country:united states

  • U.S. Releases Images That Purportedly Show Russia Fired Artillery Into Ukraine - ABC News

    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a series of overhead images that, it says, show evidence of artillery fire from the Russian side of the border directed at Ukrainian military positions in Ukraine.

    ODNI claims the images prove Russian military — not Russian-backed separatists operating from across the border — were responsible.

    The following images provide evidence that Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine,” ODNI wrote atop a four-page file that includes four images ODNI says were taken July 21-26.
    PHOTO: The ODNI says that this slide shows ground scarring at a multiple rocket launch site on the Russian side of the border oriented in the direction of Ukrainian military units within Ukraine.
    PHOTO: The ODNI says that this slide shows ground scarring at two multiple rocket launch sites oriented in the direction of Ukrainian military units.
    Note: sur celle-ci, les traces de départ sont situées en Ukraine.

  • Questions Remain About U.S. Intel and Airline Warnings Before MH17 Downing

    In the weeks before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, U.S. intelligence agencies were tracking a steady buildup of heavy weapons in the region, including tanks and rocket launchers flowing across the border from Russia and into the hands of Moscow-backed separatists. But U.S. analysts didn’t confirm that a surface-to-air missile capable of striking a commercial airplane had made its way into the fighters’ hands until after the jet was destroyed on July 17, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials, who briefed reporters earlier this week.
    That assessment was at odds, though, with public statements by the rebels themselves, who claimed in late June that they’d obtained a weapon that might bring down a commercial jet. In addition, Ukrainian officials said that they had spotted an SA-11 missile launcher, known as a Buk, in rebel hands at least three days before the downing of MH17.
    The question of what U.S. and Ukrainian authorities knew about separatists’ weapons, and when, has taken on new urgency following the downing of MH17 and the death of all 298 people aboard.
    Neither Ukrainian security officials nor the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had warned airlines prior to the shoot-down not to fly over eastern Ukraine, despite high-level discussions in both governments about the buildup of Russian heavy weaponry. Following the plane crash, the FAA banned all U.S. carriers from flying over the region. But questions remain about why authorities didn’t issue a warning sooner.
    An FAA spokesperson didn’t respond to multiple emails and phone messages asking whether U.S. intelligence agencies had provided any warning about a threat against airliners prior to the strike. A White House spokesperson referred queries on the matter to the FAA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). And a spokesperson at the ODNI deferred to the White House on the question of what intelligence was shared about aviation threats.
    The lack of clarity on whether airlines were warned to stay clear of eastern Ukraine is prompting scrutiny of the FAA and the intelligence community on Capitol Hill. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote to President Barack Obama on Monday asking what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about SA-11 missiles in eastern Ukraine and why the FAA didn’t alert U.S. carriers in the area.
    It’s only right to assume that our intelligence collectors were fully aware of SA-11 missiles in eastern Ukraine, from day one,” Joe Kasper, Hunter’s spokesman, told Foreign Policy on Thursday. “So at some point, that information should have been shared, specifically with the FAA in this case,” Kasper said. He noted that after Russian forces invaded and occupied Crimea in February, the FAA issued a notice barring U.S. carriers from flying over the area. “But there’s no evidence whatsoever that the FAA was alerted of SA-11s in the area so the [notice] could be updated,” Kasper said, adding: “Either there’s no process in place for notifying the FAA or someone dropped the ball.

  • Selon cet article du Haaretz, la proposition de cessez-le-feu de Kerry prenait en compte toutes les demandes des Palestiniens, et presqu’aucune des demandes des Israéliens (et ça c’est grave). Kerry’s cease-fire draft revealed : U.S. ignored most of Israel’s security demands

    The third clause goes on to spell out, in one way or another, Hamas’ demands: arrangements to secure the opening of crossings, allow the entry of goods and people and ensure the social and economic livelihood of the Palestinian people living in Gaza, transfer of funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees and address all security issues.

    Israel’s demands were mentioned in the most general of terms in the phrase “address all security issues.” There was no one mention of demilitarizing the Gaza Strip of its rocket supply or advanced weapons, and not the dismantling of the terror tunnels.

  • Le manuel de propagande israélien n’est plus confidentiel...

    Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts - Comment - Voices - The Independent

    Israeli spokesmen have their work cut out explaining how they have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza, most of them civilians, compared with just three civilians killed in Israel by Hamas rocket and mortar fire. But on television and radio and in newspapers, Israeli government spokesmen such as Mark Regev appear slicker and less aggressive than their predecessors, who were often visibly indifferent to how many Palestinians were killed.
    There is a reason for this enhancement of the PR skills of Israeli spokesmen. Going by what they say, the playbook they are using is a professional, well-researched and confidential study on how to influence the media and public opinion in America and Europe. Written by the expert Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz, the study was commissioned five years ago by a group called The Israel Project, with offices in the US and Israel, for use by those “who are on the front lines of fighting the media war for Israel”.

    Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet is marked “not for distribution or publication” and it is easy to see why. The Luntz report, officially entitled "The Israel project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online, but its true importance has seldom been appreciated. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its “dos and don’ts” for Israeli spokesmen.

    These are highly illuminating about the gap between what Israeli officials and politicians really believe, and what they say, the latter shaped in minute detail by polling to determine what Americans want to hear. Certainly, no journalist interviewing an Israeli spokesman should do so without reading this preview of many of the themes and phrases employed by Mr Regev and his colleagues.

    Mark Regev The booklet is full of meaty advice about how they should shape their answers for different audiences. For example, the study says that “Americans agree that Israel ’has a right to defensible borders’. But it does you no good to define exactly what those borders should be. Avoid talking about borders in terms of pre- or post-1967, because it only serves to remind Americans of Israel’s military history. Particularly on the left this does you harm. For instance, support for Israel’s right to defensible borders drops from a heady 89 per cent to under 60 per cent when you talk about it in terms of 1967.”

    How about the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948 and in the following years, and who are not allowed to go back to their homes? Here Dr Luntz has subtle advice for spokesmen, saying that “the right of return is a tough issue for Israelis to communicate effectively because much of Israeli language sounds like the ’separate but equal’ words of the 1950s segregationists and the 1980s advocates of Apartheid. The fact is, Americans don’t like, don’t believe and don’t accept the concept of ’separate but equal’.”

    So how should spokesmen deal with what the booklet admits is a tough question? They should call it a “demand”, on the grounds that Americans don’t like people who make demands. “Then say ’Palestinians aren’t content with their own state. Now they’re demanding territory inside Israel’.” Other suggestions for an effective Israeli response include saying that the right of return might become part of a final settlement “at some point in the future”.

    Dr Luntz notes that Americans as a whole are fearful of mass immigration into the US, so mention of “mass Palestinian immigration” into Israel will not go down well with them. If nothing else works, say that the return of Palestinians would “derail the effort to achieve peace”.

    The Luntz report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed.

    There is a whole chapter on “isolating Iran-backed Hamas as an obstacle to peace”. Unfortunately, come the current Operation Protective Edge, which began on 6 July, there was a problem for Israeli propagandists because Hamas had quarrelled with Iran over the war in Syria and had no contact with Tehran. Friendly relations have been resumed only in the past few days – thanks to the Israeli invasion.❞

  • Un peu de médiatisation sur le traitement des immigrants à la frontière états-unienne…

    Detention of Ukrainian Woman in Texas Is Questioned

    The weeklong prison detention of a Ukrainian woman who is married to a U.S. citizen in El Paso, Texas, has shed light on the difficulties of enforcing U.S. immigration law at a time when border agents are overwhelmed by a surge of migrants from Central America. While some immigrants are released to await a hearing, many others languish in detention.
    But instead of keeping her in the processing center, which was overcrowded, the border agents sent Bronova to a prison used for hardcore criminals.

    “I wasn’t expecting to be in a maximum security prison and be forbidden to call. So the whole week I was there I was not able to make any calls and nobody could call me,” said Bronova.
    The first thing Bronova did after being released, according to Price, was pull out a list of names and numbers her Central American friends had given her before she left prison.

    When she left, the first day-and-a-half she spent calling these people’s families in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, letting them know where their family members were,” said Price.

    Et pour finir, une déclaration dans le plus pur style israélien…

    Officials of the U.S. immigration agency, known as ICE, cannot comment on specific asylum cases, but an ICE spokesperson in Houston told VOA that every effort is made to provide a fair process for anyone seeking asylum and a safe, secure and humane environment for those who are detained.

    cc : @CdB_77

  • Most Migrant Children Entering U.S. Are Now With Relatives, Data Show -

    LOS ANGELES — The vast majority of unaccompanied migrant children arriving in the United States from Central America this year have been released to relatives in states with large established Central American populations, according to federal data released Thursday night.

  • News Article: Officials Declare Overseas #Polio as Public Health Emergency

    “We don’t want to bring polio back into the United States,” she added, noting that some groups in this country are opposed to vaccinations. “All it will take is someone to bring it back here and infect a community that is unvaccinated,” she emphasized. “Even one case would one would be devastating.”

    la vision sécuritaire de la #santé

  • For a little pressure on Israel - The Hindu


    Despite the massacres of entire families, U.S. President Obama has made no major public address to caution Israel

    Sixteen days into the Israeli offensive on Gaza, on July 23, the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva held a hearing. Pressure from the League of Arab States has been severe. A few days before, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) held an emergency session on Gaza. The Jordanian delegation, on behalf of the Arabs, carried a resolution for a ceasefire around the United Nations building to no avail. It had two points that Israel would not accept — it did not sanction Hamas by name, and it called for the end to the stranglehold on Gaza. Israel, which continues to occupy Gaza despite the withdrawal of its troops in 2005, has obligations as an occupying power. In 2005, it signed an Agreement on Movement and Access, but has never allowed this to come into effect. Israel controls the borders of Gaza, sealing in the almost two million people on to 140 square miles of land. With absent movement on the Jordanian resolution in the UNSC, the momentum shifted to the Human Rights Council.

    The debate in Geneva was very emotional. The U.N. agencies in Gaza have been deeply impacted by the Israeli war, with their buildings taking fire and their personnel in grave danger (with three U.N. teachers killed). Kyung-wha Kang of the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs suggested that the attack on hospitals and school was “a flagrant violation of international law,” while the mechanism to warn civilians of bombardment creates “terror and trauma” in an occupied territory where there is no safe haven. Civilian homes are not a target, said the U.N. High Commissioner Navi Pillay, also pointing out that the entire situation was “dreadful and interminable.” The most telling moment in Commissioner Pillay’s statement came when she said this was the “third serious escalation of hostilities” in her six years on the job. As in 2009 and 2012, she said, “it is innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, including children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities, who are suffering the most.”

    A ceasefire

    In Gaza, meanwhile, the sounds of bombardment continue. Negotiations persist in Cairo and Doha to create a pathway to a ceasefire, while Israel, obdurate, continues to pound the Gaza Strip. In an unguarded moment on Fox News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his frustration with Israel. He hastily caught himself. The U.S. has no appetite to force Israel to silence its guns. Hamas’ Khaled Meshaal, speaking from Doha, said that he would accept a ceasefire only if it came alongside an end to the embargo. This is the pillar of the Jordanian resolution, which, it is clear, the Israelis will not tolerate. The Palestinians do not want a ceasefire without some improvement of their situation. Fatah, the other major faction of the Palestinians, takes the same position as Hamas. Yasser Abed Rabbo, the likely successor to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, said, “Gaza’s demand to lift the siege is the demand of the entire Palestinian people and not just one particular faction.” This is a position with which the government of India concurs. All factions in Palestine and the Arab League agree that the blockade must be lifted for a genuine ceasefire. If this is their minimum requirement, it is unlikely that there will be a ceasefire deal. No amount of U.S. pressure can convince Israel to the rationality of that demand.

    Fifty thousand Palestinians went on the streets of the West Bank through the night of July 24, signalling to the Israelis that they are ready for a third intifada

    Indications of any U.S. pressure are not evident. Despite the massacres of entire families, U.S. President Obama has made no major public address to caution Israel. Instead, the White House tells the press that Mr. Obama continues to talk to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer U.S. support, as the U.S. Congress voted unanimously to fully back the Israeli war effort.

    Ms Pillay asked the Council, “What must we finally do to move beyond a ceasefire that will inevitably be broken again in two or three years?” A first step, she noted, is accountability — “ensuring that the cycle of human rights violations and impunity is brought to an end.” To that end the Human Rights Council called for the creation of an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate “all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law” in all of Occupied Palestine “particularly in the Gaza Strip.” After Operation Cast Lead (2009), the U.N. empanelled the Goldstone Commission, whose report castigated Israel for the use of dangerous weapons (such as white phosphorus) and for targeting Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. Under intense U.S. pressure, including on India, the Goldstone Commission’s report went into cold storage.

    Out of the 47 members in the Council, 29 voted to create a Commission, 17 abstained and one voted against it. The sole ‘No vote’ came from the U.S., showing how little appetite there is in Washington to pressure Israel not only to a ceasefire but to be held accountable for its methods of war. The members of the European Union abstained, as did several African states. The ‘Yes’ countries included members of the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, South American states, some African countries, and the entire BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). India’s Ambassador to the U.N. Asoke Mukerji said that India is “deeply concerned” about the civilian casualties — over 700 Palestinians dead, several thousand of them injured (as opposed to one Israeli civilian dead). Dilip Sinha, India’s ambassador to the Human Rights Council, was more graphic, bemoaning the “heavy air-strikes in Gaza and the disproportionate use of force resulting in the tragic loss of civilian lives.”

    India’s position

    The Indian government’s reticence to hold a debate in Parliament and its refusal to put any pressure on Israel for its war with a statement is now of no consequence. The U.N. vote shows two things. First, that India’s drift into the U.S. orbit is not complete. It has commitments to the BRICS states. South Africa — with vivid memories of apartheid — would be unwilling to soft-pedal on the issue of Palestinian rights. Nor would Russia, which sees this as an easy way to pressure the U.S. The BRICS, therefore, will retain India in the pro-Palestine camp. Second, despite the desire of the Indian establishment to create an enduring relationship with Israel, the grotesque actions of Tel Aviv are a constraint. India continues to believe in the possibility of the creation of Palestine with stable borders, including Jerusalem as its capital.

    None of this is accepted by Israel, whose own policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians is incoherent. Fifty thousand Palestinians went on the streets of the West Bank through the night of July 24, signalling to the Israelis that they are ready for a third ‘Intifada’. Israel is in no mood for concessions. The only outcome is more terrible violence.

    “All these dead and maimed civilians should weigh heavily on all our consciences,” said Ms Pillay. They certainly did not seem to bother the U.S.’ Ambassador Samantha Power, who is otherwise the champion of humanitarian intervention. Her preferred cocktail of Responsibility to Protect (R2) and “no fly zones” was not in evidence.

    Nor did it bother the U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council, Keith Harper — a Native American lawyer who knows a great deal about the occupation of a people. The U.S. sat silent and pushed the red button. This is not a red light of caution to Israel. For Tel Aviv, this is a green light.

    (Vijay Prashad is Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.)❞

  • The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police

    In general, U.S. support for the Saudi regime is long-standing. One secret 2007 NSA memo lists Saudi Arabia as one of four countries where the U.S. “has [an] interest in regime continuity.”

    But from the end of the 1991 Gulf War until recently, the memo says, the NSA had a “very limited” relationship with the Saudi kingdom. In December 2012, the U.S. director of national intelligence, James Clapper, authorized the agency to expand its “third party” relationship with Saudi Arabia to include the sharing of signals intelligence, or “SIGINT,” capability with the MOD’s Technical Affairs Directorate (TAD).

    “With the approval of the Third Party SIGINT relationship,” the memo reports, the NSA “intends to provide direct analytic and technical support to TAD.” The goal is “to facilitate the Saudi government’s ability to utilize SIGINT to locate and track individuals of mutual interest within Saudi Arabia.”

    Even before this new initiative in 2012, the CIA and other American intelligence agencies had been working with the Saudi regime to bolster “internal security” and track alleged terrorists. According to the memo, the NSA began collaborating with the MOD in 2011 on a “sensitive access initiative… focused on internal security and terrorist activity on the Arabian Peninsula”; that partnership was conducted “under the auspices of CIA’s relationship with the MOI’s Mabahith (General Directorate for Investigations, equivalent to FBI).”

    The NSA’s formal “Third Party” relationship with the Saudis involves arming the MOI with highly advanced surveillance technology. The NSA “provides technical advice on SIGINT topics such as data exploitation and target development to TAD,” the memo says, “as well as a sensitive source collection capability.”

    The Saudi Ministry of Defense also relies on the NSA for help with “signals analysis equipment upgrades, decryption capabilities and advanced training on a wide range of topics.” The document states that while the NSA “is able to respond to many of those requests, some must be denied due to the fact that they place sensitive SIGINT equities at risk.”

  • #Israel rejects #Kerry #Gaza truce proposal

    Israel on Friday rejected a Gaza ceasefire proposal presented by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli public television reported. “The security cabinet has unanimously rejected the ceasefire proposal of Kerry, as it stands,” Channel 1 said, adding that ministers would continue discussing it. Full details of the proposed truce have not been released, but a government official, who declined to be named, told Reuters that Israel wanted modifications before agreeing to any end to hostilities. Hamas has yet to respond to the proposed ceasefire. (AFP, Reuters)


  • Games of #Drones: The Uneasy Future of the Soldier-Hero in Call of Duty: Black Ops II

    In this article, I argue that the first-person shooter video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, reflects the U.S. military‟s transition as it reimagines the soldier‟s role in war. In the age of drone technology, this role shifts from a position of strength to one of relative weakness. Although video games that feature future combat often “function as virtual enactments and endorsements for developing military technologies,” Black Ops II offers a surprisingly complex vision of the future of drones and U.S. soldiers (Smicker 2009: 107). To explore how the game reflects a contemporary vision of the U.S. military, I weave together a close textual reading of two levels in Black Ops II with actual accounts from drone pilots and politicians that illuminate the nature of drone combat. Although there are moments in Black Ops II in which avatars combat enemies with first-hand firepower, the experience of heroic diegetic violence is superseded by a combat experience defined by powerlessness, boredom, and ambiguous pleasure. The shift of the soldier from imposing hero to a banal figure experiences its logical conclusion in Unmanned, an independent video game that foregrounds the mundane, nonviolent nature of drone piloting. Instead of training soldiers to withstand emotionally devastating experiences of death and violence first-hand (or to physically enact such violence), games like Black Ops II and Unmanned train actual and potential soldiers to tolerate monotony and disempowerment.

  • #Saudi_Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

    US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 23, 2014. (Photo: AFP-STR) US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) shakes hands with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 23, 2014. (Photo: AFP-STR)

    It has become clear that the issue mainly revolves around disarming the Palestinian Resistance at any cost, everything else is just for show. According to new information, efforts towards this goal have been led by Saudi Arabia, #Egypt and the #United_Arab_Emirates (UAE) in coordination with the United States (US) and #Israel.

    Fouad (...)

    #Palestine #Articles #Doha #Fatah’s_sudden_volte-face #Gaza #Hamas #Islamic_Jihad #Mahmoud_Abbas #Qatar #turkey

  • #Hamas fires rockets at #Tel_Aviv airport

    Hamas said Friday it fired three rockets at Tel Aviv airport, a day after US and some European airlines had resumed flights after a two-day suspension. “At 11:45 am (0845 GMT), the Qassam Brigades bombarded #Ben_Gurion_airport with three M75 rockets,” a statement from Hamas’s military force said. An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed rocket fire from #Gaza, though she declined to specify how close it had come to Ben Gurion. “We can confirm two rockets were shot down over metropolitan Tel Aviv,” she told AFP. read more

    #Israel #Palestinian

  • Élément de langage: «heartbreaking»

    It’s a massacre, and if you can’t say so, you’re blind or corrupted

    As the images pile up of the massacre in Gaza, the word has gone out within the upper reaches of the U.S. government– and that word is “heartbreaking.” That’s the clever euphemism U.S. officials are using to try and cover their bases, to say they’re not moral idiots, they know what’s going on over there, but they can’t come out and say it and they certainly can’t criticize Israel for its actions.

  • What Happened To The Malaysian Airliner? By Paul Craig Roberts

    Indeed the entire Western media spoke as one: Russia did it. And the presstitutes are still speaking the same way.

    Possibly, this uniform opinion merely reflects the pavlovian training of the Western media to automatically line up with Washington. No media source wants to be subject to criticism for being unamerican or to find itself isolated by majority opinion, which carries the day, and earn black marks for being wrong. As a former journalist for, and contributor to, America’s most important news publications, I know how this works.

    On the other hand, if we discount the pavlovian conditioning, the only conclusion is that the entire news cycle pertaining to the downing of the Malaysian airliner is orchestrated in order to lay the blame on Putin.

    Romesh Ratnesar, deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, provides convincing evidence for orchestration in his own remarks of July 17. Ratnesar’s opinion title is: “The Malaysia Airlines Shootdown Spells Disaster for Putin.
    Ratnesar does not mean that Putin is being framed-up. He means that prior to Putin having the Malaysian airliner shot down, “to the vast majority of Americans, Russia’s meddling in Ukraine has largely seemed of peripheral importance to U.S. interests. That calculus has changed. . . . It may take months, even years, but Putin’s recklessness is bound to catch up to him. When it does, the downing of MH 17 may be seen as the beginning of his undoing.

    As a former Wall Street Journal editor, anyone who handed me a piece of shit like Ratnesar published would have been fired. Look at the insinuations when there is no evidence to support them. Look at the lie that Washington’s coup is “Russia’s meddling in Ukraine.” What we are witnessing is the total corruption of Western journalism by Washington’s imperial agenda. Journalists have to get on board with the lies or get run over.

    Look around for still honest journalists. Who are they? Glenn Greenwald, who is under constant attack by his fellow journalists, all of whom are whores. Who else can you think of? Julian Assange, locked away in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London on Washington’s orders. The British puppet government won’t permit free transit to Assange to take up his asylum in Ecuador. The last country that did this was the Soviet Union, which required its Hungarian puppet to keep Cardinal Mindszenty interred in the US Embassy in Budapest for 15 years from 1956 until 1971. Mindszenty was granted political asylum by the United States, but Hungary, on Soviet orders, would not honor his asylum, just as Washington’s British puppet, on Washington’s orders, will not honor Assange’s asylum.

    If we are honest and have the strength to face reality, we will realize that the Soviet Union did not collapse. It simply moved, along with Mao and Pol Pot, to Washington and London.

    The flaw in Putin’s diplomacy is that Putin’s diplomacy relies on good will and on truth prevailing. However, the West has no good will, and Washington is not interested in truth prevailing but in Washington prevailing. What Putin confronts is not reasonable “partners,” but a propaganda ministry aimed at him.

  • MH17 and Gaza: Two different elite reactions — RT Op-Edge

    It is important to understand that being anti-Russian, but also pro-Israel, and pro-US are “required” positions for anyone wanting to hold high office in the West. The Russia test, the Israel test, and the US test can be seen as “three hoops” which any ambitious politician needs to jump through in order to make it to the top. British Labour leader Ed Miliband knows this and has been hard at work.

    After Prince Charles had reportedly compared President Putin to Hitler, Miliband said the Prince “has got a point”. He has declared himself a Zionist, and at time of writing he is jumping through the last of the hoops – he is in the US meeting President Obama.

    Miliband knows that if he takes the “right” positions on Russia, Israel and the US he will be “allowed” by the establishment to become British Prime Minister next year. The system is set up to make sure that no one who doesn’t hold the “right” views on foreign policy is able to hold power regardless of what the public thinks.
    The start of this current wave of Russophobia can be traced back to last summer, when Russia helped block US plans to bomb Syria. The Western elites wanted and still want President Assad toppled because of Syria’s alliance with Hezbollah and Iran and they were determined to pay Russia back for thwarting their plans. A “regime change” in Ukraine was the way that would be achieved.
    The gap between the Russophobic obsessions of the elite, and the real concerns of ordinary people is however huge, and was starkly demonstrated again by last weekend’s massive anti-war marches. Media Lens, the media monitoring organization, captured this “disconnect”’ perfectly in a single tweet:
    The British Government’s response to Israel killing children, bombing a hospital and a center for the disabled, is to push the EU to impose more sanctions on… Russia. You really couldn’t make it up, could you? Two tragedies, but two very different reactions. Reactions which tell us everything.

  • #US lifts ban on flights to Israeli airport

    US airlines lifted a flight ban to #Israel’s international airport just hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah and returned to Cairo to continue pushing regional efforts to ink a ceasefire. The US national aviation agency had imposed the restriction on Tuesday after a rocket hit a house very close to the runways, in a move mirrored by Europe. It was renewed late on Wednesday, prompting Hamas to hail the suspension of Tel Aviv flights as a “great victory for the resistance.” Shortly afterwards, the US agency rescinded the move. read more

    #Ben_Gurion #Gaza

  • #Gaza ceasefire talks uncertain as Palestinian death toll exceeds 700

    Palestinians women hold night prayers in front of the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem in support of Palestinians in Gaza on July 23, 2014, during #Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: AFP - Ahmad Gharabli)

    Updated at 10:20 am: Talks to end the 16-day assault by Israel on the Gaza Strip have intensified, with #US Secretary of State John Kerry shuttling between Jerusalem and Cairo in a bid to forge a truce. An Egyptian official had earlier said he expected a humanitarian truce to go into effect by the weekend, in time for the Eid al-Fitr festivities, Islam’s biggest annual celebration that follows the fasting month of Ramadan. read (...)

    #Hamas #Mahmoud_Abbas #Palestine #Palestinian_Authority

  • #Gaza ceasefire talks intensify as Palestinian death toll exceeds 700

    Talks to end the 16-day assault by #Israel on the Gaza Strip have intensified, with #US Secretary of State John Kerry shuttling between Jerusalem and Cairo in a bid to forge a truce. #Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday there had been progress in negotiations to end the Gaza conflict but that it needed detailed guarantees that Israel would ease its blockade of the enclave. A Hamas official acknowledged that the movement realized that getting Israel to end the eight-year siege in tandem with a ceasefire was unrealistic. read more

    #Mahmoud_Abbas #Palestine #Palestinian_Authority

  • Israeli Self-Defense Does Not Permit Killing Civilians -

    #Daniel_Levy apporte d’excellents arguments au débat soulevé par @reka ici :

    Il me semble même qu’on ne saurait mieux dire,

    To be clear, Hamas does carry responsibility for this situation – its targeting of Israeli civilians violates international law. The Hamas charter, its political platform and its military activities all deserve to be condemned. But Israel’s share of the responsibility is far greater. That is a hard conclusion to draw but a necessary one if our understanding of events, our responses and policies are to improve.

    There is no military solution but Israel refuses political solutions. Humans do not respond well to humiliation, and will always find ways to resist.

    Israeli self-defense does not include the right to (again) kill hundreds of Gazan civilians, to bomb hospitals or even to warn people to evacuate buildings when there is nowhere for them to go. The Israeli government’s attempt to a priori blame Hamas for all losses and thereby absolve itself of responsibility for casualties cannot be accepted.

    Take a step back from this latest escalation. Most Gazans are refugees, their roots lie in the war and expulsion of 1948. From 1967 they lived under direct Israeli occupation and under blockade ever since, almost for the past decade.

    Israel is not offering Gazans “quiet for quiet.” When Hamas ceases to fire, when it is “quiet,” Israel returns to normality, but Gazans remain cut off from the world, denied the most basic daily freedoms we take for granted.

    Step further back to the West Bank, where the Palestinian strategic alternative to Hamas is pursued. The Fatah movement of President Abbas recognizes Israel, pursues peaceful negotiations and security cooperation. That is met with entrenched Israeli control, ever-expanding settlements, and Israeli military incursions into Palestinian cities at will.

    So what would you do under such circumstances? Perhaps start by not denying another people’s rights in perpetuity, including the right to self-determination. Reverse the current incentive structure that reciprocates both Fatah demilitarization and Hamas cease-fires with variations on an Israeli brand of deepening occupation.

    There is no military solution, but Israel’s government refuses any political solution – neither it nor the governing Likud Party have ever voted to accept a Palestinian state. Hamas’s nonrecognition of Israel is troubling, and so should this be.

    Humans do not respond well to humiliation, repression and attempts to deny their most basic dignity. Palestinians are human. Palestinians will find ways to resist — that is human — and sometimes that resistance will be armed. When the Palestinian struggle abandons, rather than uses, international law, as Hamas does, it is right to call that out and to respond proportionately (Israel has gone well beyond proportional), even as channels should be kept open with Hamas.

    Of course, Israelis do not respond well to being under fire either, but unlike the Palestinians they have a state, an army, American support and weaponry, and, thankfully, their freedom.

    What would you do under such circumstances? Start by treating the Palestinians as humans, as you yourself would wish to be treated.

    • Et un excellent #Henry_Siegman,

      Israel Provoked This War - Henry Siegman - POLITICO Magazine

      But where, exactly, are Israel’s borders?

      It is precisely Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to identify those borders that placed Israel’s population at risk. And the reason he has refused to do that is because he did not want the world to know that he had no intention of honoring the pledge he made in 2009 to reach a two-state agreement with the Palestinians. The Road Map for Middle East peace that was signed by Israel, the PLO and the United States explicitly ruled out any unilateral alterations in the pre-1967 armistice lines that served as a border between the parties. This provision was consistently and blatantly violated by successive Israeli governments with their illegal settlement project. And Netanyahu refused to recognize that border as the starting point for territorial negotiations in the terms of reference proposed by Secretary of State John Kerry.

      But on July 12, as noted in The Times of Israel by its editor, David Horovitz, Netanyahu made clear that he has no interest in a genuine two-state solution As Horovitz puts it, “the uncertainties were swept aside … And nobody will ever be able to claim in the future that [Netanyahu] didn’t tell us what he really thinks. He made it explicitly clear that he could never, ever, countenance a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.” The IDF, Netanyahu said, would remain permanently in the West Bank. During the Kerry-sponsored negotiations, he rejected out of hand the American proposal that U.S. and international forces be stationed on the Israeli-Palestinian border, which he insisted would remain permanently under the IDF’s control. Various enclaves will comprise a new Palestinian entity, which Palestinians will be free to call a state. But sovereignty, the one element that defines self-determination and statehood, will never be allowed by Israel, he said.

      Why will he not allow it? Why did he undermine Kerry’s round of peace talks? Why is he inciting against the Palestinian unity government? Why does he continue to expand illegal settlements in the West Bank, and why did he use the tragic kidnapping and killing of three Israelis as a pretext to destroy what institutional political (as opposed to military) presence of Hamas remained in the West Bank?

      He’s doing all of these things because, as suggested by Yitzhak Laor in Haaretz, he and his government are engaged in a frenzied effort to eliminate Palestinians as a political entity. Israel’s government is “intent on inheriting it all” by turning the Palestinian people into “a fragmented, marginalized people,” Laor writes. It is what the Israeli scholar Baruch Kimmerling described as “politicide” in a book by that name he wrote in 2006.

      So exactly who is putting Israel’s population at risk?

    • Israel’s U.S.-Made Military Might Overwhelms Palestinians | Inter Press Service

      Jennings told IPS two facts are largely missing in the standard media portrayal of the Israel-Gaza “war:” the right of self-defence, so stoutly defended by Israelis and their allies in Washington, is never mentioned about the period in 1948 when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced from their homes and pushed off their land to be enclosed in the world’s largest prison camp that is Gaza.

      Secondly, the world has stood by silently while Israel, with complicity by the U.S. and Egypt, has literally choked the life out of the 1.7 million people in Gaza by a viciously effective cordon sanitaire, an almost total embargo on goods and services, greatly impacting the availability of food and medicine.

      “These are war crimes, stark and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law perpetuated over the last seven years while the world has continued to turn away,” Jennings said.

      “The indelible stain of that shameful neglect will not be erased for centuries, yet many people in the West continue to wonder at all the outrage in the Middle East,” he added.

  • 7 surprises about libraries in our surveys

    Many librarians are struggling to figure out how to think about their book collections in the digital age. The responses in a 2013 survey was the most divided verdict we got in the range of changes in the library world that we probed. Some 20% of respondents said libraries should “definitely” make changes with the ways they arrange their books, such as moving some print books and stacks out of public locations to free up more space for tech centers, reading rooms and cultural events, according to our 2013 survey. However, 36% said libraries should “definitely not” make those changes and 39% said libraries should “maybe” consider moving some books and stacks.

    #bibliothèques #livres #numérique #sondages #USA

  • The propaganda war over the Gaza crisis | Al Jazeera America

    In response to the Israeli military attack against Hamas, the dominant narrative formulated by the United States and the main Western European governments has combined two elements: first, unquestioning support for the core Israeli claim that it is legal and reasonable to attack Hamas in Gaza as a response to the launch from Gaza of rockets directed at Israel’s cities and towns and, second, that the violence unleashed is tragic, since it makes innocent civilians on both sides bear the burden of Hamas wrongdoing.


    • ... the Knesset recently elected Reuven Rivlin, an Israeli ardent one-stater, to be the next president of the country, signaling an increasing readiness to incorporate into Israel what Israelis call Judea and Samaria and the rest of the world knows as the West Bank. In other words, behind the iron and fire is a vision of how to complete the Zionist project without needing to offer the Palestinians anything more than minority rights. It is, perhaps, this triumphalist Zionist vision of the future that best explains why Israel launched this vicious attack on the long-beleaguered people of Gaza: to eliminate Hamas, the major obstruction to realizing that vision.