This post offers an account of pivotal events in the history of Israel/Palestine from 1947 to the present through the reflections of a number of informed and articulate commentators. — Vincent Di Stefano [IA]
Check out this video shot today in Mariupol following the artillery strike which killed and wounded scores of people. A Ukrainian journalist approaches what she believe is a Ukrainian solider (he is in Ukrainian uniform and has an AK on this back) and asks him "tell me, what happened here?". You can listen to his reply by yourself. No translation needed. ~ The Saker
Stephen Lendman ■ Pentagon Directing Kiev's War on Donbas?
G. Eliason ■ Ukraine Army Attacks Bus and Trolley in Center of Donetsk. 13 Killed including Children
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the West on Monday of hypocrisy for its stance over the attack on satirical journal Charlie Hebdo and hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in Paris, while failing to condemn anti-Muslim acts in Europe. Speaking alongside visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Erdogan also denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for attending a solidarity rally in France on Sunday with other world leaders after the Paris attacks. "How can a man who has killed 2,500 people in Gaza with state terrorism wave his hand in Paris, like people are waiting in excitement for him to do so? How dare he go there?" he said. "You should first give an account for the children and the women you have killed," added Erdogan, who has been an outspoken critic of Israeli offensives against Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip, despite close commercial ties between Israel and Turkey.
PressTV: Netanyahu under scathing fire over uninvited visit to Paris for rally
FailedMessiah.com: Netanyahu Crops Abbas Out Of Paris Unity March Photo
Storify.com: These 'staunch defenders' of the free press are attending today's solidarity rally in Paris
French prosecutors said Monday they were investigating notorious comedian Dieudonné for "inciting terrorism" with his Facebook comment that could be interpreted as sympathising with one of last week's attackers in Paris. ● "Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly", the comedian wrote, playing the expression "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") off a reference to Friday's kosher supermarket attacker Amedy Coulibaly. "Je suis Charlie" was adopted as the rallying cry following shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people died. Coulibaly killed four hostages in the kosher supermarket seige, after murdering a police officer Thursday.
France 24: Dieudonné under investigation for Paris shootings remark
The Guardian: French comedian Dieudonné faces inquiry over ‘Charlie Coulibaly’ remark
Fox News: France opens probe into comic Dieudonne for 'defending terrorism' after Facebook post
Gilad Atzmon ■ In a BBC interview following the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, Jewish Chronicle writer David Aaronovitch advised those who do not approve of ‘freedom of speech’ to ‘move to Pakistan.’ It is not surprising to find a Zionist Jew advocating voluntary cleansing; after all, expulsion is a Jewish nationalist favourite adventure. Judging by Aaronovitch’s endorsement of elementary liberty, I am happy to announce that the appeal for freedom of expression is the immediate and very positive outcome of the disastrous events in Paris. But I am not convinced that those protesters who call themselves ‘Charlie’ are genuinely advocating the notion of universal freedom. Are they willing to accept Muslim clerics exploring that freedom? And what about Dieudonne challenging the Holocaust religion? And if Israel defines itself as ‘the Jewish State,’ can we, once and for all, put Jewishness under scrutiny? Does Aaronivitch, himself an arch Neocon Zionist and prime advocate of the Iraq War, willing to accept that some may consider the Holocaust an historical chapter, not a religion? This would be a revolutionary shift because Aaronovitch has gone out of his way to silence any discussion of historical revisionism, Jewishness or the powerful Jewish lobby.
Pierre-Alain Depauw ■ Ceux qui sont Charlie sont-ils aussi Dieudonné?
Nicolas Bourgoin ■ Pourquoi la liberté d’expression s’arrête à Dieudonné
At least eight people have been killed and three others wounded in the latest assassination drone strike carried out by the US forces in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar. ● Afghan border police spokesman, Edris Mohmand, identified the victims as Taliban militants, adding that the aerial assault took place in the Lal Pur district of the province on Sunday morning. The Taliban have made no comments on the incident yet. The US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan have recently increased their air raids against civilian areas. The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
Stephen Lendman ■ Hypocrisy in Paris || Around 40 world leaders attended. Reuters said 44. Some reports said 50. Including around two dozen Western European ones. Current French President Francois Hollande and former one Nicolas Sarkozy were accompanied by Germany's Angela Merkel. Britain's David Cameron. Spain's Mariano Rajoy. Italy's Matteo Renzi. EU Council President Donald Tusk. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Junker. Other European leaders. Eight African ones. Outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder and US ambassador to France Jane Hartley representing America. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney represents Canada. Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman represent Israel. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov represents Russia. Putschist/oligarch president Petro Poroshenko represents Ukraine. NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoletenberg is there. So is European Parliament President Martin Schulz. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas arrived. One source lists the following participating countries in alphabetical order: Albania. Algeria. Austria. Belgium. Benin. Britain. Bulgaria. Canada. Croatia. Czech Republic. Denmark. Gabon. Egypt. Finland. Georgia. Germany. Greece. Hungary. Israel. Jordan. Latvia. Niger. Mali. Palestine. Poland. Portugal. Romania. Russia. Spain. Sweden. Switzerland. The Netherlands. Tunisia. Turkey. United Arab Emirates. Ukraine. United States. [Where were all these people when Gaza burned???]
Verso: Shlomo Sand banned from speaking in Nice (France)
The Guardian: Rapper faces jail for song dissing France
Pepe Escobar ■ Who profits from killing Charlie?
Finian Cunningham ■ The farce of Western free speech
Pierre-Alain Depauw ■ Ceux qui sont Charlie sont-ils aussi Dieudonné?
Nicolas Bourgoin ■ Pourquoi la liberté d’expression s’arrête à Dieudonné
Glenn Greenwald ■ In Solidarity With a Free Press: Some More Blasphemous Cartoons
Terrorist Netanyahu, who lead his soldiers to specifically target journalists, joins freedom of speech march
Paul Craig Roberts ■ According to news reports, police found the ID of Said Kouachi at the scene of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. Does this sound familiar? Remember, authorities claimed to have found the undamaged passport of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers among the massive pulverized ruins of the twin towers. Once the authorities discover that the stupid Western peoples will believe any transparent lie, the authorities use the lie again and again. The police claim to have discovered a dropped ID is a sure indication that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an inside job and that people identified by NSA as hostile to the Western wars against Muslims are going to be framed for an inside job designed to pull France firmly back under Washington’s thumb.
Le Monde: « Charlie Hebdo » visé par une attaque terroriste, la rédaction décimée ● La rédaction du journal satirique Charlie Hebdo a été la cible d'un attentat, mercredi 7 janvier en fin de matinée à Paris, qui a fait douze morts. De sources policières obtenues par Le Monde, les trois suspects, toujours en cavale, ont été identifiés. Au moins 100 000 personnes se sont réunies mercredi soir dans plusieurs villes de France pour exprimer leur solidarité.
Libération: Les trois suspects identifiés et localisés ● Les trois hommes, soupçonnés de l'attentat contre «Charlie Hebdo», qui a fait douze morts, sont âgés de 34, 32 et 18 ans et seraient originaires de Gennevilliers.
The Saker ■ The number of well-informed commentators, politicians, blogger and observers who are predicting a war - or at least of a serious risk of war - between Russia and the USA is sharply rising. Though I myself am rather inclined to believe that the US will use the Ukrainian junta to attack Russia rather then risk a direct confrontation, I would not go as far as saying that I find a direct US-Russian war impossible. If only because many wars are not deliberately started, but rather stumbled into. For all these reasons, it is, I think, high time to look at the historical record of Russia in wars. It turns out that a military historian in Russia already did all the work for us. Nikolai Shefov is the author of 10 books about Russian history including one entitled "The Battles of Russia" in which he not only looks at each war, but actually at all the major battles fought in all the wars of Russia between 1700 and 1940 (he stops at the Soviet-Finnish war and does not include WWII). Here are his findings: Between 1700 and 1940 Russia/USSR fought in 34 wars and won 31 and in 392 battle and won 279. We could say that Russia won 91% of her wars and 71% of her battles. Russia's opponents included: Swedes, French, Germans, Turks, Poles, Tatars, Finns, Caucasians, Japanese, Chinese, Austrians, Hungarians, British, Italians and Central Asians.
With just three weeks until the Greek snap elections on January 25 in which Tsipras' Syriza is virtually assured of victory (unless somehow G-Pap's "new and improved" political party manages to steal enough votes to prevent this, although one wonders what his political campaign will be: "vote for us because this time we know how to avoid a sovereign bankruptcy"), Germany takes yet another opportunity to remind the Greeks that it won't be blackmailed (spoiler: it will) into another year of funding the insolvent Greek state which in turn will pretend to engage in another year of "reforms" (spoiler: it won't).
Following discussions convened by PM Netanyahu, Israel plans to hold more than $127 million in funds collected on behalf of the Palestinians for the month of December. ● Israel has decided to freeze the transfer of half a billion shekels (more than $127 million) in tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinians following the Palestinians' recent attempts to join the International Criminal Court, an Israeli official has told Haaretz.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that “the conversation took place on the American request”. ● Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed the state of affairs in the Palestino-Israeli settlement, the situation around Syria, the crisis in Ukraine and some issues of bilateral relations as well as wished each other a Happy New Year.
Stephen Lendman ■ Russia Reset? Hold the Cheers
As a little light amusement before what promises to be a rather grim year, I present this example of fearless Western journalists freely exercising their freedom of freeness.
US President Barack Obama's approval rating has plummeted to 15 percent among active duty military, whilst his disapproval rating has increased to 55 percent according to the results of the Military Times poll. ● The results of the Military Times poll revealing that US President Barack Obama's disapproval rating among active duty military has increased to 55 percent, while his approval rating has plummeted to just 15%, reflecting a number of factors including budget cuts, the social makeup of the military and friction between civil and military leaders, political analysts told Sputnik. "The Military Times poll is not a probability sample of the entire military, but it is a good poll for tracking changes over time in an important segment of the military: the career oriented rank and file, both officer and enlisted," Peter Feaver, a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University said. The annual Military Times survey released Monday found Obama's disapproval rating has risen from 40 percent in 2009 to 55 percent in 2014. Obama's approval rating has declined from 35 percent to a 15 percent during the same period.
Another uncrewed migrant ship with 450 migrants bound for Italy has lost power off the European country’s coast of Puglia. ● The Italian air force said Thursday that it sent forces onto the vessel through a helicopter to bring it under control. “Because of the difficult weather conditions, the ship can only be boarded from the air,” the air force said in a statement, adding that the vessel had no crew on board. The Ezadeen, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, was spotted 40 miles (65 kilometers) off Capo di Leuca, the tip of Italy’s heel, in choppy seas. This came days after Italian coastguards rescued hundreds of migrants, including Syrian refugees, from another ship found without any crew. Many of the migrants on the Moldovan-registered Blue Sky M cargo ship were treated for hypothermia and broken limbs.
Michael Snyder ■ Do you know people that seem like they have had their souls sucked out of them? On dictionary.com, a “zombie” is defined as “the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose”. And that sounds very much like what has happened to tens of millions of Americans. When you look into their eyes, it doesn’t look like anything is even there. That is because who they once were is now dominated and controlled by the overwhelmingly powerful “matrix” that is being constructed all around us. As I wrote about the other day, virtually all news, information and entertainment that Americans consume is controlled by just six monolithic corporations. And today, Americans are more “plugged in” than ever before. The average person watches 153 hours of television a month in addition to spending countless hours watching movies, playing video games, listening to music, reading books and surfing the Internet. In the end, all of that “programming” turns many of us into virtual zombies, and that is the way that the elite like it. Just think about it. What was the biggest news story in the entire country over the holiday weekend? It was the fact that some hackers had taken down the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox networks and millions of kids could not log in and play the video games that they had just received for Christmas.
Robert Parry ■ The Victory of ‘Perception Management’
Chris Hedges ■ The code word that the Israel lobby and its facilitators at universities use to silence critics is “civility.” Israel supporters are permitted to spout hate and calls for indiscriminate violence against Palestinians. Critics of Israel, however, even if they are careful to denounce violence and not to demonize Jews, are banned in the name of “civility.” It is the height of academic duplicity.
Even if you're not guilty, you can still be sent to jail if you're too poor to pay "court costs" ● Cities across the country are increasingly turning to what are known as private probation companies to collect unpaid fines. But are indigent people ending up in jail because they can't afford to pay? Since NewsHour Weekend's first story on this issue aired last spring, the Childersburg Municipal Court issued a “standing order” stating that “In no case shall an indigent defendant be incarcerated … based solely on his or her inability to pay fines.” But the practice continues elsewhere in the country. Special correspondent John Carlos Frey takes an in-depth look at what some are calling the return of the debtors' prison.
The US State Department hypocritically slaps sanctions on 4 Russian officials for alleged human rights violations
A senior official of the State Department said two officials have allegedly been involved in the cover-up of the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison in 2009 after revealing corruption. The officials are Deputy Prosecutor General Victor Grin and investigator Andrei Strizhov. Two senior officials of the Chechen Republic have also entered the list over alleged kidnapping and torture of an activist.
An autopsy report for an unarmed black man, who was killed by police officers in Los Angeles in summer, shows he was shot three times at close range. ● Ezell Ford, 25, was fatally shot on August 11 by two Los Angeles Police Department officers. Police allege that Ford tried to grab one of the officers’ guns, but his family and witnesses have denied the allegations. According to a copy of the report, posted online by The Los Angeles Times on Monday, a muzzle imprint left on Ford’s skin by a wound to the back suggests that the black man was shot at close range. The report also shows that Ford was shot three times, once in the back, once in the arm and once in the abdomen. The autopsy report was published after residents complained of a lack of transparency in police investigations.
Robert Stevens ■ General elections are to be held in Greece on January 25 after the parliament on Monday failed to elect Stavros Dimas, the candidate of the New Democracy (ND)-PASOK governing coalition, as president. The collapse of the coalition government testifies to a profound crisis of rule in Greece and heightens social and political instability throughout Europe. [...] Six years of brutal austerity cuts imposed by successive ND and PASOK governments working with the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “troika” have devastated the Greek working class. ND and PASOK, the Greek bourgeoisie’s traditional parties of rule, are now widely hated.
Christoph Dreier ■ As Greek government collapses, Berlin demands more austerity || The collapse of the Greek government is an expression of the deep social tensions across the continent. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was no longer able to impose the European Union’s austerity dictates in the face of popular opposition. At the same time, the political crisis in Athens has sharpened divisions within the EU. High-ranking representatives of German politics and big business responded aggressively to the failure of the Greek presidential election. They made clear that they will not give an inch on austerity policies that have produced a social catastrophe in Greece and across Europe.
December 26, 2001 - Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader. "The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead," the source said. Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.
How to separate creative genius from creative mistakes? Not with peer-review. It is a consensus filter. Classical peer review is a form of scientific gatekeeping (it’s good to see that term recognized in official literature). Unpaid anonymous peer review is useful at filtering out some low quality papers, it is also effective at blocking the controversial ones which later go on to be accepted elsewhere and become cited many times, the paradigm changers. And the more controversial the topic, presumably, the worse the bias is. What chance would anyone have of getting published if, hypothetically, they found a consequential mathematical error underlying the theory of man-made global warming? Which editors would be brave enough to even send it out for review and risk being called a “denier”? Humans are gregarious social beings, and being in with the herd affects your financial rewards, as well as your social standing. Even high ranking science journal editors are afraid of being called names.
Data obtained by the Guardian substantiates claims that hundreds of innocent people banned from attending lawful demonstrations. Police are being accused of trying to muzzle protest movements as figures obtained by the Guardian reveal the widespread use of bail to ban hundreds of innocent people from attending lawful demonstrations. The data shows that around 85% of those barred from protesting when bailed have not been subsequently charged with any crime. Civil liberties and protest groups accused police of dealing out their own justice and called for a change in the law. The figures show that a least 732 people have been banned by police forces in England and Wales since 2008 but then never charged. They come as the government confirms it is considering overhauling the police bail rules.
RT.com: UK police misuse pre-charge bail to ban activists from protesting || Since 2008 police have arrested at least 855 people in England and Wales and then released them on pre-charge bail, setting a date to return to the police station. Until their return, those bailed were prohibited from attending any demonstration. However, 85 percent, or about 732 people, have never been charged, according to data the Guardian collected using the Freedom of Information Act.
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