• Judith Butler · No, it’s not anti-semitic: the right to criticise #Israel · LRB 21 August 2003

    When the president of Harvard University declared that to criticise Israel at this time and to call on universities to divest from Israel are ‘actions that are anti-semitic in their effect, if not their intent’, he introduced a distinction between effective and intentional anti-semitism that is controversial at best. The counter-charge has been that in making his statement, Summers has struck a blow against academic freedom, in effect, if not in intent.


    To understand Summers’s claim, we have to be able to conceive of an effective anti-semitism, one that pertains to certain speech acts. Either it follows on certain utterances, or it structures them, even if that is not the conscious intention of those making them. His view assumes that such utterances will be taken by others as anti-semitic, or received within a given context as anti-semitic. So we have to ask what context Summers has in mind when he makes his claim; in what context is it the case that any criticism of Israel will be taken to be anti-semitic?


    It may be that Summers [was saying] that the criticism will be exploited by those who want to see not only the destruction of Israel but the degradation or devaluation of Jewish people in general. There is always that risk, but to claim that such criticism of Israel can be taken only as criticism of Jews is to attribute to that particular interpretation the power to monopolise the field of reception. The argument against letting criticism of Israel into the public sphere would be that it gives fodder to those with anti-semitic intentions, who will successfully co-opt the criticism. Here again, a statement can become effectively anti-semitic only if there is, somewhere, an intention to use it for anti-semitic purposes. Indeed, even if one believed that criticisms of Israel are by and large heard as anti-semitic (by Jews, anti-semites, or people who could be described as neither), it would become the responsibility of all of us to change the conditions of reception so that the public might begin to distinguish between criticism of Israel and a hatred of Jews.


    The point is not only that Summers’s distinction between effective and intentional anti-semitism cannot hold, but that the way it collapses in his formulation is precisely what produces the conditions under which certain public views are taken to be hate speech, in effect if not in intent. Summers didn’t say that anything that Israel does in the name of self-defence is legitimate and ought not to be questioned. I don’t know whether he approves of all Israeli policies, but let’s imagine, for the sake of argument, that he doesn’t. And I don’t know whether he has views about, for instance, the destruction of homes and the killings of children in Jenin which attracted the attention of the United Nations last year but was not investigated as a human rights violation because Israel refused to open its borders to an investigative team. If he objects to those actions, and they are among the ‘foreign policy’ issues he believes ought to be ‘vigorously challenged’, he would be compelled, under his formulation, not to voice his disapproval, believing, as he does, that that would be construed, effectively, as anti-semitism. And if he thinks it possible to voice disapproval, he hasn’t shown us how to do it in such a way as to avert the allegation of anti-semitism .

  • Years of living dangerously

    Yesterday, the Islamic State released footage of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was captured in Syria two years ago. The group also says it may execute another American journalist depending on the next moves of President Obama.

    Reuters reports that the gruesome decapitation video seemed to suggest that the Islamic State was opening a new anti-U.S. front that could result in attacks on U.S. interests or even American soil. “The stronger the war against the States gets, the better this will help hesitant brothers to join us,” said one Islamic militant.

    Iraq has by far been the most dangerous country for journalists over the past two decades, with 165 journalist deaths there since 1992.


    #infographie #journalisme #presse #décès

  • Iran’s president one year on, by Ahmed Shaheed

    Last year the Iranians elected Hassan Rouhani as president. His popularity along the campaign trail was predominantly related to a fundamental domestic issue — restoring respect for the rights of all Iranians. Shortly before people voted, Rouhani presented himself as the most committed reformist candidate and said: “All Iranian people should feel there is justice. Justice means equal opportunity. All ethnicities, all religions, even religious minorities, must feel justice,” and “anyone who wants to speak in a society should be able to come out, speak their mind, criticize and critique without hesitation and stammering.”

  • Russian Ambassador : We will reach agreement on Mongolian issues | The UB Post

    Zuunii Medee spoke frankly with with I.K.Azizov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Mongolia, ahead of President Putin’s upcoming state visit, and discussed bilateral relations and upcoming negotiations.
    We have only two neighbor countries and our citizens have always shown a fondness for Russia. Even now, we use the term “brothers”.
    It’s probably a tradition from the Soviet Union. I know that in Asia, fraternity is designated as older or younger brothers. I guess that the word “brother” is respectful, but I prohibit using this term, because I don’t want to insult Mongolians by saying something domineering, like “You’re our younger brothers and we are your older brothers.” Therefore, we can’t define our current relations this way.

    Réponse très diplomatique, sachant qu’effectivement il y a deux mots frère en mongol selon qu’il s’agit du grand frère (ах) ou du petit frère (дүү)…

    Mongolians are expecting so much from Putin’s visit. For example, setting gas lines from Russia to China through Mongolia. Of course, the Ulaanbaatariin Tunkhaglal (UB Declaration) is an important document. However, we can’t see improvements to economic ties and investment issues. We haven’t implemented any major economic projects. Do you think we will establish an agreement on a project which could be an economic boom?
    We have been looking for chances to strengthen our friendly relations. I don’t agree with you that there have been no improvements to bilateral relations since 2000. If we want to use the term “boom”, cancelling 97.8 percent of Mongolian debt can apply. This set the Mongolian economy free and positively influenced drawing in external investment for multilateral projects.
    Then will the issue on setting up a gas line through Mongolia be approached again? Or has it already been decided that the gas line from Russia to China will not pass through Mongolia?
    As President Putin said, setting the gas line to the east is already obvious, but it won’t pass through Mongolia. Also, we are planning to set up a gas line to China in the west. We are actively discussing the operation of those gas lines with the Chinese side.
    What is your opinion on bilateral visa exemptions?
    We have information that from Mongolia to Russia, 600,000 people travel in duplicated numbers, whereas from Russia to Mongolia, it’s 100,000 people. From our experience, we’ve noticed that after exempting visa requirements, the number of travelers surges. If we reach this agreement on visa exemption, then multilateral relations will improve in business, humanity, culture, science, education, sport and tourism.

    Pas de #gazoduc à travers la #Mongolie

  • Handmaiden to Africa’s Generals
    AUG. 15, 2014

    Très bon article qui malheureusement et comme trop souvent et malgré des décennies de recul, présente les choses comme si les intentions des #Etats-Unis, bien que pavant le chemin de l’enfer, étaient bonnes. Sans compter l’énormité consistant à réclamer plus de rôle pour l’#USAID.

    Because Mr. Obama is committed to scaling back the deployment of United States troops to combat terrorism, America’s security strategy in Africa translates largely into training and equipping African armies. Although this approach rightly gives African governments the lead in tackling their own security problems, it is misguided nonetheless. It is, in effect, providing foreign tutelage to the militarization of Africa’s politics, which undermines peace and democracy throughout the continent. America’s diplomacy is becoming a handmaiden to Africa’s generals.

    Consider two countries riven by different kinds of conflict and ask yourself what they have in common. On the one hand, there is South Sudan. By African standards, it is not a poor country. It has vast oil resources, and as soon it became independent from Sudan, three years ago, government spending per capita was about $350, four times the average for East African states. It also received the most generous international aid package of any country in East Africa — the equivalent of another $100 per capita. But the government spent about half of its budget on its huge army. And many of its 745 generals proceeded to make fortunes thanks to payroll fraud and procurement scams.

    According to President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, $4 billion in public funds were plundered by government ministers. When Mr. Kiir shut out his political rivals from the club of kleptocrats, fighting broke out. Various commanders and party bosses then mobilized supporters through ethnic militias, bringing a sectarian dimension to a conflict that was inherently about the distribution of public resources.

    Then there is #Nigeria. Its political leaders, generals and businessmen — who are often all those things at once — have grown wealthy on oil money, while much of the population lives in deep poverty. Health and education services are inadequate, and the government faces widespread outrage about corruption. Small wonder that the Islamist militants of Boko Haram, who espouse austere forms of Shariah justice, are able to recruit disaffected young men and that the Nigerian army struggles to find combat-ready units to counter them.

    One thing South Sudan and Nigeria have in common is systemic #corruption and a military #elite that controls politics and business. The civil strife in South Sudan and the jihadist insurgency in Nigeria are largely symptoms of those deeper governance problems. Another thing South Sudan and Nigeria have in common is vast American support. In 2006-2013, the United States government spent up to $300 million to support the South Sudanese army. Nigeria has long been one of Washington’s biggest defense-cooperation partners.

    Even as conventional military threats have declined throughout Africa, overall military spending on the continent has grown faster than anywhere else in the world. And these military budgets often hide big black holes. In Uganda, according to local journalists, some funds officially dedicated to the salary of army personnel who turned out not to exist have been used by President Yoweri #Museveni to reward generals loyal to him.

    When political crises occur, the American government’s response is to privilege military measures, and local governments know it. For example, the ongoing peace talks in South Sudan have focused more on dispatching Ethiopian, Kenyan and Rwandan troops under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a regional organization, and less on addressing the root causes of the conflict. In the absence of a durable political solution to the underlying crisis, this is a high-risk move; it could suck the whole of northeast Africa into South Sudan’s war.

    The overall approach violates the first principle of peacekeeping: Never send a peace mission where there is no peace to keep. The risks of getting embroiled are especially high when the troops deployed come from a neighboring country. What’s more, the very governments that propose to serve as mediators may have a conflict of interest: They stand to gain from dispatching their soldiers, especially if the mission is funded by contributions from United Nations members.

    Counterterrorism assistance has a better track record reinforcing bad government than rooting out extremists. Repression by dictators like #Idriss_Déby in Chad or #Blaise_Compaoré in #Burkina_Faso has been tolerated because their governments have supplied combat troops for operations against jihadists in the #Sahara. Meanwhile, #Kenya has experienced more terrorist attacks since its army moved into Somalia in 2011 to fight the radical Islamist group Al Shabab. After the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi last year, Kenya’s army and police indiscriminately targeted Muslim communities — generating resentment among those groups and potentially more recruits for the militants.

    Fifteen years ago, when African leaders set up their own peace and security system within what later became the African Union, they tried to balance diplomacy and armed enforcement. In case of a conflict, they would hold negotiations with all parties; sending in peacekeeping troops would only be a fallback option. But Western countries like the United States and France have tended to favor military approaches instead. During the civil war in Libya in 2011, a panel of five African presidents, established by the African Union and chaired by Jacob Zuma of South Africa, proposed letting Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi go into exile in an African country and then setting up an interim government. But the plan was spurned by NATO, which preferred regime change by way of foreign intervention.

    The Obama administration is aware of the dangers of supporting armed forces in Africa. At the U.S.-Africa summit in Washington, Mr. Obama announced a new Security Governance Initiative to help professionalize six African militaries and promote their being subjected to civilian oversight. This is a step in the right direction, but it is a very small step. Only $65 million has been earmarked for that program, compared with $5 billion for counterterrorism cooperation.

    Washington has the means to do much more. A single aircraft carrier has a crew as large as the entire American diplomatic service posted abroad. The cost of developing the fleet of F-35 stealth fighter planes could fund the State Department, the #U.S._Agency_for_International_Development and all United Nations peacekeeping operations for nearly 20 years. Security in Africa will not be achieved by giving more power and money to African military forces. It will be achieved by supporting diplomacy, democracy and development.

    Alex de Waal is the executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University. Abdul Mohammed is the chairman of InterAfrica Group, an Ethiopian civil society organization.

    #militarisation #Afrique #sécurité #diplomatie #développement #démocratie #Sud_Soudan #Ouganda #OTAN #France

  • Et maintenant, la France va livrer des armes aux « forces kurdes qui combattent l’État islamique ». Tu sais évidemment que parmi ces « forces kurdes », il y a désormais des combattants du PKK. Lequel PKK est, selon sa fiche Wikipédia, « considéré comme terroriste par : Canada, États-Unis d’Amérique, Union européenne, Australie, Turquie, Nouvelle-Zélande, Royaume-Uni, Kirghizistan »…

    France will deliver weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq, President Francois Hollande announced on Wednesday.

    “In order to respond to the urgent need expressed by the Kurdistan regional authorities, the president has decided, in agreement with Baghdad, to deliver arms in the coming hours,” Hollande’s office said in a statement.

    À ce train là, dans six mois, on sera en train de livrer des armes au Hezbollah libanais…

  • US Leaders Aid and Abet Israeli War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity

    By sending vast amounts of military aid to Israel, members of the US Congress, President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza. An individual can be convicted of a war crime, genocide or a crime against humanity [PDF] in the International Criminal Court (ICC) if he or she “aids, abets or otherwise assists” in the commission or attempted commission of the crime, “including providing the means for its commission.”


    #USA #Israël #aide_militaire #Etats-Unis

  • Kuwait to deport five Syrians over rally | GulfNews.com

    Five Syrians face deportation from Kuwait after they organised a political rally on a public road.
    The five were reportedly taking part in a wedding procession when they raised slogans supporting the Free Syrian Army fighting the regime of President Bashar Al Assad.
    “Their action stalled traffic on Al Fahaihal Road, shortly before the Sabah Al Salem Bridge,” the interior ministry said. “The five Syrians have been referred to the police where they admitted their acts.”

    Article 12 of Kuwait’s 1979 law regarding public gatherings prohibits non-citizens from participating in processions, demonstrations, or public gatherings in Kuwait.

  • Officials: U.S. airstrikes pound #ISIS militants firing at Iraq’s #Yazidis

    American warplanes pounded extremist Sunni fighters in northern Iraq on Saturday in what officials described as an effort to defend minority Yazidis “being indiscriminately attacked,” strikes that came just as President Barack Obama warned of an extended air campaign against the terror group.

    The series of airstrikes began with a mix of fighter jets and #drones that targeted militants firing on Yazidis near the town of #Sinjar, where fighters with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, forced tens of thousands into hiding on nearby #Sinjar Mountain.


    #Etat_islamique #Irak

  • Ici, Obama reprend le mythe négationniste selon lequel Israël aurait émergé du désert : President Obama Talks to Thomas L. Friedman About Iraq, Putin and Israel

    To have scratched out of rock this incredibly vibrant, incredibly successful, wealthy and powerful country is a testament to the ingenuity, energy and vision of the Jewish people.

  • An insane alliance: Israel and Egypt against Gaza
    Despite its mediator role, Egypt is no impartial broker. It shares Israel’s view that Hamas can be crushed and suffocated into submission. Palestinians wonder how their ex-ally can leave Gaza to burn.
    By Khaled Diab | Aug. 8, 2014 Haaretz


    Egypt-Israel-Gaza is possibly one of the most bizarre and perhaps twisted love-hate triangles of recent times. Washington’s credentials as an honest broker have rightly been questioned over the years, and Egypt was traditionally seen as a welcome counterbalance to U.S. bias, but Cairo has lost its pro-Palestinian credentials. It can scarcely be seen as an impartial broker.

    For the past year or so, ever since Abdel-Fatah al-Sissi became the de facto leader and then president of Egypt, his regime has been an enthusiastic accomplice in the Israeli-led blockade against Gaza, completely sealing off the Rafah crossing and destroying hundreds of tunnels into the Sinai which provided the Gazan economy with some respite from the siege.

    Taking a page out of Israel’s handbook, Egyptian officials leaked plans to Reuters earlier this year that Egypt intends to topple Hamas by, among other things, fomenting dissent in Gaza and backing Fatah.

    On top of that, military-aligned television presenters and hosts have been ratcheting up the rhetoric and disinformation against Hamas in Gaza. Despite the continued presence of critical voices, including normally pro-regime anchors, this anti-Hamas propaganda reached fever pitch when hostilities began in early July.

    Tawfik Okasha, the military junta’s leading TV cheerleader, praised Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and mocked Gazans on his show. “Gazans are not men,” he taunted live on air. “If they were men, they would revolt against Hamas.”

    “Bless you, Netanyahu, and may God give us more like you who will rid us of Hamas, the root of corruption, treason and collaboration with the Brotherhood,” tweeted Azza Sami, a journalist with the semi-official Al Ahram newspaper.

    Egypt’s stance has, unsurprisingly, met with much praise in Israel. However, this Egyptian-Israeli love affair has set alarm bells ringing even among normally staunch supporters of Israel. For instance, the conservative, generally pro-Israel Wall Street Journal ran a long feature on this “unlikely alliance” which laid much of the blame for the escalation to open warfare on the excessive “squeezing” of Hamas.

    For their part, Palestinians have generally reacted with bewilderment and anger that a country they regarded as an ally has left Gaza to burn, regardless of what they think about Hamas. Many Palestinians I encounter ask me, with a tone of severe disappointment mixed with betrayal in their voices, what Egypt’s game is and why it is allowing fellow Arabs to die in this way.

    Some Palestinians and Arab sympathizers have gone so far as to see the hidden hand of conspiracy theories at work, and are convinced that al-Sissi and his regime are U.S. and Zionist agents.

    Despite the fact that the al-Sissi regime, under worldwide attack for its lack of democratic legitimacy and widespread human rights abuses, wants Washington onside, this is certainly not the case.

    Egypt’s punitive approach towards Hamas is actually not all that new, though it has become far more severe. The Mubarak regime also distrusted and disliked Hamas and played its part in maintaining the Israeli blockade. Even Morsi, the Muslim Brother, did little to alleviate Gaza’s suffering, though he eased the blockade slightly.

    The Egyptian president’s strident hostility towards Cairo actually stems from al-Sisi’s hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement he has persecuted since toppling his Brotherhood predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, following massive protests. The Egyptian regime has falsely alleged that Hamas was guilty of stealing Egyptian resources during Morsi’s 12-month term in office and is behind an insurgency in the Sinai.

    This may partly be out of genuine conviction but is also certainly a political ruse to keep popular anti-Brotherhood sentiment and hostility high to justify al-Sissi’s self-declared “war on terrorism”, to manufacture consent, like in Israel, by creating a frightening common enemy, and to crush opposition.

    Where once Arab leaders sometimes used Israel as an excuse to silence dissent and delay reform, al-Sissi has come up with a troublingly innovative new formula: Blame the Palestinians. And a surprisingly large, if dwindling, number of Egyptians are swallowing the rhetoric.

    With all this hostility in the air, Egypt has decided effectively to fight a proxy war against Hamas, by sitting on the sidelines and letting Israel bloody its hands in Gaza, with the trapped civilian population paying a deadly and heavy price, in the hope that its Islamist adversary will collapse.

    However, Israeli-Egyptian calculations that Hamas can be brought down or tamed through violence are enormous miscalculations. Although Hamas’s resorting to rocket attacks after some two years of respecting a ceasefire were disastrous and stupid, and walked straight into the trap set by extremist forces in Israel, the Israeli-Egyptian pincer movement over the past year had so cornered the movement that it is now fighting an existential battle in which it has nothing left to lose and, as it sees it, everything to gain.

    In addition, even if Hamas falls, there is no guarantee that Fatah will take over, and even if it did, many Gazans will view it as a traitor and collaborator. There is also a strong chance that more radical groups will take over control of the Strip.

    With Egypt as mediator and Israel as protagonist on the same misguided line regarding the need to contain, and preferably, topple Hamas, I am skeptical that the current talks in Cairo will lead to a lasting and durable solution, since for that to happen, requires the lifting of the blockade and the reconnecting of Gaza to the West Bank.

    The sad, ironic tragedy is that Hamas could have been “contained” without a single shot being fired now, or in 2012, 2008/9 and 2006. Yes, I find Hamas’s extremist ideology and its past of suicide bombings abhorrent, and, like Israel’s militarism, its swift resorting to violence despite its proven futility has been extremely costly. However, ever since coming to power, Hamas, burdened with the responsibility of governing under siege, has displayed far more pragmatism than Israel.

    Hamas not only dropped its calls for the destruction of Israel from its election manifesto, the party has consistently indicated its willingness to accept a two-state solution along the pre-1967 borders. Before the latest conflict, Hamas even went so far as to cede political control to the PA and a government of technocrats in the desperate hope that this would lead to the lifting of the siege.

    Despite all these clear overtures, Israel’s extremist, jingoistic government, desperate not to give up the territory in the West Bank conquered in 1967 and blinded by ideological hatred towards Hamas (which Israel once misguidedly supported as a counterbalance against the PLO), has refused to play ball and find a way to coexist.

    If Israel and Egypt fail to find a way to live non-violently with Hamas, history will continue to repeat itself, each time more tragically than the preceding time. And Gaza will become not only the graveyard of innocent civilians but also the burial ground for the prospects for peace for generations to come.

    Khaled Diab is an Egyptian-Belgian journalist, blogger and writer who has lived, studied and worked in the Middle East and Europe and is currently based in Jerusalem. His book profiling the ’intimate enemies’, Palestinians and Israelis, is forthcoming at the end of 2014. Follow him on Twitter: @DiabolicalIdea

  • Watch This Irish Senator Condemning the Gaza Massacre in this Extremely Passionate Speech

    Irish senator and former presidential candidate David Norris made a powerful speech on July 31 condemning Israel’s massacre in Gaza and the complcity of American, Irish and other European governments.

  • UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon Says ’Cycle Of Suffering’ In Gaza ’Shames The World’

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has lambasted the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that the “cycle of suffering” has “shocked and shamed the world”. Speaking on Wednesday, the UN chief demanded international help in rebuilding Gaza, a region that former US president Jimmy Carter described as “pulverized” in a recent comment piece for Foreign Policy.

    J’ai une question à deux balles : à qui profiterait la reconstruction (en dehors des palestiniens eux-mêmes), est-ce que se sont des entreprises ou des artisans palestiniens qui seront payés pour reconstruire ? Ou est-ce un marché de dupe ? Comme Haïti, comme partout. Du cynisme, du mépris, des crimes, des massacres. On en vient à douter de tout, de tout ! La « communauté internationale » a laissé détruire, et maintenant on reconstruirait grâce à l’aide internationale ?

  • What’s Missing from the Debate Over Deportation Numbers

    This past Spring, activists organized marches around the country, protesting President Obama’s record-breaking two million removals (the official term for deportations accompanied by an order of removal).

    The two-million milestone is significant because it is more than the sum total of all removals prior to 1997. It is more than were removed during President George W. Bush’s eight-year term.


    #déportation #renvoi #expulsion #USA #Etats-Unis #migration #graphique

  • Leaked classified memo reveals U.S.-Israeli intel cooperation on Egypt, Iran
    Top-secret memo, published by Glenn Greenwald, describes deep exchange of information between NSA and IDF Unit 8200; takes pride in ’success stories.’
    By Amir Oren | Aug. 5, 2014

    After Mohammed Morsi became Egypt’s president in June 2012 with backing from the Muslim Brotherhood, the intelligence communities of the United States and Israel expanded their cooperation to keep an eye on what was happening in Egypt.

    With approval from U.S. National Intelligence Director Lt. Gen. (ret.) James R. Clapper, the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence agency gave the Israel Defense Forces’ intelligence Unit 8200 the task of providing information about “select strategic issues, specifically terrorist elements in the Sinai.”

    This information is included in a highly classified NSA memo from April 2013 published Monday morning on The Intercept, the website run by Glenn Greenwald, a partner of Edward Snowden. Snowden had worked in the service of the NSA, during which he gathered American intelligence documents that he subsequently leaked.

    Since the memo was written during Morsi’s term in office, before the military coup that overthrew him and led to the presidency of Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, it does not tell us whether the exchanges of information about the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, and about which Israel’s intelligence-gathering capabilities have been restricted — still continue.

    When the document in question was written, General Keith Alexander was in charge of the NSA, and Brig. Gen. Nadav Zafrir was commander of Unit 8200.

    The memo was only distributed to the two countries that had signed it, and not to other members of the Anglo-Saxon Five Eyes alliance: Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It details the intelligence relationship between the NSA and Israel, and updates a previous version of a document that Snowden published last year.

    The depth of the bilateral cooperation is reflected, among other things, in a term used to describe Unit 8200’s task to carry out espionage in Egypt: “tasking” – meaning collection of vital information, as is usual among agencies belonging to the same intelligence community.

    According to the document, which describes significant, joint intelligence successes such as those involving the Iranian nuclear program, “NSA maintains a far-reaching technical and analytic relationship with the Israeli SIGINT National Unit [i.e., Unit 2800], sharing information on access, intercept, targeting, language, analysis and reporting. This SIGINT relationship has increasingly been the catalyst for a broader intelligence relationship between the United States and Israel. Significant changes in the way NSA and ISNU have traditionally approached SIGINT have prompted an expansion to include other Israeli and U.S. intelligence organizations such as CIA, Mossad, and Special Operation Division (SOD)" – the latter is evidently a reference to the Pentagon term for the special operations department of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate.

    Most of the bilateral intelligence cooperation, if not all of it, concentrates on “targets in the Middle East which constitute strategic threats to U.S. and Israeli interests. Building upon a robust analytic exchange, NSA and ISNU also have explored and executed unique opportunities to gain access to high priority targets. The mutually agreed upon geographic targets include the countries of North Africa, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and the Islamic republics of the Former Soviet Union," according to the memo.

    "Within that set of countries, cooperation covers the exploitation of internal government, military, civil, and diplomatic communications; and external security/intelligence organizations. Regional Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and ’Stateless’/International Terrorism comprise the exchanged transnational target set. A dedicated communications line between NSA and ISNU supports the exchange of raw material, as well as daily analytic and technical correspondence. Both NSA and ISNU have liaison officers, who conduct foreign relations functions, stationed at their respective embassies [Washington and Tel Aviv].”

    The memo continues: “The Israeli side enjoys the benefits of expanded geographic access to world-class NSA cryptanalytic and SIGINT engineering expertise, and also gains controlled access to advanced U.S. technology and equipment via accommodation buys and foreign military sales.

    “Benefits to the U.S. include expanded geographic access to high priority SIGINT targets, access to world-class Israeli cryptanalytic and SIGINT engineering expertise, and access to a large pool of highly qualified analysts.”

    The author of the memo — the country desk officer of the NSA’s Foreign Affairs Directorate — took pride in what he called “success stories.” First among them was “the Iranian nuclear development program, followed by Syrian nuclear efforts, Lebanese Hezbollah plans and intentions, Palestinian terrorism, and Global Jihad. Several recent and successful joint operations between NSA and ISNU have broadened both organizations’ ability to target and exploit Iranian nuclear efforts. In addition, a robust and dynamic crypanalytic relationship has enabled breakthroughs on high priority Iranian targets.

    “NSA and ISNU continue to initiate joint targeting of Syrian and Iranian leadership and nuclear development programs with CIA, ISNU, SOD and Mossad. This exchange has been particularly important as unrest in Syria continues, and both sides work together to identify threats to regional stability. NSA’s cyber partnerships expanded beyond ISNU to include Israeli Defense Intelligence’s SOD and Mossad, resulting in unprecedented access and collection breakthroughs that all sides acknowledge would not have been possible to achieve without the others.”

    In September 2011, NSA and Unit 8200 also signed a memo of understanding for cooperation in communications and cyber realms. In January 2012, one of Gen. Alexander’s deputies visited Tel Aviv and specified the NSA’s targets in those fields: cyber threats from Iran, Hezbollah and other elements in the region. In exchange, the NSA would provide Israel with “limited, focused support on specific Russian and Chinese cyber threats.” Additional talks “to further develop this partnership” were held in May and December 2012.

    Moreover, under the heads of NSA and Unit 8200, encrypted video communication was inaugurated between both intelligence communities “that allows both sides to broaden and accelerate the pace of collaboration against targets’ use of advanced telecommunications. Target sets include, but are not limited to, Iran nuclear, Syrian foreign fighter movements, Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps activities.”

    According to the section of the memo entitled “Problems/Challenges:” “The three most common concerns raised by ISNU regarding the partnership with NSA is NSA’s reluctance to share on technology that is not directly related to a specific target, the ISNU’s perceived reduction in the amount and degree of cooperation in certain areas, and the length of time NSA takes to decide on ISNU proposals. Efforts in these three areas have been addressed with the partner and NSA continues to work to increase cooperation with ISNU, where appropriate and mindful of U.S. policy and equity concerns.”

  • World Bank turns its back on rights protections for the poor

    Civil society organisations around the world are decrying a leaked draft of the World Bank’s proposed new policies to avoid harmful impacts from the development projects that it finances. Despite earlier commitments by Bank President Jim Yong Kim that the policies would not be diluted and that safeguards on land rights would be strengthened, the proposed changes have gutted essential requirements that are necessary to prevent displacement, impoverishment, and environmental damage.

    #banque_mondiale #prédateurs #terres #industrie en tout genre

  • Violent, Genocidal Anti-Palestinian Rhetoric Moving to US? | Religion Dispatches

    Last week, the man gunning for the top spot at the Anti-Defamation League, New York University senior fellow Thane Rosenbaum, authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal legitimizing Israel’s killing of civilians, telling Palestinians in Gaza that, because a plurality of their voting-age population voted for the political wing of Hamas in national elections eight years ago, “you forfeit your right to be called civilians… you have wittingly made yourself targets.”

    On Monday, the president of the New York Board of Rabbis, David-Seth Kirshner made this same assertion at a pro-Israel rally of 10,000 people a few blocks from the UN (which had just issued a statement expressing concern over “the deteriorating situation). In a video posted to Youtube, he is heard saying: “When you are part of an election process that asks for [Hamas]… you are complicit and you are not a civilian casualty.” Kirshner then proclaimed that the Israeli army is “the most moral army in the history of civilization.”

    It goes without saying that apart from being cruel, such logic is, as many others have noted, identical to the justification used by Osama Bin Laden for the morality of killing civilians on 9/11. That is, Americans (or Israelis) elected a government that acted unjustly or criminally, therefore Americans (or Israelis) as a whole are fair game. As Daniel Larison succinctly put it, such logic: “unintentionally endorses the logic of every terrorist group in history.”

    For decades, most mainstream Jewish leaders outside of Israel have publicly supported the military adventures of the Israeli government, regardless of the Palestinian death toll. But they have at least paid lip-service to the sanctity of human life and expressed regret for the souls lost on both sides. As Israel’s latest assault on Gaza enters its fourth week, however, we are witnessing a significant rhetorical departure.

  • Immigrant Placed in Solitary Confinement As Hunger Strike Hits Tacoma Detention Center, Again

    Immigrant detainees outraged by shoddy food, high commissary prices, and the government’s failure to reform its “broken”—President Obama’s words—immigration system began a second hunger strike on Wednesday at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, which is run by GEO Group, the nation’s second largest private prison corporation.


    #USA #détention #détention_administrative #grève_de_la_faim #rétention #Etats-Unis #Tacoma #migration #asile #réfugiés

  • Biden says US considering extending support to Ukraine in various areas

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has had a telephone conversation with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, during which they discussed the situation in Donbas and the progress of the international inquiry into the circumstances of the crash of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight.

    Tiens, au hasard : augmenter l’indépendance énergétique de l’Ukraine en aidant le développement du gaz de schiste.

    Company In Which US Vice President Joe Biden’s Son Is Director Prepares To Drill Shale Gas In East Ukraine | Global Research

    Finally, recall our story from May that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, just joined the board of the largest Ukraine gas producer Burisma Holdings.

    R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.

    Burisma Holdings is a privately owned oil and gas company with assets in Ukraine and operating in the energy market since 2002. To date, the company holds a portfolio with permits to develop fields in the Dnieper-Donets, the Carpathian and the Azov-Kuban basins.


  • Je n’ai jamais supporté l’effroyable parlance ricaine et sa fausse proximité, mais là c’est le pompon : Obama : “We tortured some folks”

    President Obama said Friday that some CIA officials who interrogated suspects after the 9/11 attacks “crossed a line” into torture.

    “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks,” Obama said while discussing a forthcoming Senate report on enhanced interrogation techniques.

    …and that was not cool.

  • Obama says that after 9/11, ’we tortured some folks’ & “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had,” he said. “A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots”| Reuters

    (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday the CIA “tortured some folks” after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that the White House had handed over to Congress a report about an investigation into “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

    “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values,” Obama told a White House news conference.

    Obama’s comment was a reaffirmation of his decision to ban the use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding shortly after he took office in January 2009.

    The administration of President George W. Bush, Obama’s predecessor, authorized the use of harsh questioning techniques of militant detainees in the wake of the 9/11 attacks after deciding they did not amount to torture. Obama told reporters the techniques were used because the United States was afraid more attacks were imminent.

    “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had,” he said. “A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.”

    Obama also said he had full confidence in CIA Director John Brennan despite a revelation the agency spied on a U.S. Senate committee investigating its interrogation techniques.

  • Obama: After 9/11 ’we tortured some folks’

    President #Barack_Obama admitted Friday that US officials had “tortured some folks” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, but urged they not be judged too harshly. The US administration is expected to release a declassified Senate report in the next few days that will detail alleged abuses by intelligence agents targeting extremist groups in the wake of the attacks. (AFP)

    #CIA #Torture

  • Bolivian president : #Israel is a terrorist state


    Bolivia’s President #Evo_Morales gestures while leaving the BRICS-UNASUR Summit at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on July 16, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Evaristo Sa) #Bolivia's President Evo Morales gestures while leaving the BRICS-UNASUR Summit at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil on July 16, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Evaristo Sa)

    Bolivia on Wednesday renounced a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its assault on Gaza, and declared it a terrorist state. President Evo Morales announced the move during a talk with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba. It “means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state,” he said. The treaty has allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia without a (...)

    #Palestine #Palestinian