded as a rare-move, Israel has been elected to Vice-Chair the 19-nation committee of NGO's at the United Nations early Tuesday morning.

The committee is responsible for overseeing the work of human rights organizations. Israel will be representing the western nations as of Monday and will be in itself represented by Nadav Yesod.

Jan 22 08:19

INSS: Israel could face three-front war in 2019

Institute for National Security Studies says the volatile situation along the northern border as well as in the Gaza Strip could lead Israel to war against Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinians at the same time.

Jan 22 08:18

Bombs Over Damascus: Has Israel Crossed a Russian Red Line in Syria?

Friday, citing Russian sources the Palestinian-run, London-based, pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Russia has told Israel it will not tolerate further air strikes near the Damascus International Airport:

According to the report, which cited Russian sources, Moscow has told Jerusalem that it intends to renovate the Damascus International Airport, and that further attacks by Israel will not be welcomed.

Jan 22 08:09

Kamala Harris Dons Progressive Mantle in Public, Strips it Off in Private as She Courts Israel Lobby

Confirming long-held speculation, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has announced that she will be running for president in 2020, pitting her against other Democratic senators such as Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Harris’ announcement has generated some buzz but surprised few, as she has been considered a likely 2020 contender for the Democratic nomination since early 2017. Harris first tweeted on Monday morning out her plans to run for president along with the Clinton-esque slogan “Let’s do this together.”

Jan 22 07:45

Israeli election ad boasts Gaza bombed back to “stone ages”

Benny Gantz, the former Israeli army chief, is bragging about how much killing and destruction he committed in Gaza in a series of campaign videos for his new political party posted on YouTube and social media over the weekend.

Gantz hopes to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister in elections scheduled for April.

One of the videos, above, shows drone footage of a devastated neighborhood in Gaza in August 2014, following Israel’s 51-day assault on the territory.

The video’s title includes the words “Parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages.”

Against the swell of dramatic music, captions on screen announce, “6,231 targets destroyed,” and “1,364 terrorists killed.”

Jan 22 07:44

Israel intends to persecute Palestinians, rights groups say

Israel is persecuting Palestinians – a crime against humanity – a Palestinian human rights group and an American law center state in a report submitted to UN investigators earlier this month.

“Israeli occupation policies and practices, including the now 11-year-closure of Gaza, that actively deny Palestinians the right to self-determination collectively amount to persecution, a crime against humanity under international law,” the submission to the UN commission of inquiry into Israel’s use of lethal force against Gaza protesters states.

The 57-page submission was authored by Defense for Children International Palestine and the Human Rights and Gender Justice Law Clinic at the City University of New York School of Law.

Jan 22 07:44

BREAKING: Israel Lobbying Group Threatens Tulsi Gabbard

Jan 22 05:09

Israeli Election Ad Brags on Bombing Gaza Back to the Stone Age

Second ad for Gantz includes 'kill counter' related to 2014 Gaza War.

Running for parliament in the upcoming April vote, former Israeli Army Chief Benny Gantz has steered heavily into his military history, and large numbers of people killed and damage done in the 2014 Gaza War.

One of his videos focuses on aerial footage of a destroyed Gaza neighborhood, bragging that “parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages,” and bragging the devastation led to “3-5 years of quiet.”

A second video for Gantz shows Palestinians attending funerals with a “kill-counter” prominently displayed, going up to 1,364, the number Israel reports to have killed in 2014. The video concludes “only the strong win.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wouldn't it be nice for any Israeli Presidential candidate to speak honestly, and reasonably, about how to engage Gazan Palestinians with real prospects for peace and financial betterment, rather than offer them only hate, and certain extermination?!?

Jan 22 04:50

Why USAID Will Never Fund Palestinian Development Projects

It’s a huge mistake to assume that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will ever fund all its projects in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip as it doesn't want to help exercise of Palestinian self-determination and sovereignty.

The US administration has already made the decision to cut funding to the Palestinians, and Dave Harden, former USAID Mission Director and Managing Director of the Georgetown Strategy Group, has already confirmed that.

Harden says Washington plans to shut down USAID and that the US administration "demonstrates again a lack of nuance, sophistication, and appreciation for the complexity of the situation.”

>>>

Jan 22 04:36

Report: US Plotting to Arm Kurds to Block Negotiations with Damascus

(*to "hurry up" our exit strategy !
whitehorse souce )

Jan 22 01:58

Israel admits to hitting Iranian military sites in Syria

The Israeli military announced its jets struck Iranian targets in Syria, leading Tehran officials saying the want to 'eliminate' Israel.

Israeli jets struck a series of Iranian military targets in Syria early on Monday, the military said, leading Iranian officials announce they want to "eliminate it (Israel) from the Earth".

The Israeli military said the targets included munition storage facilities, an intelligence site, and a military training camp.

The strikes were in response to a surface-to-surface rocket that Iranian forces fired toward Israel on Sunday that was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system over a ski resort in the Golan Heights, following an Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a number of very dramatic ways in which the Israeli/Western-backed media are playing this.

WW3: Iran is prepared to eliminate Israel from the Earth

Syria has written a letter of complaint to the UN as Israel Strikes alleged "terrorists"( read: Iranian military)

World War3: Iran vs/ Israel in Syrian bombing raids

This article goes on to state: "Speaking today, the head of Iran's air force said on Monday the country was impatient to fight Israel and destroy it, a state-linked news website said. Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh was quoted as saying by the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television: ”The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth."

But if the Iranian military and civilian leadership are going to aggressively strike Israel, why would they tip their hand, by making such a public threat?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't, particularly if they have already complained to the UN to get the Israeli bombings to stop, which they have done.

You have to remember that Israel's Netanyahu is in a very difficult spot right now. It appears, and has been leaked on a couple of Israeli blogs, that the Attorney General of Israel is preparing to indict him on a corruption charge, and that will happen in, most probably, just a couple of weeks. So now he is like a geopolitically wounded animal right now; All wounded animals, particularly politicians, are very dangerous.

My guess, at this point in time, that the Israeli military have been tasked to make it look as though an Iranian military unit did horrific damage to a large American base in Syria; he has got to do this both before the indictment, and way before the election in April.

Whether he will have the courtesy to alert President Trump or not to such an action, I am not sure; my gut is telling me that he will only let him know who actually "did the deed" far after getting the US to declare war against Iran, and we are off and running.

We've only got a little time left before that indictment pops, so looking at how far we are toward the end of the month, if he wants this to happen, it has to happen very quickly; there are only 9 more days left in January.

And the big question then becomes, what is Russia willing - and capable -of doing to prevent this madness before it starts in earnest?!?

I do consider Lavrov and Putin to be "the adults in the room" on the issue of Syria, and hopefully they will have enough "pull" with Netanyahu to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately for them, Netanyahu's manic, hubristic, clinging to power, by any means necessary, even starting a war, just might look to him to be the right thing to do right now.

Jan 21 12:19

Leaked: Netanyahu to be Indicted in Bezeq-Walla Affair, According to Reports

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has decided to file bribery charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Case 4000, the Bezeq-Walla Affair, says a senior legal official, according to Israel’s Ulpan Shlishi news program on Friday night.

According to the report, senior officials involved in advanced discussions say the decision has already been made to charge Netanyahu. Mandelblit has accepted the recommendation of the State Attorney’s Office, specifically that of the Tel-Aviv Financial and Tax District Office, to indict Netanyahu in Case 4000.

The Bezek-Walla Affair is a case in which Netanyahu allegedly received positive news coverage from website Walla!, which is owned by telecommunications giant Bezek in exchange for preferential regulatory treatment granted to the telecom giant.

Jan 21 12:17

Israel says its jets struck Iranian military sites in Syria

The Israeli military said its jets struck Iranian military targets in Syria early Monday, an announcement that marked a rare departure from Israel's yearslong policy of ambiguity regarding activities in neighboring Syria.

The military said the targets included munition storage facilities, an intelligence site and a military training camp.

The strikes were in response to a surface-to-surface rocket that Iranian forces fired toward Israel on Sunday that was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system over a ski resort in the Golan Heights. That launch followed a rare Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Jan 21 12:15

Israel Announces Sustained Strikes On Damascus; Syria Fires Back In Major Escalation

It's the first time that Israel has ever announced strikes against Iran inside Syria and in real time. Moments after a massive wave of rockets were fired on Damascus, activating Syrian anti-air defenses Sunday night, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced: "We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory."

This is unprecedented given that in every other among the dozens of prior recent Israeli attacks on Syria, the IDF has never acknowledged responsibility so quickly and certainly not while they are ongoing, usually declining to confirm or deny after the event.

Jan 21 10:12

Michelle Alexander explodes an open secret in the ‘NYT’: progressives keep quiet about Palestine out of fear for their careers

Everyone is talking about one thing this morning, the outstanding piece by Michelle Alexander in the New York Times, yes, the New York Times, titled, “Time to Break the Silence about Palestine,” in which she says she can’t be quiet about Palestine any longer. The author of “The New Jim Crow” is a regular columnist now, and she has changed the discourse about Palestine in one explosive swoop, stating that progressives have been silent about Palestine partly because of fear for their careers, but the time has come to end that silence.

Jan 21 10:11

Israel just ‘lost Cronkite’ — the struggle for Palestinian rights at ‘The New York Times’

In late January 1968, after the series of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong attacks known as the Tet Offensive, Walter Cronkite, the anchor of the CBS Evening News and the most trusted journalist in America, came back from a trip to Vietnam to report on what was going on over there. At the end of his February 27 report, Cronkite, who rarely ventured his opinions on the air, rendered his verdict:

“[I]t seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate .?.?. [I]t is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”

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