The European Union has expressed regret over the leaking of an internal report on Israeli settlements. The document, prepared by EU diplomats, said Europe should exclude those areas from trade benefits enjoyed by Israel. The report said settlement building in East Jerusalem is “the biggest single threat to the two-state solution.” “It is systematic, deliberate and provocative,” diplomats said. Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. It subsequently annexed the area in a move that has never been recognised by the international community.
... Any way you may look at it, Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank is illegal according to international law. In fact, according to the Treaty of Rome endorsed in 1998 settling the population of a conquering country in occupied territory is considered a war crime. She makes clear that no reading of international law supports the conclusion of the Edmond Levy committee that claims that Israeli settlements are legal ... Israel may soon find itself in a truly threatening situation. Playing at ‘we want negotiations, but the Palestinians don’t fulfill preconditions like recognizing Israel as a Jewish state’ is not enough: a solution must actually be achieved.
Israel is a rogue state. It's a serial abuser. It commits crimes without punishment. It tolerates no criticism. Last May, it suspended contact with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). On April 30, Haaretz headlined "Israel joins UN list of states limiting human rights organizations" ... Official policies reflect state terror, apartheid, belligerence, violence, institutionalized racism, exploitation, occupation harshness, neoliberal rapaciousness, and war as an option of choice.
A huge majority of Americans view Iran’s nuclear program as a “critical threat,” alongside the North Korean nuclear program and “international terrorism,” according to a poll released Monday. The Gallup poll found that 99 percent of Americans believe the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States in the next ten years,” with 83% saying it was a “critical threat” and another 16% saying it was an “important, [but] not critical” one. Just 1% declined to say it was at least an important threat.
A grim new poll from Gallup shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, indeed 99 percent of them, believe that Iran’s civilian nuclear program is a threat “to the vital interests of the United States.” The poll reflects the near complete saturation of American opinion with politicians’ claims of the “threat” posed by Iran’s civilian program, in spite of repeated reports conceding that Iran isn’t presently developing nuclear weapons and that it may indeed never choose to do so. This disconnect from reality is underscored when compared with other questions in the same poll, ...
Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb. Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.
... Iran has no missile that can reach us, no air force or navy that would survive the first days of war, no nuclear weapons, no bomb-grade uranium from which to build one. All of her nuclear facilities are under constant United Nations surveillance and inspection. And if this Iran is the “greatest national security threat” faced by the world’s last superpower, why do Iran’s nearest neighbors — Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan — seem so unafraid of her?
A Victoria [British Columbia] lawyer who has earned a reputation among some as a fearless defender of free speech and others as an apologist for hate criminals is dying. Doug Christie, 66, has been admitted to Royal Jubilee Hospital and in a Monday telephone interview, confirmed doctors have told him he has cancer in his liver and about six months to live ... For his clients, he will always be “the battling barrister,” the lawyer who never hesitated to stand by them and defend their right to have an opinion and to speak it aloud.
For approximately two-and-a-half centuries, the Assyrian empire exerted tremendous influence upon developments in what biblical accounts called the "land of Canaan." At the height of its power, Assyria absorbed the kingdoms of Syria, Israel, Judah, and Egypt as far as Thebes ... Over the centuries, the Assyrians have suffered from a "bad press." True, they pursued policies of often ruthless conquest, made possible in part by their army, noted for its ferocity and fighting efficiency.
A writers association in Moldova reportedly has nominated Paul Goma, a Romanian author accused of writing anti-Semitic texts, for the Nobel Prize in Literature … Marco Maximillian Katz, director of the Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania, has written that Goma expressed “ferocious and hateful anti-Semitism” which suggests “Jews are guilty of the Holocaust.”
President Barack Obama will be the first sitting American president to receive Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction, the office of Israeli President Shimon Peres announced on Monday ... The announcement comes ahead of Obama’s first presidential trip to the Jewish state next month, when he is set to receive the award. While Obama has had a turbulent relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the two leaders have clashed over settlements, among other issues — Obama and Peres have often demonstrated signs of a warm relationship ...
The Anti-Defamation League Monday criticized a sketch performed during Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony by host Seth MacFarlane that it says sends false messages about Jews to a global audience who may be more inclined to accept the stereotypes as factual. In the sketch, MacFarlane’s animated teddy bear character Ted asked actor Mark Wahlberg if he is Jewish. Wahlberg responded that he is in fact Catholic. “Wrong answer, try again,” said Ted. “Do you want to work in this town or don’t you?”
American Jewish groups have hit out at one of the comedy routines performed during the Academy Awards show on Sunday night, accusing it of anti-Semitism. The awards ceremony, presented this year by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, was lambasted by the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center for a sketch starring the foul-mouthed teddy bear "Ted", voiced by MacFarlane and the eponymous star of a recent hit movie. During the sketch Ted tells his movie co-star Mark Wahlberg that in order to "work in this town" (Hollywood) he must be Jewish. He then goes on to say, "I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever."
... In his plea, Major Poullada systematically confronts one emotion-charged issue after another, calmly but persistently challenging the judges to set aside prejudice and presumption to consider all the evidence with an open mind. Poullada concludes with an eloquent defense of traditional Anglo-American standards of justice. As Poullada repeatedly emphasizes, these postwar "war crimes" trials violated basic principles of justice. With specific examples, he shows how the prosecution has encouraged witnesses to give clearly false hearsay testimony evidence. With prosecution connivance, Poullada establishes, some witnesses gave demonstrably perjured testimony.
Since the news from Hollywood flashed early Monday in Iran, text messages have been passing the word: A film widely denounced here as a stereotyped, anti-Iranian caricature won the coveted Oscar for best picture. "I am secular, atheist and not pro-regime but I think the film `Argo’ has distorted history and insulted Iranians," said Hossain ... The perception that the film portrayed Iranians uniformly as bearded, violent fanatics rankled many who recall that Iran's 1979 revolution had both secular and religious roots -- and ousted a dictatorial monarch, the shah of Iran, reviled as a corrupt and brutal puppet of Washington.
Dror Moreh, the Israeli director of the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" told HuffPost Live Monday that American Jews cherish the idea of Israel too much. Moreh's film, which was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Oscar, features surprisingly candid interviews with six retired directors of Israel's domestic spy agency, the Shin Bet, and offers a sobering look into the targeted killings behind Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories ... American Jews look to Israel as a post-Holocaust "safe haven." Moreh argues that this had led the American Jewish population to the "wrong conclusion ... that they have to support Israel no matter what."
South Africa is a very violent country with a murder rate four times the global average. The current murder case against Olympian Oscar Pistorius has touched a nerve. His claims that he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, when he mistook her for a burglar does not sound far fetched to some middle class South Africans. In a highly economically unequal country, robberies can quickly turn violent, leading to extreme measures by people wanting to secure their homes.
More than 40 writers, filmmakers and scholars from the US, France, Italy and other foreign countries, together with dozens of Iranian cinema specialists, journalists, officials and others, gathered at the large Azadi hotel in north Tehran for a four-day “Hollywoodism” conference to critically examine the formidable role and often harmful social-political impact of the US film industry, and to discuss how to counter it. I was one of several Americans who had been invited to the event ... During this expense-paid visit I gained a greater understanding of this ancient but vibrant nation of 75 million, which Israel and its allies in the US have demonized and threatened with military attack.
... Shops in the Iranian capital are crowded. Finding a seat at good restaurants can be difficult. And the ski resorts in the mountains north of Tehran continue to attract Tehran's glamorous and well-heeled. "The economy has problems with the sanctions, yes. But it's still working," he says. "It isn't as bad as people outside the country think." Sanctions are clearly having an impact ... But they are not close to having the "crippling" effect envisaged by Washington. The Iranian government has found ways to soften the impact, and Iran's economy is large and diverse enough to absorb a lot of punishment.
Declassified documents show that Bush administration officials wanted Saddam Hussein out of Iraq and were ready to start a war in order to achieve it. Just hours after the 9/11 attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met in the Pentagon with Air Force General Richard Myers, then vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other top aides ... Although the defense secretary had yet to be presented with any evidence linking the Iraqi leader to the World Trade Tower attacks, he was already considering whether the terrorist acts could be used as to justify a war on Iraq.
Something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out. The consequence, as revealed by the latest census, is that white Brits are now in a minority in London, making up just 45% of its residents. So where have they gone to - and why did they leave?
Last summer, the director of Norway’s Trondheim Museum of Art, Pontus Kyander, decided that the museum should no longer fly the Norwegian flag. He argued that a nation’s flag is no longer a collective symbol that unites all citizens. On the contrary, it was divisive — rallying only ethnic Norwegians and Christians, while excluding the country’s newer inhabitants, who often profess a different faith. Kyander suggested that other symbols must be found, which could unite people across religions, ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities ... The battle over symbols in Europe has intensified in recent years. Ethnically distinct groups increasingly make demands that they be able to practice their own customs and receive special dispensations for particular religious practices.
... A third factor is that [Iran’s Supreme Leader] Khamenei genuinely sees that Iran is on the "right side of history" as regards the regional upheaval in the Middle East, whereas the US's regional strategies are getting nowhere. In sum, whereas the US propaganda is that the Iran sanctions are "biting" and the regime is in Iran feels besieged, it is in actuality a bizarre situation of Washington believing its own propaganda while the ground realities are vastly different ... When Richard Nixon worked on China in the early 1970s, he had the benefit of a broad consensus of opinion within the US political establishment. On the contrary, when it comes to Iran, pride and prejudice influence still rule the roost for most consequential Americans.
This week, the US government, as part of unilateral sanctions against Iran, censored Press TV, removing it from satellite broadcast across all of North America. The reason they gave is insane. They claim to have silenced Press TV, an Iranian based broadcast service, in order to “prevent censorship.” ... The US accuses Press TV of propagandizing the Iranian people yet American actions are clearly aimed at censoring Press TV in the United States. Does the absurdity of this escape everyone? No “pop culture” media organization has managed to recognize the obvious insanity of US actions.
... There is probably no country more misunderstood in America than Iran. And it's due almost entirely to politically motivated demonizations and misrepresentations ... Iranian women are smart, strong willed-even a bit pushy at times and naturally alluring ... There is every reason for Washington’s new administration to reach out to Iran, not just with words but with actions. The Iranian people, and many Americans, fervently want this and it will inestimably benefit both societies. The solution to the current straightened Iran-US relations includes contact, visitations, and open discussions.
... A large block of Christians promotes a non-reality based foreign policy based on a controversial interpretation of the Bible that it embraces with considerable passion. Christian Zionism by definition consists of Christians (normally Protestant evangelicals) who believe that once the conditions are met for the second coming of Jesus Christ all true believers will be raptured up into heaven ... The Christian Zionist involvement in American politics on behalf of the Washington’s relationship with Israel does not serve any conceivable U.S. national interests unless one assumes that Israel and the United States are essentially the same polity, which is unsustainable.
... Nirenberg’s thesis [in his new book, Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition] is that this idea of Judaism, which bears only a passing resemblance to Judaism as practiced and lived by Jews, has been at the very center of Western civilization since the beginning. From Ptolemaic Egypt to early Christianity, from the Catholic Middle Ages to the Protestant Reformation, from the Enlightenment to fascism ... The decline of religion in Europe and the rise of the Enlightenment did little to change the rhetoric of anti-Judaism. Voltaire, Kant, and Hegel all used Judaism as a figure for what they wanted to overcome — superstition, legalistic morality, the dead past.
... Since the end of the Second World War we have been bombarded from all sides with references to the Western world's "Judeo-Christian religion," and "our Judeo-Christian heritage." We are told by both church leaders and scholars that our society is based on a supposed "Judeo-Christian tradition.” … Yet such a decidedly Christian Zionist outlook is to say the least, wildly simplistic and profoundly ahistoriccal … “Judeo-Christianity" should be seen for what it is - another secular twentieth century fraud, manufactured for narrow political ends, that is supremely disrespectful to all true believers.
... For three years now, thanks to Obama administration leaks, we've known that the president claims the right to summarily execute American citizens far from any battlefield ... There's an important matter of principle here: Can a president really serve as judge, jury and executioner over any American he deems a security threat? The Obama administration has hidden the legal memoranda addressing that question behind a veil of state secrecy. In 2011, a New York Times reporter got a stark response to his Freedom of Information Act request: "The very fact of the existence or nonexistence of such documents is itself classified."
To every American's shame, the Republicans demonstrated for all the world to see that they are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Israel Lobby ... Hagel is not an opponent of Israel. He merely said, “First, I am an American.” His lack of craven subservience is unacceptable to the Israel Lobby, which has branded him an “anti-semite.” ... Americans are a colonized people. Their government represents the colonizing powers: Wall Street, the Israel Lobby, the Military/ Security Complex, Agribusiness, Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Mining, and Timber interests ...
The decision by Hungary’s Constitutional Court to reject a ban on Nazi and Communist symbols has been deemed unworkable by several political groups. Some socialists say a constitutional amendment may be needed to prevent anyone from sporting a swastika, red star or SS badge, which Hungarian Jews or surviving victims could justly find offensive.
Archaeologists have called off a hunt for World War II Spitfires in Burma. Originally it was thought as many as 124 Spitfires were buried by the RAF at the end of the war but they have now concluded it was a myth. A dig at the international airport near the city of Rangoon, which used to be RAF Mingaladon, has drawn a blank. The project was financed by Wargaming Ltd, who have said they believe the story about Spitfires being delivered in crates and then buried was not true.
... As the incendiaries fell, the phosphorus clung to the bodies of those below, turning them into human torches. The screaming of those who were being burned alive was added to the cries of those not yet hit. There was no need for flares to lead the second wave of bombers to their target, as the whole city had become a gigantic torch. It must have been visible to the pilots from a hundred miles away. Dresden had no defences, no anti-aircraft guns, no searchlights, nothing ... The affair was a war crime at the highest level, a stain upon the name Englishman that only an apology made in full public view would suffice to obliterate.
... Dresden is not only a German city, or the symbol of a German destiny. Dresden is also the universal symbol of countless German and countless European, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Belgian and French cities that were bombed by the Western Allies, or for that matter that were fully bombed out ... We are often criticized for playing up the Dresden victims in order to trivialize the fascist crimes. This is nonsense. This thesis can be easily reversed. The establishment historians and opinion-makers, 70 years after the war, are in need of forever renewing the fascist danger in order to cover up their own catastrophic economic failures and their own war crimes.
... Around him sat 130 foreign guests who had been brought to Tehran by the government to debate exactly that question. It would prove harder than expected. Introduced by their Iranian hosts as “unsung heroes seeking truths,” a diverse group of people promoting “alternative thinking” had gathered to discuss what they said was the hidden agenda behind major American movies — an ideology they called “Hollywoodism.” Leftist activists, Muslim converts and a former American senator were interviewed by a stream of Iranian state television camera crews, which introduced them as Western “professors, researchers and critics.” ... Mike Gravel, a former Democratic senator from Alaska, said Hollywood had brainwashed its audiences into thinking negatively about Iran.
Earlier this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad introduced his country’s latest indigenously developed fighter aircraft that can supposedly evade radar detection. The new jet known as Qaher F-313 or Dominant F-313 is said to be similar to the American F/A-18. “Qaher is a fully indigenous aircraft designed and built by our aerospace experts. This is a radar-evading plane that can fly at low altitude, carry weapons, engage enemy aircrafts and land at short airstrips,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. He added that advanced materials were used to manufacture the body of the aircraft, making it Iran’s best stealth plane.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians, carrying flags and banners in support of the Islamic administration, celebrated nationwide the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Sunday. The 1979 revolution toppled the U.S.-backed regime of Shah and brought the country under the leadership of Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, an event seen as a turning point in Iran's history. People in major Iranian cities swarmed to the streets on Sunday, carrying images of the late founder of the Islamic republic, Imam Khomeini, and his successor, incumbent Iran's leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; while in the Azadi (Liberty) Square in the capital Tehran, people were chanting anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans when marking the day.
Suspected Mossad agent Ben Zygier was arrested by his own spymasters after they believed he told Australia's domestic intelligence agency about every aspect of his work with the Israelis, sources say. The ABC's Foreign Correspondent program understands that Zygier met with ASIO officers in Australia and gave comprehensive detail about a number of Mossad operations, including plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making ... Mr Zygier was secretly jailed in Israel's Ayalon prison, where it is claimed he committed suicide after ten months in prison. His incarceration was a state secret in Israel; the security services going to extraordinary lengths to conceal his plight.
Orthodox Jewish leaders have been protecting child abusers, a TV documentary will claim tonight. Dispatches found 19 cases where crimes were not reported as the community prefers to deal with it internally. The show will claim that those who go to authorities face being spat at and driven out of their area. It will show senior Rabbi Ephraim Padwa order an alleged victim to stay away from the police because the force is “non-Jewish”.
... Might this humongous dumping of foreign goods into the U.S.A., killing our factories, and the liberation of our transnational elite to close plants, outsource production, and bring foreign-made goods back free of charge into the U.S. market, have had something to do with killing the middle class? The U.S. median income stopped growing in the mid-1970s, the same time we began to run 40 straight years of ever-expanding trade deficits.
It sounds like an Orwellian idea from a futuristic sci-fi movie. Government officials gather in a secret courtroom, poring over documents and weighing whether to approve the fly-by killing of a suspected terrorist. If the judges say yes, the target dies. If not, the target lives. But US senators are now floating the idea of an assassination court as a way to rein in the ever-expanding drone program — a secretive operation that, as it is, sounds like thriller fiction, but isn't. The idea was bandied about during the confirmation hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan, who fueled the talk by saying he thinks the concept is "worthy of discussion."
U.N. human rights investigators called on Israel on Thursday to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all half a million Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank, saying that its practices could be subject to prosecution as possible war crimes ... “Israel must cease settlement activities and provide adequate, prompt and effective remedy to the victims of violations of human rights," Christine Chanet, a French judge who led the U.N. inquiry, told a news conference. The settlements contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory and could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations report said.
Israeli settlements in the occupied territories violate Palestinians' human rights in ways designed to drive them off the land, a UN report states. The report says settlements displace Palestinians, destroy their crops and property, and subject them to violence. Israel refused to co-operate with the inquiry by three UN researchers.
... An "insider's account" of the discussions leading up to these [1947-1948] decisions has been published by former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, one of the few living parties to the discussions leading to partition ... Clifford's story once again disproves the assertion that American diplomatic or military personnel ever viewed Israel as a " strategic asset." The foreign policy establishment, 43 years ago as today, saw Israel as a geopolitical liability that owes its US support to the extraordinary clout of its apologists within the American Jewish community and the American political system.
Former President Jimmy Carter speaks about his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In this interview he succinctly describes Israel’s “horrendous” violations of basic human rights, harsh occupation policies, and oppression of Palestinians. In the US, he also notes, there is no real debate or open discussion of Israel’s repressive and illegal policies, or of the numerous broken pledges by Israeli leaders to American presidents. Runtime: 4:28 mins.
The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations -- but not in the United States. For the past 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticise policies of the Israeli government is due to the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.
... The Zionist dream is becoming a nightmare. There is no place in the world where the Jewish people are more insecure than in Israel, in part, of course, because of the continuation of anti-Semitism, especially in the Islamic world, but also because of the policies and behavior of the Jewish state. As for its role of moral exemplar, today defenders of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians don't even bother to claim a higher morality ... Given the confluence of rightwing ideology and domestic political realities in the United States, however, it is hard to imagine any American government imposing such tough-love policies on Israel without strong support from the American Jewish community.
... As author Jared Taylor graphically relates in [Paved With Good Intentions] this meticulously documented, closely argued and powerfully written review of the lamentable state of race relations in America, a system of “prevailing taboos” has been allowed to evolve, a dangerous consequence of which is that honest and intelligent discussion of race and related issues has largely been proscribed ... In any case, Taylor argues, only by confronting the true dimensions of a failed policy can we hope to resolve the many daunting problems that are its consequence.
Los Angeles used to have a public transit system that covered about 25 percent more track mileage than New York City's current subway system. In its eco-heyday in 1945, LA had more than 900 hydro-electric Pacific Electric "Red Cars" that covered more than 1,100 miles, from Pasadena to downtown LA, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Balboa and Santa Ana ... So how did the City of Angels end up with the most pitiful transit system of any major U.S. city? You may have heard a story about General Motors buying the Red Cars and dismantling them in order to force dependency on freeways. But that's just a myth propagated in the 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
An award for integrity and honesty, for work that essentially prevented a war. Thomas Fingar, now a Professor at Stanford University, oversaw the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran in 2007, during a period when the Bush administration was beating the drums of war. Its conclusion, that all 16 US intelligence agencies judged with high confidence that Iran had given up its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, placed an insurmountable obstacle on the path to conflict.
... Even many of those who readily acknowledge the tremendous influence of American film and television seem not to fully comprehend the formidable scope of the power behind Hollywood, or the outlook and agenda of those who wield that power ... Hollywood, together with the rest of the Jewish-Zionist dominated US media, sensationalizes and distorts current events, systematically falsifies history, promotes debased “entertainment” and perverse cultural standards, and makes possible the Jewish-Zionist hold on American political life ...
... We are now witnessing the expansion of Obama’s Kill List. The list began under the Bush regime as a rationale for murdering suspect citizens of countries with which the US was not at war. The Obama regime expanded the scope of the list to include the execution, without due process of law, of US citizens accused, without evidence presented in court, of association with terrorism ... As Glenn Greenwald recently wrote, the power of government to imprison and to murder its citizens without due process of law is the certain mark of dictatorship. Dictatorship is government unconstrained by law.
In 2009 the US not only inaugurated its first black president - it also honoured the president who paved Barack Obama's way to the country's highest post. Events across the nation marked the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, celebrating a man widely seen as the greatest US president - the secular saint who redeemed America's original sin of slavery … Despite his visceral hatred of slavery, Mr Yacovone says, Lincoln - like the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries - never believed in the equality of races. "He supported enactment of the anti-fugitive slave law, he supported exclusion of black jurors and all basic civil rights," Mr Yacovone says.
A look at how the US government – through the “National Endowment for Democracy,” USAID, and other agencies – disperses enormous amounts of American taxpayer money to support pro-US politicians and opposition groups overseas as part of a major campaign to purchase favorable, pro-US regimes around the world. Appearing in this Press TV “Money Trail” broadcast are: Mike Gravel, former US Senator; Mark Weber, American historian and IHR director: William Blum, author of “Killing Hope,” and Kaveh Afrasiabi, political scientist. Runtime: 25:11 mins.
… In countries where popular sentiment has been able to express itself politically, the government is usually more anti-American. This is true not only in the Middle East, but also in Europe, Asia and Latin America …To suppose that the United States, or any outside power, can impose its own notion of democracy or freedom on another country is both arrogant and stupid. Every nation naturally has its own concept of a just and free society. In the short run, the prospects for democratization in the Middle East are poor, because the U.S. will continue to carry out policies in the region that are motivated primarily by concern for Israel.
On Saturday, I wrote about the numerous New York City officials (including multiple members of the US House of Representatives) who have predictably signed onto the Alan-Dershowitz-led attack on academic freedom at Brooklyn College. This group of Israel advocates and elected officials is demanding that the college's Political Science department rescind its sponsorship of an event featuring two advocates of the BDS movement aimed at stopping Israeli occupation and settlements. The threat to academic freedom posed by this growing lynch mob is obvious ...
MEMRI's January 3, 2013, release of Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi’s anti-Semitic statements from March 2010, in which he called the Jews "descendants of apes and pigs" and rejected the possibility of peace with them, was reported worldwide. The anti-semitic statements prompted condemnation and a demand for a retraction by the U.S. administration.
A war crimes investigator cast fresh doubts on the autobiographical account of a purported Holocaust survivor living in Australia who says he was a child mascot for Nazis ... Kurzem claims he witnessed his mother, brother and sister being massacred in 1941 in Koidanov, or Dzyarzhynsk, in Belarus before escaping and being adopted by a Latvian SS guard who gave him a new name (Uldis Kurzemnieks) and made him his battalion’s mascot. The Americans do not dispute he was a child mascot. But they do contest his claim that he witnessed his family being murdered and that he was born a Jew.
Released in the autumn of 2012, ahead of the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler's coming to power, "Er ist wieder da" ("He's Back") by German writer Timur Vermes starts off with the dictator’s return to Berlin in the summer of 2011. The book has soared to the top of the book sales charts, but it has also set some teeth on edge. / ... The huge audiences [drawn in by the television star Hitler] are clearly grounded in the same reasons the novel has been selling so well. A very strange fixation on Hitler has developed Germany, and it has something of the manic about it. With faultless regularity Hitler pops up on magazines front pages; he haunts the TV ...
Millions of college graduates who saw a degree as their ticket to a good-paying career and a secure life are working in jobs that do not require their education or even a high school diploma, sometimes leaving them with small wages to pay thousands in student loan debt, according to a new study. About 48 percent of all working college alumni - not just recent graduates - were underemployed in 2010 as the United States began a slow recovery from the Great Recession, including five million graduates in jobs that require less than a high school diploma, according to a study from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
US Senators fight over who’s the most pro-Israel in this made-for-television sketch that spoofs the recent confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Made for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” this skit was cut from the final show, and was not broadcast on television.
Security officials suspect that Ben Zygier, the alleged spy who died in a secret Israeli prison in 2010, may have been about to disclose information about Israeli intelligence operations, including the use of fraudulent Australian passports, either to the Australian government or to the media before he was arrested. Mr Zygier ''may well have been about to blow the whistle, but he never got the chance'', an Australian security official told Fairfax Media.
... New details shed light on Ben Zygier’s dealings with Mossad. An Israeli lawyer says the man – who took his own life in a jail cell – did not seem like he was at risk of suicide. Zygier’s associations with Mossad are still cloudy, as media agencies report different accounts of his previous work with the organization. According to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida, Zygier reportedly took part in the 2010 killing of Hamas operative Mahoud al-Mahbouh in Dubai and offered the government information about the operation in return for the United Arab Emirates’ protection ... Australian security officials suspected Zygier may have been about to disclose Israeli intelligence operations – including the use of fraudulent Australian passports – to the Australian government or the media.
Israel's military censor, which has long served as the country's guardian of state secrets, is suddenly under the microscope following a pair of sensitive reports broken by the international media. An Australian broadcaster's story this week about the suspicious death of an Australian-Israeli prisoner held by Israel, following foreign reports of an Israeli airstrike in Syria last month, have revealed the limits of Israel's decades-long censorship rules and court-imposed gag orders.
The destruction of the virtually undefended German city of Dresden by bombers of the Royal Air Force and U.S. Army Air Force, in mid-February 1945, remains one of the most controversial episodes of the Second World War ... British military historian, Alexander McKee, has produced a new account of the Dresden bombing, based in part upon an examination of official records recently declassified, as well as interviews from survivors of the attack and Allied airmen who flew in the raids. McKee had doubts about the efficacy of area bombing when, as a soldier with the 1st Canadian Army, he witnessed the results of the Allied bombing of "friendly" French towns.
Some 10,000 citizens have formed a cordon inside Dresden to prevent neo-Nazis from misusing an anniversary of the Allied bombing of the German city during World War II. A march by neo-Nazis was stopped by police. Dresden held commemorative events on Wednesday for past war-time bombing victims in Dresden, England's Coventry and Japan's Hiroshima as some 800 neo-Nazis tried to begin a march near Dresden's main railway station. Police squads stopped them after a few hundred meters, close to where counter-demonstrators had set up one of three blockades in Dresden's historic inner city.
President Vladimir Putin has called criminal the attempts to rewrite World War II history and to make equal executors and their victims. "The rewriting of history is a crime to the millions who died for the victory and the next generations who must know the true heroes of WWII and be able to tell between the truth and impudent and cynical lies," he said in the Israeli town of Netanya, where a monument to Soviet soldiers who defeated the Nazi Germany was unveiled on Monday.
The southern Russian city where the Red Army decisively turned back Nazi forces in a key World War II battle will once again be known as Stalingrad, at least on the days commemorating the victory. The city was renamed Volgograd in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union's rejection of dictator Joseph Stalin's personality cult. But the name Stalingrad is inseparable with the battle, in which at least 1.25 million people died. Russia on Saturday plans extensive ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle's end.
A garden trough used by a couple for 30 years to hold plants has been identified as a 2,000-year-old marble coffin worth more than 100,000 pounds [$150,000 ]. The six foot, nine inch long coffin, which has a central panel carved with the Three Graces, was left behind in the back garden by the previous owners. Unaware of its history, the couple used it as a large planter and filled it with soil to grow heather, spring bulbs and bedding plants in. The one-ton trough has now been identified as a rare ornate Roman sarcophagus from the 1st and 2nd century AD.
The British government has long denied that wartime air raids on German cities were intended to kill as many civilians as possible. In fact, the raids, led by Arthur Harris, were motivated largely by a desire to hit back and destroy indiscriminately / … “The aim of [Britain’s] Bomber Command should be unambiguously and publicly stated," he [Harris] wrote in 1943. "That aim is the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany." He wanted the government to declare its commitment to "the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale", and he expressed his contempt of the official eagerness "to downplay the obliteration of German cities and their inhabitants".
The RAF commander who ordered the controversial fire-bombing of Dresden which killed an estimated 25,000 civilians during World War II said he would do it again in a long lost interview filmed 30 years after the end of the conflict. Former marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, gave the green light for the 1945 bombing which reduced the city in Saxony, Germany, to rubble. The attack was widely criticised because of 'blanket bombing' which hit civilian areas as well as military targets - killing thousands of innocents.
Perspective, background and commentary on the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden, February 13-15, 1945, compiled by British historian David Irving. Evidence that the death toll was much larger than the now “official” figure of about 25,000.
... Above all the United States, which is in the forefront of the accusatory critics, should permit itself to be reminded of the great extent to which, for years, it violated Swiss neutrality. From 1943 onwards American war planes flew at will over the neutral country, sometimes in flight formations, in attacks on targets in the German Reich. Time and again they also carried out offensive operations against Swiss territory. Thus, on April 1, 1944, Schaffhausen was the victim of an intense American air attack, with considerable losses and heavy destruction of property.
... The multi-megaton truth bomb – the third Hollywoodism Conference at the Fajr Film Festival – brought together fifty authors, scholars, political figures and filmmakers to oppose and expose Hollywood’s war on Islam in general, and the Islamic Republic in particular. (Full disclosure: I was a participant in the conference, which ended Wednesday.) Former Senator Mike Gravel, a Democratic candidate for President in 2008, said Americans are being fed a distorted view of Iran ... Most of the participants, including Miller, agreed with Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) that Hollywood demonizes Iran for a fairly obvious reason: Hollywood, even more than the rest of the US media, is controlled by Zionists.
Iran’s third “Hollywoodism” conference is partnering with a number of American and international anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists. The conference, part of Iran’s annual Fajr International Film Festival, includes sessions on how Zionists and their allies in the West use the film industry to promote negative views of Iran and provoke religious conflicts around the globe ... Iranian Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Javad Shamaghdari said in his opening statement at the conference on February 2 that since before World War I, some Hollywood films “have been formed and produced” from the “Zionist point of view, whose doctrines and beliefs have been institutionalized.”
... For the third year in a row, Talebzadeh has invited Iranian analysts, film critics and Hollywood detractors from the U.S. to slam the “hidden or open agenda” of Western films to tarnish Iran and Islam. Over four days, roughly 1,000 attendees are expected to flock to the Tehran event ... Foreigners peppered the crowd at the Tehran hotel, including the maverick former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, who defended the disputed Iranian nuclear energy program at the opening ceremony ... “Hollywood is used to impose on people to think in a single way,” Art Olivier, the libertarian former mayor of the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower, told The Times on the
sidelines of the conference.
As the Baltimore Ravens were making their way into NFL history, countless people were likely victims to the sex crimes associated with football’s biggest day. Just days before Super Bowl XLVII, New Orleans police arrested eight people and rescued five women from a human-trafficking-related operation ... It is expected that between 100,000 to 300,000 American women and children as young as 12 years old are exploited in sex trade within the county, according to USA Today. While it is possible for people to be abducted during the Super Bowl, most are likely taken beforehand and used at major, large-scale events like the Super Bowl. According to the Huffington Post, U.S. sex trafficking, which it dubbed “America's dirtiest secret,” garners approximately $9.5 billion a year.
The first Hungarian convicted under a new Holocaust denial law has been given a suspended 18-month jail sentence and has to visit Budapest's memorial museum, Auschwitz or Yad Vashem, the court said Friday. In addition to visiting Budapest's Holocaust Memorial Center three times, György Nagy has to write down his thoughts. Alternatively he can go to the Auschwitz former death camp in Poland or the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem. The sentence, which also bans the unemployed computer technician from attending political rallies or events, is the first conviction since a new law came into force in 2010.
An aide to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi claims that the Holocaust was a hoax. Fathi Shihab Eddim, Morsi’s senior aide, made the comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. “The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented,” Eddim said, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Eddim, who is reportedly responsible for appointing editors for the country’s state-run newspapers, asserted that 6 million Jews actually moved to the United States during World War II.