By Richard Edmondson
All authors should be as fortunate as Alice Walker—I mean, really? What better public endorsement for a newly-published book can one encounter that to find it has been severely criticized and denounced by the Anti-Defamation League? Certainly this would be the case if the book is about Palestine, and this one has a whole section devoted to the topic.
Walker, the bestselling author of We Are the Ones We have Been Waiting For and The Color Purple, has been an outspoken activist for Palestine, having made a trip to Gaza with a Code Pink delegation in 2009, later lending her efforts to the ill-fated Gaza Freedom Flotilla II in 2011 (an expedition which ran up against tremendous international pressure as well as acts of ship sabotage).
Her latest book, The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wanderings as the Whole World Awakes to Being in Harm’s Way, is described as a “collection of wide-ranging meditations on our intertwined personal, spiritual, and political destinies,” and contains a section entitled “On Palestine” that is…in the view of the ADL, at any rate…filled with despicable material.
“The 12 essays of the section, titled ‘On Palestine,’ which make up a quarter of the book, are rife with comparisons of Israelis to Nazis, denigrations of Judaism and Jews, and statements suggesting that Israel should cease to exist as a Jewish state,” says the ADL in a press release posted June 18 on its website. “Walker’s book also attempts to justify terrorism against Israeli civilians, claiming that the ‘oppressed’ Palestinians should not be blamed for carrying out suicide bombings."
The litany of sins covered in the above paragraph usually is about all it takes to get one branded a “Jew hater” nowadays. I use the term “Jew hater,” rather than “anti-Semite,” because I’ve noticed the latter seems of late to be on the wane in terms of usage—much as if Jews have come to the sad realization that plunking it down no longer has the desired effect it once did—while the former appears to have become the more favored label of denigration. One gets the feeling the trusty old “anti-Semite” branding iron now is reserved for special occasions. Apparently Walker’s book is so vile, however, that it merits such an occasion. In the press release she is slopped with the “A-S” brush in a quite liberal manner—by no less a personage that ADL Director Abe Foxman!
“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” says Foxman. “She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before. Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world.”
When one is as “unabashedly infected” as Walker, the rather thespian “Jew hater” just won’t cut it, I guess. And so you’ll know how “unabashedly infected” this authoress is, the ADL supplies several quotes from the book, including the following:
Speaking of Black churches whose leaders recount Biblical stories about the Israelites’ various triumphs and travails, Walker writes, “It amazes me, in these churches, that there is no discussion of the fact that the other behavior we learned about in the Bible stories: the rapes, the murders, the pillaging, the enslavement of the conquered, the confiscation of land, the brutal domination and colonization of all ‘others’ is still front and center in Israel’s behavior today.”
Apparently the ADL wants us to believe that religious Jews in Israel merely read the Old Testament and apply only simple, allegorical interpretations to it.
On several occasions Walker seems to indicate that the purported evils of modern-day Israel are a direct result of Jewish values, alleging that Jews behave the way they do because they believe in their “supremacy.” She suggests that Israeli settlements are motivated by the concept that “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” which she claims is a lesson she “learned from my Jewish lawyer former husband. This belief might even be enshrined in the Torah.”
The ADL’s rant, at least for now, seems below the radar screen of the mainstream media in America—but it does appear to be getting extensive coverage in Israeli media. The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz have all published reports on it.
The ADL also makes mention of a couple of recent actions by Walker that are equally worth mentioning here. Last year, Walker turned down a publication offer from an Israeli company for a Hebrew edition of her novel, The Color Purple, doing so to honor the BDS movement. More recently she has encouraged singer Alicia Keys to cancel a July 4 concert in Tel Aviv. Click here to view an open letter to Keys from Walker.
Reportedly the singer intends to go ahead with the concert as scheduled. Too bad. Perhaps she would do well to get a copy of Walker’s book.
In what is certainly a violation of medical ethics, US medical personnel at Guantanamo Prison, where some 130 or more prisoners have been on a hunger strike for nearly five months, have been administering Reglan, a drug designed to speed up digestion and prevent vomiting. The drug is administered in conjunction with a program of force-feeding hunger-striking prisoners. Reglan’s side effects can include neurological and psychiatric disorders—something the ethically compromised medical quacks at the prison camp evidently were unaware of, as it was not mentioned in a recently-issued “Standard Operating Procedures” drawn up to deal with the hunger strike. All of this information is found in a new report by journalist Jason Leopold, who has been providing regular coverage of the ongoing human rights violations at the US facility.
Guantanamo Manual Supports Controversial Drug
By Jason Leopold
Exclusive documents recommend use of Reglan, a drug known to cause neurological disorders, to hunger striking detainees
A new policy for force feeding hunger strikers at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay includes the recommended use of a controversial drug that may cause serious neurological disorders, including one that mimics Parkinson's disease.
The UK-based human rights group, Reprieve, filed an incident report this week with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanding an immediate investigation into the use of the brain-altering drug, and asking the agency "to take all possible measures to prevent further use of metoclopramide in force-feeding at Guantanamo".
Al Jazeera first documented the use of metoclopramide last month in an exclusive report about the government's revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to deal with a massive hunger strike entering its fifth month.
More than 100 Gitmo detainees are refusing meals and military officials there have ordered dozens to be force-fed, a brutal procedure involving a mask, plastic tubing, powerful drugs and restraints, as detailed in last month's Al Jazeera report.
Below is an open letter sent to military doctors at the facility by 13 hunger-striking prisoners
30 May 2013
From: Detainee(s) on hunger strike in Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay
An open letter to my military doctor: allow independent medical access
I do not wish to die, but I am prepared to run the risk that I may end up doing so, because I am protesting the fact that I have been locked up for more than a decade, without a trial, subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and denied access to justice. I have no other way to get my message across. You know that the authorities have taken everything from me.
For this reason, I am respectfully requesting that independent medical professionals be allowed into Guantanamo to treat me, and that they be given full access to my medical records, in order to determine the best treatment for me.
You claim to be acting according to your duties as a physician to save my life. This is against my expressed wish. As you should know, I am competent to make my own decisions about medical treatment. When I try to refuse the treatments you offer; you force them upon me, sometimes violently. For those reasons, you are in violation of the ethics of your profession, as the American Medical Association 1 and World Medical Association 2 have made clear.
My decision to go on hunger strike and to endure semi-starvation for over 100 days was not entered into lightly. I am doing it because it is literally the only method I have to make the outside world pay attention. Your response to my carefully considered decision cannot logically lead to the conclusion that your only goal is to save my life--your actions over recent months do not support such an inference.
For those of us being force-fed against our will, the process of having a tube repeatedly forced up our noses and down our throats in order to keep us in a state of semi-starvation is extremely painful and the conditions under which it is done are abusive. If you truly had my best medical interests at heart, you could have talked to me like a human being about my choices, instead of treating me in a way that feels like I am being punished for something.
You must know that your professional overreaction to my participation in the hunger strike has been condemned by no lesser an authority than the United Nations; the Special Rapporteur on Health has stated unequivocally that "health care personnel may not apply undue pressure of any sort on individuals who have opted for the extreme recourse of a hunger strike, nor is it acceptable to use threats of forced feeding or other types of physical or psychological coercion against individuals who have voluntarily decided to go on a hunger strike. 3 "
In any regard, I cannot trust your advice, because you are responsible to your superior military officers who require you to treat me by means unacceptable to me, and you put your duty to them above your duty to me as a doctor. Your dual loyalties make trusting you impossible.
For these reasons, our present doctor-patient relationship cannot contribute to resolving the threats to my health that this hunger strike is engendering. You may be able to keep me alive for a long time in a permanently debilitated state. But with so many of us on hunger strike, you are attempting a treatment experiment on an unprecedented scale. And you cannot be certain that human error will not creep in and result in one or more of us dying.
Your superiors, up to and including President Obama, their Commander-in-Chief, recognise that my death or that of another hunger striker here would have serious undesirable consequences. You have been ordered to guarantee - with absolute certainty - my survival, but it is beyond your (or perhaps any doctor's) ability to do that.
I have some sympathy for your impossible position. Whether you continue in the military or return to civilian practice, you will have to live with what you have done and not done here at Guantanamo for the rest of your life. Going forward, you can make a difference. You can choose to stop actively contributing to the abusive conditions I am currently enduring.
I am asking you only to raise with your superiors my urgent request that I be allowed access to examination by and independent medical advice from a doctor or doctors chosen by my lawyers, in confidence, and that those doctors to be supplied with my full medical notes in advance of their visit. This is the least you can do to uphold the minimum of your oath to "do no harm."
The Detainees on Hunger Strike at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
(Signed by detainee)
Younous Chekkouri, ISN 197
Nabil Hadjarab, ISN 238
Shaker Aamer, ISN 239
Ahmed Belbacha, ISN 290
Abu Wa'el Dhiab, ISN 722
Samir Mukbel, ISN 043
Adel al-Hakeemy, ISN 168
Sanad al-Kazimi, ISN 1453
Mohammed Hidar, ISN 498
(Signed by lawyers on behalf of their clients)
Joseph K. Hetrick,
Abdul Haq Wasiq, ISN 004
Mohammad Nabi Omari, ISN 832
Law Offices of Michael Rapkin
Counsel for: Mohammed Ghanem, ISN 044
Thomas Anthony Durkin
Janis D. Roberts
Durkin & Roberts
Counsel for: Abdullatif Nasser, ISN 244
(Signed by concerned Guantanamo Defense Counsel)
Charles H. Carpenter
Carpenter Law Firm plc
David H. Remes
Appeal for Justice
Assistant Federal Defender
Northern District of Ohio
Buz Eisenberg, Weinberg & Garber
Jerry Cohen, Burns and Levinson LLP
Fordham University School of Law
Counsel for: Sanad al-Kazimi, ISN 1453
Peter B. Ellis & Kiran Ghia
Foley Hoag LLP, Boston
Counsel for: Mohammed Hidar, ISN 498
1 http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/16086.htm https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/694196-hungerstrikers-letter-04-25-13.html
You can also go here and see a video of Leopold being interviewed by the Huffington Post. Mentioned during the interview is that the House last week passed a defense bill that bars Obama from closing the torture facility.
And here is a bit more on Reglen:
Reglan is a medication used for the short-term treatment of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and diabetic gastroparesis. It helps move food through the stomach more quickly and prevents stomach contents from refluxing back up the esophagus. Reglan is available by prescription only and comes in tablet, liquid, and injectable form. Potential side effects of the drug include drowsiness, fatigue, and restlessness.
What Is Reglan?
This article focuses on the tablet and oral solution forms of Reglan. Injectable versions of this medication are also available and are approved for additional uses, such as for preventing nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy or surgeries.
(Click Reglan Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes It?
Brand-name Reglan tablets are manufactured by ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (the brand-name oral solution is no longer available). Generic Reglan tablets and oral solution are made by several different manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
Reglan has several actions in the digestive tract. It causes the esophageal sphincter (which closes the opening from the stomach up to the esophagus) to become more tight while causing the pyloric sphincter (which closes the opening from the stomach out to the intestines) to relax. It increases the muscular contractions of the stomach and small intestines. All of these actions work together to help food move through the stomach more quickly (which is why Reglan is effective for diabetic gastroparesis treatment). Reglan has little or no activity in the colon.
Reglan helps with GERD by preventing the stomach contents from refluxing back up the esophagus, since it increases the tightness of the esophageal sphincter.
Reglan helps to relieve nausea and vomiting by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine can activate the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, and blocking the receptors helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting symptoms.
By Ariadna Theokopoulos
As I watched this video of Glenn Beck, a nut job at home on Fox News, the Islamophobic TV channel that also claims that corporate lapdog Obama is a “socialist,” I realized with shock that I agreed with him. With Glenn Beck! Glenn Beck’s statements prove that the US has already gone down the cliff, leaving far behind even its erstwhile devoted cheerleading warmongers.
Both our foreign policy of seriatim wars in the ME and against Islamic nations and our domestic policy of pauperizing the nation in the greatest transfer of wealth in history to the international banking system (coincidentally mostly Jewish bankers), massive surveillance of the population (filtered through Israeli spying outfits) and the Presidential latitude to have its own citizens murdered without judicial pretense in the name of the “war on terror,” are conducted by the US government entirely at the behest of its zionist masters.
No American sacrifice- — total economic bankruptcy, shredding of the Constitution, and the indelible stain on the name of the whole nation that condones the genocides committed in its name or the facilitation of the genocide carried out by Israel — is too much to be considered not “worth it*” if Israel deems it necessary for its “security.” (Can we say “worth it*” without thinking of sayan Madeleine Albright?).
Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the Western countries for arming foreign-backed militants fighting the Syrian government, warning that such move contradicts basic human values since the armed groups are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
During a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday, Putin said: "You will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Is it them who you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years."
Putin was referring to video footage surfaced on the Internet last month of a militant eating what appeared to be the heart of a dead Syrian soldier.
In an interview with Time magazine on May 14, the cannibal militant, known by his nom de guerre Abu Sakkar, confirmed that the video is real and that he did indeed take a bite of the soldier’s lung. Human Rights Watch said it was a war crime.
Putin said that Russia by contrast was arming the legitimate government of Syria
"We are not breaching any rules and norms and we call on all our partners to act in the same fashion," he said.
Speaking after a difficult meeting with Putin in Northern Ireland, Cameron claimed both men were in agreement on the need to end the human catastrophe of the Syrian crisis. But there was little to suggest the two men made progress on how to convene a fresh Syrian peace conference in Geneva, let alone who should attend, or its agenda.
"There are very big differences between the analysis we have of what happened in Syria and who is to blame but where there is common ground is that we both see a humanitarian catastrophe," Cameron said.
"What I take from our conversation today is that we can overcome these differences if we recognize that we share some fundamental aims: to end the conflict, to stop Syria breaking apart, to let the Syrian people decide who governs them and to take the fight to the extremists and defeat them," he said.
H/T Uprooted Palestinians
The Daily Mail of London is reporting a new grisly atrocity committed by Western-backed rebels in Syria. I have reported numerous times in the past of Syria’s Christian community being targeted by these people, most recently as a week ago when a massacre reportedly was carried out in the Christian village of al-Duvair, near Homs. And these essentially are the people the Obama administration will be arming with heavy weaponry. (H/T The Ugly Truth)
Syria rebels ‘beheaded a Christian and fed him to the dogs’ as fears grow over Islamist atrocities
By Nick Fagge
Syrian rebels beheaded a Christian man and fed his body to dogs, according to a nun who says the West is ignoring atrocities committed by Islamic extremists.
The nun said taxi driver Andrei Arbashe, 38, was kidnapped after his brother was heard complaining that fighters against the ruling regime behaved like bandits.
She said his headless corpse was found by the side of the road, surrounded by hungry dogs. He had recently married and was soon to be a father.
Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix said: ‘His only crime was his brother criticised the rebels, accused them of acting like bandits, which is what they are.’
There have been a growing number of accounts of atrocities carried out by rogue elements of the Syrian Free Army, which opposes dictator Bashar al-Assad and is recognised by Britain and the West as the legitimate leadership.
The 60-year-old Carmelite nun claims the west has turned a blind eye to growing evidence of a ‘fifth column’ of fanatics within the rag-tag ranks that make up the Free Syrian Army that they back to oust Assad.
One of the most effective fighting forces is the Jabat Al-Nusra, which has an ideology similar to Al Qaeda.
‘The uprising has been hijacked by Islamist mercenaries who are more interested in fighting a holy war than in changing the government,’ she said.
‘It has turned into a sectarian conflict. One in which Christians are paying a high price.’
The rebel attacked the northern town of Ras Al-Ayn, on the Turkish border, last month. The fighters entered the Christian quarter, ordering civilians to leave and leaving their homes.
‘More than 200 families were driven out in the night,’ Sister Agnes-Miriam says. ‘People are afraid. Everywhere the deaths squads stop civilians, abduct them and ask for ransom, sometimes they kill them.’
Militants wearing black bandanas of Al Qaeda recently laid siege to the Monastery of St James the Mutilated, located between Damascus and Homs, for two days in an attempt to prevent Christmas celebrations, the nun claims.
An estimated 300,000 Christians have been displaced in the conflict, with 80,000 forced out of the Homs region alone, she claims.
Many have fled abroad raising fears that Syria’s Christian community may vanish - like others across Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity.
Al Assad, a member of the Alawite Muslim sect, claims only his regime can protect Syria’s minorities from domination from the Sunni Muslims majority.
Meanwhile the fighting continues to rage with government forces retaking control of a key district in the city of Homs yesterday.
The latest violence comes after United Nations peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned of ‘hell’ for Syria if no political solution could be found.
Russia has stated the conflict is becoming increasingly militarised and sectarian and risks bringing chaos to the whole region.
Some 44,000 people have been killed since the uprising against the Al Assad regime began in March 2011.
See also Syrian Christians Express Support for Their Government, which includes a video report by RT.
By Press TV
The Chinese government has called on the Obama administration to explain about Washington’s global spying programs, showing mounting tensions between the two countries.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that Washington should explain its surveillance programs to the international community.
"We believe the United States should pay attention to the international community's concerns and demands and give the international community the necessary explanation," Hua was quoted as saying by Reuters.
She also said that the allegations that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a Chinese spy is "sheer nonsense."
Snowden disclosed that the NSA is collecting millions of Americans’ phone records and the computer communications of foreigners from Google and other Internet companies.
He went to Hong Kong after leaking the story. When asked in an interview with The Guardian about spying for China, the leaker rejected the idea.
"No. I have had no contact with the Chinese government. Just like with the Guardian and the Washington Post, I only work with journalists," he said.
”Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn’t I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now,” Snowden said.
Snowden also noted that he believed there had been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations across the globe, including hundreds in Hong Kong and China.
On Sunday, a Chinese official newspaper accused the U.S. of being a “habitual offender” when it comes to network monitoring.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily blasted Washington for implying that spying on citizens from other countries was justified, saying that the monitoring program had probably been used to collect large amounts of data unrelated to anti-terrorism operations.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping discussed the cybersecurity issue at a summit earlier this month.
Washington has repeatedly accused Beijing of hacking attacks, an allegation denied by the Chinese government.
The chief of Israel's military intelligence, General Aviv Kochav, has said that the chaos in the Arab world favours Israel and is something that he believes should continue. Speaking at the Herzliya Conference for Intelligence Studies, Gen. Kochav pointed out that the changes around Israel have fundamental implications for its security.
"The current shake up will continue to change the face of the Middle East," he is quoted on the Ministry of Defence website. "The tremors are getting more violent every day and will produce a vacuum which will be filled by political, Islamist and jihadist elements."
The intelligence chief asserted that the rise of the Islamists will also have a significant impact on the map of the alliances in the Middle East, adding: "We divided the region in the past into the radical bloc and the moderate bloc, today these two blocs have disappeared."
The gentleman speaking in the video below is one Yossi Gurvitz, a 42-year-old journalist, blogger, and photographer who writes for the Calcalist, an Israeli business newspaper published in Hebrew—but don’t necessarily hold that against him. In this video he gives an honest analysis not only of what the Talmud says, but perhaps more importantly, its implications for a world in which Jews have their own state and hold power. Gurvitz by the way is also an atheist (see his profile here ), and the only reason I mention it is so readers will know how to take his comment at the end of his video—“a pox on both their houses,” he says, referring to both fundamentalist Christians and religious Jews. (The notion that anyone who believes in God must be a fool, is a typical atheist sentiment, and as a spiritual person with a functioning mind and a beating heart, I’m inclined to think the same thing about atheists—the point being that the snide comment at the end of the video does not, and should not, in any way detract from or disqualify the remarks which precede it, although I probably didn’t need to explain that.) At any rate, to Mr. Gurvitz: deus vobiscum.
“I wouldn’t like to draw parallels with the famous dossier of Secretary of State Colin Powell, but the facts, the information presented by the US didn’t look convincing.” –So said Yuri Ushakov, foreign affairs advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
And indeed, around the world, people seem to be voicing skepticism over US claims that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons, this while the usual suspects, the British government for instance, obediently fall into line mouthing the same dubious claims as our own. There’s even a mainstream media report (see below) quoting “experts” here in America as expressing doubt over the allegations.
Sarin Gas Use Doubted; Experts Don’t See Evidence
By Matthew Schofield
McClatchy Washington Bureau
June 15, 2013 "Information Clearing House - -----
WASHINGTON — Chemical weapons experts voiced skepticism Friday about U.S. claims that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad had used the nerve agent sarin against rebels on at least four occasions this spring, saying that while the use of such a weapons is always possible, they've yet to see the telltale signs of a sarin gas attack, despite months of scrutiny.
"It's not unlike Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn't bark," said Jean Pascal Zanders, a leading expert on chemical weapons who until recently was a senior research fellow at the European Union's Institute for Security Studies. "It's not just that we can't prove a sarin attack; it's that we're not seeing what we would expect to see from a sarin attack."
Foremost among those missing items, Zanders said, are cellphone photos and videos of the attacks or the immediate aftermath.
"In a world where even the secret execution of Saddam Hussein was taped by someone, it doesn't make sense that we don't see videos, that we don't see photos, showing bodies of the dead, and the reddened faces and the bluish extremities of the affected," he said.
Other experts said that while they were willing to give the U.S. intelligence community the benefit of the doubt, the Obama administration has yet to offer details of what evidence it has and how it obtained it.
Cool Reaction to US Plan for Syria Over Chemical Weapons Use
THE international reaction to US assertions that the Syrian government used chemical weapons has ranged from flat-out disbelief of the US intelligence assessments to calls for negotiation before more weapons pour into the conflict.
The US administration now says it has ''high confidence'' that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have killed up to 150 people with sarin gas.
Although that's a tiny percentage of the approximately 93,000 killed in the war so far, the use of a chemical weapon crosses President Barack Obama's ''red line'' for escalating US involvement in the conflict and prompted the decision to send arms and ammunition.
The administration's plan heading into the G8 meeting beginning on Monday is to use the chemical weapons announcement and Obama's decision on arms to persuade Russia to increase pressure on Assad to send a credible negotiating team to Geneva for talks with the opposition.
In addition, Obama is expected to use the G8 meeting and discussions on the sidelines to further co-ordinate with the British, French and potentially others an increase of assistance - lethal, non-lethal and humanitarian - to the rebels, the political opposition and refugees.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UN Ambassador Susan Rice said the United States had determined that sarin was used in a March 19 attack on the Aleppo suburb of Khan al-Assal and in an April 13 attack on the neighbourhood of Shaykh Maqsud.
She said unspecified chemicals, possibly including chemical warfare agents, were used on May 14 in an attack on Qasr Abu Samrah and in a May 23 attack on Adra.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said on Friday that Moscow didn't believe the US finding on chemical weapons.
''I wouldn't like to draw parallels with the famous dossier of Secretary of State Colin Powell, but the facts, the information presented by the US didn't look convincing,'' he said.
Russian MP: US Chemical Weapons Report in Syria ‘Fabricated’
By Al Manar
A US government report concluding Syria has used chemical weapons against militants is a fabrication, a senior Russian lawmaker said Friday.
“Information about the usage of chemical weapons by [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is fabricated in the same way as the lie about [Saddam] Hussein's weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq],” Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, said on Twitter.
US President Barack Obama “is going the same way” as former President George W. Bush did then, Pushkov said.
The White House said on Thursday it now believes with “high confidence” that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons many times during the two-year conflict there, and vowed to boost US aid to the armed opposition fighting to remove Assad from power.
White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama had decided to provide further support, including military support, for Syrian opposition forces as a result of its conclusion that government forces has used such chemical weapons.
What We DO Know About Chemical Weapons in Syria
By Moon of Alabama
The White House now claims that the Syrian Arab Army has used chemical weapons:
Following a deliberative review, our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year. Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information.
Remember that such "high confidence" and "multiple, independent streams of information" were also claimed when the United States attacked Iraq over such claims of chemical weapons. None of the alleged weapons were ever found. The claims were proven false.
The U.S. is trying the same lame trick again. It has provided no evidence but statements from the insurgents for any chemical weapon use by the Syrian army. It provided no explanation why its assessment has changed. This "mushroom cloud" lie is used as an "excuse" to now provide weapons and ammunition to the insurgents. That is another lie. The U.S. had decided on that earlier than it now claims. Over the last months the insurgents received powerful wire guided anti-tank missiles. So many indeed that the Syria weapon watcher Brown Moses tweeted:
The Syrian opposition in the north appears to have wire-guided missiles coming out of their ears.
There IS some evidence that chemical weapon have been used in Syria. But everything we know about them points to their use by the insurgents, not by the Syrian Arab Army.
Late last year the insurgents in Syria threatened to produce and use chemical weapons. They uploaded videos in which they demonstrated the use of gas to kill animals while threatening to do the same with their enemies in Syria.
By Gilad Atzmon
The Lab is a new groundbreaking Israeli documentary film that redefines our entire understanding of the Jewish entity, its aims, its identity and its global destructive role. I honestly believe that this film is the deepest and most important commentary on Israel.
In The Lab, Director Yotam Feldman exposes the Israeli military industry and its operation. He interviews some major protagonists within Israel’s ‘security’ trade. He elaborates on the role of the industry within the Israeli society and economy - in the last few years Israeli security exports reached an unprecedented level of $7 billion a year. A full 20 percent of Israeli exports are military or military-related. Approximately 150,000 families in Israel are dependent on that industry. Israel is now the fourth biggest military exporter.
In the last decade, every Israeli military operation led to an immediate sharp increase in sales of Israeli military export around the world: weaponry, systems, intelligence, strategies, doctrines, knowledge and experience.
Feldman provides us with a glimpse into a very organized universe. We visit Israeli weapon fairs around the world but we also see arenas filled to capacity with foreign generals, public officials and diplomats. They are all shopping for Israeli military products. The message is clear, the 7 billion dollars is just part of the story. Israeli military elite is now deeply interwoven with the political and military elite of every country around the globe. This emerging Israeli business buys the Jewish entity influence and support.
The Lab makes it evidently clear that the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank and Gaza has become test subjects for Israeli tactics, weaponry and fighting philosophy (‘Fighting Torah’, Torat Lechima - as the Israelis call it). The destruction of the Palestinians has now been transformed into a very profitable industry. We are dealing here with nothing short of highly calculated murder.
Through a set of fascinating interviews, Feldman conveys a very genuine picture of the Israeli death merchants. Feldman lets them talk, he hardly interferes. They are sharp, they are genuine, they are even funny at times, occasionally witty, and a few of them, might even be charming if you did not know who they are. But make no mistake, they are sinister, some of them are clearly psychotic, they are mass murderers and they are free. They sell destruction and havoc and do it very successfully.
Being myself an Israeli-born and raised successful musician and writer, I think I can recognize Israeli dedication … when I see it, no matter into what service it is pressed. Those Israeli death angels’ talent is driven into the amplification of human misery. The consequences are tragic.
It is far from being a secret that a century of Palestinian struggle led to practically nothing. The state of the Palestinian solidarity movement is even more embarrassing. Feldman's The Lab is a game changer, for it can explain decades of impotence.
We are immersed in flawed terminology - ‘colonialism’, ‘apartheid’, ‘conflict’, ‘solution’, ‘Zionism’ are just few examples.
Gaza is now a vast laboratory - the Israelis are the ‘scientists’ and the ‘technicians’, the Palestinians are the ‘guinea pigs’. Watching The Lab must lead all of us to fundamentally question our notions. We are dealing with a premeditated war crime. The notion of resolution (as in ‘two-state solution’), for instance, is not applicable. It is clear beyond doubt that in the real world, the ‘scientist’ does not negotiate with the ‘guinea pig’. The ‘scientist’ also doesn’t consider sharing reality with his ‘guinea pig’ in a ‘one democratic state.’ The Lab is a glimpse into the Israeli mind: you clearly do not find much compassion there.
For decades we were foolish to examine the success and failure of Israeli military operations in reference to Israeli military and political ‘objectives’, as we surmised them. We were clearly wrong.
As we learn from Feldman’s film, the real objective of Israeli operations may as well be examining new doctrines and operational systems in order to distribute them around the world soon after. Ehud Barak, for instance, wasn’t exactly the most sophisticated Israeli minister of defense; he clearly failed to defend his people or even make them feel secure. However, he was very successful in selling Israeli weapons and doctrines.
Tel Aviv being subject to a barrage of Qassam rockets may be seen by Israelis as devastating news, but from a military industrial point of view, it was a golden opportunity to examine and promote the Israeli anti-missile system Iron Dome. If I am correct here, it becomes clear that like the Palestinians, more and more Israelis are also becoming ‘guinea pigs’ in this ever-growing military laboratory.
One may wonder how and when "the Zionist dream" transformed itself into a military business. Only a few of us, writers and scholars, have attempted to answer this question. The transformation of the Jewish entity into an oppression factory is apparently a direct outcome of Israel’s supremacist ideology. If we want to understand what is happening in the Jewish entity, we must first grasp the notions of “chosen-ness,” “Jewish-ness” and Jewish identity politics.
I guess that enough Palestinians in Gaza do realize by now that they have been part of an Israeli experiment. Every too often we learn from Palestinian doctors that while treating casualties of Israeli aggression they encounter new types of wounds. The Lab explains it but it isn’t Palestine alone. We also witness a growing similarity between the operational mode of police forces around the world and the IDF treatment of the Palestinians.
Watching Yotam Feldman’s The Lab explains it all. We are all Palestinians. We are either occupied by Israel or by its proxy forces around the world - those who are trained in Israel and implement Israeli weaponry and tactics.
Gilad Atzmon is author of The Wandering Who? Visit his website here.
See also my 2011 post Israel’s Use of Chemical Weapons and the accompanying article by Reham Alhelsi documenting a chronology of the Jewish state’s use of experimental weapons. The chronology includes the following:
12.02.2001: “Israel begins a six-week campaign of “novel gas” attacks in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Troops lob gas canisters into streets, courtyards, and houses of Khan Younis city and Gharbi refugee camp. Fifty people admitted to Al-Nasser Hospital “in an odd state of hysteria and nervous breakdown… fainting and spasms.” Sixteen have to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Doctors “reported the Israeli use of gas that appeared to cause convulsions.” At the Gharbi refugee camp, thirty-two people “were treated for serious injuries” following exposure to the gas. Dr. Salakh Shami, Al-Amal Hospital reports hospital received “about 130 patients suffering from gas inhalation…” Bewildered medical personnel had “never seen anything… like the gas at Tufa.” Victims were “jumping up and down, left and right… thrashing limbs around”, suffering “with convulsions… a kind of hysteria. They were all shaking.” Victims would fall unconscious, then ‘come to’ hours later to face convulsions, vomiting, disorientation and pain.”
Commentary on ‘The Lab’ By Ariadna Theokopolous
The following commentary on ‘The Lab’ was posted June 16 by our friend, Ariadna, at her own website, Boldface News, along with the trailer you see below.
Death Angels Redivivi
In the article above, Gilad Atzmon describes a documentary made by Israeli film-maker Yotam Feldman, called The Lab. The movie purportedly gives the viewer a glimpse into the Israeli lucrative weapons manufacturing industry, with interviews of military and arms manufacturers, images of weapons testing, and above all with lots of data, especially figures related to military production, volume of export and income.
There is no secret about the fact that one of Israel’s most successful exports has been their “experience in fighting terrorism.” There is no secret that Israel has become the #4 war machine among all the states of the world. Also well known have been its horrendous war crimes, like the use of phosphorus bombs on the Palestinians civilian population, or its urban warfare technology, like the modified earth moving equipmet that allows them to plow through homes like stringing beads on a wire.
The thesis developed by Atzmon here is that the Palestinians are in fact used as guinea pigs in what amounts to a vast death lab in which the Israelis, Death Angels Redivivi, ply their “creativity” to develop products for their highly successful lethal export. Obviously Atzmon is also right in his attitude towards the pro-Palestinian activism’s waste of oxygen in debating “the “one-state” vs “two-state solution” given Israel’s objective as revealed here.
The only nagging question for me is WHY was this movie made in Israel and then made available outside? Please, don’t proffer any explanations postulated on the “democracy” of the State for Jews that encourages such a “free, vibrant, open criticism” of the government and its military that secret research facilities throw open their gates to film makers, and the military elite and “security experts” and weapon manufacturers” throng the director to be interviewed and be part of this exposé. Vannunu did not seem to enjoy the same love of openness.
What could be Israel’s interest (and implicitly that of the Jewish power) in publicizing something that is ostensibly a harsh critique of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and its military power?
For starters, nothing this movie appears to reveal is fundamentally new (or at least surprising as out of character) to anyone familiar with Israel and its policies, so no skin off any Israeli nose. For an ethicist like Atzmon, understandably, the difference between Israel’s lies to cover up primarily continuous expansionism and ethnic cleansing on the one hand and Israel’s thriving war industry that uses Palestine as a vast lab with a large supply of guinea pigs is a “game changer.”
The impression the viewer — at least this viewer — is left with at the end of the trailer is that it is perfectly credible to imagine that the MOSAD might have commissioned this manipulative piece with the intention of presenting an intimidating warning to the world and of strutting: “Look how powerful we are militarily! And look, Ma, no hands! No Yanks needed for weapons or money. Who says we get support from the Pentagon? We make’em all ourselves and the world lines up to buy from us! We are the Masters of the Universe. Be afraid! Be very afraid!”
While a large a large dose of suspicion is recommended when considering anything that comes out of Israel, I am not advocating looking a gift horse in the mouth even if it is a Trojan horse: the film does serve, whether intentionally, unintentionally or indifferently, to throw a stronger light on the bottomless moral pit of the state that Supremacism built.
The following email was sent by Charles E. Carlson of We Hold These Truths and Strait Gate Ministries. Carlson has held more than 70 such vigils at Christian Zionist churches around the country (see video below).
From: "Charles E. Carlson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: June 13, 2013, 5:28:05 PM PDT
Subject: Group To Challenge 'Celebrating Israel Concert' At Trinity Life Center
Reply-To: "Charles E. Carlson" <email@example.com>
TO: Abe Daniel, Senior Pastor, other Pastors
Trinity Life Center
5225 Hillsdale Blvd
Dear Pastor Daniel:
Project Strait Gate will conduct a vigil at your church on June 23, 2013, during the hours that you host John Hagee’s “Celebrating Israel Concert.”(1) We have arranged Vigils for Peace with Justice at many major Christian Zionist leaning churches nationwide. Please cancel this concert now in the interest of your congregation, the suffering of the Palestinian people, and the unchristlike and indecent use of the funds that will be raised from your church.
I am sending by rush mail our 32-minute video entitled Christian Zionism, The Tragedy and the Turning.(2) It contains a visual witness of Israel’s bombing raids on the Palestinians which I personally photographed from a rooftop in downtown Gaza City. It is one of thousands of documented reports of Israeli occupation and brutality available to you. The video also explains how the bible is distorted in the footnotes of the Scofield Reference Bible which many have used to support the claim that today’s “Israel” owns the land where Abraham is believed to have lived 3000 years ago. “The Turning” is the growing movement against Zionism in churches world wide. We are asking your church to be part of the “Turning” instead of the “Tragedy” of supporting Israel no matter what it may do.
Do you know about the growing movement against the use of Jesus’ name to promote cruel and racist acts that Jesus spoke out against while he walked the now occupied land called Palestine? You will not learn the truth from Hagee’s imported Zionist “witnesses.”
Mainline churches have too long ignored Christian Zionism as another fad offshoot of the Evangelical movement, but now they are awakening. Among the first to speak out was the National Council of Churches five or more years ago in a bulletin, “Why We Should Be Concerned About Christian Zionism.”(3)
In November, 2012, fifteen Mainline church denominations joined in the call, including Evangelical Lutherans (ELCA), United Methodists, Presbyterians (PCA), the United Church of Christ, who wrote of the abuses of Palestinians by the State of Israel and Christian Zionists sorry role in it. Signatories representing these denominations asked Congress to investigate (4) why US taxpayer dollars are being given to Israel knowing that these are used for occupation and war.
In May, 2013, the Church of Scotland (5) joined those in protest of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian’s land, and Christian Zionist’s influence, stating that the Bible gives no country the right to any piece of land, Israel being the only country to make this claim.
Those who attend your concert will be asked to make pledges of support, give money, and even to sing the National Anthem of another country. Pastor Abe Daniel, we have attended several Nights to Honor Israel presentations all over the country, and not a word is said about the state of Israel’s occupation of 3 million people, the murder of thousands over a 65 year span, some with rubber bullets, some with weapons of mass destruction. Do you not know about the mass home destruction, burned olive orchards, detentions, rapes and torture of the almost totally disarmed Palestinians?
Israel is a state that borrowed its name from the bible in order to sway your sympathy. John Hagee has publicly prayed for war (6) and called for war upon Muslims in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. What would Jesus say?
Trinity Life Center’s ”What We Believe” states the Bible is “inspired, infallible and authoritative.” Jesus said “Blessed are the Peacemakers”; and “For as much as you have done it (both kindness and evil) to the least of my brothers, you have done it unto me”; and “Love your brother as you love yourself… love even your enemy.” Who do you think Jesus would bomb?
If you would care to talk about this letter, or if you would like to arrange a meeting, please contact me. I am praying for you to show your respect for Jesus’ words by canceling this Celebrating Israel Concert.
We will be at Trinity Life Center on Sunday, June 23, 2013. We will be located on public right-of-ways near your church, ready to answer questions from all who wonder about our message. We will be respectful of your rights and the local laws.
Pastor, I plan to be personally on hand for this event, so I hope you and members of your board will come out and talk with me.
Toward The Strait Gate,
Charles E. Carlson
Contact phone on site: 602 741 4650
Project Strait Gate
PO Box 35
Wheat Ridge, CO, 80034
Copies to staff, CA Press, Other area churches
(1) “Celebrating Israel Concert,” Christians United For Israel: http://www.cufi.org/site/DocServer/June_23_2013_CUFI_Concert_Sacramento.pdf?docID=1961
(2) Christian Zionism: The Tragedy and the Turning, Carlson: http://vimeo.com/15197234
(3) “Why We Should Be Concerned About Christian Zionism,” National Council of Churches:http://www.ncccusa.org/pdfs/christianzionismbrochure.pdf
(4) “Churches Call For Congressional Investigation Into Aid To Israel,” Carlson: http://charlesecarlson.com/churches-call-for-congressional-investigation-into-aid-to-israel/
(5) “The Inheritance of Abraham? A report on the ‘promised land,’” Church of Scotland: http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/14050/The_Inheritance_of_Abraham.pdf
(6) “John Hagee With Benny Hinn: Praying For War, In The Name of Jesus”: http://vimeo.com/34409225
“John Hagee is conducting an apostate form of Christianity,” Carlson says in the following video:
The following comes from the Middle East Monitor, which also includes a photo gallery of the damage along with the article.
Unknown vandals have desecrated the Orthodox Christian Cemetery in the occupied city of Jaffa. Several broken tombstones and others covered in racist graffiti were discovered on Thursday morning. The words "Price Tag" and "revenge" were in evidence.
"Price Tag" was also sprayed on the door of the home belonging to Tel Aviv District Judge Khalid Kaboub and several other houses and cars in Al-Jabaliyya district. The Israeli police force says that it has launched an investigation but no one has been arrested as yet.
Mayor: Bedouins Forced Out of Jordan Valley by Water Shortages
TUBAS (Ma'an) -- Bedouin families are being forced out of the Jordan Valley by water shortages after Israeli authorities drained water springs in the area, the mayor of al-Malih said Monday.
It takes one person "a whole day to bring three cubic meters of water from Tammun and other areas of the Jordan Valley" to al-Malih, said Mayor Arif Daraghmeh.
Dozens of families have left al-Malih to live closer to water resources, the mayor told Ma'an.
Daraghmeh noted that water pipes belonging to Israel's national water company Mekorot run through al-Malih to supply Israeli settlers and military bases but Palestinians who own the land "can't get a cubic meter of water for their children."
The al-Malih area consists of dozens of hamlets and villages destroyed by Israeli forces in 1967. Since then, Palestinian residents have suffered from oppressive Israeli procedures including land confiscation and demolition of homes and structures, the mayor said.
Committee: Israeli Soldiers Force Muslim to Drink Wine at Gunpoint
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli intelligence officers forced a Palestinian man from Beit Ummar to drink wine at gunpoint on Tuesday evening, a local committee spokesman said.
An Israeli military patrol stopped Muhammad Khalil Abu Dayyah, 24, from the Safa neighborhood near Beit Ummar and forced him into a military tower at the entrance to Beit Ummar, said Muhammad Ayyad Awad, spokesman of Beit Ummar's committee against Israel's separation wall and settlements.
Abu Dayyah was being asked to give names of young men who participate in clashes against Israeli forces in the Hebron-district town, Awad said.
When Abu Dayyah refused to cooperate with the soldiers, they brought an intelligence officer who took out a list of names of young locals and asked him to identify them.
Abu Dayyah refused to give any information, and the intelligence officer pointed a rifle at the back of his head and ordered him to drink a bottle of wine.
Awad said that after Abu Dayyah drank the bottle, he passed out for an hour. He was awoken by Israeli soldiers who then threw him out of the military installation, he added.
Locals who witnessed Abu Dayyah being taken away by Israeli forces took him home after the incident, confirming that he appeared under the influence and smelling of alcohol.
The consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Islam.
Columbia Worries as Troops Join Arab Mercenary Force
Information Clearing House
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 7 (UPI) -- Colombia's defense ministry is alarmed about an exodus of top soldiers to the United Arab Emirates to join a highly paid U.S.-led mercenary force organized by Erik Prince, billionaire founder of the security firm Blackwater.
Prince, who sold Blackwater in 2010 after it was involved in killings and scandals in Iraq, went to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Persian Gulf federation, in 2011.
He signed on to form an 800-man battalion of mercenaries for what emirati officials termed "anti-terrorism operations" inside and outside the country.
But it's widely believed in Gulf security circles the force, being assembled under considerable secrecy by Prince's Reflex Responses registered in the emirates, will be used for undisclosed special operations for the seven desert emirates that make up the federation.
That's expected to include putting down "internal unrest" that might challenge the ruling families, as happened in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, and which is growing in Kuwait and Bahrain.
The Reflex Responses force, which is officially described in a contract leaked to the New York Times in 2011 as "independent of formal command and support structures throughout the United Arab Emirates," will have its own air wing, with fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, plus its own private navy.