Saturday 20 April 2019

Is Julian Assange An Anti Semite As Well As A Publisher?

By Eve Mykytyn
The public debate around Assange has to do with government secrecy, the rights of the press and the ability of the United States to impose its laws upon a nonresident noncitizen. Why is it then that for some outlets the crucial issue is whether Assange is an anti Semite? Must every public figure undergo examination for possible anti Semitism or is this how an unrelated discourse is diverted?
The media has frequently accused Assange of anti Semitism with what seems like shaky evidence. See: The GuardianSlateWired and The New York Times. The media does not credit Assange’s consistent denials, failing to treat them as even evidence of his own state of mind.
Not surprisingly, the faux left outlet The Forward gives breathless coverage to Assange’s ‘anti Semitism,’  lamenting that his anti Semitism persists “despite the fact that some of his most loyal employees and public defenders are themselves Jewish.” Actually, this fact gives weight to Assange’s claim that he is not an anti Semite.
As evidence, the Forward charges that Assange employed “the anti Semitic holocaust denier … Israel Shamir.” Shamir has denied such allegations, writing: “my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, … I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust.”  Whatever Shamir is, does merely employing him transfer his beliefs to Assange? Is anti Semitism, like the measles, contagious?
The editor of the British Magazine Private Eye, Ian Hislop  wrote about an alleged phone call he had with Assange based solely “as much as I could remember.”  According to Hislop, Assange said there was an “international conspiracy to smear Wikileaks… an obvious attempt to deprive him and his organisation of Jewish support and donations.”  Assange called Hislop’s story a lie, and noted that his organization has “some Jewish staff and enjoys wide spread Jewish support” and has itself been accused of working on behalf of the Mossad and George Soros.
Some of Assange’s other offenses? He called out the idiocy of those who identify as Jewish by using a triple parentheses. ((())): The WikiLeaks website’s online shop sold a t shirt with the words “first they came for Assange,” words that the Forward interprets as Assange comparing himself to a holocaust victim, apparently a comparison only permitted the children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of a holocaust victim.
Haaretz, the ‘liberal’ Israeli outlet uses Assange’s alleged anti Semitism to join their Labour brethren in condemning Corbyn. Why? Here’s the Haaretz  headline:  “Why Jeremy Corbyn Loves Julian Assange So Much; The UK Labour leader’s kneejerk support for the Wikileaks founder is entirely predictable, as is Corbyn’s lack of response to the scent of anti-Semitism Assange exudes.”
Jeremy Corbyn called Assange a twenty-first century folk hero for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and has opposed his extradition. Yet Haaretz fantastically ‘discerns’ that the real reason Corbyn supports Assange is because Wikileaks published material stolen from the CIA that included 2500 files relating to cables sent by the U.S. Embassy in Israel.
Why do Israel’s supporters condemn Assange with seemingly irrelevant charges of anti Semitism?  Anti Semitism is the default argument against perceived opponents of Israel.
I suspect that the true basis of their opposition is based on Corbyn’s actual words. Assange exposed the present neocon wars for the tragic mess they are. And the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were pushed by Israel.  As Israel seems to be leading us to the edge of a war with Iran, it hardly wants us reminded of the deadly costs of war.
By damning Assange for anti Semitism instead of grappling with the more important issues of waging neocon wars or even freedom of the press, some of Israel’s supporters can maintain their ‘leftist’ credentials  while still helping to minimize Assange’s influence.

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Brothers in fate

By Imran Malik
Israel and India are the two fulcrums or centers of power in the Greater Middle East Region (GMER), the South-Central Asian Region (SCAR) and the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR) around which the US’ current and future geostrategic and geopolitical interests appear to evolve. Both have the blistering issues of Palestine and Kashmir to contend with, respectively. Whether it is Palestine or increasingly Kashmir now, the ominous and omnipresent shadow of the US lurking in the background is undeniable!
Israel’s unchallenged hegemony over the GMER is well established. India’s compulsive fixation upon nuclear Pakistan denies it a position of unassailable supremacy even in the lowly Indo-Pak subcontinent, much less at the South Asian, SCAR or even the larger IPR levels. A solution to the intractable Kashmir issue, potentially the world’s likeliest nuclear flashpoint, is key to India’s breaking free of nuclear Pakistan’s invisible shackles on its emergence as a regional power of consequence – to ostensibly challenge China one day.
Jimmy Johnson, an organizer with the Palestine Cultural Office in Dearborn, in his article, “The Electronic Intifada”, highlights the similarities between the fates of Palestine and Kashmir and the manner in which both Israel and India are suppressing them and equating their freedom struggles with terrorism. The analogy between the two worsens as all the methodologies, practices and tools of suppression/oppression/pacification perfected by Israel in Palestine are getting increasingly replicated in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) and vice versa. They work in tandem to suppress these peoples.
India blatantly disregards UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir. It relentlessly seeks succor from external sources to retain its stranglehold over it. Israel provides it with the necessary expertise courtesy its occupation of Palestine. The US has the wherewithal to help it in the military, diplomatic and political domains in perpetuating the status quo in Kashmir – albeit at a price. This convergence of geopolitical and geostrategic interests/compulsions causes them to gravitate towards one another, much to the detriment of the Kashmiris’ cause for the UN mandated Right to Self Determination.
Both Israel and India are conniving at the geostrategic and geopolitical levels to bludgeon the Palestinians and the Kashmiris into submission. The Indians are literally aping the Israelis in IHK. As the Israelis have brought in Jewish people from around the world to settle them in the occupied lands, similarly PM Modi now wants to change the demography of IHK. In its manifesto for Elections 2019 the BJP has promised to rescind Articles 370 and 35A from the Indian Constitution. These two steps would rescind the special status of J&K/IHK as well as allow non-permanent residents of J&K/IHK to buy land in the occupied territories. That will be the preliminary step to changing the demographic character of the J&K/IHK region. By permanently (re)settling Hindus (even retired armed forces personnel and their families) in J&K/IHK the Modi Government hopes to turn the Muslim majority into a minority thus neutralizing the “threat” that the Union of India feels from a possible UNSC sanctioned plebiscite for the Right to Self-Determination, someday. Another plan in the offing is to force the Muslims of J&K/IHK into refugee camps along the LOC and then generate a refugee crisis by pushing them across the LOC into Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), under Pakistan control – a la Palestine. Ostensibly, that will force Pakistan to accept them which in turn will help the Indians reverse the demographic character/majority of Muslims in IHK.
Although a long shot, any recognition of IHK as a part of India by the US, a la Golan Heights, would have unmanageable, unlimited strategic consequences!
The Indians have brutalized Kashmir and Kashmiris. The rampant use of the pellet gun and semi/automatic weapons kills, blinds, scars and maims them on an hourly/daily basis. The savage cordon and search operations violate the sanctity of Kashmiri households not sparing their womenfolk, children, the old or the infirm. Brutal beatings, shootings, killings, injuries, tortures, rapes, murders, incarcerations, demolitions of houses, strikes, ransacking businesses etc define their daily lives. Special oppressive laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the earlier Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (TADA) or the Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA) literally licensed the Indian Armed Forces to bludgeon them into abject submission to the Indian state. The failure of this policy is evident through the unrelenting indigenous Kashmiri uprising.
Through force multiplication the Israelis have helped improve the capacities of the Indian military in suppressing the Kashmiris and the multiple popular revolts in over a dozen other states in the Indian Union. Israel has trained thousands of Indian military personnel in counter insurgency techniques since 2003. MOSSAD and SHIN BET (General Security Service) have trained their Indian counterparts in gathering intelligence and conducting intelligence-based operations in insurgency affected areas, in particular J&K/IHK. India is now the largest buyer of Israeli military technology and equipment.
Ominously for Pakistan, Israel and its intelligence tentacles are now literally present and proactive in its backyard – J&K/IHK.
In the recent Indo-Pak flareup post-Pulwama the US actually gave its silent approval to India to “exercise its right for self-defense” and carry out “ostensible punitive strikes” inside Pakistan. In other words, unambiguously stamp its hegemony over it and the region. The Indians struck using Israel supplied SPICE-2000 bombs at Balakot and failed miserably. The flareup ended with the Indians humiliated and making frivolous, fictitious and false claims of (un)achieved military targets, aims and objectives. Not only were their military (in)competence exposed but also their penchant for claiming successes/victories that never were. It was contemptible conduct thoroughly unbecoming professional armed forces. The US then intervened swiftly to save India from further losses, embarrassments and humiliations.
Israeli contribution to the pains and wails of the Kashmiris is thus very significant. Changing the demography of the valley through illegal settlements may have unintended consequences for India – quite unlike Palestine. A relentless reign of state sponsored terror, a change in their status and a denial of all liberties and space to the Kashmiris will impact the strategic dimensions of the disputed territories very dramatically.
Forced into a corner, they might seek and find their natural strategic depth in AJ&K!

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Ashamed to be an Englishman’: Roger Waters slams UK as accomplice of US Empire in Assange saga

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“The “Deal of The Century” Won’t Go Through: Split Among Palestinians Supports Israel 1/3” is locked The “Deal of The Century” Won’t Go Through: Split Among Palestinians Supports Israel 1/3

By Elijah. J. Magnier
History of Israel 2834c
For over a year now, the Israeli “Deal of the Century” for Palestine has been endorsed by the US establishment and is now echoing to the four corners of the world. The two novices in foreign policy, US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, manoeuvred by Israel from behind the scenes, are trying to promote it among Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, the three countries who are supposed to exchange territories to further Israel’s plans in Gaza and the West Bank. It remains improbable that the US and Israel can impose this plan that has taken shape under the watchful but impotent gaze of Europe and the Arab nations.
Notwithstanding US-Arab-Israeli initial approval of this deal, the ultimate decision is in the hands of the Palestinian people. Although bickering and serious splits are omnipresent among the Palestinian leadership, all (including the President ad interimMahmoud Abbas) have agreed to reject the Israeli-US deal. Thus, the “Deal of the Century” is expected to fall through because the Palestinians will never again make the mistake they made in1948, and will hold on to their territory. They will not agree to exchange Palestine for parcels of land in Egypt and Jordan as written in the plan leaked by the same US establishment.
Palestinian officials said “the Deal of the Century was launched by Israel in 1956 when, for nine days, Israel was committing genocidal massacres against Palestinian civilians and refugees in the Gaza strip and in particular in Khan Yunis and Rafah. The objective then was to push the Palestinian refugees toward an exodus so Israel could annex Gaza without refugees. The Palestinians who sought shelter in Gaza escaped the Israeli killing in 1948 from Akka, Haifa, Yafa, Safad, Gallilea, al-Led, al-Ramla, Nablus, al-Quds and Bir el-Sabe’. 


In 1948 , after Nakba King Abudalla the first annexed the West bank to his Emirate in East Jordan to act as a buffer zone between Syria, Iraq and Occupied Plestine, and between Syria and Arabia. 

Nabblus and al-Quds were occupied in 1967 not in 1948. 
Palestinian of Safad, Gallilea  Akka and Haifa moved to Lebanon and Syria
Today, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is trying to accomplish what David-Ben Gurion, the founder of the Zionist state and the first Prime Minister of this state, failed to achieve”.
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“Today Netanyahu feels euphoric following the victory of the extreme right-wing parties in the last elections. Extremism in Israel dominates the Knesset. The classic right-wing party has a share in power but centrists like Labour went from 42 seats to 6 in the last legislative elections, its worst showing in its 71-year history. Thus, most of Israeli society has decided to vote for the extremism that is now overwhelming Israeli culture together with the armed forces. It is time for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to realize that Israel is not willing to give a state to the Palestinians and will always reject the right of return. No one today except President Abbas holds to the Oslo agreement(signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993 in Washington). Thus, it is time to reject every single article in the Oslo treaty and refuse any deal with Israel. President Abbas (Abu Mazen) believes in peaceful resistance and in “talking-resistance” at the United Nations and Europe, both of whom are impotent in the face of Israel’s plans and those of Trump. For this reason, we believe that armed resistance is the only way to get our state, because we reject any deal and any swap of territories”, said the source.
Several Arab states are promoting the Israeli “Deal of the Century”. Oil-rich countries, i.e. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, are trying to convince the Palestinians, Egyptians and the Jordanian leadership to swap territories to ease the deal and accommodate Israel.
According to well-informed sources, the “Deal of the Century” offers Egypt a sum between 65 and 100 billion dollars in exchange for offering part of Sinai (Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah and al-Aresh) to the Palestinian refugees in Gaza. In exchange, Jordan gives al-Baqoura and al-Ghamer to the Palestinians in the West Bank in exchange of “part C’. Amman would be offered around 50 to 60 billion dollars. Saudi Arabia is expected to offer Jordan a piece of Haql and Magna in exchange for the Egyptian islands of Tiran and Sanafir (the Saudis already paid for these Islands but an Egyptian court blocked the transfer of property). The Palestinians who remain in Palestine are expected, according to the deal, to receive tens of billions of dollars “to ease their life”. Also, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are supposed to receive a handsome quantity of billions of dollars to naturalize the Palestinian refugees on the condition they never return to Palestine.
The above details of the “Deal” confirm that it will not go through for many reasons: Lebanon and Syria will never agree to naturalize the Palestinian refugees. When young Palestinian teens living in Lebanon or Syria are asked where they come from, they immediately respond: “I am from Haifa, Yafa, Nablous, Quds, Safad…” They never say, even if they were born in Lebanon or Syria, that they belong to the country their parents or grandparents were forced to migrate to. They have never renounced their right to return and keep the key of their home hanging on the wall so as to never, ever forget where they belong.
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Jordanian and Egyptian leaders will never dare offer territories to ease Israel’s plan because the population will revolt and regimes will fall. These and many more reasons lead to one conclusion: the “Deal of the Century” was dead even before it was born.
At the heart of US efforts to promote the deal is the economic strangulation of a few Middle Eastern countries – i.e. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Gaza – who are going through a serious economic crisis. US forces are occupying north-east Syria, an area rich in oil and gas and agriculture. US forces also block the main crossing between Syria and Iraq at al-Tanf in order to block trade and keep the area insecure for commerce between the two countries, with the goal of breaking the Syrian government’s back. The US establishment is also putting pressure on the Arab Gulf States and has succeeded in stopping them from restoring a normal relationship with Syria, to prevent their participation in the reconstruction of the country. Israel and the US believe this is the best way to force Syria to the negotiation table- but this is not going to happen either.
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Lebanon is going through a severe economic crisis but will never accept to naturalize the Palestinians for many reasons. First, the Palestinian cause will remain alive so long as Israel rejects a Palestinian state that meets the aspiration of the Palestinian population. Second, naturalization would unbalance the country’s demography and to the detriment of the Christians so that they eventually be marginalized in Lebanon.
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Neither will Jordan ever exchange this territory, even for the billions of dollars the country is in need of. By taking the money the monarchy would lose the country.
Egypt rejected Trump’s characteristic attempt at blackmail to force acceptance of the “Deal of the Century”. US officials threatened Egypt in reference to its military deal with Russia; in reality, these threats were meant to force Sisi’s hand into accepting the “Deal”.
All these Middle Eastern countries are aware that geography moves history and changes regimes. This “deal” is not new at all. It started in 1956 and over the years Israel has contrived to create the conditions for its acceptance. It is exactly what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice advocated in 2006 when she announced the creation of a “New Middle East”. To support this plan, the US invaded Iraq in 2003; Israel declared war on Hezbollah in 2006 and half of the world gathered – but failed – to change the regime in Syria by means of terrorist proxies. His recent election victory is motivating Netanyahu to take advantage of a totally obedient President in the White House, and push him to endorse his “deal of the Century”. The time is right, from Israel’s point of view, to push through the deal. This Israeli insistence is forcing its neighbors to the opposite conclusion: it is proof to the “Axis of the Resistance” that no solution is possible in the Middle East but through resistance.
Note: The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba (Arabic: النكبة‎, al-Nakbah, literally “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), occurred from December 1947 to January 1949 when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestine war. 600 Palestinian villages were sacked during the war, while urban Palestine was almost entirely extinguished.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Iranian FM Spokesperson: We Are Working To Enhance Peace, Security and Stability in Syria, the Region

In his first interview with a non-Iranian media outlet, the spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Minister, Sayyed Abbas Mousavi, said that the visit by his country’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, to Damascus and later to Ankara is very important.
Speaking to al-Ahed News Website, he explained that the visit would have a great impact on the expansion and development of the Islamic Republic’s relations with Syria and Turkey, especially in the fields of economy and trade.
Mousavi also pointed out that the visit is of particular importance in bridging differences on regional issues.
According to Mousavi, the visit is an important step to removing existing obstacles when it comes to settling the crisis in Syria as communications, negotiations and efforts to reach a political solution continue.
“We hope to see positive results from these endeavors in the near future as we take another step towards peace, stability and security in Syria and the region,” the foreign ministry spokesperson told Al-Ahed.
Zarif visited the Syrian capital a few days ago where he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials. He, then, headed to the Turkish capital Ankara where he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish officials. The meetings Zarif held focused on bilateral relations between Iran, Damascus and Ankara as well as ways to enhance these relations since the Islamic Republic has excellent relations with both countries.
Observers described this visit as important in the light of the developments in the region and the world, especially regarding the Syrian dossier.
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Amid Criticism of «Israeli» Army’s Unpreparedness, IOF Cmdr. Vows to Defeat Hezbollah in Future War

The new commander of the “Israel” Occupation Forces [IOF] Ground Forces said Thursday the Lebanese Resistance group Hezbollah was still planning to carry out a surprise invasion of northern “Israeli” occupied Palestinian territories.
Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick was tapped to lead the military’s Ground Forces in February, amid increased criticism charging that “Israeli” troops were not prepared for war. His comments came less than four months after the IOF concluded its anti-tunnel operation along the Lebanese border.
“Hezbollah still has plans to invade the Galilee,” he told the Ynet news site in an interview. “Of course we won’t allow that to happen, we will thwart these plans.”
In December, “Israel” accused Hezbollah of digging cross-border tunnels into its territory from southern Lebanon and launched an operation to destroy them.
According to the army, Hezbollah had planned to use the tunnels to kidnap or kill “Israelis”, and to seize a slice of “Israeli” territory in the event of any hostilities.
Strick also voiced support for declaring war on Lebanon.
“In the next war, it would be a mistake for us to distinguish between the state of Lebanon and Hezbollah, since Hezbollah is a political actor and part of the government,” Strick said.
In such a conflict, “if it were up to me, I would recommend declaring war on Lebanon and Hezbollah,” he said.

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Russia 2019+ Military Doctrine

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson, Harold Hoover
The term “Gerasimov Doctrine”, apparently wholly made up Mark Galeotti who, to his credit, owned up to his mistake, has been used by the Western media to the point of obscuring the real work on developing national security doctrines for Russia’s 21st century needs.  In this work, General Valeriy Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, has played a major role. During a recent conference at the Academy of Military Sciences, where Gerasimov delivered the keynote speech, he outlined the national security priorities facing the Russian Federation. This included areas where further theoretical research is necessary to inform the future dimensions of armed forces development.
While Gerasimov’s address dedicated considerable attention to the problem of nuclear deterrence, it also made clear that, in terms of meeting challenges posed by the threat of rapid evolution and expansion of the United States’ strategic nuclear potential, Russia’s symmetrical and asymmetrical responses will ensure the viability of its nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future. The emphasis appears to be on diversification, and not only of launch platforms but also of delivery vehicles. The problem with the existing force of ICBMs, SLBMs, and bomber-launched ALCMs is that they represent a relatively well-known potential to counter. This means that should the US decide to invest heavily in anti-missile and anti-air defenses, it could defeat Russia’s nuclear deterrent in an all-out war. Moreover, the existence of widespread anti-air and anti-missile networks means that limited escalation using small numbers of offensive weapons might be stopped, forcing Russia to make an “all or nothing” choice—either no escalation at all, or an all-out nuclear strike. Gerasimov’s discussion of a genuinely strategic system such as the Avangard hypersonic glider, Burevestnik global-range cruise missile, and Poseidon underwater unmanned vehicle together with operational-level systems such as the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile and Kinzhal aeroballistic missile, indicates the desire to constitute Russia’s nuclear deterrent on the basis of an array of mutually complementary systems carried by an expanded range of carrier vehicles, including fighter aircraft such as the MiG-31 and attack submarines. Russia’s leadership would thus be able to hold at risk a wide range of leadership and value targets using both conventional and nuclear systems against which it would be extremely difficult to construct a defensive barrier that would be viable in the minds of US decision makers.
Remarkably, the traditional strong suit of the Russian military, namely large-scale land warfare, received relatively little attention in Gerasimov’s speech. Regarding that, he only touched upon the existing reorganization of army-brigade structure into army-division-regiments which are better suited for high-intensity operations. He also discussed the continued equipment modernization and expansion of the volunteer components of the armed forces. There were no indications that the mission of the Land Forces was about to shift from the emphasis on fighting a limited land battle on one of Russia’s many frontiers against a conventional incursion launched with little warning. However, Gerasimov’s concept of defensive action also includes the “strategy of limited actions” in order to safeguard not only Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity but also its interests abroad, including in far-flung theaters of operations such as Syria and possibly even Venezuela. Here, depending on the situation, the strategy calls for the establishment of a forces group led by one of the main branches of forces such as the Land Forces, Aerospace Forces, Airborne Assault Forces, or the Navy, in order to deploy to a remote destination and conduct operations in support of a regional ally. The unveiling of the concept of “strategy of limited actions” indicates that the Syria operation was to a large extent an improvisation, a test-bed for not only weapons but also, and perhaps especially, operational concepts including inter-service cooperation.  While a successful improvisation, the Syria campaign did reveal a number of gaps in Russia’s military capabilities, including the use of unmanned platforms where it clearly lags behind the United States, and also the ability to assess and strike emerging targets in near-real time. The repeated drone swarm attacks on the Hmeimim airbase are a case where Russian forces, while able to defeat the swarms themselves, did not appear able to quickly locate and destroy the source of these swarms. Gerasimov’s address recognized the need for theoretical and practical solutions to these problems, as well as the importance of political and humanitarian factors in the ultimate settlement of the conflict which definitely proved to be the case in Syria, where the adroitness of Russia’s diplomacy and Moscow’s ability to use political and economic levers of influence considerably changed the political landscape of not only Syria, but of the entire Middle East.
The final aspect of Gerasimov’s address that is worthy of attention is the recognition that Russia has less to fear from NATO’s conventional or even nuclear warfare than from unconventional “hybrid” attacks, including information and cyber-warfare, and even direct subversion using a domestic “fifth column”. It is here that Gerasimov made the most extensive request for theoretical research, acknowledging that dealing with such a threat would require close coordination of military, paramilitary, and purely civilian government agencies. What Gerasimov described is essentially the Venezuela scenario. The dispatch of a delegation of some 100 Russian military personnel appears to be intended to provide both a show of support and tangible assistance in the form of advice to the beleaguered Venezuelan government.  However, in view of Gerasimov’s emphasis on theoretical research into dealing with unconventional threats, Venezuela also offers an opportunity to study US methods being used in this undeclared “hybrid” war.  There the United States is, in effect, conducting an experiment in “non-kinetic” warfare using chiefly economic pressure, information operations, and cyberwarfare, in conjunction with what appears to be a rather weak “fifth column”. The apparent lack of use of even proxy armed forces may yet change should the current US strategy fail.
All in all, even though the Russian Federation was able to successfully weather the military and political challenges of the past several years, including the undoubted success in Syria that has considerably enhanced Russia’s prestige not only in the Middle East but all over the world, there was no evidence of complacency in Gerasimov’s address. Instead there was a sense of awareness that this is a crisis which will not be quickly resolved and which will require the ability to rapidly develop and deploy counters to whatever new methods of confrontation Western powers will adopt.

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On Jews Being United

April 18, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon
By Gilad Atzmon
In his Times of Israel article “What All Anti-Semites Have In Common,” Andres Spokoiny, president and CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, tells us everything we shouldn’t know about the current state of the Jew/Goy divide.
“Today,” Spokoiny complains, “many Jews are willing to overlook and even excuse anti-Semitism when the bigots hate a certain type of Jews.” In the good old days, anti-Semitism was a uniting force. “Anti-Semitism used to be the big Jewish unifier. Jews were always fractious and quarrelsome, but when it came to anti-Semitism, everybody agreed. Anti-Semites hated us without distinction, so in the face of a common threat, we would recognize the danger and unite.” Spokoiny is nostalgic, he wants to see the Jews reunited into a fist of resistance against anti-Semitism.
In the eyes of Spokoiny, the three types of contemporary anti-Semitism, be it Left, Right or Islamic (“which is not only fascistic but outright genocidal,” according to Spokoiny) are in fact one by nature: “there’s just one type of anti-Semitism that simply dresses its ugly persona in different ideological garments.” So it isn’t just the Jews that should be reunited; the Goyim, or shall we say the rest humanity, aren’t diverse either, their oppositions to Jewish politics, Israel or Zionism are only a matter of “different ideological garments.”
In Spokoiny’s universe, the Jews are hated for being Jews. It is not that some oppose Israel for being racist, expansionist and genocidal. It is not because some may be upset that the Israeli Lobby dominates Western foreign affairs in the open. It is not because American and British boys and girls are sent to fight and die in Zio-con wars, it is not because some have noticed that it was a bunch of prominent Jewish intellectuals who have managed to reshape the Western ethos by means of so-called progressive ideologies. It is not because the media seems to be biased in favour of a criminal state, which happens to be a Jewish one. In Spokoiny, reasoning and self-reflection are pushed aside. In his universe some just hate Jews blindly, irrationally and for no reason.
But Spokoiny may as well be right. There is a common element in the Left-wing, Right-wing, Christian and Islamic opposition to Jewish politics, culture and ideology: opposition to choseness is how Bernard Lazare described it in his 1894 Zionist text Antisemitism: Its History and Causes. There is a shared common ground that unites all those so-called ‘anti-Semites.’ The alleged ‘enemies of the Jews’ are people who want the Jewish past to be subject to scrutiny like all other historical chapters, Israeli barbarism to be curtailed, Wall Street to be restricted, Palestine to be free. They want globalisation to be halted, immoral interventionism to die out. The so-called ‘anti-Semites’ actually follow the Zionist promise, they want Jews to finally assimilate and become ‘people like all other people.’ The so-called ‘enemies of the Jews’ are upholding the most enlightened rational universalist ethical positions. They treat Jews as ordinary people and expect their state and institutions to subscribe to ethical standards.
Spokoiny hates Alain Soral, the French intellectual who was sentenced this week to one year in prison by a French court for “negationisme” (history revisionism).
In the eyes of French Jewish institutes and Spokoiny, Soral is the ultimate enemy. He has managed to present a unifying message that appeals to the Left, the Right and Muslim immigrants. Soral calls for a universal reconciliation, between them all under a French nationalist egalitarian ethos. The French Jewish institutions see Soral’s call as a vile anti-Semitic message as it doesn’t seem to accommodate Jewish exceptionalism. However, some Jews have joined Soral’s movement. But they clearly demoted themselves to French patriots. They left chosenism behind, they see themselves primarily as French.
“We in the Jewish community need to believe him (Soral).” Spokoiny writes, “We need to stop participating in the divide-and-conquer game of those who hate us.” In other words, Spokoiny wants to see Jews as one monolithic identity. One that sticks together and exercises its power. If Spokoiny or anyone else thinks that such politics may eradicate anti-Semitism, he or she must be either naïve or just stupid   . What Jews need to do is to self-reflect, to ask themselves why anti-Semitism is rising again. Jews must identify their own role in this emerging reality. Rather than constantly blaming their so called ‘haters,’ Jews may want to repeat the early Zionist exercise and ask what is exactly in Jewish culture, identity and politics that makes Jewish history into a chain of disasters.

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Haaretz Tells of “Israeli”-Saudi Relations: Intelligence, Cyber, Economy and Iran on Top of Partnership

Out of context and away from all the internal debate inside the apartheid entity, Haaretz daily chose to shed light on the Saudi kingdom.
Under a file entitled “Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom in Turmoil”, Haaretz detailed the relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh.
According to Haaretz, “The links between “Israel” and Saudi Arabia are based on security and business interests.”
“For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Saudis are key in Washington’s efforts to isolate the Iranian regime. The common interest is so strong that Netanyahu was one of the few leaders to publicly defend Saudi Arabia after the killing of Khashoggi last October.”
The daily further highlighted that “the Saudi-“Israeli” relationship finds expression in intelligence coordination as well.”
“Mossad chief Yossi Cohen has met with Saudi officials, and “Israel”, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates regularly share intelligence on the Iranian security threat. In some cases, there is also diplomatic coordination, as has been reported regarding the Saudis’ takeover of the Red Sea islands of Sanafir and Tiran from Egypt.”
“In 2012, a cyberattack afflicted 30,000 computers at the Saudi oil company, Aramco….According to reports in the foreign media, Riyadh responded by forming links with “Israeli” cyber companies. Since then, there has been an increasing number reports of such links, especially as Mohammed has increased his power. According to reports in the foreign media, Saudi Arabia has started issuing special entry permits to “Israeli” businessmen, who can now enter the kingdom without showing a passport.”
A company whose name keeps cropping up in this respect is Herzliya-based NSO Group Technologies. According to some sources, including Amnesty International, University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab and Forbes magazine, offensive tools provided by NSO have been used to track human rights activists, though the company has repeatedly said these allegations are wrong.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that two senior officials with key roles in the kingdom’s relations with Israel have unexpectedly lost these positions. The international community has demanded that the people responsible for Khashoggi’s murder be brought to justice; among the first to run into problems as part of the kingdom’s response were the crown prince’s adviser Saud al-Qahtani and the deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed Asiri.
Currently, the future of “Israel”-Saudi ties depends in part on Mohammed’s ability to stay in power. If the crown prince manages to restore his standing, the chances are better that he can promote reforms and conduct controversial moves in the kingdom, including closer ties with “Israel”.

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Oxfam: Yemen Risks «Massive Resurgence» of Cholera

Oxfam warned Thursday that war-torn Yemen risks a “massive resurgence” of cholera, with around 195,000 suspected cases of the disease recorded so far this year.
“Fears that the world’s worst cholera outbreak could be set for a massive resurgence are growing,” the relief organization said.
It said aid agencies were struggling to reach suspected cases.
In a statement, Oxfam pointed to “fighting and restraints on access, including checkpoints and permit requirements imposed by the warring parties,” and warned the coming rainy season was likely to accelerate the spread of the disease.
The water-borne bacterial infection has claimed more than 3,000 lives in Yemen since the outbreak began in 2016, according to Oxfam.
At a medical center for the displaced in the western town of Khokha, Qassem Suleiman had brought his son Alaa for tests after a serious case of diarrhea.
Doctor Wadah al-Tiri told AFP that several patients had been transferred to Aden while others had been treated at the Khokha center.
He said a tent was to be set up for suspected cases.
The doctor said Yemen badly needed international aid to combat the epidemic.
The UN’s humanitarian coordination office OCHA said last month that children under the age of five make up nearly a third of this year’s cases.
The spike, which comes two years after Yemen suffered its worst cholera outbreak, was concentrated in six governorates including in the Red Sea port of Hudaydah and Sanaa province, both combat zones, it said.
Yemen’s conflict has created the perfect environment for cholera to thrive, as civilians across the country lack access to clean water and health care.

UN: Yemen’s Children Suffer ‘Devastating Toll’ in 5-Year Conflict

The United Nations said Monday that the five-year-old conflict in Yemen has taken a “devastating toll” on the country’s children, with thousands killed, maimed and recruited to fight since the war began.
“The impact of this conflict on children is horrific,” Virginia Gamba, UN special representative for children and armed conflict, told a meeting of the Security Council. “All parties to the conflict have acted and reacted militarily to events resulting in the use and abuse of children in multiple ways.”
Since monitoring began in Yemen in April 2013 (before the conflict fully erupted) until the end of the 2018, Gamba said more than 7,500 children had been killed or maimed and more than 3,000 have been verified as recruited or used, and there have been more than 800 documented cases of denial of humanitarian access to children.
Gamba said children reportedly have been forcibly recruited from schools, orphanages and communities to fight on the front lines, man checkpoints, deliver supplies or gather intelligence.
Last year, over half of the children recruited were under the age of 15. During that period, the UN says more than 200 were killed or maimed while being used by the warring parties.
In addition to harm to child soldiers, Gamba said of the more than 7,500 children martyred or maimed between 2013 and 2018, nearly half of the casualties were caused by Saudi-coalition airstrikes.
Another 40 percent of such casualties came in ground fighting, including shelling and mortars.
The UN has been working to end the conflict. On Monday, special envoy Martin Griffiths offered a glimmer of hope that the parties might be ready to take a first step away from the battlefield.
He told council members that both sides of the conflict have accepted a detailed redeployment plan to begin moving their fighters away from the crucial Red Sea port city of Hudaydah.
“We will now move with all speed toward resolving the final outstanding issues related to the operational plans for phase two, redeployments and also the issue of the status of local security forces,” Griffiths told the council in a video briefing from Amman, Jordan.
The parties committed to the plan at talks in Stockholm in December, but efforts to implement the agreement have failed. Griffiths expressed some confidence that they would go forward now.
“When — and I hope it is when and not if — these redeploys happen, they will be the first ones in this long conflict,” he said.
Griffiths acknowledged that the “the war in Yemen … shows no sign of abating,” and said there needs to be real progress on the military redeployments before the focus can shift back to the political track.
US Acting UN Ambassador Jonathan Cohen welcomed Ansarullah acceptance to phase one of the withdrawal plan and said Washington would be “watching closely to see if they make good on that agreement.”
Meanwhile, UN humanitarian operations in Yemen are at risk of running out of money in the coming weeks.
UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said that nearly four months into 2019, the response plan has received only $267 million in actual funding.
“UN agencies are rapidly running out of money for essential relief activities,” he warned.
The country, which is facing a cholera epidemic, could see 60% of its diarrhea treatment centers close in the coming weeks if money is not received. UN food programs, which provide emergency food assistance to more than 9 million people every month, would also be impacted.
“Closing or scaling back such programs — at a time when we are struggling to prevent widespread famine and roll back cholera and other killer diseases — would be catastrophic,” Lowcock said.
He also warned that a potential environmental disaster is brewing off of Yemen’s Red Sea coast.
Lowcock said that an oil tanker used as a floating storage and offloading facility, and which is 8 kilometers off the coast at the Ras Isa terminal, is old and has not received any maintenance since 2015. It has about 1.1 million barrels of oil on board.
“Without maintenance, we fear that it will rupture or even explode, unleashing an environmental disaster in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes,” Lowcock said.
A Saudi Arabian-led coalition began bombing Yemen in March 2015. Since then, the UN estimates more than 10,000 people had been martyred, mostly due to US-backed Saudi-led coalition airstrikes.
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