… The Jewish denial that Hollywood is controlled by Jews is a great lie which can be attested to by anyone who has ever been associated with the film industry … It is positively insulting for them to deny their influence and power -- particularly when they themselves are continually boasting in their own circles about their "overrepresentation" in these fields. And it is absolutely infuriating when this denial reaches the point that non-Jews are attacked by Jewish agitators and Zionist zealots for stating obvious facts and truth.
… The Jews are so dominant, I had to scour the trades to come up with six Gentiles in high positions at entertainment companies. When I called them to talk about their incredible advancement, five of them refused to talk to me, apparently out of fear of insulting Jews … As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood. Without us, you'd be flipping between "The 700 Club" and "Davey and Goliath" on TV all day … I don't care if Americans think we're running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.
American Jews invented Hollywood movies, from “Superman” to “Schindler’s List,” in order to take over the world, according to a program aired on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV [Lebanon] and translated by MEMRI ... The program made special mention of “Schindler’s List” as well as of German-Jewish pioneer filmmaker Carl Laemmle ... Laemmle ”worked to keep Hollywood in Jewish hands only,” the narrator went on, adding that “this influence continues to this day.”
According to an Al-Manar [Lebanon] TV report, titled "Jews, Movies, Hollywoodism, and the American Dream" and broadcast on Feb. 10, 2014, Hollywood was a Jewish invention, the goals of which were "to take over the greatest superpower in the world, to control all aspects of its daily life, and to harness it in the service of Jewish goals worldwide." Four-minute video from the television report, with English subtitles, and text excerpts.
One person’s listing, with his explanations, of the top 15 composers of all time, in “ascending” order: Franz Joseph Haydn, George Frederick Handel, Sergei Rachmaninov, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler, Giuseppe Verdi, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach.
... At the press conference held at Tasnim News Agency on Sunday, Finkelstein started off by talking about his perspective on Iran ... “As I went past the surface and started talking to people, I discovered the strangest thing about Iran, which is ‘Iran is a perfectly normal country’,” he said. There was nothing unusual about Iran, if someone just got off the plane and took a bus to his hotel and started walking around, he said, adding they would discover quickly that Iranians are a bit “more polite” than other places and a “little less aggressive”. He added that the crazy hysteria created about Iran in the West is a total lunacy ...
... In the [just published] book [titled Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare], Porter thoroughly debunks the whole narrative of the Iran nuclear dossier as sold to the world by the George W Bush administration, assorted neo-cons and the Israeli Likud ... This catalogue of disinformation during the 1970s and 1980s is now mirrored by the disinformation of all these past few years about the Iranian nuclear program. No wonder most Americans - and plenty of Europeans - remain clueless.
The propaganda that continues to flourish for war on Syria shows many Americans fail to understand the problems posed by “U.S. Empire-building,” believing it to be an altruistic force, toppling other governments and starting wars for the good of all mankind. Two recent articles in the New York Times ... are typical of the concerted efforts underway to ramp up U.S. military intervention ... It’s no secret that the U.S. has a long history of toppling governments that it doesn’t like, even democratically elected ones.
... It is a mistake to assess the success or failure of U.S. foreign policy based on an image of the United States as an omnipotent global savior or policeman. We ought to bear this principle in mind in contemplating policy about problems anywhere on the globe. It certainly should be borne in mind with the Middle East, where there is a still fairly recent history of forceful U.S. action doing more harm than good, and a more distant history of the actions of outside powers in general also doing harm.
... Add to these the operations of an organized propaganda capable, apparently, of doping Americans into belief in any myth, and there is formidable reason why public opinion should be so stupefied and stultified that the nation can be led from war to war in pursuit of ever retreating goals. Yet, despite the general numbness, Americans, surveying the results of half a century of intermeddling, dimly perceive that all is not well.
The sweep of Europe’s history over six thousand years shown through a changing political map of the continent, graphically tracing the many drastic shifts in power to the present day. Runtime: 3:16 mins.
A group commissioned by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to promote "a just peace in Israel/Palestine" publishes a study guide that includes depictions of Zionism as a heresy at the root of the Middle East crisis. Meanwhile, a major governing body recommends that the church pull its investments in three corporations linked to Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands. The two actions, while taking place separately in recent weeks, drew praise from advocates for Palestinians but have combined to roil already-tense relations between Presbyterians and Jews ... Among national Jewish groups, the Anti-Defamation League said the study guide may be the "most anti-Semitic document to come out of a mainline American church in recent memory” ...
... Western critics focus on Israel because, unlike countries such as North Korea or Iran, Israel has managed to avoid any penalties despite riding roughshod over international norms for decades. Iran, which is only suspected of secretly developing nuclear weapons, has been enduring years of savage sanctions. Israel, which has hidden its large stockpile of nuclear warheads from international scrutiny since the late 1960s, has enjoyed endless diplomatic cover ... Israel has not only evaded accountability, it has been handsomely rewarded by the US and Europe for flouting international conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.
Our uniquely massive support for Israel has cost trillions of dollars and multitudes of lives. It has diminished our moral standing in the world, lessened our domestic freedoms, and exposed us to unnecessary and growing peril. The majority of Americans – as well as our diplomatic and military experts -- oppose this unique relationship. Yet, the lobby for Israel continues to foment policies that are disastrous for our nation and tragic for the region ... Below are the facts: ...
In Barack Obama’s first weeks in office, in a series of executive orders and public statements, the new president and former professor of constitutional law promised to make sweeping changes in the way government operated in a number of specific areas. But has he kept his pledges? Let's consider four of them: Ending Torture; Closing Guantanamo; Ending unnecessary secrecy; An end to war without limits ... Five years into his presidency, it's clear Obama has failed to keep promises he claimed were at the heart of his approach to governance.
... Although the Soviet empire, including its Warsaw Pact alliance, disbanded beginning in 1989, Republican and Democratic presidents have pursued aggressively anti-Russian policies up to the present ... The United States should steer clear of Ukraine. It is none of the U.S. government’s business whether that country is economically closer to Russia or the European Union (EU). The Obama administration should not only forswear direct and covert intervention, it should also shut up. American presidents must learn to mind their own business, even where Russia is concerned.
... Outside influences aren’t the driving force. They aren’t “orchestrated” by the west as American-German freelance journalist William Engdahl suggests. Rather, elements in the west are trying to co-opt and direct a homegrown, and genuine ethno-nationalist, protest. Significantly, opposition candidates favored by the West have no standing with the protesters ... Far from bolstering or “orchestrating” the protests, Western support and perceptions of Western support actually undermine them by playing into one of the two effective messages of Kremlin propaganda: that the protests are a Western creation and/or the protesters are neo-Nazis.
It’s time for the United States to surrender on Syria. The embattled government of Bashar al-Assad hasn’t won the war, exactly, but it’s demonstrated that it isn’t going anywhere. The rebels, increasingly dominated by hard-core Islamists and Al Qaeda types, aren’t fit to take over. For Washington, the only way out of the crisis, other than to give up the fight, would be conduct a military operation on the scale of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and not only would that be a regional disaster for the United States, Syria and its neighbors, but it’s also out of the question, politically.
... It is little surprise that the discovery of the diary of Rosenberg, which had been missing since the Nuremberg trials, excited staunch believers in the official Holocaust narrative. In fact, had the Holocaust occurred as generally understood and as relayed through many books, films, and museums, the Rosenberg Diary should have contained a wealth of horrifying discoveries ... But the diary contains no such evidence. There is no justification of brutal policies; in fact, there is no mention of an order for extermination. There is no mention of gas chambers. There is no suggestion that Rosenberg was even aware of such policies.
Buchenwald is widely regarded as one of wartime Germany's most notorious "death camps." In fact, though, this carefully cultivated image bears little resemblance to reality … The camp deserves another, more objective look.
Peeling paint, empty rusting beds and overgrown grounds - these chilling images show the abandoned hospital which counted Adolf Hitler among its patients. Beelitz Heilstatten, a sanitorium outside Berlin, is a 60-building complex which opened in 1902 ... It was turned into a military hospital during the First World War and in 1916 a young Adolf Hitler was admitted to a ward while he recovered from a thigh wound he sustained after being shot during the Battle of the Somme.
... The usual interventionists in the US have long meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine ... A recent leaked telephone conversation between two senior government officials made it clear that not only was the US involved in the Ukrainian unrest, the US was actually seeking to determine who should make up the next Ukrainian government! ... Certainly the American people want none of this intervention in Ukraine. They understand, as recent polls have shown, that our interventionist foreign policy is only creating more enemies overseas. And they also understand that we are out of money. We could not afford to be the policemen of world even if we wanted to be.
First it was statues of the tsars that were toppled, and replaced with Soviet demi-gods. Kiev lost four tsars and a prime minister (Pyotr Stolypin). Then, at the dawn of Ukrainian independence in 1991, most of the major Lenin statues came down, including a monolithic monument to Great October (that is, the 1917 [Bolshevik] Revolution) ... So what will replace the toppled Lenins? In Lviv, the biggest city in western Ukraine, two new idols have been raised - Ukraine's national poet, Taras Shevchenko, and the partisan leader who declared Ukrainian independence in World War Two, Stepan Bandera.
The ‘Soviet Soldier’ – a monument commemorating the collective sacrifice of the Soviet army against Nazi forces – has been toppled in western Ukraine. This follows the country-wide fall of some two dozen Lenin statues. The taking down of the ‘Soviet Soldier’ in the town of Stryi, Lvov region, turns a new page in the chaos that gripped the nation in November, and has taken on dangerously nationalist overtones in the past fortnight.
Jewish leaders have expressed concern over the continued violence in Ukraine and fear that Jews might be targeted ... Peter Dickinson, editor-in-chief of Jewish News One (JN1), the Kiev-based 24/24 television channel, told European Jewish Press that the Jewish community are supportive of the protests, ‘’at least those whom I know and speak to.” While Jews are also concerned by the nationalist element – especially the anti-Semitic Svoboda party they overall see the pro-democracy and pro-European movement as the right direction for the country, said Dickinson. ‘’Plus they are well aware of the dangers posed by Russian chauvinism, which under Putin is becoming increasingly anti-Semitic,’’ he added.
... Last month, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin devoted his entire annual address to the state’s heroin crisis. Two million dollars worth of heroin is pumped into Vermont each week, he said, and 80 percent of the state’s inmates are in prison for drug crimes ... Heroin-related deaths nearly doubled in the last year alone, and the number of people treated for heroin addiction has increased an eye-popping 770 percent since 2000 ... Heroin seems to have touched everyone I know in Vermont. Everyone has a relative, friend or neighbor who has been affected. And while the growth among people in my age group — 25 to 34 — has been nearly exponential, even younger people are using too.
Former President George W. Bush has been honored with the Anti-Defamation League’s highest award ... At a private dinner for the ADL’s national executive committee meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday night, the organization bestowed its “America’s Democratic Legacy Award” on Bush, whom the group also praised for establishing the United States’ first special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. "The best Middle Eastern policy starts with an alliance with the only democracy in the Middle East, and that is Israel,” Bush said in accepting the honor ... “The cornerstone of peace begins with an unshakable US-Israel alliance.”
The perpetrators of the 2001 Nine Eleven attacks harmed the United States. But the response to those attacks by President George W. Bush and other American political leaders has proven to be even more damaging. The U.S. response has weakened this country’s security, undermined its economy, degraded its standing and credibility, and violated the principles it claims to uphold. The calamity of September 11 was a consequence, above all, of the Jewish-Zionist grip on American political life and the U.S. media.
Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" and scores of books about the young Holocaust victim have been vandalized in Tokyo public libraries since earlier this year. The damage was mostly in the form of dozens of ripped pages in the books. Librarians have counted at least 265 damaged books at 31 municipal libraries since the end of January ... The motive for damaging the Anne Frank books is unclear. Police are investigating.
A cartoon published by Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) last week depicting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as an octopus controlling the world with his company brought to mind a cartoon from 1938 Nazi Germany, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Monday. The SZ cartoon depicting the Facebook founder with a long nose, triggered sharp criticism from the Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff ... The SZ’s cartoonist Burkhard Mohr wrote: “Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies which are totally foreign to me.” Mohr said he was “shocked” that his cartoon appears in this light.
... When Obama campaigned on the slogan, “Change You Can Believe In,” he did not mean to mount a substantial challenge to what has been the fundamental assumption of American foreign policy since the end of the Second World War — that it is up to the U.S. to lead the world .... The surprising thing is not how far the administration has strayed from neocon orthodoxy. Rather, it is the extent to which it resembles that of the Bush administration. The consanguinity, you could even say, between the neocons and liberal hawks has rarely been more apparent ... Over the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, the reality is one of far more continuity than rupture ... Are we all liberal imperialists now?
Americans seem to believe that once the U.S. military exits a foreign country, its moral accountability ends. But the deadly consequences — and culpability — continue long after the last soldier leaves ... So, once again, arrogant American policymakers lumbered into a foreign country thinking they could remake it in their image — apparently without knowing anything about the cultural or social context. This is hardly the first time ... Thus, 40 years after America’s war of aggression against the people of Southeast Asia, American munitions continue to kill people. Remember this the next time you hear antiwar advocates smeared as isolationists and American foreign intervention lauded as a blessing to mankind.
... The U.S. usually doesn't recognize countries by ethnicities, but Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. does recognize Israel as a Jewish state ... The whole notion of a Jewish state is a complicated one. By shining strong light on a matter that lives more comfortably in the shadows, Israel may be rekindling some awkward questions: Are the Jews a nation — or individuals who share a religion? Should a religion have a state? Should a state have a religion? And beyond that lies a bigger issue still: Is the idea of a nation-state — with members of that nation fretting over how to stay dominant numerically — not somehow unbecoming in the age of globalization?
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman believes education in the diaspora is "the most pressing issue on the global Jewish agenda, more pressing than any other issue, including the Palestinian negotiations or the Iranian nuclear threat.” He also said assimilation by American Jews is the biggest threat to global Jewry ... Lieberman cited a study in the US showing diminishing Jewish identification, saying “these statistics demonstrate that the Jews of America are facing nothing less than a demographic catastrophe.” The study by the Pew Research Center unveiled a massive study on assimilation and intermarriage in the American Jewish community.
... In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a broader issue is in play. A race for "demographic" prominence — and the fact that Israel may be losing it — has become critical to the current peace effort led by John Kerry. The U.S. secretary of state himself has started warning Israel that it stands to become a binational state unless it ends the occupation of the lands it captured in the 1967 war. Kerry, who is expected to present a framework for a deal soon, said last month that failure "will make it impossible to preserve (Israel's) future as a democratic Jewish state." The idea — emphasized as never before — is being listened to in Israel.
... Will Israel exist in another 90 years? ... If Israel continues on its present course, there will be disaster. The first stage will be apartheid. It already exists in the occupied territories, and it will spread to Israel proper. The descent into the abyss will not be dramatic or precipitous, It will be gradual, almost imperceptible. Slowly pressure on Israel will grow. Demographics will do their work ... Wherein lies the power of nationalism? It seems that the human being needs a sense of belonging, belonging to a certain culture, tradition, historic memories (real or invented), homeland, language.
On Monday, February 10, a meeting of Szczecin city council voted against a proposal by the conservative Catholic PiS (Law and Justice) party to clean up its list of honorary citizens. These include ... most controversially of all, Adolf Hitler ... One reason for the current interest in removing honors from unworthy candidates is an action during the finals of the Tall Ships’ Races in Szczecin in 2013, when someone unveiled a banner with the words: ‘Adolf Hitler, honorary citizen of Szczecin, welcomes sailors’.
A selection of 18 color pictures from Third Reich Germany on the occasion of Hitler’s 50th birthday in April 1939, including a lavish parade in Berlin that was a memorable expression of the popular mood of national confidence, vitality and strength.
To deal with the massive unemployment and economic paralysis of the Great Depression, both the Roosevelt government in the US and Hitler’s government in Germany launched innovative and ambitious programs. Although Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs helped only marginally, the Third Reich’s much more focused and comprehensive policies proved remarkably successful. Within three years unemployment was banished and Germany’s economy was booming. This remarkable achievement is little known and rarely acknowledged. Runtime: 35:38 mins.
... Our decision makers have no respect for the lessons of history. They think the lessons don’t apply to them ... The beginning of wisdom is not the fear of God. It’s the fear of ourselves — the destruction that we as humans are capable of in the name of creating new realities. The historical record provides a bible of sorts that records our harshness as well as our extraordinary capacity for self-deception. Such knowledge is not to be reviled, nor should it be dismissed. The more we dismiss history — the more we exalt ourselves as unconstrained creators of new realities — the more we pursue policies that are unwise — perhaps even murderously so. If we learn nothing else from history, let us learn that.
... That sort of double standard is common in the mainstream U.S. news media when reporting on Israel and its Muslim adversaries. But to let an Israeli official get away with castigating Iran for contemplating something that Israel has already done – without mentioning the hypocrisy – is a clear violation of journalistic standards. Indeed, it is evidence of bias. Meanwhile, the neocon editors of the Washington Post are continuing their new campaign to pressure President Barack Obama into issuing more military ultimatums to Syria, another Israeli “enemy” ... That “theme” was quickly picked up by other U.S. news outlets, including “liberal” MSNBC.
... MacDonogh [in his book, After the Reich] argues that the months that followed May 1945 brought no peace to the shattered skeleton of Hitler's Reich, but suffering even worse than the destruction wrought by the war ... The first 200 pages of his brave book are an almost unbearable chronicle of human suffering. His best estimate is that some three million Germans died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities. A million soldiers vanished before they could creep back to the holes that had been their homes ... The two million German civilians who died were largely the old, women and children: victims of disease, cold, hunger, suicide - and mass murder.
Five months before the end of World War II in Europe – as enemy forces are advancing from East and West, and German cities are being bombed mercilessly – Germany’s leaders call up all remaining able-bodied men to defend the nation. In Munich, a ceremony commemorates the 1923 attempt to seize power. Home guard (“Volkssturm”) soldiers are sworn in at large gatherings in East Prussia, Danzig and Berlin. Goebbels address a mass rally of home guard men in central Berlin. From the German wartime weekly newsreel, “Die Deutsche Wochenschau,” of Nov. 16, 1944. With English subtitles (not entirely accurate). Runtime: 6:41 mins.
At the annual Davos World Economic Forum, which convened last month, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe disrupted the conviviality by offering an historical analogy that jarred his listeners. Abe likened the polemics and gunboat diplomacy (he did not characterize it thus) that China and Japan have been using against each other of late to the rivalry between Germany and Great Britain in the run-up to World War I ... His aim was political: to sound the tocsin so as to draw attention to the displays of Chinese power in East Asia ... In Abe’s mind, these actions amount to an ominous bellwether — not merely for Japan, but for East Asia more generally.
In Syria, the anti-government opposition is divided into four main groups: the “Free Syrian Army,” which is increasingly fragmented; “rebel groups inspired by Al Qaeda,” of which there are two main factions; Islamist brigades; and, Kurdish fighters. These four main groups are made up of hundreds, if not thousands of armed groups. Although these opposition forces fight against the central government of President Assad, they also fight against each other with growing ferocity. Runtime: 3:21 mins.
The US will provide Israel with a long list of advanced weapons, guaranteeing it a technological edge and superiority over any enemy, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Monday during a Tel Aviv press conference with his Israeli counterpart. The Israeli Air Force will receive advanced radar systems, missiles, refueling planes and V-22 planes, Hagel told reporters after a meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The V-22 planes, which can take off vertically, are something no country outside the US has, Hagel noted ...
... In general, the American media tends to treat our arming of Israel as part of the natural order of the universe ... Even the “quality” media shies away from any discussion of Washington’s real role in fueling the Israel-Palestine conflict ... Washington’s politically invisible military aid to Israel is not just an impediment to lasting peace, but also a strategic and security liability ... The arming and bankrolling of a wealthy nation committing ethnic cleansing has something to offend conservatives, progressives, and just about every other political grouping in America ... It is hard to imagine what kind of progress can ever be made toward a just and lasting settlement between Israel and Palestine until Washington quits arming one side to the teeth.
... Israel has a minimum of 80 and a maximum of 400 nuclear weapons, those limits being based on calculations of the amount of fissile material that it has enriched to weapons grade. The best guess is that the total is around 200 warheads, most of them two-stage thermonuclear devices (hydrogen bombs) ... And Israel maintains a full “triad” of delivery systems: land-based missiles, sea-launched missiles, and aircraft ... The U.S. Congress will ensure that Israel goes on getting all the money and arms it wants no matter what it says about its nukes, and it is high time to end this ridiculous dance around the truth.
More Americans now believe that the war in Afghanistan was a mistake than those who believe it was a good idea, according to a new poll. The Gallup survey found for the first time since the war began in 2001 that more people were against the war than in favor by a margin of 49 percent to 48 percent. Following the attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans sent troops to Afghanistan to oust the Taliban who were sheltering al-Qaida terrorists and their leader Osama bin Laden. When Gallup first surveyed Americans shortly after the fighting began, less than ten percent thought that sending in troops was wrong.
... In today’s America, matters of war and peace have undergone a political transformation. The country wants peace and, based on events of the last decade, has erected a higher barrier of justification for its acceptance of more military action around the world based on wispy expressions of America’s need to protect itself from international bad guys ... These developments would have seemed impossible just a few years ago, as America still stirring visions of American beneficence assuaging the hurts and wants of humanity around the world. Fewer and fewer Americans believe that stuff now ...
A French court on Wednesday [Feb. 12] ordered controversial comic Dieudonne to remove two sections of a video he has posted on YouTube which has been widely condemned as anti-Semitic ... In the passage deemed to constitute Holocaust denial, Dieudonne claims to "know nothing about the gas chambers" but says he can organise a meeting for anyone interested with "Robert" -- which the court accepted was a reference to Robert Faurisson, a notorious former academic who claims the systematic massacres of Jews in World War II never happened.
A judge in Paris [Feb. 12] has ordered French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala to remove two parts of a YouTube video deemed insulting to Jews. The judge said the two segments, which were specifically related to the Holocaust, could incite racial hatred. Dieudonne, who already has convictions for hate speech, was also given a 1,500 euro ($2,045) fine ... The video in question is called "2014, year of the Quenelle". In one of the clips that the judge ruled as insulting to Jews, Dieudonne referred his audience to the French academic and Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson when asked about whether the gas chambers existed.
… Around the world, our adversaries' tactic is the same: use courts to paralyze the work of the revisionists, if not to sentence them to prison terms or to order them to pay fines or damages. For those convicted, imprisonment means a halt to all revisionist activity, while those ordered to pay large sums are compelled to set off on a feverish pursuit of money, goaded by threats of bailiffs, "writs of seizure," "notices to third parties," and freezing of bank accounts. For this reason alone, my life over the past quarter of a century has been difficult. It still is and, in all probability, will remain so.
The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines — particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin — is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm. There are notable exceptions, but a general pattern has developed ... As a result, American media on Russia today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War.
The number of U.S. soldiers forced out of the Army because of crimes or misconduct has soared in the past several years as the military emerges from a decade of war that put a greater focus on battle competence than on character. Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years. The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct shot up from about 5,600 in 2007, as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year.
Why is the United States so reluctant to negotiate with other countries and so prone to leap immediately to the option of using force or chicanery in lieu of a more deliberative foreign policy? ... National Security statists also require a powerful adversary to validate their assumptions about the need to reorganize and lead the world to deal with transnational threats ... Ideologues like Victoria Nuland, who might serve as a poster child for what is wrong with the US government, constitute only one element in the dysfunctional White House view of the world and how to interact with it.
A century-old debate over whether presidents should reward political donors and allies by making them ambassadors has flared again after a string of embarrassing gaffes by President Obama’s picks ... The stumbles have highlighted the perils of rewarding well-heeled donors and well-connected politicos with plum overseas assignments and have provided political fodder for Republicans eager to attack the White House. The cases also underscore how a president who once infuriated donors by denying them perks has now come into line with his predecessors, doling out prominent diplomatic jobs by the dozens to supporters.
... Political appointees account for 37 percent of the ambassadorships filled so far during Obama’s tenure ... Why does it matter? Three reasons. First, it sows further cynicism in the ranks of the State Department about advancement for professionals. The message is clear: ambassadorial appointments are, by and large, for sale to the highest bidder. The second reason is that it signals to the host country that the U.S. doesn’t really take it very seriously. It’s a further indication of the insouciance, if not contempt, that the U.S. has about dealing with the rest of the world ... The third is that it provides further testimony to the erosion of Obama’s own standards.
Vienna has emerged as the city with the highest quality of living in a ranking that looks at everything from political stability, social and economic environments, housing and public transportation. According to Mercer’s annual Quality of Living report, the Austrian capital boasts the best living conditions in the world for expats, in a list that’s dominated by other European cities. Vienna outranked 223 cities, and is followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver. The survey is released as a barometer to help multinational companies come up with fair compensation grids for employees who are placed on international assignments.
... Barely seven decades after murdering its Jews, Europe is emerging out from under its sense of guilt and historical responsibility ... Can you imagine issuing a statement about the Holocaust yet failing to mention the holy six million Jewish souls who perished in the inferno? This isn’t Holocaust denial – it is Holocaust amnesia ... And that is what makes it so important that we take steps to remind Europe that their debt to our people is perpetual. Hence, they have no right to preach to us about morality or decency ... They owe – yes, owe! – it to us to stand firmly with Israel in its struggle against those who seek our elimination.
The Foreign Ministry summoned the Hungarian ambassador to Jerusalem on Thursday, in a rare move to voice Israel’s “deep concern” over growing anti-Semitic incidents in the country. Rafi Schutz, the ministry’s deputy director-general for Europe, told Ambassador Andor Nagy that Israel was also worried about anti-Semitic statements in the political arena ... He said there were worrying trends toward re-writing the history of the Holocaust and the role that Hungary’s anti-Semitic wartime leader Miklos Horthy played in it, as well as a forgiving attitude by some government officials toward anti-Semitic trends.
… What is emerging is a new bi-polar world, with the United States and Israel on one side, and the rest of the world on the other. This new alignment of forces, this shift in power relationships in the world, is strikingly reflected in the United Nations, where, time and time again, votes on issues in both the General Assembly and the Security Council pit the United States and Israel on one side, and virtually the entire rest of the world on the other … The US-Israel alliance is, rather, a consequence, a result, of the Jewish-Zionist grip on American political and cultural life. Awareness of this fact is growing everywhere.
Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter will be illegal in Denmark starting on Monday, by order of Agriculture and Food Minister Dan Jørgensen. Ritual slaughter, known in Hebrew as shechita, is already banned in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The Netherlands attempted to ban shechita, but a deal was brokered, legalizing the practice in 2012. On Monday, all slaughter that is not preceded by stunning will be forbidden in Denmark, rendering it impossible for ritual slaughter to be carried out according to Shar’ia or Halacha ... “Animal rights come before religion,” the minister was quoted as saying.
... The likeliest outcome is that the president will be forced out without a civil war ... What is happening in Ukraine is no longer a non-violent protest against a particular government policy. It is a revolution in which both sides are starting to see violence as legitimate, and Yanukovych’s problem is that most people in the capital, though they don’t approve of the violence, support the other side ... The opposition is probably going to win. Then they’ll have to figure out what they want, apart from an end to Yanukovych.
In this quick-paced hour-long presentation, historian Mark Weber and host Rodney Martin provide informed perspective on the horrific World War II firebombing of the German city of Dresden. In mid-February 1945, British and American bombers destroyed this virtually undefended city, which was packed with refugees fleeing the advancing Soviet forces. The incendiary destruction of one Europe’s most beautiful cities remains an exceptionally shameful episode of the Second World War. The killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Dresden, Weber points out, was in keeping with the British-American wartime policy to kill as many men, women and children in unoccupied Germany as possible.
Leading UK photographer Rankin had harsh words Thursday for both Scarlett Johansson and the “zealots” in the “US Jewish lobby,” who he said control the entertainment business. In a lengthy, wide-ranging interview with London’s The Independent, John Rankin Waddell heavily criticized Johansson’s role as spokeswoman for Israeli company SodaStream, and implied she couldn’t leave the deal because of the powerful influence of extremist Jews in Hollywood. Rankin, who has worked with Johansson on several occasions ... opined that the star hadn’t backed out of her contract as spokeswoman “because, in America the Jewish zealots are so powerful. Especially in the entertainment industry, what they could do to her career.”
It is time Israel fought back against those who boycott the Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, dubbing them "anti-Semites." The comments come as concerns grow in Israel over a Palestinian-led movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions — knows by its acronym, BDS. The boycott has been growing recently, mainly in Europe, where some businesses and pension funds have cut investments or trade with Israeli firms they say are connected to West Bank settlements ... "I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb," Netanyahu said.
Israeli spies have been ordered to dig up intelligence showing that supporters of an economic boycott are linked to terrorists and enemy states. The strategy was presented at a ministerial meeting called to discuss how to respond to the growing number of foreign companies refusing to do business with Israeli entities operating in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. They are considered illegal under international law. At the meeting Yuval Steinitz, the Minister for Intelligence and Strategy, outlined a plan for a media blitz against organisations advocating boycotts. His strategy includes intelligence agencies working to expose "their connection to terror organisations and enemy states" ...
... These fruits and vegetables are grown on land that Israel has occupied since 1967. For a growing number of European consumers, that's a problem. They say that buying such produce is supporting the illegal confiscation and control of land and water resources that should be in Palestinian hands. The campaign is starting to bite ... In the past six months, a flurry of European banks, pension funds, engineering firms, and lawmakers have driven home their displeasure with Israeli settlements, and Israeli leaders are taking the threat more seriously.
Since 2005, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) has called on the international community to pressure Israel economically as "a form of civil resistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism, and apartheid." That would mean significant lifestyle changes for some consumers. Here are ten brands that BDS supporters have urged others to boycott ... Pampers, Victoria’s Secret, Volvo, Intel, Hummus, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Ahava, McDonald's, SodaStream.
... Last week, Swiss voters decided by a razor-thin 50.3% to begin limiting immigration from the European Union within three years, perhaps much sooner ... Behind all the uproar is the fear in Brussels that the Swiss clampdown will embolden increasingly influential rightwing, anti-EU parties in Britain, France, Holland, Austria, Greece, and Spain ... Swiss voters were right. There’s no more room in their Alpine paradise. More immigration threatens Switzerland’s democracy and admirable traditions. Still, it’s likely some sort of compromise on this issue will be worked out. Europe made a huge mistake opening its doors to the street people of Eastern Europe. Many Europeans envy the Swiss.
... The Swiss vote was not just a shocker for the champions of “one Europe.” It has given a tremendous boost to the populist parties on the continent. Hailing the Swiss vote, many are demanding similar referendums in their own countries ... The ethnonationalism roiling Europe is not unique to Europe. It is roiling the world. And it is not absent from the hearts of Americans. If the May elections for the European Parliament turn into a sweeping rejection of the EU, what is happening there will find an echo here. How would Americans vote on a timeout on all immigration? How would Americans vote, if given a chance, to repudiate our entire political elite?
John Kerry's brother has responded to charges of anti-Semitism against the U.S. Secretary of State by some conservative Israelis — including a prominent minister — by writing publicly about the family’s Jewish roots. Cameron Kerry wrote a column in Israel's largest circulation daily newspaper, Yediot, saying the accusations “would be ridiculous if they were not so vile.” ... John Kerry said it was a "revelation" when he learned in 2003 from a Boston Globe report, shortly before he ran for president, that his grandfather had changed his family name from Kohn and converted to Catholicism before coming to the U.S. in 1905. Cameron Kerry married a Jewish woman and the family are practicing Jews.
... Pessimism, pessimism, and more pessimism. It’s like the whole country is on the brink of despair ... What’s really going on can be summed up in one word: Frustration ... And you wonder why people are so glum about the future? It’s because America has changed, and not for the better ... For a growing number of people, the American dream is dead. This is already having an effect on personal consumption, household spending and economic growth. It’s also effecting the way people view the government, and what we think of ourselves as a nation.
... Human progress, declared Gray, was a myth. If we thought we were steadily becoming more civilised, then we were delusional ... “The normal course of history is ethnic and religious conflicts, conflicts over resources, secret treaties and great power politics.” ... All the advances in human rights that we’ve seen – religious freedom, racial equality, equality for gays and so on – are reversible, he believes. “We like to think that we can’t go backwards, but we can. We do it all the time. And the best recent example of that is torture.” ... “To adopt happiness as a goal actually makes people less adventurous,” he says. “Far better just to try to live your life in an interesting and fulfilling way.”
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.
... The UCLA English department — like so many others — is more concerned that its students encounter race, gender, and disability studies than that they plunge headlong into the overflowing riches of actual English literature ... The UCLA coup represents the characteristic academic traits of our time: narcissism, an obsession with victimhood, and a relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to the shallow categories of identity and class politics. Sitting atop an entire civilization of aesthetic wonders, the contemporary academic wants only to study oppression, preferably his own, defined reductively according to gonads and melanin. Course catalogs today babble monotonously of group identity.
How a society views the past not only reflects its current prevailing values and outlook, but also profoundly influences the way its people will shape the future ... The Montreal Congress reflects the currently fashionable "victimization" mania in which blacks, homosexuals, Jews, feminists and others vie for preferential "victim status." Behind this vogue is the notion that this coveted status confers a kind of nobility or moral stature on the members of the oppressed group. Furthermore, a hierarchy of victimization attributes the greatest measure of moral authority to those who have been most "victimized."
The Washington Post has published a moving article, “Russian Jews remember Israeli athletes murdered at 1972 Munich Olympic Games.” Unfortunately, it gets a few things wrong and provides a one-sided context for the tragedy. Allow me to correct the report and fill in a few of the missing facts ... While Washington Post reporter Kathy Laly gives a great deal of information about the position of Russian Jews, going back over 100 years, it would have been valuable for her to tell a little about what the Munich incident was about – and about all the tragic victims of violence connected to the event, not just the eleven preferred ones.
... My books don’t sell anymore. There are many reasons why they don’t sell but one of the reasons is because people don’t read anymore ... I no longer say I’m unemployed. I say I’m unemployable, it’s different. An unemployed suggests at a certain point in the future, you might be employed. That’s not the case with me. I’m unemployable ... When I was younger, you applied for a job they typically asked for three references. Nowadays people don’t ask for references. They just Google your name. And if you Google my name, all sorts of horrifying things come up: Holocaust denier, Nazi apologist, supporter of terrorism.
... In these pages, obscenity is first and foremost presented as a tool by which Jews were able to assimilate and gain acceptance by the American cultural elite as well as monetary and societal success, and to enter the “prestige culture” as Lambert calls it ... The angry refusal of Jewish figures like Lenny Bruce, Abbie Hoffman and even Al Goldstein to accept the terms the over-culture demanded was as Jewish in character as Henry Roth’s yiddishisms and Liveright’s entrepreneurship through scandal. To many of them obscenity was a political tactic ...
Israelis are showing great interest in Madrid’s moves to grant dual nationality status to the descendants of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. So-called Sephardic Jews make up around a quarter of Israel’s population ... Around 300,000 Jews lived in Spain before the Catholic monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand, ordered Jews and Muslims to convert to the Catholic faith or leave the country. Amending an existing offer of citizenship, this bill would allow Sephardic Jews to keep their current passports as well as becoming Spanish.
... And yet there is almost no hope of a real peace deal. If persistence in the face of all the odds were enough, Kerry would be the man who finally made it happen ... But Kerry has no leverage: he has to rely on the desire of the two leaders to make the “peace process” work, and it just isn’t there; not, at least, on any terms that both would find acceptable ... Kerry’s foredoomed quest for a final peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians is magnificent too, in its own peculiar way, but it’s not diplomacy. It’s hubris.
What’s wrong about the demand that the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the “Nation State of the Jewish People”? Well, practically everything. States recognize each other. They don't have to recognize each other's ideological character. A state is a reality. Ideologies belong to the abstract realm. When the United States recognized the Soviet Union in 1933, it recognized the state. It did not recognize its communist nature ... Recognizing the “National State of the Jewish People” means accepting the entire Zionist narrative, lock, stock and barrel, starting from the divine promise to Abraham to this very day.
... Generally speaking, Jewish draft-evasion during World War II is an open secret. Writing in GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation (2006), Deborah Moore states that “regular military duty dismayed Jews.” Jews in Brooklyn were seen as “quintessential draft-dodgers” by other citizens, and one Professor at City College famously quipped that “The battle hymn of the Jews is ‘Onward Christian Soldiers, We’ll make the uniforms.” Moore further states that there were “elaborate efforts to avoid a uniform … studying medicine was an attractive alternate path to wartime if one had the aptitude.”
A local politician from the party of Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Jews of destroying Russia. The accusation by Oleg Bolychev, a legislator from the ruling United Russia party at the regional parliament in Kaliningrad, was made in the parliament on February 6, according to the Regnum news agency, which reported on it on Thursday. During a debate, Bolychev called his detractors “Jews, mired in opposition,” adding: “You destroyed our country in 1917 and you destroyed our country in 1991.” The Russian Jewish Congress condemned the lawmaker, saying it was indignant over the statement and calling on authorities to investigate it.
Anti-Semitism on the net is “like a tsunami wave,” Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee chairman MK Yoel Razbozov said during a Sunday hearing on online hate speech. Razbozov called for countries to enact legislation restricting online hate, and warned that if Jews will not act to combat the spread of anti-Semitism online, they will eventually “find themselves in mortal danger.” Representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Israeli Internet Association and the Anti-Defamation League, among other bodies, testified regarding the dangers of online hate and discussed methods of combating disinformation about Jews and Israel.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets Tuesday [Feb. 11] to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, buoyed by progress in nuclear talks with world powers and a modest easing of sanctions. In Tehran, huge crowds thronged central Azadi square ahead of a speech by President Hassan Rouhani, the relative moderate who has reached out to the West since taking office in August. Many of them railed against the United States, still regarded by the Iranians as the “Great Satan.” “We don’t trust America. All they want is to plunder our wealth,” a 20-year-old Bassij (Islamic militia) member told AFP.
On the 35th anniversary of its revolution, Iran has found often novel compromises in blending Islam and modernity -- politically, economically and socially. The government and most Iranians today share three goals: honoring the great Persian past and retaining an Islamic identity while also integrating more deeply into a globalizing world. The revolution today is all about synthesis. The struggle is finding the right balance.
Armed forces chief of staff General Hassan Firouzabadi has warned the Islamic republic's arch-foes that Iran is prepared for a "decisive battle" if attacked, Fars news agency reported on Wednesday. "We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel)," Fars quoted Firouzabadi as saying ... US Secretary of State John Kerry said late last month that if diplomacy with Iran fails, "the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do". But Firouzabadi accused the US of bluffing.
... An exploration of the Islamic Revolution in Iran conveys two great truths with vast implications: religion can still be a more potent mobilizer of mass political action than can secular ideologies, and the longtime hegemony of Western social models has ended. The Iranian Revolution thus emerges as one of the most important events in modern history, on a par with the watershed French and Russian revolutions ... About the broad outlines of the history of Iran during the last 150 years there can be no doubt. Foreign powers have heavily influenced the country's international affairs to suit their own economic and strategic interests, with scant regard for the opinions and interests of the citizenry.
For years, scholars have debated the complex causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but for the Israel Palestine Mission Network of Presbyterian Church (USA), the problem stems from a single cause: Zionism. In “Zionism Unsettled,” a new study guide on Israel released in January for the PC(USA)’s 2.4 million members, the IPMN states its case clearly: Zionism is the problem, destroying both indigenous Palestinian lives and rich Jewish communities across the globe in a supremacist misinterpretation of God’s word ... Moreover, IPMN’s book argues, the American Jewish community actively stifles dissent against the Zionist narrative, taking advantage of the “ignorance and passivity of many liberal American Jews.”
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rarely been so politically embattled. His travails indicate the Israeli right’s inability to respond to a shifting political landscape, both in the region and globally ... With these interest groups at his back, a defiant Netanyahu can probably face off the US diplomatic assault this time. But Kerry is not wrong to warn that in the long term yet another victory for Israeli intransigence will prove pyhrrhic. These negotiations may not lead to an agreement, but they will mark a historic turning-point nonetheless. The delegitimisation of Israel is truly under way, and the party doing most of the damage is the Israeli leadership itself.
... More immediately, there is the push for war with Iran which, as everyone who is not living under a rock knows, is a project of Israel and its fifth column in the U.S ... It’s common knowledge that the push for war is entirely a project of the Jewish community. Which makes at least some thoughtful Jews a bit concerned that the Iran situation could blow up in their faces ... This time around, it’s in-your-face, brazen partisanship on behalf of a foreign country, and that’s a tough sell to the American people when something as important as war is at stake. It’s a great object lesson on the power of the presidency, even when the Lobby still retains great power over Congress.
A sharp-edged look at Scarlett Johansson and her support of an Israeli company that operates in occupied Palestine, in violation of international law. Runtime: 2:34 mins.
Israeli MPs from a pro-settler party have walked out of Israel's Knesset during a speech by the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. Members of Jewish Home heckled Mr Schulz after he made comments about Palestinians' access to water resources in the occupied West Bank. They accused the German politician of spreading lies and anti-Israel propaganda before storming out. Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett demanded an apology from Mr Schulz. "I will not accept a false moralising narrative against Israel in our parliament, in our Knesset. Certainly not in German,” he wrote in his Facebook page.
Israeli newspapers bristled Thursday after the European Parliament president criticised the Gaza Strip blockade and suggested that Israelis received four times more water than Palestinians. The spat erupted Wednesday after the far-right Jewish Home party stormed out of parliament in protest during a speech by Martin Schulz, and it made the front pages of Israel's main newspapers ... The headline in the Israel HaYom freesheet, which is close to Netanyahu, read: "Shock in parliament over slander of Israel."
On the picturesque beaches of the northern German island of Rügen, along the Baltic Sea, sits an empty 20,000-person resort. The buildings stretch nearly three miles down the coast, with all 10,000 rooms facing the beautiful bay just 500 feet from the water’s edge ... Prora, known by locals as The Colossus, was built from 1936-1939 as part of the Nazi program of “Strength Through Joy.” ... It was also one of the largest architectural projects of the time, with 9,000 workers. The design, done in a Bauhaus style, won a Grand Prix award at the 1937 Paris World Exposition. But the Nazi resort plans never came to fruition ... Finally, some plans are moving forward to turn some of the buildings into luxury apartments and vacation rentals.
A graphic designer has been suspended by the concentration camp museum where he worked for using their printers to produce anti-Semitic propaganda - including posters reading: 'Jews go home' Staff at Majdanek in Poland ... called in the police after discovering the cache of offensive material produced on site. A man named as Krzysztof K, who worked at the museum for 20 years, is accused of being part of a group which distributed offensive Nazi material around the town ... The racist posters with messages like 'Zionists Leave Lublin' were posted up at bus stops around the region.
In the latest debacle for the US State Department and the Obama Administration, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied ... The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process. The “F**k the EU” part is her expressing anger that the EU is not moving fast enough with regime change in Ukraine and her plan is to get the UN involved in the process.
... The Obama claque is just as eager to try their hand at regime change as their predecessors, the Bushies. This time the bullseye is on Ukraine ... The US still clings to the idea that it can dominate the world with its ham-fisted military (that hasn’t won a war in 60 years) its scandalized Intel agencies, its comical Rambo-style “Special Ops” teams, and its oh-so-brilliant global strategists who think the days of the nation-state will soon be over hastening the onset of the glorious New World Order ... All the blabber about “democracy” is just public relations crappola. It means nothing.
The stand-off in Ukraine is creating new tensions. The country of 46 million people finds itself in the middle, with Russia pulling from one side and the European Union from the other. Some of the language being tossed between Moscow and Washington echoes the Cold War and a leaked tape reveals discord between the European Union and the US. Firstly European officials and leaders are furious that America's new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, was captured on tape using the f-word about the EU.
... The call provides a devastating exposure of the criminal and imperialist character of US policy in Ukraine and debunks the phony “democratic” pretensions of the Obama administration ... Nuland, the grand-daughter of Jewish immigrants who fled to America to escape pogroms in Tsarist Russia, provided a uniquely repellant spectacle ... She served as a chief foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney when the then-vice-president was spearheading the policies of aggressive war ... Her husband is Robert Kagan, the right-wing foreign policy pundit who served as the founding chairman of the Project for a New American Century, the neo-conservative Washington think tank ...
... Nuland perfectly captured Washington’s sneering view of Europe as a collection of feeble and irrelevant banana republics. Nuland is a prominent American neoconservative. Like her fellow neocons, she disdains Europe for being unwarlike, mildly critical of Israel, and often insufficiently responsive to Washington’s demands ... Europe is rightfully fearful that the Ukraine crisis could cause a head-on clash by Washington and Moscow – just as the little Russia-Georgia War over Ossetia almost did in 2008.
The long suppressed story of the worst massacre in the history of the world [the February 1945 destruction of Dresden] / If the British Commonwealth and the United States last a thousand years, men may say that this was their darkest hour. Were all the crimes against humanity committed during World War II the work of Hitler's underlings? That was certainly the impression created by the fact that only Germans were brought to trial at Nuremburg … What is less widely recognized … is that the Western democracies were responsible for the most senseless single act of mass murder committed in the whole course of World War II.
... 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.
… In February 1945, American bombers reduced this treasure to crushed stone and embers; disembowelled her with high explosives and cremated her with incendiaries … It is with some regret that I here besmirch the nobility of our airmen, but, boys, you killed an appalling lot of women and children. The shelter I have described and innumerable others like it were filled with them. We had to exhume their bodies and carry them to mass funeral pyres in the parks, so I know … The “Get Tough America” policy, the spirit of revenge, the approbation of all destruction and killing, have earned us a name for obscene brutality.
... In a nail-biting vote, 50.3 percent backed the "Stop mass immigration" initiative, which also won the required majority approval in more than half of Swiss cantons or regions, Swiss television said. The outcome obliges the government to turn the initiative, spearheaded by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP), into law within three years. It reflects growing concern among the Swiss population that immigrants are eroding the nation's distinctive Alpine culture and contributing to rising rents, crowded transport and more crime.
Voters in Switzerland narrowly backed a proposal to limit immigration Sunday, in a blow for the government after it had warned that the measure could harm the Swiss economy and relations with the European Union. The decision follows a successful last-minute campaign by nationalist groups that stoked fears of overpopulation and rising numbers of Muslims in the Alpine nation ... Sunday's outcome is another success for the nationalist Swiss People's Party, which has more than a quarter of seats in the lower house of Parliament. The party has won a series of referendums in recent years, including a surprise victory in 2009 when voters approved a plan to ban the construction of new minarets.
A loss of trust in Switzerland’s business and political elite may be one of the reasons the alpine nation voted in favour of putting strict limits on immigration, Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said on Wednesday. Pointing to a “culture of excess”, Schneider-Ammann said pursuit of profit sometimes at the expense of the common good had turned off ordinary people from political and business leaders. Swiss voters on Sunday narrowly backed an initiative “against mass immigration,” following a successful campaign by the populist right-wing Swiss People’s Party ...
... It is all part and parcel of the enormous cash flow from the US to Israel, much of it invisible, that occurs every year, but in this case the money frequently comes from state and city pension funds ... What is particularly disturbing about Obama, Indyk, Klein and de Blasio is the implicit recognition that all American citizens should not be accorded the same respect, that there is a secret, more important government that operates side by side with all the publicly visible nonsense that otherwise goes on inside the beltway, in Albany and at Gracie Mansion ... We the people are surrounded by charlatans like Indyk, Klein, and de Blasio, all of whom do a good job in serving the interests of powerful organizations whose heedless antics will inevitably compel the rest of us to pay the piper.
... Over the past fifty years a far-reaching transformation has taken place within Jewish organizations, among its leaders and their practices and policies ... The rise to prominence – centrality – of billionaire/ millionaire Zionist donors have put in place leaders who mirror their Israel First outlook and who have similarly enriched themselves. Secondly, the Great Transformation of Jewish charitable organizations has resulted from the ascendancy of an ethnic supremacist ideology which views others as inferior subjects to be ruled by the Higher Intelligence of Jewish political and business leaders; and which orders that the “disobedient” be castigated as “anti-Semites” and punished by jail. media ostracism, overt threats and most commonly denied employment.
... In the real world there are no ‘Holocaust deniers’: what we have instead are history revisionists – people who understand that the making of history, is a continuous attempt to narrate the past as we move along. The so-called revisionists re-visit, re-write and revise the past. Those whom Zionists and progressives often tag as ‘Holocaust deniers’ are often enough the last True Historians ... It is not a secret that the Zionists and Left are in a state of panic, and for a good reason ... Dieudonné’s ‘quenelle’ is already a monumental development in the history of the Jews and their stooges within the Left and the media.
... Israel is re-Judaizing itself at a rapid pace. The Jewish religion is making a huge comeback. Very soon, religious children of various communities will be the majority in Israeli Jewish schools ... One of the basic convictions of Diaspora Jewry was that “the whole world is against us”. Jews have been persecuted throughout the ages in many countries, up to the Holocaust. In the Seder ceremony on Passover eve, which unites all the Jews around the world, the holy text says that “in every generation they arise to annihilate us”. The official aim of Zionism was to turn us into “a people like all peoples”. Does a normal people believe that everybody is out to annihilate it at all times? It is a basic conviction of almost every Jewish Israeli that “the whole world is against us” ...
As soon as Hitler's forces occupied the Channel Islands he ordered a series of fortifications to defend the only British territory he ever conquered. / ... The fortification of the Channel Islands became an obsession with Hitler. In May 1941, he ordered that the 319 Infantry Division be allocated to their defence ... This formidable array of weaponry was housed in more than 250 concrete bunkers, this figure including subterranean command posts, coastal observation towers and communications centres. To the foregoing should be added 7,397 metres of anti-tank walls on the beaches, 67,000 land mines, and 23,495 square metres of floor storage space created in the many tunnels that were excavated.
There’s a myth now about the British hanging together in those dark days [of 1939-1941]. “London can take it,” Ed Murrow told America in his CBS broadcasts. Actually, morale was appalling. Most people correctly had little confidence in the competence of their government and thought Germany was going to win. In the Channel Islands, which the Nazis did take over, the people greeted them hospitably and turned in Jews with zest. The British Ministry of Information employed 10,000 people to read people’s mail surreptitiously, intercepting about 200,000 letters a week, and discovered that people were deeply pessimistic and thought Churchill was “played out.”
With the help of precision 21-century technology, archaeologists are mapping a dozen tunnels that were carved by Roman engineers into the mountains east of Rome in order to supply the ancient city with water / ... Two thousand years after they were hacked out of solid rock by Roman engineers, the aqueducts that brought fresh water to Rome are being explored anew with 21st century technology.
... Slaking the thirst of the fast-growing imperial capital meant linking it to springs many miles from the city. The ancient Roman engineers were equal to the task, supplying a quantity of water that modern engineers didn't manage to match until the 1930s ... The structures are unusually solid, with cement and crushed pottery used as building material. One of the aqueducts, the Aqua Virgo, is still in use today, keeping Rome parks and even the Trevi fountain supplied.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) hugely exaggerates the number of independent groups it terms “conspiracy-minded antigovernment ‘Patriot’ groups” ... Reporters sometimes take an SPLC report at face value, which is misleading ... The SPLC is filled with hypocrisy. Its byline or slogan is “Fighting Hate • Teaching Tolerance • Seeking Justice”. However, it does none of these. For example, in an article titled “The Year in Hate and Extremism”, it spreads hate, teaches intolerance, and unfairly smears people and groups with views it dislikes.
... The United States is the only industrialized country to award diplomatic posts as political spoils, often to wealthy campaign contributors in an outmoded system that rivals the patronage practices of banana republics, dictatorships and two-bit monarchies ... President Obama — who entered office promising to limit the practice and instead appoint more Foreign Service professionals to ambassadorial positions — has arguably done more to exacerbate the problem than his recent predecessors. His second-term appointments have gone to political allies more than half of the time.
... The Hour of Decision is a great book that few even know about. That is a shame, because this is a prophetic book that has much to teach us ... Spengler’s critique of America as rootless, uncultured, and devoted to pleasure and money-making was part of his critique of liberal economics as one of the prime causes of Western decline. In his view, economics should always be subordinated to politics, by which he meant, made to serve the welfare of the people, not the profits of the plutocracy. Economics should be about ordering the economic life of the nation so as to augment its inner strength and organic unity.
Little as we know about the events of the future, one thing is certain: the moving forces of the future will be none other than those of the past -- the will of the stronger, healthy instincts, race, will to property, and power. / This is our task: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us, this reality with which fate has surrounded us; to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves; to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.
... Predicting a second world war, Spengler warned in Hour of Decision that the National Socialists were not sufficiently watchful of the powerful hostile forces outside the country that would mobilize to destroy them, and Germany ... Oswald Spengler, shortly after predicting that in a decade there would no longer be a German Reich, died of a heart attack on May 8, 1936, in his Munich apartment. He went to his death convinced that he had been right, and that events were unfolding in fulfillment of what he had written in The Decline of the West.
... Mid-19th-century facial hair was big and robust, reflecting a near-total independence from scissors and razor ... But by the late antebellum period, they were more widely accepted, thanks partly to a strenuous public relations campaign that reimagined the beard as a symbol of white, masculine supremacy ... These appeals were especially persuasive at a time when America was in an active period of exploration and invasion, ranging from the U.S.-Mexican War to the ongoing Indian relocation and genocide. These projects were aimed primarily at peoples whom white Americans believed to be incapable of growing facial hair.
... Any of these five situations could bring about a war, a war involving us. For we are obligated by treaty to defend South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. And the Obama “pivot” to Asia is seen by Beijing as a U.S. strategic move to contain China’s rise to superpower status. The possibility of America being dragged into a new war is growing. For not only is Beijing bullying its coastal neighbors, the Middle East is descending into a maelstrom ... It’s time for antiwar conservatism – staying out of other people’s quarrels and other nations’ wars – one of the oldest and proudest traditions of the republic, to regain its rightful place in the Grand Old Party.
... The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the premier organization of this country’s Israel lobby [has] ... been clearly and increasingly decisively defeated – at least for now and the immediate future – in its bid to persuade a filibuster-proof, let alone a veto-proof, super-majority of senators to approve the Kirk-Menendez “Wag the Dog” Act ... Of course, none of this means that the battle over Iran policy is won ... Nor does it necessarily mean that we have finally reached a “tipping point” regarding the lobby’s hold over Congress and U.S. Middle East policy. But this is unquestionably a significant moment.
... AIPAC's entire campaign to destroy America's chance to reach an agreement with Iran crumbled ... No, this does not mean that AIPAC and Netanyahu are giving up. At every critical junction during the process of reaching a deal with Iran they will be there working hard to subvert Obama's effort ... They still might succeed, particularly if the Iranians give them any ammunition. But it is less likely now ...
Etymology, or the study of the origin of words, is dry, dusty stuff that will give you allergies if you play with it too long. It also happens to be one of our favorite topics — because sometimes a word travels through such a twisted path to get to its modern meaning that all you can do is scratch your head and wonder how civilization manages to keep itself going. Read on to find out what word got its start with people biting the heads off chickens, how a peaceful word became an international symbol of hate, and how wooden shoes changed the world.
... The Sochi games are being held in close to where Soviet leader Josef Stalin had 2.5 million Caucasian and Crimean Muslims murdered or deported. This terrible crime still haunts the region ... In 1937, Stalin, surnamed the “Breaker of Nations,” ordered his NKVD secret police to shoot 14,000 Chechen. Stalin, a Georgian, hated the neighboring Chechen. Seven years later, Stalin had the entire Chechen nation rounded up, stuffed into unheated rail cars in the dead of winter and then dumped onto the frozen wastes of Kazakhstan. Half died of exposure or disease. Other Muslim peoples followed into the gulag: Tatars from Crimea, Ingush, Karachai, Balkars, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Dagestanis.
Everyone knows that at the 1936 Olympics Hitler snubbed Jesse Owens. As the story goes, after Owens won one gold medal, Hitler, incensed, stormed out of Olympic Stadium so he wouldn't have to congratulate Owens on his victory … Several other misconceptions about the 1936 Olympics are prevalent. Not only was Owens not rebuffed by Hitler, Owens wasn't shunned by the German audience at the Berlin stadium either … It is forgotten that Germany managed to pick up more medals than all the other countries combined.
Opening ceremonies of the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. The large, enthusiastic crowd welcomes the various national teams as they enter the stadium. Hitler formally announces the opening of the games. Excerpts from the Leni Riefenstahl film, “Olympia.” Runtime: 6:09 mins.
... You would have to be drunk on Bud not to notice that the three decades since the United States first meddled in Afghanistan have been an unequivocal disaster and that those who did not survive - NATO combatants and far larger number of Afghan natives - died in vain."
The president of Afghanistan has not spoken to his American counterpart since June, he said, in an interview which showed the increasing gulf between Kabul and Washington. Hamid Karzai, 56, has grown increasingly hostile towards Barack Obama as Afghanistan prepares to elect a new president in April. Mr Karzai will not stand again, but he is determined to emphasise his disagreements with the United States before he steps down. "This whole 12 years was one of constant pleading with America to treat the lives of our civilians as lives of people," he said, adding that he had not spoken to Mr Obama since June ... Mr Karzai said that he "saw no good" in the American presence in his country.
Though it is slated for official repeal in June, Canada’s defunct and much maligned hate speech law, Section 13, is not going gently. The latest twist in the long running legal saga of the human rights law that governs hate on the Internet in Canada is a Federal Court of Appeal ruling, issued Friday [Jan. 31], that finds Section 13 is constitutionally valid, and does not violate freedom of expression ... The 2009 ruling that first ruled Section 13 unconstitutional came in the case against Marc Lemire, a far-right activist who has long experience running websites, including his Freedomsite.org.
... Canada, multicultural to a fault and home to more than a million Muslims, ironically has possibly the world’s most pro-Israel government, its Prime Minister Stephen Harper having described Israel as a light that "…burns bright, upheld by the universal principles of all civilized nations – freedom, democracy justice." He has also said “I will defend Israel whatever the cost" to Canada, an interesting proposition for those who might have believed that his duty was to protect his own country and advance its interests ... Harper is less concerned with actual voting than he is with the Jewish community’s political and media support.
Despite our endless blather about democracy, we Americans seem to be able to put our devotion to democratic principles on the shelf, when they get in the way of our New World Order ... Kerry is putting us on the side of mobs that want to bring down the president, force elections, and take power. Yet, Americans would never sit still should similar elements, with similar objectives, occupy our capital.
The Obama administration penalized nearly three dozen companies and individuals in eight countries on Thursday, accusing them of evading Iranian sanctions. It was the administration’s most extensive enforcement action to target Iran since a temporary international agreement on that country’s disputed nuclear program was completed in November and put into effect last month. Announced by the Treasury Department office that oversees sanctions enforcement, the punishments were at least partly devised to send a message that the United States is not relaxing economic pressures on Iran ... This week, Secretary of State John Kerry criticized France after it sent a large trade delegation to Iran.
It has emerged that far-right Belgian politician Laurent Louis gave three Nazi-style salutes in parliament. A supporter of Dieudonné’s Anti-Zionist Party, he was filmed performing the quenelles — made famous by the French comedian — in succession in January. Returning the compliment, Dieudonné called on Belgians to vote for Louis’s party, Debout les Belges (Down with Belgians), in May’s federal elections. Louis performed the quenelles after a speech in which he claimed that “the Holocaust was set up and financed by the pioneers of Zionism”.
Criminal investigators suspect hundreds of US Army soldiers exploited a recruitment program to receive illegal kickbacks worth more than $29 million, lawmakers and officials said. The scale of the potential fraud was "astounding" and ranks as one of the largest criminal probes in the Army's history, said Senator Claire McCaskill, who held a hearing on the scandal. An Army audit has found that more than 1,200 recruiters had received payments that were potentially fraudulent, defense officials said.
An Army program meant to increase the number of recruits during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars devolved into an illegal free-for-all that could cost taxpayers close to $100 million, military investigators say. Testimony describes new details of what investigators called a long-running scheme among National Guard recruiters that went undetected for years. Army officials appeared before a Senate hearing on Tuesday and sketched out a far-reaching criminal endeavor that has implicated more than 1,200 people — 200 of them officers — including two generals and dozens of colonels.
A group of rabbis, including the founder of the far-right Our Land of Israel party, wrote in an open to letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that he had declared war against God through his current mediation efforts between Israel and Palestinian negotiators, and said he must cease such activities to avoid divine punishment .. “Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time,” the letter reads.
A group called Rabbis from the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry this Sunday, warning him to end his "antagonism" towards Israel ... “By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved," warned the rabbis. The letter closed with a reference to the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim, in which the Book of Esther records Haman's genocidal plots against the Jewish people were turned against him and he was "hung on the very same gallows he had prepared for Mordechai, the Jew."
... The moral of the story is rather clear. If Jews want to survive, they better find infiltrates into the corridors of power. With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, AIPAC and the notion of ‘Jewish power’ looks like an embodiment of a deep Biblical and cultural ideology ... To be a Jew is to see the ‘other’ as a threat rather than as a brother. To be a Jew is to be on a constant alert. To be a Jew is to internalise the message of the Book of Esther. It is to aim towards the most influential junctions of hegemony. To be a Jew is to collaborate with power ... Jewishness is the materialisation of politics of fear into a pragmatic agenda. This is what Holocaust religion is all about and it is indeed as old as the Jews.
... Denmark stands out because it is also the world’s least-corrupt country, based on last year’s perception survey by the Berlin-based Transparency International. It is the happiest country, according to the 2013 World Happiness Report, which tracks corruption as one of its factors ... For a nation to lessen corruption, honesty must be internalized by a majority of its citizens. They can be influenced by changes in laws, wealth, democracy, economic freedom, appreciation of diversity, and stability. Dishonesty, in other words, need not be a permanent fixture in a society. Rottenness in a nation is best avoided if enough individuals see themselves as incorruptible.
... It has long been known that some African tribal chieftains and their underlings collaborated with the slave traders, who were chiefly English, French, Dutch and North American, but the assumption has been that they did so for what might be called essentially negative reasons, such as punishing rival tribes or currying favor with whites. With his detailed account of the evolution and eventual dominance of Annamaboe, Sparks turns that assumption on its head. He leaves no doubt that, at least at certain locations on the Gold Coast, native Africans were not merely complicit in the trade, but were active, enthusiastic and decidedly voluntary participants.
If Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority fail because of Israel’s continuing construction of illegal settlements, the Israeli government is likely to face an international boycott “on steroids,” as Mr. Kerry warned last August. These days, Israel seems as terrified by the “exponential” growth of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (or B.D.S.) movement as it is by Iran’s rising clout in the region. Last June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu effectively declared B.D.S. a strategic threat.
... Instead of focusing on peace talks, Israel continuously signals its intention to build more settlement housing ... It’s all in the label. And the apartheid label is beginning to stick — fair or not. It carries with it huge consequences for Israel, which the country’s inward-looking leaders seem impervious to. They have yet to understand that on this new battlefield, tanks don’t count and the use of force, sure to be televised, plays into the hands of the enemy. It’s a war Israel cannot win unless it makes peace.
Nearly 50 years after an anti-communist purge that left at least 500-thousand Indonesians dead, anti-communist fervor is still heated ... Such violent hatred toward communism remains not just tolerated but sometimes celebrated. The anti-communist fervor persists, in part, because Indonesia never officially came to terms with this dark period in its history. The government has never apologized to survivors of the massacres, nor prosecuted the perpetrators, including those shown in the documentary. That could be changing now ... In Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, many believe that showing any communist leanings would mean betraying their religion.
As two of the nation's longest wars finally end, most Americans have concluded that neither achieved its goals. Those grim assessments in a USA Today/ Pew Research Center poll underscore the erosion in support for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the loss of faith in the outcome of the wars, both launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks ... When it comes to Iraq, support for the decision to go to war has crashed. The invasion was launched in March 2003 ... At the beginning, Americans by 3-1 called it the right decision. Now, by 50%-38%, they call it the wrong one.
An interview-debate on the motives and forces behind the US invasion of Iraq. Opposing views are presented by Mark Weber, director of the IHR, and by Stephen Zunes, professor at the University of San Francisco. Brother Nathanael Kapner arranged the exchange.
… Sniegoski [in The Transparent Cabal] relies on publicly accessible material to introduce and support his thesis, which is that a close relationship exists between U.S. neoconservatives and the Israeli Likudnik right and that neoconservatives view U.S. foreign-policy interests through the lens of Israeli interests as perceived by the right-wing parties influential in Israel’s own democracy … Sniegoski specifically examines the rationale for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq; the sustaining philosophies of American neoconservatives; their role in “selling” the war to the American people, Congress, and the administration; and the degree of linkage between the neoconservatives themselves and the Likud Party and political Zionism.
... For readers, can there be any doubt that now, not the 1840s or the 1930s or the 1960s, is the golden age of journalism? ... You, the reader, have in remarkable profusion the finest writing on the planet at your fingertips ... These days, in a way that was never previously imaginable, it’s possible to drown in provocative and illuminating writing and reporting, framing and opining ... Today, after all, if I care to, I can read online every word of the Guardian, the Washington Post, and Le Monde ... Most of the major dailies and magazines of the globe, trade publications, propaganda outfits, Pentagon handouts, the voiciest of blogs, specialist websites ...
Since the 1968 Student Revolution, the European and American Left, together with a herd of Jewish progressive intellectuals, have invested enormous effort in attempting to break society down into multiple segments of identities ... The Jewish intellectuals, who led the campaign, realized that fragmented and divided nations are far less dangerous for Jews. As we know, Jews are threatened by cohesive, patriotic nationalism, and for a good reason. After all, they were amongst the prime victims of such an ideology ... Dieudonné has reminded us what the Left stood for in the first place, before it was conquered by Marcuse and his Frankfurt Yeshiva’s pals.
... A video, taken on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, shows masses of French protesters marching down a Paris thoroughfare chanting openly anti-Semitic slogans and calling on Jews to get out of France ... It was part of a "Day of Anger" called by anti-government activists in protest of a variety of "anti-establishment" causes. French police estimated that around 17,000 people had attended the march, and said that 250 had been arrested ... The footage provides the most alarming evidence yet that the popularization of anti-Semitism by the bigoted French comic is reaching terrifying heights, and raises serious concerns for the country's Jewish community.
Iran’s pushback against statements by Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House that Tehran must “dismantle” some of its nuclear program, and the resulting political uproar over it, indicates that tough U.S. rhetoric may be adding new obstacles to the search for a comprehensive nuclear agreement ... Iran was not required by the interim agreement to “dismantle” anything ... The use of the word “dismantle” in those [US] statements appears to be largely rhetorical and aimed at fending off attacks by pro-Israel political figures characterizing the administration’s negotiating posture as soft.
The Anti-Defamation League’s national director, Abraham Foxman, criticized the continued imprisonment of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, calling it “on the verge of anti-Semitism.” Foxman was quoted on the Pollard case in several Israeli news outlets on Tuesday, and echoed a statement he issued on the case earlier this month ... The fact that Pollard remains in prison despite having spied for an ally shows that there is an “ongoing vendetta” against him. Foxman adds: “If it were only a vendetta against one individual it would be bad enough. But it has now become one against the American Jewish community.”
... The Holocaust, however, is not a topic that students at local Chinese schools are likely to encounter in class ... A Hong Kong-based nonprofit organization is trying to offer what is lacking. In 2011, a group of largely Jewish residents founded the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Center to raise awareness and promote education about the Holocaust, both locally and, eventually, more widely. The center has organized activities in about two dozen schools, including screening of films and talks by Holocaust survivors.
... Despite Zarif's claim that Khamenei's statements had been mistranslated from the Persian, MEMRI found that not only does Khamenei's original Persian statement appear on his Persian-language website, but that the English version on his English-language website is indeed an accurate translation – he did indeed refer to the "myth of the Jewish slaughter known as the Holocaust" ...
A bill introduced in the Maryland General Assembly would prohibit one of the firms bidding on the light-rail Purple Line project from winning the contract unless its parent company pays reparations to Holocaust victims transported on its trains. The bill ... would affect Keolis, a rail company whose majority owner is SNCF, the government-owned French railway. Historians say SNCF trains carried nearly 76,000 Jews and other Nazi prisoners to the French-German border on their way to extermination camps during World War II.
Ask people to imagine American life in 2050, and you'll get some dreary visions. Whether they foresee runaway technology or runaway government, rampant poverty or vanishing morality, a majority of Americans predict a future worse than today. Whites are particularly gloomy ... Even groups with comparatively sunny outlooks — racial and ethnic minorities, the young and the nonreligious — are much more likely to say things will be the same or get worse than to predict a brighter future ... Overall, 54 percent of those surveyed expect American life to go downhill, while 23 percent think it will improve, according to a December survey from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
... SodaStream - and Ms. Johansson - find themselves caught up in the bitter politics of the Middle East, and in particular the calls for a boycott of Israeli businesses that trade on the lands that Israel captured in the war of 1967. The fizzy drinks machine-maker has a factory in the industrial zone of Maale Adumim - a Jewish settlement built on occupied land to the east of Jerusalem. Under most interpretations of international law - although not Israel's - building homes and businesses on such territory is illegal.
The European Union's ambassador to Israel has warned the Jewish State that it would likely endure "increasing isolation" if peace talks with the Palestinians collapse. Lars Faaborg-Andersen told Israel's channel 2 TV Monday that such a scenario wouldn't necessarily be a result of European policy, but rather the actions of private companies. His comments echo those made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is brokering the talks and who warned last week that the boycott would expand if talks fail. The warnings caused uproar in Israel ...
An editorial in this weekend’s Financial Times, the salmon-colored tribune of London’s City, the financial district, is certainly striking terror into Hasbara [propaganda] Central in Israel ... In forceful language that looks like it could have been lifted from a Palestine solidarity publication, the FT says ... “The status of the settlements is clear in international law even if Israel chooses to ignore this and expand its colonisation of Palestinian land, while ostensibly negotiating on the creation of a Palestinian state … It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises. The occupation imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men, gives their land and water to settlers, demolishes their houses and partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads.”
Amid faltering peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Israeli politicians and business leaders are forced to consider a host of international boycotts that threaten to damage the economy of the Jewish state, local media reveal. Israeli Cabinet ministers are set to meet next week to address a growing international campaign to boycott trade over ongoing Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, Israeli daily Haaretz reported ... Amid this wave of boycotts and condemnation, a group of influential Israeli businesspeople has launched a publicity campaign calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to forge a peace agreement with the Palestinians for the sake of Israel’s economy, which is heavily dependent on exports.
Swiss, Swedish and Danish men who volunteered for the Nazi Waffen-SS combat formation during the Second World War were not, as was previously believed, lower-class naive outsiders, but highly intelligent and ambitious individuals who fought willingly for the regime, a new study suggests. In an article published in the journal Contemporary European History, [by] Dr Martin Gutmann ... Most were well-travelled, well-educated, and of a middle or upper-class upbringing ... Gutmann also found that volunteers were, with very few exceptions, convinced nationalists, who had a “sense of impending demographic and racial degradation”, and were fearful of both Bolshevism and liberal capitalism.
Right after the June 1941 attack against the Soviet Union, young men across Europe volunteer to join in the World War II struggle against Soviet Bolshevism. The first battalion of the Danish volunteer corps ”Danmark” departs for training. Spanish volunteers of the famed “Blue Division” depart from Madrid. Italian troops prepare for combat on the eastern front. From the German weekly newsreel “Deutsche Wochenschau” of July 30, 1941. With English subtitles (not entirely accurate). Runtime: 1:11 mins.
China has overtaken France and Italy to become the world's number one consumer of red wine, although the United States remains the world's biggest tippler of all types of wines, the wine and spirits trade association Vinexpo has said. China drank 1.865 billion bottles of red wine last year, or in trade terms 155 million nine-litre cases, contributing to a 136 per cent increase in consumption over five years. That beat France into second place for red wine and Italy into third, Vinexpo said ... The reason for the massive surge in red wine drinking in China, apart from growing affluence, is the Chinese preference for red over white on cultural grounds based on the colour ...
Two Los Angeles men who fled to Israel have been indicted in connection with a $33 million bank fraud. A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted 53-year-old Aviv Mizrahi and 58-year-old Aryeh Greenes on 34 counts including bank fraud and making false statements in loan applications. According to the indictment, the men doctored financial records to receive lines of credit, resulting in more than $33 million in losses for banks. Authorities say Mizrahi was previously charged with bank fraud in 2012 and changed his name to Aviv Shoham Schwartz after fleeing to Israel. Arrest warrants have been issued for both men.
A lesson for Russian media: Be careful what you ask for. Someone at Dozhd TV, a popular, independent television channel, thought that the 70th anniversary this week of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad would be a good time to get its viewers’ opinions on a simple question. “Should Leningrad have been surrendered to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?” Wrong question. World War II is a sacred subject in Russia, where it is known as the Great Patriotic War. It’s not a topic that invites examination, skepticism or counterfactuals.