April 2015

Philip Giraldi

... The policies driving the American interventions have been effectively and consistently based on a number of misconceptions, most notably that it is possible to use force to remake in one’s own image ancient cultures that possess their own values and ways of doing things ... So we Americans have killed directly or indirectly maybe a million people, destabilized or overthrown at least four governments, and trashed our own economy while spending something like $1 trillion per year to protect ourselves against a threat that would have been easily containable before we started engineering global solutions.

Eric Margolis

The deal reached in Lausanne, Switzerland by Iran and five powers, led by the US, appears to be about nuclear capability. In fact, the real issue was not nuclear weapons, which Iran does not now possess, but Iran’s potential geopolitical power ... What Israel really feared was not Iran’s non-existent nuclear threat but rather its ongoing support for the beleaguered Palestinians. Iran became the last Mideast nation giving strong backing to creation of a Palestinian state. The Arab states opposing Israel have been silenced: Syria, Libya and Iraq crushed by war and torn asunder, Egypt and Jordan bought off with huge bribes. The Saudis have secretly allied themselves to Israel. So only Iran was left to champion Palestine. That is why Israel made such a determined effort to push the US into war with Iran.

Mike Whitney - CounterPunch

... It always helps to start with the truth, and in Iran’s case, the truth is quite simple. Iran has no nuclear weapons, it has no nuclear weapons program, and it’s never been caught diverting nuclear fuel for other purposes. Iran has pursued nuclear technology for peaceful purposes alone. These are the facts. They may not jibe with the lies propagated in the western media, but they are the facts all the same. Iran is not guilty of anything. It’s merely a victim of Washington’s power-crazy attempt to control vital resources in the Middle East and enhance Israel’s regional hegemony. That’s what’s really going on. It’s all geopolitics. It has nothing to do with nukes.

Newsmax

More than half of America's voters support a preliminary agreement with Iran to restrict its nuclear program, a new Quinnipiac University national poll released Monday reveals, but only about a third of them believe it will prevent the country from developing nuclear weapons. The poll, conducted of 1,353 registered voters nationwide, shows that support for the agreement came in at 58 percent to 33 percent, but 62 percent said they are not so confident — or not confident at all — that the agreement will stop the threat of weapons.

The Times of Israel

A majority of Americans disapprove of US President Barack Obama’s handling of the Iranian nuclear issue and his administration’s approach to combating terrorism, a new poll found. According to a survey released by Fox News on Friday, 57 percent of those polled said they were unhappy with “the job Barack Obama was doing” on Iran ... Some 65% said they felt Iran posed a real security threat to the United States. Fifty one percent of respondents said the Obama administration was “too soft” on Iran in negotiations to curb its nuclear program, while 34% believed it was “striking the right balance.” Similarly, of those polled, 50% said negotiating with Iran was the “wrong thing” to do “because Iran can’t be trusted to honor any agreement so a deal won’t stop them from getting nukes.”

The Jerusalem Post (Israel)

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder warned Sunday at the ceremony marking 70 years since the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany that history is in danger of repeating itself. "Seventy years ago, the world was silent and now we are standing on one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world,” Lauder said. “We appear to be descending into the same hell today. Anti-Semitism is rising in Europe, neo-Nazi groups are sitting in Parliament in Hungary and Greece, and Iranian leaders repeatedly promise to wipe Israel from the pages of time. To shout against the past while remaining silent about the present is not just wrong; it is outrageous and immoral."

Eric Margolis

... Modern Turkey is determined to avoid being branded with the shame of genocide because it tends to demote the bearer to a second-rate nation forever begging forgiveness, like eternally cringing Germany. But what really galls the Turks is being singled out as genocidal mass killers when so many other similar perpetrators are ignored ... Why don’t we commemorate Stalin’s ghastly solution to independent-minded Ukrainians? During 1932-33, the Soviet secret police murdered by bullets and famine six million or more Ukrainians – the Holdomor. Not long after, Roosevelt and Churchill allied themselves to the author of this historic crime, Stalin, who killed four times more people than Adolf Hitler.

Philip Giraldi

... Selling out to Israeli interests has become de rigueur for Republican politicians and presidential hopefuls as well as for a heck of a lot of Democrats as well ... Israel has sometimes been called the “fifty-first state” but it is worse than that as it pays no taxes, is never held accountable for anything, damages U.S. interests and is a net beneficiary at all levels ... As Israel has done and continues to do grave damage to the United States through its actions, it is past time for an amicable divorce, to enable the dog to again wag its tail, as it were. It is quite possible to wish Israel and the Israeli people well without having to become an accomplice in war crimes.

The New York Times

Christianity has long been the world's largest religion by far, but the population of Muslims is growing so fast that they will match Christians by the year 2070 and outnumber them by the end of the century, according to a report released Thursday that projects the global religious future. The report, from the Pew Research Center, projects a vibrantly religious planet, not the withering away of religion predicted by some futurists ... The shift in Christianity -- from a faith identified as belonging to white Westerners to a faith belonging to Africans, Asians and Latin Americans in the global south -- will intensify in the next 35 years, the report says. Now, about 25 percent of the world's Christians live in sub-Saharan Africa ...

Max Fisher - Vox

... Netanyahu's reelection merely reflected trends that have been building in Israel for years: a growing and increasingly extreme political right, a resistance or outright hostility toward peace, a willingness to forgo international acceptance, and even a certain hesitation toward the more difficult aspects of democracy ... Israelis may have made their decision. They are pushing their country down a path whose destination is clearer every day: undemocratic, isolated, and a hostile occupier of a foreign population. This is not unique in history; many countries have traded away aspects of their democracy or abandoned it completely. There is every reason to believe Israelis will choose to join them.

JTA

.. With the last cohort of survivors in their final years, Holocaust education, which once relied heavily on classroom visits from survivors, is in a period of transition ... Founded in 1976, Facing History, which now has programs in 150 locations around the world including Northern Ireland, Israel, South Africa and China, combines teaching the history of the Holocaust with readings that explore ethics and questions of civic responsibilities. Its Center for Jewish Education, started in 1990, works with educators in more than 750 Jewish educational settings, including about 100 day schools ... Five states — New Jersey, New York, California, Illinois and Florida — have some type of mandate to teach about the Holocaust in public K-12 schools ... Others encourage Holocaust education or make curricular recommendations.

Video

A look at the “Russian Liberation Army,” a little-known World War II military force made up of Russian soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Germans and then volunteered to fight the Soviet regime. This ten-minute Russian-language video, with English subtitles, includes wartime footage of a swearing-in ceremony of RLA soldiers. The RLA was commanded by former Soviet General Andrei Vlasov, who also headed the German-backed anti-Stalinist “Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia,” a provisional “government-in-exile.”

Video

Andrei Vlasov addresses the founding conference of the “Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia,” a German- backed, anti-Soviet Russian “government-in-exile.” Video in Russian, with English subtitles. Runtime: 1:17 mins. At this conference on Nov. 14, 1944, in Prague, Vlasov issues the Committee’s stirring proclamation to the Russian people, and to the world. Vlasov, a former Soviet General, was also commander of the German-backed “Russian Liberation Army.”

CNN

... The United States is lagging behind in pretty much every other measurement that determines how well off a country is. The U.S. ranks 16th in the Social Progress Index, which is based on dozens of criteria measuring well-being, opportunities and basic human needs. The ranking, released on Wednesday, puts Norway on top, followed by Sweden and Switzerland. It was designed to complement traditional economic indicators -- such as GDP ... The U.S., the world's biggest economy, scores poorly across many criteria and ranks behind countries with lower GDP per capita -- including Canada and the U.K.

Nicholas Kristof - The New York Times

... The Social Progress Index for 2015 ranks the United States 16th in the world. We may thump our chests and boast that we're No. 1, and in some ways we are. But, in important ways, we lag. The index ranks the United States 30th in life expectancy, 38th in saving children’s lives, and a humiliating 55th in women surviving childbirth ... We have higher traffic fatality rates than 37 other countries, and higher suicide rates than 80 ... The top countries in the 2015 Social Progress Index are Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand and Canada. Of the 133 countries rated, Central African Republic is last, just after Chad and Afghanistan ... As an American, what saddens me is also that our political system seems unable to rise to the challenges.

Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.

... I have spoken to a very wide variety of groups in Washington, around the country, and in my district, and I have gotten an overwhelmingly positive response every time I have said that it has been a horrible mistake to spend trillions on unnecessary wars in the Middle East ... Based on the response I have gotten, I think it is a recipe for defeat if my Republican party becomes known as a party favoring permanent, forever wars — war without end ... My Republican party was always the party of fiscal conservatism. Yet with a national debt of over $18 trillion, how can we justify continually spending mega-billions in religious civil wars between Shia and Sunni?

Patrick J. Buchanan

... Having amassed a fortune of $29 billion from gambling dens in Macau and Vegas, the 81-year-old Adelson is among the richest men on earth. The event was the annual conclave of the Republican Jewish Coalition. In Vegas, The Washington Post reports, “a crop of White House aspirants sought to outdo each other in opposition” to the Iran nuclear deal ... What are candidates who profess Christian values doing in Sin City courting a casino mogul for millions in contributions, when that mogul compiled his immense fortune by exploiting the moral weakness of Christians and non-Christians alike? ... Reportedly, Adelson contributed $92 million in 2012, to the campaigns of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other Republicans. And he is poised to spend more for a Republican president in 2016.

Glenn Greenwald – The Intercept

Almost half of all Americans want to support Israel even if its interests diverge from the interests of their own country. Only a minority of Americans (47 percent) say that their country should pursue their own interests over supporting Israel’s when the two choices collide ... It is inconceivable that a substantial portion of Americans would want to support any other foreign country even where doing so was contrary to U.S. interests. Only Israel commands anything near that level of devoted, self-sacrificing fervor on the part of Americans. So it’s certainly worth asking what accounts for this bizarre aspect of American public opinion. The answer should make everyone quite uncomfortable: it’s religious fanaticism.

Gary Leupp - Dissident Voice

The national secular religion of this country consists of a cluster of rarely questioned premises, usually inculcated in childhood, comparable to the articles of a real religious creed ... President Obama and repeated Congressional resolutions refer to the U.S.’s “eternal support” for Israel. (Notice how such language is never applied to other countries.) ... Never mind that no country in the world recognizes Israel’s right to any land (on the West Bank, or in Gaza, Syria, or Lebanon) occupied during that “pre-emptive” war of aggression. Never mind that it is official U.S. policy to demand, along with the rest of the world, for Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders. The bought-and-paid-for Congress rose to applaud Netanyahu’s insistence of the Jewish right to permanently annex more Arab land.

Gareth Porter - Middle East Eye

As the Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen continues, notwithstanding a temporary pause, the corporate media narrative about the conflict in Yemen is organized decisively around the idea that it is a proxy war between Iran on one side and the Saudis and United States on the other ... The assumption that the Houthis have been looking to Iran to train their troops or supply their need for weapons ignores the most basic facts of their ascendance ... Ties between the Houthis and Iran undoubtedly exist ... But the slack-jawed media approach to the story – starting with its refusal to put the allegations of continuing Iran arms smuggling to the Houthis in the context of the Houthis bonanza of US arms – has produced the usual fog of misinformation and confusion.

EJP

The US Senate Finance Committee has unanimously voted in favor of an amendment to discourage European participation in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel ... The voted amendment is linked to any free trade agreement between the U.S. and Europe that both sides are negotiating. While the language of the amendment does not directly specify punitive action toward countries that boycott Israel, the implication is that US-EU free trade relations are conditional upon European countries abstaining from the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS), a movement launched in 2005 by pro-Palestinians activists to stop doing business with Israel.

Charles Davis and Medea Benjamin

... As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of "everyday" people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen. As commander-in-chief, there's no reason to believe she'd be any less a hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush's war in Iraq, or the Secretary of State who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan ... We know that Clinton is no reliable friend of peace. Today she supports diplomacy with Iran, but back in 2009, as Secretary of State, she was adamant that the U.S. keep open the option of attacking the Islamic Republic over never-proven allegations it was seeking the nuclear weapons that Israel already has.

The Independent (Britain)

One of the world’s oldest and most venerable medical journals is under attack from an international group of more than 500 doctors over its coverage of the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Lancet and its editor, Richard Horton, have been targeted over what the group claims is the “grossly irresponsible misuse of [the journal] for political purposes”. The controversy was sparked by an article deemed to be critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza.

The New York Times

... A growing number of airline passengers, particularly on trips between the United States and Israel, are now sharing stories of conflicts between ultra-Orthodox Jewish men trying to follow their faith and women just hoping to sit down. Several flights from New York to Israel over the last year have been delayed or disrupted over the issue, and with social media spreading outrage and debate, the disputes have spawned a protest initiative, an online petition, and a spoof safety video from a Jewish magazine suggesting a full-body safety vest (“Yes, it’s kosher!”) to protect ultra-Orthodox men from women seated next to them on airplanes.

The Guardian (Britain)

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank and two-time Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson will headline a new drama about Holocaust denier David Irving, according to Screen Daily. The film, based on the book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier by Deborah Lipstadt, will be scripted by the playwright David Hare ... Lipstadt is a historian who was taken to court by Irving for libel after she called him a Holocaust denier. Swank will play Lipstadt while Wilkinson takes on the role of Nazi apologist Irving. The drama will be directed by Mick Jackson, best known for The Bodyguard and Volcano.

The Journal of Historical Review (IHR)

On March 15, 2000, British historian David Irving rose before the High Court of Justice in London to deliver his Closing Statement in a dramatic legal battle that had generated enormous media attention. At the center of the case is a 278-page book by Jewish- American scholar Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, a detailed polemic against Irving and other revisionists who dispute familiar Holocaust claims ... Irving's final address provides astonishing details of the concerted global campaign by Jewish organizations to destroy his career and silence him. He traces the secretive activities of this widely feared but little-understood international cabal.

ČTK (Czech Republic)

Seventy-three percent of Czechs oppose the idea that everybody who is living in the country should have the right to be granted Czech citizenship, which is the highest number ever, according to the STEM opinion poll conducted in March and released Wednesday. In early 2014, 67 percent were against this right to get Czech citizenship. Two thirds of Czechs (67 percent) consider foreigners a security risk to the Czech Republic, compared to 60 percent one year ago. Only 31 percent said all ethnic minorities should be allowed to live according to their own traditions, while 69 percent were against it. In 2014, 46 percent said they would let the minorities live according to their traditions. Especially people in their 30s and early 40s and university graduates have become less tolerant to the different life styles of ethnic minorities.

Euro News (France)

Soldiers’ descendants have come to commemorate the British allied forces in WWI landing in Gallipoli, Turkey, 100 years ago. The 25th April is known as “Çanakkale” in Turkish, or “Anzac Day”, as Australians and New Zealanders spearheaded the campaign, taking brutal losses. In eight months of fighting, many died on both sides: attackers and defenders ... Official histories vary in their figures, though by some estimates the allied and Turkish losses were roughly equal, at more than a quarter of a million on either side, including from sickness. Out of the killing grew national consciousness; colonies became nations, the Ottoman Turkish Empire died, modern Turkey was born.

Reuters

Britain's Prince Charles and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan led commemorations on the Gallipoli peninsula on Friday to mark the 100th anniversary of a World War One battle that helped shape the birth of new nations. Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders have flocked to the peninsula on Turkey's Aegean coast to remember the fallen in an ill-fated Allied campaign a century ago that claimed more than 130,000 lives ... Gallipoli was the first time that soldiers from Australia and New Zealand fought under their own flags and is seared in the national consciousness as a point where their nations came of age, emerging from the shadow of the British empire.

Eric Margolis

... Churchill’s Gallipoli expedition was a triumph of amphibious daring, a precursor to the Pacific island campaign of World War II. But it was also a planning and logistical disaster in which tens of thousands of brave soldiers were sacrificed for the glory of the politicians ... Out of this fierce battle emerged its hero, Col. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who defeated the Allies, founded the Turkish republic eight years later, and saved his nation from invasions by Greece, Russia, Italy, Russia and France ... We should also remember that the British Empire often used its “white troops” from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada as cannon fodder to spare British regiments from the home islands.

USA Today

... Americans overwhelmingly think of Japanese as hardworking, inventive and honest, with few negative personal traits. The Japanese view of Americans is, well — about the opposite, according to the survey by the non-partisan Pew Research Center ... While 94% of Americans view Japanese as hardworking, only 25% of Japanese reciprocate that view. And while only 19% of Americans view Japanese as selfish, 47% of Japanese say Americans are selfish. Seventy-five percent of Americans view Japanese as honest, compared with only 37% of Japanese who have that view about Americans.

J.J. Goldberg – Forward (New York)

The finance committees of the House and Senate have approved amendments to a trade bill that equate boycotts of West Bank settlement products with boycotts of Israel, strengthening efforts by the Israeli right to silence opponents of West Bank settlements. Both committees approved the amendments unanimously ... Most nations regard Israeli civilian settlements in the post-1967 territories as illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 ... This week’s congressional committee measures appear to be the first-ever formal step toward U.S. government recognition of the settlements’ legitimacy. None of the Capitol Hill sources contacted appeared to be aware of the explosive significance of the “territories under the control of Israel” clause.

EJP

Two Republican presidential contenders denounced President Barack Obama’s foreign policy toward Israel and promised to put the US back on sound footing with its ally, as they spoke Saturday in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition 's annual meeting. Senator Ted Cruz and former Governor Rick Perry, both from Texas, looked to shore up support among some of the country's most well-connected Jewish Republicans who are anxious to elect a president who could reverse what they see as a bottoming out of the U.S.-Israel relationship. An opportunity for both of them to redouble their long-running appeals to some of the most prominent Jewish donors in the country, in particular 81-year-old Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who sits on the Republican Jewish Coalition board.

EJP

Eight members of the US House of Representatives announced the formation of a task-force aimed at combating anti-Semitism ... The ‘’Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating anti-Semitism," will work to educate Congress members on this particular form of prejudice and will seek to share solutions that could minimize the phenomenon with the executive branch of the government, foreign leaders and civil society organizations ... The leadership of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) met in Washington in the framework of its annual Executive Committee meeting to discuss the growing threats to Jewish communities and the surge in anti-Semitism.

Documentary film (Complete)

What is anti-Semitism today? In this provocative hour-and-a-half 2009 documentary, Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir travels widely in search of modern manifestations of the “oldest hatred.” In this irreverent quest, he talks with professional anti-anti-Semites, and joins a group of young Israelis on a pilgrimage to Auschwitz. His implicit point: Anti-Semitism, at least in Israel and the U.S., is more smoke than fire. Conditioned to see Nazis in every shadow and behind every corner, Shamir suggests, Jews in the U.S. and Israel often manufacture an anti-Semitism that they perversely want to find.

David Cole

A good historian should be an annoyance. Most people want simple, pat answers to complex historical questions. Lousy historians give the people what they want. A genuinely competent historian can’t do that, even if it means raining on a merry parade or subverting someone else’s politically-correct good intentions. With any historical question, there are always two answers – the answer that is good enough to pass a standardized test, and the answer that is as lengthy, detailed, and accurate as possible ... To even attempt to correct that inaccurate statement opens one up to charges of being unsympathetic to the Japanese who were relocated and interned, and missing “the big picture” by focusing more on pesky facts than the larger message of “tolerance” and “brotherhood” or whatnot.

AFP

The US ambassador to Warsaw apologised Sunday [April 19] after being summoned by the foreign ministry over comments by the head of the FBI that Poland shared responsibility for the Holocaust with Germany. Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski said the comments in an opinion piece by FBI director James Comey were an "insult" to Poland. “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn't do something evil," Comey wrote in the April 16 Washington Post article. After meeting with Poland's deputy foreign affairs minister, US ambassador Stephen Mull told reporters the Nazis bore sole responsibility for the Holocaust ...

The New York Times

... A hundred years ago, amid the upheaval of World War I, this village and countless others across eastern Anatolia became killing fields as the desperate leadership of the Ottoman Empire, having lost the Balkans and facing the prospect of losing its Arab territories as well, saw a threat closer to home. Worried that the Christian Armenian population was planning to align with Russia, a primary enemy of the Ottoman Turks, officials embarked on what historians have called the first genocide of the 20th century: Nearly 1.5 million Armenians were killed, some in massacres like the one here, others in forced marches to the Syrian desert that left them starved to death. The genocide was the greatest atrocity of the Great War. It also remains that conflict’s most bitterly contested legacy ...

Associated Press

The Nazi genocide of European Jews is widely commemorated in Israel and etched deeply into the psyche of a country founded in the Holocaust's aftermath. But when it comes to the 1915 Armenian genocide, Israel has largely stayed silent. Fearing repercussions from its former ally Turkey and wary of breaking ranks with American policy, Israel has refrained from calling the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I a genocide.

Mark Weber / Tidningen Framåt (Sweden) – Video

At a meeting in Stockholm, American historian Mark Weber looks at the factors behind the malaise, distrust and anxiety that have spread across the Western world. About 130 people, many in their twenties and thirties, gathered for the April 18, 2015, conference in the Swedish capital, which was organized by Logik Förlag (Sweden) in cooperation with Counter-Currents Publishing (USA). Some attendees traveled from Norway, Denmark and Britain. Video runtime: 34 mins.

Chris Morris - BBC News

... In several countries we are witnessing a gradual decline in support for traditional mainstream parties, as disillusioned voters strike out in unexpected directions ... Why is this happening? The obvious answer is that it is partly the result of years of economic crisis, particularly in southern Europe. For many voters, mainstream parties have failed to step up to the challenge. But there's also a more general malaise - a feeling that ordinary lives are being buffeted by forces and institutions beyond the control of voters. The idea of a 'democratic deficit' has exercised many political minds ... Traditional parties across Europe are under pressure as never before in recent memory.

Scott McConnell - The American Conservative

... Marine Le Pen’s National Front is far and away the largest party in a major country to challenge the Washington-dominated, neoliberal, globalist consensus. It is easily the largest anti-immigration party to emerge in the West, and one which is clearly striving, with not inconsiderable success, to navigate the narrow shoal between national self-preservation and racism. For the first time in many years, political events in France merit close observation, for Marine Le Pen’s success, hardly foreordained, but hardly impossible, could rewrite the history of a decadent West.

Patrick J. Buchanan

As the European Coal and Steel Community of Jean Monnet evolved into the EU, we were told a “United States of Europe” was at hand, modeled on the USA ... Most critical is the demographic crisis. For a nation to survive, its women must produce on average 2.1 children. Europe has not seen that high a fertility rate in 40 years. Today, it is down to 1.6 children. Europeans are an aging, shrinking, disappearing, dying race. And the places of Europe’s unborn are being filled by growing “concentrations of unassimilated and disaffected Muslim immigrants, segregated in neighborhoods like the banlieues of Paris or the satellite ‘dish cities’ of Amsterdam.

JTA

Bipartisan legislation to continue funding for the joint U.S.-Israel air defense system known as David’s Sling was introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill introduced Tuesday by Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., would authorize $286 million for procurement, research and development for the midrange missile defense system, which is designed to take down missiles from more than 180 miles away. David’s Sling supplements the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which protects Israel against short-range rocket attacks.

BBC News

The number of schoolgirls at risk of emotional problems has risen sharply, an English study in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests. Scientists analysed questionnaires completed by 1,600 pupils aged 11-13 in 2009, comparing them with similar surveys conducted five years later. They were "surprised" by a seven percent spike in girls reporting emotional issues while boys' answers remained fairly stable. Charities are concerned pressures are particularly affecting girls ... The rise in emotional issues reported by girls suggested they faced unique pressures, the researchers suggested. They said reasons behind this could include a drive to achieve unrealistic body images perpetuated by social media and an increasing sexualisation of young women.

Mark Weber / London Forum (Britain) - Video

At this London Forum meeting, American historian Mark Weber looks at the astonishing power and influence of the “Jewish lobby,” and explains why the task of identifying and countering Jewish-Zionist power is vitally important. More than a hundred men and women attended this April 11, 2015, gathering at the Grosvenor Hotel in the English capital. Organizer Jez Turner introduces Weber. Video runtime: 33 mins.

Reuters

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display on its buses a controversial ad that refers to Muslims killing Jews, rejecting the argument that the ad could incite terrorism or imminent violence. U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan said the ad from the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which had previously run in Chicago and San Francisco, was protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ad portrays a menacing man wearing a scarf around his head and face, includes a quotation "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" attributed to "Hamas MTV," and then states, "That's His Jihad. What's yours?"

BBC News

The estate of Adolf Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, is suing a publisher for royalties for the use of extracts from his diaries. A biography of Goebbels published by Random House quotes extensively from Goebbels' diaries, which are copyrighted until the end of this year. Random House initially agreed to pay a fee, but later said it was wrong to pay the estate of a Nazi war criminal. Other publishers have paid royalties to use extracts from the diaries. The biography was first published in German in 2010, and is due to come out in English in May. Cordula Schacht, whose father was a minister in the Nazi regime, owns the copyright to Goebbels' diaries.

Derek Hawthorne -- Counter Currents

… Like all great cinema, this film transcends its time and place. … When I first saw Opfergang I was so impressed by its opening scenes that I cut it off after about a half hour and then re-watched it from the beginning. Then I watched it again the next night, and the next. And the next … Composer Borgmann’s musical accompaniment for this scene is as strange and moving as the scene itself. A chorus wails a variation on the film’s dignified and funereal main theme.

Video

From the wartime German film “Opfergang” (“Path of Sacrifice”). The main role here is played by the Swedish-born Kristina Söderbaum. Her husband, Veit Harlan, directed this beautiful production, with impressive performances and a haunting score. Released in 1944, this UFA production is in color. With English subtitles. This portion: 4:35 mins.

CNN

Three Orthodox rabbis accused of planning and participating in the torture of Jewish men who refused to divorce their wives were convicted Tuesday of conspiring to commit kidnapping. Rabbis Mendel Epstein, 69; Jay Goldstein, 60; and Binyamin Stimler, 39, were found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in New Jersey federal court. Goldstein and Stimler were also convicted on charges of attempted kidnapping. The rabbis were part of a ring accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars to orchestrate the kidnappings of Jewish husbands to persuade them through torture involving electric cattle prods and screwdrivers to grant "gets," a document that Jewish law requires a husband to present to his wife in order to be issued a divorce, court papers said.

World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Thursday, March 19, welcomed an announcement by British Prime Minister David Cameron to increase spending to better protect Jewish institutions in the UK against potential terror attacks ... In Wednesday’s speech to the Community Security Trust in London, Cameron pledged “to fight anti-Semitism with everything we have got” ... Cameron said an additional £3 million ($4.4 million) a year would be allocated to the protection of synagogues and other potentially vulnerable Jewish community buildings, in addition to the £7 million ($10.3 million) provided in Wednesday’s budget to fund guards for all Jewish private schools and colleges.

Sheldon Richman

From 1898 to 1931, Smedley Darlington Butler was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. By the time he retired he had achieved what was then the Corps’ highest rank, major general, and by the time he died in 1940, at 58, he had more decorations, including two medals of honor, than any other Marine ... In light of this record Butler presumably shocked a good many people when in 1935 — as a second world war was looming — he wrote in the magazine Common Sense ... “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

Jacob Heilbrunn – The National Interest

Former Secretary of State James Baker is discovering who really controls the Republican Party. Baker, who has never had much patience with Israel’s settlement policy, appeared on Monday evening before the Washington lobbying organization J Street — which was founded to counter the American Israel Public Affairs Committee —to chide Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for opposing Iran talks and disdaining a two-state solution with the Palestinians ... What this kerfuffle really signals is that the GOP is moving toward a position where even the slightest criticism of Israel is taboo ... [Jeb] Bush's distancing of himself from Baker is a telling sign of the way that the neocons have successfully ensured that their vision is synonymous with the GOP’s.

The New York Times

... Where past Republican leaders had their disagreements with Israel, today’s Republicans have made support for the Jewish state an inviolable litmus test for anyone aspiring to national office ... Republican presidents like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon and George Bush were not always seen as unequivocally supportive of Israel ... Eisenhower pressured Israel to withdraw from Egypt after it sent troops into Sinai in 1956 with the support of Britain and France in an effort to secure the Suez Canal and topple the government of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. President Ronald Reagan defied Israeli objections to sell Awacs reconnaissance planes to Saudi Arabia and supported a United Nations resolution condemning Israel after it bombed a nuclear plant under construction in Iraq without telling the United States first.

Dr. Eduard Bloch

… What kind of boy was Adolf Hitler? Many biographers have put him down as harsh-voiced, defiant, untidy; as a young ruffian who personified all that is unattractive. This simply is not true. As a youth he was quiet, well-mannered and neatly dressed … In the practice of my profession it is natural that I should have witnessed many scenes such as this one, yet none of them left me with quite the same impression. In all my career I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hitler.

Mark Weber

A specter is haunting the world -- the specter of Hitlerism. That, in short, is the stern warning of this provocative book, Hitler as Philosophe: Remnants of the Enlightenment in National Socialism, by Lawrence Birken … In spite of decades of vehement vilification, says author Birken, Hitler's views have enduring and dangerous appeal -- not because they are bizarre and alien, but precisely because they are rational and well grounded in Western thought.

USA Today

Nearly half of the nation's undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don't make academics a priority, a new report shows. Instructors tend to be more focused on their own faculty research than teaching younger students, who in turn are more tuned in to their social lives, according to the report ... After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change. Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago, the research shows.

Michael Snyder

Most parents assume that when they send their kids to college that they will receive training which will prepare them for a lifetime of employment. Sadly, the truth is that very little time is actually spent imparting practical skills to students at most of America’s colleges. Instead, an extraordinary amount of classroom time is spent telling students what they should think and what they should believe. At this point, most institutions of “higher learning” in this country have been transformed into political correctness indoctrination centers. There is a reason why college towns have a reputation for being extremely liberal. The truth is that they are bastions for “progressive” thought

Bullitt County (Kentucky) History Museum

This copy of the Eighth Grade Exam for Bullitt County Schools in 1912 was donated to the museum. We thought you might like to see what the test looked like a hundred years ago. Obviously it tested some things that were more relevant at that time than now ... Bullitt County Schools were mostly one-room schools in those days, scattered around the rural county. Students came together at the county courthouse once or twice a year to take this "Common Exam." It was apparently a big deal. The local newspaper urged students to do well, even urging seventh graders that it was not too early to start preparing. Some scholarships were provided to those who passed to go on to high school, which was also a big deal back then.

Mirror (Britain)

A copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler has sold for nearly £30,000 [$44,500] in an online auction. The Führer's racist manifesto was the third of its kind in a month to be sold by the same auctioneer, who insists the practice doesn't glorify Nazis. Los Angeles-based Nate D Sanders told Mirror Online: "Hitler is a despicable figure. "But I think his items should be in the public consciousness and not ignored or destroyed." Trading Nazi memorabilia is still banned in countries including France. But Mr Sanders, who is Jewish, said a wide range of people buy anti-Semitic artifacts and many are historians who don't want the past to repeat itself.

Patrick J. Buchanan

... But if Hitler was out to conquer the world - Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia - why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France? Why did he start the war with no surface fleet, no troop transports and only 29 oceangoing submarines? ... Why did he offer the British peace, twice, after Poland fell, and again after France fell? Why, when Paris fell, did Hitler not demand the French fleet, as the Allies demanded and got the Kaiser's fleet? Why did he not demand bases in French-controlled Syria to attack Suez?

Alpha Omega Academy - Video

Which presidents and political parties were responsible for America's deadliest wars? This silent 90-second video of map graphics reviews the 231-year history of American war, from 1775 to 2006.

M. Karpin - Forward (New York)

In early February, the Pentagon declassified a 386-page report from 1987, exposing for the first time ever the actual depth of top-secret military cooperation between the United States and Israel — including, amazingly, information about Israel’s unacknowledged nuclear program ... I have never seen an official American document disclosing such extensive revelation on subjects that until now were regarded by both administrations as unspeakable secrets ... Although the report reveals quite a wide compilation of new facts about Israel’s most covert defense industry, to my astonishment its declassification produced no media reverberation whatsoever ... In the light of Iran’s nuclear talks, the declassification’s timing could prove troublesome for Israel. It makes it much harder to maintain the policy of ambiguity about Israel’s nuclear program ...

The Living Room Candidate - Video

A selection of television ads for the two major contenders in the 1952 presidential election campaign. Dwight Eisenhower, the Republican Party candidate, was well known and widely admired for his World War II role as the supreme Allied military commander in Europe. Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Party candidate, was the popular governer of Illinois. These TV ads show something of the level of awareness and sophistication of American voters. During the campaign, “Ike” pledged to clean up “the mess in Washington,” and end the Korean War. While he came across to the public as easy-going and “folksy,” Stevenson seemed stiff and aloof. In November Eisenhower was elected president in a resounding victory.

Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett - The National Interest

... After nearly a decade and a half of disastrously self-damaging wars, “counter-terrorism campaigns,” and military occupations in the Middle East, the dysfunction and incoherence of U.S. policy is now on full display, from Iraq to Libya, Syria, and now Yemen ... By contrast, even before a nuclear deal is concluded, Beijing and Moscow are laying the ground to deepen their already significant economic and strategic cooperation with Iran. (Both Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin will visit Tehran this spring.) The Obama administration’s technically reductionist approach to Iran relations raises the risks that what should be the greatest triumph of American diplomacy since the U.S. opening to China in the 1970s will end up exacerbating America’s ongoing marginalization in the Middle East.

Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept

A truly stunning debasement of the U.S. justice system just occurred through the joint efforts of the Obama Justice Department and a meek and frightened Obama-appointed federal judge, Edgardo Ramos, all in order to protect an extremist neocon front group from scrutiny and accountability. The details are crucial for understanding the magnitude of the abuse here. At the center of it is an anti-Iranian group calling itself “United Against Nuclear Iran” (UANI), which is very likely a front for some combination of the Israeli and U.S. intelligence services. When launched, NBC described its mission as waging “economic and psychological warfare” against Iran. The group was founded and is run and guided by a roster of U.S., Israeli and British neocon extremists ...

Paul R. Pillar – The National Interest

... The agreement has strategic importance for U.S. foreign policy in at least the following four respects ... The nuclear deal has the beneficial quality of simultaneously supporting both the pursuit of U.S. regional objectives and the global nonproliferation objective ... This agreement is a step toward liberating U.S. foreign policy from three baleful influences that overlap considerably in terms of the people involved and the causes they espouse. One of those influences is a crude exceptionalism that believes the world is divided rigidly into allies and enemies ... The last baleful influence is the extraordinary influence that the rightist government of Israel, along with the lobby in the United States that works on its behalf, has on U.S. Middle Eastern policy.

Juan Cole

US television news isn’t very good and it has clearly gotten worse over the past 20 years. In the aftermath of the Kerry-Zarif initial framework deal on nuclear energy in Iran, it seems obvious that an interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would be newsworthy. But to my knowledge none of the networks or major cable news shows had him on ... Instead, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was given repeated access to millions of Americans to talk trash about the deal over the weekend and to make mostly false allegations about its contours ... Netanyahu has showed his hand. He wants to use the USA and the Treasury Department to sanction Iran into penury, to keep its middle classes small and shrinking and to cut people’s income, education and health care.

David Cole

... That the Holocaust is now the defining factor for American Jews is something that experts in the field have dreaded, and warned against, for decades ... This argument is – at least in certain cases – correct. Jews replacing God with the Holocaust. Jews using the Holocaust to justify their lack of faith. Jews turning the Holocaust into a secular religion ... Just as in the case of the “Democrat Party is my God” Jews, I witnessed firsthand the intolerance of the “Holocaust is my God” Jews after I was “outed” in 2013 for my controversial Holocaust research in the early ‘90s. All of a sudden the rational secular Jews on the right, some of whom were among my closest friends, reacted with the same fanaticism as the Democrat Jews we used to collectively deride.

Video

In this edgy skit, a gutsy young Israeli woman who personifies "the Holocaust" ("Shoah") visits the country's central Holocaust memorial center to call on Israel's Jews to gratefully acknowledge that she has been very good for the Jewish state. The "Shoah," she reminds them, has served as justification for Israel's wars, its nuclear weapons arsenal, and its imposed "ghetto of three million" Palestinians. Concept, script and performance by Natali Cohen Vaxberg. With English subtitles. Runtime: 7:58 mins.

Scott Ritter

... The nuclear deal as negotiated is a far cry from the kind of irresponsible capitulation critics of the negotiations charge ... Armed with the knowledge that the case against Iraq's WMD was, at best illusory and, at worst, a complete fabrication, Americans should be hesitant about accepting at face value claims of Iranian nuclear malfeasance that are unsustained by fact and are at odds with history. History does matter, both in terms of how we got to where we are, and in predicting where we are going. When it comes to Iran and its nuclear program, the world would do well to take a different path than that chosen for Iraq, and let inspections, not bombs, do the work of disarmament.

AFP

CIA director John Brennan gave a staunch defense of the framework nuclear deal with Iran, calling some criticism of the accord "disingenuous" while expressing surprise at Tehran's concessions. In his first public remarks since the outline agreement was announced last week, the spy agency chief said the deal would impose a litany of restrictions on Iran's nuclear work that had once seemed impossible to secure. "I must tell you the individuals who say this deal provides a pathway for Iran to a bomb are being wholly disingenuous, in my view, if they know the facts, understand what's required for a (nuclear) program," Brennan told an audience at Harvard University.

N. Bryant - BBC News

Is Israel about to lose its American firewall at the United Nations in New York, or will it continue to be so flameproof? ... Protecting Israel from critical resolutions at the Security Council has long been a central pillar of US Middle East policy. But so rapid has been the deterioration of relations between the Obama administration and Netanyahu government that America's protective shield is now up for discussion at the White House, as part of a broader review of US relations with Israel ... Ever since the early 1970s, the US has used its veto as a permanent member of the Security Council to shield Israel from hostile and unfavourable resolutions on issues such as settlement activity in the Palestinian territories, operations in Gaza and Lebanon, and its controversial West Bank barrier.

J. Tirone - Bloomberg

... International sanctions were first introduced against Iran in 1979 after the Islamic revolution and the hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in Tehran ... As European exports of machinery and industrial equipment to Iran tailed off over the next three decades, China stepped in to fill the void. By 2013, China was Iran’s biggest trading partner, with more than $41 billion in economic links ... As trade and financial links with Europe dried up under sanctions, Iran expanded economic ties with China, India, Turkey and Brazil, boosting its global trade by 70 percent to $150 billion between 2005 and 2013.

i24news (Israel)

Hundreds of people from Iran and around the globe submitted entries for the Islamic Republic's Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, a competition official announced Monday ... Organizers launched the cartoon contest centered on the theme of Holocaust denial in late January in response to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's decision to publish caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. Shojaei-Tabatabaii said that a total of 312 artists had submitted works for the contest, including 104 Iranian artists as well as 208 artists from foreign countries such as Brazil, France, Turkey and China.

Daily Mail (Britain)

... One of the enduring narratives of World War II is that during the invasion of the Third Reich, British and American troops largely behaved well, and it was the soldiers of the Soviet Union's Red Army who raped hundreds of thousands of German females, aged from eight to 80. However, a new book published in Germany makes the shocking and disturbing claim that the Americans raped a staggering 190,000 women in the decade from the invasion until West Germany became a sovereign country in 1955. In When The Soldiers Came, historian Professor Miriam Gebhardt also suggests the British raped 45,000 German women, and the French a further 50,000 ... Is it really possible that the numbers are so high?... Although France was an ally, that did not stop U.S. troops from raping an estimated 3,600 French women.

The Local (Germany)

A German historian estimates in a new book that French, British and American soldiers raped 860,000 Germans at and after the end of the Second World War, including 190,000 sexual assaults by American soldiers. Professor Miriam Gebhardt's book When the Soldiers Came, published this week, includes interviews with victims, stories of the children of rape and research that she conducted over the course of a year and a half into birth records in Allied-occupied West Germany and West Berlin ... A well-received 2003 book by American professor of criminology J. Robert Lilly, Taken by Force, estimated that American soldiers committed around 11,000 rapes in Germany ... Gebhardt’s research also included records from Bavarian priests recording the Allied advance in 1945 ...

Der Spiegel (Germany)

... German historian Miriam Gebhardt, well known in Germany for her book about leading feminist Alice Schwarzer and the feminist movement, has now published a new volume casting doubt on the accepted version of America's role in German postwar history ... Gebhardt believes that members of the US military raped as many as 190,000 German women by the time West Germany regained sovereignty in 1955, with most of the assaults taking place in the months immediately following the US invasion of Nazi Germany ... Studies in recent years have shed light on incidents involving GIs plundering churches, murdering Italian civilians, killing German prisoners of war and raping women, even as they advanced across France.

New Books in German

When the Soldiers Came deals with the period between the final days of the Second World War and the end of the occupation of Germany in 1955. The soldiers who liberated Germany from Nazi rule in 1945 also brought new suffering to many women. An estimated one million women and girls – and a considerable number of men – became victims of sexual violence all over the country ... It was not just Russian soldiers who committed rape, but also a large number of American, British and French soldiers. The historian and journalist Miriam Gebhardt draws on extensive source material, including police, church and hospital documents as well as personal diaries, to chart the widespread sexual violence in the decade after the war.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

The New York Times continues its slide into becoming little more than a neocon propaganda sheet as it followed the Washington Post in publishing an op-ed advocating the unprovoked bombing of Iran / ... These inflammatory articles – these incitements to murder and violation of international law – are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism ... Both articles called on the United States to mount a sustained bombing campaign against Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities and to promote “regime change” in Tehran. Ironically, these “scholars” rationalized their calls for unprovoked aggression against Iran under the theory that Iran is an aggressive state, although Iran has not invaded another country for centuries.

Z. Jilani - Alternet

... Republicans have teamed up with their counterparts in the Israeli political system to do everything they can to obstruct a deal [with Iran] ... This past week Senator John McCain (R-AZ) ratcheted up this sabotage to a new level. During a floor speech he gave on March 24th, the senator suggested that Israel “go rogue” and that if they don't they may not survive the next 22 months of the Obama presidency ... McCain is head of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Republican presidential candidate. His call for a foreign state to openly obstruct U.S. policy and in the process initiate a catastrophic regional war is perhaps unprecedented for someone of his senior position.

Robert Parry - Consortium News

Not exactly known for truthfulness, U.S. neocons have been trying to reassure the American people that sinking a negotiated deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program would be a painless proposition, but at least one prominent neocon, Joshua Muravchik, acknowledges that the alternative will be war – and he likes the idea. On Sunday, the neocon Washington Post allowed Muravchik to use its opinion section to advocate for an aggressive war against Iran – essentially a perpetual U.S. bombing campaign against the country ... In his article headlined “War is the only way to stop Iran” in print editions and “War with Iran is probably our best option” online, Muravchik lets the bloody-thirsty neocon cat out of the bag ...

Peter Beinart - The Atlantic

... Which brings me to John Bolton’s Thursday New York Times op-ed, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Bolton was both a booster, and a minor architect, of the war in Iraq. ... Bolton doesn’t answer these warnings. He doesn’t even acknowledge they exist. Reading his op-ed, you’d never know that war with Iran poses any risks at all. Given Bolton’s record on Iraq, this recklessness is not surprising. More surprising is that the Times let him get away with it. I understand that the Times, as a left-leaning op-ed page, needs ideological diversity. But when it comes to war and peace, diversity isn’t the highest value. Honesty is.

W. James Antle III - The American Conservative

The Republican Party’s pendulum once again seems to be swinging in a hawkish direction, with much of the focus on political figures like Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul. Concentrating on politicians is all well and good. But it might be more instructive to look at how the party rank and file currently sees the world. A March McClatchy/ Marist poll found that 70 percent of Republicans, like 62 percent of Democrats, want their representatives in Congress to vote to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State ... Gallup describes Republicans as “nearly unanimous in support of Israel.” Asked whether they sympathize more with the Israelis versus the Palestinians, Republicans side with Israel by 80 percent to 7 percent.

AFP

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Thursday that all options including military action were on the table in the face of the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. Speaking to public radio as crunch talks on Iran's nuclear programme continued in Switzerland, Steinitz said Israel would seek to counter any threat through diplomacy and intelligence but "if we have no choice we have no choice ... the military option is on the table." Asked about possible US objections to Israeli military action, Steinitz pointed to Israel's unilateral attack against the Osirak nuclear reactor in Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1981.

Liam Halligan - The Telegraph (Britain)

... Since adopting market-based reforms in the late-1970s, China has grown on average by 9.8 percent a year, compared with 2.5 percent in America ... It’s fashionable to talk down China. Certainly, its Communist leaders are grappling with a sagging property market, unsteady exports and cooling domestic investment. China expanded by 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest rate for 24 years. Growth this year could fall below 7 percent, amidst rising labour costs. .. That Beijing should seek to exercise power across Asia, and beyond, is hardly surprising. China isn’t only the world’s growth engine but also bankroller-in-chief to the US government. The Chinese central bank holds an estimated $1,270 billion of US Treasuries ...

The New York Times

Even as the worst drought in decades ravages California, and its cities face mandatory cuts in water use, millions of pounds of thirsty crops like oranges, tomatoes and almonds continue to stream out of the state and onto the nation’s grocery shelves. But the way that California farmers have pulled off that feat is a case study in the unwise use of natural resources, many experts say. Farmers are drilling wells at a feverish pace and pumping billions of gallons of water from the ground, depleting a resource that was critically endangered even before the drought, now in its fourth year, began.

AFP

France's far-right was plunged into disarray Wednesday as National Front leader Marine Le Pen openly split with her father and party founder after gas chamber comments she described as "political suicide". Jean-Marie Le Pen, the outspoken 86-year-old founder of the FN party, has dominated headlines in recent days, repeating his view that Nazi gas chambers were a "detail of history" and defending war-time French leader Petain, who collaborated with Hitler's regime. His latest sorties appear to have been the last straw for daughter Marine, who has been trying to clean up the party's anti-Semitic and racist image since she took over in 2011, a move that has seen it soar in opinion polls as it attracts more mainstream voters.

EJP

The founder of France’s extreme-right Front National party defended this week having described Nazi gas chambers as a ''detail of history''. In words which will revive accusations that the party remains anti-Semitic, Jean-Marie Le Pen, 86, said in an interview with BFMTV channel he had 'never regretted' making similar statements in the past. 'What I said corresponds to what I think.’’ The gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we admit that the war was a detail of the gas chambers!,’' Le Pen declared.

Institute for Historical Review

.. On two or three occasions Le Pen has referred to Nazi "gas chambers" -- not "the Holocaust" -- as a "detail" or "minor point" (point de detail) of World War II ... Le Pen was brought to trial. In France, as in several other European countries, "Holocaust denial" is a crime. After a drawn-out court battle, he was convicted and fined $200,000 ... What is "notorious" is not Le Pen's remark about gas chambers, but rather that he was brought before a court and punished for having made it (and on the basis of an Orwellian French law), and that the media misrepresents, without censure, what he actually said.

Robert Faurisson

On the subject of the Nazi gas chambers, Jean-Marie Le Pen recently stated: "If you take a thousand-page book on the Second World War, the concentration camps occupy two pages and the gas chambers ten or fifteen lines, and that's called a detail.” He might have brought up some even harder hitting and more precise arguments, and referred to Eisenhower, Churchill, de Gaulle, Elie Wiesel, René Rémond, Daniel Goldhagen, and even the text of the Nuremberg Tribunal judgment. ... In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi "gas chambers," a "genocide" of the Jews, or of "six million" Jewish victims of the war.

The Local (Austria)

On Thursday a jury at Linz Court unanimously agreed that a letter the doctor had sent to the local council and the administration of the Mauthausen concentration camp memorial site proved that he believed that the gas chambers and the systematic genocidal killing had been made up. The man, from the Mühlviertel region, wrote that he became convinced after visiting the Mauthausen site that the gas chambers had never existed and that therefore the Holocaust “must be a lie made up by Zionist bankers, who are still up to their mischief in Israel and the ‘Arab Spring’”. He went on to claim that Hitler and Germany were not to blame for WWII and that Austria would be forever burdened with the “Holocaust cudgel”.

Reuters

Cyprus on Thursday made it a crime to deny that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenian Turks a century ago, a move likely to rile its old rival Turkey as peace talks on the ethnically split island remain stalled. The Cypriot parliament passed a resolution penalizing denial of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, modifying existing legislation, which required prior conviction by an international court to make denial a crime ... The east Mediterranean island, split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 after a brief Greek-inspired coup, was one of the first countries worldwide in 1975 to recognize the Armenian killings as genocide. It is commemorated on April 24.

Jon Schwarz - The Intercept

It’s hard for some Americans to understand why the Obama administration is so determined to come to an agreement with Iran on its nuclear capability, given that huge Iranian rallies are constantly chanting “Death to America!” I know the chanting makes me unhappy, since I’m part of America, and I strongly oppose me dying. But if you know our actual history with Iran, you can kind of see where they’re coming from. They have understandable reasons to be angry at and frightened of us ... Unfortunately, not only have the U.S. and our allies done horrendous things to Iran, we’re not even polite enough to remember it. Reminding ourselves of this history does not mean endorsing an Iran with nuclear-tipped ICBMs.

New York Post

The big brother of Fox sitcom star Mindy Kaling reveals that he got into medical school by pretending to be African-American. Fifteen years ago, Vijay Chokal-Ingam shaved off his straight black hair, trimmed what he calls his “long Indian eyelashes” and started checking off the “black” box for race on his med-school applications ... Chokal-Ingam says he’s revealing his race ruse now because he heard that UCLA is considering strengthening its affirmative-action admissions policies. He says it’s a myth that affirmative action benefits the underprivileged. He plans to write a memoir about his experiences, to be titled ­“Almost Black.”

AFP

Israel is set to force illegal African migrants to choose between leaving to a “safe third-party” country in Africa or face imprisonment, the interior ministry said. A statement from the ministry's population and immigration authority said the measure would apply to migrants currently at the southern Holot detention centre, “who infiltrated Israel and cannot be expelled to their country of origin”. There are currently around 2,000 African migrants at Holot out of an estimated 42,000 in Israel. Most of the migrants at Holot hail from Sudan and Eritrea and would face danger were they to return home. Israel will identify migrants who qualify for the measures, inform them of the proposed destination, and pay for their plane ticket and hotel there.

The Guardian (Britain)

Iran has promised to make drastic cuts to its nuclear programme in return for the gradual lifting of sanctions as part of a historic breakthrough in Lausanne that could end a 13-year nuclear standoff. The “political understanding”, announced on Thursday night in the Swiss city’s technical university, followed 18 months of intensive bargaining ... Reading out a joint statement, the European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, hailed what she called a “decisive step” after more than a decade of work. The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters the agreement would show “our programme is exclusively peaceful, has always been and always will remain exclusively peaceful”, while not hindering the country’s pursuit of atomic energy for civilian purposes.

The Washington Post

By a nearly two to one margin, Americans support the notion of striking a deal with Iran that restricts the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for loosening sanctions, a new Washington Post- ABC News poll finds. But the survey -- released hours before Tuesday’s negotiating deadline -- also finds few Americans are hopeful that such an agreement will be effective. Nearly six in ten say they are not confident that a deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, unchanged from 15 months ago, when the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia reached an interim agreement with Iran aimed at sealing a long-term deal.

Sheldon Richman

... So the hawks and hardliners are demonstrably wrong about the alternative to the current talks, but that does not matter to them. Why not? Because they don’t really want a “better deal” with Iran. What they, like Netanyahu and other Israeli hawks, want is war and nothing less than regime change. (Remember when John McCain sang “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”?) ... To fully appreciate the Senate Republicans’ perfidy, keep these things in mind: First, Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon ... As has been reported many times, the Israeli Mossad and the dozen and a half American intelligence agencies have detected no Iranian move to build a bomb.

Associated Press

Provocative ads showing a photograph of Adolf Hilter with a former Arab leader have started appearing on Philadelphia transit buses. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority buses serving riders Wednesday bear ads with the tagline: "Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran.” The ads from the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative will appear on 84 buses. One features a 1941 photograph of Hitler and supporter Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian Arab nationalist. A federal judge last month ordered SEPTA to accept the ads. The agency said last week it wouldn't appeal.

Video - German newsreel (1941)

Narration: “The Fuehrer receives the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Amin al-Husseini), one of the most influential leaders of Arab nationalism. The Grand Mufti is the religious leader of the Arabs in Palestine, and at the same time their chief judge and financial administrator. Because of his nationalist position, he has been harshly persecuted by the British, who have offered a reward of 25,000 pounds for his capture. After an adventurous journey he reached Germany by way of Italy.” From the German weekly newsreel, “Deutsche Wochenschau,” Dec. 10, 1941.