Shame On You, USA


The United States has spent hundreds of billions on unnecessary wars, but only the UN relief agency for the Palestinians is improperly run

By Gideon Levy

September 02, 2018 “Information Clearing House–  Now it’s out in the open: America has declared war on the Palestinians. With his son-in-law Jared Kushner, an expert on humanitarian organizations and Palestinian refugees, the great bully Donald Trump decided to end aid to the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees. The official explanation: The business model and fiscal practices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency made it an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

Trump and his son-in-law, the keepers of the seal of good government, found that the agency isn’t properly run. The annual U.S. contribution of $360 million will end. Even in Israel, which rejoices at every Palestinian calamity and is positive that everything is a zero-sum game, people think the state’s greatest friend of all time went a little overboard.

The new America treats small slights and major crimes equally. Allocations to U.S. aid organizations operating in the territories, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, have been cut by $200 million.

Washington decided to hit the Palestinians in the wallet. Of all the huge sums going to aid corrupt regimes, of all the trillions spent on pointless wars and mass killing, it’s the aid to the Jabalya refugee camp that’s mismanaged and has to stop. The Palestinians, blackmailing sons of blackmailers, no longer deserve it because of the business model. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad; the price of the joke will be paid from Chatila to Rafah.

In the next decade, the United States is set to pour $38 billion into Israel, among the most developed countries on the planet with one of the best-equipped armies in the world — which of course follow the right business model. Not a single dollar can be cut. Humanitarian aid to a needy country that doesn’t waste a single cent.

Israel deserves this terrifying aid; it complies with every resolution passed by international institutions, a model of morality that obeys every U.S. recommendation that it withdraw from the territories and end the occupation. It’s worthwhile for America to pay for all its whims and wars. It greatly adds to its global prestige.

This year, America will spend $46 billion in Afghanistan, on a war it can’t get enough of. It will pour $13 billion into Iraq, long after one of the most foolish wars ever ended.

Wars? The one in Afghanistan cost America $753 billion, the one in Iraq $770 billion, according to the Pentagon. According to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the actual cost was $1.7 trillion. Two unnecessary wars that caused the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, but the money spent on them conformed with a proper business model. The same for the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Only the UN relief agency for the Palestinians is improperly run. The leader of the free world, the greatest warmonger since World War II, cuts flour for Yarmouk and cooking oil for Bureij, because the Palestinians overestimate refugee numbers.

Behind all this, of course, is a much broader truth. UNRWA could hire Eliad Shraga, head of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, and comply with Scandinavian management standards, but nothing would make a difference. Israel long ago declared war on the agency, America followed it as usual, all with the aim of removing the refugee issue from the agenda.

Anyone familiar with the conditions in the refugee camps knows just how dependent their inhabitants are on the UN agency. There might be some waste, certainly there are freeloaders, reform is absolutely necessary, but UNRWA provides basic humanitarian assistance. Without it there are no schools, clinics and food in the camps. America owes an indirect debt to the people there; it funds and supports the Israeli occupation, and it has never lifted a finger to reach a genuine solution to their suffering.

But the new America has lost its shame, too; it no longer even wants to pretend to be the honest broker, or take care of the world’s needy, as its position obliges it to do. Let us say, then, shame on you, America.

This article was originally published by Haaretz

AXA: Stop investing in Israel’s arms trade and brutal occupation

SIGN THE PETITION HERE!

AXA crushes the lives of defenseless families in Palestine, while providing life insurance around the world. What a sickening paradox.

The French insurance giant is accused of violating international law by financing Elbit Systems — Israel’s leading arms company — infamous for supplying prohibited weapons that have already killed and injured hundreds of innocent Palestinian women and children.

What’s more, a new report reveals that AXA also invests in three major Israeli banks that finance Israel’s illegal settlement industry.

The job of an insurer is to guard families against risks, to their lives and homes. But AXA is endangering Palestinian families both by supporting the manufacture of weapons used against them, and the infrastructure of occupation.

Tell Axa to stop investing in Elbit Systems and banks financing illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine!

A Special Relationship Born in Hell

The United States should cut all ties with war criminal Israel

By Philip Giraldi

April 04, 2018, Information Clearing House

If you want to understand what the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States really means consider the fact that Israeli Army snipers shot dead seventeen unarmed and largely peaceful Gazan demonstrators on Good Friday without a squeak coming out of the White House or State Department. Some of the protesters were shot in the back while running away, while another 1,000 Palestinians were wounded, an estimated 750 by gunfire, the remainder injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.

The offense committed by the Gazan protesters that has earned them a death sentence was coming too close to the Israeli containment fence that has turned the Gaza strip into the world’s largest outdoor prison. President Donald Trump’s chief Middle East negotiator David Greenblatt described the protest as “a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border…inciting violence against Israel.” And Nikki Haley at the U.N. has also used the U.S. veto to block any independent inquiry into the violence, demonstrating once again that the White House team is little more than Israel’s echo chamber. America’s enabling of the brutal reality that is today’s Israel makes it fully complicit in the war crimes carried out against the helpless and hapless Palestinian people.

So where was the outrage in the American media about the massacre of civilians? Characteristically, Israel portrays itself as somehow a victim and the U.S. media, when it bothers to report about dead Palestinians at all, picks up on that line. The Jewish State is portrayed as always endangered and struggling to survive even though it is the nuclear armed regional superpower that is only threatened because of its own criminal behavior. And even when it commits what are indisputable war crimes like the use of lethal force against an unarmed civilian population, the Jewish Lobby and its media accomplices are quick to take up the victimhood refrain.

Last week, the Israeli government described the protests an “an organized terrorist operation” while Gazans are dehumanized by claims that they act under the direction of evil Hamas to dig tunnels and rain down bottle rockets on hapless Israeli civilians. The reality is, however, quite different. It is the Gazans who have been subjected to murderous periodic incursions by the Israeli army, a procedure that Israel refers to as “mowing the grass,” a brutal exercise intended to keep the Palestinians terrified and docile.

The story of what happened in Gaza on Friday had largely disappeared from the U.S. media by Sunday. On Saturday, The New York Times reported the most recent violence this way: “…some began hurling stones, tossing Molotov cocktails and rolling burning tires at the fence, the Israelis responded with tear gas and gunfire.” Get it? The Palestinians started it all, according to Israeli sources, by throwing things at the fence and forcing the poor victimized Israeli soldiers to respond with gunfire, presumably as self-defense. The Times also repeated Israel’s uncorroborated claims that there were gunmen active on the Gazan side, but given the disparity in numbers killed and injured – zero on the Israeli side of the fence – the Palestinian shooters must have been using blanks. Or they never existed at all.

The Israelis reportedly also responded to “suspicious figures” on the Gazan side with rounds from tanks, killing, among others, a farmer far from the demonstrations who was working his field. Israeli warplanes and helicopters also joined in the fun, attacking targets on the Palestinian side. Drones flew over the demonstrators, spraying tear gas down on them. One recalls that the major Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014 included vignettes of Israeli families picnicking on the high ground overlooking the assault, enjoying the spectacle while observing the light-and-sound show that accompanied the carnage. At that time, more than 2,000 Gazans were killed and nearly 11,000 were wounded, including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were permanently disabled.. If the current slaughter in Gaza continues, it would be a shame to forego the entertainment value of a good massacre right on one’s doorstep.

The reliably neocon Washington Post also framed the conflict as if Israel were behaving in a restrained fashion, leading off in its coverage with “Israel’s military warned Saturday it will step up its response to violence on the Gaza border if it continues…” You see, it’s the unarmed Palestinians who are creating the “violence.” Israel is the victim acting in self-defense.

The newspaper coverage was supplemented by television accounts of what had taken place. ABC News described “violent clashes,” implying that two somewhat equal sides were engaged in the fighting, even though the lethal force was only employed by Israel against an unarmed civilian population.

The backstory to the killing is what should disturb every American citizen. When it comes to disregard for United States national sovereignty and interests, the Israelis and their amen chorus in Washington have dug a deep, dark hole and the U.S. Congress and White House have obligingly jumped right in. Since June 8, 1967, when the Israelis massacred the crew of the U.S.S. Liberty, Israel has realized it could do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, wherever it wants, any time it wants, to anybody…including American servicemen, and the U.S. would do nothing.

Let me speak plainly. The existence of many good Israelis to who oppose their own government’s policies notwithstanding, the current Israel is an evil place that Americans should be condemning, not praising. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not be receiving 29 standing ovations from Congress. He should be rotting in jail. Israel’s shoot-to-kill policy and dehumanization of the Palestinian people is nothing to be proud of. That the United States is giving this band of racist war criminals billions of dollars every year is a travesty. That the reputation of American has been besmirched worldwide because of its reflexive support of anything and everything that this rogue regime does is a national disgrace.

Gazans are demonstrating in part because they are starving. They have no clean drinking water because Israel has destroyed the purification plants as part of a deliberate policy to make life in the Strip so miserable that everyone will leave or die in place. And even leaving is problematical as Israel controls the border and will not let Palestinians enter or depart. It also controls the Mediterranean Sea access to Gaza. Fisherman go out a short distance from the shore to bring in a meager catch. If they go any farther they are shot dead by the Israeli Navy.

Hospitals, schools and power stations in Gaza are routinely bombed in Israel’s frequent reprisal actions against what Netanyahu chooses to describe as aggressive moves by Hamas. Such claims are bogus as Israel enjoys a monopoly of force and is never hesitant to use it.

Over in the other Palestinian enclave the West Bank, or what remains of it, the story is the same. Brutal heavily armed Israeli settlers rampage, poisoning Palestinian water, maiming and killing their livestock and even murdering local residents. Children throw stones or slap a soldier and wind up in Israeli prisons. The settlers are backed up by the army and paramilitary police who also shoot first. The Israeli military courts, who have jurisdiction over the occupied West Bank, rarely convict a Jew when an Arab is killed or beaten.

And here in America a bought-and-paid-for Congress continues to do its bit. Last week President Trump signed the so-called Taylor Force Act, part of the marathon spending bill, which will cut aid going to the Palestinian Authority while also increasing the money going to Israel. Back in January, Congress had also cut the funding going to support Palestinians who are still living in U.N. run refugee camps in spite of resolutions demanding that they should be allowed to return to their homes, now occupied by Israeli Jews. During the perfunctory debate on the measure, Congressmen were lied to by pro-Israel lobbyists who claimed that Arabs are terrorism supporters and use the money to attack Israelis.

I could go on and on, but the message should be clear to every American. There is no net gain for the United States in continuing the lopsided and essentially immoral relationship with the self-styled Jewish State. There is no enhancement of American national security, quite the contrary, and there remains only the sad realization that the blood of many innocent people is, to a considerable extent, on our hands. This horror must end.

 

Distractions, Thought Control and Palestine

If the popular news sites are to be believed, the United States citizenry is mesmerized by President Donald Trump’s efforts to shut down the Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. Add to that is the supposed fascination with a porn star known as Stormy Daniels, and that, we are all told, is what is keeping us up at night.

And perhaps it is. After all, isn’t ‘news’ what newscasters tell us it is? Don’t they, without any bias, inform the public of what is happening in the world, doing their best to sort the important (e.g. Israel violations of international law; world leaders’ threats of war) from the more mundane (e.g. some politician’s alleged extra-marital affair; a bus accident in the Alps)? Can’t the U.S. viewer tune into any news program and receive the same basic information? Certainly, the political pundits on each program may spin the information a bit differently; after reporting the facts, these ‘experts’ will provide their interpretation of the meaning of the action, what results it might bring, etc.

If one believes such a thing, allow this writer to tell you about an obese man dressed in red, who lands his reindeer-propelled sled on your roof in December, and enters your home through a chimney, bringing a sack full of toys.

MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski made it all clear for us a year ago, although few people seemed to be paying attention. In what was characterized as a ‘lively discussion’, she commented on Trump’s ‘alternate facts’: “Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.”

Let us recap, to assure that there is no misunderstanding. The president is trying to control what people think (Problem 1), but the news media feels that that is their role (Problem 2). We will focus on Problem 2, since the number of people who take Trump seriously is fast reaching the point of statistical insignificance.

During apartheid Israel’s 2014 genocidal carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip, one popular newscaster showed a photo of a desperate Palestinian woman, and said she was an Israeli, and a victim of Palestinian ‘terrorism’. Although this was later corrected, it’s unlikely that everyone who saw the initial report (and who may have, incredibly, not realized that it was, in fact, a Palestinian woman), saw the retraction.

Israel’s constant harassment of Palestinians, including arrests and detention without charge; bulldozing of homes; stealing land; killing unarmed men, women and children and other atrocities go mainly unreported, while any action of resistance by a Palestinian makes headline news. Nowhere is it mentioned that Israel occupies Palestine in violation of international law; never is it pointed out that Israel has moved over 500,000 settlers onto occupied Palestinian territory, also in violation of international law. The use of Palestine’s natural resources by Israel, again a violation of international law, isn’t deemed, by those who are self-appointed to “control exactly what people think”, newsworthy.

Any violent resistance to the occupation is proclaimed as an example of Palestinian barbarity. These ‘thought control’ ‘experts’ don’t bother to state that, according to international law, an occupied people has the right to use any means at all to resist the occupation. And when peaceful movements to end the occupation, such as the BDS (Boycott, Sanction and Divest) movement gain traction, the old saw of anti-Semitism is dragged out and paraded around as if it has any validity.

Of course, why should the abject suffering of the Palestinian people by apartheid Israel, fully financed and condoned by the U.S., be a subject of conversation, when Stormy Daniels is smirking her way through the news? Why consider Israel’s crimes against humanity, when we can all fall asleep trying to keep track of who may or may not have said what to Robert Mueller? Speculation on how soon Jared Kushner and his annoying wife, Ivanka, will depart the White House, leaving jobs they have no qualifications for and have shown no aptitude to do, is far more important than children starving in Palestine because of Israel’s illegal occupation and blockade. Or so our ‘thought controllers’ will tell us.

Why is this? Why is sensationalism (e.g. Stormy Daniels) reported more than real news? While the Mueller investigation is certainly important, it is not the only newsworthy activity happening on the planet. It is said that possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign threatens the very essence of U.S. democracy. Apparently, people weren’t paying attention when, generations ago, any semblance of democracy in the U.S. disappeared, replaced by an oligarchy. Can we please just stop trying to foster the fantasy of the U.S. as a democratic beacon of peace, freedom and equality? It is believed nowhere outside of U.S. borders.

The mainstream news won’t help; their corporate owners know that by controlling what people perceive to be important, they can maintain their stranglehold on the wealth and power of the country. They are not philanthropists, using their vast fortunes for the good of society. They are capitalists, exploiting the poor and working class for their own financial gain.

The result of this is that news stations serve up pablum, and tell the viewer it is caviar. And, since Mika Brzezinski and her cohorts say it, it must be true.

A mantra from the decade of the sixties was ‘question authority’. The validity of doing so is no less important now than it’s ever been. Whether that authority is the U.S. government, the news media, or any other organization which wields control over our lives, their motivations must always be open to question and challenge.

It is long past time for major change in the U.S. The much-vaunted ‘experiment in democracy’ has failed, so a new model must take its place. An informed populace can achieve it, but those who rely on MSNBC, FOX, C-Span and the rest do not constitute an ‘informed’ populace. Seeking out information from independent news sources will be our salvation, if only we will embrace it.

Israel Is Giving Palestinians the Jewish Finger

InformationClearinghouse.info

In the name of the Jewish people, Netanyahu insisted Palestinians recognize three Jewish political hawks as honest, unbiased brokers of a non-existent peace agreement

By Carolina Landsmann

“Is that anti-Semitism or political discourse?” asked U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman with feigned innocence, in response to what Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had said about him, as if he were a helpless pogrom victim at the beginning of the last century in Eastern Europe rather than an ambassador of the world’s strongest superpower, which encourages Israel to ride roughshod over the Palestinians.

Abbas attacked Friedman on Monday for saying Jewish settlers were building on their lands in the West Bank. “Son of a dog. Building on their land? Your are a settler and your family are settlers,” Abbas said.

Anti-Semitism? What sanctimoniousness on Friedman’s part. What cheap manipulation. Poor Abbas, poor Palestinians. They cannot say what is self-evident. Nobody can. Even Jews must be wary of telling the truth. Better to go cool off in Yad Vashem’s air conditioned halls to preserve one’s restraint. It’s inconceivable that Friedman, the Jew who owns property in Talbieh, who identifies in public with the ultra-nationalist messianic Israeli right, was appointed American ambassador.

The Israelis, through U.S. President Trump, are sticking a Jewish finger consisting of Friedman, Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kusher into the Palestinians’ faces, in front of the whole world. In the name of the Jewish people, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blew up negotiations with the Palestinians over their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state while shamelessly insisting that they recognize three Jewish political hawks as honest, unbiased political brokers. Suddenly the Palestinians are required to make the healthy distinction between Israelis and Jews, a distinction that Netanyahu dedicated his political life to smashing. When it suits him, citizenship is everything.

The Palestinians are required to take part in the agreed-upon lie that Friedman, Greenblatt and Kushner are Americans for all intents and purposes; that they could just as well have been Hispanic; that their Jewishness is a private, personal, marginal, apolitical matter. So what if the Israel Hayom daily described Friedman in this way: “He may be American (and a New Yorker) to the core, but his ties to Israel and Zionism and his command of Hebrew turn him into a homeboy here.” So what if, as a private citizen, he helped raise funds for an organization associated with the West Bank settlement of Beit El? So what if he denies the occupation and claims that the settlers are permitted to build on their land, lambasts the left in rhetoric of the Israeli right, sees J Street supporters as “worse than kapos” and enjoys bashing Haaretz and Gideon Levy? Does this infringe on his statesmanlike diplomacy?

“It’s wrong to stick stereotypes on African-Americans or Hispanics and it’s wrong to do so to American Jews as well I wasn’t chosen because I’m a Jew, but because I have the president’s confidence,” Friedman told Israel Hayom. Yeah, sure. So if he’s American, how come he’s talking like one of the internet trolls on Netanyahu’s Facebook page?

Netanyahu’s Israel is walking a thin line, swapping the Jewish hat and the Israeli hat according to need. When it’s convenient, Netanyahu is the leader of the Jewish world; and when Jews wearing American hats represent Israel’s presumed interests with unlimited brazenness, nobody is allowed to say a word, because that’s anti-Semitism.

Abbas is not an anti-Semite. He has criticism about Israel’s rejectionism on the one hand and America’s biased policy on the other. He is critical of the series of troubling appointments of officials tasked with solving the conflict; of the decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, which ignores the Palestinians’ demand to recognize East Jerusalem as their capital; and of the decision to stop funding UNRWA, the UN agency which aids Palestinian refugees, without offering alternatives.

But if Israel continues to blur the line between the state and independent Jewish existence in the Diaspora, it should not be surprised if Abbas, like others, turn into anti-Semites. Precisely because of the healthy, important affiliation between the world’s Jews and Israel, it’s important that this deliberate, transparent blurring of that line is stymied.

This article was originally published by “Haaretz” –

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Information Clearing House.