#PointOfOrder: What if you don’t wish to “recognise” #Israel?

What if you don’t wish to “recognise” Israel?Stuart Littlewood Redress Information & Analysis7th October 2015,  British stooges.

Criminal Israel

Should you be smeared, bad-mouthed, bullied or branded an anti-Semite?

During last week’s Labour Party conference new leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed a Friends of Israel fringe meeting. Pro-Israel propaganda outfit Engage, in an email to all and sundry, complained that Corbyn failed to mention “Israel” at all.

He refused to utter the word “Israel”. He refused to say that he was for the right of Israel to exist, even within the ’67 borders… He avoided saying anything about his previous stated support for Hamas and Hezbollah, both anti-Semitic, both terroristic, both annihilationist of Israel…

He talked about the “siege of Gaza”, he talked about the plight of refugees “across the region”. He veered from talking about Palestine to talking about the region, maybe Syria, maybe Iraq – there was, more than once, a studied ambivalence…

Corbyn, according to Engage, didn’t show that he understood why the campaign to boycott Israel was so menacing to Jews in the UK or that he understood the relationship between campaigning to boycott Israel and anti-Semitism.

Is there a relationship? The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement thinks not.

As Israel has never declared its borders and continues to steal Palestinian territory and resources it is impossible to recognise any of it.

It seems the incident was provoked when a Jewish donor to the party, Michael Foster, stood up at the meeting and demanded that Corbyn say the word “Israel”. Later Foster was given a platform on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme to expand his gripe, and he challenged Corbyn to “say that you recognise Israel and that you believe in it”.

Corbyn didn’t answer. Why should he? These inquisitorial demands by an increasing desperate regime in Tel Aviv and its propagandists are becoming tiresome.

The standard response is to toss it back and ask: “Which Israel would you like me to recognise – Israel according to the 1947 UN partition? Israel on the 1949 armistice lines (i.e. pre-1967 borders)? Or today’s Israel, illegally occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and blockading Gaza? As Israel has never declared its borders and continues to steal Palestinian territory and resources it is impossible to recognise any of it.”

There are plenty of reasons for questioning Israel’s claim to legitimacy without sounding in any way anti-Semitic. For a start, the UN had no business partitioning Palestine or handing over more than half the territory to a minority of intruders for a state of their own without even consulting the native Palestinians.

Nevertheless, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution (181) to divide Palestine for the purpose of creating two states, one Arab, one Jewish. Jerusalem was to remain a corpus separatum under international control. The carve-up gave the Jews 56 per cent of the land and the Palestinians only 43 per cent, despite their large (two-thirds) majority and the fact that Jews owned less than 6 per cent of the land. The General Assembly resolution was non-binding and needed to go before the Security Council for approval. It never did.

Israel has never fulfilled its obligations, so strictly speaking should have been kicked out of the UN. 

The Arabs rejected the carve-up as unfair but the Jewish population took it as a green light and unilaterally announced the formation of the state of Israel on 14 May 1948. Not content with the UN’s generous “gift”, they set out on a terror rampage and by 1949 had expanded their control to 77 per cent of Palestine and expelled three-quarters of a million non-Jews at gunpoint and massacred many more.

Israel’s membership of the UN in 1949 was conditional on the new state complying with UN Resolution 181, which included a guarantee of the rights of minorities and religious rights, including free access to and the preservation of holy places, and the constitution of an economic union between the two states (i.e. a custom union, joint monetary system, joint administration of main services, and equal access to water and energy resources).

It also required Israel’s compliance with Resolution 194 (dated December 1948) which called on Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. Israel has never fulfilled its obligations, so strictly speaking should have been kicked out of the UN.

The 1967 war saw the Israeli military occupying the remaining 23 per cent of Palestine. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 242, demanding the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”. But the US has used its veto dozens of times to ensure the non-enforcement of this and the many other UN resolutions condemning Israel’s illegal occupation.

Apologists claim that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. That’s a lie. It withdrew its soldiers but continues to occupy Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters, airwaves and all entrances and exits – except the Rafah crossing into Egypt where it nonetheless has a supervisory influence – effectively turning the tiny coastal enclave into a prison camp. Israel is still regarded by international law and the UN as the occupying power with responsibility to protect. But over the last eight years Israel has intensified its Gaza occupation into a vicious blockade, puctuated by massive bombardment and the slaughter of civilians, including many hundreds of children.

The Free Palestine Movement describes the present situation as well as anyone:

Israel has made up its mind to rid itself of all the Palestinians in the territories it controls. It does not care for demonstrations, declarations, warnings, resolutions, moral outrage, denunciations, international law or any other form of condemnation from any part of the world… Israel has inexorably killed or expelled half of the entire Palestinian population and dispossessed three-quarters from their homes

Israel wants the land, but not the people on it. It will pursue its ethnic cleansing project to completion… The US, Europe and other Western nations like Canada and Australia have the power to stop Israel, but they are using it to enable the genocide, not prevent it. Israel has so thoroughly inserted itself into the political, economic and media structures of these countries that it is unrealistic to expect this to change soon.

So, if you are asked to recognise Israel what will you say? Or will you play it cool, sidestep the tripwires and say nothing?

Tory Party Conference 2015: Some Thoughts

Originally posted on Guy Debord's Cat:

If anyone was ever in any doubt as to the Tories’ loathing of democracy, then they need look no further than this latest conference or, indeed, previous conferences. Speaker after speaker mounted the platform to address the conference, all of whom either syruped praise on their leadership or smeared their opponents. Policies are never openly debated or voted upon at Tory Party conferences. The unspoken dictum is, as ever, “we speak and you will listen”. The Conservative Party’s members have little or no say in how their party operates or how policies are decided. It is, for all intents and purposes, a dictatorship. Is it any wonder why Tory governments act to crush democracy in this country when there is so little of it within their own party?

This conference also showed us how far into themselves the Tories have retreated since Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the Labour Party leadership, and the…

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Amid The Ruins, #Gaza’s #Children Are Back At School And Ready To Learn!

Amid The Ruins, Gaza’s Children Are Back At School And Ready To Learn ~ World Reporter, The Huffington Post, 10/07/2015. 

“We play all the roles — teachers, mental health counselors — all of it.”

Hollow buildings still scar the landscape of Gaza City’s Shujaiyeh neighborhood, the site of some of the heaviest bombardments and fiercest clashes during last year’s war between Israel and Hamas militants.

But even amid the ruins of Shujaiyeh, Palestinian children are back at school and ready to learn.

“My favorite thing about coming back to school is seeing my friends and teachers,” 9-year-old Bara’a Habib told Jehad Saftawi, a communications associate for the U.S.-based nonprofit the Institute for Middle East Understanding, when Saftawi visited her school in late August for a photo essay project. “This is my third day of school, and it’s going well.”

The Subhi Abu Karsh school — which teaches 1,016 boys and girls from 6 to 16 years old — was heavily damaged in the July-August 2014 war. When the students first returned last fall, there were gaping holes in the classroom walls.

A year later, the legacy of war still lingers. While most damage has been fixed, the walls of the Subhi Abu Karsh school are still being rebuilt, Saftawi said. Across Gaza, families have struggled to move back into damaged or destroyed buildings. The U.N.-supported effort to rebuild thousands of destroyed homes only started in earnest this summer, held up for a year by a lack of funds and security procedures that slow the entry of reconstruction materials into the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Student numbers are also down after families fled the neighborhood and had no home to return to. At least one student — 15-year-old Najiya Jehad Al Helou — was killed in the war, Saftawi said.

“The hardest part is dealing with different psychological trauma [of the students] — some become violent, some are introverted, and others have become handicapped or paralyzed after the war,” Fadwa Abu Salem, the school’s deputy director, told Saftawi. “We play all the roles — teachers, mental health counselors — all of it,” she said.

Just one street over, Beit Dajan school for boys has mostly finished repairing the war damage. For the first six months after the war, its 990 students, ranging from 7 to 15 years old, studied inside classrooms with blasted out windows and damaged walls. Now, the main challenge for the school is providing a quality education, with few resources, to children whose lives have been shattered by war.

We play all the roles — teachers, mental health counselors — all of it.

“The economic situation is difficult for the children, for example their family may have been forced to leave their home … or their father is struggling to provide food and buy uniforms,” the school’s deputy director, Aamir Salah El Mbayed, told Saftawi. El Mbayed said he is desperate for more teachers — there are 40 children on average in each class, and he’d love to bring it down to 30 so that each child can get a minute or so of individualized attention.

Teachers at U.N. schools in Gaza went on strike this summer, citing a lack of resources and overcrowded classrooms. Many schools, including Beit Dajan and Subhi Abu Karsh, have been repeatedly damaged as Gaza went through three wars in six years. The latest war had the highest death toll of all — over 2,200 Palestinians and 73 Israelis killed — and damaged 258 schools and kindergartens in the Gaza Strip, 26 of them beyond repair.

Take a look at Saftawi’s portraits and excerpts from his interviews at the two schools below.


Mahmoud Majid Sokkar, 9 years old

“Last year I was afraid of going back to school. I was afraid they would repeat another war and we don’t want to die. But I didn’t feel afraid this year — now I’m used to it. I want to be a math teacher when I grow up because it’s my best subject.”


Alaa’ Habib, 9 years old

“When I grow up, I want to be a doctor and heal sick people. My house was affected during the war. We had small holes in the wall and a big hole in our kitchen, but my father fixed it.”


Mohammed Hani El Mamloki, 10 years old

“My favorite thing about school is that we get to learn. I’d like to have more books to learn more. My favorite schoolbook is for English, and my favorite teacher is my English teacher. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer.”


Bara’a Habib, 9 years old

“I like coming to school. This is my third day of school, and it’s going well. I want to be an Arabic teacher because it’s a beautiful subject, and I can read and understand it very well. I just really like it.”


Ameer El Mbayed, 10 years old

“I don’t feel afraid of going back to school. I feel ready again. We would play a lot and it became boring because we all missed school. My favorite subject is math and my favorite teacher is the Arabic teacher. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor.”


Mohammed Zakareia Al Banna, 9 years old

“The problems with kids in school were here before the war. We try to solve them by talking to each other. I wish I can change the system to prevent problems with kids. I want to be a doctor in the future, and I love all my teachers.”


Fadwa Abu Salem, deputy director of Subhi Abu Karsh school

“My favorite subject is English because it’s my specialization and it’s an international language. I’d love for all people to know [English] so they could understand other cultures, what they say, and what their opinions are about us.”


Aamir Salah El Mbayed, deputy director of Beit Dajan school

“What I like about teaching is making sure that I’m following up with the education of a student. If the students don’t keep learning, they lose what they learned. Following up with students is in their interest and in ours as educators.”

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Much of Gaza City's Shujaiyeh neighborhood was destroyed in the 2014 war.</span>CREDIT: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES 

Much of Gaza City’s Shujaiyeh neighborhood was destroyed in the 2014 war.

Analysis: What Does #Russia Want in #Syria?

What Does Russia Want in Syria? ~ Tony Cartalucci, New Eastern Outlook”06.10.2015. 

The Western media has portrayed Russia’s recent joint anti-terror security operations with the Syrian government as a means of expanding its influence beyond its borders. CNN in its article, “Petraeus accuses Putin of trying to re-establish Russian Empire,” would go as far as claiming:

One of America’s top former generals compared the situation in Syria Tuesday to a historic nuclear disaster, implicitly criticizing the U.S. for allowing it to worsen, and accused Russia’s President of trying to re-establish an empire.

CNN would also report:

Russian moves in Syria are designed to bolster and hold on to their naval base and airstrip along the Mediterranean coast of Syria, and shore up the al-Assad regime in order to preserve Russian influence in the Middle East, Petraeus said.

“I think that what Vladimir Putin would like to do is resurrect the Russian empire,” he said.

Ironically, the United States maintains over 800 military bases around the world while occupying Afghanistan since 2001 and carrying out armed operations everywhere from Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria to the borders of Pakistan. Russia’s only overseas base is in fact the naval facility mentioned by Petraeus. Petraeus never elaborates on how despite such obvious disparity between Russia and America regarding foreign policy, why Russia is suspected of pursuing “empire” while the US is not then completely guilty of already establishing and fighting desperately to maintain an immense one.

While undoubtedly Russia’s cooperation with the Syrian government indicates Moscow’s ability to project power beyond its borders, it has done so only at the request of the legitimate government of Syria, and only after all other possible options have been exhausted.

And despite many having depicted Syria’s ongoing crisis as a “civil war,” it is abundantly clear that it is nothing of the sort, with terrorists receiving the summation of their material support, and many of their fighters even from over Syria’s borders, not from within them.

Stopping Global Blitzkrieg 

In 2011, when the United States and its collaborators in NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) set out to destroy the North African nation-state of Libya, it was portrayed as an isolated intervention based upon the geopolitical doctrine of “responsibility to protect” – or in other words – an alleged humanitarian intervention.

What quickly became clear, even before the operation concluded, was that the US goal was regime change from the beginning, with many of the militant groups supported by the US-led axis via airstrikes and weapon deliveries revealed to be in fact terrorist organizations, including the US State Department-list foreign terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Shortly after the fall of the Libyan government in Tripoli, it also became clear that US military aggression in Libya was in no way an isolated intervention. Almost immediately after hostilities ceased, US-NATO-GCC armed and backed militant groups began transferring weapons and fighters to NATO-member Turkey where they were staged for what was to become the invasion of Aleppo, the largest city in Syria.

The invasion of Aleppo was part of a wider US-backed campaign to divide and destroy the nation of Syria just as was done in Libya. Additionally there is the ongoing US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan and the division and destruction of Iraq after a US invasion in 2003 and a subsequent occupation there ever since. Considering this, what is revealed is a regional military campaign of conquest stretching from North Africa to Central Asia and pressing up against the borders of both Russia and China.

It must also be remembered that in 2011, the so-called “Arab Spring” was eventually revealed to be the premeditated work of the US State Department who began training, equipping, and arraying activists against targeted governments years before the protests began. This would be admitted to by the New York Times in a 2011 article titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” which reported:

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington…

The New York Times would also admit that these Washington-based groups were all in turn funded and directed by the US State Department:

The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.

Similar regime-change operations were carried out directly on Russia’s western border in the nation of Ukraine, where the US backed Neo-Nazi militants violently overthrow the elected government in Kiev. In the wake of the coup, the junta set out to crush any opposition, from political parties to the inevitable armed groups that rose up against its literal Neo-Nazi militants.

And as this wave of US-backed global destabilization, war, and regime change swept the surface of the planet, during its initial success, US hubris was difficult to contain.

In a 2011 Atlantic article titled, “The Arab Spring: ‘A Virus That Will Attack Moscow and Beijing’,” it would be revealed precisely what Washington’s end game was:

[US Senator John McCain] said, “A year ago, Ben-Ali and Gaddafi were not in power. Assad won’t be in power this time next year. This Arab Spring is a virus that will attack Moscow and Beijing.” McCain then walked off the stage.

Comparing the Arab Spring to a virus is not new for the Senator — but to my knowledge, coupling Russia and China to the comment is.

Senator McCain’s framing reflects a triumphalism bouncing around at this conference. It sees the Arab Spring as a product of Western design — and potentially as a tool to take on other non-democratic governments.

Upon weighing both the comments of US politicians, documented evidence of the engineered nature of the so-called “Arab Spring,” and regime change operations in Ukraine, it is clear that indeed the “Arab Spring” was undoubtedly “a product of Western design” and a “tool” the US fully sought to use against the rest of the planet, including Moscow and Beijing.

In 2011, the use of military force to finish where US-backed political destabilization left off was not fully understood. With the US now having destroyed Libya, Syria, and Ukraine with either direct or proxy military force, it is clear that the US is engaged in a a slow motion, 4th generation warfare-version of blitzkrieg – the lighting fast brand of military conquest used by Nazi Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s to conquer Western Europe, parts of North Africa and Eastern Europe, and the attempted conquest of Russia.

It is clear then that Russia today, is not interested in building an “empire,” but instead interested in stopping an obvious wave of Western conquest ultimately and admittedly aimed at Moscow itself.

Russia Wants Balance 

Russia’s relationship with Syria is entirely different than NATO’s relationship with the current junta occupying Kiev, Ukraine. Syria is a sovereign nation with its own independent long-established institutions and policies. Kiev’s junta literally includes foreigners who directly control the fate of Ukraine and its people. This difference between Russia seeking partners, and Washington seeking obedient proxies, is what differentiates the unipolar world the West seeks to perpetuate, and the multipolar world Russia and other emerging nations seek to replace it with.

Russia’s involvement in Syria is to first stop a wave of instability and military conquest inevitably destined for Moscow itself, and then to establish a balance of power throughout the world where the future creation of such waves is all but impossible.

This is not only Russia’s stated policy, but also what it is demonstrably pursuing on the stage of geopolitics. The basis for its legitimacy and growing influence is its adherence to the principles of international law, respect toward national sovereignty, and promotion of this multipolar future. As soon as Moscow betrays these principles, it will forfeit its legitimacy and influence and join the West in its increasing irrelevance and isolation upon the world stage.

For the West’s part, both political and media circles have gone through extraordinary lengths to not only avoid mentioning Russia’s multipolar vision of the future, but to portray Russia to be the very neo-imperialist in fiction that the West is in reality.

With Libya already destroyed, Iraq struggling, and should Syria fall, Iran, even according to the US’ own policy papers, would be next. Looking at a map reveals that after Iran there is little to stop hordes of US-backed terrorists from flooding into southern Russia. Moscow was required to pick a spot, draw a line, and hold it to stop what the West had arrayed against it. That spot is apparently Syria.

By looking at a map we see not a Russia expanding its empire, but a Russia struggling against admitted attempts to destabilize all around it before eventually targeting Russia itself. What does Russia seek in Syria? It seeks what all other nations seek and are entitled to, self-preservation.

Russia is not building an empire, it seeks to stop one that threatens its existence from reaching its borders with proxies that include Neo-Nazis, terrorists, and NATO forces themselves.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.




Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order his military into Syria may simply have been the gut reaction of a hard-power ruler who, for lack of tools other than a hammer, can imagine no problem other than a nail. But dispatching the Russian Air Force in support of the embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad may also have been a true political masterstroke, in which case its political impact is likely to make a far bigger crater than any of the bombs that Putin is preparing to drop on Syria.

The first indications of a Russian military deployment in Syria leaked out in late August. Itgradually became clear that something big was happening at the Basil al-Assad International Airport near Latakia in government-controlled western Syria. Not only was Assad’s army getting new weapons, it was also getting new comrades-in-arms.

According to satellite imagery reviewed by the Washington Post and The Aviationist, a specialist blog, the Russian expeditionary corps has now grown to nearly thirty Sukhoi combat aircraft. Most are SU-24 and SU-25 models that fly “low and slow” in order to take out ground targets, but there are also a few SU-30 jets—a “game changer,” according to a pilot interviewed by the Post, since this multi-role fighter could pose a serious threat to American aircraft in Syria.

Apart from the Sukhoi jets, the airport has also become home to several Mi-24 attack helicopters, transport aircraft, air defense systems, and an unknown number of remotely piloted drones. In addition, there is a small but growing ground force, although it is not clear whether it could be tasked with more than guarding the air base and surrounding areas. Russian forces have been seen embedding with Syrian forces, although it is perhaps as trainers or coordinators.

Today, Wednesday, satellite imagery also revealed two more Russian outposts. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that American intelligence indicates that these bases are not so much the start of an additional deployment as defensive outposts serving to protect the initial air base.


The deployment is military, but its first and perhaps most important effects are political.Israel, which occasionally attacks what it says are Hezbollah targets inside Syria, and theUnited States have already met with the Russians to “deconflict,” a military term for how to avoid accidents and unwanted clashes.

Israel couldn’t care less about public opinion in Syria, but for the United States, this is an embarrassing position to be in. There is already much ill will among Syrian rebels over U.S. strikes on al-Qaeda targets within the anti-Assad guerrillas. The White House may continue to insist that Bashar al-Assad must step down, but the U.S. Air Force will henceforth be sharing Syrian airspace with both Assad’s own air force—which is notorious for itsunrelenting bombing of civilian neighborhoods and infrastructure—and with a Russian expeditionary corps sent to aid him. It won’t be popular with American allies.

By introducing Russian jets and air defense systems into the Syrian theatre, Putin has also created facts on the ground (or just above it) that will help forestall further action against Assad by the United States or its allies. American Syria policy is currently under scrutiny and if internal White House debates about Assad were indeed moving in the do-something direction as some claim, then Vladimir Putin has just served up a brand new counter-argument.

Whether by accident or design, the Latakia deployment will also draw attention to Vladimir Putin’s appearance before the United Nations General Assembly in late September, his first in ten years. The Russian leader has been trying to promote an international coalition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, of which Assad would be a part. Having just thrown his gauntlet down in Latakia, Putin won’t necessarily gain a more sympathetic hearing from the world leaders assembled in New York, but they’re sure to listen very closely.


Although the Russian intervention seems partly designed for political effect, those Sukhoi jets aren’t just going sit on a runway in Latakia for the benefit of satellite paparazzi. According to U.S. officials, Russian airstrikes in Syria are likely to begin “soon”—and as this article was being written, as-yet unconfirmed reports alleged that Russian jets were already backing a regime offensive in the Aleppo area.

Will the Russian Air Force be able to make a difference on the ground?

Yes, probably, says David A. Deptula—and he should know. A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant-general and air warfare theoretician, Deptula planned the American bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein’s army in 1991, when the U.S. and its allies—including, at the time, Syria—liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. Ten years later he oversaw the air war that toppled the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

“With competent pilots and with an effective command and control process, the addition of these aircraft could prove very effective depending on the desired objectives for their use,” Deptula told the New York Times. Which begs the question, what are those objectives?

The Kremlin has couched its involvement in Syria in terms of a war against jihadi extremism. It also seeks to bring Assad out of the cold and into an international coalition against the so-called Islamic State. In other words, focusing attacks on the Islamic State seems like a given, at least initially, but there are reasons to look at other targets, too.

But where and how could Russia maximize the impact of its strikes? Let’s look at some possible scenarios for the early stages of a Russian aerial intervention.


At the time of writing, unconfirmed reports are coming in about Russian strikes in support ofa sudden regime offensive striking out from eastern Aleppo. However, until now no evidence has emerged and it is important to remember that Syrian activist media, on both sides, is full of rumors. The news about a government offensive seems to be true, however, and reports indicate that it might be intended to relieve the Kweiris Airport, a small government-held pocket of land east of Aleppo that has long been under siege by the Islamic State. When other government enclaves in Syria’s north and east have fallen to the Islamic State, the captured soldiers have been summarily murdered in grotesque video-taped massacres that have unsettled pro-Assad constituencies and provoked angry reactions within the ranks.

Saving the Kweiris defenders would therefore provide both a political and a military boost for Assad, and it would help him clean up his frontlines in a crucial area of Syria.

Interestingly, an attack on the Kweiris pocket could also knock the Islamic State off balance in the Aleppo area, just as rebels north of the city are struggling to keep open their supply lines to Turkey against an Islamic State offensive. Coincidence or not, if Russia is involved, it would be an interesting first example of the potential interplay between offensives by Russian-backed army forces and U.S.-backed rebels.

The reports of Russian strikes near Kweiris remain unconfirmed for now. If they turn out to be true, it is possible that this will be a first area of focus. The Assad-Putin alliance could then try to change the balance of power in Aleppo. If they stick to Islamic State targets, instead of straying into battle with other rebels, a main ambition would probably be to push the jihadi group away from the government supply line between Aleppo and Hama in the south. The Assad-held areas of Aleppo are currently supplied by way of a hard-to-guard desert road that runs down through Sfeira, Khanaser, and Ithriya past the Ismaili-populated Salamiyeh area east of Hama. In the Salamiyeh area itself, the Islamic State has been nibbling away at the government’s perimeter defenses, but the desert road up to Aleppo has been a relatively tranquil front. Still, for Assad, the Islamic State’s presence just next to his Aleppo artery is a lethal threat.


Directly south of this region, there is another area where Assad is vulnerable to the Islamic State—the eastern Homs region. It is impossible to tell what Russian intentions are, but if we’re looking at likely places for Russian air support to Assad, the area between Homs and Palmyra must be close to the top of the list.

The fall of Palmyra in May this year opened up the desert fringes east of Homs to the Islamic State. This is a target-rich environment, to say the least, and Assad’s overstretched army must be distressed by the sudden emergence of a new and untenably long frontline.

The region also contains the Syrian government’s last remaining oil and gas fields, as well as the pipelines that come with them. The Syrian military air base known as T4, located in the middle of the desert west of Palmyra, has emerged as the anchoring point of government defensive positions shielding these fields against the Islamic State.

As Carnegie’s Yezid Sayigh wrote a few months ago, and as David C. Butter lays out in detail in this excellent Chatham House report, much of Syria’s power grid runs on natural gas. The state-run national electricity infrastructure still powers all Syrian government and some rebel and Islamic State territories, but 80 percent of the gas feeding its power stations comes from the fields east of Homs. If Assad lost these gas fields and installations, it would therefore have a double effect. It would be a devastating blow to the regime, which is already in a state ofstructural and financial disrepair, and it could seriously aggravate the economic and humanitarian crisis throughout Syria.

All this makes the Homs-Palmyra region a particularly appealing target for Russian intervention:

  • First, it helps Assad stave off Islamic State attacks and could even enable his forces to recapture Palmyra and shorten the eastern front.
  • Second, it would publicly align Russia—and by extension Assad—with the United States and Europe in a joint struggle against the Islamic State. That’s exactly where Putin and Assad want to end up.
  • Third, it would help keep Syrian state institutions running and prevent a deepening of the humanitarian disaster in Syria. That’s a goal widely shared among the opposition’s Western allies, even though many rebels tend to view Assad as a greater evil than the Islamic State. If an air campaign in Palmyra helps drive a wedge into the opposition camp or among its backers, so much the better from the point of view of Putin and Assad.

Could the Homs-Palmyra area be a place where Russia will focus its air support? Time will tell, but one thing is certain: no one is likely to object too loudly as long as Russian airstrikes are aimed only at the Islamic State and take place in this region. For all we know, the White House might even have quietly ushered the Russians towards Palmyra, fearing that it would otherwise have to fly those bombing runs on its own.


Eastern Homs isn’t the only place where Assad is in a slow and painful retreat. This spring, the Syrian president was forced out of the city of Idlib and he has been losing ground ever since. By seizing Jisr al-Shughur and other towns in the area, the rebels have now opened up two venues of attack that threaten core regime areas. To the southwest lie the Alawite-populated mountains of the Latakia Governorate, from which much of the military elite hails. Due south of Jisr al-Shughur lie the Ghab Plains, a religiously mixed agricultural flatland that functions as the “soft underbelly” of Hama. So far, the Ghab seems to be where the rebels areconcentrating most of their firepower.

The groups digging their way down the Ghab are not aligned with the Islamic State. To the contrary, they are hostile to it. The centerpiece of the anti-Assad insurgency in this region is the Jaish al-Fatah (“Army of Conquest”), a coalition of Islamist groups. Its single biggest member faction is likely to be Ahrar al-Sham, a hardline group backed by Turkey and Qatar.Many of its leaders hail from villages in the Ghab Plains, giving them even more reason to prioritize that battle.

However, the other big group in the Jaish al-Fatah coalition is the Nusra Front, which is al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. That makes the Syrian northwest another very tempting target for the Russians, for both political and military reasons. Unlike the Islamic State, the Nusra Front is well embedded in the wider Sunni Islamist landscape, meaning that Russian strikes would cause rebel outrage and a political stir among opposition backers. Yet, the U.S. has been bombing select Nusra Front targets for a year now and every country on earth considers al-Qaeda to be fair game.

The alliance between the terrorist-listed Nusra Front and other rebels, which are backed by the Gulf States, Turkey, and the West, creates an opportunity for Putin to conduct strikes that would undoubtedly help Assad while also moving the target away from the Islamic State and toward more mainstream sections of the insurgency. If criticized, his enemies will be in the unenviable position of having to explain why the Russian government shouldn’t attack al-Qaeda. It is not the kind of argument that can be won in the West, at least not outside a very narrow circle of Syria wonks.


If at some point Putin decides to target other groups than the Islamic State, he’s not likely to stop at the Nusra Front. Whether right off the bat or after a while, he could easily widen the circle of attacks from al-Qaeda and start blasting away at every rebel group in Idlib, Hama, and Latakia under the pretext that they are either “terrorists” or “terrorist allies.” On the ground, things are obviously a bit more complex and, just as obviously, Putin knows that—but he has nothing to gain from acknowledging it.

To the contrary, the Kremlin has every reason to continue blurring the already indistinct dividing line between “extremist” and “moderate” rebels upon which Western states insist. Even though this neatly black and white categorization of Syria’s murky insurgency is at least partly fiction, it remains a politically indispensable formula for Western states that wish to arm anti-Assad forces. Which is precisely why erasing this distinction by extending airstrikes against all manners of rebels as part of an ostensibly anti-jihadi intervention, may turn out to be Putin’s long-term plan.

Blanket attacks on Syrian rebels on the pretext that they are all “al-Qaeda” would lead to much outraged commentary in the Western and Arab press. But to the Russian president it doesn’t matter if you think he’s Mad Vlad or Prudent Putin. He isn’t trying to win hearts and minds, least of all those of the Syrian rebels or their backers. Rather, he is trying to change the balance of power on the ground while firing missile after missile into the West’s political narrative.

Whatever one thinks of that, it is a big and bold idea of the sort that sometimes end up working.

#Occupation A new #intifada? You’re asking the wrong question!

A new intifada? You’re asking the wrong question ~ Ben White, MEMO, Tuesday, 06 October 2015.

Over the last few days, one question has been repeated over and over again: are we witnessing the beginning of a new intifada in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)?

It is understandable that people are asking this: more than 500 Palestinians were injured in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank over 72 hours – a third of whom were shot with live ammunition or rubber-coated metal bullets.

Since last Thursday, four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in different incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The latest fatality was a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, shot and killed by an Israeli soldier in Aida refugee camp in northern Bethlehem on Monday.

But debating whether or not the ongoing clashes constitute a third intifada is less useful than an assessment of the facts, an important part of which is the data we have for violence in the OPT, both by Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinians resisting their presence.

In 2015 to date, 30 Palestinians have been killed, and 8 Israelis. A comparison with 2014 figures is not so helpful, because of two major Israeli offensives: ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Operation Protective Edge’. In 2013, however, 38 Palestinians were killed and 4 Israelis.

Graph 1

A database maintained by the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, is a useful barometer of the level of Palestinian resistance in the OPT (once you get past the absurdity of Molotov cocktails targeting an occupying army being described as ‘terror attacks’).

Over a 12-month timespan from September 2014 to August 2015 inclusive (see Graph 1), the number of Palestinian attacks in the West Bank does vary, but has tended to range at between 100-150 incidents per month (targeting both occupation forces and settlers).

Graph 2

Graph 2, meanwhile, shows the number of ‘firebomb’ (i.e. Molotov cocktails) attacks recorded by Shin Bet over the same 12-month period. Again, there is no obvious, steady increase – though in East Jerusalem it is possible to discern a marked uptick in recent months that has been maintained.

Finally, in Graph 3, we see the number of Israeli raids on Palestinian communities, as well as how many Palestinians have been arrested, and injured. Taken together, these three graphs defy attempts to identify a straightforward trend or pattern.

Graph 3

The bigger picture, however, shows a clear increase in the number of Palestinian attacks on Israeli occupation forces and settlers. In 2011, Shin Bet recorded 320 such incidents in the West Bank: in 2012, this rose to 578, and in 2013, to 1,271 (including a five-fold increase in the use of firearms).

The relatively small number of Israeli fatalities in recent years – including, in 2012, a year when not a single Israeli was killed in the West Bank – can obscure this increase in Palestinian resistance (note that the vast majority of recorded ‘attacks’ are stone-throwing incidents or Molotov cocktails).

There are a number of factors at play here. The lack of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is part of the story, of course – but more significant is the main reason for this collapse in the peace process: an Israeli government ruled by the right and extreme-right.

Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, Moshe Ya’alon, Miri Regev, Ayelet Shaked – the Israeli cabinet is packed with politicians whose commitment to Palestinian statehood is suspect or explicitly non-existent – but whose dedication to the colonisation of East Jerusalem and West Bank is a matter of record.

When Yair Lapid is the voice of moderation inside government, and Isaac Herzog is the face of the ‘opposition’, you know things are bad. Many Palestinians gave up on the official ‘peace process’ track a long time ago – now even the die-hard believers are doubting what these talks can achieve.

Meanwhile, the various aspects of Israel’s apartheid regime remain: settlements grow, land is expropriated, Israeli forces kill civilians with impunity, Palestinians languish in Israeli jails, homes are demolished, settler violence continues, and Palestinian freedom of movement is restricted.

On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s political leadership and security forces are still opposed to a broader uprising. As Amira Hass put it, “Fatah’s shaky political condition precludes the convention of regular conferences, let alone the conducting of a new intifada.”

Writing in August, Mouin Rabbani pointed out how, for “most of the past decade”, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “has been systematically conducting offensive operations…against its own people and precisely in order to obstruct the emergence of a serious challenge to Israel’s occupation.”

It is those areas where PA forces wield less influence or are absent, such as the West Bank refugee camps, Area C, and most notably East Jerusalem, which have seen more consistent and intense confrontations with Israeli forces.

The factors Rabbani identified in the summer “that together conspire against renewed rebellion” have not disappeared. A groundswell of public support for a wider, more sustained and organised uprising, especially coming from Fatah activists, could change this, but it is unclear if this will materialise at the current juncture.

We have been here before. The Israeli media asked Is this a new intifada? as early as March 2006, almost a decade ago. A third intifada was described as “inevitable” but not imminent in 2011, inevitable again in 2012, while in 2013, an Israeli commander announced it had already begun.

Is this a new intifada? Simply put, it is too soon to tell, but probably not. However, rather than worrying about definitions or labels, it makes more sense to focus on the reality on the ground. This tells us that a new tide of Palestinian rebellion has been rising for the last few years, for the quite obvious reason that occupation, colonialism, and apartheid produces resistance.

Palestinian man being arrested by Israeli soldiers

Since last Thursday, four Israelis and four Palestinians have been killed in different incidents in the West Bank and Jerusalem, with dozens of Palestinians being arrested and injured by Israeli forces

The Basic Lies behind #Zionism’s ‘Basic Truths’

The Basic Lies behind Zionism’s ‘Basic Truths’ ~ Jeremy Salt, PalestineChronicle.com, Oct 5 2015. 

‘We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country. This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.’ Thus spoke the ‘deputy foreign affairs minister’ for the Zionist settler state, a woman called Tzipi Hotovely. So let’s go along with her and return to the basics, especially as the killing of two settlers near Hebron and two in Jerusalem in the past week again reminds us of them.

Since 1967 the people of Hebron have lived under the most, racist, brutal and illegal form of occupation in the world. Arguably, it is the worst place for a Palestinian living in eastern Palestine, also known as the West Bank, as opposed to the East Bank of the Jordan River. The settlers there are heavily armed and live under the protection of soldiers, police and a racist two-tier pseudo-legal system which authorizes apartheid. They put their own lives and the lives of their children at risk by coming to live on someone else’s land, against their wishes and without their consent. Their lives on this land are only made possible by the brutality and illegal actions of the settler state.

The settlers stabbed in East Jerusalem included a rabbi connected with Ateret Kohanim, the most aggressive and extreme of all settler organizations. The photo in the Israeli media showed him in military uniform because he is also part of a military rabbinate justifying the killing of Palestinians and other Arabs wherever and whenever the Zionist settler state decides to attack them. He and the other man who was stabbed chose to live in a city under occupation and therefore are responsible for the consequences of their own actions. There is no intrinsic difference between Palestinians killing Zionist settlers in their occupied homeland and Native Americans killing white settlers in their homeland two centuries ago.

Violence is always to be deplored. Everything said about it is correct. Violence only begets more violence. Its most destructive practitioners in modern times have been ‘western’ governments even as they continue to tell us that violence is not the way. History tells us otherwise: while violence should not be the way it often is. In the context of occupation there is not one occasion anywhere in the world when it has not been resisted violently by the indigenous population. Ending violence begins with ending the violence of the perpetrator, and not the retaliation of the victim.

All of Jerusalem and not just the eastern half – the site of the second recent attack on settlers – is an occupied Palestinian city that has been and continues to be subject to ethnic cleansing. Under the partition resolution of 1947 Jerusalem was to be set aside as a corpus separatum. Violating the wishes of the UN, which they never had any intention of respecting anyway, the Zionists seized the western part of the city, driving out the Palestinians and looting their property. Many of the finest houses in Jerusalem were taken over by Zionist settlers, often by high military or political officials. These buildings remain stolen property and their occupants are plain thieves. In 1967 the Zionists engaged in a second major bout of plunder, destruction and ethnic cleansing when they seized east Jerusalem, where Jewish property ownership was close to nil. In common law the expropriation of Palestinian property across Palestine was nothing less than theft on a grand scale. The Zionists owned almost nothing. Palestine was not theirs and their ability to take and hold it for the past seven decades has depended not on moral or legal right but the continuing application of brute force.

Jerusalem is not recognized as part of Israel or as Israel’s capital even by the government – of the US – that has funded and justified Israel’s occupation and massacres in Palestine and neighboring countries. The city does not have a mayor. It has a pseudo-mayor – an occupier’s mayor whose status is no different from that of any administrator put in place by an occupying army. The presence of settlers in East Jerusalem has no standing in international law except as a continuing violation of that law. The laws and regulations introduced by the occupier have no standing except as occupier’s laws and regulations. Where permanence is the goal of occupation, and that applies to every settler, every building in which they live, every field they plough and every road they build on the West Bank or east Jerusalem, the occupier’s ‘laws’ and ‘regulations’ stand only as a violation of international law. The situation across all of Palestine is analogous. No law ever did or could have allowed the Zionists to dispossess the Palestinians and seize their property. They are entitled to return and reclaim it no matter how much time passes.

The occupation of Palestine has been maintained through successive generations of unrelieved and horrifying violence. Massively and overwhelmingly it comes from one side, partly because the occupied have been denied the weapons needed to defend themselves. It is completely grotesque for Amnesty International to put Zionist and Palestinian violence in the same category and subject to the same indictments. There is the massive violence of the occupier and the massively smaller violence of the occupied. Amnesty prefers not to make the distinction. The Zionist and western media reported two parents being killed in Hebron ‘in front of their children’ in Hebron whereas in Gaza last year and in Gaza and Lebanon in previous years, Zionist forces have murdered thousands of parents along with their children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents. They kill not one or two but hundreds at a time. The infant who survived in Hebron was described in the media as a ‘toddler.’ Is there any memory of even one of the thousands of children killed by the Zionists in Gaza, the West Bank being described as a ‘toddler’? The man and woman killed in Hebron were Zionist settlers living on land defined as occupied under international law. That is why they were attacked and that is how they should be described.

On the occupied West Bank and in occupied east Jerusalem the Zionists kill, seize property and humiliate with the ongoing consent and protection of the state. The law is applied according to whether the victim of violence is a Zionist settler or the Palestinian subjected to occupation. Within 24 hours of the killing of the settlers in Hebron occupation forces had pounced on Nablus and rounded up suspected of the attack. Yet weeks have passed without the murderers of the Dawabshe family being arrested. This is not an anomaly. Settler murderers are rarely punished while even stone-throwing young Palestinians are shot dead on sight. The equation is not accidental: acts of Zionist terror hasten the complete engorgement of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is the way it has always been: today is no different from 1948. The soldiers and border police who enforce the occupier’s law know the state will protect them whatever the heinous nature of their crimes.

By moving into land which is the private or collective property of another people the settlers put themselves and their children at risk. Their status is no different from that of German civilians moved into Poland and France during the Second World War. It made no difference to members of the French maquis whether the Germans they killed in cafes or on the streets were soldiers or civilians. They were all part of the same occupying presence and there could be no mercy for any of them. When Palestinians retaliate in the same way and for the same reason, the occupiers of their homeland respond in the same way as the German occupiers of France did. They call them ‘terrorists.’ Yet who is ultimately responsible for these acts of violence, the occupier or the occupied who retaliates?

The colonization of Algeria is a close parallel case. Just like the Zionist settler state, massive violence was directed against the native population of Algeria by the occupation forces. The FLN – again, ‘terrorists’ in the eyes of the occupying French government – struck back at settlers as well as soldiers and the colonial administration. Behind the strength of de Gaulle in declaring the end of the occupation lay the weakness of the French state. It was no longer able to hold on to its colonial possessions in Africa or Indochina. Behind the strength of de Klerk in declaring an end to apartheid in South Africa lay the inability of the white minority regime to maintain the status quo any longer. Israel shows no signs of learning from these lessons.

In Palestine – like Algeria – occupation and colonization are directed by a member of the UN in flagrant violation of international law. Does such a state deserve to remain a member of the UN any more than South Africa did? Some settlers may say they come to ‘share’ the land but they do not extend the same ‘right’ of sharing to the Palestinians driven out of their homeland in 1948 and 1967. In any case, professed good intentions (genuine or deceitful) are marginal to the state ideology of settlement and displacement. The killing of Palestinians is only part of a continuing story of murder, theft, deprivation and humiliation at every level and on a massive scale. Zionism is the ideological basis of the most complete form of occupation in modern history. It is the Zionist state that is the ultimate source of violence in Palestine and the Zionist state that stands as the barrier to a rational peace.

The right of resistance is sanctioned under international law and under this law Jerusalem and the West Bank – at least – are legally defined as occupied territories. The occupier’s ‘foreign minister’ simply repeats the lies of generations. The Zionists hold Palestine by force. It is not ‘theirs’ and as her remarks indicate they are not even willing to share it. The Palestinians have every right to resist them.

– Jeremy Salt is an associate professor of Middle Eastern history and politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. 

Vigilante group Ateret Cohanim work with police to clear out a Palestinian home. (Richard Stitt, Demotix, via jfjfp.com)
Vigilante group Ateret Cohanim work with police to clear out a Palestinian home. (Richard Stitt, Demotix, via jfjfp.com)

Does Article 8 survive adoption?


“But a public body running a post-adoption letterbox service is obliged under Art. 8 to respect correspondence between a birth parent and an adopted child and adopters, the obligation arising from the nature of the correspondence and not from the former parent-child relationship.”

Originally posted on UK Human Rights Blog:

Image: Guardian Image: Guardian

H H Keith Hollis

There has been further consideration of potential post-adoption Article 8 rights for natural parents in a judgment by Peter Jackson J in the case of Seddon v Oldham MBC. There are no surprises in the conclusions he reaches.

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On Cue, #Israel Suddenly Claims To Uncover “First Suspected #ISIS Cell”

On Cue, Israel Suddenly Claims To Uncover “First Suspected ISIS Cell” ~ Activist PostOCTOBER 3, 2015.

In a bizarre announcement no doubt designed to coincide with Russia’s bombing campaign against ISIS, Israel now claims they suddenly “uncovered” the “first suspected ISIS cell” in Israel well over one year since the ISIS show began, during which time ISIS has remarkably never attacked Israel.

Unfortunately for Israel it’s well known throughout the world that not only is Israel one of the primary players behind ISIS but that ISIS will show up anywhere in the world, except Israel. ISIS has not even once attacked Israel as it has with other countries like Iraq and Syria, both which happen to be on Israel’s list of countries they (Israel) wanted to break up for the so-called “greater Israel” plans long ago declared.

Despite the fact that Israel is a stone’s throw away from where ISIS originated and an attack on Israel would be more efficient, more realistic and much more meaningful from an “ISIS” point of view, no such attack has ever been done. Instead, we’ve been asked to believe all this time that ISIS would prefer to travel all the way to the United States, thousands of miles across the ocean to attack American cities. This, according to Western mainstream media and politicians, was such a sure thing that many politicians and Middle East “experts” were warning Americans by the end of 2014 of the inevitable ISIS attacks coming soon. Criminal Leon Panetta even boldly came out and stated that ISIS was a “30 year war.” The goal back then was to make ISIS seem greater than god. That this god of terrorism refused to attack next door neighbor Israel remained a mystery. But now that Russia is destroying Israel’s ISIS with real air attacks posing a threat to Israeli plans in the Middle East we see that this whole ISIS mystery is about to change.

In this new story strikingly contradictory of literally everything that is known about ISIS, the Israeli propaganda machine is claiming, almost comically, not only that they have uncovered the first suspected ISIS cell in Israel but that the perpetrators have been arrested. Amazing how all this time no one was aware of this secret ISIS operation until now that Russia is bombing ISIS. ISIS apparently completely evaded Israeli intelligence, surveillance, security, military operations, police and all and successfully set up a cell smack in the middle of Israel without anyone realizing it until now. Isn’t this timing an amazing coincidence? Worse than that a close examination of the story reveals this is all based on conversations and claims that the cell was “on behalf” of ISIS. The story couldn’t get any more vague:

Two of the suspects, Muhammad Sharif, 22, and Ahmed Mahajna, 19, both from the northern Israeli town of Yafia near the Arab-majority city of Nazareth, had contacted two Israeli-Arabs from the same town who had traveled to Iraq to fight for ISIS, the Shin Bet said, according to The Times of Israel.

The two Israeli-Arab ISIS militants in Syria, Muhammad Kilani and Muhammad Kananneh, told the men to establish the ISIS cell in Israel with the third suspect, 23-year-old Muhammad Jazalah. Israeli media reports said the three men already had connections to radical Islamists before setting up the suspected ISIS cell.

All three of the suspects charged with plotting terrorist attacks admitted to security forces that they had planned to launch attacks on behalf of ISIS. They also confessed to purchasing weapons, training with them and gathering intelligence on military and police sites in the country.

So were these guys actually ISIS or just a convenient story of claims being made by men in order to support state propaganda? It’s not like Israel has done this before right?

Actually, this is not the first time we’ve seen these bizarre convenient arrest announcements from Israel. As we observed in Israel’s illegal attacks against the people of Palestine in 2014, Israel always seems to arrest key “suspects” who conveniently confess to things that fit the agenda of the moment. We saw this pointedly last year (2014) when Israel claimed to have captured a key Hamas leader who then confessed (contrary to all reports) that Hamas was indeed behind the murder of the three teenagers whose murder was used as the key justification by Israel for the reckless bombing of Palestinians in Gaza. The problem with this story is that “Saleh Al-Arouri,” the captured supposed Hamas leader whose story contradicted the claims of Hamas fighters, was also living in an Israeli-friendly region of Turkey, spent many years in an Israeli prison for unclear “terrorism” charges and had long been suspected of working for “both sides.” So it shouldn’t strike anyone as a coincidence that we’re hearing a story of another arrest, this time “ISIS” fighters conveniently caught in a “suspected ISIS cell” in Israel.

This seemingly staged and very convenient scenario comes too late, however, for Israel who was busted earlier this year by Iraqi officials when ISIS militants “advisors” were captured and discovered to be working for Israel and the U.S.. It’s too late since even a U.N. report from earlier this year (2015) confirmed Israeli ties to ISIS.

Nevertheless Jack Moore of Newsweek puts the psyop lies in writing hoping Americans digest the propaganda:

Security forces in August dismantled the first suspected Islamic State (ISIS) cell in Israel, the country’s Shin Bet security agency said on Thursday, The Times of Israel reported.

Authorities arrested three suspects accused of planning to conduct attacks for the terrorist group on Israeli soil, and another suspect was charged with joining the cell. The four suspects were indicted at Nazareth District Court on Thursday for contact with a foreign agent, membership of an illegal organization, activity in the organization and weapons charges.

In addition to the four suspects, three other people were charged with aiding the alleged ISIS cell.

Two of the suspects, Muhammad Sharif, 22, and Ahmed Mahajna, 19, both from the northern Israeli town of Yafia near the Arab-majority city of Nazareth, had contacted two Israeli-Arabs from the same town who had traveled to Iraq to fight for ISIS, the Shin Bet said, according to The Times of Israel.

The two Israeli-Arab ISIS militants in Syria, Muhammad Kilani and Muhammad Kananneh, told the men to establish the ISIS cell in Israel with the third suspect, 23-year-old Muhammad Jazalah. Israeli media reports said the three men already had connections to radical Islamists before setting up the suspected ISIS cell.

It is clear to see that the propaganda is now free-flowing from Israel and the Western (Zionist) mainstream media outlets. The Zionist-led Western media is the historic master of propaganda both literally and figuratively. This ridiculous new narrative only proves that desperate times really do require desperate measures. No one should underestimate the level of desperation and propaganda coming out of Washington and Israel over the past few days ever since their Syrian strategy started falling apart and their ISIS proxy army started facing death and destruction at the hands of actual bombing campaigns from the new Russian anti-ISIS coalition. For the first time ISIS fighters are actually threatened with being killed. For the first time the people who are supposed to be bombing ISIS are not also secretly supporting them with weapons and supplies while pretending to be against them.

Life at the ISIS camp has changed dramatically as recently resigned former ISIS Czar General John Allen discovered. Seeing the new scenario unfolding Allen went straight for the door, and who wouldn’t?

Now is the best time to marvel at U.S.-Israeli propaganda; and it’s even more interesting to observe the thoughts and reactions of the people who digest their lies regardless of how disconnected it is from reality. This recent Israeli propaganda is no doubt intended to deceive those who believe their government and media wouldn’t lie to them telling them that Israel is against ISIS, and maybe Israel (not Russia, Iran or Iraq) should be the ones in Syria fighting ISIS. This story is likely just a precursor story intended to create the backdrop for a future declaration of Israeli aggression in Syria. The goal is to get Israel in Syria to defend ISIS or as they’ll say the “Syrian rebels” one way or another.

Well, so much for ISIS not attacking Israel right? But wait, the supposed ISIS fighters were caught before they could even fire off one round. So the claim can still be made. ISIS has still not attacked Israel. Not one Israeli killed by ISIS yet. With an amazing stroke of luck the attack was prevented almost pre-crime Minority Report style.

Want to know who’s really behind ISIS? Take a look around and see who is reacting with the most displeasure to the Russia anti-ISIS bombing campaign. Plain and simple and by all logical reasoning both the U.S. and Israel should be thrilled that Russia is joining them in their supposed year-long losing fight against ISIS. That allows both the U.S. and Israel to save money, save ammunition and resources and should officially peacefully align Russia with both Israel and the United States. Any observer should be asking how is this not happening? Aren’t common enemies supposed to come together? The only way to rationalize this is by realizing what we already know, that ISIS is a creation of Israel and the U.S. with the support of its allies and that the creation of ISIS was all about destroying Syria like they did with Libya and Iraq. Should we all stand around and do nothing now that this war crime is fully revealed?

The world is awake and aware of U.S.’s and Israel’s ISIS and their agenda in Syria. These key new world order players chose this game, not Russia, not Iran or Iraq and now it is entirely possible this could be the impetus for WWIII which in some ways has already begun. It is up to everyone who cares about truth to continue to expose this. The battle between mainstream media and alternative media, I believe, is at its peak and is now defined by this ISIS psyop as much as it is defined by any other story. The story of ISIS and the Intelligence battle it represents, I believe is a measure of how effective the Internet and alternative media can be against Intelligence agencies and their mainstream media outlets. For that reason everyone should pay attention to this story and try to spread the awareness.


Information sharing is probably the most important immediate solution you can implement in your life with regard to this important issue. Some would argue that you should be involved in the voting process and vote out politicians who support war. Surely that is another solution, and that may work at some point, but what about when the voting process is rigged like everything else? The fight then becomes more complex. That’s why focusing on bottom-up solutions are the only way to approach this. Remove your consent first in your personal life. Find your voice and use it to push back by opposing wars of aggression. When the terrorists are funded by the same countries that claim the need to continue the war on terror it’s time to end the phony “war on terror” once and for all. Let’s hold politicians and our local police to this at the lowest level. The story of ISIS proves that information and awareness does have an impact on the end result so let’s keep the information and awareness flowing in the direction of truth and watch as the lies, like this story, continue to crumble. The globalists after all, are scrambling and desperate for a reason.

Bernie is a revolutionary writer with a background in medicine, psychology, and information technology. He has written numerous articles over the years about freedom, government corruption and conspiracies, and solutions. A former host of the 9/11 Freefall radio show, Bernie is also the creator of the Truth and Art TVproject where he shares articles and videos about issues that raise our consciousness and offer solutions to our current problems. His efforts are designed to encourage others to joyfully stand for truth, to expose government tactics of propaganda, fear and deception, and to address the psychology of dealing with the rising new world order. He is also a former U.S. Marine who believes it is our duty to stand for and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. A peace activist, he believes information and awareness is the first step toward being free from enslavement from the globalist control system which now threatens humanity. He believes love conquers all fear and it is up to each and every one of us to manifest the solutions and the change that you want to see in this world, because doing this is the very thing that will ensure victory and restoration of the human race from the rising global enslavement system, and will offer hope to future generations. 



#Sykes-Picot #Israel #Ethnic-cleansing The roots of #Syria’s tragedy!

The roots of Syria’s tragedy ~ John McHugo, Al Jazeera, 05 Oct 2015.

The current crisis can be traced back to events following the arbitrary partition of the Ottoman Empire.

Before Syria descended into chaos in 2011, it had been forced to accommodate waves of refugees, writes McHugo [Getty Images]Before Syria descended into chaos in 2011, it had been forced to accommodate waves of refugees, writes McHugo [Getty Images] 

The conflict in Syria is often described as the greatest humanitarian disaster of the 21st century. Half of Syria’s population of 24 million has been displaced either internally or externally, and unprecedented numbers of refugees are frantically seeking safety in Europe. These include Muslims and Christians alike.

Many are professional people with transferable skills and some knowledge of English or French, but there are also tens of thousands of rural poor, who will find adapting to life on a different continent very difficult.

Their push at the European door shows that they, too, want the life that Europeans lead: with freedom, democracy, and a chance to make their own way in an economic environment that is not strangled by corruption.

Ramifications of Sykes-Picot

Nevertheless, by drawing attention to the scale of this tragedy, commentators risk depriving it of context. It is but the latest – if not the largest – in a series of refugee crises arising from the events that followed on from the arbitrary partition of the Arabic-speaking provinces of the Ottoman Empire by Britain and France after World War I.

That partition led to injustices intertwined with instability, which have played their part in incubating the Syrian tragedy. Before Syria descended into chaos in 2011, it had been forced – as had Jordan and Lebanon – to accommodate successive waves of destitute people fleeing their homes.

Syria gave refuge to Iraqis escaping the effects of sanctions after 1990, and then from the organised crime and sectarian strife which have been hallmarks of the new Iraq since 2003. It did what it could with its limited resources, although the influx put strains on its economy and society.

When the father of Alan al Kurdi, the three year old who drowned in the surf near Bodrum, rebuked wealthy Arab states for not offering hospitality to Syrian refugees, many will have heard an echo of the plea of the Palestinians for justice.

The poorest refugees became very noticeable in the cities, where they almost drove the local shoe-shine boys out of business. Overcrowded schools were faced with a deluge of additional pupils for which there was little funding. At the same time, Iraqis with money started buying homes. This exacerbated a severe housing shortage and even led to a change in laws to restrict house purchases by foreigners.

Yet, this wasn’t the only refugee crisis in the area at that time. During Israel’s pulverisation of Lebanon in the summer of 2006, nearly one million Lebanese – perhaps over a quarter of the country’s population – were displaced internally or turned into refugees who fled the country.

Around 180,000 entered Syria and were frequently welcomed by hospitable local families, even in the poorest areas of the country. These refugees were lucky since most were eventually able to return home.

Before that, during Lebanon’s 15 years of civil war from 1975 to 1990, Lebanese were routinely forced to take refuge with their kith and kin in the heartland of their sect-tribe. Many of them, too, would finally be able to return to their homes.

Never-ending plight

But the earliest refugee crisis was that of Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. Even before the unilateral proclamation of the State of Israel in May 1948, much dispossession of Palestinians had already been carried out by the Zionist militias that would become the Israeli army.

As the Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi has succinctly put it, those who set up the Jewish state, “understood the well-established demographic calculus of Palestine, which meant that without such ethnic cleansing, the new state would have had nearly as many Arabs as Jews”.

Also read: Lost your compassion? Watch this film

Some of these refugees still live under Israeli occupation for the purposes of international law, such as the 70 percent of the population of Gaza who were driven into the enclave by Israeli forces. Although some of them live virtually in sight of their ancestral homes, they have little prospect of return.

Other Palestinians have made new lives abroad, but many have been unable to do so. With the exception of Jordan, Arab countries have been unwilling to give them full citizenship.

Their despair at their abandonment by the international community caused some to turn to armed resistance, something which led to the bloody crushing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Jordan during “Black September” in 1970, the eventual destabilisation of Lebanon in the 1970s, the Israeli invasion of 1982, in which thousands of civilians were killed, and, more recently, the suicide bombings and untargeted rockets fired at Israeli civilians by Hamas and other Islamist resistance groups.

When the father of Alan al Kurdi, the three year old who drowned in the surf near Bodrum, rebuked wealthy Arab states for not offering hospitality to Syrian refugees, many will have heard an echo of the plea of the Palestinians for justice.

With the future of Syria so uncertain, will many Syrians, too, now find themselves deprived of the right to return to their homes? If so, the long-term consequences on the stability of the area are unbearable to think about.

John McHugo is the author of “A Concise History of the Arabs” and “Syria: A Recent History”.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Source: Al Jazeera