GOD cursed the Jews out of Jerusalem for life, for practising Satanism. Jesus Christ tried converting them to the word of God, but they crucified him for it.

ST. JUSTIN, martyr stated in 116 A. D. “The Jews were behind all the persecutions of the Christians. They wandered through the country everywhere hating and undermining the Christian faith.”

ONCE WE UNITE We can stand up against those that keep seeking to divide us, with false news, and staged terrorist attacks. Together we can stop working for them, stop paying taxes, bills, fees, fraudulent debt etc. The end of the fiat currency that is used to enslave us begins. No more slavery, debt poverty terrorism illness evil and control e.t.c.

REAL MUSLIMS are never ever shown on TV News networks.  The Muslims you see on TV are the Jews dressed as Muslims, defaming them, to spread racism and hate among us. Wake up and stop hating false enemies that the Jews invent for us to focus on.

OUR NATURE IS SOVEREIGN (we are born free) and so, obviously, God wants us to be liberated from earthly rulers.

Jews were behind the Crucades, Ku Klux Klan, Spanish Inquisition, killing millions of real Christians, in the name of God, hiding behind the Roman Catholic Church (Vatican) spreading Terror... just like they are now doing to the Islamic religion.

JUDAISM = ZIONISM today, started way back in 740bc when the Amalek Edomite Khazarian Turks (now called JEWS), converted to Judaism for political reasons. A stolen identity and history, now needs a name to become complete, so the term "Jew" was invented in 1770. All history and so called "holy books" were re-written to accomodate the lies, to create the Satanic Jew... which has nothing to do with Israelite Hebrews.

HATE CRIMES. Today, the whole world already knows that U.S.A, England and Israel (Rothschild & Co.) plans attacks and wars, using proxy regimes in every country, (so no one blames the Jews) tying them to the dates of Jewish holidays. It’s been noticed that not only terrorist attacks and military operations are planned on Jewish holidays, but also carrying out those terrorist attacks is planned so that the funerals from the attacks would fall on the feasts of the Jews

THE AGENDA: To destroy Christianity, just as they have destroyed empires, nations, heterosexual identities and nuclear families. The agenda is to strip people of power, control, unity, identity and health, leaving us defenceless in the face of a Jewish One-World Tyranny.

JUDAISM = SATANISM is the only religion that have sex (thrusting their pelvis) when they pray to Sex Goddess Shekinah. Jews today continue to murder Christian and non-Jewish children to use their blood in Jewish rituals and holidays

The invention of the Muslim Terrorist is the latest invention by the Jews, to spread fear and dismantle governments that are not yet puppets of the Jews...or have decided to stop serving the Jews.. justifying raping the World, and slaughtering billions of innocent genuine semite and gentile families in every country for power and control annually... under the illusion of Freedom, Democracy, War on Terror, or anything else that can justify their invasions and mass murders for their 2 horned God.

Jewish Rabbi claims Islam is Israel's broom
"We control Islam, and we'll use it to destroy the west."


The Elite Jews create the illness, then sell the Cure. They create Chaos & Terrorism, then sell the solution.

Problem, Reaction, Solution, is a Jew conjuring trick within their forever wandering diaspora in order to play the victim, and influence global changes in laws to protect all their historic and contemporary lies ……Who still falls for this old Yiddish trick manipulating policy changes to hide and protect Jewish crimes, acting out Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution against the gentile, changes which gives (((them))) immunity when hiding the truth.

Jews killing Christian Arabs again for their 2 horned God

Everyone was talking about Jesus! But when it came time to speak up for him in public, no one said a word. All were afraid of the Jews. Fear can stifle our witness. Although many people talk about Christ in church, when it comes to making a public statement about their faith, they are often embarrassed. Jesus says that he will acknowledge us before God if we acknowledge Him before others.

All 'Jews' today are the Khazars (converts) and Edomites, some call them the Khazarian Mafia (KM) hellbent on a World Government, as was the ruling Jewish class in the times of Jesus. Herod was an Edomite, after Esau ( Malachi 1: 3 ; Romans 9:13 ), not Jacob Israel. These Jew Fraudsters believe themelves to be Israelites (Hebrews) or from the royal tribe of Judah, claim the Bible Consignor gives themselves mandate to rule the whole world ( Psalm 2: 6-9 , Psalm 2: 10-11 , Deuteronomy 20: 10-14 , Deuteronomy 20 : 12-17 , Isaiah 60: 5 , 60: 10-11 , 60:12 , 60: 14-16 ,Psalm 2: 8 ; ), and a Judahite or descendent of the Tribe of Judah, most of the apostles were Israelites, only one of them was Jewish; Judas. The first time Jews are Mentioned in the Bible, is in II Kings 16: 6105: 44 ; 111: 6 ). Jesus was a Galilean or resident of Galilee ( Matthew 26:69 ; John 7:41 (and then only in translations revised in the eighteenth century) where we find Israel was at war with the Jews and drave the Jews from elathane. The 'Jews' in 'Jesus' time were Edomites/Turkic Mongols/Khazars/Amalak/Gog/Magog. Edom or Edomite had BEEN translated by Greek and Latin into Ioudaios and Iudaeus meaning a Judean or person living in Judea. The original King James version of the Bible, 1611, translated IDUMAEANS-Judean into Iewes. The first "Jews" were Canaanite-Edomite-Hittite.Source

Judaism says to kill Christians

Judaism says to kill Christians


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israel defence forces stole a pregnant donkey from a Palestinian family in Salfit and used her to train their dogs

israel defence forces stole a pregnant donkey from a Palestinian family in Salfit and used her to train their dogs

israel defence forces stole a pregnant donkey from a Palestinian family in Salfit, and used her to train their dogs.

This was posted on Facebook, directly by the Christian Palestinian victims.

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Jewish Sharia Law

Jewish Sharia Law

The more I look at Judaism, the more I see that Islam is a just a clone of Judaism.

And we can see why Jews keep bragging why their crime rate is so low — they just don’t report the crime!

From a rare New York Times article, one only has to substitute “Muslim” for “Jew”, “mullah” for “rabbi” and “Sharia” for “Beth Din”, to see that Islam and Judaism are closely tied in Sharia law tradition.

    • Ultra-Orthodox Jews [have] long [been] forbidden to inform on one another without permission from the rabbis who lead them…


    • Members of this close-knit community, who refer to themselves as the “haredim,” meaning those who fear God, reject modern secular culture and keep strict control over what they consider internal affairs.

For centuries, disputes involving children, marriage and business have been decided by rabbinical courts called beth dins, which do not report their findings to the secular authorities, even when they judge someone guilty.

    • Taboos codified long ago during times of persecution discourage community members from informing on other Jews; violations can result in ostracism.


    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009

Is the Judiac institution of Beth Din nothing more than Islamic Sharia Law?

Jewish Lawyers screw Christian men in secular courts,
get their own divorce in Jewish courts

While American Christian men are being taken to the cleaners by Jewish lawyers, Jewish lawyers have their own divorce proceedings done outside the judicial system they work for.

Their divorce and their child protective services are done in a Rabbinical Court called a beth din.

Perhaps what is good for Jews would be good for Christians in place of the plague of “no-fault” divorce. Marriage Arbitration in one’s Church would prevent many needless broken homes and their resulting broken children.

Jewish media-Scribes attack without worries

And from this same New York Times article, one can deduce why Jewish media-Scribes have been able to impute scurrilous accusations against Catholic Church priests without anyone being able to accuse them of hypocrisy, as in the Rabbi child molestation abuses which are hidden from public view.

Again, because the serious and heinous crimes by Jews are not being reported to the proper authorities, Catholic priests become prey to these killers.

We are not talking about the Jewish religious crime of working on the Sabbath not being reported — we are talking about the religious and criminal crime of child abuse NOT being REPORTED.

    • Now, a growing number of haredi Jews in Brooklyn say they do not think they can get justice from the rabbinical courts, which in several high-profile cases have exonerated people who were later criminally convicted of child abuse. And although some advocates for victims contend that the district attorney has been too accommodating of the rabbinical hierarchy — a charge that Mr. Hynes denies — more families are turning to his office for help.


    • Prosecutors say that since last year 40 minors have agreed to testify about abuse in court, if necessary. And Mr. Hynes’s office has been asked for advice by prosecutors with jurisdictions that include other large haredi enclaves in the Northeast.


    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009

Indeed, Survivors for Justice founder Ben Hirsch confirms that there is abuse of children in the Jewish community and keeping it a secret only helps abusers of Jewish children.

    • Children in haredi families are no more or less likely to suffer sexual abuse than others, according to several recent studies. But Ben Hirsch, founder of Survivors for Justice, a New York group whose members include haredi Jews molested as children in communities nationwide, said

the clandestine handling of molestation cases had kept leaders from dealing with the problem and made it easier for predators.

    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009

This site has said so much in its previous article — Rabbi Rap Sheet —

“Religious Sensitivities”

For Christian child abusers, the abuser loses his job — because he is sitting in prison! Then after serving his time in prison, he has the additional punishment of the Megan’s Law “Scarlet Letter” hung around his neck when he has to register as a child molester with the authorities reporting where he lives to one and all.

Not so with Jewish child molesters — who have “religious sensitivities”!

    • David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, a group representing many haredi factions, offered the moderate view…

he added that prosecutors should recognize “religious sensitivities” by seeking alternatives to prison, to avoid depriving a family of its breadwinner

    • , or by finding appropriate Orthodox homes for children removed from abusive families.


    • “The district attorney should be careful not to be seen as making a power grab from rabbinic authority,” Mr. Zwiebel said.


    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009

Does this sound like an invitation for abuse? — Yes indeed !

And once again, Jewish children suffered for the bad decisions of Jewish authorities.

    • Advocates for victims say similar views have informed some of the Brooklyn rabbinical leadership’s worst judgments, allowing prominent rabbis who were repeatedly accused of abuse to keep their jobs and reputations.


    • In 2000, Rabbi Baruch Lanner, a charismatic youth leader and yeshiva principal who was the focus of students’ abuse claims for more than 20 years — and was exonerated by a beth din — became the subject of an exposé in The Jewish Week, which found more than 60 accusers. The article led to a criminal investigation and a seven-year prison term for Rabbi Lanner.


    • Another rabbi, Yehuda Kolko, a grade school teacher at a Flatbush yeshiva, was accused of sexually abusive behavior by parents and former students numerous times over 30 years. The complaints were dismissed by rabbinical authorities, however, until New York magazine wrote about them in 2006.


    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009


Jewish Fatwa

Muslim Mullahs are well know to issue Fatwas against anyone who demeans Islam in the slightest degree. Simply drawing a picture of Muhammad is a death sentence.

Now we find that Judaism has fatwas as well.

In a Jewish Fatwa, in order to obtain your death sentence, all you have to do is report a credible factual crime of child abuse to the appropriate government officials.

…one rabbi mentioned frequently on blogs cites ancient doctrine that justifies killing someone who informs on a fellow Jew.

    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009

One is left to assume that Jewish “justified killing” can be done by any means available, not just by the standard Islamic method of beheading.

Fear of a Jewish Fatwa

Fearing a Jewish Rabbi “Death Wish” Fatwa against him for reporting child abuse, here is the troubles which one Jewish father had to go through before he would feel free to report the abuse of his 6-year-old son.

The father had to get a Jewish “Permission” Fatwa from a Rabbi, just to be able to bring justice to his 6-year-old son.

For, committing a “sin” in Judaism can get you killed.

    • When his 6-year-old son told him one day that Rabbi Kolko had sexually abused him, the father said he resolved to go to the police because he knew that the Brooklyn hierarchy had protected the rabbi in the past.


    • But first he made a detour. “I booked a flight to Jerusalem,” he said. “I made an appointment to speak with a very prominent rabbi” who had written sympathetically about abuse victims.


    • “He told me it would be O.K. to report this teacher to the police,” the father said.

“He told me that if I reported him I would not be committing a sin.”

    • — Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution


    — by PAUL VITELLO October 13, 2009


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The real enemy is at home

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Jewish Blood Libels and Child Sacrifices to Satan, Moloch, Baal.

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The Invention of the word JEW

The Invention of the word JEW


The word “Jew” is a relatively modern invention used, seemingly indiscriminately and interchangeably, by 18th century redactors to describe Israelites, Judahites and Judaeans. It first appeared in these eighteenth century Bibles and it first appears within these redactions in 2 Kings 16:6 …. in an episode that describes a war between Israel and Judah: when Rezin, king of Syria and Pekah, king of Israel went to war with wicked Ahaz, king of Judah. The Syrians “drove the Jews from Elath” who were in possession of it and so here is the first time that the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah are called “Jews” when more properly they should be called Judahites. However, the point here is this: the very first time the word “Jew” is found in the modern Bible, they are at war with Israel.
Edomites are therefore descended from Edom (Esau) whose descendants later intermarried with the Turks to produce a Turco-Edomite mixture which later became known as Khazars. That is, most of today’s Jews are descendants of this interbreeding that produced a race called Khazars who had once governed an empire called Khazaria. Furthermore, this hybrid race Edomite/Turk/Khazar who created the Khazar kingdom and who between the seventh and ninth centuries AD, adopted the religion of Judaism. And, it is these Khazar Jews who are the ancestors of the vast majority of today’s Jewish people. That is, Edomite/Turk/Khazars are the ancestors of the modern “Jews” including the Torah-true and Zionist Jews who spuriously claim right to the land of Palestine claiming it it is theirs by biblical demands and ancestral rights.

Consequently, the majority of today’s Jewish people are known as “Jews” not because they are Judahites and descended from Jacob/Israel but because their Edomite/Turk/Khazar ancestors in their Kingdom of Khazaria adopted the religion of Judaism, called themselves “Jews” and arrogated the Birthright Promises and Bible Covenants belonging to the Israelites, but especially those belonging to the Judahites.

Thus, “Jews” are not Israelites and certainly they are not Judahites. Hence, modern Jews are not heir to the Bible Covenants nor to the ancient Nation of Israel given by Yahweh to the Israelites and the Judahites and so have no Divine Right or biblical mandate to the modern Land of Palestine.

Similarly, Jesus of Nazareth was not a “Jew” he was a Judahite, and Jesus Christ was not “King of the Jews.”

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Are you a real Christian?

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Or are you led by the devil himself.

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‘ScUber’ launches submarine trips to Great Barrier Reef

A select few Australians will soon be able to briefly book an Uber submarine to the Great Barrier Reef, the ride-sharing giant said Thursday.

From next week — in what Uber is pitching as a world first — people in Queensland state will be able to order a ride through the Uber app on a two-person submarine and tour the World Heritage site.

A piloted battery-powered “scUber,” costing Aus$1,500 ($1,030) per person, will take 20 dives between May 27 and June 18 with each trip lasting an hour.

The sub will take two passengers down to 20 meters below sea level and along designated dive paths around the reef, in partnership with environmental advocacy group Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

A scUber booking includes a helicopter trip to the submarine’s dive location.

(Source: AFP)

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At least 7 dead as tornadoes slam US Midwest, South

At least seven people are dead in several US states after severe weather hit the country’s Midwest and South this week.

At least 80 tornadoes were reported across the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska within two days.

On Wednesday alone, there were 22 reported tornadoes in Oklahoma and Missouri.

A powerful tornado struck the Missouri capital late Wednesday, destroying buildings, felling power poles and sparking a vast emergency response as officials faced reports of people trapped in rubble.

The tornadoes in Missouri were among the most violent bursts of severe weather in a week when forecasters feared life-threatening storms.

There were three deaths in Missouri’s Jasper and Howard counties, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Authorities also confirmed four deaths on Tuesday in Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska.

Flood alerts were in effect in the Great Plains Wednesday. Another 4 inches (10 cm) of rain is expected in some of the already-flooded areas in the next 48 hours.

On Thursday, part of the storm system moves into the Northeast and brings a chance for severe weather from West Virginia to New England.

The storms on Wednesday hit on the eighth anniversary of a tornado that killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri, one of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in American history.

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2019/05/23/596706/US-tornadoes-storms-7-dead-killed

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UK Conservatives racing to appease Brexiteers despite public mood: Analyst

Politicians in the ruling Conservative Party in Britain are racing to replace Prime Minister Theresa May on a platform of ignoring rising demands in the country that the Brexit referendum should be reversed and the UK should remain part of the bloc, a senior political analyst from London says.

Senior Tory lawmakers like Andrea Leadsom, who resigned a day earlier from May’s cabinet, are showing themselves off as advocates of a hard Brexit in a bid to win the support of party members to become the next prime minister, Rodney Shakespeare said in an interview with the Press TV on Thursday.

“Although at this moment the UK is paralyzed, Andrea Leadsom and other Conservatives are trying to appeal to the hardline Brexit base,” said Shakespeare.

Leadsom, the former leader of the dominant Conservatives in parliament, resigned on Wednesday to depict herself as “hard Brexit person” and “someone who wants to leave the European union without a deal,” Shakespeare said.

Calls for May’s resignation increased on Wednesday after she made a statement to the House of Commons about her new Brexit bill, legislation which she is going to submit to the chamber for a debate early next month.

In a serious blow to May’s already fragile position, Leadsom announced her resignation from the cabinet hours after the statement and said she could no longer support May’s Brexit strategy.

May’s three-time failure to go through the Commons with a Brexit deal she has signed with the EU in November has caused the ruling Tories to lose much of their public support.

Shakespeare said the Conservatives would suffer a crushing defeat in the Thursday European parliament elections.

“Obviously the Conservatives, the ruling party in the UK will be very badly defeated (it will be) be catastrophic for them,” he said.

However, the expert said “the really very important issue” in the EU elections will be the percentage of the population which votes for parties advocating a hard Brexit. Shakespeare said the votes would show that many in Britain want to remain in the EU.

“My estimate is that that percentage will be between 36 and 40 which means that up to 60 percent or possibly a little more will be voting to remain,” he said.

“The overall reality is that perhaps sooner than you might expect, the realities of UK life, and namely that there is an increasing majority to remain in the EU, will become apparent.”

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2019/05/23/596701/UK-Brexit-row-Conservatives-leadership-race-interview

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Iran, US faceoff ‘clash of wills’: Top commander

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri has noted that the current confrontation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the US is an arena for “clash of wills.”

The top Iranian commander made the remark on Thursday in a message issued on the occasion of the liberation the southwestern Iranian port city of Khorramshahr during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war on Iran (1980-88).

“Now, under conditions that, as put by the sage Leader of the [Islamic] Revolution…, the confrontation and faceoff between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the wicked government of America is an arena for ‘clash of wills,’ reminding the epic victory in Khorramshahr to friends and foes of the Revolution could convey a powerful message,” Baqeri said.

He added, “The translation of that message is stronger and God-based determination of Iran in the face of any possible conflict and warmongering, , which will result in a hard, crushing and destructive response to any bullheaded and adventurist enemy.”

Iranian forces recaptured the strategic port city during a landmark operation code-named Beit ol-Moqaddas in 1982, putting an end to over 500 days of the Iraqi occupation. The victory reinvigorated the Islamic Republic’s will to overcome the United States-backed aggressors, setting the stage for subsequent triumphs.

Elsewhere in his message, Baqeri said the most significant consequence of the wartime victory was coming to light of the fact that Iranians’ resistance and sacrifice “turned the imposed war from a ‘threat’ to a golden and strategic opportunity.”

The Iranian military chief then noted that under the present circumstances, the enemy, which has been “subjugated to Iran’s will,” is seeking recourse to its media outlets to dramatize the threat of an ‘imaginary war’ to scare the Iranian nation and force the country into submission.

“In such sensitive circumstances,” he advised, “a chain of powerful reactions to the enemy’s psychological warfare and displaying [Iran’s] firm determination can further betray the receding nature of the US and its allies’ power.”

The US remarkably stoked tensions with Iran last year by leaving a multilateral nuclear agreement with Tehran, and then restoring the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal. The US has also dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber taskforce, and an assault ship to the Persian Gulf, citing an alleged likelihood that Iran could target the American interests in the region.

However, American officials have on many occasions gone back on their markedly belligerent rhetoric by either asserting they are not seeking war with the Islamic Republic or alleging that the “Iranian threat” has been put on hold.

Baqeri’s remarks came a day after the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps likewise downplayed the US’s rhetoric, asserting that despite what Washington was trying to portray, the Islamic Republic’s servicemen enjoyed perfect command over the Persian Gulf.

“Over the past many years, our forces have acquired full control of the Persian Gulf in a way that they (US warships) should get permission from us for their movements in this area,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Wednesday.

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2019/05/23/596698/Iran-United-States-military-chief-Baqeri

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Yemeni drone hits Patriot missile system at Saudi airport in Najran: Report

Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have reportedly launched an airstrike against an MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system stationed at an airport in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Najran.

A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the local Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Yemeni soldiers and their allies attacked the US-built system on Thursday, using a domestically-designed and -manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drone.

The source added that the aerial attack was carried out following close surveillance by Yemeni forces.

According to Yemeni sources, this is the third consecutive attack by Yemeni forces’ drones on the Saudi airport.

The development came a day after Yemeni soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees launched a drone into the same Saudi region, targeting military aircraft hangars at the airport.

On Tuesday, a Yemeni drone strike on an arms depot at Najran airport also caused a huge fire and considerable damage.

Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down a Saudi-led and US-built MQ-1 Predator combat drone with a surface-to-air missile later in the day.

An unnamed Yemeni source said the unmanned aerial vehicle was brought down as it was on a mission in the skies over Dian area in the Bani Matar district of the country’s western-central province of Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates the the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

Yemenis carry a body that was recovered in the rubble of a destroyed building following Saudi airstrikes in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on May 16, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

Source Article from http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2019/05/23/596697/Yemeni-drone-hits-Patriot-missile-system-at-Saudi-airport-in-Najran-Report

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By going vegan, Israelis can avoid talking about human rights

By choosing an ‘easier’ cause to fight for, some Israelis have decided they can have it all. By showing compassion to animals and their suffering, we can live with the continued blindness to the pain of the humans among us.

By Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg

Israeli animal rights activists take part in a protest against animal cruelty, central Tel Aviv, August 24, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli animal rights activists take part in a protest against animal cruelty, central Tel Aviv, August 24, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israelis have taken to vegetarianism and veganism perhaps more than any country in the developed world. This is a good thing; if you measure suffering in years and number of casualties, it is valid to say that animals are the main victims of history.

I believe Israeli vegans genuinely do care for animals. There is no doubt that many of them fight for other causes as well — in 2011, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest growing economic disparities, resulting in one of the most vigorous social movements in the history of the country. The tragedy with social actions in Israel, however, is that they emphasize just how much Israelis are willing to turn a blind eye to one of the most significant immoral human right violations: Israel’s decades-long oppression and occupation of millions of Palestinians.

By choosing to fight for more mainstream causes, many Jewish Israelis allow themselves to continue living in dissociation. It serves as a way to clear their consciences from their indifference and passiveness in the face of the human rights abuses in the occupied territories.

I want to suggest academic socio-psychological explanations for the reasons why many Jewish Israelis avoid protesting about the occupation, while they are very vocal and comfortable fighting for other causes.

One explanation is the many social and physical walls between Israelis and Palestinians. These walls manifest literally — with the separation barrier — but also in segregated schools, neighborhoods, and institutions that act as emotional, cognitive, and cultural barriers. The result is a distortion of reality that is meant to justify the occupation and dehumanize Palestinians.

We know from a 2010 study on the implications of occupation on the occupying society that many Israelis use various defense mechanisms to dull the feelings of guilt regarding the oppression of Palestinians. Psychological defense mechanisms help them keep their self-perception as “good human beings” while terrible acts and events are taking place nearby.

When people are exposed to information they cannot cope with, they steer away from that information. This state of denial may be an unintentional self-lie. It is a state of knowing and simultaneously not knowing.

In “States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering,” a comprehensive study on the sociology of denial, Stanley Cohen refers to this kind of denial as a way of keeping secrets from ourselves, of turning a blind eye to the truths we find challenging to deal with. As such, denial serves as protection from the moral costs of recognizing and taking responsibility.

The occupation is incompatible with equality. In the face of grave abuses and human rights violations, like those documented by Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, and others, coming to grips with the understanding that human beings in our society can act so cruelly in our name can lead to significant pain. This creates moral confusion and shame, as Feagin and Vera claim in their theory about the emotions of the privileged group in a racialized society. Trying to deal with the contradiction between what people believe in — equality, love, and kindness — and what they are expected to do (fight for it) can have a psychological effect, one that people try to avoid, they write.

Israeli soldiers detaining Avner Gvaryahu, director of Breaking the Silence, on a tour of the South Hebron Hills, August 31, 2018. (Nasser Nawaja, B'Tselem)

Israeli soldiers detaining Avner Gvaryahu, director of Breaking the Silence, on a tour of the South Hebron Hills, August 31, 2018. (Nasser Nawaja, B’Tselem)

The more one becomes aware of injustice, the more challenging it is to ignore the ensuing moral and political questions and feelings. The dissonance builds. Members of privileged groups may feel guilt about knowing yet not acting to change the unjust reality, and often use denial as a defense mechanism. As such, mainstream causes such as veganism can act as a substitute for genuine moral reckoning; doing so helps people anesthetize themselves against the pain caused by guilt in the face of the occupation.

A social reality in which one group is in conflict with another group, in which Israel militarily controls millions of Palestinians, demands consensus regarding personal feelings, according to Cohen. When a group member raises question marks about the status quo, he or she risks condemnation, social distancing, and possibly even ostracism or social boycott. To avoid that outcome, research has found that some will try to avoid expressing these feelings and others will activate a mechanism to prevent the development of guilt in the first place. Protesting, or even speaking out against the occupation, can put one at risk of being bullied by our friends and society.

By choosing an “easier” cause to fight for, such as animal rights, however, some Israelis have decided they can have it all. By showing compassion to animals and their suffering, we can live with the continued blindness to the pain of the humans among us. By adopting a more mainstream cause, scores of Israelis have been able to avoid the responsibility and guilt of doing nothing about the occupation, avoid paying a price in social and family lives, and above all avoid living in an emotional-cognitive state of distress.

Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg is an Israeli living in North America. She has a PhD in social work from Tel Aviv University and a post-doctorate from the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on anti-racism in Israel and anti-Semitism in North America. She is also a group facilitator, practices social work, and volunteers with the New Israel Fund in Canada.

Source Article from https://972mag.com/veganism-israel-occupation-denial/141572/

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We made sure Israel couldn’t hide the occupation from Eurovision

Israel had hoped to use the Eurovision Song Contest to bolster its international image. We were there to remind the world that there is no business as usual with an occupying state.

By Tanya Rubinstein

Israeli and international activists hold a solidarity protest with Palestinian prisoners outside the Eurovision Song Contest opening ceremony in central Tel Aviv, May 12, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli and international activists hold a solidarity protest with Palestinian prisoners outside the Eurovision Song Contest opening ceremony in central Tel Aviv, May 12, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Contrary to the forecasts, Tel Aviv was not flooded by tens of thousands of European tourists last week, when Israel hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, as was repeatedly promised over the last year. City leaders hastened to reassure residents that the reason for the relatively small number of visitors had absolutely nothing to do with politics. Instead, they said, it was all economic considerations: Tel Aviv is simply too expensive, and many Eurovision fans preferred to stay home.

We will never know how many deliberately avoided Tel Aviv for political reasons. We do know, however, that many of those who chose to come were exposed to the Palestinian struggle, the occupation, the siege on Gaza, and Israel’s systematic violation of the human rights.

This Eurovision will go down in history as yet another moment that made clear that Israel cannot continue acting as if it is a normal country that does normal things. Every single day last week, Israeli, Palestinian, and international activists held a number of actions inside and outside the Eurovision events, as well as in Tel Aviv, Gaza, Ramallah, and Haifa.

Activists from Israel-Palestine and from across the world organized protests, including the Palestinians who held an alternative song contest in various locations across the country, including in the destroyed village of Sheikh Muwannis — where Tel Aviv University now stands. Activists also held direct actions, a demonstration to commemorate last year’s massacre on the Gaza border, and protest outside the Eurovision finale.

These actions were part of a year-long campaign that called called on artists and tourists to boycott Eurovision in Tel Aviv — to refuse to go along with Israel’s attempts to use the competition to whitewash its crimes against the Palestinian people. These campaigns are a direct continuation of the daily work done by groups that oppose the occupation and struggle for justice.

Between activism on the ground in Israel-Palestine and global campaigns, between Iceland’s gesture of solidarity on live television — even Madonna’s tepid message of co-existence — last week’s activism made clear that there is no such thing as business as usual with an occupying state. It was a testament to the fact that there is a large movement here and across the world that is working together to end the occupation and bring about a more just future.

It is true that many of us are in despair, and that Israel’s apartheid regime and corruption only grows deeper without being forced to pay a price. But if the fact that things are deteriorating hinders us from acting then we have failed in clearly stating our role. After all, the reason to oppose the occupation is not that we have a good chance of succeeding in the near future; the occupation must end because as long as institutional discrimination exists, as long as Palestinians live under a military regime and siege, as long as there are administrative detainees and checkpoints, we must struggle to change reality.

Israeli and Palestinian activists protest outside the Tel Aviv Expo Center during the Eurovision Song Contest finale, May 18, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli and Palestinian activists protest outside the Tel Aviv Expo Center during the Eurovision Song Contest finale, May 18, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

As the situation deteriorates, as it grows more violent, discriminatory and desperate, our activism for peace and justice will become ever more important. As our movement dwindles, our presence becomes evermore critical. And as it begins to feel like we are alone in this struggle, we must raise our heads and show that there are many of us fighting for justice and equality, here in Israel-Palestine, and across the world. After all, just last week we pulled off a string of actions the likes of which we have not seen here in years.

There is no one action, demonstration, or campaign that will end the occupation or bring justice to Palestinian refugees. Therefore what we must do is continue to let the world know what is happening, to stand up for our principles, to resist.

The largest media outlets in the world reported not only on Eurovision, they also paid attention to our demonstrations. It was a week that proved that in our current reality, an international event of this size in Israel will bring about resistance to the occupation. We showed that even without the enormous budgets of the Foreign Ministry, the Tourism Ministry, or the Tel Aviv municipality, we can reach millions of viewers, readers, and tourists.

Tanya Rubinstein is the Co-Coordinator at the Coalition of Women for Peace. This article was first published in Hebrew on Haokets. Read it here.

Source Article from https://972mag.com/israel-occupation-eurovision/141569/

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Senior German diplomat in Tehran hoping to salvage nuclear deal

BERLIN (AP) — A senior German diplomat headed Thursday to Tehran to press Iran to continue to respect the landmark nuclear deal, despite the unilateral withdrawal of the US and increasing pressure from Washington.

Tensions have soared in the Mideast recently as the White House earlier this month sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region over a still-unexplained threat it perceived from Iran.

In Berlin, the Foreign Ministry said Political Director Jens Ploetner was to hold talks with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi on Thursday to try salvage the nuclear deal signed in 2015 in Vienna. The accord has steadily unraveled since the Trump administration pulled America out of the deal, re-imposed and escalated US sanctions on Tehran last year.

The German envoy’s visit also follows Iran’s declaration earlier this month that the remaining signatories to the deal — Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia — have two months to develop a plan to shield Iran from American sanctions.

“The situation in the Persian Gulf and the region, and the situation surrounding the Vienna nuclear agreement, is extremely serious,” the German Foreign Ministry said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “There is a real risk of escalation — including due to misunderstandings or an incident. In this situation, dialogue is very important.”

With Iran’s 60-day deadline, the ministry said there is still a “window for diplomacy to persuade Iran to continue its full compliance” and said Germany remains in close contact with the other nations that have been struggling to keep the deal alive.

The accord, intended to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, promised economic incentives in exchange for restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities. Despite efforts so far by the others to keep the deal from collapsing, Iran’s economy has been struggling and its currency has plummeted after the re-imposition of US sanctions.

Iran continued abiding by the stipulations of the deal, according to a February report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, though it expressed increasing frustration with the inability of the Europeans to provide economic relief. A new IAEA report is due out soon.

Then on Monday, Iran announced it had quadrupled its production capacity of low-enriched uranium. Iranian officials made a point to stress that the uranium would be enriched only to the 3.67% limit set under the nuclear deal, making it usable for a power plant but far below what’s needed for an atomic weapon.

But by increasing production, Iran will likely soon exceed the stockpile limitations set by the nuclear accord, which would escalate the situation further.

Several incidents have added to the crisis, including the sabotage of the oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, as well as a rocket that landed near the US Embassy in Baghdad. The US has blamed Iran for both incidents without publicly offering evidence. America also has evacuated nonessential diplomatic staff from Iraq amid the tensions.

Also, Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen have targeted a Saudi pipeline and sent a bomb-laden drone to target a Saudi airport with a military base on Tuesday.

The Pentagon was to present plans on Thursday to the White House to send up to 10,000 more American troops to the Middle East, to beef up defenses against potential Iranian threats, US officials said. Iran has watched warily as the USS Abraham Lincoln heads toward the Strait of Hormuz and B-52 bombers began flying missions in the region.

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, said Thursday the military will remain watchful about “deceptions by the US government and its adventurous” president.

“With the finger on the trigger, Iran is ready to respond to any invader strongly and with unbelievable speed,” Bagheri said in a statement.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was expected to arrive later Thursday in Islamabad as Pakistan seeks to calm regional tensions. He was to hold talks with Pakistani officials on Friday.

“We believe the situation in the region is serious and needs to be addressed through dialogue by all parties,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “We expect all sides to show restraint, as any miscalculated move, can transmute into a large-scale conflict.”

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/senior-german-diplomat-in-tehran-hoping-to-salvage-nuclear-deal/

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UN agency for Palestinians rejects US call to dismantle it

The head of the United Nations organization for Palestinian refugees and their descendants on Thursday rejected a US call to dismantle the agency, saying it cannot be blamed for stalled peace efforts.

UNRWA’s commissioner general Pierre Krahenbuhl rebuffed the criticism from US envoy Jason Greenblatt during a visit to the Gaza Strip.

“I unreservedly reject the accompanying narrative that suggests that somehow UNRWA is to blame for the continuation of the refugee-hood of Palestine refugees, of their growing numbers and their growing needs,” he said in response to a question about Greenblatt’s comments.

“The fact that UNRWA still exists today is an illustration of the failure of the parties and the international community to resolve the issue politically — and one cannot deflect the attention onto a humanitarian organization,” he told a press conference in Gaza City.

The United States last year cut off its roughly $300 million annual donation to UNRWA, and administration officials now argue the agency has run its course.

Israel has long rejected UNRWA criteria, under which refugee status is extended not only to tens of thousands of Palestinians still alive who used to live in today’s Israel in the 1940s but also automatically to over five million of their generations of descendants. Officials have called for the body to be shuttered and the refugees absorbed into the body that treats all other refugees worldwide, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The US and Israel also say the agency perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by failing to try to integrate the refugees into their host countries or other countries. Israel has also charged UNRWA schools frequently feature incitement against the Jewish state.

UNRWA argues it is simply providing services until a political solution is found.

Speaking to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Greenblatt said the “UNRWA model has failed the Palestinian people.”

He said it was time to hand over services assured by the UN agency to NGOs and countries hosting the Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

He said the US had given $6 billion in aid to UNRWA since it was founded in 1949 “and yet year after year UNRWA funding fell short.”

“We need to be honest about the situation. UNRWA is a band-aid and the Palestinians who use its services deserve better,” said Greenblatt.

More than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or forced to flee their lands in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel and they and their descendants make up the millions of Palestinians treated by UNRWA as refugees across the Middle East.

UNRWA provides education, health and other key services for the refugees with funding from international donors.

The US is due to hold an economic conference in Bahrain on June 25-26 as the first part of the administration’s long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, though the Palestinians will not attend, accusing the United States of seeking to eliminate their cause.

UNRWA hosts a conference on June 25 at which international donors are expected to pledge financial support.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/un-agency-for-palestinians-rejects-us-call-to-dismantle-it/

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California synagogue dedicates Torah to woman killed in terror attack

POWAY, California — A Southern California synagogue where a gunman killed a woman and wounded three other people dedicated a new Torah scroll — the holiest object in Judaism — to the slain woman on Wednesday.

The handwritten Biblical scroll had the final letters inked by a scribe during a ceremony at Chabad of Poway. It was carried outside under a canopy into the street to clapping and singing.

The Torah was dedicated to Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, who was killed on April 27 when a gunman walked into the synagogue on the last day of Passover and opened fire on congregants with a semi-automatic assault rifle. Authorities said the man emptied the 10 rounds from the gun and was carrying 50 more but had trouble reloading and during the pause he was chased outside by some congregation members.

Kaye was hit twice as she stood in the synagogue foyer.

Kaye’s husband, Howard Kaye, carried the Torah through the street.

Howard Kaye, center, husband of Lori Kaye, carries the new Torah as Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, and other members of the Chabad of Poway synagogue celebrate on May 22, 2019, the completion of the new scroll dedicated to Lori, who was killed when a gunman attacked the synagogue on April 27, 2019, in Poway, California. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

The ceremony was conducted by Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who lost a finger in the attack and appeared with his hands bandaged. An 8-year-old girl and her uncle also were wounded.

On Tuesday, new federal charges were filed against the accused gunman. A grand jury handed up a revised indictment against John T. Earnest, 19, that adds four counts of discharging a firearm during crimes of violence.

He earlier pleaded not guilty to 109 federal charges, including committing a hate crime, and to state charges, including murder. Those charges also include attempted arson at a mosque in nearby Escondido a month earlier.

Prosecutors haven’t decided whether to seek the death penalty.

A federal affidavit filed earlier this month describes a man filled with hatred toward Jews and Muslims, which is detailed in online writings. Earnest claimed to be inspired by the attacks on the mosques in New Zealand and the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last fall, the affidavit said.

Court documents said Earnest dialed 911 after fleeing the house of worship in his car and said: “I just shot up a synagogue.” He went on to tell the dispatcher that he did it “because Jewish people are destroying the white race,” according to the affidavit. He was arrested without a struggle.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/california-synagogue-dedicates-torah-to-woman-killed-in-terror-attack/

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Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff: May 23, 2019

HEARD LAST NIGHT — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the keynote address at the celebration of Israel’s 71st Independence Day hosted by the Israeli Embassy at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.[Pic]

“The White House has a vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which we will unveil this summer,” Pompeo said in his remarks. “It offers an opportunity, although no guarantee, that we hope we can have a brighter future for the Palestinian people.” 

Secretary Pompeo also reminisced about his last visit to Israel in March, where “I met some of the most amazing people, one of them being your current prime minister in Israel.” 

Referencing recent criticism of the New York Times, Pompeo mentioned the newspaper’s coverage of President Harry Truman’s recognition of Israel’s independence 11 minutes after its founding. “The New York Times reported – yes, I’m going to quote the New York Times here tonight. The New York Timesreported the next morning America’s bold action prompted the Jewish people to breathe a collective ‘sigh of relief.’” [Video]

Introducing Pompeo and addressing the Trump Administration’s policy on Iran, Ambassador Ron Dermer thanked President Trump “for rejecting the path of appeasement, standing up to Iran’s aggression and terror, and confronting the most antisemitic regime on the planet.”

Dermer added: “Israel has been blessed with many friends in both Republican and Democratic administrations who served as secretaries of state and who made important contributions to our alliance. But after working with you for the past two and a half years and seeing the extent of your commitment to the security and well-being of Israel, I can honestly say that Israel has never had a better friend in Foggy Bottom than you.”

SPOTTED: Brian Hook, Elan Carr, Sec. Alexander Acosta, Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Steve Watkins (R-KS), Steve King (R-IA) [Pic], and Jim Jordan (R-OH); Greg Rosenbaum, Ron Prosor, Aaron David Miller, Ann Lewis, Ken Weinstein, Nathan Diament, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, David Milstein, Julie Strauss Levin, William Daroff, Johnny Fluger, Jonathan Baron, Yarden Golan, Nola Weinstein, Shelley Greenspan, Bobby Zarate, Rich Goldberg, Tevi Troy, Ezra Troy, Malcolm Hoenlein, Harold Rhode, Richard Kemp, Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, Sarah Abonyi, Shai Franklin, Matthew Foldi, and Bonnie Glick.

SCENE LAST NIGHT — Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley received the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2019 Humanitarian Award at the center’s dinner in Chicago [Pic]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ivanka Trump received awards at the Internet Association’s Sixth Annual Charity Gala for their advocacy efforts for STEM education and opportunities. [PicPic]

CLARIFICATION DEPT — In an interview with CNN’s DJ Judd on Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explained his comments on the Jerusalem embassy after facing some criticism: “What I tried to emphasize, which may not have been as clear, was a unilateral decision is unhelpful, a single party doing that and having that bipartisan support to what’s been American policy, that we do recognize this capital, but how you do it is as important to what you do. So, I was stating merely that I support that U.S. policy, I support [the embassy] being there. But I know that Jerusalem is important to Muslims, to Christians and to Jews. And any resolution of a two-state solution needs to have Jerusalem as something shared between two-states in the future.”

“I know, sometimes the headline pops out, and it’s good clickbait, but for me, it’s a fact of American policy. It’s something that I think can be helpful, actually taking certain things off the table to move forward. But I think we need to recognize still that there’s a lot of suffering Palestinian people in their human rights, but at the same time, that we support a very strong Israel. And to me, that’s the biggest problem these days — people are trying to carve out that you can’t be pro-Palestinian and pro-lsraeli, I believe you can be both.”

CNN: If a Democratic candidate were to win the election in 2020, and decided to move the embassy back to Tel Aviv, would you support that? Would you oppose that?

Garcetti: “I don’t know that you can go backwards. But I think what’s most important is to put actual material gain on the table. Right now, less important are the symbols, than what’s the development and the access for Palestinians to be able to develop their economy and have access to the territory that they live in, and vice versa for Israel to live securely, where you know, they face rocket barrages and threat of terrorism and attacks from multiple directions. To me, those are much more important than the symbols right now, sometimes when you take the symbols off the table, you can actually get to the substance.”

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — The Palestinian Authority has formally announced that it will boycott the upcoming ‘economic workshop’ in Bahrain. “We reiterate that we did not mandate anyone to negotiate on our behalf. Those concerned and want to serve the interest of the Palestinian people should respect this collective position,” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat negotiator said in a statement on Wednesday. “Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions.”

Erekat further explained the PA’s decision in an op-ed in the New York Times“The Trump team has a background in the real-estate business. But the issues at stake are about national liberation, justice and equality. No one can devalue the right of any nation to be free or eliminate its dignity… Unless the Trump administration’s plan addresses these issues head-on, it is a non-starter for the Palestinians. It should be for the rest of the world, as well.”

AT THE UN — White House Mideast envoy Jason Greenblattmentioned the Bahrain summit in remarks at a UN Security Council briefing on the Middle East on Wednesday: “This is the first stage of a process that we want to begin to showcase what could be – how, if we can achieve a political solution to the conflict, we can also transform the lives of the Palestinians. It would be a mistake for the Palestinians not to join us. They have nothing to lose and much to gain if they do join us. But it is, of course, their choice.”

Greenblatt also explained the administration’s decision to cut off funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA): “UNRWA’s business model, which is inherently tied to an endlessly and exponentially expanding community of beneficiaries, is in permanent crisis mode. That is why the United States decided that it will no longer commit to funding this irredeemably flawed operation… UNRWA is a band-aid, and the Palestinians who use its services deserve better – much better. We do not have to wait until a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in place to address that fact.” [Video]

Responding to Greenblatt, the Palestinian envoy’s deputy, Feda Abdelhady-Nasser, said“No one can deny that we are in need of new efforts and new energy to overcome the suffocating political deadlock, least of all us. But ‘new’ cannot mean trampling the law or mocking and discarding the longstanding international consensus” on a two state solution.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the UN, explained to Bloomberg why the PA turned down the U.S. offer to participate at next month’s confab: “The U.S. has adopted nearly every position espoused by this very right-wing Israeli government… There is a clear global consensus on how to achieve peace. So why turn everything upside down and try something that can never work?”

CAMPUS BEAT — Stephen William Thrasher, an NYU doctoral graduate and professor at Northwestern, and a contributing editor at BuzzFeed, endorsed BDS and lauded NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis’s decision to boycott Israel in remarks at NYU’s Doctoral Convocation Ceremony at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on Monday.

Thrasher: “I am so proud, so proud of NYU’s chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and of Jewish Voice for Peace, and of GSOC, and of the NYU student government, and of my colleagues in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis for supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the apartheid state government in Israel — because this is what we are called to do. This is our NYU legacy — that we are connected in radical love, and we have a duty and a privilege in this position to protect not the most popular amongst us, but the most vulnerable amongst us on every campus where we serve in every community where we live, in every place that we work.”

“This is our duty and we must stand together to vanquish racism and Islamophobia and antisemitism and injustice and attacks on women and attacks on abortion rights in Tel Aviv, in Shanghai, in Abu Dhabi, in New York City, in Atlanta, in Washington, in Los Angeles, in San Francisco and everywhere in the world.” [VideoJewishInsider]

OF NOTE — The University president, Andrew Hamilton, who has condemned the Department of Cultural and Social Analysis’s decision to boycott Israel, can be seen applauding Thrasher’s speech. [Video]

ON THE HILL — by JI’s Laura Kelly: On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, authored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and also part of the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East, the package of bills currently being advanced by House Republicans through a discharge petition.

Rep. Engel had earlier told JI that he’d rather see the Caesar bill passed on its own and not part of a package. The bill places sanctions on individuals connected to the Assad regime known to have committed human rights violations.

“The Caesar Bill passed the House last year and it was held up by one senator, Senator Rand Paul. It could have easily passed the Senate. It seems that every year there’s another monkey wrench thrown in somehow,” Rep. Engel told JI in March. “I’ll call on my colleagues to pass the Caesar bill alone, not as partisan package to play political games — so Democrats can’t vote for it, or that Republicans can’t vote for it. The bill should stand on its own to be passed in the House. I’m opposed to anything that attaches it to whatever — there’s a package, take it or leave it. We want to pass this bill because there’s been enough suffering for the Syrian people and it’s just a crime that we have to pass this bill.”

REPORT — Following up on a recent report that Sen. Dianne Feinstein was spotted walking around with the number of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s displayed on her phone, Politico Playbook reportsthis morning that Feinstein had dinner Zarif when he was in the United States a few weeks ago.

Feinstein’s office insisted that the dinner was “arranged in consultation with the State Department” and that they gave the State Department advance notice “of the meeting to let them know it was happening and to get an update on U.S.-Iran activity.”

INSIDE THE ADMIN — CNN reports that there is growing tension between National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo far beyond disagreements over the administration’s approach to foreign affairs. According to the critics, Bolton has been trying to keep opposing views from reaching Trump, is centralizing his role into a decision-making perch instead of a position meant to funnel information to the president, and is maintaining a more active presence on the Hill. “At times, that’s left other top-ranking officials, including Pompeo, feeling excluded and out of the loop,” the report says.

In an interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio show on Tuesday, Pompeo downplayed the notion of a split between him and Bolton on Iran policy: “There’s no difference between and amongst us. Those make great stories. They’re wonderful for coffee klatches and social parties in Washington, D.C.”

Bret Stephens writes… “A Deal for Iran: Normalization for Normalization: Under the terms of a normalization-for-normalization deal, Iran could relieve itself of all U.S. pressure by permanently abandoning its nuclear ambitions, its human rights outrages and its reckless international behavior. That’s not a big ask. Or at least it shouldn’t be, which is why Trump ought to deliver it in a carefully written speech… An American bombing campaign in Iran could hurt the regime. Complete and genuine normalization would, over time, be fatal to it.” [NYTimes]

Peter Beinart writes… Even Democrats Keep Thinking Iran Is Worse Than Saudi Arabia: Security professionals generally describe Iran’s foreign policy as opportunistic but cautious… In 2012, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, called the Iranian regime a ‘rational actor,’ an assessment echoed by Benny Gantz, then head of the Israel Defense Forces, and the former Israeli spy chief Meir Dagan. The Democrats running for president need to say this too. They need to say it because only by challenging the Trump administration’s description of Iran as singularly irrational and menacing can Democrats justify the normalization of relations with Tehran.” [TheAtlantic]

2020 WATCH — Inside the 2020 Democrats’ survival strategies More than a dozen high-dollar contributions funded Bernie Sanders’ policy institute the year before he launched his presidential bid… Mayor Pete Buttigieg pulleda bigger crowd in Queens, New York than Mayor de Blasio drew in Iowa… At a historic moment for an Asian-American candidate, Andrew Yang leans in…

** Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Les Wexner’s L Brands Buoyed by Bath & Body Works [WSJ] • Israeli court rules Bitcoin not a currency [Globes• Thomas Barrack’s Colony Capital Aims to Invest $5 Billion in Latin America [WSJ]

SPOTLIGHT — This Software Giant Runs on One Man’s Gut — by Nico Grant: “Marc Benioff, the co-chief executive officer of Salesforce, which makes America’s dominant sales-tracking software, puts a lot of faith in his gut. Interviews with Benioff and 18 current and former Salesforce employees and other friends and associates of the CEO make clear he operates more on spur-of-the-moment instincts than on a grand strategy. On the whole, that’s worked out incredibly well… The secret is deals. Benioff has kept up the momentum by acquiring more than 60 companies in 20 years, including a string of fast-growing businesses in marketing, e-commerce, and data integration… And the CEO readily acknowledges that he can’t always explain how he arrived at those decisions. ‘It’s hard, because I’m somebody who can see things that other people can’t see,’ he says. ‘It’s frustrating when I can’t communicate what I’m feeling. This is one of my challenges.’” [Bloomberg]

MEDIA WATCH — Soros foundation seeks to fight conspiratorial chatter on Fox News. To little avail — by Erik Wemple: “Last month Glenn Beck joined Sean Hannity for a chat about migrants heading through Mexico toward the U.S. border. ‘The problem is actually coming from Chicago,’ Beck told Hannity during an April 10 broadcast. ‘There is a group, a family that has a United Methodist Church, they are preachers, they are the ones that started the sanctuary city. They are directly getting money from George Soros and others.’ … Was Soros really behind the migrant movement? ‘Absolutely not — not on any level whatsoever,’ Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, Soros’ philanthropic agency, tells the Erik Wemple Blog in an interview. Over the past month, Gaspard has attempted to petition Fox News for a correction. ‘How many times do these false statements need to be aired before you take action?’ asked Gaspard in an April 11 letter.” [WashPost]

With NY Times Under Siege, Jewish Reporters Hit Back — by Gary Rosenblatt: Joseph Berger, whose parents were Polish Jewish immigrants, is well-known for his extensive coverage in The Times of Jewish-themed issues — most notably his reporting on local chasidic communities. We met at a Midtown kosher restaurant, and over deli sandwiches, he made clear at the outset that he believes the charges of anti-Semitism against The Times are ‘absurd.’ ‘Abe Rosenthal, Max Frankel, Joe Lelyveld, Jill Abramson — that’s four Jewish executive editors’ [the top editorial post] in the three decades he was on staff, Berger said, listing the names rapidly and with emotion in his voice. ‘These were not self-hating Jews,’ he added… As for the cartoon that precipitated the most recent round of anti-Times fervor, Berger said it was the yarmulke on Trump’s head that ‘made it about Judaism and put it over the edge.’ But he acknowledged that had the same cartoon been published in Haaretz, the left-leaning Israeli daily, he and others might not have seen it in as harsh a light.” [JewishWeek]

LONG READ — The Impossible Future of Christians in the Middle East — by Emma Green: “Jews lived in Alqosh for centuries, and in Iraq for thousands of years, although the priest who showed me around, Father Araam, knew about them only from stories. The Babylonian Talmud, which is the major text of rabbinic Judaism, was written here. Then, over a few short years, the Jews disappeared. Almost all of Iraq’s remaining Jews were effectively expelled from the country in the late 1940s and early 1950s amid intense political pressure and mob violence. Priests in the Nineveh Plain see this history as a warning. Their communities, too, could one day be nothing more than overgrown tombs.” [TheAtlantic]

Israeli scientists brew beer with revived ancient yeasts — by Ilan Ben Zion: “Israeli researchers raised a glass Wednesday to celebrate a long-brewing project of making beer and mead using yeasts extracted from ancient clay vessels —some over 5,000 years old. Archaeologists and microbiologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and four Israeli universities teamed up to study yeast colonies found in microscopic pores in pottery fragments. The shards were found at Egyptian, Philistine and Judean archaeological sites in Israel spanning from 3,000 BC to the 4th century BC.” [AP]

REMEMBERING — Judith Kerr Could Explain the Holocaust Even to Children — by Barbie Latza Nadeau: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbitis the childhood tale by which Kerr should be remembered most. She wrote it in 1968, after her son Matthew, then 8 years old, saw The Sound of Music and marveled that life really hadn’t been so bad for Germany’s Jewish refugees. Wanting to set the record straight, Kerr wrote Pink Rabbit and followed it up with Bombs on Aunt Dainty and A Small Person Far Away. The trilogy is about the struggles of refugee children and the fears they both face and bury. It is haunting and seems somehow more relevant today than ever… Throughout her long career, Kerr published 35 books. In 2012, she was given the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her contributions to children’s literature and Holocaust education… Kerr died May 22 in her London home.” [DailyBeast]

BIRTHDAYS: Founding member and chairman of law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, leading DC super-lobbyist but based in Denver, long-time proponent of the US-Israel relationship and national board member of AIPAC, Norman Brownstein turns 76… Businessman, attorney and philanthropist, he acquired and rebuilt the iconic restaurant in Miami Beach, The Forge, Alvin Malnik turns 86… British fashion retailer and promoter of tennis in Israel, he is the founder, chairman and CEO of three international clothing lines including the French Connection, Great Plains and Toast brands, Stephen Marks turns 73… Special counsel in the NYC office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan focused on election law, he was in the inaugural class of Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Jerry H. Goldfeder turns 72… Sherman Oaks, California resident, Stephanie Liss turns 69… Israeli diplomat, he served as Israel’s ambassador to Nigeria (2013-2016) and as Consul General of Israel to Philadelphia (2004-08), Uriel Palti turns 65…

Editor-in-chief of a book on end of life stories, she has served on many local and national non-profit boards and as a special events advisor to The Israel Project, Catherine Zacks Gildenhorn turns 63… Israeli businessman with holdings in real estate, construction, energy, hotels and media, Ofer Nimrodi turns 62… President of Newton, MA-based Liberty Companies, a development firm with more than five million square feet of real estate nationwide, he is a long-time Boston Jewish community leader, Andrew M. Cable turns 62… Best-selling author and journalist, whose works include “Tuesdays with Morrie,” he has sold over 39 million books, Mitch Albom turns 61… Senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Reuel Marc Gerecht turns 60… Israeli-born entrepreneur, author and former academic, now serving as the chairman of the board of the Irvine, California-based Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook turns 58…

Vancouver, British Columbia-native, former ski instructor, ordained by HUC-JIR in 1998, now rabbi of the Community Synagogue of Rye (NY), Daniel B. Gropper turns 51… Film and television director, Nanette Burstein turns 49… Prominent NYC matrimonial law attorney, she is the daughter of TV journalist Jeff Greenfield, Casey Greenfield turns 46… Israeli educator and politician, she is a member of the Knesset for the centrist Kulanu party since 2015, Yifat Shasha-Biton turns 46… News editor at Haaretz, born in New York and raised in Tel Aviv, Omer Benjakob turns 32… Professional golfer on the LPGA Tour, she turned pro at age 17 and is the youngest-ever winner of a modern LPGA major championship (the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship), Morgan Pressel turns 31… Professional boxer, winner of the California Golden Gloves Championship in 2010, known as “Kid Yamaka” (a phonetic spelling of “yarmulke”), Zachary Wohlman turns 31… Corporate communications specialist at United Airlines, Andrea M. Hiller turns 25..

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-insiders-daily-kickoff-may-23-2019/

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Ali Abunimah Power Suits 12 July 2016 Incoming UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been

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British government postpones Brexit vote as crisis deepens

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The British government on Thursday postponed a crucial Brexit vote scheduled for the first week of June, following an outcry from hardline Brexit supporters over concessions made by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The beleaguered premier is in the last throes of a tumultuous period in power focused all-but exclusively on guiding her fractured country out of the European Union.

“We will update the house on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on our return from the Whitsun recess” on June 4, government official Mark Spencer told MPs.

Spencer said the government had planned to hold the vote on a landmark piece of legislation to implement Brexit on June 7 but had not been able to fix that date.

May is under intense pressure to resign after holding out the prospect of a parliamentary vote on a second referendum to try and persuade MPs to support the divorce deal she has struck with EU leaders. She is reported to be planning to resign on Friday.

The deal has already been rejected three times in parliament, forcing a delay to the planned date of Brexit on March 29, and still faces strong cross-party opposition.

‘Brexit fiasco’

Meanwhile there are already several leading Conservatives, including members of her own cabinet, who are campaigning to take over from May when she quits.

The prime minister’s woes were made worse on Wednesday when Andrea Leadsom — one of cabinet’s strongest Brexit backers — resigned from her post as the government’s representative in parliament over her handling of the slowly unfolding crisis.

“I no longer believe that our approach will deliver on the (2016) referendum results,” Leadsom said in her resignation letter.

In her response May thanked Leadsom for her “passion, drive and sincerity,” but took issue with her assessment of the government’s Brexit strategy.

“I do not agree with you that the deal which we have negotiated with the European Union means that the United Kingdom will not become a sovereign country,” May said.

Many of Thursday’s newspaper front pages pictured May leaving Downing Street late on Wednesday apparently with tears in her eyes. “May set to go after Brexit fiasco,” said The Sun tabloid.

Thursday’s European elections are being interpreted in Britain as a referendum on Brexit and on May’s ability to get the job done. They make grim reading for the government team, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party well ahead in the polls.

The current deadline for Brexit set by EU leaders is October 31.

The Brexit Party and leading Conservatives are calling for Britain to leave the EU on that date without an overall deal but businesses fear this could cause severe disruption.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/british-government-postpones-brexit-vote-as-crisis-deepens/

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Lesson to learn from GoT: Stories are powerful, be careful which ones you believe

HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ has come a long way since its premiere in 2011, in what now seems like a different era. In its recently-aired final installment, we not only find out what happens to the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms, but also circle back to one of the running themes of the show, and George R.R. Martin’s books it was based on: power and its sources.

Daenerys Targaryen laying waste to cities with dragonfire came as a plot twist only to people who did not pay attention, blindsided by worship of their beloved “khaleesi.” Martin’s readers, and even seasoned HBO watchers, have always known that unlike most fantasy, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ was not about heroes and dragons and magic, but about human nature.

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This is spelled out quite early on, in both the books and the show, when spymaster Varys tells a riddle about power, asking who would prevail in a power struggle between a king, a priest and a wealthy man – and shooting down the obvious answers as wrong, because “power lies where we think it lies.”

Years later, showing that he paid attention, Tyrion Lannister proposes a bold solution to the fate of the Seven Kingdoms, arguing that power comes from narratives:

There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”

There is something ironic in a television show, often attacked for its narrative choices, lampshading the power of storytelling like this – and again later, when Tyrion finds himself written out of the in-universe history of events in which he undeniably played a major part.

Yet, as ‘Game of Thrones’ became a cultural phenomenon and people around the world read into it their own beliefs, preferences and prejudices, it is worth keeping in mind its meta-message about the power of narratives.

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If you doubt this power, consider George Orwell’s ‘1984’, in which the totalitarian state controls the present by constantly rewriting the past, and manipulates thought itself by engineering a severely-limited language.

Orwell’s dystopia takes to its logical extreme the old adage that “history is written by the victors,” but it’s not too far off. Much of Western history about WWII, for example, came from the pen of Winston Churchill, who naturally made sure he was the hero by scrubbing out inconvenient facts like the 1943 Bengal famine or the betrayal of Yugoslavia, for instance.

These narratives were then taken up and amplified by Hollywood, which has from its very beginning manufactured institutional memory for most Americans. As a result of blockbusters like ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ and ‘Band of Brothers’ (another HBO show), the US contribution to defeating Hitler has become grossly inflated in the public mind, not just at home, but abroad as well. Meanwhile, the massive Soviet role in the war has been minimized or erased entirely.

This narrative violation of history made it possible for US President Donald Trump to argue that America single-handedly defeated Nazism and Communism, without a peep from his critics and legions of fact-checkers normally eager to seize every opportunity.

To paraphrase Varys, power is all about perception management.

Which brings to mind another saying: “History is made by the victors, but written by the loudest.” And while that may have always been the case to some extent, it is upon those who have lived the facts to stop the “loudest” from writing us out of our own story; to challenge those who tell us every day that a banana is an apple, or seek to somehow change the territory by redrawing the map.

They don’t get to choose,” the Dragon Queen argues in her moment of absolute power. Moments later, she finds out she was mistaken, because yes, they do. We do – every time we choose not to believe what we’re told, but read, watch and listen for ourselves; every time we question more.

Nebojsa Malic, for RT

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/op-ed/460083-game-thrones-powerful-story/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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From joker to peacemaker? Zelensky needs to follow his words with actions to end Ukraine’s conflict

For the past five years, the mainly Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine have had to endure bombardments and sniper attack from military forces loyal to the regime that seized power in Kiev in February 2014. The self-declared independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk refused to recognize the Kiev authorities, due to the latter’s affiliation with Neo-Nazi ideology and rabid Russophobia.

The landslide election of Zelensky in April was a stunning repudiation by Ukrainians of the “war party” that has dominated Kiev’s politics since 2014. The former president, Petro Poroshenko, came to be despised for his relentless warmongering and hostility towards the Russian-speaking east of the country, as well as his constant belligerence towards neighboring Russia.

Zelensky, who had no political experience and who owed his public profile to being a comedian in a hit fictional TV show, tapped into the popular disgust with war, and the endemic corruption associated with the Poroshenko administration.

His first act upon inauguration was to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) in Kiev and call for snap elections. He also prompted the sackings or resignations of top officials in the security and military apparatus who were seen as Poroshenko loyalists.

This could bode well for a genuine new beginning under Zelensky. One in which the Ukrainian armed forces and various paramilitary auxiliaries under Kiev’s command begin to retreat from the front line with the separatist regions in Donbass.

We did not start this war, but we are going to finish it,” declared Zelensky before parliament this week.

That’s not true. The Kiev regime that seized power in 2014, largely with US and European Union support, against an elected Russian-friendly government, was the party which went on a war footing against Donbass under the Orwellian slogan of an “Anti-Terror Operation”. The offensive was fully backed by the then CIA chief John Brennan who visited Kiev only weeks before the military attack on the southeastern populations.

Nevertheless, at least Zelensky is talking about ending the hostilities.

He also spoke during his inauguration speech partly in the Russian language and offered a hand of friendship to Donbass as compatriots. Such a gesture is groundbreaking compared with the rhetoric from Poroshenko and his cohorts who relished in the sick vindictiveness of collective punishment against civilians and the barbarous thought of “while our children go to school, theirs sit in basements”.

Konstantin Kosachev, a senior Russian lawmaker, said this week that Zelensky has the chance to make history by making peace in Ukraine. As commander-in-chief, it would be easy for the Ukrainian president to give the orders to de-escalate the conflict, said Kosachev.

If Zelensky is serious about ending the violence, and the frozen conflict, then the measure of his avowed good intentions will be seen within days. The guns will fall silent and artillery should back off from the front line.

Such a move is, after all, a bare minimum compliance with the Minsk peace accords that were signed in 2015 by the Kiev regime and the separatist leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk. That accord was facilitated by Russia, Germany and France. It framed the conflict as an internal Ukrainian problem and called for political autonomy to be assigned to the Donbass region.

Subsequently, however, the Kiev regime never implemented the agreement, violated it constantly with low-intensity military offensives, and continued to paint Russia as an aggressor and a party to the conflict on the ground. That narrative was echoed by the United States which fueled Kiev’s paranoia with massive arms supplies and several rounds of sanctions against Moscow for interference in Ukraine.

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This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin held phone talks with German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron in light of the new Ukrainian administration. All of them reportedly agreed that the Minsk accord is the only way forward to resolve the Ukrainian conflict.

The Kremlin has said Putin will extend his congratulations to President Zelensky whenever he achieves the restoration of peace in southeastern Ukraine and begins a normalization of relations with Russia. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Zelensky must abide by the Minsk deal and resolve the conflict in his country.

Kiev has, since the signing of Minsk, been in dereliction of its implementation. That is the main reason why the conflict has festered. Zelensky’s recent call for more Western sanctions on Russia would indicate he lacks an understanding of the Minsk obligations, and is still stuck in anti-Russia thinking.

The ball is now in President Zelensky’s court. He promised Ukrainian voters an end to war in their country and was resoundingly elected on that platform. Now he needs to deliver.

READ MORE: Poroshenko out, Zelensky in: West backed the wrong man in Ukraine & now it’s payback time

Despite the positive-sounding words on peace, the trouble is that Zelensky’s policy program is conspicuously absent of details. Cynics may say that was part of his election strategy, relying on the public projecting their endearment of his TV persona onto Zelensky the politician. He said in his inauguration speech he will do his best to ensure that Ukrainians “don’t cry” over his presidency. He also said he was prepared to lose his post if he doesn’t bring peace to his country. That’s all very noble. But where is the detail for implementing a resolution?

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On the downside, Zelensky has said that he expects “territories to be returned” including  Crimea. Russia has said that the status of Crimea is non-negotiable.

Those views from Zelensky may change over time when he understands the historical realities, but for now such misconceptions are not auspicious for a genuine peace settlement. For such views betray an underlying prejudice not too different from Poroshenko and his ilk that somehow Russia is the cause of Ukraine’s problems.

The reality is that Ukrainian politicians allowed their country to become a geopolitical plaything for the US, the EU and NATO in order to antagonize Russia. That set off the ongoing internal problems in Ukraine. The problem needs to be addressed as an internal one. Continuing to blame Russia is a dead-end mentality of denying reality. Can Zelensky overcome that mindset? We will see.

If he can’t then Ukraine’s comedian-turned-president will be no laughing matter. Indeed, he will turn out to be a sick joke for the hard-pressed nation who voted for him in a desperate call for relief, peace and real change.

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/op-ed/460013-zelensky-peace-ukraine-donbass/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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Let’s not make a drama about Skripal case before important questions are answered

There’s been neither sight nor sound of Yulia or Sergei Skripal. Yulia was last seen in a short video statement released on May 23, 2018, her father in CCTV footage in a shop in Salisbury at 12.47pm on February 27, 2018. If Sergei was sure that the Russian state was responsible for what happened to him, why hasn’t he been put before a camera to say so? Even more mysteriously, why hasn’t this dutiful son not called his 91-year old mother Yelena to say he’s ok?  Might Sergei Skripal actually be dead – and if so, why haven’t we been told?

Then there’s the unraveling of the Amesbury (a town nine miles from Salisbury) postscript. The news that two British nationals, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, had been admitted to hospital after being exposed to alleged Novichok poisoning from a bottle of perfume found in a bin by Rowley, caused a sensation when it broke in early July 2018. 

But a couple of days ago the Guardian, cited a source au fait with the police’s criminal inquiry, who stated: “The bin where the bottle (of perfume) was found was regularly emptied, so it seems inconceivable that it had been there in March.”

Which raises the question: If the bottle did contain Novichok and the two Russian suspects didn’t put it in the bin, then who did?

There are three possible explanations – if we rule out the bottle somehow quite miraculously remaining in the bin after regular emptying over a sixteen-week period. 

Firstly, Rowley misremembered where he found the bottle and that he actually picked it up somewhere else. Secondly, the bottle didn’t contain Novichok and wasn’t the source of the poisoning and Dawn’s tragic death. Thirdly, it did contain Novichok and that it was placed in the bin in the week preceding Rowley finding it.

Possibility one clearly does not exclude the two Russian suspects leaving the Novichok somewhere else, eg in a bush in the park and Rowley finding it several weeks later. However, Rowley did tell ITV in July 2018: “I feel confident in myself to say it wasn’t picked up in the park.

The other two possibilities raise some very serious questions indeed. They would indicate that some unknown actor was keen to link the poisoning of Rowley and Burgess to the earlier events in Salisbury. If so, was it done to try and further turn public opinion against Russia in pursuance of a geopolitical agenda?  

Again, it’s worth stressing that up to now the Metropolitan Police have been unable able to link the poisoning of Rowley and Burgess to that of the Skripals.

All things considered, what we could really do with at this point is answers from the authorities who were so quick to throw accusations at Russia, and a new television documentary could help that.

I’m old enough to remember the excellent ITV series ‘In Suspicious Circumstances’, shown in the early 1990s, which looked into real-life murder mysteries of the past. The individual programs were introduced by the late Edward Woodward. They included mini-dramatizations, but in the end, Woodward would sum up what we did know and what we didn’t and let us make our own minds up.

One would hope that ‘Salisbury’ the new two-part BBC ‘factual drama’ on the Skripal case, announced last week, will follow the same forensic pattern, but given the anti-Russian undercurrent to so much of contemporary programming, one can’t be too optimistic. The article on the BBC website announcing the drama doesn’t inspire confidence as it states “Dawn Sturgess was fatally poisoned in the attack.

The truth is that the Met has been unable to prove that and manslaughter charges against the two Russian suspects have not been bought.

Also on rt.com
Hospitalized children & dead ducks? The ‘official’ Skripal narrative goes completely quackers

Commissioning a two-part drama about an event which remains clouded in so much uncertainty is premature. Surely it would be better to try and establish exactly what happened first, and then make the drama? Perhaps Government DSMA Notices (formerly D-Notices) are the reason why proper investigative journalism is not taking place. We know of at least two DSMAs being issued in relation to the Skripal affair. But these notices are not legally enforceable and Britain is not –or at least not yet – a totalitarian state. It should be possible to make a painstakingly-factual documentary on the Skripal case without compromising national security.

For such a documentary to be credible, it would be imperative that the two Russian suspects, traveling under the names of Boshirov and Petrov, but allegedly Messrs Chepiga and Mishkin of Russian Military Intelligence, make themselves available for interview. If they had nothing to do with the poisoning of the Skripals then we really need to know what they were doing in Salisbury on the weekend in question (no one, let’s face it, is convinced about the ‘they were just tourists visiting the Cathedral’ line). At the same time, other leads need to be investigated too. Could the poisonings have been planned by an unknown actor hostile to Russia, with the knowledge that the two Russians were visiting Salisbury for a purpose connected to Sergei Skripal but not involving poisoning him? Could Boshirov and Petrov have been set up, with traces of Novichok left in their hotel room weeks later to try and incriminate them? That would explain why no guests occupying the room after Boshirov and Petrov became ill.

Can we even be 100 percent sure that Novichok was indeed used, and that the Skripals weren’t instead the victims of fentanyl poisoning? Remember the testimony of eyewitness Freya Church, who saw the Skripals on the bench that Sunday afternoon, and who told the BBC: “He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky… They looked like they had been taking something quite strong”. 

Remember too the letter to the Times published on 14th March 2018 from Dr Stephen Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, who wrote: “May I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning…No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.

Might what happened to be linked to Skripal’s work on Russian criminal/Mafia gangs with Spanish Intelligence? 

Could there be a connection to the Steele dossier, or is that just a wild conspiracy theory? Where is the CCTV footage of the Skripals in Salisbury on 4th March 2018? Why haven’t we seen it?

And regarding the Amesbury postscript, if Novichok was suspected, why has there still been no coroner’s inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess?

These are the questions that I’m sure Edward Woodward would be asking.

Journalists should be asking them too.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/op-ed/460005-skripal-novichok-questions-poisoning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

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View the Frontline Documentary on Gaza that PBS pulled

PBS stations around the U.S. were scheduled to show a riveting new Frontline documentary, “One Day in Gaza,” but at the last minute PBS pulled it.

The film is missing important context about the issue, but it includes footage that Americans, as Israel’s top funders, should see – including a young, unarmed teen being shot in her head.

BBC, the coproducer of the film, broadcast it to British viewers. We are posting it below so that Americans can also view it.

By Alison Weir

Recently, hundreds of PBS stations around the United States were scheduled to broadcast a powerful new Frontline documentary: One Day in Gaza. But viewers tuning in found that it had been replaced by a slightly updated Frontline report on Robert Mueller that had been broadcast two months before and had been streaming online ever since.

PBS no longer has the Gaza film listed on its schedule.

The documentary was to be aired on the one-year anniversary of events that took place on May 14, 2018, when tens of thousands of men, women, and children in Gaza gathered with the intention of deploying the tactics Gandhi had used in freeing India from British control.

Palestinians in Gaza carry an injured girl on March 31, 2018.

The demonstration that day was the 8th march in what Gazans named the Great March of Return.

Palestinians months earlier had announced their plan for a mass, peaceful demonstration in which Gazans would march for an end to Israel’s crippling 12-year blockade and, especially, for  their right to return to homes stolen by Israel in order to create a Jewish state. Palestinians’ right to return to their homes and ancestral land is well established in international law. This fundamental right, affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel had responded by immediately deploying a hundred snipers.

In the first seven weekly marches, Israeli forces killed about 50 of the marchers and injured over 7,000.

During the 8th march on May 14, the day depicted in the film, Israeli forces killed 60 more and shot 1,000 – an average of one person every 30 seconds.

While this was going on, a glittering Israeli celebration was taking place as a new, transplanted U.S. Embassy opened in Jerusalem, a city that Israel illegally annexed following the Six-Day War that Israel launched in 1967.

Who were the protesters?

Over 70 percent of Gazans are from families that Israel forced out in its founding war to establish “the Jewish state.” Israel confiscated their homes and land and has prevented them from returning ever since. This violates international law.

For 12 years Israel has perpetrated a strangling blockade of Gaza, causing 52 percent unemployment, hunger, the kind of malnutrition that causes growth stunting in children, and increasing hopelessness.

And this blockade is just the most recent one.

On April 15, 2002 the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported “The total blockade has paralysed the Palestinian economy… it is now in a deep recession, with millions of people severely impoverished and extremely food insecure.”

For many years it has been tremendously difficult, sometimes impossible, for Gazans to leave Gaza, and for others to enter it. As a result, many people describe Gaza as the largest open-air prison on earth.

While U.S. news coverage in general, and the Frontline documentary in particular, emphasize the rockets fired by Gaza’s diverse resistance groups, the fact is that Israeli violence preceded the rockets and has greatly exceeded their impact.

In the past year alone, Israeli forces have killed at least 293 Gazans, while Gazans have killed 6 Israelis. Palestinian rockets from Gaza, which are largely homemade, have killed a total of about 40 Israelis in the whole time they’ve been being shot, while during the same time period Israeli forces have killed over 6,000 Gazans. (See this Timeline of deaths and this Israeli source for more info.)

The film says that Israel “fought three major conflicts with Hamas,” but doesn’t mention that during these, Israeli forces killed about 3,600 Gazans (many of them women and children), while Gazan fighters killed approximately 80 Israelis, the large majority of them soldiers.

Gaza family amid ruins 2014
A Palestinian family carries their belongings towards the remains of their destroyed home, hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes. August 5, 2014 (FINBARR O’REILLY/REUTERS)

Powerful but flawed

The Frontline documentary One Day in Gaza is an extremely powerful, if flawed, record of the events of May 14, 2018.

It provides Israeli views, Palestinian views, and riveting, often tragic footage of the day’s events. However, perhaps because of its striving to be “balanced,” or due to constraints imposed by Israel’s powerful lobbies in England and the U.S., the film often leans toward the Israeli narrative and obscures some important points.

The Israeli interviewees in the film are calm, articulate, and seem well-trained in presenting their talking points. Perhaps this is not surprising given that one is an army spokesman, a second is a high-ranking officer, and two are Americans who immigrated to Israel (although this fact is not revealed in the film).

Not interviewed in the film are any of the members of the Israeli group, Breaking the Silence, composed of former Israeli soldiers who describe widespread military practices of gratuitous violence and cruelty.

Below is some background on two of the Israelis featured in the film:

Col. Kobi Heller

Col. Kobi Heller

Perhaps because of time constraints, Col. Heller’s, background and political persuasion are left out of the film.

While Heller comes across as reasonable, professional, and reluctant to commit the murders we see from his troops, his resumé suggests that there is more to his story.

Heller is a member of Israel’s Religious Zionist movement, a group that has become known for its zealotry and sometimes extremist views of Jewish supremacy. He is called a “kippa shruga,” a term for the type of Jewish fundamentalist known for believing that Arabs should be expelled from Israel and for opposition to any Palestinian state, no matter how small.

It turns out that he has a previous connection to Gaza. Heller is a settler who studied at a religious Zionist yeshiva in a Gaza settlement that combined religious studies with military training. In 2005 the yeshiva was moved to Israel when the Israeli government forcibly expelled the settlers. This caused fierce objections in the settler movement. Many in the army were outraged at this action.

Heller is from Israel’s notorious Golani brigade, increasingly a bastion of the Israeli far right. An Israeli professor states:  “The officer corps of the elite Golani Brigade is now heavily populated by religious right-wing graduates of the preparatory academies.” The New York Times reports that many Israelis are concerned at this development, particularly since a booklet was handed out to soldiers during Israel’s 2009 assault on Gaza that contained a rabbinical edict against showing the enemy mercy .

The Times reports: “The rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles and their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”

Adele Raemer

Adele Raemer
Adele Raemer

An Israeli woman featured in the film is Adele Raemer. She is described as an “Israeli grandmother” who lives two kilometers from the Gaza fence.

In the film she describes her fear of Gazans who wish to return to their homes in Israel. The film does not mention that Raemer is originally an American from the Bronx.

In 1975 she immigrated to Israel and took up residency in the Nirim kibbutz on the border with Gaza. Since the area had originally possessed no history of Jewish habitation, the Zionist movement had established it in 1946 to create a Jewish presence in the Negev in order to claim it as part of a future Jewish state.

Raemer has written that her life in the kibbutz is “95 percent heaven.” Despite being located in a desert, it has green grass and a swimming pool. A little over a mile away, Gazans are enduring a water crisis that has caused Gazan children to suffer from diarrhea, kidney disease, and impaired IQ.

The community pool center at the kibbutz in the Negev Desert near Gaza.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders

The film shows the the flaws and sometimes fatal logistical failures of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders during the Great March and says that Hamas has “refused to recognize Israel.”

However, the film doesn’t include the fact that Hamas has offered Israel a decade-long truce, that it is Israel that breaks the truces, and that Hamas has said it was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

In reporting these leaders’ flaws and mistakes, the film fails to mention the extreme difficulties Gaza’s leaders face, including the fact that by assuming this role they face very possible assassination by Israel. Many resistance members have been blown to pieces by Israeli drones.

Those who survive are trying to run a resistance movement, deploy efficient logistical support, and make wise decisions during chaotic conditions in one of the world’s most isolated and longest-besieged enclaves.

Most important, the Palestinian journalist and peace activist who originated the march and is interviewed in the film, Ahmed Abu Artema, says that the film attributed far too much significance to Hamas, and neglected the “primary role played by civil society activists in Gaza.”

In a detailed critique of the film, he writes: “The documentary did not show the reality of the prison that Gaza has become. One shot of the cattle market that exists at the Erez crossing would have been enough to convey the reality of this cage, where there is no freedom of movement, no economic growth, no future prospects – no hope.”

The U.S. connection

The film also fails to inform American viewers of our connection to Israeli actions – that the U.S. gives Israel over $10 million per day. (The U.S. has given Israel on average 7,000 times more per capita than it has given other people around the world.)

And in its framing, the film neglects the fact that a prime driver of Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy is billionaire campaign donor Sheldon Adelson, who attended the celebration with his Israeli wife Miriam. (Adelson once said that he regretted serving in the U.S. army rather than the Israeli one – video here.)

Despite its flaws, Americans should see it

But the film cannot do everything, and it does some things extremely well. Overall, it’s not difficult to see why Israel partisans would not wish it broadcast to Americans.

It shows footage that the American public almost never sees. It was this kind of footage that eventually led to Americans ending the Vietnam war.

One of the main take-aways from the film is the extreme ruthlessness of Israeli forces.

Fully armed Israeli soldiers from one of the most powerful armies on earth are seen targeting multitudes of thin, unarmed men, women, and children. The film shows Israeli snipers shooting people in the head, in the back, in the legs.

It shows a youth whose leg was amputated and reports that many of the demonstrators lost limbs that day. (The UN recently reported that 1,700 Gazans shot by Israeli snipers are currently at risk of amputations.)

While U.S. news reports often downplay these actions, the film shows them in all their tragic and horrific reality.

The film shows people who are just standing there suddenly being picked off by snipers. It shows a 14-year-old girl chatting with a friend, then suddenly being shot in the head. And it shows her little brother, who had been with her, later describing how his sister had been killed. This is not footage that Israeli hawks wish American audiences to view.

injured boy

Another takeaway from the film is the poverty of Gaza’s imprisoned population, particularly compared to the gathering in Israel to celebrate the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem.

Amid the expensive suits and fashionable dresses, American-born Israeli official Michael Oren bemoans the fact that the situation in Gaza has blemished his enjoyment of the festive occasion.

This contrast with Gaza is stark.

With no powerful lobby to represent them and little clout in U.S. media, Palestinians are at the mercy of Israel. The film shows that many in Gaza feel they have little to lose after years of escalating oppression. Some voice impossible dreams that had motivated them, that they could recover their lost homes. Some simply hoped to see them. A few voice the fury that results from dispossession, imprisonment, and brutalization.

While this goes unremarked in the film, there are indications that the “tear gas” Israeli drones poured on people may have been particularly virulent. In the film we see some people convulsing, and one man is delirious. This seems reminiscent of a mysterious gas used in Gaza in early 2001 that caused similar symptoms (reported in the James Longley documentary Gaza Strip).


While Israeli soldiers shelter behind diverse barriers, armed with advanced weaponry and guided by female soldiers watching it all on TV screens in a remote bunker, it is the Palestinians who demonstrate incredible, sometimes tragic courage.

We see them without weapons, without body armor, without helmets, without uniforms. Old and young, men and women, strong and disabled, they wield slingshots, wave flags.


They’re out in an open field, Israeli forces in front of them, drones overhead. When yet another demonstrator is shot, the blood pouring out, they run to rescue him or her, and then sometimes they, too, are shot. Yet they continue.

The contrast between the Israeli and Palestinian women taking part in the day’s hostilities is acute. Israeli female soldiers are far away, watching the action on computer monitors, telling soldiers when and where to shoot. Their faces are blurred to keep their identities secret. One seems to question what she’s doing, but there’s no indication that she stops.

Gazan women join the mass gathering. They’re out are in the open field, marching, carrying flags, helping the injured… and getting shot.

Wesal Khalil & brother
Wesal Khalil and her brother before an Israeli sniper shot her in the head.

Theft of a nation

For over 70 years, Israel has gotten away with its astoundingly massive theft of the land and homes of the non-Jews it dispossessed to create an ethnically defined nation, and its decades of violence to maintain this ethnic cleansing. A Palestinian historian has validly termed this the Palestinian Holocaust.

1948 Palestinian refugees
Palestinians expelled by Israel, 1948. The right to return to one’s land is a fundamental right for all human beings regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity.

One Day in Gaza shows some of Israel’s millions of victims, their attempt to be free, and what’s being done to them. Americans are not supposed to see that.

While Artema’s biting critique of the film is valid and necessary, it is useful to be aware that for many Americans much of the film will be revelatory.

PBS’s action

PBS’s cancellation, however, has prevented Frontline’s more than 4.6 million viewers from seeing it.

While PBS calls itself “a trusted window to the world,” someone at PBS shuttered the window on One Day in Gaza.

PBS spokespeople state that Gaza will be broadcast at some point in the coming months, but say they don’t know when. Since the film’s scheduled broadcast date was specifically focused on the one-year anniversary of the day it depicts, it seems odd for PBS to be so unconcerned about broadcasting it in a timely manner. BBC, on the other hand, aired the film on May 13.

According to a Frontline statement, One Day In Gaza was pulled because Frontline “decided to air a timely update to our documentary on the Mueller investigation.” The Mueller investigation report had been broadcast on March 16 and 17 and has been available online ever since. It can be viewed here.

The updated version that bumped One Day in Gaza can be seen here. The update consists of a few minutes added at the end of the report. This new information had already been reported widely in U.S. media, including PBS’s own primetime news program News Hour.

PBS vs local stations

PBS wields considerable power. A national study rated PBS “the most-trusted institution in America.”

Its Frontline program claims to be “American television’s top long-form news and current affairs series.”

According to its website, PBS is a “near-universal media service, available in 9-of-10 U.S. television households. For many Americans, public television is their connection to the world.”

PBS emphasizes the alleged independence of its nearly 350 television and radio stations, stating they are among “the last locally owned media organizations in the country.”

However, in reality it appears that local stations have less control than this implies. When someone at PBS prevented the broadcast of Gaza, that decision prevented all the local stations around the country from airing it.

The fact is that local PBS stations do not have independent access to the film – even though it received funding from the stations.

While most Americans may think that PBS is a public institution, given its name – Public Broadcasting Service” – it is not. It is, in its own words, “a private, nonprofit media enterprise.” One that is, however, largely funded by American taxpayers.

Its ownership is a bit convoluted and multi-layered. While it says it is “owned by its 350 member stations,” its funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is another private nonprofit, but 95 percent of CPB’s funding comes from the federal government. Most of this money is then given to the member stations.

Phone calls to a PBS station, KQED in San Francisco, revealed that KQED had received many calls complaining about the cancellation and asking when Gaza would be shown. KQED’s customer service representative explained that none of this is in KQED’s hands.

“We Answer to You”

Fanning, Aronson-Rather
Frontline’s David Fanning and Raney Arons-Rath at 70th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon Waldorf-Astoria Hotel May 23, 2011.

Frontline has refused to divulge who was involved in the decision to pull Gaza. It seems likely that its Senior Editorial Team – consisting of Raney Aronson-Rath, Executive Producer; David Fanning, Founder and Executive Producer at Large; and Andrew Metz, Managing Editor – would have been involved. Fanning has previously been accused of censoring content regarding Israel/Palestine, a charge he denies.

Frontline’s website announces: “We answer to no one but you.”

It’s unclear who the “you” is. It does not appear to be the member stations who fund it, or the many people whose federal dollars financed the film and wish to see it.

While PBS holds on to the film and fails to release it, people in Gaza continue their David against Goliath struggle.

On May 15th, Gazan men, women, and children again protested, and Israel again unleashed its heavily armed military, injuring 144, including 49 children. The same day, Israeli soldiers also fired at fishermen who were fishing off the coast of Gaza, injuring one of them – a frequent occurrence that Americans rarely, if ever, see on the News Hour.

And so it goes.

Perhaps at some point PBS/Frontline management will decide that the massacre of 60 people and the shooting of a thousand others in a single day is important enough to merit scheduling the film – particularly when the perpetrator has received more U.S. tax money than any other nation in the world.

This post will be updated if PBS schedules a new broadcast date.

It will be updated again if PBS actually shows it.

UPDATE: We uploaded One Day in Gaza to this post, but something has now blocked it. However, the video it is still available on Vimeo and on Youtube

UPDATE, May 23: This site seems to be functioning again, but we have now also posted this article and the video on our main site

YouTube has now age-restricted the video, which means students 17 and under cannot view it on YouTube. We appealed this restriction on the basis that we assume that students in England are permitted to view BBC and that American students are permitted to view Frontline. YouTube denied our appeal.

Below is the documentary:


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel


Israeli forces caught in video shooting Palestinian man then whooping

News reports on Great March

Report on first demonstration, March 30, 2018

Timeline of deaths

Timeline – videos

Headlines from Palestine – videos

Israel’s War Criminals In Their Own Words: Shooting unarmed Palestinian demonstrators “preserves Israeli values”

Palestinian Refugees Right to Return and Repatriation

Palestinian refugees and the right of return

Source Article from http://israelpalestinenews.org/view-the-frontline-documentary-on-gaza-that-pbs-pulled/

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May 21, 2019: Mohammad Abdul-Jawad Zo’rob, 30, died from complications resulting from wounds he suffered in April 2018, when Israeli soldiers shot him during the Great Return March processions in the Gaza Strip.

His parents said their son was shot by Israeli army fire on April 27th, 2018.

They added that he suffered various complications since then, and developed tumors that eventually led to his death, especially amidst the lack of medical supplies in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip.

He was shot with an expanding bullet, and underwent several surgeries, but also suffered several infections in the wound area, eventually resulting in cancer.

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His family said they lost contact with him nearly 17 days ago, after he left Turkey in an attempt to reach Greece.

Two weeks ago, another Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Bahissy, from Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, died under similar circumstances near the Turkish coast.

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